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2. true repentance for our former sins, and stedfast purpose to lead a new life;
3. unfeigned love and charity towards all mankind;
4. lively faith in God's mercy through Christ, intending thereby not only that whatever God has promised to penitent sinners, through Christ, shall be effectually made good to them, but also an assured persuasion that if we come duly prepared to this holy sacrament, the general promises of God in scripture, concerning His pardoning mercy and grace, shall be immediately applied and made good to our persons in particular; and
5. a thankful remembrance of Christ's death, and of the innumerable blessings which He has thereby purchased for us, and a resolution to express our thankfulness in following the blessed steps of His most holy life.
1. Impartial examination into the state of our souls,
and serious consideration of the nature, end, and dignity of this holy sacrament.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this
1 Cor. xi. 28. 1 Cor. xi. 27.
cup of the Lord unworthily *, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
He that eateth and drinketh unworthily *, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God:
If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me: try my reins and my heart.
I will wash my hands in innocency: so will I compass Thine altar, O Lord.
1 Cor. xi. 2932.
Lam. iii. 40.
1 John iii. 21.
1 John iii. 20.
Psal. xxvi. 2.
Psal. xxvi. 6.
PRAYER for a faithful discharge of the duty of self-examination.
O most holy, and most glorious God, who hast declared that Thou wilt be sanctified in all them that come nigh Thee; and hast commanded us to exa
* See note, p. 21.
mine ourselves before we presume to approach Thy table; grant me, I beseech Thee, so seriously to consider the transcendent dignity of this holy sacrament, and the great peril of the unworthy receiving thereof; and so to examine my conscience by the rule of Thy commandments, that I may never become obnoxious to the dreadful sentence which Thou hast denounced against those who eat and drink unworthily.
My heart, O Lord, is corrupt, and deceitful above all things; how can I know it? 0 Thou Who searchest the reins, and requirest truth in the inward parts, and dost also make us to understand wisdom secretly, discover to me all the evil and deceits of my own heart, and help me so impartially to judge and condemn myself, and so penitently to acknowledge and bewail my great sinfulness and wretchedness, that I may not be condemned in the last day, when I shall be summoned before Thine awful tribunal to give a strict account of all my thoughts, and words, and actions.
O let me not act partially or carelessly in a matter of such vast importance; but give me grace so diligently to search every secret of my heart, that I may leave no sin unrepented of; but may come holy and clean to this heavenly feast in the marriage garment required in Holy Scripture; and may be received by Thee as a worthy partaker of Thy holy table, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2. True repentance for our former sins, and a stedfast purpose to lead
Matt, iii. 2.
Luke xiii. 3.
Matt. xviii. 3.
Acts iii. 19.
Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
In that day, saith the Lord, I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications : and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us : therefore
Zech. xii. 10.
Zech, xiii. 1. 1 Cor. v. 7,8.
1 Pet. iv. 1, 2,
let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness : but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind : for he that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
For how shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection : knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your
Rom. vi. 27.