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Charity, and that however the Uncertainties and Chances, or the Evils of this World may sever or distinguish us, yet nothing may be able to separate us from the love of those for whom Christ died.
THESE are Divine things to exercise and employ, your Minds at this great Solemnity. And as touching your outward deportment, there are these particulars, which. I would recommend to your Christian practice at the time of Ministration.
1. THAT ye dispose of your selves as near as may be to the Lord's Table, that you may behold what is tranfacted there. For besides the Decency, which is in the thing it self (when the Children of
God humbly present themselves round, about his Table) this is apt to exalt and heighten your Devotion still, and to give your Affections a new warmth, when you see, as it were, Jesus Christ crucified before your Eyes.
2. THE Mystery of his Passion being thus visibly represented, by the breaking of "the Bread (the Symbol of his Body and by the pouring out of the Wine (the Symbol of his Blood) then sursum corda (as the Exhortation was in the Primitive Ages of Christianity) lift up your Hearts to him who was dead, and is now alive. for evermore, and offer unto him private
ly these, or the like holy Ejaculations : Ó Lamb of God that takes away the Sins of the World, grant us thy Peace : 0 Lamb of God that takest away the Sins of the World, have. Mercy upon us.
3. THROUGHOUT the Prayer of the Church wherein you are concern'd, be sure to bear your Parts with Heart and Voice too. For this doth not only help to preserve a Man's own Zeal in a due Fervour, and to keep his mind fixt and intent, and free frorn distraction, but it is moreover an excellerat means to raise the Devotion of other Communicants. When every one assisteth, and all jointly mingle their Devotions, the common flame is very much increased, every one bringing sparks to the Altar, to kindle in each others Heart the love of Christ. For the confirmation of this, I appeal to every sensible Mans experience, who desires to serve God in the Beauty of Holiness. How lovely, how delightful a thing is it, when People meet together to Worship God, to send
up their Prayers and Praises to "him with one Lip And how apt is this to inspire every good Heart with Fervency, and to heat every ones. Affections, each Man catching some fire from his Neighbour? How like then is the Church to Heaven, and how transported do we seem
to be, as if we were among that blessed Quire above, where St. John in his Vision saw the four and twenty Elders falling down before him that sat on the Throne, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever, and cost their Crowns before the Throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive Glory, and Honour, and Power ; for thou hast created all things, and for thy Pleasure they are and were created, Rev. 4. 10, II. And where should we imitate this blessed and Heaven-like Harmony, if not at this Divine Solemnity, where we celebrate the memorial of our Redemption too? of our Redemption, I say; the great work of God, a work so worthy of God, so stupendious, so full of the Riches of his Grace, that to be unconcern'd among the common Thanksgivings of the Church, must needs be an Argument of a Mind very dull and insensate, very deeply posseft with a Spirit of Slumber.
WHEN you are now to receive the Divine Food, and Jesus, as it were, coming under your Roof, receive with all Humility ; let every lofty imagination fall, and every Knee Bend. Not that we may adore the Sacramental Bread and Wine (that were Idolatry to be abhorred of all faithful Christians) but as an humble Profession of our own great unworthiness, and as a grateful
Acknowledgement of those infinite Mercies werewith God is pleased to crown us at this time, it is no more than what is de cent and becoming us to be proftrate before him.
C-H'A P. XI.
Of Kneeling when People
NY Reasonable and Humble Man A
may think, that of those few Ceremonies which are enjoyned in the Church of England, none can be less liable to Objections, than the posture of Kneeling at the Celebration of this Mystery, where we poor finful Wretches are to receive so many stupendious Mercies at the hand of God. And yet confidering the Scruples which have been created in some Peoples minds about this Ceremony, and that many have run a. way from this
great Ghristian Ordinance, upon pretence that Kneeling is unlawful; I have thought it needful to insert here a short discourse, to undeceive well disposed Persons as to this particular.
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FOR your satisfaction in this case, I must lay down this principle, that whatsocver is unlawful, must be contrary to some Law or other, either Moral or Pos sitive, either Natural or Revealed. Fora Man cannot be said to do an unlawful action, if that which he doth be not against some Rule: because Sin is the Trans gression of the Law, 1 Joh. 3. 4. So that where no Law is, there is no Transgreffion, faith St. Pauli Rom. 4. 15. Sin is not imputed where there is no Law,
If then the posture of Kneels ing when we receive the holy Sacrament, be unlawful, we must suppose it to be a Violation of some Law; and then these three things must be supposed also.
1. THAT the Law against Kneeling (if there be any such) is plain. For every Law being the Rule of Action, Necessity it is required that it must be és vident ; because, otherwise we cannot know when we go right, or when we go wrong ; which would be so far from go Verning us, that it would hinder us from acting at all ; because in all dark and doubtful cases infinite Scruples must arise, which would render our Duty impracticable. As for instance; if it be said that there is a Divine Law about receiving the Holy Sacrament in such or such a