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3, Now therefore you will begin to examine yourselves with most particular attention, and more especially on the two forementioned qualifications of love and righteousness, as far as they are distinguishable-in order to ascertain your affinity with God and Christ depending thereon as afore said, and your consequent admissibility--as to God's mercy in Christ, so likewise to his altar or table. In which examination you ought to avoid two extremes: one, of supposing that you CANNOT "be in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life"without some grand pretensions; the other, of supposing that you CAN be in love and charity with your neighbour -while you are putting the bottle to his mouth, or taking any other immoral advantage of him, or that you CAN have any serious idea of leading a new life while you have none of reforming or abandoning your old connexions. "For (as the apostle asks: and well he might) what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial ?" (Cor. II. vi. 14, 15.)

-4, These preparations having been duly made or undergone, it will still be necessary to remember a distinction between being worthy of this sacrament and worthily receiving it of the first of which we have no example since the First Receiver; the best of other men not being "worthy" so much as to gather up the crumbs under their Master's table. Yet this unworthiness of the subject does not hinder, but he may gather up the crumbs rather worthily in the way before described.

2, The Act of communion consisting properly in two parts, Eating and drinking to the Lord, and Giving God thanks, I hope you will be enabled at the moment to perform either part satisfactorily and sincerely sincerely you will, no doubt, if you come to it with the preparation now recommended; and satisfactorily, no doubt, if sincerely. The heart of a sincere Christian is a garden of delights: it is not only a scene of constant devotion, but of melody

VOL. II.

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and thanksgiving to the Lord. As his life is written in favours, it would be translated in thanks, if he could find words and utterance. But when words are insufficient to express the overflowings of a grateful heart, and any melody with harmony likewise, if less than divine, must fall short of the purpose, some other accompaniment for the heart and voice, is to be thought of, and some far beyond the reach of human invention; in short we must look to God for a thanksgiving, as well as for a sacrifice. So David found once, when he thought with himself, "What reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits that he hath done unto me? I will receive the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord." (Ps. cxvi. 11, 12.) But that many will not, from not feeling, it is presumed, the same sense of a divine obligation as David felt for "to whom little is forgiven the same loveth little." (Luke vii. 47.)

2. This unthankful part; though it be also as unpleasing to think of, had still need to be mentioned: the part of Not receiving, I mean, with some of the circumstances by which it is aggravated. And I shall be glad, if I can place this evil part in a proper light; as it is easier to reason than to convince in most cases, but in such as this more especially. There is, I find, in some places a fair proportion of orthodox-great friends of the church, as they call themselves, who go perhaps habitually as much as once a week to the inside of it,-I should like to know, why they cannot come on a little farther sometimes? why they cannot come on to the altar, and there offer the sweet "sacrifice of thanksgiving,”—to the Lord's table, and receive the cup of salvation, calling upon the name of the Lord? Is it, because this ceremony appears more serious to them than the rest of the morning service? If it be so, the more serious their choice in declining it. Few of those who frequent the church, but not the Lord's table,-while they satisfy themselves with this appearance of devotion, can be aware of the infidelity that lurks behind it: I mean

behind such a partial, self-appointed service. There may be reasons good and sufficient for a Christian's abstaining from the sacrament once on a time; as there was for an Israelite's abstaining from the feast of the Passover: but he who forbore to keep the Passover without some such reason was to "be cut off from among his people;" (Num. ix. 13;) and upon the same principle, what should we expect to become of Christians who abstain habitually from the sacrament, and even on so particular an occasion as this? for the feast of the Passover answers, as most of you should know, to our Easter. Will not a man seem to be cut off by his own hand in such a case-from the Lord's people, from the company of the blessed, from the communion of saints, from the Presence of God?

And how can a man shew more decidedly his contempt for this holy communion, than is generally shewn by such abstinence from it when fairly invited? If a man or woman even of indifferent morals, but fashionable and in fair circumstances should send out invitations to a handsome supper, there would be fewer excuses even among some church-goers than to the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. They call him Judge as well as Lord and it is not an hour since that hundreds of thousands simultaneously professed their belief of his coming again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead. But how can any who will not remember their Judge, their Lord and Saviour on this occasion and in the manner that he directed be thought to believe? or how can they hope to remember him agreeably at the last awful hour, when they have no better dependence to meet him with pleasure in a future state. No-as the prophet says, " When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them away, vanity shall take them." (Isai. lvii. 13.)

You who are called as well as myself to a place in the glorious dispensation of Christ the Eternal Word" to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," (Col. i. 12), but not CHOSEN because you will not,-do, dear fellow

Christians, consider what I am now delivering to you as something more than a Sunday morning exercise.-"Come now; let us reason together." And if I should happen to hit off the true ground of your objection, or rather of that which the adversary instils into your mind, allow the opportunity of an impartial hearing at least to the reply of a friendly advocate pleading your own cause and in your own court, the court of conscience, for you. I apprehend the commonest excuse to be UNWORTHINESS; whether 1, your own; or 2, other people's.

1, If it be a sense of your own unworthiness that keeps you back, I do not blame you for that sense: but I rather regret that you do not feel it more suitably, that your Comforter might have you, instead of your tormentor. The ground of your objection cannot be denied, however it may be modified by circumstances. For all things considered, it would seem most likely that we do all offend sometimes, according to the royal observation, "There is no man that sinneth not," (Kings I. viii. 46,) if we be not under a moral necessity of sinning; as I believe we are not. For, choose how we will when put to a deliberate choice; we shall still be liable to be taken by surprise, if our vigilance be not as unremitting as that of our enemy. Frequently there is no time for deliberation: or if time should be given, it is much but some other requisite will be wanting; as evidence on the point, or an inclination to the evidence. We do nothing worthily in reference to God. Do we pray to him worthily? Do we worthily receive his commands and instructions? Do we worthily dispense his charities? Do we worthily govern his households of whatever description? Do we worthily submit ourselves to others on his account, obeying our masters according to the flesh," not with eye service as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God?" (Col. iii. 22.) For when we do all these things worthily, we may worthily receive his greatest favour, even the flesh of his dear Son, the principle of eternal life. But if we do nothing else

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worthily respecting God, neither so shall we do this. The qualification here offered, namely in the flesh of Christ, is meant to improve our inclination, and cover the deficiency of our best performance. Therefore the ground of private unworthiness being modifiable can be admitted as an efficient excuse only in one case; which is that of people's not choosing to modify it: when they may find forgiveness, but will not; when grace is offered to them, but they refuse it; when sitting in judgment upon themselves, they order back the grace and forgiveness that is offered, and "judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life," (Acts xiii. 46,) and that they ought to abstain from the sacrament, because they will not abstain from something else which they feel to be incompatible with that holy ordinance. That something, whatever it may be, is wilful and reprehensible sin, if not unpardonable likewise in them: and so being conscious to themselves of a criminal indulgence, their objection to the sacrament must needs be allowed. They would better not go to the altar yet; but to one of its ministers, as it is said, for "ghostly counsel and advice," instead. Or if

2, Your forbearance from the altar is attributed to the unworthiness of others; may it be to that 1, of the priest; or 2, of the people;-of the person who should minister for you in this holy ordinance, or of those who should join you therein? Because

-1, If the unworthiness of the priest be assigned, we must throw ourselves upon the divine allowance, as well as you; and perhaps, on yours likewise. Indeed we require more allowance than others on all hands, as more is committed to us. "For the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (Cor. I. x. 16,) " and who is sufficient for these things?" (Ib. II. ii. 16.) It may be satisfactory to you and to your minister likewise, to know, that his unworthiness does not necessarily hinder the benefit of the

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