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In the course of my ministerial duties, I endeavoured, in the year 1835, to explain from the pulpit, in a series of sermons during Lent, the nature and objects of this Holy Sacrament: and I repeated the same to a different congregation in the year 1837. Since that time I have been urged to advance still further, and to commit the substance of my observations to the press. Many alterations, and much matter, as the reader will observe, not suitable to the pulpit, has now been added, and the whole is put together, as a sort of manual of information on the subject of THE EUCHARIST.
If Christians desire to “ walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless,” they will at least allow this Sacrament to be worthy of consideration. They will at least allow that it is a subject on which they may safely entertain a question.
Is the Eucharist an ordinance of the Lord ? Is it necessary for Christian men to walk in it? And once having allowed it to be entertained as a question, it surely becomes their duty, according to their several abilities, to answer that question by an impartial enquiry into its nature and obligation, so that there may be peace between themselves and God.
This is a postulate which no rational man can refuse. It is the foundation upon which I would beseech him to read the following pages.
I do not presụme to imagine that this book will have any material circulation beyond the congregations with whom, under the grace of God, I am personally connected. For them it is drawn up, and to their service it is dedicated. But if it should, by the blessing of the Lord, have any further extension; if it should be the means, in any one person, of inducing a further and more serious consideration of his sacramental obligations; if it should draw the steps but of one, to the altar of Jesus Christ;-my“ labour will not be in vain in the Lord.”
My object has been, in the First Part, to put together such a collection of matter as may attract the attention of the well-educated, without affecting the dryness or the depth of theological learning; and I have added, as a Second Part, some meditations and prayers, as a weekly preparation. .
May the husbandman who sows the seed, in his own good time bring forth the fruit, some thirty, some sixty, some an hundred fold.
Fifth Century. Image Worship, Vices of the
Clergy, Theodoret, Gelasius . . .
Eighth Century. Solitary Masses, Bede, John