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he required them to attend upon this ordinance, not in remembrance of the redemption from Egypt, of which the paffover was a memorial, but in remembrance of a more glorious redemption foon to be accomplished by his own death. He adds, "I will not henceforth drink of the fruit of the vine until the day, when I drink it new with you in my father's kingdom." The fame he had faid juft before concerning the cup in the paffover. And his meaning was, that he should not any more partake of either of these ordinances perfonally but he should rejoice to behold the things fignified by them happily accomplished under his new difpenfation, which was now about to be introduced.

From thefe obfervations it is manifeft, that the facramental fupper is appointed to, fucceed the paffover; that both have refpect to the Saviour, and to the benefits procured by his death; and that the supper in the Chriftian church has much the fame ufe, as the paffover had in the Jewish church. The inftructions therefore relative to the paffover may, in many respects, be applied to the Chriftian institution.

We will particularly attend to the inftructions contained in the paffage felected for our text.

I. The pafchal inftitution respected the whole congregation. "Ye fhall obferve this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy fons forever-and when ye fhall come into the land, which the Lord fhall give you, ye fhall keep this fervice."

There were fome ceremonial pollutions, which difqualified a Jew for an immediate attendance on this folemnity; but his general obligation to obferve it, nothing could cancel; for this was founded in divine authority. The facred nature of the ordinance required all to make fuitable pre

paration for it, that they might attend upon it acceptably; but the neceffity of preparation was never a just cause for customary neglect. In the time of Hezekiah, many who had not opportunity to obferve the ufual forms of purification, ventured. to eat of the paffover otherwife than it was written; but Hezekiah prayed for them, faying, "The good Lord pardon every one who prepareth his heart to feek unto God, though he be not cleanfed according to the purification of the fanctuary." The external form was of ufe only as a mean of preparing the heart, which was the main thing neceffary to an acceptable attendance.

This obfervation may be applied to the fupper. The obligation to attend upon it is common to all Chriftians. The command of Chrift, "Do this in remembrance of me," was indeed firft given to the twelve. But Saint Paul tells us, that it refpected all Chriftians, in all ages, down to the time of Christ's second coming. No man, who believes the gospel, can claim a right to live in difobedience to this, more than to every divine command.

There are indeed, certain moral difqualifications for an acceptable attendance on the fupper. But whatever they be, we must remove them, that we may attend on the ordinance; not plead them in excufe for neglecting the ordinance. We ought not to come to it with impenitent, unbelieving hearts, or with malevolent, unfocial paffions. What then?-Are we to turn from it ?-No: we are to make preparation for it by examining ourfelves, by repenting of our fins, by repairing injuries, by feeking reconciliation with offended brethren, and by cultivating benevolence toward all men. Whether we come to the ordinance or not, we can have no right to indulge a wicked

temper either toward God or men. And one use of the ordinance is, to make us watchful againft fuch a temper; and to awaken us to repentance, when we discover this temper in us, or perceive it ftealing upon us.

II. Our text teaches us, that, as the ancient paffover, fo alfo the Lord's fupper, was particularly defigned for the benefit of the young. "When your children fhall fay, What mean you by this fervice? then shall ye fay, It is the facrifice of the Lord's paffover."

One use of the paffover was to excite the attention and enquiry of children, that they might thus be prepared to receive inftruction from their parents concerning the great things, which God had done, and ftill would do for his people. The publick celebration of this feftival, from year to year, was defigned to be the means of tranfmitting the knowledge of religion from one generation to another down to the latest period of that dispenfation.

In times of national degeneracy, this ordinance fell into difufe. But whenever there was a revival of religion, the restoration of the festival and a regular attendance upon it were fome of the firft favourable appearances. Thus it was in the reigns of Hezekiah and Jofiah, thofe pious kings, whofe reigns were diftinguished by an active zeal for religion.

It was common for the young to attend the paffover. They were conducted thither by their parents, that they might obferve the folemnity and learn the defign of it. Luke tells us, it was the cuftom for children to repair to this feftival, as foon as they were twelve years old. It was at the time of the paffover, that children in the temple fung, "Hofanna to the son of David." Jefus was pleased with the pious strain.

Now as the Lord's fupper is an inftitution par allel to, and fucceeding in the place of the paffo ver, we may conclude, that this, as well as the other, was defigned for the ufe and benefit of the young; and that they are under fome fpecial obligation to attend upon it. One obvious ufe of it is to awaken in their minds religious thoughtfulness, and to draw from them pertinent enquiries, that the parent may thus be led to inftruct them in the great redemption purchased for a guilty world by the death of Jefus Chrift, whofe death is reprefented in this ordinance.

The young feem generally to imagine, that the ordinance was not intended for perfons of their age. That their fathers ought to obferve it, they have no doubt; but for themfelves they think it is a matter of little concern. In moft churches the number of communicating youths is very fmall. Few approach the table of their redeemer, until they become settled in a family state: and there are many, who even then neglect it. But let me tell you, my young hearers, that as foon as you are able to difcern the Lord's body in the holy fupper, and to understand what is meant by this fervice, you, as well as others, are bound to attend upon it. We find, that, in the time of the apostles, there were in the church little children, as well as young men and fathers.

You will perhaps fay, "We have not fufficient knowledge."

Then feek knowledge. Content not yourselves with what you have attained; but endeavour to abound more and more. You have been taught, that Jefus Chrift came into the world to fave finners. Surely you should be folicitous to know, who this faviour is-what he has done and fuffered for you-and what you muft do to be faved.

If you have this knowledge, and with it a defire to obtain, and a refolution to feek falvation through Jefus Chrift, you have fuch preparation, as will warrant your approach to his table.

You will fay," We are afraid, we shall not live fo as to honour the religion of Chrift."

Be then fo much the more watchful over yourfelves, prayerful to God, and diligent in your attendance on all the inftituted means of piety.

Doubtless you have cause to fear, left you dishonour your Saviour by a conversation which his gofpel forbids. But is this a reason why you should not confefs his name?-Why you should not even refolve, or promise, or endeavour to honour him? No: It is a reason, why you should be more careful what manner of perfons you are.

Perhaps fome will fay, "Our paft conversation has not been fuch as becomes the gofpel of Chrift."

Is this an excufe for neglecting a plain inftitution-an inftitution defigned efpecially for you ? No: It is high time for you to repent and walk in newness of life. Let not fin reign in you, that you should obey it in the lufts thereof; but yield yourselves to Chrift as those who are alive from the dead, and your members inftruments of righteousness to him.

You will fay, "We do not know that we are in a converted ftate." Give diligence then to make your calling fure; and, with this view, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue, knowledge. But, in the mean time, neglect none of the commands of God. It is not by the neglect, but by the practice of duty, that you are to prove the reality of your converfion.

The apoftles exhorted finners to repent and turn to God: but they never advised the serious and enquiring to delay their entrance into the

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