And all that believed were together, and had all things common;…
Love, as it is undoubtedly one of the most natural and general, so is it likewise one of the most agreeable and delightful emotions of the human heart. Whoever therefore promotes love, at the same time promotes happiness; and the firmer, the purer, the nobler that love is, the more solid is this happiness. And where shall we find a more perfect doctrine of happiness than in Christianity? Tend not all its doctrines, all its precepts, all its promises, all its rites to kindle and inflame the purest, noblest love towards God and man? Such is its whole design; this is the distinctive character of the noble few by whom it is actually attained.
1. The holy communion is a feast of the love of God. Here we see the love of God, our heavenly Father, in all its lustre; here enjoy it in its full measure. Here we draw nigh to Him, not as slaves, not as criminals, trembling at the sight of their judge, but as children, favoured, eminently endowed, meet together in His house, at His table, and rejoice and glory in His being our Father. Here we are truly blessed in the enjoyment of all the benefits wherewith He has favoured us through His Son Jesus.
2. In like manner is the holy communion a feast of love to Jesus our Lord. This holy feast emphatically reminds us of that sublime, disinterested, unprecedented love to the wandering wretched race of mortals that brought Him from a throne to the condition of a servant, to the Cross and to the sepulchre! And here we enjoy the fruits and effects of this love of our Lord. The effulgence which He brought with Him from heaven enlightens and shines round us; the virtue and the efficacy that are gone out from Him, vivify us; the serenity, the hope which He prepared for mankind reanimate us; the prospects into better worlds which He opened to them are our comfort and joy.
3. Lastly the holy communion is a feast of Christian brotherly love. Far hence away, all such as harbour malice, all cold and selfish hearts, all the slaves of envy, hatred, and revenge! Far hence, every the slightest suggestion of vanity and pride, whereby one exalts himself above another, and one in comparison of himself despises another! Do we not here rejoice and glory in our common deliverance, forgiveness, elevation, and happiness? Come, let us show ourselves glad in Jesus Christ by our love, by our mutual endeavours to become ever more humane, ever more bountiful and generally useful. Let us all rejoice in one another, as He rejoices in us all. Let us serve and assist one another, as He has helped and still helps us all.
(G. J. Zollikofer.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And all that believed were together, and had all things common;