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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

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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 33 of 33)
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again become a living reality instead of an external superstition.
Such persons will commonly regret, and with reason, that the
Services of the Church are too lengthy to be performed be-
comingly ; and that though they are in ff :t shortened in actual



NOTES. 417

use iu the Churcli to suit the convenience of the people, this is
still done in such a way as to leave the priests burdened with
the duty of reading over all that is omitted ; so that they who
ought to lead the people out of formalism, are thus habituated
to a profane formalism themselves." — Palmer on the Eastern
Church, p. 293.

" On the other hand, from traditionary prejudice and habit,
from a desire to approve themselves to the people, from regard
to personal and pecuniary interests, and from a sincere dread of
that Sadducecism to which any admission of the ideas of criti-
cism and reformation seems to lead, the greater number take
the side of the Pharisees of old : and, without conceding an
iota, defend honestly or hypocritically the whole existing system,
dead, rotten, and crystallized though it be ; and are deaf to all
arguments or warnings pointing out the defects of their Com-
munion, and blind to all consequences of their obstinacy." —
p. 2yj.



KoTE K.— p. 328.

The contents of the Lord's Prayer have been referred by
some (see Wetstcin on St. Matt, vi.) to forms of private prayer
anciently in use, or supposed to have been so, among the Jews.
But from a careful comparison of it with the " eighteen prayers"
(see p. 65) of the Jewish Synagogue, I am strongly inclined to
believe that it is no other than a summary or compendium of
that i)ul)lic form, and not a mere collection of scattered and
private fragments. The topics are the same, with the single
and most characteristic addition of the clause, " as we forgive
them that trespass against us," to which the Jewish prayer
contains nothing jjarallel ; and on which alone, accordingly,
our Lord dwells and comments in i^iving the jirayer, as if it
were some new feature which needed to be explained or ac-
counted for: "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your
lieavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye f(n-give not,"
&c. It would be impossible, without drawing out at length the
greater part of the Jewish prayers, to do justice to the i)arallel
in (piestion ; and I must therefore refer the reader to them ns
given by Pndeaux, L vi. 2.



41S NOTES.



Note L.— pp. 337—347.

" But simpl_v in this lij^lit:. considered merely as a method of
reading the Scriptures M-hoUy, thoroughly, and frequently, the
value of the Daily Service can never be sufficiently estimated.
By what other plan are we likely to accomplish what it does,
i.e. the readinsa; of nearly every book and chapter in the Old Tes-
tament, including a good deal of the Apocrypha, once a-year;
and every letter of the New Testament, except the Apocalypse,
three times ? What other plan has been proposed, what other
practice has been adopted, that does not involve very serious
omissions, or imply too long and protracted a period of time for
its performance? Again, consider the manner in which the
Scriptures are thus brought before us. Various portions, things
new and old, are brought together for each day's meditation.
Thus, besides that the attention is relieved by this very diver-
sity, — by the remarkable difference of matter and style, — the
Old Testament, the Gospels and Epistles, are daily made to
throw light on one another. The infinitely vast and diverging
parts of one vast plan are daily contemplated. Involuntary com-
parison suggests numberless mutual illustrations. The mind
also expands, and adapts itself to the manifold character of
God's dealings.

" And it is no little aid to the spiritual powers and aspirations,
to hear the Scriptures thus read in the Church, rather than in
the parlour or closet. It is in the Church that they are fulfilled.
The place is holy and solemn, sacred in its heavenly realities
and in its awful associations. Its tone is unearthly. A\"e are
there assembled, with the door of our hearts closed for fear of
our spiritual enemies, and awe-struck and attentive, for the
ground whereon we stand is holy. Tlie Chm-ch is a refuge iiom
the cares, the frivolities, and the sensualities of the world. Its
felt and almost visible holiness and glory are a stay to the un-
stable, a repose to the wearied, a home to the wandering, a calm
to the shaken and distracted. Very few people indeed have, as
individuals, any place to call their own ; very few have a place
to sit down in, and read for half an hour without interruption.
The Chiirch supplies the want. Private prayer is possible to
all ; for the inward and spiritual operations of the mind and its
immediate communications with the Father of Spii'its, need never
be interrupted by outward things; and the mind does in a sense



NOTES. ■ 419

enjoy perpetual solitude. But it is not so with religious infor-
mation. Knowledge comes by hearing and reading, which are
outward acts involving certain external circumstances ; and
generally, nay, almost universally, no circumstances can be so
auspicious and kindly as the act of public worship in the house
of God.

" The very fact of the Scriptures being read in the Church
without break or comment, while of course it has its unavoidable
disadvantages, has more than one recommendation. There is
nothing to jar the tone, nothing to break the tenor. The letter
is treated as a thing of sacramental power. Day by day, things
are heard and heard again, till year after year their meaning
dawns, and grows to a vastness of development and a fulness of
maturity, which forced attempts at explanation might only have
warped and stunted." — From the " British Critic," No. 65, Jan.
1843 : a periodical not at that time disposed to look too favour-
ably on English ritual practices.



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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 33 of 33)