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Paschal Lamb any type of Christ,, or in the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, any type of his own deliverance from sin, so clearly or so feelingly as if the facts and customs had related to his own history, or as if he had been trained to the connexion by a long series of prophecies. In short, the passover could have had but little meaning to him.

From these circumstances, therefore, there would be reason to conclude, that these ceremonies were not to be continued, at least to any but Jews; because they were not fitted to the knowledge, the genius, or the condition of the Gentile world.

But, independently of these difficulties, which arise from a general view of these ordinances as annexed to a religion which is confessed to be spiritual, others arise from a particular view of each. On the subject of baptism, there is ground for argument, as to the meaning of the word "baptize." This word, in consequence of its representation of a watery ceremony, is usually connected with water in our minds. But it may also, very consistently, be connected even with fire. Its general meaning is to purify. In this sense many understand it. And those who do, and who apply it to the great command of Jesus to his disciples, think they give a better interpre

tation of it, than those who connect it with. water. For they think it more reasonable that the Apostles should have been enjoined to go into all nations, and to endeavour to purify the hearts of individuals by the spirit and power of their preaching, from the dross of Heathen notions, and to lead them to spirituality of mind by the inculcation of Gospel principles, than to dip them under water, as an essential part of their new religion.

But on a supposition that the word baptize should signify to immerse, and not to purify, another difficulty occurs; for, if it was thought proper or necessary that persons should be initiated into Christianity by water-baptism, in order to distinguish their new state from that of the Jews or Heathens, who then surrounded them, it seems unnecessary for the children of Christian parents, who were born in a Christian community, and whose ancestors for centuries have professed the Christian name.

Nor is it to be considered as any other than a difficulty that the Christian world have known so little about water-baptism, that they have been divided as to the right manner of performing it. The eastern and western churches differed early upon this point, and Christians continue to differ upon it to the present day; some thinking that

one but adults; others, that none but infants should be baptized: some, that the faces only of the baptized should be sprinkled with water; others, that their bodies should be immersed.

On the subject of the sacrament of supper, similar difficulties have occurred.

Jesus Christ unquestionably permitted his disciples to meet together in remembrance of their last supper with him. But it is not clear, that this was any other than a permission to those who were present, and who had known and loved him. The disciples were not ordered to go into all nations, and to enjoin it to their converts to observe the same ceremony. Neither did the Apostles leave any command by which it was enjoined as an ordinance of the Christian church.

Another difficulty which has arisen on the subject of the supper, is, that Christians seem so little to have understood the nature of it, or in what it consisted, that they have had, in different ages, different views, and encouraged different doctrines concerning it. One has placed it in one thing, and another in another. Most of them, again, have attempted in their explanation of it, to blend the enjoyment of the spiritual essence with that of the corporeal substance of the body and blood of Christ, and thus to unite a spiritual with a cere

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monial exercise of religion. Grasping, therefore, at things apparently irreconcilable, they have conceived the strangest notions; and, by giving these to the world, they have only afforded fuel for contention among themselves and others.

In the time of the Apostles, it was the custom of converted persons, grounded on the circumstances that passed at the supper of the passover, to meet in religious communion. They used, on these occasions, to break their bread, and take their refreshment and converse together. The object of these meetings was to imitate the last friendly supper of Jesus with his disciples, to bear a public memorial of his sufferings and his death, and to promote their love for one another. But this custom was nothing more, as far as evidence can be had, than that of a brotherly breaking of bread together. It was no sacramental eating. Neither was the body of Jesus supposed to be enjoyed, nor the spiritual enjoyment of it to consist in the partaking of this outward feast.

In process of time, after the days of the Apostles, when this simple custom had declined, we find another meeting of Christians, in imitation of that at the passover supper, at which both bread and wine were introduced. This different commemoration of the same event had a new name

given to it; for it was distinguished from the other by the name of Eucharist.

Alexander, the seventh bishop of Rome, who introduced holy water both into houses and churches for spiritual purposes, made some alterations in the ingredients of the Eucharist, by mixing water with the wine, and by substituting unleavened for common bread.

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In the time of Irenæus and Justin the Martyr, we find an account of the Eucharist as it was then thought of and celebrated. Great stress was then laid upon the bread and wine as a holy and sacramental repast: prayers were made that the Holy Ghost would descend into each of these substances, It was believed that it did so descend; and that as soon as the bread and wine perceived it, the former operated virtually as the body, and the latter as the blood of Jesus Christ. From this time the bread was considered to have great virtues; and on this latter account, not only children, but sucking infants, were admitted to this sacrament. It was also given to persons on the approach of death. And many afterwards, who had great voyages to make at sea, carried it with them to preserve them both from temporal and spiritual dangers.

In the twelfth century, another notion, a little modified from the former, prevailed on this subject;

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