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Self-examination a necessary Duty.

your instruction, from whence you may draw a conclusion concerning your state and temper, how far you are really found in the exercise of these dispositions.

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Blessed are they who have obtained any measure of these graces; blessed are they who are seeking after them. The sincere desire after an increase of grace is true grace, and shall have a growing accomplishment. Judge therefore yourselves, “ brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord ; re

pent you truly for your sins past; have a lively “ and stedfast faith in Christ our Saviour; be " thankful; amend your lives, and be in perfect "! charity with all men;" and this not superficially, but from the heart, in simplicity and godly since

so shall ye be meet partakers of those “ holy mysteries."

rity, and “

Considerations at the Lord's Supper.




HAVING in the last chapter set before you what was necessary to be examined into, in order to come to a right judgment of our state, and to approach with suitable dispositions the table of our Lord, I come now particularly to enter into the consideration of that frame of spirit which we should be in at the solemnity itself. Having the general requisites for the feast, there is also required a particular exercise of these graces, like trimming our lamps to go forth to meet the bridegroom. For this end, when we are purposing to renew our approach to the Lord's table, it will be useful at some season of leisure, to enquire particularly how we stand, what progress we make in each of the aforementioned tempers, and that we spend some time in meditation and prayer, with a view to the ordinance. Not that I mean to tie down any believer to a regular form which he may not omit, or drive him from the table because the ordinance was unexpected, or some peculiar calls prevented him

Considerations at the Lord's Supper.

from particular previous exercises of retirement, examination, meditation, and prayer : no, though it were desirable to be thus employed before, and in general such preparation will greatly conduce to the enlivening our hearts, and be a means of leading us in a more sacramental frame to the table, yet he that hath the Lord Jesus formed in him, is always called upon to come and receive the tokens of his love.

At the celebration of the feast itself, the following observations will deserve our attention; and, I trust, minister to our edification :

I. How we should improve the time before we come to the Lord's table.

II. How to demean ourselves at the table.

III. The use we should make of what time remains when we return from the table.

I. At the celebration of the Lord's Supper, we should approach the table with a frame of mind suited to the particular occasion. As,

1. With a deep sense of our own unworthiness. The service ended, when communicating begins, some short time for recollection is afforded us; our first thoughts then should always be of the great condescension of Christ, that suffers such rebellious, such sinful dust and ashes as we are, to approach bis table. The deeper sense we have of our vileness, the more shall we admire the grace of a

Considerations at the Lord's Supper.

dying Saviour; and we can never enough abase ourselves; the lowest we can think of ourselves, will be less than the truth of our state. If the holy Paul could say, he was less than the least of God's saints, what may we? Indeed the confession put into our mouths, that “we are not worthy of so “ much as the crumbs that fall from Christ's table," should now be deep upon our hearts in some such thoughts as these : “ What am I, Lord God! that I should approach thy table ? What am I, who

am unworthy to be put among the dogs of the “ flock, that I should be fed with children's bread ? “ What am I, that I should see the King at his “ table, who have so dishonoured him as I have "done ? What am I, that I should come to claim “such inexpressible privileges; I, who deserve “ nothing but death, nothing but bell?” As Mephibosheth said to David, What am I, that the King should look upon such a dead dog as I am ? God, to use the language of the Psalmist, loves to take us from the dunghill, before he sets us among the princes. He that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

2. We should draw near with reverence and godly fear, remembering with whom we are transacting, even with the God of glory, before whom ten thousand times ten thousand burning seraphs minister, and whom angels adore; remembering what an awful work we are calling to mind, even that scene which the earth trembled and the sun grew dark to behold; remembering how great an affair is now in hand, no less than the sealing us to the eternal redemption of our souls :--those views

Considerations at the Lord's Supper.

will shew us that the frame of our minds cannot be enough serious and reverential. If God is always to be feared in the assembly of his saints, and to be had in reverence of all that are round about him, when ought our exercise of this temper to be so deep and solemn as in this most holy and sacred assembly? If the angels themselves, approaching his throne, are represented as veiling their faces with their wings, how ought awe to spread its silent dread upon our souls, and our countenance to receive the sacred impression, when we approach his table ! Dare we rush into the presence of an earthly monarch without veneration and respect? and shall we not be much more careful how we draw near to him, whose throne is in the heavens, and whose kingdom ruleth over all—that great Jehovah, that eternal God, who humbleth himself when he beholds the things in heaven ; and how much more when he stoops to treat and commune with poor dying sinful worms of the earth?

3. We should approach without distraction. The sense of God should banish every other thought. We should leave the world behind us, and for the time seek to disengage ourselves from every care or concern about it; lifting up our hearts to bim to restrain our wanderings, and fixed on the point before us, as much as may be, without diverging from it to the right hand or the left. And in order hereto, it will be profitable to keep our eyes from looking around us, to have so settled our worldly affairs before, as to prevent their intrusion, and to keep our thoughts recollected, that we may feel ourselves standing as it were naked and open

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