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of Church services. They alone do not appear as the only crude and formless element, the product of the moment, while the sermon shows careful preparation, and the poetry, the music, and the architecture, are the labored and finished results of the higher efforts of Art.
We might also expect - what we certainly find in a form composed in such a spirit and with such ability, those negative and subordinate merits, which we are likely to find, to some extent, in any precomposed form. Here is no playing the ora
no appearance of authorship — no departing, even for a moment, from the proper position of prayer. Here is neither the violence that springs from fanatical excitement, nor the looseness and blundering of haste and ignorance, nor the worse impropriety of overstrained pietism of language. But it is the positive merits of the work that we should rather look at, not less in its character as an instrument of cultivation, than as a guide to devotion. Look at the scheme of the Christian Year, as it stands in connexion with the Communion Office, and at its blending with the Order for Morning Prayer. There is no slight exertion of the higher creative power of mind in the construction of these schemes, whether considered by themselves, or as a whole. They are eminenly beautiful in their Ideal, as works of Art. For if we perceive at once beautiful order and simple variety in the arrangement of the Christian Year, we shall find, on a closer examination, that it embraces, likewise, a full avd lively display of Gospel facts and events in studied relation to Gospel doctrine, and a special exhibition of the most prominent Christian virtues. The individual acts and eras of the work of atonement are made to pass before us, separate and distinct, like the course of the heavenly bodies, beautiful in their progress, but all this is done in order that their vital significance may be more clearly seen and felt. Yet the Christian Yearwith all its beauty, and all its doctrinal and practical value - is but a picture (so to speak) set in the Communion Office as its frame. That Office itself has an order and form of parts constructed with the fittest relation to the Sacramental Service. From the best help to general self-examination, the Ten Commandments, and from the general instruction of the daily portion from the Christian Year, we pass to special exhortations and confession, and to special prayers connected with the administration itself, which is succeeded by a song of praise set apart for this Office. The mind that dwells upon the features of this Office alone will find itself called upon to admire, under its simple and unobtrusive appearance, the exquisite propriety of the relation which its peculiar and separate construction bears to the peculiar and separate station of the Sacrament itself, and the well-weighed order and exact propriety of all its parts.* Its devotional and doctrinal worth is even more evident. And, with respect to the Order for Daily Prayer, all are so familiar with its features, that we need not dwell on points so obvious. Yet we must not suffer our familiarity with that service to lead us to suppose, that the fit order, judicious variety, and graceful succession of the parts, as well as their easy blending with the other Offices of the Prayer Book, are less to be considered as the result of rare powers exerted with rare success. We must add, however, that if any one will deliberately reflect on all that was to be done. on the connexion of the daily service with the daily order of reading the Psalter and the rest of the Scriptures, — with the Christian Year, and the Communion Office, on the multiplicity of parts, and the call for sound judgment in making use of the ancient and later materials, -- and on the perfect harmony and likeness that was produced between the Liturgy and the Bible, and then see with what well-ordered simplicity and utter absence of all apparent art the result stands before us, it is impossible that he should not recognise its most eminent worth as a monument even of intellectual production alone, that is, merely as a work of Art. Here, then, is a work, such as we have described,
a work proceeding from the proper religious spirit, if any book ever did, and presenting the best results of united learning and judgment, guided by sound rules of selection and composition, and employed upon all the necessary materials and under favorable circumstances - a work comprehensive in its plan, embracing a suitable variety of detail, yet all arranged in a graceful, simple, and grave order — a work, which, besides maintaining the most perfect propriety of thought and expression, contains more positive marks of the various exercise of the most various powers of mind, from mere knowledge of materials up to the most delicate sense of beauty ; - here we have such a production of mind as this presented, at each holy time, to a congregation, some members whereof use it with love, as the devotional guide of their childhood and youth, and others as the book of the parents by whose side they kneel, or of ancestors whose virtues
* How far the original idea of the Communion Office, in this respect, has been preserved in the American Prayer Book, we shall have occasion to inquire hereafter.
they would fain deserve to inherit. No other book, except that to which it is considered as a companion, has a better opportunity to make itself felt, in all its advantages not only as a guide to devotion, but also as a production of mind. Let it be remembered, too, that it admits the reaction of the mind upon it in both those ways by which genial cultivation is secured. Its outward form, especially when actually used with its proper accompaniments in public worship, strikes us like an object of beauty in Nature, and produces the same state of happy and gentle activity of thought and feeling. Its beauty, indeed, -that beauty which is obvious without study or reproductive process - contains a higher efficacy than any object of external nature, combining as it does with the grace of outward form, a grace that springs from the source and subject of the work - a certain pervading spirit, which we feel without knowing from what particular features, single or combined, it proceeds. But, it admits, likewise, of the reproductive reaction of the mind upon it, - of the kind which we have described as appropriate to ritual objects. And both these modes of affecting and employing the mind, have their time for producing their effect singly or together. To the child and youth, the Liturgy presents itself as an object of sacred beauty, to be loved without question or analysis; afterwards, the mind becomes chiefly occupied with the study of its construction, in its history, its aims, its relations ; and then it is prepared to react upon it, unconsciously, in either way or both.
Need we ask, then, of any one that has gone with us approvingly thus far, whether our precomposed Form of Prayer is, in regard to the powers employed, in the spirit that breathes through it, and in the fitness of its adaption to the purposes of public worship — an intellectual production of a character sufficiently high, to be a powerful instrument of cultivation in its sphere? It is true, indeed, that while the Prayer Book is as well able to stand by itself, as any book of the kind can be, and must humanize and elevate under any circumstances, it is in some degree dependant upon what we have called its proper accompaniments, for in regard to the Prayer Book, as in regard to every other element of Rituals, it must be remembered that the full and proper effect is modified by the degree in which the actual performance answers to the idea. This, by the way, offers a strong motive to the serious and careful study of Rituals, and of the ideals they were designed to embody. It has also an obvious bearing upon the manner of reading the Liturgy and of
NO. VII.-VOL. IV.
performing Church music. Nor is this dependance of the Prayer Book upon its proper accompaniments a defect. Were this not the case, it would want one merit, which we have supposed it to possess eminently - it would not possess that harmony with the other elements of public services, which ought to proceed from being composed in strict relation to its chief purpose, its special destination. A survey of those proper accompaniments will carry us rapidly through the remaining subjects, which we have embraced under the head of “ Rituals."
Between all the parts of public worship there should reign a certain harmony, as in relation to all the other ends, so also in particular to that subordinate end we have adverted to in the institution of every thing holy - separation from common and worldly forms and uses. We have neither an ordinary day, nor an ordinary building, nor ordinary and unprepared modes of discoursing concerning religious truth or of presenting our petitions to God. Not only is nothing left to rude nature — not only does the mind go over all with its best power, but it does so with a special end, and shapes every thing to a peculiar form, for its use is peculiar. Suppose, then, that we have a day set apart, a church-edifice made to differ from the dwellings of man in its form, an elaborate discourse, and prayers precomposed, all giving evidence that the separating band of Holy Art had been employed uniformly throughout—what would a sense of the principle hitherto acted upon, a sense of harmony and propriety, require the garb of the officiating minister to be, who then appears as the servant of God, set apart for sacred offices in such circumstances ?
While every thing else shuts out all associations with the world, shall be appear in the uniform of the world ? Shall his dress carry us back into the daily occupations of worldly life? Shall all else be separate, set apart by peculiarity in form and use, but shall the priest's garment alone remain unsanctified - the only discord in this harmony - the only thing untouched in the consecration of human power to the adorning of the services of God? Nay, who can admit a solitary principle, usually recognised, as governing the character of ritual services - if only it be allowed to have the power of a principle without perceiving and approving the wisdom of the Church in requiring her ministers to wear boly garments during the holy services of holy times — robes, that is, specially and exclusively set apart for holy offices ? The end, then, is to put away all worldly associations, and to appear in a garb which has no associations except such as are ecclesiastical and religious. For this, besides the positive and chief reasons already given, there are others which are merely negative. Hereby, for instance, many unseemly appearances are excluded from the desk and pulpit. One clergyman may choose to retain the oddities of an obsolete costume; another may be ragged or slovenly in his dress; and a third may aim at leading the fashion, as well as the public devotions ; - all disturbing the associations proper to the time and place. But all these singularities are made one by a common, uniform ecclesiastical garment, which conceals the secular dress.*
And if the decided distinction between preaching and praying, according to the opposite distinctions of their address, is not false because obvious and trite, what could show a sounder judgment and a better application of principle, than to clothe the priest in a becoming ecclesiastical robe of one form (the surplice) as he raises his voice to God in prayer in behalf of the congregation, and to require bim to stand before his fellow-men as a preacher in a different garb? For our own part, we cannot blame our Reformers, for so exercising their sense of the beautiful, while carrying out this principle of separation, as to prescribe robes of the more costly stuffs, and graceful in their flowing fuloess and heavy folds; while yet they returned to the simplicity of the ancient forms, and banished the various colors and embroidery and jewelled adornment, introduced in later times, after the single purpose of wearing holy garments had been forgotten. Nor shall we fear, lest the presence of oljects so simple and grave in their beauty, and of a significance so manifest and so fit — whether they act upon the mind only as graceful forms, or whether they invite to the perception of their use and relations of harmony with the other sanctities of the time and place - should produce other than a cultivating effect, co-operating with the great ends of culture.
But if so, what sense of these reasons, positive or neratire, can those clergy. men have, wno (in their practice) roject the cas ock? Is it not evident that the design of concealing the woridiy hali is therely frustrated ? Besides, there can be nownere a more palpaily gr ss violation of mere liste. The unity of the Church habit is completely d stroyed. The case is the more lagrant, when (as now and then happens) a young eric mounts the petni, and gives us, as a front view, the full unifrn of the Bodu Dandical,"? [Cf. the speculations of Professor Teufels fröck hereon) Cont: astid with hands above, and an unaccountable exhibition of big silk sleves at the s'dos. To our particular tuste the contrast is the harsiest conceivable! Moreover, there is no "authority" for the gown and surplice, which does not likewise include the cassock. By this rule, (concerning the soundness of which there can be no doubt, as we conceive, many who would think a ciergyman presentable for rejecting the surplice might find themselves in a like dithculty.