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despised and neglected Jesus remember those ungrateful, disobedient servants of his, when they shall appear before him, in his kingdom of glory hereafter, who would never vouchsafe, in his kingdom of grace here on earth, to do so small a matter in remembrance of him as to receive the sacrament of his body broken and blood shed for their sakes? What can such a neglect proceed from but a disregard for this merciful Saviour, a forgetfulness of his love and compassion, a base ingratitude to his memory, and a shameful disobedience to his commands ? What rudeness and incivility, to say no worse, must it be to turn our backs, with coldness and indifference, on the Lord's table, when we would reckon it a breach of good-manners to slight a civil invitation from a neighbour or a friend ? What blindness and stupidity must it be to refuse the gracious invitation of our Saviour to partake of this heavènly banquet? to spurn at the offer of pardon and peace freely made us in this sacrament? If love be naturally productive of love, if friendship merit a correspondence in kindness, what is not due to him whose love was stronger than death, who is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother?
3. We are bound to celebrate the sacrament of the Lord's supper by a regard to the honour of Christianity. The gospel is a system of religion accompanied with less outward ceremony and show than any other system which was ever disclosed to the world. Among the few simple rites which it prescribes this is by much the most important. It may in truth be called the distinguishing badge of Christianity. By adopting this badge we acknowledge the society to which we belong: we profess to glory in the cross of Christ. Prayer and praise, and the duties of morality are common to every religion. We might attend the .church, practise devotion, and live outwardly a good moral life, and yet disbelieve the whole revelation of God. For in these things what do we more than others. Do not even the Jew, the Mahometan and the Infidel do likewise? If we would be thought followers of Christ we must practise those duties which he has, more particularly, prescribed as the badges of our calling. Hereby shall all men know that we are his disciples, if we zealously and regularly perform the solemn act of eating his flesh and drinking his blood.
I do not mean to affirm that all who absent
themselves from communion are enemies of the the gospel. I know that many
would be greivously offended at such a supposition. But I must say, that, if you
really believe the awful truths of religion, your principles and your practice are much at variance. In times of danger and division, every man must choose a side openly, and abide by it firmly. In an age when the love of many waxes cold, when the most
and lamentable defection from the cause of Christianity prevails, when its enemies are numerous and daring beyond example or precedent, he that is not for us is against us. If he be not, absolutely, ranked with the enemies of God, his friendship will certainly be regarded with suspicion and jealousy. Lukewarmness and indifference are often more fatal to a cause than avowed enmity and opposition. The disregard of religious ordinances emboldens the infidel and discourages the friends of religion. As therefore you regard the interest and glory of your Redeemer; as you would wish his religion to spread and flourish in the world; nay as you would not wish that Christianity, government, morality and law should be blotted out from the face of the earth, step forward, show that you are not ashamed to own your Lord in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; prove by the observance of this solemn act which I now recommend, that the number of Christ's friends is not so small as the enemy may be ready to suppose.
Blessed indeed would be the consequences, if a whole people would with one heart and one voice thus avow their principles. It would strike terrour and dismay into the enemies of our faith ; it would awaken the most thoughtless and unconcerned; it would decide the doubtful and wavering to the cause of truth; it would
encourage the timorous; it would revive decayed religion and godliness, and the glory of the Lord would yet
dwell in our land. But, on the contrary, if the same disregard of the ordinances of religion which characterizes this age still continue or proceed any farther, the only conclusion I can perceive will be, that the knowledge and practice of Christianity will gradually disappear from among men.
Then assuredly you may not only bid adieu to every thing good and valuable in the present life, but you may extend
views to the future, and reflect on that declaration of our Lord,
** Whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of “ my words, in this adulterous and sinful gen. " eration, of him also shall the Son of man “ be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory ~ of his Father with his holy angels."
4. All Christians are bound to celebrate the sacrament of the supper, by their baptismal
Some may suppose that being baptized at a period when they were incapable of entering personally into any engagements, they are not at all bound by any thing done by their parents or sponsors. This however is certainly an errour; at least it is not consistent with what happens every day in common life. The engagements of the representative are binding on those who are represented; the heir is bound to fulfil the contracts of the testator; the offspring are unavoidably affected by the conduct of the progenitor. And if the children or persons represented are bound by the act of their substitute, much more are the parents who themselves entered into the engagement; more especially until they are in some measure exonerated by the children's coming to the table of the Lord, and there assuming upon themselves those honourable and beneficial engagements which their parents