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but only effectually to Believers. As many as received him, to them gave he Power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe in his Name, John i. 12. And this is Life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jefus Chrift whom thou haft fent, John xvii. 3. All that Chrift hath done and fuffered for us Men, and for our Salvation, can never profit us, unless we have Faith to believe it: That which must render the Benefits and Bleffings of the Gospel effectual to our Salvation, is our Faith in Chrift, Verily I fay unto you, (faith our Saviour) be that heareth my Words, and believeth on him that fent me, hath everlasting Life, and fhall not come into Condemnation, but is passed from Death unto Life, John v. 24. The ancient Churches accounted thofe only faithful that had received the Lord's Supper; and the Germans allowed none to come unto their Sacrifices who had loft their Shields; nor does our own Church allow, that any of us fhould come to this Chriftian Sacrifice without the Shield of Faith. Draw near with Faith, (fays the Prieft) and take this Holy Sacrament to your Comfort. And this Faith for the object hath God's Mercy, through Chrift, as the Fountain and Foundation of all thofe infinite Bleffings and Comforts which we gain by his Manifeftation in the Flesh; and if we enquire into the Caufe and Reason of so much Mercy and Goodness to Mankind, no other can be given but the Riches of bis Mercy, Eph. ii. 4. And if we further enquire how this Mercy became ours, the Anfwer is plain, It was through Chrift, by whom all the Bleffings of this Life, and those of a better are purchased for us, and must be obtained through the Merits and Interceffion of the Holy Jefus; by him we were redeemed, and according to the Riches of bis Grace, we have obtained Remiffion of our Sins, and through him at last we shall be glorified.

And to this our Faith we must join a A thankful Remem- thankful Remembrance of his Death, and brance of his Death of those Benefits which we receive thereby. Our gracious and merciful Lord (faith holy David) hath fo done his marvellous Works, that they ought to be bad in Remembrance, Pfal. cxi, 4, But efpecially this Work of

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our Redemption by Jefus Chrift, which to forget were an Ingratitude bafer and viler than ever Heathens or Publicans, the very worst of Mankind among the Jews, were known to be guilty of towards their Benefactors, Matthew v. 46. Herein is Love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and fent his Son to be the Propitiation for our Sins, 1 John iv. 10. This is a Mercy far above all other Mercies, nay, it is even this which fweetens all other Mercies to us: Had there been no Redemption, our Creation had only made us cap ble of endlefs Torments, and it had been better for us never to have been born, than to inevitable Ruin; which must have been our Lot and Portion, had not the Son of God, by his own Oblation of himself, once offered upon the Crefs, made a full, perfect, and fufficient Sacrifice and Satis• fallion to God for the Sins of the whole World.' The Conf quences of this Redemption are fo infinitely great and valuable, that it as much furpaffes our Understanding as it does our Merits. This we are to declare and to publish to all the World, what God hath done to fave Mankind from that Damnation which they had deserved, and to restore us again to that Happine's and Glory, which we could never expect or hope to enjoy, had not Chrift died for us. O come hither and hearken all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what he hath done for my Soul, Pfalm lxvi. 16. Praise the Lord, O my Soul, and forget not all his Benefits, who forgiveth all thy Sins, and healeth all thine Infirmities, and faveth thy Life from Deftruction, and crowneth thee with Mercy and Loving-kindness, Pfal. ciii. 2, 3, 4. With what Joy and Thank uineis then fhould every good Chriftian commemorate this exceeding Love of God in the Salvation of Sinners by Jefus Chrift! This was the proper End and Defign of this Inftitution, to perpetuate this wonderful Love of Chrift in laying down his Life for us. Do this Our Obligations to a in Remembrance of me, faid our Saviour a frequent Communion. little before his Crucifixion; which being a folemn Command of our Mofter and only Saviour, thus dying for us, we cannot refufe Obedience hereunto, without being guilty of the moit horrible Ingratitude and Contempt

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of his Divine Authority. He hath appointed it for a folemn Commemoration of his great Love to us, in laying down his Life for us Men, and for our Salvation, and therefore he commands us to do it in Remembrance of him. And St. Paul tells us, that as often as we eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, we do fhew forth the Lord's Death till be come. As for those Men then amongst us who profefs themselves Chriftians, and hope for Salvation by Jefus Chrift, not to pay Obedience to this his Command, is a downright Affront to his facred vajefty; and he may justly upbra d us Chriftians, as he did once the Jews, Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the Things which I fay? How unworthy are we of that Salvation which he hath wrought for us, if we deny him fo mall a Favour, fuch a reafonable Request, as to commemorate his Death and bitter Paffion once a Month, or at least thrice a year; who did bumble himself even to the "Death of the Cross for us miferable Sinners, who lay in Darkness, and in the Shadow of Death, that he might make us the Children

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Mns own Intereft fhould oblige them to a conftant Communion, because of us of God, and exalt us to everlasting Life.? great Benefits. In this Sacrament of the Lord's Supper we have the Pardon and Remiffion of all our Sins, the Grace and Affistance of Goa's Holy Spirit, and the Hopes of eternal Life and Happiness freely offered unto us: And therefore, had we no Love, no Regard or Reverence to the dying Words of our crucified Saviour, yet furely the Confideration of our own prefent and future Advantage might prevail with us to be more frequent at the Lord's Tale than we ufually are.

Hitherto a Communicant hath been directed to let his Heart right towards God; but this is not all, he must proceed further, and enquire how it stands affected towards his Neighbour, fince we are exprefly forbidden, Matthew v. 23, 24. to offer up any Gift or Oblation unto God, if our Hearts are leavened with Malice, Hatred, or Revenge: If thou bring thy Gift unto the Altar, and there remembereft that thy Brother

bath

And to be in Charity

with all Men.

Forgiving of Ljuries expected from a Com

municant

bath ought against thee, leave there thy Gift before the Altar, and go thy Way, first be reconciled to thy Brother, and then come and offer thy Gift. Here you fee that Chrift prefers Mercy before Sacrifice. And it is generally agreed on by the ancient Fathers, that these Words of our Saviour do directly point at this Sacrament, on purpose to oblige all Communicants to forgive all Manner of Injuries, before they prefume to eat of that Bread, or to drink of that Cup. And it is exprefly faid, Matt. vi. 14, 15. that our Prayers are not accepted, nor our Pardon fealed in Heaven, until fuch time as we forgive Men their Trespasses and to be fure we can never be welcome or worthy Guests at this heavenly Feast, where Jefus, the Saviour of Penitents and the Prince of Peace, is fpiritually prefent, unless our Repentance reconcile us to God, and our Charity to all Mankind.

the Poor.

And this Charity of the Heart, in forgiving of Charity to Injuries, muft likewife fhew itself by the Hand, in relieving the Wants and Neceffities of the Poor. We read, That when this Sacrament was administered in the Apofties Days, that large Collections of Monies were then gathered for the Maintenance of the poor Clergy and Laity, Acts ii. 44, 45, 46. and 1 Cor. xvi. 1. And Theodoret obferves, that Theodofius the Emperor, when the Time came to offer, arofe, and prefented his Oblations with his own Hands. It was not determined how much every Man fhould give, but all Men were exhorted and enjoined to offer fomething according to their Ability, which if any neglected, the Fathers cenfured them as unworthy Communicants; and to be fure nothing within our Power can fo effectually recommend our Prayers and Devotions like this of Charity; It being well obferved, Mat. vi. that our Saviour hath inclofed Prayer between Alms and Fafting; and therefore they are called its two Wings, without which it will never flee fo high as the throne of God. While Cornelius was fafting and praying, we read that an Angel from Heaven was dif patched to him with this happy Meffage, Thy Prayers and thine Alms are come up for a Memorial before God, Acts x. 4. He that hath Pity upon the Poor lendeth unto the Lord, and that

which he bath given will be pay him again, Prov. xix. 17. Charge them that are rich in this World-that they be rich in good Works, ready to diftribute, willing to communicate, laying up in Store for themselves a good Foundation against the Time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal Life, 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18, 19. Do you not know, that they who minifter about Holy Things live of the Sacrifice, and they who wait at the Altar, are Partakers with the Altar? Even fo bath the Lord alfo or dained, that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel, 1 Cor. ix. 13, 14. If we have fown unto you Spiritual Things, is it a great Matter if we shall reap your worldly Things? Ver 11. But we may justly complain with St. Bafil Hom. in Bafil, that we know fome who will fast and Mat. xix. pray, figh and groan, yea, and do all Acts of Religion, which coft them nothing, but will not give one Farthing to the Poor. What Benefit is there (faith he) of all the reft of their Devotions?

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And when the Communicant has thus far advanced Prayer. towards the Altar, in his Examination, Repentance, &c. he must not forget another excellent Preparative belonging to this Duty, of communicating worthily, which although it be not mentioned in our Church Catechism, yet it is always implied, as a neceffary Part of our Sacramental Preparation, i. e. Prayer *, private and publick; a Duty upon which all our prefent and future Bieffings depend, Mat. vii. 7, 8. and xxi. 22. And fo near a Relation hath this Duty of Prayer with this Sacrament, that all thofe Bleffings therein contained and promifed, are only in Return to our Prayers; and no doubt but that Man who makes a confcientious Practice of this Duty in his Closet, and at Church, can never be unprepared for this Sacrament, nor want a Title to God's peculiar Favour and Bleffing; For the Eyes of the Lord are over the Righteous, and his Ears are open unto their Prayers, 1 Pet. iii. 12. The conftant Exercife

See the Devout Soul's Daily Exercise, in Prayers, Contemplations and Praises containing Devotions for Morning, Noon and Night, for every Day in the Week. With Prayers and Thanksgivings for Perfons of all Conditions, and upon all Occafions. By R. Parker, D. D.

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