« PreviousContinue »
eyes of the blind or quicken the dead, but." Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart : and ye. shall find reft unto your louls.”
' Jesus rejoiced in spirit," as he contemplated the rise, the progress, the confummation of his kingdom, and the corref. pondent downfal of the empire of fin and Satan. He is the same who'wept over the grave of Lazarus, who "
“ groaned ire | the spirit and was troubled," in sympathy with the wo of others; the same who beheld the devoted city," and wept over it;" the fame who in the agony of Gethsemane exclaimed, • My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.". Let our sorrows and joys flow from the fame sources with his. Are the ravages of iime and death presented to our view, or the still more dreadful ravages, whirh issue in death, committed by the carnal mind which is enmity against God," and hatred to man? Are we the fpectators of the progress of moral corruption from evil to worse, ill all is loft ? Can we behold it unmoved? “Fools make a mock at fin," but every serious fpirit is very differently affected. "I bebeld the tranfgrefTors," says the Ralmist," and was grieved because they kept not thy word. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes ; because they keep not thy law." On ihe other hand, how delightful is it, to mark the progress of goodness ; " the path of the just as the thining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day ;" to behold" a brand pluckt out of the fire," a foul saved from death, an heir born into the kingdom of God! This causes " joy in
69 “ travail of his soul,” wbich the Redeemer “shall fee, and shall be satisfied." This is the dawning of that eternal day when the ranlomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with fongs, and everlasting joy upon their heads : they shall obtain joy and gladness, and forrow and sighing shall flee away. That we all may be found in that company, partake of that joy, aslift in raising those songs, may God of his in..finite mercy grant, through Jesus Chrift'our Lord... Amen,
PRAYER IN CONSECRA
TING THE ELEMENTS.
WE thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for all thy inexpressible, all thy inconceivable goodness to the children of men. Thou didit forin the first human body of “ duft of the ground," and thou didft breathe into man the breath of lite, and he became a living loul, capable of knowing, of admiring, of loving, and of enjoying the glorious excellen
cies of the Divine Nature. Under thy creative benediction he increaled, and multiplied, and replenished the earth. But man that was in honour continued not. Sin entered into the world, and death by, sin has passed upon ali men. Nevertheless, God who is rich in mercy pitied and spared, and said, " Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom." To guilty man, driven out from paradile, a door of grace opened, a dawn of hope arose. That dawning light, that day-spring from on high, through thy favour, waxed brighter and brighter, till it reached meridian splendor. Tie tulpels of time came, when "God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, (pake in times past unto the fashers by ihe prophets," was pleased to speak "unto us by his Son, the heir of all things," who made the worlds, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power." But he made hinself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a fervant, and was made in the likeness of men:" He was " defpifed and rejected of men, a man of forrows and acquainted with grief :" and " being found in fashion as a man, he humbled "himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross," and " when he had by himselt purged our fins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” “Which things the angels delire to look into ," let our fouls rejoice and adore.
To thee, voluntarily humbled, to thee, highly exalted Saviour, our knees thall bow : that name which is above every name our tongue lh all conlels; " the love of Chrißt conItraineth us : we love him : because he first loved us. And what proof, blessed Lord, what proof of love art thou this day demanding of thine infinitely indebted creatures ? Not to suffer the loss of all things. not to go to prison and to death ter-thee, not to give our body to be burnt, not to give but to receive ; " Take and eat, Take and drink, Do this in remembrance of Me.". Oi a truth thy commandments are not grievous ; thy yoke is cafy, and thy burden is light, Draw, us, we will run after thee; these are cords of a man thele are bands of love. We bear the command and we obey. We present our bodies a living facrifice, which is our reasona. ble service. We devote the superior powers of our 'immortal fpirits to the contemplation of the gseat my stery of godliness, that we may be able to comprehend with all faints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which pa fleth 'knowledge, and that we may be filled with all the fulness of God."
We employ, risen and exalted Redeemer, we employ, these elements of bread and:wine as a memorial of thy dying love, because, in the near prospect of death, thou wert pleased, by. giving thanks over them, to let them apart to this sacred purpose. We would, after thy example, look up to our Father in heaven, and give thanks for all the bleflings which they commemorate, for redemption through the blood of Chrift, the forgiveness of fins according to the riches of free, sover: eign grace ; for the abolishing of death, and for all the ex, ceedingly great and precious promises, and the glorious prof. pects ot lite and immortality brought to light by the golpel, • In thy name we folemnly separate from a common to a hallowed use, so much of this bread and of this, wine as we are now to employ in commemorating the death of Chrift, his body broken, and his blood shed, as a propitiation for the fin of the world. And over these sacred fymbols we again solemnly dedicate ourselves unto thee, to be disposed of by, thy providence, to be governed by thy laws, to be guided by, thy spirit, to be accepted through thy intercession, Thee hav. ing not feen we love ; in thee, though now we see thee not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unipeakable, and full of glory ; receiving the end of our faith, even the lalvation of our souls. In thy presence we become witnesses to each other, and we call angels and men to witness that we subscribe with our hand unto the Lord, in trembling hope that our names are written in the Lamb's book of life, among the liv. ing in the heavenly Jerusalem. And in this blessed hope we, would, with one heart and voice, ascribe to God in Christ the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, now, and for ever, more. Amen.
ADDRESS TO COMMUNICANTS AT THE SACRAMEN.
TO sit down at one table, to partake of the same fare, is the happiest view of domestic comfort and of friendly intercourle. The body and the mind are refreshed at once. The bond of union is strengthened and sweetened between the father and mother, between the parents and their children, among brothers and fifters, among kindred and friends. To the enjoyment of that pure and exalted felicity, my brethren, we are now invited ; and with the prospects of immortality blend the endearing charities of human life. The great Malter of our Gospel repast is not now indeed the object of sense,
but he is assuredly with us, he contemplates with complacen, cy our common taith and hope, our mutual affection. He Tejoices in spirit while he beholds those for whom he died remeinbering his death, obeying his commandmenis, living un. der the influence of his spirit, advancing in his strength toward the kingdom of heaven. Him not having leen ye love, and ye look forward to the day when ye shall be like him, tor ye shall fee him as he is.
Communicants, ye are elevated to the summit of an exceed. ing high mountain, but not by the spirit of delusion, to survey airy or earthly kingdoms, and a glory unsubstantial and tranfient: but by the spirit of power, and of love, and of a found mind, to contemplate a kingdom which cannot be moved, a kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. You survey an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away; not with the feelings of a Balaam, who beheld from the high places of Baal, the goodly tents of Jacob, and the tabernacles of Israel, in which he had neither part nor lot; nor with the emotions of a Moses, who from Pisgah viewed the lard flowing with milk and honey, into which he must not enter; but with the confidence and composure of an Abraham, to whom God said ; "Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward : Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it: for I will give it unto thee;" but with the rapture of a Stephen, who expiring exclaimed : “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son ot man ftanding on the right hand of God.” That ye, Christians, may through grace be made partakers of the fame di. vine consolation, We administer unto you, and partake with you, the commanded memorial of the fufferings and death of the Redeemer of Mankind.
“The Lord in the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread ; and, when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat ; this is my body, which is broken for you : this do in remembrance of me.”
How powerfully emphatical every word is! the bread of nature, in order to become the aliment of the body is bruised, and broken, and passes through the fire : “ The bread of life, which came down from heaven," says Christ in his doctrine, " is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." " It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to griet:” behold him buffeted of wicked men, scourged, his head crowned with thorns, his hands and his feet pierced, his foul poured out unto death. And for what end? His body,
any finiul fellow-creature, was “broken for you." "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our ini. quities : the chaftilement of our peace was upon him ; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep, have gone astray ; we have turned every one to his way, and the Lord hath laid on bim the iniquity of us all." And what does he demnand in return? Do this in remembrance of me. Blessed Jesus ! it thou hadt bidden us do some great thing, would we not have cheerfully complied ? How much rather then, when the yoke of love is imposed ? We come at thy call : “ We will remember the name of the Lord our God;" “O Lord our God, other Lords besides thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name."
After the same manner allo he took the cup, when he had fupped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood : this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cựp, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."
In drinking together, my Christian friends, from this cup, we joyfully acquiesce in the new, and better, and well-ordered covenant," ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator," and "eftablished upon better promises ;” a covenant which makes provision not only for human infirmity, but for the deepeft and most malignant guilt, and which affords not merely a temporary relief, but confers an unchangeable and everlafting security. “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after thofe days, faith the Lord, I will put my laws into their mind, and write thein in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people : and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, for all shall know me, from the Jeaft to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their fins and their iniquities will I remember no more." And what is the feal of this better covenant ? It is be fore you.
" This cup," says the Saviour, " is the new Testament in my blood :" the wine in the cup is a symbolical repre. sentation of my blood shed for the remiffion of lin.' " Yeknow that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as filver and gold ; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot ;" ** Nain from the foundation of the world," and which cleanseth us from all sin.".
In celebrating this holy ordinance, we are not only more closely cementing the ties of nature and the bands of friend. Thip among ourselves, but we are extending our communion to the church of Chritt universal, in the East and Wef, in the