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surably more indebted than to any other created being ; shall he, of all whom you pronounce great and good, be the only one, you so studiously avoid meeting together to celebrate ? It see ns to ne that a proper regard to consistency should prompt to something different from this.
I appeal to your sense of obedience. Can you feel that you have performed your whole duty, as a disciple of Jesus, while the communion is neglected ?
Is not one injunction of our Lord as binding as another ? It is true, that when ritual institutions interfere with the moral duties, the former must yield to the latter. But when they do not, there is no difference between them in point of obligation.
I appeal to your views of utility. You are not called upon to obey an injunction, the reasons and motives of which you cannot discern. The communion service is a useful one. Our Saviour thought it so, else he would never have enjoined it upon the first disciples. Can it be deemed less useful to us than it was to them ? the contrary, may it not be considered more so? The further removed Christians are, in point of time, from the Author and Finisher of their faith, the greater, one would suppose, must be their need of some such regularly recurring memorial of him. At any rate, the ordinance is salutary in its effects. He who attends upon it, with good purpose of heart, cannot but be in the way of growing better and happier. It is a peculiarly affecting service. We have no other in which the soul derives so important an influence through the medium of the
For one solemn moment the world is shut out, and everything invites to useful meditation.
thoughts recur to him who spake and died as never man, before or since, spake and died. The best feelings are awakened within us. We form resolutions of new obedience. We return to our homes stronger for virtue and happier than we were. Why will any voluntarily deprive themselves of such a source of improvement and satisfaction ?
I appeal to your sentiments of love and gratitude: Who, that has but the common feelings of human nature, is willing to forget the request of a dying friend? What then may we not expect of the Christian of more refined sensibilities? what, especially, in regard to such a friend as Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world ? Whose last words should be remembered like his ? Whose dying requests ought to be so scrupulously obeyed ? What indifference, what ingratitude, to say no more of it, is it not to neglect the simple observance, which he, for our benefit, recommended, almost with his very last breath! Call to mind the circumstances of his closing life, and observe how thoughtful he was of his followers, even in the immediate view of a most painful death. I need not recount them to you. They are already present to your thoughts. Were ever circumstances more affecting ? Yet, in the midst of them, he collected his disciples, and appointed what he would have us do in remembrance of him. Sacred are the requests of the departing soul. This interesting ritewhat is it but the injunction of our dying Saviour ? And have we the heart to neglect it ? Then we are willing to prove ourselves wanting in that affection and gratitude for him, which we should deem it wrong not to manifest in respect to far inferior benefactors.
But I forbear. My limits would not allow me, even could I think it necessary, to say all that might be said to induce you to perform this christian duty. I therefore leave the subject to your own meditations, with the single question-whether, as the cold hand of death presses upon you, you will not think that it had been good for you to have early commemorated the dying love of your Saviour in the method of his appointment ?—whether, as you then cast a retrospective look upon the past, you will not find it the occasion of many bitter regrets, that on the ground of such poor excuses, you lived so long disobedient to the sacred injunction, “ do this in remembrance of me?"
BETWEEN A CHRISTIAN
AND A DEIST.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
A DIALOGUE ON PROVIDENCE, FAITH AND PRAYER.
PRINTED FOR THE
American Unitarian association.
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