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INTRODUCTORY ESSAY,

ON THE
ORIGIN, NATURE, AND TENDENCY

OF THE
Lord’s Supper :

CHIEFLY SELECTED FROM THE WRITINGS OF

THE REV. HUGH BLAIR, D.D.

ALL religion arises from the belief of the existence and perfections of the Supreme Being. But we believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. We believe that this same grand system of nature is continually under his gracious superintendence and protection. We believe that man, formed in the image of God, fell from bis exalted state, and that the Son of God appeared on earth in the fullness of time, to raise him from his fallen condition, and to render him perfectly hapa py in a better world.

It is the acknowledgment and culti, vation of these truths which we are now about to inculcate on the mind of the reader by the celebration of the Lord's SUPPER. The devout Communicant recognises these great leading Articles of the Christian Religion-they are the subjects of his firm belief-the objects of his cheerful hope-the sources of his richest consolation. They impart a pleasure of that refined and elevated nature, not easily to be conceived. It is indeed that inestimable gem which the world cannot give, nor is it in its power to take away.

There are various points of view in which the Holy COMMUNION may be considered---its first grand purport is the remembrance of the Death of Christ? . “IT IS FINISHED.” When he uttered these words, Christ changed the state of the universe. At that moment the Law ceased, and the Gospel commenced. This was the ever-memorable period of time which separated the old and the new world from each other. On one side of the point of separation you behold the law, with its priests, its sacri. fices, and its rites, retiring from sight.

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On the other side you behold the Gospel, with its simpleand venerabļeinstitutions coming forward in to view. Significantly was the veil of the temple rent in this hour; for the glory then departed from between the cherubims. The legal High Priest delivered up his Urim and Thummim, his breast-plate, his robes, and his incense---and Christ stood forth as the great High Priest of all succeeding generations! By that one sacrifice which he now offered, he aboe lished sacrifices for ever. Altars on which the fire had blazed for ages, were now to smoke no more! Victims were no more to bleed! Not with the blood. of bulls and goats, but with his own blood, he now entered into the holy place, there to appear in the presence of God for us. This was also the hour of asso, ciation and union to all the worshippers of God. When Christ said, It is finished -- he threw down the wall of partition which had so long divided the Gentile from the Jew. He gathered into one all the faithful out of every kindred and people. He proclaimed the hour to be come, when the knowledge of the true, God should be no longer confined to one nation, nor his worship to one temple,---butover all the earth the worshippers of the Father should serve him in spirit and truth. From that hour they who dwelt in the uttermost ends of the earth, strangers to the covenant of promise, began to draw nigh. In that hour the light of the Gospel dawned from afar on the BRITISH ISLANDS.

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Another purpose answered by the celebration of the Holy Communion, is this--that as CARIST is come into the world, we hereby bear testimony that we have come unto him in the way which the Gospel hath appointed. “Let us then thus join ourselves to Christ as his disciples-not in words and profes. sions only, but in heart and in truth taking upon us his yoke, and learning of him, who is meek and lowly in heart. Let those who labour under the sense of remembered follies and crimes, come unto Christ with penitent dispositions, and they shall obtain pardon. Let those who labour under the suffering of present, or the apprehension of future sorrows, come unto Christ, and they shall receive con

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