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Why should we be more obliged to imitate
the Pofture of our Saviour and his Apoftles,
in receiving the holy Sacrament, than to
imitate the Time, the Place, the Habit in
which they did it? Ought there not to be as
much Regard had to thefe Circumstances
in any Action as to the former? Are they
not all of equal Moment and Confideration?
If I must be bound to partake of the holy
Supper only in that Posture in which it was
inftituted, and taken at firft by our Lord
and his Apoftles, then I muft likewife, by
Parity of Reafon, be bound to receive it
in fuch a place as they did, that is to fay,
not in a Church, but in a Chamber. I muft
be bound to receive it at the Time that they
did, that is to fay, not in the Morning and
fafting, but after Supper. The Minister that
gives it me ought to have on fuch a Habit
as our Saviour had, that is to fay, a long
woven Robe without Seam, and not a Gown
or Surplice. But now fince none do think
themselves obliged to obferve thefe Things,
why should they think themselves fo tied
up as to the other? unless they can fhew
that there is something peculiar and parti-
cularly obligatory in this Circumftance of
Gesture, which there is not in the other
three. But this no Man has ever yet fhew'd,
nor, I believe, ever will.

But I would farther ask these our Bre-
thren, Do they themselves observe that

Law

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Law which they would impofe upon others? Do they use that Gesture in taking the holy Supper that our Saviour and his Apostles did? If what they fay be true, namely, that the Apostles received the Sacrament at our Saviour's Hands in a Table Pofture, then I am fure they do not. For the Pofture which our Saviour and his Apostles used in taking their Meals, was not fitting, as we practise, but lying or leaning on a Couch. As may be proved from feveral Texts of Scripture; and particularly from the Account that is given by St. John, of this very laft Supper of our Saviour's. But now I never heard that any of our Brethren ufed to receive the Sacrament in this Posture, but they do it either fitting or ftanding, which is a quite different Gesture. But in Answer to this, they fay, that we are not obliged to obferve precisely that particular Pofture that our Saviour ufed, but only in general, that Pofture which is used at Meals, because he did fo. Now the Cuftom of our Country is to take our Meals fitting, and therefore in ufing that Pofture at the Sacrament, we do fufficiently follow our Saviour's Example.

;

To this I reply firft, that this is gratis dictum thofe that fay this, can give no Reason why they fay fo. If the Principle they build their Notion upon will hold Water, it will every Jot as much prove the

Neceffity

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Neceffity of imitating Chrift in the parti-
cular Posture he ufed, as of imitating him.
in the general, that is to fay, observing
the common Table Pofture ufed in our
Country.

But further; If the general received Po-
fture at Meals be the only allowable Po-
fture of receiving the Sacrament (as muft
be concluded from this Doctrine, if any
Thing can be concluded from it) then
what will become of them that receive the
Sacrament ftanding (as many do) that is
no more the common Pofture at Meals than
kneeling is. It is fitting that hath univer-
fally prevailed in our Country; and there-
fore to receive the Sacrament ftanding, or
in any other Posture but fitting, must, ac-
cording to this Doctrine, be irregular;
which yet, I hope, none of them will af-
firm. But, laftly, to conclude; Pray let
this be confider'd: Why should the Custom
of
any Country be fufficient to make stand-
ing or fitting to come in the Place of lying
or leaning at the Sacrament, and yet the
publick Law of a Nation fhall not be able
to do as much for kneeling? Shall not a
Law made by publick Authority, and con-
firmed by long Ufage of the Church, have
the fame Force to establish kneeling in the
Place of fitting, (there being no more Un-
lawfulness in the one Pofture than in the
other) as a Custom brought in by little and

little,

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little, and without any publick Authority, had to bring in fitting in the Place of leaning?

But I am fenfible I tire you with being fo long upon this Head. All the Apology I have to make, is, that I thought it would ferve fome Purpose to make this Matter as plain as was poffible.

I have now done with my Cafes of Confcience concerning the Extent of our Obligation to follow Chrift's Example, which, you fee, I have refolved in fix Proposi

tions.

The next Thing I am to do, is to propofe fome of thofe Virtues which our Saviour was most eminent for, and which are of the greatest Use in human Life, and ferioufly to recommend them to your Imitation.

I pray God give a Bleffing to what has been faid.

Now to God, &c.

SER

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SERMON III.

Chrift's Piety, and Diligence, and
Charity.

1 PET. ii. 21.

Leaving us an Example, that we should fol-
low his Steps.

HAVE made two Sermons upon this Text. In the firft of them, I laid before you in general the great Obligation that lies. upon us to follow our Lord's Example. In the fecond, I endeavoured to fhew the Extent of this Obligation; how far, and in what Inftances Chrift's Life was an Example to us; in what Cafes we are obliged to the Imitation of it, and in what Cafes not. I now come to the third Thing I propofed upon this Text, and which indeed is the principal Thing I in-. tended when I first pitched upon it; and

that

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