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or despise ye the church of God? and shame them that have not, or are poor? what shall I say unto you? shall I praise you in this ? I praise you not.”

It is uncertain whether the Corinthians celebrated their feast of charity before the holy communion, or mixed them both together, in either case, they so united them, that a disorder in their feast, was a profanation of the communion.

Accordingly, the apostle thus rebukes them, -" When ye come together in the church, ye cannot be said to eat the Lord's Supper, which is a joint act of reverent devotion, accompanied by a religious feast, at one common table, for ye come in parties, divided by some evil dissension, or improper distinction, each party, family, or individual, eat their own supper, without waiting for others, the rich in particular, eating and drinking to excess, separate themselves from the poor, and suffer them not to partake of their abundance. What? have ye not houses, for meals and feasts? or despise ye the church of God, using it for these common purposes; and even for intemperance? at the same time insulting the wants of your poor brethren ? Is it thus that ye observe a religious feast, designed for the demonstration and improvement of inward charity, and outward benevolence? Is it thus that ye celebrate the holy communion of the body and blood of Christ, broken and shed for all men ?

This then was the point, wherein the Corinthians eat the bread, and drank the cup of the Lord unworthily, they did not discern the Lord's body, that is, they did not see and consider, that the sacramental bread and wine were figures and representations of his body and blood, and therefore to be distinguished and separated from common food, and to be received with singular veneration. For this reason, they were “ guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” Treating with disrespect the holy things which represented his body and blood, they were greatly wanting in reverence to their Lord himself: abusing and profaning the memorials of his sufferings and atonement, they seemed to think lightly, or would soon learn to do so, of his

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death itself; in some sense, “ crucifying to themselves the son of God afresh, and counting the blood of the covenant an unholy thing.” They therefore eat and drank damnation to themselves. I observe that the original word in this place, rendered in our English Bible damnation, means judgment, or sentence of punishment. You will find the word, in this passage, so translated in the margin of our Bible. The English word itself, damnation or condemnation, at first meant each the same thing, although by long use, damnation is come to signify sentence of eternal punishment, to be inflicted by God, in another world ; and condemnation more generally signifies punishment, to be inflicted by man in this world. “ They eat and drank to themselves,” that is, by so eating and drinking, they drew down upon themselves, judgment, or sentence of punishment. Of what nature this judgment or punishment was, and where to be inflicted, is manifest from the words immediately following: “ for this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep,” that is are dead. Now weakness, and sickness, and death, are punishments inflicted in this present world. The apostle says further, this judgment or punishment, this weakness and sickness among them, and death in its approaches, may instruct and reform them, may teach them to be more attentive to their religious duties, and so in the end promote their eternal salvation. For he adds, “when we are thus judged,” (or punished) we are chastened and disciplined by the Lord, that we may not be condemned eternally with the wicked, unreformed world. Now a judgment or punishment which thus corrects and improves us, and so may prevent our eternal condemnation, cannot at any rate be everlasting damnation, nor can we suppose that even those who slept or died penitent, under this correcting and improving judgment or punishment, were condemned eternally, because the reason assigned for this judgment is, that they might not be condemned in the other world, or be in danger of damnation.

You perceive, then, that the peculiar fault of the Corinthians, censured by the apostle, cannot easily be committed, by any partaker of the holy communion, in the predeath itself; in some sense, “crucifying to themselves the son of God afresh, and counting the blood of the covenant an unholy thing.” They therefore eat and drank damnation to themselves. I observe that the original word in this place, rendered in our English Bible damnation, means judgment, or sentence of punishment. You will find the word, in this passage, so translated in the margin of our Bible. The English word itself, damnation or condemnation, at first meant each the same thing, although by long use, damnation is come to signify sentence of eternal punishment, to be inflicted by God, in another world ; and condemnation more generally signifies punishment, to be inflicted by man in this world. “They eat and drank to themselves,” that is, by so eating and drinking, they drew down upon themselves, judgment, or sentence of punishment. Of what nature this judgment or punishment was, and where to be inflicted, is manifest from the words immediately following: “for this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep,” that is are dead. Now weakness, and sickness, and death, are punishments inflicted in this present world.

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