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Considerations at the Lord's Supper.

Such sensibility will shew a right apprehension of the greatness of the grace bestowed on us. And,

3. We should be filled with thankfulness. Such a frame is the consequence of the former; admiring the grace, our hearts cry out, What reward shall í give unto the Lord for all his benefits bestowed upon me? Praise the Lord, O my soul ! and all that is within me, praise his holy name: praise the Lord, O my soul ! and forget not all his benefits. I will praise him with joyful lips ; yea, as long as I have any being, will I sing praises to my God. These are the out-breathings of the soul who hath tasted that the Lord is gracious ; not the formal thanks of pharisaical ceremony, but the inward, deep, heartfelt expressions of a soul that labours to tell the Lord Jesus how deeply he admires the grace in which he hath partaken; and a blessed frame this is. The comfort of it to the soul is as great as the honour done to God thereby; for whoso offereth me praise, saith he, he glorifieth me:

4. We should depart with a sense of our great imperfection in all our services. This is needful, lest, if we have received much spiritual consolation, we should be exalted above measure; and truly cause enough there is for humiliation, seeing, in our best attendances upon God, there is much lacking, and, when we have done all, may justly say, we are unprofitable servants. And who that knows his own heart, will not have cause to mourn over some unbelief, some coldness, some deadness, some wandering, some indisposition, some want of a lively exercise of grace, some undue affections ? Thus all must be laid to our corruptions, whilst all that is

Considerations at the Lord's Supper.

good in us, should be ascribed to God's free grace, and the praise given to him, to whom alone praise is due. Our very communicatings, indeed, would be our confusion and condemnation, yea, even of the best of us, if we had not one in heaven to bear the iniquity of our holy things, and to pardon the imperfection of our services, as well as the guilt of our sins; and therefore always to be clothed with humility, and to stand before God in the perfect righteousness of Christ, is the way to be always accepted of God.

5. We should rejoice in Christ Jesus, and in these fresh testinjonies of his love towards us. To be abased for what we see amiss in ourselves, and yet happy in Christ Jesus, explains that strange, but blessed paradox of St. Paul, though sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. Indeed our sorrows are part of our joy; and that we can feel or mourn over our imperfections, is no slight testimony of Christ's love towards us : and when shall We rejoice, if not now, when we have seen the Lord, have found a welcome, and received refreshment at his Table; have joined ourselves to him in bonds of an everlasting covenant, have espoused our souls to him in truth and in righteousness, and put on the seal of our adoption, the ring of our contract, and enjoyed spiritual communion with him, and obtained new supplies of grace from him? Surely we may say, I will rejoice, and be glad in thee, I will remember thy love more than wine. I will make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all the great goodness that the Lord

Considerations at the Lord's Supper.

hath bestowed upon me.

Happy, holy joy! How different from the mirth of vanity, which makes the heart sad! how different from the short-lived joys of this world, which are but as the suddenly expiring blaze of thorns! This is the foretaste of eternal bliss, a drop of those everlasting pleasures out of the ocean, from which we shall shortiy be replenished at God's right hand for evermore.

6. We should depart with fresh courage to fight the Lord's battles against the world, the flesh, and the devil. It was said of the primitive Christians, when they met for these holy purposes, that “they “ went in as lambs, but came out as lions.” So should be said of us. Receiving strength from the Lord, we should depart with full purpose of heart to cleave unto, and labour for, the Lord ; to shew forth all holy zeal and boldness, and never to be ashamed of our profession, or act unsuitably to it. This ordinance should mightily confirm, strengthen, and establish us ; so that our souls, manifestly refreshed by it, may be pressing forwards, amidst surrounding enemies, with renewed vigour, towards the mark for the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus.

7. Lastly, We should depart with increasing desires after the kingdom of heaven. If in these lower courts, the glimpse of glory be so delightful, what must the full blaze of that beatific vision be, when we shall no longer, through the dark glass of faith, but face to face, behold Jesus as he is; when we shall see him with our mortal eye, enthroned, to bless and glorify his peo

Considerations at the Lord's Supper.

ple, and find all our souls infinitely more happy in the intimate union to, and communion with him, than now it is possible for us to conceive! Here our joys are at best imperfect, and some tears of sorrow for what remains of darkness and sin still steal down our cheeks; but there every tear shall be wiped from our eyes, there imperfection will be no more ; we shall be like him as he is, perfect, as our Father which is in heaven is perfect. Hath our faith then entered into that within the vail ? have we seen Jesus sitting on the right hand of God ? how can we but desire to depart, and be with Christ, which is far better ? How can we but long for the wings of a dove, that we may fly away, and be at rest in this dear Saviour's bosom? Is faith at present so comfortable? Is hope only so pleasing? What must it then be when faith is lost in sight, and hope in enjoyment? See then that your souls pant high for glory, and that you go away from this Table with such a heavenly mind, as both brings down a taste of heaven below, and sharpens the desire after the full enjoyment of everlasting rest. This will be a profitable use of the ordinance. I can pray for nothing more conducive to your eternal salvation, than that such may be abidingly and increasingly the holy frame of your mind. Then you will know the blessing of discerning the Lord's Body; and find, by delightful experience, that the Body and Blood of Christ, thus received, will keep your body and soul unto everlasting life.

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Directions for walking with God.

CHAPTER IV.

DIRECTIONS FOR THE COMMUNICANT'S DAILY

WALK WITH GOD AFTER RECEIVING THE LORD's SUPPER.

HAVING hitherto led you on from the nature of the ordinance to the dispositions necessary for partaking of it, and the frame wherein we should approach the Lord's Table, I would conclude the whole with some considerations of what sort our after-conversation should be, and by what means we may be enabled so to walk, as becomes our profession : this being the great end of the ordinance, that its influence may abide with us, and that it be not looked upon as a ceremonious visit, which we may forget till the time returns again. And here I solemnly admonish all you, who have partaken in these holy mysteries, to take heed to yourselves lest you lose the things you have wrought. Remember Judas, who no sooner received the sop, but Satan entered into him; and, though he had so often eat and drank at Christ's Table, was a son of perdition, and betrayed his Master. And therefore if, as we have engaged, we would take Christ for our Master, and live as his faithful and covenant servants, or rather brethren and friends, then must we shew forth the following conversation.

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