« PreviousContinue »
at God's hand: for otherwise the receiving of the holy Com. munion doth nothing else but increase your damnation. Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, an hinderer or Nanderer of his Word, an adulterer, or be in maIce or envy, or in any other grievous erime ; Repent you of your fins, or else come not to that holy Table, left after the taking of that holy Sacrament, the devil enter into you, as be entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction both of body and foul.
And because it is requisite, that no man should come to the holy Communion, but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore if there be any of you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel ; let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned Minister of God's Word, and open his grief, that by the ministry of God's holy Word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to che quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness. Or in cafe be fall see the People negligent to come to the boly Communion, ize ftead of the former, be pall uje shis Exhortation,
brethren, on I , grace, to celebrate the Lord's Supper: unto which, in God's behalf, I bid you all that are here present; and beleech you for the Lord Jesus Chritt's fake, that ye will noc refule to come thereto, being so lovingly called and bidden by God himfelf. Ye know how grievous and unkind a thing it is, when a man hach prepared a rich feast, decked his table with all kind of provision, so that there lackech nothing but the guests to sit down, and yet they who are called (without any cause) most unthankfully refuse to come, Which of you in such a case would not be moved? Who would not think a great injury and wrong done unto him Wherefore, most dearly beloved in Chrift, take ye good heed, left ye withdrawing yourselves from this holy Supper, provoke God's indignation against you. It is an easy matter for a man to fay, I will not communicate, because I am otherwise hindered with worldly business. But such excufes
are not so easily accepted and allowed before God. If any man say, I am a grievous finner, and therefore am afraid to come : Wherefore then do ye not repent and amend ? When God calleth you, are ye not ashamed to say you will not come? When ye should return to God, will ye excuse yourselves, and say ye are not ready ? Consider earnestly with yourselves, how little such feigned excuses will avail before God. They that refused the feast in the Gospel, because they had bought a farm, or would try their yokes of oxen, or because they were married, were not so excused, but counted unworthy of the heavenly feast. I for my part shall be ready, and according to mine Office, I bid you in che Name of God, I call you in Christ's behalf, I exhort you, as you love your own salvation, that ye will be pariakers of this holy Communion. And as the Son of God did vouchlafe to yield up his soul by death upon the Cross for your salvation : so it is your duty to receive the Communion in remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, as he himself hath commanded : Which if ye shall neglect to do, consider with yourselves how great injury ye do unto God, and how fore punishment hangeth over your heads for the fame; when ye wilfully abitain from the Lord's Table, and separate from your brethren, who come to feed on the banquet of that most heavenly food. These things if ye carnestly consider, ye will by God's grace return to a better mind : for the obtaining whereof we shall not cease to make our humble petitions unto Almighty God our heavenly Facher,
At the time of ihe cekebration of the Communion, the Communicants being con.
veniently placid for the receiving of the holy Sacrament, the Priet fall say this Exhortation :
Early beloved in the Lord, ye that mind to come to
the holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider how Saint Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they
of you, my dearly beloved fellow-christians who design at this time to partake of the facrament of the Lord's fupper, ought to have
presume to eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup. 2. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament (for then we fpiritually eat the Acth of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us :) 3. So is the danger great, if we receive the fame unworthily : For then we are guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ our Saviour ; we eat and drink our own damnation, not considering the Lord's Body; we kindle God's wrath against us; we provoke him to plague us with divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death. 4. Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord; repent you truly for your sins past; have a lively and stedfait faith in Christ our Saviour ; amend your lives, and be
P A R A P H R AS E. properly prepared yourselves (as I hope and believe you have done) by a careful examination of the state of your souls, taking the advice of the apostle Paul, who fays, Let a than examine himself, and so let him eat of ibat bread, and drink of that cup, 1 Cor. ii. 28.
2. For if we come well prepared to the table of the Lord, we reap great benefit by receiving the holy facrament; since, as Christ himself teils, (in a spiritual sense) we eat bis flesh, and drink bis blood, Joha ví. 56. thea indeed we dwell in Chrift, and Christ in us..
3. So if we come to the table of the Lord in an unprepared manner, we eat and drink unworthily, and (as the Apoftie fays) are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, 1 Cor. xi. 27, and in some measure we partake of the fin of the Jews, who crucified the Lord of life, when without previous preparation we approach these holy myfteries which represent his death and paffion. The Apostle says, that, we thereby eat and drink damnation to ourselves, nor difcerning the Lord's body. By fach a practice as this, we kindle the wrath of Almighty God against us, and if we die in the wilfal commission of this fin, we must expect eternal condemnation.
4. Therefore my dear chriftian brethren, suffer me to admonish you in the words of the Apofle, li we would judge ourselves, we brould nog be judged, 1 Cor. ii. 31. that is, if we would diligently search and examine ourselves before we approach the Lord's table, we should escape tha threatened condemnation. Repent fincerely of all your former fins and tranfgreflices; be uniform, fedfat, and lively in your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amend your lives, in whatever instance you have done amiss, do ro no more, and continue in perfect love and charity with all your fellow creatures, lince our Saviour himself informs us, that when we bring our gift to che alcar, we must forft be reconciled to our brother, and then reime and offer car gif!, Mati. V. 23, 24.
in perfect charity with all men, so shall ye be meet partakers of those holy mysteries. 5. And above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man, who did humble hi nself even to the death upon the Cross, for us miserable finners, who lay in darkriefs, and the shadow of death, that he might make us the children of God, and exale us to everlasting life. 6. And to the end that we should alway remember the exceeding great love of our Master, and only Saviour Jesus Christ, thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits which by his precious blood-lhedding he hath obtained to us; he hath instituted and ordained holy mysteries, as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless comfort. 7. To him therefore, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, let us give (as we are most bounden) continual thanks, submitting ourselves wholly to his holy will and pleasure, and studying to serve him in true holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. Amen.
P A R A P H R AS E. 5. All these qualifications we ought to have before we approach the facramental table. But, as at all times in general, so upon this occafion in particular, we must entertain fenciments of the fincerelt gratitude for our redemption by the death and fuíferings of our Lord and Saviour, who for our fakes bumbled himself and became obedient unto dearb; even the death of the cross, Phil. ii. 8. in order that we might be partakers of life everlafting.
6. And indeed one principal reason of the institution of the Lord's fupper, is to give us frequent opportunities of exercising our gratitude ; for these holy mysteries are to be considered as a pledge or token, to per us in mind of the great advantages derived to us froin his fuffetings and death.
7. Let us therefore be constant, fincere and uniform, in our grateful acknowledgements to our blessed Lord and Saviour, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, is one God. And let our gratitude be teftibed by con fororing our lives in all respects to his holy will, revealed to us in his written word, always endeavouring to ferve himn in true holiness and righ teousness to the end of our lives.
Then all the Prie faj to them that come ta receive the bely Communion.
minded to receive the holy Communion, by one of the Ministers; borts be and allebe People kneeling bumbly upon their knees, and Saying,
Lmighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Chrift,
Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manitold sins and wickedness, Which we from time to time most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, against thy Divine Majelty, Provoking mot justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our mildoings ; The remembrance of them is gri vous unto us, The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us,
P A R A P H R AS E. So many of you as do truly and fincerely, through a deep sense of the Wrath of Almighty God, and the deplorableness of your condition, repent of your manifold fins and transgressions, who are in love and charity with your neighbours, and fincerely from your heart forgive every one who have any way offended you, and who determine for the future to lead a better life than you have hitherto done, approach the sacred table of the Lord with faith, in the merit of his sacrifices and partake of this holy facrament, which will be productive of the greatest comfort to you, by fealing the pardon of your fins; and beltowing upon you the gifts and graces of God's holy spirit. Come then, and the better to qualify yourfelves to pastake of these great benefits, and to testify the fincerity of your repentance, kneel before ine Lord, and make a public confeilion of your kas in that molt humble poiture.
Paraphrafe or the Confeffion. O Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom. xv. 6.) who madel the world and all things therein, (A&s xvii. 24.) thou O Lord, are the judge of all men; before thy throne, we mot humbly acknowledge and lament the many and great tranfgressions, which we have been committing in thought, word and deed, again thy divine