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if his own labours in the ministry of the gospel might find acceptance.
As many worthy persons are dissatisfied with the present Liturgy, this essay towards an improvement of it, may call forth the labours of others to make it a more rational and edifying composition.
He is moreover encouraged to publish it, from the hope that beneficial effects may in time arise from it to virtue and true religion: and he will have abundant cause of rejoicing, if haply it should, in thie remotest degree, conduce to the REFORMATION, so long wanted, and now' so loudly called for in the nationdl church. April 10, 1774.
THE SECOND EDITION.
To this new edition
have been added the Of. fices of Matrimony, Thanksgiving of Women after Childbirth, Visitation of the Sick, Burial of the Dead, the Order of Prayers to be used at Sea, with occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings, and a Collection of Hymns, . Dec, 1, 1774.
THE THIRD EDITION.
IE word LORD, printed with capitals,
stands for Jehovah, the Hebrew incommunicable name of the Most High, the only living and true God, the Father of angels and men, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the sole object of religious worship, prayer, and praise : distinguishing Him from all other beings and persons whatsoever; who are all of them, even the highest, nothing but his creatures and servants, depending upon Him, and possessing nothing but what they have received from Him.
The particularPsalms appointed to be read in the Morning and Evening Service, are not inserted in the subsequent Book of Psalms, as not needful to be repeated. Some few also of the Psalms themselves are entirely omitted, as less proper* to be read, and to
*“I will take leave to hint, that notwithstanding the high “ antiquity, that sanctifies as it were this promiscuous reading “ of the Psalms, it would, in the opinion of wise and good
men, be more for the credit of the Christian church, to “omit a few of those Psalms, &c.”—Critical Remarks on the Book of Psalıns, p. 180, by Dr. Durell..
make a part of the public worship of Christians. And where any amendment has been made in the translation of the Psalms, the Editor has generally either adopted the Bibleversion, or followed the judgement of learned and approved writers.
One or two alterations, in different parts of the service, are accounted for in the margin. Some peculiar Scripture-phrases likewise have been changed in a few instances, to render the sense more plain and distinct, and agreeable to the true meaning of the sacred writings.
The Office for Adult Baptism having been omitted in the former editions, one is now supplied.
THE FOURTH EDITION.
CONCERNING the present omnission of
the Apostles' Creed, it may be observed, that there were thoughts of leaving it out when our worship first began; but it was kept
in at the suggestion of friends, lest we should be represented as a society of mere Deists, and other Christians be deterred from uniting with us. There is, however, now no fear of such imputation and misconstruction. I shall mention, therefore, some of the reasons for our not continuing this creed as a part of our Christian worship.
1. It was not written by the Apostles, although it goes under their name; and therefore is of no authority.
-2. It is very wrong and unwarrantable to put persons upon making a declaration of their faith in assemblies for Christian worship. It is a sufficient bond of union that they agree to join in the worship.
3. No man, or number of men together, have any authority to make a creed for others; that is, to dictate to them what they are to believe in order to obtain the favour of God. Every one is to do this for himself.
- 4. The imposition of creeds in all ages has been the cause of great mischief and dissentions, and a snare to honest minds, as men can never entirely agree in their opinions concerning particular points in religion, or, if they agree to-day, may differ to-morrow.
In the Litany, the three invocations at the beginning are changed into one. Some persons
of high estimation in the Established Church might be named, approvers of Dr. CLARKE's: reformed Liturgy, who have always esteemed it a blemish therein, that, when he rejected the Trinity, he should so far accommodate himself to that doctrine as to retain three different invocations.
In the Communion Service, the institution of the Lord's Supper is put by itself, instead of being made a part of a prayer, and the prayer more properly follows after.
Some lesser alterations will be noted, in the change of a word, or of a text of Scripture, for another less liable to be misinterpreted. And it is hoped, that the short Advertisement prefixed to the Hymns will contribute to render the phraseology in them and in the Liturgy better understood.
The Hymns will be found much improved, although no new ones have been added. Of this the Editor speaks with the more confidence, as he has availed himself of the different collections lately published by those eminent and truly respectable characters, Mr. . CAPPE, Mr. HAWKES, and Mr. WALKER. January, 1793.