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211 THE Church then being left to her Liberty what posture to use, thought fit to chuse that of Kneeling, for these three Reasons chiefly.
1. TO testifie our belief of our Saviour's Godhead. Had he been a meer Creature, as all other Men are, we might have had fome encouragement to prefent our felves at his Table, as his Fellows, and in a common Table-Gesture, as those are wont to do, who deny the Doctrine of his Divinity. But being the Eternal Son of God, and equal to the
ather, he hath a Right and Claim to the humbleft Services we can think of, to express in some measure the sense wé fhould have of his Infinite Greatness and Majesty ; especially at an Ordinance which was instituted in Honour to him.
2.. AS'a Posture that is most suitable to the Nature of the Mystery it self. Here we Commemorate the Lord's Tofie nite Goodness and Love, his unexpressible Sufferings for us, and his humbling of himself to Death, even the Death of the Cross. Here we feed upon the Symbols of his Body and Blood for the Pardon of all our Sins. Here we Seal anew unto God our Covenant of Faith, Mortification, and Obedience; and God reneweth unto us his Covenant of Grace and Mer
cy. Here all that we do is Divine Worship; the Mystery is a most Solemn Eucharist, or Thanksgiving; a real and lively Form of praising God, as Psalms and Hymns are at other times: And all this is attended with devout Prayer from the beginniog to the end; the whole Congregation praying for all Estates and Conditions of Men; the Minister praying for every particular Communicant ;, and each particular Communicant consenting to the Prayer, joyning his own fuffrage, and praying in his own person for the preservation of his Soul and Body. So that Adoration and Worship being our whole work at this time, it ought to be performed in an adoring posture; not only with Eyes and Hands lifted up, but with tended Knees too, which all Nations have ever thought the most folemn and suitable posture of Adoration.
3. THE Church hath chosen, it as a Posture that is moft expressive of our Gratitude to God for the astonishing Mercies which all Worthy Communicants receive at this Great Solemnity; Forgiveness of Sin, Peace with God, the Increase of the Holy Spirit, Divine Influences from above, from the Man Christ Jesus; with an Earnest and Pledge of a Happy Resurrection, and a Glorious Immortality
FROM all which considerations every Pious and Hamble Soul may argue after this manner Since this is the Symbol of the blood of God, which was fhed for me, and for
and for many, for the Remission of all our Sins, thall I not receive it upon my Knees ? Since Heaven is his Throne, and the Earth his Footstool, what place can be tao vile, or what gesture too lowly, for Sinful dust and alhes: Since we are now admitted to the presence of the Lamb, and to the Gate of Heaven; O come let us Worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, and Redeemer. If the Blessed Jesus in his Agony fell down with his Knees placed on the bare ground, how can I now begrudge the bowing of mine? Since the Praises of God are now to be in my mouth, what better Example can I follow, than those Elders in Heaven, who efell down before Him that sat on the Throne, and Worshipt Him that liveth for ever, and ever, saying --Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come ? Since my Blessed Redeemer was pleased to humble himself even to the Death of the Cross, what humility can be great enough for Me, who am now to gather up my Life and Happiness at his feet ? Since I am now to beg for a Bles
fed Eternity, and to offer up my whole self a Reasonable, Holy, and Living Sacrifice; what more reasonable for me, than to beg God's acceptance of my Prayers and Oblation upon my bended Knees? And since my Eating and Drinking at the Lord's Table is a Pledge of so many ftupendious Mercies to come, how can I chuse but kneel, when I take the Seals of his Promises at his hands
THIS is enough to thew what a becoming and suitable posture, Knseling is at this Great Solemnity, and how Natural ly it follows, where people entertain right Notions of it, and come into it with humble Minds. Nor can I fufficiently admire, that of all theo Usages in the Christian Church, this so Significant, fo Decent a Ceremony, fhould ever become a stumbling-block, and matter of Dif. pute. Certainly it must be an ill sign of very Lofty Imaginations, when there is such stiffness in Mens Knees.
BUT It is high time for me to proceed.
C'H A P. XII, .
HEN we have thus devoutly
must not imagine that our great Business is at an end that we may now drop those Religious Considerations which hitherto took up our time and thoughts; that we may now.go home, leaving our Vows and Resolutions behind us in the
may we think our selves. free to fall afresh upon our former course of Life. I must tell you, the
of our un us, and to stop and rest here in the performance of those things which have hitherto employ’d our minds, is the ready way to unravel our whole work, and to defeat the design of this Heavenly Ordinance. For this Rite of Eating and Drinking at the Lord's Table, though it be of admirable use, yet it is not naturally and intrinfecally good, as those Acts and Dispositions of the Mind, are, wherein the SubItance and Excellence of Religion doth