A TREATISE Concerning The Lords Supper: WITH Three Dialogues For the more full Information of the Weak, in the NATURE and USE of this SACRAMENT.


The Nineteenth Edition. With Additions.

1 Cor. 11.24

This Do in Remembrance of Me.

BOSTON in N. E. Printed by B Green, and J. Allen, for Samuel Phillips at the Brick Shop. 1700



Christian Reader,

TO get assurance of the Love of God and Eternal Life, should be thy Great Work and Busi­ness in this World, else how canst thou dye with Comfort, while thou art doubting, whether thy departing Soul shall be damned or saved? Live with God or Devils eternally? If when thou must bid farewell to all things in this World for ever, and enter into an unchan­geable, [Page] everlasting state of joy or tor­ments in another World, thou knowest not which must be thy Portion: What the [...] can all thy Friends do for thee? What Comfort can thy Riches, Honours, bring into thy Heart at such a time as this when thou hast not secured thy Eter­nal Happiness.

For this end God hath given to fallen Man his Word, whereby he might under­stand his Misery, and how he came into it; the Remedy, and how he might get out of it; by making known the conditi­ons and terms, upon which he is freely willing to receive Sinners into his love and favour, and confer upon them Gospel Priviledges here, and Eternal Glorious Life hereafter, and hath set to his Seal, for a firm conveyance of these great Eter­nal [...]lessings, upon such reasonable, free, and holy terms, as are propounded in the Gospel.

But after such Love and Grace of God to man appeared, for his Happi­ness and Comfort, how great an Ene­my is Man unto his real happiness, and well grounded comfort! One to his Hap­piness, [Page] when he will not come up to the terms of this Salvation: Another to his comfort, when he hath consented to, and accepted of the Conditions thereof, neglects the ratifying Seal of the Coven [...] of Grace: A third to both, while [...] encreaseth his sin, and false deluding comforts, by a prepostero [...] coming for the Seal, before he hath performed the conditio [...] of this Covenant.

And indeed the long absence of some Believers from, and the careless hasting of all ungodly to, the Supper of the Lord, is much to be lamented. The former being streightly charged by the Lord, to do this in Remembrance of him, yet will not▪ The Latter threatned with Damnation if they do, yet will. The former whom God hath habitually prepared for it, and it for them, and yet will not come, are in danger of be­ing cut off, because they do not, Numb. 9.13. The Latter being neither prepared for it, nor it for them, (while such) are in danger of being cut down by death, be­cause they do, 1 Cor. 11 30. The one neglect his means of their Spiritual growth; and slight the love, and forget the words of [Page] their dying Lord, as though they could thrive in Grace, while they do neglect their Spiritual Food: The other neglecting the means of their Spiritual Birth, forget the words of the Apostle, Let a man ex­amine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup: As though Food c [...]nverted into Poyson, could make a dead man alive. The one dare not omit to pray, and lead a Holy Life, and yet will not come to wash their Hearts; the other will not pray, nor lead a holy life, and yet will come to imbrue their hands in the blood of Christ. Such is the unthankfulness of some, that should, but do not; and the wickedness of some that do, but should not come unto this Gospel Feast.

Now, to prevent these two great evils, for the time to come, (as it might prove at least, I hope to some that might peruse this little Treatise) in which something is said to provoke the one to their duty, and deter the other from their sin and danger.

And because the best are too slight in their preparation for, and the weak un­skilful [Page] in, and all in some measure [...] short of living suitably to the Sacrament; something is contained herein, to excite thy slothful heart to greater seriousness and diligence in preparation before thou con [...]st, and how it should be done; something for direction, how thou shouldest behave thy self when thou art there, and the manner how particular Graces are to be acted, for the better improving of this Ordinance, and something to direct thee what thou art to do when thou comest from thence; low thou mightest know, whether thou art the better or the worse, and what thou art to do, which of either be thy case. To which are annexed three Dialogues concerning the Lords Supper, for the help of those that are the weaker sort of Christians, that do desire to partake thereof. The first be­tween a Minister and a private Christi­an, that desires to partake of the Lords Supper. The second between a weak Be­liever, that dares not come to, and a strong Believer, that dares not absent him­self from the Lords Supper. The third between one Believer that hath Assurance, and another that hath hopes, and another that is under doubtings of the love of God, and of good by the Sacrament, as [Page] they come away from the Lords Table. In all which, if thou findest any thing pro­fitable to thy Soul, and tending to promote the Work of Grace wrought in thy Heart, and thy fitness for, and to help thee in this duty, give God the Glory; but where thou findest any thing that savoureth of the weakness of the Author, do not censure, but pray for him, who is willing, according to his own Talent he hath received from the Lord, to further thee in thy way to Heaven and Eternal Life,

Tho. Doolittel.
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1 Cor. 11 23, 24 25, &c

The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread:

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, Eat, this is my body which is bro­ken for you, this do in remembrance of me.

After the same manner also he took the Cup▪ when he had supped, saying, This Cup is the New-Testament in my Blood; this do [...]e as oft as y [...] drink it, in remembrance of me, &c.

CHAP. I. Containing the Explication of the Text, and the general Conclusion handled in this Treatise.

THE Riches of the Goodness and Love of God were exceeding a­bundant towards Man in his first Creation, when God brought him out of the state of nothing, and advanced him to the excellency of the hu­mane [Page 2] Nature, capable not only of ruling his fellow-Creatures in this World, but of know­ing and conversing with his Lord Creator, who was graciously pleased to condescend to enter into Covenant with his then innocent Creature, that upon condition of his perfect obeying the Will of his Maker, (which he had then power to perform) he should con­tinue in that state of Happiness. But great were the Riches of his Mercy to Man fallen from so great happiness to so great misery in making a Covenant of Grace, establishing it in the Blood of his Son, adding his Oath, an­nexing his Seals for the confirmation of our Faith, that we should upon condition of be­lieving, be Partakers of the great and glorious Priviledges purchased by Christ, promised in the Scripture, sealed in this Sacrament; con­cerning which the Apostle spends the latter part of this Chapter, 1. In reproving the Co­rinthians for their abuse and prophanation thereof: In that some that were contentious, and some that were vicious, even when they were drunken did approach thereto; who degrading themselves below the rank of men, could not then well act their Reason, when they should have acted Faith, and Love, and other Graces. It is an hainous sin, that those that are reeling in the street should be seen kneeling at the Sacrament. 2. In reducing them to the Primitive Institution, in which there is observable,

1. The Author of this Ordinance, the Lord [Page 3] Jesus Christ, he alone hath power and Autho­rity for the appointing of Ordinances in his Church, and for the Instituting of significant Sacramental Signs. He is the King and Pro­phet of his Church, and hath not left it to his Officers at their will and pleasure to introduce any thing that is a part of holy Worship; for Christ was neither short in wisdom that he could not, nor in goodness that he would not appoint whatsoever was sufficient for the Edi­fying of his Church, and the Comfort of his People: Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle, that he should make all things according to the pat­tern shewed to him in the Mount, Heb 8.5. Exod. 25.40. And Paul delivered nothing but what he had received of the Lord.

2. The Time when this Ordinance was ap­pointed by our Lord Jesus, that same night in which he was betrayed, when he was so near unto his death, and knew all that was to be done to him, and suffered by him; whereby you might perceive the greatness of the Love of your dying Lord, that when he was so full of Sorrow, he made provision for your Com­fort; and the excellency of this Sacrament, that had its Original from Christ, when he was so near his end, that should be for the main­taining of his Peoples Spiritual Life, which was ordained by him now drawing near to death. Great and w [...]ighty things take up the thoughts of wise and serious dying Men; that sure is great and weighty which our dy­ing [Page 4] Lord ordained at such a time as this.

3. The external Elements and Signs, Bread and Wine. In Sacraments there is something seen, and something understood; something perceived by Sense, and something apprehend­ed by Faith. Sacraments are Glasses for our understanding, and Monuments for our Me­mories, that by mean and visible signs, we might perceive and call to mind sublime and invisible things. Here is Bread, even bread of Life, to fill the hungry Soul, and Wine to satisfie the thirsty, and to chear the drooping Soul.

4 The Sacramental Actions, 1. Of Christ, He took the Bread, and blessed it, and brake it: He took the Cup and blessed it; and did distribute both. 2. Of the Receivers, who are to take and eat, to take and drink; Christ is the Giver, Christ is the Gift: And what Christ in love doth give, Believers with joy and thankfulness should receive.

5. The Explication of this Mystery. This is my Body: This Cup is the New-Testament in my Blood: The Bread was not turned into Christs real Body; nor the Wine into his Blood: For, did the Disciples eat Christs real Body, when he was with them at the Table? or did they drink his real Blood, which then was in his Veins, and in his Body, and not in the Cup? Or did they not then see that Christs real Body and Blood was really distinct from the Bread and Wine? And did they not see it was real Bread, and taste it was real Bread, [Page 5] and handle it as real Bread? Or is now Christ's glorious Body subject to Corruption, as is the Bread that is in the Sacrament, and when it is received? Or can a finite Body be in Heaven and upon Earth, in so many places at once, as the Sacrament might be admini­stred in at the same time? Or do Drunkards and Swearers, Hypocrites and Unbelievers, really eat and drink Christ's real Body and Blood? The meaning is, this is a sign of my Body, and a sign of my Blood, the Commu­nion of both. As Circumcision is said to be the Covenant, so the Bread is Christs Body; Gen 17.10. This is my Covenant which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee: Every man Child among you shall be Cir­cumcised: But yet Circumcision was not the Covenant, but a Sign and Seal thereof, Rom. 4 11. And he (that is, Abraham) received the Sign of Circumcision, a Seal of the Righteous­ness of the Faith which he had being yet uncircum­cised—So the Cup in the Sacrament is said to be the New-Testament or Covenant, but it is not the very Covenant, but the Sign and Seal thereof.

6. The Application of this unto its proper Subject; Christ declaring who they be that this and the things signified do belong unto, Which is broken for you, it is according to the mind of Christ, that Believers in the Lords Supper should make particular application of himself, and of the fruits of his Death and Suf­ferings to themselves: a Believer may take [Page 6] the Bread, and say, The Lord Jesus dyed for me; and the Wine, and say, Christ Jesus shed his Blood for me.

7 A plain Injunction given to Believers to celebrate this Ordinance: Do this.

8. The Frequency of attending upon God [...]t his Table: As oft as ye do this.

9. The End for which we should approach unto the Table of the Lord: Do this in re­membrance of me: Whenever we celebrate the Lords Supper, we commemorate the Lords Death.

10. The Time, how long this Ordinance must be used in the Church, Till the Lord shall come. The Lord will come, and till then this Sacra­ment must continue; but when he comes to take us to himself into his glorious Kingdom, we shall need this and other▪ Ordinances no more: When the end is attained, the means shall cease; but as the Sacraments of the Old Testament did continue till Christs first co­ming in the flesh; so the Sacraments of the New-Testament shall continue till Christ's second coming in Glory.

11. A serious Admonition of the Apostle, that those that come to this Ordinance, be care­ful how they eat of this Bread, and drink of this Cup, ver. 27. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this Bread, and drink this Cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Unworthy receiving is a great ag­gravation of their sin and guilt, who shall presume in their heart so to do.

[Page 7]12. A suitable Direction to a right use of this Ordinance, to prevent that great wicked­ness and crying sin of being guilty of Christ [...] Body and Blood, ver. 28. But let a man exa­mine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup.

13. The dreadfulness of the Punishment that they be in danger of, that come unworthily; and this is either Temporal, ver 30. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep, that is, are dead; or Eternal, with­out Repentance, ver. 29. For he that eateth & drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh Damna­tion to himself; which Word is used to signifie as well Eternal Damnation as Temporal Judgments; and if any Man be damned for un­worthy receiving, it will be great Damnation.

14. One Cause or Reason specified why some do eat and drink unworthily, ver. 29. Not dis­cerning the Lords Body, not distinguishing be­twixt this and common Bread. Thus you have the parts contained in the Verses in this Chap­ter, that concern the Institution of the Lords Supper, and of the Apostles Doctrine, in or­der to a right receiving of the same.

In this little Treatise▪ I shall not endeavour to take in the whole Doctrine of the Sacra­ment, because many learned and holy men (whose Shoes I am not worthy to un [...]ye) have written concerning the Nature, Ʋse, and Ends thereof, the Qualifications of the Persons that have an immediate right thereto, the Gra­ces that are to be exercised therein, which are [Page 8] to be drawn forth into act, by se [...]ing the Sa­cramental Representations, by considering the Sacramental Actions of the Minister that stands in Christs stead, in taking, breaking and distri­buting; of the Receivers in taking, eating, drinking; all which are signs of something spiritual, not discerned by unworthy Receiv­ers; by believing and applying of Sacramen­tal Pr [...]mises. [This is my Body which is broken for you.] But what I shall speak, shall be com­prized in some following Conclusions, for the preventing of these following evils.

1. Some that are truly gracious, do live long in the neglect of this heart-warming affe­ction-inflaming, grace-strengthning Ordinance. Some that have no right to it, will not be ex­cluded from it, but count that Minister their greatest Enemy that would willingly prevent their being guilty of the Blood of the Lord. Others whom God calls and hath prepared it for, will not be prevailed with to come unto it.

2. Some that though they do approach un­to it, yet it is but very seldom.

3. Some that do come, and that often, are too careless and remiss, that they do not endea­vour to prepare themselves, as a work of that weight and consequence doth require; and herein some of Gods own people are blame worthy.

4 Some while they be actually engaged in this du [...]y, do not rightly consider the Blood of Christ therein, nor act their Graces there­upon.

[Page 9]5. Some that are partakers of the Lord: Supper, do not enquire after participation, what benefit they have received thereby. In opposition unto which evil, I shall lay down these Conclusions bottomed upon some parti­cular passages in this Chapter.

1. Conclusion.

That it is a necessary Duty incumbent upon all Adult Believers, to partake of the Lords Sup­per, ver. 24. Do this in remembrance of me.

2. Conclusion.

That it is the Duty of Christ's Disciples often to partake of the Lords Supper. Ver. 25. This do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance [...]: Vers. 26. For as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do shew the Lords death till he come.

3. Conclusion.

That whensoever ye are to partake of the Lords Supper, you are to be painful and serious in making preparation for it. Ver. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup.

4. Conclusion.

That a Believer should eye the Blood of Christ in the Lords Supper, in the several properties, vertue and efficacy of it, ti [...] suitable Graces there­by are drawn forth into act and lively exercise. Ver. 24. This is my Body which is broken for you, this do in remembrance of me. Ver. 25. — This Cup is the New-Testament in my Blood; This do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

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5. Conclusion.

That such as are partakers of the Lords Supper should enquire after participation, what benefit they have received thereby: Whether they be the better or the worse by receiving. Ver. 1 [...]. Now in this that I declare unto you, I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but the worse. I begin with the first.

CHAP. II. Containing the first Conclusion, and Explica­tion thereof.

1. IT is a necessary Duty incumbent upon Adult Believers to partake of the Lords Supper. 1. Necessary, as it is opposed to Arbitrary: It is not left to the pleasure of the people of God, that if they will they may; if they will not, they may refuse; but as it is their priviledge that they may, so it is their duty, that they must receive it. We may, and we must pray; we may, and we must hear: so we may, and we must receive. Yet it is my Observation, that the same Christians that are much trou­bled if they omit praying, and hearing, and reading the Word of God, and their Consci­ence doth accuse them for the neglect of these, yet have for a long season absented themselves from the Table of the Lord, and seldom put the neglect thereof amongst their Confessions [Page 11] of sin, as if it were not a sin of Omission and made them not guilty before the Lord,

2. I say, it is a necessary Duty; not necessa­ry to the Being and Essence of a Christian, for that is supposed: for Conversion must go be­fore participation of this Holy Ordinance, which is not appointed of God to beget, but to encrease Grace: and Grace must be in Truth, before it can receive its growth by an Ordinance. Dead M [...]n must not sit down at the Table of the Living God; Here Men come to Christ, and Faith is the foot of the Soul; here men must receive Christ, and Faith is the hand of the Soul; here men must fea [...] up­on Christ, and Faith is the Mouth of the Soul; it would be more seemly to set a dead Man at our Table, than that a Man dead in Sin should sit down at the Table of the Lord▪ It is Childrens Bread, and must not be given unto Dogs; But there is a degree of necessity of this Ordinance for the more comfortable being of a Christian: You must then bring some Grace with you, and come hither for more; you must bring some Faith, and Love, and Hope, and come hither to have more degrees of all these: Growth supp [...]seth Life.

3. I say, it is necessary, but not absolutely to salvation; because where there is Faith in Christ, Love to God, and real implacable hatred unto Sin, there is at least an Objective certainty of Salvation, and may be a Subjective c [...]rtainty without it, though not so usual, nor so full and constant, if it be wi [...]fully neglected, where op­portunity [Page 12] of receiving it is afforded; for the wilful neglect of this duty doth administer just ground of jealousie, whether our obedience be true, because not universal unto all Gods Commands, and therefore not universal, be­cause it extends not unto this▪ Lo this in Re­membrance of me. A Believer without this Sacrament may be sure of Heaven, especially where opportunity of participation is denyed: but a Believer that may receive it, and yet lives in the neglect of it, will not be so fully, well groundedly, comfortably sure that he is sure of Heaven.

4. I say necessary, being so by Gods Com­mand; what God enjoyns is not arbitrary to u [...], nor indifferent whether we will do it or no.

5. I say, it is a duty of Believers, that are adult, and have the use of reason; so it is not incumbent upon Infants and distracted Per­sons, because they are not capable of the con­dition and antecedent duty unto this, viz Self-examination. A diligent strict examination. 1. Of our State, whether in Christ or no. 2. Of our Sins, both of heart and life. 3. Of our Wants 4 Of our Graces, of Repentance for sin, Faith in Christ, Love to God, Obedi­ence, and a firm and holy purpose of walking with God, must precede the participation of this Ordinance, and therefore such persons as may have grace in the habit, and in no measure capable of Self-examination (as may be the case of some Infants & distracted Persons) lie not under an obligation to celebrate this Ordi­nance [Page 13] So much for the explication of this Conclusion.

CHAP. III. Shewing that Christs Disciples must receive the Lords Supper.

THat it is the necessary duty of Believers to par­take of the Lords Supper, I prove:

First, There is the same parity of Reason that Believers under the Gospel should receive the Lords Supper, as the Israelites under the Law should eat the Lords passeover: This was their duty, as is prescribed, Exod. 12. where is the First Institution, the manner how, the end for which. And the command for it is again renewed, Numb. 9 1, 2, 3. And if a man were unclean that he could not keep it the first Month, yet he must the second: yea, God was much provoked by the Neglect of the Pass­over, Numb. 9.13. But the Man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the Passover, even the same shall be cut off from his People, because he brought not the offering of the Lord in his appointed season: that man shall bear his sin. Here you see was Guilt con­tracted, and punishment severe to be inflicted, upon the Person that should neglect to eat the Lords Passover.

And there is as great reason for Believers to [Page 14] eat the Lords Supper, as appears by the agree­ment betwixt them in these particulars:

First, in the Author and efficient Cause; God appointed both.

Secondly, In the Matter principally signified in both, and that is Christ, and the same bene­fits and priviledges held forth, and conveyed to Believers in both, as remission of Sin, Justi­fication, & spiritual Nourishment and Growth in Grace.

Thirdly, In the End, to commemorate the mercy and goodness, of God in the deliverance of his People from Captivity of Sin, and Bon­dage of the Devil.

Fourthly, In the Instrument of receiving & applying the thing signified by both, and that is Faith▪

Fifthly, In the Parts; in both, something [...] sign, and something signified.

Sixthly, In the Properties of the Paschal Lamb, which are in Christ our Passover.

1. That was to be without blemish; so was Christ, Isa. 53 9. 1 Pet 1.19 & 2.22 Heb 7.26.

2. That must be a Male; so Christ for Sex and Strength a mighty Saviour, Jer. 31.32

3. That must be of a year old, in a perfect age; Christ about thirty four years, in the prime of his age.

4 That must be taken out of the flock. Christ must be taken from among mankind, that was partaker of Flesh and Blood, Deut. 18.18 Heb 2.11.

5. That must be separated from the flock; [Page 15] Christ was separated from Sinners, Heb. 7.26.

6 That rost with fire; Christ with the heat of Gods wrath.

7 That must be eaten; Christ must be re­ceived by Faith.

That must be eaten,

1. By every Family; Christ to be received by every Person.

2. With unleavened bread; Christ and this Sacrament is to be received in sincerity and truth, 1 Cor. 5 7, 8.

3 With bitter Herbs; Christ and this Or­dinance, with bitter Repentings.

4. Wholly, all of it must be eaten, whole Christ must be received in all his Offices, Pro­phet, Priest, and King, Christ as the Paschal Lamb must be received with all his appurte­nances

5. In hast; Christ must be received pre­sently, without delay.

Seventhly, In the Subject that must eat there­of, they were Israelites, and those that were Circumcised. Those that should partake of this Ordinance ought to be Israelites indeed; and Circumcised in their hearts, if they would have benefit thereby. Thus you see the great agreement betwixt those two Ordinances: And were the Jews bound to observe that, and not Believers under the Gospel engaged unto this; Nay, I may argue, that there is a greater reason why we should be more for­ward to this duty, in as much, wherein they differ, this is more excellent. As,

[Page 16]1. In the manner of their signification, the Passeover signified Christ that was to come; the Lords Supper, Christ already come.

2. In the Duration. The passeover was to continue till the coming of Christ in the Flesh: The Lords Supper till he come again in Glo­ry, in the end of the World.

3 In the perspicuity and clearness: In the former, Christs death was signified more darkly, in the latter more plainly.

Now I beseech you, see what the Passeover was to the Jews, and consider that that the Lords Supper is to us, and there will appear the same parity of reason for our receiving of this, as for the Jews eating of that.

Secondly, It is the plain Injunction of our dying Lord, that we should do this in remem­brance of him; Why do you pray? One rea­son you will give is, because God Commands it: And if you pray because God commands you, you must then do every thing that God commands you, and so this: Is it not strictly commanded? Read Luk 22.19 The whole is commanded. This do in remembrance of me, Mat. 26.26, 27. The particular Acts are commanded, Take, Eat, Drink, & will you say you will not? Will that become a Disci­ple of Christ? You say not, you will not, but you know you do not, and that is as bad.

Thirdly, Christ did ordain it for this very end, that believers should have a remem­brance of him in the partaking of this Ordi­nance: We are apt to forget the Works of [Page 17] God, Psal. 106.13. Too apt to forget the benefits we received from God, Psal. 103.2. But which is most to be wondred at, we are too prone to forget God our Saviour, to for­get him that delivered us from the curse of the Law, by being made a Curse for us: From the wrath of God, by bearing it himself; from the sting of death, by dying for us, Psal. 106.21. They forgat God their Saviour: Oh, what memories have we! that can remember our Relations, our Worldly Affairs, and forget that God that made us, and Christ that did redeem us: Now Christ would live in our thoughts and memory, and to heal and help the slippe­riness thereof, hath instituted this Ordinance, which you cannot partake of aright, but you must remember him

Or will you say you remember Christ without this? That you have no ne [...]d to use this Ordinance for that end? Why then, tell Christ so, if you dare; What is this but to correct the wisdom of your Lord by your own folly? but I tell you, you cannot so well remember Christ without this Ordinance as you may, by a careful frequent attendance upon God in it; for it is not a speculative, historical remembrance that he did bleed and dye: for so the Devils thems [...]lves remember Christs death: Not as a Scholar may remem­ber his notions; but the remembrance that Christ would have in your [...]houghts, is,

1 An Aff [...]ctionate Remembrance, that the sight of your eye shou [...]d affect your heart: [Page 18] That you should so remember him, as to love him, and desire him, and delight in him.

2. A Sorrowful Remembrance ▪ that you should remember him so, that your heart should break, and your eyes should weep: when you remember your sin was the Judas that be­trayed him, your sins were the Spears that pierced his blessed side, and let out the blood from his Holy Heart: That were the Thorn [...] that Crowned him, and the Nails, that fastned him to the Cross. When David would sor­row for his sins, he penneth a Psalm, which he intitles a Psalm to bring to remembrance, Psal. 38. And when you would have your heart to sorrow afresh for your Pride and Unbelief▪ and other sins, go to the Sacrament; which is a Sacrament to bring to remembrance; there remember the dignity and Innocency of the Sufferer, the greatness of his Sufferings. 1 From God. 2 From Men. 3. From Devils; the causes of his sufferings, your own wicked do­ings, and this will help you to a sorrowful remembrance of your sins.

3. A joyful and thankful Remembrance; you must look upon your sin, and be troubled that you have done that which put Christ to death, and you must here look upon Christ, and rejoyce that by his death he hath taken a­way the sins that you had done against God▪

4 A fiducial Remembrance; that you may so remember Christ, as to trust in him, and rely upon him, and cast the care of your Souls upon him.

[Page 19]5 A silencing Remembrance; that you may so rem [...]mber Christ, as to silence all the Cla­mours of an accusing devil, and an accusing C [...]nscience, and every one that would lay a­ny thing unto your Charge: When you re­member Christs death, it will furnish you with suitable supplies to all Charges laid unto you. The Devil will accuse you of sins before and since Conversion, and you cannot deny them; but you may remember Christs death, & say, it is true, I did so, but Christ hath born mine iniquiti [...]s in his Body upon the Cross: what now, O mine Enemy! he will tell you of your si [...]s of om [...]ssion, of commission, and you can­not [...]eny them; but you may reply, Christ hath undergone the punishment that was due to me for them; what now, Oh mine Enemy: the Law of God will accuse and curse you for the breaches thereof that you have made, and you cannot deny them; but here you may re­member Christ, and say, that he ha [...]h perfect­ly obeyed the Law, and satisfied for your bre [...]king of the Law, and may be comforted: Your own Conscience will accuse you, but here you may remember Christ's Death, and Conscience is answered, and [...]ightly quieted: Thus the remembrance of Christ's death will answer all charges, Rom 8.33, 34 And will you neglect it?

6 A Sin- [...]athing remembrance; you will not only mourn for sin, but loath it too; when you do this in remembrance of Christ, you will abhor the Knife that killed your Fa­ther, [Page 20] and the Sin that killed your Lord; when you remember him and it. Now you cannot have such a remembrance of Christ as this, so well without the Lords Supper, as with it: except you will unadvisedly and wickedly charge Christ with a superfluous Institution of a needless means that hath no tendency in it to beget such a remembrance of him in your thoughts; and whom will you delight to re­member, if not your Lord? Who shall live in your thoughts, if not your Saviour and Re­deemer? And how will you thus remember him, if you do neglect the means appointed by him for the attaining of this end?

Shall Christ himself bespeak you to do this in remembrance of him, saying▪ Do this in remembrance of me.

First, That came down from Heaven to Earth, for your sake, that left the Bosom and the Glory of my Father, to be cloathed in the rags of Humanity for your sake, and will you not do it?

Secondly, Shall he say, Do this in remem­brance of me, that led a life of suffering, from the Manger in which I lay, to the Cross on which I hung, and will you not do it?

Thirdly, Shall he say, Do this in remem­brance of me, that underwent a shameful, painful, cursed death for your sake, and will you no [...] do it?

Fourthly, Shall he say, Do this in remem­brance of me, that was buried and rose again for your sake, and will you yet neglect it?

[Page 21]Fifthly, Shall he say Do this in remembrance of me, that go from Earth to H [...]ven again, to prepare a place for you in glo [...], and take poss [...]ssion of Heavenly Mansions for you, and will you yet absent your self from it?

Sixthly, Shall he say, Do this in remem­brance of me, that am going to the right hand of God to intercede for you, to plead your cause with the Father, and will you yet turn your back upon it?

Seventhly, Shall he say, Do this in remem­brance of me, who will come again at the last day, & openly absolve you before Angels, M [...]n and Devils; and will you yet slight it?

Eighthly, Shall he say, Do this in remem­brance of me, with whom you shall for ever be, with whom you shall for ever live, a holy, happy, bless [...]d life, and will you yet be indif­ferent whether you do it or no? Nay, be backward to it? Oh seriously weigh these things, and then say, Though you have not done it all this whi [...]e, yet now you will.

Fourthly, You are bound to use all means for [...]he encrease of your grace, for the enfla­ming of your love, the strengthning of your Faith, and the renewing of your repentance, and the subduing of your sin, and you sin if you do not: You cannot neglect it, but you encrease your guilt; and would it not be better for you to go in a right manner, and have the pardon of your sin sealed to you, & your gui [...]t removed from you, than by a con­stant neglect contract more guilt upon your [Page 22] Soul? are you not b [...]und to grow in grace? Or have you enough alread [...]? Do you not want mor [...] m [...]asures and degrees of Faith, & Love and Hope? And can you neglect the means of growth, and yet grow? Can you neglect your food, and yet b [...] nour [...]sh [...]d? Or do you not sin, if you do not grow? And do you not sin, if you do neglect the means of growth, think of this.

CHAP. IV. Containing twelve Questions to those Belie­vers that neglect the Lords Supper.

LET me proceed to shew you the aggrava­tions of your long neglect of the Lords Supper: I pray you therefore tell me,

Quest. 1. Is not this to live in the neglect of a plain commanded duty? You see it proved to be your duty, and is it nothing to you to live in a known sin? Nay, and to plead for it too? As you do for not coming to this Ordinance, it may be it is because you doubt of your sincerity, and might not this increase your doubts, when you are parti­al in your Obedience to Gods Commands?

Qu [...]st 2. Is not this great Hypocrisie to com­plain of the hardness of your Hearts, and yet will [...] use the means to have it s [...]ned? To com­p [...]n of the Power of your sins, and yet will not bring them to the Cr [...]ss of Christ to have them [Page 23] mortified and subdued? Is not this great diss [...]mu­lation, to run to Ministers with Complaints in your Mouth, and Tears in your Eyes, because of the prevalency of Cor [...]up [...]ion, and yet will not use the means for the further conquering of them? If it be not so, why then do you complain? If it be so why then will you not diligently and conscienti­ousl [...] use the means, that it might be better with you? Oh come, bring your hard Heart unto the Blood of Christ, and see if it will not soften it; bring your strong corruptions to this Blood, and see if it will not weaken them?

Quest. 3 Is not this to set light by a special Token of the love of your dying Lord? The nearer Christ was unto his death, the more lively were the discoveries of his love unto your S [...]ul & will you take no more notice of it? Methinks Christ when he was to die, speaketh thus unto his people, You are they whom I have loved; you are they for whom I will do and die; you are they whom I will always think upon, and in whose Thoughts I love to live; and because the hour of my death is come, and I must go away from you, therefore I will leave you a Memorial of my Death and Love, that as oft as you see it, you may remember me; when you behold it, then think of me: And was Christ mindful of your good and comfort in that very night in which he was betrayed; and will you thus neglect and distesteem it? If your most dear and special Friend upon his death bed had bequeathed you some token of his love, and said, When you behold this, then think on me when I am dead and gone, [Page 24] would you throw it by, and never view it? Do not the Expressions of your dying Friends make a deeper, and a more large impression upon your hea [...]t, and thoughts? And shal [...] not the words and intreaties, and commands of your dying Lord?

Q [...]t 4. Is not this to disesteem a firm Con­veyance and Assurance of all the Gospel B [...]essings and benefits purchased by the Death of Christ? Is not this Ordinance Gods bread Seal, to confi [...]m unto your Soul the great and everlasting B [...]ssings of the Covenant of Grace? Would you be con­tented with the Writings for your Lands and H [...]uses, without a Seal? or wou [...]d you not d [...]sire a Sealing day, and be glad when it comes, that you may be the surer, and your Title made more clear? And are not the pardon of your sins, and your Title to the Kingdom of God greater things? And the assurance of these more, infinitely more desirable? Or do you doubt you have them not, & yet will not come to have your Evidences to be cleared? This Sacrament it is Signum reme­morativum, to bring to your remembrance the Passion of your Lord, where he would testifie to your Conscience, and assure you that he died for you: It is Signum demonstrativum, a Demon­stration [...]f his Love, where he would assure you that he loves you: It is Signum prognosticum, or prenuntiativum, a Prognostick of your future and eternal Happiness, where he would assure you that you shall undoubted [...]y be Partaker of it, and w [...]ll you yet neglect it?

Quest. 5 Is no [...] this too great a sign of the littleness of your Love unto him? Did you [Page 25] love him, would you not desire to be there where he is wont to take his walk? Did you love him, would you not desire to eat and drink at his Table, yea, to feast upon him? And to be there where you may find him, and where he manifests himself unto them that love him? Did you hunger after him, and thirst for him, would you not desire to be there, where you may be filled and satisfied?

Quest. 6 Is not this too great a sign of your slighting Communion with him? That you do not set so high a price and valuation of fellowship with him? Or do you complain that you have it not, and yet will not come where you may have it?

Quest 7. Is not this too great a sign that you set little by the comforts of the Spirit, and the warming joys of the Holy Ghost? Is it not here that God hath shed abroad his love into the hearts of true believers, and sent them away with their hearts full of joy, and their mouths of praises? Or do you complain you have no comfort, and that you are a stranger to spiritual joy, and will not come where you may not only have a taste, but drink full draughts of the Well of Consolation.

Quest 8 Is it not this to grieve the Spirit of God, and to make him more angry and displeased with you, and to withdraw himself further from your Soul? Can God take it kindly at your hands, when he hath killed the fatted Calf, and made ready his Marriage Supper, and sent his Servants forth to call you [Page 26] and invite you, and you turn your back upon it? Do you not provoke him to leave your hearts to great deadness, and let you go sorrowing to your Grave, and never let you taste of the sweetness of these comforts till you get to Heaven? Or how can you complain that God d [...]parte [...]h from you, when you will not come near unto him; that he withdrawe [...]h from your Soul, when you withdraw from your duty?

Quest 9 Is it not too great a sign that when you did receive i [...], you tasted not of the sweetness of i [...]? and that you missed of the comfort and the ben [...]fit of it, that you have since so long neg [...]cted it? Do you think you have not cause to repent of your former receiving, when he did not leave an earnest longing in your Soul to come again? Was it possible for you to meet with God, and taste the sweetness of the fulness of Christ, and not desire and long for the like opportunity again? Had you experimentally found the reachings forth of your love to God, and desires after him, and have tasted the sweetness of such actings of love and joy, could you have abstained so long?

Quest 10. Is it not all one to you, if there had been no such O [...]dinance appoint­ed? What is it to you, if you receive it not? I [...] it be a Sacrament to others, yet it is not to you: If it be a Seal to others, yet it is not unto you that live in the neg­lect [Page 27] of it. The Lamb was not the passeo­ver, but the Lamb killed and roast, and eat­en, was the Passeover. Nay, let me tell you, it had been better for you if Christ had not ordained it at all; for you could then but have been without the benefit of it, and so [...] are now, while you do neglect it: But th [...]n you would have been without that sin and guilt that now you contract by forbearing of it?

Quest. 11. Is it not great unthankfulness in you thus to live in the neglect of it? Can you be thankful unto Christ for adding Seals unto his Covenant, while you omit it? Have so many Souls unfeignedly blessed God for this Institution, and will you be guilty of so great Ingratitude?

Quest 12. Do you know what it is that you have lost by neglecting of it? And might it not have been better with you in your Spiritu­al condi [...]ion, if you had frequently attended upon God therein? If there be any thing in Law and Gospel to awake you fi [...]st, and com­fort you afterwards, this O [...]dinance would have done it. Here you might have seen the deserts of sin, and the evil of trangressing the Law of God, to rouze you out of your Spi­ritual Security: Here you might have had the Cordials of the Gospel to have comforted and revived your swooning Souls under the Af­frightments and Terrors of the Law; if there be any thing in the wrath and Love of God to work upon your heart, here you might have seen lively Discoveries of both: O [...] Gods [Page 28] Wrath against sin in the Death of Christ, of God's Love towards the Sinner in the Death of Christ: On! You cannot tell what you have lost by omitting of it, what Grace you have lost, what Comforts and Joy you have lost, that others have found, in the frequen [...] and conscientious use of this ever to be prized Ordinance.

CHAP. V. Containing some Doubts of weak Christian [...] that hinder them from receiving the Lords Supper, with a Resolution of those Doubts.

Doubt. BƲT you say, you question your right unto the Lords Supper, because you fear you are yet in a natural Condition; & this is Childrens Bread; it is Bread of Life, and belongeth only unto them that are living Christi [...]ans, that have indeed the Life of Grace.

Sol. 1 Either this is so indeed, or it is not▪ and let it be what it will, you do undoubtedly sin; if you be not fit, that is your sin; if you be in your natural condition, that is your sin, as well as your misery; and one sin will never excuse you from another; if it be so, why do you not forthwith look out after Christ, and be fitted for it, and then come?

2 But do you not proceed upon a great [Page 29] mistake? For I hope better things of you, and things that accompany Salvation; there­fore I beseech you in the Fear of God, after true debate and search into your own Soul, answer me these Questions.

First, Do you not see your self utterly lost and undone? Do you not see your misery out of Christ?

Secondly, are you not sensible of the sins [...]hat brought you into this miserable Conditi­on? Is it not the burden your Soul groans [...]nder, and would willingly, heartily willing­ly be eased of it, as ever sick man was of his sickness, or Prisoner of his chains? Doth it not [...]rieve you, that your [...] have been commit­ted? and if they were to do again, by the Grace of God you would not do them?

Thirdly, Do you conscientiously practise whatever you have been convinced is your Duty, and dare not omit it when you know it? Do you give your self to Prayer and Me­ditation, and other du [...]ies? And yet do you see the emptiness and the insufficiency of them to justifie you in the sight of God? that as you dare not omit them, so you dare not rest in them, or rely upon them▪ because you see your Prayers have need of Pardon, and your Tears have need of being washed in the Blood of Christ? That you do go out of your self, and seek for Salvation in another. And therefore,

Fourthly, Do you not unfeignedly desire after Christ, and hunger and thirst for him [Page 30] and his Righteousness? Are you not willing [...] to accept of him upon any terms, upon [...] own conditions, for your Lord and Saviour [...] are you not willing that he should sancti [...] as well as save you? And bring you to obe [...]dience as well as unto glory? Doth not yo [...] judgment value him above all? And yo [...] will chuse him before all? And are not yo [...] affections of love, and desire, and joy set up [...]on him? If you doub [...] whether you lo [...] him, yet tell me whether you would lo [...] him? If you would, you do. If you doubt wh [...]ther you have received him, yet tell me wh [...]ther you are willing, unfeignedly willing [...] take him upon his own terms, and choose [...] for your treasure, and your happiness, an [...] your chiefest joy? If you are willing thus [...] receive him, you have received him, and so yo [...] are habitually prepared for this Ordinan [...] and ought not to continue in the neglect of [...]

Doubt. You say upon serious search, you fi [...] you are willing upon any terms to accept [...] Christ, you would have him to be your Lord [...] Saviour, you are willing to be his, to be ruled [...] him, to be made like to him, to have communi [...] with him, but you fear Christ is not willing; [...] believe he is able to help and save you, and [...] give you grace and glory, but whether he be willin [...] you do not know

Sol. 1. That you should be willing, and [...] Christ, is impossible: For as much as your wil [...]lingness to accept of Christ, is a fruit of Christ's willingness to give and bestow [...] himself upo [...] [Page 31] you: I pray you tell me, Is real and unfeign­ed willingness to be holy, to be like to God, to be in all things guided and directed by the Spirit, and the Word of God, a flower that grows in Natures Garden? Is not the will of [...] the great rebel against God, and the great opposer of the work of Grace▪ Is it not the complaint of Christ against natural men that they will not come to him, though there­by they may have Life? John 5 40 How [...] would I have gathered you, and you would me? Mat. 23.37 You must therefore know, when the will is subdued, the greatest enemy in your Soul against Christ and Grace is sub­dued; and indeed when the will is wrought upon to choose Christ, to be willing to re­ceive him, the work of saving Conversion is wrought in that Soul.

2. Do you say you are willing and Christ is not? That is your intollerable pride so to think and speak It is usual [...]ith many dejected Souls, that complain of their own unworthi­ness, and vileness, and sins, that loath and ab­hor themselves for their sins, in the great work of humiliation, that yet have this insufferable pride remaining in them, that they are willing but Christ is not. Indeed! have you such good thoughts of your self, and such low, and mean, and hard thoughts of Christ? Is it not Pride enough in you, to have better thoughts of your self, than of other of your fellow Christians, but must you have higher thoughts of your self, than of your Saviour: or do [Page 32] you say you are worse than others, and yet in this advance your self above God and Jesus Christ? It may be you never perceiv­ed so much pride to be at the bottom [...] such conceptions and expressions; that you are willing, but God is not willing, but Christ is not willing. Oh proud Creature▪ proud Sinner! proud Mourner! is not thi [...] to have too high and proud thoughts of your self, to think you are more willing to receive good than God is to give it? To be good, than God is to make you so? Is it possible that a Sinner that by nature is a bitter Enemy to Goodness and Holiness, should be more willing to be made good and holy, than God that is by nature good and holy, and a Lover of it, should be to make men so? Oh, fall upon your Knee [...], and let those Tears that you shed in la­menting your sad Condition, that God is not willing to be y [...], when you are wil­ling to be his, be better spent in weeping for the Pride of your Heart, in thinking you are willing to receive Grace & Christ, and he not willing to bestow himself and it upon you.

3. If this might be, that a Soul may be unfeignedly willing to accept of Christ upon his own terms, and yet perish, then at the last day some might plead and ap­peal to God: Lord, I was willing to be ho­ly, but thou wast not willing to make me ho­ly: I was willing to receive thee upon thine [Page 33] own terms, but thou wouldest not give thy self unto me, no, not upon thine own terms; and I am not damned because I was not willing to be truly sanctified and renewed, but because Christ would reject me willing to come to him. But there shall not be a man that shall dare to o­pen his mouth in this manner unto Christ at the last day.

4. But this will be manifest, that Christ i [...] more willing than you, in that he did die more willingly for you, than you [...]an for him; He did die more willingly to make you holy, than you can for holiness sake, or for his sake, when you are made holy; hath he died for you, to purchase Holiness, and Grace, and Glory for you, and yet will you think that you are willing, and not Christ? Nay, Christ was more willing to die for you, than you are to live to him, and was he not yet willing? when you think Christ is not willing, think upon the Sorrows, the [...] Sufferings he en­dured in his Body, [...] [...]oul, how he sweat as it were great drops of Blood; nay, bled and died for you, and then say no more you are willing, but Christ is not.

Doubt But you will reply▪ If Christ died for me. I should not doubt but he is willing to give himself, and his Grace, and his Kingd [...]m to me, but that is my fear, in that I am not satisfi­ed; and therefore I cannot in the Sacrament Commemor [...] his Death, because I cannot see he died for me.

Sol. 1. If you be one of Christs people, [Page 34] then he died for you; he died to save his people from their sins, Mat. 1.21. And you are one of his people, i [...] you are made willing in the day of his Power, Psal. 110.3. Thy people shal [...] be willing in the day of thy Power: Are you therefore willing to forsake every known sin? Willing to perform every known Duty? Willing to bear every burden he shall lay upon you? Willing to be what he would have you be? Then you are one of his people, and you may be sure he died for you in particular.

2 If you are one of Christ's Friends, then he died for you, and you are his Friend, if you make conscience of doing whatsoever he commands you, and are grieved where you do come short, Job 15, 13, 14.

3. If you are dead to sin: you cannot be mortified to sin, if Christ had not been crucifi­ed for you. Sin had never been dead in you, if Christ had not [...] you, Gal. 6.14.

4. If you live [...] [...]rist, Christ died for you: if it be your care to walk in his ways, to do his will, and make him your end, and his glory your aim in all your actions, or in the general scope of your life, Gal. 2.20. 1 Pet. 2.24. 2 Cor. 5 15.

[Page 35]

CHAP. VI. The Second Conclusion, shewing that Believ­ers must often receive the Lords Supper.

THat it is the duty of the Disciples of Christ, often to partake of the Lords Supper.

Baptism is but once to be administred, but the Lords Supper is often to be received; the frequency of it is not determined, often it must be, how often is not expressed; if you had opportunity every Lords Day, and you re­deemed and improved it, your Soul may thrive and grow the more in grace and holi­ness: Meals which are for nourishment must be often; you often eat, and you often drink for the nourishment of Nature, and yet it is not told you how often you must eat, how often you must drink, but the sense and feeling of the want of your [...]ood, will direct you un­to this: So if you have but a sense and feel­ing of the want of this Ordinance, and the things that are there conferred upon Believers, that would guide to a frequent iteration of this Ordinance. Consider therefore,

Do you not often stand in need of being washed in the Blood of Christ? Do you not often defile your self, and gather filth upon your Soul▪ And should you not often apply your self to the Fountain of the cleansing Blood of Jesus Christ?

[Page 36]Secondly, Do you not often blot your E­vidences, and disturb your peace? and have you not need of the frequent use of that Ordi­nance, wherein God might renew your evi­dence and speak peace unto your Conscience? Do you often contract guilt, and should you not often come to have your pardon sealed and confirmed to your Soul in the blood of Christ?

Thirdly, Do you not often need the means of spiritual warmth and quicknings? Are you not often dull, and often dead, and often luke­warm? and do not those that are often sick, often need their Phisick to purge and make them well? If you are sometime warmed in an Ordinance, do not your affections abate again? That you have not that liveliness of affections, nor that reviving joy, which in the actual performance of the duty you did find? and is it needful to exhort you that have found the benefit of this Ordinance, to go of­ten to it? Let the Experience of what you have found in it, and the want you do lie un­der by seldom approaching unto it, quicken your desires after a frequent attendance upon God in it.

Fourthly, Do you not often need so great an help for the breaking and so [...]tning of your heart, for the renewing of your repentance for sin, and strengthning and confirming of your resolutions against it? Is not your heart too apt to fall in love with sin, and to renew its League with sin? Do you not often need to [Page 37] be put in remembrance of Gods displeasure against it, his hatred that he bears unto it, & the dreadful effects and deserts thereof, and is not this done more livelily in the Lords Sup­per? Gods displeasure against sin is more dis­covered in the Death of Christ, than in turn­ing the Angels out of Heaven, or Adam out of Paradise; or in the Destruction of the Old World, or in the burning of Sodom, or in the Damnation of innumerable unbelieving and impenitent Persons.

Fifthly, Do you not often need so great an help for the increasing of your Love to God and Christ? Do you often complain that you love God no more, and will you not more often use this so great a means for the encrea­sing of your Love?

Sixthly, Do you not often need so great an help for the strengthning of your Faith and Hope, that you may be more able to make a particular application of Christ and his bene­fits to your Soul, and to have a more lively Hope of the Kingdom of Heaven?

Seventhly, Do you not often need so great an help to put you in remembrance of your Lord Jesus? Are you not too apt to forget him and his Love in dying for you? Is he so much in your Thoughts as he doth deserve? Or is it enough to have some Occasional Thoughts of Christ? Or should you not more solemnly dwell in your Meditations up­on him? And doth not the Nature and the end of this Ordinance lead and help you to [Page 38] fix your thoughts more permanently upon him, when you see how he was crucified and died for you?

Eighthly, Do you not often need so great an help to make you more thankful for the matchless Love wherewith he hath loved you, and the unparallel'd B [...]essings he hath purcha­sed for you, and conferred upon you? Is it not a shame and sin, you are no more in praising God, and rejoycing in him for such priviledges that were procured b [...] the blood of his only Son, and your dearest Lord? And can you sit at the Table and not have your Souls raised in the highest Admiration of his Love and Mercy to you?

Ninthly, Do you not often need so great an help for the getting and maintaining of more intimate Communion with God, and fellow­ship with Jesus Christ? Is it not here, that God doth abundantly let forth himself into his peoples Hearts? Is it not here, that Believers feel the goings forth of their Hearts in Love unto him, and Desires after him, and Delight and Joy in him? Do you complain you have so little of God, and will not more often go where you may receive more influences from him.

Tenthly, Do you not more often need so great an help for the closer knitting of your Heart unto the people of God in greater af­fection and love unto them? Do you love them as you should? Or is there not too great an alienation of your heart and Affecti­on [Page 39] from them? Or doth not this Ordinance which shews you the Love of Christ to all his People incite them that attend upon it, to imi­tate the Lord Jesus in loving of them? That we should love one another as he hath loved us: When we see we are one Bread, and re­deemed by one Lord, and fed at one Table, and are washed in the same Blood, and enjoy the same Priviledges, and are here assured of the same Inheritance and Glory; doth it not engage us to be of one Heart, and to be kindly affe­ctionate to one another, as Christ was to us all? Though it is to be bewai [...]ed with Tears of Blood, that this Ordinance which should have cemented us in love, and sodered our hearts together, though our corruption hath been the occasion, not the cause of great brea­ches and divisions in the Church of God.

Thus if you seriously consider your own frequent wants, and often reflect upon your often need of this Ordinance, you will see suffi­cient reason for your often participation of so frequently needful an Ordinance

CHAP. VII. Third Conclusion, proving we are to give great diligence to prepare our selves for the receiving of the Lords Supper.

THat whensoever you are to partake of the Lords Supper, you are to be painful & serious in ma­king preparation for it.

[Page 40]This preparation must be for these reasons, which you may lay to your heart, and find them to be quickning motives to stir you up thereto.

First, From the preparation they were wont to make [...] the Passeover under the Law, 2 Chron. 30.3. They could not keep it at that time, because the Priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently: They did for a while defer it till they had made more preparation for it: And after their diligence to prepare, they prayed for the pardon of their imperfect preparation, 2 Chron 30.18, 19▪ The good Lord pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his Fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the Sanctuary: If any man were unclean, he was to stay another Month, and then eat it, Numb. 9.10, 11.

That they prepared for the Passeover, ap­pears by,

1. The Actions they did before the Passe­over.

2. The Discourse they had with their Chil­dren before the Passeover.

3. The Time they took up before the Passeover.

First, From the Actions before.

First, Before they did eat the Passeover, they were to cleanse their Houshold [...]stuff, their Vessels and U [...]ensils from all leavened Bread, that none might be found in them, no [...] cleave unto them.

[Page 41]The Parallel is, Before we eat the Lords Supper, we must cleanse our hearts and lives from all known sin, that we allow our selves in no known wickedness, that we do not drive a trade of sin, nor be drudges to the Devil, nor Factors for Hell; we may come with many sins bewailed, striving against, and groaning un­der them, but not with one sin allowed and ap­proved of.

Secondly, Then they made a stricter search after any bit of leavened Bread, by lighting a Candle, and looking into every little Corner and Chink in the House, the Night before the Passeover.

The Parallel of this is, a Closer searching of our hearts, by lighting the Candle of Con­science at the Fire of Gods Word, and look­ing into every Room and Corner of our Hearts, lest there should be any sin lurking in our Souls, and remaining undiscovered: We should enquire after the sins in our understand­ing, Will, and Affections, what is amiss in our Love, Delight, Joy, &c.

Thirdly, Then having sound the Reliques and Fragments of leavened Bread, they cast it out: That they would not only not use it, but not have it in their sight, that they may not set their Eyes upon it, nor look towards it, or would burn it till it were consumed.

The parallel of this is, The casting away of our sins, when by diligent search we have found it ou [...]. We must not find our sin, to indulge it, but to forsake and kill it: Not to [Page 42] have our Hearts to hanker after our sin, when we come to the Lords Table.

Fourthly, They had a Form of Words for the cursing of that leavened Bread, which they could not find out, viz. All the Leaven that i [...] in my power, whether seen by me, or not seen, cleansed by me, or not cleansed; let it be nothing, let it be esteemed as nothing; as the dust of the Earth, let it be scattered and destroyed.

The Parallel of this is, The disowning of every sin, seen or not seen, after this manner, Lord, if there be any sin in me, which after all my searching of my Heart, I have not found out, let it be accursed, let it be as nothing, as the dust of the Earth; if there be any sin in me, which i [...] not dealt severely with, it is not because I love it, but because I could not find it.

Secondly, From the Discourse they had be­fore they came, appears they did prepare for it. This was betwixt the Father and hi [...] Children.

First, The Children inquired, What is th [...] meaning of this Service; Then the Parents answered, It is the Lords Passeover, who passed over the houses of the Children of Israel in E­gypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and deli­vered our Houses, Exod 12.26, 27.

The Parallel of this is, That Christians should discourse together, or speak unto them­selves in holy Soliloquy, viz. What is the meaning, O my Soul, of this Service, of this Love of Christ in appointing this holy Ordi­nance? What doth it bring to thy remem­brance, [Page 43] O my Soul? And here you have Oc­casion of expatiating the whole method of God in exalting the freeness of his Grace in Mans Redemption. Oh, what meant my dearest Lord in shedding of his blood, and ordaining this for the commemoration of it! Surely it was, O my Soul, to deliver thee from misery, to make thee Partaker of his Grace and Love▪ and to Seal it to thee, and make thee to rejoyce in the remembrance of it.

Secondly, The Children ask, Why do we eat it with bitter Herbs? The Parents answered, Because the Egyptians made the Life of our Fa­thers bitter in Egypt, that they may be stirred up to greater thankfulness unto God.

The Parallel of this is, That we should re­flect upon our sins, which made our lives bit­ter while we lived in them, and that now we should taste more bitterness in our sins, than ever we found sweetness, pleasure and delight therein.

Thirdly, Why do we eat it with unleavened bread? The Parents were to answer, Because the Dough of our Fathers had not time to be leavened.

The Parallel of this is, That we must make haste to Christ, and eat this New-Testament Passeover with the unleavened Bread of since­rity and truth: That we must not delay to come out of spiritual-Egypt, nor go to Christ in hypocrisie, but in truth.

Thirdly, From the time there was betwixt the taking, and the killing of the Paschal [Page 44] Lamb; the Lamb was taken the tenth day, and killed the fourteenth day of the month, Exod, 12.3. ad 7. And it is received as a Tradition among the Jews, that for the dura­tion of those four days, the Lamb was tied to their Bed-posts, that in the Evening when they went to bed, and in the Morning when they arose, and in the day-time when they were private in their Chambers; the sight of the Lamb might affect their hearts, and put them in mind of the work they were to do, and be­think themselves of the greatness of Gods Mer­cy towards them, in delivering them from E­gyptian Bondage.

The Parallel of this is, That believers, be­fore the Lords Supper, should take [...] compe­tent measure of time to bethink themselves of the Love of God in delivering them from Sin and Hell, infinitely worse than Egyptian Bon­dage, and prepare themselves to commemorate the Death of Christ, and be partakers of the great Blessing that at the Lords Table true Believers have conferred upon them.

It is not sufficient to spend an hour the night before, or in the morning you are to approach unto it, but some day before to have it in your thoughts, that you may consider the greatness of the work you are to go about.

This Example of the Jews is cogent unto us, forasmuch as the Lords Supper is not in­feriour to the Passeover.

1. Neither in the Institution of it; the Passe­over was by Gods Ordination, and so is the [Page 45] Lords▪ Supper, but God appointed that by Moses: But this was by Christ himself in his own person.

2. Nor in the signification of it: That to put them in remembrance of their deliverance from Aegypt, and Typically from Hell: This puts us in remembrance of the love of Christ, in bringing us from misery, and freeing us from torments infinitely worse than Aegyptian slavery.

3. Nor in the use and end of it, this being a seal of the Covenant of Grace, to convey to Believers an assurance of the blessings of the Covenant of promise.

4 Nor in the manner of its signification: That a sign of Christ that was to come and suffer; this, that Christ is come, and hath al­ready suffered.

This is my first Argument why, and Mo­tive that we should approach to the Lords Supper, after painful and serious preparation: No Preparation, no participation. It is not then putting on our finer Cloaths on a Sacra­ment day, but the Trimming of our hearts, that God expecteth at our hands.

The Second Argument for preparation for the Sacrament, is taken from the Author of it, which is God: The more he that doth invite you to his Table is your Superiour, the more you prepare your selves to go to sit down thereat, more than if he be your Inferiour, or your equal. God is infin [...]ely your Superi­our: Consider what this God is that pre­pares [Page 46] this Banquet for you, and prepare for it.

1. He is a great and a mighty God, a God of inconceivable Majesty, and transcendent Glory, whose perfection is infinitely above the most raised apprehensions of Angels & Men: and would you go unto the Table of a great King with filthy hands, and in your rags? And would you go to the Table of the great King of Heaven and Earth with a filthy heart, and in your sins?

2. He is a pure and an holy God: Indeed every thing here is holy, the Signs are holy Signs, the things signified are holy things, the Ends of the Institution are holy ends, and the Author of it is the holy God; and shall our hearts only be unholy? the very externals & utensils about it, are and should be clean; the Cups are clean, the Cloth is clean, else you would be offended, and should not your Heart be clean? If not, would not your God be offended?

3. The Author of this Ordinanc [...] is a God of infinite Jealousie, and he is most jealous in the matters of his Worship. In the Second Command, which sets forth the manner of Gods [...]Worship, he makes himself known by this Attribute, That he is a jealous God; and if his Jealousie should be kindled against you at his Table, it would be uncomfortable, it will be terrible to you.

4. The Author of this Ordinance is an [Page 47] Omniscient God, and cannot be deceived; if there be but one among a thousand that re­ceiveth unworthily, his eye will be upon him; he knows his Name, and sees where he sits, God knows the frame of your heart, he knows your end why you are there, and what your diligence was before you came; then come prepared.

The third Argument for diligent preparati­on is taken from the matter of this Sacrament: The more excellent and noble any thing is, the more hainous is the abuse thereof. If a Servant brake and spoil some earthen Pitchers, his Master may more easily pass it by, but if he take his Jewels, and his precious Pearls, and cast them in the kennel, and bury them in the dunghil, he will be more difficultly pacified. If a man shall deal unjustly with a­nother, it will be displeasing unto God; but if he shall deal unworthily with his Son, he will be provoked: If you should abuse your common Bread and Drink, which God daily gives you for your ordinary repast and nou­rishment, you commit a Soul-damning Sin; but if you prophane these spiritual dainties, without repentance, your damnation will be aggravated.

Here you have to do with blood, and then if ever, you should be serious; but most of all when it is the Blood of God. Consider before you go, that you have to do with the Blood of Christ, and let that quicken you to preparation.

[Page 48]The fourth Argument for diligent prepa­ration is from the subject that is to be par­taker of it; as we may be considered in a twofold state or capacity.

  • What we were.
  • What we are.

First, Every Man is born unfit for the Lords Table: We were Enemies to God, and therefore except we will come in our enmi­ty to God, we m [...]st prepare and fit our selves, by being reconciled unto God: We are born spiritually dead, and it would not be so loathsome a sight to us to have a dead Corps full of plague sores set down at our Table, as a man dead in Sin to sit down at Gods Table, is loathsome unto God: Where there is no Life, there is no Appetite; and where there is no Appetite, there is no actual preparation to this duty.

Secondly, Such as are truly converted, may yet be indisposed for this duty; therefore there must be preparation. It is not every one that hath true grace, is presently to be judg­ed actually fit for this Ordinance: As a man that is asleep, is a living, real man, but yet [...]e it not fit to eat, and drink, and converse with men; so a man may have Faith, and Love, and Hope, and yet not be fit for this duty, if his Faith be asleep, and Love and Hope be asleep: For a man that is a worthy Receiver; might re­ceive unworthily; my meaning is, That one that is habitually prepared by having the [Page 49] truth of grace [...] receive amiss, by being not actually pre [...]ed by the drawing forth of his graces into act and exercise; and how much time must be spent in fervent prayer, in holy meditation, and other duties, before you can feel the actings of Faith and Love, Desire and Delight in God, before you can bring your heart to be broken for your sin, &c.

Fifth Argument for Preparation, is taken from the Consequents which will be answerable to our preparation, or neglect thereof, which will be either bad or good For though God doth not bestow the great things in the Sacra­ment for our preparation, yet he will not give them without our preparation.

First, The consequents of coming unprepa­red will be very dreadful.

1. Such do fearfully increase their guilt, in a very high degree, in making themselves guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ, though not as an Actor in his death, yet virtually as an Abetter and Consenter; for an unworthy Receiv­er, is a Christ murderer, as he that defaceth the Kings Picture, doth reflect upon his Per­son. He that dares rush upon the Sacrament with reigning-sin in his heart, would be a Ju­das unto Christ, if he were personally upon Earth; and had Judas his opportunity, temp­tations and other circumstances, he would wash his hands in the blood of Christ: that comes, but not to have his heart washed in the Sacrament, 1 Cor. 11.27. And will you [Page 50] so come, to have your sin increased, instead of having of it pardoned?

O what a crying Sin is Blood guiltiness, tho' it be but the blood of a common man: But what will it be to be guilty of the Blood of the Son of God! Did not the Blood of Abel cry against Cain for vengeance? Oh what a voice and cry will there be then in the Blood of Christ! and will you have the Blood of Christ cry against you, instead of pleading for you? Nay, you will sin more than many of the Jews, that did actually crucifie him, for many of them did it ignorantly; for had they known him, they could not have crucified the Lord of Glory, 1 Cor. 2.8. But you know and acknowledge him to be such, and yet will be guilty of his Blood; they did it in his state of humiliation, but you do it in his state of Exaltation. It would have been better for Judas if he had not been born, and it would be better for you if you never had received.

2. Such draw down great Judgments upon themselves; and no wonder if great guilt and great sin be followed with great Judgments; for God will proportion mens sufferings to their sinnings. He that cometh without the Wedding Garment on his Soul, shall go away with a Curse upon his Head and Heart.


(1.) Such deserve eternal torments, and the damnation of Hell, 1 Cor. 11.29 He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drink­eth damnation to himself: Not to another that [Page 51] partaketh with him. Eateth Damnation! Oh what a dreadful Morsel is damnation! whence you see the reason why the Devil puts on ma­ny Drunkards to be so eager after this Sacra­ment, it is that they may drink their own damnation, there is Death to them in this Cup. The word [...] as well as [...] is ren­dred damnation in other places, John 3.17. 2 Thes. 2▪ 12. Yea, this might be the case of a Child of God, that he may deserve damnati­on, though not be (through repentance) actually damned. Damnation is the desert of this sin, though not the portion of the sinner that is brought to repentance for his sin God may send an Hypocrite from his Table unto Torment. The same Red Sea that was Sal­vation to the Israelites, was death and destru­ction to the Egyptians. Eateth Damnation! Oh what a dreadful word is this Damnation! And that when a man comes to be Partaker of a Saviour▪ Take heed what you do when you receive: Damnation is not a business to be jested with, nor the Sacrament a work to be trifled at. Adam did eat his own death, & so may you your own Damnation.

(2.) Such provoke God to inflict upon them oftentimes heavy and dreadful punishments in this life: So that though God will not send a Be­liever to Hell for this his sin, yet he might send him to his Grave for this sin, 1 Cor. 11.30 For this cause many are sickly among you, and many weak, and many are fallen asleep. It is thought that God sent a Plague among the [Page 52] Corinthians for prophaning the Lords Supper. It is not usual with people in their sickness to reflect upon their unworthy receiving as the Cause thereof: They say, such a time I did o­ver heat my self, and caught cold, & so my sick­ness came: But not, I went to the Lords Ta­ble in my sin, or without actual preparation, and so my sickness came: If unworthy Re­ceivers had no love unto their Souls, yet for the love they bear unto their Bodies, they should be perswaded to forbear till they were prepared. If Damnation and Hell being out of sight will not affright them, yet Death and the Grave, that is a nearer Object methinks should. Oh how careful should we be to prepare for that which else might be death to our bodies, and damnation to our Souls?

(3) Such Provoke God to take away this Or­dinance from them. Gods own People by a­busing of this priviledge, might forfeit the op­portunity of approaching unto it: As a Fa­ther, when he seeth his Children abuse their food, may call his Servants to take away, and set it up, till they shall prize it more, and use it better.

Secondly, The good Consequents are very great if you rightly receive it, with due prepa­ration and care; and is not that your end in coming to it, that you may be better for it? He that aimeth not at this spiritual advantage in subordination to, and conjunction with the Glory of God, comes he knows not why▪ And to come for this, without prepartion, is [Page 53] to separate betwixt the end and the mean [...] ▪ Consider,

1. Such as come in a right manner, shall receive more from God when they come: The time of preparation is your sowing times: When you should sow in tears, and the time of receiving is your reaping time; and he that prepares negligently, shall reap sparing­ly: he that prepares diligently, shall reap a­bundantly. For,

1. Such shall receive more grace from God, they shall come away with more love to God, with m [...]re desires after God, with more faith in Christ, and hatred to their sins.

2 Such shall receive more comfort, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. If you sorroW and weep before you go, you shall come a­way with your heart full of joy, and your mouth of praises. When you have been for­mal and lukewarm in your preparation, your heart hath been dull and dead in, and after your receiving; but when lively and diligent, God hath spoken peace unto your Consci­ence, and assured you of the pardon of your sins, and sent you from his Table to your own, with a joyful heart, and with a chearful countenance.

3. Such shall be more acceptable and wel­come unto God: What you have done aright, he will graciously accept; and wherein you failed, he will freely pardon? then the Father will bid you welcome, and the Son will bid you welcome, and the Holy Ghost will bid you [Page 54] welcome, when you have been weeping any mourning in secret for your sin, whereby you have crucified the Lord of Life; when you have been begging at the Throne of Grace▪ Lord give me a spiritual Appetite after th [...] Heavenly food: Lord give me power again [...] my pride, and passion, and earthly mindedness; after you have been searching into every cor­ner of your heart, that you may find out e­very Achan in your Soul, God will say, Yonder is a Soul that hath taken pains with himself in secret, and hath cryed unto me for a gracious ac­ceptance of his person and performances, & no [...] he shall find that he is welcome; for I will sen [...] forth my Spirit, and comfort him, I will giv [...] him my Grace, and quicken him, I will give him my Son, and satisfie him Oh it will be swe [...] to have God to smile upon you at his Table [...] But to have him frown when you are there will be uncomfortable; and to have hi [...] withdraw, will make your du [...]y to be unprof [...]table: Could you take delight at a Man Table, if he frown upon you for every Mor­sel that you eat? and will it not be worse when you take the Bread, then to have God to frown? And when you take the Cup, then to have God to frown, and say, Friend, how came you in hither amongst my Children, when you have not on the Wedding-garment? or if you have Grace, you have not endea­voured by painful preparation, to have it drawn forth into act and ex [...]rcise.

Sixth Argument; God makes great prepara­tions [Page 55] for us in this Ordinance, therefore we should make great preparations when we come to partake of it; and shall not we be preparing to receive, what God is preparing to give? Doth the Great God make prepara­tions to entertain poor Sinners at his Table, and shall we come rashly and carelesly to it? Matth. 22 4. Tell them that are bidden, Be­hold I have prepared my dinner, my Oxen and my Fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Oh what delightful words are these! Oh that they were delighting to my Soul! Oh how refreshing are these things prepared! and how [...] is the invitation of God to us to come and be partakers of them! Justice might have prepared Torments for us, but behold, Mer­cy hath prepared precious Priviledges for us! Oh what great things were to be done, that this Supper might be prepared for us. The Son of God must come down from Heaven to Earth, and become the Son of Man; he must suffer and bleed, and dye, and have his gar­ments dyed in blood, that this Ordinance might be prepared for Believers. Besdes, here are great things prepared to be given to such as do prepare to come rightly to it; here is pardon of sin prepared for you; here is peace and comfort prepared for you; here is further encrease of Grace prepared for you: But where are your preparations to receive them? Here is merit ready to justifie you: Here is blood ready to wash and sanctifie you; here is righ­teousness ready to be imputed to you: But is [Page 56] your faith ready to receive them? Is your love ready to be acted towards this Go [...] that hath made them ready for you? [...] your heart ready to give thanks and praises to this God that will bestow these things up­on you? Or will you give occasion to your God to complain of you, and say, I am rea­dy to give increase of Grace to yonder Be­liever, but he is not ready to receive it; he hath not enlarged the capacity of his Soul, by getting greater hungrings & thirst­ings after it: I am ready to give in peace and comfort, when his Soul wants both peace and comfort, but yet he is not ready to partake thereof.

But if you come in your sins, great an [...] terrible things are prepared for you; a hea [...]vy charge is drawn up against you, tha [...] you do abuse the blood of Christ; that yo [...] crucifie the Lord afresh: And Conscience i [...] ready to accuse you, the Law and Gospe [...] ready to condemn you, Satan ready to sei [...] upon you, and Death and Judgment ready to invade you, and Hell ready to tormen [...] you, and this is dreadful.

Seventh Argument, God looketh for great entertainment in our hearts, and at our hands, and therefore we should prepare for him: God welcomes you unto his Table, and you must welcome God into your heart; and both require preparation. When you expect some Noble Man to come into your house, what preparations do you make for [Page 57] him? Your house is cleansed, your best furniture brought forth, and all your Ser­vants ready to attend him▪ When you come unto a Sacrament, the great God is to come into your heart, therefore set open the everlasting gates of your Soul, that the King of Glory may enter in: And let eve­ry room in your heart be washed and cleansed, and hung with the Tapstery, and Embroidery of the Spirit, and let all the Faculties of your Soul and the Graces in your heart, be ready to attend him. Let Love receive him, let Faith eye him, and your Soul have Converse and Communion [...]ith him.

Eighth Argument, The many Duties that here in order are to be performed, and the many Graces that are here to be exercised, call for dili­gent preparation. If you were to perform a­ny of those duties singly, which you are here to do joyntly, it is your duty to prepare for each of them. Here sometimes you are to pray to him: Here sometime you are to be imployed in pra [...]sing of him: Here sometime you are to hear from him: And here some­time you are to meditate upon him, and upon the great work of Mans Red [...]mption: and will you not prepare for all these Duties which are so hard and difficult rightly to be done? Here your heart is to be broken, and to be bound up: Here your Soul is to have a mix­ture of affection of joy, and sorrow; Sorrow that you sinned; and by your sins and [...]ing [Page 58] all this sorrow, & sufferings upon your Lord: Joy, that your Lord would die and suffer for your sins; here you are to love him, and to hate your sins; here you are to receive him, and apply him, and all his priviledges to your Soul. And do not such great things as these require your greatest preparations?

CHAP. VIII. Containing several Questions to excite us to greater diligence in preparation.

BUT because your hearts are too apt to do the greatest work with slightness, and where there should be the greatest care and diligence? I shall further add a few considera­tions to your mind, where with you would do well to urge your heart whenever you are to go unto this Ordinance: In the fear of God I beseech you answer these following demands.

Quest. 1. What if you were to dye this day, what preparation would you have made then? The same you are to make when you are to receive the Lords Supper.

Two things especially concern a man to get before he dyes, and look what degrees of ne­cessity there is of both for a ma [...]s Death, the same proportion of nec [...]ssity there is of both for the Lords Supper▪

[Page 59]1. It doth concern a man before he dye, to get the truth of Grace, that he have real Love to GOD, Faith in Christ, Peace with God thro' Christ, and without this a man cannot dye happily: This is as necessary for a man that is to come to the Lords▪ Supper, that he love God, that he do indeed believe and hate his sins, or else he cannot receive worthily: Wo be to that man that goes down to his Grave before he be converted; and wo be to that man that comes to the Sacrament before he be born again.

2. It concerns a man before he dye, to get some evidences of his grace, and this is necessary to his more comfortable dying: a man may have grace, and so be delivered from the hurt of death; but if he have not some evidences of this Grace, he will lye under the fears of death. So a man, before he goes to the Lords Ta­ble, should endeavour to get the knowledge, sight and evidence of his interest in Christ, & this is necessary to his more comfortable recei­ving; without which, though he may receive worthily, yet not without some fears; I fear Christ did not dye for me, I fear this blood was not shed for me, I fear I do not love God; and so will be deprived of those joyes and comforts which would come in by a particular applicati­on of Christ to himself; i [...] he can conclude, Here is blood, & it was shed for me; Here is righ­teousness, and it is imputed unto me: I think a man that is not fit to dye, is not [...]it to receive: A Man should sit down at the Lords Table [Page 60] with as great care as he would lye down in his Grave; and be as serious for his Soul at this Ordinance as he would upon his dying Bed: You should go to the Lords Table, as care­fully as if you were going into another World.

But do you so? Tell me, if you had been to dye this day you come so receive, would you not have prayed more than you have done? Would you not have shed more tears for your sins? would not more of your groans and sighs have pierced the Heavens, and reached the ears of God? Would you not have searched your heart more narrowly? and passed sentence upon your self more im­partially? And been humbled more deeply? Would you not have said, if I be mistaken a­bout the truth of Grace, now I am to dye, I am lost for ever? And will you not say, if I be mistaken about the truth of Grace, now I am to sit down at the Lords Table, without my serious Repentance, I am undone for e­ver? And instead of having the pardon of my sin sealed to my Soul, by my unworthy going, I bind the guilt of all my former sins upon my Soul, as if the other were not bur­then great enough. I have added this to all the rest, in making my self guilty of the blood of Christ.

But that you may receive with the same, seriousness as if you were to dye, ask your self th [...]se three Questions.

1. What sin would most disturb the peace of my Conscience, if I were to dye to day? And [Page 61] mourn most for that sin at the Lords Table: What is the Sin that would make you most afraid to die, and be a trouble to your depart­ing Soul? Would it be your Pride or Passion, or your inordinate loving of the world? Would it be your neglect of secret duty, or your careless performance of it, that you pray­ed no more frequently, no more ferven [...]ly▪ Would it be that you forgot the Lord so long, and neglected your precious Soul so long, that you have done no more for God, that you have lived no more unto him? That so much of your precious time is gone, and so little of your necessary work is done? Let that cause trouble to your heart, and fetch ears from your eyes, when you are at the Lords Table.

2. What Mercy is it you would beg from God if now you were dying? O beg that mercy when you are receiving; if you were dying, would you ask for Riches, or for Honours, or the great things of this World? alas, these would not fit you for your death; or would it be the truth of grace, the favour of God, assurance of his love, an interest in Christ, in his Promises, in his Priviledges, and an evidence of your title to his Kingdom? Would you not then wish, O that God would pardon me, and tell me he hath pardoned me! Oh that he would now be mine, and own me for his own! would not these be your desires if you were to dye?

Desire the same when you are to receive [Page 62] the Supper of your Lord. Will you go thi­ther with desires after riches, and temporal enjoyments? or with desires that others would think well of you, and esteem you as a Chri­stian, though you care not to be so? These things will not fit you for receiving no more than for dying: If you were to dye, would you desire to be thought godly, rather than be so indeed? What if one should think you dye with grace in your heart, and you do not? and what if others should think you re­ceive with grace in your heart, and do not; neither of these would do you real good: beg then the same things when you receive, as you would if you were to die.

3. What mercy is there you would especially bless God for, if you were to dye? Give thanks to God for that mercy when you do receive: If you were to die, would you chiefly bless God for making of you rich and great in the world? or for making of you truly good and holy towards God? would you not upon a dying Bed bless God for Christ, for the par­don of your sins, and for the hopes you have of an eternal blessed life? give thanks to God for these, with as great reality at the Lords Table, as if you were going to the Bar of God from a dying Bed.

Quest. 2. What if Christ were personally pre­sent, and were to administer the Sacrament to you with his own hands, what preparation would you make then? If Christ your Lord and Ma­ster were now upon the Earth, and were to [Page 63] sit with you at the Table, what care would you have used to have got your heart into an holy frame? If Christ had been with you in your Closet, when you were upon your knees, would you not have prayed more earnestly, and wept more abundantly than you did? If Christ had been with you the night before, & seen you look more into your Shop-Book, than into the Book of God, and the Book of your Heart, and seen you turn over the leaves of your Books of Account, and not the Vo­lume of your life; and been with you when you were more busie in cleansing of your House, than of your Heart? would you not have blushed to look him in the face at his Table? Why, Christ as God, was really with you, when you were preparing of your heart, and took special notice of your diligence, or remisness in that work. He is with you in the morning before you go, he observes what time you rise, what time you spend, what pains you take in order to this duty: And though they be poor, mortal, sinful men, that do admini­ster this Ordinance to you in Christs Name and stead, yet he requires you should be as se­rious as if he himself were visibly present; for as he is God, he is really present: And will you not reverence and dread Christ as God, as much as you would Christ as Man? The Ma­ster of the Feast doth surely come and view his Guests, and if there were one Hypocrite among a thousand Receivers, he would know him by name, and fix his eye upon him, and [Page 64] say, Friend, What make you here amongst my people, when you have not that love to me as they have, nor take that pains to prepare your self as they have done? Mark 22.11, 12, 13. He did say, this is the Judas that will betray me; and he will say, This is the man that profanes my Table; this is the woman that abuses my Blood: Think of this when you are to come unto this duty, and this dignity, to be a Guest at this Table of the Lord.

Quest. 3. VVhat if you should see God strike every unworthy Receiver down dead in the place with the bread in his mouth, or with the Cup in his hand, what preparation would you make then? Or if God should inflict some painful and tormenting disease upon every one that comes amiss, how careful would you be then? if God should say [...]o Death, as Absalom did to his Servants concerning Amnon, 1 Sam. 13 28. Absa [...]om commanded his Servants, saying, mar [...] ye n [...]w when Amnons heart is merry with Wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon, then kill him, fear not, have not I commanded you? What if God should say to Death, when such a man is receiving the Sacramental Wine, and I say unto thee, Smite him, then kill him; fear not, I have commanded thee! If God should deal with you as he did with the Israel­ites, in Psal. 78.30, 31. While the Meat was in their Mouths, the wrath of God came upon them, and s [...]ew the fattest of them. It would surely be a dreadful sight to se [...] an unworthy Receiver go down to his Grave, and to Hell [Page 65] with the Sacrament in his mouth: Or what if God should do as it is exprest in another case, Job 20.23. When he is about to fill his Belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating. How would you come then? Or what if you should fall down at the Ministers feet, as An [...] ­nias and Saphira at the Apostles feet, if you should dare to come unworthily, what care would you take then?

You do not know but God may do so, and to venture upon a Tryal here, is dange­rous. Unworthy Receiving hath been the death, as well as the damnation of many [...]ha [...] [...]o come. Therefore beware.

Quest. 4. What if men could look into your heart, and observe the frame and temper of your soul, what preparations would you make then? If it should be known to the Minister, and to all [...]he Receivers, what time you spent in secret, in praying and self examination, would you not spend more time than now you do? Else many would have a less esteem of your Piety than now they have. If an Holy Man (un­known to you) had stood at your Closet door and overheard you pray so lukewarmly as you did, would you not have blushed that he should have seen you at the Sacrament? And all this is known to God; and should not the eye and knowledge of God affect you more, than if all the Men in the world could know and see your heart? He sees your principle and end more exactly than men could do, [Page 66] if your breast were all of transparent glass.

Quest. 5. What if this were the last opportu­nity you should ever have to be at Gods Table, what preparation would you make then? If you were to do that which is of so great concern­ment, which you must never do more; If God from Heaven should call to you the night before, and say, Now look well to the frame of your heart, that you go with care, and eat in Faith, and come away with profit, for you shall never receive more; would you then be so slight as now you are? Why, how do you know you shall? Are you not Mor­tal; And have you not seen some at one time at a Sacrament that were dead and in their Graves, and their Souls in Heaven or in He [...] before the next? Hath God given you a Leas [...] of your life? Or hath he told you when you have one opportunity, that he will give to you another? Come then every time as you would do if you were sure it were your last, as you are not sure but it may be indeed your last.

Quest. 6 What if you were to go from the Sacramental board to Gods Bar, from his Table to his Tribunal, what preparation would you make then? If God should from Heaven tell you, The same day you do receive, the same day I will judge you, the same day I will require an ac­count of you, how you came, and why you came, and whether you did eat in faith, and drink in faith, and do all as one that did be­lieve a Judgment, and a life to come; why this may be your case, and thus God might [Page 67] deal with you, and how if he should, after you have come unpreparedly?

Quest. 7. What if you had been then present under the Cross of Christ, when he was crucified, and seen his Wounds, and heard his dying groans, and were then to come to commemorate this Death of Christ, what preparation would you have made then? What if you had seen your Lord swea­ting drops of Blood in a cold season, and seen the Thorns upon his head, the Spear thrust into his side, that you might have a window to look into his heart, to see how he hath lov­ed you, and seen the Nails in his hands and feet; and were, after such a sight as this, to come unto this Table, with what aff [...]ction would you then come? Why, all this is really represented to you in this Ordinance, and should be as certainly believed, as if you had with your eyes beheld it done. What affecti­ons do some discover in beholding the executi­on of a common Malefactor? And shall not we before-hand endeavour to raise our affect­ions when we are to come to see the Cruci­fixion of our dearest Lord?

Quest. 8. What if one that hath been damn­ed for unworthy receiving, should come unto thee from the place of Torment, and tell thee he hath found it a provoking sin, and that which makes damnation more intollerable, to eat unworthily at the Table of the Lord, what preparation wouldst thou make then? It is no breach of Charity to conceive, or to conclude, that some that have been at the Lords Table, are now in Hell, [Page 68] and shall be there for ever: for if drunkards, swearers, or hypocrites shall come unto this Ordinance, that shall not save them, dying such. Christ himself that at the terrible day of his coming shall judge these men for abusing of his Blood, hath told us before-hand, than ma­ny such shall be cast into everlasting torments, Luk. 13 25 When once the Master of the House is risen up, and hath shut too the Door, & ye begin to stand without & to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: ver. 26. Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets; As if they should say▪ Lord, we think it strange to find the Gat [...]s o [...] Heaven shut against us; we think it strange that we that have been thy hearers, and have been at thy Table, that thou shouldest not know whence we are, that thou shouldest not approve us nor receive us: But Christ again replies, ver. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, [...] know you not whence you are, depart from me [...] workers of Iniquity: As i [...] he should say, I told you once before, that I did not know you, love you, nor approve you; and though you plead your outward Church priviledges of hea­ring and receiving, yet I tell you once again, I know you not; go get you gone, go, get you down into eternal torments, depart, depart! You were Professors of Piety, but you were Lovers & Workers of Iniquity. Now, suppose that thou hast known and seen at this Table [Page 69] with thee, that hath died in his sins, & been damned for them, and hath been in Hell a year or two suffering the Vengeance and the wrath of God for this, a [...] for his other sins, should he come to thee and tell thee, I have known since I departed out of this life, in which thou now dost live, what is the punish­ment that is due unto unworthy Receivers, for I have felt it; believe me, though a damned Soul, for I have felt it; I suffer much for my unjust dealing with men, but I suffer more for my unjust medling with the Blood of Christ; I suffer much for my excessive use of provision at my own Table, for my Gluttony & Drun­kenness, but I suffer more for abusing of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Lords Sup­per, when I was upon the Earth. Or suppose he had been an Hypocrite that is now in Hell for this so hainous crime, and should come and tell thee, When I was in thy capacity of life; when it was my time to live where thou now dost, I was admitted to the Lords Supper, a [...] now thou art, and I gave as good an account unto the Minister (as to words and expressi­ons) as thou hast done; I told him I was convinced of my lost estate, that I was weary of sin, and grieved for it, and was willing to accept of Christ upon his Gospel-terms▪ and this I said with tears in my eyes; that the Mi­nister thought my Condition good, but I de­ceived him and my self too, by lying to him; for now I find I was not willing to let such a particular lust go, that parted betwixt me and [Page 70] Christ: And the Congregation with whom I did receive, did think my condition to be good, because they saw me weep when I took the Bread, and saw my tears run down my cheeks when I took the Wine, but they did not see the Hypocrisie of my heart, nor the sin I did indulge, and would not part with at Christs command: But now I am under the sentence of damnation, and have suffered more than thou canst conceive for this my sin; Oh, I am damned, for the abusing of that Blood that should have saved me! I am for ever dam­ned for dabling in that Blood as an unholy thing, in which I was often intreated to have had my heart been washed: It is dreadful, dreadful, dreadful! Thou dost not know that yet art upon the Earth, what a dreadful thing it is to lye in Hell, and bear the punishment that is inflicted upon unworthy Receivers. After such an admonition as this from a damned Soul, what preparations wouldst thou make; why, the Ministers of God do tell thee so, and why wilt thou not credit our Doctrine as much as the words of a damned Soul! Nay, God himself doth tell thee plainly in his Word the greatness of this sin, and the punishment thereof, and wilt thou not believe the true eternal God before a damned Reprobate? Or shall not the words of that God that shall Judge thee, aff [...]ct thine heart, and make as deep an impression upon thy Soul, as would the words of one that should come to thee from [...]ongst the damned?

[Page 71]Quest. 9. What if Christ should call from Heaven as he did to Saul in another case; Saul, Saul, why persec [...]test thou me? So what [...] he should call to thee while thou art eating, [...] thou art drinking at his Table, Sinner, Sinner, why prophanest thou my Blood? And should mark thee out, and make thee known, what preparation wouldst thou make then? When Christ was upon the Earth, eating with the Twelve, he said, Verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me: Oh what an amazing word was this! how did it fill their hearts with fear and sorrow, yet not knowing who was the Man that should do this! How did they look one upon another! and said, one by one, Lord is it I? and another, Lord is it I? and were ve­ry inquisitive to know who was the man that should do this so hainous fact; whom the Lord discovered by a sign, He that dippeth with me in the dish, the same shall betray me, that is the Man, that is the Traitor.

So, if while the Congregation is met to commemorate his death, Christ should cry from Heaven, saying, There is one amongst you that is prophaning of my Blood, that is unworthily eating of my Body, that is come hither in his sins; how wistly would they look upon one another, with paleness in their faces, and fear in their hearts, not knowing who should be the Person that is doing this? one saying within himself, Lord, I hope it is not I; and another, Lord, I hope it is not I. No saith Christ, it is yonder man, that hath now the [Page 72] bread in his mouth, or yonder man that sits in yonder seat, and is now taking the Cup into his hand, and drinking of it; this is the man, have him out from among you: If this should be the course that Christ would take, what preparation wouldst thou make then? how narrowly wouldst thou search thy heart? how fervently wouldst thou pray before thou co­mest, that thou mightest not be the person that Christ should thus cry out against from Heaven; nor thus shame thee before the pub­lick Congregation? Why, though Christ doth not thus for the present, yet he will discover the sinner, & publish the sin, at a more Dread­ful day, and before a greater Congregation; when all the World shall be gathered together, and before them all, he shall lay this unto thy charge, before Angels, Men and Devils: This is the man that did carelesly come unto my Table, and did prophane my holy Institution, therefore take him Devils, and drag him down with you in­to eternal torments, and cast him into the Lake of Fire, where he shall suffer the vengeance of eternal burnings, for his bold adventure in com­ing unprepared, and in his sins unto my Table: Devils take him with you, for he shall never come into my Kingdom.

These questions I would desire you with greatest seriousness to propound unto your self when you are to approach to this solemn duty, and find your hearts to be slight in, and backward to proportionable Preparation to the weightiness of the work.

[Page 73]

CHAP. IX. Containing some Directions to get our hearts rightly disposed for the receiving of the Lords Supper.

HAving thus far proceeded in proving it your important duty, to prepare your hearts for this Ordinance, and laying down some serious Questions for quick [...]ing you thereunto; I next come to give you some Directions what you must do, that your receiving may be acceptable unto God, and profitable unto you: And they are these four.

1. Search your own heart, exquiring nar­rowly into the state of your Soul, how it is betwixt God and you.

Secondly, Solemnly consider such things a [...] have a tendency in them to dispose your heart thereto.

Thirdly, Fervently pray to God before you go, that you may receive worthily when you are there.

Fourthly, Seriously discourse with s [...]me (if you have opportunity) about such things as may conduce to raise your Affections, and quic­ken your Graces before you go

First, Strictly search thine own heart, 1 Cor. 11.28. But let a man examine himself, and [Page 74] so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup. The word signifieth a diligent and narrow search into the Nature & Pro­perties of the thing that is the Object there­of, as a Goldsmith proves the goodness of his Mettle. Now, Christian Reader, for thine help therein, I would advise thee to put such Questions as these unto thy self, and after due deliberation with thy self, and prayer unto God, that he would discover the state of thy Soul unto thee, give in a true and serious Answer, as one that knows then must again be called to an Account, and be examined by God himself at the last Day.

Quest. 1. Have I a principle of spiritual life, or am I yet dead in Trespasses and Sins? O [...] my Soul! the work thou art intending at a Sacrament, it is lively work; and if thou art dead thou canst not do it: thou art to go feed upon the bread of life, and if thou art dead, thou canst not do it. Thou art to feast no [...] only with, but upon the Lord? But if thou art dead, thou canst not do it. I find it re­corded in Numb. 19.10, 11. If any man was defiled by reason of a dead body, he was not to eat the Lords Passover till the second month. How much more unfit am I to eat the Lords Supper, if yet my heart be dead, not only dull, but dead; there is no converse between the living and the dead; dead men do not con­verse with living men; and a dead heart alto­gether void of spiritual life, cannot converse with a living God.

[Page 75]In order therefore to the discovering of thy spiritual life, I will propound these following Enquiries, to which give in thy answer seri­ously, as in the fear of God; and solemnly, as in the presence of that God that doth search thy heart, and know thy state, and let thy Conscience make reply as thou wouldest do if thou wast now to dye.

First, Hast thou ever had any spiritual sense of things good and evil? Didst thou ever see the excellency and the beauty of Christ, and the vileness and deformity of sin? Is Christ most lovely, and sin most loathsome in thine eyes? Didst thou ever taste such sweetness that there is in Christ, in a Promise, or in commu­nion with God, that it makes thee choose Christ, embrace a Promise, prefer Communi­on with God above all things in this World? or didst thou ever taste such bitterness in sin, that makes thee loath it, and unfeignedly wil­ling to leave & to forsake it? once thou hadst no relish in spiritual things, but hast thou now? time was when thou didst taste sweet­ness in thy sin, when thou didst delight there­in: but is it as bitter to thee now, as then it was pleasant and delightful? Thou hast had an ear to hearken to the Temptations of the Devil, the Flatteries of the World, to Sinners [...]icing thee to Sin, to the corruptions of thine own heart, calling thee to yield to all these: but thou hadst not an ear to listen to the mo­tions of the Spirit of God, nor to the voice of the Ministers of God, nor to the voice of the [Page 76] Mercies, nor the Judgments of God, nor to the voice and cry of thy own Conscience▪ but now thou art deaf unto the former, the Devil calls, but thou wilt hear, and Sinners call, but thou wilt not hearken; and thine ears are open to the Latter, if God calls, thou say­est, Speak Lord, thy Servant heareth. If the Spirit whispereth to thy Heart, thou perceiv­est his meaning, and obeyest, &c. Thou once didst feel Ordinances and Duties to be a Bur­den to [...]hee, and groanedst under them as a Load too heavy for thee to bear, and this was when thou didst make light of Sin: Christ's easie yoke thou thoughtest to be intolerable, but Sins intolerable yoke thou judgest to be easie, because Sin was in thy Heart, as (a [...] Element) in is proper place: But tell me▪ dost thou not now groan under the weight o [...] Sin? Dost thou not really think there is no evil of affliction so heavy as the evil of trans­gression? Doth it not make thee cry out, [...] Wretched Man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of Death? That now thou couldest, at least sometimes, desire that thou mightest be loosed from thy body of fl [...]sh▪ that thou mayst be freed from this body of sin? if so, thou art alive.

Secondly, Hast th [...] mortified sin, or hast thou not; is sin dead or alive? if thy sin do live and reign, then thou art dead; if thy sin be dead, then thou dost live; the life and reign of sin, and the life and power of grace cannot consist in the same Soul at the same time: [Page 77] though sin be in thine Heart yet thine Heart is not for, nor in thy sins, though sin be in thy affections, yet indeed Sin hath lost thine affections; as there is sin in thy love, but thou [...]ost not love thy Sin; there is Sin in thy joy, but thou dost not rejoyce in thy sin; thou dost not [...]ind those flaming desires of thine Heart [...]ter forbidden things, as sometime thou didst; neither hath sin that universal ac­knowledged Authority in thy Soul, as once it had; nor that peaceable possession in thy heart, which once thou wast contented to give and yield unto it; but it is even Death to thee to feel these lusts so much as crawling in thy heart, though they do not rule; if so, then Sin is dead, and thou dost live; if not so, then Sin doth live, and thou art dead.

Thirdly, Canst thou gr [...]an and cry unto the Lord, and will nothing still thee but a Christ? then surely thou dost live; though thou canst not word thy D [...]sires at the Throne of Grace (as New born Babes cannot ask, but yet can cry for the breast) nor in such Language (as others) ask for Christ and Grace; yet thou canst Cry for Christ, and weep for Grace, & all the Creatures cannot quiet thee till thou hast hopes that Christ is formed in thee: Surely they have spiritual Life, that in this sense do thus cry after Christ.

Fourthly, Dost thou grow in the Graces of the Spirit? It may be thou darest not say thou hast more Grace, but this thou findest, thou hast more desires after Grace; that is more [Page 78] Grace. Art thou indeed thankful for a little Grace, but yet art reaching after more? Thou prizest one dra [...] of Grace above thousands of Gold and Silver; yet it is not a little will serve thy turn; dost thou grow more weary of thy Sin? Dost thou grow more ear­nest after Christ, and God, and Heaven? Surely growth is a proof of life.

Fifthly, Dost thou work for God, and Christ, and Heaven, and for thy Soul in a spiritual man­ner? Spiritual Operations do discover spiritual life. Many live a natural life, that will not work; but those that be spiritually alive, be at work, though some more, and some less. Dost thou pray, and labour in thy prayers? Dost thou hear, and take pains with thy heart in hearing? Dost thou do thy work accord­ing to those spiritual Rules which God hath given thee in his Word, or wherein thou fail­est thou art grieved for it? Dost thou work from a spiritual principle of love to God, and holy fear of him? dost thou pray unto him because thou lovest him? and dost thou ab­stain from sin, and watch and pray against it, because thou wouldest neither offend or grieve him? Hast thou a spiritual end in working while thou livest, that thou mayest glorifie & honour God? Though all thy working in this manner deserve nothing from the Lord; neither dost thou thus labour in all thy duties, to rely upon them, and to take thee off from resting upon Christ; yet are they evidences that thou art raised from the death of sin, to [Page 79] a life of grace; and having life thou must have food, and God hath prepared it for thee upon his Table, and thou mayest go and feed thereon. This is the first thing that you should enquire after, a [...] to your state, whether you be spiritually alive.

Quest. 2▪ Do I hunger and thirst after Christ? This also will be an evidence of your spiritual life; for dead men do not hunger, they do not thirst: Say then to thy self, Lo, Oh my Soul! thou art invited to a Feast, to a Ban­quet of Gospel-dainties, to a Feast of fat things, a Feast of Wines on the Lees, of fat things full of Marrow, of Wines on the Lees, well refined, Isa. 25.6 Lo, Oh my Soul, Wisdom hath kil­led her Beasts, she hath mingled her Wine, she hath also furnished her Table, she hath sent forth her Maidens, she cryeth upon the high places of the City; whoso is simple let him turn in hither: As for him that wanteth understanding, she saith unto him, Come eat of my Bread, and drink of the Wine which I have mingled, Prov. 9.2, 3, 4, 5. Thus the Lord doth call thee, O my Soul! to rich and costly provisions, but where is thy hunger? where is thy appetite? If I could find I hunger, I could find an Invitation to go, for I read my Lord hath said, Isa. 55.1. Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the Waters, and he that hath [...] money, come ye, buy and eat, yea come, buy Wine and Milk without money, and without price. And John 7.37. In the last day, the great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cryed, saying, If any man thirst let him [Page 80] come unto me and drink. If I could find I hunger, I can find a promise that I shall bes [...] ­ti [...]d. Mat 5.6. Blessed are they which hun [...]ger and thirst after righteousness, for they sha [...] be filled Come then, tell me, O my Soul▪ Dost thou feel an emptiness in thy self, and [...] want of those things which alone can satisfi [...] spiritual hungerings? Art thou [...]inched? A [...] thou p [...]ined with the sense of the want of Christ? Art thou impatient till he come unt [...] thee? Dost thou think the time is long till he doth fill thee? Canst thou take any pains th [...] thou mightest enjoy him? Must thou have [...] Christ, or nothing will content thee? Th [...] thou art one whom God doth call; be encou [...]raged, arise, and go to the Table of thy Lord This is another thing that thou must enquire after, because it is not only thy duty to have life, but to have spiritual hungrings after Christ when thou goest unto the Table of the Lord▪

Quest. 3. Do I love God and Christ, or do not? If I do not love him, what have I to d [...] to go unto his Table? If God be an enemy to me, and I yet an enemy to God, where [...]fore should I go and bring down wrath upon my self? but if I love him, why should I [...] so dismayed because I am a Sinner, since the Lord is willing freely to bestow all things that are here provided, upon them that love him [...] The more sin I find I have, if I love him, [...] see the greater need I have to go unto him. Put then the question to thy self, as Christ did unto Peter, John 21.15. So when they [...] [Page 81] dined, Jesus said unto Simon Peter, Simon Son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love— And this question Christ put to him the second, and the third time: So do thou before thou goest to this Supper; ask thy Soul, O my Soul! lovest thou the Lord Jesus? Canst thou say, the Lord knoweth that I love him? Yet ask again the second time, Oh my Soul, lovest thou the Lord Jesus? Canst thou again with Peter answer, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee? but that thou mayest be sure, enquire again the third time, Tell me, Oh my Soul! Lovest thou indeed the Lord Je­sus? For there are many that be mistaken, and think they love him, but they do not: Canst thou therefore appeal to God, and say, Lord, thou that knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee; I do not indeed love thee as thou hast loved me, yet I love thee: I do not love thee as much as others do, nor as much as I my self desire to do, and that is my grief and sorrow; but yet I love thee, and that is my peace and comfort: And I have these evi­dences of my love, that makes me say, Lord, I love thee, for I hate that which is a grief unto thee, and that because it grieves thee. Lord, I love thee, for I am grieved at thy absence, & am rejoyced at thy presence: Lord, I love thee, for I love any that are like thee, that bear thy Image, and thy Stamp upon their hearts: O my Lord, I love thee, for I love the place and duties where thou wert wont to [Page 82] warm thy peoples hearts; but if thou bees [...] not there, I cannot take up contentedly with them, except I see thee. Lord, I do humbl [...] say, I love thee, for I dare not deny but that I am grieved when thou art dishonoured by my self or others; though I grieve for th [...] less then I should, because I love thee less than I ought. Lord, I love thee, for I desire to have an heart that should be willing to pa [...] with all for thee; things sinful in themselves at all times, and things lawful when thou cal­lest me to it. Once more, I humbly say, [...] love thee, for I would have an heart to love▪ and long, and look for thy coming and ap­pearance in thy Glory: Come away then, O my Love, (saith Christ unto thee) and com­memorate the Death of thy Lord whom th [...] dost love. O my Soul! thy Lord doth ca [...] thee, arise and go unto his Table, where thou shalt see how he hath loved thee, and whe [...] thou mightest have thy love to him more [...] ­creased and inflamed. Thus thou shouldest enquire concerning thy love to Christ, wh [...] thou art to go unto this Feast of Love.

Quest. 4. Do I believe on Jesus Christ, or do I not? Have I the Faith of Gods Elect? or have I not? If I should not eat in Faith, and drink in Faith, I should not receive aright; but if I do believe, though my Faith be weak, I have a right to him, and to his priviledges which he hath purchased by his death, and will seal unto me in the Sacrament. Then turn thy Speech to God, and say, Lord, If I do prize [Page] thy Son above all things in the World, may I then conclude I do believe? God tells thee that thou mayest, 1 Pet. 2.7. Ʋnto you therefore that believe, he is precious. If I make it my bu­siness to purifie my heart, do I then believe? God tells thee that thou dost, Act [...] 15.9. Purifying their hearts by Faith. If I take thy Son for my Lord and Saviour, and receive him upon Gospel-terms into my heart, might I then conclude that I have Faith? God tells thee that thou mayest, John 1.12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe on his Name. If so, then Lord, I will in obedience to thy com­mand, do this in remembrance of thee.

Quest. 5. Once more enquire of thy self, and say, Have I repented of my Sins that I have committed against the Lord, and am I truly humbled for the same? For how shall I behold my Saviour broken for my sins, if my heart was never broken for my sins? Though I do come short of that degree of brokenness of heart for sin, as some of God's People have attained unto, yet have I that repentance which will prove repentance unto life? Though my [...]ears are not so many as my sins, nor my sor­row as great as my transgressions, yet have I so much sight and sense of sin, as makes me loath my self, and abhor my sins, and willing to forsake them; and separates me from the love of them, & delight in them: Oh my Conscience, canst thou not bear me witness, that it is the breaking of my heart that [Page 90] I have broken Gods Commands; that my mourning proceeds from love, and a sense of Gods kindness and his goodness to me; that [...] is my unfeigned desire to be washed from th [...] filth, as well as delivered from the guilt of sin▪ to be freed from the power and dominion, [...] well as from the punishment and damnation that is due unto me for my sins; that though I did not know but Hell might be my porti­on, yet I would not sin against the Lord▪ Canst thou not bear me witness, that I do endeavour (though I come short in my en­deavours) to keep my self unspotted from the World▪ and that I ha [...]e the Garments spotted with the flesh? That sin in the Temptation t [...] it, is grievous to me, as well as after the Com­mission of it: that I do groan (though not so much as I should) under this body of sin longing for the time when I shall be delivered from it; crying out in the bitterness of my Soul, Lord; when shall it be? Lord, when shall it be, that I shall be perfectly freed from this loathsome body of sin, which (through thy Grace) is so offensive to my Soul? if so, then I will arise, and approach unto this Or­dinance, where I may be assured of my par­don, and be furnished with further Strength and Power against my Sin. Thus thou shoul­dest enquire, whether thou hast repented of thy sin, when thou art to go and see what hath been done unto thy Lord, by reason o [...] thy Sins▪ Thus far for Tryal.

Secondly, When thou hast thus proceeded [Page 91] to find out the truth of thy grace, then next go on to solemn meditation, to consider of those things which might excite and stir up thy graces, the truth of which thou findest to be already wrought in thy heart; that so thou mightest go unto this Ordinance with lively exercise of grace, that all thy graces might be ready to act according to thy duty in this work: For it will be thy Sin to go unto the Ta­ble of the Lord with dull affections, and deadness upon thy heart; and it is an aggra­vation of thy sin, if it be through want of diligent endeavour to get thy Soul affected and inflamed with love before thou goest. Now for thy help therein, I shall instance in some of those things which will be fit and suitable objects for thy thoughts before thou goest, and not unseasonable to meditate upon while thou art there.

First, Meditate and dwell in thy thoughts upon the Love of God in the great work of Mans Redemption. Consider that thou wast in a fallen and miserable estate, under the Curse of the Law, liable to the wrath of God, the Torments of Hell; under the pow­er of thy lusts, and the bondage of the Devil; and couldst not help thy self, nor recover thy self to the Happiness from which thou didst fall: then get thy heart affected with the Love of God, who in the eternal project of his Councel, hath contrived a way for thy Salvation: And here, if thy heart be not yet affected.

[Page 92]1. Urge it with the freeness of this love▪ Consider, O my Soul! it was free love, that God would send his Son to die fo [...] fallen Man, and not for fallen Angels; to take upon him not the nature of Angels, b [...] the seed of Abraham. But yet consider, O [...] my Soul! the freeness of this love to thee, who hath ordained thee to Salvation by the death of Christ, when thousands of o­thers are passed by, and suffered to perish in their sins! God might have Passed thee by, and applyed it unto others, whereas he hath passe [...] many others by, and applied it unto thee; i [...] may be thy nearest Relations have no share nor saving benefit by this Redemption, whe [...] there was no more in thee to move God un [...]to this love, than there was in them: Yea, a [...] much in thee to oppose, and resist the ap [...]plication of this Redemption, as was in th [...] heart of the vilest of the Children of me [...] ▪ Surely some believing thoughts of the free [...]ness of Gods love to thee in particular, wi [...] warm thy heart before thou approachest to the Table of the Lord, and fill thee with desires to be there, and the more inflam [...] thine heart when thou art there. If yet th [...] heart be dull, do but ask it this one qust [...]on, What wouldst thou have done, O my Soul▪ and where shouldst thou have for ever been if God had not loved thee, freely loved thee?

2. Urge thine heart till it be affected with this Love of God, which is such pure love; no advantage redoundeth unto God, [Page 93] by his loving of thee; if thou h [...]dst been damned, God had not been prejudiced there­by. Nay, he could have glorified himself in thy damnation: And if thou shalt be saved, there is no addition made thereby to Gods happiness, for that was perfect before the world began. Oh, the difference betwixt the love of God, and the love of men! Men do Love, where their love doth redound to their benefit & advantage: Yea, the love of Saints [...]o God, though it should be purely for him­self, yet there is real, lasting the greatest bene­fits redounding to them thereby: But the love of God is altogether pure in this respect, that he is not profited by his love.

3. Urge thine heart till it be affected with this love of God, which is such manifest and undeniable Love, as doth appear in sending of his Son, 1 John 4 9. In this was manifest the love of God towards us, because God hath sent his only begotten Son into the World, that we might live through him. Herein God doth commend his love to poor Sinners, Rom 5.8. But God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet Sinners, Christ dyed for us. When Abraham would have offered up Isaac, the Angel of the Lord said unto him, Gen 22.12. Now I know that thou fearest God seeing thou hast not with held thy Son, thine only Son from me. So mightest thou say, Now Lord, I know that thou lovest me, seeing thou hast not with held thy Son, thine only Son from me. Especially if these differences be con­sidered.

[Page 94]1. It was possible for Abraham to have another Son, but it is not possible for God to have another begotten Son.

2. God loved his Son better, infinitely better than Abraham loved his.

3. That Abraham was Commanded▪ by his Superiour to offer up his Son; but there could be no Law given unto God to send his Son.

4. Abraham received his Son from God, and therefore he was to be at his disposal, as all his Creatures are; but Gods Son was from himself by eternal generation.

5. Abraham would have offered his So [...] unto his Creator, and to God that w [...] his Friend, but God gave his Son for h [...] Creatures, and those that were his Enemies▪

6. Abraham offered up his Son in pu [...]pose and intention, but God gave his So [...] to dye for us really and indeed.

7. Isaac was to be offered by his Fathe [...] hands, but Christ was given to be slain b [...] the hands of his Enemies, that did hate him and reproach him; therefore if Abrahams lov [...] to God was manifested by his offering up [...] Isaac his Son, the love of God is much mor [...] manifested unto us by giving us Christ h [...] Son; and will not such manifest and undenia [...]ble love yet affect t [...]y heart? Thus thou mightest proceed to other properties of the love of God in sending of his Son to suffer for thee, which I purposely omit, because I would not be large.

[Page 95]Secondly, Meditate and dwell in thy thoughts upon the Sufferings of thy Lord Re­deemer when he came into the world. It will be profitable before thou goest to the Sa­crament, to view over the History of his Sufferings, from his Birth to his Cross Oh what love was this, that God should give his Son, and the Son should give himself to dye for thee! Never love like this! Joh 15.13. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. But greater love than this had the Son of God, when he laid down his life for his Enemies. But if thine heart be not yet affected, con­sider,

1 The Dignity of the Sufferer: He that had the Heavens for his Throne, was laid in a Manger; The Ancient of days became a Babe: He that was above all, was aba­sed more than all; He that was richer than any, b [...]ing Lord of all; was made so ex­ceeding poor, that he had not where to lay his head: He that was the wisest in the World, that never man spake like him; was derided and laughed to scorn, and was reproached in all his Office: The King of Kings, the great and only Potentate is crowned with Thorns; the Prophet of Pro­phets hath his face covered, and then smit­ten, and then they reproached him, saying, Prophesis who it was that smote thee. To the great High Priest it was said in scorn, He saved others, himself he cannot save. The [Page 96] most Mighty is bound; the most Inno [...]e [...] is scourged and condemned; the most Love [...] is despised; the Physician is wounded, th [...] the sick Patient may be healed: The Lo [...] dyeth for his Servants. Oh think of this▪ ti [...] thou feel thy heart to work in love, and [...] reach forth in burning desires after him.

2. The Variety of his Sufferings; He tha [...] was more precious than Rubi [...]s, and [...] things that can be desired are not to be com [...]pared to him; yet was sold for thirty piece [...] of Silver, a goodly price that he was prize [...] at by the Sons of Sinners, Zech. 11.13. H [...] was sold by one, denied by another, forsak [...] of all. He was buffeted and spit upon; [...] Murderer preferred before him▪ While he [...] he was accounted a Blasphemer, & whe [...] [...] died, we was reckoned among Transgre [...]sors. I cannot tell what it was he did endure but I can tell it was his love that moved hi [...] to it. Oh with what heart it flamed with love shouldest thou go unto that Ordinance, where­in all this is represented to thy Fai [...]h! O Love, Love, Love! art thou banished from my Soul▪ that I do not feel thee more working in [...] heart while I ponder these things within [...] thoughts? O my Lord, thou lovedst me [...] my blood, and when I see thee in thy bloo [...] (if my heart were not so very bad) I could not but exceedingly love thee! When thou sawest me in my blood, it was polluted Blood: but when I see thee in thy blood, I see, I find, I feel it is love inflaming blood.

[Page 97]Thirdly, Meditate & dwell in thy thoughts upon the priviledges and benefits that were pur­chased by the death of Christ: And surely if we [...]ay judge by the price that was paid for them, they must be very great. Some believ­ing thoughts upon this Subject, would affect and warm thy heart before thou goest to this Table, and when thou art there. Oh what a priviledge is it to be united unto Christ, to be justified by his Blood, to be sanctified by his Spirit, to have sin pardoned and subdu­ [...], to be reconciled unto God, to be adopted [...]w, and saved hereafter! All these be blessed [...]uits that thou wilt find to grow upon the Tree on which thy Saviour dyed: and there is much in these, in every one of these, to in­ [...]e thy Love to God and Christ, and to stir up thy heart to go unto that Ordinance, where thou mightest be assured of them, by having them sealed to thy Soul.

Fourthly, Meditate and dwell in thy thoughts upon thy sin, that thou mayest be hum­bled, because thy sins were the procuring cause of [...] the Sufferings of thy Lord It was not for himself but for thee; there was no guile in his [...]outh, nor Wickedness in his heart, but the just suffered for the unjust. Thy sins were the Judas that betrayed him, the Thorns that Crowned him, the Spears that pierced him, the Nails that fastened him upon the Tree. To see an ordinary man dying for thy faults, would it not aff [...]ct thine heart? Yonder is one that is groaning, bleeding, dying, for the [Page 98] evil I have done! Oh then, how should thy affections work when thou seest the Son of God bleeding (having his side opened th [...] thou mightest look into his heart) when tho [...] s [...]est him wound [...] his hands and his feet pier [...]d; when thou hearest him cry out with a loud voice, and seest him give up the Ghost▪ and all this for thy pride and unbelief, for thy worldliness and passion, for thy Disobedience [...] and Rebellion! how will this fill thy Soul [...] with sorrow and joy, thy eyes with tears, and thy mouth with praises; the one, because tho [...] hast sinned, the other because thy Lord would dye to save thee from thy sins.

And here it would not be unuseful nor un [...]reasonable to produce the Catalogue of th [...] sins, that thou mayest see how far thou ha [...] acted, to bring all these sorrowings and suffer [...]ings upon thy loving Lord: For if thou shal [...] be saved by his Death; surely then thy sin [...] were Causes of his Death; for it was the par­don of thy sins, the sanctifying of thy heart, and the saving of thy Soul, with the rest of Gods E [...]ct, that he intended effectually to pro­cure, when he was lifted up upon the Cross; but did not intend or purpose the certain Ap [...]plication of his Death and Sufferings unto re­probates; So that had it not been for the sakes of Gods Elect and Chosen People, h [...] never had exposed himself to so great Suffer­ings, nor come down from Heaven, nor gone up upon the Cross: And will not this yet aff [...]ct thine heart? Consider then what thy sins have been before and since Conversion, in [Page 99] their Nature, in their Numbers, and in all the [...] aggravations; every one of which deserved the heavy and eternal Wrath of God. Oh then, what loads and heaps of Wrath did they all deserve? How much more all the [...]in [...] of all the Elect of God! Oh what a burden did thy Saviour bear, when all these were laid up­on him? What didst thou do against thy Lord, all those years thou livedst in an uncon­verted state? How many sins didst thou com­mit every Day, every Week, & every Month▪ When thou wast in that estate in which thou didst nothing else but sin, when all thy thoughts were sin, and all thy Words and Actions, all were sin; all which, thy Lord was to make satisfaction for, when he was dy­ing on the Cross; Dear Jesus, how unkind and cruel was I then to thee, who wast so kind & merciful unto me!

But yet consider, what thy sins have been since thy Lord hath applied his Death to thee, which should have engaged thee to be more holy, and to walk m [...]re closely with him; but since thy sins in some respects, have been worse than all thou didst before thou wast convert­ed; for thou hast sinned against dearer love, and clearer light: thou hast sinned against that Lord that died for thee, and after by his Spirit he hath applied his death unto thy Soul; thou hast sinned after thou hast had a Pardon of thy sin, and after he did assure thee of thy Pardon: thou hast sinned against the Father who did ordain thee unto life; against the [Page 100] Son that did redeem thy Soul from death, & purchase for thee eternal life; against the Ho­ [...]y Spirit, that hath been fitting and preparing thee to be partaker of the Inheritance of the Saints in light; thou hast sinned after rich and large Experiences of God's Goodness and Mercy to thy Soul; after thou hast tasted the bitter­ness of sin, and sweetness of the love of God; after thou hast resolved against thy Sin, and promised unto God upon thy knees, that if he would pardon thee, and tell thee he had par­doned thee, thou wouldest be more watchful for the time to come: God did what thou didst desire, but thou hast not done that which thou didst promise. Let all this then awaken thee to sorrow and repentance, before thou goest to the Table of the Lord.

Thirdly, Then next proceed to solemn, s [...]rious, fervent Prayer, and make thine Addresse [...] to thy God: For all that thou canst think up­on, and all the course that thou canst take, will not affect thine heart, except the God o [...] Heaven shall work▪ them on thy heart, and cause them to make some Impression on thy Soul: Then go to God, and say, O Lord, I am ashamed to think how dully I do think of these great affecting things: With what an hard and stupid heart I roll over in my mind the Death & Sufferings of thy Son: O Lord, it is time that I should come to thee, that I might have some warmth from thee, that I might he inflamed with love; and wer [...] it possible, might be turned into love, that I might be made up all of Love. O Lord, I have been trying to get my heart affected [Page 101] with the Death of Ch [...]st, and with thy love and his manifested unto my Soul therein; but, Lord, my heart is dull: And sometime when the Coal begins to glow, it is covered with ashes before I am aware, It is too great a work for me to raise my heart to him who condescended to come down for me; if I could, I would Lord, I would, but cannot: but this I know, that if thou wilt, thou canst: Yea, Lord, I do be [...]ieve that both thou canst, and wilt; and therefore it is that I am come to thee, O Lord, the time draws near in which I am to go unto thy Table, but shall the time of receiving come, before thou comest into my heart, to stir up thy graces in me, that I may be fitted to receive? True, Lord, I am unworthy, altogether unworthy of what I do desire; but what thou dost to any, it is not because they be worthy, but because it pleaseth thee to do for thine, what they ask of thee according to thy will: I am vile, I am vile, O Lord, I am exceeding vile; but if thou wilt cloath me with the righteousness of thy Son, and look upon me through his wounds, then thou wilt love me. Remember not my sins against thee, but remember what thy Son hath done and sufferd for me; thou commandest me in the Sacrament to remember what thy Son hath suffered that I may be thankful unto thee; do thou remember what thy Son hath suffered, & be thou gracious unto me: that I might see thy smiles, and perceive thy love, when I am there; that I might come from thence with my pardon sealed, my sins subdued, my Soul stren­gthned to run the ways of thy Commandments, till thou shalt come and take me to thy self, where [Page 102] I shall see my Saviour in his glory, and behold my Lord that dyed for me on the Cross.

Fourthly, Next I would advise thee (i [...] thou hast opportunity) to discourse with others of such things that may tend to raise, and not to damp thy heart. When thou hast been ta­king pains with thy self in secret; when thou comest from thy Chamber, take heed with whom thou dost Converse, and what thou sayest: For if in secret thou didst find thy love excited, thy desires enlarged, thy faith fastning upon Christ; frothy and unseasonable discourse before thou goest, might damp all again: or if in secret thy heart were dull, yet God might bless a word or two in holy dis­course for the quickning of thy heart, and ras­sing of thy affections towards him: when thou s [...]ttest at thy Table, or by the fire the Night before the Sacrament, by speaking of the wonderful grace of God, the Death of Christ, of the benefits thereby, of hope of Heaven, of the coming of the Lord, of the glory there is above, of the Sabbath the redeemed of the Lord shall keep above in the Kingdom of their Father ▪ When the two Disciples were discoursing of Christs Death and Sufferings, Christ came and joyned himself unto them, Luk 24▪13, 14, 15. If you be two discoursing together, Christ might come and make the third, and [...]hen your hearts will burn within you.

Having thus▪ endeavoured to get thine heart prepared as thou passest from thine house to the House of God, from thine House [Page 103] unto this Ordinance, watch over thy thoughts as thou walkest along, and let thine heart be working towards God and Christ. Oh that I might feel the Power of Christs Death this Day! Oh that I might have my Pardon Sealed to [...] this day? That I might be made conformable to Christs Death, see his smiles, tast his love, and be strengthned with strength in my [...]oul: And when thou comest to joyn in the Publick So­lemn Worship, with others of Gods people, then mind the Work that is before thee, and labour so to behave thy self in the Duty, th [...] thou mightest not lose thy pains thou hast ta­ken in preparing for the duty. And this brings me to the next Conclusion, to answer to this Case or Question.

Under what Consideration should a believer eye the blood of Christ in the Lords Supper, and have his Graces drawn forth into act, when he doth so consider it?

CHAP. X. Conclusion 4. Containing Twenty Properties of the Blood of Christ.

A Believer should eye the Blood of Christ in the Lords Supper in the several properties, vertue and efficacy of it, till suitable Graces there­by are drawn forth into Act

This Conclusion consists of Two Parts.

[Page 104]First, That a Believer should eye the Blood of Christ in the several properties thereof, in its efficacy and vertue.

Secondly, That this eying of the Blood of Christ must draw forth those suitable Graces that are to be exercised in the Lords Supper.

For your help in the first of these, I would advise you to eye the Blood of Christ in these properties, which also set forth the vertue and efficacy thereof.

1. Eye the Blood of Christ in the Sacra­ment as it is a precious Blood, 1 Pet. 1.18, 19 We were not redeemed with corruptible things, as Silver and Gold, but with the precious Blood of Christ, &c.

Now the Blood of Christ it precious.

1. Comparative, by way of Comparison, be­ing more precious, than all the precious things in nature, as Silver and Gold, which are vile, corruptible, and contemptible in comparison of the Blood of Christ; of no worth and value to redeem Souls, as this is.

2. Absolute; Consider it absolutely in it self: and so the dignity and excellency of his person makes it so exceeding precious, being the Blood of that person that was God as well as Man, Acts 20.28.

3. Effective, by way of causality, because it doth produce precious effects: As,

  • 1. It do [...]h redeem precious Souls.
  • 2. It doth make a precious people.
  • 3. It doth confirm precious promises▪
  • [Page 105]4. It doth purchase precious Priviledges.
  • 5. It is the meritoriou [...] [...]use of precious Graces.
  • 6. It is the foundation [...] precious Com­forts.

2. Eye the Blood of Christ in the Sa­crament, as it is satisfying blood: And this it is because it was such precious blood; it was most precious blood, therefore it was blood of value and merit: The Law of God was transgressed, the Covenant of Works by us was violated, the Justice of God was wronged, and the Sinner was indebted unto Justice, and did owe the suffering of the penalty due for the breach of the Law; which was all mise­ries in this life, death it self, and the torments of Hell for ever. But in the Sacrament, eye Christs Blood as the payment of our debt, as shed nostro bono, for our good; and nestro loc [...], in our stead. Christ hath endured as much as our sins had deserved; whose sufferings were satisfactory, though they were not eter­nal, and therefore were not eternal, because they were satisfactory: Eternity of torment not being essential to the punishment due to sin, but accidental, upon supposition, that the sufferings of sinners cannot satisfie; if the damned could satisfie Gods Justice by lying in Hell ten thousand millions of years, at the expiration of those years they should come forth; but because they can never satisfie, therefore they must for ever suffer.

But Christs Blood is satisfying Blood, be­cause [Page 106] it was a sufficient price which he lai [...] down for the redeeming of his People, Mat. 20.28. Christ came to give his Life by shed­ding of his blood, [...], a ransome, & pric [...] of Redemption for many. As when the price is paid, the Creditor is satisfied; so when Christs blood was shed, Gods Justice was sa­tisfied, 1 Tim. 2.6. Who gave himself a ran­some for all, [...], a common price; the word signifies a price that is paid by another, which the Offender or the Captive person could not pay for himself; when the life o [...] one is bought out by the death of another [...] Oh wonderful, astonishing love of Christ [...] that would lay down life for life; he laid down his life that we may live. Then whe [...] you sit under Christs Cross at the Lords Sup [...]per, look upon the blood you there see shed▪ and poured out, to be satisfying blood.

Thirdly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sa [...]crament, as pacifying and recon [...]ing blood; an [...] it is therefore pacifying blood, because it wa [...] satisfying blood. If God had not been satis [...]fied for sin, he had never been pacified to th [...] sinner. But when sin was expiated, God was appeased; Rom 3.25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood ▪ 1 John 2.2. He is the propitiation for our sins▪ By this Blood Gods wrath is turned aside, & he becomes propitious to believing Souls, Col. 1.20. Having made peace through the blo [...]d of his Cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself. Sin made the branch, but the blood of Christ [Page 107] makes peace betwixt God and the sinner: Eph. 2.13, 14. Ye who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Sin set us at a distance from God, but the blood of Christ bringeth us nigh unto him; for he is our peace, that is, our Peace-maker. Oh blessed is such a Peace-maker between God and man, 2 Cor. 5 19. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. Consider it then as such.

Fourthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as purchasing Blood; by this he purchased his Church and People: Acts 20.28. Feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own Blood By this blood [...] hath bought us out and out, i. e. quite out of the hands of Justice, quite ou [...] of the power of the Devil and sin, 1 Cor. 6.20. For ye are bought with a price. But be­sides the purchasing of our persons, he hath purchased and bought by his Blood all things necessary for grace and glory, for peace and comfort; he hath purchased e­nough to supply all your wants, be they never so many, be they never so great▪ Eye it th [...]n as purchasing blood.

Fifthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sa­crament, as justifying blood; as that which makes you righteous in the sight of God, tho you have no Righteousness of your own in which you may dare to sit before God at his Ta­ble, or stand before him at his Tribunal. Rom. 5.9. Much more then being justified by [Page 108] his Blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Christ's blood is your righteousness, it is imputed to you for your justification.

Six [...]hly, Eye the blood of Christ in t [...] Sacrament as pardoning blood, as that b [...] which you have the full, and free, and ever­lasting pardon of all your Sins If Chris [...] had never died, you never had been pa [...]doned; for without the shedding of bl [...] there is no remission, Heb▪ 9 22. But [...] this blood of Christ we have redemption, to wit, the forgiveness of sins, Eph 1.7. C [...] 1.14. The blood of Christ is that which procures pardon for you, and seals the pro­mise of pardon to you: Think on it [...] such.

Seventhly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacra­ment as he [...]t purifying blood: as it is a blood of value and merit, so it is a blood of ver­tue and spirit. Adam's blood was staining blood, and this corruption runs in a blood but the blood of Christ is purifying an [...] cleansing blood. Heb. 9.13, 14. For if the blood of Bulls and Goats, and the ashes of [...] Heiser, sprinkling the unclean sanctifyeth to the purifying of the fl [...]sh; how much more sha [...] the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, pur [...] your Consciences from dead works to serve the living God? It must be Physick made of blood that must purge our Consciences, 1 John 1.7▪ And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son clean­seth us from all sin Rev. 1.5. Who loved us, [Page 109] [...]nd washed us from our sins in his own blood. [...] was not only pure blood, but it is purifying [...]lood: It was not only holy blood, but it is [...]nctifying blood. Oh how great was that [...]ove of Christ, that would give his pure pre­ [...]ious, sinless, and princely Blood, to be the [...]aver, in which our filthy and polluted souls [...] dipping into it, might be made clean! look upon it then as purifying, sanctifying, cleansing blood.

Eighthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as pleading blood, Heb. 12 24. The [...]ood of sprinkling spe [...]keth better things than the [...]ood of Abel. Ab [...]'s blood did plead against the Offender, but the blood of Christ plead­e [...] for the Believer. Abe [...]'s blood did cry for ve [...]geance, but the blood of Christ doth cry for mercy: Satan pleads against you, and the Law pleads against you, and in many things, and a [...] many times, your own Conscience pleads against you, all crying out to God, Lord, this [...]an hath had so many vain thoughts, and hath made so many dead prayers, and hath neglected so many Duties; But as soon as ever Satan can [...]ut in his Bi [...]l against you, Christ casts its out of the Court of Heaven, and pleadeth for you with the Father; He hath so sinned, but so many [...]ounds were made in my side and heart for him, [...] many drops of blood I have shed for these very si [...]s: Your Sin also doth cry against you, & the cry of Sin is a very loud cry, that reach­ [...]th unto Heaven, Gen. 18 20. The Lord said, because the cry of Sodom is great; and because [Page 110] their sin is very grievous: Mark, grievous sins make a great cry, but yet there is a louder cry in the voice of Christ's blood, that is entered into the Heavens; if you fear the cry of your sin should be louder, greater, than the cry of your Prayers, yet be comforted, it is not great­er than the cry of Christ's blood, for it is plead­ing blood.

Ninthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sa­crament, as comforting blood; that it must need [...] [...], because of all the former properties alrea­dy mentioned. It is blood that pleadeth for you, and it is Blood that speaketh peace unto you: It is blood that satisfieth Gods Justic [...] ▪ and pacifieth Gods anger, and therfore it is blood that might quiet your Conscience, an [...] comfort your heart; it is cooling blood; the Soul that is scorched with the fiery apprehen­sions of Gods burning displeasure might b [...] cooled by one drop of the blood of Christ▪ The wounds of your Conscience, and the wounds of Christ, brought together, will make work: The wounds of Christ shall heal the wounds of your Conscience; your wounds are festring, killing Wounds, but the Wounds of Christ are healing, comforting Wounds▪ There is no such solid lasting comfort, as tha [...] which is fetch'd from the blood of Christ.

Tenthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as heart softning blood; as that which can dissolve the most stony heart, as that which can break the hardest Sinner. This blood on [...] applied to those that were so hard [Page 111] hearted to spill this blood, I mean the Jews, who are hardned to a Proverb, (viz Do you think I am a hard hearted Jew,) will [...]urn this Rock of their hearts into a Fountain of Tears, Zech 12.10 They shall took upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only Son, (that is great mourning) and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. Oh! lay your heart a steeping in this blood, and try if it be not softning blood.

Eleventhly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as sin mortifying blood▪ it is indeed soul saving blood, but it is sin killing blood; and therefore it saves your Soul, because it kills your Sin: As that Physick saves a mans life which removeth his Sickness: That which is life to your Soul, is death to your Sin. In the Sacrament you must look upon your sin, as that which was the death of your Lord, and look upon your Lord as one that is the death of your sin: Sin drew out the life-blood of Christ, and the blood of Christ shed, will draw out the life-blood of Sin: Here you may behold these two great Combatan [...]s both fighting, both bleeding, both dying, and they are reciprocal causes of each others death: Christ he bleeds, and sin it bleeds: Christ dies, and sin dies: But Christ gets the Victory, for Christ dieth, and rises again, and lives for e­vermore; but sin once dead, liveth never more.

Oh! come cast your sins, those cursed Ae­gyptians, [Page 112] into the Red Sea of Christs blood; and they shall be drowned to death, and never live to reign over you more; your Soul shall be safe by passing thorough this Red Sea, but your sins shall fall and die therein. This blood will kill your pride, and mortifie your earthly mindedness, and subdue all your Inordinate Affections; yea, the whole body of sin by this blood shall be destroyed, Rom. 6 6. Know­ing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that hence­forth we should not serve sin. Gal. 6.14. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the World is crucified to me, and I unto the World. Christ's Cross is a Christians Glory, because it puts his Sin to open shame, in crucifying his lusts to death. Oh then bring your strong corrup­tions to the blood of Christ, for it is a sin kil­ling blood.

Twel [...]thly, Eye the Blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as quickning blood. The blood that did flow from Christs heart, it was warm blood; and believe me, it will warm your heart. It is quickning blood, though it be killing blood: It lays your sin sprawling within you, and dying in your heart; but it will give life unto your heart. Joh. 6 53. Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you; if you drink it, then it will enliven you. Sin hath often deadned your heart, and the World hath often deadned your affections, but the blood of Christ will [Page 113] put life into both. The blood of Christ it is the life of all your Duties; it will make you pray with life and hear with life, and discourse of the things of God, and the life to come, with life. The blood of Christ is the life of [...]ll [...] will make you act faith with life, it will make you love with life, it will make you sorrow and repent with life; the blood of Christ is the life of your Com­forts. Oh then bring your dead heart, and [...]ll affections to the Blood of Christ, it will quicken and enliven them, for it is an enliven­ing blood.

Thirteenthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as a blood of sprinkling, as a blood applicable, and to be actually applied to your soul; that you may say, Here is blood, and it is mine; Here is blood shed, and it was for me; Here is blood to be sprinkled, and I hope one drop will fall upon my Soul. Heb. 12.24. Ye are come to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprink­ling, 1 Pet. 1.2. Elect according to the fore­knowledg of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Heb 9.19. Moses took the blood of Calves and Goats, with Water and Scarlet-wool, and Hyssop, and sprinkled both the Book, and all the People; Heb. 10.22 Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, ha­ving our hearts sprinkled from an evil Conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. The Blood of Christ was spilt upon the Cross, and [Page 114] it will be sprinkled on your Conscience at the Sacrament: It is not the blood of Christ pou­red out that will save you, but the blood of Christ sprinkled on your heart, will.

Fourteenthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as Satan conquering blood The Devil put it into Judas's heart to betray Christ, and into the Jews heart to murder Christ; but by his Death and Blood shed he overcame the Devil; and when he was bleeding to death, he triumphed over all infernal fiends: Col 2 15 And having spoiled all Principalities and Powers, he made a shew of them openly, tri­umphing over them in it. And by this blood of Christ shall you be enabled to overcome the Devil: Rev 12.10, 11. The Accuser of the brethren is cast down, which accused them before God, day and night, and they overcame him by the b [...]o [...]d of the Lamb.

Fifteenthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as sealing blood; as that which was poured out, not only to purchase Heaven for you, but also to assure you of it. Christ's blood sh [...]d upon the Cross, doth ratifie and confirm the Covenant of Grace: Heb 9 15. And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New-Testament, that by means of death, for the Redemption of the Transgressions that were under the first Testament, they which are called might receive the promise of Eternal Inheritance; ver. 16 For where a Testament i [...], there must also of necessity be the death of the Testator: ver 17. For a Testament is [...] for [...] after men are dead. [Page 115] So then when you see Christ's blood shed, remember God hath promised Believers par­don and eternal life, and this promise is of force. Christ hath bequeathed precious Lega­cies to his people, and his Will and Testa­ment is of force, for his blood is shed.

Sixteenthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as an innocent blood; Consider there, it was the just that suffered for the un­just; in his hands there was no wickedness, in his heart no Sin, in his mouth no guile. The innocent bleeds for the nocent, Mat. 27.4. I have betrayed the innocent blood; and will it not affect you to see innocent blood thus shed.

Seventeenthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as a copious Blood; as being sufficient for you and all the Elect of God: As sufficient for you, as if none had been sa­ved, justified thereby, but your self: There is fulness of merit in it, it is a Fountain, Zech 13.1. In that day there shall be a Fountain opened. Now a Fountain is,

1. Living water, and the blood of Christ is living blood.

2. It is running water, it is communicative, it overflows, it feeds the little rivol [...]ts; and the channels in which the blood of Christ doth run, are the hearts of Gods El [...]ct.

3. It is plentiful water; there is but little in a Cistern, but abundance in the Fountain.

4. It is inexhaustible, and perpetual: it o­verflows, and yet it ever flows. Such is the [Page 116] blood of Christ; Christ hath not expended all the vertue of his blood upon David, and Peter, and Paul, and the Saints that are alrea­dy got to glory; but there is enough for you, it is a copious blood, if you consider the real quantity of blood which Christ at six se­veral times did shed. Six times Christ bled for you.

1. In his Circumcision. 2. In the Gar­den. 3. When he was Scourged. 4. When he was Crowned with Thorns. 5. When his hands and feet were nailed to the Cross. 6. When his side was pierced with a Spear. Thus if you consider the real quantity of his natural blood, it was much; but if you con­sider the supernatural efficacy and vertue of it, it was infinite.

Eighteenthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as perfecting blood: It was the fruit of Blood that you have any Grace, and it is the fruit of his Blood that your Grace is growing and increasing Grace. You c [...]m­plain your Grace is small, your Love is little unto God, your Faith is weak, and your de­sires feeble, and faint after Christ, but Christ's blood shall make you perfect. Christ will so moisten your Grace by laying his blood often at the root thereof, that it shall grow, and you shall go from grace to grace, till you come from grace to glory: Heb 13 20▪ 21. Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great she­pherd of his sheep, through the blood of the Ever­lasting [Page 117] Covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, &c.

Nineteenthly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as cementing blood; as that which soders the hearts and affections of Gods people one to another: We are all made to drink of one Blood, which should provoke us to be of one Heart. As Christ shed his blood, and thereby manifested, that be loved all his People; so when we par­take of it in the Sacrament [...] we are engaged to love one another as he hath loved us, 1 Cor. 12.13. Eph. 2 13.14, 15, 16.

Twentyethly, Eye the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as such blood, that maketh all you do, to be pleasing unto God. Your best doings would be provocations unto God, had it not been for Christ's dying: If Christ had not dyed, your very praying would have been provoking of God; it is the sufferings and the blood of Christ, that maketh all your religious duties to be acceptable unto God. This is the sweet Incense, which he offers with the Prayers of Saints, Rev. 8.3. Through the blood of the everlasting Covenant, is that wrought in you, and by you, which is plea­sing in the sight of God; and indeed in this respect you should eye the vertue and efficacy of the blood of Christ in every Duty; your tears are but puddle water, and your righteousness but raggs without this blood of Christ

Thus far to the first part of this Conclusi­on, [Page 118] In what respect you may eye the blood of Christ in this Ordinance, for the affecting of your heart, and the exciting of your Gra­ces, which are next to be spoken of for the improving of the blood of Christ for your comfort and spiritual advantage in this Ordi­nance.

The Graces to be exercised, are chiefly;

1. Faith. 2. Love. 3. Desires. 4. Joy. 5. Sorrow. 6. Hatred unto Sin.

CHAP. XI. Shewing how Faith is to be exercised at the Lords Table.

1. WHen you thus consider the Blood of Christ in the Sacrament, set Faith o [...] work A Crucified Christ is the Object of ju­stifying faith; & one that hath a quick-sighte [...] Faith, will perceive enough in the Blood o [...] Christ, whereby he may resolve his doubts, scatter his fears, supply his wants; as tha [...] which is an universal Medicine against all Soul-distempers.

Let Faith make use of this Blood in re­spect of,

  • God,
  • Satan,
  • Your self.

[Page 119] Viz. In

  • Appealing to God,
  • Replying to Satan,
  • Applying it to your self.

First, When you are at the Lords Table, [...]et your Faith be busied in appealing from this blood to God; after this manner:

Lord, of my self, I am exceeding vile, even by [...]in made worse than the very Beasts of the field, than the croacking Toad, or the most venomous Serpent; y [...] is not here precious Blood, which thy Son hath shed to make me precious in thy [...]ght? Though without it I acknowledge I am [...] some and abominable before thee; yet by it I trust I shall become one of thy Jewels, one of [...]hose that are honourable in thine eyes: Lord, be not offended, for thou thy self thus speakest of thy people; else I durst not have thought it, had I not found thee thus speaking in thy Prophet, Isa. 43.4. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee. O Lord, these are thy words, and I believe them, and am humbly bold through this precious blood, to apply them with it unto my self.

Lord, I have violated thy Law, and broken thy Covenant, and most fearfully sinned against thee, yet is not here satisfying blood? I was an Enemy unto thee, yet is not here reconciling blood? In this I do believe, thou art now my Friend, and my appeased God.

Lord, I was in worse than Egyptian Bondage, a Captive to the Devil, a very drudge and slave unto my lust; but is not here purchasing blood? [Page 120] am I not bought with it as with a price, [...] thy Son hath payed for my ransom? Through [...] I humbly trust I am delivered and redeemed, [...] am indeed under Soul pressing wants: I was peace and comfort, I want love unto thee, [...] more holy fear and dread of thee; but is not [...] purchasing blood? And wilt thou be offended if [...] r [...]ly upon thee for supplies, especially since I a [...] nothing, but what this blood hath bought an [...] purchased for me?

Lord, I have no righteousness of mine own but what is as filthy rags before thee, when [...] would be justified in thy sight; I am ashame of my prayers, and I blush to see my best pe [...]formances, but is not here justifying blood Is not a Crucifyed Christ made of thee, to [...] righteousness to thy people? By thine assist [...]ance I [...]iducially will rely upon this Crucifie [...] Saviour, to make me righteous in thy pu [...] eyes, and disclaiming all my Duties, read [...] forth the hand of Faith▪ to be justified by th [...] blood.

Lord, I am a guilty Sinner, and my sin are both many for number, and heinous [...]o [...] their nature, and aggravating circumstance [...] I have such a sinful heart within this brea [...] that I know not the man that hath a wor [...] If m [...] Fellow Communican [...] should know [...] heart they would look and stare upon me, [...] consider that I have so long professed my [...] to be thy Disciple, should yet come with suc [...] a proud and worldly heart unto thy Table I am guilty of sins against love and light, a [...]gainst thy [...]cy and thy judgments, again [...] [Page 121] [...]hy Spirit and my own Conscience; yea, a­gainst the very Law of Nature written in my [...]art, that a very▪ Heathen would abhor to do [...]at I have not blushed to do; yet is not [...]ere pardoning blood, that can pardon great [...]ns as well as small, and many as easie as [...]w? will not Mountain sins as well as Mole [...]ill sins be covered in this blood? Lord, thy [...]on hath dyed for these sins, therefore I trust [...] shall not be damned for these sins; though [...] them I have deserved greatest condemnati­ [...]n. Lord, for this blood I do believe that [...]hou wilt pardon me, and by this blood wilt [...] my pardon to me. I trust in this blood [...]or a pardon; yea, in this will I trust that thou wilt pardon me.

Lord, I am not only guilty, but polluted; Sin hath as well defiled me, as it would con­demn me Lord, I have a heart as black as Hell, as fil [...]hy and unclean as the unclean Spi­rits themselves; but is not here blood to wash [...], as well as pardon me? To purge me from my filth, as well as save me from the guilt of all my sin? To this cleansing blood [...] bring my defiled Soul, and I will believe [...]hat thou wilt wrince, and make me clean. Lord, here is blood, and what may hinder, but may wash and be clean?

Lord, Sin hath stopped my mouth, and I cannot plead my own cause before thy Maje­sty, but is not here pleading blood? Let that plead for me, this is my Advocate; my sins [...] plead against me, but here is blood that [Page 122] pleadeth for me, and I do believe that wilt rather hear the pleadings of thy So [...] blood for me, than the pleadings of my ow [...] sins against me.

Lord, my Soul is cast down within me, and [...] am often filled with thy terrours, till I am almos [...] distracted: There are many things that do dis [...]comfort me; my sins they do discomfort me, an [...] my very duties as I do perform them, do discom [...]fort me; but is not here comforting blood? O [...] this blood it Aqua vitae to my swepning an [...] dejected Soul. I will lay the mouth of my faith, [...] the bleeding wounds made in thy Son, and wi [...] suck and draw till my Soul is comforted.

Alas, O Lord, my sins have not only made me filthy, but have hardened my heart▪ Sometimes I may feel it to relent, and to give a little, but other whiles it is hard and ston [...] within my breast; sometimes I think neve [...] heart so hard as mine; but is not here hear [...] softning blood? if there be not, let me go away as hardned as I came; but if there be, let m [...] feel the vertue & the power of it, in making i [...] me a heart of flesh O Lord, I will lay my heart a sleeping in this blood, and will believ [...] that then it shall be softned.

Alas, O Lord, my sins are very strong and powerful within me, that sometimes I think they do not only rage but reign, sometime they act so mightily in my heart, that I am apt to think there is nothing but sin in my Soul, and no principle of Grace to check and to control it: My pride is strong, my passion is strong, and my lusts exceeding mighty; [Page 123] but is not here sin mortifying blood, that can take down the strength and power of it? this blood hath subdued i [...] in others, and now I will believe it will subdue it in my Soul?

Oh, my Lord, my heart is often dead and dull, that I cannot pray with life unto thee, that I cannot be lively in thy Service; sain I would, but lo my heart is dead, and cannot: But is not here quickning and enlivening blood? why then wilt thou suffer such a heart to be in me? Lord wilt thou give me leave to apply it to my self, that I may be quickned to thy▪ Service? Yea I know it is thy will I should so do: Now Lord, my heart is warm.

Thus you may in respect of God, by Faith, make use of all the Properties of the blood of Christ, you may go on in all the rest. Let it suffice that I have shewed you how Faith may be set on work in the former particulars.

Secondly, When you thus consider the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, set Faith on work to reply unto the Devil. He will be with you at the Sacrament, to rob you of the com­fort, and hinder you from that joy that there you might be filled with; but by faith in the [...]lood of Christ you may resist him. And [...]hatsoever his Accusations are, from some of [...]hese properties of the blood of Christ, you may put the Devil unto silence.

Doth the Devil cast your sins in your teeth, and rank them in order before your eyes [Page 124] Doth he tell you of your pride, and igno­rance? Doth he tell you of your formal Duties, and your want of close walking with God? You may reply, Oh mine Ene­my! So far as there is truth in thine accusa­tion, I am as willing to accuse my self: yea, before I come unto this Ordinance, thou hear­dest me accuse, and judge, and co [...]emn my self▪ but lo, O mine Enemy! here is blood that hath been shed for me, that was not shed for thee; here is blood to purchase par­don for my sins, which was not shed to pardon thee: Oh, how would such a believing Re­ply make the Devil to slink away, and leave thee to make the best improvement that thou canst of this holy Supper! What sayest thou, Oh thou Enemy of my Souls Salvation and Comfort? Hast thou ought to lay unto my Charge? It may be he will tell thee of the hardness of thy heart; but thou mayst reply, Because I found and felt it hard; therefore I came unto this Blood to have it softned: What now Satan! It may be he will tell thee of thy dulness in thy holy Duties: Thou mayst reply, I did indeed to the grief and burthen of my Soul, find too much deadness upon my heart; and therefore I have brought it to the quick­ning blood of my dearest Lord, and he will out life into me. What now, Oh mine E­nemy! Indeed there is nothing that Satan can charge upon you, or bring against you, but from one of these properties of the blood of Christ, you may put him to the worst. [Page 125] You may go on in any of the rest, as you have occasion to make use of them

Thirdly, When you thus consider the blood [...] Christ, you may set Faith on work, in apply­ [...]g it to your self; and stopping the mou [...]h of our own Conscience, clamouring against you [...] the Lords Table, or else rightly and justly [...]ccusing of you: For Conscience may know [...]ore evil by you than the Devil can, viz. ma­ [...]y vain thoughts and inward sinful workings [...] your heart: But you may use some of these Excellencies of the blood of Christ, upon [...]ounds sufficient to quiet and to allay it; after [...]is manner, Thou tellest me, Oh my Conscience, [...] such blasphemous vain, distracting thoughts!

I do subscribe unto my accusations; but lo, Oh [...] Conscience! here is blood that hath satisfied God, and wilt not thou be satisfied? Here is blood [...]at hath reconciled God unto me, notwithstand­ing those my sins; and Oh my Conscience, wilt not thou then be reconciled unto me? For the sake of his blood, God is at peace with me, and wilt thou [...]? Thus may you procure peace of Consci­ [...]ce, and upon lasting grounds go away [...]th a firm peace concluded betwixt your self [...] your self.

Let Faith make particular application of this [...] in all its Vertues & Efficacies, & say, I [...]ook [...], Oh my Soul! Here is pardoning blood, & it is [...]hin [...]; Here is q [...]ckning softning blood, and it is [...]hine; here is justifying, sanctifying, pleading blood, [...]nd this belongs to thee, Thus for the drawing [...]rth of Faith to do its work at the Lords [...]upper.

[Page 126]

CHAP. XII. Shewing how Love, Des [...], and other Gra [...]ces are to be exercised in the Sacrament.

II. WHen you thus consider the Blood of Christ, [...]hen draw forth holy Love to do its part, as Faith has done its. And indeed, when Faith goeth thus before [...] will be more easie to act all the rest▪ Le [...] but Love see with Faiths Eyes, and it will quickly be inflamed. Let Faith make ap [...]plication, and love will quickly feel the b [...]nefit of it, and shew it in its actings: O [...] how will Love flutter in your breast, whe [...] i [...] shall behold that precious blood that di [...] redeem you, and reconcile you unto God▪ Oh then bespeak your Love for God an [...] Christ: ‘Look here, O my Soul! wha [...] love was this in God, to give his Son fo [...] thee! what love was this in Christ to give his life and blood for thee! precious blood for a vile and worthless sinner! O loo [...] again, O my Soul! here is pardonin [...] blood for thee a sinner, here is softni [...] blood for thee an hardned sinne [...], and [...] is reconciling blood for thee, who wa [...] once an Enemy to God Oh what lov [...] is this! Oh never love like to this! Hath God and Christ thus loved thee, Oh m [...] sinful Soul! and wilt not thou love hi [...] [Page 127] back again? Hath God sent his Son to dye, and said unto him, O my well-beloved Son, go and dye for yonder sinner, and thereby commend my love unto him. O Lord, this love of thine doth overcome me? O Lord, thou hast out-loved me, if now my love were better, thou shouldest have it, but such as it is, thou shalt have it, Make it more and make it better, and still it shall be set upon thee. Oh my Soul, canst thou behold justi­fying blood, and not love him that shed it for thee? Canst thou behold precious, quick­ning, softning blood, and not love him that laid it down to quicken, and to soften thy heart, and redeem thee from Hell, and Sin, and Wrath.’

III. When you thus consider the blood of Christ, then let desires be upon the Wing, to fetch in unto your Soul such things that this blood, by its efficacy and vertue, doth pur­chase and pro [...]ure. ‘O! here is pardoning blood, O! that I could have the pardoning of my sins! Here is sealing blood: Oh that I could have my pardon sealed and confirmed to my Soul! Oh that now my sin might be subdued by this blood! Oh that now my dull heart might be enliven'd by this blood! Oh that now my wounded Soul, and trou­bled Conscience, might be healed, and com­forted by this blood! Oh th [...] [...]ow I may receive more degrees of love to God, and faith in Christ, which this blood hath pur­chased fo [...] me! O that now my poor distres­sed [Page 128] Soul may have rich experience of this softning, quickning, healing vertue of the blood of Christ which he hath so willingly, and so freely poured out for me:’

IV. When you thus look upon the blood of Christ, let your Soul rejoyce in God; and call upon all the powers of your Soul to joy and to delight in God and Christ Oh! Can you think that by this blood you are justified and pardoned, and not rejoyce? that you are re­deemed and reconciled by this blood, and not rejoyce? Is it p [...]ssible you should feel the quick­ning power, and comforting influences of thi [...] blood, and not rejoyce? Is it possible you should believe that this blood is pleading for you, and not rejoyce? O Lord, my Soul doth joy in thee; my Soul doth magnifie the Lord my Redeemer: Oh how good it is to be here [...] Oh what comfort is this my Soul is thus delighted with! Oh what joy is this I feel so warm about my heart! There is no joy like unto it, I never found any like unto it.

V. When you thus consider the blood of Christ in all those excellencies. Oh then be grieved that you have so long neglected it! that you did that which was the cause why preci [...]us blood was spi [...]t; that you should thrust your Sin into his side, to fetch this blood from his very heart ‘O Lord, was I the cause [...]is blood was, shed? was it my pride and vain glory, that did set a Crown of Thorns upon this Crucified bleeding Christ? Was it my u [...]lief and [Page 129] my apostacy from God that broached his blessed heart, from whence I see these streams of blood so plentifully gushing forth, that I may be washed therein, and justified there­by? What, was I the cause of it, and yet, must I have the benefit of it? Did Christ suffer me to murther him, and stab, and pierce his very heart, and then pardon me, and save me when he had done▪ O Lord, my Soul is grieved, my heart is sorrowful: O that I had never sinned! Lord, I hope if my sins were undone again, I should never do them. Oh that since this blood is shed, it might fall upon my heart, that it may be dissolved into tears! Oh that my eye may weep, when I see my Saviours heart to bleed: Oh that my heart may be rent asun­der, when I see my Saviours flesh to cleave asunder, that this Blood may issue forth.’

Is this Blood such quickning Blood? Then, Lord, I am ashamed, that my heart hath been, and is so dull; that I have brought such a dead [...]art to behold my dying Lord: But if it be a quickning B [...]ood, then, O that I might feel and [...]ind it to be so.

Is this such pleading Blood? Then, Lord, [...]hat did I mean, when I did plead so long against [...]t? When I framed Arguments and Excuses to [...]eep me from coming under the power and influ­ence of it!

Is this indeed such mortifying Blood? Oh [...]hen, what did I do when I did neglect to bring [...]y [...]usts unto it, but to consult how they may [Page 130] live, when Christ had dyed that they may be subdued!

Is there so many precious Excellencies [...] this Blood of Christ? Oh sinner, wretch, and fool that I was, that did prefer any thing, ever [...] thing so long before it, and have so often trampled it under foot.

But must I joy and sorrow too? Will no [...] either sorrow keep me from rejoycing, or re­joycing prevent my sorrowing? No, both these may be, both these must be: this mix­ture, medly of affection, doth well become [...] Believer at the Lords Table. You may mourn that your sins did put Christ to death, and y [...] you may rejoyce that Christ hath, would die for your Sins.

VI. When you thus consider the Blood of Christ, then let your Soul hate and abhor your sin that was the cause of its effusion, and would have hindred (if mercy had not prevented) its effectual, timely application. Oh that now your heart might rise against your sins, and that you might hate them while you live, with a perfect and implacable hatred! You do no [...] love to see the Knife that killed your Friend [...] and will you love to think upon that Sin th [...] killed your Lord? Or will you ever do [...] with delight? Oh, hadst thou any Love unto [...] Lord, Oh my Soul! thou couldst not then [...] hate thy Sin. Oh now my Soul! be wrought [...] to a heightned resolution, with greatest indignati­on and abhorrence to cast away thy Sins. Now, Lord, I see that thou hast loved me, and I will [Page 131] hate my sins, and the more I taste of the sweetness of the blood of Christ, the more thou wilt cause my Soul to hate my Sin.

Thus I have given you my thoughts for your satisfaction in this question. How you should consider the blood of Christ in the Sacrament, and have your graces exer­cised when you so consider it?

CHAP. XIII. Conclusion 5. Shewing the necessity of Exa­mination after the Sacrament.

THat such as are partakers of the Lords Supper, should enquire after participation, [...]hat benefit they have received thereby.

There are some that before the Duty, take no pains to prepare themselves, and after the Duty do not refl [...]ct how they went, nor enquire what is that they got. Afte [...] R [...]flecti [...]n is nec [...]ssary as well as Previ­ous Examinati [...]n. What good have I got? [...]hould be a Qu [...]stion we should put to our [...]elves after every Duty we do perform. Had I any warmth of aff [...]ction in it? Have [...] any more love to God, more d [...]si [...]es af­ter him, more ability to duty, to bear affli­ction, to resist temptation, to walk with God? This you should do after every prayer you make, after every Sermon you [Page 132] hear, at the end of every Sabbath, and af­ [...] every Sacrament you receive. For wa [...] of this reflection, these evils follow.

First, For want of this, many think they [...] better, when indeed they be the worse. For want of strict and narrow Examination before the Sacrament, they think they have faith in Christ, love to God, and repentance for their sins; but what they had was but a Counterfeit of Faith and Love, and other Graces, as Hy­pocrites may have: So for want of reflection after the Sacrament, they might think they had some workings of Faith, and Love, and sor­row for Sin, and joy in God; and yet it was not so, but something like to these, as Hy­pocrites might sometimes have in their atten­dance upon God at his Table, and in hearing of the Word, and other Duties. Hypocrites might shed many tears at a Sacrament, and might have some flashes of Joy through a false apprehension that this Christ did dye for them, & hath applied his blood unto them, and that they are partakers of the benefits of his Death, as Grace, Pardon, Hopes of Heaven, &c. & yet shall be for ever damned for not having any of these in truth and in reality; and this mistake is very dangerous, and oftentimes per­nicious: In as much as it doth strengthen the presumption of these mens hearts, when they do think their Faith is strengthened, and are more confirmed in their false hopes of Heaven and Eternal Life, and often go away rejoycing at the thoughts of their good Condition, and yet [Page 133] might lye for ever roaring amongst the Damned, for their folly and mistake; and might bless God for that which they thought they received from him at the Sacrament, and yet might be for ever cast from God, because they had not that Grace which they thought they felt working in their hearts therein; therefore After-examination is ne­c [...]ssary.

Secondly, For want of Examination after the Sacrament, you will be kept from After-humiliation, and Repentance for your sins com­mitted at the Table of the Lord. If you did review and look back upon the frame of your heart, and find you have miscarried in your work and management of your Du­ty, you should see what cause you have of lying low before the Lord for so great a Sin, as to get no good by such an Ordi­nance, that tends so much to promote the work of Grace in the hearts of them that come worthily to the same. Your Heart, when the Minister broke the Bread, was not brok [...]n for your Sin; When you tool the bread, your heart was dull and dead, and did not reach forth the hand of Faith, to lay hold upon Christ and his Be­nefits, and apply them to your self, and [...]o did play the Hypocrite before God & your fellow Communicants: When the Wine was poured forth, and you saw how Ch [...]ist did shed his blood for sinners, you could not drop a Tear for your sins that caused [Page 134] it; or if you did, it was not from a heart sensible of your Sin, or of Gods love unto your Soul; when you took the Cup and drank thereof, you did not remember Christ as you should have done: And, while you were present at this Table, your mind wa [...] filled with distracting Thoughts, and you thoughts were wandring when they should have been fixed on God and Christ: And how shall you be humbled for this, if you do not reflect that you are guilty of suc [...] Sins? And how shall you confess this before the Lord upon your Knees, when you d [...] not afterwards consider how it was with you at that time? And how great a Sin is this, and how bad is your heart, neither to be affected at the Table of the Lord, not to be afflicted in your Soul after you are gone, that it was not so with you! This was your Sin, while you were there tha [...] you got no good thereby: and this is also your Sin, that you do not bewail it when you come away? Whereas it should be lament­ed from one Sacrament to another, that your heart was indeed so bad and out of frame, when it should have been Delighting in God, and Loving of God, and Sorrow­ing for your Sin.

Thirdly, For want of Examination after the Sacrament, you might receive good and not perceive it, nay, perhaps deny it. As many have Grace, and yet think they have none; so many here might receive good, and yet [Page 135] think it is not so: Y [...]u go away and soon forget the workings of God up [...]n your heart, and the workings of your heart towards God; and so are tempted to believe it was no other­wise with you, than it may be wi [...]h H [...]po­crites in this Ordinance: And because you do not seriously consider, and faithfully keep in your remembrance the experience you had from God, while you were there, you yield to t [...]is temptation when you are come away.

Fourthly, For want of refl [...]ction after the Sacrament, you are not so thankful after the duty is done, for what you did receive, as else you would be. Many Hypocrites go away and rejoyce when they should mourn; and many gracious Souls go away and mourn, when they should rejoyce; and both because they do not after­wards refl [...]ct upon the inward working of their hearts, to judge of them according to what indeed they were, God did come into your heart and humble i [...]; God did come into your heart and break it; God did come into your heart, and caused it to abhor your Sin, and to long after Christ, which you should re­member while you live, to adore the riches of his Grace, that he should look upon such Sin and Dust as you are, and cause you to feel such operations of his Spirit, that every time you go into secret, you should give him thanks for these his workings upon your heart: But how shall this be done, if you do not often reflect how it was with you, when you were there?

[Page 136]Fifthly, For want of reflection after the Sacrament, you will oftentimes take up with the [...]are performance of the duty, and rest in [...] work done; and rest satisfied that you have [...] and drunk at the Table of the Lord; though you have not eaten the flesh of Christ, no [...] drunk his blood: and it is too great a sign that you rest in the work done, when you do not consider afterwards how you have done it, not enquire, Did I please the Lord while I was eating? Did I please the Lord while I was drinking at his Table? Did I eat in Fai [...]h, and drink in Faith? Did I find God coming down into my Soul by his Grace and Spirit, and my Soul ascending up to God by Faith and Love?

Sixthly, For want of this refl [...]ction after the Sacrament, you will not be so earnestly desirous after renewed opportunities of Receiving, nor have such longings in your Soul to come again. One would think that the entertainment which God gives unto his People at his Table, the smiles that there they see in his Face, the love that there they perceive to be in his Heart, and the favours there they receive from his Hands, should stir up in their hearts such ear­nest breathings as these. Oh when might I come again! Oh when shall I be thus [...] again! Christ was exceeding sweet unto my Soul, his Comforts were delightful to my heart; Oh when shall I return again unto this Table, that I might have more of that which [...] such a day I found! But if this be so much [Page 137] out of your thoughts, the other will be too much out of your desires.

Seventhly, For want of this reflection after the Sacrament, you will be less experienced, and less acquainted with the workings of [...] own hearts. If you r [...]flect upon what your heart did promise when you were there, and how you have come short of your promise, how your heart did work in hatred unto sin, and how afterwards (if it be not strictly watched) it will be ready to consent and yield unto it: if you thus compare your self, what you are at the Sacrament, and what your heart would be if not heedfully observed afterwards, you would be more acquainted with the deceitfulness of your own heart.

Eighthly, For want of this reflection after the Sacrament, you will be fuller of d [...]ubts, and more empty of comforts, than else you would be. Sometimes God did so powerfully work upon your heart when you were at his Table, in drawing forth your love to him, your hatred to, and sorrow for your sins, that you could not deny that you had grace: But at another time you might lose the sense of this, when it might not be so with you, and then the De­vil doth assault you, to perswade you that you have no grac [...], because now you do not feel the workings of it; but if you would reflect how it was with you such a time at the Sacra­ment, you might repel this temptation: Tho' I do not now find the lively workings of my love to God, yet at such a time in the Sacra­ment [Page 138] I did; though now I do not find my heart to b [...]e [...]k, but is dull and ou [...] of [...]rame, yet such a day in the Sacrament [...] did: Th [...] I found my sins my burthen, and the brea [...]ing of my heart: Then I did feel my heart to burn in love to God and Christ; and this will help to resolve your present doubts, and to expel your present fears, and to resist his temptation of the Devil: But if you do not refl [...]ct, you might lose so good an evidence of the truth o [...] your grace.

Ninthly, For want of this Reflection after the Sacrament, you will be a grief to the Spirit of God, whether you did meet with God or no; whether it was well or ill with you when you were there; If you did meet with God, and if he did comfort your heart, or humble you for sin, and do not reflect, you grieve the Spirit of God, that he was so kind and loving unto you, and you so soon forget it, to be thankful for it; If you did not meet with God, and do not reflect, you grieve the Spirit, that though he absented himself from your Soul, you do soon forget it to be hum­bled for it.

Tenthly, It argues your end was not so right as it should have been; had you aimed indeed at Communion with God, and encrease of Grace, would you not enqui [...]e whether you had attained your end?

Eleventhly, It argues great carelessness of heart, and too great a slighting of the benefi [...] of the Sacrament; did you esteem them, you [Page 139] would enquire whether you had enjoyed them.

Twelfthly, It argues you are not so wise for your Soul, as you are for your Body; not so wise for the things of Heaven, as for the things of this world; for after you have been trading for the things of this Life, you will cast up your accounts to see what are your gains, and what is added to your stock.

Thirteenthly, This will provoke God in after-duties to withdraw from you, and to deny that to you in following Ordinances, which you would not so much as enquire whether you had got in former Duties.

Fourteenthly, You may decline in Grace, and be on the losing hand, and not easily and quickly perceive it, and fall into a frame of dulness be­fore you are aware.

Therefore let it be your constant practice, as to examine your self before, that you may know your fitness for this Duty; so to examine your self afterwards, that you may know whe­ther you are the better or the worse by this Du­ty; for every one is made better or made worse by coming to the Lords Table. Phy­sick makes the Body better or worse: All God's Ordinances will have their operation. The Word is a savour of life or death to eve­ry one that [...]ears it, 2 Cor. 2 15, 16 So ma­ny are the worse by coming to the Lords Table, 1 Cor. 11. [...]7 You c [...]me together not for the better but the worse: That you are not better, is satis culpabile, sufficiently blame worthy; but that you are the worse, this is [Page 140] mali auxesis, the aggravation of your sin. Grande id nefas, quando medicina non modo non proficit aegro, [...] in venenum vertit [...]. It goe [...] ill with that man whose Food and Physick i [...] turned into Poyson, & proves to be his ban [...]; not for his profit, but his detriment.

Here for your satisfaction, I shall enquire after these thing [...].

1 What are the causes that some go to the Lords Table, and receive no benefit thereby?

2 How may a Believer know when he doth re­ceive benefit thereby?

3. What must a believer do, if upon this search he findeth some advantage by this Ordi­nance? And what if he doth not.

CHAP. XIV. Containing the Reasons why some receive [...] benefit by the Lords Supper.

THE Reasons why some are not the better by going to the Lords Table, are such as these:

First, Because they are not habitually prepared for it; they have not those necessary qualifica­tions, nor habitual graces that must be in that mans heart that shall be benefi [...]ed by the Sa­crament: they had no lif [...], and therefore are [...] capable of growth and nourishment. Growth of Grace supposeth truth of grace: [Page 141] They that have not first received a whole Christ in the Gospel in all his Office [...], cannot receive a broken Christ in the Sacrament: They are not united unto Christ, and where there is no union, there can be no communi­on; they are not ingrafted into Christ, and therefore they receive no fruit from the Cross of Christ. All the benefit that must come in by the Sacrament, must be by the exercise of grace, of faith, [...] love, and sorrow for sin, &c. but they that have it not, cannot ex­ercise it.

Secondly, Because many that are habitually prepared, may be too slight in actual preparation [...] ▪ They did not seriously, throughly search their hearts and lives, nor enquire after their sins and wants; they do not solemnly, but slight­ly pray to God before hand: They do not quicken their hungrings after Christ, nor go with great, believing expectations of receiving great things from God in this duty.

And God will check you at his Table, by withdrawing himself from you, for your neg­lect before you came? It may be you were busie about the World, when you should have been preparing for your Duty: It may be you were in your Shop, when you should have been in your Chamber, or your Closet: It may be God saw you reading your Account book [...] when you should have been reading the History of the Death of Christ in the Book of God, and should have been studying the Book of your own heart: God saw you think [...]ing [Page 142] of the World, when you should have been endeavouring to have warmed your [...] heart in the believing thoughts of the Love of God, in the great transactions of Man's Re­demption.

Thirdly, Because after diligent actual prepa­ration, you have rested in your foregoing duties, and expected that for your preparations sake, which you must only receive for Christs sake. It is hard to make diligent preparations, and then deny them when we have done, and expect all through Christ, and after our most serious pre­parations, to acknowledge them as nothing, and that it will be Free Grace if God discover himself unto us at his Table. Sometimes you may observe, that after greatest enlargements in secret preparation, you have been most strai [...]ned in the duty; Not that God is displea­sed with your diligence in preparation, but that you lay too great a stress upon your previ­ous duties; and mounted them up above their place, and would have made a Christ of your duties, and would have de [...]acted from the merits of Christ, in hoping that from God, because you had prepared, which you must only hope for, because Christ hath dyed: Not but that you may and ought to look after your Prayers which you make, and see what re­turns the Lord doth give you; but there is a diff [...]rence between an expectation of good things from God according to your prayers and preparations; and between an expectation of good things from God for your prayers and [Page 143] preparations; and yet you may disclaim this in word, and in your heart secretly too much rely upon them.

Fourthly, Because God is offended that some sweet and secret sin is too much savoured ▪ Though there might be no reigning sin in you which is inconsistent with the sta [...]e of grace, yet there might be too much conni­vance and favour shewed to some particular Sins: The reason why God smiles no more upon your Soul at his Table, m [...]y be, be­cause you frown no more upon your Sins. God shews no more mercy to you at his Table, because you shew no more severity against your sin; and must not God take [...] unkindly when you come to commemo­rate the death of his Son with too much kindness in your heart to sin, that was the cause of his death?

Fifthly, B [...]cause you were too remiss; and let down your Spiritual Watch in the time of receiving You lost holy time at the ho­ly Sacrament, by entertaining of, and be­ing filled with vain distracting thoughts; when you are there you should be careful to do nothing else, and to think of nothing else, but what is pertinent to the duty you are engaged in; your own heart will be fre­quently stragling if you do not keep it▪ & the Devil will be injecting thoughts of things of another nature: or will fill your minds with thoughts of holy things, but not perti­nent to your present work: And [...]f you [Page 144] would receive benefit by your receiving, you must say to Satan, as Nehemiah to Sanballat, when he would have diverted him from build­ing of the Wall'Neh. 6.2, 3, 4 Sanballat sent to him saying; Come let us meet together in some one of the villages; but they thought to do me mischief. And I sent Messengers to him, say­ing, I am doing a great work, so that I can­not come down; Why should the work cease, while I leave it and come to you? Yet they sent unto me four times after that sort, and I answered them after the same manner. When you are receiving, the Devil would parley with you, but it is to do you mischief, therefore reply unto him, I am doing a great work, so that I have no time to en­tertain thy suggestions O mine enemy! I have other things to think upon; here is the death of my Lord, and his love in dy­ing for me, to think upon; and why should this work cease, while I entertain thy sug­gestions? So far as your thoughts wander, so far your work at the Lords Table stands still. And if Satan solicit you four or more times, still answer after the same manner; be as constant in resisting, as he is in solici­ting, and you will find benefit by the duty, if you ply your work when you are there.

Sixthly, Because you have not conscientiously endeavoured to live up to resolutions made in for­mer receivings. Did you not there promise, if God would please to manifest himself unto you, and warm your heart, and pardon your [Page 145] Sin, and speak peace unto your Soul, you would carefully avoid the like Transgressions [...] That you would resist Satans Temptations, and be better in every relation, and fill up the duties that God requires at your hands? That you would pray more, and pray better; That you would take heed of after-passion, if God would pardon your former passion? And yet you have come short of all this, not only through unavoidable infirmity, but through carelessness and letting down your Spiritual Watch. When the Temptation hath assault­ed you again, you have quietly yielded again, and God hath seen as much uncircumspection in your Conversation as before; and do you think the next time you do receive, that God will not make you go away without the com­fort of this Ordinance, who deny to him the care of your conversation? If you would have God to do you good by his Ordinances, you must walk so holily, when one Ordinance is over, that you may meet with God in ano­ther, or in the same at another time.

CHAP XV. Shewing how we may know whether we get good by coming to the Lords Supper.

THat you may know whether you receive benefit to your Soul by coming to the [Page 146] Lords Supper, you must be careful that you do not Mistake; To prevent which, let me pr [...]mise.

First, Take heed that you do not conclude, you have no benefit at all because you have not so much as you perceive some other Christians to have: For Gods discoveries to his People are arbitrary and gradual, when he will, to whom he will, and in what measure he will.

Secondly, Take heed that you do not con­clude, you have no benefit at all, if you have not so much as you hoped for, or expected You aimed at much, and found but little, ye [...] do not say it was altogether an emp [...] Ordinance to your Soul

Thirdly, Take heed that you do not con­clude, you have no benefit at all, if you have it not in that particular and kind that you looked for: It may be you may aim at a great deal of comfort and joy when you w [...]nt; and God may deny you that, and make you to sorrow and be broken more for your sins; this is spiritual benefit, though not in that way as you looked for it.

Fourthly, Take heed you do not conclude the Sacrament doth you no good at all, if you do not sensibly perceive it in the very act of Receiv­ing. or while you are actually under the O [...]di­nance; To have no ben [...]fi [...] by it then, is ve­ry sad and uncomfortable; but yet limit not the efficacy of the Ordinance only to the time of receiving, but observe how it works with you after it is past; it may be sometimes you [Page 147] [...] mourn more, and rejoyce more after­wards, than when you were at the Table. Now to resolve your doubt, consider, you do g [...]t real benefit by the Lords Supper.

First, When you find your heart thereby moch [...]trongly engaged to inward and universal holines [...] When you feel your heart more obliged to walk with God with more circumspection & [...]re than you did before.

Secondly, When you find your Faith is more increased, you can rely upon Christ more [...]ducially than you could before; when you [...]ent, you did purpose to take Christ upon his own terms, but when you come away, your purpose is more setled, and you are more resolved in Christs way, to venture the ever­lasting concernments of your Soul upon [...]

Thirdly, When you find your love to Christ hereby to b [...] more inflamed: You loved him truly before, but now you love him strongly; your Soul is sick while he is absent, but when he is with you, you are satisfied; he now dwelleth more in your thoughts than before [...]he did, a sign, you love him more than be­fore you did.

Fourthly, When Commu [...] with God in the Sacrament is obtained, and God gives you the meeting. The Ordinance then will cer­tainly do you good, when you find your grace go forth in exercise towards God, and the Spirit of God breathing upon your Soul by the powerful influences thereof affecting of you.

[Page 148]Fifthly, When your Spiritual delight and [...] in God and Christ is more raised: Before you did delight too much is the World, and in your Friends▪ and in your Riches, and less in C [...]rist; but now more in Christ, and less in these; When you think of God you can re­joyce; when you speak of Christ, your Soul [...] triumpheth in him.

Sixthly, When your Soul under the sight and sense of sin is more deeply humbled. If you have not joy in a Sacrament, yet if you have more ingenuous sorrow for your sin, God hath done you good thereby: If you do not come away with a rejo [...]cing hear [...], yet if you come away with a weeping eye, proceeding from a truly contrite Spirit, bless God for his mercy to you in that Ordinance.

Seventhly, When corruption and sin is more hated, and becomes more loathsome to your Soul ▪ When the thoughts of sin are more loathsome to you than the actings of it formerly were▪ when you groan more under the weight and load of sin, and do set your self more resolved­ly against it▪

Eighthly, When your desires after full enjoy [...]ment of God and [...]ist in glory are more enlarg­ed: Here you feel the workings of his Spirit, that makes you long to behold his face in his glorious Kingdom, that the little taste you have of Gods manifested love unto your Soul makes you almost impatient till God shall take you to himself.

Ninthly, When your heart is more suspected, [Page 149] and you wa [...] with a greater Holy Jealousie, that you do not lose the end of your going; and that you have a holy fear, that you break not Covenant with God, when his vows are upon you.

Tenthly, When you set a high valuation and esteem upon this Ordinance, and prefer it before your necessary food, and find that your Soul de­sires, you may come again for this very end, that you might meet with more of God ano­ther time.

Eleventhly, When you are more strengthned and emboldened to undergo the loss of all things for Jesus sake: When you see how Christ hath suffered for you, even unto death, you [...]ow count not your very life too dear to lay down for Christ.

Twelfthly, When you come away truly thank­ful for what you had, and truly sorrowful you had no more; If you come away sorrowful, thinking you have not met with Christ, that very sor­row proves you did meet with Christ, else you had not sorrowed when you think you missed of him: By such things as these judge.

CHAP. XVI. Shewing how we are to Live after we have [...] at the Lords Supper.

IF you did find no benifit, then do these three things▪

[Page 150]First, Examine what may be the cause why God with-held the benefit of the Ordinance from you: Why it was, it proved an empty duty unto you.

Secondly, Greatly bewail this before the Lord, that through your own miscarriage, you should lose the great advantage that might have been received.

Thirdly, Labour to feel the benefit of the [...] by Repentance, and exercise of [...] upon Christ, when the Duty is over; And [...] for the efficacy of it.

If you have had good success, do likewise three things.

First, Give to God the Glory of it; take you the Comfort, give God the Glory.

Secondly, The more good you get, the more frequent it: It is good to be often there where you meet with God.

Thirdly, Let your Conversation after the Sa­crament witness the good that you receive in & by the Sacrament: You say so, live so, that all may see it: An holy, suitable conversation, in liv­ing up to Sacramental Obligations, will con­vince your self and others▪ that there is [...] some real good, that you do get by attending upon God therein

But alas! how few do live as becometh those that have been at the Table of the Lord! If you did but listen to their discourse as soon as they are gone from this Ordinance, you should hear some talking presently of the World, or of something impertinent to what [Page 151] [...]hey have been about: If you did but fol­low them from the Lords Table to their [...]wn, what unsavoury words should you [...]ear from them! How frothy and vain i [...] their discourse! And if you observe their actions, even upon the same day, and some­times in the same hour that they have been eating and drinking at the Table of the Lord, you would perceive that they have presen [...]ly forgot where they have been, and what they have been doing, and the obli­gations that th [...]re was laid upon them to [...]ve better. You should see one drunk with passion, another filled with carnal mirth, a­nother careless in the after duties of the [...]abbath: trace them in their lives in the week following, and you shall see them as worldly, as vain, as negligent as others that never had been at such an Ordinance.

Therefore that I might be instrumental (and Oh that I may) to stir you up to live as becomes those that frequent the Lords Table, I shall speak to th [...]se three things.

First. Why you should give all diligence in endeavouring to live suitably to the obligations laid upon you at the Table of the Lord.

Secondly, How you should live and walk after the Sacrament, that your Conversation might be suitable to your Sacramental Obligations.

Thirdly, What are the Aggravations of this sin, in not living as becometh those that have been at the Table of the Lord

First, It requires your utmost diligence to [Page 152] endeavour to live suitably to the Sacrament, if you consider,

1. That your priviledge is greater than th [...] priviledges of many others, whom God dot [...] not invite nor call (while such) to come un­to his Table. God honours you above the wicked in the World, above the ungodly and prophane; and the greater your priviledge and dignity is, the greater should your dil [...]gence be in living up to after-duties, Meph [...]bosheth esteemed it a great dignity and favou [...] that he should eat bread at King David's Ta­ble, 2 Sam 9 7, 8. And is it not a great [...] dignity to eat of the Bread of Life, at the Ta [...]ble of the King of Heaven.

2. The Devil will be assaulting you with new temptations, to [...] you unto sin, after you have been at the Table of the Lord. If God ha [...]h spoken peace unto your Conscience, the Devil will be endeavouring to break your peace; If you have got a pardon of your old sins, he will be tempting you again to the commission of new; and the greater discoveries you hav [...] had of God, when you were there, the greater will his temptations be to draw you into sin, when you come from thence. When Christ was Baptized, and God had owned him, by a voice from Heaven, then he was tempted by the Devil, Mat. 3.17. & 4 1. And if the Devil will be diligent to tempt you after such a Duty, should not you be diligent to resist him? Or, if you be not, is it not likely you will do something that will be unbecoming [Page 153] [...]ne that hath been at this Ordinance? [...] your self be Judge.

3. You are to go again in the following [...] [...]nto your worldly business and employments, and to trade in things below; and how soon will you lose the sense of Gods love, and the sweet delights your Soul was filled with, by dealing in the world, if you are not watchful?

4 Your own heart is apt to grow cold and dull again, after you have been warmed and heated in the Sacrament; Therefore you must be dili­gent after such a duty. The water that is heated by the fire still retains a principle that reduceth it to its former coldness, when it is removed from the fire; & so doth your heart▪

Secondly, [...]f you would walk and live as be­cometh one that hath been at the Table of the Lord, you must,

1. Endeavour to live and walk as Christ did when he was here upon the Earth. When, you have been commemorating Christs death, you must come away purposing to imitate his life. For as Christ in his sufferings hath left us an example how we ought to suffer, 1 Pet. 2 21. So Christ in his life hath left us an example how we ought to live, 1 John 2.6. Then you will walk suitably to that Or­dinance, which is a Commemoration of Christs death, when you tread in his steps while he lived upon the Earth.

2. Walk and live as one that is redeemed by the Blood of Christ should live. In the Sacra­ment you have seen the greatness of the price [Page 154] that was paid for you to redeem you from the Torments of Hell, from the Wrath of God, the Curse of the Law, the Power of Sin: Here it is, you see you are redeemed and bought, and therefore you are no longer your own, but his that died for you: 1 Cor. 6.19 [...] And ye are not your own; ver. 20. For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorifie God, in your B [...]dy, and in your Spirit, which are God [...] Oh how should a man redeemed from eternal torments walk and live?

3. Wa [...]k and Live as one that hath been sealed up to the day of Redemption should live. In the Sacrament you do not only see that you are redeemed, but also that you are sealed unto the day of Redemption: You are assured of Heaven and eternal Life, and Oh how should a person that in the Sacrament hath had the Seal of the Covenant of grace assuring him of Life and Glory, wa [...]k and live!

4 Wa [...]k and live as one to whom the Lord hath spoken peace should live. In the Lords Supper God hath told you, he is reconciled unto you; he hath said unto you, My Son, My Daughter, be of good chear, thy Sins be forgiven thee: Then go and live as one pardo­ned by the Lord should live.

5. Wa [...]k and live as one that hath renewed his Covenant with God should live. Be as strict a­gainst sin after the Sacrament, as you did purpose when you were there. God hath a­vouched himself to be your God, and you have avouched your self to be the Lords, then live accordingly.

[Page 155]1. Walk and live as one that hath seen such [...] at a Sacrament as you have seen. Here [...]ou have seen the dreadful wrath of God [...]gainst sin, the severity and the strictness [...] his Justice against Sin: Here you have [...]en the evil of Sin, and the deserts thereof; [...]ere you have seen what a precious thing [...]he Soul of man is, by the price that was [...]aid for it: Here you have seen the love of God and Christ to poor Sinners; then [...]ve with that fear of Sin, with that care of your immortal precious Soul, with that [...]gence to please and love God, as one that hath such sigh [...] should do.

But more particularly:

1. After you have been at the Table of the Lord, you must make Conscience of ab­staining from those sins that there you did be­wail, that there you sorrowed for: To weep for sin at the Sacrament, and to indulge it when you come awa [...], is great Hypocrisie. Will you (while there) seem to be griev­ed for your si [...], and yet afterwards be un­willing to forsake it? Did you resolve a­gainst it, or did you not? I [...] you did not, the Lord forgive you, your sin is great, & your love to sin was great, when you would not so much as purpose to leave your sin, nor resolve against it; no, not when you saw what Ch [...]ist ha [...]h suff [...]red for sin; if [...]ou did, then do as you did purpose, and resolve: Especially watch most against that sin that you have often [...]st found prevailing [Page 156] against you, that your heart is most read [...] to yield unto, and your Conscience [...] most reproach you for when you were [...] the Table of the Lord. Your endeavou [...] must be against all sin, but chiefly agains [...] your chiefest sin. O [...] never smile upon your sin which you see hath put to death you [...] Lord the Prince of Life!

2. After you have been at the Sacrament be conscientious in discharging of other Duties which this Ordinance doth engage you to Yiel [...] Obedience to the Commands of God, whi [...] he hath given you to be the Rule of yo [...] Life: This was your du [...]y before, but no [...] there is another bond to tye you to it [...] there is a superadded obligation laid upon you so to do; and your neglect and diso­bedience will be more hainous if you do not.

First, Be more frequent, and more fer­vent in your secret Addresses unto God. Be­sides your worshipping of God in your Fa­mily (which some that come to the Table of the Lord, do shamefully neglect) be much with God alone. Oh how should you love and delight to have Communion with God in secret, when no Eye doth [...] you but the E [...]e of God, whom you hav [...] seen in the Sacrament, hath given his So [...] to you and for you!

Secondly, Labour after growth in Grace: This should have been in your desires be­fore you went, and it should be your endea [...]vour [Page 157] when you come from thence to have more love to God than you had before, [...]o have stronger Faith in Christ than you had before, to have more delight in God and Christ, and more ardent desire [...] than you had before

Thirdly, Be more resolved to suffer, and to dye for Christ, than you were before. At the Lords Table you have seen what Christ hath done and suff [...]red for you, [...] you thereby more resolved not only to do, but to suffer also for his s [...]ke: Be not only mo [...]e eminent in your active, but more patient in your passive Obedience than before.

Fourthly, Live in love with all that are par­takers of the same benefi [...]s with you. Yea, in this Ordinance you have an example of lov­ing your very Enemies, as Christ did when he died for you; but a more special and pecu­liar love you are taught to have to all the Members of Christ's Mystical Body, when you see in this Ordinance, how Christ hath loved them all, Eph. 5.2 Walk in love, as Christ al­so hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.

Fifthly, Be not so afraid to dye, after you have seen the Death of Christ in the Sacrament represented to you. Christ hath conquered this Enemy, he hath made Death your Friend to open the door to you, that you may go and live with him who hath died for you.

Thirdly, If you do not live as becomes one [Page 158] that hath been at the Table of the Lord, con­sider the greatness of your Sin in these aggra­vations of it. If you live a loose and carnal life, after you have partaken of this Ordinance.

1. You break Covenant with God, and those promises which you made to him of better o­bedience: you did again resign your self to be the Lords; If you did not, that was your sin [...] if you did, and do not answer it in your life, this is your sin.

2. You dishonour Christ, if you live not sui­tably to this Ordinance; You profess your self to be one of his Disciples, else what did you there? If you be, and do not live accor­dingly, you dishonour him whom you there have seen so much vilified and reproached by others for you, and yet shall he be reproach­ed by others, by reason of you.

3. You do grieve the Spirit of God, if you live not holily after the Sacram [...]nt! Did not the Spirit of God come and bea [...] you witness that you were a Son of God, and did secretly and powerfully p [...]swade your heart, that God through the d [...]ath of his Son was recon­ciled to you, and that you [...] sins were pardon­ed, and that your Soul should be saved when you di [...]; and must not this be a grief unto him to see you walk so unworthy of his love?

4 Y [...]u discredit your Prof [...]ssion, and cause the Holy ways of God to be evil spoken of: if you lead not an Holy life after you have been at the Table of the Lord, those that will not be holy themselves will blame you, [Page 159] and reproach your profession if you be [...]o, holy. Such a man goes to the Sacraments and yet will be unjust, and yet is vain in hi [...] discourse, and we see but little difference betwixt his life and ours; and so will [...]e har­dened in their evil ways, and be prejudiced against Religion, by the Unsuitable Conversa­tions of those that do profess it.

5. F [...]lling into Sin, which you have purpo­sed and resolved against at the Lords Supper, will [...] wound your Conscience, and di­sturb your peace; When Conscience shall tell you. You resolved against this sin, and yet you have committed it; you promised to be more watchful against the occasions and ap­pearances of this evil, but you have wilfully run into the commission of it, or when tempt­ed to it; you willingly consented.

6. Unsuitable walking after you have been at the Lords Table, will cause you to lose much of your ho [...]y confidence when you go again It will much hinder your application of Christ unto your self, that you cannot with that holy con­fidence say, This Christ did die for me; especi­ally if you be not deeply humbled for your failing before you come again.

7 Unsuitable walking after this Ordinance, wil [...] provoke the Lord to withdraw from you, and to leave you in a deserted state, to leave you to the dulness and the deadness of your heart; to take away his comforts from your heart, and to conceal his love from your Soul, till you learn to walk more worthy of it.

[Page 160]8. Unsuitable walking after this Ordinance, will be great unthankfulness unto God for the giving of his Son, and all the Priviledges you have been partakers of by him. It is not your praising God with your lips, but chiefly with your lives; not only in your words, but prin­cipally in your works, that will prove you truly thankful unto God. All that God re­quires from you for all the blessings purcha­sed by the death of Christ, and made over to you in the Sacrament, is that you should be thankful unto him, and to improve them to his praise and glory; but you cannot have a thankful heart, if you have not a suitable con­versation.

These are some of those evils and aggrava­tions of your sin in this respect, which you should be careful to prevent, that in nothing you may provoke your God to anger and dis­pleasure, but behave your self before, and in, and after your participation of this holy Ordi­nance, that God may delight in you through Christ, and might welcome you to his Ta­ble here, and to his Kingdom when you leave this World; where you shall be filled with those delights and joys of which you have a taste in this imperfect state at the Table of the Lord.

[Page 161]

A short Dialogue between a Minister and a private Christian that desires to partake of the Lords Supper.


SIR, if it will not be an interruption to you in your work, I desire your advice and counsel about a duty that concerns my Soul.


It is the work which God hath com­mitted to my charge, to further Souls in their way to Heaven, and direct them in their duty in order thereunto; therefore if your business with me be such, tell me what it is you desire?


My earnest desire is to partake of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper.


Did you never receive this Sacrament?




Why have you lived so long in the neglect of this Ordinance?


Because I have been full of doubts and fears concerning my fitness for it.


Have you then got your doubts resolved? and are you perswaded that you are an invited Guest unto this Holy Supper?


Sometimes I have some hopes that God doth call me to it, but sometimes I fear that I am not yet prepared for it, and therefore I beg your direction what I ought to do.


You know that a Minister cannot look into your heart, nor infallibly discern, whether you have grace [...] no, should you not than rather search and [Page 162] examine your self, since you may know the state of your own Soul, which another cannot?


I know that no man can know my heart, and whether I be sit before God; but you may take account of my knowledge in order to it, and if I speak the truth, and do not lye (which in the presence of God, at whose Tribunal I must shortly stand, I promise,) while I declare to you the workings of the Spirit of God upon my Heart, you may tell me from the Word of God, what my conditi­on is; neither do I come to spare my pains in examining of my self, but that thereby I might be the better inabled for it.


Are you willing then that I should try your knowledge concerning the Lords Supper, and en­quire into the grounds and Reasons of your hopes, why you think you are fitted for this duty?


I ought to be always ready to give an answer to every man that asketh me a reason of the hope that is in me, much more to such whom God hath set to watch for my Soul, and especially when I desire to partake of the Lords Supper.


Tell me then what is the Lords Supper?


The Lords Supper is the Second Sacra­ment of the New-Testament, 1 Cor. 11.25. instituted by Christ, Luk. 22 19, 20 wherein by the signs of Bread and Wine, and the act­ions that concern the same, Mat. 26 26, 27. we shew forth his death, 1 Cor. 11.26 and God signifieth, sealeth, and exhibiteth the Bo­dy and Blood of Christ, 1 Cor. 10 16. with [Page 163] all the benefits of his death and passion, to e­very worthy Receiver, for his spiritual nou­rishment and growth in Grace.


Why is it called the Lords Supper?


Not because it is appointed a Supper to us, but because Christ sitting at his last Sup­per, ordained it instead of the Passover, Mat. 26.26.


How long is the Lords Supper to continue in the Church?


Till Christs coming in Glory, 1 Cor. 11.26.


Is it the Duty of Believers to receive the Lords Supper?


Yes: Else, 1. They disobey Christ's Command, Luk 22 19. 2 S [...]ight Christs love in appointing it for them. 3. Neglect a profi [...]able means for their growth in Grace. And 4 Provoke God to great displeasure▪ Mat. 22 2. to verse 9.


Is it the Duty of Be [...]ievers often to partake of the Lords Supper?


1. Christs Command, 1 Cor. 11 26▪ 2. The Apostles practic [...], Acts 2 42 & 20.7 3 Their own necessi [...]y, being often dull, John 20 9 and often doub [...]ing, Mat 28.17 and often backward to b [...]lieve, Luk 24.25. or to remember Christs D [...]ctrine about his Death, Luk. 24 5, 6, 7, 8 their often spiritual wants, Phil 4 19 their too often decays in Grace, Rev. 2 4 and [...] 2. their often sinning against God, Jam 3 2 and their often need of cleansing by the Blood of [Page 164] Christ, John 13.8. 1 Joh. 1.7. and often need of pardon, Mat. 6.12 do require that Believers should often partake of the Lord [...] Supper.


Do Hypocrites and Ʋnbelievers eat and drink Christs Body and Blood?


No: Such receive only the outward E­lements.


Is not then their case dangerous?


Yes: Because, 1. Their Sin is great, be­ing guilty of Christs Body and Blood, 1 Cor. 11.27. 2. They eat damnation to themselves. v 29 3. Are sickly and do die for this sin, v 30. For this God casts some mens Bodies to the grave, and their Souls to Hell.


What course then must you take to prevent this sin and danger?


I must give all serious diligence to pre­pare my heart for so great a work.


Why do you think preparation is so needful?


Because, 1. All men are naturally unfit. 2 After Conversion, Believers are often in­disposed for it. 3. God will come and view his guests, Mat. 22.11 4. We have to do with the Blood of the Son of God. 5 Many duties here do meet And 6. God hath made great preparations for us.


How must you prepare your self for the Lords Supper?


By a serious narrow search of my heart, whether I have those Graces which God re­quires of worthy receivers; and by fervent so­lemn Prayer.

[Page 165]

What are those graces which God requires in worthy receivers?


Knowledge, Faith, Love to God, Re­pentance and New-Obedience.


Why is Knowledge necessary?


Because without knowledge the heart cannot be good, Prov 19.2 Nor can a man else examine himself, or discern the Lords Body.


What knowledge is necessary?


It is necessary to know how we are cre­ated, how we fell from God, and how we are recovered.


How were we created?


After the Image of God, Gen. 1.27. in Knowledge, Righteousness, and Holiness, Col. 3.10. Eph. 4 24


How came we then to be so sinful and mi­serable?


By the first Transgression of our first Paren [...]s, Rom 5 12.18


Wherein consists the sinfulness of our estate by reason of our first Parents fall?


In the imputation of Adam's first sin, Rom. 5.19 The privation of the [...]mage of God which we had at first, Rom 3 10. And in the pro­pensi [...]y of our hearts to the vilest sin, Gen. 18.12. and 6 5.


Can you not declare more particularly the sinfulness of the several faculties of the Soul, and members of the B [...]dy


The understanding is dark and igno­rant, 1 Cor. 2 14 Eph. 4 18 An Enemy to God, Rom. 8 7. Vain, Eph 4 17. The will [Page 166] is stubborn and rebellious, John 5 40 Mat. 23.27 Unable to chuse good, Phil. 2.13. The Conscience is defi [...]ed, Tit. 1.15. In some feared, 1 Tim 4.2. Erroneous, John 16.2. Doub [...]ing▪ Rom 14 23. The heart as hard as an Adamant, Zech 7.11, 12 The Af­fections turned from the best Objects, the li­king Affections which should be placed upon God, are towards evil; Naturally Men love pleasures more than God, 2 Tim. 3 4. And Riches, Mat 19.21, 22. And themselves, Mat. 10.24 And th [...]ir Relations, Mat. 10.37 And desire any thing rather than God and Christ, Isa. 53.2. J [...]b 21.14 And delight in evil, not in God, Prov. 2.14 Their disliking Affections which should be against Sin, are against God: Haters of God, Rom 1.30. Grieving [...] Gods goodness to others, Mat. 20.11 to 16 The memory apt to forget good, Heb 12 5 Deut 1.10, 11, 14. To remem­ber evil, Ezek 23.19, 21. And when it re­members g [...]od, it is for a wrong end, Mat. 27 63. So all the Members of the Body are instruments of sin, R [...]m 6 19 Eyes are full of Adultery, 2 Pet. 2 14. [...] swift to sin, Throat, Tongue, Lips, Mou [...]h, full of sin, Rom 3 13, 14, 15.


Wherein will the knowledge of this sinful­ness of man be useful to you when you go to the Lords Table.


It will be an help to break my heart when I am there, that I should be such a bun­d [...]e and lump of sin; to feel a need of Christ, [Page 167] and to admire [...]he Love of God in sending his Son to dye for such a filthy loathsome, and polluted Wretch.


What is the misery of that estate into which Man fell?


The punishments that are due to Man for sin, are 1. All Temporal Miseries, as Gods Curse upon the Creatures, Gen. 3.17. Rom. 8 20 Upon his Estate, Deut. 28.17. Chil­dren, v 18 And all he takes in hand, v 20. Sickness [...]s, as Plague, v. 21. Consumption, Fever, Agu [...]s, &c v. 22, 27. Levit. 26.16. Famine, Deut. 28 22, 23, 24 Madness, v. 28 D [...]ath, Rom. 6.23 Gen 2.17. & 3 19. Yea; all the Curses that are written in the Book of God, Deut. 29.20, 27. And that are [...] written, Deut. 28 16 2. Spiritual Miseries By Nature man is dead in sin, Eph. 2 1. A [...] of Wrath, Eph. 2.3. And of the [...]: John 8.44. Loathsome to God, Ez [...]k 16 [...] A Stranger to him, Ephess 2 19. [...] b [...]indness of mind, Isa 6 9. In danger of H [...]ll but doth [...], Rom 11.8 Nor fear i [...], Deut. 29 [...]9 Insensible of sin, Isa 48 4. But sometim [...]s [...] with such horrour of Con­science, that he is [...]eary of his Life, Gen. 4.13, 14. And wi [...] die b [...] his own hands ra­ther th [...]n b [...]a [...] it, Mat. 27 3, 4 5. Hath a [...] Mi [...]d, R [...]m 1 28 And vile Affe­ctions, Rom 1 [...] 26 Is under the power of the Dev [...], E [...] 2 2. And of lust, v. 3. And is pro [...]e to [...] wickedness▪ Gen. 19.5. [...] this is his [...], that God is angry [Page 168] with him every day, Psal. 7.11. And that nothing he can do, doth please God, Rom 8 8.3. Eternal miseries: As banishment from the comfortable presence of God for ever, Mat 7.23. 2 Thes. 1.9 The pains of Hell, Rev 20.15. In a Lake of Fire and Brimstone, Rev. 21.8 That never shall be quenched, Mark 9 44. With the company of cursed, tormented, and tormenting Devils, Mat. 25 41. Where the Worm shall never die, Mark 9 46. And the Torment shall be easeless, Luk 16.24, 2 [...]. Remediless, verse 26 Endless, Rev 14 10, 11.


Wherein will the knowledge of this promote your fitness for the Lords Supper?


It will make me the more importunately to cry for mercy, Luk. 18.13 To s [...]e my need of Christ, Mat 9.12. To hasten to him, and believe on him, Acts 16 29, to 35. To value Christ above all, Phi [...]. 3 7, 8 To confe [...] my sins, Luk 15.18. And to grieve for them, Acts 2 37


By whom are you recovered from this sin and misery?


By Jesus Christ alone, Acts 4.12.


Who was Christ?


The Eternal Son of God, Psal 2 7. Who became man, John 1.14 Who was and is God, John 1.1. and Man, 1 Tim. 2.5. In two distinct Natures, Mat. 22 41. to 46. and Rom. 1.3, 4. And one person for ever, John 3 13.


Why was it necessary that the Mediator betwixt God and Man, should be both God and Man?

[Page 169]

If he had not been Man he could not have died, 1 Tim 6 16 And if he had not been God his death had not been satisfactory for our sins, nor have purchased his Church, Acts 20.28


How doth Christ recover us from our sin and misery?


By executing the Office of Prophet, Acts 3.2 [...] Priest, Heb 5 6. and King, Psal 2.6.


Why was it necessary that Christ should execute this threefold Office?


To cure us of a three-fold misery that we lay under.


What was the first?


We were blind and ignorant, Mat. 15.14. and 23.16, 17, 19, 24, 26. Therefore he became a Prophet to reveal to us the will of God for our Salvation, John [...].18.


What was the second?


We had sinned, and could not satisfie the Justice of God, Mic 6▪ 6, 7. Therefore he became our Priest, by dying to satisfie Gods Justice, and to intercede for us, Isa. 53.4, 5, 6 Heb. 7.25.


What was the third?


We were weak, Rom 5 6. and could neither turn to God, Jer. 13.18. and 17.14. Lam. 5 21. nor subdue our Enemies, Mark 5.2. to 14 Therefore he became our King, to subdue us to himself, Psal. 110.3. And to save us, Isa 33.22. And to restrain and con­quer his and our Enemies, Psal. 110.1. 1 Cor. 15 24, 25, 26.

[Page 170]

How are we made partakers of Christ and his benefits?


By Faith, John [...] 16. Acts 13.39. Eph. c. 2 v 8.


What is Faith?


It is an hearty receiving of Christ for Lord and Saviour, John 1.12. Or, a res [...] ­ing upon Christ alone for Salvation.


Why did you say that Faith i [...] necessary to worthy receiving?


Because, 1. Without Faith it is impos­sible to please God, Heb 11.6 and we should not displease him at his Table 2. By Faith we are the Children of God, John 1.12 Gal 3.26. And this is Childrens B [...]ead, and Gods Houshold Provisions: And we are not of the Houshold of God, till we are of the Houshold of Faith▪ Eph. 2.10. Gal. 6.10 3. The Lords S [...]pp [...] d [...]th not sanctifie Unbelievers, but Unbelievers pro­phane the Lords Supper. Hag. 2 12.13, 14.4 Because of many Scripture [...], setting [...]orth the [...] Fa [...], it is the [...] of the Soul▪ and i [...] the Lords Supper [...] to Christ John 6.35 [...] Sou [...], John 6.53 And [...]here [...] upon Christ it is the hand [...] Christ▪ John 1 12. And we should tak [...] Christ, [...] is the eye of the Soul, Is [...] [...] 22 And [...]here we should [...] is the Life of the Soul [...] 2 20 And [...] dead m [...]n cannot read upon Christ.

[Page 171]

Why do you say that Repentance is ne­cessary to worthy Receiving?


Because, 1. We are to Judge our selves, 1 Cor. 11.31. 2. A soft heart will receive the impression of this Seal. 3. Because a man is to turn from sin when he comes to the Lords Table.


Why did you say that love to God is necessary?


Because it is uncomfortable to sit down at the Table of an Enemy, but dreadful and dangerous to sit down in our enmity at the Table of the Lord: If a man keep up his fellowship with the Devil, he provo­keth God if he comes to his Table, 1 Cor. 10 21, 22.


Why did you say that new Obedience is necessary?


Else a man would come in his rebel­lion. God preferreth obedience before sa­crifice, else a man doth not receive out of obedience unto God, but for some sinister end. A disobedient liver cannot be a wor­thy receiver, nor have communion with God, 1 John 1.6, 7.


If these things be so necessary, doth it not concern you to examine whether they be wrought in your heart?




What are the signs of true Faith?


1. A prizing of Christ above all things in this world. 1 Pet. 2.7 2. Willingness to receive him into the heart upon Gospel-terms, [Page 172] for Lord and Saviour, John 1.12. 3. If it purifi [...] the heart, Acts 15 9 4. If it be fruitful it good works, James 2 17 5. If it enable us to overcome the world, 1 Joh 5 4.


How do you know you love God?


Because, 1. [...] am grieved at his absence, and cannot be satisfied, till I find him, Cant. 3.1, 2, 3. 2. By my d [...]s [...]es, to be like him, and love to those that are like him, 1 John 4.7.12. 3. By my hatred unto sin, Psal 97.10 4. By my obedience unto his commands, Exod. 20.6 John 14 21, 23. 5. By my de­sires to have an heart to part with all for him, that he might have the predominancy of my love, Mat 10 37 6 By my g [...]ieving when he is dishonoured by my self or others, Psal. 51.4 and 119 53.136 158▪


How do you know you have repentance for sin?


Because. 1. My Soul groans under it as a burthen heavier to me than any affliction, Luk 15.16, 18, 19, 21. Mat. 11 28 2. Be­cause I am ashamed of my secret sins before God, that never exposed me to shame amongst men, and loath my self for all, Ezek 36.31. 3. Because I desire to forsake all sin, even the dearest▪ Prov. 2 [...] 13. 4. Because what I cannot get fr [...]d from, I fight against, that sin might never have a peaceable poss [...]ssion in my heart, Gal. 5.7,


How do you know the truth of your new Obedience?


Because, 1. My Obedience spring from [Page 173] a new principle, love to, and fear of God, Deut 10.12 2. Is guided by a new Rule, not by my own will; but he Word of God, Gal 6 16. And 3. I aim at a new end, the Glory of God, 1 Cor 10.31.


But if a man cannot say, he loves God, and say, he hath faith, but yet find he hunger after Christ and thirsteth for him, may he comes to the Lords Table?


Yes, 1. Because assurance is not necessa­ry. 2. Because Weak Believers have a [...]ight unto it. 3. Because God inviteth those that hunger and thirst, Isa 55.1 John 7.37. 4. Christ pronounceth them blessed. And 5 Promiseth that they shall be filled, Mat. 5 6.


But would it not tend much to your com­fort at the Lords Table to know before you go, that Christ died for you in particular?


Yes, Because then I could say, Here is Blood, and it was shed for me, &c.


How may you know that Christ died for you in particular?


1. If I be one of his People, Mat. 1.21. and this I am, if I be willing to be, to do, to suffer what Christ would have me, Psal 110.3. 2. If I be one of Christs Friends doing his Commands, John 15.13, 14. 3. If I be dead to sin, Gal. 6.14. 4. If I [...]ive to Christ, 2 Cor. 5.15. I may conclude he di­ed for me, Gal 2 20


If upon serious search you find these Graces wrought in your heart; is it necessary you should spend some time in solemn prayer before you go?

[Page 174]

Yes, because, 1. I cannot act what Grace I have without Gods assistance, John 15.5. 2. The duty is solemn and weighty. 3. Though God will give the blessings of the Covenant of Grace, yet he will be sought unto for them, Ezek. 36.37.


Is it sufficient for your worthy Receiving, that you have found these graces in your heart, and prayed to God before you go?


No; But I must see that my End be right, and that I behave my self as I ought, while I am there.


What is your end in going to the Lords Table?


My End must be, 1. To have Com­munion with God. 2. To encrease my Faith in Christ, and Love to God: 3. To further my joy in the Holy Ghost: 4. My peace of Conscience: And 5. Hope of Eternal Life: 6. To renew my Covenant with God: 7. To quicken me to Obedience: 8. To make me thankful to God for his mercy bestowed up­on me in Christ: 9. To get power against my sins: And 10 Especially to remember & shew forth the Death of Christ.


What remembrance must this be of the Death of Christ?


Not an Historical remembrance of Christs Death only; for so the Devils remem­ber that Christ hath died, but such a remem­brance that should affect my heart with love to him, desire after him, joy in him, with sor­row for my sin that caused his Death; and [Page 175] whereby I might answer all the charges of the Law, the clamours of my Conscience, and the accusations of the Devil, Rom 8.33, 34.


Having found the truth of Grace in your heart, and that your End is right, what must you do when you are there?


Give all diligence in endeavouring to draw my Graces in [...] act


What are these Graces that you must endeavour to exercise when you are at the Table of the Lo [...]d?


Fa [...]th, Love to God and Christ, sor­row for sin, d [...]sires after Christ, and thank­fuln [...]ss.


What means would you use when you are there to exercise these Graces?


Sometimes I would meditate upon such things [...]s are here [...] to my thoughts from this O [...]dinance, [...]endi [...]g thereunto; and some­tim [...]s put up circu [...]ations unto God that he would please to h [...]lp me▪


What would you meditate upon at the Lords Table for this end?


1. Sometimes I would think upon the Love of God and Christ. 2 Som [...]times upon his Wrath and Sev [...]rity against Sin. 3. The [...] nature of sin. 4 The preciousne [...] of my Soul. 5 The suff [...]ri [...]gs of my Lord. 6 Of my sitting with God in his Kingdom. An [...] 7 The priviledges I am made partaker of in [...]his lif [...] by the de [...]th o [...] Christ.


What are th [...]se priviledges purchased by the death of Christ, sealed in the Sacrament, the [Page 176] believing thoughts whereof will [...] to warm your heart, and act your Graces at the Sacrament?


These are, 1 Peace with God, Rom 5:1: Col 1:20, 21 2 The Righteousness of Christ imputed. 2 Cor 5:21: 3 Pardon of Sin. Eph 1:7 [...] 4 The death of Sin, Rom 6.6 5 Adoption, Eph 1:5: Gal 3:26 6 Per­severance, Phil 1:6: 7 Deliverance from Wrath to come, 1 Thes 1:10 8 Communion with God, 1 John 1:3: 9 Hope of Heaven and eternal li [...]e, 1 Pet 1:3, 4.


What is there in the Sacrament presented to your senses, that represents these things to your Faith?


Sacramental Elements, and Sacramental Action [...].


What are the Sacramental Elements?


Bread and Wine, signifying Christs Bo­dy and Blood, Mat 26:26, 27.


Is not the Bread and Wine changed into Christs Body and Blood?


No surely: For then, 1 Christs glori­ous Body now would be subj [...]ct to Corrupti­on. 2 Then a finite Body can be in Heaven and Earth, and in many places upon Earth at the same time. 3 Then I do not know Bread and Wine when I do see it & taste it. 4 Then there would be no Signs of the things signifi [...]d, and so this would be no Sacrament. 5 Then a Drunkard might eat and drink Christs Bo­dy and Blood, as well as a true Believer. 6 Then the Minister may as surely give the thing signified as the outward Signs, whereas [Page 177] this is the Gift and Prerogative of God alone, Luk 3:26 7 Then at the first institution there were two Christs, one that gave, and a­nother that was given. 8 The Cup is said to be the New-Testament, as well as it is said to be Christs Blood, 1 Cor 11:25 But in that there must be a Figure, whether Papists will or no, and so there is in this.


Why then are the outward signs graced with the names of the things signified?


1 To shew the inseparate Conjunction of the things signified, with the outward signs to the worthy Receive [...] 2 Because of the fit proportion and agreement between the signs and the things signified.


Wherein is the agreement betwixt the outward signs, and the things signified?


In regard, 1 Of the preparations; that bread might be prepared, the Corn must be threshed in the floor, grounded in the Mill, baked in the Oven; and that Wine may be prepared, the Grape must be Crushed in the Wine press. So, that Christ might be a Sa­viour unto Sinners, he must be brui [...]ed for our sins, and scorched in the Oven of his Fathers Wrath, and alone must tread the Wine press, Isa 63:3: 2 In regard of usefulness; Bread is of daily use, whatsoever be our other refresh­ments: So Christ is of daily use unto us, what­soever be our other enjoyments: Bread is the sta [...] of life, and Wine cheareth the heart of Man: Such is Christ unto our Souls.


What may you meditate upon, when you [Page 178] see that Christ ordained both Bread and Wine to be the signs in this Sacrament?


The plentiful Redemption we have in Christ, that from him we might have a supply for all our wants, compleat nourishment; here being Bread that satisfies our hunger, & Wine tha [...] quencheth our thirst.


What may you meditate upon when you see the Bread and Wine given apart?


That Christs B [...]ood was separated from his Body, that we might not be s [...]parated from God for ever.


Doth the C [...]p belong also to the People as wel [...] as to the Minister?


Y [...]s, forasmuch as Christ in the first In­stitu [...]ion, Mat 26.27: and the Apost [...]e [...] after­wards, 1 Cor 11.25, 26: [...]D [...]nk ye all of this. The same that are commanded to [...], are al [...] commanded to drink, wi [...]hout d [...]ffe­rence. And [...]his Sacrament is th [...] Communi­on [...] Ch [...]sts Blood, as well as of his Body, 1 C [...]r 10:16.


What be the Sacramental Actions?


The Acti [...]n [...], s [...]me are of the Minister, some [...] R [...]ceiv [...]rs:


What are the Actions of the Minister?


The [...].


Which is the first?


He is to [...]ke the Bread and Wine into his hands, and separate them from ordinary Bre [...]d [...]nd Wine.


What may you meditate upon when you see the Minister do this?

[Page 179]

That God in his eternal Purpose and Decree hath separated Christ from all other men, to be our Mediator, Exod. 12.5. Heb. 7 26


Which is the second action of the Minister?


He is to bless and consecrate the Bread and Wine by the Word and Prayer.


What may you meditate upon as signified by this?


That God in the fulness of time sent his Son into the World, furnishing him with all Gifts needful for a Mediator, Gal 4▪ 4


What is the third action of the Minister?


To break the Bread and pour out the Wine.


What may you meditate upon when you see him do this?


The Passion and Suffering of Christ, and all that he endured both in Body and Soul for our Sins, his bl [...]ss [...]d Body b [...]ing bruised, and his precious Blood sh [...]d, and that his Soul was poured out unto the death, Isa. 53 5, 10, 12 H [...]b 9 14▪


What is the fourth action of the Minister?


To give and distribute the Bread and Wine unto the R [...]c [...]ivers.


What may you meditate upon when you see him do this?


That G [...]d is giving of his Son, and the Son giving of himsel [...]; and really, though invi­sibly d [...]aling for [...]h to every worthy [...]eceiver the benefits of his death, according as he needs.


What be the Sacramental actions of the Receivers?

[Page 180]



Which is the first action of the Receiver?


To take the Bread and Wine offered by the Minister.


What may you meditate upon, & do then?


I ought to stretch forth the hand of Faith, and receive Christ and all his benefits, else I play the Hypocrite at the Lords▪ Table, before God and the whole Congregation.


Which is the second action of the Receiver?


To eat the Bread and drink the Wine.


What doth that signifie?


My Union unto Christ, and Enjoyment of him, by feeding upon Christ by Faith, for the strengthening of the Graces of Gods Spi­rit in my Soul.


What must you do after the Sacrament is over?


Consider with my self, if I have received any benefit thereby.


How will you know this?


1. By the encrease of my Faith in Christ, and Love to God. 2. By my greater hatred unto sin, and power against it. 3. By my lon­ging after the enjoyment of God in Heaven. 4. By my prizing of this Ordinance above my necessary Food: And 5. By my resolutions in the strength of Christ, to suffer for him who died for me.


What must you do if you have found good by this Ordinance?


I must give God the Glory, & desire to [...], & walk suitably in my Conversation.

[Page 181]

How must you live that you might walk suitably?


I must make it my business to forsake all sin, and to perform all the duties that God re­quireth from me.


What if you do not?


I then, 1 Dishonour Christ. 2. Grieve the Spirit. 3. Break my Covenant made and renewed with God. 4. Discredit my Professi­on. 5: Wound my Conscience. 6. Provoke God to withdraw from me. 7. Shall be guil­ty of great unthankfulness. And 8. Weaken my Conscience when I go again.


What if you find no good by the Sacrament?


I must examine what was the cause, and be humbled for it, and forsake the sin, and pray to feel the benefit of it, when I am come away, and better prepare my self, and humbly, wait upon God therein another time.

A Dialogue between a Weak Believer that dares not come to, and a Strong Believer that dares not absent himself from the Lords Supper.

Weak Be­liever.

MY Friend! I am glad I met with you on such a day as this?

Strong Believer.

I rejoyce in your health, & in the mercy vouchsafed to us both, that we have one Lords day more to wait upon our God.

[Page 182]

I may account it mercy indeed, who have been so dull and dead, and out of frame all the week long, and yet uncertain what the state of my Soul is; but I pray you whither are you going so chearfully?


I am going to a Feast this day.


Do you spend holy time in Feasting?


Yes, in such feasting as I am going to.


What Feast do you mean?


A Feast o [...] fat things, a Feast of Wines on the Lees, of fat thing [...] full of Marrow, of Wines on the Lees well refined.


Who invites you to this Feast, of which you speak [...] great things as these?


God himself doth make this Feast, and invites me to it; our Father makes a Banquet for his Child [...]en.


If God do call you to a Feast, the Provisi­ons surely are according to the state of so Great a King?


Wisdom hath killed her B [...]asts, she hath mingled he [...] Wine▪ she hath furnish [...]d her Ta­ble; [...]he Ox [...] and Fat [...]ing [...] are killed, and all things are ready: The [...]e is Mi [...]k for the weak, and Wine for the strong and sorrowful of Heart There is Bread for the Hung [...], Wa­ter for the Thirsty, every thing that is necess [...] ­ry or delightful. Indeed it is the Body and Blood of Chr [...]st, who is both the Matter and the Master of this Feast.


Now I understand you mean the Lords Sup­per: And I have heard indeed of s [...]me that have partaken thereof, that great and precious things are there prepared.

[Page 183]

Yes, there are, and methinks I feel my heart to burn within me, while I am spea­king of them, and of the love of him that hath prepared them and called me unto them.


Surely you will be much delighted when you are there, since your heart is thus raised as you are going to it.


Raised! through the mercy of my God, at this time it is, but sometimes it is not so, but I am without a sense and feeling of the Love of God, yet then I should not dare to absent my self from this Holy Sup­per, for when I am without the sense of the love of God, I then endeavour to keep upon my heart a sence of my duty towards him, and of my wants, to fetch supplies from him by this and other means, as he hath appointed in his Word.


Then, if you have the light of Gods coun­tenance or not, you are desirous to be partaking of the Supper of the Lord?


Though I have no comfort, I would do my duty, yea then my Soul doth long, doth thirst and exceedingly desire, that (through the mercy of my God, and me­rits of my Saviour) I may taste of these Provisions, and feed upon my Lord Redee­mer, whose fl [...]sh is meat indeed, and whose blood is drink indeed.


But I pray you, what are those Provi­si [...]ns that are there prepared, that do thus af­fect your heart?


What are th [...]! They are Rich and [Page 184] Costly Provisions; they are free, suitable, plen­tiful, sufficient, Soul-nourishing, lasting, heart-chearing Provisions.


Will you not particularize some of these Provisions for my better information?


Oh! my Soul rejoyceth wi [...]hin me.


Lord, how dull am I, while he is thus affected?


My Soul rejoyceth within me, while I consider what they be.


What are they?


What! Christ and all his Priviledges are ready to be exhibited, and sealed to my Soul this day.


What Priviledges?


Peace with God, pardon of sin, righte­ousness imputed, peace of Conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, more grace, perseverance to the end, and at the end eternal life.


Shew me the suitableness of these Provisi­ons to your Soul?


A Saviour is suitable to a lost Sinner; pardon to a guilty Sinner; peace with God to a Sinner that was an Enemy to God; peace of Consci [...]nce to a Sinner under apprehensions of Gods Wrath; Justification to a Condemn­ed Sinner; cleansing Blood to a polluted Sin­ner; comfort to a D [...]j [...]cted Sinner: These, these, are the provisions which are set upon my Fathers Table.


These are great and excellent things in­deed, but who are the Guests invited to this Feast? who are these proviss [...]s for?

[Page 185]

For those that are burthened with sin, and do forsake it; for those that hunger and thirst after Righteousness, for the Children of God, for the Friends and followers of Christ; for those that are willing to take him in all his Offices.


But might the poor and those that have no money go unto this Feast?


Yes, yes, the poor in purse might be welcome, and the poor in Spirit shall be wel­come. God loves to see his Table filled with those that are sensible of their wants and sins, and these he will satisfie abundantly with the fatness of his House, and cause them to drink of the Rivers of his pleasures, when the full self-righteous Pharisee shall be sent empty away.


This revives my heart, if you can make it good?


The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, and therefore you may not doubt thereof. He is most earnest with the hungry and thirsty to come, Isa. 55.1. Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat, yea, come, buy Wine and Milk without money and without price. And the Son calleth such, John 7.37. In the last day, that great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thi [...]st, let him come unto me and drink And the Spirit calleth such, Rev. 22▪ 17. And the Spirit and the Bride say▪ Come, and let him tha [...] heareth say, Come! and let him that is a thirst [...]me, and [...] wi [...]l, let him [Page 186] drink of the Water of life freely. And the Mi­nisters of God are still sent to call such, Luke 14.21 —The Master of the house said to his Servants, Go out quickly into the Streets and Lanes of the City, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind, verse 23. And the Lord said unto the Servant, Go out into the high way, (where poor men wont to beg) and hedges, (where poor men wont to work) and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.


And do these Scriptures encourage you to frequent this Ordinance?


Yes; And because the same God that Commandeth me to pray, commands me to receive, and hath given me hopes that I shall be partaker of the benefits thereof, I am bound to wait upon the Lord therein.


What do you hope to be partaker of, by go­ing to that Ordinance?


I hope to have my heart inflamed with love to God, and desires after Christ; to have my Saviour more endeared to my Soul, my heart softned, my sin subdued, my faith strengthned, my evidences cleared, and my Soul assured of eternal life.


What reason have you to hope that you shall have these advantages by going to the Lords Supper?


Not for any worth in me; but God is pleased to give these things freely for the sake of Christ to those that in obedience to his Command in a right manner, and for a right [Page 187] end, do make Conscience of this Duty.


What course have you taken before-hand that you have had such hopes of such benefits by this Ordinance?


I do not wont to declare what my se­cret duties are, but if it might be for the edifying of your Soul, I shall not be unwil­ [...]ing to acquaint you.


I pray you do, for I do stand in need of help from others more experienced in holy duties.


I cannot say I am more experienced; but this I did, I seriously searched my heart to find the truth of Grace, my Interest in Christ, my Right unto this Ordinance, to find out my sins, and have renewed my R [...]pentance for them; my wants, and have begged of God as earnestly as I could, that I may be supplied at his Table, and for his str [...]ngth to discharge this duty to his glory and my own comfort.


O happy man! that have these provisions prepared for you, and can go with this delight, and holy confidence to partake of them.


You also may draw near unto this Table of the Lord, and have a sh [...]re of these G [...]spel b [...]n [...]fits, and be assured of them.


I! Alas! Alas! you know what I am, what I have been; I never did; I do not dare to meddle with the B [...]ood of Christ in [...] Ordinance?


You may come and eat of this Bread, and drink of this Cup


What I? shall a Dog eat of the Childrens Bread? I dare not do it.

[Page 188]

You must, you sin if you do neglect it.


Sin! that I would not, that is it that ma­keth me absent from it, because I would not sin against the Blood of Christ: But why do you say, I sin if I do not come?


Because you live in the neglect of a plain commanded duty; it is a slighting of a special token of the love of your dying Lord.


My Lord!


It is a neglecting of the Seal of the Co­venant of Grace, it is Hypocrisie to complain [...] of the hard [...]ess of your heart, and yet will not use the means to have it softned; and of the power of your sin, and will not use the means to have it weakened.


I never knew any under my doubts and fears that went to this Ordinance, and found good thereby?


Not so, for I my self was long under the same doubts and fears, and I know my heart was as bad as yours can be; but when I was willing to forsake my sin & close with Christ; sense of duty, fear of sin if I did not, moved me to the use thereof, and there God resolved my doubts, and removed my fears, and made it profitable to my soul, for my comfort and increase of grace.


But it would be sin to me to go, for that which is a duty, and would be food unto another, might be a sin and poyson unto me, because I am not fit for such an Ordinance?


If you be not fit, that also is your sin.


Then my case is miserable indeed: if I do [Page 189] not come, I sin, and if I be unfit and come, I sin. Ah Lord? Am I in this necessity of sinning? Oh tell me then what must I do?


You must not abide in that condition wherein you are unfit for the Supper of the Lord, but fit your self and come.


Alas! who will pity my pining soul, that hath food before it, and yet unworthy to meddle with it?


A legal worthiness you cannot have, neither doth God expect it at your hands; but an Evangelical worthiness you may have.


I would fain know what I may do in refe­rence to this Ordinance; I pray you tell me, when is a person said to be worthy in a Gospel sense?


When he is cloathed with the righteous­ness of Christ, hath grace infused into his Soul, and doth act it at the Lords Supper, he doth worthily receive.


Then I perceive that a man might be a sinner, and yet be a worthy Receiver?


Y [...]s


What and a great sinner too?


Yes he may.


This is some support to my fainting Soul: But yet my soul is cast down within me, for I doubt I am not one of those sinners that you do mean?


It grieves me to see you in this distress of spirit, I am persuaded if you would go unto this Ordinance, you would in time hear God speaking peace and comfort to your Soul.


My desires and my fears are such, I know [Page 190] not which exceeds. Fain I would, but I dare not. It is a grief unto my Soul, when I see the Children of God approach unto their Fathers Ta­ble, and I absent my self, as though not of his Fa­mily▪ But I am such a sinner, that I dare not go.


Why, what a sinner are you?


I am the chiefest of Sinners, should I there­fore go?


So was St. Paul in his own esteem, yet such Christ came to save, 1 Tim. 1.16. God [...] mercy and Promise, Christs merits are as great, yea greater than your sins, Psal 103.1 [...]. Mat. 12 31. You have not been a greater Sinner than Adam, or Manasseh, 2 Chron 33.1. to 14 or Mary Magda [...]en, Luk. 7 37, 39. Or at least, you have not committed more [...] than all these; if you have, yet you have not committed more sins, than all the sins of all the Elect of G [...]d, in all ages of the World a­mount unto: And hath and will God pardon these? And are your sins yet too great for pardoning a Mercy?


O wonderful! I see it is not the greatness or the number of a Sinners ab [...]min [...]tions, that shall keep mercy from him; but these had their hearts of stone turned into hearts of flesh; but my heart is hard, and like an Adamant, and it should be a br [...]ken heart that should behold a bro­ken Christ in the Sacrament But this I want.


Sense of hardness of heart is some degree of softness of heart, Isa 63.17. Pharaoh co [...] ­plained of his Judgmen [...]s, not of the hardness of his heart▪ You are sensible, and do grieve [Page 191] for the hardness of your heart, or do you not; if you do not, why then do you com­plain? if you do, your hardness is not the hardness that there is in Reprobates, but such as may be, and is, in the People of God: and this Sacrament is a means to have it softned.


This doth a little help me, I pray you proceed to discover what things do difference hardness in a Child of God, from the hardness that is in a wicked man.


Sense of Sin, and of Gods dishonour, a judging of your self for sin, and unfeign­ed turning from sin, earnest Prayers for softning grace, a rolling your self upon Christ, tenderness of Conscience, an holy fear of sinning against God; holy care to p [...]ease him, teachableness of heart and holy restlessness till you have Christ, do distinguish your hardness from the hardness of heart in a wicked man.


How else?


Your hardness is occasional not con­stant; the hardness of a Reprobate is like the hardness of such stones that are harder by the heat of the Sun▪ but your hardness is like the hardness of Ice, that when the Sun doth shine upon it, it is m [...]lted and d [...]ssolved.


But if I had a heart of flesh, I do not think there would be so much hardness re­maining in me more than others.


God cures the [...]ardness of his Peoples [Page 192] hearts in their Conversion, effectually; In Sanctification, gradually; and a [...] their disso­lution, perfectly; but not till then.


This proves my hardness to be more than the hardness of Gods People, because I mourn not for my sins as they do, nor can I be so deeply humbled for it, and what should I do at the Sacrament, if I cannot mourn for sin.


Imitate those that mourn most for sin; but you conclude not right, that you mourn not truly, nor at all, because you mourn no [...] gradually, or as much as others do. The word of God and not the attainments of others, must be the Rule by which you ought to judge of the truth of your mour­ning for Sin. Besides, if you do not mourn directly, you mourn reflexively; you mourn that you cannot mourn, and you pray that you may mourn. Besides, it is not your tears that can justifie you in the sight of God; for if you could mourn more than any, yet you must be justified freely by the blood of Christ; and so you will when you mourn truly, though less than some others do.


If it be so, then tell me when my mourn­ing for sin is right, and is the mourning of a true penitent.


When you mourn for sin as sin; for all sin, because it is against God, Psal. 51.4▪ as an evil greater than any affliction, Rom. 7.24. Paul never cryed out so for the evil of afflicti­on, as he did for the evil of sin. When you rejoyce in the Law of God that doth discover [Page 193] it, and bless God he ever wrote it, and that you ever know it, Rom. 7.12. When your mourning for sin makes you loath it & leave [...], and pr [...]ze Christ, and hasten to him, to close with him.


This I fear, that my mourning for my sin ariseth from the fear of Hell.


You may quicken your heart to mourn for sin, from the Torments of Hell, that it hath deserved; but that this is not the princi­pal ground of your mourning, appears, be­cause you can mourn and grieve for other mens sins as well as for your own, and when you have no thoughts of Hell, and when you have greatest perswasions of Gods mercy to you, in saving you from wrath to come, you mourn most; and that you mourn as well for the power and filth of sin, as for your misery thereby, and are willing to accept of Christ for your Lord▪ as well as for your Saviour.


I do not deny it to be thus with me, that I am willing to accept of Christ upon any terms ▪ Lord, a Christ upon any terms! But I [...] Christ is not willing to give himself, nor G [...]d wi [...] ­ling to give his Son to such a one as I; and what should I do at the Sacrament, if Christ be not willing to give himself and his benefits unto me?


This is the Language of your Unbelief


I have enough of that.


For it is impossible you should be wil­ling to receive Christ, if Christ were not wil­ling to give himself to you.

[Page 194]



For you could not be willing, if Christ had not first been willing: And it is the into­lerable pride of your heart, to think that you can be more willing to be, and receive good, than God and Christ is to give and make you good. Besides, then such a one may come & plead at the last day, Lord, I am not damned because I was not willing to accept of Christ, but because thou wouldest not give Christ to me, when I was willing to receive him.


Truly I think there shall be no such plea at the day of judgment.


Then your condition is good, if you be willing; for if you be willing to receive Christ, and God be willing to give him unto you, you have him, and yet will you not go to commemorate his death?


O Lord what strange conviction is this! surely I had Christ and did not know it: I was happy, and did not perceive it. But alas! no sooner did I perceive a little light to shine into my Soul, but it is clouded; for my heart is de­ceitful, and I may think that I am willing when I am not.


Then I do discern you will not suspect, that you your self are not willing, rather than that God is not will [...]ng, and so you have more reason to do; but though your heart be so deceitful, that you cannot understand all the particular sinful actings of your heart, yet by serious search, and Prayer unto God, you may know what it is that you do love, desire, and [Page 195] chuse above all things in the world, & what is the general bent & inclination of your heart and will.


I do not know my heart.


What would you ask of God, if he should say, Ask any one thing and thou shalt have it.


Christ, I think! but still I am afraid lest this should be from love unto my self, and not unto the Person of Christ.


An holy self-love you ought to have, and that is not inconsistent with predominant love to the person of Christ.


How may I know it is holy self-love (that God approveth of) that moves me to be willing to accept of Christ?


If you desire Christ to make you holy, as well as to make you happy, and to free you from the power and dominion, as well as from the punishment and damnation of your sin.


If there were no Hell, yet I would not sin against the Lord.


You have made an answer to your own enquiry.


But if I had been willing to accept of Christ, to take down the power of sin, it would not have been so strong as yet it is, and the power of sin makes me question the truth of grace.


Stength of sin might argue weakness of Grace, but not the nullity of it, because it might rage, when it doth not reign.


That I would know, for if sin reign you will sa [...] I must not go.

[Page 196]

True, but if you can say with St. Paul, Rom. 7.15. That which I do, I allow not: For what I would, that do I not; but what I hate that do I, ver. 19. For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. You may the [...] conclude with him, v. 20. Now if I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth (he saith not reigneth) in me: And if it rage when it doth not reign, you have the more need to go unto the Lord's Supper, that sin this usurping Ty­rant (not your acknowledged Lord) might be taken down.


But sin hath great power in my thoughts, for not only vain, but blasphemous thoughts come frequently crouding in my mind, and I cannot sometimes remove them.


That they have power over your thoughts is your sin, but that they have not such power over your will, that proves your grace, for you would remove them when you cannot: And whether they be injected by the Devil, or do arise from your own heart, if grieved for, groaned under, and striven against, it is no otherwise with you, than with many others of God's dearest Children.


I have long neglected Christ, now it is too late; to what end then should I go unto this Or­dinance?


Who told you it was too late? where do you read it? the damned in Hell might say it is too late, but not you that would have him if you could, and may have him i [...] you [Page 197] will, and have him indeed, because you are willing: And it is not what you have been, but what you are, and would be, that you must judge your state by.


But if the day of grace be past with me, and the door of mercy shut against me, it is too late▪ how then should I be sealed in this Ordinance unto the day of Redemption:


The day of grace is not past with him that would fain have grace above all earthly riches, nor is the door of mercy shut against him that doth set open the door of his heart for Christ the King of Glory to enter in; & doth importunately pray for the fruits of the Spirit.


But alas! I cannot pray, how then should I receive?


Though you cannot word your desires, yet you can cry to God, and nothing will still you but a Christ. As the Infant cannot ask, yet cryeth for the Breast. Some might utter words in Prayer, and not pray; & you might want words, and yet pray fervently, accepta­bly unto God; for Prayer doth not consist in the exercise of parts, memory, &c. but of grace.


I cannot cry to God, my eyes are dry, and cannot drop a tear; sometimes when I am con­fessing my sins, though so many and so hainous; when others can shed many tears for one sin, I cannot shed one tear for many sins.


It is so with you but sometimes. Besides as there may be tears in the eyes, when there is no sorrow in the heart; so when your eye is [Page 198] dry, your heart may grieve. An Hypocrite, as he may have more words, so he may have more tears in prayer, than a true Child of God.


How then may I judge of my prayers, when I want these outward signs of sorrow, &c.


By your inward frame [...] heart, when you cannot shed a tear, you feel your heart burthened with, and rising in hatred against your sin? and when you beg for Christ and Grace, you find your heart sincerely reaching forth after both Christ and Grace.


I do pray indeed, and hear, that I may have Christ, but I doubt all is in hypocrisie; and that all my duties are the services of an hypocrite; and what did Judas get by eating with Christ?


If you delight to do a duty so, that no man might know that you do it, and that when you be with others in holy Ordinances, you find you had rather be affected, and not seem to be so to others, than to seem to be affected, and not to be so before God, where is your Hypocrisie? Besides, if you do your duties from a right Principle, love to, and fear of God, in a right manner, viz humbly, be­lievingly, fervently in the name of Christ, and for a right end, that you may glorifie God, have Communion with him, be made more like unto him, that you may have more love to him, and more power and strength against your sin, you are sincere, and not an Hypo­crite in your duties.


But sometimes I find a secret contentment [Page 199] in my heart, that men take notice of the outward signs of inward affections, and that when the out­ward signs are more than my inward affections; is not that Hypocrisie?


Yes it is, and much to be lamented and opposed: Mourn so if you can, that none but God might perceive it, except when it might be more for the glory of God, and the edifica­tion of another, that your mourning should be manifested rather than concealed.


May such a duty then be accepted of God, that is done in such hypocrisie?


Such an Hypocrite a sincere Christian may sometimes be, and is; for as there is some­thing of Unbelief in one that hath saith in Christ, and something of Pride in one that is humble, &c. so there is something of hypocri­sie in every one that is sincere; for in nothing are we perfect as to degrees, while in this life: Therefore as you must not conclude, that your prayers and duties are not accepted of God, b [...]cause there are some actings of Unbelief and Pride in them; so neither because there is something of Hypocrisie mingled with them when (as is said) your [...] and man­ner, and end, in the main be rig [...].


I doubt whether the principle of my duties be love to God, or only a natural Conscience: And if I should go to the Sacrament, and not from a principle of Love, God would not be pleased with me.


And I pray you take heed that no time you do absent your self from Duty against [Page 200] the dictates of a sanctified, enlightned Con­science.


I pray to God I may not: But speak unto my doubt.


You may perform duty from a p [...]inciple of Love, when it is not from a sense of love: when a natural conscience is the principle, it puts you upon the duty, but gives you no strength to perform the duty, but the Spirit of God doth both.

Natural Conscience is satisfied, if the duty be done: But you are not satisfied, except God be enjoyed in the duty▪ Natural Con­science puts on to duty in time of temporal, or for fear of eternal punishments, but you pray, &c. That you may please God, have com­munion with him, and be delivered from the filth and power of sin: when natural consci­ence only is the p [...]inciple; a Duty i [...] done with much backwardness of Heart. Conscience hales and draggs the Sinner to his knees; but you love it, and delight in Duty, or [...]re griev­ed if you do not. When natural Conscience only is the principle, if a man can get an ex­cuse which will silence Conscience, the Duty with gladness is omitted; but if you are kept (though by lawful cause) from a Duty, it is some grief and trouble to your Soul, and no­thing but what is weighty, and judged by you to be a Duty also, shall divert you from the Ordinances of God. Are you not yet satisfi­ed, in this, tha [...] you may go unto the Lords Supper.

[Page 201]

I have proposed to you the chiefest grounds of my doubts and fears, and for the present, in some measure, have some hopes that God hath done some special work upon my heart.


Then I hope you will make Conscience of this duty, that it may be promoted, and carried on in your Soul.


I shall further consider of what you have said, and shall beg of God his holy Spirit, that I may know the things which are freely given (if given) to me of God: And if I shall by further searching of my Heart, and prayer unto God, be convinced that it is my duty, I will no more ab­sent my self.


I should rejoyce to go see you there.


But I find my heart is too slight and care­less in what I know to be my duty, I would there­fore understand how I may get my heart to be di­ligent and serious in preparing for it.


When you are to go unto this Ordi­nance, endeavour to confess your sins, and to pray for Pardon, and for Christ, and Grace, as earnestly as you would do if you were then to die; Prepare as you would do if Christ him­self were to deliver it to you, as if men could look into your heart, as i [...] God should strike you dead with the br [...]ad in your mouth, or with the cup in your hand, if you come un­worthily; as if it were the last time you should receive it, and go and stand at God's Tribu­nal when you have done, as i [...] a Soul that hath been damned for prophaning of the blood of Christ should come unto you, and tell you [Page 202] what he is suffering in Hell for this his sin; as if Christ should call to you from Heaven, and mark you out, and make you know if you come unpreparedly, (see P. 92, &c.) but this is [...] discourage you from the duty, but to qui [...]ken your heart to greater diligence in order thereunto.


[...] then must I prepare my self?


For this I refer you to the Book it self, (Page 109, &c.) & to the former Dialogue.


I shall not then any longer keep you from your other businesses.


The God of Heaven guide you in this work, and smile upon your Soul, when you shall be present at his Table.

A Dialogue between one Believer that hath Assurance, and another that hath Hopes, and another that is under D [...]ubtings of the Love of God, and of good by the Sa­crament, as they come away from the Lord's Table.


WAs not this he that came from Edom, with died garments from Bozrah, whom we have seen glorious in his Apparrel, travelling in the greatness of his strength, mighty to save us from our sins, that were mighty to condemn us?


This is he, who being red in his ap­parrel, having his garments dyed with Blood, [Page 203] with his own blood, with his own heart blood, doth save us from our scarlet crim­son sins.


Was not this he whom Judas did be­tray, whom Peter did deny, whom all for­sook, whom the Jews did crucifie, whom the Souldiers pierced, that suffered so much from men, from Devils, and from God himself?


This is he, who (I trust was delive­red for our offences, and was raised again for our Justification. This is he who be­ing in the form of God, thought it no rob­bery to be equal with God, but made him self of no reputation, and took upon him- the form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of man, and being sound in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and b [...]came obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.


Certainly this was a righteous man [...] the Son of God, willing and able to save to the uttermost all these that come unto God by him, who once died upon the Cross, but ever lives to make Intercession for them.


We have seen the Prince of Life did die, the Lord of Glory exposed to open shame; we have seen his blood streaming down, and through the holes made in his side have looked into his heart; what did you see in his blessed heart?


I saw a fight of love, a fire, a flame of love. When for our sins I saw this [Page 204] blood flowing from his heart, I saw love still abiding there; my Lord would part with his most precious blood, but not with his Love unto his People: I saw I was not only gravened upon the palms of his hands, or set as a Seal upon his Arm, but I was pourtrayed upon his Heart. The High-Priest, that was a Type of Christ, did bear the Names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel in the Breast-plate in or upon twelve pre­cious Stones; but I did see that our great High-priest doth bear the Names of his Elect gravened in his precious heart: And when I did read my Name amongst the rest, what joy and comfort filled my Soul, I am not able to express: His love was stronger than death, the coals thereof were as coals of fire which had a most vehement flame, and methoughts when I drew near unto i [...], I felt my heart be­gin to warm. All the waters of affliction, & sufferings, and sorrows which he endured, could not quench his love; for he was resolved to ransome and redeem all that were given to him of the Father.


And do not the thoughts of this blood that was shed, and of the vertue and efficacy thereof exceedingly delight your Soul?


When I consid [...]r that this blood which was shed upon the Cross, is pleading for me in Heaven, that by this blood God is reconci­led, Sin expiated, D [...]ath and the Devil con­quered, it makes me to cry out, Never love like this! Never any like to this!

[Page 205]

In this God manifested his love unto us, that he sent his only begotten Son into the world to die that we might live through him.


Herein God recommendeth his love to us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us; and this Love of God unto my Soul. It is sweet, it is exceeding sweet, beyond, be­yond the sweetness of the honey, or the ho­ney-comb.


His Love is better than Wine! a bun­dle of Myrrh is my beloved unto me, he shall lye all night betwix [...] my breasts.


As the Apple tree among the Trees of the Wood, so is my B [...]loved among the Sons. I sat down under his shadow with great de­light, and his fruit was sweet unto my taste; he brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.


O stay me with Flagg [...]ns, comfort me with Apples, for I am sick of Love!


Thou hast ravished my heart, my Lord, my Saviour, thou hast ravished my heart, while with an eye of Faith I have seen thy blood streaming from thy heart to wash me from my sins.


With what admiring thoughts of the Love of God do these come away from the Supper of the Lord!


Oh the heigth, the depth, the length, the breadth of the love of God! we know it, we know it, and yet indeed it passeth knowledge.


By the Death and Resurrection of this [Page 206] crucified Lord, we have a lively hope of an incorruptible Crown, he was crowned with Thorns, that we might have [...] Crown of Glory.


O Lord, how dull and dead am I, who have been there, where these have been, but have not found what they have found!


Why do you weep?


Do you weep for [...]oy, or grief?


Who can but weep, when God doth frown? you may say, his loving kindness is better than life, & I can say, his frowns are worse than death.


Did you not fin [...] Chr [...]st attemp [...]ing to get into your heart, to come down from the Cross into your heart?


He knocked indeed, but I was sleeping.


Do you find no stirrings of aff [...]ctions when Christ's hand was upon the lock, and put hi [...] hand into the hole of the Door of your hear [...]?


He put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my Bowels were m [...]ved for him.


Why did you not set open then the e­verlasting gates of your Soul, that this King of Glory might have entred in?


I rose up to open to him whom I desire to love, and my hands dropped with Myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling Myrrh, upon the han­dles of the Lock.


How was it then you missed of him?


At first I was not heedful to let him in, whereby I grieved him, when I made him stand without: Afterwards I rose to open to him whom I would love, but he had withdrawn himself; w [...] [Page 207] me, he was withdrawn; my soul failed when he spake: I sought him in every part of the duty af­terwards, but I could not find him; I called after him, but he gave me no Answer.


O Lord, what am I! a vile and worth­less sinner, that thou revealest thy heart & love to me when it is secret unto others.


I began to be dejected, when I saw how short I came of your joy and comfort; but when I see his doubts and fears, I bless the Lord who hath given me some hopes of his favour and his love.


How is it that you come away with such hopes of mercy to your Soul?


When I knew my sin and misery, and the mercy of God to poor Sinners, through the merits of his Son; when I did read Gods invitations, and commands that I should come to Christ, and prom [...]se of pardon if I did; and in the Sacrament have seen God setting to his Seal. I willingly cast away my sins; and cast my self down at the foot of mercy; resting upon the merits of Christ, I did, and do hope that God will not cast away my Soul from him, nor exclude me from his Kingdom.


Then you have n [...]t yet got assurance of the Love of God, nor a full perswasion of Gods mercy in the pardon of your sin, and salvation of your s [...]ul?


No, because though I do not question the truth of Gods promises, nor his willingness to receive repenting Sinners, yet I am not with­out doubts and j [...]alousies of the truth of my Faith, Repentance, &c.

[Page 208]

And yet can you hope for Heaven?


Yes, because it is pleasing unto God, that we should trust him, when we are not sure of our interest in him, and to see sinners hoping in his mercy.


And yet do you hope your hope is true?


Yes, because I find it puts me on to pu­rifie my heart?


And how is it that you come away with such assurance of the love of God and eternal life?


When I had found the truth of my Faith in Christ, love to God, and hatred unto sin, and the promises that God had made to such in Christ, I did, and do believe, that as surely as I did eat the bread, and drink the wine; so surely hath God pardoned my sins and will save my Soul.


And doth this alone give you this evidence of your title to his Kingdom, and fill you with this joy?


No, but moreover I did find the Spirit of God bearing witness to, and with my spirit, that it was thus with me; and oh how sweet was Christ then to my Soul!


When did you find your heart thus raised in the apprehensi [...]ns of Gods love to you?


When I saw the Bread broken, and heard the Minister say, Thus was Christ's Bo­dy broken for you; and saw him pour out the Wine, and heard him say, Thus was the Blood of Christ shed for you; and when [...]e did di­stribute both, and I did take and eat, did take [Page 209] and drink, I did believe that God was really, though invisibly dealing forth his Son, and all his benefits to me, as well as unto others; & I was enabled to apply him particularly to my self, and take him as my own: Then, Oh then my heart was warmed with love, and fil­led with joy.


When else?


When the Congregation was singing forth the praises of the Lord, my Soul being satisfied as with marrow & fatness, my mouth, my heart, my All did praise him; and now my love, my faith, my joy, my sorrow for my sin, were stirring in my heart.


And how do you know that this is true and spiritual joy, and not such which an Hypocrit [...] might have at the Table of the Lord?


Because I find it doth engage me to in­ward and to universal holiness, inflames my heart with love to God and Christ, increaseth my hatred to my sin, and makes me more watchful against it, and makes my soul to long after full & perfect enjoyment of God in glory.


I am glad and do rejoyce in your mercy, while I must bewail my own unprofitableness, even at the Table of the Lord; I must go home & eat my bread with a sorrowful heart, and mingle my drink with tears, while you can go and eat your bread with a chearful spirit.


Nay, but go and examine your Soul, what good and benefit you have received by this Ordinance, and give to God the glory of it.

[Page 210]

Might one that hath not got assurance of the Love of God, nor been filled with joy, conclude he hath got good by the Lord's Supper.


Yes, or else I must go home and weep for this as well as you.


How doth that appear?


Because God doth work variously upon divers Persons, and variously upon the same Person at divers times. Sometimes he breaks the heart for sin, and reserves his comforts for another time: If you do not find your heart inflamed with love and filled with joy, yet if you do find your heart to rise more in hatred unto sin, and to be grieved for it, and more resolve and watch against it, you have receiv­ed benefit by this Ordinance.


Then I must take heed of the stratagems of the Devil, that, as he might not cause me to con­clude, I have that which I have not; so neither to deny that I have not that which through mercy God hath given to me.


That will be your wisdom, because it will be your way to get more from God, by being thankful for a little: God will another time give you peace and comfort, if now you will give him thanks that you have wept for your sin, and been grieved for the same.


O Lord! my heart begins to warm; I think the Sacrament may work and affect my heart, after I am come away, though I was dull when I was there.


So it may, and so I have sometimes found i [...], though to day God hath wonderful­fully [Page 211] smilled upon such a vile unworthy sin­ner as I am.


I would advise you to take heed, that you do not conclude, that you have no be­nefit at all because you have not so much as you expected and desired, or so much as you s [...]e other Christians to have; or that you have it not in that particular or kind that you looked for; or though you did not sensibly perceive it in the very act of receiving.


But what may be the cause that I found no more of God in the time of this Ordi­nance.


It may be you were too slight in your Preparations for this Duty; or if enlarged in them you trusted too much to them, and less to Ch [...]ist than you should have done; or were not watchful in the time of the Ordi­nance, or do too much favour some peculiar sin; and God with-holds what you expected, that you might mend that with which he is offended.


This will be mercy, if I missed of Com­fort, that I may have less of sin; and shall de­sire of the Lord, that I may find some good by the Ordinance, and your Discourse, now I do go in.


Stay, one word more, and that is, that we all remember the Obligations that do lie upon us to walk suitably to the Priviledges we are made partakers of by the death of Christ.

[Page 212]

That is well remembred, for we are apt to forget to make returns to God, when we have received great things from him.


That will do well, for then it may be I might feel more the efficacy of this Ordi­nance, than yet I have done.


Yes you may, and therefore let us all consider, and bear it upon our hearts, where we have been this day, and how we have re­newed our Covenant with God, and that his Vows are upon us, and his eyes to observe how we shall walk, and live after we have had, or do hope for peace and joy in him; and that we watch each other, that where any of us fail, the other will reprove in love, and restore him with a Spirit of meekness.


All this will be needful.


The Lord enable us by his Grace to discharge what God commands, that we may expect what he doth promise in his Word, & hath sealed to us in this Sacrament.


The Contents.

  • THE parts contained in the Text. Page 1
  • The conclusion handled in this Treatise. Page 9
  • It is a necessary Duty incumbent upon Believers to receive the Lords Supper. Page 9
  • Explained. Page 10
  • Proved. Page 13
  • Ʋrged. Page 20
  • The Argument and difference of the Passover and the Lords Supper. Page 15
  • How we are to remember Christs death in the Lords Supper, in six particu [...]ars Page 18
  • Twelve Questions propounded to those Believers that neglect the Lords Supper. Page 22
  • Three doubts that hinder weak Christians from receiving, resolved. Page 28 to 34
  • Believers ought often to receive, &c. urged in ten particulars. Page 35 to 39
  • Preparation for, must precede participation of the Lords Supper, in eight particulars. Page 39 to 58
  • Nine serious Questions proposed to stir up Believ­ers to prepare for it. Page 58 to 73
  • Directions for prepartion.
    • 1. Examination of our spiritual state. ibid.
    • 2. Meditation of several things to excite our Graces before we go. Page 95
    • 3. So [...]emn Prayer. Page 100
    • 4. A Discourse Page 21
  • How a Believer is to eye the blood of Christ at [Page] the Lords Table, where twenty properties of the Blood of Christ. pag. 103
  • The Exercise of Faith on the Blood of Christ at the Lords Table.
    • In Appealing to God, [...]18 to 123
    • In R [...]plying to Satan. [...]18 to 123
    • In Applying to our selves. [...]18 to 123
  • The Exercise of Love, Desire, &c. Page 126
  • The necessity of Examination after the Sacrament, and the Evil if the neglect thereof, in fourteen particulars. Page 131
  • Six Reasons why some get no benefit by the Lords Supper. Page 140
  • Twelve Evidences of good obtained in the Sacra­ment. Page 145
  • Four Cautions to prevent mistakes in this Enqui­ry. Page 146
  • What we must do if we be better by it. Page 149
  • What we must do if we he not better by it. ibid.
  • Of giving diligence to live suitably to Sacramen­tal Obliga [...]ions. Page 152
  • Four Reasons why we should live suitably to the Engagements of this Sacrament. Page 153
  • Six Directions how we should live suitably to the Engagements of this Sacrament. Page 155
  • More Directions how we should live suitably to the Engagements of this Sacrament. Page 156
  • Eight aggravations if we do not live suitably to the Engagements of this Sacrament. Page 158 to 160

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