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there one amongst us who, having received such a command from a dying parent or friend, could possibly forget to perform it? And yet I fear there are many who call themselves Christians, and who

yet

live and die without ever offering to their crucified Master this appointed testimony of gratitude and love. The reason of this strange and shameful neglect of such an easy command, in those from whom better things might be hoped, is commonly some mistaken notion of this holy sacrament; and in order to remove such mistakes, I will lay before

you

what I believe to be the doctrine of scripture, and of our church on this subject. That I may be the better understood, I will endeavour,

1st, to explain the nature of this sacrament.

2dly, to answer some objections which have been made on this subject.

3dly, to show the advantage to be expected from frequent communion.

And, lastly, to point out the proper manner of performing this sacred duty.

In order to understand the nature and meaning of this holy sacrament, we should consider, that sacrifices of some kind or other have always been appointed to be offered up to God, as a testimony of our obedience and gratitude to Him, as a representation of the great sacrificeof Christ upon the cross, and as the means of conveying to the true believer the benefits of that sacrifice which was offered for the sin of the whole world. Such were the sacrifices offered by Abel, by Noah, by Abraham, and by all the faithful from the beginning of the world; and such were the sacrifices which God ordained in the law of Moses. We every where find that something is required on our part, in order to our receiving the benefits which God is graciously pleased to bestow upon

us.

When our blessed Saviour had fulfilled the law, and introduced a new and more perfect dispensation, the ceremonies which Moses had appointed were set aside ; and instead of all the different sacrifices which had been required of the children of Israel, our LORD was pleased to ordain this testimony of our love and obedience ; and we are told by St. Paul that as often as we eat this bread, and drink this cup, we do show the LORD's death till he come. This sacrament is appointed not only to keep up the remembrance of CHRIST in our minds, but that by it we may plead before God the merits of his death as the foundation of all our hopes of pardon and acceptance; and by it, when we perform this duty with Christian faith, we shall be made partakers of the benefits of that great sacrifice, which our Saviour offered for the sin of the world. The bread and the wine are appointed to represent to us the body and blood of Christ, and to communicate the benefit of his death to every faithful Christian. By partaking of this sacrament our souls are strengthened and refreshed as our bodies are by bread and wine. It is the appointed means of conveying to us pardon and grace. In this sacra. ment more than in any other ceremony of our religion, we seem to be brought near to our gracious and reconciled God; we enter into his courts, we are admitted to his table, though unworthy even to gather up the crumbs that fall from thence. There we are allowed and commanded to hope and to pray for pardon, through the merits and for the sake of our crucified Sa. viour ; and there we receive the assistance of his grace, which will guard us against sin, will support us in every trial, will guide our feet into the way of peace, and at last will lead us to heaven.

But if such be the nature of this blessed sacrament, let us enquire, secondly, what objections can be made against an institution so full

of comfort and advantage to all sincere Christians; and how it happens, that any of those who are called refuse to come to the Supper of their Lord. It is not extraordinary that those who neither believe in Christ, nor obey his laws, should refuse to enter into his presence, and be afraid to approach his table. They may indeed be afraid even to think of his death, while by their sins they crucify him afresh, and put him to open shame. But I wish to address myself to those who sincerely believe the gospel, and hope for salvation only by the merits of Christ, but who yet neglect to perform this his last command. I believe it will generally be found that this neglect is owing either to the want of a just sense of the importance of this duty, or to fears and scruples which are sometimes occasioned by a passage in St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians.

To those who stay away for want of sufficiently considering the importance of the duty, I must speak in the language of deserved reproof. I must ask, if any man who calls himself a Christian can forget the last request of his dying Master ; if he can presume to disobey his last command ? Have you no gratitude to such a friend ? Have you no love for him who died for you ? Have

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you no sins, for which you ought to ask forgive. ness ? Have you no need of grace to assist your feeble endeavours in the path of virtue? Whoever thou art, who dost presume to hope for salvation through Christ, and yet dost live in constant disobedience to his positive command, I charge thee to consider the danger of thy state. The command was given by Christ himself, and it was given to all. Who shall dare to disobey it ?

To them who are afraid to approach the table of the Lord from an humble sense of their own infirmities, the Christian Minister would wish to speak the language of consolation ; but in order

; to avoid mistakes on this important subject, I will endeavour to show you who those are that receive the Communion unworthily. St. Paul certainly does not mean to exclude any sincere Christian who humbly endeavours to perform the will of God. Such a man may have many faults, he may fall into many errors ; but this sacrament is the appointed means by which he may hope to receive the pardon of those faults, by which he may obtain grace to guard hina against those errors. The sincere, the humble, the penitent Christian will not be rejected, when

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