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čept in the letter of the command: which ought to be interpreted agreeably to the rules applying to all figurative language. For three hundred years, there were no sentiments entertained in the Christian Church, which threatened to lead, even by remote consequence, to such an extreme. But in the centuries following; when the plain and unadorned instructions of the clergy of early times, yielded to the more showy eloquence introduced by their successours, in imitation of the heathen orators; it be. came not uncommon, to apply to the elements the most glowing language, rhetorically introduced, but piously intended; and which laid the founda. tion for the pretensions set up in much later times. For it was not until the thirteenth century, that the idea was conceived of the adoration of the host: Which was so natural, on the supposition of its comprehending of the divinity; that the lateness of the ceremony is unanswerable evidence of the lateness of the doctrine.

I conceive so unfavourably of whatever may lead, even by remote consequence, to creature worship, as to give a caution against a notion, which some. times appears in writers, who were sincere-al. though inconsistent–Protestants. The notion is, that there is in the Eucharist a real sacrifice; that it is offered on an altar; and that the officiating minister is a priest, in the sense of an offerer of sacrifice. Under the economy of the gospel, there is nothing coming under the names referred to; except the fulfilment of them, in the person of the high priest of our profession. As to our Church; although she commemorates a great sacrifice in the Eucharist, yet she knows of no offering of any thing of this description; except in the figurative sense, in which prayers and alms are sacrifices. She calls the place on which her oblation is made; not“ an altar,” but “a table;" although there is no impropriety in calling it an altar also, the word being understood figuratively. And as to the minisk questioned, there comes in what St. Paul says in the eleventh chapter of the first Epistle to the Corin. thians; written' many years after the ascension_ written to a Church consisting principally of converts from among the Gentiles--written under the light of a command divinely communicated to this apostle especially: For says he "I have received of the Lord, that which I also delivered unto you."*

In like manner as under the head of baptism, there is objected attachment to a Jewish customthe blessing of bread and wine, at the conclusion of the Paschal Supper. In like manner, we may answer

- This being custom merely, why should it have been suffered to intrude; and to adulterate as is thought--the new revelation of the gospel? And if suffered, why should it have been bound on the necks of the Gentile converts? If we look into the early records of ancient Churches; there is not a single Church to be found, over the whole face of Christendom, which did not receive the rite in question, with the first preaching of the Christian faith among them. They received it, without the errours by which it became encumbered in succeed. ing ages. And we may trace its origin, even in the complexion of those errours: For they are such as could not have been received, without a deep reve. rence of the rite, and with a misdirected zeal to do it honour.

The extravagance of those errours, independently on any other cause, makes an irreconcileable divi. sion between us and the Church of Rome. The decisions of that Church, naturally and by fair consequence, lead to the adoration of what they call the body and the blood of the Redeemer; but what we consider as in themselves mere bread and wine, although made by consecration representative of that body and that blood. In the Scriptures, there is evidently no plea for the opposite doctrine ex

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1. Cor. xi. 23.

cept in the letter of the command: which ought to be interpreted agreeably to the rules applying to all figurative language. For three hundred years, there were no sentiments entertained in the Christian Church, which threatened to lead, even by remote consequence, to such an extreme. But in the cen. turies following; when the plain and unadorned instructions of the clergy of early times, yielded to the more showy.eloquence introduced by their successours, in imitation of the heathen orators; it be. came not uncommon, to apply to the elements the most glowing language, rhetorically introduced, but piously intended; and which laid the founda. tion for the pretensions set up in much later times. For it was not until the thirteenth century, that the idea was conceived of the adoration of the host: Which was so natural, on the supposition of its comprehending of the divinity; that the lateness of the ceremony is unanswerable evidence of the lateness of the doctrine.

I conceive so unfavourably of whatever may lead, even by remote consequence, to creature worship, as to give a caution against a notion, which some. times appears in writers, who were sincere-although inconsistent-Protestants. The notion is, that there is in the Eucharist a real sacrifice; that it is offered on an altar; and that the officiating minister is a priest, in the sense of an offerer of sacrifice. Under the economy of the gospel, there is nothing coming under the names referred to; ex. cept the fulfilment of them, in the person of the high priest of our profession. As to our Church; although she commemorates a great sacrifice in the Eucharist, yet she knows of no offering of any thing of this description; except in the figurative sense, in' which prayers and alms are sacrifices. She calls the place on which her oblation is made, not “ an altar,” but “a table;" although there is no impropriety in calling it an altar also, the word being understood figuratively. And as to the minisk ter in the ordinance; although she retains the word “ Priest,” yet she considers it as synonymous with presbyter: Which appears from the Latin standard of the Book of Common Prayer, and is agreeable to etymology

But while we reject, with idolatry and super. stition, whatever tends to them; it concerns us to avoid those low ideas of the ordinance, which divest it of its energy, as a mean of grace. Whenever this happens; it is not because of a defect of what the Catechism has defined to be the end of the institu. tion"a continual memory of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby;" but it must be from low ideas of the nature of that transaction, and of the character to whom it relates. For if we believe in Christ, as uniting in his person the human nature with the divine; and as offering himself a propitiatory sacrifice for sin; this is a matter which cannot be com. memorated, without a recognizing and an applying of whatever is its effect; combining all things which make up the means of grace, and give a foundation for the hope of glory.

Let us not leave the consideration of the ordi. nance of the Lord's Supper, without charging our consciences with the duty of an attendance on it. The time will not permit an entering largely into the pleas of neglect, of those who entertain no doubts of the divine appointment of the ordinance. The most common plea is unfitness. If under this term be understood imperfection and weakness, it was for the remedy of these, that the institution was designed. But if there be meant the living in habitual and known sin; it becomes the party to be aware, that if this be a disqualification for the com: munion of the faithful on earth, it must be so, for the society of just men made perfect in heaven. The alarming tendency of the plea is the most of all conspicuous, when it is confined to the acknowledgment, that the party is in a state of wrath and

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