« VorigeDoorgaan »
you, I know you not whence you are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity,' Many have Jacob's voice, but Esau's hands ; like Judas, they kiss Christ, and betray him. Such pretenders were the Laodiceans, when they fancied they were “rich, and increased with goods, and stood in need of nothing,' Rev. iii. 17. Men may go a great length, in legal humiliation with Ahab, in repentance with Pharaoh, in reformation with Herod, in zeal for religion with Jehu, and in strictness of life as to the outward man with Paul before his conversion ; and yet be strangers to the life of religion and godliness. And should not these instances alarm all who profess Christ, to bring the matter to a trial, whether they are in the faith or not? as a mistake here is of the most dangerous consequence.
Mot. 5. This would be a matter of the greatest utility, if followed through, both to believers and unbelievers. To the former it brings the comfort of their faith, clears up their gracious state, and gives them so many evidences for heaven as they have proofs of their faith. To the other it may be the beginning of good; it will give them the know. ledge of their disease, which is the first step to the cure; and if once they be thoroughly convinced of their sinful and damnable estate, they may be induced to leave no stone unturned till they be rescued therefrom, by application by faith to the blood and spirit of Jesus Christ, who saves from sin, and delivers from the wrath that is to come.
Mot. 6. Try now your state, for God will try one and all of you, and no wrong judgment will pass before him. O! to what purpose should we shift a trial, which we know we will certainly undergo, from an infallible hand? We cannot by any sleight or artifice cast a blind before his eyes, Gal. vi. 7. 'Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. All things are naked, and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do,'Heb. iv. 13. Not the least thing in or about us can escape his all-piercing eye; for he says, “I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees,' Zeph. i. 12. God has trying times for lands, and for particular persons, wherein he sets them. And such a trying tiine we have just now. O! let us regard the operation of his hands, lest he proceed
against us by terrible things in righteousness. However, should we pass untried in this world, we will most certainly be tried in the other, and there will be no altering of the decision then made. Should we not then be stirred
up try ourselves now, and see how matters stand betwixt God and us, that we may not be condemned in the great day of decision and judgment ?
Mot. last.' It is the express command of God, that ye should try yourselves, whether ye be in the faith or not. God has not only warned you to try this important point, both by his word and providence, but has expressly interposed his authority, binding it as an indispensable duty upon you to try yourselves, as ye will answer it on your highest peril. I say then, Try yourselves as to this weighty affair, lest ye be found to be fighters against God, to spurn at his yoke, and to throw his cords from off you. Try yourselves then, I say, whether ye be in the faith or not, as ye would regard the authority of the great Lord of heaven and earth, and would not fall into the bands of the living God, from which there is no deliverance,
X X 2
1 Cor. xi. 29.--For he that eateth and drinkesh unworthily,
eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
TT is å seasonable advice which Șolomon gives, Prov.
xxiii. 1. When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee.' We expect the great Ruler of heaven and earth is to cover a table for us in this place ; but at it some may get their viaticum for heaven, others theirs for hell.' The Jews say of the manna in the wilderness, that it tasted according as every one desired. This I may say of the sacrament, it will be different accord: ing to the different palates and constitution of the communicants, like the word; to some the savour of life unto life, and to others the savour of death unto death. The apostle compares baptism to the passing through the Red Sea, which to the Israelites gave a passage to Canaan, but it was a grave to the Egyptians, to swallow them up. The Lord's supper is an open pit for destruction to some, and a chariot to carry others on in their way to heaven. The apostle tells us here the danger of unworthy communicating, notwithstanding which people mostly need rather a bridle than a spur to it.
1. The connection, in the particle for ; which shews the
Though this discourse was not delivered in the course of this work, but many years before, when the author was minister at Simprin, it was judged adviseable to insert it here, as a proper addition to, and in further illustration of the preceding discourses on the Lord's supper. And as unworthy communicating is in itself a great fin, and one of the epidemical evils of the present time, a discourse on such a subject must be deemed extremely seasonable in the present juncture; and the reader will do well to peruse it with that seriousness and attention the matter of it requires,
words to be a reason of that exhortation, ver. 28, But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup,' viz. in the right manner for the hazard is great if we do otherwise.
2. A duty supposed, eating and drinking ; which looks sternly on the sacrilege of the Papists in taking the cup from the people, and putting in only wafers into their mouths, contrary to Christ's express command, Drink ye all of it.' It is the people, as well as the minister, that eat and drink judgment to themselves, ver. 30.
3. The way that many mar this duty: They do it unworthily, that is unsuitably, unmeetly; they mar it in the making, not going about it in the right way and manner. They are guests, but not meet guests, for the holy table. They come to the marriage-feast, but not with weddinggarments.
4. What comes of it. The consequences are dreadful. They eat and drink damnation (Gr. judgment] to themselves This judgment to some is temporal, to others eternal. This they are said to eat and drink to themselves; it becomes poison to them, and so they take their death with their own hands. While the meat is in their mouth, wrath goes
down with it, as the devil did with Judas' sop.
5. A particular sin lying on them, which provokes God so to treat them: They do not discern the body of the Lord Christ; they do not duly consider the relation betwixt the elements and Christ, and so they rush in upon these creatures of bread and wine, that are of so deep a sanctifiation as to be the symbols of the body and blood of the Son of God; they sit down at that table, as to their ordinary meals, without that reverence and devotion that ought to be in those who sit down at such a holy table.
Two doctrines may be observed, viz. Doct. I. “ Though the right way and manner of com
municating be the main thing to be studied in that solemn action, yet many content themselves with the bare doing of the thing, neglecting the doing of it suitably, and in a
right manner: Doct. II. He that communicates unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself, while he eats the sacramental bread, and drinks the wine,'
I shall prosecute each doctrine in order. Doct. I. Though the right way and manner of com.
municating be the main thing to be studied in that solemn action, yet many content themselves with the bare doing of the thing, neglecting the doing of it suitably, and in a right manner.'
Here I shall shew, I. The necessity of communicating suitably, and in a right manner.
II. Why it is, that though the right way and manner of communicating be the main thing to be studied in that so, lemn action, yet many content themselves with the bare doing of it, neglecting the doing of it suitably, and in a right manner.
III. Make some improvement,
I. I am to shew the necessity of communicating suitably, and in a right manner.
1. God commands it, ver. 28. So let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. The particle is emphatical, as, John iv. 6. Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey, sat thus (or so] on the well.' Acts vii. 8. So Abraham begat Isaac.? The matter and manner of all duties are linked together in the command of God. What God hath joined, let no man put asunder. He will have his service well done, as well as done, 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. ! And thou Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a wil. ling mind : for the Lord searcheth, all hearts, and under. standeth all the imaginations of the thoughts.' Masters on earth challenge to themselves a power to cause their servants do their work as they would have it ; but though they leave the way of doing it sometimes to the discretion of the servants, yet the Lord never does so, but always commands not only what, but how to do, 1 Thess. iv. 1.
2. No duty is pleasing to God, unless it be done in a right manner, ib.' Unless it be so done, it is not done to