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AND ADMINISTRATION OP
OTHER RITES AND CEREMONIES OF THE CHURCH,
ACCORDING TO THE USE OF
&$e ©nttetf CTijurclj of 1Snglantt aiuj ErdaniJ:
TOGETHER WITH THE
FOR SUNDAYS AND OTHER HOLY-DAYS,
A NEW VERSION OF THE PSALMS OF DAVID.
OF THIS BOOK.
TT hath been the wisdom of the Church of I Sacred Malesty, that the said Book might 'be revised, and such alterations therein, and additions thereunto made, a a should be thought requisite for the ease of tender consciences: whereunto His Majesty, out of his pious inclination to give satisfaction (so far aa could be reasonably all his subjects of what persu did graciously ci
her publiek Liturgy, to keep the mean twven the two extremes, of too much stiffness in refusing, and of too much easiness in admitting any variation from it. For, aaon the one side common experience sheweth, that where a change hath been made of things advisedly established (no evident necessity so requiring) sundry inconveniences have thereupon ensued; and those many times more and greater than the evils, that were intended to be remedied by such change: So on the other side, the particular forms of Divine worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent, and alterable, and so acknowledged; it is but reasoniihie, that upon weighty and important considerations, according to the rarinus exigency of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those that are in place of Authority should from time to time seem either necessary or expedient. Accordingly we find, that in the reigns of several Princes of blessed memory since the Reformation, the Church, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, hath yielded to make such alterations in some particulars, ae in their respective times were thought convenient: yet so, as that the main body nnd essentials of it (as well in the el liefest materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still continued the same unto this day, and do yet stand firm and unshaken, notwithstandiog all the vain attempts and Impetuous assaults made against it, by such men as are given to change, and have always discovered a greater regard to their own private fancies and interests, than to that duty they owe to the publiek.
Ry what undue means, and for what mischievous purposes the use nf the Liturgy (though enioioed by the laws of the laud, and those laws never yet repealed) came, during the late unhappy coafusions, to be discontinued, is too well known to the world, and we are not willing here to remember. But when, upon Hia Majesty's happy rect, It at ion, it seemed probable, that, amongst other things, the use nf the Liturgy would also return of cnt:rse (the same hav. ing never been legally abolished) unless some timely means were used to prevent it; those men who under the late usurped powers hsd tnatle it a great part of their business to tender the people disaffected thereunto, *aw themselves in point of reputation nnd ioterest concerned (unless they would freely acknowledge themselves to have erred, which such men ore very hardly brought to do) with their utmost endeavours to hioder the restitution thereof. in order whereunto divers pamphlets were published against the Book of Common Prayer, the old onlections mustered up, with the addition of some new ones, more than formerly had been made, to make ths number swell. In fine, great importunities were uaed to His
Catholick Church of Chrh
all, but utterly frivolous
.} or .! of no concequence at all, but utterly 1 vain. Hut such alterations as were tendered to us (by what persons, under what pretences, or to what purpose soever tendered) as seemed to us in any degree requisite or expedient, we have willingly, and of our own accord assented unto: not eaforced eo to do by any strength of argument, convincing us of the necessity ol making the said alterations: for we are fully persuaded in our judgments (and we heto the world) that the Book, a fore established by law, doth not contain in it any thing contrary to the Word of God, or to sound doctrine, or which a godly mas may not with a good conscience use and submit unto, or whieh is not fairly defensible against anv that shall oppose the same; if it shsll be allowed such lust and favourable construction as in common equity ought to be allowed to all human writir cially such as are set forth by authumy, ami even to the cery best translations of the holy Scripture itself.
Our general aim therefore in this undertaking was, not to gratify this or that party in any their unreasonable demands) but to do that, which to our best understandings we conceived might most tend to the preservation of peace and unity in the Chnrchr the procuring of reverence, and exciting of piety and devotion in the publiek worship 'and the cutting off n
I of c
the Liturgy of the Church, to tile several variations from the former Book, whether by alteration, addition, otherwise, it shall snffice to give this general account, That most of the alterations were made, either first, for the better directioi of them that are to officiate in any part of Divine Hervice; which is chiefly'done in the Calendars and Ruhrl' for the mme proper expressing of snrne words or phrases of ancient usage in terms more suitable to the language of the present times, and the clearer explanation of some other words and phrases, that were either of doubtful signification, or otherwise liahla to misconstruction t Or thirdly, for a mora perfect rendering of such portions of holy Scripture, as are inserted into the Liturgy; which, in the Epistles and Gospels especially, and in sundry other places, ore now ordered to be read according to the last Translation: end that it was thought convenient, that some Prayers and Thanksgirines, fitted to special occasions, should be added in their due places; particularly for those at Sea, together with an Office for trie saptism of such as are of Riper Years: whieh, although not so necessary when the fanner Book was compiled, yet by the growth of Anabapt ism, through the licentiousness of the late times crept in amongst Es* is now become necessary, and may be always useful for the baptising of natives in our plantations, and others converted to the faith. If an y man, who shall desire a more particular account of the several alterations in any part of the Liturgy, shall take the pains to compare the present Book
with the former; we doubt not but the reason of the change may easily appear.
And having thus endeavoured to discharge our duties in this weighty affair, as in the sight of God, antl to approve our sincerity therein (so far as lay in us) to the consciences of all men; although we know it impossible (in such variety of apprehensions, humours and interestss as are in the world) to please all; nor can expect that men of factious, peevish, and perverse spirits should be satisfied with any thing that can be done in this kind by any other than themselves: Yet we have good hope, that what is here presented, and hath been by the Convocations of both l'rovinces with ureal diligence examined and approved, will be also well accepted and approved by all sober, peaceable, ana truly conscientious sons of the Church of England.
CONCERNING THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH.
SPHERE was never any thing by the wit of man so well devised, or so sure established, which in continuance of time hath not bven corrupted: As, among other things,
plainly appear by the Common in the Church, commonly called
The first original and --. if a man would search out the ancient Fathers, he shall find, that me sitae was not ordained but of a good purpose, and for a great advancement of godliness. For they so ordered the matter, that all the whole Bible, (or the greatest part thereof) should be read over once every year; intending thereby, that the Clergy, and especially such as were Ministers m titf congregation, should (by often reading, and meditation in God's word) bo stirred up to godliness themselves, and be more able tosihort others by wholesome doctrine, and to confute them that were adversaries to the truth; and further, that the people (by daily hearing of holy Scripture read in the Church) might continually profit more and more in the knowledge of Gods and be the
sut these many years passed, this godly end decent order of the ancient Fathers hath been so altered, broken, and neglected, by planting in uncertain stories, and legends, with moltitude of responds, verses, vain repetitions, commemorations, and synodals; that commonly when a ny book of the Bible w*s begun, after three or four chanters were read out, all the rest were unread. And in this sort the book of Isaiah was begun in Adrtnt, and the book of Gen wis in SeptnafssssM i but they were only begun, and never read through i after like sort were Other books of holy Scripture used. And moreover, whereas St. Paul would have inch language spoken to the people in the Church, as they might understand, and have profit by heariog the same; the service in this Church of England these many years hath been read in Latin to the people.
Yet, because there is no remedy, but that of necessity there must be some Rules; therefore certain Rules are here set forth; which, as tbey are few in number, so they are plain and easy to be understood. So that here you have an Order for Prayer, and for the reading of the holy Scripture, much agreeable to the mind and purpose of the old Fathers, and a great deal more profitable and commodious, than that which of late was used. It is more profitable, because here are left out many things, whereof some are untrue, some uucertain, some vain and superstitious; and nothing is ordained to be read, but the very pure Word of God, the holy Scriptures, or that which Is agreeable to the same; and that in such