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The Last command

Material Information

Title:
The Last command
Creator:
Charlesworth, Maria Louisa, 1819-1880 ( Author, Primary )
Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday ( Publisher )
Pott and Amery ( Publisher )
Strangeways and Walden ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday
Manufacturer:
Strangeways and Walden
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
64 p. ; 18 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children's sermons ( lcsh )
Lord's Supper -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Baldwin -- 1870
Genre:
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes citations from the Bible.
General Note:
Cover lists New York publishers Pott and Amery.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by M.L. Charlesworth, author of "Ministering children," etc. etc.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026629289 ( ALEPH )
ALG3968 ( NOTIS )
07488470 ( OCLC )

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THE LAST COMMAND.

BY

M. L. CHARLESWORTH,

AUTHOR OF

“MINISTERING CHILDREN,’

ETC. ETC.

~~ fourth Thousand.

ae aa BR. diets ene

SEELEY, JACKSON, AND HALLIDAY, 54 FLEET STREET.
: »“LONDON.* MDCCCLXX.
















PREFACE.

Tue need of plain and earnest teaching
on the subject of the Holy Communion is
a fact open to the observation of all. The
writer of this little volume trusts that to
the young, and in Cottage Homes and
Mothers’ Meetings, it may be found a help
blessed of God.
















THE

LAST COMMAND.

CHAPTER I.
THE LAST SUPPER,

Ir was a solemn evening which the Lord Jesus
came to Jerusalem to celebrate, before He suf-
fered. For one thousand five hundred years
that evening had been the most solemn of all
evenings. That evening was first observed in
Egypt, by God’s command. The people of
Israel killed a lamb without blemish. They
roasted and ate the lamb; and sprinkled the
blood of the lamb on the lintel, and the two
side-posts of their doors. On that night the
Lord went forth and slew all the first-born in
the land of Egypt ; but when He saw the blood
sprinkled as He had commanded, He passed
over, and slew not any who had taken refuge
within the blood.

That was a night to be much remembered.
It was called the night of the Lord’s passover ;



Matt. xxvi.
17—20.

Exod, xii.













6 THE LAST COMMAND.



Heb.vii. 26,
27.

John, i. 29.
Gen, xxii.
Matt. iii.
17.

Isa, lili, .
1 Pet. i. 18,

19.



because the Lord passed over the doors on
which He saw the sprinkled blood, and slew
not any who had that blood to plead for them.
The people of Israel had kept that solemn feast
to the Lord in all their generations, for one
thousand five hundred years, as the Lord had
commanded.

And now, to the city of Jerusalem, and to
the whole world, the Lamb of God had come;
the true Lamb, without blemish and without
spot; holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate
from sinners, He had come to offer up Him-
self. Behold, in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of
God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

When Isaac went up the mountain, by his
father Abraham’s side, carrying the wood for
the burnt-offering, he said to Abraham his
father, ‘My father, behold the fire and the
wood! but where is the lamb for a burnt-offer-
ing? And Abraham said, My son, God will
provide Himself a lamb, for a burnt-offering.’
God had provided Himself a Lamb, even His
beloved Son, in whom He was well pleased!
The prophet Isaiah, speaking of the Lord
Jesus, seven hundred years before He came into
the world, said of Him, ‘ He is led as a lamb to
the slaughter.” The Apostle Peter tells us
that we are redeemed by the precious blood of
Christ, as of a Lamb, without blemish and
without spot. Therefore did the Lord cele-











THE LAST COMMAND. 7



brate this solemn evening, which for so many
ages had been kept sacred, setting forth His
precious blood, by the shedding of which He
obtained eternal redemption for all who come
unto God by Him.

It was on this evening, when alone with
His disciples, the Lord spoke those won-
drous words of love and mercy which are
written in the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th
chapters of the Gospel according to St. John.
When we remember that on that tvening the
Lord Jesus held the last discourse with His
disciples before He suffered; when we remem-
ber that He was even then going to His agony
and bloody sweat, to His cross and passion, to
His death and burial, we may well wonder as
we read them, that they tell us not of Death, but
of Life. He speaks not a word of the cross, nor
the grave where before the next evening came
He must lie silent and cold in death; but He
speaks of His Father’s house, the many man-
sions there, the place He would prepare, and
of His coming again to receive those who
loved Him, to Himself. He speaks not of His
own sorrow, even unto death; when He would
look in vain for some to pity Him, and for
comforters, but would find not any; He only
tells of the Comforter whom the Father would
send in His name, that those who loved Him
might not be left comfortless. He commits His



Heb, ix. 12.

Matt. xxvi.
38.

Ps, Ixix. 20, |

21.



|
|
i









8 THE LAST COMMAND.



Mark, xiv.

50.

1 John, iv.

10.

Matt. xxvi.

26.

Luke, xxii.

19, 20.



disciples to His Father’s care; speaks of His
Will that they should be with Him in His glory.
But, though He knew all things that should
come upon Him, He speaks no word of the
hours of darkness and death, when those, whom
He so loved, would forsake and flee from
Him. ‘ Herein is love, not that we loved God,
but that He loved us; and sent His Son to be
the propitiation for our sins.’

On this solemn evening, now made sacred
to the worfd for ever, Jesus spoke all these
words of love,—words that for nearly two
thousand years have breathed the Peace of
God into the hearts of the poor and the rich,
the aged and the young, the learned and the un-
learned. A multitude that no man can number
have been led, by these words of love and
mercy, from self to Christ, from sin to holi-
ness, and from the world to heaven. At this
last supper as they were eating, ‘Jesus took
bread, and blessed and brake it, and gave it to
the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My
body. And He took the cup and gave thanks,
and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
for this is My blood of the New Testament
which is shed for many for the remission of
sins.’ He also said, ‘Do this in remembrance
of Me;’ and of the cup He said, ‘ My blood
which is shed for you.’

This was the Last Command of the Lord















THE LAST COMMAND. 9



Jesus before He went to His agony, His cross,
His grave. The Last Command of Him, who
gives us ‘Life by His death, and ease by
His pain.’ He says, ‘Do tuts.’ Eat this
broken bread, and drink this wine poured out,
In remembrance of Me.—In remembrance of
My death; in which My body will be bruised
and broken under your sins; and My blood
poured out, that it may cleanse and save to the
uttermost all who come unto God by Me.

When the Lord Jesus said, ‘ Do this in re-
membrance of Me,’ it is plain that He meant
Do this in all time to come: because when He
first gave to His disciples the bread and the
wine, the time for remembering His death had
not come. He was still their living Lord;
|they could not at that last supper remember
His love in dying. To make this still more
plain, after the Lord Jesus had ascended to
heaven, He made known His will concerning
this sacrament to the Apostle Paul.

The Apostle Paul was once the persecutor
Saul; he was a bitter enemy to Christ, for
some years after the Lord had risen from the
dead and ascended to heaven. But then it
pleased God, who is rich in mercy, to call him
by His grace, and reveal His Son in him.
And this great grace was shown to him, that
he was not taught the Gospel of God by man,
not even by the Apostles, but the Lord Jesus





Heb, vii.
25e









To THE LAST COMMAND.



Gal. i, 11,
12.

1 Cor, xi,
23-32-



Himself made it known to him from heaven.
We read of this in the first chapter of Gala-
tians. The Lord made known to the Apostle
Paul His will concerning this sacrament; the
Apostle says in the eleventh chapter of the first
of Corinthians, ‘I have received of the Lord
that which I also delivered unto you; that the
Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was
betrayed, took bread; and when He had given
thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat; this
is My body, which is broken for you; this do
in remembrance of Me. After the same man-
ner also He took the cup after He had supped,
saying, This cup is the New Testament in my
blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in
remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat
this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the
Lord’s death, till He come.’

We see that not only was this the Last
Command of the dying Saviour on earth, but
it was the Command of the glorified Saviour
from heaven. Who, then, that knows the
love of God, and believes in Jesus, can deny
His words, or disobey ?

“ O by that Name in whom all fulness dwells,
O by that Love which every love excels,
O by that Blood so freely shed for sin,
Open blest mercy’s gate, and take us in.”









THE LAST COMMAND. 1





CHAPTER II.
THE LAST COMMAND,

Tue Lord’s gracious Invitation and Command
has been written in the former chapter. The
words are plain. All can understand their
meaning if they be ready to receive the Com-
mand and to obey. Christ says, ‘Do this ; Take,
eat; Drink ye all of this cup.’ And if we ask
how long is this to be obeyed, the Apostle
Paul tells us, ‘ Until Christ come.’

Jesus says, ‘Heaven and earth shall pass
away, but My words shall not pass away.’
We may forget what Christ has said, we may
not give heed to know what He has said, or we
may know and yet may deny His words and
disobey. We may do this, but we can never
put His words away. Christ has spoken them,
and they must stand for ever, before earth
and heaven and hell; His own words, spoken
by Him to us for whom He died, which words
we have obeyed, or disobeyed.

In the last week of our Redeemer’s life,
before He suffered death upon the cross, He
said, ‘He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth





1 Cor. xi.
26.

Matt. xxiv.
35:









12 THE LAST COMMAND.



John, xii.
48.





not my words, hath One that judgeth him;
the word that I have spoken, the same shall
judge him in the last day.’ Jesus says, ‘ The
word that He has spoken, the same shall
judge us at the last day.’ He does not say
that we shall be judged according to our under-
standing of His words. He does not say that
we shall be judged according to our thoughts
and feelings about His words: but the word
that He has spoken, the same shall judge us.
How careful, then, we have need to be that
we take all the words of the Lord Jesus as
He has spoken them, and set our heart to obey
them! The teaching of man may lead us
wrong. Books may lead us wrong. Our
own hearts, if we trust to them, are sure to
lead us wrong. But if we take the words the
Lord Jesus has spoken, receive them into our
hearts with earnest prayer to God for the Holy
Spirit to teach us, and lead us into all truth—
we cannot be wrong in this.

When a king invites any of his subjects to
a feast, his invitation is always felt to be a
command. No one can slight the king’s in-
vitation without putting a dishonour on the
king. How much more when the King of
kings invites us to partake of the feast that
He has prepared! A feast to which we are
called, that we may eat the living bread that
came down from heaven, and drink the liv-









THE LAST COMMAND. 13





ing wine; eat by faith, drink by love, and
live for ever. A feast in which, feeding by
faith and love, in obedience to the command
of the Lord Jesus, we are made one with Him
and He with us; partakers in His death, that
we may live through Him who died for us,
that whether we wake or sleep we should live
together with Him,

Those lips that spake as never man spake ;
those lips that were daily opened to speak the
words of healing, forgiveness, peace; those
lips, before they were cold and silent in death,
said, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me.’ There
are some who say, ‘I don’t do that, [ don’t
eat that bread and drink of that cup, but I do
remember Christ.’ They say this, but do they
not forget that it is not our way of remember-
ing that will prove the right way, but Christ’s
way? He does not only say, Remember Me,
but He says, ‘ Do this in remembrance of Me.’

Did we ever lose by death a mother, or a
father ; a husband, or a wife; a beloved child,
or a beloved friend? and when breathing out
their last words did they ask us to do some-
thing in remembrance of them when they were
gone? If they did, have we not done it? Could
we live happy or die in peace, if we had denied
that last, that dying request? And yet that
mother, wife, child, or friend, was not going to
die for us; but Jesus was. He died for all,



1 Thess, v.
10.

Luke, xxii,

19.

2 Cor.v.15.











14 THE LAST COMMAND.



Heb, xiii. 8.



that they which live should not henceforth
live unto themselves, but unto Him that died
for them.

Jesus says, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me.’
We must not think of any of His words that
He only said them when He wason earth. We
must believe that what He said when on
earth, He says now from heaven, because
He is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday,
to-day, and for ever. If we do not remem-
ber Christ, of what use will memory be?
What lasting good or comfort can any other
remembrance prove—if we have not lived to
remember the Lord Jesus? If we have for-
gotten Him, if we have been forgetful hearers
of His words, every other remembrance will
prove a burning sting through those ages of
eternal woe, from which the remembrance of
Jesus would have saved us for ever.

When we read the Bible carefully, we shall
find it is full of the history of those who remem-
bered God, and of those who forgot God.
We shall find how often God speaks of those
whom He will remember, and how He also
speaks of those whom He will forget. We
shall find how often God says that He will
remember the love, the kindness, the obedience
of His people; how often He says that He
will not remember their sins. We shall also
find what God says of those who do not re-









THE LAST COMMAND. 15



member Him; who do not love, and therefore
do not obey Him. The only time we read of
a voice from heaven speaking to a lost soul in
hell, the first words are, ‘Son, Rememser!’
Should we not consider these things when the
Lord Jesus says, ‘ Do this in remembrance of
Me?’

When those dying lips said, ‘ Do this in
remembrance of Me,’ they did not add any
threatening. They did not say then what
the consequence will be if we do not obey.
Six days before this Last Command, the Lord
had said, ‘If any man hear My words and be-
lieve not, I judge him not; for I came not to
judge the world, but to save the world.” The
Lord spoke only as the Saviour then; only as
the good shepherd; the good shepherd who
giveth His life for the sheep. He came to
draw all men to Him. When He was lifted
up, as Moses lifted up the serpent on the pole
in the wilderness, to save the people of Israel ;
when He, the true and living Saviour, was
lifted up upon the cross, He said He would draw
all men unto Him. The same is written in the
prophet Hosea: ‘I drew them with cords of a
man, with bands of love.’ The Apostle Paul
says, ‘ The love of Christ constraineth us.’

When this meek and lowly Saviour comes
again, He will come then to judge the world;
and in that day He will judge the world by the





John, xii.
47.
John, x.
TI.

John, iii.

14.

John, xii.
32.

Hosea, xi. 4.

2Cor. v.14.

John, v. 22.







16 THE LAST COMMAND.





Matt. xxv.

31-36.

Pro. xiv. 32.

John, xiv.

15.

John, xv.
13, 14.



word that He has spoken. If His gracious
words have been in vain, if we have not truly
come’ to Him, then must we hear Him say,
‘ Depart,’ and that for ever. Then must the
wicked be driven away in their wickedness.
In the presence of that holy, heart-searching
God, who is of purer eyes than to look upon
sin, all must be found wicked who are not
washed in the blood of the Lamb.

The blessed Redeemer gave His gracious In-
vitation and Command, saying of that broken
bread, ‘ Take, eat, this is My body,’ and of
the cup, ‘Drink ye all of it, for this is My
blood.’ We have seen that He gave no threat-
ening then to those who do not obey. But He
did say on that solemn evening, at that last
supper, ‘If ye love Me, keep My command-
ments.’ ‘ He that hath My commandments and
keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me.’ He
did on the same evening speak of His own love
for us, saying, ‘Greater love hath no man than
this, that a man lay down his life for his
friends.” And then He said, ‘Ye are my
friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’
Is not this enough?

** Convince us of our sin,
Then lead to Jesus’ Blood,

And to our wondering view reveal
The secret love of God.”











THE LAST COMMAND. 17



CHAPTER III.
THE INVITATION.

Nor once alone have we heard the invitation to
the Table of the Lord; not once alone have we
been bid to come, for that ‘all things are
ready.” Few who have reached an understand-
ing age could tell how often they have heard
the words of invitation, and seen that table
spread. Seven days before that sacred feast,
the minister, in the Redeemer’s name, invites
‘all who are religiously and devoutly disposed
to that most comfortable sacrament of the Body
and Blood of Christ.2 Seven days after the
invitation all may see the simple table spread.
The bread and the wine set apart by the Lord’s
Command, no more to be used for common
purposes, because set apart for the service of
His own appointment. That bread and wine
is broken and poured out, to show forth the
Lord’s death for our sins, when His body was
broken on the cross, and His blood shed for
us and for our salvation; therefore they are, as
it is meet they should be, reverently covered
with a white cloth. This is all that is required
B



Matt.xxii. 4.











18 THE LAST COMMAND.



John, viii.
12,

Song of Sol.

ii. 1.

Heb. xi. 16.

Mark, viii.
a85

Isa. lv. 7.



to furnish forth that table. No candles are
wanted there as emblems at noon-day, for
Christ is Himself the feast; and He says, ‘1
am the Light of the World.’ No flowers of
earth are needed there, for Jesus is the feast ;
and He says, ‘I am the rose of Sharon and the
lily of the valley ;’ those who put on Christ
neither want nor wish at that heavenly feast

| the withering blossoms of the field. The bread

and the wine are there by the Lord’s Com-
mand; all that man might add of earthly
things it may well be feared could only lead
the mind away from the simple Majesty of that
divine Sacrament.

Seven days before all might hear the invita-
tion. Hearts given to the world and the things
of the world have again had fair and lawful
warning to seek a better country, even a
heavenly.

The fearful have again had warning—no
longer to be ashamed to confess the faith of
Christ crucified ; for He has said, ‘ Whosoever
shali be ashamed of Me and My Words, of him
also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when

| He cometh in the glory of His Father, with

the holy angels.’ The unbelieving, the dis-
obedient, the ungodly, have again had warn-
ing to forsake the thoughts and the ways of
the unrighteous, and to return to the Lord,
for He will have mercy, and to our God, for











THE LAST COMMAND. 19



He will abundantly pardon. Yet how many

are going away! Must not the ministers of
God ask, ‘Who hath believed our report, and to
whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?’ Which
of those now turning away can say that he or
she will ever see that Table spread again ?
Some are going away from necessity, who
love the sacred Feast; some are absent from
sickness or affliction, whose hearts are waiting
upon God: all these may well remember His
gracious promise, ‘ Yet will I be to them asa
little sanctuary.’ Many an absent form we may
not look for now. Once they were glad when we
said unto them, ‘Let us go up unto the House
of the Lord.’ Now they enter no more into
the holy places made with hands. But absent
from the body they are present with the Lord,
their robes washed and made white in the
blood of the Lamb. Their bodies sleep around
us, where we still kneel in prayer; they sleep
in Jesus; in His death their sins are dead;
and they wait the resurrection unto life ever-
lasting, when He who died for them shall
come to wake them out of sleep.
. Butsomeareabsent in death who lived with-
out Christ: the Bible tells us that those who are
without Christ are without hope, and without
God ; far off by nature and by practice too, they
never sought the blood of Christ to bring them
nigh; that precious blood we know is never





Isa. lili. 1.

Ezek.xi. 16.

Ps. cxxii. 1.

Heb, ix. 24.

2 Cor, v. 8.

Rev. vil.
13-17.

Eph. ii. 12,
13.







20 THE LAST COMMAND.



Eccles. ix.
10.

Rev. xxii.
| Bs

Exod, xvi.

Isa. lv. 2.

Num. xx.

Ps. cv. 41.



Neh. ix. 15.

offered to the Dead. There is no work, nor
device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the
grave. ‘There he that is unjust must be unjust
still, he that is filthy must be filthy still, he
that is righteous must be righteous still, he
that is holy must be holy still. .

When God led the people of Israel through
the desert to the Promised Land of Canaan,
He gave them bread from heaven to eat; it
came without money and without price, laid
ready for their use. Forty years they ate that
bread, until they entered the Promised Land.
When they thirsted in the desert God gave
them water from the rock of flint. He opened
the rock, and the waters gushed out, and ran in
the dry places like a river. They drank through
all that desert journey of that river that followed
them ; they dug no wells, they never wandered
from their way to seek for a refreshing spring,
they never fainted beneath the scorching sun,
for the water from that smitten rock followed
them all the way. God had prepared it for
them, God had given it, they had but to
drink. ‘Thou gavest them bread from heaven
| for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for
them out of the rock for their thirst.’ They
all ate the bread that God had given them,
because they felt the hunger of the body; they
all drank of that water from the rock, because
they felt the body’s thirst.













THE LAST COMMAND. 21

God did this for Israel. Hath He not done

greater things for us? Let us hear the words
of the Lord Jesus. He says, ‘My Father
giveth you the true Bread from heaven; for
the Bread of God is He which cometh down
from heaven, and giveth Life unto the world.
I am the Living Bread which came down from
heaven. If any man eat of this Bread he
shall live for ever; and the Bread that I will
give is My flesh, which I will give for the Life
of the world.’ Shall we not lift up our hearts
in the prayer offered then, ‘ Lord, evermore
give us this Bread!’

The Apostle Paul tells us that Israel drank
of that Rock that followed them, and that
Rock was Christ. The smitten Rock set forth
the smitten Saviour. ‘It pleased the Lord to
bruise Him. He was wounded for our trans-
gressions. He was bruised for our iniquities.’
And God the Father says to His beloved Son,
‘As for Thee also, by the blood of Thy cove-
nant I have sent forth Thy prisoners out of
the pit wherein is no water.’ To us the gra-
cious Saviour says, ‘ My blood is drink indeed.’
And of the cup he says, ‘Drink ye all of it, for
this is My blood of the New Testament,
which is shed for many for the remission of
sins.’ :

If any one had asked the people of Israel,
‘What think ye of the bread that God has



John, vi. 32,
33> 51-

John, vi. 34.

1 Cor, x. 4.

Isa. lili. 10,

5.

Zech. ix.11.

John, vi. 55.











22 THE LAST COMMAND.



John, vi. 32,

339 55 56.

John,vi. 53.

John, vi. 52,
60,

| John,xii.16,

John, xiv.
26,



given, and the water that follows you from the
smitten rock?’ Would not every thoughtful

| heart have answered, ‘ They are our life in this

desert, we live by them?’ If any one asks of us,
‘What think you of the Bread which God has
given you from heaven, even the Bread of
God, the flesh of His beloved Son, given for
the Life of the world? What think you of the
blood of Jesus, which Jesus says is drink in-
deed?’ Could we answer of that flesh and
blood, ‘ They are my life, my meat and drink,
I live by them ?’

Would not many have to say, ‘I hope to be
saved by Christ, but I don’t know anything of
His flesh being meat to me, nor His blood
being drink to me?’ And yet Christ says,
‘Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man,
and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.’
When the Jews heard these words they said,
‘ How can this man give us His flesh to eat?’
And many of Christ’s disciples when they heard
this said, ‘ This is a hard saying, who can hear it?’
These words, like many others spoken by the
Lord, could not be understood until His death
and resurrection. Then, we are told, the dis-
ciples remembered the words of the Lord
Jesus; they remembered all that before they
did not understand; and the Holy Spirit was
promised by Christ to bring all things to their
remembrance, WHATSOEVER CHRIST HAD SAID











THE LAST COMMAND. 23



UNTO THEM. The Apostle Paul was not a
disciple of Christ until after the Lord Jesus
had ascended to heaven; therefore he was not
present when the Lord commanded all His
disciples to eat of that Bread, and drink of that
Cup: but he was not left in doubt, the Lord
made known His holy Will concerning this to
him from heaven, that he might deliver that
Will to us; and he has done so.

The people of Israel ate the bread God
gave them, and drank of that rock that fol-
lowed them, yet with many of them we read
that God was not well pleased; and they could
not enter the Promised Land because of un-
belief. They believed not in God. Even so
it will profit us nothing to eat of this Bread,
and drink of this Cup, unless we believe on
Him whom God hath sent; and feed, by faith
in our hearts, on His body broken for us, and
receive, by faith, His precious blood. Those
who at that sacred Table look for nothing but
bread and wine, eat and drink unworthily, be-
cause they are looking only to the poor earthly
fragments, not looking to Jesus dying for
them, not feeding on Him in their hearts, ‘ not
considering the Lord’s body.’ This unbelief,
this earthly mind, hides Christ from them here,
and will hide Him from them for ever, unless
they truly turn to the Lord,—then the veil of
unbelief will be taken from their hearts, and



1 Cor. xi.
23-26,

1 Cor.x.3=5.

Heb. iii.
18, 19.
Ps, Ixxvili.
22.









24 THE LAST COMMAND.







they will see Jesus. ‘Those whose faith is
weakest will see Him to the saving of their
souls; and those whose faith is strongest will
see Him, and rejoice with joy unspeakable and
full of glory.

“ My God, and is Thy table spread?
And doth Thy cup with love o’erflow?
Thither be all Thy children led,
And let them all Thy sweetness know.

«Hail, sacred feast, which Jesus makes,
Rich banquet of His flesh and blood!
Thrice happy he who here partakes
That sacred stream, that heavenly food.

“O Jet Thy table honoured be,
And furnished well with joyful guests ;
And may each soul salvation see,
That here its sacred pledges tastes.”









THE LAST COMMAND. 25





CHAPTER IV.
THE GUESTS.

‘Wuo is this that engaged his heart to approach
unto Me? saith the Lord.” When the many
go away, and the few draw near, we may hear
the still small voice of God speaking from the
Throne of Grace, and saying, Who is this that
engages his heart, or her heart, to approach
unto Me? We may hear it each one in the
secret of our own hearts ; for He who said these
words is the same yesterday, to-day, and for
ever. He asks of us by His Spirit now, what
He asked by His prophet before the Holy
Spirit was given.

God does not say, ‘Who is this that ap-
proaches to Me?’ It is not our outward coming
alone, it is not our bodily drawing near, if that
be all, that God will look upon with any gra-
cious acceptance, but it is when the heart and
the body both draw near. ‘Who is this that
engaged his heart to approach unto Me?’ There
is nothing that belongs to our state before God

‘spoken of in the Bible so often as the heart.|

God speaks of those that do err in their hearts,



Jer. xxx. 21,
22.

| Ps. xcv. 10,

TI.









26 THE LAST COMMAND.



1 Sam, xvi.
7.

Prov. xxiii.

7.

Isa. xxix. 13,

14.

Prov. iv. 23.

Prov. xxiii.
26,

Jer. xvii. 9.

(
} .

Ps, li. 2, 7,
10.





for they have not known His ways, and says
that He has sworn in His wrath that they
should not enter into His rest. Wearetold that
man looketh on the outward appearance, but
God looketh. on the heart. That as a man
thinketh in his heart, so is he. God speaks in
terrible judgment against those who, while
they draw near to Him with their mouth, and
honour Him with their lips, remove their
hearts far from Him. We are warned to keep
our heart with all diligence, for out of it are
the issues of life. God says, ‘ My son, give
Me thine heart. Therefore we hear this gra-
cious inquiry from God, ‘ Who is this that
engaged his heart to approach unto Me ?’

God does not say, ‘Who is this with a good
heart, or a wise heart, or a charitable heart.’
No, God Himself tells us what our heart is by
nature; He says, ‘ The heart is deceitful above
all things, and desperately wicked: who can
know it? I the Lord search the heart.’ None,
no not one, can take a good heart to God. It
is only God who can cleanse our sinful hearts,
and make them new and clean. What we have
to do is to take this sinful heart to God; to
take our heart with us when we approach to
Him. This is what God asks, ‘Who is this
that engaged his heart to approach unto Me?’
Can we give an answer to this question and
say, ‘ Lord, it is 1?’











THE LAST COMMAND. 27



This engaging the heart with God is the

life of all religion. The body is dead with- |

out the spirit, so religion is dead without the
heart. This must show us what need we
have to make sure when we go to the Lord’s
Table that our heart is there with Christ, and
through His precious blood drawing near unto
God. A great teacher has said that ‘ He
who would find God in his Bible, must begin
by seeking God in his soul;’ if our heart be
not engaged with God we cannot find God
anywhere. When we see that Table spread,
that broken bread, that cup into which the
wine is poured, what do these things tell us?

They tell us of Jesus, who poured out His,
Soul unto death ; we see, we look upon, we eat

and drink, the outward and visible signs of that
awful death, in which the Lord Jesus poured
out His holy Soul for us and our salvation.
Can we then keep back our hearts from Him?

The Prodigal Son engaged his heart to
approach unto his Father. He was far off,
and he knew it. He had been disobedient,
unthankful, unholy, and he knew it; but he
engaged his heart to return. He said, ‘I will
arise, and go to my Father; and will say unto
him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and
before thee, and am no more worthy to be
‘jcalled thy son, make me as one of thy hired
servants. And he arose, and came to _ his



Isa. iii. 12.

Luke, xv. ©
11-24.









28 THE LAST COMMAND.



Heb.ix. 26.

Isa. lv. 7.
Deut.
xxxiii, 27.
fsa. Ixvi.
| 13.

1 Cor. v.

75S.
Zeph. iii,
it



Father. But when he was yet a great way off
his Father saw him, and had compassion, and
ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And
the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no
more worthy to be called thy son. But the
Father said to his servants, Bring forth the best
robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on
his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring
hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us
eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead,
and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.
And they began to be merry.’

Where and when can we say, with such deep
feeling from the heart, and by our outward act,
‘Father, I have sinned against Thee,’ as when
we come by faith to feed on the beloved Son
of the Father, who hath put away sin by the
sacrifice of Himself? Every one who comes
as the Prodigal came, is sure to find what the
Prodigal found. The pardon abundantly given ;
the everlasting arms to uphold and shelter ; the
kiss that tells of parental tenderness ; the best
robe, even the righteousness which is of God
by faith ; the ring that is a pledge of no separa-
tion ; the shoes on the feet, that tell of willing
service ; the feast, prepared through the atoning
blood ; and the joy, the Father’s joy: ‘ He will
save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He
will rest in His love, He will joy over thee









THE LAST COMMAND. 29





with singing ;’ joy in the Father’s house, ‘there
is joy in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner that repenteth ;’ joy in the soul
that receives all this in the outward pledges
and the inward grace,—‘I will greatly rejoice
in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my
God, for He hath clothed me with the gar-
ments of salvation, He hath covered me with
the robe of righteousness.’ This was the joy
set before the Lord Jesus when He endured
the cross, that in that body of His flesh
through death, He might present us holy
and unblameable and unreprovable in the sight
of His Father.

Two disciples of Jesus were walking to Em-
maus, a village near Jerusalem, and as they
walked they spoke to each other of the death
of the Lord; and while they talked together
of these things Jesus Himself drew near and
went with them; their eyes were holden that
they did not know Him, but their hearts
were engaged with the thought of Him: they
spoke one to another of the Lord whom they
loved, and of His death, though as yet they
knew not that He died for them. God heark-
ens and hears when those who fear Him speak
often one to another, and a Book of Remem-
brance is written; ‘And they shall be mine,
‘saith the Lord, in the day when I make up
my jewels.’ Jesus drew near to these disciples.



Luke, xv.
10.

Isa. Ixi. ro.

Heb. xii.2.

Col, i. 22.

Luke, xxiv.
13-33-

Mal. iii. 16.











30 THE LAST COMMAND.



Jer. xiv. 8.

Luke, xxiv.

20.

Luke, xxiv.

35+





| He spoke to their hearts, and opened their
understandings that they might understand the
| Scriptures ; ; and when He broke the bread and
‘blessed it, and gave to them, they knew Him,
|and said one to another, ‘Did not our heart
burn within us while He talked with us by the
/way?’ These disciples had their hearts engaged
with the Lord Jesus and with His death; they
|were thinking and speaking of Christ. His
love glowed in their hearts like a burning
‘flame, and when He gave them the bread He
|had broken for them, they knew Him as the
Hope of Israel, the Saviour, the Redeemer, they
had trusted to find. And they returned to tell
others they had seen the risen Lord.

In the son who came saying, ‘ Father, I
have sinned,’ we view as in a glass the blessed
acceptance of those who come as he came to the
|Table prepared by the Father. So here, in these
‘disciples, we see the burning love, the kindling
‘joy, the sight of Jesus, that is sure to be the
blessed experience of those whose hearts are
engaged with Christ, and who speak of Him
as they walk by the way, to whom He is made
known afresh, in His living power to redeem
jand to bless, in the Breaking of Bread. Such
guests as these are to be found at the Table
of the Lord; can we find in their blessed
experience a picture or record of our own?















THE LAST COMMAND. 31



CHAPTER V.
THE GUESTS.

Tuey that hunger and thirst may be found at this
sacred Table. ‘Blessed are they that do hunger
and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be
filled. These are the words of that Redeemer
who took bread and blessed and brake it, and
gave it to the disciples and said, ‘ Take, eat;
this is My body.’ And who took the cup and

gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, ‘ Drink |

ye all of it, for this is My blood.” This
righteousness is the work of the Holy Spirit
in the heart, convincing of sin, and leading us
to Jesus. We are told to run with patience

the race set before us, LOOKING UNTO JESUS. |-

David says, ‘I have set the Lord always be-
fore me: because He is at my right hand, I
shall not be moved.’ To strive after obedi-
ence to all God’s Holy Will and Command-
ments with Jesus Christ before our eyes, and
within our heart, is the only way of righteous-
ness before God.

Those who hunger and thirst after righteous-
ness then must hunger and thirst after Christ,
nothing else will satisfy them, because He only
is Holy. The world cannot satisfy them for it

Matt. v. 6.

Matt, xxvi.
26~28,

John, xvi.
75 11.

Heb. xii. 12.

Ps. xvi. $.

Rev. xv. 4.











32 THE LAST COMMAND.





1 John, v.
19.

ohn, xvii.
John,

9.

Ps, xlix. 7.
Job, xxxiii.

24.

Rom. vii.

21.

Heb. xii, 14.

Mark, i.24.



is full of sin, and disappointment, and evil.

The Bible says it lieth in wickedness; and the
Redeemer when He prayed for His own people
said in His prayer, ‘I pray not for the world.’
Therefore the world cannot satisfy the heart that
hungers and thirsts after righteousness. Rela-
tives and friends, even the dearest and best, can-
not satisfy the soul that hungers and thirsts after
righteousness; for none of them can by any
means redeem his brother, nor give to Goda
ransom for him. None but God, looking upon
His beloved Son, can say of the sinner, ‘ Deliver
him from going down to the pit, I have found
a ransom.’ ‘Those who hunger and thirst after
righteousness can no longer be satisfied with
themselves. How often when they would do
good they find that evil is present with them !
and they know that without holiness no man
shall see the Lord. Who, then, but Christ,
the Holy One of God, can satisfy the soul that
hungers and thirsts after righteousness ?

People often talk of hunger and thirst very
lightly. They would not do so if they had
ever felt its pangs. Hunger and thirst of the
soul is quite as real a thing as hunger and
thirst of the body ; no one who has once felt
it can ever forget it; no one who feels it can go
on quietly and leave it unsatisfied. Those who
really hunger and thirst will seek for that which
will satisfy with their whole heart, and seeking









THE LAST COMMAND. 33





they shall find, for God has promised. Christ
has said, ‘ They shall be filled.” Job knew this
hunger and thirst of the soul when he said,
‘Othat I knew where I might find Him, that
I might come even to His seat!’ In this sacra-
ment Christ bids us come and feed by faith on
Him. Shall we not find that His flesh is
meat indeed, and His blood drink indeed?
Shall we not find that life eternal is in His
death for us, and healing in His wounds?
‘The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall
praise the Lord that seek Him, your heart
shall live for ever.’

Many a mourner is found at the Lord’s Table.
Jesus says, ‘Blessed are they that mourn, for they
shall be comforted.’ This does not mean the
mourners of the world. The sorrow of the
world, the Bible says, worketh death. There is
no true comfort for it; its wounds are salved
over, but not healed. The darkness it leaves on
earth is not lightened by a door opened in
heaven! It comes sorrow after sorrow, wave
after wave, until the spirit sinks beneath the
last wave which is Death. The Bible says,
the sorrow of the world worketh death. But
Jesus speaks of sorrow and says, ‘Blessed are
they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.’
This is godly sorrow—sorrow in which God
is; in which the heart turns to God, turns to
Him who hath borne our griefs and carried

c



Jer. xxix.
12, 13.

Job, xxiii. 3.

Ps. xxii, 26.

Matt. v. 4.

2 Cor. vii.
10.

Rev. iv. 1.













34 THE LAST COMMAND.



Isa, lili. 4.

Isa. lili, 2.

Heb. iv. 15.

Ps, lvi. 8.

Ps, Lxxix.
It.

Lam. iii. 56.
Luke, xix.
41.

John, xi. 33,
35+

1 John, iii.

Prov, xviii.
14.



our sorrows. These are mourners who bring
their sorrow to the Man of Sorrows, to Him
who was acquainted with grief, and who can
be touched with a feeling of our infirmities.
These mourners come to Him who is so full
of loving-kindness and tender mercy that He
treasures up their tears: their sighing comes
before Him, and He hears their very breath-
ing. He wept over those who would not
know the things belonging to their peace ;
and He wept beside the grave where tears
were falling for the dead.

Christ says, ‘ Blessed are they that mourn,
for they shall be comforted.’ If we mourn for
sin, feeding by faith on Christ, we are made
partakers in His death, who was manifested to
take away sin. We are made one with Him
in whom is no sin. Is there not balm to the
sin-wounded spirit in drinking that cup of
which the Saviour said, ‘This is My blood,
shed for many for the remission of sins ?’

Is it temporal affliction for which we mourn,
the loss of those most dear,—the loss of earthly
good in any form? is it a wounded spirit from
any cause? When we take that cup and hear
the voice of Jesus say, ‘ This is My blood,’
can we murmur at any cup of sorrow, grief, or-
pain, which we may be called to drink? Must
we not say, even as Jesus said when He was
giving for us His own blood, ‘ The cup which











THE LAST COMMAND. 35



My Father hath given me shall I not drink it?’
Whatever that sorrow may be, shall we not find
that ‘the balm of life is mingled in the cup of
bitterness, when we tender out a ready hand to
take it from Him who drank its very dregs
for us;” from Him who says, ‘ Behold, and see
if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow?’
‘Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall
be comforted.’

Some are led to the Lord’s Table by obe-
dience. It is written, ‘Blessed are they that
do His commandments, that they may have
right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in
through the gates into the city.’ To begin by
obedience is to end by love. No one ever
engaged his heart to obey Christ, who did not
end by loving Him. Obedience is the law of
God’s children, it ought to be the law of all
children. What can the sons and daughters
of earth be but little children before the high
and lofty One that inhabiteth Eternity, whose
Name is Holy? God says, ‘ Heaven is my
throne, and earth is my footstool ; but to this
man will I look, to him that is poor and of a
contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word.’
Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set
him in the midst of them and said, ‘ Verily I
say unto you, Except ye be converted, and be-
come as little children, ye shall not enter the
kingdom of heaven.’

Lam. i. 12.

Rev. xxii.
14.

Isa. Lvii, 15.

Isa. xvi.
I, 2.

Matt. xviii.
2-4.













Rom. vi.17.

Ps, iii. 18.

1 Pet. i. 2.

Exod. xii.
21-30.

Ex. xxiv. 7,

Heb. ix. 11—
24.
Heb. v. 9.

Philip. ii. 8.





36 THE LAST COMMAND.



The Apostle Paul thanks God for those who
had obeyed from the heart, that form of doc-
trine that was delivered to them. All true
obedience is from the heart; that is no obe-
dience in the sight of God which is not obe-
dience from the heart. Those who come to
the Lord’s Table in obedience to His Last Com-
mand, will set their heart to remember all His
commandments to do them. The Apostle
Peter teaches us that the Holy Spirit leads us
to obedience, and the sprinkling of the blood
of Jesus Christ. The children of Israel were
called to obedience in the sprinkling of the
blood. They might not say, We will trust in
the blood, but we will not sprinkle it. No,
they said, as we must say, ‘ All that the Lord
hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ And
Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the
people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the
Covenant, which the Lord hath made with you,
concerning all these words.’ To us it is the
blood of a Testament,—a Testament sealed with
the blood of Him who made it, giving eternal
salvation unto all who obey Him. Who was
He who made this Testament of eternal salva-
tion, and sealed it with His blood? He who
became obedient unto death, even the death of
the cross. It was He who said of the broken
bread, ‘ Take, eat, this is My body, which is
given for you.’ And of the cup, ‘ This cup is













THE LAST COMMAND.

the New Testament in My blood, which is shed
This do in remembrance of Me.’
David says, ‘I esteem Thy precepts concerning | Ps. cxix. 6.

all things to be right.
ashamed when I have respect unto all Thy

commandments.’

* According to Thy gracious word,
In meek humility,
This will I do, my dying Lord,
I will remember Thee.

«Thy body, broken for my sake,
My bread from heaven shall be ;
Thy testamental cup I take,
And thus remember Thee.

« Remember Thee and all Thy pains,
And all Thy love to me;
Yea, while a breath, a pulse remains,
Will I remember Thee.

«And when these failing lips grow dumb,
And mind and memory flee,
When Thou shalt in Thy kingdom come,
Then, Lord, remember me!”

Then shall I not be

37















38 THE LAST COMMAND.



Matt. xxii.
II-13.

CHAPTER VI.
THE GUESTS,

‘Anp when the king came in to see the guests,
he saw there a man which had not on a wedding
garment. And he saith unto him, Friend,
how camest thou in hither, not having on a
wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him
hand and foot, and take him away, and cast
him into outer darkness: there shall be weeping
and gnashing of teeth!’

We learn from these words that God requires
a garment; it is called here a wedding gar-
ment. All who come into His presence must
understand this. We cannot stand before God ;
we cannot be received by Him in our own
clothing. That is, we cannot be accepted by
God in any trust in ourselves; in any works or
doings of our own. This man thought he was
quite good enough as he was to come before
God. The wedding garment was ready for
him, was offered to him, but he refused it.
He would not put it on. He thought he
should do well enough as he was. But when it













THE LAST COMMAND. 39



was too late, he found out his terrible mistake.
If we hope to go to God, it must not be in any
way of our own, but in the way God has
opened for us.

Jesus Christ says, ‘I am the way, the truth,
and the life; no man cometh. unto the Father
but by Me.’ The Apostle Paul says, ‘ Put ye
on the Lord Jesus Christ.’ To put on any-
thing is to wear it as a covering ; we go in it
where we go. Even so must we put on Jesus
Christ. It is only by the Blood of Christ that
we can be brought nigh to God. We have
liberty to enter into the holiest by the Blood of
Jesus. In Jesus Christ we have not only the
precious: Blood that cleanseth from all sin, but
-| we have also the Robe of Righteousness. The
Apostle Paul said he had ‘ suffered the loss of
all things that he might win Christ, and be
found in Him; not having his own right-
eousness,’ he says, ‘ but that which is through
the faith of Christ.’ The Prophet Isaiah tells
us that we are all as an unclean thing, and all
our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. This is
what we are in ourselves. But the same pro-
phet rejoices in God, because he says God had
clothed him with the Robe of Righteousness.

The Apostle Paul says, ‘ Let a man examine
himself, and so let him eat of that Bread and
drink of that Cup.’ If we would judge our-
selves, we should not be judged. To examine



John, xiv. 6.
Rom, xiii.
14.
Eph. ii. 13.
Heb. x. 19.
1 John, i. 7.
Philip. ili.7-
1.
Isa. Ixiv. 6.
Isa. Ixi. 10.
1 Cor. xi.
23-31.









40 THE LAST COMMAND.







ourselves is to find out what we are in the
sight of God. To judge ourselves is to learn
from the word of God what His judgment of
us would be. It is not to find out what we
wish to be, nor what we hope to be, but what
we are. Are we standing before God, day after
day, in ourselves, in our own doings; or are
we standing before God in Jesus Christ?
When God looks at us, does He see His be-
loved Son Jesus Christ in us, dwelling in our
hearts; Christ covering us with His own
Blood and His perfect Righteousness ; Christ
in us, teaching us, leading us, keeping us? Is
it in my sinful self that I daily appear before
God, or is it in Christ ?

Are there any who go up even to the Table
that God has prepared, without Christ? Going
there by themselves, Christ not with them;
not having even asked His presence with them ;
giving Him no dwelling-place in their hearts ;
living for themselves, and for this world, but
not for Christ?

Are there any who receive this holy sacra-
ment as one of their own good works, or right
doings, to add some goodness to themselves ?
Not coming as poor sinners to receive a rich
Saviour: not coming as the Prodigal, with
the heartfelt confession, ‘ Father, I have sinned:’
not like the two disciples at Emmaus, with
hearts burning with love to their Lord: not











THE LAST COMMAND. 4I



hungering and thirsting after righteousness :
not mourners after a godly sort: not striving
to bring every thought into captivity to the
obedience of Christ? God says by the Apostle,
‘Let a man examine himself, and so let him
eat.’

We are told that they who eat and drink
unworthily are they who do not discern the
Lord’s body. They see the outward and visible
sign, but they do not see by the eye of faith
the inward and spiritual grace. They eat the
bread, and drink the wine, but they do not
feed by faith on Christ; they do not die to sin
in Christ’s death; they do not live to God in
the risen power of Christ’s life. They come
away as they go; not cleansed from sin, for
they did not from the heart confess it; not
rejoicing in Christ, for their hearts did not
burn within them in love and longing for His
presence. Not fed and strengthened unto
heavenly life, for they did not hunger; not
comforted, for they did not mourn; not ac-
cepted, for they did not come as God’s
© obedient children.’

Some do not like to examine themselves
by the light of God’s holy word, because they
are afraid of finding themselves wrong, and
they do not know how to get right. But
the same Holy Spirit who shows us that we
are wrong, shows us also how to get right.





1 Cor, xi.
29.

John, xvi.

7-15-











42 THE LAST COMMAND.



2 Cor. v,
17.

1 John, v,

Â¥1, 12,

John, v.
40.
John, x.
10.
John, xi.
26.

Rom. vi.
II.





Out of Christ, all is wrong before God; in
Christ, all is right. ‘If any man be in Christ he
is a new creature; old things are passed away,
behold all things are become new.’ All that
was done without Christ is the old life that
must pass away ; all that is done with Christ is
the new life that will never pass away. ‘ This is
the record, that God hath given to us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath
the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son
of God hath not life.’ Jesus said,‘ Ye wiil not
come to Me that ye might have life.” ‘lam
come that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly.’ ‘ Whosoever
liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.
Believest thou this?’

This is life, to live unto God through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Christ is the living root,
from which all abiding life must grow. We
may have a great many pleasant things in our
hearts and lives, but if our life be not hid with
Christ in God, all these pleasant things must
wither for us, like gathered flowers that have
no root. We must leave them all strewn on
the shore of this world behind us. All our
words, and thoughts, and feelings, and kind
deeds —they may lie forgotten to fade and
perish when we are gone; or others may take
them up and revive them for use in the world,

| but we can=never feel their sweetness again. If











THE LAST COMMAND, 43

Christ has not dwelt in our hearts here, we must
go where He can never be found. We must
go where nothing but existence will be left us.
A never-ending existence, if it be not supplied
with all it wants from the Hand of God, can
be nothing but never-ending woe.

The Apostle Paul says, Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live
in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of
God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.’

This life springs up from the death of the
Lord Jesus. If we are made partakers in His
death, we shall be also in His endless life.
It makes no difference what the duties of our
life may be; whether we be called to plough
the land or to read the stars; to break stones

or to rule kingdoms; to tend the house and |.

mind the children, or to wait on princes. If in
all we serve the Lord’s Christ, whatsoever we do
in word or in deed, if we do it according to the
will of God and in the Name of the Lord Jesus,
our works will follow us, and be found unto praise
and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus
Christ. If thus we live to God through Jesus
Christ, our life can never die, can never pass
away ; the narrow stream of our life here will flow
unto eternity, clearer, and deeper, and broader,
for ever; leaving behind all that defiles and
darkens, and troubles it ; flowing on for ever,

clear as crystal; knowing as we are known, |



Gal. ii. 20.

Rev. xiv.13.
1 Pet. i. 7.











44 THE LAST COMMAND.



2 Cor. ili.
18.

Col, i. 27,
28,



made perfect in love. ‘ We all with open face,
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image, from glory
to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord,’
‘Christ in you, the Hope of Glory. Whom we
preach,’ the Apostle says, ‘ warning every man,
and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we
may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.’

“Jesus! Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress ;
Midst flaming worlds in these array’d,
With joy shall I lift up my head.

“* This spotless robe the same appears
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its glorious hue,
The grace of Christ is ever new.

“© let the dead now hear Thy voice,
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, the Lord our righteousness.

«« When from the dust of death I rise,
To claim my mansion in the skies,
E’en then shall this be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died for me.”









THE LAST COMMAND. 45





CHAPTER VII.
THE ABSENT.

‘AcguainT now thyself with Him, and be at
peace; thereby good shall come unto thee.
Receive, I pray thee, the law from His mouth,
and lay up His words in thine heart!’ ‘This is
life eternal, that they might know Thee, the
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou
hast sent.’ We all naturally desire life, to live
and see good days. When we think on a state
beyond the grave, we hope for life eternal
there. We are told what the spring, the foun-
tain, of this life is; it is the knowledge of God
and of Jesus Christ, whom God hath sent.

If there were an earthly spring that would
give life, and health, and happiness to all who
drank of it, how many would travel to that
spring and drink! They would believe the
testimony of men; but the testimony of God
is greater: and this is the testimony of God,
that He hath given us eternal life, and this life
is in His Son. This well of living water,
springing up into eternal life, was opened on
the cross of Jesus.

From the earliest ages of the world, man was





Job, xxii.
21, 22.

John, xvii.

3.









46 THE LAST COMMAND.



John, vi. 54.

2 Cor. iv. 4.

Jer. xxxii.

33+

Prov. i. 23.



forbidden to drink the blood of slain animals,
because the blood was the life. For this very
reason we are commanded to drink the Blood of
the Son of God, that we may live by Him.
‘Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My
blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up
at the last day.’

Why, then, should dying sinners turn away
from Jesus crucified? Why should they look
to themselves, their own doings, and their own
opinions? Why should they look to the
world, and the ways and words of the world?
Why should they look to man? Why should
they look anywhere, everywhere else, but not
to Jesus crucified? We are told why it is so.
It is because ‘the God of this world (who is the
Devil) hath blinded the minds of them which
believe not, lest the light of the glorious
Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God,
should shine unto them.’

God says, ‘ They have turned unto Me the
back, and not the face; though I taught them,
rising up early and teaching them; yet they
have.not hearkened to receive instruction!’ Yet
hear the gracious invitation of God, ‘ Turn you
at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my
Spirit upon you; I will make known my
words unto you.’

The Apostle Paul gives us this solemn
warning: ‘See that ye refuse not Him that









THE LAST COMMAND. 47



speaketh ; for if they escaped not who refused
Him that spake on earth, much more shall not
we escape, if we turn away from Him that
speaketh from heaven.’ What is this that we
are so persuaded and warned not to refuse —
not to turn away from? It is Jesus Christ,
and the blood of sprinkling. -

In this sacrament the Lord Jesus is evi-
dently set forth before us as crucified. In the
broken bread we see the emblem of the Re-
deemer’s sacred Body, broken on the cross for
us. In the cup we see the emblem of the
precious Blood of Christ, poured forth for the
remission of sins. What does this holy sacra-
ment say to those who turn away? It hasa
silent language, it speaks to the heart through
the eye; it says to each, ‘The gracious Saviour
took the Body God prepared for Him; took
your flesh and blood, that through death He
might destroy him who had the power of death,
that is the devil. His sacred Body was broken
on the cross, that your sinful Body might be
raised a glorious body to die no more. His
precious Blood fell to the ground, when in His
agony He sank beneath your heavy woes, to
raise you to a Throne: it flowed through the
long hours of death to open for you a cleans-
ing flood, in which you might wash, and be
whiter than snow. He, who died for you, the
just for the unjust, to bring you to God, says



Heb. xii. 25,
24.

Gal. iii. 1.
Lam. iii. 51.
Heb. x. 5.
Heb. ii. 14.
Ps. li. 7.









48 THE LAST COMMAND,



John,vi. 53.

John, xv. 4—
Io.



to all who love Him,‘ Take, eat this Bread; and
drink this Cup.’

There are a great many people who hear
of Jesus and His death; they hear of His most
precious Blood, and of eternal life through
Him; and because they have heard so often,
and know all .that others could tell them, they
think that they believe to the saving of their
souls. But this sacrament teaches us that to
receive Christ Jesus the Lord is a real act;
not a notion or opinion of the head, but an
act of the heart. It teaches us that, unless we
receive Christ into our hearts as really and
truly as the body partakes of the bread and
wine, wé have no life in us, no life that will not
die the Second Death. We must appropriate
Christ Jesus, receive Him, live upon Him, as
our bddies feed on the bread and wine. This is
the secret of living to God, and dying to God ;
and this is brought home to our hearts in the
sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch
cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in
the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in
Me. Iam the Vine, ye are the branches. He
that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same
bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me
ye can do nothing. Ifa man abide not in Me
he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered,
and men gather them, and cast them into the fire,







THE LAST COMMAND. 49





and they are burned. If ye keep My com-
mandments ye shall abide in My love; even
as I have kept my Father’s commandments and
abide in His love.’

“© Come, sinner, to the Gospel Feast,
O come without delay ;
For there is room on Jesu’s breast
For all who will obey.

«'There’s room within the church redeemed
With blood of Christ divine,
Room mid the white-robed throng convened,
For that dear soul of thine.

« 'There’s room in heaven amid the choir,
And harps and crowns of gold,
And glorious palms of victory there,
And joys that ne’er were told.

“'There’s room around the Father's board,
For thee and thousands more;
Then come and welcome to the Lord,
Yes, come this very hour.”











Ps, xc. 11.

1John, iv. 9.

Rom. viii.
32.
Rev. xiii. 8,

John, vi. 54.



50 THE LAST COMMAND.



CHAPTER VIII.
THE ABSENT.

Mosss asked of God—the great and terrible
God—*‘Wuo KNOWETH THE POWER OF THINE
ANGER?’ ‘This question is often heard in the
Burial Service, as we stand for the last time
beside our dead. But here at this holy Sacra-
ment, which shows forth the death of the Lord
Jesus, we must ask another question of God—
the great and terrible God. Must we not ask
with wonder and thankfulness,‘ WHo KNOWETH
THE POWEROF Tuy Love?’ ‘In this was mani-
fested the love of God towards us, because that
God sent His only-begotten Son into the world
that we might live through Him.’

Here, at this divine feast, may be truly seen
and felt the Goopness and the sEvERITY of
God. Towards us sinners His great goodness,
in that He spared not His own Son, but de-
livered Him up for us all. It is on the Lamb
of God, slain from the foundation of the world
in God’s eternal purpose and love, that we sin-
ners are called by faith to feed, that we may
have eternal life. ‘God commendeth His love











THE LAST COMMAND, 51



towards us, in that while we were sinners
Christ died for us.? As we think on these
things must we not look up and say, ‘Who
knoweth the power of Thy love ”

But we are also made to see the SEVERITY
of God; His holy anger against sin; that when
the beloved Son of God was delivered for our
offences ‘it pleased the Lord to bruise Him:
He hath put Him to grief.’ Here, at this holy
sacrament, we see plainly set before us the anger
of God against sin; that Jesus Christ, the Holy
One of God, must suffer, bleed, and die, when
our iniquity was laid on Him. And can we
think that we shall escape the righteous judg-
ment of God if a single sin be found on us?
Jesus says, ‘If I wash thee not thou hast no part
with Me.’ If Jesus Christ disown us, if we
have no part with Him, where then must be
our lot? ‘WHo KNOWETH THE POWER OF
TuinE ancer?’ To all who are not safe
sheltered in Jesus Christ our God is a con-
suming fire !

Moses said to God, ‘I beseech Thee show
me-Thy ctory.’ And God said to Moses, ‘I
will make all My coopness pass before thee ;
for there shall no man see Me and live. I
will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and I will
cover thee with My hand while I pass by.’
That rock was Christ, and the cleft in the
rock shows forth the wounds with which the



Rom. v. 8.

Isa. liii. 10,

6, 8.

John, xiii. 8.

Heb. xii.29,

Exod. xxxiii.
18-23.
xxxlv. 5-7.











52 THE LAST COMMAND.



|
|

Col. iii. 3, 4.

John, x. 28,
29.

Ps. xci. 1-4.

Ps, cxl. 9.
Luke,vi.35.

body of the Lord Jesus was wounded unto
death, The Holy Presence of God would
destroy us sinners, but there is a cleft in the
rock, where God will put all who truly come
to Him. He will hide us in Jesus; our life is
hid with Christ in God, and the mighty Hand
of God will keep us safely there. ‘They shall
never perish,’ Jesus said. ‘My Father, which
gave them Me, is greater than all, and no man
is able to pluck them out of my Father’s Hand.’
‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the
Most High shall abide under the shadow of the
Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my
Refuge and my Fortress; my God, in Him
will I trust. He shall cover thee with His
feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust.
His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.’

Are there not many who hope to see the
GLory who have never truly seen the coop-
ness of God? It is easy to see that the
Lord is good to all; His tender mercies are
over all His works; He is kind to the un-
thankful and to the evil: but this is not the
coopness that Moses saw. All may see the
works of God’s hands in nature and in provi-
dence, but Moses saw the coopness that is
God’s GLory-—the Goopness that leads us to
His cLory. ‘God is love. And he that dwell-
eth in love dwelleth in God.’ ‘God so loved



the world, that He gave His only-begotten











THE LAST COMMAND. 53



Son, that whosever believeth in Him should
not perish, but have everlasting life’ The
light of the knowledge of the cLory of God
is seen in the face of Jesus Curist. ‘Blessed
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual
blessings in heavenly places in Christ. To the
praise of the cory of His grace, wherein He
hath made us accepted in the Beloved : in whom
we have redemption through His blood.’ This
was what the angels sang: ‘Glory to God in
the highest; and on earth peace, goodwill to-
ward men.’ Here, in this holy sacrament,
through the broken bread and the wine poured
out, we find, by faith, our Hiding-place in Jesus,
wounded to death for our sins.

«°’Tis He, the Lamb, to Him we fly,
While the dread tempest passes by ;
God sees His well-beloved’s face,

And spares us in our Hiding-place.”

Yet there are numbers who are ignorant of
this love of God to sinners ; they will not come
to this most comfortable sacrament: they stay
away for the very reason that should bring
them there; they stay away because they feel
that they are sinners. Have they not known,
have they not heard, hath it not been told
them, that Jesus Christ said, ‘I came not to call

John, iii. 16.

2 Cor.iv. 6.

Luke, ii.
10-14.



Eph.i.3, 7.











54 THE LAST COMMAND.



Matt. ix. 13.

1Tim.i.15.

Jude, 6.

Heb.x.9,10,

Heb. ix. 26.

Rev. i. 5.

Matt. i.27,





the righteous, but sinners to repentance?’ And
what is repentance? Is it not the turning of the
heart to God, through His beloved Son Jesus
Christ our Lord? ‘This is a faithful saying,
and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ
came into the world to save sinners.’

The angels who sinned are reserved in ever-
lasting chains, under darkness, to the judgment
of the last day. But when man sinned against
God, God did not say, ‘Whom shall I send,
and who will go for Me to destroy these sin-
ners, to drive them for ever from My face?’
But God said, ‘By whom shall I save these lost
sinners? By whom shall I bring them again
to Me? By whom shallI comfort them?’ Then | |
said Jesus, ‘Lo, I come, to do Thy Will, O
God.’ ‘By the which Will we are sanctified by
the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once
for all.’ If we were not sinners we could have
no claim on the blessed Saviour: no part in
His precious Blood. The question is, Do we
earnestly desire to be made clean from our sin?
Jesus Christ appeared to put away sin by the
sacrifice of Himself. Shall we not, believing
and rejoicing, say, ‘ He loves us, and washes us
from our sins in His own blood?’

Some are afraid to come for fear they should
afterwards sin. But did not the angel say,
‘Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall
save His people from their sins?’ Those must be









THE LAST COMMAND. 55





welcome to this Holy Table whoare truly afraid
of sin. God hath made Him to be sin for us,
who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him. Those who
disobey this Command of the Lord Jesus from
fear of after sin, are surely in danger of losing
their Saviour and keeping their sins. It is a
faithful promise to all who truly turn to Christ,
‘Sin shall not have dominion over you.’ Ye
know that Jesus Christ was manifested to take
away our sins, and in Him is no sin. ‘Let us,
therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace to
help in time of need.’

Others are kept away from fear of the wrath
of man—anger, scorn, reviling. And this is
hard to bear. But will they not turn aside
and see this great sight—the Son of God re-
viled with cruel mockings, bound, scourged,
spitted on, crowned with thorns, crucified?
The meek and lowly Saviour pierced with cruel
wounds and cruel words to death—to death
for them, that they might live in glory ever-
lasting. And will they say they cannot be fol-
lowers of Him? Consider Him that endured
such contradiction of sinners against Himself,

lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. God |

speaks to strengthen them, and says, ‘ Fear ye
not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of
their revilings. Who art thou that thou art



2 Cor.v. 21.

Rom. vi. 14.

John, iii.s.
Heb. iv. 16.

Heb. xii.3,4.

Isa. li. 7-13.













Tsa. xl. 29-
31.

Luke, xii.

8-9.

John, iii.
I, 2.

John, xix.

38-42.

Gen, xxxii.

10-32.

56 THE LAST COMMAND.





I

afraid of a man that shall die, and forgettest
God thy Maker?’ He giveth power to the
faint, and to them that have no might He in-
creaseth strength. Ask and it shall be given
you. Jesus said, ‘Whosoever shall confess Me
before men, him shall the Son of Man also
confess before the angels of God. But he that
denieth Me before men, shall be denied before
the angels of God.’

Nicodemus was afraid of the Jews, and came
first to Jesus by night, secretly. But when the
Lord was crucified, Nicodemus overcame all
his fears; he came openly then, in the face of
reproach, and scorn, and death, to take the
Body of the Lord Jesus. ‘Those who go ear-
nestly to Jesus by night, are sure to get courage
to confess Him by day. And those who come
in the most earnest love to the Lord Jesus in
His death, will gain the most strength to con-
fess Him in their life.

Some are absent who long to come, but they
say, ‘Iam not worthy.’ Jesus Christ did not
come into the world to save the worthy. If He
had gone to those who were worthy of Him
He would never have come to this evil world.
Jacob said to the Lord, ‘I am not worthy of
the least of all the mercies which Thou hast
showed unto Thy servant.’ The Lord did
not come to Jacob as the meek and lowly
Saviour dying for his sins. He came and











THE LAST COMMAND. 57



wrestled with Jacob all night, yet Jacob said,
‘I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless
me.’ And He blessed him there. The poor
woman of Canaan freely owned that she was
not worthy of the children’s table, and the
children’s bread. Jesus, to try her faith, said
to her, ‘It is not meet to take the children’s
bread and cast it to the dogs.’ She answered,
‘Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the children’s
crumbs, which fall from their Master’s table.’
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘ Oh,
woman, great is thy faith, Be it unto thee
even as thou wilt!”

Those who are perishing from want of food
do not refuse the best food if given them,
because they are not worthy. They will take
it thankfully, and love and bless the hand that
feeds them, and shall not we? Those who feel
themselves filthy, and who long to be clean,

will not turn away from the cleansing stream |

because they are not worthy; they will rather
come again and again to cleanse each spot and
stain, And shall not we? We read in Holy
Scripture of those who put the word of the Lord
from them, and judged themselves unworthy
of everlasting life ; and the messengers the Lord
had sent departed from them.

There are those who cannot love the Lord
who died for them, because they love the world
that slew Him. ‘ Know ye not that the friend-



Gen. xxxii.
Io.

Matt. xv.
21-28.

Acts, xiii.

46.











58 THE LAST COMMAND.



James, iv. 4.

1 John, ii.
16,17.

Ps, lviii. 45.

Rey. ii. 115
xx, TI-15.
1 Sam. xii.

23.

Ezek. xxxvi.
26.

Heb. vii.25.







ship of the world is enmity with God?’ Who-
soever, therefore, will be a friend of the world
is the enemy of God.’ ‘For all that is in the
world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the
eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father,
but is of the world. And the world passeth
away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth
the Will of God abideth for ever.’

The Bible says of some that they are like
the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear, that re-
fuseth to hear the voice of the charmer, charm
he never so wisely. They love the sins be-
neath the weight and curse of which the Saviour
bled and died. For them to partake in the
death of the Lord Jesus is like those who
bowed the knee before Him, saying, ‘ Hail,
king of the Jews!’ and then spit upon Him
and smote Him. Those who in life dishonour
Jesus, can have no part in His death save one
of mockery. They know not, they cannot
know, the death of Jesus, in its saving power
and endless life. But there is a Death they
must know if they continue in sin. It is called
in the Bible the Second Death. God forbid
that we should sin against the Lord in ceasing
to pray for them. For God is able to take
away the stony heart, and give a heart of
flesh. God is able to put a new spirit with-
in them. And Christ is able to save to the
uttermost all that come unto God by Him. He











THE LAST COMMAND. 59



says, ‘ Ye will not come to me that ye might
have life.’

‘Therefore, my beloved brethren,’ the
Apostle says, ‘be ye stedfast, unmoveable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not
in vain in the Lord.’ St. John says, ‘ Behold
what manner of love the Father hath bestowed
upon us, that we should be called the sons of
God; therefore the world knoweth us not because
it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the
sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what
we shall be, but we know that when He shall
appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see
Him as He is. And every man that hath
| this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He
is pure.’

* Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee ;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

«« While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyelids close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee!”



John, v.4o.
1 Cor. xv.

50.

1 John, iii.
1-3.











60 THE LAST COMMAND.







A PRAYER BEFORE THE SACRAMENT OF

THE Lorp’s SuPPER.

O Saviour of the world, who by Thy cross
and precious blood hast redeemed us; Save us,
and help us, we humbly beseech Thee, O
Lord!

Heavenly Father, who of Thy tender love
hast given Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
‘to suffer death upon the cross for us and our
salvation; We bless Thee for this Thine un-
|speakable gift. Give us faith, we beseech
Thee, that we may draw nigh to Thee by the
Blood of Jesus, by that new and living way
which He hath consecrated for us, through
His flesh.

Enable us to eat the Bread and drink the’
Cup in obedience to our Redeemer’s last Com-
mand: and to feed by faith in our hearts on
Him, that we may be made one with Christ |
and Christ with us; that we may evermore

dwell in Christ and Christ in us.











THE LAST COMMAND. 61



We have sinned and done wickedly. We
are not worthy of the least of all Thy mercies ;
but Thou dost vouchsafe to feed us with the
most precious Body and Blood of Thy beloved
Son. O may His flesh be meat indeed to us,
and His blood be drink indeed! Cause us to
hunger and thirst after righteousness, that we
may taste arid see how good the Lord is; that
we may know the love of Christ which passeth
knowledge, and be filled with all the fulness of
God.

Lighten our darkness, O Lord, we beseech
Thee, for the love of Thine only Son. Show
us Thy salvation. Open our eyes that we may
see all the great things of Thy law fulfilled in
Jesus Christ, who of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification,
and redemption. In whom we have redemption
through His blood, even the forgiveness of
sins.

O may we feed on Christ, that we may die
to sin in His death, and live to God in the
power of His resurrection life—Christ in us
the hope of glory.

We pray for those who profess to know
Thee, O God, and yet in works deny Thee.
Deliver them, we beseech Thee, from the power
of darkness, and bring them into the kingdom
of Thy dear Son.

May it please Thee to strengthen such as do











62 THE LAST COMMAND.







stand, and to comfort and help the weak-
hearted, and to raise up them that fall, and
finally to beat down Satan under our feet ;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A PrayvER BEFORE THE SACRAMENT OF

THE Lorp’s SUPPER.

O Lord Jesus Christ, we pray Thee help
Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with
Thy most precious blood.

By Thine agony and bloody sweat, by Thy
cross and passion, by Thy precious death and
burial, by Thy glorious resurrection and as-
cension, and by the coming of the Holy Ghost,
Good Lord deliver us.

O God, who hast taught us that the natural
man understandeth not the things of the Spirit
of God, grant us, we humbly beseech Thee, by
the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to know the
things that are freely given to us of God.
May we know and believe the love Thou hast
to us in giving Thy beloved Son to die for
our sins, and to rise again for our justification.

Lord, increase our faith that we may see Jesus,











THE LAST COMMAND. 63



who was made a little lower than the angels
for the suffering of death, crowned with glory
and honour, that He, by the grace of God,
might taste death for every man. Enable each
one of us in humble faith to say, He loved me
and gave Himself for me.

We pray that the Holy Spirit may convince
us more deeply of sin. We have sinned, O
God, against Thy love, Thy goodness, and
Thy grace. We have been disobedient, un-
thankful, unholy. We have grieved the Holy
Spirit, and our heart has departed from the
Lord. O God, we sink in the dust before
Thee; we sink at the foot of the cross; we sink
into the precious blood there freely shed for
our sin: in that blood we become whiter than
snow. Lord, we believe; help Thou our un-
belief !

Heavenly Father, keep us by Thy grace
ever meek and lowly in heart; keep us at the
foot of the cross; keep our hearts within the
cleansing flood of Jesus Christ’s most precious
blood, that the love of sin may die in us,
beneath the blood of Him who bore our sins
in His own Body on the tree. And by the
grace of the Holy Spirit may we grow up into
Christ Jesus in all things. O merciful Father,
we pray for those who know Thee not. We
pray that Thou wouldest bring them to the
obedience of faith.











64 THE LAST COMMAND,







O Saviour of sinners, who givest eternal life
by Thy death and ease by Thy pain, give us
hearts to love Thee above all things, that we
may obtain those exceeding great and precious
promises which are all yea and amen in Christ
Jesus.. .

To Him that loved us, and gave Himsel
for us, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

“ When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

«« Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God :
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

«See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down:

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

«Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!”

LONDON:
STRANGEWAYsS AND WALDEN, PRINTERS,
Castle St. Leicester Sq.















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THE LAST COMMAND.

BY

M. L. CHARLESWORTH,

AUTHOR OF

“MINISTERING CHILDREN,’

ETC. ETC.

~~ fourth Thousand.

ae aa BR. diets ene

SEELEY, JACKSON, AND HALLIDAY, 54 FLEET STREET.
: »“LONDON.* MDCCCLXX.










PREFACE.

Tue need of plain and earnest teaching
on the subject of the Holy Communion is
a fact open to the observation of all. The
writer of this little volume trusts that to
the young, and in Cottage Homes and
Mothers’ Meetings, it may be found a help
blessed of God.










THE

LAST COMMAND.

CHAPTER I.
THE LAST SUPPER,

Ir was a solemn evening which the Lord Jesus
came to Jerusalem to celebrate, before He suf-
fered. For one thousand five hundred years
that evening had been the most solemn of all
evenings. That evening was first observed in
Egypt, by God’s command. The people of
Israel killed a lamb without blemish. They
roasted and ate the lamb; and sprinkled the
blood of the lamb on the lintel, and the two
side-posts of their doors. On that night the
Lord went forth and slew all the first-born in
the land of Egypt ; but when He saw the blood
sprinkled as He had commanded, He passed
over, and slew not any who had taken refuge
within the blood.

That was a night to be much remembered.
It was called the night of the Lord’s passover ;



Matt. xxvi.
17—20.

Exod, xii.










6 THE LAST COMMAND.



Heb.vii. 26,
27.

John, i. 29.
Gen, xxii.
Matt. iii.
17.

Isa, lili, .
1 Pet. i. 18,

19.



because the Lord passed over the doors on
which He saw the sprinkled blood, and slew
not any who had that blood to plead for them.
The people of Israel had kept that solemn feast
to the Lord in all their generations, for one
thousand five hundred years, as the Lord had
commanded.

And now, to the city of Jerusalem, and to
the whole world, the Lamb of God had come;
the true Lamb, without blemish and without
spot; holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate
from sinners, He had come to offer up Him-
self. Behold, in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of
God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

When Isaac went up the mountain, by his
father Abraham’s side, carrying the wood for
the burnt-offering, he said to Abraham his
father, ‘My father, behold the fire and the
wood! but where is the lamb for a burnt-offer-
ing? And Abraham said, My son, God will
provide Himself a lamb, for a burnt-offering.’
God had provided Himself a Lamb, even His
beloved Son, in whom He was well pleased!
The prophet Isaiah, speaking of the Lord
Jesus, seven hundred years before He came into
the world, said of Him, ‘ He is led as a lamb to
the slaughter.” The Apostle Peter tells us
that we are redeemed by the precious blood of
Christ, as of a Lamb, without blemish and
without spot. Therefore did the Lord cele-








THE LAST COMMAND. 7



brate this solemn evening, which for so many
ages had been kept sacred, setting forth His
precious blood, by the shedding of which He
obtained eternal redemption for all who come
unto God by Him.

It was on this evening, when alone with
His disciples, the Lord spoke those won-
drous words of love and mercy which are
written in the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th
chapters of the Gospel according to St. John.
When we remember that on that tvening the
Lord Jesus held the last discourse with His
disciples before He suffered; when we remem-
ber that He was even then going to His agony
and bloody sweat, to His cross and passion, to
His death and burial, we may well wonder as
we read them, that they tell us not of Death, but
of Life. He speaks not a word of the cross, nor
the grave where before the next evening came
He must lie silent and cold in death; but He
speaks of His Father’s house, the many man-
sions there, the place He would prepare, and
of His coming again to receive those who
loved Him, to Himself. He speaks not of His
own sorrow, even unto death; when He would
look in vain for some to pity Him, and for
comforters, but would find not any; He only
tells of the Comforter whom the Father would
send in His name, that those who loved Him
might not be left comfortless. He commits His



Heb, ix. 12.

Matt. xxvi.
38.

Ps, Ixix. 20, |

21.



|
|
i






8 THE LAST COMMAND.



Mark, xiv.

50.

1 John, iv.

10.

Matt. xxvi.

26.

Luke, xxii.

19, 20.



disciples to His Father’s care; speaks of His
Will that they should be with Him in His glory.
But, though He knew all things that should
come upon Him, He speaks no word of the
hours of darkness and death, when those, whom
He so loved, would forsake and flee from
Him. ‘ Herein is love, not that we loved God,
but that He loved us; and sent His Son to be
the propitiation for our sins.’

On this solemn evening, now made sacred
to the worfd for ever, Jesus spoke all these
words of love,—words that for nearly two
thousand years have breathed the Peace of
God into the hearts of the poor and the rich,
the aged and the young, the learned and the un-
learned. A multitude that no man can number
have been led, by these words of love and
mercy, from self to Christ, from sin to holi-
ness, and from the world to heaven. At this
last supper as they were eating, ‘Jesus took
bread, and blessed and brake it, and gave it to
the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My
body. And He took the cup and gave thanks,
and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
for this is My blood of the New Testament
which is shed for many for the remission of
sins.’ He also said, ‘Do this in remembrance
of Me;’ and of the cup He said, ‘ My blood
which is shed for you.’

This was the Last Command of the Lord












THE LAST COMMAND. 9



Jesus before He went to His agony, His cross,
His grave. The Last Command of Him, who
gives us ‘Life by His death, and ease by
His pain.’ He says, ‘Do tuts.’ Eat this
broken bread, and drink this wine poured out,
In remembrance of Me.—In remembrance of
My death; in which My body will be bruised
and broken under your sins; and My blood
poured out, that it may cleanse and save to the
uttermost all who come unto God by Me.

When the Lord Jesus said, ‘ Do this in re-
membrance of Me,’ it is plain that He meant
Do this in all time to come: because when He
first gave to His disciples the bread and the
wine, the time for remembering His death had
not come. He was still their living Lord;
|they could not at that last supper remember
His love in dying. To make this still more
plain, after the Lord Jesus had ascended to
heaven, He made known His will concerning
this sacrament to the Apostle Paul.

The Apostle Paul was once the persecutor
Saul; he was a bitter enemy to Christ, for
some years after the Lord had risen from the
dead and ascended to heaven. But then it
pleased God, who is rich in mercy, to call him
by His grace, and reveal His Son in him.
And this great grace was shown to him, that
he was not taught the Gospel of God by man,
not even by the Apostles, but the Lord Jesus





Heb, vii.
25e






To THE LAST COMMAND.



Gal. i, 11,
12.

1 Cor, xi,
23-32-



Himself made it known to him from heaven.
We read of this in the first chapter of Gala-
tians. The Lord made known to the Apostle
Paul His will concerning this sacrament; the
Apostle says in the eleventh chapter of the first
of Corinthians, ‘I have received of the Lord
that which I also delivered unto you; that the
Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was
betrayed, took bread; and when He had given
thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat; this
is My body, which is broken for you; this do
in remembrance of Me. After the same man-
ner also He took the cup after He had supped,
saying, This cup is the New Testament in my
blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in
remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat
this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the
Lord’s death, till He come.’

We see that not only was this the Last
Command of the dying Saviour on earth, but
it was the Command of the glorified Saviour
from heaven. Who, then, that knows the
love of God, and believes in Jesus, can deny
His words, or disobey ?

“ O by that Name in whom all fulness dwells,
O by that Love which every love excels,
O by that Blood so freely shed for sin,
Open blest mercy’s gate, and take us in.”






THE LAST COMMAND. 1





CHAPTER II.
THE LAST COMMAND,

Tue Lord’s gracious Invitation and Command
has been written in the former chapter. The
words are plain. All can understand their
meaning if they be ready to receive the Com-
mand and to obey. Christ says, ‘Do this ; Take,
eat; Drink ye all of this cup.’ And if we ask
how long is this to be obeyed, the Apostle
Paul tells us, ‘ Until Christ come.’

Jesus says, ‘Heaven and earth shall pass
away, but My words shall not pass away.’
We may forget what Christ has said, we may
not give heed to know what He has said, or we
may know and yet may deny His words and
disobey. We may do this, but we can never
put His words away. Christ has spoken them,
and they must stand for ever, before earth
and heaven and hell; His own words, spoken
by Him to us for whom He died, which words
we have obeyed, or disobeyed.

In the last week of our Redeemer’s life,
before He suffered death upon the cross, He
said, ‘He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth





1 Cor. xi.
26.

Matt. xxiv.
35:






12 THE LAST COMMAND.



John, xii.
48.





not my words, hath One that judgeth him;
the word that I have spoken, the same shall
judge him in the last day.’ Jesus says, ‘ The
word that He has spoken, the same shall
judge us at the last day.’ He does not say
that we shall be judged according to our under-
standing of His words. He does not say that
we shall be judged according to our thoughts
and feelings about His words: but the word
that He has spoken, the same shall judge us.
How careful, then, we have need to be that
we take all the words of the Lord Jesus as
He has spoken them, and set our heart to obey
them! The teaching of man may lead us
wrong. Books may lead us wrong. Our
own hearts, if we trust to them, are sure to
lead us wrong. But if we take the words the
Lord Jesus has spoken, receive them into our
hearts with earnest prayer to God for the Holy
Spirit to teach us, and lead us into all truth—
we cannot be wrong in this.

When a king invites any of his subjects to
a feast, his invitation is always felt to be a
command. No one can slight the king’s in-
vitation without putting a dishonour on the
king. How much more when the King of
kings invites us to partake of the feast that
He has prepared! A feast to which we are
called, that we may eat the living bread that
came down from heaven, and drink the liv-






THE LAST COMMAND. 13





ing wine; eat by faith, drink by love, and
live for ever. A feast in which, feeding by
faith and love, in obedience to the command
of the Lord Jesus, we are made one with Him
and He with us; partakers in His death, that
we may live through Him who died for us,
that whether we wake or sleep we should live
together with Him,

Those lips that spake as never man spake ;
those lips that were daily opened to speak the
words of healing, forgiveness, peace; those
lips, before they were cold and silent in death,
said, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me.’ There
are some who say, ‘I don’t do that, [ don’t
eat that bread and drink of that cup, but I do
remember Christ.’ They say this, but do they
not forget that it is not our way of remember-
ing that will prove the right way, but Christ’s
way? He does not only say, Remember Me,
but He says, ‘ Do this in remembrance of Me.’

Did we ever lose by death a mother, or a
father ; a husband, or a wife; a beloved child,
or a beloved friend? and when breathing out
their last words did they ask us to do some-
thing in remembrance of them when they were
gone? If they did, have we not done it? Could
we live happy or die in peace, if we had denied
that last, that dying request? And yet that
mother, wife, child, or friend, was not going to
die for us; but Jesus was. He died for all,



1 Thess, v.
10.

Luke, xxii,

19.

2 Cor.v.15.








14 THE LAST COMMAND.



Heb, xiii. 8.



that they which live should not henceforth
live unto themselves, but unto Him that died
for them.

Jesus says, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me.’
We must not think of any of His words that
He only said them when He wason earth. We
must believe that what He said when on
earth, He says now from heaven, because
He is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday,
to-day, and for ever. If we do not remem-
ber Christ, of what use will memory be?
What lasting good or comfort can any other
remembrance prove—if we have not lived to
remember the Lord Jesus? If we have for-
gotten Him, if we have been forgetful hearers
of His words, every other remembrance will
prove a burning sting through those ages of
eternal woe, from which the remembrance of
Jesus would have saved us for ever.

When we read the Bible carefully, we shall
find it is full of the history of those who remem-
bered God, and of those who forgot God.
We shall find how often God speaks of those
whom He will remember, and how He also
speaks of those whom He will forget. We
shall find how often God says that He will
remember the love, the kindness, the obedience
of His people; how often He says that He
will not remember their sins. We shall also
find what God says of those who do not re-






THE LAST COMMAND. 15



member Him; who do not love, and therefore
do not obey Him. The only time we read of
a voice from heaven speaking to a lost soul in
hell, the first words are, ‘Son, Rememser!’
Should we not consider these things when the
Lord Jesus says, ‘ Do this in remembrance of
Me?’

When those dying lips said, ‘ Do this in
remembrance of Me,’ they did not add any
threatening. They did not say then what
the consequence will be if we do not obey.
Six days before this Last Command, the Lord
had said, ‘If any man hear My words and be-
lieve not, I judge him not; for I came not to
judge the world, but to save the world.” The
Lord spoke only as the Saviour then; only as
the good shepherd; the good shepherd who
giveth His life for the sheep. He came to
draw all men to Him. When He was lifted
up, as Moses lifted up the serpent on the pole
in the wilderness, to save the people of Israel ;
when He, the true and living Saviour, was
lifted up upon the cross, He said He would draw
all men unto Him. The same is written in the
prophet Hosea: ‘I drew them with cords of a
man, with bands of love.’ The Apostle Paul
says, ‘ The love of Christ constraineth us.’

When this meek and lowly Saviour comes
again, He will come then to judge the world;
and in that day He will judge the world by the





John, xii.
47.
John, x.
TI.

John, iii.

14.

John, xii.
32.

Hosea, xi. 4.

2Cor. v.14.

John, v. 22.




16 THE LAST COMMAND.





Matt. xxv.

31-36.

Pro. xiv. 32.

John, xiv.

15.

John, xv.
13, 14.



word that He has spoken. If His gracious
words have been in vain, if we have not truly
come’ to Him, then must we hear Him say,
‘ Depart,’ and that for ever. Then must the
wicked be driven away in their wickedness.
In the presence of that holy, heart-searching
God, who is of purer eyes than to look upon
sin, all must be found wicked who are not
washed in the blood of the Lamb.

The blessed Redeemer gave His gracious In-
vitation and Command, saying of that broken
bread, ‘ Take, eat, this is My body,’ and of
the cup, ‘Drink ye all of it, for this is My
blood.’ We have seen that He gave no threat-
ening then to those who do not obey. But He
did say on that solemn evening, at that last
supper, ‘If ye love Me, keep My command-
ments.’ ‘ He that hath My commandments and
keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me.’ He
did on the same evening speak of His own love
for us, saying, ‘Greater love hath no man than
this, that a man lay down his life for his
friends.” And then He said, ‘Ye are my
friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’
Is not this enough?

** Convince us of our sin,
Then lead to Jesus’ Blood,

And to our wondering view reveal
The secret love of God.”








THE LAST COMMAND. 17



CHAPTER III.
THE INVITATION.

Nor once alone have we heard the invitation to
the Table of the Lord; not once alone have we
been bid to come, for that ‘all things are
ready.” Few who have reached an understand-
ing age could tell how often they have heard
the words of invitation, and seen that table
spread. Seven days before that sacred feast,
the minister, in the Redeemer’s name, invites
‘all who are religiously and devoutly disposed
to that most comfortable sacrament of the Body
and Blood of Christ.2 Seven days after the
invitation all may see the simple table spread.
The bread and the wine set apart by the Lord’s
Command, no more to be used for common
purposes, because set apart for the service of
His own appointment. That bread and wine
is broken and poured out, to show forth the
Lord’s death for our sins, when His body was
broken on the cross, and His blood shed for
us and for our salvation; therefore they are, as
it is meet they should be, reverently covered
with a white cloth. This is all that is required
B



Matt.xxii. 4.








18 THE LAST COMMAND.



John, viii.
12,

Song of Sol.

ii. 1.

Heb. xi. 16.

Mark, viii.
a85

Isa. lv. 7.



to furnish forth that table. No candles are
wanted there as emblems at noon-day, for
Christ is Himself the feast; and He says, ‘1
am the Light of the World.’ No flowers of
earth are needed there, for Jesus is the feast ;
and He says, ‘I am the rose of Sharon and the
lily of the valley ;’ those who put on Christ
neither want nor wish at that heavenly feast

| the withering blossoms of the field. The bread

and the wine are there by the Lord’s Com-
mand; all that man might add of earthly
things it may well be feared could only lead
the mind away from the simple Majesty of that
divine Sacrament.

Seven days before all might hear the invita-
tion. Hearts given to the world and the things
of the world have again had fair and lawful
warning to seek a better country, even a
heavenly.

The fearful have again had warning—no
longer to be ashamed to confess the faith of
Christ crucified ; for He has said, ‘ Whosoever
shali be ashamed of Me and My Words, of him
also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when

| He cometh in the glory of His Father, with

the holy angels.’ The unbelieving, the dis-
obedient, the ungodly, have again had warn-
ing to forsake the thoughts and the ways of
the unrighteous, and to return to the Lord,
for He will have mercy, and to our God, for








THE LAST COMMAND. 19



He will abundantly pardon. Yet how many

are going away! Must not the ministers of
God ask, ‘Who hath believed our report, and to
whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?’ Which
of those now turning away can say that he or
she will ever see that Table spread again ?
Some are going away from necessity, who
love the sacred Feast; some are absent from
sickness or affliction, whose hearts are waiting
upon God: all these may well remember His
gracious promise, ‘ Yet will I be to them asa
little sanctuary.’ Many an absent form we may
not look for now. Once they were glad when we
said unto them, ‘Let us go up unto the House
of the Lord.’ Now they enter no more into
the holy places made with hands. But absent
from the body they are present with the Lord,
their robes washed and made white in the
blood of the Lamb. Their bodies sleep around
us, where we still kneel in prayer; they sleep
in Jesus; in His death their sins are dead;
and they wait the resurrection unto life ever-
lasting, when He who died for them shall
come to wake them out of sleep.
. Butsomeareabsent in death who lived with-
out Christ: the Bible tells us that those who are
without Christ are without hope, and without
God ; far off by nature and by practice too, they
never sought the blood of Christ to bring them
nigh; that precious blood we know is never





Isa. lili. 1.

Ezek.xi. 16.

Ps. cxxii. 1.

Heb, ix. 24.

2 Cor, v. 8.

Rev. vil.
13-17.

Eph. ii. 12,
13.




20 THE LAST COMMAND.



Eccles. ix.
10.

Rev. xxii.
| Bs

Exod, xvi.

Isa. lv. 2.

Num. xx.

Ps. cv. 41.



Neh. ix. 15.

offered to the Dead. There is no work, nor
device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the
grave. ‘There he that is unjust must be unjust
still, he that is filthy must be filthy still, he
that is righteous must be righteous still, he
that is holy must be holy still. .

When God led the people of Israel through
the desert to the Promised Land of Canaan,
He gave them bread from heaven to eat; it
came without money and without price, laid
ready for their use. Forty years they ate that
bread, until they entered the Promised Land.
When they thirsted in the desert God gave
them water from the rock of flint. He opened
the rock, and the waters gushed out, and ran in
the dry places like a river. They drank through
all that desert journey of that river that followed
them ; they dug no wells, they never wandered
from their way to seek for a refreshing spring,
they never fainted beneath the scorching sun,
for the water from that smitten rock followed
them all the way. God had prepared it for
them, God had given it, they had but to
drink. ‘Thou gavest them bread from heaven
| for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for
them out of the rock for their thirst.’ They
all ate the bread that God had given them,
because they felt the hunger of the body; they
all drank of that water from the rock, because
they felt the body’s thirst.










THE LAST COMMAND. 21

God did this for Israel. Hath He not done

greater things for us? Let us hear the words
of the Lord Jesus. He says, ‘My Father
giveth you the true Bread from heaven; for
the Bread of God is He which cometh down
from heaven, and giveth Life unto the world.
I am the Living Bread which came down from
heaven. If any man eat of this Bread he
shall live for ever; and the Bread that I will
give is My flesh, which I will give for the Life
of the world.’ Shall we not lift up our hearts
in the prayer offered then, ‘ Lord, evermore
give us this Bread!’

The Apostle Paul tells us that Israel drank
of that Rock that followed them, and that
Rock was Christ. The smitten Rock set forth
the smitten Saviour. ‘It pleased the Lord to
bruise Him. He was wounded for our trans-
gressions. He was bruised for our iniquities.’
And God the Father says to His beloved Son,
‘As for Thee also, by the blood of Thy cove-
nant I have sent forth Thy prisoners out of
the pit wherein is no water.’ To us the gra-
cious Saviour says, ‘ My blood is drink indeed.’
And of the cup he says, ‘Drink ye all of it, for
this is My blood of the New Testament,
which is shed for many for the remission of
sins.’ :

If any one had asked the people of Israel,
‘What think ye of the bread that God has



John, vi. 32,
33> 51-

John, vi. 34.

1 Cor, x. 4.

Isa. lili. 10,

5.

Zech. ix.11.

John, vi. 55.








22 THE LAST COMMAND.



John, vi. 32,

339 55 56.

John,vi. 53.

John, vi. 52,
60,

| John,xii.16,

John, xiv.
26,



given, and the water that follows you from the
smitten rock?’ Would not every thoughtful

| heart have answered, ‘ They are our life in this

desert, we live by them?’ If any one asks of us,
‘What think you of the Bread which God has
given you from heaven, even the Bread of
God, the flesh of His beloved Son, given for
the Life of the world? What think you of the
blood of Jesus, which Jesus says is drink in-
deed?’ Could we answer of that flesh and
blood, ‘ They are my life, my meat and drink,
I live by them ?’

Would not many have to say, ‘I hope to be
saved by Christ, but I don’t know anything of
His flesh being meat to me, nor His blood
being drink to me?’ And yet Christ says,
‘Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man,
and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.’
When the Jews heard these words they said,
‘ How can this man give us His flesh to eat?’
And many of Christ’s disciples when they heard
this said, ‘ This is a hard saying, who can hear it?’
These words, like many others spoken by the
Lord, could not be understood until His death
and resurrection. Then, we are told, the dis-
ciples remembered the words of the Lord
Jesus; they remembered all that before they
did not understand; and the Holy Spirit was
promised by Christ to bring all things to their
remembrance, WHATSOEVER CHRIST HAD SAID








THE LAST COMMAND. 23



UNTO THEM. The Apostle Paul was not a
disciple of Christ until after the Lord Jesus
had ascended to heaven; therefore he was not
present when the Lord commanded all His
disciples to eat of that Bread, and drink of that
Cup: but he was not left in doubt, the Lord
made known His holy Will concerning this to
him from heaven, that he might deliver that
Will to us; and he has done so.

The people of Israel ate the bread God
gave them, and drank of that rock that fol-
lowed them, yet with many of them we read
that God was not well pleased; and they could
not enter the Promised Land because of un-
belief. They believed not in God. Even so
it will profit us nothing to eat of this Bread,
and drink of this Cup, unless we believe on
Him whom God hath sent; and feed, by faith
in our hearts, on His body broken for us, and
receive, by faith, His precious blood. Those
who at that sacred Table look for nothing but
bread and wine, eat and drink unworthily, be-
cause they are looking only to the poor earthly
fragments, not looking to Jesus dying for
them, not feeding on Him in their hearts, ‘ not
considering the Lord’s body.’ This unbelief,
this earthly mind, hides Christ from them here,
and will hide Him from them for ever, unless
they truly turn to the Lord,—then the veil of
unbelief will be taken from their hearts, and



1 Cor. xi.
23-26,

1 Cor.x.3=5.

Heb. iii.
18, 19.
Ps, Ixxvili.
22.






24 THE LAST COMMAND.







they will see Jesus. ‘Those whose faith is
weakest will see Him to the saving of their
souls; and those whose faith is strongest will
see Him, and rejoice with joy unspeakable and
full of glory.

“ My God, and is Thy table spread?
And doth Thy cup with love o’erflow?
Thither be all Thy children led,
And let them all Thy sweetness know.

«Hail, sacred feast, which Jesus makes,
Rich banquet of His flesh and blood!
Thrice happy he who here partakes
That sacred stream, that heavenly food.

“O Jet Thy table honoured be,
And furnished well with joyful guests ;
And may each soul salvation see,
That here its sacred pledges tastes.”






THE LAST COMMAND. 25





CHAPTER IV.
THE GUESTS.

‘Wuo is this that engaged his heart to approach
unto Me? saith the Lord.” When the many
go away, and the few draw near, we may hear
the still small voice of God speaking from the
Throne of Grace, and saying, Who is this that
engages his heart, or her heart, to approach
unto Me? We may hear it each one in the
secret of our own hearts ; for He who said these
words is the same yesterday, to-day, and for
ever. He asks of us by His Spirit now, what
He asked by His prophet before the Holy
Spirit was given.

God does not say, ‘Who is this that ap-
proaches to Me?’ It is not our outward coming
alone, it is not our bodily drawing near, if that
be all, that God will look upon with any gra-
cious acceptance, but it is when the heart and
the body both draw near. ‘Who is this that
engaged his heart to approach unto Me?’ There
is nothing that belongs to our state before God

‘spoken of in the Bible so often as the heart.|

God speaks of those that do err in their hearts,



Jer. xxx. 21,
22.

| Ps. xcv. 10,

TI.






26 THE LAST COMMAND.



1 Sam, xvi.
7.

Prov. xxiii.

7.

Isa. xxix. 13,

14.

Prov. iv. 23.

Prov. xxiii.
26,

Jer. xvii. 9.

(
} .

Ps, li. 2, 7,
10.





for they have not known His ways, and says
that He has sworn in His wrath that they
should not enter into His rest. Wearetold that
man looketh on the outward appearance, but
God looketh. on the heart. That as a man
thinketh in his heart, so is he. God speaks in
terrible judgment against those who, while
they draw near to Him with their mouth, and
honour Him with their lips, remove their
hearts far from Him. We are warned to keep
our heart with all diligence, for out of it are
the issues of life. God says, ‘ My son, give
Me thine heart. Therefore we hear this gra-
cious inquiry from God, ‘ Who is this that
engaged his heart to approach unto Me ?’

God does not say, ‘Who is this with a good
heart, or a wise heart, or a charitable heart.’
No, God Himself tells us what our heart is by
nature; He says, ‘ The heart is deceitful above
all things, and desperately wicked: who can
know it? I the Lord search the heart.’ None,
no not one, can take a good heart to God. It
is only God who can cleanse our sinful hearts,
and make them new and clean. What we have
to do is to take this sinful heart to God; to
take our heart with us when we approach to
Him. This is what God asks, ‘Who is this
that engaged his heart to approach unto Me?’
Can we give an answer to this question and
say, ‘ Lord, it is 1?’








THE LAST COMMAND. 27



This engaging the heart with God is the

life of all religion. The body is dead with- |

out the spirit, so religion is dead without the
heart. This must show us what need we
have to make sure when we go to the Lord’s
Table that our heart is there with Christ, and
through His precious blood drawing near unto
God. A great teacher has said that ‘ He
who would find God in his Bible, must begin
by seeking God in his soul;’ if our heart be
not engaged with God we cannot find God
anywhere. When we see that Table spread,
that broken bread, that cup into which the
wine is poured, what do these things tell us?

They tell us of Jesus, who poured out His,
Soul unto death ; we see, we look upon, we eat

and drink, the outward and visible signs of that
awful death, in which the Lord Jesus poured
out His holy Soul for us and our salvation.
Can we then keep back our hearts from Him?

The Prodigal Son engaged his heart to
approach unto his Father. He was far off,
and he knew it. He had been disobedient,
unthankful, unholy, and he knew it; but he
engaged his heart to return. He said, ‘I will
arise, and go to my Father; and will say unto
him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and
before thee, and am no more worthy to be
‘jcalled thy son, make me as one of thy hired
servants. And he arose, and came to _ his



Isa. iii. 12.

Luke, xv. ©
11-24.






28 THE LAST COMMAND.



Heb.ix. 26.

Isa. lv. 7.
Deut.
xxxiii, 27.
fsa. Ixvi.
| 13.

1 Cor. v.

75S.
Zeph. iii,
it



Father. But when he was yet a great way off
his Father saw him, and had compassion, and
ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And
the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no
more worthy to be called thy son. But the
Father said to his servants, Bring forth the best
robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on
his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring
hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us
eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead,
and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.
And they began to be merry.’

Where and when can we say, with such deep
feeling from the heart, and by our outward act,
‘Father, I have sinned against Thee,’ as when
we come by faith to feed on the beloved Son
of the Father, who hath put away sin by the
sacrifice of Himself? Every one who comes
as the Prodigal came, is sure to find what the
Prodigal found. The pardon abundantly given ;
the everlasting arms to uphold and shelter ; the
kiss that tells of parental tenderness ; the best
robe, even the righteousness which is of God
by faith ; the ring that is a pledge of no separa-
tion ; the shoes on the feet, that tell of willing
service ; the feast, prepared through the atoning
blood ; and the joy, the Father’s joy: ‘ He will
save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He
will rest in His love, He will joy over thee






THE LAST COMMAND. 29





with singing ;’ joy in the Father’s house, ‘there
is joy in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner that repenteth ;’ joy in the soul
that receives all this in the outward pledges
and the inward grace,—‘I will greatly rejoice
in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my
God, for He hath clothed me with the gar-
ments of salvation, He hath covered me with
the robe of righteousness.’ This was the joy
set before the Lord Jesus when He endured
the cross, that in that body of His flesh
through death, He might present us holy
and unblameable and unreprovable in the sight
of His Father.

Two disciples of Jesus were walking to Em-
maus, a village near Jerusalem, and as they
walked they spoke to each other of the death
of the Lord; and while they talked together
of these things Jesus Himself drew near and
went with them; their eyes were holden that
they did not know Him, but their hearts
were engaged with the thought of Him: they
spoke one to another of the Lord whom they
loved, and of His death, though as yet they
knew not that He died for them. God heark-
ens and hears when those who fear Him speak
often one to another, and a Book of Remem-
brance is written; ‘And they shall be mine,
‘saith the Lord, in the day when I make up
my jewels.’ Jesus drew near to these disciples.



Luke, xv.
10.

Isa. Ixi. ro.

Heb. xii.2.

Col, i. 22.

Luke, xxiv.
13-33-

Mal. iii. 16.








30 THE LAST COMMAND.



Jer. xiv. 8.

Luke, xxiv.

20.

Luke, xxiv.

35+





| He spoke to their hearts, and opened their
understandings that they might understand the
| Scriptures ; ; and when He broke the bread and
‘blessed it, and gave to them, they knew Him,
|and said one to another, ‘Did not our heart
burn within us while He talked with us by the
/way?’ These disciples had their hearts engaged
with the Lord Jesus and with His death; they
|were thinking and speaking of Christ. His
love glowed in their hearts like a burning
‘flame, and when He gave them the bread He
|had broken for them, they knew Him as the
Hope of Israel, the Saviour, the Redeemer, they
had trusted to find. And they returned to tell
others they had seen the risen Lord.

In the son who came saying, ‘ Father, I
have sinned,’ we view as in a glass the blessed
acceptance of those who come as he came to the
|Table prepared by the Father. So here, in these
‘disciples, we see the burning love, the kindling
‘joy, the sight of Jesus, that is sure to be the
blessed experience of those whose hearts are
engaged with Christ, and who speak of Him
as they walk by the way, to whom He is made
known afresh, in His living power to redeem
jand to bless, in the Breaking of Bread. Such
guests as these are to be found at the Table
of the Lord; can we find in their blessed
experience a picture or record of our own?












THE LAST COMMAND. 31



CHAPTER V.
THE GUESTS.

Tuey that hunger and thirst may be found at this
sacred Table. ‘Blessed are they that do hunger
and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be
filled. These are the words of that Redeemer
who took bread and blessed and brake it, and
gave it to the disciples and said, ‘ Take, eat;
this is My body.’ And who took the cup and

gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, ‘ Drink |

ye all of it, for this is My blood.” This
righteousness is the work of the Holy Spirit
in the heart, convincing of sin, and leading us
to Jesus. We are told to run with patience

the race set before us, LOOKING UNTO JESUS. |-

David says, ‘I have set the Lord always be-
fore me: because He is at my right hand, I
shall not be moved.’ To strive after obedi-
ence to all God’s Holy Will and Command-
ments with Jesus Christ before our eyes, and
within our heart, is the only way of righteous-
ness before God.

Those who hunger and thirst after righteous-
ness then must hunger and thirst after Christ,
nothing else will satisfy them, because He only
is Holy. The world cannot satisfy them for it

Matt. v. 6.

Matt, xxvi.
26~28,

John, xvi.
75 11.

Heb. xii. 12.

Ps. xvi. $.

Rev. xv. 4.








32 THE LAST COMMAND.





1 John, v.
19.

ohn, xvii.
John,

9.

Ps, xlix. 7.
Job, xxxiii.

24.

Rom. vii.

21.

Heb. xii, 14.

Mark, i.24.



is full of sin, and disappointment, and evil.

The Bible says it lieth in wickedness; and the
Redeemer when He prayed for His own people
said in His prayer, ‘I pray not for the world.’
Therefore the world cannot satisfy the heart that
hungers and thirsts after righteousness. Rela-
tives and friends, even the dearest and best, can-
not satisfy the soul that hungers and thirsts after
righteousness; for none of them can by any
means redeem his brother, nor give to Goda
ransom for him. None but God, looking upon
His beloved Son, can say of the sinner, ‘ Deliver
him from going down to the pit, I have found
a ransom.’ ‘Those who hunger and thirst after
righteousness can no longer be satisfied with
themselves. How often when they would do
good they find that evil is present with them !
and they know that without holiness no man
shall see the Lord. Who, then, but Christ,
the Holy One of God, can satisfy the soul that
hungers and thirsts after righteousness ?

People often talk of hunger and thirst very
lightly. They would not do so if they had
ever felt its pangs. Hunger and thirst of the
soul is quite as real a thing as hunger and
thirst of the body ; no one who has once felt
it can ever forget it; no one who feels it can go
on quietly and leave it unsatisfied. Those who
really hunger and thirst will seek for that which
will satisfy with their whole heart, and seeking






THE LAST COMMAND. 33





they shall find, for God has promised. Christ
has said, ‘ They shall be filled.” Job knew this
hunger and thirst of the soul when he said,
‘Othat I knew where I might find Him, that
I might come even to His seat!’ In this sacra-
ment Christ bids us come and feed by faith on
Him. Shall we not find that His flesh is
meat indeed, and His blood drink indeed?
Shall we not find that life eternal is in His
death for us, and healing in His wounds?
‘The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall
praise the Lord that seek Him, your heart
shall live for ever.’

Many a mourner is found at the Lord’s Table.
Jesus says, ‘Blessed are they that mourn, for they
shall be comforted.’ This does not mean the
mourners of the world. The sorrow of the
world, the Bible says, worketh death. There is
no true comfort for it; its wounds are salved
over, but not healed. The darkness it leaves on
earth is not lightened by a door opened in
heaven! It comes sorrow after sorrow, wave
after wave, until the spirit sinks beneath the
last wave which is Death. The Bible says,
the sorrow of the world worketh death. But
Jesus speaks of sorrow and says, ‘Blessed are
they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.’
This is godly sorrow—sorrow in which God
is; in which the heart turns to God, turns to
Him who hath borne our griefs and carried

c



Jer. xxix.
12, 13.

Job, xxiii. 3.

Ps. xxii, 26.

Matt. v. 4.

2 Cor. vii.
10.

Rev. iv. 1.










34 THE LAST COMMAND.



Isa, lili. 4.

Isa. lili, 2.

Heb. iv. 15.

Ps, lvi. 8.

Ps, Lxxix.
It.

Lam. iii. 56.
Luke, xix.
41.

John, xi. 33,
35+

1 John, iii.

Prov, xviii.
14.



our sorrows. These are mourners who bring
their sorrow to the Man of Sorrows, to Him
who was acquainted with grief, and who can
be touched with a feeling of our infirmities.
These mourners come to Him who is so full
of loving-kindness and tender mercy that He
treasures up their tears: their sighing comes
before Him, and He hears their very breath-
ing. He wept over those who would not
know the things belonging to their peace ;
and He wept beside the grave where tears
were falling for the dead.

Christ says, ‘ Blessed are they that mourn,
for they shall be comforted.’ If we mourn for
sin, feeding by faith on Christ, we are made
partakers in His death, who was manifested to
take away sin. We are made one with Him
in whom is no sin. Is there not balm to the
sin-wounded spirit in drinking that cup of
which the Saviour said, ‘This is My blood,
shed for many for the remission of sins ?’

Is it temporal affliction for which we mourn,
the loss of those most dear,—the loss of earthly
good in any form? is it a wounded spirit from
any cause? When we take that cup and hear
the voice of Jesus say, ‘ This is My blood,’
can we murmur at any cup of sorrow, grief, or-
pain, which we may be called to drink? Must
we not say, even as Jesus said when He was
giving for us His own blood, ‘ The cup which








THE LAST COMMAND. 35



My Father hath given me shall I not drink it?’
Whatever that sorrow may be, shall we not find
that ‘the balm of life is mingled in the cup of
bitterness, when we tender out a ready hand to
take it from Him who drank its very dregs
for us;” from Him who says, ‘ Behold, and see
if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow?’
‘Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall
be comforted.’

Some are led to the Lord’s Table by obe-
dience. It is written, ‘Blessed are they that
do His commandments, that they may have
right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in
through the gates into the city.’ To begin by
obedience is to end by love. No one ever
engaged his heart to obey Christ, who did not
end by loving Him. Obedience is the law of
God’s children, it ought to be the law of all
children. What can the sons and daughters
of earth be but little children before the high
and lofty One that inhabiteth Eternity, whose
Name is Holy? God says, ‘ Heaven is my
throne, and earth is my footstool ; but to this
man will I look, to him that is poor and of a
contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word.’
Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set
him in the midst of them and said, ‘ Verily I
say unto you, Except ye be converted, and be-
come as little children, ye shall not enter the
kingdom of heaven.’

Lam. i. 12.

Rev. xxii.
14.

Isa. Lvii, 15.

Isa. xvi.
I, 2.

Matt. xviii.
2-4.










Rom. vi.17.

Ps, iii. 18.

1 Pet. i. 2.

Exod. xii.
21-30.

Ex. xxiv. 7,

Heb. ix. 11—
24.
Heb. v. 9.

Philip. ii. 8.





36 THE LAST COMMAND.



The Apostle Paul thanks God for those who
had obeyed from the heart, that form of doc-
trine that was delivered to them. All true
obedience is from the heart; that is no obe-
dience in the sight of God which is not obe-
dience from the heart. Those who come to
the Lord’s Table in obedience to His Last Com-
mand, will set their heart to remember all His
commandments to do them. The Apostle
Peter teaches us that the Holy Spirit leads us
to obedience, and the sprinkling of the blood
of Jesus Christ. The children of Israel were
called to obedience in the sprinkling of the
blood. They might not say, We will trust in
the blood, but we will not sprinkle it. No,
they said, as we must say, ‘ All that the Lord
hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ And
Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the
people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the
Covenant, which the Lord hath made with you,
concerning all these words.’ To us it is the
blood of a Testament,—a Testament sealed with
the blood of Him who made it, giving eternal
salvation unto all who obey Him. Who was
He who made this Testament of eternal salva-
tion, and sealed it with His blood? He who
became obedient unto death, even the death of
the cross. It was He who said of the broken
bread, ‘ Take, eat, this is My body, which is
given for you.’ And of the cup, ‘ This cup is










THE LAST COMMAND.

the New Testament in My blood, which is shed
This do in remembrance of Me.’
David says, ‘I esteem Thy precepts concerning | Ps. cxix. 6.

all things to be right.
ashamed when I have respect unto all Thy

commandments.’

* According to Thy gracious word,
In meek humility,
This will I do, my dying Lord,
I will remember Thee.

«Thy body, broken for my sake,
My bread from heaven shall be ;
Thy testamental cup I take,
And thus remember Thee.

« Remember Thee and all Thy pains,
And all Thy love to me;
Yea, while a breath, a pulse remains,
Will I remember Thee.

«And when these failing lips grow dumb,
And mind and memory flee,
When Thou shalt in Thy kingdom come,
Then, Lord, remember me!”

Then shall I not be

37












38 THE LAST COMMAND.



Matt. xxii.
II-13.

CHAPTER VI.
THE GUESTS,

‘Anp when the king came in to see the guests,
he saw there a man which had not on a wedding
garment. And he saith unto him, Friend,
how camest thou in hither, not having on a
wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him
hand and foot, and take him away, and cast
him into outer darkness: there shall be weeping
and gnashing of teeth!’

We learn from these words that God requires
a garment; it is called here a wedding gar-
ment. All who come into His presence must
understand this. We cannot stand before God ;
we cannot be received by Him in our own
clothing. That is, we cannot be accepted by
God in any trust in ourselves; in any works or
doings of our own. This man thought he was
quite good enough as he was to come before
God. The wedding garment was ready for
him, was offered to him, but he refused it.
He would not put it on. He thought he
should do well enough as he was. But when it










THE LAST COMMAND. 39



was too late, he found out his terrible mistake.
If we hope to go to God, it must not be in any
way of our own, but in the way God has
opened for us.

Jesus Christ says, ‘I am the way, the truth,
and the life; no man cometh. unto the Father
but by Me.’ The Apostle Paul says, ‘ Put ye
on the Lord Jesus Christ.’ To put on any-
thing is to wear it as a covering ; we go in it
where we go. Even so must we put on Jesus
Christ. It is only by the Blood of Christ that
we can be brought nigh to God. We have
liberty to enter into the holiest by the Blood of
Jesus. In Jesus Christ we have not only the
precious: Blood that cleanseth from all sin, but
-| we have also the Robe of Righteousness. The
Apostle Paul said he had ‘ suffered the loss of
all things that he might win Christ, and be
found in Him; not having his own right-
eousness,’ he says, ‘ but that which is through
the faith of Christ.’ The Prophet Isaiah tells
us that we are all as an unclean thing, and all
our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. This is
what we are in ourselves. But the same pro-
phet rejoices in God, because he says God had
clothed him with the Robe of Righteousness.

The Apostle Paul says, ‘ Let a man examine
himself, and so let him eat of that Bread and
drink of that Cup.’ If we would judge our-
selves, we should not be judged. To examine



John, xiv. 6.
Rom, xiii.
14.
Eph. ii. 13.
Heb. x. 19.
1 John, i. 7.
Philip. ili.7-
1.
Isa. Ixiv. 6.
Isa. Ixi. 10.
1 Cor. xi.
23-31.






40 THE LAST COMMAND.







ourselves is to find out what we are in the
sight of God. To judge ourselves is to learn
from the word of God what His judgment of
us would be. It is not to find out what we
wish to be, nor what we hope to be, but what
we are. Are we standing before God, day after
day, in ourselves, in our own doings; or are
we standing before God in Jesus Christ?
When God looks at us, does He see His be-
loved Son Jesus Christ in us, dwelling in our
hearts; Christ covering us with His own
Blood and His perfect Righteousness ; Christ
in us, teaching us, leading us, keeping us? Is
it in my sinful self that I daily appear before
God, or is it in Christ ?

Are there any who go up even to the Table
that God has prepared, without Christ? Going
there by themselves, Christ not with them;
not having even asked His presence with them ;
giving Him no dwelling-place in their hearts ;
living for themselves, and for this world, but
not for Christ?

Are there any who receive this holy sacra-
ment as one of their own good works, or right
doings, to add some goodness to themselves ?
Not coming as poor sinners to receive a rich
Saviour: not coming as the Prodigal, with
the heartfelt confession, ‘ Father, I have sinned:’
not like the two disciples at Emmaus, with
hearts burning with love to their Lord: not








THE LAST COMMAND. 4I



hungering and thirsting after righteousness :
not mourners after a godly sort: not striving
to bring every thought into captivity to the
obedience of Christ? God says by the Apostle,
‘Let a man examine himself, and so let him
eat.’

We are told that they who eat and drink
unworthily are they who do not discern the
Lord’s body. They see the outward and visible
sign, but they do not see by the eye of faith
the inward and spiritual grace. They eat the
bread, and drink the wine, but they do not
feed by faith on Christ; they do not die to sin
in Christ’s death; they do not live to God in
the risen power of Christ’s life. They come
away as they go; not cleansed from sin, for
they did not from the heart confess it; not
rejoicing in Christ, for their hearts did not
burn within them in love and longing for His
presence. Not fed and strengthened unto
heavenly life, for they did not hunger; not
comforted, for they did not mourn; not ac-
cepted, for they did not come as God’s
© obedient children.’

Some do not like to examine themselves
by the light of God’s holy word, because they
are afraid of finding themselves wrong, and
they do not know how to get right. But
the same Holy Spirit who shows us that we
are wrong, shows us also how to get right.





1 Cor, xi.
29.

John, xvi.

7-15-








42 THE LAST COMMAND.



2 Cor. v,
17.

1 John, v,

Â¥1, 12,

John, v.
40.
John, x.
10.
John, xi.
26.

Rom. vi.
II.





Out of Christ, all is wrong before God; in
Christ, all is right. ‘If any man be in Christ he
is a new creature; old things are passed away,
behold all things are become new.’ All that
was done without Christ is the old life that
must pass away ; all that is done with Christ is
the new life that will never pass away. ‘ This is
the record, that God hath given to us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath
the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son
of God hath not life.’ Jesus said,‘ Ye wiil not
come to Me that ye might have life.” ‘lam
come that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly.’ ‘ Whosoever
liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.
Believest thou this?’

This is life, to live unto God through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Christ is the living root,
from which all abiding life must grow. We
may have a great many pleasant things in our
hearts and lives, but if our life be not hid with
Christ in God, all these pleasant things must
wither for us, like gathered flowers that have
no root. We must leave them all strewn on
the shore of this world behind us. All our
words, and thoughts, and feelings, and kind
deeds —they may lie forgotten to fade and
perish when we are gone; or others may take
them up and revive them for use in the world,

| but we can=never feel their sweetness again. If








THE LAST COMMAND, 43

Christ has not dwelt in our hearts here, we must
go where He can never be found. We must
go where nothing but existence will be left us.
A never-ending existence, if it be not supplied
with all it wants from the Hand of God, can
be nothing but never-ending woe.

The Apostle Paul says, Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live
in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of
God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.’

This life springs up from the death of the
Lord Jesus. If we are made partakers in His
death, we shall be also in His endless life.
It makes no difference what the duties of our
life may be; whether we be called to plough
the land or to read the stars; to break stones

or to rule kingdoms; to tend the house and |.

mind the children, or to wait on princes. If in
all we serve the Lord’s Christ, whatsoever we do
in word or in deed, if we do it according to the
will of God and in the Name of the Lord Jesus,
our works will follow us, and be found unto praise
and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus
Christ. If thus we live to God through Jesus
Christ, our life can never die, can never pass
away ; the narrow stream of our life here will flow
unto eternity, clearer, and deeper, and broader,
for ever; leaving behind all that defiles and
darkens, and troubles it ; flowing on for ever,

clear as crystal; knowing as we are known, |



Gal. ii. 20.

Rev. xiv.13.
1 Pet. i. 7.








44 THE LAST COMMAND.



2 Cor. ili.
18.

Col, i. 27,
28,



made perfect in love. ‘ We all with open face,
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image, from glory
to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord,’
‘Christ in you, the Hope of Glory. Whom we
preach,’ the Apostle says, ‘ warning every man,
and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we
may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.’

“Jesus! Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress ;
Midst flaming worlds in these array’d,
With joy shall I lift up my head.

“* This spotless robe the same appears
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its glorious hue,
The grace of Christ is ever new.

“© let the dead now hear Thy voice,
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, the Lord our righteousness.

«« When from the dust of death I rise,
To claim my mansion in the skies,
E’en then shall this be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died for me.”






THE LAST COMMAND. 45





CHAPTER VII.
THE ABSENT.

‘AcguainT now thyself with Him, and be at
peace; thereby good shall come unto thee.
Receive, I pray thee, the law from His mouth,
and lay up His words in thine heart!’ ‘This is
life eternal, that they might know Thee, the
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou
hast sent.’ We all naturally desire life, to live
and see good days. When we think on a state
beyond the grave, we hope for life eternal
there. We are told what the spring, the foun-
tain, of this life is; it is the knowledge of God
and of Jesus Christ, whom God hath sent.

If there were an earthly spring that would
give life, and health, and happiness to all who
drank of it, how many would travel to that
spring and drink! They would believe the
testimony of men; but the testimony of God
is greater: and this is the testimony of God,
that He hath given us eternal life, and this life
is in His Son. This well of living water,
springing up into eternal life, was opened on
the cross of Jesus.

From the earliest ages of the world, man was





Job, xxii.
21, 22.

John, xvii.

3.






46 THE LAST COMMAND.



John, vi. 54.

2 Cor. iv. 4.

Jer. xxxii.

33+

Prov. i. 23.



forbidden to drink the blood of slain animals,
because the blood was the life. For this very
reason we are commanded to drink the Blood of
the Son of God, that we may live by Him.
‘Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My
blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up
at the last day.’

Why, then, should dying sinners turn away
from Jesus crucified? Why should they look
to themselves, their own doings, and their own
opinions? Why should they look to the
world, and the ways and words of the world?
Why should they look to man? Why should
they look anywhere, everywhere else, but not
to Jesus crucified? We are told why it is so.
It is because ‘the God of this world (who is the
Devil) hath blinded the minds of them which
believe not, lest the light of the glorious
Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God,
should shine unto them.’

God says, ‘ They have turned unto Me the
back, and not the face; though I taught them,
rising up early and teaching them; yet they
have.not hearkened to receive instruction!’ Yet
hear the gracious invitation of God, ‘ Turn you
at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my
Spirit upon you; I will make known my
words unto you.’

The Apostle Paul gives us this solemn
warning: ‘See that ye refuse not Him that






THE LAST COMMAND. 47



speaketh ; for if they escaped not who refused
Him that spake on earth, much more shall not
we escape, if we turn away from Him that
speaketh from heaven.’ What is this that we
are so persuaded and warned not to refuse —
not to turn away from? It is Jesus Christ,
and the blood of sprinkling. -

In this sacrament the Lord Jesus is evi-
dently set forth before us as crucified. In the
broken bread we see the emblem of the Re-
deemer’s sacred Body, broken on the cross for
us. In the cup we see the emblem of the
precious Blood of Christ, poured forth for the
remission of sins. What does this holy sacra-
ment say to those who turn away? It hasa
silent language, it speaks to the heart through
the eye; it says to each, ‘The gracious Saviour
took the Body God prepared for Him; took
your flesh and blood, that through death He
might destroy him who had the power of death,
that is the devil. His sacred Body was broken
on the cross, that your sinful Body might be
raised a glorious body to die no more. His
precious Blood fell to the ground, when in His
agony He sank beneath your heavy woes, to
raise you to a Throne: it flowed through the
long hours of death to open for you a cleans-
ing flood, in which you might wash, and be
whiter than snow. He, who died for you, the
just for the unjust, to bring you to God, says



Heb. xii. 25,
24.

Gal. iii. 1.
Lam. iii. 51.
Heb. x. 5.
Heb. ii. 14.
Ps. li. 7.






48 THE LAST COMMAND,



John,vi. 53.

John, xv. 4—
Io.



to all who love Him,‘ Take, eat this Bread; and
drink this Cup.’

There are a great many people who hear
of Jesus and His death; they hear of His most
precious Blood, and of eternal life through
Him; and because they have heard so often,
and know all .that others could tell them, they
think that they believe to the saving of their
souls. But this sacrament teaches us that to
receive Christ Jesus the Lord is a real act;
not a notion or opinion of the head, but an
act of the heart. It teaches us that, unless we
receive Christ into our hearts as really and
truly as the body partakes of the bread and
wine, wé have no life in us, no life that will not
die the Second Death. We must appropriate
Christ Jesus, receive Him, live upon Him, as
our bddies feed on the bread and wine. This is
the secret of living to God, and dying to God ;
and this is brought home to our hearts in the
sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch
cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in
the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in
Me. Iam the Vine, ye are the branches. He
that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same
bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me
ye can do nothing. Ifa man abide not in Me
he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered,
and men gather them, and cast them into the fire,




THE LAST COMMAND. 49





and they are burned. If ye keep My com-
mandments ye shall abide in My love; even
as I have kept my Father’s commandments and
abide in His love.’

“© Come, sinner, to the Gospel Feast,
O come without delay ;
For there is room on Jesu’s breast
For all who will obey.

«'There’s room within the church redeemed
With blood of Christ divine,
Room mid the white-robed throng convened,
For that dear soul of thine.

« 'There’s room in heaven amid the choir,
And harps and crowns of gold,
And glorious palms of victory there,
And joys that ne’er were told.

“'There’s room around the Father's board,
For thee and thousands more;
Then come and welcome to the Lord,
Yes, come this very hour.”








Ps, xc. 11.

1John, iv. 9.

Rom. viii.
32.
Rev. xiii. 8,

John, vi. 54.



50 THE LAST COMMAND.



CHAPTER VIII.
THE ABSENT.

Mosss asked of God—the great and terrible
God—*‘Wuo KNOWETH THE POWER OF THINE
ANGER?’ ‘This question is often heard in the
Burial Service, as we stand for the last time
beside our dead. But here at this holy Sacra-
ment, which shows forth the death of the Lord
Jesus, we must ask another question of God—
the great and terrible God. Must we not ask
with wonder and thankfulness,‘ WHo KNOWETH
THE POWEROF Tuy Love?’ ‘In this was mani-
fested the love of God towards us, because that
God sent His only-begotten Son into the world
that we might live through Him.’

Here, at this divine feast, may be truly seen
and felt the Goopness and the sEvERITY of
God. Towards us sinners His great goodness,
in that He spared not His own Son, but de-
livered Him up for us all. It is on the Lamb
of God, slain from the foundation of the world
in God’s eternal purpose and love, that we sin-
ners are called by faith to feed, that we may
have eternal life. ‘God commendeth His love








THE LAST COMMAND, 51



towards us, in that while we were sinners
Christ died for us.? As we think on these
things must we not look up and say, ‘Who
knoweth the power of Thy love ”

But we are also made to see the SEVERITY
of God; His holy anger against sin; that when
the beloved Son of God was delivered for our
offences ‘it pleased the Lord to bruise Him:
He hath put Him to grief.’ Here, at this holy
sacrament, we see plainly set before us the anger
of God against sin; that Jesus Christ, the Holy
One of God, must suffer, bleed, and die, when
our iniquity was laid on Him. And can we
think that we shall escape the righteous judg-
ment of God if a single sin be found on us?
Jesus says, ‘If I wash thee not thou hast no part
with Me.’ If Jesus Christ disown us, if we
have no part with Him, where then must be
our lot? ‘WHo KNOWETH THE POWER OF
TuinE ancer?’ To all who are not safe
sheltered in Jesus Christ our God is a con-
suming fire !

Moses said to God, ‘I beseech Thee show
me-Thy ctory.’ And God said to Moses, ‘I
will make all My coopness pass before thee ;
for there shall no man see Me and live. I
will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and I will
cover thee with My hand while I pass by.’
That rock was Christ, and the cleft in the
rock shows forth the wounds with which the



Rom. v. 8.

Isa. liii. 10,

6, 8.

John, xiii. 8.

Heb. xii.29,

Exod. xxxiii.
18-23.
xxxlv. 5-7.








52 THE LAST COMMAND.



|
|

Col. iii. 3, 4.

John, x. 28,
29.

Ps. xci. 1-4.

Ps, cxl. 9.
Luke,vi.35.

body of the Lord Jesus was wounded unto
death, The Holy Presence of God would
destroy us sinners, but there is a cleft in the
rock, where God will put all who truly come
to Him. He will hide us in Jesus; our life is
hid with Christ in God, and the mighty Hand
of God will keep us safely there. ‘They shall
never perish,’ Jesus said. ‘My Father, which
gave them Me, is greater than all, and no man
is able to pluck them out of my Father’s Hand.’
‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the
Most High shall abide under the shadow of the
Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my
Refuge and my Fortress; my God, in Him
will I trust. He shall cover thee with His
feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust.
His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.’

Are there not many who hope to see the
GLory who have never truly seen the coop-
ness of God? It is easy to see that the
Lord is good to all; His tender mercies are
over all His works; He is kind to the un-
thankful and to the evil: but this is not the
coopness that Moses saw. All may see the
works of God’s hands in nature and in provi-
dence, but Moses saw the coopness that is
God’s GLory-—the Goopness that leads us to
His cLory. ‘God is love. And he that dwell-
eth in love dwelleth in God.’ ‘God so loved



the world, that He gave His only-begotten








THE LAST COMMAND. 53



Son, that whosever believeth in Him should
not perish, but have everlasting life’ The
light of the knowledge of the cLory of God
is seen in the face of Jesus Curist. ‘Blessed
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual
blessings in heavenly places in Christ. To the
praise of the cory of His grace, wherein He
hath made us accepted in the Beloved : in whom
we have redemption through His blood.’ This
was what the angels sang: ‘Glory to God in
the highest; and on earth peace, goodwill to-
ward men.’ Here, in this holy sacrament,
through the broken bread and the wine poured
out, we find, by faith, our Hiding-place in Jesus,
wounded to death for our sins.

«°’Tis He, the Lamb, to Him we fly,
While the dread tempest passes by ;
God sees His well-beloved’s face,

And spares us in our Hiding-place.”

Yet there are numbers who are ignorant of
this love of God to sinners ; they will not come
to this most comfortable sacrament: they stay
away for the very reason that should bring
them there; they stay away because they feel
that they are sinners. Have they not known,
have they not heard, hath it not been told
them, that Jesus Christ said, ‘I came not to call

John, iii. 16.

2 Cor.iv. 6.

Luke, ii.
10-14.



Eph.i.3, 7.








54 THE LAST COMMAND.



Matt. ix. 13.

1Tim.i.15.

Jude, 6.

Heb.x.9,10,

Heb. ix. 26.

Rev. i. 5.

Matt. i.27,





the righteous, but sinners to repentance?’ And
what is repentance? Is it not the turning of the
heart to God, through His beloved Son Jesus
Christ our Lord? ‘This is a faithful saying,
and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ
came into the world to save sinners.’

The angels who sinned are reserved in ever-
lasting chains, under darkness, to the judgment
of the last day. But when man sinned against
God, God did not say, ‘Whom shall I send,
and who will go for Me to destroy these sin-
ners, to drive them for ever from My face?’
But God said, ‘By whom shall I save these lost
sinners? By whom shall I bring them again
to Me? By whom shallI comfort them?’ Then | |
said Jesus, ‘Lo, I come, to do Thy Will, O
God.’ ‘By the which Will we are sanctified by
the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once
for all.’ If we were not sinners we could have
no claim on the blessed Saviour: no part in
His precious Blood. The question is, Do we
earnestly desire to be made clean from our sin?
Jesus Christ appeared to put away sin by the
sacrifice of Himself. Shall we not, believing
and rejoicing, say, ‘ He loves us, and washes us
from our sins in His own blood?’

Some are afraid to come for fear they should
afterwards sin. But did not the angel say,
‘Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall
save His people from their sins?’ Those must be






THE LAST COMMAND. 55





welcome to this Holy Table whoare truly afraid
of sin. God hath made Him to be sin for us,
who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him. Those who
disobey this Command of the Lord Jesus from
fear of after sin, are surely in danger of losing
their Saviour and keeping their sins. It is a
faithful promise to all who truly turn to Christ,
‘Sin shall not have dominion over you.’ Ye
know that Jesus Christ was manifested to take
away our sins, and in Him is no sin. ‘Let us,
therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace to
help in time of need.’

Others are kept away from fear of the wrath
of man—anger, scorn, reviling. And this is
hard to bear. But will they not turn aside
and see this great sight—the Son of God re-
viled with cruel mockings, bound, scourged,
spitted on, crowned with thorns, crucified?
The meek and lowly Saviour pierced with cruel
wounds and cruel words to death—to death
for them, that they might live in glory ever-
lasting. And will they say they cannot be fol-
lowers of Him? Consider Him that endured
such contradiction of sinners against Himself,

lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. God |

speaks to strengthen them, and says, ‘ Fear ye
not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of
their revilings. Who art thou that thou art



2 Cor.v. 21.

Rom. vi. 14.

John, iii.s.
Heb. iv. 16.

Heb. xii.3,4.

Isa. li. 7-13.










Tsa. xl. 29-
31.

Luke, xii.

8-9.

John, iii.
I, 2.

John, xix.

38-42.

Gen, xxxii.

10-32.

56 THE LAST COMMAND.





I

afraid of a man that shall die, and forgettest
God thy Maker?’ He giveth power to the
faint, and to them that have no might He in-
creaseth strength. Ask and it shall be given
you. Jesus said, ‘Whosoever shall confess Me
before men, him shall the Son of Man also
confess before the angels of God. But he that
denieth Me before men, shall be denied before
the angels of God.’

Nicodemus was afraid of the Jews, and came
first to Jesus by night, secretly. But when the
Lord was crucified, Nicodemus overcame all
his fears; he came openly then, in the face of
reproach, and scorn, and death, to take the
Body of the Lord Jesus. ‘Those who go ear-
nestly to Jesus by night, are sure to get courage
to confess Him by day. And those who come
in the most earnest love to the Lord Jesus in
His death, will gain the most strength to con-
fess Him in their life.

Some are absent who long to come, but they
say, ‘Iam not worthy.’ Jesus Christ did not
come into the world to save the worthy. If He
had gone to those who were worthy of Him
He would never have come to this evil world.
Jacob said to the Lord, ‘I am not worthy of
the least of all the mercies which Thou hast
showed unto Thy servant.’ The Lord did
not come to Jacob as the meek and lowly
Saviour dying for his sins. He came and








THE LAST COMMAND. 57



wrestled with Jacob all night, yet Jacob said,
‘I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless
me.’ And He blessed him there. The poor
woman of Canaan freely owned that she was
not worthy of the children’s table, and the
children’s bread. Jesus, to try her faith, said
to her, ‘It is not meet to take the children’s
bread and cast it to the dogs.’ She answered,
‘Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the children’s
crumbs, which fall from their Master’s table.’
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘ Oh,
woman, great is thy faith, Be it unto thee
even as thou wilt!”

Those who are perishing from want of food
do not refuse the best food if given them,
because they are not worthy. They will take
it thankfully, and love and bless the hand that
feeds them, and shall not we? Those who feel
themselves filthy, and who long to be clean,

will not turn away from the cleansing stream |

because they are not worthy; they will rather
come again and again to cleanse each spot and
stain, And shall not we? We read in Holy
Scripture of those who put the word of the Lord
from them, and judged themselves unworthy
of everlasting life ; and the messengers the Lord
had sent departed from them.

There are those who cannot love the Lord
who died for them, because they love the world
that slew Him. ‘ Know ye not that the friend-



Gen. xxxii.
Io.

Matt. xv.
21-28.

Acts, xiii.

46.








58 THE LAST COMMAND.



James, iv. 4.

1 John, ii.
16,17.

Ps, lviii. 45.

Rey. ii. 115
xx, TI-15.
1 Sam. xii.

23.

Ezek. xxxvi.
26.

Heb. vii.25.







ship of the world is enmity with God?’ Who-
soever, therefore, will be a friend of the world
is the enemy of God.’ ‘For all that is in the
world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the
eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father,
but is of the world. And the world passeth
away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth
the Will of God abideth for ever.’

The Bible says of some that they are like
the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear, that re-
fuseth to hear the voice of the charmer, charm
he never so wisely. They love the sins be-
neath the weight and curse of which the Saviour
bled and died. For them to partake in the
death of the Lord Jesus is like those who
bowed the knee before Him, saying, ‘ Hail,
king of the Jews!’ and then spit upon Him
and smote Him. Those who in life dishonour
Jesus, can have no part in His death save one
of mockery. They know not, they cannot
know, the death of Jesus, in its saving power
and endless life. But there is a Death they
must know if they continue in sin. It is called
in the Bible the Second Death. God forbid
that we should sin against the Lord in ceasing
to pray for them. For God is able to take
away the stony heart, and give a heart of
flesh. God is able to put a new spirit with-
in them. And Christ is able to save to the
uttermost all that come unto God by Him. He








THE LAST COMMAND. 59



says, ‘ Ye will not come to me that ye might
have life.’

‘Therefore, my beloved brethren,’ the
Apostle says, ‘be ye stedfast, unmoveable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not
in vain in the Lord.’ St. John says, ‘ Behold
what manner of love the Father hath bestowed
upon us, that we should be called the sons of
God; therefore the world knoweth us not because
it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the
sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what
we shall be, but we know that when He shall
appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see
Him as He is. And every man that hath
| this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He
is pure.’

* Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee ;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

«« While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyelids close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee!”



John, v.4o.
1 Cor. xv.

50.

1 John, iii.
1-3.








60 THE LAST COMMAND.







A PRAYER BEFORE THE SACRAMENT OF

THE Lorp’s SuPPER.

O Saviour of the world, who by Thy cross
and precious blood hast redeemed us; Save us,
and help us, we humbly beseech Thee, O
Lord!

Heavenly Father, who of Thy tender love
hast given Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
‘to suffer death upon the cross for us and our
salvation; We bless Thee for this Thine un-
|speakable gift. Give us faith, we beseech
Thee, that we may draw nigh to Thee by the
Blood of Jesus, by that new and living way
which He hath consecrated for us, through
His flesh.

Enable us to eat the Bread and drink the’
Cup in obedience to our Redeemer’s last Com-
mand: and to feed by faith in our hearts on
Him, that we may be made one with Christ |
and Christ with us; that we may evermore

dwell in Christ and Christ in us.








THE LAST COMMAND. 61



We have sinned and done wickedly. We
are not worthy of the least of all Thy mercies ;
but Thou dost vouchsafe to feed us with the
most precious Body and Blood of Thy beloved
Son. O may His flesh be meat indeed to us,
and His blood be drink indeed! Cause us to
hunger and thirst after righteousness, that we
may taste arid see how good the Lord is; that
we may know the love of Christ which passeth
knowledge, and be filled with all the fulness of
God.

Lighten our darkness, O Lord, we beseech
Thee, for the love of Thine only Son. Show
us Thy salvation. Open our eyes that we may
see all the great things of Thy law fulfilled in
Jesus Christ, who of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification,
and redemption. In whom we have redemption
through His blood, even the forgiveness of
sins.

O may we feed on Christ, that we may die
to sin in His death, and live to God in the
power of His resurrection life—Christ in us
the hope of glory.

We pray for those who profess to know
Thee, O God, and yet in works deny Thee.
Deliver them, we beseech Thee, from the power
of darkness, and bring them into the kingdom
of Thy dear Son.

May it please Thee to strengthen such as do








62 THE LAST COMMAND.







stand, and to comfort and help the weak-
hearted, and to raise up them that fall, and
finally to beat down Satan under our feet ;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A PrayvER BEFORE THE SACRAMENT OF

THE Lorp’s SUPPER.

O Lord Jesus Christ, we pray Thee help
Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with
Thy most precious blood.

By Thine agony and bloody sweat, by Thy
cross and passion, by Thy precious death and
burial, by Thy glorious resurrection and as-
cension, and by the coming of the Holy Ghost,
Good Lord deliver us.

O God, who hast taught us that the natural
man understandeth not the things of the Spirit
of God, grant us, we humbly beseech Thee, by
the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to know the
things that are freely given to us of God.
May we know and believe the love Thou hast
to us in giving Thy beloved Son to die for
our sins, and to rise again for our justification.

Lord, increase our faith that we may see Jesus,








THE LAST COMMAND. 63



who was made a little lower than the angels
for the suffering of death, crowned with glory
and honour, that He, by the grace of God,
might taste death for every man. Enable each
one of us in humble faith to say, He loved me
and gave Himself for me.

We pray that the Holy Spirit may convince
us more deeply of sin. We have sinned, O
God, against Thy love, Thy goodness, and
Thy grace. We have been disobedient, un-
thankful, unholy. We have grieved the Holy
Spirit, and our heart has departed from the
Lord. O God, we sink in the dust before
Thee; we sink at the foot of the cross; we sink
into the precious blood there freely shed for
our sin: in that blood we become whiter than
snow. Lord, we believe; help Thou our un-
belief !

Heavenly Father, keep us by Thy grace
ever meek and lowly in heart; keep us at the
foot of the cross; keep our hearts within the
cleansing flood of Jesus Christ’s most precious
blood, that the love of sin may die in us,
beneath the blood of Him who bore our sins
in His own Body on the tree. And by the
grace of the Holy Spirit may we grow up into
Christ Jesus in all things. O merciful Father,
we pray for those who know Thee not. We
pray that Thou wouldest bring them to the
obedience of faith.








64 THE LAST COMMAND,







O Saviour of sinners, who givest eternal life
by Thy death and ease by Thy pain, give us
hearts to love Thee above all things, that we
may obtain those exceeding great and precious
promises which are all yea and amen in Christ
Jesus.. .

To Him that loved us, and gave Himsel
for us, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

“ When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

«« Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God :
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

«See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down:

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

«Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!”

LONDON:
STRANGEWAYsS AND WALDEN, PRINTERS,
Castle St. Leicester Sq.