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Gift before the Altar, and go thy way, firf be
reconciled to thy Brother, and then come and offer
thy Gift. Here you see that Christ preters
Mercy before Sacrifice. And it is generally
agreed on by the ancient Fathers, that these
Words of our Saviour do directly point at this
Sacrament, on purpose to oblige all Commu-
nicants to forgive all manner of Injuries, “ be-
fore they presume to eat of that Bread, or to
“ drink of that Cup.” And it is exprefly said,
Matt. vi. 14, 15. that our Prayers are not ac-
cepted, nor our Pardon sealed in Heaven, un-
til such Time as we forgive Men their Trespasses;
and to be sure we can never be welcome or
worthy Guests at this heavenly Feast, where
Jesus the Saviour of Penitents and the Prince
of Peace is fpiritually present, unless our Re-
pentance reconcile us to God, and our Charity
to all Mankind.
And this Charity of the Heart, in forgiving

Injuries, must likewise few it-
Cbarity to the

self by the Hand, in relieving Poor.

the Wants and Neceflities of the Poor, We read, that when this Sacrament was administred in the Apostles Days, large Collections of Monies were then gathered for the Maintenance of the poor Clergy and Laity, Aets ii. 44, 456 46. and 1 Cor. xvi. I. And Theodoret observes, that Theodosius the Emperor, when the Time came to offer, arole, and presented his. Oblations with his own Hands. It was not determined how much every Man should give, but all Men were ex

horted

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horted and enjoined to offer something, according to their Ability ; which if any neglected, the Fathers censured them as unworthy Communicants : And to be sure, nothing within our Power can so effectually recommend our Prayers and Devotions as this of Charity ; it being well observed, Matt. vi. ;

that our Saviour hach inclosed Alms between . Prayer and Fasting, and therefore they are

called its two Wings, without which it will never fly so high as the Throne of God. While Cornelius was fasting and praying, we read that an Angel from Heaven was dispatched to him with this happy Message : Thy

Prayers and thine Alms are come up for a MeFut morial before God, Acts x. 4. that haih

Pity upon the Poor, lendeth unto the Lord; and nk that which he hath given will he pay him again,

Prov. xix. 17. Charge them that are rich in this World,--that they be rich in good Works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, lay

ing up in store for themselves a good Foundation * against the Time to come, that they may lay hold

on eternal Life, I Tim. vi, 17, 18, 19. Do

ye not know that they who minister about holy De Things live of the Sacrifice, and they who wait

at the Altar are Partakers with the Altar ? Even so hath the Lord also ordained, that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel,

i Cor. ix. 13, 14. If we have forun unto you Fly Spiritual Things, is it a great Matter if we fall reap your worldly Things ? Ver. 11.

But we

may

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may justly complain with Bafil, that we know

fome who will “ fast and pray, Balil, Homil. in Matt. xix.

" figh and groan, yea, and do

" all Acts of Religion which “ cost them nothing, but will not give one “ Farthing to the Poor : What Benefit is " there, faith he, of all the rest of their De“ votions?And when the Communicant has thus far

advanced towards the Altar, in Prayer.

his Examination, Repentance, &c. he must not forget another excellent Preparative belonging to this Duty of communicating worthily, which although it be not mentioned in our Church Catechism, yet it is always implied as a necessary Part of our Sacramental Preparation, that is, Prayer *, private and public; a Duty upon which all our present and future Blellings depend, Matt. vii. 7, 8. and 21, 22.. And so near a Relation hath this Duty of Prayer with this Sacrament, that all those Blessings therein contained and promised, are only in return to our Prayers ; and no doubt but that Man who makes a conscientious Practice of this Duty in his Closet, and at Church, can never be unprepared for this Sacrament, nor want a Title to God's peculiar

See The Devout Soul's Daily Exercise, in Prayers, Contemplations and Praises ; containing Devotions for Morning, Noon and Night, for every Day in the Week ; with Prayers and Thanksgivings for Persons of all Conditions, and upon

all Occasions. By R. Parker, D. D. Price bound 6 d. or 5 so

per Dozen,

Favour and Blelling: For the Eyes of the Lord are over the Righteous, and his Ears are open unto their Prayers, 1 Pet. iii. 12.

The conftant Exercise of Prayer is the best Method to get the Mastery over our evil Inclinations and corrupt Affections, and to overcome our vicious Habits : It preserves a lively Sense of God and Religion in our Minds, and fortifies us against those Temptations that affault us; it fpiritualizeth our Nature, and raiseth our Souls above this World, and supports us under the Troubles and Calamities of this Life, by fanctifying * such Afflictions ; it leads us gradually to the Perfection of a Christian Life, and preferves that Union between God and our Souls, which feeds our spiritual Life with Grace and Goodness; without it we in vain pretend to discharge those Christian Duties incumbent on us, or to prosper in our temporal Affairs, which must have God's Blessing to crown them with Success. And as Prayer in general has these great Bleļsings and Advantages attending it, so give me leave to suggest to you under this Head, that those public Prayers and Devotions, which we offer Public Prayer

recommended. unto God in our Churches, are not only more acceptable to him, but also much more edifying and advantageous to ourfelves : They cannot but be more acceptable

* Sie The Daily Companion, with Christian Supports under the Troubles of this World, &c. Price bound 6 d. or 5 sa per Dozen.

to God, because thereby his Honour and Glory is much more considerably advanced and maintained in the World, than by our private Devotions * : By these outward Signs and Tokens, we publicly declare to all the World that inward Regard and Esteem which we have for his divine Perfections and Goodness; hereby we let our Light so fine before Men, that they may see our good Works, and glorify our Father which is in Heaven, Matt. v. 16. There is no Duty in Scripture more frequently commanded, none more earnestly pressed upon us, than this of public Prayer. We have the Example of all good Men in all Ages for it, and of Christ himself, who was daily in the Temple and in the Synagogue, and, no question, frequented those Places at the usual Hours of Prayers, because then he had the faireft Opportunity, from those public Afsemblies, to inItruct, and to exhort to Faith and Repentance. 2dly, We may expect greater Blessings and Success to our Requests and Desires, when we join in the public Prayers of our Church, than from private, because our Saviour has in a special Manner promised to such Affemblies his immediate Presence; that where two or three

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* See A Sermon concerning The Excellency and Usefulness of the Common-Prayer. By W. Beveridge, D. D, late Lord Bishop of St. Afaph, at the Opening of the Parish Church of St. Peter, Cornbill, Lordon. Price 3d. or 20s. pcr Hundred,

are

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