« AnteriorContinua »
COME unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. The bread that I will give, is my flesh; which I will give for the life of the world. Take, eat, this is my body, which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me,. and I in him. The words which I fpake unto you, they are fpirit, and they are life. Matt. xi. 28. John vi. 51. 1 Cor. xi. 24. John vi. 56, 63.
2. Rife, then, my foul, and take thy fwifteft wings, fly to this great mystery. There we fhall fee the Prince of Peace facrifice himself to reconcile us with the Father: there we fhall fee, O ftupendous mercy! the Son of God with heavenly food entertaining the fons of men. Can we, O dear Redeemer! believe the wonders of this myftery, and not be ravifhed with admiration of thy great. goodnefs? can we acknowledge thy perfect veracity, and not believe this wonder of thy love? let us not then refufe to believe our God, becaufe his mercies tranfcend our capacities. None but infinite wifdom could ever have invented fo ftrange, and high, and prodigious a myftery. None but an inconceivable infinite goodness would ever have imparted fo dear, and tender, and rich a bleffing.
3. When the impiety of men was at the height, and their treacherous heads plot-ting to betray thee, then did thy wildom mercifully confult to overcome our malice. with thy bounty. Immediately thou contriveft an admirable way to invite all the world to a feast of wonders: a feaft! where thy facred body fhould be our food, and thy precious blood our drink. A feast!! in which are continually wrought new miracles of love for us. Thus,, as if it had not been love enough to have given thyfelf on the crofs for us, thou haft found out a way to give thyfelf to us in the holy facrament: to unite us with thy felf by the most intimate union that is poffible: for us to conceive, and which we can better feel than exprefs; to become the life, the ftrength, the fupport, and comfort of our beings: nay, to become even one with me, and be unto me the very foul of my foul. O Lord my God! this is fo inconceivable a bleffing, this is fo divine an union, that the very angels,. with awful admiration, contemplate thy wonderful condefcenfion in it.
4. Lord, who are we, unworthy finners,. that thou thus regardeft our wretched duft? what is all the world compared to thee, that thus thou feemeft to difregard thyfelf! it was for our fakes, and to draw B 3
us up to thy love, that thou haft commanded us to commemorate and reprefent thy paffion, and prefent the merits of it before thy Father, on earth, as thou doft prefent them to him in heaven. It was for our fakes, and to help the infirmities of our nature, that thou didst ap-' point a commemorative facrifice, of that one oblation of thyfelf once offered upon the crofs; and bread and wine fo offered and bleffed as fymbols of thy body and blood.
What great bleffings are thefe, O fefu! that demand my praises!
5. Yet more bleffed is the heart that delires thy coming, and longs to fee thee in thy glorious felf. O my adored Redeemer when will that happy day appear, when mine eye may behold thee without a veil? when will the clouds and fhadows pafs away, that thy beams may fhine on me in their full brightnefs? object not againft me, deareft Lord, that none can fee thy face and live. Thofe fears thy love has changed, and my fixed hope is now to live by feeing thee. Say not, O thou mild and gracious Majefty, if I approach thy prefence I must die. Rather inftruct me to to die, that I may live for ever in thy prefence.
Here if thou desirest to know the reason why Christ ordained this Sacrament, consult the NEW WHOLE DUTY of Max, Sunday 6. Section I.
The prayer on Monday Morning, to implore God's affiftance in the course of this week's preparation for receiving the holy facrament.
I acknowledge my faults, and my sin is ever before me. Psal. li. 3.
Moft glorious and ever-bleffed God, in whofe prefence is fulness of joy, and at whofe right-hand there are pleafures for evermore; vouchfafe, I befeech. thee, to discharge my mind of all fuperfluous cares, and immoderate defires of the things of this world, and enable me fo to employ my time this week, as may. effectually prevent or refift all temptations. Let thy grace, O Lord, fo powerfully affift my endeavours, and direct my will, and ftrengthen my intentions, that I may do fuch things as are agreeable to thee, and fuitable to the dignity of a Chriftian and that I may fill up all the fpaces of this week with meditations upon the moft holy facrament, with acts of religion, and fervent charity, fo that when the devil affaults me, he may not find me idle, and that my dearest Lord, at his fudden coming, may find me improving the talent committed to my care, that I may enter into the joy of my Lord; to which, I befeech thee,
bring me, through the merits and interceffion of thy dear Son, Jefus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Now repair to the public service at the church; or if you have not that opportunity, spend your leisure time in a devout perusal of that pious treatise, necessary for all families, as well as every private Christian, lately published by the KING's authority, viz.
THE NEW WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, &C.
And I heartily wish that every poor (as well as rich) Family in the Kingdom was furnished with one of these Books: it is a great Pity they should be any where wanting. Great Charity therefore it would be for rich Landlords, and others of easy Fortunes, to bestow this pious and useful Book upón their poor and uninstructed Neighbours, Tenants, and Servants, that the Knowledge of God and Religion may be. promoted amongst them; which would make greatly for the Good and Welfare both of Church and State. For though brain-sick Opinions and false Principles may make Men proud and headstrong, and troublesome to their Governors and Superiors; yet solid Knowledge and sincere Godliness, will make Men humble and meek quiet and peaceable, obedient to their Superiors and Ministers, full of Charity to their Neighbours, and ready to do every good Work.
Be fure to retire foon this evening to examine thy confcience.