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ence fheweth, that where a change hath been made of things advisedly established (no evident neceffity fo requiring) fundry inconveniences have thereupon enfued; and those many times more and greater than the evils that were intended to be remedied by fuch change: So on the other fide, the particular Forms of Divine worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent, and altérable, and fo acknowledged; it is but reasonable, that upon weighty and important confiderations, according to the various exigency of times and occafions, fuch changes and alterations fhould be made therein, as to thofe that are in place of Authority should from time to time seem either neceffary or expedient. Accordingly we find that in the Reigns of feveral Princes of bleffed memory fince the Reformation, the Church upon juft and weighty confiderations her thereunto moving, hath yielded to make fuch alterations in fome particulars, as in their refpective times were thought convenient: Yet fo, as that the main Body and Effentials of it (as well in the chiefeft materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have ftill continued the fame unto this day, and do yet stand firm and unshaken, notwithstanding all the vain attempts and impetuous affaults made againft it, by fuch men as are given to change, and have always discovered a greater regard to their own private fancies and interefts, than to that duty they owe to the public.
By what undue means, and for what mischievous purposes the use of the Liturgy (though enjoined by the Laws of the Land, and thofe Laws never yet repealed) came, during the late unhappy confufions, to be difcontinued, is two well known to the world, and we are not willing here to remember.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 ufe of the Liturgy also would return of courfe (the fame having never been legally abolished) unless some timely means were ufed to prevent it, thofe men who under the late ufurped powers had made it a great part of their bufinefs to render the people difaffected thereunto, faw themfelves in point of reputation and interest concerned (unless they would freely acknowledge themselves to have erred, which fuch men are very hardly brought to do) with their utmost endeavours to hinder the reftitution thereof. In order whereunto divers Pamphlets were published against the Book of Common Prayer, the old Objections mustered up, with the addition of fome new ones, more than formerly had been made, to make the number fwell. In fine, great importunities were used to His Sacred Majefty, that the faid Book might be revised, and fuch Alterations therein and Additions thereunto made, as fhould be thought requifite for the ease of tender Confciences: whereunto His Majefty, out of his pious inclination to give fatisfaction (fo far as could be reafonably expected) to all his fubjects of what perfuafion foever, did graciously condescend.
In which Review we have endeavoured to obferve the like moderation, as we find to have been used in the like cafe in former times. And therefore of the fundry alterations propofed unto us, we have rejected all fuch as were either of dangerous confequence (as fecretly ftriking at fome established Doctrine, or laudable Practice of the Church of England, or indeed of the whole Catholick Church of Chrift) or elfe of no confequence at all, but utterly frivolous and vain. But fuch Alterations as were tendered to us (by what perfons, under what pretences, or to what purpose
foever so tendered) as feemed to us in any degree requifite or expedient, we have willingly, and of our own accord affented unto: not enforced fo to do by any ftrength of Argument, convincing us of the neceffity of making the faid Alterations: For we are fully perfuaded in our judgments (and we here profefs it to the world) that the Book, as it food before established by Law, doth not contain in it any thing contrary to the Word of God, or to found Doctrine, or which a godly man may Bot with a good Conscience use and submit unto, or which is not fairly defenfible against any that fhall oppofe the fame; if it fhall be allowed fuch juft and favourable construction as in common equity ought to be allowed, to all human Writings, especially fuch as are fet forth by Autho rity, and even to the very best Translations of the holy Scripture itfelf.
Our general aim therefore in this Undertaking, was, not to gratify this or that Party, in any their unreasonable demands; but to do that, which to our best understandings we conceived might moft tend to the prefervation of peace and unity in the Church; the procuring of Reverence, and exciting of Piety and Devotion in the public Worship of God; and the cutting off occafion from them that feek occafion of cavil, or quarrel against the Liturgy of the Church. And as to the feveral variations from the former Book, whether by Alteration, Addition, or otherwife, it fhall fuffice to give this general Account, That most of the Alterations were made, either firft, for the better direction of them that are to officiate in any part of Divine Service; which is chiefly done in the Kalanders and Rubricks: Or fecondly, for the more proper expreffing of fome words or phrafes of antient ufage, in terms more fuitable to the Language of the prefent times, and the clearer explanation of fome other words and phrafes, that were either of doubtful fignification, or otherwife liable to mifconftruction: Or thirdly, for a more perfect rendering of fuch portions of holy Scripture, as are inferted into the Liturgy; which, in the Epistles and Gofpels especially, and in fundry other places, are now ordered to be read according to the laft tranflation: and that it was thought convenient, that fome Prayers and Thanksgivings fitted to ípecial Occafions fhould be added in their due places; particularly for thofe at Sea, together with an Office for the Baptifm of such as are of riper years; which, although not fo neceflary when the former Book was compiled, yet by the growth of Anabaptifm, through the licentioufnefs of the late times crept in amongst us, is now become neceffary, and may be always useful for the Baptizing of Natives in our Plantations, and others converted to the Faith. If any man, who fhall defire a more particular account of the feveral Alterations in any part of the Liturgy, fhall take the pains to compare the prefent Book with the former; we doubt not but the reafon of the change may cafily appear.
And having thus endeavoured to discharge our duties in this weighty affair, as in the fight of God, and to approve our fincerity therein (fo far as lay in us) to the confciences of all men; although we know it impoffible (in fuch variety of apprehenfions, humours, and interefts, as are in the world) to please all; nor can expect that men of factious, peevish, and perverfe fpirits should be fatisfied with any thing that can be done in this kind by any other than themfelves: Yet we have good hope, that' what is here prefented, and hath been by the Convocations of both Provinces with great diligence examined and approved, will be alfo well accepted and approved by all fober, peaceable, and truly confcientious fons of the Church of England.
OD has made man after his own image, and endowed him with a spiritual and immortal foul capable of knowing and loving his Creator; and therefore it is our duty to acknowledge and adore the power, majefty and wisdom of GOD: who was pleafed to fhew from the beginning of the world, that he accepts the fervice of none but good people, and has given convincing proofs that there is another life after this reserved for good men, by the afcenfion of Jefus Chrift: This ought to engage us to imitate the faith of the patriarch Noah, to walk in righteousness as he did, that we may avoid thofe judgments which will furely fall upon the wicked.---Since GCD has endowed us with reason and understanding, that we may know and praise him, and has made other creatures fubject to us, we ought gratefully to improve thefe advantages to his glory and continually praise our Creator and benefactor, faying, with David, "Rejoice in the LORD all ye people; come before his prefence with thanksgiving, and be devout and joyful in his fervice. Sing praifes unto him, and blefs him; for he is good, and his mercy endureth for ever"-Let us then protnote the interest of Religion, and discharge these duties with pleasure and a holy zeal: let us adore and praise the infinite power and majefty of GoD: let us with profound humility acknowledge that we are in his fight but frail mortal creatures; that all we have comes from him ; and that whatever we offer or do for his glory, we do but offer him his own, and what he had firft given us. Let us befeech him to produce in us good difpofitions, and ever keep them up in us, and to turn our hearts and thoughts towards him; let us excite our neighbours to join their praises with ours; and let us continually animate one another to blefs and glorify his holy name, by our obedience, and steady application to his Service,
Proper LESSONS to be Read at Morning and Evening Prayer on the SUNDAYS, and other HOLY-DAYS throughout the Year.
LESSONS Proper for SUNDAYS. Sundays of Advent.
Sund. aft. Christmas.
Sund. aft. Epiphany.
1 Leffon2 LeffonEater-day. Leffon
Sundays after Eafter.
-g to ver. 20
∙19 tover. 30
-26 Hebr. 5 to ver. 11
12 Exodus----6Acts 2 to ver. 22
Deuteronomy-4 Deuteronomy- 5