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« For all this is done to represent the death of Jesus Christ, and the mercies which he has obtained for us; to represent it not only to ourselves, but unto God the Father, that, as the prayers and alms of Cornelius are said to have gone up for a memorial before God*, so this service may be an argument with his Divine Majesty to remember his Son's death in Heaven, as we do on Earth, and for his sake to blot out our sins, and to give us all an interest in his merits.”
“ After this we all receive the bread and wine (being thus made the body and blood of Christ) in token of communion with Christ our head, and with all his members.”
“And that we may have a more lively sense imprinted upon our souls, of the love of God, and of the kindness of our Redeemer, and of the benefits he has by the shedding of his blood obtained for us, the Minister of God applieth the merits of Christ's death to the soul of every faithful receiver in these words: Eat and drink this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and that he may preserve thy body and soul unto eternal life t."
I think now, my Christian Brother, after what has been read to you, and after
what you have read yourself, you cannot but see, “ That by joining in this Sacrament, we keep up the remembrance of Christ's death, which is our salvation :"
" We plead with God for pardon, for his Son's sake, after a way which his Son himself appointed :
" We are hereby more firmly united to Christ, our head, and to the Church which is his body:
" And lastly, we do hereby express our faith and hope of his coming again to reward his faithful servants.”
66 Now, these being duties of the greatest concern to Christians, it is no wonder that the Church, directed by St. Paul, very seriously exhorts all Christians to examine themselves for this Holy Ordinance; for if a Christian should presume to go to the Lord's Table, without knowiny what he is going to do, without repentance, without purposes of leading a Christian life, without faith in God's mercy through Christ, without a thankful heart, and without charity, he will receive a curse instead of a blessing *."
And now, my beloved Brother, having, I trust, led you to a right understanding of the Lord's Supper,--why that Sacra
* Bp. Wilson's Parochialia. Pages 58-63.
ment was ordained- and what is required of those who come to it, you 'will allow me to ask you a few questions in the words of our most excellent Catechism :
1. Do you repent truly of your former sins, and stedfastly purpose to lead a new life?
“ Cease to do evil : learn to do well.” Isai. i. 16.
“ Except ye repent, ye shall all perish.” Luke xiji. 3.
Without sincere resolutions of leading a new and holy life, your repentance is imperfect, and will not avail. - You must pray daily for the help of the Holy Spirit, to enable you to keep these resolutions.
2. Have you a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ?
“ Without Faith,” says the Apostle, “it is impossible to please God : For he, who cometh to Him, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them, who diligently seek him." Heb. xi. 6.
6. Ye believe in Gon, believe also in me," says CHRIST. John xiv. 1
It must be a lively Faith and active : it must work in you such an obedience to God's commands, as Christ has enjoined in the Gospel. Faith is necessary to salvation, because
the hope of sinners is entirely founded on the mercy of God through Christ, who sealed to us this mercy by his death.
2. Have you a thankful remembrance of the death of Christ.
“Ye are bought with a price, therefore GLORIFY God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” i Cor. vi. 20.
You must be thankful, because the blessings promised in the Covenant of Grace, are so valuable, so necessary, and so freely given.
You should remember the death of Christ, as the means of procuring those blessings, with great gratitude and joy.
4. Are you in charity with all men?
“ If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." John iv. 11.
You must be in charity with all men; that is, love all men; forgive those who have offended you; ask forgiveness of 'those whom you have offended; and make restitution to any whom you may have wronged. If you harbour malice and resentment in your heart, you are not in a fit state either to live or die *.
And * It may here be asked perhaps, How can we love such as are notoriously bad, and use us very ill. I answer-We cannot but resent such usage; and God has planted in us resentment as one necessary imeans of preserving ourselves from farther injuries. “ We may be angry, and yet sin not.” Ephes. iv. 26. F 2
. And remember, that the Sacrament is given to you on a supposition that your
“ We should consider such an one as diseased in his mind, and as an object rather of our coinpassion than of our hatred, and shew him the same compassion, as we should, if he had broken a limb, or was wounded in his body. We should moreover pray to God to heal his spiritual disease, to rescue him from the bondage of Satan, and to subdue in him the dominion of sin. We should beg of God to disp. se us to a reconcileable, forgiving temper to all men, as this may qualify us for his forgiving Grace to us.
“ But if it should be farther objected by the injured, that they have received such very great provocations from such or such a person, that they cannot love him, and are not in charity with bim, and therefore are not in a fit state to receive the Sacrament; I hope to remove this objection by remarking ibat there are two sorts of Love.
- One is a Love of Complacency or Friendship, which disprises to desire and delight in the conversation of others. The other is a Love of Benevolence or Compassion, which prompts us to desire the good of others, and to endeavour on all proper occasions to promote it, even for our enemies.
* The Love of Complacency or Friendship is not due to all men, for we are to be as wise as serpents, and not to treat our enemies as our friends: This would be folly..
“ But the Love of Benevolence or Good-will which prompts us to desire the welfare of all men, and to endeavour to contribute to it when we can, obliges us to be just to all mankind, and consequently to our enemies. You must be faithful in all your promises to them, and just in all your dealings with them ; nor must you pretend to bave the freedom