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minister them; and are assured of his gracious design in sending them. Then "thy light rises in obscurity, and thy darkness is as noon-day."* Is it the wandering of thy heart, and the guilt of thy life! In fellowship, you stand not at the foot of Mount Sinai, but "are come unto Mount Zion, and unto "the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusa"lem." You are come, not only "to God, the judge of all," but "to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, "that speaketh better things than that of Abel."† You cry," behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed!" And you are immediately enabled to add, " a day in thy courts "is better than a thousand."‡


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But, to be more particular, we shall specify two views, in which the christian's blessedness in fellowship appears.

1. His contemplation, love, and trust, are fixed on the most excellent objects. "The works of the "Lord are great; sought out of all them that have pleasure therein."§ They are indeed pleasant to be known, and worthy to be admired. It affords an exalted and a rational delight to trace the wonders of heaven above, and of earth beneath; to follow the footsteps of the Almighty and all-wise Creator, through his wide dominion; to discover the laws, which he has impressed on nature, the secret springs by which he moves the universe. The soul, meanwhile, forgets its sublunary cares, and glows with a joy resembling, in some measure, the ecstacies of devotion.

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Isaiah lviii. 10.
Heb. xii. 22, 24.

Psalm lxxxiv. 9, 10.

§ Ibid. cxi. 2.

How great, then, the pleasure of holding fellowship with him, whose wisdom planned, and whose power hath formed the heavens and the earth, with all their hosts; nay, hath done more than formed them, hath recovered a ruined world! O the depth of the riches of the wisdom, the goodness, and the power of God, in the ways of providence, and in the transactions of grace! the depth of the infinite mind, in which these dwell! the beauty of infinite perfection in God himself!

But if the contemplation of such excellence af ford divine pleasure, how must the love of it enrapture our souls! The outgoings of friendship and affection to a worthy object are the sweetest exercises of the human mind. But in heaven, whom have we but the Lord? and on earth there is none who may be compared with him. If his amiable perfections exceed our comprehension, the joy of loving him with our whole heart, must, at least, fill all our capacity: and if his amiableness call forth our love, and make us feel its joys; this, connected with his power, must excite our confidence; and confidence is the parent of tranquillity and satisfaction. "The Lord is my light, and my salva"tion; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength "of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though


an host should encamp against me, my heart "shall not fear: Though war should arise against "me, in this will I be confident."*

This may lead us to observe,

2. That the blessedness of fellowship with God, consists in a sense of his love.

How encouraging and delightful are the pro

Psalm xxvii. I, 3.

mises of Jehovah's friendship! How blissful, then, the enjoyment of its peculiar privilege, in unrestrained converse with himself! And what satisfactory assurance must admission to that privilege afford, of the gracious regard with which he is pleased to honour his elect! Over those whom Jesus brings into the "banqueting house," his "banner is love."* It is pleasant to love the Lord; but to be persuaded of his love is bliss which passeth understanding. The Almighty, all-wise, all-merciful, and unchangeable God, our friend! To know, to feel this, is the happiness of heaven, the foretaste of joy eternal. Those, who are thus favoured, may justly say, we will not fear what man," what earth or hell, can do unto us." The wisdom of our tried, our all-sufficient friend, can frustrate every evil scheme; his power shall afford us protection and support; and the treasures of his loving kindness, which is better than life, shall supply our wants, and satisfy our souls with good. We will not fear even ourselves. Our perversity shall not always lead us astray, or our infirmity make us the sport of foes; for he will guide us by his counsel, and uphold us by his faithfulness. "Happy is "that people that is in such a case! yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord."‡

We conclude with two practical instructions.

1. Rest not satisfied with a mere formal or outward attendance on God in ordinances. Those "who draw near to God with their mouth, and "with their lips do honour him, but have removed "their heart far from him," provoke him, and destroy themselves. To such he saith, "Who hath

• Cant. ii. 4.

† Psalm cxviii. 6.

+ Ibid. cxliv. 15.

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required this at your hand, to tread my courts!"* Fellowship with God is a spiritual privilege; and they only, who worship him in spirit and in truth, can share it. Seek thus to have your fellowship "with the Father and with his Son." It is thus only you shall see his beauty, and be satisfied with the goodness of his house; then shall you enjoy an honour which the princes of this world cannot confer; a consolation which no trial can embitter; the honour of familiar converse with the King of kings; the consolation of feeling you elves the objects of his unchanging love, and of knowing that all your interests are under its direction. And then shall you have a foretaste of the sublime communion to be tasted, when, "that which is in part shall be “done away.”

of Christ, that fellowshi

2. On the present occasion, let me particularly exhort you to remember, that it is through the death with God hath been bbtained: Ye were "sometimes far off, but now ye "are made nigh by the blood of Christ."† "You


were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your "mind by wicked works." If you be "reconciled," it is" in the body of his flesh through death: "and to fellowship, reconciliation is an absolute requisite." The Lord's supper, therefore, while it was intended as a mean of fellowship with God, was also intended to remind us that our access to him is through the blood of Christ. "Our God is



a consuming fire." We were ready to perish, to" be devoured as stubble fully dry."|| Christ descended to our nature, he made himself even

Nahum i. 10.


Isaiah i. 12
Eph. ii. 13.

+ Col. i. 21, 22!
$ Heb. xii. 29.


lower and more miserable than we; that he might raise us with himself to communion with his Father. "No man cometh unto the Father, but by him."* Behold, then, O communicants, the honour and the blessedness of fellowship with God! Consider it in itself, in the creature who is called to it, in the means used to obtain it, the price paid to purchase it; and what will be your reflections and your language? "Will God in very deed, dwell with men

on the earth? Behold heaven, and the heaven of "heavens cannot contain thee!" And wilt thou "come unto us, and make thy abode with us?"‡ This is "the tabernacle of God with men ;" yea, "God himself is with them!"§ " Alleluia! Let us "be glad, and rejoice, and give honour to him! "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb."||


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