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XIII. NON-COMMUNICANT ATTENDANCE.
1. Not Meaningless or Valueless.
(a) Sacrifice, or Sacred Offering. (Mal. i. 11.)
(1 Cor. x. 16, 17.) (a) What we give to God. (Ps. cxvi. 11, 13.) (6) What God gives to us. (Psalm cxvi. 12.) (a) Celebration, an Act of Worship. (6) Administration, an Act of Self-appropri
tion. Hence, participation in (a) is quite possible without (6)
2. Desirable in itself.
(a) The ignorant, instructed in doctrine and practice, by personal attendance and observation.
(6) Timid and wavering, gradually familiarized, and encouraged to Communicate. (1 Cor. xiv. 24, 5). (c) Regular Communicants at the Early Service,
Worship ” at the later. (d) Do. taught to make a Spiritual Communion in case of Sickness, &c.
(e) Do., taught "unselfish giving," apart from "selfish receiving."
() Prayers, Meditations, &c., more likely to be earnest and devout, under the consciousness of Christ's special Presence.
(8) Prayers more likely to be answered, when offered while the “Crucifixion of God the Son is being re-presented and pleaded before God the Father.
3. Recognized in Prayer Book.
(a) No permission to “Depart," until after the final Blessing.
(6) (1) In Exhortation No. 3. () Ye that do truly, (3) Confession, and (4) Rubrics to these ; two classes are distinctly provided for; viz., those who " mind to come, and those who do not; the former being invited to “ draw near” to be “conveniently placed” in the Quire or Chancel for that purpose, the latter, remaining in the Nave, within sight and hearing, to participate in the Act of Worship and Post-Communion Office. (c) Similarly the Rubric of 1549.
" So many as shall be partakers of the Holy Communion shall tarry still in the Quire, or in some convenient place nigh the Quire, the men on one side, the women on the other. All other, that mind not to receive, shall depart out of the Quire, except the Ministers and Clerks."
(d) The Non-Communicants in (c) are of two kinds, Clerical and Lay. Neither are told to depart out of the Church ; but the former are retained in the Quire to assist in singing the Service and in the “Ministration,” while the latter are relegated to the Nave, to assist merely in the general function ; so that "all the people” alike may
obtain the benefit of Absolution,” with other spiritual advantages derivable from this act of Eucharistic worship. (e) In any case,
" Half a loaf is better than no bread at all”; and Non-Communicants' presence, preferable to Non-Communicants' absence, being more reverent and more likely to bring a blessing ; just as the man who puts himself in the way of good things is more likely to obtain them, or at least to gather up some fragments of the feast, than he who turns his back upon them altogether.
Article xxix. De Manducatione Cor- Of the Wicked, which eat
poris Christi : et Im- not the Body of Christ pios Illud non man- in the use of the Lord's ducare.
Supper. Impii, et fide vivâ The Wicked, and such destituti, licet carnaliter as be void of a lively et visibiliter (ut Augus- faith, although they do tinus loquitur) Corporis carnally and visibly press et Sanguinis Christi Sa- with their teeth (as S. cramentum, dentibus pre- Augustine saith) the Samant, nullo tamen modo crament of the Body and Christi participes effici- Blood of Christ, yet in untur. Sed potius Tantæ no wise are they parRei sacramentum, seu takers of Christ ; but symbolum, ad judicium rather to their condemsibi manducantet bibunt. nation do eat and drink
the sign or sacrament of
so Great a Thing. I. WHO ARE NOT " PARTAKERS OF CHRIST ?"
1. The Wicked.
Now, just as “ Dead Works” mean works which lead to Death (e.g., a Dead Shot); so, a “Lively Faith" (like "Lively Oracles,") is a Faith which leads to Life Eternal ; which works by love, and leads to righteous action; stimulating the possessor to “examine himself,” &c., and make fitting preparation to appear before the Presence of God (Ps. xlii. 2).
Hence “Non-Partakers of Christ” are (1) Persons whom the world calls 66 Wicked," as living shamelessly in gross, open sin ; and who do not present themselves at the Altar at all, except as an act of bravado and defiance ; and (2) Persons whom the world calls" Respectable,” like Dives (S. Luke xvi. 19); as being free from the grosser vices, and who present themselves row and then, merely because Public Opinion requires it as a mark of Respectability, &c.
II. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE WICKED, &c.
They eat and drink 10 their condemnation.' Now an empty nut gives neither food nor flavour to the hungry; an empty cup gives neither sweet water nor bitter to the thirsty. Hence, both these alternatives must be possible, otherwise the Article would be a “Work of Super-erogation," i.e., a needless waste of words and energy.
III. THE REAL PRESENCE :
Its TwoFOLD RESULTS. (a) In the Holy “ Eucharist” (Art. 28) when duly “ celebrated” (Com. Office) by a " Lawful Minister" (Arts. 19, 23,) there is a truly “Real Presence" of Christ (S. Matt. xxviii. 20), i.e., a Presence of the Res, or “Thing Signified” (Catechism) quite inde. pendent of and apart from the faith, &c., of communicants; the “Body of Christ ” being “given' by the Priest, before it can be “taken and eaten by the People. (Art. 28.)
(6) Christ, being present, can judge and condemn as well as bless and reward ; can give Damnum or Damnationem (Art. 25,) as well as Virtus ; just as the same sun that softens wax, has power to harden clay. (Notes on Art. 25.) IV. S. PAUL'S TEACHING : Four PARTICULARS.
In 1 Cor. xi. 27—30, S. Paul speaks of " Christ's Body and Blood” being verily and indeed present, in such a manner, that
(1) It needs to be very carefully and reverently “ discerned" or discriminated from unconsecrated bread and wine ;
(2) It may be received unworthily;
(3) Those who are thus guilty of treating IT with careless irreverence and contumely like the original Crucifiers (S. Matt. xxvii. 25; Heb. vi. 6,) bring upon themselves Kpipa, a condemning judgment.
(4) This “ Judgmeni” actually fell as epidemic upon the Corinthians; many of whom became weak and sickly, while some even died, in consequence.
V. CHURCH TEACHING : THREE PARTICULARS.
(a) CERTAINTY OF REAL PRESENCE. “Grant that we...... may be partakers of His most
Blessed Body and Blood.” “The Body of Christ...... Take and eat This.” “ The Priest...... shall reverently eat and drink
what remaineth of that which was conse
crated.” (6) DANGER OF “ Not DISCERNING" IT.
“Consider the great peril of unworthy receiving." “So dangerous to them that presume to receive
It unworthily." “ Doth nothing else but increase your damnation.” “ The devil enter into you, as into Judas, and
bring you to destruction both of body and
soul. (c) CONFESSION, A HELP TO THE BURDENED CONSCIENCE. “Let him come to me or to some other, &c., and
open his grief” (disclose his grievous sin).