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Lord that which also I delivered unto you." St. Paul must have had many revelations respecting our Lord's life and teaching; and yet the one only circumstantia! account which he gives of any act of Christ is this account of the Institution of the Holy Communion.

Such a fact cannot but impress upon believers the exceeding importance of the matter so revealed.

If, then, we are to be guided by the Scripture accounts, the first object of the Saviour in ordaining this Sacrament was to give to men that which He called His Body, and which He called by no other name ; for all unito in testifying that He said, “This is My body," and two of the witnesses, St. Matthew and St. Mark, make no mention of any other words which He spake respecting the bread.

But in addition to this, all accounts testify that our Lord gave a cup of wine as well, and called it His Blood.

According to St. Matthew, our Lord " took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink yo all of it; for this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins;" or, as St. Mark more briefly renders His words, “This is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for iany."

According to St. Luke, He more directly connected tho cup with the New Covenant, which He was then inaugurating: “This cup is the New Testament (or Covenant) in My blood, which is shed for many."

According to St. Paul's account, He said over the cup the same words which St. Luke records, adding afterwards, “ This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Mo.”

According, then, to the accounts of the first two Evangelists, our Lord intended in Holy Communion to givo men that which He called His “Blood shed for them."

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According to St. Luke and St. Paul, He intended in Holy Communion to make them partakers of the New Covenant in His Blood. That is, by partaking of that which He designated as His Blood, they partook of the New Covenant purchased and sealed by His Blood.

In the whole transaction, we have before us Jesus Christ as a Divine Giver. First blessing, breaking, giving, and saying, “Take, eat;" then, taking the cup, and saying, “ Drink ye

all.” The first impression which we have is that of an ordinance in which Christ gives and we receive something —not an ordinance in which we do something.

So our first impression of Holy Communion must be that it is a means of grace, not a work. It is a means in the right use of which we look to receive from Christ; and all that we receive at the hands of Christ we receive of grace.

The first idea of the Lord's Supper, then, is in accordance with the spirit of that dispensation in which we are now living, which is a dispensation of grace; Christ giving to us that whereby we are to glorify Him.

In the right use of this ordinance, our Blessed Redeemer must have intended to make us partakers of some amazing benefit. Everything concurs to assure us of this. The Infinite Greatness of Him who thus offered to men His Body and His Blood. The unspeakable greatness of the occasion, for it was on the eve of the world's Redemption. The spirit of the whole dispensation, which the Son of God was then setting up-a dispensation in which God gives “ unspeakable gifts.” The extraordinary nature of the terms He applied to what He gave: “This is My body," " This is My blood;" taken in connexion with the still more extraordinary terms in which He had some time before spoken of His Flesh, that it should be the “life of the world.”



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To all these considerations we must add that of the great danger of unworthily receiving: for they that receive the bread and cup unworthily are "guilty of the body and blood of the Lord,” and “eat and drink damnation to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body." (1 Cor. xi. 27, 29.)

When such a Saviour as the Scriptures reveal to us offers to us His Body and His Blood, we may be quite sure that the benefits of right reception will be commensurate with the danger and curse of unworthy reception-so that if they who receive unworthily are “guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord” and receive“ condemnation," they who receive worthily will partake to their infinito spiritual and eternal gain of the Body and Blood of the Lord, and receive to themselves the opposite of “ condemnation.”

What, then, does the Lord here offer to His people ?

Our Lord first gives One Thing, which He calls His Body, for having blessed and broken certain bread He, in some sense, identifies it with His Body, for He says, This is My Body.” And after this He gives to them that which He calls His Blood, only with this difference, that, according to St. Matthew and St. Mark, the Saviour says, “ This is My Blood of the New Covenant.” According to St. Luke and St. Paul, “This is the New Covenant in My Blood;" that is, it is His Blood so as to convey the New Covenant, which that Blood sealed.

We have now set before ourselves that secret thing, which to see, as it is, belongs in very deed only to the Lord our God. We have to set it before us, not in order that eyes of flesh and blood may pry into that which God has shrouded in mystery, but that humble faith may hope for, and look to receive, and expect nothing short of what God offers.

This socret thing is the way in which the Saviour identifies the bread and wine with His Body broken and Blood shed for us. How we are to explain the words, “ This is My body," “ This is My blood.” In what respect is the bread our Lord's Body, and the wine His Blood ?

After our Lord had blessed them, were these elements in any

real and true sense bread and wine, or were they in any real and true sense the Body and Blood of Christ?

Nothing in God's Word requires us either to explain or to understand these words of Christ. But, inasmuch as two explanations have been given, both easy to understand, but both overthrowing the nature of the Sacrament, we are forced to show that the words of Christ cannot admit of oither.



The first of these so-called explanations obliges those who hold it to deny that what we receive in Holy Communion is in any real sense bread and wine.

The other obliges those who hold it to deny that what we receive in Holy Communion is in any real sense the Body and Blood of Christ.

The first of these explanations is that of the Church of Rome, which, in her authorised formularies, asserts in plain terms, that, after consecration, the bread is no longer bread in any sense, but the natural Body of the Saviour; only, in mercy to our weakness, and in order that we may pot recoil from such food, God graciously permits it to


rətain all the appearances of bread, such as colour, shape, taste, &c. And so with the cup. The Church of Rome asserts that the cup contains the actual Blood of Christ, and no longer any vine at all; but that God, in compassion to man's weakness, suffers it to retain the appearance, and smell, and taste of wine.

Now, the Holy Spirit forbids us to hold any such view, for in the Scriptures inspired by Him, the bread is from first to last called “bread.- The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ ?" Again, the Apostle three times calls the bread after consecration oread : “ As oft as ye eat this bread,” i.e., the particular bread which has been consecrated, “ye do show the Lord's death till He come.” Again, “Whosoever shall eat this bread ... unworthily, shall be guilty of the body . . . of the Lord.” Again, “ Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread.” (1 Cor. xi. 26-28.)

In all those cases, the thing spoken of as bread, and as therefore remaining bread, is that bread which has been consecrated.

And still more plainly are we taught that, after consecration, the wine in the cup remains in substance the same as before, for our Lord called it, after blessing or consecrating it, “ This fruit of the vine.”

” So that respecting each kind in this Sacrament, words are said or written from which we are bound to infer that both bread and wine remain, as to their natural substances, what tbey were before consecration. But upon

this view of the presence of Christ's Body and Blood I shall dwell no longer at present, as my concern in this book is not with those who hold a gross and carnal view, but with those who virtually deny any presence of Christ's Flesh and Blood in Holy Communion.

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