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compiling of her publick Liturgy, to keep the mcan between the trvo extremes, of too much stiffness in refusing, and of too much easiness in admitting any variation from it. For, as on the one side common expers. ence sheeth, that where a change bath been madle of things advisedly established (no evident necessity so requiring) sundry inconveniences have thereupon ensued ; and those many times more and greater than the crils, that were intended to be remedied by such change: So on the other side, the particular forms of Divine worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies apa pointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent, and alterable, and so acknowledged; it is but reasonable, that upon weigh ty and important considerations, according to the various exigency of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those that are in place of Authority should from time to time seem either necessary or expedient. Accordingly pre find, that in the reigns of several Princes of blessel memory since the Reformation, the Church, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving. hath yielded to make such alterations in some particulars, as in their respective times were thought convenient: yet so, as that the main body and essentials of it (as well in the chiefest materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still continued the same unto this day, and do yet stand firm and unshaken, notwithstanding all the vain attempts and impetuous assaults made against it, by such men as are given to change, and have always dis covered a greater regard to their own private fancies and interests, than to that duty they owe to the publick.
By what undue means, and for what mischievous purposes the use of the Liturgy (though enjoined by the laws of the land, and those laivs never yet repealel) came, during the late unhappy confusions, to be discontinued is too well known to the world, and we are not willing here to remember. But when, upon His Majesty's happy restoration, it seemed probable, that, amongst other things, the use of the Liturgy woull also return of course (the same having never been legally abolishei) unless some timely mais were used to prevent it; these men iho under the late usurpel polers hw made it a great part of their business to render the peopled saffectel lliere unto, saw themselves in point of reputation and interest concernelur they woull freely acknowledge themselves to have errel, which such inen are very hardly brought to do) with their utmost endeavours to hinder the restitution thereof. In order whereunto divers painphlets were publisi ed against the Book of Common Prayer, the old objections musterad up, trith the actuition of some new ones, inore than formerly had been marle, to make the number swell. In tine, great importunities were used to His Sacred Majesty, that the said Book might be reviset, and such alcerata therein, and additions theniunto mule, as should be thought requisite fur the case of tender consciences: whereunto His Majesty, out of his picea inclination to give satisfaction (so far as could be reasonably expected) te all his subjects of what persuasion socver, did graciously condescend.
In which review we have endeavoured to observe the like moderation, as we find to have been used in the like case in foriner times. And their of the sundry alterations proposeul unto us, we have rejected all such a Were either of dangerous consequence (28 secretly striking at somne este blished doctrine, or laudable practice of the Church of England, or in leed of the whole Catholick Church of Christ) or else of no wnxquence at all, but ulteriy frivolous and vain. But suchi alterations as were tenderit te us by what persons, unter what pretences, or to what purpose sever te stered) as seemed to us in any degree requisite or expedient, We have Wiliingly, and of our own accordarental unto : not enforced so to do be any strength of argument, continuing us of the necessity of making the said alterations : for we are fully persuaded in our judgements (and se
here profess it to the world) that the Book, as it stood before established by law, doth not contain in it any thing 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 against any that shall oppose the same; if it shall be allowed such just and favourable construction as in common equity ought to be allowed to all human writings, especially such as are set forth 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 unreasouable demands; but to do that, which to our best understandings we conccived 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 cccasion 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 ger.eral account, That most of the alterations were male, 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 thinly,
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 Baptisin of such as are of Riper Years: which, although not so necessary when the forner 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.
CONCERNING THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH.
so sure established, which in continuance of time hath not been corruped : as, among other things, it may plainly appear by the Common Prayers in the Church, commonly called Divine Service. The first original and ground whereof if a man would search out by the ancient Fathers, he shall find, that the same was not ordained but of a good purpose, and for a great advancement of godliness. For they so ordered the matter, that all the whole Bible (or the greatest part thereof) should be read over once every year ; intending thereby, that the Clergy, and especially such as trere Mi. nisters in the congregation, should (by often reading, and meditation in God's word) be stirred up to youlliness themselves, and be more able to exhort others by wholesome doctrine, and to confute them that were adversaries to the iruth; and further, that the people (by daily hearing of holy Scripture read in the Church) might continually profit more and more ta the knowledge of God, and be the more inflamed with the love of his true religion.
But these many years passed, this godly and decent order of the ancient Fathers hath been so alterad, broken, and neglected, by planting in uncer tain stories, and legends, with multitude of responds, verses, vain repetitions, commemorations, and synovlals; that coinmonly when any book of the Bible was begun, after three or four chapters were read out, all the ross were unread. And in this sort the book of Isaiah was begun in Advent, and the book of Genesis in Septuagesima; but they were only begun, and never read through: after like sort were other books of holy Scripture used And moreover, whereas St. Paul would have such language spoken to the people in the Church, as they might understand, and have protit by hear. ing the same; the service in this Church of England these many years hath been rerul in Latin to the people, which they understand not ; so that they have heard with their ears only, and their heart, spirit, and mind, have not been edified thereby. And furthermore, notwithstanding that the ancient Fathers have divided the Psalms into seven portions, whereed every one was called a Nocturn: now of late time a few of them have been daily said, and the rest utterly omitted. Moreover, the number and hand ness of the rules called the Pie, and the manifold changings of the serrice, was the cause, that to turn the book only was so hard and intricate a mas ter, that many times there was mcre business to find out what should be read, than to read it when it was found out.
These inconveniences therefore considered, here is set forth such an order, wherely the same shall be redressed. And for a readiness in this matter, here is drawn out a Calendar for that purpose, which is plain and easy to be understood; wherein (so much as may be) the rearling of holy Scripture is so set forth, that all things shall be done in order, without breaking one piece from another. For this cause be cut off Anthems, Respons, Invita tories, and such like things as did break the continual course of the read. ing of the Scripture.
Yet, because there is no remedy, but that of necessity there must be soone Rules; therefore certain Rules are here set forth; which, as they are few in number, so they are plain and easy to be understood. So that here you have an order for Prayer, and for the realing of the holy Scripture, mucha agrecable to the mind and purpose of the old Fathers, and a great deal Inore proritable and commodious, than that which of late was used. It is more profitabie, because here are left out many things, whereof some art intrue, some uncurtalı, some vain and sukrstitious; and nothing is one drined to be real, but the cry pure Word of God, the holy Scriptures, or that which is agreeable to the samne; and that in such a language and op der as is most easy and plain for the understanding both of the readers and hearers. It is also more commodious, hoth for the shortness thereof, and for the plannens of the orier, and for that the rules de few and easy.
And whereas heretofore there hath been great diversity in saying and singing in Churches within this Realm ; some following Salisbury use, some Xereford use, and some the use of Bangor, some of York, some of Lincoln ; now from henceforth all the whole Realm shall have but one
And forasrnuch as nothing can be so plainly set forth, but doubts may arise in the use and practice of the same; to appease all such diversity (if any arise) and for the resolution of all doubts, concerning the manner how to understand, do, and execute, the things contained in this Book ; the parties that so doubt, or diversly take any thing, shall alway resort to the Bishop of the Diocese, who by his discretion shall take order for the quieting and appcasing of the same; so that the same order be not contrary to any thing contained in this Book. And if the Bishop of the Diocese be in doubt, then he may send for the resolution thereof to the Archbishop.
THOUGH it be appointed, that all things shall be read and sung in the Church in the English Tongue, to the end that the congregation may be thereby edified; yet it is not meant, but that when men say Morning and Evening Prayer privately, they may say the same in any language that they themselves do understand.
And all Priests and Deacons are to say daily the Morning and Evening Prayer either privately or openly, not being let by sickness, or some other urgent cause.
And the Curate that ministereth in every Parish-church or Chapel, being at home, and not being otherwise reasonably hindered, shall say the same in the Parish-church or Chapel where he ministereth, and shall cause a bell to be tolled thereauto a convenient time before he begin, that the people may come to hear God's Word, and to pray with him.
Of CEREMONIES, why some be abolished, and some
ginning by the institution of man, some at the first were of godly intent and purpose devised, and yet at length turned to vanity and superstition : some entered into the Church by undiscreet devotion, and such a zeal as was without knowledge; and for because they were winked at in the beginning, they grew daily to more and more abuses, which not only for their unprofitableness, but also because they have much blinded the people, and obscured the glory of God, are worthy to be cut away, and clean rejected : other there be, which although they have been devised by man, yet it is thought good to reserve them still, as well for a decent order in the Church, (for the which they were first devised) as because they pertain to edification, whereunto all things done in the Church (as the Apostle teacheth) ought to be referred.
And although the keeping or omitting of a Ceremony, in itself considered, is but a small thing; yet the wilful and contemptuous transgression and breaking of a common order and discipline is no small offence before God, “ Let all things be done among you," saith St. Paul, “ in a seemly and due order:” the appointment of the which order pertaineth not to private men ; therefore no man ought to take in hand, nor presume to appoint or alter any publick or common order in Christ's Church, except he be lawfully called and authorized thereunto.
And whereas in this our time, the minds of men are so diverse, that some think it a great matter of conscience to depart from a piece of the least of their Ceremonies, they be so addicted to their old customs; and
again on the other side, some be so new-fangled, that they would innovate all things, and so despise the old, that nothing can like ihem, but that is new: it was thought expedient, not so much to have respect how to please and satisfy either of these partics, as how to please God, and profit them both. And yet lest any man should be offended, whom good reason might satisfy, here be certain causes rendered, why some of the accustomed Cere inonies be put away, and some retained and kept still.
Some are put away, because the great excess and multitude of them hath so increased in these latter days, that the burden of them was into lerable; whereof St. Augustine in his time complained, that they were grown io such a number, that the estate of Christian people was in torse case concerning that matter, than were the Jews. And he counselled that such yoke and burden should be taken away, as time would serve quietly to do it. But what irould St. Augustine have said, if he had seen the Cere monies of late days used among us; whereunto the multitude used in his time was not to le comparel? This our excessive multitude of Ceremonies was so great, and many of thein so dark, that they did more confound and darken, than declare and set forth Christ's benefits unto us. And besides this, Christ's Gospel is not a Ceremonial Law, (as much of Moses' Law iras, but it is a religion to serve God, not in bondage of the figure or shadow, but in the freedom of the Spirit; being content only with those Ceremonie which do serve to a decent oriler and godly discipline, and such as be apt to stir up the dull mind of man to the remembrance of his duty to God, by some notable and special signification, whereby he might be edified Furthermore, the most ireighty cause of the abolishment of certain Cere monies was, that they were so far abused, partly by the superstitious blindness of the rude and unlearnel, and partly by the unsatiable avaric of such as sought more their own lucre, than the glory of God, that the abuses could not well be taken away, the thing remaining still.
But now as concerning those persons, irhich peradventure will be offented, for that soine of the old Ceremonies are retained still: If they consider that without some Ceremonies it is not possible to keep any order, or quet discipline in the Church, they shall casily perceive just cause to reform iheis judgements. And if they think much, that any of the old do remain, and would rather have all devised anew: then such men granting some exte monics convenient to be hal, surely where the old may be well used, there they cannot reasonably reprove the old only for their age, irithout bewrar. ing of their own fully. For in such a case they ought rather to have rere rence into them for their antiquity, if they will reclare themselves to he more studious of unity and concord, than of innovations and neiriangle ness, which (as much as may be with trile setting forth of Christ's religior) is always to he eschewal. Furthermore, such shall have no just cause uith the Ceremonies reserved to be offended. For as those be taken away which were most alused, and did burlen men's consciences without any cause; so the other that remain, are retained for a discipline and order, whid (upon just causes) may be altered and changal, and therefore are not to be stamai equal with Gol's law. And moreover, they be neither dark na dumb ('eremonies, but are so set forth, that every man may understand what they do incan, and to what use they do serie. So that it is not like that they in time to come should be abused as other have been. And in these our doings we condemn no other nations, nor prescribe any thing tut to our own perple only : for tre think it convenient that every country should use such'Ceremonies as they shall think I est to the setting forth of God's honour and glory, and to the reducing of the people to a most perfect and goodly living, without error or superstition; and that they should put airay other things, which from thine to time they peririve to be most abusal, as in men's ordinances it often chanceth divenly in disers countries.