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just as they were before: but God will not be mock. ed.
II. The next general head is to shew what judgements unworthy communicating exposes people to. It exposes them,
1. To bodily strokes, as the Corinthians felt, 1 Cor. xi. 30. For this cause many are weak and fickly among you, and many sleep. One falls into a decay of strength, another takes sickness after a communion, another flips off the stage. Some give one reason for it, and some another. But 0, unworthy communicating is often the procuring cause of all. What a dreadful distemper
seized Belfhazzar when he was abusing the ves. fels of the temple ! Dan. v. ; but the sin of unworthy communicating is more dreadful.
2. To spiritual strokes, strokes upon the soul, blindness of mind, hardness of heart, fearedness of confcience, &c. The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain ; he will let guilt lie on him. Hence fome after communions are let fall into fcandalous fins; some meet with greater darkness and deadness than ever before, and some with sharp desertions.
3. To eternal strokes. As to such as are out of Christ, unworthy communicating will damn them as well as gross fins in the life and outward conversation, and no doubt will make a hotter hell than that of Pagans. Murder is a crying fin, but the murder of the Son of God is most dreadful, and the Mediator's vengeance is most terrible.
And they are said to eat and drink judgement to themselves ; which, I conceive, imports,
1. That the hurt which comes by unworthy communicating comes upon the person himself, not on Christ, whose body and blood he is guilty of; for themselves has a relation not to others, but to Christ. They may eat judgement to ministers and fellow.com. municants, if they have a sinful hand in bringing them
to the table, Only though the flight is given to Christ yet it rebounds upon the man himself, and lies Deivy on him with its consequences. They do interpretatively murder Christ, in so far as they abuse the fgm-· bols of his broken body and shed blood ; but they cail do himn no harm; they kick against the pricks, which run into their bodies and fouls.
2. That they themselves are the authors of their own ruin. They take their death with their own hand, like a man that wilfully drinks of a cup of poifon, and fo murder their own souls. And what a dreadful thing is this for a man to perish by his own hands!
3. That they shall be as sure of judgement upon thein for their fin, if repentance prevent it not, and cut the thread, as they are of the facramental bread they eat, and the wine they drink. Death is in the cup to them, and it will go down with the elements into their bowels.
US E. Beware then of unworthy communicating. Profane not the holy things of God by your rath approaches to chis ordinance. If the love of the Lord Jesus will not allure you to a conscientious performance of this duty in a holy manner, let the terror of God affright you. Behold life and death is set before you. Venture not on the sword point of vengeance, even the vengeance of his temple. O finner, hold thy hand. Do not wound the Lord of glory, and bring innocent blood on thy head. 0 wound not your own souls with the wound of an enemy. Pro. voke not God to give you blood to drink:
Object. 1. We had better bide aback than run such a risk. Ans. If you cannot think on parting with your lufts, but you must either communicate keeping them still or not at all, then assure yourselves, God will avenge this contempt of himself and his Son upon you, and ye shall fall into the hands of the living God through eternity, Luke xix. 27. If ye think of
being better disposed afterwards, ye deceive your. felves ; for the longer ye keep your fins, it will be the harder to part with them. And who knows if ever your eyes may see another such occafion ? But if
ye mind to part with your fins now, and be in earnest for communion with God in that ordinance, then ye will make conscience of, and fincerely endeavour worthy communicating, which will be accepted ; for it is a gospel, not a legal fitness, that we urge.
Object. 2. But that terror confounds me when I think of approaching the Lord's table, lest he be provoked to strike me dead on the spot, or I get my dam. nation sealed. Ans. Satan labours either to make us feed without fear, or else to fear fo as we cannot feed. But look ye to God through the vail of the flesh of Christ, and so you will see an atoned and pacified God. If such fear seize thee, then acknowledge God is just if he should do to you as you fear : but because you need a Saviour, and he has commanded you to accept of him, take him though with a trembling hand, and having nothing to bring with you, come to get all. Say, Lord, if thou shouldft confound me before all the people, thou art jutt; but I plead mercy through Christ; and if thou wilt give me thy grace, I am content to be a monument of
grace. thing, but I am content to be thy debtor for all. And so you will find a reviving.
I shall only fay, 1. Examine yourselves as to your state, your frame, your graces, your wants, &c. and know how matters stand with you. Take a look of your former ways, and turn to the Lord with your whole heart.
2. Put away the strange gods that are among you. Look what sin has been indulged, and let this be the parting time; for one leak will sink the ship, Pfal. Ixvi. 18.
3. Employ Christ for suitable preparation. Use the means, but look to him alone for the blessing.
4. Lally, Do this work that ye would do if ye
I have no
were to die on the communion-fabbath. Sacrament un et articulus mortis æquiparantur. In death we go to Chrift, in the facrament he comes to us : And who knows but some of us may get our provision there for another world, either in mercy or in wrath? But happy they who set themselves for dying furniture.
EPHESIANS vi. 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the
Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance,
and supplication for all saints. PRE
RAYER is a duty of natural religion, and by
God's appointment is one of the chief means by which Christ communicates the benefits of redemption to linners, and this important duty is enjoined in these words. In which we have,
1. The duty itself, praying. This is recommended and enjoined to all, as ever they would stand, and not be ruined by their spiritual enemies,
2. The amplification of this weighty subject; where notice,
(1.) The time of it, always, or at every season. We must always be in a praying frame, and miss no season wherein God calls for it, but in every season of prayer be praying, 2 Sam. ix. 7.
(2.) The kinds of prayer, all prayer, i. e. all forts of prayer, public, private, secret, ordinary, excraordinary, &c.; petitioning prayer for good things, here called prayer in a strict lenle ; fupplicatory prayer, deprecating evils, called supplication,
(3.) The manner of prayer. [1.] It must be in the Spirit; not with the lip, tongue, and memory only, but 'with the heart or inward man, cr rather by the Spirit of God, with his assistance. [2.] With watch: deping the foul in a wakerife disposition for se it, that the heart wander not. [3.] With
"P, continuing instant in it, whatever may Wiscourage us.
There we are to pray for, all saints ; not only cives, but others, especially, though not onNr the children of God. fic tost affords the following doctrine.
PT. Prayer is a duty always necessary, to be performcatre Juveral kinds of it, and in the right manner, evice? ich we are to be concerned not only for ourselves, de jur cihens.
To discover the nature of prayer, which in our ca. tocitin is said to be “an offering up of our desires to
Gux, for things agreeable to his will, in the name 6 of Christ, with confession of our fins, and thankful “ acknowledgement of his mercies,” I will consider the parts of prayer in general, and in particular.
1. Prayer generally considered consists of three parts.
1. Petition, or prayer ftriatly and properly so call. ed, whereby one desires of God the supply of one's wants, begs the good necessary for himself or others, and deprecates evil inflicted or feared. Praying always with all prayer, &c.
2. Confeflion of fin, Dan. ix. 4. It is so very natural that sinners coming to God to ask mercies should make confeffion, that it is a very necessary part of the dinner's prayer, and prayer is so called, Neh. ix. 3. And the deeper one is in confefsion, he readily speeds the better in prayer.
3. Thank giving for mercies, Phil. iv. 6. God prevents us with his benefits, we are deep in his debt, çre we come to ask of him; and therefore it is neceffary that thanksgiving have a place in our prayers. And it also is called praying, Luke xviii. 11. II. Let us conlider the parts of prayer in particular.