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behoves me to warn you against one more excuse, which may sometimes beguile persons not wholly depraved. We meet, it has been said, with numerous instances in which they, who come to the Lord's table show in their actions, the scanty and transient efficacy which accompanies this act of external devotion. Be it so, but no man, conscious of his frailties, will dare to affirm that he might not have been worse, if he had absented himself from the Lord's supper entirely. No man will take upon himself to deny, that for some escapes from temptation, or some advance, however inconsiderable, in righteousnes, he was in some degree indebted to the seriousness of thought which he felt from the solemnity of the sacramental service and from sympathy with his relatives, or his friends, or his neighbours who attended it. No man, I believe, ever attempted to justify, or even extenuate his relapse into sin, or his perseverance in it, on the ground that he had regularly partaken of the sacrament; for such prostitution of a most holy rite would surely be infatuation and frenzy in the sight of man, and would amount to hypocrisy combined with presumption before that God, who has declared by the mouth of his prophets, that he desireth mercy more than burnt offerings, and hath less delight in sacrifice than in obedience to his voice,

To conclude, the result of the statements and observations already laid before you is this -- I have seen no man, who, either in health or sickness, in prosperity or adversity, ever blamed bimself for having eaten of the sacred bread, or for having drunken of the sacred

wine in thankful and dutiful remembrance of his Saviour. But I have frequently been summoned to the offices of an adviser and comforter to those persons who, on the near approach of their dissolution, have with anguish confessed to me their former neglect, and who were anxious to expiate it by one penitential and devotional act before they should go hence, and be no more seen. I have approved of their resolution, and I have assisted in their prayers. But what, if the hand of death should be stretched over us? What, if the palsy or apoplexy should have destroyed our senses? What, if the pangs of a burning fever should agitate our spirits into frenzy? What, if bodily weakness should have benumbed our feelings, and darkened our reason before that one act can be performed : Do I then maintain, that he who has never attended at the Lord's table must be consigned to perdition in a future world? I do not say this. I admit that he may be saved, because in the general tenor of his life he has many virtues and few faults. But I further say, that by continued absence from the Lord's supper, he has forfeited the benefit of one very practicable and very efficacious mean for the improvement and final acceptance of those virtues, and for the correction and final pardon of those faults. I say, that he has not obeyed a plain and positive precept, recommended by the example of the Apostolic age, and of all succeeding times, among all succeeding sects of Christians, except one-I mean our brethren who are usually called Quakers, and whose proficiency in the practical parts of religion is conspicuous and highly meritorious. I have to add, that he, in all probability, was led to withhold that obedience by groundless scruples, or by criminal inconsiderateness.

Finally, let me remind you of a general and interesting fact, that in this, and almost every other parish, they who frequently communicate are distinguished by temperance, peaceableness, probity, and other social excellencies; that they must have derived valuable assistance for attaining those excellencies from the sacred truths which are set before them at the Lord's supper; and that every good Christian therefore would be anxious to be found in the number of those believers, whom participation in the Lord's supper has awakened to repentance, or confirmed in virtue, or animated to piety. I en

then to meditate seriously upon these most important questions, and to supplicate the Almighty that no frivolous and hollow excuses may, in your last moments, expose you to a situation not indeed hopeless, but certainly in some degree perilous. When God calleth you, strive to be ready. Do what you are required to do by the Scriptures, and the rules of our excellent Church, in remembrance of Jesus Christ. Repent ye of your former sins; resolve upon amendment for the future ; cherish a spirit of unfeigned charity towards your neighbours ; and thus, most assuredly, you will be ineet partakers of the Holy Communion.

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SERMON XXVII.

Luke xxii. 19, 20.

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you ; this do in remembrance of me.

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

On a former occasion I told you that in my second Discourse I should explain to you three very significant words-Sacrament, Mystery, and Eucharist—which are connected with my subject; and in a third I shall address myself to a numerous but nisguided class of Christians, who will do well to attend to me, when I am endeavouring to rectify their habitual, and, I had almost said, their venial mistakes upon the qualifications proper for a pious remembrance of their Saviour at the Lord's Supper.

Antecedently, however, to any exposition of the three terms just now mentioned, I must admit that Lutherans, Romanists, and the inembers of the Church of England, upon whose tenets I shall have occasion to comment in the course of that exposition, are respectively desirous to be guided into the way of truth. But here I feel myself irresistibly led into a train of reflections not unworthy of your notice, because they have a tendency to show the propriety of that dispassionate and conciliatory spirit, which I am most anxious to preserve and recommend in all discussions upon the Lord's Supper. In controversies upon science and literature, men of enlarged minds are generally content to refute without arrogance, and to be refuted without rage; and unless the personal feelings of disputants are violated, they are content to leave the issue of the contest upon the strength and the skill, which they may have employed upon their own side of a question. We have little hesitation in sparing the vanquished enemy of our country. We think it meritorious to forgive a personal foe. But to our heated imagination it seems criminal to extend our lenity to the opponent of our religion ; and as that opponent is actuated by the same feelings, accusations are hurled and retorted in endless succession. Revenge assumes the form of justice, and intolerance is sheltered under the disguise of zeal in a good cause. But whence then has it arisen, that amidst the violence of men upon politics, and upon other topics, in which their ambition and their selfishness are interested, theological hatred exceeds that violence, and from its intenseness and its frequency has become proverbial? It has been said, that in spite of all their positiveness, theologians have a secret and restless distrust in their own persuasion ; and that they borrow from their passions that ardour, which their reason cannot supply. This solution, though much exaggerated, is, in part, true: but it is not complete, and we must look for other causes. In all

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