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This book has been prepared for the use of the Church of the Disciples. The whole of it is from the Bible, with the exception of the Te Deum, and the two first LITANIES, which are from the Warren Street Chapel Liturgy. The Psalms have been carefully prepared, by omitting such passages as were unsuitable for devotional purposes, and improving the translation in some places, where the common version is obscure or otherwise objectionable. Wherever an alteration has been made, in the Psalms or the Selections from the Prophets, it has been done upon the authority of the best modern critics. Noyes and De Wette have been chiefly followed.
The Litanies from the New Testament have been prepared merely by way of an experiment. The object was to see how far the language of the New Testament writers was applicable to our present needs and feelings.
The services throughout have been arranged in accordance with the principle adopted from the first in the worship of the Church of the Disciples. This principle is to endeavor to unite the excellencies of the various modes of worship in use among different denominations. Seeing advantages in the forms of the Episcopal Church, in the silent worship of the Quaker, in the Congregational singing of the Lutheran and Methodist, and in the Extempore Prayer usual in our New England churches, we have endeavored to blend them together in Liturgic forms, which shall be at once rich and free, avoiding the extreme of barrenness and poverty on the one hand, and of stiff formality on the other. We have allowed in these services ample room for variety. We have hoped to set an example which may lead other churches to improve still more upon our forms, until the public worship of our land becomes enriched, and its influence on the soul and heart deepened, by the use of every means which may awaken and uplift the spiritual nature.
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