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Missionary Bishops and Missionaries of Various Branches
Your Committee have had before them the question of providing Books of Common Prayer for converts from heathenism, suitable to the special wants of various countries, and they recommend as follows:
- They think it very important that such books should not be introduced or multiplied without proper authority; and, since grave inconvenience might follow the use of different Prayer Books in the same district, in English and American missions, they recommend that, whenever it is possible, one Prayer Book only should be in use.
- It is expedient that Books of Common Prayer, suitable to the needs of native congregations in heathen countries, should be framed; that the principles embodied in such books should be identical with the principles embodied in the Book of Common Prayer; and that the deviations from the Book of Common Prayer in point of form should only be such as are required by the circumstances of particular Churches.
- In the case of heathen countries not under English or American rule, any such book should be approved by a board consisting of the bishop or bishops under whose authority the book is intended to be used, and of certain clergymen, no less than three where possible, from the diocese or dioceses, or district, and should then be communicated by such bishop or bishops, or by the metropolitan of the province to which any such bishop belongs, to a board in England, consisting of the Archbishops of England and Ireland, the Bishop of London, the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, together with two bishops and four clergymen selected by them, and also to a board appointed by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
- No such book should be held to have been authorised for use in public worship, unless it have [sic] received the sanction of these two boards.
- In any diocese of a country under English rule, all such new books, being modifications or versions of the Book of Common Prayer, should be submitted, after approval by local authority, to the board in England only.
[NOTE: The Lambeth Conference of 1878 did not adopt any formal Resolutions as such. The mind of the Conference was recorded by incorporating the Reports of its five Committees, received by the plenary Conference with almost complete unanimity, into an Encyclical Letter which was duly published. Recommendations embodied in the Committee Reports were evidently accorded equivalent status to formal Resolutions, and they are reproduced here as they appeared in the course of the Encyclical Letter, under appropriate reference.]