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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 opposites 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. They 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 out.
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 der 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.] 7
up your heads on high,
8 But who of glory is the King ?
The mighty Lord is this,
And strong in battle is.
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 afterwards delivered successively at this place]
TERNAL JEHOVAH! Lord of the heavens and
of the carth, 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 day.
* When we transgressed against thy commandinents, 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 to save. 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 : Goil 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 come to thy temple; may we behold thy glory; may
the beauty of our God be upon us, and make all thy goodness to pass before us. Open unto us the foun, tain of life, that we may drink and live. Now com, mand the blessing, even life for evermore.
“ May these elements of bread and wine, which in the name, and by the authority, of the Lord Jesus Christ, we now set apart to represent his body and blood, convey to the faithful the grace of the new covenant. May the bread become the bread of life ; may the fruit of the vine be a foretaste of that wine which is for ever new in the kingdom of the Father. Eating of this bread, and drinking of this cup, may we never after hunger or thirst again. Hear, O God, these our humble praises and prayers, May they now ascend before thee with acceptance from this table, upon which are the emblems of the Lamb sacrificed, to the throne of the Lamb reigning in glory, Now, to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be all glory, and honour, dominion, and power, time without end. Ainen.”
ADDRESS TO COMMUNICANTS BEFORE AND AFTER
THE SERVICE OF THE TABLES. [Service of Tables, is the homely phrase which has been long used, and is still retained upon this occasion. It strictly refers to the distribution of the Elements by the Elders, It has been improperly extended to the Addresses made by the Minister ; for the Minister, în reality, only gives the Elements to the two communicants who sit nearest on each hand. The Elders administer them to the rest,
At the first Table, the Minister immediately upon concluding the Consecration Prayer, usually proceeds to read the words of the Institution, and without adding more, to distribute the Elements. But before the Service of the succeeding Tables, Addresses at some length are made to the Communicants,
Before the Service.]
example, and in the words of our Lord to distribute among you the symbols of his body broken, and of his blood shed. The sacred warrant was received of the Lord, and has been delivered unto uş.
[Service.] “ The Lord Jesus, that night on which he was be“ trayed, took bread, and having given thanks,” (as we have already done in his name), “ he brake it, “and gave it unto his disciples, saying, Take, eat ;
(Here the Minister gives the Bread), this is my body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”
[After a short Pause.] " In like manner also after
he took the cup, " and
gave it unto his disciples,” (Here the Minister gives the Cup), “ saying, this cup is the New Testa* ment in my blood, shed for the remission of the sins “ of many ; drink ye all of it. For as often as ye eat “ of this bread, and drink of this cup, ye do shew the « Lord's death until he come again.”
[After the Service.] “ Draw near, my soul, and behold this great sight! Thy Saviour, the Son of God, and equal to God, in agony upon the cross !
“ Communicants ! that agony was for you. It was to save you
from the wrath to come. It was to restore you to the favour and image of God; and to present you one day before Heaven, a glorious Church, perfect in the beauty of holiness.
“ Forbid it, o Communicants, that you should e. ver be of that number who crucify the Lord afresh, and by your ungodly lives dishonour that name by the which you are called. The religion of Jesus may be attacked by its enemies, but it can only be hurt by its friends. Much, therefore, O Christians, depends upon you. The sincerity of your faith, the truth of your religion, and the honour of your Master, are at stake. Shew to the world the Divinity of