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Ceremonial Rites, which were made necessary Preparatives in order to a due Celebration of the Paschal Feast, were of Mystical signification; pointing out that inward and substantial Purity, which is now required of those that enter into Covenant with God, by taking the Pledges of his Covenant into their Mouths. They must Circumcise their Hearts, as the Jews did their Flesh: They should 'Examine their Souls and Consciences, as the Jews did their Chambers: They should keep the Feast, not with the Old Leaven, neither with the Leaven of Malice and Wickedness, but with the. Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth: They should purge and Sanctifie their Affections, as fews and Pagans were wont to wash their Hands • and Feet ; and so compass the Altar of God, having first cleansed their Bodies and Spirits in Innocence. These are the Moral Duties, which those Ritual Ordinances did fignifie, and which were the substance and inside of them. And there's fore perhaps it was, that our Saviour delivered no particular Rules (that we Read of) about this matter; because those Purifications which were every where in the world, ased in order to a right Participation of Sacrifical Feafts, did plainly Indicate to all Christians what their Duty




was; and did speak enough to inform us all, that we ought to be Religiously Qua. lified, Prepared, and Difpof d, before we approach unto his Table; and thus much he seems to have intimated , when he washed his Disciples feet with his own hands, before he proceeded to the Institution of this Solemnity:

2. NOW though this be sufficient to Thew the Necessity of due Preparation in order to a Worthy Receiving of this Sacrament, yet for further proof hereof, "We are, in the next place, to add these words of S. Paul, 1 Cor. 11. 28. Let a Man Examine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of, that Cup. There is not a Text in all the Scriptures, but this only, which gives us a Command and Direction concerning this thing. But this is full and comprehensive, if we understand it in its just Latitude, dorimo Sét is the word in the Original Greek, and it signifies two things. 1. First, it imports searching and trying ; every one thould look into his Breast, and see how his Heart stands affected and disposed, before he goes to the

Holy Communion.' Seldom is a Man fo * well acquainted with himself, but that he

hath often Reason (especially before he draw's near to God, to Contract for an Eternity) to ask his Conscienceseriously, Is there not any Wickedness in me? The great Sages of Old thought it one of the most difficult matters, for a Man to know himself throughly. For such is the Pravity of our Nature, that we are common. ly very loath to search into our Bosoms, for fear we should discover some ugly Monster there, like ill Husbands that are afraid to look over the Account of their Debts, left their minds should be disquieted at the right of them. And when we do take our felves to task, such is our Partiality, that for the most part we pass too favourable Judgment in our own Case, and are 'apt to think our selwes Clean, though our Defilements are more than the spots of the Sun. Considering therefore that at this Sacrament we present our selves, before that Great God who is the searcher of the Reins, and the Rewarder of all Evil, we are very highly concern'd to rip open our Hearts before hand, and to Examine every Angle of our Souls, lest we receive the same 'Answer, which that rude Guest received, who came. Unprepa. red to the Wedding Feast, Friend, how camelt thou hither, Marthi 22. Indeed it would be needful for us, were we not Christians, but Men only, to cast our Eyes back upon our ways every Night, and see how we have pass'd over the Hours

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pag. 210.

of the day, before we climb up into our Beds : For this was the grave Advice even of a Pagan Philosopher, That é're we

Suffer our Eyes to Sleep, we Mndo üzvou ponavõiory should thrice run over the επ' όμμασι προσδέξας πρόTw miuteevāv lépzwar Tees free works of the day past, and sou Gry nagéßl; ask our Jelves, Where we &x, Go C.Pythag poy.in

have been? What we have En.

done ? What necessary thing we have emitted? So reckoning up the several pallages of our Life from the first dawn

ing of the Light, as faith Pythagoras. For Hyerocl. as Hierocles hath rightly Noted, This in Pythag.

course will serve very much, either to Crown us with Joy, for what we have done well ; or to increase our Repentance for whatever bath been done amiss. . But never should we be more careful of this, than when we refolve to make our Approaches to the Table of the Lord ; then it is most neceffary to lay aside some portion of time, to enquire into our Condition with all diligence, to peruse the Register of our Adions, and to call our selves to an account even for our words and thoughts · For hardly doth any Man walkio in this world, but that he contracteth some filth daily ; some Defilements or other are apt to stick to his Heels. Even the Consciencious mannagement of our common Affairs, and our Lawful Callings, though it


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be in its kind a good Preservative against Sin, yet 'tis, apt to steal away our Hearts from God, and to draw us sometimes into a Snare. And for this Reason, the most

Righteous Man among us hath need to sequefter some hours from other Employments, and to enquire whether he be fit to come to the Supper of the Lamb.

2. BUT then, Secondly, we must note, that this Examination is not required for it self, but as a Relative Duty, that is, an Excellent Means to a farther end; that a Man may be able after Tryal and search, to make right Judgment of himself;and may be provoked and perswaded to Correct the several Errata of his Life. And this is the full meaning of St.Paul in that place;where he doth chide the Corinthians for their shameful Miscarriages in the Church at the Communion time. For first of all, when ye come together in the Church, I hear that there be Divisions among you, faith the Apostle, v. 18. And then, in Eating every one taketh before other bis own Supper, and one is Hungry, and another is drunken, v.21. These were Vile and Scandalous Actions ; and when the Apostle Commanded them to Examine themselves, his meaning could not be, that he would have them enquire, whether Matter of Fact was not true, or


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