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Apostle, hast taught us to make prayers and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; We humbly beseech thee, most mercifully [* to accept if there be no alms or gur alms and oblations, and] to receive words Lof accepting our these our prayers, which we offer unto left unfaid. thy Divine Majesty ; beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: and grant that all they that do confess thy holy Name, may agree in the truth
of thy holy Word, and live in unity and godly love. We beseech thee also to save and defend all Christian Kings, Princes, and Governors; and especially thy servant GEORGE our King; that under him we may be godly and quietly governed: and grant unto his whole Council, and to all that are put in authority under him, that they may truly and indifferently minister justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion and virtue. Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops and Curates; that they may both by their life and dcetrine set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments. And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace; and especially to this Congregation here present; that with meek heart, and due reve
Almighty &c.] In the Liturgy of St. Chryfoftom, there is a prayer before the confecration, very similar to this. It was adopted into the communion fervice in its present dress, in Edward VIth's second book, (to the petition, “And we also bless &c.” which was added 1662) and preceded by this rubric: “Then shall the church wardens, or some other by them appointed, gather the devotion of the people, and put the fame into the poor man's box; and upon the offering days appointed every man and woman shall pay to the curate the due and accustomed offerings."
Oblations] It is frequently a matter of doubt with the clergy, whether or not this word should be introduced or omitted by the ininister in the performance of the Holy Communion; those who omit it, considering it to refer to the perquisites which the clergy anciently received for saying mass, or, in other words, adminiftering the facrament; for till the fourth century the church had no fixed revenues, nor any other means of subsistence than the voluptary oblations which were offered for the support of its minifters, principally upon these occasions. But those clergymen are probably right who introduce the word, as it appears to apply to the elements themselves, which are oblata, or offered to the Lord; according to that injunction in the African Canons: "Ut in Sacramentis Corporis et Sanguinis Domini, nihil amplius offeratur, quam quod ipfe Dominus tradidit, hoc est, panis et vinum aquâ mixtum." Conc. Afric. Can. iv. Ap. Crab. tom.i. p. sog.
rence, they may hear and receive thy holy Word, troly serving thee in holinefs and righteousness all the days of their life. And we inost humbly befeech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all them, who in this transitory life are in trouble, forrow, need, fick. ness, or any other adversity. And we also bless thy holy Name, for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly Kingdom: Grant this, O Farber, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
When the Minister giveth warning for the celebration of the Holy Communion, ( which he shall always do upon the Sunday, or fome Holy-day, immediately preceding;) after the Sermon, or Homily ended, he shall read this Exhur. tation following
day next, I purpose, through God's affistance, to administer to all such as shall be religiously and devoutly disposed, the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; to be by them received, in remembrance of his meritorious cross and paflion; whereby alone we obtain remission of our lins, and are made partakers of the kingdom of hearen. Wherefore it is our duty to render most humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, for that he hath given his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, bu also to be our fpiritual food and fuftenance in that holy Sacrament. Which being so die vine and comfortable a thing to them who receive it worthily, and fo dangerous to them that will presume to receive it unworihily; my duty is to exhort you in the mean season to consider the dignity of that holy Mystery,
When the minister! This rubric was inserted at the laft review 1662. In Edward VIth's first book, there were but two instead of three exhortations; the one which is now read at the celebration of the Coinmunion, (which stands first in order) and another fimilar in fense, but differiog in words, to the first exhortation in our books; both thefe came immediately after the creed. The second exhortation was added at the review in Edward Vith's reign, 1552 ; but very differently worded to the prefent one. At the last review in Charles Ild's reign, 1662, they were both altered and arranged as they now ftand.
and the great peril of the unworthy receiving thereof; and lo to search and examine your own consciences, (and that not lightly, and after the manner of dissemblers with God; but so that ye may come holy and clean to such a keavenly feast, in the marriage-garment required by God in holy scripture, and be received as worthy partakers of that holy Table.
The way and means thereto is; First, to examine your lives and conversations by the rule of God's commandments: and wherein soever ye shall perceive yourselves to have offended, either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail your own sinfulness, and to confess yourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life. And if ye shall perceive your offences to be such as are not only against God, but also against your neighbours; then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them; being ready to make reftitution and satisfaction according to the uitermost of your powers, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other; and being likewise ready to forgive others that have offended you, as ye would have forgiveness of your offences at God's hand: for otherwise the receiving of the holy Communion doth nothing else but increase your damnation. Therefore if any of you be a blafphemer of God, an hinderer or slanderer of his Word, an adulterer, or be in malice or envy, or in any other grievous crime; Repent you of your fins, or else come not to that holy Table; left after the taking of that holy Sacrament, the devil enter into you, as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction both of body and soul.
And because it is requisite, that no man should come to the holy Communion, but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore if there be any of you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requirerh further comfort or counsel; let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned Minister God's Word, and open his grief; that by the miniltry of God's holy word, he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the quiering of his conscience, and avoiding of all Icrople and doubtfulness.
Or, in caje he shall see the people negligent to come to the
Lord's which, in God's behalf, I bid you all that are here present; and beseech you for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, that ye will not refuse to come thereto, being so lovingly called and bidden by God himself. Ye know how grievous and unkind a thing it is, when a man hath prepared a rich feast, decked his table with all kind of provision, so that there lacketh nothing but the guests to sit down; and yet they who are called, without any cause, most unthankfully refuse to come. Which of you in such a case would not be moved? Who would not think a great injury and wrong done unto him? Wherefore, most dearly beloved in Christ, take ye good heed, lest ye withdrawing yourselves from this holy Supper, provoke God's indignation against you. It is an easy matter for a man to say, I will not communicate, because I am otherwise hindered with worldly business. But such excuses are not so easily accepted, and allowed before God. If any man say, I am a grievous sinner, and therefore am afraid to come: wherefore then do ye not repent and amend? When God calleth you, are ye not ashamed to say, ye will not come? When ye should return to God, will ye excuse yourselves, and say ye are not ready? Consider earnestly with yourselves how little such feigned excuses will avail before God. They that refused the feast in the Gospel, because they had bought a farm, or would try their yokes of oxen, or because they were married, were not lo excused, but counted unworthy of the heavenly feast. I, for my part, shall be ready; and according to mine office, I bid you in the Name of God, I call you in Christ's behalf, I exhort you, as ye love your own salvation, that ye will be partakers of this holy Communion. And as the Son of God did vouchsafe to yield up his soul by death upon the cross for your salvation; so it is your duty to receive the Communion in remembrance of the facri. fice of his death, as he himself hath commanded : Which
if ye shall neglect to do, consider with yourselves how
Communicants being conveniently placed for the re-
to come our Saviour Chrift, must consider how St. Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament; (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us:) So is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily. For then we are guilty of the body and blood of Christ our Saviour; we eat and drink our own damnation, not considering the Lord's body; we kindle God's wrath against us; we
At the time] The practice of exhorting the congregation immediately before adminiftering the facrament was of great antiquity, In the ancient Greek church, the priest, standing upon the steps of the altar, with a loud voice and significant gefture, invited all present who were worthy, to receive; and those who were not prepared, to depart.--St. Chrys. in Heb. Hom. ix. in Ethic. tom. iv. 529. In the first book of Edward VIth, after this exhortation, came the following rubric: “ In the cathedral churches, or other places where there is daily communion, it shall be sufficient to tead this exhortation above-written once a month; and in parish churches, upon the week-days it may be left unsaid.”
Conveniently placed] In the ancient Christian church it was the pracrice for the male and female communicants to be separated from each other, and to receive the communion apart. This usage continued at the reformation,
as appears from a rubric cited from Edward VIth's first book
in a former note.