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the administration of it. The elements are to be placed, not on an altar, but on a tabie-The Lord's table. And the bread, to represent the breaking of Christ's body, must be broken. The bread which we break. This cannot be done when wafers are
4. Finally I observe, that this ordinanee is in Scripture called the cup of blessing, and the cup of the Lord.* It is the cup of the Lord, inasmuch as the wine is the appointed symbol of the blood of the Lord Jesus, which, as well as the broken bread, is to be distributed among all who attend on the ordinance. It is also the cup of blessing.. Christ, when he instituted this ordinance, gave thanks, and blessed the elements. So his ministering servants are, by prayer and thanksgiving, solemnly to consecrate the elements-that, under the blessing of the Lord, they may prove seals and pledges of covenant mercies. By this act of consecration, as we shall show hereafter, no substantial change is effected. The change is only sacramental; and the elements are thus "sanctified by the word of God and prayer."+
Further: The cup of blessing. Euλoyias, euxαpisTNas, thanksgiving. The term Eucharist was very generally applied to this ordinance by the Primitive Fathers; and in this, their example is followed by many in our day: And may with propriety be understood to refer, not only to the consecration of the elements already mentioned; but also to the joy and
*1 Cor. x. 16, 21.
Mat. xxvi. 27,
+ 1 Tim. iv. 5. also 1 Cor. xi: 24
gratitude, with which believers ought to celebrate this feast of love. Historians inform us, that the celebration of this ordinance in the primitive church was characterized by the liveliest expressions of gratitude and joy. And indeed, what can be more proper than feelings like these, on a communion Sabbath? True, many tender and mournful feelings must necessarily mingle in the services of such a day; and hard is the heart, which is not penetrated with the deepest sorrow for sin-accursed sin, which crucified the Lord of Glory! which does not "look on him whom we have pierced, and mourn for him, as one that mourneth for his only son, and is in bitterness for his first-born."*
But notwithstanding this, a communion Sabbath is on many accounts a most joyful occasion-calling for the liveliest feelings of gratitude, and the warmest expressions of praise: And we may well ask, as God did by the Prophet Isaiah, in relation to the ancient fasts, "Is this a day for a man to afflict his soul; te bow down his head as a bulrush; and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?" Oh! no: It is the Christian jubilee,-it is the festival of our redemption, it is the triumph of Zion, and of Zion's King, which we celebrate. "Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; for praise is comely for the upright." "O magnify the Lord with me, and let "Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be
us exalt his name together."
Zech. xii. 10.
Ps. xxxiii. 1.
† Chap. lviii. 5.
joyful in their King."* It is the kind promise of our God, "I will bring them to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer."
God grant that you may always find great joy, and unspeakable consolation, in waiting upon in this holy ordinance! the nature of which has now, in some degree, been unfolded, by a consideration of the names applied to it in Scripture.
*Ps. cxlix. 2.
† Isa. Ivi. 7.
The nature of the supper further unfolded, by a consideration of its external signs, and form of administration-A brief view of the absurdity of transubstantiation, and the impiety of the mass- The doctrine of Christ's presence stated.
THE nature of the Lord's supper, so far as it is expressed by the names applied to it in Scripture, has already been the subject of remark. Additional information, on this interesting subject, may be derived from an attentive consideration of the signs, and form of administration, used in this ordinance; which will also prepare the way to notice some of the corruptions of the Church of Rome, as well as
to place the doctrine of Christ's presence in the supper, in a scriptural point of view.
It has already been stated,* that a sacrament is an external sign of an invisible grace. Both are necessary to constitute a sacrament. We have found this to be the case with baptism, in which, pure water is the sign; and the righteousness and grace of the Lord Jesus, purifying the subject from guilt and pollution, are the things signified. In the sacrament of the supper there are two signs, both referring directly to the mediatorial person and work of the Son of God. In the account of the institution of this ordinance, already noticed,† we discovered that bread and wine are the sacraments or signs to be employed in its administration. "Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to his disciples; saying, 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."‡
Bread and wine, then, are the signs which our Saviour has appointed. These are the symbols of his body and blood in the ordinance of the supper.
The particular quality of the bread is immaterial; and the same is true in respect of the colour of the wine. Ordinary bread and wine, such as can be most conveniently obtained; and which, by their nutritive and exhilirating properties, are suitable to represent the spiritual refreshment, which the supper is designed to impart, completely answer the pur
* See Letter ii. † See Letter xiv.
Mat. xxvi. 26, 27.
As the supper was instituted immediately after the celebration of the passover, there can be no doubt, but Christ, on that occasion, made use of what was left of the paschal feast; that is, of unleavened bread, and such wine as then remained on the table. It has been asserted, that this wine was red, and diluted with water. Whether this assertion be correct or not, we conceive to be of little importance. The circumstances, connected with the institution of the supper, show, that all those peculiarities do not enter into the nature of the ordinance; and that such bread and wine as are in ordinary use, and can be most conveniently obtained, are proper to be employed in the commemoration of the Saviour's death, as symbols of his broken body, and shed blood.
Witsius justly remarks,* For every thing that Christ did, according to the custom of his nation, and on occasion of the passover, does not belong to the essence of the sacrament; nor has a mystical signification; nor, in all its circumstances, obtains the force of a perpetual law.”
Bread and wine, then, without any superstitious substitute or admixtures, are the sacramental elements.
The sacramental actions and words are also entitled to notice in this place. These may be classed under two heads; viz. the consecration, and the
distribution of the elements.
1. The consecration of the elements.-Our Sa
Vol. iii. 424.