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Vol. II

w Motives to, and Prepa

ration for the Lord's
Supper.

Pfalin XXVI. 6.

1

I will wash my hands in Innocency, lo

wil I compass thine Altar, O Lord.

T

HE Sense of thefe Words is ve

ry easie ; the Fedos were oblig'd to wash before they entred into the Tabernacle to Worship or Sacrifice ; and by this Rite was signified that Purity and Innocence which did fit Men to draw nigh to God, and was a necessary Qualification to render their Persons and their Worship acceptable to him. By compafing the Altar, is meant the Ottering up Sacrifice with Praise and Thanksgiving: this is plain from the following Verle ; where the Reason assigned for compassing the Altar, is, That I may publish with the voice of Thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous Works. David therefore in these

words

words declares his Resolution to offer Vol. II. up

Eucharistical Sacrifices to God in lonocence and Integrity. Nor do I think that this is to be understood of a Sacrifice of Thanksgiving to be offered upon some Solemn Occasion for a particular Deliverance;nor of any peculiar Preparation of himself for such an A& of Worship, but of his constant Pra&ice, and habitual Innocence; as may easily be gather'd from the context, wherein he expresses a fix'd love of Goodness, and a hate of Wickedness; an aversion, a settled averfion for the Conversation of Evil Doers, and a delight in the House of God: And all this founded on, and springing from daily and incessant reflections on the loving kindness of God.

If from this Example of David, I take occasion to Exhort you to the frequent participation of the Holy Sacrament, I shall, I think, commit no force at all upon the Text. The Worfhip the Text invites us to, is the Sacri. fice of Praise and Thanksgiving; and such is our Eucharist. The Preparation required in my Text is Integrity and Innocency; and this is the best Preparation for the Sacrament. And

lastly,

Vol.Il. lastly, what movid David to the fre

quent Oblation of Eucharistical Sacri-
fice, ought more forcibly to move us,
namely, the loving kindness of the
Lord.For ifTemporalFavours wrought
so much Piety and Gratitude in David,
how much more ought Spiritual Ones
in us : Or if he too must be supposed
(as undoubtedly he must) to have car-
ried his Meditations beyond the Vei!
and Type of outward Bleslings, yet
surely the Redemption wrought by Je-
fus, could not ar that distance be so
conspicuous to him, as now it is to us.
I will then from these words insist on
these two or three things.

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First, I will lay before you those

Motives to the Holy Sacrament
which may be inferred from the

Text.
Secondly, I will shew you what Pre.

paration is necessary for it, I will

wash my hands in innocence. And Thirdly, How this Innocence is to

be obtained,

The Motives to the Sacrament deducible from the Text, may be Three.

Vol. II.

1. The Example of David, I will

wash ; I will compass thine Altar.
2. We are to consider our partak-

ing of this Sacrament, as an
Ačt of Communion with God,

or a Drawing nigh to him.
3. As an Expression of Gratitude.

1. The Example. It is certainly a great Inducement (or ought to be to this Duty, to consider that no Religion was ever instituted by God without Sacrifice; that under the Patriarchical and Mofaick Oeconomy, their Sacrifices had relation to that of Christ

j that all devout Men in all Ages, like the Psalmist here, did offer up their Sa. crifices to God constantly, and delighted to do so, that the best Chriftians in the best times, did lay a mighty stress upon this Institution of the Holy Sacrament; that looking upon it as their Recognition of Christ

being our Lord, as the Test of their Chrifti an Profession, and as an acceptable Eucharistical Sacrifice to God, they made it always one essential part of their Publick Worship. They look'd upon it as their great Happiness and

Ad

Vol. II. Advantage thus to offer up their

Thanks, their Substance, and Them-
selves (as they always did in this Sa-
cramene) to God: and thus to com-
memorate and lay before their heaven-
ly Father, the Sacrifice of the Cross

5
and in the vertue and merit of it, im-
plore his Pardon, and beg bis Spirit
and his Heaven. Now certainly, if
there be any force in Example, this
ought to have the strongest upon us
imaginable. There is nothing in this
Example of Humour or Fancy, of Su-
perstition or Will-worship ; for 'tis
founded in an expressPrecept of Christ,

Dotbis in remembrance of me. 'Tis the
• Example of Men led by the Spirit of

God, and fully acquainted with the
Mind of God: 'tis the Example of the
beft Men, influenced by a firm Faith;
by an understanding Zeal, and devout
Gratitude. Can we then do better than
to imitate such as these are we taised
fo far above them? are we fo much
perfecter cban they, that we atand in
no need of that Ordinance of the
necessity and excellence of which they
have left us Fuch evident Testimonies?
are we more wife and enlightned than
they? do we understand the design and

purpose

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