The guard of the tree of life, or, A sacramental discourse shewing a Christians priviledge in approaching to God in ordinances, duty in his sacramentall approaches, danger if hee do not sanctifie God in them
Bolton, Samuel, 1606-1654.
Page  [unnumbered]Page  1

LEVIT. 10.3.
Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is that the Lord spake, saying, I will bee sanctified in them that come nigh me.—

WE are all here present met together at an Ordi∣nance, and many of us have intended to goe upon a further Ordi∣nance. And there is no man or wo∣man who hath to doe with any Or∣dinance of God, but hath to deale with God in it, he drawes neere to God. And God hath said he will e sanctified in all them that draw eere to him; either he will be san∣ctified by you, in your active glorifyingf him, or upon you, in your passiveearing his displeasure. * There is never a one of you here present, but God will be sanctified and glorified Page  2in you this day. And 'tis my ear∣nest desire that you may all actively glorifie God, that he may not pas∣sively glorifie himselfe upon you, and raise his glory out of the ruines of any of you.

I need not travell farre back to find you a coherence, the verse before will afford it; And the first word of my Text bids me go no further.

There is,

  • 1. The occasion of these words.
  • 2. The Preface to them.
  • 3. The words themselves.
  • 4. The effect of them.

1. The occasion of these words, and that was the untimely death of Aarons two sonnes, their death gave birth to these words. And a sentence it is not too deare, if bought with the lives of thousands of men. 2. The Preface to them, This is that the Lord said; why, where did the Lord speak it? Did he speak it to Moses only? or did he speak it o the Congregation also? we never reade it was booked before, totidem Page  3verbis. Some think this punishment was all the command they had, but I cannot think, that God doth first punish, and thereupon raise a pre∣cept, but he first gives his Law, then punishes the breach of it.

And the words declare there had been some charge given, This is that the Lord said, so that there was some charge. But where was it? Wee read not of it here. Some say it was spoken, but not written; and this they would have to countenance their unwritten traditions. Some will have it, in Exo. 19.22. Let the Priests sanctifie themselves, lest the Lord break in upon them. Others will have it in Levit. 8.35, 36. Keep the Lord's charge that you die not. Calvin will not have it referred to any particu∣lar place, but a generall charge, gi∣ven at divers times; and now the present occasion brings it forth to particular application, to which I assent. 3. Wee have the words Page  4themselves, I will be sanctified. Why, what is that? Can God be sancti∣fied of us? Indeed he sanctifies us, but how can we sanctifie him?

God is sanctified two wayes:

  • 1. Actively.
  • 2. Passively.

1. Actively, as 1 Pet. 3.15. San∣ctifie the Lord in your hearts; and thus God is sanctified, when wee cherish and maintain high esteems of God in our hearts, when we do ho∣nour, esteem, and advance God in our hearts, and in our lives.

2. Passively, by punishing of of∣fenders, Ezek. 28.22. When I have executed my judgement on her,*then shall I be sanctified in her. Jerome on this place saith, The punishment of offenders, is the sanctification of God; So you see it was in the Text, God was sanctified on them, not by their doing good, but by their suffering evill; not Actively, but Passively: And in both these senses the words are to be read, I say the words are to Page  5be read in this disjunctive sense, I will be sanctified of all them that draw neer to me, that is, either actively, in glorifying me in the work; or pas∣sively, in glorifying my self upon the workman; * if you do not sancti∣fie God in an Ordinance, he will be sanctified upon you. 4. We have the effect of these words upon Aa∣ron, it is said, it struck him dumb; a dutifull dumbness; he was silent to Jehovah, he held his peace; he was dumb, & opened not his mouth, be∣cause it was God's doing. * God's will being manifest, it chained up his tongue, he held his peace; thereby confessing, saith Calvin,*that they were slain by the just judgement of God. His silence cleared God in his deal∣ings. And what a power is there then in faith, and grace; to silence the soul in such a sad condition as this? The loss of his sons, his el∣dest sons, when young, and without posterity, in the first day of their Page  6ministration, in the sight of all the Congregation, and by so fearfull a judgement, fire from the Lord, and in the act of their sin, which some think was joyned with drunkenness too, whereupon the prohibition a∣gainst wine follows, v. 9: so that the Congregation might suspect they went but from fire to fire, from a destruction by fire, to a preservation in fire, from a temporall to an eter∣nall burning? Yet in all this Moses having declared the author God, the cause their sin, Aaron was dumb and held his peace: It was not such a dumbness as Zachary had; that was poenal, & unbelief struck him dumb; this was a spirituall dumbness, and faith struck him dumb, it did not so much suspend his tongue from speaking, as silence his heart from complaining, and made him quietly submit to God's dealing.

Thus having at once shewed you both the parts of the Text, and Page  7cleared what ever had any appear∣ing difficulty in it, * we will now lay down the severall conclusions the Text affords us.

1. That they who have to do with any Ordinance of God, draw neer to God.

2. That they who draw neer to God in any Ordinance, must sanctifie God in it.

3. That if wee do not sanctifie God in an Ordinance, hee will be sanctified upon us.

We will speak a little of the first, which is an Introduction to those which follow.

That they who have to do with any Ordinance of God, draw neer to God. [Doct.]

You see it is the language of the Spirit of God here, that to have to do with any matter which concerns the Worship and service of God, is, do draw neer to God. And in other places it is cal'd a coming before God, a treading his Courts, an approaching to God, a meeting of God; all which languages imply thus much, that Page  8who ever have to do with God in any Ordinance, draw neer to God. You tread his Courts, you come into his presence, you approach unto God, you meet God, you have com∣munion with God; Nay, you have to do with God's Name; God's Ordi∣nances are part of his Name. Nay, you have to doe with God him∣self. Hee that hath to doe with any Ordinance, with any part of his Worship, hath to do with God him∣self. When you have to do with the Word, when you go to Prayer, when you have to do with the Sa∣craments, you have to do with God himself in them. What could the Word do, either in commands to in∣gage us, in Promises to comfort us, in threatenings to terrifie us, if wee had not to do with God in them? What were Prayer, but a distracted seriousness, a religious madness, if we had not to deal with God in it? What were the Sacraments, but gau∣die Page  9Pageants, nay, empty fantasies, beggerly elements, if we had not to deal with God in them?

It is God that wee have to deal withall in Ordinances, that sheds a glory, casts a Majesty, and puts an ef∣ficacie into all the Ordinances we have to deal withall: It is hee who makes the Promises of the Word rocks of stay and support, that makes the commands of the Word full of authority, that makes the threatnings of the Word exceeding terrible; It is he that we have to deal withall, that makes a little handfull of water, a little bit of bread, and sup of wine, exceeding glorious and efficacious. What empty, what poor, what con∣tēptible things would these be (and are to unbelieving men) if wee had not to do with God in them? It is this God we have to do withall, that casts a Majesty upon, and puts an efficacy into every Ordinance.

But we will pass over this. If they Page  10who have to do wth any Ordinance of God, draw neer to God, then let me put some things to you to judge of.

1. Judge then, if ever Kingdom was more ingaged to God then ours, who injoy the Ordinances by which we draw neer to God. Hath he dealt thus with any Nation? What Na∣tion under heaven that enjoy the like priviledges of drawing neere to God in Ordinances as we doe? Well may we say in the words of the Psalmist, Psal. 65.5. Blessed is the Nation which thou chusest,*and cau∣sest to approach unto thee, that they may dwell in thy Courts, we shall be satisfied with the goodnesse of thy house, even of thy holy Temple.

2. And with blessing God for our owne priviledges, judge what cause we have to take up a lamenta∣tion for them that never enjoyed; & for them who have enjoyed, but are now deprived of this means of drawing neere to God.

Page  111. Them who never enjoyed the Ordinances, who sit in darknesse, and in the shadow of death, who never had a Christ, a Gospel discovered to them. Oh, pity and pray for them, that the Word of the Lord might run & be glorified, that God would inlarge the bounds of his sanctuary, stretch forth the Curtains of his Tabernacle, that the eyes of Nations might be opened, that the fulness of the Gentiles might be brought in, & that they might flie to the Church as Doves into the windows, which is prophesied, Isa. 60.8. And wth them, Oh, remember that antient nation, the Jews, who have drawn neere to God in Ordinances, but now at distance with him, and even set at further distance by the use of those Ordinances, whereby formerly they drew neer; Oh remember them! that that blood which they impre∣cated upon themselves for a curse, may now be upon them for a bles∣sing,Page  12that it may lie no longer upon their heads, but now be sprinkled up∣on their hearts, and be in veniam wch hath been so long in vindictam; That as it was said of the Gentiles, so it may now be said of the Jewes, That unto them is granted repentance to life.

2. And take up a mourning for them who have injoyed the Ordi∣nances, but now want them; look into Germany, look into Ireland, nay look into many places in England, how many Pastors, who are driven away from their flocks, how many Shepheards smitten, and the sheep scat∣tered, how many poor scattered flocks, who had the Manna fell at their tent doors, & their tents about the Tabernacle, who now have the Tabernacle removed, are without Word, without Sacraments, with∣out Ordinances, and are forced to wander from place to place, to ga∣ther of the bread of heaven, to injoy Page  13the Ordinances whereby they may draw neer to God?

3. Judge then, if it be not a vile thing, to hinder & disturb the Saints in those things whereby they draw neer to God. 1. Either by depri∣ving them of Ordinances, and rob∣bing them of the means: 2. Or by corrupting of the Ordinances to them, that they cannot injoy them in that purity which God left them. In the first, the bread is taken from them: In the second, they give them poyson with their bread; both these will have a sad day of rec∣koning.

4. See what's the reason the Saints are so much taken with Or∣dinances, because they draw neer to God in them; they look upon Or∣dinances as Bridges to give them a passage to God; as Boats to convey them into the bosome of Christ, * as means to bring them into more in∣timate communion with their Father, Page  14therfore are they so much taken wth them. When they go to the Word, they go as one goes to hear news of a friend; when they go to pray, they go to talk with a friend; when to read, they go to reade a letter from a friend; when to receive, they go to sup with a friend: they look up∣on Ordinances as those things whereby they have to do with God, and therfore are ordinances so pre∣cious. Indeed to them who have to do with nothing but duty, in duty, but prayer, in prayer, but hearing, in hear∣ing, to them the Ordinances are dead, dry, and spiritless things, but they who have to do with God in duty, they who have communion with God in Ordinances, to them Ordi∣nances are passing sweet and preci∣cious.

5. Judge what cause there is to keep our hearts in a spirituall and holy frame; wee have often to do with Ordinances, and when we have Page  15to do with Ordinances, we have to do with God, we draw neer to him. And therefore, what cause to get and keep our hearts in a holy tem∣per, that we may be ever fit to close with God in them, and not have our hearts like bad servants, to seek when we are to use them. The Apostle bids us pray continually, it is not meant that wee are ever to be upon our knees, ever in actuall prayer, but seeing we are to pray so frequently, we are to get and keep our hearts in such an habituall frame and disposi∣tion, that they may be ever fit to close with God, when ever wee are called out upon the duty.

Were wee but seldom to have to do with God, you might think there were no such need of keeping our hearts in frame; but seeing we are to do with him daily, who is so pure and holy a God, Oh, what manner of persons ought we to be? How exactly should we walk? Jerem. 7.9.10. Will Page  16you steal and murther, and come and stand before mee in this house which is called by my name, saith the Lord? so will you walk loosly, live vainly, when you are to do with so holy a God every day? Oh, let every man that calls upon the name of the Lord, depart from iniquity. Let every one that holds up praying duties, keep his heart in a praying frame: such a Christian is not worth a pin, who is only good when he is on his knees, who thinks it sufficient to snatch up affections to serve the turne of a duty, and then to lay them aside as soone as the duty is over: hee is a Christian indeed who prays on his feet as well as on his knees, whose life is nothing else but a reall prayer, that if you look into his heart, there is all his desires ingraven, his heart ever pants and breaths the same things he prayes; and if you look into his life, his life speaks the same language his lips do; his life is a Page  17walking prayer; many men are one upon their knees, another upon their feet, but he is the same; hee walks with the same spirit, the same affections, the same desires and disposition: hee is the same man. It is something to pray, more to pray as a Christian, and more when you have prayed your prayers, to live your prayers; nay, to live those affections, those dis∣positions wherewith you prayed, to live as high as prayer. It is a shame to see, how we slide out of duty into the world, and out of the world into duty again; as if we were two contrary men, one up∣on our knees, and another on our feet: And therefore you shall see men to gather up some affections, some dispositions, before they en∣ter on a duty, and put themselves into another frame; but lay them aside as soon as ever they have done; these must only serve to actPage  18a praying part, when that is done, then lay them aside; you have no more use of them, you must put on another spirit to go into the world withall. Christians, you have often to do with Ordinan∣ces, and had therefore need to keep your hearts in an Ordinance frame: hee who keeps not close to God in practice, shall never keep close to God in prayer; di∣stance in life breeds distance in du∣ty. And what need of keeping up praying affections? what a shame to have our lives give our lips the lye, our practice be a confutation of our prayers? In our prayer to be warm, in our practice cold, up in duty, down in life? Oh learn to live as high as duty; thou never prayest indeed, till thy practice come up as high as thy prayers, till thou loves confessions, and art humble, thou loves petitions and art thirsty, and diligent for those Page  19things thou begs, till a man may reade by thy life, that thou art one who desirest those things, which thou hast uttered with thy lips. Let this frame of spirit be in your eye to aim at, and in your life to indeavour after. — But I am too large, I intended this do∣ctrine only for the porch or en∣trance to the rest. To draw there∣fore up to the conclusion of it.

I. If it be so, that who ever hath to do with an Ordinance, hath to do with God in it, hee draws neer to God; Let me then exhort you:

  • 1. To a conscionable use of Ordinances.
  • 2. To conscionablenesse in the use of them.

1. Let me exhort you to a con∣scionable use of Ordinances. Be more frequent in hearing, in pray∣ing, in receiving, &c.— I might say something to this last, viz. Re∣ceiving,Page  20The Apostle tells us, 1 Cor. 11.26. As often as wee eat this bread, wee shew forth the Lord's death; it implies a frequent use of the Ordinance, more then once or twice a year, or once a quarter. In∣deed the opportunities might be more frequent, if it were not for the coldness and deadness of our hearts. In the Primitive times of the Church, while the blood of Christ was warm, they had the Sa∣crament every day; wee have an uncontradicted authority, that they had it every Lord's day. And as men grew colder, so the distances grew greater. Sure, were it not for the coldness and deadness of our hearts, it might almost be our daily bread; at least wee might in∣joy a more frequent use of this Ordinance then we do: but as the Apostle saith, as oft as you have op∣portunity do good: so as oft as you have the opportunity, take the oc∣casions Page  21to meet God in his Or∣dinances.

1. By them you see you draw neer to God, you come into his presence, you have to do with God's Name; nay, you have to do with God himself.

2. By them God draws neer to you, he walks among the Can∣dlesticks, he presents himself in his Ordinances; Matth. 28.1. and there he directs us to finde him; Cant. 1.7, 8.

3. If wee keep not up a con∣scionable use of Ordinances, di∣stance will grow between God and you: As the Water-man may lose more by the omission of one stroke then he is able to re∣cover again by many; so may you lose more by the omission of one duty, then you are able to reco∣ver again by the performance of many; especially, if this omission hath arisen, 1. from neglect of Page  22God: 2. from carelesness: 3. from sleighting of the converses with God: 4. or from the importu∣nities and solicitations of Satan and our corruptions: 5. or, from the blandishments of the world: If upon such grounds, little dost thou know what thou losest by such an omission. If notwithstand∣ing all indeavours, it be so hard to keep communion with God, what would it be, if we should cast up our Oars, and neglect it whol∣ly? You see what a distance was bred between God & Israel, Jer. 2. And what was the ground of it? why, saith the Text, My people have forgotten mee dayes without number; they had no care to keep and che∣rish cōmunion and acquaintance with him, and so distances were bred between God and them: ne∣glect of duty breeds strangeness, strangeness distance, distance fall∣ing off. A good caveat in these Page  23dayes, when so many do cry down duty; shall we look upon that as our burthen, which is our glory; our bondage, which is our priviledge? what is the happiness of a glorified Saint, but only that he is alwayes under the line of love, ever in the contemplation, and converses with God? And shall that be thought our burthen here wch is our glory hereafter? By this, first, you come to see the face of God: secondly, you have converses with him: thirdly, you get new quicken∣ings: fourthly, new incourage∣ments: fifthly, fresh strength a∣gainst sin: sixthly, new supplies a∣gainst the temptations of Satan & the world: seventhly, fresh strength to walk with God: eighthly, ar∣mor against our lusts; and this is enough to make us conscionable.

4. We know not how soon we may be deprived of Ordinances; wee have play'd with the breasts, Page  24and God might put them up; we have sinn'd in the light, and God might put out our light. How justly might God remove his Candlesticks, let out his Vineyard to other Husbandmen, and seek for other ground to sow the seed of his Ordinances upon; seeing the ground where it hath been sown hath brought forth so little fruit, how deservedly might hee suffer us to wish and wander to injoy one of the days of the Son of man which we have injoyed?

But though God do not take away the Ordinances from us, yet hee may take us from the Or∣dinances, and that not only by death, but in life it self; and a sad thought this will bring to thy soul, when conscience shall re∣port to you, your former negli∣gence in the use of Ordinances.—

II. Let me exhort you not only to a conscionable use of ordinan∣ces, Page  25but to Conscionableness in the use of them; be not onely con∣scionable to use them, but let your hearts be wrought up to a Conscionablenesse in the use of them. The power of the Word, the terror of the Law, the fear of wrath, and the hope of reward, may put a man to do duty; yea, & have power upon the spirit, and ingage the conscience to doe du∣ty: You see many that dare not but pray, and yet have no heart in prayer; they have a conscience to doe duty, but their hearts are not brought to any conscientious∣ness in the doing of it. A com∣mon work of God, may make men conscionable to doe many duties, but nothing but the Spirit and Grace of Christ, will work up the heart to a conscionablenesse in the doing of them.

To this conscionablenesse in the performance of Ordinances, Page  26would I exhort you upon this ground, because you draw neere to God, have to doe with him. And as in all, so in particular in this Ordinance of the Lords Supper.

1. Because otherwise ye get no good: 1. no good of Grace, no improvement of Holinesse: 2. Nor no good of cōfort. Com∣fort comes not in from the bare doing of the duty, but from the manner of doing, it is not the issue of conscience to doe, but of conscionablenesse in the doing of them. All the Sermons you have heard, all the Prayers you have prayd, all the Sacraments you have received, though done out of conscience, as you say, will not minister one dram of true comfort to you upon your death∣beds, if your spirits have not been wrought up to a consciona∣blenesse in the doing of them.

Page  272. Because otherwise you pro∣voke God; to give him the car∣kasse and out-side of duty, and to with-hold the life and spirit of duty, is a provocation of God.

3. Because otherwise you will contract much guilt, and bring much evill upon your own souls. This is sure, that Ordinances u∣sed in an unconscionable way, 1. They give Satan further posses∣sion of us. 2. They put much weight to our sin. 3. They set our soules at further distance with God. 4. They ripen us to the great downfall, the great sin lies among such. 5. They make our conditions more irrecove∣rable. When a man comes to be Ordinance-proofe, prayer-proof, Sermon and Sacrament-proofe, that none of these can enter and work upon him, he is out-grown the power of Ordi∣nances, that man's condition is Page  28very neere desperate.

There is nothing makes the condition of the soule more de∣sperate and unrecoverable, then the use of Ordinances in a formall and unconscionable way, when a man doth harden under means of softning. When a mans soar runs under the plaister, nay when the plaister increaseth the soar; when that which should draw us neere, sets us at fur∣ther distance; this man's con∣dition is dangerous. Scarce one of many are ever wrought upon: When once a man can heare and pray, and receive, and yet retaine his sinne too without disturbance, all this doth not trouble him, no weapon will pierce him; no command, no threatning of the Word, no pow∣er of Ordinances can move him: this man is in great danger to die in this condition. And the use of Page  29Ordinances in a formall way, brings men to such a condition. As the use of Physick in an ordi∣nary way, doth take away the working of it; so the use of Or∣dinances in a formall way, doth take off the edge, and blunt the power of working on the spirit.

Well then, let me exhort you not onely to be conscionable to use, but to a conscionablenesse in the use of this ordinance. And this lies in two things.

1. That you come with hearts habitually disposed: which lies also in two things:

1. To be brought out of a state of sin; 1. the power, 2. practise, 3. love of all sin: for Sin sets a distance between you and God in ordinances, it pollutes an Or∣dinance, it indisposeth you for acceptance in it.

2. To be brought into a state of grace, to have your natures Page  30changed, not partially, but uni∣versally & spiritually, not only to have new practices, but new princples. Old things past away, and all things become new.

2. This conscionablenes in the use of Ordinances, it lies in this, That you come with hearts actu∣ally disposed, and that consists in two things,

  • 1. Examination.
  • 2. Excitation.
But of these I shall have occasion to speak larger in the following discourse.

There is yet another branch of the exhortation.

If so be that whoever hath to doe with any Ordinance of God, hath to doe with God in it; Oh then when ever you goe to have to doe with any Ordinance, be sure you take Christ with you. There is a necessitie of this,

  • 1. In regard of Admission.
  • 2. In regard of Assistance.
  • 3. In regard of Acceptance.

Page  311. In regard of Admission, God is a consuming fire, and we are but dried stubble, there is no ap∣proaching of him but in Christ, in whom we may have access with boldnesse to the throne of grace; God will not look pleasingly on you, if you come without Christ, here is no throne of grace with∣out him; without Christ it is ra∣ther a Barre or Tribunall of ju∣stice, then a Throne of Grace. * It is Christ who makes that which was a Barre of justice, a Bench of mercie. In him we have admission. You goe upon this Ordinance now, but goe not in the strength of your preparations, but in the strength of Christ. Say, Lord I come alone in the Merits of Christ, to partake of the Merits of the Lord Jesus. I come in the blood of Christ, to partake of the blood of the Lord Jesus. I have in∣devoured to prepare and fit my Page  30〈1 page duplicate〉Page  31〈1 page duplicate〉Page  32self through thy grace, but I look not for admission through my preparations, but through the blood and mediation of Christ.

2. There is a necessitie of Christ in regard of Assistance: You go upon Ordinances, but you have no strength to do them without Christ, who is sufficient for these things? you might as well bee set to move Mountains, as to un∣dertake Ordinances, without the strength of Christ, without me you can doe nothing, saith Christ, Joh. 15. without Union with him, without Communion with him: from him we must have both ope∣perating and cooperating strength, both inherent & adsistent strength, otherwise though you have grace, yet you will not bee able to performe any worke, nor exer∣cise your owne graces. It is hee that must work all our works in us, and for us; the inherent work Page  33of grace within us, * and the requi∣red works of duty for us. And blessed be that God, who hath given to us what he requireth of us, and hath not only made Pre∣cepts promises, but made pro∣mises, performances.

3. There is a necessity of Christ in regard of acceptance. Our works, * they are not only impotent, but impure too, as they come from us. It is Christ that must put validity to them, and Christ that must put his own odours to them; Christ must put both his spirit & * merit to them, his Grace to work them, and his blood to own them; what ever comes from his Spirit, is presen∣ted through his Spirit.

And here is a great comfort; thou looks over thy performan∣ces, and canst not see, how ever God can accept them: so much deadness, so little life, so much Page  34coldness; * But God looks upon them not as thine, but as Christs, in whom not only our persons, but our performances are accep∣ted. Christ gives us his Spirit, and Christ is willing to own what we present by his Spirit, and God is willing to own what ever is presented to him by his Son.

Well then, thou hast to do with the Ordinances of God, by these thou draws neer to God; but would you be admitted into the presence of God? would you have God to hold out a golden Scep∣ter to you? would you have grace and assistance to perform the work? would you have acceptance when the work is done? Oh get Christ to go along with you! And thus much for the first Doctrine, wch is an introduction to the 2d.

That they who draw neer to God in any ordināce, [Doct. 2] must sanctifie God in it.

In prosecution of which, wee shal do three things: we wil shew,

Page  351. What it is to sanctifie God in an Ordinance.

2. How we must sanctifie God in an Ordinance.

3. Why we must sanctifie God in an ordinance. And so to application.

1. What it is to sanctifie God in an Ordinance.

To the sanctifying of God in an Ordinance, there is something required,

  • 1. In the work.
  • 2. In the workman.

1. The work, and that is, that it be an ordinance, such a one as he himself hath instituted and set up, otherwise wee cannot sanctifie God in it, no more then the Pa∣pists in their blind devotions and superstitions. These offer strange fire. As God's Benediction doth not accompany any thing further then 'tis an Ordinance of his, so our sanctification of God extends no further then to his own ordi∣nances, which he himself hath set Page  36up & ordained; in other things we sanctifie him not, we dishonor him.

2. Something required in the workman: To say nothing here of the main requisite, wch is, that hee be in Christ: for that we take hee be in Christ: for that we take for granted; & to qualifie such a one to this ordinance: and in such a one there is something required in his head, somthing in his heart.

1. In his head, and that is, first, that hee conceive aright of God: secondly, and that he conceive a∣right of the ordinance. 1. That he conceive aright of God, that he hath a right knowledge of God, right conceptions of God in his Nature, in his Person, in his At∣itrbutes, Son. 2. Of his Ordinan∣ces, 1. in the nature of them, 2. the use of them, 3. the fruit and bene∣fit of them.

2. Somthing in his heart; and that,

First, that hee bring holy affecti∣ons to it; every ordinance of God Page  37requires the affections to be im∣ployed about it, and not only af∣fections, but holy affections, such affections as do arise from a holy heart; there is the spring. Un∣sound professours may sometime have some flashings in their devo∣tions, as you see Herod, who heard John Baptist joyfully; they may have some affections, but: 1. They are not holy affections: 2. Not such as arise from a principle, a spring within, there's no root: 3. They are not orderly affections, they break out before knowledge, be∣fore faith: 4. They are not con∣stant affections, but land-flouds, for a time: 5. They are not trans∣forming affections, such as change the heart; and therefore such af∣fections may be exercised, yet they leave a man as they found him, and such a man cannot san∣ctifie God in an Ordinance.

Secondly, there must not only Page  38be holy affections, but such as are sutable to the Ordinance & Work in hand. It is possible to have holy affections, them stirred up in an or∣dinance, and yet not sanctifie God in it, because these are not sutable to the Ordinance, Nihil ad rem, nothing to the work in hand; they sute not with the present ordi∣nance that God hath called the soul out upon, as I could shew you at large.

Thirdly, there must not only be holy affections and sutable affe∣ctions, but those excited and stir∣red up. A man may have holy af∣fections, and such as are sutable to an Ordinance, as the Saints have in the frame of Grace, and yet not sanctifie God in an Ordinance, be∣cause not excited and stirred up: *Stir up the gift of God in thee, saith the Apostle to Timothy; that is, excite and blow up the gifts and graces of God in thee.

Page  39

When you are to do with God, you must stir up those affections, and graces which are within you. And this requires a matter of pains; affections are not ever at hand, nor ever at command; a man hath not his heart under lock and key. And therefore God in mercy considering and respecting our weakness, hath graciously al∣lotted a time of preparation, be∣fore he call us forth upon the per∣formance of an Ordinance, that so we might get our affections up, our hearts in tune. Once indeed wee reade, that men were called out upon an ordinance, and were straitned with time to prepare themselves according to the pre∣paration of the Sanctuary, as in Hezekiah's time. * They had habi∣tuall preparation, but wanted actuall; and in that case, the want of time, God pardoned it, but it was prayed for, it was sought Page  40for, and sought for earnestly. But we read another time, that God punished the want of this actuall preparation, and stirring up their graces & affections; yea, and pu∣nished it severely, with the weak∣nesse, sicknesse, death of many of the Corinthians. For this cause many are sick, many are weak, many are fallen asleep; yet were they ha∣bitually prepared; 1 Cor. 11.1.

God takes it for a great disho∣nour to him, that we should come slightly on so great a worke, to which all the affections we have, and all the affections we can stir up, are little enough. Wee had need call in for all the strength of grace, nay all the succours in Christ, and all the supplies and aids of the Spirit to the perfor∣mance of it. By this you may ga∣ther what it is to sanctifie God in an Ordinance.

2. How must wee sanctifie God in an Ordinance?

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To sanctify God in an ordinance, there is required something

  • 1. Antecedent.
  • 2. Cōcomitant
  • 3. Subsequent.

1. Somthing Antecedent, or before. 2. Somthing in the time. 3. After∣wards. These are generals, wch be∣long to every particular Ordi∣nāce, as I could shew you at large. *

When you come to heare the word, there is somthing required before, as 1. Meditation, into what place, into whose presence, about what businesse we goe. 2. Exa∣mination of 1. our sins, that here we might have them slain by the sword of the Spirit in the Mini∣stery of the word. 2. Our graces, that here wee might have them strengthened and nourished by the spirituall food of our soules. 3. Prayer for the Minister, for the Congregation, our selves, that a blessing may be upon.

2. In the time is required, 1. Re∣verence,Page  422. Attention, 3. Submissi∣on of spirit and humility. 4. Faith.

3. Afterward, Prayer again, which must be the Alpha and O∣mega, 2. Meditation, 3. fruitfulness, and obedience.

So for Prayer, there is requi∣red, * 1. Before, Meditation, prepa∣ration. 2. In the time, faith, fer∣vencie, humility,*sutablenesse of spirit, inlarged desires. 3. After∣ward such a deportment and demea∣nour as is sutable to such who call upon God, as to depart from sin, to apply our hearts to obedience, to ex∣pect the answer and return of our Prayers. Psal. 5.3. In the morning I will direct my prayer,*and look up. There are two military words, he would not only pray, but mar∣shall up his prayers, put them in array; and when he had done, hee would be as a Spie upon a tower, to see whether he prevailed, whe∣ther he got the day.

But to passe these, & come to the Page  43Ordinance we are to enter upon, the Sacrament. * To sanctifie God in which, there is required, 1. som∣thing before, 2. somthing in the time, and 3. something after.

1. Something before, which may be laid down in these two heads,

  • 1. Habituall,
  • 2. Actuall.

1. Habituall preparation, which doth consist in the whole frame of grace and sanctification. It is an ordinance onely for such who are sanctified, we are to have, 1. A saving knowledge of God, of our selves, 2. lively faith, 3. a true re∣pentance, 4. love, 5. hunger and thirst after Christ: this is a feast, and no comming without sto∣mach. 6. Thankfulnesse.

2. Actuall preparation, and that consists in the actuall stirring up and exciting of those graces which are in you. There must be a new exciting of faith, a new ex∣ercise of repentance, the latitude Page  44and extent whereof is for all sin, but especially for those sinnes which you have committed since the last time you renewed your covenant with God, in this Or∣dinance. So a stirring up of our love, affections, our desires, hun∣ger, thirst. This is required before, which because it is so largely treated upon, * by many learned and godly Divines, I shall purposely wave any further trea∣ty of it, referring you in this point to what they have so large∣ly written.

Passing this therefore, we fall upon the second, which hath not been so frequently taught.

2. As there is something then required before, viz. Habituall and actuall preparation: so se∣condly there is something required in the time; and that is the exer∣cise of Graces, and gracions dispo∣sitions. A man may be a sancti∣fied Page  45person, and yet not sanctifie God in this Ordinance, if he doe not exercise those Graces, & graci∣ous dispositions wch God requi∣reth here, & are sutable to the qua∣lity and nature of the Ordinance.

1. Now the first and great grace that here is to be exercised, is Faith. Faith is the great Grace which gives admission unto this ordinance, and faith is the great grace that is to be exercised, and to run through the use of it.

Concerning which we shall desire to unfold three things.

1. What act of Faith is here to be exercised.

2. Upon what object we must ex∣ercise our Faith here.

3. For what benefits faith must here be exercised.

For the first, viz. what act of Faith is here to bee exercised. There are these two main acts of Faith. 1. An act of Recumbence: 2. An act of apprehension & appli∣cation Page  46of Christ. * Both these may be exercised here, and to our spirituall benefit.

By the one we go over to Christ, by the other we bring Christ o∣ver to us.

The first act of Faith gives us an interest in all the benefits of Christ, though as yet the soule is not able to bring home to it selfe the great revenue of mercie and grace, which Christ hath pur∣chased, and the soule hath an in∣terest in. The second act of faith brings it all home. In the former God makes Christ ours, and we his; in the latter wee make him ours. Christ in his blood and me∣rits, Christ in his grace and Spirit, Christ in all his doings and suffer∣ings; so far as he is cōmunicable to poore sinners. Now there is not much difference betweene these two acts. The difference is not in the nature and essence of Page  47the grace, both are faith and sa∣ving faith; nor in the fruits and benefits, both give a man union and communion with Christ, &c. But the difference is in the mea∣sures and degrees, in the comforts of it. To the first there goes a conviction of sin, a manifestati∣on and clearing of the promise, a perswasion of the truth, ful∣nesse, freenesse, sutablenesse, and goodnesse of the promise. And upon all this here is a rowling, a resting upon Christ. And the latter is but a further degree, a bringing over or home all this to its own selfe. In the former act the soule hath communion with all the benefits of Christ. It's such an act of Faith, as gives a soule union with the person, and that cannot be without commu∣nion with the priviledges and be∣nefits. In this latter there is but a clearer apprehension of it. In the Page  48first we go over to Christ: in the latter we bring over Christ to us. In the former we are apprehended of Christ, * in the latter wee appre∣hend Christ.

Now, to the Answer, what act of faith is here to be exercised: unto which I say, that that act of faith which doth apprehend and apply Christ, is most sutable to this ordinance of the Sacrament; hence is this called a taking of Christ, a receiving of Christ, a feeding upon Christ, eating his flesh, and drinking his blood; all which shew this act is most suta∣ble to the ordinance.

Here we have an offer of Christ, and this act is most sutable to take him as offered. And the more strength wee have to apply and bring Christ home, the more we feed on him, the more wee are nourished, and built up.

But though this act of faith is Page  49most sutable to the ordinance, yet wee shut not out the other from the comfort & benefit of it. That which gives the soul union with Christ, doth give it communion with all the benefits of Christ. Christ and his benefits go toge∣ther. Yet I could wish that every one who hath done this first act of faith, would work it up one de∣gree higher, to apprehend and ap∣ply Christ in the promises of grace. Seeing according to the measure of your faith, and feeding upon Christ; such is the measure of the benefit by Christ here. But however, be not discouraged, such as are weak in faith will Christ receive. * If hee have a care that others shall not reject them for their weakness, but bid them to receive them, much more will hee himself receive them; and whom he will receive shall receive him.

If therefore thou art weak in Page  50applying faith, and thou cannot bring Christ over to thee, go thou over to Christ; if thou cannot ful∣ly apprehend him, let him appre∣hend thee, * cast thy self into his arms; * by this act set thy seal to Gods truth, and expect here in this ordinance that God should put his Seal to thy heart by assu∣ring. So much for the first, what act of faith is here to be exer∣cised. We come to the second.

2. Upon what Object must the act of faith be terminated here? You must know there are many objects of faith in generall; as God himself in the unity of Essence, and trinity of Persons, the Word of God, the Promises of God. But there is but one object of Justify∣ing faith, and that is Christ, God∣man,* the Mediatour. To him give all the Prophets witness, that who e∣ver believes in him, shall receive re∣mission of sins. This is the objectPage  51upon which the faith of Adam was terminated, * the seed of the woman, and thereby was justified, and had his recovery after the fall. This is that object upon which the faith of Abraham, who was the Father of the faithfull, was ter∣minated, who saw his day and rejoyced; it was not the believing of the Promise of seed, but in the promised seed. To him also did the eyes of the faithfull look un∣der the law, through the shadows and sacrifices, and were justified by Christ to be, as we are now by Christ exhibited.

And upon him must our faith be terminated, not only in the first act of faith for justification, but also in the exercise of it in this ordinance for the further as∣surance of justification, and in∣crease of sanctification.

And let it not seem strange to you, wee are not so much to Page  52deale with a promise here as with the thing promised, nor to feed on a promise as upon Christ himself by faith, to eat his flesh and drinke his blood, *This is my body, &c. Christ is the meat here for the hand of faith to receive, the mouth of faith to eate, as hee faith, My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. You may make use of the promises here, the Sacrament is the seale to every promise in the covenant. But the matter of the Sacrament indeed, and that whereon wee are chiefly to feed, is Christ himselfe. Christ as he is laid out unto us in his death and suffe∣rings, whereon feeding, wee get spirituall nourishment for grace, and death of sinne. The blood of Christ, like the waters appointed for the triall of jealousie, hath a double property, to kill and to make fruitfull; to kill our sinnes,Page  53and make our graces grow; to rot our sins, and ripen our grace.

Well then, remember that the great dish thou feedst on at this Feast, be Christ himselfe. * Thou canst not feed upon a promise, un∣till thou first feed upon Christ; he doth not onely give us title and interest in them, but appetite to them. If thou feed on him, thy stomach will be quicker to feed on them; nay, if thou feed on him, * thou feedest on all the promises, and hast an interest in all the good of them, the sweet of all the promises is tasted in Christ. All the promises are folded up in Christ, and thou canst not feed on him, but thou feedest on all, and hast the blessing of every one in particular. The promises of ju∣stification, sanctification, subdu∣ing of corruptions, increase of grace, upholding in grace, interest in glory, they are all of them fol∣ded Page  54up in Christ, hee is all.

The promise doth not, but Christ doth justifie, Christ doth sanctifie; you get nothing from the pro∣mise separate from Christ, but all the good of the promise comes in by Christ, and therefore here terminate your faith. And so much for the second, upon what object wee must terminate our Faith. We come to the third.

For what benefit must Faith here be exercised? *

First, faith must not bee here acted for your justification; it is required you should be justified persons, have your sins forgiven before you come hither. He that comes hither under the guilt of sin, goes away with more guilt, and his former guilt is doubled and confirmed on him. So that for this benefit faith is not to bee acted, as wee shall shew here∣after.

Page  55

Secondly, faith must not be here acted for Regeneration; It is re∣quired a man should be borne a∣gaine, bee in the state of grace, sanctified, before hee come hi∣ther. Here is the multiplying of grace, but no begetting of grace. As in the miracle of loaves,* there was no new bread created, but a multiplying of the bread they had: So here is no giving of grace where there is none, but a multi∣plying of grace where it is: where grace is, there it is increased, but it is not here begotten. A man may come to the Word though he be gracelesse, * because the Word is an Ordinance set up for the ga∣thering of men, and begetting souls to Christ: but none are to come to the Sacrament, but such as are begotten anew; the Sacra∣ment is not the Font, it is not the place where men are born, but the table where men are nourished; it Page  56is not the seed of the new birth, but the meat of the new born, we must be born before we eat, bred before fed, begotten before nourished. If we come graceless hither, we shall go graceless away, and worse then we came. In particular then:

Faith must here be exercised for the further assurance of our justifi∣cation. [ 1] God hath cast down the soule by the ministery of the Word, hee hath discovered and revealed the promise, brought the soule over to the promise, up∣on which it rests, and is justified, and hither we come to be further assured of it. This was one end why the Sacrament was set up. We know the strongest are but weake in faith: * there is no such assurance in the world as to ex∣pell all doubts & fears, though to overcome them; but though they may be suspended in their actings for a time, and well subdued and Page  57conquered, yet they are not alto∣gether expelled; if they were, then were there no need of the Sacra∣ment for this end, to confirme and strengthen faith, * and so one of the ends wherfore God set up this Ordinance, were in vaine to that man. But I say there is no man so sure, but may be surer: there are degrees of assurance as well as faith, and so may we grow up in assurance as well as faith. And now for the further assu∣rance of our justification, God to the covenant of grace and mercie, wherein he promised the free pardon of sin, hath annexed the Seale of the covenant, where∣by we may be more assured.

Indeed here is no need of this in respect of God, our justification is sure with him, his intention is as good as his promise, his promise as his oath, his oath as his seale. But it was God's goodnesse to us, Page  58pitying the weaknesse of our faith; he stooped below himself, and was not only content to give us his promise, but to confirm it with his oath, the great seale of Heaven, and to all this to afford his Sacraments, to seale up all unto us, * that we might have strong assurance and consolation, Heb. 6.18. It was to this end, to assure us, who have such unbeleeving hearts, that God gave word upon word, promise upon promise, oath to oath, seale to seale, hea∣ping mountain upon mountain, and all to confirm our staggering hearts. That we might be strong in him, when weak in our selves; faithfull in him, when fearfull in our selves; stedfast in him, when we stagger in our selves.

And how should we exercise faith here, and go doubting away? How shall we go away trembling after all this confirmation? An oathPage  59among men is the end of all con∣troversie, the concluding of all difference and disputes; and shall not God's oath prevail thus much with you? Why doe you suffer returne of feares and doubts, af∣ter such a seale? Woe be to us, * if we will not beleeve God, no not upon his oath. Doest thou desire better security? Thou shalt never have it, thou canst not. If you would come up to God, and take his security, how could you doubt?

2. A second benefit for the compassing of which faith must be exercised, &c. is the increase of our graces, or perfecting of our sanctification. My brethren, we are weak in grace; you know how much infidelity, and how little faith; how much enmity, how little love; how much obsti∣nacie, how little pliable confor∣mity to his will; what a deale of Page  60formality, how little power; what hardnesse of heart, how lit∣tle brokennesse of spirit for sin? &c. And being weak in grace, there is a necessity that these gra∣ces should bee nourished. As there is necessitie of daily bread, for the nourishing and upholding of our bodies; so there is neces∣sitie of spirituall food for the nou∣rishing of grace in our soules. And as there is necessity of our nourishment, so is there necessi∣ty our nourishment should come from Christ, he is the staff of nou∣rishment. * As in naturall life the same way we are begotten, the same way we are nourished: so in spirituall life, Christ hee is the Breeder, and so he is the Feeder of grace in us; he is the Begetter, and he is the Nourisher. From Christ we have our graces, he is the foun∣tain from whose fulnesse wee re∣ceive grace for grace in our rege∣neration;Page  61and he is the nourishment of whose fulnesse wee receive * grace to grace in our sanctifica∣tion. Hence he is called the Bread of life, not onely because he be∣gets life in dead men, but because he nourisheth and maintaineth life in living men. He is panis spi∣ritualis, spirituall bread, in the word to beget life; and panis Sa∣cramentalis, bread in the Sacra∣ment, or Sacramentall bread, to nourish and to maintain life be∣gotten; and hereafter he shall be panis aeternalis, our daily bread in heaven, to preserve us in holiness with happiness to all eternity. And as there is a necessity of nou∣rishment, and nourishment by Christ; so Christ for this end, that we might be nourished, hath set up this ordinance of the Sa∣crament, for the nourishment of the Saints in grace, for the streng∣thening our faith, to which it hath Page  62a proper influence, being the seale of the covenant, and for the increasing our sorrow and repen∣tance, unto which it hath the like influence, being the representati∣on of Christ wounded, broken, bleeding for sinne; who looks on Christ bleeding, but his heart must bleed? &c. And so of the rest.

Christ is a full fountaine, and unwilling to be a sealed fountain to you; * he is a treasury of grace, and unwilling to be lockt up, and therefore hath been so gracious, as to set up an ordinance, not on∣ly to be a seale, but an instrument or conduit-pipe to convey grace to us from him, the Fountaine of all grace; which nourishment he doth convey unto us by vertue of our union and communion with him, and application of him to us in these ordinances; which though they be all secret wayes of con∣veyance Page  63of nourishment, and un∣der ground, that the world can∣not see, yet there is reall nourish∣ment brought down to the soul, whereby the soul goes home in a better frame, faith more increa∣sed, affections more inlarged, our love more inflamed, our desires more quickened, and yet more satisfied.

Quest. But I know you will ask of me, how faith is here to be ex∣ercised, for the drawing down of life & nourishment from Christ in this ordinance.

Answ. For the answer of which in brief:

1. Faith looks upon Christ as the treasury and common stock of grace, in whom dwels all fulness, * all our fulnes; faith looks on him as the universall principle of life and root of holiness. God gave not him the Spirit in measure.

2. Faith casts its eye on the Page  64promise for the conveyance of grace from him, * it sees a promise for derivation of grace from him to us: Faith works, virtute promissi: by vertue of the promise; where there is no promise, there can be no faith, and therefore faith dis∣covers, that there may be com∣munion and participation with this fulness; there are such pro∣mises made that of his fulness we shall receive grace for grace, John 1.16. and Christ is made unto us Wisdome, Righteousnes, Sanctification, 1 Cor. 1.30. and he came that we might have life, and have it in abundance; Joh. 10.10.

3. * Faith looks upon this ordi∣nance as an Instrument, a means which God hath set up for the conveying of life and nourish∣ment from Christ. Though God can do it without, yet in God's ordinary way, Ordinances are the means of the conveying of life from him to us.

Page  654. Now then, faith being stee∣led by such considerations as these, that there is a fulness in Christ, that there is a promise of this fulnes to be made over to us, and that the Sacrament is an Or∣dinance wherby God as by an In∣strument will convey of this ful∣ness of Christ to a poor soul: faith goes over to Christ, and by vertue of the Promise, ap∣plying and feeding upon Christ, draws down further life and nou∣rishment from him to the soul: As one said of the tree of Christ's ascension, though the fruit were high, and above our reach, yet if wee touch him by the hand of faith, and tongue of prayer, all will fall down upon us: So here, if we can but touch him with the hand of faith, though a palsie hand, though a weak and trem∣bling hand; if we can but goe to him with a praying heart, Christ Page  66can with-hold nothing from us.

And after this manner doth faith form a Prayer to him:

Lord, thou knows I am weak in grace, thou seest my faith is feeble, my love cold, my desires faint, my obedience small; but thou hast all fulness of grace; thou art the Fountain, and this Fountain is opened here; thou art the Treasury, and this Trea∣sury is here unlock'd. Those graces I have, though weak, thou begatst them, and wilt not thou now nourish them? From thee I had the being of grace, and from thee I must have the nou∣rishing. Thou hast set up this Ordinance as a means to convey grace, and thou hast promised to remember them that are in thy way, * therefore help,—&c. Besides, may faith say, Lord, thou hast been pleased to im∣plant me into Christ, and shall I Page  67die for want of nourishment? thou hast made me a member of Christ, and shall I decay and wi∣ther for want of influence? Oh! never let it be said, that a branch in Christ shall wither and decay for want of nourishment, when there is so much in the root; let it never be said, that a member of Christ should wither and die for want of influence and life, seeing there is so much in the Head. Thou camest, * that I might have life; yea, & have it in abundance; why Lord, my graces are weak, here are dying affections, dying dispositions, dying graces, Oh! come down before I dye, streng∣then the things that are ready to dye in me. * Thou hast raised me from the death of sin, let me not again drop into the same grave; thou hast wrought gra∣ces in mee, let them not decay for want of life, when such Page  68abundance in thee.

Thus doth Christ, formed in the heart, cry out for Christ nourishing in the Sacrament. The work of grace is called a forming of Christ in the soul, * and Christ doth but nourish and feed himself, his own graces here. Christ in the Sacra∣ment doth nourish Christ begot∣ten in the heart by the Word. And the soul feeding upon Christ by faith, is further changed into his Image. In our corporall feeding, the meat is changed into the na∣ture of the eater, but in our spiri∣tuall feeding, the eater is changed into the nature of the meat eaten, the Believer into the nature of Christ, 1 Cor. 3.18. While beholding him as in a glass, we are also changed into his Image.— Thus doth faith feed upon Christ, and draw down nourishment for the strength of every grace in us, &c. And accor∣ding to the measure of faith's feed∣ing, Page  69such is the proportion and mea∣sure of nourishment conveyed. As the stomach sendeth down nou∣rishment to all parts, from the supply of food, which it hath fed on: Or, as the Liver having drawn down and made blood from the nourishment in the sto∣mach, diffuseth and spreadeth a∣broad, and sends to every part some: So Faith, having fed upon Christ, doth here send down nou∣rishment to all the graces: or, as in a Feast, you send portions to your poor brethren; so Faith having feasted it self on Christ, sends down portions to her sister-graces. All our graces have a dependance on Faith, and Faith on Christ; our Graces depend on Faith as a Me∣diatour to our Mediatour: as that grace which hath immediately to do with Christ, from whence it fetcheth supply and provision for all the rest. That is the second Page  70benefit faith is here to be acted for.

3. The third benefit that Faith is here to be exercised on Christ for, is the further subduing and con∣quering of our corruptions. Faith hath a double work to do; It works in Heaven, and it works in Earth: As it works in Heaven for the ju∣stification of a sin, so it works in earth for the mortification of sin; and here in this Ordinance is faith acted on Christ for the further kil∣ling of sin. Faith hath a special art in going over to Christ, & fetching from him such help as is sutable to the necessities of the soul. If we be weak in Graces, Faith can go over to Christ for the strengthen∣ing of them. If corruptions be strong, Faith can go over to Christ for the subduing, and con∣quering of them. And by making use of the merit, power, promise, Spirit of Christ, gets strength Page  71from him for the subduing of un∣ruly lusts, untamed corruptions.

Why, will Faith say, Lord, thou hast promised to subdue my cor∣ruptions, and thou art able to subdue all to thy self, Oh! there∣fore set thy power against the power of my lusts. These sons of Zerviah are too strong for me, but not for thee: I am bur∣thened with a dead heart, a hard heart, unbelieving heart, &c. But never was there heart so hard, but thou canst break it; ne∣ver heart so dead, but thou canst quicken it. There is life enough in thee for all the sons and daughters of death in the world, oh! that therfore thou would'st quicken me, that thou would'st break me
— Thus doth Faith make use of Christ here for the subduing of corruptions.

And let me tell you, there is a speciall art, dexterity and skill Page  72which faith hath, wherby it forms such conceptions of Christ, as are ever sutable to the present neces∣sity of the soul, whereby it gets more speedy relief.

1. If there be a return of guilt upon the soul, and burthen upon the conscience. Faith looks up∣on Christ in blood, Christ a Priest, a Sacrifice for sin.

2. If the soul labour under ignorance, Faith looks upon him as the great Prophet of the Church; and saith, Lord, thou hast taken upon thee to be the great Prophet of the Church, * thou hast promised wee shall be all taught of God. Oh! therefore teach me, instruct me, &c. It is not so su∣table to look upon Christ as a Priest, when we desire he should do the work of a Prophet.

3. If we be weak in grace, faith looks upon him as the universall fountain and principle of grace, Page  73one who hath all fulness in him, able to fill a world of hearts with grace, though they were never so barren or empty; And so goes over to him for strengthen∣ing, &c.

4. * If we labour under the pol∣lution of sin, faith looks upon Christ as a refiner, a purifier, a purger of his people from sin. As one who came not only to be a Redeemer, but a refiner; not only a Saviour, * but a sanctifier of his people, Ephes. 5.26. Tit. 2.14.

5, And so, if corruptions be strong, faith looks upon him as a King, who is able to subdue and conquer unruly affections, and to bring every thing into subjecti∣on to himself.

God hath not only furnished Christ with fulness of supply to answer every need of the soul, but God hath given to Christ di∣versity of titles, that wee might Page  74conceive of him not only as a ful, but as a sutable good to every ne∣cessity of the soul. And God, having thus diversly represented Christ to our understandings, as a Prophet, a Priest, a King, a Re∣finer, &c. Faith doth form such conceptions of Christ, as are most sutable to the present necessity of the soul.

4. A fourth benefit for which Faith may be exercised in this Ordinance, is for deliverance out of temptations. Thou hast been long assaulted by Satan; * thou hast felt the blows and buffets of Satan many yeers; God hath not only promised to support thee and succour thee in this condi∣tion, but God hath promised to deliver thee out of this condition Rom. 16.20. The God of peace shall tread down Satan under your feet shortly. Why now exercise faith to sue out these promises God hath Page  75made; go over to Christ, not on∣ly for strength and support in the condition, but for victory and deliverance out of it. These dayes, they are not only God's sealing, but God's performing dayes: God doth not only here put his seal to every Promise folded up in the covenant, but hee is ready here to make per∣formance of the things he hath promised. And therefore go ga∣ther a catalogue of promises, which suits with thy condition, spread them before God, and here come sue them out in this Ordinance.

Thus you see the first grace which is to bee exercised in this ordinance, namely Faith. And I have shewed you, 1. what Act, 2. upon what Object, 3. for what benefits faith is here to be ex∣ercised. I have named foure, but here is not all; the Sa∣crament Page  76is the Seale of the whole covenant, and what ever particu∣lar benefits are folded up in the great draught and covenant of God, here you may exercise faith for the compassing and obtaining of them. Where ever there is a promise in the Word, there is work for faith to sue it out in this ordinance, which is the seale to all, &c.

By the way then, this may disco∣ver to us, where the fault is, when we return home, our faith never the more strengthened, our hearts never the more warm'd, our graces never the more nourished, our corruptiōs never the more weak∣ned. It is a shrewd sign faith did not play its part in the mount. It is great suspition that your faith did succumbere in conatu, did faile and sink in the encounter. Faith was intrusted in this imploiment to goe over to Christ for these Page  77benefits, and thy faith did faile in the undertaking; therefore God suspends the bestowing of these benefits, because thou suspendest thy faith.

A man may halt after his stri∣ving with God, and yet over∣come, as Jacob did; but when a man's spirit doth halt in striving with God, when we doe not strive fully with God, there is little hope of prevailing. Well then, if thou see not the fruit and be∣nefit thou expected to come into thy soule in the use of this Or∣dinance, charge thy faith with it, and bewaile the weaknesse of it: and for the future put it to its burden, let it have its full and per∣fect worke, and thou wilt then find the comfort and fruit of it. Never did faith touch Christ in any Ordinance, but vertue came from him. But so much for the first Grace—

Page  782. * A second grace which is here to be exercised in the use of this Ordinance, and requisite to the sanctification of God in it, is Repentance.

The Sacraments they are the crucifixes of Christ, in which Christ is represented as cruci∣fied afresh before our eyes: the bread broken doth preach unto us the breaking of Christ: The wine powred forth doth preach unto us the Blood of Christ poured forth for our sinnes. And who is it that can with the eye of faith, look upon a broken Christ, but with a broken heart? a wounded Christ, but with a wounded spirit? a bleeding Christ but with a bleeding soule? God hath made in nature the same or∣gan for seeing and weeping: And in grace hee who sees clearly, weeps throughly, Lam. 3.5. The eye will affect the heart.

Page  79

The Passeover under the Law was to be eaten with bitter herbs: So Christ, the true Passover, is here to be eaten with bitternesse of soul: as it was prophesied; They shal look on him whom they have pier∣ced, and shall lament, and mourne; first seeing, and then weeping, &c. Zach. 12.10.

There is a twofold mourning, 1. Historicall; 2. Spirituall. 1. Historicall mourning; there is a naturall tendernesse in men and women, whereby their hearts doe yearn and melt to heare the relation, or behold the sight of some sad story. Such a one as Au∣gustine confesseth he had when he read the sad story of Dido: and yet his heart was hard, he could not mourn for sin. Or such a one as they had, whom Christ blamed in the Gospel, who lamented the cruell usage of Christ out of na∣turall compassion only; to whom Page  80he saith, O daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me.* Of this the Father speaks, It is not necessary you lament his passion, so much as your sinnes, which have caused his passion. There is a kind of naturall tenderness in men and women, wihch yet is of∣ten joyned with hardnesse of heart for sinne. As an Historical faith, with spirituall unbelief, and an Historicall love, with spiritual enmity; so a natural tendernesse, with spirituall hardnesse of heart for sin.

2. There is a spirituall mour∣ning, which ariseth from spiritu∣all grounds and causes, and tends to spirituall ends. A sorrow which is caused by faith, looking upon heart-melting promises, or taking up heart-breaking consi∣derations, or beholding a heart-softning object, by which Faith doth draw waters out of the foun∣taines of the soul for sin, as you Page  81have it, 1 Sam. 7.6. they drew water (as out of a well) and pou∣red it forth before the Lord. And this is that sorrow which is here to be exercised, which will melt and mellow the heart, and cause it to be more fruitfull in o∣bedience. Never doth the garden of graces better grow, then after such a showre of repentant tears. And therefore doth God pre∣serve these springs in the soul, to water the seeds of grace, and make us more fruitfull, which it surely doth when they are Sun-shine-showres, such showres wherein the Sun appeares, Christ is not hid from the eye of faith.

And, my brethren, here are many things in this ordinance, which if but looked upon with the eye of faith, will open all the springs of sorrow in the soule, and call forth all the wa∣ters in him. Bellarnine he layes Page  82down twelve considerations to provoke sorrow, as the miseries of mankind by nature, the sad condition of the souls in Purga∣tory, and such like stuffe. But we need not be beholding to him for such cōsiderations as these, to oc∣casion mourning. Here is e∣nough in the Sacrament pre∣sented to the eye of faith, to open all the Springs thou hast, and if thou had a fountaine of teares, to spend them all for sinne. We will name some par∣ticulars here which draw out mournings.

1. Here is a discovery of the love and sweetnesse of God, in giving his Son to die for us. *So God loved the world, &c. enough to cause us to mourne that ever wee offended.

Oh that God should bee more tender to us then to his owne Sonne, not spare his Sonne that he might Page  83spare us, give him to die, that we might live, poure the curse up∣on him, that the blessing might bee poured on us!
* O how should this affect us! Who can think of this, and with-hold from teares?

2. Here is presented to us the sufferings and breakings of Christ, enough to break our har∣dest hearts. 1. The sufferings of Christ, in se, in themselves, as those upon his body; what brea∣kings? what woundings? what scourgings? what crownings, piercings, did he endure in his bo∣dy? and those in his soule: What conflicts and struglings did he undergoe with the wrath of God, the terrors of death, the pow∣ers of darknes? Oh what weight, what burden, what wrath did hee undergoe, when his soule was hea∣vie unto death? beset with ter∣rors, as the word signifies, when Page  84he drank that bitter cup, * that cup mingled with curses, which if Man or Angell had but sipt of, it would have sunk them into hell; Nay, it made him, who was God as well as man, sanctified by the Spirit, supported with the Deity, comforted by Angels, sweat such a sweat as never man sweat; drops, clods of blood, * as the word im∣plies.

2. Consider them in Causâ, as the meriting cause of all our good, the procurers of all our peace, salvation, &c.

He was wounded, that we might be healed; scourged, that we might be solaced; drunk the cup of wrath, a bitter cup, to procure all our sweet draughts: He was slain, saith Daniel,* but not for himself; he was wounded for our trans∣gressions, broken for our iniqui∣ties; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his Page  85stripes are we healed, Isa. 53.5, 8.

3. Consider them as effectus pec∣cati, as the effects of our sin, as those things our sins brought up∣on him, * and needs must this melt and thaw our Icie & stony hearts. Oh, will the soul say! it hath been I who have been the traytor, the murtherer, my sins which have been bloody instruments to slay the Lord of glory. I have sinn'd, * thou suffer'd; 'twas I that did eat the sowre grapes, yet thy teeth were set on edge; I have been thy death, yet thy death hath given mee life; I have wounded thee, yet thou hast healed me; yea, and even out of that wound my sins made, thou sent a plaister to heal mee. This consideration must needs fill the heart with sorrow, Zach. 12.10. They shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and how shall this sight affect them? why, it follows, they shall mourn, Page  86and be in bitterness of soul, as one in bitterness for their first-born.

They say, if one man kill ano∣ther, and you bring the murtherer into the place, where the slain person lies, the dead will bleed afresh: Wee are the murtherers of Christ, and we come here to an Ordinance where Christ is repre∣sented in his blood, as broken and wounded for our sins. O! that our hearts might bleed! as he bleeds afresh to us; so that wee might bleed a fresh to him. A Prince wil weep himself when the Page is whipped for him: but how should the Page mourn when the Prince is scourged for him? My bre∣thren, there is infinite more dis∣proportion between Christ and us, then between the Prince and the Page, the Lord and the slave. And how can we then look upon him as wounded, scourged, pier∣ced, for us, & not be affected with, Page  87afflicted for our sin, the cause of it. Bernard saith, * If thou would be conformable to Christ (in the Sa∣crament) as thou beholdest a bro∣ken & a bleeding Christ, so labour to behold him wth a broken bleed∣ing heart. Look on him in this Ordinance, as Mary looked upon him on the Cross, when Simeon's Prophesie was fulfilled, that a sword should pass through her soul; Luke 2.35. for then indeed did a sword pass through her soul, when she saw him pierced on the cross: so when you see him pier∣ced and broken in the Sacrament, which is the lively representation of Christ broken, Oh, that then it might be as a spear to our hearts! as a sword to our spirits, that we by our sins have wounded and pierced him!

This is the second grace to be exercised in this Ordinance. And beside these two, there are Page  88many more to be exercised here, viz. Our love to God, our hun∣gring and thirsting after Christ. There is that in Christ represen∣ted to the eye of faith in this Sa∣crament, that calls out for all the affections, dispositions, and de∣sires in you; You cannot see Christ here, but it will make eve∣ry grace within you stir, every disposition within you to move, every wheel go. Who can see him but love him, who is so exceeding lovely? Who can see him but prize him, who is so exceeding precious? Who can see him but desire him, who is so exceeding desireable? Who can see him but delight in him, who is the joy and delight of the soul? You cannot possibly see him here, but all the powers of the soul will be up. 1. Your judgements to prize him, your wills to choose him, and make a new match with Page  89him; your affections to love him, embrace him, delight in him. And the clearer your sight is here of Christ by faith, the more will your hearts be stirred, your spirits mo∣ved. Men that sit here as logs & lumps of clay never stirred, ne∣ver taken up, they see not Christ, they see no higher then the table, the Bread and Wine, and there∣fore dead and sensless. Oh! but if if one crevise of your hearts were opened, to let in but one beam, one glimpse of Christ, it would set you all on a burning heavenly fire, this would warm you indeed. But besides these graces to be ex∣ercised, there is required some demeanours in the soul in this Ordinance, if we would sanctifie God in it.

1. An humble and holy reve∣rence, which is the fruit of that dread and fear of God which is in the heart. There is abundance Page  90of lightness, looseness and vani∣ty in the spirits of men by nature. And the Majesty and dread of that great God, with whom wee have to do in this Ordinance, must consolidate, and make our spirits weighty in these great Or∣dinances. The Sacrament is called an Eucharist,* it is a gratulatory service, and God is fearfull in praises, Exod. 15.11. which hath speciall respect to the affection wherewith you are to praise him.

2. There is required a dis∣charge & dismission of all world∣ly thoughts and businesses. When Abraham went up to the Mount to sacrifice, he left his servants in the valley. Thou art now to go up to the mount, where God ap∣pears. Oh! leave all your servile affections, your worldly thoughts in the valley. And if any enter, do as Abraham did by the Birds that would have eaten up his sa∣crifice, Page  91chase them away; do by them as you do by straggling beggars, give them their pass, and send them away.

In the Temple, though there was so much flesh for sacrifice, yet there was not one Flie appeared stirring; oh that it might be so with us this day! that not one thought might arise upon our hearts, unsutable to the place and work in hand. It is a thing unbe∣fitting these great imployments, to have our hearts and thoughts taken up with other businesses; what have you to do here with your shops, your bags, your chests? What have you here to do with things of this world? *

Oh make not this place an Ex∣change, a Shop for merchandize, men are not able to do business in a crowd, nor you so great a busi∣ness as this in a crowd of thoughts. But this is the misery, you are Page  92servants and slaves to the world at other times, and therefore the world will master you now. If you pass over your hearts to the ser∣vice of the world at other times, the world will make you serve it now. Because you have not spiri∣tuall hearts in your temporall em∣ployments, therefore have you carnall hearts in your spirituall employments. The lesse of the Sabbath in the week, the more you shall find of the week in the Sab∣bath. The lesse spirituall you are in affairs of earth, the more car∣nall you will bee in the em∣ployments of Heaven. This is certain, if the world once take your heart, it will take your head also. I say, if ever the world lea∣ven your hearts, it will also poyson your heads; it is a leaven diffuseth it self through the whole man. And therefore as Christ said of the leaven of the Pharisees, Page  93Take heed of the leaven of the Pha∣risees, h. e. hypocrisie: (for if once the heart be leaven'd with that, it will soure the head: if the Principles are unsound, then are the purposes also, and performan∣ces too, &c.) So I say here, be∣ware of the leaven of worldly-mindednesse, if ever you would sanctifie God in this ordinance. Beware of that, this will soure the soule, and make all you doe to be carnall and fleshly. I tell you, if you be servants to the world at o∣ther times, the world will cōmand and master you now. Thus much shall serve for the second gene∣rall Head, What is required in the time for the sanctification of this or∣dinance. We come to the third.

To the sanctifying God in an Ordinance, is required somthing after. And

That now which is required af∣terward, is, That you labour to Page  94see the fruit of this ordinance to run downe through your lives. Thou exercisedst faith, labour to see thy heart more established in assurance of pardon. See thy graces more strengthened, thy corrupti∣ons more weakned. I will name onely two things which are to follow the performance of this ordinance, if ever you would san∣ctifie God in it:

  • 1. Thankfulnesse,
  • 2. Obedience.

1. * Thankfulnesse: Returne home now, as thy heart, full of the benefits of the Lord; so thy heart full of praises to the Lord. An∣gels employments are most sute∣able to Angels food: thou hast had Angels food, and let thy heart returne Angels retributi∣on, praise and thanksgiving. If God doe but feed your bodies, there is none, I hope, such beasts, as will not return the retribution Page  95of praises: And will you be slow and backward to it when he hath fed your souls? Shall we blesse God for a Crumb, and not for a Christ? Other mercies are but crumbs in comparison of this rich mercy, and shall our hearts savour them so much, & not relish these? * Other mercies he gives to his enemies, wicked men may run away wth the greatest portion of belly-blessings; but these hee only bestowes on his friends: and shall we be unthankful for them? How ever carnall men are most taken with carnal things; yet sure I am, those who are spirituall, as they are most apprehensive of spi∣rituall wants; so the greatest lay∣ings out of their spirits in thank∣fulnesse, is for spirituall enjoy∣ments. What's corne and wine, &c. to this? This is a mercie in which all other mercies are fol∣ded up, the summum genus of mer∣cy, Page  96the top-mercy. * God doth emi∣nently contain al other comforts, and therefore in the want of all he can cheere the heart, Hah. 3.7. So Christ doth eminently contain all other mercies, and in the want of all, Christ enjoyed, is exceeding great reward. Nay, all mercies are not onely folded up in him, and intail'd to him, but he sweetens and sanctifies every mercie. Let us then return home as full of the blessing from on high, so full of praises to the most high. Thankfulnesse is the great grace to bee exercised in, and thankfulnesse is the great grace to be exercised after; and there∣fore while the present sense of this mercie warmes your hearts, let the heat of it burst forth into thankfulnesse towards God; it is the most sutable service, and the most sutable time to returne it. The best time to have thanfulnessPage  97in our hearts, is when we can look there, and finde the mercy for wch we praise him also. The best time for praises and thankfulness in our mouths, is when wee have the blessing in our hands. Well then, all you who are right partakers of this Ordinance, summon up your hearts to return thankful∣ness to God. And let your thank∣fulness carry some proportion with the mercy. The mercy is great, do but measure it in all the dimen∣sions of it, how high? how deep? how broad a mercy? pardoning, purging mercy, and how long? even to all eternity; And as the mercy is great, so should be the praises. (The more a man's appre∣hensions are enwidened to con∣ceive of the vastness and greatness of the mercy, the more will the affections be inlarged to praise him for it. There was never man that did know the preciousness of Page  98Christ, and his own need of him, in respect of pardon, purging, and his own unworthiness to partake of so glorious a mercy, but had his heart mightily inlarged to praise God for it. This is that then which God expects at your hands, after he hath filled you with the blessing of Heaven, that you should return praises to Heaven. Though hee doth not reap where he doth not sow, as that idle ser∣vant charged him; yet where God sowes blessings, hee expects to reap praises. Where there is a flood of mercy, hee looks for a stream of thankfulness. Oh! then let us proportion our returns to our receits, let us set up monuments of praise in our hearts and lives for this great mercy; Say with David,*Bless the Lord, ô my soul, &c.

2. The second thing required after this Ordinance, is obedience and fruitfulnes. That now for the Page  99time to come, you should apply your hearts to walk more worthy of God unto all manner of plea∣sing: 1. That we should have our hearts further set against sin: 2. That we should have our hearts further strengthned to service.

1. Get your hearts now fur∣ther set against sin. Oh! let your souls say,

Hath God been so gracious, as to renew and con∣firm my pardon, and shall I again dishonour him? Hath hee wiped off my former scores, and shall I run on afresh to offend him? Hath hee taken off my former burthen, and cast it on the back of his dear Son, and shall I again lay more load upon him? Hath he spoken peace to me in his Or∣dinance, and shall I again return to folly? No, far be it from me. I have washed my feet, how shall I again defile them? I have put off my coat, how shal I again put it on?Page  100saith the Christian soul.
Pro∣phane men, they do by their sins, as the Serpent with his poyson, lay it aside when they go to drink, but afterward take it up: Or, as men do with a garment, put it off at night, but put it on in the morn∣ing. And this is fearfull, to return with the dog to the vomit.* But God's people cast them away, * as a men∣struous rag, never more to have to do with them.

2. Get your hearts further strengthened to service. Here is in this Ordinance a mutuall sealing of Covenants between God and you. As God seals to thee, so thou seals again to God. God seals to the first part of the Covenant, pardon, mercy, grace; and thou seals to the second part of it, service, subjection, obedi∣ence: God gives Christ to thee here in this Ordinance, and thou gives thy self back again to Christ. As Page  101there is matter of bountie from God to thee, so there is matter of duty from thee to God; God here in bounty bestowes Christ up∣on every humble, broken hearted and believing receiver: They take him, and re-give themselves back again to him for subjection and obedience. There was never any soul, to whom God said in this Ordinance, I am thine, whose hearts did not eccho again the same to God, Lord, I am thine. This head is thine to contrive thy glory, this hand is thine to work for thee, this hart is thine to love thee, He that sayes, my beloved is mine, sayes again, and I am his; Cant. 2.16. * Let us then labour to see our hearts further streng∣thened to service; let this inable thee to walk:

1. More strongly; The Sacra∣ments are our spirituall baitings and refreshments which God af∣fords Page  102us to strengthen us in our journey to Heaven: They are spi∣rituall meat & drink to strengthen us in the performance of al spiri∣tuall obedience; such meat as will not only inable a man to work, but to work more strongly. And 'tis to be feared, that they who are never the stronger for ser∣vice, feed not upon the substance, but upon the shadow, they feed up∣on the elements, but never tast of Christ the staff of nourishment; * and tis true here, the meer element is no nourishment.

2. More willingly and cheer∣fully; Then shall wee be able to run the wayes of God's Commandements,* when God once here inlarges our hearts. It is said of Jacob, that when he had been refreshed with the presence of God, he plucked up his feet, and went on cheerful∣ly. So here, when the soul hath been refreshed with the presencePage  103of Christ, he will be able to walk more cheerfully in the wayes of God. The food we feed upon is Angels' food, and will inable us to Angels' imployments, h. e. to do our work with an Angels spirit, with all alacrity, cheerfulness, joy and delight; though not in the same equality, yet in the same quality,* though not in the same measure, yet in the same manner. And thus much for the second generall, viz. How we must san∣ctifie God in an Ordinance.

Wee will now come to the third generall, which is the Rea∣sons why, Who ever have to do with an Ordinance of God, must sanctifie God in it.

1. Reason. Because God com∣mands it. God saith hee will be sanctified; and God's will is our law. God doth not only command the substance, but the circumstances; not only the matter of worship, Page  104but the manner: And though the matter be good, if the manner of performance be naught, God doth not regard it. You see what hee saith to the Jewes, He that sacri∣ficeth, is as he who killed a man, and hee that kils a Lamb, as if he cut off a Dog's head, and he who burneth in∣cense, as hee who blesseth an Idoll, Isa. * 66.3. These seem strange ex∣pressions. What, were not these such duties as God commanded? Doth not God command sacri∣fice? &c. Yes, but because they did them not in that manner God commanded, therefore were they abominable to him. If therefore thou gives God the bulk of out∣ward performance, without the spirit of devotion, thou deals by him as Prometheus by Jupiter, who did eat the flesh, and present him with nothing but bones, covered over with skin; Or, to use the Scripture phrase, you compass God Page  105with a lie, Hos. 11.12. * Thou gives him the shell of outward perfor∣mance, but not the kernell of in∣ward devotion: thou gives him a body without a soul; And as the body without the soul is dead and stinks, so doth that service which wants the spirit: As God's will doth command service, so our will and affections must per∣form service. Though our will must be no instrument of devising service, yet it must be an instru∣mēt in performing service. Though God will not own will-worship in regard of prescription, yet he will own it in regard of performance, and none else.

Thus you see God commands it, and therefore, &c. *

2. Reason. Because otherwise wee get no good by this Ordi∣nance, no good of Comfort, nor none of Grace. If indeed the Sa∣craments did ex opere operato, con∣fer Page  106Grace; or if that this Sacra∣ment were an Instrument for the begetting of Grace in graceless hearts, then might you get good, though you came unpreparedly. The word, it is set up for that end, to be the instrument of regenera∣tion; and therefore, though you come unpreparedly thither, yet you may be wrought upon there. * Many that have come to the Word with purpose to scoff, to taunt, to deride, nay, to insnare and accuse, who yet have been wrought on there, and sent away other men. Were the Sacra∣ments set up for such an end, to beget grace, where there is no grace, then might you get good, though you come unprepared∣ly and unsanctifiedly thither; but as I have told you, it was never set up for such an end: here its true, habenti dabitur, to him that hath shall be given; he Page  107that hath grace shall in the ex∣ercise improve his graces, but he that comes graceless hither, goes graceless away, nay, worse then he came, which is the next Rea∣son.

3. Reason. Because otherwise we get much hurt.

The Ordinances are not idle, but operative, they either work for life, or they work for death. As Paul said of the Word, it was the savour of life and of death; so I may say of every Ordinance. There is never a time you come to hear the Word, but you are set a step neerer heaven or hell: so never a time you come to receive the Sacraments, &c. The fruit of the tree of Knowledge of good and evill might be wholsome in it self: yet Adam did eat his death, when he tasted of it contrary to God's command. So here the Sa∣crament, though in it self it be Page  108good, yet it becomes the bane and destruction of those souls, who partake thereof unworthily: As the Ordinances of God are preci∣ous things when God is sanctified in them; so they are costly things, when prophan'd. Hezekiah knew this full well, and therefore hee prayes, Now the good Lord pardon all those who come to seek the God of their Fathers, though they are not prepared according to the preparati∣on of the Sanctuary; he saw the dan∣ger of the unsanctified use of Or∣dinances.

To be short, it will bring upon thee, 1. Corporall hurt; you see this in the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 11.30. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many are fallen asleep. It was some Epidemicall disease, flagellum inundans, some over-flowing scourge, whereby God swept away many, in all the quarters of the Church; and will Page  109you know what was the ground, what was the reason of it? The Apostle tels us; that in the begin∣ning, it was for this cause, viz. the prophanation, or unsanctified use of this Ordinance, there was mors in olla, death in the cup, they par∣taked of the cup of the Lord un∣worthily, and drank their own death in it; the cup of life was become a cup of death, the blood of pardon a cup of guilt.

2. Spirituall hurt; though God do not break out in visible judge∣ments upon the carkasses of men as formerly, yet the curse of God eats secretly into the consciences of men. You cause God to give you up to blindness of minde, hardness of heart, and these are curses with a witness; the curse of curses is a hard heart.

3. It puts you in danger of eter∣nall judgement. The Apostle tels you so, 1 Corinth. 11.29. verse. Page  110He that eats and drinks unworthily, eats & drinks his own damnation: Better, saith *Ambrose, that a mil∣stone were tied about thy neck, and thou cast into the midst of the sea; then to take the least bit of bread, or drop of wine from the Minister, with an unsanctified heart, and polluted conscience. And thus much for the doctrinall part, wee will now come to the application.

Vse 1. If so, that whoever hath to do with an Ordinance must sanctifie God in it; and that there is so much required before, so much in the time, so much afterward; Oh! how few then shall we finde, that sanctifie God in this Ordinance? Some there are, who openly prophane this Ordinance, some who steal a draught of damnation to them∣selves, your close and civill men; this is the difference, where the common prophane man goes to Page  111hell the plain road way, this man steals to hell behinde the hedge; And indeed, the best of men do not sanctifie God as they ought in them. Alas, what preparation before wee come upon these Or∣dinances? What exciting and stirring up of our graces? What exercise of grace here? Faith, Re∣pentance? What thankfulness? What obedience afterwards? Where is the fruit of so many Sermons, Sacraments; have they not been like rain that falls on the rocks? Are not all these like so many clouds which pass over our heads, and leave never a drop of moisture behinde? Are wee not like Pharaoh's lean Kine, never the fatter for all our feeding? Are we not like men sick of an Atrophy, who, though they feed upon ne∣ver so good nourishment, yet they grow not thereby? Do wee not shame our meat, discredit Page  112those heavenly dainties, that we thrive no more by them? Other ages, like Leah, were bleer-eyed, but fruitfull: ours like Rachel, beautifull, but yet barren: Wee answer not God's care and cost towards us; we profit not; wee grow not; and what's the reason? Because we do not sanctifie God as we ought in these Ordinances; therefore are we so weak in faith, therefore so feeble in grace; ther∣fore corruptions so strong in us: they who look the Ordinances should be means for the perfect∣ing of their sanctification, they must labour to sanctifie God in them.

Vse 2. Is it so? Then it be∣hooves us to enquire, whether we have sanctified God in these Or∣dinances. Wee have to do with God's Ordinances daily, you see God requires, who ever have to do with his Ordinances, should Page  113sanctifie God in them. Let us then ask the Question of our selves: Have I sanctified God in this Ordinance? I have often come to the Sacrament, but have I sanctified God in it? Now you might know this by looking over the things: 1. Precedent: 2. Con∣comitant: 3. Subsequent. But at this time I shall follow this me∣thod: Would you know whe∣ther you have sanctified God in this Ordinance; see then, whether you have observed: 1. God's order: 2. God's rules: 3. God's ends; and this before your coming. 2. whe∣ther you have exercised God's graces in the time. 3. whether you have returned with God's quickenings, God's inlargements, God's inablements afterward.

1. See whether you have ob∣served God's order. Now God's order is this, to justifie a man, put on him the Wedding Garment; Page  114to sanctifie a man, to beget him anew before he bring him on this Ordinance. 1. Art thou then justi∣fied? Hath God given thee an in∣terest in Christ? Hath he disco∣vered thy sins to thee? Hath he humbled thy soul under the sense and burthen of sin? Hath hee re∣vealed to thee what footing and ground there is in the Word, for receiving graceless persons to life? Hath he cleared to thee the truth, fulness, freeness, goodness of the promise? Hath he brought thy soul over to assent to the truth, imbrace the goodness, rest upon the firmness of it; and to bring all this home to thy own soul? Thou art a man who art justified, and God calls thee hi∣ther to put his Seal to thy Evi∣dence, that thou mayest be assured for ever, that Christ is thine, and thou Christs.

2. Art thou a man sanctified, renewed, regenerated? Hath God Page  115wrought a through, an universall, spirituall change; I say spirituall, not a partiall, morall, formall change, but a spirituall reall uni∣versall change. That thou hast a new judgement, new will, new af∣fections; Whereas before there was disagreement, now there is a blessed conformity between God and thee in all things; thou seest as God sees, loves as God loves; thou differs as much from thy self, as if another soul lived in the same body; thou wert once dark∣ness, now light in the Lord; once dead, now alive; once blinde, now seest? Thou art a man whom God calls hither to strengthen and nourish his own work in thee. As the maid whom Christ raised from death, hee said, Give her meat; so Christ having raised thee from the death of sin to the life of grace, hee calls thee hither, that thou may have meat for the Page  116nourishment of spirituall life in thee; and this is God's order.

2. You may know whether you have sanctified God in an Ordi∣nance, if you examine, whether you have observed God's rules. Now the grand rule is Prepara∣tion, which lies in two things:

  • 1. In Examination.
  • 2. Excitation of our graces.

1. Examination, 1 Cor. 11.28. Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat, &c. which examination is more generall or more speciall.

1. More generall, of all our sins; those before, and those af∣ter our effectuall calling.

2. Of our Graces. 1. What knowledge of God: 2. What faith: 3. what repentance: 4. what love: 5. what hunger & thirst, &c.

2. It is more speciall: 1. how the soul hath carried it self under former Sacraments, & in particu∣lar since the last Sacrament: what Page  117good it hath gotten; what more strēgth of faith; what more weak∣ning of corruption; what more in∣crease of grace; what more ability to serve God; and what evil it hath done; all which should be set on upon the soul, with the many ag∣gravations, being sins against vowes, promises, against cove∣nant, which doth adde much guilt to sin, and double the offence. 2. The soul is to examine it self, how it stands for present; what aptness, what fitness for the duty; what Sacramentall sorrow; what faith to close wth God in the pre∣sent offer, what fitness to joyn wth its fellow-members in holy cōmu∣nion and love; what hungring and thirsting after Christ in this Ordi∣nance; what spirituall appetite; what present disposition of soul to renew bonds and covenants with God in this Ordinance.

Of these and the like are we to Page  118examine our selves, that's the first.

2. There is required Excitati∣on of our graces, that wee stir up our faith, our repentance, our hunger and thirst, &c. 1. Our faith to close with a new offer of Christ: 2. Our repentance to mourn afresh: our hunger and thirst after Christ tendered here. These are God's rules, and if ob∣served, God is sanctified; and that is the second.

3. You may know whether you have sanctified God in this Ordinance, if you examine whe∣ther you have observed God's ends. Now God's ends are many; viz. 1. to glorifie God: 2. to get strength against our corrup∣tions: 3. to get increases for our graces. But I shall only name one, set down by the Apo∣stle, 1 Cor. 11.23. Do this in re∣membrance of mee. Christ did a great work for us, and hee is desi∣rous Page  119it may may not be forgot∣ten; He hath taken care it should be remembred both in heaven and in earth. As he remembers it in heaven, it being a part of his in∣tercession for us there, to repre∣sent his blood and sufferings be∣fore God; As under the Law, the Priest, when he had offered the sa∣crifice, was to go with the blood before the Altar and Mercy-seat, and shew it to the Lord: So Christ, having offered himself a sacrifice, presents his blood with∣in the vail, appearing in the pre∣sence of God to intercede for us. And as hee hath taken care to re∣member it in heaven; * so he hath taken care to keep it in remem∣brance on earth. And therfore he hath set up this ordinance, to shew forth his death, to put us in mind of his sufferings: & chargeth us to do this in remembrance of him. And when we observe this end truly & Page  120rightly as wee ought, then do we sanctifie God in this Ordinance; I say truly and rightly, for every remembrance will not serve the turn. 1. It must be a cordiall and hearty remembrance; wee must remember him with an affected heart; in Religion, * what the heart doth not, is not done: Ma∣ny remember him in a bare histo∣ricall way; to recount his sor∣rows, and yet their heart not af∣fected. It is not enough to re∣member Christ in the head, but you must remember him in the heart; words of knowledge im∣ply affection: It must be cordiall. 2. It must be a gratefull and thankefull remembrance; and there is great cause; it is the top-mercy, that which purchased all for us; Look on all coming swimming in a stream of blood; See upon all your mercies ingra∣ven, The price of blood; and you Page  121will see great cause to be thank∣full. 3. It must be a mourning bleeding remembrance: So to look on him pierced, as to be pierced; on him wounded, as to be wounded, &c. And indeed, who can look upon Christ in blood; who can behold what he hath suf∣fered, and conceive himself to be the actor of all this, and yet the sharer in all the fruit and benefit; for though we were actors of it, yet hee put us not out of his Will and Testament; he did not except against us in the parta∣king the fruit of it: who can thus behold him, but must weep over Christ, as the old Prophet over the other; alas my brother, alas my brother! so, alas my CHRIST, alas my CHRIST. 4. It must be a crucifying remembrance; such a remembrance of Christ cruci∣fied, as crucifies our sinfull af∣fections, our lusts and corrupti∣ons; Page  122as deals by sin, * as sin hath dealt by Christ; kills sin, as sin hath killed Christ; Oh! say, shall I give life to that which hath been the death of Christ? shall I che∣rish that hath killed Christ? shall I take pleasure in that hath been so bitter to Christ? shall I count that light which hath been so hea∣vie to him? shall I love and bo∣some the knife hath killed my husband? Under the Law, if an Ox goared a man, the Ox was to die; and shall sin kill Christ, and shall it not die for it? such a crucifying remembrance it must be, as makes us take up weapons against sin; And he that thus re∣members Christ, observes God's end; and hee who observes God's ends, doth sanctifie God in his Ordinance.

Well then, would you know whether you have sanctified God in this Ordinance; see if you have Page  123observed God's order, God's rules, God's ends, before you come; and so much for the first.

2. Would you know whether you have sanctified God in this or∣dinance, see if you have exercised God's graces in the time, what those are, and how to be exercised, I have shewed at large.

3. See whether you do return home wth God's quicknings, with God's inlargements, wth God's in∣ablements? are you more humble? more serviceable? Are you more thankfull? Do you find corrupti∣ons weakned? your graces streng∣thened? Doth your indeavours afterward answer your care and conscience before? Is your heart set further against sin? Are the wayes of God more lovely to you? Are your souls knit neerer to God, your spirits more infla∣med with love of him? These are plain demonstrations that you have sanctified God in this ordi∣nance, Page  124and that God hath sancti∣fied it to you. But now on the contrary, let me tell you: 1. If thou hast broken God's order and method; that thou hast come hi∣ther in a graceless, Christless cō∣dition; the soul never yet awak∣ned to see sin, and be humbled for it. Thou knowst what sin is in the Catechisme, but dost not know what sin is upon the conscience; Thou canst tell mee what faith is in the book, but art not acquain∣ted with the working of it in thy soul; and what repentance is, but yet a stranger to it; The day is yet to come wherein thou set thy self to mourn, and break thy heart for sin. Where are the chambers? where the closets? where the bed∣sides? that can bear witness of thy mourning for sin? And yet dost thou come? Thou breakst God's order, and so art a prophaner of this holy Table. 2. If thou breakst God's rules, that thou dost Page  125not prepare thy self by examina∣tion and excitation of thy graces, but rushest into God's presence, breaks in upon this Ordinance, without any sutable affections to it, thou art a prophaner of this Ordinance, &c. 3. If thou dost not observe God's ends, but comes hither, as many do: ei∣ther to avoid scandall, or the cen∣sures of men; or, for custome, or, for fashion sake; because others come, therefore thou wilt not stay away; or (which I can∣not express with abhorrencie and detestation enough) be∣cause thou shalt sit at thy Ma∣ster's table that day, and go into the fields afterward. Thou art a prophaner of this ordinance; And, Oh! that we had some Tir∣shatha to drive these away: Wee read in Ezra 2.61, 62. that Tirsha∣tha would not suffer the sons of Kosse and Barzilli to eat of the Page  126holy things, because their genea∣logies were not found registred among them: If thou be not in the book of life, if thy name be not written in the genealogies of the Saints, thou art not fit to come.

In the want of coercive power to fence this Ordinance, give me leave to put a few places to you to consider: The first is in Titus 1.15. To the unclean all is unclean. the second is in the Proverbs 21.27. The prayers of the wicked are abomination. The third, Psal. 66.18. Hee that regardeth iniquity in his heart, &c. though hee never come to act it in this life, God will not regard his prayers: The fourth, Psal. 50.16. What hast thou to do, to take my covenant into thy mouth, and hatest to be reformed, &c. And if this will not prevail, reade and tremble, thou prophane per∣son, 1 Cor. 11.29. Hee that eateth and drinketh unworthily, &c. Hee Page  127is made guilty of Christ's death, as Pilate, Herod, Judas, the Souldi∣ers were; Hee eats and drinks damnation to himself, and for this cause many were sick, weak and fallen asleep; And to this adde the example of the unbid∣den guest, who came without a wedding Garment, it fared ill with them that came not, but worse with him, which tels us, an unsanctified presence is worse then a prophane absence. But yet wilt thou adventure? dost thou finde any thing in the Sacrament to incourage thee to come? Let us look upon it un∣der the severall names and noti∣ons, under which its presented.

1. Its called a Seal, and is the Sacrament any incouragement to thee under this notion; unto whom the Word doth promise nothing, the Sacrament seals no∣thing; but the Word promiseth Page  128nothing to unregenerate men. All God's Word is against thee, no∣thing for thee, and therefore here is but poor incouragement, the seal annexed to a Deed, doth con∣firm it to none, but such to whom the Deed was made: So here, the Sacrament being the seal of the Covenant, belongs to none, but those to whom the Covenant is made. Now art thou out of Co∣venant, one that hath no interest in Christ? thou hast nothing here.

2. Its called a Communion: 1. A Communion of the mem∣bers, one with another: 2. A communion of the members with the head. Now, till thou be uni∣ted to Christ, thou hast nothing here; Christ derives influence onely to branches, life onely to his members; * hee must be in the Son, that hath life from him; he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.

Page  1293. It's called a Supper, the Lord's Supper. Now, is this any incouragement for thee to come, who art a prophane person?

There are three things requisite in the persons that goe to a supper:

  • Life.
  • Appetite.
  • Apparell.

1. Life: Dead men cannot feed; Christ never spread his table for dead men; if thou be not alive, thou art not called hither to feed.

2. Appetite: What shall they do at a supper that have no sto∣mach, no appetite? and what do you here, who have no hunger, no thirsting after Christ, you that never apprehended what the want of Christ, nor never knew the worth of Christ?

3. Apparell: No man will go naked to a Feast; your apparell here is the Wedding Garment; Christ for justification, Christ for sanctification; and he that came Page  130without this, you see what became of him; it had been better he had stayed away; it fared better with them then with him. An unsan∣ctified presence will be found as bad as a prophane absence. Those that draw neer to God in an Ordi∣nance, and do not sanctifie God in it, God will be sanctified upon them; And that is the third and last Doctrine which wee now come unto, viz.

God will be sanctified upon every one who do not sanctifie him in his ordinances. [Doct. 3] In the pro∣secution of which, wee will shew,

1. What is meant by God's sanctifying himself on men.

2. Why God wil sanctify him∣self on those that do not sanctifie him in Ordinances, and so wee shall come to application.

1. For the first, What is meant by God's sanctifying himself on a man.

Page  131

For the answer of which, I conceive that place wch I named in the beginning, Ezek. c. 28. v. 22. will afford us some help; When I have executed my judgments on her, then will I be sanctified in her. Upon which Jerome,* God is sanctified in the punishment of offenders: so you see it in the Text, God's punishment of Nadab and Abihu, was the occasion of the word; I will be sanctified.

1. Then God doth sanctifie himself on men when hee inflicts corporall punishments upon men for prophaning his Ordinance: as you see here, and the like, 1 Cor. 11.29. For this cause many are sick, — &c.

2. God sanctifies himself on men, when hee inflicts spirituall punishment upon men, &c. viz. security, blindness, hardness; when men do not walk sutably to the light of Ordinances, hee takes a∣way Page  132either light or sight, either ordinances or men's eyes, that see∣ing they might not see, — &c.

3. God doth sanctifie himself on men who prophane his Ordi∣nance, when he doth inflict eter∣nall punishments upon men; this see in the 1 Cor. 11.29. Hee who eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself; that which for the pre∣sent makes him obnoxious to damnation, and shall in the end fix him in flames, lay him in hell, if he do not repent; yea, and the deepest cellars in hell, are for them who have lived in a pro∣phanation of Ordinances. And this in brief shall suffice to tell you what is meant by God's san∣ctifying himself upon men.

We come to the second thing propounded, what are the Rea∣sons God doth sanctifie himself on those that do not sanctifie him in Ordinances.

Page  1331. In terrorem, [Reas. 1] for the terror and dread of all prophane persons, that when you hear how God hath punished others, who have prophaned the Ordinances of God, you might tremble, and not dare to prophane them. If God should only threaten, and should not sometime execute his dis∣pleasure upon such as were pro∣phaners of his Ordinances, men would not fear to prophane them. They would but make chil∣dren-play of all the threatnings of God, as they did in 2 Peter 3.3. There shall come in the last day,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, scoffers, such as shall make children-play of all the threats of God, and look upon them but as harmless Bug-beares, to keep them in awe only. But when God doth back a threatning with a punishment, as you see hee did here in the Text, and on the Co∣rinthians, this strikes dread into Page  134the hearts of prophane persons.

2. [Reas. 2] God doth it in cautionem, for warning, That others 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, might be our 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, others woes might be our warnings; others sufferings might be standing Ser∣mons to us, preaching this lesson, to beware of the like sin, lest you share in the same punishment; therefore God punishes sinne in some, * that others might beware; Deut. 29.20. And those which re∣main shall hear and fear, and do no more wickedly,* &c. Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt, to sea∣son thee, saith the Father: Beware of back-sliding. Moses was denied entrance into the Land of Canaan for his murmuring and unbelief, that thou might beware: David was punished for his uncleanness, that thou might take heed: The man was stoned for gathering of a few sticks on the Sabbath day, to teach us to beware of prophaning Page  135the Sabbath. Jerusalem was de∣stroyed for her Idolatry, Babylon for her pride, Sodome for unclean∣ness, the old world for drunken∣ness, that these might stand up as warnings to us. As the Apostle shewes at large, 1 Cor. 10.5. to the 12. Let us not be Idolaters, as some of them were, &c. All these things hap∣pened them, for ensamples and ad∣monition to us. We may well say of all, Lege exemplum, ne exemplum fias, Read the example lest thou be made an example. Reade the ex∣ample of Pharaoh destroyed for his oppression, contempt of God, and hardness of heart; and beware thou of the same sins, lest God make thee an example, &c. Reade the example of Herod destroyed for his pride, Jezabel for her paint, Saul for his disobedience; and be∣ware thou of the like sin, lest God destroy thee. And as in all others, so in this sin of prophanation of Page  136this ordinance, God doth thus pu∣nish the prophaners of it, that o∣thers might beware of the pro∣phanation; therfore did he punish the Corinthians with sickness, with death, weakness, for the unworthy partaking of this Ordinance; that so they that remained alive, and wee that follow them, might be∣ware of the like sin, lest wee par∣take of the like, or a worse punish∣ment; for usually, God's second blowes are more heavie then the first: they were the first sufferers for this sin; and if they were so heavily punished, what may wee then expect, if wee do prophane this Ordinance?

Reason 3. [Reas. 3] In manifestationem ju∣stitiae, to declare his justice against sin. God, hee made a threatning against this; and if God should not sometimes punish offenders, either men would think they did not offend; or if they did, that Page  137God was not just, because he did not punish. Therefore God to cleare his justice, and convince men of sin, doth often sanctifie himself on such as prophane, &c.

4. Ad removendum scandala; [Reas. 4] to take away scandals: as you see he doth sometime punish his own people, because their sins occasi∣on scandall. God was more dis∣honoured by the uncleanness of David, then by all the filth of Sodome; and therefore, because hee had caused the name of God to be blasphemed, God puni∣sheth him, though hee pardoned him; and as hee doth punish his own people, if they sin, because they have given occasion to the wicked within the Church to blaspheme: so hee punishes the wicked, because they give occasi∣on to them, who are without the Church to blaspheme; What will Heathens, Turks and Pagans say? Page  138* Behold what manner of per∣sons they are, who worship this Christ! This is either no Gospel, or you are no Gospellers.

Reas. 5. Why God doth sanctify himself on such as do not sancti∣fie him in an Ordinance, is to hold up his great Name, and the purity of his Ordinances. God could no way hold up his dread, his fear, his ho∣liness, his glory, his purity & truth of his Word, if God should not punish such as prophane his ordi∣nances. You see what a conceit those had of God in Psalme 50. vers. 21. because God did for∣bear to punish offenders: When thou sawest a thief, thou consentedst with him, &c. These things hast thou done, and I kept silent; I did not presently come forth to pu∣nish thee, to execute my judge∣ments on thee. And what was the fruit of it? What conceit did this forbearance of God work in Page  139those that were guilty. *Thou thought I was altogether such a one as thy self; that is, that I was one who liked and approved of thy doings; thou thought thou didst not amiss, because I did not pu∣nish. Here you see God was wronged by forbearing, and not executing judgement upon offen∣ders: And there was no way for God to cleare himself, to hold up his great name, but this way, to make them know what they had done, and therefore it followes: I will set thy sins in order before thine eyes. Oh! consider this, yee that forget God, lest, &c. So you see God doth punish offenders to hold up his great name; and there is no other way to hold up the name of God, the purity and holiness of God, but by punishment of offenders: You come to the Sacrament, and you prophane this Ordinance, God hath threatened death and Page  140damnation to every unworthy re∣ceiver. Why, but you know God doth not execute sentence spee∣dily on you, and therefore you think you do not offend; sure God is pleased with it. And therefore God to uphold his Name, the pu∣rity of his Ordinance, and make you know what you have done, doth sanctifie himself upon those who do not sanctifie him in this Ordinance; sometimes in af∣flicting visible & corporall judg∣ments on offenders, as you see in the Corinthians; alwayes invisible and spirituall judgements for the present, and eternall judgement if you do not repent. And this you see God doth to hold up his name, wch otherwise would be polluted by men. As in nature for preserva∣tion of the whole, particulars pe∣rish: Its better one perish then unity it self: So here, for the pre∣servation of the glory of God,Page  141(which is worth ten thousand of our lives and souls, as the peo∣ple said to David) God doth inflict punishments upon offen∣ders. And there is no other way to preserve or make whole, and repair the honour, glory of God, &c. Men that will not learn by the Word, must be taught by works; if the Word will not pre∣vail with you, to forbear the pro∣phanation of his Ordinances, then his works come in. If you will be so sensuall and brutish, that you will see nothing to be sin, but what you feel to be sin in God's hand upon you, you shall feel blows enough; A rod is for the back of a fool. Take this with you, What ever you will not learn by faith, you shall be taught by sense. God makes men feel those things to be evill by sense, which by faith they would not believe to be evil. When the word will not prevail Page  142with men to forbear prophanati∣on of any ordinance, or any sin, then from word he goes to works; lays afflictions, judgements, pu∣nishmēts on men. And happy tis if the works bring men again to the word, when Schola crucis is Schola lucis, when God's house of correction is a school of instru∣ction: So saith David, Blessed is the man whom thou chastisest and teachest in thy law. It was so you see with the Corinthians, the word did not prevail; God goes to his works, inflicts punishments on them, sickness, weakness, death; and then hee comes to the word again: For this cause many are sick. And no doubt, but word upon works, was more prevalent with them, then when it went alone.

Reason. [Reas. 6] 6. To declare his ha∣tred against sin: God hates all sin; and the neerer a sin comes to God, the more he hates it. Now this Page  143is neer him, you dishonour his Name; his Ordinances are pre∣cious, they are his name; and ther∣fore God will not hold such guilt∣less, &c. Thus you see I have shewed you, that God will sanctifie himself upon al those who do not sanctifie him in an ordinance: And I have shewed you the grounds & reasons of it; now to application.

Vse 1. Oh! then take heed thou who art a prophane person, a swearer, a drunkard, and for∣bear, lest God make this true of thee this day, and raise his glory out of thy ruines. Thou wilt not be warned by the word, look for works; thou whom the examples of others will not make to be∣ware, take heed, lest God do here make thee an example. It was the third Captain's wisdome in the 2 Kings 1.13, 14. who, when he saw God's visible judgements upon the two former Captains, hee Page  144takes warning thereby, and avoids their sins; so you that are pro∣phane, when you see and heare what God hath threatned against prophaners of this Ordinance; and what fearfull judgements God hath executed upon all unworthy receivers, which are all Christ∣less, all graceless persons; Oh! beware of coming hither in thy sins. God's Word is true; As what hee promiseth is sure to come to pass; so what ever hee threatens. And though hee pro∣long and defer the time of exe∣cution, yet your damnation slee∣peth not, as Peter saith, 2 Pet. 3.7, 8, 9. verses. It shall surely come. If God should threaten to strike dead every unworthy receiver, you would be afraid to come, and how would it make the best of us to look about us, whether we are worthy receivers or not? But alas, what is this threatning Page  145in comparison of the other, you eat and drink damnation to your selves? This is as far above the other, as a temporall is below an eternall; A punishment upon the body below the everlasting wrath of God, and punishment of your souls. Better you were strucke dead here, then reserved for e∣verlasting death hereafter. Thy body escapes here (and yet I cannot assure thee of that; o∣thers, who were God's own peo∣ple, were struck with death and sickness; and I cannot assure thee that God will not destroy thee with the bread in thy mouth, as hee did the Israelites, with the Quails in theirs. God hath threa∣tened, and we know not whether he will execute, yea, or no: God said, I will not hold him guiltless that takes my Name in vain. Examples we have; but other examples are worn out; who knowes whether Page  146he will not give fresh examples, and deal by thee as he did by Na∣dab, and Abihu in the Text, even in the face of the whole congrega∣tion, destroy thee with fire from heaven; that all may feare, thou went with them, but from fire to fire, from a destruction by fire, to preservation in fire, from tempo∣rall to eternall burnings. But sup∣pose that God should forbear his stroke now, yet it is certain to come. * And wo be to them, whose vengeance is reserved for another day. Ah, it will come then with a witness, then with load enough, when the guilt of al thy prophana∣tions of this glorious ordinance; come together; and therefore be∣ware, beware as thou loves thy bo∣dy; nay, thy soul, & that for ever, be∣ware of unworthy partaking, &c.

Vse 2. If so, Oh! then look to it, you who go on in a way of pro∣phanation of Gods Ordinances. Page  147God hath said, hee will be sancti∣fied of them who draw neer to him. And dost thou believe this? Is it true, or is it false? I know thou dare not but say this is truth, God himself speaks it. Well then, this being a truth what may thou expect who art a prophaner of his Ordinances? And to all thy prophanations, as it was said of Herod, he added this, that he cast John in prison; so you adde this to all the rest, the prophana∣tion of this Ordinance of the Lords Supper. Oh! this is a sin, for which God will not bear with thee. If God would not bear with his own people, the Co∣rinthians, who yet had grace, were habitually disposed, were ju∣stified, sanctified, and wanted only actuall preparation and dis∣position, in the Ordinance, how shall he bear with thee thou pro∣phane person, graceless person? Page  148If God deal thus with the green tree, what shall become of the dry tree? If God deal thus with his own, what shall become of thee? If thus with the bearing, what shall become of the barren tree? If judgement begin at the house of God, where shall the wicked and sinners appear? Answer me that if thou canst. If God will be san∣ctified upon his sanctified ones, what of thee? If God doth punish the want of circumstances, what wil he do to thee, who wants the sub∣stance, the main requisite? But it may be thou thinks there is no such matter, these are but Bug∣bears, &c. for thy part, thou hast come hither, and gone home, and found no hurt. And hast thou so? Bless not thy self in that, there is the more behind. A black and dis∣mall showre of wrath is sure to fall upon thee one day. This is true, God will be sanctified of them Page  149that come nigh him. And this is true also, Hee who eats and drinks unworthily is made guilty of the body and blood of Christ; nay, he eats & drinks damnation to himself. And this is as true, he who eats and drinks in a Christ∣less condition, eats and drinks un∣worthily. And what dost thou think will be the consequents of such a sin? In stead of a drinker thou becomes a shedder of the blood of Christ, as Judas, as Pilate, as Herod. Look upon the Jews, and see what it is to be guilty of the body and blood of Christ. It is the heaviest curse in the world, to be guilty of that blood which should save you, pardon you: shall that which should be a blood of pardon, become a blood of guilt? Oh! what is it to be guilty of that blood, should take away guilt? If thou wert guilty of all the sins of men on earth, and damn'd in hell, Page  150the blood of Christ could pardon thee, and take off that guilt. But what shal take off the guilt of that that should take off guilt? Oh! see what a sin it is; and in the fear of God, adde not this to all your sin, to all your swearings, your prophanations, drunken∣ness, adde not this to all, to be guilty of the body and blood of Christ; assure your selves, God will not care for your bodies, who have no regard to the body of his Son; shall your blood be esteemed when the blood of Christ is con∣temned? shall your lives be priz'd when the death of his Son is sleigh∣ted? nay, when you by this sin shal crucifie Christ again? judge that.

Vse 3. Well then, if the sin be so great, and the punishment wch God hath threatned be so terri∣ble, what care ought wee to have, wee do not prophane this Ordi∣nance? and what care to look backPage  151into our lives, and see whether we have not prophaned this Ordi∣nance. The one, to prevent sin not cōmitted, and so to prevent wrath; the other to repent of sin commit∣ted, and so to turn away wrath. But you will say, how shal I know whether I have prophaned this Ordinance? For the answer of which, I refer yon to what I have said in the second Doctrine (where I put the triall upon these three Generals: 1. the observing Gods order: 2. Gods rules: 3. Gods ends.) I shall now adde three more to help to discover whe∣ther you have been prophaners of this Ordinance yea or no.

1. When the Sacraments work no further good upon thee, thou hast prophaned this Ordinance. I have told you, the Sacraments are not idle, empty things, but opera∣tive, and efficacious toward them who are worthy receivers. Christ Page  152cannot be fed on, but he must nou∣rish the soul. A man may feed up∣on other meats and get no nou∣rishment, but he who feeds on this, he finds spirituall strength and nou∣rishment. Now then, when men come hither, and return as empty as they came, as vile as before, there is no fruit can be seen in their lives and conversations; here a man may suspect the Ordinance is prophaned. When men were fil¦thy, and are filthy still, swearers, and are so still, drunkards, and re∣main so still; this is an evident de∣monstration thou hast been a prophaner of this Ordinance: In∣deed Gods people do not ever get the good they expect, never get the good they desire. But yet some good is gotten, some more strength of Grace, some more working out of lust, although for the present they cannot appre∣hend it. But the other now, they get none, they come graceless hi∣ther, Page  153and go graceless away: and it must needs be so, this is no Or∣dinance for the working of grace in graceless persons, but for the nourishing of grace in those whom God hath wrought grace in, as I have shewed at large.

So that is the first, when wee get no good.

2. When a man is worse after then before, this is an evident sign hee hath prophaned this Ordinance. When a man is streng∣thened in a state of sin returns with more violence to any parti∣cular sin; as you see Judas, the De∣vil entred into him, he took fuller and stronger possession of him; and you shall see this the ordina∣ry fruit of prophanation of this or∣dinance, men wax worse & worse, proceeding from evill to evill. It may be, when first they came to receive, they were fearfull; for there is some naturall tenderness Page  154of conscience in men, and they are afraid to come to so great an Ordinance, without some kind of preparation, and therefore it may be they did catch up a book the day before, and say a Prayer more, carry themselves demurely. But afterwards, when men are grown up in the prophanation of this or∣dinance, they can look upon all the threats, upon all the judge∣ments denounced against them in this Ordinance, and never start at them, never tremble. And what is the Reason they trembled before, and do not now, their condition is never the better, it may be farre worse. Why, here is the reason, the custome of prophanation of this Ordinance, hath hardened them in their way, they now fear nothing, their heart is fortified. They have sinned away those com∣mon principles, that naturall ten∣derness, that was once in them; Page  155Sin is an eating thing, it eats out the very heart of every thing wch is good in men. A man may not only sin away his morall princi∣ples, but he may sin away the very principles of nature. Sin will ne∣ver leave till it hath made all as vile as it self, Rom. 1.26, 27. When men live in the prophanation of this Ordinance, they wax worse and worse. That man runs vi∣olently on in sin, who sets out from the prophanation of Gods Ordinances, because he runs with the Devils strength, Satan hath fil∣led his heart with more mischief. As the Saints do run more active∣ly in the wayes of God after, so the wicked more violently in a way of sin. The prophanation of this Ordinance doth strengthen men to further sinne; either as, 1. One sin doth dispose a man to another, helps the birth of an∣other.

Page  1562. Nay, and one sin doth streng∣then a man to the commission of another. As one duty of god∣liness doth dispose and inable to the performance of another: So one sin doth dispose and streng∣then to the cōmission of another. The sin of unworthy eating doth strengthen to more sin; Such a man, he gets more heart to sin: he that dares break through threat∣nings here to sin, will not stick to do it in other cases. It causes God to give us up to blindness of minde, hardness of heart, &c. which gives Satan further foot∣ing in mens hearts, to egge them on to all munner of wickedness. You see it in Judas; and there∣fore, if thou finde thy self worse in life and conversation, there's a manifest sign thou hast propha∣ned this Ordinance.

3. * When a man feeds upon nothing but the outward element,Page  157the Bread and Wine, and not up∣on Christ in the promise, he pro∣phanes this Ordinance. If thou feedst not upon panem Christum, as well as panem Christi, the Bread which is the Lord, as well as the Bread of the Lord, thou propha∣nest this Ordinance. A man may eat Bread, and drink Wine in an ordinary way, and not sin; but hee who eats Bread, and drinks Wine in the way of an Ordinance, and doth not feed upon Christ him∣self, hee is a prophaner of this Ordinance. Now thou canst not feed upon Christ in a Sacrament, till thou have fed on Christ in a promise. Thou canst not feed up∣on Christ sacramentally, till thou first feed upon Christ spiritually. And hast thou ever fed upon Christ in the promise? Did ever God discover sin to thee, and humble thy soul for it? Did ever God reveal Christ to thee, and Page  158bring thy heart to close with him? then thou hast fed on Christ, and mayst come. But hee who never fed on Christ spiritually, can ne∣ver tast him sacramentally. Thou hast no organ, no eye of faith to see Christ here, nor no mouth of faith to tast him here, no lise to desire him, and therefore cannot feed on him. And hee who doth not feed upon Christ here, is a prophaner of this Ordinance. A man may feed upon Christ, and never tast of the Bread and Wine, and yet have the same benefits, Joh. 6.53. a place which is spoken of the spirituall feeding on Christ out of the use of the Sacrament. But a man cannot feed upon the the Bread and Wine, and not feed upon Christ, but hee prophanes this Ordinance; Christ without these may be fed upon, but not these without Christ. If thy body feed on these, and thy soul doth Page  159not feed on Christ, thou art a prophaner of this Ordinance. Well then, to sum up all in this, Would you know whether you have prophaned this Ordinance? *

1. See if you have observed Gods order, &c. If thou hast not observed Gods order, that thou comes hither in a Christless, graceless condition, unjustified, unsanctified; wants thou faith; wants thou repentance; wants thou hunger and thirst; wants thou knowledge? thou art a pro∣phaner of it. And alas, of that little triall I have had in this last matter, viz. knowledge, I have found great want. You would admire if I should tell you the sensless answers I have had; I speak not of all, there are some who are but green in yeers, yet are ripe in knowledge; but yet many who are grave in yeers extreme ignorant: Ask them what a Sacrament is, Page  160they cannot tell; ask them for what end they come to the Sacra∣ment, they tel me to nourish their bodies; what God requires, they know not: and such answers, that a man might have as much comfort to give the Sacrament of the Lords Supper to a child, as to such ignorant creatures. I am sure there is less sin in one then the other, and there is not much more knowledge. It is true in∣deed, if a man had never so much knowledge, if he could tell mee as much as any in the world, of the nature of God, of Christ, of the Sacraments, &c. yet without Grace, this would not make him a worthy Receiver. The Devill knowes more then most men, for the speculative part; yet what is he the better for that? But yet if a man be ignorant, hee must needs be a prophaner of the Or∣dinance. A man may have know∣ledge, and yet not have Grace, but Page  161if he have no knowledge, he is cer∣tainly graceless. So the Wise∣man saith, Without knowledge the minde is not good. We have a pro∣phane Proverb, Hee that made us save us. But God answers that, in Isa. 27.11. *Yee are a people of no understanding, therefore hee that made you will not save you, and hee that formed you will shew no mercy on you. And he threatens, 2 Thes. 1.8. *To come in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of Christ; And therefore beware you who are ignorant persons, of coming, you will prophane this ordinance: and you who are grace∣less persons, though you should know as much as all the men in the world, come not here, if thou do, thou breaks Gods order, and so prophanest this Ordinance. 2. If you have not observed Gods rules, examined your self, and Page  162excited and stirred up your Graces.

3. If you have not observed Gods ends, &c. you will be pro∣phaners of this ordinance of God. And me thinks this should terri∣fie you, who are prophane per∣sons; sure thou hast reason in thee though thou want grace: Dost thou hear what God saith, Hee will be sanctified of them that come nigh him? Hast thou not heard, hee that eats and drinks unwor∣thily, is made guilty of the bo∣dy and blood of Christ? Doth not God say, Who ever eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself? And have not I cleared to thee, all Christ∣less, graceless persons are un∣worthy Receivers? And yet wilt thou come? Beware, lest God shew some visible judgement on thee; Beware, lest God teach thee by workes, who wilt not Page  163learn by word: See what befell Nadab and Abihu here, because they did not sanctifie God: Reade what befell the Corinthians; read what befell the man in the Gospel, who came without his wedding garment: Take him hence, and cast him into utter darkness, &c. Let former examples move thee, * lest God make thee an example. Think, God is the same God still, his Glory as dear to him, his Or∣dinances as precious: As he is the same towards the Saints in the wayes of mercy, so thou may ex∣pect him the same to thee in the the wayes of judgement; And if this move thee not, if this will not perswade with thee to for∣bear, I wash my hands of the guilt of the blood of thy soul, I have given thee warning, and thy blood is upon thine own head; And I wish the guilt of the blood of Christ be not upon thee too. Page  164Let mee then beseech you, in the bowels of love and compassi∣on, as you love your souls, as you love your bodies, as you would not be guilty of your own blood; Nay, as you would not be guilty of the blood of Christ; as you would not eat and drink damnation to your selves; as you would not provoke God to break in upon you, and inflict his severe judgements on you, come not here: Come not here, thou ignorant person, thou graceless, thou Christless person, thou swearer, thou drunkard, thou co∣vetous person; Nay, come not here, who ever you are, who are servants to any lust, who live in any known sin, lest God make this good upon thee, which I have preached to thee. That be∣cause thou dost not sanctifie God in this Ordinance, he will sanctifie himself on thee; be∣cause Page  165thou dost not glorifie him, hee will raise his glory out of thy ruines. But whilest I speak thus sadly to the bad, let mee not be a terrour to the good. I would not break the bruised Reed, nor quench the smoaking Flax: As I would not give incouragement to graceless persons, so I would not discourage the least worke of grace in any: As I would not cherish any false fire, unsound work; so I would not quench any spark of God's kindling; hast thou some work of God upon thy spi∣rit? hath God discovered to thee sin and misery? hath he humbled thee for it? hath God revealed Christ to thee, stirred thy heart with desires, after him; that riches without Christ, relations, comforts, the world without Christ will not satisfie thee? all these are like a Feast without an appetite, a Paradise without a Page  166tree of Life, too low either for thee to feed upon, or to finde comfort & satisfaction in them; dost thou seek after Christ, pur∣sue Christ; dost thou cast thy self in his arms to save, at his feet to serve? why, such I would invite; *Ho, every one that thir∣steth, come to the waters; here close with Christ, feed on Christ; and to such I would say, Christ is properly and truly food for your souls; and feeding on him your souls shall live, in grace here, in glory hereafter.

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