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All pofitive inftitutions are intended for the promotion of real holinefs; and our obfervance of them is no farther acceptable, than they are made fubfervient to this end.

The ordinance of the fupper is defigned to fhew forth Chrift's death; and to call up in our fouls the devout remembrance of him. We are, therefore, to attend upon it with a pious regard to him-with a sense of our guilt and unworthinesswith repentance of, and refolutions against every known fin-with faith in his righteousness to juftify us, and in his grace to fanctify us with gratitude for his condefcenfion and kindness in giving himself for us with love to the brethren, and benevolence to all men, to which we are called by his example exhibited to us, and recognized by us in this ordinance. As we eat at the fame table and partake of the fame bread, we are to confider ourselves as members of the fame family, and to study the things by which we may edify one another. The apoftle fays, "The cup of bleffing is the communion," or joint participation "of his blood; and the bread which we break is the communion of his body; for we being many are one bread and one body, as we are all partakers of one bread;" or of the fame loaf. "The things which the gentiles facrifice, they facrifice to devils, and not to God; and I would not that ye fhould have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils; nor be partakers of the table of the Lord and the table of devils."" Whether ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God; giving no offence, even as I please all men in all things, not feeking mine own profit, but the pro fit of many, that they may be faved."

I would obferve once more,

4. It is incumbent on parents to instruct their -children in the nature and design of God's ordinances, and to encourage their attendance upon them. "When your children fhall enquire, What mean you by this fervice, then fhall ye fay, It is the facrifice of the Lord's paffover."

In like manner parents are to teach their children, what is meant by the Lord's fupper. It is a fymbol of his facrifice for the fins of men.

There are fome who deter their children from this ordinance by too awful reprefentations of it, as if it fealed the guilt and deftruction of those who received it in unregeneracy. It would be more agreeable to the sweet and benevolent spirit of the gospel to represent the ordinance as a token of God's grace and mercy to finners, and as a mean of access to him through the Redeemer. It was not instituted to perplex and enfnare, but to edify and comfort humble fouls. It was not intended to terrify and affright, but to ftrengthen and encourage the tender and fearful.

While we warn the young not to approach it with thoughtless temerity, or with the indulgence of known iniquity, let us invite them to come humbly and penitently, Let us lead them to view the ordinance, as defigned no less for their ufe than for ours. Let us affift them in gaining a good knowledge of the gofpel, and exhort them to use this and every divine ordinance as the means of fpiritual improvement. Let us recommend to them the religion of Jefus by our own holy example. Let us fmile on any hopeful dif pofitions, which we difcover in them, and contribute all in our power to their spiritual nourishment, that they may grow up in all things into Chrift, and come to the ftature of perfect men in him.

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PSALM 1xxi. 5.

For thou art my hope, O Lord God: Thou art my truft from my youth.

My

young friends, I may venture to say, there is not one of you, but who wishes to live to old age. And if you defire many days, certainly you defire to fee good in them all, even in the laft of them. It is not a painful and difconfolate, but a pleafant and cheerful old age, which you defire. I cannot promise you long life, continued health, or great riches; nor can I affure you, that your declining years will be free from bodily pains and worldly afflictions. But I can tell you, how old age, if you should arrive to it, may be very comfortable; yea, more fo than your youth. For inftruction in this matter I will refer you to the experience of an aged man, whose words I juft now read to you. They are the words of David; and words which he wrote, when he was

old and grey headed, and when he suffered great and fore troubles. In this condition, and in this period of life, his chief comfort arose from a recollection of that course of humble piety, which commenced in early life. "Be thou my strong habitation, to which I may continually refortfor thou art my hope, O Lord; thou art my trust from my youth." Imitate his example; and whatever may be your outward condition, you will experience his comforts.

"Truft in God" fuppofes a full belief of his exiftence, perfections and government. This belief is the first principle of all religion. "He that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them who diligently feek him."

It implies also a knowledge of those gracious promises, which he has made to thofe of our race and in our condition. A general knowledge of his character gives an affurance, that he will never injure us; but without a particular discovery of his kind intentions toward us, we can feel no affurance of pofitive good. For divine goodness is free; it is under no obligations, and fubject to no demands; but is exercifed under the direction of fovereign wisdom. And, befure, fallen and guilty creatures, fuch as we are, can ground their hope of future happiness on nothing less than the promise of God, because it is manifeft that fuch creatures deferve punishment; and whether this punishment may, on any terms, be remitted, none can tell, without a declaration from God himself.

God's promises are conditional; and we become interested in the bleffings promifed only by a compliance with the conditions required. Truft in God therefore implies a fubmiffion of heart, and a conformity of life to those rules of duty, which he has prescribed. We are required" to truft in

VOL. V.

God and do good"-" to commit ourfelves to him in well doing"-" to reft in the Lord, and wait patiently for him." If we look for good, without applying the means to obtain it; if we expect the bounties of providence without diligence in our calling; prefervation from evil without circumfpection in our walk; the forgiveness of our fins without repentance toward God; the prefence of God's grace without calling on his name; or the final falvation of our fouls without a patient continuance in well doing; our pretended trust in God is nothing better than prefumption, infult and mockery.

David fays, "Thou art my truft from my youth." He profeffes to have made religion his deliberate choice, the will of God the rule of his conduct, and hope in God the comfort of his foul, in that early period of life, which too often passes away in trifling and vanity.

David's history verifies his profeffion. He was but a youth, when he went forth to the conflict with the giant of Gath, who bade defiance to the armies of the living God. The king of Ifrael judged him too young for fuch an encounter. "Thou art not able," fays he, "to fight with this Philiftine, for thou art a youth, and he a man of war from his youth." But David was ftrong. in faith, and his faith he ftrengthened by recurrence to past experience of God's merciful protection in times of danger. He anfwers the king, "Thy fervant kept his father's fheep in the wildernefs; and there came a lion and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock. And I went after him; and when he arofe against me, I caught him by the beard and flew him. The Lord, who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and of the bear, fhall deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine; and he shall be as one of those."

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