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THE ALTAR MANUAL.
“They did eat Manna until they came unto the borders of the Land of Canaan.”—Exodus xvi. 16.
REVISED AND MUCH ENLARGED
EDITORS OF THE PRIEST'S PRAYER-BOOK.
LONDON: G. J. PALMER, 32, LITTLE_QUEEN STREET,
LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.
“The Priest gave him hallowed Bread; for there was no bread there but the Shew Bread, that was taken from before the LORD."-1 Sam. xxi. 6.
“ He arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that Meat forty days and forty nights, unto Horeb, the mount of God.”— 1 Kings xix. 8.
“Thou hast put gladness in my heart, since the time that their Corn, and Wine, and Oil increased." -Ps. iv. 8.
“Thou shalt prepare a Table before me against them that trouble me.”—Ps. xxiii. 5.
“I will wash my hands in innocency, O LORD, and so will I go to Thine Altar.”—Ps. xxvi. 6.
“ Come, eat of My Bread,and drink of the Wine which I have mingled.”—Prov. ix. 5.
"In every place Incense shall be offered unto My Name, and a pure Offering.”-Mal. i. 11.
“ Whoso eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, bath eternal life,and I will raise him up at the last day. For My Flesh is Meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him."-S. John vi. 54–56.
“We have an Altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the Tabernacle."Heb. xiii. 10.
THE HOLY COMMUNION.
THE Sacrament of Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, “ under the forms of Bread and Wine."* Our LORD Himself says, “ The Bread which I will give is My Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (S. John vi. 51.) And when He instituted this Holy Sacrament, the day before His Crucifixion, “ He took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is My Body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it, this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (S. Matt. xxvi. 26–28.)
Having thus instituted this Holy Sacrament, our Blessed LORD ordained His Apostles Priests of the New Law, and gave to them, and to their lawful successors, power and authority to do as He had done, saying unto them, “Do this in remembrance of Me,” that is to say, Offer this Sacrifice as a Memorial of My Passion ; and this power was to continue in His Church until the end of time. When, therefore, the Priests of the Church“ do this,” i.e., celebrate this Sacrament, breaking the Bread, and blessing the Cup, according to His command and example, they do precisely what their Divine Master did. Upon their pronouncing the words, “This is My Body," “This is My BLOOD," in the Prayer of Consecration, the Holy Ghost comes down upon the Elements of Bread and Wine, and they become, “verily and indeed,” the Body and Blood of CHRIST.
* Note at the end of the First Book of Homilies.
The outward elements of Bread and Wine do not visibly cease to be what they were before, but they become what they were not before ; even as in the beginning “God breathed the breath of life” into that body of clay which He had created, and “nian became a living soul” (Gen. ii. 7); and as in the Incarnation, the Word became Flesh, and two Natures were united in One Person, without "confusion of substance." (Athan. Creed.)
This Sacrament being so holy a Mystery, it is of the greatest importance that we should carefully prepare ourselves for Its reception ; for S. Paul tells us that “ He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the LORD's Body." Still, the fear of receiving unworthily ought not to prevent our receiving at all, for our Blessed LORD says expressly, Except ye eat the Flesh of
Son of Man, and drink' His Blood, ye have no life in you :" (S. John vi. 53:) and therefore the Apostle goes on to say, “Let'a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup.” (1 Cor. xi. 27–29.)
As to our preparation, Faith in the Real Presence, flowing from what has been said above, is the first and fundamental point of all : and having that, the next point consists in looking carefully into the state of our soul, as to Penitence, examining ourselves “ by the rule of God's commandments," seeing "wherein we have offended, either by thought, word, or deed,” either by doing what is wrong, or by neglecting to do what is right. When we have thus discovered our sins, we are to repent of them humbly, and to confess them sincerely to Almighty God, stedfastly purposing amendment of life, and making amends to the uttermost of our power for all the injuries and wrongs which we may have committed against our neighbour, at the same time forgiving those who have injured or offended us. Let us do this in sincerity, humbly asking pardon of Almighty God, through JESUS CHRIST, for all our sins and shortcomings, and we may then come holy and clean to the Heavenly Feast, and be received by God as worthy partakers of that Holy Table.*
But if after such examination we cannot quiet our own conscience, then the Church
* “Questions for Self-Examination for Common Use,' will supply what help is necessary.