BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman


Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle


The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


An illustration of the liturgy of the Church of England as to its daily service

by Thomas Pruen

Excerpt:

The Chancel in our Christian Churches was always looked upon, as answerable to the Holy of Holies in the Temple, which was separated from the Sanctuary, or body of the Temple, by the command of God himself. (Beveridge's Sermon on the excellency of the Common Prayer.)

(5) Chancels shall remain as they have done in times past.] Unhappy disputes have arisen concerning the situation of the Lord's Table, in the Chancels. The first, in the beginning of the Reformation, was, whether those of the Altar fashion, which had been used in the Popish times, and on which the Masses were celebrated, should be kept up. This point was first started by Bishop Hooper, in a Sermon before K. Edward VI. and after this, Altars were ordered to be " taken down; "and instead of them, a Table to be set up, in some convenient place of the Chancel."—In the first Liturgy it was directed, That the Priest officiating " should stand before the midst of the Altar" In the second, That " the Priest shall stand on the North side of the Table." And thus the first dispute was at an end. But then there followed another controversy, Whether the Table, placed in the room of the Altar, ought to stand Altar-wise? i.e. in the same place and situation as the Altar. In some Churches, the Tables were placed in the middle of the Chancels, in others, at the East part thereof, next to the wall. Bishop Ridley endeavoured to makea compromise in his Church of St. Paul's, suffering the Table to stand in the place of the old Altar; but, beating down the wainscot partition behind, laid all the Choir open to the East, leaving the Table then to stand in the middle of the Chancel. Under this diversity of usage matters continued during this King's reign, but when Queen Elizabeth came to the crown, and a new review of the Liturgy was made, the present clause was added; " And the Chancels shall remain as they have done in times past." Whereby an indulgence is given to those Cathedral or Collegiate Churches, where the Tables stood Altarwise, and fastened to the East part of the Chancel, to retain their ancient practice; but the general rule is otherwise, especially as to Parish Churches; as in the Rubric before the Communion, " The Table having "at the Communion time, a fair white linen cloth upon it, shall stand "in the body of the Church, or in the Chancel, where Morning or "Evening Prayer shall be appointed to be said." So that, by these authorities, where Tables were fixed, they ought to remain as they were, and, at the time of the Communion, they might either stand at the Eqst wall of the Church; or in other place more convenient. But this latitude being granted, several inconveniences arose. Great irreverence was used towards the Holy Table, hats and gloves were thrown upon it, and the Churchwardens and Overseers were frequently writing their accounts thereon, the processioning boys eating their loaves and cakes, and dogs leaping up at the bread, to the great scandal of our Reformation, not only among the Papists, but also among the Protestant Churches abroad. Archbishop Laud, out of zeal to reform these abuses, endeavoured to have the Communion Table set Altar-wise, at the East end of the Chancel, and to be railed in; engaging many of the Bisliops to press this in their visitation articles: and it is one of the Injunctions of Queen Elizabeth, "That the Holy Table in every Church be decently made, and set in "the place where the miliar stood; and there commonly covered, as "thereto belongeth; and so stand, saving when the Communion of the "Sacrament is to be distributed: at which time, the same shall be so "placed in good sort within the Chancel, Sfc" Great contentions were for many years kept up in this controversy; till the civil war came on, and all things, civil and sacred, were overwhelmed with confusion. Since the Restoration, no positive determination therein being made, the dispute has happily died; and the Tables have generally been settled Altar-wise, and railed in; the generality of parishioners esteeming it a decent situation. (Nicholls.)

In Leviticus, xix. SO, and xxvi. 2. in both places, is this sentence: "Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my Sanctuary, I am the "Lord.'" Making the observation of his day, and reverence of the place, to run in one verse, and making them of one nature.—As our working, travelling, &c shew that we esteem not that day; so the walls and windows shew, that we are not esteemers of his Sanctuary. (Bishop Andrews on the Ten Commandments, 356.)

(6) Ornaments of the Church, and of the Ministers thereof^ The magnificence of the first Jewish Temple was acceptable to God; and the too sparing contributions of the people towards the second, was severely reproved; and therefore no one can justly complain, that the ornaments now made use of in our Churches are too many, or expensive. Far from us be all ornaments unbecoming the worship of a Spirit, or the gravity of a Church; but it has an ill aspect when men think that well enough in God's House, which they would not endure in the meanest offices of their own.—It is not enough barely to devote Churches to the public services of religion, unless they are set apart with the solemn rites of a formal dedication. By these solemnities the Founders were accustomed to surrender all the right they had in them, and make God himself the sole owner. And whoever gave any lands or endowments to the service of God, gave it in a formal writing, sealed and witnessed, (as is now usual in common transactions,) the tender of the gift being made upon the Altar, by the Donor on his knees. At the consecration of both the Tabernacle, and the Temple of the Jews, it pleased the Almighty to give a manifest sign that he then took possession of them. Ex. xl. 34. 1 Kings, viii. 10, \\.—(Wheatley, C. P.9\.J

Temples, and other utensils designed by God himself, are holy as related to him by that designation. Temples, utensils, lands, &c. devoted and lawfully separated by man, for holy uses, are holy as justly related to God by that lawful separation. To say, as some do, that they are indeed consecrated and separated, but not holy, is to be ridiculously wise by self contradiction, and the masterly use of the word holy contrary to custom and terms. Ministers are mope holy thantemples, lands, or utensils, as being more nearly related to holy things. And things separated by God himself, are more holy than those justly separated by man. And so of days. (Baxter's Christ. Directory,

Can we judge it a thing seemly for any man to go about the building of an House to the God of Heaven, with no other appearance than if his end were to rear up a kitchen, or a parlour, for his own use? Or when a work of such a nature is finished, remaineth there nothing but presently to use it, and so an end? ■ ■ Albeit the true worship of God be to God in itself acceptable, who respecteth not so much in what place, • as with what affection he is served; and therefore Moses in the midst of the sea, Job on the dunghill, Ezekiah in bed, Jeremy in mire, Jonas in the whale, Daniel in the den, the Children in the furnace, the Thief on the cross, Peter and Paul in prison, calling unto God were heard, as St. Basil noteth, manifest notwithstanding it is, that the very majesty and holiness of the place where God is worshipped hath in regard of us great virtue, force, and efficacy, for that it serveth as a sensible help to stir up devotion. ('2 Hooker's Eccles. Polity, p. 41, 47, 51.)

The leader who desires to possess a perfect knowledge on this head, is referred to Bingham's Origines Ecclesiastics, or Antiquities of the Christian Church, Book viii. of which an Analysis is here given, as of itself conveying no inconsiderable information on the subject. Chap. 1. on the names and origin of Christian Churches: and here Sect. 1, of the Ecclesia and Ecclesiasterion, as contra-distinguished from the Synagogue of the Jews. Sect. 2 and 3, of the Dominicum, or Kuriakon, and other names. Sect. 4, of the Oratories, houses of prayer, or private Chapels. Sect. 5, of the Basilicce, or Churches of the "Great King." Sect. 6, of the Heathen Temples, converted into Churches, &c. Sect. 7 to 11, of various other names, and Sect. 12, of the distinction between the JOcclesia Matrix, or Metropolitan, and the Diocesana, or Diocesan Church. Sect. 13, 14, and 15, of the Churches in the first, second, and third centuries. Sect. 16, 17, Objections answered. Chap. II. Of the difference between the first and later Churches, and of the Temples and Synagogues converted into Churches, and here Sect. 1, of the simple construction of the earliest Churches. Sect. 2, of the causes of their enlargement. Sect. 3, of the munificence of the Christian Emperors towards this; and Sect. 4, of their order for converting the Heathen


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