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our Guide and Companion to the Holy Altar. By the Addition of thofe Pfalms, and proper Lessons annexed to each particular Prayer and Meditation the Communicant may enlarge his Devotions to what Degree or Length be pleaseth: through which Method you have as much Matter for actual Preparation in this little Book, as in any other Difcourfe of this Nature whatsoever,


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LL thofe Bleffings which we now enjoy, and hope hereafter to receive from Almighty God, purchased for us, and must be obtained thro' the Merits and Interceffion of the Holy JESUS, who has inftituted and ordained Holy Myfteries, as Pledges of his Love, and for a continual Remembrance of his Death and Paffion, to our great and endless Comfort, Luke xxii. 19. 1 Cor. xi. 14. But then we must remember, that these Benefits and Bleffings (which the Son of God hath purchased for us) are no where promifed, but upon Condition that we ourselves are firt duly qualified for them. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is a folemn Ratification of our Baptifmal Covenant, wherein God for his Part hath faithfully promited Pardon and Remiffion of Sins to all true Penitents; and we for our Parts are therein folemnly bound to be faithful and obedient unto kim, 2 Tim. 1. 19. Before then we can promife to ourselves any Benefit or Advantage from the Participation of this folemn Rite and Covenant between God and us, we must endeavour (what in us lies) to poffefs our Souls with all thofe

divine Qualifications, which this Sacrament of the Lord's Supper requires, to render us worthy Partakers thereof.

And what thofe are, is the Defign of this Difcourfe; wherein I fhall endeavour to fhew what that Preparation of Heart and Mind is, which muft difpofe us for a worthy Participation of the Bleffed Sacrament: And herein I hope to remove all thofe Fears and Scruples which arife in our Minds about eating and drinking unworthily, and of incurring our own Damnation thereby, as groundlefs and unwarrantable; and to do this I fhall take Occafion to explain that Part of our CHURCH CATECHISM, defignedly intended for our Inftruction, with relation to this Duty of a Sacramental Preparation, viz.

2. What is required of them who come to the Lord's Supper?

A. To examine themselves whether they repent them truly of their former Sins: stedfastly purposing to lead a new Life, bave a lively Faith in God's Mercy through Chrift, with a thankful Remembrance of his Death, and to be in Charity with all Men. This is that Sacramental Preparation which our Church (n as few Words as poffible) hath provided for our Companion or Guide to the Holy Altar. Th Duty then of a devout Communicant confifteth in thefe fix following Particulars: 1. Self-Examination, to examine themselves, 2 Repentance towards God, whether they repent them truly of their former Sins. 3. Holy Purposes or Refolutions of a new Life, stedfaftly purpofing to lead a new Life. 4 Faith in God's Mercy through Chrift, to have a lively Faith, &c. 5. A Thankful Remembrance of his Death. 6thly, and lastly, Unfeigned Love or Charity for all Mankind, and to be in Charity with all Men.

The firft Part then of a Communicant's Duty is SelfExamination A Duty not only enjoined by human Authority, but likewife commanded by St Paul. But let a Man examine himself, and fo let him cat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup, i Cor. xi. 28. Intimating, that no Man should prefume to eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup, without a previous Preparation, if he meant to escape that fame



Judgment or Condemnation which thefe Corinthians brought upon themfelves for their irreverent, finful, and diforderly Bebaviour at this Sacrament; and this was the Occafion of St Paul's Caution and Reproof: He that eateth and drinketb awworthily (fays the Apostle) eateth and drinketh § Damnation to bimfelf, not difcerning the Lord's Body, Verfe 29.

But that our Preparation may be fo well performed by us as to prevent the like Danger, let us (as the wife Man advifeth) Remember the End, and we shall never do amifs, Eccl. vii. 36. First, then, that we may come to this heavenly Feast boly, and adorned with the Wedding Garment, Mat. xxii. 11. we must search our Hearts, and examine our Confciences, not only till we see our Sins, but until we hate them; and inftead of thofe filthy Rags of our Righteouf nefs, we must adorn our Minds with pure and pious Difpofitions; even that clean Linen, the Righteoufnefs of the Saints Rev. xix. 8. With thefe Ornaments are holy Souls fitted for the Society of that Celestial Company, which are to be met with at this Solemnity. Secondly, Another End or Defign of this ftrict Preparation is, that we may be accepted of by God as worthy Communicants; that he who knoweth The Secrets of all our Hearts, neither is their any Creature that is not manifeft in his Sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the Eyes of bim with whom we have to do, Jer. xvii. 10. Heb. iv. 13. may approve of the Sincerity of our Repentance; and the King who comes in to view the Guests, Mat. xxii. 11. may (though ftrictly speaking we are not fo) count as worthy of his Favour and Countenance. And


§ Note, This Word Damnation does not fignify Eternal Condemnation, but on the contrary, fome temporal Punishment or Judgment, (as you have it in the Margin of your Bible) fuch as Sickness or Death, with which this City of Corinth was a icted, for their great Abuse and Profanation of this folemn Inftitution; fo that the Sins here reproved, (viz. Gluttony, Drunkenness, and Faction, ver. 18, 21, 22.) and the Dambation here threatened, hath no Relation to us, unless it could be proved that any of us were ever guilty of the fame Wicked nefs with these CoFinthians; which I believe no Man ever was, or would be fuffered to ap proach the Lord's Table after fuch a diforderly Manner, as they did, if Men were fo lewd and prophane.

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how to obtain fo great a Bleffing, thefe following Inftruetions will help and affift us.

First, We are directed to repent us truly of Repentance. all our former Sins. This is that Preparation which Chrift himself requires of us, Mat. iii. 2, 3. A Duty, you know, which our finful Lives make always neceffary for our Confideration, if ever we expect eternal Happiness hereafter, Luke xiii. 2, 3. But more efpecially the Dignity of this Sacrament requires, that it should be enquired into with more than ordinary Care and Circumfpection; because without fincere Repentance, we cannot expect any Benefit or Advantage from the Death and Paffion of Chrift, which in this Sacrament we commemorate, and have the Merits of it conveyed to us by this facred Memorial. Suppofing then that this is fufficient to convince you of the Neceffity and Importance of this Duty, that upon it depends our Welcome or Rejection, to or from this Heavenly Feaft unto which you are called: I proceed now, in the fecond Place, to inform you, That if your Repentance or Return to God, be real and fincere, it will produce these following good Effects in you.

First, A Senfe, a Sorrow, and Confeffion of all The Nature bur former Sins. Secondly, A fredfaft Purpose of a true Reor Refolution to lead a new Life. These are the pentance. genuine Fruits of a true Repentance, and must always accompany our Return to God, if we hope to have it effectual to our Salvation. And,


First, We must labour to gain a Senfe or Sight of all our former Sins and Wickednefs. This will readily prefent itfelf to us by comparing our Lives and Actions by the Rule or Standard of God's Word, which we must make the Measure of our Examination +. St Paul fhews us, Rom. iii. 20. That by the Law is the Knowledge of Sin; and our own Experience will conVince

The Ten Com


* See An Explication of the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer, by John Rawlet, B. D. the Author of the Chriftian Menitor

+ See The Daily Self-Examinant: or, An Earneft Perfuafive to the Duty of Daily Self-Examination, &c. By Dr. Warren.

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