Imatges de pÓgina

of old : "Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy;" but this new commandment made no distinction: "But I say unto you love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" and upon the principle of the love of God towards man: "for he maketh his sun to rise upon the evil and upon the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

There must, therefore, not only be a general and abstract love, a benevolent and peaceful disposition towards all mankind, but it must descend into all the jars and offences of private and individual life. There must be a readiness to forgive injuries, a desire of remission of all trespasses between man and man, a restraint upon the evil passions and turbulent feelings of envy, malice, and all uncharitableness. This, too, was a new commandment; for "it was said by them of old, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;" but Christ said, "Resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." It must be that offences will come. Our paths in life are continually crossing one another. Interests will clash; tempers will be warm; evil passions will break out. But, as a right qualification for the Lord's Supper, we must have a heart free from all this strife and malignity of the world; we must

cast aside all save that which is of charity-charity in thoughts as well as in actions, for charity in the oppressed "suffereth long;" in the unsuccessful and unfortunate, "envieth not;" in the prosperous, "vaunteth not itself, and is not puffed up." Charity, in the injured, "is not easily provoked;" in the righteous, "rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;" in the poor, "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things;" in the rich, “doth not behave itself unseemly, and seeketh not her own."

Charity, in all, of every degree, and of every temper, “never faileth."

Ye, therefore, that come unto the Lord's table must come with charity. You must cast your mind abroad upon your intercourse with man ; if no difference exist either in judgment or in action between you and your brethren, come at once with safety and with joy. But if there should be differences or offences, then your rule must be that of your Redeemer's : "If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."* Be not deceived

* This passage is quoted by several of the fathers, and the word "gift" is interpreted to mean worship, alms, or oblations; and the apostolical constitutions explain it by prayer, praise, or thanksgiving; and it is, of course, evident that any of these

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with any subterfuges of your own, saying, I will forgive, but not forget; or by any false principle of worldly honour, refusing to extend the hand of Christian forgiveness, because the world says that you may not. rightly employed yourselves on the first qualification - that of repentance; if you have searched your hearts even as David, after his great and appalling sins against reason, and against God; and have cried out with him, as you, no doubt, in many instances, ought to do: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness, according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions," you cannot, then, refuse the mercy that is asked on your part. You cannot with one hand be pleading forgiveness, and the other be rejecting that which is demanded. You will not surely be imitating that debtor described in the parable of our blessed Saviour, who had

gifts could not be accepted at the altar of God, unless offered with a peaceful mind, and with charity in the heart, as well as in the hand. When we are told in the above text to be reconciled to our brother, it does not imply that in case our brother should refuse to be reconciled to us, we should still be debarred from the benefits of the sacrament. If we have endeavoured, on our own part, to become reconciled-making restitution, and seeking forgiveness, then it matters not if our brother should still withhold the forgiveness which has been asked. The sin, in that case, remains with him, and not with us, and we may approach the altar with perfect safety.-See this more fully discussed in Waterland's Review, chap. xiii.

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been forgiven a debt of ten thousand talents, and went and cast his fellow-servant into prison for for a debt of a hundred pence: you will not make a mockery of the words when you say to God, night and morning, Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us;" but you will blot out all minor differences of opinion and of action-all offences, all the discords, all the animosities, which must, in spite of the most well-intentioned and best regulated mind, be continually occurring-you will blot them all out, and sink them in the great redemption and pardon which Jesus has obtained for you. You will remember his especial and admonitory words: "If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him and if he trespass against thee seven times a day, and seven times a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

V. We must "have a thankful remembrance of Christ's death," i. e., we must remember Christ's death with gratitude, and that gratitude will embrace admiration, and honour, and love. Admiration in the spectacle of an incarnate God dying for the sins of men. What can possibly be conceived more wonderful! His incarnation, death, resurrection, ascension, daily intercession at the right hand of God. His mediatorial office-stooping to the infirmities, passions, and wretchedness of man, yet elevated to the power and dignity


of God; consulting and warning us in human flesh subsisting, yet pleading and extenuating as equal and coeternal with the Godhead redeeming us with the voluntary shedding of his own blood as the Son of Man, yet sitting on his eternal throne of judgment, as the allknowing and all-mighty Son of God; born as a lowly babe in the common manger of a common inn; living in the midst of lowliness and poverty, as a common mechanic; scourged and spitted on, and crucified as a common malefactor; yet, nevertheless, overcoming all, enduring all, despising the shame, and rising again from death (because he could not be holden of death) the glorified Son of God, the innocent, the pure. And there he still remains. There he ever sits at the right hand of his Father, the bright and glorious Potentate, whose praises and whose hallelujahs, the martyrs and saints, and prophets, cherubim and seraphim, continually do cry.

These indeed are things which merit our admiration, which cause us to gaze in astonishment at the immensity of God's ways, which cause us to dwell upon the glories which Jesus has wrought on our behalf with wonder and with awe.

Our remembrance of his death must also be with honour. "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men should honour the

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