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formed for them at a period when they had not understanding sufficiently mature to perceive these advantages. It is the business of parents, then, as they regard their own obligations or those of their children, to instruct them early in the nature of the Christian doctrines and duties, more especially of this solemn ordinance, and to urge them by argument and authority to discharge so pressing a duty. There are few parents who do not think themselves guilty of a great omission if they do not, as soon as convenient, present their children by baptism unto God. If death overtake them before they have been admitted into the bosom of the Christian society, the recollection of their neglect must press heavy on the minds of the parents. But yet you have done only half your duty unless you also bring them with you to the table of the Lord, and a second time present them, a ripened, reasonable, and acceptable offering unto God. How early this second dedication of your offspring should be made, it is impossible to determine. If you have been at due pains to endow their infant minds with the rudiments of religious knowledge, the fit season of communicating is earlier than may be imagined.
They that are taught to seek God early shall find him. Certain it is, that
think themselves capable of acting for themselves, and of forming some of the most important engagements in life, who yet pretend that they are too young to perform this indispensable duty. But these I cannot rank with the wise and the worthy—they are destitute of a sense of duty; they cannot possibly feel any regard for the Master they pretend to serve, or put any value on what he has done for them —they are indifferent to the interests of religion—they are faithless even to their baptismal vows. · These important truths I have thought it my duty to lay before you, with the hope, that they will yet have some effect upon such as are not lost to all the holy precepts of our religion : and with all others it were yain to argue, because success is desperate.
6 With desire I have desired to eat this passover with
you, before I suffer."
IN a former discourse from these words, after endeavouring to explain their occasion and import, I directed your attention to a subject which, though not expressly pointed out in the text, has at least an intimate connection with it; I mean the general neglect of that holy ordinance instituted by our Lord when he uttered the words of the text. With a view to excite in you an eager desire to eat the Christian passover which is to be celebrated among us, I proposed,
1. To point out the obligations which Christians are under to celebrate the holy sacrament of the supper.
2. To point out some of those innumerable advantages which are derived from the worthily receiving of the Lord's supper. And
3. To describe the preparation which is necessary in order to discharge this duty in an acceptable manner.
1. The first head of discourse we have already illustrated, and shewn, that all Christians are bound to celebrate the holy sacrament by our Lord's express command-by love and gratitude for what he has done for us, and for the benefits which we derive from his death by a regard for the honour and success of religion—and by our baptismal vows. When these considerations are duly weighed, I am altogether at a loss to comprehend what it is that prevents so many from cheerfully embracing every opportunity to discharge a duty so important. I cannot possibly suppose that rational beings will suffer themselves to be influenced by false shame, or by fashion, or evil example, in a matter of such infinite moment. “ For it is not a vain thing which we now de“ clare unto you: it is even your life.”. Neither will they who weigh the objects of time and those of eternity in a fair balance, who impartially estimate pleasure and duty, be satis
greater zeal and diligence, I must remind them of the declaration of our Saviour, “ that we are at best unprofitable servants.'
And of the assertion of St. John, “ if we say that
we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and “ the truth is not in us.” Nay, so far from being free from sin, in how many things will not a candid man confess that he daily offends? If we should avoid the more gross transgressions of the law, yet how many failures and omissions, how many vain thoughts, and foolish irregular desires, how many
rash and sinful expressions have we not all to an-swer for? If, then, when we have done all that man can do, we are still unprofitable servants, if we are all very far from doing what God might in strict justice demand of us, then tell me, ye who call yourselves, and who would be thought by others, good moral men, whether
do not want a Saviour and a Mediator? one who may interpose between God and you? one who may turn away his fierce anger, and screen you from the dreadful effects of his indignation? one who may, by his own merit, supply the deficiency of your imperfect services? one that may intercede with God to forgive your manifold sins and offences?