« AnteriorContinua »
are none so material but what a Chistian may overlook for the sake of that good which is intended by it. Again, that all these meditations and prayers are entirely new, is by no means pretended: no, there will be found amongst them several collected from other books; but then these being such only as have been allowed to be excellent in their kind, it may reasonably be expected that the whole will be the more acceptable on that account.
Upon a review, since the first publication of this Preparation, I have experienced that many communicants distract themselves with a multiplicity of private devotions, when in duty they should attend to the public service of the church; and further prompted thereto by the advice of those whose peculiar charge is to inspect and promote the welfare of the Christian worship, and for whose judgment the world upon many occasions have expressed the greatest esteem, I have interwoven in this present edition so much of the communion as is sufficient to prevent that growing evil; in which I have followed the example of the Bishop of Man, Dr. King, and several others; but with this difference, that I have not bdened the communicant with much of the Of fice-no-more than that part of it in which communi. cants only are concerned, and which is really necessary for their assistance during the solemnity; whereas the Bishop of Man, and some others, have taken in the whole of that office, from one end to the other; which I cant approve of upon several accounts, too tedious to be related in so short a preface, and which I rather choose to conclude with the following quotation of the late pious, learned, and orthodox Dr. Waterland, against the folly and danger of laying a fashionable stress upon an habitual preparation, and in favour of such Weekly Treatises of preparation before receiving the Lord's Supper.
The usefulness of actual preparation before. receiving the Lord's Supper.
"Our esteem or disesteem (of this holy sacrament) will best be seen by our preparing or not preparing for
it as we ought. There is something of a preparation of heart, mind, and ways, required for all religious offices, much more for this, which is the flower and perfection of all.
"As to the length of time to be taken in preparing, there is no one certain rule to be given, which can suit all cases or circumstances: only when a man has competently adjusted his accounts with God, (be it sooner or later,) then he is fit to come, and not till then.
"There is an habitual, and there is an actual preparation. The habitual preparation is a good life; and the farther we are advanced in it, the less need there is of an actual preparation besides; but, because men are too apt to flatter and deceive their own hearts, and to speak peace to themselves without sufficient ground for so doing, therefore some actual preparation, self-examination, &c. is generally necessary, even to those who may be habitually good, if it be only to give them a well-grounded assurance, that they really
"It were to be wished there were not many amongst us who have a deal to consider of before-hand; many offences to correct, many disorders to set right, much to do, and much to undo, before they presume to come to God's altar.
"Fault has been sometimes found with these little treatises of Weekly Preparation: I think without reason. They are exceedingly useful in their kind. It may be happy for them who need none of these helps; but they that least need them, are not the men, generally, who most despise them. None of us, perhaps, are so perfect as not to want, at some seasons, some such hints for recollection or helps to devotion. It is well for common Christians, that they are provided with useful manuals of that kind. They that are well disposed, will make use of them, as often as they need them, and will at all times give God thanks and praises for them."
NEW WEEK'S PREPARATION.
The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner he took also the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me: For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25, 26.
In the Morning, when you first awake, say:
ARISE, thou that sleepeft; arife, my
and drowsy foul, and Christ
will give thee light.
To thee, O Lord, do I lift up my eyes, my hands, my heart, from this bed, where my body has taken its nightly repofe, towards thy heaven, where my foul expects her eternal reft.
My voice fhalt thou hear betimes in the morning; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
When you rife
N the name of Jefus Chrift, who was crucified for our fins, and rofe again for our juftification, I rife from this place of bodily reft, to fulfil thy will, O my
From Bishop CossiN.
God: fave me, therefore, by his cross and paffion, blefs, govern, and keep me this day, and for ever. Amen.
I laid me down and flept, and rofe up again, forthe Lord hath sustained me. Amen.
When you are ready, look on your soul as still undressed, till you have said your prayers.
Bleffed Lord! who haft invited and commanded us to pray unto thee, let thy fpirit help mine infirmities; and do thou fo difpofe my mind, and influence my heart in my preparation for a worthy receiving of thy moft holy facrament, that my prayers and praifes may be acceptable in thy fight, thro' the mediation, and for the fake of Jefus Chrift our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Almighty Lord God, mortify and kill all vices in me; and fo ftrengthenme with thy grace, that by the innocency of my life, and the conftancy of my faith, I may always glorify thy great and holy name. Grant me the true circumcifion of the Spirit; that, my heart and all my members being mortified from all worldly and carnal lufts, I may in all things obey thy bleffed will. Enable me to love my enemies, and to do good to those that hate me, and to pray for them that defpitefully ufe me, and perfecute me, in obedience to the command, and in imi
tation of the example of my great Lord. and Mafter, Chrift Jefus. Amen
Here may be added (if time will permit, the Morning Prayer, on page 135 of this FIRST PART.
OUR Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trefpaffes, as we forgive them that trefpafs against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.
So far may be used every Morning before the meditation
The Meditation for Monday Morning. Upon our Saviour's loving invitation to the communion of his body and blood.
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John ii. 1. NOME now, O my foul, and let us retire from the purfuits of this vain deceitful world; and let us well confider the gracious and condefcending invitations wherewith our bleffed Lord and only Saviour has called us, in his holy Gofpel, to be partakers of his holy Table. Why then this wavering or coldness, O my foul! give ear to the eternal truth, who will remove all thy doubts and fears by the following invitation. B 2