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DISSERTATION

ON

PRIMITIVE LITURGIES.

INTRODUCTION. In treating of the liturgy, I would be understood to use the term in that restricted sense which it generally bears in the writings of the ancients; as denoting the service used in the celebration of the eucharist. In the eastern churches, that service (though sometimes known by other appellations) has long borne the title of the “divine” or “mysti“ cal” liturgy. In the west, the eucharistic office has most commonly been called “ missa ;” but the term liturgy has also been frequently applied to it.

The study of ancient liturgies is one, which from various circumstances has made but slow progress. It can hardly be said to have commenced until the sixteenth century, when the liturgies of Basil, Chrysostom, James, Mark, and others of eastern origin, were first printed. Before this time, though some writers commented on the offices of their own churches, they were unable to compare various liturgies together, and thence to elicit the truth. At that period, none of the learned men of Europe, even though profoundly versed in general theology, and in the writings of the Fathers, were able to Hoveral different forms of liturgy now in existence, which, as far as we can perceive, have been different from each other from the most remote period. And with regard to the apparent propriety of the Apostles' instituting one liturgy throughout the world, it may be observed, that it is quite sufficient to suppose all liturgies originally agreed, in containing every thing that was necessary for the due celebration of the eucharist; but that they adopted exactly the same order, or received every where the same rites, is a supposition equally unnecessary and groundless.

I have not therefore attempted to reduce all the liturgies, and notices of the Fathers, to one common original; but have rather sought for the original liturgies by a reference to acknowledged facts. The following is the course which I have pursued, in endeavouring to ascertain the nature of the primitive liturgies. Considering that the primitive church was divided into great portions, known by the appellations of Patriarchates, Exarchates a, or

* A. I shall frequently have the Giocese or saponaia of each. 128D 0 Lake use of these See Bazdam's Antiquities, &c. KETUA in the fronisz work, I book ii. c. 15. The bishop of wil wees erozin them the metropolis of a civil dioto the rear. Tre primitive cese, iico comprised several ** *24 rated by bicos, por vicces, was caded archbi. # H.Atriz, and patriarcha. Scop. of exarch, and afterwards The par the cici city in patriarcă; and had much the **** prime *24 ensed Le. sme sort of jurisdiction over *r**for 2 x penzie, and af. a tie metropolians of that terom with, and had Gocese, as eacă of them bad * Who Owo Oter the over the biscope of his own boltura ok 23. prince. He paorizee. See Bizzban, c.17. wwtwin the teterrei zp- The ožce of metropolitan is **** fernt. then in eienai probabiras ancient as the apo*** tiones ir pan. soše age; tzat of patriarch is

• Mute charisted Esemise very ancient, though

national churches; and that the supreme bishops in these districts (where there were such bishops) had generally sufficient influence in latter ages, to cause their own liturgies to be universally received by their suffragans; I thought it advisable, in the first place, to examine the liturgies of such supreme churches, and inquire whether they appear to be derived from primitive antiquity. If it seem that some other liturgy was used before the existing formulary, I have endeavoured to trace it out. And finally, I have consulted the writings of those Fathers who lived in the immediate neighbourhood, and by means of them endeavoured to ascertain the extent of country through which each liturgy was used, and the antiquity to which we can trace its order and substance. This plan I have followed in all instances, except where there was no supreme church to guide me in the investigation; and I have

we do not find it mentioned politans voluntarily admitted by that name till the council their jurisdiction. The Roman of Chalcedon, A.D. 451. How- empire about the time of Conever it certainly existed long stantine was divided into thirbefore that time, as it seems teen civil dioceses, each of that the bishop of Alexandria which was ruled by a governor had this sort of jurisdiction in called exarch, vicar of the emthe third century. See Bing- pire, or prefect. It does not apham, book ii. c. 16. §. 3. In pear that there was a supreme fact, every bishop, as a succes- bishop or patriarch in each of sor of the apostles, had a cer- these dioceses. The exarchs or tain degree of influence and patriarchs of the church in the authority in the whole church; fourth century, were those of and they who joined to this, Alexandria, Antioch, Cæsarea, the importance which was de- Ephesus, Constantinople, Thesrived from the dignity, power, salonica, Rome, Milan, and and opulence of the metropoli. Carthage. To which were addtan or capital cities over which ed afterwards Jerusalem and they presided, acquired such Justiniana. See Bingham, Ana degree of weight and influ- tiq. book ix. Basnage, Hist. ence, that bishops and metro- de l'Eglise, tome i.

PREFACE.

THE Ritual Formularies of the English Church have been illustrated by so many learned Divines, that the reader may justly claim some explanation of the necessity and the nature of the present work.

The valuable writings of LestRANGE, NICHOLLS, WHEATLY, SHEPHERD, and Bishop Mant, contain excellent commentaries both practical and doctrinal, on the rubrics and prayers of our Ritual ; and perhaps scarcely any thing can be added to the information which they have conveyed on these points. But the field of historical and antiquarian discussion is more open. In itself more ex

. tensive, it has perhaps been less explored; and its fertility is so great, that had it been consistent with my plan, there would have been

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