Imatges de pÓgina
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another channel. Sometimes it was, Who will shew us any good? but now it is, Lord, lift upon us the light of thy countenance, Psalm iv. 6. Now his longings are after the Lord, Psalm xlii. 1, and lxiii. 1. His sorrowings are for the want of his presence; his comfort is enjoying the light of his countenance. If he has a God in Christ to be his God, you may take from him what ye will; Psalm lxxiii. 25, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none in all the earth that I desire besides thee." Let these desires be satisfied, and he is filled as with marrow and fatness.

(2.) The fulness of the Godhead is in Christ: Col. ii. 9, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." The tabernacle of meeting betwixt God and the sinner is the flesh of Christ; in him they have the enjoyment of God as their God. Taking Christ by faith, God is theirs, for he and the Father are one: thus in Christ they are complete, Col. ii. 10. They are at the utmost stretch of their desires as to the substance of them; for having God to be their God, they have all. And thus the soul may feed on all the perfections of God: on his power, as theirs to protect them; his wisdom, as theirs to guide, &c.; on his word and all the promises of it, which are theirs. Here there is both plenty and variety.-Let us consider,

2. The drink which is afforded at this feast for the thirsty conscience. This is the precious blood of Christ: John vi. 55, "My blood is drink indeed." This is that spiritual drink which is offered in the word, and exhibited in the sacrament: "This cup is the New Testament in my blood." If ever you would have life, you must all drink of this blood, by a believing application of it to your own souls: Rom. iii. 25, " Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness, for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." -This is "wines on the lees, well refined," effectual for purging the conscience of the most guilty creature, when it is believingly applied to the soul: Heb. ix. 14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" This blood is atoning blood, it answers all the demands of justice, affords a covert under which a guilty creature may stand before God, and not be condemned: Rom. viii. 1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus."-It is sin-expiating blood, "shed for remission of sins unto many." Lay all your guilt over on this blood. It will blot out all the items out of the debt-book of justice; it will draw the sting out of your conscience, for which all other persons and things have been physicians

of no value. It is peace-making blood. Lay the weight of your peace with God on it: "Christ is our peace," Eph. ii. 14.—It is justifying blood; by it is brought in an everlasting righteousness.—It is heaven-opening blood, for time, in access to God and communion with him on earth; and for eternity, that believers in it may be ever with the Lord, Heb. x. 19, 20. How can these things be? Why, in one word, this wine is the juice of the choice vine of heaven, it is the blood of the Son of God, and therefore of infinite value, 1 John i. 16. When the blood of bulls and of goats could avail nothing to cool the heat of scorched consciences, when rivers of oil, and the fruit of one's body, could avail nothing for the sin of the soul; the Son of God took on him man's nature, and in that nature died, shed his precious blood, to be a ransom for elect sinners, to deliver them from the pit, Job xxxiii. 22—30.

We are now,

ners.

III. To consider what sort of a feast it is.-Upon this we observe, 1. That it is a feast upon a sacrifice: 1 Cor. v. 7, 8, "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore, let us keep the feast." Justice was provoked by the conduct of self-destroying sinGod's anger was incensed against us, and the fire of his wrath has burned up many. And when wrath was gone out against the world, the great High Priest stept in, and offered up himself a sacrifice to atone for sin, and turn away divine wrath. Here we are called to a feast on that sacrifice, to partake of its virtue and efficacy.

2. It is a covenant-feast, Heb. xiii. 20, 21. When Jacob made the covenant with Laban, they feasted together on the mount, Gen. xxxi. 44-54. There is no partaking of this feast, but by the way of the covenant. All the guests must be covenanters, and they who are not pleased with the covenant of friendship and peace with God, as held forth in the gospel, cannot taste of this supper. But those who are well pleased with it, and sincerely consent to it, Christ says to them, "Eat, O friends! drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!"

3. It is a marriage-feast, a marriage-supper, Matth. xxii. 1-4. The Lord Christ is the Bridegroom, and the captive daughter of Zion the bride. He offers himself to each of you to whom the gospel comes, to be yours in a marriage-relation. Consent then to the match, and ye shall eat of this bread, and drink of this wine which he hath mingled. He is yours, and you have all, which he hath purchased, to feed on for time and for eternity.

4. It is a feast which has a respect to war. The Lord of hosts made it. It looks backward to that terrible encounter which Christ had with the law, with death, with hell, and the grave, upon the ac

count of his ransomed ones, and that glorious victory which he obtained over them, by which he wrought the deliverance of his people. The gospel-feast is a feast upon the back of that victory, and the Lord's supper is particularly a feast in commemoration of that battle and victory. It looks forward to a war: Song ii. 4, "He brought me to the banqueting-house, and his banner over me was love." It is provided for and presented to his people to animate and strengthen them for the spiritual warfare against the devil, the world, and the flesh; and none can truly partake of it, but those who are resolved on that battle, and are determined to pursue it, till they obtain the complete victory at death.

Lastly, It is a weaning feast, Gen. xxiii. 8. There is a time prefixed in the decree of God, at which all who are his shall, by converting grace, be weaned from their natural food. And with this their sitting down to this feast agrees. Where is the soul which is now weaned from their sucking so long at the dry breasts of the world? that soul shall have the sweet enjoyment of this feast; and the more that they feed, the more they will be weaned.

We now proceed,

IV. To confirm, that all people who will come, may come, and partake of this feast. Not that all may immediately partake of the sacrament, but that all may and should receive Christ, with his benefits, offered to them in the gospel; they are made most heartily welcome. To make this appear, consider,

1. Christ invites all without distinction, even the worst of sinners, to this spiritual feast: Isa. lv. 1, "Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." John vii. 37, "If any man thirst," said Jesus, "let him come to me and drink," Rev. xxii. 17, " And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." These are gospelinvitations, clogged with no conditions, comprehending all who are willing to receive Christ, whatever their case is or has been.-Consider,

2. For what end does Jesus send out his messengers with a commission to invite all to come, if they were not welcome? Matth. xxii. 9, "Go ye, therefore, into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage." Nay, the Lord is very express in the welcome given to the worst of sinners, Jer. iii. 1; Isa. i. 18; and directs his messengers to invite the most unworthy and unsightly persons to this feast: Luke xiv. 21—33, “Go out quickly," says he, "into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."-Consider,

Lastly, That he takes it heinously amiss when any refuse to come : Luke xiv. 21, " He was angry ;" angry, because those who were invited would not come. He not only invites you, but you are commanded on your peril to comply with the invitation: 1 John iii. 23," And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ." And do what ye will, if ye slight the offer, ye cannot please him; for without faith it is impossible to please God. It only remains, that,

V. We make some practical improvement; and this shall be confined for the present to a use of exhortation.

1. We would exhort all hungry hearts who are suing for satisfaction in the world and their lusts, and whose consciences have no solid resting-place, O! come to Jesus Christ in his covenant, and sit down to this feast prepared for you and the like of you.-To prevail with you, I would mention the following MOTIVES:

MOT. 1. While ye come not to Christ, you have nothing commensurable nor suitable to the cravings of an immortal soul. All other things are but as stones or ashes, they are not bread; Isa. lv. 2," Where fore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not?" The man was a fool, who bid his soul take ease from what he had in his barns. Nothing less than a God in Christ can ever satisfy the cravings of an immortal soul, a soul which was created capable of enjoying an infinite good. And nothing but the blood of the Redeemer will ever give solid peace to your consciences.

MOT. 2. Should not the continued tract of disappointments ye have met with at other doors, engage you to come to Christ's banqueting-house? Jer. iii. 23, “Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel." Have you not always found creature-comforts greater in expectation than in fruition? How often have ye looked for much comfort, where you got little ? And has not your greatest crosses arisen sometimes from those quarters whence ye expected your greatest comfort?

MOT. 3. In what ye are now pursuing, consider that there is not only vanity and emptiness, which will disappoint you, but there is death in the pot, which will destroy your souls. There needs no more to ruin you, but that you be left to your own heart's lusts, and take your swing. Fearful will the reckoning be, when so much time, pains, and labour, are laid out on the pursuit of the world, and the immortal soul is quite neglected as to its eternal welfare, Eccl. xi. 9.

Mor. 4. If you will come to Christ, ye shall get true rest; rest

Whatever

to your hearts, rest to your consciences, Matth. xi. 28.
your wants be, there is a suitable fulness in him; a fulness of merit,
to carry off your guilt; a fountain, even the depth of the sea, to
wash it away; a fulness of the Spirit to kill your corruptions; of
righteousness to cover your unrighteousness; of light for your dark-
ness; of strength for your weakness.

Lastly, Consider, if you will come, you shall be happy for time and eternity. When the lower table is drawn, you shall sit down at the upper. If not, you shall never know satisfaction, nor find rest to your souls.-I would exhort,

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2. Communicants to feed on Christ at his table. Let not the feast be in vain to you. Dead sinners, those destitute of spiritual life, are not fit guests for the Lord's table, for they cannot feed. Such will eat and drink judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body. Here it may be inquired, How may one know if he has any spiritual life? To this we answer, Whosoever has spiritual life will be sincerely longing to be rid of the grave-clothes of sin; Matth. v. 6," Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." They will be content to part with all sin, and resolved henceforth to oppose every lust, as a limb of the body of death; not only sin in general, but the iniquity which is in their hearts, and with which they are most easily beset. They are willing also to lay aside the grave-clothes of self; Matth. v. 3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." They will look on the rags of their own righteousness but as grave-clothes also, and set themselves against all motions of this tendency. In a word, they are for doing all as if they were to win heaven this way; at the same time, overlooking all as if they were doing nothing.

Now, to you living and believing communicants, we acquaint you with Christ's welcome: Song v. 1, "Eat, O friends! drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!" Take it and use freedom in his house. Eat, drink abundantly. Let your souls feast indeed at this gospel-feast, and miss not the opportunity.-I will only say to you, as the angel to Elijah, 1 Kings xix. 7, "And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for thee." You have a great journey to go, and it is a question if you get such another meal set before you, ere you be at the end of it. You have a twofold journey, each of which requires you to eat.-You have,

1. Your journey through the world, towards the Canaan above. It is difficult at all times; so as that many never dare venture on it others never make it out, for it lies through many difficulties. The devil, the world, and the flesh, will struggle with you, to give over this

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