CERTAINE RVLES, To bee observed In the Administration of the Lords Supper, Offered To the Privat Consideration of those that intend to pertake of that Sacrament to their comfort.

1. IT is not lawfull for us in Gods worship to doe what wee think good in our owne eyes, but what hee doth appoint.

2. For if wee know not what hee doth appo­int, wee cannot worship him in Faith.

3. If wee worship him not in Faith, wee can not please him.

4. And if wee please him not, wee can not expect his blessing upon our performance.

5. Therefore to bee sure of a blessing in his worship, wee must come to him in Faith, worshipping him in Spirit and Truth: and to come thus to him, wee must needs know and observe what hee hath appointed to bee done in his worship.

6. Now to know and observe this in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, wee must consider Christs Practise in the Institution therof, so farre as it is imitable: and his intention in comman­ding us to imitate him therin.

7. The necessitie of considering Christs Practise and intention in this matter, doth arise from the Apostles commandemēt, who doth heerin very distinctly referre us unto Christ himself, for a warrant of that which is to bee done; Saying, that in this mat­ter, hee delivered that which hee received of the Lord. 1 Cor. 11.23. and that wee ought to follow him so farre as hee is a follower of the Lord. Ibid. v. 1.

[Page] 8. Therefore wee are bound to looke unto Christ first then to the Apostle, because finally our Faith must rest only in him; for wee are sure that in following him and fulfilling his intention wee doe nothing amisse.

9. Christs Practise then in the institution of his Supper to bee imitated was this:

I. First hee tooke bread, and by giving speciall thankes over it, hee separated it from the common to a Holy use: Then hee brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and commanded them to ear therof.

II. Secondly, hee tooke the Cup which in like manner by a speciall blessing, hee separated from the common to a Holy use, and then gave it to his disciples commanding them all to drinck of it.

III. This bread and Cup the Lord did distribute being at Table with his disciples, and speaking with them of his death and of the fruits therof. Math. 26.20, 26. Mark. 14.18, 22.10. Next to Christs Practise the Apostolicall Practise is consi­derable, which in the Primitive Church did imitate the Lord heerin: namely that all the members of the Church were toge­ther at the Lords table, where they did eat of the bread & drinck of the Cup (both beeing blessed) as they used to doe at their meales, with a table gesture. 1 Cor. 11.33. 1 Cor. 10.16, 17, 21. 1 Cor. 11.20, 21, 22.

11. Christs intention in this institution of his Supper, doth ap­peare clearly by his words, and some of his Actions, to have beene this.

I. Firsh that hee did purpose to give unto his disciples a seale of his covenant, and a representation of his death, and of the benefits therof exhibited in the new covenant to the worthy receiver. This is evident by the words of consecration which hee useth in delivering the Elemens; which words are a promise of the vertue of his body & blood exhibited unto his disciples.

II. Secondly, that hee would have his disciples to imitate in after tymes his practise in this his last Supper for a memoriall of him till his comming againe: This is cleer by the expresse words of the commandement: Doe this in Remembrance of me, Luk 22.19. & by the Apostles explication therof, 1 Cor. 11.25, 26.

[Page] III. Thirdly, that hee would have them by this his Supper not only to bee mindfull of his death till his comming, but also of his comming it self, and therin of their Happie estate with him in his Fathers Kingdome and at his table in heaven; which appeareth by the words of promise, which the Euangelists relate Christ annexed to the consecration of the Cup; namely that hee would not drinke of the fruit of the vine from that tyme foreward; un­till that daye when hee should drinke it new with them in his Fathers Kingdome, Matth. 26.29. Mark. 14.25. So then hee did make that Cup and bread wherin his body and blood was offered unto them here on earth, a pledge of the food of glory which they were to receive in heaven at the feast of the Lambs wed­ding.

IV. Fourthly and lastly, it seemeth also that Christs inten­tion at this his last Supper was, to let his Disciples know and to give them an Assurance of the Esteeme which he had de of them; namely that hee counted them no more servants, but his freinds and familiars; Ioh. 15.15, and to expresse this fully and clearly to them, hee doth not only sette them with himself at table; but hee riseth from table, and girdeth himself to serve his loving guests at his table, Joh. 13.4. till 17. Wherby hee not only doth teach them an example of humilitie one to another, but more­over through them hee maketh good to all his Faithfull servants that promise which shall be fulfilled in his Kingdome, as hee ex­presseth it in Luke 12.37. Blessed are the servants whom the Lord when hee commeth shall find watching (and consequently faithfull to him in their charges) verily I saye unto yow that hee shall gird himself and make them sitte downe to meat, and will come forth and serve them. This then Christ having done at his last Supper to his Disciples; and promised to doe to all that should bee watch­full, may bee conceived to have beene some part of his intention in the sealing of his covenant to all beleevers. See also for this Luke 22.27.

12. From all which this Conclusion as a Generall Rule is to bee gathered, namely:

That that Manner of Administration of the Lords Supper is most warrantable which commeth neerest unto this Practise of [Page]Christ: which doth expresse and represent most effectually this his whole intention; & which is fittest to accomplish most fully his commandement of celebrating the Memoriall of his death till his comming againe; and of the benefits & blessednes which the Faithfull reap both by the one and the other.

And that on the other side that manner which is furthest off from Christs practise, which doth least represent and expresse his intention, and which is least fitte to accomplish his comman­dement of celebrating the Memoriall of his death, till his com­ming againe; is least warrantable, and ought not to bee practi­sed when it can bee omitted, without the scandale of a rent in the Churches.

Now it is evident that a table gesture commeth nēerest unto Christs Practise, and doth expresse best his whole intention, and is fittest to fulfill his commandement, and that on the other side, that gesture which is furthest from a table gesture is least fitted for all these.

Therefore it followeth that a table gesture is most warranta­ble, and that which is furthest from a table gesture, is least war­rantable to bee used in the Administration of the LORDS Supper.

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