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tition to put up to the Throne of Grace, any special Blessing, either Temporal or Spiritual, to implore of the Divine Bounty, then is it a proper time for us to join Fasting to our Prayers. But, especially, should we do this in the Days of our Humiliation and Repentance: When we labour with strong Cryings and Tears to avert the fierce Anger of the Lord, and to incline him to Pity. In short, as for Publick Fasts; we are to direct our felves by the Laws where we live; which so far, at least, oblige every one, that he offend not against them either contemptuously or with Scandal. And for private Fafts, huw frequenly they are to be usd, every one's own Conscience in the fear of God is left the Judge : And he who seriously considers his Spiritual Dangers and Necessities; the number, strength, and subtilty of his Enemies, and his great Weakness and Inability to defend himself.: How often he has been already betray’d, and how apt bis Heart is still to surrender itself into their. Hands, will, questionless, fortifie himself with Fafting, as often as Prudence, joind with a due care of his Health, shall direct.
I shall now, by way of Corollary, speak very briefly of the Effects of this o Duty, and conclude.
Fasting then quells the Haughtiness and Pride of the Prince of Darkness, overcomes his strongest and most pow. erful Legions, and breaks down those Fortreffes which bid defiance to all other Assaults. Even this kind, says Mat. 17. our Lord, goeth out by Prayer and Fasting. It is an Antidote against the Poyson of fenfual Temptations, which, by Feasting and full Tables, is apt to operate to the perdition of our Souls. d When I fed them to the full
, says God, a Fer. 5.7 then they committed Adultery, and af: sembled themselves by Troops in the Har. lots Houses. And in another place, e Thee 1 Cor.1o. People sat down to Eat and to Drink, and 7rose up to Play. But Fasting dries up the Fountains of Sensuality, withdraws that Fewel which ministers to the dames of Luft, and so renders our Bodies like the Vehicles of Angels, chaft and honourable Temples of the Holy Ghost. It defeats our Faculties, cla. rifies our Spirits, frees our Minds from the degravating load and burthen of Meat and Vapours, and so puts us in
to a convenient disposition to operative, intense, and undisturbed Prayer ; and upon this account 'tis ftil'd' the Nourishment of Prayer, by Tertullian ;
and by St. Bernard, the Wings of the f Serm. 5. Soul. It secures us (asf St. Basil thinks) de jeju.' from the destroying Angel; the pale
ness and meagre Visage which the Extremity of it occasions, being in his Father's Opinion, that Mark in the Fore-head which the Angel observ'd, when he sign’d the Saints in Jerusalem to escape the Judgment of God. It is a punitive and afflictive Action, an effečt of Godly Sorrow, a Testimony of Contrition, which our Heavenly Fa. ther accepts, and will at length reward with unconceivable Refreshments the repafts of Seraphim, the banquets of Heaven, the intuition of his glorious
and immortal Beauty. So true is that Cap. 24 of g Baruch, (with which I shall con
clude) The Soul that is greatly vex’d, which goeth stooping and feble, and the Eyes that fail, and ihe hungry Soul shall give thee Praise and Righteousness, O Lord.
HE many excellent Treatises that
are in every one's Hand, and the plentiful Provision which our most excellent Mother, the Church, has made for her Children upon the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, had almost induc'd me to believe, that a Discourse upon the same Subject, would be altogether superfluous and unnecessary. But finding some in the World, who (notwithstanding these assistances) do either out of Ignorance of the nature of this Mystery, or an unaccountable, supine, irreligious Disposition, entirely omit it; and others, who without dụe Preparation, without serious Thoughts and Recollections, indiscreetly, unadvisedly, irreverently approach it ; and a third,
who run as much into the contrary Extream, imagining no Preparations enough to qualify them for it: I thought it neither improper, nor unseasonable, to discourse upon these Words. In doing, of which, I shallendeavour to shew these two Things.
1. That we are oblig'd to come to the Sacrament of the Lord's Sup
11. How we are to prepare our selves in order to our coming thither.
I. We are oblig'd to come to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. This
1. From the Words of the Institu. tion in my Text, This do in remembrance of me: For the Terms (you fee) are positive, an express Command to all the Disciples of the Crucify'd Jesus. He spreads his Table, prepares a solemn and magnificent Feast, and defigns to entertain us with all imagina ble Kindness and Respect. He fees our backwardness and unwillingness to