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PUBLIC RECEPTION OF IMMIGRANTS.
As early as convenient after the arrival of Christian brethren from a foreign land, they shall come into the Church, on the occasion of a public service, or at any other time appointed for that purpose, to render thanksgiving to God for His goodness in bringing them safely through the dangers of the sea, and that they may be publicly commended to the Christian fellowship and sympathies of the Congregation. Either at the beginning or the close of the regular service, at the discretion of the Minister, the newly arrived brethren shall be invited to come forward and stand before the altar. Then the Minister shall announce to the Congregation their names, and at his discretion read such credentials as they may have brought from their fatherland, and give any information he may possess concerning their previous life and Christian character. Whereupon, the Congregation standing, a part of the One Hundred and Seventh Psalm shall be chanted, or said, as follows:
Minister. O that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Congregation. And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.
M. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.
C. For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
M. They mount up to the heaven, they go down
again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
C. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.
M. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses.
C. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
M. Then are they glad because they be quiet;
M. O that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
C. Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.
Then the Minister, addressing the Congregation, shall зay:
DEARLY BELOVED: Here, in the presence of the Lord, you behold Christian brethren, whom God in His merciful providence has preserved amid the perils of the great deep, and brought safely hither from a foreign land. Though strangers in the flesh, they are brethren in the spirit, fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, having obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
As in the glorified Church in heaven, there are found before the throne praising God of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues; so also in the Church
on earth, there is no difference between one nation and another, but Christ is all, and in all. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles; and have all been made to drink into one spirit. As St. Paul commended Phebe to the church at Rome, so we commend these brethren to you; and entreat, that ye receive them in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist them in whatsoever business they bave need of you. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels un
Then the minister, addressing the Brethren at the altar, shall say:
DEARLY BELOVED: Though you are no more in your carthly fatherland, you are still in the land of your Heavenly Father. All lands and all nations are His; and He is as nigh to you here, as He was in the land whence ye came. He will still be faithful to you: be ye also faithful to Him. Give unto the Lord thanksgiving, and pay your vows unto the Most High. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high, and all the blessings which He has promised shall come upon
thee, and overtake thee, and all the people shall see that ye are called by the name of the Lord.
Then shall the Minister say:
Let us pray.
O LORD, the God of all nations, and kindreds and people, who art no respecter of persons, but rich in mercy towards all who call upon Thee, and hast united all Thy children through Jesus Christ, in one house. hold of faith, and one communion of hope and love; we humbly commend to Thee these brethren, which have come to us from a far country, through Thy mighty hand and stretched-out arm; giving Thee most hearty thanks that Thou hast so mercifully protected them in their journey, amid perils by sea and land. Be pleased, O Lord, to give them friends and homes in this land of their choice and adoption. Bless them in basket and in store; but above all, bestow upon them freely and constantly, the richer blessings of Thy grace, that they may live in Thy fear and favor, and at last reach in safety the better country, even the eternal fatherland of the saints in heaven: through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Then the Minister shall bless them, saying:
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Amen.
LAYING OF A CORNER STONE.
The people being assembled at the place where the church is to be built, the Minister, standing near the corner stone, shall say:
DEARLY BELOVED BRETHREN: It is meet and right that, in all our doings, we should beseech Almighty God for His most gracious direction and help; but, especially, as we are now assembled to begin a house, which is to be set apart for His honor and service; for the worship of His holy name, the preaching of His holy Gospel, and the administration of His holy Sacraments. Let us therefore devoutly look up to Him for assistance, protection and blessing.
Let us pray.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; grant us, we beseech Thee, the fulness of Thy mercy. Prosper and bless the work which we have undertaken, that it may serve to promote Thy praise, and the honor of Thy kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.