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very fuppofition of special grace, and faving favours, connected with fuch exercises, implies not only an abfurdity, but fomething very unfavourable to the divine character. It feems to imply that God has no regard to fincerity and real goodness, more than to finful and wicked defires; that he is as well fatisfied with the show of piety as its reality; yea, that he stands as ready to reward the former with grace and falvation as the latter. Can it be credible to any person who has even tolerable fpeculative notions of the divine perfections, of the evil of fin or the defperate wickedness of the human heart? Would not fuch promises demolish the distinction between virtue and vice, between right and wrong? Can God approve of fin as well as holiness, and set as high a value upon inimical paffions, as friendly affections. Hence let this gofpel truth be held up ftrongly to the view of faints and finners; the former have an experimental knowledge of it while the latter doubt. "It is "not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God "who fheweth mercy."
Fifthly, we are from this doctrine inftructed in the best of all fciences, the nature of true religion. It confifts in a genu-ine respect to the intereft and glory of God. This is the foul and fpirit of all piety. In the absence of this, all appearances of religion are like the deaf fhell, fair outwardly but emptiness within. Without charity or divine love all is nothing. For God's fake, for the sake of our immortal fouls, let us not deceive ourselves-the judge is at the door, and our destiny will be inftantly decided. God will not be mocked, and impofition cannot enter into his prefence, therefore wander no longer in the fafcinating wilds of deception. He will never accept feeming virtue for real. He is a jealous God and his name is jealous, and he will fuffer none to be preferred before him. If we prefer ourselves or any other creature, he will furely right himself upon us in due time; he will manifeft that his glory shall not be given to another. Confider this, all ye that forget
God, left he tear you to pieces and there be none to deliver.
Sixthly, perfons may here learn in a general measure to efti mate the degree of piety and religion there is in their habitual courfe of life. Thefe are exa@ly as the degrees of refpect they bear to the glory of God. The more regard there is in our conduct to the honor of the Most High, there is the more reli gion. If there be little love to God, there is little religion in the foul, however numerous, pompous and expensive the exter. nal exhibitions of it may be. By this rule of estimation, alas, how little religion is even in the best; and in what multitudes, none at all? They eat and drink, and live entirely for themfelves, as if they were independantly their own, and none was Lord over them. Let us, therefore, my hearers, look into the leading views and motives of our lives. Some perhaps may obtain the greatest bleffing which at prefent can be bestowed, to wit, a full conviction that we have no religion, that we are dead in trefpaffes and fins. And others, in whom there is fome good thing towards the Lord, may be humbled for their declenfions, and aroufed from their flumbers, to a closer walk with God. How many have reason to lament the loss of their first love. "Wherefore let us remember from whence we have fallen, and do our first works, left Jefas Chrift fhould come "quickly, and remove his candlestick out of his place." Sleep not as do others, but watch and be fober. See that you live not to yourselves, but to the Lord who hath redeemed you.
Those who know in their own confciences that you are def titute of all love and respect to the glory of God, furely it is high time for you to confider your ways. If you have been all your days enemies to God and neglecters of the Lord Jefus Chrift, now after fo long a time, " Hear the voice of the Lord, and "repent left you all likewife perith; repent and believe
the gofpel; repent and be converted that your fis may be blotted out." Confider if you give not glory to God, his jealousy and vengeance will fmoke against you
another day; but if you turn unto him with your whole hearts, your fouls fhall live. "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will "you die." Let our text be engraven on the palms of your hands, that it may be continually before you. "Whether, "therefore, ye eat or drink, or whatfoever ye do, do all to the "glory of God."
Self-examination a neceffary preparative to the Holy Communion,
1 Cor. xi. 28. But let a man examine himself, and fo let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.
WE fhall not now attend merely to the words of our text, but with them take a brief view of the inftitution of the Lord's fupper in general. From the feventeenth to the twenty-third verfe of this chapter, the bleffed Apoftle had been sharply reproving thefe Corinthian chriftians for their irregularities, indecencies, and wicked conduct at the facred table. Their abominable practice was such, as not only brought reproach upon chriftianity, and difgrace upon themfelves, but fubverted the very defign of this divine inftitution. They waited not one for another, they fat not down together with an holy reverence, like Chrift and his difciples, but they rushed to the place where the ordinance was to be celebrated, in a ftrange, diforderly manner. Surely they could have very little appearance of a religious affembly, when every one as
he came, took, eat and drank to excess. "When ye come "together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the "Lord's fupper; for in eating every one taketh before ano.. 15 hungry and another "ther his own has left the awful miscarriages of this church upon record, not for our imitation, but for our warning and caution. This is the reafon St. Paul administers fuch fevere rebukes. “What, have you not houses to eat and "drink in? or despise ye the church of God? What shall I fay to you? fhall I praife you in this? I praife you not." Hence he declares to them, that for this cause, the judgments of Heaven had fallen upon them. "For this cause, many "are weak and fickly among you, and many fleep." Thus they came together, "not for the better, but for the worse." The ordinance as managed by them, was so far from being honored, or improved for their edification and fpiritual bene fit, that it was difgraced and they themselves fuffered the greateft injury, and were expofed to the just condemnation of God. This shows us that duties not performed in a manner agreeable to the will of Heaven, are not confidered as duties at all, neither can they meet with the divine approbation. The Apoftle declares that these people, whatever they might pro"fefs did not eat the Lord's fupper." Many a prayer has been faid, when the perfons did not pray; many a facrament received, and yet not duly celebrated. God requires not merely a refpect to the matter, but likewise to the manner of performing duty in order to his acceptance. A fincere heart and well informed mind will be attentive to, and very careful on this head.
The apostle after teftifying against the dreadful misconduct of these Christians, refers them to the original institution of it by Christ. He acquaints them with the nature of the ordi. nance in all its parts. He ftates before them the author of it, the time when it was inftituted, the prayers to accompany it,