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our God. For such we sind to be the tenor os the covenant: " I will be their God, and they shall be "my people (e)." And, as I formerly observed, this covenant is unalterably consirmed, by the shedding of Christ's blood; so that every believer may now triumph in the reasoning of the apostle,—He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, and who gives us his broken body and shed blood to seast upon, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
4. It is also a seast of love. The Jewish passover, which was an eminent type of it, was a seast of love as well as of remembrance; for it was celebrated by the whole nation of the Jews, assembled together in one place i plainly intimating, that they were one body united together m love. But the Lord's Supper is much more a seast of love; for it is a memorial of the unexampled and astonishing love, which the Son of God expressed in laying down his lise for us; and surely, on our parts, it ought to be kept with the warmest gratitude and affection. Our hearts should burn with' love to him, who loved us, and Vashed us from our sins in his own blood. But besides* this, it is also a seast of love, as it is most signisicant of that Christian charity and love which the guests should bear to one another; for they all sit at one table, and eat of the same bread, and drink of the same cup. Nay, by this solemn action, they declare their love to each other, as children of the same divine samily, and' members of one mystical body, of which Christ is the Head ; and therefore they ought to be united together in the tenderest bond of sympathy and affection. Happy are they who abdund in this grace. The God of love and peace shall be with them.
5. And, lastly^ It is a plentisul seast, and freely givenj the provision of a God, who delights to exercise loving-kindness in the earth, and will supply all the wants of his people, according to his riches in glory
(0 % Cor. vi. ii.
by Christ Jesus. There is bread enough in your Father's house, and to spare; enough to answer every exigence, to satisfy every desire, and to sill up every capacity of enjoyment: for it hath pleased the Father, that in Christ should all sulness dwell, and out of his sulness you may all receive, and grace for grace. If then you will come with enlarged hearts, hungering and thirsting aster Christ, you shall be abundantly satissied with the goodness of his house, even of his holy temple. And sinally, This spiritual seast, as it is sull and satisfying, so it is freely given. How simple and generous is the invitation to it?" Ho, ** every one that thirsteth, come ye to the watersk "and he that hath no money, come, buy wire and ** milk, without money and without price. Who"soever will, let him come, and take of the water *i of lise freely." Though it was dearly purchased by your Saviour, yet he osiers it to you in the kindest and most encouraging manner: " Behold," says he, ** I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear **' my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me,"
III. And this brings me to consider, thirdly, The erftertainment provided in it, or on what communicants are invited to seast at the table of the Lord.
In general, then, they are to seast on a crucisied Redeemer, his broken body, and his shed blood* Now, the sufserings of Christ, when contemplated by saith, afford the most delightsul entertainment to a believer.—For,
1. He sees, in them, that divine justice is sully satissied, and provision made for his pardon and justisication. "In Christ," says the apostle, " we have "redemption through his blood, even the forgive-: ness of sin." Nay, divine justice itself is concerned, upon the account of Christ's death, to pardon the iniquities of his servants. "If," says the apostle , " we consess our sins, he- is- saithsul and just forgive us our sins;" just, not indeed with regard gard to us, for his grace is unmerited and free ; but just, with regard to the death of Christ : for he having paid the debt, the discharge must injustice follow. Now, what a feast is this to a convinced and humble foul? Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee. What a refreshing cordial is this? What joy must spring up in the mind, when the sweetness of pardoning mercy is insused into our cup of consolation?" Blessed is he," says the Psalmist, "whole "transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered: "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not "iniquity."
2. Another fruit of the sufferings and death of Christ, that we are here invited to seast upon, i» peace with God; for this inseparably accompanies the ^former• "Being justisied by faith," says the apostle, " we have peace with God through our "Lord Jesus Christ." And what a blessed privilege is this! how divinely sweet and ravishing to the soul! To be reconciled to God, who is the best of friends, and whose savour is better than lise; and not only to be reconciled, but to be assured of his savour, of his dearest.and tenderest love: What more canst thou desire? What greater comfort, what more satisfying joy, than to be aY.e to say with the Psalmist, " This God is my God for ever and ever,' and "he will be my guide even unto death?" ** Yea, "though I walk through the valley and shadow of "death, lie will be with me; his rod and his staff "will comfort me."
3. From thence, as another part of your entertainment, there results peace and tranquillity of conscience. This is one of those precious legacies which Christ bequeathed to his disciples when he was leaving the world: "Peace," says he, "I leave with "you, my peace I give unto you." This peace is such as the world can neither give nor take away; for it arises from a sense of our reconciliation to God, and the assurance of an interest in his loveBut what this is, how pleasing and delightsul to the
£ 2 soul> foul, is better selt than it can be expressed. Peace in the conscience is a cordial inexpressibly delightsul. When the peace of God is shed abroad in the heart, the pleasure of it passeth understanding. In a word, it is the bread ^nd the water of lise j it exalts the foul to a taste of celestial enjoymenj, and consers a sense of internal security, which the wicked cannot seel. And hence, says the Psalmist, when reflecting on the goodness of God in granting liitn this peace, " Re"turn unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath "dealt bountisully with thee."
4. Another fruit of Christ's death and sufferings, on which believers are invited to seast, is communion and sellowship with God. There is nothing that has a greater tendency to sweeten human lise, than the intercourse of one friend with another. What then can be imagined more pleasing to the soul, than the friendship of God, and communion with him? Now, this also is provided as a part of the devout communicant's entertainment at the table of the Lord; for there he is admitted to see the King in his beauty, and the land that is asar off. He tastes that the Lord is gracious, and seels his love shed abroad in his heart; and he can therefore say with the Church, " I ** sat down under his shadow with great delight, and "his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me *} into the banqueting-house, and his banner over.mc "was love." Nay, such is the happiness which the people of God sometimes experience in communion with him at his table, that they are made to say with the disciples on the mount, " Lord, it is good for "us to be here :" and as Jacob did of Bethels " Surely ** the Lord is in this place; this is none other but "the house of God, this is the gate of heaven." And indeed, my brethren, when the soul is savoured with such near and intimate communion *as this, it enjoys a kind of heaven upon earth; it tastes the food of angels, and receives as it were the sirst fruits, in the joysul hope of reaping the sull harvest.
These then. are a few of the rich and invaluable blessings purchased by the death os Christ, and which are provided for your entertainment, who are sincere and faithsul communicants.
But again, you are likewise to feast upon his death, as it is the new testament in his blood, i. e. a ratisication of the new testament or covenant, by this facred fymbol,—the shedding of his blood. Thus, we sind, the apostle to the Hebrews represents the death of Christ, in allusion to a testamentary disposition or settlement, which of necessity requires the death of the testator (a). Hence, the1 precious fruit* of the death of Christ, and all the blessings which he has bequeathed to the heirs of promise, are by this means unalterably consirmed and secured to them; and in scripture they are called the sure mercies of David: nay, all the promises are faid to be in him, Yea, and in him, Amen, to the gloiy of God.
Many other views of our Redeemer's death might have been given you, as a suitable and pleasing entertainment at a communion table. I might nave observed to you, that, by his death and sufferings, he is made a persect Captain of falvation, and a molt compassionate and mercisul High-priest; for in that he himself suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. I might have observed farther, that, by his death and sufferings, he merited his triumphant entrance into the highest heavens, and that, not only in his own name, but to take possession of the heavenly glory, as our Head and Forerunner. And, sinally, that, in virtue of his blood filed upon the cross, he makes effectual and never-ceasing intercession at his Father's right hand. But on these, the limits of this discourse will not allow me to insist.
I only add, that believers in Christ are called toi seast upon his death, because, by this one offering, he hath for ever persected them that are fanctisied r and as he has purchased all that is necessary to makeyou persecti fo he is invested with full power and au.E 3 thority (*> Heb. ix. 16, if.