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provision is attempted in this publication, we
To avoid interference with the labors of others, and all unnecessary addition to the price of this manual, the offices of the church are not inserted in it. The Book of Common Prayer is in the hands of the most or all of those who will use this: the price of that is now very low; and can be obtained of any size or convenient form. This is not intended as a substitute for the Prayer Book, nor considered as worthy to be bound in the same volume with any parts of it; but is, at the discretion of our people, permitted to be used when the prayers it contains are judged to be appropriate and fitting. My object being not to make a book, but to supply certain prayers that are truly needed, I have been careful not to enlarge the work nor increase its price by the addition of any extraneous matter.
I have endeavored to set forth such as, in my judgment, are most needed for use and edification. That better may be prepared I have
no doubt: till such appear these may be used. They are all designed for occasions of social worship. In private devotions forms are less needed; and many of these may be used by one person in his closet, changing the plural of the pronoun into the singular number.
Though we have, in the Prayer Book, an office for visiting the sick, it is generally allowed that something more is wanted in the performance of that important duty; and many prayers for this purpose have been published and used and it is hoped that what are here published, with some additions for other occasions, will meet with the like indulgence. It will be seen that permission is given to use these forms; but no one is laid under any obligation to do it, who thinks that others are better and more appropriate.
To seek honor for ourselves in praying, or in compiling prayers, would be highly improper and indeed sinful. In preparing these, I seek not the praise of originality; but gladly avail myself of the labors of others. Next after the Holy Scriptures, I have preferred the language of the Book of Common Prayer, and in many instances I have adopted the expressions of other writers. If we have forms of sound words, suitable for those who would unite in God's holy worship, by whom the words were first used is of very little importance, the inspired writings excepted.
With the following prayers, it is understood that the Lord's Prayer, and any others con
tained in the Prayer Book, may be used, at the discretion of the person who conducts the worship. They are offered to the public as helps to devotion; and any use of all, or a part or parts of them, which will have that effect, will be agreeable to what the author desires.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
WITH diffidence and after long delay, was published a manual of prayers adapted to occasions of social worship, for which provision is not particularly and fully made in the Book of Common Prayer. That such a work was needed appears in the call for another edition; and, as it is not known that any other work on a like plan will be given to the public, the author has endeavored, by corrections throughout, and very considerable additions, to render this more suitable for the purpose intended. It was, and still is his humble hope, that such a publication may, through God's blessing, be instrumental in causing prayer to be offered, at times, and on some occasions, when, without suitable forms prepared, it would be neglected; and also in obviating the necessity of extemporary praying, which, in his opinion, is less suitable for social worship.
The church has set forth forms for some occasions of frequent occurrence and general need; but some even of those contained in the Prayer Book are, as almost all allow, defective. Such are those for families, for the sick, and for funerals. In the service for funerals, we
have no prayer appointed to be used at the house of mourning, or in the church. And surely on no occasions do we more sensibly feel the need, and fitness, and comfort of uniting in earnest, appropriate prayer.
The author is aware, that in the opinion of some few of our people, no other forms than those contained in the Book of Common Prayer are, for any occasions, needed. But very many are fully convinced that we should dwell with much earnestness in united prayer for things and on subjects which are but very briefly, if at all, noticed in our Liturgy. That such is the view and intention of our church is evident from her having provided forms for some particular occasions, and given directions for providing others, according as they are needed. The two extremes of wholly rejecting prescript forms, and the using of none but those which the church has already set forth, are departures from that middle course, by which, in this, as in other things, her wisdom is evinced. In the author's belief no one thing has tended more to increase the prejudice against our Liturgy, than the using of it on occasions to which it is not adapted, and for which it was not designed.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
It is with the earnest desire that family devotion may be more generally practised by our people, that so great a number of forms for family prayer is added in this edition.
For the accommodation of those who prefer the Collects of the Prayer Book, a few of them are inserted for the use of Sunday schools.