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A COMPANION FOR THE ALTAR;
A SHORT EXPLANATION OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS
PROPER TO BE USED BEFORE AND DURING THE RECEIVING OF THE
ACCORDING TO THE FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."
BY JOHN HENRY HOBART, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New York..
No. 152 Broadway.
TIL DEN FOUNDATIONS.
Southern District of New York, ss.
in the forty-third year of the Independence of the United [L. S.] States of America, T. & J. Swords, of the said District, have
deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof
they claim as Proprietors, in the words following, to wit: A Companion for the Altar; or Week's Preparation for the Holy Communion : Consisting of a short Explanation of the Lord's Supper, and Meditations and Prayers proper to be used before and during the receiving of the Holy Communion; according to the Form prescribed by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. By John Henry Hobart, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New York. The fourth edition, revised and corrected.
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “ An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the times therein mentioned.” And also to an Act, entitled “ An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the Arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching Historical and other Prints."
GILBERT LIVINGSTON THOMPSON.
Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.
By EDWARD TRENOR, Ass't Clerk, &c.
THE FIRST EDITION.
In the explanation of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper prefixed to this work, the author has endeavoured to use, as much as possible, the words of the Church in her Catechism and Office for the Communion.* In this introductory treatise he has also made free use of an excellent Tract on the Holy Communion, by Bishop Gibson, and of a Sermon of the late Bishop Seabury, on the same subject; and when he quoted their sentiments, he thought it proper to use nearly their language. As quotations from others are thus incorporated with remarks of his own, a variety of style may possibly be observed in this part of the work." It is necessary also to remark, that the devotions to be used at the administration of the Holy Communion, are not all of them entirely original. But for the rest of the work, the meditations and prayers to be used in the week before the receiving of the Communion, the author is solely responsible.
* And, in doing this, he has taken for his guide a short Explanation of the Lord's Supper in the New Week's Preparation.
In the following pages the writer has endeavoured to keep in view two principles, which he deems most important and fundamental. These principles are-That we are saved from the guilt and dominion of sin by the divine merits and grace of a crucified Redeemer; and that the merits and grace of this Redeemer are applied to the soul of the believer in the devout and humble participation of the ordinances of the Church, administered by a priesthood who derive their authority by regular transmission from Christ, the Divine Head of the Church, and the source of all the power in it. These are the principles which, at first promulgated by the apostles, “ in demonstration of the spirit and with power," constituted the glory of the primitive Church—that Church, which was watered by the tears and blood of confessors and martyrs. These are the principles which, though in the present age unhappily disregarded and contemned, will again be cherished with sacred and inviolable ardour when it shall please the Divine and Almighty Head of the Church to restore her to her original purity and perfection. Could Christians be persuaded heartily to embrace these principles, and to regulate their faith and
conduct by them, the Church would be rescued, on the one hand, from those baneful opinions which are reducing the Gospel to a cold, unfruitful, and comfortless system of heathen morals; and, on the other, from that wild spirit of enthusiasm and irregular zeal which, contemning the divinely constituted government and priesthood of the Church, is destroying entirely her order, unity, and beauty, and undermining the foundations of sound and sober piety.
It may possibly be objected to the strain of devotion in this work, that it is visionary and enthusiastic. But surely devotional writings, in order to engage and interest the affections, ought to be, in some degree at least, fervent and animated. The devotional strains of the sweet psalmist of Israel breathe the rapturous spirit of those celestial courts to which they are designed to lead the soul. If it be necessary to descend from sacred to human authority the appeal may be made to the primitive fathers, who poured forth their devotional feelings in language the most ardent and impassioned. The divines of the Church of England, who imbibed their principles and their piety at the pure fountain of the primitive Church, are distinguished for their lively and animating fervour. The writings of the venerable Bishop Andrews, of Bishop Taylor, Bishop Kenn, Bishop Hall, Dean Hickes, Dean Stanhope, Bishop Wilson,-(the enu