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worthy I am, the more conspicuous is thy goodness, the more amazing thy mercy and condefcenfion.
4. Since therefore thou art pleased to stoop so low, be it unto me according to thy word. Since thou hast thought fit to command my approach, I will most gladly testify my ready obedience; and only beg, that my own sinfulness may not render me odious in thy sight, norfrustrate these inestimable mercies to me. I will supply my want of ability by the earneftness of my zeal; and most humbly beseech thee to accept those hearty desires of the ineftimable benefit, by which my soul and all its faculties thirst and pant most impatiently after thee and thy righteousness. I will turn my eyes into my own heart, and entertain myself with the mortifying prospect of my own unworthiness, laying my soul low before thee; and from the sense of my
sin I will flee to thy mercy, that I may be made whole by the body and blood of
How wise, how saving, was thy design, in the first institution of this holy supper ! how rich, how delightful a banquet haft thou prepared for thy guests, by ordering thy own body and blood for the mystical entertain
ment of the faithful! how astonishing 'are the operations of thy grace and power ! how incomprehensible the methods of fulfilling thy most true promise! Thou spakest the word in the beginning, and all things were created! and by the same almighty word, thou commandest bread and wine, and they nourish souls to life eternal.
6. And thou, my foul, rejoice and be exceeding glad for so noble a favour, so heavenly a refreshment, so rich a consolation to fupport and sweeten thy passage thro' this vale of tears and misery. For, everytime thou attendest these holy myfteries, thou doft spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; thou dost act, as it were, over again the work of thy redemption, and effectually partake of thy Saviour's merits and sufferings. For, his love continues always the same, and the excellence and worth of his propitiation is an inexhaustible spring of mercy. Come therefore hither with new exalted zeal, enlarge thy heart and its desires, and doubt not, but thou fhalt at every approach, return with fresh and plentiful accessions of grace.
7. Let not the frequency abate thy devotion:forthis favour should always seem great,
this feaft always honourable, and the delights of it always new. And by the force of pious meditation, the mystery will affect thy wondering mind at every repetition, as if the fon of God were just that moment born from the womb of his mother; as if thy suffering redeemer were in that instant labouring under all his agonies; and thineowneyes beheld him hanging and bleeding, and dying on thecross. A prayer on Sunday morning, before the communion,
Except ye eat the Aesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. . John vi. 53.
O Almighty God, and merciful father, who dieforus, whodid institute a holy feastin commemoration of that his most precious death, thereby to prefervein our minds a constant remembrance of his great love, in laying down his life for our fakes: Ithy unworthy fervant, who am now invited to thy holy table, do humbly adore thy divine majefty, acknowledging that I am not worthy of my daily bread, much less of that whieh came down from heaven, and which thou hast given to be the food and nourishment of our fouls.
I confefs, O Lord, my fins may justly cause me to tremble, when I appear before thee ;
but, О most merciful father, encouraged by thy wonderful goodness and love, in giving thy son to die for all penitent and returning sinners, I present myself before thee at this time; beseeching thee, in great humility to continue to me that love, and admit me to thy holy table, that I may taste and see how gracious, thou art, and how wonderful in thy doings towards the sons of men.
O make my longings and desires after this divine food, some way answerable to my great need of it; that
my soul being sensible of all its wants, it may no longer seek for relief from the unsatisfying objects of this world; but coming to thy holy table with a true spiritual hunger and thirtt,
there find a full supply of all those graces and blefsings that it stands in so much need of.
And to this end, O Lord, fit and prepare my heart to partake of so great a mercy, by giving me a just abhorrence of my own unworthiness, and an unfeigned repentance of all my sin. Root out of my heart all sinful and corrupt affections, all prejudice, hatred, and ill-will; and plant all those devout and pious, charitable and humble dispositions, that become the worshippers of the holy Jelus; that when I presume to appear before
thee, I may bring with me a heart raised above the corruptions that are in the world, and full of the strongest desires and resolutions of loving and serving thee.
Deliver me, O my God, from all coldness and formality,when I attend upon theein holy and religious duties; and grant that by going to this holy feast; I may have my pardon sealed, my weaknesses repaired, all my evil inclinations subdued, my faith strengthened, my hopes enlarged, my charity encreased, and my foul so entirely and inseparably united unto thee, that nothing may be ever able to diffolve the union; but that being begun herein grace, it may hereafter be consummated in glory, through the merits of him that died for me, even the son of thy eternal love, Jesus Christ the righteous; to whom with thee, O father, and the holy spirit, be ascribed, as is most due, all honour, glory, power, thanksgiving, and praise, both now and for evermore. Amen. This last prayer may
be added to our other devotions the morning we receive, and may be frequently used in the week preceding the facrament. See also the directions on page 57.
Ejaculations when you first come into church.
amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!