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which was certainly a point gained by the nameless gentleman to whom we have just referred.
In the order of confirmation adopted, all references to the "bishop confirming " are stricken out, instead of which the applicant is represented as being desirous of "confirming his baptismal covenant."
The climax of the fun, if we may apply such a term to this sacrilegious farce, was reached, however, when the council came to the revision of the marriage service. We will let the reporters tell the tale.
"The marriage service was first taken up for consideration, and Rev. B. B. Leacock, of the Committee on Revision, explained the changes made, in the form as reported, from the old form of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The handing of the ring to the minister is omitted, and instead thereof the bridegroom himself places it on the finger of the bride. The phrase, with all my worldly goods I thee endow,' hitherto addressed by the bridegroom to the bride, is omitted, inasmuch as it was in many cases inconsistent and even farcical
where the bride only is possessed of the 'worldly goods.' The allusion, also, to the married life of Isaac and Rebekah was omitted, as there did not seem to be any peculiar fitness in presenting the example of a woman who had been guilty of a grave deception of her husband in his declining years. The sentence, I pronounce that they be man and wife together,' is changed by the substitution of the word husband' for 'man.'"'
A most judicious change!
"A motion by Rev. Mr. Tucker to change the phrase, I plight thee my troth,' on the ground that the words 'plight and troth' might not be always understood by the parties using them, was lost. Mr. Barton moved that the words 'as Isaac and Rebekah lived faithfully together' be restored to the service. The motion was lost. marriage service was then adopted as a whole.
Subsequently, however, Rev. Mr. Sabine moved a reconsideration of the vote by which Isaac and Rebekah were expelled from the order of matrimonial service. It had been stated as a reason
for this omission that Rebekah had been found deceitful toward Isaac. If it were so it certainly did not affect her faithfulness toward him. He thought
that the reference to the united lives of this ancient couple was a happy one, which it was well to keep before us in these days of divorce and marital infe
"Mr. Barton said he certainly thought it somewhat exacting to submit Rebekah to criticism as to her married life at this late day, and especially as it did not faithful wife, but only an error, of which touch her bridal years or long life as a
we had few details, of which she had been guilty in her later years.
"Rev Mr. Wilson and Rev. Mr. Leacock opposed the motion made to restore to the service the words eliminated. Lost by a vote of 16 to 13."
know whether "the Sorosis" intend Now we should seriously like to to tamely submit to the stigma thus sought to be attached at this late day, on the authority too of a few biblical" details," to the memory of Rebekah, simply because she successfully attempted to impose upon her very unreasonable "worser half," and that too after years of conjugal devotion to him; while we would respectfully remind the members of the council that they should be guarded in their criticism of an act done by a divine inspiration.
"The Committee on Doctrine and Worship was instructed to prepare a catechism and form of service for use in Sunday-schools, and to report the same to the next General Council."
To which we must say, the young ideas that are taught to shoot heavenwards from that catechism! We are only surprised that the council did not recommend its adoption as one of the text-books in our public schools.
burial of the dead, In revising the order for the
"Rev. Mr. McGuire moved that the words of the service, Looking for the general resurrection in the last day, and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ,' be changed to 'Awaiting the general resurrection in the last day, and the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.' In speaking in sup
port of his motion, Mr. McGuire said that the existing words were inappropriate to be used at the funeral of one who was a notorious sinner. After an extended debate, the amendment was adopted."
We should like to inquire, if suicides, unbaptized, and excommunicated persons are not by the canons of this church to receive public burial, what sort of a notorious sinner is to receive exemption from the rule? Again, if even every body is to be invited to "the table of the Saviour," no matter how wicked, why should not everybody, regardless of his or her crimes, receive a dignified funeral?
Our kind readers must not suppose that the few brief extracts we have given convey anything like a full report of the proceedings of this council, whose work is replete with the most startling inconsistencies, ridiculous fallacies, and positive blasphemies. We have merely selected some of the most salient portions of the reports as best calculated to convey an idea of the entire work. Neither time nor space would permit us to rehearse all the silly things said and done under the "sheep's clothing" of a fraudulent theology and counterfeit religion. Thus "sacraments" were declared to be only "ordinances," yet the "priests" of the church were ordered to administer sacraments.
Then again there was a claim of true and lawful episcopacy, at least of jurisdiction, set up, yet a committee" informed the council that they had searched in vain through the Scriptures for any evidence of apostolic succession in their church (of the thoroughness of their search we have no doubts, and their labors were rewarded by finding the truth). Again, bishops were ordered to keep hands off" in administering consecration or "ordination," yet they took good care when called upon to perform these ceremonies during the council to lay them most vigor ously on, but perhaps those exalted
functionaries argued in extenuation of their disobedience that as there was some doubts about their being real bishops, they were exempted from a rule set for the episcopacy; certainly if that poor prayer-book could have become incarnate, assumed a personality, and spoken after revision, it would have acted very much like the old lady in the nursery rhyme, who, finding that during her nap on the roadside,
A naughty peddler by the name of Stout, Had cut all her petticoats round about, exclaimed in a frenzy of doubt on awakening, "La me! am I myself or somebody else?" especially when it found itself subjected to further tortures, because
"In consequence of the discovery of numerous typographical errors in the printed proofs of the prayer-book, Rev. Messrs. Leacock, Smith, and Powers were appointed to superintend the publication of the prayer-book, and supervise it in all matters of grammar, punctuation, and orthography. The secretary, Mr Turner, was added to the committee, and it was further provided that they shall be unanimous in their judgments concerning the matters referred to them."
That is of course to be under
stood, providing there could be found such a miracle of unity as three men of one mind in the whole council.
After a motion to commit the pages containing the Gregorian Calendar to "that distinguished astronomer, Col. Aycrigg," in order that he might improve upon the work of good old St. Gregory, a little behind time for the present very great pontiff in his day, but a fast age
"On motion of Rev. Mr. Leacock, the council arose and sung the Gloria in Excelsis as a recognition to God of the harmony and completion of the work of
revision. A vote of thanks to Rev. Messrs. Leacock and Smith was then Leacock, who said that he did not think moved, and was strongly opposed by Mr. the committee was specially entitled to any particular commendation. The work accomplished was the work of the
whole council. The thanks were tendered by a unanimous vote, however." The assurance of the Rev. Mr. Leacock, in offering the first-mentioned resolution, was as refreshing as it was conventional. We never yet knew a crowd of these reforming fellows to get together without giving each other an innumerable quantity of metaphorical black eyes and pulled noses, yet somehow or other they always manage to adjourn singing "Gloria in Excelsis," in thanksgiving for the harmony which prevailed among them. No doubt they will go home and tell their parishioners wonderful tales about the delegates dwelling together in unity, pretty much in the same exaggerated style as the solitary convert to the Cummins church from Pennsylvania proceeded to tell the convention during its closing hours about the "great progress" of the Reformed Episcopal Church in the Keystone State, said progress consisting in the simple fact that the said ministerial convert, Rev. Mr. Windeyer, having been pastor of a little village church at Schuylkill Falls, went over to the new reformation, and as the gentleman whose money had built the church went with him, and claimed the church edifice as his private property, the congregation nolens volens had to be carried with it over the water of disturbance, as in an ark.
And now to return to the object for whose supposed present and future benefit all this performance was undertaken-the infant church. We fancy, that when it has slipped from its swathing bands and donned its loga virilis, which, according to the very flat platitude of its father, "Bishop" Cummins, enunciated at its birth, it will do if God prospers it, it will turn upon us and exclaim, after the
fashion of the victims of Peter Pindar's sarcastic quill, "Why, when such proceedings as those you have been reviewing are no novelty outside your own infallible church; why, when there are so many social, moral, and political disorders raging around worthy subjects of your saucy pen;
"Why, critic, leave the hated objects free, And vent, poor driveller, all your spite on me?"
To which we will have to reply: "Softly, good friend; is your eye evil because we would be funny at your expense? But since you ask us so reasonable a question, we will attempt as satisfactory an answer. It is not because we would draw on this special occasion any moral for the spiritual advantage of true believers from the spectacle you have become, both for angels and men, but rather because you, being the latest and most prominent apparition on the melodramatic stage of Protestantism, of whose interminable list of star performers in ridiculous rôles we have now had a surfeit, we would improve the occasion of your appearance to urge upon our brethren of the so-called Christian churches to unite with us brethren of the true household of the true faith, in a spirit of truly fraternal charity and Christian unity, in petitioning the infallible Pontiff of Christendom, that he would, for the sake of the reputation of the superior wisdom of this nineteenth century, and in behalf of outraged religion and common sense, and for the honor of our common humanity, not yet degraded to complete imbecility, exhibit the most urgent speed in adding to the litany this petition: FROM ANY MORE QUASI RELIGIOUS REFORMERS AND CHURCH CONVENTIONS GOOD LORD DELIVER US."
ABOUT WORDS AND PHRASES.
Agnosco veteris vestigia flammæ.
PEOPLE generally content themselves with a good dictionary to settle the meaning of words-some people even consult such a book. But the dictionaries have lost a portion of their assumed infallibility by the vanity of their authors or compilers, in accepting as legitimate every word that they find in print, and giving as its true meaning that which its user tries to convey by its use. Some dictionaries are recommended upon the grounds that they contain many hundred and even many thousand words not found in any other lexicon, and this apparently upon the principle that all that is spoken and written is correct. Such practice, while it enlarges the vocabulary, diminishes greatly the precision of the language.
The present generation has been called on
verb, "We interviewed," has no acknowledged existence beyond the reporters' vocabulary, but it is on the highway to recognition. And newspaper editors give it partial recognition by admitting it into their columns in italics, or with marks of quotation-"to interview." The haste of composition will soon dispense with the italic and quotation-marks, and the word will be a part of our language," 8 child by adoption."
A newspaper editor, speaking of the misfortunes of a young man who broke his promise of marriage, remarks "that the outraged affection of the disappointed lady led her to law' her quondam lover." And another editor says that "instead of the slow movement of a one-horse vehicle, he railed the whole distance to Chicago." interview," "to law," and "to rail," are to become legitimate verbs in our language is not to be foreseen. The dictionaries have not yet legalized them. There is, it may be said, such a verb as to law:" it means to mutilate the claws of a dog. But this "verbalizing" of nouns is only a part of the process of saving time to which writers and speakers in this country frequently resort. "To interview," to have an interview; "to law," that is, to "seek the law;" "to rail," that is, to take the rail, which is an American abbreviation of "go by railroad."
Whether to employ as familiar terms, words that in the beginning of this century were reserved for the special requirements of science. They, however, are only new in their familiar use; they existed in most of the English dictionaries, or were familiar to the classical scholar.
But new pursuits or new branches of employment have suggested terms that startled the scholar when they were first used in the newspapers. Among these new words is one that has become so frequently used as almost to have removed the disgust which its first appearance caused. The earnestness with which gentlemen connected with the outdoor business of the public press pursue their game has led them to make a verb that has not reached the dictionaries. The word interview as a
There is on our table a newspaper containing an account of the arrest of two persons for crime, and it is stated that they had been "jailed" in Washington.
prisoned" would have served ordinary people.
And Governor Hartranft, addressing General Osburn, directs him to withdraw his soldiers from the Susquehanna depot, and to "wire" an estimate of expenses, &c., that is, inform him by telegraph.
In New York, news across the Atlantic is "cabled."
During the late war, writers and speakers, glorifying the times and the action, were wont to say: "We are making history." Now that that manufacture has ceased, it may be said that we are making "dictionaries."
Not only are time and work saved by this condensation of words in sentences, but the expedient is resorted to even in words.
The capital city of the State of Missouri is St. Josephs, and one would suppose that such a name would have escaped contraction, but neither word nor place is sacred. So that now St. Josephs is as little used to denote the political capital of the great State as Tremont is to signify Boston. People go to live in and return from St. Joe. And it is thought, it is not known how correctly, that the name Saratoga, in New York, will soon give place to that of Sallie or Sal.
"Pantaloons" and "gentlemen," closely connected, are giving place to "pants" and "gents." And the tailors and clothes venders advertise "Gents' pants." There is some authority for the abbreviation, viz., Tittlebat Titmouse, M.P., in Warren's novel of "Ten Thousand a Year." Of course, few would follow Mr. Titmouse in the use of such words, unless they were prepared to make him authority in other matters.
There is a use of the conjunction "if" which is quite incorrect, though heard in all places and seen in all printed works, e. g., "Ask
him if he is to be in Washington." Now most of the conjunctions have correspondents; for example,
though has yet: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." If has then: "If he deceive me, then I will never trust him."
We ask whether he is to be in Washington, or Georgetown, not if he is to be in Washington.
Every day is heard the assertion, "I do not know if he is there,” or, "Ask if he is sick."
Dr. Johnson sanctions, by his writings, another misuse of if. He says: 66 Gray would have been a great poet if he had written nothing but the Elegy.'"
Now what Dr. Johnson intended to say was quite different from the idea conveyed in the assertion. He meant that Gray, who had written so much good poetry, would have been a great poet, even though he had written nothing but the "Elegy." He thus bestowed extraordinary praise on the "Elegy."
Whereas the great critic, by his language, really declares that, however great may be Gray's claims to distinction as the author of the "Elegy," still those claims are rendered invalid by the character of the other poetical productions of the author.
We find a use of "almost " that does not belong to the English language, e. g., "Death was almost more desirable than such an imprisonment." If anything is almost more desirable, then it was perhaps less desirable.
The position in a sentence must be regarded in the use of certain words. As well" has a distinct meaning and use in a sentence, as follows: "He took the same doctrine as well as the same practice." But of late hard straining or a love of novelty has induced some writers to place "as well" at the termination of a sentence, e. g., "The Bible not only furnishes the Christian with themes for contemplation