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not accompanied by the highest reverence of God and Christ. And because we testify in this ordinance that we have the body of Christ, crucified on our account, for the spiritual food of our souls, and his blood shed, for our saving driuk; also that we have communion with him, and thus belong to the New Covenant, and together with other Christians are members of one body (all which demand a faith working by love), we ought at the same time, and above all things, to study to be what in this ordinance we profess ourselves to be, that we may not lie to God and Christ: and if, as yet, we are not such, we should at all events resolve to become such as soon as possible ; and not suffer this determination of our mind to be afterwards of none effect.
In order that we may accomplish all this, Paul commands us to examine and judge ourselves, and so observe the ordinance,
What is meant by examining and judging ourselves?
Carefully to scrutinize ourselves and our actions: not those actions alone which are passed, as if we would punish what was criminal in them, amend them, and pray God to forgive them ; but those also which are present ; carefully to deliberate upon whatever we undertake, that we may not in any thing offend God, but conduct ourselves in all our proceedings as we ought, and the divine commands require 33.
$ The ordinance of breaking bread is denominated the
Lord's CHAPTER V.
OF THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE. You have explained to me the perfect precepts of Christ, I wish you to explain his promises also ?
Lord's Supper in the sacred scriptures (1 Cor. xi. 20), and every where among Christians to this day: for this ceremony was observed by our Lord in the evening, or at night. And it is plainly to be gathered from the writings of the ancients that it used to be celebrated at this season in the primitive churches : and we have an instance of this, Acts xx. 7, &c.
There is a difference of opinion among Christians as to the kind of bread which ought to be used in the holy communion. That Christ himself used unleavened bread appears from Matth. xxvi. 17, compared with Ex. xii. 18; and the apostle seems to allude to this, 1 Cor. v. 7, 8. Christians therefore would act most safely if in these things also they were to follow the example of their Lord.
But it is of more consequence to consider whether that holy act of humility, the washing of feet, which our Lord instituted at the time of this his last supper, and sanctioned by his example and command,-adding that happy were they who should do these things (John xiii. 17),—ought not still to be practised in the Christian Church? That it should, seems evident from the cited passage: and it is dangerous to depart from the literal import of the words, or assert that the command does not extend to all countries and times. That this holy custom was held in esteem and observed by the ancients appears from the writings of some of them. See Tertullian, lib. ii. ad Uxorem; Cyprian de Lotione pedum. Ambrose (lib. iii. de Sacram.) affirms that this holy custom was retained in the church of Milan down to his time : which Grotius likewise notices under John xiji, 15. So also Bernard, like those writers already named, regarded the washing of feet as a sacrament; Sermo de Cæna. Moreover, the 17th Council of Toledo, held in the year 694, commands (c. iii.) that “bishops and priests should wash the feet of the faithful at the celebration of the Lord's Supper, after the example of Christ,”-adding,“ in order that this neglected custom may be again introduced.” See also on this
The greatest of all is eternal life, wherein is comprehended at the same time the remission of sins.
subject Danhawerus, Arist. rediv. dial. ii. Thus likewise Zacharias bishop of Rome, in reply to the inquiry of Boniface, bishop of Mentz,—whether it were allowable for holy women, as was the custom among the men, to wash one another's feet at the Lord's Supper and at other times,-states, “This is a command of our Lord,” &c. See Baronius, an. 751, § 11. See also to the same purpose Augustine, Epist. 119; and Rüpertus, lib. v. de Div. Offic. cap. 20 et 21, and also Polydore Vergil de liv. Rer. lib. 4, cap. 13; and Bellarmine de Sacr. lib. ii. cap. 24, &c. In the Unitarian churches of Poland also, the great Schlichtingius particularly asserts that this command is obligatory upon us—Comm. in Johan. xiii. And Wolzogenius on this passage writes, that it would be a praiseworthy act to orda in the washing of feet in Christian churches-by this means the practice of humility might be perpetual among Christians.
It ought to be inquired here, besides, whether, and at what time, the command given by the apostle James (chap. v. ver. 14), to anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord, have ceased to be obligatory upon Christians ? Most Protestants think, that it ceased with the gift of healing which existed in the primitive church; for if this were now practised, it would have no effect. But it ought to be observed that these miraculous healings were chiefly applied to unbelievers ; for had they possessed this gift, no Christian would have died in consequence of natural disorders: the contrary of which appears from 1 Cor. xi. 30. (See also Phil. ii. 27, and 2 Tim. iv. 20.) That the power of healing had not then ceased appears from what follows, chap. xii. 28, 30. It is also plain from the same place, that all presbyters were not endued with this gift of healing the sick : but James speaks here without limitation. It is dangerous to argue from the event : for in like manner it might be proved that even baptism and faith had ceased, because the signs which were to follow these (Mark xvi. 17, 18) are not now to be seen. Nor indeed would prayers be now to be offered up for the sick, because these also do not always succeed. It is therefore to be ascertained in such cases (and also in all other practices), whether it be the will of
But there is another, besides, exceedingly conducive to the obtaining of the first, namely the gift of the Holy Spirit.
the Lord; which rule is discussed by many theologians, and in reference to this place. But, in the meantime, it is sufficient if by this medium the disorders of the mind can be removed, and the remission of sins be obtained: for that the relief of the mind is spoken of here may be plainly inferred from ver. 13, 16, 19, 20. which also D. Brenius observes.
It ought above all to be considered, whether the words owos, which literally signifies to serve (commonly to save), and snipu, which properly signifies to awaken, refer not to the future rather than the present?
Some conceive that oil was at that time the natural remedy for curing diseases. But in this case the physicians rather than the elders of the church would be commanded to be sent for. Besides, this could not be the case in all disorders and in all the countries through which believers were dispersed (James i. 1; 1 Peter i. 1). But the apostle speaks in general terms. Nor would this have been then noticed as any thing extraordinary (Mark vi. 13). Some imagine that by oil the Holy Spirit is here intended. But there is no necessity to oblige us to depart from the literal import of the words. Besides, it were absurd to ascribe to presbyters the power of anointing with the Holy Spirit. But the most copious explanation of this opinion is given (among other writers) by G. Estius in his observations on this place, as also by Maldonatus on Mark vi. 13, &c. Estius asserts that this rite was observed among the primitive Christians after the time of the apostles; and, although, as we have seen in respect to other things, somewhat changed, prevails even yet in many churches. In ancient authors, but above all in Tertullian, we find this unction joined with other sacred rites. It is regarded as a command of our Lord by Innocent, 1 Epist. ad Decentium Episcopum; Cyril, Catech. Myst. 5; et lib. de ador. in Spir. Augustin in Psalm. 44; et de Temp. scr. 215; Chrysostom, lib. iii. de Sacerd. ; Beda and Theophylact on Mark vi. 13, &c., all of whom testify that this rite was in their time observed in the Church. Polydore Vergil (de Inv. Rer. lib. 5, cap. 3) also intimates that it prevailed under Felix IV. bishop of Rome. Further information respecting this sacrament may be found in the proceedings of the general council of FloWhat is the remission of sins ?
The free deliverance from the guilt and penalties of sins. As the penalties are of two kinds, some temporal and some eternal, an exemption from both is promised through Christ, but principally from those which are eternal.
Is the remission of all sins promised to us through Christ?
Yes, of all; including those which were committed by us before we had believed in Christ, whatever were their kind or measure; those which through any ignorance or human infirmity are committed by us, while we believe in hiin, and are walking in newness of life ; and those heavier trespasses committed after faith,--provided they be followed by true and sincere penitence, and amendment of life. rence. It is well known that in the Church of Rome, and the churches subject to that see, this rite is to this day held in
That it has been observed to this time in the Greek and Russian Churches appears from the censure of Cyril of Berrhæa, patriarch of Constantinople, passed at a synod in that city in 1638, and sanctioned by the patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem, and by most of the Eastern bishops; and also from another decree of a synod of Constantinople, held in 1642 under the patriarch Parthenius, sanctioned by the metropolitan of Kiow, and other Russian bishops. It is said that the same custom obtains in the rest of the East. Grotius likewise observes the same thing on James v. 14; whose annotations on this passage, as also on Mar. vi. 13, may be added. Consnlt likewise Baronius, tom. I, an. 63, § 13, 14, 15, 16. Nor is it foreign to the purpose to observe that this external rite is suited to those who derive their name from CHRIST-i.e. the ANOINTED: and especially in respect to those who are infirm either in body or in mind; for oil is the symbol of gladness. But more cannot be said here on this subject.-B. Wissowa