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were not to eat or taste any thing till be 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 ihe 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. Ždly. 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 Matt. xxvi. 29. made use of concerning the cup at the holy supper. 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 union 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. “ I 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. cap. iii. “ And having first tasted the sacrament of his body and blood, he signified his meaning" of Chrysostom, Homil. 83. in Matth. Of
" He also drinks thereof, lest on hearing his words they should say, And do we then drink blood and eat flesh ? And therefore, in order sto 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 apérov fotiv it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness, Matt. iii. 15. Where by rightcousness, 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 by John: and John's duty not to deny Christ in this:
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 be make a proper use of the Sacraments, who does not apply them to that end. But, doubtless, 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 perseyering 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 sọ agreeable to the divine goodness, that it is scarce, if at all possible, it could be other
The author here uses a word of a very general signification, signifying every thing that is suitable to the perfections of God. And as the divine rectitude, bo liness, 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. 9 XII. seq. And these promises are legal, and belong to the covenant of works: but there were 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, chap. iii
. & XXIX. seq. XI. We may now enquire, whether both these kinds of mises 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
a 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 bave been applicable to Christ, and, according to him, was this: namely,
a sign and seal 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. ii. 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 rigliteousness 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, Isa. 1. 8, 9. " he is near that just: Seth me, who will contend with me? Who is he that shall condemn me?" and Paul, 1 Tim. ii. 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 bis 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 bad before appeared in the likeness of sinfil flesh, Rom. viii. 3. was now to be seen Zwpis å giapsias without sin, by those that look for him unto salvation.
XVI. Yet I dare not say with a certain divine, in other respects very sound, that the remission of those sins which Christ as Surety took upon himself was sealed to him. For the scripture no where speaks in this manner; besides, the remission of sins is the forbearance, or removal, of the punishment due to thern. Which cannot be said of Christ, because he suffered the punishment due to us, and in the fullest manner satisfied the justice of God. Our sins are forgiven us, on account of the satisfaction of Christ. But neither scripture nor reason will authorise us to say, that sin was forgiven to Christ.
XVII. However, agreeably 'to both we may say, that the regeneration of the elect, the remission of their sins, their sanctification and glorification, in a word, all those benefits, which by virtue of the covenant of grace, are bestowed upon them, were promised and sealed to Christ by the Sacraments. For since, by virtue of the mystical union, founded on the decree of God, Christ and the elect are one spiritual body,' he received those gifts in the elect which are given to them; as we have several times hinted from Psal. lxyui. 18.
XVIII. May we not here also refer what Paul writes, Eph. i. 23. that the church is πλήρωμα τι τα πάντα εν πάσι πληρωμένα the fulness of him that filleth all in all? Fulness, I say, not only to be completed by Christ, but also in its measure which makes Christ complete, who himself seemis not to be completed with out his whole body. So that the promises made to the elect may so far be looked upon as made to Christ, and thus sealed to him by the Sacraments.
XIX. Moreover, Christ on the other hand, promised the Father, in the use of the Sacraments, faithfully, and perseveringly to perform all he bound himself to by agreement. For, in the use of the Sacraments, there is, as it were, a kind of renewal of the covenant, and, if we may thus speak, a repeated solemnization thereof. Christ therefore, by that act, publicly protested before God and the church, that he would not fail in ány part of his duty.
XX. Some perhaps may think, to what pu: pose this mutual sealing of the pronises by Sacraments: for neither was the faith of Christ subject to any vicious flaw of weakness, to render such a confirmation necessary; nor the Father under
doubt as to the fidelity of his engaging Son. But the answer is easy. 1st. The institution and use of Sacraments do not from the nature of the țing, presuppose sin, or any weakness of faith, as appears from the Sacraments instituted before the fall. And are not therefore to be esteemed a vain institution; for that would be