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THE BOOK OF
: :::: :OXFORD:
PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.
THE CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK.
TT hath been the wisdom of the Church of Sacred Majesty, that the said Book might I England, ever since the first compiling of be revised, and such alterations therein, and her publiek Liturgy, to keep the mean be- additions thereunto made, as should be tween the two extremes, of too much stiff thought requisite for the ease of tender ness in refusing, and of too much easiness in consciences whereunto His Majesty, out admitting any variation from it. For, a3 on of his pious inclination to give satisfaction the one side common experience sheweth, (so far as could be reasonably expected) to that where a change hath been made of all his subjects of what persuasion soever, things advisedly established (no evident ne- did graciously condescend. cessity so requiring) sundry inconveniences have thereupon ensued; and those many In which review we have endeavoured to times more and greater than the evils, that observe the like moderation, as we find to were intended to be remedied by such have been used in the like case in former change: So on the other side, the particu- times. And therefore of the sundry alterelar forms of Divine worship, and the Ritestions proposed into us, we have rejected all and Ceremonies appointed to be used there such as were either of dangerous consein, being things in their own nature indif- quence (as secretly striking at some estaferent, and alterable, and so acknowledged; blished doctrine, or laudable practice of the it is but reasonable, that upon weighty and Church of England, or indeed of the whole important considerations, according to the Catholick Church of Christ) or else of no various exigency of times and occasions, consequence at all, but utterly frivolous and such changes and alterations should be made vain. But such alterations as were tendered therein, as to those that are in place of to us (by what persons, under what preAuthority should from time to time seem tences, or to what purpose soever tendered) either necessary or expedient. Accordingly as seemed to us in any degree requisite or we find, that in the reigns of several Princes expedient, we have willingly, and of our of blessed memory since the Reformation, own accord assented unto: not enforced so the Church, upon just and weighty consi. to do by any strength of argument, conderations her thereunto moving, hath yield. vincing is of the necessity of making the ed to make such alterations in some parti. said alterations: for we are fully persuaded culars, as in their respective times were in our judgments (and we here profese it thought convenient : yet so, as that the to the world) that the Book, as it stood be main body and essentials of it (as well in fore established by law, doth not contain in the chiefest materials, as in the frame and it any thing contrary to the Word of God, order thereof) have still continued the same or to sound doctrine, or which a godly man unto this day, and do yet stand firm and may not with a good conscience use and unshaken, notwithstanding all the vain at submit unto, or which is not fairly defensi. tempts and impetuous assaults made against ble against any that shall oppose the same; it, by such men as are given to change, and if it shall be allowed such just and favourhave always discovered a greater regard to able construction as in common equity ought their own private fancies and interests, than to be allowed to all human writings, espe. to that duty they owe to the publick.
cially such as are set forth by authority, and
even to the very best translations of the By what undue means, and for what mis holy Scripture itself. chievous purposes the use of the Liturgy (though enjoined by the laws of the land, Our general aim therefore in this under. and those laws never yet repealed) came, taking was, not to gratify this or that party during the late unhappy confusions, to be in any their unreasonable demands; but to discontinued, is too well known to the do that, which to our best understandings world, and we are not willing here to re we conceived might most tend to the premember. But when, upon His Majesty's servation of peace and unity in the Church; happy restoration, it seemed probable, that, the procuring of reverence, and exciting of amongst other things, the use of the Liturgy piety and devotion in the publick worship would also return of course (the same har. of God; and the cutting off occasion from ing never been legally abolished) unless them that seek occasion of cavil or quarrel sine timely means were used to prevent against the Liturgy of the Church. And as it; those men who under the late usurped to the several variations from the former powers had made it a great part of their busi Book, whether by alteration, addition, or ness to render the people disaffected there otherwise, it shall suffice to give this general unto, saw themselves in point of reputation account, That most of the alterations were and interest concerned (unless they would made, either first, for the better direction freely acknowledge themselves to have of them that are to officiate in any part of erred, which such men are very hardly Divine Service; which is chiefly done in brought to do) with their utmost endeavours the Calendars and Rubricks: Or secondly, to hinder the restitution thereof. In order for the more proper expressing of some whereunto divers pamphlets were published words or phrases of ancient usage in terms against the Book of Common Prayer, the old more suitable to the language of the present objections mustered up, with the addition times, and the clearer explanation of some of some new ones, more than formerly had other words and phrases, that were either been made, to make th: number swell. In of doubtful signification, or otherwise liable fine, great importunities were used to His I to misconstriction: Or thirdly, for a more 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, are now ordered to be read according to the last Translation: and that it was thought convenient, that some Prayers and Thanksgivings, fitted to special occasions, should be added in their due places; particularly for those at Sea, together with an Office for the Baptism of such as are of Riper Years: which, although not so necessary when the former Bookwas compiled, yet by the growth of Anabaptism, through the licentiousness of the late times crept in amongst
s, is now become necessary, and may be always useful for the baptizing of natives in our plantations, and others converted to the faith. If any 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 dis. charge our duties in this weighty affair, as in the sight of God, and to approve our sin. cerity 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 interests) 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 them. selves : Yet we have good hope, that what is here presented, and hath been by the Convocations of both Provinces with great diligence examined and approved, will be also well accepted and approved by all sober, peaceable, and truly conscientious sons of the Church of England.
CONCERNING THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH.
THERE was never any thing by the wit | which they understand not; so that they
of man so well devised, or so sure esta- have heard with their ears only, and their blished, which in continuance of time hath heart, spirit, and mind, have not been edi. not been corrupted: As, among other things, fied thereby. And furthermore, notwithit may plainly appear by the Commonstanding that the ancient Fathers have Prayers in the Church, commonly called divided the Psalms into seven portions, Divine Service. The first original and whereof every one was called a Nocturn: ground whereof if a man would search ont Now of late time a few of them have been by the ancient Fathers, he shall find, that daily said, and the rest utterly omitted. the same was not ordained but of a good Moreover, the number and hardness of the purpose, and for a great advancement of rules called the Pie, and the manifold godliness. For they so ordered the matter, changings of the service, was the cause, that that all the whole Bible, (or the greatest to turn the book only was so hard and intripart thereof) should be read over once every cate a matter, that many times there was 1 year; intending thereby, that the Clergy, 1 more business to find out what should be and especially such as were Ministers in read, than to read it when it was found out. the congregation, should (by often reading, and meditation in God's word) be stirred up These inconveniences therefore consider
to godliness themselves, and be more able ed, here is set forth such an order, whereby | to exhort others by wholesome doctrine, and the same shall be redressed. And for a
to confute them that were adversaries to the readiness in this matter, here is drawn out truth; and further, that the people (by a Calendar for that purpose, which is plain daily hearing of holy Scripture read in the and easy to be understood; wherein (so Church) might continually profit more and much as may be) the reading of holy Scripmore in the knowledge of God, and be the ture is so set forth, that all things shall be more inflamed with the love of his true done in order, without breaking one piece religion.
from another. For this cause be cut off
Anthems, Responds, Invitatories, and such But these many years passed, this godly like things as did break the continual oourse and decent order of the ancient Fathers of the reading of the Scripture. hath been so altered, broken, and neglected, by planting in uncertain stories, and legends, Yet, because there is no remedy, but that with multitude of responds, verses, vain re- of necessity there must be some Rules; petitions, commemorations, and synodals; ! therefore certain Rules are here set forth; that commonly when any book of the Bible which, as they are few in number, so they was begun, after three or four chapters were are plain and easy to be understood. So read out, all the rest were unread. And in that here you have an Order for Prayer, this sort the book of Isaiah was begun in and for the reading of the holy Scripture, Advent, and the book of Genesis in Septua much agreeable to the mind and purpose of gesima ; but they were only begun, and the old Fathers, and a great deal more pronever read through : after like sort were fitable and commodious, than that which of other books of holy Scripture used. And late was used. It is more profitable, bemoreover, whereas St. Paul would have cause here are left out many things, wheresuch language spoken to the people in the of some are untrue, some uncertain, some Church, as they might understand, and have vain and superstitious; and nothing is orprofit by hearing the same; the service in dained to be read, but the very pure Word this Church of England these many years of God, the holy Scriptures, or that which hath been read in Latin to the people, is agreeable to the same; and that in such