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in 1157 1887

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by

ABEL C. THOMAS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the

Eastern District of Pennsylvania.



Explanatory Preface.

LITURGIES, or formulas of worship, were in uso in the Jewish Church long before the Christian era.

We learn in the New Testament that John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray; and no follower of the Saviour, however averse he may be to repetition, would be willing to abandon the Lord's Prayer.

In the Christian Church, in the age of the apostles, the People responded Amen “at the giving of thanks,” but the existence of a Liturgy cannot be affirmed. The gifts of the day of Pentecost may have set aside all other helps, for the time being; yet forms of worship were introduced at an early date, and gradually passed into universal authority.

Marked changes, in doctrine and in ritual, were effected by the Reformation ; but Liturgies, prepared ana adopted by the Reformers, are still in use, with some modifications; and they seem to be increasing in favor.

Reason and Value of a Liturgy. Hymns and music are arranged beforehand for united worship: Why should the like preparation be denied to prayers ? Shall the Congregation submit all praising to the Choir, and all praying to the Minister ?

If congregational singing be approved, (with or without the aid of a choir,) a large variety of tunes would seem to be undesirable. Why should not the same hymns be sung, and in the same melodies or harmonies, from generation to generation ? And why should not the reason of the case be equally applicable to prayers ?

Sermons are addressed to the People, and cannot be too widely instructive. Prayers and praises are addressed to the Supreme Being. The mercies of the good Father, though always new, are the same yesterday, today, and for ever.

and obligations of His children, continually suggest the same “supplications, intercessions, and giving of thanks."

There is little variety in extemporaneous prayer, even with persons who are said to be “gifted” in that way. Only by preparatory study can sameness be avoided, and variety will still be rather in the language than in the sentiment.

The value of a Liturgy is not in novelty, but in familiarity. The words of a prayer, if fitly chosen--a prayerful “ form of sound words” — may in some sort be the ark of the covenant, containing the hidden manna and the budding rod. It is indeed the spirit that quickeneth; yet formulas of worship, though cold and dead when considered only in the letter, may awaken the soul into the life of devotion. There was power in the bones of a prophet, 2 Kings xiii. 20, 21.

Order of Public Worship. THERE are eight formulas in this Book. If the first four be regarded as the Order of Morning Prayer, the last four may be accepted as the Order of Evening Prayer: Yet there is nothing in any one of the series which should restrict it to morning or evening.

In the first four, certain passages (printed in italic) are set forth as responses by the Congregation. These are in sufficient number, perhaps, to secure attention, and to promote a feeling of common interest. To accommodate such (if there be any) as object to responses, the last four formulas are without this provision, excepting in the introduction. It may

also be observed, that the passages printed in italic are parts of the general prayer, and should not be omitted by the Minister. In responding, (if so it may be called,) the People simply join him in the passages referred to. All responses, including Amen, should be Intent of this Liturgy. These formulas are merely helps—and helps to such persons only as may be inclined to use them, in whole or in part, statedly or occasionally.

Many Christian people do not observe the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. As in relation to these rites, so in relation to all forms of prayer, “let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind,' and regard the lesson of Romans xiv.

The Minister may shorten the Order of Worship by omitting the introductory service; also the sentences or paragraphs [enclosed in brackets.] Nor is extemporaneous prayer excluded : He may omit the general prayer and substitute one of his own.

Excepting for Anniversaries, and for Schools and Families, Scripture Lessons are not noted. Selections from the Bible are at the discretion of the Minister.

The instructions printed in connection with all the forms are so clear, that only a little attention is needed to make every thing perfectly plain.

BLESSED be the name of the Lord, for the strength, and time, ard patience, required in the preparation of this Gospel Liturgy. Would it were more worthy the heavenly aims of devotion and love!

The prayers and the praises herein presented, will be the prayers and the praises of all who shall find in them an expression of their own meditations and feelings: The book itself being reverently dedicated to the worship of God our Father, and held forth in memory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A. C. T.

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