by Rev T.W. Gilbert
Church Manuals New Series No 3 (Church Book Room Press) - Publication Date not specified
This useful booklet by the late Dr. T. W. Gilbert is reprinted in the present series of “ Church Manuals” in order to meet the constant demand for a brief but comprehensive account of the story of our English Prayer Book. In this new edition several minor alterations have been made, and an Appendix has been added, giving a sketch of Prayer Book history since 1662. F.C
A Short History of the Prayer Book
The Book of Common Prayer is one of the priceless possessions of the English people, and next to the Bible has exercised a paramount influence on the Anglo-Saxon race. Its teaching has moulded our prayers, its services have inspired our devotions, and its phrases have become part of our everyday language. There is no book in the English language - the Bible apart - which has had such a far-reaching influence as the Prayer Book. That influence arises from the fact that the book enshrines some of the most precious truths of the Bible, and that its compilers endeavoured to incorporate in its services something of that spiritual simplicity and directness which is characteristic both of the Church of England and of Christianity itself. The Prayer Book in its present form, however, is the outcome of a long history, and some knowledge of the history lying behind the book is essential if we are to value it as we should.
>> 1. Pre-Reformation Period