II. SECTION. The Analogy betweene the Rites of such pacificatory Sacrifices, and this Sacrifice of Christs as offred up for our mutuall enmities: and how This end and intention of Christs Sacri∣fice is held forth in the Lords Supper.
NOw observe further, A correspondency unto those rites mentioned, that were used in those Sacrifices of peace, also held forth in this Sacrifice of His. The Beast in such cases was divided and cut in twain for both parties to passe through, and so peace to be made between them. And Christ to make both, or, twain one (as here,) was divided and cut (as it were) in twain: The Godhead for a time for∣saking the manhood,*My God, my God, why hast thou for∣saken me? His Soule also being by Death separated from His Body; his joynts loosned, to dissolve this enmity; the vaile of His Flesh rent, to rend the partition wall. Thus He was cut in twain as one common Sacrifice, between both.
And againe as the sacrificing of the beast cut a sunder was reckoned the common joynt Act of both parties in such Page 36 a case, and they were esteemed by God, and by one ano∣ther, each to have an hand in the sacrificing of it, and as consenting to the Covenant and peace that was intended to be entred into and ratified by it: so here in this. And though we then personally existed not, yet all we being considered in Him, by God, (who gave us to Him;) and by Himselfe, that voluntarily sustained our persons, and He offering up Himselfe as a Sacrifice on our behalfe, and for our behoofe and in our names; Hence His Will in offring up Himselfe, was volunt as totius, the act and will of the whole body, whose persons He sustayned; our wills were thereby involved in His will; His act was our act: and it may truly be said, that a Covenant of peace was then made afore God, BY US, and for us: for He was our Priest there∣in for us, as well as our Sacrifice.
And hence in a further correspondency to the manner of those typicall Sacrifices: Therein although the Priest onely offred up the Sacrifice for the People, and in their name and stead, yet to shew it was their act, they used to eate of it after, or of that which was offred up with it. The interpretation of which eating thereof, by the People, the Apostle gives us to be this, 1 Cor. 10. 18. They that did eate of the Sacrifices were partakers of the Altar: that is, thereby they declared the Sacrifice to be theirs, the offering it up to be their Act, that they partook, and had an hand in it, as if they had been at the Altar with the Priest himselfe. Just in like manner, to shew that we were reckoned consenting to, and partakers in this sacrifice of Christ our Priest, and that it was our own act, we doe in like manner partake of that Sacrifice by eating of it; The Lords Supper being as Tertullian rightly termed it, Participatio Sacrificii, which Notion the Apostle there confirmes in a parallel of the Lords Supper in this very res∣pect, to the case of those Sacrifices then (for unto this Page 37 purpose it was that he brings in that instance of the sa∣crifices, v. 16.) The bread which we breake, (sayes he) is it not the communion of the body of Christ? namely considered, as sa∣crificed once upon the altar of the Crosse, and so by eating thereof, we are all partakers of that one bread, as the thing signi∣fying; and of that one body sacrificed, as the thing signified: and so by this way of partaking therein, namely, by eating thereof, is shewn, as in the sacrifices of old, that it is our owne sacrifice. And this not onely asaEstius upon the place, who sayes, That by eating they were accounted partakers of the sacrifice, as that which was offered for them: But further as bGrotius, (speaking of the Lords Supper, upon Mat. 26. 25.) They are in Christs intent, sayes he, through their eating thereof, So partakers of this his sacrifice, quasi ipsi hoc obtulissent, as if them∣selves had offered it up. And thus to hold forth this previous consent of theirs, was one part of Christs intent in instituting eating and drinking in the Lords Supper, in a correspondency to the like mysterious intent in the peoples eating of the sacrifices of old: Grotius indeed puts the reason, why it is to be esteemed, as if we had offered up that sacrifice, onely upon this, because it was offered up by him (sayes he) that had taken their nature: but I adde out of this text, because he had tooke on him their persons, in One Body, and their enmities, and stood in their stead, as their Priest, as well as their sacrifice: and so it was to be reckond their act on his Crosse, as much as the peoples then, who used to bring the sacrifice to the Priest, who, there, offered it alone upon the Altar; whereas here WE (our selves) were brought to Christ by the Father to undertake to be a Priest for Us, and he voluntarily undertooke Our persons. And so, as Levi is accounted to have offered tithes in Abraham his Father, when he paid them to Melchisedech; so we much Page 38 rather to have offered up a common sacrifice of peace a∣mongst our selves, when Christ offered up himselfe.
And hence also likewise, as in those pacificatory foederall sacrifices between two parties of men, whoever of them went about to violate or infringe the tearmes of peace, that sacrifice was intended to confirme, did (by reason it was his act) bring upon himselfe the curse, which ceremonially and visibly was inflicted on the beast or sacrifice slaine: so here this act of sacrificing of Christ for mutuall peace being thus interpretativè OURS, and our consent involved, Hence I say in like manner, whoever goeth about to breake this Covenant, and seeketh to uphold the enmity among the people of God, he doth not onely renounce his owne act, but what in him lies, frustrates that intention of it; and so further incurres the imprecation infolded in it, and brings upon himselfe the bloud of the Covenant, as in allusion to this curse (according to the implyed intent of such a sa∣crificiall Covenant) the Apostle speakes Heb. 10.
Now further to finish this Branch, let this be added; That Christ was not simply offered up as a sacrifice to confirme a meere or bare league of peace and amity betweene us: (sometimes such sacrifices afore spoken of were designed onely to make and bind new Leagues and Covenants be∣tweene such parties, as never had beene at variance:) But here in this case of ours, as there was a Covenant of amity to be strucke, so there were enmities to be abolisht and slaine, as the text hath it; and that by this sacrifice and slaying of his flesh: which cannot be conceived otherwise to have beene transacted, but that as in other sacrifices offered up, the trespasses were laid upon the head of the sacrifice, and so in a significant mystery slaine and done away in the death of the thing sacrificed: And that as in that other way of reconciling us to God, The Lord did lay upon him the ini∣quities of us all, namely, against himselfe (as Isay speakes in Page 39 allusion unto the rites (and the signification therof, in those sacrifices:) to which this text simularly speakes when it saies, He slew the enmity in himselfe, v. 16.) So answerably it was in this (which is its parallel:) All the enmities and mutuall injuries and feuds between us the people of God, were all laid upon him, and he tooke them in his flesh, and in slaying thereof slew these also, and abolisht them, that so he might reconcile them in one body. And so the same nailes that pierced through his hands and feet, did naile all our enmities, and the causes and occasions of them, to the same Crosse, as 2 Coloss. insinuates. So as, we are to looke upon Jesus Christ hanging on the Crosse, as an equall Arbiter betweene both parties, that takes upon himselfe whatever either partie hath against the other. Lo here I hang (saies Christ a dying) and let the reproaches wherewith you re∣proach each other fall on me: The sting of them all fix it selfe on my flesh; and in my death dye all together with me; lo I dye to pacific both: Have therefore any of you ought against each other? Quit them, and take me as a sa∣crifice, in bloud betweene you; onely doe not kill me, and each other too, for the same offence: for you, and your enmities, have brought me to this altar of the Crosse, and I offer my selfe as your peace, and as your Priest: will you kill me first, and then one another too?
And thus, if taking all your sinnes against God himselfe upon his flesh, and sacrificing it for you, is of prevalency to kill, and slay that enmity; much more is it of force to kill these your enmities also. Thus, like as by assuming the likenesse of sinfull flesh,*he killed the sinne in our flesh: so by taking these our enmities and animosities in his flesh, he slew and abolisht them:* and as his death was the death of death, so of these. And like as he cured diseases by taking them on himselfe by sympathy, 'tis said of him when his healing of them is recorded) Himselfe tooke our infirmities, Page 40 and bare our sicknesses: And as not our sinnes against God onely, but our sicknesses by sympathy: so, not our enmities against God onely, but our animosities one against another; and by bearing them abolisht them; by dying as an Arbiter betweene us, slew them: and therefore in the text, he is called our peace, not our peacemaker onely, (when this peace amongst our selves is spoken of,) to note out, as Musculus observes, that he was not onely efficiently our peacemaker, the Author of our peace, but our peace materi∣ally, the matter of our peace, by the sacrifice of himselfe. God is stiled our peacemaker, our reconciler; God was in Christ reconciling the world: but not our peace; this is proper to Christ: and why? but because he onely was the sacrifice of our peace, and bore our enmities. Even as he is not only called the Redeemer, (so God also is,) but redemption it selfe.
Now for a coronis to this first Branch, and withall to adde a further confirmation yet, that Christs death was in∣tended as a sacrifice to these ends, for amity and unity among Gods people, we may clearly view and behold this truth in the Mirrour of the Lords Supper. One most ge∣nuine and primary import whereof, and end of the instituti∣on of it, being this very thing in hand: (I shall have recourse thereto againe in the next Branch also upon the same ac∣count that now.)
The Lords Supper in its full and proper scope, is, as you know, a solemne commemoration of Christs death offered up upon the Crosse, or if you will, in the Apostles owne words, it is a shewing forth his death till he comes: And doe this (sayes Christ) in remembrance of me; namely, in dying for you: and so withall to commemorate with application to themselves, the principall ends and intendments of that his death, which is therein acted over afore their eyes. Hence Page 41 therefore I take this as an undoubted maxime, which no knowing Christian will deny (and its the foundation of what I am now a building:) That looke what principall ends, purposes or intendments this Supper or sacrificiall feast holds forth in its institution unto us: those must needs be lookt at, by all Christians, in the like proportion, to have been the maine ends and purposes of his death to be remembred. So that we may ar∣gue mutually from what were the ends of Christs death, unto what must needs be the designed intendments of this Sacra∣ment. And we may as certainly conclude, and inferre to our selves, what were the intendments of his death, by what are the genuine ends of that Sacrament. These answer each to other, as the image in the glasse doth to the principall lineaments in the face; the impresse on the wax, to that in the scale; the action, the signe and remembrances, to the thing signi∣fied and to be remembred.
Now it is evident that Christ upon his death instituted that Supper, As, to be a seale of that Covenant of Grace betweene God and us, ratified thereby; so, also to be a com∣munion, the highest outward pledge, ratification and testi∣mony of love and amity among his members themselves. And accordingly, it being in the common nature of it, a feast: looke as betweene God and us, it was ordained to be epulum foederale, a Covenant feast betweene him and us: (the evidence whereof lyes in this, That he invites us to his table as friends, and as those he is at peace with∣all, and reconciled unto:) So, in like manner betweene the Saints themselves, it was as evidently, ordained to be a Syntaxis, a love feast, in that they eate and drinke together at one and the same table, and so become as the Apostle saies, ONE BREAD. And againe, looke as betweene God and us, to shew that the procurement of this peace and reconciliation betweene him and us, was this very sacrifice of Christs death, (as that which made our peace,) Page 42 God therefore invites us, post sacrificium oblatum, after the sacrifice offered up, to eate of the symboles of it; that is, of Bread and Wine, which are the signes and symboles of his body and bloud sacrificed for peace: So in like manner doth this hold as to the peace betweene our selves: And we may infer, that we were through the offering up thereof, reconciled one to another, and all mutuall enmities slaine and done away thereby, in that we eate together thereof in a communion; which was a sacrifice once offered, but now feasted upon together: And doth shew, that Christians of all professions or relations of men have the strongest ob∣ligations unto mutuall love and charity: For the bread broken and the cup are the symboles of their Saviours body and bloud once made a sacrifice; and therefore they eating thereof together, as of a feast after a sacrifice, doe shew forth this Union and Agreement, to have been the avowed purchase, and impretation of the body and bloud so sacri∣ficed.
There was a controversie of late yeares fomented by some through Popish complyances, That the Lords Supper might be stiled a Sacrifice, the Table an Altar, which produced in the discussion of it (as all controversies doe in the issue some further truth) the discovery of this true decision of it: That it was not a sacrifice, but a feast after and upon Christs sacri∣ficing of himselfe; Participatio sacrificii, as Tertullian calls it, a sacrificiall feast commemorating and confirming all those ends for which the onely true and proper sacrifice of Christ was offered up, and so this feast a visible ratification of all such ends, whereof this, is Evidently One.