The English Church in the Eighteenth Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 807 pages of information about The English Church in the Eighteenth Century.
Wakes; Perambulations, 436
State services, 437
Church attendance, 439
Irreverence in church, 441
Variety of ceremonial, 444
The vestment rubric; copes, 445
The surplice; hood; scarf, &c., 446
Clerical costume, 447
Postures of worship; Responses, &c., 449
Liturgical uniformity, 451
Division of services, 452
The Eucharist; Sacramental usages, 453
Parish clerks, 456
Organs; church music, 458
Cathedrals, 459
The ‘bidding’ and the ‘pulpit’ prayer, 461
Preaching, 463
Lecturers, 466
Funeral sermons, 468
Baptism, 468
Catechising, 469
Confirmation, 470
Marriage, 471
Funerals, 471
Church discipline; excommunication; penance, 472
Sunday observance, 474
Conclusion, 475

APPENDIX:  List of Authorities, 477

INDEX, 489






The claim which the intellectual and religious life of England in the eighteenth century has upon our interest has been much more generally acknowledged of late years than was the case heretofore.  There had been, for the most part, a disposition to pass it over somewhat slightly, as though the whole period were a prosaic and uninteresting one.  Every generation is apt to depreciate the age which has so long preceded it as to have no direct bearing on present modes of life, but is yet not sufficiently distant as to have emerged into the full dignity of history.  Besides, it cannot be denied that the records of the eighteenth century are, with two or three striking exceptions, not of a kind to stir the imagination.  It was not a pictorial age; neither was it one of ardent feeling or energetic movement.  Its special merits were not very obvious, and its prevailing faults had nothing dazzling in them, nothing that could be in any way called splendid; on the contrary, in its weaker points there was a distinctly ignoble element.  The mainsprings of the religious, as well as of the political, life of the country were relaxed.  In both one and the other the high feeling of faith was enervated; and this deficiency was sensibly felt in a lowering of general tone, both in the domain of intellect and in that of practice.  The spirit of feudalism and of the old chivalry had all but departed, but had left a vacuum which was not yet supplied.  As for loyalty, the half-hearted feeling of necessity or expedience, which for more than half the century was the main support of the German dynasty, was something different not in degree only, but in kind, from that which had upheld the throne in time past.  Jacobitism, on the other hand, was not strong enough to be more than a faction; and the Republican party, who had once been equal to the Royalists in fervour of enthusiasm,

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The English Church in the Eighteenth Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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