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the truth of the grace of love, faith, humility, repentance and self-denial necessary; but the vigour of these
What may suffice on some other occasions will be insufficient on this: else why is self-examiriation so particularly enjoined in conne&tion with this ordinance more than any other?
other? When the believing soul, feeling its own wants, contemplates the superabundant fulness of grace in Christ, it will account the discovery of great importance, it will lose no time in improving it; it will become strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might; and in such a frame the believer will come into his house, and unto his table in the abundance of his grace.
8. In the Lord's body all the blessings of salvation are to be seen. These may be comprehended in two things—Deliverance from all evil-And the enjoyment of all good. It is necessary not only to be delivered from what is painful, but to enjoy what will yield the highest satisfaction. Were not both these found in Christ he could not be a Saviour to sinners.
All our misery proceeds from sin. By it we are children of wrath and heirs of hell. It reigns as an evil principle in our hearts enslaving us to satan, and rendering us an easy prey to every temptation; than which nothing can be more wretched and debasing. The repose of the mind is often disturbed by alarming fears of the divine vengeance on account of sin. Some, “ through fear of death, are all their lifetime subject to bondage." Even eminent believers complain, “ That the arrows of the Almighty are within them, and the poison of them exhausts their spirits:” “ That, by suffering his terrors, they are distracted: That his fierce wrath goeth over them, and his terrors cut them off.” Satan too, by means of sin and the punishment
which it deserves, often greatly annoys and perplexes their souls.
DELIVERANCE from all these is the work of Christ, and proceeds from his sufferings. The dominion of sin is subdued in the soul. 6. Our old man is crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be destroyed." Rom. vi. 6. The pollution of sin is removed.
66 The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John i. 7. The fears, alarms, and accusations of conscience are removed. “ The blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purges our consciences from dead work, so as to have no more conscience of sins.” Heb. ix. 14. and x. 2. By him the tyranny of Satan is broken, his throne overturned in the soul, the believer enabled to withstand his assaults, and at last crowned with final victory. “or this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John iïi. 8. The world sometimes annoys the believer much; but by the “ cross of Christ the world is crucified unto the believer, and the believer unto the world.” Though he may have his peace much marred, and the sense of happiness rendered very precarious, by these means, yet his state remains secure, and through his Redeemer his deliverance shall be complete in end.
They have all positive enjoyments tending to improve the soul, and render it happy. Jesus confers his Spirit who implants in them a new divine life, and infuses a spiritual light, by which the beauty of divine things is discovered and relished. 66 Christ liveth in me,” said Paul. Gal. ï. 20. “ I will make darkness light before them," said God.” Isaiah xlii. 16. He gives them peace, and fills their souls with holy joy. “ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you."
John xiv. 27. “ Whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and 'full of glory." 1 Pet. i. 8.
In a believing and spiritual participation of the Lord's supper, the believers realise these blessings. In the house of wine, the spouse was sick of love. The love of God is shed abroad in their hearts, their spiritual diseases are healed, and they are filled with joy and peace in believ. ing. What they enjoy here is only an earnest of what awaits them in heaven; and the design of it is to lead their thoughts and desires beyond present enjoyments. So much is implied in the words of Christ to his disciples on the same occasion, “ I will not henceforth drink of this fruit of the vine, until the day that I drink it new with you,
in my Father's kingdom.” Not the juice of the
grape literally; this is incompatible with the heavenly state, which Jesus had ultimately in view. His disciples had then fellowship with him, not in symbols only, but in his love: This was to continue while they were in the world; but was only the first fruits of what was to take place in heaven. Then these symbols which now aid our faith will be laid aside, and the love of Christ will be enjoyed without them. These symbols mark the imperfection of believers and of their 'enjoyments in this world. This imperfection renders them necessary. The perfect enjoyments of heaven will supersede them. When Jesus, arrayed in all the glory of his exalted state, shall be immediately present with them, and when they shall see him as he is, these symbols would prove an obstruction to their enjoyment. "And I saw no temple in it: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And
they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads." Rev. xxi. 22. and xxi. 4.
9. In the ordinance of the supper the Lord's body ought to be discerned as the spiritual food of the soul. The Christians at Corinth erred exceedingly here, by entertaining carnal apprehensions of the Lord's body exhibited in it. This led them to pervert the design of the institution, and subjected them to severe correction. In place of seeking provision for their souls, they ate it as a common meal, and even went to excess.
In this ordinance there is, literally, corporeal food, not the body and blood of Christ literally. It is to be used as corporeal food, though not for the purpose of nourishing the body, but as symbolical of spiritu. al provision for the soul. The nature of the bread and wine is not changed, but the natural intention of them is set aside, and they are used as symbols or signs of a crucified Saviour.
“ This is (the symbol of) my body, which is broken for you."
Jesus himself is the food of the soul. “ Your fathers,” said he to the Jews, “ did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead; my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven: For the bread of God is he who cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. I am that bread of life. My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.”
John vi. 31, 33, 48, 55. We must beware of carnal antichristian notions of this provision. We cannot partake of the flesh and blood of Christ literally. "If we could the body alone would be concerned, there would be no food for the soul, and no room for faith. By such eating, the body of Christ would be separated into parts, enter into, and incorporate with ours, and at length be totally destroyed. This would be to crucify the Son of
God afresh. This food was prepared by breaking the Lord's body, as the paschal lamb was by killing and roasting. To eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God is to receive from him all the blessings of salvation by faith in his blood, as the price paid for them. Let us “ therefore keep the feast-for even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." CAN
any thing yield more satisfaction to the hungry and thirsty soul, than the exhibition of the broken bo. dy of the Lord Jesus? Here it may be filled with good things, even with marrow and fatness. Here it may drink of the fountain of life freely. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.”
While the believer approaches the sacred board, he ought to discern the excellence of the provision, and how wisely it is adapted for his
Without such discernment he may eat and drink and depart worse than he came, having ate and drunk judgment to himself.
10. In the crucified Saviour believers may see the certain and final destruction of all their enemies. These are sin, Satan, the world, and death.
When Jesus suffered these enemies received a mor. tal wound. The serpent's head was bruised; principalities and powers were spoiled; sin was put away; and the world was vanquished. But it was not for the purpose of reducing these enemies under his own power, that the Son of God assumed human nature and died; for he could have subdued them without this; but it was to make them the footstool of his people. For a season believers must contend with these enemies, after the example of their Lord; yet however long and violent the conflict may be, they oup ht not to despond nor lose courage, because the whole warfare will