Meditations on the holy sacrament of the Lords last Supper Written many yeares since by Edvvard Reynolds then fellow of Merton College in Oxford.
Reynolds, Edward, 1599-1676.


Of the matter of the Lords Supper, Bread and Wine, with their Analogie unto Christ.

WEE have considered the Author or efficient of this Sacrament and those circumstances which were annexed unto its Institution: we may now a little consider the essentiall parts of it, and first the elements, or matter of which it con∣consisteth Page  33 consecrated bread & wine: it neither stood with the outwad poverrty of Christ, nor with the benefit of the Church to insti∣tute sucha sumptuous and gaudy elements as might possesse too much the sense of the be∣holder, and too little resemble the quality of the Saviour. And therefore he choose his Sa∣craments rather for the fitnesse, than the beau∣ty of them, as respecting more the end, than the splendor or riches of his Table, and in∣tended rather to manifest his divine power in altering poore elements unto a pretious use, than to exhibit any carnall pompe in such de∣licious fare as did not agree with the spiritu∣alnesse of his Kingdome. Though he be con∣tented out of tendernesse toward our weak∣nesse to stoop unto our senses, yet he will not cocker them; as in his reall and naturall bo∣dy b, so in his representative, the Sacrament, a sensuall or carnall eye sees not either forme or beauty, for which it may bee desired. Pi∣ctures ought to resemble their originalls, and the Sacrament wee know is the picture or type of him who was ac man of sorrow, and this picture was drawne when the dayd of Gods fierce wrath was upon him, and can we then expect from it any satisfaction or plea∣sure to the senses: this body was naked on the Crosse, it were incongruous to have the Sacrament of it pompous on the Table. As it was the will of the Father, which Christ both Page  34 glorifies and admires, to reveale unto babes what hee hath hidden from the wise; so is it here his wisedome to communicate by the meanest Instruments, what he hath denied un∣to the choisest delicates: to feed his Daniels rather with polse than with all the dainties on the Kings table. And if we observe it, di∣vine miracles take ever the poorest & meanest subjects to manifest themselves on. If he want an army to protect his Church, fliesd, & frogse, and catterpillers, and lampsf, and pitchers &c. shall be the strongest souldiersg and weapons he useth; the lameh, and the blindi, the dumbk, and the deadl, waterm, & clayn▪ these are ma∣terialls for his power: even where thou seest the instruments of God weakest, there ex∣pect and admire the more abundant manifesta∣tion of his greatnesse, & wisedome; underva∣lue not then the Bread and Wine in this holy Sacrament which doe better resemble the benefits of Christ crucified than any other the choisest delicate. Bread and Wine, the ele∣ment is double to encrease the comfort of the faithfull, that byo two things wher∣in it is impossible for God to deceive, wee might have strong consolation who have laid hold upon him. Thep dreame is doubled said Iosph to Pharoah, because the thing is cer∣taine: and surely here the element is doubled too that the grace may be the more certaine. No marvell then if those men who deny Page  35 unto the people the certainty of grace, deny unto them likewise these double elements: so fit is it, that they which preached but a halfe comfort, should administer likewise but a half Sacrament. Secondly Bread and Wine. In cthe Passeover there was blood shed, but there was none drunken: yea that flesh which was eaten was but once a yeare. Theyd who had all in types had yet their types as it were imperfect.e In the fulnesse of time came Christ, and with or in Christ came the ful∣nesse of grace, and of his fulnesse doe we re∣ceive in the Gospell, which the Jewes only expected in the promise, thatg they without us might not be made perfect: these thingsh have I spoken saith Christ, that your joy might be full: the fulnesse of our Sacrament notes also the fullnesse of our Salvation, and of his sa∣crifice who is ablei perfectly to save those that come unto God by him. Thirdly Bread and Wine: common, vulgar, obvious food, (wine with water being the only knowne drinke with them in those hot Countries) amongst the Jewes a lamb was to bee slaine, a more chargeable and costly Sacrament, not so easie for the poore to procure, And therefore in the Sacrifice of first fruits, thek poore were dispenc'd with, and for a Lamb offred a pair of pigeons. Christ nowl hath broken down that partition wall, that wall of inclosure which made the Church as am garden with hedges, Page  36 and made only the rich, the people of the Jewes, capable of Gods Covenants and Sacraments: now that Gods Table hath crumms as well as flesh,a the Dogs, the Gen∣tiles eat of it too; the poorest in the world is admitted to it, even as the poorest that are do shift for bread, though they are not able to provide flesh. Then the Church was ab foun∣taine sealed up, but in Christ there was ac fountaine opened for transgressions and for sinnes. Fourthly Bread and Wine, Breadd to strengthen, and Wine to comfort. All tem∣porall benefitse are in divine Dialect called Bread, it being the staffef of life, and the want of which though in a confluence of all other blessings causeth famineg in a Land. See here the abundant sufficiency of Christs passion, It is the universall food of the whole Church, which sanctifieth all other blessings, without which they have no relish nor comfort in them. Sinne and the corrupt nature of man hath a venemous quality in it to turne all other good things into poyson, unlesse corre∣cted by this antitode, this Breadh of life, that came downe from heaven. And well may it be called a bread of life, in as much as in it re∣sides a power of trans-elementation, that whereas other nourishments doe themselves turne into the substance of the receiver,* this quite otherwise transformes and affirmilates the soule unto the Image of it selfe, whatsoe∣ver Page  37 faintnesse we are in, if we hunger after Christ hee can refresh us; whatsoever feares oppresse us, if likea men opprest with feare, we thirst & gaspe after his blood, it will com∣fort us; whatsoever weaknesse either our sinnes or suffrings have brought us to, the staffe of this bread will support us; whatsoe∣ver sorrowes of mind, or coldnesse of affecti∣on doe any way surprize us, this wine, or ra∣ther this bloud (inb which only is true life) will with great efficacy quicken us. If wee want power, wee have the powerc of Christs Crosse; if victory, we have the vi∣ctory dof his Crosse; if Triumph, we have the triumphe of his Crosse; if peace, we have the peacef of his Crosse; if wisdome, we have the wisdomeg of his Crosse. Thus is Christ crucified a Treasureh to his Church, full of all sufficient provision both for necessitie and delight. Fiftly, Bread and Wine, both of parts homogeneall, and alike; each part of Bread, bread; each part of Wine, wine; no crumme in the one, no drop in the other, differing from the quality of the whole. O the admi∣rable nature of Christs blood to reduce the affections and the whole man to one uniforme and spirituall nature with it selfe. In so much that when we shall come to the perfect fruiti∣on of Christs glorious Body, our very bo∣dyes likewise shall be spiritualli bodies; spiri∣tuall in an uniformity of glory, though not of Page  38 nature with the soule.a Sinnes commonly are jarring and contentious; one affection strug∣gles in the same soule with another for ma∣stery, ambition fights with malice, and pride with covetousnesse, the head plots against the heart, and the heart swells against the head; reason and appetite, will and passion, soule & body set the whole frame of nature in a continuall combustion, like anb unjoynted or broken arme, one faculty moves contrary to the government or attraction of another, and so as in a confluence of contrary streames and winds, the soule is whirld about in a maze of intestine contentions. But when once we becomec conformable unto Christs death, it presently makes ofd two one, and so worketh peace, it slayeth that hatred and warre in the members, and reduceth all unto that primi∣tive harmony, unto that uniforme spiritual∣nesse, whichf changeth us all into the same Image from glory to glory. Sixtly Bread and Wine: as they are homogeneall, so are they gunited together, and wrought out of divers particular graines and grapes into one whole lump or vessell: and thereforeh Bread and blood even amongst the Heathen were used for emblemes of leagues, friendship, and Mariage the greatest of all unions. See the wonderfull effiacy of Christ crucified to sod∣der as it were, and joynt all his members into one body by love, as they are united unto Page  39 him by faith. They are built up asi living stones through him who is the chiefe corner stone elect and pretious unto one Temple; they are all united by love, by thek bond or sinewes of peace unto him who is thel head, and transfuseth through them all the same vitall nourishment; they are all them flock of Christ reduc'd unto one fold by that one chiefen Shepheard of their soules, who came to gather those that wandred either from him in life, or from one another in affection. Lastly Bread and Wine, sever'd and asunder; that to be eaten, this to be drunken; that in a loafe, this in a Cup: It is not the bloud of of Christ running in his veynes, but shed on his members that doth nourish his Church. Impious therefore is their practice, who powre Christs blood as it were into his body againe, and shut up his wounds, when they deny the Cup unto the people under pre∣tence that Christs Body being received, the blood by way of concomitancy is received together with it: and so seale up that preti∣ous Fountaine which he had opened, and make a monopoly of Christs sacred wounds, as if his blood had been shed only for the Priest, and not as well for the people; or as if the Church had power to withhold that from the people of Christ which himselfe had given them.