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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 143 pages of information about The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church.

Neither does it offend us that the mother, whose pure and tender love to her infant child is an emblem of the divine love to us poor sinners, while she presses to her bosom that little one, soothes away its frettings and sings away its sobbings, at the same time feeds and nourishes that feeble life with her own physical life, giving it literally her body and blood.  This is no offense to us.

And why should it offend us that our dear loving Saviour comes so close to us, leads us into His banqueting house, where His banner over us is love, speaks to us words that are the out-breathings of the yearning love of His divine heart, and, at the same time, feeds us with His own spiritual and glorified body and blood, and thus makes us partakers of the divine nature.

Instead of being offended, let us rather bow down, and worship, and adore, and sing: 

     “Lord, at Thy table I behold
        The wonders of Thy Grace;
      But most of all admire that I
        Should find a welcome place.”

     “I that am all defiled by sin;
        A rebel to my God: 
      I that have crucified His Son
        And trampled on His blood!”

“What strange surprising Grace is this
That such a soul has room;
My Saviour takes me by the hand. 
And kindly bids me come!”

CHAPTER XVI.

THE PREPARATORY SERVICE; SOMETIMES CALLED
THE CONFESSIONAL SERVICE.

In our examination of the nature and meaning of the Lord’s Supper, we have found that it is indeed a most important and holy Sacrament.  It is in fact the most sacred of all the ordinances of the Church on earth.  There is nothing beyond it—­nothing so heavenly, on this side heaven, as this Feast.  Nowhere else does the believer approach so near to heaven as when he stands or kneels, as a communicant at this altar, the Holy of Holies in the Church of Christ.

What a solemn act!  To approach this altar, to participate in its heavenly mysteries, to become a partaker of the glorified body and blood of the Son of God!  Surely no one who understands the import of this Sacrament, will dare to approach hastily, thoughtlessly, or on the impulse of the moment.  Surely there must be forethought and preparation.  Our Church has realized this from the very beginning.  She has had, and still has, a special service for those who intend to commune.  Her preparatory service precedes her communion service.  And we can safely affirm, that no Church has so searching and suitable a preparatory service as the Lutheran Church.  Where this service is properly conducted and entered into by pastor and people, it is not an unimportant step in the Way of Salvation.

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