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There are before me parents, who, at the holy font, have dedicated their children to God's service ; who have promised to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and who are bound by every motive of duty and of affection, to go before them in the paths of a holy and religious life. Parents, I appeal to you. Will ye
I lead your children from him to whom ye have devoted them? Will ye justify them, by your act, in departing from their God? Will ye prepare for their last hour despair, and for your last hour this bitter reflection, that they had your example to plead for neglecting their Saviour ? Fathers and mothers, will ye also go away?
But are there any of those whom I have addressed, or others, who are deterred from approaching this holy table, by a sense of their unworthiness? Are there any upon whose conscience is the burden of guilt? Are there any who acknowledge and bewail their manifold sins and wickedness ? who dread the wrath and indignation of their God? My brethren, will ye go away? Whither, alas! can ye go for pardon, but to him who has redeemed you? Whither for peace, but to him who here invites you to the arms of his mercy? Come then to him, in the way of his appointment, confessing your sins, asking forgiveness of all that is past, supplicating for grace
that you may ever hereafter serve and please him. Do this in remembrance of your Lord; for there is no other name whereby ye can be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ. He only has the words of eternal life.
For the Communion.
PSALM cxvi. 13.
I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the
THE present discourse is intended as a persuasive to the celebration of the holy communion ; and the propriety and advantage of frequently receiving it will be enforced, by considering it under the following points of view.
First, As it is a solemn renewal of our baptismal engagements.
Secondly, As.it is a continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby.
Thirdly, As it suggests an unfailing solace under the ills of life. And
Lastly, As it enforces a constant preparation for the hour of death.
In all these respects, (to say nothing of others, even more important than these, this holy supper presents itself to us as a means of grace, which we cannot disregard and neglect without incurring both guilt and danger.
First. The participation of the holy communion is to be considered as a solemn renewal of our baptismal engagements. There is no practical truth, my brethren, however certain and undisputed, nor any duty however binding and acknowledged, which is not apt to become continually weaker in its impression upon the mind, and less powerful in its influence upon the conduct, by inattention and lapse of time. Even that first great truth, the existence of a God, and the homage to which he is entitled, would soon become almost wholly inoperative upon general belief, or be liable to great perversion, if it were not for the institution of a sacred day, and the public worship of his name, to which it is devoted. And in the case of individuals who profess to honour him, whatever love to God may have swelled the hearts of any when first they devoted themselves to his service, whatever sense of obligation may have inspired watchfulness and diligence, whatever sense of gratitude may have prompted the accents of thanksgiving and the songs of praise, when first they took upon themselves their yows of obedience, and confirmed in their own persons their allegiance to their Lord; they have been tavoured with an experience duterent from that of most of the righteous and the good, if they have not since found reason to complain that their pious resolutions have been less animated, their gratitude and devotion less ardent, and their sensibility to religious duty less lively, than once they were.
Few have lived long in the business and commerce of the world, without having had reason to regret the absence or decline of those better feelings, which made their religious duties a high pleasure, and love to God's service a natural and prevailing emotion of their hearts; few have been conversant (as all more or less must be,) with the things of time, without loosing somewhat of their conscientious and practical regard for the things of eternity; or have mingled, as all must more or less do, in the concerns of the world, without finding their hearts so enslaved to its interests, as to overcloud and endanger their hopes of heaven. And many, doubtless, have been the instances of those who, captivated by the delights, or entangled by the cares, of this life, have been drawn away from their deliberate resolution to secure the next, until, looking back upon their former peaceful hours, upon that calm and heavenly frame of soul, which once they knew in their walk with God, they have been compelled to exclaim, “Oh! that I were as in days past." There is, then, an influence in the world, my brethren, in its customs, its maxims, and its pursuits, which is hostile to our piety, and which, if left to its natural tendency, and unresisted operation, would