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fatal to multitudes. As you tender the favor of God, the comforts of the spirit, the credit of your profes: sion, and the welfare of your own souls, take heed of being entangled in any temptations to this sin ; "shup the society of these evil doers; abstain from ail the appearances of this sin: watch and be sober: he that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, hath made us unto our God kings and priests....Rev, ia 5.6. Are we priests ?...this was the law of the priesthood, and it was a law made upon occasion of the death of Nadab and Abihu, who probably had erred through wine...Lev, X. 9— Do not drink wine nor strong drink, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation. Are we kings ?... It is not for-kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, lest they drink and forget the law..... Prov. xxxi. 4, 5. It is not for Christians to drink to excess, and to allow themselves in those riotings and revellings, which even the sober heathen condemned and abhorred.
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and lasciviousness, are likewise lusts of the flesh, and defiling to the soul; which therefore all those must carefully avoid that profess to be led by the Spirit : they are abominable things, which the Lord hates, and which we also must hate. Are not our bodies temples of the Holy Ghost ?....dare we then defile them? Are they not members of Christ?....and shall we make them the members of an harlot? Let those that eat of the holy things, be holy both in body and spirit, and possess their vessels in sanctification and honor, and not in the lusts of uncleanness. Let those eyes never be guilty of a wanton look, that have here seen Christ evidently set forth crucified among us : let not lewd, corrupt communication proceed out of that mouth into which God's covenant hath been taken : let no unclean, lascivious thoughts be ever harbored in that heart which the holy Jesus vouchsafes to dwell in. Let those that have eaten of wisdom's bread, and drunk of the wine that she hath mingled, never hearken to the invitations
of the foolish woman, who courts the unwary to stolen waters, and bread eaten in
pretence that they were sweet and pleasant ; for the dead are there, and her guests are in the depths of hell.... Prov. ix. 17, 18. ? (5.) We must see to it, that we be abundantly charitable and beneficent. It is not enough that we do no hurt ; but, if we would order our conversation aright, we must, as we have opportunity, do good to all men, as becomes those to whom God in Christ is good, and doth good, and who profess themselves the disciples and followers of him who went about doing good. Shall we be selfish, and seek our own things only, who have here seen how Christ humbled and emptied
himself for us? Shall we be sparing of our pains for » our brethren's good, who have here seen Christ among
us, as one that serveth...as one that suffereth, one who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many ? Shall we be shy of speaking to, or speaking for our poor brethren, who have here seen our Lord Jesus not ashamed to own us, and intercede for us, notwithstanding our poverty and meanness ? Shall we be strait-handed in distributing to the necessities of the saints, who have here found Christ so liberal and open-handed in imparting to us, not only the gospel of God, but even his own soul. After we have been at this ordinance, we should shew how much we are affected with our rea ceivings there, by being ready and forward to every good work ; because our goodness extendeth not to God, it ought to extend to the saints that are in the earth'....Psal. xvi. 2, 3. Thus we must be followers of God as dear children ; we must walk in love, as here we see Christ hath loved us, and given himself for us'.... Eph. V. 1, 2.
(6.) We must see to it, that we be more taken off from this world, and more taken up with another world. A Christian then lives like himself, when he lives above the things that are scen, which are tempo
ral, and looks upon them with a holy contempt....and keeps his
upon the things that are not seen, which are eternal, looking upon them with a holy con, cern. We are not of this world-but are called out of it: we belong to another world, and are designed for it ; we must therefore seek the things that are above, and not set our affections on things beneath.'
The thoughts of Christ crucified should wean us from this world, and make us out of love with it: the world knew him not, but hated him; the princes of this world crucified him: but he overcame the world, and we also, by faith in him, may obtain victory over it-such a victory over it, as that we may not be entangled with its snares...encumbered with its cares, or disquieted by its sorrows. By frequent meditation on the cross of Christ, the world will be crucified to us, and we to the world, (Gal. vi. 14.)—that is, the world and we shall grow very
indifferent one to another, and no love shall be lost between us.
The thoughts of Christ glorified should raise our hearts to that blessed place where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, (Col. iii. 1.), and from whence we look for the Saviour....Phil. iii. 20. When we commemorate Christ's entrance within the vail as our fore-runner, and have good hopes of following him shortly-when we think of his being in paradise, and of our being with him, how should our affections be carried out towards that joy of our Lord? How studious should we be to do the work of heaven....con. form to the laws of heaven, and converse as much as may be with the glorious society there? Having received the adoption of sons, we should improve our acquaintance with, and raise our expectations of the inheritance of sons.
Some words of comfort which this ordinance speaks to
serious Christians. THE
HE Lord's Supper was intended for the comfort of good people, not only while they are actually attending on God in it, but ever after-not only that their joy may be full, but that this joy may remain in them.... John xv. 11. It is a feast which was made for laughter ; not that of a fool, which determines in a sigh, and the end of it is heaviness but that of the truly wise man, who hath learned to rejoice evermore, yea, to rejoice in the Lord always ; not that of the hypocrite, whose triumphing is short, and his joys but for a moment, (Job xx. 5.), but that of the sincere Christian, whom God causeth always to triumph in Christ....11 Cor. iii. 14. The water that Christ here gives, is designed to be a well of water, living water, sending forth streams that make glad the city of our God.' This feast, if it be not our own fault, will be to us a continual feast, and a breast of 'consolation, from which we may daily suck and be satisfied.
(1.) It is the will of God that his people should be a comforted people. The most evangelical part of the prophecy of Isaiah begins with this, (Chap. xl. 1.) Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith our God. Hé takes pleasure in their prosperity : he delights to see them cheerful, and to hear them sing at their work, and sing in his ways. Religion was never intended to make people melancholy; wisdom's adversaries do her wrong if they paint her in mourning, and wisdom's children do not do her right, if they give them occasion to do so; for, though they are, like St. Paul, as sorrowful, yet they should be, like him, always rejoicing ; because, though they seem, perhaps, to have nothing, yet, really, they possess all things.... II Cor. vi. 10. So good a master do we serve, that he
hath been pleased to twist interests with us, and so compound his glory and our comfort, that, in seeking the one, we seek the other also. He hath made that to be our duty, which is indeed our greatest privilege; and that is, to delight ourselves always in the Lord, and to live a life of complacency in him. And it is the New Testament character of a Christian, indeed, that he rejoiceth in Christ Jesus....Plil. iii. 3.
(2.) Good Christians have, of all people, most reason to rejoice and be comforted. As for those that are at a distance from God, and out of covenant with him, they have reason to be afflicted, and mourn and weep: Rrjoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people, for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God.... Hos. ix. 1. To them that eat of the forbidden tree of knowl. edge, this tree of life also is forbidden : but those that devote themselves to God, have all the reason in the world to delight themselves in God. They that ask the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, though they go weeping to seek the Lord their God (fer. 1. 4, 5.), yet they shall go on rejoicing when they have found him ; for they cannot but find the way pleasantness, and the paths of it peace. Have not they reason to smile, on whom God smiles ? If God hath put grace into the heart, hath he not put gladness there, and a new song into the mouth? Is Christ proclaimed king in the soul ? and ought it not to be done with acclamations of joy? Is the atonement received, and the true treasure found ? and shall we not rejoice with joy unspeakable? Have we good hope, through grace, of entering shortly into the joy of our Lord, and have we not cause now to rejoice in hope of it?
(3.) Yet those who have so much reason to rejoice are ofien cast down and in sorrow, and not altogether without cause. This state of probation and preparation is a mixed state; and it is proper enough it should be so for the trial and exercise of various graces, and that God's power may have the praise of keeping the balance even. In those whose hearts are visited by