Imágenes de páginas

world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh. O do not merely profess to serve God; do not serve him with your lips only, while your heart is in league with his enemies. Be not so inconsistent as to act in direct contradiction to those solemn professions which you have been making in the presence of God and his people, by again yielding to the temptations of Satan, and walking after the course of this world, and following the devices of your own evil heart. Surely it is a suitable thought after this service, “ I have disclaimed the world as my portion, shall I then, for the compassing of a little of its forbidden gain, wrong my brother, to whom I ought to do good ? wrong my profession, which I ought to adorn ? and wrong my conscience, which I ought to keep void of offence?" In the words of St. Paul, Ye cannot drink of the cup of the Lord, and the cup of Devils : ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of Devils. What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? and what communion hath light with darkness ? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. Avoid then all unnecessary associations with worldly and wicked people. Do not make them the companions of your choice. Rather say with David, Depart from me, ye evil doers, for I will keep the commandments of my God. Come out from the sinful practices, the vain amusements, and the trifling pursuits of the world. You belong to a better society; you have higher and holier companions.

We have noticed that Christians may be specially harassed by their corruptions, at seasons of devotion ; and it has been sometimes found that after receiving,

[ocr errors]


they have been much tempted by their great adversary. They have been tempted, perhaps, to think highly of themselves as spiritual and holy characterse Gaard against thus falling into pride, the peculiar temptation of the Devil. Eating and drinking in the presence of Christ, (Luke xiii, 36.) are by no means decided proofs of eminent piety. At other times we are tempted after the enjoyment of a spiritual privilege, to become careless, unwatchful, and off our guard. It is recorded for our admonition, that Peter denied, and all the disciples forsook their master after the Lord's Supper. Let us then watch and pray. Let us go from the Lord's Supper, not to indulge sloth and negligence, but to a holy walk with God, and a determined conflict with all our spiritual enemies, boldly confessing our Saviour before men, and speaking good of his name.

5. ENDEAVOUR TO ATTAIN MORE OF THE MIND OF CHRIST. Imitate the Saviour whose death you have been commemorating. O that there were such a love to Christ, and delight in him, and admiration of him, that we copied his graces, and were never content till we were like him. Let the same spirit animate you which animated him, the spirit of gentleness, meekness, patience, and love: the spirit of faith, devotion, self-denial, and zeal. The disciples should be like their master. He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself so to walk, as he also walked. The Apostles, from their having been with our Lord, attained something of his holy courage and firmness; and their enemies even took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. O that there were such an evident elevation of piety in every communicant, such meekness, heavenly-mindedness, and self-denial, that all around could see the blessed effects of communion with Christ at his table !

[ocr errors]


6. CULTIVATE A SPIRIT OF SINCERE LOVE, love to the brethren, and to all men. This duty is here taught with much advantage. Having seen in this ordinance that Christians are all members of the same body, consider what love there should be


them. Let us frequent, and delight in, the society of the pious. David says, I am a companian of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.' Surely we ought to have a tender sympathy in each other's sorrows and each other's joys. Let this holy feast teach us disinterested, fervent, pure, self-denying, undissimulating love to the brethren; to be like-minded one towards another according to Christ Jesus; to put away as much as possible all coldness, distance, suspicions, and jealousies; and to be open, kind, and tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you. It has been well said, « let those that have liad communion with God in this ordinance be able to appeal to their relations and domestics, and all they converse with, and to vouch them for witnesses that they have mastered their passions, and are grown more mild and quiet in their families than formerly they were.

Let us never give occasion to the enemies of religion to say that the seriousness of religion makes men sour and morose, and that zeal in devotion disposes them to peevishness and passion ;"* let us rather shew that the more earnest we are in religion, the more we are cheerful, and amiable, and loving towards all with whom we have to deal.

This love will be shewn in gladly availing ourselves of opportunities to do good, and seeking for such opportunities. It will also manifest itself in attention to the wants of the poor. If we ourselves have richly partaken of the feast which God's mercy has provided for us, let us send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared. Neh. viii, 10. Let us be thoughtful of the spiritual and temporal wants of the afflicted poor around us.

* See Henry's Communicant's Companion.

7. ADORN THE RELIGION OF YOUR SAVIOUR. Let our spirit and temper, our words, and our whole conduct and behaviour be such as becometh the Gospel of Christ. How devout, how holy, and how spiritual was the conversation of our Lord, (as we have it recorded from the 14th to the 17th chapters of St. John's Gospel) after first administering and partaking of this ordinance ! O that our conversation, too, like his, may ever after be full of love, and kindness, and devotion! Again, a faithful discharge of relative duties truly adorns religion. “ The master ruling with gentleness, the servant labouring with cheerfulness and fidelity; the husband kind and tender, the wife meek and obedient; the father mixing parental affection with correction, the son manifesting filial love, with dutiful submission ; and so in every other relation, each fulfilling the duties of their station. This will make our houses temples; and the charity, forbearance, patience, and submission shewn one to another in such families, will be the most convincing proof that Christ really dwells onder that roof. God has brought you near to him, that you may be unto him for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory. The profession of religion made at the Lord's table seems to impress this duty of honouring his name with peculiar force. You have been publicly confessing Christ before men, and acknowledging your hope in him before his people. You have also received from him the tokens of his favour. The honour of Christ is then in some measure entrusted to you. The world, perversely enough, and sometimes, alas! to their eternal ruin, judge of Christ and his Gospel by the conduct of his professing people. Your failings may be a stumbling block; your stedfastness in faith, hope, and love, a blessing to many. Christian communicant! your tempers and dispositions should set forth the excellence of Christ to a world in ignorance of him. When the more glorious light of the sun has left us, the mild and peaceful beams of the moon enlighten a land otherwise enveloped in darkness; and give us some faint, yet cheering resemblance of the beauty and benefit of the greater light of heaven, Christian communicant, let your light borrowed from the Saviour, reflect some peaceful and beneficial rays in the midst of a dark world, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We conclude the whole of this part of the Treatise, by pressing on the reader's attention the importance of observing this ordinance, and repeating the dying charge of the Redeemer,



« AnteriorContinuar »