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and a committee of divines, including Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Ridley, Bishop of Rochester, was appointed to carry it into effect. The first result of their labours was the publication of a Communion-service in 1548, which was issued with the king's proclamation, enjoining the use of it. But the powers of the commissioners were soon afterwards extended, and they were empowered to undertake the revision of all the offices of public worship, having respect to the pure religion of Christ taught in Scripture, and to the practice of the primitive Church.' In the course of a few months they compiled a series of divine offices, which they entitled 'The Book of the Common Prayer, and Administration of the sacraments and other rites and ceremonies of the Church, after the use of the Church of England.' This book, having been approved by Convocation, was ratified by Parliament in January 1549, and enjoined to be used for all divine offices from the feast of Whitsunday following. It was published by Whitchurch on the 4th of May in that year.

Book of

The book of 1549 differs from our present The Prayer Prayer Book chiefly in the following particulars. 1549 comThe morning and evening prayer began with that which the Lord's Prayer and versicles, and ended with use.

pared with

is now in

the third collect. The litany was not to be used on Sundays. The Communion-service, or mass, as it was still entitled, began with an introit, or psalm, which varied, like the collect epistle and gospel, every Sunday: the ten commandments did not form part of that service. The prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church,' as it was then entitled, contained not only, as at present, a commemoration of the faithful departed, but a prayer for them. The priest in consecrating the elements used the sign of the cross, and invoked the Spirit and Word of God for their sanctification. In delivering the bread he said only the first part of the form now in use; The body &c.... unto everlasting life;' and similarly, in delivering the cup (which contained wine mixed with water), 'The blood, &c... unto everlasting life.' During the communion, the clerks sang 0 Lamb of God, &c.' The litany contained a petition for deliverance from the tyranny of the bishop of Rome, and all his detestable enormities.' In the occasional offices many of the old ceremonies were preserved, such as the exorcism, the unction, and the chrisome in baptism, the sign of the cross at confirmation, the giving of gold and silver as tokens of sponsage in matrimony.

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Although some important modifications were subsequently made, it may be safely asserted, that the general principles of the Book of Common Prayer were fixed at its first compilation. The present will not, therefore, be an inconvenient place for shewing the principal points, in which our Liturgy differs from that of the unreformed Church.

Book com

the unre


It has been already mentioned, that the The Prayer seven daily offices of the Breviary were re-pared with duced by our reformers to two, parts of the formed five morning services being combined for our matins, and vespers and compline for our evensong. This consolidation was necessarily accompanied with many curtailments and omissions. A month, instead of a week, was allowed for going through the psalms. The legends of the Saints and the lessons taken from the fathers of the Church were discontinued. The Athanasian creed was appointed to be said thirteen times a year, instead of every Sunday; the Apostles' creed being substituted for it at other times. The invocations of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints were abolished. Many of the collects were composed anew. The Communion-service underwent considerable alteration, as will be detailed in the proper place; the most material changes being that

the ancient practice of administering the elements in both kinds was restored, and that the elevation of the host, and everything that could give countenance to the dogma of transubstantiation, was done away. The vestments of the ministers were simplified. The use of crucifixes, images, incense, holy water, candles at the altar, &c. was discontinued. That part of the Roman ritual, therefore, which appealed to the imagination through the senses, the æsthetic or sensuous part of religion, was greatly reduced. The worshipper was led to lift up his heart to God without those external accessories, which having been originally introduced as aids to human infirmity, were proved by experience to be stumbling-blocks in the way of simple and genuine devotion.

But besides the alterations which were made in the Breviary, in order to remove corrupt doctrines or idolatrous practices, it may be observed that the service of our Church took at the Reformation a more penitential, doctrinal, and practical character, while the eucharistical and jubilant portions were reduced. This is what might be expected to take place, at a period when the Church was awakened suddenly to the consciousness of all those errors and abuses, into which it had been

betrayed during ages of ignorance and superstition. The attitude of humility and penitence was then the most appropriate. Subsequently, and especially at the revision in 1662, after the restoration of the Church and monarchy, the portion assigned to praise and thanksgiving was somewhat increased.

A few instances are subjoined, out of many which offer themselves in proof of the foregoing observation.

1 The litany, a service which was formerly used only at seasons of public calamity, being plaintive and supplicatory in its tone, is now used by us not only on the Wednesday and Friday in every week, but even on the Sunday, the day of rejoicing.

2 Many changes have been made in the collects, by substituting expressions of humility for those of joy, without making any alterations of a contrary tendency. Thus the old form for the first Sunday in Advent was We who rejoice according to the flesh at the coming of thine only-begotten Son.' Instead of which we have in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility.' The old collect for St John Baptist's day was 'O God, who hast made this day worthy to be had in honour by us on account of the nativity of the blessed

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