“us, – Provoking him to plague us with “ divers Diseases and sundry kinds of Death." These are hard Sayings, and some of them too hard to be understood : But however, they are all avoided and escaped by coming worthily, that is, with Faith and Repentance: Therefore let not these terrible Expressions trouble you, or detain you from the holy Communion : Repent and believe, and you are safe and secure from falling into any

of those Dangers, which these Sentences may feem to threaten you with. So that the Want of Preparation, as some Men have alledged, and in the Sense they generally take it, can never be a sufficient Plea or Pretence for their not coming to the holy Communion; because after our best and stricteft Endeavours to prepare ourselves, we profefs (before God and the Congregation) « That we do not

come to this heavenly Table trusting in

our own Righteousness, but in his manifold “ and great Mercies.” By these we are invited to come; and to the Mercy of God (through Christ) all of us muft flee, and take Sanctuary in ; who has promised that he will sin no wise cast out those who come unto him, John vi. 37. A broken and a contrite Heart, O God, thou wilt not despise, Psalm li. 17. There is nothing dreadful in this Sacrament, but to the wilful, impenitent and persevering Sinner, whose Condition is dreadful, and every Page in Scripture is terrible against such, whether they come or not; but to the penitent


and humble Soul, nothing is dismal or affrighting in this holy Feast ; for there is none condemned for unworthy Receiving, but such who deserve it for continuing in their Iniquities; and this Impenitence renders even their Prayers an “ Abomination unto the Lord.” Though they never partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, they are in equal Danger with those who eat and drink unworthily; nay, I might say in greater, because the latter use the Means in Obedience to our Saviour's Command, and the former wilfully neglect that which would prevent their Damnation, if rightly considered, and timely applied to. The surest Way, I say, to prevent their Damnation, is to receive the Sacrament more frequently than Men usually do, that by a confant Participation of this spiritual Food of the Living Bread which comes down from Heaven, their Souls may be nourished in all Goodness, and new Supplies of God's Grace and Holy Spirit may be continually derived to them for the purifying of their Hearts, and to enable them to run the Way of God's Commandments with more Constancy and Delight than they did before. So that the true Consequence of eating and drinking unworthily, thould rather excite our Care and Diligence in this Duty, than delude us with false Reasonings, to such a Neglect as will certainly increase our Damnation; it being certain that God will never cast any Man into eternal Flames for striving to do his Duty as


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well as he can. If there be first a willing Mind, faith the Apostle, it is accepted according to that a Man hath, and not according to that he hath not, 2 Cor. viii. 12. Neither ought we to think to unworthily of the Son of God, who came into the World to fave Sinners, that he would inftirute this Ordinance to be a Snare to entangle our Souls with. It was not ordained for Angels, or for glorified Saints, but for humble and penitent Sinners, to bring them home to God; it being a Seal of their Pardon, and a refreshing Declaration of our heavenly Father's Readinels to forgive the chiefest of Sinners for Jesus's fake; who graciously calls upon all who are wearied and oppressed with the Guilt and Burden of their Sins, to come to him, and he will refresh them, Matt. xi. 28. Christ came not to call the Righteous, but Sinners to Repentance, Matt. ix. 13. And consequently such as account themselves most unworthy, are those very Persons whom Chrift doth here call and invite to this Sacrament, when deeply sensible of their Uniworthiness. Were we not Sinners, were we not conceived and born in Sin, we should not need fúch Means and Instruments of Grace as Sacraments are ; but " being by Nature born. « in Sin, and the Children of Wrath, we

are hereby made the Children of Grace, “ and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven.” They that are whole, faith Christ, have no need of a Physician, but they that are fick. This being the Cale of all Mankind with respect

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to their spiritual Life, there is no other Way to free ourselves from this Death of. Sin, but by speedily, applying ourselves to our heavenly Physician, who came into the World to seek and to save tbofe that are loft, and ready to perish; and the very Sense of our own Unworthiness, is, of all other Arguments, the belt Qualification to recommend us to God's Favour and Mercy, since we know that he refifteth the Proud, [and presumptuous Sinner] but never denies his Grace and Favour to the Humble and Meek. As often then as we come to the Holy Communion with such an honest and true Heart, as to exercise our “ Repentance « towards God, our Faith, and Hope of his

" Mercy, through Christ, for the ForgiveBr? « nefs of our Sins, and our Love and Charity

< for all Mankind ;" such a Temper and

Resolution of Mind as this, will, doubtless, 7,1% render us worthy Partakers of these holy My

steries, and prevent 'us“ eating and drinking
" Damnation to ourselves.” Nay, I further
add, that any person thus disposed or qua-
lified, may come (if it should be required)
at an Hour's Warning, as safely as he may
come to Church and say his Prayers, or hear
a Sermon. The Dueness of Preparation doth
not so much depend upon our setting aside-fo:
many extraordinary Days for the forcing our-
felves into a religious Posture of Mind, as
upon the plain natural Frame and Disposition
of our Souls, as they constantly stand inclined
to Virtue and Goodness through the general


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Men of great


Course of our Lives. From whence I infer,

that a Multitude of Bufiness, or Business, ei a Man's being deeply engaged in ther public or the public Affairs of this World, privale, are rict : bereby ex

cannot be any just Plea or Precused from free tence for his not coming to the quent Commu• holy Communion ; because all

Business is consistent with the Duties of Religion, provided we govern our Affairs by Christian Principles : For though such Men have not Leisure for so much actual Preparation, yet they may have that habitual Preparation, upon which the great Stress ought to be laid in this Matter: Nay, even the conscientious Discharge of a Man's Duty in his Bufiness, may be one of the best Qualifications to recommend him to God; since every Man serves God when he follows his Calling with Diligence, and observes Justice and Honesty in all his Dealings, and consequently, the greater Danger and Temptation he is exposed to thro' the Multiplicity of Business, the more need hath he of God's Grace and Affistance, which are abundantly communicated to us in this holy Ordinance : So that Men of Business, if they have any serious Thoughts of another World, ought more especially to lay hold on such Opportunities which secure the Salvation of their Souls; for as they who have Leisure ought to receive constantly, as the best Improvement of their Time ; so they that are engaged in many worldly Affairs, ought to come the oftener to the holy Communion, and learn how to fanctify their Employments. But to proceed :


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