Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

can suffer, is such a contradiction to all the principles of our religion, that the papists themselves are ashamed to assert it.

Proofs Subjoined.—Heb. ix. 25, 26. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high-priest entereth into the holy place every year, with blood of others: for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world. But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sucrifice of himself, x. 10, 11, 12. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never lake away sins: but this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God.

12. Q. What think you of the sacrifice, as they call it, of the mass?

A. We do not deny hut that, in a large sense, this sacrament may be called a sacrifice; as the bread and wine may be called the body and blood of Christ. But that this sacrament should be a true and proper sacrifice, as they define the sacrifice of the mass to be, it is altogether false and impious to assert.

13. Q. What then was the design of our Saviour in this institution?

A. To leave to his church a perpetual, solemn, and sacred memorial of his death for us; that as often as we come to the Lords table, and there join in the celebration of this holy sacrament, we might be moved by what is there done, at once both to call to our remembrance all the passages of his passion; to consider him as there set forth crucified before our eyes, and to meditate upon the love of Christ thus dying for us, and upon the ruiziit% benefits and advantages which ba?e accroed to us thereby; and have our hearts affected after a suitable manner towards him.

[graphic]

Peoof Subjoined.—1 Cor. xi. 24, 26. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, amd said, Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lords death till he come.

Sect. XLVII.

Of the outward Elements of Bread and Wine, and our Obligation to communicate in both kinds.

1. Q. You before said that in every sacrament there must be two parts, an outward and an inward: What is therefore the OUttDattJ part Or StffH Of the

lortJ's &upper?

A SreaD anU tome, tohtch the loro hath rommantteo to be retetbeo.

2. Q. Did Christ institute this sacrament in both these?

A. Yes, he did: be first took bread, gave thanks, and brake it, saying, Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me; and then, after the same manner he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me, 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25.

3. Q. For what end did Christ appoint these outward signs of this sacrament?

A. The words of his institution plainly shew it; that those who celebrate this sacrament might eat of the one, and drink of the other, at his table.

4. Q. May not a person who only looks on, and sees the priest officiate, commemorate Christ's death, and meditate upon the benefits of it, as well as if he received the elements of bread and wine?

A. I will answer your question with another: may not a person who is not baptized, when he sees that holy sacrament administered, be truly penitent for his sins, and believe in Christ? and desire to* be regenerated and adopted into the communion of his church, as well as if he were himself washed with the water of baptism? But yet the bare looking on in this case, would not entitle such a one to the grace of regeneration: nor will it any more entitle the other to the communion of Christ's body and blood. In all these cases the question is not what we think we might do, but what Christ has commanded us to do: and we must observe what he requires, if ever we mean to be made partakers of what he promises. Now that, in the present instance, is not idly to look on, as those of the church of Rome, in the celebration of their masses generally; but to do this, i. e. to eat this bread, and drink of this cup in remembrance of him.

5. Q. Do you think it necessary that every communicant should receive this sacrament in both kinds?

A. I do think it necessary; for so our Saviour has appointed it. Thus he gave it to his disciples, and thus they received it at his hands. 1 Cor. xi. 27, 28, 29. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh murorthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lords body.

6. Q. But his disciples were priests, and therefore their receiring this sacrament in both kinds, does not argue that it is necessary for the people to do likewise?

A. Whether all who were then present at the table with our Saviour were priests, is very uncertain. The blessed Virgin we are sure was at that time at Jerusalem, and probably did eat the pass over, according to the law, with Am. Exod. xii. 3, &c. In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their /others, a

lamb J or «**• m/wi.

Yet she was certainly but a lay-communicant: and many others, for ought we know, there might be in the same circumstances. But not to insist upon this; our Saviour made no distinction between priests and lay-communicants, as to the business of receiving of this sacrament in one or both kinds. He gave both the bread and trine himself, to all that were at the table; and he has left a general commandment to us to do likewise. And his words and his actions together, evidently require this of all of us: that those who administer this sacrament, should administer it as Christ did ; and those who receive it, should receive it as the disciples did of him.

7. Q. Do you then make no distinction between the priests and the people, in what concerns this holy sacrament? *

A. As to the manner of receiving it, none at all. When those who are priests receive this sacrament of another priest, it is as when they hear the word preached: they receive it not as priests, but as Christians. And therefore at the institution of this sacrament, our Saviour Christ alone acted as a priest. He resembled the ministers of the church; the disciples represented the faithful, who were afterwards to receive this sacrament from the ministers of the church, after the very same manner that they received it at Christ's hand.

8. Q. But is not this sacrament as perfect in one kind as in both?

A. Can a thing beperfect which wants one halfof what is required to make it perfect?

9. Q. Yet it cannot be denied, but that he who receives the body of Christ, does therewith receive the blood too?

A. Though that be not the question, yet it not only may be, but in this case is, absolutely denied by us; nor indeed can it without a manifest absurdity be affirmed. Jt was the design of our Saviour Christ in this sacrament to represent his crucified body; his body as it was given for us. Now, we know, that when he suffered his blood was shed, and let out of his body; and that to represent his blood thus separated from his body, the cup was consecrated apart by him. And how then can it be pretended that he who communicates in such a body, must partake of the blood together with it?

But this is notour business: the points which we insist upon are these: first, whether Christ having confessedly instituted this sacrament in both kinds, and commanded us to do likewise, those do not evidently depart from his institution, who give and receive it only in one? And if they do, then, secondly,

« IndietroContinua »