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§. 10. A Prayer for Faith.
O Bleffed Lord, whom without Faith it is impoffible to please, let thy Spirit, I befeech Thee, work in me fuch a Faith as may be acceptable in thy fight, even fuch as worketh by Love. O let me not reft in a dead ineffec tual Faith, but grant that it may be fuch as may show it felf by my Works; that it may be that victorious Faith which may inable me to overcome the World, and conform me to th' Image of that Chrift on whom I believe; that fo at the last I may receive th' end of my Faith, even the Salvation of my Soul, by the fame Jefus Chrift. A
Here I add the Preparatory Prayer, ch. 1.§. 15. §. 11. An Ejaculation abed, before I fleep. any Night.
O Lord, who art th' only keeper of thy people; that neither fleepeft nor flumbereft; while Darkrefs now covers the face of th' earth, be pleas'd in thy tender mercy to watch over me this Night; and grant that I fleep not in fin; but fit and prepare me always for my latter End, before I go hence, and be no more seen. Amen.
WEDNESDAY, or the 4th. Day before partaking of the holy Myfteries.
§. 1. An Ejaculation before I rife, any Morning.
O Moft gracious God, Thou art my only Happiness for ever: I fee my portion hereafter depends on my choice here, but my choice, O Lord, depends on Thee: Guide me with thy Holy Spirit that I may withdraw my Affections from all Vanities here below, and fix them on Heav en, and heavenly things: Teach me what is acceptable in thy fight, that I may know my End, and wifely chufe my Way, and order all my Actions to thy Glory, thro Fefus Christ our Lord. Amen.
§. 2. IIII Argument for Conftant Communion : FROM
its being a great Prefervative against Sin. In this Sacrament the Demerit of fin is reprefented in very fad Characters; in the wounded and mangled Body of our great Master, and th' anguish his Soul was in upon the account of our Sins; we behold what an odious and monftrous thing it is, how abominable to God's purer eyes, how contrary to his Holiness, and what a feparation it makes betwixt the Creator and the Creature; how it moves Him to forfake us, to withdraw his precious Prefence from us. What fears, what tremblings, what fhame, ignominy, forrow and grief it caufes. All this, certainly, is to be feen in the flouds of Mifery which fell upon our Mediator who undertook our Cause, and was made fin for us, and bore our Sins upon the Cross, was wounded for our Transgreffions, and bruifed for our Iniquiites. For when He cried Gad, My God, why haft Thou forfaken Me? it was not for his own fake, but for ours; to fhow that the finner who after this would not Repent, fhould be forfaken of God for ever. And can we be fo brutifh as to hug thofe fins which, upon our account, were fo fevercly lafh'd in Him that was our Surety? Tho' He was the dearly Beloved of his Eternal Father, yet God punished thofe Sins in Him in a very terrible manner, to let us know that if we accept not of the Remedy Chrift offers us, do not make his Crofs a Motive to Conversion, they fhall be thus punifhed in our perfons, and to all eternity. All this is reprefented to us in this Sacrament, a Savior groaning, weeping, and fighing under the burden of our Sins; the eby giving notice that if we grow not weary of fin. we shall weep, and groan, and figh for ever. And fhall not the dreadful fpectacle fill our Souls with abhorrence and deteftation of what we fee fo fignally punished? fhall we not run away from it, faying, Get thee hence thou evil and unclean fpirit, touch us not, what agreement has the Temple of God with idols? And if this holy Sacrament be fo great a prefervative against Sin, furely we can't too often make ufe of it, especially fince wee fee how easily fin does befet
, how often we are tempted to it, and how we are daily incompafled with fuggeftions and provocations to it, and how apt we are to ftart afide from Him, unto whom we ought to keep our felves fted faftly united by Faith, and Love, and uniform, univerfal obedience. As S. Ignatius
Part. I. told th' Ephefians, fhow hafte to affemble often in th* Eucharift, for th' oftner you meet thereat, the more your standing is fecured, and all the power of Satan is destroy'd.
$. The Knowledge requifite in a worthy Communicant, is A Sanctified understanding of the First Principles of Religion, as Of the Trinity of Perfons in the Unity of the Godhead, (defcribed at large in S. Athanafius's Creed just before the Litany, and in the Preface upon the Feast of Trinity in the Communion Service, ), 2. Of the Creation of Man and his Fall. 3. Of the Natures and Offices of Chrift, and Redemption by Faith in his Death, (all implied in th' above, and in th' Apoftles Creed after the Hymn following the Second Leffon, and the Conftantinopolitan, fometimes call'd the Nicene Creed, after the Epiftle and Gospel, and in the Question and Answer after the Belief in our Church Catechiim,) efpecially 4ly. Of the Doctrine of the Sacraments fealing the fame unto us, both briefly expounded in our Catechifm, and the latter more largely here. See Addition after th' Almanack.
§. 4, THE learned Doctor Comber, in his Discourse upon the Catechifm. makes evident that this Catechifm of the Church of England is in all Points agreeable to the Primitive forms, and of an exact and excellent Method, and that all Perfons ought to promote the learning and understanding thereof. And, th' Angelical Doctor Hammond faies in his Practical Catechism, that there is not a mote excellent Breviate, or Summary of that which is fcatter'd in the Gofpel, and by S. Paul, and other Scripture Writers about the Sacraments, than thofe fhort Answers to the Questions in faid Church Catechifm do afford us. For which Reasons I mat now in my riper years diligently perufe the whole again, tho' I learn itt in my Childhood, till I can fully ap: prehend, retain, and practice the fame.
§. 5. Of Faith difpofng to the holy Communion.
I Muft confent to th' Articles of my Belief by an affent firmer than can be naturally produced from th' ordinary arguments of my perfuafion; that is, I must believe it, because it is faid to come from God; and rely upon it, because it brings to God; truft it, because it is good; acknowledge it certain, because it is excellent that there may be an act of the Will in it, as well as ofth' Understan
ding, and as much Love in it as Difcourfe, Heb. 11, 16. He that comes to Gol, must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently feek Him. I must have a fulness of Confidence and relying upon God, a trufting in, and a real expectation of all the Promifes of the Gofpel, with fuch a Belief of all the Threatuings and Command, ments of God, as may indear Obedience, and be th' actual Principle and effective of a good Life; I must not only have th' Act of Faith, but the Body of Faith; not only believe th' Articles, but dedicate my Perfon; not only yield up my Understanding, but ingage my Service; not hallow one Faculty, but fanctify the whole Man; become a New creature, and live a life of Grace; fuch a Faith as may be to me a Magazine of holy Principles, the Nurse of a holy Hope, and the Mother of a never failing Charity.
§. 6. III. Cammandment.
IF I have not openly blafphemed the Holy Name of God; Yet, Have I not flightly, or irreverently mentioned his Holy Name, or his Attributes? Have I not profanely jefted upon, or abused his Holy Word? Have I not violated holy Places, Perfons, Ordinances, or any thing peculiarly dedicated to God? Have I not taken God's Name in vain, by common fwearing, or by curfing my felf or others? Have I not taken falfe, or unlawful Oaths; or broken my lawful Oaths or Vows, especially my Baptifmal Vow? Locd have mercy &c.
S. IV Commandment.
HAVE I not neglected the Publick Worship of God on the Lord's Day Have I not mispent any part thereof in vain Sports; idle Difcourfes, complemental Vifits, or unheceffary Bufinefs? Have I not permitted thofe under my Charge to profane it? Have I not forgotten to Praise God for the Creation, and Refurrection efpecially on this Day? Or for his other Mercies in his Son, or his Servants upon the Festivals of the Church? Have I not flighted thefe Solemnities, or abufed them by debauchery? Lord have mercy c and incline &c.
§. 8. Pfalm 100.
Be joyful in the LORD, all ye Lands: ferve the LORD with gladnefs, and come before his prefence with
Part I. a fong. Be ye fure that the LORD He is God; it is He that hath made us, and not we our felves: we are his people, and the fhcep of his Pafture. O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praife: be thankful unto Him, and fpeak good of his Name. For the LORD is gracious, his mercy is everlasting; and his truth indureth from generation to generation. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: c.
§. 9. A Prayer for the 3d. branch of Charity,
O Moft gentle, moft merciful, and gracious Savior Jefu, Thou didst take upon Thee our Nature; to redeem us from fin and mifery; Thou waft fot us led as a Lamb 10 the Slaughter, and as a Sheep before the shearer is dumb, fo Thou opene ft not thy mouth; Thou turnedfi thy back to the Smiters, and thy cheeks to the Nippers; Thou waft mock'd, and whip'd, crucify'd and torn, but Thou didst nothing but Good to thine enemies, and prayedit with loud cries for thy Perfecutors, and didft heal the wound of one that came to lay violent hands upon Thee: O plant in my heart gentleness and patience, a meek and long-Suffering Spirit, that I may never be disorder'd by peevishness, never think thoughts of Revenge, but may with meeknefs receive all injuries that fhall be done to me and patiently bear every. crofs accident, and with Charity may return bleffing for Curfing, good for evil, kind words for foul reproaches, loving admonitions for fcornful upbraidings, gentle treatments for all derifions and affronts: that living all my daies with meekness and charity, keeping peace with all men, and loving my Neighbor as my felf, and Thee more than my felf, and more than all the world, I may at last comé into the Regions of Peace, and eternl Charity, where Thou liveft, who lovest all men, and wouldst have none to perish, but all men to be faved thro' Thee, O merciful Savior and Redeemer Fefu. Amen.
§. 10. 9 The Exhortation to the Communion, in cafe the Minifter fhall fee the people negligent to come.
DEARLY beloved brethren, on- I intend by God's grace, to celebrate the Lord's Supper: unto which in God's behalf I bid you all that are here prefent, and befeech you for the Lord Jesus Chrift's fake, that ye will not refuse to