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attendance at the Sacrifice for Communion. This theory has surely been sufficiently tested during the last two or three hundred years. Christian people have been, practically, driven out of Church at the commencement of the chief and only Divinely appointed act of Christian worship. But has this practice had the effect of leading our people to set a true value on the Holy Eucharist, and to become Communicants? Non-communicating England is the reply. Not one in a hundred, probably, of our people are communicants. Nay, further, the great mass even of church-goers simply ignore the one distinctive Act of Christian worship altogether, and satisfy their consciences by attending at mattins and evensong, and listening to sermons. What they have never seen or joined in, they have learnt to forget.
It is believed, by an increasing number of English Churchmen, that a different and better result may be obtained by returning to a more Catholic practice; and that if our people can be led to remain and worship their Incarnate Saviour in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, they will not long rest until they have also feasted upon their Sacrifice, and tasted and seen how gracious their Lord is.
May the all-merciful God hasten on the time, when the children of the Church in this land shall thus
understand and realize their great and glorious privileges as members of Christ's Body; and when those also who, from whatever cause, are wandering without the Fold of Christ's Church, shall be brought back to their true Home, therein to be fed evermore with the children's Food, even Christ Himself, that “ Living Bread which came down from heaven to give life unto the world.”
G. R. P.
THE HOLY EUCHARIST.
HE Holy Communion, or Holy Eucharist, is
one of the two Sacraments which the Church declares to be generally (i.e. to all persons
in general, without regard to their calling) necessary to salvation.
It is therefore of the greatest possible importance that we should rightly understand the nature of this Sacrament.
In order that we may do this, we have to consider what Jesus Christ came down from heaven to do for us.
He came chiefly to do two things. First, To be a Sacrifice for our sins. Secondly, To give us and preserve in us spiritual life, in and through Himself, as God and man.
The Holy Eucharist is clearly connected with both these objects, because it is the way set up by Christ Himself “for the continual remembrance of the Sacrifice of His death, and of the benefits which we receive thereby;" and also "for the strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the Body and Blood of Christ, even
"as our bodies are” strengthened and refreshed “by bread and wine.”]
Thus in the Holy Eucharist there are two parts:I. A Sacrifice, commemorative of the Sacrifice of the death of Christ, and a means of re-presenting, or, as St. Paul says, “shewing” it to God the Father; and, II. A feast upon the Sacrifice, and called the Holy Communion, because Christ therein communicates, i. e. gives, to Christians His Body and Blood to be their spiritual food and sustenance.
But although in the Holy Eucharist a true, real, and substantial Sacrifice is offered to God the Father, and not merely a spiritual or metaphorical Sacrifice, we must not think that this implies that Christ's Sacrifice, consummated and finished upon the cross of Calvary, was imperfect, or insufficient. No. The Church teaches us that our blessed Lord, by that “One Oblation of Himself which He once offered, made a full, perfect, and sufficient Sacrifice, Oblation, and Satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.”2
We cannot repeat that Sacrifice, in the same way in which it was first offered. Jesus Christ can never die again, and offer in this way a bloody Sacrifice to His heavenly Father. Bloody sacrifices for sin came for ever to an end, when on Mount Calvary the Blood streamed forth from the one true Lamb of God, which alone taketh away the sins of the world. All the sacrifices ordained under the law of Moses came to an end, when the true Sacrifice for us was offered. These Jewish sacrifices were well pleasing
1 Church Catechism. 2 English Communion Service.