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Thath been the wisdom of the Church of England, ever since the first compiling of her publick Liturgy, to keep the mean between the two extremes, of too much stiffness in refusing, and of too much easiness in admitting any variation from it. For, as on the one side common experi. ence 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 cvils, 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 ar. pointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent, and alterable, and so acknowledged; it is but reasonable, that upon weigh. ty and important considerations, according to the yarious exigency of time, 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, as in their respective times were thought convenient: yet so, as that the main body and essentials of it is well in the chiefest materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still continued the same unto this day, and do yet stand firm and unshaken, notwithstanding 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 publick.

what undue means, and for what mischievous purposes the use of the Liturgy (though enjoined o the laws of the land, and those laws never set repealed) came, during the late unhappy confusions, to be discontinued. i. too well known to the world, and we are not willing here to remember. But when, upon His Majesty's happy restoration, it seemed probable, that, amongst other things, the use of the Liturgy would also return of course (the same having never been legally abolished) unless some timely means were used to prevent it ; those men who under the late to surped powers has made it a great part of their business to render the people disaffected tiereunto, saw themselves in point of reputation, and interest concerned (unless they would freely acknowledge themselves to have erred, which such inca are very hardly brought to do) with their utmost endeavours to hinder the restitution thereof. In order whereunto divers pamphlets were publiso against the Book of Common Player, the old objections mustered up, with the addition of some new ones, inore than formerly had been made, to make the number swell. In fine, great *...! were used to his Sacred Majesty, that the said look might be revised, and such alteration, therein, and additions ther unto male, as should be thought requisite for the case of tender consciences: whereutto His Majesty, out of his ricou inclination to give satisfaction (so far as could be reasonably expected, to all his subjects of what persuasion socver, did graciously condescend.

in which review we have endeavoured to observe the like moderation, as we find to have been used in the like case in fortner times. And ther fre of the sundry alterations proposed unto us, we have rejected all such as were either of dangerous consequence (as secretl **** at some established doctrine, or laudable practice of the Church of England, or in irra of the whole Catholick Church of Christ) or else of no consequence at al. but utterly frivolous and vain. But such alterations as were tentiered to us (by what persons, under what pretences, or to what Hoo soteoero!) as seemed to us in any degree requisite or expedient, we have willingly, and of our own accord hosented unto: not enforced so to do y any strength of argument, convincing us, of the necessity of making the said alterations : for we are fully persuaded in our judgements (and or here profess it to the world) that the Book, as it stood before established by law, doth not contain in it anything contrary to the Word of God, or to sound doctrine, or which a godly man may not with a good conscience use and submit unto, or which is not fairly defensible against any that shall oppose the same; if it shall be allowed such just and favourable construction as in common equity ought to be allowed to all human writings, especially such as are set forth by authority, and even to the very best translations of the holy Scripture itself.

Our general aim therefore in this undertaking was, not to tify 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 Church; the procuring of reverence, and exciting of piety and devotion in the publick worship of God; and the cutting off occasion from them that seek cccasion of cavil or quarrel against the Litu of the Church. And as to the several variations from the former Book, whether by alteration, addition, or otherwise, it shall suffice to give this general account, That most of the alterations were made, either first, for the better direction of them that are to officiate in any part of Divine service; which is chiefly done in the Calendars and Rubricks: Or secondly, for the more proper expressing of some 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 liable to misconstruction: 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 #: Years: which, although not so o when the former Book was compiled, yet by the growth of Anabaptism, through the licentiousness of the late times crept in amongst us, 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 discharge our duties in this weighty affair, as in §. sight of God, and 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 interests, as are in the world) to please all; nor can expect that men of factious, peevish, and perverse spirits should be satisfied with anything 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 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.

HERE was never anything by the wit of man so well devised, or so sure established, which in continuance of time hath not been corrup:ed: as, among other things, it may plainly appear by the Common Prayer. in the Church, commonly called Divine Service. The first original and und whereof if a man would search out by the ancient Fathers, he shall nd, that the same 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 ev year; intending thereby, that the Clergy, and especially such as were Ms. nisters in the congregation, should (by often reading, and meditation in God's word) be stirred up to godliness themselves, and be more able to exhort 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 § ;nowledge of God, and be the more inflamed with the love of his true religion.

But these many years passed, this godly and decent order of the ancient Fathers hath been so altered, broken, and neglected, by planting in undertain stories, and legends, with multitude of responds, verscs, vain repetitions, commemorations, and synodals; that commonly when any book of the Bible was begun, after three or four chapters were read out, all the rest were unread. And in this sort the book of Isaiah was begun in Advent, and the book of Genesis in Septuagesima ; but they were only begun, and never read through : after like sort were other books of holy Scripture used. And moreover, whereas St. Paul would have such language spoken to the |...}} in the Church, as they might understand, and have profit by hearng the same; the service in this Church of England these many years hath been read in Latin to the people, which they understand not ; so that they have heard with their ears only, and their heart, spirit, and miro, have not been edified thereby. And furthermore, notwithstanding that the ancient Fathers have divided the Psalms into seven portions, whereot every one was called a Nocturn: now of late time a few of thern have been daily said, and the rest utterly omitted. Moreover, the number and hardness of the rules called the Pie, and the manifold changings of the service, was the cause, that to turn the book only was so hard and intricate a matter, that many times there was more business to find out what should be read, than to read it when it was found out.

These inconveniences therefore considered, here is set forth such an order, whereby the sane shall be redressed. And for a readiness in this matter, here is *. out a Calendar for that purpose, which is plain and easy to be understood; wherein (so much as may be) the realing of holy Scripture is so set forth, that all things shall be done in order, off", breaking one piece from another. For this cause be cut off Anthems, Responds, Invitatories, and such like things as did break the continual course of the reading of the Scripture.

Yet, because there is no remedy, but that of necessity there must be some Rules; therefore certain Rules are here set forth ; which, as they 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 minus and purpose of the old Fathers, and a great deal more profitable and commo-lious, than that which of late was used. It is more profitable, because here are left out many things, whereof some are untrue, some uncertain, 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 warne; and that in such a language and ot. der as is most easy and plain for the understanding both of the readers and hearers. It is also more commodious, both for the shortness thereof, and for the plainness of the order, and for that the rules be few and easy.

And whereas heretofore there hath been great diversity in saying and singing in Churches within this Realm; some following Salisbury use, some Hereford use, and some the use of Bangor, some of York, some of Lincoln; now from henceforth all the whole Realm shall have but one use.

And forasrnuch as nothing can be so plainly set forth, but doubts may arise in the use and practice of the same; to appease all such diversit (if any arise) and for the resolution of all doubts, concerning the manner #. to understand, do, and execute, the things contained in this Book; the E. that so doubt, or diversly take any thing, shall alway resort to the

ishop of the Diocese, who by his discretion shall take order for the quieting and appeasing of the same; so that the same order be not contrary to anything contained in this Book. And if the Bishop of the Diocese be in doubt, then he may send for the resolution thereof to the Archbishop.

THOUGH it be appointed, that all things shall be read and sung in the Church in the English Tongue, to the end that the congregation may be thereby edified; yet it is not meant, but that when men say Morning and Evening Prayer privately, they may say the same in any language that they themselves do understand.

And all Priests and Deacons are to say daily the Morning and Evening Prayer either privately or openly, not being let by sickness, or some other urgent cause.

And the Curate that ministereth in every Parish-church or Chapel, being at home, and not being otherwise reasonably hindered, shall say the same in the Parish-church or Chapel where he ministereth, and shall cause a bell to be tolled thereunto a convenient time before he begin, that the peo. ple may come to hear God's Word, and to pray with him.

–soOf CEREMONIES, why some be abolished, and some retained.

O. such Ceremonies as be used in the Church, and have had their beginning by the institution of man; some at the first were of godly intent and purpose devised, and yet at length turned to vanity and superstition: some entered into the Church by undiscreet devotion, and such a zeal as was without o;; and for because they were winked at in the beginning, they grew daily to more and more abuses, which not only for their unprofitableness, but also because they have much blinded the people, and obscured the glory of God, are worthy to be cut away, and clean rejected; other there be, which although they have been devised by man, yet it is thought good to reserve them still, as well for a decent order in the Church, (for the which they were first devised) as because they pertain to edification, whereunto all things done in the Church (as the Apostle teach. eth) ought to be referred.

And although the keeping or omitting of a Ceremony, in itself considered, is but a small thing; yet the wilful and contemptuous transgression and breaking of a common order and discipline is no small offence before God, “Let all things be done among you,” saith St. Paul, “in a seemly and due order:” the appointment of the which order pertaineth not to pri. wate men; therefore no man ought to take in hand, nor presume to ap

intor aiter any publick or common order in Christ's Church, except he {..., called and authorized thereunto.

And whereas in this our time, the minds of men are so diverse, that some think it a great matter of conscience to depart from a piece of th: least of their Ceremonies, they be * racted to their old customs; and

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