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vation. You live in a state, in which all your prayers, whether public or private, whether for yourself or for others, will be rejected.
In short, you provoke God every day more and more to withdraw His grace; to leave you to your own corrupt way of living, till you have filled
up the measure of your sins, and prepared for yourself a sentence not to be heard without trembling; “I
That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper," the marriage supper of the Lamb in Heaven.
How great then must the sin of those be, who neglect to administer, and of those who turn their
this ordinance, upon which our salvation depends! It being the blood of Christ which must cleanse us from all sin.2
After all, this is not to encourage any person to go to the Lord's Supper without a weddinggarment, without a due regard to the duty. For a man may go so unworthily, as to receive judgment, instead of a blessing. For example: Such as live in any known sin unrepented of; such as are not sincerely resolved to live and be governed
by the known laws of the Gospel; such as live at variance with their neighbours, without being willing to be reconciled; such as have done wrong, and will not make satisfaction, as they are able; lastly, such as go out of mere custom, without considering the end or benefit of the ordinance; and return to their usual sinful liberties, as soon as the service is over.
All such ought to know, that they went unworthily. And if they have any true concern for their souls, they will consider better, and lay themselves under stricter obligations, before they go again to the Lord's Supper.
But then let them not, at the peril of their souls, deal deceitfully, and make this a pretence of neglecting to go to this ordinance for the future ; lest they provoke God to leave them to themselves, which is one of the greatest judgments that can befall them.
On the other hand, let not any well-meaning Christians be discouraged with fears of having gone unworthily to the Lord's Supper; and so forbear, because they do not find all the benefit and change wrought in them, which they hoped
but let them consider that a state of holiness
and perfection is not to be expected at once, but by degrees, and as we make good use of the graces which the Holy Spirit from time to time vouchsafes to us :
A good Christian not being one who has no inclination to sin, but one who, through the grace of God, immediately checks, and suffers not such inclination to grow into evil habits.
God, who knows our infirmities, will accept our sincere endeavours, though attended with imperfections and backslidings, provided we condemn ourselves for them, and strive to amend.
And let us remember for our comfort, that Jesus Christ Himself pronounced all His disciples, the traitor excepted, to be clean, that is, qualified to receive this Sacrament, which He was going to administer to them, although He knew them to be subject to very great failings and infirmities; which soon appeared, when they all forsook Him, contrary to their solemn promises. But this they repented of, and were forgiven by their compassionate Redeemer.
If, therefore, you love God, and your neighbour, though not so fervently as you could wish;
(1) John xiii. 10; xv. 3.
do daily pray
have a real desire of being better than at present you find yourself to be; if the fruits of the Holy Spirit, though in a very low degree, do appear
your life; lastly, if you for God's
you may, in His good time, be what He would have you to be, and do not live in any known sin; by no means forbear to go to this ordinance as often as you have an opportunity; and depend upon God's blessing, and an increase of His graces.
The Prayer. GRANT, O God, that I may never draw down Thy judgments upon myself, either by turning my back upon
this ordinance, or by going to it without thought, and unworthily. May Thy mercy pardon what is past; and give me grace for the time to come, to consecrate my life to Thee, and to embrace every occasion of remembering my Redeemer's love, and thereby securing Thy favour and my own salvation! And if it be Thy will, grant that I may always find such comfort and benefit in this ordinance, as may encourage me to observe it with joy unto my life's end.
Give me leave to recommend to Thine infinite mercy the miserable condition of all such, as neglect so great means of grace and salvation. Awaken all Christian people into a sense of this duty; open
and correct their mistakes, that they may be convinced that this is the only means of making their peace with Thee, and of rendering their
and their prayers acceptable to Thy Divine Majesty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SECTION X. Meditations on several texts of Scripture, proper
to be used a little before receiving. EVE HVERY well-disposed Christian, after he has
thus far prepared himself for this Sacrament, will endeavour to keep the thoughts of his duty, and the blessings he hopes for, warm in his heart until the time of receiving.
Some of the following Scriptures, and meditations upon them, may, through God's grace, answer that end; nor will they take up too much time, because some or more of them, as