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gation go out or change their seats, so that the members of the church are seated together, and the emblems of the Saviour's body and blood are handed only to them. It is said in Luke that when Jesus gave his disciples the bread and wine he said, "This do in remembrance of me.". Now no other persons but such as really love the Saviour can keep this command, for none else can remember him with affection. Such persons unite together in forming a church, that the world may know that they are christians, and wish to obey all the commands of Christ. These are the persons who partake of the Lord's supper, and it would be very wicked for one who is not a church Imember to take the bread and wine with them. In 1 Corinthians it is said, that those who celebrate this ordinance "show forth the Lord's death till he come." For more than eighteen hundred years the followers of Christ have remembered him in this manner; and in this manner he will have friends to remember him till he comes the second time to earth, to call its inhabitants to judgment.
When our Saviour was seated around the table, as you read above, he was about to leave his disciples in the midst of a wicked world. He had been their guide and protector, and they had looked to him for support in all their troubles. Soon they would see him no more, and he well knew that in the midst of the trials which were coming upon them, they would be very liable to forget that they had such an almighty Friend. He knew that we who live in these last ages of the world, and all christians would sometimes find it very difficult to call to mind their absent Saviour,
and realize that he had died for them; therefore he gave them these beautiful emblems of himself. When he had ascended to heaven, his love would still be with his friends, and his care would protect them; this he wished to make them understand and feel when he was absent from them. As your friend who is about to leave you, presents you a book, or some other token of his friendship, that you may remember him by it, and as often as you see the present, think of his kindness and love, so Jesus left this ordinance to remind his friends of his pity and love for the needy and distressed, but especially to remind them of his death, which was not like the death of John, and other good men who have suffered death because they were faithful to the truth. Jesus died, "the just for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God." He came to earth on purpose to die for sinners. While here he relieved the distressed by working miracles, and went about doing good; but this was not the great errand on which he came. His errand was to open a new and living way" for lost men to be saved. For this he gave himself a sacrifice; and all who truly celebrate the Lord's supper, remember that he has died for them, and take the bread and wine with gratitude and love, giving themselves away anew to Jesus, and praying that he will prepare them to go and dwell with him in heaven.
My dear reader, in following our Saviour's history thus far, he has been presented before you in many different scenes, and attended by various circumstances, but in all how benevolent and lovely he appears! Think of him at this time. One
of his professed friends had gone out to betray him. The band of soldiers were coming soon upon him. The hour of pain and fearful agony of mind was near. All this he knew, and yet he thought not of himself, but of his friends. He looked down through all the course of time, and appointed this simple yet touching memorial of his death, to comfort and console the hearts of those who love him, till time shall be no more, and christians shall be gathered to the Saviour's home, and no longer need an emblem of him, because they shall see him face to face." Those who love Jesus, sit down to partake of this supper with solemn, grateful feelings. I hope some of you have hearts prepared to join them, and have united with the church; but if you only sit by to witness the communion let your countenance be sober, and your thoughts attentive; and regard the scene before you as you would one in which an affectionate family of children were looking at their departed father's last present, and as they pass it from one to another, were speaking of his last commands, and thinking of all his love and care for them. If you looked on such a family your thoughts could not be vain and trifling. Can they be so when you witness the celebration of the Saviour's dying love?
PETER'S SELF-CONFIDENCE; AND HIS DENIAL OF THE SAVIOUR.
MATT. XXVI. 33-35.
33. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
34. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
35. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
PETER, you recollect, was one of the twelve who are called the Apostles-the one who desired to walk on the water, and yet was so fearful and unbelieving that he began to sink, and cried out with fear. He had heard the Saviour's preaching, had seen his mighty works, and had sat with him at the supper. Peter felt sure that he loved the Saviour, and thought nothing could tempt him to say he did not love him—not even the fear of being put to death for his sake. Jesus had been telling his disciples, that all of them would be of fended that night because of him, which means that they would be led to do wrong towards him by forsaking him when he was in distress. To this remark Peter answered as in the first of the
verses above. He does not say, "though all men shall forsake thee, I hope I shall not." But he says positively, without doubt or fear, "Yet will not I." Jesus told him that that very night, before the cock should crow, he would deny him three times. Jesus too speaks positively, but this is far different from Peter's speaking so. He could
see the events of the day, and week, and year, before they arrived, and he knew what temptation his weak disciple was about to fall into, and that he would be too fearful to acknowledge himself his disciple. He told Peter that it would be so, yet he insisted, "Though I should die with thee yet will I not deny thee;" and it is added that the other disciples joined with him. Poor, short-sighted, erring man! He knew not that an hour of fearful trial was just before him, and that he would be left not only to deny repeatedly that he knew the Saviour, but even be so overcome by sin as to use profane language. Perhaps he thought he had been so long the Saviour's friend, and had met with so many things to try his faith and love, that he was now prepared for the worst of trials; but he knew not his own heart.
If you read the twenty-sixth chapter to the close you will find that when the armed men, sent by the chief priests, took Jesus and led him away to be crucified, Peter followed afar off, and went into the house where Jesus was taken, and sat with the servants to see the end. He could not but feel deeply interested in the blessed Saviour. He knew that he was altogether lovely; so innocent and good that none but vile men, such as were willing to speak falsely, would say he had done anything wrong-therefore he could not go away to his home, and try to forget that he had ever known Jesus; and yet when he saw how he was treated, and knew that he would soon be put to death, he was far from being willing to die with him. No, although he told Jesus that he had rather