Images de page
PDF
ePub

are exclaiming, “I have no time,” or “I am not prepared,” or “I am not sufficiently acquainted with the mysteries of the ceremony, or “I am not fit,” or “I will postpone it till a better opportunity;" whichever it be of these, all or any, beware lest the real one which knaws at the very vitals of your heart; the real and the secret one be whispering to your own conscience, “I am a deliberate sinner; I am going on the broad way of the world ; I am at enmity with God, and that is the reason that I will not go."

But my Christian brother in the Lord, suffer me to plead with you ; suffer me again to recall you from the wandering of your thoughts, to bring you back with the Spirit of God to the true object of your life, to the noble business which stands before you ready to be done, to the high privileges which by this wilfulness you are in the act of forfeiting.

God's grace is wide-spreading ; God's mercy is great. As far as the east is from the west, so far may he set away your sins. But there is a limit. There must be a limit: and that limit, ye that wilfully remain in sin, may one day pass.

I do not say that you have passed it as yet, or that you will pass it, if you should neglect even to the end of your life, this, and all the other ordinances of the church, but this I say, that this limit you may one day pass. It remains with God. Are you content to leave it with God? Are you content to hope that his mercy will be unlimited to you, if your obedience and your love has so very closely-marked a limit towards him? I trow not. If you object to this memorial, inasmuch as you feel that you should incur condemnation in your presumption to join in it, because you live in sin, be assured of this also, whether you be rich or learned, or poor or ignorant—be assured of this also, that by living in sin with such a hardened and obstinate heart, you incur tenfold more condemnation.

You are

in a dilemma, out of which you can in no way escape. You present yourselves daily before God with a seared heart. You refuse the means of grace offered to you. You go on from sin to sin unadmonished, because you despise admonition; unstrengthened by any help, because you desire no help; unjustified from any source, whether from works, because they will condemn you, or of faith, because you practically believe not any of the admonitions of the Saviour Jesus Christ.

Therefore you go on from sin to sin, each day more intimate with Satan, each day more alienate from God. You must go on in this course, for you cannot stand still ; you must go on, until at length you will find yourself, at the great and terrible day of the Lord, in that outer darkness, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

[ocr errors]

May God avert this doom from us. May we be as rational, yet humble Christians ; sinners, yet not hardened sinners; frail, yet repenting; ignorant, yet faithful ; aware of our danger, yet rejoicing in hope; feeling our temptations, yet knowing our help: and so fighting the good fight of faith, may we, above all, ever from time to time, present ourselves, our souls and bodies, at the table of the Lord, “a living sacrifice unto God.”

R

CHAPTER VII.

MOTIVES.

LUKE xxii. 19.

REMEMBRANCE OF ME.

It would hardly seem necessary, when so much has already been said in regard to the design, history, and objections which men urge to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, to add any especial part on the motives which should induce to its observance. When we detailed its design, we explained by the way its advantages ; when we answered objections, we signified by the way the reasons for its constant observance.

But still there remains much unsaid, and though we may have to travel over the same ground, yet it may be trodden with a somewhat different foot. Fresh beauties may be drawn forth in the landscape, which were unseen before, and that which had failed to reach the heart in one shape, may have its influence in another. Therefore, I would now beg the reader's attention, while I endeavour to set before him the principal motives which may conduce to the general observance of the Lord's Supper.

I. The first motive stands evidently on the very front of the question: the command of Christ.

What makes the decalogue of value? What makes it our duty to obey the commandments of the moral law? Upon what grounds is it imperative upon us to love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves ? The will of God.

It is only because God has expressed his pleasure for our advantage and for our salvation, that we should not bow down to idols, should not lie, steal, covet, commit adultery, that these sins have become sins. The moral duties of life might indeed have been obligatory by the laws of mankind themselves, laws constituted by mankind for their own interest and temporal advantage; but, in that case, their neglect would have been no more morally wrong towards God than any deviation from the forms and customs of honourable life is morally wrong towards God, although that deviation may

be culpable in the sight of man; and so St. Paul distinctly says: “I had not known sin but

« PrécédentContinuer »