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Such is the connexion of this holy sacrament with all the dispensa tions of God which went before ; such its dignity, its necessity, and its obligation ; it is the memorial of the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world; the humble imitation of his intercession which he maketh for us in the sanctuary of heaven; the visible pleading of his death and passion, and meritorious sufferings for us; the act of uniting these our earthly pleadings with his heavenly intercession, and of uniting us to Him, and in Him to our reconciled God and Father!

Having thus traced the history, the connexion with foregoing dispensations, and the design and uses of this holy mystery, let us now go on to consider three points :

1. The obligation which lies upon us to partake of this holy sacrament.

2. The way in which some try to evade that obligation. And,

3. The dispositions of heart and soul, in which we should approach it.

1. Let us consider the obligation which lies upon us to partake of this holy sacrament.

Out of numerous reasons to induce us to receive it, there is one perhaps which is more affecting than the rest: it is the dying command of our Redeemer. Now, the words of a dying friend are deeply affecting. His look,- his words,--his very gestures,-his commands,-carry with them a weight, which belongs to no other less solemn period of human existence. The dying parent,--the dying friend,—the dying husband, ---the dying child, -bequeath all these as a mournful bequest to be treasured up in the heart, and to be remembered when they are no more, by the sorrowing few who witness the melancholy scene. But, how much more sacred then is the command of one, who exhibited such depths of love and compassion towards us, as Jesus did! It was almost his last request; and under circumstances how solemn and affecting ! He had present to his omniscient mind all the sufferings of his passion; the mysterious agonies of Gethsemane ; the indignities of his trial ; the sufferings of the way to Calvary; the cross, and the nails, and the spear, —the gall and the vinegar, and the tears of his mother,-the consternation and flight of his disciples, their desertion, and his dying groan ;-it was all present to his mind; it was only a few hours before the whole sad scene was to be undergone; yet, with all this present to his mind, in the midst of that intense sorrow and suffering which he felt, he forgot his own sorrows to think of us; he put all these aside, that he might leave us a memorial of his love, and a consolation in all our afflictions. He needed consolation ; yet he thought only of his disciples, and their comfort. He grieved at the prospect of separation from them, and he still wished to live in their memories, and in their hearts. “Do this in remembrance of me!" Though absent, I would still be with you, and therefore appoint a means, by which I may be remembered when I am gone, and still abide and dwell with you for ever.

O, brethren! if we are anxious to fulfil the dying words of a friend or relative, how much more ought we to regard those of our loving Saviour, the compassionate Jesus! And if we obey the commands of earthly friends or benefactors, but neglect those of Jesus, uttered at

h, let every

such a solemn hour, under such circumstances of the deepest affliction, only a few hours before the whole sad scene of his passion was to begin, will here not be an evidence that we have little love for him ; little sense of the blessings he conferred, and the sufferings by which they were purchased ? If we really love him, we cannot but obey this command; if we duly estimate the value of his death, we shall surely perpetuate its memorial; if we are looking for him to come from heaven, we cannot refuse surely to join in that solemn mystery, whereby (as often as it is celebrated) we do show forth the Lord's death till he come again, to translate his people to mansions of unfading glory. Think of the affectionate looks of the parting Jesus; think of his last words and actions ; treasure up his last affecting command; and your own hearts will either bear testimony to your being in a state of utter alienation from him, or will constrain you to say, Yea, Lord, we will do this for a memorial of thy passion, in remembrance of thee. Jesus saith, “ Seek ye my face." heart ardently respond, and say with eagerness, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” And so, when in the last solemn hour he shall call you to himself, ye shall be able to exclaim with the holy Prophet, “In the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul hath been to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee!"

We cannot remember him, without loving him ; and we cannot love him, without obeying him; and we cannot obey him, without being conformed and made like unto Him. And what infinite blessedness is there in being made like unto Him! for, if we are conformed to the likeness of his death, we shall also be conformed to the likeness of his resurrection; and after the conflicts and sorrows of life are over (conflicts and sorrows, however, which bring their own blessings with them, and which those who feel, value more than all the joys of earth),-yes, after these conflicts and sorrows of life are over, we shall sit down with him in his exalted throne,- we shall live with him, and be united with him for ever. The remembrances of earth will be exchanged for the realities of heaven ; we shall again see him face to face, and know him even as we ourselves are known. Wherefore, Do this in remembrance of Him !

2. Let us now consider the way in which some try to evade this obligation.

Many, in the present day, are apt to think and affirm, that if they be moral men, they may be excused from entering into such a close communion with Christ, as this holy sacrament implies ; or, at least, that the practice of the duties of life is the main point to be secured, and that compliance with an outward institution is surely not a matter of deep importance. Provided (say they) we practise the duties we owe to our fellow-creatures, the Almighty surely will never be so strict about a mere outward ordinance; provided we are moral men, these things surely can be but of comparatively small importance. And, after all, surely we can love Christ in our hearts without receiving this sacrament, or show our love as effectually in other ways.

Now God forbid, brethren, that any man should be led to think that any religious practice, however solemn, can excuse a strict performance

of

every moral obligation; nay, one reason for the importance attached to this sacrament is, that it binds us still more strongly to the performance of all other duties; that it represents our obligations in so strong a light, as has a tendency to impress them more deeply and lastingly on our consciences. This is all very true ; but still we must say, that it is impossible to love Christ, without partaking of the Holy Communion; that we cannot show our love to him, except we actually do practise this duty! And for this reason: It is the express and explicit act of showing this love. God has made it so. He accepts it as such. He will regard no other way of showing our love, if this is neglected. It is God's own appointed way, and he will have that, or he will regard all other ways as a setting up of our own wills and reasonings and opinions in opposition to him. And if God has commanded this special way, and accepts it as an act of love and obedience, then its neglect cannot be a matter of small importance, but one which perils our salvation.

Surely, to slight and neglect the express command of Christ, must be an act of high immorality. Shall a son, who neglects, or despises, or disobeys his earthly parents, be deemed an immoral man; and shall he who disowns the authority of his great Creator, escape the charge, or think himself easily excused ? Is not ingratitude immoral ? Shall the man who is guilty of ingratitude to an earthly benefactor be called immoral ;-and shall he who slights the command of his Redeemer who died for him, who refuses to honour him as his Redeemer in the express way he has enjoined with his dying breath,—shall such a man think himself free from the charge of immorality? No. The disobedient son is an immoral man; the ungrateful friend is an immoral man; but infinitely more immoral is he, who refuses to obey the commands of his Creator and of his Redeemer; inasmuch as the benefits we owe to God and to Christ far surpass all others whatsoever ; inasmuch as the relations in which we stand towards them, call us to a higher gratitude, lay us under higher obligations, and require at our hands a higher sense of duty. And in this particular instance of compliance with Christ's command, the sinfulness of disobedience is heightened and increased by the easiness of compliance, and the solemn and affecting circumstances under which it was enjoined.

3. Let us now‘go on to consider the dispositions of heart and mind in which we ought to approach this holy sacrament of Communion.

And what are these? The deepest feelings of sorrow and repentance; the profoundest sense of humility, and of our own unworthiness; and holy love and joy, and the anticipation of a sacred hope; these are states of mind preeminently fitted for this solemn action; and especially faith in the promises of God made to us in this sacrament, and a spirit of the profoundest gratitude for the love of Christ in dying for us, which is therein commemorated ; and, in imitation of the love of Christ towards us, a spirit of unfeigned pity, love, and compassion towards the bodies and souls of our fellow-creatures. These are states of mind eminently appropriate for this holy mystery,

Christ is the Son of God; we, in this Holy Communion, eat his flesh and drink his blood, and become very members incorporate in his mystical body; yea, are one with Christ, and Christ with us; and being

thus united unto him, we become like him, the sons of God, and inheritors of God's kingdom in heaven.

Christ is merciful and full of pity; and we, being conformed unto Christ, imitate his mercy and pity, and are filled with tender compassion towards all who surround us : yea, Christ enters into us by means of this holy sacrament; he dwells and lives in us; and therefore it is our duty, and our obligation, and our wisdom, to approach it in a corresponding frame of mind, to be prepared for the entrance of the holy Bridegroom, and to purify our hearts from all other loves and affections, that we may be his for ever, both in body and soul, and daily increase in love to him more and more, until we come unto his eternal kingdom.

And, especially, approach this holy sacrament with the most solemn vows of amendment, and future holiness, and devotion to the cause of your heavenly Father. Do all this, being moved thereto by the great and manifold blessings you have received; and because it is meet, right, just, and your bounden duty; agreeable to the nature which God has given you, and the hopes to which he has called ; promotive of God's glory, and of your own salvation ;-for these causes, dedicate in this Holy Communion, yourselves, your bodies and souls, your faculties, your reason, and all your powers--all you have, and all you are, and all you hope to be, as reasonable and living sacrifices unto God; so, after this life ended, ye shall pass into those regions where ye

shall no longer see God in sacraments and ordinances,- where ye shall no longer see through a glass darkly; but where ye shall see face to face ; where faith shall pass into the beatific vision; where ye shall pass a whole eternity in continual drawing nearer and nearer unto God, and growing more and more like his divine image.

G. C.

MISCELLANEOUS.

ON THE USE OF PSALMS AND HYMNS.

Reply to the Reasons given in The Christian Remembrancer of

February, 1838, for the Editor's Judgment, that "the tacit consent of each Bishop in his own Diocese is sufficient to authorize the public

Singing of Hymns not otherwise authorized." The grounds of this judgment are understood to be :-1. That “the custom and right of introducing forms of singing' at discretion was an ancient right of the Bishops and Clergy in their several cathedrals and churches anterior to the Reformation.” 2. That this right and practice, " without an express and formal probibition, still remains in full force;" that “such prohibition has never been issued ;" that “ of this ancient right of the Bishops and Clergy in their several cathedrals and churches they have never been deprived by law, either civil or ecclesiastical." 3. That “ this right has never fallen into desuetude." 4. That there are " no less than sixteen metrical versions or selections of Psalms, or of Psalms and Hymns, for public worship. dedicated, by permission, and authorized by the sanction of names, than which none can possess higher authority, or greater weight with orthodox Churchmen." The grounds are not laid down in the Magazine in so distinct and consecutive a method as is here used, and they are mixed with other arguments. But the simplest mode of treating them will probably be to take the foregoing order; and the other arguments will either fall in with the examination, or, if requisite, may be taken afterwards by themselves.

1. As to the right and practice of introducing' forms of singing' at discretion into their cathedrals and churches, as possessed by the Bishops and Clergy before the Reformation.". Upon this subject the following statement of Bishop Gibson, (Codex, i. 259, note,) is in point: “In the more early ages of the Church, every Bishop had a power to form a Liturgy for his own diocese : and, if he kept to the analogy of faith and doctrine, all circumstances were left to his own discretion. Afterwards the practice was, for the whole province to follow the service of the metropolitan church, which also became the general rule of the Church.” Bishop Gibson gives his authority for this position, and then adds, “which Lyndwood owns to be the common law of the Church ; and intimates, that the use of several services in the same province, as was here in England, was not to be warranted but by long custom.

This statement records a power, founded on custom, as exercised by the Bishops in England, of forming liturgies for their own dioceses, but makes no mention of any such power as exercised by the Clergy in their churches. Waiving this difference, however, and merely observing that in the Liturgy was embraced the whole service of the Church, " tàm ipsius missæ ordo, quàm psallendi vel ministrandi consuetudo," as expressed in Bishop Gibson's authority ; let us admit the practice of the Church of England to have been as stated before the Reformation.

2. It is now to be considered, how this practice was treated in England at the Reformation, in order that we may see whether or not it was then “prohibited :" whether or not "the Bishops and Clergy were then deprived of their ancient custom and right.”

The statute of 2 Edward VI. c. 1, in 1548, is an Act for the Uniformity of Service, and Administration of the Sacraments, throughout the realm.” It commences with reciting the reasons of it: “Where of long time there hath been had in this realm of England and in Wales, divers forms of Common Prayer, commonly called the Service of the Church; that is to say, the use of Sarum, of York, of Bangor, and of Lincoln : and besides the same, now of late much more divers and sundry forms and fashions have been used in the cathedral and parish churches of England and Wales, as well concerning the matters in Morning Prayer and the Evensong, as concerning the Holy Communion, commonly called the Masse, with divers and sundry rites and ceremonies concerning the same, &c. ;” and then, after relating what had been done for providing “ The Book of Common Prayer," &c., and setting forth "the honour of God, and great quietness which by the grace of God shall ensue upon the one and uniform rite and order in such Common Prayer, &c. ;" it enacts, “ that all and singular ministers in any

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