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fay of the manna in the wilderness, that it tasted ac. cording as every one desired. This I may fay of the facrament, it will be different according to the different palates and constitution of the communicants, like the word, to some the favour of life unto life, and to others the favour of death unto death. The apuftle compares baptism to the passing through the Red fea, which to the Ifraelites gave a passage to Canaan, but it was a grave to the Egyptians, to Twallow them up. The Lord's supper is an open pit for destruction to some, and a chariot to carry others on in their way to heaven. The apostle tells us here the danger of unworthy communicating, notwithstanding which people mostly need rather a bridle than a fpur to it. In the words consider,
al. The connection, in the particle For: which shews the words to be a reason of that exhortation, ver. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, viz. in the right manner ; for the hazard is great if we do otherwise.
2. A duty supposed; eating and drinking ; which looks sternly on the sacrilege of the Papists in taking the сир from the people, and putting in only wafers into their mouths, contrary to Christ's express command, Drink
ye all of it. It is the people as well as the minifter that eat and drink judgement to themselves, ver. 30.
3. The way that many mar this duty: They do it unworthily, that is, unsuitably, unmeetly; they mar it in the making, not going about it in the right way and manner. They are guests, but not meet guests for the holy table. They come to the marriage-fealt, but not with wedding-garments.
4. What comes of it. The consequences are dreadful. They eat and drink damnation (Gr. judgement] to themselves. This judgement to fome is temporal, to others eternal. This they are said to eat and drink to themselves; it becomes poison to them, and so they take their death with their own hands. While the meat is in their mouth, wrath goes down with it, as the devil did with Judas's sop.
5. A particular sin lying on them, which provokes God fo to treat them: They do not discern the body of the Lord Christ; they do not duly consider the relation betwixt the elements and Christ, and so they rush in upon these creatures of bread and wine, that are of fo deep a fanctification as to be the symbols of the body and blood of the Son of God: they sit down at that table, as to their ordinary meals, without that reverence and devotion that ought to be in those who at down at such a holy table.
Two doctrines may be observed, viz.
Doct. I. Though the right way and manner of commu. nicating be the main thing to be studied in that solemn altion, yet many content themselves with the bare doing of the thing, neglecting the doing of it suitably, and in a right manner.
Doct. II. He that communicates unworthily, eats and drinks judgement to himself, while he eats the facramental bread and
drinks the wine. I shall prosecute each doctrine in order.
Doct. I. Though the right way and manner of communicating be the main thing to be studied in that solemn action, yet many content themselves with the bare doing of the thing, neglecting the doing of it suitably, and in a right manner.
Here I shall shew,
I. The necessity of communicating suitably and in a right manner.
II. Why it is, that though the right way and manner of communicating be the main thing to be studi. ed in that folemn action, yet many content themselves with the bare doing of it, neglecting the doing of it fuitably, and in a right manner.
III. Make some improvement.
I. I am to fhew the necessity of communicating suit. ably, and in a right manner,
1. God commands it, ver. 28. So let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. The particle is emphatiçal, as John iv. 6. Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey fat thus (or fo] on the well. Acts vii. 8. So Abraham begat Ifaac. The matter and manner of all duties are linked together in the command of God. What God hath joined let no man put asunder. He will have his service well done as well as done, 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. And thou Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandėth all the imaginations of the thoughts. Masters on earth challenge to themfelves a power to cause their servants do their work as they would have it ; but though they leave the way of doing it sometimes to the discretion of the servants, yet the Lord never does fo, but always commands not only what; but how to do, i Theff. iv. I.
2. No duty is pleasing to God, unless it be done in a right manner, ib. Unless it be so done, it is not lone to his mind. It gives not content to the heart of Christ, though it may give content to mens own blinded hearts. God's will is the supreme law; for we are his own, and what we do, we ought to study to do it to his mind: otherwise it cannot please him, do what we will.
3. Because nothing is a work theologically good, but what is done in a right manner, Heb. xi. 6. Wilhout faith it is impossible to please him. There was a vast difference betwixt Cain and Abel's offering, Gen. iv. 4. 5. The Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering : but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. See the reason, Heb. xi. 4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Bonum non, nisi ex integra causa oritur, bonum eft. Hence the good works of the Heathens were but fplendid fins; and those of the unregenerate are so, for they may do much, but not
with a perfect heart. One fins and damas his foul at the Lord's table, another communicates worthily. What makes the difference, but the manner of doing? Hence praying is accounted but howling; eating and drinking is not to eat the Lord's supper, 1 Cor. xi.
Common eating and drinking are fins, Mat. xxiv. 37. Cloth may be good, and yet the coat base, if it be marred in the making.
4. Though the work be in itself good, yet if it be done unsuitably, not in a right manner, it provokes God to inflict heavy strokes on the doer. Is not a master often át that, he would rather men had not done the work, than that it should be so done? 1 Chron. xv. 13. For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for thut we fought him not after the due order. So Jehu did something for God, but not in a right manner: hence the Lord says, Hof. i. 4.
1 will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu. And the Corinthians having communicated unworthily, or not in the right manner, the apostle observes concerning them, i Cor. xi. 31. For this cause many are weak and fickly among you, and many sleep. In the mean little is accepted, if it is rightly done: hence it is said of Afa, 1 Kings xv. 14. The high places were not removed : 110: ertheless Asa his heart was perfect with the Lord all his day.s.
5. Only the duty done in a right manner does prosper, and get the blessing. Mark that fo, Matth. xxiv. 46. Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh, Jhall find fo doing. A man may pray ten thou. sand times, and never be heard ; and go from one communion to another, and never be sealed to the day of redemption. A groan from the heart will do more than all these, Rom. viii. 16. Our meat can do us no good, and our cloaths cannot warm us, if we do not use them in the right manner. No wonder that ma. ny are never the better of all the facraments they get, for they communicate not aright.
6. It' we communicate not in a right manner, we do no more than others, than hypocrites actually do, and Pagans may do. Hypocrites ear and drink, who fhalledrink eternally of the wine of the wrath of God, Luke xiij. 26. 27. Pagans can eat bread and drink wine; nay the very beasts may do it.
do it. And shall a Christian think he does enough when he does no more?
7. Lastly, God gets no glory otherwise from us in our duty, Matth. v. 16. He gets much dishonour by the
way that many of us partake of his table. The means must be suited to the end ; and therefore our duty must be rightly done, if we would glorify God.
II. I proceed to fhew why it is, that though the right way and manner of communicating be the rain thing in that folemn acțion, yet many content them: selves with the bare doing of the thing, neglecting the doing of it suitably, and in a right manner.
1. Because to communicate is easy, but to conimunicate in a right manner is very difficult. It is easy to wait on several days and hear fermons, to get a token, and eat the bread and drink the wine : but it is a hard talk to plough up the fallow.ground, to mourn for fin, to get the heart in case for communion with Christ, and by faith to feed upon him. It is easy to say, we resolve to be for Chrift; but it is hard to pluck out right eyes, and cut off right hands; it is hard to set idols to the door, and give the whole heart to a Saviour.
2. Because they obtain their end by the bare performance of the duty. As, (1.) Peace of mind. Many consciences are halt-awakened; though they be not so far awakened as to give men no rest without doing duty in a right manner, yet they will not hold their peace, fhould a man neglect duties altogether. (2.) It gains a man credit in the world, and that is a trong cord to draw a man to the outside of duties, Matth. vi. 2. It is no fmall matter to have a name, and to seem good; and to be called godly, is affected by those who