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enabled them to “ enter with boldness into the holiest by the blood of Jesus;" caused them to “ see his power and his glory; sealed them up, by the Holy Ghost, unto the day of redemption,” and sent them away encompassed with these “ songs of salvation.” Because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee: thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's *.
· This, indeed, hath not been the happiness of every believer; nor is it always the happiness of any believer. But it certainly hath been, and yet is often enjoyed at the table of the Lord: perhaps more often, proportionably, than in any other exercise. And this, not because it is, in itself, more holy than the rest; or because access to God therein is, in itself, more near; but he will put a special honour upon it, and upon them who love it; because it is that ordinance
* Ps. Ixiii. 3, 4. ciii. 1-5.
which in a special manner, puts honour upon his Son Jesus.
And now, Christian, interrogate thine own heart. Say, as in the sight of thy beloved, is it not thy duty, and thy privilege, often to keep the feast in remembrance of him? Wilt thou refuse to display, before the world, a bold, and generous testimony for his name? Is it to thee unprofitable, or unpleasant, to recognize, at short intervals, thy union and communion with him, and in him, with all the household of faith: Art thou in danger of entertaining, from the frequent commemoration of his death, too deep an abhorrence for sin? Of realizing, too servibly, its eternal opposition to Jehovah's purity? Of esteeming, too highly, his pardoning grace? Of being unduly affected with the love of Jesus? Of admiring, to excess, that holy plan by which God is infinitely magnified; and thou hast ese caped the wrath to come? Canst thou not find frequent employment for a sanctifying Saviour? Hast thou no lust to subdue? no grace to quicken? no mercy to ask? Hast thou won the crown; all thine adversaries slain, and all thy conflicts over? Art thou indifferent about meeting with thy God? Are his consolations small with thee? or the light of his countenance a thing of nought?-But why rend thy bosom with questions like these? No believer can think
thus. And can he apolozize to his own conscience? can he apologize to his Lord, for infrequent, very infrequent attendance upon that ordinance in which his self, and all the benefits of his covenant are represented, sealed, and applied? Did he intend, suppose ye, that this memorial of his death should be thrust into a corner of the year? Or could they who heard the tender and piercing words, This do in remembrance of me, have believed that any who love his name would treat it with such indignity? No; never, never! Were Paul to rise from his rest, and to visit our churches, one of the first things he would miss, is the communion table. What would be our confusion, should he address us in inquiries like these; “ How often do you remember your Redeemer in the sacramental feast? every sabbath? every other sabbath? every third sabbath?' every month?” Alas, no. This was never heard nor thought of among us _" How often, then?" Oh, I feel the rising blush-but the shameful truth must come out: “ Generally, not more than twice in the year.” What astonishment would seize the ApostleHe would hardly own us for bis disciples! Is this, Christian brethren, our kindness to our friend? this our reverence for his injunction, our return for his love? We are verily guilty concerning our brother. It becomes us to rouse from our lethargy: to throw ourselves abashed at his feet: to implore his forgiveness:- to evince our sincerity by correcting our fault; and no longer disobey him, and forsake our own mercies.
The duty of frequent communion is so undeniable ; and the argument by which it is enforced appeals with such power to every gracious principle, thai there seems no room for objection. But objections are made; and by those too, who, we must hope, desire to walk in all the commandments of the Lord blameless. Experience teaches us, that prejudice, even in upright minds, is sufficient to obscure the most luminous truths, and to magnify the most trifling difficulty into an impassable mountain. I shall, therefore, attempt to obviate those objections which appear, from their popularity, to be thought most important.
I. It is said that the measure proposed could innovate upon the established order of the church.
To this I reply, that if it be, indeed, an innovation; and if, as hath been proved, it is nevertheless our duty; then it is high 'time the
innovation were made, and the habits of old · transgression removed. Let not the terror of