Imatges de pÓgina
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yield to any finful fatisfaction that crucified the Lord of glory, or fix our hearts upon perishing objects, when God only deferves the whole man, and we in this facrament commemorate the price by which we are purchafed from fin and flavery?

3. The great advantage of our Christ-i ianity confifts in being made members of Chrift's myftical body, by reason of those happy influences we derive from our head; and our happiness depends upon our enjoying this bleffed privilege. This fpiritual union inviolable between Chrift and all faithful Chriftians, is preserved by frequent communion, by a mutual intercourfe of goodness and compaffion, in pardoning our fins, in ftrengthening our feeble virtues, and in communica ting heavenly joys and foretaftes of happinefs and on our fide, my foul by repeated acts of adoration and thankful nefs, of love and admiration, of refig nation and fubmiffion to his holy will, and of fincere profeffions of conftancy and perfeverance in the fervice of our Creator and Redeemer:

4. Fatal experience convinceth us, that either through furprise, or the strength of temptation, we cannot always ftand upright; that we do those things we ought not to have done, and leave undone the

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the things we ought to have done. But, my foul! this holy facrament perfects our repentance, and ratifies and confirms to us the pardon of our fins; repairs thofe breaches, which our follies have made in our fouls, and applies to us in particular that fatisfaction, which our Saviour made upon the cross; and conveys to us the benefits of that all-fufficient facrifice, whereby God is rendered favourable and merciful to all that are fincerely penitent.

5. Afflictions and calamities are often the lot of the beft men, in this vale of tears. And where, my foul! fhall we find comfort under thefe difficulties, or ftrength to contend with them, but from that provifion that is adminiftered at God's table? from those sufferings which our Saviour endured for us, and no ways deserved himself? can any one complain of affliction in any kind, that confiders what neceffary correctives they are of our follies? what noble improvements of our virtue and what a teftimony they are of our love and affection to the bleffed Jefus, when borne with patience and fubmiffion; and that withal remembers, that his Lord and Mafter was made perfect through fufferings upon the cross, which he bore for our fins. We alfo receive fuch comfortable impreffions from this divine

divine nourishment as make the troubles of this life lofe their fting; and it fupplies us with fuch inward delights, as furpafs. all expreffion, and which are only felt by thofe that frequently make the experi ment at the Lord's table. In fine, this is the most proper method to make us tem-ples of the Holy Ghoft, and the most effectual means to fit and prepare us for the eternal enjoyment of God in a future state.

6. Again, we must be very great ftrangers to ourfelves, if we are not acquainted with the impotency and corruption of our nature: we, my foul! muft know but little of our circumftances in this world,. if we are not aware of thofe enemies. which are continually defigning our ruin: there are few fo happy and fo fteady in their duty, as not fometimes to deviate from it: the ftrength of temptation, and the violence of paffion, too frequently prevail upon the moft perfect. Yet if we, my foul were duly affected with thefe wants we labour under, we should certainly apply ourselves to the use of fuch remedies as are proper to relieve us. Nór can any thing be fo effectual as a frequent participation of the Lord's fupper; which will purify our corrupt nature, by applying the merits of Chrift's blood; Itrengthen our weakness, by communi

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cating the influences of his grace, which he has purchased for us by his death; fupport us under all temptations, by a lively reprefentation of those great things Chrift has fuffered for us; reftore that peace and quiet to our confcience, which fin robs us of, by ratifying our pardon, and making our fincere repentance acceptable to God; and fubdue the violence of our paffions, by fpiritualizing our affections, and by placing them upon God and virtue.

Another Meditation for Tuefday Evening. Upon the true repentance of a worthy communicant. Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your fins may be blotted out. Acts ii. 9.

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Know, my foul! that we ought always to live, as we hope to die, as becomes good Chriftians, conftantly endeavouring to lead a new life; but then remember, that to guard against all prefumptuous fecurity in matters of eternal welfare, we should never presume to eat of that bread and drink of that cup, without a previous preparation, if we mean to efcape that judgment or condemnation, which the Corinthians brought upon themfelves for their irreverent, finful, and diforderly behaviour at this facrament; who were accused of being guilty of the body and blood of Chrift our Saviour-of eating

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ing and drinking their own damnation, not confidering the Lord's body-of kindling God's wrath against them-of provoking him to plague them with di vers difeafes, and fundry kinds of death; which we fhall avoid and escape by coming worthily, by faith and repentance, to the Lord's fupper; if we would call ourfelves to account, and judge and condemn what is evil in ourselves, fo effectually as to forfake it; we should not then be condemned or punished by God. Let not then these terrible expreffions trouble us or detain us from the holy communion*: but let us repent and believe, and we are fafe and fecure from falling into any of those dangers which these sentences may feem to threaten us with. And when we fee fuch afflictions among us, we ought, before it be too late, to confider them as chastisements from the hand of God, in order to our present amendment; and defigned for this good end, that we should not be finally condemned with the wicked part of the world in the day of judgment.

2. There is nothing dreadful in this facrament, but to the wilful, impenitent, and perfevering finner, whofe condition is dreadful; but to the penitent and humble foul

See the Note on page 47.

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