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named, is—“We have an altar, whereof they have no right to partake, which serve the tabernacle."'* Be the meaning of this what it may, it can have no relation to the Eucharist; as appears from the next two verses—“For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burnt without the camp: wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. These words evidently relate to the sin-offering: whereas the analogy discernible on the subject of the Eucharist, is with the peace-offering; of which the worshippers were supposed to eat, as a people in covenant with God; although doubtless the ground of that state was recognized in the previous offering of the victims-prefigurative of their great antitype. And it is evident, that no part of the sacrifice was burnt without the camp. This is sufficient to ward off the contemplated application of the passage. The real sense of it is here supposed to be simply an illustration of the point, that professing Christians were called on to leave the observances of the Jewish Church, in imitation of their master; who, under an exclusion from the same, suffered without the gate of Jerusalem; in like manner as the bodies of the beasts, by which his blessed person had been typified, were burnt without the camp. This construction is countenanced by the verse which goes before, and by that which follows the two verses quoted: for the former is di. rected against the Jewish distinctions in regard to meats; and the latter improves the whole subject thus—“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”
The next passage in pretension to plausibility, is the comparison drawn by St. Pault between the idolatrous sacrifices of the heathen, and the Christian Eucharist: the design of the comparison being to show, that the partaking of the one is inconsistent with the partaking of the other. In comparisons, it is sufficient that there be an agreement in the point for which the subjects are brought together. That there is the commemoration of a sacrifice in the Eucharist, is confessed on both sides: and this is the point, which makes the alleged inconsistency the same on either hypothesis. The subject may be compared to a question of allegiance, claimed by two hostile kings; under which the homage to either of them, would be inconsistent with the duties exacted by the other; to be tendered to him, through the person of his representative.
* Heb. xiii. 10.
† I Cor. x, 20, 21.
Another place, is where St. Paul describes the object of his labours to be-" That the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sancti. fied by the Holy Ghost.”* This is a noble figure, in which the converted Gentiles are considered as one great oblation to the Divine Majesty. It has nothing which can restrict it to the Eucharist: and even had this been designed, the idea of oblation must be narrowed to that of sacrifice, in order to justify the application which has been made of the passage.
The words—"A royal priesthood” have been construed to mean a priestly regimen; although the expression was evidently designed to comprehend all the members of all the Churches, to whom the apostle addressed the epistle. And even “ The vials full of odours”I presented to the Lamb by the four-and-twenty elders, has been thought to the purpose; although defined to be “The prayers of the saints,” without any especial reference to the Eucharist. Besides, it is well known, that the whole of what may be called the machinery of the Apocalypse, is founded on the temple and its service, and to bc understood figuratively.
It is here trusted, that the above authorities will be perceived to be irrelative: and yet, they are the most specious of any which have been found.
* Rom. xv. 16.
+ 1 Pet. ü. 9.
Rev. v. 8.
As to the term “priest;" it is allowed on all hands, that the word* from which it derives its etymology in the original, is different from the wordt which denotes an offerer of sacrifice under the law. Ambiguity has arisen from the circumstance, that the English language applies the same word—“Priest,” to denote two words in the original; of which one stands for an offerer of Jewish sacrifices, and the other for a Christian minister. Of the latter word there is here affirmed, that it never denotes an offerer of sacrifice: and as to the former word; no one alleges, that it ever stands for a Christian minister in the Scriptures.
The second particular requiring attention, is the sense of the early fathers. There can hardly be any thing more hostile to the opposite theory, than the notorious fact, that the term “Sacrifice” was applied by the primitive Church to its devotions of any description, whether publick or private: which is the spirit of that affecting exhortation of St. Paul -“I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”I For the fact now affirmed, there shall be quoted only three authorities. One of them is of Clement of Alexandria, where he says" The sacrifices of the Christians are their prayers and praises, and reading the Scriptures, and psalms and hymns before and at their meals, and at bed time, and in the night." In like manner Justin says“ That prayers and praises, made worthily by men, are the only perfect sacrifices, and acceptable to God, I myself also say: for Christians have been instruct. ed to offer none other, even in the memorial of their
• Tiger uregos - In Latin, Presbyter. lietus-In Latin Sacerdos. + Rom. xii. 1. § Strom. Syllab. Ed. lib. vii. p. 782.
food, both dry and liquid; in which also the passion of the Son of God is commemorated."*
The third is Minutius Felix; who, in his small but valuable production, answering the objection made against Christians, because of their absenting of themselves from the pagan sacrifices, says“ Shall I offer to the Lord sacrifices and victims which he has given for my use?” Then he goes on to extol the sacrifice of a holy heart and life. These things are consistent with a memorial made in the Eucharist of the sacrifice of the cross; but on the other ground, were the affirming of the faith and the practice of Christians, to be contrary to what was visible to the world.
Eusebius may come in with authors of the third century, as having lived within it, although known as a writer only within the fourth. In his Life of Constantine, he calls the prayers of Christians“ The unbloody sacrifices which were offered to God.”+
Much use has been made of an expression in the epistle of the venerable Clement of Rome. It is where, censuring the Corinthians for deposing their pastors, he speaks of these as “unblameably offer. ing the gifts.” Now although this is justly held to prove ministerial oblation, it does not go to the ex• tent of sacrifice. What the primitive Church meant by Eucharistick oblation, may be seen in the Ru. bricks of the Episcopal Church, where she makes the “ Offertory' to begin with the collecting of the alms and other devotions of the people.” The sentiment is supposed to have come down to us from the earliest times, in which the oblation began with popular contribution; although it was not perfected, until what had been thus gathered were presented at the Lord's table, in a solemn act of adoration. And this was done by the minister, in the name of all.
• Dial. Thirlby, p. 387.
+ Lib. iv. cap. 45.
A like use has been made of the same father, where he speaks of the Jewish sacrifices; recommending the regularity of them as to time and manner, to be imitated by Christians in their services. But what does this prove? certainly no further agreement in the subjects, than their alike requiring to be done by the suitable persons, and according to stated order.
In regard to the term “altar," it is here believed not to have supplanted the original word “ table,” for a considerable time after the apostolick age. If there be known any opposite testimony, it is in the epistles of Ignatius; where he speaks of “ within the altar,” as descriptive of being within the communion of the Church. But he probably spoke figuratively; as the literal construction of his words is inapplicable to the subject, and indeed conveys no clear sense. What is now said, may be the easier admitted from the circumstance, that in the very many places in which he has occasion to speak of presbyters, he never designates them by the Greek word applied to Jewish priests. And yet “altar,” in the Jewish sense, would also have required “priest” in the same; and both, with the connexion of sacrifice."
of the Greek or of the Latin word designating a Jewish priest, there may safely be challenged an instance in the early times now referred to, as applied to a Christian minister. Dr. Lawrence Mosheim mentions the second century, as the time of the introduction of the terms in question. It is here supposed, that he is correct in this sentiment; and that it was not until towards the end of that century. When Tertullian wrote* having used the words “the chief priests,'t taking the Latin word connected with sacrifice, he adds, by way of explanation—" who is the bishop.” It is remarkable, that in the controversy between bishop Pearson and the learned Daillé concerning the authenticity of the epistles of Ignatius, the latter urges an objection from the appearance, in one
• De Baptismo.
† Summus Sacerdos.