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Thefe we are to confide in, as Effectual for that Purpofe; and to reft affured, that the Mercies, reprefented by them, are as certainly imparted, by and with them, as thofe very Signs are, which we fee, and feel, and tafte. These again we are to confider, as having that Efficacy and Significance, not from any natural Force and Tendency of their own; but purely from the Ordinance and Inftitution of God, who appointed the Ufe of them for fuch particular Purposes.

'Tis farther obfervable, concerning all the Ordinances of this kind; That they begin to take place, upon fome new Conditions of Obedience impofed, and as Confirmations to Promifes of fome fignal Advantage, propounded as a Reward of Compliance, with the Change or Addition of fuch Conditions. The Inftances themfelves make this exceeding plain. For fuch are to be reckoned, The Tree of Life in Paradise, to our First Parents: The Bow in the Cloud to Noah, after the Flood: Circumcifion to Abraham, upon feparating Him and his Pofterity to be God's peculiar: The Paffover, and other Levitical Sacrifices, upon enacting the Law: And, to Us Chriftians, Baptifm and the Lord's Supper, at the Promulgation of the Gofpel. All these agree thus far, that, by the impreffions made upon our bodily Senfes from Objects fit to affect them, all Doubt might be removed, concerning thofe Benefits, of which our Senfes can have no Perception; but which do challenge a Right to our Faith, (the only Principle qualified to apprehend them) when Evidence of them is made by fuch Marks and Emblems, as, when rightly ufed, God hath determined to bestow them in Company with.

And This I take to be the true Reafon of that particular Prefence of Chrift, in the Sacraments, above what is ufually attributed to other parts of Religious Worfhip: That here is an infeparable Conjunction of the thing fignified, with the Sign rightly adminiftred; and a fenfible Proof of that invifible Benefit, made by vi

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fible Signs. For fuch the Sacraments exhibit to us, but
other Acts of Religious Worship are deftitute of. This
also seems to be the Apostle's Meaning, in that Text to
the Corinthians; The Cup of Bleffing which I Cor. x. 16.
we blefs, is it not the Communion of the Blood

of Chrift? The Bread which we break, is it not the Com-
munion of the Body of Chrift? The Cup and Bread at the
Holy Table are therefore the Means of exhibiting and
rendring us Partakers of, his Body broken and his Blood,
(or as himself, according to St. Luke, was pleafed to
phrafe it) the New Teftament in his Blood, fhed for us. Of
which, if we will fpeak intelligibly, and fo, as may
agree with the Terms, whereby the Evangelifts and
St. Paul have feverally described the Act of Institution,
it must be to like Effect, with the Words of our
Church, in her Thanksgivings after the Communion.
That here we hope, by the Merits and Death
First Prayer.
of Jefus Chrift, and through Faith in his
Blood, to obtain Remiffion of our ins, and all other Bene-
fits of his Paffion. Or (as the Other Form yet more
exprefly) that Them who have duly re-
ceived thefe Holy Mysteries, God hath vouch-
Safed to feed with the Spiritual Food of the most precious Body
and Blood of his Son our Saviour Jefus Chrift; and
doth affure them thereby of his Favour and Goodness toward
them; and, that they are very Members incorporate in the
myftical Body of his Son, which is the bleed Company of
all faithful People; and are alfo Heirs through Hope of his
everlasting Kingdom, by the Merits of the most precious
Death and Paffion of his dear Son. Since then, by com-
municating in the confecrated Elements, we partake in
the Body and Blood of Chrift; that is, Since all the Ad-
vantages, which his Death was intended to procure for
Mankind, are here exhibited, and fealed, to every
worthy Receiver in particular; no doubt can be made,
whether thefe Holy Myfteries be not defervedly stiled
Pledges of our Dear Redeemer's Love.

Second Prayer.

2. The

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2. The Other End of Inftituting this Sacrament is, that it may be a continual Remembrance of Chrift's Death. This likewife is manifeft, not only from thofe Words of our Bleffed Saviour himself, Do this in Remembrance of me; but by thofe alfo of St. Paul, As oft as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do fhew forth the Lord's Death till he come. If we confider the Circumftances of the first Christians, their Hardships and Perfecutions for the Faith of Chrift; it must be acknowledged, that their making This fo conftant a part of their Solemn Worship, was an inftance of a more than common Zeal. The Natural Conftruction of fuch a Practice amounting in truth to no lefs, than a Declaration, that they were neither afraid, nor afhamed, to confefs themfelves the Difciples of a crucified Lord; notwithstanding all the Cruelty and Contempt, which, it was forefeen, fuch Confeffion would not fail of expofing them to. It were to be wifhed, that any Age, that Ours in particular, had fo juft a Reverence for Chrift and his Religion; as might make fuch open Atteftations of our Adherence to him cease to be, even in this refpect, neceffary. But, fuppofing the whole World agreed in the Regards due to Chrift and his Doctrine, yet would the molt publick Declarations of our Thanks ftill continue a Duty. And, fince he hath himself prescribed a Method, for preferving the great things, done and fuffered upon Our account, fresh in the Memories of Men; it will very ill become Them, who are fo infinitely indebted to his Kindness, to decline remembring him, in the way of his own Chufing. Accordingly, we find this always look'd upon, as the mark of Diftinction for his Servants and Followers: The Admiffion to it, esteemed their highest Privilege and Comfort: The Exclufion from it, upon any notorious Crime, dreaded and lamented, as the moft grievous of all Calamities. For this was interpreted a dreadful Omen, of fuch Perfons being debarred entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven,

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if it fhould please God to take them away in that miferable State: An Argument indeed, that they had neither Part nor Lot in thofe Sufferings, which they were judged unworthy to commemorate. For all remembrance of this kind fuppofes an Interest in, and a Title to, the Bleffings Men remember. And the matter is greatly miftaken by Them, who fuppofe, that every Calling of Chrift and his Death to mind is fufficient, to anfwer the Purposes of this Inftitution. For, though our Lord have mentioned no other ufe of this Sacrament exprefly, befides that of remembring Him; yet does This fingly, when confidered as it ought to be, imply all thofe pious Acts and Difpofitions, which the Treatifes of Divines upon this Sacrament are ufually obferved to require, as neceffary Preparations to it. And This it is my defign to Explain and Prove under my Second General Head, which, I promised, fhould confift of

II. Some Practical Reflections, relating to this


Heb. ix. 26.

Now, First, By remembring Chrift and his Death, is implied a Remembrance of the End, for which he died. This, the Scriptures acquaint us, was to take away Sin by the Sacrifice of himfelf: To Deliver us from the Guilt and Punishment of it, by Suffering in our stead; and to fet us at Liberty from the Dominion of it, by the Affiftances of his Grace. But the Scripture does as plainly inform us, that these Benefits are confined to the Penitent only; And therefore, to pretend to this Remembrance, without fincere Endeavours to promote that End, is Mockery and Affront to his Sufferings. Confequently the Remembrance of Chrift's Death, in this Sacrament, is an Obligation to hearty Sorrow for our Sins already paft; to ftedfaft Purposes of living better for the time to come; and to actual Amendment in pursuit of those good Purposes,


Secondly, He, who remembers Chrift dying for him, is fuppofed to have a due Sense of the Merit and Efficacy of that Death. He must believe, That God hath accepted it, in full Satisfaction to his offended Juftice, and fet him forth as a Propitiation, in whom we have Forgiveness and Acceptance. Confequently, he approaches this Table with affured Perfuafion, that the Great Work of Redemption is accomplished. By this Perfuafion he feels himself invigorated and actuated perpetually. It is like the Soul in his Body, animating every Part: It influences his whole Behaviour, fupports him under Tryals, arms him against Temptations, filences his Doubts, lays the Difquiet of Fears and Mifgivings to fleep, banishes Despair utterly; and fhews him to himself, tho' most polluted and unworthy, when confidered abftractedly and alone; yet, when confidered, as one for whom Chrift died, the Purchase of that Blood, which could not be shed in vain; and sure to be accepted in and for the Beloved Son of God. And thus he attains to another Qualification, declared to be neceffary upon our approaches to the Bleffed Table, A lively and fedfaft Faith in Chrift our Saviour.

Thirdly, He that remembers the Death of Christ, in our Lord's meaning, recollects, that his Blood was shed, and his Body broken for Him and for Many; Or as St. John, in Terms yet more extensive, that he is the Propitiation, not for his Sins only, but also 1 John ii. 2. for the Sins of the whole World. And this

Reflection cannot fail to awaken thofe Endearments, which naturally grow, from Men being involved in the fame common Danger and Mifery, and partaking in the fame common Deliverance. It will put us in mind, how, by fuffering in our Nature, he hath united to himself all, who share that Nature. It will reprefent the Friendship, due to Them, who are thus made Heirs of the fame Hope, Sons of the fame Family, Members of the fame Body, Wafhed in the fame Baptifm, Fed


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