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into a poor Soul? and fill the hungry Wretch with all his Fatness ? Happy that Breast, which is thus honoured, and unspeakable the Joy with which it overflows! How glorious a Master, how agreeable a Guest, how pleasant a Companion, how: faithful a Friend how beautiful, how honourable, how charming a Hufband does it entertain and embrace ? Let Heaven and Earth, and all their boasted Excellencies keep silence before him; for if I have my. Jesus, I have All; For I have him from whom all other things derive their Excellence ; And Their borrowed precarious PerfeGions can minister no Joy, can make no Happiness, without this great Original. They in themselves are nothing, they are but what he made them, and He alone is more, incomparably more and better, than all that ever was, or could be made.
Disciple.] Revent me, I most humbly beseech there
my Lord and my God, with the Bler-sings and Graces of thy holy Spirit, that thy Servant may taste thy Sweetness, and approach this precious Feast, with such Rererence and Zeal, and fervent Dex votion, as thou wilt be pleased to accept. O visit me with thy Salvation, and awaken me from Spiritual Sloth and Slumber, that I now may vigoroully apply my
self to draw and drink the living Water contained in this Fountain opened for Sin and for Uncleanness. Enlighten the Eyes of my Mind, that I may see the wondrous things of this thy Institution; and strenga then my Faith, that I may firmly and without serupla believe and expect those Operations, which my Rea
fon is not able to account for. And why indeed should I make any difficulty to believe what I cannot comprehend and trace the dark Footsteps of , when I res member, that it is not the Act of finite feeble Man, but the work of an Almighty God; not an Invention or Project of Human Reason, but the Institution and Promise of Him, who worketh all things according to the wife and wonderful Counsel of his own unbounded Will?: To fathom these Depths to the bottom were an Attempt impracticable, even to the refined Underftanding of an Angel; Well then may poor shortfighted Man turn giddy at the fight of this Abyss, and confess the Well too deep, and the Cordage too short. Such and no better is the Condition of the moft exalted Şaints; and what can I ; the feeblest even of Men, vile sinful Duft and Ashes, hope to discover by my most industrious Search into these heavenly Mysteries ?
Instead therefore of nice Reasoning and unprofitable Disputes, I will approach with singleness of heart, with firm and holy hope, with an undoubting Faith, and profound Reverence; And, whatever the Vanity of Worldly Wisdom may suggest to the contrary, will not question but thou art present in the Sacrament, though I cannot satisfy the captious Enquirers after the particular mannert of that Prefence. Thy Human and Divine Nature are inseparable, thus much I know; and no more but this, that thou art fo present as God, as not to contradi& thy being Man, Tis upon this account, that thou art pleafed to command my receiving thee, and haft engaged to make me One with thy telf, by the stricteft Union of a holy Love. Shed therefore, I pray thee, thy special Grace into my Heart, that I may diffolve in this holy Fire, and become entirely thine; Pürge off my Dross
, and let me no more endure the Allay of any baser Mixtures, s. For this Sacrament is the purest, the nobles
Refiner of Souls, the health of the whole Man, the Reftorative of Spiricual Decays, the Cure of Vice, the Curb of Paltions, the Antidote against Troubles and Temptations, the Conveyance of greater Grace; the Increase of imperfect Virtue; the Stay of Hope the Support of our Faith, and the mighty Incentive of our Charityo bi p. . Who can express the manifold, the astonishing Benefits, which thou frequently imparteft to thy beloved and
Religious Servants, by communicating in this blessed Supper? Even thou, my God, the Cherisher of my Soul, the Repairer of my Breaches by Infirmity and Sin, and Reftorer of my inward Comfort and Peace. By this thou sustainest them in Sadness and Affliction, and enableft theh cơiwalk upon the Waves of a trocblefome World; by this thou cheereft their Melancholy and Distrust, and raiseft up their linking Spirits with Affurance of thy Gracious Protection and Aliftance; by. This thou reneweft their Nature, and purifieft their Affections, that They, who came at first to this Table, with great lothness and dulness, feel a new Warmth within, and by degrees are brought to frequent it with unspeakable Relish and Delight. These happy and glorious Effects thou producest by such uncommon, unlikely Means, that Men may find experimentally their own Infirmities; how little they are able to do of themselves, and how much, when strengthened by Thee. That they are cold, infensible, stupid and dead to all Religious Duties, is from their own Disposition ; that they are zealous in good Works, cheerful in thy Service, devout in thy Worship, is purely thy Gift
. And sure none can come hither with tolerable Attention, but he muft return with some Improvement. Fór who can lie at the Fountain-head, and not receivet some Tincture from the Sweetness of the Spring? Who can stand close' to " the Fire, and feel no Heat? But thou art a Fountain
ever full, ever overflowing ; Thou art the Fire, whose Flames are constantly expanding themselves to kindle holy Affections in all those, who are careful to approach, and put themselves in the way of their Adivity,
It may be, I am not worthy to drink at the Head of this Spring, or to take my fill of its refreshing Streams; but yet at leaft I will apply my Mouth to some of its distant Pipes, and spreading. Rills, to catch a few of the Drops, as they side by, that I be not utterly barren, nor die with Drought and Thirft. I may not be able to approach this Flame so near, that it should refine and brighten me to a degree equal with the Purity of the Cherubim and Seraphim ; but yet I will not despair of being so far cherished and warmed by it, that my Zeal may be exalted according to the brightness of Human Virtues; And my enlivened Heart shall feel fome Glowings, if it do not flame out heavenly clear. Defects and Infirmities, I know, I cannot be exempted from: But what is want, ing, I beg my merciful Jesus would supply, His Kindness will not fail to make all equitable Allowances, and his Wisdom knows where they are proper to be made. Forgiven and made up they may be, and I, unworthy as I am, may be accepted. But that Unt worthiness must not be made a Pretence for detaining me from this Sacrament. For sure the most unworthy are comprehended, and they who fee, and lament, that they are such, can leaftof all be excluded, when he pronounces that general Invitation, Come unto Me, all ye that labour, and are beavy laden; and I will refresh you.
The ofrner I descend into my self, the more I am convinced, that this Description exactly suits my
Statc. I fulfil the Primitive Sentence upGen, iii.
on fallen Man, and labour in the Sweat of my Face; The Sorrows of my Heare perplex and
diftra& me, the Burthen of my Sins presses me down, the Mulcitude of my Temptations are a perpetual Torment and Vexation, the Variety and Exorbitance of my corrupt Affections entangle, and confound, and. over-power my Reason: And in the midst of these Calamities and Dangers, I have no Succour, no Deo fence, no Supporter
or Deliverer, but only thee, my God, and therefore into thy Hands, my merciful Maa ker and Saviour, I commit my self, and all my Affairs; and beg that thou would'st keep what is thus deposited with thee, safe unto Life Eternal. O take me therefore into thy Custody; and, as thou haft ordained thy Body and Blood to be the Food of Immortality, lo grant, that it may have its proper Efficacy upon my Soul in particular, to the Glory of thy Name, and the Honour of so blessed an Institution. And, that'no Neglect or Unfruitfulnefs of mine may obftruct its kindly and powerful Operations, Grant, I beseech thee, my God and Saviour, that I may never be guilty of such Disrespect, as wilfully to turn
my Back upon thy Table ; but may earnestly long for, heartily rejoice in, and diligently comply with every Opportunity of receiving this mighty Blessing; and may so frequent, and so improve under thy merciful Difpcnsation, that I may constantly return, with greater Care and Zeal, more settled Resolutions, more irrea concilable Hatred against Sin, and more fervent Love for God and Goodness, than before. So shall I approach nearer to thee indeed, and each Sacrament prove a fresh Advance toward Heaven; So fhall my Soul be filled with the Treasures of thy Mercy, the Delights of thy Secrer Ones, and the ravishing Foreçaftes of that
Bliss, which shall be always growing, till it be consummated at last in that Eternal Feast a bove, the Marriage.fupper of the Lamb in thy Kingdom. Amen.