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CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF
THE LORD'S SUPPER.
[The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is celebrated in Scotand always upon a Sunday, in the parish church, and, in most places, once only in the year. There is no particular Sunday fixed for this solemnity.
On the Thursday and Saturday before it, and on the Monday after it, there is public worship ; and Sermons are preached upon subjects suitable to the occasion. The Thursday is particularly set apart fór solemn fasting ; and no labour is that day per: mitted in the parish. The greater part of persons of all ranks in the parish, who have arrived at the years of discretion, join in celebrating this Ordinance, which, partly from this cause, and partly from its taking place but once or twice a year, is performed in a manner that is very solemn and devout:
The Service begins with the singing of a Psalm ; which the Mitister reads out immediately upon ascending the pulpit. The choice of the Psalms is, in all cases, at the Minister's discretion ; and, to give the Sacramental Service more completely, some portions, which are often sung on such occasions, are inserted here, in their places. The music is entirely vocal. In a few Congregations there is music in parts ; but, in general, the whole Congregation sing in unison. The Psalm tunes are set to slow time : thé melody is simple, grave, and often very affecting.]
To thee vows paid shall be.
All Aesh shall come to thee.
Prevail against me do ;
Them purge away shalt thou.
And mak'st approach to thee,
May still a dweller be:
We surely shall be satisfy’d
With thy abundant grace,
Ev'n of thy holy place.
PRAYER. [In the Worship of the Scottish Church, the whole Congregation rise from their seats at the beginning of the prayer, and stand in a devout posture till it be concluded.]
“ Lord God ALMIGHTY! Which was, which is, and which art to come! Thou art the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God. All perfections adorn thy nature ; every attribute of Majesty supports thy Throne.
The heavens are thine ; thou hast made them bright with thy glory : The earth also is thine ; thou art the Lord of universal nature. Thou dwellest in that uncreated light, which mortal eye hath not seen, nor can see.
Thousands of angels and of blessed spirits stand before thee: Ten thousand times ten thousand minister in thy presence, and perform thy pleasure. The whole host of heaven worshippeth thee.
"Thou hast formed the mountains, and created the wind. With thee are the treasures of the snow, and the chambers of the bail. Thou makest thy pavilion in the dark cloud : Thou sittest on the multitude of waters ; Thou walkest on the wings of the wind ; and thy voice in the storm makes the nations adore. The sons of men, generation after generation, return to the dust from whence they were taken. The heavens which we behold shall vanish like the cloud which covers them; the earth which we inhabit, shall dissolve like the snows upon its surface; but independent of change, of the revolutions of time, and of the fate of worlds, thou continuest the same, immortal, unalterable, the Ancient of days, froin everlasting to everlasting God.
“ Thou hast given commission unto all thy works, to declare their Maker. The light of heaven reveals to our eyes thine existence : Our ears hear the voice of universal nature proclaiming the Providence which sustains what it made. Thou walkest in the circle of the universe. Thy footsteps are everywhere seen ; Thyself, the invisible God. How powerful is that arm which supports the pillars of the firmament, and keeps the wheels of nature in perpetual motion ! How unsearchable that wisdon, which, from the first of time, has conducted all nature? How boundless that goodness which supplieth the wants of the whole creation ! How precious are thy thoughts of grace to the children of men ?
“ Thine is the power and the victory, and the majesty. Whatsoever pleaseth thee, that thou dost in the heavens, and in the earth, and in the sea, and in all deep places. Thou weighest the mountains in scales; thou takest op the isles as the dust of the ba- . lance ; the nations are as the drop of the bucket before thee. At thine altar, Labanon is not sufficient to burn; nor the cattle upon a thousand hills, to be a burnt-offering
“ Thou inhabitest time and eternity, and the praises of Israel. Thy goings forth hath been of old ; thy love to the human race before the birth of time. Ben fore the mountains were brought forth, when no deep arose from beneath, and no fountains abounded with water, even then were we present to thy mind. Thou didst rejoice in the earth that was to be inhabited, and thy delights were with the children of men. thank thee for the rank thou hast assigned us in tly creation. Thou hast given us a portion of thine own light ; thou hast opened to us the source of intellectual joy, and hast made us capable of becoming fit for heaven, and like unto thee. Above all, we rejoice in Jesus Christ, who redeemed us from death, and washed away our sins in his own blood.
As we come now before thee to commemorate the sacrifice of the Lamb which was slain from the foundation of the world, we recal with joy what ajia cient days beheld, and the wonders thou didst work
of old. To the fathers thy presence appeared, and to the prophets, thine inspiration was given. On mount Sinai thou didst descend to give the law, by types and figures thou didst shadow forth good things whichi were to come. In thiese last days thou hast spokeni unto us by thy Sor. Thon bast performed thy holy covenait; and raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of thy servant David. Our souls do magnify the Lord ; our spirits now rejoice in God our Saviour.
“ But whilst we adore thy goodness and mercy, we lament our own unworthiness and guilt. We are less than the least of all thy mercies. We are transgressors from the birth. We are unworthy to lift up our eyes to the place where thine honour dwelleth. Thou whose pure eye discerns darkness in the sun, and charges thine angels with folly, thou beholdest the multitude of our iniquities. We have sinned, and what shall we answer unto thee, O thou who triest the heart! We have neglected the good which it was in our power to perform, and done the evil front which we should have abstained. Deaf to the voice of wisdom we have turned aside unto folly ; forgetting heaven and immortality, we have set our affections upon the earth ; we have looked up to the fa-shion of the world, rather than to thy laws. Alas ! when we consider what we might have been ; when we think upon the talents that we have abused, the means of improvement that we have neglected, the opportunities of doing good that we have lost ; when we reflect how long it was before we began to form a serious thought ; we tremble at the foot-stool of thy justice.
We confess our sins to thee, O Lord ! Our iniquities are now before us. Thou who knowest the heart; thou who knowest the sorrow of our souls. Trampling upon conscience, undervaluing the joys of heaven, and braving the pains of hell, we have surrendered ourselves to delusions, which, under the colour of good, have left us to misery and remorse.
We have turned our glory into shame; we have de faced thine image, and the lineaments of heaven. Woe unto us : for we have sinned. Every way have we sinned; ungrateful for mercies bestowed; insensible of blessings promişed ; impatient under the smallest evils; provoking the friend who loves us ! Our condemnation is aggravated, when we think against whom we have sinned! Hadst thou been a hard master, less had been our crime, and less had been our sorrow; but we have offended against the most indul, gent goodness, against the tenderest mercy, against the fondest love.
“ O Thou who madest us, have mercy upon us ! O Thou who redeenest us, lift up again the light of thy countenance! God of infinite perfection, we humble ourselves before thee in the dust! Suppliant at thy throne, we plead for mercy! In the meritori, ous life, in the atoning death, in the prevalent intercession, of our great High Priest, we place our claims for life, and our hopes of salvation. Hide not thy face, O God! Shut not thine ears against the prayer of the miserable. Shine forth in our redemption, and let thy glory appear in saving thy people from their sins.
“ By thy goodness which created the world, by thy tender mercies which are over all thy works, by the love which moved thee to redeem mankind by the death of thine own Son, --save us, we beseech thee save us, o God, from our sins! Have mercy upon us, O Lord ! O Lord I have mercy upon us !
See, O Father! the tears of thy children. Wea. ry and heavy laden with sin, we come unto thee, O blessed Jesus! that we may find rest unto our souls. At thy feet, great Patron and Protector of the human race, we lay ourselves, and pray
and salvation. We come again unto thy altar, to seal our vows of new obedience.
Why are our hearts cast down, and our spirits disquieted within us? Thou art mighty to save; we still hope in thee ; our fathers trusted in thee, and