« PreviousContinue »
THE CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK.
8. Concerning the Service of the
of the holy Communion.
IT T hath been the wisdom of the Church of Sacred Majesty, that the said Book might
England, ever since the first compiling of be revised, and such alterations therein, and her publick Liturgy, to keep the mean be additions thereunto made, as should be tween the two extremes, of too much stiff thought requisito for the ease of tender Deas in refusing, and of too much easiness in consciences: whereinto His Majesty, out admitting any variation from it. For, as 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 wliat persuasion soever, things advisedly established (no evident ne. did graciously condescend. cessity so requíring) 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 altera. lar forms of Divine worship, and the Rites tions proposed into us, we have rejected all and Ceremonies appointed to be used there such as were either of dangerous conse. in, being things in their own nature indif. quence (as secretly striking at some estaforent, 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 wbole important considerations, according to the Catholick Church of Christ) or elso 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 scem 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 l'rince's 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, hat) yield. vincing us of the necessity of making the ed to make such alterations in some parti said alterations: for we are fully persuaded culurs, as in their respective times were in onr judgments (and we lere profess it thought convenient : yet so, as that the to the world, that the Book, as it'stond bemain body and essentials of it (as well in fore established by law, doth not contain in the chiefeet materials, as in the frame and it any thing contrary to the Word of God, order thereof)lare 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 st. submit unto, or which is not fairly defensi. terupts 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 favour. have 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, espeto that duty they owe to the publick. cially such as are set forth by authority, and
even to the very best translations of the ply what nndue 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 renen led) came, taking was, not to gratify this or that party during the late unhappy confusions, to be in any their unreasonable deinands; but to discontinued, is too well known to the do that, wlrich 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 nf reverence, and exciting of amongst other things, the use of the Liturgy piety and devotion in the publick worship would also returu of course (the same har. of God; and the cutting off occasion from ing never been legally abolished) wless them that seek occasion of cavil or quarrel some timely mcans were used to prevent against the Liturgy of the Church. And as it; those nen who ander the late tipurped to the several variations from the former powers had made it a great part of their biisi. Book, whether by alteration, addition, or ness to render the people disaffected there otherwise, it shall suttice to give this general nnto, 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 wliereunto 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 mistered 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 heen inade, to make the number swell. In of doubtful signification, or otherwise liable fine, great importunities were used to His to misconstruction : Or thirdly, for a more
perfect rendering of such portions of holy with the former; we doubt not but the reaScripture, as are inserted into the Liturgy; son of the change may easily appoar. which, in the Epistles and Gospels especially, and in sundry other places, he now And having thus endeavoured to disordered to be read according to the last charge our duties in this weighty aitair, as Translation: and that it was thought con in the sight of God, and to approve our invenient, that some Prayers and Thanks. cerity therein (so far as lay in us) to the givings, fitted to special occasions, should be constiences of all men; altliough we know added in their due places; particularly for it imposzible (in such variety of apprehenthose at Sea, together with an Oiticg for the sions, humours and interests, as are in the Baptism of such as are of Riper Years: world) to please all; nor can expect that which, although not so necessary when the men of factious, jeevish, and perverse spirits foriner Book was compiled, yet by the should be satisfied with any thing that can growth of Anabaptism, through the licen be done in this kind by any other than theintiousness of the late times erept in amongst selves: Yet we have good hope, that what us, is now become necessary, and may be is here presented, and hath been by the always useful for the baptizing of natives Convocations of both Provinces with yreat in our plantations, and others converted to diligence examined and approved, will be the faith. If any man, wllo sball desire a also well accepted and approved by all sober, more particular account of the several al. poaceable, and truly conscientious sous of terations in any part of the Liturgy, shall the Church of England. take the pains to compare the present Book
CONCERNING THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH.
THERE was never any thing by the wit which they understand not; so that they
o 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 Common standing 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 inanifold godliness. For they so ordered the matter, changings of the service, was the cause, that that all the whole Bibl (or the greatest
to turn the ook only was so hard and intri. part thereof) should be read over once every cate a matter, that many times there was year; intending thereby, that the Clergy, 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 (hy 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 (hy a Calendar for that puurpose, which is plain daily hearing of holy Scripture read in ehe and easy to be understood; wherein (so Church) might continually profit more and much as may be) the reading of holy Seripmore 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,
froin 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 course 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 wlien 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 Septuainuch agreeable to the mind and purpose of gesima ; but they were only begun, and the old Fathers, and a great deal more pro. never 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, where. such language spoken to the people in the of some are untrue, some uncertain, some Church, as they might onder tand, and have vain and superstitious; and nothing is or. profit 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
And if the Bishop of the Diocese be in doubt, then he may send for the resolution thereof to the Archbishop.
a language and order 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 Banyor, some of York, some of Lincoln ; now from henceforth all the whole Roalm shall have but one us.
And forasmuch as nothing can be so plainly set forth, but doubts may arise in the use and practice of the same; to ap: pease all such diversity (if any arise) and for the resolution of all doubts, concerning the manner how to understand, do, and execute, the things contained in this Book; the parties that so doubt, or diversly take any thing, shall alway resort to the Bishop 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 any thing contained in this Book.
, all 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 bindered, 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 people may come to hear God's Word, and to pray with him.
WHY SOME BE A BOLISHED, AND SOME RETAINED.
sach Ceremonies as be used in the
be so addicted to their old customs; and
by the institution of man, some at the first fangled, that they would innovate all things, were of godly intent and purpose devised, and so despise the old, that nothing can and yet at length turned to vanity and su- like them, but that is new: it was thought perstition : some entered into the Church expedient, uot so much to lavo respect how by undiscreet devotion, and such a zeal as to please and satisfy either of these parties, was without knowledge; and for because as how to please God, and profit them both. they were winked at in the beginning, they And yet lest any man should be offended, grew daily to more and more abuses, which whom good reason might satisfy, here be not only for their un profitableness, but also certain causes rendered, why some of the because they have much blinded the people, accustomed Ceremonies be put away, and and obscured the glory of God, are worthy some retained and kept stil!. to be cut away, and clean rejected: other there be, which although they have been Some are put away, because the great devised by man, yet it is thought good to excess and multitude of them hath so inreserve them still, as well for a decent order creased in these latter days, that the burden in the Church, (for the which they were of them was intolerable; whereof St. Augusfirst devised) as because they pertain to tine in his time complained, that they were edification, whereunto all things done in grown to such a number, that the estate of the Church (as the A postle toacheth) ought Christian people was in worse case con. to be referred.
cerning that matter, than were the Jews.
And he counselled that such yoke and bur. And although the keeping or omitting of den should be taken away, as time would a Ceremony, in itself considered, is but a serve quietly to do it. But what would St. small thing; yet the wilful and contemptu- Augustine have said, if he had seen the ous transgression and breaking of a common Ceremonies of late days used among us; order and discipline is no small offence whereunto the multitude used in his time before God, Let all things be done among was not to be compared? This our excesyou, saith Saint Paul, in a seemly and due sive multitude of Ceremonies was so great, order: the appointment of the which order and many of them so dark, that they did pertaineth not to private men; therefore na more confound and darken, than declare and man ought to take in hand, nor presume to
set forth Christ's benefits unto his. And appoint or alter any publick or common besides this, Christ's Gospel is not a Cereorder in Christ's Church, except he be law. monial Law (as much of Moses' Law was) fully called and authorized thereunto. but it is a religion to serve God, not in
bondage of the figure or shadow, but in the And whereas in this our time, the minds freedom of the Spirit; being content only of men are so diverse, that some think it a with those Ceremonies which do serve to a great matter of conscience to depart from a decent order and godly discipline, and such piece of the least of their Ceremonies, they as be apt to stir up the duli mind of man