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of his authority, and our prayers also an abomination to the Lord; for, to profess ourselves sorry for our fins, and resolve to forsake them, when we have no sense of the one, nor are determined to do the other, is the greatest affront imaginable to our maker, by supposing either that
he doth not know our hearts, or, that he will be pleased when we offer to him the sacrifice of fools, * in a multitude of words only.
6. Nor dotb the danger of unworthy receiving make it safest to abstain from receiving at all, or at least to come to receive but seldom; because the danger of neglecting and contemning a plain command of our Saviour is more hazardous to our salvation, than performing it without some due qualification. The duty therefore being necessary to be performed, (as I have shewn above on page 55) the true consequence we mould draw from the danger of performing it unworthily, should be to excite ourselves to great care and diligence in preparing ourselves for the due discharge of it ; but never to delude ourselves by false reasons to such a neglect as will certainly increase our condemnation.
7. Tho' our business be lawful in its own nature, yet if it be prosecuted to such a degree
* Eccl. v. I.
as to take men off from the care of their souls, it ought to be put off, when it interferes with this duty ; because the salvation of our souls is of much greater consequence than any affair that relates to this world; wise men proportion their care of a thing according to its worth ; no prudent person will spend his time upon trifles, and neglect what may be of the greatest consequence to his soul. It must be owned that our souls are of
greater worth than our bodies, and that we must certainly find a timeto die, however careless and negligent we may be in making a due preparation for death. Befides, the care of temporal concerns and our duty to God are no ways inconfiftent, provided we govern our affairs by christian principles. A great deal of business and the duties of religion may stand together. Tho' men of business have not leisure for so much actual preparation ; yet they may have all that habitual preparation upon which the great stress ought to be laid in this duty.
3. We are affured that the conscientious discharge of our business is an admirable qualification for receiving the Lord's supper. We ferve God when we follow our callings with diligence, and observe justice and equity in all
our dealings, when we manage the affairs of the publick with fidelity and honesty, without selling justice, without oppression, and without sacrificing them to our private interest and passions. Besides, the greater dangers and temptations we are expoied to, the greater need we have of God's grace and affiftance, which is abundantly communicated in this holy institution... Is it not prudent for those that travel in ways frequented by robbers, to go well armed and to unite companies, that they may be the better able to defend themselves? Thus the man of business, who has any serious thoughts of another world, ought more especially to embrace all opportunities of receiving, it being best able to secure him against those dangers he daily converses with, and to fortify him against those watchful enemies that lie in wait to destroy his soul. Therefore as they; who have leisure, ought frequently to receive the holy communion, as the best improvement of their time; so they that are engaged in many worldly affairs ought to learn how to fanctify their employments by coming often to this holy facrament.
9. The obligation that lies upon any christian to receive the holy communion is the plain and
positive commandof our bleffed Saviour to do this in remembrance of bim; which makesita necessary and perpetual duty incumbent upon all christians; and to live in the neglect of a plain law, of the author of our religion, is no way consistent with the character we profess of being his disciples. The circumstances of this institution still bind us to have a great regard to it; for it was the laft command ofour best friend and great benefactor, when he was about to lay down bis life for our fakes. ***
Nevertheless great care must be taken, that when a man is habitually prepared, he do not thenimpofe upon himself so much actual
preparation, as shall make him lose an opportunity of receiving the holy facrament, when he has not had time to go thro' with that method of devotion he has prescribed to himself on that occafion.
The Hymn for Tuesday Morning, Of Jure trust in GOD's grace through Jesus Chrift. O Judge me, Lord, and prove my ways,
And try my reins, and try my heart
Nor from thy law my feet depart.
The fcoffer and the hypocrite
Are the abborrence of mine eyes.
With hands well wap'd in innocencegi:
The blood of Christ is my defence.
The temple where thy honour dwells*:
And there iby works of wonder tell.
Witb men of treachery and blood,
Amongst the saints in fear of GOD.
O’erwhelm'd with guilt and fear,
O ! bow fall l'appear !
And mercy may be fought,
And trembles, at the thought,
In Majesty severe,
Ob! bow all l'appear!
Psalm xxvi, 2