“The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And 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. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11:23-25.
It is not therefore a bare historical, speculative, but a gracious, affectionate, impressive remembrance of Christ, that is here intended: and such a remembrance of Christ supposes and includes,
- The saving knowledge of him. We cannot be said to remember what we never knew; nor to remember, savingly, what we never knew savingly. There have been many previous, sweet end gracious transactions, dealings, and intimacies betwixt Christ and his people, from the time of their first happy acquaintance with him: much of that sweetness they have had in former considerations of him, and hours of communion with him, is lost and gone; for nothing is more inconstant, than our spiritual comforts: but now at the Lord’s table, there our old acquaintance is renewed, and the remembrance of his goodness and love refreshed and revived: “We will remember thy love more than wine; the upright love thee,” of Sol.1:4.
- Such a remembrance of Christ includes faith in it. Without discerning Christ at a sacrament, there is no remembrance of him; and, without faith, no discerning Christ there. But when the precious eye of faith has spied Christ, under that vail, it presently calls up the affections, sayings “Come see the Lord.” These are the wounds he received from me. This is he that loved me, and gave himself for me. This is his flesh, and that his blood; so his arms were stretched out upon the cross to embrace me; so his blessed head hung down to kiss me. Awake my love, rouse up my hope, flame out my desires; Come forth, all ye powers and affections of my soul; come, see the Lord. No sooner does Christ by his Spirit call to the believer but faith hears; and discerning the voice, turns about, like Mary, saying, Rabboni, my Lord, my Master.
- This remembrance of Christ includes suitable impressions made upon the affections, by such a sight and remembrance of him: and therein lies the nature of that precious thing which we call communion with God. Sometimes the soul there calls to mind the infinite wisdom, that so contrived and laid the glorious and mysterious design and project of redemption: the effect of this is wonder and admiration. O the manifold wisdom of God! Eph. 3: 10. O the depths, the heights, the length, the breadth of this wisdom! I can as easily span the heavens as take the just dimensions of it. Sometimes a representation of the severity of God is made to the soul at that ordinance. O how inflexible and severe is the justice of God! What, no abatement! no sparing mercy; no, not to his own Son? This begets a double impression on the heart. John Flavel