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gers we are like to fall into, surely we cannot be otherwise affected than fenfibly grieved with the Thoughts and Apprehensions of our present and approaching Misery. The Sorrows of David, and the Repentance of St Peter,'2 Sam. xii. Luke xxii. shewed themselves in Floods of Tears, and were too big to be confined within : But our Hearts are generally so hard and unrelenting, that we fin against God, and lose our own Souls without so much as a Sigh or Tear. I know that the Tempers of People are different ; fome can fhed Tears upon every night Occasion, and others cannot weep, though their Hearts are ready to break for Grief; and therefore we are not to judge of the Sincerity of our own or other People's Repentance by such Signs and Token's ; nor are Tears always necessary to Repentance, though they very well become us; and the least we can do when we have done amiss, is to be forry for it, and to condemn our Folly, and to be full of Indignation and Displeasure against our felves." I will declare my Iniquity. (faith Holy David) and be forry for my Sin, Psal. xxxviii. 18. especially if we have been very wicked, and have multiplied our Transgressions, and have continued long in an evil Course, have neglected God, and have forgotten bim Days without Number, th the Measure of our Sorrow must bear some Proportion to the Degrees of our Sins; if they have been as Scarlet and Crimfon, Isaiah i. 8. that is, of a deeper Dye than ordinary, then our Sorrow must be as deep as our Guilt, if not so great, we ought to thew so much Trouble and Contrition of Spirit; as to produce in us a Penitencial Confession of all our former Which is the third Property of a sincere Repentance;
I will acknowledge my Sin untó thee, (says the ProConf fon of Sms.
phet David) and mine Unrighteousness have I not hid;
I said I will confefs my Sins unto the Lord, and so fbore forgavest the Iniquity of my Sin, Psalm xxxii.
Which Confeffion of Sins must not be in general Terms, that we are Sinners with the rest of Mankind, but it muit be a special Declaration to God of all our most heinous Sins in Thought, Word, and Deed, with all their feverál Aggrava
tions, laying open our Sores to our Heavenly Physician; and this we must do, to shew that we condemn all our former evil and vicious Courles, with a full Purpose and Re. fulucion of Mind (by God's Assistance) that we never ine tend to do the like again. Unless this be done, our Sorrow for Sin, and the Confession of our Wickedness, can never profit us in the sight of God, if it be nur joined with a firm Relolution of leading a New Life;
Which is the fourth and most effential Part of a Life.
sincere Repentance, and the only Condition of finding
Mercy with God. He that coveretb bis Sins shall not profper, but wboso confefseth and forfeketb them, shall kave mercy, Prov. xxviii. 13. Let the wicked Man forsake bis Ways, and the unrighteous Man bis Thoughts, and let bim return unto the Lord, and be will have Mercy upon bim, and ta our God, and be will abundantly pardon, Isaiah lv. 7. I tell you nay, (faith Christ) but except ye repent, ye sball all likewise perik, Luke xiii. 3. Repent ye sherefore, and be converted, that your Sins may be blotted out, Acts iii. 1g. Those preceding Parts of Repentance before-mentioned, are only prepa. sative to this, that which must compleat and finish the Work of a new Cenyert, is to become a New Creature, fo turn from our evil Ways, and to break off our Sins by Righteoufness. This certainly must be the Dafire and Intention of alį Com- : municants, if they hope or expect any Benefit or Advan. tage from this folemn Rite or Covenant ; for he that comes with a Design or Intenti.n of continuing in his former Sins, comes somewhat like unto Judas, that came, and received, and as the fame Time continued his Resolution of betraving his Mafter, That which makes a Man absolutely unfit to receive the Holy Sacrament, is the living in the constant and habitual Practice of any known Sin, withoạt the least Desire or Intention of repentance or Amendment. Such a Man's Approach to the Holy Table, no doubt, is to eat and drink bis own Damnation, since it is a plain mocking of God, and a great Contempt and Abuse of his Divine Authority. We must therefore (by the Help and Asistance of God's Grace) refolye to lead a New Life, following the Command-,
ments of God, or otherwise our former Examinations will appear but Night and superficial, our Sight and Senle of Sin trivial and inuifferent, our Sorrow and Contrition of Spirit forced and hypocritical, and our Confeffions odious and formal. Therefore examine well the Sincerity of your Repentance and Refulutions, that you neither deceive God nor yourselves : Him you cannor, because he is a Scarcher of the Heart, and a Difcerner of the Thoughts, nor will he accept of any Thing which is not hearty and unfeigned.
Not that we are to suppole chat this SacraNo absolute Obe- ment of the Lord's Supper doch require pere dience expected after the Holy fect Obedience in all our Addresses to the Sacrament. Holy Altar, or that none must come, but Yuch
as are in a linless State of Perfection : No, this were impossible, because there is no Man that liveth and finneth not ; for who can say, I have made my Heart clean, I am pure from my Sin; and that even the juf Man falletb seven Times a Day. This Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is not a converting, but a confirming Ordinance, intended to preserve and increase that Spiritual Life and Grace which we received at our Baptism ; so that when we come to the Holy Communion, we' çome thither for fresh Supplies of Grace and Goodness, for ibe strengthening and refreshing of our Souls in all Holiness and Viriue : As our natural Bodies are red and nourished with thole Elements of Bread and Wine, the same Effect is wrought in the Soul, in the inward Man, by these Holy Mysteries, as in the outward Man by Bread and Wine; Bread being the Staff of Life, and Wine the most Sovereign Cordial, (when taken in due Proportion) to chear and rejoice the Heart. And thus pur Souls by this Sacrament are fortified and strengthened with Grace, Wisdom, Courage, and all orker Spiritual Gifts, to keep us through Fairb unio Salvation. Both the Conitors and Benefit of it are great; the Comfort of it, becaule it does not only represent to us the çxceeding Love of our Saviour, in giving his Body to be broken, and his Blood to be jøed for us, but it likewife scals to us all those Blessings and Benefits which are purchased, and procured for us by his Death and Passion, viz. the Pardon
of Sin, and Power against it. The Benefit of frequent Communion is also of as great Advantage, because hereby we are confirmed in all Grace and Goodness, and our Resolutions to live in Obedience and Conformity to God's Laws are strengthened, and the Grace of God's Holy Spirit, to do his Will, is hereby conveyed to us : It is the lovereign Remedy against all Temptations, by mortifying our Passions, and by spiritualizing our Affections: In a Word, it is the liklieft Method to make our Bodies' the Temples of the Holy Ghoft, and to prepare our Souls for the Enjoyment of God to all Eternity.
And if at any Time, chro' Ignorance, SurRelapses after prize, or the Violence of any other Temptation, Receiving, net dangtrous.
we should fall into those very Sins which we
have repented of and vowed against, when we „were at the last Sacrament, yet thefe Relapfes should not make us afraid of coming again, since we have always the Bảnefit of Repentance allowed us : If after a Relapse we repent and renew our Resolutions, withí a hearty Grief and Contrition of Spirit, we are made whole as before," If the Wicked (faith God) will turn from all bis Sins that be bath committed, all his Transgressions that be bath committed, they ball not be sentioned unto him, Ezek. xviii. 21, 22. Six no more, says our Saviour to the Woman taken in Adultery, and I will not condemn thee, John viii. u. It is not the Commision of this or that great Sin that will utterly ex, clude us from God's Mercy and Forgiveness, for then indeed, no Person could escape Damnation, because there is het a just Man upon Earth tbat doth Good and finnetb not, Ecchi vii. 20. But it is our' Living and Dying without Repen. tance and Amendment, that brings God's Wrath and Vengeance upon us. His Mercies are not limitted, he will not only pardon us once or twice, but always upon our Repentance and Return to him. No Time,'no Age, or Sealon, does he accept against, but whenever the Wicked Man turnetb away from bis Wickedness that he hath committed, and doth that which is lawful and right, be Mall save bis Scul clive, Ezek. xviii. 27. Neither is there any Sin, though never so vile
and heinous in its own nature, but shall be remitted and forgiven, unless it be that against the Holy Ghost. All Manner of Sin and Blasphemy Mall be forgiven unto Men, but the Blafphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven, Mat. xii. 31, 32. And consequently, the Sin of Eating and Drinking unworthily, in the worit Sense, cannot be a damning Sin, because God in the Gospel (for Christ's Sake) has promised to forgive all our Sins, upon our Repentance, and therefore this of unworthy receiving among the rest,
Some People, I remember, have been very much concerned and discomposed at their Devotions, upon the Repetition of some few Expressions contained in the last Exhorta. tion to the Communion, viz — Of being guilty of the Body ' and Blood of Christ our Saviour ; of eating and drinking our
own Damnation —Not considering the Lord's Body.
Kindling God's Wrath against us.- Provoking bina to plague • us with divers Diseases, and sundry Kinds of Death.' These are hard Sayings, and some of them too hard to be understood : But however, they are all avoided and escaped by coming worthily, i.e. by Faith and Repeni ance: therefore let not the terrible Expressions trouble you, or decain you from the Holy Communion: Repent and believe, and you are safe and secure from falling into any of those Dangers which thefe Sentences may seem to threaten you with. So that the want of Preparation, as some Men have alledged, and in the Sense they generally take it, can never be a lufficient Plea or Pretence for their not coming to the Holy Communion ; because, after our belt and Itrictest Endeavours to prepare ourselves, we profess, (before God and the Congregation) “That we do not come to this Heavenly • Table trusting in our own Righte Jusness, but in his ma• nifold and great Mercies. By these we are invited to come: and to the Mercy of God (thro’ Christ) all of us mult fiee and take Sanctuary in, who has promised, thac be will in no wife cast out those who come unto him, John vi. 37. A broken and a contrite Heart, O God, thou wilt not despije, Psal. li. 17.. There is nothing dreadful in this Sacrament, but to the wilful, impenitent and persevering Sinner, whufe