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the good things promised :-Receive Christ Jesus the Lord.... Christ and a pardon ... Christ and peace... Christ and grace.... Christ and heaven ; they are all your own, if you come up to the terms on which they are offered in the gospel.
Fountains of life are here broken up-wells of salvation are here opened....the stone rolled away from the well's mouth, and you are called upon to come and draw water with joy: the well is deep, but this ordinance is a bucket by which it is easy to draw : let us not forsake the living streams for puddle water: breasts of consolation are here drawn out to us, from which we may suck and be satisfied: these are wisdom's gates, where we are appointed to wait for wisdom's gifts; and we shall not wait in vain.
(2.) Christ and all his benefits are here to be recein. ed by us.
If we do, indeed, answer the intention of the ordinance, in receiving the bread and wine, we accept the offer that is made us-Lord, I take thee at thy word; be it unto thy servant aecording to it. We hereby interest ourselves in Christ's mediation between God and man, and take the benefit of it, according to the tenor of the everlasting gospel. Christ, in this ordinance, graciously condescending to shew us the print of the nails, and the mark of the spear....to shew us his pierced hands, his pierced side, those tokens of his love and power as Redeemer-we, by par. taking of it, comply with his intentions...we consent to him, and close with him, saying, as Thomas did, (Fohr XX. 28.) My Lord, and my God-none but Christ, none but Christ.
We do here likewise set ourselves to participate of that spiritual strength and comfort, which, through grace, flows into the hearts of believers from their interest in Christ crucified. The gospel of Christ, here solemnly exhibited, is meat and drink to our souls: it is bread that strengthens man's heart, and is the staff of life ; it is wine that makes glad the heart and revives the spirits. Our spiritual life is supported and maintained, and the new man enabled for its work and conflicts, by the spiritual benefits which we here come municate of, as the natural life, and the natural body, is by our necessary
food. From the fulness that is in Christ crucified, we here derive grace for grace, grace for gracious exercises, as the branches derive sap from the root, and as the lamps derive oil from the olive-trees, (Zech. iv. 11, 12. .... John i. 16.) and so, like healthful grown children, are nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine,' (1 Tim. iv. 6.), till we all come to the perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Thus it is our communion with, and communicating of Christ's body and blood.
Fourthly, It is a covenanting ordinance. This cup, our Saviour tells us, (that is, this ordinance) is the New Testament, (Luke xxii. 20.) not only pertaining to the New Testament, but containing it; it hath the whole New Testament in it, and has the sum and substance of it. The word DIATHEKE* signifies. both a testament and a covenant : in general it is an instrument by wbich a right passeth, and is conveyed ; and a title to some good thing given. The gospel revelation of God's grace and will is both a testament and a covenant, and the Lord's Supper hath a reference to it as both.
1. It is the New Testament: the everlasting gospel is Christ's last will, by which he hath given and bequeathed a great estate to his family on earth, with Certain precepts and injunctions, and under certain provisos and limitations. This will is become of
force by the death of the Testator, (Heb. ix. 16, 17.) band is now unalterable: it is proved in the court of
heaven, and administration given to the blessed Spir. ! it, who is as the executor of the will; for of him the
Testator said, (John xvi. 14.) "he shall receive of i mine, and shew it unto you.' 'Christ having purchåsed a great estate by the merit of his death, by his
testament he left it all to his poor relations, that had need enough of it, and for whom he bought it ; so that all those who can prove themselves akin to Christ, by their being born from above, (Fohn iii. 3.) their partaking of a divine nature, (11 Pet. i. 4.) and their doing the will of God, (Matth. xii. 50.) may claim the estate by virtue of the will, and shall be sure of a present maintenance and a future inheritance out of it.
The Lord's Supper is the New Testament: it is not only a memorial of the Testator's death, but it is the seal of the Testament. A true copy of it, attested by this seal, and pleadable, is hereby given into the hands of every believer, that he may have strong consolation. The general record of the New Testament, which is common to all, is hereby made particular.
(1.) The charge given by the will is hereby applied and enforced to us.
The Testator hath charged us to remember him....hath charged us to follow him whithersoever he goes; he hath charged us to love one another, (Forn xiii. 34.), and the estate he hath left us is so devised as not to give any occasion to quarrel, but, rather, to be a bond of union. He hath charged us to espouse his cause, serve his interest, and concern ourselves in his concernments in the world--to seek the welfare of the great body, and all the members of it. He hath likewise charged us to expect and prepare for his second coming : his word of command is, watch. Now, in the Lord's Supper we are minded of this charge, and bound afresh faithfully to observe whatsoever
Christ hath commanded, as the Rechabites kept the command of their father.... Fer. xxxv. 6, 8.
(2.) The legacies left by the will are hereby par. ticularly consigned to us, paid in part, and the rest secured to be paid when we come to age, even at the time appointed by the Testator. What is left for us is not only sufficient to answer the full intention of the
will-enough for all, enough for each—but is left in
more abundantly to shew the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, hath confirmed it by an oath,' (by a sacrament, which is his path to us, as well as ours to him) that by all those immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation,' that have ventured out all in the New Testament.... Heb. vi. 18.
2dly, It is the new covenant.-Though God is our
of a covenant, that they which are saved may be the more comforted, and they which perish may be rendered the more inexcusable. The tenor of this covenant is, (Acts xvi. 31.) 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' Salvation is the great promise of the covenant-believing in Christ the great condition of the covenant: now, this cup is the covenant; that is, it is the seal of the covenant.
There seems to be an allusion to that solemnity, which we read of, (Exod. xxiv. 7, 8.) where Moses read the book of tlie covenant in the audience of the people, and the people declared their consent to it, saying, All that the Lord hath said we will do, and will be obedient; and then Moses took the blood and sprinkled it upon the people, part of it having before been sprinkled upon the altar, and said, behold the blood of th.. covenant which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words. Thus, the covenant being made by sacrifice, (Psal. 1. 5.) and
the blood of the sacrifice being sprinkled both upon the altar of God, and upon the representatives of the people, both parties did, as it were, interchangeably put their hands and seals to the articles of agreement, So, the blood of Christ having satisfied for the breach of the covenant of innocency, and purchased a new treaty, and being the sacrifice by which the covenant is made, is fiţiy called the blood of the covenant. Having sprinkled this blood upon the altar in his in, tercession, when by his own blood he entered once into the holy place, he doth, in this sacrament, sprinkle it upon the people ; as the apostle explains this mystery, (Heb. ix. 11, 20.) a bargain is a bargain, though it be not sealed; but the sealing is the ratification and perfection of it. The internal seal of the covenant, as administered to true believers, is the spirit of promise, (Eph. i. 13.) whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption....Eph. iv. 30. But the eternal seals of the covenant, as administered in the visible church, are the sacraments, particularly this of the Lord's Supper. Sealing ordinances are appointed to make our covenanting with God the more solemn, and consequently the more affecting, and the impressions of it the more abiding. The covenant of grace is a covenant never to be forgotten.... Jer. 1. 5. This ordinance, therefore, was instituted to assure us that God will never forget it...and to assist us, that we never may forget it. It is the seal of the new covenant; that is,
(1.) God doth, in and by this ordinance, seal to us, to be to us a God. This article of the coverant is inclusive of all the rest : in giving himself to us to be ours, he gives us all things; for he is God all-sufficient. This is the grant, the royal grant, which the eternal God here seals and delivers to true believers as his act and deed. He gives himself to them, and empowers them to call him theirs. What God is in himself, he will be to them for their good: his wisdom theirs, to counsel and direct them; his power