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sacrament, and you cannot neglect it without being guilty of disobedience to Christ.
Again: women of the poorer class, when they have families of children, too generally make this circumstance a pretext for absenting themselves from the Lord's table. They say that their children burden them' with cares, fret and ruffle their temper, and thus render them unfit for the sacrament. But do your families prevent you from repenting and believing? If you repent and believe, you are fit to come. Your families do in fact furnish an additional motive to you for being religious, and ought to make you anxious to draw down God's blessing both upon yourselves and upon them. If they have been to you an occasion of sin, you must repent of such sin, and strive against it for the time to come; and that you may strive successfully, seek for spiritual strength at the Lord's table. Irritation of temper, and anxiety or carefulness of mind are to be regarded as marks of human weakness, and must be prayed against, and striven against. To suffer them to keep you from the Lord's table, is as if a sick man should make his sickness
an excuse for refusing to apply to the physician. In short, you are either fit to come to the Lord's table, or unfit. If fit, you have nothing to keep you from it. If unfit, you are living in an unchristian state, a state of condemnation. And can you quietly make up your mind to continue in a state of condemnation until you have ceased to have children, or until your families are grown up? The Scriptures represent your children as a blessing. Do not make them a pretext for disobeying God; for neglecting your salvation.
Finally, let me beg of you all to believe that it cannot be wise or safe to live in the neglect of an institution of Christ. Remember that you are bound to partake of the Lord's Supper, because Jesus Christ has commanded it; because you act most unthankfully if you neglect it; because of the spiritual benefits which it is intended to convey. Remember that nothing is necessary to prepare you for this ordinance but faith and repentance; and that nothing, generally speaking, ought to keep you from it, but what, if persisted in, will keep you out of heaven. If you profess and call yourselves Christians, do not slight the Christian sacraments. If you believe that Christ died upon the cross for your sins, do not nesrlect to commemorate his death in the way which he himself appointed. If you acknowledge Christ as your master— if you call him Lord, Lord, refuse not to do the things that he saysb.
b Among the many excellent treatises on the Lord's Supper, published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, I hardly know to which to give the preference. Perhaps the " Short "Introduction to the Lord's Supper," by the apostolical Bishop Wilson, is altogether the most useful. Waldo's " Essay on the Holy Sacrament" is written with great judgment and piety, and the remarks on the Communion Service are excellent. Bishop Gibson's little book on this subject bears marks of the strong sense, learning, and pastoral fidelity of its author. Archbishop Synge's " Answer to all Ex"cuses for not coming to the Holy Sacrament," and Bishop Fleetwood's Reasonable Communicant, are both written with great clearness, and are particularly calculated for removing the doubts of scrupulous persons.
THE CHRISTIAN PRIESTHOOD.
1 Cor. iv. 1. Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Even among men who profess and call themselves Christians, there are at all times too many who require to be instfucted in the religion which they profess; and yet more, who stand in need of exhortation, admonition, and reproof. From whom shall they receive such instruction, and admonition, but from the ministers of God? "How shall they hear without a preacher?" Public worship too appears to tend greatly to the promotion of the glory of God, and of the edification of man; and the Christian sacraments are acknowledged to be generally necessary to salvation. The proper celebration of public worship, however, requires the presence of some person regularly appointed to lead and direct the devotions of the people; and the sacraments, having been ordained by Christ himself, must be administered by men duly authorized by him. From such considerations may be inferred the necessity of the office of the Priesthood.
From the earliest ages, there appear to have been priests appointed to minister for the people in holy things. For some time indeed the office was held by the head of each tribe or family, or annexed to the dignity of king; thus Melchisedec, the king of Salem, was also priest of the most high God. But whatever description of men was invested with it, the office appears to have extended over the whole world, so that as there has seldom been found a people without some religion, there has rarely existed any appearance of religion, without a distinct order of men set apart for its service, set apart " to minister in the things "pertaining to God." Indeed such an order of men seems absolutely essential to any public exercise of religion.
When the Almighty chose to himself a peculiar people to be the depositories of the