« AnteriorContinuar »
supposed to be so read for the purpose merely of announcing in the Church's words, instead of those of the minister, that the Holy Communion is to be administered on the ensuing Sunday or other appointed festival; in which case the whole of the Exhortation ought afterwards to be read at the termination of the sermon. They who use the Exhortation in full immediately after the Nicene Creed, are clearly in error. The Rubricks are sufficiently explicit on the order which is to be followed, and are certainly arranged with the most practical and useful view, directing first, that after the Nicene Creed notice of Communion shall be given, and secondly, that after the sermon or homily the Exhortation to Communion shall be read; thereby making an opportunity for the minister to preach on the subject of the Holy Eucharist, and terminate his discourse with the Church's address. The practical advantage of this arrangement is most apparent, the congregation being first prepared by the notice for the sermon which may follow, and afterwards dismissed with the Church's admonition in their ears, supporting the instruction and authority of the minister, and declaring the importance of receiving the Holy Communion, and the necessity of coming duly prepared. Thus the minds of those present are engaged without interruption, from the rehearsal of the Nicene
Creed to the end of the Morning Service, with reflecting on that duty and the means of duly performing it, which they are called on to discharge for their souls' sake, when they next assemble together on the Sunday following or other feast-day. It may fairly be supposed that the omission in former years has been the ceasing to read the Exhortation, as appointed, after the sermon, in the same manner as was omitted the prayer for the “whole state of Christ's Church militant here on earth ;" the notice only having been continued in its proper place after the Nicene Creed: for the giving notice of Communion, and the reading of the Exhortation, are two distinct things. Doubtless the proper order was observed originally as enjoined by the two Rubricks, which are perfectly consistent with each other, the notice being given before the sermon, and the Exhortation read after it. Now that the whole Exhortation is read in some churches, it is to be regretted that it is not read in the proper place; and they who only give notice, as usual, would do well to read in addition, after the sermon, the entire Exhortation as it stands. But there can be no apology for reading the Exhortation in full immediately after the Nicene Creed. The due order of the Prayer Book being followed, the congregation would then be materially assisted in preparing for Communion, in the manner which is attempted in the present pages.
There are not wanting in the Church abundant “ Companions to the Altar;" and when numerous writers of the highest character for devotion and learning, have in many ages past left manuals for the use of communicants, instructions, meditations, and prayers in the greatest variety, it may seem presumptuous to offer “some new thing” to the notice of the members of an apostolic Church. But the present tract, novel only in its conception, carries any recommendation it may possess from the lips of its own revered parent, the Book of Common Prayer;
that book which is the praise of a living Church, full of the words of eternal life, apostolic in its teaching and devotions, the companion for saints, a daily solace and support for all the weary and heavy laden, who with the inestimable privileges of members of the Saviour's visible body on earth, are aspiring to occupy hereafter some humble abode in His glorious kingdom in heaven. Preparation for this kingdom is not to be distinguished in any respect from that most necessary preparation which these pages are designed to promote, in calling every one to be ready, by prayer, watching, and examination, to partake of "the marriage supper of the Lamb."
PREPARATION FOR THE LORD'S SUPPER,
1 So many as intend to be partakers of the Holy Communion shall signify their names to the Curate, at least some time the day before.
And if any of those be an open and notorious evil liver, or have done any wrong to his neighbours by word or deed, so that the Congregation be thereby offended; the Curate, having knowledge thereof, shall call him and advertise him, that in any wise he presume not to come to the Lord's Table, until he hath openly declared himself to have truly repented and amended his former naughty life, that the Congregation may thereby be satisfied, which before were offended; and that he hath recompensed the parties, to whom he hath done wrong; or at least declare himself to be in full purpose so to do, as soon as he conveniently
Let the penitent proceed in this manner. HEAR what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all that truly turn to him.
Come unto me all that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John ii. 16.
Hear also what St. Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.
Hear also what St. John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ï. ), 2.
Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
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.