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is therefore spiritual, and is not as a beast, which is naturals only; he has the faculty also of willing and of doing whatsoever his intellect is capable of knowing, of understanding, and of uttering rationally; but in case the will refuse obedience to such sentiments of the understanding as are truly rational, which are also intrinsically spiritual, the man then becomes external : wherefore with those who only understand what is true and good, the presence of the Lord is universal and external, but with those who also will and do what is true and good, the Lord's presence is both universal and singular, or both internal and external. They who only understand and talk about what is true and good, are comparatively like those foolish virgins, who had lamps but no oil in them, whereas they who not only understand and talk about what is true and good, but likewise'will and practise it, are the wise virgins who went in unto the marriage, whilst the former stood knocking without, but were not let in, Matt. xxv. 1 to 12. Hence it appears, that the Lord is present, and opens heaven to those who approach the holy supper worthily, and that He is also present with those who approach unworthily, but does not open heaven to them.
720. It is not however to be supposed that the Lord shuts heaven against those who approach unworthily, for this He never does against any man during his abode in this world; but the fact is, that man shuts heaven against himself, and that by the rejection of faith and by evil of life: still however he is preserved continually in the possibility of repentance and conversion; for the Lord is continually present with every man, and urgent to be received, agreeably to His own declaration, “ Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in unto him, AND WILL SUP WITH HIM, AND HE with Me,” Rev. iii. 20; the blame therefore lies with man himself, for not opening the door. But it is otherwise after death: then heaven is closed and is not to be opened to those, who to the end of life have approached the holy table unworthily, for then the interiors of their minds are fixed and determined.
721. That baptism is an introduction into the church, has been shewn in the chapter on baptism; and that the holy supper is an introduction into heaven, is plain from what has been said, if it be well digested and understood. These two sacraments are as it were two gates leading to eternal life; by baptism, which is the first gate, every Christian is initiated and introduced into the doctrines which the church teaches from the Word respecting a future life; all which are so many means to prepare him, and conduct him to heaven. The other gate is the holy supper, through which every one who has suffered himself to be prepared and led by the Lord, is introduced and admitted into heaven. There are no other universal gates but these. The intent and uses of these two sacraments may in this respect be compared with the case of a prince, who is born to the government of a kingdom; he is first introduced to the knowledge of the principles of government, and is then crowned and admitted to the government itself. They may be compared also with the case of a son, the heir to a great estate, who is first instructed in such matters as relate to the right management of his wealth and possessions, and afterwards comes into the actual management and possession. They may be compared too with the case of a house, which is first to be built, and afterwards to be inhabited ; and also with a man's education from his infancy till he comes to years of discretion, and with his rational and spiritual life afterwards; one period must needs precede, that the other may be obtained, for it is not possible to attain the latter but by means of the former. These instances may serve to illustrate how baptism and the holy supper are like two gates, through which man is introduced to eternal life, and that after passing through the first gate he comes to a plain, over which he is to run a race, and that the second gate is the goal, where the prize is placed towards
which he directs his course : for the palm is not given till the race is run, nor the prize adjudged till the contest is decided. VI. THAT THEY APPROACH The Holy SUPPER WOR
THILY, WHO ARE UJ DER THE INFLUENCE OF FAITH TOWARDS THE LORD, AND OF CHARITY TOWARDS THEIR Neigh BOUR, THU8, WHO ARE REGENERATE.
722. That God, charity, and faith, are the three universals of the church, because they are the universal means of salvation, is known, acknowledged, and perceived, by every Christian who attends to the Word. Reason itself, if it be under any spiritual influence, teaches, that without the acknowledgment of a God no man can have either any religion, or any principle in him that constitutes the church; wherefore whosoever cometh to the holy supper without acknowledging a God, profanes it; for he sees with his eyes the bread and wine, and tastes them with his tongue, but at the same time bis mind thinks to itself, “What is all this but a mere juggle? For in what do these differ from similar food at my own table? And yet I must needs attend the holy supper, lest I draw upon me the censure of the clergy, and incur the imputation of atheism, esteemed so disgraceful by the vulgar.” That, after the acknowledgment of a God, charity is the next means for making a worthy communicant, is plain both from the Word, and also from the exhortations that are read in every Christian church, previous to the celebration of the holy supper. It is first plain from the WORD, because, “the first and great commandment is this, to love God above all things, and our neighbour as ourselves," Matt. xxii. 34 to 39; and Paul saith, that “there are three things profitable to salvation, and that the greatest of these is charity," 1 Corinth. xiii. 13; and again in the Gospel : 66 We know that God heareth not sinners, but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth,” John ix. 31: and again : “ Every branch that beareth not good fruit, is cut down and cast into the fire,” Matt. vii 19,
20.' It is evident too from the exhORTATIONS THAT ARE READ IN EVERY CHRISTIAN CHURCH, PREVIOUS TO THE CELEBRATION OF THE HOLY SUPPER, in which the people are seriously admonished to be in charity one with another by reconciliation and repentance; but of these s shall only transcribe the following passages from the exhortation read in the church of England : “ The way and means to be worthy partakers of the holy supper is, first to examine your lives and conversations by the rule of God's commandments, and whereinsoever ye shall perceive yourselves to have offended either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail your own sinfulness, and to confess yourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life ; and if ye shall perceive your offences to be such, as are not only against God, but also against your neighbours, then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them, being ready to make restitution and satisfaction, according to the ultermost of your power, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other; and being likewise ready to forgive others that have offended you, as ye would have forgiveness of your offences at God's hand; for otherwise the receiving of the holy communion doth nothing else but increase your damnation. Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, a hinderer or slanderer of His Word, an adulterer, or be in malice or envy, or in any other grievous crime, repent ye of your sins, or else come not to that holy table, lest after the taking of that holy sacrament, the devil enter into you as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction both of body and soul.” The reason why faith in the Lord is a third means to make a worthy partaker of the holy supper, is, because charity and faith make a one, like heat and light in the time of spring, from whose conjunction every tree springs forth afresh; in like manner from spiritual heat, which is charity, and spiritual light, which is the truth of faith, the life of every man is renewed. That faith in the Lord has this effect, is evident from these passages : “ He that believeth in Me shall live, and never die," John xi. 25, 26 : “ This is the will of the Father, that every one who believeth on the Son, may have everlasting life,” John vi. 40: “ God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John iii. 15, 16 : “ He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life, but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the anger of God abideth on him," John iii. 36 : “ We are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ; this is the True God and Eternal Life,” 1 John v. 20, 21.
723. It was shewn in the chapter on ReFORMATION AND Regeneration, that man is regenerated by these three, the Lord, charity, and faith, united in one, and that unless a man be regenerated, he cannot enter into heaven; wherefore the Lord can open it to none but the regenerate; and after natural death no others can be admitted. By the regenerate, who approach the holy table worthily, they are meant, who internally are in those three essentials of heaven and the church, and not such as are only externally in them; for the latter confess not the Lord in their soul, but only with their tongue, and exercise charity towards their neighbour with their hands alone, and not with their hearts : these are described as the workers of iniquity, in these words of the Lord : “ Then shall ye begin to say, Lord, we have eaten and drunk in Thy presence; but I will say to you, I know not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye that work iniquily,” Luke xiji. 26, 27.
724. These, as well as the former remarks, may be illustrated by various circumstances which harmonize and correspond. As for example: none are admitted to the table of an emperor, or a king, but those of high rank and station; and they too, before their admission, must be clothed in a manner suitable to their dignity, and appear with the proper decorations of their office, that they may meet with