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to this holy sacrament, the blessed memorial of that meritorious sacrifice, I shall be assuredly entitled to all the inestimable benefits which Christ has thereby purchased for us; so as that all the general promises which God has made to penitent sinners through Christ, will undoubtedly and effectually be applied and made good to me in particular ?
Do I feel my heart affected with becoming sentiments of love, and joy, and gratitude at the remembrance of the infinite goodness of God the Father, in giving His Only-begotten Son to die for us, and of the incomprehensible love and condescension of God the Son, in humbling Himself even to the cruel and ignominious death of the cross for our sakes?
Am I sufficiently sensible of, and thankful for the unspeakable advantages and blessings which the death of Christ hath merited and procured for mankind ? That whereas we must have been miserable to all eternity if He had not died, He, by being made a curse for us and dying in our stead, has not only delivered us from the curse of the law and the terrors of death, from the tyranny of sin and Satan, and from torments eternal; but has also purchased for us pardon and grace, consolation and acceptance, and the everlasting joys and glories of the kingdom of heaven?
Am I unfeignedly thankful for the exceeding great love of our Master and only Saviour Jesus Christ, in instituting this holy sacrament to be a standing memorial of His death, and a means of our having the new covenant in His blood renewed and confirmed to us in a visible manner; and all the blessed effects of His passion, verily and indeed communicated to us, upon our worthily receiving these sacred pledges of His love?
Do I consider lastly, that this holy feast, wherein the love of Christ is so wonderfully exemplified, and all are invited to eat of one bread and drink of one cup, was designed by our Blessed Saviour to be a solemn rite, whereby all His disciples should testify their mutual love of one another, and be reminded of the inviolable obligations they lie under to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace ?
And do I therefore, in pursuance of these beneficent ends, resolve to make myself appear to be Christ's disciple indeed, by loving all men with a sincere and cordial affection, and by taking all proper occasions of expressing my christian love and charity; in being always ready to forgive those who may happen to provoke or injure me, and to do every good office in my power to all men, as well enemies as friends, whether in order to promote their spiritual or temporal advantage?
for all the holy dispositions that are necessary to make
us worthy receivers of His holy Supper.
Almighty God and Heavenly Father, Who of Thy tender mercy didst give Thine Only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption, out of the same tender mercy assist me with Thy grace, that I may worthily partake of that holy feast, which was instituted by Christ Himself in order to perpetuate the memory of His death and passion, and to exhibit and apply to every penitent sinner the invaluable benefits He has thereby purchased for us.
Give me right notions, and a clear conception as of the nature, end, and dignity, so of the divine virtue and efficacy of that blessed sacrament. And dispose me to receive it with such a pious and heavenly temper of mind, that in eating of that bread, and drinking of that cup I may be strengthened with might by Thy Spirit in the inner man, and refreshed with those inward delights of Thy grace, which truly devout persons feel at the table of their Lord.
Grant me, I humbly pray Thee, such a sense of my sins, and of the sufferings of my Blessed Saviour for them, as may affect my heart with a deep sorrow and contrition for the unworthy returns I have made to His infinite love; and inspire me with earnest desires and resolutions to devote myself henceforward to His honour and service, and to live answer, ably to the engagements of that holy covenant, which I was admitted into at my baptism, and am now going to renew in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
Possess my heart with becoming sentiments of love, and joy, and gratitude at the remembrance of Thine incomprehensible goodness, in giving Thine Only-begotten Son to die for us; and of the exceeding great love and condescension of our Blessed Redeemer, in humbling Himself even to the cruel and ignominious death of the cross for our sakes.
By His death I do firmly believe that He has made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. Lord, increase this faith in me evermore; and upon this occasion especially give me grace to approach Thee with a lively faith in those most gracious promises, which Thou hast made to penitent sinners through Him, and an assured persuasion that if I come duly prepared to His holy table, they will all be effectually applied and made good to me in particular.
Finally, since that blessed sacrament I am now preparin to receive was designed by our Saviour, not only as a memorial and pledge of His love to us, but as a means of engaging all His disciples to live in the strictest love and charity towards one another; grant, I most humbly beseech Thee, that laying aside all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, I may come to Thy holy table with a heart in perfect charity with all the world, and fully resolved to make myself appear in the future course of my life to be Christ's disciple indeed, by walking in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savour.