Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

nearer to God's altar you come, the fire of his jealousy burns the more vehemently. Labour then to go to his table with holy fear and trembling; for, as communion. love is the sweetest, so communion-wrath is the foreft. Heavy judgments, both spiritual, temporal, and eternal, hang over the unworthy communicant's head. "If you would prevent thefe, adventure to this table with holy fear and dread : For if the woman with the bloody if fue feared so much to touch the " hem of Chrift’s garment," Mark v. how much more ought you to fear to touch the fymbols of his body and blood, to put your hand into his wounds, and feel the print of the nails ? If such a holy man as John the Baptist thought himself unworthy to bear Christ's shoes, how much more are vile anners, like you, unworthy to touch and feed upon his broken body and fhed blood ? Let your souls then be humble as the dust when you approach, in a deep fense of your great unworthiness, former guilt, and breach of fornier vows made at this table ; for to fuch humble fouls God has promised to look in mercy, Ifa. Ixvi. 2.

II. When you are going to the table, labour to Air up your souls, and all your faculties and affections; es. cite all your graces and desires to attend Christ. O fee that your fouls be lively and your hearts fixed, when you are about to draw near and feal a marriage-covenant with Christ. You have great need to look to your hearts and frames at this time. A dead heart or an ill frame now, is very unsuitable; it is like the dead fly in the box of ointment, it will be fais to spoil your communicating. For God's fake look to it.

Object. I. « Oh!” says one, “ my heart is in a lifelets and stupid frame, even at a dead stand, and thinks neither of good nor ill: What shall I do with it?"

Anji te Dispatch prefently a swift meffenger to hea. ven, an earnest ejaculation and prayer, to call for the help of God's Spirit, as Cant. iv. 16. Intreat him to breathe upon your dry bones with a fresh gale, and take a coal from his own altar to inflame your affections.

2. Call

2

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

2. Call on your hearts to awake to a lively frame.' It is a mistake of Chriftians to think they are only to call upon God, you must also call upon yourselves, and rouse up yourselves, as Psal. lvii. 8. “ Awake up my glory." &c. Stir up yourfelves, and all that is within you, according to Psal. ciii. 1. Speak to your hearts, and expostulate with them : Say, “O my drousy block ish heart, art thou not ashamed to think so coldly of thy · bleeding Såviour ?". Is his heart so warm, and thine to cold? Doth a dead head become the service of a living God?

!,,.. nnnn Object. II. Oh !" faith another, a my heart is a roving, wandering heart, I cannot get it stayed one mom . ment upon one subject, it presently gets away, and hunts after vanities. Owhat fhall I do with the levity and excursions of my heart ?”.

Ans, 1. Labour now to over-awe your heart with the deep apprehension of God's presence and all-seeing eye: God noticeth you more now than ever.

2. Chide and check your heart for its vain excurs fions : Say, “ Did I come here to think of any thing but of Christ and heaven? Is this a place for think: ing on worldly toys ? Is this the way to show forth my Saviour's death, which is my business here ! What ? cannot I watch with Christ one hour now? How then will I behold and contemplate him for ever."

Object. III. « Though I am come this length in obedience to a dying Saviour's command, I yet fear to go forward, for I doubt my right. I cannot say I am in com venant with God, or that I have faith, and an interest in Christ, or that his body was broken for me.”...

Anf. O discouraged soul, though you have not the faith of assurance, yet see if you can get the faith of ader herence. Though you cannot say that ever you took hold of Christ or the covenant before, yet try if you can get a grip of Chrif now, you are much nearer to him now than at other times. Make an endeavour, itir up your souls, and go to Christ with all the faith you can win at, saying, with that poor man, “ Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief." "If you cannot apply Christ to

yourselves

venchrift, or couragedee if you can has ever if you can

now.ship of chridhe covenantot say that the faith of the

yourselves, will you apply yourselves to Christ. If you cannot say Christ is your Saviour and hiding place, will you run like a malefactor to him for refuge, and try if he will now shelter you in his wounds, when they are so wide opened in the sacrament. He noticeth any poor finner that is engaging his heart to approach unto God.

Again, thoug!, you cannot say that Christ is your's, and you are in covenant with him ; yet, are you not willing to be his, and give up yourself to him. The covenant indeed is mutual, Cant. ii. 16.“ My beloved is mint and I am his.” But if you cannot lay claim to one part of it, try if you can grip to another. Is it your language, Though I cannot fay he is mine, yet f1 am refolved to be his, and to give up myself to him? That is well said, poor soul : for you must first consent to be his, before ye know that he is your's : You muft be refolute in your covenanting with Christ; when you are driven from one horn of the altar, hold fast by another. Flee now to Christ, saying, “ Lord, though I cannot fay thou art mine ; yet I can say, Lord, I am content and resolved to be thine, wholly thine, only thine, and everlastingly thine.” David could not always say, God is mine ; but, when he cannot say that, he cries, “I am thine, Lord, save thou me,” Psal. cxix. 94. Here one that belongs to thee, and has surrendered himself to thee: “ Lord, suffer not one of thine to perilh." .:

Object. IV.“ Alas ! I cannot say to God, I am thine: I fear he will not accept of me, or own 'me for his."

· Anf. Though you cannot say, I am thine by God's aca ceptance ; yet, can you not say, “ Lord, I am thine by my own refignation, I do devote and give up myself wholly unto thee, I will not be the devils, the world's, or luit's ; I will not be my own, but I will be thinc : I am thine, save thou me.” Go to him with that plea the Campani came to the Romans with, after they had refused to help them as neighbours and allies against the Grecians, who were distressing them fore, and that be cause the Romans and the Grecians were in friendship together at that time : The Campani went and gave up

their whole country in vassalage to the Romans, sayings « If you will not help us as our allies, help us as your vaffals and subjects, as we are content to be; we are fure you will not let your tributaries perish."". And indeed this argument prevailed with them, and To will it with Gody if you go to him with an importunate faith, and fasten yourself upon him. Plead, « Lord, if thou

wilt not love me as a friend, yet pity me as ihy poor fubio moject: I resolve to be thine, and, if I perish, one must

perish that defires to be thine. Lord, whether thou acs cept of me or not, I give up myself to thy use and fer

vice.": Art thou come this length, poor soul ? Fear not, thou shalt not perish, Christ is as willing to be thine as thou art to be his : Come' forward, and take the seal of the covenant, and make a new furrender of yourself to Christ, and it may be he will be made t “ known to you in the breaking of bread.”

- III. When this holy feast comes to be celebrated, see

that your souls be rightly employed, and your graces The suitably exercised: Study to have your meditations and

ejaculations suitable to what you see or hear.' . i When you are coming to this holý táble, and perhaps we may be put to stand a little by it, by reason of the

throng before you get access :- Think on what Moses
faid to the Ifraelites while standing at the Red-fea, Ex-
od. xiv. 13. “ Stand still (faith he) and see the salva-
tion of the Lord, which he wili Thew to you to-day.".
In like manner you are standing by the Red-fea of the
blood of Christ : stand still and wonder at the glorious
salvation he is shewing to you this day.

. Or you may think with yourself, that you hear Christ in the captain of your salvation now crying, as did Jehu,

2 Kings ix. 32. “ Who is on my fide? Who ?” Well, han if you will now appear or declare for Christ, then you - must throw your lufts, like Jezebel, out of the window, to be dathed in pieces. in .

When you see the communicants fet about Christ's t?... ble, you may think on that word, Psal. cxxviii. 3. where God promiseth to the righteous man, " That his wife should be as a fruitful vine by the sides of a house, and his children as olive plants round about his table.” Behold VOL. I. 3 U

his

Study comployed, and celebrated, fee

I and who the Realth to-day."

his prontife made out to Christ, God's righteous fervant; the church, Christ's fpouse, is a fruitful vine, and hath born him many children : Would to God thefe may be Christ's children by adoption, as well as they are the church's by profession! May it be said of them, that this and that man was born of her! O how pleafant a light is it to see Christ's children fet as olive plants round about his table, and to see Christ himfelf setting them there ! Surely, if he fet them, he will serve them also, they shall not have ground to go away with any complaint of him : For Christ is no niggard to his children; he is neither hard-hearted nor hard-handed; if his children feek bread, he will not give them a stone.

When you are allowed to come forward to the Lord's table, think with yourself that you hear Chrift or his ministers faying to you, as the angels did to the women at the sepulchre, Matth. xxviii. 5. 6. “ We know whom ye feek, ye feek Jesus which was crucified'; come, fee the place where the Lord lay :" come, see the promise, come, fee the elements wherein the Lord lieth.'.

And, in the mean while, take care to entertain very high and e xalted thoughts of Christ, and very low and humble thoughts of yourself. Say, or think, “ Lord I am not worthy to approach fo near thee, far less that thou shouldft come under my roof. I am not worthy to eat the crumbs that fall from my own, much less those that fall from thy table. Oh, I am unworthy to be allowed to creep as a dog under the table, far less to fit as one of Christ's invited guests at the table. I deserve not room to stand amongst thy fervants, far less to fit down with thy children. I deserve not to have daily bread conferred on me, and shall I be allowed to eat of the bread of life? I am unworthy to lift up my eyes to heaven, and shall I get manna from heaven? I am not worthy to eat the bread of men, and fhall I be admitted to eat the bread of angels ? Shall I entertain him whom they adore : nay, fit down with him at whose feet they fall ? Shall I, who am unworthy to tread thy ground, be allowed to tread thy courts ? Shall I, that am unworthy to breathe in thy ait, have thy Spirit to breathe into my heart, or have leave to breath out my desires unto thee?"

..

« AnteriorContinuar »