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Communion. You cannot love CHRIST, or be truly His, if you do not obey His Word. And He said, “This do in remembrance of Me.”
And now go forth to lead together a godly Christian life; and may the Lord be with you. Amen.
[The following short Sermon on Holy Marriage is adapted for
persons of higher education.]
Holy Marriage is declared in God's Word to be a type or shadow of the spiritual bond and union which is between CHRIST and His Church. He is the heavenly Bridegroom. The Church is His bride. And wedded love is declared to be a type and shadow of the pure and infinite love wherewith CHRIST loves His Church. Does not this sanctify and elevate the solemn bond of marriage, and make it a very sacred and heavenly thing? If it is a shadow of CHRIST's union with His Church, then must that divine union be in some sort the pattern to which the earthly union should conform. If wedded love is a shadow of CHRIST's love to His Church, then must that infinite love be in some measure the example which the earthly love should seek to be like. The shadows are here. The substance is there. But the shadows are no shadows, unless they have at least the shape and outline of the substance. So the marriage union must be very pure, very holy,
And wedded love must be very gentle, very tender, very considerate. So will the earthly be indeed a shadow of the heavenly.
Think a few moments of the mystery of CHRIST'S union with His Church. He is ever with her to guide, support, comfort. He is touched with the feeling of her infirmities. He bears her burdens. He rejoices in her welfare. His is a perfect sympathy. She is often very far from realising, and answering to, her Lord's sympathy. She is often very forgetful of her close union with Him. Yet He forsakes her not. And so far as she is faithful she forsakes Him not. It is her great joy to say, “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.”
And the earthly copy should be a bond of deep and constant sympathy, of heart answering to heart. Sorrows will come, as well as joys. But this bond draws hearts together in both. With those who know the meaning of their holy union, dark days will not bring dark thoughts, troubles will not beget fretfulness, nor crosses murmuring, Here should be understood better than elsewhere on earth what it is to “rejoice with them that do rejoice, and to weep with them that weep.” And in thinking of the sacredness of the marriage union, we surely shall not forget one way by which each earthly bond is hallowed and sealed and strengthened,-namely, by the blessed Communion of the Saviour's precious Body and Blood.
Next, think for a few moments of the mystery of CHRIST's love to His Church. How wonderful is that love! Jesus loved the Church more than Himself, more than His own life. Himself for her.” And this not for her beauty, or her goodness, or her graces. Nay, for these she had not, and has not, save so far as He gives them to her. He loved her not for what she was, but for what He would make her. He loved her with a free, self-sacrificing, all-generous love.
66 He gave
Let then the earthly shadow of this great love be a copy—if a faint copy of the heavenly model. Love with a tender, unselfish, self-denying love. Love not alone that which is earthly and mortal and corruptible in each other, but much more that which is spiritual, immortal, incorruptible. Love with a love no wasting and decay of this poor outward frame can lessen. Love with a love which may still live on where
they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the Angels of God in heaven.”
“Daily, hourly, while we are in this Church, speaking, or listening, or praying, we are hasting on towards our eternal home. “ The fashion of this world passeth away." Love then with a love which shall not pass away; a love of Christ, from CHRIST, in CHRIST, to CHRIST. Kindle in one another the love of eternity; meditate together on the things of heaven, the glories of heaven, the joy, the peace, the purity of heaven ; do what ye do with the thought of heaven, as “laying up treasure in heaven.' So, while ye live here, ye shall “ have ” already “eternal life:” so shall love here be perfected there, where is the true substance of what we have in shadows here,—the abiding fulness of that transporting love, where God shall be All in all, and we shall be like Him who is Love, for we shall, “ accepted in CHRIST JESUS,”—“ see Him as He is.” Amen." *
* From Dr. Pusey's Sermon on the Sacredness of Marriage.
[The above two short Sermons on Marriage may be obtained
as a separate tract, price ld.]
Burial of the Dead.
A FORM OF SERVICE WHICH MAY BE USED
IN ANY CASE WHERE THE OFFICE FOR
The Priest, meeting the Corpse at the entrance of the Churchyard,
and going before it towards the Grave, shall say: It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.—Heb. ix. 27. The days of man
but as grass :
for he flourisheth as a flower of the field. For as soon as the wind goeth over it, it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the merciful goodness of the LORD endureth for ever and ever upon them that fear Him: and His righteousness upon children's children.-Psalm ciii. 15, 16, 17.
It is the LORD: let Him do what seemeth Him good.—1 Sam. iïi. 18.
When they come to the Grave, one or both of the following Psalms
shall be said or sung:
Then shall these sentences be said or sung: Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.
In the midst of life we are in death : of whom may we seek for succour but of Thee, O LORD, who for our sins art justly displeased.
Yet, O LORD God most holy, O LORD most mighty, O holy and most merciful SAVIOUR, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.
Thou knowest, LORD, the secrets of our hearts; shut not Thy merciful ears to our prayers; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, Thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from Thee.
Then, while the earth shall be cast upon the body by some
standing by, the Priest shall say : Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Then shall be said the following Prayers :
Let us pray.
LORD, have mercy upon us.
CHRIST, have mercy upon us. LORD, have mercy upon us. Our Father, which art in heaven, &c. O LORD, deal not with us after our sins. Answer. Neither reward us after our iniquities.
(And so on, to the end of the Litany.)
Or, the Minister may, at his discretion, after the Lord's Prayer,
say the latter part of the Commination, from the words: O LORD, save thy servants; (to the end.)