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this circumstance will appear in a stronger light, if we compare the passage now before us with that extraordinary manifestation on the day of Pentecost, which is related in the 2d chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. There we are told, that when the “ apostles were all with one accord in one place, suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” Every one will be sensible that there is a very striking resemblance between these two illustrious events; and I can. not help thinking, that the oneness and harmony of the worshippers, on both these occasions, is mentioned with peculiar emphasis, as a distinguishing characteristic of those religious assemblies which God delights to honour with his presence.

We are told in cxxxüid Psalm, that where brethren dwell together in unity, there God commandeih the blessing; and our blessed Lord lays such stress upon unity of affection among his disciples, that he makes it an essential qualification of an acceptable worshipper; nay, he tells us, that where this is wanting, the person is disqualified for performing any service that is pleasing to God, (Matth. v. 23, 24.) “ If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother bath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift;" If this doctrine of brotherly love bas not an obvious foundation in the text, yet I can hardly think I need make any apology for mentioning it, seeing it has a broad foundation in other passages of Scripture, and is strictly connected with the great ordinance before us.—The sacrament of the sopper is not only a solemn commemoration of our Saviour's death, and of his wonderful love to sinners of mankind,

but

was likewise intended to be a badge of love and union among his disciples. Of old, they who feasted upon the same sacrifice laid aside all enmity, and professed to be knit together in love and friendship. In like manner, all who partake of the great gospel sacrifice in the holy sacrament, are supposed to be members of one body, uni. ted under one head, our Lord Jesus Christ. “ The cup of blessing which we bless," says the Apostle, “is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the boily of Christ? for we being many are one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread.” It would be monstrous to see one member of the natural body hurt. ing and destroying another; the mouth devouring the hand, or the hand plucking out the eye. It is no less monstrous and unnatural for one member of Christ's mystical body to be at variance with another to see those who partake of the table of the Lord, at the same time partaking of the table of devils, by entertaining hatred and malice in their hearts, by doing, or purposing to do, or even by wishing, any hurt to their brethren in . Christ. Would we then obtain the divine presence and blessing on this solemn occasion ? do we expect or desire that the King should sit at his own table this day, and impart to us the the fruits of his favour and love, let us be one among ourselves; let every bitter passion be put away; and let us put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness and long-suffering, forbearing one another, even as we look for forgiveness through the merits of Jesus, remitting to others their hundred pence, whilst we plead with God for the discharge of our ten thousand talents.

But the oneness here spoken of seems more inmedi.

ately to respect their harmonious agreement in the great subject of their praise. They made one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, saying, “ For he is good, and his mercy endureth for ever.” And, when they thus concurred with heart and voice in extolling the goodness and mercy of God, “it came even to pass," says the sacred historian, “that the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” That agreement in prayer has a mighty efficacy appears from that gracious promise of the Lord, (Matt

. xviii. 19.) “ Again, I say unto you, that if two of you sball agree on earth, as touching any thing they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” And my text affords a convincing proof, that agreement in praise has an equal efficacy to bring the glory of God into the assemblies of his people. We may at least take encouragement from it to make the experiment. We have been asking the divine presence by prayer; let us now go a little farther, and seek it in praise and thanksgiving. The Eucharist was the ancient name of the sacrament, which tells us that the sacramental devotions of the primitive church chiefly consisted in those laudable exercises I am now recommending; and certainly their example should have considerable weight with us.

Let none say, I am a guilty, depraved creature, and therefore groans, and tears, and sorrowful lamentations, become me better than the voice of praise; for if you are penitent, believing sinners, if, despairing of relief from any other quarter, you have fled to Christ

, as your city of refuge, and taken sanctuary in his atoning blood and sacrifice,-praise is not only lawful

, but highly becom

ing, nay, a necessary part of your present duty ;-the design of your redemption, the tenor of the Gospel Covenant, the glorious privileges to which you stand entitled, loudly demand this grateful return. “We are built up,” says Peter, “a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter ii. 5. And that praise is one of these spiritual sacrifices appears from the 9th verse, “ Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."

But alas ! says one, what is all this to me? My harp must still hang upon the willows; for how shall I, a wretched captive, presume to sing the songs of Zion? No evidences of grace are legible in my heart. Grief and fear have so thoroughly possessed it, that the love of God can find no room. How then, or to what purpose, should I lift up my voice, whilst my soul is cast down and disquieted within me?-Now, to such I would answer in general, that, let your case be as bad as you suppose it, yet still you have cause to bless the Lord. If you cannot thank him for his special grace, yet surely you ought to praise him for his unwearied patience, and these offers of mercy which are daily tendered unto you: Bless him that you are still on earth, in the land of hope, and not confined to the regions of everlasting despair.

But I must not stop here. Come forward into the light, thou dark, discouraged soul, and, in the presence of God, give a true and proper answer to these few questions. Thou complainest of the want of love to God, and thy complaints indeed show that thou hast no delight. ing, enjoying love: But answer me,

1st, Hast thou not a desiring, seeking love? A poor man who desires and seeks the world, shows his love to it as convincingly as the rich man who delights in it; -the tendency of the heart appears as truly in an anxious pursuit as in a delightful enjoyment. But, as the weakness of hope is frequently mistaken for the want of desire, I must ask you,

2dly, Do you not find a moaning, lamenting love? You show that you loved your friends by grieving for their death, as well as by delighting in them whilst they lived. If you heartily lament it, as your greatest unhappiness and loss, when you think that God doth cast you off, and that you are void of grace, and cannot serve and honour him as you would, this is an undoubted evidence that your hearts are not void of the love of God. Once more,

3dly, Would you not rather bave a heart to love God than to have all the riches and pleasures in the world ? Would it not comfort you more than any thing else, if you could be sure that he loveth you, and if you could perfectly love and obey bim? If so, then know assured. ly that it is not the want of love, but the want of assurance, that causeth thy dejection.

And therefore I charge thee, in the name of God, to render unto him that tribute of praise which is due. To be much employed in this heavenly duty, has an evident tendency to vanquish all hurtful doubts and fears ;-by keeping the soul near to God, and within the warmth of his love and goodness ;-by dissipating distrustful vexing thoughts, and diverting the mind to sweeter things; -by keeping off the tempter, who usually is least able to follow us when we are highest in the praises of our God and Saviour;—and especially by bringing out the evidences of our sincerity, while the chiefest graces are in exercise.

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