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THE SAVIOUR'S DEATH,
263 do in remembrance of me. Cold is the heart that can forget him. Cold the heart that delights not to cherish the remembrance of such a friend. Follow him from the table, where he broke the bread, to the cross on which he died. There he atones for sins numberless as the drops of morning dew, and vast as the mountains that pierce the skies. There he brings in an everlasting righteousness, and opens wide the gate of heaven. There he dies, and dies for you; dies that you may live; sheds his heart's blood to wash away your sins; and endures his Father's frown, that on you, a poor, ruined child of death and woe, his Father may for ever smile. For you he purchased peace, by agonies intolerably severe. he opens heaven. Your Shepherd would he be through the wilderness of time; and crown the long eternity that awaits you with glory, honour, and happiness. In those many mansions in his Father's house, where he is now exalted at the right hand of power, he would give you a peaceful dwelling! In those regions, where as the Lamb that was slain, he will lead his flock to living fountains of waters, and where God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, he would enrich you with all the treasures of eternal life. Compared with this immense benevolence, what are human benefactors, the wisest, the greatest, and the best! Their kindness, when it shines brightest, and glows with the warmest fervour, is more insignificant compared with his, than the glimmering of a glow-worm compared with the meridian sun.
What grateful recollections then does he deserve! All his dying love, and all his living care; all he has done for your salvation, all he is doing, all he will do through eternity, should unite to impress this precept on your heart, and to render it the most de lightful precept in the book of God. 6. This do in remembrance of me.
Can they be Christians who hesitate to obey a precept recommended by such a design, as that of remem. bering such a friend ! Will not the Christian rather say to Him, “ Holy Redeemer, thou hast united my happiness and duty, in bidding me remember thee. O thou divine friend! I would remember thee while memory keeps its seat within my soul ; and rather let my right hand forget its cunning, let
my heart forget to move, my pulse to beat, my tongue to speak, my eyes to see, than I forget thee, whose dying love procured eternal salvation for my ruined soul !"
MOTIVES FOR COMMEMORATING
§ 3. These considerations, on remembering Christ with con gratitude and love, receive additional weight when we take into view the particular event, in his benevolent course, to co which the sacred supper leads our meditations. The event ) Gud was the most important in the annals of time; the most mosph mentous in the records of eternity. We have no reason for apprehending that such another event ever did take place in the eternity past, or during an eternity to come ever will. The te happiness of the millions of the redeemed, and the glory of God in their salvation, through eternal ages, was suspended on his atonement. If that had not been effected, the apostate sau world must have been for ever lost; heaven must have closed its gates against all the inhabitants of the earth. No songs of redeeming love must ever have resounded through its blissfulan regions. No child of Adam must ever have become a child of God. The wisdom and love of God in man's redemption must never have been displayed. The triumphs of Satan Fair would have been complete, and the earth have become only an ample nursery for hell. On this one event all these others were suspended. This one was effected. Jesus died, and dying glorified the law and made it honourable, atoned for sin and rescued the sinner.
The way to heaven was then opened. Myriads, admitted there, in consequence of this sacrifice even before it was offered, were confirmed in happiness, and the way prepared to that abode for millions more
. The plans of the wicked one were baffled. A display of the love and wisdom of God, that will shine bright to eternity
, then commenced. Eternity may roll away its ample ages but never will this event be forgotten ;-this event
, to which heaven will owe perhaps more than half its inhabitants; and all the praises of redeeming love, in which those inhabitants will for ever join ;-this event, to which multitudes
, countless as the sands on the sea shore, will ascribe their felicity, through ages without end ;-this event, to which the hosts of angels will owe all their intimacies, and friendship
, which even God will owe all the rich revenue of glory, that and mutual joy with the spirits of the just ;—this event, to as the God of salvation will accrue to him through all eternity. formation of a world compared with this ? What even the eation of cherubim and seraphim, and all the sons of light
THE SAVIOUR'S DEATH,
265 compared with this! Their creation would never have called forth songs of eternal praise, so fervent, so lofty, so expressive of infinite benefits, as this event will elicit. And glorious as God shines when he appears the Creator of cherubim and seraphim, of angels, archangels, principalities, and powers, yet their creation would never have invested him with half that glory, which shines around him, as a just God and yet a Saviour. And shall that one amazing, astonishing, overwhelming event, the atoning death of Jesus, thus be remembered to eternity in worlds of light—thus to eternity fill heaven with its sweetest praise, and invest the character of God with its most radiant glories-shall the hearts and songs of the redeemed be full of it for ever and ever—and shall we not remember it with gratitude and delight :—Will you not listen to him who says,
“ Do this in remembrance of me?" $ 4. Perhaps you have done it with repeated delight. Persevere: do it till he come to call you from the sorrows of time, to all the blessings of eternal life. But perhaps I address one that has hitherto lived careless of this sacred ordinance, and disobedient to the Saviour's will. Why do you act thus ? Perhaps you reply,
Obj. 1. I apprehend I am not fit to approach the Lord's table, and partake of an ordinance so solemn.
Ans. This objection must spring either from a consciousness that you are a stranger to converting grace, or from incorrect views of the gospel of Christ.
If you are a stranger to converting grace; if you know not. what it is to flee from sin and ruin to the Saviour; if you are the slave of allowed sin; then indeed you are unfit to approach this sacred table. But while this is your condition, you are unfit for heaven, and are really and truly fit for hell. The same remark will apply if you know that you are not decided in your acceptance of the Saviour, but halting between him and the world; an almost-Christian, and no more. You are unfit; but then the reason is, you have no part in Christ : you are unfit for heaven, and if you die as you are, sure of not entering there.
But perhaps your fear springs from incorrect views of the gospel." When one who professes to love and follow Christ says, I am not worthy to approach his table, it seems to show that the heart is yielding to a self-righteous bias, and that the
OBJECTIONS TO ATTENDANCE professed believer, instead of seeking acceptance wholly in Jesus, is depending on some fancied personal worthiness. It is not as a worthy creature, but as an unworthy, yet penitent, believer, that you should commemorate the Saviour's death. What does the ordinance point out to you, which has any reference to a worthiness of yours ? Is not its very design to remind
you, that when you were yet a condemned sinner, an ungodly creature, without strength, Christ died for you.
Perhaps you add,
Obj. 2. I am not absolutely convinced that it would be improper for me to attend to this holy ordinance; but I have many scruples respecting the propriety of my doing so.
Ans. Your scruples are either well founded, or without sufficient foundation. If they are well founded, you sin in living in such a state as gives occasion for them. If there is no sufficient ground for them, you sin if you do not endeavour their removal. Were you heir to a rich estate, but had some doubts about the title-deed, would you not have sought with earnestness the best advice you could obtain upon the subject ? Have you done so on a subject of infinitely more importance? Have you disclosed your scruples to your minister, or other intelligent and pious persons ? If you have not, it seems that the case truly is this--you care little whether you rebel against the Saviour's authority or obey his sacred precepts.
Obj. 3. It is true I have neglected communion with the church of Christ; but the cause of my neglect has been the wickedness of some, that were professors of religion.
Ans. Will this excuse avail you at the day of judgment? If they have been hypocrites, will this justify you in rebellion? Suppose that the apostle Paul, when ordered by the Saviour to preach the gospel, had replied, No, Lord; in secret I will love thy gospel, but I will never preach it; for Judas preached it once: nor will I ever join thy people; for Judas once belonged to them. What would the Saviour have thought of him? If boundless mercy had not changed him, he would have been left to go on in pride and disobedience, and with all his professed love to the gospel, to travel to perdition. If you rebel against Christ's authority because some false professors have dishonoured him, take care lest this should be your case,
AT THE LORD'S TABLE ANSWERED,
267 Obj. 4. I acknowledge that I neglect communion at the Lord's table ; but the reason is, my mind is vexed and troubled, by the conduct of one who attends there. He has said some very unwarrantable things about me.
Ans. Are you to fall out with the ordinances of the Lord Jesus Christ, because a brother or sister has fallen out with you? Are you to disobey the Son of God, because a friend has used a harsh word respecting you, or done an unkind action? Is your regard to the Lord's precepts, is your love to his ordinances, is your pleasure in remembering him, so small, that the unkind conduct of an imperfect fellow.sinner should lead you to disobey his commands, and to slight his ordinances ? Blush at such weakness, and such weak attachment to the best of friends. Be assured this objection commonly springs from unmortified pride. You are probably indulging rancour and resentment.
While you indulge such hellish dispositions, what is your professed religion worth ? Unless you forgive you will never be forgiven. But if you feel not these passions, let not the unkind conduct of a fellow-sinner keep you from that ordinance, which reminds you of him who died for all your sins. Go there, and think that ten thousand talents are forgiven you, and forgive and forget an erring brother's debt of a hundred pence.
Obj. 5. I love the Saviour, and wish to follow him; but I fear coming to his table, lest I should eat and drink unworthily, and thus eat and drink damnation to myself. This leads me to neglect his command.
Ans. It is probable that your fears are founded on, mistake. To eat and drink unworthily, and to partake of this ordinance with a deep sense of entire unworthiness, are two things as distinct as possible. The sin of eating and drinking unworthily, is committed when persons commune at the Lord's table in a careless, irreverent manner. So did the Corinthians, when some were hungry and others were drunken.
But probably the idea you attach to the expression, eating and drinking unworthily, is of quite a different description, and consequently you have quite mistaken its meaning. They who were once the chief of sinners, but who have fled to Jesus for salvation, unworthy as they feel themselves, do not eat and drink unworthily, when commemorating his death, who is their hope. But the proud moralist, the good-hearted