« PreviousContinue »
He sees in us of Himself. Do we not see what great things come from a mean Beginning? how a poor Babe, that lay in a Manger, came to be the King of Glory? We must hope in God then that we shall grow to a greater ftature; and more exactly resemble our deareft Sivior. He has give en us assurance that He will not overlook us, now that He sits on the Throne of his Glory, 'Tis a Throne of Grace too, unto wbich we may address our selves, and find grace to help in time of need. Let Him but fee how much we honor Him; how precious Kis Memory is unto us; how we are in love with his Purity; and Hethat was manifested in our flesh, will manifest Himself in us; Ile will adorn us with all his Graces; and make us shine as Lights in the world, io humble. Charity , meekness of Wisdom, in chcarful Parience, and devout Obedience. Blefled be God for this Hope: we have no caufe to envy the greatest persons; no not her that carried Him in her womb, and then in her arms, if there had been nothing more : fòr tho* we are apt to say as the Woman among the multitude did, BlesTed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which Thou haft suchel. yet efus faid, yes, rather blef. sed are they that hear the word of God and keep it. S. Luske I'I. 27. 28. They that hear and believe his word, conceive Hin in their heart ; and they that do it, bring Him forth in their life. Blessed be Jefus for the least. fhare we have in this Blessedness : We will fpend this holy-day in praising Him for the Hope we have to partake of more of ic. What can there be more delighttul to those who know what it is to Believe in Him and Obey Him? And in what fhall we spend the rest of this time wherein we Commem. orate bis coming into the world? Shall we be ifo unciv. il to our Lord, as to go more willingly to feast with our Neighbors, than to feast again with Him? shall we go to their houses with more chear than unto his? We will nev. er so dishonor Him.. God forbid that we should feast our Bodies more than our Souls. We will rather imitate the ancient Christians, who could find in their heart to meet every day before the morning light to fing Hymns to our Sivior. We will, at least, be able to say with David, (o that all others may bear us company) We have gone with the mulititude , we went with them to the house of God; with t'e voice of Foy and praise, with a multitude thai kept holy. day. Pfal. 42. 4
PART III. Sacramental Devotions for seven Days After the most comfortable Participation of the Body and Bloud of Christ.
De are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfalt unto the end. Heb. 3. 14.
Section 1, Å Direction how to deport my self when my Calling requires me to full to my usual Affairs.
I must do it; but yet still remembring that I have greater business than that upon my hands. What I do by Devotion and solemb Religion on a Sacrament day, I'mult do every day by the material Practise of Virtues. I must keep my Heart curiously; and restrain my Passions power. fully; every day proceed in the mortification of my Anger, and irregular Defires; not let Drunkenness, or Gluttony Coter, or Evil words go forth of that Mouth thro'which. our Lord Himself has passed. If I have communicated worthily, I have given my self to Chrif, all my Liberty and my Life, my Body and my soul, my Actions and my Pallions, my Affections and my Faculties, what I am and what I have; and in Exchange have received Him; and I may say with Bt. Pani, i live , get riot I, but Christ liveth in me. Gal. 2. 20. So that I must live no more to the world, but unto God. ( mult maintain that acquaiorance with my Blessed Lord which I then begun , and look upon it, not as a Transient Act, but as an Entrance on a Lafting State, which ever after I am to con. tinue in. I must every day make some solemo Reflections upon my behavior when I was before the Lord,and rejoyce in his Goodness; bless Him for the Refreshinents He has afforded me; and render Him hearty thanks that He has fatisfied me fo abundantly with the fatness of his House and made me to drink of the River of his pleasures. Ps. 36. 8. After such folemn Ingagements nothing is more proper, nothing more equitable than a Reasonable service; which confifts, !, In a happy agreement of my Profellion and L4
Actions, my Beliet and Practice, my Principles and Con. dyversation. 2. In subjecting my Flesh and Body to my Reafon, yielding my members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Rom. 6. 13, 34y, Ia worshipping God with th: Understanding and iaward man; for God being a spirit and the highest Reason, I must worship Him in spirit and in truth. s. Joh. 4. 24. and withouc that I can take no Com. fort in it, bur fhill run into Hypocrisie, and deceive my felfo I must hold my Vaderstanding to it as much as ia melies, and if at any time, by wandring thoughts, it declines from that point, reduce it and bring it back again to the Center from which it has fwerved, and tho the service be thereby fomewha impair'd, yet, as long as that interruption is not wiiful, Golwill ftiti accept of it as a Rea. fonable service. See morech. 3. §. 3. about the beginning.
S. 2. Pfalm 8. [Mr. Tindall's and Mr. Coverdale's Translation; as are all tbe Pfalms and seorences of fcripture in our Common Prayer Book; which are fill retaind in that service, possibly bry. God's so ordering it for th' honor of his artyr, Mr. Tindall, thoi we bave now a more core rect Translation of the Bible (the second lince his, as Part II. Ch, i. $. 5.) made and established by th' Authority of K. JAMES. I.)
* LOAD our Governor , how excellent is thy Name in all the world: Thou haf let thiy giory above the hea. yens: Out of the man of very babes and fucklings haft Thou ordained strength, because of thine enemies : that 'Thou mightestfill the edemy and the avenger. For I will consider thy heavens, even the works of thy fingers : the moon and the stars which Thou haft ordained. What is man, that Thou art mindA of him: and the son of man, that Thou visitelt him? Thou madest him lower than the angels: to crown him with glory and worfhip. Thou makeft him to have dominion of the works of thy hands : and Thou haft put a!I things iu fubje&tion under his feet. All sheep and oxen: yea, and tbe beasts of the field; The fowls of the air, and the filhes of the sea: and whatsoever walketh through the paths ofthe seas. : O LORD our Governor? how excellent is thy Name in all the world: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: 66. As it was exc.
S. 3. A Pretence for Abstaining from the Lord's Table, answered. Is it such a great matter whether I receive this
Sacrament, or not, if I do but in deavor to serve God with a
good Conscience: Answer. CAN you ferve God with a - good Conscience, whilst you despise his Command and Or.
diaanče; or is that no greit matter? E, S. 4. Another Pretence. LOVE and Charity is the Bond
of Perfectnefs. Cel. 3. 14. And if I love God with all my heart,' and with all my soul, and with all my mind, and my Neigh. bor as my self, on these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets, S. Mat. 22. 37, 39, 40. and is more than all
whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices. S. Mark. 12. 33. Answó E. YOU may as well fay, you need not go to Church, vor per.
form any other outward Acts of Devotion. Our Savior says If ye love Me, keep my Commandments. S. Joh. 14. 15. and by Consequence that of Receiving this Sacramenr. D. Luke 22.19. This do in Remembrance of Me.
S. 5. III Pretence. I Look on it to be an indiffereut thing which one may do, or let alone; for the Scripture faies, Sal. 6.15. In Christ Jesus neither Circumcission availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature Answer. TH' Apoftle, means not
that th' use of this Sacrament was an indifferent thing, batCircumcision, for which they so muchcontended, and whereof they boaited; being doseaway by the Death and Rekirrection of Christ, tho' permitted a while to the weak Fews who could not fo soon forget the Law of Ceremonies. Acts 16.3. Circumsifed him because of the Jews. Bat you will not say that the Sacraw.ent of Baprifm is an in. different thing; an: if you consider th' Author', they were both inftituted by Christ the Son of God, whom we must all obey under penalty of the curse, Beut. 18. 18, 19. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put words in his mouth, and He shall speak ento them all that I shall command Him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will nnt bearken unto my words which
He shall speak in my Name, I will require it of him. If you eccatiser the Promises if this, they are not less than thise of
Baptilm. It you consider the Command, it is as express in S. Luke 22. 19. asthat of Baptism ini S. Mat. 28. 19. And as formerly hey that were Circumsised were Debtors to do the wholelaw: Gal 5.3. So now all that are Baptized are bou nd to observe all things whatsoever Chrift has commanded..s.
Mat.28.20. and therefore, (when they come to years of D'S- cretion, and can Examint themselves , ) to receive tbis Sic.
crament, which Heinstituie in Remembrance of Him, and as his Testament. I Cor. 11.25 , 28, This cup is the new tefta. ment in my bloud:shis do ye as oft as ye drink ii in remembrance of Me. Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
$ 6. IIII Pretence, MOST of my Relations and especially my Father and Mother, are of another Opinion, and wou'd be very angry at it. Answ. YOU ought to obey God rather than Man. Afts 5.29. and our Savior days, S. Mat. 10. 37. He that loveth Father or Mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me: and he that lovesh son ordaughter more than me, is not worthy of Me.
$. 7. V Pretence. I'm yet too young. Answ. If you are Sixteen years of age; and know your Duty to God, your Neighbor, and your Self:fand Repent and Believe aright; and understand the Doctrine of the two Sacraments; you are capable: And are commanded by our Lord Jesus Chrifin this way to Renew and Confirm your Baptismal Vow and Covenant,if the Providence of God affords you meansand op. portunity to do fo:therefore you are not left at liberty whether you will set Receive this Sacrament or not. But I advise you (and all that have not yet Communicated, )firft to read this Book throughout, consider it well, and resolve to act accordingly; and then t'appply your self zealously to that grand Duty. See more Part I. Ch. IV.8.5.
S: 8. Ví Reason. THO'I'ın young, yet, by God's grace, I'm arriv'd to a good measure of general underftanding and discretion; which makes me look scosofully and disdainfully on those of my years, and especially that are elder, who have not such natural or acquired Parts, or comely Be. havior as I have; and I take great delight in insulting over'em, patring little Tricks upon , and deridingi and vexing 'em; and cou'd not love such a one were he my own natural Brother; but shou'd be alhamed to be seen abroad in his company, or be known to be kin to him. Which I fear is no good difpofition for this feast of Love. Answ. . YOUR Conclusion is right, and by Confideration, and watching, and Praying you
mustalter that wicked humour before you can comfortably Communicate : for in this you are guilty of the Sins of Prije, unthankfulness, cruelty, injustice, want of Love to God and Man &c, Prob. 13.10. Only by pride cometh.com tention. ch. 1$. 12. Before destruction the heart of man is