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No, no-a lonelier, lovelier path be mine;
But we cannot conclude without a word in commendation of the volumes which have suggested our remarks. The Editors of the Cyclopedia of American Literature, deserve well of the public for the manner in which they have performed their dificult and delicate task. To explore thoroughly so wide a field, and to prepare a full digest of native literature with biographical notices, and explanatory comments, involved immense labor. The undertaking also demanded peculiar qualifications-enlightened zeal, fine taste, liberal feeling, and extraordinary industry. And the result will justify the gratification expressed in literary circles, when those gentlemen entered upon the work. Comprehensiveness and accuracy were the chief excellences to be secured. And a glance at the contents of the volumes will show how wide a range of persons and topics have been included. Some errors, mistakes and defects might be pointed out; and some improvements suggested. Writers of merit may have been entirely overlooked, or passed by with too curt a notice; while others will be heard of here for the first time. If there be any discoverable bias, it appears in the liberal space allotted to the younger authors, and the copious selections from the lighter forms of literature. In general, however, we are pleased with the fine critical judgment displayed in analyzing the character, selecting the excellences, and candidly adjudging the relative merit of the various contributions to American literature. It was a needful labor, and has been admirably performed. It is not only valuable to the scholar, as a book of reference, but it is also instructive and entertaining to the general reader. It is a collection of elegant extracts—a casket filled with native gems of thought. As such it deserves a place in the library of every American.
HISTORY OF PUBLIC WORSHIP. Translated from the German of Professor Schöberlein, in the Stu
dien und Kritiken.
[The full title of this Article is, “ A Brief History of the Methods of Public Worship in the Christian Church, with a view to educing the principles of Evangelical Worship.” The translator has taken the liberty of an occasional omission, where the matter was not essential or specially interesting to Americans. Dr. Schaff says that Schöberlein belongs to the Unionists, or Unions Theologen, who "reject an exclusive confessionalism or denominationalism, and assert the principle of the fundamental agreement and fraternal communion of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches." These he subdivides, as the reader will see in our notice of his “Germany," into three sections. He places Schöberlein in the "centre" division, along with the Orthodox section of the SchleiermacherNeander school and the majority of distinguished evangelical divines, especially in Prussia, Baden, and Würtemberg.]
The method of conducting Public Worship in the apostolic age is to be regarded as furnishing the fundamental ideas and outlines from which the entire system of Christian worship was to be progressively deduced and settled. The first movement involving any perceptible change, took place in the beginning of the second century, and consisted in sundering the Lord's Supper from the Feast of Brotherly Love: the Agape. From this period, the latter was observed according to opportunity and circumstances; and still later, it underwent a change, becoming an entertainment for the poor, or entirely disappeared. The Lord's Supper, however, was now associated with the regular morning service, appointed for prayer and the reading of the Word, and from a daily soon became a weekly service.*
From this time, the celebration of the Word and the Sacrament, with the accompanying prayers, formed one service, in which the Word preceded and introduced the Lord's Supper, as the most important part of the worship. Catechumens were expected to attend the former part, but only believers the latter. The services were introduced by singing a psalm, with
* Pliny, “stato die” Justin Martyr, an toù halov asyouévn ñuépą.
the Doxology attached. Then followed passages of Scripture, one selected from the Old Testament, another portion from the Gospels, at the latter of which the congregation arose. Prayers and hymns or psalms were interspersed. Here followed the interpretation of Scripture, in which the instruction and edification of the people was sought, and then, with a prayer and blessing, the catechumens, penitents, and others, were dismissed. The second part of the services was opened with the kiss of brotherly recognition. Gifts were then offered by the Church, in part designed for the poor and for the support of the ministry, and in part for the expected communion season. From these, bread and wine were taken and set upon the communion table. Then followed the Eucharist, which began by an interchange of greetings between the minister and the people: “The Lord be with thee,” “And be with thy spirit,” followed by the so-called Prefatory, a responsive exhortation to the giving of thanks: “Lift up your hearts;" “We lift them up to the Lord;” “Let us give thanks to the Lord;" “ This is right and comely.” The thanksgiving had reference to the divine goodness in general, with special allusion to the sending of His Son in the flesh for our salvation. After this Eucharisty, the direct preparation for the Communion was made by the Consecration. This commenced with the recital of the institution of the Supper; then followed an extempore* consecrating prayer by the bishop, namely, a prayer for the descent of the Holy Spirit on the offerings, that they might be set apart as the body and blood of the Lord, and also upon the Church, that a blessing might accompany their use of them. These prayers constituted the proper act of consecration, which was concluded by the Lord's Prayer, the Doxology being pronounced by the Church. After this, the people bowed in humility and inward devotion before God, while the deacon offered prayer. Then followed the invitation to partake, the bishop uttering the words, “That which is holy to the holy;" and the people responding, “One only is holy, the Father; one only is holy, the Son; one only is holy, the Spirit.” While singing a hymn of praise or
a psalm, the communicants drew near, and received the ordinance as a means of grace and an emblem of forgiving mercy. The elements were offered, with the words, “The body of Christ,” “The blood of Christ, the cup of Life,” to which the communicants responded " Amen.” At the conclusion of the Supper, thanks were offered, in which the people responded, and prayer was made that the benefits conferred in the ordinance might be sealed to them. They were then dismissed in peace.
Such was the method of divine service in the second century.* The whole is simple and clear; and by a well arranged order of reciprocal acts of worship among the officers themselves, as also between the officers and the people, and by the significant acts of standing, kneeling, &c., is rendered intelligible, lively, and impressive. The purport of the prayers is in beautiful harmony with the service, which breathes a spirit of holy earnestness, of deep truth and of genuine sublimity.
The elevation of Christianity to the position of a State religion, in the fourth century, gave a powerful impulse to the development of the Liturgy. Among the innovations, was the introducing of the customary offerings by a Litany, in which the deacon uttered the prayer, while the people responded with “Lord have mercy on us,” and the bishop, at the close, united all the petitions into one prayer; hence called the Collects. Besides, between the offerings and the Prefatory, the Nicene Creed was introduced, as a bond of faith, corresponding to the kiss of peace, which was the symbol of the bond of love. These, however, were nothing more than single additions. The principal expansion consisted in the lengthening of all the prayers and apportioning them in many divisions, in the multiplying of responses, and in the addition of numerous symbolical performances. At such a rate did this process of expansion go on, that Basil, as early as his time, and much more Chrysostom, zealously labored to enforce restrictions upon it. Chrysostom's arrangement of the Liturgy was adopted, in its essential points, at Byzantium, and remained in the Greek Church as the termination of liturgical development in the East.
* Comp. Bunsen's Hyppolytus and his Times. Jobi Ludolfi, Historia Æthipocia, 1691 Commentarius.
This liturgy commences with several introductory prayers and psalms: then the portions of Scripture for the feast days, those which had been previously chosen ; for the ordinary services, passages were read in regular sequence, hymns or prayers being intermingled. The reading was conducted as follows:first, a selection from the Prophets, concluding with the words, “ Thus saith the Lord;" then the Epistle; lastly, the Gospel, upon which lamps were lit, and the people rose and exclaimed: “Glory be to thee, O Lord !" After the reading, prayers were again offered, and special prayers for the catechumens, demoniacs and penitents, if any such were present, and these classes of persons were then dismissed. So far the Catechumen's mass, as it was called—not a distinct service except in idea, really forming, with the Mass of the Believers, which followed, one entire service. At the commencement of this latter part of the ceremonial, were preparatory prayers, which were offered by the deacons while the people sung a hymn. Bread and wine for the sacrament were set forth, and an offertory prayer followed. Then by the Kiss of peace (between man and man, and woman and woman,) and by the recital of the creed by the church, the bond of union between the communicants was renewed. Meanwhile, the doors were shut to exclude the public. This properly opened the celebration of the communion, (åvapopa.) After the apostolic greeting, the Prefatory was spoken responsively by priest and people; a prayer of adoration followed to which the people responded, with the ascriptions of the seraphs, and the Benedictus, “Holy is the Lord God of Hosts, Heaven and Earth are full of his glory, Hosanna in the highest; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” To these ascriptions followed the second part of the ceremony, the Consecration, which was composed of three principal acts. The first is the reciting of the words of Institution, which were responded to by the people, with “Amen,” and were concluded by a prayer alluding to the death of Christ. Secondly, the invocation of the Holy Spirit, that he might convert the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, and make the participation a blessing to body and spirit; connected with this was the general supplication, in which now besides the petitions just mentioned, reference was made to Mary in a style of praise, and prayer was made for those who particularly pre