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2. This holy facrament is childrens bread. For none but gracious fouls are capable of managing it to their own advantage. How shall they remember him who never knew him, declare their union with hini who are not divorced from their lufts and idols, eat his flesh and drink his blood who have no appetite for spiritual meat and drink; honour him whom they are daily dishonouring by their profane lives and conversations? None but those who believe in Chrift are fit guests for his table. Let all unbelievers be exhorted to receive and enibrace Christ as their Saviour, to be clothed with the wedding-garment of his righteousoefs, and then they will be fit to sit at the King's table 1 3. Prepare for this folemn ordinance, if God shall allow us the opportunity. Delay not a moment to give yourselves to the Lord, by receiving and ein. bracing the Lord Jesus as your Saviour and Redeemer, and avouching him as such in this holy facrament. Let the mortality * and sickness that so generally prevails excite you to be more vigorous than ever in preparing for this solemn occasion, as perhaps it may
* This discourse was preached in April 1920, in which season a difemper las mortal as epidemical raged in the parish of Ettrick. All the author's family, himself only excepted, were seized with it ; bat, through the goodness of God, happily recovered. It is to this diftemper that the author here alludes. And as a careful observance of the course of providence in general, with a singular dexterity in connecting particular providences, was one of the most distinguishing
traits in this great man's character ; fo it was his invariable practice, to adapt his public preaching to the course of providence, and to make use of God's difpenfations towards his own parish in particular, to back and enforce his exhortations to his flock. Add to thiss that it was a practice of his not unulual, to abferve a congregavional fait when any thing appeared uncommon in the couric of providence, that his parithiouers might be led to improve it proper lv; which, from his diáry and the fermons then preached, still preferved, it appears, he did on the occasion alluded to in the inference. This fot t was obferved on the 27th of April 1720. And as the seca mon's chen delivered may be usefal on like occasions, which are not infrequeni, they shall be inserted at the end of this volume. And the propriety of giving them a place in this work will appear from this confideration, that while the serious reader is employed in peru. fing a discourse treating of the nature of the Lord's supper, in which there is a lively representation of the death of Christ, our paff-ver facrificed for us, it will be a profitable exercise for him at the same time to be thinking of his own death, and to be so numbering his days, that he may apply his keart urto wisdom.
be the lalt many of us may partake of. Othen let us prepare to keep the feast in due manner.
I CORINTHIANS xi. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that
bread, and drink of that cup. HESE words contain a means for preventing
of the great evil which men are apt to fall into with respect to the Lord's fupper; and fo for our purpose they offer two things to be considered.
1. An evil; a great evil, a hainous evil, 'which men must use means to prevent; that is, unworthy commmunicating. But let a man examine himself, &c. This looks back to the preceding verse, wherein the apostle had declared unworthy communicants to be guilty of Christ's body and blood. But (says he, to prevent this, and that ye may worthily partake) let a man examine himself, &c.
2. The way to be taken to prevent unworthy com. municating ; Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, &c. A man, every man to whom the gospel comes, and who has access to this ordinance, must examine himself, as a judge does a matter of fact, or goldsmiths metals by the touch-stone, to discern what is true and what counterfeit. And so let him eat; not, And then let him eat, whatever cafe his foul be in ; but let him follow out this duty till
he find his soul in some fitness for that ordinance, and so eat of that bread; and drink of that cup.
The text affords this doctrine, viz.
Doct." It is required of them that would worthi“ ly partake of the Lord's supper, that they examine " themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord's “ body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their re
pentance, love, and new obedience, lest coming
unworthily, they eat and drink judgement to " themselves.
Here let us consider,
11. The duty of self-examination necessary for worá thy receiving of the Lord's fapper.
III. The necessity of this self-examination. IV. Deduce an inference or two.
V. Let us consider what worthiness to partake is:
1. What is meant by it.
Wherein it consists. First, Let us consider what is meant by worthiness to partake.
1. Not a legal worthiness, as if we could deserve it at the hands of God; for when we have done all those things which are commanded us, we must say, We are unprofitable servants : we have done that which was our duty to do, Luke xvii. 1o. Those who are that way worthy in their own eyes, are altogether un worthy : for building their acceptance with the Lord in that ordinance upon their own good qualifications, they fhall meet with Simon's entertainment, Acts viii
. 20. Thy money perish with thee, because thou hasi thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money, for they rup quite cross to the end of that ordinance, declaring in effect the death of Christ to be in vain as to them, Gal. ii. ult. For if rightecuf
ness come by the law, then is Christ dead in vain.
2. But it is a gospel meetness and fitness for that. ordinance. As we are to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, Matth. iii. 8. fo one communicates worthily, when he is fit for receiving that facrament according to the rules of the gospel, comes to it in such a manner as Christ's bids and welcomes his guests. And much of that lies in coming with a deep sense of our utter vileness and emptiness, If. lv. 1.
Secondly, Wherein does this worthiness to partake confift?. 'I answer, In two things.
1. In habitual meetness for it, in respect of a gracious state. The foul in the black state of nature is utterly unfit for this ordinance, Pfal. v. 5. The foolish fall not fi and in thy hght, thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Such a soul is a dead soul, dead in trespases and jins, Eph.ji. 1. And a dead man is not fit for a feast, nor a dead soul for the Lord's table, but rather to be bu.
sied out of his fight. And from the Lord's table such a one may be expected to come away twice dead.
2. In actual meetness, in respect of a gracious frame. In our addresses to God, not only life, but liveliness is requilite, Pfal. lxxx. 18. A sleeping man is not fit for a feaft neither; and therefore even a true believer may communicate unworthily, as some in the church of Corinth did, 1 Cor. xi. 30. 32. So it is necessary that we not only have oil in our vefsels, but have our lamps burning, it we would be fit, Cant. i. 12.
II. Let us consider the duty of felf-examination ne cellary for worthy receiving of the Lord's supper. And here,
1. The rule or touchstone by which we must examine.
2. The matter we are to examine ourselves about.
First, Let us confider the rule or touchstone by which we must examine.
1. Beware of false ones. (1.) The common guise of the world. It is not enough that ye are like neigh,
bour and other, aye and better than many, like the Pharisee, Luke xviii. 11. Though an ape be liker a man than a dog is, yet the one is no more a man than the other. Though mere moralists and formalists are liker true Chriftians than openly profane ones are, yet the one are no more true Christians than the others. (2.) One's being better than fome time before, 2 Cor. x. 12. . One may be like Saul, who got another heart, but not the new heart, i Sam. x. 9. (3.) The letter of the law. So did the Pharisee, Luke xviii. 11. and Paul before his conversion, Rom. vii. 9.
(4.) The seen practice of the godly, which is but their outside, and so is but an unsafe rule, in regard you cannot see the principle, motives, and ends of their actions, which are great characteristics, whereby the fincere are distinguished from hypocrites.
2. The only true rule or touchstone in this case is the word of God, If. viji. 20. To the law and to the testimony, &c. The Spirit of the Lord speaking in the scriptures is the supreme Judge of all questions in religion, whether relating to faith or practice; and the word itself is the rule by which the decision is made. God hath given us marks in the word, by which one may know whether he be in Christ or not, 2 Cor. v. 17. whether born of God or not, i John iii. 9. and the like,
Şecondly, Let us conlider the matter we are to examine ourselves about. The great thing to be inquired into and examined here, is the state of our souls before the Lord, whether we be in Christ or not, res generate or not, have true grace or not, 2 Cor. xiii,
5. This we should examine at all times with respect to death and eternity, because our eternal itate depends on our being in a state of grace here. And this is to be examined in respect of the facrairent.
The reason is, This facrament is not a converting, but a confirming ordinance, as baptism also is, Rom. iv. 11. It is a seal of the covenant, and so fupposes the covenant entered into before by the party. It is appointed for nourilament, which preluppoies life. And