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Annie Oakley
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Question 75: How art thou admonished and assured in the Lord's Supper, that thou art a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all his benefits?

Answer:
Thus: That Christ has commanded me and all believers, to eat of this broken bread, and to drink of this cup, in remembrance of him, adding these promises: (a) first, that his body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and his blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes, the bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me; and further, that he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with his crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.

(a) Matt.26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
Matt.26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Matt.26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
Mark 14:23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
Mark 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
1 Cor.10:16 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?
1 Cor.10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
1 Cor.11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1 Cor.11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1 Cor.11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1 Cor.12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

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Annie Oakley
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Exposition

The questions which claim our special attention in treating the Lord’s supper, are these:
I. What is the Lord’s supper?
II. What is the design of it?
III. In what does it differ from, baptism?
IV. What is the meaning of the words of the institution?
V. What difference is there between the Lord’s supper, and the Popish mass, and why the mass is to be abolished?
VI. In what does the lawful use of the Lord’s supper consist?
VII. What do the ungodly receive in the use of the Lord’s Supper?
VIII. For whom was it instituted?
IX. Who are to be admitted to this Supper?

 
The first three of the above propositions belong to the 75th and 76th Questions of the Catechism; the fourth belongs to the 80th; the sixth, seventh, and eighth belong to the 81st; and the ninth to the 82nd, and will be treated in order under each of these questions.

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I. What is the Lord’s supper?

In considering this question, we shall first notice the different names which are applied to this sacrament, and then in a few words define what it is. It is called the Lord’s Supper, from the circumstance of its first institution, which took place when Christ and his disciples were at supper, which circumstance of time the church in the exercise of her right and liberty has changed: for it was merely on account of the eating of the paschal Lamb, which the law required to be celebrated at night, and which was to be abolished by this new sacrament, that it was instituted in the evening at the time of supper, rather than in the morning, or at noon. Paul calls it the Lord’s table. It is also called a covenant or assembly, from the fact that in the celebration of this supper there must be some, whether few or many, that meet together for purpose. At the time of its institution the disciples were present, to whom it was said, “take this and divide it among yourselves,” (Luke 22:17.) From this it is evident that there must have been a number present, which is confirmed by what the Apostle says when repeating the words of the institution: “When ye come together in one place this is not to eat the Lord’s supper;” and adds still further, “wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.” (1 Cor 11:20, 23.) And that a number of persons are necessary for the purpose of celebrating this supper may be shown from the design of it, which is that it may be a sign, and bond of love; “for we being many are one bread, and one body.” (1 Cor. 10:17.) It is, again, called the Eucharist, because it is a ceremony of thanksgiving. It is often called by the fathers a sacrifice; not, however, a propitiatory, or meritorious sacrifice, as the Papists imagine; but a sacrifice of thanksgiving; because it is a solemn commemoration, and celebration of the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ. In the course of time it was called mass (missa) from the offering which was given by the rich for the benefit of the poor, or from the dismission of the assembly after the sermon which preceded the celebration of the supper, of which we shall hereafter speak more fully. We shall retain the name which the scriptures apply to it, and call it the Lord’s supper. This brings us to the definition which the Catechism gives in answer to the above question, where it is said: The Lord’s supper was instituted by Christ, who has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and to drink of this cup in remembrance of him, adding these promises, first, that his body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and his blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me; and further, that he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with his crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ. Or, we may define it more briefly thus: The Lord’s supper is the breaking and eating of bread, and drinking of wine according to the command of Christ, given, to all believers, that he may by these signs declare that his body was broken, and his blood shed for them; that he gives them these things to eat and drink that they may be fed unto everlasting life; and that he will dwell in them and so nourish and quicken them forever.

This sacrament, therefore, consists in the rite and the promise annexed to it, or in the signs and things signified. The rite, or signs are the bread which is broken and eaten, and the wine which is poured out and drunk. The things signified are the broken body, and shed blood of Christ, which are eaten and drunk, or our union with Christ by faith, by which we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits, so that we derive from him everlasting life, as the branches draw their life from the vine. We are assured of this our union and communion with Christ by the analogy which there is between the sign and the thing signified: and also by the promise which is joined to the sign. This analogy declares, and exhibits in a particular manner the sacrifice of Christ, and our communion with him; because the bread is not only broken, but also given unto us to be eaten.

The breaking of the bread is a part of the ceremony, because a part of that which is signified, viz: the breaking of the body of Christ answers to it, of which Paul speaks, when he says: “This is my body which is broken for you.” (1 Cor. 11:24.) So the wine is separated from the bread to signify the violence of his death, when his blood was spilt and separated from his body.

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II. What is the design of the Lord's supper?

The Lord’s supper was instituted:

1. That it might be a confirmation of our faith, or a most sure proof of our union, and communion with Christ, who feeds us with his body and blood unto everlasting life, as truly as we receive these signs from the hands of the minister. This object is attained by all those who receive these signs in true faith: for we so receive these signs from the hands of the minister, as if the Lord himself gave them unto us with his own hand. It is in this way that Christ is said to have baptized more disciples than John, when he, nevertheless, did it through his disciples. (John 4:1.)

2. That we may by the observance of it make a public confession of our faith, acknowledge our gratitude, and bind ourselves to constant thankfulness, and to the celebration of this benefit. Hence it is said: “This do in remembrance of me.” “For as often as ye eat of this bread, and drink of this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” (Luke 22:19. 1 Cor. 11:26.) This remembrance, or commemoration of Christ precedes and is taken for faith in the heart; after which we make public confession, and acknowledgements of our thankfulness.

3. That it might be a public distinction, or badge, by which the true church may be known, and recognized from the world. The Lord has instituted this supper for none, but those who are his disciples.

4. That it might be a bond of love, declaring that all who partake of it aright, are made members of one body whose head is Christ. “For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:17.) Those now who are members of the same body have a mutual love one for another.

5. That the people of God who assemble in a public manner might be united together in the closest fellowship; for it was instituted to be observed in the congregation, whether there be many or few present. Hence Christ says, “Drink ye all of it,” and Paul says, “When ye come together to eat tarry one for another.” (Matt. 26:27. 1 Cor. 11:33.)

That the Lord’s supper ought not to be celebrated privately, by one per son alone may be proven;

1. Because it is a communion, and is the sign of our communion with Christ: but a private supper is no communion.

2. Because it is a solemn thanksgiving; and we ought all to render thanks unto God. Hence he who regards himself as unworthy to communicate with others, declares that he is not fit to give thanks unto God.

3. Be cause Christ, with all his benefits, is not the property of one, but belongs to all in common. A private communion would, however, make a private good out of that which is common.

4. Because Christ admitted all his disciples, yea even Judas, from which it is easy to see that a private communion is contrary to the appointment of Christ.

5. That some neglect the communion or defer it even until death, arises no doubt from some wrong notion, or influence, either because they will not commune with others, or because they think that they are not worthy. But all who believe that they are delivered from eternal condemnation by the death of Christ, and desire to advance in holiness, are worthy. Briefly, when the Lord’s supper is observed by one person alone it is done contrary to the design, name, institution, and nature of the sacrament.

Obj. But Christ makes the chief design of this supper consist in his remembrance. Therefore the confirmation of our faith is not the chief design of it.

Ans. This consequence is not legitimate; for the remembrance of Christ comprises the confirmation of our faith, and the expression of our thankfulness as separate parts. It is, therefore, such an inference as if one would say, Peter is a man; therefore he does not possess a body. It is more correct, therefore, to conclude thus: Because remembrance of Christ is the supper; therefore it is the confirmation of our faith; for if Christ appointed this sacrament in remembrance of himself, he also designs the confirmation of our faith, since faith is nothing else than a faithful remembrance of Christ and his benefits. But some one may be ready to reply, It is the Holy Ghost that confirms our faith; therefore not the Lord’s supper. But this again is no just conclusion; for it is the same as if any one were to say, It is God that feeds and supports us; therefore bread does not nourish us. The Holy Ghost does, indeed, confirm our faith, but it is through the word, and the sacraments, as God feeds and nourishes us, through the use of bread.

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III. In what does the Lord’s supper differ from baptism?

Although baptism, and the Lord’s supper impart and seal unto us the same blessings, such as our spiritual ingrafting into Christ, communion with him, and the whole benefit of our salvation, of which the apostle speaks, when he says: “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit;” (1 Cor. 12:18) yet they, nevertheless, manifestly differ in various respects. They differ,

1. In outward rites.

2. In the signification of these rites. For although the washing away of sin by the blood of Christ, by baptism, and the eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s supper, signify the same participation of Christ; yet the former is signified by plunging the body into the water of baptism, whilst the latter is exhibited, and sealed unto us in the supper by the eating of bread, and the drinking of wine. Hence whilst the sacraments agree, as to the things which they signify, they nevertheless, differ as to the manner in which these things are expressed.

3. They differ as to the design peculiar to each. Baptism is the sign of the covenant between God and the faithful; the Lord’s supper is the sign of the preservation of the same covenant: or, baptism is the sign of our regeneration, and connection with the church and covenant of God; the Lord’s supper is the sign of the nourishment and preservation of those who have already entered into the church. It is necessary that the Spirit should first renew us, of which renewal baptism is the sign; then after we are renewed it is further necessary that we should be nourished by the body and blood of Christ, the sign of which is the Lord’s supper. Or to express it more briefly, God assures us by baptism of our reception into the church, and confirms us in regard to the preservation and increase of his gifts by the use of the Lord’s supper. Yet Christ, who regenerates and nourishes us unto everlasting life is one and the same.

4. They differ as to the manner of their observance. Baptism merely requires regeneration, and is applied unto all those whom the church regards as regenerated, including adults who make a profession of repentance and faith, and infants born in the church; whilst the Lord’s supper requires that those who receive it examine their faith, commemorate the Lord’s death, and express their thankfulness. “This do in remembrance of me.” “Ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” “Let a man examine himself.” (Luke 22:19. 1 Cor. 11:26, 28.) All, therefore, who belong to the church, infants as well as adults, are to be baptized; whilst none but such as are capable of examining themselves and shewing the Lord’s death are to be admitted to the supper.

5. They differ in the order of their observance.  Baptism precedes the Lord’s supper, which ought not to be administered to any, except such as have been baptized, and that, not until they have made a profession of their repentance and faith. Hence in the ancient church, after the sermon, and just before the administration of the supper, they dismissed those who were excommunicated; likewise such as were possessed with an evil spirit, and those who were learning the first rudiments of the Christian faith, who were either not yet baptized, or had been baptized in their infancy, but did not sufficiently understand the principles of religion. So it was also in the Jewish Church, in relation to those who were uncircumcised. If those now who were baptized, were not admitted to the supper before they made a profession of their faith, much less are they to be admitted, who, although they are baptized, lead offensive and wicked lives.

6. The Lord’s supper is to be observed frequently, because it is proper for us often to commemorate his death. It was instituted to be a public commemoration, and showing of his death. It is also necessary for us frequently to have our faith confirmed in regard to the perpetuity of the covenant. The Lord’s supper is, therefore, to be often repeated, as in the case of the paschal Lamb. Baptism, however, is not to be repeated, because there is no command requiring it, and because it is the sign of our reception in the church and covenant of God. The covenant once entered into is not again made void in the case of those who repent, but remains unchangeable. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. There is, therefore, no new covenant made, not even in the case of those who fall, and renew their repentance. There is merely a renewal of the first covenant. Hence it is said: “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 shew the Lord’s death till he come.” (1 Cor. 11:25, 26.) Of baptism it is said: “As many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death.” “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” (Rom. 6:3. Mark 16:16.)

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Question 76: What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?

Answer:
It is not only to embrace with believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ and thereby to obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal; (a) but also, besides that, to become more and more united to his sacred body, (b) by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us; so that we, though Christ is in heaven (c) and we on earth, are notwithstanding "flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone" (d) and that we live, and are governed forever by one spirit, (e) as members of the same body are by one soul.

(a) John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

(b) John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

(c) Col.3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
1 Cor.11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
(d) Eph.3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Eph.5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: Eph.5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph.5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
1 Cor.6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
1 Cor.6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
1 Cor.6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

(e) John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Eph.4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

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Question 77: Where has Christ promised that he will as certainly feed and nourish believers with his body and bleed, as they eat of this broken bread, and drink of this cup?

Answer:
In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed: (a) "The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and: said: eat, this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying: this cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as often 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.11:23-26. This promise is repeated by the holy apostle Paul, where he says "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? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread." 1 Cor.10:16,17.

(a) 1 Cor.11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
Matt.26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
Mark 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
1 Cor.10:16 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? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

chestnutmare #48438 Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:51 PM
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Annie Oakley
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Exposition

The institution of the Lord’s supper establishes the true and saving communion of the body and blood of Christ. We must, therefore, diligently enquire after the true meaning of the words of the institution. Matthew, Mark and Luke, give a particular account of the institution of the Lord’s supper, which we have repeated by the apostle Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians. We shall here repeat the account which each one gives of the institution of the supper.

Matthew 26:26, &c.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it: For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
 

Mark 14:22, &c.
“And as they did eat, Jesus took bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat, this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.  And he said unto them, This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many.”
 
Luke 22:19, &c.
“And took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them saying: This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying: This cup is the New Testament in my blood which is shed for you.”
 
1 Cor. 11:23, &c.
“For I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you; that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks he brake it, and said: Take eat, this is my body which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying: This cup is the New Testament in my blood: 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 shew the Lord’s death till he come.”

We shall now give a short exposition of the words of the Apostle Paul, as just quoted, and then present our views upon this most important subject.

The Lord Jesus: He is the author of this supper. It is for this reason called the Lord’s supper. We must, therefore, inquire what the Lord did, said, and commanded, as Cyprian appropriately admonishes us, when he says: “If Christ alone is to be heard, we must not regard what anyone “before us has thought proper to be done; but what Christ, who is before all, has first done.”

The same night in which he was betrayed: This circumstance is added to teach us that Christ instituted his supper at the last celebration of the Passover that he might show, 1. That there was now an end to all the ancient sacrifices, and that he substituted a new sacrament, which should henceforth be observed, the Passover being now abolished; and that it signified the same thing which that did in the place of which it was substituted, with the exception of the difference of time. The Paschal Lamb signified that Christ would come, and offer himself a sacrifice. The Lord’s Supper teaches that this is already accomplished. 2. That he might excite his disciples, and us to a more attentive consideration of the cause on account of which he instituted this supper, and that he might also show how solemnly he would commend it to our regard, in as much as he would not do anything just before his death, except that which was of the greatest importance. Christ instituted it then at the tune of his death that it might be, as it were, the testament, or last will of our testator. In a word: Paul adds this circumstance that we may know, that Christ instituted this supper as a memorial of himself now ready to die.

He took bread: The bread which Christ took was unleavened bread, such as they ate at the feast of the Passover. This circumstance however, does not properly belong to the Supper, any more than the evening at which time it was instituted; for the use of unleavened bread at the institution was accidental. Hence we must not infer from this that there is any necessity for the use of such bread in the celebration of the Supper, or that Christ would lay down any particular way of baking, or using it. Yet still the bread which is used in the celebration of the Lord’s supper differs from common bread, for whilst the latter is eaten for the nourishment of the body, the former is received for the nourishment of the soul, or for the confirmation of our faith, and union with Christ. It is here to be observed too, that Christ is said to have taken bread from the table, that is, with his hand. Hence he did not take his body; nor did he take his body with, in, or under the bread, except in a sacramental sense: for his body did not lie upon but sat at the table.

When he had given thanks: Matthew and Mark say of the bread, when he had blessed it; and of the cup, when he had given thanks. Luke and Paul say of the bread, when he had given thanks. Hence to bless, and give thanks signify in this place the same thing, so that the mystery of the magical consecration of the Papists, cannot be found in the difference of the language here used. Christ blessed, that is, gave thanks to his Father, and not to the bread, for spiritual blessings; because his work on earth was now finished, with the exception of the last act, which was just at hand, and because it pleased the Father to redeem the world by the death of his Son: or he gave thanks because the typical Passover was abolished, and that which was true, and signified was now exhibited, and that the Church had a memorial of him; or he may have given thanks for the wonderful gathering and preservation of the church.

He brake it: He broke the bread which he took from the table, and distributed the one bread among many, and not some invisible thing which was concealed in the bread. He did not break his body, but the bread.  Hence Paul says, “The bread which we break.” (1 Cor. 10:16.) He distributed the one bread among many: because we being many are one body. Christ then broke the bread not merely for the purpose of distributing it, but also to signify thereby,

1. The greatness of his sufferings, and the separation of his soul from his body.

2. The communion of many with his own body, and the bond of their union, and mutual love. “The bread which we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ; for we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:16.) The breaking of the bread is, therefore, a necessary ceremony both on account of its signification, and for the confirmation of our faith, and is to be retained in the celebration of the Supper:

1. Because of the command of Christ, Do this.

2. Because of the authority and example of the church in the times of the Apostles, which in view of this circumstance, termed the whole transaction, the breaking of bread.

3. For our comfort, that we may know that the body of Christ was broken for us, as certainly as we see the bread broken.

4. That the doctrine of transubstantiation and consubstantiation may be rejected, and abandoned.

Take, eat: This command was addressed to the disciples and the whole church of the New Testament, from which it appears,

1. That the Popish mass, in which the Priest gives nothing to be received, and eaten by the church, is not the Lord’s supper, but a private supper to him that sacrifices, and a mere theatrical performance.

2. That we ought not to be idle spectators of the supper, but ought to receive, and eat it.

3. That the Lord’s supper ought not to be celebrated, except where there are those to receive and partake of it.

4. That it is a sign of grace on the part of God, who exhibits unto us certain benefits which we are to receive by faith, as we take the signs with our hand and mouth.

This is my body: This, that is, this bread: as if he would say, this thing which I have in my hand, which was bread. That this is the proper interpretation is evident from the following considerations:

1. Christ took nothing but bread: he broke bread: and gave the broken bread to the disciples.

2. Paul says expressly, “The bread which we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”

3. It is said of the wine: “This cup is the New Testament in my blood.” It is in the same way that it is here said, This, meaning this bread, is my body which is broken for you, and delivered unto death. The literal sense, it we understand the words properly, is this: The substance of this bread is the substance of my body. But to understand the words in this sense would be absurd; for bread is something destitute of life, which is baked of grain, and not personally united with the Word; but the body of Christ is a living substance, born of the virgin Mary, and personally united with the Word. Christ then, calls the bread his body, meaning thereby, that it is the sign of his body, attributing by a figure of speech, the name of the thing signified to the sign; because he appoints this bread as the sign, and sacrament of his body, as Augustin interprets it when he says: “The Lord did not hesitate to say, This is my body, when he gave the sign of his body” Be it far from us therefore, that we should say that Christ took bread visibly, and his body invisibly in the bread; for he did not say, In this bread is my body or, This bread is my body invisibly; but, This bread is my body, true, and visible which is offered for you.

These moreover, are the words of the promise added to this sacrament, for the purpose of teaching us that the bread in this use is the body of Christ, which is exhibited and given to those who partake of it and believe in this promise; or, it is the flesh of Christ which he promised that he would give for the life of the world. For this is the same promise which Christ had made before in the sixth chapter of John, where he says that his flesh shall quicken us, and that it shall contribute to the salvation of those who eat of it. Here he merely adds the sacramental rite, which clothes and seals the promise, as if he would say: I have promised in the gospel eternal life to all that eat my flesh and drink my blood; now I confirm and seal with this external rite the promise which I have made, that henceforth all that believe this promise and eat this bread may be fully persuaded and assured that they do truly eat my flesh, which is given for the life of the world, and that they have eternal life.

By this promise the bread is made the sacrament of Christ’s body, and his body is made the thing signified by this sacrament; and these two, the sign and thing signified, are joined in the sacrament, not by any physical union, nor by any corporal or local existence of the one in the other, much less by a transubstantiation or change of the one into the other; but by a sacramental union whose bond is this promise which is added to the bread, requiring faith of those who use it, which union declares, seals and exhibits the things signified by the signs. From this it appears that these things in their lawful use are always exhibited and received conjointly, but not without faith, viewing and apprehending the thing promised and now present in the sacrament; yet not present or included in the sign, as in a vessel, but present in the promise which is the better part, being the soul of the sacrament. For they want judgment who say that the body of Christ cannot be present in the sacrament unless it be in or under the bread, as if the bread alone without the promise were the sacrament, or the principal part of it.

Which for you: For my disciples; that is, for your salvation and that of the whole church.

Is broken: But the body of Christ, someone may say, was not broken, nor is it now broken. To this we reply, that the Apostle in this passage has respect to the signification of the breaking of the bread, which denotes the rending of Christ’s body. For, as the bread is broken in pieces, so the body and soul of Christ were torn from each other upon the cross. The property of the sign is, therefore, by a sacramental metonymy, attributed to the thing signified.

This do: This is a command for the observance of this sacrament. This which you see me do, do ye also hereafter in my church; when congregated take bread, give thanks, break, distribute, eat, c. He comprehends and gives command in reference to the whole transaction; and that to us who believe, and not to the Jews who were about to crucify him.

In remembrance of me: That is, meditating upon my benefits which I have bestowed upon you, and which this sacrament calls to your remembrance; feeling also in your hearts that I give you these my gifts, and celebrating them by public confession in the sight of God, angels and men and so giving thanks for them. The design of the Lord’s supper is, therefore, a remembrance of Christ, which does not consist merely in meditating upon his history, but is a remembrance of his death and benefits, including faith by which we appropriate to ourselves Christ and his merits, and gratitude or a public confession of the benefits of Christ. The parts of this remembrance, which is as it were the whole supper, are faith and gratitude or from which it appears that it was instituted to be a memorial of Christ, calling to our recollection what, and how great benefits he hath purchased for us, and with what, and how great sufferings he has obtained them, confirming in us at the same time the faith by which we receive these gifts. It does not therefore follow, that because Christ has instituted the supper to his remembrance that it is not for the confirmation of our faith, any more than if I were to say, the supper does not confirm our faith, because the Holy Ghost does. It is no proper consequence to infer the denial of an instrumental cause from the fact, that we give prominence to the chief cause, no more than the denial of a part follows from a statement of the whole of which it is a part. Remembrance of Christ comprehends the remembrance of his benefits, together with faith and the giving of thanks; for Christ by the use of these signs admonishes us of himself and of his benefits, and stirs up and establishes our confidence in him, from which it naturally follows that we also publicly express our gratitude to him. Hence this supper ought not only to admonish us of our duty, as some will have it, but it should first remind us of Christ’s benefit, and then of our duty; for where there is no benefit, there cannot be any gratitude.

Drink ye all of this: This command condemns the conduct of the Pope who refused the laity the cup, and is likewise opposed to the sophistical figment of the concomitance of the blood with the body of Christ under the form of bread. Christ commanded all to eat and to drink. The Pope, however, will not allow the wine to any but the priests, giving nothing more than the bread to the laity, affirming that they drink in eating the bread. This shameful conduct is condemned by this command of Christ: “Drink ye all of this.” That the argument of the Pope in justification of his course is a mere sophism, when he affirms that this command had reference merely to the disciples who were present at the time, who were not laymen, but priests is evident,

1. Because, by this argument they foolishly make the disciples mass-mumming priests.

2. Because, the Scriptures do not recognize the distinction which they make between the priests and laity. All the faithful are called priests in the Scriptures.  “And hath made us kings and priests unto God, and his Father.” “Ye are a royal priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 1:6.1 Pet. 2:9, 5.) 3. Because, by the same pretext the whole supper might be taken away from the laity, especially from females, if it were true that none are to be admitted to this sacrament but that class of persons present at its institution. The figment of concomitance is a wicked pretext, which Christ refutes when he calls the bread by itself, his body, and the cup by itself, his blood, and gave both separately to the disciples to be eaten and drunk, and commanded them henceforth to administer them in the same way.

This cup is the New Testament: Or, the covenant according to the Greek word dixqhxh, which corresponds with the Hebrew Berith. It is called the new covenant, which means the renewed, or fulfilled covenant. The new covenant consists in our reconciliation with God, and communion with Christ and all his benefits by faith in his sacrifice already offered, without the observance of the ceremonies of the old Passover. The supper is called the new covenant with reference to its signification, because it is the sign and seal of this covenant, sealing unto us our reconciliation with God, and our union with Christ by faith. Christ in calling the supper the new covenant, comprehends both the promise and the condition expressed in the promise, which is repentance and faith on our part; from which it follows that it was also instituted to bind us to a Christian life. The new covenant is here also opposed to the old, which was the Passover with its rites. The supper signifies Christ already offered; the Passover signified Christ who should be offered. Both, however, signify our union with Christ. From what has now been said, we may infer that the drinking of the blood of Christ is not corporal; for the New Testament is only one, and includes also all the people of God who lived before the coming of Christ into the world.

In my blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins: The blood of Christ is his death. Hence in his blood, is the same thing as in, or on account of his death. The shedding of the blood of Christ is his merit, in view of which we receive the forgiveness of sin, when it is apprehended by faith.

As often as ye eat this bread: The supper is, therefore, to be frequently celebrated, which we may also establish from its design, which is to celebrate the Lord’s death.

Ye do shew the Lord’s death: Believe that Christ died, and that for you; then profess his death publicly before all.

Until he come: This supper is therefore, to be perpetuated unto the end of the world, nor is any other external form of worship to be expected.

The words of the institution, which we have now explained, may be more fully illustrated by the words of the Apostle: “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?” (1 Cor. 10:16.)

The cup of blessing: It is called the cup of blessing, or thanksgiving, because it is received for this end, that we may call to mind the benefits of Christ, and so render thanks to him for his sufferings and death.

The communion of the blood of Christ: Communion is a participation in the thing which is common. The communion of the body and blood of Christ is, therefore, to be made through faith partakers of Christ and all his benefits, by the same Spirit dwelling both in Christ, and in us, and effecting the same things in us which he does in Christ: or, it is the spiritual fellowship which the faithful have with Christ, as members with the head, and as branches with the vine. The bread and wine are the communion, that is, they are the sign and testimony of our communion with Christ. This communion, as the Apostle briefly expresses it,” consists in this, that we being many are one body; from which it is easy to see that this our communion with Christ is no corporal eating; for it is effected only by faith and the Holy Ghost. Christ is the head, and we are the members; all who are members have communion in all the benefits of Christ. The head and benefits are both common: hence we are all members in common and so have mutual love one to another.


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