A Plain Discourse Shewing how we are to WALK After the Lord's Supper: Necessary for every Communicant.

From 1 Col. 10.

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.

Being the Substance of Several Sermons. Preached to a Congregation in Hatton-Garden.

By John Horsman, an unworthy Ser­vant of Jesus Christ.

Vivimus, non loquimur, magna.

London, Printed for E. Richardson, at the Naked Boy in Blowbladder-Street, over a­ [...]gainst St. Martins le Grand. 1698.

TO THE Serious Reader.

IT was not without great conflict and strugling within my self, that this comes forth into Pub­lick View, being very sensible of my great unfitness for such an appear­ance; for tho', as one says, the plain thread bare suit may do well enough at home, yet when persons go abroad a better habit is required and ex­pected. But such as have not this change of Apparel must be content with what they have.

If it be the bravery and gaudery of Language that thou expectest in the following Discourse, thy expect­ations will be frustrated; for how­ever such a garb might suit the [Page]airy humour of the Age, yet it would no ways be agreeable or suteable to the weightyness and gravity of the Subject treated on, which is not to show how we may please Men, but how we may please God, how we may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. I am not unsensible that this Piece will fall into divers and different hands, and according to the hands it falls into, such will be the Treat­ment it must expect. By the Pro­phane it is probable it will be De­rided. For to such as have no sense, nor relish, nor savour of Spiritual Things and Serious Matters, such things as these are will be the Object of their Scorn and Derision, with whom the deep things of God are counted no better than Mysterious Nonsense. And whatever hath but the Face and Shew of Seriousness, with such it is accounted Canting, and Affected Singularity. By the Curious, and Captious, it is most [Page]probable it will be despised; because such will not meet with that exact­ness and accuracy of Method and Stile, with those flights and strains of Rhetorick which is most pleasing, and grateful to this sort. By the Learned it also may be but little set by, because they will not find a Margin filled with Quotations of Fathers and Schoolmen, nor with the Sayings of Poets and Philoso­phers. It may possibly pass for a Plain, Honest, Well-meaning-Dis­course. And indeed were it other­wise, it would not Answer its Ti­tle, nor would it be so suited to that sort of Reader for which it was chiefly and principally designed, viz. The Serious Reader. For such it was chiefly design'd, and to such it is humbly Dedicated. Whatever re­lish it may have with others, yet I hope it may be as Manna, sweet to the Tast of all serious Christi­ans. How weak soever the manner [Page]of handling this Subject is, yet the Subject it self is very weighty and seasonable. The Duty press'd to is very necessary, but too much neg­lected. We are ready to take up with the Theory of Religion, and the Speculative part of Piety, but are too great Strangers to the Pra­ctical part thereof. We may know many things, and believe many things, but yet if we do not put into Practice the things that we know and believe, we only have a name to live, but yet are dead. We have only a form of Godliness, but are strangers to the Life and Power of it. We are for Reading and Studying, and Hearing of No­tions; but the Apostle James his Advice is, Not to be Hearers of the Word only, but Doers of the Word also, 1 Jam. 22. The Beau­ty and Power and Life of Religion lies in the Practice of it. It is not enough that we make a Profession, [Page]that we are taken into Church-Fel­lowship, and Partake of the Ordi­nances of the Gospel, unless we do adorn this Profession with a sutea­ble and agreeable Walk, and Con­versation, according to that advice of the Apostle Paul, 1 Phil. 27. Only let your Conversation be as becometh the Gospel of Christ. The neglect of this among the Pro­fessars of this Age, is very much to be lamented and bewailed. Now to quicken and direct us herein is the main drift and tendency of the following Discourse. And particu­larly, how we are to Walk after that Great Ordinance of the Lord's Sup­per. I hope it will not be judged to be altogether needless, nor prove altogether useless. And that it may not be altogether fruitless and successless, I commend both thee and it to the Divine Benediction, which crowns all our Labours, and gives Success to all our Lawful En­deavours. [Page]Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but it is God that giveth the increase; for neither is he that planteth any thing, nei­ther he that watereth any thing, but God that giveth the increase.

I am Thine in our Blessed Lord, J. Horsman.

A PLAIN DISCOURSE, SHEWING, How we are to WALK after the Lord's Supper.

From 1 Col. 10.‘That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.’

THESE words are the Matter of the Apostles Prayer for these Collossians. In two things, among others, the Apostle did express and demonstrate his great love to them. The first was, in gi­ving Thanks for them. The Second was, in Praying for them. He gave Thanks for them, and he Prayed for [Page 2]them, v. 3. We give thanks to God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. Now the matter of his Thankfulness for them he refers to Two Heads.

  • 1. Their Graces.
  • 2. The Means by which they are wrought.

Their Graces, which were chief­ly Three, viz. Faith, Hope and Love. Their Faith by the Object. Their Love by the Extent. Their Hope by the Place, v. 4. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, there is the Object of their Faith; and of the love which ye have to all the Saints, there is the Extent of their Love; and for the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven, there is the place of their Hope.

The Means by which these Gra­ces were wrought, which was the Word, from vers. 5. to vers. 9. Thus much for the Matter of his Thanks­giving. The Matter of his Prayer [Page 3]for them was this, viz. That they might be filled with the knowledge of Gods will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that they might walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and in­creasing in the knowledge of God.

From whence we may take notice of this by the way, that next to our own good and welfare, we ought to rejoyce at, and be concerned for, the good and welfare of others.

Thus it was with this blessed A­postle. He was not only thankful to God for his goodness to himself in particular, 1 Tim 1.12, 13. But he is thankful for Gods for goodness unto others. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for your faith in Christ, and for your love which ye have to all the Saints, and for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, &c.

And then, shews himself greatly concerned for their good and wel­fare, in praying always for them. [Page 4] For this cause we also since we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you, v. 9.

See what concernedness he mani­fests and expresses for his Brethren his Kinsmen according to the flesh, Rom. 9.1, 2, 3. I say the truth, I lie not, my conscience bearing me wit­ness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart, for I could wish my self accursed from Christ, for my Brethren my Kins­men according to the flesh. It is a ve­ry strange expression, but it notes his zeal, and affection, and concerned­ness for their good and welfare. Rom. 10.1. Brethren, my hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they may be saved. It is a great sign that Grace hath taken hold of our hearts, when we are really concerned for the good of others, that the same Grace that hath taken hold of us, may take hold of others too. By this, says the A­postle John, we know that we are passd from death to life because we love the bre­thren, 1 Joh. 3.14. And truly our love [Page 5]to others cannot be more fully expres­sed, and truly demonstrated, than by an affectionate concernment for their spiritual good and welfare. If they be wholly ignorant of God and Christ, that they may be brought to a saving knowledge of God and Christ: Or if they be such as have been in any measure brought to a saving knowledge of God, then that there may be a dayly increase of it. And this was the Apostles Prayer for these Colossians, having heard of their Faith in Christ, and their Love to the Saints, and their Knowledge of God, he prays that they may be filled with it in a dayly encrease of it for a stron­ger Faith in Christ, and for a farther increase in the Knowledge of God. He is not, you see, of a little narrow, private spirit, swallowed up in his own private concernments, but of a brave noble generous spirit, imploy­ing his desires and endeavours, not only to his own good, but to the good of others too. And this is one cha­racter [Page 6]and property of a gracious Soul, of a sanctifyed person, that he is full of constant and ardent desires after the good and welfare of others. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every Member to profit withall, 1 Cor. 12.7. Religious love seeketh not her own things. 1 Cor. 13.5. We should not seek our own things as many do, but the things which are Jesus Christ's, viz. that which tends to his Glory, and the Good of his Members. Christians should serve one another by Love. Certainly what a Man is in Religi­on, he is relatively so. If not fit to serve the Body, than not fit to be of the Body. He is no Saint that seeks not the Communion of Saints. Having taken notice of this by the way, I come now to the words them­selves.

In which words we have not on­ly the Apostle's Desire and Prayer for them, but we may also read our own Duty in them, and that is to walk [Page 7]worthy of the Lord unto all plea­sing. This is the end of all our Knowledge of God and his will, which in the 9th verse he desired they might be filled with. Why filled with the Knowledge of God's Will? Why, That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. To this end we should be filled with the Knowledge of God's Will, that our Conversations may be rightly ordered to the Glory of God, that our Lives may answer the Professi­on we make, and the Knowledge we have obtain'd, and the Mercies we receive, and the Means we en­joy.

The Papists would find Merit of Works in this Verse. Both because holiness of Life is so much urged by it; And also because here is the word Worthy used; as if the Apostle should grant that they might be worthy of, or Merit the Blessings of God.

Now to this might be returned a Two-fold. Answer. [Page 8]

  • 1. That Merit cannot be founded upon Scripture.
  • 2. That it cannot be founded up­on this Scripture.

First. It cannot be founded upon Scripture. The Scripture doth a­bundantly and in many places de­clare against it. It cuts off and ex­cludes all glorying and boasting in our selves, as if by our worthiness we could procure any thing of fa­vour at the hands of God, or by our goodness any way recommend our selves to the favour and accep­tance of God. You see your Cal­ling, Brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called, for God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, &c. And all this that no flesh should glo­ry in his presence. But he that glo­ryeth let him glory in the Lord, 1 Cor. [Page 9]1.26, 27, 28. Alas, we are so in­debted to the Divine Bounty and Goodness that gave us our beings both in Nature and Grace, that when we have done all we can, we are forced to acknowledge, that we are unprofitable servants, Luk. 17.10. Whatever good we do it is from God, and therefore cannot Merit a­ny thing at the hands of God. 2 Cor. 3.5. So says the Apostle, Not that we are sufficient of our selves to think any thing as of our selves, but our suf­ficiency it is of God. 1 Cor. 4.10. For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou hast not received? Now if thou didst receive it, Why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? Were there no other Scriptures, these were sufficient to overthrow the Notion ef Merit

2. Nor can it be founded upon this Scripture. This expression of walking worthy of the Lord cannot [Page 10]be applied to Merit by any means, in as much as the Lord had bestow­ed many of his Blessings and Favours and Benefits already. They cannot by any good Works afterward, be said any ways to Merit what is past; now it is very absurd to think, that we can by any after good Works Merit what was given us before. But we will pass by this and come to the true meaning of this expressi­on.

To walk worthy of the Lord, is no more than to walk suitably and agreeably, and some way answerably and becomingly to the many-fold Fa­vours of God vouchsafed to us; which will be better understood by comparing it with the parallel places, Eph. 4.1. I therefore the Prisoner of the Lord beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. Walk worthy of your vocation, that is, answerably and suitably and be­coming your Calling, as appears by the following words, which fully ex­plain [Page 11]it, viz. With all lowliness, and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, &c. This is such a kind of Walking as is becoming and agreeable to our High and Holy Calling, Phil. 1.27. only let your Con­versation be as becometh the Gospel of Christ. This is the true meaning and explication of this Expression of walk­ing worthy. He means no more by it than this, a becoming walk, or a suitable walk, but let your Conversati­on be worthy of the Gospel of Christ. So in the 1 Thes. 2.12. That you would walk worthy of God who ha h called you into his Kingdom and Glory. It is the same word in the original in all these places, [...] which is in the forquoted place rendered becoming, Let your Conversation be as becometh the Gospel. Let your Conversation be worthy of the Gospel, or becoming the Gospel of Christ. So here, walking worthy of God is no more than walk­ing suitably to the Nature of that God who is the true and living God. [Page 12]That ye may walk like a People that are taken into Covenant with God, and express the Virtues and Praises of him who hath called you out of Darkness into his marvelous Light, in your Lives and Conversations; ac­cording to that which we have in the 1 Pet. 2.9. Ye are a chosen genera­tion, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that you should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Or that ye should walk suit­ably to this great Mercy and glori­ous Priviledges and Benefits ye have received from him. So that to walk worthy of the Lord, is to live and behave our selves as becometh those to whom God hath vouchsafed so great a Mercy, that passing by many Thousands of a nobler extraction, of a sweeter disposition, and in many outward respects better than we. That he should out of his meer Grace and Love in Christ, chuse and call us out of the World to be partakers [Page 13]of Eternal Life with him. That he should take us and leave others, chuse us and pass by others, as it is wonder­ful and astonishing, so it ought to influence us into a walking some way suitable and becoming these great Mercies bestowed upon us. And if we would know what this suitable walking is? why the next words explain it; It is a walking unto all pleasing, so that the observa­tion is this, viz.

Observ. That where a Person or a People receive great Mercys, Bene­fits, or Priviledges from God, there ought to be a suitable, answerable, and becoming walking thereunto; or thus, It ought to be our study and endeavour to live and act suitably and becoming the Mercies and Fa­vours we receive from God.

God hath dealt Bountifully and Graciously with us, remembered us not only with Common and Tem­poral, but with Special and Spiritual Mercys too. Do we enjoy Peace [Page 14]and Quietness, when many other are involved in great Troubles and Per­plexities? Is Plenty and Fulness our Inheritance, when Scarcity and Want is the lot of many others? Do we enjoy such a competency of Health and Strength, when many others are Sick and weak, Languishing and Dying? Hath God set any of us at Liberty from our Confinements, wrought out a Recovery for any of us from any tedious and dangerous Distemper, which detained us from waiting and attending upon God in the Publick and Solemn Dutys of his Worship, when many others are still confined to their Chambers, and many to their Beds? How doth it concern such to walk answerably and suitably to the Mercies they have re­ceived. Let such remember that advice of our Saviour to the man upon whom he had wrought a great cure, John. 5.14. And he said unto him go thy way, behold thou art made whole, sin no more lest a worse thing be­fal thee.

God hath done great things for us, and in some respects for all of us; In bearing so long with our renewed and repeated Provocations, insomuch that we are under a necessity of ac­knowledging and confessing that it is of the Lords Mercys we were not consumed, that our Bodies are not in the silent Grave, and our Souls roaring in Hell; That notwith­standing all our Barrenness and Un­fruitfulness under the means and Sea­sons of Grace, that yet the day and season of Grace should be lengthned out to us; that after so many denyals and refusals, Christ should still con­tinue to knock at the door of our Hearts. That when we have so fre­quently turned a deaf Ear to the calls and invitations of Christ in the Gospel, that he should still continue to call and invite, and promiseth a kind Reception and hearty Welcome to all those that will come unto him. That he should still continue wooing and beseeching us by his Ministers [Page 16]and Ambassadors to be reconciled unto God, after our so long continu­ance in ways of Enmity and Re­bellion against him. O the Patience, Long-suffering and Forbearance of God! that ever he should so long put up the affronts and indignitys that are every day offered to his Blessed Majesty, by such crawling Worms of the Earth, bear so long with the Rebellions and Ingratitudes of his Creatures! Lord how good art thou to the worst of Men, and the vilest of Sinners? in sparing and forbearing them, in protecting and providing for them, in calling and inviting them, in waiting to be gra­cious to them, in offering Mercy and Pardon, and Grace and Christ to them, in affording them time and space and opportunity for Repent­ance and turning unto God, in vouch­safeing to them many Temporal Blessings and Favours in the midst and face of such dayly Provocations, and abuse of his Bounties. Thus I [Page 17]say in some respects God is good to us all, and hath done great things for us all, even for the worst and vilest Sinner now in his Presence. And to some of us he hath been more peculiarly and specially and distin­guishingly good, In chusing and calling us not only by the outward call of his Word, but by an in­ward and effectual call of his Spi­rit, out of darkness unto light, and from the power of Sin, and Self, and Satan, and the World, to Himself; out of a state of Nature, unto his Kingdom and Glory; unto his King­dom of Grace here, and in a little time longer will call us to his King­dom of Glory. In Justifying us freely by his Grace, and Sanctifying us by his Holy Spirit throughout, and adopting us into his Family. In re­membering us in our low and lost estate and condition, when we were blind and naked, and wretched and miserable, cast out into the open field to the loathing of our Persons, [Page 18]in the gall of bitterness and bond of Iniquity, held in the snare of the Devil and led captive by him at his pleasure, under the power and do­minion of many vile Lusts and Cor­ruptions; in bondage and slavery to Sin and Satan; subjected and en­thrawl'd to Death; under the Wrath and Curse of God; liable to all the miseries of this Life, and to the pains of Hell for ever; ignorant of God and Christ, and Spiritual things, nay enemies to God and Christ, nay enmity it self. When we were in such a forlorn, helpless and miserable state and condition as this, he pittyed us, and helped us; when none other eye pittyed us, nay, when we had no pitty for our selves he pittyed us, and helped us when none other could help us. Others passed by us and took no notice of us, but he looked upon us, and behold it was a time of Love with us. He threw his Skirt over us and covered our Nakedness, and poured Water upon us to wash [Page 19]away our filthiness. He Swear un­to us, and entred into Covenant with us to be ours, and we to be his; he to be our God, and we to be his Pe­culiar People. He hath given Him­self, his Son, his spirit to us. Him­self to be our God and Portion, Jer. 31.31, 32, 33. But this shall be the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel, after those days saith the Lord, I will put my Law into their hearts, and write it in their in­ward parts, and will be their God, and they shall be my People. And what Tongue can express? What Pen can describe the happiness of that People who have God to be their God? David in the 144 Psalm, v. 15. says, Happy are the People whose God is the Lord. He doth not say how happy, for it is beyond express. But this we may truly say, that all our happiness and felicity, and com­fort, lies in this, in having God to be our God. If there be no want to them that fear God, I am sure [Page 20]there can be none to them that en­joy God, who is a Soul-comforting, Soul-refreshing, Soul-satisfying Ob­ject. It matters not what our Cir­cumstances and Conditions are here in this World, be they never so low, and inconsiderable, if we have but God for our God we are hap­py. Happy is that People whose God is the Lord. He hath given us not only himself, but his Son too, John 3.16. God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Gi­ven him for us. To obey and suf­fer, to bleed and dye, and suffer and satisfy for us, to rescue and re­deem us from those evils and miseries under which we lay, viz. the Wrath of God, the Curse of the Law, by laying down his life for us, a life more precious than the lives of all the Angels in Heaven, or Men upon Earth.

Not only given him for us, but given him to us, to be believed in, and rested upon, for Life and Sal­vation, to dwell in us, and be u­nited to us; to be made of God Wisdom and Righteousness, Sancti­fication and Redemption; to be to us, and do for us all that God hath appointed and designed him to be.

Again, he hath not only given us himself, and Son, but his Spirit also to us. To open our Eyes, to enlighten our Minds, to incline our Wills, to change our Hearts, to Turn and Convert us to himself, To convince of Sin, to lead to Christ, to be the guid of our ways, to be the death of our sins, to quicken and enliven and strengthen our Gra­ces. To witness with our spirits that we are the Children of God. To comfort us in all our Troubles, to succour us in all our Temptations, to resolve us in all our Doubts, to help us against all our Infirmities. To conduct us safe through this evil [Page 22]World, and to seal us up to the day of Redemption.

But yet farther, he gives us liberty to wait upon him in the solemn Dutys of his Worship. He gives us Praying seasons, and Hearing sea­sons, and Communicating seasons, for the carrying on begun Grace in our Souls. Thus richly doth he furnish our Table in this howling Desart, and bountifully provides for us in a strange Land. We have not only Food for our Bodies, but Food for our Souls, not only the Bread that perisheth, but that which en­dures to Everlasting Life. The Lamb is slain and behold all things are ready. The Marriage Supper is prepared, and a welcome ready for all that come to it. This is Christ's language to all his guests, O friends drink ye, eat [...]e, drink and eat abundantly O beloved. And what do you think is the matter of this Feast? Why it is Christ with all his saving Benefits, even Peace [Page 23]and Pardon and Comfort. This is the Gospel Feast unto which poor Sinners are invited. The Lord Jesus Christ is both the master and the matter of this Feast. This is that Bread which came down from Heaven, which is othergates Food than that Manna was which fell in the Wilderness, of which it is said, Our Fathers did eat and they are dead, but whosoever eateth of this Bread lives for ever, John 6.48, 49, 50. This is the Lamb that was slain from the Foundations of the World, whose Flesh is Meat indeed and whose Blood is Drink indeed.

Thus bountifully hath God pro­vided for our Souls, we have not only the sincere Milk of the Word that we may grow thereby, but more substantial Food, even that sealing, strengthening, confirming Ordinance of the Lords Supper, where Christ and all his Benefits are represented sealed and applied to Belivers, who was not only offer­ed [Page 24]up upon the Cross for the Satis­faction of Divine Justice and the expiation of our Sins, but offered up­on the Table for the satisfying our guilty minds and for the Food and Nourishment of our Souls. Here it is that we may take a view of Christ's dying love. Here we see him Bruised and Broken and Bleed­ing for our sakes and for our Sins. Here we may see him broken and bruised by his Father in the day of his great Wrath, when his Body was torn, his Soul in a dreadful Agony, his side pierced, his Blood shed; these are in a most lively manner represented by the break­of the Bread, and pouring out of the Wine. Here is a Wounded, Broken, Bleeding, Jesus represented to us. The Elements in this Sacra­ment signifie, and set forth the un­conceivable Sufferings of our blessed Lord, both in his [...]ody and in his Soul. The Bread signifies the Suf­ferings of his Body. And the Wine [Page 25]which is a representation of his Blood, the Agonvs of his Soul, be­cause the Spirits whereby the Soul acts are in the Blood.

All the Sacraments that ever were instituted since Adams fall to this very day, both ordinary and ex­traordinary, both Old Testament and New Testament Sacraments, they all of them principally repre­sent and point at Jesus and him Crucified. Adams Sacrifices were Types of Christ the true Sacrifice. Circumcision a pledge of our Hearts Circumcision thro' Christs Blood, Col. 2.11. In whom also ye are Cir­cumcised with the Circumcision made without hands, in putting off the Body of the Sins of the Flesh by the Circum­cision of Christ. The Passover was a token and Type of Christ our Passover Sacrificed for us, 1 Cor. 5.7. Baptism, this doth point at the Death of Christ, we are said by Baptism to be Baptised into Christ, and into his Death, Rom. 6.3, 4, 5. [Page 26]And the Lords Supper is a most lively representation of the Death of Christ, 1 Cor. 11.26. As often as ye eat this Bread and drink this Cup ye shew the Lords death till he come. This is a standing memorial and a lasting monument of our blessed Lords love in bleeding and dying for us, and is to continue to the end of the World, even till the coming of our Lord to Judgment. So that Christ and his Death, Christ as Cru­cified, is that which is represented and pointed at in this Sacrament. Here it is that Christ Jesus is as it were afresh Crucified before our eyes, bruised by his Father, pierced by the Souldiers, bleeding for our sins. Here is a sweet love-token in­deed betwixt Christ and his Church, betwixt Christ and Believers. What greater love can be imagined than to dye for us. Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friend. Ay but here was greater love than this, here was [Page 27]Blood shed and a Life laid down for very Enemies. This Ordinance may truly be stiled a Love Feast. Every thing in it speaks love. The Mysteries in it speak love. Here is Christ's Body not whole but broken, Christ's Blood not in his veins, but shed and freely poured out for poor sinners. The benefits intended to us by it speak great love. Here is compleat Provision and full Nourish­ment for our Souls, for our Faith and all the graces of the inward man intended by it. A fresh seal of the Pardon of our Sins in the Blood of Christ. Fuller and clearer discoverys of God's reconciled face in and thro the Attoning Blood of the Lord Jesus, that Blood of the Everlasting Covenant. A more full confirmation and a more close ap­plication of the New Covenant and all the Promises, Comforts, Benefits and Priviledges thereof to our Souls, and a more full Communion with Christ in his Grace and fullness, in [Page 28]his Death and Sufferings, in his great Undertakings, and glorious Tran­sactions, in his high Dignitys and Relations, in his great Victorys and Atchievements, and in those necessary offices of Prophet, Priest, and King to his Church, these are some of the great benefits that are intended to us by this Ordinance.

Now we that have been so lately entertained at this Table of the Lord, that have or might have been feasting and satiateing our Souls upon this Banquet of Christs love; it behooves and concerns every one of us to walk worthy of the Lord unto all-pleasing, to walk worthy of this love of Christ in doing and suffering, in bleeding and dying for us. That is, to walk suitably and some way becoming those expressi­ons of love that have been exhibit­ed and represented to us in this Ordinance. I say it highly con­cerns every one of us, who have been feasting at this Banquet of Christs [Page 29]love, it concerns us to keep up and maintain a suitable and becoming walk after it. Remembring that it is not enough to Eat and Drink worthily at this Supper, but we must also walk worthily after this Supper: we have oftentimes bills put up for a prepared heart and a suitable frame, that persons may come prepared to this Ordinance of the Lords Supper, that they may not eat and drink unworthily. But I do not remember that ever I saw a bill for a suitable walk and be­haviour afterward. It is not e­nough that we duely prepare be­fore, act worthily in, but we must also walk suitably after Communi­cating. And there is as much need to put up a Prayer, and to dispatch a cry to Heaven, that we may walk worthily after, as well as come pre­paredly to this Supper. By walk­ing worthily I mean no more than walking suitably and becomingly.

But here it may be asked what is this suitable walking? or where­in doth it consist? or how is it that we are to walk after this Supper Ordinance? To this we shall an­swer.

  • I. More Generally.
  • II. More Particularly.

I.

The general answer to this is, more Holily; after this Supper of the Lord we are to walk more Holily. Now to this holy walking there must be a Principle of Grace wrought in the heart. I say, before there can be any holiness in the life, we must first suppose that there be Grace in the heart. A person must be holy before his actions can be holy. For till a Man be Regenerat­ed, and act from a Principle of Grace in his heart, all he doth is but the shadow and imperfect imiation of a good action, as an Ape would [Page 31]imitate a Man, or as an artificial motion doth resemble that which is natural. Grace must first be infused to beget life, and then we are visibly to express it in a course of godly walking. And then there must not be only a Principle from which we must walk, but there must be a Rule by which we must walk, and that is the Law or Word of God, which meets and sets out the bounds of Sin and Duty, which tells us what evil we are to decline, and shun, and what good we are to prosecute and persue. Now there is a twofold Holiness.

  • Internal and
  • External.
Internal,
which lies in the hatred of sin, and a love of that which is good.
External,
and that is expressed in avoiding of the one, and persuing [Page 32]after the other.

Now this Holy Walk doth consist, in a careful avoid­ing that which is evil and sinful, and in an eager persuite after that which is good. It hath two parts.

  • The one Privative,
  • The other Possitive.
The Privative part
which is called Mortification or a dying to sin.
The Possitive part
which is called Vivification or a living unto Right­eousness.

The one is the purging out of Sin, the other is the spiritual refining of the Soul. The one is a ceasing to do evil, the other is a learn­ing to do well. The one is a strenuous opposition of Sin, the other is a vigorous exercise of all Grace.

Now after this Supper Ordinance we are to walk more Holily. To hate sin more than ever, and to love God and Christ, and the things that are spiritually good more than ever. [Page 33]To dye more unto Sin, and to live more unto Righteousness. It is true we cannot be more Elected, we can­not be more justified, after Commu­nicating than we were before. But we may and ought to be more san­ctified than before. Sanctification is a progressive thing; it is compar­ed to seed that grows, first the blade springs up, then the ear, then the ripe Corn. We are not so much sanctified but we may be more san­ctified. We do not walk so holily but we may walk more holily still, there is none so good, but he may be better, 2 Cor. 7.1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse our selves from all filthiness both of Flesh and Spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. So I may say having these love Banquets, these Sacrament seasons, and Supper Ordi­nances, dearly beloved, time after time returning upon us, let us cleanse our selves from all filthiness both of Flesh and Spirit, perfecting. Holiness [Page 34]in the fear of the Lord. Tho' Justi­fication doth not admit of Degrees, yet Sanctification doth, that is still encreasing like the shining light, or Morning Sun, that shines more and more, and brighter and brighter un­to the perfect Day, Prov. 4.18. and should be daily growing more and more in Knowledge, in Faith in Pa­tience, in Love, in all Grace and Consolation, until all be perfected and swallowed up in Glory.

II.

More particularly. And we may take the Answer in these fol­lowing things, which indeed are but branches of the other; but for Me­thod and Memory sake, I chuse to put them into so many Particulars. As,

1. More Watchfully and Circum­spectly. After Communicating, there must be a watchful circumspect walking. As a Man that hath a Treasure in his house is very watch­ful [Page 35]and careful least he be robbed of it. Now it is to be supposed, and hoped, that we have received that in the participation of that Or­dinance, which the Devil would be glad to deprive us of. Whatever comfort and refreshment we have had, whatever Assurances and E­vidences of Gods Love we have had a-new and a-fresh; whatever lights of Christ, and resolutions a­gainst sin we have had, he stands ready to undoe all that hath been done, and to deprive us of all that we got. Upon this account we have need to walk watchfully and circumspectly. We had need to have our eyes upward, and our eyes in­ward, and our eyes round about us. Did we find, through Grace, our hearts wrought up to any gracious frames? Did we find that our Souls were refreshed, that our hearts were inlarged, that our affections were in­flamed to Christ, that we received any virtue from, and had communi­on [Page 36]with Christ? Did we make fresh vows and resolutions, that through the Grace of Christ enabling us, we would walk before him in holyness and newness of life all our days? Why then we may depend upon it, and look for it, that the Devil will be very busy to undoe all this. We must expect that he will have a fling at us; for he is never more bu­sy in tempting, then when we have been Worshipping. He is never more busy in Tempting us to sin, then after we have been making new and fresh resolutions against sin. When we have been at the Lord's Table renewing our Cove­nants with God, and establishing our resolutions of better Obedience: Af­ter these things the Devil will come with all his forces and endeavours to make us break our Vows, and neg­lect our Covenants. He will be courting us to return to our old sins, and our old frames, to our coldness and deadness, and lukewarmness, [Page 37]and worldly-mindedness, to our fears and doubtings, to our old manner and course of living. Therefore we had need to walk watchfully and circumspectly, watching our words, thoughts, actions, lives and conver­sations, that we do not return to our old vain light frothy conversations, that better becomes the Prophane than the Professor. The liberty that some do allow themselves this way, Communicants I mean, in frothy, I had almost said, in filthy Discourses, and unseemly Actions, is a thing that is much to be lamented and be­wailed in our day. It is a hard mat­ter to distinguish the professing from the carnal part of the World, who are very near as airy in their Dresses as light and frothy in their Discour­ses, and as vain in their conversations as the Carnal Crew. And is this a walk becoming those who sit down at their Lord's Table? O no: such ought to walk very watchfully and circumspectly, that they may not oc­casion [Page 38]the ways of God and Religi­on to be reproached and blasphe­med. We had need walk watch­fully, that we do not lose those sights of Christ, those comforts and re­freshments, those enlargements and enjoyments that we had in the Or­dinance. That the fellowship and communion we had with Christ be not quickly interrupted and distur­bed. It is a great mistake in Per­sons, to think, that when the Sup­per is ended, their Work is ended; that they have nothing more to do, nor nothing farther to mind, as if now they might return to their for­mer courses again, and be as vain and worldly, and wicked as before. It is to be feared this is the practice of too many Communicants in our day, that no sooner, or soon after the action is over, they return to their old course of sinning; Receive the Sacrament one day, and may be, be Drunk before the next; nay, it may be, have their Oaths and Cur­ses [Page 39]in their Mouths, before the Bread and Wine is well out of their Mouths. It were well, if that which was laid unto Israel's Charge, might not be laid to the charge of too ma­ny Communicants in our day, Exod. 32.6. The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. O how many sit down at the Lord's Table to eat and drink of the Sacramen­tal Elements, and rise up to play, return again to their old courses, playing and sporting and fooling with sin, to their Cursing and Swear­ing and Sabbath-breaking, to their Adultery, Uncleanness, Injustice, Drunkenness, &c. Like the Dog to his vomit and the Sow when she is wash­ed to her wallowing in the mire. Thus do many return again to their former lusts and sins, with as great nay greater strength than ever, so mak­ing themselves twofold more the Children of hell than before. There ought to he a mighty careful, heed­ful, circumspect, watchful walking [Page 40]after we have been at the Table of the Lord remembring that the Sa­cramental efficacy and bond doth not oblige us for a day only or a week only, but it binds us for our whole lives. But to conclude what I intend to say upon this head, was it the sincere and earnest desire of our Souls before we came to this Ordinance that we might bring suit­able frames and affection; to it, and did the Lord answer our crys here­in? why now we ought to be as careful and as much concerned that those gracious frames of heart may be maintained and kept up in our Souls. Did we beg to come with bleeding and broken hearts to this Ordinance? why now it is our duty to beg that they may be kept bleed­ing and broken. Did we beg for a stronger Faith? for more glow­ing burning affections to this loving lovely Jesus? why now we are to watch and pray against unbelief, against coldness and luke-warmness [Page 41]of love and affection. Did we pur­pose to forsake our Sins? why now we are to watch more narrowly a­gainst it, and to beg of God strength and Grace that those purposes and intentions may be forthwith put in­to execution.

2. More Humbly, entertaining low and mean thoughts and opinions of our selves, acknowledging our own baseness and vileness, and sin­fulness and unworthiness, loathing and abhorring our selves under a sense of our daily weaknesses, and sinful Infirmities, renouncing and re­jecting all Righteousness of our own as being altogether insufficient any ways to recommend us to the Divine Love and Favour, looking upon our selves as loathsome and odious and no way lovely and amiable in the fight of God, accusing, judging and condemning our selves, owning and admiring and adoring free Love and free Grace in all that Christ [Page 42]hath done for us, and in us. Having done all for us in a way of Purchase and Merit, and all in us in a way of soveraign Grace and Almighty Power; owning and acknowledg­ing whatever Grace there is already in our hearts, we had it from his fulness in whom it pleased the Fa­ther that all fulness should dwell. And what farther supplys of Grace we shall stand in need of, we must still have it from him who is not only the head of Government to his Church, but the head of Influence too, in whom dwelleth all the ful­ness of the Godhead bodily. A ful­ness of wisdom as the Prophet of the Church. A fulness of Merit as the Priest of the Church. A fulness of Power and Efficacy as the King of the Church. A fulness of all habit­ual created Grace, not for himself only, but in a way of Communica­tion and Derivation to others, the Godhead continually emptying it self into the Manhood by vertue of [Page 43]that near close, intimous union of the Humane with the Divine Nature in the Person of Christ: from this ful­ness it is that we are still expecting fresh supplies of Grace and Comfort. Distrusting our own strength as well as renouncing our own Righteous­ness, submitting to all the com­mands and ordinances of the Lord Jesus Christ. A proud heart shakes off the Yoke of Christ, and will not be subject to the Lord the Redeemer, and will be under the government of none but his own will, and his own lusts, like those proud Citizens we read of in Luke, who said, We will not have this man to reign over us. We walk humbly when we lie at Christ's foot, desiring to know his pleasure, claiming no power over our selves, or any thing that we have, but intirely submit our selves to be commanded and governed by him, submiting our selves wholly to his command and conduct. This is to [Page 44]walk humbly, and thus we are to walk after this Supper.

3. More Thankfully. What Christ hath done and suffered for us, calls for the highest and most raised Thanksgivings from us. We are to screw our Praises to the highest note. Let us say to our Souls as holy David did to his, Bless the Lord O our souls, and let all that is within us bless his holy Name; for his redeeming love, who loved us and gave himself for us, an Offering and a Sacrifice to satisfie Divine Justice. O how should we be singing that new song of the heavenly Jerusalem above, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by thine own Blood, out of every Kindred and Tongue and People and Nation, and hast made us unto our God Kings and Priests, and we shall reign on the earth, &c. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive Power and Riches, [Page 45]and Wisdom and Strength, and Honour and Glory and Blessing. The work that Christ came to do and finish for us had in it all the expressions of love, and calls for the greatest expressions of thankfulness and praise. This is a just debt that we owe to Christ. All the evil and misery we are freed and delivered from, and the good we are possessed and made partakers of, is owing to the Obedience and Sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now that our hearts may be the more affected with this love of Christ, and drawn out in thankfulness to him, let us consider the evils we are delivered from, and the good we are possessed and made partakers of by the Lord Jesus Christ.

First. The evils and miseries we are delivered from, and they are ve­ry great indeed. But what are they you will ask? why the guilt of sin, the curse of the Law, the wrath of God, and the flames of Hell. Man's [Page 46]state was once an holy state, and, whilst such, an holy state. But it was not long that he continued in this state, being left to the freedom of his own will, he quickly fell from that state in which he was created, by sinning against God, which sin was the Inlet of all misery. It wo­fully corrupted, depraved, and de­based our Natures, robbed us of the Image of God, which once was the greatest ornament and perfection of our Nature, deprived us of all com­fortable Fellowship and Communi­on with God, laid us open and ob­noxious to his wrath and curse, to all the miseries of this Life, and to the pains of Hell for ever. O the depth of misery that all Mankind is plun­ged into! O the innumerable evils that do encompass and surround us! Temporal, Spititual, and, if not found in Christ, Eternal evils too will be­fall us; but in and through Christ Believers are delivered from all that evil and misery that the Fall and A­postacy [Page 47]of our First Parents involved all. Mankind into. Through him the Guilt of Sin is removed, the Wrath and Anger of God appea­sed, the Thundering Law silenced, the Image of God restored, many Powerful and Potent Enemies Con­quered and Subdued.

Secondly. The good which we are possessed and made partakers of, this also is owing to Christ, to what he hath done and suffered for us, even the good of present Grace, and fu­ture Glory; the good of Justificati­on, Sanctification, Reconciliation, for all these great benefits and good things we are beholden to Christ. We are Justified by his Righte­ousness, Sanctified by his Spirit, Re­conciled by his Attoning Blood, A­dopted by virtue of our Union with him, and relation to Christ's Person, as he is God's Natural Son. All these blessed Benefits and Priviledges that we are made partakers of, are [Page 48]owing unto Christ. As the evils we lay under were too great for any meer creature to remove; so the good things we stand in need of, are too great for any mere creature to procure. None beside that Per­son who was God as well as Man, could either remove the one or pro­cure the other. Had not Christ himself undertaken the work no­thing could have been done; had not this Samaritain taken pitty and compassion on us in our miserable and forlorn condition we must for ever have dispaired of mercy or re­lief. The Lord looked and there was none to help, at length his own arm brought Salvation. As for us we lay under an eternal incapacity, and impossibility of helping or re­lieving our selves; as for Angels they could not help us, could any creature have done the work God would have employed that creature and spared his own Son. But God very well knew that Redemption work [Page 49]was no work for an Angel, no not for the whole Body of Angels. If the whole order of them had come from Heaven, and united all their force and strength together they could not have redeemed so much as one Soul. How far God by his Almighty power could have enabled an Angel to have born up under the greatest sufferings we will not dis­pute, but suppose an Angel might have been furnished with so much strength as to have been able to un­dergo and suffer all that Christ did, yet under the highest communicati­ons of grace and strength to him, he being still but a meer finite Creature, could never satisfie for what was past, nor Merit for what was to come; he could neither expiate Sin, nor procure Eternal Life. No, these are things which could only be ac­complished and brought about by him who was more than a meer finite or Created Being, even by the Lord Jesus Christ, who was not on­ly [Page 50]Man but God too: you see then we are beholden to Christ for all. He it is that fetcheth sinners from the lowest Hell, and lodgeth them in the highest Heavens, that snatcheth them from the deepest Misery, and ad­vanceth them to the highest Glory that poor finite beings are capable of. O the great obligations that are upon us to walk thankfully all our days. Every time we partake of this Supper-Ordinance, we come under new and fresh obligations of thankfulness. We that have been so lately feasting upon his love, so lately put in mind of the great things he hath been doing for us, before whose eyes Jesus Christ in the great­est expressions of his love hath been evidently set forth and Crucified a­mongst us, and the blessed benefits of his Death and Crucifixion repre­sented, sealed and applied to us. Our Blessed Lord would not have his love in doing and Suffering for us be forgotten by us, and therefore hath [Page 51]appointed this Supper as a standing monument and memorial thereof to his Church. When we eat the Sa­cramental Bread and drink the Sacra­mental Cup, we are to do it in re­membrance of him, of what he hath done and suffered for us. This was a kindness never to be forgotten, at the Institution of which Supper we find he himself gave thanks, *Rob. Communi­cant, page 178. 1 Cor. 11.23.24. For I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks he break it, &c. after the same manner also he took the cup. Now what was the matter or form of this thanks­giving is not expressed, but it is most likely it was in reference to the work or action then in hand, and not only for the bare outward Elements, but more cheifly and especially for the in­ward Mysterys and excellent benefits to be represented and sealed by them. [Page 52]For the Grace and love of God which he came to discover to Mankind, and was now about to seal with his own Blood. The Baptism he was to be baptised with was now approaching, viz. his death, wherein his Body was to be broken, and his Blood shed for the life of the World, and for the nourishment of the Elect, which he delighted to accomplish, or as he himself expresseth it, was straitned till it was accomplished. These were the things that were chiefly and specially the matter of his thanksgiving. Now did Christ give thanks at the first Institution? why then proportion­ably we are still to give thanks in all after Administrations of this Sup­per. And not only just in the parti­cipation of it, but after we have par­taken we are to walk thankfully all the days of our lives, considering [...] 1. [...] The inward moving cause of all, which was the great love and mercy of God to us, John 3.16. God so loved the world that he gave his [Page 53]only begotten Son. 1 John 4.10. Herein is love not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Now this first inward moving cause of all, viz. the love of God, must not be overlooked, because it is commend­ed to us, Rom. 5.8. But God com­mendeth his love to us in that white we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Some things are barely related to us but this is commended to us, that we may be sure never to forget it, and to be continual matter of praise and thanksgiving to us; considering (2.) The outward occasion or procuring cause, which is Mans misery by rea­son of sin. This was the outward occasion of Christ's coming into the World, and doing what he did, and suffering what he suffered. He came to reconcile and propitiate God of­fended by Mans sin. To remove that enmity that was betwixt God and us, to appease the anger and wrath of God towards us; now be­fore [Page 54]this can be brought about and effected the Son of God must become Man, obey and suffer, bleed and dye to expiate our offences. And doth not this afford us continual matter of thanksgiving. Once more, consider­ing the effect and fruit and benefit of all that he hath done and suffered for us, and that is life, that whether we wake or sleep we should live to­gether with him. This was the white that Christ aimed at in all that he did; next to his Fathers glory was the salvation and life of poor sinners, that we might live, how? why a life of pardon and ac­ceptance in Justification, a life of grace and holiness in Sanctification, a life of joy and peace in Consolation, and a life of bliss and happiness in Glorification. These are things that our thoughts should be much em­ployed about and affected with at the Table, and shall we not hence­forward look upon our selves as laid under the highest obligations of [Page 55]thankfulness, of walking thankfully all our days. We never have been so much beholden to any person, but we are infinitely more beholden to the Lord Jesus Christ, therefore the whole of our lives should be nothing else but continual expressions of thank­fulness to Christ. But here it may be asked how should we express our thankfulness?

To this I Answer,

1. By often thinking of it our selves, and speaking of it to others to his glory. We are to express our Thankfulness to Christ for what he hath done, by giving and ascribing all the Glory to him, attributing and ascribing nothing to our selves, but all to the riches of his Grace, and freeness of his Love. To look upon our selves as any ways deserving what he hath done for us, doth greatly detract from his Glory, and argues a base disingenuous ungrate­ful [Page 56]temper to be in us. Alas, Who are we, or what are we, poor worth­less worms, not worthy that he should spend a thought upon us, and much less that he should lay down his Life, and shed his Blood for us? Pray let us a little reflect, and consider what we were not long ago; Dead in Trespasses and Sins, wallowing in the filth and mire of Sin and Lust, alienated from, nay enemies to God and Christ, poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked, cast out into the open Field, to the loathing of our persons, polluted, and defiled in our Blood, not worth the taking notice of. Now than ever we should be the Objects of his Love, who deserved to be the Objects of his eternal disdain, and the everlast­ing Monuments of his Displeasure. How ought this to be continually ac­knowledged by us to the Praise of the Glory of his Grace. This is one way by which we express our Thankfulness for any kindness or [Page 57]favour receiv'd, when we think of it, or speak of it, to the Praise and Renown of him that shewed it. So this is one way by which we are to express our Thankfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ for what he hath done and suffered for us, by of­ten thinking of it our selves, or speak­ing of it to others, to the eternal praise and renown of our dear Redeemer.

2. Another way, by which we are to express our Thankfulness, is by magnifying and setting an high esteem and value upon what he hath done for us. Estimation of Benefits received is one way of expressing our Thankfulness for them. Unthank­fulness always lessens, and vilifyes, and makes light of a kindness or benefit received, as Israel did the Manna, Numb. 21.5. And the Peo­ple spake against God, and against Mo­ses, Wherefore have you brought us up out of Aegypt to dye in the wilder­ness? for there is no bread, neither is [Page 58]there any water, and our soul loatheth this light bread, Numb. 11.5.6. We remember the fish we did freely eat in Aegypt, the Cucumbers and the Me­lons, and the Leeks, &c. but now our soul is dried away, there is nothing at all besides this Mannah before our eyes. Oh what unthankful, ungrateful Peo­ple were these? to make light of such excellent Food, which yeilded such excellent nourishment, and in the strength of which they were a­ble to go so many, and such tedious Journeys. Their entertaining such base, low, mean thoughts of it, argu­ed their great unthankfulness for it. Thus unthankful wretches do by Christ, even as these Israelites did by the Mannah, they make but light of Christ, the greatest Gift that God could have bestowed upon the Sons of Men. But yet at the same time, they despise both Giver and Gift it self; by despising the Gift they affront the Giver. They see no lovelyness, no beauty, no excel­lency [Page 59]in Christ, that they should desire him. What is thy beloved more than another beloved, was the Answer to the Spouse, when she was so ear­nestly enquiring after her Beloved, Cant. 5.10. A Lust, a Pleasure, is by many preferred before Christ. A Lust that will Damn them, before a Saviour that will Save them. A Carnal Pleasure shall be embraced, when Christ and his Benefits shall be despised, this argues great Ingra­titude and Unthankfulness, vilifies and lessens both the Person that shews the kindness, and the kindness it self; when as true Thankfulness esteems and values both Person and Benefit; both he that hath done, and what he hath done for us. Now this way we are to express our Thanfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ, by our e­steem of him, and the Benefits we receive by him. Now what esteem have we for Christ? Do we esteem him as the Apostle did, who desi­red and determined to know no­thing [Page 60]else but Christ, 1 Cor. 2.2. He looked upon all other knowledge as vain and unprofitable in comparison of Christ and him Crucifyed; this shewed his value and esteem for Christ. And such an esteem had he for Christ, that he counted all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ; yea, all things but dung that he might win Christ, and be sound in him, Phil. 3.8, 9. He could despise and tram­ple upon the pleasures and profits and preferments of this present World, that he might but win Christ and be found in him. En­dure and undergo the greatest hard­ships and sufferings for the Name and sake of Christ. The greatest of his glorying and boasting was in a Crucifyed Jesus; God forbid, says he, that I should glory in any thing save in the Cross of Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucifyed unto me, and I unto the world. Nothing had that place in his esteem as Christ's had. And [Page 61]then is our esteem of Christ right indeed, when we esteem him a­bove all, and before all; above Estate, above Relations, above all other outward comforts and conveniencies, when we are wil­ling to let go all for Christ. I am sure there is that worth and ex­cellency in Christ, both Personal and Relative, whether we consi­der him as he is in himself, or in those comfortable relations he stands in to his People; I say, consider him which way we will, in his Offices, in his Grace and Fullness, in his Ho­nours and Glorious Titles, and there is that in Christ, which truly de­serves our greatest and highest e­steem. Thus we are to express our Thankfulness by our high Esteem of Christ of his Person, and as of his Person, so of his Deeds and Acti­ons, of what he hath done and suf­fered for us, and the great Benefits that issue and proceed from thence. Is it not wonderful, that a Person [Page 62]so high and honourable, so excellent and glorious, that the Son of God, and God by Nature, who was equal with God in Glory, Wisdom and Power, and in all other Divine Excellencies and Perfections, that he should suf­fer this Glory of his to lie obscure for a time, under the Vail of his Hu­mane Nature? That a Person so far above and beyond us should come and joyn himself to us, Marry into such a poor broken beggarly Family as ours? That he who was Lord of the Law, should be made under the Law, under the Observation of the Law, to fulfil the Righteousness thereof; and under the Malediction of the Law, to undergo the Penalty and Curse of it? That the Judge of Quick and Dead should become Undertaker for Guilty Condemned Wretches? That he who knew no sin, should be made sin, and sub­mit to be dealt with as if he had been the Chiefe of Sinners, bruised and broken upon the Wheel of Di­vine [Page 63]Wrath, Reproached and Vili­fyed by Men, forsaken of his Fa­ther, vir dolorum, a Man of Sor­rows and acquainted with Grief? O the pains of Body, and the an­guish of Spirit that he underwent, the wearysome Life, and at last the Painful and Accursed Death that he endured, and all this to save an handful, that were not worth the looking after, or taking notice of, who neither desired it, nor deser­ved it. Well might it be said, That he had mercy upon whom he will have mercy; and that he loved us because he loved us. Alas! Who are we, or what are we, that Christ should fix his heart's Love upon us? Would we know what we were? why lost undone miserable Sinners, Enemies, nay Enmity it self, dead in Trespas­ses and Sin, in the Gall of Bitter­ness, and Bond of Iniquity. Many of them, for whom Christ hath done and suffer'd such things, were, it may be, Blasphemers, Persecutors, [Page 64]and Injurious to Christ and his Fol­lowers. Such an one was that emi­nent Servant of Christ the Apostle Paul, as he himself acknowledges, 1 Tim. 1.12.13. And I thank Je­sus Christ who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the Ministry, who was be­fore a Blasphemer, and a Persecuter, and Injurious, but I obtained mercy, &c. Some of them, it may be, have been guilty of the foulest and grossest Sins, as some of the Corin­thians were, Fornicators, Idolaters, Adulterérs, Thieves, Drunkards, &c.yet these obtained Mercy, were Washed, were Sanctifyed, were Justifyed in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, as we read 1 Cor. 6.9, 11. Even then when there was nothing but unworthyness and abo­minableness in us, did Christ-dye for us. Now is this a thing to be made light of? or to be lightly esteemed of by us? this argues us to be the most ungrateful, unthankful wretches [Page 65]living upon the Face of the Earth. The very Angels stand and wonder, and vent their astonishment at what Christ hath done for us; And shall not we admire at it our selves? Ne­ver was there such love manifested before nor since. Greater love than this hath no Man, than that a Man lay down his life for his friends, John 15.13. But Christ hath evidenced greater than this, in doing and dy­ing, and laying down his Life for his Enemies Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his Life for us; What for us Friends? no: but for us Enemies, Rom. 5.10. nay for us Enmity it self, Rom. 8.7. The carnal mind is enmity against God. Was ever love like this love? The Apostle Prays for the Ephesians, That they may be a­ble to comprehend with all Saints, what is the breadth and length, and depth, and heighth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, Eph. 3.18, 19. Here are Four Dimensi­ons [Page 66]that the Apostle measures this love of Christ by; Phylosophy knows but Three, viz. Longitudo, Latitudo, & Profunditas. Length, Breadth, and Depth. But Divinity adds a Fourth, viz. Altitudo, Height. To intimate, that Christ's Love is be­yond all ordinary Measure and Di­mensions. There is Depth in it, says Roberts Communicant, p. 186. one, without bottom. There is Height in it without top, Breadth in it without side, and Length in it without end. Yea, it infinitely surpasseth the capacity and grasp of a finite limited understand­ing to comprehend and take in. And O that every one of us who have been so lately Celebrating and Com­memorating the Death and Suffer­ings of our Loving Lord, that have had such Lively Representations of what he hath been doing and suf­fering for us, may find our esteem in some measure and degree answer­able and proportionable to the love [Page 67]that was manifested and evidenced in it.

But yet farther there is another consideration in what Christ hath done and suffered which if rightly and duely weighed, might be a means of raising and heightning our esteem of it, and that is the sufficien­cy, efficacy, acceptableness and merit of his Obedience and Sufferings. This was an odour of a sweet smell, most acceptable to God. The Law was fully answered, and Divine Justice was fully satisfied in their fullest and highest demands. Tho' his Sufferings were but short, yet what was wanting in the duration of them was infinitely and abundant­ly made up in the dignity and ex­cellency of the Person that suffered, for it was infinitely more that the Son of God should suffer one mo­ment than if all the Angels in Hea­ven, and Men upon Earth had suffer­ed to Eternity. Such a sufficiency there is in what Christ hath done [Page 68]and suffered, that there needs no­thing more to be done, nothing more to be suffered in a way of satisfaction to the Justice of God, for he by once offering up of himself hath for ever perfected them that are sanctified, Heb. 10.14. There needs no more sacrifice for sin. There is sufficiency enough in the Death and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to procure pardon for the greatest of sins and the chiefest of sinners, to redeem and save the whole World, nay ten thousand Worlds. And if it should be asked why are not then all re­deemed and saved? To this I an­swer it is not upon the account of any insufficiency of the Blood of Christ, for it is sufficient to have re­deemed as many Worlds as there be Stars in the Firmament; it was sufficient to have redeemed all, but it was not shed for all, but only those that the Father from all Eternity gave to him. For these and these only it was shed, to these and these [Page 69]only it becomes effectual unto re­demption and Salvation. It pleased the Father from all Eternity to elect some to everlasting life, these in the Covenant of Redemption he gave to Christ to redeem and save, these Christ undertook and engaged for in that same Covenant transaction, for these he dyed and suffered, and shed his hearts Blood, which was a suffi­cient price for their redemption, it being the blood of that Person who was God as well as Man. The dignity of the Person was that which highly dignified his Passion. This was that which put such an All-suf­ficiency into the Death and Blood of Christ, that made it sufficient for all the ends for which it was designed. O that poor trembling souls and mis­giving hearts would consider of this and take hold of it, and plead it a­gainst all the accusations of the Law, against all the accusations of Consci­ence, against all the subtile charges of the Devil. Poor Soul, it may be [Page 70]thou art terrified and amazed at the sight and sense of thy sinfulness and guiltiness, it may be many doubts and fears and scruples are ready to arise in thy mind whether ever God will look upon, or accept of, or re­ceive into favour such an one as thou art, but know this for thy comfort whoever thou art, that there cannot be so much Unrighteousness in thee to render thee loathsome, but there is more Righteousness in Christ to render thee lovely in the sight of God. There is sufficiency enough in what Christ hath done and suffer­ed to procure God's favour and ac­ceptance, only do thou stedfastly rely upon it, and put thy whole trust in it; never did any miscar­ry who ventured their all upon this bottom. There is sufficiency enough in the Blood of Christ to procure pardon for as many sins as there are moments in thy Life, or thoughts in thy heart. Be thy sins never so many for multitude, or never so [Page 71]great for aggravation, yet the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all Unrighteousness. Not only from lesser, but from greater Transgres­sions; not only from some, but from all Unrighteousness. Tho it is true, there is one sin which is called a sin unto Death, or the unpardonable sin, which shall never be forgiven, nei­ther in this Life nor that which is to come, and that is the sin against the Holy Ghost. But it is not upon the account of any insufficiency in the Blood of Christ that this sin is Unpardonable; but he that sins this sin is rendered altogether un­capable of laying hold of, or ap­plying the Remedy, viz. the Blood of Christ, which, in it self, is suf­ficient to cleanse from all Unrigh­teousness.

The last consideration is the bles­sed Benefits that do issue and pro­ceed from hence, and so we are to express our Thankfulness by an high esteem of them. Hereby sinners are [Page 72]Justified and sin purged away, the guilt of sin that was so wounding to the Conscience is removed. Hereby enemies to God are reconciled, and peace with God procured, the di­stance, nay the enmity is removed, and God and the Soul walk together, as those that be well agreed. God and the Soul holding a most delight­ful converse with each other, where­as there was a shiness before, now there is access with the greatest free­dom and boldness. Hereby Death, and he that had the power of Death, that is the Devil, with all Princi­palities and Powers are subdued, the Kingdom and Interest of Sin and Satan overthrown in the Soul, and freedom from spiritual thraul­dom is obtained; The Son having made us free we are become free in­deed. These are great priviledges, and O that our esteem of them were some way answerable to the great­ness of them. Tho' we come easily by them, yet they cost Christ dear [Page 73]to purchase. He was at a greater expense to Redeem one Soul than he was to create a whole World, the one was done by the word of his Power, he spake and it was done, but the other is done by the blood of his heart, and he must dye before it be done. His life must be laid down, a life more worth than all the lives of Men upon Earth, or Angels in Heaven. They came freely unto us, but he must dye and suffer to purchase and procure them. O that our Souls may with Mary magnifie the Lord who hath regarded the low estate of his servants, for he that is mighty hath done great things for us.

3. Another way by which we are to express our Thankfulness, is by rendering again according to the Benefits we have received. But when F speak of rendering back again ac­cording to the benefit received, I do not mean in a way of recompense, but in token of our Thankfulness. [Page 74]Alas we are in no capacity of recom­pensing or making him amends for his kindness to us, his love in doing and dying for us infinitely exceeds all our returns. There is more pro­portion betwixt the light and heat of a Spark to the light and heat of the Sun, than there is between his kindness and our returns. When we have done all we can, and suffered all we can for him it is nothing to what he hath done and suffered for us. But tho' we cannot make pro­portionable returns, yet we are to make suteable and becoming returns for the Mercys and Benefits we have received from him. It is said in 2 Chron. 32.25. That Hezekiah render­ed not according to the benefit he had received. That is, he did not make suteable and becoming returns for the great benefits he had received, viz. that wonderful Victory he ob­tained over the Assirian Army men­tioned in the 25. vers. And that miraculous restoration and recovery [Page 75]from a very dangerous illness, and the confirmation of that work by a strange and supernatural motion of the Sun. All which instead of keep­ing him low and humble, probably raised him up to an high conceit and opinion of himself, as if these great things had been done, if not by his own power, yet at least for his Piety and goodness. And instead of walk­ing humbly with his God, and giving the glory of all intirely and wholly to God, he took the honour to him­self and vainly shewed his Riches and precious Treasures to the Baby­lonish Ambassadors. Now this was not a return any way suteable or be­coming the great benefits he had so lately received. So that I say tho' we cannot make proportionable re­turns, yet we must look to it that we make suteable returns to our loving Jesus for the great and won­derful benefits we are made par­takers of in and thro' him. That as his heart was enlarged in love and [Page 76]pity and conpassion towards us, so our hearts should be enlarged in re­turns to him. We should be putting that question to our own Souls which holy David did to his, Psal. 116.12. What shall we render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards us?

But here it may be asked what is it that we ought to render unto the Lord Jesus for those expressions of his love in doing and suffering for us, and for all the great and blessed benefits that do flow and proceed from hence?

To this I Answer. We must and ought to render our whole selves to him, Rom. 12.1. I beseech you there­fore Brethren by the mercys of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, Holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. Here is an Exhor­tation, and the motive or argument by which he doth urge it. The Ex­hortation, and that is, to present our Bodies a living Sacrifice Holy, ac­ceptable to God; or to give, dedi­cate, [Page 77]devote, or offer up our whole selves, Souls and Bodies, unto God. It is true, the Body is only mention­ed, but the Soul must not be exclud­ed, it is a Synechdochical expression where a part is put for the whole. That then which we are to render unto Christ in token of our Thank­fulness and gratitude, is our whole selves, Souls and Bodies, all that we are and have, to live to him, to suffer for him, when ever he shall call us out thereto, to be saved by him, and not only so, but to be ruled and go­verned by him. Submitting our selves to the conduct of his wife Providence and to the laws and rules of his most Spiritual Government: That is to say, when no Lust or Corruption bears Rule or Sway in our hearts, but when every thing within us, and every thing without us is captivated and brought over to the obedience to the Lord Jesus. When Christ, by his Spirit, makes entrance into our hearts, and takes full possession of [Page 78]all the powers and faculties of our Souls, and of all the members of our Bodies, that whereas they have once been strongly and deeply engaged in the ways and service of Sin, they be­come now as deeply and strongly engaged for Christ, and in his ways and Service. As when we see a Person in the full height and carreer of sin, prosecuting with all his might his carnal corrupted desires and de­signes, at the beck and command of that corrupt Principle that is within him, employing that Reason and Un­derstauding, and Parts which God hath endowed him with, in the con­trivance of any sinful thing or acti­on, his power and strength, for the perfecting and accomplishing, and obtaining what he had so contrived and plotted; why such a Person may be said to be given up to his Lusts and Corruptions, but not to Christ. So on the other hand, where we see a Person at the beck and command of Christ, employing his Reason [Page 79]and Understanding, his Strength and Parts for the Honour and Glory of Christ, obedient to, and complying with every call and command of Christ, industriously prosecuting the Glory of Christ, as the great end of Life, heartily submitting to his Laws and Commands, as the great and only Rule of Life; why such a Per­son may truly be said to be given up to Christ. The Apostle Paul, in 2 Cor. 8.5. speaks there of Persons that had given up themselves to Christ, and speaks it in praise of the Macedonians. This they did, says he; Why what did they do? why they did liberally and bounti­fully Communicate to the Necessi­ties of the Poor Saints at Jerusa­lem; they did to their Power, nay, they did beyond their Power, their Charity was larger than their Abili­ty; thus open-handed, and open­hearted were these Macedonians. Where shall we find such Charita­ble Professours in our days? Well [Page 80]then, this they did; And was this all that they did? No: they did not only give the greatest parts of their Estates towards the Relief of the poor distressed Saints, but they gave their own selves unto the Lord. This they did, not as we ho­ped, that is, *Erasm. Multo amplius quam sper are au­debamus; much more than we could hope; they exceeded our hopes and expectations. But wherein? why, Quia non suas tantum facultates habu­erunt expositas, sed seip­sos impendere parati fu­erunt, Calvin. sayes one. Be­cause they were ready not only to bestow their Goods, but to offer al­so themselves. They gave them­selves, sayes he, first to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. The giving of their Estates towards the relief of the Saints, was highly com­mendable in them. Their relieving others was very well, especially when they were so low themselves. But [Page 81]this was not all, there was still some thing higher than this, they gave themselves to the Lord. To give their Estates was vety much, but to give themselves was much more, and this was that which was given by these Believers. Non solum res suas sed semetipsos dederunt domino quasi sacri­ficium immaculatum *Anselm.. They did not only give their Substance, but Themselves unto the Lord, as an un­spotted, undefiled Sacrifice: Now to this great work and business of gi­ving up our selves to the Lord, I would hope there be none of us strangers to it, who have, this day, been sitting down at our Lord's Ta­ble. I would hope that this hath been, in some measure, done by e­very one of us, before we did first venture to sit down at this Table. Else from the time we first ventu­red upon this Ordinance, we have been eating and drinking Damnati­on to our selves. All that draw [Page 82]nigh to this Table, who have not first given themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, are unfit and unwor­thy Guests indeed. We find that these Macedonians, first gave them­selves unto the Lord, before they sat down in Church-fellowship and Communion; They first gave them­selves unto the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. They first joyn­ed themselves to the Lord, before they joyned in this great Ordinance of Communion. And this I have reason to hope concerning every one of you, that before you did venture upon this Solemn Ordinance of the Lord's Supper, that you were such as had solemnly and seriously given up your selves to the Lord Jesus Christ. But yet there are none of us so much given up to Christ, but we may be still more given up to him. Alas, there is a great deal of Carnality, and Corruption, and Un­helief, in the best and holyest on this side Heaven, which is the occasion of [Page 83]frequent backslidings, and Apostacys from God. And often times puts us upon doing those things that are ve­ry much unbecoming the Dedicati­on of our selves to the Lord, too much harkening to the whisperings of the Old Man. Too much com­plyance with the Solicitations of the Flesh. Top great an Adherence to the World, and Conformity to the Vanities and Pleasures, to the Foo­leries and Fopperies, and Fashions, and Customs thereof. Too much Self-seeking, Self-love, and Self-plea­sing, all which are wonderful unbe­coming this Serious and Solemn De­dication of our selves to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore there is great need that this work be often and frequently renewed. It is not enough that it be done once, but it must be done often, and daily. It ought not to suffice us, that we be in some measure given up to Christ, but we must still be more and more given up to him. Daily Backsli­dings [Page 84]call for frequent and daily Re­newals of our Dedication. David renewed the Dedication of his House after Absalom's Sins, and also renew­ed the Dedication of his Person, af­ter his own Foul and Personal Mis­carriages. Times of great Afflicti­on call for the Renewal of our De­dication. Thus when Jacob was re­duced to great straits, and knew not what to do, then he sets upon the Renewing the Dedication of himself to God, If God, says he, will be with me in the way that I shall go, and will give me bread to eat, and rayment to put on, &c. then shall the Lord be my God, Gen. 28.20, 21. Again, renewed Mercys call for renewed dedication of our selves to God. And lastly, great dutys call for this renewal of our dedication. Every time we Pray we are to renew our dedication. But in Sacramental work we must do it in a more solemn and explicit man­ner, not only before and at but after [Page 85]that Ordinance, as coming under new and fresh Obligations and En­gagements to be the Lords. Thus much for the Exhortation, Present your Bodies a living Sacrifice holy acceptable to God, that is, give up your whole selves Souls and Bodies to the Lord. Now the Argument or motive by which he presseth it is the Mercies of God in that Rom. 12.1. I beseech you Brethren by the Mercys of God that ye present your Bodies, &c. The Mercys of God are a great Argu­ment or Motive to press us to this very thing, of giving up our selves to God. The Temporal, but especially the Spiritual Mercys of God; he doth not say Mercy but Mercies, in the Plural number, because they are many, viz. Election of Grace, Call­ing to Christ, Justification by Faith, Sanctification by the Spirit. By all these Mercies which are every one of them, more worth than a thousand Worlds, he beseecheth them to give up or present themselves to God. [Page 86]As if an indulgent compassionate Mother should beseech her child to do something, by the womb that bare him, by the paps that gave him suck, by the knees that dandled him, by the hands that fed him, by all her tender compassions and indulgence towards him. Certainly the heart of this child must be harder than any Flint, not to yeild to her, it would argue a temper very ungrateful not to comply with her. So it would argue our hearts very hard, and our tempers very ungrateful, not to yeild to God, when he that might condemn us doth intreat and beseech, even by those tender Mercies whereby he be­gat us, pardoned us, called us, re­newed and saved us. If Love and Kindness and Mercy will not win us and prevail upon us, pray what will? So the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, his love in coming into the World, in assuming our Nature, his love in doing for us, and dying for us, and suffering for us is a great [Page 87]Motive and Argument to perswade us to give up our selves, and all that we are and have fully, and seriously and solemnly, to him in token of our gratitude and thankfulness. And O that the sense and feeling and apprehension of this love of Christ, might constrain every soul of us to give up our selves to him. Are we bought with a Price? Are we Redeemed from the greatest slavery and tyranny that ever poor creatures were under, from the Wrath and Vengeance of God who is a consuming fire? From the Curse and condemnation of the Law, from the dominion of Sin and Satan and the World? Why this is a great and unspeakable Priviledge and happiness indeed. Ay but how came we to be thus Redeemed? Why it was by a great price that was laid down and deposited; ye are bought with a price, says the Apostle, 1 Cor. 6.20. But what price was this? Was it Silver or Gold? no; it was by the price of Blood. But what [Page 88]Blood was it? The Blood of Bulls and Goats? no; it was the Blood of the Son of God, 1 Pet. 1.18, 19. It was the Lord Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God that redeemed us with his own Blood. What can we do less then glorifie him with our Bodies and Spirits. O how Thankfully ought we to walk all our days, and we cannot better express our Thank­fulness than by dedicating and de­voting our selves to his service and glory. This is the greatest return that we can make and the highest gratitude. You know the first fruits were in former times dedicated unto God, partly to show God's right to the whole crop, and partly in token of thankfulness from the people for all the rest. Now this giving up our selves to the Lord Jesus is the best expression of our thankfulness that we can make. This exceeds the most melting acknowledgments, and the highest verbal resentments of all his love and kindness to us. When a [Page 89]poor creature is deeply affected with a sense of the love of Christ to him, falls down at the foot of Christ, and says Lord Jesus I am one of thy Re­deemed ones, whom thou hast re­deemed unto God by thine own most precious Blood, from the slavery and tyranny under which I lay, thou didst freely lay down thy life to save mine, thou didst shed thine own Blood, and offeredst thy self upon the Cross a Sacrifice to satisfie Divine Justice, and make Attonement for my sins, and to bring me nigh unto God who once was alienated from, and an enemy to Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in my mind by wicked Works. And thou wast not only offered upon the Cross for me, but thou hast been lately in the Supper Ordinance exhibited and offered to me with all the virtues, and benefits, and victories, and purchases, and priviledges of thy death, for the strengthning and nourishing of my Faith, for the enlivening, and quick­ening [Page 90]and raising my hope, for the filling up my joy and encreasing my comfort, for the carrying on the Spi­ritual life with greater vigour and power in my Soul, for all this dear Jesus, how shall I express and testifie my Thankfulness? Why I will do it thus, I do here solemnly and seriously and fully give up my self to thee to be thine and only thine both now and to Eternity, that is to say everlastingly thine. This is the best way of expressing our Thank­fulness, and this we are every one afresh obliged to, who have been sitting down this day at our Lords Table. For one end of this Ordi­nance is to be a seal of the Covenant, all the Blessings and Benefits and Priviledges and Promises and Grace of the New Covenant are confirmed to Believers by it. Now the Cove­nant binds mutually, God bindeth himself to give Grace to us, and we bind our selves to live to him. In all Covenants there is not only some­thing [Page 91]to be done for us, but there is something to be performed by us, God seals the Benefits of the Cove­nant on his part, and we seal to the Durys of the Covenant on our part. The exhibiting the signes is the seal on God's part, the receiving the signes is the seal on our part. Every time we receive, we bind our selves to new and better Obedi­ence, to live more to God, and to dy more to sin. I have Read, that Pliny should say, (he learned it of some Christians) That, at their Meeting, they did Sacramento se ob­stringere, ne furta, ne latrocinia, ne adulteria committerent, &c. Bind them­selves by the Sacrament, that they would not commit these sins of Theft, and Robbery, and Adultery. And so should every one that have been eating the Sacramental Bread and Wine, look upon our selves as bound to live more to God and Je­sus Christ, and to cleave to the Lord with fuller purposes of heart, and [Page 92]more stedfast Resolutions of Soul. Our Blessed Saviour never Instituted this Holy Ordinance to qualify Per­sons for some advantagious Post, and to sit Men for Publick Places and Of­fices, or to be a Stepping-stone to Worldly Preferment, as it is now a­days only used by many, to the great shame of a Protestant Nation may it be spoken, that so Sacred an Ordinance should be thus Abused and Prophaned. But he designed it to be a stronger Tye and Obliga­tion upon us, to a more Holy Life and Circumspect Walk; and indeed if we do not answer this end, we do but Prophane this Ordinance e­very time we partake of it. And instead of eating and drinking to our own Salvation, we shall but eat and drink Damnation to our selves.

4. We are to Walk after this Ordinance more Believingly and Fi­ducially; that is, with a stronger Faith, and Trust in Christ, and Re­lyance [Page 93]upon him, 2 Col. 6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, rooted and built up in him, and stablisht in the Faith, as you have been taught, abound­ing therein with Thanksgiving. None are so stablished but they may grow still in Faith. None have taken so much root, but they may take yet more root. Faith is such a Grace as is capable of farther improvement. A weak Faith may become strong, and a strong Faith may become yet stronger. The Apostles prayer was this, Lord increase our Faith, Luke 17.9. Many are crying out for more Riches, for more Honour, for more Wealth, for more Pleasure. But let this be the desire of our Souls for a stronger Faith. This is a Petition very proper and suteable to be put up by us after we have been at this Supper, Lord increase our Faith. What the Apostle said of the Thessalonians, concerning Bro­therly Love, You need not that I [Page 94]write unto you, for you your selves are taught of God to love one another, and indeed you do it towards all the Bre­thren which are in all Macedonia. But yet he saw it necessary to press after a farther growth, and encrease of it. But we beseech brethren, that ye encrease more and more. The same I trust may be said of many here con­cerning Faith. Ye are taught of God to believe, and indeed ye do believe; but however this Exhor­tation or desire is not needless, viz. That ye encrease more and more. Those that have any measure of Faith al­ready, are to be endeavouring after a growth and encrease in it. For the stronger our Faith is, the greater re­venue of Glory we bring to Christ. It is said of Abraham, He was strong in Faith, giving Glory to God, Rom. 4.20. But how did he glorify God? why, by believing in hope against hope. He glorifyed the Faithfulness and Truth, and the Power of God, that notwithstanding the outward [Page 95]Discouragement, under which he lay, tho' it seemed to be a very un­likely improbable thing to the eye of Sense and Reason that he should have a Child, considering his own Age, and the Deadness of Sarahs Womb, yet he believed in the Power and Faithfulness of God, that he was able to performe what he promised to him, and that he would be true and faithful to perform it. Thus Abraham, by his Faith, Glorifyed God's Power, Truth and Faithful­ness. And thus by believing we bring a great Revenue of Honour and Glory unto Christ. When we stedfastly rely upon the Merit and All-sufficiency of his Blood for the Pardon of all our Sins, and under the fresh guilt we are contracting daily; we daily apply and betake our selves to this Blood of Christ for fresh Pardon and Cleansing, when we stedfastly rely upon his Righteousness for our Justifycation before God; not mentioning a word [Page 96]of our own Inherent Righteousness or Holiness for our Justification and Acceptance with God, but make mention of his and of his only, when under all our Temptations we rely upon his Mercy and Faithfulness to help and succour us. In all our ways to rely upon his Wisdom for our guidance and conduct; when in e­very act and duty of Worship we rely upon him for our access to God. We never bring more honour and glory unto Christ than when we go most out of our selves, and rely most upon Christ. This is to walk be­lievingly, and thus we are to walk after this Supper, viz. with a stronger Faith and trust on the Lord Jesus Christ. We walk by Faith says the Apostle, 2 Cor. 5.7. And in another place, The life which I now live in the Flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God. Gal. 2.20. And thus we are to live and walk, viz. with a stronger Faith, with a more stedfast trust and reliance upon Christ, upon his O­bedience [Page 97]and Satisfaction. To this end was he lifted up upon the Cross, and offered there, viz. to be believed in and rested upon, Joh. 3.14, 15. As Moses lifted up the Serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up that whosoever believeth in him, &c. To this end did God the Father give Christ, viz. to be believed in and rested upon, vers. 16 For God so loved the world that be gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, &c. To this end is he lifted up in the preaching of the Gospel, viz. that poor sinners might believe on, and put all their trust and confidence in him for life and for Salvation. Mark 16.15, 16. Go into all the World and preach the Gospel to every Creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. And to this end is he offered to us in the Supper, viz. to be be­lieved in and rested upon, 1 Cor. 11.23, 24, 25. The Lord Jesus Christ the same night in which he was betrayed [Page 98]took Bread, and when he had given thanks brake it, and said, take eat, this is my body which is broken for you. After the same manner he took the Cup when he had supped, saying, this Cup is the New Testament of my blood this do ye as often as ye drink it in remembrance of me, And in another place, drink ye all of it, this do in remembrance of me. In the Bread broken upon the Table we have a lively representa­tion of Christ's broken Body. In the Wine we have a lively representation of the Blood of the Lord Jesus the price of our Redemption. By Eat­ing and Drinking we are to under­stand believing, so that we see the Lord Jesus Christ is o [...]ered to us in this Supper to be believed in and rested upon. It is true, there is no­thing but bare Bread and Wine pre­sents it self to the eye of our Bodies; But under these outward Signes and Elements of Bread and Wine, there is a broken Crucified Saviour offer­ed and presented to the eye of our [Page 99]Faith. O there is great need' of Faith and great work for Faith in our receiving and after our receiving, in our partaking and after we have partaken of this Supper, whilst we sit down and after we are risen up from this Table.

There is great need of Faith and great work for Faith in our re­ceiving. We can no more turn Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ without faith, says one, than a Chymist can transmute one Metal into another without the operation of the fire. He that comes to this Supper without faith, says another, is like a Man that thinks to quench his thirst by sucking the Ale bowl. Alas what is it that we receive at this Supper? why it is but a little morsel of Bread, and a small draught of Wine without faith, and what can this do to the nourishing and strengthning of our Souls? As the word profits not unless it be mixed with faith in those that hear it, [Page 100]Heb. 4.2. So the Lord's Supper profits not unless mingled with faith in those that receive it. It is true, were we only at this Ordinance to receive the Bread at the Ministers hands that gives it, then there would be no such need of Faith at this Or­dinance. But at this Ordinance we are to take Christ out of God's hand, who is offered to us there, and this cannot be done without faith; were we only to eat the Bread and drink the Wine at this Supper, this might be done without faith, but we are to eat Christ's Flesh and drink Christ's Blood, to seed upon a broken Crucified Saviour, who is not only the Master but the Matter of this feast, and this cannot be done but by faith. It is faith that feeds upon Christ, and derives virtue and vigour from him. His Flesh is meat indeed and his Blood is drink indeed, John 6.55. Meat to be eaten not with the teeth but by faith. Meat indeed not in Nature but in Effect, because it [Page 101]nourisheth the Soul, and gives E­ternal life to them that eat thereof, v. 54. Whoso eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood hath Eternal life, &c. Hath Eternal life, ay hath it already in a just Right and Title and shall have it in a certain actua Possession.

There is great need of Faith, and Work for Faith in this Ordinance, to discern and spy out those great My­steries, that are wrapped up in the outward Elements. The want of which, viz. a right discerning of the Mysteries that are pointed at by these signes in this. Ordinance, is the cause of Persons miscarrying under it, is the cause of Persons eating and drink­ing unworthily; and, as a consequent of that, of their eating and drinking Damnation to themselves; when Persons in their eating and drinking at this Table, look no farther than at what presents its self to the eye of the Body. at the outward signs and Elements only, not discerning [Page 102]the broken Body and the shed Blood of Christ, to be wrapped up in them, and represented by them; Putting no difference between the Sacramental Bread and Wine, and common bread and wine, putting no difference be­tween the Body and Blood of Christ, and the body and blood of a meer Man. Between Bread Representing the Body of Christ, and bread the ordinary staff of Life: Between Wine, as representing the Blood of Christ, and Wine that is the ordi­dary Cordial, and refreshment to the natural Spirits. Why such a person, when he cats and drinks at this Ta­ble, eats and drinks unworthily, not discerning the Lord's Body. Eats the Bread, and drinks the Wine, but doth not cat the Body and Blood of Christ spiritually. And well may he be said to eat and drink unwor­thily, because by thus eating and drinking, he violates in those out­ward Signs and Elements the ho­nour and regard due to the Maje­sty [Page 103]and Glory and Merit of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now Faith is that eye which pierceth through the Clouds and Shadows of the out­ward Signs and Elements, to those Heavenly great and glorious My­steries in, and beyond them, even Christ's Body broken, and his Blood shed for us. Christ's Sweating drops of Blood in the Garden, and dying a Painful, Shameful, and Accursed Death upon the Cross. Faith eyes the great and wonderful Mysteries that are in this Death, and the great. Benefits slowing from thence to Be­lievers Faith gives us a discerning of these things in the Supper; not a Speculative discerning, but a Spi­ritual and Practical apprehension of them, such as stirreth up sutable re­verence, and holy Affections, as if we had seen him hang bleeding up­on the Cross, Sweating under that load and burden of Divine Wrath and Displeasure due to the sins of the Elect World which he bare, the [Page 104]least of which would have broken the back of the Whole Creation to have stood under it. Many a Man may be able to Discourse very well and understandingly about these Great Mysteries of the Supper: To tell what is the meaning of the Bread, and what the meaning of the Wine is, that have no Spiritual dis­cerning, but is meerly the Fruit of an Historical Faith, or Tradition, that is current in the Age or Coun­try he lives in. But Faith gives a Spiritual Discerning, such a sight and sense of these great Mysteries, as doth impress an holy dread and a we upon the Soul, and an holy re­joycing and delighting in the Soul. So that upon this account we see what great need there is of Faith in our Receiving and Partaking of this Supper.

Again, There is great need of Faith, and work for Faith in this Ordinance, to reconcile us to the meanness and despicableness, as to [Page 105]outward appearance of this, as well as other Ordinances of Christ. Or­dinances are simple in appearance, and therefore the Creature is ready to carp at them. It is a Saying of one, Nihil adeo offendit hominum mentes ac simplicitas divinorum ope­rum, &c. There is nothing doth so much offend the Minds of Men, as the Simplicity of God's Ordinances. As in Baptism, there is but a lit­tle common Water, And what can this do, to cleanse the Soul from Sin? So in the Lord's Supper, there is but a little Morsel of. Bread, and a small Draught of VVine, a poor Feast to a Carnal Man. Carnal and corrupt­ed Reason is greatly prejudiced, stumbled, and offended at so mean and despicable an appearance. There­fore see the need of Faith, and the Great Work for Faith in this Or­dinance. How mean and despicable soever these may seem, as to out ward appearance, yet they are high and Mysterious Instruments of our Peace, [Page 106]Growth and Comfort. And altho' Carnal Sense, and Corrupted Rea­son cannot see it, yet Faith doth. How mean soever, as to outward appearance, these may seem, yet Faith eyes the Institution and Bles­sing that goes along with them. And where the Institutions of Christ are attended with his own Blessing, there Ordinances, though never so simple in appearance, yet shall be­come effectual for producing great Effects, and for obtaining high and glorious Ends.

Lastly. There is great need of Faith, and Work for Faith in this Ordinance, for a real and close ap­plication of those great Benefits and Mysteries that are represented to us, and discerned by us in this Ordi­nance. Faith is not only the Spiri­tual eye of the Soul, whereby we discern Christ Crucifyed, and the Mysteries and Merits, and Bene­fits of his Death in this Supper, [Page 107]Vailed under the outward Signes and Ellements; but it is also the Spiritual hand of the Soul whereby we take Christ, his Merits and Be­nefits offered and tendered to us in this Supper, and apply to our own Souls benefit, comfort, and advan­tage. Of what advantage will the finest dainties be, that can possibly be provided, for nourishment and refreshment, if not fed upon and digested by us? Or the most excel­lent Medicine that ever was com­pounded, Of what advantage will it be to a Sick Person for Health and Recovery, if he do not take it and apply it? So, of no more a­vail or advantage would Christ be, and all his excellent Benefits to us in this Ordinance, without a real and close application of them to our own Souls; unless taken and received, fed upon, and digested; and this must be the work of Faith, to take and eat, to take and drink, VVhat? Bread and VVine only? [Page 108]no: these are the least matters, but Christ's Body and Blood also, and all the Benefits thereof, must, by Faith, be taken, and received, eaten, and digested to our Spiritual Nou­rishment and growth in Grace. This may suffice to shew the great need that there is of Faith, and the great Work that there is for Faith, in our partaking of this Supper.

There is also great work for Faith after our receiving and partaking, and that is stedfastly to rely upon what Christ hath done and Suffered for us, upon his Righteousness and Satisfaction, upon the efficacy and sufficiency of his Death and Suffer­ings, of his Blood and Merit, all which have been in a most lively manner exhibited and represented to us in this Supper. And our work and business is to walk with a fiducial dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ in every act, and duty of worship, for access to God for a­sistance from God. In every fresh [Page 109]perplexity of Mind, doth Satan ac­cuse, Conscience accuse, the Law ac­cuse? why yes it may be all these accuse us, why then our work and business is to plead the fulness of Christ's satisfaction, and the suffici­ency of his Merit against all these charges and accusations, and here is enough in this Righteousness and Satisfaction of Christ to answer all. And the great work of Faith is to rely and depend upon it. Under a fresh sense and feeling of Guilt we are to have a recourse to this blood of Christ, for the removal of it; and under the daily sense and feeling of the working of in­nate, inbred Corruption, we are to have a daily recourse unto this blood of Christ, that it may be subdued: we are to eye the Death of Christ for sanctification, as well as for Ju­stification; for Mortification and killing of Lust, as well as for the taking away and removal of Guilt. Alas, we are no more able to sub­due [Page 110]our own Lusts, than we are to remove our own Guilt; but are as much beholden to Christ for the one as for the other. In a word, throughout the whole of our Chri­stian Race and Course, our eye must be unto Christ, Looking unto Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. Every day, by fresh acts of Faith, casting and committing all the concernments of our Souls into the hands of our dear Redeemer. This is to walk fiducially, and thus we are to walk after this Supper. One end of which Supper was, for the strengthening of Grace in our Souls; not only for the inflaming our Love, but for the strengthning our Faith: Not only that our love to him might wax hotter and hotter, but that our Faith in him, and Re­lyance upon him might be stronger and stronger.

5. VVe must walk with a great­er hatred of, and indignation against sin. VVe have been Commemora­ting [Page 111]a Crucifyed Bleeding Dying Je­sus, And pray what was the occasion of this shameful ignominious and Reproachful Death? Why it was sin. But not any sin of his own that he was brought to this Death and Sufferings, but for the sins of his Peo­ple. The Lord laid upon him the Ini­quity of his People, Isa. 53. And there was not only an act of God the Father, in laying these sins upon Christ, but there was also Christ's own voluntary consent to take them upon him. So that it was sin, the sins of his Elect People, that he took upon him, which was the occasion of his bitter Sufferings. He was wound­ed for our Transgressions, and bruised for our Iniquities; Ay, and these were far more wounding and pain­ful to him than was the piercing of his natural Side with the Souldier's Spear. This was that which occa­sion'd that Agony of Body and An­guish of soul, even the Wrath and Displeasure of God, manifested a­gainst [Page 112]the sins which he bare. And who of us is able to conceive of that which he felt, of that Torment he felt in his Body, and of that Anguish he felt in his soul. My Soul, says he, is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; and upon the Cross, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Sure­ly fin must be an exceeding great e­vil, which was the occasion of so great Sufferings. And indeed there is no Glass doth so fully and clear­ly discover to us the evil and heinous nature of sin, as the Glass of Christs Death and Sufferings. Now, in this Supper Ordinance, we have a lively Representation of a broken Crucifyed Christ, broken and Cru­cified for our sins; his Body bro­ken, and his Blood shed for our sins; this is that which our Faith is to eye in our participation of this Or­dinance. Have we seen Christ in this Ordinance Broken and Cruci­fyed, and bruised for our sins, and shall we dare to live in sin? Is this [Page 113]a walk suteable and becoming those that have been at the Table of the Lord? Suteable to those expressions of Love that are manifested, or sutea­ble to those Mysteries that are ten­dered there, or to those great Benefits that are represented there? Surely no: After we have been at this Ta­ble, we come under deeper Obliga­tions of abandoning and hating sin than before. Have we received the Lord's Supper as a Seal of the Re­mission of our sins, And shall we dare, after this Supper, to fall a-fresh into the Commission of the same sins? What is this but to prophane the Blood of the Covenant, and to trample under foot the Blood of the son of God? And is this our kind­ness to our Friend? who so freely parted with his Life, and Hearts­blood; Surely they greatly mistake the nature and end of this Supper, that go from it with a purpose to return to their Vice and Wicked­ness, and use it only for a Protecti­on [Page 114]and Tolleration for their sins. It is a sure and certain sign, that our hearts were never rightly, and truly humbled, and broken for sin before we came to this supper, if there be any secret purposes, and resolu­tions kept up and maintained in our Souls of returning to our sins after­wards. If it was necessary to bring bleeding hearts to this Ordinance▪ then certainly it is as necessary to carry away broken and bleeding hearts for sin from it, especially when we have had such an affecting sight presented to us, viz. a Christ brui­sed and broken for our sins. Me­thinks every time we partake of this Ordinance, it should stir up in us a greater abhorrency, and hatred of sin than ever. O consider what wrath our sins did derive upon Christ, in order to the kindling our hatred and indignation against them. What shall we make light of that which Christ found so heavy and heinous, which fetched from him [Page 115]such great drops of Blood, and extor­ted from him so bitter and dreadful a Lamentation, My Soul, says he, is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; and upon the Cross, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Did Christ shed all his Hearts-blood for thy sins, and dost thou think much to shed a few Penitential Tears for them? Or wilt thou hug such a Viper in thy bosom, which was such a sting in the heart of thy Sa­viour? Wilt thou pretend to have had Fellowship with Christ in this Ordinance, and afterward hold fel­lowship with the unfruitful works of Darkness? What a contradicti­on is this?

6. We must walk with a greater weanedness of affection from the World. God forbid, says the Apo­stle, that I should glory in any thing, save in the Cross of Christ, by which the world is crucifyed to me, and I unto the world, Gal. 6.14. He was arri­ved to such an holy indifferency, as [Page 116]to care no more for the World than the World cared for him, and this he did through the Cross of Christ. Re­membring how the World dealt with Christ, and how little he regarded the World. Now shall we who have been so lately Celebrating and Commemorating the Death and Crucifixion of Christ, love that, and cleave to that which dealt so un­kindly by him, or esteem that which was so little esteemed by him? Is this a walk worthy of his Dying-Love? no: this is no way becoming those that have been entertained at this Table. Therefore, where we see Persons, after they have been at this Table, conforming to the World, to the Fashions and Vanities thereof, their Hearts and Affections glued to the World, and the Things of the World, persuing after it with the greatest vehemency and eagerness, why this is such a kind of walking as is no way suteable and becom­ing the Guests of Christ.

7. We must walk with a more inflamed Love and endeared Affecti­on to the blessed Lord Jesus. This Supper-Ordinance is a Love-token betwixt Christ and his Church, where they mutually seal up their Affections to each other. In it we have had the highest and the fullest demonstrati­ons of his Love to us; Greater love than this hath no man, that a man lay down his life for his friends. VVhy such love there was in the heart of Christ to poor finners, as to lay down his life for them. Hereby perceive we the love of God, says the Apostle John, because he Laid down his life for us, 1 John 3.16. Ay, here was a full demonstration of it indeed; This was a demonstration of that love which was in the heart of Christ from Eternity to poor sinners. O wonder­ful Love that he should open his Breast to receive into his own heart the sharp point of that sword which was directed against us. VVhere shall we find love to match this [Page 118]love? Rather than we should be Sacrifices to Divine Justice, he him­self would become the Sacrifice. Have we had such demonstrations of his love represented to us in this Ordinance? O then with what an inflamed love, and endeared affecti­ons to the Lord Jesus Christ ought we to walk after this Ordinance of the Lord's Supper. As we are to hate sin more, so we are to love Christ more. Let us therefore, as the Apostle exhorts us, walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour, Eph. 5.2. The most intense love, and pu­rest affections are due from us to Christ, who loved us, and dyed for us, and rose again for our Justifyca­tion, and is gone before to prepare Mansions of Glory for the seeing God's Face, and enjoying God's Presence to all Eternity. These are endearing considerations, and should mightily endear Christ to our Souls. [Page 119]And O that we could find and feel more of the constraining power and efficacy of this Love of Christ, eve­ry day drawing out our hearts and affections more after himself.

8. We are to walk more inquisi­tively, that is to say, more upon the search and enquiry, not so much into the affairs and concerns of others, as into the frames, and conditions, and affairs of our own Souls. Many are busy in making their reflexions and observations upon others, and in the mean time overlook themselves. The Mind hath many turnings, but the best is, when it turns in and reflects upon it self. This was holy David's way and practice, Psal. 77.6. I com­mune with my own heart, and my spirit made diligent search. Ay, this is a commendable walk indeed, when we are much in communing with our own hearts, enquiring how mat­ters go there. As the wise and pru­dent, and careful Tradesman is of­ten looking into his Accounts, that [Page 120]he may know how it is with him, whether he goes backward or for­ward in the World. So should we be often looking into our hearts, that we may know how it is with us, whether we go backward or for­wards in our Souls. That we may know what our losses have been, and what our gains have been. This is a walking that is pleasing to God, as is evident from the many Injun­ctions of his Word and Will to this purpose, Lament. 3.40. Let us search and try our ways, and turn again unto the Lord, Hag. 1.5. Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, consider your ways. 2 Cor. 13.5. Examine your selves, prove your own selves, &c. In order to the preparing our hearts to approach the Lord's Table, the Apostle recommends to us this ex­cellent duty of Self-examination, 1 Cor. 11.28. But let a man exa­mine himself, and so let him eat, &c. The Apostle is here laying before them the sin and danger of unwor­thy [Page 121]participation of this Ordinance of the Lord's Supper, and gives them to understand, that such as eat and drink unworthily, are guil­ty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Here he lays before them the sin. And in the 29th Verse he lays before them the danger, and tells them plainly, that such as eat and drink unworthily, eat and drink Damnation to themselves. Now to prevent such a mischief as this, he recommends to them this excellent duty of Self-examination. It is as much as if he had said, If ye would not eat and drink unworthily, and thereby eat and drink damnation to your selves, then set upon this business of Self-examination; Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup.

Truly as this is necessary before we venture upon this Ordinance, so it is as necessary after we have par­taken of it. Let a man examine him­self, and so let him eat, &c. So also let [Page 122]a Man eat and drink, and so let him examine himself. An after reflecti­on is as necessary as a previous exa­mination. We examine our selves before, in order to receive good. And we must examine our selves after to see what good we have re­ceived. After our performance of any duty we should be upon the enquiry what good we have got? This Question we should put to our selves, after every Prayer we make, after every Sermon we hear, after every time we Communicate, at the end of every Duty, and at the end of every day. We have been lately partaking of this Ordi­nance of the Lord's Supper, and as we are frequently exhorted to exa­mine our selves before we sit down at this Ordinance; So the Exhorta­tion now is to examine our selves after we are risen from it. What Warmth of Affection had we in it? and not only so, But what Warmth of Affection do we now find remain­ing [Page 123]and abiding upon us? Is not that Heat and Warmth in a great measure abated, and lost already? This is that which we should look to, that we do not easily or quickly, after Duties are over, lose that Heat and Warmth which we got in the Duty. at the end of every Duty, and at the end of every day, we are seriously and faithfully to examine, and consider, what of God, and what of Christ hath been discover­ed to me this day, or in this or that Duty? VVhat discoveries have been made of our selves to our selves, of the baseness and vileness and corruptions of our own hearts? VVhat expressions of love to God, and Christ? VVhat expressions of Sorrow for sin? VVhat delight in Christ, and desires after Christ have been working in my Soul this day? VVhat lively vigorous acts and ex­ercises of Grace hath been put forth, not only in the Duty performed, but since the Duty was performed? [Page 124]VVhat Power hath been exerted this day, in a way of opposition and resistance against Temptations, and against Corruptions? VVhat Back­fildings and Apostacys, and defecti­ons from God have I been guilty of since the last time I renewed my Covenant? And what Sorrow and Contrition of heart hath been ex­pressed for it? VVhat guilt and defilement have I a-fresh contract­ed, and what application in a way of Faith of the Blood of Christ hath been made for pardon and clean­sing? VVhat growth and encrease of comfort and refreshment and joy do I find in my Soul? VVhat en­crease of strength do I find to per­form Dutys? To bear Afflictions? To resist Temptations? To morti­fy Corruptions? To walk with God? Thus we should be upon the enquiry every day, and after every Duty, and especially after this Ordinance of the Lord's Supper. Is my Soul more knit to Christ, my [Page 125]heart more ravished with his Beau­ty and Excellency? Doth Christ appear more Fair, and Sin more foul to me than before? Christ more sweet, and Sin more bitter? Sure I am it ought to be so with every one of us who have been Guests at our Lord's Table, where we might see Two affecting, heart-melting, heart-breaking sights: The one was Christ broken for us. The other was Christ broken by us. A Christ broken for us, and there was an heart over▪flowing with love, pitty, and compassion to us, which should beget in us hearts glowing and burning, and flaming with love to him. And then we have seen a Christ broken by us, wounded and bruised, and pierced, and broken by our sins, which were the occa­sion of his bitter Agonies and Suf­ferings. Now as in the first we saw the fulness of Christs love, so in this we see the foulness of our sins, that nothing but the blood of [Page 126]Christ can cleanse us from it. There is nothing that represents to us the bitterness of sin, like the Su [...]erings of Christ. These things have been lately in a most lively manner re­presented to us, and set before the eye and view of our Faith in this Supper-ordinance. But how have our Hearts and Souls been affected with these lights? Doth Christ ap­pear more fair, and Sin more foul than before, Christ more sweet, and Sin more bitter? thus it ought to be with us who have been at this Or­dinance of the Lord's Supper. And our work and business now is to look to it, that indeed it be so.

9. More Couragiously and with greater resolution for Christ. VVe that have had such Tokens of Christs love, and such Instances of his zeal and courage for our good, as to en­counter the greatest difficulties that lay in the way of our Salvation and Happiness; not only the rage of Men, and Devils, but the VVrath of his [Page 127]Father too: How should the con­sideration of this arm and fill our Minds and Souls with an holy zeal and courage for him, 1 Pet. 4.1. For as much then as Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm your selves likewise with the same mind. At this Table of the Lord we have seen what Christ hath done and suffered for us. It therefore concerns us to give a proof of our zeal and courage for him, by owning his ways, and de­fending his truths, by withstanding Temptations, and turning a deaf ear to all the Sollicitations of the Flesh, not betraying the Interest of Christ into the hands of Enemies, standing our ground as long as we have ground to stand upon, suffering the loss of all things, rather than part with Christ; Honours, Pleasures, Preferments, Liberties, Livelyhoods, nay, Life it self, rather than part with Christ. VVith such a zeal for Christ was the Apostle Paul fil­led, Acts 21.13. What mean ye to [Page 128]weep, and break my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but to suffer at Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus. Where shall we find such a bold Lyon-like spirited Man for the Lord Jesus Christ again, as this blessed Apostle was. He feared neither Bonds nor Death; I am rea­dy, says he, not only to be bound, but to suffer and dye at Jerusalem for the sake of the Lord Jesus, rather than deny or disown Christ. Neither the flatteries of the World on the one hand, should entice him away, nor the frowns of the World on the other hand fright him away from Christ Such a zeal and courage for Christ should our Minds be armed with, as to hold fast the Profession of our Faith without wavering in the view aud face of the greatest opposition and difficulty that may be in our way to Heaven. A Christian, of all Men, should be armed with the greatest Courage and Resolution, because he is like to meet with the [Page 129]soarest and sharpest Assaults. In the world ye shall have Tribulation, John 16. ult. Whilst we are in this World we must not expect much ease or quiet; Storms and Tempests we must expect in our Voyage or Journey to Heaven. The Christi­an's Life is a continual warfare. From our Spiritual birth to our Na­tural death; from the hour and mo­ment we did first set our face Hea­venward, till we come to set our foot in Heaven, we shall have trouble and molestation on one kind or another. There is no place which the Chri­stian can call Priviledged Ground. O then what need have we of Courage, to hold on, and hold out to the end. The Devil will never leave Tempting, nor the World Al­luring, nor the Flesh Solliciting whilst we are upon our March. The Is­raelites, you know, had no Peace till they lodged their Colours in Cana­an. Fresh Troubles and Difficulties did arise in their March from Aegypt [Page 130]to Canaan, so it will be with us in our March to Heaven. We must bear the Cross before we wear the Crown, through much tribulation must enter in­to the Kingdom of God, Acts 14.22.

10. With a more endeared love and affection one to another, Ephes. 5.2. And walk in love as Christ al­so loved us, and gave himself an offer­ing and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. This is the Apostles Exhortation to the Ephesians, viz. To walk in love. And the Argument by which he presseth this, is taken from the love of Christ to us, in lay­ing down his Life, and offering up himself a Sacrifice to God for us. Now this Love we have been lately Celebrating and Commemorating in this Ordinance of the Lord's Sup­per, where we have seen Christ broken and Crucifyed for us; And can we have a greater Motive to love one another than this, who have been Celebrating the love of Christ together. It highly concerns [Page 131]every one of us to walk in love, as Christ also loved us, and hath given himself for us. But here it may be asked, what is it to walk in love? Why to walk in love, Non est simpliciter di­ligere, sed totam vitam in Charitate transigere. Zanch. inlo [...]. Not simply to love, but to pass our whole life in love; Ita ut omnia a Charitate slu­ant, & in Charitate fiant, & in Cha­ritatem desinant: So that all may flow from love, and may be done in love, and may end in love. This is to walk in love; and so ought we to walk in love one towards a­nother. Performing all Offices of love and kindness, and respect one towards another, pittying and pray­ing one for another. Admonishing and reproving one another in love and meekness. Bearing one ano­thers burdens, assisting and helping one another, kind. and tender-heart­ed one to another, forbearing and forgiving one another, even as God [Page 132]for Christ's-sake hath forgiven us. All bitterness, and anger, and wrath and clamour, and evil speaking be­ing put away from us, with all ma­lice.

Indeed it is much to be lamented and bewailed, that there should be such heats and divisions, and animo­sities, such anger and clamour, and evil-speaking, and I wish I could not say malice too, amongst Pro­fessors and Church-members. Is this a walk any way suteable, or becom­ing the expressions of Christ's love in dying and bleeding for us? Sure­ly no. O how contrary is this to a Gospel spirit, which is a Spirit of Love, and meekness. What, mem­bers of the same Body, and mutual Members, members one of another, and shall we not own one another, embrace one another, be cordially affected Zanch. inlo [...]. each to other? What, Members one of another, and yet carry it with that strangeness, and distance, and disaffection, as if we [Page 133]stood in no relation at all one to ano­ther? What never agree but just when we are under the lash, just under the Rod? How just is it with God to bring us into our former straits and difficulties again? that we may learn to love one another better, that there may be a greater harmony and agreement amongst us. There never was more need of such a Prayer as the Apostle put up for the Thesalonians, than now, The Lord make you to abound in love one towards another, 1 Thes. 3.12. I say, a Prayer never more needful since Christ had a Church upon Earth, than it is in this day amongst us in this Nation, where love amongst Brethren was never at a lower Ebb. Divided heads have made divided hearts. Di­vision in Judgment hath made di­vision in love and Affection, so that the love of many is waxed cold. Now the good Lord who only can make dry bones to live, revive this Affection where it is dead or dying, [Page 134]and confirm it where it yet continues, that being thus Members of Christ and Members one of another, we may fulfil that great and everlasting Commandment, that as it hath been taught from the beginning. of the World, so it is to be practised to the end of the same, yea even to Eternity, that we love one another, 1 John. 3.11. This is that we are most fre­quently exhorted to, Heb. 13.1. Let brotherly love continue. Rom. 12.9, 10. Let love be without dissimulation, be kindly affectioned one towards another with brotherly love, 1 Pet. 3.8. Finaly brethren be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, &c. 1 John 3.23. And in many other places. This is that which as it is the bond of all Christian Virtues, so it is the bond of all Christian Societys, in both which respects it is called the bond of Perfectness, Col. 3.14. A most perfect bond knitting and uniteing hearts together, which no other bond can do, and being so it is in the first [Page 135]place to be put on by all those who would joyne themselves to the Mysti­cal Body. [...], above all things, says the Apostle, put on Charity which is the bond of perfectness. This also is laid down for a mark and character of Christ's Sheep and Disciples, and laid down by Christ himself. By this shall all men know that ye are my Dis­ciples if ye love one another, John 13.35. This is that which is so highly applauded and commended in Scri­pture, Psal. 133.1. Behold how good aud pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. And where this is kept up and maintained even there the Lord commands the Blessing even life for evermore. Now by all this it appears that to walk in love is a very suteable and becoming walk, especially after this Supper of the Lord, which indeed is a Sacramental seal and token not only of our com­munion with Christ, but also of our communion with his Members, of our fellowship with the Saints, and [Page 136]of our communion and fellowship one with another. This the Apostle clearly intimates, 1 Cor. 10.16, 17. For we, says he, being many are one bread, and one body, for we are all par­takers of that one bread. This Supper as it is a bond of our union and com­munion with Christ, so it is a bond of our union and communion one with another as his Members. Therefore every time we partake of it we should be more and more, faster and faster knit in love and affection one to ano­ther. This is a confirming Ordinance, and as it is to confirm and inflame our love to Christ, so it is to confirm and inflame our love one to another.

11. After this Ordinance we are to walk more chearfully and comfort­ably. Of all persons Believers have most reason to be chearful and joyful at all times and in all conditions, in times of Adversity as well as in times of Prosperity, tho' he feeds upon Bread and Water yet he hath greater reason to rejoyce than the greatest [Page 137]Monarch in the World. I do not say a Believer always walks joyfully and chearfully, no, sometimes he walks dejectedly. Tho a child of light yet sometimes he walks in dark­ness, but yet I say a Believer hath most reason to walk joyfully and chearfully, and it is his duty so to do and hath frequent calls and exhortati­ons to it, Phil. 3.1. Finally my brethren rejoyce in the Lord, &c. Phil. 4.4. Re­joyce in the Lord always and again I say rejoyce. 1 Thes. 5.16. Rejoyce ever­more. Now a Believer hath evermore matter of rejoyceing, and reason to rejoyce, inasmuch as all that which is really matter of dejection is re­moved and taken away, viz. the guilt of Sin and the Curse of the Law, and the Wrath of God, now these are all removed and taken away by Christ who came to procure peace by the Blood of his Cross, and in whom we have Redemption thro his Blood. A Believer hath evermore matter of re­joyceing, upon the account of that [Page 138]fulness that is treasured up in Christ, in whom it pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell, Col. 1.19. Now what is there that a poor creature can desire or stand in need of in order to the making him compleatly happy and blessed but what may be found in this All-fulness of Christ. Here is wisdom for his Direction and In­struction, included in it. Here is a compleat Righteousness for his Justi­fication. Here is Grace and Holiness for his Sanctification. Righteousness to give him a Right and Title to Hea­ven, Grace and Holiness to give him a meetness and fitness for Heaven, and power and ability to bring him safe thether; upon these considerations a­mongst others a Believer hath always ground and matter of rejoyceing; And by this they are described as by their vital act, Phil. 3.3. We are the Circumcision which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoyce in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the Flesh. A Be­liever should rejoyce always, walk [Page 139]joyfully and chearfully at all times, and especially after Sacrament seasons, when he hath been renewing his Covenant with God. God a fresh making over himself and his all to the Believer, giving him a fresh sense and seal of his love and the pardon of his Sins when Christ with all his Benefits and Purchases and Merit, Christ in all his Offices, Christ in all his Grace and fulness hath been afresh made over to him. His Blood in all the virtue and efficacy of it sealed and applyed to the Believers. The new Testament with all its Promises and Priviledges and Benefits thereof, this is all ratified and confirmed in the Blood of Christ to the Believer, and assured to him in this Supper-Ordinance. They who have been entertained at this Gospel Feast who have been feeding upon the Pro­vision of God's Grace, and have received fresh Tokens and Pledges of his Love; for such to walk de­jectedly, and Mournfully, reflects [Page 140]great dishonour, and highly affronts the Master of the Feast, and great­ly disparageth the Matter of it too; it is a great undervaluing of Christ and his Blood, as if the guilt or filth of thy sin did exceed the Merit of his Blood, or was too great for his Blood to remove and cleanse. After this Ordinance we are to walk more joyfully and chearfully, rejoy­cing in the Lord, and joying in the God of our Salvation. We should go home to our Houses and Habita­tions Rejoycing; and go on our way, through this Pilgrimage, with Joy, as the Eunuch, when Baptised, did, it is said, He went on his way rejoy­cing, Acts 8.39. So should we, af­ter we have been at this Supper, go on our way, through this World Rejoycing, saying to our Souls, as David did to his, Return to thy rest O my Soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.

12. With more earnest Breathings and Longings of Soul after fresh Com­munion with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a little of the World that will satisfy a Covetous Man; nor a little Pleasure that will satisfy a Carnal Voluptuous Mind; Nor a little Honour and Preferment, that will satisfy an Ambitious Aspiring Mind. Nor is it a little of Christ that will satisfy a Gracious Renew­ed Heart. See how David thirsted after God, Psal. 63.1, 2. O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee, my Soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh long­eth for thee in a dry land where no wa­ter is, to see thy power and thy glory as I have seen thee in the Sanctuary. Da­vid had tasted of the Sweet of En­joyment and Communion with God, and this sets his Soul a longing and thirsting, and breathing after more of God, Psal. 42.1, 2. As the Hart panteth after the Water-brooks, so pant­eth my Soul after God; my Soul thirst­eth [Page 142]for the living God, when shall I come and appear before thee? The like breath­ings of soul we find after Communi­on with God, in Psal. 84.1, 10. How amiable are thy Tabernacles O Lord of Hosts, my Soul longeth, yea even faint­eth for the Courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cryeth out for the living God. For a day in thy Courts is better than a thousand: I had rather be a door­keeper in the House of my God, than to dwell in the Tents of Wickedness. Such breathings and longings of Soul after Communion with Christ should be kept up and maintained in our Souls after every time we partake of this blessed Ordinance. Have we this day sat down under the shadow of Christ, and hath his fruit been sweet and pleasant to our taste? Have we had any taste of the Grace and Full­ness of Christ at his Table? Have our Souls been filled as with mar­row and fatness, delighted and sola­ced with Communion with Christ? Have we met this day with any [Page 143]fresh assurances of the love of God in Christ to our Souls, of the pardon of our sins in the precious blood of Christ? Hath there been any fresh life, and vigour, and grace commu­nicated from Christ our everlasting head to our Souls this day? Have we been fed with hidden Manna, with the Bread and Water of Life? Have we seen any thing of the Pow­er and Glory of Christ at his own Table? O then how should we be breathing and longing after the re­turns of such seasons and opportu­nities as these are? O when will this Supper return? When shall I come and appear before thee? O that I might still be feasting my Soul up­on these dainties. Thus we should be walking with more earnest breath­ings of Soul after fresh Communion with Christ, not only in this Ordi­nance, but in all other Ordinances of Divine Worship, and not only so, but long to be for ever with him, after compleat enjoyment of him in [Page 144]Heaven above. If it be so sweet to enjoy him in Ordinances here, O what will it be, nay, How far sweeter will it be to enjoy him in Heaven, where we shall enjoy him freely, fully, famili­arly and eternally, without any in­terruption or intermission. Thus we have seen how we are to walk after this Supper Ordinance; and, that we may thus walk, it is necessary that we be strengthned with all might, according to the glorious power of God. The Devil to be sure will be opposing, with all his might, such a walk as this; and our own wicked, base, deceitful, treacherous hearts will be too ready to side and com­ply with him: Therefore, that such a walk may be kept up, and maintained, that we may walk wor­thy of the Lord, unto all pleasing, it is necessary that we be strengthned with all might, according to his glo­rious power, 1 Col. 11. Let us therefore be often dispatching a cry to Heaven for that strength and as­sistance [Page 145]whereby we may be enabled to maintain such a walk, and daily depend upon Christ for strength, in whom we have not only Righteous­ness, but strength too. That through daily Communications of Grace and Strength from him, we may be ena­bled so to live, and act, and walk, whilst we are here, that we may fi­nish our Course with joy, and, at last, an entrance, yea, an abundant en­trance, an entrance with joy and triumph, may be administred to us into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that from his Kingdom of Grace, we may be received into his Kingdom of Glory; and from the provisions of Grace we may be taken to the pro­visions of Glory, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at an E­ternal Feast, eat and drink at Christ's Table in Christ's Kingdom. Now whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the Loving-kindness of the Lord: [Page 146]They shall go from strength to strength, their Souls shall be fat and flourishing, and made to encrease with the encreases of God.

FINIS.

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