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If it were necessary that there should be extracted from the rubrics a rule governing the position of the minister throughout the whole Communion Office, where no contrary direction is given, or necessarily implied, the rule could not, in their Lordships' opinion, be any other than that laid down in Hebbert v. Purchas; and they entertain no doubt that the position which would be required by that rule-a position, namely, in which the minister would stand at the north side of the table, looking to the south-is not only lawful, but is that which would, under ordinary circumstances, enable the minister, with the greatest certainty and convenience, to fulfil the requirements of all the rubrics. The case, however, with which their Lordships have to deal is one which may assume the character of a penal charge. It might be a penal charge against the present appellant that he has stood, during the Prayer of Consecration, on the west side of the table, and on the other hand, on a construction of the rubric the opposite of that contended for by the respondents, a penal charge might be maintained against a priest who stood at the north side. It is, therefore, necessary to be well assured, both that there is a direction free from ambiguity that the priest should stand, during this particular prayer, either at the north or at the west side, and also that no other test is supplied by the rubric in question which would be a sufficient and intelligible rule for the position, at that part of the service, of the priest.

Their Lordships have, therefore, to consider the precise wording of the rubric preceding the Prayer of Consecration taken in connection with the prayer itself.

It is to be observed that the revision in 1662 introduced for the first time the breaking of the Bread as one of the manual acts to be done during the Prayer of Consecration, and that, although some of the other manual acts-namely, the taking the Bread and the Cup into the priest's hands-had been mentioned in the rubric of the first Prayer Book of Edward VI., they had not been contained in the second Prayer Book of that Sovereign, or in the Prayer Books of Elizabeth or James I. The rubric"That he may with the more readiness and decency break the "bread before the people," &c.—was also new; and it is not impossible that one of the reasons for its introduction may have been to meet one of the demands or suggestions of the Puritan party, who had proposed a form of service in which the priest was to be ordered to break the Bread "in the sight of the "people."*

Their Lordships are of opinion that the words "before the "people," coupled with the direction as to the manual acts, are meant to be equivalent to "in the sight of the people." They have no doubt that the rubric requires the manual acts to be so done, that, in a reasonable and practical sense, the communi

4 Hall, Reliq. Liturg.

cants, especially if they are conveniently placed for receiving of the Holy Sacrament, as is presupposed in the Office, may be witnesses of, that is, may see them. What is ordered to be done before the people, when it is the subject of the sense, not of hearing, but of sight, cannot be done before them unless those of them who are properly placed for that purpose can see it. It was contended that " before the people" meant nothing more than "in the church"; to guard against an anterior and secret consecration of the elements. But if the words "before "the people" were absent, the manual acts, and the rest of the service, could not be performed elsewhere than in the church, and in that sense coram populo, nor could the sacrament be distributed except in the place and at the time of its consecration and this argument would, therefore, reduce to silence the words "before the people," which are an emphatic part of the declaration of the purpose for which the preparatory acts are to be done. That declaration applies not to the service as a whole, nor to the consecration of the elements as a whole, but to the manual acts, separately and specifically.

There is, therefore, in the opinion of their Lordships, a rule sufficiently intelligible to be derived from the directions which are contained in the rubric as to the acts which are to be performed. The minister is to order the elements "standing before "the table": words which, whether the table stands "altar-wise along the east wall or in the body of the church or chancel, would be fully satisfied by his standing on the north side and looking towards the south; but which also, in the opinion of their Lordships, as the tables are now usually, and, in their opinion, lawfully placed, authorise him to do those acts standing on the west side and looking towards the east. Beyond this and after this there is no specific direction that, during this prayer, he is to stand on the west side, or that he is to stand on the north side. He must, in the opinion of their Lordships, stand so that he may, in good faith, enable the communicants present, or the bulk of them, being properly placed, to see, if they wish it, the breaking of the Bread and the performance of the other manual acts mentioned. He must not interpose his body so as intentionally to defeat the object of the rubric and to prevent this result. It may be difficult in particular cases to say exactly whether this rule has been complied with; but where there is good faith the difficulty ought not to be a serious one; and it is, in the opinion of their Lordships, clear that a protection was in this respect intended to be thrown around the body of the communicants, which ought to be secured to them by an observance of the plain intent of the rubric.

In applying these principles to the present case, their Lordships find that some difficulty has arisen from the circumstances under which the evidence was taken. The charge against the

appellant was a twofold one; both that he had stood at the middle of the west side with his back to the people, and that the people could not see him break the Bread or take the Cup in his hand. The witness Nicholson undoubtedly states that, at the service of which he speaks, while sitting in the nave, he could not see the appellant perform the manual acts; and the witness Bevan gives evidence to the same effect. But with regard to Nicholson, he explains, as their Lordships understand his evidence, that whether persons could see what the appellant was doing would depend on whether they were sitting immediately behind him or were sitting on one side or the other; and with regard to Bevan, he states that what would have prevented a man who sat at the side from seeing what the appellant did, was, that he had on a chasuble, "which is a sort of cloak which "spreads his body out."

When the appellant himself was examined, he does not appear to have been asked any question on the subject; and the inference which their Lordships draw from the whole examination is that, inasmuch as at the time it was understood to be the law, founded on the decision in Hebbert v. Purchas, that the standing on the west side of the table was, of itself and without more, unlawful, neither party thought it important to carry the evidence with any precision beyond this point, the respondents thinking they had established their case, and the appellant not being prepared to dispute the fact of the position in which he stood.

Their Lordships are not prepared to hold that a penal charge is established against the appellant merely by the proof that he stood while saying the Prayer of Consecration at the west side of the communion-table, without further evidence that the people could not, in the sense in which their Lordships have used the words, see him break the Bread or take the Cup into his hand, and they will therefore recommend that an alteration should be made in the decree in this respect.

Their Lordships, before leaving this part of the case, think it right to observe that they do not consider the judgment in the case of Martin v. Mackonochie to have any material bearing on the question now before them. The decision in that case was that the priest must stand during the Prayer of Consecration, and not kneel during a part of it. The correctness of that decision has not been, and, as their Lordships think, cannot be questioned. Nothing is more clear throughout the rubrics of the Communion Office than that when the priest is intended to kneel an express provision is made on the subject. The conclusion, however, in Martin v. Mackonochie, is expressed, perhaps, more broadly than was necessary for the decision. What was obviously meant was that the posture of standing was to be continued throughout the whole of the prayer. Nothing

was or could be decided as to the place in which the priest was to stand, for that question was not raised, and was not in any manner argued, in the case.

III. WAFER-BREAD.

Their Lordships will now proceed to the charge as to wafer or wafer-bread. The charge as to this is "that the appellant used "in the Communion service and administration wafer-bread or "wafers-to wit, bread or flour made in the form of circular "wafers instead of bread such as is usual to be eaten." And this is traversed by the appellant.

It appears that the allegation is in the same form as that used in the Purchas case; but in that case the defendant did not appear, and no criticism seems to have taken place as to the form of the allegation or its sufficiency.

It is probable that the allegation was meant to raise the question as to the legality of the wafer, as distinguished from bread of the kind "usual to be eaten," and there are certainly some indications that the appellant and his counsel so understood, and meant to meet, the charge.

A different view has, however, been taken by the counsel for the appellant on the appeal, and they have maintained that there is no averment that the wafer, as distinguished from bread ordinarily eaten, was used. They contend that the charge goes to the shape, and not to the composition, of the substance.

Their Lordships are of opinion that this objection must prevail. The charge, in their opinion, is consistent with the possibility of it having been the fact that bread "such as is usual to be eaten," but circular, and having such a degree of thinness as might justify its being termed wafers, was what was used. And if this is what was used, their Lordships do not think it could be pronounced illegal.

As, however, the question of the construction of the rubric has been raised on this appeal, as it was in the Purchas case, their Lordships think it right to express their opinion upon it, at the same time that they give the appellant the benefit of the ambiguity which exists in the form of the charge.

It is to be observed that the rubric does not in any part of it use the word "wafer." The words are "bread"; "bread such as is usual to be eaten," and "the best and purest wheat bread "that conveniently may be gotten."

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Their Lordships have no doubt that a wafer, in the sense in which the word is usually employed-that is, as denoting a composition of flour and water rolled very thin and unleavened, is 66 bread such as is usual to be eaten," or 66 the best and purest wheat bread that conveniently may be gotten."

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The only question on the construction of the rubric is that raised upon the words "it shall suffice."

There is no doubt that in many cases these words standing alone, and unexplained by a context, would be quite consistent with something different from, larger or smaller, more or less numerous, more or less costly, than what is mentioned, being supplied.

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Here, however, the sentence commences with the introduction, "To take away all occasion of dissension and superstition, which any person hath or might have concerning the bread, it shall 66 suffice," &c. These words seem to their Lordships to make it necessary that that which is to take away the occasion of dissension and superstition should be something definite, exact, and different from what had caused the dissension and superstition. If not, the occasion of dissension remains, and the superstition may recur. "To suffice," it must be as here described. What is substantially different will not "suffice."

The rubric, which orders that the bread and wine shall be provided by the curate and churchwardens at the charges of the parish, seems to contemplate ordinary bread as the only material to be used, and the 20th Canon is still more precise in the same direction.

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The former rubric (of 1552, 1559, and 1604) had said, "It "shall suffice that the bread be such as is usually to be eaten at "the table with other meats, but the best and purest wheat bread "that conveniently may be gotten." Queen Elizabeth's Injunction of 1559 on the same subject (in its form mandatory, and acted upon for many years afterwards) was issued when this rubric had the force of law, and must be understood in a sense consistent with, and not contradictory to, it. That Injunction distinguishes between * "the sacramental bread" and "the usual "bread and wafer, heretofore named singing cakes, which served "for the use of the private Mass"; directing the former to be "made and formed plain, without any figure thereupon, and of "the same fineness and fashion round" as the latter, but "to be "somewhat bigger in compass and thickness." The form, and not the substance, is here regulated. To order the use of the substance properly called “wafer,” which was not "bread such "as is usual to be eaten at the table," would have been directly contradictory to the rubric; and this cannot be supposed to have been intended.

There was evidently "dissension" on this subject, and some diversity of practice, in the reign of Elizabeth. It appears from passages in the Fourth Book of the Ecclesiastical Polity,'t published in 1594, that Hooker considered the use, either of leavened or of unleavened bread, to be at that time lawful. But 1 Card. Doc. Ann. p. 202.

*

t Hooker's Works, by Keble, Sixth Edition, pp. 449-451.

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