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XXXVI. I should now refute the arguments of those of the other side of the question; but this has been done at large, and with so much judgment, by very learned men, that we can scarce make any addition. The very accurate dissertation of Gomarus on this head, may especially be consulted, which is inserted in his Commentaries on the epistle to the Galatians.


After what manner Christ used the Sacraments.


'HUS far we have at large treaed of those things, that re ̈ ̈ late to the covenant between Christ and the Father; and might seem to have completely finished that subject; was it not proper to add something concerning the Sacraments, by which that covenant was confirmed. The Apostle has observed, Heb. vii. 20, 21. that not without an oath, Christ was made priest, and surety of a better Testament. As this manifested the stability of the covenant, and the immutability of God's counsel: so it likewise contributed to the full assurance of Christ the Mediator. It moreov pleased God, to confirm that covenant by certain external symbols, and indeed the very same by which the covenant of grace was sealed to believers under the different dispensations of it. We have already hinted something on this subject, which we are now to enlarge upon more distinctly.

FI. It is evident that the Lord Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day from his birth, Euke it. 21. that he kept the passover with his Disciples, Luke xxii. 8, rt. and was baptized by John, Mat. iii. 13. Tho' the Evangelists do not indeed expressly assert that he also partook of the holy supper; yet they relate what we think may make it more than probable he


III. 1st, It is certain that our Lord, in the institution and use of the mystical supper, borrowed most of the rites from the Jewish passover. The very learned Joseph Scaliger, Lodovicus Capellus, and most particularly Buxtorf; in a peculiar dissertation, have made this as clear as noon-day. Thus our Lord took the bread and cup distinctly, separately blessed them both, and gave them to his Disciples after the Jewish manner. It was besides, a custom among the Jews, for the master of the family to eat first of the bread after blessing: to this purpose Maimonides in Hilot Berachat, chap. vii. says, “the guests


were not to eat or taste any thing till he who broke had tasted first." Nor was it permitted, at festivals and solemn feasts, for any of the guests to drink of the cup, till after the master of the family had done it first, according to an express passage quoted by Buxtorf from the Talmud, where it is said, " to be an excellent precept that he who sanctifies or blesses, should first taste, and after all the guests sitting down, tasted every one took a draught;" see the above dissertation, sect. 76. In this manner Christ acted at the paschal supper, Luke xxii. 15; 17. and why not so at this new mystical supper?

IV. zdly, This observation will be more cogent, if we consider that the same phraseology used by Christ of the paschal cup, Luke xxii. 18. I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come, is also, according to Mat. xxvi. 29. made use of concerning the cup at the holy sup per. Whence we infer, that then Christ likewise drank of the cup with his Disciples.

V. 3dly, We may add, that no reason can be assigned why Christ should not partake of the supper, as he did of baptism and consecrate, in his own person, these two Sacraments of the New Testament.

VI. 4thly, Nay, this seems requisite from the mutual anion between Christ and believers, and that intercourse of intimate familiarity, which among other things, was sealed in this mystical feast, and which our Lord himself has very elegantly proposed, under the similitude of a mutual supper, Rev. iii. 20. “ Į will sup with him, and he with me."

VII. This also was the opinion of the fathers: As of Jerome in epist. ad Hedibiam, quest. 2. "Not Moses, but the Lord Jesus gave us the true bread: he himself at once the entertainer and the entertainment; the eater and the food." Of Augustine de Doctrina Christiana, lib. 2. chap. iii." And having first tasted the Sacrament of his body and blood, he signified his meaning." Of Chrysostom, Homil. 83. in Matth. "He also drinks thereof, least on hearing his words they should say And do we then drink blood and eat flesh? And therefore, in order to prevent this, he himself sets them an example," &c.

VIII. This use of the Sacraments was not a matter of choice to Christ, but a part of his righteousness, and a duty incumbent upon him. For he himself declared when John refused to baptize him, suffer it to be so now; for thus xpixiv læsivit becometb us to fulfil all righteousness, Matt. iii. 15. Where by righteousness, he means the obedience due to the command of God, and it became both John and Christ, to fulfil all, and consequently this part. The part of Christ was to present himself to be baptized


baptized by John and John's duty not to deny Christ in this : thus it became both of them: nor was it a matter of mere fitness in this place, as if baptism was a thing unnecessary; (it being, as I have already said, a part of the righteousness which Christ was to fulfil) but it signified every duty incumbent, and the performance of every such duty is an ornament to the saints, and renders them beautiful in the eyes of God: as the Psalmist sings, Psal. xciii. 5. boliness [is the beauty of becometh thine house, [or those that frequent thy house]. In this sense Paul said, Eph. v. 3. as piru becometh saints, and 1 Tim. ii. 10. piu which becometh women professing godliness, and Heb. ii. 10. for xpre it became him. The rectitude, beauty, or comeliness of God, who is adorned with rectitude and beauty, Psal. lxxxix. 8. (which rectitude he can neither deny nor act contrary to) required, that the captain of our salvation should be made perfect by sufferings; such a High Priest became us, Heb. vii. 26. From which it appears, that the baptism of Christ was a part of his duty, by which he rendered himself comely both in the eyes of God and men.

IX. But besides this, the Sacraments which Christ made use of had still a further respect. They are not only to be considered as acts of obedience, enjoined by the law, but also as signs and seals of the covenant, whereby the mutual engagements of the contracting parties are sealed. For God did not institute the Sacraments with a view that any should place virtue and holiness in the bare exercise of those acts, but that they might be seals of spiritual things. Nor does he make a proper use of the Sacraments, who does not apply them to that end. But doubt

less Christ made use of these institutions agreeably to the intention of God who appointed them, as was proper to be done by that most perfect and excellent servant in whom God was well pleased. There was therefore, in the use of the Sacraments, a confirmation of the promises, both of those made by the Father to the Son, and by the Son to the Father.

X. But then, the promises made to Christ were of various kinds: some were made to him as a particular man, born holy, who was to be justified and made happy upon constantly persevering in the course of his commenced purity. For Christ was indeed a holy creature, but to make a holy creature happy who preserves its holiness untainted, is so agreeable to the divine goodness, that it is scarce, if at all, possible it could be otherVOL. I. M m wise

* The author here uses a word of a very general signification signifying every thing that is suitable to the perfections of Go. And as the divine rectitude, holines, or righteousness, is his beauty; so this, I apprehend, is what the author means here by Decentia Dei.

wise, as we have proved at large, book I. chap. iv. sect. 12. seq. And these promises are legal, and belong to the Covenant of works: But there we e other promises made to him as surety and mediator, by which his person, and his office, and work, as Mediator, should be acceptable to God, and very successful: and a twofold effect was certainly to ensue, one for himself, viz. a most excellent degree of glory; the other for the elect, who were to be united to him, namely, their salvation. And these last are properly the promises of the covenant we are now upon, of which we have given a specimen, book II. chap. iii. sect. 29. seq. XI. We may now enquire, whether both these kinds of promises were sealed to Christ, by the ordinary Sacraments of the Old and New Testament, which he partook of. But we must not determine any thing rashly with respect to this: and therefore I shall modestly propose what I think most probable. There is indeed no reason why Christ, as a holy man, and who as such, was to be made happy, might not be confirmed in the faith of this promise by some certain Sacraments, as appears from the Sacraments of the Covenant of Works given to Adam before the fall. But that such Sacraments were for that purpose granted to Christ, does not appear from Scripture. Moreover, I dare not affirm, that the ordinary Sacraments, which Christ made use of, were subservient to the confirming the legal promises belonging to the Covenant of Works, because they are Sacraments of the Covenant of Grace. And it does not seem consistent, that the promises of the Covenant of Works should be sealed by the Sacraments of the Covenant of Grace.

XII. I cannot indeed refuse that there is a great difference in some circumstances, relative to the signification of the sacraments, as made use of by Christ, and as used by believers. For to the latter they seal regeneration, the mortification of the old, and the vivification of the new man, the remission of sins. But, as there neither was, nor could be any occasion for these with respect to Christ, the holy One of God, so they could not, in this manner, be seals to him. Christ also, by the Sacraments, engaged to perform obedience otherwise than believers do; for he engaged to perform the most perfect obedience, without any defect, and bound himself to bear the curse of the law, in order to satisfy divine justice. But though believers, in the use of the Sacraments, engage to perform obedience, yet not that which is absolutely perfect (for that would be to be guilty of a formal life) neither do they bind themselves, to bear the curse nor promise any thing by which of themselves they may satisfy the justice of God. So that all the same things, at least not in the same


manner, were not sealed to Christ by the Sacraments, which by these are sealed to believers.


XIII. That very accurate divine, Gomarus, having duly examined these things, has presented us with a certain general signification of the Sacraments, which he maintains to have been applicable to Christ, and according to him, was this, namely, "a sign and sea of his covenant with God, and communion with the church, that God should be his God, and the bestower of salvation and he himself bound to perform perpetual, grateful obedience to him, and joined in communion with the church." On Matt. iii. 13. Though there is no impropriety in these things, and they were doubtless signified in the Sacraments, which Christ made use of, yet they do not seem to come up to the full signification of the Sacraments; because the proper, proximate and principal end, and consequently the very nature of these Sacraments, is especially to be a seal of the new covenant. And here holds what is commonly said in the schools, the principal act specifies, as the great Voetius, Disput. Tom. ii. p. 161. has accurately observed.

XIV. I therefore conclude, that the promises made to Christ as Mediator, were principally sealed to him by the Sacraments; Christ indeed, obtained these in virtue of his merits, or to speak with Paul, because he fulfilled the righteousness of the law; yet in themselves, and as they relate to believers, they are promises of the covenant of grace. By them it was declared, that Christ should be highly exalted, and become the head of believers, and that they should be redeemed by his satisfaction, justified by his merits, and at length made perfectly happy with him, that so he might for ever exult for joy with them, and in them, as his glorious inheritance.

XV. The justification of the Lord Jesus is contained in these promises, concerning which he himself says, Is. 1. 8, 9. “he is near that justifieth me, who will contend with me? Who is he that shall condemn me? And Paul, 1 Tim. iii. 16. he was justified in the spirit." This justification does not only consist in his being declared innocent of those crimes, with which he was falsely accused, and for which he was condemned by men; nor in the Father's declaring him to be holy and righteous, and worthy of his favour, on account of the perfect holiness of his nature and actions; but in his being, as Mediator, declared to have performed every thing he was bound to for the payment of the debt he had taken upon himself. So that he who had before appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh, Rom. viii. 3. was now to be seen xwpis kuaprías without sin by those that look for bim unto salvation.

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