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natures in our Lord. The Kiss of Peace was then passed round from the Celebrant by means of his ministers (the Deacon and Sub-deacon, or Epistoler and Gospeller), some private prayers were said by the Celebrant, and afterwards the prayer of Humble Access.

Here came in the Communion, first of the Celebrant, and then of the other Clergy and of the people 1; and, with the exception of a Thanksgiving Prayer and a Post-Communion Collect, this substantially completed the Service.

There were, however, some subsequent ceremonies, such as the ablution of the sacred vessels, and of the Celebrants' hands, which are left to traditional practice and individual devotion in our modern English rite, but which were provided for with minute exactness in the ancient one. During these ceremonies the congregation still remained, and after their conclusion were dismissed by the Deacon saying, Benedicamus Domino, or, Ite, missa est, according to the season.

There is no reason to think that this mode of celebrating the Holy Communion underwent any great changes from the time of St. Osmund until 1549; and indeed it was probably very much the same as had been used in the Church of England even before the time of St. Osmund. Many ceremonies were doubtless introduced during the Middle Ages, and some had probably been added by St. Osmund himself; but these ceremonies affected the rubrics rather than the substance of the Liturgy, and the Ordinary and Canon were otherwise in the same condition in the sixteenth century that they had been in the eleventh. It must, however, be remembered that numerous additions were made to the variable parts of the Missal [p. 68], special Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, &c., being appointed for particular days and occasions; and it was in these additions that the Reformers found so much which they regarded as inexpedient or superstitious. What the great French liturgical scholar, Gueranger, says respecting the MSS. of the Roman Liturgy was doubtless true, to some extent, of the English, that they had come to be "loaded with gross and even superstitious additions, consisting chiefly of apocryphal histories, unknown and even rejected in the early ages, but which had been afterwards introduced into the Lessons and Anthems, and in votive Masses (which had become superstitiously numerous), barbarous forms, and furtively introduced Benedictions." But these abuses were far more common in the southern countries of Europe than in England; and the most conspicuous innovations connected with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in our own Church were (1) the withdrawal of the Cup from the Laity, and (2) the rare communion of the Laity under any circumstances except at the approach of death.

In respect to the first, it is sufficient to say, that although the Eucharist appears to have been always sent to the sick under the form of one element only, until 1549, the Laity were certainly accustomed to partake of it in both kinds at church until the twelfth century. Even so late as A.D. 1175, the Convocation of Canterbury forbade the introduction of the novel custom, and it is probable that it did not become common in England until its adoption was ordered by the Council of Constance in 1415. There is no recognition whatever of the administration in one kind in the Liturgy itself, though in an Exhortation used before the Communion of the Laity it is distinctly referred to.

The second custom arose out of that inattention to the avaλoyla of doctrine which so often leads men to error in practice. The Holy Eucharist being both a Sacrifice and a Sacrament, theologians of the Middle Ages were so intent upon the duty and necessity of the first that they overlooked the duty and necessity of the second; and while the Mass was offered daily in most, if not in all, churches, and in some many times in the day, few except the Clergy ever partook of it more than once or twice in the year, considering that it was sufficient for them to be present while it was being offered.

But this too was an innovation that had found its way into practice without finding any recognition in the Liturgy. Nor

The Communion of the people was preceded by an Exhortation.

can it be said that there was any thing in the authorized forms for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist which could have originally given rise, or encouragement, to either practice.

§ The Reformed Liturgy of the Church of England. The general steps which were taken towards a reconstruction of all the Offices used in Divine Service, and their translation into English, have been traced out in the Historical Introduction, pages xix-xxvi, and need not be repeated in treating particularly of the Liturgy. Suffice it to say, that the abstinence of the Laity from Communion appeared so great and pressing an evil to the Reformers, that they added on an English Office for the Communion of the Laity in both kinds, to the ancient Salisbury Liturgy, even before they had finished the preparation of the Prayer Book 2.

The general consideration of the Theology of the Sacraments had been committed by Henry VIII. to a Commission of Divines in 1540, and the revision of the Services had also been undertaken about the same time. In 1546, shortly before his death, "the King commanded" Archbishop Cranmer "to pen a form for the alteration of the Mass into a Communion 3." On November 30th, 1547, the Prolocutor of the Lower House of Convocation "exhibited, and caused to be read publicly, a form of a certain ordinance, delivered by the Most Reverend the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the receiving of the body of our Lord under both kinds, viz. of bread and wine. To which he himself subscribed, and some others, &c. 4 " The form thus approved of by Convocation was ratified by both Houses of Parliament on December 20th, 1547; and issued under a proclamation by the Crown, on March 8th, 1547-8. This proclamation ordered that "the most blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ should from thenceforth be commonly delivered and ministered unto all persons within our realm of England and Ireland, and other of our dominions, under both kinds, that is to say, of bread and wine (except necessity otherwise require), lest every man phantasying and devising a sundry way by himself, in the use of this most blessed Sacrament of unity, there might arise any unseemly and ungodly diversity."

The "Order of Communion," thus authorized ", begins with an Exhortation, to be used on the Sunday or Holyday next before the Administration. This Exhortation was reproduced in the Liturgy of 1549, and is identical (except that the last paragraph is omitted) with that now standing first in our present Liturgy. After this came the following rubric, which explains the use of the Office ::-"The time of the Communion shall be immediately after that the Priest himself hath received the Sacrament, without the varying of any other rite or ceremony in the Mass (until other order shall be provided), but as heretofore usually the Priest hath done with the Sacrament of the Body, to prepare, bless, and consecrate so much as will serve the people; so it shall continue still after the same manner and form, save that he shall bless and consecrate the biggest chalice, or some fair and convenient cup or cups full of wine with some water put unto it; and that day, not drink it up all himself, but taking one only sup or draught, leave the rest upon the altar covered, and turn to them that are disposed to be partakers of the Communion, and shall thus exhort them as followeth." Then follows the Exhortation beginning, "Dearly beloved in the Lord, ye that mind," &c., which replaced an older form, previously used in the same place, when the holy Sacrament was administered in one kind only. After this Exhortation the Priest was directed to "pause awhile, to see if any man will withdraw himself," and then to say

2 Translations of the Epistles and Gospels of the Sarum Use had been common for some time, and a great number of them exist at the end of Primers of the period, as well as in separate volumes.

> Strype's Memorials of Cranmer, i. 311. Ecc. Hist. Soc. 4 Ibid. ii. 37.

5 It will be remembered that Charlemagne substituted the Roman for the Gallican Liturgy by his own authority alone.

6 Original copies of this "Order of Communion" are extremely rare, there being only four or five known. One of these is in the Public Library, Cambridge, one in Cosin's Library, and one in Routh's Library: both the latter at Durham.

the invitation, "Ye that do truly," the Confession, the Absolution, the Comfortable words, and the Prayer of Humble Access. The Communion followed the latter Prayer, the Office being in these words from thence to the end :

“Then shall the Priest rise, the people still reverently kneeling, and the Priest shall deliver the Communion, first to the Ministers, if any be there present, that they may be ready to help the Priest, and after to the other. And when he doth deliver the Sacrament of the Body of Christ he shall say to every one these words following,

"The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body unto everlasting life.

whole, but in each of them the whole body of our Saviour Jesu Christ.

"Note, that if it doth so chance, that the wine hallowed and consecrate doth not suffice or be enough for them that do take the Communion, the Priest, after the first cup or chalice be emptied, may go again to the altar, and reverently, and devoutly prepare, and consecrate another, and so the third, or more, likewise beginning at these words, Simili modo postquam cœnatum est, and ending at these words, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum, and without any levation or lifting up."

From March 8th, 1547-8, until June 9th, 1549, the authorized

"And the Priest delivering the Sacrament of the Blood, and Liturgy of the Church of England consisted, therefore, of the giving every one to drink once and no more, shall say,

"The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy soul to everlasting life.

"If there be a Deacon or other Priest, then shall he follow with the chalice, and as the Priest ministereth the bread, so shall be for more expedition minister the wine, in form before Eritten.

“Then shall the Priest, turning him to the people, let the people depart with this blessing,

"The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and in His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

"To the which the people shall answer, Amen.

"Note, that the Bread that shall be consecrated shall be such as heretofore hath been accustomed. And every of the said consecrated Breads shall be broken in two pieces, at the least, or more by the discretion of the Minister, and so distributed. And men must not think less to be received in part, than in the

ancient Salisbury Mass, with this "Order of Communion" in English superadded when any of the laity wished to communicate. At the end of the year and a quarter the first complete Book of Common Prayer in English was taken into use, that is, on WhitSunday (June 9th), 1549; and it contained a Liturgy formed from the ancient Latin and this recent English Office. The substance of the Liturgy, so reconstructed and translated, is given in the Appendix to the Communion Office; and as the history of the Liturgy is henceforth part of that of the Prayer Book itself, which has been already given in the Historical Introduction, it is unnecessary to go further into it here. The various changes which ensued in 1552, 1559, and 1661, will be shown in the foot-notes.

It need only be added, to complete the account of the English Liturgy, that it has been the source from which the modern Scottish Church has drawn its Communion Office. In this the modern Church has followed the ancient, for the Salisbury Missal, in a complete or a modified form, was used in Scotland in Mediaval times. The American Liturgy is also an adaptation of the English; and will, as well as the Scottish, be found in the Appendix to the Communion Office.


Before the great Sacrament of the Christian Church was actually instituted by our Blessed Lord, it was foretold and prefigured by words and acts of His own, and by prophecies and material types of more ancient date. A due consideration of these antecedents of the Holy Communion is a great help towards a clear understanding of its true meaning and use in the Christian economy.

1. First of all is the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden. From the manner in which this is spoken of, it appears to have been a tree bearing a kind of natural Sacrament, by partaking of which as food the natural wear and tear of the physical body was so counteracted that its decay and death became impossible; a tree to which man might "put forth his hand and eat and live for ever." [Gen. iii. 22.] Of this means of life we hear again in the regenerated city of God, "the New Jerusalem coming down from God, out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;" for "in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." [Rev. xxii. 2.] But we also hear of it from our Lord Himself, who, about the time of the institution of the Holy Eucharist, proclaimed Himself as the "True Vine," and spoke of the Sacrament which He originated as the "Fruit of the Vine." [John xv. 1. Matt. xxvi. 29.]

2. The chosen people of God were fed for forty years, during their penal and probationary wandering in the wilderness, with manna, a mysterious "bread from heaven," to which they gave the name it bore because of its mystery, "for they wist not what it was." And Moses said unto them, "This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat." [Exod. xvi. 15.]

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Of this also we hear in the Book of the Revelation, where, in His message to the Angel of the Church of Pergamos, the Lord says, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." [Rev. ii. 17.] But it had been heard of in a still more remarkable way from the lips of the same Lord, in His discourse to the people after the miracle of the loaves and fishes. When our Lord had thus "filled them with bread in the wilderness," the people, still unconvinced, asked Him for a sign, not from earth, but from Heaven, and greater than this. Moses had given them not only common bread, but even manna, "bread from Heaven," not man's, but "angel's food;" what could He do more than Moses, to convince them that He was greater than Moses? Then our Lord directed their attention to His own Person, as "the Bread of God which cometh down from Heaven and giveth life unto the world; ... the Bread of life... the Bread which cometh down from Heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die . . . the living Bread which came down from Heaven if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever: and the Bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." [John vi. 31. 51.]

3. It is impossible not to associate the manna of the wilderness with the "true Bread from Heaven," the "hidden manna," and that bread of which our Lord said, "This is My Body;"

4 The manna was "a small round thing.... like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers, made with honey. . . . and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium." [Exod. xvi. 14. 31. Numb. xi. 7.] Pious writers have seen in the sweetness of the manna a type of that WORD which is "sweeter than honey" to the mouth; in its suitableness to every man's taste, of the Eucharist which is so to every man's faith; and in the sufficiency of the quantity, however much more or less had been gathered than the assigned measure, a type of the fulness of the Gift of Christ in every particle of the consecrated element. There seems to be a curious traditional memorial of the manna, and of the Passover, in Good Friday buns, which are flavoured with coriander seed. They probably represented the ancient Jewish form of Passover cakes, Christianized by the mark of the Cross; but they also represent almost exactly the loaf out of which the portions of bread to be consecrated are taken in the Liturgies of the Eastern Church.

with all of which is connected the idea of nourishment and life. Our Lord's words respecting this Bread from Heaven drove away many of His followers, who were impatient of a mystery which they could not understand; but when He said to the Apostles, "Will ye also go away?" the reply was, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." They continued with Him, notwithstanding this trial of their faith, and their perseverance was rewarded by the interpretative acts and words of our Lord when He instituted the Holy Communion, and showed them the inner meaning of the miracle of the loaves and of His mysterious words respecting Himself, "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." [John vi. 55, 56.] "Take, eat; this is My body. ... Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood." [Matt. xxvi. 27, 28.] These antecedent types and words are the most prominent of a class which need not be referred to in further detail, since the two referred to are sufficient to show that a preparation was being made for the right understanding of that great Sacrament which our Lord instituted to be the means of spiritual life to the world. The "bread and wine" of Melchizedek's offering, the "Mincha" of the Temple Service, the "bread" and "mingled wine" of Wisdom's "table" in the book of Proverbs, the " pure offering" of the prophet Malachi, are all anticipative shadows of that which was to be revealed in the Kingdom of Christ: and many other such shadows cast their forms across the page of Holy Scripture, leading up to Him and His work, in whom and in which was to be the fulfilment of all types and figurative representations.

§ The Holy Communion as a Sacrament.

Thus, then, we are led up to the consideration of the rite instituted by our Lord as a new tree of life, a manna for the new chosen people, a Heavenly food, the Sacrament or Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ.


Strange as it appeared to those who heard the truth for the first time, there must have been some absolute necessity for making the Body and Blood of Christ a healing food. What this necessity was the Holy Spirit has not yet revealed to us; but we seem to be tracing out the general outline of it, when we acknowledge that only our Lord's perfect Human Nature could remedy the imperfections of that human nature which is still subject to the influences of evil, first brought to bear upon it by the Fall. Wherefore," says the Exhortation which follows the Prayer for the Church Militant, "it is our duty to render most humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that He hath given His Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that holy Sacrament." It is impossible to explain why our Lord's death was not sufficient for the full prospective accomplishment of His work; why it was still necessary for Him to be the spiritual food and sustenance of His people through all the ages that were afterwards coming upon the world; why He should not build up each soul into the living Temple without the intervention of any sacramental medium between the soul and His Almighty power. And since it is impossible to give a reason for this, there is the more cause to acknowledge humbly that God does nothing without necessity, and to bow our intellect with reverence before the inscrutable fact which lies open before it in Christ's words, "My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed." "This is My body, this is My blood."

Such a reverent awe for this great fact will not be at all diminished by inquiry as to the particular circumstances under which the Holy Eucharist was instituted, if we are careful not to give ourselves a false impression of those circumstances by yielding to the seductive bias of mere "local colouring." For however true it may be that the rite which our Lord instituted was associated with some previous custom of the temple, the synagogue, or the household, yet this truth is only part of the whole truth; and it would be a perversion of a truth to say that this association amounted to the actual foundation of the Christian


rite upon the Jewish. It is a more rational, as well as a more reverent, answer to the question, Whence was the Holy Eucharist derived? to reply that it was absolutely originated by our Blessed Lord, and not founded on any previous ordinance or As He took our human nature into His Divine Nature by an originative act of Creation, although He was pleased to follow up the Creative act by the natural process of its develop. ment from the substance of His Mother; so an originative act preceded, and stood above, all associations between the Eucharist and earthly rites or earthly substances. His Body and His Blood first existed, and then were associated with bread and wine; the former taking the latter up into themselves by His Divine power. It is true that our Lord did use the words of David, at the most solemn epoch of His sufferings; that He associated His Prayer with ancient formularies of the older dispensation; and that He did, in like manner, associate the Holy Eucharist with the Temple rite of the Mincha offering of bread and wine, with the Sabbath Eve Synagogue Memorial of the Exodus, and with the domestic usages of the Passover. But the association in each case was that of the antitype with the type. He did not use the words of the Psalms as those of David, but David used them prophetically as the words of Christ. Those Jewish prayers which bore some resemblance to the Lord's Prayer, were typical foreshadowings of that Divine formulary in which all prayer was to be gathered into one ever-prevailing intercession; and, finally, the Eucharist was not evolved out of former rites, but fulfilled them, and absorbed them. The Mincha became the " 'pure offering," the Sabbath Eve service of the Synagogue merged in the Lord's Day Eucharist, and the domestic rites of the Passover passed into the Sacrament of His love, of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

Thus then we are led to look primarily not at the outward signs of the Holy Eucharist, but at that which they signified. Bread and wine, the common food and common drink, not the exceptional luxuries of a Jewish meal, were indeed used by our Lord as the media of His great gift; but it is to the gift itself that He draws our attention, saying, not "This Bread," but " This is My Body,” . . . not "This Wine," but " This is My Blood." He takes them up into a higher nature; and when so consecrated, although their original nature is not annihilated, it passes out of spiritual cognizance, and the eye of faith sees, or desires to see, it no more.

Much trouble would have been spared to the Church if there had been less endeavour to define on the one hand what our Lord's words mean, and, on the other hand, what they do not mean. Up to a certain point we can define; beyond a certain point we must be content to leave definition and accept mystery. We can say that the elements before consecration are bread and wine, and we can also say that they are bread and wine after consecration: we can say that the bread and wine are not the Body and Blood of Christ before consecration, and we can also say that they are the Body and Blood of Christ after consecration. But how these apparently contradictory facts are to be reconciled, what is the nature of the change that occurs in the bread and wine, in what manner that change is effected, how far that change extends beyond the use of the Sacrament-these are questions that no one can answer but God. When Nicodemus said, "How can these things be ?" and the people at Capernaum, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?" our Lord did not explain, but reiterated, the truths which had excited the wonder and doubt of the questioners. In doing so He doubtless taught the lesson, that when God speaks in words of mystery He does so with a purpose; and that it is our duty to believe exactly what He tells us, even though we cannot understand all that His words mean. There can never be any real antagonism between one truth and another, nor can there be any real conflict between His gift of Faith and His gift of Intellect.

§ The Holy Communion as a Sacrifice.

In the prophecy of Malachi to which previous reference has been made, the Holy Ghost gave the following prediction respect

ing Gospel times:-"From the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, My Name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My Name, and A PURE OFFERING: for My Name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts." [Mal. i. 11.] The words translated " 'pure offering" are " Mincha" in the Hebrew, evola kabapá in the Septuagint, and "oblatio munda" in the Vulgate. The whole text "was once, and that in the oldest and purest time of the Church, a text of eminent note, and familiarly known to every Christian, being alleged by their pastors and teachers as an express and undoubted prophecy of the Christian sacrifice, or solemn worship in the Eucharist, taught by our blessed Saviour unto His disciples, to be observed of all that shall believe in His Name; and this so generally and grantedly, as could never have been, at least so early, unless they had learned thus to apply it by tradition from the Apostles." [Mede, Christian Sacrif. 355.] The deep and habitual conviction of the

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In these narratives certain definite acts and words of our Lord are clearly recorded. (1) He took bread: (2) He blessed it, or "gave thanks" over it: (3) He brake it: (4) He gave it to those present: (5) He said that what He so gave them to eat was His Body: (6) He took the cup: (7) He gave thanks over it also: (8) He gave it to those present: (9) He called that which He so gave them to drink His Blood: (10) He directed them to do as He had done for a memorial of Him.

In the words recorded there are several terms of a special character. (1) When our Lord blessed [evλoyhoas] and gave thanks [exapioThoas], He did so in no ordinary sense, as in the benediction of food before a meal, or the thanksgiving for it afterwards. He bleased the elements of bread and wine with the fulness of a Divine benediction, so that His eucharistization of them caused them to possess properties which they did not previously possess; especially, to become spiritual entities, His Body and His Blood1. (2) In commanding His Apostles to "do" [TOLETTE] "this," our Lord was using a well-known expression significant of the act of Sacrifice; and one which St. Paul (who uses it twice of the Institution) uses also of the Passover, when he says of Moses, that "through faith he kept [rolnoe] the Passover and sprinkling of blood." The use of the word for both is found afterwards

The same word is used in John vi. 11, where our Lord "eucharistized " the five loaves before putting them into the hands of His disciples with the new capacity of feeding five thousand men. The whole action of this miracle has an Eucharistic character. [See note at p. 95, on the Gospel for Mid-Lent Sunday.]

truth here expressed is illustrated by the names which were given to the Holy Communion in the early Church: they were "Oblation, Sacrifice, Eucharist, Sacrifice of Thanksgiving, Sacrifice of Praise, reasonable and unbloody Sacrifice, Sacrifice of our Mediator, Sacrifice of the Altar, Sacrifice of our Ransom, Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ. It would be infinite to note all the places and authors where and by whom it is thus called.” [Ibid.] In all these terms it will be seen that the most prominent idea of the Eucharist was not that of Communion, but of Oblation or bloodless Sacrifice. And they were terms advisedly taken into use by holy men and the Church at large, at a time when sacrifices were still offered beyond the pale of the Church.

This habitual dwelling upon the Sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist was founded upon the acts and words of our Lord at His Institution of the Sacrament. These are narrated by the three former Evangelists and by St. Paul in the following passages :

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in St. Chrysostom, when he writes, "See how He weans and draws them from Jewish rites; 'For,' says He, 'as ye offered that'" (i. e. the Passover, ¿keîvo ¿πoleîte) "in remembrance of the miraculous deliverance from Egypt, so offer'" (TOLETTE) "this in remembrance of Me: that blood was shed for preservation of the first-born, this for the remission of the sins of the whole world."" [Chrys. Matt. xxvi. lxxxii.] The word is constantly translated "offer" and "sacrifice," and by equivalent terms in the English version of the Old Testament, and it clearly has that meaning in Luke ii. 27. It would therefore be watering down the sense of it in this place if any less meaning were to be assigned to it as all the meaning that it contained. (3) The expression "in remembrance of Me" [eis Thy èμǹv åváμvnow] is also of a sacrificial character, meaning, in conjunction with the preceding, "Offer this as a Memorial of Me before the Father." So the word μvnμóσvvov is used in Leviticus ii. 2. 9, "the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar," and àváμvnois itself in Numbers x. 10 and Leviticus xxiv. 7, "and when so applied," says Mr. Keble, it “means always a portion of something offered to Almighty God, to remind Him' of the worshipper himself, or of some other person or object in whom the worshipper takes an interest; or of His own loving-kindness, shown by mercies past or gracious promises for the future.".. "This is the proper drift of the word remembrance in our Lord's institution of the Sacrament. Do this;' He seems to say,

2 See Carter on the Priesthood, p. 84, note. Cf. Lev. ix. 7, in LXX. Isa xix. 21. 1 Kings xi. 33.


Bless, break, distribute, receive this Bread; bless, distribute, drink of this Cup; say over the two respectively, This is My Body, This is My Blood, in order to that Memorial Sacrifice which properly belongs to Me; the Memorial which My servants are continually to make of Me, among one another, and before My Father." This term also is used twice in St. Paul's account of the institution. (4) Lastly, St. Paul uses an expression which must be interpreted in a similar manner, when he says, "ye do shew" [Karayyéλλere] "the Lord's death." That the whole early Church thus understood our Lord's words, applying them to the offering of the Holy Eucharist by His Ministers, and not only to His one oblation of Himself, is shown by the words of the Fathers, by decrees of Councils, and more than all by the constant witness of the ancient Liturgies. Thus, St. Cyprian says, "For if Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, is Himself the great High Priest of God the Father, and first offered Himself a Sacrifice to the Father, and commanded this to be done in remembrance of Himself, surely that priest truly acts in Christ's stead, who imitates that which Christ did; and he then offers a true and full Sacrifice in the Church to God the Father, when he begins to offer it according as he sees Christ Himself offered it." [Cypr. Ep. lxiii. 11.] In the fifth Canon of the Nicene Council an injunction is given respecting the appeasing of disputes in Lent that "the Gift may be offered pure to God." In the eleventh Canon one kind of penitents are directed to join in the prayers "without offering" and in the eighteenth those are spoken of "who offer the Body of Christ 2." How distinctly the ancient Church spoke on the subject, in its solemn public language before God, may be seen by the following Prayers of Oblation taken from some of its Liturgies :

Liturgy of St. James.- We therefore also, sinners, remembering His life-giving Passion, His salutary Cross, His Death and Resurrection from the dead on the third day, His Ascension into Heaven, and Session on the right hand of Thee His God and Father, and His glorious and terrible coming again, when He shall come with glory to judge the quick and the dead, and to render to every man according to his works, offer to Thee, O Lord, this tremendous and unbloody Sacrifice, beseeching Thee that Thou wouldst not deal with us after our sins, nor reward us according to our iniquities; but according to Thy gentleness and ineffable love, passing by and blotting out the handwriting that is against us, Thy suppliants, wouldst grant us Thy heavenly and eternal gifts, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which Thou, O God, hast prepared for them that love Thee. Liturgy of St. Clement.-Wherefore having in remembrance

we offer to Thee our King and our God, according to this institution, this bread and this cup; giving thanks to Thee through Him, that Thou hast thought us worthy to stand before Thee, and to sacrifice unto Thee.

Liturgy of St. Mark.-[Before Consecration]. ... Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, by Whom, rendering thanks to Thee with Himself and the Holy Ghost, we offer to Thee this reasonable and unbloody Sacrifice, which all nations offer to Thee, O Lord, from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same; from the north and from the south; for Thy name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to Thy name, and a pure offering. [After words of Institution 3] O Almighty Lord and Master, King of Heaven, we announcing the death of Thine only-begotten Son our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ O Lord our God, we have set before

Thee Thine own of Thine own gifts.

Liturgy of St. Chrysostom.-We therefore, remembering this salutary precept, and all that happened on our behalf, the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into heaven, the Session on the right hand, the second and glorious coming again, in behalf of all, and for all, we offer Thee

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Thine own of Thine own. . . . . Moreover we offer unto Thee this reasonable and unbloody Sacrifice: and beseech Thee and pray and supplicate; send down Thy Holy Ghost upon us, and upon these proposed gifts.

Sacramentary of St. Gregory.-Wherefore, O Lord, we Thy servants, and also Thy holy people, having in remembrance Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, as well His blessed Passion, as also His Resurrection from the lower parts of the earth [ab Inferis], and His glorious Ascension into Heaven: offer unto Thine excellent Majesty of Thine own donations and gifts which Thou hast given a pure offering [hostiam], an holy offering, an immaculate offering, the holy Bread of eternal life, and the Cup of everlasting salvation.

The last of these is the Prayer of Oblation which was used by the Church of England (in common with the rest of the Western Church) before the translation of her offices into English. In the Prayer Book of 1549, the Prayer was substantially retained, the following words succeeding the words of Institution :

English Communion Office of 1549.-Wherefore, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the Institution of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Saviour Jesu Christ, we Thy humble servants do celebrate and make here before Thy Divine Majesty, with these Thy holy gifts, the memorial which Thy Son hath willed us to make: having in remembrance His blessed Passion, mighty Resurrection, and glorious Ascension, rendering unto Thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same; entirely desiring Thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching Thee to grant, that by the merits and death of Thy Son Jesus Christ. . . . [as in the present Office].

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When the Canon was separated into three parts in 1552, these words of oblation were placed after the Communion and the Lord's Prayer. In the Scottish Office of 1637, a return was made to the Liturgy of 1549; and in the revision of 1661, Bishop Cosin proposed to restore this form rather than that of 1552, as Queen Elizabeth and Lord Burleigh had also wished. But Bishop Cosin's wishes were overruled, probably because it was considered that the times were too dangerous to admit of any conspicuous change in the Communion Service.

Although, however, the change in the position of the words of Oblation has tended to obscure the meaning of the Service, it cannot for a moment be supposed that the revisers of our Liturgy in 1552 were so exceedingly and profanely presumptuous as to wish to suppress the doctrine of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. There were probably some unfortunate temporary reasons (such as the unscrupulous tyranny of ignorant and biassed rulers), which influenced them to make such a change as would save the doctrine, while it left the statement of it more open than before: and they probably thought it better to consult expediency to a certain extent, than to run the risk of such an interference as would have taken the Prayer Book out of the hands of the Church, and moulded it to the meagre faith of Calvinistic Puritans. After the alteration was made, some of our best and holiest Divines, such as Andrewes and Overall, were accustomed to say the "first Thanksgiving," or Prayer of Oblation, before administering the elements, and the second, "Almighty and everliving God," after the Lord's Prayer, but this practice has been discontinued since the last Revision, though its revival is much to be desired.

From the very nature of the Holy Eucharist it is, however, impossible for any such change as that which was thus made to vitiate its sacrificial character. The Act of Consecration is in itself an act of Sacrifice, whether or not it is accompanied by express words of oblation. So long therefore as properly ordained Priests use the proper formula of consecration, there must necessarily be an offering of the Holy Eucharist to God; although such a minimum of form is, it is true, quite discordant with the spirit and letter of Apostolic Liturgies. The whole service is also a virtual memorial before God, even if there were not in any part of it specific words on the subject.

But the Prayer of Oblation yet remains in our Liturgy, though displaced from its ancient position, and said after Communion;

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