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art as infinite in compassion as mighty in power, through Jesus Christ my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
Thankful remembrance of Christ's death. The devout communicant is called to prepare for participating in the Lord's Supper, by cherishing a thankful remembrance of the death of Christ. This sacred ordinance is, indeed, powerfully calculated to impress on the mind the most lively idea of the sufferings of the Redeemer. The period of its institution carries us back to that dark hour, when the blessed Jesus, whose life had exhibited one continued course of beneficence, in the near prospect of an ignominious death, was bestowing on the beloved companions of his sufferings his mournful blessing, and laying upon them the injunctions of his dying love. It brings to our view, in all its direful horrors, and in all its affecting glory, the cross, on which, as on an altar, the Saviour was consumed by the fires of Divine justice ; and on which He poured out his life a sacrifice for the sins of the world. This holy ordinance presents to the view of faith, under forcible symbols, the victim again bound and offered on the altar. The bread broken forcibly recalls to our recollection the sacred body of the Saviour, which was bruised for our iniquities by
the arm of Divine wrath. And the wine which is pressed from the grape, is a lively emblem of that precious blood which the burden of our sins forced from the tortured body of the Saviour of the world. O my soul, discern, through these humble but affecting emblems, thy crucified Lord; and, penetrated with the view of his awful agonies, render Him the homage of ardent gratitude and love.
The thankful remembrance which thou art called to cherish of the death of thy Redeemer, is not merely a glow of sympathy and sorrow which the view of distress is calculated to excite in every heart. Thou art to contemplate the sufferings of Christ, not as the sufferings of a common man, but as the sufferings of a Divine Instructor, come to proclaim the most important truths to the world, to enforce and seal them by his sufferings and death ; and as the sufferings of a Divine Redeemer who atoned for our sins, and purchased, by his blood, our everlasting redemption.
Consider the sufferings of Christ as a striking seal to the truth of his religion.
Consider his sufferings and death as the allsufficient expiation for the sins of man.
Finally, consider them as powerfully enforcing the spirit of meekness, patience, and love, the principal characteristics of his disciples.
This view of the sufferings of Christ will tend to excite the emotions of devout admiration, faith, gratitude, and love ; and it will also tend to impress on the heart the most important instruction, the most grateful consolation.
Consider the sufferings and death of Christ as a striking seal to the religion which He proclaimed.
In the humble and suffering Saviour, whom the altar sets forth, we behold displayed magnanimity, condescension, disinterested love, which call for our devout and grateful admiration, and which tend to excite our full confidence in the Divine Instructor, who, by these sufferings, sealed the truth of his mission. He was ushered into the world, not amidst the splendour of courts and palaces, but amidst the inclemencies and the degradation of a manger. He chose for his kindred in the flesh, not the noble, the rich, and the mighty, but the humble, the obscure, the despised. He selected for the companions of his private hours, for the soothers of his cares and sorrows, for the partakers of his labours and instructions, not the learned, the refined, and the wealthy, but fishermen, humble, illiterate, and contemned. He courted not the cheering company of the gay and the opulent, but the society of the children of poverty, of ignorance, and affliction. The Redeemer did not surround Himself with the trappings of wealth and power, He did not court the seducing ease of elevated stations, and shun the walks of calamity and distress. Ah! revilings, contempt, insult, repaid all the prodigies of love which distinguished his beneficent life. At the unrighteous judgmentseat of Pilate, this innocent martyr was arraigned. All the insults and tortures which ingenious malice
could suggest, were heaped upon that bosom which beat only with ardent love to mankind. On Calvary's mount that innocent blood was poured forth, which pleaded for mercy on the barbarous hands that shed it. O my soul, impotent is language to do even feeble justice to the magnanimity, the love, of the holy Jesus. His Divine dignity and glory rendered still more astonishing and profound his mercy. The uncreated image of the Father's glory was born the child of poverty and wretched
He, who, in heaven, received the adoration of the angelic host, placed Himself among the ignorant and profligate herd of publicans and sin
He, who held in his hand the thunders of Omnipotence, calmly submitted to be the sport of an infuriate rabble. He, whose head Divine lustre surrounded, was crowned with thorns, and mocked with the acclamations of his implacable enemies. The Lord of life and glory, He who created and sustains the worlds, sunk in the agonies of death, an ignominious victim on the cross. The bitter sufferings which, mitigated and cheered by no friendly sympathy, pursued Him, afford the strongest proof that no sinister motives of pride, of interest, or ambition, could have swayed his breast. The exalted messages of salvation which He proclaimed, the pure and heavenly precepts which He inculcated, the works of mercy which He performed, did not procure for Him affection, gratitude, and love ; they did not receive the applauses and honours by which the benefactors of mankind are rewarded. Ah! contumely,
insult, and death, crowned his benevolent exertions. O my soul, thy Saviour exhibited, in his suffering life, the strongest proof of disinterested zeal, of magnanimous virtue. Persevering in his work of love, though contempt and suffering met Him at every step ; though He foresaw that the hatred of his enemies would at length prevail in his destruction; and that, amidst their bitter taunts and revilings, He should sustain an ignominious death—thy Redeemer claims thy highest admiration and confidence. Zeal thus self-denying and disinterested, in the pursuit of the noblest objects, should silence every ungenerous suspicion. Contemplating the Divine fortitude and resolution with which the Saviour sealed in death the truth of the doctrines which, through his suffering life, He had inculcated, thou shouldest acknowledge, in the holy fervours of a faith like that which animated the centurion beholding at the cross the magnanimity and patience of the crucified Redeemer—"Truly this was the Son of God.”
At the altar, therefore, O my soul, thou art called to commemorate the sufferings and death of a Divine Teacher, whose magnanimity, fortitude, and patience, while they claim thy fervent love, gratitude, and homage, are powerfully calculated to confirm and exalt the ardours of thy faith. Contemplate the gross ignorance of all the interesting truths and duties connected with the spiritual welfare, hopes, and destination of man, which enveloped the world before this Divine Teacher rose in the splendour of celestial truth and knowledge.