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Do all who come to the Lord's table, receive this refreshment to their souls?
It is to be feared they do not, as none but those who feel and lament their manifold sins, and flee to Christ for refuge, are partakers of these benefits. All others can only be partakers of the outward sign.
He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damna. tion to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 1 Cor. xi, 29. Who may be said to eat and drink the Lord's Supper unworthily?
Those who come to it irreverently, or with self-righteous views; who do not feel the burden of sin, and the plague of their own hearts; and who therefore are destitute of true repentance, faith, and charity. They that allow themselves in any sinful practices, cannot be worthy communicants: for this is so inconsistent with their profession, as to make all their prayers and praises mere hypocrisy.
Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil. 1sa. i, 13-16.
What is the danger of such a conduct?
They who act thus "provoke God to plague them with divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death."
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world, 1 Cor. xi, 30, 32. The chastening which the Corinthians received, was sent that, by repenting and seeking mercy, they might avoid eternal damnation.
What is required of them who come to the Lord's Supper?
To examine themselves whether they repent them truly of their former sins, steadfastly purposing to lead a new life;—whether they have a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and if they be in charity with all men.
Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 1 Cor. xi, 28.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith. 2 Cor. xiii, 5.
Repentance is absolutely necessary. We must call to mind our past ways, and compare them with God's commandments. If any sin be yet indulged, unrepented of,
and not forsaken, we are not meet to be partakers of this holy Sacrament. (See Page 11.)
How may you know whether you truly repent of your former sins?
By observing whether you loathe them, with such a dislike as to cause you to lead a new life.
Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of. 2 Cor. vii, 10, 11.
If you have not been brought to this godly sorrow, beg of God to give you his Spirit, for
He will reprove (convince) the world of sin. John xvi, 8,
Think of your guilt, in any way which may most affect you. Charge your memory with those views of your own iniquity, which may most impress you with a sense of the need you have of Christ's blood. Look on him whom you have pierced, and you shall mourn. Pray like David,
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me. Ps. xxvi, %.
A lively faith is also necessary in those who approach the Lord's Table; because it is only by faith that we receive Christ, eat his body, and drink his blood. The life of a Christian is a continual growth in grace, by feeding upon Christ. (See Page 15.)
Let us draw near in full assurance of faith. Heb. x, 22.
How shall a person know whether he has this faith?
It is attended by a lively sense of God's mercy through Christ, and is always evidenced by bringing forth the fruits of righteousness.
Faith which worketh by love. Gal. v, 6.
Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James ii, 17.
A thankful remembrance of the death of Christ is also required, and to this end we are reminded, that we ourselves are "miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death." It is an easy thing, in repeating a general confession, to own this, but unless we feel it, we shall never heartily prize Christ as our Saviour: but the language of praise will be as unmeaning as the language of humiliation.
Why is Charity with all men necessary?
Because this is a feast of love. Any unkindness of heart must therefore be quite unsuitable, and make us unacceptable to God. It can never be a feast of love to a revengeful spirit, By this ordinance we declare that
we are fellow-members of one body, of which Christ is the Head: that we are all One Body, and can no more be severed from each other in heart and affection, with out all the members suffering, than the members of the animal body can; that love and kindness should mark the spirit and temper of every individual; that we are one in the sight of God, in privilege, in the love of Christ, and in the glory provided for us. Christians thus declare themselves obliged to walk in love, as Christ hath loved them.
If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matt. v, 23, 24.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John xiii, 35.
Let us keep the feast, not with the leaven of malice. 1 Cor. v, 8. We are all partakers of that one bread. 1 Cor. x, 17.
Ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. (Because there were divisions among them.) 1 Cor. xi, 17.
Without charity, I am nothing. 1 Cor. xiii, 2.
Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph. iv, 3.
Let ali bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from yon, with all inalice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Eph. iv, 31, 32.
Let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works. Heb. x, 24.
If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John iv, 11.
With what disposition of mind should we come to the Lord's Supper?
With deep contrition and sorrow for our sins, which occasioned the death of our Saviour; with holy joy and thankfulness for the benefits to be derived therefrom; with a determination, by the grace of God, to offer and present to him ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice; and with perfect charity to all men, and espec ally with sincere love to God's people. Alas! how many who frequent this ordinance are dead to any spiritual sensations, go through the whole as a formality, and depart as cold and worldly
All are invited to this heavenly feast, who are religi ously and devoutly disposed; but unless we have this wed
ding garment, (Matt. xxii, 12.) we are not meet partakers of this holy mystery; and although we may plead, like those in Luke xiii, 26. that we have eaten and drunk in the presence of the Lord, we shall be ordered to depart as workers of iniquity.
If we have not these dispositions of mind, we should pray for them. But we should not make our sins an excuse for neglecting this duty. This Sacrament was appointed for our growth in these graces. We should remember that Christ is known to his disciples in breaking of bread. Luke xxiv, 35. He is the author of faith, and is appointed to give repentance; let us therefore come unto him in this his ordinance, and claim the benefits he offers in it.
Though we should feel ourselves defective in these graces, if we be really humble and contrite, and come heartily seeking Christ, God will not cast us out, nor turn his mercy from us. And we offend God, and deceive ourselves, if we show a constant slight of Christ's ordinance, under a vain excuse, complaining of an obstacle which we take no pains to remove. If we are unfit for the Lord's Supper here, we are not less unfit for the Supper of the Lamb in glory.
Consider, those of you who have been brought to love Christ, how very wrong it is to neglect the last command he gave to his disciples," Do this in remembrance of "And if that soul was to be cut off from the people of God who neglected to celebrate the Passover (which was a type of the Lord's Supper) Exod. xii, 19; of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall we be thought worthy, if we trample under-foot the Son of God, and count the blood of the covenant. wherewith we are sanctified, an unholy thing? Heb. x, 29. Slight the condescending grace of your Redeemer no longer-accept the invitation to his table which has so often been held out to you. Ask him to prepare you to draw nigh, for the preparation of the heart is of God: and though you may be now weak in faith, yet by waiting upon him in this ordinance, your strength shall be renewed as the eagle's: you shall run and not be weary; you shall walk and not faint.
An Alphabetical List of the Parables, Figurative Expressions, and Historical Allusions, used by our Lord
A Parable is a similitude taken from natural things, to instruct us in the knowledge of things spiritual. This method of speaking was very common in eastern countries, and was frequently used by the Prophets to make an impression on the minds of the people whom they addressed. Thus Jotham addressed the men of Shechem. Judges ix, 7, 8. Thus David also was reproved by Nathan, (2 Sam. xii, 2, 3.) and by the woman of Tekoah, 2 Sam. xiv, 2, 3.-The Prophets often reprove the infidelity of Jerusalem, under Without a parable spake he not unto them. the parable of an adulterous wife; and parables were so frequently used by our Lord, that we read, (Matt. xiii, 34; Mark iv, 34.)
Babes, Ilast revealed unto
ch. ver. 11. 25
Mark. ch. ver.
Luke. ch. ver.
Bags, Which wax not old
Blade first, Then the ear, then full corn
Camel, Easier for a C. to go through, &c.