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Resolvei, That a committee be appointed to publish the Book of Common Prayer, with the alterations, as well as those now ratified, in order to render the liturgy consistent with the American' revolution, and the constitutions of the respective states, as the alterations and new offices recommended to this Church; and that the book be accompanied with a proper preface or address, setting forth the reason and expediency of the alterations; and that the committee have the liberty to make verbal and grammatical correctious; but in such manner as that nothing in form or substance be altered.

The committee appointed were the Rev. Dr. Whité, (president) the Rev. Dr. Smith, and the Rev. Dr. Wharton.

Orilered, That the said committee be authorized to dispose of the copies of the Common Prayer when printed; and that after defraying all expenses incurred therein, they remit the nett profits to the treasurers of the several corporations and societies for the Relief of the Widows and Children of deceased Clergymen in the states represented in this convention; the profits to be equally divided among the said societies and corporations.

Resolved, That the same committee be authorized to publish, with the Book of Common Prayer, such of the reading and singing psalms, and such a calendar of proper lessons for the different Sundays and holy days throughout the year, as they may think proper.

{The Appendix of the first edition here concluled.]

No. 33. Page 53.

The bishops, in the use of the office of Confirmation, finding that the preface is freĝuently not welt suited to the age and character of those who are presented for this holy ordinance, unanimously propose the following resolution :

Resolved, That after the present preface in the office of Confirmation, the following be inserted, to be used instead of the former, at the discretion of the bishop :-" It appears from holy scripture, that the apostles laid their hands on those who were baptized ; and this ordinance, styled by the Apostle Paul, the 'laying on of hands,' and ranked by him among the principles of the doctrine of Christ, has been retained in the Church, under the name of Confirmation; and is very convenient, and proper to be observed, to the end that persons being sufficiently instructed in what they promised, or what was promised for them in their baptism, and being, in other respects, duly qualified, may themselves, with their own mouth and consent, openly before the Church, ratify and confirm the same, and also promise, that by the grace of God, they will evermore endeavour themselves faithfully to observe such things as they, by their own confession, have assented unto."

And to correct the injurious misapprehension, as to the meaning of certain terms in the first collect in the Office of Confirmation, the bishops unanimously propose the following resolution:

Resolved, That after the first collect in the Office of Confirmation, the following be inserted, to be used at the diseretion of the bishop, instead of the first collect, “ Almighty and everliving God, who hast vouchsafed, in baptism, to regenerate these thy servants, by water and the Holy Ghost; thus giving them a title to all the blessings of thy covenant of grace and mercy, in thy Son Jesus Christ, and now dost graciously confirm unto them, ratifying the promises then made, all their holy privileges; grant unto them, we beseech thee, O Lord, the renewing of the Holy Ghost ; strengthen them with the power of this divine Comforter ; and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength, the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill them, O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear, now and forever. Amen."

No. 34. Page 256. In the convention of 1821, the House of Bishops communicated to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies, their disapprobation of what they conceived to be a mistaken construction of the last rubric in the service for the administration of the communion. The reasons on which their objection to the construction was founded, are recorded in the Appendix to the journal of that year; and it is their intention to cause it to be entered on the journal of their present transactions. It is as follows:

Concerning the last Rubric in the Communion Service.

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The House of Bishops being informed of what they consider as a great misunderstanding, in various places, of the rubric at the end of the Communion Service, think it their duty to declare their sense of the same, and to communicate it to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies.

In the Common Prayer Book of the Church of England, the words in the parenthesis are "if there be no communion.” In the review of 1789, it was put—" if there be no sermon or communion”—and this has been interpreted to mean, that if there be a sermon, what has been called the ante-communion service is to be omitted—against this construction the bishops object as follows:

'Ist. The construction rests on inference; deduced in contrariety to the positive direction—" Then shall follow the sermon.” Had an exception been intended, it would doubtless have been expressed positively, as in other rubrics. Further, the rubric in question prescribes, that " when there is a communion, the minister shall return to the Lord's table;" which presumes him to have been there before, in the ante-communion service, unless in the permitted alternative of some other place.

2d. The argument on the other side proves too much, and therefore nothing. It is said of those who urge it, that they conceive themselves bound to use the whole service on a communion day; whereas it should be dispensed with, on the same principle on which it is supposed to be superseded by the sermon. On the other hand, if there being either a sermon, or the communion should be thought to warrant the omission; can it be, that the convention designed to leave in the book the ante-communion service, with all the collects, the gospels, and the epistles attached to them, to be little more than dead letter; never to be used, except on the few occasions when the said service is unconnected with either of the said provisions ? For it is not required to be used either with the morning or with the evening prayer.

3d. There is a rubric prescribing the place in the service, at which notice shall be given of holy days, &c. Can it be supposed, that a provision of this sort was intended to be done away, not professedly, but indirectly ? and that even there should be no provision for notifying the communion ?

4th. It is understood, that the morning prayer, and the administration of the communion, were designed to be distinct services, to be used at different times of the day.

Probably, at the time of the reformation, the practice was generally conformable to the provision; and it is said to prevail at present in some places in England. Now, although there is probably no Church in the United States of which the same can be affirmed; yet, why raise a bar against so reasonable and so godly a practice ? an effort for which, would reduce the whole to the sermon; except when the communion were to be administered; and then there would be the latter part of the service only.

5th. The construction casts a blemish on the observance of every festival of our Church. To speak in particular of Easter Sunday, Whitsunday, and Christmas day; can it be supposed, that the convention intended to abrogate the reading of the portions of scripture, the most pertinent of any in the Bible ? or that the members of the body were so careless, as not to perceive the effect of the word introduced by them into the parenthesis ? Neither of these was the case; although they had not the sagacity to foresce the use which would be made of their super-addition: a use, which may be applied hereafter to the abandoning of the observance of those festivals. For why should the Church retain them, after dispensing with whatever is attached to them in the respective services. The remark applies equally to the two days of fasting or abstinence-Good Friday and Ash Wednesday. It is here supposed, that on the former,

. there are the service and sermons in all our churches furnished with the ministry. But according to the opposite opinion, the sermon dispenses with the recital of the consummation of our Saviour's sufferings, and not only on Good Friday, but on every day of Passion week, if there be sermons. Could this have been intended ?

6th. There is the magnitude of the change thus made in the liturgy, without the subjecting of the resulting consequences to the consideration of any General Convention : for this is here affirmed, without the apprehension of contradiction from any of the surviving members. The most obvious of the consequences, and such as could not have escaped the notice of the least attentive, were the dispensing with the reading of the Ten Commandments; the weekly return of which may well be thought to have a beneficial effect on morals ; and the deranging of a selection of passages of scripture, always supposed to have been made with great judgment, and suited to the different seasons of the year. They were of like use in the Church before the prevalence of the corruptions of the Papacy; have with


stood, in some measure, its systematic hostility to a general knowledge of the scriptures; and, probably, have prevented a greater enormity of unevangelical error, than what we now find: for although the selections were in Latin, they were at least instructive to the many who understood the language, at a time when even among that description of people, the possession of a Bible was rare.

To the present day, they are held in a high esteem, not only by our parent Church, but by the Lutheran Churches of Sweden, of Denmark, of snndry German principalities, and of this country. In some of the European states, the subject of the sermon is expected to be taken from the epistle, or from the gospel for the Sunday. There seems no reasonable objection, in any future review of the liturgy, to the making of some abbreviation, suited to the joining of services designed to be distinct : but there may be doubted the expediency of making so great an inroad as that projected on the service now in question.

7th. The ante-communion service continued to be used as before, by the clergy who were present in the convention, in which it is now imagined to have been dispensed with. It is confidently believed, that there was not an exception of an individual; although, on the other side, the major number must be supposed to have been desirous of the innovation. In the interpretation of a law, immediate practice under it has been held to be a good expositor ; especially when, as in the present case, a contrary sense haid not been heard of for a long course of years.

The question may occur Why did the convention introduce the words “ sermon or," into the parenthesis ? It was to reconcile the other rubric referred to, with frequent and allowable practice. The said rubric says—" then sha! follow the sermon.” Perhaps, when the service was compiled there was a sermon on every saint's day, as well as on every principal festival. In modern usage it has been otherwise; which made it convenient to provide for the minister's proceeding to the Blessing. The parenthesis means, that although there be no sermon, or although there be no communion, the minister shall act as directed by the rubric.

The bishops therefore deem it their duty to express the decided opinion, that the rubrics of the Communion Service, as well as other general considerations, enjoin the use of that part which precedes the sermon, on all occasions of sermon or communion, as well as on those festivals and fasts when neither sermon nor coinmunion occurs.

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