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An exhortation proper to be made, from time to time, on Sundays, or folemn feftivals, to a congregation, assembled to bear Mafs
We are here affembled, dear Chriftians, on this holy day, in order to join in offering up prayers and facrifice to God; we are fummoned, on this day, to this folemn worship, by the ordinance of the Church of God: we are, as it were, called forth by a proclamation of the great King himself, to come, joined (in intentions at leaft) with the whole people of God throughout the earth, and with Jefus Chrift, the Son of God, our high Prieft, at our head; to offer up with him, the great facrifice of his body and blood, in remembrance of his paffion and death; even that fame clean oblation, which, by his appointment, is, and ever fhall be, offered up to God's name, in every place, till the end of the world. Malachi i, 10. II.
The homage and worship of facrifice was always from the beginning paid to God by his fervants, both under the law of nature, and under the law of Mofes: This was the publick worship, in which the children of God met of old for his divine
Their facrifices then were of fundry kinds; and were offered up for four principal intentions, according to the different branches of the duty, which man owes to God: viz. fome of them, purely for God's own honour, adoration, praise and glory; fome in the way of thanksgiving for bleffings received from him; others to beg pardon for, and to obtain of God the forgiveness of fins; others again in the way of fupplication and prayer, to obtain God's graces and favours. But all these ancient sacrifices of bullocks, goats, lambs, &c. fell far fhort of anfwering fufficiently those great ends, for which they were offered; and therefore God fent his own Son into the world to take a body and blood for us, and with this body and blood to be both our Prieft and our facrifice; a Prieft of infinite dignity, and a facrifice of infinite value. This body and blood he offered up, dying on the crofs, for our redemption, from fin and hell: This fame body and blood, at his last supper, he bequeathed to us in the bleffed Eucharift; to be received as a Sacrament, for the food and nourishment of our fouls to life everlasting; and to be offered up as a facrifice, in remembrance of his death; and fo as to anfwer, in a most perfect manner, all the four ends of facrifice; Chrift himself being here both the chief Prieft, and the victim; and here offering up his own paffion and death to his Father, for all thofe four intentions.
To this divine facrifice of the body and blood of our Redeemer, and of his facred paffion and
death, you are all invited, dear Christians, on this day, which the Lord hath chosen to be in a peculiar manner the day of his worship. Here Jefus Chrift, the Son of God, the great high Prieft of God and men, expects you, to join with him, in all his intentions, for which he is going to offer up this facrifice; and, at the fame time, to offer up yourselves by his hands, and in union with his offering, to his Father, and your Father, to his God, and your God. This pure worship of God, in fpirit and truth, we are now going to pay to his divine Majesty; in order to answer the obligation of this day, and all the different branches of the duty we owe him. Come then, Chriftians, and join with me in this folemn fervice; and let us all join with the whole Church of God, both of heaven and earth; but principally with our high Prieft, Chrift Jefus, in offering up this facrifice, for all his intentions.
And firft, as Chrift's principal intention, to which he directed all his thoughts, words and works, during his mortal life, from the firft mo-" ment of his conception, till his expiring upon the cross, was the honour and glory of his Father; and as the facrifice, he offered at his death, was, in the first place, a facrifice of adoration, homage and praise to the Deity; and, in like manner, the facrifice, he is now going to offer on our altar, is, by him, principally referred to this fame intention of the divine glory: fo let it be our firft and principal intention, with him and through him, to adore, praise, blefs and glorify the eternal
Trinity; and by his hands, who is God's HighPrieft, and our High-Prieft, to offer up this day to God this fame facrifice of fovereign homage, adoration, praise and glory, which he once offered upon the cross, and now daily offers on our altars. Bow down then your fouls this day, to adore your God, by this facrifice, as your first beginning, and your laft end, and join with Jefus Chrift, who is your High-Prieft, and your victime, offering up with him his body and blood for the glory of his Father, and your whole felves to God, through his hands.
In the fecond place, Jefus Chrift, our High-Prieft, here offers this divine facrifice, in thanksgiving, both for himself, and for us, and for the whole world; but especially for the great work of our redemption, brought about by his incarnation and paffion, which we here commemorate and celebrate. Join then yourselves here with your Redeemer in this facrifice of universal thanksgiving : and with him, and through these facred mysteries of his body and blood; return your most hearty thanks to the whole bleffed Trinity, for having made us all, and preferved us, all our life long, from so many evils; for our redemption, and fanctification; and for all other his graces and bleffings: but particularly and principally for all he has done in favour of our Head, Jefus Chrift himself, according to his humanity; in his wonderful conception and birth; in his private and publick life, his doctrine and miracles, his pafF fion
fion and death, his refurrection from the dead, and his afcenfion into heaven; together with all that power, he has given him, both in heaven, and in earth; and all he has done through him, for the whole Church, for the bleffed Virgin, and for all the Saints and Angels; in fine for all that mercy, grace and falvation, which has been derived from the inexhaustible fource of his precious blood, upon us all.
In the third place, Chrift Jefus, our High-Prieft, offers up, in thefe facred myfteries, his own body and blood, as a propitiatory facrifice for the forgiveness of our fins, and of thofe of the whole world; here representing to his Father his death and paffion, which he endured for us all; his body as broken and flain for us, and his blood as thed for an atonement for our fins. Let us then here alfo join our intentions with his; and offer up with him this victim of our redemption, (which he is now going to prefent to his Father, upon this our altar,) that we may obtain through him mercy, pardon, and full remiffion of all our of fences, and of thofe of the whole world, together with a discharge from all the punishment, which we have deferved for them. But then, if we would be properly difpofed for receiving this mercy, which the Son of God here pleads for, we must join with this ablation of his body and blood, the facrifice, on our part, of a contrite and humble heart. Make then here, dear Chriftians, an humble confeffion, at your Saviour's feet,