Imatges de pÓgina
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Week's Preparation

FOR THE

WORTHY RECEIVING

OF THE

Lord's Supper,

As appointed and practised by

The CHURCH of ENGLAND;
Part the Second:

CONSISTING OF

MEDITATIONS, PRAYERS, AND HYMNS,

Suitable for the Sunday Evening and Sacrament Day, and for the Morning and Evening of every Day in that Week. With a Form of Daily Self-Examination.

And, in the course of these MEDITATIONS,

Those Doubts and Scruples which are apt to disturb and render the Minds of Devout Communicants Uneasy, are clearly stated and finally removed.

LONDON:

Published and sold by all the BOOKSELLERS;

and by THOMAS WILSON and SON, Printers, High Ousegate,

York.

1812.

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The Author to the Reader.

Reasons for publishing this Book, and of the dangerous tendency of the use of the OLD WEEK'S PREPARATION.

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in the course my office, that in no one instance of Christian duty, there was more need of assistance than in this of the Lord's Supper; and that many devout communicants have laboured under the same doubts and scruples concerning a worthy preparation and partaking of this duty: I am of opinion, that many others would be very glad to find such doubts cleared up, and the cause of such scruples removed for the future, which too commonly disturb and perplex them with such fears and terrors, as indeed make their desire of being truly religious the burden and misery, instead of the delight of their lives.

For, notwithstanding the compiler of the second part of the Old Week's Preparation* (a treatise very improper to come into the hands of many Protestant readers) has ob served a quite contrary method: I do not think my time can be better employed, than when I am endeavouring to render the preparation to that holy ordinance orthodox, rational, end satisfactory to every one. And,

It is certainly a very great fault with the generality of those who have written upon this subject, that they have made it their whole business only to raise and inflame the devotion of communicants, without taking any thought about informing and settling their understandings.

The

The Popish book of Devotions, from whence all the medita tions and bymns are taken, which constitutes above one balf of the Second Part of the Old Week's Preparation, was condemned by Authority of Parliament to be publicly burnt by the bards of the common bangman; and this circumstance I think myself in duty bound to take notice of, to prevent any farther ill consequences among the common people from the use of that hook, notwithstanding it is 07 pretended to be published by a Clergyman of London.

The most considerable doubts and scruples, which are apt to distract and render the minds of communicants uneasy, are such as, I think, fall under some or other of the heads of the following meditations, which I have framed as full and satisfactory, as I believe can reasonably be expected in so small a volume.

Of the meditations, hymns, and prayers.

Te meditation for each day is placed first; because I esteem meditation to be a noble exercise of a rational and devout soul. To revolve and consider over and over, and to reflect upon those divine subjects to which each meditation relates, will greatly contribute to the improvement of our lives, and to the rendering them more conformable to the will of Almighty God.

Meditation hath an universal influence upon the whole life of a Christian, and is an admirable instrument to quicken our progress in all the graces of God's Holy Spirit. It illuminates our understandings with the knowledge of our duty, and stores our memory with all such arguments us are proper to excite us to the performance of it. It wings our prayers with reverence and devotion; and increases our im portunity by impressing a lively sense of the necessity and importance of those things we beg of God. It habituates our minds to spiritual objects, and raises them above the perish ing things of this life It strengthens our holy purposes, arms us against temptations, and inflames all the faculties of our souls with earnest deșires of attaining and enjoying our chiefest good.

3 In the use of the meditations, we should not read them over in a hasty and cursory manner; but must proceed very deliberately, and try whether we cannot find out something of greater importance in each sentence than may be apprehended at the first reading; and after we have thus gone through the meditation, which we should always do at one reading, begging God to affect our minds with a constaut sense of our duty in all the particulars of it: chiefly that he would enable us to perform these resolutions we have made of advancing in piety and virtue; that he would not leave us to ourselves; but so assist us with his grace, that what we perceive and know to be our duty, we may faithfully futhl

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all the days of our life: I say, when the meditation is thus ended, I have immediately subjoined the hymns to be sung or said, according to the disposition of every devout reader. And the reuson of this method, I doubt not, will readily appear to every one who considers that the design of hymus is to raise the soul to a nearer conference with God in prayer, when perchance fatigued in some other part of a Christian's duty.

To the hymn you have a prayer added, which will furnish you with suitable petitions, supplications, and thanksgivings to be offered up to our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, his dearly beloved Son, our Lord. Not that I presume to dictate any thing that may stifle the fervency of any one's pricate devotion, who may rather choose to conclude his devotions with a hymn: And it is with a view to satisfy such different tempers, that in some cases I have added more hymns than one to some of the subjects. But as God has given us no direct command in this particular, let it be far from me to act with that presumption, as to endeavour to enforce my own intentions instead thereof.

Of the time to be spent in preparation.

As to the time requisite to be spent, in our preparation for a worthy receiving the Lord's Supper, I could wish it had been more particularly directed and commanded by the Church: yet I doubt not but that her having not done it has proceeded from her knowledge, that the best rules might hurt some one or other, if too closely followed. But I am clear in my opinion, that it is always her intention, that her members should be as well and thoroughly prepared as they can, before they approach the Lord's table: and, for my part, I think myself bound to thank the great and good God, that I am not of the number of those selfsufficient Christians, who can lay so great stress upon habitúal preparation, as to save themselves the trouble of any preparation at all *.

Of our duty after receiving.

But what will all the preparation in the world avail us, if, as soon as we have turned our backs on the Lord's table,

we

* See the Preface to the First Part of the NEW WEEK'S PREPARATION, page v. concerning the usefulness of actual Preparation before receiving the LORD'S SUPPER,

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