Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

whether they have any reason to expect to be made partakers of the benefits of this holy communion, who do not receive it in such a manner as Christ has commanded us to do.

FROOF SUBJOINED. 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25, 26.

As above.

10. Q. Did the apostles give the cup to the laycommunicants in their churches?

A. Yes, certainly; or else St. Paul would never have argued with the Corinthians against communicating with idolaters, as he does, 1 Cor. x. 15, &c. 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 body of Christ? Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils. Nor have spoken of this sacrament as he does in the next chapter: verses 20, 27, 28, 29. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 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 unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord s body. In every one of which he takes notice of their drinking of the sacramental cup, as well as of their eating of the sacramental bread.

U.Q. What then do you think of those of the church of Rome, who deny the cup to the laity?

A. As of a most presumptuous sort of men, who sacrilegiously deprive the people of xyhat Christ has given them a right to.

12. Q. Vo you think this change so considerable

as to warrant one to break off communion with that church which has made it?

A. No one can with a good conscience receive this holy sacrament after any other manner than Christ has ordained it to be received. If, therefore, the church of Rome shall obstinately refuse to give it to the laycommunicant in both kinds, he is bound in conscience not to receive it of her priests at all: but to go to those who are ready to distribute it to him in the same integrity in which it was first instituted by our blessed Lord.

Sect. XLVIII. Of the real Presence, as acknowledged by us; of

Christ's Body and Blood in this Sacrament; and the Benefits which from thence accrue to us.

1. Q. What is the inward part, or thing signified in this holy sacrament?

A. The body and blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper.

2. Q. Are the body and blood of Christ really distributed to every communicant in this sacrament?

A. No, they are not; for then every communicant, whether prepared or not for it, would alike receive Christ's body and blood there. That which is given by the priest to the communicant, is, as to its nature, the same after consecration that it was before, viz. bread and wine : only altered as to its use and signification.

3. Q. If the body and blood of Christ be not really given and distributed by the priest, how can they be verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful communicant ?

A. That which is given by the priest is, as to its substance, bread and wine: as to its sacramental nature and signification, it is the figure or representation of Christ's body and blood, which was broken and shed for us. The very body and blood of Christ, as yet it is not. But being with faith and piety received by the communicant, it becomes to him by the blessing of God, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, the very body and blood of Christ: as to those who come unworthily to it, it is made damnation, i. e. it renders them worthy of it, and without repentance, will certainly consign them over unto it.

4. Q. How does the bread and wine become to the faithful and worthy communicant the very body and

blood of Christ?

A. As it intitles him to a part in the sacrifice of his death, and to the benefits thereby procured to all

his fattbful and obeDtcnt servants.

5. Q. How does every such communicant take and receive the body and blood of Christ in this sacrament?

A. By faith: and by means whereof he who comes worthily to the holy table, is as truly intitled to a part in Christ's sacrifice, by receiving the sacramental bread and wine which is there delivered to him, as any man is intitled to an estate, by receiving a deed of conveyance from one who has a power to deliver it to his use.

o. Q. anbat are tt>e benefits tobereof those tobo

thus receive this holy sacrament are made partflfeetS

therebp?

A. The strengthening and refreshing of their souls by the body and blood of Christ, as their bodies are by the bread and wine.

[graphic]

7. Q. How does such a receiving of this holy sacrament strengthen our souls?

A. As it adds a new confirmation to us every time we receive it, of God's mercy towards us, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; and thereby fortifies and corroborates us more and more, in the discharge of our duty, and to a resistance of all such temptations as may be likely to draw us away from it.

8. Q. Does it strengthen us in any other respect besides this?

A. Yes, it does: for being thus secured of a part in Christ's sacrifice for us, we are thereby fortified against all doubts and fears of our salvation; are confirmed against the appreheusion of any present dangers or sufferings for righteousness sake; which we shall reckon not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us: and, finally, are strengthened against the fear of death itself, which we are hereby taught to look upon as a passage only to a most blessed and everlasting life.

Sect. XL1X.

Of Transubstantiation, or the real Presence maintained by the Church of Rome; and the manifest absurdities and impossibilities of it.

I. Q. Is this the only way in which you suppose Christ's body and blood to be really present in this sacrament?

A. It is the only way in which I conceive it possible for them to be present there. As for his Divine nature, that being infinite, he is by virtue thereof everywhere present. But in his 'human nature, and particularly his body, be is in heaven only; nor can that be any otherwise present to us on earth, than by figure and representation; or b else by such a communion as I have before been speaking of.

Proof Subjoined.—* Acts, i. 9, 11. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly towards heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus is taken from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

fc 1 Cor. x. 16. The cup of blessing which tee 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?

2. Q. Does not Christ expressly say, that the bread is his body, and the cup his blood?

A. He does say of the bread and wine so taken, blessed, broken, and given, as they were by bini in that sacred action, that this is my body, &c.; and so they are. The bread which we break is not only in figure and similitude, but by a real spiritual communion his body: the cup of blessing which we bless, is by the same communion his blood, 1 Cor. x. 16. But this does not binder, but that, as to their own natural substances, they may, and indeed do still continue to be what they appear to us, the same bread and wine that before they were.

3. Q. What think you of those who believe the very elements of bread and wine, (by the words of nrtSt) ta be reaU» changed into the body and blood

[graphic]
« IndietroContinua »