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eth? It is the Judge of all mankind, and who shall abide the day of his coming! Whom will He raise up and place in safety? See, above, the mansion of bright and eternal glory! Behold, below, the dreary and horrible abode of never-ending woe! O Christian reader, in the day of the resurrection, what a blessing beyond all description will it be to belong to Christ, and to have his promises engaged to raise you up to life and glory! Well, whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. You may safely build for eternity on his faithfulness. He has all power and might to fulfil his promises, all truth and willingness to perform them. O look unto Jesus, and be ye saved.
We may hitherto in this chapter appear to have departed from the direct subject of the Lord's Supper, but what has been said will tend to explain that feeding on Christ by faith, which is at once enjoined and sig. nified by this ordinance. Though our Lord's discourse in the 6th of John has not a primary reference to his last supper, yet that institution points out the same actings of faith which are illustrated by the instruction in that remarkable passage.
Both the literal and spiritual feeding are happily expressed together in the address to the communicant, “ Take and eat this, in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.” Archbishop Cranmer very plainly and strikingly expresses the same ideas —" The true eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ is, with a constant and lively faith to believe that he gave his body and shed his blood on the cross for us, and that he does so join and incorporate himself to us, that he is our head and we his members; and flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, having him dwelling in us, and we in him. Aud herein stands the whole effect and strength of this sacrament.' And this faith God works inwardly in our hearts by his Holy Spirit, and confirms the same outwardly to our ears, by the hearing of his word, and to our other senses by the eating and drinking of the sacramental bread and wine in his holy supper."
Let it be your desire, then, Christian reader, when you receive the outward emblems of his body and blood, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and through faith, afresh to receive Christ himself as your only and your complete Saviour. Augustine denies that men can carry away from this sacrament any more than they can collect in the vessel of faith. Indeed it is only as faith is in exercise, that you are really looking to Christ, by and through the outward elements, that this institution will be of profit to you. It loses its whole design as to your individual good, if you are not depending, by faith, on the atonement of Christ, and applying afresh for an interest in his great salva, tion. Besides, the Lord's Supper shews us how the death of Christ is applied to our benefit. " As the bread and wine represent the body and blood of our Saviour, so the eating and drinking those elements point out that act of faith by which we apply to our own benefit the merits of his death. Whenever then you go to this holy table, lift up the eye of faith to the crucified Redeemer, dying for your sins, come with your burden to him, and so shall you fond rest unto
On the New Covenant. In appointing the Holy Cominunion, we have seen, our Lord calls the cup the New Testament in his blood. We propose in this chapter, to explain the meaning of this expression, and briefly to state the nature of that Dispensation, which was secured to us through the atoning sacrifice of Christ.
The term, which is here rendered Testament, is a translation of the Hebrew word
, which is commonly rendered Covenant.* We do not find that the Hebrew
* There have been considerable differences of opinion respecting the meaning of the Hebrew word na, and the Greek word datnın, usually translated covenant. The author thinks that his readers will be interested in an abstract of some of the principal authorities which have fallen in his way.
On the HEBREW word, muna, Simon, in his Hebrew Lexicon, gives us the term Covenant as the general meaning; and then, referring to the annexed passages, he says it denotes metonymically, a promise, (Numb. xviii, 19; 2 Sam. xxxiii, 5 ;) a constitution or statute, (Jer, xxiii, 20;) and a precept, (Jer. xxxiv, 15:) because these are wont to be joined to covenants. The Decalogue, (Numb. x, 33; Deut. iv, 13; ix, 9--11;) and the sign of the Covenant, Gen. xvii, 13.
Gesenius, in a German Hebrew Lexicon, after stating the first sepse to be that of a covenant, adds, as a second sense, it often only expresses that sort of covenant where the stipulation is all on one side; and has, therefore, when it is nsed to signify God's covenant with the Israelites, frequently the same meaning as a Law,
In Leigh's Critica Sacra, it is noticed, that it signifies any disposition, institution, or declaration of will, counsel, or pro. mise, or any thing of that kind, whether that disposition be entered into by one, or by many ; whether by the pure engagement of one, or mutual agreement and restipulation between parties.
word is ever used in the sense of a last will, and it is doubtful whether the Greek word be used in that signification in the New Testament.
A Covenant is an agreement on certain terms, and supposes two or more parties. But when God is one party to that which is rendered covenant, it must be considered as meaning rather a Dispensation, declaring his mercy and goodness towards his sinful creatures, than a mere agreement. Isa. lix, 21; Heb. viii, 8-12,
On the GREEK WORD diankn, Grotius remarks, that it was adopted in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, as it was found that the original Hebrew word was of a more extensive signification than the Greek word ovvünkn, their usual word for covenant. See Poli Synopsis, vol. iv, p. 2.
“ It signifies neither a Testament, nor a Covenant, nor an Agreement; but as the import of the word simply requires, a disposition, or institution of God.”
Schleusner gives the general interpretation to be a disposition ; and with reference to the passage in the institution of the Lord's Supper, gives it the sense of“ a constitution, law, or form, of religion, or, as it is commonly called, a Divine Economy, from the manner of speaking among the Jews, who were wont to call the Mosaic religion muna, the likeness being taken from the covenants, which men are wont to enter into between themselves."
On the use of BOTH WORDS, Dr. Gill, in his body of Divinity, says,-1. It is sometimes used for an ordinance, precept, and commund. Numb. xviii, 19; Jer. xxxiv, 13, 14; Deut. iv, 13. 2. A covenant, when ascribed to God, is nothing more than a mere promise. Isa. lix, 21; Ephes. ii, 12. 3. We often read of the covenants of God only on one side. Jer. xxxiii, 20; Gen. viü, 22; Gen, ix, 9--17; Hosea ii, 18. 4. A covenant properly made between man and man, is by stipulation and restipulation, in which they make mutual promises, or conditions, to be performed by them. Gen. xiv, 13 ; xxvi, 28; 1 Sam. xx, 15, 16, 42 ; xxiii, 18.
Brown of Haddington also says, “ Both words may in general be rendered an ESTABLISHMENT, and this signification will answer in every place where the words are found.
The importance of having a just view of the term, will be seen when it is remembered that it occurs above two hundred times in the Scriptures. It will be obvious that it has often a much larger signification than a mere agreement between two parties with mutual conditions.
By a Dispensation, we mean that plan of procedure, on which God acts towards those who live under it, or, as it is more briefly defined by Dr. Johnson, “ the dealing of God with his creatures.” This general meaning of the term rendered Covenant, seems best to convey its sense in the passage immediately under our consideration. The term is used to denote the two chief systems of religion noticed in the Bible, the Jewish and the Christian. The nature and design of both these are fully declared in the Holy Scriptures, but as our Lord directly connects the celebration of the Lord's Supper with the New Dispensation, it will be proper here to give a farther account of it.
It is CALLED NEW WITH REFERENCE TO THE JEWISH DISPENSATION, not having been fully manifested nor fully established as the only religion of men, till after the promulgation and lengthened continuance of that preparatory religion which was given by Moses.
It is true that the plan of this rich dispensation of grace
for the salvation of sinful man, was laid before the world began. St. Paul assures Timothy that God hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose
und grace which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began. 2 Tim. i, 9. Those who obtain its blessings are also described by St. Paul, as chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without blame before him in love. Ephes. i, 4. Here we see all the parties in this covenant brought to our view at once.-God, the source of all blessings-men, who were to be the objects of his gracemand Christ, the mediator of the covenant, in whom all the subjects were chosen, and by whom they would ultimately be brought to eternal glory.