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him in the coming world. These promises, he here announces to them, he will one day come to perform; and will bring with him the same love for them, with which he went to his crucifixion. What truth can be more replenished with comfort? How could this truth be declared in a more affecting manner ? Every Christian at the sacramental table, solemnly pondering his own sins, and the condemnation to which he is exposed by them, is naturally led to exclaim, Who is he that condemneth ? and to answer, with hope and exultation, It is Christ that died.

5. The Lord's Supper is intended to unite Christians in a known, public, and efficacious, bond of union.

In a former discourse, I have mentioned Baptism, as a sign, by which Christians are known to be the followers of Christ; and then mentioned also the importance of some public mark of distinction to every standing society of men. The observations, which I then made concerning Baptism, considered as such a sign, are, with the same propriety, applicable to the Lord's Supper also. But there are some observations relative to this subject, which are applicable to the Lord's Supper only. In Baptism, Chris. tians appear as subjects of the ordinance but once in their lives; and most of them at this appearance, being infants, are altogether passive. At the Lord's Supper, they are always voluntary, active partakers; and appear often in this character, throughout their whole Christian life. They appear at the table of Christ in a Body; as members of Him, the Head. They appear as Christian Friends and Brethren ; and are, all, members one of another. They appear as open Professors of his religion; as his followers; as attached to his cause; as interested in his death; as expectants of his coming; as voluntary Subjects of his government. They exhibit themselves as being united in one Faith, one Baptism, one Worship, one system of Doctrines, and Duties, one scheme of Communion, and Discipline; as having one common interest, one common pilgrimage, and one final home. All these things are exhibited, and established, by the Lord's Supper. Where Christians are faithful to themselves; this ordinance separates them, so far as is necessary for their edification, from the world, and becomes the distinctive Badge of their character as Disciples of the Redeemer.

6. This sacrament was intended to be a visible, and affecting pledge of Christ's love to his followers.

In the administration of this sacrament, Christ is exhibited as dying on the Cross, and as dying for them. When He took the Bread at its institution, he said, This is my Body, which is broken for you; and this is my Blood, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins. The benefits, here communicated, are of a value which is inestimable. They are benefits communicated to these very persons, at an expense unexampled in the Universe; and procured by a love, which admits no parallel. All the sufferings of Christ were necessary to this end; particularly, his sufferings on the Cross, the consummation of them all. These sufferings, the bread broken, and the wine poured out, present to us, in the most lively and affecting images, and thus set before our eyes, in the strongest manner, that unlimited, and Di. vine benevolence, by which, they were undergone. The language, which these symbols speak, is always the same. Throughout every age, and every land, they declare the same sufferings, and the same love; and are thus a monumental pledge of Christ's tenderness to his children, to the end of the world.

7. This Sacrament was also designed to edify Christians in the Divine life. The edification of Christians is the increase of justness in their views, of purity, and fervour, in their affections, and of faithfulness in their conduct, with respect to the objects of religion. To this increase, in all respects, the Lord's Supper naturally, and eminently, contributes.

To the justness of a Christian's views, it lends important aid by presenting, in a very affecting manner, the atonement of Christ, and all the doctrines connected with it, which were mentioned under the first head of this discourse. All these also, and their connection with this great event, it presents to the mind in the most forcible manner, arresting, and engrossing, every ingenuous affection. In this manner, it leads us, except when under the dominion of a sensual, obdurate heart, to ponder all these subjects with deep attention, and a strong sense of our own personal interest in them. Instead of regarding them with loose, superficial, and transient inquiries, we make them objects of in

tense study, and most critical investigation. The love, which rejoiceth in the truth, is here excited to an elevation and fervour, not easily derived from any other source, and diffuses all its candour, and equity, over every scrutiny. The Saviour, seen in the most amiable of all characters, and in the most wonderful manifestation of that amiableness, is loved with peculiar ardour : and the mind, feeling, at once, the duty, and excellency, of resembling him, naturally labours, under the influence of the same disposition which was in him, to walk as he also walked ; to purify itself in some measure, as he is pure ; and to wear an untarnished resemblance of his beauty and glory. It remembers, it

, feels, what he was, and the duty and desirableness of being like him. In this situation, it naturally summons to its aid all the motives to obedience, by which it ought to be influenced; the loveliness of virtue, and the odiousness of sin; the threatenings on the one hand, and on the other, the invitations and promises. In the full sight of these, it acquires new vigour, and forms new resolutions; enters upon its duty with alacrity, and pursues it, with delight and perseverance. Thus it becomes wiser and better; more fitted to be a blessing here, and more adorned with that beauty and loveliness, which prepare it, for a triumphant entrance into the Everlasting Kingdom of its Redeemer.

III. The Qualifications for this ordinance, I shall briefly consider in the following observations.

1. It is an indispensable qualification for this ordinance, that the Candidate for communion be a member of the visible Church of Christ, in full standing.

By this I intend, that he shall be such a member of the Church, as I have formerly described, to wit, that he should be a person of piely; thut he should have made a public profession of Religion; and that he should have been baptized. All these things, if we substitute Circumcision for Baptism, were required of every Israelite, in order to his 'acceptable participation of the passover, and to his being, and continuing, an acceptable member of the Abrahamic Church. God formed the Church, under the Dispensation to Abraham, by natural descent from this Patriarch; or rather, He formed the visible Church by the ordinance of Circumcision, set, as a seal, according to his own appoint


ment, on all its members, constituted originally of all his Descendants, limited afterwards to those of Isaac, and then, to those of Jacob. Such of these, as did not receive this seal, or in other words, were not thus introduced into the visible Church, He directed to be cut off from his people. Those, who were thus introduced into the visible Church, and did not partake of the Passover, He commanded, also, to be punished with the same excision. All the Israelites He further required to make a public profession of Religion, by entering publicly into that solemn covenant with Him, which has been so often recited in these discourses concerning the Church and its ordinances, and by avouching JEHOVAH to be their God, and themselves to be his people. This Covenant they were however required to enter into with religious sincerity. In the 50th Psalm, it is written, Unto the wicked, God saith, What hast thou to do, to declare my statules, or that thou shouldest take my covenant into thy mouth? In other words, " Thou hast no right, no permission from me, to take my covenant into thy mouth.They were required to enter into covenant with God; and were entitled, in this manner, to all the external privileges, connected with this transaction. But they were required, also, to do this with a spirit of universal obedi. ence. Thou hast adouched the Lord this day to be thy God, says Moses to Israel, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and commandments, and judgments, and to hearken unto his voice; and the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments. " And thou shalt swear," The Lord liveth, “ in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness,said God to Israel, Jer. iv. 2. I have elsewhere shown, that to swear, considered as a duty of the people of Israel, is the same thing, as to enter into codenant with God. These words, therefore, contain a command to the Israelites, to exercise truth and righteousness in this solemn transaction.

Accordingly, this people are, in a great multitude of passages, severely reproved, threatened, and declared to be punished, because they violated this covenant. See, Hosea viii. 1, and vi. 4–7. Jer. xxxiv. 18—20, and xi. 2, 3, and xxii.8, 9. Ezek. xvii. 15-19. Mal. ii. 8, 9. &c. &c.

That Christians, in making this profession, which I have heretofore shown to be their duty also, are bound to act with sincerity, and to exhibit before the eye of God truth in the inward parts, is so plain a case of duty, as hardly to admit of argument or evidence. When, let me ask, ought men to exhibit this truth, if they are not bound to exhibit it here? If the Israelites were severely censured, and dreadfully punished, for covenanting falsely; this conduct must be still more guilty on the part of those, who enjoy the light of the Gospel.

Independently of the superior privileges, enjoyed by the Christian, the only material difference between him, and the Israelite, lies chiefly in these two things: That the Christian is not, of course, a member of the Church by natural descent ; and

; that he is not punished with excision for not becoming the subject of the initiatory, and for not attending upon the confirmatory, sacrament. As the circumcised person was required to make a public profession of religion, so is the baptized; and both are equally required to make this profession with sincerity and piely. The baptized person is also required, not only as a rational being under the Dispensation of the Gospel, but also as a person, who by his baptism is brought under new and additional obligations, lo celebrate the Sacramental Supper, as soon as he becomes possessed of sufficient understanding; to discern its nature and use, and to celebrate it with decency; and, so soon as he shall have sufficient understanding, to make a rational profession of religion, previously indispensable to his participation of this ordinance. This profession, as I have already observed, must spring from piety, and be made with evangelical faith and repentance.

It will, probably, be here said by baptized persons generally, that they cannot make such a profession, because they are destitute of Faith, Repentance, and Piety. To this, I answer, that they are inexcusable for not possessing this character. God requires it indispensably of all men ; and has laid them under peculiar obligations to assume it, by bringing them into his visible Church, through the administration of Baptism. I know, that they will allege, here, their inability to become possessed of this character, as their excuse for being destitute of it ; for not


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