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Matthew, Mark, and Luke, all give the circumstances of the breaking of bread, taking the cup, and giving of thanks. But this was no more than appears to have been our Lord's uniform practice. When he ate, he took the bread, and looking up to heaven, gave thanks, and brake it, and gave to his disciples. This is so often recorded, that we may fairly conclude it was his constant practice.

At this last supper that he was to take with his disciples, in order to inculcate the great truths of redemption, and the benefits derived from his sufferings and death, then soon to take place, he associated that sacrifice of himself on the cross, with the idea of the nourishment of their bodies. And the calls for food being of a nature so often to occur, and so absolute in their demands, were calculated to fix deeply in their minds the necessity of that spiritual bread, which they received through him, who was about to lay down his life, and shed his precious blood for them. Thus far the three evangelists concur; the third adds: "This do in remembrance of me," which does not materially change the view of the subject. The fourth had his attention directed to another circumstance, which the others had not mentioned, the washing of the disciples' feet. And here let the two accounts of the evangelists, Luke and John, be compared, and candidly decide, which has most the appearance of a permanent institution, the supper, or the washing of feet? I hesitate not to say, that the latter has abundantly more of such an appearance than the former. And yet, by the general consent of Christians, it is laid aside, or, rather, not regarded as a standing ordinance.


I am not endeavouring to detect discrepances among evangelists, but only to show, that, though four have written on the occasion, so little is to be discovered in the records they have left, like an institution of an ordinance. And this may be regarded as an evidence, that it was not so intended.

That such a ceremony did take place in the Christian Church in early times, is no more than happened in relation to many practices and observances, which are now generally considered to have ceased, in point of obligation

-even though they were enjoined by the Church. Such were those relicks of the ceremonial law, which were enjoined in the epistle of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem

-though they introduced it by saying, it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to them. And such was the washing of feet; the practice of which, to some extent, grew out of the example of our Lord, as recorded by the evangelist. John xiii. Such also was the anointing of the sick with oil, as enjoined by the apostle. James v. 14. And we might mention, their having all things in common-in very close connexion with which, was the practice of "breaking bread from house to house." Acts ii. 46.

We therefore believe that we may safely decline the use of this ceremony, as not essential in itself. That the consecrated bread and wine are not the actual flesh and blood of Christ, is agreed by all Protestants. And if it be admitted as an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, it must be perfectly useless if that spiritual grace be wanting; and if it be present, and the body and blood of Christ be really enjoyed in spirit, that outward and visible sign must be of small consequence, and would be lost in the fulness of the eternal substance.

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On the other hand, there is real danger, that a dependence on an empty shadow may divert the mind of the pious Christian, from perseveringly seeking the substance. Hence the admonition of the apostle : Wherefore, if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using,) after the commandments and doctrines of men?" Col. ii. 20-22.

The idea of establishing certain particular days, at long intervals, for enjoying communion with God, I apprehend is calculated to produce effects prejudicial to the Christian traveller. That communion which is the life of the true Christian, should be more frequent. "Behold! I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me." Rev. iii. 20. That this is properly the Lord's Supper, is clear from the plain language of the text. And that it is not dependent on any ceremonies whatever, is equally evident. That this intercourse and sustenance should be daily sought after, is inculcated by our Lord, in that prayer which he taught his disciples: "Give us day by day our daily bread." Luke xi. 3. Here is no putting

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off to sacrament day;* (so called) the soul, in the mean time, languishing for the want of that bread, which alone can nourish it up to eternal life.

We, therefore, believing that the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and communion with God through him, are only to be experienced in a spiritual sense, and that the outward ceremony is one of those things which perish with the using, think ourselves fully warranted in declining the use of the shadow, and pressing after the pure and spiritual substance; which is the one thing needful.



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THE Society of Friends believe, that the "holy days," "the new moons," and sabbath-days," observed under the law, were "shadows of things to come; but the body is of Christ." Col. ii. 16, 17. And as shadows, they ceased with the shadowy dispensation, of which they formed a part.

The apostle, speaking of Christ, and the blessed operations of his power under the gospel dispensation, brings into view the abrogation of the types and shadows of the law, by the coming of the spiritual realities to which they pointed, in the following striking language: "Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath-days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

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Wherefore, if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not;

*The word SACRAMENT is of Roman origin, and signified a military oath.


handle not; which all are to perish with the using,) after the commandments and doctrines of men?" Col. ii. 14—17, 20. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." ib. iii. 1.

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An improper veneration of days, and other shadows of the legal dispensation, appears to have been a snare, into which professing Christians were very early betrayed. Indeed, where there is a large proportion of zeal, there is peculiar danger of its being directed to wrong objects. Not only did the Colossians give cause to the apostle, to check their superstitious observance of days and times, but the Galatians appear to have been not less entangled in these things than the Colossians. The great and dangerous error into which they had been led by the observance of these things, was an apprehension that they were justified by the works of the law; and this remains to be the danger to the present day. There were various stages, before the observance of days assumed this dangerous character. There were those among the Romans who esteemed one day above another, and others esteemed every day alike : He that regarded the day, regarded it to the Lord: and he that regarded not the day, to the Lord he did not regard it." Rom. xiv. 5, 6. In these cases, on account of the religious sincerity with which each was actuated, and the limits to which the observances were confined, the apostle did not censure either. But with the Galatians, and some other churches, the case was different; and the apostle was brought strongly to reprehend their defection from the spirituality of the new dispensation. "O foolish Galatians!" was his language, "who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?" "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith ?” Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye made perfect by the flesh?" Gal. iii. 1-3. But now, after ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage! Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain." ib. iv. 9, 10.



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Thus it appears, that even in the days of the apostles, there were those among professing Christians, whose veneration for days and times had diverted their attention from

the true objects they were originally set apart to typify. And thus, by a zealous observance of types, after their office had ceased, they were entangling themselves with the yoke of bondage, and endangering their total ruin as to the life of Christianity.

The state to which the outward sabbath pointed, was so different from that in which the Galatians rested in its observance, that the solicitude of the apostle was very powerfully excited on the occasion. It pointed to a state, in which the activity of the creature was brought into quiet;

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a state, in which the soul, after accomplishing that portion of labour assigned it, comes to know a ceasing from its own works, as God did from his." This exposition is clearly given by the apostle, to the Hebrews, in the 3rd and 4th chapters. To the Hebrews this exposition was pecu. liarly proper, because to them the outward sabbath had been given and when the antitype had come, or that dispensation in which it was to be more particularly experienced, it was the divine will that its mystical application should be explained "There is then," said the apostle, "a rest to the people of God." And again: "He that hath entered into his rest, hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." And he admonishes the Hebrew believers to enter into that rest. Leaving those things that were behind, among which was this shadow of good things to come, they were to enter into that pure and spiritual rest, which was the very thing to which the outward figure pointed. And to go back to an observance of the outward form, seemed to be an indication that the reality had not come; and very naturally tended to cause it to be lost sight of. Thus, as a Jewish right, its obligation ceased, and its observance became dangerous. According to the reasoning of the apostle, to insist on the observance of one particular of the cere monial law, is to become a debtor to the whole law, and of course virtually to deny the coming of Christ; for as these figures pointed to him and his spiritual dispensation, and were to continue only till his coming, to insist on their continuance is to deny that he had come.

And as it is evident that the sabbath was a shadow of something to come, for the apostle expressly declares it was, the reasoning which he applies to other shadows will apply to that also.

I know that the observance of the sabbath is considered,

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