Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

were spent with Bishop Seabury, on the im- At the next triennial Convention in 1804, portant objects which came before them; an Office of Institution was framed, to be and especially the Christian temper which used at the Induction of Ministers to the he manifested all along."

rectorship of Churches. And at the ConAt the General Convention in 1792, the vention of 1808, thirty Hymns were added Ordinal was revised ; and underwent a few to the Book of Psalms and Hymns. Since alterations which seemed necessary to ac- which time, no changes have been made in commodate it to local circumstances. And our Liturgy, except a farther revision of this at the Convention of 1799, a service was part of the service, adopted by the General prescribed for the consecration of a Church Convention of 1832. or Chapel. It is substantially the same with With respect to the more considerable ala service composed by Bishop Andrews, in terations, those which were made by the the nign of James the First; and since General Convention of 1789, it is not commonly used by the English Bishops in thought necessary to go into a detail of such consecrations; but without the au them in this place. The greater part of thority of Convocation, or act of Parlia them were mere verbal emendations, or ment.

such only as were rendered necessary by It was not till the Convention of 1801, the change of political relations. Those that the subject of the Articles was defini which are most deserving of notice, will be tively settled. “After repeated discussions pointed out in the course of the subsequent and propositions, it had been found, that the Commentary, together with the consideradoctrines of the Gospel, as they stand in the tions on which they were founded. 39 Articles of the Church of England, with In all the deliberations of the several Conthe exception of such matters as are local, ventions, the object kept in view, says Bishwere more likely to give general satisfaction, op White, “was the perpetuating of the than the same doctrines in any new form Episcopal Church, on the general principles that might be devised. The former were, which she had inherited from the Church therefore, adopted by the two houses of Con- of England; and of not departing from vention, without the altering of eren the them, except so far as local circumstances oh ale te diction of them; but with notices required, or some very important cause renor such changes as change of situation had dered proper. To those acquainted with ruderi necessary. Exclusire of such, the Church of England, it must be evident, there is an exceprion ; that of adapting the that the object her stated was accomplishartede merning the creads to the former ed on the ratification of the Articles.” ex ash or the Athanasian," (8.) ! The forgoing summary is taken chiefly

from Bp White's valuable Memoirs of the (3) Beker Ware's Memes A 8 Protestant Episcopal Church.” T.C. B

[graphic]

TABLE OF CONTENTS.-

1 The Ratification of the Book of Com- | 16 The Ministration of Baptism to such as

mon Prayer.

are of Riper Years, and able to answer

2 The Preface.

for themselves.

3 The order how the Psalter is appointed | 17 A Catechism; that is to say, an instruction

to be read.

to be learned by every person before he be

4 The Order how the Rest of the Holy brought to be confirmed by the Bishop.

Scripture is appointed to be read.

18 The Order of Confirmation, or Laying

5 Tables of Lessons of Holy Scripture to on of Hands, upon those that are bap-

be read at Morning and Evening Prayer, tized, and come to Years of Discretion.

throughout the year.

19 The form of Solemnization of Matri-

6 The Calendar.

mony.

7 Tables and Rules for the Moveable and 20 The Order for the Visitation of the Sick.

Immoveable Feasts, together with the 21 The Communion of the Sick.

Days of Fasting and Abstinence through | 22 The Order for the Burial of the Dead.

out the year.

23 The Thanksgiving of Women after

8 Tables for finding the Holy-Days,

Child - Birth; commonly called the

9 The Order for Daily Morning Prayer. Churching of Women.

10 The Order for Daily Evening Prayer. 24 Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea.

11 Prayers and Thanksgivings upon several 25 A form of Prayer for the Visitation of

occasions, to be used before the two final Prisoners.

Prayers of Morning and Evening Service. 26 A form of Prayer and Thanksgiving to

12 The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, to Almighty God, for the Fruits of the

be used throughout the year.

Earth, and all other Blessings of his

13 The Order for the Administration of the merciful Providence.

Lord's Supper,'or Holy Communion. 27 Forms of Prayer to be used in Families.

14 The Ministration of Public Baptism of 28 Selections of Psalms, to be used instead

Infants, to be used in the Church.

of the Psalms for the Day, at the Dis-

15 The Ministration of Private Baptism of cretion of the Minister.

Children in Houses.

29 The Psalter, or Psalms of David.

(1.) In some Editions of the Book of Common Prayer, the Editors have framed the “ Table of Con-
tents, according to their respective judgments, and not according to the standard Edition, which ends
with “ The Psalter or Psalms of David," not including the Metre Psalms. It must be evident, that the
comprehending of any document under the same cover with the Book of Common Prayer, does not constitute
it a part thereof, although set forth under the same authority. As much misunderstanding and incon-
venience may arise from the misnomers stated, the matter is noticed, with the hope of its being a caution
against the like mistake in future.

Bishop White.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

PREFACE.

It is a most invaluable part of that blessed liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, that in his worship, different forms and usages may withont offence be allowed, provided the substance of the faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly determined to belong to Doctrine, must be referred to discipline; and therefore, by common consent and authority, may be altered, abridged, enlarged, amended, or otherwise disposed of, as may seem most convenient for the edification of the people, "according to the various exigencies of times and occasions."

[graphic]

The Church of England, to which the Protestant Episcopal Church in these States is indebted, under God, for her first foundation and a long continuance of nursing care and protection, hath, in the Preface of her Book of Common Prayer, laid it down as a Rule, that “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 reasonable that, upon weighty and important considerations, according to the various exigencies of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those who are in places of authority should, from time to time, seem either necessary or expedient.” *

The same Church hath not only in her Preface, but likewise in her Articles and Homilies, declared the necessity and expediency of occasional alterations and amendments in her Forms of Public Worship; and we find accordingly, that, seeking to keep the happy mean between too much stiffness in refusing, and too much easiness in admitting variations in things once advisedly established, she hath, in the reign of several Princes, since the first compiling of her Liturgy in the time of Edward the Sixth, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, yielded to make such alterations in some particulars, as in their respective times were thought convenient; yet so as that the main body and essential parts of the same (as well in the chiefest materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still been continued firm and unshaken."

Her general aim in these different Reviews and alterations hath been, as she farther declares in her said Preface, “to do that which, according to her best understanding, might most tend to the preservation of peace and unity in the Church; the procuring of reverence, and the exciting of piety and devotion in the worship of God; and, finally, the cutting off occasion, from them that seek occasion, of cavil or quarrel against the Liturgy." And although, according to her judgment, there be not "any thing in it contrary to the Word of God, or to sound doctrine, or which a godly man may not with a good conscience

* See the Prefaces to the English Liturgy, which are subjoined.-T. C. B

use and submit unto, or which is not fairly defensible, if allowed such just and favourable construction, as, in common equity, ought to be allowed to all human writings;" yet upon the principles already laid down, it cannot but be supposed, that further alteration would in time be found expedient. Accordingly, a commission for a review was issued in the year 1689 : But this great and good work miscarried at that time; and tne Civil Authority has not since thought proper to revive it by any new Commission.

But when, in the course of Divine Providence, these American States became independent with respect to Civil Government, their Ecclesiastical Independence was necessarily included, and the different religious denominations of Christians in these States were left at full and equal liberty to model and organize their respective Churches, and forms of worship, and discipline, in such manner as they might judge most convenient for their future prosperity; consistently with the Constitution and Laws of their Country.

[graphic]
[graphic]

The attention of this Church was, in the first place, drawn to those alterations in the Liturgy which became necessary in the prayers for our Civil Rulers, in consequence of the Revolution. And the principal care herein was to make them conformable to what ought to be the proper end of all such prayers, namely, that “Rulers may have grace, wisdom, and understanding, to execute justice, and to maintain truth ;” and that the People" may lead quiet and peaceable lives, in all Godliness and honesty."

But while these alterations were in review before the Convention, they could not but, with gratitude to God, embrace the happy occasion which was offered to them, (uninfluenced and unrestrained by any worldly authority whatsoever) to take a further review of the Public Service, and to establish such other alterations and amendments therein as might be deemed expedient.

[graphic]

It seems unnecessary to enumerate all the different alterations and amendments. They will appear, and it is to be hoped, the reasons of them also, upon a comparison of this with the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. In which it will also appear, that this Church is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline, or worship; or farther than local circumstances require.

And now, this important work being brought to a conclusion, it is hoped the whole will be received and examined by every true member of our Church, and every sincere Christian, with a meek, candid, and charitable frame of mind; without prejudice or prepossessions; seriously considering what Christianity is, and what the truths of the Gospel are ; and earnestly beseeching Almighty God, to accompany with his blessing every endeavour for promulgating them to mankind in the clearest, plainest, most affecting, aad majestic manner, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour.

« AnteriorContinuar »