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The Apostolical Constitutions, the Ancient
Liturgies, and the Common Prayer Book of the Church of England.
The Publick Offices of the Church.
of Christendom, Greek, Roman, English,
PREFACE TO THE READER.
The following Collection of Devotions is founded upon these two principles.
Ist. That the best method for all Churches and Christians to follow, is to lay aside all modern hypotheses, customs, and private opinions, and submit to all the doctrines, practices, worship, and discipline, not of any Particular, but of the Ancient and Universal Church of Christ, from the beginning to the end of the fourth century; which doctrines, practices, worship, and discipline, thus universally and constantly reccived, could not possibly be derived from any other than Apostolical authority.
2dly. That the Liturgy in the Apostolical Constitutions is the most ancient Christian Liturgy extant; that it is perfectly pure and free from interpolation; and that the book itself, called the Apostolical Constitutions, contains at large the doctrines, laws, and settlements, which the three first and purest ages of the Gospel did with one consent believe, obey, and submit to, and that as derived to them from Apostolical.
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antiquity, universality, and conwere taken in all the Devotional part of
(except a few particulars foreign the same time that I have herein the Common Prayer Book of the
were necessary to complete the design. spoed te pesee than controversy, I waive
the two principles above mentioned :
but lest they should be thought to be not well grounded, and lest any thing that I might say in behalf of them should be misconstrued, or received with prejudice; I have chosen to lay before all devout and impartial Christians, in an Appendix (to which I refer them), some ctracts and Observations, taken from the writings of very eminent and learned Divines of different communions. By the Extracts the first, and by the Observations the second, principle will, I hope, be sufficiently confirmed.