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From this place to the end of the Service it is taken, with little variation, from St. Chrysostom's Liturgy.'

When the Minister delivered the Communion in both kinds to the Communicants, after the first sentence, at "everlasting life," each communicant anciently answered, “Amen;" professing his Faith in this Sacrament."

After the “Lord's Prayer," the Priest offers up the sacrifice of the Eucharist, or the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for the whole Church, as was appointed in all ancient Liturgies; at the same time, is offered the most acceptable sacrifice of ourselves, our souls and bodies, to the service of God.

The Angelical Hymn follows. It is in imitation of our Saviour, who, “after supper sung an hymn," to teach us to do likewise. It is not possible to hear the words, “This is my body; take and eat it"-" Drink ye all of this; this is my blood”. without feelings of pious and fearful admiration, joy, and consolation.

The Hymn being ended, the Congregation depart with the “Blessing.” Our Saviour gave the blessing of God, "standing in the midst ;" desi

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1 Cyril. Catech. Mystag. 5.

A lbid. * Romans xii. St. Augustine de Civitate Dei, lib. 10. c. 6. y St. Matthew

rous of spreading his blessings among all the world. This Benediction was instituted by Inno

cent. 2

The "Blessing" is to be given by the Priest, or, by the Bishop, if he be present. It was anciently forbidden to go out of the Church, until the “ Blessing" had been given. The Jews received it kneeling, or bowing their heads. a

In the earliest times, Christians communicated every day. This custom continued in Africa, till the time of St. Cyprian. b The Eastern and Western Churches reduced this Service to Sundays and Holidays only, and afterwards to once a year. • We are now directed to receive it at least three times in the year; at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide. In the fourth rubric of the Liturgy of King Edward VI., the Clergy were bound to receive it, who served in Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, much more frequently; indeed, whenever there was a sufficient attendance to receive it.

2 Walafr. Strabo de reb. Eccles. c. 22. p. 683.
* Ecclesiasticus 50. 21. Numbers vi. 22, 23.
6 Orat. Dom. St. Cyprian was beheaded in 258.

c Ambrose de Sacram. l. 4. c. 4. & Concil. Eliber. c. 81. Conc. Agat. c. 18. These Canons were to be observed by the Laity.

THE MINISTRATION

OF

PUBLIC BAPTISM OF INFANTS,

TO BE USED IN

THE CHURCH.

The rites of Baptism, in the earliest times, were performed in Fountains and Rivers ; because there were numerous Converts, and because in those ages there were no Baptisteries. Hence we call our Baptisteries, Fonts; which, in peaceful times, were built and consecrated, to add more reverence to this Sacrament. They were originally at some distance from the Church ; afterwards, in the Church Porch ; and at last, within the Church, called “ the Mother-Church,” where the Bishop resided. They were soon introduced into rural Churches; and always held in high veneration.

e

In the beginning of this Service, the necessity and efficacy of Baptism are explained from the Scriptures; that we are all born in sin, as the consequence of Adam's fall; and by our first birth have therefore no right to the kingdom of Heaven, into which “no unclean thing shall enter;" 8 that there is need of a second birth to give us that right;-“Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God;" h and that this new birth is by Water, and the Holy Ghost. “Except a man be born again of Water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”. By “Water" and the “Holy Ghost" are here meant Baptism.

e Cyril, Cat. Myst. 1.

f Romans v. 18, 19.

We are thus instructed in the nature, necessity, and efficacy, of this Sacrament; and that it is the only ordinary means of our Regeneration, which gives us a conditional right and title to the kingdom of Heaven.

The prayer, usually called the Consecration of the Water, succeeds. There is here no Consecration, as in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, where the bread and wine must be blessed by us, before it be “the Communion of the body and blood of Christ to us."k

In the office of “private Baptism" no consecration of water is appointed.

Then is a prayer for God's merciful acceptance of the Infants ; followed with plain arguments from St. Mark ; that He will receive them when they are brought to Him.' We are told, that no infant is to be withheld from Baptism." It was the decision of that Council, which was held in the year 246;" and was afterwards confirmed by other Councils.

& Ephes. v. 5. i John iii. 5.

h John iii. 3. ki Cor. x. 16.

Then follow an Exhortation, and an excellent Prayer, for ourselves, and the Infants.

In cases of necessity, the Church permits, and provides, that an infant may be baptized in any decent place at any time, without requiring the solemnities of Baptism;° but it requires, that the child be afterwards brought to the Church, from whom Covenants and engagements are exacted, the Sponsors being accepted, instead of the Infant. These engagements are to renounce the world and the Devil, and to promise obedience to Christ. These promises, in the name of the Infant, made by the God-Fathers, and God-Mothers, bound him, as if he had personally made them.

The questions, to which the Sponsors have replied, are followed by short prayers, which are supposed in substance to be the same as the an. cient exorcisms; and which were certain prayers

1 Mark x. 13.

m Cyprian Ep. 59. ► August. Ep. 28 ad Hieron. ° Conc. Carthag. 5. c. 6. anno 438.

r St. Chrys. in Ps. 14.-Cyprian Ep. 2.-And it was allowed upon the authority of St. Austin, that Sponsors in Baptism should answer in the child's name.

Burnet.

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