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and everlasting; and the blood of the new sacrifice shall be the seal of this new covenant. The blood of Jesus, commemorated and represented in the Eucharist, shall be the sign of the new covenant between a reconciled God and his pardoned creatures.
What, then, is the sacrament of the Eucharist? It is this—a symbolical commemoration, instituted by Christ himself, of the sacrifice of his death. It is, moreover, a federal act between God and man—an act by which man signifies to God his faith and obedience, and God signifies and promises to man inward and spiritual grace; and therefore it is, as expressed in the articles of our church, “A badge or token of a Christian man's profession, and not only that, but a certain sure witness, and effectual sign of grace, and God's good will towards us; and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith in Him.” There is an intermixture of four distinct notions--a covenant, a sacrifice, a feast, and an act of commemoration. Neither one or the other, by themselves, could hold good; but the whole four united together define the sacrament. The notion of performing a sacrifice, and upon that sacrifice instituting a feast, and by that feast ratifying a covenant; and the whole ceremony, thus constituting an act of memorial, has existed from the earliest ages.* The greatest and most remarkable instance is the Passover. The sacrifice of the lamb, the eating of the lamb, which constitutes the feast, the covenant thereby ratified between the Israelites and God, and the memorial thereby established of the deliverance from Egypt. . And here it is that the great distinction arises between the Roman and the Anglican church. The Roman church makes the Eucharist a sacrifice. They affirm that the body of Jesus is again offered up to God by the hands of the priest ;* but we affirm that it is only
* See Gen. xxvi. 31.
The covenant made between Abime
lech and Isaac. See also Exod. xxxiv. 15, and 1 Samuel i. 24, where Hannah, according to her vow, offers her child Samuel unto the Lord, and it is said,—“And they slew a bullock and brought the child to Eli.” To these instances from scripture, the classical reader will readily add abundant testimony from heathen writers ; particularly he will remember, Homer, Book i, 455, and iii, 290,—and in fact, every ancient author abounds in similar testimony. So that Cudworth, in his treatise, says of paganism, that it is “nothing but Judaism degenerate."
For a more full enquiry into the above very interesting particulars, see Cudworth.
* That I may not appear to exaggerate the errors of the church of Rome, I quote from the Council of Trent, the three first canons of the sacrifice of the mass.
"CANON I. “If any man shall say, that there is not offered to God in the mass, a true and proper sacrifice; or, if he shall
that that which is offered, is nothing else than that Christ is given us to eat; let him be accursed.”
“ Canon II. “ If any man shall say, that in the words 'Do this in remembrance of me:' Christ did not appoint the apostles to be priests,
a feast upon a sacrifice,—that Jesus has been once offered—that he never can be offered again, but that we, after the custom of a sacrifice, present unto God bread and wine before his altar; and that upon that bread and wine so offered, we make a feast, recording the original and real sacrifice. Thus it is that St. Paul, when desirous to warn the Corinthian converts from presenting themselves at the idolatrous feasts of heathens, or from eating meat which had been offered to idols, expressly institutes a comparison between the Lord's Supper, as a sacrificial feast, and the idolatrous sacrificial feasts of the heathens. He says: “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?”* And then, afterwards—“Ye cannot drink of 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 argument evidently is this: You must not, in the heathen sacrifice, partake of the feast which they celebrate; because, by so doing, you would be as much partakers, and in communion with their false worship of demons, as you are by partaking of the cup and of the bread in the Eucharist, in communion with the blood and the body of Christ, for they both are sacrificial feasts. While, then, we must be cautious how we fall into any notion derogatory to the dignity of this sacrament, by supposing it a mere act of commemoration, or a mere renewal of a former pledge between ourselves and God, we must at the same time be equally cautious lest we imagine any renewal of the once offered sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The sacrifice has been made once for all. We record it in the bread and wine offered. Upon this we make a feast of joy and thanksgiving, renew our promises to God, and God renews his promises to us; and the altar, and the priest, and the oblation, are symbolical and commemorative of the glorious privileges which Jesus purchased for us at the price of his own sufferings and death.
or did not ordain that they and other priests should offer his body and blood; let him be accursed."
“ CANON III. “If any man shall say, that the sacrifice of the mass is only one of praise and thanksgiving, or a bare commemoration of the sacrifice which was made upon the cross, but not propitiatory; or that it profits him alone who receives it, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities ; let him be accursed.”
*1 Cor. x. 16. 18.
Lastly, as an explanation of the nature and design of the Eucharist, a very curious analogy may be traced between the passover of the Jews, and that which may very justly be called the passover of the Christians. At the time our Saviour instituted the Eucharist, the Mosaic dispensation was at its close. The Holy of Holies was about to be thrown open, and man was about to be reconciled to God by the sacrifice of his only Son. The long series of prophecies were now about to be accomplished : the types, the figures, the offerings and sacrifices of the Levitical law were at an end. The lamb slain at the passover merely prefigured the crucifixion of the Lamb of God; the blood sprinkled on the door-post and lintel merely prefigured the blood to be sprinkled on the hearts of men by the piercing of the soldier's spear; and, inasmuch as God thought fit to shadow forth these things to mankind, before they took place, so it seems natural that he should institute ordinances in commemoration of them, after they had taken place. What the passover was to the Jews, the Eucharist is to us : St. Paul expressly says, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
But the similarity is the more curious, the more closely we examine. For a due participation in the passover, the previous rite of circumcision was demanded as essential : “No stranger was to partake thereof." For a due participation in the Eucharist, the previous sacrament of baptism is deemed essential. In the paschal supper, the master of the family