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Thyself with, such poor, Darrow, remiss affections to Jesus
E RN IN
CONC E-RNING THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
Christian.] SIR, If it may be no interruption to your studies,
♡ I would be glad to be resolved of several doubts, that arise in my mind, about receiving the blessed facrament of the Lord's supper.
Minister.] · I shall be very glad to contribute any thing for "removing those fcruples which may distúrb you. upon that ac
count; therefore, pray go on.'
Cbristian.] Sir, I have heard many sermons, and read several discourses, which do much urge and declare the pecellity of communicating in this blessed ordinance ; and yet I durft never presume to join therein.
Minister.] · Have you then hitherto lived in the neglect of • this important duty.'
Christian.] To speak freely, Sir, I never 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 ; fioce I never truly understood the inftitution, Dature, administration, and ends of it, nor the qualifications of those who are to be partakers thercof, according to the appointment of Jesus Christ.
Minister.] ! Well then, I hope, if these things be plaialy • opened to you, it may much conduce to satisfy your scruples."
Christian.] Sir, I shall receive your instructions with thanka fulness, aod, if my beart deceive me oot, shall rejoice in the light and knowledge that I may gaia thereby,
Minister.] Let us then, firt, enquire into the qualifications ! of a sincere Christian in general; and, secondly, of the qua• lifications of such Christians, 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 Atate apd condition God-ward. And now, in the first place, pray inform me, how I may know if I am a socere Chrillian.
Minister.] · All trye believers, among other graces, have • such a koowledge of God in Christ, as works by love, and • stirs up in them an earnest Rudy of the will of God, and a • fiocere eodeavour to live in the faith, koowledge, and prac.
tice of it.'
Christian] Sir, I cannot boast of my koowledge; 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, and to have my all devoted to his will and praise, is all the heaven that I desire in this world, and a great part of that which. b hope for in the world to come.
Minister.] · Thele are good signs of a real and renewed • change in your soul, and so doubtless have wrought good dis • pofitions in you; of which you have had evidence in your • heart, and have made it appear in your life and actions.' .
Cbriftian.) I would be loth to flatter myself; but yet I hope, that I find some delight in the word of God, both read and preached : aod do seriously meditate thereon, that I may" grow “ jo grace, and in the koowledge of Jesus Chrilt our Lord." And tho'I am sometimes tempted with vile and vain thoughts, yet I endeavour to ftifle them, and my heart rises against them. I thank God, I strive to resist the first motiops to fin, and a. void all occafions of evil; and I am Qever inore uneasy, thab when I happen into the company of prophane and ill people, having an hatred to lying, obscene aod filthy discourses, swear ing, curling, and all dishonourable reflections upon God and godliness. I make conscience of takiog up a Nander 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 thefe be the fruits aod effects of your faith, & it is not a dead faith; yet we must not reft upon our ower • works, or righteoufaefs, for jufification, merit, or fatisfac& tion; becaufe it will be derogatory to the merits and righteooolaess of Jesus Christ, and dangerous to our owo souls. ..
Christian.] Sir, I know right well, that there is no justification, but by the blood of Jelus; neither dare I trust to my own rigt, teousnofs, but to his only, for the pardon and remission of my fins. And if by grace I am enabled to brieg forth any fruit meet for a gofpel faith, repentance, and love ; these I blets God for, as a part of my dug aod happiness, and defire to look on them as proofs of faith, (if they are worthy to be 'fuch) and no other wité.
Minifter.] « This is well. But do you find your soul always in a good trame and temper, without haltings, slips, of excurfions ??
Chriftian.] Sir, I dare not say I do: for I must with sorrow acknowledge, that at fometimes my thoughts are polluted, my words are uosavoury, without edification, may actions pot a. dorning the doctrine of the gospel of God my Saviour ; but Luch as I fear may prove a grief aad fpare to others. My fpi. ritual relil of God's word is very insipid, and its authority not fo feolibly powerful; so that I am upready to any thing that is good, even like a dead maa, as if my religioo had no life gor fout in it. · Minister.] · Well; but when you thus fall into lin, or fail « in your duty, what do you think of yourself and ways ? • How are you affected there with?'
Christian.) When I am in this deplorable condition, my loul is much disturbed, my joy and peace of conscience are gone : but when I am a little rouzed out of this linful lechargy, my heart is the melted with forrow'for my foily and miscarriage, and I address pogłelf to God with the greatest fear and shame, hutbly 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. • deoce the fincerity of your obedience to God, and that yon " are a sound believer, and a fuocere convert. Aod I hope you
have faith also in Jesus Chrilt, the mediator ; without a due respect to whom, our faith and good affections will oot deserve the pame of being truly evangelical and saving.' in
Christian.] Through grace, I desire to acknowledge and em. brace 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 trull aod depend upon him, as the “ High-priest “ of our profession, who makes atonement by his facrifice and “ intercesion.” And I desire to submit to his governmeot, as Lord and King of his church.
Minifer.] · These are very considerable attaioments, and in• clude the substance of saving-faith. But are you seosible how • you arrived to this good disposition and frame of mind? Do • you imagine it was natural to you, or the result of the im• provement of your Datural reason, powers, or faculties?
Christian.] Oh, Sir, I dare by no meaas ascribe 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, ihat by Dature I am alive to vanity and lio; but dead and lifeless to God, and to all real goodpels; that I am darknels; folly possefleth my foul; I am at eamity 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 salvation 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. portatizing, or relaxiog in my duty aod profession, and that I should have a backsiding heart from the Lord ; and I earnestly watch and pray against every symptom and degree thereof.
Minister.] • Do you think, that by your owo 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 assault us, and the lamentable mis• carriages of those who seemed pillars io the house of God ?'
Christian.] I have no confidence in my own ability, Sir, I alsure 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, aslist, and comfort me. And I earnestly desire 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, aod believing heart. ! Minister.] These are all plain evidences of the faving grace • of God: which I beleech 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 feple of his love to
my soul, I may walk worthy of his gracc. Aod now, Sir, by
Minister.] : First, He must consider, that the elements and
• after consecration, but fet apart to a holy use, and so to be
as the seal of the promise, and the means appointed by God, • to convey the benefits of Christ crucified to the foul.'.
Chriflian.] Sir, these considerations raise up my desires to come 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 fealt 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 appointmeot.
Minister.].' Again ; you ought to set your soul upon felf-ex• amination, that fo you may be sepsible 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, repentance, • 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.
Christian.] Sir, we cannot suppose that there should be the zctiogs and exercises of grace, where the habits are wantiog, no more than there can be motion without life : but it is ulual.