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the great and effectual deliverance from destruction much more awful, made for us by Christ, our Passover. This had always been the most sacred festival of the Jews, but still they only celebrated the images of the heavenly things :—from henceforward they were to commemorate the heavenly things themselves, the real Lamb, who redeemed them from the spiritual bondage of sin, as the paschal lamb had from the temporal bondage of Pharaoh. Our Saviour, in his discourses, had always, in a remarkable manner, availed himself of every allusion to the customs or manners of the people which might give greater force and efficacy to his own instructions. At the feast of the Pass. over, the Lamb was always eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread ; wine was also drunk at this, as at other religious feasts of the Jews; and the master of the house, after blessing the food, presented it severally to his guests. Jesus, therefore, when he was about to institute a memorial of himself, made use of the ordinary circumstances of the feast, but altered their application. He had already been announced by John the Baptist as “the Lamb of God which should take away the sins of the world;" and now, at his last supper with his disciples, after blessing the food, He presented to them the bread as an emblem of his body broken on the cross, and then the wine, as a symbol of his blood poured out for them, -adding the injunction, that from henceforward they should take them in remembrance of Him; thus ordaining a continuance

of the same outward ceremonies which were already held in the highest veneration, but giving them a more holy signification.

St. John, who in his Gospel chiefly supplied what had been left unrecorded by the other Evangelists, omitting to repeat a circumstance probably well known, and which they had amply detailed, relates at large some others which they had neglected to mention,That, after supper, our Saviour set an example of humility to his disciples, by washing their feet; and then in a discourse full of the most affectionate interest for them, confirmed their faith, strengthened them to support trials and persecutions, comforted them with the promise of the Holy Spirit, exhorted them to love and assist each other; and concluded by praying fervently for them to the only Giver of all good. What a time to institute a ceremony in remembrance of himself ! when they knew that was the last supper they should eat with him—that those were the last precepts they should receive from him—the last prayers he could offer for them on earth! and that he, who had been their Ruler and Guide, only quitted them to complete their redemption, by a voluntary resignation of himself to a painful and disgraceful death ! Was it possible they could neglect such a command ? We know from various parts of the New Testament that they did not; and if they did not, how can we? In saying to his Apostles, “ Do this in remembrance of me,” Christ speaks to the whole Christian Church; for they were


the forerunners, the representatives of the Christian world ; and in them was then centered the light of the Gospel, to be by them diffused to the ends of the earth. The same command is therefore absolute to all who bind themselves to the same faith. The course of instruction, of consolation, and of command, has descended with an unbroken stream from Christ, by means of his Apostles, to us; and that this sacrament was administered by them in the same manner in which they received it from the Saviour, is proved abundantly by the evidence of Scripture. St. Paul refers to it in several places, and, to the Corinthians in particular, mentions the previous blessing, or consecrating the cup; and also the words used in its administration, which, he says, are “ The same which he received—the same which our Lord used.”

And our Church has very properly adopted them.

In the earlier ages of the Christian Church, this ceremony was considered the most solemn, and the most essential which its religion enjoined; it made a part of daily worship, being considered a duty of the greatest moment and necessity; and the bread and wine were even administered to infants, in the hope of making them heirs of salvation through the communion of the body and blood of Christ, although they could not accompany the act with any acknowledgment of the commemoration of his death, or any consciousness of the benefits received thereby. Both these practices were gradually discontinued ; the communion was administered less frequently, and to them only who were of sufficient age to understand the nature, and feel the benefits of it ; but still the regular observance of this divine institution has been ever most scrupulously and devoutly continued to the present day in all parts of the Christian world. Several sects have indeed arisen in later times, who, applying the words of our Saviour in a spiritual sense only, neglect the outward observance of this religious service. The English Established Church, however, in greater humility considering the immediate followers of Christ as the most sure interpreters of his words, and that the accounts we have of their frequent observance of this command have been faithfully transmitted to us, enjoins it strictly to all her members, and enforces the necessity of it as a proof of obedience and gratitude, and as a means whereby the highest spiritual blessings are dispensed to them “ who hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.”

Christ commanded his followers to commemorate his death; and this alone should be sufficient to induce us to attend the Holy Communion frequently and fervently; for it is only by fulfilling the commands of our Saviour that we can hope for the rewards he promised when he said, “ He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and we will come to him,


and make our abode with him. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Our blessed Saviour plainly makes the bread and wine, which we receive in this sacrament, a principle of a happy resurrection, and a nourishment to eternal life, when he says, “ If any man will eat this bread, he shall live for

“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” “ Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” The bread and wine are in their appearance weak and powerless elements, but in their effects glorious and divine; and therefore it is that they are called mysteries ; and they who administer them are called 6 Stewards of the mysteries of God.” They are spiritually to be discerned,--they are to be received by faith as the spiritual body and blood of Christ, and they are to be looked upon as exhibiting all the benefits of Christ's body and blood broken and shed for us.

Another important reason for our attendance at the Lord's table, is this, that it is the fittest opportunity of expressing our gratitude. In there representing the Lord's death, we bring to our recollection, with hearts full of thanksgiving and praise, the benefits which we have thereby received ; we learn to fix our thoughts upon him, we remember what goodness he has shown to us, what commands he has left with us, and what inexpressible things, as our Savi

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