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Hear this, all ye with whom Christ by the Spirit has long been pleading, but who have hitherto done despite unto that Spirit of Grace !-Remember your more constraining motives—your fuller knowledge-your ampler aid—and say if you continue impenitent, shall not the men of Nineveh rise in judgment against you?-But remember also that thegreater than Jonas, who still appeals to you, is that same Jesus who yet willeth not the death of a sinner, but that all should come to repentance.-Will ye not then, now at least in this your day, come unto him, that ye may have life ?—" Why will ye die, O house of Israel ?"
Nor while we consider the call to repentance, which the subject we have been examining conveys, let us overlook in the last place, the demand which it makes upon our gratitude and love. Let us bless God that he has opened a way to repentance at all—that he has been graciously pleased to stay his hand, when he witnesses the contrition of his offending creatures.—Let us thank him that he hath thought good to reveal this his gracious purpose towards us, and that he hath condescended to plan and execute so amazing a scheme, by which to render the tears of the penitent effectual -let us humbly but earnestly pray, that we may have grace to feel his unbounded goodness in this world, and may hereafter be admitted to bless and glorify him for it, for ever in another, through the merits and mediation of the one only sacrifice for sins—even our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE LORD'S SUPPER.
Matt. xxvi. 26--28.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and
blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins.
It is a disheartening thing to undertake a task which has often been attempted before without success. It is a disheartening thing to enter upon a topic which has already been presented in every possible form, and viewed in every possible light without producing under any, those practical results which were expected from its discussion.
Such a topic is that which the words
of the text suggest.—To enforce upon all Christians the propriety of a regular attendance at the table of their Lord, the most impressive eloquence--the most convincing argument—the most urgent and searching appeal-have been employed each in turn, or all combined together, again and again. And to what purpose ?—Let those answer the question, who have been compelled from time to time continually to contrast the crowded church with the deserted altar-whose hearts have felt a glow of Christian joy as they cast their eyes over the multitudes who throng the house of the Lord --but whose joy has been turned into sorrow-disappointment—dismay--when they have beheld the smallness of the number who will hear their Saviour's voice, and partake of that feast to which he has so pathetically invited them.
In some work on the duties and responsibilities of the pastoral office, it is suggested as one test of a minister's success, that he should observe the proportion which the communicants among his
flock, bear to those who turn their backs on the table of the Lord, and mark whether that proportion increase or diminish.—And this perhaps may be no very inaccurate criterion.-But to how many congregations can it be applied, and yet leave us satisfied with the conclusion we should be obliged to draw ? If the efficacy of the word preached, and the sincerity of those who hear it, are to be tried by the numbers brought to the supper of the Lord—to how great a number will it appear to have been preached in vain ?-Let us consider the question as addressed to ourselves, my brethren, let us try our own conduct by this test. · Mark the numbers, who from sabbath to sabbath, assemble within these walls—who worship with seemliness and decency, and listen with attention to God's word.—It is announced that all things are ready, and they are bidden to the supper.—Behold! with one consent they begin to make excuse.— The proportion left to gather round the board is so small, that we are constrained to ask