Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/751

This page needs to be proofread.


BOOK


681


BOOK


rite of administering it has undergone great changes. In 1549 the anointing with chrism was omitted, but the prayer that tlie Holy Ghost might come down upon those about to be confirmed was re- tained, and they were signed with the sign of the cross on their forehead. In 1552, owing again to Bucer's influence, the first prayer was altered ("strengthen them . . . with the Holy Ghost"); the signing with the cross was omitted; and a colour- less form of words used. This latter rite is still in use; but in 1662 the renewal of baptismal vows was prefixed to it.

The "Form of Solemnization of Matrimony" comes next. As the essential part of the ceremony is the contracting of the parties, considerable latitude has existed in the Church with regard to the rest of the ser\nce. The First Book followed the old rite rather closely, but the blessing of the ring and the nuptial Mass were omitted. Of course the Re- formers looked upon matrimony merely as a "state of life allowed in the Scriptures", and not as a sacra- ment.

"The Order of the Visitation of the Sick" con- tains matters of grave importance. In the First Book and in all subsequent Books, the "sick person shall make a special confession, if he feels his con- science troubled with any weighty matter; after which the priest shall absoh'e him after this form [sort]. ... 'I absolve thee from thy sins' ". The First Book alone adds: "and the same form of ab- solution shall be used in all private confessions. Moreover the First Book alone contains the anointing of the sick: "If the sick person desire to be anointed, then shall the priest anoint him upon the forehead or breast only, making the sign of the cross", and afterwards reciting a long prayer entirely different from the old forms, which were the same as the present Catholic ones. This ceremony was removed at Bucer's suggestion. The First Book also has a rubric about reservation of the Blessed Sacrament: "If there be more sick persons to be visited the same day . . . then shall the curate reserve so much of the sacrament of the body and blood as shall serve the other sick persons, and such as be appointed to communicate with them if there be any; and shall immediately carry it and minister it imto them." Bucer does not seem to have ob- jected to this; nevertheless no mention of reservation is made in any of the later Books.

The Sarum Office of the Dead included Vespers (Placebo), Matins (Dirigc), Lauds, Mass (Requiem), the Absolution, and the Burial. As might be ex- pected from the views of the Reformers on prayer for the dead, nothing was preserved in the new Books but the "Order for the Burial of the Dead". The First Book, indeed, contains distinct prayers for the soul of the departed, but these were removed in 1552, and have never been restored. For the 'Thirty-nine Articles see the article under that head- ing.

In recent years attempts have been made to re- form the Praj'er Book in two opposite directions. The Evangelicals have considered it as still contain- ing too much of the old "popery"; while the High Church party have endeavoured to get back the portions omitted or altered since 1.549. Various changes have actually been made in the Prayer Book as used by the Protestant Churches of Scotland, Ireland, and America.

It is only fair, in concluding, to note Cranmer's "splendid command of the English language and his instinctive sense of what would suit average English minds. His genius for devotional compo- sition in Engli.sh is universally recognized, even by those who have least sympathy with his character and career" (Mason, Thomas Cranmer, 140). "I value file Prayer Book, as you cannot do", says one


of the Anglican characters in Newman's "Loss and Gain" (ch. viii), "for I have known what it is to one in affliction. May it be long before you know it in a similar way; but if affliction comes on you, depend on it all these new fancies and fashions will vanish from you like the wind, and the good old Prayer Book alone will stand you in any stead."

The best work on the subject is Gasquet and Bishop, Edward VI and the Book of Common Prayer; Frehe. Rexisiun of Procters Book of Common Prayer; Weston, The Prayer Book in the Making (1907), a poor and prejudiced work; Wheatli-, .4 Rational Illustration of the Book of Comm. Pr., being the substance of everything liturgical in Bishop Sparrow. 5Ir. L'E.strange, Dr. Comber Dr. Nichols, and all former ritualists, commentators, and others upon the same subject: Mason, Thomas Cranmer; and various other works treating of the Reformation in England, especially in the reign of Edward VI. T. B. Sc.iNNELL.

Book of Enoch. See Apocrypha.

Book of Jubilees. See Apocrypha.

Book of Life. See Predestination.

Book of MartjTS, Foxe'.s. — Jolui Foxe was born at Boston in Lincolnshire, England, in 1516, and was educated at Magdalen School and College, Oxford. He joined the more extreme Reformers early in life and under Edward VI acted as tutor to the children of the recently beheaded Earl of Surrey. In Mary's reign he fled to Germany and joined the exiles at Frankfort. In the controversy which arose there he took sides with Ivnox and the extremists and after the break up of the Frankfort colony he went to Basle where poverty compelled him to take service with the Protestant printer Oporinus. In 1559 he returned to England and entered the ministry; he was helped by his old pupil the Duke of Norfolk and was mainly occupied with his martyrologj'. He still belonged to the extremists and objected to the surplice. His opinions interfered with his pros- pects, but he was not an ambitious man. Though violent and dishonest in controversy, he was persona- ally of a kind and charitable temper. Besides his "Acts and Monuments" he published a number of sermons, translations, and controversial attacks on Catholicism. He died in 1587.

Even before lea\ing England in 1554 Foxe had begun the story of the persecutions of the Reformers. The result was the publication of a little Latin work dealing mainly with Wyclifism. While at Basle he was supplied by Grindal with reports of the perse- cution in England and in 1559 he published a large Latin folio of 740 pages which began with Wyclif and ended with Cranmer. After his return to Eng- land he began to translate this book and to add to it the results of fresh information. The "Acts and Monuments" were finally published in 156.3 but came almost immediately to be kno%\'n as the "Book of MartjTs". The criticism which the work called forth led to the publication of a "corrected" edition in 1570. Two more (1576 and 15S3) came out during his life and five (1.596, 1610, 1632, 1641, 1684) within the next hundred years. There have been two modern editions, both unsatisfactory; they are in eight volumes and were publishetl in 1837-41 and 1877. The size of the work may be gathered from the fact that in the edition of 1684 it consists of three folio volumes of 895, 682, and 863 pages respectively. Each page has two columns and over eighty lines. The first volume besides introductory matter con- tains the story of early Christian persecutions, a sketch of medieval church historj' and an account of the Wyclifite movement in England and on the continent. The second volume deals with the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI and the third with that of Mary. A large number of official documents such as injunctions, articles of accusation, letters, etc., have been included. The book is illustrated through- out by woodcuts, some of them sJ^nbolizing the