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of them to the bottomless pit; the faints cannot do it, they have burden enough of their own; nay, the whole creation cannot bear my burden, for it is already groaning under the weight of me and it : But, Lord, thou art the mighty one on whom finners help is laid, and haft promised rest to such as come to thee. Lord, let all my burdens fall off this day, that I may be at freedom to run the ways of thy commandments."
9. Look to him as a rich and bountiful helper of the needy : Say, “ Lord, pity a needy beggar this day, that is going to the feaft-house to wait for a crumb; thou haft fupplied many: and I have heard a good report of thy bounty : Never came there a poorer wretch to thy door than I : is there not a penny of grace left to help me, not a crumb to keep in my life? Lord, let me not go from thy treasure house without an alms, there is bread enough in thy house and to spare, let me not go without a crumb.
10. Look to him as a prophet and teacher, that can open thine eyes, and give thee gracious discoveries of his truths and ways : Say, “ Lord I have heard much of thee by the hearing of the ear, but little have mine eyes seen of thee : I have been long in Christ's school, but little proficiency have I made : Lord, come this day and teach me to profit; let my eyes be opened, that is this ordinance I may see the heinous nature of fin, the severity of divine justice, the greatnefs of divine love, the beauty of Christ, the preciousness of fouls, the exe cellency of the remedy provided for finners, &c.”
11. Look to him as thy head and husband, with whom you are this day to feal a marriage-covenant: Say, “ Lord, though I be a most deformed, black and unworthy bride, and have nothing but poverty, debt and danger to recommend me to thee; yet since thou, who art the chief among ten thousands are content to match with me; O give me a heart to consent willingly to the bargain, and say, My beloved is mine, and I am his. Lord, help me cheerfully to say, Amen to the covenant, and all the articles of it, that I was reviewing and renewing yesternight: O let the marriage knot this day be caft, that lin or fatan, death or hell, may never
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be able to loose again : Let him this day kiss me with the kiffes of his mouth: O for sweet communion and fellowship with him at his own table: Lord, she wme a token fo; good, let me as a feal upon thine arm; ma-. nifest thyself to me, as thou doft not to the world.” .
LABOUR, O communicant, to get thy foul put in a right and suitable frame for approaching God's holy table, and entertaining thy Saviour there : Now the cry is making, “ The Bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him ;" prepare the palace of your hearts for him ; cleanse, fweep and wash them ; get them adorned and perfumed with the graces of the Spirit. Is Christ gone to prepare a place for you, and will you not prepare a place for him ? Set up a throne for Christ, go forth to meet him with acclamation and praise, receive him gladly, set the crown on his head, and swear allegiance to him, and say, as the men of Israel said to Gideon, Judges vii. 22. “ Rule thou oyer us, for thou hast delivered us out of the hand of Midian." O but Christ hath delivered us out of the hand of Satan, a far worse oppressor than Midian. Let us welcome him, and compass him about with songs of deliverance. O communicants, deal not with Christ as his country-men the Jews did, John i. 11. “ He came unto his own, but his own received him not;" When he came into the world, there was no room allowed for him any where but in the manger, and thither was he thrust. O deal not so with your Saviour ; think not a foul stall good enough for Christ, but make clean your hearts, and give him the best room, yea, the upper room there ; O send the key of your hearts this morning to Christ, saying, “ Lord, take thy choice where to ly: Alas, I may say with the Centurion, “ I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof.” My soul is a ruindus, smoky, and defiled cottage, thou hast not a fit place with me to lay my head ; But, O thou that didft not disdain to lie in a manger among beasts, and to be entertained in the house of Simon the leper, come into my soul,
out hisoudid, John i. "not with Chit of deliverance him,
repair the house, and prepare an upper room for thyself, that I may eat the passover with thee. Lord, speak the word, and thy servant's heart shall be healed, cleansed, end made holy, soft, and pliable, fit for thy use and service. Lord, none can mend my heart but thou who madelt it : I put it into thy hands : Lord, make it as thou would't have it.
Queft. What is that frame and disposition of soul that we should come with to the communion-table ?“.
Ans. Take these directions concerning it.
I." Come to it with a holy awe and reverence of God. Were you going to a prince's table, you would go to it with some awe and concern; and, will you have none when you go to the table of the great Jehovah, who is your judge, searches the heart, and observes all your actions ? He is a God that is very jealous of his honour, and will not be mocked; you ought to come to this table with a holy dread and reverence, adoring the holiness and justice of God manifested in the sufferings of Christ. How vehemently did he hate sin, that he would not pity or spare his dear Son when he cried to him ; but seeing he had undertaken to pay our debt, and drink our cup, the least farthing or drop he would not abate him? Tho' the finner be fpared, yet fin must be punished to the uttermoft; our cautioner paid dearly for it. We ought to adore his justice, saying with the men of Bethshemesh;
Sam. vi. 20.“ Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God ?" There is no standing but at Christ's back, our bleffed cautioner, “ in whom God is well pleased," · II. Come with holy fear and jealousy over yourselves, left you be found unwelcome guests, and draw down the guilt of unworthy communicating upon yourselves; cry, « Lord, keep me from wounding Christ and my own fouil this day ; let' me not betray the Son of God with a kifs ;" « deliver me from blood-guiltiness, and from drinking damnation." O what if I want the weddinggarment,' when the king comes in to view the guests."
III. Come with brokenness of heart for fin, the cause of Christ's suffering's. Look on your pride, paffion, hya pocrify, covetousness, malice, lying, swearing, &c. as Chrift's only tormentors : Behold how they pressed him
down in the garden, till he fwate blood ; see them binding the cross on Christ's back; fee them nailing his hands, piercing his temples, and grieving his heart ; see them buffeting and spitting on him; see them making him groan, weep, and roar out his complaint, “My God, my God, why haft thou forsaken me?" It was on us this tragedy should have been acted, on us these vials of wrath should have been poured, “ For he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities,"'Ifa. liii. 5. O shall we see Christ's heart-streaming blood, and our eyes not drop tears? Shall we see him stretched out and nailed for us, and our hearts not bleed? Oh, it was my fins that made them nails, they drove them in, they thruit in the spear, yea, they killed the Lord of life, and, Thall I not mourn? Did you see a malefactor, that had committed twenty murders, used like Christ, your hearts would be concerned: And, will you not be affected to behold the innocent Lamb of God so abused by your fins? “ Look on him ye have pierced, and mourn." This pafsover must be eaten with bitter herbs. Sow in tears, if you would reap in joy. A weeping communicant is a very pleasing light to both God and man: A broken hearted weeping finner will suit well with a bruised and bleeding Saviour.
IV. Come with burning love and affection to Chrif. This is a feast only for the friends and lovers of Chrift, Cant. v. I. Without love ye have nothing to do here. O believer, is thy heart cold when Christ's love is warm? Will you not recompence love with love? Can you behold Christ on a cross, dying with love in his heart, and smiles in his looks; can you see his bleeding arms open to embrace you, the spear reaching his heart, and his affections streaming out to you in blood, and that when you were enemies to him, and haters of him, and not be rayished with his love ? Can you behold his wounds, or put your finger into the print of the nails, and not be fick of love, and cry out with Thomas, “ My Lord, and my God ?” Can you view him that is the chief among ten thousand, yea, among an hundred Thousand, and among all the thousands in heaven and earth, and your hearts not love him? Turn over all
and to the sind him ne of his he (miles are many free of
Jings both in heaven and earth, you can find none like him, so excellent in himself, and so well adapted to your conditions and circumstances Paul was a learned man, and knew many things; a travelled man, and had seen and heard many things : Yet when he cafts up his counts of all he had ever seen, heard or known, he fays, “ I count all but dung and loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ,” Phil. iii. 8. 9. · V. Come with much hunger and thirft to this full feast. See that your appetites be not glutted with the world, for the full foul lothes the honey comb : It is only the thirsty that are welcome, Rev. xxii. 17. “ Christ fills the hungry with good things.” When the desire opens the heart widest, then he opens his hand largest to fill it, Psal. Ixxxi. 10. O then, cry, “ Give me Christ, and deny me what thou wilt; a crumb of mercy from thy table, or else I am gone for ever.” Endeavour to say, as Ifa. xxvi. “ The desire of my foul is unto thee, and to the remembrance of thy name. O that I knew where to find him. When wilt thou come unto me)” O for further tokens of his love, and clear evidences of my intereft in him! O for the smiles of his face, and
the voice of joy and gladness! There are many heaven· ly dainties here ; here are all the fruits of the free of life, the comforts of the Spirit, the influences of his grace, the bread and waters of life; therefore come with enlarged appetites. The spouse cries, Cant. ii. 4. “Stay me with flagons; as if she had said, “ My thirst is so great, it is not a drop or a little cup that will quench it, I would have whole Aagons." Fear not to wrong your neighbours : For there is a river to every one of you. Observe how earnest Christ was to feast with us, Luke xxii. 15. “ With desire (says he) have I desired to eat this supper with you,” though he had no need either of you or it: And will not you, whose needs are so great, say, “ with defire have I desired to eat this supper with Christ before I die; it may be my laft communion, O let me have something to carry my expence through the wilderness ; let me have something to comfort and support me, when I go through the valley and shadow of death?"