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duct of thy holy spirit. Lead me in the truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation. Let thy word be my rule, thy grace my guide and assistance, thy goodness my pattern and example, thy promises my encouragement, and thy joys my everlasting recompense and reward, through the merits and intercession of thy blessed Son, my Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
See the concluding prayer and blessing on pages 38 and 39.
THE MEDITATION: SATURDAY MORNING.*
On the excellency of the Holy Sacrament.
This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. John vi. 50.
1. COME unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, says the blessed Jesus, and I will refresh you; take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
2. Does my Saviour invite me, and shall I go? Shall a sinner dare to sit down at his table? Does he invite, and shall I not
*Here you may observe the directions given on page 3.
go? Shall a wretch presume to refuse his call? Rise then, my soul, and take thy swiftest wings, and fly to the participation of this great mystery. A feast of holy bread and holy wine, in representation of Christ's most sacred body broken, and blood shed for us, where thou, dearest Jesu, dost freely give thyself to the meanest guest; a feast of peace and love, and incomparable sweetness, to which thou hast thus kindly invited us.
3. Come to me, ye that labour for holiness, and are oppressed under the weight of your sins; ye that hunger after heaven, and thirst to drink of the fountain of bliss, come to me, and I will refresh you with the wine of gladness, and bread of life.
4. But stay, am I arrayed like a friend of the bridegroom, that I may safely come to this marriage supper? Have I considered how chaste those eyes should be, which go to behold the God of purity? Have I considered how clean that mouth should be, which presumes to eat the bread of heaven? But, most of all, have I considered how allcelestial that soul should be, which aspires to an union with the body of Christ?
5. Look, my heart, look well into thyself, and strictly search every corner of thy breast: alas! how poor, and dull, and empty are we! how infinitely unworthy of so divine a sacrament! yet are we called by him that
can command, by him that sees and pities our infirmities; he bids us come, he surely will receive us, and with his bounteous fulness supply our defects.
6. Go then, my soul, to that sacred table, and take thy part of that delicious banquet; go all inflamed with divine love, and joy, and hope, and quench thy sacred thirst with that spring of life. And when thou hast tasted the everlasting, sweetness of that Holy Sacrament, thou shalt feel the heavenly streams of Christ's blood flowing into thy truly repenting heart.
7. Let them sink deep to the root of thy heart, and turn thy barren soil into a fruitful land; fruitful in holy thoughts and pious words; fruitful in good, and just, and charitable deeds; fruitful to thyself in thine own improvement; fruitful to others in thy good example. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me praise his holy name, who saveth thy life from destruction, and feedeth thee with the bread of heaven, which is administered to thy worthy receiver in the Holy Sacrament.
A Prayer on Saturday Morning for pardon and grace to resist temptations, that our receiving the Holy Sacrament may be found acceptable in the sight of God.
Pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance. Exod. xxxiv. 9.
ALMIGHTY God, who art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, who can not look favourably upon sinners, neither shall any evil dwell with thee: how shall I, a guilty, polluted creature, dare to approach thy presence! I blush, O Lord, to lift mine eyes towards heaven; to me belongs nothing but shame and confusion of face, under which I ought to lie down before thee, if I reflected only upon the baseness of my descent, being the offspring of disloyal parents, who were rebels and traitors against thy Divine Majesty; with what dejection of spirit then ought I to think of, and mention all those offences, whereby I have justified that first rebellion, and still taken part with the devil and his angels, against thee and the motions of thy Holy Spirit in my heart?
Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this bond of death, from this bondage of corruption? Thy grace, I know, O Lord, is sufficient for me, and thy Son mighty to save me; his office is to save his
people from their sins, for this end he gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. O let the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge my conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Assist me by thy grace, that I may not only abominate all filthy vices, but also hate the garments infected with sin, and abstain from all appearance of evil. And do thou, O God of peace, sanctify me wholly, that my whole spirit, soul and body, may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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 6, Sections I. II. III. and IV.