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and distress, so it has been found by them to be an hindrance in their coming before the Lord in the use of this ordinance with that holy cheerfulness, boldness and delight, which is both their duty and privilege.
I judge this to be the case : we have felt and feel a propensity, and are too apt to look to it more than to Christ in the use of it, and thus to over-rate this. ordinance, and exalt it beyond all other means of grace, which is
which is very far from being right; and for which we have not the least example nor warrant from the word of God.
Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, though positive institutions, and of a peculiar nature, both of which are to remain and be continued until the Lord come: yet they are but means of grace ; they cannot confer nor communicate it, nor is any blessing to be expected from them, but from Christ, who is exhibited and set forth in them; who hath promised to be with his churches, people, and ministers, in their observance of them: his royal command which he gave to his apostles, and (in them and by them,) to all his ministers, being this ; « Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." And his promise is, "Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Amen.
Both these ordinances, as appointed by Christ, have this peculiarity in them,they are designed to represent Christ to our spiritual senses, as having been incarnate; and by his life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, completely finished the work of salvation. The peculiar design of the holy Supper being a menorial of our Lord's sorrows, agonies, sufferings, blood-shedding, sacrifice, and death.
I freely confess, it is most truly to be desired, and what I would for my own part seek and importune the Lord for, to be filled by him with the profoundest solemnity of spirit, with the utmost exalted devotion of soul, when engaged in the commemoration of the sufferings and death of our most dear and precious Lord Jesus, Yet I apprehend this is best attained, increased, and promoted,
by a true spiritual and scriptural view of our Lord's own end and design in the institution.
It is an important truth which the saints and children of “the living God” should attend unto, that all ordinances which bear the stamp of divine authority, and are parts of instituted worship, are appointed by the Lord for their instruction, edification, comfort, and increase of faith, hope, and love. In the use of means the Holy Ghost is pleased to bless believing souls by shining upon them, enlightening their minds, increasing their knowledge, directing their hearts into the love of God; giving them real enjoyments of it, filling their souls with it, and carrying on within them communion with the Father and the Son, by which means they grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It therefore follows as a truth, that we must have proper views of our Lord's end and design in his sacred appointments, that we may wait upon him in our observance of them to his real honour, and to our own profit and ad
vantage. With a view to the approach-. ing solemnity, and as suitable to it, I intend to set before you the nature, use, end, and design of the Lord's Supper, as selected from the 11th chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, the 23d, 24th, and 25th verses; in which Paul, an infallible apostle of Jesus Christ, gives
a particular account of it as he had it from Christ himself. His words are these : “ For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you : this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner, also, he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”
In which words we have the Author of this institution, the Lord Jesus ; the time when he appointed it, “the same night in which he was betrayed.” The institution itself, and the use, design, and end
of it; it is 'for a memorial and remembrance of Christ : “ this do in remembrance of me.”
We will cast the words into the following method and order, by.considering,
First, the Author of this institution ;
Secondly, the time when it was first appointed.
Thirdly, the institution itself.
I will, first, observe the Author of this institution: and it is our Lord Jesus Christ himself, who is, by essential union, one in the Godhead with the Father and the Holy Ghost; co-equal, co-essential, and co-eternal_God over all, blessed for ever. Amen.” “ The Son of the living God.” He, as God-man Mediator, who is “the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person, King of kings, and Lord of lords;" the head of his church, and the Saviour of his mystic body, whom he hath purchased with his most precious blood, is the author of this sacred means of grace.
He in whom, as God and man personally united, dwelleth “all the fulness