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AND ADMINISTRATION OF
RITES AND CEREMONIES OF THE CHURCH,
ACCORDING TO THE USE OF
The Protestant Episcopal Church
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
THE PSALTER, OR PSALMS OF DAVID.
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.
Philadelphia, Dec. 1, 1846.
I hereby certify that this edition of the Common Prayer Book, the Articles, Offices, Psalms in Metre selected from the Psalms of David, and Hymns, has been compared with and corrected by the Standard Book, by a Presbyter appointed by me for that purpose; and the same is permitted to be published, as an edition so compared and corrected, as the Canon directs.
ALONZO POTTER, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
RATIFICATION OF THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.
By the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, this 16th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
THIS Convention having, in | And require that it be received as their present session, set forth A such by all the members of the Book of Common Prayer, and Ad- same: And this Book shall be in ministration of the Sacraments, and use from and after the First day other Rites and Ceremonies of the of October, in the Year of our Church, do hereby establish the Lord one thousand seven hundred said Book: And they declare it to and ninety. be the Liturgy of this Church:
is a most invaluable part of
I that blessed liberty wherewith
CHRIST hath made us free, that in his worship, different forms and usages may without offence be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly determined to belong to Doctrine, must be referred to Discipline; and therefore, by common consent and authority, may be altered, abridged, enlarged, amended, or otherwise disposed of, as may seem most convenient for the edification of the people, "according to the various exigencies of times and occasions."
The Church of England, to which the Protestant Episcopal Church in these States is indebted, under GOD, for her first foundation and a long continuance of nursing care and protection, hath, in the Preface of her Book of Common Prayer, laid it down as a rule, that "The particular forms of Divine Worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent and alterable, and so acknowledged, it is but reasonable that upon weighty and important considerations, according to the various exigencies of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those who are in places of anthority should, from time to time, seem either necessary or expedient."
The same Church hath not only in her Preface, but likewise in her Articles and Homilies, declared the necessity and expediency of occasional alterations and amendments in her Forms of Public Worship; and we find accordingly, that, seeking to "keep the happy mean between too much
stiffness in refusing, and too much easiness in admitting variations in things once advisedly established, she hath, in the reign of several Princes, since the first compiling of her Liturgy in the time of Edward the Sixth, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, yielded to make such alterations in some particulars, as in their respective times were thought convenient; yet so as that the main body and essential parts of the same (as well in the chiefest materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still been continued firm and unshaken."
Her general aim in these different reviews and alterations hath been, as she further declares in her said Preface, "to do that which, according to her best understanding, might most tend to the preservation of peace and unity in the Church; the procuring of reverence, and the exciting of piety and devotion in the worship of GOD; and, finally, the cutting off occasion, from them that seek occasion, of cavil or quarrel against her Liturgy.' And although, according to her judgment, there be not "any thing in it 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, if allowed such just and favourable construction as in common equity ought to be allowed to all human writings;" yet upon the principles already laid down, it cannot but be supposed that further alterations would in time be found expedient. Accordingly, a commission for a review was issued in the year 1689: but this great and good work miscarried at that time;