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my falvation, which thou haft hitherto vouchsafed unto me: but, O merciful Father! thou haft declared thy felf to be a God merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity, tranfgreffion, and fin. My only hope, therefore, is in thy tender mercies, which have been ever of old; and in that pity and compaffion which thou haft fhown to mankind, in the redemption of the world, by the death of thy dear Son Jefus Chrift, my Lord and Saviour.
For thy name's fake, then, O Lord, and for thy beloved Son's fake, pardon, I moft humbly befeech thee, all my paft fins, and let not iniquity be my ruin. Forgive the deadnefs of my devotion; the coldness of my affections; the wanderings of my prayers; and whatever elfe thou haft feen amifs in me. O pity my weakneffes, and forgive my infirmities, and lay not to my charge the imperfections of my religious duties. But
Enable me, by the affiftance of thy good fpirit, to amend whatever has been amifs, and to endeavour more and more after the attainment of all thofe graces and good difpofitions, which on this folemn occafion are neceffary to render our prayers and praifes acceptable in thy fight. Olet me never fall into a careless and unconcerned ftate of mind; into a coldness and indifferency toward the du
ties of religion; but animate and enliven my fluggish heart, and cleanfe it from all its defilements.
Grant me fuch a conviction of my own weaknefs and infufficiency, as may procure thy gracious aid and affiftance; fuch longing defires of being made conformable to thy holy will and pleasure, as may transform me into thy divine image, and fix me to continue thy faithful fervant all the remaining days of my life; fo that I may finally inherit thy heavenly kingdom with him that has commanded me to call thee Father, and has taught me when I pray to say, Our Father which art in heaven, &c.
Here observe the directions given on page 8, and more particularly endeavour to improve your soul by reading a lesson out of the NEW WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 3. Section VII. and VIII.
The Meditation for Tuefday Evening.
On the nature and necessity of our preparation before receiving the holy sacrament.
He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
Cor. xi. 29.
Onfider now, O my foul, what that great mystery is to which
thou art invited in the holy facrament: let us confider the nature and end of this Sacred inftitution; what is meant by this holy action to what purpose it was ordained; what benefits and advantages may be expected from it. This neceffary knowledge once attained, and which may be compaffed without great difficulty, will be a ftanding qualification in all our future communions; and create fuch godly difpofitions of mind, that I may no longer be afraid to approach the Lord's table. And to this end,
2. Let us call to mind our baptifmal vow, wherein we have promised to lead a godly and Chriftian life, which can never be fulfilled fo long as we live in a conftant neglect of this holy facrament; nor is it poffible to be a meet partaker of that holy myftery, except there be a due preparation, by confeffing our fins with an humble, penitent, and obedient heart, and a readiness to forgive thofe that have offended us, and afking with faith; without thefe, O my foul, I dare not go to that holy table, and my prayers and praises will find no acceptance at the throne of grace. But if I endeavour to live as becomes a Chriftian; if I really believe the Chriftian religion, and fincerely govern my life by the doctrines and precepts of the gofpel, there is nothing fhould
fhould deter me from partaking of this holy ordinance: nay, I am bound to receive it at any time when there is an opportunity.
2. Thus, though it be my duty to communicate at the Lord's table, it is very advisable that my lamp fhould be trimmed, that I fhould examine the state of my mind, renew my repentance, exercife my charity, enlarge my devotions, and spiritualize my affections; I am therefore refolved to retire from all unneceffary businefs and pleasures: that by prayer and alms-deeds, thou, my foul, mayst be raised to relish fpiritual enjoyments; and that I may no longer be deprived of that glorious expectation of the faints, whither I can never expect to be exalted, if I live in the constant habitual practice of any known fin, without repentance; for fuch an impious approach to the holy table is a mocking of God, and a great contempt of his authority.
4. Say then, I will wash my hands in innocency, fo will I compafs thine altar, O Lord, Pfalm xxvi. 6. For I believe that according to a man's preparation, fo will be his profit. Impenitence makes our prayers an abomination to the Lord; for to profefs one's felf forry for one's fins, and refolved to forfake them, when there
is no fenfe of the one, nor firm refolution to do the other, is the greatest affront imaginable to our Maker, by fuppofing either that he doth not know our hearts, or that he will be pleafed, when we draw near to him with our lips, tho' our hearts are far from him: but yet this is our encouragement, that if the Lord fees a man fet himself seriously to a preparation, he will bear with many failings, and fo heal his people that they may keep the feaft with gladness; a feaft wherein thou, O Father, haft commanded us to commemorate that greatest inftance of thy love to us, our redemption by the death of Jefus Chrift, thy Son, our Lord.
Here observe the directions given on page 8, and more particularly endeavour to improve your soul by reading lesson out of the NEW WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 6.
The prayer on Tuesday evening for a worthy receiving of the most holy sacrament.
What reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits that he hath done unto me; I will receive the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord, Psal. cxvi. 11, 12.
Leffed be thou, O my Lord, for ever bleffed, for this inftance of thy love to fallen mankind, in fending thine only begotten Son for our redemption, who are not worthy of the great and many mercies which thou haft fhowed unto us.