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ISSERTATION on the Ancient Service Books of the
Absolution, and Reconciliation
66 ad visitandum Infirmum
A Dissertation upon the Ancient Service Books of the Church
HERE is no subject which earlier calls upon the attention of the inquirer into the history of the Liturgy, the Divine Offices,. and Ritual of the Church of England, than this: viz. the number of, and distinctive differences between the books in which anciently that Ritual was contained. In modern days the limit is small indeed: one volume, and that not a large one, under the comprehensive title of the Book of Common Prayer, includes the daily worship of the people, the liturgy, the occasional offices, the ordinal, and the rubrics, which her ministers are to observe.
But the student cannot make one step beyond the middle of the xvith century, before he meets with the names at least, of many Service Books: the titles, for example, of Missal, Breviary, Horæ, Manual, Pontifical, sometimes according to the Use of one Church, sometimes of another; now of York, and now of Sarum, and then of Hereford; tell him as plainly as word can speak, how different the case was in earlier years,