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THE EGYPTIAN FORM.
This is taken from Dr. Brett's translation of the Liturgy of St. Mark, used by the Monophysites at this day throughout the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and by the Orthodox so late as the eleventh century.
In the same night wherein He delivered himself for our sins, and was about to suffer death for mankind, sitting down to supper with His disciples; He took bread in His holy, spotless, and undefiled hands, and looking up to THEE, HIS FATHER, but our GOD, and the God of all, He gave thanks, He blessed, He sanctified, and brake it, and gave it to them, saying, Take eat.
Priest continues. For this is my body which is broken and given for the remission of sins.
Priest continues.-In like manner He took the cup after supper, and mixing it with wine and water, and looking up to Heaven, to THEE HIS FATHER, but our GOD and the GOD of all, He gave thanks, He blessed. He filled it with the HOLY GHOST, and gave it to His holy and blessed Disciples, saying, Drink ye all of this.
Priest continues.-For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed and given for you and for many, for the remission of sins.
Priest continues.-Do this in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye shall eat this bread and drink this cup, ye show forth my death, and confess my resurrection and ascension till my coming again.
Showing forth, therefore, O LORD ALMIGHTY, heavenly King, the death of thine only-begotten SoN, our LORD, our GOD, and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, and confessing His blessed resurrection from the dead on the third day, and His sitting at the right hand of Thee, His GOD and FATHER; and also looking for His second terrible appearance, when he shall come in righteousness to judge both
the quick and dead, and to render to every man according to his works. We, O LORD, have set before Thee thine own, out of thine own gifts; and we pray and beseech thee, O thou lover of mankind, to send down from thy holy heaven the habitation of thy dwelling, from thine infinite bosom, the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy One, the LORD, the Giver of life, who spake in the law, in the Prophets, and in the Apostles; who is every where, and fills all things; sanctifying whom He pleases, not ministerially, but according to His own will: simple in nature, but various in operation. The fountain of all divine graces, consubstantial with Thee, proceeding from Thee, and sitting with Thee in the throne of thy kingdom, together with thy Son our LORD, our GOD, and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.
Send down thine HOLY SPIRIT upon us, and upon these loaves and these cups, that the ALMIGHTY GOD may sanctify and thoroughly consecrate them: making the bread the body.
And the cup, the blood of the New Testament of our LORD himself, our God and SAVIOUR, and supreme King JESUS CHRIST. Deacon.-Descend, ye Deacons.
Priest. That they may be to us who partake of them, the means of faith, sobriety, health, temperance, sanctification, the renewing of our soul, our body, and spirit; the communion of the blessedness of eternal life and immortality; the glorifying of thy holy name; and the remission of sins.
The Egyptian rite contains elsewhere the following words, resembling a part of the Roman oblation, which would otherwise seem to stand by itself.
"Receive, O LORD, unto thy holy Heaven, and intellectual Altar in the Heaven of Heavens, by the ministry of Archangels, the Eucharistical praises of those that offer sacrifices and oblations to Thee. . . . Receive them as Thou didst the gifts of thy righteous Abel, the sacrifice of our Father Abraham, the incense of Zacharias, the alms of Cornelius, and the widow's mite."
THE GALLICAN FORM.
The following fragment was translated by Dr. Brett, from Mabillon's edition of an ancient MS. in the Queen of Sweden's Library.
O JESUS, the good High Priest, come and be in the midst of us, as Thou wast in the midst of thy disciples; sanctify this oblation, that being sanctified, we may receive it by the hand of thy holy Angel, O Holy LORD and eternal REDEEMER.
Our LORD JESUS CHRIST in that night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, He blessed and brake it, and gave it to His Disciples, saying, Take and eat: this is my Body which shall be delivered for you. Do this as oft as ye eat it, in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup, after He had supped, saying, This is the cup of the New Testament, in my blood. which shall be shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.
As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye shall show the LORD's death till He shall come in brightness from the Heavens. R. Amen.
We, O LORD, observing these thy gifts and precepts, lay upon thine Altar the sacrifices of bread and wine, beseeching the deep goodness of thy mercy, that the holy and undivided Trinity may sanctify these Hosts, by the same SPIRIT through which uncorrupt virginity conceived Thee in the flesh that when it has been received by us with fear and veneration, whatever dwells in us contrary to the good of the soul may die; and whatever dies may never rise again!
"We therefore observing these His commandments, offer unto Thee the holy gift of our salvation, beseeching Thee that Thou wouldest vouchsafe to send thy HOLY SPIRIT Upon these solemn mysteries, that they may become to us a true Eucharist, in the name of Thee and thy Son, and of the HOLY SPIRIT, that they may confer eternal life and an everlasting kingdom on us who are going to eat and drink of them in the transformation of the body and blood of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, Thine only-begotten Son."
Such is the view taken of the consecration and oblation of the Eucharist in the four independent Christian Liturgies. It is well worth the consideration of such Protestant bodies as have rejected the ancient forms.
Further information may be found respecting these remarkable documents, in the valuable works, already quoted, of Dr. Brett and Mr Palmer. It is, however, much to be wished, that correct editions of the original documents were in the hands of every one. It may perhaps, be said, without exaggeration, that next to the Holy Scriptures, they possess the greatest claims on our veneration and study.
The Feast of St. Philip and St. James.
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TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.
BISHOP BULL ON THE ANCIENT LITURGIES.
(From his XIIIth Sermon.)
[To Timothy,] to this public person, to this great Bishop of the Church, is this charge given by St. Paul, in my text: "I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men," &c. He was to take care that such prayers should be made in all churches and congregations under his inspection and jurisdiction.
And how could he do this, but by providing by his authority that there should be set forms of prayer, framed according to this rule, given him by the Apostle, to be used in those churches? Sure I am, the primitive Catholic Church understood this to be the meaning of the Apostle. Hence, in all the churches of CHRIST over the world, however distant from each other, we find set forms of public prayers, suited and conforming to this direction of the Apostle.
And, indeed, if we consult all the ancient liturgies extant at this day, we shall find this observation to be most true; they are all framed and composed according to this rule of the Apostle.
And it is observable, that however those ancient liturgies have been altered and corrupted in after times by many additions and interpolations, yet there are in all of them still remaining many excellent and divine forms of prayer and thanksgiving, wherein they do all perfectly agree, and which, therefore, cannot reasonably be thought to have any other original than apostolical order and appointment, delivered to the several nations and people, together with the first preaching and planting of Christianity among them.