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world Plain Accounts and Practical Accounts of the Sacrament, according to which the Scriptural expressions of eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ aresofar from being eitherplain or practical, that they appear monstrous and irrational in the highest degree. What has eating the body or drinking the blood to do with a mere act of the memory ? They are conscious of this irrelevancy, and therefore do not chuse to admit the Sacramental construction of the sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel.
The plainest and most rational account of the Sacrament, that I know of, is that which describes it as a FEAST ON OR AFTER A SACRIFICE. The eating of the body, and drinking of the blood of the victim, are expressions, when the general nature of sacrifices is once explained, perfectly intelligible ; and the feast on the oblaTion of the real body and blood is well emblematized by the bread and wine. It is obvious to remark that the real victim on the Sacrifice, could not in this case, even for once, have afforded a real feast, much less a feast to be repeated all over Christendom, till the second advent, when all signs, symbols, types and shadows, shall be superseded by a personal presence, by a substantial form, by a body glorified beyond all power, not only of description, but of imagination.
From the doctrine that we cannot enjoy the benefits of the sacrifices, without being participants of the feast after it, we may understand the awful words of our Saviour: “ Verily, verily,” (a most solemn asseveration,) " I say unto you, except ye “ eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and “ drink his blood, ye can have no life in “ you *;" that is, • I positively declare to you that unless you partake of the sacrifice of myself, by partaking of the feast that I shall institute upon it, ye cannot share the benefits which that sacrifice was intended to confer; even life, spiritual life, and life eternal. “ Except you eat of this bread, and drink of this wine, ye have no life in you.” Words too strong and too alarming to be lightly passed over by those who are sincere in their profession of Christianity; and yet words of comfort to those who understand them of the eucharistical bread and wine. • John, vi...
DR. CUDWORTH'S ACCOUNT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
“ The Lord's Supper in the Christian Church
“ in Reference to the true Sacrifice of “ Christ, is a Parallel to the Feasts upon “ Sacrifices, both in the Jewish Religion " and the Heathenish Superstition.”
“Lest,” says Dr. Cudworth,“ we should seem all this while to set up fancies of our own, and then sport with them; we come now to DEMONSTRATE and evince that the Lord's Supper, in the proper notion of it, is EPULUM EX OBLATIS, or a Feast upon Sacrifice, in the same manner with the Feasts upon the Jewish Sacrifices under the Law, and the Feasts upon EIASADOTTA, things offered up to Idols among the Heathens; and that from a place of Scripture where all these three shall be compared together, and made
exact parallels. 1 Corinth. chap. x, verses 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21. “ Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from Idolatry. I speak as to wise men, judge ye what I say—the Cup of Blessing which we bless, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ ! The Bread which we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ ?-Behold Israel after the flesh; are not they which eat of the Sacrifices partakers of the Altar ?— Now, I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice unto Devils, and not to God, and I would not that ye should have fellowship with Devils-Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of Devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's Table and the Table of Devils."
Where the Apostle's scope being to convince the Corinthians of the unlawfulness of eating things sacrificed to Idols, he doth it in this manner; shweing that though an Idol were truly nothing, and things sacrificed to Idols were physically nothing, as different from other meats, (as it seems they argued, and St. Paul confesses in the nineteenth verse), yet inorally
and circumstantially, to eat of things sacrificed to Idols in the Idols Temple, was to CONSENT with the Sacrifices and to be guilty of them.
Which he illustrates, FIRST, from a parallel Rite in the Christian Religion, where the eating and drinking of the Body and Blood of Christ, OFFERED upon the Cross, is a real Communication in his Death and Sacrifice; “ The cup of Blessing which we bless, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ? The Bread which we break, is it not the Com, munion of the Body of Christ ?"
SECONDLY, from another parallel of the same Rite among the Jews, where always they that eat of the Sacrifices were partakers of the Altar, that is, of the Sacrifice offered up upon the Altar. “Behold Israel after the flesh (that is, the Jews); are not they which eat of the Sacrifices, partakers of the Altar ?"
“ In veteri Lege, quicunque admitte“ bantur ad edendum de Hostiis oblatis, “ censebantur ipsius Sacrificii, tanquam " pro ipsis oblati, fieri participes et per