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judices which appeared to lie in the way. And now I proceed, with God's assistance, to what I intend upon the subject of the Eucharist, otherwise styled the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or the Holy Communion.
Of the most noted or most considerable Names, under which
the Holy Communion hath been anciently spoken of.
BEFORE I come directly to treat of the thing, it may be proper to observe something of the names it has anciently gone under : which I shall endeavour to range in chronological order, according to the time when each name may be supposed to have come up, or first to have grown into vogue.
A. D. 33. Breaking of Bread. The oldest name given to this holy ceremony, or religious service, seems to have been that of breaking bread, taken from what the disciples saw done by our Lord in the solemnity of the institution. I choose to set the date according to the time of the first clear instance a we have of it rather than according to the time when St. Luke related it in his history ; because very probably he followed the style of those who then celebrated it. St. Luke, in his history of the Acts, speaking of the disciples, says:
They continued stedfastly in the Apostles' doctrine and « fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers b.” The circumstances of the text plead strongly for interpreting it of the Holy Communion: and the Syriac version (which is of great antiquity) renders it “ breaking of the
a I said, first clear instance; because though Luke xxiv. 30, 35, has been understood of the Eucharist by some ancients, and more moderns, (Romanists especially,) and I see no absurdity in the interpretation, nor any thing highly improbable, or that could give just advantage to the Romish cause with respect to communion in one kind; yet since it is a disputed construction, and such as cannot be ascertained, I call that instance not clear, but pass it off as none, because it is doubtful.
D Acts ii. 42.
“Eucharistc;" which is some confirmation of the same construction. A little lower, in the same chapter, mention is again made of the disciples, as "continuing daily in the
temple, and breaking bread from house to housed;" or rather “ in a house," set apart for holy uses e.
St. Luke a third time takes notice of the breaking of “ bread :" where also the Syriac version renders as before, “ breaking of the Eucharist.” The circumstances confirm it: it was on the “ first day of the week,” and St. Paul is observed to have “ preached unto them.” St. Paul also himself seems to allude to this name, when speaking of this Sacrament he says, “ The bread which “ we break, is it not the Communion &c. f?” They who would see more concerning this name may consult, besides commentators, the authors referred to at the bottom of the page 6. I may just observe, by the way, that scruples have been raised against the construction here given; and some have thought that the texts might possibly be interpreted either of a love-feast, or else of a common meal. I think, very hardly, and not without some violence. However, even Whitby and Wolfius, who appear to hesitate upon Acts ii. 42, 46. yet are positive enough with respect to Acts xx. 7. as relating to the Eucharist : and since there is no ground for scruple, excepting only that the Romanists make an ill use of this construction, and that may easily be obviated a better way", I look upon the construction here given as sufficiently supported. And it is some confirmation of it, that Ignatius, of the apostolical times, makes use of the same phrase of breaking bread, where he is plainly speaking of this holy Sacramenti.
* The same phrase occurs in the Recognitions, lib. vi. n. 15. Eucharistiam frangens cum eis.
Acts ii. 46. Our translation in the phrase from house to house (rat' oixov) follows Beza, who renders domatim, and has been found fault with by Scaliger, Mede, Beveridge, and Cave, referred to in Wolfius Cur. Crit. p. 1048. Compare Johnson's Unbloody Sacrifice, vol. ii. p. 98. e Erant autem privata illa úrsgõa loca a Judæis semper sacris usibus desti
saltem ex quo Daniel propheta ascendisse in cænaculum ad orandum diceretur. Pearson, Lect. in Act. Apost. p. 31.
fi Cor. x. 16.
& Casaubon. ad Annal. Eccles. Exerc. xvi. p. 378. alias p. 528. Buxtorf. de Cæna Domini, p. 312, 313. Suicer. Thesaur. in voc. rhéois, p. 105. Johan. Vorstii Philolog. Sacr. part. ii. p. 200. Towerson on the Sacraments, p. 166.
A. D. 57. Communion. Koiwvia. The name of Communion has been long famous, and was undoubtedly taken from St. Paul's account of this Sacrament, where he teaches that the effect of this service is the Communion of the body and blood of Christ k. He does not indeed directly call the Sacrament by that name, as others have done since ; he was signifying what the thing is, or what it does, rather than how it was then called. But as his account gave the first occasion for the name of Communion, I thought it not amiss to date it from thence. I find not that this name became frequent in the earlier centuries : the Canons called apostolical are of doubtful age. The Roman clergy, in a letter to the clergy of Carthage, make use of the name Communion in the time of St. Cyprian m, that is, about the middle of the third century. But in the age next following, it became very common, both in the Greek and Latin Fathers. The Spanish Fathers, in the Council of Elvira, (A. D. 305.) make use of it more than forty times: the Councils of Arles and of Ancyra (in 314 and 315) made use of the
The Council of Nice, in the year 325, speaks of the same Sacrament under the name of Communion”, in
h Vid. Casaubon. ad Annal. Eccl. Exercit. xvi. n. 48. p. 379.
| Non appellat Paulus Cænam Domini Communionem tanquam proprio ejus nomine ; sed vim et efficaciam Sacramenti hujus exprimens, ait eam esse communionem, sive participationem corporis Christi. Casaubon. Exercit. xvi. n. 47. p. 361.
m Si qui in hanc tentationem inciderunt, cæperint apprehendi infirmitate, et agant penitentiam sui, et desiderent communionem, utique subveniri eis debet &c. Apud Cyprian. Epist. ii. p. 8. Bened, ed.
Kowvías rádov tuxár. Concil. Nicæn. can. xiii. p. 330. Harduin.
their thirteenth Canon. Hilary, about the middle of the same century, styles it sometimes the Cominunion of the Holy Body, sometimes the Sacrament of the Holy Communion, sometimes the Communion of the everlasting Sacraments , A little later in the same century, Basil sometimes has the single word Communion P to denote the Eucharist : at other times he calls it the Communion of the good Thing, or of the Sovereign Good 9. I need not descend to lower Fathers, amongst whom the name became very frequent : Suicer r has collected their testimonies, observing withal the several accounts which they gave of the
пате, all reducible to three. 1. The Sacrament is so called, because of the communion we therein hold with Christ and with each other. 2. Because we are therein made partners of Christ's kingdom. 3. Because it is a religious banquet, which we partake of in common with our fellow Christians.
A. D. 57. Lord's Supper. I am willing to set down the name of Lord's Supper as a Scripture name, occurring in St. Paul's Epistless; which appears to be the most prevailing opinion of learned Protestants. Not that I take it to be a clear point at all, or so much as capable of being proved: but I incline rather to those, both ancients and moderns, who interpret that place of the love-feast, kept in imitation of our Lord's Last Supper, which was previous to the original Eucharist. Thus much however is certain, that in the apostolical times the love-feast and the Eucharist, though distinct,
• Hilarius Pictavens. p. 169, 223, 740. edit. Bened.
Ρ Κοινωνίαν οίκοι κατέχοντες, αφ' εαυτών μεταλαμβάνεσιν. εν 'Αλεξανδρία δε και εν Αιγύπτω έκασος και των εν λαώ τελέντων, ως επί το πλείστον, έχει κοινωνίαν εν τω οίκων aúrê, xai öre Béastes peetadepláva di lauri. Basil. Epist. xciii. p. 187. edit. Bened. alias Epist. 289.
9 Kowwia zõ égaIš. Epist. Canon. prima ad Amphiloch. p. 272. Epist. secunda, p. 293.
Suicer. Thesaur. in Korwia. Conf. Casaubon. Exercit. xvi. n. 47. p. 361, &c. alias 504, &c.
1 Cor. xi. 20.