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but make me know withal, in what manner thou must be approached, to render that, which is desirable in it felf, fafe and profitable to me in particular. Give me, I beseech thee, a due Sense of the Greatness of the Mystery, and the Excellence of thy Mercy in it; and, confequent to that, fill my Soul with pure and holy Affections, with earnest Longings, with Godly Sorrow, with sincere and stedfast Resolutions, with profound Reverence and ardent Devotion ; that my Heart may be a clean, though homely Receptacle for my Saviour, fuch as he will not disdain ; and I fo well-disposed a Guest at this Divine Feast, this Spiritual Sacrifice, that thou may'ft bid me welcome to thy Table, and the Food I receive there may nourish me up to Health and Life Eternal. Amen.
CH A P. VII.
Chrift.] Bove all keepings, keep thy Heart ; and,
whether Priest or Private Christian, take good heed, that, at thy coming to my holy Table, thy Devotion consist not in outward Gesture, and Pomp and Shew only.' I am not to be imposed upon with such empty Formalities, but require an upright, humble, and devout Mind ; a Mind low and prostrate as thy Body, a stedfaft Faith and pure Intention, and unfeigned Zeal for God's Honour. Therefore, before thou presume to approach, examine well, how thou art qualified. Search
Corner of thy Conscience, and do thy utmost to purge and cast out all Remains of the old Leaven... Let no Sin unrepented of reproach thee; no Luft unmortified divide thy Affections, and hinder thy free and entire Resignation to my Will
Conceive a just Hatred and Indignation against all thy Sins in general; and for those, which are either too gross to be overlooked, or too habitual to be forgocten, express a particular and proportionable Refentment of Sorrow and Shame. And, if thou have time and leisure, look well into the Irregularities of all thy Paffions, and, in thy private Retirements, make a full Confession of them, between God and thy own Soul.
Recollect and bewail the unhappy Prevalence of worldly and carnal Affections ; every exorbitant Defire, every ungoverned Passion. Observe, how the Motions of evil Concupiscence abound and domineer; how unguarded thou art in thy outward Behaviour, and the general Course of thy Conversation ; how easily thou art seduced by Vanity; how vehemently disposed to the Gratifications of Appetite and Sensez how careless and stupid in the weightier Concerns of thy Soul ; how 'apt to let thy self
loose to Laughter and extravagant. Mirth, and how exceeding loth to mourn for thy Sins with a true, faving, and necessary Contrition; how eagerly thou pursuest the Pleasures and Advantages of the Body, and how heavy and flothful thou art in the Exercises of Mortification and godly Zeal; how mighty curious and inquisitive after News and Trifles, and greedy, to be entertained with every Pomp and Beauty that can please thy sight; but how negligent and backward, how full of Disregard and Difdain, to things of less gay Appearance, but of true inward Worth, and mighty Confequence to thy better State; how greedy of Gain ; how sparing in thy Alms ; how tenacious of this World's Goods ; How inconsiderate in thy Discourse, how childish and trilling, how wicked or obscene ; how lavish and profuse; and what a Torment it is to set a Guard
Pfal.cxli. before the Mouth, and keep the Door of thy
. Lips; how affected' or extravagant in thy Behaviour, how eager in thy Actions, how inordinate in
thy Appetites; but how slow and deaf to the Word of God; how negligent in hearing, and how inflexible to be persuaded by what thou hast heard ; how prone to Rest and Eafe, and how averse to Labour and neceffary Care; how wakeful and attentive at Plays, or Balls, and how drowsy and lifeless in Prayer and holy Duties; how impatient till they are done ; and how full of wandring and impertinent Thoughts, while they are in doing; how easily diverted from thy stated Hours of Devotion; how lukewarm in receiving the blessed Sacrament, how unfixed in thy Mind at the very time of Communicating, and how barren and unprofitable afterwards ; how soon provoked to Anger upon every flight Miscarriage, and yet how apt to give Offence to others; How prone to judge, and severely censure thy Brethren: How stiff and positive in those Judgments and hard Constructions: How infolent and immoderately exalted with good Fortune, and how feeble and dejected under every Cross or Disappointment : How full of good Intentions, and how few of those Intentions have any good Effect.
These, and many other Defects, of which each Man's own Conscience can best inform him, it is thy Duty to enquire into very nicely ; to bewail feriously, to confess with the profoundest Humility, and with firm Purpose of Amendment for the time to come. When this is done, then, without any secret Reserve to thy own Inclinations, resign thy self up entirely to God, to be governed by him, and offer to the Glory of his Name, tby Soul and Body, a boly living and reasonable Sacrifice. Thus shalt thou come to me worthily, and receive my mystical Body to thy infinite Advantage.
For there is no other Satisfaction in Man's Power to make for his great Affronts, and manifold Provocations againft the Majesty on High; no Oblation more acceptable than that of a broken and contrite, a
pure and upright Heart, offered to God in this Sacrament. He desires nothing but thy felf, and he delires this, not for his own, but for thy fake. He who brings it, let him not doubt Acceptance ; for God never despises or rejects a true Penitent, but embraces returning Prodigals, with the Tenderness of a Father; and grants them Pardon for the past, and Grace for the future. His Word, his Oath is passed. And he who cannot lie may securely be depended upon. As I live faith the Lord, I bave no pleasure in the Death
Ezek.xviii. of a Siuner, but rather that he should be converted and live ; And at what time foever the wicked Man turneth away from his M’ickedness wbich he hatb committed, and doth that which is lawful and right, be fall save his Soub alive ; Repent therefore, and turs your selves from all your Transgressions, and so Iniquity shall not be your ruin. For I will be mercifui to your Uprighteoufiefs, and your Sins and Heb viij. Iniquities will I remember szo more.
CH A P. VIII.
Ehold and take Example by me. I hung
upon the Cross with a naked Body, and stretch'd-out Arms, and thus offered my self to my Father for thy Sins. No part of me remained, which was not given in Atonement, to appease the Wrath of thy justly increased Judge. And thou in like manner must think it thy Duty, freely and wholly to give up thy self, a clean and holy. Sacrifice. Every Power, even ry Affection, of the Soul must be consecrated to me, in the blessed Sacrament. What doth the Lord require of thee, but to consult thy own Interest, and save
- thy self, by conveying over thy self to Me? Whatever else thou dedicatest to my Service, is of no Value, no Consideration with Me; for I seek not Thine, but Thee.
As all the World besides would fail of procuring thy Happiness and Satisfaction, if deprived of Me; so all thy Wealths and Gifts fet apare for my Ufe, can never be well-pleasing in my fight, unlefs with them thou givest thy own self. My whole Person was facrificed for thy Redemption ; Either of my Natures single had been insufficient to propitiate for thy Sins ; My whole Body and Blood is set upon my Table for thy Entertainment; And what can be the Meaning of all this, but that I fhould be entirely
Thine, and Thou entirely Mine? But if thou art not fincere in this Oblation, if it be made with any Proviso's and Exceptions; the Offering is not perfect, the Sacrifice is maim, ed, defective in its Parts; and the Union, which should follow upon it, must be proportionably lame and imperfect. The first thing therefore to be taken care of, is the liberal and full Refignation of thy Person. This must recommend and fanctify all thy other Acts of Religion ; and, till thou art releafed from the Bondage of divided Affections, thou canst not attain Grace and true Liberty. Hence it is, and upon no other Account, that, of so many Professors, and seemingly good Chriftians, so very few stand fast in the Liberty with which Chrift hath made them free. The Condition is fixed Luke xiv.
and irreversible, If a Man forfake not all that
be bath, be cannot be my Disciple. And therefore, if thou defire to be found in this happy Number, enter my Courts with a Free-will Offering, and confecrate every Inclination, every Faculty of thy Soul. Have no Love; no-Defires, but Mine. Submit 'tby self wbolly to my Holy Will and Pleasisre, 'end ftudy to serve me truly in Holiness and Righteofiles all the Days, and in all the Actions, of thy Life.
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