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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
CROSBY, Nichols, & Co., in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts
This Book of Worship is founded on the Service Book prepared in 1844 for the use of the Church of the Disciples, in Boston. The present volume, being intended for wider use, omits all that was special to that particular body. The Psalms are rearranged; a Communion Service and Marriage Service are added ; and other alterations and additions made, which, it is hoped, will increase its usefulness.
The chief difficulty has been felt in revising the Psalms. The common version, the language of which is connected with such sacred associations, is the basis of the selection. But this translation, in some places, is confessedly false, its language in others palpably antiquated or unfortunate; some altera
tions were a matter of necessity. It cannot conduce to the edification of Christian worshippers to read, with however much solemnity, “ Moab is my wash-pot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe"; - nor to declare concerning our enemy, “ Happy shall he be who dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” Parts must be omitted, and of the parts retained some words must be here and there altered, to give a truer meaning and juster expression. In such cases, I follow Noyes and DE WETTE; two as high authorities as I could have access to. For any correction of the sense they are alone responsible. But I have sometimes, though rarely, adopted some different, but synonymous term, which seemed to give a better flow. The principle on which I have proceeded in such cases is difficult to state, it being mostly an affair of taste, in which, after all my care, I may have erred.
I ought to say, for the encouragement of those societies who may think of adopting this form, that it was used by the Church of the Disciples for six years, with growing satisfac
tion and interest. The experiment of trying such a service was in our case wholly succeszful. If any one ever wished to return to the old Congregational form, I never happened to hear of it.
If a congregation generally take part in this service; if they connect it with congregational singing; if the person who conducts the worship feels free to vary occasionally by introducing extempore prayers, suited to special occasions and experiences, — the interest of the service will be proportionally increased.