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confift; but it is a Relative thing, insti: tuted by our Saviour as a Means to pro• mote and carry on that Noble End, for which the Grace of God hath appeared unto all Men;' that denying all Ungodliness and Worldly Lufts, we should live Soberly, Righteously, and Godly in this present World, Tit. 2. 12. Here indeed we lay the Foundation of a life of Virtue, by devoting unto God the Powers and Faculties of our Souls, and the Members of our Bodies: but as the Ground-work is in order to a Superstructure ; fo are our Actions now in order to the further edifying and perfecting of us, that we may be built up more and more in our most Holy Faith, and being fitly framed together and compacted, 'may grow and rise up by degrees to an Holy Temple for the Lord, to be an Habitation of God through the Spirit. THIS


will easily perceive, if you observe, 1. The Nature of the Ordinance it felf. It is first, a Representation of the very Death of Christ; a Representation exhibited to our Sences, by the breaking of the Bread, and the effusion of the Wine. And what doth this mean, but to awaken our Fears, by Thewing us the Terror of the Lord, who for the expiation of the World's Guilt, spared not his own Son, 'nor would be reconciled to the World at a



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lower rate, than by delivering him up to Torments and Death for us all? What

doth it mean, but to fer our Zeal a work e upon mortifyiug all our Lusts and Affections, and upon perfecting Holiness in

the fear of God, because Christ gave - himself for us, that he might redeem us

from all Iniquity,and Purifie unto himself a peculiar People, zealous of good works? What doth it mean, but to make us ever watchful and circumspect, left we tread under foot the Blood of the Son of God? Because, if we sio wilfully after we have received the Knowledge of the Truth,

there remaineth no more Sacrifice for Sin, LE Heb. 10. 26. It is, secondly, a Memorial

of Christ's Love, Love stronger than Death, that made him give his life a ranfom for the ungodly. And what doth this mean, but to kindle in our Hearts the most ardent Affections to Him again, who fo loved us, as to die for us? The greatest Affection this, that 'tis possible for any Mortal Man to express, to lay down his Life for the Brethren : But yet infinitely short of that, which the Son of God expressed upon the Cross, for his Enemies : In this he commended his Love towards us, above all proportion and comparison, in that while we were yet Sinners Ghrist died for us,the Just for the Unjuft

. It is thirdly,

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thirdly, a fæderal Solemnity, whereby wę renew the Covenant we entred into at our Baptism, Vowing, Promising, and Engaging over the Symbols of Christ's Body and Blood; and Swearing, as it were, with our Hands laid upon the Redeemer of our Souls, that we will henceforth walk in Newness of Life. And what doth this mean, but to bind us with the most $olemn Securities, and under the most dreadful Penalties, to renounce the Devil and all his Works; to deny all the Lusts of the Flesh, fo as not to follow or be led by them; and not only to offer up our Hearts and Spirits' unto the God of Purity, but to present even our Bodies a living Sacrifice, Holy and Acceptable to him. And for the farthering of all these Noble. Ends, this Mystery is, in the fourth place, the very Means of Grace and Salvation, an Inftrument that conveys to us the present. Poffefsion of all necessary and suitable Affiftances, and a Title under Seal to all the Evangelical Promises, and particularly to this, that he that persevereth unto the end, the fame shall be saved ; and that to them who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for Glory and Honour; and Im mortality, God will render Eternal Life, Rom. 2.7. And what doth this mean



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too, but that we should grow in Grace; that we must not grieve the good Spirit of God, whereby we are Sealed to the

day of Redemption; but that we should ¿ be strong in the Lord, and in the power i of his Might, and give all manner of diligence to make our Calling and Ele

ction unto Grace fure and effectual, by | adding to our Faith, Virtue Cor Courage)

and to Virtue, Knowledge ; and to Knowledge,

Temperance'; and to Temperance, Patience, and to Patience, Godliness and to Godliness, Brotherly Kindness;

and to Brotherly Kindness, Charity ; Chai rity, in the highest degree, to all Mankind,

and even to our Enemies? Thus, you fee, the gature of the Ordinance it self is such, that it is not onlylimghly useful for the prefent, but of migheyt importance for the future; it hath a tendency forward, and it drives at mighty Ends, which our endeavours are to be employ'd about, after the Celebration of it is over; that we may be more and more Partakers of the Divine Nature, and come every day nearer and nearer to the Life of God. %; border

TO confirm this still, we may observe, Secondly, That those very Preparations which are required in order to our worthy Communicating, do all look the fame way, and have a direct tendency to the


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same purpose. Thus faith, or the hearty belief of the truth of our Religion upon those Evidences and Motives it carries with it, is naturally productive of constant Obedience to the Precepts of throughout the whole course of our lives. For as it discovers to us the Folly, the Shamefulness, and the bitter Fruits of Sin; so it shews us on the other hand the excellence of Virtue, and the beauty of Holiness. It proposes Christ's Yoke as an easie thing, especially to such as make a due use of the Spirits Aslistance, and accustom themselves to the familiar practice of Religion. And though at the first entrance upon a Life of Holiness, there may be many difficulties for us to grapple with, Affections to be regulated, evil Habits to be eradicated. Pleasures and secular. Advantages to be denied, when they stand in competition with our Duty; and though in the progress of our life many temptations from within and without us are to be resisted , many hardships and tryals to be expected, and a bundance of discouragements of several kinds to be met with before we die; yet we learn from our Religion, that the present satisfactions which attend a course of Virtue are so great, and the future Rewards which are to crown it, are so end



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