Obrazy na stronie

and the sense of reconciliation often fills our souls with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and Christ intends his people should comfort themselves, should abound in all spiritual joy, and come as to a feast where gladness is sown for the upright in heart. Here we should dry our tears, at least if they fall, they should be tears of joy; we should put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, and not sit mournfully before the Lord of hosts, nor cloud the joy of the festivity with sorrow on our brow, unless such a sorrow as St.. Paul mentions, As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. Whilst thou mourning for our sins, we believe the greatness of the gift herein bestowed on us; and the Spirit witnesses with our spirit to the work he hath wrought in us, and gives us a present taste of our inheritance, before we are actually put in possession of the purchased glory in heaven.

What a delightful ordinance! How many thousands of real christians have experienced the comforts of it, and daily continue to do so?— Real christians! I say not mere ceremonial visitors: they feel, taste and handle nothing of the word of life; the bread and wine are to them barren elements, dry breasts which afford no consolation; but the soul vitally united to Christ can say, I sat under his shadow with great delight. He brought me to his banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. He tastes the joy therein dispensed, and goes away rejoicing because he hath seen the Lord.

4. In this ordinance also there is a free distribution according to every man's necessities of strength and power from Jesus Christ, for all the work a christian is called to; it is one instituted means of conveying to believers the supplies of


the spirit for their wilderness-state, both to subdue their corruptions, and strengthen their graces. Here we draw water out of the wells of salvation, and, like Elijah traveling to the mount of Horeb, receive from time to time our provision, in the refreshment of which we may hold on our way, and wax stronger and stronger, till we come to the heavenly Horeb, the mount Zion, the Jerusalem which is above. If our corruptions are strong, here is grace to mortify them; here we are taught and do receive humility to supplant pride, heavenly-mindedness instead of worldliness and purity instead of pollution. The example before us, as well as the grace ministered powerfully calls upon us to learn of him to be meek and lowly of heart; not to be of the world, even as he was not of the world; to walk in holiness, as he also walked. Are our graces all feeble and weak? where shall we blow the smoaking flax into a flame, if not here, where every thing conspires to confirm our faith, to enliven our hopes, to kindle our warmest affections, to enlarge our charity, to inspire our zeal, to teach us meekness, to quicken our languor, to encourage our perseverance, to excite our thankfulness; in short, to work in us every divine temper and disposition? This blessed ordinance is designed to strengthen us mightily in the inner man, to sup port us under all discouragements without, and fears within, that we might go on from strength to strength, from grace to grace, till we come to the blessed place where we shall go from glory to glory.

Here then are great and glorious privileges obtained by the precious blood of the Son of God, and we are called upon to come and partake in all of them; and what excuse can we make? Do not we want a pardon? is adoption a despicable

blessing? is spiritual joy an insipid pleasure? or the gift of God's Spirit an unnecessary assistance? Why then do so many slight the ordinance of the Lord, and neglect this great salvation?, Do you disclaim any relation to Jesus Christ, and renounce his religion, that you decline mak ing this profession, and have no desires after the benefits of his death and passion? Surely they who never think of remembering the Lord's death till he come, will be most unprepared to meet him on a dying bed, or in a day of judgment.I beseech you to consider this, you that forget God, lest, by your slight of him, he be provoked to give you up to your own inventions, and you die in your sins, neither sprinkled with his blood, nor clothed with his righteousness, nor partakers of his Spirit be assured, they who forget Christ now, will be disowned by him in the day of his appearing and glory.


An Invitation to the Communion.

WHEN in the parable the table for the marrige-feast was spread, the oxen and fatlings killed, the servants in waiting, the royal bridegroom seated, a message was sent to hasten the guests, Come now, for all things are ready. With this message, brethren, am I sent to every one of you, beseeching and intreating you for Christ's sake, that ye would be reconciled to God, and as a token thereof to come unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb. But as their message of old was rejected, so too frequently is ours. The most of you agree with one consent to excuse yourselves, the farms and the merchandise, the cares and pleasures of this life

so engross your time, that you have neither inclination nor leisure to attend the call; and of those who do come, how many forget the wedding garment, and thrust themselves in unwelcome guests, who, after having eaten and drank in Christ's presence, will be bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness, where is weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. To the one and to the other of these, I will address the following words, before I enter upon the consideration of the temper necessary for the profitable partaking of the Lord's Supper. And here I intend to shew you,

I. The great danger of neglecting this ordin


II. The great guilt of coming to it unworthily.

I. The great danger of neglecting this ordinAnd this will appear,


1. If we consider it as the breach of the express commandment of Jesus Christ. It was among his last words the night before he was betrayed, that his disciples should do this in remembrance of him. The words of a friend are always dear, but his dying words especially apt to dwell upon the mind; and to neglect his last commands would be then a sure mark of having no friendship for him. Now this is evidently the case with those who wait not upon the Lord at his table to remember his death till he come. They confess that they have no friendship for him, by their disobedience to the things which he hath commanded them. They live in the allowed neglect of a positive precept, and thereby bring down upon themselves the reward of transgressors, who have despised his counsels. And that you may see it is no small offence this, I wish you to observe the heavy wrath of God

denounced against those who neglected to celebrate the passover (to which our communion. answers, representing to us a deliverance from sin and hell, infinitely greater than that from. Egyptian bondage) that soul was to be cut off from his people. Now if they who despised Moses' law died without mercy, of how much sorer punishment suppose ye shall we be thought worthy, if we neglect so great salvation? Careless sinners, who turn their backs on the Lord'stable, think little of the guilt this adds to their state, and how severely every such neglected opportunity will be answered for, when this Jesus shall come to execute judgment on all the despisers of his name and ordinances.

2. The great danger of neglect herein is evident, in that by so doing we continue dead in trespasses and sins, Except, says Christ himself, ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Now though this primarily refers to the recep-tion of the gospel, and doth not exclude those from eternal life, who, having received the gospel, are waiting upon God, with a purpose of heart of soon devoting their souls to him in thissolemn ordinance; it evidently excludes all those, who have neither received Christ into their hearts by faith, nor desire to be partakers of the seals of his covenant; it is not possible for such to have any spiritual life in them; they are dead in trespasses and sins; and they declare hereby their abiding indisposition for, and disinclination to all the exercises of a spiritual life. The soul whom Christ hath quickened, delights to be maintaining daily communion with him, to wait

U 2

« PoprzedniaDalej »