« PreviousContinue »
Sin, more inflamed with Gratitude towards bis God and Saviour, and more confirmed in Love towards all Mankind: --- ..If by them be can be prevailed upon to embrace with more Eagerness, and 709, and true Devotion, all Opportunities which the gracious Providence of God offers him to prefent bimself at the boly Table; I jball think myself more than repaid for all my Trouble : I sall then bave fully attained my End.
Persons, who having but little Laisure, would yet be glad to see, at one View, an Explication of many Points relating to the Subje&t in Hand, or reducible thereto, which otherwise must have cost them much Trouble and Time to collet.
And I hope the candid Reader will make all reasonable Allowances for Stile, and other Defects, in favour of one who . bas not bad the Benefit of an University Education, and whosé Profession bas no Connection with Learning in General, or the Study of Divinity in particular.
This Book will, bowever, appear much lefs faulty than otherwise it would, thro' the Favour of those very worthy Friends, who were so kind to overlook and correct the Sheets as they passed thro' the Press. To one of them especially I owe several material Additions in the Devotional Part, clicb greatly add to the Usefulness of the Performance: I beg they will hereby accept of my heartieft Thanks, and I pray God to recoard them for this and their other inceffant Labours of Love !
May the Almighty, who has enabled me to bring this Book to a Conclusion, crown these my poor and weak Endeavours with bis Benediction ! -If by them the Reader finds bimself more resolved against
4 Prayer for God's Acceptance of our present Service,
ERRA T A.
С НА Р.
CH A P. I. Of the Infiitution of the Lord's
HERE never was a Nation,
civiliz'd to any tolerable Degree, T
but admitted some kind of outward Ceremony, fome particular visible Rite or Sign, in order
to distinguish their Religion from all others; and, no doubt, many good Reasons might be alledg'd for their so doing t. Our blessed Saviour, who lay in the Bofom of the Father it, and was Wisdom itself, thought proper to adopt and fanctify this Custom by separating his Followers from the rest of Mankind, not only by an inward Belief of what he had done and suffered for them, but also by two positive Institutions peculiar to his Religion, viz. Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
+ All Mankind have looked upon such visible Rites as eso sential to Religion; or at least very proper to preserve and heighten Devotion :
Segniùs irritant Animos demisa per aurem,
Hor. de Arte Poeticâ.
It is not my Design to speak expresly to the First of these, but only of the Latter, and of that as plainly as I can.
In order the better to come at the End and Design of this blessed Sacrament, it will be proper to begin with the Institution itself, as recorded by the Authors of the New Testament: And here it is to be observed, that this Institution is recorded by them four feveral Times, which is a certain Proof of its Weight and Importance ; and that tho' some Night Variations occur, yet they all agree in the Mairs, and what is omitted by one, is supplied by another 1. The moft compleat, as well as shortest View of the Whole, may be taken by throwing all the Accounts into one, in some fuch Manner as here follows:
“ The Lord Jesus, in the same Night that " he was betrayed, took Bread, and giving
habited with Modesty and Decency; and infinitely more proper to encourage Virtue and Morality, than those prescribed by any other Religion in the World : Let me add farther, that Bread and Wine and Water, which are the external Signs of both Sacraments, have had always a Place in the religious Institutions of every Nation.
t Johni, 18.