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both of them stood before Him, and besought Him for it, yet He would not be reconciled to this people. Which plainly implies, that this was an extraordinary case, and that He ordinarily used to hearken to the prayers which His faithful servants, such as Moses and Samuel were, made to Him in behalf of the people among whom they dwelt: according to that of the Apostle St. James, " The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (Jam. v. 16.) To the same purpose is that parallel place in the Prophet Ezekiel, where God saith, “ That if a land sin grievously against Him, and He send the famine, the sword, the pestilence, or the like punishment, to cut off both man and beast from it; though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they should deliver none but their own souls.” (Ezek. iv. 14. 16.18. 20.) But here we may likewise observe, that in such an extraordinary case as this, (which God grant may not be our own ere long!) although such righteous persons by all their prayers and tears can deliver none else, yet they themselves shall be delivered. As Lot was out of Sodom, and the Christians at the final destruction of Jerusalem, when eleven hundred thousand Jews perished, (Joseph. de Bel. Jud. 1. 7. c. 17.) and not one Christian, they being all, by the secret providence of God, conveyed out of the city before the siege began. (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 1. 3. c. 5.) Which shows the particular care that God takes of all that believe and serve Him. And that one would think is enough to prevail with all that consult their own and others' welfare, to neglect no opportunities which they can get of serving so great and good a Master, all the ways they can, and particularly by performing their daily devotions to Him. In that they have good ground to hope that He will hear their prayers for others, but

may be sure He will take care of them, whatsoever happens.

*

OXFORD.

The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

[NEW EDITION.] These Tracts are continued in Numbers, and sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE.

1839.
GILBERT & Rivington, Printers, St. John's Square, London.

TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.

THE NECESSITY AND ADVANTAGE OF FREQUENT

COMMUNION.

(Extracted from Bishop Beveridge's Sermon on the subject.)

I HAVE done what I could ; I have taken all occasions to convince you of your sin and danger in neglecting this Blessed Sacrament, and to persuade you to a more frequent receiving of it; but I see nothing will do : indeed nothing can do it but the Almighty Power of God, whom I therefore beseech of His Infinite Mercy to open men's eyes, that they may see the things that belong to their everlasting peace, before they be hid from them." And then I am sure this Sacrament would be as much frequented, as it bath been hitherto neglected. But seeing He is usually pleased to do this great work by the Ministry of His Word, I shall make it my business at this time, in His name, to put you in mind of your duty and interest in this particular, and so set before you such reasons why you ought to take all opportunities of receiving the Mystical Body and Blood of Christ your SAVIOUR, as I hope by His blessing may prevail with many to do it : GOD grant that it may do so with all that hear me at this time.

For this purpose, therefore, I desire you to consider, First, that this is Christ's own Institution and Command. He,

who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God, and yet made Himself of no reputation for your sakes.” He, who loved you so, as to give Himself for you, -He, who laid down His own life to redeem and save you,-He, the very night before He died for you, He then instituted this Holy Sacrament; and He then said to all that hoped to be saved by Him, and to you among others, “Do this in remembrance of Me;" and, “ do this as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me." What? and will

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you that hope to be saved by Him, will you never do this at all ? Or only now and then, when perhaps you have nothing else to do ? How then can ye hope to be saved by Him? Do you think that He will save you, whether ye observe His commands or no ? And which of all His commands can ye ever observe, if ye do not observe this, which is so plain, so easy, so useful, and so necessary for you? No, deceive not yourselves. He that came into the world, and died on purpose to save you, you may be confident would never have required you to do this, and as often as you do it, to remember Him, but that it is necessary for your salvation that ye do it, and that

ye do it as often as ye can, in remembrance of Him. And if it had been necessary in no other, as it is in many respects, yet His very commanding it, makes it so to you, and to your salvation. For as He is the only “Author of eternal salvation,” He is so only to "those who obey Him,” (Heb. v. 9.); that is, “ to those who observe all things whatsoever He hath commanded.” (Matth. xxviii. 20.) But this is one of those things which He hath commanded; and therefore unless you do this, you do not obey Him, and so have no ground to expect salvation from Him. He Himself bath told you in effect, that He will not save you ; in that He said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke xiii. 3, 5.) But ye all know, that he who lives in any wilful and known sin, or in the wilful neglect of any known duty, he hath not yet repented, and turned to God, but is still in his natural estate, in a state of sin and damnation. And if he happens to do so, he must inevitably perish; there is no help in the world for it.

Wherefore, my brethren, ye had need look about you. CHRIST your Saviour hath expressly commanded you often to receive the Sacrament of His Body and Blood in remembrance of Him. And therefore you, who never yet received it, have lived all this while in the wilful breach of a known Law, and by consequence in a wilful and known sin : and you who receive it but seldom, do not fully obey or come up to the Law, which plainly requires you to do it often : at least if it may be had. It is true, should God in His Providence cast you upon a place where you could not receive it if ye would, I do not doubt but He would accept of

unless you

your earnest desires of it, as well as if ye did receive it; and would make up the great losses you sustained in your spiritual estate for want of it, some other way. But blessed be His Great Name, this is not your case ; for He in His good Providence hath so ordered it, that you live in a place where this Holy Sacrament is actually celebrated every Lord's Day, and may be so, if there be occasion, every day in the year. Our Church requires the first, and hath provided for the other, by ordering that the same Collect, Epistle, and Gospel which is appointed for the Sunday, shall serve all the week after; and by consequence the whole Communion Service, of which they are a part. And therefore,

receive it, and receive it often too, you will live in the gross neglect, if not in a plain contempt of Christ's command; as you will one day find to your shame and sorrow ; for how well soever ye may otherwise live, this one sin is enough to ruin and destroy you for ever. "For," as St. James saith, “ whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James ii. 10.) And therefore, whatsoever else ye do, if

ye do not this, but offend in this one point, you are liable to all the punishments that are threatened in the Law of GOD. Neither is there any way to avoid them, except you repent, and turn from this as well as from all other sins.

And that ye may not think that the receiving of this Blessed Sacrament only now and then, as perhaps two or three times a year, will excuse you from the imputation of living in the neglect of Christ's command ; I desire you to consider how the Apostles themselves and the Primitive Christians understood it. Which they sufficiently declared by their practice. For when our LORD was gone to Heaven, and had, according to His promise, sent down the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles, and by that means brought into His Church about three thousand souls in one day, it is said of them, that "they continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers," (Acts ii. 42.); and of all that believed, it is said, that "they, continuing daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (ii. 46.) Where we may observe, first, that by breaking of bread in the New Testament, is always meant the Administration of the Lord's Supper. Secondly, this they are said to have done, kat' olkov, from house to house, as we translate it; or rather in the house, as the Syriac and Arabic versions have it, and as the phrase kar' olkov is used by the Apostle himself, Rom. xvi. 5. 1 Cor. xvi. 19.; that is, they did it either in some private house, where there was a Church, or more probably in some of the houses or chambers belonging to the Temple, where they daily continued. Thirdly, as they continued daily in the Temple at the hours of prayer, to perform their solemn devotions there, so they daily received the Holy Sacrament, and ate this spiritual food "with gladness and singleness of heart.” This being indeed the chief part of their devotions, whensoever they could meet together to perform them. Especially upon the Lord's Day, as the Holy Ghost Himself informs us, saying, “ And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, being ready to depart on the morrow," (Acts xx. 7.); where we see, they did not only break bread, or administer the Sacrament of our Lord's Supper upon the first day of the week, which we, from St. John, call the Lord's Day; but upon that day they came together for that end and purpose. It is true, St. Paul being to go away next day, he took that opportunity when they were met together for that end, to give them a Sermon. But that was not the end of their meeting together at that time. They did not come to hear a Sermon, though St. Paul himself was to preach, but they came together to administer and receive Christ's Mystical Body and Blood; which plainly shows, that this was the great work they did every LORD's Day; and that they came together then on purpose to meet with Christ, and to partake of Him at His own table. And seeing that the Law itself required,

" that none should appear before the LORD empty, (Exod. xxiii. 15.); therefore St. Paul requires, that upon the first day of the week, when Christians thus met together to receive the Sacrament, “every one should lay by him in store, as God prospered him, for pious and charitable uses," (1 Cor. xvi. 2.) And hence proceeded that custom which is still continued in our Church, and ought to

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