صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Must thou not acknowledge, O my soul, that thy Redeemer's yoke is easy, and his burthen light, if thou-reflect that instead of those numerous rites and ceremonies which the Mosaic law appointed, and which rendered that service so burdensome that an apostle of Christ scruples not to call it a yoke which neither they nor their fathers were able to bear, the christian church, has no other, observances of a ritual nature than those two simple and easy ones (easy to be understood, and as easy to be practised) of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper; and that, of these two, the latter only is designed to be repeated ? So little does our divine Master delight in abridging his followers of any liberty they can reasonably desire, and so much is he concerned that their duty should be their pleasure, or a natural source of it! The things recommended, and most strongly insisted on by his gospel, are those weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and the love of God, things intrinsi

cally good and amiable ; and of the ordinance of the supper it may be observed, that though a positive institution, yet, to those who receive it in a right manner, it is of unspeakable use to promote the life of God in the soul, and the practice of all those virtues by which we resemble God. Wherefore, O my soul, instead of being influenced by any objections of the weak, or ill-designing, against the institution itself, or any trifling excuses that may tempt thee to neglect the observation of it, or vain terrors which would rob thee of the pleasure it was designed to afford thee, with all readiness obey the invitation to this sacred feast, and with all gladness of heart set thyself to celebrate the love of the Saviour in it.

Nor ask why Christ would have us eat and drink in memory of him, when we could remember him without any such ceremony. Confess, O my soul, obliged as thou art to have thy Saviour perpetually in mind, hast thou not found it too easy and common a thing for thee to forget him, to lose thyself, and the thoughts of an absent Saviour, amidst the cares or amusements, and delights of this vain world? It is not what thou shouldst do that is the question ; thou shouldst, there is no doubt, be ever looking unto Jesus, and embrace every opportunity of conversing with him in thy thoughts and meditations, without any other monitor, or prompter, than a grateful heart; this thou shouldst do; but is it thus thou wouldst act, if left entirely to thy own discretion and choice? Record this, O my soul, among the instances of the kind and tender care of thy Redeemer, that he calls thee off from the pursuit of the world, hath made it thy duty to dismiss thy mean passions, and in the absence of these, to commemorate him in this solemn manner, and by these external signs, that thou mightest have thy thoughts of him better fixed, and thy actions more powerfully actuated and

enlivened, and by this means, be disposed more naturally to remember him at other times, and in the ordinary course of thy life! From this transaction, frequently and rightly performed, it may be expected will proceed such a strong attachment to thy Saviour, such a prevailing bent in thy inclinations, as will make it next to impossible for thee to live in an habitual forgetfulness of him.

And then, further, attend to this, that the remembrance of Christ in the holy communion, is not a private and solitary act, but of a public nature; a declaration of the faith of the christian church, and the high veneration it hath for a crucified Saviour, and so is better fitted to honor his memory, and as an everlasting monument, to spread and perpetuate it in the world. And surely, O my soul, this must be a very great recommendation of this ordinance to thee, and to all the faithful in Christ, that, by publicly and constantly attending upon it, every one of you, in some degree, helps to support the memory of your Redeemer among men! Would not every one that remem-. bers Christ himself, have others to remember him too? Would be not have his love dwell in the hearts, and his name upon the tongues of all men. And the little he can do this end, will he not do it?

Think, once more, O my soul, with what views thy gracious Redeemer obliges thee to remember him! Did his design regard himself or us? Was it for his own sake, or for ours, that he appears so desirous of living in our remembrance ?-for the honor that will redound to him, or the benefit and consolation that we shall receive from it? For our sakes, no doubt, was this intended, not properly for his own, who can gain nothing by us, and hath a dignity and greatness inherent in him, that exalts him far above all the motives of vain glory. How trilling and contemptible is the hono

« السابقةمتابعة »