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SERMON XIII.

Remembering Chrift at his Table

Luke xxii. 19.

This do in Remembrance of me.

TO love, receive and trust in the precious Redeemer of the world, to commit our fouls to his holy keeping, and reft folely on his atoning merits for eternal life, is the abfolute duty of all the children of men, to whom the revelation of his name is made known. All who enjoy the light of the gofpel, ought to have his character engraven upon their hearts in everlasting remembrance. And the happy individuals who have felt the power of his grace and tafted his loving kindness, is it poffible they should ever forget him? Alas! they forget and neglect him often. But wonder, O Heaven! and be aftonifhed, O Earth! he never either forgets or neglects you. However careless, O! chriftians, you may be at feafons with refpect to the bleffed Saviour, the Shepherd of Ifrael, who never flumbers nor fleeps, ceafes not for a moment his watch over you. Thus faith the Lord, the Redeemer of Ifrael,-Can a woman forget her fucking child, that she should not have com*paffion on the fon of her womb; yea, they may forget, yet

will I not forget thee. Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." Hearken, O! believers, to the declarations of him, who was crucified and shed his blood for you. "You shall feed in the "ways, and your paftures fhall be in the high places. You "fhall not hunger nor thirst, neither fhall the heat, nor the fun fmite you: for he that hath mercy on you fhall lead you s even by the fprings of water fhall he guide you." Does the bleffed Jefus, thus remember his dear people, and are they unmindful of him? How fhould this awaken all their fenfibilities, and banish their ftupid inconsideration, and cause floods of tears to gush from their repenting eyes? But for the fupport of poor, feeble and forgetful believers, hearken to this fweet declaration of your all-fufficient interceffor. "Like as a father pitieth his children, fo the Lord pitieth them that fear him, "for he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are "duit." His remembrances in his life and death, and when his faving blood was flowing from every vein, are too numerous for a prefent recital, the whole of which is compreffed in the ordinance we are now about to celebrate. This was his laft fupper on earth, and an illustrious inftance of his infinite and dying love for his church. This he left as a laft public gift, and a diftinguishing memorial of himself, by which in fymbolical reprefentations, he is to be exhibited in all that he did and fuffered for apoftate man, until the confumption of all things. Chrift intended this inflitution for the fupport, encouragement and comfort of his Church, to quicken them in duty, to refresh them in their journey thro' the wilderness to be a pillar of fhade by day, of light by night, to be bread in the wilderness, and water from the rock. Hence the great com mandment in this ordinance is, "This do in remembrance "of me." How sweet the precept; how endearing the recol lection of all his humiliation and fufferings, to accomplish the falvation of men and their restoration to the peace, favour and enjoyment of God. The enjoyment of God, how great the

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idea? a happinefs, higher than heaven, broader than the earth and more extensive than the fea. And this, O rememberer of Christ, and more than this, will be the portion of thy foul for-

ever.

There is an awful refidue in the converted foul of proneness to a forgetfulness of Jefus; to alleviate and check this disease was one thing defigned in this facred inftitution. Our Lord, who knew all things, knew how apt the hearts of his people would be to forget him amidst the throng of their corruptions and the croud of fenfible objects; their pleasures and worldly business; therefore he appointed and left this memorial of himself.Men do not usually neglect the remembrances, the mortal rings and dying fignatures of their departed relatives and friends. Christ has here left his church a token of his friendfhip and a dying memorial of all he did for the recovery of the fpiritual life they had loft, and their restoration to the favour of God and forfeited felicity.

It would be impoffible to enter into the nature, designs, ufes, benefits and purposes of this holy ordinance in a fingle difcourfe; therefore all that will claim your attention at prefent fhall be only a few meditations on the duty enjoined, and the manner of performing it, agreeable to the commandment in our rext, "This do in remembrance of me."

Firft, with regard to the obligations of the duty itself, these can be fcrupled by none, who give any credit to the authority and power invested in our Lord. It was not intended as a temporary ordinance, such as washing of feet, and fome other things performed by our Saviour, but never afterwards practifed by his apostles; but it was ordained to be of standing use in the Church throughout all generations. Hence it was a duty obferved by the apoftolic and all fucceeding churches down to the present day. I grant there have been fome in all ages and many in the prefent day, who have and do consider it as a

temporary institution which was adopted for the introduction of christianity, but not to be of perpetual order. To retail their various opinions, and their neglect of his ordinance, and their ftrange fpiritual constructions concerning it might exhibit some reading, but furely could not promote your comfort or edi cation.

An attendance upon this facrament is plainly binding upon all christians; it was commanded by our Lord, practifed by the apostles and all primitive Churches, and in the faith and under the fenfe and affurance of thefe obligations we continue in all good confcience to celebrate the fame. It is honoring Christ Jesus, his fufferings and death, and he affuredly gives his bleffing to all thofe who faithfully wait upon him herein. It is glorifying God in the recollection of his only begotten fon, whom he gave and made a facrifice for the fins of men. To remember Jefus at the facred table is complying with the will of heaven. And to obey is better than all burnt offerings. Did God remember us from eternity, did he in time fet forth his dear Son to be a propitiation for fin, did he remember his promife to Abraham and the patriarchs, did Jefus bleed and die for us, and shall we not remember the author of our falvation with hearts overflowing with love, gratitude and praise? Did the bleffed Redeemer remember us, when we lay in our own blood, and there was no eye to pity us, nor hand to help us. and can we ever cease from remembering him? Was he crucified for our tranfgreffions; did he rife again for our juftifica tion; did he procure for us, who were dead in trefpaffes and fins, life, immortality and a heavenly inheritance. Did he infitute this precious ordinance as a memorial of his whole mediatorial character, of all that he underwent from his leaving his Father's bofom, till his afcenfion to glory, and fhall we he fuch ingrates as not to remember him in this pledge of his love?" If I forget thee, O Jefus, let my right hand forget her "cunning; if I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave "to the roof of my mouth." Surely to multiply reafons for

the enforcement of a duty, where the commandments are fe repeated and plain, that they can neither be evaded or denied, could answer no important purpose. Wherefore I proceed,

Secondly, to confider the manner in which this duty ought to be performed. It is a matter of infinite moment that Chrift be properly remembered at his table. This ordinance can hardly be celebrated by us without feme confideration of the Saviour; but to remember him in fuch a way as to be approved by him as worthy partakers, is not a matter of easy attainment.

Would we perform this duty in an acceptable manner, we are to engage in it with compofure of mind,-with an holy reverence in our hearts, with hungering and thirsting defires after greater measures of grace,-with exalted expectations, -in the exercise of faith,-love,--humility,-repentance, and purposes of future obedience.

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Firft, we are to approach this holy table in remembrance of our dear Redeemer, with compofure of mind. Our hearts often prove like a deceitful bow, and our thoughts wander into a thousand impertinences. Scarcely any thing more diffi cult than to watch and keep the heart. Yet this we are ho nefly to endeavour while we are employed in this folemn duty. We fhould be banishing all worldly, carnal, and trifling thoughts. When any of thefe vanities will intrude upon our devotions, we fhould repel them as Nehemiah did the meffengers of his enemies who where fent to divert him from the work of the Lord. "I am doing a great work, why should

the work ceafe, while I leave it and come down to you?" Thus let us expel all vain and improper thoughts from our fouls.

Secondly, we ought to remember to with an holy reverence in our hearts. God, reverence the bleffed Jefus, and

attend this ordinance We should reverence maintain a due refpeét

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