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Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall in no wise enter therein.” Luke xviii.
HIS Book is intended only for “ the poor
in spirit.” Very clever persons, or those who think that they are very clever, are cautioned that they will find nothing in it suited to their tastes. The Service here printed is the Church of England's mode of celebrating the only act of public worship commanded by Christ Himself. For Christians it alone is of Scriptural authority. Baptism and Holy Communion represent Spiritual birth and Spiritual food ; all other blessings are subsidiary to these. Other Services, rites, ceremonies, and even Sacraments, are, so to speak, either the ornaments and luxuries of Christian life, or the necessaries of some particular state of it. But Baptism is Spiritual birth, and without Communion a man is a starveling.
HE whole Communion office is a memorial
and representation of our Saviour's sufferings, and of the offering He made of Himself on the Cross.
The priest entering the chancel with his at. tendants reminds us of our Saviour's going up to Jerusalem to offer Himself upon the altar of the
He then kneels down and prays in silence ; this reminds us of our Saviour's prayer for His disciples at His last supper with them.
The choir then sing the introit, or hymn, which reminds us of the hymn which the disciples sang before they accompanied our Saviour into the Garden of Gethsemane.
Here the priest incenses the altar and the acolyte incenses the priest, and the incense may be understood to represent the merit of Christ, for that which gives value, and weight, and dignity to the altar, to the priest, and to the prayers of the congregation, is that they are Christ's, and His merits are there pleaded before the Father by His appointment and in His name ; as also every time we say, through Jesus Christ our Lord, we plead His merits, and these merits (symbolized by the smoke and sweet savour of incense) ascend“ up before God," “ with the prayers of the saints."