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them, as I am prepared to show, the Eucharist has degenerated into a means of proclaiming or showing forthi, not the death of Christ, but the faith of particular porsons in the fact that Christ died for them, and that they have been enabled to exercise an act of self-appropriating faith in Him.

According to them, our Lord should have said, rot" Do this in remembrance of Me,” but “Do this to show your faith in Me." 1

Such is (or was) apparently the only view taken of the Eucharist by the Independents or Congregationalists. “ They believe in the perpetual obligation of Baptism and the Lord's Supper : the former to be administered to all converts to Christianity and their children, by the application of water to the subject in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and the latter to be celebrated by Christian Churches as a token of faith in the Saviour and of brotherly love.One can scarcely imagine a view of Holy Communion which more completely excludes the teaching of every passage of God's Word in which this Sacrament is referred to. The above extract is taken from “ The Constitution of the Congregational Union of England and Wales," as giveu in “The Congregational Year Book” for 1864. But I have reason to believe that juster and more Scriptural views are gaining ground in the body. The views put forth by the Rev. W. R. Dalo, in the following extract, show this :

“The strong expressions about eating the Flesh and drinking the Blood of the Son of Man are very commonly interpreted as though they meant nothing more than believing what Christ taught. If this is all they mean, then it is difficult to understand why our Lord should have used such expressions at all. His subsequent cxplanation to the disciples of his .hard saying,' does not satisfy me that language so startling was meant to convey a truth so obviowy and simple. ... They would brood over His strange words, won dering what their full meaning was. By and by they came to under stand them. In the Lord's Supper we have the development of the truths which the Apostles could not apprehend when they were first revealed. We have these truths developed, I say, in the Lord's Supper. It is, however, very doubtful whether it is possible

A more mistaken gloss on any Scripture was never put forth; for the evidence of faith, according to God's word, is not the reception of sacraments, but holiness of life. The sole view of the nature and objects of the Lord's Supper, entertained by tens of thousands of religious Englishmen and Englishwomen, is that of an ordinance in which they are enabled individually to make a profession of their spiritual hold on Christ.

In opposition to all this, we have to maintain the true obvious meaning of Christ's words, “Do this in remembrance of ME.” “Do this as a solemn commemoration before God and your brethren of what I have done and suffered for you.”

And the true meaning of the words of the Spirit by St. Paul, 6. Ye do show the Lord's death till He come.” “ Ye do show forth before God, and the elect angels, and the Church, not your miserable faith, but the love unspeakable—the love stronger than death and hell—the love which passeth knowledge, of the Son of the Most High God." When we

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to exhaust in definite propositions the meaning of the Ordinance. ... The ceremony is not a mere artificial aid to memory, assisting to perpetuate certain abstract or historical truths which might as well be written in a book : it is intended to convey, and does actually convey, more than mere words can express. To explain therefore what Christ means by making the bread the symbol of the body, and commanding His disciples to eat it, seems to me not merely difficult but impossible. ... The bread is the body of Christ; and no familiarity with theological speculation is required to suggest to the mind of every communicant that our Lord intended to connect the higher life which He originates and sustains with His humanity. As the bread itself is the natural symbol of all that supports our physical life, so the body is the natural symbol of human nature. It is impossible to resist the conviction that Christ meant to say that He is the life of man because He Himself has become man, We live by Him, not because He is God simply, but because He is God manifest in the flesh.” (Rev. W. R. Dale on the Lord's Supper, in “Evangelical Magazine” for 1867, pp. 302–304.)

Of course, in reading the above, one desiderates that the mystery should have been rather recognised as pertaining to what is given than what is taught, but such teaching is a great advance upon what is held even by Evangelicals in the Church of England,

“do this,” we commemorate and show forth before God the Father, and before the Church, the Sacrifice of the Death of Christ.

We commemorate it, or show it forth, in solemnly and religiously partaking of certain things, which (if we receive Christ's own words as true) we must believe to have the closest relation to that Body and Blood by which He redeemed the world: so that the representation of the Death of Christ by the flesh of the slain bullock or lamb was as nothing, in the eye of God, to the representation of the Death of Christ by the Eucharistic elements.

When, then, we celebrate the Communion, we do, in remembrance of Christ, an infinitely greater thing than the Jews did by their sacrifices : for we show forth Christ's Death by the use of outward parts or signs, which Christ Himself calls by the names of the things which they signify, and by no other names.

It is clear that if the Church believes in the reality of her Lord's own words when He instituted this ordinance, she must believe in its superior acceptableness, above all the typical ordinances which went before it.

Believing this, she cannot but consider the time of celebrating the Holy Communion as the most sacred season of her worship, and so she will naturally choose it as the most fitting opportunity for bringing before God her lowliest confessions, her deepest desires, her highest praises, her most grateful thanksgivings. She will humbly offer these at such a time, with the view of connecting them as closely as she possibly can with the Atoning Sacrifice of

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her Grivit Mediator. Just as the pious Jew, who entered most deeply into the spiritual and evangelical signification of his burnt-offerings, would naturally present along with them his heartiest prayers and praises.

This, then, is the sacrificial view of the Eucharist. It is the solemn ecclesiastical memorial of the Sacrifice of the Death of Christ. It is the Saviour's own ordained means of showing forth before God, men, and angels, His love in His Death. Just as the Old Law sacrifices were anticipatory showings forth of the One Atoning Death which was to be, so this Communion is a memorial, or commemorative showing forth, of the One Atoning Death which has been.

All this accounts for the otherwise inexplicable factwith the mention of which we commenced this part of our subject—that the “breaking of bread," or Eucharistic celebration, appears, in the few notices of Christian assemblies recorded in the New Testament, as the leading feature of those assemblies.

All this, too, is the only way of accounting for what would otherwise be an equally inexplicable fact, that the carliest records in ecclesiastical history concerning Christian congregations, and the earliest drafts of Christian Liturgies, are in strict accordance with these Scripture allusions to the Eucharist; for both ecclesiastical History and all early Liturgies set forth Holy Communion as the grand terminal act of all meetings of Christians for united worship.

Stated Christian assemblies do not appear either in Scripture or in ecclesiastical writers as prayer-meetings, or meetings for mutual edification or instruction, by the reading or exposition of Scripture alone: they always appear as meetings for celebrating a worship of which the Eucharist was the grand termination. Prayers of as

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tonishing fervour, supplications for every conceivable class of human sufferers, praises founded on the most exalted views of the Divine nature and attributes, all take their places round the “ breaking of bread” as their centre; all lead the worshipper on to the culminating point, the * reception by each individual present of the Eucharist.

The following notice of Christian assemblies by Justin Martyr is one of the earliest and, at the same time, the most circumstantial which exists, of what in those days (A.D. 140) constituted the Divine worship of Christians on the Lord's Day :

“Over all our offerings, we bless the Creator of all things, through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Spirit. And, on the day which is called Sunday,

. there is an assembly in one place of all who dwell either in towns or in the country, and the memoirs of the Apostles or the writings of the Prophets are read as long as the time permits. Then, when the reader has finished, he who presides admonishes and exhorts by word of mouth (dià Lóyou) to the imitation of their noble deeds. We then rise up altogether and put forth prayers, and, as we have already said, bread is brought, and wine, and water, and the President in like manner offers up prayers and praises with all his power; and the people join in with one voice, saying the Amen, and those things over which the Eucharistic prayer has been said are distributed and received by each person, and are sent, through the Deacons, to the absent.”—Justin MARTYR, “ Apol.” i. 67.

Such is the memorial, or commemorative, or sacrificial view of Holy Communion as it exists in the New Testament, and as it has obtained in the Church from New Testament times.

We have now to consider how all this is represented in the Book of Common Prayer.

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