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which he refers to, and the celebration of the eucharist.
Estius, a Romanist, who had reasons for denying the applicability of this passage of St. Paul to the eucharist, objects that the words ευλογείν and ευχαριoteñv are of general signification, and therefore may apply to any benediction and giving of thanks i. This is true in general, but in the present instance they refer to the benediction and thanksgiving of the eucharist, because the layman is said to answer Amen; and we have no instance in primitive times of such a thanksgiving and benediction by the priest, and such a response by the laity, except in the eucharist.' Estius objects, secondly, that Paul could not have spoken of the consecration and oblation of the eucharist in this place, because by the appointment of the apostle this was performed at Corinth, and the other churches of Greece, in prescribed words, and only in the Greek language. But granting that the apostle had appointed the order and substance of the liturgy, still he might not have given directions for the use of a particular language, because the use of the vernacular tongue in the public worship of God might have seemed a matter of course. Therefore his directions for the use of a known language in the present instance, may very properly be referred to the liturgy of the eucharist. The third objection of Estius is, that the apostle does not reprehend bishops or priests in this place, but only reproves generally those who, endowed with the gift of tongues, uttered prayers and praises in the assembly of the faithful, which
i Guilielmus Estius, in Epist. Pauli, 1 ad Cor. p. 456. tom. i. Commentar. Duaci, A.D. 1614.
were unintelligible to themselves and to others. From which it may be inferred that he does not speak of the eucharist in this place, because if he had, he would have addressed himself expressly to those who only had the power of celebrating it. I reply, that it was unnecessary that the apostle should expressly mention bishops and priests, because all the church must have known that the words of the apostle could only apply to them. They knew that it was only the bishop and the priests who could bless and perform that thanksgiving to which the laity answered, “ Amen.” And besides this, the apostle distinguishes the person who blesses and gives thanks from the layman, “ how shall the layman say 'so be it,' at the end of thy eucharistia,” as Chrysostom and Theodoret interpret it; the person that blessed therefore was not a layman. The objections of Estius against the application of this passage of St. Paul to the liturgy of the eucharist are therefore invalid; and we may conclude that the apostle referred directly to the blessings and thanksgivings of the liturgy, when he forbid the use of an unknown tongue in the “ · blessing” and “thanksgiving.”
. However, though I must contend that the apostle referred immediately to the liturgy in this place; it is very true, as Estius has observed, that this passage may be applied to benedictions and thanksgivings in general, and to prayers, praises, and psalms; in short to all parts of public worship; though in an indirect manner : in other words, we may infer from the apostle's reproof of the use of an unknown tongue in the celebration of the eucharist, that it is inconsistent with apostolical discipline to perform
any public service in a language not understood by the people, and therefore that it is the duty of the church to make the language of the ritual intelligible to the laity, as far as it is in her power.
The thanksgiving formed a large portion of every primitive liturgy, and although the principal portion of it generally preceded the blessing or consecration, yet the tone and language of thanksgiving was carried all through, and generally terminated the liturgy with a doxology, to which all the people answered," Amen.” The chief portion of the thanksgiving occurred at the beginning of the mystical liturgy as ours does; and immediately followed the introductory sentences which were the subject of the last section. In all the primitive liturgies, during the first four or five centuries, thanksgivings were used which were substantially alike. The church, by means of the bishop or presbyter, sent up praises and thanksgivings to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the work of creation and redemption, for his mercy and love to fallen man, and the various means and dispensations by which he had sought to benefit the human family. In the course of this thanksgiving, or at the end of it, the whole body of the people sung or repeated with a loud voice that hymn which Isaiah describes to have been chanted before the throne of glory, by angels and archangels, and six-winged seraphim.
In the liturgies of Antioch, Cæsarea, Constantinople, Gaul, and Spain, the hymn Tersanctus occurred in the middle of the thanksgiving, which continued on at some length afterwards, until it came up to the consecration. In the liturgies of Alexandria, Rome, Milan, and probably Africa, this hymn occurred at the termination of the thanksgiving, or very nearly so. The liturgies of Alexandria and Æthiopia differed from all the liturgies of the east and west, by inserting the solemn prayers for all estates of men, and for all things, in the course of the thanksgiving, and before the hymn Tersanctus.
About the end of the fourth, and beginning of the fifth century, various thanksgivings, or prefaces, as they began to be called, were written in the western churches. And we may hence conjecture that it had been probably customary for the bishops to introduce some variety into their thanksgivings from a more remote period ; always, however, preserving the order and the great body of the liturgy which had descended to them from preceding times. The fifth century produced a number of new prefaces in the west, so that before long every holyday and nativity of the martyrs possessed a distinct preface peculiar to itselfi. The African church was obliged to interpose at the beginning of this century, and perhaps the end of the fourth; and provide that no new prayers and prefaces should be used which had not been approved by public authority k. It was this custom of varying the prefaces
Nec aliæ omnino dicancramentaries of Leo and Gela- tur in ecclesia, nisi quæ a prusius, and the Gallican sacra- dentioribus tractatæ, vel commentaries. See Muratori, Li- probatæ in synodo fuerint, ne turgia Romana, and Mabillon, forte aliquid contra fidem, vel de Liturgia Gallicana.
per ignorantiam, vel per minus k « Placuit etiam et illud, ut studium sit compositum.” Conpreces vel orationes seu missæ, cil. Milevit. A. D. 416. canon quæ probatæ fuerint in conci- See also codex Canon. lio, sive præfationes, sive com- Eccl. Afr. can. 103. Concil. mendationes, seu manûs impo- African. can. 70. sitiones ab omnibus celebren
and other prayers to suit the occasion of the day, that gave to the Gallican, Roman, and Italian churches, those large liturgical volumes, which were at first called Sacramentaries, or books of Sacraments, and afterwards were known by the name of Missals, or books of Missæ. In after-times, the number of prefaces or thanksgivings were retrenched in the western churches, and at the period when our liturgy received its revision, in the reign of Edward the Sixth, prefaces for a very few special occasions were used in the English church, which are retained with little alteration. In the oriental churches, the variety of prefaces which has long prevailed in the west has not been introduced. The principal liturgies of the east certainly have the advantage of possessing thanksgivings which are derived from the most remote antiquity, and formed on the most primitive models, The liturgy of Cæsarea or of Basilm, and that of the churches of Antioch and Jerusalem, described accurately by Cyril about the year 340", present noble specimens of thanksgivings, full of primitive faith and devotion, and as instructive as they are beautiful. In the Roman liturgy, which has gradually come to be extensively used in the west, and in the English, the thanksgiving is on ordinary oc
1 It has been said that Pela- m Liturgia Basilii, Goar Rit. gius the Second, bishop of Græc. p. 165, 166. Rome, affirmed that only nine n Liturgia Jacobi Syr. Re. prefaces were to be used in the naudot, tom. ii. p.31. Liturg. church. But this is a perfect Jac. Græc. Asseman. Codex fable, since long after the time Liturg. tom. v. p. 33. or Biof Pelagius we find the sacra
bliotheca Patrum. Compare mentaries of the Roman church Cyril. Hierosol. Catech. Mysto have contained numerous tag. v. art. 5. p. 296, 297. ed. prefaces.