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one Man's Temper be made the Standard of another Man's Devotion? I think that for general Use, Forms of Prayer cannot be too chafte in their Compofition; and our Reformers were of the fame Mind. For look into the Book of Common Prayer, and what will you find? Why every Thing that is folemn and grave, but none of thofe rapturous Expreffions which are to be met with in many private Compofitions. The Reason was, not that our Reformers wanted a Spirit of Piety, but they faw plainly, what every wife Man fees, that to feel Extafies and Transports in Devotion is not the Turn of every Man's Temper. But this amounts to a Confeffion that God may as acceptably be ferved in a more fedate Way; and this I will venture to fay, that if there be any Degree of Warmth which a ferious Ufe of thefe Prayers cannot raise, it is fuch a Degree as Man may be without, and be never the worfe Chriftian. I would not be understood as condemning all other Forms in a private Way; I would only give a Caution (as I faid) against those Mistakes, which very good Perfons are fometimes apt to run into by the undue Ufe of them. Men fhould confult their particular Tempers and Conftitutions in the Choice of fuch Books, as they do in the Choice of their natural Food, and be content with a plain and fimple Diet when the Stomach will not bear high Sauces.
One Caution fhould never be forgotten, which is, that we afk all Things in the Name of Chrifi, or in Trust upon his all-fufficient Sacrifice. I have before observed to you, that Chrift hath commanded us thus to pray; and therefore he that does not pray after this Manner, does not pray as a Chriftian ought to pray. It is not always neceffary that this Circumstance fhould be expreffed; but in Mind and Intention it always ought to be. It may feem strange, perhaps, that in the Lord's Prayer we are not taught to ask in the Name of Chrift. The Reafon is, that this new Manner of praying was not to take Place til after the Death of Chrift. HITHERTO (fays our Saviour) ye
have asked nothing in my Name fball afk in my Name.
AT THAT DAY ye John xvi. 23. At what Day? Why after my Death and Refurrection; for this he had been fpeaking of just before. A little while and ye shall not fee me, and again, a little while and ye fhall fee me. Verily, verily, I jay unto you, that ye fhall weep and lament, but the World shall rejoice; and ye fhall be forrowful, but your Sorrow shall be turned into Joy. This fhews that the Circumflance of praying in the Name of Chrift, was founded upon the Confideration of his Death, by which having difcharged the Office of our High Prieft on Earth, he was to enter into the Heavens to appear in the Prefence of God for us. To this the Apoftle alludes, Heb. iv.14. Seeing then we have a great High Priest that is paed into the Heavens let us come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain Mercy, and find Grace to help in Time of Need:
From the Duty of Prayer, I now pro- of the LORD'S ceed to the Participation of the Sacra- SUPPER. ment of the Lord's Supper, the End of which is thus fet down by St. Paul, 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24. The Lord Jefus, in the fame Night that he was betrayed, took Bread, and when he had given Thanks, he brake it, and faid, Take, eat, this is my Body which is broken for you, this de in Remembrance of me. After the fame Manner alfo he took the Cup, when he had fupped, Jaying, This Cup is the New Teftament in my Blood, which (as our Saviour's Words are, Matt. xxvi. 28.) is fked for many for the Remiffion of Sins; This do, as oft as ye shall drink it, in Remembrance of me.
From hence it appears, that the End of the Inftitution of the Lord's Supper, is the Remembrance of Chrift as the Saviour and Redeemer of the World; or the Remembrance of Christ under the fpecial Character of one, who by his Death hath obtained for us Remiffion and Reconciliation with God. And this (by * Ignoratus erat i le precandi mos, & vim fuam præcipuè accepit ex obedientiâ Chrifti in morte præftitâ, Grotius.
the Way) yields a good Evidence backward, that the Blood of Chrift is a real Propitiation; for confidering it only as a Teftimony or an Example, the Sacrament might have been appointed in Remembrance of all the Martyrs that ever fhould be, as well as in Remembrance of Chrift. If you fay that Chrift was the Founder of our Religion, and therefore had this Diftinction paid him; this Answer will not ferve. For the Sacrament was appointed not to thew forth Crif, but to fhew forth the Death of Chrifi: And why his Death, I afk, but because there was a Virtue and Efficacy in his Blood, which there is not in the Blood of common Men? We must now, therefore, enquire what this Remembrance means, or how much the Act of eating and drinking at the Lord's Table implies: And this we may learn from the Words of St. Paul, 1 Cor. x. 16. The Cup of Blefing which we blefs, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Chrift ? The Bread which we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Chrift? The Apoftle's Intention here, was to diffuade the Corinthians from Idolatry. My dearly beloved, flee from Idolatry, ver. 14. What Sort of Idolatry this was we understand from ver. 27, 28. If any of them that believe not bid you to a Feast, and ye be difpofed to go, whatever is fet before you eat, afking no Queflion for Confcience Sake. But if any Man Jay unto you, this is offered in Sacrifice unto Idols, eat not, for kis Sake that ferved it, and for Confcience Sake. This was Idolatry; eating of Things that had been offered to Idols, in Company with Idolaters in their idolatrous Feafs. For the Manner of thofe Sacrifices was, that when Part of them had been confumed upon the Altar, as the Idol's Portion, thofe who offered them fat down with their Friends, and feafted upon the rest. This was fhewing a religious Refpect to the Idol, and fo intended by the Offerers; juft as a Man fhews a civil Refpect to his Neighbour, when he eats and drinks at his Table. And the Act had the fame Conftruction in all, who, understanding the Meaning and Intention of thefe Feafts, were Partakers of them, though they them felves
themselves facrificed not. They joined in an idolatrous Act, and in fo doing were guilty of Idolatry.
To make them feel the Weight of this Reafoning, the Apostle states a Comparifon between thefe Idol Feafts, the Jewish Sacrifical Feafts, and the Chriftian Sacrament. The Cup of Blessing which we blefs, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Chrift? The Bread' which we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Chrift? Behold Ifrael after the Flesh, Are not they which eat of the Sacrifices Partakers of the Altar?I fay then, that the Things which the Gentiles facrifice, they facrifice to Devils, and not to God; and I would' not that ye fhould have Fellowship with Devils. The Amount of which is this; That as eating Bread and drinking Wine at the Lord's Table, is the Communion of the Body and Blood of Chrift; and as the eating of the Jewish Sacrifices was the Communion of the Jewish Altar; even fo, the joining with the Heathens in their idolatrous Feafts was the Communion of Devils, or having Fellowship with Devils. It is fuppofed that the Act of eating and drinking had the fame Meaning in all these Cafes, and that the Chriftians of thofe Times well understood what this Meaning was, in Reference to the Chriftian Sacrament and the Jewish Sacrifices; whence they were led to conclude what it meant as to the Heathen Sacrifices. But the Argument will go backward as well as forward, and we may reason thus; "Whatever was meant by feast"ing upon the Heathen or Jewish Sacrifices, the "fame is meant by eating and drinking at the Lord's "Table, Refpect being had to the effential Points, in "which these feveral Ways of Worship differ from "each other." Confider then how the Comparifon, will lie. The Chriftian Sacrifice is Chrift once offering himself upon the Crofs as an Atonement for the Sins of the World. The Bread and the Wine are, by his own Appointment, his Body and Blood fymbolically reprefented; that is, they ftand in the Place of: his Body and Blood, and are to be confidered as fuch. Confequently, the eating Bread and drinking Wine at
the Lord's Table, precifely anfwers to the feafting upon the Sacrifices both among the Heathens, and under the Jewish Difpenfation. As therefore the Heathens in their Feafts paid a religious Respect to Idols, and the Jews in their Feafts, a religious Refpect to the true God, confider'd under the fpecial Character of their Deliverer from the Egyptian Bondage; fo Chriftians, by eating and drinking at the Lord's Table, pay a religious Refpect to the fame God, confidered as their Deliverer from Sin and Condemnation by the Sacrifice of Chrift: And what can this amount to lefs, than an Acknowledgment of their Trust and Reliance upon the Sacrifice of Chrift for Pardon and Reconciliation with God?
It appears from hence, that the partaking of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, hath the Nature of a folemn Vow and Covenant, in which we declare our Acceptance of the Salvation offered by the Gospel, through the Redemption that is in Chrift Fefus, and bind ourselves to a Behaviour fuitable to our Profeffion. For he that accepts the Benefits of the Gospel must be underflood as accepting them upon the Terms the Gofpel offers them, and thefe, you have feen, are Repentance and good Works. This is the Purport of the Baptifmal Vow, of which therefore every Act of communicating is the Repetition and Confirmation: And in their kind they are both of them very ufeful Inftitutions; the one, to givel Evidence of our Faith at first, the other, to give Proof of our conftant Continuance in it afterwards. Such publick Profeffions as thefe, are not only a good Example to others, but likewife very profitable to ourselves; as folemn Engagements are generally apt to be a greater Curb upon Mens Tempers, than a naked Senfe and Apprehenfion of Truth and Right. He who acts against his inward Perfuafion must know it himself; but he may hope that no Body elfe may know it, and may have Recourfe, whenever he pleafes, to the common Plea of Ignorance and Miftake. But he who acts against his own Engagements, has no Excufe to offer. The En