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ly administred, it is requisite that publick warning be given the fabbath day before the administration thereof: And that either then, or on some day of that week, something concerning that ordinance, and the due preparation thereunto, and participation thereof, be taught; that, by the diligent use of all means sanctified of God to that end, both in publick and private, all may come better prepared to that heavenly feast.
When the day is come for administration, the minister, having ended his sermon and prayer, shall make a short exhortation.
Expressing the inestimable benefit we have by this sacrament; together with the ends and use thereof: fetting forth the great neceflity of having our comforts and strength re* newed thereby, in this our pilgrimage and warfare: how ne
cessary it is that we come unto it with knowledge, faith, repentance, love, and with hungring and thirsting souls after
Christ and his benefits: how great the danger, to eat and • drink unworthily.
• Next, he is, in the name of Christ, on the one part, to warn all such as are ignorant, scandalous, profane, or that • live in any sin or offence against their knowledge or consci'ence, that they presume not to come to that holy table; shew. ‘ing them, that he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eatfeth and drinketh judgment unto himself: And, on the other
párt, he is in especial manner to invite and encourage all that labour under the sense of the burden of their fins, and fear of wrath, and desire to reach out unto a greater progress in grace than yet they can attain unto, to come to the Lord's ' table; assuring them, in the same name, of ease, refrelhing ' and strength to their weak and wearied souls.'
After this exhortation, warning and invitation, the table being before decently covered, and so conveniently placed, that the communicants may orderly fit about it, or at it. The minister is to begin the action with fan&tifying and blessing the elements of bread and wine set before him (the bread in
comely and convenient vessels, so prepared, that being broken by him, and given, it may be distributed amongst the communicants; the wine also in large cups) having first in a few words thewed, that those elements, otherwise common, are now set apart and sanctified to this holy use, by the word of institution and prayer.
Let the words of institution be read out of the evangelists, or out of the first epistle of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians, chap. xi. verse 23. I have received of the Lord, &c. to the 27th verse, which the minister may, when he seeth requisite, explain and apply.
Let the prayer, thanksgiving, or blessing of the bread and wine, be to this effect;
· With humble and hearty acknowledgment of the greatness of our misery, from which neither man nor angel was • able to deliver us, and of our great udworthiness of the least
of all God's mercies; to give thanks to God for all his be• nefits, and especially for that great benefit of our redempti*on, the love of God the father, the sufferings and merits of
the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, by which we are de• livered; and for all means of grace, the word and facra
ments; and for this sacrament in particular, by which Christ, • and all his benefits, are applied and sealed up unto us, which, • notwithstanding the denial of them unto others, are in great
mercy continued unto us, after so much and long abuse of • them all.
• To profess, that there is no other name under heaven, by which we can be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ, by • whom alone we receive liberty and life, have access to the
throne of grace; are admitted to eat and drink at his own • table, and are sealed up by his spirit to an assurance of hap'piness and everlasting life.
Earnestly, to pray to God, the Father of all mercies, and • God of all consolation, to vouchsafe his gracious presence, and the effectual working of his Spirit in us; and so to fanc
tify these elements, both of bread and wine, and to bless his own ordinance, that we may receive, by faith, the body and blood of Jesus Christ, crucified for us, and so to feed upon • him, that he may be one with us, and we one with him; ' that he may live in us, and we in him, and to him who hath • loved us, and given himself for us.'
All which he is to endeavour to perform with fuitable affections, answerable to such an holy action, and to stir up the like in the people.
The elements being now sanctified by the word and prayer, the minister, being at the table, is to take the bread in his hand, and say, in these expressions (or other the like, used by Christ or his apostle upon this occasion;)
According to the holy institution, command, and example of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, I take this bread, and * having given thanks, I break it, and give it unto you (there
the minister, who is also himself to communicate, is to break 'the bread, and give it to the communicants :) Take ye, eat
ye; This is the body of Christ which is broken for you; Do • this in remembrance of him.'
In like manner the minister is to take the cup and say, in these expressions (or other the like, used by Christ or the apostle upon the same occasion :)
* According to the institution, command, and example of • our Lord Jesus Christ, I take this cup, and give it unto you (Here he giveth it to the communicants) This cup
is 'the new testament in the blood of Christ, which is feed for 'the remision of the fins of many: Drink ye all of it.'
After all have communicated, the minister may, in a few words, put them in mind,
Of the grace of God, in Jesus Christ, held forth in this ' facrament, and exhort them to walk worthy of it.'
The minister is to give solemn thanks to God, • For his rich mercy, and invaluable goodness, vouchsafed i to them in that facrament; and to intrcat for pardon for che
defects of the whole service, and for the gracious aslistance of his good Spirit, whereby they may be enabled to walk • in the strength of that grace, as becometh those who have • received so great pledges of salvation.'
The collection for the poor, is so to be ordered, that no part of the publick worlhip be thereby hindered.
Of the Sanctification of the Lord's Day.
HE Lord's day ought to be so remembred before-hand,
as that all worldly business of our ordinary callings may be so ordered, and so timely and seasonably laid alide, as they may not be impediments to the due sanctifying of the day when it comes.
The whole day is to be celebrated as holy to the Lord, both in publick and private, as being the Christian sabbath. To which end, it is requisite, that there be a holy cessation, or resting all that day, from all unnecessary labours; and an abstaining, not only from all sports and pastimes, but also from all worldly words and thoughts.
That the diet on that day be so ordered, as that neither servants be unnecessarily detained from the publick worship of God, nor any other person hindered from the fan&tifying that day.
That there be private preparations of every person and family, by prayer for themselves, and for God's allistance of the minister, and for a blesling upon his ministry; and by such other holy exercises, as may further dispose them to a more comfortable communion with God in his publick ordinances.
That all the people meet so timely for publick worhip, that the whole congregation may be present at the beginning, and with one heart solemnly join together in all parts of the publick worship, and not depart till after the blessing.
That what time is vacant, between, or after the folemn meetings of the congregation in publick, be spent in read
ing, meditation, repetition of sermons; especially by calling their families to an account of what they have heard, and catechizing of them, holy conferences, prayer for a blessing upon the publick ordinances, singing of psalms, visiting the fick, relieving the poor, and such like duties of piery, charity, and mercy, accounting the fabbath a delight.
The Solemnization of Marriage.
the church of God, but common to mankind, and of publick interest in every common-wealth; yet, becaufe luch as marry are to marry in the Lord, and have special need of instruction, direction and exhortation, from the word of God, at their entering into such a new condition; and of the blerlng of God upon them therein; we judge it expedient, that marriage be solemnized by a lawful minister of the word, that he may accordingly counsel them, and pray for a bletfing upon them.
Marriage is to be betwixt one man and one woman only; and they, such as are not within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity prohibited by the word of God; and the parties are to be of years of discretion, fit to make their own choice, or, upon good grounds, to give their mutual consent.
Before the solemnizing of marriage between any persons, their purpose of marriage shall be published by the minister three several fabbath-days, in the congregation, at the place or places of their most usual and constant abode, respectively. And of this publication, the minister who is to join them in marriage shall have sufficient testimony, before he proceed to folemnize the marriage.
Before that publication of such their purpose (if the parties be under age) the consent of the parents, or others under whose power they are (in case the parents be dead) is to be made known to the church-officers of that congregation, to be recorded.