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THE Liturgy of the Church of America is drawn from various religious writings, and based on the spirit of the Bible. Its forms of Adoration and Petition, and its summary of christian faith, and christian doctrine, may be tested by the Holy Scriptures, and they demand the close examination of new congregations of faithful men, uniting and forming themselves into a visible church of Christ.
The Book of Common Prayer of this Church is issued with no design, nor with any wish to interfere with the traditions, change the ceremonies, or touch the orders of the Roman or the English, or any other Church of Christ; but it claims the privilege of adopting and using, whatever has been selected from either of them, as the common property of the Holy Catholic, or Universal Church.
It will be perceived that while the plan of the Papist Dr. Murphy is in part introduced, and the principles of the Unitarian Dr. Channing used for the teaching of young children, yet that the ritual of the Church of England is throughout closely followed, and its forms so adjusted as to embrace the largest circle of Christianity.
A leading object of the church is to present a broad platform of religious opinion, on which Christians may stand in amity, and without being called upon to give up or deny the peculiarities of individual. belief, to join in a common worship of Almighty God.
The necessity of allowing to man a liberal range in matters of doctrine, in order to fix him on matters essential, is becoming yearly more apparent, and although error, bigotry and superstition are still abounding, and primitive Christians perhaps hardly recognize their pure and simple religion in many of the dogmas of the present day, yet surely an observant eye may discover signs, which indicate that the hour is not far off when some of them will be rejected.
The Bible is now open to every man, and circulates through the world, for good or for evil, without note or comment. Millions of minds are
at work upon it, and the laity are thus becoming the judges, and sometimes the irreverent critics of our Holy Writ, analyzing, and discussing the ordinances of the Old Testament, and the declarations of the New, and gradually establishing for themselves separate theories of religious belief. It cannot therefore be doubtful that intelligent minds will finally purge their faith of all that is inconsistent with the attributes of a benevolent, and wise, a forgiving, and almighty Being.
Zealous Theorists may not be satisfied with the articles laid down in this Liturgy—they may desire to add others more stringent - but for such, the time is passed-and it is hoped that every Christian man among them, can cheerfully join in the morning and evening worship of Almighty God, in the order offered, giving in his own mind, to the union of our Heavenly Father, our Saviour and the Holy Ghost, the attributes, place, and power, which best accords with his conscience, and the light which is in him. So likewise with the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, all may partake of it in the simplicity of the form presented, yet each communicant retain in the sacrament, his partic
ular interpretation of the words of ou with his own conviction of the nature ments, according to his faith and hope.
Toleration is much needed in the vi country towns of a free community, nute differences of religious faith, wher no neutral ground to stand on, are apt i the pregnant causes of unchristian sti gendering bitter feelings among the fol Christ- dividing them into numerous parties, rendering them unable to p borer worthy of his hire-and finall the village churches, and inflicting so unkindness upon the nearest and dear relations of life.
Religion and morality have suffered now suffer from frivolous disputes, and ing community should remember, tha fearful thing to let the passions of men worship of God.
The same causes are producing the fect in our cities and populous place ritual of the church of America affords for all, and must be a matter of deep in that large and respectable body of m humble christians now in our mids