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for a thankful remembrance of Christ's death; and
for grace to express our thankfulness in the future obedience of our lives.
Almighty God and Heavenly Father, Who hast vouchsafed to invite me to Thy holy table, where will be administered the most comfortable sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, to be received in remembrance of His meritorious cross and passion, whereby alone we obtain remission of our sins, and are made partakers of the kingdom of Heaven; I desire to render Thee most humble and hearty thanks for that Thou hast given Thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that holy sacrament. And I beseech Thee to give me grace to approach Thy table with a lively and grateful sense of this Thine inestimable goodness, and of the innumerable benefits which our blessed Saviour and Redeemer has purchased for us by His death. And grant, I humbly pray Thee, that I may express the gratitude of my heart by the future obedience of my life; and manifest the sincerity of my obedience by submitting myself entirely to Thy holy will and pleasure, and by studying to serve Thee in true holiness and righteousness all my days; through the Same, our Lord Jesus Christ; to Whom with Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
Devotions immediately PREPARATIVE, to be
used on the morning of the Communion, or any day of the preceding week, consisting of
an examination of ourselves with respect to our state of pre
paration for the Lord's Table; and prayer for all the holy dispositions that are necessary to make us worthy receivers of His holy Supper.
EXAMINATION of ourselves with respect to our state of preparation
for the Lord's Table.
Have I taken due care to inform myself aright of the nature, end, and dignity of that holy sacrament, which I purpose through God's assistance to receive this day * at the table of our Lord ? and may I upon good grounds believe that I am in a due state of preparation for receiving it?
Do I consider it as a holy feast of Christ's own appointment; wherein by eating bread and drinking wine we commemorate the infinite love of our blessed Saviour in dying for us, and the invaluable blessing which by His precious bloodshedding He hath obtained to us ?
Do I consider it as a sacred ordinance designed to excite and imprint in our souls a grateful sense and remembrance of His death and passion, by the visible representation that is therein made of His body being broken, and His blood shed for us upon the cross ?
Do I consider likewise, that this holy sacrament is not only a standing memorial of the death and sufferings of Christ, but a federal rite, wherein the new covenant in His blood is ratified and confirmed to every worthy communicant, and the inestimable privileges of that covenant, viz. the remission of our sins, God's Holy Spirit, and eternal life, are ensured to us upon the condition of our repentance, and faith, and future obedience ?
Do I further consider, that as bread and wine have a natural efficacy in them to strengthen and
* or on the Lord's day now approaching.
refresh our bodies, so when they are duly administered and received in this holy sacrament, they have by the special benediction of God an immediate tendency to strengthen and refresh our souls ? to strengthen them by invigorating us with new degrees of power and ability for the discharge of our duty; and to refresh them by the reviving hope and assurance of our being reconciled to God, through the precious blood of His Beloved Son?
Do I consider also, that the body and blood of Christ, which are thus verily and indeed received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper, are the proper nourishment of our souls; and as necessary and efficacious to the sustenance of our spiritual life, and to our growth in grace, as eating and drinking are to the support of our animal life, and the strength and health of our bodies ? · Has the consideration of these important and most comfortable truths produced in me an earnest desire and longing to go to the table of the Lord: a hunger and thirst after that spiritual food, that bread which nourishes the soul, and that wine which makes glad the heart of sinners; that heavenly bread, and that blessed wine, the eating and drink. ing of which will enable us to vanquish and overcome all the enemies of our salvation, will support and strengthen us in the hour of death, and preserve both our souls and bodies to everlasting life?
Do I feel in myself that awful regard to these
holy mysteries, and those pious and heavenly dispositions of mind, that are necessary to qualify me for the worthy receiving of this blessed sacrament, and to entitle me to the benefits which God has promised to those who receive it in a manner becoming so sacred and solemn an action?
Am I sincerely penitent for my past offences, and stedfastly purposed to live better for the future?
Is my sorrow for my sins a godly sorrow; a sorrow for having offended God, and transgressed His holy laws; a sorrow for my having incurred the displeasure of a holy God, Who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and a good God, Who has loved me so tenderly, and bestowed so many benefits and favours upon me?
Is it a sorrow arising from a true principle of filial love to God, and accompanied with earnest desires and resolutions to devote myself henceforward to His honour and service, and to live answerably to the engagements of that holy covenant, which I was admitted into at my baptism, and am now going to renew at the Lord's table ?
Do I firmly believe that our Saviour's death upon the cross was a true propitiatory sacrifice, offered up by Christ for the atonement of our sins, and accepted by the Father as a full satisfaction in behalf of all those who shall perform the conditions of the new covenant in His blood ?
Am I firmly persuaded that if I come duly prepared