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the world.

The life of the world was forfeited and he gave his flesh, his human nature, to death, that as many as believe in him might be restored from death to life. All were dead, and he died for all.

This, however, was a mystery which at present they could not comprehend. He "told them before," that when it should be accomplished, they "might remember that he told them of it." He left the writing, that when the light was thrown upon it, it might be seen, and read, and explained. All as yet was dark and mysterious.

52. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

53. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

54. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

55. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

56. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

57. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: : so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

58. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.


The discourse had begun upon the subject of the This the Israelites during their sojourn in the wilderness collected daily, and lived upon it as their food. What the manna was to them,

such must the body and blood of Christ be to those who believe in him. It must be inwardly received as their daily food, their constant support. For his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed. The doctrine of his body broken, and his blood shed for man, admitted into the mind and digested there, is mixed up with all the thoughts, and animates all the motions of the heart. It becomes part of that by which man's spirit is preserved. It furnishes the same support to the weak and labouring soul, which ordinary food supplies to the frail and exhausted body.

For example, (I Kings xix.) we read of Elijah, that worn out by his journey, when flying from the revenge of Jezebel, he lay down in the wilderness, and "requested for himself, that he might die." But the angel of the Lord came once and again, and touched him, and said, "Arise, and eat, because the journey is too great for thee." And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that bread forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

And this is but a specimen of the way in which the Christian's strength is recruited when he feeds upon the body and blood of Christ. A sense of sin lies heavy upon his soul: he feels himself condemned and guilty before God, and labours under a burthen which is "grievous and intolerable." But he finds refreshment in the body of Christ, bruised for his offences: he has a cordial in the blood of Christ, which was shed upon the cross for those very transgressions which weigh

him down. He drinks in the thought, that this blood was poured out for sin as a sacrifice which God had engaged to accept; and in this knowledge he is comforted.

Again, if the Christian, like Elijah, feels the journey of life "too great" for him, harassed by the corruptions of the flesh, and the snares of the world, and the wiles of the devil: he is strengthened and supported by remembering that the Son of God was clothed in that same flesh and suffered in that same flesh for him, though "without sin :" and that having been "tempted in all points like as we are, he is able to succour them that are tempted." This enables him to rise, and go upon the strength of this consoling truth, and sustain his journey towards the mount of God." He that eateth me, even he shall live by me.


In this way, Christ crucified for him, Christ strengthening and supporting him, is so received into his heart, that Christ dwells in him, and he in Christ, Christ is one with him, as he with Christ, and as Christ with the Father. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as the forefathers of these Jews did eat manna, and were dead he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. spiritual food shall be a source of strength within him, supporting him to everlasting life. It gives him vigour for the appointed time of his earthly journey it feeds him when earthly food can no longer sustain his body, in the hour of sickness and of death :-it will be life to the disembodied spirit when it leaves its earthly tenement: it will

be life to that body which shall be raised incorruptible at the last day.

No wonder then, that Christ has called himself the Bread of life: no wonder, that he should have ordained a remembrance of himself, which commands us to take and eat of his body which was given for us, and to drink of his blood which was shed for the remission of our sins. No wonder that he has said, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. As the body, if in a healthy state, takes delight in its salutary food: so if the soul is really quickened into life by the Holy Spirit, it will delight in the blood of Christ, and feed upon the remembrance of his death. It will seek its habitual support from this, and from nothing else. Whoever looks to any wisdom but that of Christ to guide him, to any righteousness but that of Christ to justify him, to any strength but that of Christ to sustain him in life, in death, or in eternity-of him it may be justly said, in the prophet's language, "He feedeth on ashes; a deceived heart hath turned him aside."1 But he that feedeth on Christ, and makes his incarnation, his crucifixion, his resurrection, his ascension, and his intercession the daily nourishment of his soul, even he shall live by him: and prove it to be faithfully and truly promised, He that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

1 Is. xliv. 20.



JOHN vi. 59–71.

59. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

60. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

61. When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you


62. What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

63. It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

64. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

65. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, That no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

66. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

It must be owned that of the things which Jesus had said, there were some which must have been, at present, hard sayings. It could not yet

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