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with them, left they take a step towards their Perdition. Keep. thy foot when thori goeft to the House of God; and be more ready to hear, than to give the Sacrifice of Fools, as the Royal Preacher said, Ecclef. 4. 1.
Thus having made it appear, that we are strictly bound to communicate, and to Prepare our felves rightly and duely in order to a Profitable Communion (which was the first thing I was to discourse of upon
this point)I shall now go on according to this plain Method, and Treat in the next place of the Nature and Quality of this Preparation, and shew you wherein that doth confift.
CH A P. бо
C'HA P. IV. of the Nature of Preparati
on, in general, and in particular
HIS is a Matter of great weight T
and Consideration ; though a very flight account is made of it by those, whose great care and solicitude seems to be, to whisper their Crimes to the Ear of a Confessor, and to undergo or Promise some trifling Pennance; and if after these little Practices, they have the Abfolution of a Priest (who yet perhaps, is equally involved in the Communion of Guilt with his Penitents) they think themselves fufficiently purged from the Conscience of Sin, and to be perfectly Innocent. And this naturally followeth from the Principles of those Doctors, who Teach, that Confesion and Penance, are the necessary Preparatives before the Sacrament ; without making any the least mention of a Lively Faith in Christ. And although they speak of the Necessity of Contrition (or Attrition at least) yet by those words, they understand no more, but a little
grief for Sin, with some few purposes at present to amend hereafter ; which they think to be sufficient, because, according to their Fancy, the work of the Priest supplies and makes amends for the want of a true and Manly Repentance of the Heart. Now this is so far from being a due Preparation for the Sacrament, 'that 'tis a Ridi. culous and trifling Method, made up of lucrative Arts and absurd Performances; and serveth to Corrupt and Debauch Christianity, and to encourage. People in a Wicked and Irreligious course of Life ; as any Man may dilcern, that will but observe, the Natural Consequences thereof.
1. THEREFORE for the Resolution of this point, and for the Satisfaction of Mens Consciences in this particular, we are first to Note, in the general, that. U. niversal Sanctity and Purity of Mind is required of us, in order to a Profitable and Comfortable Communion. It was the Opinion 'even of a Pagan,that such as meddle with things Sacred, ought to be Chaste and Holy, not 'Egw uw ge sizɛuas del for a certain number of days to eis, segã sinova aj zegyi only, but throughout their muxda mução decimo en whole Life: And certain- réuer, dira Top Broj onov ly a constant course of Horzusunivou, Gc. Democh.Conc.
Timocrac linefs, is the best Prepa
parative for a due Celebration of this Mystery' ; because nothing can be presumed to be so acceptable unto God, as a Life of Innocence. Yet if a Man hath lost his Innocence, either through the Practice of Habitual Sin, or through the Commiffion of some Unlawful Afts; his Repentance nevertheless is for Christ's fake accepted of in lieu of it, if that Repentance be Hearty and Sincere.
NOW Repentance cannot be right, unless the Heart be entirely good, so as to be out of Love with every thing that * is base and inconsistent with the Laws of Chrift's Religion. And therefore a Communicant's mind and purpose must be resolutely fixt upon the Practice of Universal Christian Piety. Though some particular Virtues are here more especially to be Exercised, because there are at this time particular Reasons, and Special Objects to Exercise his Faith, Charity, and the like; yet there ought to be an Habitual Presence of other Virtues 100; the frame and disposition of our Spirits must be such, as is Answerable to the whole Tenor of the Gospel. Bonum ex integris, malum ex quolibet defektu: He cannot be said to be an entire Good Man, nor a right Good Communicant, that has not an entire and Universal. Love, of Religion, in such a
measure, as by the Mercies of the New Covenant is now accepted of. Each Divine Grace must contribute something to make up our Wedding Apparel ; the com vering of Charity, the Ornaments of a meek and gentle Spirit, the clothing of Humility, the Jackcloth of Repentance and self-denyal, the long. Robe of Patience and constancy, the New Apparel.of Mercy and Forgiveness. In a word, we ought to be fo Perfect, as to be Sincere, and to be ready unto every good work, according to the best of our Knowledge, and to the uttermost of our Power. All Affection and Love to Sin must be cast off; and Mens Hearts must be Devoted to the observation of all the Laws of our Redeemer, as his Spirit shall enable us, by working in us, and with us, and by helping our Infirmities. He that is not thus disposed, cannot Communicate Worthily, and so as to obtain a Blefling. And the Reason is clear, because (as I have shewed at large) this is a Covenant Feast under the Gospel, as the Paschal Supper, and other Sacrifical Banquets were under the Law. By tasting of this Bread and Wine we enter into Solemn Engagements unto God, as the Jews did by Eating
Eating of the Lamb. As they did by that Holy Rite addict them. selves to the Worship of God, and engage their Obedience to him, conformable to