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conclude, that the divine Instituter of the feast would give all possible evidence of so important a Truth.
But if (as was in fact the cafe) this evidence muft arise from, and out of, the occasion, and through the words of the Institution, then the figurative terms of BODY and BLOOD became neceffary, these only being fully declarative of the nature of the Rite. And as this made the use of these terms to be necessary, fo the necessity of them produced their case and elegance. This is observed, because it has been usual amongst Protestants, even while they were opposing the portentous doctrine of TRAN SUBSTANTIATION *, tó acknowledge, either through ignorance of, or inattention to, the specific nature of the Rite, that the figure of body and blood was extremely violent and forced.
It likewise removes another difficulty, which the advocates for a real presence throw in the way of common sense. They pretend that, if the words of the institution
See note (H), at the end of this Book,
were only FIGURATIVE, the Evangelist and St. Paul might, and probably would, have changed the
figure, in their narratives, five times repeated on different occasions; for that no reason can be given of the unvaried use of the same words, but because they are to be understood LITERALLY; and then as they were declarative of one of the greatest Mysteries in Religion, there was a necessity to record the very terms employed, whenever the history of the Instie tution was related. To this, it is sufficient to reply, that, indeed, were the words used figuratively, and the figure only expressive of a death commemorated, and no more, as the Socinians suppose it to be, it would be but reasonable to think, the terms would have been varied by one or other of the facred Writers ; because it is natural to believe, that Writers of so different genius and acquirements in language would not all have the same opinion concerning the use of these precise terms, so as to esteem them preferable to any other ; as, in fact, on this idea of the Rite, they would not be. But we can by no means allow their con
sequence, that, therefore, they are to be understood LITERALLY; fince, if we admit the Institution to be of the nature of a feast upon Sacrifice, there will be the same necessity for the unvaried use of the terms, although they be figurative, as there would have been although they were literal. For these precise terms are as neceffary to denote a feaf upon Sacrifice (the Rite we contend for) as to denote the Sacrifice ita self; the enormous idea of the church of Rome.
All this reasoning on the nature of the Institution, from the words of the Institutor, receives additional strength even from what hath been supposed to invalidate it, namely, the conclusion of them-DO THIS ÎN REMEMBRANCE OF ME-For although these words, when delivered alone, might enjoin no more than a remembrance of a dead benefactor (which is the fenfe the Socinians put upon them), yet, when preceded by~ IHIS IS MY BODY-THIS IS MY BLOODthey are certainly an injunction to keep in remembrance his death and passion for our REDEMPTION. And could there be a feast
upon a Sacrifice in which that Sacrifice was not to be kept in mind?
It is true, that the Disciples of Chrift being commanded to do this in remembrance of him, the Command shews that the celebration of this Feast was continually to be repeated, which was not the practice in the Pagan and Jewish feasts after the Sacrifice. But, in this particular, the reason of the difference is apparent_The GREAT SACRIFice itself (of which the Jewish were Types) put an end to that mode of Religious Worship amongst the Followers of Jesus.
Jewish and Pagan oblations had, or were supposed to have, a passing and temporary Virtue. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices, which they offered year by year continually, make the Comers thereunto perfect: FOR THEN
WOULD THEY NOT HAVE CEASED TO BE
* Heb. X. 1, 2.
But the Sacrifice on the Cross is the very image or the thing itself; and therefore has more than a pafing and temporary effect, it coritinues operating till the consummation of all things; because it makes the comers thereunto perfect : we being fanctified through the offering of ihe body and blood of Christ, ONCE FOR ALL * : for where remission of fins is, there is NO MORE OFFERING FOR SIN H. It seemed expedient, therefore, that the operating virtue of this Sacrifice, offered once for all, should be continually set before our minds, in repeated celebrations of the Feast upon it.
What hath been here reasoned, on the Institution of the last fupper, appeared so strong to a late eminent Person, famous for his Socinian notions on this Subject, that (as I have been told) he used to confess, that if the death of Christ could be proved to be a real Sacrifice, the last Supper was undoubtedly of the nature of the Feast after the Sacrifice. This was said with his usual address, to make his Reader overlook,