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As the ambassador of Christ. “ God has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation. Now we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us : we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. v. 18. 20.)
41. Does the priest himself remit the sins ?
That God is the sole author of all blessings, spiritual as well as temporal, is undeniable; but that He can declare his gracious assurance of pardon, and convey his blessing to us by what instruments He thinks fit, is no less certain.
42. Repeat the Absolution. Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live ; and hath given power, and commandment, to his Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their sins: He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him, which we do at this present ; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure, and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
43. Shew from Scripture that Almighty God desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live. “ As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” (Ezek. xxxiii. 2.)
44. What power and commandment has God given to his ministers ?
To declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins. “ That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.” (Luke xxiv. 47.)
45. Shew that God pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel.
“ Thou Lord art ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” (Ps. Ixxxvii. 15.)
46. To what purpose do we beseech Him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit ?
Ist. That those things which we do at this present, that is our confession, absolution, prayers, praises, and thanksgivings, and all the services which we perform in the house of God, may be well pleasing in his sight.
2ndly. That the rest of our lives may be pure and holy. “That we no longer should live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” (1 Pet. iv. 2.)
3rdly. That at the last we may come to his eternal joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pet. i. 9.)
47. What shall the people answer here and at the end of all the Prayers ?
They shall answer, Amen-i. e. So be it, we entirely assent to, and approve of what has been said.
48. Repeat the next Rubric. T Then the Minister shall kneel, and say the Lord's Prayer with an
audible voice; the people also kneeling, and repeating it with him, both here, and wheresoever else it is used in Divine Service.
49. Repeat the Lord's Prayer. Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil : For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. For ever and ever.
50. Is this an original prayer formed by our Lord ?
No ; the learned observe that the phrases, and particular sentences of it, are all taken out of those forms which were in use among the Jews in our Saviour's time, excepting only the words, “ As we forgive them that trespass against us ;" and Christ, by adopting these forms, shewed that He liked not unnecessary novelty in prayer.
51. State briefly what the Lord's Prayer contains.
It contains our persuasion of God's love to us, in the acknowledgement that He is, “Our Father ;" it shews our desire for his honour in, “ Hallowed be thy name;" our subjection to his authority in, " Thy kingdom come;" our submission to his will in,“ Thy will be done ;” our dependence on his providence in, “Give us this day our daily bread ;" our need of his mercy in, “ Forgive us our trespasses ;” our dependence on his grace in, “Lead us not into temptation;" and concludes with acts of faith, praise, and adoration in the words, “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.
Amen." 52. When the Lord's Prayer is concluded, what follows ? The
responses ; wherein the priest says one verse and the congregation responds with the following. This was an ancient custom among the Jews, when they recited their hymns and prayers ; was adopted by the primitive Christians, and has been used ever since. The responses should be made by every individual in the congregation. All should shew that they feel a common interest in the prayers and praises by joining in them, both with heart and voice.
53. Repeat the two first responses.
54. Why are the congregation to stand up before they make the two other responses ?
Because they are acts of praise. Upon the supposition that our pardon is granted, we turn our petitions into praises, giving glory to the whole Trinity for the hope we entertain. 55. Repeat the two last responses.
1 Here all standing up, the Priest shall say, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost ;
Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
Priest. Praise ye the Lord. Answer. The Lord's Name be praised. 56. Repeat the next Rubric. I Then shall be said or sung this Psalm following: except on Easter
Day, upon which another Anthem is appointed ; and on the Nineteenth day of every Month it is not to be read here, but in the ordinary Course of the Psalms. 57. Repeat Psalm xcv., called “ Venite,” &c.
Venite, exultemus Domino.
Psalm xcv. O come, let us sing unto the Lord : let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving : and shew ourselves glad in him with Psalms.
For the Lord is a great God : and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are all the corners of the earth : and the strength of the hills is his also.
The sea is his, and he made it : and his hands prepared the dry land.
O come, let us worship, and fall down : and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts : as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness;
When your fathers tempted me: proved me, and saw my works.
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said : It is a people that do err in their hearts, for they have not known my ways.
Unto whom I sware in my wrath : that they should not enter into my rest.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
58. Was this psalm used in the ancient Churches ?
Yes ; throughout the whole Christian world, and the matter of it shews that it was intended for public worship.
59. Repeat the Rubric following. I Then shall follow the Psalms in order as they are appointed. And
at the end of every Psalm throughout the Year, and likewise at the end of Benedicite, Benedictus, Magnificat, and Nunc dimittis, shall be repeated, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy
Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
60. What are the Psalms ?
They are a collection of praises and prayers, indited by the Holy Spirit, composed by holy men, principally by David, on various occasions, and are admirably suited to public worship. They were used in the service of the temple (1 Chron, xvi. 7), and by the Apostles (see 1 Cor. xvi. 26. Col. ii. 16). 61. Have they been used in the Church ever since ?
They have ; in the ages following the Apostles they sang the psalms in the Church by turns, each side answering the other, and they were repeated so often that the poorest Christians could say them by heart, and used to sing them at their labours, in their houses, and in their fields.
62. Repeat the next Rubric. Then shall be read distinctly with an audible voice the First Lesson, taken out of the Old Testament, as is appointed in the Calendar, except there be proper Lessons assigned for that day: He that readeth so standing and turning himself, as he may best be heard of all such as are present. And after that, shall be said or sung, in English, the Hymn called Te Deum Laudamus, daily throughout the Year. 63. Why do we here read the word of God ?
Because our hearts being now raised up to God in praising Him in the Psalms, we are in a fit temper and disposition to hear what He will speak to us by his holy word. 64. Did the Jews read the Scriptures in their synagogues ?
“For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath-day." (Acts xv. 21.)
65. Did our blessed Lord by his presence encourage this custom ?
Yes ; “He came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbathday, and stood up for to read ; and there was delivered unto him the book of the Prophet Esaias.” (Luke iv. 16, 17.)
66. Are all the books of the Old Testament read in the service of the Church ?
No; the Song of Solomon is omitted, because if not spiritually understood, it is not proper for a mixed congregation : many chapters of Ezekiel are left out on account of the great difficulty in understanding them.
67. Are any of the Apocryphal books read ?
Some are, but they are not read as divine writings, but as venerable for their great antiquity, and from the spirit of religion which breathes in them.
68. What does the 6th Article say concerning the Apocryphal books?
“The Church doth read them for example of life, and instruction of manners, but yet it doth not apply them to establish any doctrine."
69. What follows the first Lesson ?
The hymn called the “Te Deum,” or the canticle called “Benedicite omnia opera,” they are so named from the first words of each hymn in the Latin tongue.
70. Are these hymns found in Scripture ?
No; they are the only hymns used in our Church, which are of man's composing. Our Church being careful, even beyond all the ancient Churches, in singing the praises of God, to sing in the words of God.
71. Are these hymns of great antiquity ?
Yes; the “Te Deum” is known to have been used for fourteen hundred years, and the “Benedicite” was an ancient hymn in the Jewish Church, and adapted to Christian worship from very early times. 72. Repeat the “ Te Deum.”
Te Deum Laudamus. We praise thee, O God : we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee: the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud : the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubin and Seraphin : continually do cry,
The holy Church throughout all the world : doth acknowledge thee;
The Father : of an infinite Majesty ;
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man : thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.