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old and excellent collect, to beg of him, unto whom all hearts be open, so to cleanse the thoughts of ours, by the inspiration of his holy Spirit, by breathing into us with lasting efficacy good inclinations and purposes, that we may as perfectly as our present state admits, love him in our souls, and magnify him in our words and lives. Purity of intention is both in general requisite for approaching God's altar, and more especially for going through the next part of the office aright: in which, after hearing the Ten Commandments rehearsed to us, we pray God to have mercy upon us, and pardon us, so far as we have transgressed either the letter or the spirit of them, as explained by our blessed Redeemer, and incline our hearts to keep each of them better for the future. It doth not appear, that this form of devotion was ever used in any liturgy before our own. But surely, taking the Commandments with the Gospel interpretation of them, it is a very instructive and edifying

And they, who think the confession in the Morning Prayer not particular enough, have sufficient room here to supply that imagined defect.

Next follows a prayer for the King. The primitive Christians, in every public office, presented a supplication for their Sovereign. Now in this office, unless it were put in the beginning, few in proportion would join in it when the sacrament is administered, considering how many return home without receiving. And therefore it is placed here, just after the Ten Commandments, of which the authority of the magistrate is one main support, as they are of that in return: and we pray the Almighty, that, in mercy to his Church, he will so rule the King's heart, whom in the course of his providence he hath chosen to reign over us, and to be his servant and minister to


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us for good *, that he may above all things seek his glory, by maintaining his laws above-mentioned : and will so rule our hearts likewise, and those of all his subjects, that we may faithfully and humbly obey him: in God, that is, in the strength of his grace, and in subordination, not contradiction, to his supreme will; and for God, not only for fear of man's wrath, but for conscience sake alsot.

Then we offer up the Collect for the Day, of which I have spoken already: and after it, read two portions of Scripture, to which it hath frequently a reference. One of them is usually taken from the Epistles, the other always from the Gospels. The Epistle hath been thus read, certainly for 1300 years, but the Gospel much longer. And the very portions, that we now use, were most of them used on the same days 1200 years ago, and perhaps a great deal earlier. The annual course of them, and of the Collects prefixed to them, began then, as it doth now, not with the civil year, or the entrance of the sun into this or that sign; but from the Advent, the approach of the appearance of Christ, the sun of righteousness I. And was so contrived, that the former part, from his birth to his ascension, should represent to us the principal articles of his history: the latter, those of our own duty.

At the reading of the Gospel, the people are directed to stand up, in honour of him, whose life and words it relates. And there appears no time, when they did otherwise: or when that acclamation, glory be to thee, O Lord, was not made, which indeed at present is not prescribed, though it was in the first edition of Edward the sixth's liturgy, but omitted afterwards, probably by accident: for there could be no objection raised against it. Rom. xiii. 4. + Rom. xiii, 5.

| Mal. iv. 2.

As in the Morning Prayer, so in the Communion Service, for the same reason, after reading the Scripture, we recite the Creed: only there we have that of the ancient Latin Church, here that of the ancient Greek; made in the first General Council, held at Nice, above 1400 years ago, and thence called Nicene; excepting, that some small additions were inserted since; all of them, but one*, about 50 years after.

In this Creed, we profess ourselves to believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, because some had spoken of the human and divine nature of our Saviour, which they called Jesus and Christ, as two persons not united. The words, light of light, intimating, that his divine nature is from the Father, as light is from the sun, or as one light without diminution of itself kindles another, were intended for some imperfect illustration, and doubtless a very imperfect one it is, and any other must be,) of his mysterious generation. The words, Lord, and giver of life, ascribed to the Spirit, are not to be joined, as one single attribute: but are taken from two different texts of Scripture: in the one of which he is called, according to the marginal reading, the Lord the Spiritt ; and said in the other, to give life, that is, the spiritual life of grace. The phrase, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, may signify, either his deriving from the latter, as well as the former, his eternal subsistence; or, since that hath been disputed between the Latin and Greek Church, his being sent by both into the hearts of men, as the Scripture plainly affirms he is g.

After the Creed another Psalm is sung: and then

Consisting of the words, and the Son : which came in some hundreds of years after. See Nichols.

+ 2 Cor. iij. 18. | Ver. 6. $ John xiv. 26. xv. 26. xvii. 7.

the minister who is to preach, moves the people, by the direction of the 55th Canon, to join with him in a short form of prayer.

This was more particularly needful in past ages, when the sermons were commonly at a different hour from the liturgy, as they are still at our Universities. And at whatever hour they were, great stress was laid on the use of this prayer,

for some time after the Reformation; because, when that took place, an acknowledgment of the King's supremacy, which the Papists denied, was very prudently, as things then stood, inserted into it. And hence it hath continued to our days, though it is frequently shortened into a collect and the Lord's Prayer, the reason for enlarging being now become less. The original manner of performing this part of the preacher's office was by bidding, that is, inviting and exhorting, the people to pray for the several particulars, mentioned by him: which they were understood to do, either silently in their minds, as they went along with him, or by comprehending them all in the Lord's Prayer at last. But in process of time, some imagined it better to put the whole into the shape of a direct address : others followed their example, as thinking it a matter of indifference: but most have kept to the old way. And the intention being the same, neither custom should give offence.

The Sermon was anciently an explanation and improvement of the Epistle and Gospel, just read before, especially the latter. But now for a long time a greater latitude hath been usefully taken.

After the Sermon, one or more of the sentences, or Scripture injunctions of bounty and almsgiving, as also the Prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church, are appointed to be read, if there be no Communion, before the congregation be dismissed : neither of these things being ever unsuitable. And the first day of the week is recommended in Scripture for purposes of charity*, as well as set apart for making supplications and giving thanks for all ment. But they are both more peculiarly proper with a view to the Communion: in which light I shall now consider them.

When we commemorate our Saviour's dying love to us all, we ought surely to think of expressing our love to our brethren: which must be shewn by promoting both their spiritual good and their temporal. To the former belong those sentences, which require, that they who are able, should contribute to the maintenance of a Gospel ministry, where it wants their help. And they require it strongly, as you will perceive by reading them. For indeed we seldom or never read them to you, that we may not seem to plead our own cause : excepting in some few of our Churches, where the primitive practice, (needful in too many more,) of giving oblations to the Minister, as well as alms to the poor, at the Sacrament, is preserved or restored. The rest of the sentences exhort to the latter duty of relieving the sick and needy. What is generally given for them on this occasion must be considered not as the whole, but a sample and earnest of your charity; I hope, a small one in comparison of what you give at other times, and I trust, is every where faithfully applied as it ought, with most religious and prudent care.

But as there are few in proportion to whom we can do good with our substance; and

that are much above our alms, yet greatly need our prayers ; we proceed to offer them up for the whole state of Christ's Church, militant, that is, carrying on a war1 Cor. xvi. 2.

+ 1 Tim. ii. 1.

many, that

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