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in the near prospect of the completed redemption of the world. And when he had thus given thanks, he brake the bread, and distributed it among his weeping attendants, whose bosoms must have throbbed with a strange mingled emotion of wonder, and gratitude, and sorrow, and love. In like manner, he presented them with the cup, after a second benediction. These solemn and endearing actions he accompanied with words not less solemn and endearing. "This is my body which is given for you. This is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. This do in remembrance of me."

In this most affecting scene, the apostles of our Lord are not the only persons who are interested. In the redeeming love, in the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God, we have an interest as deep as they. The ordinanoe then instituted was intended to be perpetual; and the command which is the subject of discourse, is addressed to us as well as to them. "As often as ye

eat this bread, and drink this cup," says an apostle,


ye do shew the Lord's death until he come.”—As we have, in the good providence of God, the near prospect of observing the Lord's supper, I conceive our time at present can scarcely be more appropriately, usefully, and agreeably employed, than in,

I. Attending to the import of our Lord's command, "This do in remembrance of me ;" and,

II. Considering the obligations under which Christians lie to comply with this command.

I. The command of our Lord, "This do in remembrance of me," may be considered in two points of view: as intimating the design of the Lord's supper; and as teaching us the manner in which it ought to be observed. Let us shortly attend to these two views of the text.

1st, The command, "This do in remembrance of me," intimates the design of the Lord's supper. It is intended to commemorate the Saviour. To perpetuate the memory of illustrious men and important events, various methods have been adopted by mankind. One of the most common of these has been to institute a festival, stated or occasional. Festivals of this kind have usually formed a part of the religious worship of those among whom they existed. They were numerous among the Pagan nations, and have found a place in both those divine dispensations, the Mosaic and the Christian, of which the Scriptures give us a detailed account*. Under the former, there were a variety of feasts, such as the Passover, Pentecost, &c. commemorative of remarkable national blessings. Under the latter, we have the Lord's supper, in commemoration of the redemption of mankind by the death of the Son of God.

That this event well deserves to be commemorated, who can doubt? If the display at once of all the more amiable, and all the more awful virtues of which human nature is susceptible, the most exalted piety and the most fervent benevolence, the most tender pity and the most undaunted fortitude;-if the illustration of the glories of the Divinity, and the vindication of the honours of his law;-if the deliverance of countless millions from moral degradation and inconceivable misery, and their elevation to a state of perfect purity and everlasting happiness;if these ought not to be forgotten, it is most meet that the death of Jesus, in which all these virtues were displayed, by which all

• The strong evidence of the truth of Christianity, which may be deduced from the general prevalence of such an institution as the Lord's Supper in the Christian church from the earliest ages, is admirably illustrated in Leslie's Short ort and Easy Method with the Deists. B

these events were accomplished, should be held in everlasting remembrance.

That a particular institution should be required to preserve the memory of an event so illustrious, will not appear strange to him who has reflected with care on the present state of human nature. When a sinner first

obtains, and knows that he has obtained, an interest in the blessings procured by the sufferings and death of Jesus; when he begins "to comprehend with all saints, what is the height, and depth, and length, and breadth, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," so deeply do the Redeemer's excellencies and benefits impress his heart, that to forget HIM seems an event scarcely within the limits of possibility. With a heart all glowing with admiration, and gratitude, and love, he adopts the language of the pious and patriotic Psalmist, when weeping over the ruins of the temple of his God, and the desolations of his fathers' sepulchres, and applies them to a subject still more interesting: "If I forget thee," O Jesus, "let my right hand forget her cunning: let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer thee not above my chief joy." But the imperfections of our na ture forbid such an elevated state of devotional feeling to be perpetual. Surrounding objects steal away the thoughts and the affections from the Saviour, and we too often act as if we had never known his love. Most wisely, then, as well as most graciously, did the Saviour," who knows our frame, and remembers we are dust," appoint a positive institution, by which an affectionate remembrance of his dying love might be perpetuated among his followers to the most distant ages.

The ordinance of the Lord's supper is well calculated to answer the end for which it was instituted. The whole of the institution is emblematical, and the

symbols employed are at once simple and significant. Our senses are called in to the aid of our faith, and "Christ Jesus is evidently set forth crucified."

As the bread is broken in order to its being eaten, -so was our Redeemer "wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities." As the wine is poured out in order to its being drunk, so was the blood of the Saviour "shed for the remission of sins to many." The actions are equally significant with the elements. The giving the elements into the hands of the receivers, is emblematical of the Father's gift of his Son, and the Son's gift of himself to his people; and their reception of the elements is significant of that personal reliance on the Saviour, and that personal interest in his blessings, which characterize all true believers, and which in scripture are represented as an "eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God."

But while we consider the Lord's supper as commemorative, while we acknowledge that it is a necessary and most suitable memorial, let us never forget that it is nothing more than a memorial. In the supper of the Lord there is no new sacrifice offered, to procure the forgiveness of sin, and the salvation of the soul. This ordinance is not a sacrifice, but a feast upon a sacrifice. It is not the repetition of the atonement made on Mount Calvary, but only its symbolical representation. The perfection of the Redeemer's sacrifice precluded the necessity of its repetition. "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many ;" and all that remains for us, is by faith to rely on this all-perfect sacrifice, to improve it for the purposes of holiness and comfort, and by observing the ordinance of the Lord's supper, to yield our feeble assistance to render its memory permanent among mankind, and influential on our own tempers and conduct.

2d, The command of our Lord, "This do in re

membrance of me," teaches us the manner in which the ordinance of the Lord's supper should be observed. We have seen that the Lord's supper is intended to be a memorial of Christ. It follows of course, that he

who engages in it, should view it in this point of light, and have his mind wholly occupied with affectionate recollections of the Saviour. To remember Christ is by no means to be considered as merely an occasional duty, to which the Christian is called only when he enjoys an opportunity of observing the Lord's supper. "Whatsoever he does, whether in word or in deed, he does all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him." "He always bears about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in his body." Yet it is certainly the duty of the Christian, when he engages in this holy ordinance, to fix his mind with peculiar intensity on the recollections of his Saviour, and to stir up within him all those pious affections, which these recollections are calculated to awaken. There are here two inquiries which deserve our notice. What are those recollections which on such an occasion should occupy our thoughts? and what are those dispositions of heart with which these recollections should be accompanied? In other words, what about Christ are we to remember? and how are we to remember him?

(1.) The grand object of our remembrance is without doubt, Jesus Christ" This do in remembrance of ME." And what about our Redeemer are we to remember? We are to remember who he is. The onlybegotten and beloved Son of God;" the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person;"-the Creator and Lord of angels;-the preserver and governor of the universe ;-" in the form of God, and thinking it no robbery to be equal with God ;—

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