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ble virtues, and in communicating heavenly joys and foretastes of happiness.; and on our fide, my soul! by repeated acts of adoration and thankfulness, of love and admiration, of resignation and submission to his holy will, and of fincere professions of constancy and perseverance in the service of our creator and redeemer.
4. Fatal expérience convinceth us, that either thro' surprize, or the strength of temptation, we cannot always stand upright; that we dothose things we ought not to have done, and leave undone the things we ought to have done. But; my soul! this holy facrament perfects our repentance, and ratifies and confirms to us the pardon of our fins; repairs those breaches, which our follies have made in our fouls, and applies to us in particular that satisfaction, which our Saviour made upon the cross; and conveys to us the benefits of that all-sufficient facrifice, whereby God the father is rendered favourable and merciful to all that are fincerely penitent. 5.
Amictions and calamities are often the lot of the best men, in this vale of tears. And where, my
soul ! shall we find comfort under these difficulties, or strength to contend with them, but from that provision that is administered at God's cable ? from those sufferings which our Saviour endured for us, and no ways deserved himself? can any one complain of affliction in any kind, that considers what necessary correctives they are of our follies? what noble improvements of our virtue? and what a testimony they are of our love and affection to the blessed Jesus, when borne with patience and fubmission; and that withal remembers that his lord and master was made perfect thro' sufferings upon the cross, which he bore for our sins.. We also receive such comfortable impressions from this divine nourishment as make the troubles of this life lose their fting; and it supplies us with such inward delights
, as furpass all
, expression, and which are only felt by those that frequently make the
experiment at the Lord's table.
In fine, this is the most proper method to make us temples of the holy ghoft, and the most effectual means to fit and prepare us for the eternal enjoyment of God in a future ftate. -- 6. Again we must be very great strangers to ourselves, if we are not acquainted with the impotency and corruption of our nature: -we, my
soul! must know but little of our circumftances in this world, if we are not aware of those enemies which are continually designing our ruin: there are few so happy and so steady in their duty, as not fometimes to
deviate from it: the strength of temptation, : and the violence of paflion, too frequently
prevail upon the most perfect. Yet if we, my soul !. were duly affected with these
wants we labour under, we should certainly : apply ourselves to the use of such remedies
as are proper to relieve us. Nor can any thing be so effectual as a frequent participation of the Lord's supper : which will pusify our corrupt nature, by applying the merits of Christ's blood : strengthen our weakness, by communicating the influences of his grace, which he has purchased for us by his death : support us under all temptations, by a lively representation of those great things Christ has suffered for us ; reftore that peace and quiet to our conscience, which fin robs us of, by ratifying our pardon, and making our sincere repentance acceptable to God; and subdue the violence of our paffions, by spiritualizing our affections, and by placing them upon God and yirtue.
The second Meditation for Tuesday Evening. Upanthe true repentance of a worthy communicant.
Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your fins may be blotted out. Acis iii. 9.
Know, my soul! that we oughtalways to
live, as we hope to die, as becomes good christians, constantly endeavouring to lead a new life; but then remember that to guard against all presumptuous security in matters of eternal welfare, we should never presume to eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, without a previous preparation, if we mean to escape
that judgment or condemnation, which the Corinthians brought upon themselves for their irreverent, finful, and disorderly behaviour'at this facrament; who were accused of being guilty of the body and blood of Christ our Saviour of eating and drinking their own damnation, not considering the Lord's body-of kindling God's wrath against them—of provoking him to plague them with divers difeases, and sundry kinds of death, which we shall avoid and escape by coming worthily, by faith and repentance, to the Lord's supper: If we would call ourselves to account, and judge and condemn what is evil in ourselves, so effectually as to forsake it; we should not then
be condemned or punished by God. Let not then these terrible expressions trouble us or detain us from the holy communion: *but let us repent and believe, and we are safe and secure from falling into any of those dangers which these sentences may seem to threaten us with. And when we see such afflictions amongst us, we ought, before it be too late, to consider them as chastisements from the hand of God, in order to our present amendment; and defigned for this good end, that we should not finally be condemned with the wicked part of the world in the day of judgment.
2. There is nothing dreadful in this sacra ment, but to the wilful, impenitent and perfevering finner, whose condition is dreadful; but to the penitent and humble soul, nothing is disinal or affrighting in this holy feast. And the surest wảy to prevent our damnation, is to receive the facrament more frequently than men usually do ; that by a constant participation of this spiritual food of the living bread, which comes down from heaven,our souls may be nourished in all goodness, and new supplies of God's grace and holy spirit may be continually derived to us from our purification, and to
+ See the Note on pages 52