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New-York, Scptemler 30, 1831. I hereby certify, that this edition of the Common Prayer Book, Book of Offices, &c., having been compared with a standard Book, and corrected by the same, is permitted to be published as an edition duly compared and corrected by a suitable person appointed for that purpose, as the canon directs.
BENJAMIN T. ONDERDONK, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal C4th
in the State of New York
BX 5943 Ali 1847
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.
By the Bishops, ine Clergy, and the Laity of the Protcstant Episcopal
Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Ritos and Ceremonies of the Church, do hereby establish the said Book And they declare it to be the Liturgy of this Church ; and require, that it be received as such by all the Members of the same : And this Book &hall be w Use from and after the first Day of October, in the Year of our Lord og whousand seven hundred and ninety.
maaia. 2-10-28, amic
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
i The Ratification of the Book of that are baptized, and come to
Years of Discretion.
Ti Prayers and Thanksgivings upon 27 Forms of Prayer to be used in Fa.
several Occasions, to be used be milies.
instead of the Psalms for the Day.
able to answer for themselves. 33 The Order for the Administration
To The Order of Confirmation, or 35 An Office of Institution of Mini
Laying on of Hands upon those iers into Parishes or Churches.
IT is a most invaluable part of that blessed liberty wherewith Christ hain
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 Doetrine must be referred to Discipline; and therefore, by common consent and authority, may be allered, abridged, enlarged, amended, or otherwise disposed of, as may seem most convenient for the edification of the people, * according to she 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 ide Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent and alterable, and so acknow. ledged, 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 avthority should, from time to time, seem either necesary or expedient."
The same Church hath not only in her Preface, but likewise in her Articles and Homilies, declared the necessity and expediency of occasiona! alterations and amendments in her Forms of Public Worship ; and we find! accordingly, that, seeking to“ keep the happy mean betu een too much atiffness in refusing, and too much easiness in admitting variations in things once advisedly esta olished, she bath, in the reign of several Princes, since the first compiling of her Liturgy in the time of Edward the Sixth, upou just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, yielded to make suca alterations in some particulars, as in their respective times were :hovghi convenient : yet so as that the main body and essential parts or de 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 saic 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." Anu 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 .ad down, it cannot but be supposed, tl.ai further alteration would in tinie 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; and the Civil Authority has not since thought proper to revive it by any new Commission.
But when in the course of Divine Providence, these American Stales be. came independent with respect to Civil Government, their Ecclesiastical Independence was necessarily included ; and the different religious denoininations of Christians in these States were left at full and equal liberty to model and organize their respective Churches, and forms of worship and disapane, in such manner as they might judge most convenient for their future prosperity ; consistently with the Consti:ution and Lawe of beb Country.
The attention of this Church was, in the first place, drawn o those alte rations in the Liturgy which became necessary in the Prayers for our Civil Rulers, in consequence of the Revolution. And the principal care herein was to make them conformable to what ought to be the proper end of all such prayers, namely, that " Rulers may have grace, wisdom, and understand. ing to execute justice, and to maintain truth ;" and that the People “ may lead quiet and peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty."
Pui while these alterations were in review before the Convention, they could not but, with gratitude to God, embrace the happy occasion which was offered to them, (uninfluenced and unrestrained by any worldly authority whatsoever,) to take a further review of the Public Service, and to esta. blish such other alterations and amendments therein as might be deemed ex. pe tient.
It seems unnecessary to enumerate all the different alterations and amend. ments. They will appear, and it is to be hoped, the reasons of them also, uvon a comparison of this with the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. In which it will also appear, that this Church is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline, or worship ; or further than local circınıstances re quire.
And now, this important work being brought to a conclusion, it is hoped the whole will be received and examined by every true Member of our Church, and every sincere Christian, with a meek, candid, and charitable frame of mind ; without prejudice or prepossessions ; seriously considering what Christianity is, and what the truths of the Gospel are ; and earnestly beseeching Almighty God to accompany with his blessing every endeavour for promulgating them io mankind in the clearest, plainest, most affecting and majerlic manner, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Duviour.