Some of the DIFFERENCES and ALTERATIONS In the Present Common-Prayer-Book, FROM The BOOK established by LAW, in quinto & sexto, Edw. 6. and 1 Eliz.

The Kalendar.

THere are sundry Saints daies (although in black Letters) not found in the Books of 5.6. Edw. 6. or 1. Eliz. to the number of 50. and moe. Which however it may seem a small mat­ter, yet Time may turn them into Red Letters, and so claim observance of them. For Dr Cou­sens in his Kalendar (which he calls the Kalen­dar of the Church) in his Book of Devotions, hath put one of them already: viz. St Barnabies. Day, into Red, which, however the Epistle and Gospel for that day, and for the Con­version of S. Paul, be extant in the Service Book; yet, in 2. Edw. 6. and in 5.6. Edw. 6. those Dayes were expunged out of the Cata­logue of Holy Daies.

On Aug. 7. The name of Jesus is put in for an old Holy-day; which, however used in times of Popery (but, under a more gentle Ti­tle Fe [...]) even in 2. as well as in 5.6. Edw. 6. and 1. Eliz. it was ex­pelled. Howbeit, Dr Cousens, in his fore-mentioned Devotions, [Page 2]hath already set down proper Lessons for that day: viz. Mat. 1. and Philip. 2. which sheweth how desirous some are to keep an Holy-day to a Name.

The Order for Proper Lessons.

On Whitsunday, 1 Eliz. the first Lesson at Even. Prayer was Deut. 18. now, that is thrust out, and Wisd. 1. crept into the room. And if we look into the Lessons for Holy-daies, we shall find many Chap­ters of the Canonical Scripture laid aside, and Apocryphal Chapters ordered to be read. See some instances in the Mar­gent, [...]alendar.The New. [...]en. 46.Wisd. 5. [...]en. 47.Wisd. 6. [...]xod. 12.Wisd. 9. [...]xod. 13.Wisd. 12. [...]um. 33.Wisd. 19. [...]b 31.Ecclus. 15. [...]b 32.Ecclus. 19. [...]ccles. 10.Ecclus. 21. [...]ccles. 11.Ecclus. 23. [...]zek. 3.Ecclus. 25. [...]zek. 6.Ecclus. 29. [...]ic. 7.Ecclus. 35. [...]aum. 1.Ecclus. 38. [...]ech. 7.Ecclus. 39. [...]ech. 8.Ecclus. 44. [...]udg. 14.Ecclus. 51. [...]sa 60.Wisd. 1. at the Letter C.

There are sundry other Lessons altered, which I here omit. It is true, the Stat. of 1 Eliz. alloweth one alteration or addition of certain Lessons to be used on every Sunday in the year: but, after mention of some by name, it addeth, And none other, or otherwise. Also in the pre­sent Kalendars, there are four Chapters of Joshua left out, that were in the Kalendars of 5. and 6. Edw. 6. And, on Octob. 13. Judith 15, 16. are appointed now to be read; but no such thing in 5, 6. Edw. 6. Which deserves consideration, seeing so many Canonical Chapters of use, are not at all appointed to be read in publike.

The Rubricks.

The first Page of the present Books, appoint Ministers to use such Ornaments as were of use in 2. Edw. 6. not declaring what those be. The Book established in 5.6. Edw. 6. hath no such order. The Book of Canons, Can. 24. enjoyneth other Ornaments. Here­by Ministers must break that Canon, or the present Rubrick, which the 14th. Canon requireth all to observe. So that the 14th. Canon and the 24th. contradict each other. And neither those Canons, nor that Rubrick, nor this Book, are established by Law.

After the Communion, there are in all Service-Books of 5, 6. Edw. 6. seven Rubricks. Which number remaineth; but, the Third [Page 3]is divided into two, and the fourth wholly lost. In which fourth, the Compilers have solidly and excellently declared in what sense they intended Kneeling at the Communion. The loss whereof hath occasioned much stumbling and offence; yea, much trouble and persecution. That Rubrick was this.

Although no Order can be so perfectly devised, but it may be of some, either for their Ignorance and Infirmity, or else of Malice and Obstinacy, misconstrued, depraved, or interpreted in a wrong part; yet because brotherly Charity willeth that, so much as conveniently may be, Offences should be taken away; therefore we willing to do the same. Whereas it is Ordained in the Book of Common-Prayer, in the Administration of the Lords Supper, that the Communicants, kneeling, should receive the Holy Communion; which thing being well meant for a signification of the hum­ble and grateful acknowledging of the benefits of Christ, given unto the Worthy Receiver, and to avoid the profanation and disorder which about the Holy Communion might else ensue. Lest yet the same Kneeling might be thought or taken otherwise, we do declare, that it is not meant thereby, that any Adoration is done, or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramen­tal Bread and Wine there bodily received, or unto any real and essential Presence there being of Christs natural flesh and blood. For, as concern­ing the Sacramental Bread and Wine, they remain still in their very na­tural Substances, and therefore may not be adored: for, that were Ido­latry to be abhorred of all faithful Christians. And, as concerning the natural Body and Bloud of our Saviour Christ, they are in Heaven, and not here: for it is contrary to the truth of Christs true natural Body to be in moe places than one, at one time.

The Body of the Book it self.

There is a whole Prayer now left out, at the end of the Letany, which was extant in the Books of 5.6. Edw. 6. to be used in times of Dearth or Famine: which was this:

O God merciful Father, which in the time of Heliseus the Prophet, d [...]dst suddenly turn in Samaria, great scarcity and dearth into plenty and cheapness, and extream famine into abundance of victual; have pity up­on us that now be punished for our sins with like adversity. Encrease the [Page 4]fruits of the Earth by thy heavenly benediction; and grant that we recei­ving thy bountiful liberality, may use the same to thy glory, our comfort, and relief of our needy Neighbours, through Jesu Christ our Lord, Amen.

Moreover, there are sundry Prayers (some before, some in King James his time) put into the present Leiturgie; as also some things into the Catechism, which are not confirmed by Parliament. Which Additions (although useful) being not legally ratified, hath imboldened some to make alterations at their pleasure. For instance, The Prayer for the Queen and Royal Family, before the year 1627. began thus; Almighty God which hast promised to be a Father of thine elect and of their seed: but now, thus; Almighty God the fountain of all goodness. Which change was a great Presum­ption, and may seem to imply an exclusion of the Royal Stem out of the number of Gods Elect. This alteration was first made in the Books appointed to be used, about that time, at publick Fasts; and thence, was stollen into the Book of Common Prayer. Of which, no reason can be discovered, unless this; that the word Elect, distasted the favourers of Popish Arminianism.

Likewise the reading Psalms, now thrust into the Common Prayer Books, (pretended to be established by Law) were no part thereof in 5.6. Edw. 6. or in 1. Eliz. For neither of the Books then printed in Folio, for publick use in Churches, had the Psalms in them; but only a direction what Psalms should every day be read; which were accordingly read out of the Bibles then used in Churches. It is therefore, very hard, and unreasonable, to continue that Translation; and, to enjoyn, and tie men to read those abused Psalms, as now they stand in that Book. And it is a great wrong to the people: that Version being very defective and corrupt. Take some instances wherein that differs from the Kings last authorized Translation now only allowed to be read in Churches; as also, from the Original it self.

Psal.
[...]transt. [...]amon­ [...]ok.
28.9. The Lord is my strength. In the new, thus, The Lord is their strength, ver. 8.
  • 37.38. Keep innocency, and take heed to the thing that is right. In the new, Mark the perfect man, and behold the just, ver. 37.
  • [Page 5]58.8. So let indignation vex them as a thing that is raw. In the new, He taketh them away as with a whirlewind, both living and in his wrath, ver. 9.
  • 68.6. Maketh men to be of one mind in an house. In the new, Setteth the solitary in families.
  • 105.28. They were not obedient. In the new, They rebelled not against his word.
  • 107.40. Though he suffer them to be evil intreated. In the new, He poureth contempt upon Princes.
  • 125.3. The rod of the wicked cometh not. In the new, the rod of the wicked resteth not upon the lot of the righteous.

In Psal. 14. there are three whole Verses, which are not in the Original, nor in the revised Translation, nor in the Greek 72. but only in the Popish vulgar Bibles. To excuse it by saying, All those Verses are found together in Rom. 3. is a fig-leaf. For, the A­postle never meant to produce all those words as taken out of one place; but only to collect out of several Texts of the Old Testa­ment, sundry testimonies to prove all men to be sinners. Accor­dingly, he took three Verses out of Psal. 14. one out of Psal. 140. another out of Psal. 10. another out of Isa. 59. All which, the Old Translators unadvisedly thrust into the 14. Psalm, as parts of that one Scripture.

I forbear to mention other Psalms, wherein, sometimes words, sometimes whole verses are left out; and, much of the rest is very improperly and impertinently translated: which in the Leiturgy provided for Scotland, was redressed; yet the Book (for sundry o­ther defects, impertinencies, and redundances) was refused. This makes sport for Papists and Atheists, to find how much our Tran­slations publickly used, do enterfere, and jar; and, how corrupt some of them be.

Thus of the differences between the old Common-Prayer-Books confirmed by Law, and the present Common-Prayer-Books so much magnified and adored, not only by the common sort, but by too many of those who pretend to learning and skill in the Publick Offices of the Church of England; but abuse the people; yea, Magistracy, and God himself therein. For, still the Preface of the Book runs thus, That nothing is enjoyned to be read, [Page 6]but that which is the pure word of God, or that which is evidently grounded thereupon: which (as our bold Masters have ordered the matter) is false, and a meer cheat put upon the people of God.

Having thus given a taste of the differences between the Old and New Books, I hold it needful to shew how unsafe it might be hereupon to conclude no more but this, Then let the present Book of Common-Prayer be compared with the old that was established, and be reformed by it. For, even in the Book that was established by Parliament, there are sundry incongruous and uncomely expres­sions; and, some gross mistakes of the Scripture it self: especial­ly in the Translations of the Epistles and Gospels. Which Tran­slation used in the Book of Common-Prayer, is as antient as the 35. of Hen. 8. (and used first in private Primmars, being transla­ted out of the Mass-Books and other Offices of the Romish Church) for want of a better Translation in the Reign of Edward the sixth. For Example,

When men be drunk. [...]rans-Gosp. on 2 Sund. after Epiph. Epist. on 4 Sund. in Lent. But, in the new, When men have well drunk.

Mount Sinai is Agar in Arabia, and bordereth up­on the City which is now called Jerusalem: a gross mistake both of Scripture, and Topography. The new Translation therefore renders it thus: This Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Hierusalem which now is. He saith not, Mount Sinai is Agar; for, that is not so. But, Hagar is mount Sinai: that is, a represen­tation or figure of it. Nor doth the Apostle say, that mount Sinai in Arabia bordered upon Hierusalem. For, that is false; Arabia being many hundred miles distant from Hierusa­lem. And the Mount whereof St. Paul speaks, was a type of it, not bordering on it.

He was found in his apparel as a man. Epist. on Palm-Sunday. In the new, He was found in fashion as a man. The word is [...] which imports, not apparel, but the [Page 7]form, or figure, which includeth the real sub­stance and true nature of the thing whereof it is a form.

Which is Father of all that is called father in heaven and in earth. Epist. on 16 Sun. after Trin. (Then) the Father, must needs be Father to himself. The new Translation, therefore renders it, Of whom the whole family of heaven and earth is named. So the Original, [...].

Much more might be added, not only against the present unesta­blished Leiturgy, but against that which was confirmed. But this shall suffice. For my intention neither is, nor ever was to destroy, or cast off all Forms: but only to shew some grounds of excepti­on against this. And seeing this is so much cried up, that the most, place all their Devotion and Religion in it, and come lit­tle short of the Israelites in abusing of the brazen Serpent, which by Gods own command, was erected in the Wilderness; Autho­rity may consider whether it be not honourable, safe, and neces­sary to deal with both Books, as Hezekiah did with that Idolized Serpent; and carefully to provide a better in the room; as that good King did, in reforming the whole Publike Service of God: there being now far better means, and fairer opportunities of so doing, than in the times of compiling the Ancient Leiturgy by those Reverend and Renowned Bishops and Martyrs that did compose it.

ROM. 10.22.

Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

FINIS.

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