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The rite of circumcision, which was a type of baptism, alone entitled the Jews to the benefits of the covenant made with them by God through Moses ; and so strictly was it enjoined, that whoever neglected it, that soul was to be cut off from the privilege of God's people. So, in the Christian Covenant, they only who are baptized into the faith of Christ can lay any claim to the benefits of his ordinances. But St. Paul says, “ As many of you as have been baptized unto Christ, have put on Christ, who loved his Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water, by the Word, and present unto himself a glorious Church, holy and without blemish.”
The anointed high-priest, the lawgiver and ruler of the Jews, were types of the ministry of Christ. In the servitude of Israel are described the sufferings of the Church ; in the deliverance from Egypt is foreshown its redemption ; the journey through the wilderness bears the strictest analogy to a Christian’s pilgrimage through this life, to his inheritance in that, where “ the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest.” The manna of which the Israelites ate; the rock of which they drank ; the brazen serpent by which they were healed, were severally typical of corresponding particulars in the Christian establishment; while the sacrifices and ceremonial services of the law described the more spiritual worship of the Gospel ; and in the paschal lamb and the scape-goat they had the most striking representation of Him who was slain for our salvation, and was cut off for our offences.
In the Jewish Covenant we see how great a number of emblems were used to shadow forth any thing like an adequate representation of the Messiah ; and how evidently calculated they were to preserve in the minds of all men the expectation of his coming, and the necessity of some more sufficient expiation than the blood of senseless animals could effect. We also see that it is the will of the Almighty, for his own glory, and essentially to our advantage, that his blessings and promises should be frequently commemorated, that pardon for sins should be continually implored, and praises offered for all our blessings, spiritual and temporal. Besides the annual feast of the Passover, the Jews prefigured the atonement by many sacrifices ; some of which were appointed for the expiation of great sins, some others for lesser transgressions, and some were offerings of thanksgiving. They had also two daily sacrifices, which were never intermitted, even when others were to be offered, but were of the nature of daily prayer, and a continual acknowledgment of the dependent condition of mankind. All these were instituted by God himself; the neglect or abuse of them was threatened with death, and the transgressor was looked upon as forfeiting wilfully all the benefits of God's promises, and was cut off accordingly from the congregation, while those who were faithful inherited the blessings.
“ Now all these things happened unto thein for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Upon the fulfilment of the former promises and prophecies, by the coming of the Messiah, God the Father made a new covenant with all men ; whereof God the Son is the only mediator, and through his blood purchased for us all the benefits of it: and God the Holy Ghost seals, confirms, and secures these benefits to all who seek them in sincerity and faith. In this new covenant two Sacraments are instituted, and the observance of them strictly commanded by the Lord himself, Baptism and the Lord's Supper; the one an initiating, the other a confirming rite, and both of the most essential duty and efficacy. By Baptism we are regenerated and born again to the hope and expectation of eternal life, are made members of Christ, and, by adoption, the children of God. In the sacrament of the Lord's Supper we have our faith confirmed and our hopes strengthened; we hold communion with Christ, we plead his merits for the pardon of all our sins, we devote ourselves to him, and he unites himself to us; or, in his own words, “ he dwells in us, and we in him.” For, as it is expressed in the 20th article of our Church,“ The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have amongst themselves, one to another, but rather is a sacrament of our redemption by Jesus Christ's death ; insomuch that, to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the
body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ. The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper only after a heavenly and spiritual manner, and the means whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.”
The nature and efficacy of the blessed Eucharist are also described with great force in the following extracts from Hooker, Bishop Taylor, and Cranmer :
“ It is, on all sides, plainly confessed—First, That this sacrament is a true and real participation of Christ, who thereby imparteth himself as a mystical head unto every soul that receiveth him, and every such receiver doth thereby incorporate or unite himself unto Christ as a mystical member of him, yea, of them also whom he acknowledgeth to be his own. Secondly, That to whom the person of Christ is thus communicated, to them he giveth, by the same sacrament, his Holy Spirit to sanctify them, as it sanctified Him who is their Head. Thirdly, That what merit, force, or virtue soever there is in his sacred body and blood, we freely, fully, and wholly have it by this sacrament. Fourthly, That the effect in us is a real transmutation of our souls and bodies from sin to righteousness, and from death and corruption to immortality and life. Fifthly, That because the sacrament being of itself but a corruptible and earthly creature, must needs be thought an unlikely instrument to work so admirable effects in man, we are therefore to rest ourselves altogether upon the strength of his glorious power,
who is able, and will bring to pass, that the bread and cup which he giveth us shall be truly the thing which he promiseth.” *
“ The blessed Sacrament is of great efficacy for the remission of sins ; not that it hath any formal efficacy or any inherent virtue to procure pardon, but that it is the ministry of the death of Christ, and the application of his blood; which blood was shed for the remission of sins. For there are but two ways of applying the death of Christ; an internal grace and an external ministry. Faith is the inward applicatory, and if there is any outward at all, it must be in the sacraments; and both of them are of remarkable virtue in this particular: for by Baptism we are baptized into the death of Christ; and the Lord's Supper is an appointed enunciation and declaration of Christ's death, and is a sacramental participation of it. The body receives the body of the mystery, we eat and drink the symbols with our mouths; but faith is not corporeal, but feeds upon the mystery itself; it entertains the grace, and enters into that secret which the Spirit of God conveys under that signature. Now, since the mystery is perfectly and openly expressed to be the remission of sins, if the soul does the work of the soul, as the body the work of the body, the soul receives remission of sins, as the body receives the symbols of it.”
“ The sacrament of the Lord's Supper is the greatest solemnity of prayer, and the most
* Hooker's “Ecclesiastical Polity.”