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nation, or rather, I think, by recollection, SER M. by fixing strongly in our minds the action we are about to perform, by a thorough beļief in Christ, by a firm purpose of amend. ment of life; by a friendly disposition towards all men; and lastly, above all, by thankfulness to heaven for our redemption. The minister then calls on the people to draw near and perform this sacred act, and first, as preparatory to it, to make confession of their sins.
We must consider this confession (as indeed every other part of the service) before we come to it, and endeavour to work up our minds to the feelings it expresses ; some of the terms in it are strong, such as "The burden of our “ sins is intolerable to us"--which perhaps few can say in its full extent; but · this proceeds from want of reflection in
too many of us, who have reason enough to be weighed down under the sense of L 4
SERM. our sins: and indeed, were it not for
Christ's death, which we are met to commemorate, this would be the case with all; so that it may mean the burden of them, if we had none but ourselves to support them, would be intolerable.
This confession being ended, the minister (himself one of the sinners) stands up-and, beginning with a declaration of the terms on which God has promised forgiveness (which are repentance and faith) he prays God to deliver the congregation from all their sins, to strengthen them in all goodness -- and, finally, to bring them to everlasting life. He then confirms this declaration of pardon; shews his authority for it, in four detached sentences from scripture, spoken by qur Lord, and his apostles St. Paul and St. John. He then calls on the people to lift up their hearts, with gratitude and devation, to heaven-to whịch they signify their concurrence" We will lift them up serm. “ unto the Lord”-to which follows an in. vitation to the giving of thanks, and the congregation's acknowledgement of its propriety " It is meet and right so to do."
The minister, taking up these last words and sentiment from the mouth of the people, repeats them (with the addition of a preface on particular days) and declares the union of men, and more particularly of those then present with angels and archangels in the sublime employments of thankfulness and devotion. Being approached now very nearly to the performance of the most solemn part, the minister declares, in the name of the people, the grounds on which we approach God's holy altar ;-that it is not trusting in our own merits, but in his manifold and great mercies; and he beseeches God to grant that the blessed effects of being cleansed from sin, and of an union with
SERM. Christ, may be the consequences of it.
Now follows the consecration of the ele ments; or, in other words, the priest, relating the history of Christ's institution of the Lord's supper, sets apart a particular quantity of bread and wine as signs, tokens, or representations, of the body and blood of Christ. These, after receiving them himself, he delivers to the people, with a solemn prayer that they may answer the purpose which God and Christ graciously intended that they may preserve the bodies and souls of those who receive them, unto everlasting life ;and, at the same time, he calls on the person receiving, for reflection, faith, and thankfulness."
All having communicated, we again re. peat the Lord's Prayer; having, we may hope by our recent act; strengthened our right to address him by the title of Qur Father. We then entirely, that is, with
our whole hearts, request of God to de: SERM. cept this our offering of praise and thanks giving and beg leave to present our(souls and bodies as a sacrifice, dedicated to his service and wer pray, : likewise, for our fellow-communicants. As our Saviour and his disciples, after the celebration of the passover, sung an hymni soj in our service, is one provided for us Glory, be to God “ on high."-The beginning is taken from the hymn of the heavenly host, mentioned by St. Luke ; in it we give thanks to God for his great glory, that is, for his glorious work in the redemption of the world, by the death of his only begotten Son. It is usual, afterwards, to read one of the concluding collects, but these require no explanation. What remains, is the solemn and affectionate form of dismission, in which the minister prays that “ The peace of God, which passeth all un. derstanding” (that is, the happiness which