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TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Scripture is appointed to be read. 18 The Order of Confirmation, or Laying
7 Tables and Rules for the Moveable mony,
and Immoveable Feasts, together 20 The Order for the Visitation of the
nence throughout the Year 21 The Communion of the Sick.
The Order for Daily Morning Prayer. 23 The Thanksgiving of Women after
The Order for Daily Evening Prayer. Child-birth commonly called, The
free, that in his worship, different forms and usages may without 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 conve. nient for the edification of the People, according to the various exigencies of times and occasions
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 te 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 na. ture indhffererst and alterable, and so acknowledged, it is but reasonable that, upon weighty and important considerations, accurling to the various exigencies of times and occasions, such changes ar.d alterations should be made therein, as OSO who are in places of authority should, from time to ume, seem either necessary or experient.
The same Church hath not only in her Preface, but likewise in her Articles and Homilies, declared the necessity and expediency of sccasional 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 easi. Dess 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 Ed. ward the Sixth, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, yielded to make such alterations in some parti ulars, as in their respective times were thought convenient, yel 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 con. tinued firm and unshaken.
Her general aim in these different Reviews and Alterations hath been, as she further 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 ard devotion in the worship of God; and, finally, the cutting off occasion, from them that seek occasion, of cavil e quarrel against her 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 use and submit unto, or which is not fairly defensible, if allowed such just and favourable construction, as, in conmon 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 a review was issued in the year 1629. But this great and good work miscarried at that time, and the 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 inde. pendent with respect to Civil Government, their Ecclesiastical Independence was necessarily included ; and the different religious denominations of Christians in these Stales were left at full and equal liberty to model and organize their respective Churches, and forms of worship, and disciplíne, in such manner as they mighi judge most convenient for their future prosperity : consistently with the Constitution and Laws of their Country
The attention of this Church was, in the first place, drawn to those alterations in the Liturgy which became necessary in the Pryers for our Civil Rulers, in consequence of the Revolution
And the principal care herein was to make them confortable 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 peacenble lives, in ell 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 amend. ments therein as might be deemed expedient,
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 compari son of this with the Book of Cominon Prayer of the Church of England, In whic 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 further 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, with. out prejudice or prepossessins; seriously considering what Christianity is, and what the truths of the Guspel are, and earnestly beseeching Almighty God to accompany with his blessing every endeavour for promulgating them to mankind in the clearest, plainest, most affecting and majestic manner, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour.
HOW THE PSALTER IS APPOINTED TO BE READ THE Pealter shall be read through once every month, as it is there appointed, T
both for Morning and Evening Prayer. But in February it shall be read only to the twenty-eighth or twenty-ninth Day of the Month
And whereas January, March, May, July, August, October, and December, have one-and-thirty Days apiece; it is ordered, that ihe same Psalms shall be read the last Day of the said Months which were read the Day before : so that the Psalter may begin again the first Day of the next Month ensuing
And whereas the 119th Psalm 18 divided mto twenty-two Portions, and is overlong to be read at one time; it is so ordered, that at one time shall not be read above four or five of the said Portions.
The Momster, islead of reading from the Psalter as divided for Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, may read one of the Selections set out by this Church.
And, on Days of Fasting and Thanksgiving, appointed ei.her by the Civil or by the Ecclesiastical Authority, the Minister may appoint such Psalms as be shall think fit in his discretion, unless any shall have been appointed by the Ecclesiastical Au. thority, in a Service set out for the Occasion : which. in that case, shali be used, and no other
PROPER PSALMS ON CERTAIN DAYS
Morning. Evening Christmas Day, Psalms 19 Psalms 89 Easter-Day, Psalmns 2 Psalms 113
114 85 132 AsA-Wednesday,
47 38 143
103 Good Friday,
145 54 The Minister may use one of the Selections instead of any one of the above Portions.
THE ORDER HOW THE REST OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURE IS APPOINTED TO
Prayer; so that the most Part thereof will be read every Year once, as in the Calendar is appointed
The New Testament is appointed for the Second Lessons at Morning and Evening Prayer.
And to know what Lessons shall be read every Day, look for the Day of the Month In the Calendar following, and there ye shall find the Chapters that shall be read for the Lessons, both al Morning and Evening Prayer ; except only the Moveable Feasts, which are not in the Calendar ; and the Immoveable, where there is a Blank left in the Column of Lessons; the proper Lessons for all which Days are to be found in the Table of Proper Lessons
And, on Days of Fasting and Thanksgiving, the same Rule is to oblain as in reading the Psalms.
And the same discretion of choice is allowed on occasions of Ecclesiastical Con. ventions, and those of Charitable Collections. And Nate, That whensoever Proper Psalms or Lessons are appointed, then the
Psalms and Lessons of ordinary course appointed in the Psalder and Calendar, it they be different, shall be omitted for that time. Note also, That the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, appointed for the Sunday, shall
serve all the Week after, where it is not in this Book otherwise ordered.'