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our welcome to this heavenly Feaft unto which we are called; I proceed now in the second place to inform you, That it our Repentance or Return to God be real and sincere, it will produce these following good Effects in us. First, ' A Sense, a Sorrow and Confession of all our former Sins. Sicond.

5. ly, A stedfaft Purpose or Resolution to lead a new Life.” Thefe The Nature of a truc Repen. are the genuine fruits of a true Repentance, and must always accom

pany our Return to God, if we hope to have it effectual to our Salvation. And

! First, We must labour to gain a Sense or Sight of all our former Sins and Wickedness; this will readily prelent itself to us by comparing our Lives and A&ion's by

the Rule and Standard of Gid's Word, which we must make the The Ten Com. Measure of our * Examination. St. Paul Thews us, Rom. iii. 20:

that by the Law is the knowledge of Sio; and our own Experience will convince us, that there is no way more likely to discover our Iniquities, and

to humble ourselves for them, than a serious Application of God's Word to our
crorked Paths : And this Duty of Self Examinatirn, is never more properly apa
plied to, than when weintend to receive the Holy Communion; for unless we
see the number, and apprehend the Heinousness of our Offences, and fear the
Vengeance due unto us for them, we are altogether unfit for the Commemoration
of his Death, who died for our Sins, and rose again for our Justification. It is the sense
and light of Sin that must shew us the Need and Necessity of a glorious Re-
deemer, and what Obligations we are under to bless and praise God for our sale
vation, by his Son Jesus CHRIST. Of such great Use and Advantage is this
Duty of Self-Examination, at all times, that Pythagoras, in those Golden Verses
which go under his Name, particularly recommends the fame to his Scholars.
" Every Night before they nepr, he enjoins them to examine themselves what Good
" they had done and wherein they had transgressed. Run over these Things, faid
"he, and if you have done any Evil, be troubled; if Good, rejoice." This Course,
if daily followed, as is suggeltd by Hierocles, his excellent Commentator, perfects
the divine Image in those that use it. Plutarch, Epictetus, Seneca, and the Em-
peror Marcus Antoninus, agree in recommending the same Practice by their own
Example, but especially holy David; I thought on my Ways, and turned my Feet
unto thy Testimonies, Pfalm cxix. 59. And this method, no doubt, is an admira
able Means to improve us in Virtue, and the most effectual Way to keep our Cona
fciences awake, and to make us stand in Awe of ourselves, and afraid to fin when
we know beforehand that we must give so severe an Account to ourselves of
every Action. And when we are employing our Minds in this Duty of Self-Ex-
amination, betore the Communion; or at any other Time, we must discharge it as

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See The Daily Self-Examinant; or An Earnest Persuasive to the Duty of Daily Self-Examination, &c,, by R. Warren, D, D:


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impartially as is possible afcr: us, judging as ' leverely of our own 4. &ions, as we would do of our greatest and worst ænémy, or otherwise we fhall but flatter and deceive ourselves in a Matter of the greatest Weight-ar] {mportance, namely, the knowing the State and Condition of our Souls: But if our Enquiries are just and true, we shall then plainly discover wherein, and how often we have gone aftray and done amiss. We shall, hy the faithiul Dischargél bt this Duty, bring to Liglie "all.our ungodly, .unjuft, and uncharitables Actions; all our vain and filthy

Speeches; all cur wanton, proud and covetous Thoughes.” Such a strict and impastial Examination will discover to us that accurled Thing, Stn Deut. vii. 26. which has defiled our Nature, made God our Enemy; and will exclude us the King. dom of Heaven, it not repented of, 1 Cor. vi. 9, 1o. But by fuch a fevere Scrutiny as this, we shall foon perceive the Number of our Tranigreffiins, what vile Wretches and grie vous Offenders: we are, how often we have broken our most feria ous: Vows and Refolutions, especially after receiving the holy Sacrament, and in Times of Sickness and Distrets : Such a Sight-and such a Prospect of Misery as this, Tould excite in us a hearty Trouble and Sorrow for Sins especially it we caft an eye upon the final Ifue. and Consequences of itgi with relpect to the World to come. Upon the. Ungodly, says holy David, God will rain Snares, Fire and Brima Slone, Storm and Tempeft; this fhall be their Portion to drink, Palm xi. 4. Great Plagues remain for the Ungodly; - Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguib, upon every Soul of Man Ibat dotb Evil, Rom. ii. 879. The Wicked fall be turned inta Hell, and al tbe People that forget God. Thele, and many other such like Texts of Scripti re, may give us fome Idea or Notion of the deplorable Condition. of the Wicked in a future State, and of God's Hatred agair ft Sin. And is not this theri, without multiplying Arguments, fufficient to affect us with great Grief and Sorrow, when we consider that so long as we live in a vicioas Courie, so long are ve exposed to all thof Plagues and forments which God hath in Store for wicked Men, and will most certainly be their Lot and Portion, it not prevented by a cincly Repentance? - The SECOND Part of a true Repentance is Contrition, or a forrowful Bewailing of our own Sinfulness in Thought, Word and deed. When we call to Mind

Contrition the Sins and Pollics of our paft Lives, and the Dangers we are like to fall into, furely we cannot be othețwife affected, than sensibly grieved with the Thoughts and Appreliensions of our prefent and approaching Mifery. The Sofa rows of David, and the Repentance of St. Peter, 1 Sam.' xii. Luke xxii. Thewed themselves in Floods of Tears, and were too great to be confined within : But our Hearts are generally so hard and unrelenting, that we fin against God, and love our own Souls without fo much as a Sigh or a Tear: “I know that the Tempers of People are different ; fome can lhed Tears upon every flight occasions and others cannot weep, though their Hearts are ready to break for Grief; and therefore we are not to judge of the Sincerity of cur own or other People's Repentance by duch




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Signs and Tokens ; nor are Tears always necessary t5 Reperitance, though they very well becemo us; and the least we can do when we have done amiss, is to be sorry for it, and to condemn our Folly, and to be full of Indignation and Dir. pleasure against ourf lves. I will declare my Iniquity, faith holy David, and be forry for my San, Pfal. xxxviii

. 18. Especially if we have been very wicked, ard have multiplied our Tranfgressions, and have continued long in an evil Course, have neglected God, and have forgotten him Days without Number ; then the Measure of our Sorrowranuft bear foine Proportion to the Degrees of our Sins ; if they have been as Scarlet and Crimson, Ifa. i. 18. that is, of a deeper Dye than ordinary, then our Sorrow must be as deep as our Guilt : If not so great, we ought to thew so much: Trouble and Contrition of Spirit, as to produce in us a penitential Con: fellion of all our foriner Sins. Which is the Third Property of a fincere Repentance. I will acknowledge my

fin unto tbeé, fays holy David; and mine Unrighteousness have I not bid.

Ifaid I will confefs my fins unto the Lord, and so thou forgavest the Iniquity of Sin.

2 of my fin, Pialm xxxii. 5. Which Confession of Sins must not be in gene. ral Terms only, that we are Sinners with the rest of Mankind, but it must be a 1pecial Declaration to God of all our most heinous Sins in Thought, Word and Deed, with all their leveral Aggravations. laying open our Sores to our heavenly: Physician ; and this we must do to fhew that we condemn all our former evil and vicious Courses, with a full purpose and Relolution of Mind (by God's Adiftance) never to do the like again. Unless this be done, our Sorrow for Sin, and the Confession of our Wickedness, can nevăr profit us in the Sight of God, if it be notjoined with a firm resolution of leading a new Life:

Which is the fourth and most essential Part of a fincere Repentance, and the only Condition of finding Mercy with God. He that coveretb bis Sins pall not prosper ; but whifo confefeth and for sakerb them shall bave Mercy, Prov. xxviii. 13. Let the wicken Man fortrke bis W'ay's, and the unrighteous Man bis Thoughts, and let him return unto tbe Lord, and be will have Mercy upon him, and to our God, and be will abundantly pardon, Isa lv. 7. I tell you 'nay, faith Christ, but except ye repent, je hall all like wise perish, Luke xiii. 3. Repert ge therefore, anu be converted, that four Sins may be blotted out; Acts iii. 19. Those preceding Parts of Repentance before-mentioned, are only preparative to this, that which must complete and finith the work of a new Convert is, to become a new Oreature, " to turn from our evil ways, and to break off our Sins by Righteoul" ness.” This certainly muft be the Defire and Intention of all Communicants, if they hope or expect any Benefit of Advantage from this folenn Rite or Coven. ant; for he that comes with a Design for Intention of continuing in his former Sins, comes fome what like unto Fuda , that came and received, and at the lune Time cuntinued his Resolation of brtraying his Master. That which makes a Man ablolutely unfit to receive the holy Sacrament, is the living in the constant and habitual

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holy Sacra. ment.

Pradice of any known Sin, without the least Di fire or Intention of Repentance or Amendinent. Such a Man's Approach to the hely Table, ro-doubt, is to eat “ and drink his own Demnation, fince it is a plain Mocking of God, and a great Contempt and Abuse of his divine Authority. We nutt-therefore (by the. Heip and AMiftarce of God's Grace) “ refolve to lead a new Life, following the Com“ mandments of God,' or otherwise our fornier Examinations will appear but flight and superficial, our Sight and Sense of Sin trivial and indifferent, our Sorrow: and Contrition of Spirit forced and hypocritical, and our. Confessions odious and formal. Therefore examine well the Sincerity of your Repentance and Relulutions: that you neither deceive God nor yourselves: Him you cannot, becaute he is a: searcher of the Heart, and a Difcerner of the I bougkts, nor will he accept of any. ihing which is not hearty and unfeigned.

Not that we are to suppose that this Sacrament of the Lord's Supper doth reNo cabolate quire perfea Obedience in all our Addresles to the Holy Altar, or that pected the none must come but such as are in a sinless State of Perfection : No,

this were impollible, because there is no Man which liveth and finneth not for who can say, I have made my Heart clean, I am pure from my Sin? The Sacra. ment of the Lord's Supper is not a converting, but a confirming Ordinance, intendcd to preserve and increase that spiritual Life and Grace which we received at our Baptism: So that when we come to the holy Communion we come thither for fresh Supplies of Grace and Goodness, “ for the strengthening and refreshing of our “ Souls, in all Holiness and Virtue.” As our natural Bodies are fed and nourishe ed with those Elements of Bread and Wine, the fame Effe&t is wrought in the Soul, in the inward Man, by these holy Mysteries, as in the outward Man by Bread and Wine; Bread being the Staff of Lise, and Wine the most fovereign Core dial (when taken in due Proportion) to chear and rejoice the Heart. And thus our Sculs, by this Sacrament, are fortified and strengthened with Grace, Wisdom, Courage, and all other spiritual Gifts, to keep us through Faith unto Salvation. Both the Comfurt and Benefit of it, are great; the Comfort of it, because it does not only represent to us the exceeding Love of our Saviour, in giving his Body to be broken, and his Blood to be thed for us; but it likewise seals to us all those Blessings and Benefits which are purchased and procured for us by his Death and Passion; namely, the Pardon of Sin, and Power againft it. The Benefit of frequent Communion is also of grcat Advantage, because hereby we are con firmed in all Grace and Goodness, and our Resolutions to live in Obedience and Conformity to God's Law are strengthened and the Grace of God's holy Spirit, to do his Will, is hereby conveyed to us : it is the tovereign Remedy against all Temptations, by mortifying our Passions, and by fpiritualizing our affections: In a Word, it is the likeliest Method to make our Bodies the Temples of the Holy Ghost, and to prepare our Souls for the enjoyment of God to all Eternity.

And if at any Time, through Ignorance, Surprize, or the Violence of any other

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Temptation we should fall into those very Sins which we have repented
Relapres atiet
Receiving no ol, and vowed against when we were at the last Sacrament, yet these re-

is, lapses should not make us afraid of coining again, since we always have the Penefit of Repentance allowed us : If after a Relapse we repent, and renew Our Resolutions with a hearty Grief and Contrition of Spirit, we are made whole as before. If the wicked, faith God, will turn from all bis Sins that he hath committed ; and-ail bis Transgreffions that be kaih committed, they shall not be mentioned unto lim, Ezek. xviii 21. 22. Ein na more, fays our Saviour to the Woman taken in Adultery, and I will not condemn thee, John viii. 11. It is not the Commission of this or that great Sin that will utterly exclude us from God's Mercy and Forgiveness, for then, indeed, no Perlon could escape Damnation, becaute there is not a jutt Man upon Earth, that doth God and finneth not, Eccles. vii. 20. But it is our living and dying without Repentance and Amendment, that brings God's Wrath and Vengeance upon us. His Mercies are not limited ; he will not only pardon us once or twice, but always upon our Repentance and Return to him. No Time, no Age or Seafon, does he except against; but whenever the wicked Man turneth away from his Wickedness that be bath committed, and deth that which is lawful and right, be fall save bis Soul alive, Ezek. xviii. 27. Neither is there any Sio, though never fo vile and heinous in its own Nature, but shall be remitted and forgiven, unless it be that Sin against the Holy Ghost. Ail manner of Sins and Blasphemies shall be forgiven unto Men, but the Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost fall not be forgiven, Matt. xii. 31.32. And consequently this Sin of eating and drinking unworthily, in the worst Senle, cannot be a damning Sin, because God in the Gospel (for Christ's fake) hath promiled to forgive all, our sins, upon our Repentance, and therefore this of unworthy Receiving among the rest.

Some People, I remember, have been very much concerned and discomposed at their Devotions, upon the repetition of some few Expressions contained in the Jast Exhortation to the Communion ; namely, “. Of being guilty of the Body and

Blood of Christ our Saviour, Of eating and drinking our own Damnation, « Not considering the Lord's Body,-Kindling God's Wrath against us ---Pro“ voking him to plague us with divers Diseases and sundry kinds of Death:" These are hard sayings, and some of them too hard to be understood : But however, they are all avoided and escaped by coming worthily, that is, with Faith and Repentance : Therefore let not these terrible Expressions trouble you, or de

from the holy Communion : Repent and believe, and you are safe and see cure from falling into any of those Dangers, which these Sentences may seem to threaten you with. So that the Want of a Preparation, as some Men have alledged, and in the Sense they generally take it, can never be a sufficient Plea or Pretence for their not coming to the holy. Communion ; because after our best and strictest Endeavours to prepare ourselves, we profess (before God and the

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