Henry Bond Restarick.

Lay readers, their history, organization and work : an account of what laymen have done, are doing and can do for the extension of the Kingdom of God online

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LIBRARY



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.



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GIFT OF



aass



LAY READERS

THEIR

HISTORY, ORGANIZATION AND WORK



AN ACCOUNT OF

WHAT LAYMEN HAVE DONE, ARE DOING

AND CAN DO FOR THE EXTENSION

OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

BY

THE REV. H. B. RESTARICK

RECTOR OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
DEAN OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA



OF THE

UNIVERSITY

OF

SALIF

NEW-YORK

THOMAS WHITTAKER
2 AND 3 BIBLE HOUSE

it'll






Copyright, 1894,
By THOMAS WHITTAKER.



TO THE

MEMBERS OF THE
BROTHERHOOD OF SAINT
ANDREW, MEN PLEDGED TO PRAY AND
WORK FOR THE EXTENSION OF THE KINGDOM OF
GOD, THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED BY THE
AUTHOR, WHO OWES SO MUCH, IN THE WORK OF
HIS OWN READERS AND IN THE PREPARA-
TION OF THIS VOLUME, TO THE
SPIRIT AND LABORS OF THE
BROTHERHOOD



1 73090



PREFACE.



THIS book is the result of a suggestion made
to the writer by his Bishop, the Rt. Rev. William
Ford Nichols, D.D. Its object is to further the
great movement in the Church for the use of the
laity in definite, aggressive work for the exten-
sion of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, with especial
reference to Lay Readers. It is hoped that it will
be found useful by those who are already licensed
to act in that capacity, encouraging them to more
systematic, earnest effort, and stimulating their de-
sire for a larger and a better service. To devout
laymen into whose hands it may fall, the writer's
prayerful wish is, that, with the blessing of God
the Holy Ghost, it may arouse in their hearts some
sense of the work there is to be done, and that it
may suggest to them one way in which they may
have their part and lot in the doing of it. It is
thought also that it will be of use to the clergy,
who see around them in town and country the
work which belongs to the Church, but which
they cannot hope even to touch, without the aid



vi PREFACE.

of consecrated, systematic lay effort. It is in-
tended to suggest to them ways in which Lay
Readers can do definite, aggressive missionary
work.

Bishops, Priests, and Lay Readers, who are most
interested in this subject, have been consulted, and
the writer himself has had experience.

It is hoped, therefore, that from the facts and
suggestions set forth others may be saved some
of the trouble and annoyance of experiment, and
profit by the failures and successes here recorded.
Many have judged the book as timely. There is
a growing opinion among Bishops, Priests, and
laymen that by an enlarged use of Readers and
Evangelists a new era, which seems already dawn-
ing, will rise in brightness upon the Church in this
land.

HENRY B. RESTARICK.

SAN DIEGO, CAL.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

PAGE

THE LAYMAN AND His WORK FOR THE EXTENSION OF
THE KINGDOM OF GOD 3

CHAPTER II.
THE LAY READER IN HISTORY 15

CHAPTER III.

UNORGANIZED WORK OF LAY READERS IN THE UNITED
STATES 27

CHAPTER IV.
LEGISLATION IN THE AMERICAN CHURCH CONCERNING LAY

READERS 40

CHAPTER V.

WORK FOR THE READER IN AMERICA THE NEED AND
THE RESPONSIBILITY 54

CHAPTER VI.
THE READER AND ORGANIZED WORK 62

CHAPTER VII.
THE WORK OF READERS FROM THE PARISH AS A CENTER 84

CHAPTER VIII.
THE SELECTION OF MEN FOR READERS, AND OF PLACES

FOR WORK 99

vii



Vlii CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IX.

PAGE

THE PREPARATION OF THE READER 107

CHAPTER X.
THE READER IN THE SERVICE 124

CHAPTER XI.
THE READER AND SERMONS 142

CHAPTER XII.
THE READER, His ADDRESSES AND EXHORTATIONS 159

CHAPTER XIII.

WHAT THE READER MAY DO, AND WHAT THE READER
MAY NOT DO 177

CHAPTER XIV.
WORK IN THE MISSION 189

CHAPTER XV.
THE Music AT THE MISSIONS 204

CHAPTER XVI.

THE READER, AND His ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHRISTIANS
OF THE VARIOUS DENOMINATIONS 208

CHAPTER XVII.
THE READER IN His SPIRITUAL LIFE 222

CHAPTER XVIII.
READERS OR PERMANENT DEACONS, WHICH ? 233

CHAPTER XIX.
THE READER AND THE WORK OF THE FUTURE 248



INTRODUCTION.

THIS book owes its origin to needs and experi-
ments in lay work in the Diocese of California.
Because Dean Restarick has had valuable acquaint-
ance with these needs and experiments, he was
asked to write it. He has further laid under con-
tribution material readily and kindly furnished him
from fields many, and from Bishops, Priests, and
laymen especially interested in the subject not a
few. The reading of what he has written has
seemed to the undersigned to well justify the ask-
ing. Indeed, the reading of it was no less than a
solace in one of those periods of oppression not
to say depression which seem to come to one as
he journeys to meet the mighty responsibilities of
a prolonged Episcopal visitation.

Responsibilities shared in possibility and pros-
pect are responsibilities lightened. Thank God, the
American Church is rousing a slumbering army of
laymen to true campaigning as soldiers of Christ
enlisted in their Baptism. The thought is an in-
spiriting one, for the glory of God and the edifi-
cation of the Church. Books of tactics will be in



2 INTRODUCTION.

active demand. It is believed that this will be
found a good one for all concerned. It subor-
dinates tactics to morale. While it deals with
methods that have been found helpful, it assumes
and inculcates that animating power of any great
movement in a Church going forth conquering
and to conquer the all-constraining love of Jesus

Christ.

WILLIAM F. NICHOLS.

ST. PAUL'S RECTORY, SAN DIEGO,
November 26, 1893.




CHAPTER I.

THE LAYMAN AND HIS WORK FOR THE EX-
TENSION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

NOT long ago a loyal, well-instructed, lifelong
son, of the Church told the writer that in his
younger days he was accustomed to give even to
individuals and societies whose methods he could
not endorse, because they were trying to carry the
Gospel of Jesus Christ, as they apprehended it, to
neglected classes and destitute places.

He believed that they taught error mixed with
truth, but he reasoned with himself that as the
Church was leaving the work wholly untouched,
it had better be done imperfectly than not at all.
He believed that the Church could do the work, if
she were to make use of the laity. " We always
heard," he said, " a good deal about the priesthood
of the laity, but beyond serving on the vestry, or
teaching in Sunday-school, little or nothing was
given them to do."

The writer is not arguing that the above was
the right or the best way, he is simply relating
the fact. As for the layman referred to, as an

3



4 LAY READERS.

active Lay Reader, licensed to make addresses,
travelling often on Sunday from twenty to thirty
miles, and holding service where there would be
no gathering of people for worship, unless the
Church sent him or one of his co-workers, he re-
joices that this is what has been called " the day
of the laity."

Mr. Lewis Stockton, of the Buffalo Laymen's
League, writes that men in the Salvation Army
have told him that if they had been given some
training and set to work in the Church, they
would not have wandered from her. Most of the
clergy have known men working actively in some
religious society, who have told them a like story.

It is cause for great thankfulness, however, that
to-day not only are there large numbers of devout
laymen ready to labor in God's vineyard, but
the Bishops and other clergy are anxious to call
them from idleness, and give them such work as
they are fitted to perform.

There have been periods when conditions natu-
rally and necessarily placed upon the clergy almost
the entire work of the Church. When unlettered
peoples had been won from heathenism the work
of teaching and training them would necessarily
be performed by the clergy as the only men capa-
ble of doing it. When a National Church had
occupied a land, dividing it into small cures, well



THE LA YMAN AND HIS WORK. 5

supplying these with clergy, the work which came
to the laity was far different from that which faces
them to-day.

There is, however, in this age, and especially in
this land, much that reminds one of the conditions
which attended the Church during the first cent-
uries of her existence. Now, as then, she finds
herself in the midst of unbelievers, surrounded by
schools of speculative philosophy, having opposed
to her sects founded upon every conceivable differ-
ence of individual opinion, and confronted by the
difficulty of having to bring into the unity of the
Church men of diverse race and speech. To all
of these, whether they hate her, treat her with in-
difference, or hold her in contempt, she has now,
as of old, to proclaim " the faith once for all de-
livered to the saints," the " one Lord, one faith,
one baptism," which is the " Gospel of the King-
dom."

That the laity had a great part in the spread
of the Church in the first centuries is evident to
the student. The Jewish converts, with their re-
ligious training in the home, the school, and the
synagogue, furnished excellent material not only
for Apostles, Elders, and Deacons, but for Lay
Workers, who had " gifts " as " teachers " and
" helps," i for the building up "of the body of

1 I Cor. xii. 28.



6 LAY READERS.

Christ." 1 The multitude which at Pentecost heard
the Apostles and were baptized, during their so-
journ at Jerusalem gave steadfast attention to the
" teaching of the Apostles," frequented the assem-
blies of the Church for " the prayers," and partook
of the Holy Eucharist 2

In returning to their homes each one would be
a missionary, preparing the way in the hearts of
their relations and friends for the Apostle or Elder
who should come afterwards to bring them organ-
ization and the Sacraments.

After the death of St. Stephen " they that were
scattered abroad went everywhere preaching " (or,
as the original means, announcing the glad tidings)
" the word." 3 While it is "evident unto all men
diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient
authors " that to those in the sacred ministry fell
the chief work of carrying the Gospel to men, yet
it is also evident that the devout laity were used
as their " gifts " indicated the direction of their
best service.

We may be sure there were everywhere men
and women who, like Aquila and Priscilla, took
some Apollos and " expounded unto him the way
of God more perfectly." 4

We may be sure that Jewish converts, on re-

l Eph. iv. II, 12. 2 Acts ii. 46.

3 Acts viii. 4. * Acts xviii. 26.



THE LA YMAN AND HIS WORK. 7

turning to their homes after Pentecost, and enter-
ing the synagogue on the next Sabbath, would be
asked, as was customary after the reading of the
Law and the Prophets, if they had some " word
of exhortation," as St. Paul was asked at Antioch. 1
When thus given an opportunity, we may know
that, as St. Paul did at Thessalonica, they would
" reason with them out of the Scriptures, opening
and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered,
and risen again from the dead ; and that this Jesus
... is Christ."

They would also naturally follow the rule of
the Jew, that where ten of their nation were set-
tled they must meet for worship, and have one
of their number act as Reader in the conduct of
the service. The Christian layman would have
a " church in his house," as Nymphas had at
Laodicea, 2 and as Aquila had, first at Ephesus, 3
and afterwards at Rome. 4 Here his children and
servants, and such neighbors as were disciples,
would gather on the first day of the week, when
he or some one selected would read the Scriptures
and offer " the prayers," and give some word of
instruction or exhortation. The way would thus
be prepared for the coming of an Apostle and the
ordaining of an Elder, who, in " the Breaking of

1 Acts xiii. 15. 2 Col. iv. 15.

3 I Cor, xvi, 19. 4 Rom. xvi. 5.



8 LAY READERS.

Bread " and in dispensing the Word, should minis-
ter to the young Church in holy things.

Nor was the work of the laity for the extension
of the Kingdom of God confined to the Christians
of Jewish birth, nor even to the proselytes. The
educated Gentile laity, at an early day, were en-
gaged in teaching, and even in preaching. Justin
Martyr was always ready to give instruction as to
the Christian faith to all who came to his quarters
near the baths of Timotheus at Rome. When a
learned philosopher became a Christian, he natu-
rally became the head of some catechetical school,
whose work was for those without the Church,
rather than for those within it. Origen was a
layman when he became the head of the school
at Alexandria in A.D. 202. Everywhere " a Chris-
tian man of science, whether of the clergy or laity,
held himself in readiness to discourse upon all sub-
jects connected with religion ; to remove difficul-
ties, to answer questions, to resolve doubts to
prepare the heathen mind, in short, for an intelli-
gent reception of the Gospel." (Mahan.)

Besides teaching, laymen, if considered able^
were permitted to preach. Before Origen was
ordained, Alexander, the Bishop of Jerusalem, and
Theoctistus, Bishop of Caesarea, requested him to
come to their dioceses and preach in the churches,
citing examples of laymen preaching with per-



THE LA YMAN AND HIS WORK. 9

mission of the Bishop, and even at times in his
presence. Eusebius relates that some Bishops, for
the benefit of the brethren, permitted lay persons
to address the people in their presence. (Hist.
Eccl. y lib. vi., c. 19.)

The fourth Council of Carthage, A.D. 398, or-
dered that no layman should preach in the pres-
ence of the clergy, unless at their request. We
see, then, that in those first centuries, when in
the conditions surrounding the Church there is
much to remind us of the present time and our
own country, the layman did his part in active
work for the spread of Christ's Kingdom among
men. Humanly speaking, it is not too much to
say that if all had been left to the clergy, three
hundred years would not have sufficed to have
seen the Cross floating on the banner which led
the Roman legions.

It is not necessary, in this day, to produce any
arguments in favor of the use of fit laymen in
active evangelistic and missionary work. In every
diocese laymen are so employed. In cities, in
suburban districts, and in isolated villages, laymen,
duly authorized by their Bishops, are leading the
people in public worship, making addresses to
them, and preparing men for the coming of the
Priest who shall baptize them, or the Apostle who
shall administer to them " the laying on of hands."



10 LAY READERS.

The need is that work of this kind should be
made more aggressive and effective by organi-
zation and the use of definite plan and careful
method. Thousands of Churchmen are asking
how this can be done. If we look back at former
movements in the Church of England in which
the laity have been used, we find that many have
ended disastrously. Men are apt to throw all the
blame on the Church because the authorities did
not recognize the lay preachers and make their
work a means of strength to the Church.

But the fault has been largely with the systems
under which the work was carried on, which, from
their very nature, led to the formation of separatist
bodies. Take two examples :

Whether Wiclif intended it or not, laymen ap-
pear to have been used before his death in his
well-trained band of preachers, who went through-
out the land teaching from the Bible which their
leader had translated for them.

The Bishops were favorably disposed, and at
first recognized them. But the fact that the
preachers were itinerant, that they would acknowl-
edge no- authority but that of Wiclif, made their
work not a part of the machinery of the Church,
but something entirely outside of it. This inde-
pendent character of the movement resulted in the
preachers denouncing the Church as wholly evil,



THE LA YMAN AND HIS WORK. \ \

and so, despite their master's evident intention,
his followers became Separatists of the most bitter
kind. 1

There is much in the history of Wesley's work
which is similar to that of Wiclif. There was the
same longing for reform, and the same zeal to
have the Gospel preached to the neglected or the
indifferent people of England. His first idea was
to have the work done under the Bishops. 2 In
this case, however, the Bishops refused to aid
the movement, and Wesley adopted lay agency,
which, like Wiclif 's, consisted of itinerant preachers,
independent of the Church, and under the leader-
ship of an individual. It is true that he earnestly
and constantly affirmed that he was a Churchman,
and would live and die in the Church of England.
But with his death came the separation for which
his " method " had prepared his followers.

The lesson is plainly this : if lay agency is to be
used to strengthen the Church, it must be organ-
ized under the authority of the Episcopate, and
work where there is a parish in connection with it.
It is on these lines that lay work is now being
conducted in England and in the United States,
and this is the reason one can have confidence in
its usefulness. It is unprofitable to sigh over the

1 Wiclif s Place in History.

2 Southey's Life of Wesley, p. 247.




UNIVERSIT



12 LAY READERS.

past, but one cannot help believing that if the
laity during the first half of this century in this
country had been trained and set to work, the
Church in the United States would have been
saved the reproach that it was the Church of the
" well-to-do." It would also have tended to stop
the deplorable leakage which resulted from Church-
men from England and from Eastern homes set-
tling in Western villages, where there was no parish
or mission, or in the country, many miles from the
church in the town, too far distant to attend. The
children of these men are connected with the re-
ligious societies which ministered to them in their
spiritual destitution.

The spirit among the laymen of a desire to have
their part in the aggressive work of the Church is
everywhere apparent. Its outward signs are in
such organizations as the Lay Helpers' Associa-
tions, which, beginning in London in 1865, are now
to be found in many Dioceses. In the United
States the Brotherhood of St. Andrew is one great
proof that laymen realize their responsibility, and
desire to work under the authority of the Episco-
pate, and also under the parochial clergy.

Bishops and other clergy have long seen the
necessity of utilizing lay agency, if the Church is
to do her work in this country. This is well voiced
in the words of the Bishop of Long Island, who,



THE LA YMAN AND HIS WORK. \ 3

writing in 1887, says: "The urgency for Church
extension, and for work of every kind necessarily
preliminary to such extension, in view of their al-
ready overtasked energies it is in vain to look to
the clergy to perform. . . . There is one hope, the
diffused and latent priesthood of the baptized lay
members of the Church. I am persuaded that the
Church can have all the help she needs from her
laity, if she will not only ask for it, but formally
open the ways. The feeling, as I have found it,
largely prevailing among our earnest laymen, is
one of desire, not only for work, but as well for
work that can be done by method and under
authority."

The following chapters are written in the hope
that they may assist in " opening up the ways,"
and be helpful in suggesting " work that can be
done by method and under authority."

The Church in this land has now her day of
opportunity. All Churchmen believe that. But
to take advantage of it, there must not be a mere
rest in the satisfaction of her rich heritage, nor a
mere pride in her apostolic lineage. Her sons
must go to work. Acting under Title I., Canon 12,
there is abundant scope for development of system
in the use of Lay Readers and Lay Evangelists.
From every parish as a centre, laymen, prepared
for the work, should carry the Gospel of the King-



14 LAY READERS.

dom into the city, the suburbs, and the country
around. It can be done. It is being done in
places.

In the general breaking away from the narrow-
ness of sectism, men long, though they know it
not, for the breadth, the depth, the height, of the
Catholic and Apostolic Church in which we believe.
But few will ever hear of it, unless the laity are
used to carry the message and prepare the way.

Out of a heart burdened with a knowledge of
the work, and the impossibility to touch the greater
part of it with the clergy alone, the Bishop of
Western New York cries : " Without lay helpers,
what can an American Bishop do?"

It is a cry which will find its echo in the hearts
of Bishops and other clergy throughout the land.
May God hasten the day when Laymen's Leagues,
like that at Buffalo, may enable the good Bishop
mentioned, and others all over the land, to say :
" With lay helpers behold what an American
Bishop, by God's grace, can do."



CHAPTER II.

THE LAY READER IN HISTORY.

IT is proposed in the following chapters to treat
of the use of Lay Readers in work for the exten-
sion of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It will be
well, then, to consider the place which this order
of men has occupied in the history of the Church.
Let it be borne in mind, however, that history is
not here examined for the mere purpose of deter-
mining the use to be made of Lay Readers in the
present day. What the Lambeth Conference of
1888 stated with regard to the " Historic Episco-
pate " may, with the change of one word, be taken
as the key in considering the minor order of Read-
ers : " Locally adapted in the methods of its work
to the varying needs of the nations and peoples
called of God into the unity of His Church."

In the last chapter it was said that wherever
there were ten Jews they were required to meet
for worship on the Sabbath day. If there was no
synagogue, they assembled by the sea or near
some stream, as St. Paul found Lydia and others
gathered " by a river-side " at Philippi, 1 " where

1 Acts xvi. 13.
15



16 LA Y READERS.

prayer was wont to be made." From the time
that Ezra had established the frequent reading of
the Law in public, the synagogue system had de-
veloped, until in the time of the Maccabees the
synagogue was the centre of religious life wher-
ever there was a settlement of Jews. It filled the
need which devout Jews must have felt for public
worship and instruction.

At the synagogue service, the Reader was a
male member of the congregation selected for the
purpose. The address or exposition of the Script-
ure lesson was made by a Priest or Levite, if one
was present ; if not, by a layman invited by the
officers of the assembly. 1

The office of Reader in the Christian Church
cannot positively be found mentioned by any writer
earlier than Tertullian (A.D. 1 35-2 1 7). Many have
thought that it could be traced to the custom of
the synagogue, and probably existed in the Apos-
tolic age.

Justin Martyr, in speaking of the Sunday ser-
vice and the reading from the "writings of the
Apostles and Prophets," which preceded the cele-
bration of the Holy Eucharist, says : " When the
Reader has done, the Bishop makes a sermon." 2
But the " Reader " here mentioned may have been

1 Geikie's Life of Christ, chapter xiii.

2 Apol., I., Ixxxvii.



THE LAY READER IN HISTORY. 17

a Presbyter or Deacon. There is nothing in the
text to show that he was not. However this may
be, Tertullian mentions the office of Reader (lector)
as distinct from that of Bishop, Presbyter, or Dea-
con. 1 His mention implies, certainly, their estab-
lished use, with stated duties, in his time.

The Apostolic Constitutions (the first six books
of which were probably compiled in the second
century) give the duties of the Reader as follows :
" The Reader is in the middle, standing upon a
high place, and reads the Books of Moses, of
Judges, of Joshua, and of Kings and Chronicles;
and in addition to these the Books of Job and Sol-
omon, and the sixteen prophetical books. The two
Lessons having been read aloud, some one sings
the Psalms of David, and the people sing softly
the antiphones, and afterwards our own Acts are
recited and the Epistles of Paul our fellow-laborer,
which he sent to the Churches under the guid-
ance of the Holy Spirit. After these things the
Deacon or the Presbyter reads the Gospel."' St.
Cyprian (martyred A.D. 258) frequently writes of
Readers, and of their " ordination " to that office.
In his time they were sometimes called "teachers
of the hearers" (doctores audientiuni)? This title
would imply that they were used as catechists, in-

l De Praecript. Haer., c. 41. 2 Const. Ap,, II., 57-

3 Eps. 24 and 33.



1 8 LAY READERS.

structing those who were preparing for Holy Bap-


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

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