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we come to the Holy Communion, we come to plead that Sacrifice before God, offering it as our only plea for acceptance and mercy. In this way the Lord's Supper is a memorial before God as well as a memorial before man. We seem all through the service to be saying, 'O God, I am not worthy to draw nigh. I am but sinful dust and ashes. How dare I stand in Thy sight, before whom even the very Angels veil their faces ? Yet Thy Son hath died for me. And here, as He is even now manifestly set forth crucified among
I cling to His Cross, I plead His atoning merits, I draw nigh with boldness. I am nothing, but His Sacrifice is all-sufficient. I bring that alone before Thee, O FATHER, beseeching Thee to accept me only through the Offering of Thy Son JESUS Christ once for all upon the Cross, which I now commemorate before Thee.'
3. The Lord's Supper is a Communion, which means a partaking or sharing together. And oh! what wonderful things do we share together in this most holy Feast—even “the Body and Blood of CHRIST, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the LORD's Supper.” Yes; it is indeed true. Jesus gives himself to us-His own Body and Bloodto be our spiritual food and sustenance. And surely even the natural substances of bread and wine, which the LORD uses to such blessed ends that He makes them to be the very means of conveying to us His Divine Gifts, should be treated by us as very sacred things. It is no superstition to be reverent in the use of what has been blest to holy purposes. And we believe. We would not question, as the Jews of old, when they asked, “How can this Man give
us His Flesh to eat?” We only know He said, “Whoso eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood hath eternal life abiding in him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” We believe, and eat and drink, and live. Outwardly, it is bread and wine. Inwardly, it is the Body and Blood of Christ. We do not care to question and dispute. We would rather bow the head and worship. When we kneel at the altar of our God, why should any thought possess our souls but this, “O my God, Thou art true; O my soul, thou art happy"?
4. If this be true, Christ is present in the Holy Sacrament in a very real and blessed manner. A great deal is said and written about the real presence of CHRIST in His Sacrament. We
not all agree as to the words in which this is to be expressed. There are, no doubt, different teachings concerning it. This is not the place or time to enter into these. But to deny the real presence of Christ in His Sacrament is to rob that Sacrament of its very life and power and blessedness. If Christ in any real and true way gives Himself to the soul in this blessed ordinance, then His presence must be real and true also. That cannot be really given which is only represented in a figure. I must not now dwell
other blessed thoughts which gather round this subject. The pardon of sin, the grace of amendment, the HOLY SPIRIT's power, the bond of loving brotherhood with fellow-Christians, the Coinmunion of Saints,-nay, every holy and beautiful thing which belongs to religion at all,-is here most fully realised. Blessed, thrice blessed moments, if only we knew how full of love and mercy they really are ! O JEsus, make us to be more wholly Thine, and to love better than we do to be with Thee. Amen.
tReadings during tRecovery.
God has been pleased to remove from you the great danger and pressing dread into which He in His wisdom brought you. It is a very serious and solemn thing to have been brought so near to death at least to have been brought to see how close by our side death stands. No one can have passed through dangerous sickness without being much better or much worse for it. If it does not soften the heart, and draw it closer to God, it most certainly hardens it, and makes it more worldly.
Now I want to-day to speak of thankfulness as a duty owed to God in return for His mercies. I am sure you are feeling thankful. You are feeling a great sense of relief, as though a heavy weight were lifted off your soul. You are feeling glad at the thought of returning health, and the prospect of bright days to come. Now let me, as a friend, warn you that it is sadly easy to deceive one's self in this matter. feel very glad, and mistake this gladness for true thankfulness. A great many fancy themselves thankful when the true feeling in their hearts is simply a sense of relief at the removal of pain, or sickness, or danger. Look at the ten lepers who were healed. I have no doubt they all ten felt great relief, and I daresay they thought themselves thankful. It is quite possible they said to
What a mercy
one another, 'Oh, how thankful we ought to be!
to be delivered from that terrible leprosy!' But we all know that only one of the ten had the grace of true thankfulness. Think for a moment what thankfulness means. It is not only gladness of heart at some blessing received; it is a feeling towards a person. This makes all the difference in the world. True thankfulness is the feeling of the heart going forth in loving thanks towards a person. But this is not all. A thankful heart will speak its thanks. It will take them straight to God, and tell Him how full of love and gratitude it is to Him for His great goodness. See how that one Samaritan among the ten lepers went back to JESUS, and fell on his face at His Feet, giving Him thanks. He was not content to talk about feeling thankful to his companions; he must tell it to Jesus Himself. It is just what you would do yourself in any other case. Suppose some one did you a very great service, you would never be content till you had gone and thanked him for it. You would be ashamed of yourself if you passed him by without a word. I remember the case of a young man saved by another from drowning, who never would thank him for what he had done, because he thought he had been rough in his manner of doing it. And I remember how angry we all felt at his ingratitude. It is hard to believe in such sullen obstinacy. Yet it is just what we may find every day in ourselves towards God. We are saved from some great danger; we receive some great mercy; our heart rejoices, and we are glad ; but, alas! for man's ingratitude, we render no heartfelt thanks to Him who has so saved and blessed us. Perhaps even we feel little thankfulness, thinking it has been a rough hard dealing, and forgetting the true mercy that is hidden in God's sternest chastisements.
But still farther, true thankfulness is not content with feelings and words. It must show itself in action. It will take trouble to prove its reality. Thus we pray, in our beautiful General Thanksgiving, that we may show forth God's praise “not only with our lips, but in our lives.” Here again let the grateful Samaritan teach us a lesson“ One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.” He “turned back.” He took trouble to show his thankfulness. He went out of his
to do so. He was not one to be content with talking about being thankf He was a man to show his thankfulness not only with his lips, but in his life. Now think once more of yourself. Which do you mean to be like—the nine, or the one ? I hope not the nine. But if you say to yourself, “No, I mean to try to be like the one, and to prove that I am really thankful by my actions,' then you will ask, simply and humbly, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” If you honestly desire to know what you can do to prove your thankfulness, I think God will show you. For instance, there is one very plain and simple thing. The Psalmist asked in old times just the same question you are asking now .“ What shall I render unto the Lord for all the benefits that He hath done unto And you remember the answer
“ I will receive the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD."
Is there no tion" you too may receive ? Could you not make
“cup of salva