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2. IF, such Christian applications cannot obtain their End, the Offender must be forborn; provided the injury be not considerable in it self or in its Conses quences, although it be evident. 'Tis true, a wrong being done,, he that did it becomes liable to Justice; but it doth not follow, that a Man may not forbear him in light and trivial matters; for Charity* and Peace sake we are to poffefs' our Souls in Patience, with an humble submission to the good Provia dence of God for reparation in his way And to this purpose is that Law of Christ, Matth. 5. 39, 40. Whosoever * shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other allo; and if any Man will Sue thee at the Law, and take away tby Coat, let him take thy Cloak also. These are Proverbial Expressions, which lig. nifie light and inconsiderable Injuries; and they are to be understood in a Comparative sense to this purpose; that when wrongs are small, and of no greater account than a little blow, or an upper Garment amounts to, rather than venture the breach of Peace or Chas rity, we are to be content with the loss, if Reparation cannot be obtained by Soft and gentle Proceedings.
3. WHERE the injury is heavy and grievous, so that Reparation becomes ne. cessary, you are not to require it with your own hands, or by private and per
sonal violences, but by the help of the * Vid. Magistrate.. * To this purpose is that ojære belli. ther Law of Christianity, Rom. 12.9. lib. 2. Dearly Beloved, avenge not your selves, but
rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will
repay it, faith the Lord.
AS appeals to the Magistrate in weighty Cases are Lawful (for he is the Minister of God, and his Office, is to Relieve such as are Oppressed) so must the Proceedings before him be without Covetousness, without Envy, without Sinister Arts, and without any Gäll and Bitterness of Spiriß. For whatever a Man's Lofles are, he must not lofe or let go his Charity. He should Love and Pity, and be ready to thew Mercy, and to do good Offices to the Offender, even when he seeks Reparations for the Offence it felf. An enraged Heart, an Ulcerated Mind, Affections foaming out hatred and malice, these are the worst of Plaintiffs in the best of Causes : They spoil in a great measure a very just Controversie, and make it all one in effect with Cruelty and Revenge; with this (curvy difference, that a Mali
many times cuts deeper wounds : than a private stroak, when 'tis com- menced upon premeditation, and carried on with implacability, and is at last armed with the Sword of publick Justice.
NOW by these Four Rules a Man may examine his Condition, and make a right judgment of his Charity ; as every one ought to do, before he comes to the Holy Communion. If he seeks for Reparation by fair means, and after a Friendly and Christian manner; if it be not any inward rancour or hatred that moves him to it, but only the nature of the injury; if it be of such importance as that it makes Redress necessary either for himself, or for his Relatives, who have a dependance upon him, and some share with him in all his Civil Rights; if he be not his own avenger, but commits his Cause into the hands of those who judge for the Lord; and if in his whole Behaviour he manageth himself with Christian simplicity and candour of mind, and with an heart desirous of perfect Reconciliation and Peace. I do not see what just reason such a Man hath to forbear the use of the Hoo ly Sacrament. The Injurer indeed is bound to make Reparation, and by all possible means to Sollicite his Friendship,
and to beg his Forgiveness; but the injured Party hath done all that either a Good or a Prudent Person can be supposed able to do in such Circumstances. But if Malice, or Spight, or Inhumanity, a Quarrelsom Mind, a vexatious Spirit, an Oppressive or Revengeful Humour be at the bottom of all this, or in any part
of it, I have no more to say, but that such a one must bewail his great wickedness, and Repent of it, and implore the forgiveness of God and Man for it, and endeavour to new-mould and rectifie his Uncharitable and 'Unchristian Temper, before he presume to go to the Lord's Table;
the Blessed Sacrament being too Holy a Thing, to be put into the mouth of a Tyger, or a Wolf. And so much shall suffice to be spoken upon this Subject.
c H A P. 1. Of our Bebavinur at the time
of Receiving. H.
AVING thus Largely Discoursed
upon the point of Preparation, because it is of such vast Concernment in order to our acceptance with God, I proceed now to what is yet behind. For hitherto I have brought you but as it were to the Porch of the Temple, and must lead you next to the very Alcar of God; and consequently must-shew, first what you are to do there, and then how you are to behave your selves after your departure thence.
1. FIRST then we are to Consider, that we are going upon no less a business than to offer up our Whole Man, not our Souls only (though that be the chief Oblation) but our very Bodies also, a Living Sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable Service, as St. Paul speaks, Rom. 12. I.
2. THAT we may not present the Sacrifice of Fools, nor turn our Offerings into an Abomination ; 'tis "necessary for us