« PoprzedniaDalej »
began the feast with a cup of wine, which he solemnly blest. So our Saviour, before the institution of the Eucharist, at the commencement of the feast, as we read in St. Luke, “ took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this and divide it among yourselves." In the passover, some of the younger persons of the family, generally a child, stood forth and asked the reason of the feast; and to answer this question, the master of the family detailed the history of the destroying angel passing over the children of the Israelites. So, in just accordance with this, is the expression of Jesus in St. Paul, “For by this do ye shew forth the Lord's death till he come.” In the passover the master of the feast rose up and washed his hands; Jesus rose up and girded himself, and washed his disciples' feet. In the passover, the lamb being tasted, the feast was concluded by a cup of wine, which was called the cup of blessing, because, they sanctified it, and gave thanks for it by blessing God. So also Christ, when he took the sacramental cup, gave thanks and pronounced a blessing over it.
as he who wilfully refused to keep the passover, his own sin,” and was “ cut off from Israel,” so surely we may imply that he who neglects the Eucharist in the Christian dispensation, renounces all the benefits which are derived from the Saviour's death, and shall,
in the same way, bear his own sins.* And lastly, as the passover was commanded to be kept in force until the coming of the Saviour to bring the glad tidings of the gospel, so is the Eucharist to remain in force, until the second and final coming of the Saviour to judge the world. At the passover, the Eucharist was appointed. Then did the real lamb take place of the typical lamb; the deliverance from sin stood in the place of the deliverance from Egypt; the promises of heaven in the place of the promises of Canaan.
Let us dwell on these things, let us acknowledge in this sacrifice as distinctly marked by the finger of God, the shadows of the future; as we can distinctly trace the certainty of the past. The destroying angel passed over the houses of the children of Israel, when he saw their doorposts marked by the blood of the slain lamb. We also have a lamb; we have a destroying angel, and we have a sign by which that destroying angel may be induced to pass us by. Only let us have our hearts sprinkled by the blood of Jesus, only let us, as a sign of that blood, betake ourselves to his altar in faith and obedience. The Israelites might have said, Why should not God save us, though we omit this outward sign? Inward belief is better.” So they who imagine that they have this inward faith, may be tempted to despise the outward sign. But the sign is the very thing that God requires. It is the sprinkling of blood that the destroying angel now, as well as then, looks for, and the sign of faith to Christians is—“THE EUCHARIST." It is the sign of the covenant between them and God. Christians are, as it were, in Egypt, in bondage to death, in the wages of sin—and if they will go forth, if they will be redeemed, if while the work of death is going on among the first-born of the Egyptians, they are willing to escape, if they desire to look onwards from this miserable scene of bondage to the land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honeythen must they slay their lamb, sprinkle the door-post with his blood, eat of the flesh, yea, even with bitter herbs and unleavened breadthe bitter herbs of repentance, the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth; they must have their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, their staves in their hand, as men ready for their journey. “It is the Lord's Eucharist." By that sign—the crucified Jesus—are they as Christians known; by the bread and wine, that is, the body and blood of Jesus, are they “ separated from sinners, and come out from among them.” These, and these only, are their passports out of the house of bondage ; these, and these only, are the tokens of their covenant with God; these, and these only, will be the signs of their hope, their obedience, their faith—in short their Christianity—when death, the destroying angel of the Lord Jehovah, shall pass over their dwellings in the day of his visitation.
* If the reader is desirous of pursuing this analogy with the accuracy it deserves, he is requested carefully to read the 12th chapter of the book of Exodus; and if anything of a more learned enquiry should be wished, see Cudworth's Treatise, Adam Clarke's Discourse, Waterland, and Lightfoot; all which authors are easy of access.