Imatges de pÓgina
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dwell on the errors of a corrupted church, for which the only scriptural pretext is derived from these words“ This is my body;" as if it were not the commonest phraseology of the inspired language, to give similitude the form of fact, and call the emblem that which it represents. “I am the vine-ye are the branches."

“ They drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.” In the language of our Church_" To such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the bread that 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 an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.”- Art. xxviii. Faith, not in the mysterious efficacy of the bread itself, or the wine itself; but in that of which they are the emblems—faith in the body of our Lord Jesus Christ as broken for us, in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ as shed for us: “Christ in us the hope of glory” _“Made unto us salvation.” So fed upon in faith, they are verily and indeed received to the strengthening and refreshing of the soul, as our bodies, not our souls, are strengthened and refreshed by the bread and wine:_“by the faithful”-and by the faithful only: the elements are of no more value than they were before their consecration; they ac

quire no inherent efficacy to do us good or harm: to them that receive them not worthily, they are what they always were, material elements that can affect the body only.

“This is my body which is broken for you." A great deal of conscientious scruple about the using of these words has arisen in the church at various times, and to all that has been written and said, we cannot expect to add weight on either side. Christ himself used them: and of course the inspired apostles used them, in neither case addressing a pure communion of accepted saints. The subject taken fully involves the whole disputed question of general and particular redemption, with the various shades of difference, which I am sure there are in men's opinions, between the two extremes.To me it appears quite irreconcileable with the plain language of Scripture, to maintain that Christ did not, in some sense, die for the whole world; that he did not love the whole world when he died for it; or that he did not make a satisfaction and atonement sufficient for the sins of all mankind. Unless we could know what would have followed on the first transgression, had no redemption been designed, we cannot judge how much the world has gained by the suspension of its final sentence, by the long-suffering and forbearance, the time and opportunities, the ameliorations and restraints, and providential influences, which are all the

purchase of redeeming love, and paid for by the sacrifice of Christ. We cannot estimate how much of Adam's forfeiture that prospective sacrifice at once brought back: but we know so much as this, that but for the atonement to be made for sin, God and man had then been eternally separated: and whatever passages of love and mercy have been between them since, are benefits derived from the atonement. In what sense Jesus died for the millions who never heard of him, and to what extent his death may have been beneficial to them, is indeed beyond our knowledge: but to say that he did not, in any sense, die for those who reject him, appears to me a contradiction in terms; because if he died only for the saved, no one can be guilty of rejecting him. I believe that Christ died for the sin of all mankind, in so far as sin is not actually their own, but derived to them from their first federal headthus leaving them freed from the penalty of original sin, to answer only for their own transgressions: with how much light of natural conscience or superadded grace, we know not; but certainly enough to make them responsible for what they do. I believe, also, that by the death of Christ a way of reconciliation with the Father is opened, leave of approach is given, a means of communication is afforded, of which every man may avail himself if he will:it has purchased for all of us the right to pray,

the right to plead its value in our prayers, and ask the application of its benefits to our souls: it has opened the portals of heaven to let the petition pass, and disposed the Eternal One to be attent; how then, can we say he has not died for all? Nevertheless, I cannot consider this to be the meaning of the words made use of in the administration of the Sacrament; but rather that Christ meant, and the church acknowledges and every believer should understand a great deal more than this, when the words are addressed to "a congregation of faithful men.' When Jesus said, “My body which is broken for you—my blood which is shed for many," I think he used the words in a sense in which they can only apply to those who are, what the first disciples were—what we in baptism profess to be, and by presenting ourselves at the table do pretend to be-members of Christ, children of God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven: in scripture language, chosen in him before the foundation of the world-called to be saints born again of the Holy Ghost-who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Addressed to the faithful recipient of the bread and wine, these gracious words do surely mean to say, not merely that Christ has died to afford us an opportunity of being saved, but that by his death he actually has saved us—that his body broken has expiated our sins, that his blood shed has secured eternal happiness for us, and that he not

only proposes, but engages to preserve our bodies and souls to everlasting life. In the words of our own communion service, “when with a penitent heart and lively faith” we receive that holy sacrament, we do actually, not prospectively,“ dwell in Christ and Christ in us: we are one with Christ and Christ with us:" manifestly a state of present, not of future or problematical salvation. The difficulty, therefore, returns upon us: how can these words be addressed to a mixed number, of whom the minister does not know this to be the case, nor has any strong ground for believing it: and who in fact do not believe it of themselves, nor so much as care to have it so in any serious man

I can only repeat my opinion that we have the authority of Christ and the apostles for taking men upon their profession, and so pronouncing on them a benediction which is only valid if the profession be a true one. As it is said to the apostles in another case First say, peace be to this house—and if the Son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.”

“ This do in remembrance of me.” Blessed Jesus, could they forget thee? They had heard thy words, such as never man spake—they had seen thy works, such as no other man had done-thou hadst chosen them, and kept them and loved them, even as the Father loved thee. Could they forget thee, blessed Lord? Our

ner.

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