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The ADVERTISEMENT. the Publishing a New Liturgy, give us no particular Services upon certain solemn Sundays ? And why, upon other Occasions, there are several Chasms, which are not to be excused in Liturgies? The Reason is, that the Ordinary Liturgy is left in Possession of those solemn Seasons. Other Questions may be askd, Why Mention is not made what the People answer, nor when they stand up, or are upon their Knees? Those that are accustomed to a compleat Liturgy, expect the same Perfection in other Liturgies; but we shall never understand the Compolition of that of Neufchatel, unless we consider, that it is a Liturgy in Embryo, and that the Design of it was to bring the People by little and little to something more perfect. It has not as yet been so much as printed in the Original Language; so that the People are always hearing, without answering, and adapt their. Posture to the several Parts of the Liturgy which they hear read. Tis the Custom at Neufchatel, to receive the Sacrament but Four Times a year, but every Communion lasts Two Sundays fucceflively: the Meaning of which is, that those who had not the Comfort of Receiving the First Sunday, may
find their amends on the Second ; and this will serve to explain those.Places where the Reader finds Prayers for the First and Second Week of the Communion : But unless one were'upon the Place, it is imposible to form such Ideas as can account for all the Difficulties that will occur in the Reading of this Liturgy.
However, such as it is, and abftra&tly from the local Knowledge of it, we believe it very capable of edifying, by the judicious Choice of the Passages of Scripture that are used therein, and by the Unction that is generally spread throughont: The Publick will be pleased to observe several Samples of the manner of Reading the Holy Scripture in that Church; we mean, the Arguments or Contents, which in a few Words include the Substance of that which is to be read, and fome folid Reflc&tions which strike upon the Minds of the Hearers, and send them away with a lasting Edification. This is wholly new, and extremely well contrived, we cannot but acknowledge, in Justice to he Authors' of the Neufi haick Liturgy.
After the faid Liturgy, follows fome Prayers that have been lately introduced at Geneva: And tha’ that Beginning of a Liturgy is not very large, yet it has also its Merit. The Holy Scripture is happily used in it; it has a Clearness, such as is proper for popular Works, and & Solidity accommodated to the Publick Worship; by which one may fee, that the Authors have all the neceflary Talents for furnihing out something more conipidat.
As high, and as just an Opinion as we may conceive'of onr'own LiEuroy, we dare 'not hope that it will be univerfally received among Protestants. We have never seen soch a Uniformity in the Church; but we may wish that those Persons who, by these Ellays upon the Liturgy, have fewn us their Capacity of doing better, would unite their l'aJents, or at least would work separately in forming a compleat Liturgy that may be like our own.
Τ Η Ε.
BEING A LETTER from the Reverend Dr. JABLONSKI,
: First Chaplain to His Prusian Majeliy; :ibi To His Excellency Baron PRINTZ, President of the Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs at Berlin.
5.11 OUR Excellency having lately commanded me and my Collegues, in the King's Name, to draw up, each of us a Plan of Church Discipline,
I here humbly present my Thoughts on that Matter, and conceive that the good Order or Difcipline of the Church, comprehends not only a Liturgy, or prescribed Form of Publick Worship and Administration of the Sacraments, but also the Politia Ecclefiaftica, or prescribed Form of Governing the Church of Christ.
1. Of a Liturgy: And here I must acknowledge to Your Excellency, that having observed that several English Congregations, and other Churches, have fallen from one Extream, that of the Romih, Pompous, Cumbersome, and Idolatrous Worship; to. that other of a Frigid, Superficial, and not enough Respe&tful Way of Worship. I fould have had little Inclination to declare my Thoughts about it, and censure others, had not Your Excellency, in discoursing of that Matter, lei fall fome Words concerning the great Respect that every one ought to Sher in the Worship of God; which gave me sufficient Asurance, that you had formed a right Notion of this Affair, and that you did not judge of it according to the common Prejudices of the Vulgar, bus by Experience, and the Nature of the Thing it self. This has encouraged me, under Tour. Excellency’s Protection, to write down my Tbonghts of that
Matter, without pretending to prescribe to others, and humbly submitting all to Your Excellent Judgment. But before I proceed to the Work it self, I must first humbly lay before Tou my Plan and Ground-Work, that if that has the Luck to bave Your Excellency's Approbation, I may be encouraged 10.go on.. Two Things are here to be consider'd.
1. Wherein the Publick Worship or Service consists.
11. After what Manncr and Form it may be best order'd and performed,
1. By Publick Worship, I understand an Outward AEt of a reasonable Creature, whereby be openly and soleinnly acknowledges the Sovereignty of his
A PREFATORY LETTER. Creator, testifies bis Obedience to Him, returns Him Thanks for his Benefits, and prays to Him for his farther Grace and Favour.
The Opinion which has of late Days prevailed, is, that the Worship consists in the Sermon ; so that the Worship of God has even lost its Name among us : For example, we don't say, Will there be Divine Service to Day? Will you go and worship God ? But only, Will there be a Sermon to Day? Will you go to Sermon ? Among the Papists, Die vine Service is performed with scarce any Inftru£tion of the People ; and me, on the contrary, place our Service in almost nothing else but Inftru&tion. But as when the Master of the King's Howfhold tells the Servants of the Court how they shall serve their Prince, this is not the Service it felf, but only an Instruction hom they fall serve him ; fo is it with Sermons. Sermons are indeed neceffary, they are useful, and should accompany the Publick Worship ; but they are not the Worship it felf, 'nor yet the essentialleft and principal part of it. Among the Primitive Chriftians, Sermons were not accounted the Divine Service, but rather an Interruption of it: For when they had spent some Time in Prayer, and Singing of Hymns, and Reading the Word of God, then stood up the Minister and made a short. Exhortation to the People from the Passage of Scripture that had been then read into them; this was done as 'ewere in a Parenthesis, and then they proceeded in their Devotions.
When we consider therefore that Relation there is between the Creator and the Creature, (which is the Foundation of all Worfrip) the Parts of Worship seem to be these following.
Lt, Confession of Sins. 2dly, Adoration. 3dly, Praise and Thankfgiving: . 4thly, The Confecrating our felves to God. sthly, Prayer or Petition. Othly, Reading of Holy Scripture. 7thly, Administration of the Holy Sacraments. Sthly, Almsgiving. 9thly, Fasting. of which obe firft Eight are ordinary and constant parts of Worship, the grb is only upon extraordinary Occasions,
1. "Confession of Sins must come first, as in Daniel's Prayer, Chap. IX. Repentance being the first step to reconcile our selves to God.
2. Adoration, or falling down before God, and Worshipping, is required as a Mark of our own Humility, and that great respect me bave for God, which, whoever duly considers what God is, cannot but be moved to do ; and therefore has it been common to all Religions that ever mere in the World ; the boly Scripture especially does frequently exhort us to it. O come let us worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, Pfal. XCV, 6. Our Saviour comprehends the whole Worship of God in this one Thing, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve, Mat. IV. 10. where she original Word which me translate Worship, signifies the Falling down or Prostration of the Body to the Earth. Vide Neb. vill. 6.
3. Praise and Thanksgiving. We are to praise God borb upon account of what He is in Himself, and what He is to us; His own Excellence, and his Goodness towards us, do juftly fill our Mouths, as they once did David's, with his Praije: 'Tis our Dury to thank Him for all his Bene
Ą PREFATORY LETTER:
vii fits Corporal and Spiritual, Common and Particular, but chiefly for the Spiritual ; and above all, for the gracious Redemption of the World by Christ Jefus, as the firft Christians used to do.
4. The Consecration of our selves consists in devoting our selves en. tirely, and without Referve, to God's Glory and Service, our Bodies, our Souls, our Goods, our Life, and all that we are or bave. All this we oude to God, as our Saviour teaches us, bidding us pray, Thy Will be done. And forafmuch as Offerings and Sacrifices do peculiarly belong to the Di. vine Service or Worship, this is the Chriftians Offering, that they present themselves and Bodies a living, holy, and acceptable Sacrifice to God, which is their reasonable Service, Rom. Xll. 1,
5. Prayer is commanded us by God and our Saviour, and was conStantly used by the Primitive Christians : They prayed both for themselves and others, for the obtaining Good, and averting Evil ; yet chiefly me must ask Spiritual Things rather than Corporal
6. God's Holy Word is the Rule of our Faith and our Life ; and because many cannot read it, many, tko they can, neglelt it; therefore was it even in the Times of the Old Testament openly read in the Divine Service, Neh. VIII. 3, 18. Luke 1V. 16. Ads XIII. 15. The Primitive Cbriftians read it in the same manner, as appears from the Afts of the Ancient Churches: Whereas that Reading which is among us, is not look'd upon as a part of the Service, and is only heard by those, who, through Miftake, come into Church a little tow early, and is done without the least Devotion or Refpe&t, only to fill up the void Space till the Minister comes in and interrupts it. In the Pulpit, there's only a Text read, which is usually but a short Sentence, and then all the rest is but the Work and Words of Man, which yet has the most Attention, though even these Sermons themselves are not heard so much for our own Edification, as to. pafs « Judgment on the Gifts of the Preacher.
7. The Holy Sacraments are by all allowed to be parts of Divine Worpoip, and therefore I shall not here infift upon it.
8. That Almsgiving belongs to Divine Service, is evident, for that God comngands his people, not only to appear before Him in his Temple, but likewise that they shou'd not appear empry, Exod. XXIII. 15.-- XXXIV, 20. Our Wor;hip is our Sacrifice ; by Adoration and Vows, we offer our selves; by Almsgiving we offer our Goods. But of this, as well as,
9. Of Fafting, 'tis unnecessary to add any more.
I conclude this forft Point with this Observation, That as all the fore.. mentioned Parts are necessary to Divine Service, ro is it not enough, that in the Celebration of it, these Parts be in gross and implicitly included under general Expressions in one long confused and undivided Prayer, but each Alt must be so separated from the other, and so clearly expressed, shat the inot simple and ignorant Christian may be able to perceive and die ftinguish the one from the other ; since each of them is a particular and distinct Help or Means both to Devoutness and Attention, and to Holiness of Life:
A PREF ATORY LITTÉRA Confeßion of Sins bumbles Man's natural Pride, Adoration, or falling down on our Knees before God, fills us with an holy Respect and Fear for jo great a Majesty, and puts us in Mind, that in all Things me are entirely dependent on Him ; it likewise teftifies this to other Men, and gives a good Example. The Praise of Cod, or Thanksgiving, which is common to us with all Creatures, especially the nobleft, the holy Angels, kindles in us a Love for so great a Benefaftor. The Consecrating or Devoting our felve's to God, awakens our Devotion, and binders that common Hypocrisie, to be present in Body, but absent in Thought, and forces us to perform orsr
. Duty with Earnestness before that God to uphom. we have consecrated borih Soul and Body. Prayer puts us in mind of our own Indigence, since we expect all good Things only from another's Bounty, and fo renews in us Trust'andı Dependance on Gode The Reading of holy Scripture, reprefents God as ’t were present speaking to the Congregations More of God's Word, and less of Man's, ought to be heard. Et sic de cæt.
II. The general Rule concerning the Way or Manner in which all these mentioned Parts of Devotion ought to be performed, is this, That they be so ordered as may be most for the Honour of God, and the Edification of Men. To which End, in my Judgment; the following Particular Rules may be useful
ist, Divine Service must be duly distinguish'd from the Sermon, and often celebrated when there is no Sermon as mell as when there is.
2dly, Divine Service should be so order'd as not so much designed for the Instruction of the People, as for exciting their Devotion, and raising the Heart to God ; since Instruction properly belongs to, and is performed by Sermoris, Catechisations, and the Publick Reading of God's Word, though there were no Sermon added.
3dly, The Word of God ought to be constantly and diligently read in the Divine Service ; and the Method of the Englim Church is in this Excellent, mhere, in the Publick Prayers, the Old Testament is read through once a Year, the New Three Times, and the Psalms once every Month. :.
4thly, The Prayers must be plain and simple, without Ponip of Words, affe&ted Eloquence, or long Reasonings; the Heart must pray, not the Head.
Sthly, 'Tis a great Help to Devotion and Attention when the Publick Prayers are not included in one long confused Prayer, but are divided into several litile Prayers, and the Pfalms, Lecture, and Prayers fo mix'd and vary'd with each other, that the natural Weakness of Man may the better be enabled by these changes, to go through the' mhole mith Devourness and Attention.
6thly, The Divine Service ought not to laßt too long; half, or at most three Quarters of an. Hour is sufficient, that the Attention of the Mind be not tired.
7thly, In Divine Service the People fhould not be mere Spectators or Auditors, but A&tors; and that not only in Thought and Heart, but with she Mouth, in praying to, and praising God, as it used to be in the Jewish and the Primitive Apoftolical Churches, vid. I Cor. X.V. 16. 'Tis well known that the first Christians performed their Devotions per antiph nas,