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the right use of it, ver. 24, 25. Take, eat : This is my body—This cup is the new testament in my blood.
II. I proceed to consider the signifying things, or out, ward elements. These are bread and wine. The bread, ordinary bread, without any determination of what grain it is made, nor whether leavened or unleavened. Our Lord took such bread as came to hand, and so may we without scruple, though decency is to be observed. The wine, as to the colour of it, is also indifferent; and whether a little mixed with water, or unmixed, is so too. Neceflity and decency must regulate these things, the church being no otherwise tied by divine institution.
Here let us consider,
2. The resemblance betwixt the signs and the things signified.
First, What is fignified by the bread and wine? The body and blood of Christ, ver. 24, 25. even a whole Christ with all his benefits, forafmuch as the divine nature after · the incarnation was never separated from the human, though the soul was separated from the body, and his
precious blood from his fleth.
Secondly, The resemblance betwixt the signs and the things fignified.
1. Consider the bread and wine separately.
ift, There is a resemblance betwixt the bread and Christ's body.
(1.) Bread is for nourishing of natural life: fo is Christ's body for nourishment to the soul, John vi. 56. “ For (fays he), my flesh is meat indeed.” There the hungry may feed, and be nourished and strengthened, to grow up unto eternal life.
(2.) Bread must be prepared ere it can be bread, or fit nourishment for us, the grain ground, and baked with the fire. So Christ was grinded betwixt the upper millftone of the Father's wrath, and the nether millstone of the malice of men and devils, and cast into the fiery furnace of justice, that he might be bread to our fouls, Pfal. xxii. 14.
(3.) Bread is a common and cheap provision; it is for the poor as well as the rich. Christ's salvation is the common salvation, Jude 3. ; free to all who will receive the fame, Rev. xxii. 17.
(4.) Of all provision it is the most neceffary. Nothing is so necessary for us as Christ ; without him we die, we perish, we all perish, John vi. 53. “ Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”
TE 5.) Lastly, It is a sort of food which healthy people will never loath. So is Christ ever sweet to the soul that feeds on him, though distempered fouls loath the bread of life.
2dly, There is a resemblance betwixt wine and Christ's blood.
(1.) The wine is squeezed out of the grapes forcibly by the wine-press. Thus was Christ's blood squeezed out of his body, by the wine-press of the Father's wrath, that it might be drink to our souls.
(2.) Wine has a medicinal virtue, Luke x. 34. Chrift's blood is the great medicine for the wounds of the soul. There are no wounds so deep, or so hopeless, but an application of Christ's blood will cleanse them, and heal them
(3.) Wine is refreshing and strengthening to the body, 1 Tim. v. 23. A draught of this fpiritual drink, exhibited to us in the sacrament, and to be received by faith, would make the soul pressed with guilt, and a sense of wrath, to ftir as a giant refreshed with wine, John vi. 55. “My blood is drink indeed." ' ;,,
(4.) Lastly, It is of a cheering virtue, Prov. xxxi: 6. The blood of Christ is that whereof those who are of forrowful fpirits, by reafon of guilt, may drink by faith, and forget their forrow, 1 Pet. i. 8.
2. Consider the bread and wine conjunctly, fet before us in the facrament. There is a threefold resemblance. ,
1st, There is both meat and drink, bread and wine, in the facrament. In Jesus Christ we have a full feaft for our fouls, John vi. 55. “ My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.!'. There is a fulness in him for all our wants, a fulness of merit and of Spirit. !!!, try 5 2. The bread and wine are separate in the facrament. So was Christ's blood separated from his body on the crofs
for us. Many vents were made in that blessed body by the nails and spear, through which that blood might gush out, for the redemption of an elect world.
3. The bread must be eaten, and the wine drunk, or they will not nourish. So Christ's body and blood must be by faith eaten and drunk, or it will not profit us to our falvation. It is union with him by faith that makes us partakers ofrhis benefits.
III. Let us consider the signifying actions in this facrament.
First, There are some fignifying actions of the administrator about these elements, according to Christ's institution, which, being sacramental, are also significant.
1. Taking of the bread, and the cup into which the wine has been poured out, taking them into his hand, ver. 23, 24, 25. Nothing is more distinctly mentioned than this, Matth. xxvi. 26, 27.,“ Jesus : took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take,
eat; this is my body. And he took the cups, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it.” Whence it is evident, that it is taken to be consecrated. And this reprefents the Father's chusing and designing the Son ito be Mediator, Psal. lxxxix. 19. “ I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.". So in this action we may see, (1.) Man perifhing for want of spiritual food, Adam and all his pofterity starving in their souls, and so their case crying for breada (2.) God in his eternal love destinating bread for a starving world. (3.) The Son of God, as the party on whom the lot fell, to be bread for them. Behold the bread the Father took, If. xlii. 1.: “Behold my servant whom I uphold.” He was God's choice, and shall he not be oursi
?! 1.2. Consecrating of the elements, ver. 24, 25. The confecrating of the bread and wine apart is reckoned to be an accidental circumstance in the first administration, agreeable to the custom of the country where it was done, not obliging us, whose custom it is to bless all together, more than unleavened bread, &c. : Nor does there appear any mystery further in the former than the latter. c.13
(1.) How the elements are consecrated. By the word of institution, thanksgiving and prayer, they are confecrated, or fet apart from common use, ver. 23, 24, 25. Our Lord Christ had power of himself to institute the ordinance, and did fo, and blessed it, and solemnly gave thanks over it. The institution stands in the word, which therefore we read on that occasion, and, according to his example, pray over it, with thanksgiving. The Popish consecration, by muttering over these words, This is my body, hit not the mark; for these words, This is my body, were uttered by our Lord after the confecration.
(2.) What is the effect of the confecration on the elements ? Not a real change of them into the body and blood of Christ. This destroys the nature of a facrament, leaving no sensible sign. It is
It is contrary to the institution, where Christ's body was sitting at the table, and reached the disciples bread and wine. It is contrary to the doctrine of Christ's suffering once, his ascension, sitting at God's right hand, and coming again not till the laft day. And so it is contrary to sense and reason.
Christ said indeed, This is my body, i. e. fignifies my body, as the lamb is called the Lord's passover, Exod. xii. 11. It by these words the Papists will have the bread changed into the real natural body of Christ. But these words suppose it to be Christ's body before, fince a thing cannot be truly said to be what it is not. So it is no otherwise Christ's body, but sacramentally.
The true effect is a relative change on the elements, fo that they are no more to be looked upon as common bread and wine, but the sacred fymbols of Christ's body and blood. So they are changed in respect of their use, being set apart for this holy use.
(3.) The fignification of this sacramental action. It represents the Father's setting apart and consecrating his own Son to, and investing him in, the Mediatory office. So Christ is said to be sealed, John vi. 27.; fanctified and sent, chap. x. 36.; and anointed to his office, If. lxi. 1. So in this a believer may see these three things. (1.) The Father calling Christ to the Mediatory office, Heb. v. 4, 5.; to do and to die for the perishing elect. (2.) The Son's accepting of the call, though he knew how hard the work was, Plal. xl. 7. (3.) Christ completely furnished for all the ends of his mediation, actually entered on the office. The Father blessed him, and sent him on the work, and he goes about it, If. lxi. 1.
3. Breaking of the bread, ver. 24. This is an efsential rite of this facrament, it being sometimes called by this very name, Acts xx. 7. It signifies the breaking of Christ's body for us, and consequently the shedding of his blood. In the facrament there is not a word of pouring out the wine, though no doubt it was done : for the shedding of Christ's blood is sufficiently represented by breaking of his body. His body was broken to the shedding of his blood in his circumcifion, in his foul-sufferings to the sweating of blood, in the plucking off his hair, If. 1. 6. in his scourging, John xix. 1. crowning with thorns, and being smitten on the so crowned head, and in his crucifixion. And these his sufferings point to all the rest.
4. Giving of the bread, and then the wine, to the communicants, ver. 24, 25. This signifies Christ's giving himself, with all his benefits, to the worthy receiver, which is really done in the right use of this facrament. This is plain from the words, Take, eat, &c.
Secondly, There are fignifying actions of the communi
1. Taking of the bread and wine with the hand, ib. This fignifies their receiving of a whole Christ, as offered in the word, and exhibited in the sacrament, closing with him by, faith.
2. Eating and drinking. The Papists destroy this last as to the people, with-holding the cup from them, contrary to Christ's express command, Matth. xxvi. 27. “ Drink ye all of it.” These actions signify their feeding spiritually on Christ's body and blood, and uniting with him by faith,
These folemn facramental actions not being accompanied with the things fignified, namely, the duties, make them a solemn mocking of God, which makes unworthy communicating fo great a sin.
IV. I proceed to consider the particular uses and ends of