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SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
My object in the following Address is to endeavour to explain to the sincere and humble Christian what I conceive is necessary to be known in order to his receiving, in a suitable manner, the holy communion of the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
In order to this I will consider the following particulars:
I. THE INSTITUTION OF THIS SACRAMENT.
III. THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE IT ARIGHT.
IV. THE BENEFITS TO BE DERIVED FROM IT.
V. THE OBJECTIONS WHICH ARE SOMETIMES RAISED CONCERNING IT.
VI. THE OBLIGATIONS WE ARE UNDER TO
REGULARLY PARTAKK OF IT.
THE INSTITUTION OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
A SACRAMENT is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, ordained
, by Christ himself, as a means of receiving that grace, and a pledge to assure us of it. In the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper the outward sign is bread and wine; the invisible grace is a participation by faith of the benefits of the body and blood of Christ, to the strengthening and refreshing of the soul, and the preserving of it to everlasting life. It was instituted by our blessed Lord the very same night in which he was betrayed. The Holy Scriptures inform us, that, as our Saviour was eating the last Paschal Supper with his disciples, He took bread and gave thanks, and blessed it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. And after supper he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them,
, saying, Drink ye all of it: for this is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins'.
Matt. xxvi. Luke, xxii.
"Our Lord appointed bread and wine, which are the most nutritious parts of our ordinary food, to represent his body and blood, in order to show that his merits and death are as needful for the life of the soul, as bread and wine are for the life of the body. He commanded this bread to be broken, and this wine to be poured out, to set forth the sufferings he was about to endure in his agony and crucifixion, when he was poured out like water, when all his bones were out of joint, and his heart in the midst of his body was even like melting wax?. The eating of this bread and the drinking of this wine were intended to represent our spiritual feeding by faith upon the merits and death of Christ, and our applying of them to our own comfort and salvation. And the communion of Christians in this Sacrament was to testify their love to each other, and their public profession of faith in their Saviour's death.
This institution is called by various names. It is very usually styled The Sacrament, the original meaning of which word is, an oath ; because the military oath which the Roman soldier took, when he swore fidelity to his general, was termed sacramentum militare, a military sacrament. And this name is very appropriate; for in this ordinance, as well as in Baptism, we are solemnly pledged not to be ashamed of the faith of Christ crucified, but manfully to fight under his banner against the world, the flesh, and the devil; and to continue Christ's faithful soldiers and servants unto our lives' end. And our Saviour has solemnly declared, in the words of prophecy, Unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear 3.
2 Psal. xxii. 14.
It is spoken of as The Communion, The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ“ ? because we therein have communion and fellowship with Christ our exalted head, and with all the church, as the members of his mystical body.
It is further described as a Feast. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feasts; for the body and blood of Christ are like the richest banquet to the faithful Christian.
It is named also The Eucharist, from a Greek word signifying thanksgiving; because Christ, when he took the bread, gave thanks; and because therein we eminently offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is,
5 1 Cor. v. 7.
3 Isaiah, xliv. 23. 4 1 Cor. x. 16.
the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his
The Apostle Paul calls it, lastly, The Lord's Table, The Lord's Supper?; because it was instituted by him as the Lord and Saviour of the Church, and because he sends the invitation, makes the provision, gives the blessing, and vouchsafes to sit down, as it were, himself as the master of the entertainment, that he may sup with us, and we with him.
THE DESIGN OF THIS SACRAMENT.
1. It is intended to be a standing memorial of the blessed Redeemer amongst his disciples. Do this, said our Lord, in REMEMBRANCE of
This ordinance is designed to remind us of his love, his promises, his grace, his sufferings, his redemption. While he is absent from us, as to his bodily presence, this sacred supper serves to keep him ever present in our memories and our hearts. A thankful, obedient, affec
, tionate remembrance of our Saviour, as our
8 Rev, iii. 20.
6 Heb. xiii. 15.