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fall under the Gospel, which shews that “ I did not think these graces annexed to “ the Eucharist, unless you will suppose “ that they are annexed to all acts of obe“ dience, which you will not suppose, I “ believe. The assistance of God's Spirit “ is promised, in general, to all Christians; * and, therefore, I think, that in all acts “ of religious worship, a devout Christian “ may expect it; but I cannot see, from " any thing that you have advanced, that " he has a right or reason to expect, • That " in the Eucharist pardon and grace are " annexed to worthy receiving.'”
Dr. Sykes says: “ Our Saviour and his 6 Apostles mention no other ends of the “ Sacrament than these two: to commese morate the death of Christ, and to be a “ sign of friendship among Christians ; “ consequently, no other ends can be “ made of the Lord's Supper, without $ changing its institution, and making it “ not the Lord's Supper, but our own “ supper.” This he says in a little cheap tract, intended for the multitude, and designed to prevent them from ex
pecting present benefits from the Lord's Supper. :: ir
Another writer, Dr. Thomas Balguy, a man highly preferred in the Church, and remarkable for his refusal of the highest preferments of all, affirms, with decisive voice, that “the benefit is future and 6 prospective. Observe,” says he, “ these “ benefits are not present, but future. “ The benefit immediately obtained by " the Sacrament, is only the prospect of " salvation, (the only grace signified,) for“ cibly impressed on our minds by this “ rite *."
Dr. Bell, whose little Tract I have had occasion to mention before, gives the following account of the BENEFITS annexed to the Eucharistt: ; “ All the benefits we are warranted in “ expecting from this rite, are, first, that “ approbation of God, which intentional
compliance with his will must certainly - procure; and, secondly, whatever addi
* Dr. Balguy, Charge 7. ... + Practical Enquiry, pages 17 and 21.
THE LORD'S SUPPER.
Tue Lord's supper. 17 " tional strength our principles may natu“ rally acquire by the celebration of any
religious rite itself.
“ There neither are, nor can be, any * other benefits attending the performance “ than these ; We have not,” he proceeds, * any promise, or even the slightest in“timation, either from our Lord him“ self, or any of his Apostles, that the “ gracious influences of the Spirit are pe“ culiarly conferred upon us on account “ of the celebration of the Lord's Sup« per *"
Again he says: “If ever the bread and “ wine are received, whether by the well, - the sick, or the dying, as an appointed " means of obtaining the remission of sins; “ or in any other light than merely as an " act of due obedience to a positive com“ mand of our Lord, naturally expressive “ of faith in him, and when seriously “ performed as naturally conducive to all “ such dispositions as that faith requires, “ the participant is deceived, and the rite “ itself misapplied t. * Page 28.
of Page 30
“ THE * Page 34.
66 The Lord's SUPPER IS SIMPLY À “ MEMORIAL OF OUR LORD.”
He sums up all, in his conclusion, by saying, “ the Lord's Supper is a rite of the “ simplest and plainest nature, perfectly “ intelligible to every capacity; and the 6 performance of it is not attended with 66 any other benefits than those we our“ selves make it productive of, by its re“ ligious influence on our principles and “ practice *."
If the whole of this account be true, the sentiment it excites is deep regret. Even the sick and dying can no longer expect a last solace from, what they deemed, a certain source of consolation. All those who have kindly, as well as devoutly, kneeled at the bed-side of departing sinners, held out the holy elements, and told them, that on receiving with faith and repentance, their sins would be forgiven, have, acccording to Dr. Bell, “ deceived " the poor communicant and misapplied the " holy rite.” How can this opinion be re
conciled to a solemn approbation of the Liturgy? : · No longer is the congregation to expect sanctifying grace; the influence of the Holy Spirit, from that solemn service, for which they have prepared with anxious hearts, and from which they were accus tomed to return with souls strengthened and refreshed.
Nothing mysterious is allowed by this Author to be contained in the most solemn act of Christian devotion. Every thing is said to be perfectly plain in it, and intelligible to the meanest capacity. Thus all religious awe is at once removed, and the Christian is to go to the Eucharistical table with nearly the same freedom and familiarity as to the meal of which he daily partakes in the family or convivial circle.
There is nothing to induce men to receive the Sacrament, but a positive command, from an obedience to which he who gave it is represented, in the depreciating scheme, as not affording the slightest intimation of any PECULIAR BENEFIT. It is a comfortless account. I am conC 2