Page images
PDF
EPUB

and so despise the old, that nothing can like them, but that is new: it was thought expedient, not so much to have respect how to please and satisfy either of these parties, as how to please God, and profit them both. And yet lest any man should be offer.ded, whom good reason might satisfy, here be certain causes rendered, why some of the accus tomed ceremonies bę put away, and some retained and kept still.

Some are put away, because the great excess and multitude of them hath so increased in these latter days, that the burden of them was intolerable; whereof Saint Augustine in his time complained, that they were grown to such a number, that the estate of Christian people was in worse case concerning that matter, than were the Jews. And he counselled that such yoke and burden should be taken away, as time would serve quietly to do it. But what would Saint Augustine have said, if he had seen the ceremonies of late days used among us; whereunto the multitude used in his time was not to be compared ? This our excessive multitude of ceremonies was so great, and many of them so dark, that they did more confound and darken, than declare and set forth Christ's benefits unto us. And besides this, Christ's Gospel is not a ceremonial law, (as much of Moses' law was,) but it is a religion to serve God, not in bondage of the figure or shadow, but in the freedom of the spirit; being content only with those ceremonies which do serve to a decent order and godly discipline, and such as be apt to stir up the dull mind of man to the remembrance of his duty to God, by some notable and special signification, whereby he might be edified. Furthermore, the most weighty cause of the abolishment of certain ceremonies was, that they were so far abused, partly by the superstitious blindness of the rude and unlearned, and partly by the unsatiable avarice of such as sought more their own lucre, than the glory of God, that the abuses could not well be taken away, the thing remaining still.

But now as concerning those persons, which peradventure will be offended, for that some of the old ceremonies are retained still: If they consider that without some ceremonies it is not possible to keep any order, or quiet discipline in the

OF CEREMONIES. Church, they shall easily perceive just cause to reform their judgements. And if they think much, that any of the old do remain, and would rather have all devised anew: then such men granting some ceremonies convenient to be had, surely where the old may be well used, there they cannot reasonably, reprove the old only for their age, without bewraying of their own folly. For in such a case they ought rather to have reverence unto them for their antiquity, if they will declare themselves to be more studious of unity and concord, than of innovations and new-fangleness, which (as much as may be with true setting forth of Christ's religion) is always to be eschewed. Furthermore, such shali have no just cause with the ceremonies reserved to be offended. For as those be taken away which were most abused, and did burden men's consciences without any cause; so the other that remain, are retained for a discipline and order, which (upon just causes) may be altered and changed, and therefore are not to be esteemed equal with God's law. And moreover, they be neither dark nor dumb ceremonies, but are so set forth, that every man may understand what they do mean, and to what use they do serve. So that it is not like that they in time to come should be abused as other have been. And in these our doings we condemn no other nations, nor prescribe any thing bụt to our own people only: for we think it convenient that every country should use such ceremonies as they shall think best to the setting forth of God's honour and glory, and to the reducing of the people to a most perfect and godly living, without error or superstition; and that they should put away other things, which from time to time they perceive to be most abused, as in men's ordinances it often chanceth diversly in divers countries.

I The Order how the Psalter is appointed to be

read. THE Psalter shall be read through once every

it Ing and Evening Prayer. But in February it shall be read only to the twenty-eighth, or twenty-ninth day of the month.

And, whereas January, March, May, July, August, October, and December have one-and-thirty days apiece; It is ordered, that the same Psalms shall be read the last day of the said months, which were read the day before: so that the Psalter may begin again the first day of the next month ensuing.

And, whereas the 119th Psalm is divided into twenty-two portions, and is over-long to be read at one time; It is so ordered, that at one time shall not be read above four or five of the said portions.

And at the end of every Psalm, and of every such part of the 119th Psalm, shall be repeated this Hymn,

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Note, that the Psalter followeth the division of the Hebrews, and the translation of the great English Bible, set forth and used in the time of King Henry the Eighth, and Edward the Sixth.

The Order how the rest of holy Scripture is

appointed to be read. THE THE Old Testament is appointed for the first

Lessons at Morning and Evening Prayer; so as the most part thereof will be read every year once, as in the Calendar is appointed.

The New Testament is appointed for the second Lessons at Morning and Evening Prayer, and shall be read over orderly every year thrice, besides the Epistles and Gospels; except the Apocalypse, out of which there are only certain Proper Lessons appointed upon divers Feasts.

And to know what Lessons shall be read every day, look for the day of the month in the Calendar following, and there ye shall find the chapters that shall be read for the Lessons both at Morning and Evening Prayer; except only the Moveable Feasts, which are not in the Calendar, and the Immoveable, where there is a blank left in the column of Lessons, the Proper Lessons for all which days are to be found in the Table of Proper Lessons

And note, that whensoever Proper Psalms or Lessons are appointed; then the Psalms and Lessons of ordinary course appointed in the Psalter and Calendar (if they be different) shall be omitted for that time.

Note also, that the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, appointed for the Sunday shall serve all the week after, where it is not in this Book otherwise ordered.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

PROPER LESSONS To be read at Morning and Evening Prayer, on the Sundays, and other Holy-days

throughout the Year.

& LESSONS PROPER FOR SUNDAYS.

Evensong.

Isaiah 2

24
26
32

38
43

Sundays of Mattins.
Advent.
1

Isaiah 1
2

5

25 4 Sundays after Christmas. 1

37 2 Sundays after the Epiphany. 2

51 55 57 59

65 Septuagesima. Genesis 1 Sexagesima.

3 Quinquagesima. 9. to ver. 20

Lent.
Sunday 1 19.to ver. 30

27
S

39

43 Exodus 3

46
53
56
58
64

66 Genesis 2

6 12

22 34 42

45 Exodus 5

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »