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THE present edition of this Book of
Common Prayer is reprinted with some changes and omissions, from an earlier one which was itself adapted from an English work for use in the services of the Church of the Messiah. The original English edition was compiled, it is understood, under the supervision of James Martineau, whose hand appears especially in the beautiful Ninth and Tenth Services.
The work is to be regarded as a manual of devotion, and not a book of arbitrary forms. Its use in the services of the Church of the Messiah is that of a convenient but not compulsory ritual. The Minister may at his discretion substitute personal prayers for any that are here printed ; and the Special Services for Communion, Baptism, Marriage, and Burial may give place to such forms as he may have otherwise prepared.
Devotion can find support and direction in liturgical offices; but it is only as these
appeal to the soul that they have grace to raise us to the freedom of that purer worship which communes with the Father in spirit and in truth.
In the concluding words of Martineau's Introduction:
“And now nothing remains but to lay our offering on the Altar of God, begging him to accept it as 'the lisping of his children, and to let his blessing rest on it, and on those who turn to it for help in drawing near to his throne of grace.”