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should partake in faith, would enjoy all the benefits which his blood, so represented, is believed to convey. You will point out to your children that the Church terms the Gospel of Jesus Christ the new covenant, in order to distinguish it from the old covenant made through Moses. What fulness of consolation does the Scripture thus adduced convey to the assembled communicants! True it is that our Lord's expression "My blood is shed for you and for many 1”— appears at first to limit his mercy; yet is his mercy infinite. He died for all'. In his divine prescience, however, He knew that some there were who, after all his gracious offers of mercy, would not receive his mediation. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God"." Language cannot convey clearer instruction or greater encouragement. How can the grateful heart resist this Saviour's closing command-" Do this in remembrance of me?"
Matt. xxvi. 28.
'If we were not persuaded that Christ died for the sins of all men, how could we, any one of us, dare to presume that He died for ours? What are we that we should be singled out for such mercy? So again, if we believe that He did die for all men, yet do not apply the truth to ourselves individually by faith, believing that he died for us, to take away our sins- where would be the benefit to us of a belief in Him? Hence the wisdom of our Church in addressing the communicants individually; and so bringing home to the heart of each, the blessed hope, that in the salvation wrought by Jesus Christ for a sinful world, they might, of grace, each gain his own.
3 John i. 12.
In her most solemn and heart-stirring ministrations, the Church is never so rapt in her high thoughts but she gladly acknowledges to her sons that their help must be in the Lord their God. She remembers the foundation on which she is built, even prophets and apostles and evangelists, Jesus Christ himself the chief corner-stone. Hence, in presenting to her communicants the consecrated elements, according to Christ's holy institution, it is with the most marked and pious care that she guards them universally against supposing for one moment that there can be virtue or merit either in their act or in hers! Christ is all in all. In man, merit there can be none. It was the Saviour himself who declared even of the perfect Christian, that he was an "unprofitable servant'." She, therefore, accompanies the offer of those elements with an earnest prayer of supplication on behalf of each individual communicant, imploring the Divine Majesty that faith in the "body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for all, may preserve his body and soul unto everlasting life:" for there is none other name under heaven whereby we can be saved but the name of Christ. And that none should mistake her view of this subject, she, in her consequent directions
1 Luke xvii. 10. "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done ALL those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
to each, at first bids the communicant take and eat this" bread, "in remembrance that Christ died for him,” and then specifies both the act and its benefit to be spiritual, and grounded upon faith-" Feed on chim in thy heart, by faith with thanksgiving'.
O! the blessed privilege of thus receiving by faith the benefits of the body and blood of our Saviour
1 This point is admirably put in King Edward the Sixth's Catechism; so called, because enjoined by him to be taught throughout the realm. The injunction had its rise in a noble spirit of piety, and under the conviction, well worthy a royal mind, that as righteousness exalteth a nation, righteous principles should be inculcated universally and early. The Catechism itself was set forth under circumstances peculiarly interesting and affecting, for it bears the royal command, dated May 20, 1553—the very year which closed the short earthly reign of that youthful Christian King. The explanation there given of faith, as the medium whereby in the sacrament the benefits of Christ's death and passion are conveyed to the communicants, is this "Faith is the mouth of the soul, whereby we receive this very heavenly meat; full both of salvation and immortality, dealt among us by means of the Holy Ghost."
You will bring this subject in some degree more within the comprehension of youthful minds, if you remind your children that it is upon the principle of faith we engage in any spiritual work. We pray to God, and praise Him in our services, by faith-for we see Him not, yet we address Him as present, and believe Him to be present, though we discern Him not. So we feed upon Christ in our heart spiritually, “by faith with thanksgiving." We see Him not, but we believe that his Spirit is present to us," strengthening and refreshing our souls by his body and blood, as our bodies are by the bread and wine," which are emblems of Him. Thus, though the mystery still remains—a holy mystery, never to be solved by reason—it is replete with blessing, when received by faith. The sincere communicant doth take and eat in this holy sacrament with a trustful firmness in so gracious a pledge of grace—a firmness which, deriving its strength higher than any human source, no vain fears shall shake, no doubts shall weaken, but which shall gather from every fresh participation of the blessing a livelier succour and a holier strength.
Christ! Our souls cannot fail to be thereby strengthened for their duties, and refreshed amid their trials. Your children's warm hearts will feel all this; and, as they take and eat the bread, emblem of the bread of life, and drink the cup of blessing, emblem of the water of the fountain of life, gratitude will fill their souls. They will for ever remember Him by whose body and blood they are saved; and in that remembrance will be thankful-thankful that the Saviour died for all men; thankful that his blood cleanseth from all sin; above all, they will feed on Him in their heart by thanksgiving, because by faith in Him whom that blessed Sacrament commemorates, they look to receive those benefits of his passion conveyed thereby to the faithful, and ever hold fast the wellfounded hope, that the Saviour of the world will save them.
THE same observations which applied to the preceding address, are applicable to this. Here, also, the address is pointed to the individual; in order that each communicant may feel his own share in this blessed ordinance. It appeals moreover to our tenderest and best feelings. Did one shed his blood for our sakes! did that Being pour out his life for us in an agonizing death, that we might live? He himself argues that "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends'." Shall we, can we turn away from
1 How pleasing it is to think that our tenderest and best affections are sanctified by the adoption of them, to signify the divine regard for man. God is " our Father;" and He has himself declared, "that
such a benefactor, when He calleth us to an ordinance, which He has appointed as the commemoration of his sacrifice? Can we unmoved behold this Being, hanging upon the cross, a spectacle to men and angels? Can we really believe that our hope, our only hope of
sooner shall a mother forget her sucking child, than He forget his creatures. He therefore loveth all men, even as parents their children. But the more eminently good among men are styled even the friends of God, and are thereby more eminently honoured; for where are the father, the mother, who love not their children? But if children would be regarded as friends, they must be good. They must have some attaching qualities, as well as kindred, ere they can be so received: they must have qualities, which call forth approval; principles, which justly claim honour; affections, which win esteem. Thus Abraham
was the friend of God; because he was faithful and righteous*. Our blessed Saviour likewise so entirely loved all men, that He died for all men. But it was to those who faithfully followed Him; those whose courage called forth his "Well done, good and faithful servant;" those whose faith triumphed over the taunts and persecution of the wicked; those who so gratefully loved Him, that they shared his cross and his self-denial, and wept his sorrows-it was to those He gave the distinguishing and honourable appellation of friends +.
My young reader! at all times, specially when you leave the holy house, and holy table of the Lord, cherish in your heart every noble feeling-courage to do right, patience under wrong, submission to the will of your Father in heaven, honour to your earthly parents-and walk as with a present God in your daily path of duty; his word a light into the path of righteousness, his Spirit a counsellor and comforter, to walk therein safely and peacefully. So will your attendance at the Sacrament be blessed, and your heart may indeed be thankful. Your mind and soul, your understanding and your feelings, being kept in a holy frame by the influence of the Spirit, whose aid you will have gained, you safely pursue your Christian course of peace and honour. Whilst the storm of passion may toss to and fro the worldly and the stranger to the gospel, you are anchored on the rock; and that rock-Christ.
* James ii. 23.
John xiii. 15.