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ter in Israel, that the bare juxta-position of these sentences will render each the comment upon the other. From which analogy, I cannot but think, that whoever will observe the style, manner, and connection of these two discourses, will be of opinion, that St. John took pains industriously to shew, that the two institutions, which were to distinguish this Religion, made part of our Saviour's plan long before they were actually enjoined. What confirms this notion is, that the only miracle which St. John relates after the other Evangelists, is this, of the miraculous increase of bread, a circumstance in itself highly remarkable, as the reason of it is obvious, because it gave an easy opportunity of introducing and explaining the nature of this Sacrament, as the occurrence relating to Nicodemus had afforded an opportunity of explaining the other. To which I must add, that he is the only Evangelist who insists upon the sacramental importance of either institution; and that his attention, in this instance, is perfectly consonant with the general design of his history, which was written in aid
of the other Evangelists, to supply such doctrines as he judged might be most usefully added, and at the same time, to correct the misrepresentations of some already received."
. The learned Bishop proceeds to answer other objections in a manner equally able. He concludes a convincing discourse, with saying, "If we are justified in interpreting the words of this chapter, "He "that eateth my flesh and drinketh my "blood, dwelleth in me and I in him," directly of this Sacrament, this passage will have an important influence on forming our opinion respecting the Peculiar Benefits arising from this institution, and we have only to inquire into the meaning of the words, "dwelleth in me and I "in him," to determine what these benefits precisely are.
"To dwell in Christ, therefore, is to live according to his commandments j to have Christ dwelling in us, is to enjoy the influence of his Holy Spirit.
"Thus St. John .:. "Hereby we know "that he abideth in us, by the Spirit that "he hath given us: again, hereby know
** we that we dwell in him, and he in us* "because he hath given us of his Spirit." ** If then we rightly interpret the text, the assistances of the Spirit are directly annexed to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. But thei sanctification of the Spirit supposes Redemption and Pardon; .which, therefore, might else from this chapter be proved, a benefit consequent upon this ordinance. But as these truths may be more obviously and simply de* duced from the words of the institution, and from the nature of the rite itself, J shall not insist at large upon the argument, but content myself with having shewn, in opposition, to those who have interpreted the eating and drinking Christ's body and blood to be no more than keeping his commandments, that it alluded to something more analogous to the literal sense of the words: in opposition to those who interpret it only of the thing signified in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, that it includes the signs also; Avithout which the notion of spiritual manducation is unfounded, and the passage, both to Jew and Christian, inexplicable: in opposi
D 3 Hon Hon to those who consider the Lord's Supper simply as a remembrance of his death, that it is a commemoration of the sacrifice for sin made by his death, and a symbolical feast upon a sacrifice; and is therefore a pledge and means of communicating to us all the benefits of that sacrifice."
Such is the opinion of this ingenious writer on these passages of St. John; and such also is, and was always, upon due consideration, mine. But though it is certainly proper to confute the erroneous interpretations of controversialists, who, from motives of religious party, have denied the reference/of this chapter to the Sacrament, yet I cannot help observing, that scarcely any reader of common sense can doubt that the words, concerning eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ, are to be applied to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. I venture to affirm, that they are now so understood by all who have not been misled by the perusal of partial commentators, leaders in the field of controversy; and I think the decisions of common sense in matters of which it is
competent competent to judge, are often more to be depended upon, as criterions of truth, than the refined speculations of men accustomed to dispute merely for the palm of victory. Such men have often divested Divinity of all its Religion.
I shall again have occasion briefly to consider the reference of the sixth chapter of St. John to the Sacrament, when I proceed more particularly to review the benefits annexed to the worthy reception of it*.
* "When St.Paul tells us, 1 Cor. v. 7, 8> "Christ, our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the Feast," his words imply, that the Jewish Passover was a sacrifice and feast upon it, and that Christians have a Passover which resembles it:" that is, which is aFEAsf Upon A Sacrifice.—Dr. Townson.
'* We must not understand, in the Sacrament, the bare, naked, and empty remembrance of Christ's death, the calling to mind the history of bis Passion, which the devils can do, and the worst of men: Th U S to remember Christ, were but to Forget him; but, we must understand a remembrance Cum Effectu ; thcrelying on his death; with a lively faith, and the applying of his merits to our souls."—T. Fuller.
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