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those Laws and Ordinances, which were Enacted then; even so do we Christians Consecrate our selves by this Evangelical Solemnity to the Service of God," and vow Obedience to him, answerable to that way, and platform, which he hath laid before us now. This is the meaning of this Mystery; and therefore 'tis called a Sacrament, because'tis like the old Military Oath, binding all of us to be Faithful and True to the Captain of our Salvation. Now this is that which he hath commanded us by the Mouth of his Apostle, that as he who hath called us is Holy, so we also should be Holy in all manner of Conversation, 1 Pet. 1. 15. And this we undertake tó do, when we Eat and Drink here before the Lord, if we rightly understand what
We stipulate and vow to Obey the Will of God in all things; and promise Solemnly to deny all ungodliness and worldLy Lufts, and in express terms do offer and present unto God our selves, our Souls, and Bodies, to be a holy, reasonable and lively Sam crifice unto him. Now unless we really intend what we do Profess, and do stedfastly purpose, and diligently endeavour to make all our Promises good, what else can we be supposed to do, but to set forth our own Thameful Hypocrise, instead of thewing forth the Lord's Death? Therefore if
we intend to Receive this Sacrament with
entire Love of Virtue, of whatsoever things are True, and Honest, and Juf, and Pure, and Lovely, and of Good Report, as the Apostle speaks, Phil
. 4. 8. AND thus much may suffice to be spoken briefly, of the Quality and Nature of due Preparation in general: It must be an Universal Reftitude and Holiness of Heart, an entire Goodness of Dispostion, a fincere Love of that Religion, which is Pure and Undefiled, and such a Divine frame and bent of Soul, as utterly. Abhor. reth all that is Evil and Destructive of that Obedience, which is due both to the first and second Table of the, Decalogue.
2. BUT then we must Note, in the next place, that as there ought to be this general and babitual Preparation, so there are fome Particular and Special Duties, which are now to be performed, because (as I faid) here are Special Objects and Reasons to stir us up to the performance of them. Here the Passion of Christ is represented, the Pardon of our Sins is tendered, and the infinite Love of God is Exhibited to
And accordingly we are to lay hold on Christ's Merits with all our Souls, because his Merits are available to such only as do Believe : We are truly and earnestly to Repent of our Sins, because Sin was that which Christ Dyed for, and 'tis upon our Repentance that our Pardon is Sealed; and moreover we are to express our entire Love to our Brethren, in all its Acts and Offices; because, if God fo Loved us, we ought also to Love one another, i foh. 4. 11. Hence it is, that Divines commonly Prescribe Faith, and Repentance, and Charity, as most necessary. Preparatives in order to a worthy Receiving ; not as if other Vire tues were to be excluded, but because these are specially to be Exercised, forafmuch as this great Solemnity doth afford us Special and Eminent Objects for the Exercising of them. I shall therefore ob serve the usual Method, being now to shew, how Prepared you ought to be, and what Preparations are sufficient; and for your more Profitable Instruction, I Thall Discourse particularly of those three Qualifications, in their due order.
1. AND first of Faith, which is the Mother and Nurse of all True Religion. By Faith I mean, here, in the strict Notion of it, an Act of the Understanding, whereby a Man is convinced and sacisfied of the Truth of those things which are propounded to our Belief by Divine Revelation, distinguishing Faith from Hope' and Obedience, and other Acts of the Will, which are included in the Notion of Faith,
when 'tis taken in a larger and more comprehensive Sense. Now in the pursuit of this Subject, I shall do these two things. 1. First Shew, why Faith is required in a Communicant, that we may understand the Necessity of this part of our Duty. 2. What
Faith is required ; or what we are bound to Believe ; that we may see the Extent of it. And when this is done, I know not what more will be needful to be spoken, touching this matter.
1. WHY Faith is required in a Communicant? And the Reason of it is obvious ; because it is the Principle that doth influence, move, and govern our Actions it being unconceivable, how a Man should be wrought upon, either to put his Trust in God, or to forfake his İmpieries, or to do any other Act of Religion, unless he be first perswaded in his Mind, that the Author of our Religion had Authority from God to exact these things at our Hands, and that there is Mercy with God if we be careful to do our Duty ; and that nothing but Punishment is to be expected, if we neglect and despise so great Salvation. So that without Faith, as it is imposible to please God, so it is impossible to answer the ends and purposes of this Ordinance ; and consequently, the Elements that are taken by an Unbeliever, can do him