Imatges de pàgina

her, that they may truly and indifferently minister justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion, and virtue. Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops and Curates, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments: And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace; and especially to this congregation here present; that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive thy holy Word; truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life. And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all them, who in this transitory life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom : Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen. I When the Minister giveth warning for the cele

bration of the holy Communion, which he shall always do upon the Sunday, or some Holy-day, immediately preceding) after the Sermon or Homily ended, he shall read this Exhortation following

Observations and Directions. If you seriously attend to read them over again to the following exhorta- when you return home, tions or warnings, you will that you may fix them in learn what you ought to

your memory, and that do, in order to be a worthy they may be a standing communicant.

rule to go by through your And you would do well whole life.


EARLY 4 beloved, on

day next I

purpose, through God's assistance, to administer to all such as shall be religiously and devoutly disposed the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; to be by them received in remembrance of his meritorious Cross and Passion; whereby alone we obtain remission of our sins, and are made partakers of the Kingdom of heaven. Wherefore it is our duty to render most humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, for that he hath given his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that holy Sacrament. Which being so divine and comfortable a thing to them who receive it worthily, and so dangerous to them that will presume to receive it unworthily; my duty is to exhort you in the mean season to consider the dignity of that holy mystery, and the great peril of the unworthy receiving thereof; and so to search and examine your own consciences, (and that not lightly, and after the manner of dissemblers with God; but so) that ye may come holy and clean to such a heavenly Feast, in the marriage-garment required by God in holy Scripture, and be received as worthy partakers of that holy Table.

The way and means thereto is; First, To examine your lives and conversations by the rule of God's commandments; and whereinsoever ye shall perceive yourselves to have offended, either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail your own sinfulness,

Observations and Directions. Believe it for a certain all such as go unto God truth, that such as are not by Him. religiously disposed to go And very many will be to this Ordinance, are un- the benefits of embracing qualified to ask or receive every occasion that is any blessing or favour offered you. from God.

You will not easily fall That, therefore, you may into a state of sin and lay hold of every occasion security, being so often offered you, consider se- put in mind of the danger riously what you are called of going carelessly and to.

unprepared. First, To obey an ex- You hear in what a press command of Jesus good preparation consists, Christ, by whom alone -in confessing your sin's you can hope for salvation. to Almighty God, with

Secondly, To testify to full purpose of amendthe world, that you belong ment of life; in exercisto Him; and to join with ing the duties of charity; His family, in order to in giving and forgiving, recount and acknowledge &c. the mostinestimable bless- All which being done ing, which He hath pur

in obedience to the comchased for His Church. mand of Christ, must

And thirdly, To devote needs be acceptable to yourself to Him, and to the Divine Majesty, and His service, who is con- in time gain you all those tinually interceding for graces which you


4 When it is considered how many poor Christians there are, who have little or no other means of coming to the knowledge of this Ordinance, and the manner of preparing themselves for it, but by what they learn from hearing these Exhortations; every pastor will think himself obliged in conscience, and as he values the edification of his flock, to read these Exhortations with the greatest deliberation, and with an affection that shall even force the attention of his hearers.

full purpose

and to confess yourselves to Almighty God, with

of amendment of life. And if ye shall perceive your offences to be such as are not only against God, but also against your neighbours; then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them; being ready to make restitution and satisfaction, according to the uttermost of your powers, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other; and being likewise ready to forgive others that have offended you, as ye would have forgiveness of your

offences at God's hand : for otherwise the receiving of the holy Communion doth nothing else but increase your damnation. Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, an hinderer or slanderer of His Word, an adulterer, or be in malice, or envy, or in any other grievous crime, repent you of your sins, or else come not to that holy Table; lest, after the taking of that holy Sacrament, the devil enter into you, as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction both of body and soul.

And because it is requisite, that no man should come to the holy Communion, but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore if there be any of you, who by this means cannột quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned Minister of God's Word, and open his grief; that by the ministry of God's holy Word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and ad

« AnteriorContinua »