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earth is become holy, more holy than the sanctuary."* After saying that all the works of this frail earthly life should proceed from prayer, and find their support in it, he repeats the objection then common among people of the world: "How can a man of business, who is confined to his occupation, engage in prayer and resort to the Church thrice in the day?” And he replies: “It is possible, and very easy. For if, indeed, you cannot conveniently come to the Church, get on the spot, before your door, and even when confined at work, you can pray. There needs not so much voice, as heart; not so much the lifted hands, as the devout soul; not so much this or that posture, as inward sentiment." He adds: “It is not now as under the Old Testament. Wherever thou art, thou hast the altar, the knife, and the offering by thee; for thou art thyself priest, and altar, and sacrifice. Where you are, you may erect an altar. Time and place hinder not. Though

· you

bow not the knee, nor smite the breast, nor stretch out the hands to heaven, yet if you offer a fervent heart, you have all that belongs to prayer. The woman, while she holds the distaff and spins, may with the soul look up to heaven, and fervently call upon God. And the man, when he goes alone to the market, may earnestly pray: another who sits in his shop and works in leather, may raise his soul to God; and the servant, while he goes to and fro to make purchases, or stands in the kitchen, may offer heartselt and animated supplication.”+

In this period, as well as in the earlier times of Christianity, and in connexion with the idea that the priesthood pertained to all believers, it continued to be acknowledged that it was the right of all Christians, to instruct and edify themselves from the fountain of the divine word. For this purpose, manuscripts of the Bible were multiplied and offered for sale. It was considered a principal part of devout Christian education, for males and females to be early made acquainted with the Holy Scriptures. Thus Jerome exhorts Laeta, a distinguished Roman lady, that she should accustom her daughter from the earliest age, to love the Scriptures, f instead of precious stones and silks; to learn patience from the example of Job, and never to lay aside the Gospels. It appears as a characteristic of men and women, of all ranks, with whom

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* Hom. I. de cruce. & 1. T, ii.

Ep. 107. & 12.

† De Anna. Siv. $ 6. T. iv.

Christianity was an affair of the heart, that they were much employed with the Bible; as we may see in the case of Monica and Nonna. The pompous orator who delivered the funeral eulogy of Constantine, celebrates him, as having always nourished his soul and modelled his life by the use of the Scriptures. And though this may be regarded as a mere expression of flattery, yet it evinces what qualities were in that age considered as belonging to a devout Prince. When heathens, who were engaged in seeking the truth, found many difficulties in the doctrines of Christianity, they had recourse, not directly to clergymen, but to their friends among the laity. The latter sought the resolution of the questions proposed to them in the Scriptures, and if they here met with difficulties, which they could not explain, they were advised by Augustin to look for instruction, not so much from their pastors, as to pray to God for illumination. * For the benefit of any who might be awakened by public worship to solemn reflection upon divine truth, or who wished to occupy themselves with the divine word in the greater stillness of this place, there were provided in the aisles of the Churches, closets, (ppovtioampia,) in which they found bibles, and where they could apply themselves to scriptural studies. Jerome finds cause to lament, that all persons, both men and women, thought themselves, without any sufficient knowledge, competent to discourse upon the interpretation of Scripture.

The clergy were not the first who availed themselves of the anti-evangelical theory of a special sacerdotal caste, in order to deduce (a consequence which does not indeed lie very far off,) the opinion that to them alone, there was free access to the fountains of the divine word, and that the laity, with respect to instruction in divine things, must be dependent on the clergy, without themselves venturing.near the source: but it was the thoroughly earthly-minded laity, who, as they used the distinction between spiritual and secular persons to fabricate a Christianity conveniently subservient to their lusts; so also availed themselves of the same pretext, to remove from them all use of the divine word, and to palliate their indifference to higher objects. Thus they were accustomed to say, that it belonged only to ecclesiastics and monks, to occupy themselves with the Bible. Distinguished teachers in the Church, however, such as Chrysostom and Augustin vigor

# Serm. 105. 3.

† Ep. 53. ad Paulinum, 9 7.

ously opposed such opinions. The former denominates the words of excuse—« I am a man of business, I am no monk, I have wife and children and household to provide for”—cold

nd highly reprehensible words, and adds, in opposition to them, that precisely those persons who are in the storms of the world, and exposed to so many temptations, are they who more need the means of preservation and safety contained in the Scriptures, than such as lead a quiet life, far remote from conflict with the external world.* He frequently exhorted his hearers, both in private and in his discourses, not to be satisfied with what they heard read from the Bible in the Church, but to read it also at home, with their families; reminding them, that what natural nourishment was for their bodies, the same was the spiritual nutriment of the Scriptures for their souls, that, whereby they might attain to real strength. In order to excite his hearers to the study of the Holy Scriptures, he was accustomed, (for as yet there were no passages appointed for particular Sundays,) to give out long before hand, the text which he intended to expound at a certain time, and to exhort them, in order to be the better prepared for his discourse, to make it the subject of their meditations in the intervening time.Thus likewise Augustin says: “Suffer not yourself to be so imprisoned by earthly things as to say, 'I have no time to read or to hear the word of God.'” Among the traits in the portrait of a zealous Christian, whom he represents under the similitude of the ant, as one who gathers together in store, out of the word of God, what he may use in time of need, we find the following;I “to hear discourse, to listen to reading, to find the bible (at home,) to open and read.” Audire sermonem, audire lectionem, invenire librum, aperire et legere. And Chrysostom often attributes the corruption of the Church, both in doctrine and life, and the diffusion of error and vice, to the prevailing want of scriptural knowledge. S

The principal rites of Christian worship, the rise of which we have noted in the foregoing period, continued to be in use also in this period. Among these, the first is, the reading of the Holy Scriptures. We have already spoken of the relation which the reading of larger portions of the Scripture had to

* Hom. 3. de Lazaro.

+ He himself gives this as his method, in the above cited Homily on Lazarus. vol. 1. p. 737. * In Po, 66. 3.

ge. g. Pref. Ep. ad Rom.

the ecclesiastical life of those times. It was at first left to the direction of the bishop, to select the passages to be read at every assembly of the Church. The historical and practical allusions to particular parts of the Christian calendar, gave the first occasion for the selection of particular parts of Scripture for the principal festivals; and of this, tradition formed by degrees a standing custom.

As it regards the connexion of preaching with the entire worship, we find conflicting and opposite errors of judgment. The one party, who saw in the ecclesiastic only the sacrificing Priest, and who placed the chief part of Christian worship in the magical operation of the sacerdotal functions, were thence led to prize too highly the liturgical element of the service, and to overlook the importance of the diductic element. Aptness to teach was considered by them as something foreign from the clerical office, as they went upon the supposition that the Holy Ghost, conferred by ordination upon the Priest, could be transferred to others only by his sensible intervention. Others, however, set too high a value upon what is didactic and rhetorical in worship, and were unable to give due honour to the essence of Christian fellowship, the united edification and devotion of saints. This was especially the error of the Greek Churches, by reason of the prevalent rhetorical culture of the higher classes in the great cities. Hence it happened, that crowds filled the Churches, when a celebrated orator was expected to preach; but that when the sermon was ended, and the prayers followed, very few remained; "the sermons”, said they, “ we can hear only in the Church, but we can pray as well at home.”* Against this abuse, Chry

. sostom found it necessary often to inveigh, in discourses preached at Antioch and Constantinople. From the same cause it happened also, that forgetting that which constitutes the essence of the Church, they introduced into the assemblies, customs borrowed from the theatre and from the auditories of ostentatious orators; since the Church was resorted to, for the purpose of hearing a speaker who used fine expressions, or produced great effects, for the moment, on the imagination and natural feelings. Hence it was common, at passages which made a great impression, to break forth into clapping of the hands, (xpotos). "Frivolous men among the clergy, whose

() hearts were not filled with the holy things of their profession,

• H. 3. de Incomp. 96.

had an eye to this in their preaching, in order to catch the applauses of such persons, and made it their great object to display their splendid eloquence and their wit, and to utter what was astonishing. And indeed better men, such as Gregory of Nazianzen, could not altogether overcome the weakness occasioned by this custom, and suffered themselves to be seduced, to be in their discourses too purely oratorical. Gregory says himself, in his Valedictory discourse at Constantinople, “Clap your hands, cry aloud, exalt your Orator on high!” Men of holy earnestness, such as Chrysostom, keenly castigated this oratorical and theatrical practice, and declared that by such frivolity, the whole affair of Christianity was made an object of suspicion to the Gentiles.

Many stenographers strove, in competition, to take down exactly the sermons of celebrated Orators, in order to diffuse them more widely. The sermons were sometimes, but very rarely, entirely read or recited from memory, sometimes delivered from a prepared analysis, and sometimes spoken altogether ex tempore. The last of these methods may be especially remarked, in the case where Augustin suffers himself to be led to the choice of a subject, by the text which the Lector himself chose, and when, as he himself says, he was sometimes constrained by momentary impressions to give his discourse a direction which he had not originally intended;* or where Chrysostom, from what he met with on his way to the church, or what occurred during divine service, took the subject of his discourse. t

Church Psalmody was, during this period, regularly cultivated. In addition to the Lectores or Readers, singers were appointed, who sometimes sung alone, sometimes alternated with the choirs of the congregation. Great stress was laid upon the participation of the assembly in the singing. It is, indeed, ordered, in the fifteenth canon of the Council of Laodicea, that no one should sing at divine service, except the appointed choristers; but this is hardly to be understood

Augustin in Psalm, 138. & 1. Maluimus nos in errore Lectoris sequi voluntatem Dei, quam nostram in nostro proposito.

+ See the discourse, of which Chrysostom formed the first plan, on his way to Church, as in the winter he saw many sick persons and beggars, lying helpless, and was thereby moved by sympathy to excite his hearers to works of brotherly love. Vol. iii. opp. ed. Montf. p. 248. See also the direction which he gave to a discourse, when the lighting up of the lamps directed the attention of his audi. ence to himself. Vol. iv. p. 662.


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