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felves those holy and humble dispositions which constitute “ the wedding garment" of those who are bidden to the feast? Or, have you, without any previous examination, or any regard to the awful fence which surrounds this table, fearlessly taken your feat among faithful disciples, without alking the Master's welcome, or dreading his displeasure?
3dly, What benefit did you propose to reap from your attendance upon this folemn ordinance ? Did you only wish to pacify your natural conscience, by doing what you apprehended to be an acceptable duty ? Or did you mean to offer an outward compliment to the Almighty, in order to induce him to pardon what is past, that you might fin, as it were, on a new score ? Or, on the other hand, did you come here in the hope of meeting him whom your souls love, to take upon you “ his yoke which is “ easy, and his burden which is light?”—to implore, over the pledges of your Saviour's love, his mercy to pardon, his Spirit to sanctify, and his grace to strengthen you? Did you come, that this holy service mighç
have have some influence to assist you in crucify-.. ing “ the old man with his deeds,” and to confirm the image of God on your souls?— Once more,
Athly, How were you employed while you fat at this holy table? Did you seek the Lord with your whole hearts ? Did your “ fouls follow hard after him?" And if any vain intruding thought arose within you, did you instantly check it with abhorrence, and renew your repentance for : that mixture of infirmity in your holy, fervice? When you heard these affecting words, “ This is my body broken for you, “ this is my blood shed for the remission “ of your fins," were your hearts wrung with grief for the fins which were the cause of the Redeemer's sufferings? Did you give yourselves entirely up to him who gave himself for you an offering and a sacrifice to God? Did you accept of him as your only peace-maker with the Father, and resolve to build all your hopes of 'happiness upon the merits of his sufferings and obedience? Did you renounce all his eneinies, and devote yourselves entirely to his
service, to be governed by his laws, as your only Lord and King ?
Finally, Was all this done from a deliberate and confirmed choice, and not from a mere transient flash of devotion? Then, indeed, you have been well employed; and we desire to give glory to God on your account.
But if, on the contrary, your hearts have been cold and insensible, and your thoughts have been wandering without controul, upon the mountains of vanity; if you have felt no grief for fin, no love to the Redeemer, or only such a grief and love as a moving tale might have occasioned; if what you have felt hath not led you to bind yourselves irrevocably to the service of that Redeemer who 'encountered the wrath of God for you - this was not to eat the Lord's Supper. Alas! my heart bleeds for you. Ye have been mocking him who declared that he will not be mocked with impunity; and who, unless you repent, will certainly convince you of this in another world.
These are all the questions which I shall
put to you at this time ; and in whatever way you may find reason to answer them, the inquiry must turn out to your advantage. If, upon search, you discover the unsoundness of your hearts, even in that very sad discovery, you have the greatest advantage for salvation that. you have ever had in the course of your lives. For now, your vain confidence being overthrown, you lie open to a deep and effectual conviction, which is the mercy introductive of all other mercies to your souls. Your chief danger lies in judging too favourably, or in judging falsely, of yourselves. But if you do so, how severely will you suffer for' the short-lived deceit, when God shall himself prove your works, or when he shall say to you, as he said to the carousing king, “ Thou art weighed in the balances, and art * “ found wanting !” How confounded will you be if this sentence shall be pronounced ? and how passionately will you then with for fuch an opportunity of “proving your “ own works” as you now enjoy?
But if, on the other hand, you can, upon good grounds, conclude, that notwith
standing many imperfections in your holy service, you have been sincere and upright on the whole, how great may your comfort be? For God will not cast off the upright man. That which is the terror of the wicked will be your joy. As the son of a king rejoiceth in his father's power and magnificence, so máy you rejoice in those displays of the divine Majesty, which scare a guilty world. How comfortable will the thoughts of a Saviour be, when you can say, “ My beloved' is mine ;" when by faith you can, like Thomas, “ put your hand into « his side, and your finger into the print of « the nails, and say unto him, My Lord, « and my God?” With what joy will you read the holy Scriptures, as the charter of your future inheritance, and ponder that “ exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” which you fall one day possess? With what holy boldness may you approach the throne of Grace, when you can address God as your reconciled Father in Jesus Christ? How cheerfully may you endure affliction? How calmly may you leave this world? If then any of these comforts are dear to