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am I also convinced that to approach Holy Communion without endeavouring, by due preparation, to make myself worthy in the way that I can, is a grievous tempting of God, and may lead to a dangerous downfal ?
Do I feel that the Church, warning me of this peril by her minister, should command my most affectionate regard ; and do I begin to perceive that obedience to the Church's teaching is a great safeguard to the soul ? my duty is to exhort you in the mean season to consider the dignity of that holy mystery, and the great peril of the unworthy receiving thereof;
Do I regard Holy Communion, not merely as a rite or ceremony, but as a great and dignified mystery, my calling to which is likewise dignified? And do I see the dignity of it to consist in the mysterious and inexplicable work by which God is pleased to reconcile the world to Himself in the body and blood of His only Son,-a doctrine which I receive in faith without asking for any explanation, and in just submission to His sovereign will ?
Do I account the consideration of the dignity of the mystery, and of my calling to it, to be an important part of due preparation? And do I feel the omission of such consideration, or the passing over it lightly, to be a great peril ; and that want of proper reflection on the Divine goodness and mercy with respect to this mystery, may entirely impede the worthy reception of it?
Do I patiently and gladly consent to devote time to this part of the preparation, in the conviction that time so spent cannot be better spent ? And, for this purpose, do I set apart a portion of time between the day of notice given for communion and the day fixed
for receiving it; or do I foolishly suffer negligent and irregular habits, worldly concerns or recreations, to interfere with this purpose ?
Do I excuse myself on account of fatigue or listlessness from pursuing regularly the preparation to which the Church directs us; or do I readily and thankfully, as I ought, avail myself of these stated opportunities for self-examination, confession, prayer, and reading of Scripture, as John vi. 27 to the end, i Cor. xi. 17 to 33, and chapters xii. xiii. xv., and Rev. xix. 1 to 10 ? and so to search and examine your own conscience, (and that not lightly, and after the manner of dissemblers with God; but so) that ye may come holy and clean to such a heavenly Feast, in the marriage-garment required by God in Holy Scripture, and be received as worthy partakers of that holy Table.
Am I prepared to meet all the shame and selfreproach of a strict self-examination, knowing that to dissemble with God is to add sin to sin ? And do I desire to come holy and clean to such a heavenly feast, convinced that the appointed means for so coming is to confess my sins before God, in faith, with a full purpose of amendment ?
Am I ready to read carefully and digest Matt. xxii. from verse 11 to the end of verse 14 ; and to see also what St. Paul says on this passage of the gospel in Ephes. iv. from verse 17 to verse 24 at the least, or to the end of the chapter ?
Do I again in this place advert to the true signification of unworthiness with regard to communicating ? If I am not satisfied in the sense I have been taught above, have I read over the prayer in the Communion Office appointed to be offered by the priest, beginning, “ We do not presume ?”
Do I stedfastly resolve, by God's help, to continue this preparation to-morrow, and in the same trust, to complete it before Communion-day ?
Let us pray.
Almighty God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life ; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.—Collect for the second Sunday after Easter.
O Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which tħou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.—Collect for the fourth Sunday after Easter.
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. Amen.
O Saviour of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us, Save us, and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.—Office for Visitation of the Sick.
2 Cor. xiii. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.
4 Let the penitent, standing, begin with these sentences of the Scriptures that follow. When the wicked man turneth
from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Ezek. xviii. 27.
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him: neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws which he hath set before us. Dan. ix. 9, 10.
I will arise, and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. St. Luke xv. 18, 19.
that have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us: but, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
If we say
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 St. John i. 8, 9.
Let us pray.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. 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. Amen.
O Lord, we beseech thee, mercifully hear our prayers, and spare all those who confess their sins unto thee; that they, whose consciences by sin are accused, by thy merciful pardon may be absolved ; through Christ our Lord. Amen.-Collect in Commination Service.
Rising from prayer, let the penitent here resume his self-examination after the following manner.
Am I seriously disposed and anxious to repent, in order that I may be a meet partaker of Holy Communion ?
The way and means thereto is; First, to examine your lives and conversations by the rule of God's commandments;