Page images
PDF
EPUB

the principal Alterations bere made from our present Liturgy, in Compliance with the first of King Edward VI. such as the Omison of the ten Commandments in the Communion Service ; the anointing with Oil, the trine Immerhion, the fealing with Ointment, and the white Garment, all in Baptism ; the Manner and Forms of the Oblation, Confecration, Participation, Commemoration of, and Prayers for the Saints departed, with the Mixture of Wine and Water, all in the Eucharist ; the Anointing with Oil in the Viftation of the Sick; the Prayers for the Saints departed in the Burial-Ofice, and the like; all which were then retained in this Church, when yet, in her very Litany, she pray'd to be delivered from the Tyranny of the Bishop of Rome, and all his detestable Enormities; I dare appeal to all the truly Learned, whether they are not exactly agreeable to the most Primitive State of Christianity. And as to the present farther Corrections and improvements of that Liturgy, such as the Forms of Doxology bere appointed, the Omision of that called the Athanasian, and of several Clauses in that called the Nicene Creed; the Reformation of the first Petitions in the Litany, with the directing the rest to God the Father ; the Alterations in some Collects; the single Repetition of the Lord's Prayer in the same Asembly for Worship; the joining of Baptism and Confirmation together as one entire Office, to be all performed by a Priest, in the Absence of

the

the Bishop, with the Omision of Infant Baptism, and its Sponsors, and of private Baptism; the Subftitution of more authentick Collections instead of our Church Catechism ; the Omiffion of the Office for Matrimony, of the Churche ing of Women, and of the Services for State Days, with some Things added out of the ApoPolical Constitutions, and the like; I dare bere also folemnly appeal to all the truly Learned and Judicious, whether every individual Alteration be not made in Compliance with tbe earliest Settlements, Laws, and Liturgick Forms now Extant in the Church : And that in every Thing this Liturgy might be more truly Primitive, and Christian, and Compleat, I have procured from many of my learned and pious Friends, of several Persuasions, 10 small Asistance in order to its Correction, improvement, and inoffensive Reception amo", ail good Men. I do not indeed hereby pretend, that this is entirely a new Dehgn. The very learned Dr. Hicks, at the End of his Christian Priestbood, has given the World already the entire Communion Service of the first Liturgy; with a plain Declaration of his Opinion in Favour of it; in which Opinion he is well known to be jupported by the concurrent Sentiments of not a few of the most eminent Members of our Church. The Reverend and Pious Mr. Ed. ward Stephens also has not only declared bimJelf with great Zeal of the fime Opinion, but did a&tually draw ut jever al Years ago an excellent Liturgick Form for its Celebration, in

a great

a great Agreement with that original Liturgy," and its correspondent Form in the Scotch Liturgy, and did moreover actually put it in Practice, and that openly in London, for. many years together, to bis own, and his congregation's great Comfort and Satisfaction, Nay, the very learned and pious Dr. Grabe was so great an Admirer of the fame Eucharistical Form, that while be durft not receive the Communion in Publick, on Account of its prefent Deviation from all the Primitive Liturgies in some part of that Celebration, be did it, to his great Joy and Satisfaction, with Mr. Stephens in that particular Congregation. And as to the Opinions of the Learned, whether of this, or of other Churches about it, take the fame Mr. Stephens's Account, in these Words : Having, says be, published a Liturgy,

intitled, t The Liturgy 4 Of Prayers for the

< of the Ancients repreDead, Dedication.

' sented, as near as well may be, in English Forms; not much different (only a little more compleat) from that Reftitution of the true English Li

turgy attempted by the Scotch, with the · Altance of the Principal of the English

Bishops, Anno 1637. I presented it to some of the Principal learned Men, first of the

English, who much approved it, and wished it restored by Law; then of the Lutherans, ' who also approved it, and declared their sac tisfaction to communicate in that Form; and

at

6

at last of the Roman Catholicks, who had no Exception to the Matter or Form of it.'

All that seems necessary to be added here by me, is this, that I cannot but earnestly wish, that all those learned Persons who will not be able to disapprove of this Design in Theory, would be so Honest, and fo Christian, as with me to endeavour to reduce it to Practice also: That somewhat like this might be introduced into all Dissenting Meetings, as much better, and less offenhve to publick Authority, tban any of the usual Extempore Prayers; and into private Families, even the Chapels of Noblemen themselves, where it may be certainly used without the least Pretence of Disobedience to such publick Authority; and where even the Law allows several more than the ordinary Family to be present also. Nay, I should think it ought to be so far from any Offence to the good Men of this Church, if it were publickly used by any of the Clergy in their Parishes also, that they should rather unite zealousy for such its Introduction, it being nothing but their own established Liturgy made moie exactly Christian and unexceptionalle. I conclude with the remarkable Words of the Prophet Jeremiah v. 16. which are very apposite to my prefent Purpose ; and I beartily wish they might make some Impression on the Christian World. Thus faith the Lord; stand ye in the Ways and see, and ask for the old Paths, where is the good Way, and walk therein, and ye Shall find Rest to your Souls. July 12,

W. WHISTON.

1750.

THE whole Church in every Place ought to be diftinguished

into the Catechumens, the Penitent, and the Faithful.

The proper Persons to Administer in all the folemn Parts of Publick Worship are the Bishops, and in their Abfence, and by their Permission, the Presbyters; and both as minifred to by the Deacons.

The Posture in Prayer is kneeling, on all Days but the Lord'sDays, and between É after and Pentecoft; on which it is ftanding; as a memorial of Cbriff's Refurre&tion.

The Hours for fecret Prayer are the Third, Sixth, and Ninth; in Memory of Christ's Condemnation, Crucifixion, and Death at those Hours; and the Lord's Prayer is ever to be then used.

Solemn Days are Festivals, greater and leffer; and Fafts greater and lefser.

The greater Festivals are Eafter-day, and the Eighth Day after it; the Afcenfion, and Pentecoft; with all Lord's Days.

The lejjer Festivals are the Sabbath-Days, or Saturdays; with the 50 Days from Easter to Pentecoft; besides the Feast of the Na. tivity, and the Days of the Apostles, &c.

The great Faft is but one, that of Paffion-Week; especially Friday, and Saturday till Day-break; to be celebrated by abstaining from Flesh and Wine, and by extraordinary Devotion and Alms giving:

The leffer Falts, called also Days of Abflinence, or Stations, are all Wednesdays and Fridays; excepting those between Easter and Pentecost; witb Lent, or the five middle Days before PaffionWeek; to be celebrated, by fafting till the Ninth Hour, or till E. vening, and by proper Devotions.

Publick Prayers are to be used Morning and Evening every Day: At noon on Wednesdays and Fridays the Penitential Ofice or Litany may be added; as on the Lord's Day is the solemn Communion Ser. vice to be used, about the same time,

The Church is to meet together on Mondays, for the Exercise of Cbriftian Discipline, according to the Laws of the Gospel.

Eafter-day is now the next Lord's-day after the 14th Day of the Jewish, or Lunar forft Month; which Month begins with the New-moon just before, or just after the vernal Equinox ; that jo the 14th Day or full Moon may ever fall into Pasion Week.

The Leffons may be taken from the ufual Tables and Calendars; with such Alterations as peculiar Circumftances shall require; the Prayer of Manafes, may be read instead of the History of Bell and the Dragon.

When any Lessons or Portions of the four Gospels are read, it is to be done by a Priest or Deacon; and the Congregation is to stand up.

Other suitable Colleets or Prayers may be added at the Difcretion of the Bishop or Presbyter that officiates, provided they be sacred Forms, or exa&ily agreeable thereto; or else used here in oiher Ofices; at leaft in their Composition unexceptionable.

The Men and Women are to fit separate in the Pablick AJember.

il

« PreviousContinue »