AN ORDER OF SCRIPTURE READINGS, FOR THE CHURCH YEAR

“All Scripture is given by inspiration
of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for re-
proof, for correction, for instruction in right-
eousness; that the man of God may be per-
fect, thoroughly furnished unto all good
works.” The reading of the Holy Scrip-
tures in private and as a part of public wor-
ship, was early introduced in the Christian
Church. Bingham says that “Cyril allowed
his catechumens to read no other books in
private but the books of the Old and New
Testament, which he thought they might
safely read, because they were both publicly
read in the Church.” In 1549, according to
Proctor, “the reading of the Scriptures in
the Church was made intelligible by being
continuous, while the appointment of two
chapters, one from the Old, and one from
the New Testament, was a return to the
primitive custom.”

In the Calendar used in the English
Church, the book of Genesis is begun with
the beginning of the civil year, and the
regular order of the books in the Old and
New Testaments is preserved, “omitting
many chapters of Ezekiel, and the Books
of Chronicles, and the Song of Solomon,”
while Isaiah is reserved for the Advent sea-
son. It seems, however, preferable to ar-
range the Calendar with reference to the
ecclesiastical year, so that the reading of
the Scriptures, as well as the general ar-
rangement of church services, may be made
to accord with the needs, uses, and teach-
ings of the Church. The Calendar here-
with given has been kindly translated and
prepared for this work by Dr. Lewis H.
Steiner, from the Evangelical Hymn and
Prayer Book, published, for Church and
Family use, at Hamburg, 1846. The plan
adopted in its preparation is as follows:
During Advent, the history of the Patri-
archs is read for the First, and the pro-
phetic announcements of the appearance of
the Saviour for the Second, Lessons. In
the Christmas and Epiphany seasons, the his-
tory of Moses, Joshua, the Judges and Ruth,
Samuel and Saul, with the Book of Job,
form the First, while the account of the birth,
youth, and ministry of Christ, constitutes the
subject of the Second, Lessons. In Lent, we
read the account of the kings of Judah from
David to Ahaz, and those of Israel from
Jeroboam to Hosea, in the First Lessons;
and the sufferings of Christ in the Second
Lessons.

In the Easter season, the First Lessons
give an account of the history of Judah to
the destruction of Jerusalem, together with
the minor prophets of this period; and the
Second Lessons contain the account of the
Resurrection and Ascension to Heaven of
our Saviour. The remainder of the Church
Year is taken up with the reading of Isaiah,
Jeremiah, and some of the other prophets,
with some of the Psalms, for the First Les-
sons; and the account of the founding of
the Church, its extension and its comple-
tion, as shadowed forth in the Apocalypse,
constitute the Second Lessons.

It is believed that this arrangement will
be found most convenient for private and
family use, giving Scriptural readings ap-
propriate for the various Church seasons.

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