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1st, that this Sacrament is a holy feast of Christ's own appoint-
ment, wherein by eating bread and drinking wine we commemorate
the Sacrifice of His death, and are made partakers of the benefits of
it, p. 303—(with a thanksgiving for its institution, and prayer for God's
assistance and acceptance of our preparation for it
impartial examination into the state of our souls, and serious
consideration of the nature, end, and dignity of this holy sacrament,
p. 305—(with a prayer for the faithful discharge of the duty of self-
true repentance for our former sins, and a stedfast purpose to lead
a new life, p. 308—(with a confession, p. 310, and prayer for a sincere
contrition, p. 310, and resolution to live better for the future
unfeigned love and charity towards all mankind, p. 312–(with a prayer for the grace of charity...
. . p. 315) lively faith in God's mercy through Christ, intending thereby not only a firm conviction that whatever God has promised to penitent sinners through Christ shall be effectually made good to them, but also an assured persuasion, that if we come duly prepared to this Holy Sacrament, the general promises of God in Scripture, concerning His pardoning Mercy and Grace, shall be immediately applied and made good to our persons in particular, p. 316—(with a prayer for such lively faith
...p. 318) thankful remembrance of Christ's death, and of the innumerable blessings which He has thereby purchased for us, and a resolution to express our thankfulness in following the blessed steps of His most holy life, p. 319-(with a prayer for these graces
.p. 321) Sect. 3. Devotions immediately preparative, to be used on the morning of the Communion, or any day of the preceding week, being an examination of ourselves with respect to our state of preparation for the Lord's Table, p. 322, and prayer for all the holy dispositions that are necessary to make us worthy receivers of His holy Supper .. p. 326
Sect. 4. Devotions at the Lord's Table. Prayers upon coming to the Table, p. 328-and at the Offertory ..
Communion Service, from the prayer for the Church Militant, to the consecration of the bread and wine, p. 329-337
Prayers at and after the consecration ...p. 337-339
Prayers before and after receiving the bread, p. 339– with a thankful commemoration of Christ's sufferings, to be used whilst the bread is distributing to the other communicants.ie
Prayer at and after receiving the cup...
Larger form of prayer and thanksgiving, to be used after having communicated in both kinds
Remainder of the Communion Service.. p. 345-347 Short prayer after the Blessing
Sect. 5. Psalm and prayer to be used in private, after return home ..
p. 342 p. 342
APPENDIX, for the use of those who are any ways
disabled from going to the Holy Communion, at the time of its public administration
END OF ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS,
shewing the design and manner of using the Offices—the
indispensable necessity of prayer,—and the inseparable connection between true devotion and a good life.
The design of these papers is to furnish the pious Christian with such a method of devotion, as may serve to instruct and engage him in a religious course of life, as well as assist him in his retirements for meditation and prayer.
What has cost me the greatest pains in the compiling of this little book, and which indeed I look upon to be the most valuable and useful part of it, is the large collections I have made out of the holy Scriptures.
In these are comprised all the fundamental doctrines, and the most important duties of the Christian religion; the doctrines we are most concerned to understand and believe ; and the duties we are most indispensably obliged to observe and practise, in order to our eternal happiness. And surely, the frequent attentive reading of such Scriptures as these must needs be very beneficial to us. 'Tis what we shall find of singular use and service, not only for devotion, but for the conduct of our lives: what will be the best preparative for the one, and most probably will derive a happy influence upon the other. With respect to the former I have taken particular care that all the texts prefixed to any prayer be pertinent to the subject matter of that prayer : and in order to the latter I have all along confined myself to the choice of such texts as are in themselves the most instructive. And in my distribution of them I have endeavoured to preserve a coherence, and mutual connection; that so we may read them with more pleasure, and more easily retain what we read.
Though there are many precepts in Scripture, which make it our indispensable duty to pray often, such as Luke xviii. 1; Rom. xii. 12; 1 Thess. v. 17; yet it being not positively declared how often we are obliged to perform this duty, it must be left to the discretion of every person to decide this question for himself. Those who have the advantage of easy circumstances, and much leisure are to look
upon themselves bound to consecrate a larger share of their time to the immediate service of God. But if the circumstances His Providence has allotted us in this world be such, that we cannot, without prejudice to the necessary business of our lawful callings, retire so often as we would otherwise do ; the maxim which the Apostle hath laid down in another case, will hold equally true in this ; If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not, 2 Cor. viii. 12. God is not a hard Master. He will not require much of those, to whom He hath given but little. If we are but upright in our intentions, and sincerely desirous to take all opportunities we can of waiting upon Him; we may securely depend upon a kind reception, and a gracious audience at the throne of His grace.
I observe this, for the sake of those who may think I have prescribed too frequent returns of devotion in the Daily Office; and that there are some prayers both in that, and in the others too long. With reference to the generality of persons, I must confess, I incline to the same opinion : but this I must say too, that I am very well assured, there are a great many who have both leisure and inclination, 'to allow as much time for their devotions, as the use of these offices will require. And since my design in this undertaking was to serve the occasions of the devout, I do not see how I should have answered that end, had I not made provision for those that are most eminently such. I desire only that every one would deal impartially with himself in this case : and they, who, upon good grounds, are persuaded that they cannot conveniently set aside any intermediate part of the day for religious retirement; let them but make a conscience of being constant and regular in their morning and evening devotions, and they may rest assured that God will never lay to their charge súch omisșions as, with respect to the circumstances His Providence bas placed them in, are manifestly unavoidable! But then they ought to remember, that they are indispensably bound to be so much the more careful and punctual in observing these two seasons of solemn prayer to God : these, at least, being of absolute obligation; and the omission of either of these, what no pretence whatsoever can justify.
As for the exceptions that may be made against the length of some of the prayers, the reader may please to observe, that all those that can possibly fall under this imputation are subdivided into so many distinct paragraphs, that it will be very easy for him to make such alterations and omissions in the use of them, as will reduce them to the brevity any one's particular circumstances may require. I desire likewise the same method may be taken with reference to any of the collections out of Scripture that shall seem too long; as indeed in some of them I could not avoid being longer than ordinary, by reason of the multiplicity of particulars contained under the general subject they relate to. But these also are broken into several subdivisions, which may, without any manner of inconvenience, be used separately; some at one time, and some at another, in such proportions as every one's leisure will admit of.
Having premised this caution for the satisfaction of my reader, I proceed to press upon his most serious attention not only the absolute necessity for prayer, but also the inseparable connection between true devotion and a good life, and the indispensable necessity of the latter in order to the acceptableness of the former.
We have then, we can have nothing but what we receive from God: and we have no promise that we shall receive any thing of Him, except we first ask it by diligent and humble prayer. So necessary
indeed is it to pray, in order to receive, that even those very blessings which God bas expressly declared that He designs to bestow upon us, He yet as expressly commands us to pray unto Him for. Thus in the xxxvith of Ezekiel God makes to His people many
1 See Bishop Taylor's Introduction to a Holy Life (p. 7); re