Page images

mains to be noticed : it is, the observance of the Lord's suppera." As the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage was, in all its several circumstances, a figure of the spiritual deliverance of mankind, so was the feast of the Passover, which was instituted in remembrance of that deliverance, a perpetual figure of the sacrifice of Christ, who was “ the Lamb without blemish and without spot b,” and who is called “ our Passover." When Christ was celebrating this typical feast with His disciples “ on the night in which He was betrayed,” He “ took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is

my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, Drink


all of it ; for this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins ; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me ; for, as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come.” By partaking of this “supper,” we exhibit a proof of our faith in Him who said, “Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will

a 1 Cor. xi. 20.

d 1 Cor. xi. 24. 6 1 Peter, i. 19. John, i. 29. ei Cor. xi. 23–26. Matt. c 1 Cor. v. 7.

xxvi. 26-28.



raise him up at the last dayf;" 6 he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, , and I in him.” As the partaking of this “communion of the body and blood of Christh” is a pledge of our acceptance of His covenant, this bodily act must be accompanied with a suitable state of the heart and affections, otherwise it is a mockery of Christ : “ whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lordi;” for, by so partaking of it, he puts the religion of his Redeemer to an open shame, and thus crucifies to himself the Son of God afreshk. “He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment [nçõuce] to himself, not discerning the Lord's body!" Whosoever presumes to come to the Lord's supper," and to take the pledge of Christ's covenant, without a corresponding state of the heart and affections ; to profess, outwardly, to adopt His service, while he denies Him in his sentiments and conduct ; offers so great an insult to the majesty and benevolence of our merciful Saviour, that he must be considered as challenging judgment upon himself. Thus, the Corinthian disciples, who, when they assembled to commemorate our Saviour's passion and their own re

[blocks in formation]

i 1 Cor. xi. 27. k Hebr. vi. 6. I 1 Cor. xi. 29.

demption, by partaking of “the Lord's supper," converted this holy ordinance into a scene of gluttony and drunkenness", were reproved by St. Paul as persons who ate and drank unworthily",” and were “ guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.“Let a man examine himself,says he, “and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cupo." Let him examine, whether bis faith in Christ be sincere, whether he endeavours to cultivate such a state of mind, toward God and man, “as becometh the Gospel of Christ." If the result of his examination be satisfactory; if he find within himself, a thorough conviction of the efficacy of Christ's atonement, and of his own unworthiness; a prevailing wish to frame his conduct after the precepts of the Gospel ; reverent love and devotion toward GOD; and a charitable disposition toward his fellowcreatures ; “ let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.”

But, should he not find his mind so constituted, what is he to do? Is he to refrain from accepting the pledge of Christ's covenant? to abandon the only means whereby salvation can be obtained ? Such is not the exhortation of St. Paul. He is to examine himself; and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” He is to render bimself “ a meet partaker of those holy mysteries,” by effecting a

* 1 Cor. xi. 28.

m 1 Cor. xi. 21.

1 Cor. xi. 27.

change in his sentiments and affections. By partaking of “the Lord's supper” “ unworthily," he brings himself into “ judgment;” by refusing to qualify himself to partake of it worthily, he also brings himself into judgment; so that, by being an unworthy partaker, and by neglecting to render himself a worthy partaker, he equally incurs judgment, he equally puts his Redeemer “ to an open shame," and forfeits the benefits of the Covenant of Christ. In either case, he excludes himself from the number of those “ Blessed” who “have right to the TREE OF LIFE, which is in the midst of THE PARADISE OF God.”


S. Gosnell, Printer, Little Queen Street, London.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »