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it is no further necessary to enumerate: they are comprised in the general promises by which we are led to embrace the religion of the Redeemer; and fall in with those, which we have already deduced from our previous consideration of the rite.
Of these benefits, in its general character of a federal act, no less than in that of a feast upon
the sacrifice, by which they are more especially purchased and secured to us, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is the obvious pledge, on the part of him who calls us to it; as it is, correspondently
, a declaration, on our part, of our acceptance of the offers of the Gospel, on the conditions to which that acceptance binds us ; the conditions of faith in the merits and obedience to the law of our Redeemer. May the sincerity of our endeavours to fulfill our part of the compact be found in harmony with our assurance, that the promises of God made to us in Christ, and visibly propounded to us in his ordinances, will never fail : so shall we be enabled to celebrate, with a real feeling of its excellency, the feast to which we are invited; and to re
joice, individually, in the personal application to ourselves of those benefits, of which the Sacrament is the guarantee to all faithful communicants.
1 Cor. x. 16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the
communion of the blood of Christ ? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the
body of Christ? THE
progress of our inquiry into the benefits annexed to a participation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, so far as they may
be deduced from the consideration of the nature of the rite itself, and the words and circumstances by which its natural significancy was more especially limited and defined in its institution, seems to have led us to the following conclusions :
First, and generally, that the rite itself is of the nature of a feast; and therefore primarily intended to nourish and support, or to represent nourishment and support ; and that, making part of a religious service, the nourishment represented by it must be spiritual: that the specific character of the feast is that of a feast upon a sacrifice; and that therefore the benefits derived from a participation in it, must be the communication of the beneficial results accruing from the sacrifice to which it refers, or is appendant.
Secondly, and more particularly, that it is, in fact, a feast upon the body and blood of Christ, symbolically represented by the bread and wine of the Eucharist, and considered as the sacrifice of atonement, redemption, and peace-offering for the whole race of mankind; communicating to those, who faithfully partake of it, under this idea and in conformity with the injunction of their Lord, remission of sin and all other benefits of his passion.
It has further appeared, that by the symbolical union effected by a participation in the holy elements, is expressed and cemented that communion and identity, in many important respects, between the Redeemer and the redeemed, the head and the members of his church, spoken of by our Lord himself, and so often alluded to in the writings of his Apostles, and by which we become partakers of his fulness ;