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are at no pains to be what they would seem. These are the mean and low ends they propose to themselves, and they get them by that way. But the high' and noble ends of the Christian communion with God, strength against corruption, &c. call for other fort of werk.
3. Men may get duties done, and their lufts kept tow; they may go to a communion-table, and to the table of devils too: but to do duties in the right manner is inconsistent with peace with our. lufts, Pfal
. Ixvi. 18. If they would have à calm sea, Jonah must be thrown overboard. Hence they take so little pains in felf-examination before a communion. There are fome secret lufts which the man has no will to disturb; therefore he will not light the candle and fearch, lest he should be obliged to cast out the old leaven.
4. Because men mostly have low and mean thoughts of God and his service, Mal. i. 6. 7. 8. · It is not every one that knows the Lord. Many worship they know not what, and therefore they give him they care not what. If men had suitable thoughts of that God whom they serve, they would be careful how they ferve him, Pfal. lxxxix. 6. 7. Wherefore the apostle; to put men out of their sloth, and engage them to the right performance of duties, tells what a one God is, Heb. xii. 28. 29. Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
5. Because men moitly are unacquainted with communion and fellowihip with God to be had in duties; they know not the neceflity of it, nor the excellency of it. Hence they are not at pains about it. He that minds to entertain his prince, will be at pains to provide all things necessary for that effect, while he is not so taken up who is expecting no guests.
Use of lamentation. D how fad is it that there are so many who content themselves with the bare work
of communicating, neglecting the right manner! That there are many such, take these evidences.
1. Many approach very rashly and inconsiderately to the Lord's table. It would make a tender heart to tremble how forward many are for going to the communion-table, though it be fenced by'the severe threatenings of God. They are like the horse, Job xxxix. 22. 23. 24. who mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth be back from the sword. The : quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage : neither believeth he that it is the found of the trumpet. And they are as the leviathan, by whom darts are accounted as subble, and who laugheth at the shaking of a spear, Job xli. 29. They snatch up the holy things of God, and with polluted fingers do they handle them. How few are there that find any notable difficulty in their way to it? Truly it is lamentable to think of this rafhness.
2. The little pains that many are at beforehand to get their hearts prepared for this work. Any thing they do lies most in hearing, in public; few wrestling with God, that he would prepare them as a bride adorned for her husband,
3. The licentious lives of communicants. Many, when the work is over, tura just back to their old ways, clearly discovering that it has 'made no great impression on their hearts while they were at ic. Many are a shame to religion, harden the profane, and grieve the hearts of the godly, by their courses.
We may justly wonder that the Lord does not sometimes make a breach among us, and mingle our blood with our facrifices. Under the law the Lord made fome fad instances of his anger; as in the case of Uzzah, 2 Sam. vi. 6.7. of the men of Bethshemesh, 1 Sam. vi, 19. and of Nadab and Aibhu, Lev. X. 1. 2. Is not the Lord as angry fiill with the abuse of gospel holy things? Yes, surely: but now the dispensation is more fpiritual, and the itrokes of anger are more fpiritual allo;
fuch as hardness of heart, and blindness of mind. Some souls may get their death's wounds at the table, though their bodies come away whole and sound. Use of exhortation. Be exhorted to get your
hearts in a case for performing this duty after the right man. ner. It may be some have communicated often, and never to this day communicated once right. Oftrive to begin now. The advantage of it is great. Ye may find that in a communion that ye never found yet, if ye be worthy partakers; if not, the hazard is great; which take in
Doct. II. He that communicates unworthily, eats and drinks judgement to himfelf, while he eats the sacramental bread and drinks the sacramental wine.
In discoursing from this doctrine, I shall fhew, 1. What communicating unworthily is.
II. What judgements unworthy communicating exposes people to.
III, Make application,
I. I am to shew what communicating unworthily is. A man communicates worthily, not when he merits the sacrament, but when he is meet for it. So a man communicates unworthily when he is unmeet for this holy ordinance, when he wants a gospel-fitness for it.
To find out this then, we must inquire into the nature of this ordinance. Contider then,
First, The author of this ordinance. It is Christ, 1 Cor, xi. 23. He appointed it, It belongs to him only to appoint the several parts of worship, who was faithful in his own house as a Son; and worship commanded by men is but vain worship. Now, if Christ be the author of this ordinance, then it is meet, 1. That we have an honourable respect for it as a divine ordinance. 2. That we go about it out of a respect to the command of Christ. 3. That we expect the bleiling and the advantage by it from him.
1. People communicate unworthily when they have
not an honourable respect for and a due reverence to this ordinance, when they partake of it, Mal. i. 6. 7. If it bear the stamp of divine authority, is it meet that persone should despise it, and not be touched with res verence of it? When the angel of the covenant appeared to Moses in the bush, he said to him, Put off thy shoes from off thy feet : for the place whereon thou ftandest is holy ground, Exod. iii. 5. But behold in this facrament there are bread and wine of deeper fanctification than that holy ground, they being the fymbols of Christ's body and blood.
2. When people do not go about it out of respect to the command of Christ; inay he not justly astonish such at his table with that question, If í be a master, where is my fear? Mal. i. 6. Is it meet that people should conimunicate out of custom, vain-glory, &c.? If the sense of his command do not bring thee there, thou canst not expect the sense of his love, but rather to feel the weight of his hand when there. As we must believe the truth because God has said it, otherwise our affent is not divine faith ; fo we must do our duty because God has commanded it, otherwise our obedience is not acceptable to him.
3. When people look to any other quarter than to Christ for the good of the facrament. Some look no further than the elements. This is to put them in Christ's stead : but be not deceived, bread and wine cannot nourish thy soul. Some are apt to look to ministers; and if such a one as they affect serve the table they are at, they think they are sure of advantage. If they knew your hearts so led alide, they would with a fad heart and angry countenance say to you as Jacob did to Rachel, Am I in God's stead? Gen. xxx. 2. The spouse went a little further than the watchmen before she found her beloved, Cant. iii. 4. Many smart hy this respecting particular ministers, and overlooking the Master of this ordinance.
Secondly, Consider the time of the institution ; the fame night in which he was betrayed by Judas, when
the hour and power of darkness was approaching. If so, then it appears that this facrament was left us as a token by our dying friend. He was now to go out of the world to the Father ; but before he goes, he will leave his people a feast and token of love. Did he not know what was abiding him? Yes, verily he knew all. O then might not the prospect of the agony and bloody drops in the garden, the racking of his body, and the load of wrath under which his foul was to wrestle, have made him mind himself, and forget us? Nay in the night in which he was betrayed, he instituted this facrament. Surely then it is most suitable, 1. That we prize it highly as the love-token of a dying friend. 2. That we be at pains to prepare to keep the tryst which he was so concerned to set. 3. That at such a time we avenge the treachery upon our lufts. So they partake unworthily,
1. Who partake of this ordinance without a due valuing of it as the love-token of a dying Lord. A token from a friend, though it be small in itself, yet ought to be prized ; a token from a dying friend more; but a token from a friend dying for us most of all; and he would be reckoned a monster of men, that would not highly value it. Not to value this ordinance highly, and fo to defire it and delight in it, as many communicants do, who, if they could get their credit kept, could well live without it, and in their unconcernedness of heart for it and about it, fay practically, The table of the Lord is contemptible, is to trample upon our dying Lord's love-token, and to say in effect, He should have been otherwise taken up that night in which he was betrayed.
2. Those communicants who are not at pains to prepare to keep the tryst our Lord set at that time. I may say, he forgot to eat his own bread, that he might provide for us. He did not so mind the cup of wrath which he was to get himfelf, as to forget the facramental cup for our comfort.
for our comfort. When he was on