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popery. Among the mass of the people it is already neglected; but if the doctrine taught by distinguished divines, that it is but a ceremony without benefits, should prevail; the neglect of worthy receiving will not be apologized for, as the effect of thoughtlessness; but boldly desended, as displaying a mind, superior to idle and superstitious formality.
This degrading opinion has already been ably consuted; and, in this place, I shall add only one or two considerations on its absurdity; suggested by the learned author of the Divine Legation. He is an accurate reasoner; and I preser his testimony, on the present occasion, because he was singularly adverse to every thing that bordered on fanaticism. He would not have maintained the mysterious dignity of the Eucharist, and the beneficial effects which attend it, unless he had been convinced of them by arguments of irresistible force.
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is allowed to be a Communion of the Participants, from the words which follow:
"We being many are one bread and c* one body, for we are all partakers of that "one bread*." It is therefore, in being a Communion of the Participants, something more than mere remembrance of a benefactor. It makes the' receivers (as we here read) "of many to become one body." But if it be merely a Commemoration of a departed benefactor, the receivers are not made by it one body, but remain, as they were, separate prosessors of one common faith. They were connected in the circumstance of a common prosession of faith, before they partook of the bread, and are not at all the more assimilated by an act of memory, which each of them m\ghtfeparately perform, whether insolitude or in company. But by their ,c communion of the body and "blood" of Christ they become mystically United to each other and to Him.
If the Sacrament had been the mere remembrance of a Benefactor, how could the crime of the Corinthians have been so great, as to render them " guilty of the "body and biood of Jesus Christy v" * i Cor. x. . f i Cor. xt. 27.
c 2 that that is, involved in the guilt of his intentional murderers?" There was more in "it than a mere remembrance," fays Bishop Warburton, " or St. Paul aggra«* vates their crime." Was the sestivity of the Corinthians, if carried even to some degree of excess, a crime so atrocious as to constitute them no less guilty than the murderers of Jesus Christ, when the very exuberance of their joy might arise from an extreme gratitude to a Benefactor, at a seast appointed by himself, purposely for a chearsul commemoration. They might have been guilty of very blamable irreverence and indecorum in their excess; but not guilty of a crime equal to the murder of our Saviour, unless there was something more in the seast than mere remembrance. "To rank these criminals," fays the fame able prelate, " with the mur"-derers of the Lord of Lise, is a severity <c of which we cannot see the justice.— "But when we view the Sacrament as A "seast, or rite, in which the benefits of "Christ's death and passion were convey"ed, and at the fame time flighted by the
"Coria'* Corinthians, we can then account for their "criminality. Slighting the benefits, was "rendering, as far as in them lay, the "death and passion of Christ ineffectual, "which was the purpose of his murderers;" therefore the crime of the Corinthians, thus viewed, had a similarity with that of his murderers, and justly provoked the Apostle's indignation.
1 suppose the modern degraders of the Sacrament will not deny, that St. Paul understood the nature and design os the Sacrament persectly? and it appears si om his opinion of the Corinthian profanation, that he could not confider it as a mere memorial. No method of keeping a seast of commemoration could render the partakers equally guilty with those who crucified their Saviour; the crime which is implied in the words, "guilty of the "body and blood of Jesus Christ."
Without repeating all the arguments of those writers who answered Bishop Hoadly, I think it will appear from the following pages, that the Lord's Supper is attended with .present benefits of the highest nature, c 3 and and therefore cannot be a mere memorial, a mere act of obedience, in which neither is the foul strengthened and refreshed, nor any inward and spiritual grace conserred; though strength, refreshment, and Divine assistance, are the benefits, which the Church in her Catechism, founded on Scripture, (particularly the sixth chapter of St. John,) teaches her children to expect from a worthy participation of the Lord's Supper.