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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Exhortation

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The name given to the short addresses in the Prayer Book, beginning, "Dearly Beloved Brethren." The Exhortation was introduced into the Daily Offices in 1552 and 1661. Formerly Morning and Evening Prayer began with the Lord's Prayer, but the Revisers thinking this too abrupt a beginning they introduced the Sentences, Exhortation, Confession and Absolution as a more fitting preparation for the worship that follows. It has been pointed out that this Exhortation was probably inserted under the impression that the people at large were extremely ignorant of the true nature of worship at the time. Five principal parts of worship are mentioned in it: (1) Confession of Sin, (2) Absolution, (3) Thanksgiving and Praise, (4) Hearing God's Word, and (5) Prayer for spiritual and bodily benefits. The Exhortations in the Communion Office were originally set forth in 1548, revised in 1552 and 1661. They were introduced at a time when the laity of the Church of England were in danger of two extremes: First, a total neglect of the Holy Communion which had sprung up during the Middle Ages, and secondly, that fearful irreverence towards the Holy Communion which arose from the dreadful principles held respecting it by the Puritans. In the face of these dangers, these Exhortations were placed where they are, for the instruction of the people as well as for hortatory purposes.


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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Exhortation'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/acd/e/exhortation.html. 1901.

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