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XIII gathered about him at first four or five trusted friends from Perugia there was no end of talk. What would happen if a foreign pope should bring to Rome a foreign court? It is claimed also that an Italian will be elected to avoid the jealousies that might arise between other nationalities. Though Italian by birth he must be anti-Italian in sentiment, for all are now agreed not to favor a reconciliation with the Italian government, since they fear that if this should come to pass the Church would lose her prestige in the political world. The qnestion of temporal power must be agitated even if it involves the whole world in continual war. The last word from the
the pope is that there can be no reconciliation except the restitution of Rome.
The weakness of Italy to-day, like that of other nations, is the lack of a definite and resolute attitude against the pretensions of the papacy. The Italian government has been zealous in trying to counteract the work of the socialists and of the extreme radicals, while it has left in peace the real subverters of the nation who are preparing a revolution in secret, making use of the cross for their diabolical propaganda, which threatens the nation's existence. The pope is a pretender to a lost throne, and as such ought not to be allowed to remain in the country any more than his contemporaries, the Bourbons. This weakness may some day cost King Humbert his crown and the House of Savoy the throne of Italy, but the pope will never again be reinstated as a temporal ruler. The radical victories in the last elections in the north, especially at Milan and Turin, are very significant. It is the new star of hope. The people have broken with the clericals and are rising into power. Their present exaggerated ideas will moderate with time. We can trust them to settle the question. They know the pope too well to ever make him again their king. They know with Prince Metternich that “a liberal pope is an impossibility.”
ART. VI.-THE ORDER OF PUBLIC WORSHIP.
The duty of public worship carries with it the propriety of having a generally understood or formally fixed order of service. Following this natural principle all Churches have some order for public worship. Sometimes these orders are extremely simple, while in other instances they are exceedingly elaborate. Even the Society of Friends has at least the outline of an order, with a time for beginning the worship, an understanding as to what is to be or may be done, and a time for ending, when the heads of the meeting shake hands and thus give the signal for the worship to cease and the Friends to disperse. Probably there has never been a period in the history of the Christian Church, even in the very early days, when there have not been recognized orders for the public service fixed by usage, by legal enactment of the Church itself, or by the command or example of individuals in authority.
All of these are interesting as studies of ecclesiastical conditions, though to the Protestant mind many of them are absolutely absurd and unscriptural, when in different periods they reflect the error or corruption which had entered various sections of the Church. Protestantism denies that the ancient liturgies or that any humanly produced liturgy is binding at all times and everywhere, but holds that “rites and ceremonies,” as our Article of Religion declares,“ may be changed according to the diversities of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's word.” After the Reformation the Protestant bodies made a liberal use of this liberty. As in the case of others, the Protestant Reformed Church of England revised and added to the forms of service and, after various revisions and fluctuations covering more than a century, produced the Book of Common Prayer with which the early Methodists were generally familiar; for, while Wesley had a brief form of service for the field meetings, he assumed that the members of his societies generally attended the full services of the national Church.
Wesley, however, was not satisfied with the Book of Common Prayer in every particular, and so in course of time revised it and in 1784 published the revision for the use of his followers in the United States. This revised service book he called The Sunday Service of the Methodists in North America. With other Occasional Services. It provided a Morning Prayer and an Evening Prayer for the Sabbath day and a Litany to be used on Wednesdays and Fridays, while the other services inciuded Ordination Services, Baptismal and Communion Services, and all other forms of service which Wesley deemed necessary for a complete Church. The radical changes he made in the Book of Common Prayer showed what kind of a reform he intended in doctrine and polity, and what kind of a Church he intended American Methodism to be. This Sunday Service was adopted by the Methodist Episcopal Church in the organizing Conference of December, 1784, and the Book of Discipline issued in 1785 speaks of “ our liturgy," as do later Disciplines. The service began to be used at once, and the use continued for some years, but gradually the service book fell into disuse. There were various causes which practically retired the Sunday Service. There were in the Church some who disliked formal services. Probably others, retaining the antagonistic spirit of the Revolution, disliked anything that had an English tinge. In addition, other facts had their influence. One practical difficulty was the encroachment of other services. Thus, the love feast might extend into the time for the regular preaching service and so lead to the omission of the Morning Prayer from time to time. But one of the most potent causes must have been the difficulty of securing books enough and bringing them into general use in widely scattered communities, for it is to be remembered that the books were printed beyond the sea while many of the churches were back in the wilderness. Then the frequent changing of ministers, with their different tastes and training, militated against the regular use of the service book. The mutilation and destruction of books during the course of years may also have had something to do with the result. Whatever may have been the cause, it is plain that by the year 1792 the Sunday Service book had dropped into disuse, or at least was not generally used. It is
also quite clear that there was no well-settled usage throughout the denomination. The result was that the General Conference of 1792, appreciating the desire for uniformity, and for the purpose of bringing about a uniform order of public worship, adopted a new section which appeared in the Book of Discipline, as follows:
SECTION XXIII. Of Public Worship.
Question. What directions shall be given for the establishment of uniformity in public worship amongst us on the Lord's Day?
Answer. 1. Let the morning service consist of singing, prayer, the reading of a chapter out of the Old Testament, and another out of the New, and preaching.
2. Let the afternoon service consist of singing, prayer, the reading of one chapter out of the Bible, and preaching.
3. Let the evening service consist of singing, prayer, and preaching.
4. But on the days of administering the Lord's Supper, the two chapters in the morning service may be omitted.
5. Let the Society be met, wherever it is practicable, on the Sabbath day. This enactment reveals the fact that there was great irregularity in the matter, as well as the order, of public worship. The object of the regulation was to establish uniformity, implying the fact that the Church desired and expected a uniform service. The law, however, indicates the several items which should be embraced in the service, more than it does the exact order, though the general order is suggested by the succession of the items. The service was to have singing, prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, and preaching, and doubtless the intention was that they should come in that general order. But it is probable, and even certain, that there were more hymns sung and more prayers offered than are specified in the law, and it is just as certain that this did not include every item that was generally recognized. For example, there can be no doubt that every service concluded with a benediction, though that is not mentioned in the act. In fact, it was the simple framework of an order; but, simple was,
it was deemed better than the uncertain forms that had prevailed.
It will be noticed that provision is made for three preaching services on the Lord's Day. On the morning when the
communion was celebrated the chapter from the Old Testament and the chapter from the New might be omitted, for when the Lord's Supper was ministered there was to be used a formal communion service in addition to the usual order for the mornings of the Lord's Day. This service was taken from Wesley's Sunday Service, and it and all the other Occasional Services” in that service book were, by the same General Conference, printed in the Discipline of 1792 as a new section, entitled “Sacramental Services, etc.” In later years they were referred to as “The Ritual.”
The order of service prescribed in 1792 stood in substance down to 1888, nearly a whole century. It was modified, however, in some particulars. The old form “amongst us” was changed to "among us," a mere verbal change made about 1824. In 1804 the order for the afternoon was altered so that, instead of “one chapter," it was made to read, “the reading of one or two chapters out of the Bible.” In 1864, in the order for the morning service the word “chapter" was changed to "lesson," so that the lesson might be more or less than a chapter, and the words "out of” were changed to “from," so that it read, “the reading of a lesson from the Old Testament and another from the New." In the same year the directions for the afternoon and evening services were consolidated and modified so as to read, “II. Let the afternoon or evening - service consist of singing, prayer, the reading of one or two Scripture lessons, and preaching ;” and at the same time the fourth answer was changed so that it read, “III. On the days of administering the sacrament of the Lord's Supper the reading of the Scripture lessons may be omitted.” In 1824 a new paragraph was added, as follows: "In administering the ordinances and in the burial of the dead let our form of Discipline invariably be used. Let the Lord's Prayer also be used on all occasions of public worship in concluding the first prayer, and the apostolic benediction in dismissing the congregation.” In 1864 the word "ordinances” was changed to “sacraments;" the word “ Ritual” was substituted for “Discipline;" the injunction as to the use of the Lord's Prayer had added to it," the congregation being exhorted to join in the audible repetition;" to this there was added, "Let a doxology be sung at the conclu