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est sense of the word* as any of those sacrifices whether Jewish or Gentile which similarly introduced a feast upon the flesh of the victims.
(6\) It is to be observed, that the present vie# of the subject gives no countenance to the Popish doctrine of Tramubstantiation; as if it might be argued, that, since the real flesh of the paschal lamb was eaten, the real flesh of Christ must be: eaten in the antitypicat post-sacrificial feast of Christianity.
Our blessed Lord, with that ineffable wisdom which marked all his actions, instituted the sacrament of the last Supper previous to the sacrifice upon which it depended; not subsequent to it, a* he might have done, and as he actually was pleased finally to determine the precise ritual of baptism. At its first celebration therefore, the Lord's Supper was prospective and anticipatory. It was ordained as a perpetual memorial before the great sacrifice was offered up, though in. all future ages it was to be viewed as a feast upon that sacrifice. In the first instance therefore, the consecrated elements plainly could not be the literal body and blood of the victim, because as yet the victim had not been devoted : just as a Jew or a Pagan could not possibly feast upon the literal flesh of an animal victim, previous to its being slaughtered and offered up in sacrifice. And, if this were inevitably the case in the first instance, it must also be the case in every subsequent instance: otherwise, we introduce into the sacrament a most strangely anomalous incongruity (the incongruity of the consecrated elements, being sometimes only symbols of Christ's body and blood, and at other times being the literal body and blood themselves); which incongruity, if the Popish theory be true, might with most perfect ease have been avoided, had our Lord thought fit to institute the sacrament after his passion> instead of before it.'
* See this topic pursued at large in the two Discourses of Cudworth arid Warburton concerning the true notion of the Lord's Supper;
In favour of the literal exposition of the clauses This is my body and This is my blood, l?ossuet asserts, that no place in Scripture can be discovered, where, at the moment when any given rite was instituted, the sign has the name of the thing signified bestowed upon it without any leading preparation* Hist. des Variat. torn. i. p. 74i
By this assertiou the learned prelate Would intimate, that Christ called the bread and wine his body and blood without any leading preparation, that no other parallel case can bc^ discovered in Scripture, and therefore that we can bring no analogical argument to demonstrate the figurativeness of our Saviour's language in the institution of the last Supper.
He is mistaken in the very basis of his reasoning: and, when that error is rectified, it is easy to produce an exactly similar case. Christ does Not say of the elements, This is my body and This is my blood, abruptly and altogether without any leading preparation: on the contrary, he had just been declaring his speedy betrayal and death; and this declaration naturally led to the institution of an ordinance expressly founded upon his passion. See Matt. xxvi. 21—25. Mark xiv. 18—21. Luke xxii. 15—22. Now, with a perfectly analogous preparation, we find perfectly analogous language employed respecting the typical paschal lamb. In the one case, Christ announces his approaching betrayal and death j and then says of the elements, This is my body and This is my blood: in the other case, the slaughter of the lamb and the feasting upon its flesh is enjoined; and then Moses says of the lamb itself, It is the Lord's Passover. Exod. xii. 11. Where is the difference between the two cases? Why is Christ to be understood literally, and Moses figuratively?
IV. The genius of the oriental languages, as I have already observed, delights to represent abstract ideas by sensible images. Hence the ancient prophets continually describe moral turpitude by natural evil, and picture disorders of the soul by disorders of the body.
On this principle, the various kinds of legal impurity, whether arising from particular diseases or from other accidental causes, are to be considered as a sort of practical allegory.' Metaphorical actions occupy the place of metaphorical words: and that poetical language, which describes the baleful malady of sin by the faintness of the heart and the sickness of the head, becomes as it were embodied in the Mosaical ordinances respecting legal impurity.1 The same images, however, are still retained; but they are conveyed to the understanding through a different medium. The organs of sight are employed, instead of the organs of hearing: and actions, not words, are used as the vehicles of ideas.
1. This sapposition is confirmed by what we find to be the ordinary practice of the inspired writers.
1 Maimonides attributes the same spiritual signification to the various washings of the Law. Mor. Ncvoch. par. iii. c. 33.
1 Sec Isaiah i. !?, 6.
Isaiah, for instance, is commanded to loose the sackcloth from off his loins, and to put his shoe from off his foot, and to walk naked and barefoot. This action was intended as a sign upon Egypt and Ethiopia, declarative of the miserable manner in which the inhabitants of those countries should be led away captive by the king of Assyria.1 The same end might have been answered by a prophetic vision of a man walking naked and barefoot; which, when publicly declared to the people, would evidently have been an allegory: but it pleased the Almighty to predict this calamity, rather by metaphorical actions, than by metaphorical words. In a similar manner, Jeremiah is ordered to take a linen girdle and to hide it in a hole of the rock: then, after a considerable period of time, he is directed to dig it up again; and the girdle is found to be corroded and decayed. This image is pronounced to be typical of the mode, in which God would mar the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. As a sound girdle remains firmly attached to the loins of the wearer; so the house of Israel might have been to God for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: quitting their hold however, they became corrupted; and were thence no more fit to be God's peculiar people, than a decayed girdle is to constitute a part of the dress/ The whole of this is perfectly clear and intelligible: yet it is evident, that the same idea might have been conveyed just as distinctly, by the written or spoken allegory of a man burying and then digging up a girdle, as by the dramatic allegory of these actions being literally performed by Jeremiah himself. But, above all the other books of Scripture, that of the prophecies of Ezekiel abounds with allegories of this nature. No less than eight occur, in which future events are predicted by certain actions of the prophet himself; and, in addition to them, many more are to be found, in which he is introduced only as a spectator, instead of a principal actor.1
'Isaiah xx. * Jererft. xiii.
These instances may suffice to prove, that practical and written allegories are indifferently used by the Spirit of God, throughout the holy Scriptures.
2. Corporeal disorders, then, being typical of Spiritual maladies, as appears from the constant usage of the sacred Oriental writers; the signification of the practical metaphor of legal separation and uncleanness, on account of particular disorders or various other causes, will at once be sufficiently evident.
As the Jews were commanded to separate themselves from persons labouring under the uncleanness of the Law, till their impurity was expiated; so are Christians enjoined to abstain from the society of the wicked, who still remain under the
pollution of sin: but, as soon as the pollution is
* Ezekiel iv, v, vii, xii, and xxiv«