In the preceding article the question was stated as to whether Christ meant the words body and blood just as we conceive and believe. In the present we are about to prove beyond dispute the truth of our faith.
When Christ said, “This is my body, and this is my blood,” He meant the very body elevated upon the Cross, and the very blood that flowed from His punctured body, because He called that cup the cup of the New Covenant, by virtue of which cup the remission of sins is given. “Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you and many others unto remission of sins.” The name of the new Covenant, or New Testament, recalls the Old, which was a type and prefigurement of the New. Therefore let us first ascertain the reality and truth of the cup of the Old, that we may safely infer therefrom the reality and truth of that of the New.
How was the Old Covenant between God and the people of Israel made? Here is what Paul tells us about this: “For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses unto all the people according to the law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, this is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you, Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:19-22).
Let us ask, How was the New Testament between God and the New Israel made? In the same manner as the Old was made. After Christ had spoken unto His disciples every commandment according to the law, He took wine with water in a cup, and blessing it, He gave His disciples to drink, who represented all those who were to believe through them in the future, saying, “This is the blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many others for the remission of sins.” Having in mind how the Old Testament was made, and how the New was made, let us ask, Was the blood of the Old truly blood of goats and calves sacrificed, or was it something else? It is admitted to be the blood of sacrificial victims, and not something else. Therefore the blood of the New Testament must necessarily be blood of the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, and not something else. If for a moment we admit, as Protestants allege, that the cup of Moses truly contained blood of the sacrificial animals, whereas the cup of Christ did not contain the blood of a sacrificial Christ, but mere wine, – if I say, we admit this, we are admitting that the Old Testament is truer than the New, or, rather to say, we altogether deny the validity of the New Testament. And how was it possible for the type and shadow to contain in truth the blood of the victims, whereas the prefigured truth had not in truth the very blood of a Christ sacrificed? How was it possible that Moses, holding the cup of the Old Testament, and saying, “This is the blood of the Testament which God hath enjoined unto you.” was true, whereas Christ, the Very Truth Itself, holding the cup of the New Testament, and saying, “This is the blood of the New Testament which is shed for you and for many others for the remission of sins,” was false? Therefore in saying, “This is my blood”, Christ must necessarily have meant the very blood that was shed from His immaculate side, and not anything else.
When the Protestants say that the cup of the New Testament is wine, and not the very blood of Christ, who died for us, they are merely saying that the New Testament is a false testament, that Christ is a false Messiah, and that no remission of sins was made for us. We see in the Old Testament that the blood of the sacrificial victims is not spilled upon the ground, but is put into a cup and sprinkled over all the people; and the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry, and nearly everything, says Paul, are purged with blood according to the law, and there is no remission without shedding of blood. Accordingly, in order to be purged and to receive remission of sins, we too must drink of the blood of the Lamb sacrificed for our sake, and without this formality there can be no remission of sins. So, if we drink mere wine instead of the blood of Christ, we cannot possibly receive remission. But the Protestants say that they drink mere wine. From this avowal of theirs it follows that there is no remission of sins for them; that they are not people of the New Testament, and that they are not Christians, inasmuch as they say that Christ is a false Messiah and the true Testament of God, of which the Old was a type and similitude, is a false testament.
I now ask, is it right, is it proper, for those who are led astray from Christ, who are not Christians at all, to claim the right of teaching us Orthodox Christians?
Is it right, is it proper, for Orthodox Christian Greeks to abandon their ancestral dogma and embrace the soul-ruining delusion of the Protestants?
It is, then, our duty, is it not, to see whether these lost sheep of the house of Israel may listen and return to the fold of the Good Shepherd?
Is it not our duty to say to those connected with the ‘Star of the East’, “You are in error, knowing neither the Scriptures nor the sacraments of God, and you are walking in the way of perdition”?
Is it not our duty to urge them to return and repent, to guide them into the way of God and salvation?
Christ commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. When I seek to make a person that lacks the good become a partaker thereof, when I seek to make a person that is walking in darkness understand the truth, am I not doing a work of love, which Christ taught?
And do we not treat the deluded Masons in accordance with the same principles? Do we not seek to bring them back to the ancestral piety by persuading them that they are wronging themselves and their nation in having abjured the light and having embraced the darkness? And yet the editor of the “Age” is not ashamed to call us a teacher of murder and crime, and an insulter of the Holy Church of Christ, and whatever else an evil-designing and envious soul could utter. But God knows what each man is, and for whose sake he is working; and the words of each lie unaltered upon the paper, attesting the character of the speaker. Alas for the editor of the “Age” if he thinks that his malice escapes the notice of either God or sensible men; and alas for him if he fails to make haste to purge his soul by repenting, fasting, confessing, and partaking of the blood of the New Testament that is shed for the remission of sins. These words are words of love. But we have to add to them words of judgment and of righteousness, for righteousness is inseparable from love, as the prophet also attests, saying, “I will sing of mercy and of judgment unto thee, O Lord.” And again, “Mercy and truth have met, righteousness and peace have become friends.”