Philip Freeman.

The principles of divine service; an enquiry concerning the true manner of understanding and using the order for morning and evening prayer, and for the administration of the Holy Communion in the English Church (Volume 1) online

. (page 14 of 33)
Online LibraryPhilip FreemanThe principles of divine service; an enquiry concerning the true manner of understanding and using the order for morning and evening prayer, and for the administration of the Holy Communion in the English Church (Volume 1) → online text (page 14 of 33)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

tion and i)rivileges of the Holy Conununion on the
one hand, and those of ordinary acts of worship on
the other.

Thus, then, our j)rcsent iiujuiry assumes the phase
of a comparison and discrimination between the lower
and Jiigher forms of Christian Service and worship.
The point for onr consideration is, how comes this
kiiul of service to be suiu'raddcd to, and to co-exist
witli, the one principal and supreme act of Christian
' Vide Wilbciforcc on the IncarnuUon, chap. xJi.


Ritual solemnly instituted by Christ Himself? Is it
independent of the Eucharistic Rite, or supplementary
to it? Does it, on the one hand, occupy a distinct
ground of its own, a department of spiritual need
altogether unprovided for in the Eucharist ? And yet
how can we conceive that that great act of Service,
divinely ordained for the dedication and refection of
man's nature, leaves any department of his being
really undedicated or unprovided for? Or is this
lower kind of service, on the other hand, purely an-
cillary to the higher ; a branch proceeding from it ;
a tributary falling into it ; and to be conceived of as
always, and strictly, in subordination to it? This
view, again, rigidly accepted, is by no means free
from difficulty. Nor, I conceive, is it possible to
attain to a satisfactory solution of the question before
us, without taking a wider and more comprehensive
view than might at first sight seem necessary, of the
whole subject of the nature of Christian worship.

It has been well observed \ that the Church's rites,
even to her most ordinary ones, are based upon
her deepest doctrinal mysteries. Accordingly, when
Hooker would justify a particular kind of petition
in our ordinary Church Service, he is carried by
his subject into a consideration of the two Wills of
Christ ^ ; and again, in expounding the nature of the
Sacraments, into the question of the two Natures in
Christ ^, and their union in His one Person. An in-
quiry like the present, embracing, in outline at least,
the entire subject of the Church's ritual action, may

' See a thoughtful sermon on " The Prayers of the Saints," by Arch-
deacon Smith, of Jamaica.

« Laws of Eccl. PoUty, V. 48.
" Ibid., V. 50—57,


well be expected to lead us, in like manner, into the
consideration of some one or more of the greater mys-
teries of the Gospel.

Now there are, as it would seem, two especial
mysteries of the Christian religion, in the right un-
derstanding of one or other of which, or of both
taken together, we may find the answer to most
questions, concerning either ritual or practice, which
can arise under that dispensation. These are, the
Incarnation, and the Priesthood, of Christ. In
those two Facts, taking both of them in their widest
sense, is summed up the whole of our Lord's opera-
tion on behalf of His Church ; as well those actions
of His by which the salvation of man was in the first
instance wrought, as the processes by which lie still
carries on His great work until the consummation of
all things.

In the Incarnation of our Lord we may properly
include, not only the fact itself, but all those effects
and consequents of it, which, but for it, could not
have taken place : such as His Nativity, and all the
events of His Divine Childhood and Manhood ; His
Circumcision, Manifestation, and Presentation in the
Temple ; His Baptism and Ministry ; His Fasting and
Temptation ; His Miracles and Teaching ; His Agony
and Passion ; Ilis Death and Resurrection ; His As-
cension, and Session at the Right Hand of God the
Father, which continues to this hour.

The Priesthood of Christ, though most closely
and intimately connected with His Incarnation, yet
seems capable of being discriminated from it as a
second and distinct step in His great work. The
Incarnation was in order to the Priesthood, as one
step may be in order to another, l)ut did not properly


involve it. Christ's "Body was prepared Him," in
order that, like all other priests, " He might have
somewhat to offer." "The Body" was assmued by
one act, in order to its becoming by another " a Tem-
ple," the sphere and scene of awful sacrificial trans-
actions. And the whole work of preparation and
adaptation for becoming a Priest and an Offering was
separated, in fact, from the act of oblation itself. First
of all, those actions which we have included under the
idea of the Incarnation, were done by the Son of
Man, the second Adam, as such ; by the new Head of
the human race working out a perfect and acceptable
obedience. And then the work thus done was, by a
distinct action, offered to God the Father by the same
Divine Person as Priest. True it is, that from the
beginning of the great Economy or arrangement, (as
they of old time used to designate the Incarnation,
with its whole effects,) the idea of dedication and
offering entered into every action of the obedient
Sonship. In this sense, and to this extent, the offer-
ing must be conceived of as having begun from the
very moment of the Incarnation^ itself. But not till

' See Note F. Similarly, Dr. Jackson (Priesthood of Christ, IX. chap,
iv. 3) says : " Betwixt a priest complete, or actually consecrated, and no
priest at all, there is a mean or tliii'd estate or condition; to wit, a
priest i)i fieri, though not in facto, or a priest inter consecrundum, be-
fore he be completely and actually consecrated." Ajid agam, ch. xi.
5 : " During the time of His humihation He was rather destinated than
consecrated to be the author and fountain of blessedness unto us." This
excellent writer has, however, involved himself in a difficulty, by m-
sisting that Clu-ist was not qualified to act, nor did act, as a priest at
all, until after His Resurrection,— appealing to Heb. v. 8—10. But
though the seal of the Father's acceptance of His Priesthood was
finally set by His Resurrection, it is unquestionable that His offering
of Hunsclf upon the Cross was a proper act of Priesthood. It was at
once the act by which He consecrated Himself for His Priesthood, ("For
then- sakes I sanctify Myself," St. John xvii.,) and by which He saved
and sanctified the world, ("that they also may be sanctified").


the very close of His ministiy in the flcsli did our
Lord solemnly, and by a set and suitable action,
enter upon His Priesthood : " Then taking the dignity
of the Priesthood, or rather, then falfiUing in action
also the dignity lohich He had always had, He ofl'eied
the Sacrifice for us*"."

It is next to be observed that the actions of Christ
consequent upon His Incarnation may be viewed
either (1), as personal actions merely ; or (2), in their
bearing upon the salvation of mankind.

(1.) Let us view them, first, as personal actions
merely. We shall find that they assume a very dif-
ferent aspect, according as we leave out or take in
His priestly functions and operation.

Viewed apart from their connection with His Priest-
hood, they are simply actions of obedient Sonship,
crowned with the reward of that obedience. The
spectacle, as has been already said, is that of the
second Adam accomplishing in Himself that perfect
conformity to the Divine Will which the first Adam
failed to exhibit. AVe behold a life of faultless obe-
dience to God and entire love towards man, — of
obedience unto death and love unto death, — crowned,
as its reward, with glory and worship.

But this series of personal actions assumes a new
character when it is conceived of not only as done, but
as ojjcred. And a distinct operation was provided in
order to its being od'crcd. Christ was not only con-
ceived at the first of the Holy Ghost, and afterwards
sanctified in all Ilis actions by the same Holy Spirit,
but was also at the last, through the same Spirit,
sanctified (or rather "sanctified Himself") as an

■' lles.ycliius, bislioj) of Jcius'.ilciu ciic. GOO. In Ia'v. c. 1, IJilil. I'alr.
torn. xii. p. 63, cd. 1077.


oftering, (St. John xvii. 10). Not only ivas He "the
Lamb of God," but lie also, "through the eternal
Spirit, offered Himself," as such, to God'. The ac-
tion of His Priesthood supervened upon the proper
action of His Incarnation"'. What He was as Man,
He offered as Priest. The obedient Sonship was
sanctified and offered in the office of the eternal
Priesthood. "Though He were a Son, yet learned
He obedience by the things which He suffered ; and
having thus been made perfect," (consecrated, reAeto)-
6il9,) " He became the author of eternal salvation to
all them that obey Him ;" being then, and not till
then, named or " called of God an High Priest."
Thus was the second Adam, even towards Plimself,
a second and a greater Aaron and Melchisedec''.

(2.) But let us now consider the actions of our
Lord, not in their personal character, i. e. in their re-
lation to Christ's own Person, but in their bearing
upon man's interests ; as actions representative and
potential, in which w^as wrought once for all, or out of
which issues, by unceasing application, the salvation
of mankind. We shall find the same duaHty of aspect
appertaining to them, as we did when we were con-
sidering them as personal actions merely.

These mystically effective actions, if we leave out of
view their connection with Christ's Priesthood, ap-
pear simply as great deeds of victorious re-creation ;
as the quelling, on behalf of mankind, in the Person
of Christ, of the old enemies. Sin and Death ; as the

' Heb. ix. 14.

" " The Priesthood is an accident, the Humanity or Manhood is the
subject or substance that supports it." Dr. Jackson, Priesthood of
Christ, p. 213.

° On the question whether, and in what sense, Christ was a Priest
towards Hi m self, see Thos. Aquin., Summa, iii. 22, 4.


dying out and abolition of the old corruption, and the
raising up of a new, perfect, and immortal manhood.

But the selfsame actions present themselves under
quite another and an added aspect, if we take into
consideration the Priesthood and its effects. We find
another set of phenomena taking their place as co-effi-
cients in the work of salvation. Conceivably, indeed,
it might have sufficed the good pleasure of the Divine
Will, and the exigency of the case, that by actions
partaking of the former character alone — actions, that
is, of a merely restorative and re-creative kind — the
salvation of man should be effected. The utmost
aspirations of heathen philosophies, whencesoever de-
rived, had dreamed of nothing beyond such a re-
constitution of human nature. Nor perhaps could un-
aided reason, even with the knowledge of the fact of
the Incarnation, have attained to the conception of any-
thing further. To restore to its perfection the original
ethical condition of man ; to place him in his primeval
position of harmonious discharge of his relations to
God, his fellow-man, and himself : this might well
be thought to be all that God purposed concerning
him, and might also seem capable of accomplishment
through the medium of the Incarnate Word, as Incar-
nate, without the intervention of any further economy.
And by some single rite, such as Baptism, it might
further be imagined, — a rite, that is, capable of im-
parting the regenerative and reconstitutive cfTccts of
the actions of Christ, and guaranteeing the conthuially
renewing assistances of the Uoly Spirit, — the entire
gift of salvation, in all its parts, might be conveyed
to man.

The illumination of a special teaching, — a teaching
directed towards the inculcation of a yet greater niys-

172 THE rillNCIPLES OF DIVINE SERVICE. [ckai'. ii.

tcry, and towards the unfolding of a still higher
destiny than that of mere renewal, — was, it should
seem, necessary to prepare mankind for the appre-
hension of any further privilege as being in store
for man. Accordingly, together with the mysterious
necessity for Atonement, and closely interwoven with
it, another great feature of human destiny had been
all along intimated. This was the acceptable oblation
of regenerated man to God by the Priesthood of Christ ;
and, together with this, the power of acceptable offer-
ing of himself by man, in and through that Priest-
hood. Such an intimation was clearly involved in the
mysterious idea and practice of Sacrifice. That idea
and practice, undiscoverable, as it should seem, at
least in all its bearings, by the mere reason °, and
forming no part of the mental heritage of man in his
first estate, had been in the world coevally (in all pro-
bability) with the Fall, was familiar to the patriarchs,
descended almost universally to the Gentiles, and was
divinely expanded and reduced to detail for the chosen
people of God, And when all the particulars of the
teaching embodied in those old rites, whether pa-
triarchal, Gentile, or Mosaic, came at length to be
summed up and expounded in the priestly action of
Christ, it was seen that the purport of it, as regarded
man's position and functions towards God, was this ;
' — that, besides the restoration of man to the image of
God, (which of itself, indeed, required an act of priest-
hood for its accomplishment,) the Divine purpose in-
cluded the setting on foot of certain new and bettered
relations to Himself, on the part of the creature so
restored. It was not to be deemed the goal of human
attaimneut or perfectibility " to do justly, and to love

° Sec below, Part II., Theory of Eucharistic Worship.


mercy, and to walk humbly with his God ;" or in
whatever other way ethical completeness may be de-
scribed. Such duties would indeed be indispensably
necessary, but they would be taken up into a higher
sphere. A new standing before God would now be
provided for man, consisting in a capacity for accept-
able oblation of himself to God, and for special and
transcendent participation of God by him. The great
saving actions of Christ were destined to include not
only such a dying and rising again as v^ould redound
to the renewal and re-creation of man, but such a
Death as was, by virtue of priestly operation, a perfect
Reconciliation and Atonement; such a presentation of
the risen and ascended Body as constituted It a perfect
and acceptable Gift and Oblation to God. Henceforth
man would be empowered and privileged not only to
do that which was well-pleasing in God's sight, but
also acceptably to offer it. That which henceforth he
did in Christ, and as a member of Him, would through
Christ have a real acceptablcnuss with God, as a gift
to Iliin, and as redounding to the actual increase of
His glory. Henceforth he would be not only " a son,"
but " a i)riest unto God and his Father." For the
exercise of this exalted spiritual function, and for the
continuance and increase of his acceptableness in it,
a special rite, over and above the Sacrament of his
regeneration, would be provided. In that rite lie
would be privileged, as a priest unto God, (1), to pre-
sent and to pk-ad, in the way of memorial, the one
Sacrifice of Christ, and with it to offer himself accept-
ably ; and (2), sacramentally to eat and drink of the
great High-Priest's Sacrifice of Himself.

And, exalted and mysterious as is the condition de-
scribed in these terms, it may be remarked, that such


an advance, in point of spiritual position and functions,
is exactly what might be expected to accrue to man,
as the result of a Divine Person's having condescended
to enter into the human side of religious and ritual
transaction, and of man's having been marvellously
incorporated into Him. It could not be but that
such a wondrous event should involve a greatly ele-
vated ritual position towards God. It was in a man-
ner likely that man would in his measure inherit a
glorious priesthood, by his having been ingrafted into
the very Body of a Divine High-Priest ^.

Now these considerations account for a very pecu-
liar feature, for such it is, in the economy of our sal-
vation : I mean the duality, and not the duality merely,
but wide diversity, of the Christian Sacraments ; the
distribution into two several and very different gifts,
the Baptismal and the Eucharistic, of the estate which
we have in Christ. Such a distribution, and such di-
versity, is a natural result of the twofold aspect which
the saving actions of Christ themselves possess. Those
actions being, under one aspect, purely re-creative, or
restorative; under another, sacrificial and oblationary;
are imparted (as to the virtue of them) to the one pur-
pose in one Sacrament, and to the other in the other.
The Sacraments, the instruments of salvation, are
fitted, in number and nature, to the twofold aspect of
the one series of saving actions to which they owe
their grace. Holy Baptism is so fashioned and em-
powered as to be the type and the instrument of
simple re-creation and restoration ; of the ethical re-
adjustment which needed to be made, in order " to
repair man that fell." The Holy Eucharist, again, is
so fashioned and empowered as to be the type and

•• See S. Aug. in note G, at the end of the volume.


the instrument of those sacrificial functions, both of
oblation and participation, which form the crowning
stage of man's exaltation in Christ. Renewal, in
short, is but half the Christian's privilege; there is
added the yet more marvellous and inscrutable mys-
tery of his acceptable oblation of himself as a priest
to God, and effectual participation, in the same cha-
racter, of God. Baptism is the compendium and
the instrument of the one privilege, the Eucharist of
the other.

If it be asked how the selfsame series of actions of
our Lord, as e. g. His Death and Resurrection, (and
I conceive it to be of the last importance to maintain
that it is the selfsame actions that operate in the two
Sacraments,) are available to different effects in Bap-
tism and in the Eucharist ; — in the one to death unto
sin and new birth unto righteousness ; in the other,
to sacrificial oblation and participation : — it might
suffice to point to the analogy of the actions them-
selves, as done by our Lord, and considered as His
personal actions merely. There is every appearance of
their fulfilling, as personal actions, two distinct courses
at one and the same time. The actions from the Na-
tivity to the Ascension and Session go forward (under
one aspect) as simply those of the Man Clirist Jesus,
or the Word Licarnate, fulfilling a course of Divine
Manhood. Yet all the time it is certain that the
whole course was of the nature of a continuous sacri-
ficial action, or possessed at least a sacrificial aspect :
each act, as it took place, had its sacrificial position
and character. Since, then, the Iwo aspccl.s of Ciwist's
acts, though concomitant, arc strictly separable, what
shouhl forbid but tliat the virtue of those actions
should be derived and drawn oil', in a corresponding
manner, into two several channels : so that they


sliould be present, in one rite, under one aspect, and
to one purpose; and in another rite under another
aspect, and to another purpose?

And there is yet another analogy to be found, in
the undoubted trutli of the perfect union of the Divine
with the human Nature in the Person of Christ from
the very Incarnation ; combined with the equally un-
doubted difference of degree in which the lower nature
was at successive periods penetrated, irradiated, and
empowered by the higher. We might have concluded
that so intimate a presence of the Divine Nature
would at once, and from the first, have imparted to
the human all the exaltation and all the powers des-
tined for it. And yet, both in respect of growth and
of official functions, the perfectioning process was gra-
dual. " For as the parts, degrees, and offices of that
mystical administration did require which He volun-
tarily undertook, the beams of Deity did accordingly
either restrain or enlarge themselves 'i." Perfect God
and perfect Man from His birth, yet not perfect as to
the adolescence and illumination of His human Soul,
until His maturity, (for " He increased in wisdom ;")
not perfect for the work of His prophetic office until
His Baptism and Temptation ; nor for His Priesthood
until the eve of His Passion ; nor for His universal
kingly power as man until His Resurrection; He
experienced by degrees and instalments the enabling
powers of that Deity which, in point of presence and
personal union, was never absent from Him. And if
this was the case with respect to the imparting of
particular effects of the Divine Nature within Him to
His natural Body, Soul, and Spirit, may not the like
well have place at this hour in the case of the mem-

Online LibraryPhilip FreemanThe principles of divine service; an enquiry concerning the true manner of understanding and using the order for morning and evening prayer, and for the administration of the Holy Communion in the English Church (Volume 1) → online text (page 14 of 33)