« הקודםהמשך »
and full of glory ; receiving the end of our faith, even
To sit down at one table, to partake of the same fare, is the happiest view of domestic comfort, and of friendly intercourse. The body and the mind are refreshed at once. The bond of union is strengthened and sweetened between the father and mother, between parents and their children, among brothers and sisters, among
kindreds and friends. To the enjoyment of that pure and exalted felicity, my brethren, we are now invited ; and with the prospects of immortality blend the endearing charities of human life. The great master of our gospel repast is not now indeed the object of sense, but he is assuredly with us, he contemplates with complacency our common faith and hope, our mutual affection. He rejoices in spirit while he beholds those for whom he died, remembering his death, obeying his commandments, living under the influence of his spirit, advancing in his strength, toward the kingdom of heaven.
Him not not having seen ye love, and ye look forward to the day when ye shall be like him, for ye shall see him as he is.
Communicants, ye are elevated to the summit of an exceeding high mountain, but not by the spirit of de
lusion, to survey airy or earthly kingdoms, and a glory unsubstantial and transient; but by the spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, to contemplate a kingdom which cannot be moved, a kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. You survey an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away: not with the feeling of a Balaam, who beheld from the high places of Baal, the goodly tents of Jacob, and the tabernacles of Israel, in which he had neither part nor lot; nor with the emotions of a Moses, who from Pisgah viewed the land flowing with milk and honey, into which he must not enter ; but with the confidence and composure of an Abraham, to whom God said ; “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward : Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it: for I will give it unto thee;" but with the rapture of a Stephen, who expiring exclaimed: “ Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” That ye, christians, may through grace be made partakers of the same divine consolation, We administer unto you, and partake with you, the commanded memorial of the sufferings and death of the Redeemer of mankind.
“ The Lord in the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread : and, when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”
How powerfully emphatical every word is ! the bread of nature, in order to become the aliment of the body is bruised, and broken, and passes through the fire : “ The bread of life, which came down from heaven,” says Christ in his doctrine, “ is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” sed the Lord to bruise him ; he hath put him to grief:”
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behold him buffeted of wicked men, scourged, his head crowned with thorns, his hands and his feet pierced, his soul poured out unto death. And for what end? His body, my sinful fellow-creature, was “ broken for you."
6. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him ; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” And what does he demand in return? Do this in remembrance of me.
Blessed Jesus! if thou hadst bidden us do some great thing, would we not have cheerfully complied? How much rather then, when the yoke of love is imposed? We come at thy call; “ We will remember the name of the Lord our God;" “ O Lord our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy
“ After the same manner also he took the
when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood : this do ye, as oft as ye drink it in remémbrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.'
In drinking together, my christian friends, from this cup, we joyfully acquiesce in the new, and better, and well-ordered covenant, “ ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator,” and “established upon better promises ;" a covenant which makes provision not only for human infirmity, but for the deepest and most malignant guilt, and which affords not merely a temporary relief, but confers an unchangeable and everlasting security. " This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts : and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they
shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” And what is the seal of this better covenant ? It is before you. “This cup,” says the Saviour, " is the New Testament in my blood :" the wine in the cup is a symbolical representation of my blood shed for the remission of sin. “ Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold ; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot;" “ slain from the foundation of the world,” and which “ cleanseth us from all sin."
In celebrating this holy ordinance, we are not only more closely cementing the ties of nature and the bands of friendship among ourselves, but we are ex. tending our communion to the church of Christ universal, in the east and west, in the south and north ; we are stretching out the right hand of fellowship over continents, over oceans, to give the salutation of brotherly-love to all who love our Lord Jesus ; and to invite men of all colours and of all languages, to cast in their lot among us, and to take shelter with us under the shadow of this “great rock in a weary land,” tu repose with us amidst “ the trees of life,” whose “ leaves are for the healing of the nations."
But is not “our fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ?” Is it not then, with them who are drinking new wine in our Father's kingdom ; with the spirits of just men made perfect; with those whom on earth we loved; with those who have often eaten and drank with us at this table, and with whom we hope to eat and to drink at the table that is above, sitting down with them, and “ with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven ?” Delightful reflection! The employments of earth and heaVOL. IV.
ven are the same; the animating principle, the spirit of love is the same; the subject of their praise and the source of their joy are the same.
“ Unto Jesus Christ, who is the faitful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth : Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen
The solemnity concludes with an intimation of Christ's second appearance.
“ As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." Why trouble ye the woman ?” said Christ to the indigent disciples, who grudged the waste of the ointment which she poured on his feet, “ for she hath wrought a good work upon me; for in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.” Her pious act embalmed the body for the grave : Ours contemplates Jesus, and the resurrection; ours looks forward to the day when the Son of man shall come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” 6 Yet a little while and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” “ He which testifieth these things saith, surely I come, quickly. Amen. .
Even so, conie Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen."