Sermon 2038. The Lord's Supper-a Remembrance Of Jesus
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S DAY, AUGUST 19, 1888,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"This do in remembrance of Me." Luke 22:19.
"THIS do"-that is, take bread, give thanks, break it and eat it-take the cup, filled with the fruit of the vine, give thanksand drink you all of it. "This do." Take care that you do just what Jesus did-no more and no less. This act was done at atable where they had been eating the Passover. This act was performed at a common meal and was not a sacrifice, nor a celebration,nor a function, nor anything more than a significant eating of bread and drinking of wine after a devout fashion. This do-asoften as you break the bread and as often as you drink of the cup-remember the Lord Jesus.
It is this that we are to do and not something else which may be supposed to grow out of it. He does not say, "Do somethingelse in remembrance of Me-something which you may choose to do, retaining this act as the backbone of it. But this do." Thiswhich has just been done-this in all its simplicity, solemnity and intent.
Alas, how sadly have men forgotten this! The plain supper has not been a grand enough display. To break bread and to drinkwine have not seemed to them to be sufficiently solemn, or sufficiently gorgeous and so they have added all kinds of ritesand institutions. That which was only a table, they have made into an altar and that which was a supper and nothing more,they have changed into a celebration. They do not this but they do something else which they have devised and elaborated.
Imagine Paul or Peter attending mass and observing the various genuflections-the moving to and fro, the lifting up and thestooping down and all the various operations of the Roman priesthood-too many to describe! Paul would pluck Peter by the sleeveand say, "Our Master did nothing like this when He took bread and gave thanks and broke it." Peter would reply, "Very differentthis from the guest-chamber at Jerusalem!" And Paul would add, "Yes, indeed, my Brother, very different this from the timewhen the first Believers met together and broke bread and drank of the cup in common, in remembrance of their Lord."
Whatever other communities may do, be it ours, my Brethren, to stand fast by, "This do in remembrance of Me." "This," simply"this," and nothing more and nothing less. Bread, not a wafer. Fruit of the vine, not the concoction of chemistry inflamedwith fiery spirit. We use this fruit of the vine in a cup and that cup not reserved but partaken of by all. We have beforeus bread and that not worshipped, as at the elevation of the host-but broken and eaten. The Lord and His disciples sat ata table and ate-it was a feast and not a sacrifice.
They reclined and did not kneel. So would we do, because He has said, "This do," and not something else. Then, beloved Friends,we shall have to be very watchful upon another point, namely, that if we do this, we do it for the purpose for which He gaveit-namely, in remembrance of Him. Jesus never said, "This do, that you may offer an unbloody sacrifice." Where in Holy Scriptureis there a syllable like it, either from our Lord's own lips or from those of the Apostles?
He never said, "Do this as the perpetual repetition of My death." To my mind the very thought is blasphemy, for our Lord claimsto have finished His work and having died unto sin once, death has no more dominion over Him. The Jewish sacrifices, by reasonof their insufficiency, were often repeated-but "this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down onthe right hand of God." They blaspheme the sacrifice of Christ who imagine that any man, call him priest or not, can continue,repeat, or complete that sacrifice for sin.
It is finished and our Lord has gone into His Glory. Sin is put away by His bearing it in His own body on the tree. This doyou in remembrance of Christ but not as continuing His sacrifice, which is forever perfect. I would not, for my part, on anyaccount adopt the posture of kneeling in receiving the Lord's Supper. If it does not actually imply worship
of the bread and wine, it has a tendency to lead us away from remembrance of the Person Himself into an adoration of the elements.
The sacred supper was a feast, not a ceremony. The posture used at the feast was that of lying along-the easiest posture intowhich they could put themselves. That is not congruous with our western custom. But the analogous position is that of sittingas much at ease as possible, which posture I would encourage you to persist in. Let us keep the feast as a feast but by nomeans kneel as though we were performing an act of worship before an altar.
Adoration of the invisible God is always right and proper. But if a certain posture seems to take away from the very essenceof the festival-and a festival it is-and if in addition it encourages superstition-then kneel not but sit and do this in remembranceof Christ. Do this and nothing else and do it in remembrance and for no other purpose. And if any other posture looks anotherway, abjure it and keep close to that for which you have a precedent. The Church of Rome prizes the great picture by Leonardodi Vinci and in it all the Apostles are seated at the table. Is this at all like the mass? The supper is to be eaten in remembranceand for nothing more. But that, as we shall have to show you, is no little thing. "This do in remembrance of Me."
Seeing that this is a feast of remembrance, let us ask ourselves a question-Do we know the Lord? "This do in remembrance ofMe." If you know nothing of a person. If you have had no acquaintance with him, you cannot remember him. Like a two-edgedsword, this simple statement of truth sweeps through this audience tonight and divides it in two. Whether or not I may cometo the Lord's Table must depend upon whether I know the Lord Jesus, or do not know Him. If I am a stranger to Him, I may notcome, for I may only come to remember Him and I cannot come to remember Him if I do not know Him. So it is a profanation ofthis blessed institution for any man to draw near to the table who does not know Christ already.
O Sirs, this is no saving ordinance-it was never meant to be. Its intent relates only to those who are saved. To know JesusChrist is eternal life. And as you may not come without that knowledge, it is clear that you may not come unless you are saved.If any of you dream that your participation in your last moments in what is called "the sacrament" will save you, you areunder a deep delusion. You may as well trust to the incantations of a witch as to the performance of any ceremony whatever,by whomsoever, in order to convey salvation to you. Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ alone.
And that is not worked by the corporeal act of swallowing bread and wine. You must be born again. And that is not effectedby material substances, however consecrated-it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Until you have believed in Jesus and so knowHim and know His power within you and have come to personal dealings with Him-instead of getting a blessing from the ordinance-youwould eat and drink condemnation to yourselves, not discerning the Lord's body. You are not capable of discerning that bodyif you have no faith. Let every man examine himself as to his knowledge of our Lord and so let him eat of this bread and drinkof this cup. If you do not know Him you cannot remember Him and therefore hands off from the tokens of remembrance.
One word-one solemn word here, which I would speak with my whole soul. Remember-if you do not know Him-the day will come inwhich He will say to you, "/ never knew you." If there is no personal intimacy between you and Christ, He will disown youin the day when He comes in the glory of His Father and all His holy angels with Him. It will be idle to say, "Lord, we haveeaten and drunk in Your presence and You have taught in our streets." If you do not know Him, He does not know you and therewill be simply this reply to all your claim derived from external religion- "Depart from Me, you cursed, I never knew you."
But, dearly Beloved, if you do know the Lord-and I trust that many here do, indeed, know Him-then it is certain that He hasmanifested Himself to you. Wondrous love! Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us? You have looked to Him. Youhave trusted in Him. You have lived upon Him. And all this because He has remembered you in your low estate. You rememberHim with joy at this moment because of your past experience of Him. He is so dear to you that you must remember Him. You couldnot live without Him. He is all your salvation and all your desire. Well, then, it is for you to come to this festival anddo this in remembrance of Him.
I. My first point shall be that THE MAIN OBJECT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER IS EVIDENTLY THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER CHRIST BY IT. Noticethis particularly. It is not that you should call to mind a doctrine- though I would not have you ignorant or unmindful ofany Truth of God which the Spirit of God has revealed. Neither is it that you should be mindful of a precept, though, Beloved,I would have you be careful that in all things you do your
Savior's will. But the essence of your business at His table is, "This do in remembrance of Me," that is, of Himself-of Hisown blessed Person.
Think not of Him as an abstraction! Dream not of Him as a mere idea! Do not merely contemplate Him as an historical Personagewho was once before men and has now passed from off the canvas of history, as Confucius, Zoroaster, or the like. No. He everlives and abides an actual, ever energetic force and power among men of every age. Jesus is of that Divine Nature which dwellsperpetually in the present tense-the same yesterday, today and forever.
Beloved, as you live by Him, you must learn to live in Him and with Him, so as to know Him as a Friend with whom you are reallyfamiliar. The Christ of our dreams is but a dream. We need a real, living, personal Christ and it is Jesus Christ Himselfthat we have to remember tonight at this table.
And if we do this, we shall remember Him, first, with gratitude as our Savior. If I have anything of hope, I owe it all toYou, incarnate God, Son of the Highest and Son of Mary, too. Your love, Your life, Your death, Your resurrection, Your powerat the right hand of God-these must be the pillars of my hope, if hope I have at all-
"All our immortal hopes are laid In You, our Surety and our Head; Your Cross, Your cradle and Your Throne, Are big with gloriesyet unknown." He has saved us, Brethren, and loved us and blessed us with everlasting consolation within Himself. Oh, letus think of Him! The streams of which you drink are sweet. But think of the fountainhead. Your healing is a thing to singof forever. Remember that you are healed by His stripes and think of those cruel scourges, those five wounds, that body coveredwith a bloody sweat, that dear, thorn-encircled brow, those eyes all dimmed with blood. Remember Jesus Himself, I pray you,and think neither of pardon, nor of justification, nor of sanctification apart from Him.
The streams of love I trace up to the fountain in the heart of Christ and remember Him tonight with deepest gratitude. Followme, my Beloved, in this meditation-yes, go before me and get nearer to the heart of your Redeemer. You must remember Him,next, with profound reverence as your living example-your living and reigning Lord. Know you not that as many of you as havebeen washed in His blood are henceforth God's servants, even as He was? You are not to do your own will but His will who hasredeemed you. His example is to you the embodiment of the Lord's will. Do we not sweetly sing-
"My dear Redeemer and my Lord, I read my duty in Your Word; But in Your life the Law appears Drawn out in living characters"?It is yours, then, to remember the Lord Jesus that you may follow Him. In sickness, remember Him in His patience. When youare persecuted, remember Him in His gentleness. In holy service, remember Him with His burning zeal. In your times of solitude,remember Him and His midnight prayers. And when you are in public and have to bear witness, remember Him and His lion-likedeclarations of the Gospel. Remember Him so that He becomes your pattern and you are the reproduction of Himself and so thebest memorial of Him.
Thus enabled by the Holy Spirit to remember your Lord with gratitude as your Savior, with reverence as your Lord, you willremember Him with confidence as your strength. He has not left you in this world to serve Him at your own charges and to bearHis Cross alone. Remember Him, for He remembers you so as to be ever with you. "Lo, I am with you always," says He, "evenunto the end of the world." Will you let Him be near you unnoticed and unremembered? Never say, "I am lonely." You are notalone if you remember Jesus. O widow and fatherless one, say not, "I am comfortless." He has said, "I will not leave you comfortless:I will come to you."
Remember Him without ceasing. When you are strong, remember Him. For your strength comes from Him. When you are weak, rememberhim. For He can give you the help you need. Oh, that in all times and places Christ were All in All to us!-
"Remember You! Your death, Your shame Our hearts 'sad load to bear! O memory, leave no other name But His recorded there!"
I would have the image of my Lord printed on the palms of my hands, that I might do nothing without Him. And I would haveit painted on my eyes, that I might see nothing except through Him. It were better still to have it stamped upon my heart,that my very life might not beat except to the music of His name.
Remember Him, too, Beloved, as your great representative before the Throne of God. O Believer, at this very moment Heavenis yours! Jesus, your Forerunner, has taken possession of eternal glory in your name. The Throne of God has in the midst ofit the glorified Man, the everlasting Son of God, who is the Covenant Head and Redeemer of His people. Never forget Him butkeep your eye fixed upon Him, even as He keeps His eye upon you. He lives! The great Redeemer lives! He lives to plead foryou.
Do not get into the habit of the Romish Church, which exhibits its dead Christ everywhere, or its baby Christ in the virgin'sarms. Jesus is neither of these at this time. "He is not here-He is risen." He lives! It is the living Christ that we believein, the ascended Christ we are trusting in, the Christ to come that we are hoping for. There, where He pleads with all authority,is our grand hope, for "He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercessionfor them."
Remember Him, once again, as soon to come. Perhaps while yet these lips are feebly fashioning halting words concerning wondrousmysteries, the trumpet may ring out above all earthly sounds. Even on this Sabbath night we may be called to behold the cloudupon which the Son of Man has come! "Of that day and hour knows no man." And vain is the folly which is perpetually prophesyingof that concerning which it knows nothing. Yet this is certain-the Lord Jesus will come to judge and to reign. "Behold, theBridegroom comes."
He said long ago, "Behold, I come quickly." He has been coming in haste ever since and He must be drawing very near. Now thisis what we are always to remember-for His coming will be the manifestation of His people as well as of Himself-His comingwill witness the reward of His saints as well as His own reward. Then shall He shine forth. And with Him, "the righteous shallshine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
Alas, we too much forget Him in all these aspects! I fear that we more easily forget than remember. And yet the remembranceof One so dear should be natural to us. Did you suspect, when you were first converted, that you could ever forget Him? "Oh,no," you said-
"Let the babe forget its mother, Let the bridegroom slight his bride; True to You, I'll love no other, Clinging closely toYour side." So we said but not so have we done. How often we act as if we had not the living Christ to run to! We fret asif Jesus were still lying in the sepulcher. We act as if we were going to live here forever and did not expect our Lord tocome and take us away to be with Him. We act as if we had no Master but our own wanton will. We act despairingly as if wehad no Shepherd to take care of us and no Savior who had redeemed us with His precious blood. Come, Brethren, this will neverdo. It is dishonorable to our Lord and disgraceful to ourselves. You see the reason why the supper should have been insti-tuted-ourtreacherous memories require it.
Let us gather to it as to a most needful, though right royal feast. For we have need to be reminded of our own dear Lord,who sweetly says to us, "This do in remembrance of Me."
II. And now I take a second point. I want to show you all that THE MODE WHICH OUR LORD HAS ORDAINED OF HELPING OUR MEMORIESIS IN ITSELF EXCEEDINGLY STRIKING. It could not be more so. If I stood opposite to an altar garnished with paper roses andother childish things, and if I were to try and perform before you all: some of these cute little functions which are consideredsacred by the followers of Rome-I should need a long time to explain it all to you.
And when I had done my best, you would not be able to make heads or tails of it. I have stood and watched the Catholic priestat the altar with the earnest desire to see if there was anything to be learned and I could not learn anything. I could notmake out what the ornamental person was at. I think I have read as much as most people about such things. But it does seemto me that if the behavior of the priest at the mass is a symbol, it is a very dark one-if it is intended to teach the people-theyneed to know a great deal before they can learn anything from it.
Surely to find anything in the mass, the devout must bring it with them, for there is nothing there. But if you look at yondertable, you will see before you simply bread and wine. And when you see us celebrate the ordinance tonight, you
will notice that we do nothing but break the bread and eat it and pass round the cup and drink. All that is done is extremelysimple. And the Savior seemed to wish for that simplicity, because He was Himself a very simple, unaffected, plain Man.
All the pomp that He ever had was when He rode through Jerusalem. But it was on a colt, the foal of an ass. Even then allthe pomp consisted in this-the people laid their garments in the road and strewed branches along the way in the excess oftheir joy. Golden ornaments and flowers and incense and acolytes are far removed from His plain and natural habits. Only fancysome of His disciples rising from the dead and stepping into-well-St. Paul's cathedral, which is called Protestant but isabout as Popish as it very well can be.
Supposing they walked in there-James and John together-the two sons of Zebedee. Perhaps stopping before some of the prettythings, James would wonderingly ask, "John, where have we got?" And John would say, "We are in a chamber of imagery, a templeof idols. Our Lord Jesus would not be happy here." "Why," says James, "it is Paul's Church. Fetch him in." Surely when Paulcame in and looked at all those images and decorations, he would say, "Here I see another Gospel, which is not another. Butthere are some that trouble you and would pervert the Gospel of Christ."
That is putting it mildly. We are getting to have the idolatries of Rome set up in the Churches called national. And thisis not done by those called outwardly and honestly, Romanists, but by those who are really so in their hearts, and yet wearthe Protestant name. The Lord Jesus Christ was just a simple peasant at Galilee and the garment He wore was analogous to ourcommon smock frock, a garment "without seam, woven from the top throughout." There was not a bit of stateliness or affectationabout Him. And in all that He ordained you cannot find one single pompous ceremony.
His followers were baptized in water-where did He ordain salt and oil and spittle? Where did He bid them make the "sign ofthe cross" or set forth "sponsors"? His followers gathered for worship and sang hymns in His praise but where were their "thuribles"and their "crucifers"? Where were "the stations of the cross"? Where are all these things in the Scriptures? They are inventionsof later and darker days, but Jesus knew nothing of them-neither did His Apostles and those who followed them know nothingof such rubbish.
It was all plain telling of the dear love of God to men and of how men should love one another and love Jesus as their Savior-andthat was it. Our Lord instituted this simple supper as the memorial of a plain, simple, honest Savior who had no gaudy tricksor priest craft about Him but was simply a Man among men.
But, next, our Lord's Supper was intended to be very frequent. "This do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."He has laid down no rule as to when we shall break bread. But the custom was certainly to break it on the first day of theweek and I think oftener, for it seems to me that they broke bread from house to house. It was not a ceremony that requireda minister or a priest. When Believers were together they broke bread in memory of Christ-any two or three of them-and sothey remembered Him.
It is most delightful, when traveling, to remember Christ in your own room, where two or three Brethren meet together. Youhave nothing to do but to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of Him. I know of nothing more sweet or more instructivethan this Divine ordinance, which grows more impressive the oftener you attend to it. It ought to be frequent. Our Scotchfriends were wrong-as wrong could be in having it so seldom-but they are mending. The frequency of it is to show how oftenwe need to be reminded of our dear Lord-for we are prone to forget Him. We ought always to remember Him. And therefore aninstitution intended to keep up our memory should be frequently used.
Since He bids His disciples do it often, there is an instruction in it that we should constantly remember Him in our inmostsouls. Inasmuch as He gave this for a memorial and for nothing else and gave it to all His disciples-bidding all His followers,until He should come-do this in remembrance of Him, it was to show that we all need to remember Him and all need help to doso. We are all forgetful-the best Christian, highest in Divine Grace still needs this memorial, for he is apt to forget. BackslidingChristians need it, if possible, still more, that their failing memories may be revived. Sinners will do well to look uponit, for it may be that the memorials of the Lord's death may cause them to remember their sins and turn to their Savior.
But to come a little closer to the table. I want you to notice that when our Lord bids us remember Himself-"This do in remembranceof Me"-he gives us an ordinance which brings before us His death. Now, this, though it looks a very trite saying, is a veryimportant point. The bread is His flesh, the wine His blood. They represent those two things. But
they are separated-the bread is not in the wine, nor the wine in the bread. The two in separate vessels represent a body withthe blood separated from it and thus they are the token of death.
Very well, then. When the Lord says, "This do in remembrance of Me," He gives us a memorial of His death-which plainly teachesus that the chief point of remembrance in our Lord Jesus is His death. He Himself regarded His death as the very center, heartand soul of what He would fix on our memories. Therefore those who say that His example is everything, or His teaching iseverything, do greatly err-for when we remember Him, the first thing to be remembered is, "He has redeemed us to God by Hisblood." "Redeemer" is the name to which our memories must most tenaciously cling. His blood, His redemption, His atonement,His substitutionary sacrifice are always to be kept to the front.
"We preach Christ crucified," and you believe in Christ crucified. The reason of our success under God in this House of Prayeris that we have always preached Christ as the atoning sacrifice-the sinner's Substitute. And whosoever shall preach this boldly,clearly and thoroughly, putting it as the crown of the Gospel system, shall find God will bless His preaching. As for you,if you would have comfort and joy and peace, cling to the Cross. Look steadily to the accepted sacrifice. Never get away fromyour Lord Jesus. And when you remember Him, let His passion be the main thought which rises before you.
Next, notice another thing-this festival reminds us of the Covenant of Grace. Our Lord Jesus Christ, while He bade us rememberHimself, said of the cup, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood." That is the word. Read "testament," if you prefer it.But I feel sure you are nearer the sense when you read "the new covenant in My blood." What, then? When I am to remember JesusHimself, I am to take the cup which is the token of the Covenant. Ah, Beloved, you cannot know Christ thoroughly unless youunderstand the doctrine of the two Covenants and connect Him with the Covenant of Grace.
You must know that "Covenant, ordered in all things and sure." For the cup is to remind you of it, by reminding you of Him.Christ is best seen when you see Him in His Covenant relationship. Do you all know about that Covenant? You know there wasa Covenant made with Adam in which we were all included. But that Covenant failed. Father Adam broke it and we all lost theblessing which his obedience would have procured us. There is another Covenant made with the second Adam-Christ Jesus-andbecause He has kept the Covenant, all that are in that Covenant stand forever in
"As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive" who are in Christ. The one Covenant ruined all that were in it-thesecond Covenant saves all that are in it. As we take that cup, we do own and accept joyfully our interest in that Covenantwhich was made with Christ, which is established on the sure foundation of His perfect obedience. Behold the blood of theEVERLASTING COVENANT! May the Lord Jesus be brought to your memory tonight as your Covenant Head and Surety. And as you drinkof the cup, may you feel confidence and joy in Him who is your Surety!
May your soul sing, "Although my house be not so with God. Yet He has made with me an Everlasting Covenant, ordered in allthings and sure. This is all my salvation and all my desire." You see, then, the oceans of instruction which lie in one ofthe emblems. Lose none of it.
But there is yet one more thing. It is this. You are taught by this institution that the very best way in which you can rememberChrist is by receiving Him. Oh, the sweetness of that Truth, if you will remember it when you come to this table! You arenot asked to bring bread with you. It is here. You are not asked to bring a cup with you. It is here already provided. Whathave you to do? Nothing but to eat and to drink. You have to be receivers and nothing more.
Well, now, whenever you want to remember your Lord and Master, you need not say, "I must do something for Him." No, no! LetHim do something for you. "Take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord"-
"The best return for one like me, So wretched and so poor, Is from His gifts to draw a plea, And ask Him still for more."
Lord, I cannot love You as I would love You but I can accept Your love. Let Your love drop into my heart just now. Lord, Icannot serve You as I would but I adore You because You do become my Servant and wash my feet as You did your disciples. Lord,I cannot bring You coals of fire out of my chilly heart. But here is my heart, come and cast the coals of fire of Your ownDivine love into it!
my Brethren, come and receive! Come and RECEIVE! I think this is a very sweet intimation to those of you who feel as if youhad nothing to come with. You do not need to come with anything except your hunger and thirst. A man that is invited to ameal need not say, "Oh but I have no bread." You are asked to a royal feast and you need not bring bread with you. He thatinvites you to His table will provide you with all you want. And when you desire to remember Him, your surest and best planis to enjoy the good things which He sets before you. I have thus shown how suitable the ordinance is to help our memories.
III. Now, lastly, THE OBJECT FOR WHICH WE ARE TO COME, NAMELY, TO REMEMBER CHRIST, IS ONE
WHICH IS IN ITSELF MOST INVITING. Let me show you what I mean. There is one here who cries, "I have forgotten my Savior. Idid love Him. I hope my love has not quite gone but I seem to be very cold. Alas, I have forgotten my Lord."
Where should you go to have that love revived and refreshed? Should you not come where you will be helped to remember Him?He says, "This do in remembrance of Me." You say that you have forgotten your Lord. Come and remember Him again. Do not stayaway but come with all the more eagerness. Remember Him as you did at first-when you came laden with guilt and full of fears-andwhen you just cast yourself upon your Lord and found peace. Come and rest in Him again.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, you that are afraid that your first profession was a mistake-come and begin again at the table.We have got into midsummer and the plants put out the midsummer shoot-you know-I want you to put out new shoots also. What?Do you say that it is long since you thought of growing? It is time to think of it again. If the spring shoot seems to havegrown old, now is the time for a midsummer shoot-for a new beginning. Begin with Christ all over again. Repent and do yourfirst work. "This do in remembrance of Me." Does not that exactly suit you who fear that you have for a while forgotten Him?
"Oh but I feel so weak." Yes but when a little child is very weak, there is still one thing which it can surely do-it canremember its mother. Memory is often quickened by our need-it is well when our sense of weakness makes us remember where ourgreat strength lies. Remember, then, the Lord who is your strength and your song-for He also has become your salvation. Now,you poor little weak ones, where are you tonight? How gladly would I help you. But what better help can you desire than thatwhich your Lord sets before you in these dear memorials of His death!
1 know that some of you have been cruelly pushed about of late. The strong ones have said sharp things to you. Your Lord invitesyou to a cheering exercise which shall help you to forget the poor behavior of the proud. Poor, timid, trembling, half-believing,half-doubting One, and yet truly the Lord's-come to the table, come to remember your loving Redeemer! It is painful to rememberyourself but it will be sweet to remember Him. "Oh," you say, "I cannot forget Him." I am glad you cannot. Still, come hereand indulge your memory tonight and say-
"Gethsemane, can I forget, Or there Your conflict see, Your agony and bloody sweat, And not remember You? When to the CrossI turn my eyes, And rest on Calvary,
Lamb of God, my Sacrifice,
1 must remember You."
There is one more thing I am going to say and I feel half ashamed to say it. Some professedly Christian people urge that theycannot come to the table because there are certain persons there who, in their judgment, should not be allowed to come. Isthe Lord's Table to be a judgment seat, where we are to revise the verdict of the Church? "I cannot," said one to me, "joina Church, because I cannot find one that is perfect." No, I said and if you do not join a Church till you do find a perfectone, you must wait till you get to Heaven. And, besides, my dear Friend, if you ever find a perfect Church they will not takeyou in. For I am sure they would not be perfect any longer if they did. One sickly sheep would then have passed into the fold.So it is idle for you to be looking out for perfection.
"But there is a person at communion who acted inconsistently." That is highly probable. And he may be wearing your coat andlooking out of your eyes. If you know of any case of open sin, let the elders of the Church be informed and it will be dealtwith tenderly and firmly. In so large a Church as this there may be cases of evil living not known to the
overseers of the flock. But we invite the co-operation of all in maintaining the purity of the entire body and we trust thatwe have it. But now, really, what have you to do with the faults of others when you are remembering Christ Jesus?
Surely this is the most unseasonable time for harsh judgments, or indeed for any judgments. I know many a Brother with whomI could not agree in certain points but I agree with him in remembering the Lord Jesus. I could not work with him in all things.But if he wants to remember Jesus, I am sure I will join him in that. It will do him good and it will do me good, to thinkof Jesus. That dear name is so sweet to me that I will remember Jesus with the poorest, meanest and most imperfect of mortals.
I am never happier than when I am in your midst, my beloved Brethren-and we all sit around the table, because I think of allthe Lord has done for you and for me. Why, it is not worth while going to Heaven alone. A little lost child sits down on thedoorstep of a West end mansion and cries because it is so lonely-is that to be our position in Heaven? Are we to take no friendsthere with us? Who wants to be solitary in the New Jerusalem? But oh, to come with all of you to the table and to look intothe faces of all God's people and to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is in each one of them!
They are a poor lot, full of mistakes, full of errors, full of infirmities, just like their minister. But the Lord has lovedthem and bought them with His blood. A precious Christ He is-not only to have saved me but tens of thousands of His saintseverywhere. For there are people of His in all Churches, even in the Churches that are most full of error. He has redeemed,by His precious blood, His own elect in the midst of them all. Why, the sight of you helps me to recollect Jesus and to geta better idea of Him-both your Christ and my Christ! And not our Christ alone but the Christ of all the myriads redeemed byHis blood.
Shall I then set myself up for a judge and say, "No, I will not remember my Lord because one of the Brethren does not behaveproperly"? What would you say to your child if he said, "Father, I shall not come to see you on your birthday. I shall notjoin with the rest of the family in the usual festival"? Why not? "Because my brother is not what he ought to be. And tillhe mends his ways, I shall not keep your birthday." Your father would say, "My dear son, is that any reason why you shouldnot remember me? Surely I am not to blame for what your brother does. Come to the feast and think
So do I say to you if you have any personal angers and differences-do not smother them but end them. Do not come to the tabletill you have got rid of them, for you have no right to come. But end all wrath at once. Get rid of every ugly feeling youhave towards everybody in the world and love all Believers in Christ for Christ's sake. Then come to this table and you willfind it will help you to remember your Master as you shall join with others who remember Him. I think I may say that you willnot be likely to see anybody at the table worse than yourself. So come along and let not pride keep you back. May God's infinitemercy bless the Lord's Supper to the Lord's people!
And as for those that cannot come and remember Him because they do not know Him, may they, this night, go home and seek Him.And if they seek Him, He will reveal Himself to them. If you desire Christ, Christ desires you. If you have a spark of loveto Him, He has a furnace full of love to you. And if you want to come to Him and trust Him to save you, come and welcome.The Lord bless you, for His name's sake! Amen.