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Companion to the Altar.
:: : :..;) To our Worthy Receiving
. THE .....
Wherein those PEARS and 'S CRUPLES .. .
Whereunto are added
Preparotary to'a SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION,
Agreeable to what
The Church of England requires from her COMMUNICANTS.
SHEFFIELD; Printed for W: WARD.
fJ^HE usual Reason which Men ajfen far thtjr not coming so often to the Holy Sacral rnent as they would do, is their fear of eating and drinking unworthily, and consequently, J incurring their own Damnation thereby. The Design then of this st>ort Discourse is% to /brjt what Sacramental Preparation is, which is absolutely necessary to qualify Men for a worthy Partitifatien of the Lord1 s Supper, that so Men may come without the Uast Fear of eating and drinking Damnation to themselves i For which purpose, I conceive no Rule, no InstruSion more fast, toff end injlruilive, than that of our Church Catechism, which I have endeavoured tj explain, and to accomodate for the Uje aud Benefit of the meanest Capacity. -.
The concluding Part of this Discourse contains Prayers and Medications preparative to a -airamental Preparation and though they be few in Number, yet 1 hope they fully answer all theft several Parts of a Communicant's Duty, according to that Rult and Standard which our Church has fined for <*tr Guide and Companion Jo the bofy Jit ar. By the Addition of those Psalm, end proper Leffons annexed to each particular Prayer and Meditation, the Communicant mat enlarge his Devotions to what Degree or Length be pleaseth. By which Method you have as much Matter for actual Preparation in this little Book, as in any other Discourse of this Nature -ivbaijoever* .-• •
COMPANION to .4.jb-,'..
L L those Flesfings which we now ertjoyy Ul^^m^^ftsfter to receive f rom Almighty God, are purchased for us, and must be obtainei through the merits and intercession of the holy Jesus, who has "instituted and ordained Holy mysteries, as pledges of his love, anJ "for a continual remembrance ot his death and passion, to our great and endless comfort." Luke xxii. ip. I Cor. xi. 24. But then we must remember, that these benefits and blessings, which the Son of God has purchased lor us, are nowhere promised, but upon condition that we ourselves are first duly qualified fnr them. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is a lolemn ratification of our Baptismal Covenant, where in God for his part ha'h faithfully promised "pardon 41 and remission of sins to all true penitents," and we for our parts are therein solemnly bound to be faithful and'obedient unto him, 2 Tim. ii. ip. Before then we can'promise to ourselves' any^ benefit or advantage from the participation of this 1 solemn Rite and Covenant between God and us, we must endeavour (what in us lies) to possess our Souls with all thole divine qualifications which this Sacramet.t of the Lord's Supper requires to render us worrhy partakers thereof.
.And what those are* it is the design of this discourse to enquire- wherein I shall endeavour to shew what thru Preparation of heart and mind is, which must dispose us lor a worthy participation of the bleiTed Sacrament: and henrin I hope to remove all-those tears and Scruples which arise in our minds, about u Eating and Drinking unworthily, and of incurring our own Damnation thereby,'' as groundless and unwarrantable; and to do this I shall take occasion to explain that part of our Church C>techi;m, designedly intended for our instruction, with.' relation to this duty of a Sacramental Preparation; namely, :" '-'r-' '■■ What is required of them who come to the Lord's Supper ln \ *„
A. "To examine themselves whether they repent them truly of their farmer tt sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life, have a lively faith in God's mercy "through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death, and to be in char*"ty with all men.'' This is lhat Sacramental Preparation which our Church (in as few words as is possible) hath provided f ;r our Companion or Guide to the Holy Altar. The doty then of a devout Communicant eonsisteth in these six following particulars 1 1 Self-examination; to examine themselves. 2. Repentance towards God; whether they repent them truly of their former sins. 3. Holy purposes or resolutions of a new life; Stedfastly purposing to lead a new life. 4 Faith in God's Mercy through Christ; to have a lively faith, &c. 5. A. thankful remembrance of his death. 6thly and lastly,Unfeigned love or charily for all mankind; and to be in charity with all men.
The first Part then of a Communicant's Duty is Self-Examination: A duty not rnly enjoined /by human authority, but likewise commanded by St. Paul. But let a Alan examine himself, and Jo let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cut) i Cor. xi 2S. Intimating, that no Man should presume to cat of that Bread, aud drink of that Cup, without a previous Preparation, if he mean tb escape .that same Judgement of Condemnation which these Co/ inthians brought upon themselves for their irreverent, sinful and disorderly Behaviour at this Sacrament; and this was the Occasion of St Paul's Caution and Reproof: He that eatetb and drinketb ftnwcrthilj; fays the Apostle, eateth and drinketh Damnation * to himself, not discerning the Lord's Body, vet 29. . • • • »
tut that our .Preparation may be so well performed by us as to prevent the like Danger, let us, as the wife man advisctb, Remember the End, and we shall ne-j.r do amiss, Eccl. vii. 16. First then, That we may come to this heavenly Feist holy, and adorned with the Wedd:ng Garment, Matt. xxii. 11. we must starch our hearts, and examne our Consciences, not only till we fee our Sins, but until we hite them ; and instead of those filthy Rags ot our Righteousness, we must adorn our minds with pure and pious Dispositions; even that clean Linen, tie Righteousness of the Saints, Rev. xix. With these Ornaments are holy Souls fitted for the Society of that celestial Company, which are to be met' with at this Solemnity. 2d!y, Another End or Design of this strict Preparation, is, that we may be accepted by Gcd as worthy Communicants; that be who knowetb the Secrets of all our Hearts, neither is there any Creature that is not mantleII in his fights litt- all things are naked and opened unto the Eyes of him with whom we have to do, Jen xvii. Jo. Heb. iv. 13. may approve of the Sincerity of our Repentance; and the King, who comes in to view the Guests, Matt. xxii. 11. may (though strictly speaking we are not so) count us worthy of his Favour and Countenance. And hew to attain so great a Blessing these following instructions will help and assist us.
Yirfli we are directed to repent us truly of all our former Sins. This is that prepar?ticn which Christ himklf requires of us, Matt. m- 2, 3. A Duty _ you know, which our sinful Lives make always necestary for our Con- eptntanct sideration, if ever we expect eternal Happiness hereafter, Luke iii. 3. But more especially the Dignity of this Sacrament requires that it mould be enquired into with mote than ordinary Care and Circumpection, because without sincere Repentance, we cannot expect any Benefit or Advantage from the Death and Passion of Christ, which in this Sacrament we commemorate, and have the Merits of it conveyed to us by this sacred Memorial, supposing then that this is sufficient to convince you of the Necessity and Importance ot this Duty, that upon it depends
[•Note-, This Word Damnation, doct not signify it, i*.) and the Damnation here threatened, halh no
ctmial Condemnation, but on the contrary some temporal Relation to us, unless it could be proved, that any of H»
Punishment or Judgment, (a»\ on have it in the Marlines w.re ever guilty of the iarne WicktdneJs with iliele torin
j our Bible) such as licknefs or Death with which the City of thians; winch i believe no Man ever was or would be
Corinth was i illicted, for their great Abuse and Profanation surtcred to approach the Lord's Table afterluch a disorderly
of this lileinn Institution; lb that the Sins here reproved, manner as they did, if Men were so lewd and piofjne.J (namely, (ilur.ony, D.unkennels and Faction, ver. iS,
car welcome to this heavenly Feast unto-which we are called > I proceed now in the second place to inform you, That if our Repentance or Return to God be real and sincere, ! t wiil produce these following good Effects in Ml? •*." • ...: *; ■ » i Fifif, M A Sense, a Sorrow and Confession of all our former Sins. Second* Thel&tott J6t. * ^ stedfast .Purpose or Resolution to lead a new Life*''' These iKepeo. are the genuine fruits of a true Repentance, and must always accom
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tjbii* <• -^nd.t -v, ". 4 i ■ v•< ■; ■ •. l! •■• ■' • T«.
Fi JLsT,- We must labour to gain a Sense or Sight'of all our former Sins and Wickedness j this will readily preient itself to us by comparing our Lives and Actions by the Rule and Standard of Gtd's Word, which we must make the wmdijiMits.0" Measure of our * Examination. St. Paul shews us, Rom. iii. 20.
that by the Law is the Knowledge of Sin; and our own Experience will convince us, that there is no Way more likely to discover our In:quitits, and to humble ourselves for them, than a serious Application of God's Word to our crorjeed Paths: And this Duty ofSdf Examination, is never more properly ap* litd to, than when we^ntend to receive the Holy Communion j fer unless we fee the number, and apprehend the Heinousness of our Offences, and fear the Vengeance due unto us lor them, we are altogether unfit for the Commemoration of his Death, who died for our Sins, and rose again Jor our Justification. It is the sense and sight of Sin that must shew us the Need and Necessity of a glorious Redeemer, and what Obligations we are under to bless and praise God for our salvation by his Son Jesus Christ. Of such great Use and Advantage is this Duty of Self-Examination, at all times, that Pythagoras^ in those Golden Verses which go under his Name, particularly recommends the fame to his Scholars. <l Every Night before they slept, he enjoins them to examine themselves what Good «' they had done and wherein they had transgressed. Run over these Things, said' <c he, and ifyou have done any Evil, be troubled} if Good, rejoice." This Course, if daily f ollowed, as is suggested by Hieroc/es, his excellent Commentator, perfects
lcir own my Feet
unto thy Testimonies, Psalm cxix. 59. And this method, no doubr, is an admirable Means To improve us in Virtue, and the most effectual Way to keep our Consciences awake, and to make us stand in Awe of ourselves, and afraid to fin when we know beforehand that we must give so severe an Account to ourselves o£ every Action. And when we are employing our Mindsin this Duty ot Selt-Ex-< animation, before the Communion j or at any other Timc,nwc., must discharge it as,
t \ -TV•" \ *" ''.•«*:-* • -aVttbr:^ Si
• See The Daily Self-Examinant^ «r An Earnest Persuasive to the Duty of Daily Self-Examination. &e. bji
R. Warren, D, D. ! ■ 7? : i-ft .■ -»»» i ix >i <i T» -J» - r *** T^^S*