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tion. In the two first chapters, the
Warning” and “ Exhortation,” as given in the Prayer Book, are analised and explained, and these are followed up by prayers and meditations.
It is not meant that every prayer and meditation should be used at every time of communion, but as may be seen at p. 315) they are merely put before such persons as may need some little help in their devotions from want of habit or facility in using private prayer to Almighty God. Much harm is done by encumbering the service with multitudinous preparation. One of the series of prayers well-used and thought upon, would be more advantageous than one for every day hastily hurried over ;-but this must be left to the devotional spirit and to the circumstances of each communicant.
With regard to the second volume, which is intended to be used in the
Church, its principal feature is, a close direction to the communicant as to the meaning of the various parts of the service as it proceeds, showing the antiquity of the ritual, the peculiar beauty of the prayers, the significancy of the ceremonies, the doctrines inferred; and, above all, a personal direction all through the service, as to the way in which the communicant should be occcupied, together with the reasons of all that is to be said and done. One thing has been particularly observed-an occupation for the communicant in that portion of the service, which is generally and of necessity attended with much waiting of time, namely, the period of distributing the holy elements. For this portion of the service, certain passages of Scripture, and other suitable subjects of meditation, are pointed out.
There is one thing upon which I would remark with very great satisfaction and thankfulness. It is the peculiarity of division in regard to the Pre-Communion. In all other books of this nature that I have met with, the Pre-Communion has been made to terminate with the Nicene Creed, that is to say, the people being non-communicants have been directed to go out of church immediately after the sermon, thus passing by all the sentences of the offertory, and the prayer for the Church militant. The reader will not fail to observe that in this work, the congregation are considered as not going out of church until they have made their alms, and the alms have been offered by the priest on the holy table, and the prayer for the Church militant has been said. See p. 202, vol. 11.
Now it so happens that while the very last sheet of this work was in the press, a pastoral letter from our diocesan was re
ceived, in which the clergy are directed to observe the exact division of the service which I have here advocated. This
pastoral letter refers to a collection of alms to be made for the Colonial Bishops' Fund. Our Bishop expresses his desire in the following terms :
“ After the sermon, let the offertory sentences be read from the communion table, not omitting those which instruct them that are taught in the word to minister unto them that teach in all good things. Whilst these sentences are being read, let the church wardens, or other persons appointed for that purpose, collect the offerings of the people, and bring them to the minister, to be by him humbly presented and placed upon the holy table. Let him, then, proceed with the prayer for the Church militant, and with the remainder of the service according to the Rubric. This revival of the ancient prac
tice of our Church, has been attempted in several parishes with great success.
Now, this pastoral direction from our diocesan, so aptly fitting in with the division of the service advocated in this work, certainly does strengthen and confirm the previous views entertained.
The only thing that was lacking is now supplied — episcopal sanction for the revival of a truly Catholic, spiritual, and certainly “ ancient practice.” We may safely trust, that ere long this practice will be general.
I commend this little work with prayer to the blessing of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
* Pastoral Letter of the Lord Bishop of London. Lent: 1842.