Imatges de pÓgina

our sins, and purchased | us by Thine own blood, and didst ordain this Sacrament in order to secure us to Thyself, by a grateful remembrance of what Thou hast done and suffered for us, make me truly sensible of Thy love, and of our sad condition, which did require such a sacrifice.

May I always receive this pledge of Thy love, the offers of mercy, pardon, and grace, tendered to us in this holy Ordinance, with a thankful heart, and in remembrance of Thee, our great and best Benefactor; in

remembrance of Thy holy example, of Thy heavenly doctrine, of Thy laborious life, of Thy bitter passion and death, of Thy glorious resurrection, of Thy ascension into Heaven, and of Thy coming again to judge the world.

And may I never forget the obligation Thou hast laid upon us, to live as becomes Thy disciples; and to forsake every course of life contrary to thy Gospel: Cease not, O Lord, to love us; and by the grace vouchsafed in this Ordinance, cause us to love Thee with all our hearts. Amen.


How a Christian ought to prepare himself for this Sacrament

S the above account

is such as will neither

As the his holy Ordi- puzzle the understanding,

nance is easy to be understood, even by the most unlearned Christian; so the preparation required

nor burden the memory, nor take up too much of the time of those that are engaged in the most ne

cessary employments of life.

The Church had regard to all her members, when she gave this short and plain direction to such as prepare to go to the Lord's Supper:

follow a few plain directions, which they that can read should read with care; and they that cannot, if they have a true concern for themselves, will find some good Christian, who will be glad to examine read it to them, and do thereby a work which must be well pleasing to God.

That they themselves, Whether they repent them truly of their former sins?

Whether they stedfastly purpose to lead a new life?

Whether they have a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ?

Whether they have a thankful remembrance of His death? And,

Whether they be in charity with all men?

Now, forasmuch as all Christians who are capable of examining themselves and their own consciences are bound, as they hope for salvation through Christ, to go to this Sacrament; and because young people are often at a loss how to examine themselves upon these several heads; here

The FIRST HEAD on which you are to examine yourself, is, concerning your Repentance.

By what you have already heard concerning the Fall of Man, you understand how all men became subject and prone to sin; and you cannot but feel it to be so by sad experience. We are assured also, and this by the Spirit of God, that without a sincere repentance no man must hope to be saved.

Now by repentance you are to understand a man's condemning himself for having done any thing displeasing to God: either

such things as God has forbidden, to keep us from ruining ourselves; or by omitting such duties as He has commanded, in order to fit us for happiness when we die.

So that if either the fear of God's displeasure, or a love of Him who has been so good to you, will weigh with you, you will most heartily condemn yourself for every thing you have done contrary to His will and command.

You will also beg Him most earnestly to forgive you what is past; and you will promise and resolve, through His grace and help, not wilfully to offend Him again.

And, lastly, you will not forget to pray for His grace every day of your life; without which your best resolutions will come to nothing.

[ocr errors]

are sinners, and cry, Lord, forgive us; and this too often without any great concern or purposes of amendment. But this you will not think sufficient, when you seriously consider that the end and punishment of sin are not to be seen in this life.

If, therefore, you stand in any fear of the judgment of God, set yourself seriously to consider your past life; see whether you have not lived, or do not now live, in any known sin, or evil habit; for example, of lying: or swearing: or drinking: or filthy talking: of uncleanness: of keeping loose and profane company: of following unwarrantable pleasures and diversions; or of leading an idle, useless, sinful life.

If this has been your case, resolve to break off all these, and all such-like evil ways, which are dis

That is that repentance concerning which you are required to examine your-pleasing to God; conself, before you go to the Lord's Supper.

Most people, it is true, are ready to own that they

demn yourself for having so desperately broken the commands of One who can destroy both body and

soul in hell: consider the vows that are upon you, and despise not the goodness and forbearance of God, which is designed to lead you to repentance.

If you ask when you are to begin this necessary work (if it is not already begun) the answer

short: the very moment you ask the question ;and this, because if you find an unwillingness in yourself to set about it now that unwillingness will every day increase: very probably you will never repent, unless God by His judgments, or by the sight of death, shows you your sad error, when it may be too late to be of any real use to

[blocks in formation]

The Prayer.

Blessed be God, who by His grace, and by the voice of His Church, hath called me to repentance! Discover to me, O Thou Searcher of hearts, the charge that is against me, that I may know, and confess, and forsake the sins I have fallen into. Give me that true repentance, to which Thou hast promised mercy and pardon, that I may amend where I have done amiss, and that iniquity may not be my ruin. And, O blessed Advocate, who ever livest to make intercession for us, I put my cause into Thy hands; let Thy blood and merits plead for me, and by Thy mighty intercession procure for me the pardon of thou mayest say unto me, my past offences: that as Thou didst unto the penitent in the Gospel, Thy sins are forgiven; so that I may go with a quiet conscience to Thy holy Table. Amen.



Concerning the Purposes you are to make of leading a NEW, that is, a CHRISTIAN LIFE

N the first place, take

if we do not obey our Re

IN the take | we

God accepts of our repentance on this condition only, that we may afterwards glorify Him by an holy Christian life.

And as He delivered the people of Israel from bondage, not that they might do what was right in their own eyes, but that, becoming an holy nation, they might be an honour to their deliverer:1 even so Christ has redeemed us from the bondage of sin and Satan, that He might redeem us from this present evil world, and purify unto Himself a people zealous of good works.

And as the former perished, that is, all such as did not answer the end of their deliverance, so most surely shall we do,

1 Deut. xiv. 2.

Your duty to God, your neighbour, and yourself, you have known from a child: be assured of it, you will meet with temptations from the devil, the world, and your own corrupt heart, both to neglect and transgress the commands of God.

It will be absolutely necessary, therefore, that you arm yourself betimes, both with holy resolutions, and with this holy Ordinance, which you are preparing to go to, that you may be able, through the grace of God, to go on in the way of salvation.

Now YOUR DUTY TO GOD is,-To believe in him, to fear and to love him, with all your heart and soul; forasmuch as you stand indebted to Him for all you have, or

« AnteriorContinua »