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swer the great Ends of its Institution. Unto the Wicked, God faith, why dost thou Preach my Law, and takest my Covenant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest to be Reo formed: Ps. 50. 16, 17. In like manner, why do such Men call upon God's Name, or please themselves, that they hear his word ? Nay, why indeed do they profess themselves Christians, as long as they hate to be Reformed: For the Displeasure of God is provoked throughout, and God is their Enemy,and they are His as long as they thus continue in Sin. For all that such Men do, is Leavened with Hypocrisie; and 110 Monster is so hateful to God and Man, as an Hypocrite. He that Prayeth with his Mouth, and hath Villany in his Heart, doth in a manner spit in God's Face.. He that Heareth the Divine Oracles with an Uncircumcised Ear, doth but make a Mockery of Religion: And he that ownech himself a Disciple of Christ, and at the same time is a Son of Belial, infinitely affronteth the Son of God, by making him a Friend to Immorality and Wickedness. 'Tis an Honest and Upright Heart that rendreth all our Services acceptable and where that is wanting, the Sinner may as well forbear every Exteriour Profession of Religion ; as go from the Sacrament; there is the same Reason for both,

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because he injureth himself, and draweth a Curse and Judgment upon his Head in other Instances, as well as by eating and drinking Unworthily. 2. To refuse the Communion, is so far from Extenuating, that it aggravates the Crimes of an Evil Wretch; because he thereby addeth one Șin to another ; and this is the plain Language of his Heart; I have broken the rest of God's Commandments, and therefore I will go on and break this too. Now

would beseech such to consider, whether this doth not tend to their greater Condemnation, instead of amounting to a juft Excuse. For a Man to shed his Neighbour's Blood, and then to plead that he had Malice in his Heart, is the ready way not to lessen, but to heighten his Offence and so, for a Man to trample under foot the Blood of Christ (as they in some Sense do, that flight and vilifie this Ordinance) and then to pretend in his excuse, that he was an Impenitent Sinner,is to be Guilty in some measure, of the Șin of the Jews, when they Crucified the Saviour of the World, because he upbraided them with their Incorrigiblenels. Were Men allowed to come to the Sacrament with their Impieties about them, we fhould have Communicants enough; but because this Holy Rite is an Adversary to their Lusts, and is

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intended to bring Men under the Discipline of the New Law ; Therefore such as are Wicked, and resolve to be so, draw back, and keep themselves off at a great distance from it, left they should be put to the trouble of Repenting; and then they make that their Apology, which in

Truth is their Crime, viz; that they are - in a very ill State. A thing, which, in

stead of being any tolerable Plea, is a most inexcusable Pretence ; Because, 3dly, it is a Brutish and Unreasonable Contempt of that, which is a certain Remedy (if duly used) against the greatest Evil ; and for that very Reason, do Licentious Men reject it, because it is a Remedy. Now who would pity a Man, that will not go to the Fire because he is ready to starve with Cold, or that refuseth to eat for that very. Reason, because he is ready to starve with Hunger Why, such is the contumacious Folly of thofe, who contemn God's Pardon at the Sacrament, because they need it; and refuse to be cleansed by the Fountain of Life, because they are Filthy; and reject the means of Recovery, because they are in a State of Death. In this case, every Refractory Person pleadeth his Disease, to excuse his Unwillingness to accept of Help: Such an upardonable Ad of Stubborness; as if a


Man fhould say, he is in extremity of Sickness, and therefore he will not make use of a Physician. . 'Tis true, most do pretend, that it is not out of Contempt, but out of Reverence, that they dare not approach to the Holy Table; they have a dread upon them, and are afraid (as they say) of incurring God's . Displeasure, and of Damning their own Souls, by receiving Unworthily. But then I would intreat them to ask their Consciences, why and how it comes about, that they are not afraid to Sin? And why they are not afraid to Transgress other Divine Laws, as well as to Violate this ? Are Men fo Foolish, as to think, that there is only one Path which leadeth to Hell ? and that nothing will bring them to Perdition, but Unworthy Receiving ? Or that they may Sin safely, as long as they Sin, and do not Eat? There is every whit as much danger by an Evil Course of Life, as by undue Participation; and a Man may drink his own Damnation at a Tavern, or in his own House, as well as at the Lord's Table; so that when he dreadeth to do that, which he is commanded to do often, he should examine the Reason why he dreads not that which he is required never to do.


It is not the staying from the Sacrament that will serve an ill Man's


turn; it is an addition to his Guilt, but no diminution of his Wickedness; and whether he Communicate or forbear, his Cafe is very bad, till he makes his Peace with God, by a sincere Repentance, and Reformation of his Life. Into such a wretched strait and Snare, do Uogodly and Irreligious Courses draw Men, that whether they Receive the Sacrament or no, they are Miserable ; they Perish without the Holy Food, and they Perish by Eating it too ; so that they have only this one way left them to secure them from final Ruine, viz. to Repent them seriously of all their Wickedness, and so to Eat of this Bread, and to Drink of this Cup. What (say they) would you have us be Damned, by Receiving the Sacrament, when we are not in a fit Condition for it? No ; but we would have you fit your selves, and then Receive: We would have you neglect neither, but do both; because your Unfitness is no Excuse or Bar against your Duty, by Reason that your Unfitness is wilful; and your failure in one instance, cannot excuse, but must needs aggravate your failure. in another. He that Eateth Unworthily, is Guilty in Eating, because he Profaneth Christ's Body: And he that Eateth not at all, is Guilty in not Eating, because he Despiseth Christ's



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