Imatges de pÓgina
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perty of water, it is evidently a fit fign to denote our being washed from fin, by virtue of the blood of Chrift; and fince all men were to be invited into his church, and fome form of admiffion to be ordained, it argued great wifdom and goodness in our Lord to take away that painful rite of circumcifion, and inftead thereof to appoint the most common, and the most eafy fign that could be invented, to be the door of entrance into that church.

Now the Lord's fupper is so called, because the Jewish cuftom of eating bread, and drinking wine, at the conclufion of the pafchal fupper, was by our Lord converted into the facrament of his moft precious body and blood. But this does not transfer any obligation upon us to receive this facrament after fupper, or in the evening, any more than to receive in an upper chamber, a table pofture, or with any other circumftance of the like nature, wherewith our Lord did eat the paffover with his dif ciples, before he fuffered. For in matters of this kind, we are to be directed by the lawful difpenfers of this holy mystery; who, with a due regard to its fuperior dignity and the imitation of fcripture, have appointed the Lord's houfe, and the Lord's day, and the fore-part of that day, for the ftated celebration thereof. And you are to take notice, that it is ordered to be rePart II. B ceived

ceived three times a year at leaft, whereof Eafter to be one, in the humble pofture of kneeling; and with all thofe inward acts of fuitable devotion, which our most excellent office of adminiftration cannot but raise in every attentive communicant.

The church affures us, that the facrament of the Lord's fupper was ordained for the continual remembrance of the facrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby and this memorial of Chrift's death is to be a ftanding fervice in his church, fo long as it continues militant here on earth; for Chrift did inftitute, and in his holy gofpel command us to continue a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again. Now the death of Chrift is called a facrifice, becaufe that our heavenly Father, of his tender mercy, gave his only Son Jefus Chrift, to fuffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himfelf once offered) a full, perfect, and fufficient facrifice, oblation, and fatisfaction for the fins of the whole world; and thereby we receive the benefits of obtaining remiffion of our fins, and of being made partakers of the kingdom of heaven: and by this we are to underftand, that as the Son of God did vouchfafe to yield up his foul by death upon the crofs for our falvation; fo it is the

the duty of all Chriftians to receive the communion in remembrance of the facrifice of his death, as he himself hath commanded; and to do it fo frequently, that they may may always have a fresh and lively remembrance thereof, in their minds.

Now the church teaches us, that the outward part, or fign of the Lord's Supper, is bread and wine, which the Lord has commanded to be received; and from hence we are to obferve, that notwithstanding it is our duty to rest fatisfied in our Lord's will and pleasure, without feeking after a reafon for his appointments; we cannot but obferve, that as our fpiritual juftification is appofitely reprefented by water, in the other facrament, fo is our fpiritual fuftenance by bread and wine in this; and that, both bread and wine being part of one complete nourishment, and feparately ineffectual, this facrament is commanded to to be administered in both kinds.

The church likewife tells us, that the in ward part or thing fignified, is the body and blood of Chrift; by which we are to underftand that God did not only give his Son Jefus Chrift to die for us, but also to be our fpiritual food and fuftenance in this holy facrament; and that, if we receive it with a true penitent heart, and lively faith, we do fpiritually eat the flesh of Chrift and drink his blood: and you are to infer from what

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what the church thus teaches in the communion fervice, which fhe alfo teaches in the thirty-nine articles; namely, that the body of Chrift is given, taken, and eaten in the holy fupper, after a heavenly and Spiritual manner; and that the means whereby the body of Chrift is received and eaten in the fupper, is faith.

The church tells us, that the benefits whereof we are partakers thereby, is the Strengthening and refreshing of our fouls by the body and blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the bread and wine; for, as bread and wine, confidered only as natural food, ftrengthen and refresh our bodies; fo this bread and wine, confidered and taken as memorials. of the body and blood of Chrift, our mafter, lead us, by their peculiar tendency, to all fuch thoughts and practice, as are indeed the improvement and health of our fouls and in this ordinance our fouls are ftrengthened by the moft folemn exercife of our faith; and other religious acts and by that fupernatural grace, which we receive from this fpiritual food, to enable us for the better performance of our Chriftian duty for the future, our fouls are alfo refreshed by the comfortable af furance, thereby given us of God's favour and gracious goodnefs towards us and that we are very members incorporate in the myftical body of his Son, which is the

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bleffed company of all faithful people; and alfo heirs through hope of his everlafting kingdom, by the merits of the moft precious death and paffion of his dear Son. Now,

From the foregoing account of this facrament, you are to understand, that when you come to the Lord's table, you are to eat the bread in remembrance that Chrift's body was broken for you, and to drink the wine in remembrance that Chrift's blood was fhed for you: esteeming and receiving thefe elements, not as common bread and wine, but as confecrated to reprefent the body and blood of Chrift, to all fpiritual intents and purposes; and firmly believing that you fhall verily and indeed partake of all thofe graces and bleflings, which Chrift merited for mankind by his death, and which this facrament was defigned to convey to every one that comes holy and clean to fuch a heavenly feast, in the marriage-garment required by God in holy fcripture.

We are taught by the church, that it is required of them who come to the Lord's fupper, to examine themselves whether they repent them truly of their former fins, fteadfastly pur pofing to lead a new life; have a lively faith in God's mercy through Chrift, with a thankful remembrance of his death, and to be in charity with all men. And all perfons are B 3

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