The Meaning of Blessing in 1 Corinthians 11; the Act of Breaking Bread; the Doctrine of Concomitancy; Consubstantiation; Pretension to Priesthood; Romanism; Sufferings of Christ; the Lord's Supper; Transubstantiation

1 Corinthians 11; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 11:24; 1 Corinthians 14:16
I regard all pretense in any to priesthood, save that which can be attributed, and which in scripture is attributed to all saints, as the principle of the apostasy in its present form of development, and the denial of Christianity. Judaism had priests, because the people could not themselves go directly to God where He revealed Himself; Christianity has none between God's people and Himself in their worship, because Christians are brought to God and have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. To set a priest to go for them as one nearer to God, is to deny the effect of Christianity. Besides, priesthood has essentially to do with intercession, or sacrifice and offerings: and in the Lord's supper there is no sacrifice, nor is it intercession. The whole idea of priesthood on earth is to be rejected, therefore, as utterly contradictory both to Christianity and the act of breaking the bread.
But, on the other hand, it is a mistake to think we partake by breaking the bread, or that we break it. The whole force of the thing consists (as to this point) in our partaking of already broken bread. It is His body broken for us that we take and eat. We are not the breakers of His body, properly speaking. So that, I apprehend, the true partaking of the Lord's supper is after the bread is broken. The breaking of the bread now is, of course, a necessary accident to such participation, but is no part of the communion at all. And every one acquainted with scripture on the point, knows that "blessing" means simply giving thanks, and not consecrating the bread. See 1 Cor. 11:2424And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (1 Corinthians 11:24) and compare Matt. 26:26, 2726And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; (Matthew 26:26‑27); Mark 14:2222And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. (Mark 14:22); and Luke 22:1919And 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 in remembrance of me. (Luke 22:19). So in Luke 9:1616Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. (Luke 9:16), the miracle of the loaves and not the Eucharist, He blessed them and brake; in John 6:11, 2311And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. (John 6:11)
23(Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) (John 6:23)
; Mark 8:6, 76And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. (Mark 8:6‑7) (also Mark 6:4141And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. (Mark 6:41)), the terms are united; in Matt. 14:1919And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. (Matthew 14:19) He blessed, and in chapter 15:36 gave thanks. In 1 Cor. 14:1616Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? (1 Corinthians 14:16) we find incontestable proof of what indeed the previous passages can leave no doubt on to a reasonable mind. "Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?" Blessing is blessing God, a giving of thanks. So the apostle says, in chapter 11, "the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks," and in 1 Cor. 10 "the cup of blessing which we bless." Matthew and Mark, speaking of the bread, say He blessed; and speaking of the cup, say He gave thanks. In Luke it is simply, He gave thanks. Thus, the blessing which precedes the breaking of the bread is a giving of thanks; and in this, of course, all join, as in every thanksgiving, though one may utter it. Every saint is essentially competent, though in a large congregation godly order of mind may leave it to such as may have justly earned the respect of the body; yet, as the feeling of priesthood is readily slipped into, I should think it desirable that it were not always one.
The breaking of the bread is in itself no religious act; it represents the putting of Christ to death, and, as an outward act, was consummated by wicked men. But the Lord did break it in the last supper, showing it was a dead Christ they had to feed on; and hence he who gives thanks breaks the bread. The communion comes after and is on a broken body. The breaking is the killing of Christ, and though absolutely necessary as a figure, because His death was absolutely necessary and is the very point shown forth, yet the act of doing it is no religious part of the thing which one has a privilege in doing. And as to pouring out the wine, it is done no doubt often, but is no part of the Lord's supper at all. The wine is, in the institution, supposed to be already in the cup, still pointing to the great fact, that the communion refers to an already dead Savior. The blood is out of the body—" my blood which is shed for you." The act of pouring out would not represent death, because the body is not thus represented, and hence it is not referred to at all. The already shed blood is given thanks for or blessed, already poured out: "the cup which we bless," etc. There is the breaking of the bread as significative of the breaking of His body; but this is preparatory to communion.
It is this consideration which shows the terrible import of the Roman Catholic doctrine as to the Eucharist, and how Satan has taken them in their own wisdom and, so to speak, mocked them. The laity are deprived of the cup and are consoled by what is called the doctrine of concomitancy; namely, that the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus are in the bread (indeed in both species). But if the blood be in the body, and not shed and separate, there is no redemption. It is shed blood, not blood in the body, which is the power of redemption; without shedding of blood there is none. This confirms the view, taken above, that it is a body already broken, and blood already shed, of which we partake. Thus, though the bread must be broken as it was by Christ, by him who gives thanks, this is but preparatory and forms, strictly, no part of the communion; and, as representing the putting Christ to death, it is no part of the holy service itself, though needed to chew that it is of a dead Christ we partake: it is of no living, existing Christ, but of a dead Christ, and there is none such. Remark further, how this sets aside transubstantiation and consubstantiation; for no such Christ exists as that celebrated in the Eucharist. As in the Passover a slain lamb, so a dead Christ is represented there, and shed blood; but there is no dead Christ now, He is alive again for evermore. As risen with Him, we remember the sorrows and sufferings which gave us a place there. That atoning death is accomplished and passed, and sin is put away for us, and we are alive with Him for evermore.
I would just add, that the expression in 1 Cor. 10:1616The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16) has no reference to one or to many, but to what Christians do in contrast with Jews and Gentiles. The apostle is treating the question of idolatry. Jews were partakers of the altar, Gentiles drank the cup of devils. What we (Christians) partake of is communion with the sacrifice of Christ. We are identified with the sacrifice, we cannot be with the cup of devils too.
[1859.]