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means to fit and prepare us for the eternal enjoyment of God in a future state.

6. Again, we must be very great strangers to ourselves, if we are not acquainted with the impotency and corruption of our nature: we, my soul! must know but little of our circumstances in this world, if we are not aware of those enemies which are continually designing our ruin: there are few so happy and so steady in their duty, as not sometimes to deviate from it: the strength of temptation, and the violence of passion, too frequently prevail upon the most perfect. Yet if we, my soul! were duly affected with these wants we labour under, we should certainly apply ourselves to the use of such remedies as are proper to relieve us. Nor can any thing be so effectual as a frequent participation of the Lord's supper; which will purify our corrupt nature, by applying the merits of Christ's blood; strengthen our weakness, by communicating the influences of his grace, which he has purchased for us by his death; support us under all temptations, by a lively representation of those great things Christ has suffered for us; restore that peace and quiet to our conscience, which sin robs us of, by ratifying our pardon, and making our sincere repentance acceptable to God; and subdue the violence of our passions, by spiritualizing our affections, and by placing them upon God and

virtue,

ANOTHER MEDITATION: TUESDAY EVENING.

Upon the true repentance of a worthy communicant.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts iii. 9.

1. I KNOW, my soul! that we ought always to live, as we hope to die, as becomes good Christians, constantly endeavouring to lead a new life; but then, remember, that to guard against all presumptuous security in matters of eternal welfare, we should never presume to eat of that bread and drink of that cup, without a previous preparation, if we mean to escape that judgment or condemnation, which the Corinthians brought upon themselves for their irreverent, sinful, and disorderly behaviour at this sacrament; who were accused of being guilty of the body and blood of Christ our Saviour of eating and drinking their own damnation, not considering the Lord's body-of kindling God's wrath against them-of provoking him to plague them with divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death; which we shall avoid and escape by coming worthily, by faith and repentance, to the Lord's supper; if we would call ourselves to account, and judge and condemn what is evil in ourselves, so effectually as to forsake it; we should not then be condemned or punished by God. Let not then

these terrible expressions trouble us or detain us from the Holy Communion :* but let us repent and believe, and we are safe and secure from falling into any of those dangers which these sentences may seem to threaten us with. And when we see such afflictions among us, we ought, before it be too late, to consider them as chastisements from the hand of God, in order to our present amendment; and designed for this good end, that we should not be finally condemned with the wicked part of the world in the day of judgment.

2. There is nothing dreadful in this sacrament, but to the wilful, impenitent, and per severing sinner, whose condition is dreadful; but to the penitent and humble soul nothing is dismal or affrighting in this holy feast. And the surest way to prevent our damnation, is to receive the Sacrament more frequently than men usually do; that by a constant participation of this spiritual food of the living bread, which comes down from heaven, our souls may be nourished in all goodness, and new supplies of God's grace and Holy Spirit may be continually derived to us from our purification, and so enable us to run the ways of God's commandments with more constancy and delight than we have done before: it being certain that God will never cast any

* See the Note on page 47.

man into eternal flames, for striving to do his duty as well as he can. If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that. he hath not. And, consequently, such as ac-. count themselves most unworthy, are those very persons who are deeply sensible of their own unworthiness. They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick.

3. This being the case of all mankind, with respect to their spiritual life, there is, my soul, no other way to free ourselves from this death of sin, but speedily to apply ourselves to this heavenly physician, who came into the world to seek and to save those that are lost and ready to perish. And let us trust in God, that as often as we come to the Holy Communion with such a honest and true heart, as to exercise our repentance toward God, our faith and hope of his mercy through Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, and our love and charity for all mankind, that such a temper and resolution of mind will doubtless render us worthy partakers of these holy mysteries, and prevent our eating and drinking damnation to ourselves. :

4. But that our preparation may be well performed, let us remember the end, and we shall never do amiss; let us search our heart and examine our conscience; not only till we see our sins, but until we hate them; and

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instead of those filthy rags of our own righteousness, let us adorn our mind with pure and pious dispositions to fear God and to keep his commandments: let us endeavour to be accepted of by God, as worthy communicants; that he who knoweth all the secrets of the heart, may approve of the sincerity of our repentance; and the King, who comes in to view the guests, may count us worthy of his favour and countenance; which never can be hoped for without he finds us clothed with the marriage garment of sincere repentance.

The Hymn on Tuesday Evening.

The true penitent's confession and petition.
O LORD! show pity; Lord! forgive;
Let a repenting rebel live.

Are not thy mercies large and free?
May not a sinner trust in thee?

My crimes are great, but not surpass
The pow'r and mercy of thy grace:
Great God! thy nature hath no bound,
So let thy pard'ning love be found.

Oh! wash my soul from ev'ry sin,
And make my guilty conscience clean,
Here on my heart the burden lies:
And past offences pain my eyes.

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