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latter were offer'd to Devils, and not to God. The former believ'd in Chrift to come, whom they faw but darkly under that thick Veil of Types and Figures: And the latter were partakers of the Altars of Idols, and held Communion and Fellowship with Devils. But now before our Eyes, Jefus Chrift is most evidently fet forth as Crucify'd; And by this religious, federal Banquet, which he inftituted himself in our Flesh, we are in the strictest League and Union with him. We proclaim to the World, that we are entirely his; That we will have no other Lords, befide him, to rule over us, and that we will most faithfully adhere to his Service all the Days of our Life. This Sacrament then (Í fay) is proper to Chriftianity; 'tis our Characteristick; That, which we have receiv'd from our great Mafter as the pledge of his Love, and for a continual remembrance of his Death, to our great and endlefs Comfort. How wretchedly Stupid and Senfelefs then do we evidence our felves to be, when we turn our Backs upon this Holy Ordinance? How monftruously difingenuous and ungrateful to our Lord, when we do not efteem and yalue it, as we

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ought? We trample (like Swine) upon the richest Pearls; upon that, which is our greatest Honour, our Priviledge and Prerogative, our Happiness and Glory. Nay, we feem even to renounce our Religion, to shake Hands with Chriftianity, and to bid it adieu. For had any Jew contemptuously refus'd to celebrate the Paffover with his Brethren, in remembrance of his Fore-father's deliverance out of Egypt, he would have been rightly judg'd to have apoftatiz'd from Mofes, and have affuredly been cut off from among his People. How then can that Chriftian, who continually refuseth to commemorate his Saviour's Paffion, and to remember in this Holy Ordinance, which (as you have feen) he has exprefly commanded his infinite Love to mankind, expect a milder Sentence in the Day of Judgment? Certain I am, that from the Church, he has not the leaft Encouragement for fo fond a Perfuafion: For the ninth of the Canons, call'd Apoftolical, and the fecond of the Synod of Antioch affures us, That when fome, who had been present at the Preaching of the Word, began to go away from the publick Affemblies without receiving

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the Holy Communion, 'twas look'd upon as fo heinous a Crime, fo fcandalous a' Mifdemeanour, that the Church decreed, whofoever was guilty of it, fhould be excommunicated.

4. We are oblig'd to come to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, because of its Vertue and Efficacy upon our Souls. 'Tis the Duty (you know) of every Chriftian daily to endeavour to grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jefus Chrift, and confequently to make ufe of all thofe means which conduce to the acquifition of thefe glorious Ends. Now the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is in the confeffion of all Chriftians the moft folemn Seal and Pledge of Chrift's Love to his Church, and the conveyance of all thofe great and ineftimable Benefits, which by his precious Bloodfhedding he hath purchas'd for her. In it we receive pardon of Sins, peace of Confcience, and Power and Ability to run, with chearfulness, the Race that is fet before us. It increafeth our Faith, augments our Hope, and enlargeth our Charity. It improves all our Excellencies, brightens all our Vertues, and

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f Cyprianus hâc in fe

emplum Martyrum, qui,

dione fecutus eft Ex

fupples all our Wants, both Temporal
and Spiritual; God entring into Cove-
nant with us, and moft folemnly re-
newing his Promife, that he will never
leave us nor forfake us,till in his infinite.
Mercy he has advanc'd us to his Hea-
venly Kingdom. It is the most fove-
reign Remedy against our reigning
Vices, our habitual, ftubborn, invete-
rate Prejudices, the most vigorous and
powerful Affaults of Temptation, and
the various Wiles and Stratagems of
our grand Adverfary, the
Devil. This induc'd the Pi-
ous f Father, when he faw the
black Clouds of Perfecution
hovering over the Church, to
receive fuch as had laps'd in
the fiery Times of Trial, in-
to the bofom of their Mother,
fooner than her ordinary Di-
fcipline did allow. He was
unwilling to leave them defti-
tute of fo ftrong a Cordial in
time of Danger, and therefore admit-
ted them to this highest act of Com-
munion, that their Souls might be for-
tified against the next Encounter of the
Enemy: In a word, it ftrengthens and
confirms our pious Refolutions, blows

M. Antonino ecclefiam vexante immortalem GloriaCæleftis coronam Galliis confecuti funt. Eorum quoq; qui, Decio in Chriftianos atrocius

fæviente Alexandria
Martyrium fubierunt.

Vid. Eufeb. Ecclef
Hift. lib. 5. cap. 2.

& lib. 6. cap. 42.

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up our Zeal into a permanent, bright, and ardent Flame, makes us one with Chrift, with ftedfaft purpose of Heart for evermore to cleave to him, and to live no longer the Life of Nature, but the Life of the Faith of the Son of God. What mean then those foolish and treacherous Excufes, which are fo frequently pretended to divert you from this Ordinance? Your Bufinefs, your Scruples, your Sins, and your Purposes of after-Amendment and greater Preparations? Are you fo ftreightned in your time, that you have no leisure to look after your Souls? Does Mammon fo engrofs your Attendance, that you can never fpare time to wait upon your God? This (befides that it plainly demonftrates that you have chofen him for the Idol of your Affections, and the Object of your Hopes, and confequently renounc'd all your Intereft in God) is fufficiently baffled by the demeanour of many Perfons, who have been placed by the All-wife Providence of God in the largest Spheres of fecular Bufiness and Imployments. Jofeph was Governour over all the Land of Egypt, and that in a time of the greatest Difficul ty, of a general Dearth and Famine.

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