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criminality, by the multitudes who countenance each other in the inexcusable neglect of this ordinance, we might well wonder how any persons can turn their hacks on the Lord's table, who make profession of being redeemed by his blood, and appear in his house among those who worship him in spirit and in truth. But, indeed, the awful ignorance of the first principles of the doctrines of Christ, and the stupid and unmeaning services of vain formality, are too glaring not to be observed, and too criminal not to be lamented, by all who have any tender sensibility for the salvation of those around them, and feel for the dishonour of their Lord in the contempt put on his authority, and ordinances. All such neglect contains in it a virtual renunciation of Christ, and his religion: and, however shocked many appear to be with the present impiety and infidelity spreading on every side, yet their own practice most powerfully countenances it ; and there is not a child, or a servant in any family, who sees his parents or superiors living in the habitual neglect of the most solemn and obligatory Christian ordinance, but must 'necessarily conclude that they do not believe a tittle of the doctrine, however decent they may think it, not to avow a renunciation of the established faith of their country. The rising generation, struck with such examples, cannot but be led to treat sacred things with indifference, and to suppose their obligations to fulfil their baptismal engagements as very insignificant, and that the knowledge of cards is much more necessary than the doctrines of the Catechism.
But whenever the religion of the Son of God is received in the light, and the love of it, what is so plainly our duty, will be regarded as our privilege and delight. It will be sensibly felt, that it
is good for us to draw near to God; that He who is our Redeemer and Saviour, is entitled to the first affections of our hearts, and unreserved devotedness to his service; and the sooner we begin to take him for our Lord, to esteem him as our portion, and to follow him as our leader, and the more faithfully we are attached to his worship and service, the happier we shall grow in time, and more meet for an inheritance among the saints in light. To encourage and engage the rising generation thus to cleave to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and never to be ashamed of Christ, or of their open profession of him as their Saviour, is among the most desirable objects to be pursued by every faithful and conscientious Minister of Christ's Church; and nothing will probably contribute more to promote this desirable purpose, than exhortation to early communion, and a disposition to seize every occasion of enforcing on the conscience the duty, and displaying the desirableness and excellence of a life of habitual communion with God.
The views here presented, are only more confirmed by long experience in the Christian ministry ; and the blessedness, as well as propriety, of the practice recomme
mended, will continue to approve itself to every conscience, that dares be faithful to its own convictions, and diligent to enquire into our“ bounden duty and service.”
Влтн, , August 1, 1809.
A Prayer before the Lord's Supper
Ps. Ixxiii. 25.-Whom have I in heaven but
thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee
Cant. vii. 14.-Make haste, my beloved, and
be thou like to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices
Cant. i. 3.-Thy name is as ointment poured
forth, therefore do the virgins love thee...... 120
Ps. lxxxiv. 1, 2.-How amiable are thy taber
nacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God
Luke xxiii. 33.-There they crucified him ...... 122
Heb. vi. 18.-That we might have a strong
consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us..... 124