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'Prevent us, O LORD, in all our doings, with Thy most gracious favour, and further us with Thy continual help, that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy holy Name, and finally by Thy mercy obtain everlasting life, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD. Amen.'

Then the bishop pronounced a solemn blessing upon the whole administration performed, and upon all that were present.

Then followed the service of Morning Prayer for that day, two especial anthems in extraordinary being added. Provision was made instantly for alms to the poor.

And in a very stately gallery which the bishop erected in the house where he lived, his lordship annexed to the precedent solemnity a feast for three days. First to feast all that belonged to the choir and the church, together with the proctors and other officers of the ecclesiastical courts. On a second day, to remember GOD'S great goodness in the restoration and reconciliation of the church, he feasted the bailiffs, sheriff, and all the aldermen of the city of Lichfield. On a third day, to the same purpose, in the same place, he feasted all the gentry, male and female, of the close and city."Century of Sermons, pp. xxxi—xxxv. fol. 1675.

Consecration of Altar-Plate by Archbishop Sancroft.

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1685.] "Now in the first year of the late king James, as Mr. Kettlewell was meditating in his heart how to heal, if possible, the growing animosities and dissensions among the people, and had frequently recommended the great duty of Christians, as such, to meet together at the holy Feast, where we are obliged to profess ourselves in perfect peace and charity with all men, and to perform the most solemn act of confederation with CHRIST, and with all that are CHRIST'S, in commemoration of union with His sacrifice on the Cross; the good Lord Digby, as well to promote so desirable an end, as for the more decent celebration of the greatest of Christian offices,

and in gratitude for the blessing and benefits by him received from the hand of GOD, made an offering of a set of new Communion-plate, for the use of the church of Coles-hill, the which, for the greater solemnity thereof, was by no less a person than the Archbishop of Canterbury himself then and there present, most reverently set apart and consecrated 'DEO SERVATORI,' to GOD the SAVIOUR. The manner whereof being somewhat rare and extraordinary, and having the approbation of two such excellent persons as were Archbishop Sancroft and Mr. Kettlewell, the one as Primate at that time of all England, and the other as priest or curate of that parish for whose use this solemn dedication was made, it will not be amiss in this place to relate; though some particulars thereof, which we could wish for, are not come to our hands.

The plate then to be consecrated, having been presented by the aforesaid lord, the patron of the church, to ALMIGHTY GOD, that by the office and ministry of the first bishop in the kingdom it might be for ever dedicated to the holy service of GOD our SAVIOUR, according to the usages and rites of the Church of England, was placed upon a table or buffet, below the steps of the altar, before the beginning of Divine service. And immediately after the Nicene Creed, and the first sentence of the offertory, as being a command to let our light to shine before men, that they seeing our good works may thence glorify GoD; Mr. Kettlewell, the presenter of this plate in the name of the donor, officiating as parish priest under his Metropolitan, came forth and stood between the said table and the steps of the altar. When after his humble adoration made to ALMIGHTY GOD, and his obeisance to the archbishop, he humbly desired that the vessels there before him, prepared for the use of the church by his worthy lord and patron, (being a paten, two chalices, a flagon, and a basin,) might be by him presented to GoD and consecrated to His service, according to the donor's intentions. Whereupon the archbishop, after an answer of approbation, and a devout invocation of the holy Name of GOD, in terms very pathetical and appropriate to the occasion, standing before the midst of the altar, did receive, in the Name of GOD, from the hands of the presbyter kneeling, each piece of plate severally, and place it upon the altar decently spread; several sentences of Scripture, adapted to the offering of each of them, being alternately repeated, as he was thus placing them and praying over them, (viz. for the paten, Psalm

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lxxviii. 24, 25; for the chalices, Psalm civ. 15, Cant. i. 4; for the flagon, Psalm xxxvi. 8, cant. v. 1; for the bason, Psalm liv. 6, Psalm cxix. 108). Which being ended, there followed the prayer of consecration, which was after this form, viz. "Unto Thee, O ever blessed LORD and SAVIOUR, and to Thy most holy worship and service, do I here offer up and dedicate these oblations, [here he laid his hands upon every piece of the plate], which in humble acknowledgment of Thy sovereignty over all, and of Thy infinite mercy and goodness to him in particular, Thy pious and devout servant hath here presented before Thee. But who is he, O LORD, that should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? Thine, O LORD, is the power, and the glory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and the earth are Thine. Both riches and honour, and all things, come of Thee, and it is of Thine own that he hath given Thee. Accept, we beseech Thee, these his free-will offerings, and grant that they may be for ever holy vessels for the use of Thy sanctuary. Let no profane or sacrilegious hand ever withdraw them from Thine altar, or debase them to common use again; but let them continue always inviolable in that holy service to which they have by him been piously designed, and are now, by our office and ministry, solemnly set apart and consecrated. And sanctify, we beseech Thee, both the souls and bodies of all those who out of these holy vessels shall, now or at any time hereafter, partake of the holy Communion of Thy most blessed Body and Blood; that we may be all filled with Thy grace and heavenly benediction, and also pardoned and accepted, and everlastingly rewarded through Thy mercy, O ever blessed LORD and SAVIOUR, who dost live and govern all things, world without end. Amen.'

After which the archbishop added this benediction following: And now blessed be Thou, O LORD, heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting GOD, for ever and ever; and blessed be Thy great and glorious Name, that it hath pleased Thee to put into the heart of Thy servant to give so freely for the more decent performance of Thy worship and service in the beauty of holiness. Accept, O LORD, this his bounden duty and service, not weighing his merits, but pardoning his offences; let these his oblations come up as a memorial before Thee, and let him find and feel that with such sacrifices Thou art well pleased. Bless him, O LORD, in his person and in his substance, and in all that belongs unto him, or that he puts his hand

unto.

Remember him, O my GOD, for good, and wipe not out the kindnesses that he hath done for the house of GOD, and the offices thereof; and give to all those that shall enjoy the benefit of this his piety and bounty, both a grateful sense, and a sanctified use of what is by him so well intended, that in all and by all, Thy praise and glory may now and for ever be set forth, O gracious and merciful LORD, who livest and reignest ever one GOD, world without end. Amen.'

Then the archbishop went on to read some other sentences in the offertory and bread and wine upon and in the vessels now consecrated were set upon the Communion-table or altar, and the alms of the communicants were gathered in the new basin; and the order for the administration of the holy Communion was, according to the use of the Church of England, proceeded in, with which the solemnity ended. For the perpetual testification whereof there was an instrument drawn up in the Latin tongue, and signed by the consecrator, with the archiepiscopal seal thereto affixed. The copy of which instrument or act (dates and names omitted) was in the beginning of this century made public by Mr. Richard Tisdale, [see the form of dedication or consecration of a church or chapel, &c., printed for John Harley, in Holborn, 1703] chaplain to the late bishop of Norwich; as was also the entire form of the consecration which then was used."-Kettlewell's Life and Works, vol. I. pp. 56-58, fol. 1719.

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The Form of Consecration of New Communion Plate. "The plate to be consecrated is to be placed upon a table below the steps of the altar, before the beginning of Divine service.

Immediately after the Nicene Creed, and the reading of this sentence, Let your light so shine before men, &c., the presenter of the plate (in his habit in which he is to officiate, if he be a priest) cometh forth, and standing between the said table and the steps of the altar, after his humble adoration made to GOD Almighty, and his obeisance to the bishop, saith as followeth :

'Right reverend father in GOD, in the name of [the donor or donors, specifying the parish, county, and diocese] I humbly desire that these vessels here before you, prepared for the use of that church or chapel, may be presented to GOD Almighty, and, by your office and ministry, consecrated to the holy service of GOD our SAVIOUR.'

The bishop answers :—

With a cheerful heart we are most ready to perform what you desire, in a matter so well becoming you and them in whose name you come, and (as we are assured) so acceptable to God Himself; and therefore let us begin with invocation of His holy Name:-Bow down Thine ear, O LORD, and hear us; open, LORD, Thine eyes, and behold from the habitation of Thy holiness and of Thy glory Thy poor servants prostrate here before Thee, and have respect unto the supplications which, in confidence of Thy great mercies, and the all-sufficient merits of Thy blessed SON, we presume to make before Thee; begging Thy gracious assistance in what we are about, and Thy favourable acceptance of it. Let Thy Holy Spirit help our infirmities give us hearts truly and deeply sensible of the greatness of Thy Divine Majesty. Increase our faith and inflame our love, and order our devotions. Make us always zealous for Thy glory; and give us ever to rejoice in Thy holy service, which is perfect freedom. And the glorious majesty of the LORD our GOD be upon us; prosper, LORD, the work of our hands upon us; O prosper Thou our handy-work, through JESUS CHRIST Thy SON, our SAVIOUR. Amen.'

¶The prayer being ended, the presenter taketh the paten into his hands, and (after adoration made) goeth to the bishop, (standing before the midst of the altar,) and kneeling upon the upper step saith:

I offer up this unto Thee, and to Thy holy service, O GOD our SAVIOUR.'

While the bishop receiveth it, and reverently placeth it upon the altar, the chaplains, standing ready in their formalities at the north and south sides of the altar, say alternatim :—

'He rained down manna also upon them for to eat: and gave them food from heaven.*

'So man did eat angels' food: for He sent them meat enough.'† ¶ In the mean while the presenter is ready again with the chalices, and kneeling down, saith as before.

¶ While the bishop sets them on the altar, the chaplains pro

nounce :

'That he may bring food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man. ‡

* Psalm lxxviii. 25.

† Ib. lxxviii. 26.

Ib. civ. 15.

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