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25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

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25. The cup, when he had supped The Apostle seems to intimate, that there was some interval of time between the distribution of the bread and that of the cup, and it does not quite appear from the Evangelists whether the whole of the transaction was continuous. 694694     “Continuel et sans interualle;” — “Continuous, and without an interval.” This, however, is of no great moment, for it may be that the Lord delivered in the meantime some address, after distributing the bread, and before giving the cup. As, however, he did or said nothing that was not in harmony with the sacrament, we need not say that the administration of it was disturbed or interrupted. I would not, however, render it as Erasmus does — supper, being ended, for, in a matter of so great importance, ambiguity ought to be avoided.

This cup is the New Testament What is affirmed as to the cup, is applicable also to the bread; and thus, by this form of expression, he intimates what he had before stated more briefly — that the bread is the body. For it is so to us, that it may be a testament in his body, that is, a covenant, which has been once confirmed by the offering up of his body, and is now confirmed by eating, when believers feast upon that sacrifice. Accordingly, while Paul and Luke use the wordstestament in the blood, Matthew and Mark employ the expressionblood of the testament, which amounts to the same thing. For the blood was poured out to reconcile us to God, and now we drink of it in a spiritual sense, that we may be partakers of reconciliation. Hence, in the Supper, we have both a covenant, and a confirmatory pledge of the covenant.

I shall speak in the Epistle to the Hebrews, if the Lord shall allow me opportunity, as to the word testament It is well known, however, that sacraments receive that name, from being testimonies to us of the divine will, to confirm 695695     “Confermer et seeller;” — “Confirm and seal.” it in our minds. For as a covenant is entered into among men with solemn rites, so it is in the same manner that the Lord deals with us. Nor is it without strict propriety that this term is employed; for in consequence of the connection between the word and the sign, the covenant of the Lord is really included in the sacraments, and the term covenant has a reference or relation to us. This will be of no small importance for understanding the nature of the sacraments; for if they are covenants, then they contain promises, by which consciences may be roused up to an assurance of salvation. Hence it follows, that they are not merely outward signs of profession before men, but are inwardly, too, helps to faith.

This do, as often as ye drink Christ, then, has appointed a two-fold sign in the Supper.

What God hath joined together let not man put asunder.
(Matthew 19:6.)

To distribute, therefore, the bread without the cup, is to man Christ’s institution. 696696     “L’institution du Fils de Dieu;” — “The institution of the Son of God.” For we hear Christ’s words. As he commands us to eat of the bread, so he commands us to drink of the cup To obey the one half of the command and neglect the other half — what is this but to make sport of his commandment? And to keep back the people from that cup, which Christ sets before all, after first drinking of it, as is done under the tyranny of the Pope — who can deny that this is diabolical presumption? As to the cavil that they bring forward — that Christ spoke merely to the Apostles, and not to the common people — it is exceedingly childish, and is easily refuted from this passage — for Paul here addresses himself to men and women indiscriminately, and to the whole body of the Church. He declares that he

had delivered this to them agreeably to the commandment
of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:23.)

By what spirit will those pretend to be actuated, who have dared to set aside this ordinance? Yet even at this day this gross abuse is obstinately defended; and what occasion is there for wonder, if they endeavor impudently to excuse, by words and writings, what they so cruelly maintain by fire and sword?




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