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tion, and to declare his purpose of living, in future, according to his Commandments, by joining with his people in receiving the Lord's Supper.

This act of communicating with Christians in a solemn ordinance, especially when it is sincere, is an open acknowledgment of our belief in the Gospel, of our love for Christ and his disciples, and of our desire to live to the honour of His name.

1. Our Divine Saviour, the night in which he was betrayed, and the evening before his crucifixion,

having celebrated the Passover with his Disciples, appointed the Lord's Supper to be a memorial of bis redemption, as the Paschal Lamb had been a prefiguration of it. He therefore took bread, and, by prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, set it apart to be the representation of his body. He brake it,' to shew that his body must be wounded, bruised, put to great torture, and undergo death, for the redemption of his people; and he directed each of his Disciples 'to eat of that bread in remembrance of him, to instruct them in the way by which his atonement would be made effectual to their salvation. In like manner 'he took the cup,' and, renewing his prayers and thanksgivings, 'he bade them all drink of it;' as the wine represented his blood, which was about to be shed, to purchase the blessings of the new covenant, and to ratify it in behalf of the whole multitude of believers, for the remission of sins'

Nothing can be more simple, in its own nature, than this institution of Christ; though superstition has done what it could to misrepresent, obscure, and pervert its design.

“The language of Christ, in appointing this ordinance, is manifestly figurative, and cannot be literally interpreted; (unless we should explain the material cup itself to be the blood of Christ, or rather the new covenant ;) and this renders it the more wonderful, that a set of men should be so adventurous and absurd, as to require the Church to believe, in contradiction to their senses, that the bread in the Sacrament, after consecration, becomes the real entire body of Christ! But, indeed, the Scripture gives us no intiination of any peculiar mystery in this institution ; though strong metaphors are employed, the more emphatically to demand our attention to the importance of the things signified by the outward emblems.”

* Mat. xxvi. 26-29.

In this manner, Christians, agreeably to the command of their Lord, should, as often as circumstances will permit, meet together, in His name, to celebrate the Sacramental Feast; “ for as often as they eat this bread, and drink this cup, they do shew the Lord's death till he comeb." The action is designed to be a perpetual memorial of Christ's sufferings, and of the way in which we become interested in them, even by“ feeding on Him, in our hearts, by faith with thanksgiving".

The body, which doubtless signifies his entire human-nature as united to the eternal Son of God, is represented by the emblem of bread, the most useful kind of sustenance. His blood, the shedding of which was the immediate cause of his death, denoted the whole of his expiatory sufferings, which terminated when he expired on the cross.

This Sacrament, therefore, through the medium of the outward emblems of bread and wine, strikingly

, exhibits' to the whole world the justice and love of God, the perfection of His law, the evil of sin, the Þ 1 Cor. xi. 26.

c Communion Service.

vanity of temporal and the importance of eternal things; and it evidently sets before the eyes of all men, Jesus Christ as having been crucified for their redemption, by reminding them of his dignity and righteousness, the depth of his humiliation, and the intenseness of his agony, the greatness of his condescension and compassionate love, the wretched state of deserved misery from which he has redeemed'sinners, the extensive efficacy of his sacrifice, and the happiness to which he exalts every true believer. ' '

2. Certain qualifications, however, are requisite for a proper reception of the Sacrament, and the benefits conveyed thereby ;-and these are, repentance and faith.' In the act of receiving the Lord's Supper, we acknowledge our ruined condition as sinners; from which we could not have been saved, if Christ had not shed his blood to redeem us; we profess to believe the testimony of God respecting the person and atonement of Christ, and the all-sufficiency of his vicarious sufferings; we avow our total dependence on the mercy of God, according to the promises and provisions of the new covenant, which was ratified by Jesu's death; we make a public acknowledgment of our obligations to him as our most gracious Benefactor, and an engagement to obey him as our Lord and Saviour, by cheerfully yielding up our bodies and souls to his service; and, lastly, we declare that we intend to unite ourselves to his redeemed people, to walk with them in Christian love and fellowship, in all the ordinances of Divine worship, and in all holy conversation and godliness." It is, therefore, most evident, that no man is

prepared for this sacred ordinance, or capable of sincerely and intelligently making that profession which is implied in it, unless he be, indeed, a self-con


demned penitent, who really believes the Gospel, and renounces all other confidences to 'flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before him; and unless, in his heart, he truly receives Christ Jesus the Lord, as his Prophet, Priest, Ruler, and Saviour, purposing thenceforth to walk in obedience to him.

3. Great advantages arise from frequent communicating, if it be done in a pious and reverential manner :-"for the Lord's Supper as directly tends to strengthen and refresh the believing soul, as the bread and wine do to nourish and invigorate the body.” The frequent exhibition of the sacrifice of Christ, which is the central point of our holy religion, is well adapted to increase humility, hatred and dread of sin, watchfulness, contempt of the world, faith, hope, love, joy, gratitude, patience, compassion, meekness, fortitude, and all other holy dispositions. Besides, " at the same time that due honour is rendered unto the Lord, by this repeated profession of our faith and love, the sympathy of religious persons uniting in so affectionate an ordinance promotes edification; the great truths of Christianity are thus brought before the minds of increasing numbers; and the presence and blessing of the Lord may be confidently expected, whilst we thus meet in his name, and present our prayers and thanksgivings before him. Indeed, this institution was expressly intended to 'shew forth the Lord's death till he come;' and this proves that the doctrine of the atonement is the most essential part of Christianity, and an habitual dependence on a crucified Saviour, the grand peculiarity of the Christian character."

4. They who receive the Sacrament unworthily, cannot expect to reap any benefit from partaking of

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it; inasmuch as they do not possess that state of soul which is required of those who would profit by the ordinance. . The Church thus briefly states the qualifications of a Communicant:“Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the Commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways, draw near with faith, and take this holy sacrament to your confort"!". Every one, then, who lives habitually in open or secret sin, or in the neglect of known duty; who cherishes anger, malice, revenge, pride, envy, avarice, and sensual lusts in his heart; who comes to the Sacrament in order to make atonement for his sins, or to cloke his secret transgressions; who attends on it to quiet a guilty conscience by a self-righteous service, substituting the sign for the thing signified; or who uses it merely as a step to worldly preferment; must“ be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord®,” and “eat and drink his own condemnation, not discerning the Lord's body."

Surely, then, it becomes all men “ to examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy sacrament; (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us ;) so is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily ..... Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged

of the Lord; repent ye truly for your past sins; have CH a lively and stedfast faith in Christ our Saviour; amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all

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a Communion Service. 1 Cor. xi. 27. fib. 29.

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