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of having his name recorded by us, children of the dust, and transmitted down from one generation of short lived creatures to another, when the angels, those sons of light, surround him with their adoring multitudes, and make his praises the subject of their immortal songs! But this is the honour he covets, the joy for which he endured the cross, despising the shame, that he might bring many sons unto glory; to train them up, in the paths of virtue and holiness, for immortal blessedness. For this end he calls upon thee to remember him ; it is thy advantage he proposes, and great, unspeakably great, is the privilege resulting from this duty, if thou knowest how to improve it.
And now, Lord, all my desire is before thee, I am convinced of my duty, and dare no longer disobey. Oh forgive me, that I have rebelled so long. I have been invited to thy table, and foolishly neglected many opportunities of strengthening and refreshing my soul. I have been commanded to attend in remembrance of him who deserves never to be forgotten, and by my neglect have at once poured contempt upon thy authority, and slighted his love who loved me and gave himself for me.
I bless thee that I am in some measure sensible of my error, and am come to a resolution that I will have respect to this as well as other commands. The time past shall suffice me to have lived in the omission of so plain a duty, and the neglect of so great a privilege. Oh! keep it upon the imagination of my heart forever, and let me be confirmed in those good purposes which thy own Spirit has led me to form, and no less power than thine can help me to keep !
I am indeed unworthy, but acknowledge the insufficiency of that plea against a positive command. I am unworthy, but must not therefore refuse thy kindness. In the use of this ordinance, I hope to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of my Lord.
I am sensible, O Lord, of the treachery of my own heart, but I also know thy power, and mercy, and faithfulness. Help me to watch, and pray, and deny myself, and take up my cross and follow Christ. Oh give me such near and affecting views of the glory that is to be revealed, and of the fiery indignation which awaits the ungodly,—so impress me with a sense of the worth of my soul and the emptiness of this world, that I may be fully determined to accept Christ and adhere to him; that I may count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of him.
Oh let me even now understand and feel the dignity to which thou hast promoted me, as an intelligent being and a christian, and think and act consistently with it! Let the light of truth enlighten my understanding, and the fire of thy love, and the love of Jesus, glow in my heart, and render acceptable the sacrifice of worship and gratitude which I shall offer unto thee! Let me say nothing, and do nothing, which I do not really think and feel, and promise nothing which I do not sincerely intend to keep ! May the thought of thy omniscience and of thy omnipresence be never far from me, and even now preserve me from all selfdeception, from all illusions of self-love ! Thou requirest not material sacrifices and oblations, not costly or troublesome rites and ceremonies, not outward reverences and services of us, as one man yields them to another. But our heart thou demandest of us. And that, my God, I would bring to thee. Cleanse and sanctify it more and more, that it may be more and more capable of thy influence, and of communion with thee!
PREPARATION FOR THE
Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat that bread and drink of that cup. Come then, my soul, call thyself to an account, whether thou art in any measure that which God expects every communicant should be. How hast thou behaved thyself in respect to the duties thou owest to thy God, thy neighbor, and thyself?
And wilt thou, O God, to whom the thoughts of our hearts are revealed, and from whom the darkness hideth not, enable me, in performing this duty, to discover all my sins, and lead me to unfeigned repentance. Teach me to form the grace of true humility, according to the precepts of thy holy word, and the example of thy blessed Son, Jesus Christ