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a new man.
willing to renew your vows measure of your sins, and made in baptism :or, prepared for yourself a which is generally the sentence not to be heard case, you have no real without trembling, I tell concern for your soul ; you that none of these men only you delude yourself that were bidden shall with some faint purposes taste of My supper—the and hopes, that some time marriage supper of the or other you will become Lamb in Heaven.
How great, then, must In the meantime you the sin of those be, who are guilty of a sin too like neglect to administer, and the denying the Lord that of those who turn their bought you : you bring an backs upon this ordinance, evil report upon an Ordi- upon which our salvation nance of Christ, as if it depends ! It being the were not worth observing; blood of Christ which you
harden wicked people must cleanse us from all in their infidelity, and sin. 1 neglect of their salvation, by calling yourself a Observations on receiving Christian, and living like
the Holy Sacrament an heathen, in the con
worthily or unworthily. tempt of one of the greatest means of salvation. After all, this is not to You live in a state in encourage any person to which all your prayers, go to the Lord's Supper whether public or private, without a wedding garwhether for yourself or for ment,without a due regard others, will be rejected. to the duty. For a man
In short, you provoke may go so unworthily, as God every day more and to receive judgment inrepented of ; such as are | judgments that can befal not sincerely resolved to them. live and be governed by On the other hand, let the known laws of the not any well - meaning Gospel ; such as live at Christians be discouraged variance with their neigh- with fears of having gone bours, without being will- unworthily to the Lord's ing to be reconciled; such Supper ; and so forbear, as have done wrong, and because they do not find will not make satisfaction, all the benefit and change as they are able ; lastly, wrought in them which such as go out of mere they hoped for ; but let custom, without consider them consider that a state ing the end or benefit of holiness and perfection of the ordinance, and re- is not to be expected at turn to their usual sinful once, but by degrees, and liberties as soon as the as we make good use of service is over.
to withdraw His stead of a blessing. grace, to leave you to your For example, such as own corrupt way of living, live in any known sin untill you have filled up the
1. John i. 7.
the graces which the Holy All such ought to know, Spirit from time to time that they went unworthily; vouchsafes to us. and if they have any true A good Christian not concern for their souls, being one who has no inthey will consider better, clination to sin, but one and lay themselves under who, through the grace of stricter obligations, before God, immediately checks they go again to the Lord's and suffers not such inSupper.
clination to grow into evil But, then, let them not, habits. at the peril of their souls, God, who knows our deal deceitfully, and make infirmities, will accept this a pretence of neglect- our sincere endeavours, ing to go to this Ordinance though attended with imfor the future, lest they perfections and backslidprovoke God to leave ings, provided we them to themselves, which demn ourselves for them is one of the greatest | and strive to amend.
And let us remember, go to this Ordinance as for our comfort, that Je- often as you have an sus Christ Himself pro- | opportunity; and depend nounced all His disciples upon God's blessing and (the traitor excepted) to an increase of His graces. be clean, that is, qualified to receive this Sacrament The Prayer. which He was going to administer to them, al- Grant, O God, that I though He knew them to may never draw down Thy be subject to very great judgments upon myself, failings and infirmities; either by turning my back which
appeared, upon this Ordinance, or when then they all forsook by going to it without Him, contrary to their thought, and unworthily. solemn promises ; but May Thy mercy pardon this they repented of, and what is past, and give me were forgiven by their grace for the time to come compassionate Redeemer. to consecrate my life to
If, therefore, you love Thee, and to embrace God and your neighbour, every occasion of rememthough not so fervently as bering my Redeemer's you could wish ; if you love, and thereby securing have a real desire of being Thy favour and my own better than at present you salvation! And if it be find yourself to be; if the Thy will, grant that I fruits of the Holy Spirit, may always find such though in a very low comfort and benefit in degree, do appear in your this Ordinance, as may life; lastly, if you do daily encourage me observe pray for God's grace that it with joy unto my life's you may, in His good end. time, be what He would Give me leave to rehave you to be, and do commend to Thine innot live in any known sin, finite mercy the miserable by no means forbear to condition of all such as
neglect so great means only means of making of grace and salvation. their peace with Thee, Awaken all Christian and of rendering their people into a sense of this persons and their prayers duty; open their eyes, acceptable to Thy Divine and correct their mistakes, Majesty, through Jesus
, that they may be con- Christ our Lord. Amen. vinced that this is the
Meditations on several texts of Scripture, proper to be
used a little before receiving
VERY well-disposed used in the midst of busihas thus far prepared And this method of dehimself for this Sacra- votion is here proposed, ment, will endeavour to to lead Christians to make keep the thoughts of his proper reflections upon duty, and the blessing he other parts of Scripture hopes for, warm in his which they read or hear. heart until the time of receiving.
Rev. iii. 17. Thou saySuch of the following est, I am rich, and have Scriptures, and medita- need of nothing: and tions upon them, may, knowest not that thou art through God's grace, an- wretched, and miscrable, swer that end; nor will and poor, and blind, and they take up too much naked. time, because some This is the sad condimore of them, as occasion tion to which, as sinners, offers, may be devoutly we are subject, and it is
of Thy mercy, O God, against the Lord thy that any of us are sensi- | God. ble of it. Preserve me, I I do acknowledge my beseech Thee, from that sin unto Thee, O God, blindness which would and mine iniquities will I hinder me from seeing not hide; I do, therefore, my own misery; and from implore Thy pardon, and that pride which would plead Thy gracious prokeep me from acknow- mise, with full purpose of ledging it before Thee, heart never again to rewho alone canst help me. turn to folly. O give me a true sense of the maladies I labour Jer. xvii. 9. The heart under, and keep me for is deceitful and desperThy mercies' sake, and ately wicked: who can for the sake of Jesus my know it ? Redeemer.
I cannot, indeed, an
swer for my own heart; Psalm li. 17. The sacri- but there is nothing, O fice of God is a broken Lord, impossible with spirit; a broken and con- Thee; in Thee do I put trite heart God will not my trust: let me never be despise.
put to confusion ;-keep But most unfit is mine it ever in my heart, what to be presented to God, an evil thing, and bitter, until I have obtained His it will be to forsake the pardon for the many sins | Lord. by which it has been defiled.
i John iii. 8. He that
committeth sin (who abanJer. iii. 12, 13. I am dons himself to live in merciful, saith the Lord: known sin) is of the devil: and I will not keep anger is under his power and for ever. Only acknow- government. ledge thine iniquity, that Preserve me, gracious thou hast transgressed | God, from so fatal a blind