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similar occurs in John Knox's service. The Opening Prayer is abridged from Knox's " Treatise of Fasting," drawn up at the request of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1565, and published with authority. This Treatise, which contains forms for the observance of a special season of humiliation throughout the land, was in the Assembly of 1569 ratified for all future appointments of a similar nature; and ministers were enjoined “ To use the Exercise accustomed in the Kirk of the first institution. Moreover, that all Superintendents and Commissioners of provinces shall hereafter institute and use the same Order of Fasting, as oft as just occasion shall serve and shall seem meet by their godly wisdom, without any farther appointment by the General Assembly."*
The beautiful form of a General Prayer here introduced, was composed by Calvin for the Church of Geneva, in the year 1541 ; “when Germany was infested both with war and pestilence." tiones quibus in iis uterentur, conscripsi.”—Calv. Ep. Perhaps no part of the Calvinistic ritual has obtained a wider currency. Knox transferred it to the Book of Common Order. The Puritan PrayerBook published at London about the year 1570, appoints it to be used on a day set apart for Common Prayer. The Middleburgh Liturgy of 1602 presents the same form unaltered. Archbishop Grindal adopted it as a form of Prayer and Fasting for the Church of England in 1563. The several French and Swiss formularies contain it under its appropriate head; and the Reformed Dutch liturgy, by a strange misplacement, has it as a “Prayer on the Lord's Day after sermon.” We have adopted Grindal's translation, supplying from the original a few omissions.
ORDER OF SERVICE FOR A DAY OF THANKSGIVING. The prayer here given is extracted from the American edition of the Liturgy of Neuchatel, as adopted in the Huguenot Church at Charleston, S. C.
THE OFFICE FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF MARRIAGE,
This form, chiefly compiled from the ancient Reformed offices, is that prepared by the Rev. Dr. Bethune, of Brooklyn, N. Y., for the revised liturgy of the Reformed Dutch Church.
* Book of the Universal Kirk of Scotland : Edinburgh, 1839, p. 116.
THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD.
THE early practice of the Church of Scotland, with respect to the Burial of the Dead, has been variously stated. The impression seerns to prevail, that all external ceremonies were positively forbidden after the Reformation, whether at the church before burial, or at the grave. In fact, the First Book of Discipline, A. D. 1560, declares, “We think it most expedient that the dead be conveyed to the place of burial with some honest company of the Kirk, without either singing or reading; yea, without any kind of ceremony heretofore used, other than that the dead be committed to the grave with such gravity and sobriety, as those that be present may seem to fear the judgment of God, and to hate sin, which is the cause of death."*
But the Book of Common Order, already published four years earlier, and then in force, as it continued to be for a century later, had, on the contrary, prescribed, that after the burial, “The Minister, if he be present and required, goeth to the church, if it be not far off, and maketh some comfortable exhortation to the people touching death and resurrection.”+
Among the papers published by the Wodrow Society, in the first volume of their Miscellany, is “The Form and Manner of Burial used in the Kirk of Montrose.” This interesting document was found written on the fly-leaves of a manuscript copy of the Regiam Majestatem, which had been transcribed by John Bannatyne, in 1620. The form of burial is without date; but from the mention of " Minister or Reader," it was evidently in use before the year 1581, when the office of Reader was superseded by act of General Assembly.
This order of service is very simple. It is prefaced thus: “The body being reverently brought to the grave, accompanied with the congregation, the Minister or Reader shall say as follows.”+ Then a long address, beginning, “ Dearly beloved, when we look upon this dead corpse here present, with consideration that the like sentence of death is pronounced of God upon all flesh, it ought and should imprint in our minds the knowledge of our sinfulness : for, if we were without sin, death should have no power over us.” The
* Dunlop's Collection of Confessions, vol. ii. p. 597. + Id., vol ii. p. 468.
We have modernized the spelling. This ancient service closes with a remarkable Funeral Hymn; one of those spiritual songs which are attributed to John Wedderburn of Dundee and his brothers, and which are said to have greatly assisted in advancing the Reformation. It begins
exhortation is closed with a prayer, introduced in these words •
This being done, the Minister shall pray in effect as follows." The prayer is almost identical with that of the English Burial Service, introduced at the time of the revision in 1552, and beginning, “ Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart from this life in the faith of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ,” etc.
"Our brother late we put in grave,
The Liturgies of the Reformed Churches on the Continent, supply us with few examples of a service for Burial. The danger of superstitious observances, at the period when those formularies were compiled, deterred Calvin and others from furnishing any prescribed order. It has always been customary to consecrate the last offices at the grave with prayer: but for even this, the French liturgy gives no form.
Martin Bucer was the author of a service for the Burial of the Dead, which is to be found in Herman's Reformation of Cologne. This service the English Reformers partly followed. The selections of Scripture, from St. John xi., Psalm xc, and 1 Cor. xv., are there indicated. But Bucer's form possesses a merit of adaptation which is wanting to that of the Anglican Church ; for, in addition to the services for adults, there is an “Alia Concio in Funere Adolescentis, vel Adolescentulo.” The Anglican words of sepulture are taken from Bucer's “Postquam sic visum est Omnipotenti Deo, ut hunc fratrem nostrum pro sua misericordiâ ex hoc mundo sublatum ad se reciperet," etc.
The present Form of Burial is borrowed from the revision of the Reformed Dutch liturgy, prepared by a committee under appointment of the General Synod. The selection of Scripture is the best that we have seen. Three services are provided for: a short one
* Grief. (?) + Miscellany of the Wodrow Society, Edinburgh, 1844, vol. i. pp. 291-300.
at the house, a principal one at the church, and a form of interment. The several portions of Scripture provided, are appropriate to various ages and circumstances. The prayer concluding the service at the church, is from Jeremy Taylor; it has been introduced into the American edition of the Book of Common Prayer.
PUBLIC DISCIPLINE, ORDINATION, ETC. THE FORMS OF PUBLIC DISCIPLINE. The manner of proceeding with persons subject to ecclesiastical discipline is here detailed, as prescribed by the Directory of Worship; and the form of public excommunication is quoted from the same authority. The address is from Knox's Book of Common Order, and the prayers from the Reformed Dutch liturgy.
THE FORMS OF ORDINATION are compiled from the Directory and the Reformed Dutch liturgy; with the exception of the Ordaining Prayer, page 242, extracted from “ The Form and Order of the Election of the Superintendent; which may serve in Electing of all other Ministers; at Edinburg, the 9th of March, 1569: John Knox being Moderator."
SCRIPTURAL AND OTHER OCCASIONAL PRAYERS.
SCRIPTURAL PRAYERS. Nothing can be more commendable than the use of Scripture language in prayer; but that use should be reverent and judicious.
The violent disseverance of passages of Holy Writ from their proper connection; their forced application to irrelevant topics; the confusion of Oriental metaphors and poetic allusions: are defects too obvious for indication, yet apparent to a very wide extent in the “unwritten liturgy" of our pulpits. The language of the New Testament is in general much more suited to appropriation for the purposes of public devotion, than that of the poetic portions of the Old. In those passages of the Epistles, more particularly, where the inspired writer expresses with distinctness the subject of his own supplications, we are furnished with material that may very properly be restored, from the form of narrative, to that of direct address, and so employed in our own devotions. In fact, by a combination of such passages, along with that divine prayer left us by our Lord, we possess an Inspired Liturgy, conceived, “not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth:” a liturgy incomparably complete and beautiful. It is, therefore, just matter of surprise, that such a use of Scripture petitions, in their natural sequence and designed application, should not have been recommended, in preference to an artificial “method of prayer" which has the sanction of such high names as Henry and Doddridge, and which consists in the agglomeration of a vast number of distinct passages, brought into strange juxtaposition, in utter disregard of all the unities, and in utter violation of all rules of taste.
The Scriptural Prayers here given are chiefly from those passages in the Apostolic writings, where an address to the Throne of Grace is expressed; the only change being in substituting, as the object addressed, the second person for the third. The exceptions are, the forms of Confession, taken from the penitential Psalms, and from the prayer of Daniel; and the forms of Adoration, being constructed of passages that occur in Nehemiah, 1 Chronicles, and the Revelations.
A COMPREHENSIVE PRAYER, chiefly in the words of Scripture. This form of Adoration, Confession, Supplication, Thanksgiving, and Intercession, is quoted in full from the Draught of the Directory of Worship of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, prepared in the year 1787 by a committee under appointment of the Synod. This Draught, though printed, and strongly recommended for adoption, was not accepted. It was drawn up by the Rev. Drs. John Rodgers, and Alexander Mac Whorter, and the Rev. Messrs. Alexander Miller and James Wilson; and was advocated, among others, by the late venerable Ashbel Green, D.D. While preserving the title of a Directory, this was, in fact, for substance and form, a discretionary liturgy, akin to those existing in the Continental Churches.
SUNDRY OCCASIONAL PRAYERS. The Morning and Evening Prayers are those of Calvin. These are succeeded by a short but most beautiful prayer for all men, extracted from John Norden's “Progress of Piety," A. D. 1596. The prayer for Pardon and Help is translated from a service-book of the Greek Church. Following