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ted it for a solemn 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. Asforthose Men then amongst us who profess themselvesChristians and hope for Salvátion by Jesus Christ, not to pay Obedience to this his Command, is a down-right Affront to his Sacred Majefty; and he may juftly upbraid us Christians, as he did once the Jews,Why call je me Lord, Lord, and do not the Things 22 bich I say? How unworthy are we of that Salvation which he hath wrought forus, if we deny him so small a Favour, such a reasonable Request as to commemorate his Death and bitter Passion once a Morth, or ac most thrice a Year,' who
did humble bimself even to the Death of the * Cross for us miserable Sinners, who lay in
Darkness, and in the Shadow of Death, that be might make us the Children of God, and
exalt us to everlasting Life. In this SacraMens own Interest ment of the Lord's Supper should oblige them we have the Pardon and munion, because of Remission of all our Sins, its great Bencfits. the Grace and Affiftance of God's holy Spirit, and the Hopes of
eternal Life and Happiness freely offer'd unto us: And therefore,had we no Love, no Regard or Reverence to the dying Words of our crucified Saviour,yet surely the Consideration of our own present and future Advantage might prevail with us to be niøre frequent at the Lord's Table than we usually are.
HITHERTO a Communi. And to be in cane hath been directed to set Charity with his Heart right towards God; but this is not all, he must proceed further, and enquire how it ftands cowards his Neighbour, since we are Forgiving of lojuexprefly forbidden, Mat. 5. ries expected from
a Communicani. 23,24. to offer up any Gift or Oblation unto God, if our Hearts are -leaven'dwithMalice, Hatred or Revenge. If thou bring tby Gift unto the Altar, and there remembrest that thy Brother bath ought against tbee, 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 see that Christ prefers Mercy before Sacrifice. And it's generally agreed on by the Ancient Fathers,Chat these Words of our Saviour do direály point at this Sacrament, on purpose to oblige all Communicants to forgive all manner of Injuries, before they presume to eat of that Bread or to drink of that Cup. And it's exprefly said,
Mat 6. 14, 15. that our Prayers are not accepted, nor our Pardon fealed in Heaven, until such time as we forgive Men their Trespasses; and to be sure we can never be welcome or worthy Guests at this Heavenly Feast, where Jesus che Saviour of Penitents and the Prince of Peace is spiritually present,unlessourRepentance reconcile us to God, and our Charity to all Mankind. Charity to
AND this Charity of the the Poor. Heart, in Forgiving of Injuries, must likewise shew it self by the Hand, in relieving the Wants and Neceflicies of the Poor. We read, That when this Sacrament was administer'd in the Apostles Days, that large Collections of Moneys were thengathered for the Maintenance of the poor * Clergy and Layety, A&ts 2. 44, 45, 46. and 1 Cor. 16. 1. And Theodoret observes, that Theodosius the Emperor, when the time came to offer, arose, and presented his Oblations with his own Hands. It was not determined how much every Man should give,but all Men were exhorted and enjoin'd to offer something according to their Ability, which if any neglected, the Fathers censured them as unworthy Communicants; and to be sure nothing within our Power can so effectually recommend our Prayers and De
votions like this of Charity: It being well observed, Mat. 6. that our Saviour hath inclosedAlms between Prayer and Fasting. And therefore they are called its Two Wings, without which it will never flee so high as the Throne of God. While Cornelius was fafting and praying,we read that an Angel from Heaven was difpatch'd to him, with this happy Message, Thy Prayers and thine Alms are come up for a Memorial before God, Acts 10.4.
He that bath Pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord, and that which he hath given will be pay
bim again, Prov. 19. 17. Charge them that are rich in this World-----that they be rich in good Works ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for themselves a good Foundation against the Time to come,
that they may lay bold on eternal Life, 1 Tim. 6. 17, 18, 19. Do
ye not know, that they whominister about holy things live of the Sacrifice,and they who wait at the Altar are Partakers with the Altar; even so bath the Lord also ordained that they who preach the Gospel Should live of the Gospel, i Cor. 9.13, 14. If we have sown unto you SpiritualThings, is it a great Matter, if we shall reap yourWorldly Things. Ver. Ir. But we may justly complain with St. Bafil, that we know some who will Bafil.Hom. fast and pray, Sigh and groan, yea,
in Mat. 19,
and do all Afts of Religion which cost them nothing, but will not give one Farthing to the Poor : What Benefic is there (faith he) of all the rest of their Devotions ?
AND when the Communicant Prayer. has thus far advanced 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 mention'd in our Church-Catechism, yer it is always implied, as a necessary Part of our Sacrament al Preparation, i.e. Prayer, private and publick; a Duty upon which all our present and future Blessings depend, Mat. 7.8. and 21. 22. And lo near a Relation hath this Duty of Prayer with this Sacrament, that all those Blessings therein contained and promijed, are only in Return to our Prayers ; and no doubt but that Man who makes a conscientious 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 Blessing; For the Eyes of the Lord are over the Righteous, and his Ears are open to their Prayers, 1 Pet. 3. 12. The constant Exer+ cise of Prayer, is the best Method to get the Mastery over our evil Inclinations and corrupt Affe&ions and to overcome