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Thomas Peck

(1 posts)

Random Selections: No Special Mystery (Thomas Peck)

This random selection (odd page, first paragraph, plus one) is from The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Peck. There is no special mystery about this ordinance. It began to be called a “mystery,” a “tremendous mystery,” in the church so early as the middle of the second century, and as words react mightily on thought, men began to think that there must be a mystery in it, and as they could not find any, it became necessary to put some into it. Hence the very word “sacrament,” which meant mystery; hence the doctrine of the “real presence” in all its forms. If this simple memorial of Christ’s death could not be made a miracle for the senses, it must at least become a mystery for faith. Something must be put into it to justify the extravagant language which was commonly employed in regard to it. The mystery is not in the ordinance. How men can be taught by the use of visible signs and symbols it is not harder to understand than how they can be taught by words; not as hard perhaps. The mystery is in the truth, not in the vehicle; the mystery of the incarnation, of “God manifest in the flesh”; the mystery of grace, condescension, and love in the Saviour’s death; the mystery of the believer’s vital union with his Saviour; the mystery of glory, when that life which is now “hid with Christ in God” shall be revealed in the revelation of Christ “our life”; all these mysteries are real and ineffable. But they may be and are set forth in the preaching of the word, as well as in the supper. Is there any mystery in preaching? —Writings of Rev. Thomas E. Peck (Banner of Truth, 1999), 1:163–164. [First published as Miscellanies of Rev. Thomas E. Peck (The Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1895).]


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