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inconstant than our spiritual comforts. Here, at the Lord's table, our old acquaintance is renewed, and the remembrance of his goodness and love revived: "We will remember thy love more than wine; the upright love thee.” Cant. 1:4.
2. Such a remembrance of Christ includes faith. Without discerning Christ in his supper, there is no re'membrance of him; and, without faith, no discerning Christ there. But when the precious eye of faith hath spied Christ, under the vail, it presently calls up the affections, saying, "Come see the Lord." These are the wounds he received from me. This is he that loved me, and gave himself for me. Awake, my love, rouse up, my hope, flame out, my desires; come forth, O all ye powers and affections of my soul; come, see the Lord. No sooner doth Christ by his Spirit call to the believer, but faith hears; and discerning the voice, turns about, like Mary, saying, Rabboni, my Lord, my Master.
3. This remembrance of Christ includes suitable impressions made upon the affections, and therein lies the nature of that inestimable blessing, communion with God. Various representations of Christ are made at his table. Sometimes the soul there calls to mind the infi. nite wisdom that contrived the glorious and mysterious design of redemption : the effect of this is wonder and admiration. On the manifold wisdom of God! Eph. 3:10. Oh the depth, the height, the length, the breadth of this wisdom! I can as easily span the heavens as take the just dimensions of it,
Sometimes a representation of the severity of God is made to the soul in that ordinance. Oh how inflexible is the justice of God! What! no abatement; no sparing mercy; no, not to his own Son? This begets in the heart a just and deep indignation against sin. Oh cursed sin! it was thou usedst my dear Lord so; for
thy sake he underwent all this. If thy vileness had not been so great, his sufferings had not been so many. Cursed sin! thou wast the knife that stabbed him, thou the sword that pierced him. Ah, what revenge it works! When the believer considers and remembers that sin put Christ to all that shame and ignominy, and that he was wounded for our transgressions, he is filled with hatred of sin, and cries out, Oh sin, I will revenge the blood of Christ upon thee! thou shalt never live a quiet hour in my heart. And it also produces an humble adoration of the goodness and mercy of God, in exacting satisfaction for our sins, by such bloody stripes, from our Surety. Lord, if this wrath had seized on me, as it did on Christ, what had been my condition? If these things were done in the green tree, what would have been done in the dry ?
Sometimes extraordinary representations are made of the love of Christ, who assumed a body and soul, on purpose to bear the wrath of God for our sins. And when that surpassing love breaks out in its glory upon the soul, how is the soul transported with it! crying out, What manner of love is this! Here is a love large enough to go round the heavens, and the heaven of heavens! Who ever loved after this rate, to lay down his life for enemies ? Oh love unutterable and inconceivable! Sometimes the fruits of his death are there gloriously displayed: even his satisfaction for sin, and the purchase by his blood of the eternal inheritance : and this begets thankfulness and confidence in the soul. Christ is dead, and his death hath satisfied for
sin. Christ is dead, therefore my soul shall never die. Who shall separate me from the love of God? These are the fruits, and this the nature of that remembrance of Christ here spoken of.
II. What aptitude or fitness is there in this ordinance to bring Christ so to remembrance ? Much every way;
for it is a sign, by him appointed to that end, and hath (as divines well observe) a threefold use, as it is memorative, significative, and instructive.
As it is memorative, it has the nature and use of a pledge or token of love left by a dying to a dear surviving friend. And so the Lord's supper comes to us like a ring plucked off from Christ's finger, or a bracelet from his arm ; or rather like his picture from his breast, delivered to us with such words as these ; "As oft as you look on this, remember me ; let this help to keep me alive in your remembrance when I am gone, and out of your sight."
It is a significative sign, most aptly signifying his bitter sufferings for us, and our strict and intimate union with him; both which have an excellent fitness to move the heart and its deepest affections: the breaking of the bread and pouring forth the wine signify the former; our eating, drinking, and incorporating them, is a lively signification of the latter.
Moreover, this ordinance has an excellent use for this affectionate remembrance of Christ, as it is an instructive sign. It instructs and enlightens us particularly in these truths :
1. That Christ is the bread on which our souls live, proper meat and drink for believers, the most excellent New Testament food. It is said, " Man did eat angel's food," Psa. 78:25: referring to the manna that fell from heaven, which yet was but a type and weak shadow of Christ, on whom believers feed.
2. It instructs us that the New Testament is now in its full force, and no substantial alteration can be made in it, since the Testator is dead, and by his death hath ratified it. So that all its excellent promises and blessings are now fully confirmed to the believing soul. Heb. 9:16, 17. All these, and many more choice truths, are we taught by this sign: and in all these ways it reminds
us of Christ, and helps powerfully to raise, warm, and affect our hearts with the remembrance of him.
III. The last inquiry is, How Christ hath, hereby, left such a special mark of his care and love for his people? And,
1 This is a special mark of the care and love of Christ, inasmuch as hereby he has made abundant provision for the confirmation and establishment of the faith of his people to the end of the world. For this being an evident proof that the new testament is in full force, (it being the cup of the new testament in his blood, Matt. 26 : 28,) it tends as much to our satisfaction, as the legal execution of a deed, by which we hold and enjoy our estate. So that when he saith, Take, eat, it is as much as if God should stand before you at ihe table with Christ, with all the promises in his hand ; and say, I deliver this to thee as my deed. What think you, does not this promote and confirm the faith of a believer?
2. This is a special mark of Christ's care and love, inasmuch as by it he has made abundant provision for the enlargement of the joy and comfort of his people. Believers are at this ordinance, as Mary was at the sepulchre, with fear and great joy. Matt. 28:8. Come, reader, speak thy heart: if thou be one that heartily lovest Jesus Christ, and hast gone many days, possibly years, mourning and lamenting because of the obscurity and uncertainty of thine interest in him; who hast sought him sorrowing in this ordinance and in that, in one duty and another; if at last Christ should take off that covering, as one calls it, from his face, and be known of thee in breaking of bread: suppose he should, by his Spirit, whisper thus in thine ear as thou sittest at his table, Dost thou indeed so prize, esteem, and value me? will nothing but Christ and his love satisfy thee? then, know that I am thine: take thine own Christ into the arms of thy faith this day: would not
this create in thy soul a joy transcending all the joys and pleasures of the world ?
3. This is a signal mark of Christ's care and love, inasmuch as it is one of the highest and best helps for the mortification of sin in his people. Nothing tends more to the destruction of sin. One writer calls that table an altar, on which onr corruptions are sacrificed and slain before the Lord. For how can they that there see what Christ suffered for sin, live any longer therein ?
4. Moreover his care and love appear in providing an ordinance so excellently adapted to excite his people's love into a lively flame. When Joseph made himself known to his brethren, "I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold, be not grieved;" Oh what showers of tears and dear affections were there ! how did they fall upon each other's necks! so that the Egyptians wondercd. How does the soul (if I may so speak) passionately love Jesus Christ at such a time! " The fairest among ten thousand.” What hath he done, what hath he suffered for me! what great things hath my Jesus given, and what great things hath he forgiven me! A world, a thousand worlds cannot show such another. Here the soul is melted down by love at his feet.
5. Christ's care and love are further manifested to people in this ordinance, as it is one of the strongest bonds of union between them: "We being many, are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread.” 1 Cor. 10:17. Here the people of God are sealed to the same inheritance, their dividing corruptions slain, their love to Christ, and consequently to each other, improved ; and it is certainly one of the strongest ties to bind together gracious hearts in love.
INFERENCE 1. Did Christ leave this ordinance with his church to preserve his remembrance among his people ? Then surely he foresaw, that, notwithstanding what he is, and what he has done, suffered, and promised