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Ch. xxvii. 1.
Small Amount of Exceptions to the Church Prayers. 519 of the church of Rome; it differeth too much from that BOOK V. which churches elsewhere reformed allow and observe; our attire disgraceth it; it is not orderly read nor gestured as beseemeth: it requireth nothing to be done which a child may not lawfully do; it hath a number of short cuts or shreddings which may be better called wishes than prayers ; it intermingleth prayings and readings, in such manner as if supplicants should use in proposing their suits unto mortal princes, all the world would judge them mad; it is too long and by that mean abridgeth preaching; it appointeth the people to say after the minister; it spendeth time in singing and in reading the Psalms by course from side to side; it useth the Lord's Prayer too oft; the songs of Magnificat, Benedictus, and Nunc Dimittis, it might very well spare ; it hath the Litany, the Creed of Athanasius, and Gloria Patri, which are superfluous; it craveth earthly things too much ; for deliverance from those evils against which we pray it giveth no thanks; some things it asketh unseasonably when they need not to be prayed for, as deliverance from thunder and tempest when no danger is nigh; some in too abject and diffident manner, as that God would give us that which we for our unworthiness dare not ask; some which ought not to be desired, as the deliverance from sudden death, riddance from all adversity, and the extent of saving mercy towards all men. These and such like are the imperfections, whereby our form of common prayer is thought to swerve from the word of God.
A great favourer of that part, but yet (his error that way excepted) a learned, a painful, a right virtuous and a good man did not fear sometime to undertake, against popish detractors, the general maintenance and defence of our whole church service, as having in it nothing repugnant to the word of God. And even they which would file away most from the largeness of that offer, do notwithstanding in more sparing terms acknowledge little less. For when those opposite judgments which never are wont to construe things doubtful to the better, those very tongues which are always prone to aggravate whatsoever hath but the least show whereby it may be suspected to savour of or to sound towards any evil, do by their own voluntary sentence clearly free us from “gross
Ch. xxvii. 2.
The Form of our Liturgy
that of other reformed
Cases in which the Example of Rome BOOK V: “ errors,” and from “ manifest impiety” herein; who would Ch. xxvi. not judge us to be discharged of all blame, which are con
fessed to have no great fault even by their very word and testimony, in whose eyes no fault of ours hath ever hitherto been accustomed to seem small?
[2.] Nevertheless what they seem to offer us with the one hand, the same with the other they pull back again. They grant we err not in palpable manner, we are not openly and notoriously impious ; yet errors we have which the sharp insight of their wisest men doth espy, there is hidden impiety which the profounder sort are able enough to disclose. Their skilful ears perceive certain harsh and unpleasant discords in the sound of our common prayer, such as the rules of divine harmony, such as the laws of God cannot bear.
XXVIII. Touching our conformity with the church of too near the Rome, as also of the difference between some reformed Papists, too far different churches and ours, that which generally hath been already
answered may serve for answer to that exception which in Churches n. these two respects they take particularly against the form
[2.] For although they profess they agree with us touching a prescript form of prayer to be used in the church*,” yet, in that very form which they say is "agreeable to God's word
“ “ and the use of reformed churchest,” they have by special protestation declared, that their meaning is not it shall be prescribed as a thing whereunto they will tie their minister. “ It shall not” (they say) “ be necessary for the minister
* T. C. lib. i. p. 135. (106.] mon Prayer tendered to the Parlia† A Book of the Form of Com- ment, p. 46,
Ch, xxviii. 3,
is rather to be followed than that of Geneva. 521 daily to repeat all these things before-mentioned, but be- BOOK V. “ ginning with some like confession to proceed to the sermon, “ which ended, he either useth the prayer for all states before “ mentioned, or else prayeth as the Spirit of God shall move his “ heart.” Herein therefore we hold it much better with the church of Rome to appoint a prescript form which every man shall be bound to observe, than with them to set down a kind of direction, a form for men to use if they list, or otherwise to change as pleaseth themselves.
[3.] Furthermore, the church of Rome hath rightly also considered, that public prayer is a duty entire in itself, duty requisite to be performed much oftener than sermons can possibly be made. For which cause, as they, so we have likewise a public form how to serve God both morning and evening, whether sermons may be had or no.
On the contrary side, their form of reformed prayer sheweth only what shall be done “ upon the days appointed for the preaching “ of the word *;" with what words the minister shall begin, “ when the hour appointed for the sermon is come †;" what shall be said or sung before sermon, and what after. So that, according to this form of theirs, it must stand for a rule, “ No sermon, no service.” Which oversight occasioned the French spitefully to term religion in that sort exercised a mere
preach." Sundry other more particular defects there are which I willingly forbear to rehearse, in consideration whereof we cannot be induced to prefer their reformed form of prayer before our own, what church soever we resemble therein.
XXIX. The attire which the minister of God is by order Attire beto use at times of divine service being but a matter of mere the service formality, yet such as for comeliness-sake hath hitherto been judged by the wiser sort of men not unnecessary to concur with other sensible notes betokening the different kind or quality of persons and actions whereto it is tied; as we think
* Page 22.
“and was ordinary to those that † Page 24.
were in any estimation, as black IT. C. lib. i. p: 71. [51.]. “We “ with us: and therefore was no “ think the surplice especially un. “several apparel for the ministers to “ meet for a minister of the Gospel “ execute their ministry in.” [See “ to wear.” p. 75. [55.] “It is easily Adm. ap. Whitg. 281...3, 286, “ seen by Solomon, Eccles. ix. 8, 292, 3, 5. Answ. 149, 290, &c. T. C. " that to wear a white garment was i. 52. &c. Def. 256, &c. T. C. ii. “greatly esteemed in the east parts, 402...464. iii. 242.]
522 Attire of Ministers in Time of Service justified. BOOK '; not ourselves the holier because we use it, so neither should (t. exix. 2.
-- they with whom no such thing is in use think us therefore un
holy, because we submit ourselves unto that, which in a matter so indifferent the wisdom of authority and law hath thought comely. To solemn actions of royalty and justice their suitable ornaments are a beauty. Are they only in religion a stain ?
[2.] “ Divine religion," saith St. Jerome, (he speaketh of the priestly attire of the Law,) “ hath one kind of habit “ wherein to minister before the Lord, another for ordinary
uses belonging unto common life *.” Pelagius having carped at the curious neatness of men's apparel in those days, and through the sourness of his disposition spoken somewhat too hardly thereof, affirming that “the glory of clothes and “ ornaments was a thing contrary to God and godliness †;" St. Jerome, whose custom is not to pardon over easily his adversaries if any where they chance to trip, presseth him as thereby making all sorts of men in the world God's enemies. “ Is it enmity with God" (saith he) “ if I wear my coat " somewhat handsome? If a Bishop, a Priest, a Deacon, and " the rest of the ecclesiastical order come to administer the “ usual sacrifice in a white garment I, are they hereby God's " adversaries ? Clerks, Monks, Widows, Virgins, take heed, it “ is dangerous for you to be otherwise seen than in foul and “ ragged clothes. Not to speak any thing of secular men, " which are proclaimed to have war with God, as oft as ever
they put on precious and shining clothes.” By which words of Jerome we may take it at the least for a probable collection that his meaning was to draw Pelagius into hatred, as condemning by so general a speech even the neatness of that very garment itself, wherein the clergy did then use to administer publicly the holy Sacrament of Christ's most blessed Body and Blood. For that they did then use some such ornament, the words of Chrysostom & give plain testimony, who speaking to the clergy of Antioch, telleth them that if they did suffer notorious malefactors to come to the Table of our Lord and not put them by, it would be as heavily
* Hieron. in xliv. Ezech. [t. v. a white garment is meant a comely 668.]
“ apparel, and not slovenly.” * Hieron. adver. Pelag. lib. i. c. Chrysost. ad Popul. Antioch. 9. [t. ii. 274.]
tom. v. serm. 60. [in S. Mat. Hom. ST. C. lib. i. p. 77. [57.] By 82. t. ii. 515.]
Ch. xxix. 3.
The Fathers' Testimony to Ministerial Attire. 5.23 revenged upon them, as if themselves had shed his blood; BOOK V. that for this purpose God had called them to the rooms which they held in the church of Christ; that this they should reckon was their dignity, this their safety, this their whole crown and glory; and therefore this they should carefully intend, and not when the Sacrament is administered imagine themselves called only to walk up and down in a white and shining garment.
[3.] Now whereas these speeches of Jerome and Chrysostom do scem plainly to allude unto such ministerial garments as were then in use, to this they answer, that by Jerome nothing can be gathered but only that the ministers came to church in handsome holyday apparel, and that himself did not think them bound by the law of God to go like slovens, but the weed which we mean he defendeth not ; that Chrysostom meaneth indeed the same which we defend*, but seemeth rather to reprehend than to allow it as we do. Which answer wringeth out of Jerome and Chrysostom that which their words will not gladly yield. They both speak of the same persons, namely the Clergy; and of their weed at the same time, when they administer the blessed Sacrament; and of the selfsame kind of weed, a white garment, so far as we have wit to conceive; and for any thing we are able to see, their manner of speech is not such as doth argue
either the thing itself to be different whereof they speak, or their judgments concerning it different; although the one do only maintain it against Pelagius, as a thing not therefore unlawful, because it was fair or handsome, and the other make it a matter of small commendation in itself, if they which wear it do nothing else but air the robes which their place requireth. The honesty, dignity, and estimation of white apparel in the eastern part of the world, is a token of greater fitness for this sacred use, wherein it were not convenient that any thing basely thought of should be suffered. Notwithstanding I am not bent to stand stiffly upon these probabilities, that in Jerome's and Chrysostom's time any such attire was made several to this purpose. Yet surely the words of Solomon
* T. C. lib. i. p. 75. [55.) “ It is “ that the dignity of their ministry “ true, Chrysostom maketh men- was in taking heed that none un“ tion of a white garment, but not “ meet were admitted to the Lord's “in commendation of it, but rather “ Supper, not in going about the “ to the contrary: for he sheweth “ church with a white garment."?