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The second, to be a solemn token of our communion with Jesus Christ, and of our union and charity with all His family.
To this end He has ordained, that as all Christians, high and low, rich and poor, shall make
up one body, of which He is the Head; and one family, of which He is the Master; so they should all eat at one Table, of one bread, as a sign of that love, and peace, and friendship, and readiness to help one another, as occasion shall require, and as members of the same body will naturally do.
And indeed your acceptance with God will very much depend upon your hearty good-will for every Christian, and for all mankind.
Therefore you must take especial care, lest there be any person with whom you are not at peace : whom you cannot forgive, and pray for, and do him all the good that can in reason be expected from you: that you be disposed to make satisfaction to any person that has been injured by you, or who may have taken just offence at your words or actions ; this being a duty which Jesus Christ Himself has commanded."
(1) Matt. v. 23.
And that you be ready to forgive every person who may have injured you, as you expect forgiveness of God; remembering the dreadful sen
l; tence mentioned in Matt. xvii, “ Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all thy debt : shouldest not thou have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And the Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors.” 1
And lastly, you are to take care that you “love, not in word only, but in deed, and in truth; » that is, that you do good, as well as give good words; and relieve Jesus Christ in His
And believe it for a certain truth, that a charitable and forgiving temper is not near so beneficial to anybody, as to him that hath it; it being “more blessed to give, than to receive; and to forgive, than to insist upon satisfaction for injuries and wrongs done unto us.
This being so necessary a grace, you will not fail to beg of God most earnestly to vouchsafe it
(2) 1 John iii. 18.
(1) Matt. xviii. 32–31.
(3) Acts xx. 35.
The Prayer. “This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you."1 Hear, 0 niy soul, what thy Saviour has commanded thee; He who loved us, and gave Himself an offering and a sacrifice to God for us.
May this Thy love, O Jesus, be the motive and pattern
my love and charity for all mankind ! Where this hath not been my practice, I implore
Ι Thy gracious pardon; and beseech Thee to fortify my soul against all the suggestions of Satan, or my corrupt nature and blind passions ; that I may
I always be prepared to go to Thine altar with the same charitable dispositions with which I desire and hope to die.
Thou, O Jesus, madest Thine enemies Thy friends, by laying down Thy life for them. Be Thou my Advocate with the Father, for grace to follow Thy heavenly charity and example, that I may overcome evil with good: that I, and all the members of Thy family, may love as brethren; that we may always meet at Thy Table as sincere friends, and part with true love and affection, as becomes Thy disciples. Amen.
(1) John xv. 12.
this time you see the reason of this institution;
the necessity, as well as the invaluable blessing, of observing it religiously; and the manner of preparing yourself for it, as often as you have an opportunity.
And remember, that the oftener you look into the state of your soul, in order to go to this ordinance, the less trouble you will have to make your peace with God when you come to die; and the less danger you will be in of falling into a state of sin and security, which has been the ruin of an infinite number of souls.
Besides this, you will have the greatest comfort in life, when you perceive that you are still growing in grace, and tending to that perfection which must fit
for Heaven. On the other hand, if you turn your
back upon this ordinance, it must be because
will not be at the pains to understand your duty, your interest, and your danger.
You have not considered that there is no pardon, no grace, no salvation to be hoped for, but by pleading with God what His Son hath done, and suffered, and merited for us, and in the manner He has ordained.
And if you will consult your own conscience, it will tell you, that some of these following are the true, though most wretched, causes of your contempt of this command of your Saviour. Either
you live in some known sin, or ungodly way of life, which you cannot resolve to forsake: or you are not willing to renew your vows made in Baptism; or, which is generally the case, you have no real concern for your soul: only you delude yourself with some faint purposes and hopes, that some time or other you will become
a new man,
In the mean time, you are guilty of a sin too like the "denying the Lord that bought you.” You bring an evil report upon an ordinance of Christ, as if it were not worth observing. You harden wicked people in their infidelity, and neglect of their salvation, by calling yourself a Christian, and living like an heathen, in the contempt of one of the greatest means of sal