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and by these elements, but it is by faith and not by sense. If we receive them in the manner, and to the end which Christ appointed, they give us a lively remembrance of His love and all-sufficient merit, and thereby invite our faith to embrace this crucified Redeemer, as the satisfaction for our sins; whereupon He (who is most ready to close with penitent sinners) doth by this rite of His own appointing, give Himself and the salutary benefits of His death unto such, and although the manner be mysterious, yet the advantages are real, and the effect more certain than if we eat or drank His natural flesh and blood." Ib. p. 540.
An act of faith.
"O Eternal Word of God, by whose power all things were made, I will not ask how Thou canst give me Thy Flesh to eat; because I am abundantly satisfied in Thy saying, "This is My Body:" since Thou canst make it become to me whatsoever Thou sayest it is. I believe, Lord, help my unbelief! What though my senses assure me, the outward substance and its accidents still remain; yet my faith and my experience tell me there is an efficacy therein, beyond the power of any other thing. Alas! the Flesh would profit me nothing, John iv. 63. for he that is joined to Thee must be one spirit, 1 Cor. vi. 17. O let these sacred Symbols therefore make me partaker of Thy nature, and a partner in Thy merits: let them unite me to Thee, ingraft me in Thee, and make That Body mine which did suffer death for me, and then I shall seek no further, but be more happy than if I could understand all mysteries: sure I am, This is Thy Body in Sacrament, it communicates to us the blessings and benefit thereof, and though presented in a figure. and by a holy rite, yet it is to all its purposes that which it doth represent; I will therefore receive it as Thy Body, and esteem it infinitely above all other food, that I may not be judged for not discerning Thy Body. O let it be unto me. according to my faith. Amen." Ib. p. 547.
"It will not suffice me, dearest Saviour, to receive Thee in part only, for I must be wholly Thine, and (blessed be Thy Name) Thou art willing to be wholly mine also. Thou hast already given me Thy Holy Body to cleanse my nature, and now Thou art preparing Thy precious Blood to wash away my guilt. My sins have poured out every drop thereof, wherefore Thou
presentest it to me itself, to shew how truly Thou didst suffer death for me. And now, O my Redeemer, Thou hast said, This Cup is the Communion of Thy blood, and Thy truth is unquestionable, Thy power is infinite, and Thy love was such, that Thou gavest thy heart's-blood for me. I will receive it therefore as the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, the seal of all the promises of Thy Holy Gospel "
"The second happiness assured by this Holy Eucharist is, that we are thereby united to Jesus, so as to have fellowship with Him, 1 John i. 3. and in St. Paul's phrase we do thereby become members of His Body, of His Flesh, and of His Bone, Eph. v. 30. for He gives us Himself to be our food, with intent that He may be one with us, and we with Him. As some have made their leagues of friendship by drinking each other's blood, thereby intending to create a sympathy, and as it were to mingle souls: and since we have been fed with that Food, with which God feeds his dearest children, and have participated of that Spirit which quickens the great mystical body of Christ, 1 Cor. xii. 9. we may infer, that we are living members of the true Church also: let us therefore solace ourselves with reflecting upon the happiness of our present estate."
"The third benefit which worthy receivers have by this Sacrament, is, that it doth consign them to a blessed immortality and this follows from the former, it being impossible any true member of Christ should be left for ever in the grave; since the Head liveth, the members shall live also, John vi. 64. hence the Fathers called it an antidote against death, and the means to make us partakers of our Lord's immortality. For Jesus doth not only here refresh our souls with a present communication of His graces, but doth seal that covenant also, one condition of which is, that He will bring us to glory." Ib. p. 566, 7.
"The Bread which we break is, not only in figure and similitude, but by a real spiritual Communion, His Body. The Cup of Blessing which we bless is by the same Communion His Blood."
"Nor can I conceive how the words of St. Paul can otherwise be understood, in their full scope and latitude, when he says, The Cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the Communion?" &c. 1 Cor. x. 16. He supposes that the Body and Blood of Christ are communicated to us by the Bread and Wine in the Holy Eucharist. . . . And when St. Paul saith that ignorant and profane communicants "do not discern the Lord's Body" in the Holy Eucharist, (1 Cor. xi. 29.) and that "they are guilty of" (an indignity toward) "the Body and Blood of our Lord," ver. 27. he surely takes it for granted that the Body and Blood are actually there, whether they discern it or not . . . .
"I believe there is nothing that can more inflame and exalt the devotion of a sincere Christian, than to think and believe, that when he is praying at God's Altar and receiving the Holy Eucharist, he has the price of his redemption in his hand, or lying before his eyes," Propitiatory Oblation, pp. 28, 101.
"The full and true notion of the Eucharist is, that it is a religious Feast upon Bread and Wine, that have been first offered in sacrifice to Almighty God, and are become the mysterious Body and Blood of Christ." Unbloody Sacrifice, vol. ii. p. 18. "It was the universal belief of the ancients, that, by the cial presence of the Holy Spirit, the Bread and Wine were made the Body and Blood of Christ, in life and power, as they were before in figure or representation. As the natural Body of Christ was formed in the womb by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost; so they expected, and prayed, that, by the operation of the same Spirit, the Bread and Wine might be made the Body and Blood, in a more effectual manner than they were, when offered to God as mere representatives: and it was their certain belief that the Bread thus consecrated by the secret influence of the Spirit, was the very Body of Christ in power, and energy, and to all intents and purposes of religion, and so far as it was possible for one thing to be made another, without change of substance. This was indeed no Article of their Creed, because the Creed was originally drawn not for communicants, but to be rehearsed by persons that were to be baptized, or their sureties. But it was an Article to which all communicants gave their consent so oft as they received. For
the Priest of old said, at the delivery of the Bread to every single communicant," The Body of Christ:" and every communicant answered, Amen; by which he was understood to give his consent to what the Priest said. And in the same manner they acknowledge the sacramental Wine to be the Blood of Christ. The primitive Church believed not any change of substance in the Sacrament. For they ever affirmed the Bread and Wine to remain after consecration; but that by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost they were Christ's Body and Blood, not only by way of type, or figure, but in real power and effect.
"And we are to observe that, in the institution, Christ says of the Bread, “This is My Body;" of the Cup, or Wine, “This is My Blood," without adding any words to abate the signification of that expression. He calls the sacramental Bread My Flesh, five times in six verses in this chapter, from which I take my text, beginning at verse 51, ending at verse 56: nay, He calls it My Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world, verse 51. And it appears under this pledge of Bread He did actually offer His Body to the Father for the redemption of mankind. See sect. 6. and so on to the 9th, discourse ii. And He calls the Cup, or Wine, His Blood, four times within the compass of four verses, beginning at the 53d, ending at the 56th. He knew full well what captious hearers He had, and that they were upon the point of deserting Him on this account; yet He does not forbear to speak the mystery, as that mystery deserved. St. Paul tells them that unworthily received the Sacrament, that they were" guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord;" and the same Apostle says of the Cup, that it is" the Communion of the Blood of Christ ;" and of the Bread, that it is " the Communion of the Body of Christ," without any mollifying addition. We are not therefore to wonder that the primitive Church made this an Article of faith, though not of their Creed.
"And the consecrated Bread and Wine being thus, by the secret operation of the Holy Spirit, made the Body and Blood of Christ, did fully answer the characters which Christ gives us of His Flesh and Blood in this 6th chapter of St. John's Gospel." Primitive Communicant, p. 141-144.
"And I am firmly persuaded that this is the sum of what Christ teacheth us in this chapter: and I cannot doubt of it when I consider, that this was the belief of all Christians in the first and purest ages.
Johnson. Sharp. Leslie.
"To believe this doctrine, is indeed a "work," or "labour," so our Saviour justly calls it. A great part of those who first heard it, could not be persuaded that it was possible for Him, in any good sense, to give His Flesh to be eat, His Blood to be drank; or that, if He could, the benefit of eating and drinking them, could be so great as He had promised; therefore they went away, and walked no more with Him, ver. 66. Christ foreknew what corrupt glosses men of latter ages would put upon His words, and how difficult it would be for private Christians to break through prejudices, and mistakes, made current by the countenance and traditions of great men. And perhaps there is no one point in our religion that requires more labour, and study, to be rightly informed in, at this day, than this of which I am now speaking; I mean, the true discerning of our Lord's Body in the Holy Sacrament, and the benefits promised to them who receive it, in this sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel. Ibid. p. 176.
"But what then? Do we not in the Sacrament truly partake of the Body and Blood of Christ? God forbid that any one should deny it. There is none that understands any thing of the Sacrament but must acknowledge, that therein to all worthy receivers the Body and Blood of Christ is both given and likewise received by them. This is the sense of the Church of England, when she doth so often declare that she owns the Real Presence of Christ's Body and Blood to all that worthily receive the Sacrament.
"We do indeed own that Christ is really present in the Sacrament to all worthy receivers, and in our Communion Service we pray to God to grant that we may eat the Flesh of His dear Son and drink His Blood, &c. All this we own, and it is very necessary we should." Sermon on Transubstantiation, vol. vii. Leslie.
"Nor can the shewbread in the temple be called the bread of our God so properly, so strictly, so eminently, as the Bread in the Holy Sacrament, which is the Body of Christ. . . . And does not then holiness and honour belong as much, at least, to the Evangelical Priesthood, who offer this Bread of our God, as the priests under the Law who set the shewbread upon the holy table in the temple? And is not the one as properly the