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cient devotional writers down to that of our own liturgy, and always to say " those who" instead of “them that," &c. Preferring, as I do most decidedly, the English of our Bible for devotional purposes to a more modern idiom; and regretting that any change was made in this, as in some other respects, in our Book of Common Prayer from that of our venerable Mother the Church of England, I have not been unwilling to retain a savour of the old, and to me more beautiful and solemn forms of expression.
The objection may be started, What need of another Book of Family Prayers when there are already so many excellent ones from clergymen both of our own church and of the Church of England; and particularly one possessing some of the characteristics of that now published, viz., the Rev. Dr. Berrian's Family Prayers. This manual I have used for a long time and with much satisfaction; and feel, in common with many others, much indebted to him for the good service he has done the Church in this as in his more recent devotional works, which are truly admirable in design and execution, and which should be in the hands of every devout churchman : Devotions for the Sick and the Afflicted," and," Enter into thy Closet.” Although I have long contemplated framing a book similar to that now published, I should not probably have undertaken it at the present time, but for a request made to me to republish the book I have mentioned above, by the Rev. W. E. Evans. My attention being thus turned to the subject, I preferred making this attempt to the mere mechanical exercise of superintending a republication. As my apology for thus adding to the number of works of this kind, already so large, if apology be needed, I will adopt that of Mr. Evans in his Introduction : “There might appear to be some little presumption in attempting
to meet a want which so many have failed to supply; but the writer entertains no such sanguine expectations. When we consider the vast, the never ending variety of circumstances in which families are placed, the different tones of feeling belonging to each, it will be no matter for surprise that no form of prayer has yet been found adapted to the wants of all: nor can any one hope to supply one."
If then no Universal Book of Family Prayers has been, or probably can be constructed, so much greater reason is there to give to the religious community every opportunity for selection; and thus possibly all tastes may be suited, and all wants supplied.
It must be observed that this little volume is not intended to be a substitute for the Book of Common Prayer in Family Worship, but an humble companion to it, and its presence in the hands of each member of the family, for actual use in the responsive services of the Psalter and in the metre Psalms and Hymns, is constantly implied. In some families, and in all families at certain times, it may not be convenient to go through the order of devotional exercises exactly as here prescribed ; and therefore certain parts, as the Psalter, or one of the lessons, or the singing, or all, may be omitted at the option of those who conduct the worship; and a selection from the collects may be made in such a manner as to conform to the particular arrangements of each family where the Book may be introduced. But should the whole order, as laid down, be followed out, it is believed that the time occupied could rarely interfere with any just claims of worldly occupation. Little danger is there that these claims will suffer detriment in the present state of society ; while there is abundant reason to fear lest this restless
and intelligent generation, with all its improvements and privileges, should be losing the healthful and holy influences arising from the more frequent and fervent
prayers of a devouter age.
“The hours of Prayer, in welcome round,
J. M. W.
Prayer upon Fast Days