Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

solation. All who are in any sense heavy laden, coming unto him, shall find rest unto their souls.”

Communion with God, is another end which the Lord's SUPPER secures to us—"All that is encouraging and comforting in Christian Faith, is set before us in this most effectual proof of God's mercy to mankind, giving up his Son to the death, as the sacrifice for our sins. In celebrating the memorial of this great event, we are placed as under the immediate brightness of heavenly light, and under the warmest ray of divine love! Let us endeavour to kindle at the altar of the Lord that sacred fire which shall continue to diffuse its vivifying influence over our hearts when we go abroad into the world, and mingle again in the ordinary concerns of life. We draw near to God let us draw near to him as our FATHER who is in heaven, with reverence and humility.”

But the Holy Communion, by leading us to exercise those dispositions in which a good man would wish to die-by laying a foundation for peace with God by strengthening the connection between Christians and Christ their Sa.

viour-prepare us for death, confirming and enlivening our hope of immortality. 66 You recognise on this occasion your relation toʻa higher and better country, with which you are connected by the most sacred ties, and from which you derive those comforts and hopes that will both purify your life, and render your death happy. The Sacrament of the Supper is in this view an ascent of the mind above terrestrial things. At the Lord's Table we associate ourselves in some degree with spirits of a more exalted order. We declare that we are tending towards their society, and have

fixed our final rest within the veil. · For it is worthy of particular observa

tion, that as soon as our Lord had insti. • tuted this sacrament, he staightway leads

the thoughts of his disciples to a state of future existence. Employing that metaphorical style which the occasion na-, turally suggested, he tells them, that though he was not henceforth to drink of the fruit of the vine on earth, yet a day was coming when he was again to drink it with them, to drink it in his Father's kingdom. Here is the abode into which our SAVIOUR was to remove---his

Father's kingdom--here is the society he was there to enjoy with you in my Father's kingdom. These correspond to the two views under which death is most formidable to man, both of which he intended to banish by the institution of this sacrament- first, that death is a transition to a new and unknown world; and next, that it is a final separation from all the friends whom we have loved on earth. We are here assured, that to good men death is not the close of being, but a change of state--a removal from a distant and olsure province of the universe, into the city of our God, the chief seat of their Father's kingdom. And in how amiable a light does our SAVIOUR here appear, looking forward to a future reunion with those beloved friends whom he was now leaving, as to a circumstance which should encrease both his own felicity and theirs, when they meet again in a happier world ! Thus, in the most affectionate manner, chicering their drooping and dejected spirits, and by a similar prospect, providing for the comfort of his followers in future generations, when they should be about to leave the world. When sur

rounded with an affectionate family and weeping friends, a good man is taking his last adieu of all whom he held most dear on earth-When with a feeble voice he is giving them his blessing, before he leaves them for ever--when for the last time he beholds the countenance, he touches the hand, he hears the voice of the person nearest his heart—who could bear this bitterness of grief, if no support were to be ministered by religious hope: If there were no voice to whisper to our spirits, that hereafter we, and those whom we love, shall meet ag-in in a more bliss. ful land ? No higher view can possibly be given of the benefit redounding from this divine institution, than its affording us consolation in such situations of extreme distress, by realizing to our souls the belief of an IMMORTAL STATE, in which all the virtuous and worthy shall be reunited in the presence of their common Lord !

Thus have we endeavoured to illustrate the origin, nature, and tendency of the LORD's SUPPER. It is pleasing to me. ditate on an institution which, for its simplicity and utility, demands ourhighest admiration. Let us always contem- , plate it in this point of view. It will strengthen our taith, animate our hope, and improve our religious affections, Above all, let us connect the humble circumstances of its appointment with the glories of Christ's second coming when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all those who believe. . We close, therefore, in the words of Dr. Hugh Blair out of whose writings we have already made such ample extracts on this divine subject" In the celebration of tbe Holy Sacrament, we beheld our blessed Saviour despised and rejected of men.--We saw him treated as the vilest of malefactors---led to the hill of Golgotha with scorn and contempt, and there undergoing all that the cruelty of his enemies could cohtrive to inflict. All this we beheld him patiently and cheerfully enduring for our sake, in order to accomplish our redemption.Now when at his next appearance, we behold such a glorious revolution--when we behold him rising from the dead, ascending into the highest heavens--sitting down there at the right hand of God, and all things in heaven and earth made

B

« EdellinenJatka »