VI. SECTION. This Reconciliation of the Saints to God considered as in One Body, Held likewise forth in the Administration of the Lords Supper. And one eminent foundation of the instituti∣on of fixed Church Communion, hinted Herein.
THe impresse and resemblance of this, namely Christs Reconciling us to God in one Body, wee may like∣wise perceive: (And I shall mention it the rather to make the harmony of this with all the former still more full) in the administration of the Lords Supper: in which we may view this truth also, as wehave done the other.
That Supper being ordeined to shew forth his death; looke as he dyed, so it represents it. As therefore Christ was sacrificed representing the Generall assembly of Saints, & so in one body reconciled them to God: so, this Supper was ordeined, (in the regular administration of it,) to hold forth the image of this, as neer as possible such an ordinance could be supposed to have done it; For answerably the seate, the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of it, is a Communion of many Saints met together in one Body. And not otherwise. Thus 1 Cor. 10. 17. For we being many are òne bread and ONE BODY. He had said v. 16. That the Lords Supper it was the Communion of the body of Christ,Page 56 &c. that is, a Communion of Christs Body, as to each, so as of a company united together among them∣selves; and accordingly the Apostle subjoynes this as the reason; For we (whom you see, doe ordinarily par∣take of it,) are many (not one or two apart) and those many, are one bread and one body: One bread as the signe; One Body as the thing signified. And thus we are, then, con∣sidered to be, when Christ as dying is communicated by us. For to shew forth His Death is the end of this Sacrament. The seate therefore or subject of partaking in this Com∣munion, of Christs Body and Bloud; and which is ordain∣ed for the publique participation of it, is not either single Christians, but a many; nor those meeting as a fluid com∣pany like clouds uncertainly, or as men at an ordinary for running Sacraments (as some would have them) but fixed setledly, as incorporated Bodyes. Which institution, having for its subject such a society, as then, when Christs Death is to be shewne forth, doth suitably and correspon∣dently set forth, how that the whole Church the Image of which whole Universall Church,* (these particular Churches doe beare, as a late Commenta∣tor hath observed upon that plaee) was represented in and by Christ dying for us, under this consi∣deration of being One Body, then in Him.
And there is this ground for it, that the whole of that Ordinance was intended to represent the whole of his Death, and the imports of it, as farre as was possible. So then looke as the Death it selfe and his bitter Passion are represented therein, both of Body in the breaking the Bread, which is the Communion of his Body: of the Soule in the Wine, which is called the Communion of his Bloud, and this is the bloud of the New Testament, so expressed in al∣lusion to that of the Old, in which the bloud was chosen out, as the neerest visible representer of the invisible Soule, that Page 57 could be. The life lies in the bloud (for the spirits which are the animal life doe run in it,) so spake the old Law, and the Poet the same;
He termes the Sacrifice of the bloud, the Sacrifice of the Soule: and so Wine was chosen as the neerest resemblance of bloud, being also the bloud of the Grape.
As thus the death it selfe in all the parts of it; so the SUBJECT for which hee dyed, His Body, and that under that very consideration He died for them [as one Body,] is in like manner, as visibly and plainly held forth; Every par∣ticular Church bearing by institution the image of the whole Church (as therein it hath also all the priviledges of it) fitly shewing forth, thereby, not onely that Christ died for them singly, and a part considered (which yet is therewith held forth here in that each personally doth partake thereof,) That might have been sufficiently evidenced if every person or family apart, had been warranted to have received, and eaten this sacrificiall feast alone (as they did the Passeover and the Sacrifices, Lent. 7. 18.) but the institution is for ma∣ny; which very word Christ mentions in the institution, This is the bloud of the new Testament shed for many, which word, I believe the Apostle had aney unto when he sayd, We being many are partakers, &c. Christ indeed principally aimed therein, to shew, that his intent in dying, was for a multitud of mankinde, the whole body of his Elect: yet because he inserts the mention hereof; at the delivery of those Ele∣ments, and that the ordinance it selfe was suited to hold forth this intent, The Apostle takes the hint of it; and adds this glosse and construction upon it as glaunced at in it: that according to the institution and import of this Ordi∣nance, the partakers hereof are to be a many (not one or two alone:) and these united into one Body, to the end that thereby may be held forth this great intendment in His Page 58 death, That he died for the many of His Church, as one collective body. This however wee are sure of, that this way of partaking this Supper as in one Body, was to the Apostle a matter of that moment, That we find him bitter∣ly inveighing in the next Chapter, that the same individuall Church of Corinth, when they came together in one for that and other Ordinances, should of all Ordinances else, not receive this Ordinance together in such a community, but perverting that order, should even in that place appointed for the meetings of the whole Church, divide themselves into private severall companies, and so make this as a private Supper, which in the nature and intendment of the instituti∣on of it, was to be a Communion of the whole Church or body together. Insomuch as he sayes, This is not to eate the Lords Supper: for in eating (namely this Sacramentall Supper,) every one takes before (others perhaps do come:) His own Sup∣per, together with the Lords, & so maketh it as a private col∣ation or as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; wherefore my brethren when you come together to eate (that Supper,) tarry one for another, to make a full meeting of the whole body: and as for other Suppers, every man is at liberty to take them at home as he pleaseth, v. 34. The Apostle is thus zealous in it, as he had reason, because hereby is shewne forth one principall my∣stery in Christs death, for from this, at least upon occasion of this particular as well as any other, doth the Apostle ut∣ter this great maxime, yea shew forth His death till he comes, v. 26. Of such moment in their import and significancy are things (thus small and meane in the eyes of some) that yet are full of Mystery in Christs intendment. And thus much for the Second Head.