« VorigeDoorgaan »
THE LORD'S SUPPER.
ON EXTERNAL ORDINANCES.
GOD is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The bended knee, the sacramental sign, the worded formulary and stated service were not devised for Him. He knows what we want before we ask, and needs not that any man should tell him. He knows what we are before it has been manifested in thought, or word, or deed—before one thought betrays the yearning of our affections— one word confesses the persuasion of our minds -or one act exposes the principle that reigns within us. Nay, the mere voiceless consciousness of the soul is not necessary to Him: He knows our love or hate before it knows itself: He knows how much! that we have never known, of the heart from which He requires
this spiritual worship. "When thou wast under the fig-tree I saw thee."-Saw what? not the man Nathanael in the act, as he probably was, of prayer; this would not have surprised Nathanael into an immediate recognition of his deity. Jesus saw under the fig-tree a chosen disciple who had not yet known his Saviour, unconsciously made ready to choose him and confess him when he appeared. "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God." All the discovery was on Nathanael's part; the Master had known his servant under the fig-tree-and long,—how long before! "Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee."-" According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world." He sees the love that never saw itself, 66 Lord, and accepts the unconscious service. when saw we thee an hungered and fed thee?" He feels the hatred that knows not its own object: "Who art thou Lord?" "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest." He accepts the faith that doubts of its own existenceminute as a grain of mustard-seed; and how he estimates the guilt of sins unconsciously dommitted, is apparent in the sacrifices appointed for them under the Mosaic dispensation..
It is not for Deity, then, that the manifesta