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thyself with such poor, Darrow, remiss affections to Jesus, Christ? O look upon him this day in his red garments ! Behold him in the strength of his love, breaking through the curfe of the law, the wrath of God, the agonies of death, to bring home the fruits of his eternal love to thy foul; and whilst thou art beholding, and musing upon it, let the heart melt, thy eyes drop, and thy very foul cry out, “ Behold how “ he loved me! Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.”
IR, If it may be no interruption to your studies,
I would be glad to be resolved of several doubts, that arise io my mind, about receiving the blessed facrament of the Lord's fupper.
Minister.] I shall be very glad to contribute any thing for removing those scruples which may distúrb you upon that ac• count; therefore, pray go on.'
Cbristian.] Sir, I have heard many fermons, and read several discourses, which do much urge and declare the necessity of communicating in this blessed ordinance; and yet I durft never presume to join thereio.
Minister.] Have you then hitherto lived in the neglect of . this important duty.'
Christian.] To speak freely, Sir, I dever yet did commuoicate therein all my life ; because I have much questioned, whether I were worthy to receive that blessed and holy seal, to the glory of God, and my own edification and comfort ; since I never truly understood the institution, Datare, administration, and ends of it, nor the qualifications of those who are to be partakers thercof, according to the appointment of Jesus Chrift.
Minifter.] ' Well then, I hope, if these things be plainly opened to you, it may much conduce to satisfy your fcruples.
Christian.] Sir, I all receive your instructions with thankfulness, and, if my heart deceive me not, wall rejoice in the light and knowledge that I may gaia thereby.
Minister.] 'Let us then, firft, enquire into the qualifications
of a fincere Christian in general; and, secondly, of the qua• lifications of such Chriftians, as are meet to partake of the • Lord's supper ; for they are distinct, and sometimes separate.'
Chriftian.] I hope, in doing this, you will much help me to judge of my presenç state apd condition God-ward. And now, in the first place, pray inform me, how I may koow if I am a siocere Chrillian,
Minister.] : All true believers, among other graces, have • such a knowledge of God in Christ, as works by love, and • stirs up in them an earnest study of the will of God, and a • liocere endeavour to live in the faith, knowledge, and prac.
tice of it.'
Christian] Sir, I cannot boast of my knowledge; yet, by the grace of God thewed to me, those conceptions which I have of God in Christ, have, I hope, so far prevailed upon me, that to live in the kaowledge, love, and enjoyment of him, aod to have my all devoted to his will and praise, is all the heaven that I defire in this world, and a great part of that whicb b hope for in the world to come.
Minister.] · There are good signs of a real and renewed • change in your soul, and so doubtless have wrought good disa
pofitions in you; of which you have had evidence in your • heart, and have made it appear in your life and actions.'
Christian.) I would be loth to Aatter myself; but yet I hope, • that I find some delight in the word of God, both read and
preached : and do feriously meditate thereon, that I may “grow, “ in grace, and in the kaowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord." And tho' I am sometimes tempted with vile and vain thoughts, yet I endeavour to lifle them, and my heart rises against them. I thank God, I strive to resist the first motions to fin, and a. void all occafions of evil; and I am never more uneasy, than when I happen into the compaoy of prophane and ill people, having an hatred to lying, obscene and filthy discourses, swearing. Curfing, and all dilhonourable reflections upon God and godliness. I make conscience of takiog up a slander against my peighbour; and to be just, and to do good to 'all, according to my ability, aod" to walk in all the commandments of the “ Lord, blameless."
Minister.] If these be the fruits aod effects of your faith, • it is not a dead faith; yet we muft aut reft upon our own • works, or righteoufaefs, for juAification, merit, or fatisfac4 tipo; because it will be derogatory to the merits and righte• oulness of Jesus Chrilt, and dangerous to our owe souls.
Christian.) Sir, I know right well, that there is no juftification, bue by the blood of Jelus; neither dare I trust to my own rigt, teousnofs, but to his only, for the pardon and remission of
And if by grace I am enabled to bring forth any fruit meet for a golpel faith, repentance, and love; thefe I blets God for, as a part of my duty aod happiness, and defire to look on them as proofs of faith, (if they are worthy to be fuch) and no other wile.
Minister.). This is well. But do you find your foul always
in a good frame and temper, without haltings, flips, or excur. fions?!
Christian.] Sir, I dare pot say I do: for I meft with sorrow acknowledge, that at fometimes my thoughts are polluted, my words are unfavoury, without edification, my actions not adoroing the doctrine of the gospel of God my Saviour ; but such as I fear may prove a grief and foare 10 others. My fpiritual relila of God's word is very in fipid, and its authority not to fenfibly powerful; fo that I am upready to any thing that is good, even like a dead man, as if-'ray religios had no life gor foul jo it.
Minister.] Well; but when you thus fall into fin, or fail " in your duty, what do you think of yourself and ways? • How are you affected therewith?''
Christian.) When I am in this deplorable condition, my loul is much difurbed, my joy and peace of conscience are gone : but when I am a little rouzed out of this finful lechargy, my heart is thea: melted with forrow for my foily aod miscarriage, and I address myfelf to God with the greatest fear and fhame, humbly imploring him to renew a right Spirit within
Minifter.]. Well, friend, if your conscience confirms what • your tongue has uttered, you have expressed enough to evi
oce the fincerity of your obedience to God, and that yon are a sound believer, and a fincere convert. Aod I hope you .have faith also in Jesus Christ, the mediator ; without a due
respect to whom, our faith and good affections will not deserve • the name of being truly evangelical and saving.'
Ghriftian.] Through grace, I desire to ackoowledge and embrace the Lord Jesus Chrift, upon the terms on which he is uf.
fered in the gospel; to believe all his doctrines, as my teacher and guide; to trult and depend upon him, as the “ High-priest “ of our profession, who makes atonement by his facrifice and “ intercellion.” Aod I desire to submit to his governmeot, as Lord and King of his church.
Minifter.] . These are very considerable attaioments, and in•clude the substance of saving-faith. But are you fenfible how • you arrived to this good disposition and frame of mind? Do
you imagine it was natural to you, or the result of the improvement of your natural reason, powers, or faculties?
Christian.] Oh, Sir, I dare by no means afcribe that to na. ture, which is only the effect of divine grace. If I have any measure of sanctification, it is only by the gift and grace of God; for I have had too much experience, that by nature I am alive to vanity and lio; but dead and lifeless to God, and to all real goodness; that I am darknels; folly possesfeth my foul; I am at enmity with God, and altogether voable to will, or to do what is pleasing in his eyes; having a great contrariety io my heart to the way of falvation propoled in the gospel of Christ.
Minister. ] ' And have you taken up strong resolutions, that, by the help of God, and the assistance of his blessed Spirit,
you will endeavour to persevere in the faith and practice • which you have now declared, to your life's end ?'
Christian.] Sir, there is nothing that I more dread than a. poftatizing, or relaxiog in my duty and profession, and that I should have a backsiding heart from the Lord ; and I earnestly watch and pray against every symptom and degree thereof.
Minifter.] : Do you think, that by your own strength and • ability, you have power to persevere and continue in the • faith and obedience of the gospel; against the many tempta• tions and corruptions that affault us, and the lamentable mifcarriages of those who seemed pillars in the house of God ?'
Christian.] I have no confidence in my own ability, Sir, I afsure you ; but do wholly rely on the Rock that is higher than I; even upon him who hath promised, that he will perfect a good work begun to the day of Christ. I rest upon him, who is the author and finisher of our faith; I beg his holy Spirit, to instruct, guide, allist, and comfort me. And I earnestly defire and purpose, (by the grace of God) to expect those aids, in a constant and universal attendance upon God in his ordinances,' with an honest humble, and believing heart.
Minister.]" These are all plain evidences of the saving grace • of God: which I belcech the Lord may always continue, and
grow in your heart; that fo you may have a full assurance of * his love, who hath dealt fo gracioully with you.'
Chriftiun.] The Lord grant, that in the sense of his love to my foul, I may walk worthy of his grace. And now, Sir, by what has been faid, do you thiok I may prefume to feed on Jesus Christ at his table, and receive that bleffed leal of my Redeemer's love?
Minifter.] 'You koow I told you, that a man may be a true • Christian, and yet may not be fit to partake of this holy ordi-,
Dance: because he may believe unto salvation, and yet be fo • ignorant of this mystery, as not to be able to make a due application of it to his own foul.'
Christian.] Ah, Sir, I would willingly be informed, what is Decesary to be done by a found believer, in order to the partaking of this blessed ordinance ?
Minister.] ' First, He must consider, that the elements and
matter of this ordinance, are not common bread and wide • after consecration, but fet apart to a holy use, and so to be • received with an holy upderstanding and fear. And therefore • the Corinthians were blamed by the apostie, for their igno
rance and irreverence, 1 Cor. xi. Again, that these elements, so blessed and set apart by Christ's appointment, do represeot fa crucified Redeemer; and we are to partake of them with love, as a memorial of his death; and with faith, as the seal of the promise, and the means appointed by God, to convey the benefits of Christ crucified to the foul.'
Christian.] Sir, these considerations raise up my desires to çome to the Lord's table, which I hope to be a partaker of, with the same sentiments that you have now laid before me ; and that I shall feast mine eyes on that lovely object, which is fo full of love ; and that my eye will so deeply affect my heart toward my holy Redeemer, that I may meet with my blessed Lord in all the ways of his appointment.
Minister.] · Again; you ought to set your soul upon self-examination, that fo you may be feosible of your wants and de• fects, and come to Christ for a supply of the graces of his • holy Spirit ; that you may exercise faith, love, repeotance, • and all other graces, with fuch warmth and vigour, that Jesus • Christ may delight in you, and you in him; and there may • be a mutual and joyful renewing of your covenant of love ! and obedience to your blessed Saviour.'
Chriftian.] Sir, we cannot suppose that there should be the actings and exercises of grace, where the habits are wantiog, Do more than there can be motion without life : but it is ulual.