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the Publishing a New Liturgy, give us no particular Services upon
However, fuch as it is, and abftractly from the local Knowledge
After the faid Liturgy, follows fome Prayers that have been late-
As high, and as juft an Opinion as we may conceive of our own Li-
LETTER from the Reverend Dr. JABLONSKI, First Chaplain to His Pruffian Majefty;
Hii To His Excellency Baron PRINTZ, President of
OUR Excellency having lately commanded me and my Collegues, in the King's Name, to draw up each of us a Plan of Church Difcipline, I here humbly prefent my Thoughts on that Matter, and conceive that the good Order or Difcipline of the Church, comprehends not only a Liturgy, or prefcribed Form of Publick Worship and Administration of the Sacraments, but also the Politia Ecclefiaftica, or prefcribed Form of Governing the Church of Christ.
1. Of a Liturgy: And here I must acknowledge to Your Excellency, that having abferved that several English Congregations, and other Churches, have fallen from one Extream, that of the Romish, Pompous, Cumberfome, and Idolatrous Worship; to that other of a Frigid, Superficial, and not enough Refpectful Way of Worship. I should have had little Inclination to declare my Thoughts about it, and cenfure others, had not Your Excellency, in difcourfing of that Matter, let fall fome Words concerning the great Refpect that every one ought to fhew in the Worship of God; which gave me fufficient Affurance, that you bad formed a right Notion of this Affair, and that you did not judge of it according to the common Prejudices of the Vulgar, but, by Experience, and the Nature of the Thing it felf. This has encouraged me, under Your Excellency's Protection, to write down my Thoughts of that Matter, without pretending to prescribe to others, and humbly submitting all to Your Excellent Judgment. But before I proceed to the Work it felf, I must first humbly lay before You my Plan and Ground-Work, that if that has the Luck to bave Your Excellency's Approbation, I may be encouraged to go on. Two Things are here to be confider'd. T
1. Wherein the Publick Worship or Service confifts.
II. After what Manner and Form it may be beft order'd and performed,
I. By Publick Worship, I understand an Outward Act of a reasonable Creature, whereby he openly and folemnly acknowledges the Sovereignty of his
Creator, teftifies his Obedience to Him, returns Him Thanks for his Benefits, and prays to Him for his farther Grace and Favour.
The Opinion which has of late Days prevailed, is, that the Worship confifts in the Sermon; So that the Worship of God has even loft its Name among us: For example, we don't fay, Will there be Divine Service to Day? Will you go and worship God? But only, Will there be a Sermon to Day? Will you go to Sermon? Among the Papists, Divine Service is performed with scarce any Inftruction of the People; and we, on the contrary, place our Service in almost nothing else but Inftruction. But as when the Master of the King's Houfhold tells the Servants of the Court how they shall ferve their Prince, this is not the Service it felf, but only an Inftruction hom they shall serve him; fo is it with Sermons. Sermons are indeed neceffary, they are useful, and should accompany the Publick Worship; but they are not the Worship it felf, nor yet the effentialleft and principal Part of it. Among the Primitive Chriftians, Sermons were not accounted the Divine Service, but rather an Interruption of it: For when they had spent fome Time in Prayer, and Singing of Hymns, and Reading the Word of God, then stood up the Minister and made a fhort Exhortation to the People from the Paffage of Scripture that had been then read unto them; this was done as 'twere in a Parenthefis, and then they pro→ ceeded in their Devotions.
When we confider therefore that Relation there is between the Creator and the Creature, (which is the Foundation of all Worship) the Parts of Worship feem to be thefe following.
ift, Confeffion of Sins. 2dly, Adoration. 3dly, Praise and Thankfgiving. 4thly, The Confecrating our felves to God. thly, Prayer or Petition. 6thly, Reading of Holy Scripture. 7thly, Adminiftration of the Holy Sacraments. 8thly, Almfgiving. 9thly, Fafting. Of which the firft Eight are ordinary and conftant Parts of Worship, the 9th is only upon extraordinary Occafions.
1. Confeffion of Sins must come first, as in Daniel's Prayer, Chap. IX. Repentance being the first Step to reconcile our felves to God.
2. Adoration, or falling down before God, and Worshipping, is required as a Mark of our own Humility, and that great Refpect we have for God, which, whoever duly confiders what God is, cannot but be moved to do; and therefore has it been common to all Religions that ever were in the World; the holy Scripture efpecially does frequently exhort us to it. O come let us worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, Pfal. XCV. 6. Our Saviour comprehends the whole Worship of God in this one Thing, Thou fhalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou ferve, Mat. IV. 10. where the original Word which we tranflate Worship, fignifies the Falling down or Proftration of the Body to the Earth. Vide Neb. VIII. 6.
3. Praise and Thanksgiving. We are to praise God both upon account of what He is in Himfelf, and what He is to us; His own Excellence, and his Goodness towards us, do justly fill our Mouths, as they once did David's, with his Praife: 'Tis our Duty to thank Him for all his Bene
A PREFATORY LETTER.
fits Corporal and Spiritual, Common and Particular, but chiefly for the Spiritual; and above all, for the gracious Redemption of the World by Chrift Fefus, as the firft Chriftians used to do.
4. The Confecration of our felves confifts in devoting our felves entirely, and without Referve, to God's Glory and Service, our Bodies, our Souls, our Goods, our Life, and all that we are or have. All this we owe to God, as our Saviour teaches us, bidding us pray, Thy Will be done. And for afmuch as Offerings and Sacrifices do peculiarly belong to the Divine Service or Worship, this is the Chriftians Offering, that they prefent themselves and Bodies a living, holy, and acceptable Sacrifice to God, which is their reasonable Service, Rom. XII. 1.
5. Prayer is commanded us by God and our Saviour, and was conftantly used by the Primitive Chriftians: They prayed both for themselves and athers, for the obtaining Good, and averting Evil; yet chiefly we must ask Spiritual Things rather than Corporal
6. God's Holy Word is the Rule of our Faith and our Life; and because many cannot read it, many, tho' they can, neglect it; therefore was it even in the Times of the Old Teftament openly read in the Divine Service, Neh. VIII. 3, 18. Luke IV. 16. Acts XIII. 15. The Primitive Chriftians read it in the fame manner, as appears from the Acts of the Ancient Churches: Whereas that Reading which is among us, is not look'd upon as a Part of the Service, and is only heard by thofe, who, through Miftake, come into Church a little too early, and is done without the leaft Devotion or Refpect, only to fill up the void Space till the Minifter comes in and interrupts it. In the Pulpit, there's only a Text read, which is ufually but a fhort Sentence, and then all the rest is but the Work and Words of Man, which yet has the most Attention, though even these Sermons themselves are not heard fo much for our own Edification, as to. pafs a Fudgment on the Gifts of the Preacher.
7. The Holy Sacraments are by all allowed to be Parts of Divine Worfhip, and therefore I shall not here infift upon it.
8. That Almfgiving belongs to Divine Service, is evident, for that God commands his People, not only to appear before Him in his Temple, but likewife that they thou'd not appear empty, Exod. XXIII. 15.————XXXIV, 20. Our Worhip is our Sacrifice; by Adoration and Vows, we offer our
felves; by Almfgiving we offer our Goods. But of this, as well as,
9. Of Fafting, 'tis unneceffary to add any more.
I conclude this firft Point with this Obfervation, That as all the forementioned Parts are neceffary to Divine Service, fa is it not enough, that in the Celebration of it, thefe Parts be in gross and implicitly included under general Expreffions in one long confused and undivided Prayer, but each Act must be fo feparated from the other, and fo clearly expreffed, that the most fimple and ignorant Chriftian may be able to perceive and diftinguish the one from the other; fince each of them is a particular and diStinct Help or Means both to Devoutnefs and Attention, and to Holiness of Life.
Confeffion of Sins bumbles Man's natural Pride. Adoration, or falling down on our Knees before God, fills us, with an holy Refpect and Fear for fo great a Majefty, and puts us in Mind, that in all Things we are entirely de pendent on Him; it likewife teftifies this to other Men, and gives a good Example. The Praife of Cod, or Thanksgiving, which is common to us with all Creatures, especially the nobleft, the holy Angels, kindles in us a Love for fo great a Benefactor. The Confecrating or Devoting our felves to God, awakens our Devotion, and hinders that common Hypocrific, to be prefent in Body, but abfent in Thought, and forces us to perform our Duty with Earnestness before that God to whom we have confecrated both Soil and Body. Prayer puts us in mind of our own Indigence, fince we expect all good Things only from another's Bounty, and fo renews in us Trust and Dependance on God The Reading of holy Scripture, reprefents God as twere prefent speaking to the Congregations More of God's Word, and lefs of Man's, ought to be heard. Et fic de cæt
II. The general Rule concerning the Way or Manner in which all these mentioned Parts of Devotion ought to be performed, is this, That they be fo ordered as may be moft for the Honour of God, and the Edification of Men. To which End, in my Judgment, the following Particular Rules may be useful.
ift, Divine Service must be duly distinguish'd from the Sermon, and often celebrated when there is no Sermon as well as when there is.
2dly, Divine Service should be fo order'd as not fo much defigned for the Inftruction of the People, as for exciting their Devotion, and raising the Heart to God fince Instruction properly belongs to, and is performed by Sermons, Catechisations, and the Publick Reading of God's Word, though there were no Sermon added.
3dly, The Word of God ought to be constantly and diligently read in the Divine Service; and the Method of the English Church is in this Excellent, where, in the Publick Prayers, the Old Testament is read through once a Year, the New Three Times, and the Pfalms once every Month.
4thly, The Prayers must be plain and fimple, without Pomp of Words, affected Eloquence, or long Reafonings; the Heart must pray, not the Head...
Sthly, 'Tis a great Help to Devotion and Attention, when the Publick Prayers are not included in one long confused Prayer, but are divided into feveral little Prayers, and the Pfilms, Lecture, and Prayers fo mix'd and vary'd with each other, that the natural Weakness of Man may the better be enabled by thefe Changes, to go through the whole with Devoutvefs and Attention.
6thly, The Divine Service ought not to last too long; half, or at most three Quarters of an Hour is fufficient, that the Attention of the Mind be not tired...
7thly, In Divine Service the People fhould not be mere Spectators or Auditors, but Actors; and that not only in Thought and Heart, but with the Mouth, in praying to, and praising God, as it used to be in the Jewish and the Primitive Apoftolical Churches, vid. 1 Cor. X.V. 16. 'Tis well known that the first Chriftians performed their Devotions per antiphonas,