Thomas Cartwright on the use of the Lord’s Prayer and set forms of prayer

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
... Q. Do you call that a prayer, which of some is thought only a for me to direct our prayers by?

A. It is both a prayer, which we may and ought to use; and also a form of prayer, whereunto we are to conform, and by which we ought to square all our prayers by; and therefore as Christ biddeth us pray after this sort; so in Luke he biddeth us say, Our Father; &c.

Q. May there not, besides this prayer of the Lord, be now under the Gospel a set form of prayer in the Church?

A. Yes verily; and it is convenient it should be so, so that it be left to the liberty of the Church to alter it. ...

For more, see Thomas Cartwright on the use of the Lord’s Prayer and set forms of prayer.
 

Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
It should be noted that Cartwright is evidently speaking of the minister saying the Lord's Prayer in public worship (besides private uses), insofar as he also says elsewhere that the people are silent and respond with an Amen, contra unison prayers of the whole congregation:

The Reply to the Answer of the Admonition, Chap. 2, 21st Division, Sec. 2, p. 109​

"For God has ordained the minister to this end, that, as in public meetings he only is the mouth of the Lord from Him to the people, even so he ought to be the only mouth of the people from them unto the Lord, and that all the people should attend to that which is said by the minister, and in the end both declare their consent to that which is said, and their hope that it should so be and come to pass which is prayed, by the word “Amen;” as St. Paul declares in the epistle to the Corinthians, and Justin Martyr shows to have been the custom of the churches in his time."​
 
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Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Does anyone know where in Justin's writings this is found? I'd be very interested to read it.

Here is the relevant section in Justin Martyr to which Thomas Cartwright alludes (see the relevant footnote under Cartwright's extract in John Whitgift's Works):

But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to γένοιτο [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.

Justin Martyr, The First Apology, 65 in Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1: 185.

N.B. Leaving aside the question of who was right on the subject of saying prayers in unison, I do not believe that this reference to Justin actually proves the point that Cartwright was trying to make. It merely proves that the people said "Amen" at the end of the prayers, not that no prayers were ever said in unison.
 
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C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
N.B. Leaving aside the question of who was right on the subject of saying prayers in unison, I do not believe that this reference to Justin actually proves the point that Cartwright was trying to make. It merely proves that the people said "Amen" at the end of the prayers, not that no prayers were ever said in unison.
Agreed. I am very familiure with this passage and assumed Cartwright must have been referencing some other part of Justin's writings. Is it possible that Justin speaks specifically about the use of the Lord's prayer in another place? I'm not aware of any, but thought I'd ask just in case.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Agreed. I am very familiure with this passage and assumed Cartwright must have been referencing some other part of Justin's writings. Is it possible that Justin speaks specifically about the use of the Lord's prayer in another place? I'm not aware of any, but thought I'd ask just in case.

I do not recall off the top of my head, though @DTK might know. It is also possible that the editor of the edition of John Whitgift's Works to which I linked presumed that Thomas Cartwright was alluding to that section of Justin when he actually had something else in mind. I do not think that this conclusion is probable, however, as Cartwright's reference to the people saying "Amen" would naturally lead you to believe he was referring to the First Apology.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
Daniel, I don't think the linked reference Cartwright makes to Justin Martyr supports his contention, though I confess that I'm somewhat sympathetic to his sentiment. But if you read only a couple of chapters further in Justin, he seems (at least to me) to allude to the prayers of the people themselves in public worship, as well as to the prayers of the "president" who is leading worship. I don't find the Lord's prayer, in particular, referenced by him.

Justin Martyr (A.D. 103-165): And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration. ANF: Vol. I, First Apology of Justin, Chapter 67.
 

Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
Regarding the question of unison praying in Martyr:

1. The quote David immediately above gives is consistent with the historic reformed practice and language (not to mention the Bible) of people praying together, that is silently, following the leader, and then verbally expressing their consent at the end with Amen.

2. Regarding the first Martyr quote above:

The following legal maxim may not be true in all contexts, but in the context of the first Martyr quote, it seems to me, by the language to be very applicable:​
"expressio unius est exclusio alterius" - "The express mention of one thing excludes all others"​
 
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