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unto the end of the world." A promise this which cannot be supposed to have respect to the persons of the Apostles alone, who in the common course of nature were soon to be taken from the world, to the end of which the promise itself was to extend. . . . . In conformity with this meaning, the Apostles, who were themselves holy men and full of the Holy Ghost, did send other persons; to whom again, they gave power and authority to send others, through whom the office of ministers of the Gospel has been handed down in regular and uninterrupted succession from the Apostles to the present time.


No. 75.

(Ad Clerum.)


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THERE is so much of excellence and beauty in the services of the Breviary, that were it skilfully set before the Protestant by Roman controversialists as the book of devotions received in their communion, it would undoubtedly raise a prejudice in their favour, if he were ignorant of the circumstances of the case, and but ordinarily candid and unprejudiced. To meet this danger is one principal object of the following pages; in which, whatever is good and true in those Devotions will be claimed, and on reasonable grounds, for the Church Catholic in opposition to the Roman Church, whose only real claim above other Churches is that of having, on the one hand, preserved the Service with less of mutilation or abridgment, and, on the other, having adopted into it certain additions and novelties, ascertainable to be such in history, as well as being corruptions doctrinally. In a word, it will be attempted to wrest a weapon out of our adversaries' hands; who have in this, as in many other instances, appropriated to themselves a treasure which was ours as much as theirs ; and then, on our attempting to recover it, accuse us of borrowing what we have but lost through inadvertence. The publication then of the selections, which it is proposed presently to give from these Services, is, as it were, an act of re-appropriation. Were however the Breviary ever so much the property of the Romanists, by retaining it in its ancient Latin form, they have defrauded the Church of that benefit which, in the vernacular tongue, it might have afforded to the people at large.

Another reason for the selections which are to follow, lies in the circumstance, that our own daily Service is confessedly formed

upon the Breviary; so that an inspection of the latter will be found materially to illustrate and explain our own Prayer-Book.

It may suggest, moreover, character and matter for our private devotions, over and above what our Reformers have thought fit to adopt into our public Services; a use of it which will be but carrying out and completing what they have begun.

And there is a further benefit which, it is hoped, will result from an acquaintance with the Breviary Services, viz. that the adaptation and arrangement of the Psalms therein made, will impress many persons with a truer sense of the excellence and profitableness of those inspired compositions than it is the fashion of this age to entertain.

Lastly, if it can be shown, as was above intimated, that the corruptions, whatever they be, are of a late date, another fact will have been ascertained, in addition to those which are ordinarily insisted on, discriminating and separating off the Roman from the primitive Church.

With these views a sketch shall first be given of the history of the Breviary; then the selections from it shall follow.


On the history of the Breviary.*

The word Breviarium first occurs in the work of an author of the eleventh century, and is used to denote a compendium or systematic arrangement of the devotional offices of the Church. Till that time they were contained in several independent volumes, according to the nature of each. Such, for instance, were the Psalteria, Homilaria, Hymnaria, and the like, to be used in the service in due course. But at this memorable era, and under the auspices of the Pontiff who makes it memorable, Gregory VII., an Order was drawn up, for the use of the Roman Church, containing in one all these different collections, introducing the separate members of each in its proper place, and harmonizing them together by the use of rubrics. Indeed, some have been led to conclude that in its first origin the word Breviary was appropriated to a mere collection of rubrics, not to the offices connected by them. But even taking it in its present sense, it will be obvious to any one who inspects the Breviary how well it answers to its name. Yet even thus digested, it occupies four thick volumes of duodecimo size.

Gregory VII. did but restore and harmonize these offices; which seem to have existed more or less the same in their constituent parts, though not in order and system, from Apostolic times. In their present shape they are appointed for seven distinct seasons

The authorities used in this account are Gavanti's Thesaurus Rituum, cum no. tis Merari; Zaccaria's Bibliotheca Ritualis; and Mr. Palmer's Origines Liturgicæ.

in the twenty-four hours, and consist of prayers, praises, and thanksgivings of various forms; and, as regards both contents and hours, are the continuation of a system of worship observed by the Apostles and their converts. As to contents, the Breviary Services consist of the Psalms; of Hymns, and Canticles; of Lessons and Texts from inspired and ecclesiastical authors; of Antiphons, Verses and Responses, and Sentences; and of Collects. And analogous to this seems to have been the usage of the Corinthian Christians, whom St. Paul blames for refusing to agree in some common order of worship; when they came together, every one of them having a Psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation, an interpretation. On the other hand, the Catholic seasons of devotions are certainly derived from Apostolic usage. The Jewish observance of the third, sixth, and ninth hours for prayer, was continued by the inspired founders of the Christian Church. What Daniel had practised even when the decree was signed forbidding it, "kneeling on his knees three times a day, and praying, and giving thanks unto his GoD," St. Peter and the other Apostles were solicitous in preserving. It was when "they were all with one accord in one place," at "the third hour of the day," that the HOLY GHOST came down upon them at Pentecost. It was at the sixth hour that St. Peter" went up upon the house-top to pray," and saw the vision revealing to him the admission of the Gentiles into the Church. And it was at the ninth hour that "Peter and John went up together into the temple," being "the hour of prayer." But though these were the more remarkable seasons of devotions, there certainly were others besides them, in that first age of the Church. After our SAVIOUR's departure, the Apostles, we are informed, "all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren :" and with this accords the repeated exhortation to pray together without ceasing, which occurs in St. Paul's Epistles. It will be observed that he insists in one passage on prayer to the abridgment of sleep;† and one recorded passage of his life exemplifies his precept: "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God, and the prisoners heard them." Surely it is more natural to suppose that this act of worship came in course, according to their wont, and was only not omitted because of their imprisonment, somewhat after Daniel's pattern, than that they should have gone aside to bear this sort of indirect testimony to the Gospel.

Such was the Apostolic worship as far as Scripture happens to have preserved it; that it was as systematic, and as apportioned to particular times of the day, as in the aftertimes of peace and prosperity, is not to be supposed; yet it seems to have been, under

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178 The Seven Hours of Prayer enumerated and explained.

ordinary circumstances, as ample and extended as then. If St. Paul thought a prison and a prison's inmates no impediment to vocal prayer, we may believe it was no common difficulty which ever kept him from it.

In subsequent times the Hours of prayer were gradually developed from the three, or (with midnight) the four seasons, above enumerated, to seven, viz. by the addition of Prime (the first hour,) Vespers (the evening,) and Compline (bed-time ;) according to the words of the Psalm, "Seven times a day do I praise Thee, because of Thy righteous judgments." Other pious and instructive reasons existed, or have since been perceived, for this number. It was a memorial of the seven days of creation; it was an honour done to the seven petitions given us by our LORD in His prayer; it was a mode of pleading for the influence of that Spirit who is revealed to us as sevenfold; on the other hand, it was a preservative against those seven evil spirits which are apt to return to the exorcised soul more wicked than he who has been driven out of it; and it was a fit remedy of those seven successive falls, which the Scripture says happen to "the just man" daily.

And, as the particular number of their Services admitted of various pious meanings, so did each in its turn suggest separate events in our Saviour's history. He was born, and He rose again at midnight. At Prime, (or 7 A. M. according to our reckoning,) He was brought before Pilate. At the third, (or 9 A. M.) He was devoted to crucifixion by the Jews, and scourged. At the sixth, (or noon,) He was crucified. At the ninth, (or 3 P. M.) He expired. At Vespers He was taken down from the cross; at which hour He had the day before eat the Passover, washed His Apostles' feet, and consecrated the Eucharist. At Completorium, or Compline, He endured the agony in the garden.

These separate Hours, however, require a more distinct notice. The night Service was intended for the end of the night, when it was still dark, but drawing towards day; and, considering that the hour for rest was placed soon after sunset, it did not infringe upon the time necessary for repose. Supposing the time of sleep to extend from 8 or 9 P. M. to 3 or 4 in the morning, the worshipper might then rise without inconvenience to perform the service which was called variously by the name of Nocturns, or Matins, as we still indifferently describe the hours in which it took place, as night or morning. It consists, when full, of three parts, or Nocturns, each made up of Psalms and Lessons; and it ended in a Service, supposed to be used shortly before sunrise, and called Lauds, or Praises. This termination of the Nocturn Service is sometimes considered distinct from it, so as to make eight instead of seven Hours in the day; as if in accordance

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