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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
THE History and Rationale of the Book of Common Prayer are subjects which have been already treated by numerous writers of distinction. At the time, however, when the present series of Manuals was projected in the hope of supplying wants expressed on every side by students in Theology, it did not appear that any one of the existing volumes, taken singly, was available for the desired object. During the greater part of the past century, Wheatly's Rational Illustration has been the chief source of knowledge on liturgical subjects. But in the course of the last twenty years the whole question has been re-opened by divines of greater learning and more accurate research ; and it is mainly with the view of epitomizing their extensive publications, and correcting by their help the errors and misconceptions which had obtained a currency amongst us, that the present volume has been put together. The materials out of which it is composed lie scattered in the older works of Strype, Nicholls', and Comber”, and in those of more
· Nicholls, Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer, 2d ed. 1712.
Comber, Companion to the Temple, 2 vols. 1701. Bishop Spar
row's Rationale has not been referred to, from the feeling that that excellent little volume will be in the hands of every student.