The Eucharistick Sacrifice being the most efficacious Means for Pardon and Grace, ought to be perform'd with proportionable Care and Solemnity. And since the New Testament has given no Form for this Principal part of the Christian Worship, the safest way is to be govern'd by the Practice of the Ancient Church: Those early Times were best Judges of Apostolical Precedent and Tradition, most exemplary in their Lives, and most remarkably bless'd with the Effusions of the Holy Spirit.
By this Direction, as to Substance and Order, the following Communion-Office is drawn.
Thus at the placing the Elements on the Altar, there is a Prayer for Acceptance, abridg'd out of S Basil's Liturgy.
The most signal Instances of the Divine Providence and Bounty are likewise briefly recounted, as introductive to the Words of Institution. This Recital is Paraphrastically taken from S. James's Liturgy.
After the Words of Institution, the Prayer of Oblation and Invocation is subjoin'd from the Apostolical Constitutions: These Prayers are address'd for completing the Sacrifice, and giving it the highest degree of of Consecration.
The Prayer for the whole State of Christ's Church is much the same with that in the First Reformed English Liturgy. But the Order is changed, by putting it after the Prayer for Consecration. For when the Sacrifice commemorative of that upon the Cross, is finished, and God the Father propitiiated by this Memorial: 'tis then the most proper Time to declare the Ends of the Oblation, and recommend the Church to the Divine Protection.
The Introits or Psalms, which begin the Office, stand as they did in our first Reform'd Liturgy.
The Priest's pronouncing the Ten Commandments, with the People's Answer to each, are omitted for the Reasons following:
First, The putting the Ten Commandments in the Communion-Office was not done by our First English Reformers, and is altogether Modern and Unprecedented.
Secondly, our Duty to God and our neighbour, comprised in the Ten Commandments, is comprehensively explain'd in the Church-Catechism: The People therefore need only apply to this Instruction; thus they will have a fuller Notion for Practice, than can be gain'd by a bare Repetition of the Decalogue.
Thirdly, the keeping the Sabbath-Day holy is Part of the Mosaick Institution, points upon Saturday, and is peculiar to the Jewish Dispensation: Since therefore the Fourth Commandment looks somewhat foreign to the Christian Religion, since it could not well have been simply omitted, 'tis thought fit to wave repeating the rest: And, instead of this particular Rehearsal to give the Sum and Substance of the whole in our Blessed Saviour's Words, together with the People's Answer at the End of the Tenth.
The rest of the Office is the same with the English Liturgies, excepting that the Rubricks, for more Direction and Solemnity, are somewhar alter'd.
The Cross and the Chrism are restored in the Confirmation-Office. The Sign of the Cross is no less significant here, than In Baptism: It was so used in our First Reform'd Liturgy, and therefore there is no need of saying more about it. And as for the Chrism, it is an Emblem of Spritual Unction, of Grace conferr'd by the Holy Ghost; and with this Reference and Allusion it has been practised by the Primitive and Universal Churtch.
The Anointing with Oil in the Office for the Sick is not only supported by Primitive Practice, but commanded by the Apostle S. James. It is not here administered by way of Extreme Unction, but in order ro Recovery.
Upon the whole, here is nothing introduced without unexceptionable Warrant; nothing of Late Beginning; Here is no Application to Saints or Angels, no Worship of Images, no Praying the Dead out of Purgatory, no Adoration of the Consecrated Elements; nothing that supposes a Corporal Presence, either by Trans- or Con-substantiation; In short, nothing but what is Primitive and agreeable to Scripture, and practis'd by the best recommended and enlighten'd Ages.