The mystery of the secret union of Christ with believers is incomprehensible by nature, and it is therefore exhibited to our dull minds in visible, familiar signs, showing that souls are fed by Christ just as the corporeal life is sustained by bread and wine. The end then of this sacrament is to assure us, that the body of Christ was once sacrificed for us, so that we may now eat it and eating feel within ourselves the efficacy of that one sacrifice, and that his blood was once shed for us so as to be our perpetual drink. Pious souls have great delight in this sacrament as a testimony that they form one body with Christ, so that every thing which is his they may call their own. For these are words which can never lie nor deceive: “Take, eat my body broken for you; drink my blood shed for you.” In bidding us take, he intimates that it is ours; in bidding us eat, he intimates that it becomes one substance with us; in affirming that his body was broken and his blood shed for us, he shows that both were not so much his as ours, because he took and laid down both not for his own advantage but for our salvation. So the chief and almost the whole energy of the sacrament consists in these words, “It is broken for you, it is shed for you,” because it would not be of much importance that the body and blood of the Lord are now distributed, had they not once been set forth for our redemption and salvation…
This can be illustrated thus: As a reservoir of water furnishes a supply to drink, to draw from, and to irrigate the fields, and yet does not itself possess this abundance for so many uses, but gets it from the source which with perennial flow sends forth continually fresh supplies, so the flesh of Christ is a full and inexhaustible reservoir transfusing into us the life which constantly flows into it from the spring-head of Divinity itself. Who does not see now that a communion with the flesh and blood of Christ is necessary to all who aspire to the heavenly life?
~John Adger, “Calvin Defended Against Drs. Cunningham and Hodge”, The Southern Presbyterian Review, 27 (1876), pp. 133-166.
Yes, that’s right- Southern Presbyterian.