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direction puts us in mind, in the very act of receiving, of one great end of this ordinance, to feed on Christ in our hearts by faith, with thanksgiving. “When the Minister says, Take, eat, Drink ye
all of it, let us think how freely God offers Christ to us, and how earnestly he presses us to accept of him as our Saviour.” And surely, as we have fresh need of pardon every time that we communicate, so should we afresh seek an interest in our Saviour's righteousness, and the washing and cleansing of his most precious blood.
Such thoughts as these may suitably engage our minds.
At taking the Bread.
fice to God.
At drinking the Wine.
mourn for my many sins that pierced him.
The Post COMMUNION, or service immediately after receiving, begins with repeating again the Lord's Prayer.
OUR Father, which art in our trespasses, as we forgive heaven, hallowed be thy name. them that trespass against us.
kingd come. Thy will And lead us not into temptabe done in earth, as it is in tion, but deliver us from evil. heaven. Give us this day our Amen daily bread. . And forgive us
This Prayer, after such services as have been described, may well affect us with new feelings, leading us to call on our Heavenly Father with a peculiar measure of the spirit of adoption.
One of the two following prayers are they offered up.
O Lord and heavenly Father, Almighty, world without end. we thy humble servants entirely Amen. desire thy fatherly goodness
Or this. mercifully to accept this our ALMIGHTY and eversacrifice of praise and thanks- living God, we most heartily giving; most humbly beseech- thank thee, for that thou dost ing thee to grant, that by the vouchsafe to feed us, who have merits and death of thy Son duly received these holy mysJesus Christ, and through faith teries, with the spiritual food in his blood, we and all thy of the most precious Body and whole Church, may obtain re- Blood of thy Son our Saviour mission of our sins, and all Jesus Christ'; and dost assure other benefits of his passion. us thereby of thy favour and And here we offer and present goodness towards us; and that unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, we are very members incorpoour souls and bodies, to be a rate in the mystical body of reasonable, holy, and lively thy Son, which is the blessed sacrifice unto thee; humbly company of all faithful people; beseeching thee, that all we, and are also heirs through hope who are partakers of this holy of thy everlasting kingdom, by communion, may be fulfilled the merits of the most precious with thy grace and heavenly death and passion of thy dear benediction. And although we Son. And we most humbly be unworthy, through our beseech thee, O heavenly manifold sins, to offer unto thee Father, so to assist us with thy any sacrifice, yet we beseech grace, that we may continue thee to accept this our bounden in that holy fellowship, and do duty and service; not weigh- all such good works as thou ing our merits, but pardoning hast prepared for us to walk our offences, through Jesus in, through Jesus Christ our Christ our Lord; by whom, Lord; to whom, with thee and and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, be all honour the Holy Ghost, all honour and and glory, world without end. glory be unto thee, () Father | Amen.
These prayers petition for the confirmation of our forgiveness, and of all other benefits of Christ's passion, and ask for gracę to continue in the holy fellowship to which we have been admitted. They are
expressive of the feelings of a mind which came indeed with a load of guilt and bondage on the conscience, but goes away pardoned, peaceful, and free. There is an opposite danger to that of self-righteous dependence on the Sacrament, that of having too slight thoughts of its utility. Milner observes, “ well-disposed persons who often gain both spiritual comfort and strength through sermons, gain nothing from the Sacrament. Why is this? They are in too lazy a posture of soul; they do not reverently esteem, as they should, this precious mean of grace, as the channel in which the comforts of salvation may be expected richly to flow. Our Reformers speak differently of the importance of this Institution. From the expression, • dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us, and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, it is evident that the blessing of assurance was in their idea connected with the right reception of this ordinance." Yet many who obtain not the full assurance of hope, seeking the Lord in earnest, still gain some increase of faith, hope, and love. The consecration here made of ourselves to be * a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice to God,' comes with great propriety after the memorial of such mercies. It is according to that exhortation of St. Paul,-1 beseech you, therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice. The love of God in Christ Jesus, when brought home to the heart by the Holy Spirit, never fails of its efficacy in influencing a man to give himself upreservedly to God.
The concluding hymn of praise is the following sublime thanksgiving.
Then shall be said or sung,
Thou that takest
O Lord, the only begotten only art the Lord : thou only,
This hymn seems to unite the seraphic praise of the glorified hosts above, with the deep abasement of the contrite heart on earth. We here cupy the example of our Saviour, who sang a hymn after the institution of the Lord's Supper. O had we a due sense of our privileges as sons of God, and our prospects as heirs of his glory, with what rapturous emotion, joined to. what deep humility, should we sing this song!
The minister closes the whole with this BLESSING :
THE peace of God, which Christ our Lord: and the bles. passeth all understanding, sing of God Almighty the keep your hearts and minds in Father, the Son, and the Holy the knowledge and love of Ghost, be amongst you and reGod, and of his Son Jesus main with you always. Amen.
This blessing seems to include the main benefits of both Dispensations; that of Moses, (Numb. vi, 24-26.) and that of the Lamb, (John xiv, 27; Phil. iv, 7.) It is a parting prayer that the benefits which we have just received and commemorated, may abide in our hearts for ever.
Enquire then, Christian communicant, whether your feelings in some degree correspond with the holy sentiments of this service. Such an enquiry will be both
humbling and profitable. “We would be far from denying the acceptableness of many a real communicant who may not come up to that full fervour of soul which is evidently the spirit of the institution.” aiming at the highest degree of communion with our uuseen but ever-present Lord and Saviour, we are best promoting our own edification and happiness.
Who can but mourn, that any that frequent this ordinance, should be dead to every spiritual sensation, go through the whole in a formal lifeless manner, and depart as cold and worldly as ever.
But what shall we say to those who frequently, or altogether, deprive themselves of the benefits of this institution. They are like those who would prefer dwelling in a miserable and decaying hovel, when they might reside in a king's palace. They are like those wlio had rather feed on husks with swine, than banquet at the table of a loving and bountiful father.
Christians! neglect not the opportunities afforded you of receiving the pledges of a Father's love. Can you too often remember the grace of a dying Saviour ? Can you, more frequently than you desire, receive the assurance that God is reconciled to you; that his Spirit dwells in you, that you are his children, and that heaven is your home? These are the blessings you enjoy, when devoutly partaking of the Lord's Supper