« IndietroContinua »
of purer eyes than to behold iniquity ; and therefore they, desire to sanctify their hearts before Him, and to prepare themselves to enter within the FENCE that is now to be drawn round his holy place.
“ Before, therefore, we advance, let us inquire --What is it that God hath required of us? How read the Commandments and the Law :"
In the Book of Exodus xx. 3, &c. we find these
“ Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
age, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven “ above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is *** in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not 5 bow down thyself to them, nor serve them : for “I the Lord thy God am a jealons God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the “third and fourth generation of them that hate me: “and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that “ love me, and keep my commandments.
“ Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy “ God in vain : for the Lord will not hold him guilts less that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But “ the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy “ God : in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor
thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger “ that is within thy gates : for in six days the Lord “ made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in “ them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the « Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
“ Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land, which, the Lord thy God giveth thee. “Thou shalt not kill. “ Thou shalt not commit adultery. « Thou shalt not steal. " Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
“ Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thok “ shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man“servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.”
Such is the law; and we read, that when it was delivered, there was thunder on Sinai, and the people in fear,“ removed and stood afar off." Let him who is guilty of wilfully and habitually breaking the law, forbear to approach unto this table : Stand back thou profane! But let him who obeys, and who loves the law; come forward : Sit down thou blessed of the Lord!
• Let us next proceed from the Old to the New Testament, from the laws of Moses to the laws of Christ. These are not reduced into a summary ; but their substance is, faith, charity, humility, and holi
We have the character of the blessed in Jesus described particularly by himself in the sermon on the mount,' Matth. v. 3, &c.
“ Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the “ kingdom of heaven.
“ Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be < comforted.
“ Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the e earth.
“ Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after “ righteousness : for they shall be filled.
“ Blessed are the merciful : for they shall obtain mercy.
“ Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see « God.
“ Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be “ called the children of God.
'« Blessed are they which are persecuted for right: " eousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “ Blessed are ye, when men shall
revile you, and “ persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against
you falsely for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceed“ing glad ; for great is your reward in heaven : for so
persecuted they the prophets which were before
* Such is the character of the disciples of Christ ; of those who are worthy to sit down at the Sacrament of the Supper. Let him whose character is opposite, forbear to approach unto this table: Stand back thou profane! But let him who imitates and who loves this character, come forward : Sit down thou blessed of the Lord !
• Some, my brethren, are thus debarred; but the invitation to this fcast is large and generous. All who repent and propose a reformation of life are welcome. Every one that thirsteth is invited to drink. who labour and are heavy laden, are desired to come in, and obtain rest; and he that cometh unto me, saith the Master of the feast, I will in nowise cast cut.
Trusting in the grace of Heaven, let us therefore advance; and in vows of obedience, in songs of love and of praise, partake of the banquet which is prepared. And may He himself be with us, and go before us. May He clothe us this day with the wedding-garment, and his banner over us be love !'
Psalm xxiv. [Upon the giving out of a Psalm, such as this, the Minister de. sires the Elders to bring forward the Sacramental Elements, and the Communicants to take their seats at the Communion Table. The Elders consist of several of the most respectable and exemplary persons of the Parish, and who are regularly ordained to their office, which has a considerable resemblance to that of Church-Warden in England. The senior Elder generally carries the Bread, and the rest follow him with the Wine, Cups, and other Utensils, which, for the most part, are of silver. These are placed at the head of the CommunionTable, which corresponds to the Altar in the Church of England. The whole Communion- Table is covered with linen. The Commu. nicants, agreeably to directions given them on a previous day, approach to the Tables, and, after communicating, retiring from them in such a manner as to avoid
any interference or confusion.]
E gates lift up your heads on high,
8 But who of glory is the King ?
The mighty Lord is this,
And strong in battle is.
Doors that do last for ay,
Of glory enter may.
Of glory? who is this?
The King of glory is.
CONSECRATION PRAYER. [This Prayer is pronounced by the Minister standing at the head of the Communion-Table, to which he has now descended from the Pulpit. And the Addresses to the Communicants, are all after. wards delivered successively at this place.] "TERNAL JEHOVAH! Lord of the heavens and
of the earth, God of glory, we bend before thy throne. Thy children prostrate themselves with holy adoration at thy footstool. The heavens are bright with thy glory. The earth is full of thy praise. The great universe is thy temple. Thy name is Jehovah, who alone hast, of thyself, being and immortality.
“Thou mightest have continued for ever alone, in the enjoyment of thine own perfections, though angels and men had never been. But to extend life, to communicate happiness, and to diffuse joy, thou didst rise froin thy throne, thou raisedst thinc arm over the void, thou spakest this earth into existence, thou madest us after thine own image, and hast watched over us from the beginning of time, even until this
• When we transgressed against thy commandments, and lost our original innocence, thy mercy forsook us not. Thou hadst compassion upon the offspring of Adam.. Thine eye looked with pity, thou didst lay our help upon One who was mighty
Him, in the fulness of time, the Ambassador of peace and reconciliation, and love, thou didst send. Our ears have heard the joyful sound; our eyes have seen the salvation of our God. This is a day of the Son of Man !
Glory be to God, that peace is proclaimed on earth, and good will to the children of men ! Hosanna to the Son of David ! Blessed be he who came in the name of the Highest to save us! Halleluiah, Halleluiah, to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever!
“ God of the patriarchs ! who saw afar off this day which we now commemorate : God of the prophets! who foretold its arrival : God of the righteous men! who desired its approach : God of the evangelists and apostles! who first beheld the day of the Messiah : God of the martyrs and confessors ! who honoured' it with their blood : God of our fathers, who within these walls have kept it in remembrance : God of our children ! who will commemorate it when we shall sleep in the dust: God of time! God of eternity! descend now, make thyself known to us, and fill this house with thy glory.
“ Father Almighty! Creator of the world, great Parent and Preserver of men, who didst contrive the mystery of our redemption, which we now come to commemorate : Son of the Most High ! Redeemer of the world, Intercessor, Friend, and Patron of the human race, who by thy death upon the cross, didst accomplish the mystery of our redemption, which we now come to commemorate : Eternal Spirit ! proceeding from the Father and the Son, Author of the divine life, Comforter of the faithful, Inhabitant of the temple of a pure heart, who dost apply to the penitent the benefits of that redemption which we now come to commemorate,-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! God blessed for ever ; be now present; be now propitious, and hear the prayers of thy people.
“ Thou hast brought us to thy holy mountain ; make us joyful in thy house of prayer. We have coine to thy temple; may we behold thy glory ; may