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iii. 18. Lay this over thy foul, wrap thyfelf in it, come thus forward, and welcome.-Draw near,
4. As friends; friends of God, to have fellowship with him, who may freely converse with him; to unbofom ourselves to him, and to be let into the fecrets of the covenant: John, xv. 15. "Henceforth," fays he, "I call you not fervants, for the fervant knoweth not what his Lord doth; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." He treats you as fuch, setting you down at his table; and the less reserved you are, and the more you improve the privileges through Chrift, the more welcome Does he you are. approve the kneelers at the facrament, when he has ordered them to fit? as little will he approve the Chriftian's carrying frowardlike, and standing afar off from him at that table which he has covered for his friends. Nay, draw
5. As children to a Father in Chrift, to receive the portion of children. Is not the foul which hath clofed with Christ a son by adoption? "To as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the fons of God, even to them that believe on his name." A child of the house by marriage with the King's fon. Is not the chil dren's bread given them at the table? Believe, then, and fay to God in Christ, " Abba, Father.” If he did not love the compellation from those that are his, his Spirit would not put it into their mouths, Rom. viii. 15.-Draw near,
Laftly, As a fpoufe to an Hufband, for our Maker is our Hufband. Let us embrace him in the arms of faith, give the love of the heart to him a full vent: Song, viii. 6. " Set me as a feal upon thine heart, as a feal upon thine arm; for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave; the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath
hath a most vehement flame." Rejoice in him, delight in him, and blefs ourfelves in our choice of him. The facrament of the fupper is appointed for that very end, that we may unite more closely with him, have more intimate fellowship with our Lord, and may joy in the bleffed Husband, while at the feast of efpoufals. Think not strange of drawing near at this rate; for, if ever we come to heaven to be happy, we will be nearer than all this, nearer God than we can now conceive. The blood of God will be close cement betwixt God and his own creatures; and this is the only way of our nearness.
But how must the business of our drawing near to God be managed? The apoftle here lays down four directions.
(1.) Draw near to God fincerely. Hypocrify is a disease in the vitals of religion; it pretends one thing, and intends another. The tongue and external behaviour in gofpel-ordinances are no true interpreters of the hypocrite's mind. Beware of this: Matth. xv. 8. "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." If you be to take Chrift, let those go away. If you join hands with him in this ordinance, join heart with him alfo. Seek out your fins impartially, and fee if you be willing to part with them without exception: Pfal. lxvi. 18. " If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.' Confider and deliberate on the coft of the covenant, and fee if there be nothing at which your heart ftands. Confider if you be for Chrift and his falvation, for his fanctifying Spirit, as well as his justifying blood. If it be thus, you may warrantably come forward, even to his feat; but if otherwise, you will never get near to him.;
(2.) Draw near in the full affurance of faith. Faith's fpecial object is the blood of Chrift. Come leaning and depending on the merit and efficacy of this blood. Would you be wafted over to the prefence of God, come fwimming through that river which makes glad the city of our God. Caft all your weight upon it. It bears the weight of the Father's glory, and will bear the weight of your falvation. If your affurance of welcome depends on any thing in yourselves, God will caft the door of accefs in your face, as presumptuous infenfible creatures. Labour to get your fouls wrought up to a full affurance of faith, not doubting of your welcome to, and acceptance with him through Chrift. Fix on the promife, he is faithful who made it. Though a trembling hand may reach a pardon, and God will not quench a smoking flax, yet it is more to the honour of God, the honour of the precious blood of Chrift, and more to the fanctification, as well as comfort of the foul, confidently, without hesitation, to lay hold upon the promife, and apply it, with all that is in it: Matth. xxi. 22. "All things whatsoever ye fhall ask in prayer, believing, ye fhall receive."
(3.) Get your hearts before-hand Sprinkled from an evil confcience. Are you to come to his table?pray that all controverfies be done away between you and him. If you are to appear before the Lord, go, dip, wash, bathe in the fountain opened for fin and for uncleannefs, Zech. xiii. 1. that you may be clean. Take a back-look of your ways, and be not fuperficial in it, left fome unremoved guilt ftare you in the face when you are coming forward, and drive you back. Do not think your repentance, reformation, vows, tears, (though of blood), will purge the confcience: Only Chrift's blood will do it; for this only can fatisfy the demands
mands of justice and of the law. Now, lay the weight of your remission on this blood, apply it to yourselves by faith, and this will purge your confcience. This fea of Chrift's blood fstands between us and the throne for that effect, Rev. iv 6..
Laftly, Let your outward converfation be blamelefs, free from fcandalous fins: « Pfal. xxiv. 4. "He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart, who hath not lifted up his foul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully," is the perfon who fhall afcend into the hill of God. Wash your hands in innocence, if you would encompass God's altar. Repent, and mourn over the fins of the outward man, and apply to the fame blood for pardon. Forfake and give up with thofe fins, whether against the first or fecond table; refolve, and endeavour fincerely to perform. Amen.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED *.
HEB. X. 22. Let us draw near with a true heart, in full affurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil confcience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
T will afford a beam of surprising and heart-re
if we compare it with that in Gen. iii. 22.--24. Behold in these verses the fruits of the first Adam's finning. Adam finned, and we in his loins, as well as himself, were driven out from the prefence of the Lord. Chrift fuffered, and we are drawn in again, and farther in than ever Adam was. Hear the fentence from Heaven casting us out: "Behold the man!" fee what he has brought himself to, "he is become as one of us, to know good and evil." A holy taunt!" And now, left he put forth his hand, and take alfo of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever." There is a deficiency in this fpeech, which is easily sup
* Delivered immediately before the difpenfation of the faciament.