Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

they were going to the table of the Lord, to renew their acts of forgiveness, and passing by all injuries and offences, to reconcile themselves perfectly to their brethren, and repair any wrong that they could possibly conceive themselves to have done to others. And indeed there can be no thoughts more fit for preparation, than these of forgiveness ; because we call ourfelves now to account for our offences against God; and alas, they are so great, that they may well drown the remembrance of all offences, that others have given us, and wash them out of our thoughts, as if they had never been.

And as a most necessary instrument to all these, the apostle directs us to examine ourselves. This is indeed a daily duty, but now should be attended to with a greater ardency of affection, when we are about these sacred things. We should examine ourselves about our neglects in the review of ourselves, about the coldness of our prayers, the smallness of our forrows, the weakness of our services, and our

daily

7

daily unavoidable infirmities. We should make more deep reflections into ourselves, now that we are at more leisure, and have fo folemnly designed more time from other employments. We should open a larger passage for our sorrow, and affect our hearts more deeply with our needs, and the certainty of their supply; and fo raise our souls to a greater height of humility, of desire, and of a religious assurance of pardon and reconciliation.

And if we find by examining, that we have fallen into any fin, and through neglect or ignorance broken our resolution, fince the last communion, let us make most serious reflections upon it. Besides all the forrow that we must suppose it hath coft a good heart, presently after its commiffion; besides its hatred of it, and af, fiction of itself for it, with a most speedy amendment of the fault; - this is a fit time to bewail it over again, to call ourselves to a new account for it, to drown it in another flood of tears, and more firmly to strengthen our resolutions against it.

AND

: And when we have done all this, then we should pray to God that he would prepare us better than all our preparation ; that after all our endeavour to fet apart our hearts for him, he would be pleased to {end his holy Spirit to prepare our hearts for him, and adorn our fouls with such graces, that his facred Majesty may not disdain to come and make his abode with .us. . .. serye... siT.

.!.

.!. And now, what other preparation there should be besides this, it is not easy to conceive: It being directly contrary to the first thing that I propounded, for any to imagine, that we ought just before the facrament, to have a greater care of not linning, than at other times. We are always pilgrims and strangers, and so ought to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul. Sin is always dangerous, and not only at that time when we are going to receive the facrament. And therefore it is a grand deceit to think, that we and our fins must be severed only then, when we more nearly embrace our Lord;

for

for holiness is our profession afterward, as
much as before we communicate. Or rac”
ther, all the time after one communion,
being before the next which doth succeed,
it is the time of preparation for it.

We are to keep ourselves in a constant purity, and to labour to keep close to the covenant of our God; only when the time doth nearly approach, that we may enjoy such another repast, we should excite our appetite, raise our thoughts and meditations, imprint the ends of the institution more fairly in our memories, voluntarily offer more of our time and our thoughts to religious exercises, and do all that over again with a greater zeal, which we have been doing every day since we lait communicated.

This is the true and only preparation which will stand us in stead; and without which, we are unqualified not only for the facrament, but for all other offices of religion; and without which, we can neither live with hope, nor die with comfort.

SERMON

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

SERMON XXIV.

Sacrament: Behaviour at the Time of

receiving. [From Bishop PATRICK'S Merja Myfica: ]

| PALM vii. 4. Wbat is man, that thou art mindful of bim?

and the son of man, that thou vifteft

[ocr errors]

.

T HESE words are in no circum

stance more applicable, than to

- the sacrament of the Lord's supper; wherein is represented unto us the exceeding great love of our blessed Lord and Saviour, in dying for the sins of mankind. In treating whereof, I shall at this time fhew, what affections we ought to have in our minds, when we become partakers of this holy mystery; which will give us abundant occasion to cry out over

and

« FöregåendeFortsätt »