Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the Disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
This is the interview of Christ and His Disciples, and this His first speech at His first interview; both this day, the very first day of His rising.
Five sundry times appeared He this day. To Mary Magdalene, to the women coming from the sepulchre, to the two who went to Emmaus, to St. Peter, and here now to the Eleven and those who were with them. The two first to women, the three last to men; so both sexes. To Peter and Mary Magdalene, so to sinners of both sexes. To the Eleven as the clergy, to those with them, as the laity; so, to both estates. Abroad at Emmaus, at home here. Betimes and now late. When they were scattered severally, and now jointly, when they were gathered together. That no sex, sort, estate, place or time excepted, but as visitavit nos oriens ab alto, so visitavit occidens ab imo; [238/239] 'rising from above at His birth, rising from beneath at His resurrection, He visited all.'
But of all the five, this is the chief. Those were to one, as Peter; or two, as those of Emmaus; or three, as the women. This to all; the more, the more witnesses, the better for faith. Those when they were scattered; this here when they were all together. The more together, the more meet for this salutation here, Peace be to you.
Which salutation is the very substance of the text, the rest but appendant all.
In it, two things give forth themselves: 1. The persons to whom, vobis. 2. The matter of the wish itself, 'peace.' The persons are thus set down: Discipuli, congregati, conclusi. 1. His 'Disciples' they were, 2. 'gathered,' 3. and 'the doors shut' on them 'for fear of the Jews.'
There will fall out besides four other points. 1. Christ's site; that He stood, when He wished it. 2. His place; that in the midst He stood. 3. The time; all this, the same day, the first day of the week, Sunday, Easter-day; 4. and the very time of the day, that it was late.
The speech of itself is a salutation; any will so conceive it at the first hearing. And if it were but so, and no more, that were enough. Christ's salutations are not, as ours be, formal, but good matter in them.
But it is more than a salutation, say the Fathers, for this reason. At meeting men use to salute but once: within a verse, He repeateth it again. So it keeps not the law of a salutation, but it is certainly somewhat besides. Votum Christi, they call it. Votum pacis, votum Christi; 'Christ's vow, or wish;' His vow, and His first vow.
Now every vow implieth an advice at the least. What Christ wisheth to us, He wisheth us to. Every wish so. But if it be the wish of a superior in His optative, there is an imperative; His wish is a command, if he have wit that hears it. So that these words, rightly understood, are both an advice, and an injunction to it, of the nature of an edict. Pax vobis is as much as Pacem habete in vobis, 'be at peace among yourselves.'
We are then to join with Christ, to follow Him in His wish. To whom He wisheth it; to all Christ's Disciples [239/240] together, even to His whole Christian Church; and even to them that, it may be, as little deserve it, as these here did. 1. To make it caput voti, 'our first vow;' yea, first and second as Christ here did. 2. Oportet stantem optare, 'to wish it standing.' 3. And standing where Christ stood, that is material, 'in the midst.' 4.This day to do it, and think it pertinent to the time; it is votum paschale. As for sero, we shall never need to take thought for it, it is never too soon; late enough always if it be not too late, that is all the fear.
The chief point first; Pax vobis. The words are but two, yet even between them there seemeth to be no peace, but one in a manner opposite to the other. Looking to vobis, the persons, this should not be a salutation for them, pax. Looking to the salutation, 'peace,' it should not be to those persons, vobis, 'to you.' So that our first work will be, to make peace between the two words.
Vobis, 'to you.' Will you know who they be? 'To you,' Peter and John, and the rest. 'To you,' of whom none stood by Me. 'To you,' of whom some ran away, some denied, yes forsware Me. 'To you,' of whom all, every one shrunk away and forsook Me. How evil doth this greeting agree with this vobis! Yet even to these, venit, et stetit et dixit, 'He came, stood, and said, Peace be to you.'
Used by them as He had been, no cause He should come, or stand, or speak at all; or if speak, not thus. Not come to them that went from Him, nor stand amongst them that had not stood to Him, nor speak to them that had renounced Him. It is said, 'they feared the Jews.' All things considered, they had more cause to fear Him, and to look for some real revenge at His hands. If not that, some verbal reproof, a salutation of another style or tenor; and well, if they might scape so. Confitemini Domino, quia bonus: - it is not so, no evil deed for all this, no, not so much as an unkind word. Above that they could look for, far above that they deserved it is; Pax vobis. You and I are at peace, you and I are friends; 'Peace be unto you.' This is His first goodness. His making a peace between pax and vobis.
This speech to these persons is much mended by adding the time in the text, that it was illo die, the day of His rising. Pax vobis is a good speech for Good-Friday; then men grow pp.240/241 charitable, when ready to die. But on their Easter-day, at their rising, the day when exultavit Eum Deus, 'the day of their exaltation,' they use to take other manner spirits, and remember former disgraces, with a far other congie. Hæc est lex hominis; men do thus, but not Christ. Neither their indignity, vobis; nor His own dignity changeth Him. Rising, exalteth, the very day of His exaltation, illo die, He saith, 'Peace be unto you.'
Another yet: that it was primâ sabbati, the very 'first day of the week;' took no long day for it, nay, no day at all, but the very first day. Joseph exalted dealt well with his brethren, but not the first day; it was some time first. He kept them in fear a while, but shewed himself at the last. Christ doth not so hold them in suspense: illo die, primo die, 'the same day, the first day,' He came, and shewed Himself and said, 'Peace be unto you.'
Yea, not so much as dixit here but, as it falls out, will bear a note. Even that is dixit. and not respondit; a speech, not an answer. That He spake it, unspoken to; He to them first, ere they to Him. He might well have stayed till then, and reason would they should first have sued for it. Ere they ask it He giveth it, and 'prevents them with the blessing of peace.' They first in falling out, He first at making friends.
A great comfort for poor sinners, when the many indignities we have offered Christ shall present themselves before us, to think of this vobis. That when the Disciples had done the like, yet He forgot all, and spoke thus kindly to them this day; that He will vouchsafe us the like, specially if we seek it He will, and say to us, Pax vobis.
Will you remember now to extend your wish of peace: 1. To them that, it may be, deserve it as evil as these here, even his qui longe? 2. To do it at our rising, at our high day, when it is Easter with us. 3. Not to make their hearts to pant, and eyes to fail first, but even primâ sabbati to do it. 4. And not to take state upon us, and be content to answer Peace, and not speak; be moved for it, but not move it; yes, even move it first. If we do, we join with Christ in His first part, the personal part of the wish.
Illis, and illo die, and primo die, what they were we see, and in what sort. Yet not to grate on this point altogether, [241/242] some smoke yet was there in the flax, some small remainders, illices miscericordiæ, as Tertullian, to move his mercy. In these words. 1. Discipuli, 2. congregati, 3. conclusi, 4. propter timorem Judæorum: that His 'Disciples' yet they were; and 'together' they were; and 'in fear of the Jews' they were 'shut up.'
Whatsoever, or howsoever they were else, yet they were His disciples; 'unprofitable servants,' yet servants; 'lost' sons, yet sons; forgetful Disciples, yet Disciples. His Disciples they were, and howsoever they had made a fault, as it seems, so meant to hold themselves still, and hereafter to learn their lesson better.
And I like well their fear, that they were afraid of the Jews. It shews there were no good terms betwixt them, and they shut their doors upon them; therefore they meant not to go out to them or seek Pax vobis of the Jews. They had no meaning it seems to give over Christ. If they had, what need they fear the Jews? The Jews would have done them no harm, they might have set open their doors well enough.
And congregatis, I take it well, is no evil sign. It would have been ex aliâ causâ, for love rather than fear; and again, for fear of God, rather than of the Jews. Yet even thus I mislike it not, and much better this fear, than that at the Passion. That scattered them one from another, every man shift for one. This makes them draw together, and keep together, as it they meant to stand out afresh. Which very congregatis makes them fit for this salutation. It cannot well be said, disgregatis, 'to them that are in sunder.' Una is a disposition to unity; and gathering, to the binding up in the band of peace. Christ That said, Quoties volui congregare? like it well, to find them thus together; and His coming was, as to take away their fear, so to continue their gathering still.
And shall we learn this of the disciples? 1. If a fault fall out, not to give over school, but to continue our discipleship still. 2. And not to go over, to seek our Pax vobis at the hands of His enemies; to shut out both them, and their peace too. 3. And lastly, not to forsake the fellowship, to keep together still. For being so together, we are nearer our peace. [242/ 243] This will make Christ come and say it to us the sooner, and the more willingly.
The real part, voti summa, that which He wisheth, is 'peace.' First, Why peace? then, What peace?
Why peace? Is there nothing more worth the wishing? Nothing more, of itself; nothing more fit for these persons, this place, and this time?
Of itself, votum pacis summa votorum. 'It is all wishes in one,' nothing more to be wished. For in brevi voce breviarium, 'this little word is a breviary of all' that good is.
To shew how, a little; quam bonum, 'how good,' how worth the wishing it is. It tam bonum, 'so good,' as without it nothing is good. With it, saith Solomon, 'a handful of herbs;' without it, 'a house full of sacrifices is not good.' With trouble and vexation nothing is good, nothing is to be wished.
And as without it nothing is to be wished, so all that is, to be wished, all good, is within it. Evangelizantium pacem, evangelizantium bona, quia in pace omnia bona: 'to bring news of peace, is to bring news of all good things, for all good things are in peace.' Bona is the true gloss or exposition of peace.
Quam bonum, you know, and quam jucundum too. But good and pleasant; and pleasant, not only as Aaron's ointment which was only pleasant, but as Hermon dew which brings profit with it. Abundantia pacis, saith the Psalm, 'peace and plenty' go together.
And yet, how much it is to be wished, this sheweth, pacem te poscimus omnes. All wish it. Angels, wish it, Heaven to earth, pax in terris; and men wish it, earth to Heaven, pax in caelis. God wisheth it, most kindly for Him; Deus pacis, pacem Dei; 'the God of peace, the peace of God.' Yea, the enemy of all peace wisheth it, for he complains, Venisti nos inquietare, 'Are ye come to trouble us?' So he would not be troubled that troubles all, but set all together by the ears, and sit quiet himself.
But it is much for the honour of peace, that cum bellum geritur, pax quæritur. Even military persons, with sword in one hand and fire in the other, give this for their emblem, sic quaerimus pacem, 'thus, with sword and fire, [243/244] seek we peace.' As seek it at last they must; we must all. Best prima sabbati, but sero, 'sooner or later,' come to it we must.
But if there were nothing else, this only were enough, and though there be many, this chiefly doth shew it; that our Saviour Christ so often, so divers ways, so earnestly wisheth it. Going He did it, Pacem Meam do vobis. And now coming, He doth it. Sitting, He did it; and now standing. Living, when He was born, Pax in terris, Xenium Christi, 'it was Christ's New-Year's gift.' Dying, when He was to suffer, Pacem Meam relinquo vobis, it was legatum Christi, 'Christ's legacy.' And now here rising again, it is His wish still. To shew, not only the good of this life, but of the next, to be in peace. Prayed for it, paid for it, wept for it; 'O if thou had known the things that pertain to thy peace!' Wept for it and bled for it: therefore immediately, the very next words, He sheweth them His hands and His side, as much to say: See what I have suffered to procure your peace. Your peace cost Me this, Pax vobis cost Crux Mihi; - see you hold it dear. Now sure, if there were any one thing better than other, those hands would not have withheld it, and that heart would wish it. And peace it doth wish, therefore nothing more to be wished. Complete it is, Votum pacis summa votorum.
There need no other sign be given but that of the prophet Jonas, that Christ wished His wish: so the tempest may cease, and peace as a calm ensue, spare me not, 'take me, cast me into the sea,' make me a peace-offering and kill me. This is enough to show it is to be wished, to make it precious in our eyes. For we undervalue it at too low a rate, when that which cost so dear, for every trifling ceremony we are ready to lose it. Our faint persuasion in this point is the cause we are faint in all the rest.
Well, though be thus good, yet good itself is not good, unless it be in season, come fitly. Doth this so? Every way fitly. 1. For the persons; 2. For the place; 3. and for the time.
The persons; both 1. Christ by Whom, and 2. they to whom it is wished. 1. Christ, by Whom; decet largitorem pacis hæc salutatio, saith Cyril. 'It is meet for Him to give [244/245] peace That made peace,' no, Ipse est pax nostra saith the Apostle, and for peace, what fitter salutation than peace?
2. They to whom, for they needed it. With God they had no peace, Whom they had provoked; or peace with men, or with the Jews about them; or peace with themselves, for they were in fear, and night-fear, which is the worst fear of all others. Fit for them, and they for it, for together they were, and so not unfit to entertain it.
And with the place it suiteth well. For they were shut up, as men environed and beleaguered with their enemies, conclusi et derelicti, 'shut up and forsaken;' and to such peace is ever welcome.
And for the time, seasonable. For after a falling out, peace is so; and after a victory, peace is so. Fit therefore for this day, the day of the Resurrection; for till then it was not in kind. The great battle was not fought, 'the last enemy, death,' was not overcome. Never till now, but now the last enemy is conquered, now it is in season.
And for the thing itself, peace is a kind of resurrection. When Christ was risen, His disciples were dead. Those dead affections of sorrow and fear, when they seize thoroughly upon men, what are they but mors ante mortem? Upon good news of Joseph, Jacob is said to revive, as if before he had been given for dead. It was their case here. The house was to them as their grave, and the door as the gravestone, and they buried in fear. When they saw Him, in the next verse, and were thus saluted by Him, they gat hope, were glad, that is revived again. For if those were the pangs of death, peace after a sort is a resurrection; and so a fit wish for the time.
And to say truth, peace is never kindly till then. They define felicity shortly, to be nothing else but pax desiderii. For give the desire perfect peace, and no more needs to make us happy. Desire hath no rest, and will let us have none, till it have what it would, and till the Resurrection that will not be.
1. Pax et pressura, our Saviour opposeth. If we be pinched with any want, desire hath no peace. 2. Let us want nothing if it were possible. No peace yet; pax et scandulum the Psalmist opposeth. When we have what we would, somewhat pp.245/246 cometh to us we would not, somewhat thwarts us. Till non est eis scandalum, till that be had away, desire hath no peace. 3. Let that be had away, yet a new war there cometh. Peace and fear are here opposed. We are well; neither pressura nor scandalum, but we fear tolletur a vobis, that it will not hold, or we shall not hold. 'The last enemy' will not let us be quiet. Till he 'be overcome,' our desire hath no perfect peace. That will not be till the Resurrection. But then it is pax plena, pura, perpetua; 'full' without want, 'pure,' without mixture of offensive manner, and 'perpetual' without all fear of foregoing, of tolletur a vobis. And that is pax desiderii, and that is perfect felicity; the state of the Resurrection, and the wish of the Resurrection day.
Thus we see good it is, and fit it is. It remains we see what it is, what peace. When we speak of peace, the nature of the word leadeth us to ask with whom? And they be diverse. But as diverse as they be, it must be understood of all, though of some one more especially than the rest.
There is a peace above us in Heaven with God; that first. They were wrong here, their fear ran all upon the Jews, it should have looked higher. The Jews they kept out with shutting their doors; against God no door can be shut. First, peace with Him; and with Him they have peace, to whom Christ saith, Pax vobis.
There is another peace within us, in sinu, 'with our heart.' For between our spirit and our flesh there is in manner of war. 'The lusts of the flesh' even militant, 'wage war,' saith St. Peter, 'against the soul;' and where there is a war, there is a peace too. This is peace with fear, here. Which war is sometimes so fearful, as men to rid themselves of it, rid themselves of life and all, conclude a peace there. This followeth of the first; if all be well above, all is well within.
There is a peace without us, in earth with men, with all men. The Apostle warrants it; peace with the Jews here and all. I shall never fear to make civil peace a part of Christ's wish, nor of His beati pacifici neither. He will be no worse at Easter, than at Christmas He was; at this His second, than at that His first birth. Then Janus was shut, and peace over all the world. Orbem pacatum was ever a [246/247] clause in the prayers of the Primitive Church, that the world might be quiet.
Yet is not this the peace of Christ's principal intendment, but their peace to whom Christ spoke, pax discipulorum, pax vobis inter vos, 'peace among them, or between themselves.' 'It was the ointment on Aaron's head,' Aaron who had the care of the Church. It was 'the dew' that fell upon Sion, Sion the place where the Temple stood. 'The peace of Jerusalem,' that it may be once 'as a city at unity within itself.' The primitive peace, that 'the multitude of believers' may be 'of one heart and one mind.' All the rest depend upon our peace with God, and our peace with Him upon this, pacem habete inter vos, and Deus pacis erit vobisicum. 'The peace of Jerusalem,' 'they will prosper that love it,' saith David. 'Joy will be to them that counsel it,' saith Solomon. 'Blessed' shall be they that make it, saith Christ. How great a reward should he find in heaven, how glorious a name should he leave on earth, that could bring this to pass!
This is Christ's wish, and what is become of it? If we look upon the Christian world, we see it not, it is gone as if Christ had never wished it. Between Jehu and Jeroboam, Solomon's seed went to rack. Jehu's proceedings, like his chariot-wheels, headlong and violent. But Jehu is but a brunt, too violent to last long. Jeroboam is more dangerous, who makes it his wisdom to keep up a schism in religion; they shall sway both parts more easily. God forbid we should ever think Jeroboam wiser than Solomon! If peace were not a wise thing, the wisest man, the wisest man's name should not have been Solomon. 'A greater than Solomon' would never have Habete salem et pacem; 'if you have any salt, you will have peace.' Sure, when the Disciples lost their peace, they lost their wisdom; their wisdom and their strength both. They were stronger by congregatis, than by clausus foribus; 'more safe by their being together, than any door could make them.'
It is as Christ told us Luke 10, where He prescribes this form of salutation; it speeds or it misses thereafter, as it meets with 'the Son of peace;' speeds if it find him, if not, comes back again, and takes no place.
Well, though it do not, we must hold us to Christ's [247/248] wish, and when all fails, still there must be Votum pacis in corde; though enmity in the act, yet 'peace in the heart still.' Still it must hold, amicus ut non alter, inimicus ut non idem; 'friends as if never otherwise, enemies as if not ever so,' Quasi torrens, bellum; 'war, like a land-flood,' that will be dry again. Quasi fluvius pax; 'peace, as a river, never dry, but to run still and ever.
But yet, many times 'we ask and have not, because we ask not aright,' saith St. James; 'we know not the things that belong to our peace;' we err in the order, manner, site, place or time.
The order, which helpeth much, first it is; primum et ante omnia, caput fidei, 'the prime of His wishes.' No sooner born, but pax in terris; no sooner risen, but pax vobis. Apertio labiorum, 'the very opening of His lips' was with these words; the first words at the first meeting, on the very first day. It is a sign it is so in His heart. That which most grieveth us, we first complain of; and that which most affecteth us, ever soonest speak of. This is the first error. That which was first with Christ, is last with Christians, and I would it were so last; for then it were some, now scarce any at all as it seemeth.
In the manner; for the first is but first, that is but once. This is first and second. Here He saith it, and within a verse He is at it again. Nay first, second, and third, 1. in this, 2. the twenty-first, and 3. the twenty-sixth verses; as if like actio in Rhetoric, all in all.
All Christ's vows are to be esteemed, especially His solemn vows; and His speeches, chiefly those He goeth over and over again. That which by Him is double and treble said, would not by us be singly regarded. He would have it better marked; therefore He speaketh it the second time. He would have it yet sink deeper; therefore the third also. We faulty in the manner. Once we do it, it may be, but upon any repulse we give over; if it come not at first, we go not to it secundo et tertio, repetitis vicibus. We must not leave at once what Christ did so often.
The second error is; we ask it sitting, I fear, and Christ stood; His standing imports something. Standing is the site of them who are ready to go about a matter, as they to [248/249] take their journey in the twelfth of Exodus. That site is the site of them that wish for peace; oportet stantem optare. A sedentary desire it may be we have, but loath to leave our cushion. We would it were well, but not willing to disease ourselves. Utinam hoc esset laborare, said he, that lay along and stretched himself. So say we; peace we would, but standing is painful. Our wish hath lips, but no legs.
But it could not be said, 'beautiful are the feet of them that bring peace,' if the feet had nothing to do in this business. With sitting and wishing it will not be had. Peace will hide itself, it must be sought out; it will fly away, it must be pursued. This then is a point wherein we are to conform ourselves to Christ; as well to use our legs, as to open our lips for it. To stand, is situs voventis; to hold up the hands, habitus orantis. The meaning of which ceremony of lifting up the hands with prayer is, ut pro quo quis orat pro eo laboret, 'what we pray for we should labour for.' We see Christ sheweth His hands and His feet, to shew what must be done with both for it. If we should be put to do the like, I doubt our wish hath never a good leg to stand on.
To stand then, but to stand in a certain place. Every where to stand will not serve the turn. Stetit in medio, that standing place is assigned for it, thus 'guiding our feet in the way of peace.' And the place is material for peace. All bodies natural never leave moving, are never quiet, till they recover their proper places; and there they find their peace. The midst is Christ's place by nature; He is the second Person in Divinis, and so the middlemost of the other two. And on earth, follow Him if you will, you shall not lightly find Him out of it; not according to the letter, speaking of the material place. At His birth, in medio animalium, in the stable. After, a child, in medio doctorum, in the Temple. After, a man, medius vestrûm stetit, saith John Baptist, 'in the midst of the people;' saith He of 'Himself,' Ecce ego in medio vestrî, 'in the midst of His Apostles.' At His death it fell to His turn likewise, that place; even then, He was in the midst. And now rising, there He is, we see. They in the midst of the Jews, and He in the midst of them. After this, in Patmos, St. John saw Him in Heaven, [249/250] 'in the midst of the throne;' in earth, walking 'in the midst of the candlesticks.' And at the last day He will be in the midst of 'the sheep on His right hand, and the goats on His left.' All which shew, the place and He sort very well.
But were it not natural for Him, as the case standeth, there He is to stand, being to give peace? No place so fit for that purpose, none so kindly as it. His office being to be 'a Mediator;' Medius 'between God and man, where should a Mediator stand but in Medio?
Besides, the two qualities of good, being to be diffusivum and unitivum, that is the fittest place for both. To distribute, best done from the centre. To unite likewise, soonest meet there. The place itself has a virtue specially to unite, which is never done but by some middle thing. If we will conclude, we must have a medius terminus; else we shall never get majus and minus extremum to come together. Nor in things natural either combine two elements disagreeing in both qualities, without a middle symbolizing with both; nor flesh and bone, without a cartilage between both. As for things moral, there the middle is all in all. No virtue without it. In justice, incline the balance one way or other, the even pose is lost, et opus justitiæ pax, 'peace is the very work of justice.' And the way to peace is the mid-way; neither to the right hand too much, nor to the left hand too little. In a word, all analogy, symmetry, harmony, in the world goeth by it.
It cometh all to this; the manner of the place doth teach us what manner of affection is to be in them, that wish for or stand for peace. The place is indifferent, equally distant, alike near to all. There pitch the ark, that is the place for it. Indifferency in carriage preserveth peace; by foregoing that, and leaning to extremities, it is lost. Thither we must get again, and there stand, if ever we shall recover it. Discessit a medio lost it, stetit in medio must restore it.
Therefore, when you hear men talk of peace, mark whether they stand where they should. If with the Pharisee to the corners, either by partiality one way, or prejudice another, no good will be done. When God will have it brought to pass, such minds He will give unto men, and make them meet to wish it, seek it, and find it.
[250/251] A little now of the time. This was Christ's wish at this time, and Christ never speaks out of season. Therefore a special interest has this feast in it. It is votum paschale, and this is festum pacis.
And sure, Habemus talem consuetudinem, et Ecclesia Dei; 'such a custom we have, and so the Church of God hath used it, to take these words of Christ in the nature of an edict for pacification, ever at this time. That whatsoever become of it all the year beside, this time should be kept a time of peace; we should seek it and offer it - seek it of God, and offer it, each to other.
There hath not, these sixteen hundred years, this day passed without a peace offering. And the law of a peace offering is; he who offers it must take his part of it, eat of it, or it does him no good. This day therefore the Church never fails, but sets forth here peace-offering; the Body Whose hands were here showed, and the side whence issued Sanguis crucis, 'the Blood that pacifies all things in earth and heaven,' that we, in and by it, may this day renew the covenant of our peace. Then can it not be but a great grief to a Christian heart, to see many this day give Christ's peace the hearing, and there is all; hear it, and then turn their back on it; every man go his way, and forsake his peace; instead of seeking it, shun it, and of pursuing, turn away from it.
'We have not so learned Christ,' St. Paul hath not so taught us. His rule it is; 'Is Christ our Passover offered for us as now He was?' Epulemur itaque - that is his conclusion, 'Let us then keep a feast,' a feast of sweet bread without any sour leaven, that is, of peace without any malice.
So to do, and even then this day when we have the peace-offering in our hands, then, then to remember always, but then specially to join with Christ in His wish; to put into our hearts, and the hearts of all who profess His Name, theirs specially that are of all others most likely to effect it, that Christ may have His wish, and there may be peace through the Christian world; that we may once all partake together of one peace-offering, 'and with one mouth and one mind glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.' Amen.