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A Discourse to his Servants, concerning receiving the Sacrament.

Now that I have mentioned the sacrament, I have a great desire, that as many of you as can should receive it at Easter, and that you should carefully 211prepare yourselves for it against that time. It is the most solemn institution of our religion, and as we are Christians, we are obliged to the frequent receiving of it, and we cannot neglect it without a great contempt of our blessed Saviour and his religion. He hath appointed it for a solemn remembrance of his great love to us, in laying down his life for us, and therefore he commands us to do it in remembrance of him; and St. Paul tells us, that “as often as we eat this bread, and drink this cup, we do shew forth the Lord’s death till he come.”

Both the comfort and the benefit of it are great. The comfort of it; because it does not only represent to us the exceeding love of our Saviour, in giving his body to be broken, and his blood to be shed for us; but it likewise seals to us all those blessings and benefits which are purchased and procured for us by his death and passion; the pardon of sins; and power against sin.

The benefit of it is also great; because hereby we are confirmed in goodness, and our resolutions of better obedience are strengthened; and the grace of God’s Holy Spirit to enable us to do his will is hereby conveyed to us.

And the best preparation for it is by a sincere repentance for all our sins and miscarriages, which we remember ourselves to be at any time guilty of; by daily prayer to God that he would give us a sincere repentance for all our sins, and mercifully forgive them to us; and by a sincere and firm resolution to forsake our sins, and to do better for the future; to be more careful of all our actions, and more constant in prayer to God for his grace to enable us to keep his commandments, by being in chanty with all men; and by forgiving those who have injured 212us by word or deed, as we hope for forgiveness from God.

And let none of us say, that we are not fitted and prepared for it. It is our duty to be so: and if we be not prepared to receive the sacrament, we are not qualified for the mercy of God, and for his forgiveness; we are not prepared for the happiness of heaven, and can have no hopes to come thither; but if we prepare ourselves as well as we can by repentance, and resolutions of being better, and by praying heartily and earnestly to God for his grace, he will accept of this preparation, and will give us the comfort of this holy sacrament.

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