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of a future State of Blessedness, and the miferable Condition of ihe Damned in Hell. There, and the like, as they offer themselves unto you, should be meditated upon until some Sorrow of Mind, fome Ardour of Devotion, some Act of Faith, some Flame of Love and Charity, arise in your Souls.
Thus have I briefly represented to you both the Nature and Necessity of a Sacramental Preparation, which in a great Measure contains the whole Duty of a Chriftian's Life, viz. Repentance towards God, Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, and Charity towards our Neighbour : And I also hope, who. soever among us will but endeavour to prepare themselves for the Holy Communion, according to the forementioned Directions, may, (by the Help of God) upon all Occasions, come to the Lord's Table without the least Fear or Danger of eating and drinking Damnation to themselves.
And now fome People may censure this Discourse, as giving too great Liberty and Encouragement to approach the Lord's Table with less Preparation than otherwise Men would venture to do: But I know no Ground or Reason for any such Suggestion, if they impartially consider the Ex
cellency and Perfection of that Guide and ComChurch Ca. techisms.
panion, I have followed throughout the whole :
And to represent this Duty of frequent Communion otherwise than what the Church requires, is an Injury both to God and to ourselves : And I dare affirm, that no Pare of Divine Worship has suffered more on this Account, than that of the Holy Communion, Thousands of People not dating (in all their Lifetime, tho' very good Livers) to partake of the Lord's Supper, for fear of eating and drink ing their own Damnation.
For further Inftructions, fue a Treatise of Sacramental Covenanting with
Chrift: Sbewing the Ungodly their contempt of Christ in their contempt of the Sacramental Covenant. By John Rawlet, B. D. Author of the Chriftian Monitor.
PRAYERS and MEDITATIONS
Preparative to a
What the Church of England requires from her
A Prayer to God for his gracious Afisance and Direction in our Sacramental
Glory: I, the unworthiest of all Creatures, do here, in all Humility of Soul and Body, prostrate myself before thee, acknowledging my own Weakness and Insuf. fciency to do any thing that is good or well-pleasing in thy Sighe; and therefore humbly implore the special Influence of thy Grace and Holy Spirit, to further these my Endeavours for a worthy Participation of this Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, which he has commanded me to do in Remembrance of him, and of those Benefits which we receive thereby. Teach me, O Lord, the right Way, and lead me in the Paths of holy Preparation, that I may be received as a worthy and welcome Guest ac this thy heapenly Table. Poffefs my Mind with a true Sense of the
Greatness of this Mystery, and the Excellency of thy Mercy, in preparing this Table for our Spiritual Fool. Inipue my Soul with pure and pious Dispositions, and initial of those filthy Rays of my Righteousness, clothe me with the Righteousness of thy Saints, that my Heart may be a clean, though homely, Receptacle for my Saviour, and fitted for the fociety of that Celestial Company, which are to be met with at this facred Solemnicy, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. Our Father, &c. Sce Psal. 23. 26. 111.
A Prayer for the Gift and Grace of Repentance.
Eyes than to behold Iniquity, and hast more especially enjoined all those wko compass thine Aliar to wash their Hands in Innocency, vouchsafe me unfeigned Repentince for my past Sins, a hearty Surrow and Contrition of Spirit to lament, niy Sinfulness, and most firm and ftędtaft Purposes to lead a new Life. Iç is the Voice of thy wondrous Goodness and Mercy, That if the Wicked will for fake bis Ways, and the unrighteous Man his Thoughts, thou wilt have Mercy upon bim, and abundantiy pardon kim. O let thy Goodness (whereof I have had so great a Share and plentiful Experience) lead me to Repentance not to be repinted of, that I may be a fit Gueit at thy Son's Table Have Mercy upon me, O Lord, and ac. cording to the Multitude of thy tender Mercies, blot out all my Transgression', for thy Mercies Sake in Christ Jesus, the Son of thy Love, whom thou kajt set forth to be ibe Propitiation for Our Sins.
Grant this, o inerciful Father, for the Sake of my bleffe. Saviour' and Redeemer. Amen.
Sce Psalms 6: 25. 32. 38.
A Prayer' before Self-Examination.
a Discerner of the very Thoughts, and in whose sight all Things are neked and open, be' pleased to impart a Ray of thy Heavenly Light, to ditcoyer' all the Şins and Infirmities of my part Life, and whatsoever else thou knowest wherein I have done amiss, that hencefosward no fecree Sin may lie undiscovered and corrupted in my Soul," that by examining my
Life and Conversation by thy Law, the Rule and Measure of my Duty, I may underitand the true State and Condition of my Soul, and from a juit Sen.e and Sight of all my trani. gressions, through the Alitance of thy Grace and heavenly Benediction, I may be enabled to reform my Liti, and to turn my Feet unto thy Testimonies, fo faithfully to learch and examine my own Contcience, that I may come holy and clean to that Heavenly Feart, and be received as a worthy Partaker of that holy Table which thou hast called me to : Grant this for thy Mercies take in Christ Jesus. Amen, See Pfal. 139.
Brief Heads of Self-Examination upon each Commandment,
Į have not Atheistically denied the Being of a God, or wickedly renounced him by Apottacy, yei have I not loved, de fired and delighted in other Tings . more than in God? Or, have I nuc feared Man, and I dreaded the Displeasure of the World more than God? Or, • have į not trusted in Men, and relied upon the World, ' more than upon God? Have I not delpaired of Gou's • Mercy? Or,' by presuming too much upon it, encouraged 'myfelt in Sin? Have I not been unthankful for Merues y received ? Or, have I not ascribed the Glory and Honour ' of what I now enjoy, to myself, more than to God!' (lay) God be merciful unto me a Jinner, and lay not this for thoje) Sins to my Charge. Repeat the lame at tire End of every Commandment.
II. • Though I have not worshipped God by Images, yet I have I not entertained gross and falte Conceptions of him? ! Or, have I not wiltully omitced coming to Church or to • the publick Prayers, when I had no juit Occasion to hin• der me? Or, have I not rudely, irreverently or wantonly
behaved mytelf during the Time of Divine Service ? Or, ! have I not wiltully refused to come to the Lord's Supper, ! when I have been called to it? Or, have I not rafhly and
! unadvisedly received the Sacrament without a Prepara, ' tion? Or, have I not broken my Vows and Resolutions o which I then made ?
III. • If I have not openly blasphemed the Name of God, yet have I ngt lightly or irreverently spoken of him? Or, I have I not profanely jefted upon, or abused his holy Places
or Persons, or any Thing elle dedicated to his Service ? « Or, have I not taken God's Name in vain, by common
Swearing and Cursing ? Or, have I not taken false and
unlawful Oaths ? Or, have I not broken my own Vows ' and Refolutions, especially my Baptismal ?
IV. · Have I not neglected the Worship of God on his Sab• baths ? Have I not spent part thereof in vain Sports, • idle Discourses, Visits, and many other unnecessary Busi• neffes ? Or, have I not fuffered others to prophane the • Sabbath, when it was in my power to restrain them from so doing?
V. ' Have I not been stubborn, irreverent, and undutiful towards my Parents, rejecting their Counsels, despising • their Government, and covering their Estates before their • Death? Or, have I not contributed towards their Necef
fities when they were in Want, and I had to help them? Or, have I not been disloyal to my Prince, stubborn and unfaithful to niy Master, refractory and unthankful to my Minister, peevish and unkind to my Friend and Com panion?
Per'fon, yet have I not made my Neighbour's Life grievouş
by Oppresion, Rage and Violence against him? Or, havę ' I noš, by Fighting or Quarreling, wounded his Person? ? Or, have I not tempted him, by any Vice or Intemper
ance, to destroy his Health, and to shorten his Days ? Or,
have I not, by false, and contumelious Speeches, wounded - his good Name and Reputation ? Or, have I not, by my
own Luxury and Intemperance in Eating and Drinking, ? been accessory to my own Death ?