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ture, are Sacrifices with which God is well pleased.
We likewise offer our Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving to God, for the Death of our Saviour: And all our Prayers and Supplications, we put up in his Name, and in the Virtue, and for the Merits of that Sacrifice he offered to God in our Behalf : And in so doing, we commemorate that Sacrifice both to God, and before Men. And this is all, we are confident, that the Ancient Church meant by the great Christian Sacrifice, or the Sacrifice of the Altar.'
But if we go further, if we will in the Communion pretend to offer up the Body and Blood of Christ in Sacrifice to God, that was once Sacrificed upon the Cross; It is intolerable. It is a Thing that was never dreamed of in the first Ages of the Church ; It is directly contradictory to the Foundation of all the Apostle's Argument and Discourse here in the Text; and the very supposal of it, brings along with it, many grievous Absurdities in the Theory, and something that looks like impious in the Practice.
And yet this is the constant and ayowed Doctrine and Practice of the Church of Rome in every Sacrament they have, and that is in every Maß that is said among them. The main Business of that Mystery, they make to conlift in the Priest's offering up to God, the very Body and Blood of Christ, the fame Body and Blood that was once offered up at Jerusalem ; this they pretend to offer up as a Sacrifice
every Day: And they attribute to this their Offering, the same Vertue and Efficacy that the Apostles and all Christians have always attributed to the one Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross; that is, that it is a true popitiatory Sacrifice for the Living, and for the Dead: And none among them dare deny this, under Pain . of an Anathema, as the Council of Trent hath ordered the Matter.
Good God ! whither will Interest, and Faction, and Zeal for a Party, transport Men ! But it is not my Business to expose them, but to put you in mind of what concerns ourselves, namely, as I said, That when we come to the Lord's Table, we do not approach thither, with a Belief that our Lord Jesus is there again offered, but only with a Design to com. memorate his Sacrifice that was once offered. We come not thither to sacrifice Christ, but to be Partakers of his Sacrifice. We are not to feast God ; but God there feasts us, and that with the best Food in the World; such Food as will nourish us to Eternal Life, if we be worthy Guests : Only we must not appear before God empty at this Solemnity : We must offer to him of our Substance : We must offer our Prayers and Supplications, not only for our selves, but for all the World; but more especially for all that are called by the Name of Christ; and among those, most particularly for our own Church and Kingdom, and all Orders and Degrees of Men therein. We must offer likewise Ourselves, our Souls and Bodies a living Sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which
is our reasonable Service. And lastly, to con i clude, we must offer our most hearty and
affectionate Thanks to God Almighty, for that incomprehensible Instance of his Love, in sending Christ Jesus to us, to be our Saviour ; for his wonderful Birth, for his Holy Life, for his precious Death, for his glorious Resurrection and Ascension, and for his Interceffion for us, at the Right Hand of God.
And, O thou Blessed Saviour! that haft done all this for us, give us such a lively Sense of thiy marvellous Love, in leaving thy Glory, and taking Human Flesh upon thee, that thou mightest dwell among us, and instruct us in cur Duty, and assist us in the Performance of it, and encourage us thereto by the glorious Hopes of a never-dying Life, and at last make thyself an Offering for our Sins ! 0 let these Things sink so deeply in our Minds, and so wholly possess our Hearts, that we may entirely give up ourselves to thee! That we may, with our whole Souls, embrace all thy Doctrines and Revelations : That we may endeavour in all our Aations, to conform ourselves to thy Example ; and make it the Business of our Lives, to be obedient to thy Precepts, to submit to thy Wil, and to be contented to be disposed of by thee, in all the Circumstances of our Lives. O let nothing in thy Religion, ever be an Offence to us! But enable us to hold the Profession of our Faith, in thee, without wavering, in all the Tryals and Difficulties thou shalt think fit to expose us to; that so in Faith and Obedience, in Patience and Perseverance, we may ever wait for, and at last obtain that Crown of Righteousnes, which thou hast laid up for all that love thee, and expect thy Second and more Glorious Appearance.
To Thee, O Eternal Son of God, thou great Lover of Mankind ; To Thee, who tookest upon thee to deliver Man, and didst not abhor the Virgin's Womb; To Thee, who over,camest the Sharpneß of Death, and didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all Believers : To Thee, O most dear, O most beloved, O most adorable Jesus! be for ever given by us, and by all the Souls whom thou hast Redeemed, and by all the Creatures in Heaven and Earth, All Honour, and Glory, and Praise, all Service and Love, and Obedience, henceforth and for evermore.
W HIT E-H A L L,
On EASTER-DA Y, 1692.
PHIL. iii. 10.
know him, and the Power of bis Resurrection.
E shall easily see the Design of these
Words, and what use we are to W make of them, if we look at their
Connexion with the Discourse that goes
before. S.Paul in this chapter, sets himself to shew the Excellency, and the great Advantages of the Knowledge of Jesus Christ ; and how inconsiderable, how unworthy to be named in Comparison therewith, all those Things were, that the Jews his Countrymen so much gloried in.' His Discourse, upon this Occasion, is so very Remarkable, that it will be worth our while to run over the Particulars of it.