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HAVING given to the children of the St. Ann's SOCIETY a series of Exercises on the Bible in the discharge of my duties as honorary Chaplain, I wished to give them another series on the PrayerBook, to show its intimate connexion with the Bible. Intense occupation made me slow with the MS., and Mr. Bailey produced his comprehensive work, “The Liturgy compared with the Bible.” It seemed to me, then, desirable to extend my plan; to combine the evidence for the scriptural nature of the Prayer-Book with evidence of its antiquity; and that such a work might be very useful in attaching our young members to their mother Church. I was encouraged in this idea by a remark of Mr. Field (now Bishop of Newfoundland), in his first report as Inspector of Schools, that there was no work of instruction on the Prayer-Book in our National Schools.
I lay no claim to authorsbip: I have merely desired to be useful; simply bringing down to the minds of young children, the information supplied by Bingham, Palmer, Wheatley, Shepherd, Short, Cardwell, and others. I have given no references, because they would be useless to my intended readers.
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER,
St. Paul says, “I will pray with the spirit, and I will
pray with the understanding also ;" and it were well to have our understandings fully awake to the Scriptural language, the antiquity, and the value of those Liturgical forms which we use in our Book of Common Prayer.
1. When was our Book of Common Prayer first
set forth by authority? By Edward VI., in the year 1549. 2. By what authority ? That of the Church in Convocation ; and of the
Sovereign. 3. That was called the “ First Book of Edward :"
when was the Second Book, nearly in our
present form, issued and authorised In the year 1551. 4. Are there any well-known names amongst the
compilers of our Prayer-Book? Archbishop Cranmer, the great leader in the
work, and in that of the Reformation; and Bishop Ridley: both martyrs in the time of
Mary. 5. Why was it necessary to publish an English
Book of Common Prayer ? Because, amongst other heretical practices, the
Church of Rome (under the control of which the Church of England had fallen) had her
public services in the Latin tongue. 6. Was this habit of praying in a language not
generally understood, contrary to the word of
Scripture? Yes; St. Paul is very clear upon this point.
Except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak unto the air. In the Church, I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Let all things be done unto edifying. If there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the Church ; and let him speak to himself, and to God.” 1 Cor. xiv. 9. 19. 26.
28. 7. Do you remember a remarkable circumstance
connected with the first miraculous gift of
tongues ? “How hear we every man in our own tongue,
wherein we were born ?” Acts ii. 8. 8. And was this habit of praying in a tongue not
generally understood contrary, also, to the
practice of the early Church ? Yes; there are large passages in Origen (3 C.),
and in Basil (4 C.), which mention every
tongue praising of God; and that the Gospel being spread to many nations, God was in every nation praised in the language of that
nation. 9. Give me a distinct passage from Origen. • The Grecians,” he says,
use the Greek lan. guage in their prayers ; and the Romans, the Roman; and so every one in his own dialect prays to God, and gives thanks as he is able; and the God of all languages hears them that pray in all dialects, understanding their different languages as well as if they all spake
with one tongue.' 10. And were the Scriptures so read, also, in the
vulgar or common tongue? 1. Yes; Theodoret says, (5 C.)
nation under heaven had the Scriptures in
their own tongue.' 2. In a very early age (3 C.) readers were spe
cially ordained for the instruction of the
people. 3. The early fathers of the Church frequently
preached upon the portions of Scripture read out, and referred to them constantly in their
" that every
11. How came the Roman Church to have any
authority in this country? Pope Gregory, in 596, sent over a priest named
Augustine, and others, to convert the Saxons, appointing Augustine Archbishop of Canter
bury. 12. Were there, then, no Christians in England
before that time? "Oyes; Christianity had been spread throughout
the island before the Saxon invasion. Eusebius (4 C.) and Theodoret (5 C.) speak of Apostolic preaching in Britain ; Tertullian (2, 3 C.) of its Christian worship; and about the close of the third century there were martyrs to testify to the truth by their blood, St. Alban's taking its name from a martyr
who suffered there A.D. 303. 13. And were there independent Christian Bishops
in Britain ? There were English Bishops present at the
Councils of Arles (4 C.), York, London, Lincoln; Sardica (4 C.); Ariminum (4 C.); and there were Bishops in Wales after the Saxon invasion, who refused to acknowledge the authority of Augustine-among them, St. David's, St. Asaph, Bangor, Llandaff, Hereford, and Worcester.
14. Before we proceed, I would call to mind, that
we usually date our Reformation from the time of Henry VIII.: Was there no attempt
towards an English Service in his reign? The Litany was rendered into English, and pub
lished in 1544; and in the following year the Lord's prayer, the commandments, hymns, and collects.
15. The title speaks of the Sacraments and other
rites and ceremonies of the Church: What Church?