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the Lord Mayor of London. The minister of St. Martin's with his church-wardens were in consequence called upon to answer for their conduct. Their excuse was, that the parish having lately incurred great expence in repairing its church was unable, from poverty, to substitute new images for such as were found to be wholly decayed, and that others were removed on account of the idolatrous honours which they continued to receive. With this apology the Romish members of the council were far from being satisfied, and they contended that such unauthorised acts ought by all means to be severely checked at the beginning of a reign, in order to prevent daring spirits from imagining that they might securely spurn all authority. But Archbishop Cranmer argued, that images in churches being unknown in primitive times, and having led undoubtedly during many ages to enormous abuses, no great blame could attach to persons entrusted with the concerns of a parish for having lightened its burthens by omitting to provide expensive objects of doubtful utility at best. To this rational view of the case a majority of the council being inclined, the accused parties were informed that in consequence of their submission, with other mitigating circumstances, imprisonment would not be inflicted upon
them; but they were desired to provide a crucifix, or at least some painting of one, until such an ornament could be made ready, and to beware in future of such rashness as they had lately shewn. This incident encouraged the well
informed friends of scriptural Christianity to calculate upon the favour or conniyance of the government in every thing that they might undertake for the overthrow of superstition. Nor were those at the head of affairs backward in confirming this calculation : they even ventured without express legislative authority to make an innovation in the public service of the church, the Complin being sung in English by the choir of the royal chapel on Easter-Monday, the 11th of April.
• Stow. The Complin was the last of those Romish services, which, being performed at stated intervals during the course of the natural day, were usually called the Canonical Hours. “ Each Canonical Hour was presumed to consist of three smaller; and the whole night and day was thus divided into the eight services of Matins, Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, and Completorium or Complin." (Fosbrook's British Monachism, 53.) This devotional distribution of the day appears to have originated among the oriental monks. (Bingham, I. 261.) The Romanists would fain derive their Canonical Hours from A postolical authority, because it is related (Acts iii. 1.) “ Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour :" that is, in Romish language, at the hour of Nones. The truth, however, is, that the Evening Sacrifice being offered up at that time, pious residents in Jerusalem commonly then repaired to the temple for the purpose of being present at it. But neither do the Apostles make any mention in their writings of these appointed hours, nor does it appear, that Christians at a distance from Jerusalem paid any attention to them. Tertullian is the earliest writer who speaks of the Hours, and he had then joined the Montanists, with whose ascetic notions such observances were strictly conformable. After him Cyprian talks of the Third, Sixth, and Ninth hours ; but he alleges no Apostolic authority for the performance of prayer at these times, only the example of Daniel. (Pearsonii Lect. in Act. Apost. inter
On May-day the tide of popular opinion, now beginning to set in strongly against those objects of superstitious regard which had long beguiled the nation, caused at Portsmouth an event of considerable notoriety. The people of that town tumultuously pulled down, and defaced the images of Christ, and the saints. Bishop Gardiner, being then at Winchester, was soon apprised of the shock thus given to those prejudices which render Romanism so alluring to the heart of fallen man; and on the 3rd of May he despatched a letter upon
Op. Posth. Lond. 1688. p. 40.) Dr. Hickes has printed at the end of the letters which passed between him, and a Popish priest, the canonical hours in Saxon and English, as used by our national clergy, before the Conquest. They are seven in number, viz. 1. Uhl-sang, the service for midnight: 2. Dæg-red-sang, that for the first peep of dawn: 3. Prim-sang, that for the early morning : 4. Undern-sang, that for nine in the forenoon: 5. Mid-dæg-sang, that for noon: 6. Non-sang, that for three in the afternoon : 7. Æfen-sang, that for the evening. In some formularies, these hours are rather differently reckoned up. In one case, the series is made up to the number seven, by Niht-sang, Dæg-red-sang being omitted. In another case, the same omission occurs, and Uht-sang comes last. These offices consist in portions of the Psalms, of some hymns, of the creed, and of Scripture; in the Lord's prayer, some collects, and versicles, all in Latin, but generally followed by a very diffuse Saxon paraphrase. It is satisfactory to observe, that these offices are untainted by Popery. Confession is made to the Lord God of Heaven, but nothing is said of confessing to saints: nor is any invocation made to them. A hope, only, is expressed, that they may be interceding in the suppliant's behalf for such a measure of divine grace as may render him worthy of heavenly aid and salvation. “ Intercedant pro nobis peccatoribus ad Dominum dominorum, ut mereamur ab eo adjuvari, et salvari.”
the subject of the recent irregularity to the mayor of Portsmouth, and another to Captain Vaughan, the officer in command there. The latter communication was to the following effect.“ Master Vaughan, having lately written to my Lord Protector, that in this county every thing is rightly ordered, I am concerned to hear, that within these two days, a great and detestable innovation has been made in the town of Portsmouth; where, as I am told, the images of our Saviour, and his saints, have been pulled down, and spitefully handled. To you, therefore, I apply, both as one of his majesty's chief ministers in the place, and as an acquaintance whom I have much esteemed, for the purpose of learning the particulars of the case, the names of those implicated in it, and your opinion as to the expediency of sending some one to preach against the feeling which seems now to prevail around you. I would use the pulpit, if mere wantonness has moved the populace; in the expectation of preventing farther folly. But to a multitude persuaded, that images ought to be destroyed, I would never preach: for as the Scripture teaches, we should not cast pearls before swine. Now, such as are infected with that opinion are swine, and worse than swine, if any grosser beasts there be. In England such people have been called Lollards, and their hatred - of images has gone to so great lengths that they have thought the arts of painting and sculpture to be superfluous, pernicious, and against God's laws. In Germany, Luther, after tunning all his
brewings, threw aside opinions unfavourable to images ; thus treating such notions as meat for hogs. The destruction of images, indeed, tends to the subversion of religion, and of social order ; especially of the nobility, who by means of images publicly displayed inform men, in characters which all can read, of their lineage, rank, and services. The pursuivant also carries on his breast, not the king's name inscribed in letters which few can spell, but the lions, flowers de luce, and other figures, which all men, be they never so rude, are able to understand ?. In the great seal too, a man unable to read the inscription, yet reading St. George on horseback on one side !, and his Majesty in state on the other, would not break up the wax, while whole, in order to make a candle of it, but when he looks upon the figures, would respectfully pull off his cap. If, however, what Lollards say about Idolatry should gain farther
p There is no difficulty in conceding to the Romanists that images serve as books to the unlearned, but it should never be forgotten, that as Bishop Gardiner says, there are false books, as well as true ones, and it should therefore be considered, which of these two sorts of books are images. The unerring word of God tells us that they are of the former sort. Habakkuk asks (ii. 18.) “ What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols ?” From Jeremiah likewise (x. 8.) we learn that “ the stock is a doctrine of vanities.” Thus were unlettered Englishmen, (an immense majority at the time of the Reformation,) to learn from teachers of lies, and a doctrine of vanities.
q" Bonus dormitat Homerus." Hor. A. P. 359.