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so easily do words shift their sense, and adopt new ideas. From signifying Church service in general, it came at length to denote the Communion service in particular, and so that most emphatically came to be called the Mass. St. Ambrose is reasonably supposed to be the earliest writer now extant, who mentions mass in that emphatical sensen. Higher authorities have been pretended : but they are either from the spurious Decretal Epistles, or from liturgical offices of modern date in comparison o.
So much for the ancient names of the Sacrament: not that I took upon me to number up all, but those only which appeared to me most considerable. More may be seen in Hospinian, Casaubon, Suicer, or Turretin, collected into one view, with their proper authorities. It is time for me now to proceed directly to the consideration of the Sacrament itself; in the mean while hoping that my readers will excuse it, if I have hitherto detained them too long in the preliminaries, intended to open and clear the way to the main subject.
Of the Institution of the Holy Communion. IT will be proper to begin with the institution of this Sacrament by Christ our Lord, as recorded by St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Paul. It is an argument of the great weight and importance of it, that we have it four times recorded in the New Testament, only with some slight variations, while what one or more omit, another supplies. The most complete as well as shortest view of the whole may be taken by throwing all into one, in some such manner as here follows.
Matth. xxvi. Mark xiv. Luke xxii. I Cor. xi. “ The night in which the Lord Jesus was betrayed, as
* Missam facere cæpi. Ambros. Epist. 20. ad Marcellin. p. 853. ed. Bened.
Compare Deylingius, Observat. Miscellan. p. 262, 272, &c. Bingham, b. xiii, chap. 1.
they were eating, or did eat, Jesus took bread, and giv“ing thanks, blessed it, and brake it, and gave it unto his “ disciples, and said ; Take, eat, this is my body, which is
given and broken for you ; do this in remembrance of me. “ After supper likewise, having taken the cup, and given " thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this, “ for this cup is my blood of the new covenant, the new co“ venant in my blood, which is shed for you, for many, for " the remission of sins: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, “ in remembrance of me, (and they all drank of it.) Verily “ I say unto you, I will drink no more of this fruit of the “ vine, until that day, when I shall drink it new with you " in the kingdom of my Father, in the kingdom of God. “ And when they had sung an hymn, they went out to " the mount of Olives.”
The circumstance of time is the first thing here observable: it was “in the night in which he was betrayed p” that our Lord instituted this holy Sacrament. Our Lord designed it (besides other uses) for a standing memorial of his passion : and to show the more plainly that he did so, or to render it the more affecting, he delayed the institution to the last period of his life.
A more material circumstance is, that he began the institution as they were eating, or after they had been eating: here the question is, what had they been eating? It is commonly supposed the paschal lamb, For St. Matthew in the same chapter relates, that on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came and asked, “Where “ wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?” And the Lord made answer, that he would “ keep the “ Passover with his disciples,” and the disciples actually prepared the Passover 4. St. Mark reports the samer. St. Luke confirms it, and adds this further circumstance, that our Lord, upon his sitting down to supper, said, “With « desire have I desired to eat this Passover with
9 Matt. xxvi. 17, 18, 19.
pI Cor. xi. 23.
« fore I suffer S.” Nevertheless, it seems from St. John's account, that the day of the legal Passover was not yet come, that it was 66 before the feast of the Passover" that our Lord had his suppert; that part of Friday, passionday, was but the preparation u of the paschal feast. These seeming differences have occasioned very long and intricate disputes between Greeks and Latins, and among learned men both ancient and modern, which remain even to this day. I shall not presume to take the place of a moderator in so nice a debate, but shall be content to report as much as may serve to give the reader some notion of it, sufficient for my present purpose. There are three several schemes or opinions in this matter. 1. The most ancient and most prevailing is, that our Lord kept the legal Passover, and on the same day with the Jews : and those who are in this sentiment, have their probable solutions with respect to St. John's accounts, while they claim the three other Evangelists as entirely theirs. 2. The second opinion is, that our Lord anticipated (for weighty reasons) the time of the Jewish Passover, and so kept his before theirs : or rather, he kept his Passover at the true legal time, when the Jews (or some at least of the Jews) postponed theirs illegally. This opinion has also its difficulties, and the maintainers of it have contrived some plausible solutions. 3. The third opinion is, that our Lord kept no Passover properly so called, but had a supper, and afterwards instituted the Eucharist, the mystical or Christian Passover; called Passover in such a sense as Baptism is called Circumcision, succeeding in its room. This last opinion had some patrons of old time, and more of late, and seems to gain ground. I shall here transcribe what a learned and judicious writer of our own has lately pleaded in behalf of it, though it may be thought somewhat prolis. It is in his notes on Matt. xxvi. 178.
“ Here occurs a question and a difference between the
s Luke xxii, 15. t John xiii. 1, 2. u John xix. 14. compare xviii. 28. * Dr. Wall's Critical Notes on the New Testament, p. 33.
“ words of St. John and the other three, concerning the “ day of the week on which the Jews kept the Passover “ that year 4746. A.D. 33. It is plain by all the four “ Gospels, that this day on which Christ did at night eat “ the Passover (or what some call the Passover) was
Thursday. And one would think by reading the three, " that that was the night on which the Jews did eat their " Passover lamb. But all the texts of St. John are clear, “ that they did not eat it till the next night, Friday night, " before which night Christ was crucified and dead, hav“ing given up the ghost about the ninth hour, viz. three “ of the clock in the afternoon. St. John does speak of a “ supper which Christ did eat on Thursday night with bis
Apostles, chap. xiii. 1, 2. but he does not call it a Pass“ over supper, but on the contrary says it was before the “ feast of the Passover, apo tñs &ogrñs tou náo xa : by which, “ I think, he means the day before the Passover, or the Pass“over eve as we should say. Now this was the same “ night, and the same supper which the three do call the “ Passover, and Christ's eating the Passover. I mean, it
was the night on which Christ was (a few hours after
supper) apprehended; as is plain by the last verse of " that 13th chapter. But the next day (Friday, on which “ Christ was crucified) St. John makes to be the Passover “ day. He says, (chap. xviii. 28.) the Jews would not go “ into the judgment-hall on Friday morning, lest they “ should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover, “ viz. that evening. And chap. xix. 14. speaking of Fri
day noon, he says, it was the preparation of the Passover.
Upon the whole, John speaks not of eating the Passover “ at all: nor indeed do the three speak of his eating any “ lamb. Among all the expressions which they use, of “ making ready the Passover ; prepare for thee to eat the “ Passover ; with desire have I desired to eat this Passover “ with you, &c. there is no mention of any lamb carried “ to the temple to be slain by the Levites, and then “ brought to the house and roasted: there is no mention “ of any food at the supper beside bread and wine : per
haps there might be bitter herbs. So that this seems to “ have been a commemorative supper used by our Saviour “ instead of the proper paschal supper, the eating of a “ lamb; which should have been the next night, but that " he himself was to be sacrificed before that time would
And the difference between St. John and the “ other is only a difference in words, and in the names of “ things : they call that the Passover, which Christ used " instead of it.
“ If you say, why then does Mark xiv. 12. call Thurs“ day the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed “ the passover, and Luke xxii. 7. the day of unleavened « bread when the passover must be killed ? we must note, “ that their day (or vox týuepov) was from evening to even
ing. This Thursday evening was the beginning of that “ natural day of twenty-four hours, towards the end of 6 which the lamb was to be killed : so it is proper in the “ Jews' way of calling days to call it that day.” Thus far Dr. Wall.
Deylingius, a learned Lutheran, has more minutely canvassed the same question, and maintained the same side y. I shall not take upon me to say positively which of the three opinions is the best, or clogged with fewest difficulties. If the last of the three be preferred, then the Eucharist is as properly the Christian Passover, as baptism is the Christian Circumcision; and we have the authority of our Lord himself, or of his disciples, for so calling it, if they gave that name to the whole transaction. But whatever hypothesis we follow, there will be proof sufficient that the Eucharist succeeded in the room of the Passover, like as Baptism succeeded in the room of Circumcision.
It appears to be well agreed among the learned of all parties, that the Christian Eucharist succeeded in the place of the Jewish Passover : and good use has been often made of the observation, for the explaining the nature of
y Deylingius, Observat. Sacr. tom. p. 233—249. Lipsiæ 1720. Compare his Observationes Miscellaneæ. Lips. 1736. where he again strongly maintains the same opinion, from p. 239 to p. 248.