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ly faid, that the holy Sacrament is a quickening, cherishing; comforting, and confirming ordinance.

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Minifter.] No doubt bat the worthy prepared receivers of ⚫ this bleffed banquet, have by a due participation found their love inflamed, their faith strengthened, their obedience confirmed, their humility increafed; fo that they have appeared ⚫ vile in their own fight, and have had an utter detellation of ⚫ all fin, and an earnest expectation and defire, after the glo⚫rious appearance of their bleffed Lord and Redeemer.'

Chriftian.] Sir, fince the benefits and bleffings are fo great, it makes me the more earnestly long to be a communicant in thefe facred myfteries.

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Minifter.] It is the duty of all Chrift's minifters, to give the facramental bread of life, and the cup of confolation, to thofe who hunger and thirst after Jesus Christ, and his righ⚫teoufaefs and kingdom. And now I have told you your duty, • I thall be willing to declare to you the nature and the circum• ftances of this bleffed ordinance.'

Chriftian.] Sir, I must confefs I am not fo well inftructed herein; and if I may not be too troublesome, would be very glad to underfland what this holy ordinance is, and why it is called a facrament. Minifter.] It is a feal of the covenant of God in Chrift, wherein, by certain outward figns, inftituted by our Saviour, ⚫ Chrift and all his benefits are fignified, conveyed, and fealed

to the worthy receiver. The word facrament hath been anciently used, both to fignify baptifm and the fupper of the Lord; and was taken up by the ancient fathers, from the oath by which the Roman foldiers were fworn to their duty, • and were not admitted to be foldiers, until they had solemnly taken that oath or facrament. It is called by feveral other names in scripture, namely, breaking of bread, Acts ii. 42. the Lord's table, 1 Cor. x. 21. the communion, I Cor. x. 16.'

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Chriftian] Pray, Sir, how many facraments were inftituted under the New Teftament, and by whofe authority were they appointed?

Minifter.] There are only two, baptifm, and the Lord's fupper; and they were ordained by the fole and immediate authority of Jefus Chrift; and those other five which the Pa'pists have added, and called by that name, as order, or ordaining of priests, pennance, marriage, confirmation, and extreme unction, or anointing at the hour of death; all these

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Were neither immediately inftituted by Chrift, nor have the $ proper ends of a facraments'

Chriftian.] What are the elements to be ufed in th. acrament of the Lord's fupper? Minifter Bread and wine, and no other, Luke xxii. 19, 20. And all communicants are to receive both of them, ⚫ notwithstanding the bold and facrilegious practice of the Papifts, who give the people the bread, or wafer only, none But the priest receiving both the bread the wine. And this without any found reafon, or fcripture-warrant; and they may as well corrupt, totally abolish, or add to any of the ordinances and inftitutions of Chriff Jefus, as prefume to do this.'

Chriftian.] What refemblance or congruity is there between bread and wine, the figns, and what is fignified by them in the Lord's fupper? Minifter. Bread is fo neceffary, that it is often put for all * kind of food, and neceffaries; and the least morfel of it is completely bread. Thus Chrift is food, and all neceffaries to the foul; and every worthy communicant receives a whole and compléte Chrift: And as corn is not bread, till it be * bruifed or ground; fo Jefus Chrift had not been food for us, • if he had not been bruised with wounds and forrow. And as bread is the common food of all people, fo is Jefus Chrift of all real Chriftians. Again, as bread being a folid body, may properly denote the body of Chrift; fo wine, being liquid, may reprefent his blood: And as wine is preffed from the grape, to the blood of Jefus was forced out by his agony, and the wounds of the crofs.'

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Chriftian. May not the bread and wine at our common tables fignify the fame thing?

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Minifter.] No; because this is folemnly fet apart, and confecrated to facramental ufe by prayer and bleffing, and by ap plying the words of our dear Redeemer ufed in the inftitution of this ordinance.'

Christian. Is not the bread and wine after confecration tranfubftantiated, or transformed from the fubftance of bread and wine, into the real substance and effence of the body and blood of our Saviour; fince Chrift's own words are, This is my body, &c. This is my blood, &c.

Minifter.] No, by no means; this being a Popish error,
attended with many abfurdities and idolatrous practices. But
it is the body and blood of Chrift, in the fenfe that Chrift
VOL. VIII.
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fpake it; but he did not fay, This is no longer bread in fubstance, but the very substance of my body. And such phra⚫fes are often ufed in fcripture, and yet not always to be taken in a strict sense, no more than that "Rock was Christ, and "I am the true vine, the door, the shepherd," &c. Moreover, Chrift intended it for a facrament, that is, a fign of 'what it represents; now it cannot be the real body of Christ, and the figa of it alfo. Again, our fenfes of feeing, smelling, and tafting, affure us that it is bread and wine, and no way fubftantially changed after the words of confecration. And if we must deny our fenfes in this. we may as well doubt whether these words, This is my body, &c. be recorded in holy fcripture, though we fee them there.'

Chriftian. If the bread and wine be not the body and blood of Chrift really and fubftantially, how then doth the true believer, in receiving, eating, and drinking, them, receive, eat, and drink the body and blood of Chrift?

Minifter.] By receiving thofe elements fo confecrated, as figns, feals, and conveyances of Chrift and his benefits to the foul; and a true Chriftian hath them conveyed to him thereby, as really as a writing under hand, feal, and witnes ⚫fes, can convey lands, or other benefits, which are not really in the writings themfelves.'

Chriftian.] What are the actions of the minifter, in adminiftering this ordinance ?

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Minifter.] After bleffing the bread, he breaks it, and delivers it to the communicants in the words of Jesus Christ, fignifying thereby a crucified Jefus, who was wounded for ⚫ our tranfgreffions. He then pours out the wine in the fight of the congregation, and delivers that to them also, after bleffing it in the words of Chrift. And hereby is represented 6 to us, our dear Redeemer (hedding his blood for us; which is the facrifice of atonement, whereby we obtain remiffion of fins. In which action, the minifter, ftanding in Chrift's ftead, as his minifter, (wherein Chrift is prefent, and by his 'Spirit and authority) doth as really tender and beftow himself and benefits, as if he had spoken the fame words in his own vifible perfon.'

Chriftian.] But fay fome, fince our Saviour reftrained this ordinance to the time of his coming; he being come in the Spirit, it is now at an end, and abolished.

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Minifter. If thefe enthufiafts mean the coming of the Spirit, in its fanctifying operations; then it feems, that it was appointed only for unbelievers; and that the difciples, who

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communicated with Christ at the inftitution thereof, had not the Spirit, but were unbelievers; which is falfe and abfurd. If they mean the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, or the pouring it forth in an extraordinary measure; the practice of the apostles and the church of God, both at that time, and ⚫ long after, will abundantly contradict that affertion; Acts ii. 42. I Cor. x. 16.

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Chriftian.] What are the benefits that Chrift gives, and we receive, in this ordinance ?

Minifter]The exercise and increase of every grace; the cleansing our fouls from the guilt of fin; healing the wounds ⚫ which fin hath made in our confciences; a confirmation of

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the truth and promises of God; an humble and holy delight ◄ in Christ, and our fellow Chriftians; and a more earnest

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longing for, and expectation of, the bleffednefs of the life to • come: And is an ordinance chiefly intended for confirmation of our faith, love, and increase in grace; fo that no perfon ought to come thereunto, but in faith.'

Chriftian.] What are the neceffary preparations for this folemn ordinance?

Minifter.] (1.) That a man have the habit of faith. (2.) That he have an hearty difpofition and willingness, to re⚫ceive Chrift as his Lord and Redeemer. (3.) That he be in • charity with all men; John i. 7. Matth. xv. 26. We must • alfo exercise renewed acts of repentance, and clear up our interest in Chrift, and have our fouls full of faith and love to'ward him.'

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Chriftian.] Sir, there is one fcripture that, I believe, discóurages many from partaking of the Lord's table; neither do I indeed well understand it: 1 Cor. xi. 27, 28, 29. "Whofoever shall "eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, "shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let 21 a man examine himself, and fo let him eat of that bread, and *drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation (or judgment) to "himself, net difcerning the Lord's body."

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Minifter.] I am indeed of the opinion, that the want of right understanding this fcripture, has been a stumbling'block to many, and fo I fhall endeavour briefly to explain it, • The apostle bere truly reprefents, and very much, aggravates

the danger of unworthy receiving this holy facrament: but 'he does not deter the Corinthians from it, because they had 'fometimes come to it without due reverence; but exhorts

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them to amend what had been amifs, and to come better prepared and difpofed for the future. And therefore, after that terrible declaration, that " Whofoever fhall eat this bread,

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and drink this cup of the Lord," &c. He does not add, therefore let Chriftians take heed of coming to the Lord's table; but let them come prepared, and with due reverence; not as to a common meal, but to a folemo participation of the body and blood of Chrift: "But let him examine him"felf; and fo let him eat of that bread, and drink of that . " cup." For if this be a good reafon to abstain from this ordinance, for fear of performing it in an undue manner; then a wicked man may as well lay afide all other holy duties, as prayer, hearing, and reading the word of God, for fear of the unworthy ufe of them; fince, The prayer of the wicked, (that is, one that refolves to continue fo) is an abor mination to the Lord. And Chrift fays, Take heed how you hear. And the apoftle fays, that those who will not believe the gofpel, it is the favour of death to them: That is, it is deadly, and damnable to fuch perfons. Now there is as much reafon for men to give over praying, or attending on the word of God, as not to receive the facrament; fince he that prays unworthily, that is, without fpiritual benefit and advantage, is guilty of great contempt of God, and Jefus Chrift, and aggravates his own damnation; as well as he, who by partaking of the Lord's-fupper unworthily, cats and drinks his own judgment and when the apoftle adds, "But let a man examine himfelf; and fo let him eat of that "bread, and drink of that cup :" It feems clear, by the oc cafion and circumftances of his difcourfe, that he does not in. tend we should examine our ftate of grace, whether we are true believers or no, and fincerely refolved to continue fo; but he fpeaks of the actual fitnefs and worthiness of the Co Finthians at that time, when they came to receive the Lord's fupper. And therefore, ver. 20. he fharply reproves their * irreverent and unfuitable carriage at the Lord's table: they coming thereunto diforderly, one before another. It was the custom of Chriftians then, to meet at the feat of charity, in which they did communicate with greaty fobriety and tem perance; and when that was ended, they celebrated the • Lord's fupper. Now, among the Corinthians, this order was broken: The rich met, and excluded the poor from ⚫ this common feaft; and after an irregular feat, (one after another eating his own fupper as he came), they went to the facrament in great diforder: One was hungry, having eaten

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