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ART. VII.-A Manual of Worship suitable to be used in Legislative and other Public Bodies, in the Army and Navy, and in Military and Naval Academies, Asylums, Hospitals, etc., compiled from the forms and in accordance with the common usages of all Christian denominations, and jointly recommended by eminent Clergymen of various persuasions. pp. 132. GEORGE W. CHILDS, Philadelphia, 1862.

THE compiler of this little volume is the Rev. Dr. Shields, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, and among others who unite in recommending it, we notice the names of Drs. Hodge and Boardman (of our own church), Durbin (Methodist), Williams (Baptist), Bellows (Unitarian), Bishops Potter and McIlvane, and President Woolsey, of Yale, which are sufficient to evince that the work is regarded as eminently catholic in its character. It has been evidently prepared with great care.

If the question as to the use of a liturgy in our church, and by our ministers in the discharge of their official duties, is to be regarded either as open, or as settled in the affirmative, then we can understand why a work like this might be prepared and brought before the public by one of our clergymen. But we beg leave to say that the question, so far from being a mooted one in our denomination, has been from the first settled in the negative by the church as a church; that is, by a majority so great that the minority has been nowhere. The fact that in the time of the Reformation there was, here and there, in the Protestant Church, a man who supposed a liturgy to be desirable, and who was fearful of intrusting the management of the public service in the church to any and every minister without specific directions, proves just nothing at all in favor of such a form. All, without exception, had been accustomed to the use of a liturgy, and dispensing with it, and returning to the usage of the primitive church, was, in the state of case then existing, a matter of experiment. One of the fathers has observed that error may at times so prevail that truth itself would be an innovation. And so it was then. But the experiment has long ere this been fully made, and has proved satisfactory. And in view

of it our own branch of the Church of Christ has for more than two centuries rejected the liturgy. And it is hardly in place now, and, after three centuries of successful trial evincing the groundlessness of the aforesaid apprehension, to make that very apprehension itself the reason for attempting to return back to the practice which it sought to inaugurate, and which was a plain departure from the usages of the primitive church.

If, after the careful training which our church has ever demanded of her ministry before entering upon their sacred work, there have been found among them those who can not select appropriate portions of the Scriptures for any occasion whenever their services are required; and who can not, either there and then, or in a hospital, deliberative body, or anywhere else, pray without book; they have been heretofore advised by the church to unite with such denominations as use prayer-books. But if, on the contrary, our ministry do not require them; then we may with reason ask, Why should a pastor of one of our churches prepare such a work? Why should others of our ministry unite with Episcopal ministers in recommending its use? We say without hesitation that we view the whole procedure with feelings of decided disapprobation. In our view it seems like an attempt to establish a precedent contrary to the cherished views and settled practice of our church. And this can not be permitted. If persons who feel unable to conduct family worship without a form of prayer; and if others who, in the absence of a clergyman, may be called to officiate in the army or navy, at a burial, for instance, or in a hospital or deliberative body, are disposed to employ a prescribed form of prayer, let them use it; but this manual was prepared mainly to assist clergymen in the performance of their duties. And in this aspect of the case we object to it in toto, so far as the ministry of our church are concerned. It is an attempt to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear.

That this manual was prepared mainly for clergymen to assist them in performing their official duties, is obvious. We have "A form of Divine Service for Public Occasions," which service is, of course, conducted by clergymen. And another, "Form of Daily Prayers in National and State Legislatures;" all

of which bodies are provided with chaplains. We have other "forms" to be used in the army and navy, and for public thanksgiving, humiliation, etc., which were prepared, of course, for those whose appropriate duty it is to officiate on such occasions.

And then, moreover (unless we greatly mistake), in the "Form for Public Worship," the audible responses are provided 7 for the congregation, "Deliver us, O Lord," "We beseech Thee, O Lord God." (See pps. 14-17). We know not whether this were really the design of the compiler, but, from the isolated position in which these expressions are formed (not wholly unlike that of the somewhat similar expressions in the English church service), such seems to have been the intention in regard to them. And if this be so, it certainly is a most unwarrantable attempt to innovate upon the recognized and established usages of our church.

Then as to the subject-matter of some of the prayers, we have decided objections to it. In praying for those in authority, there is undoubtedly no impropriety in designating them as servants of God. They possess and exercise in professed subordination to Him, authority which he has delegated to such. Hence Nebuchadnezzar, and even Nero, are thus designated in the Scriptures. But this, assuredly can not be regarded as a precedent to justify the application of this term to all men indiscriminately. And so, too, in regard to the terms "children of God," "brethren," etc. There may be a sense in which all men are children of God, as he is the Father of all; but in practical theology, the term has a distinct meaning, as when John says, in reference to Christians, "Now are we the sons of God;" and Paul, "The Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ." Can it be proper, then, in the solemn exercise of prayer, to ignore these distinctions, as is done in this manual? For example, in the prayer for the wounded, p. 68, they are called, "thy suffering children." And in the prayer for those under sentence of death for their crimes, p. 68, they (be they impenitent murderers, guerrillas, traitors, and the like) are named "thy servants who for their transgressions are appointed to die;" and these prayers are to be offered in the

presence of the individuals referred to. In like manner, also, in the burial service, pp. 102, 103, we have the following: "Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God, in his wise providence, to take out of this world the soul of our deceased brother, we, therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, "etc. How would such language appear at the burial of the aforesaid impenitent criminals? See, also, the prayer after burial at sea, p. 106.

In like manner "at the funeral of a public personage," p. 96, we have the following Scripture, "Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?" These words as applied to Abner, were literally true, but in what sense is a public personage who is neither an Israelite nor a Christian professor to be regarded as a prince and a great man in Israel? The same remark applies to the language used "at the funeral of a military personage, p. 97, "The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places"-language literally applicable to Saul and Jonathan. But in what sense can it now be deemed applicable to an ungodly or infidel commander? In the prayer for the bereaved friends, p. 99, they, also, are called "thy bereaved servants," though they may be ungodly, or infidels, or even atheists. We protest against such an utter misapplication of the words of eternal life.

It is indeed suggested by the compiler that any expressions which do not commend themselves may be easily omitted. But the question here is not about omitting them. It is as to the propriety of their being thus presented and recommended to be used. But our limits forbid us to go more fully into the matter now, and we hope there may be no occasion for resuming the discussion of the subject hereafter.



No. III.


ART. I.-The Union and the Constitution.

In what sense and to what extent the people of the United States are one, has heretofore been the subject merely of speculation among political theorists, and of the declamations of party leaders. But amid the throes of a convulsion which has shaken our Union to its center, and threatens to rend it asunder, and prostrate in ruin the temple of liberty which our fathers founded, in the presence of a gigantic conspiracy, avowedly resting on and sanctioned by the assumption that we are not one people, but many, leagued together in a confederacy of independent sovereignties-the question becomes one of the profoundest practical importance. "Let it never be forgotten," says a recent political writer of eminence,* "that we are one people and one nation only so far as the Constitution makes us one. Outside of that bond we are thirty-four people and thirty-four nations, none of which have any more right to interfere with the local laws and institutions of the rest than with the local laws and institutions of China and Brazil. The people of the States have a right, under the Constitution to defend their local laws and institutions by arms, if necessary, and it is the duty of the United States to uphold and aid them in the attempt. A war confined to such an object would not be rebellion, even though the United States were the aggressor."

• Amos Kendall, in the National Intelligencer, February 21, 1862. (345)


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