« PreviousContinue »
• water to be mixed with wine; with several other less variations. The habits also that were
prescribed by the former book, were ordered by • this to be laid aside ; and lastly a rubrick was • added at the end of the communion-office, to ex• plain the reason of kneeling at the sacrament. The book thus revised and altered, was again • confirmed in Parliament, A. D. 1551. But both • this and the former act made in 1548, were re
pealed in the first year of Queen Mary, as not • being agreeable to the Romish superstition, which "she was resolved to restore.
• But upon the accession of Queen Elizabeth, • the act of repeal was reversed ; and in order to • the restoring of the English service, several • learned Divines were appointed to take another
review of King Edward's liturgies, and to frame * from them both a book for the use of the church
of England. The alterations made at this time were not many. The habits enjoined by the • first book of King Edward, and forbid by the « second, were now restored. The prayers for • the Queen and clergy were added at the end of the litany, &c.
6 And in this state the liturgy continued till the • first year of King James I. when there were 6 some forms of thanksgiving added at the end of • the litany : and an addition made to the Catechism concerning the sacraments.
• And in this state it continued to the time of • King Charles II. who immediately after his « restoration issued out a commission for another • review, dated March 25, 1661. The principal • alterations then made were, that several lessons
in the Calendar were changed for others more • proper for the days; the prayers upon particular • occasions were disjoined from the litany, and the •two prayers to be used in the Ember weeks, the prayer for the parliament, that for all conditions of men, and the general thanksgiving were ad• ded : several of the collects were altered, the • epistles and gospels were taken out of the last • translation of the bible, being read before aco cording to the old translation: the office of bap• tism of those of riper years, and the forms of • prayer to be used at sea, were added. In a « word, the whole liturgy was then brought to • that state in which it now stands, and was unan
imously subscribed by both houses of convoca* tion of both provinces, on Friday the 20 of De
cember 1661. And being brought to the house of Lords the March following, both houses very * readily passed an act for its establishment ; and • the Earl of Clarendon, then high Chancellor of • England, was ordered to return the thanks of • the Lords to the Bishops and Clergy of both o provinces, for the great care and industry shewn • in the review of it."
ON THE PREFATORY SENTENCES FROM HOLY
SCRIPTURE, WITH WHICH THE MORNING AND EVENING SERVICE OF THE CHURCH IS INTRO
THE liturgy of our church has been considered by able judges a composition of great excellence. It has now stood the test of examination both of friends and enemies for several centuries : and there yet remains a numerous host of persons endued both with sense and piety, who admire the venerable structure. Tho' no argument, drawn in favor of any work from the character of an uninspired author, can be absolutely conclusive ; yet when the subject is religion, the known piety of a writer will naturally bias a candid reader in behalf of his productions. The compilers of our liturgy were men eminent for Godliness. Many of them were persons of high attainments in human literature; and distinguished by the soundness and strength of their faith, and the purity of their lives : nor ought it to be forgotten, that some of them sealed the truth with their blood, “ not loving their lives unto the death," that so they might glorify God their Saviour, and transmit to posterity the truth, as it is in Jesus, freed from the leaven of popish superstition,* with which our church
* It has been objected, (says a later writer on ecclesiastical history,)“ that the liturgy or common prayers were chiefly taken from the offices of the church of Rome." This is become a pretty general opinion ; but assuredly unfounded. For the agreement, between some parts of our public service, and some parts of the Romish missals, is far from proving the point. We use the Lord's prayer (for example,) in common with the Papists : yet we receive it, not from Rome, but from the New Testament. A pen, pot altogether contemptible, affirms that the compilers of the liturgy examined not only the Popish forms, but likewise all other • service books then in use. These they compared with the primitive liturgies : and whatever they found in them consonant to the Holy Scriptures, and the doctrine and worship of the primitive church, they retained and improved; but the modern corruptions . and superstitious innovations of later ages, they entirely dischar
ged and rejected.' See Downes's lives of the compilers, p. 150. To this may be added the following observations from an authori. ty incomparably more decisive and respectable. Our church of England,' says Bp. Stillingfleet, hath omitted none of those of fices, in which all the antient churches were agreed : and where the (primitive] British or Gallican (church) differed from the Roman, our (present) church hath not followed the Roman, bụt the other. And therefore our dissenters do unreasonably charge us with taking our offices from the church of Rome." Stillinge feet's Origines Britannicæ, chap. iv. p. 237.---The Gallican Lite urgy (extremely different from the Roman) was introduced, it seems, into England, in the beginning of the fifth century: and is said to have been originally framed by Polycarp and Irenæus. The learned Bp. gives a large account of this aptient form of worship ; proves it to have been the basis of that now established,