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he required them to attend upon this ordinance, not in remembrance of the redemption from Egypt, of which the passover was a memorial, but in re. membrance of a more glorious redemption foon to be accomplished by his own death. He adds, " I will not henceforth drink of the fruit of the vine until the day, when I drink it new with you in my father's kingdom.” The same he had said just before concerning the cup in the passover. And his meaning was, that he should not any more partake of either of these ordinances personally : but he should rejoice to behold the things signified by them happily accomplished under his new dispensation, which was now about to be introduced.

From these observations it is manifeft, that the sacramental supper is appointed to succeed the pafsover ; that both have respect to the Saviour, and to the benefits procured by his death ; and that the supper in the Christian church has much the same use, as the pafsover had in the Jewish church. The instructions therefore relative to the passover may, in many respects, be applied to the Christian institution.

We will particularly attend to the instructions contained in the passage selected for our text.

I. The pafchal institution respected the whole congregation. “ Ye fhall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy fons forever—and when ye shall come into the land, which the Lord fhall give you, ye shall keep this service.”

There were some ceremonial pollutions, which disqualified a Jew for an immediate attendance on this folemnity; but his general obligation to observe it, nothing could cancel ; for this was founded in divine authority. The sacred nature of the ordinance required all to make suitable preparation for it, that they might attend upon it acceptably; but the necessity of preparation was never a just cause for customary neglect. In the time of Hezekiah, many who had not opportunity to observe the usual forms of purification, ventured to eat of the passover otherwise than it was written; but Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “The good Lord pardon every one who prepareth his heart to seek unto God, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.". The external form was of use only as a mean of preparing the heart, which was the main thing necessary to an acceptable attendance.

This observation may be applied to the supper. The obligation to attend upon it is common to all Christians. The command of Christ, “ Do this in remembrance of me,” was indeed first given to the twelve. But Saint Paul tells us, that it respected all Christians, in all ages, down to the time of Christ's second coming. No man, who believes the gospel, can claim a right to live in disobedience to this, more than to every divine command.

There are indeed, certain moral disqualifications for an acceptable attendance on the supper. But whatever they be, we must remove them, that we may attend on the ordinance; not plead them in excuse for neglecting the ordinance. We ought not to come to it with impenitent, unbelieving hearts, or with malevolent, unsocial paffions. What then ?--Are we to turn from it ?-No: we are to make preparation for it by examining ourselves, by repenting of our fins, by repairing in. juries, by feeking reconciliation with offended brethren, and by cultivating benevolence toward all men. Whether we come to the ordinance or not, we can have no right to indulge a wicked temper either toward God or men. And one ufc of the ordinance is, to make us watchful againft such a temper ; and to awaken us to repentance, when we discover this temper in us, or perceive it ftealing upon us.

Il. Our text teaches us, that, as the ancient paffover, so also the Lord's fupper, was particularly designed for the benefit of the young.

66 When your children shall say, What mean you by this service ? then shall ye say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's pafsover."

One use of the pafsover was to excite the attention and enquiry of children, that they might thus be prepared to receive instruction from their parents concerning the great things, which God had done, and still would do for his people. The publick celebration of this festival, from year to year, was designed to be the means of transmitting the knowledge of religion from one generation to another down to the latest period of that dispenfation. - In times of national degeneracy, this ordinance fell into disuse. But whenever there was a revival of religion, the restoration of the festival and a regular attendance upon it were some of the first favourable appearances. Thus it was in the reigns of Hezekiah and Josiah, those pious kings, whose reigns were diftinguished by an active zeal for religion.

It was common for the young to attend the paffover. They were conducted thither by their

pafents, that they might observe the folemnity and learn the design of it. Luke tells us, it was the custom for children to repair to this festival, as foon as they were twelve years old. It was at the time of the passover, that children in the temple fung, “ Hofánna to the son of David." Jefus was pleased with the pious strain.

Now as the Lord's fupper is an institution par. allel to, and succeeding in the place of the paffo ver, we may conclude, that this, as well as the other, was designed for the use and benefit of the young ; and that they are under fome fpecial obligation to attend upon it. One obvious use of it is to awaken in their minds religious thoughtful. ness, and to draw from them pertinent enquiries, that the parent may thus be led to instruct them ia the great redemption purchased for a guilty world by the death of Jesus Christ, whofe death is reprefented in this ordinance.

The young feem generally to imagine, that the ordinance was not intended for perfons of their age.' That their fathers ought to obferve it, they have no doubt ; but for themfelves they think it is a matter of little concern. In most churches the number of communicating youths is very fmall. Few approach the table of their redeemer, until they become settled in a family state : and there are many, who even then neglect it. But let me tell you, my young hearers, that as foon as you are able to discern the Lord's body in the holy fupper, and to understand what is meant by this service, you, as well as others, are bound to attend upon it. We find, that, in the time of the apostles, there were in the church little children, as well as young men and fathers.

You will perhaps fay, “We have not fufficient knowledge.'

Then seek know ledge Content not yourselves with what you have attained; but endeavour to abound more and more. You have been taught, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save lin. ners. Surely you should be solicitous to know, who this faviour is-what he has done and suffer od for you.and what you muft do to be saved.

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If you have this knowledge, and with it a desire to obtain and a resolution to seek salvation through Jesus Christ, you have such preparation, as will warrant your approach to his table.

You will say, “ We are afraid, we shall not live so as to honour the religion of Christ.”

Be then so much the more watchful over yourselves, prayerful to God, and diligent in tendance on all the instituted means of piety.

Doubtless you have cause to fear, lest you difhonour your Saviour by a conversation which his gospel forbids. But is thisa reason why you should not confess his name ? —Why you should not even resolve, or promise, or endeavour to honour him? No : It is a reason, why you should be more careful what manner of persons you are.

Perhaps some will say, “Our past conversation has not been such as becomes the gospel of Christ.”

Is this an excuse for neglecting a plain institution-an institution designed especially for you ? No : It is high time for you to repent and walk in newness of life. Let not sin reign in you,

that you should obey it in the lusts thereof; but yield yourselves to Christ as those who are alive from the dead, and your members inftruments of righteousness to him.

You will say, “ We do not know that we are in a converted ftate.” Give diligence then to make your calling fure ; and, with this view, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue, knowledge. But, in the mean time, neglect none of the commands of God. It is not by the neglect, but by the practice of duty, that you are to prove the reality of your conversion.

The apostles exhorted sinners to repent and turn to God : but they never advised the serious and enquiring to delay their entrance into the

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