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our heavenly Physician; and this we must do to shew that we condemn all our former evil: and vicious Courses, with a full. Purpose and Resolution of Mind (by God's Affiftance) never to do the like again. Unless this be done, our. Sorrow for Sin, and the Confession of our Wickedness, can never profit us in the Sight. of God, if it be not joined with a firm Resolu... tion of leading a new Life :
Which is the FOURTH and most effential Part of a fincere Repentance, and
A new Lifer. the only Condition of finding Merey with God. He that covereth his Sins shall not prosper; but whoso.confefseth and forsaketh them: Thall have Mercy, Prov. xxviii. 13. Let the. wicked Man forsake his Ways, and the unrigh-, teous Man his Thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have Mercy upon him, and to our God, and he will abundantly pardon, Isa. ly. 7. I tell you nay, faith Christ, but except ye. repent, ye sball all likewise perishi
, Luke xiii. 3. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that
your : Sins may be blotted out, Aets ii. 19. Thofe preceding Parts of Repentance before-mentioned, are only preparative to this ; that which must complete and finish the Work of a new Convert is, to become a new Creature, “ to turn from « our evil Ways, and to break off our Sins by " Righteousness.” This certainly must be the Defire and Intention of all Communicants, if they hope or expect any Benefit or Advantage from this solemn Rite or Covenant; for he that comes with a Design or Intention of continuing in his former Sins, comes fomewhat
like unto Judas, that came and received, and at the same Time continued his Resolution of betraying his Maller. That which makes a Man absolutely unfit to receive the holy Sacrament, is the living in the constant and habitual Practice of any known Sin, without the least Desire or Intention of Repentance or Amendment. Such a
Such a Man's Approach to the holy Table, no doubt, is to “ eat and drink his own « Damnation,” since it is a plain Mocking of God, and a great Contempt and Abuse of his divine Authority. We must therefore (by the Help and Affistance of God's Grace) “ resolve
to lead a new Life, following the Command
ments of God," or otherwise our former Examinations will appear but flight and superficial, our Sight and Sense of Sin trivial and indifferent, our Sorrow and Contrition of Spirit forced and hypocritical, and our Confeffions odious and formal. Therefore examine well the Sincerity of your Repentance and Resolutions, that
you neither deceive God nor yourselves : Him you cannot, because he is a Šearcher of the Heart, and a Discerner of the Thoughts, nor will he accept of any thing which is not hearty and unfeigned.
Not that we are to suppose that this SacraNo absolute
ment of the Lord's Supper doch Obedience ex
require perfect Obedience in all pested after our Addresses to the Holy Altar, ibe holy Sa
or that none must come but such
as are in a finless State of Perfection: No, this were impossible, because there
is no Man which livetlo and sinneth not; for
tions to live in Obedience and Conformity to God's Law are strengthened, and the Grace of God's holy Spirit, to do his Will, is hereby conveyed to us : It is the fovereign Remedy against all Temptations, by mortifying our Paffions, and by spiritualizing our Affections: In a Word, it is the likelieft Method to make our Bodies the Temples of the Holy Ghost, and to prepare our Souls for the Enjoyment of God to all Eternity. And if at any Time, through Ignorance,
Surprise, or the Violence of any Relapses after other Temptation, we should fall Receiving not dangerous.
into those very Sins which we
have repented of, and vowed against when we were at the last Sacrament, yet these Relapfes should not make us afraid of coming again, since we have always the Benefit of Repentance allowed us : If after a Relapse we repent, and renew our Resolutions with a hearty Grief and Contrition of Spirit, we are made whole as before. If the Wicked, faith God, will turn from all his Siris that he hath committed; all his Tranfgreffions that be hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto bim, Ezek. xviii. 21, 22.. Sin no more, says our Saviour to the Woman taken in Adultery, and I will not condemn thee, John viii. 11. It is not the Commiffion of this or that great Sin that will utterly exclude us from God's Mercy and Forgiveness, for then, indeed, no Person could efcape Damnation, becaufe there is not a juft Man upon Earth, that dath Good and fin
neth not, Ecclef. vii. 20. But it is our living and dying without Repentance and Amendment, that brings God's Wrath and Vengeance upon us. His Mercies are not limited; he will not only pardon us once or twice, but always, upon our Repentance and Return to him. No Time, no Age or Season, does he except against ; but whenever the wicked Man turneth away from his Wickedness that he hath committed, and doth that which is lawful and right, he foail save his Soul alive, Ezek. xviii. 27. Neither is there any Sin, though never so vile and heinous in its own Nature, but shall be remitted and forgiven, unless it be that against the Holy Ghost. All manner of Sins and Blasphemies shall be forgiven unto Men, but the Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven, Matt. xii. 31, 32. And consequently this Sin of eating and drinking unworthily, in the worst Sense, cannot be a damning Sin, because God in the Gospel (for Christ's sake) hath promised to forgive all our Sins, upon our Repentance, and therefore this of unworthy Receiving among the relt.
Some People, I remember, have been very much concerned and discomposed at their Devotions, upon the Repetition of some few Expressions contained in the last Exhortation to the Communion; namely, “ Of being guilty “ of the Body and Blood of Christ our Sa“ viour,-Of eating and drinking our own “ Damnation,--Not considering the Lord's « Body, -- Kindling God's. Wrath against