1 October 1693
1. Cor. 11. 26.
For as often as ye eat this Bread, & drink this cup, ye do shew the Lords Death till he come. We have in the former verses been speaking of the first institution of the Lords Supper, unto which the Apostle calls back the Corinthian Churches, as a means for the redressing of their abuses in this holy Sacrament. In the former verses he tells them what he had received of the Lord. Now he adds somthing of his own in this verse, yet as an Apostle & one yt was inspired by the holy Ghost. For as often as ye eat this Bread &c. Here are two things observable in these
- 1. words viz: (1) What kind of Remembrance of Christs Death is to be maintained. Why it is such a Remembrance as is to be shown forth: Not such a Remembrance as is to be concealed in our hearts, but to be declared &c
- 2. published in an open profession of Christ in our lives. (2) How long this Remembrance in the Lords Supper is to be maintained, viz: till he come. The Lord will come, & till then this sacrament must continue. Hince observe
- Doctr. Beleivers, in the use of the Lords Supper, are to shew forth the Lords death, till he come. The Lord hath dyed for us, & it is our great duty to Remember his Death, & as those who have it in our Remembrance, we are to shew it forth. So great a benefit is not [to] be forgotten: So great a mercy as the Death of Christ is not to be buryed: buryed in our hearts, & lye concealed in our own breasts, but to be shewed forth, & proclaimed by us, as those who do not only beleive it, but are also the happy partakers of ye blessed benefits of it. Here we may briefly speak to these
- 1. two points, viz (1) That Beleivers are to shew forth the
- 2. Death of Christ (2) That this is to be done till Christ comes 1. Beleivers are to shew forth Christs Death.
- 1. In the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, the Lords Death is to be shewed forth by the Minister, wo is by divine appointment the Dispenser of these holy things. At all times the Ministers great duty is to be helpfull to poor Souls, to bring them unto a participation of the Death of Christ: And so to speak much of Christs death the necessity of Christs death the necessity of the Souls getting an interest in Christs death. But now at this Sacrament is a speciall season for his so doing. Now Sermons concerning the necessity of an interest in Christs Death are eminently Seasonable.
- 2. In this Sacrament all communicants are to shew forth the Lords Death. We are ever to be mindfull of the Death of Christ; But in a speciall manner at this Ordinance, in which Christs death is so lively set forth before our eyes.
- 1. We are seriously to rem̄ber the weight & greatness of our sins, from which we could not be redeemed but by the Death of Christ. 1. Pet. 1. 18. 19. Ye were not Redeemed, with corruptible things, as silver or Gold—But with the precious blood of Christ. Nothing less precious, than the precious Blood of Christ, could Redeem precious Souls. ¶ We are also to Remember the Severity of God, who would take vengeance upon his only begotten & well-beloved Son for our sins, nor could he accept of any other Satisfaction for them than the Death of his Son. God could not Spare sin; Sin must be punished; but he punisheth not us, but his Son, for our sins. He that could not Spare Sinners, as such, yet would Not Spare his Son, that he might Spare us. 8. Ro. 32. ¶ Againe. We are to Remember the wonderfull greatness, of the mercy & Love of God, who for this very end sent his Son into the world, & delivered him up to Death, that by his Death Redemption might be made for our sins, & Satisfaction might be made to his Righteousness, 3. Joh. 16. 1. Joh. 4. 9. 10. 4. Rom. ult. Thus we are to shew forth Christs Death in a gratefull & joyfull Rembrance of his Death.
- 2. We are to show forth Christs Death in a firm purpose, & industrious endeavour to shun sin & to please God in All things. As Christ dyed to put an end to sin, so we are to resolve & endeavour to show forth the power of his death, by our being dead to sin. 6. Ro. 10. 11. To live in sin is not only a disparagement to our holy profession, but it is also a discredit to the Death of Christ; as if it were an inefficacious Death. To cast of[f] sin, to be dead to Sin, is a most excellent way for Professors to show forth Christs Death i.e. the blessed power & efficacy of it.
- 3. Last: We are to shew forth Christs Death in an efficacious & Saving application of Christs Death to our own souls, & so in a fiducial recumbency of our souls upon Christs Death, & an exhorting of others to do the like. When Sin & conscience, men & Devils accuse us, why then let the death of Christ appease our bleeding, wounded, & disquieted Souls. 8. Ro. 33. &c. We want not Accusers: We want no condemners: O but let Christs Death (applyed by faith) answere for all. And then tell we to others what Christ has done for us, & perswade we them to seek out after & get an interest in Christ, as ever they would be saved. 34. Ps. 11. 1. Tim. 1. 12. &c
- 2. This is to be done till Christ comes i.e. till Christ comes to judgment. We are to show forth Christs Death as long as we live. The Lord will come, & till the Lord dos come this Sacrament must continue: But when he comes & takes us to himself into his Glorious Kingdom, we shall need this & other Ordinances no more. We shall then be perfect, and enjoy immediate com̄union, & so shall need the Glasses of Ordinances no more. When the end is attained, the means shall cease. But as the Sacraments of the old Testament did continue untill Christs first coming in the Flesh; So the Sacraments of the New Testament shall continue till Christ[s] Second coming in Glory.
- 1. Use. Hince we may learn that the Sacrament of the Lords Supper is a Memorial of Christ perpetually to be celebrated in the Church even untill the very last coming of Christ. For this very end Christ has appointed it, to put us in remembrance of the infinite benefits of his Death, & that we should even before men, before the open world, profess our gratefull Remembrance of it. Therefore a profession of their faith (whereby the Soul has an interest in Christs Death) is necessarily required of every one that would partake of the Lords Supper.
- 2. Use. Hince then they may be refuted who do erroneously pervert this holy Ordinance. Oh this holy, & indeed Heavenly, Mystery has been by many abominable & excerable devises of the Devil wondrously corrupted. And
- 1. here it may not be unusefull briefly to show you (1) What was the purpose of the blessed God in instituting of this
- 2. Ordinance (2.) What has been the underminings of Satan whereby he has to the uttermost endeavoured to blow up
- 3. & overthrow Gods purpose herein. (3) Last. By what means may the designes of Satan in this matter be prevented.
- 1. Q. Then, what was the divine purpose in appointing this holy Ordinance?
- An: Christ instituted this holy Banquet for the sake of his Spouse, i.e. such as profess Faith & Repentance, & that
- 1. for three reasons (1) that it might be an Eucharistical, or Thanksgiving Service, for the establishment or ratification of the eternal Covenant, which he offers to his Spouse, & is represented for their Special benefit in the Symbols of Bread, & wine, viz: that only Sacrifice of his
- 2. Body & Blood offered up for them upon the cross. (2) That by this Solemn action communion between the Bride & the Bride-groom, might be maintained & in-
- 3. creased (3) Last. That the conjunction between Christs Members might be confirmed. For these great & blessed ends Christ has instituted this mysterious Sacrament. Now
- 2. Q. Let us consider Satans workings to overthrow these holy purposes: What are his Methods to undermine all?
- An: Satans endeavors are to overthrow all these the divine purposes; & he attempts this not by strange, & forraigne methods, but even by those very means, by which the Lord determined to establish his own purposes.
- 1. Therefore he endeavours to take away the Remembrance of Christ. & that even in this very ordinance. And therefore To introduce the forgetfulness of ye divine liberality, he hath devised the delusions of mens own merits; & in the name of the Lords Supper hath surrogated the Sacrifice of the Masse, by which wiles the fruit of Christs death is destroyed: & lastly he hath substituted an immense body, for the true body of Christ. As among the Popish
- 2. Churches (2) The Devil endeavours to destroy true com̄union with the true incarnated word, the word made flesh the Lord Jesus Christ. For what com̄union can a member
- 3. of Christ have with that Body which is no where? (3) He dos all that he can to procure the distraction of Members. Christ designes the conjunction & concord of Members; but the Devil endeavors the distraction & discord of Members: One for this thing, another for that: One for that way, another for this. Nor are his endeavours in this matter, without great success, God by his just judgment punishing even of the godly for their ingratitude. Oh the divisions of Reuben! The Sharp contention between Paul & Barnabas! The miss-apprehensions, miss-conceptions, & miss-constructions, which in all ages more or less are to be found among the godly. Now.
- 3. Q: What is to be done that we may prevent Satans purposes in these his Methods?
- An: Three duties, in opposition to these three evils, are required of all Christians who desire to escape these snares
- 1. of Satan. As (1) They must not seeke life & righteousness in the work of Rem̄bring the Death of Christ: but in this Ordinance they must testify their joy & gratitude for Righteousness purchased by Christs Death, brought to light by his Resurrection, Revealed in the Gosple, &
- 2. Sealed to us in his Ordinances (2) They must firmly beleive their com̄union, not with some fictitious & feigned body, but with the reall, broken, & crucifyed body of Jesus
- 3. Christ. This is my Body: This is my Blood, sais Christ. (3) Last: Every one must acknowledge his own misery, & firstly & cheifly his own Pride, which made the Blessed Son of God to humble himself even unto the very death of the cross, which deep humility Christ would have celebrated & observed in this Eucharistical Sacrifice. Thus it will come to pass that we shall study concord; for the mother of it is humility & the knowledge of our selves. Only by pride, cometh contention, 13 Pro. 10. & 22. 10. Now that we may be able to perform these three things, thanks is to be given to God, who either hitherto hath kept85 us from such gross errors, or drawn us out of them, & trained us up in so clear a knowledge of his Will: & also we are to pray unto him that of his Mercy he would bring back wanderers, confirm those that are right, & repress the enemies & calumniators of his truth, that the wished for peace, wth the purity of doctrine, & integrity of life, may be restored to the Christian world, to the confusion of the Devil, & to the glory of God, & that the same may be confirmed unto after ages even untill the very coming of his Son, the great Judge of all ye world.
I conclude briefly with a third use.
- 3. Use. Last: Exhortation: To all Beleivers to this duty in our text of Shewing forth the Lords Death. And here
- 1. Let me Speak to those who do rather deny, or at lest conceal, the death of Christ then shew it forth. Do’nt you see, Do’nt you hear, that you are to show forth Christs Death? It is not enough for you that you own Christs Death, that you beleive Christs Death. But you must profess your faith, you must shew forth your Beleive of this great Article of your faith. And you must shew it forth by your attendance upon this great Ordinance, which is a lively representation of Christs Death. Do you beleive Christ dyed for poor undone penitent Sinners? Do you beleive Christ appointed this Ordinance for a memorial of his Death? And do you beleive Christs Death is shown forth in this great Ordinance? O why then do you not show forth this your beleif, by an attendance upon this holy institution? Is not Christs Death worthy of your Profession? If Christ has dyed for thee, dost thou not deal unworthily by denying or concealing his dying Love for thee? Art thou afraid of the Scoffs & jears of the wicked? Art thou ashamed to show forth Christs Death? O have a care of that. If thou art ashamed of showing forth Christs Death now, & professing an interest in Christs Death now, Christ himself tells thee he will be ashamed to own thee hereafter. 8. Mark. 38. Nay excepting the lewdest life that men can lead, by what other way can you more deny the Death of Christ, than by a standing off from this great institution? What ever you may beleive in your hearts concerning the Death of Christ, whilst yet you turn your backs upon this Solemn Ordinance, what do you else say practically, but that Christ is not dead? Whilst you do thus, what do you say else practically but that you beleive nothing of those great truths concerning the Death of the Son of God, which you so frequently hear of. O Christians do’nt think it an indifferent thing whither you attend this Ordinance yea, or nay. Whilst you attend it, you do practically shew forth Christs Death. But whilst you withdraw from it, you do practically deny it. And is it a small thing to deny the Lord, yea & thy Lord that dyed for thee, & that from year to year too, after many kind, & heart-affecting wooings to own him? Peter denyed his Lord thrice, but it cost him a bitter weeping. O thou who hast practically denyed him many a times thrice, do thou go and do likewise.
- 2. Exhort: To those who do shew forth Christs Death in & by their attendance on this great Ordinance. O it is indeed our duty to shew forth Christs Death by our profession: But that is not all, there is somthing else needfull, & therefore be we upon the perill of Sealing up our own damnation exhorted to that. As
- 1. Show we forth Christs Death inwardly & unto the view of the All-Seeing God. Let him who peirceth our very inwards & searcheth the Secrets of our hearts, see that we
- 1. shew forth Christs Death. And this (1) By our pondering upon the greatness of our sins, which needed so great a sacrifice: And by our meditating upon the Severity of God, who would not spare his own well-beloved and Spotless Son that he might take vengeance of & his undefiled justice be satisfyed for, the breaches of his holy Laws by sin. And also by rem̄bring the wonderfull Love of God in the gift of his Son. Oh if sin be a light thing; if the justice of God, be a slender thing to satisfy; if this Love of God be a small thing in our eyes; What ever we may do in the eyes of men who judge by outward appearance, we do not, we cannot, in the eyes of God, who judgeth the heart,
- 2. Shew forth ye Death of his son (2) Shew we forth Christs Death, By an efficacious & saving application of the death of Christ to our own souls, & so by a fiducial recumbency of our Souls upon the mercy of God, thrô the death of Christ. So that thô we may, & often do, See our Selves miserable sinners, Wretched men & women by reason of this body of sin that cleaves to us, yet at the lowest ebbe of grace, & the highest tyde of corruption, we may not finally sink & despair, but have our heads held up above the over-flowing-threatning-floods, by a resting upon ye death & merits of Christ. 7. Rom. 18 ad finem.
- 2. Show we forth Christs Death outwardly not only by a profession, but by a practise becoming our profession of an interest in Christ[s] Death viz: Not only by professed purposes, but by industrious endeavours & that constantly against Sin. O let our holy lives be such, as that they that run may read Christs death in them. O let our lives, the conformity of them to Christ, for humility, for Spirituality, for obedience, for patience &c show forth the death of Christ i.e. our interest in it. & benefit by it. This indeed is the great point of all, & as we would not be found hypocrites & dissemblers, is to be our daily, yea hourly utmost more endeavour. O now let us dye daily to Sin. Every day mortify some lust or other that wars against our Souls 1. Pet. 2. 11. Fight a good fight: War a good warfare: Keep under the body &c 2. Tim. 47 1. Tim. 1.18. 1. Cor. 9. 26. 27. I say, this if we would at the last day be found true men: sound converts; sincere beleivers; followers of the Lamb, whithersoever he calls us, is our important duty. O friends to disown Christs death by a not attendance upon this Ordinance is bad, as has been shown. O but it is many times worse to show forth Christs Death by profession, & to deny it by practise. This of all is the greatest undervalluing of Christs Death. This will indeed cause the Lords Name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles. What will it occasion men to say? Why they will say thus much viz: Either Christs death had no virtue in it: or else surely these men for all their high profession had not any interest in it. O therefore have we a care we do not prove stumbling-blocks; but on the other hand Remember we what we have professed, & also what Christ looks for from us, viz that by a holiness of life we shew forth Christs death, till he come & fetch us unto life eternall.