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the reception of the Sacrament. · We must, indeed, have faith in order to receive worthily; but to him that hath shall be given, in this holy ordinance. The actual participation of grace is so pleasant*, that it gives the soul an appetite for more and more: the mind experiencing the faith of God's promises in the actual reception of his blessings, is so confirmed in goodness, as to be in lit. tle danger of relapsing ever after, into any great sins, much less, into doubt and infidelity. • Hope of everlasting felicity is encouraged in the Eucharist by a foretaste of Heavenly happiness, enjoyed, in some degree, while the communicant is under the influence of the Divine Spirit, shed upon his heart. He feels a serene complacency, above all earthly joys, in worthily performing this mysterious rite. - CHARITY is peculiarly promoted by the Communion We are taught in it to view Christ as our head, and ourselves, with all Christiảns, as members of his mystical body. It is most truly a feast of love ; and the heart that feeds upon it with the true relish of the repast, cannot retain a particle of envy, revenge, or malevolence. ini smo , ;.
* Delectatio victrix.
All these (and more might be enumerated) appear to me, as, I believe, they do to the majority of Christians uncorrupted by the pride of modern Philosophy, to be the present benefits of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Nor let any one imagine the cause inadequate to the effect; Omnipotence can give efficacy to causes, which to man's limited understanding appear unconnected with the effect, as well as totally inadequate to its production. In the present case, it must ever be remembered, that the Holy Spirit, and not: the created elements, is the cause ; and that all that has been described, and much more, can doubtless be effected by that Divine Person with the most perfect ease. Nor let any one, who believes in the Gospel, doubt this efficacy of bread and wine, as Emblems under the Divine direction; while he remembers that our Saviour cured corporeal blindness by the application of the first materials that occurred, even the moistened clay, however une. qual to the purpose it may appear to men, whose narrow understandings are chained down to the confines of human art and science.
It is a satisfaction to me to produce the testimony of Bishop Warburton, on the present benefits of the Sacrament; and I rather choose his testimony, (as I have intimated before), because he was a declared enemy to every thing which savoured of irrational enthusiasm.
“ Having now," says he, so largely inquired into the specific nature of this holy rite, we are enabled, in very few words, to shew (which we proposed as the principal end of the inquiry) what these BENEFITS are which we receive at the Lord's Table.
“ Christ, by the sacrifice of himself upon the cross, purchased the redemption of mankind : and this rite being by its nature commemorative thereof, as it is a FEAST UPON A SÀCRIFICE, each partaker receives, of consequence, the seal of PARDON, and consequently of restoration to his lost inheritance.
“ But as this operates only on the terms of repentance and newness of life, the gift would be defeated, by being bestowed on a condition which our perverse nature so much opposes, was not this nature softened and subdued by the power of GRACE, that PROMISED BLESSING PECULIAR to the Gospel dispensation, Now, as the influence of the Holy Spirit constitutes the most INTIMATE COMMUNION of God with man, what TIME can we conceive so highly sanctified for the reception of it, as that in which we renew our federal union with our Lord and Master, in his last Supper, called by St. Paul, the Communion of his body and blood ?"
It appears from this passage, that Bishop Warburton, who writes on the Eucharist in a masterly manner, was convinced of this most important doctrine; that Grace is vouchsafed in more