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knowledge that the blessing attached to those pledges, he also forfeits.
If he recognizes and believes the revealed word of God, if he is assured that that revealed word bears the stamp of divine authority, that the scriptures are the faithful representations of God's will to man, that Jesus Christ the author of his salvation is one with God and is God,—he cannot in any fairness deny that his duty to keep this passover of the Lord is as plainly laid down as any other duty, moral or religious, throughout the whole bible; and therefore every argument by which he convinces himself against its necessity, every deception which he practises upon himself in order to escape from its obligation, he may just as well employ against any other law of God, and for the
reason may become a fornicator, an adulterer, a violator of the sabbath, a covetous
man, who is an idolater, or any other confessed sinner, as he mayan
habitual neglecter of the sacrament of the Eucharist. This is a strong way of putting the case, but nevertheless it is the true way.
II. The next motive I would urge is gratitude. Set aside the command, if this command had never been given, yet is there no honour due unto the Son of God, the Saviour of the world ? Does he merit no tribute of respect? does he claim no token of our gratitude ?
In every nation and in every age, illustrious men have invariably, after death, obtained
token of remembrance from their country.
In whatever way their celebrity has been obtained, as philosophers, statesmen, generals; we behold on all sides, monuments to their honour. We cannot, for instance, walk through the streets of any great city without beholding its public benefactors enrolled in the hearts of the people by some species of memorial; monuments, inscriptions, coins, pillars, medals, all are devices of gratitude to keep alive in men's hearts the memory of the illustrious dead. Only apply this same principle,
same principle, (if indeed the argument is reverent enough for our sacred purpose,) only apply this same principle, and we should immediately, as followers of a master so holy, disciples of a teacher so pure, subjects of a king so powerful, — should immediately ransack the world to find a spot for some monument for him who did so much for man; we should not permit his memory to lie for ages unrecorded; we should vie one with another to inscribe some votive tablet to our Saviour and our Redeemer.
But we cannot compare things human with things divine. Produce the greatest and purest benefactor of the human race, and Jesus shall be more great. Produce the wisest lawgiver who ever devised the shackles and bindings by which the turbulent passions of man should be restrained, and Jesus shall be more wise. Produce the most disinterested instance of a man devoting himself, his life, his reputation, for the sake of his brethren, and it shall fall into nothing before the devoted sacrifice of God's anointed. The conquest that Christ made was over death. The good that Christ wrought was the eternal welfare of the human
The laws that Christ propounded were the laws of the heart, laws that searched deeper, and had a wider ken than man had before imagined possible to survey—the spiritual and vital principles of faith, hope, charity; and lastly, the sacrifice that Jesus made, was the sacrifice of his own blood. “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” He bore the burden of our sins. How sore the burden was, look to the garden of Gethsemane to appreciate, and hear the supplicatory words, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt;" while his sweat was, in this bitter agony, like drops of blood falling to the ground. He became a lamb spotless and pure, offered up at the altar of the cross, a ransom for the whole world. By him was darkness turned into light, and misery into hope. By him the clouds of heathen ignorance and barbarian superstition chased away, and turned into the glorious
effulgence of spiritual blessedness. By him the bitter sting of death was extracted, and the victory of the grave wrested from his hand. The arrow of the evil one, that points but certain
to eternal condemnation, was parried and thrust aside by the shield which he brought down from heaven,the shield of faith. By the weapons with which he has armed us, that same shield of faith, together with the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, we have gone on from point to point, both nationally and individually, until we have gained, or may gain, the height of glory, sanctification, redemption, and salvation.
What coin, then, what medal, what monument shall we raise up to commemorate this great deliverer, and conqueror, and law-giver? We must search for some suitable device; we must build up something that shall be imperishable, for gratitude's sake. We must record the gift in terms sufficiently comprehensive to embrace the whole world, because the gift was to the whole world; and sufficiently lasting to be unmoved by the passage of time, because the benefits conferred are only coeval with eternity. But we need not search long. He has himself anticipated us. He has himself devised a memorial. Not one built of stone and mortar. Not a temple to be raised by art and man's
device ; for “he dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” Not one confined to this people or that people, as circumcision to the Jews, and the holy of holies to Jerusalem ; because now, according to his own most gracious intimation, “ The hour has come when he is no longer worshipped in Jerusalem, or in this mountain ;” but “his line is gone out through all the earth, and his words to the end of the world.” None of these. But one spiritual, comprehensible to all, suitable to every people; a thing to be done, not to be looked upon; to spring forth from each individual's heart, to be renewed as fast as it decays, unchangeable, imperishable—the eating and drinking of bread and wine.*
* The peculiarity of the memorial which Jesus desired his followers to establish, we may consider as a singular proof of divine wisdom. Had he commanded any thing to be built, or any thing to be said, it would have perished in the ruins of time, or have been lost in the traditions of mankind; for having been once established, succeeding generations would have had no care in its preservation; and that which affected no one in particular, would have found no personal interest to maintain it. But when he commanded something to be done, something which each human being was to do in his own person, singularly, and by himself, and yet in union with others ; he took the surest step to make it lasting. For until men perish, this cannot perish. As long as there is a remnant of faith left among men in the Redeemer's blood, and any one man says, “I do this in remembrance of Christ,” there continues the monument even unto the ends of the world. We may observe also the peculiarity of the thing to be done.