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people may go to heaven with taking far less pains than they take to lose it) I would not have young people discouraged from coming to Christ: and it is an axiom of philosophy and reason that all great changes, to be permanent, must be gradual: so will be the repentance which produces permanent reformation - instantaneous conversions are a species of miracles; and I know not whether they ever take place; although enthusiasts sert the frequency of them: but I am not persuaded that such a circumstance occurs out of the pale of their own connection. I do not mean to say that it is impossible; because God may sometimes be pleased to occasion it; but from considering the wbole of God's operations as far as they come within the perception of the human mind, and judging by analogy from the almost invariable law of gradatory change or improvement in them, there appears no reasonable warrantry for a frequent deviation. Besides, the human reason is seldom or never intuitively convinced; and God requiring a rational service, speaks to the reason and not to the passions :-as did always our Saviour, but as do not many who preach his doctrine; among whom these instances of sudden conversions are mostly, if not always, found to occur. Secondlybecause I am inclined to imagine that, from a misconception of the real nature of repentance, there are some who conceive that every time they propose to receive the Sacrament they must be humbled to the dust with sorrow and affliction; notwithstanding the general tenor of their lives is regulated by a sincere and watchful care of pleasing him whose religion they profess. He who is conscious of no malignant sin of which he has not repented and thenceforth avoided; but can only charge himself with the sins of inadvertency, and such as frail beings from their natural infirmity are perpetually falling into, strive however they may ; though
he will naturally feel some portion of sorrow, judges himself too scrupulously if he concludes that his sorrow is required to be upon all occasions as intense as when he first awoke from sin and saw his forlorn state-besides, this examination of penitence must not be put off till the time he is to take the Sacrament; whenever he has fallen into a sin and discovered it is the time to repent; then the mind comes lighter to the Sacrament; which was instituted for raising hope, gratitude, and gladness of heart.
Our Saviour's mode was to draw mankind to him by preaching mercy to them and talking to them like a friend and brother ; and he exhibited his Godbead to them principally by working miracles, not only to convince them of the truth of his mission, but to bestow benefits and blessings upon them: he reasoned with all, and terrified none, save hypocrites and the incorrigible; which proves that there can be no overwhelming principle in Christian repentance, but the reverse.
OF THE SEVERAL NAMES BY WHICH THE
SACRAMENT IS CALLED.
This rite is called the LORD'S SUPPER; the SACRAMENT; the EUCHARIST and the COMMUNION. It is called the Lord's SupPER because it was instituted at the last passover supper our Saviour ate with his disciples.
It is called the SACRAMENT because it it is one of the two Sacraments of the Church of England. The word Sacrament is derived from the latin word Sucramentum, and implies an oath or obligation, or something we are bound to do. The Church of England declares it to be “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace," i. e. the grace or act of grace afforded to us by the object of which that outward sign is a commemoration. HookER, the celebrated author of Ecclesiastical Polity, says,
as often as
we mention a Sacrament it is improperly understood : for, in the witings of the Christian fathers, all articles which are peculiar to the Christian faith; all duties of religion containing that which sense or natural reason cannot of itself discover, are most commonly called Sacraments; our restraint of the word to some few principal divine ceremonies importeth in every such divine ceremony two things ; the substance of the ceremony itself, which is visible; and beside that somewhat more secret (that which is internally signified) in reference whereto we conceive that ceremony to be a Sacrament.”
Another writer says-“the term Sacrament as applied to this rite was adopted from the Latin church with, perhaps, no great propriety." BISHOP HOADLEY says
“ the Sacrament is the memorial of a sacrifice, or an act in remembrance of Christ's body being broken."
It is called the COMMUNION, because it