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which, making us fit or unfit to be Christ's disciples, makes us also fit or unfit to share in the communion of His true disciples, the sacrament of His body and blood. Not every sin excludes us from that communion : we have seen that Peter after he had denied Christ was allowed again to be with Him; that Christ ate and drank with him once more. But it was a dreadful thing for him of whom it was said, “The hand of him that be

“ trayeth me is with me on the table.” Christ's betrayers cannot come to his communion without eating and drinking their own condemnation ; they eat and drink the sign of that body and that blood which they are continually despising. But if there be any of us whose sin is in any degree the sin of Judas—wilful in the habit, because we are habitually careless, wilful too sometimes in the particular act, because owing to our carelessness, sin does not seem exceeding sinful, and we do things therefore even advisedly which we know to be wrong, because we do not really see or know what there is contained in that word “wrong";—we do not consider that wrong is but another word for sinful, and that sin is the greatest evil in the whole world;—if there be any of us, I say, whose sin is


, thus in any degree like that of Judas rather than that of Peter, let us consider that as yet, in one most infinitely important point, it is not the sin of Judas; that Christ has not yet said of us that it were good for us if we had never been born; that He still calls us to repent, and still is ready to receive us with forgiveness. But indeed we should make haste to obey His call; indeed we should press earnestly to enter into His presence, before the door shall be shut. I am not speaking of the uncertainty of life : you know that I never lay the greatest stress on that, because it is an argument which the instinctive hope and confidence of youth will ever repel. In that sense, the door may be open for many years; yet indeed there is no less a danger, and a great danger, that if you delay to answer to Christ's call, the door of spiritual life may be shut for ever.

It may be shut, not suddenly and entirely, but gradually ; and so shut that although it might be still possible to enter in, yet in truth the entering in will never happen. And in this fearful sense it is but too likely that many, even of the very young, are dying daily; that by continued carelessness, sin is getting a more confirmed dominion over them; that the flesh and the world, the various enjoyments of their life now, and the various prospects of their life by and by, are more and more engrossing them in every sense and every faculty of their nature; shutting out more and more the grace of Christ. Who can doubt that they

. whose lives are unholy and unchristian here, are likely, and in point of fact do but too commonly lead lives not less unholy in the next stage of their trial, in more advanced youth and in manhood ? Who can doubt, farther, that unholiness thus confirmed is apt to be strengthened yet more as life goes on, till the man is hardened altogether? Therefore the call is made to you not without reason, to listen to Christ this day, and to harden not your hearts. We call on you to take Christ's arms to strengthen your weakness; to watch and pray with Him and to Him that ye enter not into temptation. We call on you to come to Him truly and without reserve, to learn from His cross what a thing that sin is which you commit so carelessly; to throw aside every weight;—we each have one or many that are weighing down our souls ;—to arise and come to Him for salvation. Then indeed you will soon find how false is that excuse of weakness which now you are so apt to plead ; how certainly you will be strong enough, to overcome the evil which now overcomes you, to do the good which now you cannot do. I will hope that some who have been careless will even now turn; that they will think what it is to be in some sort like to Judas, to be in any matter with a wilful heart betraying their Lord. I will hope that there will be those who, resolving to come to Christ in all sincerity, and imploring His help to cleanse every corner of their hearts, may be in His sight as clean; and being so, may, with their sins forgiven, be accepted as welcome guests at Christ's holy table, receiving from His love a full forgiveness for what is past, and effectual strength for what is to come.

April 4, 1841.




Psalm lxxxviii. 15, 16.

I am in misery, and like unto him that is at the point to die :

even from my youth up Thy terrors have I suffered with a troubled mind. Thy wrathful displeasure goeth over me, and the fear of Thee hath undone me.

THESE are the words of one of the Psalms appointed to be read in the service of this day. The other Psalms which we have heard read contain also much language of the same kind; language which is very familiar to us, and appears very natural in its own place, but which is infinitely remote, I imagine, from the habits of our own minds, and could not be adopted by them as their own without great insincerity. And it is to this fact that I would wish to draw your attention, as being capable of reading to us one of the most useful

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