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must be directed to fervent prayer to God for spiritual illumination, for contrition of heart for sin, for real faith in the sacrifice of the death of Christ, for a new spirit and a right conduct. Till they have thus entered in earnest on the duties of religion generally, in vain will they inquire as to the particular duty of receiving the Lord's Supper. They must become in some measure true Christians before they can celebrate the Christian's most sacred festival. They must learn to know, and value, and love the Saviour, before they can approach his Table. They must have spiritual life, before they can offer up spiritual sacrifices.
THE OBLIGATIONS WE ARE UNDER TO A REGULAR
PARTAKING OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
I NEED say less on this topic, after the various points which I have already considered, because every thing which has been offered with respect to the institution of the Sacrament, the design of it, and the blessings to be derived from it, immediately tends to enforce the obligation under which we lie to a constant receiv
ing of it. It may be sufficient to notice that the obligation rests,
1. On the express command of our Saviour Christ. His words were, Do this in remembrance of me; words delivered when he was just about to undergo the most bitter anguish of his passion, and which therefore should move the love, as well as ensure the obedience, of those who profess to be his disciples. The command is, besides, the more obligatory, as it rests on the ground, not of natural duty, but of positive institution; and accordingly the observation of it is a more direct acknowledgment of the authority of Christ, and the neglect of it is more immediately connected with a marked contempt of his power and grace. Add to this, that it was the last mandate of a dying friend, and that friend our Redeemer and Lord; circumstances which, even in ordinary cases of human affection, give a sanctity to an injunction, and which should much more do so with respect to the blessed Saviour of our souls. The command also is one which the Apostle Paul has largely enforced and explained, far beyond any other similar topic ; a fact which evidently shows the high importance we should attach to the institution. The simplicity of the rite, in opposition to the burdensome ceremonies of the Mosaic Law, whilst it increases the facility of complying with the duty, augments its obliga
tion; to all which, when we further subjoin that the Christian Church has in every age fulfilled this their Lord's. command, and has thus given all the encouragement of prescription and example to the conscientious performance of the duty, it will appear, I think, beyond all dispute, that it is indispensably binding on every Christian.
But the obligation to this duty is not less apparent if we take into view,
2. The benefit of our own souls. Every motive to be derived from the value of the soul of man, and the importance of spiritual religion for his present and future happiness, is united in the case of this blessed Sacrament. The due and humble participation of it brings with it unspeakable blessings; the omission of it, where it is wilful, is inconsistent with a state of grace and acceptance with God. All the obligation, then, that can rest on an accountable being to consult his highest interests, and on a sinner under a dispensation of grace to avail himself of the offers of divine mercy, enforces the necessity of partaking of that sacrament which is the seal and bond of all the blessings of salvation, and is the means of conveying to us strength and support here, and preserving us to everlasting life hereafter.
SINCERELY therefore would I hope that all into whose hands this Address may fall, will be convinced of the obligation under which they lie to partake in a suitable manner of the Lord's Supper.
It remains only, that, to promote this end still further, I enforce, in conclusion, the obligation I have explained,
I. On those who may be living in sin and negligence of religion, for the purpose of exhorting them to repent and turn to God. Let such remember, that whilst they are unfit for the Holy Communion, as at present they undoubtedly are, they are equally unfit to die and appear before God in judgment. Let them call to mind that the same state of heart which would lead them to living faith in the Son of God, would prepare them for celebrating the memorials of his death. · Their continuance then in habits of sin brings on them, not only the immediate guilt of the acts of, provocation which they commit against God, but also that mediate and remote criminality which is connected with their renouncing virtually their holy profession, disallowing the dedication made of them to God in baptism,
and remaining unfit to celebrate those mysteries of religion which are absolutely essential to the name of a sincere Christian. Every one, in fact, who was in infancy admitted to the Sacrament of Baptism, and there devoted to the love and service of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and who, being now arrived at years of discretion, lives in a course of life which incapacitates him for participating aright in the Communion of Jesus Christ, does virtually trample under foot the Son of God, counts the blood of the Covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and does despite to the Spirit of grace. The fearful state of such a person I need not describe. When he leaves the temple of God, where the mysteries of Christ are about to be celebrated, he turns away from Him that speaketh from heaven ; he declares that he has no part nor lot in the matter, he judges himself unworthy of eternal life. Let me affectionately call on such to consider their ways, to hear the voice of mercy, to yield themselves unto God, and to submit to the sceptre of Christ. Then will the Church welcome them to this Holy Supper; then will the Saviour feed them with his precious body and blood; then shall they know the blessedness and peace which spring from pardon and acceptance with God, and the strength and consolation which are derived