« הקודםהמשך »
To every conscientious member of the National Church it must afford matter of regret that so much misapprehension prevails respecting her real character and principles ; it being not uncommon to hear cavils and objections urged, which, though distinguished alike by misrepresentation, arrogance of assertion, and ignorance of history, it is difficult for the unlearned, or for those whose attention is engaged in other pursuits, to silence with a ready reply. Many excellent volumes, it is true, have been composed, in which the scoffer has been unanswerably refuted, and the Church exhibited in her real lustre; but these, by their size and price, are precluded from general reach, and are rarely to be met with, save in the library of the divine and scholar : it has consequently occurred to me that a manual on the subject, compiled from them during the intervals of professional duty, might not be without use, and especially that in our times, when attempts are prevalent to instruct the youth of these realms in a medley of religious opinions, tending to render them indifferent to any, a familiar exposition of the “Church's illustrative comment on the Bible” might in its measure prove a counterbalance.
Should any statements throughout the book appear to display hostility to persons of a contrary opinion, such a feeling is far from me. That amiable and enlightened Christian, Bishop Horne, has observed, “He who, in certain cases, gives men no offence, will for that reason give them no instruction. Light itself is painful to weak eyes; but delightful to them when grown stronger and reconciled to it with use : and he who was instrumental in
bringing them to a perfect state of vision, though less acceptable at first, may yet, for his real kindness, be more cordially thanked afterwards, than if he had made the ease and safety of his own person the measure of his duty."
I have employed chiefly the writings of Daubeny, Dodsworth, Fulford, Palmer, Pinder, Riddle; of Bishops Davys, Jebb, Lawrence, Mant, and the “noble army" of authors cited by the latter prelate in his edition of the Book of Common Prayer. In most instances I have quoted them verbatim, usefulness rather than originality being my object. Much aid has been derived also from the tracts entitled Richard Nelson, Stephen's Compendium, Boyd on The Church, The Church of England Magazine, and an excellent little periodical, The Penny Sunday Reader, and when indebted to other publications for an occasional reflection, I have acknowledged the obligation in its proper place.
With heartfelt desire that this essay may subserve the glory of God in the edification of his Church, I conclude in the language of Archdeacon Daubeny, “ Though the office assumed by me on this occasion is not more honourable than that of the Gibeonites, who were but hewers of wood and drawers of water for the service of the tabernacle; yet if by collecting sound and good materials, I shall prove the instrument of conveying useful information upon a subject as little understood as it is generally neglected, I shall hope that the merit of the design will be suffered to atone for the imperfection of the execution.”
G. W. T. Holywood, May, 1840.
at the present day
Character of the liturgies in use before its compilation
The clergy are bound to attend to the rubrics
The laity should do so likewise