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They appear at the sacramental table, as members of a family of whom Christ is the head; the federal head by legal, and the spiritual head by vital union. This double relation establishes between them and their Lord, a common interest, which is recognized and sealed in the holy supper. On the one land, they, in worthily receiving the symbols of his body and blood, receive hiin by faith as a crucified Saviour; vow adherence to his cause, and claim the right of communicants in the benefits of his covenant. On the other hand, he accepts the vow, and admits the claim; divinely sanctioning their title to all the blessings which he hath to confer. The peace of God, which passeth understanding; access to him as a reconciled father; grace to help in every time of need; in a word, life, light, strength, consolation, victory: his presence, his spirit, bis fulness, his kingdom, his glory-all these he owns to be their portion; all these he promises to give them. So that the sacramental seal of their being
planted together in the likeness of death,” bespeaks, at the same time, the preparation and earnest of their being “planted also in the likenets of his resurrection."
3. The supper exhibits the union and communion of believers with each other, in Christ.
They are citizens of the New Jerusalem, enjoying equal privileges under a common charter-children of the same family sitting down to a feast provided by paternal love. They do “ all eat the same spiritual meat; and do all drink the same spiritual drink.” If there is ought in religion to make them feel that“ they being many are one body;" that they are the purchase of the same blood, and monuments of the same grace; that they are combating in a common warfare; are partakers of a common salvation, and heirs of a common inheritance: that they have one faith; one calling; one hope;—it is the communion of the body and blood of the Lord. Thrice blessed ordinance! which clothes spiritual principle with visible form; and repeats to the senses, what the scripture hath solemnly addressed to the heart, that in the nations of the saved “there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for they are all one in Christ Jesus*.”
4. The death of Christ commemorated in the supper, is the point in which the leading doctrines of redemption concentrate their rays, and where they shine with united lustre.
Draw nigh, O Christian, and by faith contemplate in the cross of Jesus, the infinite evil
Gal, iji, 29.
of sin. Nothing less than a sacrifice of infinite value, can procure its pardon. To expiate its guilt, God manifested in the flesh, becomes a curse; to wash away its stain, his precious blood is poured out. See in the agonies of him who is JEHOVAH's fellow; see in the sword of vengeance that cleaves his heart, the accursed sinfulness of the sin which thou hast committed; and which, without his interposition, would have sunk thee for ever into the lowest hell!
Draw nigh, and contemplate the rigours of JEHOVAH's justice in the punishment of sin.
He hath sworn in his holiness, and by many infallible signs he hath demonstrated, that it shall not escape. The waters of his flood have swept from the earth a whole generation of rebels. Fire from heaven consumed the sinners of Sodom. Sword, and famine, and pestilence, have repeatedly avenged his quarrel. Nay, " the damnation of hell" is prepared for apostate angels, and the impenitent among men. But neither the flood of waters, nor the flood of fire; nor famine, nor pestilence, nor sword; nor that everlasting deséruction from his presence; no, not even hell, with all its terrors; not any of these; not all of them combined, ascertain so dreadfully JEHOVAH's determination to punish sin, as his “not sparing his ow Son,” Oh how should we have supported t
weight of that wrath which bowed down to the earth, and laid low in death, the WORD incarnate!
Draw nigh, and contemplate the riches of the Father's grace in our salvation.
Apostates from his favour, and rebels against his
government, we were objects of his just and sore displeasure. Without the least impeachment of his righteousness, he might have sworn in his wrath, that we should never enter into his rest. But in the multitude of his mercies he provides for us, even for us, a ransom that delivers from going down into the pit. God so loved-how mighty the emphasis! so loved the world that he GAVE, not an angel, nor a host of angels,-but his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life*.
Draw nigh, and contemplate the love af Christ-a love without parallel, and beyond comprehension. Though he was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, yet he made himself of no reputation; and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men t. Source of eternal wonder! Lo “ the Creator of the ends of the earth" descends into a tabernacle.
* John iii. 16.
+ Phil. ii. 6. 7.
of flesh, and sojourns among men! And whence, blessed Lord, whence this condescension? It was for “ the good of his chosen." He assumed their nature, that he might occupy their place; might take their guilt; might become a curse for them, that they might be made the righteousness of God in him*. Yes, dear Christian, he put his soul in thy soul's stead; he drank for thee, the cup of trembling: it was thy guilt which nailed him to the ignominious tree; thy guilt which rolled the billows of wrath in upon his sinless soul. It was in bearing thine iniquity that hell's blackest midnight thickened upon his spirit, and wrung from himn that agonizing cry, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken met! Hath he passed through the fires of the pit to save thee? and doth he“ stake all the glories of his crown to keep thee?” and wilt thou, canst thou, darest thou be backward in promoting the frequent commemoration of his love! O Saviour, if we forget thee, let our right hand forget her cunning!
Draw nigh once more, and contemplate the harmony of the divine attributes in the recovery of sinners.
In this astonishing death, mercy and truth ave met together, righteousness and peace
$ 2 Cor. v. 21.
* Psal. xxii, 1.