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Second Supper is that enjoined by Jesus at Caper
naum-It consists of bread from Heaven-or of the flesh and blood of Christ-But these are not of a material nature, like the Passover-bread, or corporeal part of Jesus--but wholly of a spiritual -Those who receive it are spiritually nourished by it-and may be said to sup with Christ—This Supper supported the Patriarchs—and must le taken by ail Christians- Various ways in which this Supper may be enjoyed.
The second Supper recorded in the Scriptures, in which bread and the body and blood of Christ are mentioned, is that which was enjoined by Jesus when he addressed the multitude at Capernaum. Of this supper the following account may be given : “ Labour not * " says he to the multitude, “ for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you.”
A little further on in the same chapter,
* John vi, 27.
when the Jews required a sign from heaven (such as when Moses gave their ancestors manna in the wilderness) in order that they might believe on him, he addressed them thus: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he that cometh down from heaven, and giveth light unto the world.
“ Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life. He that cometh unto me shall never hunger, and he that believeth in me shall never thirst."
It appears that in the course of these and other words that were spoken upon this occasion, the Jews took offence at Jesus Christ, because he said he was the bread that came down from heaven : for they knew he was the son of Joseph; and they knew both his father and mother. Jesus therefore directed to them the following observations:
“I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread, which cometh
down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. If
any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever. And the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whosoever eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day; for my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in hiin. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father ; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
This is that bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever."
As the Jews were still unable to comprehend the meaning of his words, which they discovered by murmuring, and pronouncing them to be hard sayings, Jesus Christ closes his address to them in the following words : “ It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life.”
It appears from hence, according to the Quakers, that Jesus Christ, in mentioning the loayes, took occasion to spiritualize, as he did on all other fit occasions, and to direct the attention of his followers from natural to spiritual food, or from the food that perisheth to that which giveth eternal life.
Jesus Christ calls himself on this occasion the living bread. He says that this bread is his flesh, and that this flesh is meat indeed. The first conclusion which the Quakers deduce on this subject is, that this flesh and blood, or this bread, or this meat, which he recommends to his followers, and which he also declares to be himself, is not of a material nature. It is not, as he himself says,
like the ordinary meat that perisheth, nor like the outward manna, which the Jews ate in the wilderness for their bodily refreshment. It cannot therefore be common bread, nor such bread as the Jews
ate at their Passover, nor any bread or meat ordered to be eaten on any public occasion.
Neither can this flesh or this bread be, as some have imagined, the material flesh or body of Jesus. For, first, this latter body was born of the Virgin Mary; whereas the other is described as having come down from heaven. Secondly, because, when the Jews said, “How can this man give us his flesh?" Jesus replied, “ It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing:” that is, Material flesh and blood, such as mine is, cannot profit any thing in the
of quickening, or cannot so profit as to give life eternal: this is only the work of the Spirit. And he adds, “ The words I have spoken to you, they are Spirit, and they are Life.'
This bread then, or this body, is of a spiritual nature. It is of a spiritual nature', because it not only giveth life, but preserveth from death. Manna, on the other hand, supported the Israelites only for a time, and they died. Common bread and flesh nourish the body for a time, when it dies and perishes; but it is said of those who feed upon this food, that they shall never die.