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vious symbolical representation. Indeed I cannot help thinking, that the universal practice of feeding on the victim, as a part of the rite of sacrifice, was founded chiefly, if not entirely, upon this very idea of identifying the person sacrificing with the thing sacrificed. Now this was done in the Jewish sacrifices by eating of the body of the victim only: and as the Israelites by eating of the victim only partook of the mystic sacrifices of atonement and redemption under the Law, so may we be presumed in the bread of the Eucharist, considered as the body of Christ, to partake of and to become identified with the Redeemer himself. And though I am far from contending for this as the necessary interpretation of the rite, yet falling in as it does with the view on which we have insisted, it is perhaps not undeserving of consideration. If it be accepted, as supplemental to that view, the result of the whole would be, that by eating in the Lord's Supper, we are more especially made partakers in the sacrifice; by drinking, we more especially bind ourselves to the covenant made for us in Christ; and
the twofold view, thus presented to us of
The inferences already drawn from the
and with a direct allusion to it in his declaration, that with desire he had desired to eat that passover with them”, that our Lord established the holy Communion. From hence alone a presumption might arise, that the one rite was in some way connected with the other, but this I mention only by the way, forbearing to dwell upon
c Luke xxii. 15.
it in this place, because a fitter opportunity will hereafter occur of estimating the value of the presumption, when we come to the consideration of the passages, in the apostolical Epistles, bearing upon the subject before us.
For the present I shall conclude with some brief remarks on the light thrown upon the general subject of inquiry, by what has been observed in the present Lecture.
From the primary view taken of the nature of the rite, founded upon its conventional significancy as illustrated by the words and circumstances of institution, the special character of the benefits conferred in it, the great object of our solicitude, may, it seems, without difficulty be deduced. If the sacrament of the Lord's Supper be rightly considered as a feast upon a sacrifice, it will follow, that in it are communieated generally to the participants all the benefits of that sacrifice, of which they become partakers in its due celebration. And the sacrifice of Christ, being a sacrifice of atonement and peace-offering, pardon of sin and reconciliation to God, would seem to be
the immediate fruits of a participation in it, the primary and fundamental benefit annexed to the ordinance; while our restoration to the hope of eternal life, and the assurance of the aid of the Holy Spirit to enable us to secure the verification of our hope, would seem to be the necessary consequence of the reconciliation thus effected.
In looking to the detail of the feast, we find these conclusions not a little strengthened by the more particular circumstances of its celebration. In the notion of feeding upon the body of Christ, seems to be implied and signified that personal identification with him, by which, as members of the same body, we become entitled to partake of his fulness d; of the graces of that Spirit which was poured out on him without measure and of that life which we are expressly said to have in him? But more especially in the introduction of so new a circumstance into a sacrificial observance, as that of drinking the blood of the victim, do we find an additional and special assurance of the reality of our title to eternal life; signified by our participation in that, which having been considered as the life, and as such forbidden in the Levitical sacrifices, is, on the other hand, especially and appropriately enjoined to those, who are restored to the hope of immortality by the sacrifice of Him, through whose blood a real and effectual atonement was made for the sins of the world, and the sole obstacle to the enjoyment of our original and eternal inheritance removed.
e John iïi. 34.
d John i. 16. Ephes. iv. 13. f1 John v.
These inferences, derived from the consideration of the rite, in its character of a feast upon a sacrifice, are again yet further confirmed by our Lord's declaration, in reference to the cup, that it is the blood of a covenant, directing us at once to recognize in it, the occasion and the mode of our conirming and applying to ourselves that federal relation with our Maker, ratified in the blood of Christ, and by which we become, on the fulfilment of our part of the engagement, entitled to all the benefits secured to us in it, on the part of God. These