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is our Saviour and our Refuge. [ Vide
l ' apud Juji. Martyr. Dial cum. Trypb.]
., Not that they imagined that the Passover
was changed into the very Substance qf God their Saviour, but only that it was . a Memorial of that Deliverance which God wrought for them at their eoming out of Egypt, and of that which was hereafter to be wrought for them by the Messias. And when they ate the unleavened Bread, they said, This is the Bread of Affliction which our Fathers did . eat. in the Land of Egypt. By which they could not mean, that that was the very Bread which their Fathers eat many .hundred Years before, but only that it -was the Representative and Memorial of that Bread. So that when our blessed Lord at the Institution of the Eucharist laid, This Bread is my Body, and this Cup is my Blood, Do this in Remembrance of me; it was very natural for the Apostles to understand his Meaning -to be this ., This Bread and this Cup are the Symbols and Representatives of my Body broken and my Blood shed for you:
And when I am gone from you, do you,
in like manner as I have done, consecrate „'
Bread and Wine to be the Memorials of 1,
my Body and Blood offered for you. I
•"——the more distinctly apprehend this, it Xlr,t' will be only necessary to observe, that among both Jews and Gentiles it was customary for the People to eat of the Sacrifices which they offered. By which Rite was signified on the one hand, that they devoted themselves to the Service of that God of whose Altar they parr t.ook; and on the other hand, that the God accepted them for his Guests, took them under his Protection, and granted to them those Favours and Blessings, sot the obtaining of which the Sacrifice was offered. Under the Gospel there hath been only one bloody meritorious Sacri-, sice; the Sacrifice which our blessed. Redeemer made of himself. Now it was impossible that Christians in aster Ages should in a strict and literal Sense partake of the Sacrifice of Christ's Person; or if it had been possible, yet it would have been impious. For the remoyal of this Difficulty our Lord us'd this Expe« dient. He instituted a Sacrifice representing, and commemorative of, this one great Sacrifice; He substituted consecra
ted Bread and Wine to be eaten and — * ~
drank, instead of his Natural Body and SJ.***m
Blood sacrificed for us. He took Bread _
and blessed it, and said, Take, eat, This is my Body which is given for you. Likewise He took the Cup and blessed it, and said, Drink ye all of this, for this is my Blood which is shed for you, Do this as oft as ye drink it for a Memorial of me. So that by Eating of this Bread, and Drinking of this Gup, we do to all Intents and Purposes partake of Christ's Body and Blood; we bring ourselves under the fame Engagements to God, and are entitled to the fame Favours and Benefits from Him, as if we did eat of that individual Sacrifice which Christ offered on the Cross. Thus the Cup which we bless is the Communion of the Blood of Christ, and the Bread which we break is the Communion of his Sacred Body. That which we engage to do in this Sacrament, is to dedicate ourselves to the Service of Almighty God j and the Benefits which we receive by it are the Remistlon of our Sins, the Assistances of B b 4 pivine
Divine Grace, and a Principle of an hap
S?n' py Immortality. AU which were purchased for us by the Sacrifice of Christ's Death, and are insur'd and convey'd to us by Religiously Feasting on this Memorial of it. But of these I shall not now Discourse. At present I shall only add, that the Consideration of the Excellency and great Importance of this Branch of Christian Worship, and of the mighty Benefits accruing to us thereby, should engage us to make a suitable Preparation for it, and to approach God's Altar with Reverence and Godly Fear; with Hearts full of Joy and Gratitude to Him, who gave his only begotten Son for our Redemption, and unto Him that loved us, and wash'd us from our Sins in his own Blood, and hath made us Kings and Priests unto God and his Father. To whom, &c.