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The second Book of Common Prayer, which had been put forth in England in 1552, does not appear to have been ordered for observance in the Irish Church during the short period that Edward VI. survived its enactment.*
The English services ceased to be read openly from the death of Edward VI. until August the 30th, 1559, on which day the English Litany was again sung in Christ Church Cathedral, whither the Earl of Sussex had gone for the purpose of taking the oaths of office as Lord-Deputy. Part of his instructions were, “to set up the worship of God as it is in England, and to make such statutes next Parliament as were lately made in England, mutatis mutandis.” Therefore, on the meeting of the Irish Parliament, in January, 1560, the second business they took in hand was to pass an Act of Uniformity, copied from Elizabeth's, authorizing the Prayer Book put forth in England with her sanction. Hitherto they had not interfered in these matters, and the English book was “ used in most of the churches of the English plantation, without any law in their own Parliaments to impose it on them.”+
The preamble of the stat. 2 Eliz. c. 2. (Ir.) (1560] plainly implies, that the use of the Book of Common Prayer in Ireland at the death of Edward VI. rested on an Act of the English Parliament. It seems plain also, that no Act had been passed in Ireland in Queen Mary's reign to prohibit the use of the English Service Book. I
* 1 Mant, Hist. Church of Ireland, 258.
+ 1 Heylyn, Hist. Ref. i. p. 261. 2 Ibid. ii. 324, 325. ed. Eccl. Hist. Soc.
I Clay on the Irish Prayer Book, British Magazine, December,
Dr. Elrington states, * that “the reformation in Ireland was carried on by the regular assembly to which the affairs of the Church ought canonically to be intrusted, and the English Liturgy was accepted by a synod of the clergy held in 1560;" but it is clear, however, that the use of the Book of Common Prayer up to the commencement of Elizabeth's reign had depended on the laws made in England.
Stat. 2 Eliz. c. 2.,t after reciting that, at the death of Edward the Sixth, there remained one uniform order of Common Service, and Prayer, and of the Administration of Sacraments, Rites and Ceremonies in the Church of England, which was set forth in one Book, intituled, (The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies in the Church of England,) authorized by Act of Parliament, holden in England, in the fifth and sixth years of Edward the Sixth, intituled, (An Act for the Uniformity of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments ;) which was repealed by Act of Parliament in England, in the first year of Mary, to the great decay of the due honour of God, and discomfort to the professors of the truth of Christ's Religion : enacted, That the said Book, with the Order of Service, and of the Administration of Sacraments, Rites and Ceremonies, with the alteration and additions therein added and appointed
* The Life of the Most Reverend James Ussher, D.D., Lord Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of all Ireland, with an Account of his Writings. By Charles Richard Elrington, D.D., Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Dublin. p. 42. Lond. 1848.
† An accurate copy of this statute, which the Editor has recently collated with the original Statute Roll, has been printed in the
by this Statute, should stand and be from and after the Feast of
in full force and effect: That all and singular Ministers, in any Cathedral, or Parish Church, or other place within the Realm of Ireland, should, from and after the Feast of
then next, be bounden to say and use the Mattins, Evensong, Celebration of the Lord's Supper, and Administration of each of the Sacraments, and all other Common and Open Prayer, in the order and form mentioned in the said Book so authorized by Parliament, in the fifth and sixth years of Edward the Sixth, with one alteration or addition of certain Lessons to be used on every Sunday in the year, and the form of the Litany altered and corrected, and two Sentences only added in the delivery of the Sacrament to the Communicants, and none other or otherwise : That such Ornaments of the Church, and of the Ministers thereof, should be retained and be in use, as was in the Church of England by Authority of Parliament, in the second year of Edward the Sixth, until other order should be therein taken by the Authority of the Queen, with the advice of Her Commissioners appointed and authorized under the great seal of England, or of Ireland, for Causes Ecclesiastical, or by the Authority of the Lord Deputy, or other Governor or Governors of Ireland, for the time being, with the advice of the Council of Ireland under the great seal of the same, and also that if any contempt or irreverence should be used in the Ceremonies or Rites of the Church, by the misusing of the Orders appointed in this Book, the Queen might, by the advice of the said Commissioners; or the Lord Deputy,
or other Governor or Governors of Ireland for the time being, might, with the advice of the Council of Ireland, ordain and publish such further Ceremonies or Rites, as might be most for the advancement of God's glory, the edifying of his Church, and the due reverence of Christ's Holy Mysteries and Sacraments : That all Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances wherein or whereby any other Service, Administration of Sacraments, or Common Prayer was limited, established, or set forth to be used within Ireland, should from henceforth be utterly void : And forasmuch as in most places in Ireland, there could not be found English Ministers to serve in the Churches or Places appointed for Common Prayer, or to minister the Sacraments to the people, and if some good mean were provided for the use of the Prayer, Service, and Administration of Sacraments set out and established by this Act, in such language as they might best understand, the due Honour of God would be thereby much advanced ; and for that also, that the same might not be in their native language, as well for difficulty to get it printed, as that few in Ireland could read the Irish Letters :* it enacted, That in every such Church or
* Although no legislative measure was enacted, early attempts were made to disseminate the Scriptures and Prayer Books in the Irish language, and upon this interesting subject the Editor has been favoured with the following communication from the Rev. Dr. Todd:
“One of the earliest efforts of Trinity College, for the diffusion of knowledge and religion in Ireland, was the cultivation of the Irish language. Nicholas Walsh, Chancellor of St. Patrick's, and afterwards Bishop of Ossory, where he was barbarously murdered in 1585, had long before exerted himself in conjunction with John Kerney, or
Place, where the Common Minister or Priest had not the
Kearnagh, a native Irishman, but a man of learning, educated at Cambridge, and treasurer of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, in the attempt to employ the Irish language as a means of educating and civilizing the natives; and for this purpose a fount of Irish types had been purchased by Queen Elizabeth, in 1571, and sent to Dublin; an order was also obtained that the prayers of the church should be printed in the native language and characters, and a church set apart in the shire-town of every diocese where they were to be read, and an Irish sermon preached to the people.
“The first book ever printed in the native language and characters was the Church Catechism translated into Irish by Kerney, under the title “Alphabetum et ratio legendi Hibernicam, et Catechismus in eadem linguâ; John a Kearnagh, Dubl. 1571,' 8vo. Then followed an interval of thirty years, in which the Irish types appear to have lain wholly idle; at length they produced the New Testament, • Tiomna Nuadh, &c., re Huilliam O'Domhnuil, Dublin, 1602, 4to., with a dedication to King James in English. The expense of this edition was borne by the Province of Connaught and Sir William Ussher, clerk of the council. It was afterwards reprinted, but without Archbishop Daniel's preface, at the expense of the Honourable Robert Boyle, 4to., London, 1681. Harris, in his edition of Sir James Ware's Writers of Ireland, p. 97, says, that the New Testament in Irish, by Nehemiah Donellan, Archbishop of Tuam, was printed in 1603, 4to., with a dedication and preface. But this we conceive must be a mistake; no mention is made of any such publication by Bishop Richardson (Hist. of Attempts to convert the Popish Natives of Ireland, p. 17.); nor is it very likely that two different versions would be put forth so nearly at the same time: the mistake appears to have arisen from confounding Donellan with Daniel. In 1608 the same William Daniel published his version of the Book of Common Prayer, small folio, printed by J. Frankton; and during the Commonwealth, a Catechism in Irish was printed by Godfrey Daniel, with rules for reading Irish, Dublin, 1652. Soon after the Irish types appear to have fallen into the hands of the Jesuits, who sent them to Douay, for