A Review of the Doctrine of the Eucharist

With Four Charges To the Clergy of Middlesex

Connected With The Same Subject

By Daniel Waterland

Edited by Bishop Van Mildert (Oxford, 1856)

With A Preface By The Late Lord Bishop Of London

Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1896

[Spelling modernized.  Footnotes moved into or near place of citation.

Bible references converted to all Arabic numerals.]

 

 

Contents

A review of the doctrine of the Eucharist, as laid down in Scripture and antiquity

An introduction, first briefly shewing the design of the treatise, and next premising some considerations: viz.—

I.  That Scripture is our only rule.

II.  That for the right understanding of Scripture, it is of great moment to know what the most eminent Writers before us have taught, and what they have agreed in.

         1.  More particularly, ancients first;            2.  And then moderns.

III.  That of the two extremes, profaneness and superstition, the latter is the safest for any one to lean to.

IV.  That it is injuring and degrading the sacraments to call them positive duties, rather than religious rites.

         1.  The Eucharist not merely a duty, but a sacred rite, wherein God bears a part.

         2.  That part of it which is duty, is not a single duty, but more.

 

Chapter  I. – Explaining the most noted or most considerable names of the Holy Communion.

1.  Breaking of Bread.  2. Communion.  3.  Lord’s Supper.  4.  Oblation.  5.  Sacrament.  6.  Eucharist.  7.  Sacrifice.  8.  Memorial.  9. Passover.  10.  Mass.

Chapter  II. – Considering the institution of the Holy Communion, as recorded by St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Paul.

         It came in the place of the Jewish Passover

                  1.  Resembling it in several circumstances,

                  2.  Deriving its forms and phrases from it.

Chapter  III. – Concerning the commemoration of Christ, in the Holy Communion.

         1. Remembering him as God-Man.  2. Commemorating him as such.  3. Celebrating his memorial.

Chapter  IV. – Concerning the commemoration of the death of Christ.

         1.  As an expiatory sacrifice.  2. Which is applied in the Eucharist.

Chapter  V. – Of the consecration of the elements.

1.  In what sense they are blessed or consecrated.

2.  By whom they are blessed.  3.  What the blessing amounts to.

Chapter  VI. – Of spiritual feeding according to John 6.

         1.  The sense of the ancients on that head.  2.  The sentiments of moderns.

Chapter  VII. – Of sacramental, symbolic feeding in the Eucharist.

         1.  The sentiments of the ancients on that head.  2.  The sentiments of moderns.

Chapter  VIII. – 1 Cor. 10:16 explained and vindicated from misconstruction.

                  Objections answered.

Chapter  IX. – Remission of sins conferred in the Eucharist.

Proved from Scripture.  From Antiquity.  Judgment of the Reformers, and of the Church of England.  Objections removed.

Chapter  X. – Sanctifying Grace conferred in the Eucharist.

         Proved from 1 Cor. 10:16.  Proved from John 6.  Proved from analogy.  Proved from 1 Cor. 12:13.

         The judgment of the ancients hereupon.  The sentiments of moderns on the same.

Chapter  XI. – The Eucharist considered as a federal rite.

         Argued from the nature of communion.  From the custom of drinking blood in covenants.

         From the words of institution.  From the analogy between that and sacrifices, or sacrificial feasts

         Objections to Dr. Cudworth’s notion considered and confuted.

Chapter  XII. – The Eucharist considered in a sacrificial view.

         Some Account of Dr. Grabe’s sentiments.  The Eucharist a spiritual sacrifice, how.

         The judgment of the ancients on that head.  The judgment of moderns.

Chapter  XIII. – Of the preparation proper for the Holy Communion.

1.  Baptism.  2.  Competent knowledge.  3.  Sound faith.  4.  True repentance consisting chiefly in restitution, readiness to forgive, peaceableness, charity to the poor.

Chapter  XIV. – Of the obligation to frequent communion.

         How stated in the several ages of the Church:

                  First century.  Second.  Third.  Fourth.  Fifth.  Sixth.  Seventh.  Eighth.

The doctrinal use of the Christian sacraments considered: in a Charge delivered to the Middlesex Clergy, May 12th, 1736.

The Christian sacrifice explained, in a Charge delivered in part to the Middlesex Clergy at St. Clement-Danes, April the 20th, 1738.  To which is added an Appendix.

The sacramental part of the Eucharist explained, in a Charge delivered in part to the Clergy of Middlesex, at the Easter Visitation, 1739.

Distinctions of sacrifice; set forth in a Charge delivered in part to the Clergy of Middlesex, at the Easter Visitation, 1740.

 

 

Preface

         This volume has been issued at the request of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, with the view of placing within the reach of those who may not be able to procure the collected Works of Dr. Waterland, and especially of candidates for Holy Orders, a treatise which was once considered almost as the textbook of the Church of England on the subject of the Eucharist, but which, in common with many of the works of the great Anglican Divines, has been somewhat cast into the shade by the lapse of time and the rapid issue of modern theological literature, and is, there is reason to fear, far less known at present than it deserves.

         Though suggested probably, on the one hand, by the publication of Mr. Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, and by Dr. Brett’s Discourse Concerning the Necessity of Discerning the Lord’s Body, and, on the other, by the Socinianizing tracts of Bishop Hoadley on the Lord’s Supper, and by an amicable controversy in which the Author had been engaged with Dr. Zachary Pearce, yet the Review of the Doctrine of the Eucharist, as Bishop Van Mildert has observed, “has little the aspect of a polemical work, although so large a portion of it may be applied as a corrective, or a preventive, of error.  With scarcely any personal reference to the living authors of his time who entertained different views of the subject from that which he supported, Dr. Waterland has so conducted his train of reasoning and investigation, as to meet all their diversities of opinion in their full force; stating them with candour and fairness, and controverting them with no less moderation than ability and decision.”

         And the three Charges to the Clergy of Middlesex which defend and supplement his former treatise, — that On the Christian Sacrifice (with its Appendix in reply to Johnson), that On the Sacramental Part of the Eucharist, and that On the Distinctions of Sacrifice, — occasioned though they were by Some Remarks on the Review by Dr. Brett, are equally devoid of controversial acrimony, nor are they of merely local or personal application.  They form, together with the Review, a body of teaching on the doctrine of the Eucharist, especially with reference to the various opinions on this vital subject which have been maintained within our own Church, almost equally applicable to all times, and having a peculiar interest and importance in our own.  The wide and intimate acquaintance which Waterland possessed, not only with the Christian fathers but with the Romish theologians and the writings of the foreign reformers, the perfect fairness with which he, almost invariably, states and meets the views and reasoning which he controverts, and the singular simplicity, clearness, and vigour of his style, have placed him among the most trustworthy and instructive of our own Divines: and while asserting and defending, as the true doctrine of the Eucharist, the via media between two extremes, which, though not excluded by the tolerant moderation of our Articles and formularies, have each too facile a tendency to pass into serious error, he will be found, even by those whom he does not convince, to leave them in no doubt as to the meaning of his language and the bearing of his arguments; and by others, and especially by students in divinity, a safe and perspicuous guide to those tenets on the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper which, as a matter of fact, have been held by the great majority of the ablest and most learned theologians of the reformed Church of England.

J. L.

 

 

A Review of the Doctrine of the Eucharist,

As Laid Down in Scripture and Antiquity.

         Ut autem literam sequi, et signa pro rebus quae iis significantur accipere, servilis infirmitatis est; ita inutiliter signa interpretari, male vagantis erroris est.

Augustini de Doct. Christ. lib. iii. cap. 9. p. 49.

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT.

         In the latter part of the sixth chapter, I have followed the common opinion of learned Protestants, (Mr. Bingham, Dr. Wall, etc.) in relation to infant communion, as prevailing in the fifth century, under a notion of its strict necessity, built upon John 6:53.  Though I had some scruple about it; as may appear by my manner of expressing myself, and by the reference to Thorndike in the [associated] note.

         Having since looked somewhat deeper into that question, I think it now just to my readers to advertise them, that I apprehend that common opinion to be a mistake; and that though the practice of giving Communion to children at ten or at seven years of age (or somewhat sooner) was ancient, and perhaps general, yet the practice of communicating mere infants, under a notion of its necessity, and as built upon John 6, came not in before the eighth or ninth century, never was general; or however lasted not long in the West, where it first began.  My reasons for this persuasion are too long to give here: but I thought this short hint might be proper, to prevent misconceptions as to that Article.

 

THE INTRODUCTION.

         My design in this work is to treat of the sacrament of the Holy Communion, according to the light which Scripture and right reason afford, making use of such helps and means for the interpreting Scripture, as God’s good providence, in former or later ages, has furnished us with.  The subject is of very great weight in itself, and of near concern to every Christian; and therefore ought to be studied with a care proportioned to the importance of it: that so we may govern both ourselves and our people aright, in a matter of such consequence; avoiding with great caution the extremes on both hands, both of excessive superstition on one hand, and of profane neglect on the other.  We are now visibly under the extreme of neglect; and therefore we ought to study by all means possible to inspire our people with a just respect for this holy institution, and to animate them to desire earnestly to partake often of it; and in order to that, to prepare themselves seriously, to set about it with reverence and devotion, and with those holy purposes, and solemn vows, that ought to accompany it. [Bp. Burnet on Article XXXI. p. 484.]

         But before I enter upon the main subject, it may not be improper here to throw in some previous considerations, in order to prepare my readers for what they will find in this treatise, that they may the more easily form a true and sound judgment of the subject matter of it.

         I.  The first consideration is that Scripture alone is our complete rule of faith and manners, “containing all things necessary to salvation, so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.” [Article VI.]

         Whatever scripture contains, either in express words rightly understood, or by consequence justly deduced, is Scripture doctrine, and ought to be religiously believed and obeyed; allowing only for the different degrees of importance belonging to different Scripture truths, or scripture precepts.

         II.  For the right understanding of Scripture, it is of great moment to know what the most eminent writers or teachers, ancient and modern, have thought before us on the same subject; and more especially to observe what they unanimously agreed in.  For, as they had the same Scriptures before them, and the same common reason to direct them, and used as much care and diligence, and were blessed with as great integrity as any of us now can justly pretend to, their judgment is not to be slighted, nor their instructions to be despised.  The responsa prudentum, the reports, precedents, and adjudged cases are allowed to be of considerable weight for determining points of law: and why should they not be of like weight, ordinarily, for the determining points of theology?  Human law there, and divine law here, is properly the authentic rule of action: but the common reason of mankind is properly the rule of interpretation in both cases: and that common reason shines out the brightest, and appears in greatest perfection, in the united verdict of the wisest and most excellent men.  It is much easier for one, or for some few fallible interpreters to be deceived, than for many, other circumstances supposed equal.  Nothing less than very clear Scripture, or as clear reason, ought to weigh anything against the concurring sentiments of the Christian world: and even in such a case, some fair account ought to be given, how it came to pass, that such clear Scripture or clear reason had hitherto escaped the notice, or missed of the acceptance of the wisest and best of men.

         A very judicious writer of our own has observed, that “variety of judgments and opinions argueth obscurity in those things whereabout they differ; but that which all parts receive for truth, that which, every one having sifted, is by no one denied or doubted of, must needs be matter of infallible certainty.” [Hooker, b. v. p. 310.]  This he applies to the general doctrine of the Holy Communion, as being “instrumentally a cause of the real participation of Christ, and of life in his body and blood.” [Compare p. 306.]  And it is of this that he says, “that all sides at length, for aught he could see were come to a general agreement: all approve and acknowledge to be most true, as having nothing in it but that which the words of Christ are on all sides confessed to enforce; nothing but that which the Church of God hath always thought necessary; nothing but that which alone is sufficient for every Christian man to believe concerning the use and force of this Sacrament: finally, nothing but that wherewith the writings of all antiquity are consonant, and all Christian confessions agreeable.” [Page 306.]  Thus wrote that excellent person in the year 1597.  The Zwinglians by that time had corrected, or more clearly explained their principles: and Socinus was scarce yet known on this side the water, or had made no figure with respect to this subject, or none worth the mentioning, in opposition to a prescription of fifteen hundred years before him, and to the united voice of all the churches in his time.  It is a maxim of prudence, as in all other matters, so also in the interpreting Scripture, to consult with the wise, and to take to our assistance the most eminent lights we can anywhere find, either among ancients or moderns.  To be a little more particular, I may here observe something distinctly of each.

         1.  As to ancients, some lived in the very infancy of the Church, had personally known our blessed Lord in the flesh, or conversed with the Apostles, and afterwards governed their respective churches, as venerable bishops, many years, often administering the Holy Communion, and at length dying martyrs.  Is it at all likely that such men as they were should not understand the true Scripture doctrine concerning the Sacraments, or that they should affect to delude the people committed to their charge, with superstitious conceits, or fond expectations?  A man must be of a very odd turn of mind, who can deliberately entertain so unworthy a thought of the apostolical fathers, or can presume to imagine that he sees deeper into the use or force of those sacred institutions than those holy men did.  It is reasonable to conceive, that the New Testament was penned with a very particular view to the capacities of the first readers or hearers; not only because it was natural to adapt the style to the then current language and customs, but also because much depended upon making the Gospel plain and intelligible to the first converts, above all that should come after.  If the earliest Christians, after the Apostles, could not readily understand the religion then taught, how should it be handed down with advantage to others of later times?  But if the scripture doctrine should be supposed comparatively obscure to those that come after, yet so long as the earlier Christians found it perfectly clear, and left behind them useful memoirs whereby we may learn how they understood it, there will be sufficient security against any dangerous mistakes in succeeding ages, by looking back to the sense of the most early interpreters.  Great regard therefore ought to be paid to the known sense and judgment of the apostolical fathers. [Of this see more in Abp. Wake’s Apostolical Fathers, Introd. chap. x.]  The later fathers, of the second, third, and fourth centuries, have their weight also, in proportion to their known integrity, and abilities, and fame in all the churches; and more especially in proportion to their early standing, their nearness to the fountainhead. [This argument is considered at large in my Importance of the Doctrine of the Trinity Asserted, vol. iii. ch. vii. pp. 601–666.]

         2.  As to moderns of best note, they agree with the ancients in the main things, and may be usefully consulted on the present subject.  Some of them have been eminently skilled in Jewish antiquities, and others in ecclesiastical.  Some have excelled in criticism and the learned languages: others in clearness of conception and accuracy of judgment: all are useful in their several ways, and may suggest many things which upon due inquiry will be found to be right, and which no single writer, left to himself, and without consulting them, would ever have thought on.  A man that affects to think by himself will often fancy he sees that in Scripture which is not there, and will overlook what there really is: he will run wide in his conjectures, criticize in a wrong place, and fall short in most things, for want of compass, and larger views, or for want of a due consideration of consequences here or there.  Truth is of wide extent, and is all over uniform and consistent: and it may require many eyes to look out, and search round, that every position advanced may agree with all truths, natural and revealed, and that no heterogeneous mixture be admitted to deform and deface the whole system.  How often does it happen, that a man pleases himself with a thought, which strikes him at first view, and which perhaps he looks upon as demonstration: and yet further inquiries into other men’s labours may at length convince him that it is mere delusion, justly exploded by the more knowing and judicious.  There are numberless instances of that kind to be met with among men of letters: which should make every writer cautious how he presumes too far upon his own unassisted abilities, and how he opposes his single judgment to the united verdict of wise, great, and good men.  It requires commonly much pains and care to trace a notion quite through; to run it up to its first principles, and again to traverse it to its remotest consequences, and to clear it of all just objections, in order to be at length rationally satisfied, that it is sound and good, and consistent throughout.  Different churches, or parties, have their different interpretations of the same texts, and their different superstructures built upon the same principles.  They have respectively their several pleas, pretenses, arguments, solutions, for the maintaining a debate either in the offensive or defensive way.  A subject thus comes to be narrowly scanned, and minutely viewed on every side; and so at length a consistent chain of truth may be wrought out, by a careful hand, from what the finest wits or ablest heads among the several contending parties have happily supplied.

         But perhaps it may here be asked; Is then every man obliged to look deep into religious controversies?  Are not the Scriptures alone sufficient for any plain and sincere Christian to conduct himself by, whether as to faith or manners?  I answer:  1. Common Christians must be content to understand Scripture as they may, under the help of such guides as Providence has placed over them, and in the conscientious use of such means as are proper to their circumstances: which is all that ordinarily can be required of them.  2. Those who undertake to direct and guide them are more particularly obliged to search into religious controversies, and to “prove all things” (as far as lies in their power) in order to lead others in the right way.  3. Those guides ought, in their inquiries or instructions, to pay a proper regard and deference to other guides of eminent note, ancient and modern, and not lightly to contradict them, or vary from them; remembering always, that themselves are fallible, and that new notions (in religion especially) are not comparable, generally speaking, to the old, proved, and tried.  4. If any man interpreting Scripture in a new sense, pretends that his doctrine at least is old, being Scripture doctrine; he should be told, that his interpretation however is new, and very suspicious, because new, and so not likely to be Scripture doctrine.  The novelty of it is itself a strong presumption against it, and such as nothing can overbalance but very clear and plain reasons on that side.  The judgment of ten thousand interpreters will always be of considerable weight against the judgment of some few, who are but interpreters at best, and as fallible as any other: and it must argue great conceitedness and self-sufficiency, for a man to expect to be heard, or attended to, as a scripturist, or a textuary, in opposition to the Christian world; unless he first fairly considers and confutes what the ablest writers have pleaded for the received construction, and next as fairly proves and enforces his own.  That there is very great weight and force in the united voice of the Christian world, is a point not to be denied by any: and indeed those that affect to set up new notions are themselves aware of it, and tacitly, at least, confess the same thing.  For they value such authorities as they are any way able to procure, or even to torture so far as to make them speak on their side: and they pride themselves highly in the number of their disciples, (as often as they chance to succeed) thinking it a great advantage to their cause, if but the multitude only, or the vulgar herd, approve and espouse the same thing with them.  Socinus, for instance, while he slighted, or pretended to slight, the concurring judgment of all churches, ancient and modern, yet felt a very sensible pleasure in the applauses of some few individuals, whom he had been able to deceive: and he looked upon their approbation as a confirming circumstance that his sentiments were true and right.  This kind of natural logic appears to be common to our whole species: and there are few, I believe, so sanguine (unless disordered) as to confide entirely in their own judgment, or not to suspect their own best reasonings, however plausible they may at first appear, if they have nobody else to concur with them and support them.  Therefore again I conclude as before, that it is of great moment to know and consider what others have thought before us, and what the common reason of mankind approves: and the more numerous or the more considerable the persons were or are who stand against us in any article, the less reason, generally, have we to be confident of our own private persuasions.

         I shall only add, that in subjects which have already passed through many hands, and which have been thoroughly sifted and considered by the ablest and best heads, in a course of seventeen hundred years, there appears to be a great deal more room for judgment than for invention; since little new can now be thought on that is worth notice: and it is much wiser and safer to take the most valuable observations of men most eminent in their several ways, than to advance poor things of our own, which perhaps are scarce worth the mentioning in comparison.

         III.  I must further premise, in relation to our present subject, that as there may be two extremes, viz. of superstition on one hand, and of profaneness on the other, it appears to be much safer and better to lean towards the former extreme, than to incline to the latter.  Where there is room for doubt, it is prudent to err rather on that side which ascribes too much to the Sacrament, than on that which ascribes too little.  1. Because it is erring on the side of the precepts: for Scripture gives us express cautions [1 Cor. 11:27, 29.] against paying too little regard to this holy Sacrament, but never cautions us at all, or however not expressly, against the contrary extreme.  2. Besides, since we attempt not, and desire not to carry the respect due to the Sacrament at all higher than the ancient churches, and the primitive saints and martyrs have carried the same before, it will be erring on the humble, modest, pious side, if we should happen to run into an extreme, after such bright examples.  And this again is much safer (for who would not wish that his lot may be amongst the saints?) than it can be to deviate into the contrary extreme of irreverence, and to come so much the nearer to the faithless and unbelieving, who have their portion in this life.

         It may be pleaded perhaps, that a person does no harm, or risks no danger, by erring on the lessening side, because God will certainly perform what he has really promised of the Sacraments to every worthy receiver, whether believed or no.  But then the question is, how a man can be thought a worthy receiver, who, without sufficient grounds, disbelieves the promises, much more if he confidently rejects them, and teaches others also to do so.  Schlictingius pleads in this case, that the effect of the Sacrament will be the same to every one that receives, though he disbelieves the doctrine of its being a mean of grace,* or the like: as if he thought that the outward act of receiving were all, and that the inward qualification of faith were of no moment.  But that was his great mistake.  They who disbelieve and openly deny the inward graces of the Sacrament are unworthy receivers for that very reason, and ordinarily forfeit all right and title to the promised graces.

*[“Articulus de coena Domini et baptismo (si vera est vestra sententia„ qua coenam Domini et baptismum media esse statuitis per quae Deus spirituales effectus in animis hominum operetur) exprimit quidem causam salutis instrumentalem: sed tamen ignoratus aut repudiatus salutem non adimit, dummodo quispiam. coena Domini et baptismo utatur; adhibitis enim istis divinitus ordinatis instrumentis effectum sequinecesse est.”  Schlicting. adv. Balthas.  Meisn. p. 6.  Conf. Socin. de Coena, tom. i. p. 767.  To which Abr. Calovius well answers: “Negare nos, sacramenta talia media esse quae illico effectus sequatur, etiamsi fides non accedat: fides autem locum habere nequit in iis qui negant et impugnant directe media salutis divinitus instituta.”  Abr. Calov. contr. Socin. tom. i. part 2, p. 251.]

         It may be further pleaded, on the same side, that the notion of the Sacraments, as means of grace (supposing it erroneous) is apt to lead men to rely upon the Sacraments more than upon their own serious endeavours for the leading a good life, or to rest in the Sacraments as sufficient without keeping God’s commandments.  But this is a suggestion built upon no certain grounds.  For suppose we were deceived (as we certainly are not) in our high conceptions of the use and efficacy of this Sacrament; all that follows is that we may be thereby led to frequent the Sacrament so much the oftener; to come to it with the greater reverence, and to repeat our solemn vows for the leading a good life, by the assistance of Divine grace, with the more serious and devout affections.  No divines amongst us, that I know of, ever teach that the use of the outward Sacrament is of any avail without inward faith and repentance, or entire obedience.  Our Church at least, and, I think, all Protestant churches, have abundantly guarded against any one’s resting in the bare outward work.  The danger therefore on this side is very slight in comparison.  For what if a man should erroneously suppose that upon his worthy receiving he obtains pardon for past sins, and grace to prevent future, will not this be an encouragement to true repentance, without which he can be no worthy receiver, and to watchfulness also for the time to come, without which the Divine grace can never have its perfect work?  Not that I would plead for any pious mistake (were it really a mistake), but I am answering an objection; and shewing, that there is no comparative force in it.  Were the persuasion I am pleading for really an error, reason good that it should be discarded: religion wants not the assistance of pious frauds, neither can it be served by them.  But as we are now supposing it doubtful on which side the error lies, and are arguing only upon that supposition, it appears to be a very clear case that religion would suffer abundantly more by an error on the left hand, than by an error on the right; and that of the two extremes, profaneness, rather than superstition, is the dangerous extreme.

         Add to this, that corrupt nature generally leans to the diminishing side, and is more apt to detract from the burden of religion than to increase the weight; and therefore the stronger guard ought to be placed there.  Men are but too inclinable of themselves to take up with low and groveling sentiments of Divine things: and so there is the less need of bending Scripture that way, when the words are fairly capable of an higher meaning, yea, and require it also, as shall be shewn in the sequel.

         If it should be asked, what temptation any serious Christian can have to lessen the promises or privileges belonging to the Sacraments?  I answer, that pure good nature and mistaken humanity may often tempt men to be as easy and indulgent as possible, in their casuistry, for the relieving of tender consciences, and for the quieting the scruples of their brethren.  The guides of souls are sometimes apt to be over-officious that way, and much more than is proper; like as indulgent parents often ruin their children by an excessive fondness, considering their present uneasiness more than their future well-being.  When Epicurus set himself to take off the restraints of religion, no doubt but he thought he was doing the most humane and the best natured office imaginable.  It had the appearance of it, in some respects (though upon the whole it was altogether the reverse), and that was his chief temptation to it.  It is not improbable that the same kind of good nature, ill directed, has tempted many otherwise learned and valuable guides to be too indulgent casuists, and to comply too far with the humour of the world.  Strict notions of the Sacraments require as strict observance of the same Sacraments, which demands the more intense care, and greater abstraction of thought; all which is irksome and painful to flesh and blood: there lies the temptation to low and diminishing conceptions of the Sacraments, both in clergy and people.

         But are there not temptations likewise to an over-scrupulous severity?  Undoubtedly there are.  Sometimes education, temper, prejudice; sometimes indiscreet zeal, or a spice of enthusiasm: but in the general, and for the most part, the making religion bend to the humours and fashions of the world is the sin which most easily besets us; and therefore there it is that we ought to appoint the double guard.  To conclude this article, all extremes are wrong, and it may require some care and good discernment to observe in every instance the golden mean: but still there may be greater sin and danger on one side than on the other; and I have thought it of some moment to determine thus briefly, to which of the extremes we may, in our circumstances, most securely and wisely lean.

         IV.  There is another consideration very proper to be hinted here in the entrance, relating to the prejudice often done to our venerable Sacraments, by representing them under the detracting or diminishing name of positive duties: as if they were to be considered as duties only, rather than religious rites in which God bears a part; or as if that part which belongs to us, and is really duty, were a single duty, and not rather a band and cement of all duties, or a kind of sponsion and security for the present and future performance of the whole duty of man.  How this matter stands will be seen distinctly in the sequel.  But it is proper to hint something of it here beforehand, lest the reader, by attending to a false light, should set out under a mistake of the main question.  Let it be previously understood, what it is that we assert and maintain, for the removing of prejudices, and for the preventing any wrong suspicion, either of our exalting a bare external duty above faith, hope, and charity, or of our recommending any single duty in derogation to the rest.

         1.  In the first place therefore, let it be carefully noted, that it is not merely a duty of ours, but a sacred rite (in which God himself bears a part) that we are labouring to exalt, or rather to do justice to.  The doctrine of our Church, and of all Christian churches, early and late, is much the same with what our Homilies teach us: namely, that “in the Sacraments God embraces us, and offereth himself to be embraced by us;” and that they “set out to the eyes, and other outward senses, the inward workings of God’s free mercy, and seal in our hearts the promises of God.” [Homily on the Common Prayer and Sacraments.]

         A learned writer observes and proves, that a sacrament relates to that which “flows from God to us;” and he adds, that “it is a thing neither denied nor forgotten by any, but is evident from what the Scriptures teach concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.” [Towerson on the Sacraments, p. 12.  “Vossius, to the same purpose, says: “Quemadmodum fides est quasi manus nostra, qua nos quaerimus et accipimus: sic verbum et sacramenta esse quasi manus Dei quibus is nobis offert et confert quod a fide nobis petitur et accipitur.”  Voss. de Sacram. Vi et Effic. p. 252, vol. vi. Opp.]  Indeed, the Socinian way is to exclude God, as it were, out of the Sacraments, and to allow him no part in them, but to reduce all to a bare human performance, or positive duty: but we have not so learned Christ.  We are so far from thinking the sacramental transaction to be a bare duty of ours, that we conceive there is great use and efficacy in a sacrament, even where the recipient performs no duty at all, nor is capable of any, as in the case of infants receiving Baptism.  It is further observable that Baptism is frequently mentioned together with repentance, in the New Testament, as distinct from it; though repentance alone, as it signifies or implies entire obedience, fully expresses all that is properly and merely duty on our part.  A plain sign that Baptism, as a sacrament, carries more in the idea of it than the consideration of bare duty, and that it comes not, in its whole notion, under the head of duties, but of rites, or contracts, or covenants, solemn transactions between God and man.  God bears his part in it, as well as we ours: and therefore it is looked upon as distinct from bare duties, and spoken of accordingly.

         I suppose it might be on these and the like considerations, that some Divines have conceived, that a sacrament, properly, is rather an application of God to men, than of men to God.  Mr. Scandret, distinguishing a sacrament, according to its precise formality, from a sacrifice, observes, that it is “an outward visible sign of an invisible grace or favour from God to man.” [Scandret, Sacrifice of the Divine Service, p. 54.]  And Dr. Rymer takes notice, that, according to our Church Catechism, “a sacrament is not supposed, in its most essential part, an application made by men to God, but one made by God to man. ... A gracious condescension of God’s, by which he converses with men, and exhibits to them spiritual blessings, etc. ... God’s part is indeed the whole that is strictly and properly sacramental: the outward and visible signs exhibited are in effect the voice of God, repeating his promise of that inward and spiritual favour.” [Rymer, General Representation of Revealed Religion, pp. 286, 287.]  Dr. Towerson long before had observed, that there is a difficulty as to “shewing that a sacrament relates equally to that which passeth from us to God, and that it imports our duty and service.” [Towerson on the Sacraments, p. 12.] He conceived no difficulty at all as to God’s part in a sacrament; that was a clear point: but he thought it not so easy to prove that the strict and proper sense of the word sacrament includes man’s part at all.  However, it is very certain that the whole transaction, in the case of adults, is between two parties, and that the application is mutual between God and man.  And this must be acknowledged particularly in the Eucharist, by as many as do allow of a Consecration prayer, and do admit that service to be part of our religious worship, as also to be a federal rite.  But from hence may appear how widely they mistake who consider a sacrament as a bare human performance, a discharge of a positive duty on man’s part, and nothing more, throwing out what belongs to God, and what is most strictly sacramental.  It is sinking or dropping the noblest and most essential part of the idea, and presenting us with a very lame and insufficient account of the thing.  But a more minute explication of this matter, together with the proofs of what we maintain, will come in hereafter: all I intended here was only to give the reader some previous conception of the state of the main question, that he may understand the more clearly what we are about.

         2.  Next, I must observe, that that part in a sacrament which is really ours, and which, so far as concerns adults, is properly duty, is yet such a duty as is supposed to comprehend, one way or other, all duty: for receiving worthily (as shall be shewn in its place) implies present repentance, a heart turned to God and to universal obedience, and a serious resolution so to abide to our life’s end.  It has been thought somewhat strange, by those who have imbibed wrong notions of the case, that all Christian privileges should be supposed to follow a single duty, when they really belong to the whole system of duties.  But when it is considered, that these privileges are never conceived to be annexed to this single duty, in any other view, or upon any other supposition, but as it virtually carries in it (or in the idea of worthy reception) all duty, the main difficulty will vanish; for it may still be true, that those Christian privileges go along with the whole system of duties, and with nothing short of it.  We never do annex all Christian privileges to this single duty, but as this duty is conceived, for the time being, to contain all the rest; for that we take to be implied in receiving worthily.  Whether we are right in interpreting worthy reception in so comprehensive a sense is not now the question, but may be considered in its place: all I am concerned with here is to ward off a charge of inconsistency with respect to our doctrine on this head.

         But to shew the weakness of the charge yet more plainly, let the same objection be urged in a very common case of oaths to a government, or of subscription to articles, to which many state privileges and church privileges are ordinarily annexed.  What, may some say, shall all those privileges be given merely for the labour of repeating an oath, or of writing a name?  No, certainly: the outward work is the least and the lowest part of what the privileges are intended for, if it be any part at all, in a strict sense.  The privileges are intended for persons so swearing, or so subscribing, upon a presumption that such oath carries in it all dutiful allegiance to the sovereign, and that such subscription carries in it all conformity in faith and doctrine to the Church established.  Of the like nature and use are our sacramental ties and covenants.  They are supposed, when worthily performed, to carry in them all dutiful allegiance to God, and a firm attachment to Christ; a stipulation of a good conscience, and, in a word, universal righteousness, both as to faith and manners:* all which is solemnly entered into for the present, and stipulated for the future, by every sincere and devout communicant.  To be short, repentance, rightly understood, and a due attendance on the Sacraments, taken together, do in our account make up the whole system of Christian practice for the time being therefore in annexing all Gospel privileges to worthy receiving, we do not annex them to one duty only, but to all, contained, as it were, or summed up (by the supposition) in that one.  All the mistake and misconception which some run into on this head, appears to be owing to their abstracting the outward work from the inward worthiness supposed to go along with it, and then calling that a single duty, which at best is but the shell of duty in itself, and which, in some circumstances, (as when separate from a good heart) is no duty at all, but a grievous sin, a contempt offered to the body and blood of Christ, and highly provoking to Almighty God.

         *[What Tertullian observes of the sacrament of Baptism is justly applicable to both Sacraments: “Lavacrum illud obsignatio est fidei, quae fides a poenitentiae fide incipitur et commendatur.  Non ideo abluimur ut delinquere desinamus, sed quia desiimus, quoniam jam corde loti sumus.  Haec enim prima audientis intinctio est, metus integer, deinde quoad Dominum senseris, fides sana, conscientia semel poenitentiam amplexata.  Ceterum, si ab aquis peccare desistimus, necessitate, non sponte innocentiam induimus.”  Tertull. de Poenit. cap. vi. p. 125. Rigalt.]

         Thus far I have taken the liberty of premising a few things in the entrance; not for the anticipating what I am hereafter to prove, but for the removing those prejudices which appeared to lie in the way.  And now I proceed, with God’s assistance, to what I intend upon the subject of the Eucharist, otherwise styled the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or the Holy Communion.

 

 

Chapter  I.

Of the most noted or most considerable Names under which

the Holy Communion hath been anciently spoken of.

 

         Before I come directly to treat of the thing, it may be proper to observe something of the names it has anciently gone under: which I shall endeavour to range in chronological order, according to the time when each name may be supposed to have come up, or first to have grown into vogue.

 

A.D. 33.  Breaking of Bread.

         The oldest name given to this holy ceremony, or religious service, seems to have been that of “breaking bread,” taken from what the disciples saw done by our Lord in the solemnity of the institution.  I choose to set the date according to the time of the first clear instance* we have of it, rather than according to the time when St. Luke related it in his history; because very probably he followed the style of those who then celebrated it.  St. Luke in his history of the Acts, speaking of the disciples, says: “They continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” [Acts 2:42.] The circumstances of the text plead strongly for interpreting it of the Holy Communion: and the Syriac version (which is of great antiquity) renders it “breaking of the Eucharist” [The same phrase occurs in the Recognitions, lib. vi. n. 15: “Eucharistiam frangens cum eis.”]; which is some confirmation of the same construction.  A little lower, in the same chapter, mention is again made of the disciples, as “continuing daily in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house”** or rather “in a house,” set apart for holy uses.***

         *[I said “first clear instance” because, though Luke 24:30, 35 has been understood of the Eucharist by some ancients, and more moderns (Romanists especially), and I see no absurdity in the interpretation, nor anything highly improbable, or that could give just advantage to the Romish cause with respect to communion in one kind; yet since it is a disputed construction, and such as cannot be ascertained, I call that instance not clear, but pass it off as none, because it is doubtful.]

         **[Acts 2:46.  Our translation in the phrase “from house to house” (___’ _____) follows Beza, who renders “domatim,” and has been found fault with by Scaliger, Mede, Beveridge, and Cave, referred to in Wolfius Cur. Crit. pag. 1048.  Compare Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, vol. ii. p. 98.]

         ***[Erant autem privata illa _Ļ____ loca a Judaeis semper sacris usibus destinata; saltem ex quo Daniel propheta ascendisse in coenaculum ad orandum diceretur.”  Pearson, Lect. in Act. Apost. p. 31.]

         St. Luke a third time takes notice of the “breaking of bread”: where also the Syriac version renders as before, “breaking of the Eucharist”.  The circumstances confirm it: it was on the “first day of the week,” and St. Paul is observed to have “preached unto them”.  St. Paul also himself seems to allude to this name, when speaking of this Sacrament he says, “The bread which we break, is it not the Communion?” [1 Cor. 10:16.]  They who would see more concerning this name may consult, besides commentators, the authors referred to at the bottom of the page.*  I may just observe, by the way, that scruples have been raised against the construction here given; and some have thought that the texts might possibly be interpreted either of a love feast, or else of a common meal.  I think, very hardly, and not without some violence.  However, even Whitby and Wolfius, who appear to hesitate upon Acts 2:42, 46, yet are positive enough with respect to Acts 20:7, as relating to the Eucharist: and since there is no ground for scruple, excepting only that the Romanists make an ill use of this construction, and that may easily be obviated a better way, [Vid. Casaubon. ad Annal. Eccl. Exercit. xvi. n. 48. p. 379.] I look upon the construction here given as sufficiently supported.  And it is some confirmation of it that Ignatius, of the apostolical times, makes use of the same phrase of “breaking bread,” where he is plainly speaking of this holy Sacrament. [___ _____ _______.  Ignat. ad Ephes. cap. xx. p. 19.]

         *[Casaubon. ad. Annal. Eccles.  Exerc. xvi. p. 378, alias p. 528.  Buxtorf. de Coena Domini, pp. 312, 313.  Suicer. Thesaur. in voc. ______, p. 105.  Johan. Vorstii Philolog. Sacr. part. ii. p. 200.  Towerson on the Sacraments, p. 166.]

 

A.D. 57.  Communion.  ________.

         The name of Communion has been long famous, and was undoubtedly taken from St. Paul’s account of this Sacrament, where he teaches that the effect of this service is the Communion of the body and blood of Christ. [1 Cor. 10:16.]  He does not indeed directly call the Sacrament by that name, as others have done since; he was signifying what the thing is, or what it does, rather than how it was then called.*  But as his account gave the first occasion for the name of Communion, I thought it not amiss to date it from thence.  I find not that this name became frequent in the earlier centuries: the Canons called apostolical are of doubtful age.  The Roman clergy, in a letter to the clergy of Carthage, make use of the name Communion in the time of St. Cyprian,** that is, about the middle of the third century.  But in the age next following, it became very common, both in the Greek and Latin Fathers.  The Spanish Fathers, in the Council of Elvira, (A.D. 305), make use of it more than forty times: the Councils of Arles and of Ancyra (in 314 and 315) made use of the same.  The Council of Nice, in the year 325, speaks of the same Sacrament under the name of Communion, [_________ Ļ____ _____.  Concil. Nicaen. can. xiii. P. 330.  Harduin.] in their thirteenth Canon.  Hilary, about the middle of the same century, styles it sometimes the Communion of the Holy Body, sometimes the Sacrament of the Holy Communion, sometimes the Communion of the everlasting Sacraments. [Hilarius Pictavens. pp. 169, 223, 740.  edit. Bened.]  A little later in the same century, Basil sometimes has the single word Communion*** to denote the Eucharist: at other times he calls it the Communion of the good Thing, or of the Sovereign Good. [________ ___ ______.  Epist. Canon. prima ad Amphiloch. p. 272.  Epist. secunda, p. 293.]  I need not descend to lower Fathers, amongst whom the name became very frequent: Suicer [Suicer.  Thesaur. in ________.  Conf.  Casaubon. Exercit. xvi.  n. 47.  p. 361, etc., alias 504, etc.] has collected their testimonies, observing withal the several accounts which they gave of the name, all reducible to three.  1. The Sacrament is so called because of the communion we therein hold with Christ and with each other.  2. Because we are therein made partners of Christ’s kingdom.  3. Because it is a religious banquet, which we partake of in common with our fellow Christians.

         *[“Non appellat Paulus Coenam Domini Communionem tanquam proprio ejus nomine; sed vim et efficaciam Sacramenti hujus exprimens, ait eam esse communionem, sive participationem corporis Christi.”  Casaubon.  Exercit. xvi. n. 47. p 361.]

         **[“Si qui in hanc tentationem inciderunt, coeperint apprehendi infirmitate, et agant poenitentiam facti sui, et desiderent communionem, utique subveniri eis debet etc.  Apud Cyprian.  Epist. ii. p. 8.  Bened. ed.]

         ***[_________ _____ __________, __’ ______ _______________.  __ ’__________ __ ___ __ ____Ļ__ _______ ___ ___ __ ___ _________, __ _Ļ_ __ Ļ_______, ____ _________ __ __ ____ _____, ___ ___ ________ ____________ __’ ______.  Basil. Epist. xciii. p. 187. edit. Bened.; alias Epist. 289.]

 

A.D. 57.  Lord’s Supper.

         I am willing to set down the name of Lord’s Supper as a Scripture name, occurring in St. Paul’s Epistles [1 Cor. 11:20.]; which appears to be the most prevailing opinion of learned Protestants.  Not that I take it to be a clear point at all, or so much as capable of being proved: but I incline rather to those, both ancients and moderns, who interpret that place of the love feast, kept in imitation of our Lord’s Last Supper, which was previous to the original Eucharist.  Thus much however is certain, that in the apostolical times the love feast and the Eucharist, though distinct, went together, and were nearly allied to each other, and were both of them celebrated at one meeting.  Without some such supposition as that, it was next to impossible to account for St. Paul’s quick transition, in that chapter, from one to the other.  Whether, therefore, Lord’s Supper in that chapter signifies the love feast only, or the Eucharist only, or both together, one thing is clear and unquestionable, that they were both but different parts of the same solemnity, or different acts of the same meeting: and there is no occasion to be scrupulously nice and critical in distinguishing to which of the parts the name strictly belongs.*

         *[Quid rei sit coena haec, accuratius inquirere non est opus: sive enim Christianorum Agapae, sive ipsa Eucharistia, significetur, nil interest, dummodo concedatur (quod nulla prorsus ratione negari potest) Eucharistiae celebrationem cum Agapis esse conjunctam.”  Sam. Basnag. Annal. tom. ii. p. 296.]

         Maldonate, the Jesuit, in his Contents upon Matt. 26:26, took upon him to reproach the Protestants in an unhandsome manner, for speaking of the Eucharist under the name of a Supper; which he thought irreverent, and not warranted by Scripture, antiquity, or sound reason. [Calvinistae sine Scripturae auctoritate, sine veterum auctorum exemplo, sine ratione, nullo judicio, coenam vocant.”  Maldonat. p. 556.]  The learned Casaubon some time after appeared in behalf of the Protestants [Casaubon. Exercit. xvi.  n. 32.  p. 368, alias 513.], and easily defended them as to the main thing against the injurious charge.  Albertinus, long after, searched with all diligence into ancient precedents and authorities for the name, and produced them in great abundance [Albertinus de Eucharistia, lib. i.  cap. 1.], more than sufficient to confute the charge of novelty, rashness, or profaneness on that head.  The truth of the matter seems to be, that though there is no clear proof that the name of Supper is a Scripture name, yet some Fathers (as high as the fourth century) thought that it was, so understanding 1 Cor. 11:20.  And many interpreters of good note have followed them in it.  Indeed it does not appear that the text was so construed before the latter end of the fourth century, or that the name of Lord’s Supper was much in use as a name for the Eucharist.  Irenaeus once has the name of God’s Supper, but means quite another thing by it. [“Coena Dei.”  Iren. lib. iv. cap. 36. p. 279, ed. Bened.]  Tertullian has the same [Non possumus coenam Dei edere, et coenam daemoniorum.”  Tertullian. de Spect. cap. xiii. p. 79.] for Lord’s Table, referring to 1 Cor. 10:22, not to 1 Cor. 11:20.  He has also the phrase of Lord’s Banquet [Convivium Dominicum.”  Tertull. ad Uxor. cap. iv. p. 168.], [or Lord’s Day Banquet] and Banquet of God [“Convivium Dei.”  Tertull. de Virgin. Vel. cap. viii. p. 172.], meaning the love feasts then in use, which he elsewhere styles the Supper of Christians. [Coena nostra de nomine rationem sui ostendit: id vocatur quod dilectio apud Graecos.”  Tertull. Apoll. cap. 39.]  But St. Basil very plainly interprets Lord’s Supper in that text of the Eucharist:* which even Fronto Ducaeus, in his notes upon the place, confesses; endeavouring at the same time to bring off Maldonate as fairly as the matter would bear, while, in reality, he yields the main thing, with respect to the Fathers, at least.  However, it must be owned that Basil is the first who directly so interprets the text, and that the Fathers were not all of a mind about it, and that the appellation of Supper was not very common till after the fourth century; and that even in the later centuries the name of Lord’s Supper was a name for that supper which our Lord made previous to the Eucharist.  The third Council of Carthage (A.D. 418) speaks of “one day in the year in which the Lord’s Supper was celebrated” [Greek words.  ____ _______ ______ __ _ __ ________ ___Ļ___ _Ļ_________.  Concil. Carthag. Can. xliv. p. 567. Bevereg. edit.]: where it is plain that Lord’s Supper does not mean the Eucharist, but the supper proper to Maundy Thursday, kept in imitation of our Lord’s Paschal Supper, previous to the Eucharist.  And the like is mentioned in the Trullan Council (A.D. 683), in their29th Canon. [____ _______ ______, ________ ___Ļ___ _Ļ_________.  Concil. Trull. Can. xxix. p. 188.]  So that Lord’s Supper was not then become a familiar name, as now, for the Eucharist, but rather eminently denoted the supper previous to it; either our Lord’s own, or that which was afterwards observed by Christians as a memorial of it, being a kind of love feast.  I shall only add further, that Hilary the Deacon (A.D. 380, or nearly) in his comment upon 1 Cor. 11 seems to dislike the name of supper, [Ostendit [Christusl illis mysterium Eucharistiae inter coenandum celebratum, non coenam esse: medicina enim spiritualis est, quae cum reverentia degustata, purificat sibi devotum.”  Pseud. Ambros. in loc.] as applied to the Eucharist, and therefore could not interpret the text as Basil of that time did.

         *[Ĺ_Ļ__ _____ ______ ______ _Ļ____Ļ__ _ _____ ___________ ___ __ ____, _____ ____ __ ____ ___ ______ _____ _Ļ__________. ... ____ ___ ______ ___Ļ___ __ ________ _______ ___ Ļ_____, ____ __ ________ ___Ļ___ __ _____ ___________.  Basil. Regul. Brev. p. 310, p. 525. ed. Bened., alias 657.  Conf. Theodorit. in 1 Cor. 11:20.]

 

A.D. 96.  Oblation.  ________.

         The name of oblation may, I think, be fairly carried up as high as to Clemens of Rome, who upon the lowest computation wrote his famous Epistle as early as the year 96.  The more common date is 70, or thereabout: but a learned and considerate writer,[Lardner, Credibility of Gospel Hist. part ii. vol. i. pp. 50–62.] who very lately has reexamined the chronology of that Epistle, has with great appearance of probability brought it down to A.D. 96: and there I am willing to rest it.

         Clemens speaks of the oblations and sacred functions of the Church, referring, very probably, to the Eucharistic service*: neither can he without some violence be interpreted to mean anything else.  In another place, he still more plainly refers to the same, where he says: “It would be no small sin in us, should we cast off those from the episcopal function, who holily and without blame offer the gifts.”**  Here he expressly speaks of gifts offered, (that is, of oblation) and by sacerdotal hands.  The gifts were brought to the altar, or communion table, by the people, and were recommended to God’s acceptance by the officiating bishop or presbyter.  So there was first a kind of lay oblation, and next a sacerdotal oblation of the same gifts to God.  Those gifts consisted partly of alms to the poor, and partly of oblations, properly so called, to the Church; and out of these last was usually taken the matter of the Eucharist, the bread and wine.***  The oblation, as I before hinted, was twofold; hence the whole service of the Eucharist came to be called the oblation: and to communicate, or to administer, in Church language, was to offer.  There was a third kind of oblation**** which came up afterwards, in the third century: or, to speak more accurately, the commemoration, which was always a part of the Eucharistic service, came by degrees to be called an oblation (but not within the two first centuries, so far as I can find), and then commenced a kind of third oblation: not a new thing, but an old service under a new name.

         *[_____ _____ Ļ_____ _________ ... ___ __ Ļ________ ___ ____________ _Ļ__________ ... __ ___ ____ Ļ______________ _______ Ļ________ ___ Ļ________ _____, __Ļ_________ ____ ___ ________.  Clem. Rom. Ep. c. xl. p. 164. edit. Cant.  Vitringa, upon these words, allows that they refer to the Eucharist.  “Preces haud dubie intelliguntur cum sacris Eucharistiae, quibus Clemens statas horas, ad exemplum sacrorum templi, definiri vult.”  Vitring. de Vet. Synag. p. 1115.  Conf. Basnag. Annal. vol. i. p. 371.]

         **[_______ ___ __ _____ ____ _____, ___ ____ ____Ļ___ ___ _____ Ļ_____________ __ ____, ___ _Ļ____Ļ__ _Ļ________.”  c. xliv. p.178.  Compare Johnson’s Unbl. Sacrifice, part i. pp. 75, 78, etc.]

         ***[See Bingham, Eccles. Antiq. b. xv. ch. 2. sect. 1, 2.  Deylingius, Observ. Miscellan. p. 301.  Constitut. Apostol. lib. viii. c. 27, 30.  L’Arroque, Hist. of the Eucharist, part i. ch. iv. p. 30, etc.]

         ****[Of the third oblation, or threefold oblation, see L’Arroque, Hist. of the Eucharist, part i. c. 8.  Sam. Basnag. Annal. tom. i. p. 371.  Pfaffius, Dissert. de Oblat. Vet. Eucharist. pp. 283, 293.]

         Justin Martyr, though he does not directly call the Eucharist by the name of oblation, yet he does obliquely, where he says that the oblation of fine flour, under the law, was a type of the bread of the Eucharist;* and where he speaks of the Eucharistic elements as being offered to God.**  Elsewhere he speaks plainly of the lay offering, brought by the people to the administrator:*** and I presume he is to be understood of an offering to be presented to God, by the hands of the Minister, brought to the Minister in order to be recommended by him to the Divine acceptance.

         *[_ ___ __________ Ļ_______ ... __Ļ__ __ ___ _____ ___ ___________.  Just. Dial. p. 119 Jebb, 220 Thirlby.]

         **[  _____________ __________, ________ ___ _____ ___ ___________, ___ ___ Ļ_______ ______ ___ ___________.  Just. Dial. p. 120 Jebb, alias 220.]

         ***[_Ļ____ Ļ__________ __ Ļ________ ___ _______ _____ ___ Ļ_______ ______ ___ ________, ___ _____ _____, _____ ___ _____ __ Ļ____ etc.

         _____ Ļ__________, ___ _____ ___ ____.  ___ _ Ļ_______ _____ ______ ___ ___________, ___ _______ ____, ___Ļ__Ļ__, ___ _ ____ _Ļ_______, _____ __ ’____.  Just. Mart. Apol. i. pp. 96, 98.]

         Irenaeus, of the same century, makes frequent mention of the oblation of the Eucharist, understanding by it the whole service as performed by clergy and people, according to their respective parts or provinces.*  He supposes the oblation made to God, made by the Church, in and by the proper officers: and though the oblation strictly speaking, according to its primary signification, means only one part of the service, or two (viz. the people’s bringing their offerings to the altar, and the administrator’s presenting the same to God), yet from this part or parts of the service, the whole solemnity took the name of the oblation at that time, and such name became very common and familiar afterwards.  For since the very matter of the Eucharist was taken out of the oblations received from the people, and solemnly offered up afterwards to God by the Ministers, it was very natural to give the name of oblation to the whole solemnity.

         *[“Novi Testamenti novam docuit oblationem, quam Ecclesia ab Apostolis accipiens, in universo mundo offert Deo, et qui alimenta nobis praestat, primitias suorum munerum” etc.  Iren. lib. iv. c. 17. p. 249. edit. Bened.  “Ecclesiae oblatio, quam Dominus docuit offerri in universo mundo, purum sacrificium repertum est” etc.  “Non genus oblationum reprobatum est: oblationes enim et illic, oblationes autem et hic.”  p. 250.  “Hanc oblationem Ecclesia solam puram offert fabricatori, offerens ei cum gratiarum actione, ex creatura ejus.”  p. 251.]

 

         Tertullian speaking of the Devil, as imitating the mysteries of the Church, takes notice, among other things, of his instructing his votaries to baptize and to celebrate the oblation of bread [Tinguit et ipse quosdam ... celebrat et panis oblationem.”  Tertull. de Praescript. c. xl. p. 216.]; as much as to say, that they also had their Eucharist in their way; oblation being here the name for the whole service.  In another place he uses the single word “offer,” for the whole action of administering and receiving the Communion.*  Elsewhere he makes mention of oblations for the dead; and at the anniversaries of the martyrs:** and by oblations he could intend nothing but the Eucharistic solemnities celebrated on those days. [See Bingham, book xxiii. ch. 3. sect. 12, 13.  Deylingius, Observat. Miscellan. p. 95.]

         *[“Ubi ecclesiastici ordinis non est consessus, et offers, et tinguis, et sacerdos es tibi solus.”  Tertull. de Exhort. Cast. c. vii. p. 522.  Conf. de Veland. Virg. c. ix. p. 178.]

         **[“Oblationes pro defunctis, pro natalitiis annua die facimus.” Tertull. de Coron. c. iii. p. 102.  Conf. de Exhort. Cast. c. xi. p. 523.]

         We have seen proofs sufficient of the name of oblation for the two first centuries.  But it is observable, that all this time we meet only with oblation of gifts, or first fruits, or of bread, wine, or the like: no oblation of Christ’s body, or blood, or of Christ absolutely, as we shall find afterwards.  Hence it is that some very learned men have thought that, according to the ancients, the oblation was considered always as previous to consecration, and that the elements were offered in order to be consecrated:* which indeed is true according to that sense of oblation which obtained for two centuries and a half; but a new sense, or new application of the word, or name, came in soon after, and so it will here be necessary to distinguish times.

         *[It is manifest, that it is called an oblation, or sacrifice, in all liturgies, according to the style of the most ancient Church writers, not as consecrated, but as presented, and offered (whether by the people, as the custom was, to him that ministered, or by him that ministered, to God) to be consecrated.”  Thorndike, Relig. Assembl. p.379.  “Consecrationi autem oblationem praepositam olim fuisse, adeo perspicuum ex veterum dictis, liturgiisque antiquissimis, maxime Graecis, esse arbitramur, ut nihil clarius esse possit.”  Pfaff. Fragm. Iren. in praefat.]

         I shall now pass on to Cyprian, to chew how this matter stood, upon the change of language introduced in his time. We shall find him plainly speaking of the offering Christ’s body and blood.*  This must be understood of an oblation subsequent to consecration, not in order to it: for Christ’s body and blood, whether real or symbolic, are holy, and could want no sanctification or consecration.  He further seems to speak of offering Christ himself** in this Sacrament, unto God, but under the symbols of consecrated bread and wine.  That may be his meaning: and the meaning is good, when rightly apprehended; for there was nothing new in it but the language, or the manner of expression.  What the elder Fathers would have called, and did call, the commemorating of Christ, or the commemorating his passion, his body broken, or blood shed; that Cyprian calls the offering of Christ, or of his passion, etc., because, in a large sense, even commemorating is offering, as it is presenting the thing or the person so commemorated, in the way of prayer and thanksgiving, before God.  I do not invent this account for the clearing a difficulty, but I take it from Cyprian himself, whose own words shew that the Eucharistic commemoration was all the while in his mind,*** and that that was all he meant by the oblation which he there speaks of, using a new name for an old thing.  I shall shew in due time, that the later Fathers who followed Cyprian’s language in this particular, and who admitted this third oblation (as some have called it) as well as he, yet when they came to explain, interpreted it to mean no more than a solemn commemoration, such as I have mentioned.

         *[“Obtulit [Dominus] hoc idem quod Melchisedech obtulerat, id est panem et vinum, suum scilicet corpus et sanguinem.”  Cyprian. Ep. lxiii. p. 105. edit. Bened.  “Unde apparet sanguinem Christi non offerri, si desit vinum calici” etc.  p. 107.]

         **[“Nam si Jesus Christus Dominus et Deus noster ipse est summus sacerdos Dei Patris, et sacrificium Patri seipsum primus obtulit, et hoc fieri in sui commemorationem praecepit, utique ille sacerdos vice Christi vere fungitur, qui id quod Christus fecit, imitatur, et sic incipiat offerre secundum quod ipsum Christum videat obtulisse.”  Ibid. p. 109.  “Quia passionis ejus mentionem in sacrificiis omnibus facimus (passio est enim Domini, sacrificium quod offerimus) nihil aliud quam quod ille fecit, facere debemus.”  p. 109.]

         ***[“Calix qui in commemorationem [alias, commemoratione] ejus offertur.”  p. 104.  “Quotiescunque ergo calicem in commemorationem Domini et passionis ejus offerimus, id quod constat Dominum fecisse, faciamus.”  p. 109.]

         I must further observe, that though Cyprian sometimes advances this new kind of language, yet elsewhere he follows the more ancient way of speaking, and understands oblation as other Fathers before him had done.  Thus, when he speaks of the sacrifice offered in the Eucharist by the poor, [Partem de sacrificio quod pauper obtulerit, sumis.”  Cypr. de Op. et Eleem. p. 242.] he means it of the lay oblation which was previous to consecration; as also when he speaks of the clergy’s presenting the oblations of the people, [Qui communicando cum lapsis, et offerendo oblationes eorum” etc.  Ep. xxviii. p. 38.] he is to be understood of the first and second oblations, both of them previous to consecration.  And when he observes, that an oblation cannot be sanctified where the Spirit is not given, [Nec oblatio illic sanctificari possit, ubi Spiritus Sanctus non est.”  Ep. lxiv. p. 112.] he uses the word oblation for what was antecedent; and it amounts to the same as if he had said, that such an oblation could not be consecrated, could not be made the body and blood of Christ.  But enough hath been said of the name of oblation in this place: the thing will be more distinctly considered hereafter.

 

A.D. 104.  Sacrament.

         The name of Sacrament, as applied to the Eucharist, though no Scripture name, yet certainly is of great antiquity.  The younger Pliny, in his Letter to the Emperor Trajan, will afford us a good argument of it in what he reports of the Christians, and from the Christians, as meeting on a certain day (the Lord’s Day) and binding themselves by a “Sacrament” to commit no wickedness, but to lead good lives.*  As Pliny there reported what the Christians had told him, it is reasonable to judge that they had made use of the word Sacrament to him, which they understood in the Christian sense, however Pliny or Trojan might take it: and so this testimony will amount to a probable proof of the use of the name of Sacrament among the Christians of that time.  That the name, as there used, is to be understood of the Eucharist, is a very clear case, from all the circumstances of the account.  I know not how a late learned and judicious writer came to understand it of the Sacrament of Baptism. [Dr. Wall, Inf. Bapt. part ii. chap. ix. p. 396, third edition.]  The generality of the best learned men** interpret it of the Eucharist, and with very good reason: for the account refers to what the whole assembly were wont to do, at the same time; they could not all come to receive Baptism, though they might to receive the Eucharist.  Then the mention of the Sacrament, as taken in the “antelucan” meetings, tallies exactly with Tertullian’s account of the Eucharist, as we shall see presently: besides that the hint given of the love feast, as following soon after, confirms the same thing. [See Bingham, book xv. c. 7. sect. S.]

         *[“Adfirmabant autem, hanc fuisse summam vel culpae suae, vel erroris, quod essent soliti, stato die, ante lucem convenire, carmenque Christo quasi Deo dicere secum invicem: segue sacramento non in scelus aliquod obstringere, sed ne furta, ne latrocinia, ne adulteria committerent, ne fidem fallerent, ne deposittum appellati abnegarent: quibus peractis, morem sibi discedendi fuisse, rursusque coeundi ad capiendum cibum, promiscuum tamen et innoxium.”  Plin. Epist. xcvii. lib. x. p. 819. ed. Amstel.  Conf. Tertullian. Apol. c. ii. pp. 24, 25. Lugd.]

         **[Vid. Bevereg. Vindic. Can. p. 199.  Tentzel. Exercit. Select. part. ii. p. 127.  Vitringa, de Vet. Synagog. p. 1116.  Renaudotius Liturg. Orient. tom. i. pp. 5, 6.  Bingham, xv. 7, 8.]

         I go on then to Tertullian, who makes express mention of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, as received in his time, but with some difference, as to the circumstances, from the original Eucharist of our Lord’s own celebrating.*  For that (he observes) was after supper, this before daylight, fasting: in that, the company helped one another, or every man took his part from the table [Luke 22:17.  See Archbishop Potter on Ch. G. p. 259, edit. 3rd.]; in this, the Bishop or Presbyter in person gave the bread and cup to each communicant.  But what I have principally to take notice of here is the use of the phrase, Sacrament of the Eucharist, conformable to the like phrases, which the same author makes use of to denote Baptism, calling it the Sacrament of water, [Sacramentum aquae.”  Tertull. De Bapt.  c. i.  p. 224.  c. xii. p. 229.] and Sacrament of sanctification. [Sacramentum sanctificationis.”  Ibid. c. iv. p. 225.]  In the same century, Cyprian calls the Eucharist the Sacrament of the cup [Sacramentum calicis.”  Cyprian. De Lapsis, p. 189.]; and elsewhere, the Sacrament of the Lord’s passion and of our redemption. [Sacramentum Dominicae passionis, et redemptionis nostrae.”  Cyprian. Ep. 63.]

         *[Eucharistiae Sacramentum, et in tempore victus, et omnibus mandatum a Domino; etiam antelucanis coetibus, nec de aliorum manu quam praesidentium sumimus.”  Tertull. de Coron. c. iii. p. 102.]

         If it should now be asked, in what precise meaning the name of Sacrament was thus anciently applied to the Eucharist, as the word Sacrament is of great latitude, and capable of various significations (some stricter and some larger), I know of no certain way of determining the precise meaning of the name, as here applied, but by considering what was meant by the thing.  Gerard Vossius [Vossius de Sacram. Vi et Efficacia.  Opp. tom vi.  p. 247, etc.] has perhaps given as clear and accurate an account of the word Sacrament as one shall anywhere meet with: but after all, I am of opinion that it is not the name which can here add any light to the thing, but the thing itself must be first rightly understood in order to settle the true and full import of the name.  When it is applied to Baptism and the Eucharist, it must be explained by their common nature, being a general name for such a certain number of ideas as go to make up their general nature or notion.  A collection of those several ideas is put together in the definition given in our Church Catechism.  The like had been endeavoured before, in our Twenty-fifth Article: and that is again digested into a more technical form by Bishop Burnet in his Exposition. [Burnet on Art. XXV. Pp. 268, 269.]  His definition may be looked upon as a good summary account of what our Church, and the Protestant churches abroad, and the primitive churches likewise, believed concerning Baptism and the Eucharist in common: the particulars of their faith, so far, is therein collected into one large complex idea, and for convenience is comprised in the single word Sacrament.  And yet it must be observed, that this word Sacrament, as applied to those two religious rites, admits of a threefold acceptation in Church writers: sometimes denoting barely the outward sign of each, sometimes the thing signified, and sometimes both together, the whole action, service, or solemnity. [Vid. Lamb. Danaeus. Isag.  part. iv. lib. 5. p. 441.]

         The Socinians, observing that the received sense of the word Sacrament is against their whole scheme, have often expressed their dislike of it.  Smalcius particularly complains of it, as an unscriptural name, and besides, barbarous Latin, and leading to superstition and idolatry; and therefore he moves to have it totally laid aside.*  He was offended, it seems, at the name, because it served to keep up the sense of something mysterious, or mystical, of a sign and somewhat signified, viz. grace etc., to which he had an aversion.  Volkelius, more complaisant with respect to the name, turns all his resentment upon the thing, flatly denying that the Eucharist is a Sacrament:** his reason is, because it neither exhibits nor seals any spiritual grace.  His master Socinus had intimated as much before. [Socinus de Baptism.  Aquae, cap. xiv.]  The sum is, that the strict sense of the Sacrament, as implying an outward sign of an inward grace, can never suit with their schemes, who allow of no inward grace at all.

         *[“Vox sacramenti, in hac significatione, barbara, vel saltem sacris literis incognita est; ab hominibus vero otiosis (qui ceremoniis hujusmodi nescio quid praeter sacram Scripturam superstitiosum, aut etiam idololatricum ex parte, tribuere non sunt veriti) ad tegendum dolum usurpata: praestat igitur aliis nominibus appellari in Christi coetu hanc ceremoniam.”  Smalcius c. Frantz. p. 347.]

         **[“Satis constat nec alteram appellationem, nimirum sacramentum corporis Christi, veram esse.  Si enim haec actio ne sacramentum quidem est, quo pacto, quaeso, corporis Christi sacramentum erit?”  Volkel. de Ver. Relig. lib. iv. cap. 22. p. 678.]

         I may here note by the way, that while the Socinians reject the invisible grace, the Romanists destroy the visible sign, and both run counter to the true notion of a Sacrament, by their opposite extremes: from whence it is manifest, of what moment it is to preserve the word Sacrament, and to assert to it its true and full sense.  For though the word, as here applied, is not in Scripture, yet the notion is there, and the general doctrine is there: and the throwing that notion, or that general doctrine, under the name of Sacrament, is nothing more than collecting several Scripture ideas, or Scripture truths, and binding them up together in a single word, for the better preserving them and for the ease and convenience of speech.  But as to the proof of those doctrines or those truths, I cannot enter into it now, but must reserve it for a more proper place, and proceed in the account of ancient names.

 

A.D. 107.  Eucharist.

         Another name, as famous as any, is the name Eucharist, signifying properly thanksgiving or blessing, and fitly denoting this holy service, considered as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.  I set the date no higher than Ignatius’s Epistles, because there it first certainly occurs: though one can make no doubt of its having obtained in the apostolical age, when it is considered how familiarly Ignatius makes use of it. [Ignatius, Epist. ad Smyrn. c. 7, 8. ad Philadelph. c. 4.]  Some have thought that St. Paul himself led the way as to this name, 1 Cor. 14:16.  But that construction of the text appears too conjectural to build upon, and is rejected by the generality of interpreters; I think, with good reason, as Estius in particular hath manifested upon the place.  I content myself therefore with running up that name no higher than Ignatius’s time.

         After him, Justin Martyr, [Justin. M. Apol. 96. Dialog. pp. 220, 386.  Thirlby.] Irenaeus, [Irenaeus, pp. 251, 294, 341, 360, ed. Bened.] Clemens of Alexandria, [Clem. Alex. Paedag. lib. ii. cap. 2. p. 173. ed. Oxon.] Origen, [Origen. contr. Cels. lib. viii. sect. 57. p. 784. ed. Bened.] and others, make familiar use of that name, as is well known.  One may judge how extensive and prevailing that name, above any other, anciently was, from this consideration, that it passed not only among the Greeks, but among the Orientalists also (as may be seen in the Syriac version before mentioned), and likewise among the Latins; who adopted that very Greek word into their own language; as is plain from Tertullian [Tertullian. pp. 102, 135, 215, 220, 562, 570.  Rigalt.] and Cyprian [Cyprian. Tract. pp. 132, 147, 230.  Ep. pp. 34. 37, 38, 39, 117, 118, 125, 190, 191, 223.  Ox. edit.] in many places.

 

A.D. 150.  Sacrifice.  _____.

         Justin Martyr is the first I meet with who speaks of the Eucharist wider the name of sacrifice or sacrifices.  But he does it so often and so familiarly* that one cannot but conceive that it had been in common use for some time before: and it is the more likely to have been so, because oblation (which is near akin to it) certainly was, as we have seen above.

         *[____ __ ___ __ Ļ____ __Ļ_ __’ ____ ___ _____ Ļ____________ ____ ______, ________ ___ _____ ___ ___________, ___ ___ Ļ_______ _____ ___ ___________, ________ ____.  Just. Dialog. p. 220, edit. Lond.

         ______ __ Ļ________ ’______ _ _______ _______, _________ _Ļ_ __ __________ ___ _____ ___ ___ Ļ_______.  Ibid. p. 386.

         ___ ___ ___ ___ _____ ___ ___________, _Ļ_ ___ _____ _________, _______ _____ ___ _________ ____ __ ___ ______, ___ _____ _____  _____ ___ ____ ___ __________ Ļ________ Ļ_____, ___ _Ļ’ _________ __ ___ ______ _____ _____ __ ___ _____.  Ibid. p. 387.]

 

         Irenaeus of the same century mentions the sacrifice of the Eucharist more than once,* either directly or obliquely.  Tertullian, not many years later, does the like.**  Cyprian also speaks of the sacrifice in the Eucharist, understanding it, in one particular passage, of the lay oblation.***  This is not the place to examine critically what the ancients meant by the sacrifice or sacrifices of the Eucharist: it will deserve a distinct chapter in another part of this work.  But, as I before observed of oblation, that, anciently, it was understood sometimes of the lay offering, the same I observe now of sacrifice; and it is plain from Cyprian.  Besides that notion of sacrifice, there was another, and a principal one, which was conceived to go along with the Eucharistic service, and that was the notion of spiritual sacrifice, consisting of many particulars, as shall be shewn hereafter: and it was on the account of one or both, that the Eucharist had the name of sacrifice for the two first centuries.  But by the middle of the third century, if not sooner, it began to be called a sacrifice, on account of the grand sacrifice represented and commemorated in it; the sign, as such, now adopting the name of the thing signified.  In short, the memorial at length came to be called a sacrifice, as well as an oblation: and it had a double claim to be so called; partly as it was in itself a spiritual service or sacrifice, and partly as it was a representation and commemoration of the high tremendous sacrifice of Christ God-man.  This last view of it, being of all the most awful and most endearing, came by degrees to be the most prevailing acceptation of the Christian sacrifice, as held forth in the Eucharist.  But those who styled the Eucharist a sacrifice on that account, took care, as often as need was, to explain it off to a memorial of a sacrifice rather than a strict or proper sacrifice, in that precise view.  Cyprian, I think, is the first who plainly and directly styles the Eucharist a sacrifice in the commemorative view, and as representing the grand sacrifice.****  Not that there was anything new in the doctrine, but there was a new application of an old name, which had at the first been brought in upon other accounts.  I shall endeavour to set that whole matter clear in a chapter below: for the present these few hints may suffice, and so I pass on.

         *[“Ecclesiae oblatio, quam Dominus docuit offerri in universo mundo, purum sacrificium reputatum est apud Deum” etc.  “Sacrificia in populo, sacrificia et in ecclesia.”  Iren. lib. iv. c. 18. p. 250.  Omni autem loco sacrificium offeretur ei, et hoc purum.”  Lib. iv. c. 17. p. 249.]

         **[“Non putant plerique sacrificiorum orationibus interveniendum. ... Accepto corpore Domini et reservato, utrumque salvum est, et participatio sacrificii, et execution officii.”  Tertull. de Orat. c. xiv. pp. 135, 136.  “Aut sacrificium offertur, aut Dei sermo administrator.”  De cultu Fem. lib. ii. c. 11.]

         ***[“Locuples, et dives es, et Dominicum celebrare te credis, quae corban omnino non respicis, quae in Dominicum sine sacrificio venis, quae partem de sacrificio quod pauper obtulerit sumis.”  Cyprian. de Op. et Eleemos. p. 242.  Bened., alias 223.]

         ****[“Passionis ejus mentionem in sacrificiis omnibus facimus: passio est enim Domini sacrificium quod offerimus.”  Cyprian. Ep. lxiii. p. 109. Bened.]

 

A.D. 150.  Commemoration, Memorial.  __________, _____.

         Justin Martyr, if I mistake not, once names the Eucharist a commemoration or memorial; where he takes notice that the Christians offered up spiritual sacrifices, prayers and lauds, in the memorial of their food dry and liquid,* that is, in the Eucharist of bread and wine.  I know not how otherwise to construe _________ there, but as a name of the whole service.  It was natural enough, because many of the other names which have been used to denominate the whole service (as breaking bread, oblation, sacrifice, and Eucharist) manifestly took their original from some noted part of the solemnity, and were at first but partial conceptions of it.  Now since the commemoration or memorial was always a considerable part of the solemnity (as the learned well know), it is reasonable to suppose that that also might be made use of in like manlier, as a name for the whole service.

*[__Ļ’ _________ __ ___ ______ _____ _____ __ ___ _____, __ _ ___ ___ Ļ_____ _ Ļ_Ļ____ __ _____ _ ____ ___ ____ ________.  Just. Dial. 387.]

         I am aware that our excellent Mr. Mede gives a very different turn to that passage of Justin, translating it thus: “In that thankful remembrance of their food both dry and liquid, wherein also is commemorated the passion which the Son of God suffered by himself.”  He interprets it of agonizing God as the “giver of our food both dry and liquid.” [Mede, Christian Sacrifice, b. ii. ch. 5. p. 460.]  But that construction must needs appear harsh and unnatural.  Justin nowhere else does ever speak of the remembrance of our food, but constantly understands the Eucharistic remembrance or commemoration to refer to Christ only, his incarnation and passion, his body and blood: [Vid. Justin Mart. Dial. pp. 220, 290.] nor do I know of any one Father who interprets the memorial of the bodily food.  Besides, it suits not well with our Lord’s own account in his institution of the Sacrament, which speaks of the remembrance of him, not of the remembrance of our bodily food.  Add to this, that were the sense of the place such as Mr. Mede imagined, Justin would rather have expressed it by a thankful remembrance of the Divine goodness in giving us our food, than by a thankful remembrance of our food, which appears flat and insipid in comparison.  Seeing then that Mr. Mede’s construction of that place in Justin is far from satisfactory, I choose to acquiesce in the sense which I before mentioned, till I see a better; understanding the memorial of food, as equivalent to memorial of Christ’s passion, made by food, viz. by bread and wine.  The word also refers not there to memorial, as if there were two memorials, but to the lauds; besides which there was also a memorial of the passion.

         Origen has a passage relating to the Eucharistic memorial, where he appears to denominate the whole service by that eminent part of it.*  Eusebius styles the Eucharist the memorial of our Lord’s body and blood, [___ _______ _____ ___ ___ _______ ___ _Ļ_______Euseb. Demonst. Evangel. lib. i. cap. 10. p. 27.] and also simply a memorial: which he observes to have succeeded in the room of sacrifice.**  He calls it also the memorial of the sacrifice,*** and memorial of the grand sacrifice. [___ ______ ___ _______ _______.  Ibid. p. 40.]  I need not descend lower, to fetch in more authorities for the use of this name: only, I may just give a hint that all those Fathers who interpreted the name sacrifice, as applied in such a particular view to the Eucharist, by a memorial of a sacrifice, may as reasonably be understood to call the Eucharist a memorial, as to call it a sacrifice.  Those Fathers were many, and Chrysostom may be esteemed their chief: who while he follows the ordinary language in denominating the Eucharist a sacrifice (considered in its representative view), yet intimates withal that its more proper appellation in that view is a memorial of a sacrifice.****  I may further take notice that St. Austin comes very near to what I have been speaking of, where he calls the Eucharist by the name of the sacrament of commemoration, or sacramental memorial. [Sacramentum memoriae.”  Augustiu. contr. Faust. lib. xx. cap. 21. p. 348.  Compare L’Arroque, Hist. of the Eucharist, part i. chap. 8. pp. 88, 89.]  To conclude this article, let the reader observe and bear in mind that the names of oblation and sacrifice, as applied to the Eucharist in one particular point of view, do both of them resolve into the name memorial: and so far they are all three to be looked upon as equivalent names, bearing the same sense, pointing to the same thing.  This observation will be of use, when we come to consider the Eucharist in its sacrificial view under a distinct chapter below.

         *[“Si referantur haec ad mysterii magnitudinem, invenies commemorationem istam habere gentis propitiationis effectum. ... Si respicias ad illam commemorationem de qua dicit Dominus, hoc facile in meam commemorationem, invenias quod ista est commemoratio sola, quae propitium tacit hominibus Deum.”  Orig. in Levit. Hom. xiii. p. 255. ed. Bened.]

         **[______ ___ ____ Ļ_______, ____ ______ __ ___ ________ Ļ_________.  Ibid. p. 38.  Cp.  Apost. Const. lib. vi. cap. 23.]

         ***[______ ____ ___ _______ ___ ______ _Ļ_ ___Ļ___ ________, ___ ________ ___ __ _______ _____, ___ ___ ________ _______.  Ibid. p. 30.]

         ****[___________ ___, ___’ _________ Ļ________ ___ _______ _____. ... ___ _____ ______ ___ Ļ_______, ______ __ _________ __________ ______.  Chrysost. in Epist. ad Hebr. cap. x. Hom. 17. p. 856.  Compare Theodoret. in Hebr. viii. 4. p.433.  Pseud-Ambros. in Hebr. cap. x.  Primasius, in Hebr. cap. x.  Hesychius, in Levit. p. 31.  Eulogius, apud Phot. cod. 280. p. 1609.  Fulgentius, de Fide ad Petr. cap. lx. p. 525. Fragm. 618.  Oecumenius, in Hebr. x. p. 846.  Theophylact. in Hebr. x. 1. p. 971.]

 

 

A.D. 249.  Passover.

         The name of Passover has been anciently given to the Eucharist upon a presumption that as Christ himself succeeded to the paschal lamb, so the feast of the Eucharist succeeded in the room of the paschal feast.  Christ is our Passover, as the name stands for the lamb [Cor. 5:7.  John 1:29.]: the Eucharist is our Passover, as that same name stands for the feast, service, or solemnity.

         Origen seems to have led the way; and therefore I date the notion from his time: not that he speaks so fully to the point as some that came after, neither had he precisely the same ideas of it; but he taught more confusedly, what others after him improved and cleared.  Origen takes notice, that “if a man considers that Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us, and that he ought to keep the feast by feeding upon the flesh of the Logos, he may celebrate the Passover all his life long, passing on to Godwards in thought, word, and deed, abstracted from temporal things.”*  I give his sense, rather than a literal rendering.  Here we may observe that the Christian Passover feast, according to him, consists in the eating of the flesh of the Logos; which is certainly done in the Eucharist by every faithful receiver, as Origen everywhere allows: but then Origen’s common doctrine is, that the flesh of the Logos may be eaten also out of the Eucharist; for the receiving spiritual nutriment any way, is with him eating the flesh of Christ.**  So that this passage which I have cited from him does not make the Eucharist, in particular, or solely, to be the Christian paschal feast: but the taking in spiritual food, be it in that way or any other, that is the keeping our Passover, according to his sense of it.  Hilary, of the fourth century, seems directly to give the name of Passover to the Christian Eucharist.***  Nazianzen, a great admirer of Origen, improves the thought, applying it directly and specially to the Eucharist, in these words: “We shall partake of the Passover, which even now is but a type, though much more plain than the old one: for I am bold to say, that the legal Passover was an obscurer type of another type.”****

         *[___ __ _ ______, ___ __ Ļ____ ____ _Ļ__ ____ _____ _______, ___ ___ _________ ________ ___ ______ ___ ______ ___ _____ ___ __ Ļ____ __ Ļ____, _Ļ__ ___________ __________, _________ ___ __ _______ ___ Ļ____ ____ ___ Ļ___ Ļ_____ _Ļ_ ___ ___ ____ Ļ________ _Ļ_ ___ ____ ___ _Ļ_ ___ Ļ____ _____ _Ļ_____.  Orig. contr. Cels. lib. viii. p. 759. ed. Bened., alias p. 392.]

         **[Bibere autem dicimur sanguinem Christi, non solum sacramentorum ritu, sed et cum sermones ejus recipimus, in quibus vita consistit.  Sicut et ipse dicit, Verba quae locutus sum, spiritus et vita est.”  Orig. in Num. Hom. xvi. p. 334. ed. Bened.]

         ***[Judas proditor indicatur, sine quo pascha, accepto calice et fracto pane, conficitur.”  Hilar. in Matt. cap. xxx. p. 740. ed. Bened.]

         ****[____________ __ ___ Ļ____ ___ ___ __Ļ____ ___, ___ __ ___ Ļ______ ___________ __ ___ _______ Ļ____, _____ ___ ____, __Ļ__ __Ļ__ __ ___________.  Nazianz. Orat. lii. p. 692.]

         St. Jerome, who was once Nazianzen’s scholar, follows him in the same sentiment, styling the Eucharist the true sacrament of the Passover, in opposition to the old one.*  But no one dwells more upon that thought, or more finely illustrates it, than the great St. Chrysostom in divers places.  He asks why our Lord celebrated the Passover?  And his answer is, because the old Passover was the figure of the future one, and it was proper, after exhibiting the shadow, to bring in the truth also upon the table [Chrysost. tom. i. Orat. contr. Jud. 3. p. 610. ed. Bened.]: a little after he says, “it is our Passover to declare the Lord’s death,” [_____ __ ____, __ ___ _______ ____________.  Ibid. p. 611.] quoting 1 Cor. 11:26.  And he adds that whoever comes with a pure conscience, celebrates the Passover, as often as he receives the communion, be it today, or tomorrow, or at any time whatever.**  And he has more in the same place, to the same purpose.  In another work he speaks thus: “When the sun of righteousness appeared, the shadow disappeared: ... therefore upon the selfsame table both the Passovers were celebrated, the typical and the real.”***  A little lower, he calls the Eucharist the spiritual Passover. [__ Ļ__________ Ļ____.  Ibid.]  Isidorus Pelusiota afterwards styles it the Divine and true Passover. [__ _____ ___ ________ Ļ____.  Isidor.  Pelus. lib. iv. Epist. 162. p. 504. ed. Paris.]  And St. Austin observes that the Jews celebrate their Passover in a lamb, and we receive ours in the body and blood of the Lord.****  These are authorities sufficient for the name of Passover as applied to the Eucharist: for like as Baptism is in Scripture account the Christian circumcision, [Col. 2:11.] so is the Eucharist, in Church account at least, the Christian Passover.

         *[“Postquam typicum pascha fuerat impletum, et agni carnes cum apostolis comederat, assumit panem, qui confortat cor hominis, et ad verum paschae transgreditur sacramentum: ut quomodo in praefiguratione ejus Melchisedec, summi Dei sacerdos, panem et vinum offerens fecit, ipse quoque veritatem sui corporis et sanguinis repraesentaret.”  Hieronym. in Matt. cap. xxvi. p. 128. ed. Bened.]

         **[_____ _Ļ______, ___ _______, ___ ______, ___ _Ļ_______ _______ ___ _________.  Ibid. p. 612.]

         ***[__ ____ __ ___Ļ___ ________ _______ Ļ____, ___ __ ___ __Ļ__, ___ __ ___ ________.  Chrysost. de Prodit. Jud. Hom. i. tom. 2.  p. 383.  _Ļ’ _____ ___ ___Ļ____, ___ __ __Ļ____ Ļ____ _Ļ________, ___ __ ________ Ļ________.  Ibid.]

         ****[“Aliud est pascha quod adhuc Judaei de ove celebrant, aliud autem quod nos in corpore et sanguine Domini accipimus.”  Augustin. contr. Lit. Petiliani, lib. ii. cap. 37.]

 

 

A.D. 385.  Mass.  Missa.

         There is one name more, a Latin name, and proper to the western churches, which may just deserve mentioning, because of the warm disputes which have been raised about it ever since the Reformation.  It is the name mass, in Latin missa; originally importing nothing more than the dismission of a church assembly.*  By degrees it came to be used for an assembly, and for Church service: so easily do words shift their sense and adopt new ideas.  From signifying Church service in general, it came at length to denote the Communion service in particular, and so that most emphatically came to be called the Mass.  St. Ambrose is reasonably supposed to be the earliest writer now extant who mentions mass in that emphatic sense. [Missam facere coepi.”  Ambros. Epist. 20. ad Marcellin. p. 853. ed. Bened.]  Higher authorities have been pretended: but they are either from the spurious Decretal Epistles, or from liturgical offices of modern date in comparison. [Compare Deylingius, Observat. Miscellan. pp. 262, 272, etc.  Bingham, b. xiii. chap. 1.]

         *[Hence Missa Catechumenorum, and Missa Fidelium.  See Cangius’s Glossarium in Missa; and Casaubon. Exercit. xvi. n. 59.  p. 418, alias 582.]

         So much for the ancient names of the Sacrament: not that I took upon me to number up all, but those only which appeared to me most considerable.  More may be seen in Hospinian, Casaubon, Suicer, or Turretin, collected into one view, with their proper authorities.  It is time for me now to proceed directly to the consideration of the Sacrament itself; in the meanwhile hoping that my readers will excuse it, if I have hitherto detained them too long in the preliminaries, intended to open and clear the way to the main subject.

 

Chapter  II

Of the Institution of the Holy Communion.

         It will be proper to begin with the institution of this Sacrament by Christ our Lord, as recorded by St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Paul.  It is an argument of the great weight and importance of it, that we have it four times recorded in the New Testament, only with some slight variations, while what one or more omit, another supplies.  The most complete as well as shortest view of the whole may be taken by throwing all into one, in some such manner as here follows: Matt. 26.  Mark 14.  Luke 22.  1 Cor. 11.

         “The night in which the Lord Jesus was betrayed, as they were eating, or did eat, Jesus took bread, and giving thanks, blessed it, and brake it, and gave it unto his disciples, and said; Take, eat, this is my body, which is given and broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.  After supper likewise, having taken the cup, and given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this, for this cup is my blood of the new covenant, the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you, for many, for the remission of sins: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me, (and they all drank of it).  Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father, in the kingdom of God.  And when they had sung an hymn, they went out to the mount of Olives.”

         The circumstance of time is the first thing here observable: it was “in the night in which he was betrayed” [1 Cor. 11:23.] that our Lord instituted this holy Sacrament.  Our Lord designed it (besides other uses) for a standing memorial of his passion: and to shew the more plainly that he did so, or to render it the more affecting, he delayed the institution to the last period of his life.

         A more material circumstance is that he began the institution as they were eating, or after they had been eating: here the question is, what had they been eating?  It is commonly supposed the paschal lamb.  For St. Matthew in the same chapter relates, that on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came and asked, “Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?”  And the Lord made answer, that he would “keep the Passover with his disciples,” and the disciples actually prepared the Passover. [Matt. 26:17–19.]  St. Mark reports the same. [Mark 14:12–16.]  St. Luke confirms it, and adds this further circumstance, that our Lord, upon his sitting down to supper, said, “With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you, before I suffer” [Luke 22:15.]  Nevertheless, it seems from St. John’s account, that the day of the legal Passover was not yet come, that it was “before the feast of the Passover” that our Lord had his supper [John 13:1–2.]; that part of Friday, passion day, was but the preparation [John 19:14; compare 18:28.] of the paschal feast.  These seeming differences have occasioned very long and intricate disputes between Greeks and Latins, and among learned men both ancient and modern, which remain even to this day.  I shall not presume to take the place of a moderator in so nice a debate, but shall be content to report as much as may serve to give the reader some notion of it, sufficient for my present purpose.  There are three several schemes or opinions in this matter:  1. The most ancient and most prevailing is that our Lord kept the legal Passover, and on the same day with the Jews: and those who are in this sentiment have their probable solutions with respect to St. John’s accounts, while they claim the three other Evangelists as entirely theirs.  2. The second opinion is, that our Lord anticipated (for weighty reasons) the time of the Jewish Passover, and so kept his before theirs: or rather, he kept his Passover at the true legal time, when the Jews (or some at least of the Jews) postponed theirs illegally.  This opinion has also its difficulties, and the maintainers of it have contrived some plausible solutions.  3. The third opinion is, that our Lord kept no Passover properly so called, but had a supper, and afterwards instituted the Eucharist, the mystical or Christian Passover; called Passover in such a sense as Baptism is called Circumcision, succeeding in its room.  This last opinion had some patrons of old time, and more of late, and seems to gain ground.  I shall here transcribe what a learned and judicious writer of our own has lately pleaded in behalf of it, though it may be thought somewhat prolix.  It is in his notes on Matt. 26:17. [Dr. Wall’s Critical Notes on the New Testament, p. 33.]

         “Here occurs a question and a difference between the words of St. John and the other three, concerning the day of the week on which the Jews kept the Passover that year 4746, A.D. 33.  It is plain by all the four Gospels that this day on which Christ did at night eat the Passover (or what some call the Passover) was Thursday.  And one would think by reading the three, that that was the night on which the Jews did eat their Passover lamb.  But all the texts of St. John are clear, that they did not eat it till the next night, Friday night, before which night Christ was crucified and dead, having given up the ghost about the ninth hour, viz. three of the clock in the afternoon.  St. John does speak of a supper which Christ did eat on Thursday night with his Apostles, chapter 13:1–2, but he does not call it a Passover supper, but, on the contrary, says it was before the feast of the Passover, Ļ__ ___ ______ ___ Ļ____: by which, I think, he means the day before the Passover, or the Passover eve as we should say.  Now this was the same night, and the same supper which the three do call the Passover, and Christ’s eating the Passover.  I mean, it was the night on which Christ was (a few hours after supper) apprehended; as is plain by the last verse of that thirteenth chapter.  But the next day (Friday, on which Christ was crucified) St. John makes to be the Passover day.  He says, (chapter 18:28) the Jews would not go into the judgment hall on Friday morning, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover, viz. that evening.  And, chapter 19:14, speaking of Friday noon, he says, it was the preparation of the Passover.  Upon the whole, John speaks not of eating the Passover at all: nor indeed do the three speak of his eating any lamb.  Among all the expressions which they use, “of making ready the Passover”; “prepare for thee to eat the Passover”; “with desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you,” etc., there is no mention of any lamb carried to the temple to be slain by the Levites, and then brought to the house and roasted: there is no mention of any food at the supper beside bread and wine: perhaps there might be bitter herbs.  So that this seems to have been a commemorative supper used by our Saviour instead of the proper paschal supper, the eating of a lamb; which should have been the next night, but that he himself was to be sacrificed before that time would come.  And the difference between St. John and the other is only a difference in words, and in the names of things: they call that the Passover, which Christ used instead of it.

         “If you say, why then does Mark 14:12 call Thursday the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, and Luke 22:7 the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed? we must note, that their day (or __________) was from evening to evening.  This Thursday evening was the beginning of that natural day of twenty-four hours, towards the end of which the lamb was to be killed: so it is proper in the Jews’ way of calling days to call it that day.”  Thus far Dr. Wall.

         Deylingius, a learned Lutheran, has more minutely canvassed the same question, and maintained the same side. [Deylingius.  Observat. Sacr. tom. i. pp. 233–249.  Lipsiae, 1720.  Compare his Observationes Miscellaneae, Lips. 1736, where he again strongly maintains the same opinion, from p. 239 to p. 248.]  I shall not take upon me to say positively which of the three opinions is the best, or clogged with fewest difficulties.  If the last of the three be preferred, then the Eucharist is as properly the Christian Passover, as Baptism is the Christian Circumcision; and we have the authority of our Lord himself, or of his disciples, for so calling it, if they gave that name to the whole transaction.  But whatever hypothesis we follow, there will be proof sufficient that the Eucharist succeeded in the room of the Passover, like as Baptism succeeded in the room of Circumcision.

         It appears to be well agreed among the learned of all parties that the Christian Eucharist succeeded in the place of the Jewish Passover: and good use has been often made of the observation, for the explaining the nature of the Eucharist, as well as the phrase of the institution.  Buxtorf has laboured with most advantage in this argument in his two tracts, (one against Scaliger, [Buxtorf.  Dissertat. vi. de Coenae Dominicae primae Ritibus et Forma.] and the other against Cappellus, [Vindiciae Exercitat. de Coena, Domini adv. Lud. Cappel. p. 338, etc.]) and has so exhausted the subject, especially as to what concerns the forms and phrases, that he seems to have left but small gleanings for those that come after him.  Yet some additional improvements have been since thrown in by learned hands. [Pfaffius de Oblat. vet. Eucharist. p. 165, etc.  Bucherus, Antiq. Biblicae, p. 360, etc.]  The resembling circumstances common to the Jewish and Christian Passover may be divided into two kinds: some relating to the things themselves, some to the phrases and forms made use of here and there.  It may not be improper to present the reader with a brief detail of those resembling circumstances.

         I.  Of the first sort are these:  1. The Passover was of Divine appointment, and so is the Eucharist.  2. The Passover was a sacrament, and so is the Eucharist.  3. The Passover was a memorial [Exod. 12:14, 13:9.  Deut. 16:3.] of a great deliverance from temporal bondage; the Eucharist is a memorial of a greater deliverance from spiritual bondage.  4. The Passover prefigured the death of Christ [Vid. Vitringa, Observ. Sacr. tom. i. lib. 2. cap. 9. p. 415, etc.] before it was accomplished, the Eucharist represents or figures out our Lord’s death now past.  5. The Passover was a kind of federal rite between God and man, so also is the Eucharist.  6. As no one was to eat of the Passover before he had been circumcised [Exod. 12:43–48.], so no one is to partake of the Eucharist before he has been baptized.  7. As the Jews were obliged to come clean to the Passover [Num. 9:6.], so are Christians obliged to come well prepared to the Communion. [1 Cor. 11:27–29.]  8. As slight defilements (where there was no contempt) did not debar a man from the Passover, nor excuse his neglect of it [Num. 9:10.  2 Chron. 30:18.], so neither do smaller offences, where there is an honest heart, either forbid or excuse a man’s absenting from this sacrament.  9. As a total contempt or neglect of the Passover was crime great enough to render the offender liable to be “cut off from Israel” [Exod. 12:15.  Num. 9:13.  Cp. Bucher. Antiq. p. 402.], so a total contempt or neglect of the Holy Communion is in effect to be cut off from Christianity.  10. As the Passover was to continue as long as the Jewish law should stand in force, so must the Eucharist abide as long as Christianity. [1 Cor. 11:26.]  I have thrown these articles together in a short compass for the present, only to give the reader a brief general view of the analogy between those two Sacraments; and not that he should take the truth of every particular for granted, without further proof, if anything of moment should be hereafter built upon any of them.

         II.  The other sort of resembling circumstances concern the particular forms and phrases made use of in the institution: and it is in these chiefly that the great masters of Jewish antiquities, before referred to, have obliged the Christian world.  I shall offer a short summary of these likewise.

         1.  In the paschal supper, the master of the house took bread and blessed it in a prayer of thanksgiving to God: and the rule was never to begin the blessing till he had the bread in hand, that so the prayer of benediction directed to God might at the same time be understood to have relation to the bread, and might draw down a blessing upon it. [See Pfaffius de Oblat. vet. Eucharist. p. 171, etc.  Bucherus, Antiq. Evangel. p. 368, etc.  Buxtorf. de Coena Domini, p. 310.]  It is obvious to see how applicable all this is to our Lord’s conduct in the first article of the institution.

         2.  The breaking of the bread, after benediction, was a customary practice in the Jewish feasts [Buxtorf. 313.  Bucherus, 372.]: only in the paschal feast it is said that the bread was first broken and the benediction followed. [Lightfoot, Temple Service, c. xiii. sect. 7. p. 964; and on Matt. 26:26, p. 259.  Pfaffius, p. 178.]  But whether our Lord varied then, in a slight circumstance, or the Jews have varied since, may remain a question.

         3.  The distributing the bread to the company after the benediction and fraction was customary among the Jews [Buxtorf. 316.  Bucherus, 374.]: and here likewise our Lord was pleased to adopt the like ceremony.

         Several learned men have suggested [See particularly Pfaffius de Oblat. p. 179.  And Deylingius, (Miscellan. Sacr. p. 228, etc.), who refers to such authors as have espoused the first of the instances, after Baronius and Scaliger.] that the words “This is my body,” might be illustrated from some old Jewish forms made use of in the Passover feast; as, This is the bread of affliction, etc., and, This is the body of the Passover: but Buxtorf (who best understood these matters), after considering once and again, constantly rejected the former, and demurred to the other instance [Buxtorf.  Dissert. vi. de Coena, p. 301.  Dissert. vii.  Vindic. pp. 347, 348.], as not pertinent, or not early enough to answer the purpose: and Bucherus [Bucherus, Antiq. Evangel. p. 375.  Compare Deylingius (Miscellan. Sacr. p. 228, etc.), who absolutely rejects one and doubts of the other.], who has carefully reexamined the same, passes the like doubtful judgment; or rather rejects both the instances as improper, not being found among the Jewish rituals, or being too late to come into account.  So I pass them by.  Justin Martyr, I cannot tell how, was persuaded, that Esdras, at a Passover, had said to the Jews, This Passover (i.e. paschal lamb) is our Saviour and our refuge [___ __Ļ__ ’______ __ ___, _____ __ Ļ____ _ _____ ____, ___ _ ________ ____.  Justin Mart.  Dial. p. 292.  edit. Thirlby.  Cp. Wolfius, 1 Cor. 5:7.], and that the Jews after Christ’s time had erased the passage out of the Septuagint.  He was certainly mistaken in his report: but the words are worth the observing, as discovering what the Christians in his time thought of the Passover as a type of Christ, and how they understood paschal phrases, parallel to “This is my body,” etc.

         4.  The words, “This do in remembrance of me,” making part of the institution, are reasonably judged to allude to the ancient paschal solemnities in which were several memorials [’_________ ritus Hebraeorum redolet: habebant namque Judaei, in celebratione agni paschalis, plures ejusmodi __________ et recordationes,” etc.  Bucherus, p. 379.]: and the service itself is more than once called a memorial in the Old Testament, as before noted.

         5.  In the ancient paschal feast, the master of the house was wont to take cup after cup (to the number of four) into his hands, consecrating them one after another by a short thanksgiving; after which each consecrated cup was called a cup of blessing.  It is judged by the learned in Jewish antiquities,* that the third or fourth cup (Buxtorf is positive for the fourth) was what our Lord was pleased to sanctify, by taking it into his hand, and giving thanks over it.  It is doubted what the words “after supper” mean; whether in the close of the paschal supper, as some think, [Lightfoot, pp. 259, 260.] or after they had eaten bread, as others construe:** but the difference is not of moment, and so I pass on.

         *[Pfaffius de Oblat. Euch. p. 173.  Buxtorf. in Lex. Talmud. pp. 614, 616.  Dissert. vi. p. 300.  Lightfoot on Matt. 26:27, p. 259.  Bucherus, pp. 380–384.  Zornius Opusc. Sacr. tom. ii. p. 14, etc.  Hooper on Lent, part ii. cap. 3. p. 173.]

         **[____ __ ___Ļ_____ [1 Cor. 11:25] non vertendum est, post coenam communem, qualis nunquam fuit, sed remote post coenam paschalem: vel, quod vero similius est, proxime et immediate post esum panis consecrati; cui expositioni recensio historica Luc. 22:20, _______ ___ __ Ļ_______ ____ __ ___Ļ_____, postquam comederant, scil. panem consecratum, quam versionem sequuntur Arabs et Persa.  Sic Graecis ___Ļ___ quidem _____ coenam, sed Ļ______ et _____________ saepe cibum et quodvis epulum connotat; qua notione Hesiodus dixit ___Ļ___ Ļ_____, comedere, cibum sumere,” etc.  Bucher. p. 362.]

 

         6.  At the institution of the Passover it was said, “The blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you,” [Exod. 12:13.] etc.  The blood was the token of the covenant in that behalf, between God and his people; as circumcision before had been a token [Gen. 17:11.] also of a like covenant, and called covenant [Gen. 17:10.  “This is my covenant,” etc.; and 5:13, “my covenant shall be in your flesh,” etc.] as well as token.  In the institution of the Communion, our Lord says, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood which is shed for you, for many, for the remission of sins.”  The cup is here by a figure put for wine; and covenant, according to ancient Scripture phrase, is put for token of a covenant; and wine, representative of Christ’s blood, answers to the blood of the Passover, typical of the same blood of Christ:* and the remission of sins here, answers to the passing over there, and preserving from plague.  These short hints may suffice at present, just to intimate the analogy between the Jewish Passover and the Christian Eucharist in the several particulars of moment here mentioned.

         *[“Deus speciali mandato sacrificia et primitias offerendas ordinavit, maxime effusionem sanguinis, ut ab initio homines haberent unde effusionis per Christum tacite recordari possent.  Dan. 9:24.  Heb. 9 et 10. Rom. 3.  Praeter caeteras oblationes Deo factas, commemorabilia sunt sacrificia in festo expiationum. ... Tum quoque sacrificium agni paschalis, et quotidiani, seu jugis sacrificii, attendi debet.  Hos igitur ad ritus et oblationes alludit Christus cum ait, _____ ___ ____ __ ____ ___ __ ___ ______ ________, __ Ļ___ Ļ_____ ___________ ___ ______ ________.  Observant praeterea viri docti vinum rufum, quale in illis regionibus crescebat, ac in primis in coena paschali bibebatur egregiam nobis sanguinis memoriam relinquere.”  Bucher. Antiq. Evan. p. 389.]

         7.  At the paschal feast there was an annunciation or declaration [See Lightfoot, vol. ii. p. 778.  Pfaffius, p. 181.] of the great things which God had done for that people: in like manner, one design of the Eucharist is to make a declaration of the mercies of God in Christ, to “shew the Lord’s death till he come.”

         8.  Lastly, at the close of the paschal supper, they were wont to sing an hymn [See Lightfoot, vol. ii. pp. 258, 260.  Pfaffius, p. 181.] of praise: and the like was observed in the close of the institution of the Christian Eucharist; as is recorded in the Gospels.

         The many resembling circumstances, real and verbal, which I have here briefly enumerated, do abundantly shew that this holy Eucharist was in a great measure copied from the paschal feast, and was intended to supply its place, only heightening the design, and improving the application.  The use of the observation may appear afterwards, when we come to consider more minutely either the general intent or the particular parts of this Christian service.

 

Chapter  III

Of the Commemoration or Remembrance of Christ in the Holy Communion.

         Since the end or design of anything is always considered as first in view; antecedent in natural order to the performance, so the rules of just method require that in treating of this Sacrament we should begin with some account of the proximate end and design of it; namely, the commemoration or remembrance of Christ, “This do in remembrance of me” [Luke 22:19.  1 Cor. 11:24–25.  _____ Ļ______ ___ ___ ____ _________.]; and particularly of his death and passion, “slew the Lord’s death till he come.” [1 Cor. 11:26.  ___ _______ ___ ______ ____________ _____ __ __ ____.]  I call it the proximate or immediate end, because the ultimate end of all is the happiness of man, or, what is coincident therewith, the glory of God.  Our blessed Lord seeks not his own glory, but the good of his creatures, in all that he appoints them to do.  He is not capable of receiving advantage, or any real addition to his own glory, by any of our commemorations or services: but all these things are graciously appointed for our present and future benefit; and we may be confident that Christ, the Captain of our salvation, would prescribe nothing in a particular manner, which does not as particularly contribute to that end.  Some Divines, of a refined and elevated way of thinking, will not allow that God can have any end but himself, in anything that he does, because he can have no higher: but then they do not mean that God proposes to himself ally increase of happiness or of essential glory, to which nothing can be added; but that, as he is naturally benevolent, and as he takes delight in his own being and attributes (the most worthy of his love), so he delights in the exercise of his goodness, and chooses it as worthy of himself, and, in this sense, acts only for himself.  In such a sense as this, our blessed Lord may be said to have acted for himself, or for his own glory, in what he did for mankind: but it can in no sense be allowed, that he receives any advantage by what we say or do; and therefore the ultimate end (so considered) of our commemorations or services is the benefit accruing from thence to ourselves: what they are we shall see in due time and place.  This being premised for clearer conception, or to prevent mistakes, I now proceed.

         The commemoration of our Lord’s dying for us includes two things; the consideration of him as Lord, and as dying; one expressing his personal dignity, the other expressing his meritorious sufferings relative to us.  The first of the two may suffice for the present: the second may be reserved for a distinct chapter.

         I here take for my ground the words of our Lord, “This do in remembrance of me.”  The Greek words ___ ___ ____ _________ may bear three several renderings (or four): 1. In remembrance of me.  2. In commemoration of me.  3. For a memorial of me, or, for my memorial.  They differ not much in sense, but yet as they do differ, they may deserve a distinct consideration.  The second includes the first; and the third includes both the former, not vice versa: so they rise, as it were, in sense, and are so many distinct gradations, as shall be shewn presently.

         1.  I begin with the first and lowest, this do “in remembrance of me”.  The Socinians (some of them at least) not content with supposing this remembrance or commemoration to be one considerable end or part of this Sacrament, make it to be the only end or use of it [Et haec quidem quam explicuimus, mortis Christi annuntiatio proprius est, atque unicus Coenae Dominicae finis,” etc. Volkel. de Coen. Dom. p. 687.]; yea and sometimes go so far as to say that it constitutes the very nature or essence of this holy rite: for they interpret the words, “This is my body,” so as to mean, this action, this eating and drinking, is the memorial of Christ’s body broken,* etc.  Which is overdoing, and neglecting to distinguish between the thing itself, and the end or design of it; between what is done, and for what purpose it is done.  We eat bread and we drink wine in the Sacrament, the symbols of Christ’s body and blood; and we do so for this reason, among others, that Christ may be remembered, and the merits of his passion celebrated.  But this I hint by the way only, and pass on to what I design.  Remembrance of Christ is undoubtedly a principal end of this Sacrament.  It is not declared by the institution itself, in what view, or under what capacity we are here to remember him; but that must be learned from other places of Scripture, which declare who and what he is: for certainly we are to remember him in such a light as the Old and New Testament have represented him in.  This appears to be an allowed principle on all hands: for none think themselves obliged to stop in the bare words of the institution, without carrying their inquiries further into the whole compass of Scripture, when they see proper.  The Socinians themselves will not scruple to allow that Christ may or ought to be remembered in the Sacrament as Lord, in their sense, or as Master, or Saviour, or Head, or Judge, though there is not a word of Lord, or Master, or Saviour, or Head, or Judge, in the bare form of the institution as delivered by Christ: but those names or titles are to be fetched from other places of Scripture.  Therefore, I say, it is allowed by all parties, that we ought to remember Christ, in the holy Communion, according to what he is, by the Scripture account of him.  This foundation being laid, I go on to the superstructure: and for the more distinct conception of what this remembrance implies or contains, I shall take leave to proceed by several steps or degrees.

         *[Haec actio frangendi et comedendi panem, est corpus, hoc est commemoratio Christi corporis pro nobis fracti.”  Smalc. cont. Frantz. p. 315.  “Corpus Christi et sanguiuem Christi pro memoriali signo corporis Christi fracti, et sanguinis fusi sumimus: commemorationem autem, istius sacri ritus finem usumque esse dicimus.”  Schlichting. contr. Meisn. p. 761.  “Ritus istius naturam in panis fractione et esu, et e poculo potu, perque haec in mortis Christi representatione quadam, sitam esse dicimus.”  Ibid. pp. 785, 786.]

         1.  It is not sufficient to remember Christ merely as a very great and good man, a wise instructor, and an admirable teacher, while he lived, received up into celestial bliss and glory when he died: for all this comes vastly short of what sacred Writ declares of him; and is indeed no more (if so much) than what the Pagans themselves, the Platonists, particularly of the second and third centuries, were ready to admit.  For, being struck with the fame of his undoubted miracles, and with the inimitable force of his admirable precepts, holy life, and exemplary death, they could not but revere and honour his memory; neither could they refuse to assign him a place among their chief sages or deities.*  And all the plea they had left for not receiving Christianity was, that his disciples (as was pretended) had revolted, or degenerated, and had not duly observed the wholesome instructions of their high leader.**  Those Pagan philosophers therefore, as I said, remembered Christ, in as high a view as this article amounts to: a Christian remembrance must go a great deal higher.

         *[See this particularly proved in a very learned and curious dissertation, written by Laurence Mosheim, and lately inserted, with improvements, into his Latin translation of Cudworth, vol. ii. Cp. Euseb. lib. vii. cap. 18.  “Christum, Servatorem nostrum, virum magnum, divinum, et sapientissimum fuisse non inficiabantur, qui egregia et divina plane docuisset, cumque a Judaeis injustissimo supplicio necatus fuisset, in coelum ad Deos commeasset.”  Moshem. ibid. p. 23.  Hence, perhaps, it was that the Emperor Alexander Severus (of the third century), along with the images of Apollouius and Orpheus, had others of Abraham and Jesus Christ, receiving them as deities. Lamprid. Vit. Severi.]

         **[Descivisse scilicet a sanctissimi praeceptoris sui scitis Christianos Platonici criminabantur ... atque castam et sanam ejus disciplinam variis erroribus inquinasse....  1. Quod divinis Christum honoribus afficerent; nec enim a suis id postulasse Christum.  2. Quod Deos negligerent, et eorum cultum extinctum vellent; Christum enim ipsum a Diis haud alienum fuisse.”  Moshem. ibid. p. 24.]

         2.  It is not sufficient to remember Christ merely as an eminent prophet, or one of the chief prophets, an ambassador from heaven, and one that received his Gospel from above, wrought miracles, lived a good life, was deified after death, and will come again to judge mankind: for all this the Mahometans themselves (or some sects amongst them) can freely own, and they pay a suitable regard to his memory on that score. [See Reland. de Religione Mohammedica, pp. 25, 33, 34, 44, 45, 212, 224.  David Millus, Dissert. x. de Mohammedismo, pp. 344–346.]  It is all vastly below what the Scriptures plainly testify of him, and therefore does not amount to a Christian remembrance of him.

         3.  Neither yet is it sufficient to remember Christ as our Head, Lord, and Master, to whom we owe such regard as disciples do to their leader or founder: for all this is no more than what the Jews justly ascribed to Moses, who was but the servant of Christ. [Heb. 3:2–6.]  And it is no more than what many nominal Christians, ancient and modern, many half-believers have owned, and what all but declared apostates or infidels must own.  And it comes not up to what the Scriptures fully and frequently teach, and therefore does not amount to a due remembrance of him.

         4.  Neither, lastly, is it sufficient to remember Christ as higher than the angels, or older than the system of the world: for that is not more than many misbelievers, of former or of later times, have made no scruple to own, and it is still short of the Scripture accounts.

         For, according to the whole tenor both of Old and New Testament, Jesus Christ is not merely our Lord, Master, Judge, etc., but our Divine Lord and Master; Lord in such a sense as to be Jehovah and God of Israel, God before the creation, and by whom all creatures were made [John 1:1–3.]; who “laid the foundation of the earth,” and even the heavens are the works of his hands [Heb. 1:10.]; “who has a rightful claim to be worshipped and adored, by men, by angels, [Heb. 1:6.] by the whole creation. [Rev. 5:13.]  And no wonder, since he is described in sacred Writ as “God with us,” [Matt. 1:23.] as Lord God, [Luke 1:16–17.] “true God,” [1 John 5:20.] “great God,” [Tit. 2:13.] “mighty God,” [Isa. 9:6.] “over all, God blessed for ever”. [Rom. 9:5.  The reader who desires to see these several texts explained, and objections answered, may please to compare my Eight Sermons, and particularly the sixth.]  Such is the Scripture account of our blessed Lord, and his personal dignity; and therefore as such we ought to remember him as often as we think of him, and more particularly at the Communion table.  For since the value of what our Lord has done or suffered rises in proportion to the dignity of the person so doing or suffering, it is manifest that we cannot duly or suitably remember him in the Sacrament, if we entertain not those high and honourable conceptions of him, which such his personal dignity demands.  If the sending of the only-begotten Son into the world, to suffer, bleed, and die for us, was really the highest instance of Divine love which could possibly have been given: and if we are obliged, in return, to express our thankfulness in a way suitable thereto: and if such a suitable return is altogether impracticable without a just sense of the favour granted: and if no just sense can be had of it, while we take away the most endearing and enforcing consideration, which most of all enhances the value of it: if these premises he true, the conclusion is plain and necessary, that as often as we remember Christ in the Eucharist, we ought to remember him not barely as a wise man, or a good man, or an eminent prophet, or chief martyr, or as our particular Master, or Founder, or Redeemer, but as an almighty Saviour and Deliverer, as the only-begotten of the Father, “very God of very God,” of the same Divine nature, of glory equal, of majesty coeternal.  He that remembers him in any lower sense than this, in opposition to this, is not worthy of him; neither can he be esteemed by sober and discerning Christians as a worthy partaker of the holy Communion.

         To confirm this reasoning drawn from Scripture texts, I shall subjoin some human, but very ancient authorities.  They are what all writers, so far as I can perceive, in some degree value, and think it an honour to have, if they can but contrive any colorable pretensions to them [See my Importance of the Doctrine of the Trinity, vol. iii. pp. 655–656.]: and it is only when disappointment makes them despair, that they affect to contemn what they cannot arrive to.  Justin Martyr is a very early writer, born about the year 89 (as appears probable), and writing within forty or fifty years of the latest Apostle.  It is worth the while to know what so early and so considerable a person thought of a Christian Sacrament, which he had so often frequented; especially when he gives us a formal, solemn account of it, in the name of his Christian brethren, and in an address to the Emperor.  “This food we call the Eucharist, of which none are allowed to be partakers but such only as are true believers, and have been baptized in the laver of regeneration for the remission of sins, and live according to Christ’s precepts.  For we do not take this as common bread and common wine: but as Jesus Christ our Saviour was made flesh by the Logos of God, and had real flesh and blood for our salvation, so are we taught that this food, which the very same Logos blessed by prayer and thanksgiving, is turned into the nourishment and substance of our flesh and blood, and is in some sense the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus.” [Justin Mart. Apol. i. cap. 86. p. 96. edit. Thirlby.  Reeves, vol. i. pp. 120–121.]  I choose to follow Mr. Reeves’s translation of this passage, though somewhat paraphrastical, because he has very well hit off the sense.  What I have to observe upon it, as suitable to my present purpose, is that particular notice is twice taken of the incarnation of the Logos (that is, of God incarnate according to Justin’s known doctrine of the Logos being God) and the Sacrament is not only supposed to be a commemoration, [___ _________ ___ __ ______Ļ_________ _____ ___ ____ Ļ__________ ___ _____ __ ___ ___ Ļ______ ______.  Justin Mart. Dial. p. 290.] but a kind of emblem of it by Justin’s account, [How this was understood, see explained in a Charge on the Doctrinal Use of the Sacraments, p. 25.] as the intelligent reader will observe.  The reason is that the Sacrament of the Eucharist is the Sacrament of the passion, [___ _________ ___ Ļ_____ __ _Ļ____.] and God the Son, by becoming incarnate, first became passible.  All which will be made plainer by another passage of the same Justin, in his Dialogue with the Jew,* which is as follows: “That prayers and thanksgivings, made by those who are worthy, are the only sacrifices that are perfect and well pleasing to God, I also affirm: for these are the only ones which Christians have been taught to perform even in that remembrance [or memorial] of their food both dry and liquid, wherein also is commemorated the passion which God of God suffered in his own person, [or for them].”  I have no need to take notice here of more than is to my present purpose.  The words “God of God” are what I point to as a proof that the Divinity of Christ was an important article of the Eucharistic remembrance.  If any should incline to read “Son of God” (upon conjecture, for it is no more), instead of “God of God,” in that place, it will still amount to the same, because Justin always understood the phrase of “Son of God” in the highest and strongest sense as meaning “God of God”. [__ ___ _____ Ļ_________ __ ___ ____, ___ ____ _Ļ_____.  p. 94.  Cp. pp. 406, 408, 411.]  But I see no necessity of admitting any new conjectural change of _ ____ into _ ____, since ____ is very frequently our Lord’s title in Justin, [Justin Mart. pp. 204, 210, 233, 250, 261, 263, 265, 273, 291, 303, 328, 408, 409.] yea, and _ ____ more than once. [Justin Mart. pp. 251, 326, 378.]  But I proceed.

         *[___ ___ ___ ___ _____, ___ ___________, _Ļ_ ___ _____ _________, _______ Ļ____ ___ _________ ____ __ ___ ______, ___ _____ ____.  _____ ___ ____ ___ __________ Ļ________ Ļ_____ ___ _Ļ’ _________ __ ___ ______ _____ _____ __ ___ _____, __ _ ___ ___ Ļ_____ _ Ļ_Ļ____ __’ _____ _ ____ ___ ____ ________.  Justin Mart. Dial. p. 387.  A conjectural emendation has been offered, directing us to read __’ ______, _ ____ ___ ____.  Mede, Opp. p. 362.  Thirlby in loc.  I see not why _ ____ ___ ____ may not mean the same with _ ____ __ ___ ____: perhaps __ might have been negligently dropped.  The learned editor ingenuously says, “istud ____ admodum sane invitus muto, propter sequentia.”]

         I shall subjoin a passage of Origen, containing the like elevated sentiments of the remembrance made in the holy Communion.  “Thou that art come to Christ (the true High Priest, who by his blood has reconciled God to thee, and thee to the Father), rest not in the blood of the flesh, but consider rather the blood of the Logos, and hear him declaring, This is my blood which shall be shed for you, for remission of sins: the initiated in the mysteries well understand both the flesh and the blood of God the Word.”*  So I translate the last words, as most agreeable to Origen’s usual phraseology: but if any one chooses rather to say “Logos of God,” it comes to the same thing.  The sum is that the life and soul, as it were, of the Eucharistic remembrance lies in the due consideration of the Divine dignity of the Person whose passion we there remember.**  And indeed every man’s own reason must convince him that it must be so, if he ever seriously calls to mind the Scripture accounts of our blessed Lord, which I have above recited.  Hitherto I have confined myself to the strict notion of remembrance.

         *[Tu qui ad Christum venisti, (Pontificem verum qui sanguine suo Deum tibi propitium fecit, et reconciliavit te Patri) non haereas in sanguine carnis; sed disce potius sanguinem Verbi, et audi ipsum tibi dicentem, quia hic sanguis meus est, qui pro vobis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.  Novit qui mysteriis imbutus est, et carnem et sanguinem Verbi Dei.”  Orig. in Levit. Hom. ix. pp. 243, 244, ed. Bened.  Cp. Clem. Alex. Paedagog. lib. ii. cap. 2. p. 186: ___ _____ __________, etc.]

         **[Great use was afterwards made of this consideration in the Nestorian controversy; of which see Cyrill. Alex. Ep. ad Nestor. p. 72, et Anathem. xi. cum Explanat. p. 156.  Item Apologet. advers. Oriental. pp. 192, 193.]

 

         II.  I am next to advance a step further to commemoration, which is remembrance and somewhat more.  For to a bare remembering it superadds the notion of extolling, honouring, celebrating, and so it is collecting all into one complex idea of commemorating.  “This do in commemoration of me”: which is the second rendering of the same words.  Some perhaps might wonder why the Socinians, of all men, should reject the notion of remembering, and choose that of commemoration (which is really higher), yea, and should strongly insist upon it, and make it a point.  They certainly do so, as may appear from their own writings:* and what is stranger still, they assign such odd reasons for it, that one would scarce think them in earnest, if we were to look no further.  For what if St. Paul does speak of declaring, or shewing our Lord’s death, may not _________ still signify remembrance?  Is it not proper first to remember, and then to declare; or to declare it now, in order to remember for the future?  Why should one exclude the other, when both are consistent, and suit well together?  And though a person is supposed, before his coming to the holy Communion, to have the Lord’s death in mind, confusely or in the general, may he not still want to have it more in mind, and to remember it in particular, with all its circumstances, upon a close recollection, assisted by an external solemnity performed before his eyes?  Besides, if we should not want to call it to mind, yet we may want to keep it in mind for the future: and who sees not how serviceable the sacramental solemnity may be for that very purpose?  Add to this, that it is particularly said with respect to the Passover, “Thou shalt sacrifice the passover, etc., that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest out of Egypt, all the days of thy life.” [Deut. 16:2–3.]  Which is exactly parallel, so far, to the remembrance appointed in the Eucharist.  How trifling would it be to urge that the Israelites were supposed to remember the day before their coming to the Passover, and therefore could have no need to refresh their memories by coming; or to urge that because they ought always to bear it in mind, therefore it could not be one end or use of the Passover, to remind them of it, or to keep it in remembrance all their days.

         *[“Apparet, graviter errasse illos qui existimarunt verbum ‘commemorationem,’ quod in Graeco est _________, mutari debere in ‘recordationem’: neque enim dicit Paulus ‘mortem Domini recordamini,’ sed ‘mortem Domini annuntiatis,’ quod profecto non recordationem, sed commemorationem et praedicationem omnino significat ... non est quod quis ex verbo illo (_________) colligat coenam Domini in eum finem institutam fuisse, ut nobis suggerat et in memoriam revocet mortem ipsius Domini ... Commemoratio autem ista, et praedicatio mortis Christi, id necessario conjunctum habet, ut gratiae agantur Christo, tum vero Deo, patri ejus, cujus mandato animam suam posuit.”  Socin. de Usu et Fin. Coenae Domini, pp. 4, 5.

         “Quod nonnulli per ‘commemorationem’ in verbis Christi quibus ritum hunc instituit, ‘recordationem’ intelligunt, vel hanc pro ilia vocem reponunt, arbitrantes in eum finem ritum hunc sacrum esse institutum, ut nobis mortem Domini in memoriam revocet, in eo manifeste errant; quum qui ritum hunc sacrum obire recte velit, ac mortem Domini hac ratione annuntiare, eum Christi mortis probe et semper memorem esse oporteat.”  Cracov. Catechism, sect. vi. cap. 4. p. 229.  Cp. Schlichting. in 1 Cor. 11:25. et contr. Meisner. pp. 805, 814, 816.  Wolzogen. in Matt. 26. p. 416.]

         One may judge from hence that Socinus’s pretended reasons against the notion of remembrance were mere shuffle and pretense, carrying more of art and colouring in them, than of truth or sincerity: he had a turn to serve in favour of an hypothesis, and that was all.  The turn was this: he had a mind to make the _________ (which is one end, or use, or part of the Sacrament) to be the whole of the Sacrament, its whole nature and essence, as I before hinted, and to interpret the words, “This is my body” and “This is my blood,” to mean, this bread and wine, or rather this action, is an _________, a commemoration, and nothing more.  He could not pretend to say that this material thing, or this external action, is a remembrance (which denotes an internal perception), and therefore he substitutes commemoration in its stead, an outward act, and external service, and then resolves the whole of the Sacrament into that, confounding the end or use of the thing with the thing itself.  This was his fetch; and so he hoped to be rid at once of all supposed present graces or benefits accruing to worthy receivers, making the sign and thing signified to be all one, and indeed to be sign only.

         However, though Socinus had no good views in interpreting _________ by commemoration, and was undoubtedly wrong in excluding remembrance: yet setting aside his foreign fancies, it is very right to interpret the word by commemoration; but so as to include both an inward remembrance of benefits, and an outward celebration of the same, together with devout praises and thanksgivings to Christ our Lord for them, and to all the three Persons of the ever-blessed Trinity.  It is scarce possible for a considerate devout mind to stop short in a bare remembrance (though remembrance is always supposed, and is by this sacred solemnity reinforced), but it will of course break out into thankful praises and adorations.  We accept therefore of what Socinus and his brethren so much contend for, that the Greek _________, in this case, does amount to a commemoration, and is better rendered by that word than by remembrance: because the word will bear it, and because the circumstances shew that remembrance alone, without commemoration superadded, is short of the idea intended by it.

         I may further note, though it is but the natural and obvious consequence of what I have before said, that this commemoration must be understood in as high and as full a sense as the remembrance spoken of above: we must commemorate our Lord in a manner suitable to his Divine nature and dignity, and according to what he is by the Scripture accounts.  We must commemorate him as God, purchasing the Church with his own blood. [Acts 20:28.  For the reading of the text, see Mill. in loc. and Pearson on the Creed, p. 129, and Vitringa, Observ. Sacr. tom. i. p. 213, and Pfaffius de Var. Lect. p. 161.]  We must commemorate his passion as St. Paul has done, and in like words with these: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” [Phil. 2:6–8.  See my fifth Sermon, vol. ii., Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 548, and Third Defence, vol. iii. p. 59.]  In another place, the same Apostle, speaking of the “redemption by the blood” of Christ, and of his making “peace through the blood of the cross,” closes one, and ushers in the other, with a large account of the supereminent dignity of his Person, as born before the creation; adding, that “all things were created by him, and for him, and by him consist.” [Col. :14–20.  Compare my Sermons, vol. ii. pp. 56, etc. 103, etc.]  This is the right way of celebrating or commemorating his passion, as it is declaring the infinite value of it.  To speak of him only as man, or as a creature, though otherwise in a devout way, is not honouring, but dishonouring him and his sufferings; is not commemorating, but blaspheming his name.  St. Paul, in another place, going to speak of our Lord’s passion, introduces it with a previous description of his personal dignity: “appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his Person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” [Heb. 1:2–3.]  But as remarkable a passage as any is that of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where the Apostle, to enhance the value of Christ’s sufferings, expresses himself thus: “If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” [Heb. 9:13–14.]  By eternal Spirit, I understand Christ’s Divine nature, as the most judicious interpreters do [See Bull, Opp. p. 19, and Wolfius in loc.]: and so from hence it is plain how the merit of Christ’s sufferings rises in proportion to the dignity of the Person; and it is the Divinity that stamps the value upon the suffering humanity.  And hence also it is that St. John so emphatically observes, that it is the blood of Jesus Christ his Son (that Son whom the Apostle everywhere describes under the most lofty characters, as particularly John 1) which “cleanseth us from all sin”. [1 John 1:7.]  Such is the Scripture way of commemorating our Lord and his passion, and such the way of all the ancient churches of God: be this our pattern, as it ought to be for our commemorations in the holy Communion.

         III.  But I observed, that there was a third or a fourth rendering of the same words, ___ ___ ____ _________: “for a memorial of me”; or, “for my memorial,” which is more strictly literal.  This rendering is not much different from the two former, but contains and includes both: for a memorial supposes and takes in both a remembrance and a commemoration.  Whether it superadds anything to them, and makes the idea still larger or fuller, is the question.  If it carries in it any tacit allusion to the sacrificial memorials of the Old Testament, it may then be conceived to add to the idea of commemoration the idea of acceptable and well pleasing, viz. to Almighty God.  I build not upon _________ being twice used in the Septuagint as the name for a sacrificial memorial [Levit. 24:7.  Numb. 10:21.]; for the usual sense of the word, in the same Septuagint, is different, having no relation to sacrifice: but thus far may be justly pleaded, from the nature and reason of the thing, that the service of the Eucharist (the most proper part of evangelical worship, and most solemn religious act of the Christian Church) must be understood to “ascend up for a memorial before God,” in as strict a sense, at least, as Cornelius’s alms and prayers were said so to do [Acts 10:4.]; or as the prayers of the saints’ go up as sweet odours, mystical incense*, before God.  Indeed, the incense and sacrificial memorials of the Old Testament were mostly typical of evangelical worship or Christian services, and were acceptable to God under that view; and therefore it cannot be doubted but the true rational incense, viz. Gospel services, rightly performed (and among these more especially the Eucharistic service) are the acceptable memorials in God’s sight.  Whether there was any such allusion intended in the name _________, when our Lord recommended the observance of the Eucharist as his memorial, cannot be certainly determined, since the name might carry in it such an allusion, or might be without it; but as to the thing, that such worship rightly performed has the force and value of any memorial elsewhere mentioned in Scripture (sacrificial or other) cannot be doubted; and the rest is not worth disputing, or would make too large a digression in this place.

         *[Rev. 5:8, 8:3–4.  Psalm 141:2.  Compare Malach. 1:11.  Vid. Vitringa, in Apocalyps. pp. 214, etc. 333, etc.  Dodwell, Incensing no Apostolical Tradition, pp. 36–38.]

         Before I dismiss the word _________, it may not be improper to note, that it occurs but once more in the New Testament, where St. Paul speaks of the “commemoration of sins” [’_________ ________ ___’ ________.  Heb. 10:3.], made once a year, under the Old Testament, on the great day of expiation; when the High Priest was to “confess all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins.” [Vid. Levit. 16:21.]  There was _________ ________, commemoration of sins: but under the Gospel it is happily changed into _________ ___ _______, commemoration of Christ.  There sins were remembered; here forgiveness of sins: a remarkable privilege of the Gospel economy above the legal.  Not but that there was forgiveness also under the Old Testament, legal and external forgiveness by the law, and mystical forgiveness under the law, by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ foreordained, and foreshadowed: but under the Gospel, forgiveness is clearly and without a figure declared, and for all sins repented of; and there is no remembrance of them more [Jer. 31:34.]; no commemoration of them by legal sacrifices, but instead thereof a continual commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice for the “remission of sins,” in the Christian Sacraments.  There must indeed be confession of sins, and forsaking them also under the Gospel dispensation: but then it is without the burden of ritual expiations and ceremonial atonements: for the many and grievous sacrifices are all converted into one easy (and to every good man delightful) commemoration of the all-sufficient sacrifice in the holy Communion.  But I return.

         Hitherto I have been considering the Eucharistic commemoration as a memorial before God, which is the highest view of it: but I must not omit to take notice, that it is a memorial also before men, in the same sense as the paschal service was.  Of the Passover it is said: “This day shall be unto you for a memorial, and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord.” [Exod. 12:14.]  It is here called a feast to the Lord, and a memorial to the people: not but that it was a memorial also to the Lord, in the large sense of memorial before mentioned (as every pious and grateful acknowledgment to God for mercies received is).  But in the stricter sense of memorial, it was such only to the people.  It is further said in the same chapter, of the paschal service: “Ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. ... And when your children shall say unto you, What mean you by this service? ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.” [Exod. 12:24, 26–27.]  And in the next chapter [Exod. 13:9.  Compare Deut. 16:3.]: “It shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth,” etc.  In such a sense as this, the service of the Eucharist is a memorial left to the Church of Christ, to perpetuate the memory of that great deliverance from the bondage of sin and Satan (of which the former deliverance from Egyptian bondage was but a type) to all succeeding generations.  By this solemn service, besides other uses, God has admirably provided for the bulk of mankind, that they may be constantly and visibly reminded of what it so much concerns them both to know and attend to.  It is to the illiterate instead of books, and answers the purpose better than a thousand monitors without it might do.  Jesus Christ is hereby “set forth crucified,” [Gal. 3:1.] as it were, before their eyes, in order to make the stronger impression.

         I may further observe that as all the Passovers, after the first, were a kind of representations and commemorations of that original, [See Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part ii. p. 44.] so all our Eucharistic Passovers are a sort of commemorations of the original Eucharist.  Which I the rather take notice of because I find an ancient Father (if we may depend upon a Fragment) Hippolytus, who was a disciple of Irenaeus, representing the thing in that view: for commenting on Prov. 9:2, “Wisdom hath furnished her table,” he writes thus: “Namely, the promised knowledge of the Holy Trinity and also his precious and undefiled body and blood, which are daily administered at the mystical and sacred table, sacrificed for a memorial of that ever memorable and original table of the mystical Divine Supper.”*  Upon which words I may remark, by the way, that here is mention made of the body and blood as sacrificed in the Eucharist twenty or thirty years before Cyprian, if the Fragment be certainly Hippolytus’s, and then it is the earliest in its kind, though not higher than the third century.  As to his making all succeeding Eucharists memorials of the first, the notion interferes not with their being memorials also of our Lord and his passion, as before explained, but all the several views will hang well together.

         *[___ __________ ___ ______ ___Ļ_____ ___ _Ļ_______ ___ _____ _______ ____Ļ____________.  ___ __ ______ ___ ________ _____ ____ ___ ____, _Ļ__ __ __ _______ ___ ____ ___Ļ___ ___’ _______ _Ļ__________, _______ ___ _________ ___ __________ ___ Ļ_____ _______ ___ ________ _____ ___Ļ___.  Hippolyt. vol. i. p. 282, ed. Fabric.]

         Thus far I have been considering the Christian Eucharist as a remembrance, and a commemoration, and a memorial of Christ our Lord.  I could not avoid intermixing something here and there of our Lord’s death and passion; which have so close an affinity with the subject of this chapter: nevertheless that article may require a more distinct consideration, and therefore it may be proper to have a separate chapter for it.

 

Chapter  IV

Of the Commemoration of the Death of our Lord made in the Holy Communion.

         It is not sufficient to commemorate the death of Christ, without considering what his death means, what were the moving reasons for it, and what its ends and uses.  The subtleties of Socinus and his followers have made this inquiry necessary: for it is to very little purpose “to shew the Lord’s death till he come,” by the service of the Eucharist, if we acknowledge not that Lord which the Scriptures set forth, nor that death which the New Testament teaches.  As to Lord, who and what he is, I have said what I conceived sufficient, in the preceding chapter: and now I am to say something of that death which he suffered, as a willing sacrifice to Divine Justice for the sins of mankind.  It is impossible that a man should come worthily to the holy Communion, while he perverts the prime ends and uses of the sacrifice there commemorated, and sets up a righteousness of his own, independent of it, frustrating the grace of God in Christ, and making him to have “died in vain”.  [Quidam vero, quomodo aliquando Judaei, et Christianos se dici volunt, et adhuc ignorantes Dei justitiam suam volunt constituere, etiam temporibus nostris, temporibus apertae gratiae, etc. ... Quod ait Apostolus de lege, hoc nos istis dicimus de natura; si per naturam justitia, ergo Christus gratis mortuus est.”  Augustin. Serm. xiii. in Johan. vi.  Opp. tom. v. pp. 645, 646, edit. Bened.]

         The death of Christ, by the Scripture account, was properly a vicarious punishment of sin, a true and proper expiatory sacrifice for the sins of mankind: and therefore it ought to be remembered as such, in the memorial we make of it at the Lord’s table.  I shall cite some texts, just to give the reader a competent notion of the Scripture doctrine in this article; though indeed the thing is so plain, and so frequently inculcated, from one end of the Scriptures to the other, that no man (one would think) who is not previously disposed to deceive himself, or has imbibed strong prejudices, could either reject it or misconceive it.

         1.  That the sufferings of Christ had the nature of punishments, rather than of mere calamities, is proved from what is said by the Prophet Isaiah, as follows: “He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. ... He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. ... The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. ... For the transgression of my people was he stricken. ... When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, etc.  He was numbered with the transgressors, and bare the sins of many.” [Isa. 53:4–12: cp. Outram de Sacrifice.  pp. 319, etc.–328.  1 Peter 2:24 and Outram, p. 329, etc.]  What can all these words mean, if they amount not to punishment for the sins of mankind?  Evasions have been invented, and they have been often refuted.

         To the same purpose we read in the New Testament, that “he was delivered for our offences” [Rom. 4:25.], that he “died for all,” was “made sin for us,” when he “knew no sin” [2 Cor. 5:14–15, 21.  John 11:50–52.]; “was made a curse for us” [Gal. 3:13.], “died for our sins” [1 Cor. 15:3.], “gave himself for our sins” [Gal. 1:4.], “tasted death for every man” [Heb. 2:9.], and the like.  To interpret these and other such texts of dying for our advantage without relation to sin and the penalty due to it is altogether forced and unnatural, contrary to the custom of language, and to the obvious import of very plain words.

         2.  That our blessed Lord was in his death a proper expiatory sacrifice (if ever there was any) is as plain from the New Testament as words can make it.  He gave “his life a ransom for many” [Matt. 20:28.]; was “the Lamb of God” which was “to take away the sins of the world” [John 1:29.]; “died for the ungodly” [Rom. 5:6.], “gave himself a ransom for all” [1 Tim. 2:6.], once “suffered for sins, the just for the unjust” [1 Pet. 3:18; compare 2:21, 4:1.], “gave himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savoury” [Ephes. 5:2.].  “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us” [1 Cor. 5:7.], “offered up himself” [Heb. 7:27, 10:12, 9:14.], “to bear the sins of many” [Heb. 9:28.], has “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” [Heb. 9:26; compare 10:12.].  We have been “redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” [1 Pet. 1:19.]  These are not mere allusions to the sacrifices of the Old Testament, but they are interpretative of them, declaring their typical nature, as prefiguring the grand sacrifice, and centering in it: which, besides other considerations, appears very evidently from the whole design and tenor of the Epistle to the Hebrews; signifying, that the legal sacrifices were allusions to, and prefigurations of, the grand sacrifice.

         3.  That from this sacrifice, and by virtue of it, we receive the benefit of atonement, redemption, propitiation, justification, reconciliation, remission, etc., is no less evident from abundance of places in the New Testament.  “Through our Lord Jesus Christ we have received the atonement,” and “we are reconciled to God by his death.” [Rom. 5:10–11.]  “Him God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.” [Rom. 3:25.]  “He is the propitiation for our sins, – for the sins of the whole world.” [1 John 2:2, 4:10.]  “We are justified by his blood,” [Rom. 5:9.] “redeemed to God by his blood,” [Rev. 5:9.] “cleansed from all sin by his blood,” [1 John 1:7.] “washed from our sins in his blood” [Rev. 1:5.]; and the robes of the saints are washed and made white only in the blood of the Lamb. [Rev. 7:14.]  By himself he “purged our sins,” [Heb. 1:3.] viz. when he shed his blood upon the cross: and our redemption is through his blood. [Ephesians 1:7; compare 1 Corinthians 6:20; Col. 1:14.]  He hath reconciled us to God by the cross, [Eph. 2:16.] “in the body of his flesh through death.” [Col. 1:22.]  “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” [2 Cor. 5:1–19.]  His blood was “shed for many, for the remission of sins,” [Matt. 26:28.] “and without shedding of blood is no remission. [Heb. 9:22.]  It is this “blood of sprinkling” that “speaketh better things than the blood of Abel” [Heb. 12:24.]; and it is by the “blood of Jesus” that men must enter into “the holiest,” [Heb. 10:19.] as many as enter.  I have thrown these texts together without note or comment; for they need none, they interpret themselves.  Let but the reader observe, with what variety of expression this great truth is inculcated, that our salvation chiefly stands in the meritorious sufferings of our Saviour Christ.  The consideration whereof made St. Paul say, “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” [1 Cor. 2:2.]: namely, because this was a most essential article, the very sum and substance of the Gospel.  “In these and in a great many more passages that lie spread in all the parts of the New Testament, it is as plain as words can make anything, that the death of Christ is proposed to us as our sacrifice and reconciliation, our atonement and redemption.  So it is not possible for any man, that considers all this, to imagine that Christ’s death was only a confirmation of his Gospel, a pattern of a holy and patient suffering of death, and a necessary preparation to his resurrection. ... By this all the high commendations of his death amount only to this, that he by dying has given a vast credit and authority to his Gospel, which was the most powerful mean possible to redeem us from sin, and to reconcile us to God. But this is so contrary to the whole design of the New Testament, and to the true importance of that great variety of phrases, in which this matter is set out, that at this rate of expounding Scripture we can never know what we may build upon; especially when the great importance of this thing, and of our having right notions concerning it, is well considered.” [Bishop Burnet on Article II. pp. 70, 71.]

         The least that we can infer from the texts above mentioned is that there is some very particular virtue, merit, efficacy, in the death of Christ, that God’s acceptance of sinners, though penitent (not perfect), depended entirely upon it.  Common sacrifices could never make the comers thereunto perfect” [Heb. 10:1.]: but it was absolutely necessary that the heavenly things should be purified with some better sacrifice. [Ib. 9:23.]  Which is so true, that our Lord is represented as entering into the holy of holies (that is heaven) “by his own blood,” [Heb. 9:12.  Note, it is not only said that Christ entered into heaven by his own blood, but he is there also considered as the Lamb slain: Rev. 5:6.  Which further spews wherein principally the virtue of his intercession consists.] where “he ever liveth to make intercession for” those that “come unto God by him.” [Heb. 7:25; cp. Rom. 8:33–34.  Heb. 2:17, 9:24.  1 John 2:2.]  The efficacy even of his intercession above (great and powerful as he is) yet depends chiefly upon that circumstance, his having entered thither by “his own blood”; that is to say, upon the merit of his death and passion, and the atonement thereby made.  His intercession belongs to his priestly office, and that supposes the offering before made: for there was a necessity that he should “have somewhat to offer,” [Heb. 8:3, 5:1.] and nothing less than himself. [Heb. 9:14, 25–26, 28; compare 1:3.]  Seeing therefore that, in order to our redemption, Christ suffered as a piacular victim (which must be understood to be in our stead), and that there was some necessity he should do so, and that his prevailing intercession at God’s right hand now, and to the end of the world, stands upon that ground, and must do so; what can we think less, but that some very momentous reasons of justice or of government (both which resolve at length into one) required that so it should be.  We are not indeed competent judges of all the reasons or measures of an all-wise God with respect to his dealings with his creatures; neither are we able to argue, as it were, beforehand, with sufficient certainty, about the terms of acceptance, which his wisdom, or his holiness, or his justice, might demand.  But we ought to take careful heed to what he has said, and what he has done, and to draw the proper conclusions from both.  One thing is plain, from the terms of the first covenant, made in Paradise, that Divine wisdom could have admitted man perfectly innocent to perfect happiness, without the intervention of any sacrifice, or any Mediator: and it is no less plain, from the terms of the new covenant, that there was some necessity (fixed in the very reason and nature of things) that a valuable consideration, atonement, or sacrifice, should be offered, to make fallen man capable of eternal glory.*  The truth of the thing done proves its necessity (besides what I have alleged from express Scripture concerning such necessity), for it is not imaginable that so great a thing would have been done upon earth, and afterwards, as it were, constantly commemorated in heaven,** if there had not been very strong and pressing reasons for it, and such as made it as necessary (in the Divine counsels) as it was necessary for a God of infinite perfection to be wise and holy, just and good.  When I said constantly commemorated in heaven, I had an eye to Christ’s continual intercession,*** which is a kind of commemoration of the sacrifice which he once offered upon the cross, and is always pleading the merit of.  Which shews still of what exceeding great moment that sacrifice was, for the reconciling the acceptance of sinful men with the ends of Divine government, the manifestation of Divine glory, and the unalterable perfection of the Divine attributes.  And if that sacrifice is represented and pleaded in heaven by Christ himself, for remission of sins, that shews that there is an intrinsic virtue, value, merit in it, for the purposes intended: and it shews further, how rational and how proper our Eucharistic service is, as commemorating the same sacrifice here below, which our Lord himself commemorates above.  God may reasonably require of us this humble acknowledgment, this self-abasement, that after we have done our best, we are offenders still, though penitent offenders, and have not done all that we ought to have done; and that therefore we can claim nothing in virtue of our own righteousness considered by itself, separate from the additional virtue of that all-sufficient sacrifice, which alone can render even our best services accepted. [See our XIth Article, with Bishop Burnet’s Notes upon it, and Mr. Welchman’s.]

         *[“Si non fuisset peccatum, non necesse fuerat Filium Dei agnum fieri, nec opus fuerat eum in carne positum jugulari, sed mansisset hoc quod in principio erat, Deus verbum: verum quoniam intravit peccatum in hunc mundum, peccati autem necessitas propitiationem requirit, et propitiatio non fit nisi per hostiam, necessarium fuit provideri hostiam pro peccato.”  Orig. in Num. Hom. xxiv. p. 362.]

         **[“Est ergo duplex, ut legalium quarundam victimarum, ita Christi oblatio, prior mactationis, altera ostentionis legalium victimarum; prior peracta in templo, altera in ipso penetrali: Christi prior in terris, posterior in caelo.  Prior tamen illa non sacrificii praeparatio, sed sacrificium: posterior non tam sacrificium, quam sacrificii facti commemoratio.”  Grot. de Satisfact. in fine.]

         ***[Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands (which are the figures of the true); but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”  Heb. 9:24.]

         If it should be objected that we have a covenant claim by the Gospel, and that that covenant was entirely owing to Divine mercy, and that so we resolve not our right and title into any strict merits of our own, but into the pure mercy of God, and that this suffices without any respect to a sacrifice: I say, if this should be pleaded, I answer that no such covenant claim appears, separate from all respect to a sacrifice.  The covenant is that persons so and so qualified shall be acceptable in and through Christ, and by virtue of that very sacrifice which he entered with into the holy of holies, and by which he now intercedes and appears for us.  Besides, it is not right to think nor is it modest or pious to say, that in the economy of every man’s salvation, the groundwork only is God’s, by settling the covenant, and the finishing part ours, by performing the conditions; but the true order or method is for our Lord to be both the Author and Finisher of the whole.  The covenant, or rather, the covenant charter, was given soon after the fall to mankind in general, and has been carried on through successive generations by new stipulating acts in every age: so likewise was the atonement made (or considered as made) once for all, but is applied to particulars, or individuals, continually, by means of Christ’s constant abiding intercession.  Therefore it is not barely our performing the conditions that finishes our salvation, but it is our Lord’s applying his merits to our performances that finishes all.  Perhaps this whole matter may be more clearly represented by a distinct enumeration of the several concurring means to the same end.  1. The Divine philanthropy has the first hand in our salvation, is the primary or principal cause.  2. Our performing the duties required, faith and repentance, by the aid of Divine grace, is the conditional cause.  3. The sacrifice of Christ’s death, recommending and rendering acceptable our imperfect performances, is the meritorious cause.  4. The Divine ordinances, and more particularly the two Sacraments (so far as distinct from conditional) are the instrumental* causes, in and by which God applies to men fitly disposed the virtue of that sacrifice.  Let these things be supposed only, at present, for clearer conception: proofs of everything will appear in due time and place.  By this account may be competently understood the end and use of commemorating the sacrifice of our Lord’s passion in the holy Communion.  It corresponds with the commemoration made above: it is suing for pardon, in virtue of the same plea that Christ himself sues in, on our behalf: it is acknowledging our indispensable need of it, and our dependence upon it; and confessing all our other righteousness to be as nothing without it.  In a word, it is at once a service of thanksgiving (to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) for the sacrifice of our redemption, and a service also of self-humiliation before God, angels, and men.

         *[I understand “instrument” here in no other sense but as deeds of conveyance, or forms of investiture, such as a ring, a crosier, letters patent, broad seal, and the like, are called instruments: which shall be explained hereafter.]

         If it should be objected here, that shewing forth our Lord’s death, cannot well be understood of shewing to God, who wants not to have anything shewn to him, all things being naked before him; it is obvious to reply, that he permits and commands us, in innumerable instances, to present ourselves and our addresses before him: and though the very word ____________, which St. Paul makes use of in this case, [1 Cor. 11:26.  ___ _______ ___ ______ ____________.] is not elsewhere used for shewing to God, yet ___________, a word of like import, is [’_________ _______ _____ __ ___ ___. _. _. _.  Deut. 26:3.  Cp. Psa. 38:18.]; so that there is no just objection to be drawn merely from the phraseology.  As to the reason of the thing, since addresses to God have always gone along with the representation made in the Communion, and are part of the commemoration, it must be understood that we represent what we do represent, to God, as well as to men.

         Having thus dispatched what I intended concerning the remembrance, commemoration, or memorial of our Lord, and of his passion, made in this Sacrament, I might now proceed to a new chapter. But there is an incidental point or two to be discussed, which seem to fall in our way, and which therefore I shall here briefly consider, before I go further.

         1.  It has been suggested by some* that the notion of remembrance, or commemoration, in this service is an argument against present receiving of benefits in, or by it: Christ and his benefits are to be remembered or commemorated here; therefore neither he nor his benefits are supposed to be actually received at the time.  This is not the place proper for examining the question about present or actual benefits: but it may be proper, while we are stating the notion of remembrance, to obviate an objection drawn from it, in order to clear our way so far.  I see no force at all in the argument, unless it could be proved that the word remembrance must always be referred to something past or absent: which is a supposition not warranted by the customary use of language. “Remember thy Creator”: does it follow, that the Creator is not present?  “Remember the Sabbath day” (when present, I suppose) “to keep it holy.”  Let remembrance signify calling to mind;** may we not call to mind present benefits, which are invisible, and which easily slip out of our thoughts, or perhaps rarely occur, being thrust out by sensible things?  Or let it signify keeping in mind; if so, there is no impropriety in saying, that we keep in mind what is present and not seen, by the help of what is seen.  Let it signify commemorating: may not a man commemorate a benefaction, suppose, which is in some sense past, but is present also in its abiding fruits and influences, which are the strongest motives for commemorating the same?  Indeed it would be hard to vindicate the wisdom of commemorating what is past or absent, were there not some present benefits resulting from it.  I presume, if a benefaction were wholly lost or sunk, the usual commemoration of it would soon sink with it: the present benefits are what keep it up.  We do not say that Christ’s death, or Christ’s crucifixion, is now present; we know it is past: but the benefits remain; and while we remember one as past, we call to mind, or keep in mind, the other also, as present, but invisible, and therefore easily overlooked.  I see no impropriety in this manner of speaking: nor if a person should be exhorted to remember that he has a soul to be saved, that such an admonition would imply, that his soul is absent from his body.

         *[Jam constat homines ibi non participare, vel sortiri, vel accipere sanguinem Christi: participatio enim, vel sortitio, rei praesentis est; at benedictio, quae hoc loco idem est quod commemoratio, rei praeteritae esse solet.”  Smalc. contr. Frantz. p. 331.  “Notandum recordationem rebus vere et realiter praesentibus nullo modo tribui posse: non enim dici posumus eorum recordari quibus tunc cum maxime praesentibus fruimur, quum recordatio mere ad praeterita pertineat.”  Przipcovius ad 1 Cor. 11:20, p. 91.]

         **[Archbishop Tillotson, explaining the Scripture notion of remembrance, says: “Remembrance is the actual thought of what we do habitually know. ... To remember a person, or thing, is to call them to mind upon all proper and fitting occasions, to think actually of them, so as to do that which the remembrance of them does require, or prompt us to.”  Serm. liv. p. 638. fol. edit.  I see not why present benefits may not thus be remembered, and deserve to be so, rather than past, or absent, or distant benefits.]

         2.  Another incidental question, like the former, is whether, from the notion of remembrance in this sacrament, a conclusive argument may be formed against the corporal presence, and particularly against transubstantiation?  Notwithstanding that we have many clear demonstrations against that strange doctrine, yet I should be far from rejecting any additional argument, provided it were solid and just: but I perceive not of what use the word remembrance can be in this case, or how any certain argument can be drawn from it.  The words are “remembrance of me”: therefore, if any absence can be proved from thence, it must be the absence of what ME there stands for, that is, of the whole person of Christ; and so it appears as conclusive against a spiritual presence, as against a corporal one, and proves too much to prove anything.  Surely we may remember Christ, in strict propriety of expression, and yet believe him to be present at the same time; especially considering that he is “always present with his Church, even to the end of the world,” [Matt. 28:20.] and that “where two or three are gathered together in his name, there” is he “in the midst of them” [Matt. 18:20.]; and he has often told us of his dwelling in good men.  So then, since it is not said, remembrance of my body, but remembrance of me, and since it is certain, that one part at least of what ought to be remembered is present (not absent), therefore no argument can be justly drawn merely from the word remembrance, as necessarily inferring the absence of the thing remembered.

         But if it had been said, remembrance of my body, or blood, yet neither so would the argument be conclusive, if we attend strictly to the Romish persuasion.  For they do not assert any visible presence of Christ’s body or blood, but they say that his natural body and blood are invisibly, or in a spiritual manner, present, under the accidents, or visible appearances of bread and wine.  Now what is invisible is so far imperceptible, unless by the eye of faith, and wants as much to be called to mind as any absent thing whatsoever.  Therefore remembrance, or calling to mind, might be very proper in this case: for what is out of sight may easily slip out of mind.

         If any particular restrained sense of remembrance should be thought on to help out the argument, there will still remain a great difficulty, namely, to prove that _________, in the words of the institution, must necessarily be confined to such a restrained sense: which being utterly incapable of any certain proof, the argument built thereupon must of consequence fall to the ground.  Seeing, therefore, that there are two very considerable flaws in the argument, as proving too much one way, and too little the other way, it appears not prudent to rest an otherwise clear cause upon so precarious a bottom, or to give the Romanists a very needless handle for triumph in this article, when we have a multitude of other arguments, strong and irresistible, against the corporal or local presence in the holy Communion.

         As to the continuance of the Eucharistic service till our Lord comes, there is a plain reason for it, because the Christian dispensation is bound up in it, and must expire with it.  And there is no necessity for supposing, as some do,* any allusion to the absence of his body.  The text does not say, till his body appears, but till he come: that is, till he comes to put an end to this sacramental service (and to all other services proper to a state of probation) and to assign us our reward.  The reference is to the ultimate end, where this and all other probationary duties, as such, must cease, and to which they now look, expecting to be so crowned and completed: so that if there be an antithesis intended in the words, it is between present service and future glory, not between present and absent body.

         *[Quia futuri adventus Domini mentio sit, palam est, quasi absentis desiderium, et, ut ita dicam, defectum suppleri, hac repraesentatione et ob oculos positione praeteriti ejus beneficii, donec ipse adveniens desiderium hoc nostrum impleat.”  Przipcovius ad 1 Cor. 11:24.]

         However, though the argument will not bear in the view before mentioned, yet it is right and just to argue that the sign, or memorial of anything, is not the very thing signified or commemorated, but is distinct from it.  Bread and wine, the symbols of Christ’s natural body and blood, are not literally that very natural body and blood; neither is the sacrament of Christ’s passion literally the passion itself: thus far we may argue justly against transubstantiation, but supposing at the same time the strict sense of the word Sacrament to be the true one.  The argument is as good against the Socinians also, only by being transversed: for the things signified and commemorated are not the signs or memorials, but something else.  And therefore, to make out the true notion of sacramental signs, there must be inward and invisible graces as well as outward visible signs: of which more in the sequel.

         Having done with the first and principal end of the Sacrament, namely, the commemoration of Christ as described in Scripture, and of his death according to the true sacrificial notion of it; I now proceed to shew how this commemoration is performed, or by what kind of service it is solemnized, and what is further intimated or effected in and by that service.

 

Chapter  V

Of the Consecration of the Elements of Bread and Wine in the Holy Communion.

         The first thing we have to take notice of in the Sacramental service is the consecration of the elements: “Jesus took bread and blessed it.” [Matt. 26:26.]  “The cup of blessing which we bless,” etc. [1 Cor. 10:16.]  Here the points to be inquired into are: 1. Whether the elements of bread and wine in the Eucharist are really blessed, consecrated, sanctified, and in what sense.  2. Supposing they are blessed, etc., by whom or how they are so.  3. What the blessing or consecration amounts to.

         1.  The first inquiry is, whether the elements may be justly said to be blessed or consecrated: for this is a point which I find disputed by some; not many, nor very considerable.  Smalcius, a warm man, and who seldom knew any bounds, seems to have been of opinion, that no proper, no sacerdotal benediction at all belonged to the bread and cup before receiving, nor indeed after; but that the communicants, upon receiving the elements, gave praise to God, and that was all the benediction which St. Paul speaks of.*  So he denies that any benediction at all passed to the elements.  And he asserts besides, that whatever benediction there was, it was not so much from the administrator, or officiating minister, as from the communicants themselves: for which he has a weak pretense from St. Paul’s words, “we bless,” that is, says he, we communicants do it.  Thus far Smalcius.  But the cooler and wiser Socinians go not these lengths.  Crellius expressly allows, that a benediction is conferred upon the cup, as it is sanctified by thanksgiving, and made a kind of libation unto God.**  He goes further, and distinguishes sacramental consecration from that of common meals, as amounting to a sanctification of the elements for high and sacred purposes.***  The Racovian Catechism allows also of a sanctification of the elements, made by prayer and thanksgiving.****  Wolzogenius, afterwards, seems to waver and fluctuate between inclination and reason, and scarce knows where to fix; sometimes admitting a consecration of the elements, and soon after resolving all into bare giving of thanks to God.*****  I suppose all his hesitancy was owing to his not understanding the notion of relative holiness (which he might have admitted, as Crellius did, consistently with his other principles), or to some apprehension he was under, lest the admitting of a real sanctification should infer some secret operation of the Holy Ghost.  However, to make Scripture bend to any preconceived opinions is not treating sacred Writ with the reverence which belongs to it.  St. Paul is express that the cup, meaning the wine, is blessed, or sanctified, in the Eucharist: and if the wine be really sanctified in that solemn service, no man of tolerable capacity can make any question as to the bread, whether that be not sanctified also.

         *[“Notandum insuper est, verba Pauli, ‘calix benedictionis,’ non significare calicem benedictum (ut Fiantzius, una cum Pontificiis, aliquid divinum sibi et suis hac re arrogantibus, interpretatur) sed calicem quo sumpto benedicimus: mox enim additur, ‘quem benedicimus,’ nempe omnes qui ad mensam Domini accedimus.”  Valent. Smal. contr. Frantz. p. 331.]

         **[“Benedictio autem ista refertur primum ad Deum et Christum, et in gratiarum actione (unde etiam hic ritus antiquitus Eucharistiae nomen obtinuit) consistit: sed simul etiam transit ad calicem, quatenus divini nominis benedictione et gratiarum actione sanctificatur calix iste, et sic Domino quodammodo libatur.”  Crellius in 1 Cor. 10:16.  Opp. tom. ii. p. 306.]

         ***[“Non tantum eam gratiarum actionem, quae etiam in vulgari ciborum et potus usu adhibetur, intelligi arbitramur, qua scilicet gratiae aguntur pro poculo isto; sed maxime eam qua gratiae aguntur pro Christi fuso pro nobis sanguine.  Hac enim gratiarum actione imprimis poculum istud, quo ad Christi sanguinis fusionem repraesentandam utimur, sanctificatur et consecratur.”  Crellius, ibid. p. 306.]

         ****[“Qui calici huic benedicunt, id est, cum gratiarum actione, et nominis Domini celebratione sanctificant,” etc.  Racov. Catech. sect. vi. c. 4. p. 237. edit. 1659.]

         *****[“Vox benedicendi ... significat usitatam illam gratiarum actionem, seu consecrationem panis, etc. ... Calicem benedicere est, Deum pro potu, qui est in calice, extollere, eique gratias agere.”  Wolzog. in Matt. 26:26. p. 408.]

         It is of small moment to plead that ___________ and ________ are often used promiscuously, and that the former properly signifies giving thanks, and that bread and wine (for thus do some trifle) cannot be thanked: for since the words are often used promiscuously, and since ________ is taken transitively in this very case by the Apostle, [1 Cor. 10:16.  __ Ļ_______ ___ ________ _ __________.] it is next to self-evident that ___________, so far as concerns this matter, cannot be taken in a sense exclusive of that transitive signification of ________: for to do that is flatly to contradict the Apostle.  No doubt but either of the words may (as circumstances happen) signify no more than thanking or praising God; but here it is manifest that, in this rite, both God is praised and the elements blessed: yea both are done at the same time, and in the self-same act; and the Apostle’s authority, without anything more, abundantly proves it.  If the reader desires anything further, in so plain a case, he may please to consult three very able judges of Biblical language, or of Greek phrases; Buxtorf I mean, and Vorstius, and Casaubon, who have clearly and fully settled the true meaning of ___________ and ________, both in the general, and with respect to this particular case: I shall refer* to the two first of them, and shall cite a few words from the third.**  But to cut off all pretense drawn from the strict sense of ___________, as importing barely thanksgiving unto God, it may be observed, that that word also is often used transitively,*** as well as ________, and then it imports or includes benediction: so far from truth is it, that it must necessarily exclude it. I may further add, that the benedictions used [See above, chap. II.] in the paschal solemnity may be an useful comment upon the benediction in the Eucharist.  There the laying hand upon the bread, and the taking up the cup, were significant intimations of a blessing transferred to the bread and wine, in virtue of the thanksgiving service at the same time performed.  And by the way, from hence may be understood what St. Chrysostom observes upon 1 Cor. 10:16, “The cup of blessing which we bless,” on which he thus comments: “He called it the cup of blessing, because while we hold it in our hands, we send up our hymns of praise to God, struck with admiration and astonishment at the ineffable gift,” etc.****  That circumstance of holding the thing in hand while the prayers or praises were offering was supposed to signify the derivation of a benediction or consecration upon it.  It is not material to dispute whether the consecration formerly was performed by thanksgiving, or by prayer, or by both together: the forms might differ in different churches or at different times.  But the point which we are now considering is whether a benediction is really conveyed to the elements in this service, and whether they are really sanctified or made holy.  That they are so is plain from the testimony of St. Paul before recited.

         *[ Buxtorf. de Coena Domini, p. 311.  Cp. Bucher. Antiq. Evangel. p. 369.  Johan. Vorstius de Hebraism. N. T. part. i. p. 166, etc.]

         **[Evangelistae et Apostolus Paulus ... duobus verbis promiscue utuntur, ad declarandam Domini actionem, ________, et ___________ ... utraque vox a parte una, totam Domini actionem designat: nam Christus in eodem actu, et Deum Patrem laudavit, et gratias ei egit, et hoc amplius panem sanctificavit; hoc est, consecravit in usum Sacramenti,” etc.  Casaub. Exercit. xvi. p. 517.  Cp. p. 533, and Albertin. de Eucharist. lib. i. c. 4. p. 8, etc.]

         ***[_______________ _____ ... _______________ ______.  Justin Mart. Apol. i. p. 96.  Cp. 98.  Ļ______ ___________ ... ___ (Ļ_______) ______________.  Iren. lib. i. c. 13. P. 60.  ____ _____ _____________.  Clem. Alex. Strom. i. p. 375.  Note, that for the expressing this transitive sense of the Greek word, some have contrived, not improperly, the English word eucharistize, importing thanksgiving towards God, but so as at the same time to express the benediction imparted to the elements in the same act.

         ****[________ __ ________ ________, _Ļ_____ ____ ____ ______ _______, _____ _____ __________, ___________, __Ļ__________ ___ ______ ______ _. _. _.  Note, though Chrysostom here makes mention of hymns only, in accounting for the name of eulogy, or blessing, yet he did not mean that hymns only were used at that time in consecrating, for he elsewhere plainly speaks of prayer besides, prayer for the descent of the Holy Ghost.  “____ __ ___ __ Ļ_____ __ _____ ____, ___ ___ _____________ _Ļ_____ ______, ___ ___ ______ Ļ_____ _______ ___Ļ_____ ___Ļ____, Ļ__ _______ _____, __Ļ_ ___; De Sacerdot. lib. vi. c. 4. p. 424. ed. Bened.  Compare Theophyl. on John 6, who speaks as fully to the same purpose.]

         2.  As to Smalcius’s pretense, before mentioned, concerning the benediction of the communicants, after their receiving the elements, it is a groundless fiction, and a violent perverting of the plain meaning of the text.  In the paschal service, the benediction was performed by the master of the feast (not by the whole company), and before distribution: so was it likewise in the institution of this sacrament by our Lord.  And all antiquity is consonant, that a sacerdotal blessing was previous to the delivering the sacred symbols,* made sacred by that benediction.  And this is confirmed from hence (as before hinted) that an unworthy communicant is guilty of profane irreverence; viz. towards what is supposed holy, before he receives it.  As to St. Paul’s expression, we bless, it means no more than if he had said, we Christians bless, meaning, by the proper officers.  To strain a common idiom of speech to the utmost rigour is not right: it might as well be pleaded, that St. Paul must be present in person at every consecration; for ordinarily, when a man says we, he includes himself in the number.  It must be owned that it depends upon the disposition of every communicant to render the previous consecration either salutary or noxious to himself: and if any man has a mind to call a worthy reception of the elements, a consecration of them to himself, a secondary consecration, he may;** for it would not be worth while to hold a dispute about words.  But strictly speaking, it is not within the power or choice of a communicant, either to consecrate or to desecrate the symbols, to make the sacrament a common meal, or otherwise: it is a religious and sacred meal even to the most unworthy; and that is the reason why such are liable to the judgment of God for abusing it: for if it were really a common meal to them, it would do them no more hurt, than any other ordinary entertainment.  Holy things are fit for holy persons, and will turn to their nutriment and increase: but to the unholy and profane, if they presume to come near, the sanctified instruments do as certainly turn to their detriment and condemnation.  There are proofs of this, in great abundance, quite through the Old Testament, and I need not point out to the reader what he may everywhere find.

         *[_______________ __ ___ Ļ_________, ___ _Ļ____________ Ļ_____ ___ ____, __ __________ Ļ__’ ____ ________ ______ ___ Ļ_______ __________ _Ļ_ ___ ______________ _____, ___ _____, ___ ______.  Justin Mart. p. 96.  See Archbishop Potter on Church Government, p. 262, etc.]

         **[Igitur non sacrificia sanctificant hominem, non enim indiget sacrificio Deus: sed conscientia ejus qui offert, sanctificat sacrificium, pura existens,” etc.  Iren. lib. iv. c. 18, p. 250.  N.B. Here, sanctifying means rendering salutary: not that that alone does it, but it is a condition sine qua non.]

         One thing more I may note here in passing, for the preventing cavils or mistakes.  When we speak of human benedictions and their efficacy, we mean not that they have any real virtue or efficacy in themselves, or under any consideration but as founded in Divine promise or contract, and as coming from God by man.  If the prayer of faith saved the sick, [James 5:15.] it was not properly the human prayer that did it, but God did it by or upon such prayer, pursuant to his promise.  In like manner, whatever consecration, or benediction, or sanctification, is imparted in the Sacrament to things or persons, it is all God’s doing; and the ground of all stands in the Divine warrant authorizing men to administer the holy Communion, in the Divine word intimating the effect of it, and in the Divine promise and covenant, tacit or express,* to send his blessing along with it.

         *[I say, tacit or express: because our Lord’s declaring, and St. Paul’s declaring what is done in the Eucharist, do amount to a tacit promise of what shall be done always.  Wherefore the Socinians do but trifle with us, when they call for an express promise.  Are not the words, “this is my body,” etc., and “is it not the communion,” etc., tantamount to a Divine promise of everything we contend for?  But this is not the place to explain that whole matter: thus much is evident, that what the word of prayer did once make the sacramental bread and wine to be, that it will always make it.]

         3.  The third and most material article of inquiry is: what the consecration of the elements really amounts to, or what the effect of it is.  To which we answer, thus much at least is certain, that the bread and wine being “sanctified by the word of God and prayer” [1 Tim. 4:5.] (according to the Apostle’s general rule, applicable in an eminent manner to this particular case) do thereby contract a relative holiness, or sanctification, in some degree or other.  What the degree is, is nowhere precisely determined; but the measures of it may be competently taken from the ends and uses of the service, from the near relation it bears to our Lord’s Person (a Person of infinite dignity), and from the judgments denounced against irreverent offenders, and perhaps from some other considerations to be mentioned as we go along.

         For the clearer conception of this matter, we may take a brief survey of what relative holiness meant under the Old Testament, and of the various degrees of it.  I shall say nothing of the relative holiness of persons, but of what belonged to inanimate things, which is most to our present purpose.  The court of the temple was holy, [1 Kings 8:64.] the temple itself more holy, and the sanctuary, or holy of holies, was still more so [The Rabbins reckon up ten degrees of such relative holiness.  Vid. Deylingius, Observat. p. 546.]: but the ark of God, laid up in the sanctuary, appears to have been yet holier than all.  The holiness of the ark was so great, and so tremendous that many were struck dead at once, only for presuming to look into it with eyes impure [1 Sam. 6:19.]: and Uzzah but for touching it (though with a pious intent to preserve it from falling) was instantly smitten of God, and died upon the spot. [2 Sam. 6:7.  1 Chron. 13:9–10.]  Whatever God is once pleased to sanctify by his more peculiar presence, or to claim a more special property in, or to separate to sacred uses, that is relatively holy, as having a nearer relation to God; and it must of course he treated with a reverence and awe suitable.  Be the thing what it will, be it otherwise ever so mean and contemptible in itself, yet as soon as God gives it a sacred relation, and, as it were, seals it with his own signet, it must then be looked upon with an eye of reverence, and treated with an awful respect, for fear of trespassing against the Divine majesty, in making that common which God has sanctified.

         This notion of relative holiness is a very easy and intelligible notion: or if it wanted any further illustration, might be illustrated from familiar examples in a lower kind, of relative sacredness accruing to inanimate things by the relation they bear to earthly majesty.  The thrones, or scepters, or crowns, or presence-rooms of princes are, in this lower sense, relatively sacred: and an offence may be committed against the majesty of the sovereign, by an irreverence offered to what so peculiarly belong to him.  If any one should ask, what is conveyed to the respective things to make them holy or sacred, we might ask, in our turn, what was conveyed to the ground which Moses once stood upon, to make it holy ground? [Exod. 3:5.] or what was conveyed to the gold which the temple was said to sanctify, [Matt. 23:17.] or what to the gift when the altar sanctified it? [Matt. 23:19.]  But to answer more directly, as to things common becoming holy or sacred, I say, a holy or sacred relation is conveyed to them by their appropriation or use; and that suffices.  The things are in themselves just what they before were:* but now they are considered by reasonable creatures as coming under new and sacred relations, which have their moral effect; insomuch that now the honour of the Divine majesty in one case, or of royal in the other case, becomes deeply interested in them.

         *[“When certain things are said to be holy or sacred, no moral quality of holiness inheres in the things, only an obligation is laid upon men, to treat them in such a particular manner: and when that obligation ceases, they are supposed to fall again into promiscuous and ordinary use.”  Puffendorf, Law of Nature, ch. i. concerning moral entities.]

         Let us next apply these general principles to the particular instance of relative holiness supposed to be conveyed to the symbols of bread and wine by their consecration.  They are now no more common bread and wine (at least not during this their sacred application), but the communicants are to consider the relation which they bear, and the uses which they serve to.  I do not here say what, because I have no mind to anticipate what more properly belongs to another head, or to a distinct chapter hereafter: but in the general I observe, that they contract a relative holiness [The ancients therefore frequently gave the title of holy, holy of the Lord, or even holy of holies, and the like, to the sacred elements.  Testimonies are collected by Suicer, tom. i. pp. 56, 62.  Albertin. pp. 345, 346, 376.  Grabe, Spicil. tom. i. p. 343.] by their consecration, and that is the effect.  Hence it is, that some kinds of irreverence towards these sacred symbols amount to being “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord,” [1 Cor. 11:27.] the Lord of glory; and hence also it was that many of the Corinthians, in the apostolical age, were punished as severely for offering contempt to this holy solemnity, as others formerly were for their irreverence towards the ark of God: that is to say, they were smitten of God with diseases and death. [1 Cor. 11:30.]

         Enough hath been said for the explaining the general nature or notion of relative holiness: or if the reader desires more, he may consult Mr. Mede, who professedly considers the subject more at large. [Mede’s Works, pp. 399, etc. and 823.  Dissertationum Triga. Lond. A. D. 1653.]  Such a relative holiness does undoubtedly belong to the elements once consecrated.  The ancient Fathers are still more particular in expounding the sacerdotal consecration, and the Divine sanctification consequent thereupon.  Their several sentiments have been carefully collected, and useful remarks added, by the learned Pfaffius. [Pfaffius. Dissert. de Consecratione veterum Eucharistica, p. 355.  Compare l’Arroque, Hist. of the Eucharist, part i. ch. 8. p. 65, etc.]  It may be proper here to give some brief account of their way of explaining this matter, and to consider what judgment it may be reasonable to make of it.  Mr. Aubertine has judiciously reduced their sentiments of consecration to three heads, as follows [Albertin. de Eucharist. lib. i. c. 7. p. 34.]: 1. The power of Christ and the Holy Spirit, as the principal, or properly efficient cause.  2. Prayers, thanksgivings, benedictions, as the conditional cause, or instrumental.  3. The words of our Lord, “This is my body, this is my blood,” as declarative of what then was, promissory of what should be always.  I shall throw in a few remarks upon the several heads in their order.

         1.  As to the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit (in conjunction with God the Father), I suppose the ancients might infer their joint operations in the Sacraments, partly from the general doctrine of Scripture relating to their joint concurrence in promoting man’s salvation, [Matt. 28:18–19.  John 14:16, 26.  Rom. 5:5–6.  1 Cor. 12:4–6.  2 Cor. 1:21–22; 13:14.  Ephes. 1:17, 21–22.  2 Thess. 2:13–14.  Titus 3:4–6.  1 Pet. 1:2.] and partly from their being jointly honoured or worshipped in sacramental services;* and partly also from what is particularly taught in Scripture with respect to our Lord’s concern in the Eucharist, or the Holy Spirit’s.  It is observable that the doctrine of the Fathers, with regard to consecration, was much the same in relation to the waters of Baptism, as in relation to the elements in the Eucharist.  They supposed a kind of descent of the Holy Ghost, to sanctify the waters in one, and the symbols in the other, to the uses intended and they seem to have gone upon this general Scripture principle (besides particular texts relating to each sacrament) that the Holy Ghost is the immediate fountain of all sanctification.  I believe they were right in the main thing, only not always accurate in expression.  Had they said, that the Holy Ghost came upon the recipients, in the due use of the sacraments, they had spoken with greater exactness; and perhaps it was all that they really meant.  They could not be aware of the disputes which might arise in after times, nor think themselves obliged to a philosophical strictness of expression.  It was all one with them to say, in a confuse general way, either that the Holy Ghost sanctified the “receivers in the use of the outward symbols,” or that he “sanctified the symbols to their use”: for either expression seemed to amount to the same thing; though in strictness there is a considerable difference between them.  What Mr. Hooker very judiciously says, of the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament, appears to be equally applicable to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the same: “It is not to be sought for in the Sacrament, but in the worthy receiver of the Sacrament. ... As for the Sacraments, they really exhibit; but for ought we can gather out of that which is written of them, they are not really, nor do really contain in themselves, that grace which with them, or by them, it pleaseth God to bestow.”**  Not that I conceive there is any absurdity in supposing a peculiar presence of the Holy Ghost to inanimate things, any more than in God’s appearing in a burning bush [Exod. 3:2.  Acts 7:30.]: but there is no proof of the fact, either from direct Scripture, or from that in conjunction with the reason of the thing.  The relative holiness of the elements, or symbols, as explained above, is very intelligible, without this other supposition: and as to the rest, it is all more rationally accounted for (as we shall see hereafter) by the presence of the Holy Spirit with the worthy receivers, in the use of the symbols, than by I know not what presence or union with the symbols themselves. [Vid. Vossius de Sacrament. Vi et Efficacia, A.D. 1648. tom. vi. p. 252. de Bapt. Diss. v. p. 174.  Harmon. Evangel. 233. A.D. 1656.]

         *[Baptism in the name of all three.  Matt. 28:19.  As to the Eucharist, Justin Martyr is an early witness that the custom was to make mention of all the three Persons in that service.  [_Ļ____ Ļ__________ __ Ļ________ ___ _______ _____, ___ Ļ_______ ______, ___ _________ ___ _____ _____, _____ ___ _____ __ Ļ____ ___ ____, ___ ___ ________ ___ ____, ___ ___ _________ ___ _____, ___Ļ__Ļ__.]  Apol. i. p. 96.]

         **[Hooker, Eccl. Polity, b. V. pp. 307, 308.  Archbishop Cranmer had said the same thing before, in his preface to his book against Gardiner: I shall have another occasion, lower down, for citing his words.  Conf. Sam. Ward, Determinat. Theolog. p. 62.]

         2.  The second article, mentioned by Albertinus, relates to prayers, thanksgivings, and benedictions, considered as instrumental in consecration.  It has been a question, whether the earlier Fathers (those of the three first centuries) allowed of any proper prayer, as distinct from thanksgiving, in the Eucharistic consecration.  I think they did, though the point is scarce worth disputing, since they plainly allowed of a sanctification of the elements, consequent upon what was done by the officiating minister.  But we may examine a few authorities, and as briefly as possible.

         Justin Martyr, more than once, calls the consecrated elements by the name of eucharistized food,* which looks as if he thought that the thanksgiving was the consecration: but yet he commonly makes mention both of prayers and thanksgiving,** where he speaks of the Eucharistic service; from whence it appears probable, or certain rather, that consecration, at that time, was performed by both.

         *[_______________ _____ ... _______________ ______.  Apol. i. p. 96.]

         **[____ _____ ___ ___________.  Apol. i. p. 19.  ___ _____ ___ ___ ___________.  Ibid. p. 96.  _____ ______ ___ ___________.  p. 98.  _____ ___ ___________.   Dial. p. 387.]

         Irenaeus* speaks of the bread as receiving the invocation of God, and thereby becoming more than common bread. Some would interpret it of prayer for the descent of the Holy Ghost [Pfaffius in Praefat. ad Fragm. Anecdota et in Lib. p. 96.]; but, as I apprehend, without sufficient authority.  Irenaeus might mean no more than calling upon God, in any kind of prayer or thanksgiving, or in such as Justin Martyr before him had referred to.  Irenaeus, in the same chapter, twice speaks of thanksgiving [Offerens ei cum gratiarum actione. ... Panem in quo gratiae actae sint.”  Iren. p. 251.], as used before or at the consecration: but nothing can be certainly inferred from thence, as to his excluding prayer, and resolving the consecration into bare thanksgiving.

         *[_ _Ļ_ ___ _____ Ļ_______________ ___ ________ ___ ____, ______ ______ _____ _____, ___’ __________Iren. lib. ix. c. 18. p. 251.]

         Origen has expressed this whole matter with as much judgment and exactness, as one shall anywhere meet with among the ancient Fathers.  He had been considering our Lord’s words, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man” [Matt. 15:11.]; upon which he immediately thought with himself, that by parity of reason, it might as justly be said, that what goes into the mouth cannot sanctify a man.  And yet here he was aware, that according to the vulgar way of conceiving or speaking, the sacramental elements of bread and wine in the Eucharist were supposed to sanctify the receiver, having themselves been sanctified before in their consecration.  This was true in some sense, and according to a popular way of speaking; and therefore could not be denied by Origen, without wary and proper distinctions.  He allows, in the first place, that the elements were really sanctified; namely, by the word of God and prayer:* but he denies that what is so sanctified, sanctifies any person by its own proper virtue,** or considered according to its matter, which goes in at the mouth, and is cast off in the draught; admitting, however, that the prayer and word (that is, God by them) do enlighten the mind and sanctify the heart (for that is his meaning) of the worthy receiver.  So he resolves the virtue of the Sacrament into the sacerdotal consecration, previous to the worthy reception: and he reckons prayer (strictly so called) as part of the consecration.  The sum is, that the sanctification, properly speaking, goes to the person fitly disposed, and is the gift of God, not the work of the outward elements, though sanctified in a certain sense, as having been consecrated to holy uses.  Thus by carefully distinguishing upon the case, he removed the difficulty arising from a common, and popular way of expressing it.  Nevertheless, after this, [The Homilies on St. Matthew are supposed to have been written in the year of our Lord 244, and his book against Celsus A.D. 249.  Origen died in 253.] in his latest and most correct work, he did not scruple to make use of the same popular kind of expression, observing that the eucharistic bread, by prayer and thanksgiving, was made a sort of holy, or sanctified body, sanctifying the worthy receivers.***  Where we may note that he again takes in both prayer and thanksgiving to make the consecration.  And we may observe another thing, by the way, worth the noting, that by body there, he does not understand our Lord’s natural body, but the sanctified bread, which he elsewhere calls the symbolic and typical body;**** that is to say, representative body, as distinguished from the real body, or true food of the son], which none but the holy partake of, and all that do so are happy.  Origen’s doctrine therefore, with respect to this article, lies in these particulars: 1. That the bread and wine, before consecration, are common food.  2. That after consecration by prayer and thanksgiving, they become holy, typical, symbolic food, representative of true food.  3. That unworthy receivers eat of the symbolic food only, without the true.  4. That worthy receivers, upon eating the symbolic food, are enlightened and sanctified from above, and consequently do partake of the true spiritual food, in the same act.  I shall proceed no lower with the Fathers, under this article, having said as much as I conceive sufficient for illustrating Mr. Aubertine’s second particular.

         *[___________ ____ ____ ___ ________ _____ ... __ ___________ _____ ___ _____ ____ ___ _________.  Orig. in Matt. p. 254.]

         **[__ __ ____ ____ _______ ___ ________. p. 253.  ___’ ____ ___ __ ______, ___ ________ __________, ____ __ ___ _Ļ__________ ____ _____, ____ ___ _________ ___ Ļ______, ________ _______, ___ ___ ___ ___ ______ __________, _______ _Ļ_ __ _______.  ___ ___ _ ___ ___ _____, ___’ _ _Ļ’ ____ _________ _____ _____ _ ______ ___ __ _______ ___ ______ ________ _____.  p. 254.]

         ***[______ __ __ ___ Ļ_____ _________ ______________, ___ ____ ___, ___________ ___ _____ ___ _Ļ_ ____ _______ Ļ____________ ______ ________, ____ __________ ___ ___ _____ _____ __ ___ _______ ____ ___ ______ Ļ________ ____ _________.  Origen. contr. Cels. lib. viii. p. 766. edit. Bened.]

         ****[_____ ___ Ļ___ ___ __Ļ____ ___ __________ _______, Ļ____ _’ __ ___ Ļ___ _____ _______ ___ _____, __ ______ ____, ___ _______ ______, __ ____ _ _____ Ļ_____ _______ ___ ___ _____, _______ _________ ______ _______ _____.  Origen. in Matt. p. 254.]

         3.  The third will still want some explication: where we are to consider what effect the words of our Lord, “This is my body,” are conceived now to have in the Eucharistic consecration.  It is not meant (as the Romanists are pleased to interpret) that the pronouncing these words makes the consecration: but the words then spoken by our blessed Lord are conceived to operate now as virtually carrying in them a rule, or a promise, for all succeeding ages of the Church, that what was then done when our Lord himself administered, or consecrated, will be always done in the celebration of the Eucharist, pursuant to that original.  If the elements were then sanctified or consecrated into representative symbols of Christ’s body and blood, and if the worthy receivers were then understood to partake of the true spiritual food upon receiving the symbolic; and if all this was then implied in the words, “This is my body,” etc., so it is now.  What the Sacrament then was, in meaning, virtue, and effect, the same it is also at this day.  Such was the way of reasoning which some of the Fathers made use of; and it appears to have been perfectly right and just.  It was with this view, or under this light, that they took upon them to say, that our Lord’s words then spoken, were to have their effect in every consecration after; namely, as being directly declaratory of what then was, and virtually promissory of what should be in like case for all times to come.  The same Lord is our High Priest in heaven, recommending and enforcing our prayers there, and still constantly ratifying what he once said, “This is my body,” etc.  For, like as the words once spoken, “Increase and multiply, and replenish the earth,” have their effect at this day, and in all ages of the world; so the words of our Lord, “This is my body,” though spoken but once by him, stand in full force and virtue, and will ever do so, in all ages of the Christian Church.  This is the sum of St. Chrysostom’s reasoning upon this head; which it may suffice barely to refer to [Chrysost. Homil. i. de Proditione Judae, tom. ii. p. 384. ed. Bened.]: Mr. Pfaffius has collected from him what was most material, illustrating all with proper remarks.*  The use I would further make of the notion is, to endeavour from hence to explain some short and obscure hints of the elder Fathers.  For example, Justin Martyr speaks of the elements being eucharistized or blessed by the prayer of the word that came from him (God).**  Why might not he mean the very same thing that Chrysostom does, namely, that Christ, our High Priest above, now ratifies what he once said on earth, when he blessed the elements with his consecration prayers, in the institution of the Eucharist?  It is he that now sanctifies the symbols, as he then did, and, as it were, presides over our Eucharistic services, making the bread to become holy, which before was common, and giving the true food to as many as are qualified to receive it, along with the symbolic; that is, giving himself to dwell in us, as we also in him.  There is another the like obscure hint in Irenaeus, which may probably be best interpreted after the same way.  He supposes the elements to become Christ’s body by receiving the word.***  He throws two considerations into one, and does not distinguish so accurately as Origen afterwards did, between the symbolic food and the true food.  In strictness, the elements first become sanctified (in such a sense as inanimate things may) by consecration pursuant to our Lord’s institution, and which our Lord still ratifies; and thus they are made the representative body of Christ: but they are at the same time, to worthy receivers, made the means of their spiritual union with Christ himself; which Irenaeus points at in what he says of the bread’s receiving the Logos, but should rather have said it of the communicants themselves, as receiving the spiritual presence of Christ, in the worthy use of the sacred symbols.  But this matter must come over again, and be distinctly considered at large.  All I had to do here was to fix the true notion of consecration in as clear and distinct a manner as I could.  The sum is that the consecration of the elements makes them holy symbols, relatively holy, on account of their relation to what they represent, or point to, by Divine institution: and it is God that gives them this holiness by the ministry of the word.  The sanctification of the communicants (which is God’s work also) is of distinct consideration from the former, though they are often confounded: and to this part belongs what has been improperly called making the symbols become our Lord’s body; and which really means making them his body to us; or more plainly still, making us partakers of our Lord’s broken body and blood shed at the same time that we receive the holy symbols; which we are to explain in the sequel.  I shall only remark further here, what naturally follows from all going before, that the consecration, or sanctification of the elements in this service, is absolute and universal for the time being; and therefore all that communicate unworthily are chargeable with profaning things holy: but the sanctification of persons is hypothetical and particular, depending upon the dispositions which the communicants bring with them to the Lord’s table.

         *[Pfaffius de Consecratione Vet. Eucharistica, p. 389, etc.  Compare Bingham, b. xiv. ch. 3. sect. II.  Albertin. lib. i. c. 7. p. 33; and Covel’s Account of the Greek Church, pp. 47, 48, 63, etc.]

         **[___ __’ _____ _____ ___ Ļ__’ _____ _______________ ______.  Justin Mart. p. 96.  Cp. Albertin. p. 31.]

         ***[_Ļ___ ___ ___ __ __________ Ļ_______, ___ _ _______ _____ _Ļ________ ___ _____ ___ ____ ___ _______ _ __________ ____ _______.  Iren. lib. v. c. 2. p. 294.  Ļ____________ ___ _____ ___ ____, __________ _______.  Ibid.]

         Having done with the consecration of the elements, I should now proceed to the distribution and manducation.  But as there is a sacramental feeding and a spiritual feeding; and as the spiritual is the nobler of the two, and of chief concern, and what the other principally or solely looks to, I conceive it will be proper to treat of this first: and because the sixth chapter of St. John contains the doctrine of spiritual feeding, as delivered by our Lord himself, a twelvemonth, or more, before he instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, I shall make that the subject of the next chapter.

 

Chapter  VI

Of Spiritual Eating and Drinking, as taught in John 6.

         The discourse which our Lord had at Capernaum, about the eating his flesh and drinking his blood, is very remarkable, and deserves our closest attention.  His strong way of expressing himself, and his emphatic repeating the same thing, in the same or in different phrases, are alone sufficient to persuade us, that some very important mystery, some very significant lesson of instruction is contained in what he said in that chapter, from verse the 27th to verse the 63rd inclusive.

         For the right understanding of that discourse, we must take our marks from some of the critical parts of it, and from other explanatory places of Scripture.  From verse the 63rd, as well as from the nature of the thing, we may learn, that the discourse is mostly mystical, and ought to be spiritually, not literally understood.*  “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”  I am aware that this text has been variously interpreted, [Vid. Albertin. de Eucharist. p. 243, etc.] and that it is not very easy to ascertain the construction, so as not to leave room even for reasonable doubt.  I choose that interpretation which appears most natural, and which has good countenance from antiquity, and many judicious interpreters [Vid. Albertin. p. 244.]; but the reason of the thing is sufficient to satisfy us, that a great part of this discourse of our Lord’s cannot be literally interpreted, but must admit of some figurative or mystical construction.

         *[Orig. in Levit. Hom. vii. p. 225.  Eusebius de Eccl. Theol. 1. iii. c. 12.  Cyrill. Hierosol. Catech. xvi. p. 251.  Mystag. iv. 321.  Chrysostom. in loc.  Athanasius ad Serap. Ep. iv. p. 710. ed. Bened.  Augustinus in Psalm. 98.]

         A surer mark for interpreting our Lord’s meaning in this chapter is the universality of the expressions which he made use of both in the affirmative and negative way.  “If any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever.” [John 6:51.]  “Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life,” [John 6:54.] – “dwelleth in me, and I in him.” [John 6:56.]  So far in the affirmative or positive way: the propositions are universal affirmatives, as the schools speak.  The like may be observed in the negative way: “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” [John 6:53.]  The sum is: all that feed upon what is here mentioned have life; and all that do not feed thereupon have no life.  Hence arises an argument against interpreting the words of sacramental feeding in the Eucharist.  For it is not true that all who receive the Communion have life, unless we put in the restriction of “worthy,” and “so far”.  Much less can it he true, that all who never have, or never shall receive, have not life; unless we make several more restrictions, confining the proposition to persons living since the time of the institution, and persons capable, and not destitute of opportunity: making exceptions for good men of old, and for infants, and for many who have been or may be invincibly ignorant, or might never have it in their power to receive the Communion, or to know anything of it.  Now an interpretation which must be clogged with a multitude of restrictions to make it bear, if at all, is such as one would not choose (other circumstances being equal) in preference to what is clogged with fewer, or with none. [Cp. Albertin. de Eucharist.  pp. 234, 235.]

         Should we interpret the words of faith in Christ, there must be restrictions in that case also; viz. to those who have heard of Christ, and who do not only believe in him, but live according to his laws.  And exceptions must be made for many good men of old, who either knew nothing of Christ, or very obscurely; as likewise for infants and idiots; and perhaps also for many who are in utter darkness without any fault of theirs: so that this construction comes not fully up to the universality of the expressions made use of by our Lord.

         But if neither of these can answer in that respect, is there any other construction that will? or what is it?  Yes, there is one which will completely answer in point of universality, and it is this: all that shall finally share in the death, passion and atonement of Christ, are safe; and all that have not a part therein are lost.*  All that are saved owe their salvation to the salutary passion of Christ: and their partaking thereof (which is feeding upon his flesh and blood) is their life.  On the other hand, as many as are excluded from sharing therein, and therefore feed not upon the atonement, have no life in them.  Those who are blessed with capacity and opportunities must have faith, must have sacraments, must be in covenant, must receive and obey the Gospel, in order to have the expiation of the death of Christ applied to them: but our Lord’s general doctrine in this chapter seems to abstract from all particularities, and to resolve into this; that whether with faith or without, whether in the sacraments or out of the sacraments, whether before Christ or since, whether in covenant or out of covenant, whether here or hereafter, no man ever was, is, or will be accepted, but in and through the grand propitiation made by the blood of Christ.  This I take to be the main doctrine taught by our Lord in that chapter, which he delivers so earnestly, and inculcates so strongly, for the glory of the Divine justice, holiness, goodness, philanthropy; and for humbling the pride of sinners, apt to conceive highly of their own worth; as also for the convincing all men, to whom the Gospel should be propounded, of the absolute necessity of closing in with it, and living up to it.  That general doctrine of salvation by Christ alone, by Christ crucified, is the great and important doctrine, the burden of both Testaments; signified in all the sacrifices and services of the old law, and fully declared in every page almost of the New Testament.  What doctrine more likely to have been intended in John 6, if the words will bear it; or if, over and above, the universality of the expressions appears to require it?  Eating and drinking, by a very easy, common figure, mean receiving [So eating and drinking damnation (1 Cor. 11:29) is receiving damnation.]: and what is the thing to be received?  Christ himself in his whole person: “I am the bread of life.” [John 6:35, 48, 51.] – “He that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” [John 6:57.]  But more particularly he is to be considered as giving his body to be broken, and as shedding his blood for making an atonement: and so the fruits of his death are what we are to receive as our spiritual food: his “flesh is meat indeed,” and his “blood is drink indeed.” [John 6:55.]  His passion is our redemption, and by his death we live.  This meat is administered to us by the hand of God; while by the hand of faith, ordinarily, we take it, and in the use of the sacraments.**  But God may extraordinarily administer the same meat, that is, may apply the same benefits of Christ’s death, and virtue of his atonement, to subjects capable, without any act of theirs; as to infants, idiots, etc., who are merely passive in receiving it, but at the same time offer no obstacle to it.

         *[“Nisi manducaveritis, inquit, carnem Filii hominis, et sanguinem biberitis, non habebitis vitam in vobis.  Facinus, vel flagitium videtur jubere: figura est ergo, praecipiens passioni Dominicae communicandum, et suaviter atque utiliter recondemdum in memoria, quod pro nobis caro ejus crucifixa et vulnerata sit.”  Augustin. de Doctrin. Christian. lib. iii. cap. 16. p. 52. tom. iii. Bened.]

         **[“Sacramenta sunt media offerentia et exhibentia ex parte Dei: fides medium recipiens et apprehendens ex parte nostra: quemadmodum igitur manus donans, et manus recipiens non sunt opposita sed relata, et subordinata, ita quoque Sacramenta et fides non sunt sibi invicem opponenda.”  Gerhard. Loc. Comm. par. iv. p. 309.]

         The 28th Article of our Church says “that the means whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the supper is faith.”  That sacrament is supposed to be given to none but adults; and to them, not only faith in general, but a true and right faith, and the same working by love, is indispensably requisite, as an ordinary mean.*  All which is consonant to what I have here asserted, and makes no alteration as to the exposition of John 6, which speaks not principally of what is required in adult Christians, or of what is requisite to a worthy reception of the holy Communion, but of what is absolutely necessary at all times, and to all persons, and in all circumstances, to a happy resurrection; namely, an interest in, or a participation of, the atonement made by Christ upon the cross.  He that is taken in as a sharer in it is saved: he that is excluded from it is lost.

         *[__ ______ ____ _________ ____ _____, _ __ Ļ_________ _____ _____ __ _____________’ ____. ... ___ _____ _______ __ _ _______ Ļ________.  Justin Mart. Apol. i. p. 96.]

         Some learned writers having observed that our Lord in that chapter attributes much to a man’s believing in him, or coming to him, as the means to everlasting life, have conceived that faith, or doctrine, is what he precisely meant by the bread of life, and that believing in Christ is the same with the eating and drinking there spoken of.  But the thing to be received is very distinct from the hand receiving; therefore faith is not the meat, but the mean.  Belief in Christ is the condition required, the duty commanded: but the bread of life is the reward consequent.  Believing is not eating or drinking the fruits of Christ’s passion, but is preparatory to it as the means to the end.*  In short, faith, ordinarily, is the qualification, or one qualification; but the body and blood is the gift itself, and the real inheritance.  The doctrine of Christ, lodged in the soul, is what gives the soul its proper temperature and fitness to receive the heavenly food: but the heavenly food is Christ himself, as once crucified, who has since been glorified.  See this argument very clearly and excellently made out at large by a late learned writer. [Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, p. 393, etc.]  It may be true that eating and drinking wisdom is the same with receiving wisdom: and it is no less true that eating and drinking flesh and blood is receiving flesh and blood; for eating means receiving.  But where does flesh or blood stand for wisdom or for doctrine?  What rules of symbolic language are there that require it, or can ever admit of it?  There lies the stress of the whole thing.  Flesh, in symbolic language, may signify riches, goods, possessions [See Lancaster’s Symbolic Dictionary, prefixed to his Abridgment of Daubuz, p. 45.]: and blood may signify life: but Scripture never uses either as a symbol of doctrine.  To conclude then, eating wisdom is receiving wisdom; but eating Christ’s flesh and blood is receiving life and happiness through his blood, and, in one word, receiving him; and that not merely as the object of our faith, but as the fountain of our salvation, and our sovereign good, by means of his death and passion.

         *[Credere in Christum, et edere Christum, vel carnem ejus, inter se tanquam prius et posterius differunt; sicuti ad Christum venire et Christum bibere.  Praecedit enim accessus et apprehensio, quam sequitur potio, et manducatio: ergo fide Christum prius recipimus, ut habitet ipse in nobis, fiamusque ipsius vivae carnis et sanguinis participes, adeoque unum cum ipso. ... Itaque, notione definitioneque aliud est spiritualis manducatio quam credere in Christum.”  Lamb. Danaeus Apolog. pro Helvet. Eccles. p. 23.]

         To confirm what has been said, let us take in a noted text of the Epistle to the Hebrews, which appears decisive in this case.  “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” [Heb. 13:10: to: compare Rev. 6:9.  Zornius, Opusc. Sacr. tom. ii. P. 542.]  Whether the Apostle here speaks of spiritual eating in the sacrament, or out of the sacrament, is not now the question: but that he speaks of spiritual eating cannot reasonably be doubted. And what can the eating there mean, but the partaking of Christ crucified, participating of the benefits of his passion? That is the proper Christian eating, such as none but Christians have a clear and covenanted right to. The Apostle speaks not in that chapter of eating doctrine, but of eating sacrifice. The references there made to the Jewish sacrifices plainly chew, that the Apostle there thought not of eating the doctrine of the cross, but of eating, that is, partaking of, the sacrifice or atonement of the cross.* Therefore let this be taken in; as an additional explication of the eating mentioned in John 6, so far at least as to shew that it must refer to some sacrifice, and not to mere doctrines.

         *[Mihi perspicuum videtur esse, aram hic poni pro victima in aia Deo oblata.  Sensus verborum hic est, ut puto: Jesu Christi, qui vera est pro peccatis hominum victima, nemo fieri particeps potest, qui in ceremoniis et externis ritibus Judaicis, religionis arcem censet esse positam.”  Moshem. ad Cudworth. p. 3.]

         I am aware that many interpreters of good note among the ancients,* as well as many learned moderns, have understood altar in that text directly of the Lord’s table, and the eating, of oral manducation: which construction would make the text less suitable to my present purpose.  But other interpreters,** of good note also, have understood the altar there mentioned of the altar in heaven, or of the altar of the cross (both which resolve at length into one); and some have defended that construction with great appearance of reason.  Estius, in particular, after Aquinas and others, has very ingenuously and rationally maintained it, referring also to John 6:51, as parallel or similar to it, and understanding, both of spiritual eating, abstracted from sacramental.***  In this construction I acquiesce, as most natural and most agreeable to the whole context: neither am I sensible of any just objection that can be made to it.  The Apostle did not mean that they who served the tabernacle had no right to believe in Christ; that indeed would be harsh: but he meant that they who served the tabernacle, not believing in Christ, or however still adhering too tenaciously to the legal oblations, had no right or title to partake of the sacrifice or atonement made by Christ.  The thought is somewhat similar to what the same Apostle has elsewhere signified; namely that they who affected to be justified by the law forfeited all benefit arising from the grace of the Gospel, and Christ could profit them nothing. [Gal. 5:2–4.]

         *[Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Primasius, Sedulius, Haymo, Anselm.  “Plerique tam veteres quam recentiores significari volunt mensam Dominicam”  Estius in loc.]

         **[Chrysostom. in Hebr. Hom. xi.  p. 807.  Cyrill. Alex de Adorat. lib. ix. 310.  Compare Lightfoot, Opp. tom. ii. part. 2. pp. 1259–1264.  Outram de Sacrif. p. 332, etc.  Wolfius, Cur. Crit. in loc.]

         ***[Huc etiam pertinet, quod corpus Christi, in cruce oblatum, panis vocatur, fide manducandus.  Ut Joann. 6.  Panis, inquit, quern ego dabo, caro mea est, quam ego dabo pro mundi vita: scilicet, in cruce.”  Estius in loc.  Compare Bp. Moreton on the Sacrament, b. vi. chap. 3. p. 416.]

         But for the clearer perception of spiritual feeding, and for the preventing confusion of ideas, it will be proper to distinguish between what it is primarily, and what secondarily; or between the thing itself, and the effects, fruits, or consequences of it.  1. Spiritual feeding, in this case, directly and primarily means no more than the eating and drinking our Lord’s body broken, and blood shed; that is, partaking of the atonement made by his death and sufferings: this is the prime thing, the ground and basis of all the rest.  We must first be reconciled to God by the death of his Son, before we can have a just claim or title to any thing besides [Col. 1:20–22.  Eph. 2:13, 16.]: therefore the foundation of all our spiritual privileges is our having a part in that reconcilement; which, in strictness, is eating and drinking his flesh and blood in St. John’s phrase, and eating of the altar in St. Paul’s.  2. The result, fruit, or effect of our thus eating his crucified body is a right to be fellow heirs with his body glorified: for if we are made partakers of his death, we shall be also of his resurrection. [Rom. 5:9–11.  Phil. 3:10–11. Rom. 6:5–8.]  On this is founded our mystical union with Christ’s glorified body, which neither supposes nor infers any local presence: for all the members of Christ, however distant in place, are thus mystically united with Christ, and with each other.  And it is well known, that right or property, in any possession, is altogether independent of local presence, and may as easily be conceived without it as with it.*  3. Upon such mystical union with the body of Christ glorified, and making still part of his whole Person, follows a gracious vital presence of his Divine nature abiding in us, and dwelling with us. [John 6:56, 15:4.  Matt. 18:20, 28:20.]  Upon the same follows the like gracious vital presence, and indwelling of the other two Divine Persons [John 14:16–17, 23.  1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19.  2 Cor. 6:16.]: and hereupon follow all the spiritual graces, wherewith the true members of Christ are enriched.

         *[Pro tanta, conjunctione asserenda inter nos et Christum non opus praesentia corporali aut substantiali corporis Christi, quam statuere multi conantur in Eucharistia.  Nam ea nil plus vel commodi vel utilitatis habebimus quam si Christum quoad corpus suo loco sinamus in caelis.  Videmus enim Christianos posse esse invicem membra, et quidem conjunctissima, tametsi aliquis eorum degat in Britannia, alius in Gallia, et alius in Hispania.  Quod si de membris ipsis conceditur, cur de capite idem fateri erit absurdum, ut hac spirituali conjunctione simul posit in caelis esse, ac spiritualiter nobiscum conjungi?  Quod idem in matrimonio usu venire intelligimus, ubi sancta Scriptura praedicat, virum et uxorem unam carnem esse: quod non minus verum fateri coguntur adversarii cum una conjuges habitant, quam si locorum intervallo nonnunquam disjungantur.”  Pet. Martyr in 1 Cor. 12:12–13, fol. 178.  Cp. Albertin. de Eucharist. pp. 230, 231.]

         This orderly ranging of ideas may contribute very much towards the clearing our present subject of the many perplexities with which it has been embarrassed; and may further serve to shew us, where the ancients or moderns have happened to exceed, either in sentiment or expression, and how far they have done so, and how they were led into it.  The ancients, in their account of spiritual feeling, have often passed over the direct and immediate feeding upon Christ considered as crucified, and have gone on to what is properly the result or consequence of it, namely, to the mystical union with the body glorified, and what hangs thereupon.  There was no fault in so doing, more than what lies in too quick a transition or too confused a blending of ideas.

         I am aware that much dispute has been raised by contending parties about the sense of the ancients with respect to John 6.  It may be a tedious inquiry to go through: for there is no doing it to the satisfaction of considering men, without taking every Father, one by one, and re-examining his sentiments, as they lie scattered in several places of his writings, and that with some care and accuracy.  It may be of some use to go over that matter again, after many others, if the reader can but bear with a little prolixity, which will be here unavoidable.  There have been two extremes in the accounts given of the Fathers, and both of them owing, as I conceive, to a neglect of proper distinctions.  They who judge that the Fathers in general, or almost universally, do interpret John 6 of the Eucharist, appear not to distinguish between interpreting and applying: it was right to apply the general doctrine of John 6 to the particular case of the Eucharist, considered as worthily received; because the spiritual feeding there mentioned is the thing signified in the Eucharist, yea and performed likewise.  After we have sufficiently proved, from other Scriptures, that in and by the Eucharist, ordinarily, such spiritual food is conveyed, it is then right to apply all that our Lord, by St. John, says in the general, to that particular case: and this indeed the Fathers commonly did.  But such application does not amount to interpreting that chapter of the Eucharist.  For example; the words, “except ye eat the flesh of Christ, etc., you have no life in you,” do not mean directly, that you have no life without the Eucharist, but that you have no life without participating of our Lord’s passion: nevertheless, since the Eucharist is one way of participating of the passion, and a very considerable one, it was very pertinent and proper to urge the doctrine of that chapter, both for the clearer understanding the beneficial nature of the Eucharist, and for the exciting Christians to a frequent and devout reception of it.  Such was the use which some early Fathers made of John 6 (as our Church also does at this day, and that very justly), though I will not say that some of the later Fathers did not extend it further: as we shall see in due place.

         As to those who, in another extreme, charge the Fathers in general as interpreting John 6 of digesting doctrines only, they are more widely mistaken than the former, for want of considering the tropological way of commenting then in use: which was not properly interpreting, nor so intended, [See my Importance of the Doctrine of the Trinity asserted, vol. iii. pp. 649, 692, etc. and Preface to Scripture Vindicated, vol. iv. p. 160.] but was the more frequently made use of in this subject, when there was a mixed audience; because it was a rule not to divulge their mysteries before incompetent hearers, before the uninitiated, that is, the unbaptized.  But let us now take the Fathers in their order, and consider their real sentiments, so far as we can see into them, with respect, to John 6.

         Ignatius never formally cites John 6, but he has been thought to favour the sacramental interpretation, because he believed the Eucharist to be a pledge or means of an happy resurrection: for it is suggested that he could learn that doctrine only from John 6. [See Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. pp. 387, 388.]  But this appears to be pushing a point too far, and reasoning inconsequently.  Ignatius might very easily have maintained his point, from the very words of the institution, to as many as knew anything of symbolic language: for what can any one infer less from the being symbolicly fed with Christ’s body crucified, but that it gives a title to an inheritance with the body glorified?  Or, if the same Ignatius interpreted 1 Cor. 10:16 (as he seems to have done) of a mystical union with the body of Christ,* then he had Scripture ground sufficient, without John 6, for making the Eucharist a pledge or means of an happy resurrection. John vi. may be of excellent use to us for explaining the beneficial nature of the Eucharist, spiritual manducation being presupposed as the thing signified in that Sacrament: but it will not be prudent to lessen the real force of other considerable texts, only for the sake of resting all upon John 6, which at length cannot be proved to belong directly or primarily to the Eucharist.

         *[__ Ļ_______, ___ ______ ___ _______ _____.  Ignat. ad Philad. sect. iv. p. 27.  Compare Chrysostom on 1 Cor. 10:16, who interprets communion there mentioned by ______ ____ ___ ___ _____ ______ _______.]

         It seems that Ignatius had John 6 in his eye, or some phrases of it, in a very noted passage, where he had no thought of the Eucharist, but of eating the bread of life, after a more excellent way, in a state of glory.  The passage is this: “I am alive at this writing, but my desire is to die.  My love is crucified, and I have no secular fire left: but there is in me living water, speaking to me within, and saying, Come to the Father.  I delight not in corruptible food, nor in the entertainments of this world.  The bread of God is what I covet; heavenly bread, bread of life, namely, the flesh of Christ Jesus the Son of God, who in these last times became the Son of David and of Abraham: and I am athirst for the drink of God, namely, his blood, which is a feast of love that faileth not, and life everlasting.  I have no desire to live any longer among men; neither shall I, if you will but consent.”*

         *[___ ___ _____ ____, ___ ____ _Ļ________ _ ____ ____ ___________ ___ ___ _____ __ ____ Ļ__ _________ ____ __ ___, ___ ______ __ ____, ______ ___ ______ _____ Ļ___ ___ Ļ_____.  ___ ______ _____ ______, ____ _______ ___ ____ _______ _____ ____ ____, _____ ________, _____ ____, __ _____ ____ ’_____ _______, ___ ____ ___ ____, ___ _________ __ ______ __ _Ļ_______ _____ ___ ’_______ ___ Ļ___ ____ ____ __ ____ _____, _ _____ ___Ļ_ ________, ___ _______ ___.  ___ ___ ____ ____ _____Ļ___ ____ _____ __ _____, ___ _Ļ___ ________.  Ignat. ad Rom. cap. 7, 8.]

         Here we may take notice of heavenly bread, bread of God, bread of life, our Lord’s own phrases in John 6.  And Ignatius understands them of spiritual food, of feeding upon the flesh of Christ, the Son of God incarnate.  Drink of God, he interprets in like manner, of the blood of Christ; which is the noblest feast, and life eternal.  Learned men have disputed whether he intended what he said of sacramental food, or of celestial; whether of enjoying Christ in the Eucharist, or in heaven.  To me it appears a clear point that he thought not of communicating, but of dying: and the Eucharist was not the thing which he so earnestly begged to have (for who would refuse it [Smith.  Not. in Ignat. pp. 101, 102.  Grabe, Spicileg. tom. ii. p. 229.  Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 387, alias 392.]), but martyrdom, which the Christians might endeavour to protract, out of an over-officious care for a life so precious.  However, if the reader is desirous of seeing what has been pleaded on the side of the Eucharist, he may consult the authors referred to at the bottom i, and may compare what others have pleaded on the contrary side. [Casaubon. Exercit. xvi. num. 39.  Albertinus, de Eucharist. lib. ii. c. 1. p. 286.  Halloixius, Vit. Ignat. p. 410.  Ittigius, Hist. Eccles. saec. ii. pp. 169, 170.]  I see no impropriety in Ignatius’s feeding on the flesh and blood of Christ in a state of glory, [A learned writer objects that the “eating of Christ’s flesh in another world, is a way of expression somewhat unaccountable.”  Johnson’s Unbloody Sacr. i. p. 389, alias 394.] since the figure is easily understood, and is made use of by others [Athanasius de Incarn. et contr. Arrian. p. 883.  Damascen. tom. i. p. 172.  Augustin. tom. v. p. 384.] besides Ignatius.  Our enjoyment in a world to come is entirely founded in the merits of Christ’s passion: and our Lord’s intercession for us (as I have above hinted) stands on the same bottom.  Our spiritual food, both above and below, is the enjoyment of the same Christ, the Lamb slain.  The future feast upon the fruits of his atonement is but the continuation and completion of the present.  Only here it is under symbols, there it will be without them: here it is remote and imperfect, there it will be proximate and perfect.

         It has been strongly averred that Irenaeus understood John 6 of the Eucharist; though he never directly quotes it, nor ever plainly refers to it: but it is argued, that by the Eucharistic symbols (according to Irenaeus) we have the principle of a blessed immortality conveyed to our bodies, for which there is no appearance of proof in Scripture, but in John 6: therefore here is as clear proof of his so interpreting that chapter, as if he had cited it at length. [Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, p. 387, alias 392.]  How inconclusive this kind of reasoning is, and how injurious besides to our main cause, is visible enough, and has been intimated before, in answer to the like pretense concerning Ignatius.  It appears the worse with respect to Irenaeus, because he manifestly did found his doctrine on 1 Cor. 10:16, and expressly quoted it for that very purpose.*  He judged, as every sensible man must, that if the Eucharist, according to St. Paul, amounts to a communion, or communication of our Lord’s body and blood to every faithful receiver, that then such receiver, for the time being, is therein considered as symbolicly fed with the crucified body, and of consequence entitled to be fellow heir with the body glorified. [See the argument explained in a Charge, upon the Doctrinal Use of the Sacrament, vol. v. p. 110, etc.]  He draws the same conclusion, [Irenaeus, lib. iv. cap. 18. p. 251; lib. v. cap. 2. p. 294.] though more obscurely, from the words of the institution, “This is my body,” etc.  And the conclusion is certain, and irresistible, when the words are rightly understood.  Therefore let it not be thought that we have no appearance of proof, where we have strong proof; neither let us endeavour to loosen an important doctrine from its firm pillars, whereon it may stand secure, only to rest it upon weak supports, which can bear no weight.

         *[Vani autem omnimodo, qui ... carnis salutem negant, et  regenerationem ejus spernunt, diceutes, non eam capacem esse incorruptibilitatis.  Si autem non salvetur haec, nec Dominus sanguine suo redemit nos, neque calix Eucharistiae communicatio sanguinis ejus est, neque panis quem frangimus, communicatio corporis ejus est.”  Iren. lib. v. cap. 2. p. 293. ed. Bened.]

         Had Irenaeus been aware that John 6 was to be interpreted directly of the Eucharist, strange that he should not quote that rather than the other, or, however, along with the other, when he had so fair an occasion for it.  Stranger still, that when he so frequently and so fully speaks his mind concerning the Eucharist, and with the greatest reverence imaginable, that he should never think of John 6 all the time; that he should never make any use at all of it for advancing the honour of the Sacrament, had he supposed that it strictly belonged to it, and was to be interpreted of it.  The silence of a man so knowing in the Scriptures, and so devoutly disposed towards this holy Sacrament, is a strong presumptive argument (were there nothing else) of his understanding John 6 very differently from what some have imagined.

         There is one place in Irenaeus which seems to carry some remote and obscure allusion to John 6.  The Logos, the Divine nature of our Lord, according to him, is the perfect bread of the Father, and bread of immortality; and he talks of eating and drinking the same Logos, or Word.*  If he had John 6 then in his eye (which is not improbable), he interpreted it, we see, not of sacramental manducation, but of spiritual; not of the signs, but of the things signified, apart from the signs.  Only it is observable, that while he speaks of our feeding upon the Logos, he explains it as done through the medium of the flesh: it is the human nature, by which we are brought to feast upon the Divine.  St. Chrysostom gives the like construction of bread of life in John 6, interpreting it, so far, of our Lord’s Divine nature.**  But I proceed.

         *[_ _____ _ _______ ___ Ļ_____ ... __ _Ļ_ ______ ___ ______ _____ _________ ... __________ _______ ___ Ļ_____ ___ _____ ___ ____, ___ ___ _________ _____, _Ļ__ ____ __ Ļ_____ ___ Ļ_____.  Iren. lib. iv. cap. 38. p. 284.]

         **[___ Ļ_____ Ļ___ ___ ________ _____ __________, ___ ____ _ _____ ___ ____.  ____ ___ Ļ___ ___ _______ _____ ________ Ļ___ ___ _______ Ļ___ __ _____ ______ ___ _ _____ __ __ ___ ____, _ ____ ___ _____.  ’____ ____ Ļ___ ___ ________.  ___ ___ ______ ___ ___ ____ _____ _____ _____.  Chrysost. in Joan. Hom. xliv. p. 264. tom. viii. ed. Bened.]

         Our next ancient writer is Clemens of Alexandria, who flourished about A.D. 192.  In the first book of his Paedagogue, chapter vi, he quotes several verses [John 6:32, 33, 51, 53–55.] of our Lord’s discourse in St. John, commenting upon them after a dark, allegorical way; so that it is not easy to learn how he understood the main doctrine of that chapter.  I shall take notice of some of the clearest passages.  After speaking of the Church under the figure or similitude of an infant, brought forth by Christ with bodily pain, and swaddled in his blood, he proceeds thus: “The Word is all things to the infant, a father, a mother, a preceptor, a foster: Eat, says he, my flesh, and drink my blood.  These are the proper aliments which our Lord administers: he reaches out flesh, and he pours out blood; and nothing is wanting for the growth of the infants.  O wonderful mystery! he bids us lay aside the old carnal corruption, together with the antiquated food, and to partake of the new food of Christ, receiving him, if possible, so as to lay him up within ourselves and to enclose our Saviour in our breasts.” [Clem. Paedag. lib. i. cap. 6. p. 123. ed. Oxon.]  There is another passage, near akin to this, a few pages higher, which runs thus:

         “Our Lord, in the Gospel according to St. John, has otherwise introduced it under symbols, saying, Eat my flesh, and drink my blood; allegorically signifying the clear liquor of faith, and of the promise, by both which the Church, like man, compacted of many members, is watered and nourished, and is made up or compounded of both; of faith as the body, and of hope as the soul, like as our Lord of flesh and blood.” [_ ______ __ __ ___’, ’_______ _________. _. _. _.  Clem. ibid. p. 121.]  These hints appear to be very obscure ones, capable of being turned or wrested several ways. Some therefore have appealed to these and the like passages, to prove that Clemens understood John vi. of doctrines, or spiritual actions. [Dr. Whitby, Dr. Claget, Basnage Annal, tom. i. p. 320.]  Others have endeavoured so to explain them, as to make them suit rather with the Eucharist. [Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 255, etc.]  Perhaps both may guess wide.  In the first passage, Clemens says nothing of receiving either doctrines or Eucharist, but of receiving Christ himself: in the second, he does indeed speak of receiving faith and the promise; but then he owns it to be an allegorical or anagogical view of the text; from whence one may infer that he intended it not for the primary sense, or for strict interpretation.  The doctrine which Clemens most clearly expresses, and uniformly abides by, is that Christ himself is our food and nutriment:* and, particularly by shedding his blood for us.**

         *[_ ______, _ _____ ___ __Ļ___.  ibid. p. 124.  _ _____, ________ ______ ’______.  Ibid.  ____ __ _____ _ _______ _ _____ ____ __Ļ____.  p. 125  _____ _____ _______ ________ _ _____.  Ibid.  Ļ_______ ____________ _ _____, ___ _____, ___ ____, ___ _____, ___ _____, ___ ____, ___ ____.  p. 126.]

         **[_______ ____ _____ __ _____ _Ļ__ ____ _______ ____, _____ ___ _____Ļ_____.  Clem. ibid. p. 124.  __ ____ ___ ___ ____, ___ ____ ___ ______ Ļ_____ ___ ___________ ________.  p. 127.]

         At the end of Clemens, among the “excerpta Theodoti,” there is a pretty remarkable passage; which, though it belongs to a Valentinian author, may be worth the taking notice of.*  Commenting on John 6, he interprets the living bread, of the person of Christ: but as to our Lord’s saying, verse 49, “The bread which I will give is my flesh,” he proposes a twofold construction.  1. He understands it of the bread in the Eucharist.  2. Correcting his first thought, he interprets bread to mean the Church; having, as I conceive, Cor. 10:17 in his eye, “We being many are one bread, and one body.”  Of what weight or authority a Valentinian gloss ought to be in this case, I pretend not to say: but this is the first clear precedent we shall meet with in antiquity, for interpreting any part of John 6 directly of the Eucharist.  And it is observable that it was offered only in the conjectural way, and another interpretation presently subjoined as preferable to it.

         *[_ ___ _____, _ _Ļ_ ___ Ļ_____ ______, _ ____ ____, ____ _______ ___________.  _ __ _____ __ ___ ____, _____, _ ____ ___ _____.  ____ _ ________ _ ____ ___ ___ ___________, _ _Ļ__ ___ ______, _ ____ __ ____ _____ _____, _Ļ__ _____ _ ________, _____ ________, ________ __________.  Excerpt. Theod. apud Clem. p. 971.]

         Tertullian quotes two verses out of John 6.  And he interprets the bread there mentioned, not of the sacramental bread, but of Christ himself; not of the signs, but of the things signified.  Presently after, he quotes part of the words of the institution, “This is my body,” referring to the Eucharist: and there he does not say that our Lord’s body is that bread (as he had said before, that Christ, or the Logos, is our bread), but that the Lord’s body is understood, or considered, in bread: as much as to say, the Eucharistic bread is by construction that natural body of Christ which is the true bread.  And for this he refers not to John 6 but to the words of the institution.  Tertullian here joined together the spiritual food mentioned in John 6 in the abstract way, and the same as conveyed in the Eucharist; but he did not interpret John 6 of the Eucharist.*

         *[Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, spiritualiter potius intelligamus: Christus enim panis noster est, quia vita Christus, et vita panis: Ego sum, ingnit, panis vitae.  Joh. 6:35.  Et paulo supra, v. 33: Panis est sermo Dei vivi, qui descendit de caelis.  Tum quod et corpus ejus in pane censetur: Hoc est corpus meum.”  Tertull. de Orat. cap. vi. p. 131.]

         It has been suggested by some, [Dr. Claget, Dr. Whitby, etc.  Compare Basnag. Annal. tom. i. p. 320.] that Tertullian understood John 6 merely of faith, or doctrine, or spiritual actions: and it is strenuously denied by others. [Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 358, etc.]  The passage upon which the dispute turns is part of his reply to Marcion; who took a handle from the words, “the flesh profiteth nothing,” to argue against the resurrection of the body.

         “Though he says, ‘the flesh profiteth nothing,’ yet the sense is to be governed by the subject matter.  For because they thought it an hard and intolerable saying, as if he had intended really to give them his flesh to eat; therefore in order to resolve the affair of salvation into the spirit, he premised that ‘it is the spirit that quickeneth,’ and then subjoined, that ‘the flesh profiteth nothing;’ namely, towards quickening.  He shews also what he would have them understand by spirit: ‘the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life,’ conformable to what he had said before; ‘he that heareth my words, and believeth in him that sent me, hath everlasting life,’ etc. – Therefore as he makes the word the quickener, because the word is spirit and life, he calls the same his flesh, inasmuch as the word was made flesh; which consequently is to be hungered after for the sake of life, and to be devoured by the ear, and to be chewed by the understanding, and digested by faith: for a little before also he had pronounced the heavenly bread to be his flesh,”* etc.

         *[Etsi carnem ait nihil prodesse, ex materia dicti dirigendus est sensus.  Nam quia durum et intolerabilem existimaverunt sermonem ejus, quasi vere carnem suam illis edendam determinasset; ut in spiritum disponeret statum salutis, praemisit, ‘spiritus est qui vivificat’: atque ita subjunxit ‘caro nihil prodest’; ad vivificandum scilicet.  Exsequitur etiam quid velit intelligi spiritum: ‘Verba quae locutus sum vobis, spiritus sunt, vita sunt.’  Sicut et supra, ‘Qui audit sermones meos, et credit in eum qui me misit, habet vitam aeternam, et in judicium non veniet, sed transiet de morte in vitam.’  Itaque sermonem constituens vivificatorem, quia spiritus et vita sermo, eundem etiam carnem suam dixit, quia et sermo caro erat factus: proinde in causam vitae appetendus, et devorandus auditu, et ruminandus intellectu, et fide digerendus; nam et paulo ante, carnem suam panem quoque caelestem pronuntiarat,’” etc.  Tertull. de Ressurr. Carn. cap. xxxvii. p. 347.]

         All that one can justly gather from this confused passage is that Tertullian interpreted the bread of life in John 6 of the Word; which he sometimes makes to be vocal, and sometimes substantial, blending the ideas in a very perplexed manner: so that he is no clear authority for construing John 6 of doctrines, etc.  All that is certain is, that he supposes the Word made flesh, the Word incarnate, to be the heavenly bread spoken of in that chapter.

         There is another place in Tertullian,* where by flesh and bread in John 6 he very plainly understands, not the sacramental, but natural body of Christ, not doctrine, but literally flesh; as indeed our Lord evidently meant it.  For as to verses 53, 54, etc., the figure is not in the word “flesh,” but in the words “eating and drinking,” as learned men have very justly observed.**  But then this is to be so understood, that the eating and drinking the natural body and blood amount to receiving the fruits of the blood shed, and body slain; otherwise there is a figure in the words “body and blood,” as put for the fruits of them, if eating amounts simply to receiving.  But I pass on.

         *[“Panis quem ego dedero pro salute mundi, caro mea est.  Quod si una, caro, et una anima, illa tristis usque ad mortem, et illa panis pro mundi salute; salvus est numerus duarum substantiarum, in suo genere distantium, excludens carneae animae unicam speciem.”  De Cant. Christi, cap. xiii. p. 319.]

         **[“Figura autem non est in carne, vera enim Christi caro ad vitam est manducanda: superest igitur ut sit in manducandi vocabulo, quod a corporis organis, ad facultates animae figurate transferatur.”  Albertinus. p. 525.  “Caro et sanguis nihil aliud designant quam quod verba prae se ferunt, ac proinde nec aenigma, nec parabola sunt .... At id nullo modo evincit vocabulum manducandi non esse metaphoricum, aut manducationem illam de manducatione spirituali non esse intelligendum.”  ibid. 526.]

         Much dispute has been [See Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. pp. 360–373.] about Origen’s construction or constructions (for he has more than one) of John 6.  The passages produced in the debate are so many, and the pleadings here and there so diffuse, that it would be tedious to attend every particular.  I shall endeavour to select a few critical places, from whence one may competently judge of his sentiments upon the whole thing.

         Origen’s general observation relating to that chapter is that it must not be literally but figuratively understood.*  He commonly understands the living bread of the Divine Logos, as the true nutriment of the soul,** the Logos, but considered as incarnate.***  At other times, he allegorizes the flesh of Christ in a very harsh manner, making it a name for high mysterious doctrines.****  All that he should have said, and probably all that he really meant, was, that the mind is prepared and fitted for enjoying the fruits of Christ’s body and blood, the benefits of his passion, by those Divine truths, those heavenly contemplations.  He should have distinguished the qualifications for receiving from the thing to be received.  Believing in Christ is not enjoying him, but it is in order to it: and the doctrine of the atonement is not the atonement itself, whereon we are to feed.  But I return to our author.

         *[“Si secundum literam sequaris hoc ipsum quod dictum est, ‘nisi manducaveritis carnem meam, et biberitis sanguinem meum,’ occidit haec litera.”  Orig. in Levit. Hom. vii. p. 225. ed. Bened.]

         **[“Ego sum panis vivus, etc.  Qui haec dicebat verbum erat, quo animae pascuntur. ... Intuearis quomodo justus semper et sine intermissione manducet de pane vivo, et repleat animam suam, ac satiet eam cibo caelesti, qui est verbum Dei et sapientia ejus.”  Orig. in Levit. Hom. xvi. p. 266.  ed. Bened.]

         ***[____ __ _____ _ ______ ______, ____ _______, ____ _____ ____, ______ _____ ____ __ __________ ___ _ _____ ____ _______.  Orig. Ļ___ ___. p. 244.]

         ****[Ubi enim mysticus sermo, ubi dogmaticus et Trinitatis fide repletus profertur et solidus, ubi futuri saeculi, amoto velamine literae, legis spiritualis sacramenta panduntur, ubi spes animae, etc. ... Haec omnia carnes sunt verbi Dei, quibus qui potest perfecto intellectu vesci, et corde purificato, ille vere festivitatis paschae immolat sacrificium, et diem festum agit cum Deo et angelic ejus.”  Orig. Hom, in Num. xxiii.  pp. 359, 360.]

         In another place he observes, that the blood of Christ may be drank, not only in the use of the Sacraments, but by receiving his words; and he interprets the drinking his blood to mean the embracing his doctrines.*  Here again he mistakes the means for the end, the qualification for the enjoyment, the duty for the blessing, or reward, just as he did before.  However, he is right in judging, that the Sacraments are not the only means, or instruments, in and by which God confers his graces, or applies the atonement, though they are the most considerable.

         *[Bibere autem dicimur sanguinem Christi, non solum sacramentorum ritu, sed et cum sermones ejus recipimus, in quibus vita consistit, sicut et ipse dicit: Verba quae locutus sum, spiritus et vita est.  Est ergo ipse vulneratus, cujus nos sanguinem bibimus, id est, doctrinae ejus verba suscipimus.”  Orig. in Num. Hom. xvi.  p. 334.  Cp. Hom. vii. in Levit. p. 225.]

         It should be noted that Origen, in the passage last cited, was commenting upon Numb. 23:24, “Drink the blood of the slain”: and he had a mind to allegorize it, as his way was, into something evangelical.  So he thought first of the blood of Christ; and could he have rested there, he need not have looked beyond the benefits of the grand sacrifice: but it happened that “slain” was in the plural; and so, to make his allegory hit, he was necessitated to take in more than one; therefore he pitched upon the Apostles to join with Christ, as slain for Christ.  The next thing was to interpret blood in such a sense as might equally fit both Christ and his Apostles, and so he interpreted it to mean doctrines: and now the “blood of the slain” turns out, at length, doctrines of the slain, and the allegory becomes complete.*  I thought it proper thus briefly to hint how Origen fell into that odd construction, because he may be looked upon, in a manner, as the father of it: whatever weight the admired Origen may justly have as to other cases, he can have but little in this, where he manifestly trifled.

         *[Sed et illi nihilominus vulnerati sunt, qui nobis verbum ejus praedicarunt.  Ipsorum enim, id est, Apostolorum ejus verba cum legimus, et vitam ex eis consequimur, vulneratorurn sanguinem bibimus.”  Orig. ibid.]

         I shall cite but one passage more from him; a very remarkable one, and worth the noting.  After having spoken of the outward sign of the Eucharist, he goes on thus: “So much for the typical and symbolic body.  But I might also have many things to say of the Logos himself, who became flesh and true food, and of which whosoever eats, he shall live for ever, no wicked man being capable of eating it.  For were it possible for an ill man, as such, to feed upon him who was made flesh, the Logos, and the living bread, it would not have been written that whosoever eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”*  Here we may observe that Origen interprets the true food, and living bread, not of doctrines, nor of the sacramental bread (the typical, symbolic body) but of Christ himself, of the Word made flesh: and as to the eating that true food, he understands it of a vital union with the Logos, a spiritual participation of Christ.  This is a just construction of John 6, and falls in with that which I have recommended in this chapter.  A learned writer, who had taken uncommon pains to shew that the Fathers interpreted John 6 of the Eucharist, was aware that this passage of Origen was far from favouring his hypothesis, and therefore frankly declared that he “could not pretend to understand it” [Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 373.]; observing, however, that it could not at all favour another opinion, espoused by Dr. Whitby and others; meaning the doctrinal interpretation.  The truth is, that it favours neither, but directly overthrows both: and had that very ingenious and learned author been aware of any middle opinion, which would stand clear of the difficulties of both extremes, it is more than probable that he would have closed in with it.

         *[___ _____ ___ Ļ___ ___ __Ļ____ ___ __________ ________ Ļ____ _’ __ ___ Ļ___ _____ _______ ___ _____, __ ______ ____, ___ _______ ______, __ ____ _ _____ Ļ_____ _______ ___ ___ _____, _______ _________ ______ _______ _____.  __ ___ ____ __ __ ___ ______ ___ ____ _______ ___ _________ _____, _____ ____, ___ _____ _____, ___ __ ______Ļ__, ___ Ļ__ _ _____ ___ _____ ______ _______ ___ ___ _____.  Orig. in Matt. p. 254. ed. Huet.]

         Cyprian, who was but a few years later than Origen, comes next to be considered.  The most observable passage, so far as concerns our present purpose, occurs in his Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer: I have thrown it to the bottom of the page,* for the learned reader to judge of, and may here save myself the trouble of translating it.  But I shall offer a few remarks upon it.  1. Cyprian, in this passage, does not interpret “bread of life” of the Eucharistic bread, but of Christ himself, [Compare Albertinus, pp. 377, 378.] thrice over.  2. He seems to give the name of Lord’s body in the Eucharist to the sacramental bread, as representative and exhibitive of the natural body.  3. But then a communicant must receive worthily, must receive “jure communicationis,” under a just right to communion, otherwise it is nothing.  4. Therefore it concerns every one to preserve to himself that right by suitable behaviour, and not to incur any just forfeiture by misbehaviour.  5. For, if he incurs just censure, and is justly debarred from communion, he is shut out from Christ.  Such is the form and process of Cyprian’s reasoning: and it must be owned that John 6 is very pertinently alleged by him, in order to convince every serious Christian of the necessity of his continuing in a state fit for the reception of the holy Communion, and not such as shall disqualify him for it.  For since our Lord there lays so great a stress upon eating his flesh and drinking his blood; and since communicating worthily is one way of doing it; and since, if we are rendered morally unfit for that, we must of course be morally unfit for all other ways, and so totally debarred from feeding upon Christ at all, for life and happiness: these things considered, it is very obvious to perceive that John 6, though not particularly pointing to the Eucharist, is yet reductively applicable to it, in the way of argumentation, and is of very great force for the exciting Christians to a reverential regard for it, and to a solicitous care that they may never, by any fault of theirs, be debarred from it.  In short, though John 6 doth not directly speak of the Eucharist, yet Christians, in the due use of that sacrament, do that which is there mentioned, do really eat his flesh and drink his blood, in the spiritual sense there intended; therefore Cyprian had good reason to quote part of that chapter, and to apply the same as pertinent to the Eucharist, in the way of just inference from it, upon known Christian principles.

         *[“Panis vitae Christus est: et panis hic omnium non est, sed noster est. ... Christus eorum qui corpus ejus contingunt, panis est.  Hunc autem panem dari nobis quotidie postulamus, ne qui in Christo sumus, et Eucharistiam quotidie ad cibum salutis accipimus, iutercedente aliquo graviore delicto, dum abstenti et non cominunicantes a caelesti pane prohibemur, a Christi corpore separemur, ipso praedicante et monente: Ego sum panis vitae, qui de caelo descendi: si quis ederit de meo pane, vivet in aeternum.  Panis autem quem ego dedero, caro mea est pro saeculi vita.  Quando ergo dicit in aeternum vivere si quis ederit de ejus pane, ut manifestum est eos vivere qui corpus ejus attingunt et Eucharistiam jure communicationis accipiunt, ita contra tenendum est et orandum, ne dum quis abstentus separatur a Christi corpore, procul remaneat a salute, comminante ipso et dicente: nisi ederitis carnem filii hominis et biberitis sanguinem ejus, non habebitis vitam in vobis.  Et ideo panem nostrum, id est, Christum, dari nobis quotidie petimus, ut qui in Christo manemus et vivimus, a sanctificatione ejus et corpore non recedamus.”  Cypr. de Orat. Domin. pp. 209, 210.  ed. Bened.; alias 146, 147.]

         Cyprian elsewhere quotes John 6:53, [“except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you,”] in order to enforce the necessity of Baptism.*  Either he thought that the spiritual feeding, mentioned in St. John, was common both to Baptism and the Eucharist, and might be indifferently obtained in either sacrament: or else the turn of his thought was this, that as there is no life without the Eucharist, and as Baptism must go before the Eucharist, Baptism must of course be necessary in order to come at the kingdom of God.  If this last was Cyprian’s thought, then indeed he interpreted John 6 directly of the Eucharist: but I incline to understand him according to the other view first mentioned; and the rather because we shall find the same confirmed by the African Fulgentius, in his turn.

         [“Ad regnum Dei nisi baptizatus et renatus fuerit pervenire non posse.  In Evangelio cata, Johannem.  Nisi quis renatus fuerit, etc.  Item illic: Nisi ederitis carnem filii hominis et biberitis sanguinem ejus, non habebitis vitam in vobis.”  Cypr. Testimon. lib. iii. c. 25. p. 314.]

         Novatian of the same age appears to understand John 6 of spiritual manducation at large, feeding upon a right faith (which of course must take in faith in the merits of Christ’s passion) and conscience undefiled, and an innocence of soul.  He refers to John 6:27, and immediately after adds, that righteousness and continence, and the other virtues, are the worship which God requires: he had before intimated that they were the true, the holy, and the clean food.*  But, I presume, all this was to be so understood as not to exclude the salutary virtue of Christ’s atonement: only the subject he was then upon led him not to speak plainly of it.  In another work, he understands Christ himself to be the bread of life, and makes it an argument of his Divinity,** referring to John 6:51.  So that if we take the author’s whole sense on this head, Christ or the fruits of his death, together with our own faith and virtues, are our bread of life, our spiritual food, as taught in John 6.

         *[“Cibus, inquam, verus, et sanctus, et mundus est fides recta, immaculata conscientia, et innocens anima.  Quisquis sic pascitur, Christo convescitur: talis epulator conviva est Dei; istae sunt epulae quae angelos pascunt; istae sunt mensae quae martyres faciunt. ... Hinc illa Christi, Operamini autem non escam quae perit, sed escam permanentem in vitam aeternam, quam filius hominis vobis dabit; hunc enim Pater signavit Deus.  Justitia, inquam, et continentia, et reliquis Deus virtutibus colitur.”  Novat. de Cib. Judaic. c. v.  p. 140. ed. Welchm.]

         **[“Si homo tantummodo Christus, quomodo refert, Ego sum panis vitae aeternae, etc. ... cum neque panis vitae homo esse possit, ipse mortalis,” etc.  Novat. de Trin. c. xiv. p. 46; cp. c. xvi. p. 54.]

         We may now come down to the fourth century, where we shall meet with Eusebius, a writer of considerable note.  His common way is to interpret the bread of life, or heavenly bread, of Christ himself, of the heavenly Logos become incarnate. [Eusebius in Psalm. pp. 81, 267, 471.  In Isa. p. 586.]  He understands John 6 of spiritual eating, and intimates that Judas received the bread from heaven, the nutriment of the soul: not meaning what he said of Judas’s receiving the sacramental bread in the Eucharist; but, I conceive, his meaning was that Judas had been blessed with heavenly instructions and Divine graces, though he made an ill use of them.  He had tasted of the heavenly gift, of the blessed influences of the Divine Logos, but fell away notwithstanding.*

         *[_________ __ __ __ _________, __ ___ ______ _____ ____ _____ _________, ____ ___ ___ _____ ___Ļ_____ _____________ ________ Ļ___ __ ______ _ ______ ___ ____ _ _____ _ __ ___ _______ _______, ___ ____ ______ ____ _____Ļ___.  Euseb. in Psalm. p. 171.]

         Eusebius, in another place, interprets flesh and blood in John 6 of our Lord’s mystical body and blood, as opposed to natural.*  And when he comes afterwards to explain this mystical body and blood, he interprets the same of words and doctrines,** grounding his exposition on John 6:63, “The words that I speak,” etc.  A learned author [Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, Part i. pp. 373, 374.] endeavours to make Eusebius contradict himself in the same chapter: but he is consistent so far, which will evidently appear to anyone that reads him with attention.  However, I think his interpretation of John 6 to be forced and wide.  It was very odd to make doctrines the mystical body and blood, and to say, that the doctrines, or words then spoken, were what our Lord intended afterwards to “give for the life of the world”: such construction appears altogether harsh and unnatural.  Besides, since Eusebius interpreted “bread of life” of our Lord’s Divine nature, he ought certainly to have understood that bread, which our Lord was to give, to be the human nature, the natural body and blood. But my business here is not so much to dispute as to report: and it is plain enough that Eusebius followed Origen in this matter, and that both of them favoured the same mystical or allegorical construction; whether constantly and uniformly, I need not say.

         *[__ Ļ___ __ ________ ______ _________, Ļ___ __ ___ ________ _______ __ ___ _______.  Euseb. Eccles. Theol. Contr. Marcell.  p. 179.]

         **[____ ____ _____ __ ______ ___ ____ ______ _____, ___ _____ ___ __ ____, __ _ _______ ___, ______ ____ _________________, ___ ________ _______ ____.  Euseb. ibid.  p. 180.]

         Athanasius was contemporary with Eusebius, as a young man with one grown into years.  He occasionally gives us his thoughts upon John 6:61–63 in these words: “Here he has made mention of both, as meeting in himself, both flesh and spirit; and he has distinguished the spirit from the flesh, that they believing not only the visible part of him, but the invisible also, might learn that his discourse was not carnal, but spiritual.  For, how many men must the body have sufficed for food, if it were to have fed all the world?  But for that very reason he intimated beforehand the Son of man’s ascension into heaven, to draw them off from corporeal imaginations, and to teach them that the flesh which he had been speaking of, was to be heavenly meat from above, and spiritual food, which he would give them: For, says he, the words which I have spoken, they are spirit and life.  As much as to say, That which outwardly appears, and is to be given for the salvation of the world, is this flesh which I bear about me: but this, with the blood thereof, shall be by me spiritually given for food, spiritually dispensed to every one, for a preservative unto all, to secure to them a resurrection to life eternal.” [Athanas. Epist. iv. ad Serapion. p. 710.  ed. Bened.]  Thus far he.  The observations which I have hereupon to offer are as follow: 1. Our author very justly construes the flesh which Christ was to give, of his natural body; and supposes no figure in the word flesh.  2. He as rightly supposes some figure to lie in the words “given for meat,” which he would have to be spiritually understood.  3. The spiritual, or hidden meaning, according to our author, is that the flesh is joined with spirit, the humanity with the Divinity, and therefore in the giving his flesh to eat, he at the same time imparts his Divinity with the happy influences of it.  4. The flesh, or human nature, being all that was seen, we ought to raise our minds up to the Divinity united to it, and veiled under it; and so may we spiritually feast upon it, and be sealed to a happy resurrection by it.

         Such is Athanasius’s comment upon John 6, worthy of himself, and (like most other things of his) neat, clear, and judicious.  Here is not one word of the Eucharist: neither do I see any certain grounds to persuade us that he had it in his mind; though I am sensible that the generality of the learned do conceive that he had.*  The thought appears more just and finer,*** without that supposition, than with it, so that there is no necessity at all for it.  He could hardly understand “flesh” of Christ’s natural flesh, and still imagine it to be given in the Eucharist, unless he had added, virtually, constructionally, or in effect, which he does not: his construction of “spiritual” is, that our Lord’s Divine spirit goes along with that natural flesh, to make it salutary food to us.  Besides, to interpret our Lord’s giving his flesh “for the life of the world,” of his giving it symbolicly in the Eucharist (rather than really on the cross), is too low and too jejune a sense to be fathered upon a person of his great discernment.  Add to this, that he speaks expressly of spiritual manducation, not of oral or corporal, and therefore cannot be understood to interpret John 6 of sacramental eating and drinking. [Vid. Chamier, de Eucharist. lib. xi. c. 5. p. 613.]  My persuasion therefore is, that the passage relates not at all to the Eucharist, but to our Lord’s becoming man, in order to bring us up to God; or, in short, to his taking our humanity, and making an atonement for us, in order to feast us with his Divinity, and so to raise us up to himself.  In another place, Athanasius distinguishes the bread which is Christ, from the bread which Christ gives (referring to John 6), and he resolves the latter into the flesh of our Lord, but as operating in virtue of the Holy Spirit.  He observes, that we receive that heavenly bread here, as the firstfruits of what we are to receive hereafter, inasmuch as we receive the flesh of Christ, which is a quickening spirit.***  He had before supposed that Christ had insinuated the union of the Logos with his humanity, and now here he supposes that a conjunction of the Spirit is insinuated likewise; since the Logos and the Spirit are inseparable.  But nothing is here said directly of the Eucharist; so that it cannot be hence certainly inferred that Athanasius interpreted John 6 of the Eucharist, or that he so much as applied it that way: his thoughts, in both these passages, seem to have been intent upon quite another thing.  A learned man, to make this last passage look the more favourable to his scheme, renders part of it thus: “We have the firstfruits of the future repast in this present life, in the communion of the body of our Lord” [Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 375.]: where the whole force of the plea lies in the phrase “communion of the Lord’s body,” and the idea which it is apt to convey to an English reader.  Let but the place be rendered literally, “partaking of the flesh of the Lord,”**** and the idea vanishes.  It is certain, that flesh there means natural flesh, not sacramental, or symbolic; because it is the firstfruits of the future repast (which will be real, not sacramental), and means, according to our author, partaking of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore one would wonder how any attentive reader should conceive that Athanasius here speaks directly and positively, or at all, of oral manducation.  That he speaks of spiritual manducation is self-evident: and he might mean it of spiritual manducation at large; for he says nothing of the Eucharist in particular, to confine it to that single form or instance of it.

*[The reader may compare, if he pleases, Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, (part i. pp. 167, 374,) which interprets Athanasius of the Eucharist.  However, it is very certain, that this passage is no way favourable to those who would construe John 6 of precepts or doctrines.]

**[He seems to express the same thought, where, without any view to the Eucharist, he says: “As our Lord by putting on a body was made man, so are we men made divine by the Logos, being assumed through his flesh, and so of consequence heirs to eternal life.”’  Ĺ_ ___ _ ______ ___________ __ ____ _______ _____Ļ___ _____ _____ ___ _____Ļ__ Ļ___ ___ _____ __ ___Ļ________, Ļ____________ ___ ___ ______ _____, ___ ___Ļ__ ____ _______ _____________.  Athanas. Orat. iii. p. 584.  Cp. Sermo Major. in Nov. Collect. pp. 6, 7. de Incarnat. contra Arian. pp. 874, 876.]

***[___ Ļ____ _ ______ _____ Ļ___ ______, ___ ____ _ _____ _ ___.  _ __ ___ _______ _______.  _______ __ _____ Ļ_____ _____ _____ ________, ______ ___ _____ ____ ___ _Ļ_______ ___ ____ ________ _______ ___ ____ __ __ ____ __ __ ___ _____ ______ ___ _Ļ_______ _____, ________ ___ ________, __ _Ļ_____ ______ __ __ ___ ___, ___ ______ ___ ______ _______________, _____ _____ __Ļ__ _ _____ __ __ ___ ____, _ ____ ___ _____ _Ļ__ ___ ___ ______ ____, Ļ_____ ___ ___Ļ_____ _ ____ ____ ___ ______.  Athan. de Incarn. p. 883.]

****[It is a thought which Athanasius dwells much upon, that Christ took our flesh upon him, to make himself one with us; and that we are partakers of him, by being partakers of the same flesh.  Orat. iii. pp. 571, 572, 573, 582, 583, 588.  Sermo Major. p. 7. de Incarn. contr. Arian. p. 875.]

         Cyril of Jerusalem, in his Catechetical Lectures to the uninitiated, interprets John 6:64 of good doctrine.*  But in what he says to the initiated, he applies John 6:54 to the Eucharist. [Cyrill. Hierosol. Catech. xxii. Mystagog. iv. c. 4.  pp. 520, 521.]  To reconcile both places, or both constructions, we may fairly presume that he supposed our Saviour, in verse 64, to intimate, that what he had said was, in the general, true and sublime doctrine, but withal spiritual; and in verse 54, to intimate, that his flesh and blood were to be spiritually fed upon by the faithful.  Thus both parts are consistent: for this doctrine of spiritual manducation was spiritual doctrine.  And Cyril here applies that very doctrine to the case of the Eucharist, because he had ground sufficient, from other Scriptures, to conclude that such spiritual manducation was a privilege of that sacrament, though not of that only.  So he did not directly interpret John 6 of the Eucharist, but he so applied it, and that very properly.

         *[____ __ ___ _____ ___________ _____ _ ______ ______ __ ______ _ ___ ________ ____ Ļ_____ ____, ___ ___ ______ ____ ___ Ļ_________ ____. ... __ ______ ____ ________ ____, Ļ_____ ______ ___ __ ______ _______ _____ _____ _______, ____ ___ _____ ___________.  Cyrill. Hierosol. Catech. xvi. sect. 13, 14.  pp. 250, 251.]

         Hilary, of that time, undertaking to prove that we are one with Christ by a closer union than bare will and consent amount to, draws an argument from the sacrament of the Eucharist (as he does likewise in the same place from the sacrament of Baptism) to prove a real and permanent, but spiritual union between Christ and his true members.  The thread of his argument is this: In and by the eucharistic food, we spiritually receive the Word incarnate, and are mystically united with the natural flesh and blood of Christ, our bodies with his body: and we are thereby truly and substantially (therefore not in consent only) united with Christ.*  To confirm the reality of such union, he appeals to John 6:55–56, “My flesh is meat indeed; he that eateth my flesh, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”  It is observable that he distinguishes the eucharistic food from the food mentioned in John 6, for in or by the former we receive the latter, according to him.  Therefore he does not interpret John 6 of the Eucharist; but, taking it for an acknowledged principle, that by the due use of one we come at the other, he pertinently accommodates or applies the doctrine of John 6 to the Eucharist.  In a word, Hilary does not teach that the Eucharist is that flesh and blood of Christ mentioned in John 6, but that the flesh and blood there mentioned is received in or by the Eucharist, is spiritually or mystically received; “sub mysterio,” as he expresses it.**

         *[Si enim vere verbum caro factum est, et vere nos verbum carnem cibo Dominico sumimus; quomodo non naturaliter manere in nobis existimandus est etc. ... vere, sub mysterio carnem corporis sui sumimus.”  Hilar. de Trin. lib. viii. sect. 13. p. 954.  Cp. Chrysost. in Joan. Hom. xlvi. pp. 272, 273. Bened.  Cyril. Alex. de Trin. Dial. i. p. 407.  And compare my Charge, vol. v. p. 1113.]

         **[Ipse enim ait, caro mea vere est esca etc. ... Ipsius Domini professione, et fide nostra, vere caro est, et vere sanguis est: et haec accepta atque hausta id efficiunt, ut et nos in Christo, et Christus in nobis sit.”  Ibid. sect. 14. p. 956.  If anyone wants to see the whole argument cleared and vindicated, against such as hold the corporal presence, he may consult Albertine, p. 411, etc. or Bishop Moreton, pp. 358–374, or Chamier, p. 648, etc.]

         Basil says, “It is good and profitable to communicate daily of the sacred body and blood of Christ, since he himself plainly says, He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.*  He argues justly, because the consideration drawn from John 6 is and ought to be of great force: not that John 6 speaks of the outward Sacrament, but of spiritual manducation at large, and of inward grace; which, as we learn from other Scriptures, does ordinarily (where there is no impediment) go along with the Sacrament.  Basil therefore does not interpret John 6 of the Sacrament, but he applies the general doctrine there taught to one particular instance whereunto it ordinarily belongs: elsewhere he interprets it of spiritual (not oral) manducation of the flesh of Christ. [Basil. in Psalm. 33:8.]

         *[__ _________ __ ___’ _______ ___ ______, ___ _____________ ___ _____ _______ ___ _______ ___ _______, _____ ___ _Ļ_______ _____ _____ ________, _ ______ ___ ___ _____, ___ Ļ____ ___ __ ____, ____ ____ _______.  Basil. Epist. 289.]

         Gregory Nyssen is sometimes cited* as one that interprets John 6 of the Eucharist; but upon slender presumptions, without any proof.  Macarius also is made another voucher,** and with little or no colour for it.  Ambrose is a third:*** and yet neither does be speak home to the point, as every careful reader may soon see.  I pass them over for the sake of brevity.

         *[Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, p. 385.  It is argued, that Greg. Nyssen. must have understood John 6 of the Eucharist, because he made it a pledge of the resurrection; which is no argument at all, as was observed under Ignatius and Irenaeus.]

         **[Johnson, p. 385.  Vid. Macar. Orat. iv. p. 22.  N.B. Macarius may as reasonably be thought to interpret John 4:14 of the Eucharist, as John 6 in that place.  It is absurd to imagine that he so interpreted either; unless he supposed Moses (whom he there mentions) to have received the Eucharist.]

         ***[Johnson, ibid.  Ambrose there plainly distinguishes the sacramental bread from the bread mentioned in John 6.]

         Jerome interprets the heavenly bread of Christ himself, and calls it angels’ food; intimating thereby that it is eaten in heaven, but plainly teaching that it was eaten by the Patriarchs of old, and is now eaten, not only in the Eucharist, but in the sacrament of Baptism.*  From all which it is evident that he interpreted John 6 of spiritual feeding at large.  It is a mistake to imagine [See Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 376.] that he meant sacramental bread and wine, where he speaks of the wheat of which the heavenly bread is made, and of the wine which is Christ’s blood.**  All he intended was, that the wheat and the wine, mentioned in the prophecy of Isaiah, mystically pointed to the real flesh and blood of Christ; who is himself that wheat which makes the heavenly bread, according to his own allusion, where he resembles himself to wheat falling and bearing much fruit. [John 12:24.  Compare Jerome in Ose. c. vii. p. 1285.]

         *[Panis qui de caelo descendit corpus est Domini, et vinum quod discipulis dedit, sanguis illius est Novi Testamenti etc. ... Nec Moyses dedit nobis panem verum, sed Dominus Jesus: ipse conviva et convivium, ipse comedens et quod comeditur. ... Hunc panem et Jacob Patriarcha comedere cupiebat, dicens, Si fuerit Dominus mecum, et dederit mihi panem ad vescendum etc. ... Quotquot enim in Christo baptizamur, Christum induimus, et panem comedimus angelorum, et audimus Dominum precantem, meus cibus est, ut faciam.”  Hieron. Hedibiae, tom. iv. pp. iv. pp. 171, 172. ed. Bened.]

         **[Triticum quoque de quo panis caelestis efficitur, illud est de quo loquitur Dominus, Caro mea vere est cibus: rursumque de vino, Et sanguis meus vere est potus.”  Hieron, in Isa. c. lxii. p. 462.]

         Chrysostom interprets John 6:51 of Christ’s natural body, not of the sacramental.*  Elsewhere, distinguishing between the bread which is Christ, and the bread which Christ gives, he interprets the former of our Lord’s Divine nature [Chrysost. in Joan. Hom. xliv. p. 264; cited above.  Cp. Hom. xlv. p. 270.]: of the latter he offers a twofold construction, so as to comprehend both our Lord’s own natural body, and any salutary doctrines, inasmuch as both of them strengthen the soul.**  He takes notice that our Lord there speaks of spiritual food, [________ ______ Ļ__________.  Chrysost. in Joan. Hom. xlv. p. 271.] and that by the Eucharistic food we partake of the spiritual food, and become really one with Christ.***  The thought is the same with what we have seen in Hilary before cited: and it proves very evidently, that Chrysostom did not understand the food spoken of in John 6 of the sacramental food, since he makes them as distinct as means and end, or as the instrumental cause and principal, while he supposes that by the due use of one we come at the other.  I shall not now give myself the trouble of particularly examining every plea that has been offered, or every passage that has been alleged, [See Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 384.] to make Chrysostom appear favourable to another hypothesis.  If the reader does but bear in mind the proper distinction between interpreting of the Eucharist, and applying a text or texts to the Eucharist, he will need no further solution.  I shall only observe further, that no one of the later Fathers has better expressed the true and full meaning of our Lord in John 6, than Cyril of Alexandria has done, where he teaches, that “no soul can ever attain to freedom from sin, or escape the tyranny of Satan, or arrive to the city above, but by participating of Christ, and of his philanthropy” [__ __ ___ ___ _______ _______ ___ ________Ļ___ etc.  Cyrill. Alexandr. Glaph. in Exod. ii. de Host. Agni, p. 267.]; presently after quoting John vi. 53 (together with John viii. 34) in proof of what he had said.

         *[_Ļ__ ______ __ _____ _______ ____, _Ļ__ ______ ___ ______ __________.  _ ___ _____, _____, _ ____ ___ _____, __ ___ ____ _Ļ__ ___ ___ ______ ____.  Chrysost. de Anathemate, tom. i. p. 692. ed. Bened.  Cp. Hom. xlv. in Joan. p. 271.]

         **[_____ __ ____ __ _______ _____ _______ __ _______, ___ ___ Ļ_____ ___ ___ _____, _ __ ____ __ ______.  ________ ___ ______ ___ _____.  Chrysost. in Joan. Hom. xlv. p. 270.]

         ***[__ _____ ____ ___ ___Ļ__ ________ ____ ___’ ____ __ Ļ_____, ___ _______ _____________ ___ ______ ___ ___ ______ ___ _____ _______ __ _________.  Ibid. p. 272.]

         Hitherto we have seen nothing in the Fathers that can be justly thought clear and determinate in favour of oral manducation, as directly and primarily intended in John 6.  Many, or most, of them have applied that general doctrine of spiritual feeding to the particular case of the Eucharist, because we are spiritually fed therein: but they have not interpreted that chapter directly of the Eucharist, because it has not one word of the outward signs or symbols of the spiritual food, but abstracts from all, and rests in the general doctrine of the use and necessity of spiritual nutriment, the blood of Christ, in some shape or other, to everlasting salvation.  Thus stood the case, both in the Greek and Latin churches, for the first four centuries, or somewhat more.  But about the beginning of the fifth century arose some confusion.  The frequent applying of John 6 to the Eucharist came at length to make many, among the Latins especially, interpret it directly of the Eucharist: and now some thought John 6:53 as decisive a text for the necessity of the Eucharist, as John 3:5 was for the necessity of Baptism.  Hereupon ensued a common practice of giving the Communion to mere infants.  Pope Innocent I is believed to have been the first or principal man that brought up such doctrine of the necessity of communicating infants:* he was made Bishop of Rome A. D. 402.  It appears very probable that from the time of his Synodical Epistle, A. D. 417, the doctrine generally ran, in the Latin churches at least, that “unless you receive the Eucharist, you have no life in you.”  St. Austin is supposed to have construed the text in that way, especially from the time of Pope Innocent.**  But in some places of his works he interprets that chapter, or some parts of it, with clearer and better judgment.  Particularly in his Doctrina Christiana, lib. iii. cap. 16, quoted above: and also in another work of his, where he plainly distinguishes the Sacrament of Christ’s body from the spiritual food mentioned in John 6.***  There are two noted passages of his, where he seems to interpret the living bread of eating doctrine, of believing only:**** but he only seems to do so, when he really does not.  For he intends no more than this, that faith is the mean whereby we receive that living bread; it is the qualification requisite for the reception of it.*****  A man must have had faith to be healed, as we often read in the Gospels; and healing certainly followed upon the faith of the person: and it might be right to say, Believe, and thou art healed: but yet faith and the cure following were not the same thing, but very distinct, both in nature and notion. [Compare Johnson, Unbloody Sacrifice, part i, p. 377.]

         *[See Wall’s Hist. of Infant Baptism, part ii. ch. 9. p. 441, etc. 3rd ed.  Defence, pp. 36, 384.  Bingham, b. xv. c. 4. sect. 7.  Compare Mr. Pierce’s Essay on Infant Communion, who carries it much higher than others, upon suggestions which bear a plausible appearance, and are worth examining by some person of learning and leisure.  But in the meanwhile, I acquiesce in Dr. Wall’s account, as one that was well considered, and which, in my opinion, cannot be far from the truth.]

         **[See Wall, ibid. pp. 441, 442, 443.  Vossius, Hist. Pelag. lib. ii. part. 3. p. 167.  But Thorndike disputes it, [Epilog. p. 176, etc.  De Jur. Finiend. p. 285,] with some show of reason.]

         ***[“Panis quotidianus aut pro iis omnibus dictus est quae hujus vitae necessitatem sustentant, aut pro Sacramento corporis Christi quod quotidie accipimus, aut pro spirituali cibo de quo idem Dominus dicit, Ego sum panis,” etc.  August. de Sermone Domini in Monte, lib. ii. c. 7.  Cp. de Civit. Dei, lib. xxi. c. 25.]

         ****[“Quid paras dentes, et ventrem?  Crede, et manducasti.  Credere enim in eum, hoc est manducare panem vivum.”  August. in Joan. tract. 25, 26.  “Augustinus hunc cibum tripliciter interpretatur: videlicet de propria Domini carne, ... interdum etiam de Sacramento carnis hujus; nonnunquam de societate fidelium.”  Albertin. pp. 691, 699.]

         *****[“Non perspexit ... ab Augustino ipso, his verbis, fidem ut causam, manducationem vero ipsam spiritualem ut effectum inter se conferri et collocari.  Alioqui, si credere, et manducare una et eadem res esset ex Augustini mente, quid hac oratione fuerit ineptius?  Crede et manducasti, id est, manduca et manducasti.”  Lamb. Danaei Apolog. pro Helvet. Eccl. p. 1477.  Opusc. ed. Genev.  Cp. Calvin. Institut. lib. iv. c. 17. p. 280.]

         It may be proper to go on to Fulgentius of the next age, A.D. 507, a great admirer and follower of St. Austin, to see how this matter stood among the Africans in his time.  He had a question put to him, upon a scruple raised from John 6:53, concerning the case of such as having been baptized, happened to be prevented by death from receiving the holy Communion: and he determined that they were safe, because Baptism exhibits the body and blood of Christ to faithful recipients, as well as the Eucharist.*  He strengthens his determination of the case by the authority of St. Austin, in a long citation from him: and at length concludes, that receiving Baptism is receiving the body and blood of Christ, because it is receiving the thing signified in the other sacrament.**  He certainly judged very right: and it is an instance to spew how plain good sense overruled, though it did not abolish, a wrong interpretation of John 6, and removed, in some measure, the uneasy scruples arising naturally from the then prevailing construction.  The proper inference from Fulgentius’s wise and wary resolution of the case is, that John 6 ought not to be rigorously understood of any particular way of spiritual feeding, but simply of spiritual feeding, be it in what way soever: be it by Baptism, or by the Eucharist, or by any other sacraments (as under the old law), or by any kind of means which divine wisdom shall choose, or has in Scripture signified.

         *[“In ipso lavacro sanctae regenerationis hoc fieri providebit.  Quid enim agitur sacramento sancti Baptismatis, nisi ut credentes membra Domini nostri Jesu Christi fiant, et ad compagem corporis ejus ecclesiastica unitate pertineant? ... Tunc incipit unusquisque particeps esse illius unius panis, quando coeperit memor esse illius unius corporis,” etc.]

         **[“Unumquemque fidelium corporis sanguinisque Dominici participem fieri, quando in Baptismate membrum esse illius corporis Christi efficitur, nec alienari ab illo panis calicisve consortio, etiamsi antequam panem illum comedat, et calicem bibat, de hoc saeculo in unitate corporis Christi constitutus abscedat.  Sacramenti quippe illius participatione et beneficio non privatur, quando ipse hoc quod illud sacramentum significat invenitur.”  Fulgent. ibid. pp. 227, 228.  Cp. Cyrill. Alexandr. Glaphyr. in Exod. lib. ii. p. 270. in Joan. 9:6. p. 602.]

         From this summary view of the ancients it may be observed, that they varied sometimes in their constructions of John 6 or of some parts of it: but what prevailed most, and was the general sentiment wherein they united, was, that Christ himself is properly and primarily our bread of life, considered as the Word made flesh, as God incarnate, and dying for us; and that whatever else might, in a secondary sense, be called heavenly bread (whether sacraments, or doctrines, or any holy service), it was considered but as an antepast to the other, or as the same thing in the main, under a different form of expression.

         I shall here throw in a few words concerning the sentiments of moderns before I close this chapter.  Albertinus [Albertinus de Eucharistia, lib. i. c. 30. p. 209.] will furnish the reader with a competent list of Schoolmen, and others of the Roman communion, who have rejected the sacramental interpretation of John 6.  A more summary account of the same may be seen in Archbishop Wake [Discourse of the Eucharist, printed in 16S7, p. 20.  He numbers up thirty in all, thus: two popes, four cardinals, two archbishops, five bishops, the rest doctors and professors.], in the collection of pamphlets written against Popery in a late reign.  I know not whether the authorities of that kind may be looked upon as so many concessions from that quarter (though the Romanists, generally, contend earnestly for the sacramental construction) because there may be reasons why the more considering Romanists should think it prudent to give another construction, inasmuch as John 6, if interpreted directly of the Eucharist, would furnish a strong argument for infant communion, which they have long laid aside; and it would be diametrically opposite to a noted principle of theirs, of denying the cup to the laity.  I cannot say how far these two considerations may have inclined the shrewder men amongst them to reject what I call the sacramental construction of John 6.

         But the Reformers, in general, for very weighty reasons, have rejected the same: the Lutherans and Calvinists abroad, and our own most early and most considerable Divines, have concurred in discarding it.  It would be tedious to enter into a particular recital of authorities; and so I shall content myself with pointing out two or three of the most eminent, who may justly be allowed to speak for the rest.  Archbishop Cranmer stands at the head of them: he had considered that matter as closely perhaps as any man before or after him, and determined in the main as judiciously.  He writes thus [spelling modernized]:

         “Whoever said or taught before this time, that the Sacrament was the cause why Christ said, If we eat not the flesh of the Son of man, we have not life in us?  The spiritual eating of his flesh, and drinking of his blond by faith, by digesting his death in our minds, as our only price, ransom, and redemption from eternal damnation, is the cause wherefore Christ said, that If wee eat not his flesh, and drink not his blond, we have not life in us: and If wee eat his flesh and drink his blond, we have everlasting life.  And if Christ had never ordained the Sacrament, yet should we have eaten his flesh and drunk his blond, and have had thereby everlasting life, as all the faithful did before the Sacrament was ordained, and do daily, when they receive not the Sacrament. ... That in the 6th of John Christ spake nether of corporal nor sacramental eating of his flesh, the time manifestly sheweth.  For Christ spake of the same present time that was then, saying: The bread which I will give is my flesh, etc.  At which time the sacramental bread was not yet Christ’s flesh: for the Sacrament was not yet ordained; and yet at that time, all that believed in Christ did eat his flesh and drink his blood, or else they could not have dwelled in Christ, nor Christ in them.” [Archbishop Cranmer on the Sacrament, p. 22.]

         “This similitude caused our Saviour to say, My flesh is very meat, and my blood is very drink.  For there is no kind of meat that is comfortable to the soul, but only the death of Christ’s blessed body; nor no kind of drink that can quench her thirst, but only the blood shedding of our Saviour Christ which was shed for her offences.” [Cranmer, p. 41.  Cp. Calvin. in Joan. 6:54.]

         “I marvel here not a little of Mr. Smith’s either dullness or maliciousness, that cannot or will not see, that Christ in this chapter of St. John spake not of sacramental bread, but of heavenly bread; nor of his flesh only, but also of his blood, and of his Godhead, calling them heavenly bread that giveth everlasting life.  So that he spake of himself wholly, saying, I am the bread of life, etc.  And neither spake he of common bread, nor yet of sacramental bread, for neither of them was given upon the cross for the life of the world.  And there can be nothing more manifest, than that in this sixth chapter of St. John, Christ spake not of the Sacrament of his flesh, but of his very flesh.  And that as well for that the Sacrament was not then instituted, as also because Christ said not in the future tense, The bread which I will give shall be my flesh, but in the present tense, The bread which I will give is my flesh: which sacramental bread was neither then his flesh, nor was then instituted for a sacrament, nor was after given for the life of the world. ... When he said, The bread which I will give is my flesh, etc., he meant nether of the material bread, nether of the accidents of bread, but of his own flesh: which although of itself it availeth nothing, yet being in unity of Person joined unto his Divinity, it is the same heavenly bread that he gave to death upon the cross for the life of the world.” [Cranmer, p. 450.  Compare Bishop Jewel, Defence of Apology, p. 306, etc.  Answer to Harding, pp. 78, 239, 240.  Fryth, Answer to More, pp. 21, 27.]

         Thus far that excellent person has shewn, by convincing reasons drawn from the chapter itself, that John 6 ought not to be interpreted of the Eucharist.  Nevertheless, he very well knew, and did not forget to observe, that it may properly be applied or accommodated to the Eucharist, and is of great weight and force for that very purpose.

         “As the bread is outwardly eaten indeed in the Lord’s Supper, so is the very body of Christ inwardly by faith eaten indeed of all them that come thereto in such sort as they ought to do; which eating nourisheth them unto everlasting life.  And this eating hath a warrant signed by Christ himself in the 6th of John, where Christ saith, He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blond, hath life everlasting. [Cranmer, p. 11.]  You be the first that ever excluded the words of Christ from his Supper.  And St. Augustine meant, as well at the Supper, as at all other times, that the eating of Christ’s flesh is not to be understanded carnally with our teeth,” etc. [Cranmer, p. 35.]

         The sum then of Archbishop Cramner’s doctrine on this head is: 1. That John 6 is not to be interpreted of oral manducation in the Sacrament, nor of spiritual manducation as confined to the Eucharist, but of spiritual manducation at large, in that or any other sacrament, or out of the Sacraments.  2. That spiritual manducation, in that chapter, means the feeding upon Christ’s death and passion, as the price of our redemption and salvation.  3. That in so feeding we have a spiritual or mystical union with his human nature, and by that with his Godhead, to which his humanity is joined in an unity of Person.  4. That such spiritual manducation is a privilege belonging to the Eucharist, and therefore John 6 is not foreign to the Eucharist, but has such relation to it as the inward thing signified bears to the outward signs.

         To Archbishop Cranmer I may subjoin Peter Martyr, who about ten years after engaged in the same cause, in a large Latin treatise printed A.D. 1562.  No man has more clearly shewn, in few words, how far John 6 belongs not to the Eucharist, and how far it does.  He considers the general principles there taught as being preparatory to the institution of the Eucharist, which was to come after.  Our Lord in that chapter gave intimation of spiritual food, with the use and necessity of it: afterwards, in the institution, he added external symbols, for the notifying one particular act or instance of spiritual manducation, to make it the more solemn and the more affecting.  Therefore John 6, though not directly spoken of the Eucharist, yet is by no means foreign, but rather looks forward towards it, bears a tacit allusion to it, and serves to reflect light upon it: for which reason the ancient Fathers are to be commended for connecting the account of inward grace with the outward symbols, the thing signified with the signs afterwards added, and so applying the discourse of that chapter to the case of the Eucharist.*

         *[De sexto capite Joannis, an ad Eucharistiam pertineat, nos ita respondemus.  Sermonem ibi de Sacramento coenae non institui; ibi enim coena cum symbolis non ordinatur.  Nam nec panis, nec calicis, nec gratiarum actionis, nec fractionis, nec distributionis, nec testamenti, nec memoriae, nec annuntiationis mortis Christi mentio ulla eo loco instituitur.  Huc spectabant illi, qui dixerunt illud caput ad Eucharistiam non pertinere, etc.  Quoniam res ipsa (id est, corporis et sanguinis Christi spiritualis manducatio et potus) ibi luculenter traditur, ad quam postea Evangelistae, ad finem historiae suae, declarant Christum adjunxisse symbola externa panis et vini, idcirco nos caput illud a Sacramento Eucharistae non putamus esse alienum. ... Imo Patres illos libenter recipimus, qui illa verba ad hoc negotium transtulerunt.  Quid enim aliud sibi volunt panis et vinum, quae postea addita sunt in coena, nisi ut magis ad manducationem illam corporis et sanguinis Domini, quae multis verbis diligentissime tractata fuerat in sexto Joannis.  Satis ergo apparet quemadmodum nos ista conjungimus.”  Petr. Mart. pp. 114, 115.  Cp. Chamier, de Eucharist. lib. xi. c. 3, etc.

         From what has been observed of these two eminent Reformers, we may judge how John 6 was understood at that time: not of doctrines, nor of sacramental feeding, but of spiritual feeding at large, feeding upon the death and passion of Christ our Lord.  This, I think, has been the prevailing construction of our own Divines all along: and though it has been much obscured of late (for half a century, perhaps, or more) by one or other hypothesis, yet has it never been lost,* neither, I suppose, ever will be.  A late very judicious Prelate of our Church, in a sermon on John 6:53, has well expressed the sense of our Church in this matter, in the words here following: “The body and blood of Christ are to be understood in such a sense as a soul can be supposed to feed upon a body, or to receive strength and nourishment by feeding upon it.  But now the body of Christ can be no otherwise as food for the strengthening and refreshing our souls, than only as the spiritual benefits of that body and blood, that is to say, the virtue and effects of Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross are communicated to it; nor is the soul capable of receiving those benefits otherwise than by faith.  So that the body and blood of Christ, in the sense of our Church, are only the benefits of Christ’s passion; that is to say, the pardon of sin, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, and a nearer union with Christ: and our eating and drinking of that body and blood, is our being partakers of those benefits; and the mouth whereby we thus eat and drink, that is, the means whereby we are made partakers of those benefits, is our true and lively faith.” [Archbishop Sharp, vol. vii. serm. xv. p. 366.]  This account is formed upon our Catechism, and upon the old principles of our first Reformers, and the next succeeding Divines, before any refined speculations came in to obscure or perplex a plain notion, and a very important truth.  All I have to observe further upon it, by way of explanation, is as follows: 1. When the learned author says, that “the soul is not capable of receiving those benefits otherwise than by faith,” I understand it of adult Christians, and of what they are ordinarily capable of: God may extraordinarily apply the benefits of Christ’s passion wherever there is no moral obstacle, as he pleases.  And it should be noted, that, properly speaking, we do not apply those benefits to ourselves, we only receive, or (by the help of God’s grace) qualify ourselves for receiving: it is God that applies,** as it is also God that justifies; and he does it ordinarily in and by the sacraments to persons fitly prepared.  2. When it is said, that the body and blood of Christ, in the sense of our Church, are only the benefits of Christ’s passion, I so understand it, as not to exclude all reference to our Lord’s glorified body now in heaven, with which we maintain a mystical union, and which is itself one of the benefits consequent upon our partaking of Christ’s passion; as seems to be intimated by the author himself, where he reckons a nearer union with Christ among the benefits.  3. The judicious author lightly makes faith to be the mouth only, by which we receive, not the meat or drink which we do receive; the means only of spiritual nutriment, not the nutriment itself: for the nutriment itself is pardon and grace coming down from above, flowing from the spiritual and gracious presence of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, whose temple we are, while we are living members of Christ.

         *[Dean Fogg, in his excellent Compendium of Divinity, published A.D. 1712, has fully and distinctly expressed the sense of John 6 in two lines: “Christus ibi loquitur, non de manducatione sacramentali, sed spirituali, et de pane significato, non significante.”  Fogg. Theolog. Specul. Schema, p. 309.  Dr. Wall says: “The words of our Saviour to the Jews, John 6:53, do no way appear to belong to the sacramental eating, which was not then instituted.”  Wall, Inf. Bapt. part ii. c. 9. p. 448, 3rd ed.]

         **[“Fides magis proprie dicitur accipere et apprehendere, quam vel polliceri, vel praestare.  Sed verbum Dei et promissio cui fides innititur, non vero fides hominum, praesentia reddit quae promittit; quemadmodum inter reformatos et pontificios aliquot consensum est in Collatione Sangermani habita 1561.  Male enim a multis Romanensibus nobis objicitur, quasi crederemus hanc Christi praesentiam et communicationem in sacramento, per nudam fidem tantum effici.  Cosin. Pistor. Transubst. c. ii. sect. 8. pp. 17, 18.]

 

Chapter  VII

Concerning Sacramental or Symbolic Feeding in the Eucharist.

         After considering spiritual manducation by itself, independent of any particular modes, forms, or circumstances, it will next be proper to take a view of it, as set forth in a sensible way, with the additional garniture of signs and symbols.  Under the Old Testament, besides the ordinary sacrifices, the manna and the waters of the rock were signs and symbols of spiritual manducation, according to St. Paul’s doctrine, where he teaches, that the ancient Israelites “did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink” [1 Cor. 10:3–4.] which Christians do; the same with ours as to the spiritual signification of it: so I understand the place, with many judicious interpreters, both ancients [Austin, Bede, Bertram, and others.] and moderns. [Besides commentators, see Archbishop Cranmer on the Sacrament, p. 86, etc.  Bishop Jewel, Treatise on the Sacrament.  Mede, Discourse xliii. p. 325, etc.  Bishop Moreton on the Sacrament, book v. c. 2. sect. 3. p. 314.]  As the heavenly meat and drink of the true Israelites was Christ, according to the Apostle, and Christ also is ours, the Apostle must be understood to teach that they fed upon the same heavenly food that we do; only by different symbols, and in a fainter light.  The symbols are there called spiritual meat and drink, that is, mystical; for they signified the true food, which none but the true Israelites were fed with, while all received the signs.  In the New Testament, the bread and wine of the Eucharist are the appointed symbols of the spiritual blessings, but under clearer and brighter manifestations.  For proof hereof we must look back to the original institution of the Sacrament, and particularly to the words, “This is my body,” etc., and “This is my blood,” etc.  To understand the exposition of them is entering into the most perplexed and intricate part of the whole subject; made so by an odd series of incidents, in a long tract of time, and remaining as a standing monument of human infirmities: in consideration whereof, moderns, of all parties, may perhaps see reason not to bear themselves high above the ancients, in point of wisdom or sagacity.  The plain obvious notion, which nobody almost could miss of for six or seven centuries, came at length to be obscured in dark ages, and by degrees to be almost totally lost.  It was no very easy matter to recover it afterwards, or to clear off the mists at once.  Contentions arose, even among the elucidators: and what was worst of all, after that in every scheme proposed, at the Reformation, some difficulties remained, which could not of a sudden be perfectly adjusted, there appeared at length some enterprising persons, who, either for shortening disputes, or for other causes, laboured to depreciate the Sacraments themselves, as if they were scarce worth the contending for: which was pushing matters to the most dangerous and pernicious extreme that could be invented.  But I pass on.

         For the clearer apprehending what that plain and easy notion was, which I just now spake of, I choose to begin with a famous passage of St. Bernard, often quoted in this subject, and very useful to give the readers a good general idea of the symbolic nature of the Sacraments.  He compares them with instruments of investiture (into lands, honours, dignities), which are significant and emblematical of what they belong to, and are at the same time means of conveyance.*  A book, a ring, a crosier, and the like, have often been made use of as instruments for such purpose.  They are not without their significance in the way of instructive emblem: but what is most considerable, they are instruments to convey those rights, privileges, honours, offices, possessions, which in silent language they point to.  Those small gifts or pledges are as nothing in themselves, but they are highly valuable with respect to what they are pledges of, and what they legally and effectively convey: so it is with the signs and symbols of both Sacraments, and particularly with the elements of bread and wine in the Eucharist.  They are, after consecration, called by the names of what they are pledges of, and are ordained to convey; because they are, though not literally, yet in just construction and certain effect (standing on Divine promise and Divine acceptance), the very things which they are called, viz. the body and blood of Christ to all worthy receivers.  In themselves they are bread and wine from first to last: but while they are made use of in the holy service, they are considered, construed, understood (pursuant to Divine law, promise, covenant) as standing for what they represent and exhibit.  Thus, frequently, in human affairs, things or persons are considered very differently from what they really are in themselves, by a kind of construction of law: and they are supposed to be, to all intents and purposes, and in full legal effect, what they are presumed to serve for, and to supply the place of.

         *[“Variae sunt investiturae secundum ea quibus investimur: verbi gratia, investitur canonicus per librum, abbas per baculum et annulum simul: sicut, inquam, in ejusmodi rebus est, sic et divisiones gratiarum diversis sunt traditae sacramentis.”  Bernard. de Coen. Domini, serm. i. p. 145.]

         A deed of conveyance, or any like instrument under hand and seal, is not a real estate, but it conveys one; and it is in effect the estate itself, as the estate goes along with it; and as the right, title, and property (which are real acquirements) are, as it were, bound up in it, and subsist by it.*  If any person should seriously object, in such a case, that he sees nothing but wax and parchments, and that he does not apprehend how they can be of any extraordinary value to him, or how he is made richer by them; he might. be pitied, I presume, for his unthinking ignorance or simplicity: but if, in a contrary extreme, he should be credulous enough to imagine, that the parchments themselves are really and literally the estate, are so many houses or tenements, or acres of glebe, enclosed in his cabinet, he could not well be presumed to be far short of distraction.  I leave it to the intelligent reader, to make the application proper to the present subject.  I have supposed, all the while, that the cases are so far parallel: but whether they really are so must now be the point of inquiry; for I am sensible that the thing is too important to be taken for granted.

         *[Our very judicious Hooker has explained this matter much the same way, in these words, as spoken by our Lord: “This hallowed food, through the concurrence of Divine power, is in verity and truth, unto faithful receivers, instrumentally a cause of that mystical participation, whereby as I make myself wholly theirs, so I give them in hand an actual possession of all such saving grace as my sacrificed body can yield, and as their souls do presently need: this is to them my body.”  Hooker, vol. ii. p. 337.  Cp. Cosin. Histor. Transubst. pp. 57, 58.]

         Come we then directly to consider the words, “This is my body,” and “This is my blood.”  What can they, or what do they mean?

         1.  They cannot mean that this bread and this wine are really and literally that body in the same broken state as it hung upon the cross, and that blood which was spilled upon the ground 1700 years ago.  Neither yet can they mean that this bread and wine literally and properly are our Lord’s glorified body, which is as far distant from us, as heaven is distant: all sense, all reason, all Scripture, all antiquity, and sound theology, reclaim against so wild a thought.

         2.  Well then, since the words cannot be understood literally, or with utmost rigour, they must be brought under some figure or other, some softening explication, to make them both sense and truth.

         3.  But there may be danger of undercommenting, as well as of interpreting too high: and men may recede so far from the letter as altogether to dilute the meaning, or break its force.  As nothing but necessity can warrant us in going from the letter at all, we ought not to go further than such necessity requires.  There appears to be something very solemn and awful in our Lord’s pointed words, “This is my body,” and “This is my blood.”  Had he intended no more than a bare commemoration, or representation, it might have been sufficient to have said, Eat this bread broken, and drink this wine poured out, in remembrance of me and My passion, without declaring in that strong manner that the bread and wine are his body and blood, at the same time commanding his Disciples to take them as such.  We ought to look out for some as high and significant a meaning as the nature of the thing can admit of; in order to answer such emphatic words and gestures.

         4.  Some, receding from the letter, have supposed the words to mean, this bread and this wine are my body and blood in power and effect, or in virtue and energy: which is not much amiss, excepting that it seems to carry in it some obscure conception either of an inherent or infused virtue resting upon the bare elements, and operating as a mean, which is not the truth of the case; excepting also, that it leaves us but a very dark and confused idea of what the Lord’s body or blood means, in that way of speaking, whether natural or sacramental, or both in one.

         5.  It appears more reasonable and more proper to say, that the bread and wine are the body and blood (viz. the natural body and blood) in just construction, put upon them by the lawgiver himself, who has so appointed, and who is able to make it good.  The symbols are not the body in power and effect, if those words mean efficiency: but, suitable dispositions supposed in the recipient, the delivery of these symbols is, in construction of Gospel law, and in Divine intention, and therefore in certain effect or consequence, a delivery of the things signified.  If God hath been pleased so to order that these outward elements, in the due use of the Eucharist, shall be imputed to us, and accepted by him, as pledges of the natural body of our Lord, and that this constructional intermingling his body and blood with ours, shall be the same thing in effect with our adhering inseparably to him, as members or parcels of him; then those outward symbols are, though not literally, yet interpretatively, and to all saving purposes, that very body and blood which they so represent with effect: they are appointed instead of them. [__ Ļ_______ __ _____ _______ ________ is the phrase of Victor Antiochenus, who wrote about A.D. 401.  Vid. Albertin. p. 832.]

         This notion of the Sacrament, as it is both intelligible and reasonable, so is it likewise entirely consonant to Scripture language; considered first in the general; next, with respect to the Jewish sacrifices and sacraments; then with regard also to Christian Baptism; and lastly, with respect to what is elsewhere taught of the Eucharist.  Further, it appears to have been the ancient notion of all the Christian churches for six centuries or more; and was scarce so much as obscured, till very corrupt and ignorant ages came up; and was never totally lost, though almost swallowed up for a time by the prevailing growth of transubstantiation.  These particulars I shall now endeavour to prove distinctly, in the same order as I have named them.

         1.  I undertake to shew that the interpretation here given is favoured by the general style or phraseology of Scripture; which abounds with examples of such figurative and constructional expressions, where one thing is mentioned and another understood, according to the way which I have before intimated.  I do not here refer to such instances as are often produced in this subject; as metaphorical locutions, when our Lord is styled a door, a vine, a star, a sun, a rock, a lamb, a lion, or the like; which amount only to so many similitudes couched, every one respectively, under a single word.  Neither do I point to other well known instances, of seven kine being seven years, and four great beasts being four kings, and the field being the world, reapers being angels, and the like: which appertain only to visional or parabolic representations, and come not up to the point in hand.  The examples which we are to seek for, as similar and parallel to the expressions made use of by our Lord in the institution, ,must be those wherein some real thing is in just construction and certain effect allowed to be another thing.

         Moses was a God to Pharaoh [Exod. 7:1.], not literally, but in effect.  The walking tabernacle, or moving ark, being a symbol of the Divine presence, was considered as God walking [Levit. 26:11–12.  Deut. 23:14.] among his people.  Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness, [Gen. 15:6.  Rom. 4:3,  9, 22.  Gal. 3:6.] or sinless perfection; not that it strictly or literally was so, but it was so accepted in God’s account.  John the Baptist was Elias, [Matt. 17:12.  Mark 9:13.] not literally, but in just construction.  Man and wife are one flesh, [1 Cor. 6:16.] not in the utmost strictness of speech, but interpretatively, or in effect; they are considered as one.  He that is joined to an harlot is one body, [Ibid.] not literally, but in construction of Divine law: and he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit, [Ibid. 17.] is considered as so, and with real effect.  The Church is our Lord’s body, [Ephes. 1:23.  See Spinkes against Transubst. pp. 29, 30.] interpretatively so.  Levi paid tithes in Abraham, not literally, but constructionally, or as one may say. [Hebr. 7:9.]  Abraham received his son Isaac from the dead, not really, but in just construction, and in a figure. [Heb. 11:19.]  The Apostle tells his new converts, “Ye are our epistle,” and the “epistle of Christ” [2 Cor. 3:2–3.]; that is to say, instead of an epistle, or equivalent thereto, the same thing in effect or use.  These examples may suffice to shew in the general that Scripture is no stranger to the symbolic or constructional language, expressing one thing by another thing, considered as equivalent thereto, and amounting to the same as to real effects or purposes.

         2.  This will appear still plainer from the sacrificial language and usage in the Old Testament.  Blood, in sacrificial language, was the life of an animal: and the shedding the blood for sacrifice, together with the sprinkling it, were understood to be giving life for life. [Gen. 9:4.  Levit. 17:10–11.]  The fumes of some sacrifices were considered as sweet odours, [Gen. 8:21.  Exod. 29:18 et passim.] grateful to God when sent up with a pure mind.  The altar was considered as God’s table [Ezek. 41:22; 44:16.  Mal. 1:7, 12.]: and what was offered upon it, and consumed by fire, was construed and accepted as God’s meat, bread, food, portion, or mess. [Levit. 3:11, 21:6, 8, 17, 21–22.  Num.28:2, 24.  Ezek. 44:7.]  Not that it was literally so, but it was all one to the supplicants; with whom God dealt as kindly, as if it had really been so: it was the same thing in legal account, was symbolically the same, and therefore so named.  The laying hands upon the head of the victim was, in construction of Divine law, transferring the legal offences upon the victim [Levit. 1:4, 8:14–15.]: more particularly, the people’s performing that ceremony towards the scapegoat was considered as laying their iniquities upon him, which accordingly the goat was supposed to bear away with him [Levit. 16:21–22.]; all which was true in legal account.  The priests, in eating the sin offering of the people, were considered as eating up their guilt, incorporating it with themselves, and discharging the people of it [Levit. 10:17.  Hos. 4:8.]: and the effect answered.  But when the people feasted on the peace offerings, it was symbolically eating peace, and maintaining amity with God: to which St. Paul alludes in a noted passage, [1 Cor. 10:18.  Compare Levit. 7:18, and Ainsworth in loc.] to be explained hereafter.  From hence it may be observed, by the way, that symbolic phrases and symbolic services were what the Jews had been much and long used to, before our Lord’s time: which may be one reason why the Apostles shewed no surprise at what was said to them in the institution of the Eucharist, nor called for any explanation.

         From the Jewish sacrifices, we may pass on to their sacraments, which, taking the word in a large sense, were many, but in the stricter sense were but two, namely, Circumcision and the Passover.  With respect to those also, the like figurative and symbolic language prevailed.  We find St. Paul declaring of the manna and of the waters of old, that they were spiritual food; and accordingly he does not scruple, while speaking of the rock from whence the waters flowed, to say that “that rock was Christ.” [1 Cor. 10:4.]  It typified Christ: yea and more than so, the waters which it yielded, typified the blood and water which should afterwards flow from our Lord’s side, and were to the faithful of that time spiritual pledges of the benefits of Christ’s passion, like as the sacramental wine is now. [See above, p. 144.]  This consideration fully accounts for the strong expression which the Apostle in that case made use of, “that rock was Christ”: it was so in effect to every true Israelite of that time.

         Circumcision of the flesh was a symbolic rite, betokening the true circumcision of the heart; which was the condition of the covenant between God and his people, on their part, [Deut. 10:16, 30:6.  Levit. 26:41.  Jer. 4:4.  Rom. 2:28–29.] and God’s acceptance of the same on his part, [Gen. 17:7.] to all saving purposes: therefore circumcision had the name of covenant, and the sign was called what it literally was not, but what it really and truly signified, and to the faithful exhibited. [Gen. 17:10, 13–14.]

         The like may be observed of the Passover, which was feasting upon a lamb, but was called the Lord’s Passover, as looking backwards, plainly, to the angel’s passing over the Hebrews, so as to preserve them from the plague [Exod. 12:11–13.] then inflicted on the Egyptians, and mystically looking forwards to God’s passing over the sins of mankind, for the sake of Christ the true paschal lamb. [1 Cor. 5:7.]  Such is the customary language of Scripture in those cases, denominating the signs by the things signified, and at the same time exhibited in a qualified sense.

         3.  I proceed to the consideration of Baptism, a sacrament of the New Testament; a symbolic rite, full of figure and mystery; representing divers graces, blessings, privileges, and exhibiting the same in the very act: for which reason the Scripture language concerning it is very strong and emphatic, like to what our Lord made use of with respect to the Eucharist.  St. Paul does not barely intimate that we ought to be buried with Christ in Baptism, or that we signify his burial, but he says plainly, “we are buried;” and likewise that “we have been planted together in the likeness of his death,” and that “our old man is crucified,” and that we are “freed from sin,” and “dead with Christ”. [Rom. 6:4, 6–8.  “De ipso baptismo Apostolus, Consepulti, inquit, sumus Christo per baptismum in mortem.  Non ait sepulturam significavimus, sed prorsus ait, consepulti sumus: sacramentum ergo tantae rei non nisi ejusdem rei vocabulo nuncupavit.”  August. Ep. 98. ad Bonifac. p. 268. ed. Bened.]  The reason is, because the things there mentioned are not merely represented, but effectuated always on God’s part, if there be no failure or obstacle on ours.  The spiritual graces of Baptism go along with the ceremony, in the due use of it, and are supposed by the Apostle to be conveyed at that instant: 1. Actual remission of sins. [Acts 22:16, 2:38.  Col. 2:13.  1 Cor. 6:11.]  2. Present sanctification of the Spirit. [John 3:5.  Acts 2:38.  1 Cor. 12:13, 6:11.  Ephes. 5:26.  Titus 3:5.  Heb. 10:22.]  3. Actual communion with Christ’s body, with Christ our head. [1 Cor. 12:13.]  4. A certain title, for the time being, to resurrection and salvation.*  5. A putting on Christ. [Gal. 3:27.  Cp. Wolfius in loc.  Deylingius, Obs. Sacr. tom. iii. p. 330.]  I take the more notice here of the last article of putting on Christ, as being of near affinity with feeding upon Christ in the other sacrament.  Both of them express a near conjunction and close intimacy: but the latter is the stronger figure, and the more affecting emblem.  Christ is, in a qualified sense, our clothing, and our food; our baptismal garment, and our eucharistic banquet: but what enters within us, and is diffused all over us, and becomes incorporate with us, being considered as a symbol of Christ, expresses the most intimate union and coalition imaginable.  Probably this symbol was made choice of for the Eucharist, as it is the top perfection of Christian worship or service.  Baptism is for babes in Christ, this for grown men: Baptism initiates, while the Eucharist perfects: Baptism begins the spiritual life, the Eucharist carries on and finishes it.  And therefore it is that the Eucharist has so frequently been called __ _______,** the perfecting service, and the Sacrament of sacraments [_______ ______.  Pseudo-Dionys. cap. iii. p. 282.]; or emphatically the Sacrament, which obtains at this day.  I may add that, though Baptism represents the burial and the resurrection of our Lord, and entitles us to a partnership in both, yet there is something still more awful and venerable in representing (not merely his acts or offices, but) his very Person, in part, which is done in the Eucharist, by the symbols of bread and wine, representing his body and blood.

         *[Rom. 6:8–9.  Titus 3:5.  Pet. 3:21.  Col. 2:11–13.  Add 1 Cor. 15:29.  For so I understand “baptizing for the dead”; in order to have our dead bodies raised.  Vid. Chrysost. in 1 Cor. 10. Hom. xxiii. p. 389; et in 1 Cor. 15:29.  Hom. xl. p. 513. ed. Sav. Isidor. Pelus. Epist. lib. i. Ep. 221.  Theodorit. in 1 Cor. 15:29.]

         **[Vid. Casaub. Exercit. xvi. n. 48. p. 411, alias 572.  Suicer. Thesaur. tom. ii. p. 1259.  “Conjunctioni nostrae cum Christo, cujus instrumenta sunt verbum Dei et sacramenta, veluti colophonem imponit participatio corporis et sanguinis Christi in coena Dominica: nullus enim restat alius modus, quo in terris versantes arctius cum Christo, capite nostro, conjungamur.”  Casaub. ibid.]

         From what hath been said under this last article concerning Baptism, we may observe, that it is not literally going into the grave with Christ, neither is it literally rising from the dead with him; but it is so interpretatively and in certain effect, proper dispositions supposed on our part: and it is not barely a representation of a thing, but a real exhibition.  So likewise in the Eucharist: the elements are not literally what they are called, but they are interpretatively and in effect the same thing with what they stand for.  Such appears to be the true account of the symbolic phrases of the institution.

         4.  To this agrees what we meet with further in St. Paul’s account of this Sacrament.  It is the Communion of the body and blood of Christ. [1 Cor. 10:16.]  Which expresses communication on the part of the donor, and participation on the side of the receiver.  There is communication from God, and a participation by us, of Christ’s crucified body directly, and of the body glorified consequentially.  Yet this grant and this reception of our Lords body are not to be understood with utmost rigour, but after the manner of symbolic grants and conveyances; where the symbols are construed to be, in real and beneficial effect, what they supply the place of.  But of this text I may have occasion to say more in a distinct chapter, and so may dismiss it for the present.

         St. Paul, in the same Epistle, speaks of the unworthy receiver, as “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord,” and as “eating and drinking damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” [1 Cor. 11:27, 29.]: all which is easily and naturally accounted for, upon the principles before mentioned.  Our Lord’s body is interpretatively delivered, with all the emoluments thereunto pertaining, to as many as receive worthily: the same body is interpretatively offered* to as many as receive, though ever so unworthily.  The unworthy receiver, through his own fault, disqualifies himself from partaking of what is offered, namely, from partaking of the things signified: which being our Lord’s own body and blood, he is therefore guilty, not only of profaning holy things (as even the symbols themselves, when consecrated, are holy), but also of slighting and contemning our Lord’s own body and blood, which had been symbolically offered to him.**  He incurs the just judgment of God, for not discerning, that is, not esteeming, not reverencing, not receiving*** the Lord’s body when he might, and when both duty and interest required his most grateful and most devout acceptance.  Nay further, he is guilty of contemning the blood of the covenant, and the author of our salvation, by so profane an use of what so nearly concerns both.  This must be so, in the very nature of the thing, if we suppose (as we here do) that the sacramental symbols are interpretatively, or in just construction, by Divine appointment, the body and blood of Christ.  But this point also must be more minutely considered in its proper place.

         *[Credentibus fit corpus vivificum, quia illi panis caelestis et corporis Christi vere sunt participes: aliis vere tam non recipientibus quam non credentibus licet antitypon sit, tamen illis nequaquam est, nec fit corpus Christi.”  Cosin. Histor. Eccl. p. 69.]

         **[“Non idcirco vocat Paulus reos quod ipsum corpus Christi ederint, neque idcirco illi judicium sibi arcessunt quod sumpserint, sed quod sumere corpus Domini neglexerint.”  Lamb. Danaeus Apolog. pro Helvet. Eccl. p. 30, alias 1479.  N.B. This account is right as to fact, that the unworthy do not receive the Body, but as to guilt in approaching the holy table, it is insufficient; because, by this account, there would be no difference between absenting, and unworthy receiving; both being equally a neglect of the same thing.  There must be more in unworthy reception: it is not merely neglecting the inward grace, but it is profaning also the outward means.]

         ***[The wicked receive the signs of the Lord’s body and blood, not the body and blood; that is, not the thing signified.  So the Fathers distinguish commonly on this head.  The testimonies of Origen, Ambrose, Jerome, Chrysostom, Austin, and others, may be seen collected and explained in Albertinus, pp. 549, 586.  Sometimes the Fathers do indeed speak less accurately, of the unworthy receiving the body and blood, meaning the outward symbols, giving the name of the thing signified to the signs, by a metonymy.  Compare Moreton, p. 320.]

         5.  I proceed, in the last place, to examine the sentiments of the ancients on this head: and if they fall in with the account here given, we can then want nothing to set this matter in the clearest light, or to fix it beyond all reasonable dispute.

 

A.D. 107.  Ignatius.

         Ignatius, occasionally reflecting on some persons who rejected the use of the Eucharist, delivers his mind as here follows: “They abstain from the Eucharist and prayer, because they admit not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins, and which the Father of his goodness raised from the dead: they therefore thus gainsaying the gift of God, die in their disputes.”*  It is to be noted, that those misbelievers (probably the old visionaries, in Greek Docetae) did not allow that our Lord had any real flesh or blood, conceiving that his birth, passion, and resurrection were all imaginary, were mere show and appearance.  Thereupon they rejected the Eucharist and the prayers thereto belonging, as founded in the doctrine of our Lord’s real humanity.  Now, Ignatius here intimates that the elements, of bread and wine in the Eucharist are, in just construction, the body, or flesh and blood of Christ as dying, and as raised again: therefore he bore about him a real body.  The Eucharist being representative, and also interpretatively exhibitive of such real flesh and blood, was itself a standing memorial of the truth of the Church’s doctrine concerning our Lord’s real humanity.  Ignatius could not imagine that the symbols were literally flesh and blood; no one was then weak enough to entertain so wild a thought: but if they were constructionally or interpretatively so, it was sufficient, being all that his argument required.  The Eucharist, so understood, supposed a real body of flesh and blood belonging to our blessed Lord, both as dying and rising again: for, without that supposition, the Eucharist was no Eucharist at all, a representation of nothing, or a false representation;** and that the misbelievers themselves were very sensible of, and therefore abstained from it.  I may further observe, that Ignatius here supposes not, with the consubstantiators, a natural body of Christ locally present, and a sacramental one besides; but it is all one symbolic body in the Eucharist, supplying the place of the natural, in real effect, and to all saving purposes.  The Eucharist, that is, the bread and wine, is (constructionally) the flesh of Jesus, etc.  It is not said, that it is with the flesh, or that One is in, with, or under the other: so that Mr. Pfaffius had no occasion to triumph here.***

         *[___________ ___ Ļ________ _Ļ_______, ___ __ __ _________ ___________ _____ _____ ___ _______ ____ _____ _______, ___ _Ļ__ ________ ____ Ļ_______, __ __ __________ _ Ļ____ ________ __ ___ ____________ __ _____ ___ ____, ___________ _Ļ__________.  Ignat. ad Smyrn. cap. 7.  Vid. Albertin. p. 286, etc.]

         **[Chrysostom’s reasoning, in like case, is here very apposite, in Matt. Hom. liii. p. 783.  __ ___ __ _Ļ______ _ ______, _____ _______ __ _________; “If Jesus did not really die, what are the eucharistic elements symbols of? “ N.B. The argument did not require or suppose a corporal presence: a symbolic one was sufficient to confute the gainsayers, if Chrysostom had any judgment.  Cp. Pseud. Origen. Dialog. contr. Marcion, p. 853.]

         ***[Pfaffius (p. 263) appears to triumph over Albertinus, with respect to this passage of Ignatius: but Albertinus had very justly explained it, and defended his explication with great learning and solid judgment, beyond all reasonable dispute; as every impartial reader will find, who will but be at the pains to look into him, p. 286, etc.]

         That Ignatius admitted of real and beneficial effects will be plain from another passage: “Breaking one bread, which is the medicine of immortality, a preservative that we should not die, but should live for ever in Jesus Christ.”*  In what sense he understood the thing so to be, will appear more fully when we come to other Fathers, somewhat later in the same century.  There is one place more of this apostolical writer worth the reciting: “The flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ is but one, and the cup one unto the unity of his blood.”**  He alluded, probably, to 1 Cor. 10:16, “communion of the blood of Christ,” and so the meaning is, for the uniting us to Christ, first, and then, in and through him, to one another, his one blood being the cement which binds head and members all together.

         *[___ _____ _______, __ ____ ________ _________, _________ ___ __ _Ļ_______, ____ ___ __ _____ ______ ___ Ļ_____.  Ignat. ad Ephes. cap. 20.  This was no flight, but the standing doctrine of the author, which he expresses without any figure elsewhere.  Epist. ad Smyrn. cap. 7: _________ __ ______ ___Ļ__, ___ ___ ________.  “It behooves them to celebrate the feast of the Eucharist, (so I understand ___Ļ__, with Cotelerius in loc.), that they may rise to life.”]

         **[___ ___ ____ ___ ______ ____ _____ _______, ___ __ Ļ_______ ___ ______ ___ _______ _____.  Ignat. ad Philad. cap. 4.]

 

A.D. 140.  Justin Martyr.

         Justin, another early Christian teacher and martyr, comes next: I shall cite as much from him as may suffice to clear the point in hand.  “This food we call the Eucharist: which no one is allowed to partake of, but he that believes our doctrines to be true, and who has been baptized in the laver of regeneration for remission of sins, and lives up to what Christ has taught.  For we take not these as common bread and common drink: but like as Jesus Christ our Saviour, being incarnate by the Word of God, bore about him both flesh and blood for our salvation; so are we taught that this food which is blessed by the prayer of the Word that came from him [God], and which is changed into the nourishment of our flesh and blood, is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus.  For the Apostles in their commentaries, called the Gospels, have left it upon record, that Jesus so commanded them; for he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he said, Do this in remembrance of me; this is my body: in like manner also he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, This is my blood.” [Justin Martyr, Apol. i. pp. 96, 97. ed. Lond.  See also above, chap. iii, where part of the same passage is cited for another purpose.]  Upon this passage of Justin may be observed as follows: 1. That he supposed the elements to be blessed or sanctified by virtue of the prayer of the Word or Logos, first made use of in the institution, and remaining in force to this day, in such a sense as I have explained above, in the chapter of Consecration.  2. That Justin also supposed the same elements, after consecration, to continue still bread and wine, only not common bread and wine: for while he says, it is not common bread, he supposes it to be bread.  3. That while he supposes the consecrated elements to be changed into our bodily nutriment, he could not have a thought of our Lord’s natural body’s admitting such a change.  4. That nevertheless be does maintain that such consecrated food is, in some sense or other, the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus; and he quotes the words of the institution to prove it.  5. He supposes no other flesh and blood locally present in the Eucharist, but that very consecrated food which he speaks of; for that is the flesh and blood.  Therefore he affords no colour for imagining two bodies, natural and sacramental, as locally present together, in the way of consubstantiation.  6. It remains then, that he could mean nothing else but the representative or symbolic body of Christ, answering to the natural (once upon the cross, and now in heaven), as proxies answer to their principals, as authentic copies or exemplifications to their originals, in use, value, and legal effect.  For, that Justin cannot be understood of a bare figure, or naked representation, appears from hence, that it supposes a Divine power, the power of the Logos himself (which implies his spiritual presence), to be necessary for making the elements become such symbolic flesh and blood: whereas, if it were only a figure, or representation, men might easily make it themselves by their own power, and would need only the original commission to warrant their doing it.  7. Though Justin (addressing himself to Jews or Pagans) does not speak so plainly of the great Christian privileges or graces conferred in the Eucharist, as Ignatius, writing to Christians, before him did, yet he has tacitly insinuated the same things; as well by mentioning the previous qualifications requisite for it, as also by observing that the [symbolic] flesh and blood of Christ are incorporate with ours: from whence by just inference all the rest follows, as every grace is implied in such our interpretative union with Christ crucified or glorified.  Besides that our author supposed, as I before noted, a real spiritual presence of the Divine nature of our Lord in or with the elements, to make them effectually the body and blood of Christ: and he carries it so high, as to draw a comparison from the presence of the Logos to our Lord’s humanity, whereof the Eucharist is a kind of emblem, though in a loose general way, faint and imperfect. [See the Doctrinal Use of the Sacraments considered, vol. v. p. 114.]  Thus much however is common to both: that there is a presence of the Logos with something corporeal; a presence with something considered as his body; and a presence operating in conjunction with that body for the uniting all his true members together under him their head.  But that such comparisons help to clear the subject is more than I will say; being sensible that they are far from exact, and may want distinctions to make them bear, or otherwise may be apt to mislead: it is enough, if we can but come at the true and full sense of the authors.

 

A.D. 176.  Irenaeus.

         Irenaeus’s doctrine of the Eucharist, so far as concerns this present chapter, may be understood from the passages here following, together with some explanatory remarks which I mean to add to them.

         “How can they say that the flesh goes to corruption, and never more partakes of life, when it is fed with the body of our Lord, and with his blood? ... As the terrestrial bread upon receiving the invocation of God is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two things, terrestrial and celestial; so also our bodies, upon receiving the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having an assurance of a resurrection to all eternity.”*  “But if this flesh of ours has no title to salvation, then neither did our Lord redeem its with his own blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion [communication] of his blood, nor the bread which we break the communion [communication] of his body.  For it is not blood, if it is not of the veins and flesh, and whatever else makes up the substance of the human frame, such as the Word was really made.”**  A little after, the author adds this large explanatory passage, worth the noting: “The creature of the cup he declared to be his own blood, with which he imbues our blood; and the creature of bread he affirmed to be his own body, out of which our bodies grow up.  When therefore the mingled cup and the created bread receive the Word of God, and the Eucharist becomes Christ’s body, and by these the substance of our flesh grows and consists, how can they say, that the flesh is not capable of the gift of God (namely, life eternal), when it is fed with the body and blood of Christ, and is member of him?  To this purpose speaks St. Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones, Ephes. 5:30. ... The flesh is nourished by the cup which is his blood, and is increased by the bread which is his body.  And like as a branch of the vine put into the ground brings forth fruit in its season, and a grain of wheat falling into the ground and there dissolved, useth again with manifest increase, by the Spirit of God that containeth all things; and those afterwards by Divine wisdom serve for the use of man, and receiving the Logos [Word] of God, become the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ: so also our bodies being fed by it, [viz. the Eucharist,] and laid in the ground, and dissolving there, shall yet arise in their season, by means of the Divine Logos vouchsafing them a resurrection to the glory of God the Father.” [Iren. lib. v. p. 294.]

         *[___ ___ _____ ________ ___ ______ ______, ___ __ ________ ___ ____, ___ _Ļ_ ___ _______ ___ ______ ___ ___ _______ _____ __________; ... __ ___ _Ļ_ ___ _____ Ļ_______________ ________ [forte _________] ___ ____, ___ ___ ______ _____ _____, ___’ __________, __ ___ Ļ________ ___________, _Ļ______ __ ___ _________ _____ ___ __ ______ ____ ______________ ___ ___________ ______ _____ ______, ___ __Ļ___ ___ ___ ______ __________ ______.  Iren. lib. iv. cap. 18. p. 251. ed. Bened.]

         **[“Si autem non salvetur haec [caro], videlicet nec Dominus sanguine suo redemit nos, neque calix Encharistiae communicatio sanguinis ejus est, neque panis quem frangimus communicatio corporis ejus est.  Sanguis enim non est nisi a venis et carnibus, et a reliqua quae secundum hominem est substantia, qua, vere factum est Verbum Dei.”  Iren. lib. v. cap. 2. p. 293.]

         From these several passages thus laid together, I take the liberty to observe: 1. That our author had no notion of the elements being changed, upon consecration, into the natural body of Christ; for he supposes them still to remain, as the earthly part, and to be converted into bodily nutriment; which to affirm of our Lord’s body, crucified or glorified, would be infinitely absurd.*  2. Neither does our author at all favour the notion of Christ’s natural body being literally and locally present under or with the elements: for the heavenly thing supposed to supervene** in the consecration, and to be present, is not Christ’s natural body, but the Logos, or Divine nature of our Lord, or the Holy Spirit.  Or if he did suppose the heavenly thing to be Christ’s glorified body, yet even that amounts to no more than saying that our mystical union with his body is made or strengthened in the Eucharist; not by any local presence of that body, but as our mystical union with all the true members is therein perfected, at whatever distance they are: so that whether we interpret the heavenly part of the Logos, or of the body of Christ, Irenaeus will not be found to favour the Lutheran notion of the presence.  3. But least of all does he favour the figurists or memorialists; for his doctrine runs directly counter to them almost in every line.  He asserts over and over, that Christ’s body and blood are eaten and drank in the Eucharist, and our bodies thereby fed; and not only so, but insured thereby for a happy resurrection: and the reason he gives is, that our bodies are thereby made or continued members of Christ’s body, flesh, and bones: and his conclusion is built on this principle, that members follow the head, or that the parts go with the whole: which reasoning supposes that the sacred symbols, though not literally, are yet interpretatively, or constructionally, the body and blood.***  4. To make the symbols answer in such a view, he supposes the concurrence of a Divine power to secure the effect, a spiritual presence of the Logos.  5. One thing only I conceive our author to be inaccurate in (though perhaps more in expression than real meaning) in superinducing the Logos upon the symbols themselves, rather than upon the recipients, which would have been better.  But in a popular way of speaking, and with respect to the main thing, they may amount to the same: and it was not needful to distinguish critically about a mode of speech, while there was no suspicion of wrong notions being grafted upon it, as hath since happened.  6. Lastly, I may note that these larger passages of Irenaeus may serve as good comments upon the shorter ones of Ignatius before cited: and so Ignatius may lend antiquity to Irenaeus’s sentiments, while Irenaeus’s add light and strength to his.

         *[Compare a fragment of Irenaeus, p. 343, concerning Blandina; from which it is manifest that the Christians despised the Pagans for imagining that Christ’s body and blood were supposed to be literally eaten in the Eucharist: they rejected the thought with abhorrence.]

         **[In like manner, Nazianzen makes Baptism to consist of two things, water and the Spirit; which answers to Irenaeus’s earthly and heavenly parts in the Eucharist.  Gregor. Nazianz. Orat. xi. p. 641.]

         ***[N.B. The Lutherans know not how to allow, in their way, that our bodies are so fed with the Lord’s body, which they suppose to be locally present; or that any feeding is a pledge of a happy resurrection, since they suppose the feeding common both to good and bad.  Hence it is, that they can make no sense of Irenaeus’s argument.  See Pfaffius, pp. 72, 73, 84, 85, 104.  Deylingius, Observ. Miscellan. pp. 75, 76.  They might perceive, if they pleased, from this plain mark, that their scheme has a flaw in it, and cannot stand.  The mistake is owing to the want of considering the nature of symbolic language and symbolic grants.  Our bodies are not literally, but symbolically fed with our Lord’s body; which in effect is tantamount: there lies the whole mystery of the matter; and thereupon hangs Irenaeus’s argument.  Good men are considered in that action as so fed; and it will be imputed to them, and accepted by God, as if it literally were so.  Deylingius concludes, however it be (that is, though he can make no consistent sense of his author), yet Irenaeus is clear for real presence.  Not at all in the Lutheran or the Popish sense; but only so far as symbolic and effectual amount to real.]

 

A.D. 192.  Clemens of Alexandria.

         This Clemens was a person of infinite reading, and of great reputation in the Christian Church.  His pieces are all of them learned, though not always so clear as might be wished.  In a very full head, ideas are often crowded, and have not room to be distinctly ranged.  Our author appears to have had elevated sentiments of the Christian Eucharist, but such as require close attention to see to the bottom of.  He writes thus:

         “The blood of the Lord is twofold, the carnal by which we are redeemed from corruption, and the spiritual by which we are anointed: to drink the blood of Jesus is to partake of our Lord’s immortality.  Moreover, the power of the Word is the Spirit, as blood is of the flesh.  And correspondently, as wine is mingled with water, so is the Spirit with the man: and as the mingled cup goes for drink, so the Spirit leads to immortality.  Again, the mixture of these two, viz. of the drink and of the Logos together, is called the Eucharist, viz. glorious and excellent grace, whereof those who partake in faith are sanctified, both body and soul.  The Father’s appointment mystically tempers man, a Divine mixture, with the Spirit and the Logos: for, in very deed, the Spirit joins himself with the soul as sustained by him, and the Logos with the flesh, for which the Logos became flesh.”*  What I have to observe of these lines of Clemens may be comprised in the particulars here following:

         *[______ __ __ ____ ___ _______ __ ___ ___ _____ _____ ________ _ ___ ______ ____________ __ __ Ļ__________, _________ _ ___________ ___ ____ ____ Ļ____ __ ____ ___ _____, ___ ________ __________ _________.  _____ __ ___ _____ __ Ļ_____, __ ____ ______.  ________ ______ ________, _ ___ _____ __ _____, __ __ _____Ļ_ __ Ļ_____.  ___ __ ___ ___ Ļ_____ [leg. Ļ____] ______, __ ______ __ __ ___ _________ ______, __ Ļ______ _ __ ______ _____ ______, Ļ____ __ ___ _____, __________ ________, _____ _Ļ_________ ___ _____ __ __ ____ Ļ_____ _______________, __________ ___ ____ ___ ______ __ _____ _____, ___ _____Ļ__, ___ Ļ_______ __________ Ļ_______ ___ ____ ____________ _________ ___ ___ __ ______ ___ __ Ļ_____ ________ __ _Ļ’ _____ ________ _____ _ __ ____, __ _____ __’ __ _ _____ ______ ____.  Clem. Alex. Paedag. lib. ii. c. 2. Pp. 177, 178.  Compare Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 188.]

         1.  The first thing to be taken notice of is the twofold blood of Christ: by which Clemens understands the natural blood shed upon the cross, and the spiritual blood exhibited in the Eucharist, namely, spiritual graces, the unction of the Holy Spirit, and union with the Logos, together with what is consequent thereupon.  As to parallel places of the Fathers, who speak of the anointing, in the Eucharist, with the blood of Christ through the Spirit, the reader may consult Mr. Aubertine [Albertinus de Eucharistia, p. 380.]; or Bishop Fell in his notes upon Cyprian.*  St. Jerome seems to have used the like distinction with Clemens between the natural and spiritual body and blood of Christ.**  If we would take in all the several kinds of our Lord’s body, or all the notions that have gone under that name, they amount to these four: 1. His natural body, considered first as mortal, and next as immortal.  2. His typical or symbolic body, viz. the outward sign in the Eucharist.  3. His spiritual body, in or out of the Eucharist, viz. the thing signified.  4. His mystical body, that is, his Church.  But I proceed.

         *[Cyprian. Ep. lxx. p. 190.  Note that the words in that edition are, “Eucharistia est unde baptizati unguntur, oleum in altari sanctificatum.”  But in the Benedictine edition, p. 125, the latter part is corrected into “oleo in altari sanctificato.”]

         **[Dupliciter vero sanguis Christi et caro intelligitur: vel spiritualis illa atque divina, de qua ipse dixit Joan. 6:54, 56; vel caro, et sanguis, quae crucifixa est, et qui militis effusus est lancea.”  Hieron. in Eph. c. i. p. 328.]

         2.  The next observation to be made upon Clemens is that he manifestly excludes the natural body of Christ from being literally or locally present in the Sacrament, admitting only the spiritual; which he interprets of the Logos and of the Holy Spirit, one conceived more particularly to sanctify the body, and the other the soul, and both inhabiting the regenerate man.  Which general doctrine, abstracting from the case of the Eucharist, is founded in express Scripture, [John 14:16–17, 23.  1 Cor. 3:16–17, 6:19.  2 Cor. 6:16.] and may by just and clear consequence be applied to the Eucharist, in virtue of the words of the institution, and of John 6 and other texts, besides the plain nature and reason of the thing.

         3.  Another thing to be observed of Clemens is that as he plainly rejects any corporal and local presence, so does be as plainly reject the low notions of the figurists or memorialists: for no man ever expressed himself more strongly in favour of spiritual graces conveyed in the Eucharist.

         4.  It may be further noted, which shews our author’s care and accuracy, that he brings not the Logos and Holy Spirit so much upon the elements, as upon the persons, viz. the worthy receivers, to sanctify them both in body and soul.  He does indeed speak of the mixture of the wine and the Logos; and if he is to be understood of the personal, and not vocal, Word, he then supposes the Eucharist to consist of two things, earthly and heavenly, just as Irenaeus before him did: but even upon that supposition, he might really mean no more than that the communicant received both together, both at the same instant.  They were only so far mixed, as being both administered at the same time, and to the same person, receiving the one with his mouth, and the other with his mind, strengthened at once both in body and in soul.*  Clemens, in another place, cites part of the institution, by memory perhaps, as follows: “He blessed the wine, saying, Take, drink; this is my blood.  The blood of the grape mystically signifies the Word poured forth for many, for the remission of sins, that holy torrent of gladness.”**  Three things are observable from this passage: one, that the wine of the Eucharist, after consecration, is still the blood of the grape: another, that it is called the blood of Christ, or blood of the Logos (as Origen also*** styles it), symbolically signifying and exhibiting the fruits of the passion: lastly, that those fruits are owing to the union of the Logos with the suffering humanity.  These principles all naturally fall in with the accounts I have before given.

         *[“Signum signatumque conjunctim considerantur, tanquam unum aggregatum, idque ob conjunctam amborum exhibitionem et participationem in usu legitimo.  Quam conjunctionem vulgo vocant unionem sacramentalem, sed non usque adeo convenienter; cum non signatum cum signo, sed nobiscum uniatur, eoque potius, minus saltem ambigue, conjunctio pacti debeat nominari.”  Vossius, de Sacram. Vi et Effic. p. 250.  Cp. Bucer. Script. Anglican. p. 544.]

         **[___ _________ __ ___ _____, __Ļ__, ______, Ļ_____ _____ ___ _____ __ ____.  ____ ___ __Ļ____ ___ _____ ___ Ļ___ Ļ_____ __________ ___ ______ _______, __________ _____ _________ ____.  Clem. Paedag. lib. ii. cap. 2. p. 186.  I have altered the common pointing, for the improving the sense.]

         ***[Orig. in Levit. Hom. ix. p. 243.  See above, and compare Cyrill. Alex. contra Nestor. l. v. p. 123.]

 

A.D. 200.  Tertullian.

         The sentiments of the African Christians in those early days may be probably judged of by Tertullian, a very learned and acute writer, who thus expresses them: “Bread is the Word of the living God, which came down from heaven; besides that his body also is understood in bread: This is my body.  Therefore in asking our daily bread, we ask for perpetuity in Christ, and to be undivided from his body.”*  Here our author teaches that the Divine nature of our Lord is our bread, and likewise that his human nature is our bread also, given us in or under the symbol of the sacramental bread.  So Rigaltius** interprets the passage, quoting similar passage of St. Austin: but the reader may compare Albertinus. [Albertinus de Eucharist. p. 344.  He understands it thus: that bread is a name for the sacramental body, as well as for common bread, and for spiritual food, i. e. Christ himself.]  We can allow the Romanists here to understand Christ’s real and natural body given in the Sacrament, but mystically, spiritually, and interpretatively given; as a right may be given us to a distant possession.  Tertullian seems to understand body, of the body glorified, because he speaks of our being undivided from it, and may best be explained of the mystical union between Christ and his members, perfected in this Sacrament: which kind of union, as I have more than once hinted, supposes no local corporal presence, nor infers any.

         *[“Panis est Sermo Dei vivi, qui descendit de caelis.  Tum quod et corpus ejus in pane censetur: Hoc est corpus meum.  Itaque petendo panem quotidianum, perpetuitatem postulamus in Christo, et individuitatem a corpore ejus.”  Tertullian. de Orat. c. vi. pp. 131, 132.]

         **[“Sic videtur explicari posse: Per panis sacramentum commendat corpus suum: quemadmodum Augustinus l. i. Quaest. Evang. 43. dixit, Per vini sacramentum cornmendat sanguinem suunt.”  Rigalt. in loc.]

         Tertullian elsewhere speaks of our bodies as being fed with the body and blood of Christ, that our souls may be feasted with God, or may feed upon God. [Caro corpore et sanguine Christi vescitur, ut et anima de Deo saginetur: non possunt ergo separari in mercede, quas opera conjungit.”  Tertull. de Resur. Carn. cap. viii. p. 330.  Cp. Albertin. p. 340.]  There I understand body and blood of Christ, of the sacramental, symbolic body and blood, that is, of the bread and wine, which literally nourish the body of man, and symbolically the soul.  Signs often bear the names of the things signified, as Tertullian more than once intimates with reference to this very case. [Panem corpus suum appellans.”  Tertull. adv. Jud. cap. x. p. 196. contr. Mar. lib. iii. cap. 19. p. 408.]  And when he says, that Christ made the bread his own body, [Acceptum panem et distributum discipulis corpus ilium suum fecit, HOC EST CORPUS MEUM dicendo: id est, figura corporis mei.”  Contr. Marc. l. iv. cap. 40. p. 458.] he must be understood of the symbolic body (the figure, or symbol of the natural body), representing [Panem quo ipsum corpus suum repraesentat.”  Contr. Marc. lib. i.] and exhibiting the thing signified.

         But I must observe further, that when Tertullian builds an argument for the resurrection of the body upon this consideration, that our bodies are fed with the symbolic body of Christ (as I have explained it), he cannot be understood to mean less than that the symbolic body is constructionally or interpretatively the real body; and so our bodies are literally fed with one, while mystically and spiritually fed with the other also.  Without this supposition, there is no force at all in his argument for the resurrection.  Our bodies are considered as fed with Christ’s natural body, therefore they are considered as pertaining to, or mingled with his body; therefore they are in construction one flesh with him; therefore, as his body is glorified, so also will ours be, head and members together.  Such is the tour of the argument, such the chain of ideas that forms it. [A collection of other ancient testimonies, so far as concerns that argument, may be seen in Johnson (Unbl. Sacr. part ii. p. 110, etc.), though he does not account for it in the same way.]  Which is confirmed by what he adds, viz. that soul and body, being partners in the work, will share also in the reward.  What is the work?  The work of feeding upon Christ: both feast together here upon the same Lord, therefore both shall enjoy the same Lord hereafter.  Which inference implies that even our bodies are in some sense (namely, in the mystical and constructional sense) fed with our Lord’s natural body, as crucified, or as glorified.  Enough has been said, to give the reader a competent notion of Tertullian’s doctrine on this head.  I shall only take notice further, that the acute and learned Pfaffius, following the Lutheran hypothesis, has collected many testimonies seemingly favouring that side, but then, very ingenuously, has matched them with others which are directly repugnant to it; and he has left them facing each other, [Vid. Pfaffius de Consecrat. Vet. Euchar. pp. 465, 470, 471.] unreconciled, irreconcilable.  How easily might all have been set right, had he but considered a very common thing, called construction of law, or duly attended to the symbolic language which Scripture and Fathers abound in.  To what purpose is it to cite Fathers in any cause, without reconciling the evidence?  Self-contradictory evidence is null or none.  But I proceed.

 

A.D. 240.  Origen.

         Bullinger, in his treatise against Casaubon, cites a passage as Origen’s which runs thus: “He that partakes of the bread, partakes also of the Lord’s body: for we look not to the objects of sense lying before us, but we lift up the soul by faith to the body of the Logos.  For he said not, This is the symbol, but This is the body; to prevent any one’s thinking that it was a type”*  Albertinus throws off this passage as spurious, and as the product of some modern Greek. [Albertin. de Eucharist. lib. ii. cap. 3. p. 367.]  Huetius comes after, and blames him for arbitrarily cutting the knot, [Huetii Origeniana, p. 182.] as he supposes.  But there would be no great difficulty in untying the knot, were it certain that the words are Origen’s.  I will suppose that they are; and indeed I see no good reason why they may not.  He seems to have intended nothing more but to raise up vulgar minds from groveling apprehensions to heavenly contemplations.  Such exhortations to the populace are frequent in other Fathers.  Origen admits not of naked signs, or mere figures: he was no Sacramentarian.  He thought, very rightly, that the words of the institution were too strong and emphatic to submit to so low a meaning.  He conceived that, under the symbolic body, was to be understood the natural body of Christ, the body of the Logos.  If we take in another passage of Origen’s, out of one of his Homilies, [“Non haereas in sanguine carnis, sed disce potius sanguinem Verbi,” &c.  Orig. in Levit. Hom. ix. p. 243.] and join it with this, there will then appear a threefold, elegant gradation in his whole account, as thus: Look not to the typical body, but raise your minds higher up to the natural flesh of Christ: yea, and stop not there, but ascend still higher, from human to Divine, conceiving that flesh as personally united with the Divine Logos, or as the body of God.  All which is true and sound doctrine, and very proper subject matter for Christian exhortations: I need not add, that the whole is extremely suitable to what I have been maintaining all along in this chapter.

         *[___ ___ _ _____ _______, ___ _______ ______ _____________  __ ___ Ļ_________ __ _____ ___ ________ Ļ__________, ___’ ________ ___ _____ ___ Ļ______ _Ļ_ __ ___ _____ ____.  __ ___ __Ļ_, _____ ____ ________, ____ _____ ____ _____ _________, ___ __ ______ ___ __Ļ__ _____.  Bulling. contr. Casaub. p. 617.]

 

A.D. 250.  Cyprian.

         It is frequent with Cyprian to speak of the sacred elements under the name of our Lord’s body and blood.  I need not cite passages to prove what no one who has ever looked into that author can doubt of: in what sense he so styled them, pursuant to the words of the institution, is the single question.  He says, in a certain place, that our Lord, in the original Eucharist, offered up bread and wine, viz. his own body and blood.*  It is plain that he thought not of transubstantiation, since he calls the elements bread and wine, even after consecration, and supposes besides, that Christ offered the same in substance that Melchizedeck had offered long before the incarnation.  Neither could Cyprian think of consubstantiation, since he admits of no other body and blood as there present, and literally offered, but the same individual bread and wine: they were the body and blood.  But how were they such, since they were not so, strictly and literally?  I answer, they were figuratively such, according to our author: not that the elements were by him supposed to be mere figures, or memorials, or representations; but what they represented, that they represented with effect, and so amounted in just construction and beneficial influence to the same thing.  This was the notion he had of them, as will sufficiently appear from several clear passages.  He supposes the natural blood of Christ by which we are redeemed, to be in the cup, in some sense or other, when the sacred wine is there:** the wine represents it, stands for it, and is interpretatively the same thing.  He could not well mean less than this, by saying, that the blood is signified (ostenditur) in the wine, and that it is supposed to be in the cup, “videtur esse in calice,” is looked upon as being there.  Not literally to be sure, but constructionally, and in effect: for the effects, according to him, upon every faithful receiver, are remission of sins,*** and spiritual strength against the adversary,**** and life eternal.*****  So far was he from the low and degrading notions of the figurists in this article; and yet sufficiently guarded (as I have before hinted) against another extreme.

         *[“Sacrificium Deo Patri obtulit, et obtulit hoc idem quod Melchisedech obtulerat, id est, panem et vinum, suum scilicet corpus et sanguinem.”  Cypr. Epist. lxiii. p. 105. ed. Bened., alias p. 149.]

         **[“Nec potest videri sanguis ejus, quo redempti et vivificati sumus, esse in calice quando vinum desit calici, quo Christi sanguis ostenditur, qui Scripturarum omnium Sacramento ac testimonio praedicatur.”  Ep. lxiii. p. 104.]

         ***[“Epotato sanguine Domini et poculo salutari, eponatur memoria veteris hominis, et fiat oblivio conversationis pristinae saecularis, et moestum pectus et triste, quod prius peccatis angentibus premebatur, Divinae indulgentiae laetitia resolvatur.”  Cypr. Ep. lxiii. p. 107, alias 153.]

         ****[“Protectione sanguinis et corporis Christi muniamus; et cum ad hoc fiat Eucharistia, ut possit accipientibus esse tutela, quos tutos esse contra adversarium volumus, munimento Dominicae saturitatis armemus.”  Ep. liv. p. 77, alias Ep. lvii. p. 117.]

         *****[“Manifestum est eos vivere qui corpus ejus attingunt, et Eucharistiam jure communicationis accipiunt.”  Cypr. de Orat. pp. 209, 210.]

         There are no more considerable authorities to be met with, so far as concerns this article, till we come down to the fourth century, and so on; and there they are innumerable: all following the same tenor of doctrine, all, when rightly understood, teaching the same thing, in the main, with what I have here represented from their predecessors; so that I know not whether it might not be tedious to my readers, to proceed any further in a recital of this kind.  But I may single out one, as it were, by way of specimen, leaving the rest to be judged of by that: and that one may be Cyril of Jerusalem, as proper a sample perhaps as any.

 

A.D. 348.  Cyril of Jerusalem.

         I do not know any one writer among the ancients who has given a fuller or clearer, or in the main more just account of the holy Eucharist, than this the elder Cyril has done; though be has often been strangely misconstrued by contending parties.  The true and ancient notions of the Eucharist came now to be digested into somewhat of a more regular and accurate form, and the manner of speaking of it became, as it were, fixed and settled upon rules of art.  Cyril expresses himself thus: “Receive we [the Eucharist] with all fullness of faith, as the body and blood of Christ: for, under the type [or symbol] of bread, you have his body given you, and under the type [or symbol] of wine, you receive his blood; that so partaking of the body and blood of Christ, you may become flesh of his flesh, and blood of his blood.  For by this means we carry Christ about us, in as much as his body and blood is distributed into our members: thus do we become, according to St. Peter, partakers of the Divine nature.”*  The doctrine here taught is that in the Eucharist we receive (not literally, but symbolically) the natural body and blood of Christ; just as the priests of old, in eating the sacrifices symbolically, but effectually, ate up the sins of the people, or as the faithful Israelites, in eating manna and drinking of the rock, effectually fed upon Christ.  The symbolic body and blood are here supposed by our author to supply the place of the natural; and to be in construction and beneficial effect (not substantially) the same thing with it; and so he speaks of our becoming by that means one flesh and one blood with Christ, meaning it in as high a sense, as all the members of Christ are one body, or as man and wife are one flesh.  We carry Christ about us, as we are mystically united to him.  His body and blood are considered as intermingled with ours,** when the symbols of them really and strictly are so: for the benefit is completely the same; and God accepts of such symbolic union, making it, to all saving purposes and intents, as effectual as any the most real could be.  Cyril never thought of any presence of Christ’s natural body and blood in the Sacrament, excepting in mystery and figure (which he expresses by the word “type”) and in real benefits and privileges.

         *[____ Ļ____ Ļ__________, __ _______ ___ _______ ______________ ________ __ __Ļ_ ___ _____, _______ ___ __ ____, ___ __ __Ļ_ _____ _______ ___ __ ____, ___ ____, _________ _______ ___ _______ _______ ________ ___ ________ _____.  ____ ___ ___ ___________ ________, ___ _______ _____ ___ ___ _______ ___ __ _______ ____________ ____.  ____, ____ ___ ________ ______, _____ ________ ______ ________.  Cyrill. Hierosol. Mystag. iv. sect. 3. p. 320. ed. Bened.]

         **[Chrysostom, in like manner, speaks of Christ’s intermingling his body with ours in the Eucharist; but explains it at length by the mystical union therein contracted, or perfected between Christ the head, and us his members. ... ________ ______ ____, ___ _______ __ ____ _____ ___ ____, ___ __ __ _Ļ_______, ____Ļ__ ____ ______ __________.  Chrysost. in Joan. Hom. xlvi. p. 272.  Cp. in Matt. Hom. lxxxiii. p. 788.  “To shew the fervour of his affection towards us, he has mingled himself with us, and diffused his own body into us, that so we may become one thing, as a body joined with the head.”  Cp. Cyril. Alex. In Joan. pp. 365, 862.  De Sanct. Trin. p. 407.  Isidor. Pelus. lib. iii. ep. 195. p. 333.  N.B.  Chrysostom elsewhere speaks as highly of Baptism, and of the mingling with our Lord’s body, in that Sacrament also, [in Col. Hom. vi. p. 201]; all which means nothing but the mystical union.  Chamier has discussed this whole matter at large, if the reader desires further satisfaction.  De Eucharist. lib. xi. cap. 8, 9. p. 633. etc.]

         He goes on to observe, that our Lord once told the Jews (John 6:54) of eating his flesh, etc.  And they not understanding that it was spoken spiritually [but taking the thing literally], were offended at it, as if he had been persuading them to devour his flesh.*  Hence it appears further, that our author was no friend to the gross, literal construction.  He proceeds as follows: “Under the New Testament we have heavenly bread, and a cup of salvation, sanctifying both body and soul: for as bread answers to body, so the Logos suits with the soul.:**  This thought may be compared with another of Clemens above, somewhat like, and somewhat different.  But both agree in two main points, that the Eucharist sanctifies the worthy receiver both in body and soul, and that Christ is properly present in his Divine nature.  Wherefore Cyril had the more reason for pressing his exhortation afterwards in high and lofty terms: “Consider them [the elements] not as mere bread and wine; for by our Lord’s express declaration, they are the body and blood of Christ.  And though your taste may suggest that to you, [viz. that they are mere bread and wine,] yet let your faith keep you firm.  Judge not of the thing by your taste, but under a full persuasion of faith be you undoubtedly assured, that you are vouchsafed the body and blood of Christ.”***  This he said to draw off the minds of his audience from low and carnal apprehensions, that so they might view those mysteries with the eye of faith, and not merely with the eye of sense; might look through the outward sign, to the inward thing signified, and regale their spiritual taste, more than the sensual.  This is what Cyril really meant: though some moderns, coming to read him either with transubstantiation or consubstantiation in their heads, have amused themselves with odd constructions of very innocent words.

         *[_______ __ _________ Ļ__________ ___ ___ _________, _______________ _Ļ_____ ___ __ _Ļ____, __________ ___ _Ļ_ ___________ ______ Ļ_____Ļ____.  Cyril. ibid. p. 321.  Touttée, the Benedictine, here blames our learned Milles for rendering “quae spiritualiter dicebantur, non in telligerent,” instead of “quae dicebantur, spiritualiter non intelligerent.”  The criticism appears too nice, making a distinction without a difference; for the sense is the same either way.  The Capernaites were here censured for not spiritually construing what was spiritually intended; for taking literally, what was meant spiritually: which is what either translation at length resolves into.]

         **[__ __ _____ _______, _____ ________, ___ Ļ_______ ________, _____ ___ _____  __Ļ__ ___ _ _____ ______ __________, ____ ___ _ _____ __ ____ ________.  Cyril. ibid. p. 231.]

         ***[__ Ļ______ ___ __ ______ __ ____ ___ __ _____ ____ ___ ___ ____ ______, ____ ___Ļ______ ________ _Ļ______.  __ ___ ___ _ ________ ___ _____ _Ļ_______, ___’ _ Ļ_____ __ _________, __ _Ļ_ ___ _______ ______ __ Ļ_____ ___’ _Ļ_ ___ Ļ______ Ļ_________ ____________ _______ ___ _______ _______ ___________.  Ibid. p. 321.  N.B.  The first Nicene Council (if we may credit Gelasius) had words to the same effect with these of Cyril: not with any intent to declare the nature or substance of the consecrated elements (which none could doubt of), but to engage the attention to their appointed use, and to the graces therein signified and conveyed.  Vid. Gelas. Cyzicen. part 2. concil. tom. i. p. 427. ed. Hard.  Cp. Albertin. p. 384, etc.  Bishop Moreton has largely explained it, b. iv. chap. 11. sect. ii. p. 302, etc.]

         As to his exhorting his audience not to take the elements for mere bread and wine, it is just such another kind of address as he had before made to them, first in relation to the waters of Baptism, and next with regard to the Chrism.  “Look not to this laver, as to ordinary water, but (attend) to the grace conferred with the water.”*  Would any sensible man conclude from hence, that the water was transubstantiated, according to our author, into some other substance?  Let us go on to what he says of the Chrism.  “Have a care of suspecting that this is ordinary ointment, [or mere ointment]; for, like as the sacramental bread, after the invocation of the Holy Spirit, is no more bare bread, but the body of Christ, so also this holy unguent is no more bare ointment, nor to be called common, after the invocation; but it is the grace of Christ and of the Holy Spirit, endowed with special energy by the presence of his Godhead: and it is symbolically spread over the forehead and other parts of the body.  So then the body is anointed with the visible unguent, but the soul is sanctified by the enlivening Spirit.”**

         *[__ __ _____ ____ Ļ______ __ ______, ____ __ ____ ___ ______ ________ ______.  Cyrill. Catech. iii. p. 40.  Vid. Albertin. 429.  Cp. Chrysostom. in Matt. Hom. lxxxiii. p. 787.]

         **[___’ ___ __ _Ļ_______ ______ __ _____ _____ ______ __Ļ__ ___ _ _____ ___ ___________, ____ ___ _Ļ_______ ___ _____ Ļ________, ___ ___ _____ _____, ____ ____ _______, ____ ___ __ _____ _____ _____ ___ ___ _____, ___’ __ __ __Ļ__ ___ ______ ___’ _Ļ________ ____ _______ _______ ___ Ļ________ _____, ___ _____ ________ ___________ _________.  _Ļ__ __________ _Ļ_ ____Ļ__ ___ ___ _____ ___ _______ ___________.  k__ __ _________ __ ____ _______, __ __ ____ ___ ___Ļ___ Ļ_______ _ ____ _________.  Mystag. iii. p. 317.  Cp. Gregor. Nyssen. de Baptism. tom. iii. p. 369.]

         I cite not this, as approving all that Cyril has here said of the Chrism (not standing upon Scripture authority), but to give light to what he has said of the Eucharist, which he compares with the other, while he supposes the cases parallel.  He conceived the elements in one case, and the unguent in the other, to be exhibitive symbols of spiritual graces, instrumentally conveying what they represent.  The bread and wine, according to his doctrine, are symbolically the body and blood: and by symbolically he means the very same thing which I have otherwise expressed by saying, that they are the body and blood in just construction and beneficial effect.  What Cyril feared with respect to Baptism, and the Eucharist, and the Unction, was that many in low life (coming perhaps from the plough, the spade, or the pale) might be dull of apprehension, and look no higher than to what they saw, felt, or tasted.  Upon the like suspicion was grounded the ancient solemn preface to the Communion Service, called Sursum Corda by the Latins: wherein the officiating minister admonished the communicants to lift up their hearts, and they made answer, We lift them up unto the Lord. [___ ___ _______.  Cyril. Mystag. v. p. 326.  Cyprian. de Orat. Domin. p. 213, alias 152.  Cp. Bingham, b. xv. c. 3. sect. 3.  Renaudot. Liturg. Orient. vol. i. p. 226.]

         To make the point we have been upon still plainer, let Cyril be heard again as he expresses the thing in a succeeding lecture.  “You hear the Psalmist with divine melody inviting you to the communion of the holy mysteries, and saying, Taste and see how gracious the Lord is. Leave it not to the bodily palate to judge: no, but to faith clear of all doubting.  For the tasters are not commanded to taste bread and wine, but the antitype [symbol] of the body and blood of Christ.”*  Here our author plainly owns the elements to be types, or symbols (as he had done also before), and therefore not the very things whereof they are symbols; not literally and strictly, but interpretatively, mystically, and to all saving purposes and intents; which suffices.**  It is no marvel, if Mr. Touttée*** and other Romanists interpret Cyril to quite another purpose: but one may justly wonder how the learned and impartial Dr. Grabe should construe Cyril in that gross sense, which he mentions under the name of augmentation. [Grabe, ad Iren. lib. v. cap. 2. in notis, p. 399.  Cp. Deyling. Observat. Miscellan. p. 177.]  I presume, he read Cyril with an eye to modern controversy, and did not consider him as speaking to mechanics and day labourers: or, he was not aware of the difference there is between telling men what they are to believe, and what they ought to .attend to, which was Cyril’s chief aim.  As to believing, he very well knew that every one would believe his senses, and take bread to be bread, and wine to be wine, as himself believed also: but he was afraid of their attending so entirely to the report of their senses, as to forget the reports of sacred Writ, which ought to be considered at the same time, and with closer attention than the other, as being of everlasting concernment.  In short, he intended no lecture of faith against eyesight: but he endeavoured, as much as possible, to draw off their attention**** from the objects of sense to the object of faith, and from the signs to the things signified.

         *[_______ ___ _________ ____ ______ _____ Ļ_____Ļ______ ____ ___ ___ _________ ___ _____ _________, ___ ________, ________ ___ _____ ___ _______ _ ______.  __ __ _______ __ ________ _Ļ____Ļ___ __ _______. ____, ____ __ ___________ Ļ_____. _________ ___ ___ _____ ___ _____ __________ _________, ____ ______Ļ__ _______ ___ _______ ___ _______.  Mystag. v. p. 331.]

         **[Deylingius seems to wonder at Mr. Aubertine and Mr. Claude for under-commenting, as he conceives, with respect to Cyril: Deyling. Observ. Miscell. p. 157.  But he attempts not to confute what they had said: it was wiser to forbear.  The utmost that any one can justly make of the very strongest expressions in Cyril can amount only to a mystical union of Christ’s body with the faithful communicants, as members of him; which is such an union as St. Paul resembles to that whereby man and wife are one flesh, (Eph. 5:30–31), and which undoubtedly is a moral union independent of local presence.]

         ***[Touttée, Dissert. iii. prefixed to his new edition of Cyril, c. ix. p. 204, etc. The reader may compare Albertinus (p. 422), who had sufficiently obviated everything pleadable on the side of the Romanists.  Compare also Johnson (Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 257), who has well defended Cyril on this head, and Deylingius, who in a set discourse has replied to Touttée.  (Deyling. Observat. Miscell. Exercit. ii. p. 163, etc.)  Only I may note, by the way, that he has strained some things in favour of the Lutheran principles, and has better confuted the Romanists than he has established his own hypothesis.]

         ****[In Sacramentis non quid sint, sed quid ostendant, attenditur; quoniam signa sunt rerum, aliud existentia, et aliud significantia.”  Augustin. contr. Max. lib. iii. cap. 22: cp. de Doct. Christ. cap. 7.]

         It has been urged, as of moment, that Cyril compared the change made in the Eucharist to the miraculous change of water into wine wrought by our Lord in Cana of Galilee. [Cyril. Mystag. iv. sect. 2. p. 320.]  It is true that he did so: but similitudes commonly are no arguments of anything more than of some general resemblance.  There was power from above in that case, and so is there in this: and it may be justly called a supernatural power;* not upon the elements to change their nature, but upon the communicants to add spiritual strength to their souls.  The operation in the Eucharist is no natural work of any creature, but the supernatural grace of God’s Holy Spirit.  Therefore Cyril’s thought was not much amiss, in resembling one supernatural operation to another, agreeing in the general thing, differing in specialties.  In a large sense of the word miracle, there are miracles of grace, as well as miracles of nature; and the same Divine power operates in both, but in a different way, as the ends and objects are different.

         *[Neque quaeritur aut controvertitur an panis et vinum supernaturali virtute, et oinnipotentia divina a communi elementorum usu, in sublimiorem usum et dignitatem transmutentur fatemur enim in Sacramentis omnino necesse esse, caelestem at supernaturalem mutationem supervenire, nec posse fieri Sacramentum nisi per omnipotentiam Dei, cujus solius est Sacramenta in ecclesia instituere, ipsisque efficaciam tribuere.”  Cosin. Hist. Transubst. cap. iv. p. 35; cp. p. 124.  Compare Johnson, Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 258, alias 261.  Albertin. 855.]

         I shall proceed no further with the Fathers on this head, because it would be tedious, and in a manner endless.  None of them, that I know of, carried the doctrine higher than this Cyril did; but most of them, somewhere or other, added particular guards and explanations.*  All intended to say, that the elements keeping their own nature and substance, and not admitting a coalition with any other bodily substance, are symbolically or in mystical construction, the body and blood of Christ; being appointed as such by Christ, accepted as such by God the Father, and made such in effect by the Holy Spirit, to every faithful receiver.  So ran the general doctrine from the beginning and downwards: neither am I aware of any considerable change made in it till the dark ages came on, the eighth, ninth, tenth, and following centuries. [See l’Arroque, Hist. of the Eucharist, part ii. cap. 12, 13, etc.]  The corruptions which grew up by degrees, and prevailed more and more till the happy days of reformation, are very well known,** and need no particular recital.

         *[For a specimen, we may take notice of Facundus, as late as the middle of the sixth century, who writes thus: “Sacramentum corporis et sanguinis ejus, quod est in pane et calice consecrato, corpus ejus at sanguinem dicimus: non quod proprie corpus ejus sit panis, et poculum sanguis, sed quod in se mysterium corporis ejus sanguinisque contineant.  Hinc et ipse Dominus benedictum panem et calicem, quem discipulis tradidit, corpus et sanguinem suum vocavit.  Quocirca, sicut Christi fideles, Sacramentum corporis et sanguinis ejus accipientes, corpus et sanguinem Christi recte dicuntur accipere; sic et ipse Christus Sacramentum adoptionis filiorum cum suscepisset, potuit recte dici adoptionem filiorum accepisse.”  Facund. Hermian. lib. ix. cap. 5.  Cp. Ephraem. Antioch. in Phot. Cod. 229. p. 793.]

         **[In the year 787 the second Council of Nice began with a rash determination, that the sacred symbols are not figures or images at all, but the very body and blood.  About 831, Paschasius Radbertus carried it further, even to transubstantiation, or somewhat very like to it.  The name of transubstantiation is supposed to have come in about A.D. 1100, first mentioned by Hildebertus Cenomaneusis of that time, p. 689. edit. Bened.  A.D. 1215, the doctrine was made an article of faith by the Lateran Council, under Innocent the Third.  Afterwards, it was reestablished in the Trent Council, A.D. 1551, and at length in Pope Pius’s Creed, A.D. 1564.]

         Luther first, and afterwards Zuinglius, attempted a reform in this article: but it was difficult to clear off the thick darkness all at once; and so neither of them did it to such perfection as might have been wished.  One threw off transubstantiation very justly, but yet retained I know not what corporal, local presence, and therefore did not retrench enough: the other threw off all corporal and local presence very rightly, but threw off withal (or too much neglected) the spiritual presence and spiritual graces: which was retrenching a great deal too much. [Vid. Calvin. de Coena Domini, p. 10. et contr. Westphal. pp. 707, 774.]  It must however be owned, that apologies have been since made for Zuinglius, as for one that erred in expression rather than in real meaning, or that corrected his sentiments on second thoughts. [See Archbishop Wake, Discourse on the Holy Eucharist, p. 83.]  And it is certain that his friends and followers, within a while, came into the old and true notion of spiritual benefits [See Hooker, vol. ii. p. 327.], and left the low notion of naked signs and figures to the Anabaptists of those times; where they rested, till again revived by the Socinians, who afterwards handed them down to the Remonstrants.

         Calvin came after Zuinglius, and refined upon his scheme, steering a kind of middle course, between the extremes.  He appears to have set out right, laying his groundwork with good judgment: and had he but as carefully built upon it afterwards, no fault could have been justly found.  In the first edition of his Institutions, (printed at Basil A.D. 1536) he writes thus: “We say that they [the body and blood] are truly and efficaciously exhibited to us, but not naturally.  By which we mean, not that the very substance of his body, or that the real and natural body of Christ are there given, but all the benefits which Christ procured for us in his body.  This is that presence of his body which the nature of a Sacrament requires.”*  This came very near the truth, and the whole truth: only there was an ambiguity, which he was not aware of, in the words there given; and so, for want of a proper distinction, his account was too confused.  He should have said that the natural body is there given, but not there present, which is what he really meant.  The mystical union with our Lord’s glorified body is there (or in that service) strengthened, or perfected; as a right may be given to a distant possession: and such union as we now speak of, requires no local presence of Christ’s body.  Here that great man and illustrious reformer was somewhat embroiled, and could never sufficiently extricate himself afterwards.  He was well aware that to assert only an application of the merit or virtue of Christ’s passion, in the Eucharist, came not fully up to many strong expressions of the ancient Fathers relating to our union with the natural and now glorified body: nay, it appeared to fall short of St. Paul’s doctrine, which represents the true disciples of Christ, as members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. [Ephes. 5:30.]  I say, Calvin was well aware of this difficulty, and more especially after he had been warmly pressed on that head in his disputes with the Lutherans.  So he found himself to be under a necessity of bringing in the natural body some way or other, [Vid. Beza, Orat. apud Placaei Comment. de Stat. Relig. p. 112.  Bishop Cosin follows the same way of speaking; Histor. Transubstan. pp 35, 43, 44, 45.] but did it a little confusedly, and out of course.  He made it the ground,** instead of reckoning it among the fruits: and he supposed the glorified body to be, as it were, eaten in the Eucharist, when he should only have said, that it became more perfectly united with ours: and he further invented an obscure and unintelligible notion of the virtue of Christ’s flesh being brought down from heaven and diffused all around, by the power of the Holy Spirit.***  All which perplexity seems to have been owing to the wrong stating of a notion, which yet was true in the main, and which wanted only to be better adjusted, by a more orderly ranging of ideas, or by new casting it; which has been done since.

         *[“Dicimus vere et efficaciter exhiberi, non autem naturaliter.  Quo scilicet significamus, non substantiam ipsam corporis, seu verum et naturale Christi corpus illic dari, sed omnia quae in suo corpore nobis beneficia Christus praestitit.  Ea est corporis praesentia, quam Sacramenti ratio postulat.”  Calvin. Instit. apud Wake, p. 47.]

         **[“Neque enim mortis tantum ac resurrectionis suae beneficium nobis offert Christus, sed corpus ipsum in quo passus est et resurrexit.  Concludo, realiter, hoc est vere, nobis in coena dari Christi corpus, ut sit animis nostris in cibum salutarem. ... Intelligo, substantia corporis pasci animas nostras, ut vere unum efficiamur cum eo: vel, quod idem valet, vim ex Christi carne vivificam in nos per Spiritum diffundi, quamvis longe a nobis distat, nec misceatur nobiscum.”  Calvin. in 1 Cor. 11:24. p. 392.  Cp. contr. Westphal. pp. 774. 784.]

         ***[“Plus centies occurrit in scriptis meis, adeo me non rejicere substantiae nomen, ut ingenue et libere profitear spiritualem vitam, incomprehensibili spiritus virtute ex carnis Christi substantia in nos diffundi.”  Calvin. contr. Westphal. p. 842. cp. 843.  “Corpus quod nequaquam cernis, spirituale est tibi alimentum.  Incredibile hoc videtur, pasci nos Christi carne, quae tam procul a nobis distat? meminerimus, arcanum et mirificum esse.  Spiritus Sancti opus, quod intelligentiae tuae modulo metiri it nefas.”  Calvin. in 1 Cor. 11:24. p. 392.]

         Our Divines, who came after Calvin, had some advantage in point of time, and a greater still in the rule or method which they pitched upon, as most proper to proceed by: which was not to strike out any new hypothesis or theories by strength of wit, but to inquire after the old paths, and there to abide.  Archbishop Cranmer took this method: he was a judicious man, and a well-read Divine; and more particularly in what concerns the Eucharist.  We have the sum of his doctrine in the first page of his preface.

         “Where I use to speak sometimes (as the old authors do) that Christ is in the Sacraments, I mean the same as they did understand the matter: that is to say, not of Christ’s carnal presence in the outward Sacrament, but sometimes of his sacramental presence; and sometime by this word sacrament I mean the whole ministration and receiving of the Sacraments, either of Baptism or of the Lord’s Supper.  And so the old writers many times do say, that Christ and the Holy Ghost be present in the Sacraments; not meaning by that manner of speech, that Christ and the Holy Ghost be present in the water, bread, or wine (which be only the outward visible Sacraments), but that in the due ministration of the Sacraments, according to Christ’s ordinance and institution, Christ and his Holy Spirit be truly and indeed present by their mighty and sanctifying power, virtue, and grace in all them that worthily receive the same.  Moreover, when I say and repeat many times in my book that the body of Christ is present in them that worthily receive the Sacrament, lest any man should mistake my words, and think that I mean, that although Christ be not corporally in the outward visible signs, yet he is corporally in the person that duly receive them; this is to advertise the reader, that I mean no such thing: but my meaning is that the force, the grace, the virtue, and benefit of Christ’s body that was crucified for us, and of his blood that was shed for us, be really and effectually present with all them that duly receive the Sacraments.  But all this I understand of his spiritual presence, of the which he saith, I will be with you until the world’s end: and, Wheresoever two or three be gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them: and, He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.  Nor no more truly is he corporally or really present in the due ministration of the Lord’s Supper, than he is in the due ministration of Baptisme.*  It is observable, that our judicious author wisely avoids saying anything of the eating of Christ’s glorified body, for he speaks of the crucified only, and justly explains the spiritual manducation of it.  He drops all mention here of the mystical union with the body glorified, and so his account may be thought a little defective as to that particular: but he frequently takes notice of it in his book, as one of the effects or fruits of the spiritual manducation in the Eucharist, which strengthens and confirms the worthy receivers as members of Christ’s natural body. [Cranmer, pp. 16, 27, 43, 44, 161, 174, 199.  Compare Jewel, Answ. to Harding, art. v. p. 254, etc.]

         *[Cranmer’s Answ. to Gardiner, edit. 1551.  In the edition of 1580 there is added, to the passage cited, as follows: “That is to say, in both spiritually by grace: and wheresoever in the Scripture it is said that Christ, God, or the Holy Ghost is in any man, the same is understood spiritually by grace.”]

         I may spare myself the trouble of reciting the sentiments of Bishop Ridley, and Bishop Latimer, and Mr. Bradford of that time, and of Bishop Jewel who came not long after: for they all agreed, in the main things, with Archbishop Crammer, who may therefore be looked upon as “instar omnium,” while in him we have all.  I shall only take notice how our acutest Divines have, time after time, hit off the difficulties which were once very perplexing, by the use of proper distinctions, between the body crucified and the body glorified; as likewise between manducation and union.  It will be sufficient to name two of them: one wrote as early as the days of Queen Elizabeth, and the other as late as King James the Second.

         Dr. William Barlow, [The same that published a relation of the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, and was made Bishop of Rochester in 1605, translated to Lincoln in 1608, died 1613.] in the year 1601, published a treatise entitled, A Defence of the Articles of the Protestant Religion; which he dedicated to Bancroft, then Bishop of London: he occasionally says something upon our present subject, which may be worth the noting, though the style is not the most commendable.

         “Great difference there is (perchance not observed by many) between our eating of Christ, and our uniting with him. [Barlow’s Defence, etc. p. 124, etc.] ...

         “1.  We eat him as our Passover [2 Cor. 5:7.]; that as the Israelites ate the one ‘mortuum et assum,’ dead and roasted, [Exod. 12:9.] so we him ‘crucifixum et passum,’ dead and slain.  And so that speech of St. Austin is true, we have him here ‘in pabulo’ as he was ‘in patibulo,’ torn and rent: as himself ordained the Sacrament ‘in pane fracto,’ not ‘integro,’ the bread broken, not the whole loaf; thereby signifying, yea saying, that in doing it we must remember him, not as living among us, but as dying for us; ‘ut in cruce, non in caelo,’ as he was crucified, not as he is glorified.  Whereby we conclude, first, for his presence, that his body is so far forth there ‘quatenus editur,’ as it is eaten: but his body is eaten as dead and slain; so himself appointed it, This is my body, and stayeth not there, but adds withal, Which is given for you.  And his blood is drunk, not as remaining in his veins, but as shed: so himself speaketh, This is my blood of the new testament SHED for many.  Now, his body bruised, and his blood poured out, can no otherwise be present in the Eucharist, but by a representation thereof in the bread broken, and in the wine effused, of the one side; and on the communicant’s part, by a grateful recordation of the benefits, a reverent valuation of the sacrifice, a faithful application of his merits in his whole passion: and therefore his presence must be sacramental, and our eating spiritual; for, ‘non quod videtur, sed quod creditur, pascit,’ saith St. Austin.

         “2.  For the union, we are united to him ‘ut viventi,’ as our living head, ‘et nos vivificanti,’ and making us his lively members.  It is true which Christ saith, that He which eateth my flesh, abideth in me, and I in him. [John 6:56.]  Not that this union is first begun in our participation of that holy Supper (for none can truly eat the body of Christ, unless he be first united with him, and engrafted into him: ‘nec vere edit corpus Christi, qui non est de corpore Christi,’ saith St. Austin,) because ‘prima unto’ (saith Aquinas), the first union between God and man is begun in Baptism by one Spirit, [1 Cor. 12:13.] as the Apostle speaketh, and continueth, by faith, hope, and charity; all these the operation of the same Spirit.

         “But if we truly eat the body, and drink the blood of Christ, then by the power of the Holy Ghost, and faith cooperating, this union is strengthened, the vigour and effects whereof, after a true participation, we shall feel within ourselves more forcible and lively. ... Is not Christ as present in Baptism, as in the Eucharist? for in them both we communicate with him; bred anew in the one, fed anew in the other: and yet Christ’s real presence is not challenged for Baptism.  If they say: No, because of the Eucharist it was said, This is my body and blood, not so of Baptism; I answer: As much, if not more, was spoken by the Apostle; They which are baptized have put on Christ. [Gal. 3:27.  Cp. Phot. Amphiloch. apud Wolf. Cur. Crit. vol. ult. p. 737.]  Put him on we cannot, unless he be present: and the putting him on is even the very same which he elsewhere calleth Christ’s dwelling in us,* namely, that in Baptism we are so transformed, as now not we, but Christ alone doth live within us [Gal. 2:20.]; as near an unity as may.**  And in truth St. Austin is out of doubt, that in Baptism the true member of Christ ‘corporis et sanguinis Domini particeps fit,’ is partaker of the body and blood of the Lord [See Fulgentius above, p. 564.]: and therefore no reason withstands, but that he should be really present in both, or in neither.”  Thus far Bishop Barlow, whose words I have here quoted at length, chiefly for the sake of the distinction (as it is a very good one) between the manducation and the union; the former relating properly to Christ considered as crucified and slain, and the latter to Christ considered as glorified and living, for evermore.  We eat him as from the cross; that is, we partake of the merits of his passion; and one of the fruits of his passion is our mystical union with his body now glorified in heaven.  One thing only I think wants correcting in Barlow’s account, that he seems to make the union antecedent in natural order to the manducation; which, I conceive, was needless with respect to his argument, and is besides wrong in itself, since our reconciliation by the death of Christ is, in natural order of conception, prior to all the blessings and privileges arising from it.  It is true that Baptism must be before the Eucharist, and that the mystical union is begun in Baptism: but then (as our author himself afterwards very justly observes) we partake of our Lord’s body broken, and blood shed, that is, of his death and passion, even in Baptism; and that is the ground and foundation of all our other Christian privileges.

         *[Ephes. 3:17.  N.B. The observation here urged appears to be perfectly just, and may be of great use for discovering the weakness of the pleas made for the real and local presence in the other Sacrament.  The learned Buddaeus, for instance, pleads, that the giving of the body cannot be understood without such real presence of the body; and that no communion can be without such real presence: “________ inter res quae sibi invicem praesentes non sunt, esse nequit.”  Institut. Theol. Dogmat. lib. v. cap. i. p. 1094.  The argument manifestly proves too much; proving (as Barlow well notes) that Christ is so really present in both Sacraments, or in neither.  If Christ means whole Christ, he must be as much present in body, to be put on in Baptism, as to be orally taken in the Eucharist: but who sees not that this is straining figurative expressions to a most extravagant excess?]

         **[I may here note, that the learned Wolfius on Gal. 3:27 allows, that the putting on Christ implies “arctissimam communionem,” (p. 740,) the closest communion.  Now compare Buddaeus’s argument, or maxim, built upon the word communion, as implying real presence, and then judge of the conclusion resulting from the premises.]

         Another excellent writer, whom I had in my eye, and now intend to cite, is Dr. Aldrich, who in the year 1687 published a valuable pamphlet, entitled a Reply to Two Discourses, where, in a very clear and elegant style, and with great acuteness, he has hit off the main difficulties relating to the real presence.  He writes thus:

         “The natural body of our blessed Saviour comes under a twofold consideration in the Eucharist:

         “1.  As a body dead: under which notion we are said to eat it in the Sacrament, and to drink the blood as shed; as appears by the words of the institution, Take and eat; this is my body, which is given or broken for you: drink ye all of this; for this is my blood, which is shed for you: in which words, as Mr. Bradford long ago observed, what God has joined, we are not to put asunder.

         “2.  As a glorified body: in which condition it now sits at the right hand of God, and shall there continue till the restitution of all things, imparting grace and influence, and all the benefits purchased by the sacrifice of the dead body, to those that, in the holy Eucharist most especially, are through faith and the marvelous operation of the Holy Ghost, incorporated into Christ, and so united to him, that they dwell in Christ and Christ in them, they are one with Christ and Christ with them, they are made members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; and by partaking of the spirit of him their head, receive all the graces and benefits purchased for them by his bitter death and passion.

         “Wherefore it is evident, that since the body broken, and blood shed, neither do nor can now really exist, they neither can be really present, nor literally eaten or drank; nor can we really receive them, but only the benefits purchased by them.  But the body which now exists, whereof we partake, and to which we are united, is the glorified body: which is therefore verily and indeed received ... and by consequence said to be really present, notwithstanding its local absence; because a real participation and union must needs imply a real presence, though they do not necessarily require a local one.  For it is easy to conceive, how a thing that is locally absent may yet be really received, ... as we commonly say, a man receives an estate, or inheritance, when he receives the deeds or conveyances of it. ... The reception is confessedly real, though the thing itself is not locally or circumscriptively present, or literally grasped in the arms of the receiver. ... The Protestants all agree, that we spiritually eat Christ’s body, and drink his blood; that we neither eat, nor drink, nor receive the dead body, nor the blood shed, but only the benefits purchased by them; that those benefits are derived to us by virtue of our union and communion with the glorified body, [How this is to be understood, see above in Chapter V.] and that our partaking of it and union with it is effected by the mysterious and ineffable operation of the Holy Spirit. ...

         “Now though it be easy, as I said before, to conceive how a natural substance may be said to be really received, though not locally present, it is not so easy to conceive it really present, when at the same time it is locally absent.  Therefore the Church of England has wisely forborne to use the term of “real presence,” in all the books that are set forth by her authority.  We neither find it recommended in the Liturgy, nor the Articles, nor the Homilies, nor the Church’s, nor Nowell’s Catechism. ... So that if any Church of England man use it, he does more than the Church directs him: if any reject it, he has the Church’s example to warrant him. ... Yet it must not be denied but the term may be safely used amongst scholars, and seems to be grounded upon Scripture itself. [Here the author refers to several texts, Matthew 18:20, 28:20; 1 Cor. 5:3.] ...

         “So much for the use of the word which when we of the Church of England use, we mean thus: A thing may be said to be really received, which is so consigned to us, that we can really employ it to all those purposes for which it is useful in itself, and we have occasion to use it.  And a thing thus really received may be said to be really present, two ways, either physically or morally, to which we reduce sacramentally. ... In the holy Eucharist, the Sacrament is physically, the res sacramenti morally present; the elements antecedently and locally; the very body consequentially and virtually, but both really present. ... When we say that Christ is present ... in the Sacrament, we do not mean in the elements, but in the celebration. ... This doctrine is sufficiently removed from what the pamphlet calls Zuinglianism (how truly, I will not now inquire), for we do not hold that we barely receive the effects and benefits of Christ’s body, but we hold it really present inasmuch as it is really received, and we actually put in possession of it, though locally absent from us.” [Dr. Aldrich’s Reply to Two Discourses, pp. 13–18.]

         I have transcribed thus much, because the account is just, and because the pamphlet and defense of it are not, it may be, commonly known.  The sum of all is, that sacramental or symbolic feeding in the Eucharist is feeding upon the body broken and blood shed, under the signs and symbols of bread and wine: the result of such feeding, is the strengthening or perfecting our mystical union with the body glorified; and so, properly speaking, we feed upon the body as dead, and we receive it into closer union as living, and both in the Eucharist when duly celebrated.

         Nothing now remains, before I close up this chapter, but to hint very briefly the use of the foregoing principles for the clearing off difficulties, and for the removing the objections raised by contending parties of various kinds.

         1.  To the Romanists, who plead warmly for the very body and blood in the Eucharist, we make answer, that we do receive the very body and blood in it, and through it, as properly as a man receives an estate, and becomes possessed of an inheritance by any deeds or conveyances: and what would they have more?  Will nothing satisfy, except the wax and parchments be transubstantiated into terra firma, or every instrument converted into arable?  Surely, that is pushing points too far, and turning things most serious into perfect ridicule.

         2.  To the Lutherans, who seem to contend for a mixture of the visible elements with the body invisible, we have this to reply, that we readily admit of a symbolic delivery, or conveyance, of one by the other; which effectually answers every good end and purpose, as it suits also extremely well with the Scripture phraseology in those cases.  And though we admit not, that our Lord’s body is locally present in the Sacrament, or any where so present but in heaven; yet so long as it is really united in one mystical body with ours, or rather is considered as the head with the members, we think that may suffice; and we need not desire any closer alliance, on this side heaven, than such an union amounts to.

         3.  To the Calvinists of the ancient stamp (if any such remained now), we might reply that, though we eat not Christ’s glorified body in the Eucharist, yet we really receive it, while we receive it into closer mystical union than before: and, though we know nothing of the diffusion of any virtue of Christ’s flesh (which would not profit), yet we have the power and presence of his Godhead with us, and, at the same time, a virtual or mystical union with his body, sufficient to make us, in Divine construction and Divine acceptance, one with him: “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” [Eph. 5:30.]

         4.  To the Zuinglian Sacramentarians, old Anabaptists, Socinians, and Remonstrants, who will not admit of any medium between local corporal presence, and no presence at all as to beneficial effects, no medium between the natural body itself, and mere signs and figures; to them we rejoin, that there is no necessity of falling in with either extreme; because there is a medium, a very just one, and where indeed the truth lies.  For though there is no corporal presence, yet there is a spiritual one, exhibitive of Divine blessings and graces: and though we eat not Christ’s natural glorified body in the Sacrament, or out of it, yet our mystical union with that very body is strengthened and perfected in and through the Sacrament, by the operation of the Holy Spirit.  This appears to be both sense and truth; and shall be more largely made out in the sequel.

         5.  To those who admit not that the natural body of Christ is in any sense received at all, but imagine that the elements, as impregnated or animated with the Spirit, are the only body received, and are made our Lord’s body by such union with the Spirit;* I say, to those we make answer, that the union of the Spirit with the elements (rather than with the persons) appears to be a gross notion, and groundless: and if it were admitted, yet could it not make the elements, in any just sense, our Lord’s body, but the notion would resolve into a kind of impanation of the Spirit, for the time.  Besides that the consequence would be, that the Lord’s body is received by all communicants, worthy or unworthy,** which is not the truth of the case.  Wherefore to avoid all such needless suppositions and needless perplexities, let us be content to teach only this plain doctrine; that we eat Christ crucified in this Sacrament, as we partake of the merits of his death: and if we thus have part in his crucified body, we are thereby ipso facto made partakers of the body glorified; that is, we receive our Lord’s body into a closer union than before, and become his members by repeated and stronger ties; provided we come worthily to the holy table, and that there is no just obstacle, on our part, to stop the current of Divine graces.

         *[This seems to be Mr. Johnson’s notion, in the Unbloody Sacrifice, etc. part i. p. 247.  And it is very near akin, so far, to that of the modern Greek Church, as represented by Mr. Claude in his Catholic Doctrine of the Eucharist, part i. book iii. c. 13. p. 218.]

         **[If the elements are supposed to be united to, or enriched with the Spirit, all that receive must of course receive the Spirit, and be sanctified by him.  For the presence of the Spirit, in this case, is not to be understood merely of the essential presence extending equally to all creatures, but of a gracious presence: and if such gracious presence is vouchsafed to the unworthy as well as worthy, then the benefits must be common to all, and none can eat and drink their own damnation.  The fundamental error of this hypothesis (as also of the Lutheran and the Romish) is the connecting the grace of the Sacrament with the elements, instead of looking for it in the persons only.]

         I may shut up this account with the excellent words of Archbishop Cranmer, as follows, only put into the modern spelling:

         “The first Catholic Christian faith is most plain, clear, and comfortable, without any difficulty, scruple, or doubt: that is to say, that our Saviour Christ, although he be sitting in heaven, in equality with his Father, is our life, strength, food, and sustenance; who by his death delivered us from death, and daily nourishes and increases us to eternal life.  And in token hereof, he hath prepared bread to be eaten, and wine to be drunk of us in his holy Supper, to put us in remembrance of his said death, and of the celestial feeding, nourishing, increasing, and of all the benefits which we have thereby: which benefits, through faith and the Holy Ghost, are exhibited and given unto all that worthily receive the said holy Supper.  This the husbandman at his plough, the weaver at his loom, and the wife at her rock, can remember, and give thanks unto God for the same: this is the very doctrine of the Gospel, with the consent wholly of all the old ecclesiastical doctors.” [Cranmer against Gardiner, p. 396. first edit.]

         My readers, I hope, will excuse it, if in the course of this chapter I have been obliged sometimes to suppose some things, which are hereafter to be proved: I could not avoid it without rendering the whole intricate and obscure.  What relates to spiritual graces in particular, as conveyed in the Eucharist, shall be distinctly considered in its place, and the proofs produced at large: but there was no explaining what sacramental or symbolic feeding means (which was the design of this chapter) without taking some previous and general notice of the spiritual graces, which are the food conveyed from heaven by and under the symbols of bread and wine in the Eucharist.

 

Chapter  VIII

1 Cor. 10:16, etc. explained, and vindicated from Misconstructions.

         St. Paul’s doctrine concerning the Eucharist, in the tenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, though but occasionally delivered, will yet deserve a distinct chapter by itself, as it is of great moment, and much depends upon a true and faithful construction of it.  It will be proper, in the first place, to produce the whole passage, but correctly rendered, as near as may be to the Greek original.

         Verse 16.  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? the bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ?

         17.  For since the bread is one, we, being many, are one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

         18.  Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they who eat of the sacrifices communicants of the altar?

         19.  What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that what is offered in sacrifice to the idol is anything?

         20.  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not have you become communicants of devils.

         21.  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

 

         I have varied a little from the common rendering, partly for better answering the difference of phrase in the Greek, between ________ and _________ (be they equivalent or otherwise*), and partly for the better expressing the three communions, here brought in as corresponding to each other in the analogy; namely, that of Christ’s body and blood in the first place, next, that of the Jewish altar, and lastly, of devils.  Our translation has in some measure obscured the analogy by choosing, in one place, the word partakers (though it means the same thing) instead of communicants, and in another place, by saying communion with devils, instead of saying of devils: _________ ___ _________, verse 20.  I use the phrase “communicants of” to express the participating in common of anything: which perhaps is not altogether agreeable to the strict propriety of the English idiom.  But I could not think of anything better, that would answer the purpose in other respects; and since I have now intimated what I mean by it, the phrase, I suppose, may be borne with.  But let us come to the business in hand.

         *[In strictness, ________ signifies the taking a part or parcel of anything, with others, who have likewise their separate shares or parcels of it: but _________ is the partaking with others, “in commune,” of the same whole, undivided thing.  Notwithstanding, the words are sometimes used promiscuously.  Chrysostom, upon the place, takes notice of the distinction, and makes his use of it, for explaining the text, and doing justice to the subject.]

         Before we can make a just use of St. Paul’s doctrine in this place, as concerning the holy Communion, it will be necessary to understand the argument which he was then upon, with the occasion of it.  The Christians of Corinth, to whom the Apostle writes, were encompassed with Pagan idolaters, and were in great danger of being insidiously drawn in, by specious pretenses, to eat of meats which had been offered up, in the way of sacrifice, to their idols.  Such eating (if Christians were aware that the meat had been so offered) was, in just construction, participating in common with the Pagan idolaters, of devils, to whom those idols or statues belonged.  Whereupon St. Paul exhorts his new converts to beware of such dangerous practice, reminding them of the grievous judgments of God, which formerly came upon their forefathers the Israelites, for the sin of idolatry.  “Neither be ye idolaters,” says he, “as were some of them” [1 Cor. 10:7.]: and a little lower, “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” [1 Cor. 10:14.]  But because they seemed not yet fully sensible that such practice of theirs was really idolatry, but they had several artificial evasions to shift off the charge (as, that an idol was nothing in itself, and that they had no design by eating of such meats to signify any consent of theirs with idolaters, or to give any countenance to them), I say, because the new converts were not readily convinced of the sin and danger of such practice, the Apostle undertakes to argue the case with them, in a very friendly, but strong and pressing manner, both upon Jewish and Christian principles, prefacing what he had to urge with this handsome compliment to them: “I speak as to wise men,” (I appeal to your own good sense and sagacity,) “judge ye what I say.” [1 Cor. 10:15.]  Then he proceeds to argue in the way of parallel, or by parity of reason, from the case of the Christian Eucharist, and the Jewish feasts upon peace offerings, in order to infer from both that as the Eucharist is interpretatively a participating of Christ’s body and blood, and as the Jewish feasts were participating of the altar; so the eating of idol meats was interpretatively a participating of devils.  To take the Apostle’s argument in its just and full view, we must consider him as bearing in mind two distinct things which he had upon his hands to prove by one and the same argument: the first was that eating of the idol sacrifices (knowingly) was interpretatively consenting with the idolaters, or communicating with them, though they might mean nothing less; and the second was that such consenting with the idolaters was interpretatively, or in effect, participating of devils.  Such being the case, it could not but appear to be of very dangerous consequence, knowingly to eat of things offered to idols.

         From this view of the Apostle’s argument, I pass on to consider what we may hence infer with respect to his doctrine of the Eucharist, thus occasionally delivered as the true and well-known doctrine of Christ.  His account of it is briefly expressed, in its being a communion of Christ’s body and blood; that is to say, of the body considered as broken, and of the blood considered as shed; as is very plain from the terms of the institution: and it is not improbable that the Apostle here so distinctly mentioned both, to intimate that they were to be considered as divided and separate, which was the case at his crucifixion, and not after.  By communion, the Apostle certainly intended a joint communion, or participating in common with others, as appears by the words immediately following; “We being many are one body,” etc.  Besides that his argument required it, as I have already hinted.  For he was to convince the Corinthians, to whom he wrote, that eating of idol meats was interpretatively consenting with idolaters, and of consequence partaking in common with them, of what they were supposed to partake of.  And I presume, that it was with this particular view, and to make out his whole argument, consisting of two main points, that the Apostle threw in the words of verse the 17th.  So then, we may thus far construe the Apostle’s doctrine of the Eucharist to mean that Christians feeding upon the consecrated symbols, in due manner, are supposed therein to be joint partakers of, or communicants in, Christ’s body and blood, whatever that means, and also to be mystically united with each other.  Now we come to the main point of all, namely, what that partaking, or that communion, of our Lord’s body and blood strictly or precisely signifies.  Moderns have been strangely divided about it (though it was anciently a very plain thing), and perhaps it may be thought a piece of respect due to them to mention their several interpretations, though we must reject all but one as late devices, and more or less foreign to the Apostle’s argument.

         1.  To say that the communion of our Lord’s body and blood means the receiving his natural flesh and blood into our mouths, under the forms, accidents, or appearances of bread and wine, is manifestly a forced and late interpretation; not heard of for eight hundred years or more, and, besides, absurd, contradictory, and impossible.  If we may trust to our reason or to our senses (and if we may not, what is there that we can trust to?), the bread and wine do remain, after consecration, the same in substance as before, changed only as to their uses, relations, or offices.  Besides, Christ’s body broken and blood shed 1700 years ago, are no more in that capacity, nor ever will be; and therefore it is absolutely impossible that they should be literally present in the Sacrament, or made food to the communicants.  To all which may be added, that the elements, after consecration, are still expressly called bread and wine in this very place, and therefore supposed to be what they are called.

         2.  To say that the communion of our Lord’s body and blood means the receiving his natural flesh and blood into our mouths, together with the symbols, would be running into the like absurdities with the former.  Christ’s body as crucified, and blood as spilled, are no more: his body glorified is as far distant as heaven and earth, and therefore not present in the Sacrament; or if it were, could not properly be eaten, nor be of use if it could, since the “flesh profiteth nothing.”  Besides, the text speaks not of two bodies, or bloods, as present in the Sacrament.  The symbolic body and blood (bread and wine) are there present: the rest is present only in a figure, or under certain construction.  A mystical union of Christ’s glorified body with our bodies is indeed intimated in the text, or may, by just consequence, be inferred from it; but the direct doctrine of the text relates only to the body as crucified, and to the blood as shed: and therefore here the proper distinctions should be made between the eating Christ’s dead body, and the uniting with his living body (as above), as also between the express doctrine of the text, and the consequences deducible from it by the help of reason, and of other texts compared.

         3.  To say that the communion here signifies the eating Christ’s glorified body by faith, or with the mind, is not a just interpretation: because whatever is corporeal cannot be literally the food of the soul; as also because what is represented and eaten in the Sacrament is not the body glorified, but the body crucified and blood shed, which are no more, and which therefore cannot be received either with mouth or mind, excepting only in a qualified and figurative sense.  A mystical union indeed (as before said) with Christ’s glorified body is strengthened or perfected in the Eucharist: though that is a doctrine rather insinuated, than expressed here: while certainly collected both from the nature of the thing, and from divers other texts of the New Testament.

         The three constructions hitherto mentioned have been all owing to too strict and servile an adherence to the letter, without reason, and against reason, and not countenanced by the ancients rightly understood.  There are some other constructions which are faulty in the contrary extreme, receding too far from the letter, and degrading the Sacrament into a kind of empty or fruitless ceremony.  There is the less excuse for so doing, considering how highly the Apostle speaks of the Sacrament, both in this and the next chapter: for though necessity will justify our receding from the letter, as far as such necessity extends, yet reason requires that we adhere to it as closely as we may, and extremes are always bad.  But I proceed to take notice of some misconstructions in this way of under-commenting.

         4.  Some interpret communion here to mean no more than a joint partaking of the outward signs, symbols, or memorials of Christ’s body and blood.  But St. Paul must undoubtedly mean a great deal more by his emphatic expressions; and his argument also requires it, as shall be shewn in due place.  He does not say, that the Service is a commemoration of Christ’s body and blood, but a partaking or communion of them.*  So likewise, with respect to the Jews, he does not say that they commemorated the altar, but they were partakers of the altar: and the idolaters whom he speaks of did not barely commemorate devils (if they did it at all), but they were partakers of devils.  Besides, to interpret the communion of a joint partaking of the symbols, or memorials, is inventing a sense too flat and jejune to be fathered upon the Apostle; for indeed it is mere tautology.  It is no more than saying, that partaking of the bread and wine is partaking of the bread and wine.  There is good sense in saying that the partaking of one thing is, in just construction, the partaking of some other thing: but to make all sign, and nothing signified, or to reckon the outward signs twice over, dropping the inward things signified, is unsuitable to the turn of the whole passage, and entirely defeats the Apostle’s argument.  The eating of the sacrifices was not again mere eating of sacrifices, but it was, by interpretation, communicating with idolaters: and communicating with idolaters was not again communicating with idolaters, but it was, in just construction, partaking of devils.**  Thus we find strong and admirable sense in the Apostle’s discourse: but in the other way all is dull and insipid.  Take we the next parallel instance: the joint partaking of the Jewish sacrifices was not again the joint partaking of the same sacrifices; but it was partaking of the altar, whatever that means: in like manner, a joint partaking of the symbols or memorials of bread and wine is not again a joint partaking of the same symbols or memorials, but of something else (by the Apostle’s argument) which they represent, and call to our mind, and which in just construction, or in effect, they are.  Had St. Paul meant only, that the bread which we break is the joint eating of the bread, and the cup which we bless is the joint drinking of the cup, why should he have changed the terms bread and cup into other terms, body and blood, instead of using the same over again?  Or if body and blood mean only bread and cup, then see what sense can be made of chapter 11:27, which must run thus: Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the bread and cup of the Lord.  It is not using an inspired Apostle with any proper respect, to put such an odd (not to say ridiculous) sense upon him.  The case is plain, that the four terms, bread, wine, body, and blood, have severally their respective meanings, and that the two first express the signs, to which the other two answer as things signified, and so all is right.  Add to this, that the eating and drinking in the Eucharist, upon the foot of the other construction, would be rendered insignificant: for the breaking of the bread, and the pouring out of the wine, would be sufficient for a bare representation or memorial of our Lord’s death: the feeding thereupon adds nothing to the representation, but must either signify our receiving something spiritual under that corporeal symbol, or signify nothing.  And it would appear very strange, if the feeding itself should not be symbolic, some way or other, as well as the rest; especially considering that other places of Scripture (particularly John 6) do insist very much upon spiritual feeding, and that the quantity of meat and drink in the Eucharist has all along been so small, that it might be difficult to say what use it could be of as a banquet, unless allowed to signify or to be symbolic of some spiritual entertainment received by the communicants.***  Upon the whole, this fourth interpretation must be rejected, as being altogether low and lame, or rather totally repugnant to all the circumstances of text and context.

         *[“S. Apostolus refragatur penitus glossae Socini, quandoquidem panem et poculum eucharisticum dicat esse communicationem corporis et sanguinis Christi.  Ubi subjecti loco, ... panem et poculum benedictionis constituit, in praedicato vero, non commemorationem, aut memoriale corporis aut sanguinis Christi, sed communicationem ejusdem ponit.”  Calovius de Eucharist. p. 279.]

         **[The commentaries under the name of Jerome, supposed to be Pelagius’s, well express the sense of the Apostle: “Panis idololatriae daemonum participatio esse monstratur; ... si cum idololatris de uno pane comedimus, unum cum illis corpus efficimur. ... Non potestis et Dei et daemonum esse participes.”  Hieronym. Opp. tom. v. p. 995, ed. Bened.]

         ***[___ _____ ___ ____ Ļ___ __________, ___’ ______, ___ ______ ___ ___ ___ Ļ________, ___’ ___ ________.  Concil. Nicaen, in Gelas.  Cyzicen. Labb. et Cossart. tom. ii. p. 234.]

         5.  Others therefore, perceiving that there must be both a sign and a thing signified, (or in other words, a corporal manducation, and a spiritual one also,) and yet being unwilling to admit of any present benefits in the Eucharist, have contrived this turn, that the sacramental feeding shall signify spiritual feeding, yea, and spiritual communion with Christ, before, and in, and after the Sacrament, but that this spiritual feeding shall mean only the receiving Christ’s doctrine and promises; or that the Eucharist shall not import anything then received, (more than at other times,) but shall be declarative only of what was received before, or is to be received then, or after. The design of all which is to evade any pretense of receiving graces from above, in or by this Sacrament and this is the scheme which the Socinians commonly take into.*  Yea, they sometimes scruple not to own, that under spiritual feeding is contained remission of sins, and present right to life eternal: but still they will not have it said, that God conveys or confers these benefits in or by the Sacrament, but that we in the Sacrament do declare and testify that we are partakers of those benefits,** having brought them with us, not receiving them there, more than elsewhere.

         *[“Hinc vero patet usum panis et calicis non ideo Christi corporis et sauguinis communionem dici, quod per istum usum demum communio ista, fiat; sed quod per eum communio ac societas ista, quae jam est, et esse debet, significetur et declaretur.”  Crellius in loc. p. 307.  Cp. Socin. Quod Re. Polon. p. 701  “Hoc ritu testamur nos corpus Christi pro nobis crucifixum habere pro spirituali animae nostrae cibo, et sanguinem ejus fusum pro salutari potu, nosque communionem illius habere, et sic ad novum foedus pertinere, etc., quae omnia fidem per charitatem efficacem postulant.”  Racov. Cat. p. 242.  “Panem illum edendo atque ex poculo bibendo palam testamur et profitemur nos corpus Christi fractum ac crucifixum pro animae cibo, sanguinem pro potu habere, quo ad vitam spiritualem et sempiternam proinde alamur et confirmemur, ac cibo potuque corpora nostra ad vitam terrenam et corporalem sustenantur: non quidem quod in hac tantum actione, Christi carnem et sanguinem spiritualiter edamus et bibamus ... sed quod pia mortis Christi meditatione, et vera in eum fide id perficiatur, ac porro etiam extra hunc ritum a nobis fiat, quam diu meditatio illa ac fides inde concepta in animis nostris viget.”  Volkelius, p. 310, alias 687.  Cp. Schlicting. cont. Meisner. pp. 751, 788, 789.]

         **[“Hac ceremonia profitemur nos, ea qua dictum est ratione, corpus Christi edere, et sanguinem ejus bibere, et sic eorum bonorum quae morte sua cruenta Christus nobis peperit (h. e. remissionis peccatorum, et vitae sempiternae, quam spe certa in hoc saeculo veluti praecipimus) esse participes.”  Volkelius, p. 312, alias 688.]

         But these fine spun notions, being only the inventions of men, can never be able to stand against the truth of God.  St. Paul does not say that the Eucharist is a declaration of communion, but a communion: nor does he say, communion with Christ our head (though that indeed is a remote consequence of the other), but communion of the body and blood of Christ.  In the parallel instances, eating of idol meats was not a declaration of what had been done before, nor a declaration of what was to be done after (perhaps it was the first time, and might be the last), but that single action was taking part with idolaters, and that amounted to partaking of devils.  It was so with respect to the Jewish sacrifices, the partaking of them was not merely declaring their participation of the altar, but it was actual participating at that very time, and by that very act. St. Paul’s words are express, “are partakers of the altar,” (not proclaimers of it), and his argument requires that sense. [Compare Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, in answer to the same pretense about declaring, etc. part i. p. 172, alias 175, etc.]  Had the Corinthians suspected that the Apostle was talking of declarations only, virtual declarations, they would soon have replied, that they were ready to declare to all the world, that they intended no such thing as communicating with idolaters, or of devils, by their eating of the idol meats, and that such express counter declarations would more than balance any other.  But that would have been protestation against fact, and would have availed nothing: for St. Paul had plainly told them what the nature of the action was; viz. communicating with idolaters, and not only so, but partaking of devils.  Therefore, by analogy and parity of reason, the nature of our eucharistic service is an actual partaking of the death of Christ with the fruits thereof.

         If there were need of any further arguing in so plain a case, I might add, that such kind of declaring as they speak of (declaring their spiritual eating) appears not so modest, or so reverent, as one might wish, if we consider what they mean by spiritual meat.  They commonly intend by it the whole faith and practice of a Christian, together with pardon of sins and a right to life eternal consequent upon it.  So then, their coming to the Lord’s table to declare their spiritual feeding, what is it but proclaiming, before God and man, how righteous, how holy, and how perfect they are, and what claims they make on that score: which would be much more like to the boasting of a Pharisee, than to the proper penitent behaviour of an humble Christian, appearing before God.  It may be thought, perhaps, that such declarations are of great use, because men will be cautious of telling a solemn lie in the presence of God, and will of course take care to be as good as they declare themselves to be.*  But it might be rather suspected, and the effect would be quite contrary, and such a method of ostentation would be much more likely to harden men in their sins.

         *[“Ideo simul etiam cogitandum est tibi, ut talis sis qualem te in hoc ritu profiteris; nec Deo et Christo mentiaris.  Quod si talis nondum sis, id saltem omnino constituendum, ut talis quam primum evadas, nec committendum ut irritum postea sit hoc animi tui decretum.”  Racov. Cat. pp. 242, 243.]

         However, to soften the matter, they sometimes so explain this their declaration, as to amount only to a good resolution, or promise, for the time to come, or a protestation that they look upon a good life as the proper food of their souls.  This indeed is more modest, but then it is going still further off from the text of St. Paul than before: for, in this view, the receiving the Sacrament is neither eating anything spiritual, nor so much as a declaration of eating, but it is a declaration only of their own judgment concerning it.  Let them therefore turn this matter which way they please, they will never come up to the true meaning or force of St. Paul’s words.  In the meanwhile, we readily accept, what they are pleased to allow, that pardon of sins, and present right to life eternal, ought to be looked upon as part of the spiritual food: and we think it decent and modest, as well as just, to believe, that we receive our spiritual food at the altar, from the hands of Christ, and do not bring it thither ourselves; especially considering that Christ himself delivered the corporal food to the disciples, which was the symbol of spiritual.  And though we ought to take care to come properly qualified to the holy Communion, yet we come not to declare how rich we were before, but to deplore our poverty, and to beg fresh relief, and new supplies, from above.

         6.  Some think it sufficient to say that the Eucharist imports our holding communion or fellowship with Christ our head.  But this interpretation is low and insufficient, expressing a truth, but not the whole truth.  The Apostle’s expression is very strong, communion of, not communion with, and of Christ’s body and blood, not simply of Christ.  So in the parallel instances: they that ate of the idol meats held communion indeed with the idolaters, but were partakers of devils, not with devils: and they that ate of the Jewish sacrifices were partakers of the altar.  Therefore Bishop Patrick well says, with regard to the word communion in this place, “In its full signification it denotes, not merely our being made of his (Christ’s) society, but our having a communication of his body and blood to us: so the word ________ is rendered, Gal. 6:6, Phil. 4:15.” [Bishop Patrick’s Christian Sacrifice, p. 52.]  In short, the communion here spoken of must either mean merely the outward profession of Christianity, and then it is an interpretation much too low, and is liable to most of the objections with that of the preceding article; or else it means a vital union with Christ, as his living members, and then it implies partaking in his death, resurrection, etc., and coincides with the common construction.  The greatest fault therefore of this interpretation is, that it is loose, general, equivocal; no explication of the text, because not determinate, but darker than the text itself, and therefore fitted only to disguise and perplex the Apostle’s meaning, and to deceive an unwary reader.

         7.  Having considered, and, as I conceive, confuted the several wrong constructions of St. Paul’s words, it is now time to return to the true, easy, natural, and ancient [See above.] interpretation, before hinted, and now to be more largely enforced or confirmed.  The Eucharist, in its primary intention, and in its certain effect to all worthy communicants, is a communion of Christ’s body broken and blood shed, that is to say, a present partaking of, or having a part in our Lord’s passion, and the reconcilement therein made, and the blessed fruits of it.  This is plain good sense, and undeniable truth. “The body and blood of Christ are verily and indeed received of the faithful: that is, they have a real part and portion given them in the death and sufferings of the Lord Jesus, whose body was broken and blood shed for the remission of sins.  They truly and indeed partake of the virtue of his bloody sacrifice, whereby he hath obtained eternal redemption for us.” [Bishop Patrick’s Christian Sacrifice, p. 53.]  It is observable that St. Paul (his own best interpreter), instead of saying, Ye do shew the Lord’s body and blood, broken and shed, says, “Ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” [1 Cor. 11:26.]  Which makes it plain, that “body broken and blood shed” are, in this case, equivalent to the single word “death” with its fruits; and that is the thing signified in our sacramental service.  And if that be the thing signified, it is that which we partake of, or spiritually receive: and we are in this Sacrament engrafted, as it were, into the death of Christ, in much the same sense, and to the same effect, as in the other Sacrament we are said to he “baptized into his death,” [Rom. 6:3.] and “planted together in the likeness of his death.” [Rom. 6:5.]  All the difference is that the same thing is represented and exhibited, here and there, under different signs or symbols.  There we have our right and title to the merits and benefits of his passion delivered to us under the symbol of water inclosing us, as a grave encloses a dead body; here we have the same right and title again delivered under the symbols of bread and wine,* received by us, and incorporated with us.  But of the analogy of the two Sacraments, I have spoken before [See above, ch. VII.], and need not repeat.  Only let it be remembered, that Baptism does not only represent our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection, but exhibits them likewise in their fruits and virtue, and makes the baptized party, if fitly qualified, partaker of them.  And as there undoubtedly is a near correspondence and analogy between the two Sacraments, in their general nature, ends, and uses, we may justly argue from one Sacrament to the other; and the argument carries in it, if not the force of demonstration, yet very considerable weight.  There is this further use in it, that it furnishes us with a clear and full answer to the objections made against the supposition of such and such privileges being conferred by or annexed to a single act of religion: for if they are annexed to or conferred by Baptism, a single act of religion, why may they not by the Eucharist also, though a single act?  Such objections either strike at both Sacraments, or can really hurt neither: or if it be allowed (as indeed it must) that Baptism, notwithstanding, has such privileges annexed to it, by the express words o Scripture, it must be allowed that the Eucharist, at least may have the same.  If, for instance, remission of sins, sanctification of the Spirit, mystical union with Christ, present right to a resurrection and life eternal, are (as they certainly are conferred in and by Baptism, to persons fitly qualified; it is in vain to object, in the case of the Eucharist, that those privileges cannot be annexed to or conferred by a single act.

         *[___ __________ ______ – __’ __ _____ __ ______ ___________, ___ ___ Ļ________ ___ ___ ________.  Gregor. Nazianz. Orat. iii. p. 70.]

         But let us return to our positive proofs, that such blessings are annexed to a due receiving of the holy Communion.  This passage of St. Paul, rightly considered, is a demonstration of it, as I have already intimated.  The Socinians themselves, as I have before observed, are obliged to allow, that spiritual manducation carries with it present remission of sins, and present right to everlasting life: and they are pleased to allow further, that in the Sacrament (though they will not say, by the Sacrament) there may be, or often is, spiritual manducation.  Indeed, Smalcius seems to hesitate a little upon it, or comes with great reluctance to it; but after all is forced to submit to so glaring a truth.  First, he pretends, that we are so far from feeding spiritually upon Christ in the Eucharist, that we must have done it before, or we are not worthy to come at all.*  Well: why may we not have done it before, and now much more so?  He is pleased, soon after, to allow, that spiritual manducation is a kind of constant perpetual act, or habit, supposed in every good Christian, in the whole course of his life, and in all his actions.**  Why then not in the sacramental action?  At length, he allows it, with some reluctance, even in that also;*** as he could not avoid it by his own principles.

         *[Dicimus tantum abesse, ut in coena Domini corpus Christi comedatur, et sanguis ejus bibatur, ut qui antea Christi corpus spiritualiter non manducaverit, manducatione hac panis carnali plane indignus sit.”  Smalc. contr. Frantz. p. 336.]

         **[“Ut manducatio spiritualis corporis, et bibitio sanguinis Christi est aliquid perpetuum, quod in nobis inesse debet, sic in omnibus vitae nostrae factis considerari poterit et debet.”  Smalc. ibid. p. 340.]

         ***[“Quia spiritualis manducatio corporis Christi perpetuum aliquid est, dici quidem potent, tunc etiam illam fieri, cum coena Domini celebratur.”  Smalc. ibid. p. 340.  Schlictingius carries it higher, or expresses it stronger, though indeed he afterwards goes off into the declarative notion, seeming to prefer it.  “Quid igitur est, inquies, Christi corporis proprie ________?  Commune jus est, (ut ipsa vox indicat) Christi corporis pro nobis fracti, et sic bonorum inde manantium.  Sacrum igitur panem qui frangunt et comedunt, modo digne id faciant, bonorum istorum participes fiunt; ut hoc sensu sacri panis fractio, et comestio corporis Christi, communio dicatur per metonymiam effecti; quod scilicet communionis istius causa sit et medium: quippe Christi praeceptorum officiique nostri pars non postrema; uti qui id facere negligat, non plus juris habeat in Christi corpore, quam Petrus habiturus erat communions cum Christo, si pedes sibi lavare volenti praefracte restitisset.”  Schlicting. contr. Meis. p. 750.]

         Thus far then we are advanced, even upon the concessions of adversaries, that there may be (or that there certainly is, to pious and good Christians) a spiritual feeding in the Eucharist, and that such spiritual feeding carries in it present remission, and present right to life eternal. [See Volkelius above.]  Where then do we differ?  Perhaps here; that we say, by the Sacrament, and they, in the Sacrament, like as in all other good offices.  But we do not say, that the Sacrament does it by its own virtue: no, it is God only that grants remission, or spiritual rights, whether in the Sacrament or out of it; and while we assert that he does it in and by the Eucharist, we do not presume to say, or think, that he does it not in Baptism also, or in other religious services.  What then is the point of controversy still remaining?  It appears to be this principally, that we assert the very act of communion (in persons fitly disposed) to be spiritual manducation; a present receiving of spiritual blessings and privileges, additional to what was before: this they deny, alleging that there are no special benefits annexed to the Eucharist* as such, nothing more conferred than what is constantly conferred to good men, at all other times, and in all other good offices, or common duties.**  Now, in defense of our doctrine, we plead St. Paul’s authority, who asserts, that the Eucharist is actually a communion of Christ’s body and blood: let them shew, that any common service, or any other service, office, or duty (except Baptism) is so; and then they will come close to the point.  It hath been observed above, that eating of idol meats, knowingly, was ipso facto communicating with idolaters, and that communicating with idolaters was ipso facto partaking of devils, and that the eating of the Jewish sacrifices was ipso facto partaking of the altar: therefore also receiving the holy Communion, fit dispositions always supposed, is ipso facto (in that very act, and at that present time, by that act) partaking of the death of Christ, with the fruits or privileges of it.  Since therefore the very nature of the act supposes it and implies it (which is more than the nature of every other act, service, or duty does), therefore there is some peculiar force, virtue, and efficacy annexed to the Eucharist, above what is ordinarily annexed to common duties.  Duties, as such, are conditions only on our part, applications of men to God, and therefore are not properly instruments in the hand of God for conveying his graces: but sacraments are applications of God to men, and therefore are properly his instruments of conveyance, his appointed means or conduits, in and by which he confers his graces.  Gospel duties are the conditional causes of spiritual blessings, while Sacraments are properly the instrumental conveyances.  Neither repentance, nor faith, nor even sacraments, considered merely as duties, or as acts of ours, are properly channels of grace, being, as I said, conditions only: but sacraments considered as applications of God to men are properly channels of spiritual benefits.  This is a distinction which ought carefully to be heeded, for the right understanding of the difference between sacraments and duties. [See above.]

         *[“Christiani quia mortem Christi commemorant, et pro ea gratias agunt, non praesens beneficium requirunt,” etc.  Smalcius, p. 333.  “Nequaquam in eum finem hic ritus est institutus, ut aliquid ex eo reportemus, sed ut jam antea acceptum beneficium commemoremus.”  Volkelius de Vera Relig. p. 313, alias 691.  “Non in hunc finem coenam Dominicam constitutam esse, ut ex ejus usu aliquem fructum reportemus.”  Volkelius, ibid. p. 684.]

         **[“Negat Socinus hunc ritum proprie institutum esse ad nostram aliquam singularem utilitatem in negotio salutis.  Proprie inquam, nam alioquin libenter concedimus, hujus ritus observationem non minus ad salutem conferre quam reliquorum praeceptorum executionem: verum haec utilitas et generalis est, et non illius causa, proprie ritus hic institutus est.”  Schlicting. contr. Meisner. p. 791; cp. 795.  “Libenter admittimus ritus istius observationem inter bona opera numerandam, et cum illis conjungendam esse.”  Schlicting. ibid. p. 798.]

         Preaching of the word is most like to sacraments in the instrumental capacity; for by the word also God conveys his graces.  But still inviting, exhorting, or calling men to be reconciled to God, comes not up to signing and sealing the reconciliation: neither is preparing men for the covenant the same thing with covenanting.  The Eucharist, as hath been noted, is an actual communion, wherein God gives and man receives at that instant, or in the very act.  Such being the nature and use of this eucharistic service, in Divine construction, and by Divine appointment, it is manifest from thence, that it carries in it the force of a promise, or contract,* on God’s part, that, fit qualifications supposed on our part., this service shall never fail of its effect, but shall be to every worthy receiver like a deed of conveyance, instrumentally investing him with the benefits of Christ’s death, for the time being; and to the end also, if he perseveres to the end.  It is no good argument to say, the graces of God are given to believers out of the Sacrament, ergo, not by or in the Sacrament: but rather thus; if God’s grace overflows sometimes, and goes without his own instruments, much more shall he give it in the use of them.  If God gives pardon without the Sacrament, then rather also with the Sacrament.  For supposing the Sacraments, in their design and institution, to be nothing but signs and ceremonies, yet they cannot hinder the work of God: and therefore holiness in the reception of them will do more than holiness alone; for God does nothing in vain.  The Sacraments do something in the hand of God: at least, they are God’s proper, and accustomed time of grace: they are his seasons and our opportunity.” [Bishop Taylor’s Worthy Communicant, p. 38.]

         *[Verbum Dei quidem comitatur etiam aliqua Spiritus Dei efficacia. ... Verum efficacia ista a Deo prorsus libere dispensatur, et absque ullo pacto et promissione Dei, qua Deus ad hos et illos, potius quam alios, ejusmodi gratia donandos, sese obstrinxerit.  Cum Sacramentis autem, ex Dei pacto, conjuncta est vis quaedam divini Spiritus, per quam agunt infallibiliter in omnibus iis quibus debite administrantur, quique illa suscipiunt cum ea quam Deus in iis praerequirit dispositione. ... Ex nullo pacto tenetur Deus verbum virtute sui Spiritus comitari: sacramentis autem ex certa Dei pactione, adest virtus divina, per quam gratiam quandam salutarem communicant omnibus illis qui secundum ordinem a Deo positum illa participant.”  Le Blanc, Thes. p. 676.]

         And now if any one should ask for a catalogue of those spiritual privileges, which St. Paul in this place has omitted, our Lord himself may supply that omission by what be has said in John 6.  For, since we have proved, that there is a spiritual manducation in the Eucharist, with all worthy receivers, it now follows, of course, that what our Lord says in John 6 of spiritual manducation in the general, is all strictly applicable to this particular manner of spiritual feeding; and is the best explication we can any where have of what it includes or contains.  It contains, 1. A title to a happy resurrection: for such as spiritually feed on Christ, Christ will “raise up at the last day”. [John 6:54.]  2. A title to eternal life: for our Lord expressly says, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.” [John 6:51, 54, 58.]  3. A mystical union with Christ in his whole Person; or, more particularly, a presential union with him in his Divine nature: “He that eateth my flesh, etc. dwelleth in me, and I in him.” [John 6:56–57.]  4. In these are implied (though not directly expressed by our Lord in that discourse) remission of sins, and sanctification of the Holy Spirit; of which I may say more in a proper place.

         To return to St. Paul’s text, I shall here sum up the true and the full sense of it, mostly in Mr. Locke’s words, [Locke’s Commentary on the Text, p. 181.] with some few and slight alterations.  “They who drink of the cup of blessing, which we bless in the Lord’s Supper, do they not thereby partake of the benefits purchased by Christ’s blood shed for them upon the cross, which they here symbolically drink? and they who eat of the bread broken there, do they not partake in the sacrifice of the body of Christ, and strengthen their union with him, as members of him their head?  For by eating of that bread, we, though many in number, are all united, and make but one body under Christ our head, as many grains of corn are united into one loaf.  See how it is among the Jews, who are outwardly, according to the flesh, by circumcision the people of God.  Among them, they who eat of the sacrifice are partakers of God’s table, the altar, have fellowship with him, and share in the benefit of the sacrifice, as if it were offered for them.*  Do not mistake me, as if I hereby said, that the idols of the Gentiles are gods in reality, or that the things offered to them change their nature, and are anything really different from what they were before, so as to affect us in our use of them: no, but this I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God, and I would not that you should have fellowship with, and be under the influence of devils, as they who, by eating of things offered to them, enter into covenant, alliance, and commerce with them.  You cannot eat and drink with God, as friends at his table in the Eucharist., and entertain familiarity and friendship with devils, by eating with them, and partaking of the sacrifices offered to them.”  Such appears to be the force of the whole argument.  But as there is nothing so plain, but that it may be obscured by misconception, and darkened by artificial colourings, so we need not wonder if difficulties have been raised against the construction here given.  And because it may sometimes happen, that very slight pretenses on one side, if not particularly answered, may weigh more with some persons, than the strongest reasons on the other, I shall here be at the pains to bring together such objections as I to consider them one by one.

         *[Dr. Pelling, in his Discourse of the Sacrament (pp. 116, 117, 118) well illustrates the case of the Jews, as partaking of the altar.  I shall cite a small part: – “There is an expression which will make this matter clear, in Levit. 7:18, “neither shall it be imputed,” etc.  When those sacrificial feasts were regularly celebrated, they were imputed to the guests for their good, they were reckoned advantageous to them, they were favourably accepted at God’s hand, in order to the ends for which the sacrifice was designed: they served to make an atonement, they were effectual to their purposes, they were good to all intents, they were available to the offerers (as the Hebrew Doctors expound the phrase).  This is the true meaning of being partakers of the altar,” etc. p. 117.  In the next page the learned author applies the whole very aptly to the Eucharist.]

 

Objections answered.

         I.  Dr. Whitby, whose comments upon this text, I am sorry to say, appear to be little else than laboured confusion, is pleased to object as here follows: “Neither can the sense of the words be to this effect; The cup and bread communicate to us the spiritual effects of Christ’s broken body, or his blood shed for us, though this be in itself a certain truth; for these spiritual effects cannot be shared among believers, so that every one shall have a part of them only, but the same benefits are wholly communicated to every due receiver.  See note on verse 16.” [Whitby on verse 20, p. 175.]  The learned author did well to call our doctrine a certain truth: but he had done better, if he had taken clue care to preserve to this text that true sense, upon which chiefly that certain truth is founded.  His objection against the spiritual effect being shared, appears to be of no weight: for how do we say they are shared?  We do not say that Christ’s death is divided into parcels, or is more than one death, or that his sacrifice is more than one sacrifice, or that it is shared like a loaf broken into parts, as the objection supposes: but the many sharers all partake of, and communicate in one undivided thing, the same death, the same sacrifice, the same atonement, the same Saviour, the same God and Lord: and here is no dividing or sharing anything, but as the same common blessing diffuses itself among many divided persons.  And what is there amiss or improper in this notion?  The learned author himself is forced to allow [Ibid. p. 173.] that ________ ___ ____ _____, communion of his Son, [1 Cor. 1:9.] and ________ ___ Ļ________, communion of his sufferings, [Phil. 3:10.] and ________ ____ ___ Ļ_____ ___ ____ ___ ____ _____, communion with the Father and the Son, [1 John 1:3.] are all so many proper phrases, to express the communion of many in one and the same thing, where the effects are common to those many.  And he might have added ________ ___ _____ Ļ________, communion of the Holy Ghost, [2 Corinthians 13:14.  Phil. 2:1.] and ________ ___ _________, communion of the mystery, [Eph. 3:9.] as two other parallel instances, wherein the same undivided blessings are supposed to be communicated to many, in such a sense as we suppose the undivided blessing, privilege, atonement of Christ’s death to be vouchsafed to worthy communicants.  And therefore there is no occasion for the low thought, that ________ here, with respect to the Eucharist, must signify no more than the sharing out the consecrated bread and wine among the communicants: which is resolving all into sign, and dropping the thing signified; and is sinking the Apostle’s admirable sense into jejune, insipid tautology; as I have before observed.  The Socinians themselves deal more justly and ingenuously with St. Paul’s text in this place; as may sufficiently appear by what I have quoted from them in this chapter.

         II.  The same learned man makes a further attempt to defeat the time sense of this passage, first, by interpreting the partaking of the altar, to mean only having communion with God, or owning him as that God from whom they had received mercies; and next, by interpreting the partaking of devils so as to exclude any spiritual influence from devils. [See Whitby on the place, pp. 174. 175.]  To all which I shall make answer in the excellent words of Bishop Burnet [Burnet on the 28th Article, p. 428.]: “If the meaning of their being partakers with devils [he should have said of devils] imports only their joining themselves in acts of fellowship with idolaters, then the sin of this would have easily appeared, without such a reinforcing of the matter. ... St. Paul seems to carry the argument further: ... since those idols were the instruments by which the devil kept the world in subjection to him, all such as did partake in their sacrifices might come under the effects of that magic, that might be exerted about their temples or sacrifices; ... and might justly fear being brought into a partnership of those magical possessions or temptations that might be suffered to fall upon such Christians as should associate themselves in so detestable a service.*  In the same sense it was also said, that the Israelites were partakers of the altar.  That is, that all of them who joined in the acts of that religion, such as the offering their peace offerings (for of those of that kind they might only eat), all these were partakers of the altar: that is, of all the blessings of their religion, of all the expiations, the burnt-offerings and sin offerings, that were offered on the altar, for the sins of the whole congregation. ... Thus it appears, that such as joined in the acts of idolatry became partakers of all that influence that devils might have over those sacrifices; and all that continued in the observances of the Mosaic law, had thereby a partnership in the expiations of the altar; so likewise all Christians who receive this Sacrament worthily, have by their so doing a share in that which is represented by it, the death of Christ, and the expiation and other benefits that follow it.”

         *[The true meaning of partaking of devils, or of coming under the influence of devils, is very aptly illustrated by the following lines of Tertullian; “Nemo in castra hostium transit, nisi projectis armis suis, nisi destitutis signis et sacramentis principis sui, nisi pactus simul perire. ... Quale est enim de Ecclesia Dei, in diaboli ecclesiam tendere? de caelo, quod aiunt, in coenum? ... Cur ergo non hujusmodi etiam daemoniis penetrabiles fiant? nam et exemplum accidit, Domino teste, ejus mulieris quae theatrum adiit, et inde cum daemonio rediit.  Itaque in exorcismo cum oneraretur immundus spiritus, quod ausus esset fidelem adgredi; constanter, Justissime quidem, inquit, feci, in meo enim inveni.”  Tertullian. de Spectac. cap. xxv. xxvi. p. 83.]

         I cannot too often repeat, that St. Paul is not here speaking of external profession, or of outwardly owning the true God (which any hypocrite might do), but of being real and living members, and of receiving vital spiritual influences from Christ; and his argument rests upon it.*  The thing may perhaps be yet further illustrated from a similar argument, made use of by the Apostle in a resembling case.  “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot?  God forbid.  What? know ye not that he who is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”**

         *[“Loquitur Apostolus de ejusmodi communione corporis et sanguinis Domini, per quam unum corpus cum illo et inter nos sumus, ... reprobi et infideles, omnesque ejusmodi, Spiritus Christi destituti, quamvis sumant et participent panem quem frangimus, et benedictionis calicem, ... non fiunt unum corpus cum Christo et fidelibus, sicut ipse Apostolus docet, inquiens: Qui Spiritum Christi non habet, hic non est ejus.  Rom. 8:9.  2 Cor. 6.”  Albertin. p. 225.]

         **[1 Cor. 6:15–17.  Compare 2 Cor. 6:14–16.  N.B.  The Apostle is plainly speaking, in all the three places, of Christians, considered as true and living members of the internal invisible Church, and not merely of the external and visible.  “Nec ergo dicendi sunt manducare corpus Christi, quoniam nec in membris computandi sunt; quia non possunt esse membra Christi, et membra, meretricis.”  Aug. de Civ. Dei, lib. xxi. cap. 25.]

         Here we may observe that the argument in both cases proceeds upon the supposition that the Christians whom the Apostle speaks to are true and living members of Christ,* and of consequence actual partakers of all the spiritual benefits of such union: which union would be entirely broken, and all its privileges forfeited, by commencing a contrary union, either with devils in one case, or with harlots in the other.  The Apostle is not speaking of Christians as barely contradicting their outward professions, or committing a logical absurdity, but of their acting inconsistently with their internal blessings or privileges.  There was no natural impossibility of appearing as guests both at God’s table and the table of devils; it was as easy to be done, as it was easy for men to be deceitful, false, and wicked: but the Apostle speaks of a real inconsistency in things; namely, such as lies in the being in league with God and the devil at the same time, and retaining the friendship and participation of both.**  All which shews that the communicants whom the Apostle speaks of were supposed to be true members of Christ, and of the invisible Church, in that very action, and so of consequence, thereby receiving all such spiritual benefits as that membership implies.

         *[“Corpus nostrum, (id est, caro quae cum sanctimonia perseverat, et munditia) membra dixit esse Christi.”  Irenaeus, lib. v. cap. 6. p. 300.]

         **[__ ___ ____ ____ _________ _________ ________, _ _Ļ_______ ______ _Ļ__ ____ _________ ___ ________ ___Ļ__ ... ___ _______ ___Ļ____ _________ _____________, ____ _____ ________ ___ Ļ__________ _____________ ______.  Clem. Alex. Paed. lib. ii. cap. 1. pp. 168, 169.  “Non potestis et Dei et daemonum esse participes.”  Pseudo-Hieronym. in loc.]

         III.  It has been thought some objection to this notion of benefits, that men could not be supposed to receive benefits from devils; and therefore the analogy or parallel will not hold, if St. Paul be interpreted as admitting or asserting benefits in the Eucharist.  In reply to which I observe, 1. That St. Paul does not particularly mention benefits (though he supposes them all the time), but draws both parts of his parallel in general terms, and terms corresponding: communion of Christ’s body and blood on one side, communion of devils on the other.  There the parallel rests, and there it answers to the greatest exactness: for as on one hand there are supposed influences, influxes, impressions, communications from Christ, so on the other hand, there are likewise supposed influences, influxes, impressions, communications from devils.  The parallel here drawn out by the Apostle goes no further, and therefore it is strictly just, regular, and elegant: but the nature of the thing speaks the rest, that the influxes must be of as contrary a kind, as Christ is opposite to Belial.  2. St. Paul certainly supposed benefits, and great ones, belonging to the Lord’s table: otherwise his dissuasive against the table of devils had been very lame and insufficient.  For undoubtedly there were benefits to be expected (temporal benefits) on the other side, or else there had been no temptation that way, nor any occasion for such earnestness as the Apostle uses in the case to dissuade them from it: and if the Apostle had not supposed some benefits, of the spiritual kind, to be annexed to the Eucharist, much superior to all temporal emoluments, there would have been but very little force in his whole dissuasive.  To be short; the more beneficial we conceive the Sacrament to be, so much the stronger is the Apostle’s argument for preferring the Lord’s table before any other that was incompatible with it: and therefore the supposition of benefits in the Eucharist was by no means foreign to the point in view, or wide of his purpose, but quite the contrary.  For what could be more pertinent to his design of warning Christians to have nothing to do with the table of devils, than the intimating to them that they would thereby forfeit all the benefits and privileges they expected from the table of the Lord?  Upon this foot, and this only, there is force and poignancy in what he says “Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and the table of devils.”  [1 Cor. 10:21.  1 Cor. 11:27, 29.  If there were not great benefits on one hand, as there is great danger on the other, what encouragement could there be to receive at all? Who would run the dreadful risk of being guilty of the body and blood of the Lord?]

         IV.  It may perhaps be objected further, that the Pagan notion of their sacrificial feasts was no more than this, that their gods or demons might sometimes condescend to come and feast with them, and so those feasts imported some kind of society or alliance with demons, but nothing of influxes, communications, impressions, etc.  To which I answer, that we are not here inquiring what the Pagans supposed, but how the Apostle interpreted their feastings of that kind.  The Pagans believed in gods (as they thought) or good demons; but the Apostle interprets all of bad angels or devils.  And it is further observable, that he speaks not of partaking with devils of such banquets, but of partaking, with idolaters, of devils.  All the expressions made use of by the Apostle declare for this meaning.  ________ ___ _______ is partaking of body, not with body.  ________ ___ _______ is partaking of blood, not with blood.  ________ ___ ____________ is partaking of the altar, not with the altar.  In like manner, ________ ___ _________ must mean partaking of devils, not with devils.* For, in truth, the communicants in the idol sacrifices were joint partakers with idolaters of devils, as Christian communicants are joint partakers with Christians of Christ.  Thus the analogy is duly preserved, and the comparison answers to the greatest exactness.

         *[An ancient writer of the third century well expresses this matter: “Quantum enim ad creaturam pertineat, omnis munda est: sed cum daemoniis immolata fuerit, inquinata est tam diu quam diu simulacris offeratur.  Quod mox atque factum est, non est jam Dei, sed idoli: quae dum in cibum sumitur, sumentem daemonio nutrit, non Deo, convivam illum simulacro reddendo, non Christo.”  Novatian. de Cib. Judaic. cap. 7.]

         I may here briefly take notice, in passing, that what concerns the communion or participation of devils, has been very minutely examined among some learned Divines abroad, within these thirty years last past, Gottofr. Olearius, a learned Lutheran of Leipsic, opened the subject in a Dissertation on 1 Cor. 10:21, printed A.D. 1709; reprinted in 1712.  The design was to explain the Pagan notion of the communion of their demons, and from thence to illustrate the communion of Christ’s body and blood in the Eucharist, as taught by the Apostle.  Some years after, another learned Lutheran, in a treatise written in the German language, pursued the same hypothesis, and met with good acceptance among many.  But in the year 1728, Mr. Elsner of Utrecht took occasion to animadvert upon it, [Elsner. Observat. Sacr. tom. ii. p. 108.] blaming Olearius for pushing the point too far, in favour of the Lutheran doctrine concerning the Eucharist, and for maintaining too gross a notion of sacramental manducation.  Others have endeavoured to defend or palliate Olearius’s doctrine, and reflect upon Elsner, as too severe or disrespectful in his censure, and as straining things to the worst sense. [Wolfius, Curae Crit. in 1 Cor. 10:21. p. 461.  Mosheim. in Praefat. ad Cudworth de Coena.]  All I shall observe upon the dispute is that both sides appear to agree in three particulars: 1. That the idolaters held communion with each other, by eating of the same sacrifices; to which answers, in the analogy, the communion of Christians with each other, by and in the Eucharist.  2. That the idolaters held communion with devils by feasting at the table of devils: to which answers our holding communion with Christ in the Eucharist.  3. That the devils with whom they so held communion had thereby some power or influence over them: to which answer the Divine influences upon true and worthy communicants in the Eucharist.

         V.  There is yet another objection worth the considering, because it seems to strike at the main grounds upon which we have proceeded in explaining the Apostle’s doctrine in this chapter.  It is suggested, that _________ in that place does not signify devil, [See Le Clerc in loc. in his Supplement to Hammond, p. 338.  Engl. edit.] but either a good demon, or something imaginary, a mere nonentity: and this is grounded partly upon the consideration that the Pagans could never intend to sacrifice to devils, and partly upon St. Paul’s allowing an idol to be nothing.  The reader may find this suggestion abundantly confuted, in Whitby and Wolfius upon this chapter; and therefore I shall here content myself with briefly hinting as follows: 1. That the word _________, commonly* in the New Testament, does signify some evil spirit, as in the many cases of demoniacs therein mentioned, besides other instances.  2. That in this place of St. Paul, the word ought to be so interpreted, in conformity to Deuteronomy 32:17, which St. Paul appears to have had in his eye, “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God”; which Le Clerc himself (who raises the objection which I am now answering) interprets of evil spirits.**  3. That St. Paul speaks not of what the heathens intended, or had in view, but of the real nature, tendency, or consequence of their idolatry.  4. That though St. Paul knew that idols, whether understood of statues and images, or of the deities supposed to reside in them, were really nothing (as having either no being, [Such as personalized qualities, mere abstract ideas; as mercy, justice, faith, truth, concord, health, fortune, etc.] as many had not, or no divinity, [As sun, moon, stars, etc.] and were not capable of making any physical change in the meats, which were the good creatures of God); yet he knew withal, that evil spirits suggested to men those idolatrous practices, and resided in those images, and assisted in those services, personating those fictitious deities, and drawing all those adorations, in the last result, to themselves:*** therefore St. Paul cautions the Corinthians against putting themselves into the power and possession of those evil spirits, which they were not before aware of.****  5. There can be no sense or no force in St. Paul’s argument, if we interpret his words either of good demons or of mere nothings: for it would sound very odd to say, I would not have you partakers of good angels; or of nothings, that is, no partakers; and again, Ye cannot partake of the Lord’s table, and the table of good angels or table of nonentities.  Besides that the Apostle was obviating or refuting that very objection about an idol’s being nothing; allowing it in a physical sense, but not in a moral one; allowing it of the idol considered in itself, but not of what it led to, and terminated in.  Whatever men might think of bare idols, yet evil spirits, which promoted and accepted that idolatrous worship, were real beings, and very pernicious, many ways,***** to the worshippers, and to as many as were partners with them, either formally or in just construction.  In this light, the Apostle’s argument is clear and solid, and his sense strong and nervous; countenanced also by other Scriptures and the whole stream of antiquity.

         *[A late learned writer very acutely as well as justly observes, that the sacred penmen, when speaking their own sense, and not reporting the words of others, do always use the word _________ in the bad sense.  Dr. Warren, part i. p. 75, part ii. p. 7, etc.]

         **[______ _________ ___ __ ____ Deut. 32:7.  Vid. Cleric. in loc. item in Levit. 17:7.  Cacodaemonibus.  See also Baruch 4:7.]

         ***[Scimus nihil esse nomina mortuorum, sicut et ipsa simulacra eorum; sed non ignoramus qui sub istis nominibus, institutis simulacris operentur et gaudeant, et divinitatem mentiantur, nequam spiritus scilicet, daemones.”  Tertull. de Spectac. cap. x. p. 77.]

         ****[Non quod idolum sit aliquid (ut Apostolus ait), sed quod quae faciunt, daemoniis faciunt, consistentibus scilicet in consecrationibus idolorum, sive mortuorum, sive (ut putant) deorum.  Propterea igitur, quoniam utraque species idolorum conditionis unius est, dum mortui et dii unum sunt, utraque idololatria abstinemus ... quia non possumus coenam Dei edere, et coenam daemoniorum.”  Tertull. ibid. cap. xiii. p. 79.]

         *****[Wolfius well distinguishes, in his Comments on this text, pp. 459, 460.  “Non tam hic quaeritur, quid gentilibus de deastris suis persuasum fuerit, quam quid illis persuasum esse debuerit, quidve ex rei veritate de illis sit judicandum: posterius hoc innuit Apostolus, et testatum adeo facit, cultum ilium superstitiosum et a malis daernonibus profectum esse, et in illorum societatem pertrahere... Apostolus __ _______ quod nihil est, distinguit a __________, tanquam quae vere existant, et ex cultu praestito fructum percipiant, in perniciem sacrificantium redundantem; quemadmodum et __ _______ sacra sua faciant ea. intentione, ut cum deastris conjungantur.”]

         VI.  There are yet other objections, of a slighter kind, which I may here throw together, and briefly answer, that no further scruple may remain.  A learned man very lately, [Joannes Laurentius Moshemius, Jenae, 1733.] in his Latin Notes upon Cudworth’s treatise on the Sacrament, and in his Preface to the same, has taken a great deal of pains to explain, (should I say?) or rather to perplex and obscure the Apostle’s argument in this chapter, and to turn it off to a different meaning from what I have been pleading for.  His reason, or motive, for doing it appears to be to make it square the better with the Lutheran notion of the corporal presence in the Eucharist.  He takes it for granted that both good and bad do equally receive the Lord’s body and blood (which is indeed the natural and necessary consequence of their other principles), and therefore he cannot admit that the communion here spoken of should be understood of benefits, lest those benefits also should be supposed common to both, which is palpably absurd.  He frankly enough discovers where his main scruple lies;* and then proceeds to invent reasons, or colours, to support it.  He pleads that St. Paul, in this place, mentions no distinction between worthy receivers and unworthy, but seems rather to make what he speaks of common to both; for he inserts no exception, or salvo, as he ought to have done, had his words been intended of receiving benefits,** etc.  To which I answer: 1. That there was no occasion for making any express distinction: it was sufficient to leave it to every one’s good sense tacitly to supply.  The Apostle speaks of it according to what it was in the general, and in God’s design, and in its primary intention, and what it always would be in the event, if not rendered fruitless through some default of the communicants:*** but as the real sacrifice of Christ’s death, with the benefits thereof, was to extend no further than to persons qualified for it, and not to the impenitent; so every man’s own reason would readily suggest to him, without a monitor, that the application of that sacrifice could not be of wider extent than the sacrifice itself.  2. Add to this, that nothing is more usual in Scripture than to omit such exceptions as common sense might readily supply; partly for the sake of brevity or elegancy, and partly for the avoiding impertinence or offence.  How often are the benefits of Baptism spoken of in general and absolute terms, without any excepting clause with respect to unworthy partakers.  It was needless to insert any; for Christians understood the terms of their Baptismal covenant, and did not want to be told perpetually, that Simon Magus and other the like wretches, though baptized, had no part in them.  Many times does St. Paul remind Christians of their bodies being the members of Christ, or temple of God, or temple of the Holy Ghost, [1 Cor. 3:16–17, 6:15–20.  2 Cor. 6:16.] making no exception at all for corrupt Christians: he thought it best to omit invidious exceptions; not doubting but that such plain things would be tacitly understood by everyone, without his naming them.  Once indeed, after he had told the Corinthians of Christ being in them, he adds, “except ye be reprobates”. [2 Cor. 13:5.]  But certainly it was neither necessary nor proper to be perpetually inculcating an invidious and grating reflection.  The persons whom he wrote to, might not always be dull enough to want it, or bad enough to deserve it; a softer kind of address might be both more acceptable to them, and more effectual to incite them to all goodness.  There is therefore no force at all in the negative argument drawn from St. Paul’s omitting to make an express exception to the case of unworthy communicants in 1 Cor. 10:16; or however, he abundantly supplied it in the next chapter, and needed not to do it twice over in the same Epistle, and within the compass of forty verses.

         *[“Quid sentiam de interpretatione hac verborum S. Pauli, itemque de argumento quod ex illis elicit vir doctissimus (Cudworthus) ad opinionem suam probandam, in praefatione aperiam ... Hic monuisse satis erit, premi ab eo vestigia praecipuorum reformati coetus doctorum, etc. ... velle enim hos notum est, ideo S. Coenam a Servatore nostro potissimum esse institutam, ut sancti homines, qui ad eam accedunt, cum Christo Servatore suo arctius conjungantur, et beneficiorum hominibus ab eo partorum reddantur participes: nos vero repudiare, qui omnes homines, sive probi sint, sive improbi, corporis et sanguinis Domini vere fieri compotes in S. Coena statuimus.”  Moshem. in Notis ad cap. iv. sect. 2. p. 30.]

         **[“Si vera esset sententia, quae inter Reformatos recepta est, excepisset Paulus haud dubie degeneres Christianos ex illis qui Christi compotes fiunt in S. Coena, dixissetque: Nostisne eos homines, in quibus castus est animus et vera fides, corporis et sanguinis Christi compotes fieri?”  Moshem. ibid. p. 31.  Cp. Gerhard. et Albertin. Respon. p. 225.]

         ***[Chrysostom is very clear on this head, in Matt. Hom. lxxxiii. p. 788.  Bened. ed.  And so indeed are all the ancients, when rightly understood.  None of them ever imagined that the “res sacramenti,” the thing signified, was received at all by the unworthy, either spiritually or orally.]

         But the learned Mosheim presently after subjoins another little plea,* to add weight to the former.  He asks, why should the Apostle so distinctly mention the communion both of the body and of the blood, if he intended no more than the fruits of Christ’s death?  Might not the single mention of his death or of its fruits have sufficed?  To which we might justly answer, by asking the same question: What occasion could there be, upon his own principles, for distinctly mentioning both body and blood?  Might not body alone have sufficed, especially considering how doubtful a point it has been thought, whether a glorified body has properly any blood in it or no? [Vid. Allix. Dissertat. de Sanguine D. N. Jesu Christi.  Cp. l’Arroque, Hist. of the Eucharist, part ii. cap. 6. p. 268.]  The learned author might better have waved an objection which recoils so strongly upon his own hypothesis.  To answer more directly, we say, upon our principles, that the distinct mentioning both of the body and the blood was exceeding proper, and very significant; because it shews that our Lord is considered in the Eucharist according to the state he was in at his crucifixion: for then only it was that his body and blood were separate; one hanging on the cross, the other spilled upon the ground.  That body and that blood are commemorated in the Eucharist, the body broken, and the blood shed: therefore St. Paul so distinctly mentioned both, lest Christians should think (as indeed, in late and dark ages, Christians have thought) that the words of the institution, though express for broken body, and blood shed upon earth, should be interpreted to mean his glorified body in heaven.  St. Paul very justly followed the style of the institution, our Lord’s own style: and by that he sheaved, that he was speaking of the separation of the body and blood, which in reality was the death of our Lord, or seen only in his death, and consequently such manner of speaking directly pointed to the death of our Lord, and to the fruits or benefits arising from it.  Mr. Mosheim goes on to make some slight objections to Dr. Cudworth’s just notion of the partakers of the altar, as sharing the benefits or expiations thereof.  It would be tedious to make a particular reply to every little objection which a pregnant wit can raise, and therefore I shall only say this: either he must understand it of a real communion of and with that God, whose altar it was, and then it implies benefits of course; or he must understand it only of external declarations or professions, such as hypocrites might make, and then it will be hard to shew how that agrees with the symbol of eating, which means receiving something (not giving out declarations), and is plainly so understood, not only in John 6, but also in Heb. 13:10, where eating of an altar is spoken of.

         *[“Deinde vir divinus distincte corporis et sanguinis Christi participes fieri dicit eos, qui poculum benedictum, et panem qui frangitur, acciperent in S. Coena.  Quid distincta hac mentione tam corporis quam sanguinis Christi opus fuisset, si hoc tantum docere voluisset, mortis Christi fructum ad eos pervenire qui S. Coena fruerentur?  Suffecisset ad hanc rem exprimendam, si generatim dixisset: minime vos praeterit, in Christi et mortis ejus communionem pervenire, quibus poculum consecratum et panis fractus in S. Coena exhibetur.  Moshem. ibid. p. 31.  Cp. Gerhard. et Albertin. Respon. p. 225.]

         Mr. Mosheim says no more in his Notes: but in his Preface, written afterwards, he pursues the same argument; and there he endeavours to invalidate the other parallel drawn from partaking of devils.  He will not be persuaded* that the idolaters did really sacrifice to evil spirits: but it is certain they did; though they intended quite otherwise.  And he will not allow that they were partakers of devils, because an idol is nothing: which has been abundantly answered before.  I shall only add, that this learned writer was not perhaps aware, that he has been enforcing the objection of the idolaters, and labouring to elude St. Paul’s answer to it, in contradiction to the Apostle’s clear and express words.  St. Paul granted that an idol physically was nothing, but that morally and circumstantially it stood in quite another view: for, though an idol was nothing; yet a devil, under the name or cover of an idol, was a real thing, and of very dangerous consequence, to make alliance with.  But I proceed.

         *[Nunquam mihi persuaserim, sanctum hominem id sibi velle, profanos vere malis geniis, aut deastris immolare, quae immolarent: etenim haec sententia pugnaret cum eo quod paulo ante largitus erat Corinthiis, deastrum nihil, aut commentitium esse aliquid: si nihil est deaster, quomodo vere sacrificari potest illi aliquid?  Moshem. in Praefat.]

         When this learned gentleman comes to propose his own interpretation of the whole passage, he does it in such an intricate and confused manner, as discovers it at once to be unnatural and forced.  He first breaks the coherence of it in a very particular way, and owns that he does so.*  Then he proceeds to speak of St. Paul’s abrupt and rapid manner of writing, and of his omitting many things for an interpreter to supply (though before he would not allow him to omit a needless exception, which nobody almost could miss of), and of his jumping to a conclusion before he had sufficiently opened his premises.**  Could one desire a more sensible or more affecting token of the irresistible strength of the ancient and prevailing construction than this, that the acutest wit, joined with uncommon learning, can make no other sense of the place, but by taking such liberties with sacred Writ, as are by no means allowable upon any known rules of just and sober hermeneutics?  I shall dwell no longer on this learned gentleman’s speculations; which, I am willing to hope, are not the sentiments of all the Lutherans.  They are confronted, in part, by the very learned Wolfius, as I observed above: and I am now going to take notice of the moderate sentiments of Baron Puffendorff (who was an able divine, as well as a consummate statesman) in his latest treatise, left behind him ready for the press, written in Latin, sand printed in 1695.***  He first candidly represents the principles of the Reformed, and next passes a gentle censure.

         *[“Exerceant, quibus placet, ingenium, experianturque, num demonstrare queant haec apta esse inter se, ac cohaerentia?  Quae cum ita sint, cumque res ipsa testetur, nullam esse cognationem et affinitatem commati 16 et 17 cum consequente commati 18, reliquum est, ut constituamus, divellendum esse hoc posterius comma a prioribus binis, novamque ab eo partem orationis sancti hominis inchoandam esse,” etc.  Moshem. in Praefat.]

         **[“Praecisam et concitatam esse multis in locis S. Pauli disputationem, et multa interdum ab eo omitti quae interpretis meditatione ac ingenio suppleri debent, quo perfectam demonstratio formam adipiscatur, neminem in scriptis istis versatum praeterit.  Id hoc etiam in loco meminisse decet, quo divinus vir, sacro elatus fervore, et incredibili Corinthios emendandi studio accensus, ad demonstrationis conclusionem properat potius quam pergit, nec plura exprimit verbis quam summa postulat necessitas ad vim ejus capiendam.  Quare qui rudiorum captui consulere, et universam argumentationem ejus nervis et partibus suis cohaerentem exhibere volunt, addere passim quaedam debent et interjicere, ad ea plane tollenda quae intelligentiam morari possunt.”  Moshem. ibid.]

         ***[Jus feciale divinum: sive de Consensu et Dissensu Protestantium, exercitatio posthuma.”  Lubecae, 1695.  The Divine feudal Law: or Means for the uniting of Protestants.  Translated from the original by Theophilus Dorrington, 1703.]

         “Some say [meaning some of the Reformed] that ... we must not believe the bread and wine to be a naked symbol, but a communication, or mean by which we come into participation of the body and blood of Christ, as St. Paul speaks, Cor. 10:16.  But of what sort that communion or communication is, whether physical or moral, may be very well gathered from that very place of St. Paul.  By a physical communion, or participation, must be understood the conjunction of two bodies, as of water and wine, of meal and sugar: but by a moral one is meant, such as when anything partakes of the virtue and efficacy of another, and in that respect is accounted the same with the other, or is connected with it.  As among the Jews, they who did eat of the flesh of the victim were made partakers of the altar; that is, of the Jewish worship, and of all the benefits which did accompany that worship.  So also, they who did eat of things sacrificed to idols were partakers of devils; not for that they did eat the substance of the devils, but because they did derive upon themselves the guilt of idolatry.  From all which things we may learn to understand the words of the institution in this sense – This bread eaten by the faithful, in the ceremony of this Supper, this wine also therein drank by such, shall have the same virtue and efficacy, as if you should eat the substance itself of my body, and drink the very substance of my blood.  Or, this bread is put in the stead of the sacrificed flesh, this wine is in the stead of the sacrificed blood; whereby the covenant between God and men, having me for the mediator of it, is established.  Nor indeed are such sort of expressions (importing an equivalence or substitution) uncommon, whether in holy Scripture or in profane writers.  For example: “I have made God my hope.” [Job 31:24.]  Elijah was the “chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.” [2 Kings 2:12.]  “Woman, behold thy son; sort, behold thy mother.” [John 19:26–27.]  “He that doth the will of my Father, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” [Matt. 12:50.]  It is said of the enemies of the cross of Christ, “that their belly is their god.” [Phil. 3:19.]  So in Virgil we have the like phraseology, “Thou shalt be to me the great Apollo.”

         “But in articles of faith, it is safer to follow a naked simplicity, than to indulge the fancy in pursuit of subtleties.  And it has been observed, that while the reins have been left too loose to human reason, in this article of the Lord’s Supper, the other mysteries also of the Christian religion have been tampered with, so that by degrees Socinianism is at length sprung up.  But if both sides would but sincerely profess, that in the Lord’s Supper Christ’s body and blood are verily and properly eaten and drank, [We say, “Verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful.”] and that there is a participation of the benefits by him purchased, all the controversy remaining is only about the manner of eating and drinking, and of the presence of Christ’s body and blood, which both sides confess to be above the reach of human capacity: and so they make use of reasonings, where is no room for reason.” [Puffendorf.  Eng. edit. sect. lxiii. pp. 211, 212, 213.  Lat. edit. sect. lxiii. pp. 227, 228, 229.]  So far this very judicious writer, a moderate Lutheran, and a person of admirable sagacity.  I shall hereupon take the liberty to observe, that if the supposed corporal presence were but softened into corporal union, and that union understood to be of the mystical or moral kind (like to that of man and wife making one flesh, or all true Christians, at any distance, making one body), and if this union were reckoned among the fruits of Christ’s death, received by the faithful in the Eucharist, then would everything of moment be secured on all sides: and the doctrine of the Eucharist, so stated, would be found to be altogether intelligible, rational, and scriptural, and confirmed by the united verdict of all antiquity.

         As to Lutherans and Calvinists, however widely they may, appear to differ in words and in names, yet their ideas seem all to concenter (as often as they come to explain) in what I have mentioned.  The Calvinists, for example, sometimes speak of eating Christ’s body and blood by faith, or by the mind; and yet they seem to understand nothing more than a kind of moral, virtual, spiritual, or mystical union [Vid. Albertin. pp. 230, 231.  Pet. Martyr. in 1 Cor. 12:12–13.  p. 178.] (such as bodies at a distance may have), though perhaps they do not always explain it so happily as might be wished.  On the other hand, the Lutherans when pressed to speak plainly, deny every article almost which they are commonly charged with by their adversaries.  They disown assumption of the elements into the humanity of Christ, [Vid. Pfaffius, Dissertat. de Consecrat. Eucharist. p. 449, etc.  Buddaeus, Miscellan. Sacr. tom. ii. pp. 80, 81.] as likewise augmentation, [Pfaffius, p. 451, etc.  Buddaeus, Miscellan. Sacr. tom. ii. pp. 81, 82.] and impanation [Pfaffius, p. 453. Buddaeus, ibid. p. 83.  Deylingius, Observ. Miscell. p. 249.]; yea, and consubstantiation, [Pfaffius, p. 453, etc.  Buddaeus, ibid. p. 84.  Deylingius, ibid.] and concomitancy [Pfaffius, ibid. p. 459.  Buddaeus, ibid. pp. 85, 86.]: and, if it be asked, at length, what they admit and abide by, it is a sacramental union [Pfaffius, p. 461, etc.  Buddaeus, ibid. p. 86, etc.]; not a corporal presence, but as a body may be present spiritually.*  And now, what is a sacramental union, with a body spiritually present, while corporally absent?  Or what ideas can any one really have under these terms, more than that of a mystical or moral union, (such as Baron Puffendorf speaks of,) an union as to virtue and efficacy, and to all saving intents and purposes?  So far both parties are agreed, and the remaining difference may seem to lie chiefly in words and names, rather than in ideas or real things.**  But great allowances should be made for the prevailing prejudices of education, and for a customary way of speaking or thinking on any subject.

         *[“Quinimo et corporalis praesentia negatur, quae tamen ea ratione adstruitur, ut corpus Christi vere, licet spiritualiter praesens esse credatur.  Caeterum cum corpus Christi ubique junctam divinitatem habeat, ea et in sacra coena praesens est; singulari tamen et incomprehensibili ratione, quae omnes imperfectiones excludit.”  Pfaffius, p. 462.  “Praesentiam realem profitemur, carnalem negamus.”  Puffend. sect. 92.  “Unicus itaque saltern isque verus et genuinus praesentiae realis superest modus, unio sacramentalis; quae ita comparata est, ut, juxta ipsius Servatoris nostri institutionem, pani benedicto tanquam medio divinitus ordinato corpus, et vino benedicto tanquam medio divinitus ordinato sanguis Christi (modo quem ratio comprehendere nequit) uniatur: ut cum illo pane corpus Christi una manducatione sacramentali, et cum illo vino sanguinem Christi una bibitione sacramentali, iu sublimi mysterio sumamus, manducemus, et bibamus.”  Buddaeus, ibid. pp. 86, 87.]

         **[“Testatur Zanchius, se audivisse quendam non vulgarem Lutheranum dicentem, se et alios suos non ita dicere corpus Christi a nobis corporaliter manducari, quasi illud Christi corpus os et corpus nostrum attingat (hoc enim falsum esse) sed tantum propter sacramentalem unionem, qua id quod proprie competit pani, attribuitur etiam quodammodo ipsi corpori Christi.  In hisce ergo convenimus.”  Sam. Ward. Theolog. Determinat. at. p. 113.]

 

Chapter  IX

Of Remission of Sins conferred in the Eucharist.

         This is an article which has been hitherto touched upon only as it fell in my way, but will now require a particular discussion: and that it may be done the more distinctly and clearly, it will be proper to take in two or three previous propositions, which may be of use to prevent misconceptions of what we mean, and to open the way to what we intend to prove.  The previous propositions are: 1. That it is God alone who properly confers remission.  2. That he often does it in this life present, as seems good unto him, on certain occasions, and in sundry degrees.  3. That he does it particularly in Baptism, in a very eminent degree.  These several points being premised and proved, it will be the easier afterwards to shew that he does it also in the Eucharist, as likewise to explain the nature and extent of the remission there conferred.

         1.  I begin with premising, that God alone properly confers remission of sins: whatever secondary means or instruments may be made use of in it, yet it is God that does it.  “Who can forgive sins but God only?” [Mark 2:7.]  We read, that “it is God that justifieth.” [Rom. 8:33.]  Justification of sinners comes to the same with remission: it is receiving them as just; which amounts to acquitting, or absolving them, in the court of heaven.  For proof of this, I refer the reader to Bishop Bull’s Harmonia Apostolica, [Bull, Harmon. Apostol. Dissert. i. cap. 1.] that I may not be tedious in a very plain case.  The use I intend of the observation, with respect to our present subject, is, that if we are said to eat or drink, in the Eucharist, the benefits of Christ’s passion (among which remission of sins is one), or if we are said to apply those benefits, and of consequence that remission, to ourselves, by faith, etc., all this is to be understood only of our receiving such remission, and partaking of those benefits, while it is God that grants and confers, and who also, properly speaking, applies every benefit of that kind to the faithful communicant.  And whether he does it by his word or by his ordinances, and by the hands of his ministers, he does it however: and when such absolution, or remission, is real and true, it is not an human absolution, but a divine grant, transmitted to us by the hands of men administering the ordinances of God. God has sometimes sent his extraordinary grants of that kind by prophets and other officers extraordinary [2 Sam. 12:13.  Compare Ecclus. 47:11.]: and he may do the like in a fixed and standing method, by his ordinary officers or ministers duly commissioned thereunto. [Matt. 16:19, 18:16–18.  John 20:22–23.  Acts 22:16.]  But whoever he be that brings the pardon, or who pursuant to commission notifies it to the party in solemn form, yet the pardon, if true, is the gift of God, and it is God alone, or the Spirit of God, that applies it to the soul, and converts it to spiritual nutriment and increase.  This, I presume, may be looked upon as a ruled point, and needs not more words to prove it.

         2.  The next thing I have to premise is that God often confers remission, or justification, for the time being, in this life present, with certain and immediate effect, according to the degree or extent of it.  All remission is not final, nor suspended upon what may come after: but there is such a thing as present remission, distinct from the final one, and which may or may not continue to the end, but is valid for the time being, and is in its own nature (no cross circumstances intervening) irrevocable.  Let us come to particulars in proof of the position.  Jesus said unto the sick of the palsy, “Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.” [Mark 2:5, 9.  Luke 5:20.]  There was present remission of some kind or other, to some certain degree, antecedent to the day of judgment, and of force for the time being.  So again, our Lord’s words, “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted,” [John 20:23.] etc., do plainly suppose and imply a present remission to some degree or other, antecedently to the great day, and during this present life.  “All that believe” (viz. with a faith working by love) “are justified,” [Acts 13:39.] etc.  The text speaks plainly of a present justification, or remission: for both amount to the same, as I have hinted before.  St. Paul speaks of sincere converts, as “being justified freely by God’s grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ” [Rom. 3:24.]; and soon after mentions “remission of sins past,” [Rom. 3:25.] meaning remission then present; as indeed he could not mean anything else.  In another place, he speaks of justification as then actually received or obtained: “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ ... by whom we have now received the atonement.” [Rom. 5:1.]  Elsewhere he says, “Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” [1 Cor. 6:11.]  Again: “You being dead in your sins ... hath he quickened, ... having forgiven you all trespasses.” [Col. 2:13.]  I shall take notice but of one text more: “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you.” [1 John 2:12.]  So then, present remission, in some cases or circumstances, may be justly looked upon as a clear point.  Nevertheless, we are to understand it in a sense consistent with what St. Paul teaches elsewhere: “We are made partakers of Christ, (finally,) if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” [Heb. 3:14.]  There is a distinction to be made between present and final justification: not that one is conditional and the other absolute (for both are absolute in their kind, being founded in absolute grants), but in one case, the party may live long enough to need a new grant; in the other, he is set beyond all danger or doubtfulness.  Present justification amounts to a present right or claim to heaven upon Gospel terms, and presupposes the performance of everything stipulated so far, and is therefore absolute for the time being.*  As to future perseverance, because it is future, it comes not into present account, and so is out of the question, as to present justification,** or present stipulation.  Perseverance is conditionally stipulated, that is to say, upon the supposition or condition that we live longer: but the question concerning our present claim to heaven upon the Gospel terms turns only upon what is present, and what serves for the time being.  A present right is not therefore no right, or not certain for the present, because of its being liable to forfeiture, on such and such suppositions, afterwards.  This I observe here, to remove the prejudices which some may possibly conceive against the very notion of present remission (either in the Sacraments or out of them), only because it is not absolute in every view, and upon every supposition, but upon the present view only, or in the circumstances now present.  Indeed, remission of sins is a kind of continued act of God towards good men, often repeated in this life, and more and more confirmed the more they improve; ascertained to them, against all future chances, at their departure hence, but not finally, or in the most solemn form conferred, before the day of judgment.

         *[Hic dico, quod notandum est, quemvis justificatum praestitisse integram foederis Evangelici conditionern, pro statu in quo est.  Quisquis fide in Christum __’ ___Ļ__ ___________ praeditus est, is eo momento praestitit integram foederis Evangelici conditionem quae, in statu in quo est, ab ipso requiritur, etiamsi jugis et pia operatio adhuc desit: proinde ex foedere illo justificatur, atque ad omnia foederis ejusdem beneficia jus habet.”  Bull. Resp. ad Animad. iii. sect. vi. p. 539.]

         **[Haec conditio jugis operationis in evangelico foedere non absolute requiritur, sed ex hypothesi; nempe si Deus vitam largitus fuerit.”  Bull. ibid.]

         3.  I proceed to observe, that such present remission, as I have hitherto been speaking of, is ordinarily conferred in the Sacrament of Baptism, where there is no obstacle on the part of the recipient.  Even the Baptism of John, upon repentance, instrumentally conveyed remission of sins [Mark 1:4.]: much more does the Baptism of Christ.  “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” [John 3:5.]  This implies that water baptism, ordinarily, is requisite to remission, and consequently is an ordinary means of conveying it.  But there are other texts more express: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins ... the promise is ... to all that are afar off,” [Acts 2:38–39.] etc.  Ananias’s words to Saul are very remarkable; “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins” [Acts 22:16.]: words too clear and express to be eluded by any Socinian evasions.  And so are those other words; “Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” [Ephes. 5:25, 26.  Compare Pearson on the Creed, Article X.  p. 556.]  The same doctrine is again taught by St. Paul, where he speaks of the “putting off the body of sins, by the circumcision of Christ” [Col. 2:12–13.  See Dr. Wall, Hist. of Inf. Bapt.  part i. c. 2.  Defence, p:269, etc.]; by Christian circumcision, that is, by Baptism.  The same thing is implied in our being “saved by the laver of regeneration,” [1 Peter 3:21.] and “saved by Baptism,” [Titus 3:5.] and having “hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience”. [Heb. x. 22.]  It is in vain to plead against remission of sins in either of the Sacraments, on account of their being considered in the recipient as single acts: for since it is certain fact, that such remission is conferred in and by Baptism, there must be some fallacy in that kind of reasoning, whether we can espy it or not, and it can be of no weight against plain and certain fact.  But I have hinted in my introduction, and elsewhere, [See above, ch. VIII.] where the error and misconception of such reasoning lies: and I shall only add here, that if a king were to send out his general letters of pardon for all submissive offenders, who, after renewing their bonds of allegiance, would come and take out their pardon in certain form, it would be no objection to the validity of their pardon, as conveyed by such form, that the submitting to it was but part of the condition, and not the whole, so long as it presupposes everything besides.  I may note also, by the way, that no just objection can be made against the general notion of God’s conferring pardon by the ministry of men, since it is certain that he does it in the Sacrament of Baptism, which is administered by the hands of men commissioned thereunto.

         Having thus dispatched the three previous propositions, preparatory to what I intend, I now proceed directly to the subject of the present chapter, which is to shew, that God confers remission of sins in or by the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, as well as by the Sacrament of Baptism.  The analogy which there is between the two Sacraments, considered as Sacraments, is itself a strong presumption of it; unless there were some very good reason to be given why remission should be granted there, and not here.  The once granting of remission is no argument against repeating and renewing it, time after time, if there may be any new occasion for it, or if frequent renewals may add more abundant strength and firmness to what was before done, either for greater security or greater consolation.

         It may be said, perhaps, that Baptism was necessary to give any person a covenant right to pardon upon repentance, but that when a man is once entered into covenant, then repentance alone suffices, and there is no longer need of submitting to any other public, solemn form of remission, as an instrument of pardon.  I allow there is not precisely the same need; and yet I will not presume to maintain that there may not be great need, notwithstanding.  It is one thing to say, that remission is given in the Eucharist, as well as in Baptism; and another to say, that the Eucharist is as necessary to remission, as Baptism.  Baptism may be the first and grand absolution; and the Eucharist may be only second to it: the Eucharist may be an instrument of remission, but not the prime or chief instrument.  I am aware that it was St. Austin’s doctrine (and, I think, of the Schools after him) that baptismal remission looks not only backwards to sins past, but forwards also to future transgressions, and has its federal effect for remission of sins repented of, all our lives long.*  But yet that consideration never hindered him, nor others of the same sentiments with him, from believing, that remission of sins is granted in and by the Eucharist, [Vid. Augustin. de Peccat. Mer. et Rem. lib. i. cap. 24.] as well as by the other Sacrament.  Only, they might think that Baptism is eminently and emphatically the Sacrament of remission, and the other, of spiritual growth; one is more peculiarly the instrument of justification, while sanctification is the eminent privilege of the other.  Nevertheless, justification and sanctification, though distinct in notion, are yet so closely connected in the spiritual life, that they commonly go together, and so whatever tends to increase either, increases both.  And though it is certainly true, that the Gospel covenant promises remission upon repentance, yet receiving the Communion, as it is an article of Christian obedience, is included in the notion of repentance, making a part of it, as often as we may and ought to receive.  But besides that, as repentance alone, without a continual application of the great atonement, is of no avail upon the foot of the Christian covenant, nor can be accepted at the throne of grace; the least that we can say of the expediency of the Eucharist, in that respect, is, that it amounts to a public, solemn, certain application of Christ’s merits, for the rendering our repentance acceptable (which no other service except Baptism does), and therefore it is a service carrying in it the liveliest assurance, and the strongest consolation, with respect to that very remission promised upon our serious repentance.  Baptism once received may perhaps justly be supposed to carry in it the force of such continued application all our lives after: but yet it was not for nothing, that God appointed another Sacrament, supplemental to Baptism, for carrying on the same thing, or for the more effectual securing the same end.  It is further to be considered, that if the Eucharist includes in it (as shall be shewn in its place) a renewal of the baptismal covenant, it must of course be conceived to carry in it a renewal of baptismal remission also: and remission, on God’s part, is a kind of continued act, always growing, always improving, during the several stages and advances of the Christian life.**  Besides, if Divine wisdom, among other reasons, has superadded the solemnity of Baptism to repentance, in order to fix the repentance more strongly, and to render it accepted, as also to make the pardon therein granted the more affecting and memorable; it is obvious to perceive how the solemnity of the Eucharist is fitted to serve the like purposes; and is therefore the more likely to have been intended for another public and sensible application of the merits of Christ’s death, and a channel of remission,*** succedaneous to Baptism, in some views, and so far serving instead of a repetition of it.  But whether we are right or wrong in these and the like plausible reasonings upon the analogy of the two Sacraments, or upon their common, or distinct uses, yet if we can prove the fact, that the Eucharist really is an instrument of remission, or a Gospel form of absolution, we need not then concern ourselves much about the rationale of the thing: our positive proofs will be sufficient without it.  This then is what I shall now proceed to, following the light of Scripture and antiquity.

         *[“Sic, inquam, hoc accipiendum est, ut eodem lavacro regenerationis et verbo sanctificationis, omnia prorsus mala hominum regeneratorurn mundentur, atque sanentur: non solum peccata quae onmia nunc remittuntur in Baptismo, sed etiam quae posterius humana ignorantia vel infirmitate contrahuntur.  Non ut Baptisma quotiens peccatur totiens repetatur; sed quia ipso quod semel datur, fit, ut non solum antea, verum etiam postea quorumlibet peccatorum venia fidelibus impetretur.  Quid enim prodesset vel ante Baptismum poenitentia, nisi Baptismus sequeretur, vel postea, nisi praecesserit?”  Augustin. de Nupt. et Concupisc. lib. i. p. 298. tom. x. edit. Bened. Conf. Sam. Ward. Determ. Theolog. p. 57.  Vossius de Baptism. Disp. vi. p. 277.  Turretin. Institut. Theolog. tom. iii. p. 460, etc.  Hesychius, of the fifth century, expressed it thus: “Virtus praecedentis baptismatis operatur et in ea, quae postea acta fuerit, poenitentia.”  In Levit. lib. ii. p. 118.]

         **[“Justificatio et sanctificatio sunt actus quidem perpetuus, in quo et Deus semper donat, et homo semper recipit.  Tota itaque vita homo fidelis poscit remissionem peccatorum, et renovationem sui: tota item vita utrumque impetrat.  Habet ante, sed cousequitur tum conservationem tum incrementum ejus quod habet.  Omnibus credentibus opus, ut tum fides tum gratia fide percepta, foveatur, alatur, augeatur.  Omnibus igitur credentibus et verbi, et sacramentorum adminiculo opus est,” etc.  Vossius de Sacr.  Vi et Effic. p. 252.]

         ***[“By the same reason that it came to be thought needful to make use of sensible means to convey or assure to mankind God’s pardon and grace upon their first conversion to Christianity, by the same, or a greater reason, it must be judged to be so, to make use of the like sensible means to convey or assure the same grace and pardon, after men have in any measure forfeited the interest they had in the other.  By the same reason again, that it came to be thought needful to exact of us sensible declarations of our renouncing the errors of our unconverted state ... by the same, or a greater reason, must it be judged to be so, to exact of us the like sensible declarations, after we have, by our disobedience, departed from, and prevaricated our former ones.”  Towerson on the Sacrament, p. 158.  The author here resolves the reason of granting remission by the Eucharist, into the expediency of sensible means to testify repentance on man’s part, for sins committed after Baptism, and for the greater solemnity of granting pardon, on God’s part.  Which appears to be a very just account of it, in part, or it is at least a sufficient answer to objections drawn from the rationale of the thing.]

         1.  That remission of sins is ordinarily conferred in the Eucharist, follows undeniably from the doctrine of 1 Cor. 10:16, as explained in the preceding chapter of this work.  For if we are therein partakers of Christ’s death, with the fruits thereof; and if the atonement be one of those fruits, and indeed the first and principal; and if remission follows the atonement, wherever it is truly applied; it is manifest from these considerations taken together, that remission is conferred, or (which comes to the same) renewed and confirmed, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  This argument is built upon a very clear and allowed maxim, that the effect must answer to the cause, and the fruits to the stock from whence they grow. [See Dr. Paling’s Disc. on the Sacrament, p. 138, etc.]  Besides, to deny that the Eucharist carries remission with it seems to make it rather a memorial of the reconcilement, than an actual participation of it: which is what the Socinians do indeed teach, but have been confuted (if I may take leave to say so) in the foregoing chapters.

         2.  I go on to our Lord’s own words in the institution: “Drink ye all of this: for this is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins.”  Our Lord here mentions the remission of sins as the effect or fruit of the blood shed: that very blood shed is what we symbolically drink in the Eucharist, together with the fruits of it, as hath been abundantly proved above: therefore we drink remission in the Eucharist, which is one of those fruits.  To enforce the argument, observe but with what emphasis our Lord says, “Drink ye all of this: for this is,” etc.  Why such a stress laid upon drinking this blood shed for remission, if they were not to drink remission in the very act?  Commemorating will not answer the purpose: for drinking is the constant symbol of receiving something in, not of commemorating, which is paying out: and I have often observed before, that receiving in this instance must, in the very nature of the act, mean present receiving: therefore again, the receiving symbolically in the Eucharist that justifying blood of Christ, must of consequence amount to receiving present remission of sins.  Bishop Taylor works up the argument a little differently, thus: “The body receives the body of the mystery (we eat and drink the symbols with our mouths), but faith feeds upon the mystery itself, it entertains the grace ... which the Spirit of God conveys under that signature.  Now, since the mystery is perfectly and openly expressed to be the remission of sins, if the soul does the work of the soul, as the body the work of the body, the soul receives remission of sins, as the body does the symbols and the Sacrament.” [Taylor’s Worthy Communicant, p. 51.]

         The Socinians here object, that the text does not say that the Eucharist is ordained for remission, but that the blood, the blood spilled upon the cross, was shed for remission.  But it is obvious to reply, that that blood which was once literally given for remission, upon the cross, is now every day symbolically and mystically given in the Eucharist, and given with all its fruits: therefore remission of sins is given.  Such is the nature of symbolic grants, as I have before explained at large: they exhibit what they represent, convey what they signify, and are in divine construction and acceptance, though not literally or substantially, the very thing which they supply the place of.  Which is so true in this case, that the very attributes of the signs and things signified are reciprocally predicated of each other: the body is represented as broken, [1 Cor. 11:24.] though that attribute properly belongs to the bread; and the cup, by a double figure, is said to be shed for you, [Luke 22:20.] when, in strictness of speech, that attribute belongs only to the blood.  This is further confirmed from the analogy which there is between the representative blood in the Eucharist, and the typical blood of the ancient Passover.  For as the blood there was a token of remission, and made instrumental to remission, so is it also in the symbolic blood of the Eucharist; and thus everything answers. [See above, ch. II.]  The blood likewise of the ancient sacrifices, prefiguring the blood of Christ, was a token of a covenant, [Exod. 24:8.  See Nature and Obligation of the Christian Sacraments, vol. iv. p. 103.] and conveyed remission (legal directly, and evangelical indirectly), and therefore the symbolic blood of the Eucharist figuring the same blood of Christ, cannot but be understood to convey remission as effectually, yea and more effectually than the other, which the very phrases here made use of, parallel to the former, strongly argue.

         I shall only add further, that since there certainly is spiritual manducation in the Eucharist, as before shewn, and since remission of sins, by all accounts, and even by the Socinians, is allowed to be included in spiritual manducation; it will plainly follow, that remission of sins is conveyed in and by the Eucharist; which was to be proved.

         Having thus far argued the point from Scripture principles, I may now proceed to inquire what additional light may be borrowed from authorities, ancient or modern.  I shall draw together a summary account of what the primitive churches taught in this article, and shall afterwards consider, very briefly, the doctrine of our own Church on the same head.

         The learned author of the Antiquities of the Christian Church, having previously observed of Baptism, that it was esteemed the grand absolution of all, proceeds soon after to take notice of the absolution granted in the Eucharist, and gives this general account of it:

         “It had some relation to penitential discipline, but did not solely belong to it.  For it was given to all baptized persons who never fell under penitential discipline, as well as to those who lapsed and were restored to communion: and in both respects, it was called __ _______, the perfection, or consummation, of a Christian; there being no higher mystery that an ordinary Christian could partake of.  To those who never fell into such great sins as required a public penance, it was an absolution from lesser sins, which were called venial, and sins of daily incursion: and to penitents who had lapsed, it was an absolution from those greater sins for which they were fallen under censure.” [Bingham, book xix. c. 1.]  To this may be added, that the name of _______, “viaticum,” which means provision for one’s journey into the other world, and which was frequently given to the Eucharist in the fourth century, [Testimonies are collected by Casaubon, Exercit.  N. lii. p. 415.] and so on, is a general proof of the sense of the Church in those times with respect to remission in the holy Communion: for as that name imports more, so it certainly implies remission of sins, as part of the idea belonging to it.

         After this brief general account, let us come to particulars.  The elder Fathers of the two first centuries (so far as I have observed) make not express mention of remission of sins in the Eucharist, though they are explicit enough with respect to Baptism.  Their common way, with regard to the Eucharist, was to pass over remission, and to go higher up to sanctification of the Spirit, and spiritual or mystical union with Christ, and the consequent right to glory and immortality and eternal life.  Perhaps they might conceive it low and diminutive, in that case, to speak at all of remission, which was but the initiatory part, and belonged more peculiarly to the initiatory Sacrament, which in those times, and in the case of adults, immediately preceded the other.  However that were, we find proofs sufficient from the writers of the third century, [Suicer, in _______, p. 1290.  Bingham, book xv. cap. 4. sect. 9: book xviii. cap. 4. sect. 3.  Mabillon de Liturg. Gall. p. 85.] that the Eucharist was thought to be of a propitiatory nature, in virtue of the great sacrifice therein commemorated: and though the elder Fathers do not directly say so, they tacitly supposed or insinuated the same thing, by their standing discipline and by their so often calling the Eucharist a sacrifice well-pleasing to God: besides that the sanctification which they do speak of, as conferred in the Eucharist, implied remission of sins, either as then granted, or at least then confirmed and established.

         Origen is one that speaks plainly of the propitiatory nature of the Eucharist;* understanding it in a qualified sense, as being propitiatory only in virtue of the grand sacrifice, or as all acceptable services are, in some sense, appeasing and pacificatory.

         *[Si respicias ad commemorationem de qua dicit Dominus, Hoc facite in meam commemorationem, invenies, quod ista est commemoratio sola quae propitium facit hominibus Deum.”  Origen. in Levit. Hom. xiii. p. 255.]

         Cyprian, of the same time, takes notice of the sacramental cup as relieving the sad and sorrowful heart, before oppressed with the anguish of sins, and now overjoyed with a sense of the Divine indulgence.*  From which words it is manifest, that it was God’s pardon (not merely the Church’s reconciliation) which was supposed to be conveyed in and by the Eucharist; which is further evident from the noted story of Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria his sending the Eucharist to Serapion at the point of death, and the reflections which he made upon it, as being instrumental towards the wiping out his sins before his departure. [“Vid. Euseb. E. H. lib. vi. c. 44. p. 318.]  Such was the prevailing notion of that time in relation to remission of sins, as conferred in the Eucharist.  “Some ancient writers” (I use the words of Mr. Bingham) “acknowledge no other sorts of absolution but only two; the baptismal absolution which is antecedent to all penitential discipline, and this of reconciling public penitents to the communion of the altar: because this latter comprehends all other ways of absolution, in the several acts and ceremonies that were used in conferring it.” [Bingham, book xix. cap. i. sect. 6.]  Another very learned writer has made the like observation, in the words here following: “They that have with the greatest diligence searched into antiquity, can discover no other rite or solemnity used upon this occasion, but barely the admitting the penitents to communion: by this they were entirely acquitted and absolved from the censure under which their crimes had laid them: by this their sins were remitted to them, and so they became once more fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” [Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part ii. p. 210: compare p. 107, and part i. p. 284, etc.  Cp. Morin. de Poenitent. lib. iv. c. 21, 22.]

         *[Epotato sanguine Domini, moestum pectus ac triste, quod prius peccatis angentibus premebatur, Divinae indulgentiae laetitia resolvatur: quod tum demum potest laetificare in Ecclesia Domini bibentem,” etc.  Cypr. Ep. lxiii. p. 107, alias 153.]

         For the fourth century, Eusebius may be an evidence to prove the doctrine of remission in and by the Eucharist, where he says; “We moreover offer the show bread, while we revive the salutary memorial and the blood of sprinkling of the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, the purgative of our souls.”*  He seems here to understand the blood of Christ as making the purgation directly, and the salutary memorial as doing it indirectly, and in virtue of the other.  He speaks plainer elsewhere, directly saying, that Christians receive remission of sins in the daily memorial which they celebrate, viz. the memorial of our Lord’s body and blood.**

         *[_____ ___ ____ ______ ___ Ļ________ Ļ__________, ___ ________ ______ _____Ļ________, __ __ ___ _________ ____ ___ _____ ___ ____, ___ Ļ__________ ___ ________ ___ ______, _________ ___ ________ _____.  Euseb. in Psalm 91. p. 608.]

         **[___ ___ ______ ___ ________ ___________ Ļ_____ _____ __ __ _____ ___ ______ ___ Ļ_______ ___________ ________ ... _______ ___ ___ _______ _____ ___ ___ _______ ___ _Ļ_______ ________ _Ļ__________, _. _. _.  Euseb. Demonstr. Evang. lib. ii. c. 10. p. 37.]

         Cyril of the same century styles the Eucharist the sacrifice of propitiation* (in such a sense as I have before hinted with relation to Origen), and he supposes it to be offered in order to render God propitious, which amounts to the same as if he had said, for remission of sins.**

         *[___ ______ _______ ___ _______.  Cyrill. Mystag. v. sect. 8. p. 327.  Cp. Deylingius, Observat. Miscellan. p. 155, etc.]

         **[_______ _____________ Ļ__________, _Ļ__ ___ ________ ___________ Ļ__________ ____________ _Ļ__ _____ __ ___ ____ ___ ________Ļ__ ____.  Cyrill. Mystag. v. sect. to. p. 328.]

         Ephraem Syrus, of the same age, supposes that the Eucharist purifies the soul from its spots, that is, from its sins.*  And Ambrose** scruples not to ascribe to the bread consecrated remission of sins; which is to be understood with some allowance for a figurative way of speaking.  He speaks indeed of the living bread, that is, of Christ himself, but considered as symbolically received in the Eucharist; which is manifest from his referring to 1 Cor. 11:28, “Let a man examine himself.”

         *[Animae accedentes per illa tremenda mysteria macularum purificationem accipiunt.”  Ephr. Syr. de Sacerdotio, p. 3.]

         **[Ego sum panis vitae; etiamsi quis mortuus fuerit, tamen si panem meum acceperit, vivet in aeternum: ille enim accipit qui seipsum probat.  Qui autem accipit, non moritur peccatoris morte; quia panis hic remissio peccatorum est.”  Ambros de Benedict. Patriarch. c. ix. p. 525.]

         St. Austin appears to have been in the same sentiments exactly: where speaking of the grand sacrifice, by which alone true remission* comes, he immediately acids, that all Christians are invited to drink the blood of it, meaning in the Eucharist.

         *[Illis sacrificiis hoc unum sacrificium significabatur, in quo vera fit remissio peccatorum.  A cujus tamen sacrificii sanguine non solum nemo prohibetur, sed ad bibendum potius omnes exhortantur qui volunt habere vitam.”  Augustin. in Levit. tom. iii. pp. 516, 517.  Cp. Damascen. de Fid. lib. iv. c. 13. p. 271.]

         All the ancient Liturgies are full of the same notion of remission of sins conferred in this Sacrament.  And though they are mostly spurious, or interpolated, and answer not strictly to the names which they commonly bear, yet some of them have been in use for many centuries upwards in the Greek, Latin, and Oriental churches, and are a good proof of the universality of a doctrine for the time they obtained.  The Clementine, though it is not thought to have been ever in public use, is commonly believed to be the oldest of any now extant: and though, as an entire collection, it cannot perhaps be justly set higher than the fifth century, yet it certainly contains many things derived from earlier times, and among those, probably, the doctrine of eucharistic remission.  In that Liturgy prayer is made, that the Holy Spirit may so bless the elements, that the communicants may obtain remission of sins.*  And in the post-communion, prayer is again made that the receiving of the Eucharist may turn to salvation, not condemnation, to the benefit both of body and soul, to the preserving true piety, and to remission of sins.**

         *[___ __ ____________ _____ ... _______ ___________ ______ _. _. _.  Apostol. Const. lib. viii. c. 12. p. 407..]

         **[___ Ļ____________ __ ___ _____, ___’ ___ ________ ____ ________, ___ ________ _____ ___ _______, ___ _______ _________, ___ ______ ________ _. _. _.  Apost. Constit. lib. viii. c. 14. p. 410.]

         Conformable to this pattern are the later Liturgies: particularly that which is called Basil’s, according to the Alexandrian use, in Renaudot’s edition. [Basil. Liturg. Alex. pp. 61, 69, 71; apud Renaud. vol. i.]  And another, entitled Gregory’s Liturgy. [Gregorii Liturg. pp. 92, 95, 98, 106.]  The same thing is observable in the Liturgies which go under the names of apostles or evangelists, collected by Fabricius: as St. James’s, [Jacobi Liturg. pp. 38, 41, 68, 71, 72, 86, 101, 111, 113, 120.] St. Peter’s, [Petri Liturg. pp. 175, 195.] St. Matthew’s, [Matth. Liturg. pp. 216, 245, 248.] St. Mark’s, [Marci Liturg. pp. 261, 299, 315, 316.] and St. John’s. [Joannis Liturg. p. 203.]  The Liturgy under the name of Chrysostom, published by Goar, has the like forms. [Goar. Euchol. pp. 77, 80, 82.]  So also have the Oriental Liturgies in Renaudotius’s Collection, volume the second, and the Latin ones published by Mabillon; of which it would be tedious here to speak more particularly; as it is also needless to trouble the reader with more references in a very clear point.  Upon the whole, there appears to have been a general consent of the Christian churches all along as to the point of eucharistic remission of sins: which is proved, not only from the testimonies of single Fathers, but from the ancient standing discipline of the Church, and from the concurring language of all the ancient Liturgies now extant.

         As to the judgment of the first Reformers abroad, it is well known to fall in with the same: or if any doubt should be, let Luther answer for the Lutherans,* and for the Calvinists Calvin.**

         *[Pertinet huc pulcherrima gradatio Lutheri: ‘Calix Eucharisticus continet vinum: vinum exhibet Christi sanguinem: sanguis Christi complectitur novum testamentum, quia est novi testamenti sanguis: novum testamentum continet remissionem peccatorum.  Ergo, bibitio ex calice Eucharistico applicat, obsignat, et confirmat credentibus, promissionem de remissione peccatorum.’ ... Sacramentum illud ipsum quod signat, etiam confert, et exhibet.”  Gerhard. loc. Comm. de Sacr. Coena, c. xx. p. 178.]

         **[“Christi consilium fuit, corpus suum sub pane edendum porrigere in remissionem peccatorum.”  Calvin. Admonit. ult. ad Westphal. p. 950.  Cp. Instit. lib. iv. c. 17. sect. 42.  Lambertus Danaeus cautiously words the doctrine thus: “Coena Domini ... est applicatio semel a Christo factae peccatorum nostrorum remissionis.”  Epist. ad Eccles. Gallican. 1498]

         The judgment of our own Church will easily he proved to concur in the same article, from the known language of our Communion Office, and Homilies. In our public Service, we pray, that “our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood.”  The propositions couched under these words are several: 1. That our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost.  2. That sin defileth them.  3. That the sacrifice of Christ, removing guilt (other due circumstances supposed), makes them clean.  4. That there is an application of that sacrifice made in the Eucharist.  5. That therefore such application ought to be prayed for.  So much for the body.  The like, with a little change, may be understood also of the soul: and the conclusion from both parts is that guilt is washed away in the Sacrament, duly administered, and duly received, both from body and soul; which in other words amounteth to this, that remission of sins is conferred by the Eucharist, to all worthy receivers.

         In a thanksgiving prayer, of the same Service, we pray that “we and all thy whole Church may obtain remission of sins,” beseeching the Divine Majesty not to “weigh our merits,” but to “pardon our offences,” etc.; which words carry in them a manifest allusion to that remission of sins which is conceived ordinarily to pertain to this Sacrament, and is expected from it, as one of the benefits of it.  But considering that all depends upon our being meet partakers (whereof God only is the unerring Judge), and that it becomes every communicant to think humbly of himself, leaning to the modest side; it is very proper to refer the whole to God’s clemency, entreating him to accept of us as meet partakers, and thereupon to grant us the remission we came for.  For though it is an undoubted truth, that the Eucharist confers remission to the faithful communicant, yet it is right to leave the determination of our faithfulness to God the searcher of hearts, and in the meanwhile to beg forgiveness at his hands.  Add to this, that were we ever so certain that we are actually pardoned upon receiving the Eucharist, yet as remission is a continued act, and always progressive (which I before noted), it can never be improper to go on with our petitions for it, any more than to make use of the Lord’s Prayer every hour of our lives.  It was so used anciently, just after plenary remission:* and in like manner we now make use of it, immediately after our having received the Communion; without the least apprehension that such usage interferes at all with the principle which I have been maintaining, as indeed it does not.  Nothing is more frequent in the ancient Liturgies, than to ask forgiveness immediately after receiving, though the doctrine of present remission is fully expressed and inculcated in the same Liturgies.**

         *[Jerome’s remark upon this case, when Baptism and the Eucharist went together, and perfect remission was supposed to have been just granted, is worth noting: “De Baptismatis fonte surgentes, et regenerati in Dominum Salvatorem ... statim in prima communione corporis Christi dicunt: et dimitte nobis debita nostra, quae illis fuerant in Christi confessione dimissa. ... Quamvis sit hominum perfecta conversio, et post vitia atque peccata virtutum plena possessio; nuunquid possunt sic esse sine vitio, quomodo illi qui statim de Christi fonte procedunt?  Et tamen jubentur dicere, dimitte nobis debita nostra, etc.  Non humilitatis mendacio, ut tu interpretaris; sed pavore fragilitatis humanae, suam conscientiam formidantis.”  Hieronym. Dialog. adv. Pelag. lib. iii. p. 543.]

         **[See the Clementine Liturgy quoted above, and compare Fabricius’s Collection, pp. 120, 333.  Renaudot’s, vol. i. p. 51; vol. ii. pp. 42, 152, 174, 212, 233, 253, 269, 447, 634.  Mabillon’s in Mus. Ital. vol. i. p. 281.  Missal. Gall. p. 331.  Liturg. Gallic. p. 300.]

         Enough hath been said to shew that our Communion Office supposes remission of sins to be conferred in the Eucharist.  The same thing is directly and clearly asserted in our Homilies.  “As to the number of Sacraments, if they should be considered according to the exact signification of a Sacrament, namely, for visible signs expressly commanded in the New Testament, whereunto is annexed the promise of free forgiveness of sins, and of our holiness, and joining in Christ, there be but two, namely, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.” [Homily ix. of Common Prayer and Sacraments, p. 299.  Compare Cranmer, p. 46.]  Here it is not only supposed that remission is conferred in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, but that it could not in strictness be reputed a Sacrament, if it were not so: so great a stress is there laid on this principle.  Accordingly, afterwards in the same Homily, absolution is rejected as no Sacrament, having no such promise of remission annexed and tied to the visible sign: and Orders also is rejected, because it “lacks the promise of remission of sin.”  In another Homily, where the Lord’s Supper is particularly treated of, it is observed that therein the favourable mercies of God are sealed, the satisfaction by Christ towards us confirmed, and the remission of sins established.*

         *[Homily on the worthy receiving, etc. part i. p. 378.  The Reformatio Legum, of the same time, says thus: “Eucharistia Sacramentum est, in quo cibum ex pane sumunt, et potum ex, vino, qui convivae sedent in sacra Domini mensa: cujus pauis inter illos et vini communicatione, obsignatur gratia, Spiritus Sancti, veniaque peccatorum, ad quam ex eo perveniunt, quod fide comprehendunt et percipient Christi sacrosanctum corpus, respectu nostrae salutis ad crucem fixum, et cruorem pro tollendis fusum nostris peccatis, ut Dei promissa palam ipsa loquuntur.”  De Sacrament. tit. v. c. 4. p. 29.]

         After these public authentic evidences of the doctrine of our Church in this particular, it will be needless to add the concurring sentiments of our eminent Divines, all along from that time.  But because the point has been sometimes contested, both abroad and at home, and difficulties have been raised, it will be but fair and just to the reader, to set before him the utmost that has been pleaded on the contrary side, and to suggest, as briefly as may be, the proper solutions of the appearing difficulties.

 

Objections removed.

         1.  It has been objected, that “the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is not itself like Baptism, a rite appointed for the remission of sins; but it is a commemoration only of the all-sufficient sacrifice, which was once offered for an eternal expiation.” [Dr. Clarke’s Posth. Sermons, vol. iv. serm. vi. p. 133.]  To which I answer, 1. That supposing this Sacrament were not appointed at all for remission, it does not follow that it must be appointed only for commemoration; because it might be (as it certainly is) appointed in part for sanctification also.  2. Supposing further, that it is not completely equal to Baptism in point of remission, yet it does not follow that it may not confer remission in some measure, or to an inferior degree.  3. It is untruly suggested, that the Eucharist is only a commemoration of the all-sufficient sacrifice, since it most certainly is, as hath been proved, an application of that sacrifice to every worthy receiver: and since remission of sins is one of the fruits of that sacrifice, it must, it cannot but be allowed, that the Eucharist carries remission in it, more or less, and to some degree or other.

         2.  A second objection runs thus: “To imagine that the Lord’s Supper, which is to be repeated perpetually, has such a promise annexed to it of taking away all past sins, as Baptism had, which was to be administered but once, is a dangerous and fatal error, because such an opinion would be plainly an encouragement for men to continue in sin, that the grace of forgiveness might be perpetually repeated and abound.” [Dr. Clarke, ibid. p. 134.]  In answer hereto, let but the reader put repentance instead of Lord’s Supper, and then traverse the objection over again in his mind, if it be only to see whether the very same objection does not plead as strongly against repeated forgiveness upon repeated repentance, as against the same forgiveness upon repeated communion: for we never suppose any new forgiveness granted in the communion, but upon new repentance.  What then have we to trust to, if the plain and comfortable Gospel doctrine of forgiveness (toties quoties) upon true repentance, shall be represented as a dangerous and fatal error, and an encouragement to continue in sins, that grace may abound?  It may be true, that such merciful doctrine of forgiveness may early some appearance of encouragement to sin: so do some other Gospel doctrines; or else St. Paul would have had no need to caution us against “continuing in sin, that grace may abound” [Rom. 6:1–2.]: but nevertheless, it would not only be great presumption, but a fatal error, to draw any such inference from the doctrine of repeated forgiveness upon repeated repentance.  For what would have been the consequence, supposing that the rule had run, that if a man sins once, or twice, or a hundred, or a thousand times, and repent as often, he shall be forgiven?  Would not many have been tempted to sin on, till they come very near to the utmost verge of forgiveness, before they would think of repenting to purpose?  And what scruples might they not raise about the number of sins, or of repentance?  And if any man should once go beyond the limits now supposed to be assigned, what would then remain but black despair, and a hardened resolution to continue in sin?  Therefore Divine wisdom has mercifully fixed this matter upon a much better foot, namely, upon one plain rule, that as often as men sin, and truly repent (without limitation or number), so often they shall be forgiven.  When evil habits have much and long prevailed, repentance. however sincere, will hardly be completed at once: but the ordinary method is, to repent again and again, after every relapse, till by degrees a man gains the entire mastery over his appetites and passions.  In this way, his relapses will grow less frequent, and evil habits less prevalent, and every new repentance will be stronger and stronger, till at length by God’s grace, and his own hearty endeavours, he gets the victory, and becomes confirmed in all virtue and godliness.  By this we may perceive the use and benefit of frequent forgiveness upon frequent repentances, ill a degree suitable and proportionate; that sinners may never want encouragement to go on repenting more and more, after their relapses, and as often sealing their sincere repentances in the blessed Sacrament, to make them the more solemn and the more enduring.  But, in the meanwhile, let sinners beware how they tempt the Divine goodness too far, by relapsing: for even repentance, as depending on Divine grace, is so far in God’s hands, as well as pardon: and they who presume to sin often, because they may be often forgiven, are in a likely way to come to an end of forgiveness, before they make an end of sinning, and to be taken, at length, in their own snare.*

         *[Absit ut aliquis ita interpretetur, quasi eo sibi etiam nunc pateat ad delinquendum, quia patet ad poenitendum; et redundantia clementiae caelestis libidinem faciat humanae temeritatis: nemo idcirco deterior sit quia Deus melior est, totiens delinquendoquotiens ignoscitur.  Caeterum, finem evadendi habebit, cum offendendi non habebit.”  Tertullian. de Poenit. c. vii. p. 126.]

         Notwithstanding what I have here said, with respect to eucharistic absolution, I would not be construed to mean, that there is no difference at all, in point of remission, between Baptism and the Eucharist: for I am aware that there is some difference, and perhaps considerable.  I shall here draw from the ancients, and shall endeavour to point out the difference as clearly and exactly as I can.  It was understood to lie in three things chiefly; the extent of the remission, and the certainty, and the perfection of it.

         Baptism was conceived to amount to a plenary and certain indulgence for all kinds of sins, were they ever so great; (as for instance, the crucifying of our Lord [Cyrill. Hierosol. Catech. iii. s. 15. p. 47.  Cp. Morinus de Poenitent. lib. iii. c. 2, 3.];) and of any number, were they ever so many, or ever so often repeated, provided only they were sincerely repented of, and forsaken at the font: they were from that instant remembered no more, [Vid. Theodoret. in Jerem. 31:34. p. 230.] either in God’s account or the Church’s.  But as to sins committed after Baptism, if of a grievous kind (as idolatry, murder, adultery,) or less grievous, but often repeated, or much aggravated by the circumstances, they were judged too heinous to be pardoned in the Eucharist, and the men too vile to be admitted to communion ever after. [See Bingham, book xviii. cap. 4. sect. 4.]  Not that the church presumed to limit the mercies of God, who searches the hearts, and who could judge of the sincerity of the repentance of such persons: but Church governors of that time would not take upon them to promise such persons peace, upon any professions of repentance whatever, but left them to God only.  In short, though they would have given Baptism to any the wickedest Pagans whatever, upon proper professions of repentance, yet they would not give the Eucharist to such as had sinned in like manner after Baptism: which spews that they made some difference between baptismal remission and the eucharistic one, in respect of certainty and extent.  When the severity of discipline afterwards relaxed a little, and communion was allowed to all penitents at the hour of death, if not sooner, yet they did not then pretend to be certain that God would absolve the persons, like as they judged with respect to baptismal absolution. [See Bingham, book xviii. cap. 4. sect. 6.  Compare Marshall, Penit. Discipi. p. 111.]  Nevertheless, if we distinguish justly upon the two cases, it does not from hence follow, that they thought of any proper disparity between the two absolutions in themselves considered; but strictly speaking, the disparity was supposed to lie in the different malignity of sins committed before Baptism and after.  The remedies might be conceived of equal force, other circumstances being equal; but the malady was not the same in both cases.

         Another difference between baptismal and eucharistic remission was understood to lie here, that the one perfectly wiped out all past sins; the other, though it healed them, yet left some kind of blots or scars behind it [Vid. Cyrill. Hieros. Catech. xviii. sect. 20. p. 295. ed. Bened.  Athanas. ad Serap. Ep. iv. n. 13. p. 705.  Gregor. Nazianz. Orat. xl. p. 641.]: on account whereof, many who were admitted to lay communion were yet considered as blemished in some measure, and not fit to be admitted afterwards to the sacred offices. [Orig. contr. Cels. lib. iii. sect. 51. p. 482. ed. Bened.]  No crimes whatever committed before Baptism, and left at the font, were thought any bar or blot for the time to come; Baptism washed all away: but the case was different with respect to sins of a scandalous nature committed after Baptism; for neither repentance nor the Eucharist was conceived to wash off all stain.  Hence some made a distinction, upon Psalm 32:1, between perfect remission of sin in Baptism, and the covering it by penance and absolution [Orig. in Psalm. 31. p. 645.  Eusebius in Psalm 31. p. 120; in Psalm 84. p. 525.]; that is, by the Eucharist.  And others seem to have thought that sins committed before Baptism were perfectly blotted out, as it were, from the book of God’s remembrance, as if they had never been, but that sins of any grievous kind committed afterwards, though pardoned upon repentance, should yet be recited, or purged, at the great day [Vid. Clemens Alex. Strom. iv. num. 24. pp. 633, 634; Strom. vi. p. 795.  Cyrill. Hierosol. Catech. xv. n. 23. pp. 236, 237.]: a conjectural presumption, which I will not be bold to warrant.

         However, in the whole, it may be admitted, upon the principles of reason, Scripture, and antiquity, that the remission in the Eucharist is not in every respect equal, or similar to the remission in Baptism, because of the different circumstances: nevertheless it is certain, in the general, that there is ordinarily remission in both, as there is ordinarily an application of the merits of Christ’s all-sufficient sacrifice in both.

         I must now further add that the objection made against repeated forgiveness, upon repeated repentance in the Eucharist, would have been of much greater force than it really now is, were it not that this holy Sacrament appears to have been appointed as the strongest security against those very abuses which men are prone to make of the Divine mercy.  The two principal abuses are, first, the putting off repentance from day to day, fixing no time for it, as it is thought to be left at large, and to be acceptable at any time; next, the resting content with a lame, partial, or insincere repentance: against both which the appointment of this holy Sacrament is a kind of standing provision, the best, it may be, that the nature of the case would admit of.  To those who are apt to procrastinate, or loiter, it is an awakening call, obliging them the more strongly to fix upon some certain and determinate time for repentance: and to the superficial penitents, it is a kind of solemn lecture of sincerity and carefulness, under pain of being found guilty of trampling under foot the body and blood of Christ.  And while it promises forgiveness to all that worthily receive, and to none else, it becomes a strong incitement to break off sins without delay, and to be particularly watchful and careful for the time to come.  So far is the doctrine of remission in the Eucharist (when justly stated) from being any encouragement to sin, that it is quite the reverse, being indeed one of the strongest encouragements to a good life.  But I proceed.

         3.  Socinus and his followers appear much offended at the doctrine of remission in the Eucharist (for fear, I presume, of admitting any merits of Christ’s death), and they labour all possible ways to run it down; sometimes misrepresenting it, sometimes ridiculing it, and sometimes putting on an air of grave reasoning.  Socinus himself was content to throw a blunt censure upon it, as bordering upon idolatry.* An injurious reflection, for which there was no colour; unless he first willfully perverted the meaning, and falsely charged the Protestants with the opus operatum.

         *[Plerique ipsorum in hisce quidem regionibus credunt se, illa, digne obeunda, suorum peccatorum veniam et remissionem consequi: haud valde diversum ab eo quod Papistae sentiunt, qui eam propterea in sacrificium pro vivis et mortuis transformarunt, et idolum quoddam ex ea fecerunt.”  Socin. Quod. Regn. Polon. p. 701.]

         Smalcius plainly put that false construction upon it, and then took the handle to ridicule it, as if any remission could be extracted from the use of such common things as the bare symbols are. [Quis enim de sua came, cum omnibus concupiscentiis, crucifigenda cogitet, si usus panis et vini, qui quotidie obvius est, possit remissionem peccatorum, etc. consequi?”  Smalc. contr. Frantz. p. 333.]  So ridiculous a mistake of the doctrine which he opposed, either shewed no quickness of apprehension, or no sincerity.  Schlictingius followed the same blunder, and still with greater levity [O facilem vero et expeditam adipiscendae salutis rationem, si tot tantaque bona, mica panis, et gutta vini possis consequi.”  Schlicting. contr. Meisner. p. 799.]: a certain argument, that he had no solid reasons to produce on that head.  The Racovian Catechism of the first Latin edition (A.D. 1609) pleaded, that a man ought to be sure of his pardon [Qui vult digne coenae participare, eum de remissione peccatorum, ex parte Dei, certum ac fide confirmatum esse oportet.”  Racov. Catech. c. iii.] in heaven, before he takes the Sacrament, and therefore could have no more pardon to receive here: that must be their meaning, if they intended it for an argument.  However, the argument at best is a very lame one.  For whatever certainty of that nature any man may pretend to, it is capable of being renewed and reinforced by repeated assurances: and as we are taught continually to pray for forgiveness, so may we receive it continually, both in the Word and Sacraments; but more particularly in the Sacraments.  In the next edition of that Catechism (A.D. 1659), that trifling plea was struck out, and another was substituted in its room; which is to this effect, that remission cannot be conferred in the Eucharist, because commemoration only, and not remission, was the end of that rite by our Lord’s account of it.*  But here the suggestion is not true; for our Lord himself has sufficiently intimated (as I have before proved) that remission of sins is one end of that service, in the very words of the institution [Matt. 26:28.]: and if he had not so plainly said it, the very nature of the act proclaims it, taking in what St. Paul has taught.  There are more ends than one to be served by the same Sacrament, whether it be of Baptism or of the Eucharist: and all are consistent, because allied and subordinate.  Not to mention that commemoration itself, rightly considered, strongly infers and implies present benefits; as I have observed above. [See above.]  Moreover, the Socinians themselves are forced to allow other ends of the Sacrament, over and above the commemoration of Christ’s death: namely, a declaration of their communion with Christ their head, and with their Christian brethren; besides a further declaration of their spiritual feeding upon Christ, then and at all times, and of their looking upon his death as the seal of the covenant, and upon his doctrine as the food of the soul.  Now if they think themselves at liberty to invent as many ends as they please, such as may suit with their other principles, why are we debarred from admitting such other ends of the Sacrament as Scripture plainly points out to us, and the reason also of the thing manifestly requires?  From hence then it appears that the Socinian pleas in this ease carry more of artificial management in them than of truth or sobriety.

         *[Cum is finis ritus istius usurpandi sit, ut beneficium a Christo nobis praestitum commemoremus, seu annuntiemus, net ullus alius praeter hunc sit a Christo indicatus finis; apparet, non eo institutum esse ut aliquid illic beneficii, aliter quam quatenus digne observatus pietatis Christianae pars est, a Christo sumamus.”  Racov. Catech. c. iv. sect. 6. p. 230.]

         However, it is visible from the last citation, that one principal drift is, to exclude God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and all Divine influences, out of the Sacrament, and to make nothing more of it than a performance of man: and in this view they are content to account it a part of Christian piety.  Ruarus, one of the shrewdest and most learned of them, disliked their granting so much, and charged them, in a note of correction, [Si pars est Christianae pietatis, utique ad justificationem, atque ita ad remissionem peccatorum nobis prodest: quod tamen in initio quaestionis hujus, simpliciter negatum fuit.”  Ruari Notae, p. 27.] with an inconsistency in saying it: because every pious observance contributes, in some measure, towards remission of sins, and they had before absolutely denied any benefit at all that way.  Schlictingius left this note of Ruarus without any reply; though he replied to several others which went along with it: which shews, either that he found it impossible to evade the doctrine of remission in this Sacrament, unless it were at the expense of self-contradiction; or else, that he was willing, at length, to admit of it, provided only they may claim remission as their due reward for the service, and not as indulged them for the merits of Christ’s death and sacrifice therein commemorated.  It must be owned, that Ruarus’s hint on that head was acute, and came home to the purpose: for, as those men supposed all other requisites for remission to be implied in worthy receiving, and now added this part of Christian piety to the rest, it must of consequence follow, that remission of sins is granted upon it, by their own principles.  So then, in the last result, they and we may seem to be nearly agreed as to the point of remission in or upon this service; and the only remaining difference will be about the meritorious cause of it: and that will resolve into another question, discussed, in some measure, above; namely, the question concerning the value, virtue, and efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ.

         4.  There is an insidious way made use of by some of our Socinians, for the undermining the doctrine of remission in the Eucharist: they depreciate the service, and the preparation proper to it, making both so slight, that no man could justly expect so Divine a grant from so contemptible a performance: “I know not,” says one, “to what purpose so many superstitious books are written to teach men to prepare themselves for the memorial supper, when an honest intention and a reverent performance are sufficient both preparations and qualifications for and in all Gospel ordinances.” [The Argument of the Unitarians with the Catholic Church, part i. p. 12; printed A.D. 1697.]  Here is no mention of faith, nor of repentance from dead works; without which, undoubtedly, there can be no remission of sins, whether in the Sacrament or out of it.  The proper answer to this pretense will fall under the head of worthy receiving, in a distinct chapter below.  In the meanwhile, let it be considered, whether they who require sincere repentance as a necessary qualification for the holy Communion, or they who labour to defeat that most excellent, end and use of it, do most consult the true interest of religion and virtue; which the Socinians would be thought much to befriend in what they teach on this head.

         I intended here to have closed this chapter, till it came into my mind that we have had some kind of dispute with the Romanists also (as well as Socinians) upon the point of remission in the Eucharist.  For the Romanists, as it seems, being apprehensive, that if the people be taught to expect pardon from God in receiving the Communion, they will think they need no other, and that thereupon masses, and indulgences, and other absolutions will sink in their value; I say, the Romanists considering this, have contrived, that venial sins only shall be pardoned upon reception of the Eucharist, but that mortal sins shall be remitted another way.  Chemnitius, in his Examen, has taken notice of this matter, and charged it upon them with very little ceremony.*  Bellarmine, in reply, could not deny the main charge, as to their confining the eucharistic remission to venial sins only, or to mortal ones unknown; but passing over the secret reasons or motives for the doctrine, he employs all his wit and learning to give the fairest colours to it. [Bellarmine. tom. iii. lib. iv. de Eucharist. c. 17, 18, 19.] Gerhard came after, and defended Chemnitius in that article, confuting Bellarmine. [Gerhard. Loc. Comm. tom. v. de Sacr. Coen. c. xx. p. 175, etc.  Compare Vines, Treatise of the Lord’s Supper, p. 328; printed A.D. 1657.]  I perceive not that the learned cardinal, with all his acuteness, was able to prove anything with respect to the main question, more than this (which has been allowed above), that Baptism is emphatically, or eminently, the Sacrament of remission, and the Eucharist of spiritual growth: and while he is forced to acknowledge that venial sins are remitted in the Eucharist, and unknown mortal ones, as often as necessary,** it is obvious to perceive, that it was not any love of truth, or strength of argument on that side, which withheld him from granting more.  His strongest plea, which all the rest do in a manner resolve into, is no more than this; that as the worthy communicant is supposed to bring with him true faith and sincere repentance to the Lord’s table, he comes pardoned thither, and can have no pardon to take out there upon his receiving the Eucharist.. I mention not how the argument recoils upon his own hypothesis.  The true answer is, that the grace of remission, or justification, is progressive, and may be always improving, as before noted:*** and whatever pardon we may conceive ourselves to be entitled to before, or to be then in possession of yet it is no slight advantage to have the same solemnly renewed, established, ratified, and sealed in the holy Communion, by a formal application there made of the merits of the grand atonement, in which only, after our performing the conditions, our remission stands.

         *[Remissionem peccatorum graviorum et mortalium, quae post Baptismum commissa sunt, docent quaerendam et impetrandam esse nostra contritione, coufessione, satisfactione, sacrificio missae, et aliis modis.  Vident autem totam illam veniarum structuram collapsuram, si remissio illa et reconciliatio in corpore et sanguine Christi.  Ne tamen nihil tribuant Eucharistiae, loquuntur de venialibus, hoc est, sicut Jesuitae interpretantur, de levioribus et minutioribus peccatis.  Ut igitur satisfactionis suas et reliquas veniarum nundinationes retineant acerbe dimicant, in vero usu Eucharistiae non fieri applicationem remissionis peccatorum.”  Chemnit. Exam. Concil. Trident. part ii. p. 70.]

         **[Posset etiam dici Eucharistiam applicare haereditatem, etiam quantum ad remissionem peccatorum, sed tum solum cum ea est necessaria; nimirum cum ii qui non indigne accedunt, habent aliqua, peccata mortalia, quorum tamen conscientiam non habent.”  Bellarm. ibid. c. xix. p. 655.]

         ***[See above.  Bishop Taylor’s doctrine on this head, as it lies scattered in distant pages, may be worth noting.  “Justification and sanctification are continued acts: they are like the issues of a fountain into its receptacles.  God is always giving, and we are always receiving.”  Worthy Comm. p. 43.  “The Sacrament ministers pardon, as pardon is ministered in this world, by parts. ... In the usual methods of God, pardon is proportionable to our repentance.” p. 52.  “If we find that we increase in duty, then we may look upon the tradition of the sacramental symbols, as a direct consignation of pardon.  Not that it is completed: for it is a work of time; it is as long a doing, as repentance is perfecting. ... It is then working: and if we go on in duty, God will proceed to finish his methods of grace, etc. ... And this he is pleased, by the Sacrament, all the way to consign.” p. 74.]

 

Chapter  X

Of the Sanctifying Grace of the Holy Spirit conferred in the Eucharist.

         The Greek _____, the Latin gratia, the English grace, is a word of some latitude, admitting of various acceptations: I need not mention all, but such only as are most for our present purpose.  Grace, in the general, signifies favour, mercy, indulgence, bounty: in particular, it signifies a gift, and more especially a spiritual gift, and in a sense yet more restrained, the gift of sanctification, or of such spiritual aids as may enable a man both to will and to do according to what God has commanded.  The last which I have named appears to be the most prevailing acceptation of the word grace at this day, derived from ancient usage, and common consent, which gives the law to forms of speech, and to the interpretation thereof.  The use of the word in the New Testament is various, sometimes larger, sometimes stricter, often doubtful which.  I will not be positive, as to several texts where the word grace occurs, and seemingly in the strict sense, that they must necessarily be taken according to such precise meaning, and can bear no larger, or no other construction: as where the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is spoken of [Rom. 16:20, 24.  1 Cor. 16:23.  2 Cor. 13:14.  Gal. 6:18.  Phil. 4:23.  1 Thess. 5:28.  2 Thess. 3:18.  Philem. 25.  Revel. 22:21.]; or where grace, mercy, and peace are implored [1 Tim. 1:2.  2 Tim. 1:2.  Titus 1:4.  2 John 3.]; or grace and peace [1 Peter 1:2.  2 Peter 1:2.  Revel. 1:4.]; or where the grace of God is mentioned. [Acts 13:43, 14:26, 15:40, 20:24.  1 Cor. 1:4, 3:10, 15:10.  2 Cor. 1:12, 6:1.  Ephes. 3:7.  Titus 2:11.  1 Peter 4:10.]  In several texts of that sort, the word grace may be understood in the stricter sense, but may also admit of the larger: in which, however, the grace of sanctification must be included among others.  The texts which seem to be most expressive of the limited sense, now in use, are such as these: “Great grace was upon them all.” [Acts 4:33; compare verse 31.]  “The grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia.” [2 Cor. 8:1.]  “My grace is sufficient for thee.” [2 Cor. 12:9.]  “Grow in grace.” [2 Peter 3:18.]  “Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably.” [Heb. 12:28.]  “God giveth grace unto the humble.” [James 4:6.  1 Peter 5:5.]  In these and the like places, the word grace, most probably, signifies what we now commonly mean by that name: or if any larger meaning be supposed, yet it is certainly inclusive of the other, signifying that and more.  It is not very material whether we understand the word grace, in the New Testament, in the comprehensive or restrained sense, since it would be disputing only about words or names.  The sanctifying operations of the Holy Spirit of God upon the minds of men may be abundantly proved from the New Testament: and so it is of less moment to inquire what names they go under, while we are certain of the things.  The phrase “of grace,” or “sanctifying grace,” is sufficiently warranted by its ancient standing in the Church,* so that I need not dwell longer upon it, but may proceed directly to shew that what we commonly call the grace of sanctification is conferred in the Eucharist.

         *[See some account of the ecclesiastical use of the word grace, in Nelson’s Life of Bishop Bull, p. 519, etc.  Vossius, Histor. Pelag. lib. iii. par. i. Thes. ii. Joh. Just.  Von Einem. Select. Animadv. ad Joh. Clerici Scripta, p. 761, etc.  Magdeb. 1735.]

         1.  I argue, first, from the participation of Christ’s death, with its fruits, in the Eucharist, according to the doctrine of St. Paul, 1 Cor. 10:16, insinuated also in the words of the institution, as explained at large in a chapter above.  They who so partake of Christ, do of course partake of the Spirit of Christ: it cannot be otherwise upon Christian principles taught in the New Testament.  If any man is Christ’s, he has the Spirit of God dwelling in him. [Rom. 8:9.  1 Cor. 6:17.]  And this Spirit is the source and fountain of righteousness and true holiness. [Rom. 8:10, 14.  1 Cor. 6:11.  2 Thess. 2:13.]  And no one can be made an acceptable offering unto God, but he who is first sanctified by the Holy Spirit. [Rom. 15:16.]

         2.  The same thing will be proved, by undeniable consequence, from our Lord’s doctrine of the import of spiritual feeding laid down in John 6.  For since it has been before shewn, that they who do receive worthily do spiritually feed upon Christ, and are thereby made partakers of all the privileges thereto belonging, it plainly follows that they must have Christ dwelling in them [John 6:56.]; and if Christ, they have the Spirit also of Christ, who is inseparable from him.  Therefore the sanctification of the Spirit is conveyed in the Eucharist, along with the other spiritual blessings, which suppose and imply it, and cannot be understood without it, upon Scripture principles.

         3.  A further argument may be drawn from the known analogy there is between the two Sacraments, taken together with those several texts which speak directly of the sanctification of the Spirit conferred in Baptism [John 3:5.  1 Cor. 6:11.  Ephes. 5:26.  Titus 3:5.]; or an argument may be drawn a fortiori, in this manner: if the putting on Christ (which is done in Baptism) carries with it a conveyance of the Holy Spirit; much more does the eating or drinking Christ, which is done in the Eucharist.

         4.  But to argue yet more directly (though indirect arguments, where the connection is clear and certain, as in this case, are not the less conclusive), we may next draw a proof of the same doctrine from the express words of St. Paul, where he says, “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body – and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” [1 Cor. 12:13.]  That is to say, by one and the same Spirit before spoken of, [1 Cor. 12:3–4, 7–9, 11.] we Christians (as many of us as are so more than in name) are in Baptism made one mystical body of Christ, and have been all made to drink of the sacramental cup in the Eucharist; whereby the same Spirit hath again united us, yet more perfectly, to Christ our head, in the same mystical body.  Such appears to be the natural and obvious sense of the place: which accordingly has been so understood by judicious interpreters, ancient [Chrysostom. in loc. tom. v. p. 324. ed. Paris.  Damascen. in loc.] and modern. [Calvin, Beza, Peter Martyr, Gerhard, Grotius, Gataker, Hammond, Locke, Wells.  Vitringa, Observ. Sacr. lib. v. cap. 7. pp. 109, 114.]  I shall not dissemble it, that several ancient interpreters, as well as some moderns, have understood the whole text of Baptism only; interpreting the former part of the outward washing, and the latter part of the Spirit accompanying it. [Pelagius, under the name of Jerome; and Hilary the deacon, under the name of Ambrose: as likewise Theophylact in loc., and perhaps more.]  But, it seems, they did not well consider, that the concurrence of the Spirit in Baptism had been sufficiently insinuated before in the former part of the verse; “By one Spirit are we all baptized,” etc.  And therefore to interpret Spirit again of the same Sacrament, appears to border too nearly upon tautology: neither did they sufficiently reflect, how harsh a figure that of drinking is, if applied to Baptism; when putting on the Spirit (as is elsewhere said of Christ, with respect to that Sacrament [Gal. 3:27.]) might have been much more proper.  They may seem also to have forgot., or not to have considered, how suitable and pertinent it was to the Apostle’s argument, to refer to both Sacraments in that place, as I shall now make appear.

         It might be highly proper, and much to the purpose, when the Apostle was mentioning Baptism, as one bond of mystical union, to take notice also of the Eucharist, as another; which it certainly was, according to his own doctrine in the same Epistle. [1 Cor. 10:16–17.]  Indeed, it might be thought a kind of omission, and in some measure diminishing the force of his argument in this place, had he referred but to one Sacrament, when there was just occasion, or the like occasion, for referring to both.  His design was to set forth the inviolable union of Christians, and to represent the several ties by which they were bound together.  He knew that the Eucharist was a strong cement of that mystical union, as well as the other Sacrament; for he had himself declared as much, by saying elsewhere, “We being many are one body, being all partakers of that one bread.”  It was therefore very natural here again to take notice of the Eucharist, when he was enumerating the bonds of union, and amongst them particularly the Sacrament of Baptism, which would obviously lead to the mentioning this other Sacrament.  Accordingly, he has briefly and elegantly made mention of this other, in the words “made to drink into one Spirit”.  Where made to drink, but in the Eucharist?  He had formerly signified the mystical union under the emblem of one loaf: and now he chooses to signify the same again under the emblem of one cup (an emblem, wherein Ignatius, within fifty years after, seems to have followed him, [__ Ļ_______ ___ ______ ___ _______ _____.  Ignat. ad Philadelph. cap. 4.]) both belonging to one and the same Eucharist, both referring to one and the same mystical head.  Dr. Claget well argues against the Romanists from this text, as follows: “St. Paul thought the observation of the two institutions of our Saviour (viz. Baptism and the Communion of the holy table) was a sufficient proof that believers were one body: and we have reason to believe, that if he had known there were other Sacraments – he would not have omitted the mention of them here, where he proves the unity of the Church by Baptism and communion of the body and blood of Christ.  It is something to our purpose, that St. Paul owns no more than these, where he industriously proves that Christians are one body by these.” [Claget, vol. i. Serm. x. p. 263.]  If this reasoning be just, as it appears to be, and if St. Paul knew (as he certainly did know) that the Eucharist has some share in making Christians one body, as well as the other Sacrament, it manifestly follows that he could not well omit the mention of it in this place.  I should take notice that our very judicious Archbishop Sharpe has pressed the same argument, in a fuller and still stronger manner, from the same text [Sharpe, vol. vii. Serm. v. vi. p. 106. etc. Serm. x. p. 230.]; and that the Protestants in general have made the like use of the text in their disputes with the Romanists, against multiplying Sacraments, or against mutilating the Sacrament of the Eucharist by taking away the cup from it.*  So that besides commentators, in great numbers, thus interpreting this text, there is the concurring judgment of many or most Protestant Divines confirming the same construction.

         *[Nihil obstat quo minus synecdochice hoc loco potionis ac poculi nomine explicetur Eucharistia (quod Protestantes omnes merito ex hoc loco pertendunt, contra substractionem calicis in Communione Romana), ac alibi per solam panis fractionem designatur.  Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7.”  Maresius, Hydra Socinianismi, tom. iii. p. 835.]

         Nevertheless, Socinus, having formed a project to throw off water baptism, laboured extremely to elude the interpretation before mentioned.  He considered, that if the latter part of it were interpreted of the external service of the Eucharist, then the former part must of course be understood of external Baptism: besides that he was not willing to allow that any inward grace went along with either Sacrament.  Such were his motives for eluding the true meaning of this text: his pretexts, or colourings, were as here follow:

         1.  He pleaded, that partaking of the Eucharist is never once represented in the New Testament by that particular part of it, the drinking.  He acknowledges that the whole Service is sometimes signified by the other part (the nobler part, in his judgment), viz. the eating, or breaking bread; but that it should be signified by drinking only, the meaner part of the Sacrament, he could not be persuaded to allow.*

         *[“Cur quaeso Paulus coenam Dominicam cum Baptismo collaturus potionis tantum mentionem fecisset, non etiam comestionis, sive cibi, quae praecipua ex duabus quodammodo coenae illius partibus censenda est, et cujus solius nomine alicubi tota coena intelligitur, ut 1 Cor. 33:33). ... Frequentissime in Sacris Literis solius cibi, aut etiam panis mentione facta, ipse quoque potus intelligitur: id quod, saltem in coena nunquam potionis solius nomine fieri.”  Socin. De Bapt. Aquae, cap. viii.  Cp. Volkel. de Ver. Relig. lib. vi. cap. 14. p. 684, alias 835.]

         But he seems to me to have been over delicate in this matter, and more scrupulous than need required.  For, since the whole Service (as he is forced to confess) may be signified by one part, while the other is understood; why not by the drinking, as well as by the eating?  Or why must the eating be looked upon as the nobler and better part of the two, in this instance especially, when the blood of Christ (the most precious blood of Christ, so much spoken of in the New Testament) is the thing signified?*  But supposing the eating, or the meat, to be the nobler of the two, then the New Testament, one would think, has paid a proper respect to it, by denominating the whole from it more than once; though taking the liberty to pay some regard also to the other part, by denominating the whole from it once at least, if no more.  The Apostle might have particular reasons for doing it here, because, having mentioned washing just before, as belonging to one Sacrament, he might think that drinking would best answer to it in the other Sacrament, as water and wine are more analogous than water and bread. [Cp. Hoornbeeck, Socin. Confut. tom. iii. p. 381.]  Or since the Apostle had signified Christian unity before, [1 Cor. 10:17.] under the emblem of sacramental meat, he might choose the rather now to represent the same unity under the emblem of sacramental drink, being that there is as properly one cup, as there is one loaf.

         *[It may be noted, that the ancients, when they made any distinction, supposed the cup, the drinking, to be the nobler part of the two, as being the finishing and perfecting part.  See Salmasius de Transubstantiatione contr. Grot. pp. 280–284.]

         2.  Socinus and Volkelius further plead, that had the Apostle intended to speak of the Lord’s Supper, he would have used the word Ļ_________, to denote the time present, not _Ļ_________, which refers to time past: for the Lord’s Supper is what Christians continually partake of with repeated attendance, and so is never wholly past or done with, like Baptism, which is but once submitted to.*

         *[“Si Paulus coenam Dominicam intellexisset, non verbo praeteriti temporis potavimus, sed potamus praesentis usus fuisset: cum ea coena non a quolibet Christiano homine plane et omnino jam manducata fuerit aliquando, sed identidem in posterum, ubi facultas detur, manducari debeat. Socinus de Bapt. Aquae, cap. viii. pp. 88, 89.  “Adde quod non ‘potavimus,’ sed ‘potamus’ dixisset, si de coena Dominica locutus fuisset. ... Actiones quippe quas semel perfecisse satis est, praeteriti potius quam praesentis temporis verbo exprimi solent: haec vero, cum et in posterum, qualibet se offerente occasione peragenda sit, rectius et communi consuetudini loquendi convenientius praesentis temporis verbo effertur.”  Volkelins, lib. vi. cap. 14. p. 685, alias 836.]

         Now, in answer to this reasoning, I shall not insist, as I justly might, upon the known latitude of the aorists, which are indefinite as to time; nor upon any enallage of tenses, which is frequent in Scripture; but allowing that St. Paul is to be understood of the time past, in that instance, I say, it is no just objection against interpreting the text of the Eucharist.  The Apostle is there speaking of the union of Christians as then actually subsisting, and therefore made before he spake of it; made by Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, considered as previous to that union, and therefore past.  He had nothing to do with future communions, so far as his argument was concerned: none but past communions could have any share in making or strengthening that union, which subsisted before he spake of it.  Therefore it might be proper in both the instances, to make use of a verb of the preter tense, referring to time past.  Communions which are not, or only will be, or may be, unite nothing, effect nothing in the mean season, but would have been foreign to the Apostle’s argument, which looked only to what had been done, and had had its effect already upon the union then subsisting.  The Eucharist in that view was a thing past, as much as Baptism; and so the verbs in both instances were rightly chosen, and aptly answer to each other [Cp. Hoornbeeck, tom. iii. p. 387.  Maresius Hydra, tom. iii. p. 836.]: We have been all baptized, and We have been all made to drink,* etc.

         *[______ ___ __ ____ ___Ļ________ ... Ļ_____ ___ __ Ļ_____ _Ļ_________.  As to some few copies here reading, Ļ___ for Ļ_____, I refer to Dr. Mill, who vindicates the present reading.  But the sense might be the same either way, because the preceding words, “by one Spirit,” might be applied to both parts of the sentence.]

         3.  Socinus and Volkelius further urge (which looks the most like an argument of anything they have) that the Apostle, in that chapter, refers only to the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, and therefore cannot reasonably be understood either of Baptism or the Eucharist, which were common to all Christians, and not to the gifted only.*  But it is unfortunate for this objection, that the Apostle should so emphatically word it twice over, We have all etc., as it were on purpose to prevent its being understood to relate to the gifted only.  The universality of the Apostle’s expression is a much stronger argument for interpreting him of the Sacraments, than anything else in the context can be for understanding the words of the extraordinary gifts: for it is plain, and is on all hands confessed, that the extraordinary gifts were not common to all, or to many, but rather peculiar to a few only in comparison.  But to answer more directly to the pretense drawn from the context, it may be observed, that the design of the Apostle in that chapter does not only well suit with the interpretation we contend for, but is better cleared upon that foot than upon any other.  His design was to prevent, as much as possible, any emulation between the gifted and ungifted brethren.  How does he execute it?  By representing how many things were common to all, and how far all of them participated of the Spirit, one way or other.  1. They all owned Christ Jesus for their Lord, which none could do but by the Holy Ghost [1 Cor. 12:3.]; therefore they were so far upon a level, with respect to the favour of the Holy Spirit.  2. Those extraordinary gifts, imparted to a few, were really intended for the common benefit of the whole body: they were given to every one of the gifted, to profit others withal. [1 Cor. 12:7.]  3. The same Spirit was present to the whole Church, to all true members of it, in both Sacraments [1 Cor. 12:13.]; so that they did not only reap the benefits of what the gifted men did, but they had themselves an immediate communion with the self-same Spirit, in as useful, though not altogether so glaring a way.  4. However pompous those shining gifts might appear, and be apt to dazzle, yet there were other gifts more excellent [1 Cor. 12:31.] by far than they, and common to all good Christians; namely, the gifts of faith, hope, and charity, [1 Cor. 13:1–13.] from the same Spirit.**  Such appears to be the scope and connection of the Apostle’s discourse in that chapter and the chapter following: and it is so far from proving that the text which we are now considering belongs not to the Sacraments, that, on the contrary, it very much confirms that construction. [Compare Clem. Alexandrin. Paedag. lib. i. cap. 11. pp. 106, 107.]

         *[“De donis spiritualibus; ut unicuique totum caput accurate legenti constare poterit.”  Socinus, cap. viii. p. 84.  “Paulus isto in loco de variis Spiritus Sancti donis disserit, quibus Deus per Filium suum primam illam Ecclesiam mirum in modum locupletaverat.”  Volkelius, lib. vi. cap. 14. p. 675, alias 815.]

         **[That appears to be insinuated by the Apostle there: but elsewhere he expressly teaches that all such Christian virtues are the fruits of the Spirit.  Gal. 5:22.  Ephes. 5:9.]

         Enough, I presume, hath been said for the vindicating our construction of this text against the forced glosses and unnatural evasions of Socinus and his followers: though some of them, either more acute or more ingenuous than the rest, have not scrupled to give up the new construction, so far as to understand the text of both Sacraments.*

         *[“Nec ausim multum ab iis dissentire, qui in istis verbis non ad Baptismum tantum, sed ad coenam Domini quoque respici putant: utrumque enim institutum nos tam ad unitatem et communionem unius corporis Ecclesiae accedere, quam in unitate corporis ejusdem manere testatur.”  Sam. Przipcovius in loc. p. 93.

         The construction of the text being thus far fixed and settled, it remains now that we draw the just conclusion from it, and so wind up our argument.  If the drinking of the sacramental cup is drinking into one Spirit, the Spirit of God, then the Eucharist, duly administered and duly received, is a medium by which we ordinarily partake of the same Spirit, and consequently of the sanctifying gifts or graces of the Spirit.  By this we understand, how he that is joined unto Christ our Lord is one spirit [1 Cor. 6:17.] with him: because that Spirit who is essentially one with him is sacramentally united with us.  And as Christ dwelleth in all those who spiritually feed upon him, [John 6:56.] so are all such the temple of the Holy Ghost [1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19.  2 Cor. 6:16.  Ephes. 2:21–22.  1 Peter 2:5.]; and while they are so, they are sanctified both in body and soul.  Such sanctification carries in it all that the Scripture reckons up among the fruits of the Spirit, as enriching the soul [Gal. 5:22.  Ephes. 5:9.]; and likewise all that concerns the immortalizing of the body, [Rom. 8:10–11.] and sealing the whole man to future glory. [2 Cor. 1:22.  Ephes. 1:13–14, 4:30.]  All these blessings and privileges are conferred in the Eucharist, to them who receive worthily; because the Spirit is conferred in it, who is the fountain of them all, and whose gracious presence supposes them.

         In confirmation of what hath been advanced upon Scripture principles, it may now be proper to descend to Fathers, who had the same Scriptures before them, and whose sentiments, if concurring, may be of use to give us the more abundant satisfaction in the present article.  I have occasionally, in the course of these papers, cited several passages which speak expressly or implicitly of sanctification, as conferred in or by the Eucharist.  I shall not here repeat the same at full length, but shall throw them together in a summary way, to serve as hints for recollection.  What has been cited above [See above, chapters VI, VII.] from Ignatius, Justin, and Irenaeus, of the beneficial nature of the Sacrament, necessarily infers or implies the graces of the Holy Spirit.

         Clemens of Alexandria, upon another occasion, has been cited, expressly saying that they who receive the Eucharist with faith are “sanctified both in body and soul”. [Clem. Alex. Paedag. lib. ii. cap. 2. p. 178.  See above, cap. VII.]  Tertullian says, that the body is fed with the body and blood of Christ, that the “soul may be replenished with God” [Tertullian. de Resurr. Carn. cap. viii. p. 330.  See above, cap. VII.]: In like manner, Origen asserts, that the Eucharist does sanctify them that “use it as they ought”. [Origen. in Matt. p. 254.  Contr. Cels. lib. viii. p. 766.  See above, cap. V.]  The same thing is intimated by Cyprian of that time, under some variety of expression. [Cyprian. Ep. 54, 63.  See above, cap. VII.]  Cyril of Jerusalem expressly says, that the heavenly bread and salutary cup “sanctify both body and soul.” [Cyrill. Hieros. Mystag. iv. p. 321.  See above, cap. VII.]  Gaudentius Brixiensis, whom I have not quoted before, says of the Eucharistic food, that it “sanctifies even them who consecrate it.” [Consecrantes sanctificat consecratus.”  Gaudent. Brix. de Exod. ii. p. 806.]  Lastly, Cyril of Alexandria maintains, that faithful communicants are “sanctified by being partakers of the holy flesh and precious blood of Christ, the Saviour of us all.”*  These testimonies might suffice to spew how unanimous the ancients were, in asserting sanctification, as conferred in the Eucharist.

         *[__________ _______ _________ ___ __ _____ ______, ___ ___ ______ _______ ___ Ļ_____ ____ _______ _______.  Cyrilli et Synod. Alexandr. Epist. apud Binium, vol. ii. p. 210.  Cp. Theophil. Alexandrin. Pasch. I. inter Opp. Hieron. tom. iv. p. 698.]

         But for the further confirmation or illustration of this particular, I shall now proceed to consider what the ancients taught concerning the descent or illapse of the Holy Spirit upon the symbols or upon the communicants in this holy solemnity.  Which I the rather choose to do, that I may at the same time clear up that important article, in some measure, and remove some common mistakes.

         To give the reader a just idea of the whole thing, it will be necessary to begin with the Sacrament of Baptism, wherein the like descent or illapse of the Holy Ghost was expected, and where the like invocation obtained very early; sooner, I conceive, than in the service of the Eucharist, so far as may be judged from the records now remaining.  The form of Baptism, probably, might give the first handle for it, as it ran in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Or, there appeared sufficient warrant in the New Testament for beseeching God to send the Holy Spirit, since our Lord had promised that his heavenly Father would “give the Holy Spirit to them that would ask him.” [Luke 11:13.]  Where could they more properly ask it than in their Sacramental Offices, in that of Baptism especially, when the New Testament makes such frequent mention of the Holy Spirit, as assisting to it, or presiding in it? [See above, in this chapter.]  Indeed, we find no express mention in the New Testament of any ordinary descent or illapse of the Spirit in either Sacrament, nor any direct precept for a special invocation of that kind: neither can we be certain of apostolical practice as to that particular.  The custom might commence in the apostolical age, or it might come in later: but whenever it commenced, it seems to have been grounded upon such Scripture principles as I have just now hinted.

         Tertullian (about A.D. 200) is, I think, the first who speaks anything plainly and fully to this matter.*  He supposes that ever since “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” [Gen. 1:2.] all waters have been privileged for receiving the Spirit, and becoming signs and instruments of sanctification, upon prayer made to God: particularly, in Baptism, after prayer has been sent up, the Holy Ghost comes down upon the waters, and sanctifies them, yea and gives them a sanctifying quality.  But he supposes the angel of Baptism to be sent beforehand,** to prepare the way for the reception of the Spirit; which he endeavours to illustrate from some resembling cases in the New Testament. [John 5:4.  Matt. 3:3.]  After the angel’s performing his part*** upon the waters, the Holy Spirit descended in person on the parties coming to be baptized, and rested, as it were, upon the waters.****  So writes our author: and the true meaning or result of all is, that the Holy Spirit, by his coming, sanctifies the persons in the use of those waters, or use of that service.*****  Allowances must be made for something of oratorical flight and figure, contrived for ornament, and to make the more lively impression: it would be wrong to conceive, that every pool, pond, or river, in which any person happened to be baptized, contracted any abiding holiness from that time forwards, or that it was not left open to all common uses as before.  It is evident that Tertullian, where he came to explain his notion, and, as it were, to correct his looser and less accurate expressions, did not suppose the waters to be so much as the medium, properly speaking, of sanctification; but he conceived the illapse of the Spirit upon the persons to come afterwards, when the washing was over and done with.******  I shall only note further, with respect to these passages of Tertullian, that it cannot be certainly concluded from them, that a formal prayer for the descent of the Holy Spirit was in use at that time: but from his saying that immediately after invocation of God, such descent followed, and from his adding afterwards, that in or by the benediction the Spirit was called and invited, [Dehinc maims imponitur, per benedictionem advocans et invitans Spiritum Sanctum.” cap. viii. pp. 226, 227.] I look upon it as extremely probable [It might be, that upon a benediction formed in general terms, Christians might expect the illapse of the Spirit: but it appears more natural to think, from what Tertullian here says, that they directly and formally prayed for it.] that the practice did then obtain, in the African churches, formally to pray for the descent of the Holy Ghost, either before the immersion or after (upon the imposition of hands), or perhaps both before and after.

         *[“Onmes aquae de pristina originis praerogativa, sacramentum sanctificationis consequntur, invocato Deo: supervenit enim statim Spiritus de caelis, et aquis superest, sanctificans eas de semetipso; et ita sanctificatae vim sanctificandi combibunt.”  Tertrillian. de Baptism. cap. iv. p. 225.]

         **[Tertull. ibid. cap. vi.  “Angelus Baptismi arbiter superventuro Spiritui Sancto vias dirigit ablutione delictorum, quam fides impetrat, obsignata in Patre, et Filio, et Spiritu Sancto.” p. 226.]

         ***[It is frequent with the ancients to speak of the offices of angels, which they supposed to be employed in ministering to God for the heirs of salvation, according to Heb. 1:14.  And according to their respective offices, they assigned them names, having no other rule to go by.  So they sometimes mention, besides the angel of Baptism (which means any or every angel so employed), the angel also of prayer, angel of repentance, angel of peace, and angel of light, or the like: such manner of speaking and thinking was just and innocent, till the succeeding abuses by angel-worship made it almost necessary for wise men to lay it aside.]

         ****[“Tunc ille sanctissimus Spiritus super emundata et benedicta corpora libens a Patre descendit, super Baptismi aquas, tanquam pristinam sedem recognoscens conquiescit, columbae figura dilapsus in Dominum, ut natura,” etc.  Tertull. ibid. cap. viii. p. 227.]

         *****[Eadem dispositione spiritalis effectus, terrae, id est, carpi nostrae, emergenti de lavacro post vetera delicta, columba Sancti Spiritus advolat, pacem Dei adferens, emissa de caelis, ubi Ecclesia est arca figurata.”  Tertull. ibid. cap. viii. p. 227.]

         ******[“Restituitur homo Deo, ad similitudinem ejus qui retro ad imaginem Dei fuerat. ... Recipit enini illum Dei Spiritum, quem tunc de afflatu ejus acceperat, sed post amiserat per delictum.  Non quad in aquis Spiritum Sanctum consequamur, sed in aqua emundati sub angelo, Spiritui Sancto praeparamur.”  Ibid. cap. v. vi. p. 226.]

         Our next author is Origen (about A.D. 240) not that he directly says anything of the descent of the Spirit in Baptism, or of any prayer made use of for that purpose: but he occasionally drops some things which may give light to the present question.  His notion was that the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to sanctify, operates not at all upon inanimate things, nor upon persons of obdurate wickedness, but upon those only who are capable of receiving his sanctifying influences. [Vid. Origen. Ļ___ ___. p. 62. edit. Bened.  Cp. Huetii Origeniana, p. 46.  Albertin. lib. ii. p. 357.]  Now from his saying that the Holy Spirit operates not on things inanimate, it must follow, that he thought not at that time of any descent of the Holy Ghost upon the waters of Baptism, but upon the persons only, those that were worthy.  Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, in the decline of the fourth century, charged his doctrine with that consequence, and thereupon condemned it, as overturning the consecration of the waters of Baptism, supposed to be made by the coming of the Holy Ghost upon them.*  But it is certain that Origen did admit of a consecration of the water, [Vid Origen. in Joann. p. 124. edit. Huet.  And compare what he says of the eucharistic consecration (in Matt. p. 254) where the reason is the same.  See also Albertinus, p. 358.] though he might not perhaps explain it in the manner which Theophilus most approved of, one hundred and fifty years after: and it is his constant doctrine, that the Baptism of the Spirit goes along with the outward washing, wherever there is no obstacle on the part of the recipient. [Vid. Origen. in Matt. pp. 391, 416; in Joann. pp. 124, 125.]  Nay, he scrupled not to admit, that “the Spirit of God now moves upon the face of the waters”**  of Baptism, alluding to Gen. 1:2; so that Origen could not be much out of the way upon this article: but this we may collect from him, that, properly speaking, the work of the Spirit in Baptism was upon the persons, when fitly qualified, rather than upon the outward element; and that the Spirit’s coming upon the water, and other the like phrases, ought not to be too rigorously interpreted, but should be understood with due grains of allowance.

         *[“Dicit (Origenes) Spiritum Sanctum non operari in ea quae inanima sunt, nec ad irrationabilia pervenire: quod adserens, non recogitat aquas in Baptismate mysticas adventu Sancti Spiritus consecrari.”  Theoph. Alex. Lib. Paschal. i. p. 698; apud Hieronym. Opp. ton). iv. edit. Bened.]

         **[___ Ļ____________ ____________ _______ ____ ____________ _________ Ļ________, ___ ___ ___ _Ļ__________, _Ļ____ Ļ___ ____ _____, _Ļ___ ___ ______, ___’ __ Ļ___ ____ __ ____ ___________.  Ibid. p. 125.  Note, that the Latin version has obscured the sense of the passage, not observing, perhaps, the allusion to Genesis.]

         A late learned writer, apologizing for Origen, takes notice, that Chrysostom was very positive for the illapse of the Spirit on the outward symbols; a plain sign that he did not think Origen to be guilty of the error charged upon him. [Johnson, Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 181, alias 186.]  I rather think that Chrysostom understood the popular way of expressing the illapse of the Spirit, in the same qualified sense that Origen before did; and that was one reason why he would not come into the warm measures of Theophilus, Epiphanius, and other Eustathians [A short account of the odium raised against Origen may be seen in my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 639, etc., and a larger in Huetius’ Origeniana.] of that time, about the year 400.  And whereas it is suggested by the same learned writer [Johnson, ibid. p. 182, alias 185.] that a solemn consecration of things inanimate to holy uses, without supposing a formal illapse of the Spirit upon them, is a degrading account of a venerable mystery, and leaves no difference between the consecration of a church and the consecration of baptismal water, etc.; I must take leave to reply, that the conclusion is not just: for in things so consecrated to holy uses, there will always be as much difference as there is between more and less sacred, according as the ends and uses are higher or lower, holier or less holy.  The higher and holier the use is to which anything is consecrated by proper ministers, so much the more worthy it is, and so much the nearer and more important relation it bears to God and religion; demanding thereupon So much the greater reverence and more awful regard.

         St. Cyprian (A.D. 255) speaks of a sacerdotal cleansing and sanctification of the baptismal water; which he supposes to be wrought by the Holy Spirit,* and very frequently makes mention of it, up and down in his works.  But he says nothing from whence one may certainly collect whether any formal prayer for the descent was then in use; neither does he explain in what, sense the Holy Ghost was understood to sanctify the baptismal waters.  Only, as he intimates over and over, that the end and use of sanctifying the water was to convey spiritual graces to the persons coming to be baptized in it; and as it is certain that those spiritual graces could not reside in or upon the outward element; it is more than probable that he supposed the Spirit to rest where those spiritual effects rested, that is, upon the persons only: and then the sanctifying of the waters can mean no more than the consecrating them to the uses of personal sanctification.  The Spirit made use of them as a symbol, for conveying his graces; and in that use consisted their relative holiness: but the Spirit dwells not properly upon them, but upon the persons baptized.

         *[Oportet ergo mundari et sanctificari aquam prius a sacerdote, ut possit Baptismo suo peccata hominis qui baptizatur abluere. ... Quomodo autem mundare et sanctificare aquam potest, qui ipse immundus est, et apud quem Spiritus Sanctus non est?”  Cyprian. Epist. lxx. p. 190.]

         When we come down to the fourth century, there we find plainer evidences of formal prayers offered for the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the waters of Baptism.  Cyril of Jerusalem (who wrote A.D. 348) speaks to his catechumens thus:* “The Holy Ghost is coming to seal your souls: ... look not upon the laver as common water, but to the spiritual grace bestowed along with it. ... This common water, upon receiving the invocation of the Holy Spirit, and of Christ, and of the Father, acquires a virtue of sanctification.”  It may be doubted whether Cyril here refers to the prayer of Consecration or to the form of Baptism: but it appears most probable that he refers to the Consecration; as the Benedictine editor has endeavoured to prove at large, in his notes upon the place.  What I have further to observe upon it is, that Cyril speaks of the water as receiving a sanctifying virtue.  And what does he mean by it?  He means what he had just before said, that the outward washing and the inward graces go together, and are both conferred at once upon the worthy receiver in the self-same act.  The visible sign is connected, in certain effect, with the invisible grace; and both are applied, at the same instant, to the same man, jointly concurring to the same end and use. [Vid. Vossius Harmon. Evangel. lib. iii. cap. 4. p. 233.  Opp. tom. vi.]  This is the foundation of the common way of speaking, as if the Spirit and the water were physically united with each ether; which is not strictly true in notion, but amounts to the same in moral effect.

         *[______ __ Ļ_____ __ _____ __________ ____ ___ _____ ... __ __ _____ Ļ______ __ ______, ____ __ ____ ___ ______ ________ Ļ_________ _____ ... __ _____ ____ Ļ________ _____, ___ _______, ___ Ļ_____ ___ _Ļ_______ _____ _______, _________ _Ļ_______Cyrill. Hierosol. Catech. iii. sect. 3. pp. 40, 41.]

         Optatus, an African Bishop, (A.D. 368,) alluding to the name _____ (a technical name of our Lord), says; “This fish (meaning Christ) is brought down upon the waters of the font, in Baptism, by invocation.” [“Hic est piscis qui in Baptismate, per invocationem, fontalibus undis inseritur,” etc.  Optat. lib. iii.  p. 61.]  I presume this refers to the Consecration prayer: [See Bingham, Christian Antiq. b. xi. c. 10. sect. i. vol. iv. p. 167, etc.  Oxf. edit.] and  is and so it imports an expectance of; or petition for, the divine presence of Christ, to sanctify the person baptized in the use of the appointed service.

         St. Basil, of the same age (A.D. 374), speaks of the conjunction of water and the Spirit in Baptism; first observing (in order to obviate mistakes or invidious constructions) that the Church did not mean to prefer water before all other creatures; much less to give it a share in the honours due to the Father and the Son:* but he takes notice, that the water serves to make out the symbol of a death unto sin, and the Spirit is the pledge or earnest of life [Basil. ibid. p. 29.]: therefore water and the Spirit go together in that Sacrament.  Then he adds, that as to the grace supposed to be in the water, it belongs not properly to the water, but is entirely owing to the presence of the Spirit.**  Presence how, and where?  To the water, or to the persons?  His next immediate words will decide the question; for he adds, in the language of St. Peter, that “Baptism is not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the stipulation of a good conscience towards God.” [1 Peter 3:21.]  The Spirit therefore, in his account, must rest upon the persons, to answer the end. He proceeds, soon after, to observe how much the Baptism of the Spirit is preferable to baptizing merely with water; and he takes notice, that there is a Baptism, as valuable as any, wherein no water at all is needful, namely, Baptism in one’s own blood, as a martyr for the name of Christ.  Then he closes up the article he was upon in these words: “Not that I say this in order to disparage water baptism, but to baffle the reasonings of those who rise up against the Spirit, and who would blend things together which are not blended, and compare things together which admit not of comparison.”***

         *[___ ___ ____ __Ļ________, ___ ____Ļ__ __ ____ Ļ____ ____ ___ _______ Ļ___________, _ ___ ____ ___ Ļ_____ ___ ____ _____ ___________.  Basil. de Spir. Sanct. cap. xv. p. 28. tom. iii. edit Bened.]

         **[____ __ ___ _____ __ __ _____ _____, ___ __ ___ ______ ____ ___ ______, ___’ __ ___ ___ Ļ________ Ļ________.  __ ___ ____ __ __Ļ_____ __Ļ__ ______ _Ļ______, ____ ___________ ______ _Ļ_______ ___ ____.  Basil. ibid. p. 29.]

         ***[___ ___ ______ __ __ __ _____ __Ļ_____ _____ _____ ____ ____ _________ ________ ___ _Ļ_________ ____ ___ Ļ________, ___ _________ __ ______, ___ Ļ____________ __ ___________.  Basil. p. 30.]

         I have laid these things together, as explanatory of what the ancient Fathers meant by joining the Spirit with the outward elements in the Sacraments (for the reason is the same in both), and as serving to clear up some of their other more dubious or less guarded expressions.  Here, when an objection was raised by adversaries,* grounded on nothing but words and names, this good Father then rejected with abhorrence any such mixture of the Spirit and the water as the Catholics were maliciously charged with: and he declared they were ______, not mixed with each other.  At the same time, he insinuated the true meaning of all to be, that the Spirit and the water so far went together,** as to be applied at once to the same; man, in the same service; but that the Spirit properly rested upon the person baptized, and not upon the outward element.  Had the Romanists been as careful to distinguish in the matter of the Eucharist, as Basil here was with respect to Baptism, they would have seen no more reason for adoration of the Host, than Basil could find for adoration of water.  He rejected the latter with the utmost disdain; and so should they likewise have rejected the former.  But I proceed.

         *[As the Catholics had argued justly for the divinity of the Holy Ghost, from our being baptized into the Spirit, and sanctified by the Spirit, the Macedonians, on the other hand, frowardly retorted, that we are baptized also ___ ____, in, or into water, and sanctified by water; and therefore water would be divine, by that argument, as much as the Spirit.  It was in reply to such impertinent cavils, that Basil took occasion to explain what concerned the water and what the Spirit in that Sacrament.]

         **[This is clearly expressed by Nazianzen of the same time: _____ ___ _ ________, __’ ______ __ ____, ___ Ļ________, ___ ___ ________ __ ___ _________ ____________, ___ __ ________ ___ _________ ____________.  Nazianz.  Orat. xl. in Baptism. p. 641.  Cp. Greg. Nyss. tom. ii. p. 801. de Bapt. Christi.]

         In the same treatise, the same excellent writer speaks of the consecration, or benediction, that passes upon the waters of Baptism, analogous to that of the Eucharist, which he had spoken of a little before.  “We also bless,” says he, “the water of Baptism, and the oil of Chrism, and the person likewise whom we baptize.”*  But yet he understood the difference (as may appear from what hath been before said) between the relative holiness thereupon accruing to the water, or the oil, and the grace of the Spirit accruing to the person baptized.  Having dwelt thus largely upon Basil, who may serve as a key to all the rest, I shall but touch upon others who came after, contenting myself with a bare recital of their testimonies, as needing no further comment.

         *[__________ ___ __ __ ____ ___ __Ļ________, ___ __ ______ ___ _______, ___ Ļ______ _____ ___ __Ļ_________.  Basil. de Sp. Sanct. cap. 27. p. 55.  “Cum veteres aiunt sanguinem Christi et Spiritum Sanctum se aquae miscere, populare est loquendi genus; quod ita capere oportet quasi dicerent, quando aqua abluimur foris, oculis fidei intuendum esse sanguinem et spiritum Christi, quia haec cum aqua concurrunt, haud secus, ac si miscerentur cum aqua.”  Voss. de Bapt. Disp. v. p. 274.  Cp. de Sacram. Vi et Efficacia, pp. 252, 253. tom. vi.]

         Gregory Nyssen, of the same time (Basil’s younger brother), speaking of Baptism, says; “It is not the water that confers this benefit (for then would it be superior to the whole creation), but it is the appointment of God, and the supervening of the Spirit, mystically advancing to our rescue: however, the water serves to signify the cleansing.”*  A little after he observes, that the Spirit invisible, being called by faith, comes in a manner ineffable, and blesses both the person and the water: and the water so blessed purifies and illuminates the man:** but if the man is not bettered, the water is mere water to him, destitute of the Spirit.***

         *[______ __ ___ __________ __ __ ____ _________.  __ ___ __ Ļ____ ___ _______ ___________ ____ ____ Ļ________, ___ _ ___ Ļ________ _Ļ_________, ________ ________ Ļ___ ___ ________ __________.  ____ __ _Ļ______ Ļ___ ________ ___ _________.  Greg. Nyss. in Baptism. Christi, p. 801.]

         **[______ __ ______, Ļ_____ __________, _______ Ļ____________ ... _______ __ __Ļ_________, ___ __ ____ __ __Ļ_____.  p. 801.  ____ ____________ ________ ___ _______ ___ _____Ļ__.  p. 803.]

         ***[_Ļ_ ______ __ ____ ____ _____, _______ ___ ______ ___ _____ Ļ________ _Ļ_________, etc.  p. 540.]

         St. Ambrose (or whoever is the author) speaks of the descent of the Holy Ghost in Baptism:* and also of the presence of Christ upon the sacerdotal invocation. [Crede ergo adesse Dominum Jesum, invocatum precibus sacerdotum,” p. 332.]  But it is remarkable, how in one place he distinguishes the descent of the Spirit upon the water from the descent upon the persons, and, as it were, corrects an inaccurate expression by one more proper,** intimating what the vulgar way of speaking really and strictly meant.  In another treatise, he mentions the descent of the Holy Ghost in Baptism, after the sacerdotal invocation:*** from whence it is manifest that some prayer was then used to be offered up for that purpose, imploring such descent.  The book De Sacramentis is not justly ascribed to St. Ambrose: some think it may have been compiled not long after him, by some of his chief admirers,**** others set it later.  I shall only take notice of a custom then prevailing, of praying for the presence of the Son and Holy Ghost, in their Baptismal Offices; or sometimes of the whole Trinity.*****

         *[“Illis angelus descendebat: tibi Spiritus Sanctus: illis creatura movebatur, tibi Christus operatur, ipse Dominus creaturae.”  Ambros. de Myster. cap. iv. p. 330. edit. Bened.  “In hunc fontem vis divina descendit,” p. 331; c. 342.]

         **[“Non utique dubitandum est, quod (Spiritus) superveniens in fontem, vel super eos qui Baptismum consequuntur, veritatem regenerationis operetur.”  Ambros. ibid. cap. ix. p. 342.]

         ***[Quid in hoc typo angelus, nisi descensionem Sancti Spiritus nunciabat, quae nostris futura temporibus, aquas sacerdotalibus invocata precibus consecraret?  Ambros. de Sp. Sanct. lib. i. cap. 7. p. 618.]

         ****[See the Editor’s preface to that work.  Oudin brings it down to the eighth century, about 780.  See Oudin, tom. i. p. 1858.  Some attribute it to Maximus Taurinensis of the fifth.  Vid. Fabricins, Bibl. Med. et Infim. Latin. lib. xii. p. 191.]

         *****[Ubi primum ingreditur sacerdos, exorcismum facit secundum creaturam aquae; invocatione postea et precem defert, ut sanctificetur fons, et adsit praesentia Trinitatis aeternae.”  Pseud-Ambros. de Sacram. lib. i. cap. 5. p. 353.  “Venit sacerdos, precem dicit ad fontem, invocat Patris nomen, praesentiam Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.”  Lib. ii. cap. 5. pp. 357, 358.  The reader may see more authorities of like kind in Albertin.  p. 465.]

         I shall descend no lower in this account (since enough has been said) except it be to present the reader with two or three forms of the invocation made in Baptism, beseeching God to send the Holy Spirit to sanctify the baptismal waters, or the persons to be baptized.  We have not many of those forms remaining, in comparison of what we have with respect to the other Sacrament, less care having been taken to preserve or to collect them: but we have enough for our purpose.  One of them occurs in the Constitutions; the oldest perhaps that is extant, though of uncertain date.  It runs thus: “Look down from heaven, and sanctify this water: give it grace and power, that he who is baptized therein, according to the command of thy Christ, may be crucified with him, and die with him, and be buried with him, and rise again with him to that adoption which comes by him; that dying unto sin, he may live unto righteousness.”*  Here indeed no express mention is made of the Holy Ghost the Sanctifier: but it is implied in the word “sanctify,” and “grace,” and “power,” or “virtue”.  The blessing, we may note, is craved upon the water: but as no grace can properly rest there as in its subject, it is plain what all means, viz. that the persons should receive the grace of the Holy Ghost in the use of that water according to divine appointment; or that the outward washing and the inward graces go together.**  So, in common or customary speech, when anyone prays that God may bless the means made use of for any person’s recovery, nobody understands more in it than that God may bless the persons in the use of those means, and crown them with the success desired.  We have another the like form in Pope Gregory’s Sacramentarium: which however in its present state is not altogether so old as that Pope; for the Sacramentary is not without interpolations. [Of the age of the Gregorian Sacramentary, see Dodwell of Incense, p. 218, etc.]  The form runs thus: “Let the virtue of thy Spirit descend, O Lord, upon the plenitude of this font, and impregnate all the substance of this water with a regenerating efficacy: here may the spots of all sins be washed off; here may that nature, formed after thy image, and now restored to its original purity, be cleansed from all its former stains; that every one coming to this Sacrament of regeneration may be born again to a new infancy of true innocence.”***  Here we may observe, that the petition is put up for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the waters, as usual, for the benefit of the persons, that they may therein receive remission of sins, and all other spiritual graces, for restoring original righteousness lost by the fall of Adam, and for supporting and sustaining the Christian life.

         *[______ __ _______, ___ _______ __ ____ ______ ___ __ _____ ___ _______, ____ ___ __Ļ_________, ___’ _______ ___ _______ ___, ____ _____________, etc..  Constitut. Apost. lib. vii. cap. 43. p. 384.  N.B.  As to the age of the Constitutions, Mr. Dodwell observes that there is no evidence for them (as we now have them in eight books) elder than the time of Dionysius Exiguus, who was of the sixth century.  See Dodwell of Incensing, p. 164.  Ittigius and Buddaeus give the like judgment.  Others name the fifth century.  “Praeferenda mihi reliquis videtur sententia Thomae Ittigii, quarto omnino saeculo Constitutiones quasdam Apostolicas innotuisse, quae postea circa sextum saeculum ab homine quodam Ariano corruptae fuerint et interpolatae.”  Budd. Isagog. p. 747.  Cp. Turner, ch. xxiii. p. 237, etc.  Fabric. Bibl. Graec. tom. v. p. 33; tom. xi. pp. 7–10.]

         **[Accordingly, the person baptized is directed immediately after to pray for the descent of the Holy Ghost upon him.  ___ ___ ... Ļ________ _____ _Ļ_________ Ļ___ ______ ___ Ļ__________ ___ ________, ___ ___ _______ ___.  Ibid. cap. xlv. p. 385.]

         ***[“Descendat, Domine, in hanc plenitudinem fontis virtus Spiritus tui; totamque hujus aquae substantiam regenerandi foecundet effectu.  Hic omnium peccatorum maculae deleantur, hic natura ad imaginem Dei condita, et ad honorem sui reformata principis, vetustatis cunctis squaloribus emundetur, omnis honao hoc Sacramentum regenerationis ingressus, in verae innocentiae novam infantiam renascatur.”  Gregor. Mag. Lib. Sacram. p. 73. ed. Bened.]

         The Gothic Missal published by Mabillon [Mabillon de Liturgia Gallicalla, p. 188, etc.] bearing date as high as the eighth century, [See Mabillon, Praef. sect. ix.  And compare Dodwell of Incense, p. 190.] will furnish us with another form; wherein the descent of the Holy Spirit is directly prayed for, to sanctify the baptismal waters, in order to derive pardon and grace upon the persons brought to the font.*  I shall take notice of but one more, which occurs in the Gallican Sacramentary, of the latter end of the eighth century, or thereabout. [See Mabillon, Muse. Italic. tom. i. in Praefat. ad Sacram. G. p. 275.  Dodwell of Incense, p. 203, etc.]  There also prayer is directly and in terms made, that God would send his Holy Spirit upon the water, in order to the purifying and regenerating the persons coming to Baptism.**

         *[Benedic, Domine Deus noster, hanc creaturarn aquae, et descendat super eam virtus tua: desuper infunde Spiritum tuum, sanctum Paraclitum, angelum veritatis.  Sanctifica, Domine, hujus laticis undas, sicut sanctificasti fluenta, Jordanis, ut qui in hunc fontem descenderint, in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, et peccatorum veniam, et Sancti Spiritus infusionem consequi mere antur.”  Missal. Goth. p. 248.]

         **[Te Deum Patrem oninipotentem deprecamur, ut hic Spiritum Sanctum in aquam hanc supermittere digneris, ut quoscunque baptizaverimus in nomine, etc., purificans et regenerans accipias eos in numero sanctorum tuorum, et consummes in Spiritu tuo sancto in vitam aeternam, in saecula saeculorum.”  Sacrament. Gallican. p. 124.]

         I hope my readers will not think much of the excursion which I have here made into the Sacrament of Baptism, with a view to illustrate what belongs to our present subject of the Eucharist.  For indeed I know of no surer or shorter way of coming at a just and clear apprehension of what concerns one, than by comparing together and duly weighing the circumstances of both.  They are both of them equally Sacraments of the Christian Church, and have the like promise of the Holy Spirit, founded in the same merits of Christ’s obedience and sufferings: there is the same reason for a consecration of the outward symbols in both, the same ground for expecting the presence of the Spirit; the same warrant for asking it; the same rule to go by in the doing it; and the like primitive practice to countenance it.  If we proceed upon favourable presumption, that what obtained universally, without order of councils, in the third or fourth century (and of which there is no memorandum left when it began) must be taken for apostolical, then the practice as to either Sacrament will bear the same date: but if we choose rather, apart from all conjectures, to set the practice in each no higher than we have certain evidences of it, from monuments now extant, then we must date the practice with respect to Baptism no higher than the third, or however second century, when Tertullian flourished; and with respect to the Eucharist, no higher perhaps than the fourth, as we shall see presently. [The testimonies of such invocation in the Eucharist are collected by Pfaffius, p. 374, etc.  Bingham, xv. 3, 11.  Collier, Reasons, etc., p. 21, etc.  Deylingius, Observ. Miscell. p. 196, etc. 344, etc.]

         I am aware that several very worthy and learned men (and among the rest Dr. Grabe) have thought of an earlier date than I have just now mentioned; and by their united labours and searches into that question, have enabled those that come after them to see the more clearly into it.  Two very learned writers (not to mention more now), Mr. Pfaffius abroad, and Mr. Johnson at home, have particularly traced that matter with all the diligence imaginable, and have both of them endeavoured to carry it up as high as there was any colour for carrying it.  One of them appeals even to Ignatius, as a voucher for the practice, [Johnson’s Unbloody Sacrifice, part i. p. 241, alias 245; part ii. p. 180.  Compare Collier, Reasons, &c., p. 22.  Defence, p. 101, etc.  Vindication, p. 109, etc., 128, etc.] because he makes mention of some heretics who “abstained from the Eucharist and prayer, as not acknowledging the Eucharist to he the flesh of Christ Jesus.” [Ignat. Ep. ad Smyrn. cap. vii. p. 4.]  But I cannot see how, by any ever so distant consequence, we can thence fairly conclude, that it was the practice of that time to pray for the descent of the Holy Ghost in the Eucharist: for if the words of the institution were but used in the prayer of Consecration in those days, that alone is sufficient to account for all that Ignatius says there, or anywhere else.

         Mr. Pfaffius, more plausibly, endeavours to run up the practice as high as Irenaeus of the second century.  And, indeed, could he have sufficiently warranted the genuineness of those fragments which he has obliged the learned world with, under the name of Irenaeus, there could have been no room left for further dispute on that head. [Vid. Fragmenta Irenaei ap. Pfaff. p. 27; cp. p. 94, etc.]  But he has not done it; neither is it, I believe, possible to be done. [Vid. Scipio Maffeius in Notis ad Cassiodori Complex. pp. 240, 241.]  As to his argument drawn from the use of the word ________, or _Ļ_______, invocation of God, in Irenaeus’s certainly genuine works, [Iren. pp. 60, 251. edit. Bened.  Cp. Pfaffius, p. 96, etc.] it is too precarious a topic to build a thing of this moment upon; because there may be an invocation of God in prayer, without any praying for the descent of the Holy Spirit; and _Ļ_______ is nothing but a common name for any kind of invocation in prayer; as when the three Persons are named or invoked in the form of Baptism (for so Origen uses it [Origen. in Joann. p. 124, et apud Basil. de Spir. Sanct. cap. 29.]), or are otherwise named in the Eucharist; as they certainly were by Justin Martyr’s account. [Justin. Martyr. Apol. i. p. 96.  Cp. Cyrill. Hieros. Mystag. i. sect. vii. p. 308.]  No proof therefore hath been yet given of the practice of praying for the descent of the Holy Ghost, in the eucharistic service, so early as Irenaeus’s days.

         Mr. Pfaffius endeavours next [Pfaffius in Praefat.] to make it at least as ancient as the third century; because the Dialogue against the Marcionites, commonly ascribed to Origen, or else to Maximus of the same age, makes mention of the Holy Spirit’s coming upon the Eucharist. [__ _____ Ļ_____ _Ļ_ ___ ___________ _______.  Adamantius Dialog. sect. ii. p. 826. edit. Bened.]  But besides that there is no mention of any prayer for such descent (so that the evidence here comes not up to the point in question), I say, besides that, the author of that Dialogue, most certainly, was neither Origen, nor Maximus, nor any of that age, but probably another Adamantius, who lived in the fourth century, in the time of Constantine; as the learned editor in his new edition of Origen has observed at large. [Delarue in Admonitione praevia, p. 800, etc.]  At last then, we must be consent to come down as low as the fourth century, and indeed towards the middle of it (when the elder Cyril wrote) for clear and undoubted evidence of the practice of praying for the illapse of the Spirit upon the symbols in the holy Communion.  No doubt but it was used in the Church of Jerusalem before, for Cyril did not invent it, nor first use it: but how long before, is the question; which, for want of higher records, we cannot now certainly determine.  Cyril intimates part of the very form of the invocation then in use; and it may be worth the setting down here for the reader’s perusal.  “We beseech the all-merciful God to send the Holy Ghost upon the elements, that he may make the bread Christ’s body, and the wine Christ’s blood.  For whatsoever the Holy Ghost once touches, that most certainly must be sanctified and changed.”*  That is, as to its uses or offices.  Some time after, the Priest says, “Holy are the elements which he before us, having received the illapse of the Holy Spirit: holy also are ye, being now endowed with the Holy Spirit.”**  This was said before the receiving; which I note, for the sake of some inferences to be made from it: 1. That the elements are not here made the conduit of the Holy Spirit, (for the Spirit is supposed to be received by the communicants before them and without them) but the service of the Eucharist is the conduit rather, if either of them properly be so.  2. That the meaning of the prayer for the illapse of the Spirit is, to invite the Spirit to come down upon the communicants immediately, or principally, to make them holy in a sense proper to them, as well as to make the elements holy in a sense proper to things inanimate: therefore Cyril adds, “holy things then are meet for holy men.”  Hence also came that ancient eucharistic form of “sancta sanctis,” holy things for holy men,*** made use of previously to the reception of the sacred symbols.  3. Though the elements are sanctified by the Holy Ghost, and thereupon become relatively holy, as being now sacred symbols and representatives of our Lord’s body and blood, yet they are not beneficial to unholy persons, but hurtful, and therefore are not to them the body and blood of Christ in real grace, virtue, energy, or effect.  4. Since the persons are supposed to become holy by the presence of the Holy Spirit, previously to receiving, in order to reap benefit from it, it is plain that, as to the request for making the elements Christ’s body and blood, the meaning only is, that they may be so made, not in themselves, but to the communicants,**** considered as holy: for, were the elements absolutely Christ’s body and blood, they would be so both to the holy and unholy, which they are not.  Indeed both good and bad do receive the consecrated signs, but those only who are worthy do receive the things signified.

         *[____________ ___ ________Ļ__ ____, __ _____ Ļ_____ _Ļ________ _Ļ_ __ Ļ__________  ___ Ļ_____ ___ ___ _____ ____ _______, _________ ________  Ļ_____ ___ __ ___ ________ __ _____ Ļ_____, _____ ________ ___ ____________.  Cyrill. Mystag. v. cap. 7. p. 327.  Cp. Albertin. 320.]

         **[____ __ Ļ_________, _Ļ_________ ________ _____ Ļ_________  _____ ___ _____ Ļ________ _____ _____________.  __ ____ ___ ____ ______ _________.  Ibid. c. xix. p. 331.]

         ***[A full account of it may be seen in Menardus’s Notes upon the Gregorian Sacramentary, p. 566.  Touttée’s Notes on Cyril, p. 331.  And Bingham’s Eccles. Antiq. book xv. ch. 3. sect. 31. vol. v. p. 344. Oxf. edit.]

         ****[So in the Canon of the Mass, and in our Communion Service of King Edward’s Prayer Book of the first edition, the words run, “That they may become to us the body and blood of Christ.”  Of which Mr. Thorndike very judiciously comments, as here follows: “These words ‘to us’ make an abatement in the proper signification of the body and blood.  For the elements may be said to become the body and blood of Christ without addition, in the same true sense in which they are so called in the Scriptures: but when they are said to become the body and blood of Christ to them that communicate, that true sense is so well signified and expressed, that the words cannot well be understood otherwise than to import, not the corporal substance, but the spiritual use of them.”  Thorndike, Relig. Assemb. p. 369.  “In the book of the holy Communion we do not pray absolutely, that the bread and wine may be made the body and blood of Christ, but that unto us, in that holy mystery, they may be so: that is to say, that we may so worthily receive the same, that we may be partakers of Christ’s body and blood, and that therewith in spirit and in truth we may be spiritually nourished.”  Archbishop Crammer against Gardiner, p. 79. edit. 1580.]

         The next oldest form we meet with, after Cyril’s, may be that of the Constitutions, falsely called Apostolical: “We beseech thee, O God, thou that art above the need of anything, to look graciously down upon these gifts here lying before thee, and to accept them favourably for the honour of thy Christ, and to send thy Holy Spirit upon this sacrifice, the witness of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus; that he may make this bread become the body of thy Christ, and this cup become the blood of thy Christ; that they who partake thereof may be confirmed in godliness, may obtain remission of sins, may be delivered from the devil and his impostures, may be filled with the Holy Ghost,” etc.*  I need not go on to later forms of like kind, many of which are to be met with in the large Collections of Liturgies, published by Fabricius, Goar, Renaudot, Mabillon, and others.  The English reader may find a competent number of the same in a Collection translated by several hands, and published by the Reverend Dr. Brett, with several very learned and curious Dissertations upon them, worth the considering. [Brett’s Collection of the principal Liturgies, printed A.D. 1720.]  All I need do here is to make some general remarks, proper to give light to the true and full meaning of those liturgical forms, with respect to the descent or illapse of the Spirit, either upon the communicants or upon the symbols.

         *[________ __ _Ļ__ _______ _Ļ_______ _Ļ_ __ Ļ_________ ____ _____ ___Ļ___ ___, __ _ ________ ____, ___ _________ _Ļ’ ______ ___ _____ ___ _______ ___, ___ ____Ļ_____ __ _____ ___ Ļ_____ _Ļ_ ___ ______ ______, ___ _______ ___ Ļ________ ___ ______ _____, _Ļ__ _Ļ_____ ___ _____ ______ ____ ___ _______ ___, ___ __ Ļ_______ _____ ____ ___ _______ ___, ___ __ ____________ _____ __________ Ļ___ _________, _______ ___________ ______, ___ ________ ___ ___ Ļ_____ _____ _______, Ļ________ _____ Ļ_________ _. _. _.  Const. Apost. lib. viii. cap. 12. p. 407.]

         1.  It is observable, that the naked symbols, before the Spirit is supposed to approach, or to make them Christ’s body and blood, are offered up as gifts, and called a sacrifice.  I inquire not now in what sense, designing a distinct chapter for that purpose below: but such is the common form and tenor of most of the other Liturgies, Greek ones especially; St. James’s, [Jacobi Liturg. apud Fabric. pp. 66, 68, 70, 82, 96.] St. Mark’s, [Marci Liturg. apud Fabric. pp. 275, 278, 286, 287.] Basil’s, [Basil. Liturg. in Renaudot. pp. 57, 61, 68.] and St. Gregory’s, [Gregorii Liturg. apud Renaudot. pp. 90, 94, 95, 105.] as they are called.

         2.  Next it is observable, from the old Liturgies, that after the oblation and sacrifice, and after the illapse of the Spirit upon the symbols, to make them authentic and effective representatives of our Lord’s body and blood, another very solemn prayer was wont to be put up, pleading to God the merits of Christ’s passion, and beseeching him, for the sake thereof, to be propitious towards the communicants in particular, and towards the Church in general.  Cyril represents that part of the service thus: “After the finishing the spiritual sacrifice, the unbloody service; over that sacrifice of propitiation, we beseech God in behalf of the common peace of the churches ... we offer Christ slain for our sins, entreating the all-merciful God to be propitious to ourselves and others.”*  There is such another form of prayer in the Constitutions [Constitut. Apostol. lib. viii. cap. 13. pp. 408, 409.]: it follows the oblation, and may itself be called, and often has been called, another oblation.  But the proper name for it is Commemoration of the passion, now made before God, pleading the merit of the same, in order to obtain the fruits and benefits of it.  This part of the service was very ancient, and most undoubtedly did obtain, in some shape or other, even from the beginning; pursuant to our Lord’s command, to make commemoration of him, and to St. Paul’s account of the Eucharist, as sheaving the Lord’s death till his coming again.  Such memorial of the passion is more than once mentioned by Justin Martyr, and Origen, and Cyprian, and Eusebius, and Chrysostom, and many more. [See above, ch. I, under the name Oblation and Memorial.]  The meaning of the petition which went along with it was, that our blessed Saviour, who is our intercessor and advocate above, might vouchsafe to make those prayers acceptable at the throne of grace, pleading the interest of his all-prevailing sacrifice in heaven.**  The Liturgy in Ambrose has the like memorial with the former, after the consecration [Pseudo-Ambrosius de Sacrament. lib. iv. cap. 6.]: and so has the Gallican Sacramentary. [Sacramentar. Gallican. p. 280.]  The Greek and Oriental Liturgies have commonly the same, but not always in the same order; sometimes placing the memorial, or annunciation, improperly, before the consecration, [Jacob. Liturg. ap. Fabric. p. 82.  Basil. Liturg. pp. 61, 68.] and again, more properly, after [Jacob. Liturg. p. 96.]: which is an argument of the lateness of those Liturgies, as we now have them, and of the confused state wherein most of them are.

         *[____, ____ __ _Ļ__________ ___ Ļ__________ ______, ___ __________ ________, _Ļ_ ___ ______ _______ ___ _______ Ļ___________ ___ ____ _Ļ__ ______ ___ _________ _______ ... _______ ____________ _Ļ__ ___ ________ ___________ Ļ__________, ____________ _Ļ__ _____ __ ___ ____ ________Ļ__ ____.  Cyrill. Mystag. v. pp. 327, 328.]

         **[Offert se ipse quasi sacerdos, ut peccata nostra dimittat: hic in imagine, ibi in veritate, ubi apud Patrem pro nobis quasi advocatus intervenit.”  Ambrosius de Offic. lib. i. cap. 48.]

         3.  But the most material point of all is to fix the true meaning of the invocation and illapse of the Spirit, into which the Greeks commonly resolve the consecration.  The Romish Divines have frequently laid bold of what is said concerning the illapse of the Spirit, as favourable to their tenet of transubstantiation; because the Holy Ghost is said to make the bread the body, and the wine the blood of Christ.  But when it came to be observed that the Greeks constantly used that prayer of invocation for the descent of the Spirit after the words of the institution (in which the Romanists fix the consecration), a great difficulty arose, how to reconcile Greeks and Latins, upon the article of consecration: for the former placed it in the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the latter in the words of institution.  A solution at length was thought on, namely, that the descent or illapse of the Holy Ghost, spoken of in the Greek Liturgies, should not be understood to make the symbols Christ’s body, etc. (being made such before in consecration, by the words, “This is my body,” etc.), but to make the reception of the body and blood beneficial and salutary to the communicants.  Many of the learned Latins, at the Council of Florence and after, embraced the solution with some eagerness.  Bessarion also then, and Arcudius afterwards (two Latinized Greeks) set themselves to defend it, and did it with good learning and judgment. [See particularly Arcudius de Concord. Eccles. Occident. et Orient. 1. iii. cap. 33. p. 287, etc.]  It appears to be true that they justly interpreted the intent and meaning of that invocation, by the beneficial effect of the illapse of the Spirit upon the communicants in the use of the symbols, and not by the Spirit’s making the symbols absolutely the body and blood: and we are so far obliged to them, for pleading unawares on the Protestant side, and thereby giving up the most plausible colours which all antiquity could afford for the novel doctrine of transubstantiation. [See Dr. Covers Account of the Gr. Church, p. 54, etc.]

         It must however be owned, that the later and shrewder Romanists, observing how their friends were caught in their own snare, have been very solicitous to retract that occasional concession, and to condemn Bessarion, Arcudius, and others, for giving into it.  Lequien is one of those who endeavour to recall the grant [Lequien in Notis ad Damascen. tom. i. p. 269.]; and Renaudot is another;* and Touttée a third.**  They are justly sensible, how their most specious pretenses from the ancients are at once taken from them, and that the Protestant cause is now triumphant, in that article, even upon their own concessions.  Their perceiving it with such concern does not at all abate the force of what Bessarion, and Arcudius, and many more of their friends very learnedly and justly pleaded for the original meaning of that form.  All circumstances shew that the true and ancient intent of that part of the service was not to implore any physical change in the elements, no, nor so much as a physical connection of the Spirit with the elements, but a moral change only in the elements, as to relations and uses, and a gracious presence of the Holy Spirit upon the communicants. [Vid. Fulgent. ad Monim. lib. ii. cap. 9, 10.]

         *[Quod aiunt Bessarionis et Arcudii imitatores totam orationem referri ad fructuosam mysterii suseeptionem, ferri non potest. ... Unde sequeretur nullam esse transmutationem erga indigne communicantes, quae germanissima est Protestantium doctrina. ... Si haec ad solam fructuosam communionem referantur, nulla magis commoda Protestantium causae interpretatio excogitari poterat.”  Renaudot. Liturg. Orient. tom. ii. p. 93.]

         **[Verba haec detorquere ad effectus Eucharistiae in nobis postulandos, ecclesiam luculentissimo, antiquissimo, et constantissimo transubstantiationis testimonio privare est.”  Touttée Cyrillian. Dissertat. iii. p. 238.]

         One argument of it may be drawn from the style of the prayer, “super nos, et super haec dona,”* begging the descent upon the communicants first, and then upon the elements; that is to say, upon the communicants in the use of those now holy or consecrated symbols.  Renaudot would persuade us that the “super nos” relates to the consecrators, or to the officiating clergy. [Renaudot. Liturg. Orient. tom. i. p. 340.]  But what I have before cited from St. Cyril, as understanding the descent of the Spirit to be upon the communicants in general, is a sufficient confutation of every such surmise.

         *[ See the Liturgies in Fabricius, 68, 84, 85, 98, 204, 205, 243, 298, 300; or in Renaudotius, tom. i. pp. 16, 31, 46, 48, 68, 105; tom. ii. pp. 118, 143, 313, 325.]

         Another argument of what I am here pleading for may “be drawn from the restriction to us, inserted in that form, in several Liturgies; particularly in the Gregorian Sacramentary, [“Quam oblationem tu, Deus, in omnibus quaesumus benedictam ... facere digneris, ut nobis corpus et sanguis fiat,” etc.] and from thence derived to the Canon of the Mass.  I have shewn the meaning of it before, and need not here repeat.

         But the clearest and strongest argument of all may be drawn from the like form of invocation in the Baptismal Offices; where it is certain that it could mean only a moral change of the water as to use and office, not a physical change of its substance. Why should the illapse of the Holy Spirit be supposed to work any greater, or any other change in the elements of the Eucharist, than in the waters of Baptism?  [Compare what Air. Pfaffius has well urged on this head, p. 76, etc.  Though it must be said that his own hypothesis will no more clear this article, than the Popish one can; for the invocation in Baptism draws down nothing but what is spiritual.]

         Renaudot, being aware of this difficulty, offers a kind of salvo for it; namely, that though the Spirit is invited to come down upon the waters in Baptism, yet he comes not to change the waters into Christ’s body and blood, but to give regeneration and remission to the persons.  He observes likewise that when the Spirit is invoked upon the oil, or chrism, or persons to be ordained, or whatever else is to be consecrated, it amounts only to a petition for the grace of the Spirit upon the parties concerned; which is quite another thing from changing the symbols in the Eucharist into the body and blood.*  But this appears to be begging the question, or rather to be giving up the main thing: for what we assert is, that the ancients supposed the like illapse of the Spirit, and like change wrought in the waters of Baptism, and in the oil, and chrism, etc., as in the elements of the Eucharist; and therefore if in those it amounted only to a moral or spiritual change, it cannot, upon their principles, amount to more in this. Cyril of Jerusalem, as before quoted, plainly makes those several cases so far parallel [See above, ch. VII.  Compare Bingham, book xi. ch. x. sect. 4.]; and so does Gregory Nyssen** after him: therefore Mr. Renaudot’s concessions turn upon himself, and recoil upon his own hypothesis.  It is not indeed said that the Holy Ghost in Baptism converts the water into body and blood; neither is it said that the Holy Ghost in the Eucharist converts the symbols into water of life, or into a celestial garment; each Sacrament has its distinguishing style and title, proper to the symbols of it, and to the resemblance intended in it.  For though they exhibit the same graces, yet they do it not under the same types, figures, or symbols: and that is the sole reason of the different style here and there.  There is the same change wrought in both, and by the same Divine power, and to the same salutary purposes.  There is the same kind of prayer in both, for the same kind of illapse or presence of the Spirit, and for the same kind of grace, virtue, and efficacy, whether upon the symbols or recipients.  If we feed upon Christ in the Eucharist, we put him on in Baptism, which comes to the same thing in the main.  If we are partakers of the spiritual lamb there, so are we also here.  If we drink his blood there, we are dipped in his blood here, which is tantamount.  Nay, we are partakers of the body and blood in both, according to the principles of the ancient writers.  Testimonies to that effect have often been collected by learned Protestants: and therefore, for the avoiding of prolixity, I choose rather to refer [Bishop Moreton on the Sacrament, p. 568, etc.  Albertinus, pp. 223, 426.  Bingham, book xi. chap. 16. sect. 4.] than to repeat.  Such being the certain doctrine of the ancients, it is a vain attempt to strain any expressions of theirs concerning the illapse of the Spirit in the Eucharist beyond what they admitted in the other Sacrament.  The substance of what they taught is the same with respect to both, only in different phrases, as the difference of the symbols required: for Baptism is not the Eucharist, though it exhibits the same graces, and does the same thing, and by the same powers, that the Eucharist does.

         *[“Invocatur vogue ut mittat Spiritum Sanctum super aquas baptismales, ut in illis baptizati accipiant regenera tionem, onmirunque peccatorum remissionem super oleum, et chrisma, ut gratiam baptizatis novam conferant: super ordinandos, ut accipiant sanctimoniam et potestatem ad sacra ministeria sancte exercenda: super oleum infirmorum, ut ejus unctio prosit infirmis ad salutem animae et corporis. . . . Verum in Eueharistia consecranda, aliud quid- dam se petere designant, nempe illapsum efficacem Spiritus Sancti in dona proposita, ut mutentur et transferantur in corpus et sanguinem Domini: qirod de aqua, chrismate, oleoque, aliisque Sacramentis, nunquam postulasse orientales reperiuntur.”  Renaudot. tom. i. pp. 196, 197.]

         **[Gregor. Nyssen. de Baptismo Christi, tom. ii. pp. 801, 802. edit. Paris. 1615.  Dr. Covel has observed the same at large, with respect to the later rituals, in his Account of the Greek Church, p. 33, etc.  And though he intended the instances there given only to shew that such forms implied no physical change in the things so consecrated, yet they really prove more, viz. that the Holy Spirit was supposed to rest upon the persons in the use of the symbols, and not upon the symbols themselves, in strictness of speech.  I may note also, that in pp. 56, 57, he has fully confuted the most specious pretense which the Romanists commonly make from some corrupt copies of Basil’s Liturgy, by producing a truer reading out of a different copy, near six hundred years old.]

         From the account here given, I may take notice, by the way, of the wisdom of our first Reformers, who, while they thought of inserting any prayer at all for the illapse of the Spirit, resolved to do it equally and indifferently in both the Offices; as well in the Office of Baptism*, as in the Office for the Communion:** for there is, undoubtedly, as much reason and as great authority for it with respect to the former, as there is with respect to the latter.  Indeed they were both thrown out afterwards, upon prudential considerations, and at the instance chiefly of two learned and judicious foreigners, whom Archbishop Cranmer called in to assist at the review of our Liturgy in 1551. [See Wheatly on the Common Prayer, p. 26.  Collier, Vindic. of Reas. and Def. p. 150.]  It was thought; perhaps, as there was no express Scripture precept, nor any clear proof of apostolical practice, either for this form or another, that therefore every church was at liberty in such cases.  It might be considered further, that several centuries probably had passed, before there were any public written Liturgies at all: and the Bishops commonly, in and for their respective churches, had been left to draw up such forms as they judged most proper to times and circumstances, conformable to the analogy of faith. [See Bingham, book i. chap. 19. sect. 17; book xiii. chap. 5. sect. i; book ii. chap. 6. sect. 2.  Renaudot, tom. i. p. 9.]  And since an ill use had often been made by Romanists of those words of the Communion Office, in favour of transubstantiation [See Cranmer, p. 325.  Dr. Aldrich, Reply to two Oxford Discourses, pp. 8, 9.] (for which there appeared some colour, though colour only, and owing to misconstruction and wrong inferences), prudence might require some alteration under such circumstances.  However, in our present Offices we have some remains of the ancient way of praying for the assistance of the Holy Spirit in both Sacraments.  In our Office of Public Baptism, we have the invocation couched under general expressions: the people are admonished to call upon God the Father, that the child brought to the font may be baptized with water “and the Holy Ghost”.  Then again, “sanctify him with the Holy Ghost,” and “give thy Holy Spirit to this infant”: and as to the outward element, “sanctify this water to the mystical washing away of sin.”  These passages, penned in a more reserved, general way, do yet really contain all that the more ancient invocation in Baptism amounted to.

         *[In King Edward’s first Prayer Book, A.D. 1549.  “O most merciful God our Saviour Jesu Christ ... upon whom, being baptized in the river of Jordan, the Holy Ghost came down in the likeness of a dove, send down, we beseech thee, the same thy Holy Spirit, to assist us, and to be present at this our invocation of thy holy name.  Sanctify this fountain of Baptism,” etc.]

         **[“Hear us, O merciful Father, we beseech thee, and with thy Holy Spirit and Word, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these thy gifts, and creatures of bread and wine, that they may be unto us the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ.”  N. B.  If it should be asked, how they are so unto us, if they be not first absolutely so?  Answer: They are said to be so unto us, when the beneficial effect goes along with them.  See Cranmer and Thorndike, cited above.]

         In our Communion Service, the invocation is more obscurely intimated under a few, and those general terms:  “Grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine ... may be partakers of his most precious body and blood.”*  This was part of the ancient invocation; and it expresses the thing formerly prayed for, without specifying the particular manner, or means, viz. the immediate operation of the Holy Spirit: though that also must of course be understood and implied, upon Christian principles taught in Scripture.  After all, I see no reason why it may not be justly thought as modest, and as reverent, to beg of God the Father the things which we want, understanding that he will grant them by his Holy Spirit, as to make a formal petition to him, to send his Holy Spirit upon the elements or upon the communicants; unless Scripture had particularly ordered some such special form, to be made use of in our sacramental solemnities, which it has not done.**

         *[That is, partakers of the merits and virtue of the body as crucified, and blood as spilled; and partakers also of the same body considered as raised again, and mystically united with worthy receivers.]

         **[Mirum in hisce, aliisque Orientalium Liturgiis, consensum videas circa invocationem Spiritus Sancti, ut dona faciat corpus et sanguinem Christi: de hac liturgica invocatione tamen in genuinis Apostolorum scriptis ne ___.”  Fabricius, Cod. Apocr. Nov. Test. part. iii. in praefatione.  “Nos equidem illam Spiritus Sancti _Ļ_________ neque ad symbolorum consecrationem necessariam, nec exorandam, nec Graecorum Liturgiam ea in parte defendendam, aut imitandam esse arbitramur.”  Deylingius, Observ. Miscellan. p. 199.]

         It must be owned, that there was something very affecting and awful in many of the ancient forms, apt to strike the minds of an assembly, and to raise their devout affections, when properly executed with a becoming dignity, by grave and venerable men.  Such was that prefatory part in several old Liturgies, “How dreadful is this season,” etc., made use of just before the expected coming of the Holy Spirit, in order to prepare every humble communicant to wait for it with the most profound reverence and most exalted devotions.  But it may be doubted, whether such forms are proper at all times and in all circumstances; and whether they might not, in some circumstances, rather obstruct than further the good ends designed by them.  The more general and reserved method is certainly the less affecting; but yet it may be, all things considered, the surest way to keep up the dignity of the Sacraments among the generality, and to secure the sacred Offices from contempt.  But I have said enough of this matter, which came in only by the way.

         While I am speaking of our excellent Liturgy, it may not be amiss to take notice of another article relating to this head, wherein it may appear to some short and defective.  It is very certain, that the commemoration, memorial, or annunciation of our Lord’s passion, with an address to God for his propitious favour thereupon, has been a very ancient, eminent, and solemn part of the Communion Service.  There is now no direct formal application of that kind in our Offices.  There was in King Edward’s Liturgy of 1549, in these words: “We thy humble servants do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty with these thy holy gifts, the memorial which thy Son has willed us to make, having in remembrance his blessed passion, mighty resurrection,” etc.  Why this part was struck out in the review, I know not; unless it was owing to some scruple (which however was needless) about making the memorial before God, which at that time might appear to give some umbrage to the Popish sacrifice, among such as knew not how to distinguish.  However that were, we have still the sum and substance of the primitive memorial remaining in our present Offices; not all in a place, but interspersed here and there in the exhortations and prayers.  In a previous exhortation, we read: “Above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, etc. for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ both God and man,” etc.  There is the sense and signification of the ancient memorial, only under a different form.  In the Post-Communion, we beseech God “to accept our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and to grant remission of sins to us and to the whole Church, by the merits and death of Christ Jesus.”  Which words contain the substance of what was anciently the appendage to the memorial.  There was besides, in most of the old Liturgies, [See in Fabricius’s Collection, pp. 36, 54, 70, 96, 147, 173, 206, 234, 265, 273, and in Renaudot’s passim.  Compare Apostol. Constit. lib. viii. cap. 13, and Pseud-Ambros. de Sacr. lib. iv. cap. 6.] a particular petition added, that the angels might carry up our prayers to the high altar in heaven; and this also was inserted in King Edward’s first Liturgy, but struck out at the first review.  As to the altar in heaven, I shall have occasion to say more in a chapter below, and therefore pass it over here.  As to the notion of angels conveying the prayers of the supplicants to the throne above, I know not whether it had any better grounds than the authority of the apocryphal book of Tobit, [Tobit 12:15.] as Bucer observed. [Bucer.  Script. Anglican. p. 473.]  It seems to have been originally a Jewish notion [Cp. Testamentum Levi, in Grab. Spicileg. tom. i. p. 159.]; though a late learned writer chooses rather to derive it from the Platonic philosophy [Eisner. in Grace. Testam. tom. ii. p. 117.]: I think, improperly; for it will be hard to prove, that Plato was before Tobit, or before the book bearing his name. [Of Tobit, see Prideaux’s Connection, part i. p. 39. fol. edit.  Fabric. Bibl. Graec. lib. iii. cap. 29.  Dupin, Can. of the Old Test. p. 89.]  Besides that, the Pagans were more likely to borrow such things from Jews, than the Jews from them.  But be that as it will, since the notion has no certain warrant in canonical Scripture, it was prudent to strike it out of our Church Offices.  Upon the whole, though all human compositions must have their defects, more or less, I am persuaded, that our Communion Service, as it now stands, is as grave, and solemn, and as judicious, as any other that can be named, be it ancient or modern.  It may want some things which were well inserted in other Offices; but then it has well left out several other things, which most Liturgies are rather burdened with, than benefited.  But I return.

         As to the main point now in hand, it is very plain from all liturgies, and from all kinds of ancient testimonies, that the Christian world has all along believed, that the Spirit of God is invisibly present) and operates effectually in both Sacraments; as well to confer a relative holiness upon the outward symbols, as to convey the grace of sanctification to the faithful recipients. Therefore the Socinians stand condemned as to this article, by- all churches, ancient or modern, as well as by Scripture itself, and the plainest reason: neither have they any plea to offer on that side, which carries so much as the face of a direct argument. I am aware, that they may have something to plead obliquely, while arguing against the existence, or personality, or divinity of the Holy Ghost, or against any ordinary operations from above upon the minds of men, to enlighten or sanctify them: and whatever they may have to plead in respect to those previous points; will remotely affect the present question. But it is not my business here, to run out into those preliminary inquiries, almost foreign to the particular subject I am upon, and fitter to make distinct and separate treatises, than’to be brought in here. As to direct arguments, I can think of few or none [The argument drawn against present benefits from the word remembrance has been obviated above, ch. IV.  I shall only hint further, that remembering, in this case, is not opposed to a thing’s being present, but to its being forgot, as spiritual and invisible benefits easily may, though near at hand all the time.  Vid. Nourrii Apparat. tom. i. p. 411.] at present, unless we may reckon that for one which charges our doctrine in this particular, as making the Sacraments charms and spells; an objection built upon manifest calumny or misconception, and looking more like buffoonery than serious argument, especially as worded by some of that side.  One of them writes thus: “When St. Austin defined a sacrament to be the outward visible sign of an inward invisible grace or energy, the good Father should have considered, that this is a definition of a charm, not of a Gospel Sacrament: for a charm is a bare outward visible sign, that which has no natural or real agreement with the effect. ... They have turned the Gospel Sacraments into charms and spells.” [Trinitarian Scheme of Religion, pp. 24, 25, printed in the year 1692.]  The same trifling impertinence might as justly be urged against Naaman’s being healed of his leprosy by washing in Jordan [2 Kings 5:14.]; or against Hezekiah’s being cured by a lump of figs [2 Kings 20:7.  Is. 38:21.]; or against the blind man’s receiving sight by the means of clay and spittle and washing in the pool of Siloam. [John 9:7.]  We place no more virtue in the naked symbols, than in the meanest instruments whatever, which God may at any time please to make use of, and sanctify to high and holy purposes.  Those instruments in themselves do nothing: it is God that does all, in and through the appointed use of them.  He that blasphemes or derides the certain workings of God, or of the Spirit of God, upon the souls or bodies of men, under the names of charms, spells, enchantments, or the like (as the Jews derided our Lord’s miracles), seems to forget the reverence due to Divine Majesty, and the respect which we owe to high and holy things.  But to put the kindest and most favourable construction we can upon the objection as here worded, it is charging St. Austin and all the primitive churches, and their followers, with what they are notoriously known, not only never to have taught, but constantly to have disclaimed.  They never do attribute to the bare elements the works of grace, but constantly ascribe them to the powerful hand of God, working in or with the elements.  If that he working by charms or spells, let any man tell us, what supernatural or preternatural works of God are not as justly liable to the same imputation.

         If the purport of the objection be to reject all such Divine operations as we here suppose upon moral agents, as not consistent with human liberty; that is a more general question, previous to what we are now upon, and therefore in a great measure foreign to the point in hand.  It is sufficient to say, that the general doctrine of grace is so fully established in the New Testament, that no Christian can consistently reject it.  As to the manner of it, it is not for us to presume to explain it: but we are certain it is wrought in a moral way, in a way consistent with moral agency and human liberty.  We know the fact: we need no more.  If any man will undertake to demonstrate a priori, that there can be no medium between irresistible impressions and none at all, or that God cannot sanctify, or purify, or enlighten the soul of man, in any degree, without making him a machine, he may perhaps deserve to be heard; but in the mean while Scripture, express Scripture, will deserve our attention, and will command the faith of every true disciple of Christ.

         Some perhaps may think it an objection to what has been here pleaded, that grace is also promised, sometimes to prayer, sometimes to faith, and sometimes to hearing, and therefore is not peculiar to the Sacraments: for it has been suggested, that “the spiritual eating of Christ is common to all places, as well as to the Lord’s table.” [Hales’s Tracts, p. 57.]  This I have touched upon before, [See above, Chapter VIII.] and shall only add here, that we do not confine God’s grace to the Sacraments; neither do we assert any peculiar grace, as appropriate to them only: but what we assert is, some peculiar degree of the same graces, or some peculiar certainty, or constancy, as to the effect, in the due use of those means.*  And if the Divine graces, more or less, go along with all the Divine ordinances, well may they be supposed to go along with those, which are the most solemn and most exalted of any, and have also more of a federal nature in them; as has been hinted above, [See above, Chapter VIII.] and will be proved at large in the chapter here following.

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