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thing. For, in the very next verse, he says,
6 husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it.” Then, describing how Christ sought to save the Church which was subject to Him, he carries on the comparison, by saying, “ So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies : he that loveth his wife, loveth himself.” Hence it is clear, that man and wife, in this respect,
ought to look upon themselves as one body; the · submission, required by the one, is not a privilege
for his separate advantage ; nor is the obedience, conceded by the other, a service imposed to her detriment. They stand in such intimate relation to each other, that, like the hand or the eye, neither can say, “ I have no need of you.” And both of them must remember, that, whether obedience be required or paid, it must be as unto the Lord. No sinful compliance can be demanded or paid ; obedience can extend only to things lawful, and must be rendered cheerfully in a spirit of religion.
I shall conclude this discourse by referring my readers to the inviolable nature of the contract here entered into. Death alone can dissolve it without sin. For though Jesus Himself does admit the separation of man and wife under one contingency, yet it must be remembered that this is a concession only to the just claims of one of the parties, who is thereby permitted to withdraw from a connexion, in which guilt is only on one side. But guilt there is. And therefore I have affirmed that the dissolution of the marriage bond cannot, in the sight of God, be effected without sin, unless by the hand of death. And woe to the profligate and licentious violators of that contract! Woe to those, who will dare to set at nought the ordinances of God, to break the vous solemnly made in the presence of the Church, and to render that institution, which was given for man's happiness and welfare, the instrument of misery and sin! The man of pleasure may set at defiance these restraints, the man of the world may look upon them with indifference, the witty, the thoughtless, the licentious, may make the violation of them their laughing stock; but for all these things GOD WILL BRING THEM INTO JUDGMENT. Before His dread tribunal the sentence of the violator of the marriage contract will be pronounced. The word of God has declared it. The plighted vow, the witness of the Church, the ratification of the priest, the peace of man, the ordinance of God, are not to be set at nought for the lust of the profligate, or the vices of the fashionable. The voice which decreed, that what God hath joined together, it is not lawful for man to put asunder, will on the great day of judgment be heard in accents, that shall strike terror on the boldest. And the knowledge of this, impressed by the religious sanctions under which marriage is solemnized, constitutes one of the best safeguards of the morals and the happiness of the country. Long may the day be averted, when this nation generally shall be led to separate the marriage bond, from the sacred and powerful sanctions of religion : Come when it will, it will be a day fraught with sin and misery. In crime and impurity, in discord and debasement, in the degradation of her people, in the effects of Divine wrath, England will have to deplore the madness of man's daring to put asunder, what God has joined together.
THE DEATH OF CHRIST SHOWN FORTH IN THE
O LORD and heavenly Father, we thy humble Servants entirely desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant, that by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all thy whole Church, may
obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Cor. xi. 26.
FOR AS OFTEN AS YE EAT THIS BREAD, AND DRINK THIS CUP,
YE DO SHEW THE LORD'S DEATH TILL HE COME.
St. Paul, before he delivered the words of the text, had been endeavouring to correct some errors and abuses, which had become prevalent among the Corinthians, and greatly tended to degrade the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and to give offence not only to pious Christians, but to any rational or reflecting individual. I have, in the last sermon on this Sacrament!, stated what those abuses were, and shown to what very serious evils they led. Our Apostle treats the subject with the solemnity it deserves, reproves the offenders, and carefully explains the true nature of this holy ordinance. And, in giving an account of its institution and purposes, he is remarkably express and particular, in reminding them, that, what he states, he received by immediate revelation from Christ Himself; and that it was therefore to be attended to with suitable reverence and obedience. “ For I have received,” he said, “ of the Lord, that which I also delivered unto you ?." With this preface and caution, he proceeds to describe the circumstances and intent of its appointment. And, in the words of the text, he declares that it was meant to be observed in the Church of Christ, so long as that Church should exist upon earth, or till the second coming of Jesus.
Now the whole tenor of the Apostle's discourse and statements, as well as the text, have evidently in view one great object, which is to impress the Corinthians with reverence for this Holy Sacrament; and the text extends the scope of his instructions and argument to all Christians of whatsoever age or country, and clearly establishes the principle, that whatever circumstances, at that time, claimed for the Lord's Supper peculiar reverence, and what
i Serm. XXIV.
2 Ver. 23.