Jan. 7. 1693
1. Cor. 11. 28.
But let a man examine himself, & so let him eat of that bread, & drink of yt cup. Doctr. In order to a partaking Worthily of the Lords Supper its absolutely needfull that Com̄unicants examine themselves. We showed before, what is meant by worthy partaking; & how in a Gosple sense we are said to partake worthily. Now we come
- 2. Secondly, to consider what examination is needfull in order to our worthy partaking?
- 1. An. We must examine our knowledge, whither by it we be able to discern the Lords body, which is represented by the bread & wine. 1. Cor. 11. 29. For he yt eateth & drinketh unworthily, eateth & drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lords body. i.e. not discerning this Sacramental bread & wine from that wch is common to every table: or not discerning ye use & end of these elements: what they represent & hold forth; but of this we may speak more hereafter, in ye following verse.
- 2. An: We must examine our Faith. Whither we can apply Christ to our souls & feed upon him, & so draw virtue & Spiritual nourishment from him thereby. 2. Cor. 13. 5. Examine your selves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves: know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be Reprobates. We must examine whither Christ be ours &c. So that we may say this is my broken Saviour, whose body was broken for me, & whose blood was poured out for me.
- 3. An: We must examine our Repentance whither it be the Repentance, never to be repented of: Whither it be the godly sorrow for sin, that causeth us to break off from all known sin. 2. Cor. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. For thô I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, thô I did repent: for I perceive yt ye same epistle made you sorry, thô it were but for a season. Now I rejoyce, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing: For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of ye world worketh death. For behold, this self same thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what cleaning of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea what revenge. This is now a godly sorrow for sin, when it worketh in us carefulness to prevent sin, indignation against sin, fear of sin, & revenge unto sin, so as now we say to our sins, especially our heretofore beloved sins, as they somtimes did to their Idols. Hos. 14. 8. What have
- 1. I to do any more with Idols. Therefore (1) We must examine whither we have thorough88 conviction of sin. Are we convinced yt we have been guilty of all sin, Original sin, & Actual sin, so as we cry out with David Ps. 40. 12. Innumerable evils have compassed me about, mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up: they are more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart faileth me. And are we also convinced of the odiousness, ugliness, & filthiness of sin. Is it the worst of evils, the abominable thing, the worst of evils, the greatest of abominations? Is it in our eyes, as it is in it self, & as the Apostle sets it forth? Jae. 1. 21. the Superfluity of naughtiness. This implys, that if all other evils were to have a Scum, a superfluity; ‘Tis sin must be it. Sin is the Devils vomit, the Souls excrement, the worse of all evils, the Scum, the Superfluity of evils, & so it ought to be in our eyes Jer. 2. 19. Know therefore & see, that it is an evil thing & bitter that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God
- 2. (2) Again, We must examine our contrition for sin. Whither it be the burden of our souls, too heavy for us bear the guilt or the filth of. Ps. 38. 4. &c. Mine iniquities are gone over my head: as a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt: because of my foolishness: & therfore they cause Soul sorrow for them. 18 ver I will be sorry for my sin. Its true, some men laugh at sin, make a mock at sin, & make a sport of sin, can laugh & sin, & sin & laugh. But who are they? Why the holy Ghost tells us, they are fools. Pro. 14. 9. Fools make a mock at sin Ay but the godly will never think of their sin but with sorrow. thô Fools mock, laugh & sport at sin, these will mourn & weep for sin, yea & that bitterly too, especially when their sins are more scandalous, more of offencive to God, & more dishonourable to Religion. As we see in Peter, after he had denyed his Lord, he went out, & wept bitterly. Luke. 22. 62. Sin is as a bodkin89 to the heart of a true penitent. Acts. 2. 37. Yea, the true penitent will not only abhorr & loath his vile sins, but also his vile & filthy self, the actor & committer of them. Ezek. 36. 31. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, & your doings that were not good, and shall loath your selves in your own sight, for your iniquities, & for your abomina-
- 3. tions. Again (3) We must examine our Confession of sin, whither that be of the right kind. There is a Confession, which is counterfeit & unacceptable, & there is a Confession, which is sincere, genuine & acceptable to God: Now
- 1. its our duty to examine of wch. kind ours is (1) Then, there is a counterfeit, false, & unacceptable confession: And we read of three Sorts of them in Scripture. As
- 1. There is a meer verbal confession, a meer mouth confession, but altogether heartless. Such a one was impenitent, & hard hearted Pharaohs Confession. Ex. 9. 27. Pharaoh sent & called for Moses & Aaron, & said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, & I & my people are wicked. And. Chap. 10. 16. Then Pharaoh called for Moses & Aaron in haste; & he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, & against you. Here is Pharaohs Confession of sin againe, & againe, & yet all was but verbal, & heartless, he persisted in his sins of Tyranny & oppression, notwithstanding all. His heart still was far from God: His case was like theirs. Ezek. 33. 31—With their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their Covetousness: So Pharaohs heart
- 2. still went after his lust & oppression (2) There is also an enforced Confession, as in Saul. 1. Sam. 15. 24. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the word of the Lord, & thy words: because I feared the people, & obeyed their voice. And yet compare this verse with. ver. 12. &c. & you may see Saul stands much upon his own justification, & when he is brought to a Confession it is from enforcem̄t & Compulsion of Samuels arguing with him. Saul stood it out as long as he could, & when his conviction was undeniable & past all disputes, you see he lays it upon the people. Thus he counterfeitly & hypocritically confesseth his sin, but it
- 3. was because he was enforced to it (3. Last) There is also a desperate Confession, as we see in Judas. Matth. 27. 3. 4. Then Judas wch had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, & brought again the thirty pieces of Silver, to the chief Priests & Elders, Saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. Here was confession, but it was joyned with desperation, for in the next verse, we read that he went & hanged himself. Thus we see there is a false & unacceptable confession.
- 2. There is a confession wch is sincere, genuine & acceptable: And to such a confession these two things are Required
- 1. (1) It must be open & naked, & without all covering or hiding. Pro. 28. 13. He that covereth his sins shall not
- 1. prosper. He yt covereth his sins & that is (1) Either by
- 2. denying the evil that a man has done Or (2) By extenuating the sin he has done, making a light matter of it, or not
- 3. looking upon it, in its own colours (3) Or by hiding it from God, so as not to acknowledge it with godly grief &
- 4. sorrow (4) Or by living still in it, & continuing therein impenitently. All this is a covering of sin, which must not be, nor will not be, where the confession is right. Indeed in the commission of sin, it is better to conceal & hide it, than to declare & publish, Isa. 3. 9. The Shew of their Countenance doth witness against them, & they declare thier Sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Compared with. Gen. 13 13. & 19. 5. O to sin, & that as Sodomites, openly, & in ye sight of the Sun, this is to sin with an high hand, & presumptuously indeed: So that (I say) as to the commission of sin, it is better to sin secretly than openly: But now as to the confession of Sin, it is better to spread all before God, & to hide nothing. Ps. 32.3. 4.5. When I kept Silence, my bones waxed old; thrô my roring all the day long. For day & night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of Summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, & mine iniquity have I not hid: I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; & thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Here we see, whilst David kept Silence i.e. hid his sin, was silent as to Confession, he rored thrô pangs of Conscience: but now he no sooner comes to a full, free & open confession, but he finds the Sweet of it, in Gods speaking
- 2. peace to his soul. Again (2) Our confession of sin must be most humble, & with submission of our Souls to the judgment of God, wch. is due to our Sins. And so it must be wth grief for, & detestation of our sins, as it were in dust & ashes. Job. 42. 6. I abhor my self, & repent in dust & ashes. Dan. 9. 7. 8. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of Faces &c. If this be wanting, our declaration of sin, is rather a profession, than a confession of sin. Thus (I say) we must examine our confession of sin, whither it be of the right kind.