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temporary institution which was adopted for the introduction of christianity, but not to be of perpetual order. To retail their various opinions, and their neglect of this ordinance, and their Arange fpiritual constructions concerning it might exhibit some reading, but surely could not promote your comfort or edification.
An attendance upon this sacrament is plainly binding upon all christians; it was commanded by cur Lord, practiled by the apostles and all primitive Churches, and in the faith and under the sense and assurance of these obligations we continue in all good conscience to celebrate the same. It is honoring Christ Jesus, his sufferings and death, and he assuredly gives his blelling to all those who faithfully wait upon him herein. It is glorifying God in the recollection of his only begotten son, whom he gave and måde a facrifice for the sins of men. To remember
Jesus at the sacred table is complying with the will of heaven. And to obey is better than all burnt offerings. Did God remember us from eternity, did he in time set forth his dear Son to be a propitiation for fin, did he remember his promise to Abraham and the patriarchs, did Jesus bleed and die for us, and shall we not remember the author of our salvation with hearts overflowing with love, gratitude and praise ? Did the blessed Redeemer remember us, when we lay in our own blood, and there was no eye to pity us, nor hand to help us, and can we ever cease from remembering him ? Was he cru. cified for our transgressions ; did he rise again for our justifica. tion ; did he procure for us, who were dead in trelpaises and fins, lift, immortality and a heavenly isherirante. Did he inditute this precious ordinance as a memorial or his whole me. diatorial character, of all that he underwent from his leaving his Father's bofom, till his ascension to glory, and thall we be such ingrates as not to remember him in this pledge of his love?" If I forget thee, O Jerus, let my right hand forget hier "cunning; if I do not remember thee, let my inne cleave " to the roof of my mouth." Surely to multiply reasons for
the enforcement of a dury, where the commandments are to Tepeated and plain, that they can neither be evaded or denied, could answer no important purpose. Wherefore I proceed,
Secondly, to consider the manner in which this duty ought to be performed. It is a matter of infinite moment that Christ be properly remembered at his table. This ordinance can hardly be celebrated by us without some confideration of the Saviour ; but to remember him in such a way as to be approved by him as worthy partakers, is not a matter of easy attainment.
Would we perform this duty in an acceptable manner, we are to engage in it with composure of mind, --with an holy reverence in our hearts—with hungering and thirsting desires after greater measures of grace, --with exalted expectations, -in the exercise of faith,-love-humility, sepentance, and purposes of future obedience.
First, we are to approach this holy table in' remembrance of our dear Redeemer, with composure of mind. Our hearts often prove like a deceitful bow, and our thoughts wander into a thousand impertinences. Scarcely any thing more difficult than to watch and keep the heart. Yet this we are honeftly to endeavour while we are employed in this folemn duty. We should be banishing all worldly, carnal, and trifling thoughts. When
of these vanities will intrude upon our devotions, we should repel them as Nehemiah did the meffengers of his enemies who where sent to divert him from the work of the Lord. “ I am doing a great work, why should " the work cease, while I leave it and come down to you?" Thus let us expel all vain and improper thoughts from our souls,
Secondly, we ought to rern-mber to attend this ordinance with an holy reverence in our hearts. We should reverence wod, reverence the blessed Jesus, and maintain a due respect for the ic Ritution itself. We frould bear upon our minds, that the king is present at bis own entertainment, “Who is “greatly to be feared in the affemblies of bis saints, and to be “ had in reverence of them that are about him.” Let us come before him in the celebration of this sacrament, with " reverence and godly fear,"
Thirdly, we should attend upon this duty with hungering and thirsting desires. “ The desires of our souls mưlt be towards “ the Lord and the remembrance of his name." To have communion with God, and to delire none upon carth besides him, is a sweet and comfortable state of mind. It brings heaven as it were into this world. . And a special blefling is pronounced upon all fuch. “ Blessed are they who hunger and “thirst after righteousness for they thall be filled.” Let our desires be enlarged to-day. Let us feel such exercises as poffelled the Psalmist when he said, “ I Aretch forth my hands “unto the ; my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. O “God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee; my soul thirst“eth for thee; my fielh longeth for thee,--to see thy power and “thy glory,--that my soul may be satisfied as with marrow “ and fatness.” Blefed feclings, blessed fpiritual breathings, and blessed experiences. O that ours may be of a similar nature, and that all the dasures of our hearts may be gratified at this season.
Fourthly, let us approach this ordinance with elevated and exalted expectations. That faith in the beloved which enlarges the desires allo raises hopes, and matures them like Abraham's to an holy confidence. You are not led to day to summer brooks, which disappoint the weary traveller, and as it is said in Job, “C
“Cursumed out of their place.” But this ordinance directs you to living fountains, which ifiue forth unfailing Arcams to everlasting life. Let each communicant say to his fcil; Draw near to the table of love, thy Redeemer has infti. tuied the feast, and he has pron.ired for thee, “ abudently above
**tu bat thou canit ask or think.” Remember, O christain, your
Saviour gives liberally and upbraids not, he gives like a king, yea, like a God, all things richly to enjoy.
However you may
heads at his table, let your hearts afcend to heaven and all its glories, with full and assured expectation that all these will be yours and that forever. Remember the provision in this feast is Christ, his atonement, his righteoufness, and all his benefits. What can you wish, expect and hope for that will not be granted ? Remember all is yours, earth is yours, life and death are yours, thirgs present and things to come are yours, heaven is yours, and to comprehend all poffible bleflings in one word, “God is yours.” Surely you are not fit for the table of the Lord, if your souls can expect or with for more.
Lally, would we attend this divine institution to our comfort and edification, and in a worthy and acceptable manner, it must be performed in the exercises of faith, love, humility, repentance, and in purposes of future obedience.
Taith is an effential grace of the christain life. We muft hereby look unto Christ at all times, live upon him, deriving influence and communications from him, and depend upon him for fpiritual frength for the right performance of every duty, and in a particular manner to look unto him that he would enable us to keep this feait, that his death may be shown -forth, his glory, and our own peace and happiness promoted. When we receive the sacred elements, let our hearts reit on the frength of the Lord for asistance that we may present and confecrate ourselves to him, a living, holy and acceptable sacrifice. By frith let us live, by faith let us die, by faith let us observe the holy communion, until we shall enter into the perfoct communion of the celeftial regions.
The exercises of divine love are of the highest consequenst in every matter of a religious nature. Without love no' religion. Without love no worthy participation of the sacred supper.. Without love no union to Chrilt-00 favour of God -no peace of conscience--no well grounded hope of eternal glory. Did Christ love his church in such a manner, and to such a degree, as to shed his most precious blood, and expire on the cross, on Calvary's hill, and shall not a fame of supreme love be kindled in our souls to him !--Shall we behold him exhibited in this ordinance in all the agonies and fufferings of his dying love, his body broken and his blood, poured forth, and thall not our souls, while we fit around his table, ascend on the wings of ardent affection to him
Besides faith and love, we ought to draw near to this ordiwance in humility, godly sorrow and evangelical repentance, The
greater bearness to God, the more we are exalted in priviliges, the more we will feel our unworthine's, and the deeper will be our abafement before him. Angels veil their -faces in his presence ; Abraham prostrated himself on the ground; and David sat down astonished when the Most High conferred honors upon him, and cried out, “ Who am I, O « Lord God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought a me hitherto ?" True repentance and a Godly forrow becomes us at this facred board. Here we should look on him whom we have pierced by our fins, and mourn as he that mourns for an only begotten fon, and bewail ourselves in bitternes, as he who is in bitterness for a first born child. Here, tears of repentance, love, gratitude and pleasure ought freely to flow, --And all our graces and exercises ought to be accompanied with purposes and firm resolutions of future and perfevering obedience. Our resolutions ought to be such as to exclude all future revocation. He who puts his hand to the plough, must not look back. The Ifraelite who has passed the red sea muc kever long for the deth pots of Egypt. Our cars molt benai.