An examination of my opponent’s arguments, which he produced to prove, that baptism is an emblem, &c. In this section also it is shewn, that it is inconsistent and idolatrous, to teach that the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are emblems.
Mr. M. attempts to prove by some assertions in my treatise, and by Doct. Luther’s words, that baptism is an emblem. He says, p. 40, “Having in the preceding section explained the design and use of baptism, by comparing it with that of circumcision, we will in this show more fully that water baptism is an emblem. or visible sign, which is the same. I think this will appear from Mr. H’s own premise, which he has stated in his sixth section, where he calls baptism a seal. Now a seal is an impression, or external mark designed to confirm the truth of any thing. Hence there must be a difference between the seal, and that which is ratified by it: they cannot be one and the same thing. Mr. H. says, baptism is a seal of the Abrahamic covenant, and of the righteousness of faith, as circumcision formerly was — therefore, an external thing — hence an emblem—of course not a heavenly flood of regeneration. He says; “To be circumcised in Christ, and to be baptised into Christ, are expressions of similar import.” If so, they must also be of similar signification. Now, St. Paul calls circumcision in the flesh, a sign of circumcision, as well as a seal of the righteousness of faith, Rom. iv, 11. Therefore water baptism is a sign of the baptism of the spirit as well as a seal. Hence an emblem ; of course, not a heavenly flood, &c. Mr. H. himself being judge.”
Answer. It seems, that with my opponent a seal, sign, and emblem are synonymous. Thus when he speaks of a seal, and sign, he means an emblem. And because circumcision is called a seal, and sign, he concludes that baptism must be an emblem ; because like circumcision, it seals the Abrahamic covenant. But it is wrong to infer from this, that baptism is an emblem. An emblem is an allusive picture. Neither a seal, nor a sign, necessarily signifies an emblem. There are different terms for each in the original: — σφραγίς, a seal— σημεῖον, a sign — έμβλημα, an emblem.
A seal, in civil affairs of life is joined to a deed, testament, or another instrument of writing, in which certain stipulations are made; and by which also, the things stipulated may be legally conveyed. Such a seal, also ratifies the same. Such an instrument of writing, when exhibited before a court of justice, will procure to the legal bearer, the possession of all therein stipulated; whereas a person appearing with mere emblems of property, would render Himself ridiculous. Thus if we ever apply the meaning of a seal, as used in the civil affairs of life to circumcision, and then infer the same with respect to baptism, it cannot be an emblem. But that meaning, which the scriptures attach to the word seal, and no other, ought to be applied; because they are best interpreted by themselves. The following will shew the scriptural import of a seal :—
St. Paul says, “Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God ; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the spirit in our hearts.” 2 Cor. 1, 21, 22. This shews, that to seal is God’s own work; for “who (God) hath also sealed us.” In this text also, to “give the earnest of the spirit,” is connected with “who hath also sealed us.” And in Eph. 1, 13, the apostle says, “Ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise.” These passages undeniably indicate, that to seal, is to apply the holy spirit. Now if baptism be a seal, the application thereof, must also be an application of the holy spirit, which differs widely from an emblem. Again the apostle says “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his” 2 Tim. 2,19. When the question is put, what seal has the foundation of God ? — the answer is, that the Lord knows them that are his. Hence, the word seal in this text, includes to be known of God as his, which is far more than an emblem. To be known of God as his, is nothing short of being in a state of salvation. Now, if the scriptural meaning of a seal be applied to baptism, emblems are excluded. My opponent has not produced one scriptural instance, where a seal is an emblem.
The word sign, according to the language of the scripture implies more than an emblem, or an image without a substance. A few instances will prove this :—'”Behold, this child (Jesus) is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel ; and for a sign, which shall be spoken against.” Luke 2. 84. In this text, Jesus is called a sign, σημεῖον, which is the very same word, which St. Paul uses, when he speaks of circumcision. “And then shall appear the sign (σημεῖον) of the son of man in heaven – and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.” Matth. 24, 30.— compared with Luke 21, 27. This text also, calls Jesus a sign. Thus he is a sign, which is spoken against; and a sign, when shall come with power and great glory. But does this prove, That Jesus Christ is an emblem, or an allusive picture? According to Mr. M’s theory, Jesus would be an emblem ; because he is called a sign, which Mr. M. says, is the same as an emblem! See page 35. In the same manner he proves, that baptism is an emblem ; because circumcision is called a sign; equally so, I can also prove, that Christ is an emblem; for he is called a sign. But who would admit, unless he be a blasphemer, that Jesus Christ is an emblem, that is an allusive picture without a substance? This is not only the meaning of the word emblem; but my opponent also applies it in the same sense, when he denies the divine blessing to be contained in the means. Though Christ be called a sign ; yet is he a real substance. Thus it is evident, that a sign is not a mere emblem ; but either includes, or else is the substance itself. Now, if circumcision be a sign, and baptism being in lieu thereof, according to my opponent’s reasoning, it must also be a sign ; hence I conclude, that baptism includes a reality ; because I have already proved, that a sign is also a substance. This is the more evident, because baptism does not consist of mere water ; but also of the name of God, which is not a shadow, but a substance.
That Doct. Luther calls baptism a sign is no evidence, that he considered it as a mere emblem, which will appeal from the 13th article of the Augustan concession, which was subscribed by himself, in which the meaning of a sign, is sufficiently qualified. The article says:
“Of the Sacraments, we teach : that they have been established, not only for outward signs, whereby Christians may be known, but that they shall be signs and testimonies of the divine will towards us, in order thereby to awaken and strengthen the faith in us ; wherefore they require faith, and are then used in a right manner when we receive them in faith, and strengthen it thereby.”
In this article the word “sign,” is not used for an emblem, but for a testimony of the divine will towards us, to awaken and strengthen the faith in us. Whatsoever is a testimony of the divine will towards us, and to awaken and strengthen our faith, is far more than an emblem.
Again, he reasons incorrectly, when he concludes, that because baptism is an external thing ; therefore, it must be an emblem. Is every external thing an emblem? If so, then the holy scriptures must be an emblem ; because they are external. Not only so, but every man in the world, yea Mr. M. himself mast be an emblem; because he is an external person. Who could believe such logick?
It can easily be proven, that circumcision was of more importance than a mere emblem, and that it was a means to effect the circumcision of the heart. Circumcision was called a covenant. “And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou and thy seed after thee, in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you, and thy seed after thee; Every man-child among you shall be circumcised.” Gen. 17,9,10. According to this, circumcision is called a covenant. Why so? Not that the cutting off of the foreskin, was the covenant itself; but it must have had a connection with it; hence it was a token, v.11. which St, Paul calls a sign. Circumcision was connected with the covenant, or a means to effect the circumcision of the heart. If in case circumcision had not been connected with God’s covenant, why then would the Lord have said, ‘’And the uncircumcised man child, whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised.. that soul shall be cut off from his people ; he hath broken my covenant?” v. 14. By not being circumcised God’s covenant was broken; but how could this be, if circumcision was not connected with it? If circumcision had been a mere emblem, and distinct from God’s covenant, it could not have been broken by not being circumcised. The Lord might have charged the uncircumcised with disobedience, for neglecting his command, but not for braking his covenant; provided circumcision had not been connected with it. By not being circumcised, the covenant was broken ; hence, the conclusion is, that by being circumcised the covenant was established and confirmed. Mr. M. agrees with me, paged 37, that this covenant contained the promised of the gospel. But what were those promises? They included Christ, and his blessed spirit. See Gal. 3, 9-29. Through Christ we are justified, and by his blessed spirit we get sanctified. Now, since circumcision was connected with this covenant, which included the promise of the Messiah, and the gifts of the holy spirit, it could not be a mere emblem; but such a sign, as included the stipulations of important realities, which are calculated to effect the circumcision of the heart. I shall add St. Paul’s testimony, Rom. 3, 1-4, compared with ch. 9, 4,5: — “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid.” — and of those circumcised Jews he says :— “To whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever Amen.” From these texts we learn, that circumcision profited so much, that not the Jews the oracles of God were committed, and his promises made; notwithstanding their unbelief. They to whom the divine promises where made, had a right, and they to whom the oracles i.e. the words of God were committed, had the means to have had their hearts circumcised. Thus God by virtue of this covenant, had granted them all those privileges; notwithstanding, many abused them through unbelief. God abides faithful, his offered are earnest and true; although frequently despised by sinners.
Although baptism now, seals the Abrahamic covenant; yet this does not prove, that baptism must therefore, in all respects be similar to circumcision, in its meaning, use, and design. This is elucidated in my treatise, which I shall here insert, Heavenly flood, p. 40 & 41:— Baptism though in lieu of circumcision, yet it must be far more valuable, otherwise it never would have come in the room of circumcision. If baptism could effect no more than circumcision, what then could have been God’s design in abolishing circumcision and substituting baptism? Is not Christ as a high-priest in the room of Jewish high priests under the Law, and his sacrifice in the room of the sacrifices, which they offered? But what man of common sense would conclude, that therefore Christ can be no greater than they, and his sacrifice not more valuable than their sacrifices? Is not the whole new testament dispensation in the room of the old? Is it therefore not more valuable? It certainly is more valuable, otherwise the old would have continued, and not waxes old. “For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” Hey. 8, 7. Again, “In that he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” v.13. Now circumcision was a rite under the old testament, but baptism under the new; hence as far as the new testament excels the old, so far baptism excels circumcision; for every institution must be agreeable to the testament of which it is an institution. Circumcision sealed the promise of the Messiah that was yet to come; but by baptism we put on Christ, that is already come. Circumcision was principally confined to the Jewish nation, and only to the male sex; but the apostle saith, “For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is nether male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3, 27, 28. Thus baptism includes all; hence superior to circumcision. Thus far the argument in my treatise.
Circumcision is to be viewed, 1st, as a sign, and a seal of the Abrahamic covenant, before the era of the Mosaic dispensation, or the covenant made at mount Sinai. And 2d, as incorporated with the Mosaic code, after its adoption. As a seat of the Abrahamic covenant, it was purely evangelical; for this covenant had Abraham’s seed, who is Christ, Gal. 3, 16, in whom all the families of the earth are to be blessed, for its object. In this respect baptism is in lieu of circumcision. St. Paul says, that by baptism we put on Christ, and then concludes : if we be Christ’s, then are we Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. See v. 27-29. If by baptism we put on Christ, and thus become Abraham’s children, it is evident, that we are in the Abrahamic covenant. But circumcision in so far, as it constituted a part of the law, obligated men to fulfil the same. Gal. 5, 3. Rom. 2, 25. In this respect, baptism is by no means in lieu of circumcision ; for who can believe, that men under the gospel dispensation are bound to fulfil the law of Moses? The apostle, objected to circumcision under the gospel dispensation ; because it would bind men unto the law, and then concludes : that whosoever is justified by the law is alien from grace. Gal. 5, 1 -4. Now if baptism laid us under the same obligations, it would follow, that all those that were baptised, would also have fallen from grace; because they would thereby be put under the law. As this cannot be said of baptism, the conclusion is, that in this respect it cannot be similar to circumcision. Mr. M. therefore, is very incorrect in his manner of comparing baptism, in this respect with circumcision. See p. 38, 39.
I shall now proceed to shew the impropriety, and idolatrous consequences, of viewing baptism and the Lord’s Supper, as emblems. My opponent says, page 88, “Now, wherever there is a sign, there must be something signified; and also the sign and the thing signified cannot be identically one and the same thing ; there must be some distinction between them.” When he here says: wherever there is a sign, there must be something signified ; he does not mean, that this something is connected with the sign, or baptism; for he has already declared : the grace is not in the means. Also, when he speaks of a sign, he has an emblem, without a substance in view ; hence he must mean, wherever the sign or baptism is administered, there the thing signified must be in the heart of the person, who receives baptism. That this is his meaning, appears from what he further says, “Therefore, as St. Paul calls the circumcision, which Abraham received in the flesh, a sign of circumcision, it undeniably proves, 1st, that outward circumcision was not the true essential circumcision, but only a sign of it. 2d, the thing signified, is the internal circumcision of the heart, performed by the spirit of God, and is the true essential circumcision” And page g9, he applies this to baptism,Where he calls it “a sign or emblem of that inward and spiritual grace, by which the soul is regenerated, &c.” All this plainly indicates, that he considers baptism, as a mere representation of the inward, spiritual grace in the heart, but by no means as connected with baptism.
If this doctrine be true, then every baptised person must either already, or else, will in future possess this inward, spiritual grace ; because he has the sign ; and wherever there is a sign, there must be something signified. If not, baptism would be a lying emblem to all such, as were destitute of this inward, spiritual grace; for they would have the emblem without the thing signified. Wherever there is a sign, and the thing signified is not also there, it is evident that such an emblem would be a teacher of lies. But is it true, that all the baptised do, or ever shall possess this inward, spiritual grace? By no means ; for many, as my opponent himself acknowledges are, and remain graceless. Notwithstanding baptism, according to his theory, is an emblem of this inward, spiritual grace! How self-contradictory! Is it possible that, God who cannot lie, should have appointed an emblem, which proves to be a teacher of lies to many thousands? To affirm this, would be a most horrid blasphemy. It is in vain to say, baptism is only a true sign of the inward grace, to such as believe, but not to unbelievers ; because we might as well conclude, that the word of God, which is the essence in baptism, is only true when believed ; but otherwise it is a falsehood. This would be repugnant to the scriptures. God’s veracity does not depend upon our faith. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” 2 Tim. 2, 13. “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid.” Rom. 8, 3, 4. Now such as teach, that baptism is an outward emblem of an inward, spiritual grace, must either admit, 1st, that all the baptised possess this grace ; or, 2d, that it is a lying emblem to many thousands ; or, 3d, that the veracity of this emblem solely depends upon our faith, and not upon divine authority. The first, my opponent himself does not admit—to assert the second, that God should have appointed a lying sign, would be a blasphemy—and the third, that the divine veracity should depend upon our faith, would be absurd, and antiscriptural. From these considerations it appears, that baptism cannot be an outward emblem of an inward, spiritual grace.
When we view baptism as the ordinary means of regeneration, no such inconsistencies will result. Although many resist the grace, of which it is a means, so as not to be saved by it; yet it remains true, the same as the gospel is true, though resisted by unbelievers. God is good ; though we be wicked he is merciful, and declares his good will towards us by his word, and sacraments ; though we reject it; and thus we are left without an excuse.
I deem it a duty, which I owe to the Christian publick, more explicitly to assert my objections, against the much prevalent opinion of the sacraments being emblems. Not only my opponent has asserted, that water is a figure, or emblem of the spirit ; but it is also a very current language among many of the several denominations, professing Christianity, to call water in baptism, an emblem of the spirit; and bread, and wine in the Lord’s Supper, emblems of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. An emblem is an allusive picture; hence an image, aluding to some person or thing. A representation is the same. Those who call the sacraments emblems, or representations, abhor the idea, that the spirit should operate through baptism ; and of Christ’s body, and blood being present in the holy Eucharist. Such texts, which declare the connexion of the spirit with the water ; and the presence of Christ’s body and blood, as for instance: ‘Except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, &c.’ John 8, 5—’take, eat ; this is my body—this is my blood of the new testament, &c.’ Matth. 26, 26, 27—they by a tropical invention cause, that the water, and bread, and wine, are metamorphosed into emblems of the spirit, and of the body and blood of Jesus. But to use emblems in divine worship, is not only a superstitious idolatry, but it is also condemned by the scriptures. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, &c.” Exod. 20, 4, 5. Now to construe any sacred text, which speaks of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, by leaving the obvious, grammatical sense ; so as to convert those sacraments into emblems, which contradicts God’s command, which prohibits all emblems, or images in divine worship, is nothing but corrupting the holy scriptures. Baptism is administered in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, accompanied by the invocation of the divine blessings. The Lord’s Supper is also, celebrated in the name of Jesus, with devout prayers, and reverential postures ; so that it is evident: those blessed sacraments are used in, and incorporated with divine worship. Since they are used in divine worship; and yet, viewed as emblems, or representations by those already mentioned, what do they otherwise, than convict themselves as idolaters? In vain such protestant denominations execrate the Papists, for using images in their worship; when they themselves, by a tropical interpretation convert baptism and the Lord’s Supper into emblems, which they also use in their worship! What can be the difference, whether I represent the crucified Jesus by a wooden, or golden emblem, or by the emblems of bread and wine?
An emblem being an allusive picture ; hence, it must shew as the form, and complexion of whatsoever thing, to which it may allude—Or, in other words, there must be a striking similarity between the emblem, and the substance, which it is to represent. For instance : the emblem of a man, shews us his features, by which we may easily recognise his person. If water in baptism be an emblem of the spirit, then it must shew us his form and complexion. In like manner, if bread and wine, be emblems of the body and blood of Jesus, they must also represent unto us the form of his body, and the colour, and quantity of his blood. But is it possible, that water can be a representation of the spirit? The holy spirit is God, and cannot be represented by water, nor any other thing. “To whom will ye liken God ? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” Isa. 40, 18. Ah! says one, water in baptism, is a fit emblem of the Holy Ghost; it beautifully represents his purifying influence!! Do not reason, and common sense, as well as divine revelation, speak aloud against the abominable practice of representing the infinite holy spirit by an emblem, or similitude of water? What greater affront can we, offer to God, and what greater cheat can we put upon ourselves, by such gross absurdities and such pagan imitations.
Again, who can possibly believe, that a piece of bread, and wine in the holy Eucharist, can be emblems of the body and blood of Jesus? Who among us, have ever seen his body and blood ; so as to know what manner of bread and wine to choose, to represent them? The Lord’s Supper is administered in many places ; hence, all the bread every where, cannot be alike ; some is larger ; some smaller ; and diversified with respect to beauty, and colour ; hence, if bread is to represent the body of Jesus, there must be as many different bodies, as there are different kinds of bread ; and every communicant, must figure the body of Christ to his imagination according to the piece of bread, he may have in his hand ; for he is diligently taught, that this bread is to be viewed, as a fit representation of the broken body of Jesus The same may be said with respect to the wine, and the blood of Christ. All this would be absurd. If the body and blood of Christ are not more glorious, than the dead and corruptible elements of bread and wine, are calculated to represent them, he indeed cannot be a Saviour; but he must be the most stupid idol. Bread and the Saviour’s body, have no resemblance ; for who could recognise his body, by seeing this bread? No man could possibly conjecture, that this bread looks like the glorious, and incorruptible body of Jesus. This bread has neither the form, nor the complexion of the Saviour’s body, even as it was in his state of humiliation; much less now, since he lives in a superlative state of glory. Whosoever views the elements in the Eucharist, as emblems of the Saviour’s body and blood, must also, thereby figure to himself the form, and the complexion of this body and blood; for this is the design of an emblem: but as it is utterly out of the question, for the true body and blood of Christ, to be represent by any thing; such an one, must necessarily fancy a body and blood, which are like unto bread and wine; and such a body and blood, are no where in existence: thus bread and wine, if viewed as emblems, are nothing but teachers of lies and are calculated to corrupt our minds so as to cause us to view the immortal Saviour, like unto corruptible bread and wine, the same as the images corrupted the minds of the heathens. Although, such as are already mentioned, only design with bread and wine, to represent Christ’s humanity; yet, not only as is already stated, they cannot be used as emblems, without representing a false Christ; but such is also positively prohibited by the divine command, “thou shalt not make unto thee any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above.” Now Christ, according to the views of nearly all, is in heaven above; hence to make a representation of his body and blood, is a positive defiance to the divine prohibition. Such as are destitute of faith, set their imagination at work; they fancy to themselves the holy spirit, like unto water; and all the while, are very sincere, and undisturbed in this their idolatrous worship. The heathens committed a similar mistake, which proved fatal. The works of creation, were calculated to convince them of the existence of God; for the heavens declare his glory, and the firmament shows forth his handy work; suns, and works unnumbered, like so many letters spell the adorable name JEHOVAH. In all, they could have discovered his operations; hence his presence: “because that which may be known of God is manifest in them: for God hath showed it unto them: for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;” Rom. 1, 19,20. But instead of viewing him in his works, and giving him glory, according to his dignity, they prostituted his creatures for the purpose of figuring a shape, or similitude of him to themselves. Thus some viewed one, and others another thing, as an emblem of God; or, as the apostle expressed himself: “they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image make like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.” v. 23, Under the Christian dispensation, God instituted baptism, in which he offers life, and salvation, and in which the holy spirit is shed on us abundantly; but instead of believing the divine promises, many set their imagination at work; they create an emblem, and thus change the incorruptible glory of the holy spirit into a corruptible image, like unto water. The blessed Jesus appointed his supper, but instead of viewing his blessed body and blood preset; they consider them far absent, and change their incorruptible glory, into images of corruptible elements.
In this small work, the reader cannot expect to find an alb orate dissertation on the Lord’s Supper; neither is it the point in question, except in so far, as it respects the doctrines of emblems and of consubstantiation. But whereas, I consider the doctrines of transubstantiation, consubstantiation, and of emblems as erroneous; some of my readers, who perhaps may not be so well acquainted with the doctrine, which Lutherans maintain with respect to this subject, I deem it necessary, to make a few remarks on the words of the institution. They are as follows: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matth. 26, 26-28. See Mark 14, 22. St. Luke ch. 22, 19,20, gives the same description, with the addition of describing what body it is: viz. “which is given for you;” and also “Do this in remembrance of me.” Some of those, who deny the presence of Christ’s body and blood, give these words a tropical interpretation. A trope, according to the rules or rhetoric is, when a word loses its natural meaning and another is substituted; as for instance: “the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candle-sticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” Rev. 1, 20. In this text, stars and candle-sticks have lost their natural meaning, and signify angels, and churches. This is applied to the words, “this is my body” — “this is my blood:” that is, bread and wine have lost their natural meaning, and are figuratively called body and blood; hence, the obvious meaning would be, this bread as an emblem, represents my body, and this wine my blood. I have also discovered in the works of a learned commentator, some such idea as this: when we see the picture of a certain man, with whom we are acquainted, it is quite natural, when we point at it, to say; this is the man, by repeating his name; although it is only his likeness. This he applies to the words here in questions: thus because the bread is an emblem of the Saviour’s body, it was very natural for him to say: this is my body, when it only signified it. I admit it to be correct, that when we see the image of a man, to say, it is the man; but this cannot apply to the bread in the Eucharist; because by the image we know a man is represented ; because it resembles him; but by a piece of bread, the Saviour’s body cannot be recognised, for bread does not resemble it. Again, it is by no means true, that Christ called the bread his body, the same as the seven stars, are called the angels of the seven churches, and the candle-sticks the churches. It is admitted, that if the phrase “this is,” referred to bread, that there would be some reason to say, this bread signifies my body. But bread in the original is, τὸν ἄρτον in the accusative case, and masculine gender. Now if the words “this is my body” have an allusion to bread, then the pronoun “this” ought to agree in gender with the word bread. Bread in the original, as is already observed, is in the masculine gender; whereas the pronoun ‘this’ is τοῦτό ; hence, in the neuter gender. If the text would read: οντος εςι, then bread, or τὸν αζτον, might be its antecedent ; because οντος is masculine, and would thus agree in gender : but as all three of the Evangelists have the neuter τοῦτό, it is evident, that bread, because it is masculine cannot be its antecedent. By what rules of language can it be made appear, that a neuter relative pronoun, can have a masculine antecedent? Since the idiom of the Greek text, does not admit the bread, it being masculine, to be the antecedent of the pronoun “this,” it being neuter, it is evident, that this tropical, and popular explanation : “this bread signifies my body,” is a gross violation of the rules of grammar ; hence vulgar, sophistical, and an imposition upon the understanding of the common English reader. Since it is plain, that the bread cannot, by all the literary Alchymists be made a signification of Christ’s body, unless by forcing, contrary to all sound rules, a masculine and a neuter to agree; the question will arise, what is the antecedent to the relative pronoun “this ?” (τοῦτό) Its antecedent must also be a neuter. It must be ηζαγμα, the thing understood ; hence something more, and different from the bread. I shall by no means interpose my private opinion ; but exhibit St. Paul’s interpretation, which will elucidate the Saviour’s words. He says, 1 Cor. 10, 16, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” In these words, the cup is called the communion of the blood, and the bread the communion of the body of Christ. A communion requires at least, the connexion of two things ; hence, as the cup is the communion of the blood, it is evident, that the cup and the blood, must in some manner be connected. The same applies to the bread and the body. Now as the bread is the communion of the body, it proves that Christ gave his disciples more than simple bread ; he indeed gave them bread ; but such a bread, as was the communion of his body: for this reason he could say, “this is” (in the neuter gender) my body. If the doctrine of emblems was true, the apostle ought to have said, the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not an emblem of the communion of the blood of Christ ? the bread which we break, is it not an emblem of the communion of the body of Christ? Thus not only the word emblem, would have to be arbitrarily added to the sacred text, which is corrupting it ; but bread and wine, could not agreeable to the above named tropical explanation, be emblems of the body and blood of Christ ; but only emblems of their communion, for which there is no foundation in the scriptures. Agreeable to this view, neither transubstantiation, nor emblems can find any countenance. And as it respects the connexion, between the body and the bread ; and the cup and the blood, it is only temporary, as the apostle says, the cup of blessing which we bless: viz. whilst we are blessing it in the distribution, is it not the communion of the blood ? for he does not say, that it is such, when it is not blessed :—and the bread which we break, viz ; when we break it for distribution, is it not the communion of the body ? for he does not say, that it is such, when we do not break it. Hence no incorporation, or consubstantiation can take place. Or, as I have already said, in the second section. See page, 7 & 8.
What I have here said, on the subject of the Lord’s Sapper is not deemed sufficient, to answer every objection, that may be brought by those, who deny the real presence ; but I considered it necessary to say so much, for the reason already assigned. But if any one shall consider it necessary, to write against me, on this subject, I shall then give a full reply : provided, I get to see the work.