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thou art invited in the holy facrament : let us consider the nature and end of this Sacred inflitution ; what is meant by this holy action ; to what purpose it was ordained; what benefits and advantages may be expected from it. This necefsary knowledge once attained, and which may be compassed without great difficulty, will be a standing qualification in all our future communions; and create such godly dispositions of mind, that I may no longer be afraid to approach the Lord's table. And to this end, : 2. Let us call to mind our baptismal VOW, wherein we have promised to lead a godly and Christian life, which can never be fulfilled so long as we live in a constant neglect of this holy facrament ; nor is it possible to be a meet partaker of that holy mystery, except there be a due preparation, by confessing our fins with an humble, penitent, and obedient heart, and a readiness to forgive those that have offended us, and asking with faith ; without these, O my soul, I dare not go to that holy table, and my prayers and praises will find no acceptance at the throne of grace. But if I endeavour to live as becomes a Christian ; if I really believe the Christian religion, and sincerely govern my life by the doctrines and precepts of the gospel, there is nothing
should deter me froin partaking of this holy ordinance: nay, I am bound to receive it at any time when there is an opportunity.
2. Thus, though it be my duty to communicate at the Lord's tuble, it is very advisable that my lamp should be trimmed, that I should examine the state of my mind, renew my repentance, exercise my charity, enlarge my devotions, and spiritualize my affections ; I am therefore re. folved to retire from all unnecessary busi. ness and pleasures : that by prayer and alms-deeds, thou, my foul, mayst be raised to relish fpiritual enjoyments; and that I may no longer be deprived of that glorious expectation of the saints, whither I can never expect to be exalted, if I live in the constant habitual practice of any known fin, without repentance; for such an impious approach to the holy table is a mocking of God, and a great contempt of his authority. 1.4. Say then, I will wash my hands in innocency, so will I compass thine altar, O Lord, Plalm xxvi. 6. För I believe that according to a man's preparation, fo will be his profit. Impenitence makes our prayers an abomination to the Lord; for to profers one's self sorry for one's fins, and resolved to forsake them, when there
is no sense of the one, nor firm resolution to do the other, is the greatest affront imaginable to our Maker, by supposing either that he doth not know our hearts, or that he will be pleased, when we draw near to him with our lips, tho' our hearts are far from him : but yet this is our encouragement, that if the Lord sees a man set himself seriously to a preparation, he will bear with many failings, and so heal his people that they may keep the feast with gladness; a feast wherein thou, O Father, hast commanded us to commemorate that greatest instance of thy loye to us, our redemption by the death of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. · Here observe the directions given on page 8, and more particularly endeavour to iniprove your soul by reading a lesson out of the New WHOLE Duty of Man, Sunday 6.
The prayer on Tuesday evening for a worthy recei
ving of the most holy sacrament. What reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits that he bath done unto me; I will receive the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord, Psal. cxvi. 11, 12. D Lessed be thou, O my Lord, for ever D'blessed, for this instance of thy love to fallen mankind, in sending thine only begotten Son for our redemption, who are not worthy of the great and many mercies which thou haft showed unto us.
Grant, O Lord, that this thy inexpressible love may not be lost upon me: put that, being sensible of my fad condition by nature, and my worse condition by my own wilful fins, I may be thoroughly convinced of the necessity and blessing of a Redeemer, and that I may, with a heart full of gratitude, join with thy faithful church in giving our devouteft thanks to theę, and in keeping up the remembrance of what thy blessed Son has done and suffered for us.
Grant, O my God, that I may always receive that pledge of thy love, and the offers of pardon and grace, tendered to me in this holy ordinance, with a truly thankful heart, and in remembrance of thee, my great and best benefactor ; in remembrance of my Saviour's holy example-Of his bitter death and passion Of his glorious resurrection and ascen. sion into heaven, and of his coming again to judge the world.
Give me, O my God, a steadfast faith in thy word and promises, and a firm trust in thy almighty power : and let the fear of thy justice and omniscience keep me from presumptuous fins, and a sense of thy goodness and mercy preserve me from despair. Defend me from all those înares, which destroy my love for thee;
from worldly cares; from all sensual and sinful pleasures; froin evil company ; from foolish diversions"; and from every thing that may make me forget that thoil alone art worthy to be feared and loved; grant me these mercies for thy Son Jefus Christ his fake, whose love and death I am now about commemorating. For,
O my God, I shall (on Sunday next) presume to come to thy holy table, not trusting in my own righteousness, but it' thy manifold and great mercies. I am sensible that I am not worth so much as to gather up the cruiñbs which fall from thy table. But thou art the fame Lord, whose property is always to have mercy grant me, therefore, gracious Lord, fo to eat the flesh of thý dèar Son Jesus Chrift, and ro drink his blood, that my finfuf body miay be made clean by his body; and my foul be washed through his most precious blood, and that I may evermore dwell in him, and he in me. ..
There, and whatever other mercies thou feeít neceffary for me, I entreat thori wilt granç for the sake of the same thy deatly beloved Son, Jefus Chrift my Lord and Saviour. Amen.
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See the concluding prayer and blessing on pages 38 and 39.