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THE HOLY SUPPER.
[The Minister commences by giving some introductory instructions. The following
may be used, in whole or in part.)
NATURE AND USES OF THE HOLY SUPPER.
BAPTISM is an introduction into the church, and the Holy Supper is an introduction into heaven. These two sacraments are, as it were, two gates to eternal life. Every Christian man by baptism, which is the first gate, is admitted and introduced into the things which the church teaches from the Word concerning another life; which all are means, by which man may be prepared for and led to heaven. The other gate is the Holy Supper, through which every man, who has suffered himself to be prepared and led by the Lord, is admitted and introduced into heaven.
The holiness of this sacrament is made manifest, since the spiritual sense of the Word, and the correspondence of natural things with spiritual, have by the divine mercy of the Lord been revealed.
By these four things, flesh, blood, bread and wine, are meant the spiritual and celestial things which correspond to them, as may be evident from the passages in the Word where they are named. By flesh and blood are meant good and truth, both spiritual. This is still more evident from the signification of bread and wine; since the Lord says, that his flesh is bread, and that his blood is wine.
That by the blood of the Lord is meant the Divine Truth of Himself and the Word, is because by his flesh spiritually is meant the divine good of love; and these two are united in the Lord. It is known that the Lord is the Word ; and there are two things to which all things of the Word have reference,
divine good and divine truth; wherefore if the Word is taken for the Lord, it is manifest, that these two things are meant by his flesh and blood. That the divine truth of the Lord, or of the Word, is meant by blood, is evident from many passages; as that blood was called the blood of the covenant and a covenant is conjunction, and this is effected by the Lord by means of his divine truth. By the Blood of the New Covenant, or Testament, nothing else is signified but the Word, which is called a Covenant and Testament, Old and New, thus the divine truth therein. Since this is signified by blood, therefore the Lord gave them wine, saying, This is my blood ; and wine signifies divine truth; wherefore it also is called the blood of grapes. Hence, now, it may be evident what is meant by the flesh and blood of the Lord, and by bread and wine, in the threefold sense, natural, spiritual and celestial.
Every man in Christendom, imbued with religion, may know, or if he does not know, may learn, that natural nourishment is for the body, but spiritual nourishment for the soul : for JEHOVAH, the Lord, says in Moses, Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every thing that proceedeth out of the mouth of Jehovah doth man live. Now, because the body dies, and the soul lives after death, it follows, that spiritual nourishment is for eternal salvation. But if any one cannot think any thing else from the understanding than what he sees with the
let him think with himself concerning the holy supper, when he takes the bread and wine and hears them then called the flesh and blood of the Lord, that it is the most holy thing of worship; and let him remember the passion of Christ, and his love for the salvation of man; for he says, Do this in remembrance of Me.
The holy supper is, to those who come to it worthily, a signing and seal that they are the sons of God; because the Lord is then present, and introduces into heaven those who are born of him, that is, the regenerate. That the holy supper does this, is because the Lord is then present also, as to his Human: for He says of the bread, This is my body, and of the wine, This is my blood; consequently, he admits them into his body; and the church and heaven constitute his body. When man is being regenerated, the Lord is indeed present, and by his divine operation prepares man for heaven; but that he may actually enter, man must actually present himself to the Lord : and because the Lord actually presents himself to man, man must actually receive Him; not, indeed, as He
hung on the cross, but as He is, in his glorified Human, in which He is present: and the body of this is divine good, and its blood is divine truth. These are given to man, and by them he is regenerated, and is in the Lord, and the Lord in him; for, as was shown, the eating which is performed in the holy supper is a spiritual eating. From these things, rightly perceived, it is evident, that the holy supper is a signing and seal, that those who come to it worthily are the sons of God.
Wherefore, all those who worthily go to the holy Communion, become his redeemed; and because by redemption are meant deliverance from hell, and conjunction with Him, and salvation, therefore those fruits are ascribed to man; not, indeed, so far as the Lord wills, because from his divine love He wills to ascribe them all; but as far as man receives: and he who receives is redeemed in the degree in which he receives. Whence it is evident, that the effects and fruits of the Lord's redemption return to those who worthily approach.
(Then shall be read some of the following portions from the Word.)
And in this mountain shall JEHOVAH of hosts make
unto all people
AND, thou son of man! thus saith the Lord JEHOVIH ; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field,
Assemble yourselves, and come! Gather yourselves on every side To my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, A great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, That ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, And drink the blood of the princes of the earth, Of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, All of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, And drink blood till ye be drunken, Of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and
chariots, With mighty men, and with all men of war, Saith the Lord JEHOVIH. And I will set my glory among the heathen, And all the heathen shall see my judgment that I
have executed, And my hand that I have laid
them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am JEHOVAH
their God, From that day and forward.
ALLELUIA ! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth ! Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white : for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God!
Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the passover.
And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him: for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas, surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.
And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.
And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold! when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the good man of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer : for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves : for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do ye in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.