Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Order in the Ministry, was universally recognised in every portion of the Church, and even in the heretical Sects seceding from it. It is, lastly, clear that even in the New Testament, the germ of the Episcopate can be traced in the presidency of St. James over the Church at Jerusalem, in the delegated authority of Timothy, Titus, and perhaps Epaphras (see Col. i. 7 & iv. 12, 13), and not impro. bably in the recognition of "the Angels” of the Seven Churches of Asia in the Apocalypse. The one question therefore is, How did the development of the Episcopate take place? To this there are but three answers. By usurpation, of which there is no his. torical trace whatever; by natural development, which is, no doubt, true, but insufficient, as may be seen by consideration of the development of Archbishoprics and Patriarchates, which never con. stituted a distinct Order; by natural development, with Apostolical authority on the approaching withdrawal of the Apostolate, which is evidently the answer implied in the Preface, and which has on its side, not only universal ancient tradition, but also a large preponderance of probability.

THE MINOR ORDERS.--It is universally acknowledged that the Minor Orders of the Ministry, which gradually grew up--viz., Subdeacon, Acolyte, Exorcist, Singer, Reader, Doorkeeper-stand on a wholly different footing from the three greater Orders, as not carry. ing with them distinct Ministerial mission and authority. It is wholly in the power of any Branch of the Church to constitute, abolish, or revive them. They form a kind of link between clergy and laity, and are not incompatible with some secular employments.

THE RULE OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION.—The clause, “or hath had formerly Episcopal Ordination," was added in 1662. Before that time it appears certain that, while the rule of the Church was clearly enunciated in the Preface and carried out in general practice, yet that men having only Presbyterian Ordination were in exceptional cases (especially of those ordained abroad) allowed to minister in the Church, in consideration, no doubt, of the disturbed and disorganized condition of Christendom. In 1662, however, the conditions had changed. Presbyterian Ordination had been asserted, not as an exception, but as the only rule, and the Presbyterian system, in general,' had been raised on the ruins of the Episcopal. The old rule was, therefore, re-enacted with greater strictness, and all exceptions to it for the future disallowed.

THE AGE FOR ORDINATION.- Various limitations of age for Ordination are found in different ages and different branches of the Church. In the Church of England till 1662 the minimum age for the Diaconate was fixed in this place at 21, the ages for the Priesthood and the Episcopate being, as now, 24 and 30. This would give, in the regular condition of things, a Diaconate of at least three years before Priest's orders, and a Presbyterate of at least six years before Consecration to the Episcopate. In the Canons of 1604, however, the alteration of the age for the Diaconate to 23 is already found (Can. xxxiv.). An exception is allowed by“Faculty," that is, dispensation, apparently from the Archbishop; but an Act of Parliament in 1804 (44 Geo. iii. c. 43), enforcing the rule without naming any exception, might make the legal value of such a dispensation doubtful. The old rule had at least this advantage, that it recognised a longer duration, and so a more substantial reality, in the Diaconate.

THE QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES.- The right to judge of per. sonal qualifications seems to rest properly in the discretion of the Bishop. The only requirements here laid down are simply * virtuous conversation and without crime," and sufficient educa. tion--the “learning in the Latin tongne representing general education, and the acquaintance with Holy Scripture the special

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THE PREFACE. IT the

ancient Authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church; Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Which Offices were evermore had in such reverend Estimation, that no man might presume to execute any of them, except he were first called, tried, excamined, and known to have such qualities as are requisite for the same; and also by publick Prayer, with Imposition of Hands, were approved and admitted thereunto by lawful Authority. And therefore, to the intent that these Orders may be continued, and reverently used and esteemed, in the Church of England; no man shall be accounted or taken to be a lawful Bishop, Priest, or Deacon in the Church of England, or suffered to execute any of the said Functions, except he be called, tried, examined, and admitted thereunto, according to the Form hereafter following, or hath had formerly Episcopal Consecration, or Ordination,

And none shall be admitted a Deacon, except he be Twenty-three years of age, unless he have a Faculty. And every man which is to be admitted a Priest shall be full Four-and-twenty years old. And every man which is to be ordained or consecrated Bishop shall be fully Thirty years of age.

And the Bishop, knowing either by himself, or by sufficient testimony, any Person to be a man of virtuous conversation, and without crime; and, after examination and trial, finding him learned in the Latin Tongue, and sufficiently instructed in holy Scripture, may at the times appointed in the Canon, or else, on urgent occasion, upon some other Sunday or Holy-day, in the face of the Church, admit him a Deacon, in such manner and form as hereafter followeth.

education of religious knowledge. The method by which the existence of these requirements shall be ascertained is left to the Bishop, who is also evidently the judge of general fitness. (On this see 1 Tim. iii. 1–13.) In Canon xxxiv. of 1604 it is, however, laid down, that (a) a Candidate “shall have taken some degree in the Universities, or shall be able to yield an account of his faith in Latin, according to the Articles....and to confirm the same out of Holy Scripture;" and shall also present College Testimonials to character, or testimonials from “three or four grave Ministers...wbo have known his life and behaviour at least three years before." (6) Besides

these personal qualifications, it is ordered, by Canon and Act of Parliament, that he shall take the “Oath of the Queen's Sovereignty,” and subscribe the xxxix. Articles. The present form of Clerical Subscription is provided by an Act of 1865, amending the provisions of the Acts of Uniformity : "I assent to the Thirtynine Articles, and to the Book of Common Prayer, and of the ordering of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. I believe the doctrine of the Church of England as therein set forth to be agreeable to the Word of God, and in Public Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, I will use the Form in the said Book prescribed and none other, except so far as shall be ordered by lawful authority.” (c) It is also the rule of the Church that each shall have“ a title," that is, a call to a definite sphere of work, with some suitable maintenance. No distinction as to educational and personal qualifications is made between the Deacon and the Priest, although the nature of the two offices would seem to suggest such a distinction.

THE TIMES APPOINTED BY THE CANON are, of course, the Ember Seasons." (On these, see above, Table of Fasts, &c.) These Seasons, as seasons of periodical fasting, were gradually found appropriate and convenient for “the laying on of hands with prayer and fast

Probably about the 5th century the appointment of these for Ordination became a rule in the Western Church, and this rule was accepted in the Church of England as early as the sth century.

[ocr errors]

ing."

[blocks in formation]

The comparison of this Service with that for the Ordination of Priests will shew clearly the marked difference which exists between the two offices, and which is indicated in their titles. The name "Deacon" (corresponding in Greek to the Latin word Minister) is simply Servant of Christ and of the brethren for His sake. Used of all orders (1 Cor. iii. 5; ? Cor. vi. 4, &c.), it is especially applicable to the lowest and humblest. The name “ Presbyter (or “Elder") is a name of dignity--properly the dignity of age-and so of authority. Applied by the Apostles even to themselves (1 Pet. v. 1), it however naturally attaches itself to the central Order--the very backbone of the Ministry--through which Pastoral authority is most widely exercised. This difference of character will be traced again and again in the Services.

(A) THE INTRODUCTORY PART OF THE SERVICE. The SERMON is to be addressed primarily ad clerum, to those about to be ordained and

to the clergy, to enforce their duty and responsibility; but secondarily ad populum, to enforce the dignity and value of the Ministerial Office. From this, as from all else, it is clear that Ordinations as a rule ought to be public.

OF

MAKING OF DEACONS.

When the day appointed by the Bishop is come, after Morning Prayer is ended, there shall be a Sermon or Exhortation, declaring the Duty and Office of such as come to be admitted Deacons ; how necessary that Order is in the

Church of Christ, and also, how the people ought to esteem them in their Office, T First the Archdeacon, or his Deputy, the Father and the Son : have mercy upon

shall present unto the Bishop (sitting us miserable sinners. in his chair near to the holy Table) O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, such as desire to be ordained Deacons, three Persons and one God : have mercy (each of them being decently habited.)

upon us miserable sinners. saying these words,

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, , :

three Persons and one God: have mercy sent unto you these persons present, upon us miserable sinners. to be admitted Deacons.

Remember not, Lord, our offences, The Bishop.

nor the offences of our forefathers ; nei

ther take thou vengeance of our sins : TAK TAKE heed that the persons, whom spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, ye present unto us, be apt and meet,

whom thou hast redeemed with thy for their learning and godly conversa

most precious blood, and be not angry tion, to exercise their Ministry duly, to with us for ever. the honour of God, and the edifying of

Spare us, good Lord. his Church.

From all evil and mischief; from sin, The Archdeacon shall answer,

from the crafts and assaults of the de

vil ; from thy wrath, and from everI HAVE enquired of them, and also examined them, and think them so

lasting damnation,

Good Lord, deliver us. to be.

From all blindness of heart; from Then the Bishop shall say unto the pride, vain-glory, and hypocrisy ; from people:

envy, hatred, and malice, and all un

charitableness, who knoweth any Impediment, or

Good Lord, deliver us. notable Crime, in any of these persons From fornication, and all other deadpresented to be ordered Deacons, for ly sin ; and from all the deceits of the the which he ought not to be admitted world, the flesh, and the devil, to that Office, let him come forth in the

Good Lord, deliver us. Name of God, and shew what the Crime From lightning and tempest; from or Impediment is.

plague, pestilence, and famine; from

battle and murder, and from sudden 1 And v any great Crime or Impediment be objected, the Bishop shall

death, surcease from Ordering that person,

Good Lord, deliver us. until such time as the party accused

From all sedition, privy conspiracy, shall be found clear of that Crime,

and rebellion ; from all false doctrine,

heresy, and schism ; from hardness of Then the Bishop (commending such as shall be found meet to be ordered

heart, and contempt of thy Word and

Commandment, to the Prayers of the congregation) shall, with the Clergy and people pre

Good Lord, deliver us. sent, sing or say the Litany, with the

By the mystery of thy holy IncarnaPrayers as followeth.

tion ; by thy holy Nativity and Circum

cision ; by thy Baptism, Fasting, and The Litany and Suffrages. Temptation, GOD the Father, of heaven : have

Good Lord, deliver us. mercy upon us miserable sinners.

By thine Agony and bloody Sweat; O God the Father, of heaven : have by thy Cross and Passion ; by thy premercy upon us miserable sinners.

cious Death and Burial ; by thy glorious O God the Son, Redeemer of the Resurrection and Ascension; and by world : have mercy upon us miserable the coming of the Holy Ghost, sinners.

Good Lord, deliver us. O God the Son, Redeemer of the world : In all time of our tribulation ; in all have mercy upon us miserable sinners. time of our wealth ; in the hour of

O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding death, and in the day of judgment, from the Father and the Son : have

Good Lord, deliver us. mercy upon us miserable sinners.

We sinners do beseech thee to hear O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from us, O Lord God; and that it may please THE PRESENTATION OF THE seems to suggest that the habit CANDIDATES by the Archdeacon, should be that of ordinary subseor his deputy, represents the quent ministration. ancient practice of the positive The notice to the people in the Testimony of the Clergy," Service follows up the previous whose head the Archdeacon is; reading in the congregation of as the notice to the people fol. the si quis, or invitation of oblowing, the negative “testimony jection in case of necessity, on (by absence of objection) of the a previous Sunday. Laity.” In the old Service the

THE USE OF THE LITANY, form was, “Reverend Father, though not universal, is found the holy Church demands that

in most of the ancient Western these men,” &c.; and this form

Services. It is natural, as the has an evident reference to the

Litany is the form of most ancient choice by clergy and

fervent and detailed

prayer, people of those to be ordained

claiming emphatically the Into any charge.

tercession of Our Lord Jesus The provision that “each shall Christ by being addressed mainly be decently habited”

was in

to Him; and is made specially serted in 1662. In 1549 it was appropriate by the inserted Sufexpressly provided that

frage. It may be noted that it is should have on him a plain not terminated by the Prayer of Alb," and that the Deacon who St. Chrysostom and “the Grace read the Gospel should “put on of Our Lord,” but made distinctthe tanicle." This was struck ly an introduction to the Comout in 1552. The present pro- munion Service, of which the vision, though it does not order, Ordination is a part.

“each

(B) THE COMMUNION SERVICE AND ORDINATION.

The COLLECT (a) in its pre- though not expressly called amble distinctly asserts the

Deacons, are undoubtedly the Ministry (see 1 Cor. xii. 28; first representatives of the Eph. iv. 11) as an Ordinance of Diaconate. God, not of man, and claims for the Diaconate the authority of

At this point of the Service Apostolical Institution. (6) Its

(up to 1865) the Oath of the prayer is for the two-fold qualifi. Queen's Sovereignty was admi. cation of knowledge of truth and

nistered. It has passed through

several forms since 1552. It then innocence of life, and the twofold result of faithful Ministry,

contained a special repudiation the setting forth God's glory and

of the claims of the “ Bishop of through it the edification of His Rome,” and accepted the SoreChurch.

reign as “the Supreme Head on

earth of the Church of Eng. The EPISTLE may be either land." In 1662 this was changed (a) St. Paul's exposition of the to a repudiation of the authority qualifications of Deacons and of of any “foreign Prince, Person, their families, and of the posi- Prelate, State, or Potentate," tion of the Order, as a kind of and an acceptance of the Sovegradation for the Priesthood; or reign as "Supreme Governor of (6) the historic record of the this Realm in all Spiritual or appointment of the Seven, who, Ecclesiastical things or causes,

« AnteriorContinuar »