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approach him, and therefore in the Bowels of his Compassion not only invites, but commands us to come. Can we then turn ourBacks
so gracious an Invitation? Can we refuse to obey so endearing a Command? Can we deny our Company to so kind a Friend, fo
great a Benefactor ? Jonadab the Son of Rechab, was a mere Man, of the same Passions, Imperfections, and Weaknesses with our selves; and yet what he commanded his Followers, was (as you may see in the 35th of Jeremiah) punctually observed. The Philosophers were likewise but Men full of Ignorance and Blindness, Immortalities and Sins; and their Disciples were Superstitiously Careful to frame their Lives according to their Rules and Maxims. But he, who calls us, is the Author and Finisher of our Faith, our Lord and God, our Maker and Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, who cloath'd himself with Flesh, and even laid down his most precious Life for our fakes. What an Indignity then do we offer to his Authority, when we despise his Commands? How shame lesly do we trample upon his infinite Loye, when we refuse his Invitation ? N 4
whatever we think of it now, we shall then be fully sensible of our Infolence and Ingratitude, when the Scene shall be chang'd, the time of Mercy gone, and the Day of the fierce Anger of the Lamb shall come, when he shall
' alter his Voice, and no longer invite us to Repentance and Pardon, nor longer command us to partake of his Munifi. cence and Bounty; but shall most terribly lift up his' Voice as the Lyon of the Tribe of
'Judah, and command us away from his presence into outer Darkness, where is Weeping, and Wailing, and gnashing of Teeth This, by way of precaution, he has graciously foretold us in that Parable of his in the 22d of St. Matthew. The Kingdom of Heaven (says he) is like unto a certain King, which made a Marriage for his Son, and sent forth his Servants to call them that were bidden to the Wedding : and they would not come. Again he sent forth other Servants, Saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my Dinnermy Oxen and my Fatlings are kill'd, and all things are ready: come unto she Marriage, But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his Farm, another to his Merchandise: And the Rem
nant took his Servants, and entreated them Spitefully, and flew them. But when the King heard thereof, he was wroth; and he sent forth his Armies, and destroyed these Murderers, and burnt up their City. Come then (you see) you must to the Lord's Supper. He invites you, he importunes you, he commands you by his Servants, the Ministers and Pastors of his Flock, to come; and you must not disobey. Which appears,
2. From the Practice of the Primitive Christiaris. They rightly understood the Commandment of the Lord, and were accordingly. careful most faithfully to fulfil it. They therefore assembled themselves together, and receiv'd the Holy Communion every Day. They continu'd daily in the Temple, fays a St. Luke, and in breaking Bread from House to House. This Custom con. tinu'd some considerable time in the A&.2.36. Western Churches, as appears from b St. Cyprian, b St. Ambrose, bŞt. Hierom, and bŚt. Austin. And tho' perhaps it wore Domin. p. off sooner in the Churches of the East, 147. Anyet cSt. Bafil informs us, that in his in locum. time they communicated, however, Edit.Oxon. four times a Week, on the Lord's Day, Epift:289
b Vid.Cypr. de Orar.
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, yea, d In Epift. and upon other Days too; nay, a Chryad Ephef. Gostom adds, that some truly Religious 207:23, P. and Devout Persons, did fo every Day, Savil. if the Memory or Festival of any Mar
tyr fell upon them. But, how vastly different is the behaviour of Christians at this Day? How exceedingly short do we come of those primitive Patterns? They were careful to communicate as frequently as they could, but now many among us do it as seldom as possibly they can. They thought it as necessary as their daily Food: But now there are some who do not believe it to be necessary at all. They would not be kept from it by any Terrors or Allurements : But now, what trifling Excuses, what impertinent Pretences, authorize our Abfence ? No wonder then, that those primitive Christians were so much our Betters; fo Holy and Unblameable in ali manner of Converfation, that the foulest Afperfions, the blackest Calumnies of their implacable Enemies could never eclipse their Glory. They stood always with their Loins girded, with their Shooes on their Feet, and with their Staff in their Hand, were always ready to go forth, and
wait upon their Lord. They were al-
3. We are oblig'd to come to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, because 'tis the discriminating Mark of our Profeffion, the Badge of Chriftianity, the Livery (as I may so fay) of the Crucify'd Jesus. Both Jews and Gentiles indeed had their Religious Banquets, as well as we. They feaited upon the remainders of their Sacrifices, and thereby most folemnly dedicated themselves to the Service and Worship of that Deity, of e whose Sacrifices they c’Esiv exé. did eat ; and to these Repafts (I con- "Teluxe ceive) our Lord had a particular re- . rébutai, fpect in the Institution of this Mystery. W spoor. But then the Sacrifices of the former of these were Typical, or Figures of good things to come; and those of the
Phil. de Vidim.