« AnteriorContinuar »
ting to it, are produced and explained :
• To which are added,
The THIRD EDITION.
at the Crown in Ludgate-Street. MDCC Xxxv.
'N the following 'Treatise, I have endeavoured to establish and explain the true Nature, End, and Effect, of the Sacrament of the Lord's-Supper. The Substance of it is What I preached, many Years ago, in several Sermons, when I had the Care of a Paristj in London.
In that Relation, I thought it my Duty always to have a View to the particular Der mands of Those I was to instruct. Especially, I esteemed my self obliged to have a very peculiar Regard to the Wants of Some of the Best and most sincere Christians; whom I found often in danger of great Errors, or great Superstition; and too commonly disturbed and perplexed by such Fears and Terrors, as indeed made their Desire of being truly Religious, the Burthen and Misery, instead of the Delight, of their Lives.
As therefore, for the sake of One Sort of Christians, I never ceased to inculcate the Necessity of Universal Obedience to the Will of God; that there might be no hope left to Them of Acceptance, without This: So, for the Defense and Support of Others, in their sincere Endeavors to please God, against all those uneasy impressions of Superstition, which They had a right to be freed from, I made it my care to state and explain the Commands peculiar to Chrijiianity, from the first Declarations of Christ himself, and his Apostles, in such a Manner, as that They might appear to Honest Minds to have as little Tendency to create Distress and Uneasiness, as They were designed, in their first Simplicity, to have. Amongst these, I found that, in no one instance of Christian Duty, there was more need of Assistance, than in this of their Attendance upon the Lord's-Supper; which had been rendered very Uneasy to Them by the Notions They had, by some means or other, embraced about it.
What I then preached, not without some Success, I now publish with the same honest Design of instructing Those who want Instruction; and have no better at hand. I have thrown the Whole into a new Form; and made several Additions to what I first preached, in order to a more clear understanding of this Subject: and this, in such
* manner, that All who are concerned may, I hope, be led into the right way of judging about it. To this I have endeavored to guide Them by directing and confining their Attention to all that is said about this Duty by Those, who alone had any Authority to declare the Nature of it: neither on one hand diminishing, nor on the other augmenting, what is declared by Them to belong to it.
It ought certainly to be sar from the Thoughts of Every Christian, to lessen any Privileges, or undervalue any Promises, annexed by Christ to any Duty or Institution of his Religion. It is an inexcusable Fault wilfully to attempt it: and an inexcusable Carelessness to do it for want of Due Consideration. It is indeed, a Fault, to which No Christian can have the least Temptation: All such Privileges and Promises being of equal Comfort, and of Equal Importance, to All; and the Nature of them such, as that no One can be so much his own Ene.r my, as not to be willing to find the Truth and Certainty of Them, if He can.
But this, I think, may with truth be said, that an Error of this fort, (should it be supposed) does not really hurt any Christian; nor alter the Effect of the Duty at all. GOD will certainly perform what He has promised to Every One who partakes of the Lord'sSupper worthily, notwithstanding that One