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immediately to him, or wherein you are concerned in the business of life, or have any intercourse with mankind.
All this now is the profession of a Christian, and this every man undertakes and vows to discharge, by one and the other of these sacred oaths or sacraments which Christ hath ordained, whereby his followers may make profession of him. The former of them, baptism, becomes our oath when we take it upon ourselves, and thereby declare and avouch our Christian profession. The latter hath the same use, and the same authority, and serves, by its frequent repetition, to confirm a nearer union between Christ and us, more loyalty on our parts to him, and more observance on his part to us. What shall we say then is this very large and extensive vow, which we solemnly swear, which we profess before the world, and which we engage constantly and firmly to execute, whenever we approach the sacred feast? In truth it is no less than all this, even this renunciation of sin, this faith, this obedience we profess, when we receive the pledges of Christ's love and of our loyalty, when we make this public avowal of being the soldiers and servants of Jesus."
Mr. Walker thus eloquently instructed his communicants, as to the public profession of Christianity, our church considers her members as making, when they attend the table of the Lord. This act however he described, as having not only reference to our duty to God, but to each other as fellow Christians. was in his view of it "an assurance made mutually to one another of an inward and Christian spirit of love,
and as a pledge given for the performance of all the offices of Christian love to fellow members." "What” said he "do we do at our common tables? Are they not the places where those of the family, by a daily sitting down together, are most nearly united to each other, and signify their relation, friendship, and readiness to all the offices of civility and kindness? This perhaps may not have been reflected on; but certain it is that eating and drinking ordinarily together, is the chief cement even of family love. Or what doth any when he maketh a feast; whom doth he call but his friends; doth he invite his enemy, or would that enemy come if he were invited? In short, is not a feast a badge and signification of friendship? Even so the family of Christ meet at their master's table, meet as a family in love and peace, meet there to be known one to another that they are of one heart, and mind, and work, to assure each other of Christian friendship between them, and to tie that knot faster and closer by the eating and drinking together, upon the sacred memorial of their common master. The master prepares a feast, provides the best provision that was ever brought forth, his own body and his own blood, invites all his followers, bids them come, not each separately, one at one time and another at another, but altogether, because they are all his family, he the head to each of them, and each a member of him, and therefore they are members one of another, as being the same relation every one of them to him the common head, and being all partakers of, and animated by the same spirit, having all the same faith, the same warfare and engagements, the same hopes,
the same promises, the same Father. They must all come together, that they may be known to be members one of another; they must eat and drink together in token of their relation and their love; they must eat the same bread and drink out of the same cup together, that by the very action of remembering and receiving Jesus Christ, each to his soul's comfort, they may be enforced to signify their unity in the faith, and the love of brethren, giving and receiving tokens and assurances of their mutual love in the very same action, wherein each of them is made partaker of the master and head, the Lord Jesus."
On the occasions when Mr. Walker delivered these striking sentiments, concerning the nature and use of the sacrament, he used to enlarge on the temper and offices of Christian love; but it is not necessary to introduce his observations here, as the subject will be found to be treated in all its bearings, in the five sermons on brotherly love, which will be given amongst the selections from his remains. Such instructions as these, both in public and private, could not fail to check the rash or inconsiderate, to alarm the thoughtless, to encourage the faithful, and to lead all who engaged in this holy ordinance, solemnly performed according to the sublime ritual of the church, to consider the true meaning of those memorials of salvation, which Christ instituted as pledges of his own atonement, and his people's devotedness.
The following excellent letters on marriage, will complete the interesting series of ministerial exhortations contained in this chapter.
ON HER INTENDED MARRIAGE WITH
Truro, August 18th, 1756.
I promised Mr. R. to write you a letter, nor can I ever do it on a more important occasion. That state you are about to enter into, is not only of the utmost moment to your present happiness, but your eternal also seems to be in near connection with it. It is with the greatest pleasure, and hope of your well doing, that I reflect on the gracious steps you, and my dear William, have been enabled to take towards this honourable estate. And it should be remembered by you with great thankfulness, that while others about you are hurrying into that holy estate, from views merely worldly or carnal, you should have been led on to choose one another, from principles of so much more excellent a nature. It is grace has endeared you one to the other, that heaven-born ornament which will grow more beautiful with age, and will render you a comfort the one to the other, superior to all the other blessings God may give, and will support you in every distress that may attend your married condition. I beg you, be sensible to whom you owe it, that at your age grace should be so precious to you. Look back and see what you were, that you may own the distinguishing goodness of your God in thus disposing your heart, and thereby delivering you from the greatest curse in this world, an ungodly
husband, which had not God wrought graciously with you, it is but too probable would have been your lot. It is this will engage you to enter with confidence upon that state, which has so many duties and trials peculiar to it. The former of these (the duties of the married state) I doubt not you have maturely weighed, before this time, in the word of God, and in that office of matrimony where they are well put together. I wish you to be perfectly advised of them, before you venture to make that solemn vow, you do at the time of matrimony, for the discharge of them; and the example of the spouse's conduct to Christ, by which the apostle, under divine direction, illustrates your matrimonial duty, may give you a most clear and comprehensive notion of it: and the substance of that duty as far as it shall regard your husband, may, I think, be shut up in this word, a willing subjection to him in the Lord. Beside this, you will have other duties in this new relation; as to be a follower of godly matrons, to look to your house, and to take care of your children. You have informed yourself in all these points, and will be ready to make your solemn promise in the fear of the Lord, and with a good conscience. The more solemn you are in the transaction itself, and the more diligent to impress on your heart the obligation of your matrimonial engagement, renewing it also in your next approach to the Lord's table, the more influence it shall be likely to have upon you. And it may be of singular service that you make notes to be kept by you, of what your present views are of the matrimonial vows and duties. So awful a procedure now will probably have a good effect