Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Sin, which was formerly in a good way of being pardoned, will not only return upon thee with all its own Loads, but with the Baseness of Unthankfulness, and thou wilt be set as far back from Heaven as ever; and all thy former Labours, and Fears, and Watchings, and Agonies will be reckoned for nothing, but as Arguments to upbraid thy Folly, who, when thou hadit let one Foot in Heaven, didft pull that back, and carry both to Hell.

Motives to Refentance.

I.shall use no other Arguments to move a Sinner to Repentance, but to tell him, unless he does, he shall certainly perish, and if he does repent timely and intirely, that is, live a holy Life, he shall be forgiven and be saved. But yet I desire that this Confideration be enlarg’d with some great Circumstances;

and let us remember,

1. That to adınit Mankind to Repentance and Pardon was a Favour greater than ever God gave to the Angels and Devils, for they were never admitted to the Condition of fecond Thoughts ; Christ never groaned one Groan for them ; he never fuffered one Stripe, nor one Affront, nor sed one Drop of Blood to restore them to Hopes of Bleffedness after their firft Failings. But this he did for us : He paid the Score of our Sins, only that we might be admitted to repent, and that this Repentance might be effectual to the great Purposes of Felicity and Salvation.

2. Consider, that as it cost Christ many Millions of Prayers, and Groans, and Sighs, so he is now at this Instant, and hath been for these 1600 Years, Night and Day incessantly praying for Grace to us, may repent, and for Pardon

when we do, and for Degrees of Pardon beyond the Capacities of our Infirmities, and the Merit of our Sorrows and Amendment;

and this Prayer he will continue till his second ComPicb: 7.15. ing: For he ever liveth to make Intercession for us. And that we may know what it is in Behalf of which he

that we

intercedes, St. Paul tells us his Design, [We are Am- 2 Cor. s. 20 basadors for Christ, as though he did beseech you by ns, we pray you in Chrift's pead to be reconciled to Gód.] And what Christ prays us to do, he prays to God that we may do ; that which he desires of us as his Servants, he defires of God, who is the Fountain of the Grace and Powers unto us, and without whose Assistance we can do nothing.

3. That ever we should repent, was so costly a Purchase, and so great a Concernment, and so high a Favour, and the Event is esteenied by God himself so great an Excellency, that our bleffed Saviour tells us, there shall be joy in heaven over one finner that re-Luk. 15.s. penteth : Meaning that when Christ shall be glorified, and at the Right-hand of his Father make Intercession for us, praying for our Repentance, the Conversion and Repentance of every Sinner is Part of Christ's Glorification, it is the answering of his Prayers, it is a Portion of his Reward in which he does essentially glory by the Joys of his glorified Humanity, This is the Joy of our Lord himself directly, not of the Angels; save only by Reflexion : The Joy (said our blessed Saviour) shall be in the Presence of the Angels, they shall see the Glory of the Lord, the answering of his Prayers, the Satisfaction of his Defires, and the Reward of his Sufferings, in the Repentance and consequent Pardon of a Sinner. For therefore he once suffered, and for that Reason he rejoyces for ever. And therefore when a penitent Sinner comes to receive the Effect and full Confummation of his Pardon, it is called [an entring into the joy of our Lord? that is, a partaking of that joy which Christ received at our Converfion, and enjoyed ever since.

4. Add to this, that the Rewards of Heaven are fo great and glorious, and Chrift’s Burthen is fo light, his Yoke is fo eafie, that it is a shamelessImpudence to expect so great Glories at a less Rate than fo little a Service, at a lower Rate than a holy Life. It cost the HeartBlood of the Son of God to obtain Heaven for us upon that Condition ; and who shall die again to get Heaven for us upon easier Terms ? What would you do if

God should command you to kill your eldest Son, or to work in the Mines for a Thousand Years together, or to fast all your Life-Time with Bread and Water? Were not Heaven a very great Bargain even after all this? And when God requires nothing of us but to live soberly, justly and godly, (which Things of themselves are to a Man a very great Felicity, and necessary to our present Well-being) shall we think this to be an intoIerable Burthen, and that Heaven is too little a Purchafe at that Price, and that God in meer Justice will take a Death-Bed Sigh or Groan, and a few unprofitable Tears and Promises, inexchange for all our Duty?

If thefe Motives joyned together with our own Interest, even as much as Felicity and the Sight of God, and the avoiding the intolerable Pains of Hell, and many intermedial Judgments come to, will not move us to leave, 1. The Filthiness, and 2. The Trouble, and 3. The Uneasiness, and 4. The Unreasonablenefs of Sin, and turn to God, there is no more to be faid, we must perifh in our Folly.

SECT. X. Of Preparation to, and the manner how to receive the

Holy Sacrament of the Lord's-Supper. THE 'HE Celebration of the Holy

Sacrament is the great Mysteriousness of the Christian Religion, and fucceeds to the moft Solemn Rite of Natural and Judaical Religion, the Law of Sacrificing. For God spared Mankind, and took the Sacrifice of Beasts, together with our Solemn Prayers, for an Instrument of Expiation. But these could not purifie the Soul from Sin, but were Typical of the Sacrifice of something that could. But nothing could do this, but either the offering of all that finned, that every Man should be the anathema or devoted thing; or elfé by fome one of the Same Capacity, who by. some fuperadded Excellency might in his own personal Sufferings have aValue great enough to satisfie for all the whole Kind of finning Persons. This the Son of God, Jesus Chrift, God and Man, undertook, and finished by a Sacrifice of Himself upon the Altar of the Cross.

2. This

2. This Sacrifices because it was perfect, could be but one, and that once : But because the Needs of the World should last as long as the World itself, it was necessary that there should be a perpetual Miniftry established, whereby this one fufficient Sacrifice should be made eternaily effectual to the several new arising Needs of all the World who should defire it, or in any Sense be capable of it.

3. To this End Christ was made a Priest for ever : He was initiated or confecrated on the Cross, and there began his Priesthood, which was to last till his coming to Judgment. It began on Earth, but was to last and be officiated in Heaven, where he fits perpetually representing and exhibiting to the Father that great effective Sacrifice(which he offer'd on the Cross) to eternal and never failing Purposes.

4. As Christ is pleased to represent to his Father that great Sacrifice as a Means of Atonement and Expiation for all Mankind, and with special Purpofes and Intendment for all the Elect, all that serve him in Holiness : So he hath appointed that the fame Ministery shall be done upon Earth too, in our Manner, and according to our Proportion; and therefore hath constituted and separated an Order of Men, who, by shewing forth the Lord's Death by Sacramental Representation, may pray unto God after the fame manner, that our Lord' and High-Priest docs, that is, offer to God and represent, in this Solemn Prayer and Sacrament, Chrift as already offered; fo sending up a gracious Instrument whereby our Prayers may for his Sake, and in the same manner of Intercession be offered up to God in our Behalf, and for all them for whom we pray, to all those Purposes for which Chrift died. 5.

As the Ministers of the Sacrament do in a Sacramental manner present to God the Sacrifice of the Cross, by being Imitators of Chrift's Intercession; fo the People are Sacrificers too in their manner: For befides that, by saying Amen, they joyn in the Actof him that ministers, and make it also to be their own; fo when they eat and drink the Consecrated and Blessed

Ele.

on :

Elements worthily, they receive Christ within them,
and therefore may also offer him to God, while in
their Sacrifice of Obedience and Thanksgiving they
present themselves to God with Christ whom they
have fpiritually received, that is, themselves with
that which will make them gracious and acceptable.
The offering their Bodies and Souls and Services to
God, in him, and by him, and with him, who is his
Father's well-beloved, and in whom he is well pleased,
cannot but be accepted to all the purposes of Blessing,
Grace and Glory *.

Nóti tempore tu Jovi sereni,
Cum fulget placidus, suoque vultu,

Quo nil iupplicibus folet negare. Martial. Ep. I. s, bi
6. This is the Sum of the greatest Mystery of
our Religion ; it is the Copy of the Paflion, and the
Ministration of the great Mystery of our Redempti-

And therefore whatsoever entitles us to the ge-
neral Privileges of Christ's Passion, all that is necef-
sary by way of difpofition to the Celebration of the
Sacrament of his Paffion, because this Celebration is
our manner of applying or using it. The Particulars
of which Preparation are represented in the following

Rules.
Vafa pura ad 1. No Man must dare to approach to the holy Sa-

crament of the Lord's Supper if he be in a state of any
Plaut. in Cap.
Ac. 4. sc. 1.

one fin, that is, unless he have entred into the state of
Repentance, that is, of Sorrow and Amendment; left it
be said 'concerning him, as it was concerning Judas.
The hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the
Table: And he that receiveth Chrift into an impure
Soul or Body, first turns his moft excellent Nourish-
ment into Poyson, and then feeds upon it.

2. Every Communicant mult firft have examined
himself, that is, tried the Condition and State of his
Soul, searched out the fecret Ulcers, enquired out
its Weaknesses and Indiscretions, and all those Aptnes
fes where it is exposed to Temptation ; that by find-
ing out its Diseases he may find a Cure, and by difco-
vering its Aptneffes he may fecure his present Purposes

of

tem Divinam.

7

« ZurückWeiter »