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THE PREFACE.

by Authority, and even to the very best translations of the holy Scripture itself.

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 most tend to the preservation of Peace and Unity in the Church; the procuring of Reverence, and exciting of Piety and Devotion in the publick Worship of God; and the cutting off occasion from them that seek occasion of cavil or quarrel against the Liturgy of the Church. And as to the several variations from the former Book, whether by Alteration, Addition, or otherwise, it shall suffice to give this general account, That most of the Alterations were made, either first, for the better direction of them that are to officiate in any part of Divine Service; which is chiefly done in the Calendars and Rubricks: Or secondly, for the more proper expressing of some words or phrases of ancient usage in terms more suitable to the language of the present times, and the clearer explanation of some other words and phrases, that were either of doubtful signification, or otherwise liable to misconstruction: Or thirdly, for a more perfect rendering of such portions of holy Scripture, as are inserted into the Liturgy; which, in the Epistles and Gospels especially, and in sundry other places, are now ordered to be read according to the last Translation: and that it was thought convenient, that some Prayers and Thanksgivings, fitted to special occasions, should be added in their due places; particularly for those at Sea, together with an Office for the Baptism of such as are of riper years: which, although not so necessary when the former Book was compiled, yet by the growth of Anabaptism, through the licentiousness of the late times crept in amongst us, is now become necessary, and may be always useful for the baptizing of Natives in our Plantations, and others converted to the Faith. If any man, who shall desire a more particular account of the several Alterations in any part of the Liturgy, shall take the pains to compare the present Book with the former; we doubt not but the reason of the change may easily appear.

And having thus endeavoured to discharge our duties in this weighty affair, as in the sight of God, and to approve our sincerity therein (so far as lay in us) to the consciences of all men; although we know it impossible (in such variety of apprehensions, humours, and interests, as are in the world) to please all; nor can expect that men of factious, peevish, and perverse spirits should be satisfied with any thing that can be done in this kind by any other than themselves: Yet we have good hope, that what is here presented, and hath been by the Convocations of both Provinces with great diligence examined and approved, will be also well accepted and approved by all sober, peaceable, and truly conscientious Sons of the Church of England.

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CONCERNING THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH.

THERE was never any thing by the wit not; so that they have heard with their of man so well devised, or so sure establish- ears only, and their heart, spirit, and mind, ed, which in continuance of time hath not have not been edified thereby. And fur. been corrupted: As, among other things, thermore, notwithstanding that the ancient it may plainly appear by the Common Fathers have divided the Psalms into seven Prayers in the Church, commonly called Portions, whereof every one was called a Divine Service. The first original and Nocturn: Now of late time a few of them ground whereof if a man would search out have been daily said, and the rest utterly by the ancient Fathers, he shall find, that omitted. Moreover, the number and hardthe same was not ordained but of a good ness of the Rules called the Pie, and the purpose, and for a great advancement of manifold changings of the Service, was the godliness. For they so ordered the matter, cause, that to turn the Book only was so that all the whole Bible (or the greatest hard and intricate a matter, that many times part thereof), should be read over once there was more business to find out what every year; intending thereby, that the should be read, than to read it when it was Clergy, and especially such as were Minis- found out. ters in the Congregation, should (by often These inconveniences therefore considerreading, and meditation in God's word) | ed, here is set forth such an Order, whereby be stirred up to godliness themselves, and the same shall be redressed. And for a be more able to exhort others by wholesome readiness this matter, here is drawn out Doctrine, and to confute them that were a Calendar for that purpose, which is plain adversaries to the Truth; and further, that and easy to be understood; wherein (so the people (by daily hearing of holy Scrip- much as may be) the reading of holy Scripture read in the Church) might continually ture is so set forth, that all things shall be profit more and more in the knowledge of done in order, without breaking one piece God, and be the more inflamed with the from another. For this cause be cut off love of his true Religion.

Anthems, Responds, Invitatories, and such But these many years passed, this godly like things as did break the continual course and decent order of the ancient Fathers of the reading of the Scripture. hath been so altered, broken, and neglected, Yet, because there is no remedy, but by planting in uncertain Stories, and Le- that of necessity there must be some Rules; gends, with multitude of Responds, Verses, therefore certain Rules are here set forth; vain Repetitions, Commemorations, and Sy- which, as they are few in number, so they nodals; that commonly when any Book are plain and easy to be understood. So of the Bible was begun, after three or four that here you have an Order for Prayer, Chapters were read out, all the rest were and for the reading of the holy Scripture, unread. And in this sort the Book of much agreeable to the mind and purpose Isaiah was begun in Advent, and the Book of the old Fathers, and a great deal more of Genesis in Septuagesima ; but they were profitable and commodious, than that which only begun, and never read through: After of late was used. It is more profitable, belike sort were other Books of holy Scripture cause here are left out many things, whereof used. And moreover, whereas St. Paul some are untrue, some uncertain, some vain would have such language spoken to the and superstitious; and nothing is ordained people in the Church, as they might un- to be read, but the very pure Word of God, derstand, and have profit by hearing the the holy Scriptures, or that which is agreesame; The Service in this Church of Eng. able to the same; and that in such a Lanland these many years hath been read in guage and Order as is most easy and plain Latin to the people, which they understand for the understanding both of the Readers

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