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by the participation of the sacraments and or-. dinances duly administered by them, would be united “as one fold under one shepherd;” from their divine head they would derive life, strength and salvation; partaking at the same hallowed altar of the sacred body and blood of their Saviour, they would be nourished and prepared for the transcendent and eternal bliss of the church triumphant in heaven.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God! who hast “built thy church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” teach me ever to bear in mind, that in thy wise and sovereign Providence thou hast made this church, the only channel through which thy covenanted mercies are conveyed to a fallen world. Blessed be thy name, that thou hast called me into a state of salvation; and, through the sacrament of baptism, conferred on me a title to the spiritual and exalted privileges of thy holy church. Impress on me the awful guilt and danger of forfeiting, by disobedience, by impenitence, or by neglect of thy holy ordinances, my title to the inestimable privileges of my Christian vocation. In the exercise of lively penitence and faith, may I humbly and thankfully partake of the ordinances of thy church; and thus maintaining my communion with it, derive from Jesus, its divine head, pardon, grace, consolation, triumph, everlasting glory. May I ever value, above all worldly distinctions and pleasures, the inestimable privilege of being a member
of thy church; and of thus having access to the infiinite fountain of thy grace and mercy, thy everlasting love. Instead of vainly and presumptuously arraigning thy sovereign institutions, may I gratefully and humbly adore thee, that, by the ordinances of thy church, thou dost vouchsafe to confer upon me the im.
exercise of spiritual powers, thou hast made full and effectual provision for the administration of her sacraments and discipline, for her peace, her order, her unity and glory. Almighty God, “the giver of all good gifts, who, of thy divine Providence, hast appointed divers orders in thy church, give thy grace, I humbly beseech thee, to all those who are called to any office and administration in the same; and so replenish them with the truth of thy doctrine, and endue them with innocency of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee to the glory of thy great name, and the benefit of thy holy church.” Blessed Jesus! the Divine Head and Redeemer of thy mystical body the church; who dost possess “all power in heaven and in earth;” may “the course of this world be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy church may evermore serve thee in peace and quietness.” “Clothe thy priests with salvation, that thy people may rejoice.” Thy servants, the Bishops, in whom is vested, through thy mercy, the power of perpetuating in thy church, “to the end of the world,” the divine authority of the priesthood, evermore guide and bless by thy heavenly grace; “that they may lay hands suddenly on no man, but faithfully and wisely onake choice of fit persons to serve in the sacred mi* of thy holy church.” To them, as well as to all other ministers, the Presbyters and Deacons who erve in thy holy sanctuary, give thy.” heavenly benediction; that, both by their life and doctrine, they . et forth thy true and lively word, an; o duly administer thy holy sacraments: On ". . thy unworthy servant, shed, 9 merciful ‘. y neavénly grace; that, by devoutly attending on the o, <rations of thy priesthood, I may continue in ... mercy and gracé dissohed and orogoo * ces, may serve thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of my life, and finally be a partaker of the glory and felicity of thy heavenly kingdom. Almighty God! have mercy upon thy holy church, the spiritual Zion in which thou dost delight to dwell. “Inspire her continually with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord.” Rebuild thou her waste places; restore her in the beauty of holiness; unite in her communion all those who call upon thy name; may they reverence thy power in the persons of the servants of thy sanctuary; and endeavour to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. May the lamp of truth in thy holy sanctuary ever burn clear and steady, and disperse the mists of heresy and error. May the altar of the sanctuary ever be pressed by devout and holy guests. May the whole of thy dispersed sheep, blessed Jesus, be brought home to thy flock, and united in one fold under thee, the Great Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever.--AMEN.
THE DIs Positions witH which THE comm UNICANT SHOULD ADVANCE TO THE ALTAlt. .
THOU hast now reviewed, O my soul!, thy spiritual character, privileges, and hopes.— Thou hast sought to lay the foundation of thy preparation for the Holy Eucharist, where, indeed, the foundation of thy spiritual life should be laid, in a deep conviction of thy fallen and condemned state. Awakened to a sense of thy guilt and unworthiness, thou hast humbled thyself before the throne of God, in the deep exercises of repentance; and, having devoted thyself with renewed ardour to his service, hast implored the renovating and quickening succours of his grace, to enable thee to serve him in newness of life. Deeply sensible of thy need of the cleansing blood, and renovating grace of a Saviour, thou hast sought to secure an interest in his merits and favour, by lively faith in him; and hast acknowledged him, in all his gracious and exalted offices, as the Eternal Son of the Father, thy Prophet, thy Priest, and King. With the
fervours of lively gratitude, thou hast traced the series of bitter sufferings which thy divine Saviour endured with heroic magnanimity and fortitude; which, while they excited thy exalted admiration, served to confirm thy faith. Thou hast reviewed the bitter sufferings by which the Saviour at once impressed the humble and forgiving spirit of his gospel, and made an all-sufficient expiation for thy sins. About to participate of an ordinance which derives all its efficacy from its divine institutor, thou hast attentively considered the important truth, that God conveys his grace and favour through the channel of rites and ordinances administered by a priesthood deriving their authority from the divine head of the church. Happy art thou, O my soul, if, through divine grace, that holy and spiritual life, which, the sacred exercises in which thou hast been engaged, are calculated to form in thee, has been excited, quickened, or confirmed. If thou hast sincerely and humbly sought the mercy and favour of thy God, dismiss now every intimidating doubt or apprehension; and resolve to quicken thy repentance, to confirm thy faith, to animate thy zeal, to seal thy vows of duty in the Holy Eucharist. Resolve to seek those strengthening, enlivening, and immortal graces and consolations, which in this sacred ordinance are poured into the penitent and faithful soul. Consider this sacred rite as a lively and af. secting memorial of the death of Christ ; and