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ed, it is a strengthening ordinance, and was de signed for this purpose.
If we have understood the nature of this holy supper, we ought to come to it under the influence of sensible relish and appetite, hungering and thirsting for spiritual food.
Brotherly love is a proper grace on this occan sion, and partaking is a high act of fellowship. We pretend, in coming together, to be fellow travellers-to have one cause, and to be united in our prospects.
All difficulties therefore, ought to be settled previously,
We should come, mourning and broken-hearted for sin. Sin shuts the door against Christ. We cannot expect to meet Christ at bis. table, unless we endeavor to remove every thing which may fend. We should come in a believing manner. It is faith that feeds on this divine bread ; that sees Christ in his glory in the breaking of bread. We should labor to mortify unbelief.
It is important, in order to come right, that we have a sense of Christ's dying love and sufferings, and therefore, we need to be much engaged in ex amining ourselves, and crying for strength.
The importance of attending in a proper man Rer, this sacramental snpper, will appear from it's being a great privilege Christ has appointed this as a place, where he will meet his followers, and he always does, if they come right. I trust that we have some of us found sacramental seasons sweet, and have met the blessed Redeemer there.
We are directed and commanded to do this in remembrance of Christ, and duly to examine, and cast out the old leaven. While we are careless: and negligent, we not only rob ourselt es of the good, happiness and strength which we peed; but God of his honor and respect.,
It is high contempt, when he has left such a pledge, when he offers such mercy at his tableto refuse to come. What ingratitude, when he has shed his blood to redeem us,
that we should despise him !
The institution is important, as it tends to cea ment the union between brethren, which reflects honor on religion. “Hereby," says Christ, " shall all men know that ye are my disciples.”
It is strengthening and quickening: It tends to: enkindle our graces, and leave an abiding savour. on the mind. Indeed, we stand in great need of such a help, to strengthen us against temptation, and to enliven faith...
This subject affords a use of enquiry and exame ination, whether we are prepared. -Do we feel some breathings after Christ?-Some mourning for sin ? Have we been endeavoring to remove idols from our own hearts ?--To purge out every thing which may offend in the church?
ROM. VIII. 38, 39.
Foy lam persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
IT is a question of great importance, whether God has in his covenant promises, secured to ev, : ery true saint strength to persevere in grace and
holiness unto eternal life. It is, on the one hand, a wonderful privilege and mercy, if this is the case. When the christian sees his own weakness, he will call to mind, that the Redeemer who is mighty, has undertaken to carry him through all his trials and temptations; and when he feels as though he should sink, he will rest in the divine promise, and exercise a sweet confidence in the strength of Christ, that he shall overcome. If, on the other hand, there is no promise to secure a continuance, as some seem to suppose, and it rests with and depends on the exercise of the chris. tian's own strength, he sees no ground of hope.He sees, every day, that he is sinking, and that without special strength, he shall never recover.
That the perseverance of the saints depends on their own strength, is a prevailing sentiment, I find, at the present day.
Could I suggest any thing that might serve to set this subject in a clear point of light, I should be entitled to your serious attention. The Aposde, in the preceding chapter, had established the doctrine of depravity-of the impossibility of jus tification on the footing of the law-the doctrine of the atonement and salvation by faith in the atonement :-He had treated on the subject of experimental religion :-He is, in my text and context, in course, treating of the abiding nature of grace..
Doctrine.As the salvation of a believer in a work that God has undertaken, there is no cre-ated being that has power to draw a roul away from the love that is in Christ Jesus : Or, in other words, the perseverance of the saint is made certain in the coveriant promises of grace. I shall, in the following discourse, attempt
1. To-explain the doctrine..
Nr. Answer objections.
I. I am to explain the doctrine of the certainty of the saint's perseverance.
I do not mean but that christians may greatly decline, and get greatly away.
By the doctrine, is not meant, that believers. will go to heaven unless they persevere in grace. Some, in their objections, treat it as though it was held, that they would be saved, let them live as they list, or whether they persevere or not: But the idea is, that God has engaged that, where grace is imparted, he will keep it alive.
I mean that there is not only an establishment that secures perseverance, but that the believer does persevere : He does not get so away, but there are some low degrees of warfare : He never gets to the state that he was in while in a state of nature.
The ground of certainty is not in the nature of grace. We see that our first parents fell from a state of perfect rectitude, and so the holy angels.
The christian may see, that his having holy ex ercises to day, is no security for to-morrow. There is nothing more clearly illustrated from experience, than the absolute dependence of the christian-on grace: In this light it is treated in Scripture : « Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." And again according to the working of his mighty power."
II. I am to prove the doctrine, that the believe er will, in the strength of grace, persevere to final salvation.
This doctrine of establishment in grace, grows out of the doctrine of Christ's becoming the believer's righteousness.. Establishment in holiness and life was to be the fruit, or reward of obedi. ence : So that as Christ has obeyed in our room und stead, of consequence on the principles of
faw, when the believer is united, he is established in holiness.
It is said by some, Adam fell, and why may not a believer? The difference is obvious. In this respect, the covenant of grace is established on better promises.
-The doctrine of the certainty of saints' perseverance is, I think, clearly to be inferred from the declaration of Scripture, that the believer is justified. This justification contains in it, a title to life, and is connected with glory : “Whom he: justifies, them he also glorifies.”
The Scripture fully represents grace to be of an abiding nature. Where the soul is brought to be a partaker of life, it becomes an abiding principle, a well of water, springing up to eternal life. The life, of which every believer is a partaker, is said. abundantly, to be eternal life. “ This is life eternal to know thee, the only living and true God.” “ He that believeth on the Son hath life, &c.?'
An argument may also be drawn from our Sav. iour's intercessory prayer.. ". Keep through thine own name, those that thou hast given me.
I pray not for those only, but for all those who shall be lieve through their word.”. 5.
The doctrine may farther he argued from this, that the cause of the divine, life is an immutable and everlasting cause. If the sinner's turning to God was the fruit of his own free will, then apos. tacy would be perfectly consistent. But the Bible, speaking of the regenerate, says, that they are " born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God.","Of his own will begat he us by the word of truth." " It is not of him that wilIcth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” The cause is represented as an everlasting cause.
• I have loved thee,” says. God," with an everlasting love. So the counsel