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of by Mr. Ostervald, by whose care, Dr. Nicholls tells us, it was introduced into some churches an the continent. *
In praising God the United Church employs instrumental as well as vocal music,f and the approved version of the Psalms, now in use, is that of Tate and Brady. Among her festivals, which are but fow in number, Christmas-day, Easter-day, and Whitsunday, are the most distinguished. She keeps but one Lent in the year, of forty days, and of these Good Friday in particular is observed as a fast.
In prayer kneeling is practised, that being the most humble posture, and in praise the people stand, to bespeak the elevation of their minds.
The ceremonies of the Church are so harmless, that most of the Christian world agree, or would have no objection to agree, in them. They are few and easy, ancient and significant, and though we do not place so much religion in externals as the Church of Rome doth, yet here is prescribed all that is needful for decency and order; viz. that the clergy always wear grave and distinct habits, and have peculiar garments in divine administrations,—that churches be adorned and neat,—that the people be reverent in God's house,—that the memory of our Saviour's chief acts, and the festivals of the Holy Apostles be religiously observed, --that Lent, with the vigils of great feasts, the Ember weeks, and all the Fridays in the year, be kept as days of fasting or abstinence; and if some Protestants do not observe them, yet others do, and are commended for it,'* &c.
* Defence of the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, p. 141.-See also Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, vol. vi. p. 219.
+ Instrumental music, however, is not expressly enjoined by her, but only permitted and approved.
She has laid aside the sign of the Cross in Confirmation, together with the Oblatory prayer, and the prayer of Invocation, in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, all which the Episcopal Church in Scotland retains; and the two last are also adopted by the Episcopal Church in America..
GOVERNMENT AND DISCIPLINE.—The great object of the English reformers was to retain the body and constitution of the primitive Church, and to discard only such tenets and superstitions as had been introduced by mere human authority, subsequent to the apostolic times. They, therefore, retained the primitive Episcopal form of church government, by bishops, priests, and deacons; and this is the only reformed church which retains the episcopal form in its former splendour: for though bishops may also be found in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, &c. they are rather inspectors of the conduct of the clergy and of the
* Dr. Comber's Advice to the Roman Catholics of Eng:land, p. 140.
modes of education, than prelates endowed with senatorial rank and dignity.*
The sovereigns of England, ever since the reign of Henry VIII., have been styled the “Supreme Heads of the Church,” as well as “ Defenders of the Faith ;" but this title conveys no spiritual meaning, as it only denotes the regal power to prevent any ecclesiastical differences; or, in other words, it only substitutes. the king in place of the pope, before the Reformation, with regard to temporalities, and the external economy of the Church. The kings of England never intermeddle in ecclesiastical disputes, unless by preventing the convocation,t when necessary, from sitting to agitate them; and are contented to give a sanction to the legal rights of the clergy, and with the claim of nomination to all va
* I would not here be understood as meaning that rank and dignity, or emolument, or any thing external and merely temporal, can add to the essence of the Episcopal character; for as the function of a bishop chiefly consists in a commission derived from the Apostles to continue the succession of its own, and the inferior orders of ministers in the Church, and to exercise jurisdiction over those orders, as well as over the people committed to their charge, it is compatible with ranks and habits of life extremely remote from each other, and may subsist alike “in the person of a German prince, an English baron, a Syrian slave, or a Gallilean fisherman."
·† The convocation which the king has the power of convoking and dissolving, is the Ecclesiastical Parliament, by which the Church was formerly governed, but which has not been allowed to meet for business since the year 1717.
cant bishoprics, except to that of Sodor and Man, which is in the gift of the Duke of Athol.
“Our king hath the same power that the religious kings of Judah had; the same which the great Constantine, and the succeeding emperors, for many years enjoyed; the same power which the ancient kings of this nation exercised, viz.-A power to convene his clergy, and advise with them about affairs of the Church; a power to:ratify that which the bishops and clergy agree upon, and give it the force of a law; a power to choose fit persons to govern the Church; a power to correct all offenders against faith or manners, be they clergy or laymen; and finally, a power to determine all causes and controversies, ecclesiastical and civil, among his own subjects, (by the advice of fit counsellors,) so as there lies no appeal from his determination; and this is what we mean when we call him Supreme Governor of this Church, which our king must needs be, or else he cannot keep his kingdoms in peace.
* Dr. Comber's Advice to the Roman Catholics of Eng. land, p. 136, 7.-To the words of the Act 26th Henry VIII. cap. 1. defining the power of the king as supreme head of the Church, the Dissenters, in their Catechism, p. 31. add, that "the appointing of bishops also is his prerogative, and the power of ordination is derived from him, and held during his pleasure." But they surely cannot mean by this awkward expression, that the king is the fountain of ordi. nation, or that he takes upon him to ordain; or even that he can deprive the bishops of the power of ordination, or of any part of their purely spiritual authority. If they do, they so far mislead their catechumens. The doctrine of the king's supremacy is quite distinct from such powers,
The Church of England, with this description of the monarchical power over it, is governed by two Archbishops, and twenty-four Bishops, exclusive of the Bishop of Sodor and Man. The two ecclesiastical provinces into which England, including Wales, is divided, and over which the two Archbishops preside, are those of Canterbury and York. The province of York, besides its own diocese, contains only those of Durham, Carlisle, Chester, and the Isle of Man The Archbishops are both dignified with the address of Your Grace, and are styled Most Reverend. They are appointed by the king in the same manner as the Bishops, by what is called a Conge d'Elire, or leave to the Dean and Chapter to elect.*. His Grace of Canterbury is metropolitan, or primate of all England, first peer of the realm, and the next to the royal family; having precedence of all dukes, and all great officers of the crown.
It is his privilege, by
which were never claimed or pretended to by any king or queen of England.
On the contrary, that the Episcopal character is not derived from, or alienable by, the civil power, is a doctrine well known in England as well as in Scotland; for when Dr. Parker was consecrated archbishop, upon a question of the competency of the bishops to consecrate, as they had been legally deprived in the late reign, it was determined, that as they had been once consecrated, the Episcopal character remained, and they might convey it. See Neal, Vol. i. chap. iv.; see also Bishop Jewell's View of a Seditious Bull, p. 14. can. 39. and Mr. Gray's Bampt. Lect. passim.
* The Dean ( Decanus) is so called from his presiding over ten, originally the usual number of the Chapter, who, together with him, are, in England, the nominal electors of the Bishop.