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SERM. favour and protection; there is not one of these sins but he
is liable to fall into. And this is the reason why the Spirit
of God has given us all, even the best of us, this caution : ( (1 Cor. 10. “Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.”
Will any one of us, after this, if this be true (as we are sure it is), will any man say, I hope I am in no such great danger. I have no such ailments to be cured of. I hope I shall be governed by reason, my own sense of what is good and evil will keep me from such unworthy, from such destructive and shameful vices. God help him that thinks so ! Indeed, God must help you, or your danger is greater, your maladies and disorders are more deadly than you are aware of.
And were it not for the wonderful love of our blessed Redeemer, in laying down His life as a sacrifice for our sins, and restoring us to the favour of an offended God; if He had not appointed these means of grace, by which we can plead before God, that His own Son has redeemed us from the power of the devil, if it be not our own fault; if He had not obtained for us the assistance of an all-powerful Spirit, to direct and assist us, not one soul of us would be saved.
And now, if after what has been said, and I hope believed (for we dare not say any thing but what Christ has commanded us to say and speak); if, after what you have heard, you are not sensible that your disorders are many and great, and of very dangerous consequences if not cured ; there is no help for it, you must perish.
This is not what our merciful God and Saviour designed, when He appointed this holy sacrament to be observed by all that hope for salvation through His merits. He laid down His life, to convince all mankind that their souls were in danger, without His grace and help. He appointed this service, that they might not forget their danger; and that they might have a cure for their diseases, and their fears. Whoever will not accept of this remedy, there is no hope left for him: this being the only remedy for our sins, which are the diseases of our souls; the only medicine to obtain our pardon and the grace of God, to mend the corruption of our nature, to increase and to confirm our faith, without which it will be impossible to please God, or to be made whole.
In short; this is the only medicine to supply the graces we want,—the bread by which the life and health of our souls is to be preserved. It is as much the support of our souls, as common bread is the food and support of our bodies.
These, and many more, are the blessings which every Christian may expect, who goes worthily to the Lord's Table.
But who, some will say, can be sure that he shall be a worthy communicant? Let a man sincerely purpose and strive to amend what he knows to be amiss in himself; let him sincerely purpose and strive to lead a Christian life for the time to come; let him firmly believe, that, for the sake of what Jesus Christ hath done and suffered for us, we have peace with God upon our repentance; let him, with a thankful heart, remember the great goodness of God in giving His only Son for His sinful and otherwise lost creatures; and let him remember the sufferings of Christ, in order to redeem mankind from the slavery of sin and Satan; and lastly, let him be as ready to forgive others as God has been to forgive him, and as he hopes for that mercy from God: every such person may humbly hope to be a meet partaker of these holy mysteries, and may return home healed of all his maladies.
In short; let me observe to you, that Jesus Christ, the great Physician, comes to our doors, as He did to these people.
All they that were distressed and wanted His help most readily and thankfully applied to Him. There was no need to exhort and press them to go to Him for a cure. They were convinced that there was an healing power in Him to cure them.
Their faith in Him cured them of all their diseases: and the same faith in His power, and the same sense of our disorders, and earnest desire to be relieved, will as certainly obtain the help we wish for—the cure of all our disorders.
And may the Lord pity and awaken all such, if there be any such, as are so senseless, and blind, as not to see and feel, that they want His help every day of their lives! When once they are sensible of this, they will not need to be told how often they should go to Him for relief. The oftener they go, the better it will be for them, if they go with a sincere desire to be made better.
And be assured of it, Christians, it is with this spiritual food, as it is with the food of our bodies : a man may long as quite to lose his appetite, and thereby endanger his life: even so, by abstaining from the Lord's Supper, he may forget the wants he labours under, he may forget the want and blessing of a Redeemer, of the Physician of his soul, till he is past cure without a miracle, which he will have no reason to expect.
And now, may all we, who, through the grace of God, desire and purpose to partake of this blessed medicine of our souls, be ever prepared to receive it worthily, whenever it is offered to us, by resolving, through God's help and grace, never to live in any known sin, never to act against our conscience, never to neglect the known duties of our calling, but to live in the fear of God, and to pray daily for His pardon and grace to do our duty, and that He may increase and confirm our faith, for His mercy's sake in Jesus Christ, our only Physician and Redeemer.
To Whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be all glory and thanksgiving, now and for ever. Amen
THE LORD'S SUPPER PRACTICALLY EXPLAINED.
Doce me, Domine Jesu, sacrum hoc institutum tali sacro modo tractare, et
conatus meos gratia tua adeo secunda, ut indignus usus corporis et sanguinis tui judicium meum,aut eorum qui me audient, nunquam aggravet ; sed sacrificii tui memores semper digni fieremus participes. Amen.
LUKE xxii. 19.
The words of Jesus Christ when He ordained the Sacrament of the See Deut.
16. 12; Lord's Supper : This do in remembrance of Me.
John 6. 51,
53, 55; St. Paul concludes his first epistle to the Corinthians 1 Cor. 10. with these remarkable words: IF ANY MAN LOVE NOT THE
[chap. 16. LORD JESUS CHRIST, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA MARANATHA.
22.) Now, if the generality of Christians can hear these words without trembling, it must be either because they do not understand, or they do not consider them. For the meaning and the direction is this : if any Christian amongst you shews by his life and behaviour, THAT HE DOES NOT LOVE THE LORD JESUS, let such a man be separated from your communion, as being under the displeasure of Almighty God.
I dare say, that few Christians, when they hear these words, do think themselves at all concerned in them. We are all but too apt to conclude the best for ourselves, and to think it impossible not to love Jesus Christ, by whose merits and mediation we hope to be saved.
But let us not deceive ourselves. Let us rather, every man, ask himself—How is it that I behave myself to my benefactors, and to those whom I do really love? If any
SERM. man has done me à very great service, if a man has proLXXVI.
mised me any great favour, I love to speak of him, and of the kindness he has done, or promised me; I often think of him, and with a thankful mind, and I fully resolve never to do any thing which may disoblige him.
Is it thus we love the Lord Jesus Christ? Would to God we could all truly say so. However, let us consider what He has done for us, and see how it will affect our hearts.
When the whole race of mankind was under the displeasure of Almighty God, had forfeited all pretence to immortal happiness, and had become liable to eternal death, Jesus Christ undertook to obtain our pardon, and to restore us to the favour of God.
But the sin had spread so far and wide, that this could not be done without a suitable satisfaction to the justice of God. God had declared, that the disobedience of Adam should be punished with death. His truth was at stake, and the offender, and all his posterity, were under His displeasure.
Jesus Christ therefore, moved with compassion for so great a calamity, left the glories of heaven, and took upon Him our nature, that, as man, He might suffer what our sins had deserved, and that, as the Son of God, the satisfaction might be sufficient for the sins of the whole world. In short, He laid down His life for us; and by that most worthy sacrifice, He not only made our peace with God, and delivered us from eternal death ; but obtained of God His Father an assurance of eternal life and happiness for all such as would become His faithful servants.
And that such might be distinguished from all others, He appointed an holy ordinance, to preserve the memory of these mighty blessings till His coming again; requiring all His faithful followers, all who expect any benefit by His death, to commemorate the same after the manner He ordained the night before He suffered.
Let us ask our own hearts, does this mercy deserve to be remembered by us? Or will any Christian say, THAT HE LOVES THE LORD Jesus Christ, who will lightly turn his back upon that holy ordinance, which Christ Himself has appointed, as the most acceptable way of shewing our love