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The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

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This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me, for as often
as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death
till he come. — 1 Cor., xi., 25, 26.

This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me, for as often
as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death
till he come. — 1 Cor., xi., 25, 26.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE SACRAMET OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.STEPHE OLI, D.D., LL.D.,This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me, for as oftenas ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's deathtill he come. — 1 Cor., xi., 25, 26.I. What the Lord's Supper is not.1. It is not to partake of the real body and blood of Christ.It is well known that the Homan Catholic Church affirms,that the bread and wine are, by the act of consecration,changed, or, as they term it, t'rans,uhUantiated, into the verybody and blood of the Savior, a doctrine founded upon theevidently figurative language of Chris.t, " This is my body — this is my blood." Before a Protestant assembly, the state-ment of this doctrine is a refutation of it. The Scriptureauthority vanishes when we consider the rhetorical languagewhich our Savior was accustomed to apply to himself andothers. He called himself a shepherd, a door, a vine. Hecalled Peter a rock. James and John were sons of thunder.The ew Testament is full of forms of speech which conveyan obvious sense under a figurative form, and in none is thefigurative character more manifest than when the Saviorcalls himself the " bread of life," or says, " my flesh is meatindeed," or of the elements of the communion, " this is mybody — this is my blood."THE lord's supper. 131As the doctrine in question is unsupported by the Scrip-tures, so also it is rejected by all the tests usually resorted toto decide questions of fact. The elements used in the com-
munion, in the hands of a Catholic no less than in those of other clergymen, are still veritable bread and wine to theeye, to the touch, to the smell, to the taste. So, too, theymust have appeared to the apostles. By no possibiUty couldthey have taken them to be the flesh and blood of their Mas-ter, who stood before them in his proper person, which nei-ther the nails that fastened him to the cross, nor the sol-dier's spear had yet marred. Finally, the language of ourtext, as well as the parallel passages in the evangelists, con-tradict the Romish doctrine. The Lord's Supper is to betaken in " remembrance" of Christ and his death, and cannot, therefore, be the crucified Christ himself.2. The Lord's Supper is not a sacrifice — an offering forsin. It is a representation of the great sacrifice, and there-fore not the thing itself. The text settles this question.Other portions of holy Scripture expHcitly declare that allsacrifices ceased with the offering of Christ upon the cross.As all the sacrifices under the Jewish economy pointed tothis great expiatory offering, and derived from it their effi-cacy, so all succeeding generations were appointed to findforgiveness of sins, and acceptance with God, by the exer-cise of faith in this one oblation made by Christ of his ownbody on the tree. " Who needeth not daily, as those high-priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and thenfor the people's ; for this he did once, when he offered uphimself."* " By his own blood he entered in once to the holyplace, having obtained eternal redemption for us."t "Oncein the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin bythe sacrifice of himself." " So Christ was once offered to bearthe sins of many, and unto them that look for him shall heappear the second time without sin (or a sin-offering) unto* Heb., vii., 27. ^ t Ibid., ix., 12.132 THE SACRAMET OFsalvation. "=^ These passages, to which more might be added,conclusively refute the theory which assigns to the Lord's
Supper the character of a sacrifice for sin. I might have re-lied upon the argument adduced under my first proposition,that the consecrated bread and wine are not the real bodyand blood of Christ ; for if they are not, then they are nothis sacrifice for sin, which consisted of his broken body andshed blood ; but it seemed important to enter into the sub- ject more fully, as the theory in question has latterly ob-tained a good deal of currency in this country.3. The elements employed in the Lord's Supper undergono change. The act of consecration imparts to them nonew properties or powers, and they remain simple bread andwine. Their sacramental efficacy depends wholly uponGod's blessing attendant on his own ordinance, and uponthe penitence, faith, and other favorable dispositions of thecommunicant.I have two reasons for dwelling upon these preliminarystatements. 1. Many sincere Christians entertain very er-roneous and even superstitious views in regard to the Lord'sSupper, as if it were imbued with some magical, preternat-ural power for good or for evil. They are disposed to trustto it for influences which are not inherent in it, or to look upon it with dread as liable to inflict upon the soul somedark, appalling calamity. Many shun the Lord's table asif it were beset with snares, and are only induced to com-municate infrequently and with apparent reluctance. 2.These erroneous views of the nature and design of the Lord'sSupper have given rise to exclusive and arrogant claims toministerial authority. It is claimed that the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are endowed with power toconvert and sanctify the soul, but that they possess this effi-ciency only when administered by clergymen set apart to theministry in a certain way. Regeneration, growth in grace,*Heb., ix., 26, 28.THE lord's supter. 133

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