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The Communion Service from the Book of Common Prayer
With Select Readings from the Writings of the Rev. F. D. Maurice, M.A.

Edited by the Right Rev. John William Colenso, D.D.
Lord Bishop of Natal.

London: Macmillan and Co., 1874.

Transcribed by Charles Wohlers, 2006.


THINK only of the freedom, the fellowship of hope-not only compatible with, but inseparable from humiliation and fear--implied in intercourse with the Prince and Forerunner, Who has actually broken through the barrier of space and time, Whose body has been subjected to the events and sufferings of mortality, and Who is now glorified with the glory which He had with the Father before the worlds were, and hereafter to be manifested in the sight of quick and dead. Bring these thoughts before you in connexion with the words, "This is my Body," and with the command, that we should show forth His death till He come." And then reflect, if you can, on the notion, that all these blessings do in some way dwell in the bread and wine! Surely what we need is, that they should be made a perfectly transparent medium, through which His glory may be manifested--that nothing should be really beheld by the spirit of the worshippers, save Him into whose Presence they are brought.

For this end the elements require a solemn consecration from the priest, through whom Christ distributes them to His flock;--not that they may be clothed with some new and peculiar attributes,-not that they may acquire some essential and miraculous virtue, but--that they may be diverted from their ordinary uses,--that they may become purely sacramental. No doubt the world is full of sacraments. Morning and evening, the kind looks and parting words of friends, the laugh of childhood, daily bread, sickness and death, all have a holy sacramental meaning, and should as such be viewed by us. But then they have another meaning, which keeps this out of sight. If we would have them translated to us, we need some pure untroubled element, which has no significancy, except as the organ through which the voice of God speaks to man, and through which he may answer, "Thy servant heareth."

Such we believe are this bread and wine, when redeemed to His service. Let us not deprive them of their ethereal whiteness and clearness, by the colours of Our fancy, or the clouds of our intellect.--The Kingdom of Christ, vol. ii. p. 108.

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