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THE LITURGY REVISED.
Excellency of the Liturgy-Its Imperfections—Preliminary
Emendations-Arguments for a still further revision of the Liturgy.
No manual of devotion has ever been more generally or more deservedly commended than that of the Liturgy of the Church of England. To adopt the appropriate language of an ancient ritualist—" It is so judiciously contrived, that the wisest may exercise at once their knowledge and devotion; and yet so plain, that the most ignorant may pray with understanding: so full that nothing is omitted that is fit to be asked
in public, and so particular that it comprises most things which we would pray for in private. Its doctrine is pure and primitive; its ceremonies few and innocent; its method exact and natural; its language significant and perspicuous: most of the words and phrases being taken out of Holy Scripture, and the rest the expressions of the first and best ages."*
The characteristic beauties of our Liturgy are still more graphically delineated by the accurate pen of Archdeacon Paley. “ The style,” says he, “ throughout is excellent; calm without coldness; and though every where sedate, oftentimes affecting. The pauses in the service are disposed at proper intervals. The transitions from one office of devotion to another, from confession to prayer,
prayer to thanksgiving, from thanksgiving to hearing of the word, are contrived like scenes in the drama, to supply the mind with a succession of diversified engagements. As much variety is
* Comber on the Liturgy.