« AnteriorContinuar »
has been borne in mind in this selection of Prayers and Collects; each Daily Service is compiled upon the model of the Common Prayer Book, such responses and prayers as will afford the required variety only being added; these have been chosen not at random, but with a perpetual reference to the leading idea above referred to, and in harmony with the tone of primitive Services. There are many places in which the principle of selection will probably pass unobserved, but unless the prayers are misapplied it may be plainly seen, in the opening sentences and in those which follow the Lord's Prayer, and enters into many of the versicles and responses. The first Collect after the responses has also reference to the subject of the day, and so have some of the other Collects, for instance that for the Ministry on Monday evening; the Benedictory Prayer on Tuesday ; and that for Holiness on the same evening. The Collects for Grace against Temptation, and for a Spirit of Mortification on Wednesday morning; and that for Pastors and People in the evening. The Morning Thanksgiving, and several of the Evening Collects on Thursday. The Thanksgivings and the Evening Prayer on the Passion on Friday; and almost the whole of the Saturday morning and evening services.
The services remain in part as they were in the first edition, but it is hoped that they are much improved by an increase of the commemorative parts. There have also been some other material alterations; of these the principal are as follows. The General Confession is omitted on Sunday, and has been inserted on every morning and evening except Wednesday and Friday, instead of other prayers of a confessional nature which stood in the former edition, but were either improperly taken from the Eucharistic service, or were not of the same full and general character. The prayer for Pardon contained in the words “Lord, have mercy upon us," &c. alternately asked in Divine Service by Minister and people, have been placed before the Lord's Prayer, excepting on Sunday, in every instance. It will be found so placed in the Book of Common Prayer, both before the longer and shorter form of it, in all cases except where the Lord's Prayer forms part of a sacramental service, and is preceded immediately by an actual absolution, or by the imposition of hands, as in the Confirmation Service. The shorter form without the doxology is reserved for the evening. The Nicene Creed has been removed from the daily services, and is suggested for use on those days on which an Epistle and Gospel is appointed, or, in other words, on which the Holy Communion ought to be administered and this Creed said, excepting those on which the Athanasian Creed is directed to be used. Prayers for the Aid of the Holy Spirit are inserted in every Service. Those parts of the Communion Service which the Editor fears were so placed as to give pain to many, as he confesses they have to himself, have been altogether removed from their application to ordinary use, a position which he willingly admits they ought never to have occu
pied, and are placed now, either for private or domestic purposes, amongst those prayers which are only intended to be used with immediate reference to the Holy Eucharist.
The Hymns have been omitted. The Editor has in this point followed the advice of others. His gratitude to those who aided him in that collection is great; but if the collection itself was insufficient, or an improper use of the assistance given was made by him, so as to render it useless, the blame alone is his. There is a most lamentable diversity of Hymns in use in the Church of England. The vast resources of ancient Hymns are neglected, as to any practical adaptation to public worship, and the want of something better and more uniform than the present state of the Psalmody of the Church is keenly felt, and it is hoped that it may be in time supplied by proper authority. The references are omitted in the body of the Services, as they appeared to create distraction. The Index gives the source from which each part is taken, and shews what portions of the Book of Common Prayer are embodied in them. The Prayers for the State Services are omitted.
The rest of the second part has been entirely re-arranged. Some portions of it, such as the Prayers for Fast Days and Ember Days, are greatly increased. Those that relate to family and domestic anniversaries and events are so placed as to illustrate, after the manner of the Book of Common Prayer, the course of the events of the Christian life, and some others have been added, as, for absent members of the family, and for cases of penitence after the commission of heinous sins. There has also been a considerable addition to that part which relates to sickness, the hour of death, and the days of mourning and remembrance for departed friends
A General Litany, compiled from various sources, has been added at the end, for private use, or for use in those places where the Public Services of the Church are celebrated, on Wednesday and Friday morning. The Litany from the Common Prayer Book is divided into two parts, as before; this has appeared objectionable to some, but the same objection would apply to the division of any other entire Services, and it would have been useless to print the whole as it stands, when that book is accessible to all. · These various alterations and additions have been made with care and consideration; for although there are many instances in which the offices and devotional writings of members of other branches of the Catholic Church have conduced to and nourish up a spirit of devoutness, as well as tend to explain and throw light upon those of our own; yet it has been deemed wiser to refrain from making selections directly from such sources, and there is no portion of the whole work which is not taken immediately from the Book of Common Prayer, the Primitive Liturgies, the early Fathers, or the devotional writings and compilations of members of our Church, excepting only some of the Prayers for the seasons, and portions of the Litany, compiled from a volume of Litanies and Prayers for the Sundays throughout the year. In the first part, excepting the Invocations, chiefly from Bishop Andrewes, the only Prayers not to be found in the Book of Common Prayer are, one from the Liturgy of St. Basil, on Sunday morning, followed by another for the Clergy, together with a Thanksgiving, from a Collection of Devotions published in the year 1734, and taken from the Apostolic Constitutions, the Primitive Liturgies, and the Book of Common Prayer. From the same source come those on the Passion, for Friday; and from a collection of Dr. Hickes one relating to the Eucharist, on Thursday evening. In several cases it has been necessary to compile rather than copy, because the Prayers, not being originally written for family worship, were not applicable to it, but no one original composition exists in the work.
In the whole work two leading objects have been kept in mind, 1st. to provide for the real relation of a master to his family and household, in as ample a manner as possible, without infringing upon the priestly office; and, 2ndly, to make that provision at once upon the model of that branch of the Church to which we belong, and in unison with the devotions and aspirations of Primitive ages.
The first of these he believes to be of paramount importance. The Church itself, in all her parts, is at once the Spouse of Christ and the Family of the Most High God. Her relations to her Lord and to her children are so wonderfully ordered, that they radiate through, and may be reflected by the several Churches which make up her visible body, by the Dioceses and pastoral Cures of which those Churches are composed, and by the families and individuals which they each comprise; and although she has herself an existence in her living Head not dependent on the numbers of her several members, yet she reflects the beauty of her Lord in particular places, in just such proportion as they practise what she teaches, and they participate in the benefit entrusted to her dispensation in proportion as they enter into her mystical character, and endeavour to bear the impress of a portion of her body in all their acts. Hence a most serious responsibility rests upon all masters of families diligently to inculcate the faith of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church, first delivered to the Saints, and since handed down to themselves by her successive Ministers, and to teach and instruct all, both children and household, whom God has entrusted to their care, in that holy and blessed word, which is as capable of being perverted by those who wilfully persist in giving to it their own private interpretations, or fetter it with the systems of men, as it is infallibly sure, by the guidance of the Eternal Spirit, to fill with truth and peace the minds of those who read it with earnest prayer, and submit themselves with reverence to the divinely
g of His most holy Chur the good providence of God, her office, her character, and her teaching, are becoming better known and more appreciated. That nothing in earth or in hell will prevail against her He has fully
promised, and though she is warmly opposed in her struggle to regain the adherence of her members to her own divinely taught views of doctrine and practice, the number is daily and almost miraculously increasing of those who are on her side; the duty and the wisdom of quietly aiding the struggle is most evident, and there is no means more effectual than family devotion, conducted on the model and after the teaching of the formularies of the Church. The true secret of domestic happiness is family piety and family worship; it is no less so of domestic order. The best outward means of leading a household to the true fountains of happiness and peace, is by consecrating visibly, yet without ostentation, a portion of our time, of our substance, and even of our dwellings, to sacred and holy purposes, leading them, as far as possible, to connect with all that is around them the feeling of a dedication to God, encouraging them, as members of the same body with ourselves and our children, to share all that is likely to lead them on to a heavenly mind. In so doing, it will be of great advantage to let them see that while our intercourse with the world, our daily meals, our plans, and undertakings, are all changing with the duties and cir. cumstances of the day, our hours and places of prayer are fixed, and do not give way to other engagements. They may also, with great advantage, be encouraged to join both in the setting apart and even in the distribution of the family alms, and in other works of charity a,
In providing for the second object, it ought most carefully to be borne in mind that the influence of the master should not interfere with or supersede that of the pastor, nor family worship be made an excuse for not attending the public services of the Church, where they may be had. Yet it will be found that where the master endeavours as much as possible to be in things lawful as a pastor to his family and household, and in all other things subject to those set over him in the Lord, there will be but little difficulty in setting before them the Church of Christ and all her ordinances and rules, as at once the channels of grace and the best guide of their habits and actions. Bearing this in mind, and endeavouring to make a provision for wants which such a temper and tone of life would create, the Editor has followed out the method of which he learnt
• The Collection of Alms and Offerings from the whole family is an important object, and one in which even children may join. To the collection may be added whatever is saved by a systematic family observance of the season of Lent. The wants of the poor, and the work of the Church at home, and abroad, form three great heads of charity which might be left optional to the givers. The further distribution must be undertaken by the head of the family, until there is some more immediate method of placing our offerings at the disposal of the heads of the Church.
the first principles under his own parental roof, where he was early taught that attachment to the habits and formularies of the Church, and that understanding of the faith, which he hopes to hand down unimpaired to his children after him. In the present compilation he has endeavoured to make provision for the devotions of a Christian household, upon the principle that every epoch and event of life is to be rescued from a secular, and converted to a religious use. Thus the services are arranged according to the gracious acts of our most blessed Saviour and Redeemer, so far as possible, on the days on which they occurred, and which the Church points out for the commemoration of them. They consist of her Prayers, her Responses, her Creeds, her Thanksgivings. Provision is made for keeping each one of her Festivals, and for a due observance of her most distinctly appointed Fasts, days of self-denial indeed, but full of penitential joy and peace. It is lamentably true that a large class of devout and religious persons have, in an endeavour to avoid a spirit of formality and self-righteousness, followed the example of a luxurious and carnally-minded age in ridiculing and neglecting them; but it is for the faithful members of the Church rather to follow a holier and better example in a matter which our Lord and His Apostles, and almost every age and portion of His Church but this age and this country, have seriously and diligently ordered and observed. The different classes of Fast-days are therefore all provided for in the firm belief that, while our individual acts of morti. fication and self-denial are to be in secret, it is no less an obligation to explain, enforce, and encourage the duty in every member of our household, and aid them by suitable family arrangements on such occasions. Provision is also made for the religious observance of the anniversaries of birthdays and baptismal days. These latter are rarely thought of; few perhaps even ask whether their servants have been baptized or no: yet surely it is a clear path of duty to admit none into our families but those who are baptized members of Christ's Church, and afterwards to train them up as sound and faithful members of her communion. Preparatory prayers for the Eucharist, that holy bond of union and communion between all ranks and classes, both from the Services of the Church and other sources are added, and in the course of each week thanksgiving is made both for the Sacraments themselves, and our own participation in them. A Prayer for a Penitent, after the commission of heinous sin, is added; for surely it is better in every case to attempt to restore by kindness and perseverance, rather than at once to degrade or abandon a fallen fellow-creature. Provision is also made for the hour when the spirits of those dear to us are passing into eternity; for the period whilst their widowed corpses lie still amongst us; for the days of our mourning, and for the frequent remembrance of them, that so we may be more and more living amongst those who live, though we see them not, and are still joined to us in lively and mutual sympathies, with whom we profess to have communion