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c. It was intended to guide our faith | body of Christ? For we being many to the Lord's second appearance. Till are one bread and one body for we he come." One of the most interesting are all partakers of that one bread." aspects of the supper is this. It con- 1 Cor. x. 16, 17. We attend to it as to nects Christ the crucified one with a family festival. In it we all show Christ the glorified-the dying sufferer ourselves members of one great comwith the reigning, judging Lord. While munity of which the head is Christ. We it turns us backward to behold all that identify ourselves with the whole body Jesus endured, it invites us to look for- of the faithful; and teach the world that ward also to all the glories in which he however we may differ in our views is to be robed. It assures us that he concerning certain subordinate matters who once was here, though we saw him of Christian doctrine and practice, yet not, will again appear among men; that we are all one in Christ. May the time he will wear our nature; that he shall soon arrive when the world shall see the be glorified in his saints and admired oneness and believe! When a really among all them that believe; and that united church shall be the answer of we shall reign with him then. What a that prayer with which our Lord closed thrilling thought! What a stay for the the institution of this supper, "That soul driven hither and thither by the they all may be one; that the world storms of life! What a light in dark- | may believe that thou hast sent me!" ness! What a well-spring of ever-living joy! Sorrowing believer!
the table of thy Lord with thankfulness and hope! Thy heart is bitter as gall. Thy troubles descend on thee as sweeping hail. Weary and sore-footed thou walkest from day to day. Friends are few. Sympathy is slow and chary of its relief. And to swell the whole, Satan and thy sins distress thee. See, brother, in that bread and wine a pledge that the Friend who died for thee has not forgotten thee, and that he will come again. Here his voice speaking through those emblems, "Till I come." Patiently, joyfully endure all the Lord may appoint; "for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."
e. It was designed to be a valuable Approach | auxiliary in the divine life. All divine arrangements have this for their end. While we disclaim every thing like sacramental efficacy, yet we deem it possible to go too far in another direction. We believe that in the Lord's supper as in baptism, or any other act of divine service or worship, there is an adaptation to promote the spiritual good of the receiver; the good, however, depending not on the person who administers it, nor on the ordinance itself, but on the state of mind of the receiver at the time. It serves to deepen our views of the enormity of sin-to enlarge our conceptions of the Divine character-to humble us before the throne of God-to fill our hearts with divine love, and to securé à general advancement of the spiritual life. “The Lord's supper," says an old writer, "is a medicine to the diseased and languishing soul; and therefore men must as well seek to purify and heal their hearts in it, as to bring pure and sound hearts to it."* All who rightly approach the
d. It was intended to set forth the fellowship we have with Christ and with one another. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the
table can well understand the lines of the Lord. But let a man examine him
"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Such we consider are the uses of the Lord's supper. With the remaining questions we must be still more brief.
II. HOW LONG WAS THIS INSTITUTION DESIGNED TO CONTINUE? The language of the apostle is sufficiently explicit and decisive. "Till he come." It is not a local rite; having reference to one age, or one class of persons. It is of perpetual and universal obligation. The frequency of its observance, and other details having reference to the mode of its celebration may be left to the views and circumstances of the church; but the perpetuity of the institution is placed by scripture beyond dispute. Wherever Christianity may push her conquests wherever believers may establish themselves-whatever circumstances may surround them, and whatever changes may take place in the polity and discipline of the church, this part of her constitution must remain intact. It is to be coeval with the present dispensation, abiding "till he come."
III. WHO ARE THE PROPER PARTIES TO PARTAKE OF THE ORDINANCE? None save believers; but all such. Infants are not fit parties, for the same reasons as they are unfit subjects for baptism. It would however only be consistent for those who baptize infants to admit them also to the table of the Lord. Unbelieving adults are unfit persons, for the same reasons as they are unfit for any act of devotion or service to God. We are shut up then to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ: and even they need the warnings of the apostle, "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of
self, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." 1 Cor. xi. 27-29. All believers are to receive the elements in both kinds; and unless they are thus received the institution is observed unscripturally.
IV. WITH WHAT SPIRIT SHOULD WE APPROACH TO THE TABLE of the Lord? Confessing before God all our sincherishing a profound sense of our absolute indebtedness to Divine grace for our salvation-exercising a lively faith in the Saviour whose work the ordinance represents- renewing our vows of consecration to his serviceimploring a fresh supply of strength to do and suffer his will-waiting for his second coming to judge the world and gather his saints together, and anticipating the day when with all the redeemed we shall enjoy his presence through everlasting ages.
The reader will thank us for closing this article with another passage from Flavel-a passage with which he closes one of his own discourses-and which is fragrant with the odour of Christ; "Here is an ordinance to preserve his remembrance fresh to the end of the world. The blood of Christ doth never dry up. The beauty of this Rose of Sharon is never lost or withered. He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. As his body in the grave saw no corruption, so neither can his love, or any of his excellencies. When the saints shall have fed their eyes upon him in heaven thousands and millions of years, he shall yet be as fresh, beautiful, and orient as at the beginning. Other beauties have their prime and their fading time; but Christ's abide eternally. Our delight in creatures is often most at first acquaintance; when we come nearer to them, and see more of
them, the edge of our delight is rebated. | farther prospect of Christ entertains the But the longer you know Christ, and mind with a fresh delight. He is, as it the nearer you come to him, still the were, a new Christ every day, and yet more do you see of his glory. Every the same Christ still."
THE UNPROFITABLE SERVANT.
A SKETCH.-MATT. XXV. 24-30.
BY THE REV. SAMUEL HARRIS BOOTH.
mercy. It was a subterfuge. But he was punished. And our question is, on what principle was he punished? He was condemned as unprofitable." He had done nothing. He had attempted nothing. He was therefore pronounced "unprofitable." He had been clothed and fed at his lord's expense; but he had given no service in return. He was like a drone among bees, adding nothing to the stores. Like a branch without life, which not only deforms but endangers the tree, so this servant was a moral excrescence, for he imperilled the morality of his fellow servants, while he was himself an encumbrance. He was like ground which, since it grows no wheat, may perchance grow thorns. At least, it is unprofitable ground. And therefore he was condemned to be cast out from this service, where industry and fidelity were essential elements of character.
THE character of the "unprofitable to escape from punishment through his servant," with his reception and his doom, involve lessons which it would be well if we laid to heart. This man who had received the " one talent" was a servant as truly as those who had received more. He shared with them protection and support. The nature of the trust committed to him he understood and confessed. But the accusation he brought against his lord is not borne out by the facts of the case. He called his master "a hard man," but the master was justified in entrusting property to the care of his servants, and equally justified in expecting some rereturn while the manner of his reckoning with them and the way in which he rewarded fidelity prove him to have been both wise and kind. Or, supposing the charge to have been true, then selfinterest would have prompted more strenuous efforts on the part of this servant, fearing the consequences of his master's avarice, which would only the more certainly fall upon him, if this trust were neglected. Or, again, if he feared the loss of this talent through the uncertainties of commercial speculation, then he might have deposited the money where not only the principal would be safe, but whence he would receive interest for its use, and thereby have been prepared to return his lord's property "with usury." The fact is, he knew the benevolence of his lord, and instead of fear at his severity he hoped
This rapid review of the character and destiny of this servant has developed this principle, as one by which men will be judged, "the absence of good, irrespective, if that were possible, of positive evil;" or, in other words, "the negation of good, will be sufficient to condemn any man." Now what sort of a character is this, which will be condemned for the "omissions" with which he may be charged? It were instructive, if we could sketch such a man. He
is one who, having abilities of some kind | I do to glorify Christ? It is not his and of some degree, takes no deliberate last thought at night, what have I done step that will dishonour God; but he for Him? He has no religious instrucneglects to do anything that may pro- tion to impart. There is no savour of mote his glory. In this proper sense, the divine life in and around him. He he has done nothing good. He is not does not, either by his words or his an atheist. He is not even an un- Christian bearing, rebuke sin when he believer, for he knows there is a God, meets with it. He cannot, at least he and he will confess at once that Christ does not, point to the cross when the is the only hope of salvation. But his soul of any one about him is in trouble religious convictions have no greater for salvation. There is no family altar intensity than this; for he lives practi- in his house, or if there be, the worship cally as though the religion of Christ presented there is like the body withwere a simple question of fact, involving out life; "the form of godliness, but no truth, and having no other relation denying the power thereof." His relito his eternal welfare, than the death of gious dress sits ungainly upon him. Cæsar, or the destruction of Carthage. Men think him happier when the sub"Yes, yes," he says, and he goes on his ject is not named. Perchance he can way with no principle changed, no discourse to you learnedly on the passion subdued, no affection enkindled. sciences, and he can lead you poetically Or, since this character may be found "Through nature up to nature's God;" in our congregations, perhaps in our but ask him of the life in Christ, and he churches, we superadd another feature to will stammer and say, "Yes, it is true;" the sketch, and remind ourselves that but when a painful silence has passed this man has his seat in the sanctuary, he will resume the theme so ungraciously and it may be his name among the pro- interrupted. He will even talk of the fessed people of God. But there the accessories of divine things-of preachers matter ends with him. For if you follow him into his counting-house or his shop, you will there find him immersed in his ledger or his wares. His thoughts are of gain, but not of God. The deity of self, or the mere spirit of business, has excluded the Supreme. He does not labour that God may be glorified. He will think no more of His honour when he has doubled his property than he did before he was worth a penny. This man has not robbed any of his fellows. He has gotten all "honestly," as men would say. He has even abstained from getting when by so doing he would pre-employing his talents. vent the ruin or injury of others. He does not defy or insult society. His moral tone none can decry. His children welcome him as he returns home or quits his business for the day. But he is not on the Lord's side. It is not his first thought in the morning, what can
VOL. XV.-FOURTH SERIES.
of congregational statistics-of civil and religious liberty-of educationand of missions; but test him below the surface, and attempt to elicit one response on personal piety, and you have smitten that man speechless. And when you have left him, he may think you personal, or, more charitably, he may call you an enthusiast.
This man is not disabled from action. He has the same faculties as his fellow servants, perhaps developed in a higher degree than in other men. He has intellect. He has opportunities for No impedi
ment, but such as are common to all, resists him. He has the same precepts to guide him. He has the same promise of the Holy Spirit to help him in the discharge of his duty. The reward promised to every faithful servant of Christ, is held out to animate his faith
and to add constancy to enthusiasm. | worth. His absence would leave no There are the same obligations to obedi- blank; even as his presence fills no ence resting upon him as are accounted space. Let him be blotted out, and imperative by others. And the same none will say "he is gone.” Let him illustrious examples of those who have remain, and none will say "he is there." done well are before him to check indo- This is the unprofitable servant. This lence and to assure him of ultimate is the man who does nothing for religion But he has done nothing for and for Christ. He leaves to others to labour for their Lord-to men of more earnest faith and less extinguishable zeal. We cannot say this man is a traitor in the camp-that is, he has formed no secret league with the enemy. He had rather the cause of Christ should prosper. He only says, "I pray thee have me excused." He has not renounced allegiance to the Redeemer-that is, he has not shaken hands with infidelity; but it is in evidence against him, that he has taken no decided stand in this great conflict between holiness and sin. He would not quench the ardour of his more devoted brethren. He bows with respect at the mention of honourable deeds in the service of Christ, but he has no hand to help when "the enemy cometh in like a flood." He is not, if we may so say, the "unjust steward;" but he is one who, in the striking language of our Lord, has "hid his talent in a napkin." There is not positive evil, but there is a negation of good. While all others are acting, he alone acts not. Good and evil are at issue, and he is interested in it; but he resists not the one, he aids not the other. He is an "immoveable" on this moving order of things. He is a nonentity, which adds nothing to beauty or to
And for this unprofitableness he will be punished. And let not such a man suppose he will escape detection. At the day of account he will have to do with One who can balance motive and its results. There will be a moral anatomy at the bar of Christ. And this man will be rightly judged. Christ would build up, but he would destroy. Christ would bless, but he would curse. "Not so," says he. Ah! but he will not help the work of the Lord—that is, for all he cares, these results may happen. It is well to be warned against such a course. The servant who is unprofitable to Christ, will be as sure to find his place in outer darkness as he will be sure not to find a place in heaven. He will be as sure to be lost, as he will be sure not to be saved. Let not this principle be questioned; but let the consequences which it foretells be laid to heart. It cannot be helped if the absence of light be darkness, if the alternative of health be disease. Shall the nature of things be denied, because by the essential law of being we discover that the negation of life is death? "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."
BY MRS. EMILY C. JUDSON.
THE sunlight fell aslant upon the fragile frame-work of a Burman zayat; but though it was some hours past mid
day, the burning rays were not yet level enough to look too intrusively beneath the low projecting eaves. Yet the day