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1487. THE FORM OF CONSECRATING BISHOPS.
ALMIGHTY GOD, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy holy apostles, elders, and evangelists, many excellent gifts, and didst charge them to feed thy flock; give grace, we beseech thee, to all the ministers and pastors of thy Church, that they may diligently preach thy word and duly administer the godly discipline thereof; and grant to the people that they may obediently follow the same, that all may receive the crown of everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall be read by one of the Elders
The Epistle. Acts xx, 17-35.
From Miletus Paul sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the Church
And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood
of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Then another shall read
St. John xxi, 15-17. Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me ? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Or this: St. Matt. xxviii, 18-20.
Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
After the Gospel and the Sermon are ended, the elected person shall be presented by two Elders unto the Bishop, saying,—
We present unto you this holy man to be consecrated a Bishop.
Then the Bishop shall move the congregation present to pray, saying thus to them :Brethren, it is written in the Gospel of St. Luke, that our Saviour Christ continued the whole night in prayer before he did choose and send forth his twelve apostles. It is written also in the Acts of the Apostles, that the disciples who were at Antioch did fast and pray before they laid hands on Paul and Barnabas, and sent them forth on their first mission to the Gentiles. Let us, therefore, following the example of our Saviour Christ, and his apostles, first fall to prayer before we admit, and send forth this person presented to us, to the work whereunto we trust the Holy Ghost hath called him.
Then shall be said this prayer following :— Almighty God, giver of all good things, who by thy Holy Spirit hast appointed