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Directions.—Now, laying aside all fears and
despondencies, proceed to the Communion Ser. vice, and then to the Sacrament, with such joy and satisfaction as a guilty criminal would feel were he going to plead his pardon at an earthly tribunal. Before you approach to the chancel
, offer a brief but earnest prayer that you may be enabled to drop all thoughts of things on earth, and give up yourself wholly to the remembrance of the sufferings of our Saviour, lifting up your soul to him in these words:
LORD, and so will I compass thy altar, that I may show the voice of thanksgiving, and tell all thy wondrous works.”
Then shall the Priest return to the Lord's Table, and begin the Offertory, saying one or more of these Sentences following, as he thinketh most
convenient in his discretion. DirectIONS.—When the Minister begins to read
the Offertory (which chiefly relates to the duty of beneficence to all men by our alms and charitable contributions, which are to be disposed of to pious and charitable uses, at the discretion of the Minister and Churchwardens) you must be very attentive, and with your eye not voice read along with him; and be sure you make what short application you can to yourself of what is read; and wherein you may perceive you have been wanting either in charity or justice to any one, God helping you, you will resolve to make up those defects for the time to come, for assure yourself you will be highly unjust if you detain from any what is
their due. When it comes to your turn to make your offering,
do not let the basin pass by you without putting something into it, for this reason, among others, that you may join in that part of the Prayer for the Church Militant wherein you beseech God to accept your alms; and you are permitted to believe that he will accept them as given to himself, if they bear a proportion to your ability, and are offered in obedience to his commands, and with a regard to his glory, as a grateful acknowledgment of his mercies to yourself, and as a testimony of your dependence upon him for the continuance of them. With such reflections, your present offering, and all your other gifts to the services of religion and the uses of charity, ought to be accompanied. They that are poor, and cannot give as they are
disposed in their hearts, must remember that the alms given on this occasion are not matter of necessity, but a free gift; and that their small contributions will, like the poor widow's two mites, be preferred to the richest oblations of the wealthy, if presented with less fervour of love, and less simplicity of faith. And even he that hath nothing at all to give is invited freely to partake of these spiritual blessings without money and without price.
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt. v. 16.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth; where the rust and moth doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither rust nor moth doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Matt. vi. 19, 20.
Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them; for this is the law and the prophets. Matt. vii. 12.
Not every one that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matt. vii. 21.
Zaccheus stood forth and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor : and if I have done any wrong to any man, I restore fourfold. Luke xix. 8.
Who goeth a warfare at any time at his own cost? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or, who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock ? 1 Cor. ix, 7.
If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we should reap your worldly things ? 1 Cor. ix. 11.
Do ye not know that they who minister about holy things live of the sacrifice ? and they who wait at the altar are partakers with the altar ? Even so hath the LORD also ordained, that they who preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 1 Cor. ix. 13, 14.
He that soweth little shall reap little; and he that soweth plenteously shall reap plenteously. Let every man do according as he is disposed in his heart: not grudgingly, or of necessity : for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. ix. 6, 7.
Let him that is taught in the word, minister unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap. Gal. vi. 6, 7.
While we have time, let us do good unto all men; and especially unto them that are of the household of faith. Gal. vi. 10.
Godliness is great riches, if a man be content with that he hath: for we brought nothing into this world, neither may we carry any thing out. 1 Tim. vi. 6, 7.
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be ready to give and glad to distribute; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may attain eternal life. 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18, 19.
God is not unrighteous, that he will forget your works and labour that proceedeth of love; which love ye have showed for his name's sake, who have ministered unto the saints, and yet do minister. Heb. vi. 10.
To do good, and to distribute, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Heb. xiii. 16.
Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him. 1 John iii. 17.
Give alms of thy goods, and never turn thy face from any poor man, and then the face of the LORD shall not be turned away from thee. Tobit iv. 7.
Be merciful after thy power. If thou