... for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?—Canticles 1.7.
Truth’s Victory Over Error
Of the LORD’s Supper.
IS the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood, called the Lord’s Supper, an Ordinance of GOD, to be observed in the Church, unto the end of the World?
Yes. 1 Cor. 11.23-26. 1 Cor. 10.16,17,21. Matth. 26. Luke 22.
Well then, Do not the Quakers err, who maintain, the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to be no Gospel Ordinance, and that there is no Gospel precept, for the administration thereof until his second coming?
They look upon this Ordinance, as a Type only and Figure, or shadow of Christ’s Body and Blood, which was commanded for that time, and for some time to come, but not unto his second coming. Thus they abandon that most precious Ordinance of taking and eating the Bread and drinking the Wine, as they do baptism with Water, and all other Ordinances, to the introducing of black Atheism into the World. They pervert the true meaning of the Scripture for the defence of their damnable Tenets, as by this one instance Till he come, which is meant (say they) not of his second coming at the last day, but of his coming to dwell in his disciples and Apostles, as if Christ had not been in them, both before, and after his ascension; even as they deny baptism, in Christ’s commission (Matth. 28.19,) to his Disciples, to be meant of Baptism with Water, because water is not expressed; they deny either wilfully, as their Ring-leaders do, or ignorantly, or by a delusion from the Devil, as the most part do, the most sure and evident Truths in Scripture, prattling and gagling in their discourse, sense, and nonsense, being oftner out of purpose, than in a purpose, skipping from one subject to another, to save themselves from the strength of reason, like subtle Foxes, which when they are beaten from one hole, fly into another. But while they are obstinate, and pertinacious, in maintaining Lies, and Untruths, they ought to be confuted, as the man was, that denied Snow to be white. For it is not so much a blindness of mind, or a weakness of judgment, as many well meaning people are misled by, as a wilful, obstinate resisting of the Truth, as the perverse Jews did, or as, Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses. (2 Tim. 3.8.) They that are against commanded Gospel Ordinances, and the Ministers of Christ, whom they look upon as the Priests of Baal, would (if they durst) shake off the very Scripture, and Word of GOD. And it is more than probable, that if they could shun the odium of open Blasphemy, and the hazard of standing Laws against blasphemers, the most part of them would disown the Scriptures, as many of them have done. For what kindness or respect can they have for the Scriptures, but such as men carry to Topicks or common places, whence they draw Arguments to impugn others, or defend themselves with. For they do not look upon the Word as their Rule, seeing (as they dream) they have a Light within them, beyond that more sure Word of Prophecy, which the Apostle Peter prefers to a voice from Heaven. [2 Pet. 1.18-19.] Nay, they have so little veneration for the Scriptures, that they will not suffer them to be called the Word of GOD, contrary to many express places of the Scripture; as John 10.35. 2 Chron. 36.22. Psalm 119.172. Mark 7.9, 10, 13. 1 Kings 16.12. 2 Kings 9.36. Ezra 1.1. 2 Kings 23.16. Isaiah 28.13. Ephes. 6.17. Isaiah 37.22.
Quest. II. “Is Christ offered up to his Father in this Sacrament?”
Is there any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins, of the Quick or Dead?
No. Heb. 9.22, 25, 26, 28.
Well then, do not the Papists err, who maintain, that in this Sacrament there is performed a true and real Sacrifice (commonly called the MASS) wherein Christ under the forms of Bread and Wine, without shedding of blood, is offered unto GOD, by a Priest, and sacrificed for the living, and for the Dead, to obtain remission of sins?
By what reasons are they confuted?
(1) Because, the sacrificing and offering up of Christ, is a part of his own Priesthood; Heb. 9.14. But the Priesthood of Christ cannot be transferred from himself to any other; Heb. 7.24. Therefore, no Priest can offer him up under the forms of Bread and Wine unto GOD. (2) Because, the offering of the Body of Christ, is once for all. It is but one single offering, and cannot be repeated; Heb. 10.10, 12, 14. (3) Because, the sacrificing and offering up of Christ, is one only, and of a most perfect Merit, and Efficacy; Heb. 9.14. Heb. 10.14. But the repeating of the same Sacrifice, and the multitude of Priests, are a token of an imperfect Sacrifice, Heb. 9.25-26. Heb. 10.10-11. (4) If Christ be often offered, he must often die and suffer; Heb. 9.25,26. But Christ being now raised from the Dead, cannot any more suffer and die; Rom. 6.9. (5) Because, that one and most perfect Sacrifice of Christ, did abrogate and take away all those external Sacrifices, and caused them to cease; Daniel 9.27. (6) Because, there can be no propitiatory Sacrifice for sin, without shedding of blood; Heb. 9.22. Neither doth he die any more, but is now in Heaven to appear in the presence of GOD for us, and to intercede in our behalf; Heb. 1.3, Heb. 9.24, Heb. 10.12. (7) Because, in every Sacrifice there is required (and really is) a dying, and destruction of the thing sacrificed. But Christ still liveth, Rom. 6.9. (8) Because, no man can offer Jesus up to GOD, but Christ himself; Heb. 7.27. (9) Because, in all external sacrifices, properly so called, there is necessarily required, a visible external Host, or thing sacrificed, as the Adversaries grant. But the thing which is said to be offered up by the Mass-Priest, namely the Body of Christ, is neither external nor visible here, it being in Heaven and not on Earth with man; Acts 3.21.
Quest. III. “ARE private Masses, or the receiving this Sacrament by a Priest or any other alone; as likewise the denial of the cup to the People; worshipping the Elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended Religious use; are all these (I say) contrary to the nature of this Sacrament, and to the institution of Christ?”
Yes. Mark 14.23. 1 Cor. 11.25-29. Matth. 15.9.
Well then, doth not the Romish Church err, whose Mass-Priests standing in the Altar, celebrate private Masses, (the People either being absent, or standing idle) who take the Cup to themselves only, and drink thereof; That administer the Lord’s Supper privately to sick persons, and Bed-rid; That teach [that] to administer the Communion to Laicks [lay-people] under both the forms of Bread and Wine, is not only not necessary, but unlawful: Who teach, that for Adoration’s-cause, the Elements are to be lifted up, and carried about, and reserved for Religious uses?
By what reasons are they confuted?
(1) Because, Christ did institute the last Supper not for one apart, but for many together; Matth. 26.27-28. (2) Because, Christ in celebrating the last Supper, did not eat and drink himself alone, but the Disciples did also eat and drink with him; Matth. 26.27-28. (3) Because, the Apostle commands the Corinthians, that when they come together to eat, they tarry one for another; 1 Cor. 11.33. (4) Because, the Lord’s Supper is a Sacrament of Brother-hood, and communion of the Saints; 1 Cor. 10.16,17; 1 Cor. 11.33. (5) Because, in the days of the Apostles, the Disciples and Brethren met together for breaking of bread; Acts 20.7. (6) Because, Christ when he had taken bread, and distributed it, is said, to have likewise taken the Cup; 1 Cor. 11.23-27. (7) Because, it is expressly said, and commanded (Christ foreseeing this black errour, which is now in their Church) drink ye all of it; Matth. 26.27. (8) Because, the common People, which are Communicants, gather more Fruit from both the Forms, than from one only; 1 Cor. 10.16, and 1 Cor. 11.26. (9) Because, the Blood of Christ, the sign whereof is the Wine in the Cup, is not only shed for Apostles, Preachers, and Pastors, but also for Lay-men, and those that are not of the Clergy, as the Popish Church speaks; John 3.16. (10) Because, the Apostles and Christians of the Primitive Church did communicate under both Forms; Mark 14.22,23; 1 Cor. 10, 11, chapters. (11) Because, it is a Villainy to detract and withdraw any thing from Christ’s Testament: and therefore the Cup (which is left to us by Legacy; Matth. 26.27,28,) is not to be denied to any Communicant; Gal. 3.15. (12) Because, Christ did not institute any Adoration of the Elements: therefore this Adoration is to be condemned, as Will-worship, Matth. 15.9. (13) Because, the Adoration is founded upon the Corporal presence of Christ’s Body in the Sacrament, which is blasphemous, seeing Christ now is at the Right Hand of GOD; Heb. 1.3. (14) Because, this Popish Adoration of the Elements, is a worshipping of the creature together with the Creator, a most abominable Idolatry; Daniel 11.38; Matth. 23.16-23. (15) Because, if the Elements ought to be adored, because Christ is Sacramentally present in them; then ought believers (in whom Christ dwelleth, John 14.20) to be adored, which is absurd. Nay the water of Baptism, ought to be worshipped, seeing the whole Trinity is no less present there, than in the Supper. (16) The worshipping of the bread, since no man (as the Adversaries confess) is able to know certainly, that the Host is consecrated, is a work done without Faith, therefore a sin; Rom. 14.23. (17) Because, Christ commanded the Element of bread to be broken, eaten, and distributed. But no where doth Christ command the bread to be Reserved, 1 Cor. 11.23,24. (18) Because, the bread which is the communion of the body of Christ, is the bread which we break; 1 Cor. 10.16. (19) Because, the bread and the wine, are not Sacramental Symbols, but in the very action; 1 Cor. 11.26. Here it is said, for as often, as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup; but not, as often as ye reserve this bread. (20) Because, GOD commanded, that nothing should be Reserved, of the Paschal-Lamb (to which bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper have succeeded) till the morning; Exod. 12.10. That it might not be put to any other use, whether for Idolatry, or common food.
Quest. IV. “DO the outward Elements in this Sacrament, in substance, and nature remain still, truly, and only bread and wine, as they were before?”
Yes. Matth. 26.29. 1 Cor. 11.26-28.
Well then, do not the Papists err, who maintain, that the Bread and Wine, by the power of the words of consecration, This is my Body, are truly Transubstantiat into the very body and blood of Christ; nothing remaining but the outward forms, and Accidents of the Bread and wine?
By what reasons are they confuted?
(1) Because, the Doctrine of Transubstantiation makes Christ’s body every where present, invisible, that cannot be handled, without shape, and figure, without human quantity, which is contrary to Matth. 26.6. Here Christ is only present in Bethany. And John 20.27, Thomas toucheth Christ. And according to Acts 3.21, the Heavens must receive Him; and therefore [he] cannot be every where. See Heb. 2.14,17. (2) Because, before and after consecration, the bread is called the communion of the body of Christ: but nothing is said, or can be the communion of its own self; 1 Cor. 10.16. (3) Because, after consecration, the Apostle calls not the bread, a Species or form of Bread; 1 Cor. 11.26-28. And after consecration, Christ calls the wine the fruit of the vine; Matth. 26.29. (4) Because, Christ did institute the super to be a memorial of himself until he come again. But a memorial, is not of things corporally present, but of things absent; 1 Cor. 11.25. (5) Because, that which is properly broken, is not the body of Christ, but the bread is properly broken, therefore the bread is not the body of Christ, 1 Cor. 10.16. (6) Because, Christ went up to heaven bodily, and is to tarry there until the end of the world; Acts 3.21. (7) Transubstantiation destroys the very Essence, and being of the Lord’s Supper. First, It destroys the sign, because it takes away the substance of the bread and wine; the Accidents, and outward Forms only remaining. Secondly, It destroys the thing signified, for it robs and spoils the body of Christ, of its true quantity and dimensions (for according to that infallible Philosophical Maxim, sublatis dimensionibus corporis, tollitur ipsum corpus. That is, by taking away the length, breadth, and thickness of any Physical or Natural body, you destroy consequently the very essence and being of that body) and introduces instead of one body, many bodies. (8) Because, Transubstantiation takes away the Sacramental Analogy: and so, when the sign is turned into the thing signified, all similitude between them is gone, and ceaseth.
(9) From this doctrine do follow many great Absurdities inconsistent with Religion, Sense, and Reason. As first, that Christ in the Supper, did both eat and drink himself; that he was wholly in his own mouth; that he had a double and twofold body; one Visible, another Invisible; That a Mouse, or Rat, may eat Christ’s Body; That his body being reserved, and laid up into a Cupboard, in a short time may turn into Vermine. Must not Christ’s body be in many places at once? Must not his body, and all the parts thereof, his head, hands, and feet be in the smallest, and least crumb of the Host? Must not Christ’s body, having now that bigness in Heaven, which he had upon Earth, be bigger, than itself; longer, and thicker?
If Christ’s Body may be in diverse places at once, why may not a man’s body be in diverse places at once? (this is granted by the Adversaries) but a man cannot be in diverse places at once.
Can Peter, for example, be both at Edinburgh and London, in the same moment of time? He may then be both a man and not a man, at the same time: he may be a man, because living at Edinburgh; and not a man, because dead at London. May not Peter at Edinburgh go to York, and meet Peter there from London? And what a mirry meeting must it be, when Peter shakes hands with Peter, and takes a glass of Wine from him? May not Peter from London be killed there at York, and Peter from Edinburgh be left alive? May not Peter alive be re-produced in a thousand Cities at once, and marry there a thousand wives, and beget in one night a thousand Sons and Daughters? May not Peter be so many times re-produced, till he make up an hundred thousand fighting men? May not one candle by re-production be made as many; as may give light to the whole Universe? May not one bottle of water be made so many, as may serve an Army of an hundred thousand? May not one Guiney be reproduced as many times as may amount to five and twenty hundred thousand pounds sterling? A brave invention for paying five or six hundred thousand merks of debt. Next, as the Adversaries are engaged to maintain that one body may be in many places at once, so are they under a necessity to affirm, that many bodies may be in one place together, by way of Penetration, for in every crumb of the Host, is Christ’s Body. From which position, it follows that a man’s body may be contained within a Nut-shell. That a Snuff-box may contain Arthur’s Seat; the hollow of an Ox eye, the whole Globe of the Earth. That a Sparrow may swallow, one by one, the seven Planets, seeing each one of them, may occupy no more bounds, or space, than a grain of barley corn doth: and yet the Sun which is swallowed, will be as big as at present: for Christ’s body in the Host is as big and tall, as when he was on the Cross, as the Adversaries confess.
(10) We never read of a miracle wrought by GOD, but what was evident, and conspicuous to all, and evidently seen to be such. As when Moses his rod was turned into a Serpent, and became a rod again, Exod. 4.2,3. Such were the wonders of Egypt. Such was the dividing of the Red Sea; the striking of the Rock, and the flowing out of the waters, Numb. 20.11. The destruction of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, was evident to all the Israelites, Numb. 16.31-32. So were the miracles, which were wrought by the holy Prophets, such were the miracles which Christ and his Apostles wrought. Was not the water most evidently turned into wine, John 2.7-9. But after the Words of consecration uttered by the Mass Priest, the bread as to sense, is the same thing it was. The bread hath the same taste, the same smell, that same touch, that same outward form, and figure, that same colour, that same weight. It occupies that same space and bounds, and hath the same quantity in all its dimensions. But the rod was seen a serpent, and the serpent was seen a rod. The water was seen wine: it was known to be wine by the taste, by the smell, by the colour. Christ never wrought such a miracle as the miracle of Transubstantiation. In all his miracles he appealed to our outward Senses. And was it ever heard that Christ wrought miracles without a necessity?
Quest. V. “IS the Body and Blood of Christ in this Sacrament corporally, or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine?”
No. 1 Cor. 10.16.
Well then, do not the Lutherians err, who maintain, that the body and blood of Christ, are corporally in, with, and under the bread and wine: and that (as the Papists also teach) his body and blood, are taken corporally by the mouth, by all Communicants: believers, and unbelievers?
By what reasons are they confuted?
(1) Because, Christ was sitting with his body at the Table. (2) Because, he himself did eat of the bread, and drink of the wine. (3) Because, he took bread from the Table; — he took not his own body. He break bread, and did distribute it; — he break not his own body. So he took the Cup, and not his own blood. (4) Because, Christ said, the Cup was the New Testament in his blood: but the Cup is not in, with, and under the Wine. (5) Because Christ said, the bread was his body, which was broken; the Wine was his blood, which was shed. But neither was his body broken under the bread, nor his blood shed under the Wine, seeing Christ as yet, was not betrayed, crucified, and dead.
In the next place, the end of the Lord’s Supper is, that we may remember Christ, and declare his death until he come; Luke 22.19. 1 Cor. 11.24-26. Therefore if Christ be now present with his body, in, with, and under the bread, the Sacramental remembrance of Christ, and the declaring of his death, ought to cease.
The Doctrine of Consubstantiation, is contrary to the Articles of our Faith. [i.e. The Apostles’ Creed.] It is against the Truth and Verity of his Human Nature, which is visible, palpable, and in a certain place circumscriptive. It is against the Article of his ascension: for it makes his body, which is now in Heaven, until the last day, to be in, with, and under a piece of bread. It is against the spiritual communion of the Saints with Christ the Head, which the Lutherians make by this doctrine a corporal and carnal communion, contrary to 1 Cor. 10.3,4. Eph. 1.22. Eph. 4.4. Rom. 8.9. 1 Cor. 6.17. 1 John 4.13. John 15.5.
It brings with it many and great absurdities; as that the body of Christ, Non habeat partem extra partem; hath not one part of it without another; but as if all the parts of the Body, were in one part, which is contrary to the Nature of a true and real Quantum, which consists essentially in three dimensions, length, breadth, and thickness. It makes in effect his Body to be no body. It brings down the glorious Body of Christ from Heaven, and puts it under the base Elements of this Earth. It makes as many bodies of Christ, as there are pieces of Eucharistical bread. It makes his body to be broken in, with, and under the bread, and bruised with the teeth: It sends his Body down to the stomach, where it is turned into a man’s substance, and afterwards thrown out.
Moreover, all true Eating brings life and Salvation, John 6.50,51, but eating by the mouth profiteth nothing, John 6.63. Again, our union with Christ, (and therefore our eating of his Body, from whence ariseth this union) is not corporal but spiritual, Eph. 3.17. And the Body and Blood of Christ, are meat and drink; not carnal but spiritual; even as the hunger, whereby we long for this meat is spiritual: and the life to which we are nourished, is spiritual, and the nutriment is spiritual. Lastly, according to this Doctrine of Consubstantiation, stiffly maintained by the Lutherians, it follows, that Christ did eat his own body, while he did eat the bread of the first supper; That Christ before he was crucified, was dead; That his Disciples were more cruel and inhumane to him than the Jews were that crucified him: That he is often buried within the entrails of wicked men.
Quest. VI. “IS the Body and Blood of Christ as really, but spiritually present, to the faith of Believers, in that Ordinance, as the Elements themselves are to the outward senses?”
Yes. 1 Cor. 10.16.
Well then, do not the Socinians err, who maintain, that the Body and Blood of Christ, in the Sacrament of the Supper, are not really present?
By what reasons are they confuted?
(1) Because, the body of Christ in this Sacrament, is spiritually eaten by Believers; and his blood is spiritually drunken. But a spiritual presence, is a true and real presence; because, it comes and flows from true and real causes, namely from Faith, and the Holy Spirit. (2) Because, in the right use of this Sacrament, Christ is united to a man by faith, and by the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor. 10.16. (3) Because, the body of Christ, insofar as it was given to the death, and was broken for us on the cross, and insofar as his blood was shed for the remission of our sins; all these (I say) are the internal matter of this Sacrament, Luke 22.19, Matt. 26.28, 1 Cor. 11.24. (4) Because, those who eat and drink unworthily, are said, not to discern the Lord’s body: and therefore to such as eat and drink worthily, the body and blood of Christ must be truly present, according to their spiritual sense, namely Faith; 1 Cor. 11.24. (5) Because, length of time doth not hinder, but that Faith may make things past, and things to come spiritually present: and therefore distance of place doth not hinder, but that things most distant, as to place, may be made spiritually and truly present; Heb. 11.1; John 6.56; Phil. 3.10; Heb. 11.9; [1 Cor. 5.3.]
Quest. VII. “ARE all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy Communion with Christ, unworthy of his Table?”
Can they without great sin against Christ, while they continue such, partake of these holy Mysteries?
And are not therefore Church-officers to debar those who appear grossly ignorant, and scandalous?
Yes. 1 Cor. 11.27-29, and 2 Cor. 6.14-15, and 1 Cor. 5.6,7,13. Matth. 7.6.
Well then, do not some men err, in their Practice, if not in their Opinion, who suffer many ignorant, scandalous, and ungodly persons, to come to the Lord’s Table?
By what reasons are they confuted?
(1) Because, ignorant and wicked men eating and drinking unworthily, are guilty of the body and blood of Christ, and so bring judgment upon themselves; 1 Cor. 11.29. (2) Because, all were not admitted to eat of the Passover, neither was it for all promiscuously to partake thereof: Num. 9.6,7, and 2 Chron. 23.19, Ezek. 22.26. [Exod. 12.48.] (3) Because, it was not lawful for any man to come to the Marriage feast that wanted the Wedding garment; Matth. 22.11. (4) Because, Pearls are not to be casten before Dogs and Swine: men manifestly ungodly, and wicked, Matth. 7.6. (5) Because, they who deserve to be excluded from the Fellowship and Society of Believers, ought not to be admitted to the Sacrament of intimate Communion and Familiarity with GOD: but such are all these who walk inordinately; 2 Cor. 6.16. (6) Because, if the Church willingly and wittingly admit such persons, they stir up the wrath of God, against themselves, for suffering God’s Covenant, and his holy Symbols, to be openly profaned; 1 Cor. 11.30. (7) Because, the Lord will not suffer such as are manifestly and contumaciously wicked, to take his Covenant in their mouth: and therefore to such persons, the seals, and symbols of his Covenant, ought not to be offered: Psalm 50.16-17. (8) Because, ignorant, profane, and godless persons, ought to be esteemed as Heathens, and Publicans; Matth. 18.17.