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statement of facts connected with the Prayer Book, without the expression of opinion as to any conclusion which might or might not be drawn from such facts. And therefore, where it has been necessary consistently with this aim to point out in the footnotes alterations introduced from time to time into the American Prayer Book by editors or editing committees, I do not wish to be understood as thereby giving any opinion as to the desirability or otherwise of such changes in themselves, or as to the legality of the method in which they were made; all such questions I leave to the judgment of the reader.

A word of explanation may be needed with regard to what constitutes the standard text of the American Prayer Book. The first edition was published in 1790; at the next General Convention in 1792, a committee was appointed "to compare the printed edition of the Book of Common Prayer with the original acts of the last General Convention where they may judge it necessary." The result of their work was the setting forth of a corrected book in 1793, which was the first edition officially styled "the Standard." Thereafter as occasion required, the Prayer Book was re-edited by Committees appointed by General Convention, and each time a new standard was authorized which displaced the previous one, and was supposed to represent the true text of the Church's liturgy. Accordingly there have been, since the first edition published in 1790, seven standard editions, viz.: 1793, 1822, 1832, 1838, 1845, 1871 and 1892, the last being not a set of plates, but a single volume duly authenticated. It may perhaps be unnecessary to remind the reader that the American Prayer Book continued without revision for almost a hundred years, and therefore these various Standards, except the last one, are simply so many editions of the same book.

Prior to 1811, one session of General Convention could make (cæteris paribus) any change it saw fit in the Prayer Book. This being the case, if the Convention set forth a book as the only pure text, it became so eo ipso, whether it had been so before or not. But in 1811, before the publication of the second Standard, the eighth article of the Constitution of the Church was so amended that it required the action of two consecutive General Conventions, together with formal notification during the interim to all the dioceses, before any alteration or addition could be made.

The Standard of 1793 is therefore the foundation text of the American Prayer Book. And since it was the last edition in which the General Convention could make alterations at one session, all changes made thereafter from that text, are in this work placed in the footnotes, except such as have been constitutionally ordered by the action of two successive Conventions, or such as are manifest corrections of misprints. Errors of this kind are to be found in all the Standards, not excepting the one of 1793, and have always been corrected when discovered. Some of them originated in the editio princeps of 1790 and in the first Standard, but others have been inherited from the Proposed Book and the editions of the English Book current in this country in the last century, and a few are as old as the sixteenth century. A large number of such errors were corrected in 1845, others in 1871, and an exceedingly large number by the painstaking committee which has just completed its labours.

The Proposed Book, which will be found parallelled with the English Prayer Book, is the revision of the latter made by the first General

Convention in 1785 and published, with many changes by its Committee, in 1786. A full account of it is given in the Introduction to the present volume. Although it was not adopted by the Church, it influenced the revision of 1789, and many of its peculiarities passed into the American Prayer Book. Of this book there have been already three reprints. The first was published in London by "J. Debrett, opposite Burlington House, Piccadilly, M,DCC,LXXXIX." The second is to be found in Hall's Relique Liturgia, Vol. V. The third, copied from the London reprint of 1789, was put forth in this country in 1873 for polemical purposes by those who with Bishop Cummins left the Church at that time. The present, and fourth reprint, is made from a copy of the original book in the Philadelphia Library.

The text of the English Book reprinted in this volume is that of the Oxford quarto of 1775, probably the last edition of the Prayer Book of the Church of England used in this country. It was the edition by which the Proposed Book was punctuated as we learn from Dr. White (afterward the first Bishop of Pennsylvania) in a letter to Dr. Smith:"I have rec'd yours of the 28th which I have sent to the press in the manner you approve of, having first reviewed and compared the pointing of it with an Oxford edition of the Prayer Book printed in 1775, and adjusted it accordingly. This I think you cannot but approve of, as the said edition appears to have been made on great deliberation in that Seat of letters. I observed that wherever you had altered the pointing in the proof sheet, you had done it conformably to the same book. I intend to bestow the same pains on all I shall send to the press. The copy of this edition from which the present reprint was made belongs to the historic parish of St. Peters, Philadelphia.


In parallelling these Prayer Books, the arrangement of Keeling's Liturgia Britanica has been followed as being on the whole the most satisfactory. Accordingly the present text of the American Book as ordered by General Convention to be set forth in 1892, is printed in the first column marked "[Sd. 1892]," and the text in use prior to the recent revision is contained in the second column, which has the heading, "[Ed. 1790, Sds. 1793-1871]." The parts which were added after 1790, viz.: the forms of Ordination, the order for the Consecration of a Church, the Institution of Ministers, and the Articles of Religion, have in the heading at the top of the column, for the first date, the year in which they were respectively authorized.

The Tables of Lessons marked "[1877 (Eng. Bk. 1871)]" are those set forth by the Church of England in 1871, and permitted to be used in this country for three years by the General Convention of 1877. They are reprinted from the official copy sent out by the Secretary of the House of Deputies.

The Proposed Book published in 1786, is contained in the third column marked, "[Prop. Bk. 1786]." The English Prayer Book is printed in the fourth column with the heading, "[Eng. Bk. 1775 (1662)]."

Those portions which are common to the American books before and after the late revision are printed across the page; and similarly those which are common to the Proposed Book and the English Book, attention being drawn to the verbal differences in the footnotes.

1 Perry's Hist. Notes and Doc., p. 137.

This general plan has been departed from where whole offices, or portions of considerable length are found in one liturgy only, and consequently to have printed them in any single column would have caused an unsightly extent of blank space. A careful attention to the names and dates placed at the top of each page will guide the reader and prevent any confusion.

Those offices of the American Book which have nothing corresponding to them in the English Prayer Book, viz.: the offices for the Visitation of Prisoners, Thanksgiving Day, Family Prayers, Consecration of a Church, and Institution of Ministers, have been parallelled with the offices from which they were derived. The Irish Office for the Visitation of Prisoners, set forth by the Synod of Dublin in 1711 is marked, "[Irish Office, 1711]", and is taken from a Prayer Book printed at Dublin by George Grierson in 1730. The original of the office of Thanksgiving Day is found in the Proposed Book. Bishop Gibson's Family Prayers is reprinted from a volume in the possession of the Rt. Rev., the Bishop of Cairo, entitled, "Family Devotion | or, an Exhortation | to | Morning and Evening | Prayer | in Families with two | Forms of Prayer | suited to these two seasons, and also fitted for the Use of one Person in Private. | To which are now added, Two shorter Forms to be used by Children and | Servants, when they cannot conveniently be present at the Family Prayers. | First drawn up for the Use of the Inhabitants of the Parish of Lambeth, and now Revised and Enlarged, | By the Right Reverend Father in God, Edmund Gibson, D. D., | Late Lord Bishop of London. | Now reprinted at the Recommendation and under the Direction of the Right Reverend John Lord Bishop of Clogher. | The Twenty-Sixth Edition | Dublin: | Printed for Robert Barton, No. 2. Capel-Street | M,DCC,LXXIX."

The order for the Consecration of a Church drawn up by the English Convocation of 1712 is marked "[Eng. Convocation, 1712]," and is copied from Burn's Ecclesiastical Law, 2d edition, London, 1767: The Office of Induction adopted by the clergy in Connecticut in 1799, and the one set forth by the General Convention of 1804, are marked respectively, "[Conn., 1799]" and "[1804-1808]." They are both reprinted from the original pamphlets preserved in the archives of the diocese of Connecticut.

In a work of this kind, involving the collation of so many books, it is hopeless to guard against all typographical slips. Every care, however, has been taken by repeated revision to secure accuracy, and it is hoped that no misprints will be found of such a character as to mislead the reader. I shall be glad to be informed of any inaccuracies which may be discovered that they may be corrected in case of the issue of a future edition.

It only remains for me to express my thanks to those who, in one way or an other, have aided me in the preparation of this volume. In the first place, I desire to thank the Rev. Frederick Gibson, D. D., of Baltimore, for the use of his set of the Standard Prayer Books, and also to gratefully acknowledge the obligations which, in common with all students of the American Prayer Book, I am under to his labours as presented in various articles contributed by him to the Church periodicals. It may be safely said that until the appearance of his unique essay on The American Book of Common Prayer and its Several

Standard Editions,1 little or nothing was known of these books. Even the scholarly Dr. Coit, much as he contributed to the criticism of the Prayer Book, seems to have been acquainted with only one or two of the earlier Standards. To Dr. Gibson belongs the credit of inaugurating the scientific study of the text of the American Prayer Book, and the result of his researches will be of permanent interest and value to the Church. I have also derived much information from him in personal converse, when he has always gladly imparted the knowledge accumulated through years of patient investigation. It is, however, only just to him to say, that I alone am responsible for the present work, his responsibility being limited to the two articles to which his name is attached.

I have also to express my obligations to my diocesan, the Right Rev. the Bishop of Pennsylvania, for his kind permission to examine the archives of the diocese; to the Rt. Rev. Charles R. Hale, D. D., Bishop of Cairo, for the use of his copy of Bishop Gibson's Family Prayers; to the Rev. Henry R. Percival, D. D., Rector of the Church of the Evangelists, Philadelphia, for the information gathered from the many articles and essays which have appeared from his pen during the past twelve years, for the use of his extensive library, and for his many criticisms and suggestions which have added greatly to the value of the work; to the Rev. Samuel Hart, D. D., Secretary of the House of Bishops, for the unfailing kindness with which he answered my many enquiries, and for providing me with the editio princeps of the offices of Ordination, and the original pamphlets with the offices of Induction of 1799 and 1804 from which to make the reprints found in this volume; to the Rev. William R. Huntington, D. D., D. C. L., Rector of Grace Church, New York, for the kind gift of a number of valuable pamphlets bearing upon the recent revision of the Prayer Book; to the Rev. Canon W. R. Churton, D. D., of King's College, Cambridge, England, for some items of information; to the Rev. J. Lewis Parks, D. D., Rector of St. Peter's Church Philadelphia, who courteously entrusted me with the copy of the Oxford Prayer Book_of 1775 belonging to his parish; to the Rev. C. Ellis Stevens, LL. D., D. C. L., Rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, for permission to use the rare collection of books preserved in the vestry of that Church; to the Rev. Thomas P. Hughes, D. D., Rector of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, New York, for the text of Bishop Cotton's Prayer for Missions; to James S. Biddle, Esq., of Philadelphia, for his active interest in the work even before its inception and during its whole progress; to Andrew Wheeler, Esq., Jr., of Philadelphia, for kindly consenting to act as Secretary; and to the many Right Reverend Bishops and others of the Clergy and Laity, both in this country and in England, who by their subscriptions rendered possible the publication of the work.

In conclusion I have but to express the hope, that in the following pages something has been contributed to deepen interest in the history of the Book of Common Prayer, and that others may be stirred up to

1 Printed first in the American Church Review, January, 1885. The material part of it is reproduced in the bibliographical account of The Standard Editions of the American Prayer Book in this volume.

prosecute the work still further, feeling assured that the more the Prayer Book is studied, the more it will be loved, and the more marvellous will appear God's watchful care over the Church in America.

Church of the Evangelists,
Philadelphia, U. S. A.
Christmas, 1894.


P. S. This edition is limited to one thousand numbered copies. After all expenses have been paid, the proceeds will be handed to the "Bishop White Prayer Book Society."


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