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deemer's death at his table, in the hope of sharing with him his crown and his throne, in a higher ftate?
3. You ought to go to God, in this ordinance, as your exceeding joy; as you have in it the clearest and fullest assurance of receiving from him all that is neceffary for your comfort and happiness, while you continue here. There are, in a strict fense, but two ends of going to God in his worship and ordinances, to express our sense of, and thankfulncfs for favours received, and as beggars for more. Now, my brethren, in this ordinance you are not only called to celebrate the love of a gracious and reconciled God, but to trust in the fulness of an all-fufficient God. That we may view this the more distinctly, there are these two kinds of blessings we stand in need of, those that relate to our spiritual life, and those that relate to our temporal comfort.
ift, Those that relate to the spiritual lifc. What is the great defire of every real fervant of God in this house? Is it not to have your hearts more inflamed with the love of God, and more devoted to his fear? Is not fin your greatest burthen, and its remaining influence your greatest grief ? Now, where can you have a more reasonable hope of getting your gracious dispositions strengthened, or your fins mortified, than at a communion table. Is it not express. ly designed for your spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace? And as the institution of these sensible figus is a remarkable proof of divine condefcension, so I can hardly conceive any thing more wisely and happily calculated for this excellent end.
What can more strengthen your faith in a dying Saviour, than being allowed to look upon the signs of his broken body, and his blood poured out? What can speak greater peace to the confcience, than your being allowed and invited to receive him explicitly? . This is my body, broken for you.' What can more happily serve to kindle and inflame your love to God, than the immediate contemplation of his infinite love for you? Where can you take such a hateful view of sin, as a detested object, as at the Lord's table, where you see it in your Saviour's sufferings ? Where and how can you lay such a bond upon the conscience, as by receiving the seals of this facred engagement? How can you give such a deadly wound to your strongest lusts, as by sailing and affixing them to your Redeemer's cross? What motive of future obedience equal to bearing about in your bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus? See what the Apostle says, 2 Cor. v. 14. For the love of Christ • constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one • died for all then were all dead. Gal. ii. 20. I am • crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not 'I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son
of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." What remedy can you find for your own weakness, like the all-sufficiency of Christ? Col. ii. 9. ' For in • him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodi• ly. I Cor. i. 30. Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, . who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righte
ousness, and fanctification, and redemption. I will not so widely handle the subject as to cite to you
all the passages which show that the spirit of fancti. fication is a part of the purchase of your Redeemer, and one of his gifts to those who humbly implore it. Is it not well known, and do not believers at his table, sensible of their own weakness, and confident of their Saviour's power, get their feet upon the Decks of their enemies, and say, 'I can do all things • through Christ strengthening me.'
2d, They have here all things necessary for their temporal comfort. They have a complete remedy for their ca res, as well as their sins. As at the Lord's table you lay hold of the covenant of peace, so there, if any where, you may see, that it is ordered in all things, and sure; your food and raiment, and all necessary provision, is contained in it; and Christ's body is the pledge. How gracious the promise! your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of these things, Pfal. xxxiv. 8, 9, 10. 'O taste and see • that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man that • trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his faints! i for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger; but they • that seek the Lord, shall not want any good thing. • Ifa. xxxiii. 16. He shall dwell on high; his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks; bread - shall be given him, his waters shall be sure.' Deliverance from sufferingis contained in it, Pfal. xxxiv. 19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but • the Lord delivereth him out of them all.' Strength and grace to suffer with patience is contained in it, Ifa. xliii. 2. “When thou passes through the waters, I will • be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not
overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the • flame kindle upon thee.' The fanctified use and improvement of suffering is contained in it. Rom. viii, 28. . And we know that all things work toge
ther for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 2 Cor, iv. 16. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. Consider, cspecially, that at the Lord's table you have an immediate view of the great foundation of reliance on divine providence, Rom. viii. 32. · He that spared not his own Son, • but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not • with him also freely give us all things.' That God, who was so lavish of his love, as not to spare even his own Son, but gave him up to be despised, buffeted, and crucified for you, will not be so inconfiftently hard, as to refuse the small gift in comparison of a little earthly good. He whose foul was redeemed by the blood of Christ thall not lose his body for a little bread.
I cannot help observing, here, of what univerfal use and benefit the doétrine of Christ crucified is, and how high a place it ought to hold'in our esteem. It is not only ufeful for assuring us of the pardon of sin, but makes us superior to all those sufferings, of every kind, which took their rise from fin. The path of a Christian is sometimes thorny and difficult;
of the weaker order of saints have even a greater sensibility of the inconveniencies of life than some thoughtless finners. These last maintain a fort
of bustle and contest for worldly pleasure, and, with a fturdy felf-sufficiency, can, if I may speak fo, return the blows and buffets of adverfe fortune, while the feeble of Christ's flock become funk and heartless un. der a frowning providence. But is not the Lord's table a place of refuge? and is it not matter of experience, that they have found consolation there? Whatever their complaints have been, whether of fickness, or poverty, or loss of relations, or the Nanders of their enemies, they have adored the sovereign will of God in them all; they have been brought to a placid submission to his providence in them all; nay, they have happily seen and confessed his wife and merciful purpose in them all. It was not without a view to his trials, that the Pfalmist, in the text, defires to go unto the altar of God, unto God his exceeding joy. And you may see how he expresses himself in the following verse, “Why art thou cast down, O • my soul! and why art thou disquieted within me ! hope in God; for I shall praise him, who is the • the health of my countenance, and my God!
4th, I come, now, in the last place, to observe, that this ordinance is a fource of joy, as it is a pledge and earnest of heaven; a fore-taste of that eternal happiness which God hath prepared for his faithful fervants in the world to come. This, my brethren, ought never to be out of our view while we sojouro in this valley of tears.
This eternal joy is what our Redeemer has given us the fullest assurance of. It is he who hath drawn aside the curtain, and opened to us a joyful prospect into the holy of holies, into the blessed mansions of