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devotions, they would be too apt to excuse their absenting Sect. I. from the public worship, from the inconveniency of the time: and therefore she hath only taken care to enjoin that public prayers be read every morning and evening daily +370g throughout the year; that fo all'her members may have op portunity of joining in public worship twice at least every day. But to make the duty as practicable and easy both to the minister and people as possible, she hath left the name
Salth a determination of the particular hours to the ministers that officiate; who, considering every one his own and his people's circumstances, may appoint such hours for morning and evening prayer, as they shall judge to be most proper and convenient.
eller god §. 2. But if it be in places where congregations can be All Priests had, and the Curate of the parish be at home, and not other- and Deawifé reasonably hindered, she expects or enjoins that he say the morns the same in the Parish-Church or Chapel where he ministereth, ing and and cause a bell to be tolled thereunto, a convenient lime be evening ferfore he begin, that the people may come to hear God's word, vice, daily 3 and to pray with him. But if, for want of a congregation, openly at dins or on some other account, he cannot conveniently read church, them in the church; he is then bound to say them in the or privately family where he lives : for by the same rubric, all Priests milies. and Deacons are to say daily the morning and evening prayer, either privately or openly, not being let by fickness, or some other urgent cause 3o. of which cause, if it be frequently pre
w tended, the Scotch Common-Prayer requires that they make the Bishop of the Diocese, or the Bishop of the Province, the Judge and Allower. The occasion of our rubric was pro-is bably a rule in the Roman church, by which, even before ser the Reformation and the Council of Trent, the Clergy were obliged to recite what they call the Canonical Hours (i. e. the offices in the Breviary for the several hours of day and night) either publicly in a church or chapel, ordonant privately by themselves. But our Reformers not approvaov starea ing the Priests performing by themselves what ought to be the united devotions of many; and yet not being willing wholly to discharge the clergy from a constant repetition of their prayers, thought fit to discontinue these folitary devotions; but at the fame time ordered, that if a con- w rambut gregation at church could not be had, the public service, both for morning and evening, should be recited in the family where the minister resided. Though, according to the first book of King Edward, this is not meant that any man 30 The Rubric at the end of the Prefaceeoncerning the Service of the Church.
Chap. II. shall be bound to the saying of it, but such as from time to
time, in Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, Parish-Churches, and Chapels to the same annexed, shall serve the Congregation. Though these words in that book immediately follow the first part of the rubric which relates to the Language in which the service is to be said ; the two other paragraphs discoursed of in this section, being the first inserted in the book that was published in 1552.
Sect. II. Of Churches, or Places fet apart for the
performance of Divine Worship. The necef- THE public worship of God, being to be performed by fity of bax. the joint concurrence of several people, does not only priate pla- require a place conveniently capacious of all that affemble ces for the together to perform that worship; but there must be also public wor- fome determinate and fixed place appointed, that fo all who Tip of God.
belong to the same congregation may know whither they The uni. may repair and meet one another. This reason put even versal prac the Heathens, who were guided by the light of nature, Heathens. upon erecting public places for the honour of their gods,
and for their own conveniency, in meeting together to pay their religious services and devotions. And the Patriarchs, by the fame light of nature, and the guidance of God's holy Spirit, had Altars3", Mountains 3?, and Groves 33, for that purpose. In the wilderness, where the Israelites themselves had no settled habitation, they had, by God's command, a moving Tabernacle 34. And as soon as they should be fixed in the land of promife, God appointed a Temple to be built at Jerusalem 35, which David intended 36, and Solomon performed 37. And after that was demolished, another was built in the room of its, which Christ him
felf owned for his house of prayer"), and which both he and Apoftles. his Apostles frequented as well as the fynagogues. And
that the Apostles after him had churches fixed, and appropriate places for the joint performance of divine worship, will be beyond all dispute, if we take but a short furvey of the first ages of Christianity. In the sacred writings we find more than probable footsteps of some determinate places for their folemn conventions, and peculiar only to that use. Of this nature was that Útepwov, or upper room,
31 Gen. xii. 7, 8.
36 1 Chron. xvii. 1, 2.
1.7. chap. xxviii. 2.
37 i Kings vi.
into which the Apostles and Disciples (after their return Sect. II. from our Saviour's ascension) went up, as into a place commonly known, and separate to divine ufe40. Such a one, if not the fame, was that one place wherein they were ali afsembled with one accord upon the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost visibly came down upon them. And this the rather, because the multitude and they too strangers of every nation under heaven) came so readily to the place upon the first rumour of so strange an accident; which could hardly have been, had it not been commonly known to be the place where the Christians used to meet together. And this very learned men take to be the meaning of the forty-sixth verse of the second chapter of the Acts : They continued daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread, xat' oixov (not, as we render it, from house to house, but) at home, as it is in the margin, or in the house, they eat their meat with gladness of heart; i. e. when they had performed their daily devotions at the temple, at the accustomed hours of prayer, they used to return home to this upper room, there to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, and then go to their ordinary meals. And Mr. Gregory proves that the upper rooms, so often mentioned in Scripture, were places in that part of the house which was highest from the ground, set apart by the Jews as well as Christians for the performance of the public worship and devotions 42. However, this interpretation of the text feems to be clear and unforced, and the more probable, because it follows the mention of their assembling together in that one place on the day of Pentecost, which room is also called by the same name of house, at the second verse of that chapter. And it is not at all unlikely, but that, when the first believers fold their houses and lands, and laid the money at the Apostles' feet, to fupply the necessities of the church; some of them might give their houses (at least some eminent room in them) for the church to meet in, and to perform their sacred duties. Which also may be the reason why the Apostle fo often falutes such and such a person, and the church in his house43; which seems clearly to intimate, that in such or such a house (probably in the útsgbox or upper room of it) was the constant and folemn convention of the Christians of that place for their joint celebration of divine worship. For that this falutation is
43 Rom. xvi. 3.5.
Cor. xvi. 19.
40 AEts i. 13. 41 Acts ii. 1.
42 Observations upon Scripture, chap. 23
Chap. II, not used merely because their families were christians, ap
pears from other salutations of the fame Apoftle, where Ariftobulus and Narcissus, &c. are faluted with their household 44. And this will be farther cleared by that famous passage of St. Paul45, where taxing the Corinthians for their irreverence and abuse of the Lord's Supper, one greedily eating before another, and some of them even to excefs; What says he, have you not houses to eat and drink in? or despise ye the church of God? Where that by church is not meant the assembly meeting, but the place in which they used to assemble, is evident partly from what went before, (for their coming together in the church, is explained by their coming together into one place?, plainly arguing that the Apostle meant not the persons, but the place,) partly from the opposition which he makes between the church and their own private houses: if they must have such irreguHar banquets, they had houfes of their own, where it was much fitter to have their ordinary repasts, than in that place which was set apart for the common exercises of religion, and therefore not to be difhonoured by such extravagant and intemperate feastings, which was no less than despising it. For which reason he enjoins them in the clofe of the chapter, that if any man hunger, he should eût at home. And in this sense was this text always un
derstood by the ancient fathers 48, And primi. Thus stood the case during the times of the Apostles : tive Chrif- as for the ages after them, we find that the primitive nians.
christians had their fixed and definite places of worship, especially in the second century; as, had we no other evidence, might be made good from the testimony of the author of that dialogue in Lucian, (if not Lucian himself, who expressly mentions that house or room wherein the christians were wont to assemble together 49. And Justin Martyr expressly affirms, that “ upon Sunday all chrif“ tians (whether in town or country) ufed to assemble to
gether in one place 50;" which could hardly have been done, had not that place been fixed and fettled. The fame we find afterwards in several places of Tertullian, who speaks 6 of their coming into the church and house of Gods?;"* which he elsewhere 52 calls the house of our Dove, i.e. of Se&. II. the holy Spirit; and there describes the very form and fathion of it. And in another places, speaking of their going into the water to be baptized, he tells us, “ They
44 Rom. xvi. 10, 11, 14. 2 Tim.
45. 1 Cor. xi. 22. 46 i Cor. xi. 18. 47 i Cor. xi. 20.
48 Auguft. Quæft. 57. in Leviticum, tom. iii. col. 516. F. Bafil. Mo. sal. Reg. 30. C. 1. tom. ii. p. 437. A.
Chrysoft. in i Cor. xi. 22. Hom. 27. tom. iii. p. 419. lin. 40. Theodoret, id eundem locum, tom. iii. p. 175. A.
49 Philopatr. vol. ii. p. 776. Amftelod. 1687.
50 Apol. 1. §. 87. p. 138.
were wont first to go into the church, to make their fo“ lemn renunciation before the Bishop.” About this time, in the reign of Alexander Severus the Emperor, (who began his reign about the year 222,) the heathen historian tells us st, that when there was a contest between the christians and vintners about a certain public place, which the christians had challenged for theirs; the Emperor gave the caufe for the christians against the vintners, saying, “ It was much better that God should be worshipped “there any ways, than that the vintners should possess it. If it be said, that “ the heathens of those times generally " accused the christians for having no Temples, and “ charged it upon them as a piece of atheism and impiety; “ and that the christian apologists did not deny it;" the answer depends upon the notion they had of a Temple; by which the Gentiles understood the places devoted to their gods, and wherein the deities were inclosed and shut up; places adorned with statues and images, with fine altars and ornaments 55. And for such Temples as these, they freely confessed they neither had nor ought to have any, for the True God did not (as the heathens supposed theirs did) dwell in temples made with hands; he neither needed, nor could posibly be honoured by them: and therefore they purposely abstained from the word Temple, which is not used by any christian writer for the place of the chriftian assemblies, for the best part of the first three hundred years. But then those very writers, who deny that christians had any temples, do at the same time acknowledge that they had their meeting places for divine worthip; their Conventicula, as. Arnobius calls them 56 when the complains of their being furiously demolished by their enemies, si din
§. 2. It cannot be thought that in the first ages, while their the flames of persecution raged, the christian churches churches fhould be very Itately and magnificent: it were sufficient and magniif they were such as the condition of those times would ficent.
52 Adv. Valentin. c. 3. p. 251. B. Arnob. adv. Gentes, ad initium 1. 6, 53 De Corona Milit. c. 3. p. 102. A. p. 189, &c. Lactant. Inftitut. 1. 2. ç. 54 Æl. Lamprid. in Vita Alex. Se.
2. p. 118. ver. C. 49. apud. Hift. Auguft. Scrip- 56 Arnobius adv. Gentes, ad finem tor. p. 575. Lugd. Batav. 1661.
4. p. 152. 55 Minutius Felix; c. 10. p. 61.