Imatges de pÓgina
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more especially to examine into the state of their fouls before they come to the Lord's fupper; because without repentance we are not capable of that pardon which is here offered us: nor can any but believers difcern the Lord's body in this facrament, or reap any fpiritual advantage from receiving it. It is a facrifice of praife for our redemption by the death of Chrift, and therefore we are to receive it as by faith, fo with thanksgiving; and foralmuch as it is a feaft of love, and fignifies the conjunction of Chriftians in one spi ritual body, it is neceffary that those who receive it, fhould be in charity with all men. Nevertheless, if, upon examination, a man fhould not find himself thus qualified, that will not excufe him from receiving; becaufe as the graces, now called forth to be vigorously exerted, ought to be the standing temper and habit of our minds; and as one chief design of this facrament is to confirm and fortify us in them; he who abfents himself, upon pretence of wanting them, does only wickedly plead one great fault in defence of another, and is therefore the more inexcufable. There are fome people got into fuch a way of thinking, as to believe that the peril of unworthy receiving is fo great, that a man had better stay away, than run the hazard thereof. The danger

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indeed is greater to them who will prefume to eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, rafhly and unadvisedly: but it is not lefs dangerous to them who stand out in difobedience to the laft and dying command of their deareft Saviour, and reject his invitation to fo many great and Spiritual advantages, upon pretence of that danger, which it is in their own power to avoid the refult of which is, that there can be no compounding in this cafe; and that our fafety confifts in refolving to do the duty required, and to take the best care fo to prepare ourselves, that the performance may be accepted by God. I will not fay that no accident whatsoever fhould interfere with our obfervance of this duty; but when any unavoidable impediment interpofes, it ought to be removed, and the omiffions repaired, as foon as poffible.

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7: Let us now look into the nature of those duties which are required of them who come to the Lord's fupper, fo as to be received as worthy partakers of that holy table: in the first place, let us confider, that to repent us truly of our former fins is to examine our lives and converfations by the rule of God's commandments; and whereinfoever we shall perceive ourselves to have offended, either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail our own finfulness,

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and to confefs ourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life: and if we fhall perceive our offences to be fuch, as are not only against God, but also against our neighbour, then we must reconcile ourselves unto them, being ready to make reftitution and fatisfaction, ac-1 cording to the utmost of our power for all injuries and wrongs done by us to any other; and this is no other than what we are obliged to by common juftice: But charity goes farther, and requires of us to be likewife ready to forgive others that have offended us, as we would have for giveness of our offences at God's hand.. And when, upon examination, we find that we truly and earneftly repent us of our fins, and are in love and charity with. our neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from thenceforth in his holy ways, we must then draw near without fear, and take that holy facrament to our comfort; firmly believing that Almighty God, for the fake of our bleffed Redeemer, and in regard to the merits of his death, will mercifully pardon and graciously receive us as worthy communicants. Belide this, it is further required of us to behave with all poffible reverence and devotion, when we prefent ourferves among our brethren that come to feed on the

the banquet of that moft heavenly food; and above all things, our principal bufinefs at the altar is to give most humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghoft, as for all the bleffings vouchfafed unto us, fo especially for the redemption of the world, by the death and paffion of our Saviour Chrift, both God and man, to whom we fhould at all times, (but more especially at these opportunities of commemorating this ineftimable love of the Son of God, dying for us wretched finners,) be moft thankful, and filled with continual praises to Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, who created, redeemed, and fanctifieth us, and all the world, through Jefus Chrift our Lord.

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PART II.

A preparatory prayer:

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Leffed Lord! who haft commanded and invited us to pray unto thee: 0 let thy fpirit help my infirmities; and do thou fo difpofe my mind, and prepare my heart, that my prayers and praifes may be acceptable in thy fight, thro' the mediation, and for the fake of Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord. Amen.

This prayer may properly be used every morning and.. evening to begin your devotions.

The Meditation for Sunday Evening, after receiving the Lord's Supper.

Upon the fallen ftate of man, and the great and work of man's redemption through Jefus Chrift. For all have finned and come fhort of the glory of God; being juftified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Chrift Jefus. Rom. iii. 23, 24.

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1. Having now, O my foul! received the holy facrament of the Lord's fupper, it is neceffary (fince we have not yet profeffedly done it) that we should inform ourselves carefully of the nature and end of this facred inftitution what is meant by this holy action; to what pur

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