« AnteriorContinuar »
old world, the burning of Sodom, the rejection of the Jews ! But none of them so clearly shew forth fin's en vil, and God's spotless holiness, and inexorable justice against fin, as do the death and sufferings of our Ren deemer. Come near, and hearken to the raging billows of God's indignation dashing against the Rock of our falvation, and behold God's implacable hatred ao gainst sin. Many a fore storm and hurricane of wrath did he endure, to keep the sea of divine wrath from oo verflowing you. Our Rock groaned, trembled, and fwate blood; he cried, prayed, and intreated : Yet die vine Justice would not hear, nor abate him one stripe : « Awake, ( sword of the Lord," cut him off; let him die, faith Justice, seeing he stands furety for man's sins. O here is a greater evidence of the inexorableness of Justice, and God's implacable wrath against fani, than if he had hurled all the rocks of the creation into the midst of the fea, or the whole world, full of men and angels, into hell. () you that make light of fin, go to the rock in Horeb, go'to Gethfemane, go to mount Calvary, go to a communion-table, and see what Chrift endured for our lins, hear his heavy groans, and be. hold the blood ftanding above his garments. O com. municant, tremble at fin, and come under the shadow of this rock, run into the clefts of it; and, though you hear the roarings and dathings of this terrible sea upon your rock, yet you are fafe here, a drop shall not reach you.
Finally, you ought at this time to have some thoughts of the “ marriage. supper of the Lamb" above, whereof this table is an emblem and representation. Here in the wilderness we get a foretaste of the good things of the promifed land, to fharpen our appetites after the Canaan above, where there first fruits do grow and are fully ripe. O what a glorious and well-furnished table will that be, where the church of the first-born will be all gathered in one general assembly, and set down together with Christ ! 'Oh where are the looks and longings we should have after that heavenly feast ! Awake, my soul, from this dark, deceitful and vexing world : Oh be not in love with thy disease, thy fetters,
and calamities: Join not with those that take up their reft on this fide Jordan, on this lide heaven, and who say, It is good for us to be here; but with these heavenly pilgrims, who say, Arise, let us depart, this is not our reft, for it is polluted. Lament your distance from God: Woe is me that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar ; that I remain in this linful polluting place among a strange people, and am so long kept from my Father's house above “ O that I had wings like a dove! Then would I fly away, and be at rest : Lo, then I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness," that I might be free from Gin's fnares and temptations, and might have free access to enjov God. " ) wretched man that I am, who thall deliver me from this body of dea:h, which so often troubles, difturbs, entangles, and hinders me from any duty ?”.
So much for the subjects we ought to meditate on at the Lord's table, I come, in the next place,
Secondly, To speak of those graces which are to be employed and exercised at the Lord's table; such as, faith, repentance, love, spiritual appetite, and thankful. nefs. Now is the time, O communicant, that all your graces should be itirred up to the greatest liveliness : and therefore do all you can to excite them to it : Chide with them when languithing or dull, and say, " What, can ye not watch with my dearest Saviour one hour?"
I. In the first place : The grace of faith should be most active, for it is moft neceffary at this time. Faith may say to thee, O communicant, at the table, as Christ' said to his disciples, “ Without me ye can do nothing." Faith is the eye that fees Christ, the hand that receives him, the mouth that feeds upon him. Let fath's eyes be now opened to see the great fight of Christ crucified on the crois. Do now as Mofes, when he saw the bush burning, Exod. iii. 3. “I'll turn aside and see this great light:" Surely you cannot see a greater. Behold the rock of our falvation smitten, to let the water of life come forth to us: Come and see him (mitten by the rod of Moses, i, e. by the rod of the law, whose minifter Mofes was; with all the curses and maledictions the
law denounced against us, Gal. iii. 13. Yea, come fee - him fmitten by many hands, by the rod of Moses, by the
rod of justice, by the rod of devils, by the rod of the Jews, by the rod of the Romans, by the rod of your fins: Come, see him smitten in his head with thorns, in his hands with nails, in his side with a spear, in his heart with forrows, yea, in his whole foul with the wrath of an angry God. O deep, deep was our rock smitten, before the water of life could come forth to heal us; according to Isa. liii. 5. 8. “ He was wounded for our tranfgressions, bruised for our iniquities :-For the transgreflion of my people was he stricken, and by his stripes we are healed."
Now let faith look sharply out for Christ at the table. Reft not in the bread and wine, but look beyond these; go a little further, and see if you can espy Christ him. felf. Let the language of your heart at this time be, « Saw ye him whom my foul loved? Say now to the Lord, as the Greeks to Philip, "Sir, we would fee Je. fus ; Lord, I would now desire to see Jesus Christ : Neither the word nor prayers, minifters nor elements, will content me without a sight of Christ. Mind what Isaac told his father on mount Moriah : « Father, behold here is the wood and the fire ; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering ?” So 'do thou look up at the table to thy heavenly Father, and say, “Father, behold, here is the minister, here is the word, here is the bread and wine ; but, were is the body and blood of my Saviour ? Where is the lamb for a facrifice? Father, where is the lamb of God, that takes away the fins of the world ?” Alas, all is nothing to me if he be away. Let faith look up and say to Christ, “ Make haste, my teloved, be thou like a roe or a young hart on the mountains of spices. Make no tarrying, O my God; O when wilt thou come to me ?
When Mary came to the sepulchre, looked in and saw the linen but not the Lord, the presently falls a weeping: Oh, faid she, “ They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him :" My Lord is taken away, and Iknow not where to find him. When our ten. der hearted Saviour heard such a moving and mournful complaint, he haítened to her, and gave her a gracious
meeting. So, when thou seest the linen and the ele. ments, but not the Lord Jesus, then be not satisfied, but dart up thy complaints to heaven. “ Lord, I came not to see the linen, I came not for the bread and wine, but I came to fee Jesus; Oh Lord, what shall I do? They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where to find him. Ah, what is the word to me without Christ, I but as a conduit without water? What are the elements to me, but as a cup without wine ? Oh Lord, what wilt thou give me, if I go from thy table Christlefs? O, if there were such fights, such breathings coming from thy heart, thou mightest be confident Chrift would hear them, and make halte to meet with thee and bless thee. .. Awake faith, O) communicant, at this time; behold Christ, apply his benefits. Here a believer may find enough in the wounds and blood of Christ, by which he may resolve all his doubts, scatter his fears, supply all his spiritual wants, and find a remedy against a i his foul-diftempers, by a believing application thereof to himself. When thou puttest forth the hand of thy body, see that thou also put forth the hand of thy faith, to receive the body and blood of Christ. Do like Joseph of Arimathea; come to Christ crucified, take him down from the cross, and lay him in the new tomb of thy heart. Now give a hearty, full and unfeigned consent to Christ on the gospel terms; receive him as thy Saviour, submit to him as thy prince, and swear allegianice to him as thy undoubted Sovereign. And remember, faith, if true, must have two hands, one to receive Christ, and another to give the soul to Christ; fee that both hands be now employed, both to take and give.
And, especially, make use of faith's mouth to suck honey from the rock, derive supplies from Christ to thy soul's necessities. Observe what God directed Mofes, Exod. xvii. 6 “ Behold I will stand before thee upon the rock in Horeb, and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.” Would you have drink and supplies from Chrift for your spiritual refreshment, then smite the rock, act
out of it and fupplies he rocks faith
faith on Chrift. Ar the table, it would be a man's wifdom which was Moses his error, to smite this rock ofte ner than once, Numb xx. 11. “ With his rod he smote the rock twice, and he waters came out abundantly." So do you fr ite the rock twice, again and again; put forth many acts of faith at this time.
II. The grace of repentance and godly sorrow for lin, should be exercised at this time. O communicant, canit thou now look on him whom thou hast pierced by thy fins, and not mourn a d be in bitterness, for them? Canst thou fee the Son of God hanging naked and bleeding on a tree, upon the top of mount Calvary, as a sacrifice for thy fins, and not be grieved for the cause? Otake a fixed look of him now, and let your eye affect your heart. , Behold these hands that fwayed the sceptre of heaven, now nailed to the tree of reproach: Behold these feet that trampled on all the powers of hell, and made his enemies his footstool, now nailed to the foot ftool of the cross. O did the earth tremble and shake, the rocks rend, the graves open, and heavens turn dark at this fight; and, will not our rocky hearts rend, and our dead souls be affected with this fight? Surely the hardeft heart among us may now melt, and the dryeft eyes now drop a tear. O, shall the Son of God fo sweat and bleed for us, and we not weep for ourfelves ? Shall we "fee our sins pierce his head with thorns, his hands with nails, and his fide with a spear, and yet look on this with unpierced hearts? Oh, our sins did envenom these thorns, these nails, and that spear. We, and none but we, were the evil beast that deyoured this Jofeph; we the bloody executioners that tormented the glorious Redeemer; and shall not our hearts bleed therefore ?
O communicant, so behold Christ in the facrament, as the Virgin Mary his mother beheld him on the cross : Woman, says Christ, “ behold thy Son." And how did she behold him; Simeon tells her, Luke ii. 35. “ That a sword shall pierce through her foul." Now was the time that the fword did pierce through her foul, when the beheld him pierced on the cross : That fight was like a sword through her heart : So, when you fee Christ pierced in the facrament, it dould be