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latter were offer'd to Devils, and not to God. The former believ'd in Chrift to come, whom they faw but darkly under that thick Veil of Types and Figures: And the latter were partakers of the Altars of Idolş, and held Communion and Fellowship with Devils. But now before our Eyes, Jesus Christ is most evidently fet forth as Crucify'd: And by this religious, federal Banquet, which he instituted himself in our Flesh, we are in the strictest League and Union with him. We proclaim to the World, that we are entirely his; That we will have no other Lords, beside him, to rule over us, and that we will most faithfully adhere to his Service all the Days of our Life. This Sacrament then (i say) is proper to Christianity; 'tis our Characteristick; That, which we have receiv'd from our great Master as the pledge of his Love, and for a continual remembrance of his Death, to our great and endless Comfort. How wretchedly Stupid and Senseless then do we evidence our selves to be, when we turn our Backs upon this Holy Ordinance ? How monstruously disingenuqus and ungrateful to our Lord, when we do not esteem and yalue it, as we
ought ? We trample (like Swine) upon
then can that Christian, who continu. í ally refuseth to commemorate his Sa
viour's Passion, and to remember in
and the second of the Synod of Antioch l assures us, That when some, who had
been present at the Preaching of the
the Holy Communion , 'twas look'd upon as fo heinous a Crime, so scandalous a Mifdemeanour, that the Church decreed, whosoever was guilty of it, should be excommunicated.
4. We are oblig'd to come to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, because of its. Vertue and Efficacy upon our Souls. 'Tis the Duty (you know) of every Christian daily to endeavour to grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and consequently to make use of all thofe means which conduce to the acquisition of these glorious Ends. Now the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is in the confession of all Christians the most folemn Sealand Pledge of Christ's Love to his Church, and the convey: ance of all those great and inestimable Benefits, which by his precious Blood fhedding he hath purchas?d for her. In it we receive pardon of Sins, peace of Conscience, and Power and Ability to run, with chearfulness, the Race that is set before us. . It increafeth our Faith, augments our Hope, and enlargeth our Charity. It improves all our Excellencies, brightens all our Verrues, and
i supples all our Wants, both Temporal
and Spiritual; God entring into Cove
nant with us, and most solemnly rei newing his Promise, that he will never
leave us nor forsake us,till in his infinite
&ione fecutus eft Exous f Father, when he saw the
emplum Martyrum, qui, black Clouds of Persecution M. Antonino ecclefiam
immortalen hovering over the Church, to
GloriæCæleftis coronam receive such as had laps’d in
Galliis consecuti sunt. the fiery Times of Trial, in- Eorum quoq; qui, Decio to the bosom of their Mother, Javiente Alexandria
in Christianos atrociw. sooner than her ordinary Di- Martyrium fubierunt.
Vid. Euseb. Eccles, fcipline did allow. He was
Hift. lib. 5. cap. 2. unwilling to leave them defti-. & lib. 6. cap. 42. tute of so strong a Cordial in time of Danger, and therefore admitted them to this highest act of Communion, that their Souls might be fortified against the next Encounter of the Enemy: In a word, it strengthens and confirms our pious Refolutions, blows
up our Zeal into a permanent, bright, and ardent Flame, makes us one with Christ, with stedfast purpose of Heart for evermore to cleave to him, and to live no longer the Life of Nature, but the Life of the Faith of the Son of God. What mean then those foolish and treacherous Excuses, which are so frequently pretended to divert you from this Ordinance? Your Business, your Scruples, your Sins, and your Purposes of after-Amendment and greater Preparations ? Are you fo ftreightned in your time, that you have no leisure to look after your Souls? Does Mammon so engross your Attendance, that you can never spare time to wait upon your God? This (besides that it plainly demonstrates that you have chosen him for the Idol of your’Affections, and the Object of your Hopes, and consequently renounc'd all your Interest in God) is fufficiently baffled by the demeanour of many Persons, who have been placed by the All-wife Providence of God in the largest Spheres of secular Business and Imployments. Joseph was Governour over all the Land of Egypt, and that in a time of the greatest Difficulty, of a general Dearth and Famine.