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Enlightener and Sanctifier of men.” These verses are unquestionably good ; but they are not the ancient and original verses, neither do they so strongly and sententiously express the faith of the universal Church. The ancient verses were removed because they were supposed to have a trinitarian meaning ; but they have, in reality, no more such a meaning than have the words of the baptismal form, or one of the apostolic benedictions, in which the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are placed in juxtaposition, but not declared to be three persons in one God.
. “ The holy Church, throughout all the world doth acknowledge” the infinite Father, Jesus Christ his true and only Son, and also his comforting Spirit, the holy Ghost. This confession expresses, and does no more than express, the three principal elements of the Christian Creed ; and the Unitarian can join in it as heartily and sincerely as the Trinitarian. It may likewise be observed, that the two sentences, “ All happiness proceedeth from thee; And to thee all gratitude and adoration are due,” are now left out, because they are no part of the original Hymn. The Te Deum stands, therefore, in this edition, as it did in the edition of 1785, and is in all respects the same with the ancient and usual form, except that the petitions of the
latter portion of it, are addressed, not to Christ, but to God.
The Second Form of Evening Prayer has been somewhat abridged. The Gospels and Epistles are printed at length, whereas in the last edition they were only denoted by a few words at the beginning and end of each. In order to afford space for this arrangement, the number of Hymns at the end of the book has been much reduced.
An Ante-Communion, or Office of the Commandments, has been introduced, or rather restored, in this edition. It is the same, or nearly so, with the introductory portion of the Communion Service, which is usually performed every Sunday in. Episcopal Churches. preparation for the proper Communion, its propriety is manifest. The divine Commandments are recited by the minister, and in the responses to each, the congregation pray God to incline their hearts to keep them. Indeed, considered by itself, as an independent service, a more interesting or useful one could hardly be devised ; and it is a subject of regret with many, that it was ever discontinued at King's Chapel.
One of the three Additional Services has been omitted. The other two are retained, not because they are used, but because at some times they may be found useful.
The Family Prayers have been carefully revised, and in a few instances slightly altered. A third Prayer for Morning or Evening, and a prayer for Sunday Morning or Evening, have been added to the former collection, together with two prayers in the Morning Services, and two in the Evening Services, making six in the whole. Three services for Sunday Schools have been inserted, together with a service for the Burial of Children.
Other alterations and additions of inferior moment have been made in this edition, but I have now mentioned the most important instances in which it differs from the last.
I should do injustice to my feelings and convictions, if I did not add, that time and experience only strengthen my persuasion, that a Liturgy is the best, as it is also the most ancient form of public devotion; and that no Liturgy so well deserves to be followed as a model, as that of the Church of England.
F. W. P. G. Boston, December 24, 1840,
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