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42.-3RD, ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS COM
MITTED TO THE APOSTLES A PROOF OF THE PERPETUITY
It cannot be denied that, by our Lord's words at the institution of the Eucharist, none but the Apostles had direct authority from him to administer that Sacrament. It is plain also that the Lord's Supper was designed to be continued for
There is no intimation by our Lord that this commission to the Apostles was designed for all members of the Church,-it is conferred upon them exclusively. Our Lord had many
other followers. He had his own brethren or cousins, James and Joses*, sons of Cleophas; he had his beloved Lazarus, and many other attached disciples: for their number, even in their great discouragement after his crucifixion, amounted to one hundred and twenty : yet to the twelve alone did he give commission to administer the Eucharist. They were directed not only to break the bread in commemoration of his death, but to bless the cup- the cup of blessing which we bless.” (1 Cor. x. 16.) The Eucharist was not merely the commemoration of the Lord's Atonement, and the representative confession of faith in the communicants, but it was the “communion or participation of the blood of Christ,”—“the communion of the body of Christ.” (1 Cor. x. 16.) It was, according to the language of our Lord and the Apostles, the reception of his body and his blood. "Take, eat; this is my body.”-“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matt. xxvi. 26–28.) “Except ye eat the flesh of
* The relationship of James and Joses to our Lord is thus made out. (Matt. xiii. 55.) “His brethren, James and Joses.” (Matt. xxvii. 56), “Among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less, and Salome.” James and Joses, his brethren, were therefore sons of that Mary who was present at the crucifixion.along with Mary Magdalene. Thus also Mark (xv. 40) says, “Among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome." St. John (xix. 25) tells us that this Mary was sister to his mother, the Blessed Virgin, and wife of Cleophas. “There stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Mag: dalene;" so that the Mary who stood by the Cross with the Blessed Virgin was Mary her sister, the wife of Cleophas, and mother of James and Joses and Salome, who are thus seen to have been cousins of our Lord according to the flesh, called by the Jewish.custom his brethren; the Jews using the word brethren in the sense of relatives, as in the case of Abraham and Lot, his nephew, called brethren. (Gen. iii, 8 )
the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.” (John, vi. 53.) “ He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.” (1 Cor. xi. 29.) “Moses took the blood of the sacrifice, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you." (Exod. xxiv. 8.) So also the blood of Christ is called the blood of the new covenant. (Matt. xxvi. 28.) Unless then we are to suppose that these mysterious words of our Lord have no meaning—are used without any import, we cannot fail to be deeply struck by the repetition of the assertion, that to receive the Eucharist is to receive the Lord's body, and to drink his blood. It must strongly affect all who are humbly attentive to the Divine Word to find the Eucharist invariably spoken of by our Lord and the Apostles as the reception of the body and blood of Christ; not to distinguish which is to render the communion unworthy, and to draw down judgment upon those who “ discern not the Lord's body:"--to find the blood of the sacrifice sprinkled by Moses, by which the people obtained remission of their sins, called the blood of the first covenant; and that of the communion called the blood of the new covenant shed for the remission of sins :--to find our Lord stating, that to eat his flesh, and drink his blood, is to have eternal life ; and when administering the Eucharist, to say, “ Take, eat, this is my body,"_“this is my blood."* What
* St. Augustin applies the declarations in the 6th chapter of St. John to the Eucharist. See his sermon on the 54th verse, t. v. 640. They are likewise so understood by Hooker, from whom the following extracts on the subject of the Lord's Supper are taken, as showing the doctrine of the Church:
“We are in Christ, because he knoweth and loveth us, even as parts of himself. No man actually is in him, but they in whom he actually is "for he which hath not the Son of God, hath not life.” We are therefore adopted Sons of God to eternal life, by participation of the only-begotten Son of God, whose life is the well-spring and cause of ours..
...The Church is in Christ, as Eve was in Adam. Yea, by grace we are every of us in Christ, and in his Church; as by nature we are in those our first parents. God made Eve of the rib of Adam, and his Church he frameth out of the very flesh, the very wounded and bleeding side of the Son of Man. liis body crucified, and his blood shed for the life of the world, are the true elements of that Heavenly Being, which maketh us such as himself is, of whom we come. For which cause the words of Adam may be fully the words of Christ concerning his Church, " flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bones.”.
Adam is in us as an original cause of our nature, and of that corruption of nature which Christian, feeling that these are the words of God, spoken with design, by a mind infinite, and embracing the knowledge of all seasons of the Church and hearts of its members, can believe that they have no other meaning than that the bread and wine are emblems of our Lord’s body and blood. Dangerous indeed thus to explain away positive declarations ! Far wiser, to understand them in their plain expression, and believe that in the Eucharist the body and blood of Christ are, according to his own words, verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful who feed upon their Lord by faith with thanksgiving. If, then, the Eucharist be thus the mysterious means of communicating the Lord's body and blood to his faithful people,--if, in his own words, we therein “eat his body and drink his blood,”-and if he has declared, that unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood we have no life in us, how awfully important does the consideration become of the due administration of the Lord's Supper, and of the authority by which it is administered! This high mystery he directed his Apostles only to administer ; and the cup and the bread previous to administration, we know
causeth death: Christ as the cause original of restoration to life. The person of Adam is not in us, but his nature, and the corruption of his nature derived unto all men by propagation : Christ having Adam's nature as we have, but incorrupt, deriveth not nature, but incorruption, and that immediately from his own person, into all that belong unto him. As therefore we are really partakers of the body of sin and death, received from Adam, so except we be truly partakers of Christ, and as really possessed of his spirit, all we speak of eternal life is but a dream, That which quickeneth us is the spirit of the second Adam, and his flesh that wherewith he quickeneth. That which in him made our nature incorrupt, was the union of his Deity with our nature...
... Seeing therefore that Christ is in us as a quickening spirit, the first degree of communion with Christ must needs consist in the participation of his Spirit.....
Doth any man doubt but that even from the flesh of Christ our very bodies do "receive that life which shall make them glorious at the latter day, and for which they ure already accounted parts of his blessed body? Our corruptible bodies could never live the life they shall live, were it not that here they are joined with his body, which is incorruptible, and that his is in ours as a cause of immortality, a cause by removing through the death and merit of his own flesh that which hindered the life of ours...
For his body being a part of that nature, which whole nature is presently joined unto Deity wheresoever Deity is, it followeth that his bodily substance hath every where a presence of true conjunction with the Deity. And forasmuch as it is by virtue of that conjunction made the body of the Son of God, by whom also it was made a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, this giveth it a presence of force and efficacy throughout all generations of men.”—Hooker, Eccl., Pol., b. v , chi 55.
from St. Paul, were by them blessed, were consecrated, as a sacred act of their ministerial office. * It remains for us, then, to determine whether it is more probable that the office of the Apostles, on which our Lord conferred the administration of the Eucharist, was designed to be perpetual, and so transmitted as to bear evidence, in those who succeeded to it, of having our Lord's authority for this high celebration of his mysteries ; or to suppose that at the decease of the Apostles, without intimation of the extinction of their office, every community of Christians were abandoned to their own
* The following extract from Justin Martyr, who wrote about the year 150, will give a clear conception of the Eucharist in the primitive Church:“When the prayers are done, there is brought to him who presides over the brethren bread, and the chalice of wine mingled with water; which being received, he gives praise and glory to the Father of all things, and offers them in the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. He then performs at large the Eucharist (or offering of thanks and praise), for having graciously received these things from Him (God). When he has completed the prayers and Eucharist, all the people present join in approval, saying in the Hebrew tongue, Amen, which signifies, May it be so! The president having offered up thanksgiving, and the people having thus joined with him in doing so, those among us who are called Deacons distribute to each of those who are present, to partake of the bread so blessed, and of the wine with water, and they bear it to those not present; and this food is called by us the Eucharist, which it is lawful for none to receive, save those only who believe to be true the things taught among us, and who have been washed in the laver for the remission of sins and for regeneration, and who so live as Christ has delivered. For we do not receive these things as common bread, nor as common drink; but as, by the Word of God, Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world was made flesh, and for our salvation's sake had flesh and blood, we are taught after the same manner also, that the food by which our flesh and blood are nourished, by its being changed, when it has been made Eucharist (or been consecrated), through prayer of the word proceeding from Him, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh: for the Apostles, in the records written by them which are called Gospels, have delivered to us, that Jesus in this manner gave command to them,—having taken bread and blessed it, He said, “This do in remembrance of me; this is my body;" and likewise that having taken and blessed the cup, He said, “This is my blood,” and He gave it to them (the Apostles) alone."--Just. Mart., Apol. 2,
This extract is an avowed and indisputable testimony of the manner of administering the Lord's Supper by the Church at a time when many successors of the Apostles were still alive. The word which is translated president is a name generally given by the early Greek writers to the Bishops; it is frequently used by Eusebius, Gregory Nyssen, Chrysostom, fc., and answers to the word præpositus, generally applied by Tertullian and Cyprian to Bishops,
judgment to adopt rules and choose persons to bless, brake, and administer the Lord's body. Those who ventured to assume the ministry of the blood of the first covenant are an awful warning* to deter “all who are not within the
* Korah was first cousin of Moses and Aaron. (Exod. vi. 19.) Dathan and Abiram were of the tribe of Reuben (Nunib. xvi. 1), the first-born of Israel, and had with them two hundred and fifty princes of the Assembly, famous in the congregation. It was no invasion of the sacred office by mean and by unqualified or ignorant persons, but by the presumption of the "men of renown in the congregation." They affected to be concerned for the Lord's honour. His commissioned minister was slow of speech, and in their estimation “took too much upon him” in excluding them from the altar: they had their call : they asserted that “they were holy, and that the Lord was among them;" and so protested against the priests “lifting themselves above the congregation of the Lord.” They feared not to put the question to trial before God. “Korah gathered all the congregation against Moses and Aaron unto the door of the Tabernacle, and put fire in their censers to offer incense to the Lord.” The judgment which fell upon them is the most sudden and awful recorded in Scripture ; and to preserve the memory of it, and so for ever deter others from imitating their sin, the Lord directed Eleazar to “take their censers out of the burning and to scatter the fire, for they are hallowed, the censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the Altar, for they offered thern before the Lord, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a sign unto the children of Israel.” So great was the attachment of the people to them, that we are told that even after their destruction, that the people murmured against Moses, saying, “ Ye have killed the people of the Lord.” If the conduct of the Israelites during their wandering in the wilderness is set forth as an example for us by the Apostle (1 Cor. x. 6), that we should not murmur, nor tempt Christ, nor be guilty of idolatry or fornication, why is not this most solemn judgment also to be regarded as a warning? “No man taketh the honour of the ministry unless called of God, as was Aaron.” He who does so should regard in the judgment of Korah the practical type of the judgment he is to expect. The offences of the Israelites, which the Apostle says are for our warning, brought down sudden judgments upon the offenders; but with us, in our spiritual dispensation, the imitation of their sins is visited with a spiritual judgment, not the less sure that it is not sudden and visible. Korah was already brought near to do the service of the Tabernacle. (Numb. xvi. 8.) The congregation were zealous in their desire to have his ministry, he hiniself was impelled by presumptuous zeal to assume the priest's office; but neither the call of the congregation, nor his own zeal to serve the Lord, were an equivalent to the Divine commission, nor able to save him from a dreadful judgment, which should speak deep terrors to all those who have no better, nor even so good, grounds for assuming the ministry of God. For Korah had already been separated from the congregation, and brought near to God to do service at the Tabernacle, and had the sanction of the people, so that his attempt to assume