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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.


THE Name, into which we are baptized, is to go with us from the cradle to the grave. The Grace, the Love, the Fellowship, of this Name, are to be with us, as charms against all perils, light in all darkness, comfort in all sorrow. It is to bind us with that, which was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Every homely duty, every act of self-sacrifice, every deed of mercy, will make the vision of it more bright; as that vision will be clouded by every act of sin, every proud thought, every uncharitable feeling. The more we cleave to this Name, the less we shall dream of selfish rewards, the more we shall long for the day, when the sunlight of God's countenance may gladden the whole creation. The communion of the FATHER and the SON in one SPIRIT, as it has been the ground of all our thoughts and hopes, so will be the consummation of them all, to those who shall wake up in the same likeness, and be satisfied with it.--Kingdom of Christ, vol. i. p.416.

It is "GOD the FATHER, of Heaven," "GOD the SON, the Redeemer of the world," "GOD the HOLY GHOST, proceeding from the Father and the Son," the HOLY, BLESSED, GLORIOUS, TRINITY, Three Persons and One God," Whom we beseech to have mercy upon us. Every distinct Name is a witness of care, deliverance, strength. The Whole Name expresses the Perfect Charity, the Absolute Love--Love in essence, in manifestation, in act--Love forming, saving, indwelling. The Mercy, which we ask for, is the nature and perfection of the Being, from Whom we seek it.--Sermons on the Prayer Book, p. 185.

Thus you will be able to understand the sense of the last words in the Collect:--"That, Thou being our Ruler and Guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things Eternal." You cannot think that all this wonderful and mysterious guidance is for nothing; you cannot think that the creature, who requires it, is made only to maintain a hard fight with a set of cruel enemies, and then to perish. There must be things Eternal, and we must be meant to share in them. But what are they, and where are they, and when may we hope to enter into possession of them? Mark the words. The prayer supposes that in some sense they are ours now: for it speaks of our losing them; it asks that they may not be taken from us. And this is the language of the New Testament. "He hath given unto us Eternal Life," saith St. John, "and this Life is in His Son." Which words would be strange and unintelligible to us, if they were not explained by one greater than St. John. "This is Life Eternal," saith our Lord, "that they may know THEE, the Only True God, and JESUS CHRIST Whom Thou hast sent." This mighty knowledge has been given to us; the Son of God has brought it near to us. In Him we possess it. In Him Man is taken into the height, and depth, and length, and breadth, of that Love, which passeth knowledge. This Love enfolds us at our Baptism. The Name of the FATHER, and the SON, and the HOLY GHOST, is the utterance of it. From this Love the images and pictures of this world,--the created, temporal things,--are seeking to withdraw us. We cannot enjoy them without it; from it alone they borrow their lustre. Yet they would tempt us to forsake it for them,--to dwell in them and not in it. The Invisible Guide of our hearts is drawing them, by a thousand gracious acts, and influences, and invitations, from the perishable to the Eternal,--from that, which is the likeness of the thing they long for, to the thing itself, from that, which loses its beauty, when we can no longer give it beauty, to that First Source of Beauty, from which we and they alike draw our life. We pray in this Collect that His Power may not be exerted in vain; we pray it for His sake, Who died that these eternal treasures might be ours, Who lives that we may not be defeated of them through our own wilfulness and folly,--for the sake of JESUS CHRIST our Lord.--Christmas Day and other Sermons, pp. 350, 351.

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