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Title: An Earnest Exhortation to a Frequent Reception of the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper - particularly addressed to Young Persons
Author: Park, James Allan
Language: English
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FREQUENT RECEPTION OF THE HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER***


Transcribed from the 1811 [seventh edition] J. Hatchard edition by David
Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

                        [Picture: Pamphlet cover]



                                    AN
                           EARNEST EXHORTATION
                                    TO
                          _A FREQUENT RECEPTION_
                                  OF THE
                              Holy Sacrament
                                  OF THE
                             _LORD’S SUPPER_.


                        PARTICULARLY ADDRESSED TO

                              YOUNG PERSONS.

                                * * * * *

                              _BY A LAYMAN_.

                                * * * * *

                             SEVENTH EDITION.

                                * * * * *

                                _LONDON_:

                         PRINTED FOR J. HATCHARD,
                        BOOKSELLER TO HER MAJESTY,
               NO. 190, OPPOSITE ALBANY HOUSE, PICCADILLY.
                                  1811.

                                * * * * *

               _Price_ 3_d._ _or_ 2_s._ 6_d._ _per Dozen_.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

         S. GOSNELL, _Printer_, _Little Queen Street_, _London_.



ADVERTISEMENT
TO THE
_SECOND EDITION_.


THE Author of the following Tract cannot hope that he has said any thing
new upon this important subject; but having had occasion to consider the
objections usually made by young persons, to excuse their non-attendance
on this sacred ordinance, he trusts he has been able to place the answers
to those objections in a new point of view, and to compress in a few
pages, what his reading and memory supplied from various sources.

The Letter, as it purports to have been, was written to a gentleman, who
had expressed to the Author many of the scruples here obviated; and by
the strong solicitation of two or three respectable friends, who were of
opinion that it was calculated to do much good, he was induced to give it
a more extensive circulation.  That much good has been done by the
publication of this little Tract the Author has the comfort and
satisfaction of knowing upon undoubted testimony.  And when his
Bookseller informs him, that in a period of less than nine months the
whole of the first impression, consisting of three thousand copies, has
been disposed of, may he not be allowed to hope that it has done much
more extensive good than can possibly be known? {4a}  The Author,
therefore, though a Layman, and though to the clergy is more peculiarly
committed the charge of bringing men to the love and obedience of Jesus
Christ, trusts he is not offending against the respect and reverence due
to their sacred function and ministry, if “with Christian solicitude,
seizing every opportunity which his station affords him of strengthening
others in genuine faith, and of upholding and advancing them in
holiness,” {4b} he sends forth a second large and improved edition of a
Tract, for which there has been so great a demand.

_September_, 1804.



AN
EARNEST EXHORTATION,
&c.


DEAR SIR,

HAVING made you a solemn promise upon a most important subject, I proceed
to discharge it in the best manner I am able.  Had not this promise been
made to one whose best interests I have so much at heart, I should regret
my having given it, from a conscious inability to perform it as the
subject deserved.  But I know you will excuse the performance, and I
humbly trust that it will be attended with the desired effect.

Of the importance of the duty of receiving the sacrament of the Lord’s
Supper, no man, who believes, as you do, the Scriptures to be the
revealed word of God, and that it is our duty to practise whatever they
have _expressly_ and _positively_ commanded, will require any arguments
to be convinced.  Now, no command can be more express than that, which
requires _all_ Christians to receive the communion of the body and blood
of Christ.  In the institution of this holy communion, our blessed Lord
says, “Take, eat, this is my body, which is given for you: _this do_, in
remembrance of me.”  And he also said, “Drink ye _all_ of this cup, for
this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the
remission of sins; _this do ye_, _as oft as ye drink it_, in remembrance
of me.” {6a}  And the great Apostle of the Gentiles, in giving an account
of this sacred rite to his Corinthian converts, and which he expressly
states himself to have received (by tradition or communication {6b}) of
the Lord, and which, as he received it, so he delivered to them, adds,
“_For as often as ye eat this bread_, _and drink this cup_, _ye do show_
(or, as it is in the original, _declare aloud_, or _proclaim_) _the
Lord’s death till he comes_.” {6c}  This is the command; and it surely
must be admitted to be an express injunction.

What _benefits_, then, may we not humbly expect to derive from our
obedience to it?  The same divine word has assured us, that our souls
shall be thereby strengthened against the commission of future sins; and
that those which we have committed, if repented of and renounced, shall
be no more remembered against us: “For whosoever,” saith the Redeemer of
mankind, “eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and
I will raise him up at the last day.”  {7a}  Hear also his own tremendous
declaration!  HE has said, and has introduced the declaration by two
asseverations of the certainty of the denunciation: “Verily, verily, I
say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his
blood, ye have no life in you.” {7b}  What _dangers_, then, may we not
apprehend, if we disobey this command! and under what awful sanctions has
our Saviour bound us to the observance of it!  This is a solemn and an
awful warning: and it might be thought, if sad experience did not prove
the contrary, that when such blessings follow the performance, and such
dangers may attend the neglect of this positive duty, nothing more need
be said to ensure the obedience, and awaken the fears of every one, who
professes to believe in the truths of revelation.  To a man of an
ingenuous mind and a tender heart, the _time_ and _manner_ of instituting
this sacred rite furnish a most powerful motive to obedience.  A very
short time before his death, our blessed Lord had a most affecting
interview with his disciples: he confirms their faith; he prepares them
for the trials they were to endure; he animates their hopes by the
promise of assistance from above; and finally, commends them to his
Father in strains of the most pure and sublime devotion. {8}  It was in
this most interesting moment, that he instituted this holy feast to be
the harbinger of peace to the returning sinner, and the consolation of
the faithful to the end of time: and, as an additional incitement to the
performance of it, he was pleased to command, _that all this should be
done in remembrance of him_.

Supposing we derived no benefit to ourselves from this Sacrament, as the
means of grace, what heart that is not dead to every virtuous feeling,
could refuse to comply with this command, as a mere act of gratitude to
such a Saviour! to Him, who was moved with such compassion for the sons
of men, as to leave the glories of Heaven, and to take _our nature_ upon
him, to make satisfaction _in that nature_ for our sins?  It was at that
awful moment, when, _as Man_, his soul was exceedingly sorrowful, on
account of the heavy burden of _our_ sins, then lying upon him, that our
dying Saviour graciously bequeathed this holy ordinance, to distinguish
all his faithful followers, requiring _them_ and _all_, who expect any
benefit from his death, to commemorate it after the manner which he has
ordained.  When it is recollected, that all this happened the very night
before our gracious and affectionate Redeemer _was bruised for our
iniquities_, _and expired upon the cross for our transgressions_, can
_any_ Christian profess that he loves his Saviour, and that he is
grateful for his bitter sufferings, and yet _wantonly_ and _continually_
turn his back upon this sacred feast, instituted at a time and under
circumstances so peculiarly affecting?

But as I am addressing one, who professes to be a Christian, I expect to
be told, that you know that Christ has given this command, that you are
assured of the benefits to be derived from obedience, and aware of the
punishment denounced against disobedience.  If you know all these things,
do, my dear friend, consider, that to know what is right, and _wilfully_
and _repeatedly_ to err against that knowledge, is the very highest pitch
of criminality: and let me conjure you also to remember, _who_ it is that
has said, _that the servant who knew his Lord’s will_, _and did it not_,
_shall be beaten with many stripes_.

I am willing, however, to believe that _you_ have hitherto been
restrained from attending the holy altar, from an apprehension that your
life has not been answerable to what you conceive it ought to be, in
order to a worthy reception of the body and blood of Christ: and you
stifle the suggestions of your conscience with flattering hopes, that you
may live to be more worthy, and that you may yet have, after your course
of life shall have become more conformable to the dictates of the Gospel,
many opportunities of communicating.

This is the difficulty I undertook to obviate; and always supposing
myself to be addressing a Christian, I think I shall find it no difficult
task.  Let us examine this matter, and begin with the hopes you have
expressed, that you shall yet have many opportunities of worthily
communicating.  I trust that you will have many; but what will be the
dreadful consequence, should you die before you have embraced any of
those which have been presented to you, of giving this testimony of your
obedience, love, and gratitude, and wholly destitute of those graces and
blessings which the devout performance of this duty is so well calculated
to produce and to secure?  You must also, I should hope _sorrowfully_,
recollect how many opportunities have already been graciously vouchsafed
to you, how many invitations (at least twelve or fifteen in every year)
{10} have been given, which you have hitherto neglected; and considering
how much is to be done in a short time, for the attainment of heaven, the
best of us have no opportunities to spare; for who can tell but the
_next_ may be the _last_ afforded to us?

If the sacred rite now insisted upon, were merely commemorative of the
death of our beloved and crucified Saviour, such a plea as this, must
still subject those who urge it, to the charge of base ingratitude: but
when it is considered, as it truly is, as the best means of grace
bestowed by a merciful God upon a sinful world, the continued neglect of
it must also brand us with the grossest stupidity, folly, and
self-destruction.

As to the plea of unworthiness: are you therefore, because you are
unworthy, as all are in many respects, to abstain altogether from
receiving?  Certainly not.  You are commanded, having first considered
the nature, object, and end of this holy Sacrament, to _examine_
yourself, whether you are desirous to perform the will of God, and to
render him an acceptable service; and _so_ to communicate.  If you thus
consider it, you _may have_ faults, you _may_ fall into error; but this
Sacrament is _the appointed __method_, by which you may hope to obtain
pardon for your faults, and grace to guard you against error for the time
to come.  If you say, you are a great sinner, and are afraid to come; I
answer, Even the greatest sinner, _if he is really sorry for the past_,
_and intends to lead a new life_, cannot any where expect to plead for
mercy, through the merits of Christ, better than at his altar, and in the
manner which he has graciously appointed.  In short, he that _cometh not_
at all, is in a no less dangerous state, than he who cometh _unworthily_;
that is, who comes, _resolving to continue_ in his sin; the former,
_because he uses not_ his best remedy against sin; the latter, because
_he abuses it_; and both, while in that state, must fall short of the
glory of God.

Now, observing, as I do, your great anxiety to do all the good to your
fellow-creatures, that you have it in your power to perform; and
believing that you thus act from no worldly or ostentatious motives, but
in obedience to the _will of God_, the only true and solid principle of
action in the breast of a sincere Christian; and observing also, that you
attend the public services of religion, at least one day in a week; I am
convinced that you cannot live in the _habits_ of vice, or in the
_unrestrained indulgence_ of any wilful sin.  If I am right, and you have
only been subject to _occasional_ lapses from a virtuous course of life,
the effect of a _sudden surprise_, or _violent temptation_, that is the
very reason why you should come to the Lord’s table; because if you
earnestly desire to conquer that vice, whatever it be, which most easily
besets you, and come with an honest heart, and sincere purposes of
amendment; it is our comfort, in the midst of our imperfections, that our
God expects no more from us, than he will enable us to perform; and that
even as a father pitieth his own children, so will the Lord be merciful
unto them that fear him; _for he knoweth whereof we are made_, _he
remembereth that we are but dust_. {13a}  But while he is thus merciful
and gracious, he does expect _this_; that we be sincere in what we
profess, and _that we go to him for help by those ways and ordinances_,
which he has mercifully vouchsafed to afford us, as our comfort in this
life, and our guide to everlasting happiness.  Still, I hear you persist
in expressing your fears, lest, after having received this blessed food,
you should _relapse_ into sin.  Probably you may; and so have the best of
men that have lived before you.  But I am convinced of this (supposing
you not to be an _habitual_ sinner), that the _oftener_ you attend this
holy Sacrament, purposing to amend your life, and to walk from
thenceforth in God’s holy ways, though you should still _occasionally_
fall, the less and less frequent will those relapses be, till they
_altogether_ cease; {13b} and be assured, that he who, with pious
diffidence, _forces_ himself, as it were, to approach that table in
obedience to God’s will, and because he finds that, _without it_, he is
unable to cleanse his way, is better prepared than he is aware of.  _Come
unto me all ye that travail_, _and are heavy laden_ (_with the burden of
your sins_), _and I will give you rest_, {14} is Christ’s gracious
invitation and promise to sinners.  And if you desire to be relieved from
such occasional relapses, you ought, undoubtedly, to obey this merciful
call; for the denunciations against the unworthy reception of this
Sacrament, apply to those, who, at the moment of receiving, not only have
not forsaken their sins, but are _continuing_ in the _wilful and
habitual_ commission of _known_ sins.

But another argument on this subject overpowers me with its weight; and I
trust, my dear friend, it will produce a similar effect on you.  I know
you would be greatly shocked, as I should be, to be told, that we were
unfit to approach our Maker, in the ordinary devotions of the closet, or
to join our fellow Christians in the daily service of the church.  And
yet it is your duty and mine to consider (what is most certainly true),
that _every act of religion_, whether public or private, _requires the
same dispositions of mind_, namely, repentance of past sins, and purposes
of future amendment, as the celebration of the Sacrament.  No man is fit
to approach the throne of God in that divine form of prayer which Christ
himself hath taught us, or in any other, if he is then living in
_habitual_ violation of his laws; for that is to pray with his lips,
while his heart is far from God; and this we know is declared to be
mockery in his sight.  _Praying unworthily_, that is, without reverence
and godly fear, and whilst we live in the love and _habitual_ indulgence
of any known and deliberate sin, will be equally offensive to the eye of
spotless Purity, as unworthily communicating.  If this reflection were
duly attended to, men would discover, that the common excuses alleged for
non-attendance at the altar, if pursued through all their consequences,
would necessarily lead to the casting off every branch of social and
private worship. {15}  Do not imagine that I seek to depreciate this
sacred ordinance, or to lessen the reverence due to it; for I readily
admit, that whoever is _determined to indulge in the practice of known
sins_, _and to persevere in a wicked course of life_, ought not to come
to the table of the Lord: but I most earnestly entreat you (if _you are_
such a one, as I trust you are not) to consider the danger of your state:
to such a one I say, If you are not fit to receive the Sacrament, you are
not fit to pray; and, oh horrible thought! you are not fit to die.  So
far am I from depreciating this blessed institution, that I wish it to be
universally regarded, and resorted to by all Christians, as the best
means of grace, and a pledge to assure us of God’s favour to his people:
but I am also desirous to convince you, that reverence and respect are
equally required, and a general good life and virtuous conduct are no
less essential to the right performance of those ordinary duties of
prayer and praise, which by too many are performed in compliance with
custom, and regarded as mere matters of course; whereas there is not one
of these duties, the _due performance_ of which (I repeat this idea for
its importance) does not require the _same sorrow_ for past sins, the
_same steadfast purposes of amendment_, the _same faith_ in Christ, and
the _same charity_ to men, as communicating at the holy table.  No man
is, or can be, accepted by God, in the performance of any of these
duties, who is not fit to come to the other.  No man, _who has a just
sense of the nature of this holy Sacrament_, _who has sincerely repented
of his past sins_, _who is desirous of leading a good life_, and in
general does so, can ever be unprepared for the Lord’s Supper; no man,
_who leads a bad life_, can ever come _properly prepared_ to that, or to
any other Christian ordinance whatever.  As to previous, _special_
preparation, this is all well, and ought never to be omitted, where men
have opportunities for it; and it is quite clear that we cannot take too
much pains in self-examination, or in raising our affections to God.  But
to think that by these preparations _alone we are_, and that _without
them_ we _cannot be_ prepared, is a grievous and dangerous error.  Even
our _preparatory_, or our _ordinary_ prayers, _if we hold fast any
darling sin_, _or adhere to any habitual vice_, are an abomination and a
mockery of God.  Prayers, _when added to a general good life_, are,
indeed, an admirable preparation; and nothing can be depended upon as a
security against vice, but a _frequent_ and _reverent_ reception of the
Holy Sacrament, and endeavouring _to live every day_, as if we were
_daily_ to communicate.  This is the true, this is the only preparation;
and he that with such impressions communicates, though at a minute’s
warning, will never be rejected by Him, who was touched with a feeling of
our infirmities.  On the contrary, such a man will find this holy rite to
be, what its all-bountiful Author intended it should be to all faithful
Christians, a support and a comfort in every situation of life; it will
confirm his faith and good resolutions, elevate his hopes, and increase
his charity; it will bring to his mind assurances of forgiveness and
acceptance, in that tremendous hour, when we are taught most _earnestly_
to pray that no pains of death may make us fall from God: it will enable
him to support those pains with Christian fortitude, because he will feel
that they are to be his introduction to eternal joy.

A great master in the art of holy living, the most excellent and pious
Bishop Jeremy Taylor, has, in so pointed and convincing a manner,
enforced this duty upon all descriptions of Christians, and his reasoning
so strongly confirms what I have already advanced, that I cannot deny
myself the pleasure of transcribing the passage.

    “_All_ Christian people _must_ come to this holy supper.  They,
    indeed, that are in a state of sin must not come so, but yet they
    _must_ come; first, they must quit their state of death, and then
    partake of the bread of life.  _They that are at enmity with their
    neighbours_ must come, _that_ is no excuse for their not coming; only
    they must not bring their enmity along with them, but _leave it_,
    _and then come_.  _They that have a variety of secular employments_
    must come; only they must leave their secular thoughts and affections
    behind them, and _then come and converse with God_.  If any _man be
    well grown in grace_, _he_ must needs come; because he is excellently
    disposed to so holy a feast: _but he that is but in the infancy of
    piety had need to come_, _that so he may grow in grace_.  The
    _strong_ must come, lest they become weak; and the _weak_, that they
    may become strong.  The _sick_ must come to be cured, the _healthful_
    to be preserved.  _They that have leisure_ must come, because they
    have no excuse; _they that have no leisure_ must come hither, that by
    so excellent an act of religion they may sanctify their business.
    _The penitent sinners_ must come, that they _may_ be justified; _and
    they that are justified_, _that they may be justified still_.” {19}

Such are the arguments, my dear Sir, by which I have convinced myself of
the _absolute_ duty of _frequent_ and _regular_ communion; and so far am
I now from considering the attendance upon the holy altar as a burden,
which one cannot but fear is the case with too many, I am sensible, that
to be _permitted_ to perform this _duty_ is a _high_ and _inestimable
privilege_, as well as a duty.  I have now, therefore, myself arrived at
this determination, never to turn my back upon the holy table, when it is
prepared for my reception.  From this practice I have derived a peace of
mind, a steadiness of motives to good conduct, and a consolation under
the pressure, both of sorrow for the loss of friends, and of frequent
pain and bodily infirmity; which by the grace of God, I trust, no worldly
considerations could now induce me to relinquish or forego, by a contrary
conduct.

I cannot do better than close what I have to say upon this most
interesting subject, with the conclusion of a sermon, of one, {20} who is
as bright a luminary of our venerable church at this day, as the pious
and most excellent Prelate, whose works I have lately quoted, was in the
seventeenth century.  I quote from a sermon preached on this subject, at
the Magdalen Chapel; and if there be any thing in what the devout
preacher has said, applicable to your own case, I trust your good sense
will make and improve the application.

    “I wish, in conclusion,” says this energetic and pious divine, “to
    draw your attention to a circumstance of importance, which
    particularly offers itself to our notice, both from the subject
    before us, _and the place in which we now are_.  They who minister at
    the altar, are witnesses of a truth much to be lamented, that very
    few of _our sex_, in comparison with the other, ever are partakers of
    the Lord’s Supper; and much it is to be feared, that a _determination
    to proceed in the deliberate commission of that deadly sin_, _which
    fills this house _{21}_ with woe_, is by many made a reason for
    neglecting the _indispensable duty_ of receiving the Holy Sacrament;
    and they vainly imagine, that, by _not_ partaking of it, they may sin
    with a greater chance of impunity.  They assume, moreover, a _kind of
    merit_ to themselves in abstaining from it, as if _it indicated a
    laudable fear of eating and drinking unworthily_.  Alas! how much are
    they mistaken! for let us consider a little.  The Scriptures, that
    is, the law by which we are all to be judged at the last day,
    expressly forbid fornication as a sin, which, if persevered in,
    without repentance, will certainly exclude us from the kingdom of
    Heaven; and they also command the receiving of the Holy Sacrament,
    _as a means of obtaining grace and salvation_:—_whoso eateth my flesh
    and drinketh my blood_, saith our Saviour, _hath eternal life_.  Now
    imagine, for illustration, that you had a child, in a state improper
    to appear before his parents from want, let us say, of cleanliness in
    his person; and imagine also, that he is admonished to make himself
    ready that he may attend his duty; suppose he replies, _that he is
    not in a fit state_, _that he will not prepare himself_, _and
    therefore_ he cannot perform the duty enjoined: would you in this
    case look upon _him_ as excusable? or would you not rather regard him
    as deserving _double_ blame, who knowing what is right, insolently
    refuses to perform it, _and dares to plead one offence_, _as a reason
    for committing another_?  It is the same with respect to yourselves.
    Your souls, in the sight of God, are covered with impurity; and he
    exhorts you to _cleanse_ yourselves from all filthiness of flesh and
    spirit, that you may take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and
    _can you be so weak as to suppose_, _that your wickedness in the
    former point will be diminished because you refuse to listen to your
    Redeemer in the latter_?  If there are any here, to whom what I have
    now said, is in any degree applicable; let me entreat them to break
    off instantly that fellowship, with which Christ can have no
    agreement.  _Let them remember_, _that to reject the blood of the
    covenant_, _because they are unworthy_, _through the habitual
    commission of any known sin_, _is to render that unworthiness still
    greater_: whilst, on the contrary, to forsake their sins, that they
    may seek acceptance with their Redeemer, is to render that acceptance
    sure.”

I here quit this subject with these most forcible arguments of my
excellent friend; and though you may think I have said too much, yet if
the result shall be, _after a careful and attentive perusal_, that you
shall become a regular attendant at the Lord’s Table, where I shall have
much comfort in meeting you, your labour in reading, and mine in writing,
will be rewarded by the production of much solid fruit, and, I trust,
endless satisfaction to us both.

With anxious concern for your present and eternal happiness,

                         I remain, dear Sir, &c.

                                                                   LAICUS.

                                * * * * *

NOTE.—I have been much urged by a valuable friend, to recommend some book
of preparation for this holy rite.  But where there are so many good
books, it is difficult to fix upon any one, to the exclusion of others.
My objection to most of these works is, that they are too long, and many
people of weak consciences imagine, that unless they have gone through
the whole course of devotion, therein prescribed, they are not fit to
approach the holy altar.  This is, in my opinion, an unhappy mistake, and
cannot be too soon eradicated.  But were I to give a preference to any
books, my own choice would be fixed upon Bishop Wilson’s work, and _The
Companion to the Altar_ (and of these two prefer the latter), which used,
and ought always, to be bound up with the Book of Common Prayer.  _The
Companion to the Altar_ is excellent, founded upon the Church Catechism,
and the prayers are complete, without being tedious or enthusiastic.  And
if any one wishes to lengthen his devotions, there is, at the end of each
preparatory prayer, a reference to appropriate Psalms—and _they_, to use
the words of the late pious Mr. Jones, of Nayland, as applied by him to
Bishop Horne’s beautiful Commentary on these sacred Songs, will never
cease to be the companion of the devout, till the devotion of earth shall
end in the hallelujahs of Heaven.

                                * * * * *

                                 THE END.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

         S. GOSNELL, _Printer_, _Little Queen Street_, _London_.



FOOTNOTES.


{4a}  A seventh edition being now called for within about eight years
from the first publication, the Author has the satisfaction of knowing
that eighteen thousand copies of this Tract have been dispersed within
that period, each edition having consisted of three thousand copies.

{4b}  See Gisborn’s Serm. vol. ii. p. 192.

{6a}  See the institution of the Sacrament, St. Matt. chap. xxvi. and St.
Luke, chap. xxii.

{6b}  See Parkhurst’s Greek Lexicon on the verb Παραλαμβανω.

{6c}  1 Corinth. chap. xi. ver. 26.

{7a}  St. John, chap. vi. ver. 54.

{7b}  St. John, chap. vi. ver. 53.

{8}  This divine prayer occupies the 17th chapter of St. John’s Gospel;
but the Christian reader will do well to peruse the whole of the heavenly
discourse which preceded it, and which is contained in the 13th, 14th,
15th, and 16th chapters of the Gospel of the beloved disciple, St. John.

{10}  I could wish that these invitations were given by some of our
clergy, in a more solemn and earnest manner than at all times prevails,
and that the whole Exhortation were read, as it is in many churches in
the north of England.  I should think, also, it would be attended with a
very happy effect, which, indeed, I have known to be produced by it, if
notice of the Sacrament were sometimes given by reading the _second_
Exhortation, addressed “_to those who are negligent to come to the Holy
Communion_;” the use of which, I am afraid, the state of most
congregations in this country will fully warrant.  And if, after using
either of these Exhortations, the kind and affectionate Pastor would in
the course of his sermon pathetically and earnestly entreat his
congregation to attend the ensuing Sacrament, to which they have just
been invited, as they value their soul’s health, occasionally explaining
any difficulty or scruple that may be likely to affect ordinary or young
minds upon a part of the first Exhortation, I am confident the happiest
effects would frequently follow.

{13a}  Psalm ciii. ver. 13, 14.

{13b}  I cannot here deny myself the pleasure of inserting in a note, a
passage I have lately met with in Mr. Archdeacon Daubeny’s _Guide to the
Church_ (a work which ought to be diligently perused by every
affectionate and dutiful son of the venerable and apostolic church of
England), and which peculiarly applies to our present subject: “It is a
remark that has long since been made, that no man who prays can long
continue a sinner; for either his praying will make him leave off
sinning, or his sinning will make him leave off praying.” {13c}  Apply
this to that more solemn office or prayer and thanksgiving which is used
in the administration of the Holy Sacrament, _let a man pray the prayers
of our Church_, _and devoutly attend her Sacraments_, _being in charity
with all men_, and we may venture to predict, that religion will soon get
the mastery over such a man’s worldly and sinful dispositions, and that,
through the merits and atonement of Christ, his salvation is secure.

{13c}  Guide to the Church, 2d edit. vol. i. p. 202.

{14}  St. Matth. chap. xi. ver. 28.

{15}  In a prayer of preparation, by the pious and excellent Bishop Kenn,
in his Manual, which has fallen in my way, since I wrote the above, I
find this passage: “If thou, Lord, shouldst be extreme to mark what I
have done amiss, alas, alas, I am then unfit, not only to communicate,
but to say even my daily prayers: I know, Lord, that if I should stay
till I am worthy to come, I should then never come; and, therefore,
though I am unworthy of so unspeakable a mercy, yet I come to beg thy
grace _to make me worthy_, or, at least, such as thou wilt accept.”—Since
the third edition of this tract was published, I have met with an
excellent sermon of Dr. Benjamin Calamy on this subject, who draws a very
sensible distinction between _unworthy receivers_, and _receiving
unworthily_.  _Unworthy receivers_ the best of men ever must be, but it
does not follow that the Holy Sacrament is therefore received
_unworthily_.

{19}  Taylor’s Art of Holy Living, chap. iv. sect. 10.

{20}  The now worthy Dean of Canterbury and Rector of St. James’s
Westminster, the Rev. Gerrard Andrewes, D.D.

{21}  The Magdalen Hospital.





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