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till his strength is faint, he is breathless, and ready to faint under the burden, till another must help. It was. not the cross that made him faint; he had a greater burden to bear than ten thousand worlds, évén the ina finite wrath of God due to our fins.

Behold 'him ftretched out raked, and laid upon the ground, that they might take the measure of his body and the holes for the nails : yea, they make them longer than they need, that they might both crucify and rack him at once. Behold the four large nails driven in through the most finewy and sensible parts of his body, and the cross lift up with the Lord of glory nailed to it: and, when it fell into the hole digged for the foot of it, how did the fall tend and tear his whole body ? His own weight was his torture; and the longer he lived, his wounds grew. the wider. His hands and feet are fixed, he cannot turn any way for ease : The blood Atreamed down for several hours, till he expired amidst these tortures.

Behold him hanging on a cross betwixt heaven and earth, as if he had been unworthy of a place in either of them: Betwixt two thieves, as if he had been the greateft malefactor of the three. His fufferings were universal, and did extend over all the parts and powers of his soul and body; no part free but his tongue, which was at liberty to pray for his enemies. He suffered in all his fenfes ; his hight was tormented with the fcornful gestures of those that paffed by, wagging their heads; his hearing with taunts and mocks; his smell with the nauseous lavour of dead mens julls; his taste with gall and vinegar ; his feeling with the nails and thorns that pierced his head, hands, and feet.

Behold him on the cross, fuffering till his strength is dried up like a potsherd ; his tongue cleaves to his jawss till he cries out, I thirst. And no wonder he thirsted; for, besides all the loss of his blood, he was fcourged with the fire of God's wrath. Yea, the arrows of the Almighty were within him, the porjon whereof did drink up bis spirit. . .

Behold him at the worst, crying out for relief, My God, my God, why haft thou forsaken me ? But yet no re


lief appears, there is none to answer: Yea, his own ! sun, his own heaven, his own Father, his own God

head, hid their faces and confolations from him. He is left alone in midst of devils and enemies insulting Over him; He falls a sacrifice to incensed justice, for our heinous guilt and provocations.

Behold the Son of righteousness under a fearful eclipfe. . For a candle to be put out is no great matter, but for the fun to be darkened is marvellous and strange.

In the next place, take a view of his willingness to fuffer all thefe things for us. He quickens Judas to de ! his work, and he goes out to meet his persecutors, and

boldly tells them, that he was the man they fought : He will not suffer Peter or the angels to do any thing for his rescue, because of his desire to drink the cup which the Father had given him, John xviii. 11. And, God knows, a full and bitter cup it was, being all mingled with guilt, wrath, and curses, heaped up and running over : A cup, which, if men or angels had takted, they had all staggered and fallen back headlong into hell : Yet, how_cheerfully did he drink it for us ? He was not like the legal facrifices, dragged to the altar ; no, he went willingly to it, and tyed himself with the cords of love to the horns of it. :

O, what affections fhould the confideration of these things ftir up in the fouls of communicants! Are ye going up to mount Calvary, to fee Christ crucified ; 'and, will not ye think on his sufferings, and be affected with them, ere ye go? • You may here, as in a looking-glass, behold what you deferved at the hands of a juft God, if Christ had not interpofed for you. You may see the wondrous love of Christ that paffeth knowledge, which ought to kindle a fame of love in your hearts. You may see the cursed nature and demerit of sin, that exposed Christ'to so much - forrow and fuffering. Can you look on him whom you have thus pierced, and not mourn bitterly for sin that did it, and hate it as the most ugly thing in the world? Would not your heart rise against the man, yea, against the knife that killed your father, brother, husband, or friend; and, will not your hearts rise against sin, that · VOL. I. - 30


has killed him that is instead of all relations, and should be far dearer to us than a thousand fathers or brothers? Can we look on Christ's sufferings, and not make folemn vows against fin, and part with lying, swearing, sabbath-breaking, &c. that crucified him ?. When the king of Moab was pressed hard by Israel, he took his eldest fon that should have reigned in his tead, and offered him up for a burnt sacrifice upon the walls, 2 Kings iii. 27. whereupon they raised the siege, and went home. Well, the great God hath taken his only Son, sacrificed him to justice, that we might thereby be pere suaded to leave off fighting against heaven. Sie

O, let this strange act, which is both an act of justice, and goodness, so over-awe your hearts with fear, and overcome them with love, that you may leave off to of

fend God them with Towee your hearts an act of justice

Direct. XIV. Be frequent and fervent in Prayer, be

fore you Approach to the Lord's Table.

THEY that forget God in their closets and families, are not fit to come and remember him at his table; therefore let no prayerless soul venture thither. You ought to double your prayers and mefsages to heaven that week, and especially that night before you approach to this ordinance ; if ever you prayed and wrestled with God, now should be the time of it. As the heathen ship-master said to Jonah, so say I to thee, O communicant, Jonah i. 6. " Arise, O sleeper, and call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon thee that thou perish not.” O sleep not now, when you are in hazard of eating and drinking eternal damnation ; but be praying when others are fleeping. This course will surely redound to thy advantage, and be the means of procuring special blessings to thy soul. When was it that God gave commission to open Paul's eyes, and fill him with the Holy Ghost, but then, when he was eara neft in prayer to God, Acts ix. II. 17. "Behold he prayeth. The Lord hath sent me (faid Ananias) that thou mightest receive thy fight, and be filled with the


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God in You have verting to do his . 26. Thatw'd think

Holy Ghost.” So, if you were earnest in prayer before the facrament, God would notice you as he did Paul, and give charge to this 'ordinance to be the means of enlightening thy soul, and filling thee with the Holy Ghoft. It was at the facrament of baptisin that Christ's prayers opened heaven, and brought down the Holy Ghost upon him: So at the facrament of the Lord's fupper the fervent prayers of a believing communicant will open heaven, and bring down the gracious influ. ences of the holy Spirit upon him. Your work at this time is very great, and much need have you to look to God in Christ, and plead with him for his special allst, ance : You have very great encouragement to do it; for God never calls any to do his work, but he helps them in it. It is faid, i Chron. xv. 26. That “ God helped the Levites that bare the ark." One would think that the work of bearing the ark, needed no more help from God than the general concourse of his providence; and yet God helped them with fpecial assistance. And if he helped the Levites to bear the ark, because it was his work; will he not help us to receive the sacrament, which he hath instituted for displaying his glory, if we fincerely seek his help? You have many errands at this time to the throne of grace, for you have many things to pray for.

i. You ought in general to pray for preparation for this folemn feast : « For the preparation of the heart in man is from the Lord,” Prov. xvi. 1. Lay out the case of your heart and soul before the Lord, and say, " Lord, thou caleft me to a very folemn ordinance ; and, who is sufficient for those things? I have neither a mcet sacrifice to offer, nor a meet temple to receive thee in. I know not how to pray, or to prepare myfelf; how to receive Chrift, or behave myself at his table. Behold the bridegroom cometh, but I am not ready; I want the wedding-garment: Oh, what fall I do for clothing to my naked soul? My beloved hath {poke, saying, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. I have heard his voice; but Oh, I am not flirring for it : My heart faith, ret a little seep, yet a little Number. Lord, awake my heart, ftir up my graces, 3 Q3


table.. I want theo my nakedve, my fair. I am not little

and prepare me for a meeting with my Saviour. Lord, thou art the giver of grace as well as of glory, thou must give the frame as well as the feast; for without thee we have nothing, we can do nothing ; thou preparest a table for me in this wilderness; but, shall the time of receiving come before thou comeft into my soul to ftir up thy graces in me? What commerce can a dead heart have with a living God ? Lord, thou knoweft my fins, and the unpreparedness of my heart; and, if thou wilt mark iniquity, O Lord, who shalt stand? My very preparations and best performances carry in them matter of indictment against my soul. But, Lord, though my sins be many and great, yet doth not the blood of Christ cry louder for pardon than my Gns do for punishment ? O that the cry of that blood may wholly drown the cry of my sins at this time, and answer for the defects of my preparation. Oh, let not my soul, whose only hope is to be saved by Christ's blood, be sent away from his table with the guilt, in{tead of the comfort of that blood upon me.

2. And, more particularly, you ought to pray for sava ing knowledge : Say, “Lord, I am naturally alienated and estranged from thee, thro' the ignorance that is in me; O give me understanding, that I may know thee, and the mystery of saving grace. Hast thou not said, that the covenant thou wilt make with thy people is this, “ They shall all know thee from the least even to the greatest ?”. O give me right up-takings of thy covenant, which is well ordered in all things, and sure! Give grace to know the nature, neceffity, use, and ends of this ordinance, which is the compend and feal of it, that so I may receive it with understanding, and rightly discern the Lord's body."

3. Pray for holy reverence and humility of spirit. « Lord, affect my heart with aweful reverence of the greatness and holiness of thy majesty, to whom I am to make so near an approach, and with whom I am to renew covenant. Oh, how durft I, who am sinful duft and alhes, presume to come so near thee, unless thou hadst invited and commanded me? O for deep self-abasement and humility of soul when I go to receive the unspeak.


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