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peace with God; they are strengthened by the presence and consolations of his Holy Spirit ; they are preserved by the vivifying body and blood of Christ unto everlasting life.
Oh! sublime and precious mystery! Jesus, exalted in glory, condescends to become, by representative symbols, the spiritual food, support
, and strength, of his people. Surrounding this holy table, Christians hear the voice of their blessed Redeemer pronouncing their pardon; they receive, as it were, from his own hands, the pledges of their salvation, the sacred emblems of his life-giving body and blood. “ As often as they eat this bread and drink this cup, they do show forth the Lord's death till he come."
Bless God, O my soul, for his infinite love in giving his only Son for thy redemption. Bless thy Saviour for graciously condescending to institute a rite, in which, under the most lively and affecting emblems, thou mayest commemorate his death, and be made partaker of the benefits of his passion. Art thou desirous, O my soul, to obtain that peace and happiness which thou hast in vain sought from a disappointing world? Go to the holy supper of thy Lord, where he waits to dispense to thee a peace which passeth all understanding; which the world can neither give nor take away; which his infinite mercy inspires; which his almighty grace cherishes; and which shall flourish for ever under the smiles of his love. Art thou
Art thou weary and heavy laden, O my soul, under the burden of thy sins, under the oppressing cares and sorrows of the world? Go to the altar, where the arms of thy Redeemer are extended to embrace thee, to shield thee in his bosom from every guilty pang, and from every corroding sorrow. Do unholy passions invade thy peace; does temptation overcome thy frail resolutions; does sin defile thee, O my soul, and render thee obnoxious to that God who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity ? Go to the altar, where thy gracious Redeemer sits enthroned, glorious in his power, mighty to save. By his almighty fiat, he will quell the tumult of thy guilty passions; his heavenly grace descending upon thee, will purify thy affections; will guide thee through all difficulties; will arm thee with victorious strength over all temptations. In the imperfect and transitory gratifications of the present life, thou dost in vain seek, O my soul, for that full and substantial enjoyment for which thy aspiring powers ardently pant. Go then to the altar, and receiving with lively faith the pledges of thy Saviour's
mercy, enjoy a foretaste of that never-ending and ineffable bliss, which, in the kingdom of heaven, thou shalt drink at the everlasting fountain of perfection and love.
Yes, O my God, thy service alone constitutes the perfection of my nature; thy service alone leads to perfect and eternal bliss. I resolve to choose thee, O my God, as my supreme good, my unfailing and satisfying por
tion. Blessed Jesus, thou who art the only way of access unto the Father, conduct me to the light of his reconciled countenance.
O MERCIFUL and gracious God, the fountain of being and all perfection; I bless thee that thou hast created me capable of knowing, of loving, and of serving thee. For ever blessed be thy name, that when I had wandered from thee, the source of light and felicity, thou didst not give me up to that blindness and misery, which I had courted, and which would have been my merited portion. For ever blessed by thy name, that when, by my sins, I had provoked thy just displeasure, thou didst, in mercy, forbear to execute upon me the severity of thy awful wrath. Blessed, for ever blessed, O God, be thy holy name, that thou didst even give thy onlybegotten and well-beloved Son to suffering and death, to purchase my redemption. Glory be for ever ascribed to thee, for the inestimable gift. O may this display of infinite love awaken in my heart the emotions of lively gratitude, and penetrate me with compunction for having so long neglected thee, my gracious Redeemer and God. Dispose me now to choose thy service as my highest duty, my supreme delight and enjoyment. Blessed Jesus, who, by thy precious blood, hast atoned for my sins, and in the powerful grace of thy Holy Spirit, hast provided the means of my redemption, with humble reverence and gratitude I adore thee for thy infinite love, in conveying to me, by sensible pledges, the assurances of thy grace and mercy, in nourishing and strengthening me, under lively emblems, with
thy spiritual body and blood. O may my earnest desires be awakened to partake in the holy sacrament of thy supper, of thy life-giving body, of thy purifying blood—to seal by them my pardon, my peace, my restoration to holiness and eternal felicity. Do thou, O God, awaken, by thy grace, these holy desires, and strengthen my resolutions of serving thee, Dispel the doubts, allay the apprehensions, remove every indolent or sensual pretext, which would deter me from receiving the memorials of my Saviour's love, the pledges of my eternal salvation. With lively desires, with humble penitence, and steadfast faith, approaching this holy table, may I be accepted and blessed, through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
MEDITATION. The Dispositions with which the Communicant should advance to the
Altar. Thou hast reviewed, O my soul, thy spiritual character, privileges, and hopes. Thou hast sought to lay the foundation of thy preparation for the holy eucharist, where, indeed, the foundation of thy spiritual life should be laid, in a deep conviction of thy fallen and condemned state. Awakened to a sense of thy guilt and unworthiness, thou hast humbled thyself before the throne of God, in the exercises of repentance; and, having devoted thyself with renewed ardour to his service, hast implored the succours of his Holy Spirit to enable thee to serve him in newness of life. Deeply sensible of thy need of the cleansing blood and renovating grace of a Saviour, thou hast sought to secure an interest in his merits and favour, by lively faith in him; and hast acknowledged him, in all his exalted offices, as the eternal Son of the Father, thy Prophet, thy Priest, and King. With the fervours of lively gratitude, thou hast traced the series of sufferings which thy Saviour endured with divine magnanimity and fortitude; which, while they excited thy exalted admiration, served to confirm thy faith. Thou hast reviewed the sufferings by which the Saviour at once impressed the humble and forgiving spirit of his Gospel, and made an all-sufficient expiation for thy sins. About to participate of an ordinance which derives all its efficacy from its divine Institutor, thou hast attentively considered the important truth, that God conveys his grace and favour through the channel of rites and ordinances, administered by a priesthood deriving their authority from the divine Head of the church. Happy art thou, O my soul, if, through divine grace, that holy and spiritual life, which the sacred exercises in which thou hast been engaged are calculated to form in thee, has been excited or confirmed. If thou hast sincerely sought the mercy and favour of thy God, dismiss now every doubt or apprehension; and resolve to quicken thy repentance, to confirm thy faith, to animate thy