« 上一頁繼續 »
The prayer on Tuesday Morning, for God's mercy and grace in our preparation for the Sacrament.
O hide not thou thy face from me; nor cast thy servant away in displeasure. Thou hast been my succour; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. Psalm xxvii. 10, 11.
MOST glorious, most great, and eternal God! thou art the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I live, and move, and have my being, and from whom I derive all the comforts and conveniences of this life, and all my hopes and expectations of a better. O Lord! I acknowledge that I am not worthy to come into thy presence, nor to lift up mine eyes towards the throne of thy mercy-seat. My sins and transgressions are many, and divers of them have been often repeated; the corruption of my heart, and the sinfulness of my thoughts, are perfectly known to thee; and the punishment I deserve is greater than I am able to bear. O give me not over to mine oppressors, but save and deliver me for thy mercies' sake, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord! if thou shouldest deal with me as I have deserved, how justly mayest thou deprive me of all those means of grace, and opportunities of working out my salvation,
which thou hast hitherto vouchsafed unto me: but, O merciful Father! thou hast declared thyself to be a God merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. My only hope, therefore, is in thy tender mercies, which have been ever of old; and in that pity and compassion which thou hast shown to mankind, in the redemption of the world, by the death of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour.
For thy name's sake, then, O Lord, and for thy beloved Son's sake, pardon, I most humbly beseech thee, all my past sins, and let not iniquity be my ruin. Forgive the deadness of my devotion; the coldness of my affections; the wanderings of my prayers; and whatever else thou hast seen amiss in me. O pity my weaknesses, and forgive my infirmities, and lay not to my charge the imperfections of my religious duties. But
Enable me, by the assistance of thy good spirit, to amend whatever has been amiss,
and to endeavour more and more after the attainment of all those graces and good dispositions, which on this solemn occasion are necessary to render our prayers and praises acceptable in thy sight. O let me never fall into a careless and unconcerned state of mind; into a coldness and indifferency toward the duties of religion; but animate and enliven my sluggish heart, and cleanse it from all its defilements.
Grant me such a conviction of my own weakness and insufficiency, as may procure thy gracious aid and assistance; such longing desires of being made conformable to thy holy will and pleasure, as may transform me into thy divine image, and fix me to continue thy faithful servant all the remaining days of my life; so that I may finally inherit thy heavenly kingdom with him that has commanded me to call thee Father, and has taught me, when I pray, to say, Our Father which art in heaven, &c.
Here observe the directions given on page 8, and more particularly endeavour to improve your soul by reading a lesson out of the NEW WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 3, Sections VII. and VIII.
THE MEDITATION FOR TUESDAY EVENING.
On the nature and necessity of our preparation before receiving the Holy Sacrament.
He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 1 Cor. xi. 29.
1. CONSIDER now, O my soul, what that
great mystery is to which thou art invited in the Holy Sacrament: let us consider the nature and end of this sacred institution; what is meant by this holy action; to what purpose it was ordained; what benefits and advantages may be expected from it. This necessary knowledge once attained, and which may be compassed without great difficulty, will be a standing qualification in all our future communions; and create such godly dispositions of mind, that I may no longer be afraid to approach the Lord's table. And to this end,
2. Let us call to mind our baptismal vow, wherein we have promised to lead a godly and Christian life, which can never be fulfilled so long as we live in a constant neglect of this Holy Sacrament; nor is it possible to be a meet partaker of that holy mystery, except there be a due preparation, by confessing our sins with an humble, penitent, and obedient heart, and a readiness to forgive
those that have offended us, and asking with faith; without these, O my soul, I dare not go to that holy table, and my prayers and praises will find no acceptance at the throne of grace. But if I endeavour to live as becomes a Christian; if I really believe the Christian religion, and sincerely govern my life by the doctrines and precepts of the gospel, there is nothing should deter me from partaking of this holy ordinance: nay, I am bound to receive it at any time when there is an opportunity.
3. Thus, though it be my duty to communicate at the Lord's table, it is very advisable that my lamp should be trimmed, that I should examine the state of my mind, renew my repentance, exercise my charity, enlarge my devotions, and spiritualize my affections; I am, therefore, resolved to retire from all unnecessary business and pleasures; that by prayer and alms-deeds, thou, my soul, mayest be raised to relish spiritual enjoyments; and that I may no longer be deprived of that glorious expectation of the saints, whither I can never expect to be exalted, if I live in the constant habitual practice of any known sin, without repentance; for such an impious approach to the holy table is a mocking of God, and a great contempt of his authority.
4. Say then, I will wash my hands in innocency, so will I compass thine altar, O Lord, Psalm xxvi. 6. For I believe that