Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

grateful remembrance of his a- | an uncharitable, dividing, contoning death, as a practical ex- tentious spirit, as some of the hibition of it and declaration of Corinthians did, or in a carnal his own reception of, and subjec- and sensual manner, as though tion to, and trust in him as his he was eating for the refreshment Lord and all-sufficient Saviour. of the body, and without a reliLet him also examine and make gious regard to Christ's body proof of himself with respect to and blood as symbolically reprehis temper and spirit, views and sented by the bread and winemotives in this transaction, and such a one, instead of dischargsee that they. be such as answering his duty towards Christ, and and correspond to its nature, de- deriving any spiritual advantage sign, and import—that he hath to himself, contracts such guilt such a sense of sin, and sorrow in eating and drinking, as exfor it, and hatred of it, and desire poses him to the righteous reof deliverance from it, as to per- bukes of the Lord in the way of ceive and feel, and cordially ac- his chastening judgments, as he knowledge his need of Christ's doth not discern the Lord's body atonement—that he believes and in the divinely appointed repre- , trusts in his death as a complete sentations of it, or distinguish propitiation for sin, and securing and make a proper difference beall new covenant blessings to his tween the divinely appointed people that he desires, in the symbols and memorials of his way of Christ's appointment, to body and blood, and common testify and express a grateful re- food. membrance of his sufferings, and

The word translated discern, his own reception of, and obedi- ing, signifies to discern, to sepaence to, and dependence on him rate, to make a difference, to as his Lord and Saviour. And judge between, &c.and the whole so let him eat-having thus ex- context leads us to understand it, amined and made proof of him- in this place, of distinguishing self, let him, with these suitable and making a difference. He views and affections, aims and who eats and drinks in the unends, eat of the bread, and drink worthy manner here intended, of the cup, which represent the doth not discern the Lord's bobody and blood of the Lord. dy ; that is, he doth not distin

To enforce a due attention to guish or make any proper difthis direction, and to impress ference between the bread and their minds with a sense of the cup which represent the Lord's awful consequences of a careless, body, and the provisions of an irreverent, and carnal use of the ordinary supper or feast; but sacramental bread and cup, the eats of the bread and drinks of apostle added, “ For he that the cup, as he would of the proeateth and drinketh unworthily, visions of an entertainment for eateth and drinketh damnation the refreshment of animal nato himself, not discerning the ture. By eating and drinking Lord's body.” That is, he who, at the Lord's table, in this unwithout understanding or duly worthy, ignorant, irreverent, and considering the nature, import, carnal manner, even though he and design of this divine institu- be a true believer in Christ, he bion, cats and drinks with such I eats and drinks judgment to liim.

selfm-not certain eternal damna- | that we should not be condemn. tion, as some honest hearted ed with the world.”. As a father Christians have feared, to the chastens his children when they destroying of their comfort in prove stupid, careless, and diso, the discharge of an important bedient, to bring them to a sense duty, or preventing their ap- of their sin and duty, and to exproach to an ordinance calcula- cite them, with penitential sorted to strengthen their faith, in- row, to renounce the one and perflame their love, and increase form the other, in order to pretheir joy. But by the judgment vent their utter ruin, and secure directly intended in this verse, their happiness ; so the Lord, the apostle, in the following ver- when his people neglect their ses, explained himself to mean, duty, and go astray in the ways such chastenings of the Lord, as of error and wickedness, chasare opposed to final condemna- tens them with his judgments in tion, and calculated to prevent it, this life, to convince and humby operating as means of repent-ble and reclaim them, and preance and amendment.

vent their continuing in such “ For this cause,” said he, evil ways, as, if persisted in, "

many are weals and sickly a- would issue in their condemna, mong you, and many sleep.” tion at the great day, with the Such was the judgment which men of the world. some of them ate and drank to This shows that the judgment, themselves. The apostle added, which they who eat and drink " For if we would judge our- unworthily at the Lord's supper, selves, we should not be judged.” eat and drink to themselves, is That is, if we would uprightly different from final condemnas and impartially examine our tion, and may be incurred, in hearts and conduct, and judge some cases at least, where final and condemn ourselves for all condemnation is avoided. In that is wrong in us, and peni- deed, if they who eat and drink tently turn from it, and perform unworthily, with improper views this and other duties, with right and dispositions, in an ignorant, views and in a right manner, we irreverent, and sensual manner, should be exempted from those are not true believers in Christ, judgments, which God, in right- and never become true penitents, cous displeasure at our sins, they will undoubtedly be con. brings upon us for our unworthy demned with the rest of the un, and criminal temper, and beha- godly, and suffer the wrath of viour ; and especially, from the God in the world to come, for condemnation, under which the their sin in eating and drinking finally impenitent will fall. unworthily, as well as in all other

Still further to explain the particulars. But what I conceive case of cating and drinking judg- to be evident from the whole ment to themselves, and to en- passage taken together, is, that courage and excite them to eating and drinking unworthily judge, to condemn, and correct doth not certainly seal or insure what was so grossly amiss in final condemnation or eternal themselves, the apostle subjoin-misery--that this is not an uned, “ But when we are judged pardonable sin, that it may be We are chastened of the Lord, I forgiven, as well as other offen.

[ocr errors]

ces--that the judgment which tion between the divinely apsuch are here said to eat and pointed memorials of his body drink to themselves, is a differ- and blood, and the provisions of ent thing from eternal damna- an ordinary entertainment ; and tion or future punishment. It guard against bringing such primarily signifies the judgment heinous guilt upon their souls. with which God chastens his Let them examine and prove people, that they may not share themselves with respect to their in the condemnation of the world. understanding and sense of the Though it be highly probable nature, design, and import of that some, who eat and drink this divine institution, and of thus unworthily, are wholly des- their conduct in celebrating it ; titute of true saving faith in and with respect to their temChrist, and continue so to the per, views, and motives in this last, and perish in their sins ; yet transaction ; and șee to it, that it is a very possible case--a case they be suitable to the design that hath really happened, that and import of the ordinance : some real though very imper- and so let them eat of the bread fect Christians, through igno- and drink of the cup of the Lord, rance and the influence of a car- as divinely instituted symbols of nal temper, may eat and drink his body and blood in rememunworthily, in the sense intend- brance of him, and of his sufed in the text, and yet being ferings and death for the rejudged, that is, chastened of the demption of his people, and in Lord, may

repant, and escape obedience to his command, as the condemnation of the ungod- a practical declaration that they ly, and be finally saved.

receive, submit to, and trust in Wherefore, let care be taken, him, as their Lord and Saviour. hot to put such a strained con- And let them see to it, that all struction on the wholesome and this be done from the heart, with salutary instructions and warn- all those internal exercises of ings of the apostle, as would fill repentance, faith, hope, love, a sincere but diffident Christian gratitude, praise, and self-dediwith dismaying fear, and terrify cation, which correspond to the him from obeying the commands import of such a practical declaof Christ, to eat of the bread and ration. drink of the cup of the Lord in God grant, that through the remembrance of him, as though gracious influence of the spirit in case

failed of doing it in of truth and holiness, all who a right and acceptable manner, name the name of Christ, may he would insure his own eternal so eat and drink, to the glory damnation. And on the other of his name and their own spirhand, Let all duly consider and itual and everlasting benefit. be thoroughly sensible of the

PAREPIDEMOS. great evil, and terrible consequences, of attending this sacred ordinance in an ignorant, stupid, An Infidel converted. careless, irreverent, and carnal ,

real name of the subject or making any proper distinc- l of the following account should

[ocr errors]

gard to the crucified Saviour; As it is not proper that the

be known, we will call him Phi- | fable, suited to engage the hearts, lander.

and regulate the conduct of woHis natural endowments were men ; he even thought it made good ; and his prospects in life, them mild and amiable ; but pleasing. Being but partially still, considered it as entirely beinstructed in the things of reli- neath the regard of men ; who gion ; and placing unwarranta- are to be of an unmoved, and indeble dependence upon reason as pendent spirit.

Thus he now a guide ; he began to entertain lived free from the restraints of doubts concerning the truth of religion; and free from concern. the scriptures. In them, he But by his wife prayer was made found many things which nei- to God for him without ceasing. ther cherished his hopes, nor There took place at length, a flattered his desires ; but spoke remarkable providence, which to him in the unwelcome lan- could not be viewed with indifguage of prohibition. These ference by any mortal, however doubts were strengthened, and stupid. This his pious companincreased, and confirmed by na-ion pressed upon his mind eartive depravity. He easily dis- nestly, but with kindness. It believed, what he most ardently had taken strong hold of his wished to be false. Hence he heart ; but he dissembled his became not only a confirmed feelings, and resolved to throw infidel ; but a champion of infi- off his convictions if possible.-delity. Against religion he In this attempt he strove hard ; hardened his heart ; disputed labored to keep up his accuswith success; and gained a tomed cheerfulness and gaiety ; number of proselytes.

and to his wife, who would now But notwithstanding these flat- and then mention the surprising tering and effectual endeavors ; event, observed, “ My dear, I his conscience would sometimes wish you would never speak of reprove, and make him sorely that foolish to me again.” uneasy. Such disturbances how. But notwithstanding his appearever, he considered as the expirance of intrepidity, his conscience ing effects of education. By lay- was at this very time, speaking ing aside the Bible, and neglect- to him in the language of terror. ing public, as well as private He now more than ever, sought worship, he became more easy, earnestly for substantial proof and more strong in his infatua in favor of infidelity ; but--he tion.

found none. In this racking The loose opinions, and con- perplexity of mind, he often sequent loose conduct of Philan- said to himself; if the Bible is der, were a grief of mind, to his true-if religion is a realitywife ; a woman of piety and To yield is hard. What would worth. She often addressed him his acquaintance, what especialon the subject; and endeavored ly would his disciples say if he in a tender and affectionate man- should now submit; after havner to win him to the ways of ing boasted so much fortitudes truth and righteousness. But in and fearlessness of God and vain. He ever heard her, in- death ? He therefore exerted deed, with politeness and atten- himself to quiet his spirit, as the tion ; but esteemed religion al mariners did to bring Jonah to

[ocr errors]

land ; but the more he strove folly of his ways, and his utter the more was his spirit like the inability to help himself; God troubled sea when it cannot rest; was pleased in sovereign mercy whose waters cast up mire and to bring him up out of the hordirt. Sleep departed from him. rible pit and miry clay ; and The force of his conviction, and place his feet, as it is hoped, on his fearful looking for of judg- a rock; on the sure foundation ment, were as a fire shut up in stone of the gospel. If his his bones ; he was weary with change from infidelity to conrefraining; and he could not viction was great ; his change forbear. Unable to prevent or from conviction to a hope in any longer to conceal the an Christ was unspeakably greater. guish of his heart; he made it In his view the Bible became at known to his dear partner. She once a new book ; the gospel could realize his feelings, and scheme of salvation was plain, heartily sympathize with him consistent, and glorious. He in the distress of his mind. This wondered exceedingly that any discovery excited in her heart person should ever favor infidelthe mingled emotions of joy, ity for a moment. His heart hope, and fear. She rejoiced would often enquire, what eviwith trembling. But his tor- dence has deism to boast ; ments were not abated. His soul what rewards has it to offer, was now thoroughly roused from when compared with the gosthe dream of infidelity. He saw pel ? that deistical notions are ground- To those whom he had made less ; that they are as contrary infidels he now went, with confito sound reason as they are to dence that he could turn them the scriptures, and that if not all to Christianity. But in his forsaken, they will terminate in reception he was disappointed. the sure and everlasting destruc- They who had listened with so tion of the soul. His anguish of much eagerness to arguments in spirit was exceedingly great. Is favor of infidelity, had now no there mercy ?. Is there any hope ears to hear; and no heart to refor a transgressor so great and ceive the reasons which he also abandoned, as I have been ? leged in behalf of religion.This enquiry, he made over and Seeing this he was grieved at over, with a solicitude that sur- his heart. Here he found by prised his neighbors, and shock experience that it is easy to kined his companions in infidelity. dle a fire ; but when the flames

But his convictions became have been once enkindled, to exmore and more pungent ; and tinguish them is a task which his distress rose higher and very few ever have the success higher ; until he was unable to to accomplish. But in his own attend to his worldly business ; conduct an entire and universal he went mourning from day to change was made ; he chose raday; and was ready to give ther to suffer affliction with the up himself for lost. In this people of God, than to enjoy the state of mind, bowed down with pleasures of sin for a season. grief, he continued about a quar-He commenced religious duties, ter of a year. When Philander and has to this day practised had been thus awfully shown the them in his family ; walking in VOL. VI. No. 1.

E

« VorigeDoorgaan »