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THE MEDITATION FOR SATURDAY EVENING.
On my unworthiness to come to the Holy Sacrament.
Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 1 Cor. xi. 27.
1. MY soul, thou perceivest that my transgressions are innumerable, and the weight of them is intolerable: that my imperfections are shameful, my nature corrupted, cross, and perverse; and almost every temptation draws me from my God: that my sins, both of omission and of commission, cry aloud against me, and are a burden too heavy for me to bear: what, therefore, can I do, what can I say unto thee? Let me flee unto thee, thou preserver of men, and confess that I am so vile, that I cannot express it so loathsome and detestable, that I even abhor myself for my iniquities.
2. O my soul! make no longer tarrying, for we cannot expect that his purer eyes should condescend to look upon me, or that he should extend his favour to so polluted a wretch as I find myself to be. And should he leave me to myself, I were utterly undone beyond all hope, or so much as a possibility of recovery. But,
3. Blessed, for ever blessed be thy name,
O God! who hast opened a fountain for sin, and for uncleanness, and hath encouraged the very worst of men to hope for mercy upon their sincere conversion and amendment; and hast sent thy dearly beloved Son to take upon him our nature, and to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance; and hast bid all those come unto thee, that are weary and heavy-laden. In a sense, therefore, of my own unworthiness and guilt, I come trembling unto thee; for, I loath, I detest, I abominate my sins, and myself because of them.
4. Wherefore, most merciful Lord, despise me not, but behold my misery, as the greater occasion of thy mercy. And let thy pardoning of so great, so vile, so wretched a sinner, show the greatness of thy clemency and compassion. Thou alone art the healer of our wounds, the lifter up of our heads, and I cannot distrust thee, since thy goodness is infinite. Though my sins are great, thy mercies are greater; therefore with them cover all my guilt, I most humbly beseech thee.
5. I am not worthy to look up to heaven; but do thou look down from thence, and raise a miserable sinner from the dung-hill, and out of all the mire of my sinful pollutions. Thus I cast all my care on thee, who didst ordain that Christ should die for all, that they who live should not henceforth
live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them and rose again; and therefore my strong hope is in thee: if I had not that confidence that Jesus would heal all my diseases, I must despair under their number and weight. Thus, I dare accept of the invitation of my Saviour to eat and drink at his table. O thou God of all mercy and truth, receive me graciously through the mediation of my blessed Saviour, and let not mine iniquities work my everlasting ruin.
A prayer on Saturday Evening for a worthy receiving of the Holy Sacrament.
I will wash my hands in innocency, O Lord, and so will go to thine altar. Psalm xxvi. 6.
CRUCIFIED Jesu! who at thy last supper didst ordain the holy eucharist, the sacrament and bond of Christian love, for the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of thy death; and hast commanded us to do this in remembrance of thee; let that propitiatory sacrifice of thy death, which thou didst offer upon the cross for the sins of the whole world, and particularly for my sins, be ever fresh in my remembrance.
O blessed Saviour, let that mighty salvation thy love hath wrought for us never slip out of my mind, but especially let my remembrance of thee in the Holy Sacrament, be always most lively and affecting. So that
if I love thee truly, I shall be sure to frequent thy altar, that I may often remember all the wonderful loves of my crucified Redeemer. Yet, forasmuch as I know, O my God, that a bare remembrance of thee is not enough: fix in me such a remembrance of thee, as is suitable to the infinite love I am to remember; work in me all those holy and heavenly affections, which become the remembrance of a crucified Saviour; and do thou so dispose my heart to be thy guest at thy holy table, that I may feel all the sweet influences of love crucified, the strengthening and refreshing of my soul by thy body and blood, as my body is by the bread and wine.
O merciful Jesu! let that immortal food, which in the holy eucharist thou vouchsafest me, pour into my weak and languishing soul new supplies of grace, new life, new love, new vigour, and new resolutions, that I may never more faint or droop, or falter in my duty. Amen, Lord Jesus, Amen.
See the concluding prayer and blessing on pages 38 and 39.
THE MEDITATION FOR SUNDAY MORNING.*
On the love of God to mankind, particularly manifested in
Hereby receive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us. 1 John iii. 16.
EHOLD, Lord, thus encouraged, thus invited, I come; yet I do not presume to do so, trusting in my own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. I feel, alas! I feel, alas! my weaknesses and wants, and betake myself to thee for relief; sick and diseased, I fly to the physician of souls; hungry and thirsty, to this fountain of living water, and bread of life; poor and needy, to the bountiful king of heaven: a servant to his kind master! a creature to his compassionate Creator! who hateth nothing that he hath made; and a forlorn, disconsolate wretch, to thee, the holy, the eternal, the only comforter! But,
2. Whence is this to me, that my God should vouchsafe to come unto me? Or, who am I, that thou shouldest communicate to me thy ownself? How shall a wicked sinner dare to appear before thee? Or how canst thou, who art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, endure to make such condescending approaches to a soul polluted with sin and with uncleanness? Thou seest my very in
* Here you may observe the directions given on page 3.