Monday, November 14, 2011

The Consecration of Samuel Seabury

Today the Episcopal Church celebrates the consecration of Bishop Samuel Seabury, which occurred on this day, November 14, 1784.  This act defined the Episcopal Church and in turn led (indirectly) to the formation of the Anglican Communion.

Samuel Seabury was consecrated by Scottish Episcopal bishops because he was unable to take an oath to the King in England and therefore, English bishops could not consecrate him by law.  The Scottish Episcopal Church has a unique history, separate of that of the English Church which stems from the Nonjuror schism in the late 17th century.  When James II was deposed in 1688, William and Mary came to England and began reigning as the monarchs.  A group of bishops, clergy, and laity, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, would not swear an oath of allegiance to the new soverigns.  These Nonjurors,as they were called, were out of fellowship with the mainstream Church and eventually set up their own churches.  Nonjurors in Scotland formed a key part of the Scottish Episcopal Church but because of their stance, William declared the Presbyterian Church of Scotland as the official, established Church of Scotland (obviously much more complicated than that but a simple summary will suffice).  Many of the practices of the Nonjurors eventually find some expression in the Protestant Episcopal Church due to Seabury's connection with the Scottish bishops.  Most importantly, (many) Nonjurors preferred the Communion Office from the 1549 and eventually produced "wee bookies" with an order of Communion similar to that rite and not the 1662 English rite.

Seabury was an influential High Churchman (and Loyalist) in the Church of Connecticut during the Revolution.  Seabury was elected by Connecticut Churchmen to be a bishop for them.  He sailed to England intending to be consecrated but due to issues raised earlier, the English bishops were not able to consecrate him.  He found support in the Scottish Bishops in Aberdeen.  Two important things happened due to this consecration besides a bishop for the Episcopal Church.  First, Seabury promised to promote recognition of the Scottish Church by the Episcopal Church.  Second, Seabury promised to use and promote the Scottish Order of Communion in the US.  This is why our historic Prayer Books in the United States have a Canon looking like the 1549 Prayer Book and not the 1662 Book.  After the Revolution and consequently during the formation of the Episcopal Church, Seabury and the Connecticut Church were opposed to the latitudinarian spirit of White's Church Constitution.  Seabury protested the first General Conventions due to a lack of episcopal representation in the Church's Convention.  Due to Seabury's resistance, we have a House of Bishops in addition to the House of Deputies in the General Convention.

I hope you spend a few moments today and remember the events that happened today in the life of the Episcopal Church.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY GOD, who by thy divine providence hast appointed divers Orders of
Ministers in thy Church, and by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy holy Apostles many excellent gifts: Give grace, we beseech thee, to all Bishops of thy Church, and more especially to those who serve in that branch of the same planted by thee in this land; that, following the example of thy servant Samuel Seabury, they may diligently preach thy Word, and duly administer the godly Discipline thereof, to the glory of thy Name, and the edification of thy Church; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Lesser Feasts and Fasts 1963)

We give thee thanks, O Lord our God, for thy goodness in bestowing Upon this Church the gift of the episcopate, which we celebrate in this remembrance of the consecration of Samuel Seabury; and we pray that, joined together in unity with our bishops, and nourished by thy holy Sacraments, we may proclaim the Gospel of redemption with apostolic zeal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

(Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2006)

The Epistle. 

Acts 20:28-32. 

TAKE heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

The Gospel. 

St. Matthew 9:35-38. 

JESUS went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching The Gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Repost: Justification by Faith Alone

Although not the "formal" cause of the Reformation in the sixteenth century, it ranks close behind the abuse of the sale of indulgences as the cause of it and also one of the things that divides Romanism and Protestantism. Most of us have heard the Latin phrases, sola fide, which simply means "faith alone." The core questions we are asking here relate to how we attain salvation but more specifically within the initial experience of salvation known in theological terms as "justification," the beginning of salvation. Luther began studying and preaching on St. Paul's Epistles before the controversy with John Tetzel culminating in the 95 Theses of 1517. His theological reflection on the book of Romans centered on one central verse which caused him to seriously reflect on Roman teaching at the time. "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith'" (Romans 1:17). Quoted from Peter Toon's book, Justification and Sanctification, Luther elaborates on his own personal, spiritual quest:

"I greatly longed to understand Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but one expression, “the justice of God,” because I took it to mean that justice whereby God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust. My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Therefore I did not love a just and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against him. Yet I clung to the dear Paul and had a great yearning to know what he meant.
Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that “the just shall live by his faith.” Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before the “justice of God” had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in great love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven."

Crutial to Luther's understanding of the justification issue is the state of man after the Fall. "For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Rom. 3:22b,23) "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God" (v. 10,11). We know our problem is grave, "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:7-8), "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14), "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind" (Ephesians 2:1-3) and again in, "For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another" (Titus 3:3) and this problem has no remedy which we can find in ourselves. What then are to we di in such a predicament? This is the key of the Gospel, the Good News of God in Christ, proclaimed to us in the pages of the New Testament. As Romans 3:23 proclaims, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," however, the Apostle does not stop there! The rest of the verse reads, "and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith" (Romans 3:24,25). "For the wages of sin is death," however, God does not leave us to damnation from our sins, no, he freely saves for, "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

The biblical doctrine of justification by faith is something which cannot be compromised or misunderstood. The Council of Trent in the latter part of the 16th century refuted the clear Protestant and biblical teaching on justification on every point. Beginning with the formal cause of justification, the council declared, “the alone formal cause is the justice of God, not that whereby He Himself is just, but that whereby He maketh us just, that, to wit, with which we being endowed by Him, are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and we are not only reputed, but are truly called, and are, just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure, which the Holy Ghost distributes to every one as He wills, and according to each one's proper disposition and co-operation.” This is often called infused righteousness in opposition to the biblical concept of imputed righteousness which was the formal cause of justification according to the Reformers. “they are righteous because they believe in Christ, whose righteousness covers them and is imputed to them.”
The Council of Trent then explains the Roman understanding of what is the instrumental cause of justification which is, “is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith, without which (faith) no man was ever justified,” another spit in the face of Reformation theology. Biblical theology allows faith alone as the instrument of justification (some Protestants allow that baptism is the instrument of regeneration but not justification). Luther says, “Faith, however, is something that God effects in us. It changes us and we are reborn from God, John 1:13. Faith puts the old Adam to death and makes us quite different men in heart, in mind, and in all our powers; and it is accompanied by the Holy Spirit. O, when it comes to faith, what a living, creative, active, powerful thing it is. It cannot do other than good at all times. It never waits to ask whether there is some good work to do; rather, before the question is raised, it has done the deed, and keeps on doing it. A man not active in this way is a man without faith. He is groping about for faith and searching for good works, but knows neither what faith is nor what good works are. Nevertheless, he keeps on talking nonsense about faith and good works.”

The last point with which biblical theology departs from Tridentine theology is in the relation between the justified and their sin nature. Trent says that a justified sinner is completely free from the stains of original sins, however, Luther states something entirely different. While on earth the sinner is simultaneously sinful and just (simul iustus et peccator). Peter Toon says this, “While on earth, the position of the Christian does not change. He is totally righteous through faith, and he remains always and completely a sinner. With reference to Christ he is righteous; but with reference to his fallen nature he is sinful. Yet this apparent contradiction does not imply a static situation. The very faith that draws Christ into the heart and creates the new nature gladly and freely allows Christ to do battle against the old, sinful nature (= “the flesh”). The result of this spiritual conflict (described by St. Paul in Romans 7, 8) should be that “Christ is constantly formed in us and we are formed according to his own image.”12 Each and every day faith is to grasp anew the word of promise which is the gospel and appropriate Christ, who is our righteousness. Further, each and every day sin, the devil and temptation must be fought. Yet despite all the daily battles, the old nature remains with us until death. There is no escape from it, nor from the possibility of sin. So Luther has no doctrine of progressive holiness or growth in sanctification (as these terms were later used). The flesh or old nature does not change; rather, Christ (or really the new nature) grows within the believer. Justification includes the daily renewal of the new nature. The believer can never say he is less sinful than he was at any earlier time!”

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Curious Experiment: The Polity of the Protestant Episcopal Church

While the American Revolution was an interesting and, as the name implies, revolutionary thing, perhaps, the ecclesiastical revolution which accompanied the new political scenario was the more radical of the two revolutions.  As has been explored elsewhere, the future of the Episcopal Church seemed very bleak at the beginning of our nation.  Many clergy and laity had fled to England, many drifted away to other forms of Protestantism or irreligion.  There were no bishops, cathedrals, deans, chapters, provinces, synods, canons, or anything substantial to hold together a church and beyond that the prospect of obtaining bishops probably seemed just as unlikely an event as there actually being an Episcopal Church.  However, through the efforts of one man, William White, the national church was eventually organized as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, developing a unique polity expressing a uniquely American approach to episcopacy.

The structures which would eventually come to govern the life of our national church in America have their roots in the anomaly of colonial Anglicanism.  When English citizens arrived here in the New World, they brought their religion with them.  Puritans and Pilgrims dominated the scene in New England, Quakers in Pennsylvania, and Anglicans in Virginia and Maryland (obviously an oversimplified picture!) which contributed to the religious diversity to which we are accustomed in the US.  There were relatively few Anglican parishes in New England in colonial times (and few in some southern colonies like Georgia and North Carolina), however, the Church was established by law in Virginia and Maryland and the number of parishes shows it (the Church was established in many colonies by law but that did not necessarily correspond to an active, Anglican parochial system).  The American Church was very autonomous with hardly any interference or intervention from the mother Church.  The colonial parishes were technically under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London (being considered part of his diocese), however, no episcopal visit ever occurred.  This lack of concern for colonial parishes from the English bishops stemmed from 18th century English conceptions about what a bishop should be (serving as a temporal and spiritual Lord of the Realm, not fit for “mission” work in the Colonies).  This is not to say that there was no concern for the colonial church.  Most notably, Thomas Bray, founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, visited the Colonies around 1700 to investigate the state of affairs in colonial parishes.  His “Memorial Representing the Present State of Religion on the Continent of North America,” published in 1701, prompted the foundation of the Society, which worked hard to provide clergy and resources for the Colonial Church.  One of the SPG’s main concerns was to acquire a bishop for the Colonies.  However, for various reasons this plan failed, “The English Church did not
see the need for bishops in the colonies, since they were already under the rule of the Bishop of
London, and the S.P.G. (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) seemingly was unable to
argue successfully for Episcopal oversight” (Gundrum 1982:3).  One of the reasons was the colonial attitude to bishops, especially when considering the autonomy they had enjoyed without an episcopal presence.  This brings to light the power of vestries in the colonial parishes, especially in Virginia, where vestries had assumed a great deal of power in the absence of traditional authority structures in place in England.  This was one of the main concerns southern churchmen had with the introduction of episcopacy which would have limited their new-found power.

“The greatest opposition to the episcopacy being established in the colonies emerged, as would be expected, from those areas, especially in the south, where vestries and parishes fairly well “ran their own show”, so to speak, by being able to successfully maintain the right to select and call their own rector… In Virginia, for example, the vestry selected the minister, wardens were the executives of the parish, and the vestry even raised a tobacco tax for church support.  In the absence of clergy, they selected lay-readers, many of whom, throughout the colonies, were ordained after being trained in America.  The use of lay-readers was a wide-spread custom, but the lay-reader was selected by the vestry to lead the congregation in worship.  The powers of the Virginia vestries over clergy presented what seems to many a new and lasting type of clerical- lay relationship” (Gundrum 1982:3).

“Differences about episcopacy reflected more fundamental churchmanship divisions. In
Pennsylvania and the south, low-church views, influenced by the moderate Enlightenment, prevailed; many of the laity, and indeed the clergy too, could be categorised as Deists.  In
New England, by contrast, the clergy were predominantly high churchmen – many of them converts from Congregationalism who had come to believe in episcopacy. Their high churchmanship was sustained by their close connection with the high-church Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (Podmore 2008:135).  These differences in churchmanship and perhaps a bit of politics delayed the consecration of a bishop for the colonies until after the Revolution.  This sense of autonomy would permeate the foundational documents of the Protestant Episcopal Church (a name first used by the Church in Maryland in 1780 [135]).

The American Revolution nearly destroyed the Colonial Church, most notably in its centers in Virginia and Maryland.  Many thought that Anglicanism would perish with the small band of parishioners left after the independence of the Colonies was secured from Great Britain.  However, one man would galvanize remaining Anglicans into organizing a national church in the United States.  White’s plan for the organization of this Church would differ radically from the mother Church in England.  Perhaps its boldness can be seen by first briefly examining the structure and organization of the Church of England.  Fundamentally, the Church of England differs from the Protestant Episcopal Church in one key aspect, that being its origin.  The Church of England was established by missionaries who established episcopal sees which later came to house a diocesan cathedral.  English dioceses are named after the see of the bishop and from his episcopal office stems the entire identity of the diocese, “. An English diocese has no separate existence from its bishop: the definition of a diocese is that it is the area in which a bishop exercises his ministry” (139).  Early missionaries established sees and from that central location sent further missioners to establish parishes under the pastoral care of the bishop.  This is a fundamental difference which must be grasped for it comes to dominate the structure envisioned by White in his proposals for the organization of the Church in America.  The most fundamental difference, however, differs in a parish’s identity.  In England, a parish is a “subdivision of a diocese” and without this connection to the diocese, it cannot exist as a parish (Podmore 2008:135).  As we shall see, this was not the case in the Episcopal Church.  Besides the fundamental distinction between the diocese as the main unit of the Church in England (and as we shall see) the parish as the central unit in America, there is the issue of the equality of dioceses.  The English Church is a metropolitical Church, meaning that authority stems from a central location and flows down.  In the case of the English Church, this temporal and spiritual authority rests in the Crown, as the Supreme Governor of the Church.  The next in the line of authority is the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York, heads of the two Provinces of the Church of England, organized on the ancient pattern centering on the metropolitan (being Canterbury and York in England).  The authority flows down through diocesan bishops and eventually ends up at the parish level in the parish priest.  The structure of the Episcopal Church is completely different in outlook as we shall investigate here.  

The differences are in stark contrast, primarily due to the way in which the Church functioned in the colonial period, largely operating under a congregational polity.  Parishes were not tied to a diocesan bishop, except loosely the Bishop of London, who most colonists never saw.  Podmore adds, "In America, by contrast, the original state churches existed before they had bishops, and at first they were not called dioceses or required to have a bishop at all; they were certainly not defined by having a bishop. The bishops took their title from the state, rather than having a see that would give their diocese its name" (139).  It was this reality in which William White wrote his famous, “The Case of the Episcopal Churches in the United States Considered,” published in 1782, “America was still at war with the English and it preceded the signing of the preliminary peace treaty on November 30, 1782, which became final on September 3, 1783.  Adding to this picture of the fast-moving events, by act of Parliament, English bishops were able to ordain colonial aspirants after August 13, 1784, and all congregations and clergy were freed from all controls of state legislatures by 1784” (Gundrum 1982:5).  White dismisses the (then) popular notion that the Episcopal Church could not survive without the rule of Great Britain, “A prejudice has prevailed with many that the episcopal churches cannot otherwise exist than under the dominion of Great-Britain.  A church government that would contain the constituent principles of the church of England, and yet be independent of foreign jurisdiction or influence, would remove that anxiety which at present hangs heavy on the minds of many sincere persons” (2).  The following is an excellent summary of White’s plan,

“White’s plan, as set forward in the Case, was simply that the American Church should build from the bottom to the top, rather than from the other way around as in England, i.e. from parish to diocese. White’s ideas were in complete agreement with those of the Revolution, that people’s interests and good government are the same, and the very best way to insure this ideal was to allow and provide for people to have maximum input into the creation and formulation of that free government…
From the Case, William White, later Bishop White of Philadelphia, produced six fundamental principles:
1. The Church is and ought to be free and independent of all foreign authority, ecclesiastical or civil;
2. The Church in The United States should have full and exclusive power to regulate concerns of its own communions;
3. The doctrines of the Gospel as then professed by the Church of England and uniformity of worship be continued, as near as may be possible;
4. The succession of ministry in three orders:
1. Bishops
2. Priests
3. Deacons
And the rights and powers of the same shall be ascertained and exercised according to reasonable law to be duly made;
5. Canons shall be made by no other authority than that of a representative body of the clergy and laity, acting co-jointly; and
6. No powers shall be allocated to a general ecclesiastical government except such as cannot be conveniently exercised by local congregations.
Without question, White intended to present a plan which fully preserved the faith, doctrine, and worship of the Church of England while changing the form of governance of the Church for the circumstance found in the United States.  His changes in government followed a contract-theory of government, and the de facto recognition that local government was already the fact; there
was no existing domestic episcopacy; and there had been no dioceses formed; thus leaving the parish as the basic unit of the Church in this country” (Gundrum 1982:6).

Gundrum also adds,

“White’s changes in governance, mitigated by the American circumstance, has:
a) Clergy and Laity – meeting and voting in one body;
b) No area of Church government is beyond the authority of such a gathering of clergy and laity, and individuals do not possess a veto;
c) Every communicant or member of the Church has a right to participate in the development of Church government through the parish delegate to the diocesan convention;
d) Bishops should continue to serve as a rector, confined to a small district; and
e) No power shall be given to any diocesan, regional, or national Church, except those which cannot conveniently be accomplished by the clergy and laity in their respective congregations” (7).

In brief, “White’s proposal was that the congregations should unite, in ‘voluntary associations’, and accordingly they formed state churches (later called dioceses), which in turn united in the General Convention,” which could have been adopted due to the nature of how the Episcopal Church had been organized, largely as autonomous parishes without a bishop or diocese.  The pre-existence of parishes before the creation of dioceses, shows the parish to be the basic unit in the Episcopal Church and similarly, the pre-existence of dioceses before the General Convention presumes certain autonomy on the part of the dioceses.  White’s plan was enshrined in our Constitution, as Podmore notes,

“The Constitution of the General Convention still treats dioceses seeking admission into union with the General Convention as pre-existing entities. According to the Constitution, the new diocese is formed ‘with the consent of the General Convention’, and the relevant canon speaks of the formation being ‘ratified’ by the General Convention, but both forms of words make it clear that it is not the General Convention that creates the diocese. A ‘primary convention’ of the new diocese adopts a diocesan constitution, and the new diocese is then ‘admitted into union with the General Convention” (131).

Part of White’s plan seems to have been motivated by a desire to return to a more primitive model of episcopacy, “The primitive churches were generally supplied by popular elections; even in the city of Rome, the privilege of electing the bishop continued with the people to the tenth or eleventh century” (3), contrasting with England, where, “bishops are appointed by the civil authority.”  Gundrum confirms that this would have been less suspicious to Americans, who had grown weary of English prelacy, “The idea of a “primitive episcopate” in no way brought forward the kinds of emotions and fear as was provoked by the English style of episcopacy” (2).  In his “Case,” White provides a sketch of his ideas about what the structure of the Church should look like.  White’s ideas gave birth to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, as Podmore notes, “‘Episcopal’ was understood in a very limited sense. White envisaged that each convention would elect a ‘presiding minister’, who would continue to be a parish priest (because the congregations would not be able to pay for a separate presiding minister). He understood a bishop as being a priest to whom the power of ordination and confirmation was given, together with certain administrative duties. In the early Church, he believed, ‘the bishop was no more than a president’.  Bishops should be elected by the clergy and laity and could be tried, and if necessary deposed, by those who elected them” (135).  And in White’s own words, “the very name of “Bishop” is offensive; if so, change it for another; let the superior clergyman be a president, a superintendent, or in plain English, and, according to the literal translation of the original, an overseer.”  Similar Low Church views were expressed by the Church in Virginia at their convention in 1785, which defined the duties of a bishop as, “ordaining, confirming, superintending clergy conduct and presiding at ecclesiastical meetings; the power to suspend or dismiss clergy, including the bishop, should rest with the convention”
(136).  Perhaps colonists were reacting against the worldliness of English bishops, but whatever the cause, episcopacy was not something early American Episcopalians considered all that important in the life of the Church,

“By and large, the office of bishop was defined in the early American church as being no different from that of any other clergyman, except that he could ordain, confirm, make clerical visitations; and finally by 1789, was given permission to serve as the presiding officer of ecclesiastical assemblies.  In all of this, the primitive aspect of the episcopacy, not the princely aspect of the office, was put forward, always with care to separate church and state while stressing the servanthood of the office” (Gundrum 1982:2).

As one could imagine, High Churchmen in the northern Colonies were not impressed with White’s Low Church episcopacy.  Contrast White’s statements with this statement from Bishop Hobart (obviously not writing at the same time),

“The Church is a divinely constituted society, of which Christ is the Head. Its officers must derive their commission from him its Head. This commission [27/28] is transmitted through a superior order of the ministry, among whom ranked Timothy and Titus, subsequently called Bishops. By union with the Church the mystical body of Christ is our union in the exercise of penitence and faith to be maintained with him its Head. Union with the Church cannot exist where we are not in union with the ministry deriving their power through the legitimate channel from the Head of the Church. The Churchman believing that this order is the order of Bishops, would think that, in separating from their ministrations, he cut himself off from the communion of the Church, and was guilty of the sin of schism” (The Churchman).

The convention of clergy in Connecticut met in March 1783 to discuss White’s “Case” and also elected Samuel Seabury (1729-1796) to be their bishop, and the first bishop on American soil.  They wrote to White, “We think an Episcopal Church without Episcopacy, if it be not a contradiction in terms, would, however, be a new thing under the sun… Nothing can be more clear than that our Church has ever believed bishops to have the sole right of ordination and government, and that this regimen was appointed of Christ himself” (Podmore 2008:136).  The story of Seabury’s consecration does not concern us here but perhaps a brief summary will remind the reader of some interesting bits of history.  Seabury left the States to acquire consecration of English bishops in London but due to complications arising from the oath to the Crown in the English Ordinal, they were unable to perform consecration (they would change their opinion later and consecrate Provoost and White).  Seabury, either acting on his instincts or “Plan B,” headed to Scotland and was consecrated by Scottish bishops.  This act created a special relationship between the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States and the Episcopal Church of Scotland, even influencing our liturgy (hence why our Communion Office resembles the Scottish Liturgy and not the English).  Bishop Seabury was not impressed with White’s plan and would not lead the Connecticut Church into participating with the other churches without some modification to the plan.  “The government of the Church by Bishops, we hold to have been established by the Apostles, acting under the commission of Christ, and the direction of the Holy Ghost; and therefore is not to be altered by any power on earth, nor indeed by an angel from heaven” (Seabury, 137).  He was principally concerned with White’s appropriation of the term “bishop” to someone who did not hold episcopal powers, according to the plan, “The rights of the Christian Church arise not from nature or compact, but from the institution of Christ; and we ought not to alter them, but to receive and maintain them, as the holy Apostles left them’. Furthermore, the episcopal office was one of government: ‘If a man be called a Bishop who has not the Episcopal powers of government, he is called by a wrong name, even though he should have the power of Ordination and Confirmation” (Seabury, 136).  Seabury was able to change the initial plans of White.  White had originally envisaged a unicameral legislature for the Church comprised of bishops, clergy, and laity.  Through Seabury’s protests, the plan was amended to include two houses, one for Bishops and one for other clergy and laity.

As history can prove, the 19th century would be a century of immense change in the Protestant Episcopal Church, stemming from the Tractarian Movement growing in England and influencing the Church by the 1840’s.  Before the Oxford Movement, however, there was an indigenous, High Church movement, led by Hobart, which led to emphasize the Episcopal office against the Latitudinarian character of the early Episcopal Church here.  Bishop Hobart led this indigenous movement from his parish in New York City as a parish priest and later as Bishop of New York.  These High Churchmen were committed Protestant Catholics (explored elsewhere on this blog) but they did not like the approach to bishops embedded in the Constitution.  Most notably, Hobartian churchmen influenced the thinking surrounding the foundation of new dioceses.  Rather than following White’s model of a group of parishes forming a “voluntary association” and then electing a presiding minister or “bishop,” future Episcopal Dioceses would be founded in the more traditional sense, flowing from a bishop who would build up a diocese around him.  The Hobartian churchmen also influenced one other significant aspect of Episcopal ecclesiology, dealing with the trial of bishops.  Up to that point, bishops were tried by their respective state churches.  The proposed reform would subject the trial of bishops to the General Convention, thus, at least subjecting bishops to the judgment of their brother bishops and not diocesan conventions (Podmore 2008: 139, 140).  This native movement merged with the foreign Tractarianism which had begun to impact the Protestant Episcopal Church by the late 1830’s and has continued to do so until the present day.  One of the issues that Tractarianism brought with it was how apostolicity and catholicity were to be understood.  Old High Church rhetoric focused on the bishop ruling his diocese as a picture of what apostolicity looked like in an Anglican context.  Tractarians had a different point of view entirely, focusing on the sacrificing priest, instead.  Podmore quotes R.B. Mullin, “Broadly speaking, if the central image in the high church imagination during the Hobartian period had been the patriarchal bishop governing from his apostolic office, for later churchmen the central image became the priest serving at the altar . . . [N]ew concerns pointed to a far greater concern for the sacerdotal role of the priest than for the apostolic role of the bishop” (R.B. Mullin on 140).  I argue that this change in emphasis (and theology) has led to a constant centralization in the Protestant Episcopal Church up until the present day, which we can see in the legal actions taken against Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina.

At this point, I would like to review the present structure and organization of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, also known as the Episcopal Church, which is incorporated in New York State as the Domestic and Foreign Mission Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.  We will see that White’s plan, although altered, is still the framework on which the Episcopal Church functions today.

First, I would like to briefly discuss the identity of our church which has been sinking further into confusion since the 19th century.  The official name of our Church as said above is the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, thus highlighting within our name the reformed catholic nature of our Church.  Many want to diminish either the Protestant aspect or the Catholic aspect of our Church, which in turn destroys the whole Church.  From the Preamble to the Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church:

“The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, otherwise known as The Episcopal Church (which name is hereby recognized as also designating the Church), is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, of those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces, and regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order\ as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. This Constitution, adopted in General Convention in Philadelphia in October, 1789, as amended in subsequent General Conventions, sets forth the basic Articles for the government of this Church, and of its overseas missionary jurisdictions”

Canon 13 deals with parishes of the Episcopal Church, parishes are to belong to the diocese in which they are geographically located.  Their status in the diocese allows them all the rights in Diocesan Convention in the diocese in which their clergyman is resident.  The geographical boundaries of parishes are established by Diocesan Convention and new parishes established must have the consent of the Bishop and Standing Committee.  Every parish must have a vestry elected by law, “In every Parish of this Church the number, mode of selection, and term of office of Wardens and Members of the Vestry, with the qualifications of voters, shall be such as the State or Diocesan law may permit or require, and the Wardens and Members of the Vestry selected under such law shall hold office until their successors are selected and have qualified” (14.1).  Likewise the vestry serves as the legal representative of the parish and the Rector should serve as the president of the vestry, unless there are conflicts with law.  

The dioceses of the Episcopal Church, especially the oldest members, which predate the first General Convention, were made up of parishes which pre-existed those dioceses.  As White termed them, “voluntary associations,” they offer much more power to the laity as opposed to English dioceses.  Most notably, Episcopal dioceses all have a constitution and set of canon law separate from the Church’s Constitution and Canons.  The General Convention has not historically interfered with diocesan constitutions or canons and it is not required to notify or obtain consent from the General Convention for changing diocesan constitutions and canons.

“The Constitution of the General Convention requires that in each diocese there shall be a standing committee elected by the diocesan convention.  Typically, the standing committee (of which the bishop is not a member) has four lay and four clerical members, who choose their own president… The overall impression is not of the bishop as central to the life of the diocese, with a synod to advise him, but of the diocesan convention as central to the life of the diocese and supreme in its power, and of the bishop as its officer, able to act in many important matters only with the consent of the standing committee that the convention elects” (Podmore 2008:144; compare with Canon 12 of the C&C).

Episcopal dioceses are treated as equal in relation to their representation at General Convention, which is not weighted by size or metropolitcal seniority.  Each diocese elects four lay and four ordained deputies for their representation at the House of Deputies.  “The Church in each Diocese which has been admitted to union with the General Convention, each area Mission established as provided by Article VI, and the Convocation of the American Churches in Europe, shall be entitled to representation in the House of Deputies by not more than four ordained persons, Presbyters or Deacons, canonically resident in the Diocese and not more than four Lay Persons, confirmed adult communicants of this Church, in good standing in the Diocese” (Article 1 Sec.4).  Likewise there are no metropolitical sees as in England, with Canterbury and York as having metropolitical authority over other dioceses.  All dioceses and sees are equal in authority in the Episcopal Church.  “Because all diocesan bishops are equal, and because bishops are essentially officers of their diocesan conventions, no bishop is subject to the jurisdiction or authority of another bishop” (Podmore 2008:146).  The Episcopal Church has grouped its dioceses into “provinces” beginning in 1913 (for instance, Albany is in Province II), “but, lacking metropolitans, these are not provinces in the traditional sense. There is an elected president of the province, but he or she has no jurisdiction and (since 1979) may be a priest, deacon or layperson, although, if that is the case, the vicepresident must be a bishop.  There is what is called a ‘provincial synod’ but it has no ‘power to regulate or control the internal policy or affairs of any constituent Diocese’” (Podmore 2008:146).  The Constitution and Canons define the nature of Provinces, “Dioceses may be united into Provinces in such manner, under such conditions, and with such powers, as shall be provided by Canon of the General Convention; Provided, however, that no Diocese shall be included in a Province without its own consent” (Article VII).  This reflects a pattern I have noted when reading on the history of Episcopal polity over the past century.  That pattern being the adoption of traditional, Western ecclesiastical terms but not adopting the totality of that structure to the organization of the American Church.  For instance, as we shall see momentarily, the office of the Presiding Bishop has expanded considerably since the time of White or even Hopkins and has accumulated various responsibilities but the office is still an elected office with no metropolitical powers tied to the office as is the case of an archbishop.  The same trend can be seen with our provinces, which adopt the language of traditional provinces but not the inherent structure of them.  I believe this is the cause of the influence of Anglo-Catholicism in our Church which seeks to undermine the Protestant nature of our church.  This trend was also influenced by corporate culture in America which can be seen in the changing duties of the Presiding Bishop.  Holmes notes this centralization which began to take place in the early 20th century, “The Episcopal Church attempted to create greater efficiency and corporate consciousness by centralizing its previously uncoordinated denominational boards in the six-story Church Missions House . . . in New York City”(Holmes 145).

The office of the Presiding Bishop is an excellent example of how this gradual centralization has occurred in the Protestant Episcopal Church.  Until 1919, the Presiding Bishop was not elected but rather the senior bishop by date of consecration, since 1919, the Presiding Bishop has been elected as we know now, which is detailed in the Constitution, “At the General Convention next before the expiration of the term of office of the Presiding Bishop, it shall elect the Presiding Bishop of the Church. The House of Bishops shall choose one of the Bishops of this Church to be the Presiding Bishop of the Church” (Article 1, Sec.3) and, “The term of office of the Presiding Bishop, when elected according to the provisions of Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, shall be nine years” (Canon 2.2).  It is important to note that before 1901, the Constitution read “Presiding Bishop of the House of Bishops” (Podmore 2008:158) and it is also important to note the nomenclature of the office.  Our Church does not have an Archbishop but a Presiding Bishop, thus confirming that the Episcopal Church is not a metropolitical Church with varying sees of differing authority but rather an egalitarian episcopacy where all bishops are equal and elect one among them to preside over General Convention.  Because our Church is not a metropolitical Church, “[The Presiding Bishop] possesses no jurisdiction over any diocese and no power of visitation in the canonical sense. Bishops neither promise nor owe ‘due obedience’ to the Presiding Bishop… ‘The Presiding Bishop possesses no independent authority. His authority and actions derive from the ultimate ecclesial authority of the General Convention’(Podmore 2008:160).  The Presiding Bishop’s primary role is to preside over General Convention as the general officer.  According to Canon 2.3, a Bishop elected as Presiding Bishop must resign from previous jurisdiction(s) in order to serve in that office (such as Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori resigned from her post as Bishop of Nevada).  Now, I will quote at length the duties of the Presiding Bishop according to the Canons of the Episcopal Church:

“The Presiding Bishop shall be the Chief Pastor and Primate of the Church, and shall:

(1) Be charged with responsibility for leadership in initiating and developing the policy and strategy in the Church and speaking for the Church as to the policies, strategies and programs authorized by the General Convention;
(2) Speak God's words to the Church and to the world, as the representative of this Church and its episcopate in its corporate capacity;
(3) In the event of an Episcopal vacancy within a Diocese, consult with the Ecclesiastical Authority to ensure that adequate interim Episcopal Services are provided;
(4) Take order for the consecration of Bishops, when duly elected; and, from time to time, assemble the Bishops of this Church to meet, either as the House of Bishops or as a Council of Bishops, and set the time and place of such meetings;
(5) Preside over meetings of the House of Bishops; and, when the two Houses of the General Convention meet in Joint Session, have the right of presiding over such Session, of calling for such Joint Session, of recommending legislation to either House and, upon due notification, of appearing before and addressing the House of Deputies; and whenever addressing the General Convention upon the state of the Church, it shall be incumbent upon both Houses thereof to consider and act upon any recommendations contained in such address;
(6) Visit every Diocese of this Church for the purpose of:
(i) Holding pastoral consultations with the Bishop or Bishops thereof and, with their advice, with the Lay and Clerical leaders of the jurisdiction;
(ii) Preaching the Word; and (iii) Celebrating the Holy Eucharist.
(b) The Presiding Bishop shall report annually to the Church, and may, from time to time, issue Pastoral Letters”

(Canon 2.4)

“The title ‘Chief Pastor’ was added in 1967… The title ‘primate’, added in 1982, presumably
denotes membership of the Primates’ Meeting of the Anglican Communion established
four years earlier in 1978. It cannot mean what that term has traditionally meant in the
western Church; the Presiding Bishop is not the bishop of the first or primatial see of the
United States – there is no such thing – and indeed he or she is not now the bishop of any
diocese. (The Presiding Bishop does, however, have a cathedral, known as ‘The National
Cathedral’, which was begun in 1907 and completed in 1990.) (Podmore 2008:146, 147).  One can see the increasing centralization and power vested in the Presiding Bishop, which probably led us to the problems we face today.

I would like to add one final note about the office of the Presiding Bishop and how that office relates to the Executive Council which is also the Board of Directors of the Domestic and Foreign Missions Society.  The Presiding Bishop is chair and president of the Executive Council, which also functions as the board of directors of the Domestic and Foreign Missions Society of which the Presiding Bishop is president (of both).  “There shall be an Executive Council of the General Convention (which Council shall generally be called simply the Executive Council) whose duty it shall be to carry out the program and policies adopted by the General Convention” (Canon 4.1a) but it shall be, “accountable to the General Convention” (4.1b).  The Presiding Bishop can appoint officers to positions created by the Executive Council as well.

Now we move to discuss the real power in the Episcopal Church: General Convention.  The first article of our Constitution defines and establishes the General Convention, “There shall be a General Convention of this Church, consisting of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, which Houses shall sit and deliberate separately; and in all deliberations freedom of debate shall be allowed. Either House may originate and propose legislation, and all acts of the Convention shall be adopted and be authenticated by both Houses” (Art. 1, Sec. 1).  As we have seen the General Convention is a bicameral legislature, comprised of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, which has all the real authority in the Episcopal Church.  It enacts canons, amends the Constitution, revises the Prayer Book, elects bishops, Presiding Bishops, and admits new dioceses and meets every three years.  Now from the canons, concerning the House of Bishops, “Each Bishop of this Church having jurisdiction, every Bishop Coadjutor, every Suffragan Bishop, every Assistant Bishop, and every Bishop… shall have a seat and a vote in the House of Bishops” (1.2).  The House of Deputies admits, “The Church in each Diocese which has been admitted to union with the General Convention… , shall be entitled to representation in the House of Deputies by not more than four ordained persons, Presbyters or Deacons, canonically resident in the Diocese and not more than four Lay Persons, confirmed adult communicants of this Church, in good standing in the Diocese” (1.4).  As stated earlier, the General Convention does not possess all authority as it rarely intervenes in diocesan constitutions and canons.  Podmore reflects that the General Convention lacks the “ecclesial density” that the (according to the author) General Synod of the Church of England possesses, “That means that it cannot develop the sort of corporate life that characterises the General Synod, in which the same people meet together two or three times a year for five years. It is not a body which is ‘together on the way’ (the meaning of the term ‘synod’) in quite the same manner. Indeed, the entire legislative process for an amendment to the Canons takes place at a single meeting of the General Convention; only amendments to the Constitution and the Prayer Book must be considered at two successive meetings. Thus, quite radical change can occur – and has occurred – very quickly” (130,131).  I hope that you have noticed the gradual centralization of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which started as a church consisting of parishes in voluntary association with each other, to a church comprised of dioceses united in General Convention.  Gundrum notes this transformation, first by discussing the nature of the Convention, “As you can begin to see, and as we will point out later on, “the legal supremacy of the General Convention was built on a base of broad powers, granted, retained, and exercised on the local and parish level”, regardless of the theological concept that the bishop  of a diocese is the central focus and symbol of the unity of the diocese, and that the basic unit of the Church is the diocese.  In the colonial period (and, one might say, with residuals existing in some places today), the basic unit of the Church was at the parish level” (3).

I end once again with this quote from Bishop Hopkins which I have reflected on much since I read it.

“The Church is a Protestant Church, emphatically and distinctly such, because her duty to PROTEST against error, is, in the natural things, inseparable from the right of REFORM. Is he ready to repeat her protest, to defend its duty, and to demonstrate its truth? The Church is a Catholic Church, that is, a branch of the ancient, Universal Church of Christ, in contradistinction from all heresies and schisms. Is he thoroughly persuaded of this fact, and ready to assert, against "all gainsayers, but chiefly and preeminently against that corrupt system which would fain be called the only Catholic Church, the purity and faithful consistency of her doctrines ? If not, let him be put back awhile until he learns to understand the office which the Church expects of him. He may have piety, he may have learning, he may have all high moral and intellectual capacities, he may be sound in the essentials of his individual faith so far as concerns his own salvation. But all this he might be, without any of the distinctive principles which can alone authorize us to clothe him with the commission of the ministry. Our power to give him this commission is a solemn trust, delegated to us on certain specified conditions. And if those conditions, or any of them, be manifestly wanting, we have, strictly speaking, no legal right to ordain”

“Constitutions and Canons Together with the Rules of Order for the Government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America otherwise known as the Episcopal Church.”  Adopted and Revised in General Convention, 1789-2009.

Gundrum, The Rev. Canon James R.  “General Convention: Understood Authority or Ecclesiastical Chaos.”  Arrington Lectures 1982.  

Podmore, Colin. “A Tale of Two Churches: The Ecclesiologies of the Episcopal Church and the the Church of England Compared.”  International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 8.2. (2008): 124-154.

Posey, Walter B.  “The Protestant Episcopal Church: An American Adaptation.”  The Journal of Southern History 25.1 (1959): 3-30.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Remember remember the fifth of November

"Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot."

This Saturday night marks an important day in the history of the English nation and Church.  November 5th, or Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night, commemorates the deliverance of King James I from an assassination attempt, originating from a group of English Catholics who wanted to replace the Protestant monarch with a Catholic one.  Fortunately, Guy Fawkes was caught "red-handed" guarding a cache of explosives under the House of Lords.  The English celebrated the survival of the King with bonfires.  On January 23, 1606, Parliament passed the, "Observance of 5th November Act" which called for national remembrance and commemoration of the event by amending a new form of service to the Book of Common Prayer (presented below).



And also for the happy Arrival of His Majesty King William on this Day, for the Deliverance of our [the] Church and Nation.

The service shall be the same with the usual Office for Holidays in all things; except where it is hereafter otherwise appointed.

If this day shall happen to be Sunday, only the Collect proper for that Sunday, shall be added to this Office in its place.

Morning Prayer shall begin with one of these Sentences.

TURN thy face away from our sins, O Lord; and blot out all our offences.  Psalm 51.9

Correct us, O Lord, but with judgment, not in thine anger; lest thou bring us to nothing.  Jeremiah 10.24

I will go to my father, and will say unto him; Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee; and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  S. Luke 20.18,19

Instead of Venite, exultemus, shall this Hymn following be used, one verse by the Priest, and another by the Clerk and People.

O GIVE thanks unto the Lord for he is gracious: and his mercy endureth for ever. Psal. cvii. 1
    Let them give thanks whom the Lord hath redeemed: and delivered from the hand of the enemy. Ver. 2
    Many a time have they fought against me from my youth up: may Israel now say. Ps. cxxix. 1
    Yea, many a time have they vexed me from my youth up: but they have not prevailed against me. Ver. 2
    They have privily laid their net to destroy me without a cause: yea, even without a cause, have they made a pit for my soul. Psal. xxxv. 7
    They have laid a net for my feet, and pressed down my soul: they have digged a pit before me, and are fallen into the midst of it themselves. Psal. lvii. 7
    Great is our Lord, and great is His power: yea, and His wisdom is infinite. Psal. cxlvii. 5.
    The Lord setteth up the meek: and bringeth the ungodly down to the ground. Ver. 6
    Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand: and upon the son of man whom thou madest so strong for thine own self. Psal. lxxx. 17
    And so will not we go back from thee: O let us live, and we shall call upon thy Name. Ver. 18

    Glory be to the Father, &c.

Proper Psalms:  35, 64, 124, 129

Psalm 35. Judica, Domine

PLEAD thou my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me : and fight thou against them that fight against me.
2. Lay hand upon the shield and buckler : and stand up to help me.
3. Bring forth the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me : say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4. Let them be confounded and put to shame, that seek after my soul : let them be turned back and brought to confusion, that imagine mischief for me.
5. Let them be as the dust before the wind : and the angel of the Lord scattering them.
6. Let their way be dark and slippery : and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.
7. For they have privily laid their net to destroy me without a cause : yea, even without a cause have they made a pit for my soul.
8. Let a sudden destruction come upon him unawares, and his net, that he hath laid privily, catch himself : that he may fall into his own mischief.
9. And, my soul, be joyful in the Lord : it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10. All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him : yea, the poor, and him that is in misery, from him that spoileth him?
11. False witnesses did rise up : they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12. They rewarded me evil for good : to the great discomfort of my soul.
13. Nevertheless, when they were sick, I put on sackcloth, and humbled my soul with fasting : and my prayer shall turn into mine own bosom.
14. I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my brother : I went heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15. But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together : yea, the very abjects came together against me unawares, making mouths at me, and ceased not.
16. With the flatterers were busy mockers : who gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17. Lord, how long wilt thou look upon this : O deliver my soul from the calamities which they bring on me, and my darling from the lions.
18. So will I give thee thanks in the great congregation : I will praise thee among much people.
19. O let not them that are mine enemies triumph over me ungodly : neither let them wink with their eyes that hate me without a cause.
20. And why? their communing is not for peace; but they imagine deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land.
21. They gaped upon me with their mouths, and said : Fie on thee, fie on thee, we saw it with our eyes.
22. This thou hast seen, O Lord : hold not thy tongue then, go not far from me, O Lord.
23. Awake, and stand up to judge my quarrel : avenge thou my cause, my God, and my Lord.
24. Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness : and let them not triumph over me.
25. Let them not say in their hearts, There, there, so would we have it : neither let them say, We have devoured him.
26. Let them be put to confusion and shame together, that rejoice at my trouble : let them be clothed with rebuke and dishonour, that boast themselves against me.
27. Let them be glad and rejoice, that favour my righteous dealing : yea, let them say alway, Blessed be the Lord, who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28. And as for my tongue, it shall be talking of thy righteousness : and of thy praise all the day long.

Psalm 64. Exaudi, Deus

HEAR my voice, O God, in my prayer : preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2. Hide me from the gathering together of the froward : and from the insurrection of wicked doers;
3. Who have whet their tongue like a sword : and shoot out their arrows, even bitter words;
4. That they may privily shoot at him that is perfect : suddenly do they hit him, and fear not.
5. They encourage themselves in mischief : and commune among themselves how they may lay snares, and say that no man shall see them.
6. They imagine wickedness, and practise it : that they keep secret among themselves, every man in the deep of his heart.
7. But God shall suddenly shoot at them with a swift arrow : that they shall be wounded.
8. Yea, their own tongues shall make them fall : insomuch that whoso seeth them shall laugh them to scorn.
9. And all men that see it shall say, This hath God done : for they shall perceive that it is his work.
10. The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord, and put his trust in him : and all they that are true of heart shall be glad.

Psalm 124. Nisi quia Dominus

IF THE Lord himself had not been on our side, now may Israel say : if the Lord himself had not been on our side, when men rose up against us;
2. They had swallowed us up quick : when thy were so wrathfully displeased at us.
3. Yea, the waters had drowned us : and the stream had gone over our soul.
4. The deep waters of the proud : had gone even over our soul.
5. But praised be the Lord : who hath not given us over for a prey unto their teeth.
6. Our soul is escaped even as a bird out of the snare of the fowler : the snare is broken, and we are delivered .
7. Our help standeth in the Name of the Lord : who hath made heaven and earth.

Psalm 129. Saepe expugnaverunt

MANY a time have they fought against me from my youth up : may Israel now say.
2. Yea, many a time have they vexed me from my youth up : but they have not prevailed against me.
3. The plowers plowed upon my back : and made long furrows.
4. But the righteous Lord : hath hewn the snares of the ungodly in pieces.
5. Let them be confounded and turned backward : as many as have evil will at Sion.
6. Let them be even as the grass growing upon the house-tops : which withereth afore it be plucked up;
7. Whereof the mower filleth not his hand : neither he that bindeth up the sheaves his bosom.
8. So that they who go by say not so much as, The Lord prosper you : we wish you good luck in the Name of the Lord.

Te Deum.

Proper Lessons: 2 Samuel 22, Acts 23
Jubilate Deo.

In the Suffrages after the Creed, there shall be inserted and used for the King.

Priest.  O Lord, save the King;
People.  Who putteth his trust in thee.
Priest.  Send him help from thy holy place.
People.  And evermore mightily defend him.
Priest.  Let his enemies have no advantage against him.
People.  Let not the wicked approach to hurt him.

Instead of the first Collect at Morning Prayer, shall these two be used.

ALMIGHT GOD, who hast in all ages shewed thy power and mercy in the miraculous and gracious deliverances of thy Church, and in the protection of righteous and religious Kings and States, professing thy holy and eternal truth, from the wicked conspiracies, and malicious practices of all the enemies thereof; We yield thee our unfeigned thanks and praise, for the wonderful and mighty deliverance of our late gracious Sovereign King James, the Queen, the Prince, and all the Royal Branches, with the Nobility, Clergy, and Commons of this Realm, then assembled in Parliament, by Popish treachery appointed as sheep to the slaughter, in a most barbarous, and savage manner, beyond the examples of former ages.  From this unnatural conspiracy, not our merit, but thy mercy; not our foresight, but thy providence delivered us:  And therefore, not unto us, O Lord, not unto us; but unto thy Name be ascribed all honour and glory in all Churches of the saints, from generation to generation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

O LORD, who didst this day discover the snares of death that were laid for us, and didst wonderfully deliver us from the same; Be thou still our mighty Protector, and scatter our enemies that delight in blood.  Infatuate and defeat their counsels, abate their pride, assuage their malice, and confound their devices.  Strengthen the hands of our gracious King Charles, and all that are put in authority under hum, with Judgment and justice, to cut off all such workers of iniquity, as turn religion into rebellion, and faith into faction; that they may never prevail against us, or triumph in the ruin of thy Church among us:  But that our gracious Sovereign and his Realms, being preserved in thy true Religion, and by thy merciful goodness protected in the same, we may all duly serve thee, and give thee thanks in thy holy congregation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

ACCEPT also, most gracious God, of our unfeigned thanks, for filling our hearts again with joy and gladness, after the time that thou hast afflicted us, and putting a new song into our mouths, by bringing his Majesty King William upon this Day, for the Deliverance of our Church and Nation from Popish Tyranny and arbitrary Power. We adore the wisdom and justice of thy providence, which so timely interposed in our extreme danger, and disappointed all the designs of our enemies. We beseech thee, give us such a lively and lasting sense of what thou didst then, and hast since that time done for us, that we may not grown secure and careless in our obedience, by presuming upon thy great and undeserved goodness; but that it may lead us to repentance, and move us to be the more diligent and zealous in all the duties of our Religion, which thou hast in a marvellous manner preserved to us. Let truth and justice, brotherly kindness and charity, devotion and piety, concord and unity, with all other virtues, so flourish among us, that they may be the stability of our times, and make this Church a praise in the earth. All which we humbly beg for the sake of our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

[ALMIGHTY GOD, who hast in all ages shewed thy power and mercy in the miraculous and gracious deliverances of thy Church, and in the protection of righteous and religious Kings and States, professing thy holy and eternal truth, from the wicked conspiracies, and malicious practices of all the enemies thereof; We yield thee our unfeigned thanks and praise, for the wonderful and mighty deliverance of King and Church from unnatural treachery and conspiracy which were appointed as sheep to the slaughter, in a most barbarous, and savage manner, beyond the examples of former ages.  Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us; but unto thy Name be ascribed all honour and glory in all Churches of the saints, from generation to generation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.]

In the end of the Litany (which shall always this day be used after the Collect [We humbly beseech thee, O Father, etc.] shall this be said which followeth.

ALMIGHTY God, and heavenly Father, who of thy gracious providence, and tender mercy towards us, didst prevent the malice and imaginations of our enemies, by discovering and confounding their horrible and wicked enterprise, plotted, and intended this day to be executed against the King, and the whole state of this Realm, for the subversion of the Government, and Religion established amongst us; We most humbly praise and magnify thy glorious Name for this thine infinite gracious goodness towards us.  We confess, it as thy mercy, thy mercy alone, that we were not then consumed.  For our sins cried to heaven against us; and our inequities justly called for vengeance upon us.  But thou hast not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us after our iniquities nor given us over, as we deserved, to be a prey to our enemies; but didst in mercy deliver us from their malice, and preserve us from death and destruction.  Let the consideration of this thy goodness, O Lord, work in us true repentance, that iniquity may not be our ruin.  And increase in us more and more a lively faith, and fruitful love in all holy obedience, that thou may continue thy favour, with the light of thy Gospel to us and our posterity for evermore; and that for thy dear Son’s sake, Jesus Christ our only Mediator and Advocate.  Amen.

Instead of the Prayer [In time of War and Tumults] shall be used this Prayer following.

O LORD, who didst this day discover the snares of death that were laid for us, and didst wonderfully deliver us from the same; Be thou still our mightly Protector, and scatter our enemies that delight in blood: Infatuate and defeat their counsels, abate their pride, assuage their malice, and confound their devices. Strengthen the hands of our gracious Sovereign King George, and all that are put in authority under him, with judgment and justice, to cut off all such workers of iniquity, as turn Religion into Rebellion, and Faith into Faction; that they may never prevail against us, or triumph in the ruin of thy church among us: but that our gracious Sovereign and his Realms, being preserved in thy true Religion, and by thy merciful goodness protected in the same, we may all duly serve thee, and give thee thanks in thy holy Congregation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In the Communion Service, instead of the Collect for the day, shall this which followeth, be used.

ETERNAL God, and our most mighty protector we thy unworthy servants do humbly present our selves before thy Majesty, acknowledging thy power, wisdom, and goodness in preserving the King, and the three Estates of this Realm assembled in Parliament, from the destruction this day intended against them.  Make us, we beseech thee, truly thankful for this thy great mercy towards us.  Protect and defend our Sovereign Lord the King, and all the Royal Family from all treasons and conspiracies:  Preserve them in thy faith, fear, and love; prosper his Reign with long happiness here on earth; and crown him with everlasting glory hereafter in the kingdom of heaven; through Jesus Christ our only Savior and Redeemer.  Amen.

The Epistle.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

The Gospel.

When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:  And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.  Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.  And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.  And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.  And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.  Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.  Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.

After the Creed, if there be no Sermon, shall be read one of the six Homilies against Rebellion.

This sentence is to be read at the Offertory.

WHATSOEVER ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law, and the prophets.  S. Matthew 7.12

After the Prayer for the Church militant this following Prayer is to be used.

O GOD, whose Name is excellent in all the earth, and thy glory above the heavens; who, on this day, didst miraculously preserve our Church and State from the secret contrivance and hellish malice of Popish Conspirators; and on this day also didst begin to give us a mightly Deliverance from the open tyranny and oppression of the same cruel and blood-thirsty enemies; We bless and adore thy glorious Majesty, as for the former, so for this thy later marvellous loving-kindness to our church and Nation, in the preservation of our Religion and Liberties. And we humbly pray that the devout sense of this thy repeated mercy may renew and increase in us a spirit of love and thankfulness to thee its only Author; a spirit of peaceable submission and obedience to our gracious Sovereign Lord King George; and a spirit of fervent zeal for our holy Religion, which thou hast so wonderfully rescued, and established a Blessing to us and our posterity. And this we beg for Jesus Christ his sake. Amen.