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whether the things laid to their Charge were not Evil, for all this was plain and open, and manifest already, and needed Cerfure rather than Examination. But when he Commanded them to Examine, his purpose was, that they should Reform themselves, and for the future take care, not to meddle with that Sacred Mystery, till upon searching of their Hearts, they could approve themselves to God and the Church, and to their own Consciences, and should find them'elves fit to be Communicants. Examinatirn here, is as much as Approba. tion ; and in this Sense, we find the word used as well in Prophane as in Sacred Writers. The Men of Sparta were wont to be Tryed, whether they had well ob. ferved the Laws of Lycurgus ; and such of them as were found to have done so, were ·called dorpeodevtes, 'approved Persons, Men that were fit and well Qualified to be Citizens. And according to this Sense we are to understand that of St. Paul, 1 Tim.3.10where speaking of such as were to be chosen Deacons, he said, doujosSo Iwmv, let them be first approved of ; let them be Eftçemed as Men that are fit for that Function; ávéyxan tol őrtes, perfons that are blameless in every respect. And speaking of himself being appointed to be an Apostle, he useth the same Expression,

i Thel. i Thell. 2. 4. dedospeloue do wózef Soon we were Approved of by God, and thought Meet to be entrusted with the Gospel. And many more places there are in the New Testament, where the word signifies, not only Examination, but Approbation,or Liking ; and questionless this chiefly is the meaning of St. Paul in this place ; Let a Man Examine himself ; that is, let every Man see that he be fit to be a Receiver, that he be rightly qualified and disposed, that he be such as the Conditions and Laws of the Gospel require him to be: „His Conscience must not Condemn him for any known Sin Vorepented of: He must have this Testimony within himself, that his Heart is. sincere : He must be an Holy Person that makes use of this. Mystery ; one that hath led an Holy Life, or at least, that hath now Holy Purposes and Vows, that he will Redeem the time for the future, and yield up the Members of his Body, and the Faculties of his Soul, as Instruments of Righteousness and Holiness. He that hath not any Comfortable Confidence, that he is thus Religiously and Honestly disposed, ought not to Communicate of these Mysteries.

3. FOR in the Third place, to shew you yet further the Necessity of due Prepara

ration,

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ration, the Apostle tells us, 1 Cor. 11.
27. Whosoever shall Eat this 'Bread, and
Drink this Cup of the Lord Unworthily,
shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the
Lord. And again, v. 29. He that Eateth
and Drinketh Unworthily, Eateth and
Drinketh Damnation (or Judgment) to him-
self, not discerning the Lord's Body. In
which two Verses, the Apostle sets down
the Sin and the Punishment of those, who
go to the Lord's Table, as the Corinthians
did, with Factious, Irreverent, and Unai
prepared Hearts. Their Sin is twofold.
1. First, they discern not the Lord's Body
meaning, that they make no difference

þetween this Supper, and De iis erat Sermo, qui domi

an ordinary Meal ; they mi corpus veluti quemlibet alium cibum indiscrete, 'niegli- take the Body of the genterque sumebant. August. Lord with the same IndisHieron. in Loc. & Author cretion and Negligence, Librorum de Cardinal. oper. wherewith they cake UnCypriano afcript. & S. Chry. hallowed and Common Food,

not considering the greatness of the things that are Exhibited, nor the Amplitude of the Gift that is here given to every well Prepared Soul. For no less than the Spiritual Body of Christ is tendered by the Elements. And so, Secondly, the Unworthy and Irreverent Communicant Sinneth directly, and immediately against the Body of his Saviour;

he

in I Cor. 11. 29.

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he becomes Guilty of his Body and Blood, Thewing by his Actions, that he hath a very low and mean regard, of that most Precious and Salutary Offering upon the Cross. Now according to this twofold Sin, the Unworthy Receiver hath a twofold Punishment. 1. First, he Eateth and Drinketh his own Damnation, faith St. Paul. As the Devout and sincere-hearted Communicant Receives the Pledges of a Glorious Immortality, by Receiving the outward Symbols ; so doth he that intrudes rudely, take that which is the occasion of his Everlasting Ruine, without true Repentance. The Devil enters in with the Morsel, as he did into Judas, not to be cast out, but by Prayer and Fasting, and a strong Repentance. For as the Bodily Presence of Christ in the Flesh, was an occasion of Condemnation to those who Received him not then by Faith ; sodoth his Mystical and Spiritual Presence here, accidentally turn to the Prejudice of such as Receive him pot now in a due manner. Nay, 2dly, such Bold and Presumptuous Persons, do draw. a Curse down upon their Heads even in this world. For this Cause, faith St. Paul, many are weak and fickly among you, and many sleep. Whence come many lingring Diseases, many sudden Deaths ? Why; it is very probable, that

many

many of them are owing to the Irreve
rent use of this Blessed Sacrament. Cer.
tain it is, that as God threatned under
the Law, Exod. i 2. 15. to cut off those Souls
that should eat Leavened Bread at the Pal-
over; so in the Primitive times of Chri-
stianity, many were remarkably visited
with Plagues, and sundry kinds of Death
(and some people were pofsest with the
Devil too) by Reason that they came not
to this Mystery, well Prepared and Qua-
lified for it, as they ought to have been.
I shall say no more upon this Theme,' sup-
posing that what hath been delivered now, ,
is sufficient to Convince Men of the Ne-
cessity of due Preparation: And I had
scarcely said so much, but that it is a
thing which lyeth before us in our way,
and I could not leap over it, with an Honest
Conscience. In many other Cases Men
need a Bridle, rather than à Spur ; but
in this case, a Spur seems to be more ne-
cessary than a Bridle ; because such is the
shameful neglect of this Ordinance, which
many are Guilty of, that we should ra-
ther use Protrepticks, to provoke Men
unto their Duty, than Threats and Mena-
ces to deter them from Receiving. How-
ever, that they may not make more hafte
than good fpeed, it behoved me to Thew,
what Cautions they are to take along

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