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St. Basil a better Adviser than Beza.


Ch. xxix. 8.

“ in your behalf to Almighty God is, that the poison which BOOK V.
we offer
you may never have the

to do

[8.] Advice and counsel is best sought for at their hands
which either have no part at all in the cause whereof they
instruct, or else are so far engaged that themselves are to bear
the greatest adventure in the success of their own counsels.
The one of which two considerations maketh men the less
respective, and the other the more circumspect. Those good
and learned men which gave the first direction to this course
had reason to wish that their own proceedings at home might
be favoured abroad also, and that the good affection of such
as inclined towards them might be kept alive. But if them-
selves had gone under those sails which they require to be

up, if they had been themselves to execute their own theory in this church, I doubt not but easily they would have seen being nearer at hand, that the way was not good which they took of advising men, first to wear the apparel, that thereby they might be free to continue their preaching, and then of requiring them so to preach as they might be sure they could not continue, except they imagine that laws which permit them not to do as they would, will endure them to speak as they list even against that which themselves do by constraint of laws; they would have easily seen that our people being accustomed to think evermore that thing evil which is publicly under any pretence reproved, and the men themselves worse which reprove it and use it too, it should be to little purpose for them to salve the wound by making protestations in disgrace of their own actions, with plain acknowledgment that they are scandalous, or by using fair entreaty with the weak brethren ; they would easily have seen how with us it cannot be endured to hear a man openly profess that he putteth fire to his neighbour's house, but yet so halloweth the same with prayer that he hopeth it shall not burn. It had been therefore perhaps safer and better for ours to have observed St. Basil's advice * both in this and in all things of like nature : “Let him which approveth not his

governors' ordinances either plainly (but privately always)

* Basil. Ascet. Respons. ad In- 493. Paris 1618; t. ii. p. 393. ed. terrog. 47. [in later editions called Bened.] “ Regulæ fusius tractatæ.” t. ii. p.


A a

in praying, and of different Places chosen to

530 Of Gesture, and Change of Place, in Divine Service. BOOK V. f shew his dislike if he have lóyov loxupòv, strong and Ch. xxx. 1, 2

“ invincible reason against them, according to the true will " and meaning of Scripture; or else let him quietly with “ silence do what is enjoined.” Obedience with professed unwillingness to obey is no better than manifest disobe

dience. Of Gesture XXX. Having thus disputed whether the surplice be a fit

garment to be used in the service of God, the next question

whereunto we are drawn is, whether it be a thing allowable that purpose.

or no that the minister should say service in the chancel, or turn his face at any time from the people, or before service ended remove from the place where it was begun *. By them which trouble us with these doubts we would more willingly be resolved of a greater doubt; whether it be not a kind of taking God's name in vain to debase religion with such frivolous disputes, a sin to bestow time and labour about them. Things of so mean regard and quality, although necessary to be ordered, are notwithstanding very unsavoury when they come to be disputed of: because disputation presupposeth some difficulty in the matter which is argued, whereas in things of this nature they must be either very simple or very froward who need to be taught by disputation what is meet.

[2.] When we make profession of our faith, we stand; when we acknowledge our sins, or seek unto God for favour, we fall down : because the gesture of constancy becometh us best in the one, in the other the behaviour of humility. Some parts of our liturgy consist in the reading of the word of God, and the proclaiming of his law, that the people may thereby learn what their duties are towards him ; some consist in words of praise and thanksgiving, whereby we acknowledge unto God what his blessings are towards us; some are such as albeit they serve to singular good purpose even when there is no communion administered, nevertheless being devised at the first for that purpose are at the table of the Lord for that cause also commonly read ; some are uttered as from the people, some as with them unto God, some as from God unto them, all as before his sight whom we fear, and whose presence to offend with any the least unseemliness we would

* T.C. lib. i. p. 134. [105.]


Ch. xxx. 3, 4.

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The Ordinary a competent Judge of such Matters. 531 be surely as loth as they who most reprehend or deride that BOOK V we do*.

(3.) Now because the Gospels which are weekly read do all historically declare something which our Lord Jesus Christ himself either spake, did, or suffered, in his own person, it hath been the custom of Christian men then especially in token of the greater reverence to standt, to utter certain words of acclamation, and at the name of Jesus to bow. Which harmless ceremonies as there is no man constrained to

so we know no reason wherefore any man should yet imagine it an unsufferable evil. It sheweth a reverend regard to the Son of God above other messengers I, although speaking as from God also. And against infidels, Jews, Arians, who derogate from the honour of Jesus Christ, such ceremonies are most profitable. As for any erroneous “esti-) mation 8,” advancing the Son “above the Father and the

Holy Ghost," seeing that the truth of his equality with them is a mystery so hard for the wits of mortal men to rise unto, of all heresies that which may give him superiority above them is least to be feared.

[4.] But to let go this as a matter scarce worth the speaking of, whereas if fault be in these things any where justly found, law hath referred the whole disposition and redress thereof to the ordinary of the place; they which elsewhere complain that disgrace and “injury|l” is offered even to the meanest parish minister, when the magistrate appointeth him what to wear, and leaveth not so small a matter as that to his own discretion, being presumed a man discreet and trusted with the care of the people's souls, do think the gravest prelates in the land no competent judges to discern and appoint where it is fit for the minister to stand, or which way convenient to look praying . From their ordinary therefore they appeal to themselves, finding great fault that we neither reform the thing against the which they have so long sithence given sentence, nor yet make answer unto that they bring, which is that ** St. Luke declaring how Peter stood up

“in " the midst of the disciples,” did thereby deliver ft an “un

* T.C. lib. i. p. 203. [163.] || T.C. lib. i. p. 74. [al. 54.] + (1 Admon. p. 14. ed. 1817.] TT.C. lib. i. p. 134. [al. 105.] I Mark xii. 6. ŠT. C. lib.iii. p. 215. (and i. 163.] + T.C. lib. i. p. 134. [105.]

** Acts i. 15.


BOX I. (h. rivi. 1.


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532 Reading Prayers, though easy, requires mature Thought.

changeable” rule, that “whatsoever” is done in the church

ought to be done" in the midst of the church*, and therefore not baptism to be administered in one place, marriage solemnized in another, the supper of the Lord received in a third, in a fourth sermons, in a fifth prayers to be made ; that the custom which we use is Levitical, absurd, and such as hindereth the understanding of the people; that if it be meet for the minister at some time to look towards the people, if the body of the church be a fit place for some part of divine service, it must needs follow that whensoever his face is turned any other way, or any thing done any other where, it hath absurdity. “All these reasons" they say have been brought, and were hitherto never answered; besides a number of merriments and jests unanswered likewise, wherewith they have pleasantly moved much laughter at our manner of serving God. Such is their evil hap to play upon dull-spirited men. We are still persuaded that a bare denial is answer sufficient to things which mere fancy objecteth ; and that the best apology to words of scorn and petulancy is Isaac's apology to his brother Ishmael, the apology which patience and silence maketh. Our answer therefore to their reasons is no; to their scoffs nothing.

XXXI. When they object that our Book requireth nothing to be done which a child may not do as “lawfully and as well

as that man wherewith the book contenteth itself 1,” is it their meaning that the service of God ought to be a matter of great difficulty, a labour which requireth great learning and deep skill, or else that the book containing it should teach what men are fit to attend upon it, and forbid either men unlearned or children to be admitted thereunto? In setting down the form of common prayer, there was no need that the book should mention either the learning of a fit, or the unfitness of an ignorant minister, more than that he which describeth the manner how to pitch a field should speak of moderation and sobriety in diet.


Easiness of praying after our forin.

* Lib. iii. p. 187. [T. C. iii. 187.] quiring nothing to be done by the + [T. C. iii. 186.]

“ minister,which a child of ten years IT. C. lib. i. p. 133. [104.) et “ old cannot do as well and as lawlib. iii. p. 184. "Another fault in “ fully as that man wherewith the “ the whole service or liturgy of “ book contenteth itself.” [and

England is, for that it maintaineth Learned Discourse, ap. Bridges, p. “ an unpreaching ministry, in re- 521.]


The Book need not express the Minister's Quality.


Ch. xxxi.2,

3, 4.

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[2.] And concerning the duty itself, although the hardness Book V: thereof be not such as needeth much art, yet surely they seem to be very far carried besides themselves to whom the dignity of public prayer doth not discover somewhat more fitness in men of gravity and ripe discretion than in “chil“dren of ten years of age,” for the decent discharge and performance of that office. It cannot be that they who speak thus should thus judge. At the board and in private it very well becometh children's innocency to pray, and their elders to say Amen. Which being a part of their virtuous educa-' tion, serveth greatly both to nourish in them the fear of God, and to put us in continual remembrance of that powerful grace which openeth the mouths of infants to sound his praise. But public prayer, the service of God in the solemn assembly of saints, is a work though easy yet withal so weighty and of such respect, that the great facility thereof is but a slender argument to prove it may be as well and as lawfully committed to children as to men of years, howsoever their ability of learning be but only to do that in decent order wherewith the book contenteth itself.

[3.] The book requireth but orderly reading. As in truth what should any prescript form of prayer framed to the minister's hand require, but only so to be read as behoveth? We know that there are in the world certain voluntary overseers of all books, whose censure in this respect would fall as sharp on us as it hath done on many others, if delivering but a form of prayer, we should either express or include anything, more than doth properly concern prayer. The minister's greatness or meanness of knowledge to do other things, his aptness or insufficiency otherwise than by reading to instruct the flock, standeth in this place as a stranger with whom our form of common prayer hath nothing to do.

[4.] Wherein their exception against easiness, as if that did nourish ignorance, proceedeth altogether of a needless jealousy. I have often heard it inquired of by many, how it might be brought to pass that the Church should every where have able preachers to instruct the people; what impediments there are to hinder it, and which were the speediest way to remove them. In which consultations the multitude of parishes, the paucity of schools, the manifold discourage

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