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minds of those who adopt them, I would intimate to such that I see no warrantry in Scripture to countenance such notions, and I ground my assertion on the following reasons :
In the first place, for the relief of the minds of those who imagine that if, through temptation, they fall into any sin after they have taken the Sacrament, they shall meet with final damnation, I need only point out the example of St. PETER, who, after participating in the Lord's Supper, at the very time it was instituted, actually and with imprecations, through personal fear, publicly denied Christ, and yet, upon repentance, was pardoned : this instance is too conclusive to render farther observation necessary.
When the Corinthians took the Lord's Supper unworthily, they are said to have ate and drank their own damnation; or in other words, they drew down upon themselves the judgments of God; in consequence of which St. Paul in his. Epistle, (1 Cor. c. xi.) reprimanded them and explained the nature of this rite ; when and why it was instituted, and directed them how they were to conduct themselves when they participated in it at a future time: exhorting them before they participated again to examine, that is, to judge themselves—“ For," says the Apostle, “ if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged: But when we are judged we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world”-(1 Cor. c. 11. v. 31. 32.) which proves that they had not ate and drank their final damnation; but that there was room for pardon, through repentance; otherwise be would not bave used such language, as will appear by comparing the context with the text. In the thirty-ninth verse, after reprimanding them for having ate and drank unworthily (which he proves to them they had,) he says “ Let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup,"_" For," says he, “he that eateth
and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."—(v. 31.) “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep," (v. 32.) that is, many of those who did eat and drink unworthily : they were judged by God, and visited with divers punishments, some with death; for in this sense the word sleep is used (the latter were, it is to be presumed, the most wilful among those who offended, pro. bably hardened hypocrites) having said, “ Let a man eramine, or approve, or judge, himself, &c.” The apostle goes on with, “ for if we would judge ourselves, &c. (31 and 32 verses, quoted before) and then be continues, “ Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another, and if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation, and the rest will: I set in order when I come." (33 and 34 verses.) Now, had all ate and drank their final condemnation there would have been no necessity
for the apostle to have given them directions bow to repair their error; for it is clear that be addresses those who had so offended, and who had not been visited by the punishment of death ; because he not only says “ many are weak and sickly among you;" but he also says, “ When we are judged we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." But if he had addressed only those who had not ate and drank unworthily, using this verse as a warning to them, it still implies the same thing for which I am contending, viz. that there was hope of pardon for those who had offended ; for, if it were not so; what occasion would there have been to refer to the “chastening of the Lord," which is visited upon men for the purpose of reforming them? chastening being the proper correction used by a father towards his children, not the vengeance of a destroyer ; and we may paraphrase the words thus“ Corinthians, by having acted as you did (describing how) when participating in the holy supper of our Lord, which was instituted in this manner, (as recited) and for the purpose of remembering Christ and shewing forth his death, fc. you have eaten and drunk the body and blood of our Lord unworthily; not being in a state of mind to discern the sacred nature, and true intent and meaning of this rite; and you may assure yourselves that I am speaking truth, seeing that God has visited you with judgments; many are weak, many are sickly among you, and some have been punished with death; let this be a warning to you who bave survived, and make you repent; lest the chastening withi which God, in his mercy, has been pleased to visit you, to recall you to a proper sense of your duty, be turned into a worse affliction; lest ye be judged unworthy of God's favour, and finally condemned with the reprobates of the world : consider, therefore, the state you are in; judge or examine, or approve yourselves, &c. &c. and in future celebrate the holy supper in this wise, &c. &c. and