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parallel, and that is a mystery deeper and more inscrutable that itself-the union of the manhood and the godhead in our Lord, so utterly and entirely beyond my conception. In both cases, the fact has been revealed, and must be received by faith, without understanding. Received by faith, but not as a metaphysical problem, a dry and cold and abstract statement of theoretical truth. Though we have taken our view of the Gospel mystery from this point, it is not so we can realize it, and enjoy it, and live upon it; it is not so it is exhibited in the sacramental elements: the wisdom, the mercy, the fitness, the eternal blessedness of the believer's union with the Saviour, is to be studied, verified, and enjoyed, as it is here exhibited, in the results, in its application to the soul of the sinner.
Our communion purports to be received "In remembrance of his meritorious cross and passion, whereby alone we obtain remission of our sins, and are made partakers of the kingdom of heaven." Union with Christ does at once pass us, as we have seen, from death in Adam with all its immediate and eternal consequences, life in Christ with all its present light and everlasting glory. In other Scripture terms— "Out of darkness into marvellous light""When we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ"-" Born again, not of corruptible seed"—a change more especially
exhibited in the sacrament of baptism. For the communicant who with a true penitent heart and lively faith presents himself at the Lord's table, this is assumed to have been done -born anew of the Spirit unto repentance, and by faith received into communion with the Son, he is considered, and called upon to consider himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto righteousness through Christ: a child of God, an heir of Christ, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, But who that in faith, or even in hope has taken this position, has not found that he wants something more? He is still to his own consciousness the same miserable sinner. Salvation, perfected as it is for him, is not yet perfected in him; sin lives, though it reigns no longer. Satan is his enemy, though not his king: pardoned though he is, and justified though he stands from every charge, if left, he would return to folly; if allowed, he would slay himself again; if unsustained, the divine life within him will expire, and he will neither bring forth fruit meet for repentance, nor continue to walk by faith in remembrance of his high calling. How blessed! at this point of our condition, is the truth of the believer's union with the Lord; how welcome the sacramental elements, in which are exhibited the very support we need: exhibited under the figure of food: for the maintenance of life, and increase of strength, and growth in stature. "For then
80 ON THE BENEFITS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ and Christ in us: we are one with Christ and Christ with us." One with Him in whom all fulness dwells: what fear that we shall want or be found wanting? with Him who having died unto sin once, liveth unto God-what fear that we shall be brought into bondage of the wicked one? Who being raised from the dead, dieth no more-what fear that we shall ever die again? One with him who has the Spirit without measure, how should we then come short of its sufficiency for all things? This blessed union was in the Apostle's mind when he exclaimed, "For all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's."
Such I understand to be the truth brought to remembrance in the Lord's Supper, and these the benefits exhibited therein. Our church affirms, that as well as signs of those benefits, "they are means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof." (Catechism.)
"Insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ." (Articles.)
OF THOSE WHO REFUSE TO COME TO THE LORD'S TABLE.
IT is a fact-one indeed, of which man has made an evil use, but nevertheless, a fact, that God does very seldom, if he does ever, in this world, work without an agency-without the intervention of some apparent means for effecting that which He designs. "He maketh the winds his ministers and his messengers a flame of fire." Some body or some thing executes his most sure decrees. He took time, He used a process when he made the world; and man was formed out of the material dust. Even that sentence which has passed on all men, which has become inseparable from our being, and essential to mortality-even death never takes place without a second cause. In the natural world every thing is effected by an established agency, doing its work with the unconscious monotony of a machine, and yet achieving the most discriminating acts of justice or mercy. The rolling surge has no preference between the body it ingulfs, and the one it casts alive upon the shore-the east wind does not choose whose harvest it will blight or spare;
they are the undiscerning agents of a discerning God. There is scarcely an act of providence, however striking and impressive, in which a second cause is not perceptibly made use of. If otherwise, it constitutes that act miraculous: and even in these more immediate interpositions of the Deity, means, though not ordinary ones, are commonly employed: there came a strong wind to raise the waters of Jordan, and a destroying angel to slay the first-born of Egypt. Man in his wisdom gainsays this arrangement. Unsanctified knowledge on the one hand, perceiving that the thing is so-that deeper research can discover a cause for every thing, with effects so regularly following, determines that the world can do without a God, and finds an over-ruling providence superfluous. Pious ignorance, on the other hand, takes offence at the research of science-Why inquire after means at all? has not God done all things as he pleases, and must he work by rule as men do? We know not, I apprehend, which is the highest act of sovereignty to work with means or without themit is a mere assumption that to look for second causes is to impeach the sovereign power of God. If we may judge of what it becomes the Almighty to do, by what He does, the presumption will be contrariwise: assuredly He works always for his own greatest glory; He does nothing upon earth without agency; and He has not told us that he does in heaven. In the work