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offices of worship. This opinion there is no reason to question, and while we believe that he did add parts of his own construction, still his liturgical labors consisted in the main in amplifying, rearranging, beautifying, and establishing in written composition, the multifarious and fragmentary liturgies which an older tradition had stranded as it were on the shores of his times.

It is easy to believe that such ancient oral rituals may have continued to be used for some centuries in the unwritten form; and what our knowledge of the habits and methods of the times makes credible in itself, becomes more probable when we consider the circumstanes in which the primitive forms of worship were used. Farther on in our discussion we shall show that the liturgy is in origin merely the verbal form in which the eucharist was celebrated. Assuming this for the present, and connecting with it the other fact that the primitive church received the Communion in mysterious secrecy, a reason appears at once why the ritual should be oral and unwritten. The awe in which the Holy Supper was celebrated, the superstitious veneration in which everything connected with it was held, and the religious silence of the communicants with respect to what was done on those occasions, would combine to preclude even the thought of collecting the sacred words into written forms and continue them longer than they would otherwise have remained in the reverent but unveracious guardianship of tradition. It is well known that a religious sentiment of the same nature among the Jews invested the name Jehovah with such sanctity that they scrupled to pronounce it. In much the same spirit the primitive church made the words of the eucharist a kind of nomen ineffabile, as far as the public was concerned. Until the times changed, and the church came to hold a new relation to the state, and until the observance of the ancient secrecy had passed away with the causes that required it, a written liturgy could not have been in the thoughts of men. It is not strange, then, that there was none till the fourth century.

While, therefore, we must mark upon the most ancient of these codices the date of the fourth, or, at the earliest, of

the closing years of the third century, we are not unwilling to see in them the remains of a far earlier Christian antiquity, or even to admit that they repeat in some parts the words or customs of the Apostles. The Oriental character of the ancient Gallican office is a circumstance which carries up the use of oral liturgies to a high antiquity. For it must be remembered that this Church was formed near the beginning of the third century, or in the end of the second, by missionaries from Ephesus; and we do not know that there is any good reason to doubt that they brought with them the customs of their native church, and training their converts to worship in those forms, laid the foundation of what afterwards became the Gallican ritual. The existence of such Oriental fragments, interwoven with the indigenous liturgies of Gaul, points back to an earlier liturgy in the native country of the colonists of Lyons, and indicates the use of similar forms in the Ephesian exarchate as early as the latter part of the second century.

The question arises, How came these liturgies into the Church, at all?-and though it leads into an obscure age, there are fortunately some lights by which the investigator may be guided with tolerable certainty.

It used to be assumed that the models of the primitive Church service must be sought in the synagogue or the temple; and though this is true in part, it is not in the main. The Jewish synagogue, or, in our phrase, (which, by the way, happens to be an accurate rendering of the word), the Jewish meeting-houses, were, it is true, the places at which Christian assemblies were first held, and the Christian community was first organized after their model. But this does not account for the Church service. Nor does the attempt to deduce it from the Levitical rites at Jerusalem. For it is against the testimony of history that such Judaizing tendencies affected the Church worship earlier than the third century. Up to that time the forms of worship were exceedingly simple, and, as described by Justin Martyr, consisted of the reading of the Scriptures, both in the law, the prophets, the gospel, and epistles; a sermon; a Litany, in which all

joined, (and we will remark, in passing, that this congregational concert makes it almost certain that it was a known form of worship); then the Eucharist, in which the president offered prayer, and the congregation answered Amen. The distribution of the elements followed, and the service closed with the invariable almsgiving. This is absolutely untinctured with the Levitical rites, and we therefore deny that they gave the model from which the Christian service sprang. At a later period, such an idea caught the attention of the ecclesiarchs, and in the fourth and fifth centuries the disposition became general to conform the Church to the ancient priesthood, and the models of the Temple. In these ages abundant traces of a Judaizing tendency can be found. But it was by an anachronism, combined with a polemical interest, which that party in the dispute had, that they sought the origin of the Christian service in the rites of the Holy Temple at Jerusalem.

But if these do not furnish a clue to the origin of those Christian rites, what does?

We answer, they sprang up around the celebration of the eucharist. It was natural that it should be so. That one rite was the center of what was most holy, tender, mysterious, and awful in the faith of the primitive Church. In the mystical bread they discerned the Lord's body, in the wine they communicated with his death. Baptism was an open rite, and the synagogue had no services which profane feet might not approach. But in the eucharist, imitating the example of him who ordained it in the privacy of an upper chamber, they concealed themselves from the world and celebrated this most affecting rite in scenes of awe and mystery. That these services were conducted from the first in a prescribed order, would be no more than one might expect. Indeed, the divine words of institution are themselves a liturgical beginning. A certain amount of formalism comports with the celebration of such solemnities, and that the primitive Church was under the influence of such ideas, even more than we are, is indisputable.

The appearance of the Liturgies themselves confirms this

view-for every one of them is a service for the administration of the communion, and originally they were nothing more than this. In the earliest Christian age nothing more was needed; for all who assembled at the place of worship were in full membership, and entitled to participate. But with the progress of the Church, there arose a class who were regarded as destined for membership, and on the way to it, who were not yet admitted to the celebration of the sacred mysteries. The existence of this class made it necessary to provide for them in the service, and accordingly, soon after the want was discovered, an arrangement to meet it appeared in the introductory service of the catechumens, with which all the primitive liturgies begin. At the conclusion of this office the catechumens were dismissed. Examination was made to see that no improper persons remained present-deacons were set to guard the doors, and the more ancient rites of the eucharist proceeded.

Such a method of procedure arose in the unfriendliness of the times, and passed away with the pressure in which it originated. When Christianity triumphed, the catechumens became an immense multitude, and the necessity of instructing them at the church required changes in that part of the service, which were made. The Mass of the catechumens, became more important; the sermon transferred from the secret communion office was located here, the brief reading of Scripture swelled out into that of the law, prophets, gospel, and epistle, while at last both the commandments, the creed, and the Lord's Prayer, were delivered to the mixed congregation. And thus a Church service, originating in the celebration of the eucharist, grew up around that rite, and grew at length into the elaborate liturgies of the fifth and sixth centuries.

We have now led our subject out of a period of darkness into one in which a victorious Church was preparing for apostasy. What is best and noblest in the ancient Christian liturgies was already composed, and though a purely historical interest can sustain itself in the times which follow,

a religious mind finds little pleasure in the open and public path of the Christian rituals. The student now enters a darkness more painful than that in which he explored the beginnings of the Church, and sees around him the venerable liturgical monuments of ancient piety made to wear the heartless finery of an ecclesiastical age, or standing in that night, silent and waiting, till the dawn of reformation glowing upon their summits should again make them vocal with prayer and praise.

This period we shall not enter. But it will not be lost time to pause at its commencement and observe the worship of the churches. The Congregationalist observer, surveying this field, with his views about liturgies, might, for his first impression, be surprised at the unquestionable vigor with which the ritualistic worship was conducted. For his second, he would find relief in noticing the absence of uniformity, the free spirit that broke forth here and there in irregular and unrebuked praise, and the private peculiarities which distinguished each diocese. Some of the local churches had meetings whose services did not fall under the ritual; others worshiped God in a song or a prayer, or in some unusual rite learned from martyred saints or holy men who once ministered to them. Even through districts which accepted the general form and substance of one of the great liturgies, as has been described, their offices were celebrated after the manner of their country. Thus, for instance, the great Oriental service, which has been mentioned, was exceedingly prolific of others, which, though agreeing with it in the main, had changed some things, or added others, and become established in the use of a few dioceses. We have counted forty-five such as belonging to this one family, and there may have been more. This diversity was the natural fruit of the original independence of the Bishops among themselves. The Bishop ruled his own parish, and prescribed its liturgy, and the forms that rose in this way must have been numerous. after this Episcopal liberty had been restricted by the prevalence of the more illustrious systems, such, for one, as that of Basil, the vigorous liturgical spirit broke out anew in the

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