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dom of heaven? That man leans upon a broken reed. As well might he hope that the “ blood of bulls and of goats” could“ take
If to any such this discourse were addressed, I would bid him, as our Saviour bade the Jews,“ Search the Scriptures.” Of whom do they testify? Let him search the Scriptures of the New Testament, let him search those of the Old, and in both, as we have seen,
he will trace one great, congruous, foreordained scheme; tending to, and preparing for the coming of, one sinless High Priest, one all-prevailing Intercessor, one spotless Sacrifice, one Approach to the MercySeat, which has obtained for us eternal redemption. Through the whole of the Scriptures it is abundantly proclaimed, that through Christ only, “we have access to the Father,” and by his blood only, atonement is made for the sins of all people.
To conclude. If it be thus obvious that it is only through his mediation and intercession, and through faith in his blood, our efforts and our repentance can be accepted; that on this only rest all our hopes; is it less obvious to all men, professing themselves followers of Christ, that “the same night that he was betrayed;" when the sacrifice was preparing by which he entered into the holy place; that
he then "took bread, and brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take eat, this is my body, which is given for you:" that after supper he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, " Drink ye all of this; for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins:" and that with these endearing recollections, amidst these solemn and impressive circumstances, he bequeathed to us the institution, and commanded us to do this "in remembrance of him"."
Are these things new? Are they now represented to any for the first time? Have you not often, upon the anniversary of these events, to which the Church is now gradually exciting our attention, been exhorted thus to recognize, thus to hold communion with your Redeemer; thus to acknowledge, and thus to share the benefits of his "precious bloodshedding?" Who has not repeatedly heard the invitation? And how many have, as repeatedly, slighted and refused it? To such let me address these considerations. The vail has, indeed, been "rent in twain." The approach to the mercy-seat has been laid open. But we must advance towards it, we must not
9 Vide Prayer of Consecration in Communion Office.
remain fixed in "the courts of this world below." We must "draw near with faith" in that bloodshedding, which the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is designed to commemorate, and of which it is one of the appointed means of conveying to us the benefits. Why then," I would ask the irresolute or indifferent Christian, who hesitates to "eat of this bread and drink of this cup," whose heart, instead of being fixed on the true holy place, is bound down to the world; "Why then, stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven"." He shall come indeed, and suddenly, like " a thief in the night."
The issues of life and death are in his hand, none of us can know when his time cometh; none of us can assure himself that another opportunity of receiving this Holy Sacrament, which he hath ordained, will be vouchsafed to him. Therefore, though we be unworthy to offer unto "God any sacrifice," let us "beseech" him "to accept this our bounden duty and service." Let us offer it him with the same faith, devotion, and sincerity, as we would, if persuaded that it was to be our last
Acts i. 11.
1.Thess. v. 2.
action in this world; and so, that if we should pass from the altar, to the bar of judgment, we might find our great High Priest at the MERCY SEAT; ready to be our Mediator and Intercessor, to receive us into the holy place, into "Heaven itself." The shadow has given place to the substance. Released from the burdensome ceremonies of the Law, let ours be the light homage of Christian liberty; the free, the happy service of faith and love. "Let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and shew ourselves glad in him with psalms." Let us approach the altar rejoicing that "burnt offering and sin offering" are no longer required; let us exclaim, "Lo I come," "I delight to do thy will":" to do that, which thou hast ordained "in remembrance" of thee.
+ Psalm xcv. 1.
" Psalm xl. 6, 7, 8.
ON SOME POPULAR EXCUSES FOR NEGLECTING
TO PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
LUKE XIV. 18.
They all with one consent began to make excuse.
This text is so well known, as to entirely preclude the necessity of entering into any statement and explanation of the parable from which it is taken. It forms a most appropriate introduction to discourses upon the folly and danger of slighting the invitation to the Lord's Supper. And to this purpose
it has been so often used, I may almost say hackneyed, that the congregation, upon hearing it, may anticipate the substance of the discourse which is to follow. Little else can be offered but the repetition of longurged arguments and exhortations.