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hast much, give plenteously; if thou hast little, do thy diligence gladly to give of that little; for so gatherest thou thyself a good reward in the day of necessity. Tobit iv. 8, 9.
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD, and, look, what he layeth out shall be paid him again. Prov. xix. 17.
Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy; the LORD shall deliver him in the time of trouble. Psalm xli. 1.
Whilst these sentences are in reading, the Deacons, Churchwardens, or other fit persons appointed for that purpose, shall receive the alms for the poor, and other devotions of the people, in a decent basin or plate to be provided by the parish for that purpose; and reverently bring it in to the priest, who shall humbly present and place it upon the holy table.
A Prayer at Offering your Alms.
Thy prayers and thy alms are come up for a memorial before God. Acts x. 4.
TH HY bounty, O LORD, is the fountain
of all I possess; for it is from thee I have received all my worldly goods: and to thy holy name be the glory. Accept of
this freewill offering of my hands, as an acknowledgment of thy right to all I enjoy ; and as a testimony of that kindness, love, and charity, to my necessitous brethren which thou requirest, and art pleased to accept as done to thyself.
Therefore I will dedicate a part of those good things which thou hast bestowed upon me to relieve the poor, because thou hast made it an evidence of my love to thee. And grant that all my alms deeds may be performed with such simplicity of intention, and in such a proportion to what thou hast given me, that they may be acceptable in thy sight, through the merits of Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. Amen.
DIRECTIONS.-Here the Priest beginning the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church Militant here on earth, you must join with him in heart and spirit in the same, and with the congregation in their attention, and say the Amen with them, that you may reap the advantage of that common fervency with which those prayers fly up to God.
And when there is a Communion, the Priest shall then place upon the table as much bread and wine as he shall think sufficient. After which done, the Priest shall say:
ET us pray for the whole state of Christ's church militant here on earth; Almighty and ever-living GOD, who, by thy holy apostle, hast taught us to make prayers and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; we humbly beseech thee most mercifully [to accept our alms and oblations, † and] to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty, beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity and concord: and grant that all they that do confess thy holy name, may agree in the truth of thy holy word, and live in unity and Godly love.
We beseech thee also to save and defend all Christian kings, princes, and governors: and especially thy servant Victoria our queen, that under her we may be godly and quietly governed: and grant unto her whole Council, and to all that are put in authority under her, that they may truly and indifferently minister justice, to the
+ If there be no alms nor oblations, then shall the words, [to accept our alms and oblations] be omitted.
punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion and virtue. Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all bishops and curates, that they may, both by their life and doctrine, set forth thy true and lively word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy sacraments. And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, and especially to this congregation here present, that with meek heart and due reverence they may hear and receive thy holy word, truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life. And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O LORD, to comfort and succour all them who in this transitory life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity and we also bless thy holy name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear, beseeching thee to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only mediator and advocate. Amen.
DIRECTIONS.-You must seriously attend to this Exhortation, for it is full of excellent information and instruction; it shews you the great benefit of coming worthily, that is, with a true penitent heart and lively faith, to this Holy Sacrament, and the great danger of coming unworthily, that is, without repenting of your sins, and without trusting in God's mercy through Christ.
At the time of the celebration of the Communion, the Communicants being conveniently placed for the receiving of the Holy Sacrament, the Priest shall say this Exhortation :
DEARLY beloved in the LORD, ye that
mind to come to the holy communion of the body and blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider how St. Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves before they presume to eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us), so is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily; for then we are guilty of the body and blood of Christ our Saviour;