PRIMS Full-text transcription (HTML)

The DEVOUT COMMUNICANT Exemplified, in his Behaviour Before, At, and After The SACRAMENT Of the LORDS SUPPER.

More Practical, Ʋſeful, and Sutable to all the parts of that Solemn Ordinance than any yet extant.

In this Impreſſion is added a Prayer be­fore, and another after the Sacrament; together with more particular Directi­ons and Meditations for the Time of Re­ceiving.

But they made light of it

Matth. 22 5.

London Printed for Thomas Dring, at the Harrow next Chancery Lane in Fleetſtreet, 1675.



AMong the Multitude of Practical Divine Treatiſes are none more numerous than on the Lords Supper, nor more di­verſly handled: Not a few well-diſpoſed perſons yet com­plain they are at a loſs, not ſo much which to make uſe of, variety here diſtracting; as that they know not how to form Directions into appoſite Meditations: they ſequeſter, they ſit, they ſeem to reflect as others, but know not what to ſay in themſelves, to their great diſcomfort and diſcou­ragement. The enſuing Ma­nual is ſo methodically digeſted for their aſſiſtance, and pre­ſented to your ſelf, not as one that needs it, but the Compoſer a better evidence of his great eſteem of a perſon ſo conſtant, ſo devout a Communicant; ſo eminently Charitable, ſo rarely Tempered, ſo truly Honourable. If it diſpleaſe any, I borrow of ſo many to diſcharge one great debt; methinks my Ho­neſty in owing it may ſatisfie; their allowing me alſo to make the beſt uſe of theirs I were able. And if this be a bad one 'tis a right hand er­ror; I hope they'l not con­demn, but pity and pardon me I was no better advis'd; my ambition being not to appear in publik, but to be publickly uſeful, and to let the World know how much I am,

SIR Your great Admirer, and Humble Servant.


ALthough the enſuing Treatiſe was deſign'd to be uſhered into publick view, without any other Epiſtle than that Dedicatory to one, who is for no other witneſſes of his eminent Piety then thoſe two, which are more than ten thou­ſand; yet it is found requiſite to advertiſe thoſe who are willing to make uſe of it.

1. As to that part of Prepa­ration which reſpects Humilia­tion for ſin, Matter enough for which every one may find there, by examining his manifold brea­ches of the Law and Goſpel; yet the Communicant in an e­ſpecial manner is to reflect upon, and be deeply humbled for his own iniquities, and particular failings ſince the foregoing Communion; but no exact ex­ample could be given of what himſelf is only conſcious.

2. For Prayers the Week be­fore, and Morning of the Com­munion, they refer for Memory­ſake to the requiſite Graces and Ends in going to the Ordi­nance.

3. More matter is provided than I doubt will be ſpent at the time of Receiving in this Fro­zen Age, ſo deviated from the Primitive, when all Chriſtians ſtill partook of that one Cup; yet thoſe that (notwithſtanding all endeavours) have Memories ſo unfaithful as they dare not truſt, may (for ought I know) by Book make uſe of ſo much of that they judge moſt pertinent, as the ſpaces of joyning with the Mini­ſter will admit.

4. A Prayer before, and a­nother after the Sacrament, with more particular directions and meditations for the time of Recei­ving, is added in this Edition, to ſatisfie thoſe who thought them wanting (though the Au­thor did not) in the firſt.

5. If any thing be judged un­ſutable, becauſe not uſual, there is matter enough beſides. They are left to their liberty that are not of my mind.

Some Books printed for Thomas Dring at the White Lion next Chancery Lane end in Fleetſtreet.

Englands Imminent Danger, and onely Re­medy, faithfully conſidered and repreſented By an Impartial Hand. Neceſſary to be read by all people in theſe times.

Titles of Honour, by the late famous and learn­ed Antiquary, John Selden of the Inner Tem­ple, Eſq The third Edition, with Additions and Amendments by the Author. Folio.

The Hiſtory of Romiſh Treaſons and Uſurpati­ons, together with a particular account of ma­ny groſs Corruptions and Impoſtures in the Church of Rome, highly diſhonourable and in­jurious to the Chriſtian Religion: to which is prefixed a large Preface to the Romaniſts; by He. Fowlis, B. D. Folio.

A Relation of a Conference between Biſhop Laud and Mr. Fiſher the Jeſui••. The third Edition. Folio.

The Conſecration of Places for Gods publick Service, Worſhip, and the Reverence due unto them: vindicated by Thwemys M. A. in〈◊〉.



Frequent Celebration.

DO this in remembrance of me, is a permiſſion, and an in­junction; 'tis our Duty as well as our Benefit to re­eive Chriſt; ſo not to receive him, both ourn and miſery. 'Tis more then a command charge of a dying Teſtator, and Saviour. As the benefit is of infinite merit, ſo ſhould he acknowledgment be an Eternal Memo­ial. His death ſhould always live in ourearts; and we ſo careful in doing this,••at when he comes again, he may find us〈◊〉doing. Doth he not now thus beſpeaks? Can the King of Kings take it kindly〈◊〉your hands, when he hath kill'd the fat­d Calf, furniſhed his Table, ſent forth2 his Servants, ſaying, Behold I have pre­pared my Supper, come, eat of my Bread, and drink of my Wine which I have mingled, all things are ready, come unto the Marriage, and you make light of it, (ſo mean are your thoughts of his fare and company) or deſire to be excus'd be­cauſe you are not dreſt, when indeed you never went about to make you ready? Do you not provoke him to leave you, to let you go ſorrowing to your graves? to ſay, None of thoſe that were bidden (though they ſee the plenty) ſhall taſte (the ſweet­neſs, fatneſs, goodneſs) of my Supper; was there ever any ſo dear, ſo precious? coſt it not the Maſter of it his own life to make it? If out of courteſie you invite a poor man to the beſt that can be had, and he ſaucily, ungratefully find fault with your meat, ask you, why you troubled him to come to ſo poor Proviſion, or ſend word, you have nothing worth coming for, he can provide for himſelf, hath better at home, and better company, would you think he deſerv'd the worſt bit of it, or a­nother invitation? 'tis a ſign you value not, you ſlight Com〈8 letters〉with me: If you lo­ved me you wouldtille ſeeing, looking3 upon, deſiring to be with me; where I am wont to walk, to manifeſt my ſelf, to ſit at my Table, to ſup with my Diſciples, and never be at reſt without a renewed ſenſe of my love unto you; you are they I live and dye for, for whom I do and ſuffer ſo much, of whom I will always think up­on, in whoſe Thoughts I love to live, and becauſe my departure is at hand, and I muſt go away from you, this memorial I leave with you, to put you always in re­membrance, when you ſee it, think of me who in the very night I was betrayed, when taking that doleful farewel of an ungrate­ful world, was ſo mindful of your good and comfort, to arm, eſtabliſh, and refreſh you; and will you neglect, diſ-eſteem, contemn it? doth not the benefit of my paſ­ſion without your deſert, plead for the conſtant meditation of it without your ſcandal? The frequent, faithful remem­brance of what I did and ſuffered for you, is my chief requeſt, and your only requital, and yet do you diſtaſte what Imbraced? and endure not to think of what I refuſed not to endure? loath you the cup of Salvation, that coſt me a cup of Aſtoniſhment? Have I left the Glory of4 my Father to be cloathed with, and dwell in fleſh? Led a life of ſuffering, undergone a ſhameful, painful, accurſed death, roſe again, aſcended, prepared manſions, taken poſſeſſion for you, where I plead your cauſe, and will come ere long to abſolve you before all the world, and with whom you ſhall be for ever? Have I given ſuch coſtly evidences of my love unto you, and love you not to do this in remembrance of me?

Do] But for thee (dear Saviour) I had been for ever undone; for thee then and for thy ſake, what is it that I ſhould not do? Thy deſires are my Injunctions: there's Authority enough in thy love to do thy pleaſure. Since thou would have no na­ture but mine, I will have no will but thine: When once ſignified by com­mand, upon my obligation I ſhould, up­on my Fealty to thee the King of the Church, and Soveraign as well as Saviour of my Soul, I ought, I may, I muſt not diſpute, nor delay, I dare not but muſt Do; elſe, how muſt I be look'd upon, when the King commands all his loving Subjects to take the Oath of Allegiance, and I ſtay away and refuſe? Do I not5 publickly diſown him for my Soveraign, who hath enjoyn'd the Celebration of this, as an evidence and ſymbol of my Relation to, and communion with him? Is not this appointed for a memorial of his death, whereby he delivered his peo­ple, and deſtroyed their enemies; tran­ſcendently to us, what the Paſſeover was to the Jews, and the neglect of it more provoking? yet, the man that is unclean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the Paſſeover at the time appointed (when he might and ought eat it) even the ſame ſoul ſhall be cut off from his people, becauſe he brought not the offering of the Lord in his appointed ſeaſon, that man ſhall bear his ſin. There's a puniſh­ment annexed to the neglect, as well as ill performance of it; he that eats irre­verently, is guilty of prophaning the Lords Body; and he that eats not, of deſpiſing it, and of preferring his luſts before him; the one eats damnation to himſelf, and the other by not eating, judges himſelf to be in a damnable State. 'Tis dangerous ſtaying in that condition wherein we judge our ſelves unmeet ſociety for Chriſt; if I cannot6 partake of his Supper here, how can I think my ſelf fit to feaſt with him in Hea­ven? or hope to look on his face with comfort there, and take no pleaſure to be­hold, remember, come near, have any thing to do with him here? will not his preſence be moſt terrible then, to whom his memory is no way delightful now? Am I troubled for neglect of other duties, and not of this, when Chriſts Items at the laſt day are made up of ſins of omiſſion? Dare I pick and chuſe, when, whoſoever ſhall keep the whole Law, yet offend in one point, is guilty of all?

This] Not to climb a Croſs, or under­go a bitter paſſion for thy ſake; I ſhould not think much to do that, who haſt done ſo much more for me. Not to be had to a Scaffold, but to come to thy Table; not to go to Slaughter, but a Feaſt; not to Bleed or Burn, but to Eat and Drink; and that not Bread of Affliction, or Water of Adverſity, which flags the Spirit; but ſuch Bread and Wine as confirms and comforts my Heart: Not a Mourners Bread, Tears; or a Martyrs Cup, Blood; but a Saviours fare, Bleſſed Wine and Bread, yea in them (what both is and7 makes bleſſed) his body and blood, meat and drink, bread of life, and well of life, that both joys my heart, and ſaves my ſoul. Didſt thou on the Croſs drink Vi­negar, (made infinitely more tart by my ſins) for me; and ſhall not I at thy Table drink Wine for my ſelf, made infinitely ſweeter with the blood it conveys? Didſt thou drink a Cup of wrath, and ſhall not I drink the cup of Bleſſing? Eat the bread of affliction, and ſhall not I eat the bread of life? ſuffer thy paſſion, and ſhall not I enjoy it? Didſt thou ſtretch out thy hands on the Croſs, and ſhall mine be withered and ſhrunk towards thy Table? Hadſt thou bid me do ſome great thing for procuring ſo great a good, that there had been between the ſervice and reward no diſproportion, ſhould I not endea­vour'd to do it? how much more when thou bidſt me eat and live? I am not ſa­ved but by thy Body, I ſhall be damned without thy Blood. Didſt thou offer them for me on the Croſs, and ſhall I not take the pledge from thee at thy Supper? Doſt thou give me a Title to them, and ſhall I bar my ſelf of poſſeſſion? rob my ſelf of thy mercy, and my right,8 of no leſs then the price of my Redemp­tion? Doſt thou give me the purchaſe in thy Blood, and ſhall I deny my ſelf the Seal in thy Church? Dare I be guilty of ſo great a Robbery and Rebellion, to vio­late thy will and ſeal? to ſteal at once thy Bread and Cup, and Scepter againſt thy expreſs Will and Teſtament? to take the Bread and Cup out of my own hand, and the Scepter out of thine? to deprive my ſoul of thy Body and Blood, and thee of thy Authority? by thy grace I will ne­ver but obſerve as thou appointeſt: If this be thy command, O Saviour, I am a Rebel as much to my good, as thy Law, a damned Rebel if I do not this.

In Remembrance] I bluſh Lord to ſee my ſelf need thy memento. Have I a room for the traſh of the world, and none for thee? memory for what I liſt, and none for what I ſhould? O thou that haſt ſo done thy marvellous works that they ought to be had in everlaſting remem­brance; whoſe name is wonderful, and all thy works as thy name, and this above all thy works, can I ever forget thee? can I forget my ſelf ſo much, that breaths not a moment on Earth, or out of Hell9 without thee? If I forget thee, O Saviour, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; If I remember not thee, let my right hand forget her cunning. Sure that harp had never known the tune of joy, nor hand to do with harp, hadſt not thou put a world (all out) in order a­gain, and ſet all in tune. And is that all, when I owe a thouſand lives unto thee, to require, not my Body, but my Mind? to ſay, Remember, not to Dye for me, but to forbid thy Memory to Dye in me? O thou loving and Bleſſed above all Beloveds, when thy paſſion is engraven by thy own hand in an Holy Myſterie for my mind to wear, ſhall not I keep this memorial? Shall I not wear thy Ring who am ſo ready to wear a Death's-head to preſerve alive the memory of a dead Friend? O that I may ever keep this Manna that came down from Heaven, not in a Leaden, but Golden pot; not in a dull, barren, bareley contemplative, but humble, tender, active, pretious memory; which moves all good affections to thee, and promoves all good abilities for thee. Such a memory will mind, and do all Duty; admire and love thee, obey, en­dure,10 do, and ſuffer for thee; eſtabliſh Faith, excite Repentance, inflame Love, maintain Conſtancy. I cannot but re­pent, believe, and love to the end, if thou be in my mind: If I fail payment of any duty to thee or man, it is becauſe I do not remember thee.

Of me] Of my Death, and your redemp­tion by it. This Sacrament then is an obelisk to the eternal memory of thy paſſion; ſo oft as I neglect it, what do I but pull down this Pyramid of everlaſting date, ſet up in the Church for a ſolemn memorial of thy death, and bury thee and thy Merits, as the Jews did thy Body, but in a worſer grave, not in a Garden, but Deſart, a grave of Oblivion? Wretch am I, that have need of ſuch an help to my memory, and ſpur to my Duty, as both a Command and a Sacrament; it caſts re­proach on me, O Saviour, that thou ſhouldſt give thy Body for me, and I ſcarce give my mind to thee; that I ſhould have ſo great a room in thy heart, and thou ſo hardly get any in mine; that thou ſhouldſt be more ready to bleed for me, then I to think of thee. Dear Jeſus, thou didſt empty all thy veins for me, ſhall not I find11 a veſſel to preſerve thy precious Blood? Do I not ſpill what thou ſhed, if I let it run out of my memory? yet art thou put to it, to find me both blood and mind; and when thou haſt done all that, out of re­membrance of me (leſt it ſhould be for­gotten) ordain'ſt a Sanction and Sacra­ment, ſaying, Do this in remembrance of me. But more wretch I, if I do not ſo do, for Lord, if I do thee honour, doſt thou not do me favour for it? If I give thee glory, is it more my duty then felicity to do it? If thy Sacrament, is it not my benefit? Receive I not great honour in it? Reap I not good benefits by it? conveys it not the Blood Royal of Heaven into me? Am I not related to, Brother of Chriſt, Heir and Prince of Heaven by vertue of that Blood? Is not the Godhead bo­dily in him? and is not this Body myſti­cally in me, and I near allyed to God by the Communion of that Body? And can he want Demeans that is ſuch a Prince? Is not the Earth thy gift, and Heaven in thy power? O thou Son and Heir of all! And have I not thy Spirit, thy fleſh to pledge for all, the conveyance ſealed in thy Blood, and thy Merits made over and12 aſſured in thy Body? O Lord, I am ſo much concern'd in honour and eſtate to do what thou commandeſt, that if I con­ſider my ſelf, I ſhall do it to thy memo­ry, in remembrance of me, as well as thee.

Wherever God hath beſtow'd a vi­tal principle (Faith, whereby the Juſt live) he affords nouriſhment to ſuſtain it; and an inclination, and attractive facul­ty towards it: Chriſt Crucified is, as the cauſe of our new birth, ſo the food which ſuſtains and preſerves us in it, unto whoſe Body and Blood there muſt needs be as proportionable an appetite in a new Chriſtian, as to Milk in an Infant, that being more nouriſhable then milk, and Faith more vital to deſire it then Nature. Oh! I know not what (grace and comfort) I have loſt, that o­thers have found in the Conſciencious uſe of this. If there be any thing in the lively diſcoveries of the evil and deſert of ſin, the wrath and love of God, the cor­dials of the Goſpel by frequenting it, might it not have been much better with me in my Spiritual condition? is not this great Hypecriſie and Diſſimulation, to13 complain of the hardneſs of my heart, and not apply the Blood of Chriſt to ſoften it? of the prevalencie of corrupti­ons, and not bring them to his Croſs to ſubdue them? of my timerous ſpirit, and not come where God ſecures me, and gives evidence for the diſcharge of his covenant and promiſe? that God is de­parting, when I ſtand at a diſtance, and will not come nigh him? is withdrawn from my Soul, when I withdraw from my Dutie? that I am a ſtranger to ſpiri­tual joy, when I will not come to draw water out of the wells of Salvation? of die weakneſs of grace, and not uſe of all means of ſtrengthening it? can I re­fuſe my food, yet be nouriſhed? grow in grace, and neglect the means? not grow, and be guiltleſs? live in a known ſin by neglecting a plain commanded Dutie, and expect the rewards of obedi­ence? may not partial obedience to Gods commands well increaſe my doubts of his favour? Is not this to ſlight and diſ­eſteem a firm conveyance of all Chriſts purchaſed benefits, here offered and aſ­ſured to Believers? and then think not much (Soul) if thou go without them for14 ever, who art alſo ſo unwilling to bind thy ſelf to thankfulneſs and obedience for them. Meals which are for nouriſh­ment muſt be often, 'tis not told me how often I ſhould eat or drink, the ſenſe and feeling of the wants of my food directs me to, makes me do it often. Am I not apt to grow dull, lukewarm, cold to, and in duty? to contract guilt, blot my evi­dences, diſturb my peace, to forget him and his matchleſs love? Is he ſo much in my ſerious thoughts as he deſerves? Is it enough to have ſome accaſional thoughts of him? Do I not complain that I love, and think of him no more, can apply him no better, have ſo little of him, am ſo inſen­ble of his kindneſs, and affection to his members? Is it not a ſin and ſhame I no more ſolemnly dwell in meditation up­on him, am no more in praiſing of, re­joycing in him? Do I not often need ſo great an help to ſoften my heart, to renew my repentance, to ſtrengthen and confirm my Faith, Hope, and Reſolutions; to in­creaſe, inflame my love, and thankfulneſs, fix my thoughts more ſolemnly upon him, apply him, get and maintain more inti­mate communion with him, cloſer knit my15 ſoul to him and his members? Is it not a ſad ſign I perform no Duties, as, and to thoſe ends I ought, but out of cuſtom, without expecting, therefore without fin­ding any great advantage from them? Are the conſolations of God ſmall unto me? is it not a ſign when I was there I miſs'd of the benefit? Have I not cauſe to re­pent of my former receiving, when it left not earneſt breathings for the like oppor­tunity? was it poſſible for me to meet with God, to taſte the ſweetneſs, the ful­neſs of Chriſt, to experience the reachings forth of my love and deſires, the pleaſures of acting grace, and not long for another meeting? By thy grace I will therefore communicate with more devotion; re­pent with greater contrition, walk with more caution, pray more earneſtly, re­ceive with more reverence, and I doubt not but I ſhall find my affections encreaſe together with the Spiritual benefit. The frequent ſolemn exerciſe of our gra­ces muſt needs diſpoſe ſtrongly to Habitu­al ones; and hugely promote the Intereſt of Religion. It cannot be that the Sacra­ment be undervalued by frequent repetiti­ons, without great unworthineſs of the16 perſon (ſetting light by and loathing ſpiri­tual Manna) and an unworthy Communi­cation: for he that receives worthily, en­creaſes in the love of God and of Religi­on, and the fires of the Altar are apt to kindle into a flame, and when our Lord enters into us, and we grow weary of him, or leſs fond of his frequent entrance and perpetual cohabitation, 'tis an infal­lible ſign we have (or are ready to) let in his Enemy; no Secular object hath any pleaſure in it, long beyond the hope of it; for the poſſeſſion and enjoyment is found ſo empty, that we grow weary of it; but whatſoever is ſpiritual, is leſs before we have it, but in the fruition ſwells our de­ſires, enlarges the Appetite, and makes us more receptive and forward in the Enter­tainment. Nor is it likely they will ſuffer for, who refuſe to banquet with him. They proclaim they have no portion in David no inheritance in the Son of God. Oh he qualms of undeſirous Communicants ſhould juſtly ſtir up the faithful to loath it in themſelves.


Habitual Preparation

THe death of Chriſt, in regard of his in­tent, was a Sacrifice to God, but of the Jews the greateſt crueltie and murder. When a prophane perſon comes, he ſheds the blood of Chriſt, which a Believer re­ceives; and by Faith feeding on it, being one with Chriſt, makes as great ſatisfacti­on to God, as if he had ſuffered to Eterni­tie. This new wine muſt not be put into an old veſſel; elſe the wine will be ſpilt and the veſſel periſh. Chriſt and Belial can­not cohabit; he will not enter through a beſmear'd door, nor dwell in a naſty houſe; Feet that walk in filthy paths are not to tread his holy place; nor a heart full of rancour, hatred, uncharitableneſs, to ſit down at this feaſt of love; Hands dipt in blood, polluted with unlawful gains, ſtain'd with ſpots of the fleſh, or ſtretch­ed out to injure him in his members, are moſt unfit to be reached forth to receive him in the Sacraments, to handle thoſe holy myſteries: Thoſe Teeth that grind the face of the poor, to eat the bread of18 Angels; the Mouth that's full of rotten, corrupt communication, evil ſpeaking, reviling, or that thirſts after the blood of our neighbour, to drink the Blood of Chriſt; Eyes gazing on vanity, to look on Jeſus. Oh, how pure ought I to keep thoſe doors of my Soul, at which the King of Glory ſo often enters? Shall I kiſs his hand with filthy lips? put hallowed bread and wine into a noyſom ſink? go to that Table as Swine to their trough, in my pollution? raviſh, contemn the grace and mercy of God? tear them aſunder from the conditions he hath annexed to them? He will not be one with an Harlot; nor ſeen with the ſame eyes. His Body never ſaw Corruption, nor will be mixed with it: It lay in a Virgin Womb and Sepul­chre, and ſtill reſides only in Virgin Souls, Devoted, Conſecrated, ſet apart to his uſe and ſervice. His glorified body is no more capable of diſhonour, nor will enter into an earthly ſoul. Unclean birds re­ceive nothing but the Carcaſs of the Ordi­nance; the Bread without the Body, the Wine without the Blood; both without the bleſſing; the Elements, but not the Sacra­ments; ſuch are guilty of his Body and19 Blood, for reaching out their hand with purpoſe to receive him into a polluted ſoul, though he withdraw himſelf that they cannot partake of him: They diſ­grace their Prince, by ſhewing it to his Statue erected for his honour and remem­brance; are guilty of Treaſon by offering Indignity to his Seal and Picture; diſho­nour done to the Image and repreſentation, reflects upon the Original; he is perſonally in Heaven, and will be no where Sacra­mentally but in the Heavenly part of man; he finds no reſt in a heart full of vain, vi­tious thoughts; it ſtinks like the lake of Sodom; he retires thence vexed with the unclean Converſation of the impure Inha­bitants. When he approaches to a ſoul, and finds it a Cage of unclean Birds, he flyes with the wings of a Dove to clean­er and whiter Habitations. But if we a­void, hate, and have no fondneſs of affe­ction for them; and with complacency en­tertain the contrary, then Chriſt hath wa­ſhed our feet, and then he invites us to his Supper. The unavoidable infirmities of our lives, againſt which we daily ſtrive, and for which we never have any kindneſs or affection, are not ſpots in theſe feaſts20 of Charitie, but inſtruments of Humility, and ſtronger invitations to come to Rites ordain'd for corroboratives gainſt infir­mities, and for growth in the inner man. But remanent affection to a ſin, enmitie with neighbours, ſecular avocations to the height of care and trouble, excuſe not, but increaſe mens ſin, and ſecure their miſery 'Tis juſt they graze with Goats, that refuſe to waſh their hands that they may come to the Supper of the Lamb. The excuſes wherewith they palliate their neglects of waiting upon our Lord, and accepting his kindneſs, all grow upon this bitter root of an unholy careleſs life, loving the world and the luſts thereof: the only reaſon is, they have a mind to live as ſtrangers to him, and not to be his houſhold ſervants and domeſticks, for then they might always come unto him. They think they muſt not come ſo oft, becauſe to prepare themſelves coſts them ſo much time; but would they ſpare ſo much, as to lead a holy life, and be at ſo much trouble as to pleaſe God in other things, they would not find it ſo laborious to pleaſe him in this. Kept they always a fear of God in their Souls, they would without much pains be fit to approach21 with fear and reverence into his preſence; would they fear to do what God hath for­bidden, they would not fear to do what he hath commanded: but while they refuſe to obey him in one thing, no wonder they do in another. Religion concerns not our acti­ons only, but the frame and diſpoſition of our hearts and minds; and the ſame habi­tual graces are to be daily exercis'd, though in a lower meaſure and degree. Every day is to be holy to the Lord, though every action in the day be not equally holy. When we labour conſcienciouſly to ſtand to our firſt Promiſe and Covenant, all the actions of our lives become holy; and ſo we are holy in our Shop, by diligence and juſtice; at our Board, by temperance, thankfulneſs, charity; Abroad, by an innocent, uſeful converſation; in our Clo­ſet, by Prayer, and Meditation; yea, pru­dence, and the ends of health and chear­fulneſs will make our ſleeps and recreations holy, and not to be reckon'd among paſ­times, but the neceſſary ſeaſons of do­ing little or nothing, that afterwards we may be worthily imployed. A Chri­ſtian behaves himſelf not for ſuch a ſet number of days, as if ſo much22 time were to be ſpent in Holineſs, and ſo much in ſin; but as if he accounted his whole life an opportunity of ſerving God, and of cleanſing himſelf from all that fil­thineſs, which will not let him ſee his face. He receives daily what daily profits, and ſo lives that he may daily receive it. A Holy Life is a perpetual Sacrifice, and he that ſo lives, keeps his heart as an Holy Altar, alwayes warm and glowing with­in him; he offers up daily ſuch Sacrifices as are acceptable to God, and prepare him for a due commemoration of this great Sacrifice; a conſtant abſtinence from all forbidden things, and care to perform ſuch duties as maintain a lively ſenſe of God in our Souls, would make us vehemently hunger after this Heaven­ly Food. A circumſpect life makes us both fit and deſirous to converſe with God eve­ry day; good Actions beget in us greater longings after grace, and good deſires make us ſtill do well, out of hope to have more grace; when a good man lifts up his heart to God, he draws down God into his Soul, that he may work with his hands that which is good in his employment, in which he is not ſo buſie that his hands23 ſhould grow ſo heavy, or dirty by it, as to be unwilling or unfit to lift them up again to God. Such a Combination is there be­tween all that God requires to make them eaſie and familiar, pleaſant and deſirable, and our obedience impartial and univerſal. A holy behaviour in our calling, converſes, and uſe of the creature, diſpoſes us to Acts of immediate worſhip, that requites and re­turns the kindneſs by diſpoſing and fitting us for a holy deportment for the future, which is it ſelf an invitation of God to our ſouls; much more when ſeconded with the Attractives of Holy Prayers and affectionate deſires. The ſweetneſs of ſuch converſes with God, and the power of his Grace conſequent upon our hearty deſires, en­gages and enables us to a holy converſati­on, which brings us (from familiarity with the Devil) to fellowſhip with God, the happineſs of which is ſo great, that it excites us to do all we can to maintain and prevent our being tempted from it. Good Hearts daily mortified, and ſtrictly watched over, like dry wood, with one blaſt kindle the flame of love, ſtir up the Grace of God in them; while thoſe ſoak­ing in the world, like green ſticks, all their24 puffing, blowing, and prayers will ſcarce fetch any fire. Oh! would I every day prepare for the day of death; or (which is of a like conſideration) the day of Com­munion, (nothing leſs will ſit me to Com­municate then to depart hence;) ſet my ſelf in order, meditate often everie day on Chriſts firſt and ſecond coming; not ſtay a minute, but inſtantly grieve for, ſeverely condemn my ſelf, and renew my reſolution to amend all, and pray for par­ticular ſtrength againſt whatſoever I have obſerved amiſs: would I conſider where I fall ofteneſt, from what principle this default comes, what are the beſt reme­dies, and paſs on to a real and vigorous uſe of them. Did I reſolve to have God frequently in my thoughts, to bring it to paſs to have ſo great a dread and reve­rence of him, that I may be more reallie aſhamed, troubled, confounded, to ſin in his preſence and obſervation, then of the ſevereſt man's; and to have a perpetual intercourſe and converſe with him: Or would I actually attend to what I do, and conſider everie action, and ſpeak ſo little that I might conſider it; I ſhould find, that upon the day of Communion I ſhould have25 nothing to do, but to Revive my Gracesy Prayer, Praiſes, and the exerciſe ofevotion.

Actual Preparation.

HOlineſs is our profeſſion; and all the time after one Communion is the••me of preparation for the next; and e­ery Receiving a repeated conſpiracie a­ainſt the Intereſt of the Devil. He that'slways well veſted, will deck and trimgainſt a Wedding day; wiſe Virginso forth to meet him, having Oyl inheir Veſſels and their Lamps burning;ut when they hear the Bridegroom'soming, they ariſe and fall afreſh toimming their Lamps, to ſnuff them,••ir up the fire, and apply the Oyl to••ake them burn brighter and clearer. ••ow another repaſt approaches, I muſteny my ſelf lawful things; ſequeſter••om my ordinary buſineſs; abſtain from••e moſt lawful enjoyments and chaſteſtmbraces, that I may give my ſelf unto••ayer; and more fully know the ſtate26 of my Soul; with a greater intention anardency of ſpirit examine my ſelf eveabout the coldneſs of my Prayers;〈◊〉neglects in the daily review of my ſelf the ſmalneſs of my ſorrows; the weak­neſs of my ſervices; my daily neglects ignorances and unavoidable infirmities ato God, my ſelf, relations, and others; ian eſpecial manner, any failing ſince thlaſt Communion. If there be but a littlpaſſion, a raſh word, a vain thought, &c and beſides my ſorrow and afflicting mſelf for, hatred and amendment of it juſt after its commiſſion; I am now tbewail it over again, to call my ſelf ta ſtrict account for it, to drown it ianother flood of tears, more firmly tſtrengthen my reſolutions againſt it, anprepare it to receive another wound,〈◊〉mortal ſtroke from the wounds of Jeſus that it may never live more; more deep­ly apprehenſive of the evil of ſin, morſorrowfully bewail it, more rationallreſolve againſt it, open a greater vent anpaſſage for my tears; affect my heamore deeply with my needs, and the cer­tainty of ſupply, and ſo raiſe my ſelf to〈◊〉greater height of humility, deſire and con­fidence;27 to excite my appetite and more lively apprehenſions, and vigorous affe­ctions, rouze my thoughts, and medita­tions to a greater fervour; more ſolemn­ly to recollect what I have learn'd, to ſtir up my remembrance, and renew a ſenſe of my wants and weakneſſes; to imprint the ends of the Inſtitution more firmly in my memory, to conſider what Acts are moſt proper when I ſhall be at his Table; to ſtir up thoſe affections before­hand, which will prepare a more lively expreſſion of them when I come there. To renew acts of Charity and forgive­neſs, paſs by all injuries and offences, be reconciled perfectly to my brethren, and to take care there be not the leaſt grudge, or ſpark of anger that lyes buried in my Soul unquenched; all paſſions huſht and laid, the Soul ſmooth, fair, and not a wrinkle upon its brow. More ſtrictly and ſolemnly to ſearch, purifie, cleanſe, and caſt out all the leaven; to pray with greater appetite, praiſe his Name with a more delightful reliſh. To diſtaſte all oher things, to disburthen my ſelf, to lay aſide every weight, and the ſin that ſo eaſily beſets me, to get as near Heaven28 as poſſible; to render my mind more ſenſible of God, and more fit to receive a deeper impreſſion from his hand. To excite the ſtrongeſt acts of Faith, the vehementeſt flames of love and longings after Chriſt and his bleſſings, (which prepares for the enjoyment) Holy de­ſires, joy, and thankfulneſs at the ap­proach of ſo bleſſed an opportunitie. To renew my reſolutions and vows of holy obedience, to mortifie my leſſer irre­gularities, and to bind the obligations faſter that are upon my Soul. To have a lively ſenſe of the ends for which I go; in what eſtate my Graces ſtand; what I am to ask; and for what I ought to plead the Blood of Chriſt; voluntarily to offer more of my time and thoughts to Religi­ous Exerciſes, and to do that over again with a greater fervour, which I have been doing ſince the laſt Communion. To re­cover my ſelf to the ſame, or rather high­er degrees of Zeal, fervour, and ſublime admirations; to apparel, trim, and dreſs up my mind with braver notions and bright­er ornaments. To get my manners, car­riage, and behaviour, rightly formed, and29 handſomely compoſed, for this Feaſt with die great King.

He that underſtands the excellencie and holineſs of the myſtery, the glorie of the Gueſt, the infinite benefit then de­ſigned, and the increaſe of degrees by the exerciſe of thoſe previous acts of Holi­neſs the manner ſo contrarie, as wor­thy and unworthy; the effect of the Or­dinance ſo much depending on the man­ner of receiving; the advantage ſo great of Communion with Chriſts Bodie; the danger no leſs then Damnation; that it will ſet one forward, and contribute ve­ry much to an happie or an unhappie eter­nitie (a man cannot at all be ſuppoſed in any ſtate, wherein this thing will be in­different to him) will not be inquiſitive, into the juſt meaſure, but do it heartilie, devoutlie, reverentlie, and as much as he can, put himſelf in to a meet diſpoſition to­be ſo familiar with God.


Solemn Sequeſtration.

A Journey, an unfixed Heart, undiſ­charg'd of earthly thoughts, travel­ling up and down afar off unfits as well as a dead body, or groſs ſins. Earthly thoughts in the Temple, if not driven a­way before, will be buzzing, peſtring, vexing me, and corrupt the Sacrifice. If I go with a looſe, ungirt ſpirit, I cannot inſtantly entertain my Lord; his work muſt ſtay untill I be ready; I muſt be girding when I ſhould be working, or do it fumblingly, and awakedly, not with dexterity and activity. Let your loins therefore be girt, and you your ſelves like men that wait for their Lord, that when he comes and knocks, you may open to him immediately. It concerns me now to put my ſelf into that order and ſtate of good things, as if to morrow I were to dye; to ſuppoſe my ſelf ſeated before Gods Tribunal, and to ſee whether I can reaſonably hope my ſtate is changed, my ſins pardoned, and mortified, to conſi­der, that unleſs I dare dye that day if31 God ſhould call me, there's little reaſon I ſhould dare to receive the Sacrament ofife, or Miniſter of death. If I be miſtaken about the truth of Grace now, I am un­done for ever, without true Repentance; by my unworthy going, I bind the guilt of all my other ſins upon my Soul, and add this to all the reſt, guiltineſs of the blood of Chriſt. He that communicates wor­thily, is juſtified from his ſins; and to him death can have no ſting to whom the Sa­crament brings life and health. And if I judge Righteous Judgement, I ſhall ſoon find what pinches moſt, what makes me moſt afraid, what moſt criminal and leaſt mortified; ſo ſhall learn to make pro­viſion accordingly. Enter then my Soul into thy chamber, ſolemnly ſequeſter thy ſelf from all other Avocations, that we may tend upon the Lord without di­ſtraction. Shut up, ſet a watch at the gates of thy heart; let it not be open till that ſolemn day be over; If other thoughts be hankering, and hanging a­bout for entrance, teſtifie againſt them, rebuke, and threaten them, let thy ſpirit in a holy indignation riſe up againſt them; the only means that from that time32 forth they come no more in ſuch a ſea­ſon. Farewell my Wife, and Children, Friends, and ſecular concerns; abide you here at the foot of the Mount; be huſht and laid, deadned, and mortified, all irregu­lar earthly paſſions, and affections. I have ſomething elſe to do, you are a clog unto my ſoul; tread not, nor whiſper in this ſolemn place, where is no room but for God alone; trouble me not, the door is now ſhut, I am about a great work I will not, cannot open to you.

And Oh thou that lookeſt from Hea­ven, that faſhioneſt the hearts of men, and conſidereſt all their works; enlight­en, enliven, and convince me; affect, aſſiſt, and proſper me; own, accept, and bleſs me; call in; and reſtrain the looſneſs, and wan­drings of my thoughts. Fix, unite, and fill my heart with an awe, a dread, and reverence of thee; with ſuitable thoughts, apprehenſions, and meditations to the preſent occaſion; and let my medita­tions be attended with ſutable affections. Let all fleſh be ſilent before thee; let thy ſpirit reſt upon me; let this ſeaſon be improved, not careleſly, ſloathfully, or negligently; but ſincerely, & uprightly, with33 my whole ſoul, heart and ſtrength; to thy praiſe, and my great advantage at thy Ta­ble, and in the day when thou ſhalt judge the ſecrets of mens hearts by Jeſus Chriſt.

Strict examination.

I Am about to ſit at the Lords Ta­ble, among his own Children; I know before-hand, the King (atten­ded with his glorious Angels) will come in to ſee his gueſts; Chriſt's garment, co­vers only Chriſt's members; he is too juſt to be bribed, too great to be ſlighted, too wiſe to be deceived, too jealous to be provoked, too good to be forfeited. Oh what ſolemn proviſion ſhall I make for ſo ſacred a preſence, but a ſerious, dili­gent, deep enquiry into, with a full and awfull diſcuſſion of the particular preſent eſtate of my Soul, whether I be ſuch as may be aſſured he will bid me welcome; being reconciled to him, and endued with thoſe vital qualifications which34 pre-diſpoſe me for an Ordinance that ſup­poſes me within the Covenant it ſeals, and to have ſpiritual life it ſuſtains and nou­riſhes, by conveying that true food of life Chriſt Crucified. I muſt be born before I can eat; Ʋncircumciſed perſons were not to eat the Paſſeover. The inward of Or­dinances are only enjoyed by them that are inwardly Chriſtians. Thoſe only that bring true Graces, receive real Comforts; we take Chriſt; and then eat him; none find any nouriſhment, reliſh, or ſweetneſs in his blood, but thoſe who have receiv'd him, and ſo have a propriety in, a little to him (and the nearer the Intereſt, the great­er ſweetneſs). He muſt be mine firſt in claim and title, then in fruition and com­fort; no juice or ſap from the Vine, ex­cept a branch in it; no grace is there im­proved, but what I have along with me I muſt prove my right to the purchaſe, ere I can take poſſeſſion. 'Tis high Treaſon to annex the Kings Broad Seal to forged Writings; no receiving the benefit, with­out ſhowing the condition, and my inte­reſt in the Covenant; that's ſealed to them only that come up to the terms of it. Now, this is the Covenant that I will make35 with the houſe of Iſrael,

aith the Lord, I will putJer. 31.31, &c. my Law in their inwardHeb. 8.10, &c. parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God and they ſhall be my people; and they ſhall know me from the leaſt un­to the greateſt, and I will forgive their ini­quities, and remember their ſins no more. And Oh my Soul! have I an inward right, an actual intereſt in this Cove­nant?

Is the Law of God writ in my Heart? A permanent (that no Time, Temptati­on, Tribulation, can obliterate) univer­ſal counterpane, anſwerable conformity, legible by others in my Converſation, and by my ſelf in my Conſtitution of Soul ſtrongly inclined, diſpoſed and perſwa­ded to all cordial, ſincere, entire, chear­ful, ſpiritual obedience, out of a prin­ciple of love to God, and to glorifie and enjoy him: delighting, meditating in it day and nights; being renew'd accor­ding to his Image, in Knowledge, Righ­teouſneſs and true Holineſs.

Have I a Covenant-Relation to, and In­tereſt in God? Am I one of his people by [Federal profeſſion,] not aſhamed36 of, but openly declaring and avouching my ſelf to be his, rejoycing, and glorying therein as my great priviledge and happi­neſs? [In all Covenant-Relations to God and Chriſt?] Do I fear, love, obey, ſubmit to, depend upon him for directi­on, proviſion and protection; am I whol­ly at his diſpoſe, as my only, wiſe, faithful, loving [Father?] Do I forſake all other Corrivals and Competitors? cleave on­ly to him in all conjugal love and faith­fulneſs? Do I delight in, am I unſatisfied without his preſence as my [Husband?] Do I purifie, and keep clean his Temple? demean my ſelf towards him as my [In­habitant?] Eſteem, live upon, and reſt fully contented with him as my [portion?] Am I his by [Federal Appropriation?] not ſin's, Satan's, the World's, my own; but entirely his [In all I am] Body and Soul? are my Eyes his, to behold his wonderful works? my Ears to hear his Heavenly ſaving Word? my taſte and ſmell his to reliſh his ſurpaſſing ſweetneſs in the Creatures? my Tongue to pro­claim and Triumph in his praiſe? my Hands to work that which is good? my Feet to walk in his ways? all my ſenſes37 and members, abilities, and faculties, inſtru­ments of righteouſneſs? Is my underſtan­ding his, to know, diſcern, contemplate up­on him? my Memory to treaſure up, and retain his councels, and covenants, promi­ſes, and diſpenſations? my Conſcience his Deputy to accuſe, or excuſe under him; my Will his, to will, or nill in ſubordinati­on to him? my grief, hatred, and deteſtati­on, to mourn for, abhor, and flie every thing offenſive to him, or obſtructive of my de­lightful enjoyment of him? my deſire, love and delight his, to long for, embrace, ac­quieſce fully and contentedly in him? Am I his, in all I have? Do I approve my ſelf his in all my relations and ſtations, inward qualifications and endowments, outward goods and poſſeſſions? In all I can do or procure, undergo or endure for him? Am I willing and ready to give my ſelf to and for him? taking up my Croſs daily and following him? rejoycing I am accounted worthy to ſuffer for his name?

Have I a ſanctified knowledge of God? as to his Eſſence, Attributes, Perſonal di­ſtinctions, Word, and Works? of Man in his Creation, Corruption, Reſtauration, and38 Perfection? of Chriſt in his perſon, Offi­ces, Eſtates? of the Covenant of Grace and the Lords Supper, in its efficient, ma­terial, formal, and final cauſe? And is this my Knowledge experimental, heart puri­fying, and humbling, communicative, growing, affectionate, efficatious, and obediential?

Are mine iniquities forgiven and forgot­ten by God? Do I groan under them as my greateſt evil and heavieſt burthen? forſake them in affection and commiſſi­on? Have I ſincerely confeſſed, bewail­ed, loathed them, and my ſelf for them? unfeignedly ſtriving againſt, and deſiring to be freed from the filth, power & domi­nion, as well as the guilt, and puniſhment of ſin; from a love and ſence of Gods kindneſs, and goodneſs to me? Is my heart calmed and quieted through Faith in Chriſt, being thereby at peace with God? enlarged to bleſs him for pardon? Am I earneſt with him more and more for aſſurance of it, purity of heart, eſta­bliſhment in his ways? Is there in me a hearty, ſincere diſpoſition, inclination, and propenſity to pardon the offences of o­thers? pitying, and lamenting, meekly re­proving,39 proving, and covering their infirmities: a readineſs to help them rejoycing in their welfare as my own, eſpecially the de­meaneſt Saints, in whom is all my light?

Chriſt is not to be receiv'd of all comers,(a)(a)John. 1.12. nor entertain'd by every gueſt,(b)(b)Can. 3.4. nor touched by every hand,(c)(c)Mat. 9.21.22. nor found by every enquiry. (d)(d)Can. 5.6.He is offered in the Goſpel to all, but gives himſelf here, and is re­ceiv'd by ſuch alone as have, and have I a ſpiritual hunger and thirſt after him? (e)(e)Mat. 5.6.An ear to hear him(f)(f)Mat. 13.9. An eye to ſee him,(g)(g)1 Cor. 11.29. A foot to come to him(h)(h)Mat. 11.28. A hand to take him,(i)(i)1 Cor. 11.24. Arms to embrace him;(k)(k)Can. 3.4. A mouth and taſte, to eat and drink, reliſh and digeſt him,(l)(l)Can. 2.3. Mat. 26.26. A breaſt to retain him. (m)(m)Eph. 3.17.Bowels of affection towards him and his members? A Heart to mourn for my piercing of him? to be truely thankful for, and above all to prize him?

40Are not theſe Infallible Scriptural Cha­racters of Chriſts Diſciples? Can I ap­peal to God and ſay, Lord thou knoweſt all things, thou knoweſt it is thus with me? or, am I willing to venture my eternal condition, my laſt gaſp upon my pre­ſent hopes? Have I a ſolid ground of confidence, when I ſhall appear naked before Gods Bar, when the ſecrets of hearts ſhall be manifeſt? will theſe pleas find acceptance in that day, when all the world muſt be ſaved, or damned by him? Oh my Soul! make nothing the foundation of thy peace, but what God hath made the condition of thy Salvation; let nothing ſatisfie us now, but what will ſave us then; for if our hearts condemn us, God is greater then our hearts, and knoweth all things: but if our hearts con­demn us not, then have we confidence to­wards God.


Deep Humiliation.

BEfore I go for a full diſcharge, I muſt narrowly look into the Book of my Conſcience, caſt up my accounts, and ſee how infinitely I am indebted to my God; view my ſelf in the glaſs of his Law and Goſpel: Search my Soul ſo to the bottom, that none of my wounds may feſter, but be all diſcovered and cured: conſider from whence I am fallen, before and ſince the laſt Communion, and repent: and O that I may be ſo ſenſible of my ſin and miſery, that I may be truly apprehenſive of, and thankful for infinite love and mercy.

I dare not preſume to compaſs thine Altar, moſt holy Lord, before I have wa­ſhed my hands in Innocency, and purified my heart by Repentance, and Faith in the blood of my Redeemer. I will now therefore call my ſins to remembrance, and ſet them in order before mine eyes and remember mine own evil ways, and my doings which have not been good, and loath my ſelf in my own ſight for my iniquities, and for my abominati­ons.

42O I am not able to reckon up or re­member my innumerable breaches of thy moſt holy Commandments. The

1. By not knowing, acknowledging, thinking, remembring, chuſing, believing, eſteeming, adoring, loving, deſiring, fear­ing, obeying of, truſting, joying in, ac­quainting my ſelf with, not demeaning my ſelf towards thee as God, and my God: but preferring ſin, ſelf, Satan, the world, any thing before thy ſelf. The

2. By miſ-apprehenſions, groſs con­ceits of thee, not ſetting my whole delight in, repoſing all my confidence on, expect­ing all my happineſs from, addreſſing all my complaints, prayers, praiſes unto thee, not worſhipping thee as to manner and means agreeable to thy word. The

3. By not acknowledging, or effectu­ally remembring and delighting to ſpeak of thee as I have had occaſion, to make thy praiſe glorious, or doing it irreverent­ly, dealing falſly in my Covenant with thee; not vindicating thy Honour, not grieving for thy Diſhonour; wearineſs of thy commands, non-obſervance, diſtruſt, miſapplication of thy providences; un­thankfulneſs for great mercies; dejection,43 impatience under ſmall croſſes; inſen­ſibleneſs, incorrigibleneſs under judgments and afflictions, not uſing thy Name, At­tributes, Ordinances, Works, every thing whereby thou may'ſt be known, as is re­quired. The

4. By unmindfulneſs beforehand to prevent or avoid whatſoever might di­ſtract in the duties of the Sabbath; not preparing my ſelf, not reſting from need­leſs thoughts, words, actions; mis-ſpend­ing it in idleneſs and vanity, not perform­ing publick and private duties of Prayer, Reading, Hearing, Examination, wheting thy Law upon my heart and others, con­templating thy Word and Works with that care, reverence, ſincerity, ſpirtual­neſs, profit, delight, as I ought; not cal­ling the Sabbath a Delight, Holy of the Lord, Honorable. The

5. By not behaving my ſelf anſwerable to my ſeveral Relations; with all due reverence and reſpect to my Natural, Ec­cleſiaſtical, Political Parents, in heart, word, behaviour, prayer, thankſgiving for Superiours, covering their infirmities in love: not admoniſhing and encouraging Inferiours in well-doing; not by a grave44 wiſe, holy, exemplary carriage, procu­ring glory to thee, and preſerving the ho­nour and authority thou haſt put upon me, not regarding the dignity and worth of my Equals, or rejoycing in their gifts, advancement, proſperity, as my own. The

6. By ſinful anger, hatred, ſecret grudges, injurious thoughts, exceſſive paſſions, diſtracting cares, immoderate uſe of diet, labour, reſt, recreation; re­viling, ſaddening, provoking, grieving ſpeeches? falling ſhort in maintaining mutual Friendſhip, and in following peace with all men, ſowing diſcord among Brethren, concealing their dan­gers, unprofitable converſation, quench­ing, ſuppreſſing holy ſuggeſtions, pre­ferring things of time before eternity; or, by whatſoever may tend, not to the health but prejudice of my own or others Soul or Bodies; not weeping with them that weep, being ſenſleſs, hard-hearted, unaffected at publick evils and others mi­ſeries. The

7. By unchaſte thoughts purpoſes, af­fections, looks, company, words, acti­ons, or liſtening to them; not labouring45 to quench my fleſhly concupiſence, by watching over my ſenſes, heart, and ways; not ſhunning all occaſions to, or acts of uncleanneſs, in or with my ſelf or others: not keeping my bodie and ſoul from all filthineſs of fleſh and ſpirit, but making my heart a cage of impure thoughts, my mind a ſtie of the unclean ſpirit. The

8. By unbecoming arts in Bargain­ing, not dealing with others as I would men ſhould with me: not endeavour­ing by all juſt means to procure, preſerve, and further the welfare of others as well as my own: withholding good from them to whom it was due: ſuffering Chriſt to ſtand at, and go away from my door, hungry, cold, naked, ſuccourleſs, and when the leanneſs of his cheeks plead­ed pitie, the hardneſs of my heart would ſhew no compaſſion. The

9. By ſlandering, backbiting, detract­ing, reviling, harſh, flattering, miſcon­ſtruing, diſcouraging, ſiniſter intentions, words and actions: liſtening to, and ſpreading the faults of others, not chari­table in my thoughts and ſpeeches to them, not freely acknowledging their46 gifts and graces; not readily receiving a good report, but willingly admitting an evil one; not diſcouraging tale-bearers, flatterers, ſlanderers; not loving, deſiring, rejoycing in, caring for, defending and upholding their good name not ſorrowing for, and covering their infirmities; but practiſing, or not avoiding my ſelf, or not hindring what I can in others, ſuch things as raiſe jealouſies and ſuſpicions, procure an ill name to my ſelf or others. The

10. By ſelf-love, evil thoughts, cove­touſneſs, inordinate prizing, and affect­ing, diſtruſtful, diſtracting, ſolicitous care and ſtudy in getting, keeping or uſing tem­poral things; diſcontent with my own e­ſtate, envying and grieving at my neigh­bours; unlawful motions and affections to things that are his.

And to theſe I have added multitudes of ſins againſt the Goſpel, by not as I ought labouring to acquaint my ſelf with it. Ignorance, flighting of, not ſuffici­ently eſteeming, admiring, thankful for that infinite love in my Redemption; not loving, rejoycing in Chriſt and him Crucified, relying on, & owning of him in47 all his Offices, accounting all things loſs and dung for him; not taking that pains I ought to know him, and the power of his reſurrection, and the fellowſhip of his ſufferings, and to be made conform­able to his death; if by any means I might attain unto the reſurrection of the dead, and be made perfect as my Father in Heaven is perfect. Not claiming his promiſes as my heritage, nor eſteeming them the joy of my heart, and as unſearchable riches, exceeding great and precious; not believing, prizing, embracing of, hoping, waiting for the good of them, with ſo much readineſs and ſteadfaſtneſs as their excel­cellency and certainty requires; and apply­ing them as I ought to this and the next life; not careful they have their due effects on my Soul, in making me partaker of the divine nature; not dying daily to ſin nor acting, & growing in grace, and in the knowledge of Chriſt: not thirſting after righteouſneſs, and that poor, mournful, meek, merciful, pure Spirit that ſhall be bleſſed; not confeſſing but being aſha­med of Chriſt before men, and my rela­tion to him; not denying my ſelf, taking up my Croſs and following him. Not do­ing48 all things to the glory of God, nor rejoycing in him always. Not receiving, not doing the good, nor improving time, mercies, judgments, forein perturbations, national diſcontents and diviſions, irreli­gious confuſions, domeſtick diſtinguiſhing favours, as I ought. Strangeneſs, nig­gardlineſs unto, inconſiderateneſs of the worth, fearleſneſs of the loſs of my preti­ous Soul; caring more for the Body then it or others; not troubled for ſuch as are negligent, poiſoners, murderers of theirs. Not ſufficiently convinced of, humbled for, the corruption of my nature, mind, conſcience, will, affections; of the evil of ſin, and lying under the wrath of God, hiding, excuſing, leſſening of, not making that narrow ſearch after, not being grie­ved for my ſins in any proportion to their multitude and greatneſs; as conſidering that wretched injuſtice, follie, and un­kindneſs I have expreſſed by them, loving darkneſs, hating the light; receiving the grace of God in vain, turning it into wan­tonneſs crucifying the Son of God a­freſh, tempting, grieving the Holy Spi­rit; hardly forſaking my beloved ſin for thy ſake, who haſt freely given thy only49 Sow for mine: That carefulneſs, that clear­ing of my ſelf, that indignation, that fear, that vehement deſire, that zele, that re­venge, that watchfulneſs, reſolving, ſtri­ving againſt ſin, improving all advantages for avoiding and ſubduing it, I find not that is wrought in thoſe who ſarrow after a godly ſort: nor applying my ſelf with all earneſtneſs to the onely means of pardon end reconciliation in the Goſpel.

Time and ſtrength would fail me to re­peat how oft I am partaker of Family, National, Church, other mens ſins; by ſetting an ill example, provoking, con­ſenting to, conniving at, countenancing, permitting ſin where I might correct or hinder it; hating my brother in my hearty ſuffering ſin upon him. Delightful ſocietie with evil doers, taking pleaſure in the cauſe of my humiliation, to ſee them pave their way to Hell with their ownands; making that matter of ſport, which nothing but the deareſt drop of the heartslood of God could expiate; laughing••t that which makes damned ſouls ſhedivers of tears: they ſhall be damned thatave pleaſure in unrighteouſneſs. By noteeking the things of Chriſt as my own,50 not preferring Jeruſalem above my chiejoy, not having the care of the Church ly­ing upon me. My heart trembles nofor fear of the Ark; nor is my ſoul vexefrom day to day with their unlawfudeeds among whom I live. Oh how lit­tle do I mourn for the ſuffering of others for the ſigns of Gods anger, for the ſins〈◊〉the times! when do I go apart and mounfor Englands crying abominations, or looupon London, a ſinful Citie, and weep ov••it?

And oh the infirmities, imperfection iniquities of my holy things! Oh homuch careleſneſs, unpreparedneſs, impe­nitency, unbelief, pride, hypocriſie, uſpiritualneſs, earthlineſs, formalitie, ſlight­neſs, deadneſs, heartleſneſs, diſtraction indiſpoſition, wearineſs, want of reliſh attends my attendance on ſo great a Maje­ſtie! Unanſwerable walking, reſting〈◊〉the meer outſide of duty, when I do not e­joy Communion with thee in them!

And dare ſuch a guilty abominable ſner ſit down with thee at thy table? ſuch Dog that hath ſo often returned to his w­mit, go and take that which is ſo holy ſuch a Swine wallowing in the mire, ha51to do with thoſe precious pearls? that hath already ſo often trampled them un­der my feet, careleſly neglecting, or un­worthily receiving thoſe holy miſteries, ra­ther defying them then adoring thee, by bringing ſuch troops of my Saviours pro­feſſed Enemies (unrepented ſins) along with me, as if I came not to commemo­rate, but to renew his Paſſion, to crucifie him afreſh. Oh I have much reaſon to fear I am guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, by earing and drinking unworthily; in that I have not hungered, and thirſted after nor partaken of it ſo often as my ne­ceſſities, and opportunities required; nor ap­proached it with ſuch a ſolemn Prepara­tion, Examination, Humiliation, and clean­ſing the ſecrets of my heart from all ſin; nor renewed the Covenant-Conditions, Faith and Repentance; nor received it with that reverent behaviour, and thoſe inward diſpoſitions; nor been ſo eſpeci­ally careful in making, good my Cove­nant Engagements, and Reſolutions, as becomes a worthy Communicant. Oh how can ſuch a loathſom wretch go to be en­tertained by thee in ſo near a Communi­on, that cannot expect, that am below the52 leaſt good look from thy gracious eye? Oh how dare ſuch a vile miſcreant pre­ſume to drink of the Cup of Bleſſing, who have deſerved ſuch a curſe from thy hand, as that thou ſhouldeſt hurry me to thy Bar of Juſtice, and not admit me to the Seals of the Covenant of Grace: to be covered with ſhame and confuſion of face, while thy Children come with bold­neſs and preſent themſelves before thee, array'd in the righteouſneſs of thy Son; whilſt they are lifting up their heads with joy, knowing the time of celebrating their Redemption draweth nigh; I may be hiding my ſelf in the Dens and Rocks of the Mountains, ſaying, fall on me and hide me from the face of him that ſits upon the Throne. Dragged away by curſed Fiends to the place of Torment, with hideous ſcrieks to an in­numerable company of Devils and Dam­ned Souls; inſtead of going to the houſe of God, the aſſembly of his people, with the voice of joy and gladneſs, with a multitude that keep holy day. While the Sun of Righteouſneſs ariſes with healing in his wings unto thoſe that fear thy name; thy wrath may burn againſt53 me as fire, and conſume me as ſtubble. The day of joy and gladneſs, feaſting and re­joycing, ſacrifice & attonement to thy ſin­cere ſervants, may be a day of wrath and trouble, darkneſs and gloomineſs, diſtreſs and deſolation to me: while they with joy of heart are ſaying, come let us go unto the houſe of the Lord, oh our feet ſhall ſtand within thy Gates, O Sion, thy Courts, O God! I, the great day of his wrath is come, and who ſhall be able to ſtand? In ſtead of holding out to me the golden Scepter, thou mighteſt break me with a Rod of Iron, and daſh me in pieces like a Potter's veſſel; while they are rejoycing and giving honour to thee at the Supper, I might lie under the wrath of the Lamb, lifting up mine eyes in Hell, begging a drop of water to cool my tongue. I might ſee them ſit down with the King at his ta­ble, and my ſelf thruſt out into that place where is nothing but weeping, & wailing, and gnaſhing of teeth. Thou art ready to entertain thoſe that are bidden, but I am not worthy; for making light of thy proviſion and invitation, preferring the things of the world before it, thou mayeſt juſtly ſay, I ſhall never taſt of thy Sup­per;54 or, if I go, it might be not for the better, but for the worſe; I might meet with a frown inſtead of a ſmile; a blow, a breach, a curſe, inſtead of a bleſſing. Thou mayeſt in ſtead of bread give me a ſtone, for the Cup of the New Teſtment a Cup of wrath and Trembling. Thou mayſt turn my heart into a ſtone, inſtead of tur­ing my heart of ſtone into an heart of fleſh. The bread of life may be to me a ſtone of ſtumbling, and a rock of offence to fall on me and grind me to powder. For my go­ing aſide from thee, and defiling my ſelf: the wine that comforts and makes worthy Receivers fruitful in grace, may be unto me as the water of Jealouſie, bitter within my bowels, cauſing my belly to ſwell, and my thigh to rot; nd I may be a curſe a­mong the people. His blood might be lay'd to my charge for my condemnation, ſeal­ing up all my other fins; inſtead of being ſprinkled upon my Conſcience, to humble me for, and cleanſe me from all ſin.

Behold I am vile, viler then the earth but look upon me in thy Son, and thou wilt love me, and be well pleaſed with me; mine only hope is in that grace and mercy made known in and thorow him:55 I have broken thy commands, but he hath fulfil'd them; affronted thy Juſtice, but he hath ſatisfied it; deſerved thy wrath, but he hath endur'd it; the chaſtiſement of my peace was upon him, let the merit of his righteouſneſs be upon me, and by his ſtripes let me be healed. His Blood is my onely refuge, oh let it be my Attonement, or I periſh eternally. Wherefore didſt thou ſhed it, but to ſave ſinners? Remember not what I have done againſt thee, but what he hath done and ſuffered for me. Oh when I conſider thy greatneſs and my unworthineſs, thy purity and my un­cleanneſs, thy glorie and my ſhame, I am confounded and diſcouraged; but when I conſider thy mercy and wiſdom, bountie and goodneſs, readineſs to forgive, and de­ſire to impart thy ſelf unto thy ſervants, then I am encouraged to come with bold­neſs unto thee. Thou never deſpis'd him that call'd upon thee, or forſook any that abode in thy fear: It was never known that any who truſted in thee were ever confounded. Oh reſpect not the great­neſs of my offences but of thy goodneſs; though I have ſo often broken my part of that Covenant the Sacrament Seals, yet56 be thou pleaſed to make good thine, to be merciful to my unrighteouſneſs, and to re­member my ſins & my iniquities no more. Thou knoweſt how intolerable a thing it is to lie under thy wrath to all eternitie, and therefore loveſt to do miracles of mercie, becauſe thou loveſt not that a ſin­ner ſhould periſh. Have mercie upon me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my tranſgreſſions; waſh me throughly from mine iniquities, and cleanſe me from all my defilements, with the merit and virtue of that Blood which thou haſt ſo abundantly ſhed for penitent ſinners; that I may with an undefiled ſoul eat of the pureſt ſacrifice, the Lamb ſlain from the beginning: ſo I ſhall have no ſpot in me for which thou wilt judge me at thy Table, or condemn me at thy Tri­bunal.

Being in Chriſt reconciled unto me, oh give further evidences of thy fatherly affe­ction, by beſtowing a double portion of thy grace upon me now thou calleſt me to this Ordinance; and who is ſufficient for theſe things? I have neither a meet Sacri­fice to offer, nor a meet veſſel to receive thee. I know not what to ſay or do; how to pray57 or receive, prepare or behave my ſelf; not ſufficient of my ſelf to think any thing as of my ſelf, but my ſufficiency is of thee; the preparation of the heart and anſwer of the tongue is from thee; the God, the promiſer, the Giver of grace as well as glory, that invites all to come unto thee, with aſſurance of finding with, and receiving from thee whatſoever is requi­ſite for their refreſhment, ſupport, and comfort; ho every one that, thirſteth, come ye to the waters; and he that, hath no money, come ye buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without monie and without price. Thou prepareſt a ta­ble for us in this wilderneſs, where we eat of thy own Bread, and drink of thy own Cup; omitteſt no expreſſion of tender love to treat us as a moſt indulgent Fa­ther. But ſhall the time of receiving come, before thou come into my ſoul to ſtir up thy graces in me? Ganſt thou that ſo loved me, who was of no worth, while yet in my ſins, as to die for me, neglect me in thee? ſhall I, whoſe only hope is to be ſaved by Chriſt, be ſent away with the guilt, inſtead of the comfort of his Blood? Oh of his fulneſs let me receive,58 and grace for grace; let thy Spirit help mine infirmities, thy grace be ſufficient for me, thy ſtrength be made perfect, more eminently manifeſt in weakneſs. Array me with the righteouſneſs of the Saints, put upon me the Lord Jeſus; let me be found having on the Wedding­garment at the Wedding-ſupper; ſuch a preparation of Soul as may qualifie me for it, ſuch a degree of reverence and humility, ſaving knowledge, godly ſorrow, renewed re­pentance, new obedience; lively faith, un­feigned, love, joy and thankefulneſs, holy de­ſires, ſelf-denial, ſutable, ſolemn, heavenly meditations, as becomes a worthy Commu­nicant. Oh thou true food of my Soul! receive me who am to receive thee; quicken me with thy Spirit, feed me with thy Fleſh, ſatisfie me with thy Blood, vouchſafe me thy Grace, communicate to me thy Nature, let me receive life from thee to act and live unto thee, who meaſu­reſt not thy gifts by our petitions or de­ſertss, but our wants and thy own mercy.


Earneſt Supplication for Re­quiſite Qualifications.

TO go to that Ordinance which requires all imaginable livelineſs and activi­ty with dull and cloudy affections, will be my ſin, and an aggravation of it, if through want of diligent endeavour to get my Soul affected and inflam'd, by ſtirring up the graces of God in me; and whither ſhall I go for this but unto thee, the author and finiſher of them? how ſhall I do it but by thee? Oh do it for me.

Holy Reveronce and Humility.Affect my heart with an awful reverence and ſelf­baſement upon my ſo near approach unto thee in this ſolemn Ordi­nance, towards the greatneſs of thy Maje­ſtie, with whom I there come to renew my Covenant; towards the excellencie of thy Son, whom I come to receive into my Soul; towards the holineſs of thy Spirit, whoſe aſſiance I hope for, and by whom I come there to be eſtabliſht in my Union and Communion with Chriſt and his Members. Oh how durſt I who am nothing but folly and infirmitie, mi­ſery60 and ſin, ſhame and death, preſume to come ſo nigh; for behold the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain thee, unleſs thou hadſt invited and commanded it? If ſo much Sanctity, Reverence and De­votion was requiſite as to the Ark, the Temple, the receiving thy Law; Oh how ſhall I behave my ſelf now I go to receive thy very ſelf? or Communicate with thee, that deſerves not to come be­fore thee? Oh how Humble ſhould I be who am to receive a gift of Free Grace? Was he Humble that was all Purity, and ſhall I be proud who am ſo defiled? The high and lofty One dwells not in a haughty heart, but with him that is of a contrite, humble ſpirit; not will he that humbled himſelf to the death be taken into a proud Soul. Oh that I may there­fore have grace, whereby I may ſerve thee acceptably, with reverence and godly fear, and be cloathed not only with the Righteouſneſs, but Humility of Chriſt, be low and mean, baſe and vile in my own eyes; I am not worthy to be called thy Son, make me as thy mean­eſt ſervants, the loweſt room at thy Ta­ble; give my ſins thy pardon, my ſoul61 thy grace, my perſon and ſervice thy ac­ceptance in thy beloved; and what thou doſt convey, ſeal to me by what I am to receive.

Without Knowledge the Heart,Saving Know­ledge. the duty cannot be good; but the Covenant thou haſt made with thy people is, they ſhall all know thee from the leaſt to the greateſt. Oh let me come with knowledge of the nature, neceſſity, uſe and ends of the Ordinance. Direct me how to behave my ſelf at, and medi­tate upon thoſe Divine Myſteries, that I may not be a blind offerer, nor bring a blind offering; but offer unto thee a li­ving ſacrifice, holy, acceptable, reaſonable ſervice; that I may receive with underſtan­ding, diſcern the Lords Body; look in­to the Myſteries of the Sacrament, leſt not knowing the meaning, Ifeel not the comfort of it; but be alienated, eſtranged from thee through the ignorance that is in me.

That. I may eat the Paſſeover with bitter herbs,Godly Sor­row. give me a deep ſenſe of my own vileneſs and unworthineſs; take, away this62 heart of ſtone and give me a heart of fleſh, that I may loath my ſelf in my own ſight for mine iniquities, and for mine abo­minations, be filled with ſhame and ſor­row, hatred and indignation againſt my ſelf, for my offending ſo good and graci­ous, ſo loving and bountiful a Father, Re­deemer and Sanctifier: That I may look upon him whom I have pierced, and mourn for him, with deteſtation and holy revenge againſt thoſe my ſins that coſt him ſo dear, were the cauſe as well as any other mens of his death, and would have coſt me damnation; abominating them as the ſcourges and thorns, nails and ſpear thar Afflicted, Crucified my deareſt Saviour, the Lord of Glory. The day of mourning for him is at hand, oh that I may then ſlay my moſt beloved luſts! be revenged on them for it, and for their endeavouring to rob me of my ſpiritual Birth-right, my eternal Bleſſedneſs. Let me call to mind, and be truly ſenſible of every ſin, and of the evil of it, and of thine and my Saviour's love manifeſted to me in his ſufferings. There where he appears moſt Bloody, let Sin op­pear moſt deadly; that I may receive a­broken, bleeding Chriſt, with a broken63 contrite Heart; a Sacrifice thou wilt noteſpiſe, O God, prepare in me; that be­ing weary and heavy laden, I may be ca­pable of his refreſhment; being ſupled in my own tears, I may be fitter to be waſht in his blood.

And ſeeing thou giveſt thy ſelf only to thy Diſciples and Friends,New Obe­dience. work in me freſh pur­poſes of amendment; that be­ing willing and obedient, I may eat the good of the Ordinance. Let there be con­formity, that there may be Communion; let me not put that new wine into an old im­pure, but new Heart. I cannot Eat the Paſſeover and ſtay in Egypt ſtill; let me do it with my loyns girt, ready to march toward the Promiſed Land. Thou con­firmeſt thy Covenant, and expecteſt I re­ſtipulate with thee, that I caſt out, and exe­crate the old leaven. Seeing the Covenant of Grace ſealed, let me ſeal a Covenant of Obedience; ſeeing by the merit of Chriſts death I am purchas'd to be thine, by the power of it let me be dead to ſin, and both receive life, and change my life; let me bring a wounded heart to, and carry wounded ſins from thy Table; dye to ſin,64 ſeeing Chriſt dyed for ſin; let me take him by way of ſurety, and give up my ſelf to him by way of ſurrender; receive him as a Saviour; and ſubmit to him as a Prince; ſet my ſelf apart for thee on that Feaſt of Dedication. Let me approach with the moſt ſincere, fixed reſolutions of an intire reſignation; and receive ſuch grace and ſtrength from thee, as may inable me faith­fully to perform them; that I may find my ſelf in the number of thoſe, to whom my Saviour allows ſuch ſpecial manifeſta­tions of himſelf, by lifting up the light of his countenance upon them, by intimating his good will and love unto them, his ful­neſs and righteouſneſs for them, as Shows his conſtant abode with them.

Let no prophane or unſea­ſonable Thoughts enter into my mind while I am about that Holy Solemnity;Purity. let me lay aſide, leave behind me, and be kept from all carnal earthly vain Imaginations; drive away all drowſineſs, careleſneſs, ſloth­fulneſs; idle apprehenſions; that I may wholly contemplate upon, and give up my ſelf unto him, who ſacrific'd his Soul and Body for me; and come before65 thee with ſuch Reverential Hungering, & Holy Affections, as is due to the hand that reacheth, to the ſeal that ſecureth, to the food that ſtrengthneth that ſpiritual life in us, without which we can never be hap­py. O thou that calleſt me unto thee, let thy compaſſion pitty my vileneſs; let thy mercy pardon my ſinfulneſs; let thy grace cleanſe my filthineſs; let thy wiſdom en­lighten my darkneſs, let thy ſtrength ſup­port my weakneſs; adorn me with the wedding garment, the righteouſneſs of thy Son, and holineſs of thy Spirit; that all my nakedneſs may be covered, and my great deformities hid from thine eyes: pardon me by thy mercy, that I may re­ceive thy grace; and fit me by thy grace, that I may receive thy mercy; help me ſo to accuſe my ſelf, that thou may'ſt acquit me, ſo to judge and condemn my ſelf, that thou may'ſt abſolve me; ſo to exer­ciſe a holy revenge upon my ſelf, that thou may'ſt ſpare me. Let thy Spirit be thy Harbinger to provide entertainment for thy Son in my Soul, that he may findt ſwept of ſin, and garniſht with grace; make it day in my Soul by hopes and de­ſires, before I there receive the Sun of Righteouſneſs.

66Faith is thy own gift as well as Chriſt;Faith. I believe, Lord help my unbelief, that I may be­ſprinkle my ſoul and Conſcience with his blood; not only look upon and remember but cloſe in with, and receive him there tendred: Eat his fleſh and drink his blood; apply him as taking on him our nature, & and giving it as a ranſom for ſin; That I may not ſtagger at the promiſe through unbelief, but be ſtrong in faith, giving Glo­ry to God; being fully perſwaded that what thou haſt promiſed thou wilt per­form. When I ſee Bread and Wine upon the Table, let me ſee Chriſt there as a feaſt in token of my reconciliation with thee, and on the Croſs as a Sacrifice, offering up his Body and blood to thee; obſerving the Bread broken, let me ſee Chrirſt crucified for, and offering himſelf unto me; upon the Wine pouring out, let me behold how his blood was poured forth for my ſins. As I receive Bread and Wine for bodily ſuſtenance, ſo cauſe me to feed on, digeſt improve his body and blood; having the, ſame expectation of Spiritual and Eternal life from him, that I have of temporal life from my food. Let me eat not only the67 Bread of the Lord, but the Bread which the Lord, that as by my ſenſes I receivehe Elements to my Corporal, ſo by faith〈◊〉may receive and apply him to my Spiri­••al nouriſhment. Let the Ordinance be a••vely reſemblance, remembrance, andpplication of the ſufferings, and earneſt of the Supper of the Lamb. Let Chriſt be〈◊〉lively ſet forth, as if Crucified before by eyes, dying for me: that beholding,mbracing, and even putting my fingersnto the print of his nails and feet, andhruſting my hand into his ſide; ſo fullyerſwaded of his ſuffering for me, that I••ay not be faithleſs but believing; ſaying,y Lord and my God, he loved me andave himſelf for me; my beloved is minend I am his. O that I may ſo touch him,s may find and feel ſtrength, peace, vir­ue come from him, and be healed of all••y uncleanneſs; that they may not bento death, but unto the glory of thyercyin pardoning, and grace in purifying〈◊〉polluted a Wretch. That it may be he food, the feaſt of my graces; the poi­••on, the funeral of my corruptions. Let••e ſo feed on his bleſſed Bodie, and bathe••y ſoul in his pretious Blood, that my68 Soul may magnifie the Lord, and m••Spirit rejoyce in God my Saviour; who••having not ſeen I may love, in wh••though now I ſee him not, yet believing,〈◊〉may rejoyce with joy unſpeakable and fu••of glory.

Circumciſe my Heart to lo••thee with all my Soul,Love. and witall my ſtrength. Let my hearbe raviſht with this infinite merci••in thee to ſinful miſerable man, in cotriving and giving ſo glorious a Reddeemer and Redemption to ſave him and now in preſenting us with ſuch ſpecial Seals of his love, and admitting u•••into ſo near, ſo holy a Communion〈◊〉For this let me be diſſolv'd into lovto thee and thy Son, and to man fohis ſake; and into a ſteadfaſt vow of lifand death to thy ſervice; that I will give and forgive, do, and ſuffer any thing fothee. Let me be fill'd with holy raptures, joys and hopes in ſo great a goodneſs, who having done this, will de••me nothing, and (maugre the rage and malice of hell) not ſee my ſoul loſt, fowhom all this is done. Oh let me meet with ſtrong endearments of Affe­ctions69 melting, and flowing over to­ards thee, languiſhing with deſires enjoy thee, even turn'd into, made〈◊〉of love for thee; that I may be theiſciple whom thou loveſt, and laid iny boſom. Oh deal with me as thouften doſt with thoſe that draw near to••ee; though I burn not with ſo hot aame, yet through thy grace I crave itf thee, that I may participate with,nd be numbred among ſuch ferventovers. If I cannot ſay I am ſick of Love,et am ſick that I cannot love thee? here wilt thou give me thy love,dmiſſion to more familiar fellowſhip,earr manifeſtation, ſenſible feelingnd aſſurance of thy love and affecti­n unto me, that I am beloved ofhee. Give me grace to love the Lordeſus in ſincerity; let him dwell in myeart by Faith and Love; that being••oted and grounded in Love, I may beble to comprehend with all Saints,hat is the breadth, and length, andepth, and heighth, and to know theove of Chriſt which paſſes knowledge;hat the remembrance of him may piercee with grief, tranſport me with love70 captivate my will, engage all my affections to him and for him. And let me knoI am paſſed from death to life becauſe love the Brethren. Shed abroad thlove in my cold frozen heart, and infla••it with fervent affection to thee and thing While my love is burning towards thſelf, oh how can it chuſe but be impar••to thy Friends, who ſincerely love theand on whom thou haſt ſet thy heart, arſhed thy love, thy ſpirit, whereby the are made like unto thee? They m••needs be lovely in my eyes, to whoChriſt is pretious. Oh let me not con••to this Love-feaſt with a bitter but chan••table ſpirit! Purge out therefore t••old leven of malice, which will ſow the Ordinance to me. Oh that our Fther in Heaven may look down upon〈◊〉children feaſting together in mutual lo••and delight, in the remembrance of〈◊〉that love he hath ſhewn us, and joy••expectation of what further he hath p••­miſed to us.

Let me not ſit ſad adejected,Joy and Thanks­giving. as if I liked〈◊〉the proviſion, or though my ſelf not welcom. Ma••71this real, magnificent, ſolemn, ſumptuous Feaſt, theſe Celeſtial Viands wherewith thou feedeſt thy people, by thy gracious comfortable diſcoveries of thy ſelf, a ſpi­ritual banquet unto my ſoul, a feaſt of fat things, a feaſt of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refin'd! Do not onely ſtand and knocks, but open the door of my heart; vouchſafe to come in and abide with me; that there may be a chearful, comfortable converſe: ſup with me, and let me ſup with thee, that I may be abundantly ſatis­fied with the fatneſs of thy houſe, (feel and find abundance of ſoul-ſatisfaction reach­ed out to me in the Ordinance; and do thou make me drink of the River of thy pleaſure: quench my thirſt after carnal, and let me be fill'd with Divine pleaſures, raviſhments and contentments flowing from the inexhauſtible fountain of Divine plentie. Let my ſoul be ſatisfied as with marrow and fatneſs, and my mouth praiſe thee with joyful lips. Let me come before thee with thanksgiving, and praiſe thee with my whole heart. Let there be Angels work at Angels food, make me joyful in thy houſe of prayer. By and72 for him let me offer the Sacrifice of Praiſe to God, the fruit of my lips, gi­ving thanks unto his Name in the great Congregation, and Praiſe thee among much People.

Thou art ready to give bread to the hungry, to fill them with good things,Spiritual Thirſt. and the water of life to him that is athirſt. Thou art not ſtraitned in thy ſelf, but I am ſtraitned in my own bowels; the deſire and the meat, the neceſſity and relief, are all from thee. Oh thou that provideſt Food, give alſo a ſtomach; bid, and make me wel­com! ſay, eat, oh Friend; drink, yea drink abundantly, oh Beloved! Oh create and ſtir up in me earneſt longings and a Spiri­tual appetite; that I may come to be made partaker of the good things thou haſt prepared for me, with enlarged af­fections, and longing deſires after, an­ſwerable to my need of the Ordinance, and Chriſt offered in it, as full nouriſhment for my Soul under the forms of Bread and Wine; and with ſtrong expectations to receive him and his benefits, with deſire let me deſire to eat this Paſſeover; open my mouth wide that thou may'ſt fill it: As73 the Hart panteth after the water-brook, ſo let ray ſoul pant after thee, O God.

The Evening Cloſe.

AND now, oh gracious God, leave me not to the dulneſs, the deadneſs, the hardneſs, the impenitency, the unbelief,he barrenneſs, the earthlineſs, the impo­••ency, the diſtraction of my own Heart! Oh enrich the Ordinance with thy ownreſence. While the King ſitteth at his Ta­le let my Spikenard ſend forth the ſmellhereof. Deſcend into my heart by the ex­••tations of thy grace and influences of thy by, and let me aſcend unto thee by the ex­••ciſe of grace, & pious addreſſes. Awake••ou North wind, and come thou South,ow upon my Garden, that the Spices••ereof may flow out; Make every grace〈◊〉my ſoul lively, active, & fragrant, by theeathings & inſpirations of thy Holy Spi­••t. O abide with me, becauſe it drawethwards the time of receiving; what do I there thou be not there? If thy preſence go not••ong with me, carry me not hence. Let Chriſt••pear unto, and be known of me in break­ing74 of Bread; let me carry away not only Bread, but Light, Life and Health; that with open face, beholding as in a glaſs the glory (the love, the mercy, and goodneſs) of the Lord, I may be changed into the ſame image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. O let me remember and do thou remember what thy Son hath ſuffered, that I may be thankful, and thou ſo ſenſibly gracious unto me, that I mataſte and ſee how good the Lord is.

I am altogether, unworthy of my deſires〈◊〉but what thou doſt for any, is not becauſthey are worthy, but becauſe it pleaſeth th••to do for thine what they ask of thee ac­cording to thy will. With what confi­dence go we to Market with money in our hand? we doubt not returning withouour errand; Oh we would come as confidently expecting the giving out of gracto us, as if we were able to putchaſe it for thou haſt bid us come buy Wine anMilk without money and without price and haſt promis'd, and art more willing〈◊〉give the ſpirit to them that ask it, th••Parents Bread to their Children, whi••they cannot deny, whatever ſhift th••make for it: our love to our Children〈◊〉75but hatred; our compaſſion, hardneſs; our bowels rocks in compariſon of thine to thine: why then wilt thou not hear me? Turneſt thou a deaf ear to me? Canſt thou deny me? Did any of the ſeed of Jacob ſeek thy face in vain? Who ever ap­proacht to this over-flowing Fountain of ſweetneſs, but carried away ſome drops? or ſat by ſo great a flame, and receiv'd not ſome warmth from it? why then lyes my Soul ſo cold, ſo frozen, ſo dead before thee? O wilt thou not relieve a hungry beggar? wilt thou not grant the requeſt of anmportunate Petitioner? Shall I go awaympty from an inexhauſtible Treaſure? Hungry from a Feaſt? Dry from a Foun­tain? Cold from the Sun? Sad and com­ortleſs from a Feaſt of Love? Oh! ake it a type and earneſt of our Eternalanquet: Feed me to that by Faith and Love, and ſeal me to it in Spirit and Con­ience; let me enjoy thy lightſom revi­••ng company in this ſtate of abſence andbſcurity. Away, my Soul from this••rk, deceitful, vexing world; love not••y Diſeaſe, thy Fetters, thy Calamities;yn not with thoſe that take up their reſt〈◊〉this ſide Heaven, ſaying, it is good to be76 here. Wo is me that I ſojourn in Me­ſech, that I dwell in the Tents of Kedar; that I remain in this ſinful, polluting place, among a ſtrange people, and am kept ſo long from my Fathers Houſe. Oh that I had wings like a Dove, then would I ſlie away and be at reſt; lo then would I wan­der far off, (as legs and wings could car­ry me) and remain in the wilderneſs; I would live in the ſolitarieſt place of the Earth, for my greater freedom from ſin, and enjoyment of my God. This flat­tering, vexing world ſhould ſoon ſee me quit it; my baſe heart ſhould ſoon be〈◊〉of me; rather than undergo their unceſ­ſant troubles: I would haſten my eſcapfrom the windy ſtorm and tempeſt. Oh wretched man that I am! who ſhall de­liver me from the body of this death〈◊〉Which ſo oft troubles, grieves and overclouds me, diſtracts & hinders me, allureand intangles me? When ſhall I have done trifling and dallying, roving and repining, fretting and diſputing? Whe••ſhall I onely talk and walk with thee be; compoſed and fixed, Spiritual anHeavenly, love, chuſe, and obey thee delight, rejoyce, joy, and glory in thee77 Oh when wilt thou unlooſe the cords of this tottering Tent? When ſhall this Mud-wall crumble into duſt? When ſhall my earthly houſe of this tabernacle be diſſolved? When ſhall I be carried to thoſe eternal manſions? Why is his Chariot ſo long in coming? Why tar­ry the wheels of his Chariot? Hath he not ſped? Hath he not divided his gifts? Hath he not obtained his pur­chaſe? Hath he not prepared a place for me? Shall I ever be at home in the bodie, and abſent from the Lord? Make haſte, O thou whom my ſoul loveth, and come in glorie, as thou firſt cameſt in humilitie; and conform them to thy ſelf in glorie; whom thou makeſt con­formable to thy ſufferings and humility. Keep up our faith, our hope, and our love; by the exerciſe of them let us have our Converſation with thee in Heaven; and daily vouchſafe us ſome beams of thy directing, conſolatorie light, in this our darkneſs; and be not as a ſtranger to thy ſcattered Flock, thy diſcon­ſolate Spouſe in this diſtant ſtate, this deſolate Wilderneſs. O ſhew thy ſelf more clearly to us; teſtifie to our Souls,78 that thou art our Head and Saviour, that we abide in thee by the Spirit which thou haſt given us, abiding and overcom­ing in us, and as thy Agent preparing us for eternal Life. Let not our darkneſs nor thy ſtrangeneſs feed our odious unbelief; nor my corrupt habits choak or ſmother my new reſolutions and ſweet meditati­ons. Theſe weak, wavering thoughts, theſe faint deſires, theſe ſickly affections in my Soul will not live a night, unleſs my gracious God interpoſe his Power, preſerve and cheriſh them. Oh ſeeing thou haſt given me to beſtow ſome ſmall pains on my Heart, and to conceive ſome good hopes, let them not be daſht in pieces in ſo ſhort a moment: ſpread the wings of thy goodneſs over me, and maintain that, which not I, but thy Spirit hath wrought in me; let me find all, when I awake let me ſtill be with thee, O bleſ­ſed Trinity, to whom be aſcribed King­dom, Power, and Glory, now and for ever. Amen.


The Communion Morning Dreſs.

AH, where am I? what do I? all the Children of the Bride-chamber arep and ready, and I ſlumbring in my Bed! Tell me, ye Faireſt, what made you up ſo early, and dreſt ſo ſoon? A­••as, our Lord was up before us all;e call'd us up by break of day, and wondred we were not trimming our Lamps, not decking our ſelves, know­ng with whom we were to meet, to feaſto day. Our Beloved ſpake and ſaidnto us, Riſe up, my Love, my Fair Ones, and come away. This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will re­oyce and be glad in it. How ſhould we welcom it with ſuffcient joy & thankful­neſs, for the approach of ſo great a Bleſſinghat brings our Saviour ſo near unto us!

'Tis too too late; I will ariſe and gete ready; but where are my Cloths? Ohow poor, how empty, how naked am I! Oh for the faireſt, ſweeteſt robe ofhoughts and wiſhes out of my Fathers, Wardrobe; Oh for my ſilken, golden80 twiſt of Faith to hang the Jewel of Godſorrow, and Humility, Love, and thank­fulneſs upon: I am never dreſt till they be on. Oh where are they? I ſaw them by me but juſt before I went to bed; what was I then ſo long about, but gathering, tying, raiſing them up? Ah this vain World, this envious Devil, this evil de­ceitful Heart, hath been ravelling, ſtealing them out, or hid them from me, that now I am as far to ſeek as ever. Oh whither ſhall I? what ſhall I do to find them? be­hold the Bridegroom cometh, and I am not ready; I cannot, dare not go to day. Now will my Lord be angry when he comes in, to ſee his gueſts; he looking over them, will ſay where's ſuch a one? was he not bidden? I'm ſure I invited him. If I go undreſt, he'l ask how came I in, not having on a Wedding Garment? to either I ſhall be ſpeechleſs. Ah fooliſh,〈◊〉careleſs heart! to let Earthly ſo intangle thy Heavenly Thoughts; thou knoweſt not now how to unlooſe them, which heed and care might have prevented: my hor­rible negligence and guiltineſs makes m••tremble to go, yet not dare to keep away; for where ſhould my polluted Soul be81 waſht but in that Fountain ſet open for) ſin and for uncleanneſs? Oh thou that wilt in no wiſe caſt off him that cometh unto thee; diſ-intangle my thoughts from all things below, and dreſs me up as plea­ſeth thee; over-look my manifold weak­neſſes and imperfections in my prepara­tion; if I knew nothing by my ſelf, yet were I not thereby juſtified; I have no Righteouſneſs of my own, and if I had, I would not mention it before thee; though I were Righteous, and had the greateſt fitneſs and perfection a creature is capable of, yet would I not anſwer thee; I would not plead, but ſupplicate; not ſtand up­on my Right, but petition thy Favour; not expect thy Juſtice, but crave thy pity, I would make ſupplication to my Judge. The Righteouſneſs of man is not pleadable before a Righteous God: if thou ſhouldeſt be extream to mark what is done amiſs by the beſt men, in the beſt actions, O Lord who could ſtand? we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteouſneſs are as filthy rags; my perſon is loathſom and abominable; my preparation and beſt performances carry in them matter, of my own death and indictment, except thou82 (oh) cover them with the Robe of Chriſt's Righteouſneſs, and ſprinkle them, with his blood, they can find no acceptance with thee. And Oh thou who for our ſake tookeſt upon thee our paſſions and ſenſibilities, our weakneſſes and ſufferings; ſo art become a merciful High Prieſt, and pitiful to our infirmities, receive a weari­ed ſinner an overbur-thened Conſcience, an afflicted, polluted Soul into thy care, cuſtody, and cure. The humility and ſor­row, love and purity of any Creature, is not ſufficient to make me worthy to be fed with thy Body, nouriſht with thy Blood, united to thee, to dwell and be one with thee; but what I cannot be of my ſelf, let me be made of thee, who of God art made unto us Wiſdom, Righte­ouſneſs, Sanctification and Redemption. Oh weigh thine own, not my merits that I may offer up an odour of a ſweet ſmell, a ſacrifice acceptable, well pleaſing unto thee by Chriſt Jeſus the life of them that believe, and the Reſurrection of the dead From him I hope for victory againſt my ſins, ſtrength in Duty againſt my weak­neſs, ſuccour in my life againſt tem­ptation, in my death againſt deſpair,83 after death againſt damnation I preſume upon thy help, not becauſe Iave deſerv'd it, for I have been an unpro­fitable ſervant, but becauſe thou haſt re­deemed me, for thy Blood cannot be unpro­fitable. Help me, if not for my miſery which I have deſerved, yet for thy mercies which thou haſt promiſed; for thy good­neſs is more ready to forgive, then thy power to puniſh: and thy Blood criesouder for pardon, then my ſins for pu­niſhment. Thou haſt not yet forgiven ſo much as thou haſt promiſed, nor promis'd more than thou haſt puchas'd. Hath thy Blood ſatisfied for more ſins than I can commit, and ſhall it not ſatisfie for thoſe〈◊〉have forſaken and do deteſt? Haſt thou purchaſed Mercy for more then repent, and wilt thou not ſhew it on thoſe to whom thou haſt given Repentance? Haſt thou been ſo long calling, that thou ſhouldeſt at laſt reject me? ſo long pro­miſing Salvation that thou ſhouldſt at laſt deny me? I am thy Debtor for thy pur­chaſe, but thou art mine for the promiſe. 〈◊〉could not oblige thee by my deſert, but thou haſt obliged thy ſelf by thy word. I plead not the merit of my obedience, but84 the mercy of the Covenant which thy L•••and mercy moved thee to make, and thy Truth ties thee to perform: Free grace made, thee a promiſer, and thy promiſe hath made thee a Debtor. Thou art not more Free in making promiſes, then faithful in making them good: a God that keepeth Covenant unto a thouſand generations

And oh that I could now la••aſide my Body with my Buſineſs put off this outward man formore naked,The Soul Fixed. inward ſpiritual ſight, that my mind might be rendred more ſenſible of him; fit to receive〈◊〉deeper impreſſion from his hand, that nothing but him might enter in. Away be gone ye wandring, worldly, vaithoughts, for I am going to my God: ſtinot up, nor diſturb the Beloved of my Soul; come not near I charge you, make no noiſe to diſpleaſe him, or to call maway from, entertaining and enjoying ohim: yea (Lord) bid them be gone, and not dare to appear before thee. It is the voice of my. Beloved, I hear him inviting me to his Table; I ſee him coming to en­tertain me; let all fleſh therefore be ſilent and not be ſo bold as to whiſper in his preſence.

85Welcom holy thoughts and pure de­ſires: Oh happy time wherein I may em­brace my Saviour, and ſolace my ſoul in the armes of my deareſt Love! Awake my Underſtanding, Will, and Affecti­ons; awake my Glory and my Heart; awake all ye Powers, Faculties, and Gra­ces of my Soul, and all that is within me be ſummon'd in, ſtirred up, and wholly bent to attend this ſervice. My coſtlieſt Box of Oyntment cannot be beſtow'd better then on my Saviour: my greateſt care and caution, love and labour, then in his ſervice. And inflamed with Love.And how ſhall I put my heart into a flame of love, a frame to meet him, better then by conſi­dering the wonder of his love unto me? Oh how free, unmerited, diſintereſted! preventing not onely our deſires, but our knowledge, ſurpaſſing our wiſhes as well as our deſerts.

He loved us firſt. Had we deplor'd our Apoſtacie, implor'd his Grace, re­form'd our Ways, return'd before in­vited, made the firſt overtures of Re­conciliation with him; this had carried ſomething of inducement for procuring86 his love: but that he who had receive the injury, ſhould addreſs himſelf to him that did it; that the offended party ſhould pray and beſeech the offender to be reconciled? that he whoſe right was to puniſh, ſhould firſt offer terms of grace and pardon to them that had done hi