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power of imparting eternal life to men, (inasmuch as Christ died for the life of the world,) just as material meat and drink have the power of sustaining corporeal and temporary existence. But as it is necessary to take meat and drink, or to eat and drink, if we would support this temporary existence, so also ought we to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ, (the comparison being pursued by him,) if we would obtain eternal life through his death. Since then the flesh and blood of Christ are by him called meat and drink, by way
of similitude, it follows that to eat this flesh and drink this blood, was also spoken by him no otherwise than by way of similitude, and so ought to be understood by all. And what else can this be but to believe and be thoroughly convinced, that Christ died for us and for our sins? For from this belief, if it be productive of piety, follow eternal life, the wonderful refreshing of our minds, and the firmest assurance of the forgiveness of all our sins and of the obtaining of eternal life.
But how are those words of Paul to be understood (1 Cor. x. 16), “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ; bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ ?”
In this manner:~that all who bless this cup, that is, sanctify it by thanksgiving and the celebration of the name of the Lord; and, in like manner, they who break this bread together; provided they practise this rite worthily, have the communion of the body and blood of Christ; that is, of all the benefits which
Christ procured for us by his death; and attest this also in this ordinance. For that they have communion among themselves is apparent from hence, that they are one bread and one body; that is, they are companions [companes, sive companiones, et concorpores], because all partake of one bread. In like manner, immediately after, (ver. 18,) explaining by another example the matter concerning which he is there treating, he says that Israel after the flesh, who eat of the victims slaughtered at the altars, are partakers of the altar, and therefore of the worship and the sacrifices, and that this was testified by this very act. Hence he comes to the conclusion he had had in view, that they were to abstain from things sacrificed to idols. Not that an idol is any thing, or that that which is sacrificed to idols is any thing ; but that those things which the Gentiles, who were ignorant of God, sacrificed, they sacrificed to dæmons, wherefore they who ate of those things had communion with dæmons, or made fellowship with dæmons, and testified so much by this act.
Explain to me, then, the true and genuine sense of these words, “ This is my body?”
This you will easily understand, if you only bear in mind that, in the sacred writings, and indeed in common practice, figures, images, and commemorating signs, are called by the names of those things of which they are the figures, images, and memorials. Wherefore, when Christ designed that in this rite his bloody death should be declared by us, under a kind of shadow or representation, he said that this bread
which is broken is his body, delivered for us : that is to say, is a commemorating sign, a kind of emblem of his body to be shortly, on our account, broken, that is, lacerated, pierced, wounded, and tortured : and also, in like manner, that the cup, or the wine contained in it, was for the same reason his blood, to be shortly shed for us. For the wine is no otherwise in the cup than as it is poured out of his vessel, or at least drawn from his grapes. It is by way of figure or emblem only that it is said in Ezekiel (chap. v. ver. 1—5) concerning the hair, whereof a part was to be cut, a part burnt, a part scattered, and a part preserved, to be afterwards consumed: “This is JERUSALEM :" that is, this is an emblem of Jerusalem, or a shadow of what she is to become. As to what is stated in the account of Luke and Paul,--that this cup is the new testament in the blood of Christ, this must be understood as if they had said, This is a certain memorial, or commemorating sign, of the New Covenant confirmed by the blood of Christ. In like manner circumcision also was formerly called a Covenant (Gen. xvii. 13), namely, between God and Abraham; that is, was a kind of cominemorating token: of the Covenant, as the Scriptures themselves explain it (Gen, xvij. 11). So likewise the sabbath is called (Exod. xxxi. 16) a Covenant between God and the Israelites; that is, a sign of that Covenant, as the Scriptures in like manner explain, Exod. xxxi. 13 and 17. For a similar reason it is said concerning that réniarkable rite of eating the paschal lamb (Exod. xii. 11), that “it is the Lord's passover," by which
name, PASCHA, or rather PESACH, the
passover, namely, of the Lord, the lamb itself also is called, because it was the memorial of his passover. In like manner both the rite itself of breaking bread, and the bread and the cup, may be denominated the body and the blood of Christ.
But if such be the case, why does Paul say (1 Cor. xi. 9) that “whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord;” and (ver. 29) that “ he does not discern the Lord's body?”
Paul does not thus speak because such a person takes the very body or blood of Christ, which, as far as it can be taken by us, can be taken only worthily:
-but because that while he eats this bread and drinks of the cup of the Lord, unworthily, he offends against the very body and blood of Christ, and is guilty of his sufferings, whereof this rite is the memorial or emblem, and for the proclaiming and commemorating of which it was instituted. This Paul himself intimates, when from this circumstance-that asoften as we eat this bread, and drink this
сир, , show forth the Lord's death-he draws this conclusion, that whosoever eats and drinks unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Nor do the words
not discerning the Lord's body” imply any thing else than that he does not value and esteem, as highly as he ought, the singular dignity of the body of Christ, delivered to death on our account; nor distinguish those sacred symbols, the representations of Christ's body, or the act appointed for the celebra
tion of it, from ordinary and profane food, and the eating of such food; nor treat the one with any more religious respect than the other 52.
What is meant, then, by eating this bread and drinking this cup unworthily?
It is not to observe this ordinance with due reve. rence and piety, or in such a way as we ought, and the reason of its appointment demands. Whence may easily be understood what is meant by observing it worthily.
I wish you to explain this to me a little more at large?
In order to the worthy observation of this ordinance, it is requisite, first, that you carefully consider what is to be done in it, for what purpose it was instituted, and is to be observed by you; that you devoutly reflect how severely Christ suffered; what great blessings he has procured for you by his agonies and death, and how resplendently the love both of Christ and of God shines forth here; that, in this manner, you excite your mind to venerate and worship God and Christ, and to offer them thanksgivings; that you do this continually in this rite; and that you cautiously avoid doing any thing, which is
52 An example of this may be taken from the use of the paschal lamb, which it was not lawful fur any one to eat unless he had been previously purified, as appears from Numb. ix. 7, and 2 Chron. xxx. 3. In consequence of some neglecting this requisition it
that they were visited with certain plagues, from which they were delivered by the prayers of Hezekiah : ver. 20.-M. RUARUS.