The Holy Eucharist a Comfort to the Penitent
A Sermon Preached Before the University
In the Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford
On the Fourth Sunday after Easter
by the Reverend E. B. Pusey, DD
Regius Professor of Hebrew, Canon of Christ Church, and Late Fellow of Oriel College
transcribed by the Revd John D Alexander, SSC
and Dr Elizabeth G. Melillo
"The true understanding of this fruition and union, which is betwixt the body and the head, betwixt the true believers and Christ, the ancient Catholic Fathers both perceiving themselves, and commending to their people, were not afraid to call this Supper, some of them, the salve of immortality and sovereign preservative against death; other, a deifical communion; other, the sweet dainties of our Saviour, the pledge of eternal health, the defence of faith, the hope of the resurrection; other, the food of immortality, the healthful grace, and the conservatory to everlasting life. All which sayings both of the holy Scripture and godly men, truly attributed to this celestial banquet and feast, if we would often call to mind, O how would they inflame our hearts to desire the participation of these mysteries, and oftentimes to covet after this bread, continually to thirst for this food!" Homilies - 1st Part of the Sermon on the Sacrament
It is with pain that the following Sermon is published. For it is impossible for any one not to foresee one portion of its effects; what floods, namely, of blasphemy against holy truth will be poured forth by the infidel or heretical or secular and anti-religious papers with which our Church and country is at this time afflicted. It is like casting with one's own hands, that which is most sacred to be outraged and profaned. Still there seem to be higher duties, which require even this. The Gospel must be a savour unto life or a savour unto death; from the first, it has been blasphemed, wherever it has been preached. It has been blasphemed by Jews, Pagans, and each class of heretics as they arose; the Arians used blasphemous jests, taught the people blasphemous ballads, and profaned the Holy Eucharist; increase of scoffers and blasphemers is among the tokens of the last days; and yet the two witnesses are to bear testimony, though in sackcloth. The more the truth prevails, the madder must the world become; the blasphemies with which holy truth is now assailed, are but a token of its victories.
The first duty of a Minister of Christ is to His little ones; for their sakes, lest any be perplexed in consequence of all which has been lately said, this Sermon is published; and for them the following explanation is intended.
Nothing, throughout the whole Sermon, was further from my thoughts than controversy. I had, on such occasions as my office afforded, commenced a course of Sermons on the comforts provided by the Gospel for the penitent amid the consciousness of sin, with the view to meet the charge of sternness, involved by the exhibition of one side of Catholic truth; in this course, the sacred subject of the Holy Eucharist, of necessity, came in its order; and it was my wish (however I may have been hindered by sudden indisposition from developing my meaning as I wished) to point out its comforting character to the penitent in two ways; 1st) indirectly, because it is the Body and Blood of his Lord, and is the channel of His Blessed Presence to the soul, 2nd) because in Holy Scripture the mention of remission of sins is connected with it.
In essaying to teach this, I could not but forget controversy; having, in the commencement, warned against irreverent disputings, I lived for the time in holy Scripture and its deepest expositors, the Fathers, and was careful to use rather their language than my own, lest, on so high a subject, I should seem to speak over-boldly. Conscious of my own entire adherence to the formularies of my Church, and having already repeatedly expressed myself on this subject, and in the very outset of this Sermon conveyed at once, that I believed the elements to "remain in their natural substances," and that I did not attempt to define the mode of the Mystery that they were also the Body and Blood of Christ(1), I had no fear of being misunderstood.
Once more to repeat my meaning, in order to relieve any difficulties which might (if so be) be entertained by pious minds, trained in an opposed and defective system of teaching, before whom the Sermon may now be brought. My own views were cast, (so to speak) in the mould of the minds of Bishop Andrewes and Archbishop Bramball(2), which I regarded as the type of the teaching of our Church. From them originally, and with them, I learnt to receive in their literal sense, our Blessed Lord's solemn words, "This is My Body," and from them, while I believe the consecrated elements to become, by virtue of his consecrating Words, truly and really, yet spiritually and in an ineffable way, His Body and Blood, I learnt also to withhold my thoughts as to the mode of this great Mystery, but "as a Mystery" to "adore it.(3)" With the Fathers, then, and our own great Divines, (explaining, as I believe, the true meaning of our Church(4),) I could not but speak of the consecrated elements, as being, what, since He has so called them, I believe them to become, His Body and Blood; and I feared not, that, using their language, I should, when speaking of the Divine and "spiritual" things, be thought to mean otherwise than "spiritually," or having disclaimed all thoughts as to the mode of their being, that any should suppose I meant a mode which our Church disallows.
It remains only to say, that the notes (with a few exceptions) are such as, amid hurry and severe indisposition, I could, when my Sermon was demanded, put together, with the view at once of shewing those who were to pronounce upon it, that I had not used high language, of my own mind, and that they might not unconsciously blame the Fathers, while they thought they were blaming myself only. They spread over the wider space, because, wholly unconscious what could be objected to, I was reduced to conjecture what it might be.
The Appendix is now drawn up by a friend, (the writer being disabled) with the same view, that some might be saved from objecting to what, though often taught, may be new to them, when they see that the same, or things much stronger, have been taught by a series of Divines in our Church. It is not meant that some of these writers (e.g. Mede) are always consistent with themselves; it is meant only to shew what has been taught, partly without rebuke, partly with authority, in our later English Church. Nor has it been the object to select the strongest passages of our writers; on the contrary, some stronger than any here quoted have been purposely passed by, our of a writer so universally received as G. Herbert.(5) The general tone of doctrine has been the object chiefly had in view in the selection. Some of the materials of the Catena have been already used in previous explanations on the doctrine(6). Especially, it has been a great comfort to see, with what depth of reverential thought and love the connection of the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist with that of the Incarnation, so inadequately stated in the Sermon, although in the footsteps of the Ancient Fathers, has, in our own Church, been inculcated in the practical teaching of Bishop Andrewes, from whose more definite statements in controversy, my own views, as I stated, had received their definite form.
Passages or phrases, here and there, in the Sermon, were, on account of the length of the whole, omitted in the delivery; they were inserted in the copy called for, in brackets, as making the whole more authentic; these distinctions are now omitted, as needlessly distracting such as may read for edification, since in one instance only did the passages do omitted contain doctrine, viz. the words from the fathers from "and by commingling" to "Divine Nature," page 17,18.
And now, may God have mercy on this His Church! It is impossible not to see, that a controversy has been awakened, which, from the very sacredness of the subject, and the vagueness of the views of many, and the irreverence of the age, one should, of all others, most have deprecated. Yet things are in His hands, not in man's; and He, who has so mercifully overruled every trial and every strife hitherto, to the greater good of this His Church, will, we doubt not, if we obtain from Him patient hearts, so overrule this also. And if, since I can now speak in no other manner, I may, in this way, utter one word to the young, to whom I have heretofore spoken from a more solemn place, I would remind them, how, almost prophetically, sixteen years ago, in the volume, which was the unknown dawn and harbinger of the re-awakening of deeper truth, this was given as the watchword to those who should love the truth, "In(7) quietness and confidence shall be your strength." There have been manifold tokens, that patience is one great grace which God is now calling forth in our Church. "The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." Sore then though it be to see, as we must see, the truth of God cast out and spoken against and trodden under foot of many, they who love it, may well be patient, when He, Whose truth it is, bears so patiently with us all; sure, that even when it seems to be trampled upon, it will thereby but sink the deeper into the "good ground" of the "honest and good heart," thence to spring up multiplied, in His good time, "thirty, sixty, an hundred fold."
Ember Week after Feast of Pentecost,
MATT. XXVI 28
This is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
It is part of the manifold wisdom of God, that His gifts, in nature and in grace, minister to distinct, and, as it often seems, unconnected ends; manifesting thereby the more His own Unity, as the secret cause and power of all things, putting Itself forward in varied forms and divers manners, yet Itself the one Cause of all that is. The element which is the Image of our Baptism, cleanses alike and refreshes, enlighteneth the fainting eye, wakens to life, as it falls, a world in seeming exhaustion and death, changes the barren land into a garden of the Lord, gives health and nourishment and growth. And if in nature, much more in the Gifts of Grace. For therein God, not by Will or by Power only, but by Himself and the Effluence of His Spirit, is the Life of all which lives through Him. Our One Lord is to us, in varied forms, all, yea more than all, His disciples dare ask or think. All are His Life, flowing through all His members, and in all, as it is admitted, effacing death, enlarging life. As blind, He is our Wisdom; as sinful, our Righteousness; as hallowed, our Sanctification; as recovered from Satan, our Redemption; as sick, our Physician; as weak, our Strength; as unclean, our Fountain; as darkness, our Light; as daily fainting, our daily Bread; as dying, Life Eternal; as asleep in Him, our Redemption.
It is, then, according to the analogy of His other gifts, that His two great Sacraments have in themselves manifold gifts. Baptism containeth not only remission of sin, actual or original, but maketh members of Christ, children of God, heirs of Heaven, hath the seal and earnest of the Spirit, the germ of spiritual life; the Holy Eucharist imparteth not life only; spiritual strength, and oneness with Christ, and His Indwelling, and participation of Him, but, in its degree, remission of sins also. As the manna is said to have "contented every man's delight and agreed to every taste(8)," so He, the Heavenly Manna, becometh to every man what he needeth, and what he can receive; to the penitent perhaps chiefly remission of sins and continued life, to those who have "loved Him and kept His word," His own transporting, irradiating Presence, full of His own grace and life and love; yet to each full contentment, because to each His own overflowing, undeserved, goodness.
Having then, on former occasions, spoken of the Fountain of all comfort, our Redeeming Lord, His Life for us and Intercession with the Father, as the penitent's stay amid the overwhelming consciousness of his sins, it may well suit, in this our season of deepest joy, to speak of that, which, flowing from the throne of the Lamb which was slain, is to the penitent, the deepest river of his joy, the Holy Mysteries; from which, as from Paradise, he feels that he deserves to be shut out, from which perhaps, in the holier discipline of the Ancient Church, he would have been for a time removed, but which to his soul must be the more exceeding precious, because they are the Body and Blood of His Redeemer. While others joy with a more Angelic joy, as feeding on Him, Who is the Angels' food, and "sit,", as St. Chrysosthom(9) says, "with Angels and Archangels and heavenly powers, clad with the kingly robe of Christ itself, yea clad with the King Himself, and having spiritual armoury," he may be the object of the joy of Angels; and while as a penitent he approaches as to the Redeemer's Side, he may hope that having so been brought, he, with the penitent, shall not be parted from It, but be with Him and near Him in Paradise. "To the holier," says another(10), "He is more precious as God; to the sinner more precious is the Redeemer. Of higher value and avail is He to him, who hath more grace; yet to him also to whom much is forgiven, doth He the more avail, because "to whom much is forgiven, he loveth much."
Would that in the deep joy of this our Easter festival, the pledge of our sealed forgiveness, and the earnest of endless life in God, we could, for His sake by Whom we have been redeemed, lay aside our wearisome strifes, and that to speak of the mysteries of Divine love might not become the occasion of unloving and irreverent disputings. Would that, at least in this sacred place, we could dwell in thought, together, on His endless condescension and loving kindness, without weighing in our own measures, words which must feebly convey Divine mysteries; rather intent (as so many in this day seem) on detecting that others have spoken too strongly on that which is unfathomable, than on ourselves adoring that Love, which is past finding out. "When we speak of spiritual things," is Saint Chrysosthom's(11) warning, on approaching this same subject, "be there nothing of this life, nothing earthly in our thoughts; let all such things depart and be cast out, and be we wholly given to the hearing of the Divine word. When the Spirit discourseth to us, we should listen with much stillness, yea with much awe. For the things this day read are worthy of awe. "Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of man and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you."
The penitent's joy, then, in the Holy Eucharist is not the less deep, because the pardon of sins is not, as in Baptism, its direct provision. The two great Sacraments, as their very signs show, have not the same end. Baptism gives, the Holy Eucharist preserves and enlarges life. Baptism engraffs into the true Vine; the Holy Eucharist derives the richness and fulness of His life into the branches thus engraffed. Baptism buries in Christ's tomb, and through it He quickens with His life; the Holy Eucharist is given not to the dead, but to the living. It augments , life, or - death; gives immortality to the living; to the dead it gives not life, but death; it is a savour of life or death, is received to salvation or damnation. Whence the ancient Church so anxiously withheld from it such as sinned grievously, not as an example only to others, but in tenderness to themselves, lest they break through and perish; "profane, " says S. Cyprian(12), "the Holy Body of the Lord," not themselves be sanctified; fall deeper, not be restored; be wounded more grievously, not be healed; since it is said, he adds, "Whoso eateth the Bread and drinketh the Cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord."
The chief object, then, of the Holy Eucharist, as conveyed by type or prophecy, by the very elements chosen, or by the words of our Lord, is the support and enlargement of life, and that in Him. In type(13), the tree of life was within the Paradise of God, given as a nourishment of immortality, withheld from Adam when he sinned; the bread and wine, wherewith Melchizedek met Abraham, were to refresh the father of the faithful, the weary warrior of God; the Paschal Lamb was a commemorative sacrifice; the saving blood had been shed; it was to be eaten with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, and with bitter herbs, the type of mortification, and by those only who were undefiled. The Manna was given to them after they had passed the Red Sea, the image of cleansing Baptism, and, as He Himself interprets it, represented Him as coming down from Heaven, to give life unto the world, the food of Angels and the holy hosts of heaven; the Shew-bread was eaten only by those hallowed to the Priesthood, (as the whole Christian people has in this sense been made kings and priests,) and, when once given to David and those that were with him, still on the ground that the "vessels of the young men were holy(14)." The Angel brought the cake to Elijah, that in the strength of that food, he might go forty days and forty nights unto the Mount of God. In verbal prophecy, it is foretold under the images of the very elements, and so of strengthening and overflowing joy. "Wisdom," that is, He Who is the Wisdom of God, in a parable corresponding to that of the marriage feast, crieth, "Come eat of My bread and drink of the wine I have mingled." Or, in the very Psalm of His Passion and atoning Sacrifice, it is foretold, that "the poor shall eat and be satisfied;" or that He, the good Shepherd, shall prepare a Table for those whom He leadeth by the still waters of the Church, and giveth them the Cup of overflowing joy;" or as the source of gladness, "Thou hast put gladness into my heart, since the time that their corn and wine and oil (the emblem of the Spirit of which the faithful drink) increased," and "the wine which gladdeneth man's heart, and the oil which maketh his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart;" or of spiritual growth, "corn and wine shall make the young men and maidens of Zion to grow;" or as that which alone is satisfying, "buy wine without money and without price," for that "which is not bread;" or as the special Gift to the faithful, "He hath given meat unto them that fear him;" or that which, after His Passion, He drinketh anew with His disciples in His Father's kingdom, "I have gathered my myrrh, I have drunk my wine with my milk; eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved."
In all these varied symbols, strength, renewed life, growth, refreshment, gladness, likeness to the Angels, immortality, are the gifts set forth; they are gifts as to the Redeemed of the Lord placed anew in the Paradise of His Church, admitted to His Sanctuary, joying in His Presence, growing before Him, filled with the river of His joy, feasting with Him, yea Himself feasting in them, as in them He hungereth.(15) Hitherto, there is no allusion to sin; it is what the Church should be, walking in the brightness of His light, and itself reflecting that brightness.
And when our Lord most largely and directly is setting forth the fruits of eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood, He speaks throughout of one Gift, life; freedom from death, life through Him, through His indwelling, and therefore resurrection from the dead, and life eternal. "This is the Bread, which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. 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." "Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you." "Whoso eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last Day." "He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood dwelleth in Me and I in Him." "As the Living Father hath sent me and I live by The Father, so he that eateth Me, he also shall live by Me." "He that eateth of this Bread shall live for ever." No one can observe how this whole discourse circleth round this gift of life, and how our Lord, with unwearied patience, bringeth this one truth before us in so many different forms, without feeling that He means to inculcate, that life in Him is His chief gift in His Sacrament, and to make a reverent longing for it an incentive to our faith. Yet although life in Him is the substance of His whole teaching, the teaching itself is manifold. Our Lord inculcates not one truth only in varied forms, but in its different bearings. He answers not the strivings of the Jews, "how can this man give us His Flesh to eat?" Such an "how can these things be?" He never answereth; and we, if we are wise, shall never ask how(16) they can be elements of this world and yet His very Body and Blood. But how they give life to us, He does answer; and amid this apparent uniformity of His teaching, each separate sentence gives us a portion of that answer. And the teaching of the whole, as far as such as we may grasp it, is this. That He(17) is the Living Bread, because He came down from Heaven, and as being One God with the Father, hath life in Himself, even as the Father hath life in Himself; the life then which He is, He imparted to that Flesh which He took into Himself, yea, which He took so wholly, that Holy Scripture says, He became it, "the Word became flesh," and since it is thus a part of Himself, "Whoso eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood," (He Himself says the amazing words,) "eateth Me," and so receiveth into Himself, in an ineffable manner, his Lord Himself, "dwelleth" (our Lord says) "in Me and I in Him," and having Christ within him, not only shall he have, but he "hath" already "eternal Life," because he hath Him Who is the "Only True God and Eternal Life(18);" and so Christ "will raise him up at the last Day," because he hath His life in him. Receiving Him into this very body(19), they who are His, receive life, which shall pass over to our very decaying flesh; they have within them Him Who is Life and Immortality and Incorruption, to cast out or absorb into itself our natural mortality and death and corruption, and "shall live for ever," because made on with Him who Alone "liveth for evermore." It is not then life only as an outward gift, to be possessed by us, as His gift; it is no mere strengthening and refreshing of our souls, by the renewal(20) and confirming our wills, and invigorating of our moral nature, giving us more fixedness of purpose, or implanting in us Christian graces; it is no gift, such as we might imagine given to the most perfect of God's created beings in himself. Picture we the most perfect wisdom, knowledge, strength, harmony, proportion, brightness, beauty, fitness, completeness of created being; fair as was that angel "in the garden of God" before he fell, "the seal of comeliness, full of wisdom, and complete in beauty - perfect in his ways from the day he was created(21)." Yet let this be a perfection, upheld indeed of God, yet external to Him, as a mere creation, and it would fall unutterably short of the depth of the mystery of the Sacraments of Christ, and the gift, the germ whereof is therein contained for us; although such as we actually are, we know that, for strength we have weakness, for knowledge ignorance, our nature jarring still, disharmonized, obscured, deformed, both by the remains of original corruption and our own superadded sins. For the life therein bestowed is greater than any gift, since it is life in Christ, life through His indwelling, Himself Who is Life. And Holy Scripture hints, that the blessed Angels, who never fell, shall in some way to us unknown, gain by the mystery of the Incarnation, being with us gathered together under One Head, our Incarnate Lord, into His One Body(22), the fulness of Him Who filleth all in all. Certainly Scripture seems to imply, that, although He "took not the nature of angels" but "of man," yet all created beings, "thrones and dominions and principalities and powers," shall, if one may reverently say it, be more filled with God, when, this His body being perfected, there shall be no check or hindrance to the full effluence of His Divine Nature, circulating through the whole Body, into which He shall have "knit things in heaven and things in earth," "the innumerable company of the Angels," and "the just made perfect;" and the whole glorified Church shall be clothed and radiant with Him, the Sun of Righteousness.
And of this we have the germs and first beginnings now. This is (if we may reverently so speak) the order of the Mystery of the Incarnation(23), that the Eternal Word so took our flesh into Himself, as to impart to it His own inherent life; so then we, partaking of It, that life is transmitted on to us also, and not to our souls only, but our bodies(24), since we become flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone(25), and He Who is wholly life is imparted to us wholly(26). The Life which He is, spreads around, first giving Its own vitality to that sinless Flesh which He united indissolubly with Himself and in It encircling and vivifying our whole nature, and then, through that bread which is His Flesh, finding an entrance to us individually, penetrating us, soul and body, and spirit, and irradiating and transforming into His own light and life. In the words of a father(27) who in warfare with the Nestorian heresy, lived in the Mystery of the Incarnation, "He is life by nature, inasmuch as He was Begotten of the Living Father; but no less vivifying also is His Holy Body, being in a matter brought together and ineffably united with the all-vivifying Word; wherefore It is accounted His, and is conceived as one with Him. For, since the Incarnation, it is inseparable; save that we know that the Word which came from God the Father, and the Temple from the Virgin, are not indeed the same in nature; for the Body is not consubstantial with the Word from God, yet is one by that ineffable coming together and concurrence; and since the Flesh of the Saviour became life-giving, as being united to That which is by nature Life, The Word from God, then, when we taste It, we have life in ourselves, we too being united with It, as It to the indwelling Word." "I then," He saith, being in him will by Mine own Flesh raise up him who eateth thereof, in the last Day. For since Christ is in us by His own Flesh, we must altogether rise, for it were incredible, yea rather, impossible, that Life should not make alive those in whom It is." To add the words of one father only of the Western Church, ever had in honour, as well for his sufferings for the faith, as for his well-weighed and reverent language. Saint Hilary(28) adduced the very actualness of this union in proof against the Arians, that the unity of the Father and the Son, was not of will but of nature, because our union with the Son is by unity of nature, not of harmony of will only. "For if the Word was truly made Flesh, and we, in the Supper of the Lord, truly receive the Word, being Flesh, how must He not be thought to abide in us, by the way of nature, Who, being born man, took to Himself the Nature of our flesh, now inseparable from Him, and under the Sacrament of the Flesh which is to be communicated to us, hath mingled the Nature of His own Flesh with His eternal Nature. So then, we are all one, because both the Father is in Christ, and Christ in us. Whosoever then shall deny that the Father is in Christ by way of Nature, let him first deny that himself is by way of nature in Christ or Christ in Him; because the Father is in Christ and Christ in us, make us to be one in them. If then Christ truly took the Nature of our Body, and that Man, Who was born of Mary, is truly Christ, and we truly, under a mystery, receive the Flesh of His Body, (and thereby shall become one, because the Father is in Him and He in us,) how is it asserted that the Unity is of will only, whereas the natural property (conveyed) through the Sacrament is the Sacrament of a perfect unity?" And a little after(29), alleging our Blessed Lord's words, "My Flesh is truly meat, My Blood is truly drink." "Of the truth of the Flesh and Blood, there is no room left for doubt. For now, according both to the declaration of the Lord and our faith, It is truly Flesh and truly Blood. And these, received into us, cause, that we are in Christ and Christ in us. Is not this truth? Be it not truth to those who deny that Christ Jesus is true God. He then is in us through the flesh, and we are in Him, since this, which we are, is with Him in God."
Would that, instead of vain and profane disputings, we could but catch the echoes of these hallowed sounds, and forgetting the jarrings of our earthly discords, live in this harmony and unity of Heaven, where, through and in our Lord, we are all one in God. Would that, borne above ourselves, we could be caught up within the influence of the mystery of that ineffable love whereby the Father would draw us to that oneness with Him in His Son, which is the perfection of eternal bliss, where will, thought, affections shall be one, because we shall be, by communication of His Divine Nature, one. Yet such is undoubted Catholic teaching, and the most literal import of Holy Scripture, and the mystery of the Sacrament, that the Eternal Word, Who is God, having taken to Him our flesh and joined it indissolubly with Himself, and so, where His Flesh is, there He is(30), and we receiving It, receive Him, and receiving Him are joined on to Him through His flesh to the Father, and He dwelling in us, dwell in Him, and with Him in God. "I," He saith, "in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you." This is the perfection after which all rational creation groans, this for which the Church, which hath the first fruits of the Spirit, groaneth within herself, yea this for which our Lord Himself tarrieth, that His yet imperfect members advancing onward in Him, and the whole multitude of the Redeemed being gathered into the One Body, His whole Body should, in Him, be perfected in the Unity of the Father. And so He also, as Man, truly the Mediator between God and Man, in that being as God, One with the Father, as man, one with us, we truly are in Him who is truly in the Father. He, by the truth of the Sacrament, dwelleth in us, in Whom, by Nature, all the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth; and the lowest is joined on with highest, earth with heaven, corruption with incorruption, man with God.
But where, one may feel, is there here any place for the sinner? Here all breathes of holy life, life in God, the life of God imparted to man, the indwelling of the All Holy and Incarnate Word, the Presence of God in the soul and body, incorruption and eternal life, through His Holy Presence and union with Him, Who, being God, is Life. Where seems there room for one, the mansion of whose soul has been broken down, and he to have no place where Christ may lay His head(31); the vessel has been broken, if not defiled, and now seems unfit to contain God's Holy Presence; the tenement has been narrowed by self-love, and seems incapable of expanding to receive the love of God, or God Who is love; or choked and thronged with evil or foul imaginations; or luxury and self indulgence have dissolved it, or evil thoughts and desires have made room for evil spirits in that which was the dwelling-place of the Trinity?
Doubtless, God's highest and "holy" gift, is as the Ancient Church proclaimed, chiefly "for the holy." "Ye cannot be partakers of the Table of the Lord, and the table of devils." And as Holy Scripture, so also the Ancient Church, when alluding to the fruits of this ineffable gift, speak of them mostly as they would be to those, who, on earth, already live in Heaven, and on Him Who is its life and bliss. They speak of those "clothed in flesh and blood, drawing nigh to the blessed and immortal nature(32);"of "spiritual fire(33);" "grace exceeding human thought and a gift unutterable;" "spiritual food(34), surpassing all creation visible and invisible," "kindling the souls of all and making them brighter than silver purified by the fire;" "removing(35) us from earth, transferring us to heaven," "making angels for men, so that it were a wonder that man should think he were yet on earth(36)," yea, more than angels, "becoming that which we receive(37), the Body of Christ." For that so we are "members(38) of Him, not by love only, but in very deed, mingled with that Flesh, mingled with Him, that we might become in a manner one substance with Him," "the one Body and one Flesh of Christ(39);" and He the Eternal Son and God the Word in us, "commingled(40) and co-united with us," with our bodies as with our souls, preserving both for incorruption; "re-creating the spirit in us, to newness of life, an making us 'partakers of His Divine Nature;'" "the bond of our unity with the Father, binding us to Himself as Man," Who is "by nature, as God, in God His own Father;" "descending to our nature subject to corruption and to change, and raising it to Its own excellencies," and "by commingling it with Itself, all but removing it from the conditions of created Nature," and "re-forming it according to Itself." "We are," adds Saint Cyril, "perfected into unity with God the Father, through Christ the Mediator. For having received into ourselves, bodily and spiritually, Him Who is by Nature and truly the Son, Who hath an essential Oneness with Him, we, becoming partakers of the Nature which is above all, are glorified." "We," says another(41), "come to bear Christ in us, His Body and Blood being diffused through our members; when, saith Saint Peter, we become 'partakers of the Divine Nature.'"
Yet although most which is spoken belongs to Christians as belonging already to the household of saints and the family of Heaven and the Communion of Angels and unity with God, still, here as elsewhere in the New Testament, there is a subordinate and subdued notion of sin; and what wraps the Saint already in the third Heaven, may yet uphold us sinners, that the pit shut not her mouth upon us. The same reality of the Divine Gift makes It Angels' food to the Saint, the ransom to the sinner. And both because It is the Body and Blood of Christ. Were it only a thankful commemoration of His redeeming love, or only a showing forth of His Death, or a strengthening only and refreshing of the soul, it were indeed a reasonable service, but it would have no direct healing for the sinner. To him its special joy is that it is His Redeemer's very(42) broken(43) Body, It is His Blood, which was shed for the remission of his sins. In the words of the ancient Church, he "drinks his ransom(44)," he eateth that, "the very Body and Blood of the Lord, the only Sacrifice for sin(45)," God "poureth out" for him yet "the most precious Blood of His Only-Begotten(46);" they "are fed from the Cross of the Lord, because they eat His Body and Blood(47);" and as of the Jews of old, even those who had been the betrayers and murderers of their Lord, it was said, "the Blood(48), which in their phrenzy they shed, believing they drank," so of the true penitent it may be said, whatever may have been his sins, so he could repent, awful as it is to say, - the Blood he in deed despised, and profaned, and trampled under foot, may he, when himself humbled in the dust, drink, and therein drink his salvation. "He(49) who refused not to shed His Blood for us, and again gave us of His Flesh and His very Blood, what will He refuse for our salvation?" "He, says Saint Ambrose(50), "is the Bread of Life. Whoso then eateth life cannot die. How should he die, whose food is life? How perish, who hath a living substance? Approach to Him and be filled, because He is Bread; approach to Him and drink, because He is a Fountain; approach to Him and be enlightened, because He is Light; approach to Him and be freed, because, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty; approach to Him and be absolved, because He is Remission of sins."
In each place in Holy Scripture, where the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist is taught, there is, at least, some indication of the remission of sins. Our Blessed Lord, while chiefly speaking of Himself, as the Bread of life, the true meat, the true drink, His Indwelling, Resurrection from the dead, and Life everlasting, still says also, "the Bread that I will give is My Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." As amid the apparent identity of this teaching, each separate oracle enounces some fresh portion of the whole truth, so also does this; that His Flesh and Blood in the Sacrament shall give life, not only because they are the Flesh and Blood of the Incarnate Word, Who is Life, but also because they are the very Flesh and Blood which were given and shed for the life of the world, and are given to those, for whom(51), they had been given. This is said yet more distinctly I the awful words, whereby He consecrated for ever(52) elements of this world to be His Body and Blood. It has been remarked(53), as that which cannot be incidental, (as how should any words of the Eternal Word be incidental?) how amid lesser variations in the order or fullness of those solemn words, they still, wherever recorded, speak of the act as a present act. "This is My Body which is given for you;" "This is My Body which is broken for you;" "This is My Blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins;" "This Cup is the New Testament in My Blood, which is shed for you." He saith not, "which shall be given," "shall be broken," "shall be shed," but "is being given," "being broken," "being shed," and this in remarkable contrast with His own words, when speaking of that same Gift, as yet future, "The Bread which I will give is My Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." And of one of the words used, Saint Chrysosthom(54) remarks how it could not be said of the Cross, but is true of the Holy Eucharist. "For 'a bone of Him,' it saith, 'shall not be broken.' But that which He suffered not on the Cross, this He suffers in the oblation for thy sake, and submits to be broken that He may fill all men." Hereby He seems as well to teach us that the great Act of His Passion then began; then, as a Priest, did he through the Eternal Spirit offer Himself without spot to God; then did He "consecrate" Himself(55), before He was by wicked hands crucified and slain; and all which followed, until He commended His Blessed Spirit to the Hands of His Heavenly Father, was One protracted, willing, Suffering. Then did he begin His lonely journey, where there was none to help or uphold, but He "travelled in the greatness of His strength;" then did He begin to "tread the wine-press alone," and to "stain all His raiment;" then to "wash the garments" of His Humanity "with the Wine" of His Blood(56); and therefore does the Blood bedew us too; it cleanses us, because it is the Blood shed for the remission of our sins(57). And this may have been another truth, which our Lord intended to convey to us, when He pronounced the words as the form which consecrates the sacramental elements into His Body and Blood, that that Precious Blood is still, in continuance(58) and application of His One Oblation once made upon the Cross, poured out for us now, conveying to our souls, as being His Blood, with the other benefits of His Passion, the remission of our sins also. And so, when Saint Paul says, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the participation of the Blood of Christ?" remission of sins is implied by the very words. For, if we be indeed partakers of His atoning Blood, how should we not be partakers of its fruits? "That which is in the Cup," Saint Chrysosthom paraphrases(59), "is that which flowed from His side, and of that do we partake." How should we approach His Sacred Side, and remain leprous still? Touching with our very lips that cleansing Blood(60), how may we not, with the Ancient Church(61), confess, "Lo, this hath touched my lips, and shall take away mine iniquities and cleanse my sins(62)?"
There is, accordingly, an entire agreement in the Eucharistic Liturgies of the universal Church, in prayer, in benediction, in declaration, confessing that in the Holy Eucharist there is forgiveness of sins also. Those of Saint James(63) and Saint Mark(64) so paraphrase the words of Consecration as to develop the sense that they relate not only to the past act of His Precious Bloodshedding on the Cross, but to the communication of that Blood to us now. "This is My Body which for you is broken and given for the remission of sins." "This is My Blood of the New Testament, which for you and for many is poured out and given for the remission of sins." Again, the Liturgies join together, manifoldly, remission of sins and life eternal, as the two great fruits of this Sacrament. Thus in the prayer for the descent of the Holy Ghost on the sacred elements(65), "that they may be to all who partake of them to the remission of sins, and to life eternal;" or in intercession(66), "that we may become meet to be partakers of Thy holy mysteries to the remission of sins and life eternal," or in the words of communicating, "I give thee the precious and holy and undefiled Body of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and life eternal." And the prayer in our own liturgy is almost in the words of an Eastern(67) and in the character of a Western Liturgy(68), "that our sinful bodies may be made clean by His Body and our souls washed by His most precious Blood." Even the Roman Liturgy, though less full on this point, has prayers, "that(69) the Communion may cleanse us from sin," "may be the washing away of guilt, the remission of all offences(70)."
It will then seem probably too refined and narrowing a distinction, when some Divines of that Communion, countenanced by the language of the Council of Trent(71), maintain, in opposition to other error(72), that venial sins only are remitted by the Holy Eucharist, since to approach it in mortal sin were itself mortal sin. For although our own Church also requires at least confession to God, and pronounces His absolution over us before we dare approach those holy Mysteries, yet because we are so far freed from our sins, that we may approach, to our salvation not to condemnation, yet can we say that we are so freed, that nothing remains to be washed away? That the absolution, which admits to that cleansing Blood Itself, in this respect also, addeth nothing? Rather, the penitent's comfort is, that, as, in Saint Basil's words on frequent Communion, "continual participation of life is nothing else than manifold life," so, often Communion of that Body which was broken and that Blood which was shed for the remission of sins, is manifold remission of those sins over which he mourns, that as the loving-kindness of God admits him again and again to that Body and that Blood, the stains which his soul had contracted are more and more effaced, the guilt more and more purged, the wounds more and more healed, that atoning Blood more and more interposed between him and his sins, himself more united with his Lord, Who Alone is Righteousness and Sanctification and Redemption.
Since then, this Divine Sacrament has, as its immediate and proper end, union with Him Who hath taken our manhood into God, and the infusion into us of His Spirit and life and immortality, making us one with His glorified Humanity, as He is One in the Godhead with the Father, and, besides this, it is ulteriorly, the cleansing of our sins, the refining our corruptions, the repairing of our decays, what must the loss of the Church in the latter days, in which Communions are so infrequent! How can we wonder that love should have waxed cold, corruptions so abound, grievous falls have been, among our youth, almost the rule, to stand upright the exception, Heathen strictness reproach Christian laxity, the Divine life become so rare, all higher instances of it so few and faint, when "the stay and the staff," the strength of that life is willingly forfeited? How should there be the fullness of the Divine life, amid all but a month-long fast from our "daily Bread?" While in the largest portion of the Church, the people mostly gaze at the threshold of the Heaven where they do not enter(73), what do we? We seem, alas, even to have forgotten, in our very thoughts, that daily Communion, which once was the common privilege of the whole Church, which, when the Eastern Church relaxed in her first love, the Western continued, and which they from whom we have our Communion Service in its present form, at first hoped to restore(74). It implies a life, so different from this our common-place ordinary tenor, a life so above this world as knit with Him Who hath overcome the world; so Angelic as living on Him Who is Angels' Food(75); an union with God so close; that we cannot mostly, I suppose, imagine to ourselves, how we could daily thus be in Heaven, and in our daily business here below, how sanctify our daily duties, thoughts, refreshment, so that they should be tinged with the hues reflected by our daily Heaven, not that heavenly Gift be dimmed with our earthliness; how our souls should through the day shine with the glory of that ineffable Presence to which we had approached, not that we approach to it with earth-dimmed souls. It must ever be so; we cannot know the Gift of God, if we forfeit it; we must cease mostly even to long for what we forego. We lose the very sense to understand it.
It is not in blame of others, my brethren, God forbid; it is as the confession of a common fault, to which others have contributed least who have been least unworthy, and which, if we confess, God may the rather teach us how to amend, that I dare not but notice, how, even in this privileged and protected place, we still mostly forego even what remains, and what our Liturgy still enjoins. We have learned even, as people needs must, to justify the omission. As those, who know not our privileges of daily service, think set daily prayers must become a lifeless form, so right-minded persons speak, (and perhaps until they know it, must needs speak,) as though we needed more reverence to partake worthily of the Communion weekly, but as though weekly Communions must needs decrease, not increase, reverence. And thus in this abode, which God has encompassed and blessed with privileges above all others, where so many have been brought into an especial nearness to Him, and a sacredness of office, so many look to be so brought, and yet on that account need the more watchfulness and Divine strength that they fall not, - where, if we will, we may retire into ourselves, as much as we will, and have daily prayers to prepare our souls, - we have, in very many cases, not even the privileges which are becoming common in village Churches; we all, to whom it is expressly, as by name, enjoined, to "receive(76) the Holy Communion with the Priest every Sunday at the least," have it perhaps scarcely monthly(77); and the thanksgiving for the Ascension of our Lord stands in our Prayer-Book year by year unuttered, because when He ascended up on high to receive gifts for men, there are none here below to receive the Gift He won for us, or Himself Who is the Giver and the Gift. Nor has this been ever thus; even a century and a half ago, this Cathedral was remarked as one of those, where, after the desolation of the Great Rebellion, weekly Communions were still celebrated(78).
But, however we may see that our present decay and negligence should not continue, restoration must not be rashly compassed. It is not a matter of obeying rubrics, but of life or death, or health or decay, of coming together for the better or for the worse, to salvation or to condemnation. Healthful restoration is a work of humility, not to be essayed as though we had the disposal of things, and could at our will replace, what by our forefathers' negligence was lost, and by our sins bound up with theirs is yet forfeited. Sound restoration must be the gift of God, to be sought of Him in humiliation, in prayer, in mutual forbearance and charity, with increased strictness of life and more diligent use of what we have. We must consult one for the other. There is, in our fallen state, a reverent abstaining from more frequent Communion, founded on real though undue fears; there is and ought to be a real consciousness that more frequent Communion should involve a change of life, more collectedness in God, more retirement, at times, from society, deeper consciousness of His Presence, more sacredness in our ordinary actions whom He so vouchsafeth to hallow, greater love for His Passion which we celebrate; and carrying it about, in strictness of self-rule and self-discipline, and self-denying love. And these graces, we know too well, come slowly. Better, then, for a time forego what any would long for, or obtain it, where by God's bounty and Providence that Gift may be had, than by premature urgency, "walk not charitably," or risk injury to a brother's soul. He Who alone can make more frequent Communion a blessing, and Who gave such strength to that one heavenly meal, whereby through forty days and forty nights of pilgrimage He carried Elijah to His Presence at the Mount of God, can, if we be faithful and keep his gift which we receive, give such abundant strength to our rarer Communions, that they shall carry us through our forty years of trial unto His own Holy Hill, and the Vision of Himself in bliss. Rather should those who long for it, fear that if It were given them, they might not be fitted for it, or, if we have it, that we come short of the fullness of its blessing, than use inconsiderate eagerness in its restoration. Ask we it of God, so will He teach us, how to obtain it of those whom He has made its dispensers to us. They too have their responsibilities, not to bestow it prematurely, though they be involved in the common loss. Let us each suspect ourselves, not others; the backward their own backwardness, the forward their own eagerness; each habitually interpret well the other's actions and motives; they who seek to partake more often of the heavenly Good, honour the reverence and humility which abstains, and they who think it reverent to abstain, censure not as innovation, the return to ancient devotion and love; restore it, if we may, at such an hour of the day, when to be absent need not cause pain or perplexity, and may make least distinction; so, while we each think all good of the other, may we all together, strengthened by the Same Bread, washed by the Same Blood, be led, in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace and holiness of life, to that ineffable Feast, where not, as now, in Mysteries, but, face to face, we shall ever see God, and be ever filled with His Goodness and His Love.
Meantime such of us, as long to be penitents, may well feel that we are less than the least of God's mercies; that we have already far more than we deserve; (for whereas we deserved Hell, we have the antepast of Heaven;) that the children's bread is indeed taken and given unto dogs; that He, Who is undefiled, spotless, separate from sinners, cometh to be a guest with us sinners; and therein may we indeed find our comfort and our stay. For where He is, how should there not be forgiveness and life and peace and joy? What other hope need we, if we may indeed hope that we thereby dwell in Him and He in us, He in us, if not by the fullness of His graces, yet with such at least as are fitted to our state, cleansing our iniquities and healing our infirmities, Himself the forgiveness we long for; we in Him, in Whom if we be found in that Day, our pardon is for ever sealed, ourselves for ever cleansed, our iniquity forgiven, and our sin covered.
1. i. Page 7
2. ii. See Appendix
3. iii. Bishop Andrews, ibid.
4. iv. As shewn by use of the Ancient words, "The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ," (rejected in Edward VI, 2nd Book) the Rubric for the "reverent eating and drinking" of the consecrated elements which remain, and the Article, which, while declaring that "the Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after a spiritual and heavenly manner," by the use of the words "given" and "taken," shews that it calls That "the Body of Christ" which is "given" by the minister, "taken" by the people. (See Knox's Remains, ii, page 170) In like way, the Catechism teaches that "The Body and Blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received of the faithful in the Lord's Supper." The very strength of the words of the Rubric denying "The Corporal Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood" in itself implies (as we know of those who inserted that Rubric) that they believed every thing short of this.
5. v. Both in his Poems and his Country Parson, which forms part of the Clergyman's Instructor, a work printed by the University, and recommended by Bishops to Candidates for Ordination.
6. vi. Tracts, No. 81; Mr Newman's "Letter to Dr Faussert;" Bishop of Exeter's Charge; my "Letter to Dr Jelf;" "the doctrine of the Catholic Church in England on the Holy Eucharist."
7. vii. Isaiah xxx 27. Motto to "The Christian Year," 1827.
9. ix. Hom. 46 in S. Joh. fin.
10. x. S. Ambrose de Jos. C. 3 par. 14
11. xi. Hom. 47. In S Joh. init.
12. xii. Ep. 15. ad Mart. and Ep. 16. ad Presb.
13. xiii. All the following types, as also that of the "burning coal" referred to hereafter, are received (with some others) even by the learned Lutheran J. Gerhard, (de S Coen c. 2) as are some of the verbal prophecies; all are currently found among the Fathers.
14. xiv. 1 Sam. xxi.5.
15. xv. S. Ambr. De Myst. Tin. S. Jerome, Ep. 120. Ad Hedlib. Q. 2. On S. Matt.xxvi.29. "Moses gave us not the true Bread, but the Lord Jesus; Himself feasting, and the feast; Himself eating, and Who is eaten: (Ipse conviva et convivium, ipse comedens et qui comeditur.) We drink His Blood, and without Himself we cannot drink it. - Let us do His will - and Christ will drink with us His own Blood in the Kingdom of the Church.
16. xvi. "Marvel not hereat, nor inquire in Jewish manner 'how'," &c. S. Cyr. In S. Joh.1.iv, p. 362. Add. P. 358,5
17. xvii. "When the Son saith that He was sent, He signifieth His Incarnation and nothing else; but by Incarnation we mean that He became wholly man. As then the Fat her, He saith, made Me man, and since I was begotten of That Which is, by nature, Life, I, being God the Word, 'live', and having become man, filled My Temple, that is, My Body, with Mine own nature, so then, in like manner, shall he also who eateth My Flesh, live by Me. For I took mortal flesh; but, having dwelt in it, being by nature Life because I am of the living Father, I have transmuted it wholly into My own life. The corruption of the flesh conquered not Me, but I conquered it, as God. As then (for I again say it, unwearied, since it is to profit) although I was made flesh, (for the 'being sent' meaneth this,) again I live through the living Father, that is, retaining in Myself the natural excellence of Him Who begat Me, so also he, who, by the participation of My Flesh, receiveth Me, shall have life in himself, being wholly and altogether transferred into Me, Who am able to give life, because I am, as it were, of the life-giving Root, that is, God the Father." S. Cyril in S. Joh.1.v.c. 3 init. p. 366. Ed Aub.
18. xviii. See S. Cyr. Ib. p. 363
19. xix. "Why do we receive it [the Holy Eucharist] within us? Is it not that it may make Christ to dwell in us corporeally also, by participation and communion of His Holy Flesh? For S. Paul says that the Gentiles are embodied with, and coheirs, and copartakers of Christ? How are they shewn to be 'embodied'? Because being admitted to share the Holy Eucharist, they become one body with Him, just as each one of the holy Apostles. For why did he [S. Paul] call his own, yea, the members of all, as well as his own, the members of Christ? (1 Cor. vi. 15.) And the Saviour Himself saith, 'Whoso eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, dwelleth in Me and I in Him.' For here it is especially to be observed, that Christ saith that He shall be in us, not by a certain relation only as entertained through the affections, but also by a natural participation. For as, if one entwineth wax with other wax, and melteth them by the fire, there resulteth of both one, so through the participation of the Body of Christ and of His precious Blood, He in us, and we again in Him, are co-united. For in no other way could that which is by nature corruptible be made alive, unless it were bodily entwined with the Body of That Which is by nature Life, the Only-Begotten. And if any be not persuaded by my words, give credence to Christ Himself, crying aloud, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat, &c.' (S. John vi.53,54.) Thou hearest now Himself plainly declaring, that, unless we 'eat His Flesh and drink His Blood,' we 'have not in ourselves,' that is, in our flesh, 'Eternal Life;' but Eternal Life may be conceived to be, and most justly, the Flesh of That Which is Life, that is, the Only-Begotten." S. Syr, in S. Joh. 15, 1.1.x.c.2.p862,3. "How say they that the flesh goeth to corruption, and partaketh not of life, which is nourished by the Body of the Lord and by His Blood. Our doctrine agreeth with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist confirmeth our doctrine. For as bread out of the earth, receiving the invocation of God, is no longer common bread but Eucharist, consisting of two things, an earthly and a heavenly, so also our bodies, receiving the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the Resurrection for ever." S. Iren. 4.18.5.comp. S. Greg.Nyss. (very fully) Catech. Orat. c.37.t.iii.p.102
20. xx. But, in the words of our Catechism, "by the Body and Blood of Christ," i.e. by receiving them.
21. xxi. Ezek. Xxviii.12,15
22. xxii. 'I say more, even angels and virtues and the higher powers are confederated in this one Church, as the Apostle teaches that in Christ all things are reconciled, not only things in earth, but things in heaven." S. Nicetae Expl. Symb. P. 44. (quoted Manning, Unity of the Church, p. 37.)
xxiii. "Doth any man doubt but that even from the flesh of Christ our very bodies do receive that life which shall make them glorious at the latter day, and for which they are already accounted parts of His blessed Body? Our corruptible bodies could never live the life they shall live, were it not that here they are joined with His Body which is incorruptible, and that His is in ours as a cause of immortality, a cause by removing through the death and merit of His own flesh that which hindered the life of ours. Christ is therefore both as God and as man that true vine whereof we both spiritually and corporally are branches. The mixture of His bodily substance with outs is a thing which the ancient fathers disclaim. Yet the mixture of His flesh with ours they speak of, to signify what our very bodies through mystical conjunction receive from that vital efficacy which we know to be in His; and from bodily mixtures they borrow diverse similitudes rather to declare the truth, than the manner of coherence between His sacred and the sanctified bodies of the saints." Hooker, II E. v. 56.9. The thoughtful study of these chapters of Hooker on the connection of the Sacraments with the Incarnation of our Blessed Lord would do much, in pious minds, to remove existing difficulties in the reception of the truth.
24. xxiv. "The Holy Body then of Christ giveth life to those in whom It is and keepeth them from incorruption, mingled with our bodies. For we know it to be the Body of no other than of Him Who is, by Nature, Life, having in Itself the whole Virtue of the united Word, and in-qualitied as it were, yea rather filled with His mighty working, whereby all things are made alive and kept in being." S. Cyr. In S. Joh. 6,35.1.iii.c.6 p. 324
25. xxv. Saint Chrysosthom Hom. 46 in S. Joh. 2. Fin. "Wherefore we needs ought to learn what is the miracle of the Mysteries, why they were given, and what their benefit. We become one body, members, he saith, of His Flesh and of His Bones. Add. 3. See also Mede and others, Appendix.
26. xxvi. "If they who touched the hem of His garment drew such great virtue, how much more they who possess Him wholly." Saint Chrysosthom Hom. 50 in Saint Matthew 2
27. xxvii. Saint Cyril of Alexandria in Saint John 1.iv.c.2. in v. 54 p. 364. The words just preceding are, on v. 24, "For wholly destitute of all share and taste of that life which is in sanctification and bliss, are they who do not through the mystical Communion receive the Son."
28. xxviii. De Trin. viii 13
29. xxix. Ib. 14.
30. xxx. "Where His Body is, there Christ is. When the adversary shall see thy dwelling place (hospitium) filled with the brightness of the heavenly Presence." &c. Saint Ambrose in Ps. 118 8.48
31. xxxi. Bishop Andrewes' Devotions for Holy Communion, (from ancient Liturgies,) "O Lord, I am not worthy, I am not fit, that Thou shouldest come under the roof of my soul; for it is all desolate and ruined; nor hast Thou in me fitting place to lay Thy head."
32. xxxii. S. Chrys. De Sacerdot. iii.5.add. in die Nat. J. C. t. 2l. p. 305. "consider that, being earth and ashes, thou receivest the Body and Blood of Christ - now when God inviteth thee to His own Table, and setteth before thee His own Son, - let us draw near as approaching to the King of Heaven."
33. xxxiii. De Beat. Philog. Hom. vi.t.i. p. 500. Ed. Ben. De Poenit Hom. 9. Init. S. Ephr. Opp. Syr. t.iii.p. 23
34. xxxiv. S. Chrys. De Bapt. Christi fin.
35. xxxv. S. Chrys. In S. Matt. Hom. 25 .3
36. xxxvi. S. Chrys. De Bapt. Christi fin.t.ii.p.374
37. xxxvii. S. Aug. Serm. 227 ad Inf. de Sacr.
38. xxxviii. Saint Chrysosthom, Hom. 46, in S. John .3. "But that we may be thus [one body, members of His Flesh and of His Bones,] not through love only, but in very truth, be we mingled with that Flesh. For this taketh place through the Food He gave us, wishing to shew the longing He hath towards us, wherefore He hath mingled Himself with us, and blended His Body with us, that we might be in a manner one substance as the body joined to the head;" and in Saint Matthew Hom. 82.5. "It sufficed not to Him to become man, nor to be buffetted and slain, but He mingleth Himself also with us, and not by faith only, but in very deed maketh us His Body." "For as if one joineth wax with wax, he will see the one in the other, in like manner, I deem, he who receiveth the Flesh of our Saviour Christ, and drinketh His precious Blood, as He saith, is found as one substance with Him, commingled as it were and immingled with Him, through the participation, so that he is found in Christ, and Christ again in him. - As then Paul saith that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, so the least portion of the consecrated elements blendeth our whole body with itself, and filleth it with its own mighty working, and thus Christ cometh to be in us and we in Him." S. Cyr. In S. Joh. 6,57 p. 364, 5. Saint Cyril again uses the word , ib. p. 351
39. xxxix. S. Chrys. in S. Matt Hom. 82.5. "That whereat the Angels gaze with awe, thereby are we nourished, therewith are we mingled, and we become the one body and the one flesh of Christ." Add. S. Cyr. Jer. Lect. 22. 3
40. xl. The whole passage stands thus in Saint Cyril, (in Saint John 17,23.1.xi.c.12.p.1001.) "We are united [not only with each other but] with God also. And how, the Lord Himself hath explained. 'I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in one.' For the Son is in us corporeally as Man, commingled and co-united with us by the Holy Eucharist. And again spiritually as God, by the power and grace of His own Spirit, re-creating the spirit in us to newness of life, and making us partakers of the Divine Nature. Christ then appeareth to be the bond of our unity with God the Father, binding us to Himself, as Man, but being, as in God, in God His own Father. For in no other way could the nature, subject to corruption, rise aloft to incorruption, unless the Nature, superior to all corruption and change, had descended to it, lightening in a manner that which ever sunk downwards, and raising it to Its own excellencies, and by communion and commingling with Itself all but uplifting it from the conditions conformable to created nature, and re-forming according to Itself that which is not so of Itself. We are &c. [as in the text.] For Christ willeth that we be received into the oneness with God the Father."
41. xli. S. Cyr. Jer. 1.c.
42. xlii. Saint Chrysosthom in Saint John Hom. 46. 3 "I willed to become your Brother; I became partaker of Flesh and Blood for your sake; again, that same Flesh and Blood, whereby I became akin to you, I give forth to you." S. Ignat. Ep. Ad Smyrn. 7 "They [the Docetae] abstain from the Eucharist and prayer, because they confess not that the Eucharist is that Flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins, which by His loving-kindness the Father raised." Comp. Bp. Taylor. (App.)
43. xliii. See S. Chrys. below, p. 21, Liturgies, p. 24. Bp. Taylor. (App.)
44. xliv. S. Aug. Conf. 1. 10. Fin. "pretii nostri Sacramentum," ib. 1.9. .36. add. Serm. 9 .14. S. 131. Init. and in Psalm 48 S.1. 3 and in Psalm 125. 9.
45. xlv. S. Aug. c. Crese. Don. I. 25
46. xlvi. S. Aug. Serm. 216. 3. "whom He accounteth so dear, that for you He poureth out daily &c."
47. xlvii. S. Aug. in Ps. 100,9
48. xlviii. S. Aug. Serm. 77.4. add. Serm. 80.5. fin.S.87.14.S.89.1.S.352,2. In Ps. 45. 4. And in Ps. 65. 5. Add. S. Chrys. de Prod. Jud. Hom. 2. 3. "This is My Blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins. And Judas was present when the Lord said this. This is the Blood, which thou didst sell for thirty pieces of silver. - Oh how great the lovingkindness of Christ! Oh, what the ingratitude of Judas! The Lord nourished, the servant sold. For he sold Him, receiving the thirty pieces of silver; Christ shed His own Blood as a ransom for us, and gave It to him, who sold Him, had he willed. For Judas also was present before the betrayal, and partook of the Holy Table, and received the mystical Feast."
49. xlix. S. Chrys. ad. Pop. Ant. ii. fin.
50. l. In Ps. 118. Lit. 18. 28
51. li. S. Chrys. in S. Matt. Hom. 25. 3. "If of His Birth it is said 'all of this,' what shall we say of His being crucified, and shedding His Blood for us, and giving Himself to us for a spiritual feast and banquet?" S. Cyr. In S. Joh. vi. 51. Lib. iv.c.2.p.354. "Christ then gave His own Body for the life of all, but again through It He maketh life to dwell in us; and how, I will say as I am able. For when the life-giving Word of God dwelt in the flesh, He transformed it into His own proper good, i.e. life, and by the unspeakable character of this union coming wholly together with it made It life-giving, as Himself is by Nature. Wherefore the Body of Christ giveth life to all who partkae of It, for It expels death when It entereth those subject to death, and removeth corruption, producing by Itself perfectly that Word which abolisheth corruption." S.Cypr.Ep. and Coecil.init. "His Blood whereby we were redeemed and brought to life cannot seem to be in the Cup, when wine is wanting to the Cup, whereby the Blood of Christ is set forth." S. Clem. Al Paed.ii.2.v.fin. "He blessed wine when He said, Take, drink, this is My Blood, the blood of the vine; for the Word, Which is poured forth for many for the remission of sins, he calls in image, the holy fountain of joy."
52. lii. S. Chrys, de Prodit. Jud.Hom.i.6. "As that voice, 'increase and be multiplied,' was uttered once, but throughout all time doth in act enable our race to produce children, so also that voice [This is My Body], once spoken, doth, on every Table in the Churches, from that time until this day, and until His Coming, make the Sacrifice perfect."
53. liii. Johnson's Unbloody Sacrifice, c.2.s.1.p.85 sqq. Of Roman Catholic Divines it is maintained by Jansenius ad Concordiam Evang. C.13. and others quoted by Vazquez (qu. 78.art.3. Disp.99.c.1.), rejected by Vazquez (ib.)
54. liv. Hom. 24 in 1 Cor. 4. The comment is immediately on c.10,16. ("the Bread which we break,") where he chiefly dwells on the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist. It of course more strongly applies to the words themselves.
55. lv. Saint John xvii.19. "What meaneth 'I sanctify Myself?' I offer Thee a sacrifice; but all the sacrifices are called 'holy;' and properly, 'holy' are what are dedicated to God." S. Chrys.ad loc.Hom.82.1. "That, according to the usage of the law is said to be sanctified, which is by any one brought unto God, as a gift or offering, such as every first-born which openeth the womb among the children of Israel. For He saith unto Moses, 'sanctify unto Me &c.' i.e. dedicate, set apart, write down as holy. - Taking, then, according to usage, 'sanctify' as meaning 'to dedicate and set apart,' we say that the Son 'sanctified' Himself for us. For He offered Himself, as a Sacrifice and holy Offering to God the Father, reconciling the world unto Him &c." S. Cur. Ad loc.1.xi.c.10.p.989.
56. lvi. Gen.xlix.11. is explained of the Passion of Christ by Justin M. Apol.1.p.71. ed.Par.Dial. c.Tryph. p.273. Tert. Adv. Marc. V.40. S. Ambr. De Jos. .13. de bened. Pat. 24. S. James of Edess. Ap. S. Ephr. Ad loc. (as v. 12 is by S. Jerome in Is. 1.15.c.55) of His Blood, Clem. Al. Paedag. 1.i.p.126 Orig. Hom. 17 in Jud. And by Orig. also of the Holy Eucharist, as also by S. Cupr. Ep. 63.2. S. Aug de Civ. D.xvi.41.
57. lvii. "That you may eat the Body of the Lord Jesus, wherein is remission of sins, the imploring of Divine reconciliation and everlasting protection." S. Ambr. In Ps. 118.Litt.8 48. "He receiveth who examineth himself, but whoso receiveth shall not die the sinner's death, for this Bread is the remission of sins." Id. De Bened. Patr.c.9
58. lviii. "This word ['sufficient Sacrifice'] refers to the Sacrifice mentioned before, for we still continue and commemorate that Sacrifice, which Christ once made upon the Cross." (Notes from the Collections of Bishop Overall, ap. Nicholl's Comm. Additional notes; see more at length Tract No. 80.) "What then? Do not we [Christians] daily offer? We do offer, but making a Memorial of His Death. And this is one and not many. How one and not many? Because it was once offered, as was that which was brought into the Holy of Holies. This is a type of that, and this itself of That. For we always offer The Same; not now one animal, to-morrow another, but always the same thing. So then the sacrifice is one. Else since it is offered in many places, there were many Christs. But no. There is but One Christ every where, here fully and there fully, One Body. As then He, being offered in many places, is One Body, and not many bodies, so also there is One Sacrifice. Our High Priest is He, Who offered the Sacrifice which cleanseth us. That same Sacrifice which was then also offered, we offer now too, That, the inexhaustible. For this is for a Memorial of That Which took place then. For, He saith, 'This do, as Memorial of Me.' We do not make a different, but always the same Sacrifice; or rather we make a memorial of that Sacrifice." (Saint Chrysosthom Hom. 17 on Heb. 9,28. "Christ was once offered.")
59. lix. ad loc.
60. lx. "His Blood is there received, His Flesh distributed to the salvation of the people; His Blood poured out, not now on the hands of the unbelievers, but into the mouths of the faithful." S. Greg. Dial.iv.58. "While the Blood in the Cup is being poured out of the undefiled Side." Saint Chrysosthom de Poenit init. Saint Chrysosthom also speaks of "the tongue reddened with the most awful Blood", in S.Matt.Hom.82.5 and de Sac.iii.4. p.382. "Thou seest all reddened with that precious Blood;" and in Ps. 140.4.t.5 p.433. "Think that this [the tongue] is the member, whereby we bold converse with God - this the member whereby we receive the aweful Sacrifice." Comp. Hooker, (App.) "We are dyed red within and without;" and in Bishop Wilson, (App.) "seeing the Blood of the true Paschal Lamb upon your lips."
61. lxi. The coal from the altar is regarded as a type of the Holy Eucharist by Saint Chrysosthom in illud Vide Dom. Hom. 5.3.t.vi.p.141. "And what marvel, if thou standest with the Seraphim, since those things which the Seraphim dared not touch, these God hath given thee with all confidence. For he saith, 'There was sent to me one of the Serpahim, having a coal of fire, which he took with the tongs from the altar.' That altar is an image and likeness of the Altar; that fire, of this spiritual fire; but the Seraphim dared not touch it with the hand, but with the tongs, but thou receivest It in the hand. Were you indeed to regard the dignity of what is there placed, it is far too great for the touch of the Seraphim - and ad loc. 4.Ib.p.69. as the exposition of others, when himself giving the primary meaning, "Some say that these things are the symbols of the Mysteries which were to come, the Altar, the fire lying thereon, the ministering power, its being placed in the mouth, the cleansing of sins." Se also de Poen. Hom.9.t.ii. p. 350.ed.Ben. "Wherefore also, when ye approach, think not that ye receive the Divine Body, as from man, but, as from the Seraphim themselves with the tongs of fire which Isaias saw, think that ye receive the Divine Body; and as touching with the lips the Divine and Unpolluted Side, so let us receive the Saving Blood." Theodoret, ad loc. "placing the coal on the mouth of the prophet, he declared to him the remission of sin. But by these things is moreover described and pre-typified the participation of our blessings, the remission of sins through the Body and Blood of the Lord." Add. S. Ephr. Serm.10.adv.Scrutat. Opp. Syr.t.iii, p.23 S. James Doct. Ap.S. Ephr. Opp. Ad loc.t.ii. p.30 et al. Ib. See also lit. of S. Cyril, (Renaudot. Liturg, tom.ii. 49) Coptic (ib. p. 54) Teaudot (p. 195) mentions a sacred vessel, in use among the Greeks and Copts, called hence the and suggests (ib. p. 323.) that the title spiritual 'fire,' frequent in Greek hymns on the Holy Eucharist, refers to this type. (See Saint Chrysosthom ab.p.16. and in this note.)
62. lxii. Lit. of Saint Chrysosthom p. 83 ed. Goar. Comp. Lit. of S. James Ass. Cod. Lit. v.56. "The Lord bless us and make us worthy to take with the pure 'tongs' of our hands the fiery coal and to place it on the mouths of the faithful, for the cleansing and purifying of their souls and bodies, now and ever."
63. lxiii. Greek, (Ass. Cod. Lit. v. 36.) Syriac, (ib. p. 236.) Armenian, (Renaud. Litt. Orr.ii.127.)
64. lxiv. Greek, (Ass. Vii.32,33.58.101) Coptic, (141, 2.ib.)
65. lxv. Liturgy of Saint James, (Ass. V. 40.) S. Mark (ib.vii.60 add. P. 35) Lit of S. Gregory, (ib.106,7.) Syriac, (ib. 190,1.) Coptic, (ib. 143,4) Cont. Ap. Vii.12. Lit of Saint Chrysosthom (Goar. P.77)
66. lxvi. Liturgy of Saint James, (Ass. V.52) Post-Communion Const.Ap.vii.14 S. Basil from S. James, Ass. Vii.46. "for the remission of sins, for the communication of the Holy Spirit." S. Mark ib.vii.73. It is retained in the Nestorian Liturgy Ren.ii.634. "May Thy Living Body, O Lord, which we have eaten, and Thy pure Blood which we have drunk, not be to us, Lord, to hurt or weakness, but to the expiation of offences and blotting out of sins, L9ord of all;" and p. 635. (benediction,) "To Him, Who expiates our offences by His Body, ad doeth away our sins by His Blood, be praise in His Church;" and, Gallic-Goth. Liturgy Post-Comm. (Mabillon de Lit. Gall. P. 300.) "Thy Body crucified for us we have eaten, and Thy Holy Blood shed for us we have drunk; may Thy Holy Body be to us salvation and Thy Holy Blood for remission of sins here and for eternal ages." Armenian, ap.Ren.ii.12. "Let not this Mystery which was instituted for our salvation, become to us to judgment, but to the abolition of our sins, &c." Miss.Mixt.Mozarab.p.233. ed. Lesl. "Tasting, Lord, the fullness of [Thy] sweetness, we pray that this be to us for the remission of sins and the health of our minds;" and the priest for himself, "O Lord, my God, grant me so to receive the Body and Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, that by It I may obtain remission of all my sins, and be filled with Thy Holy Spirit." (ib.p.232)
67. lxvii. "Vouchsafe to us, O Lord God, that our bodies may be sanctified by Thy Holy Body, and our souls cleansed by Thy propitiating Blood, and that it may be to us forgiveness of our debts and pardon of our sins." Suppl. to Syriac Liturgies, Ass.v.208, 9.comp. S. Ephr.Paraen.xi.ad Poenit Opp.t.iii. p.429. "Leave me not in hell, most merciful Lord, Who hast given me Thy Body to eat, and made me to drink Thy Blood which is life; through Thy Body may I be cleansed, and through Thy Blood my trespasses be forgiven."
68. lxviii. " - by Whose Flesh, sanctified by Thyself, while fed, we are strengthened, and by His Blood, while given us to drink, we are washed." Gallic. Sacram. Ap. Muratori Lit.Rom.Vet. p. 816 add Missale Gall-Goth. Ap. Mabillon, p. 229
69. lxix. Post-Communion for the Circumcision, &c. In the Sarum, York, and Hereford Missals, daily.
70. lxx. 3rd Post-Communion for Ash Wednesday &c. Also in Praep ad Miss. In the Breviary, "Grant that this holy foretaste of Thy Body and Blood, which I, unworthy, look to receive, may be the perfect cleansing of sins, &c." [A friend adds the following; "Deliver me by Thy All-holy Body and Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, that I may be meet to receive thereby remission of all my sins and be filled with Thy Holy Spirit." Sar. Prayer before kiss of peace. "Grant us so to receive this Body and Blood of Thy Son our Lord God Jesus Christ, that we may be meet to receive thereby remission of our sins, &c." York and Heref. Ib. "By the operation, O Lord, of this mystery may both our offences (vitia) be purged away and our good desires brought to good effect." Post-Communion Vigil of Epiphany, Lent Ember Friday, Palm Sunday. "Cleansed from guilt (expiati) by Thy Holy Mysteries, O Lord, may we obtain, we beseech Thee, both pardon and grace." 1st Post-Communion 3rd Sunday in Lent. "May the receiving, O Lord, of this Sacrament cleanse us from our guilt" (crimine). Friday after 3rd and Tuesday after 4th Sunday in Lent, "a vitiis expiatos," 3rd Sunday in Advent.]
71. lxxi. "An antidote, whereby we may be set free from sins of daily incursion, and preserved from mortal sins." Sess.xiii.c.3
72. lxxii. "That forgiveness of sins was the chief object of the Holy Eucharist." Ib. can.3.
73. lxxiii. "Hearing Mass" in the Roman Communion. This is, of course, said of the general declension of Communions; at early Masses, even on week-days, the writer is informed that there are Communicants, but not to what extent.
74. lxxiv. Edward VI 1st book. See Preface to Tract 81 p. 18
75. lxxv. S. Cyr. Al. In S. Joh. 1.iv.p.351. S. Jer. Ep. Ad Hedlib. q.2. S. Aug. in Ps. 33. En.1.6. "That Eternal Word, Wherewith the Angels are fed, Which is equal with the Father, met ate, because 'being in the form of God, &c." The Angels are satisfied with Him; but He 'emptied Himself' that men might eat Angels' food." (on Ps. 78.26)
76. lxxvi. Rubric after Communion Service.
77. lxxvii. One College, it should be said, has, for some time past, restored weekly Communion.
78. lxxviii. Archdeacon Grenville to Sir
William Dugdale, in Life and Correspondence of Sir William Dugdale, p. 429, 30. Letter
174, A.D. 1683. "I am informed that his Grace by Lord of Canterbury hath determined
on the setting up a weekly Celebration of the Holy Communion, according to the Rubric, in
the Church of Canterbury, and that my Lord Archbishop of York is likewise doing the same
in his Cathedral, and that they are both writing letters to the Bishops within their
Provinces, to follow their example; a noble work of piety, which will prove to their
everlasting honour, and very much facilitate conformity in the land, which hath been very
much wounded by the bad example of Cathedrals, which have (for the most part) authorised
the breach of law, in omitting the weekly celebration of the Eucharist, which hath not
been constantly celebrated on Sundays in any Cathedral but Christ Church, Ely, and
Worcester." [Archdeacon Grenville was a son-in-law of Bishop Cosins, and
"maintained" for many years the "order which Bishop Cosins had
restored," until 1688, when he resigned his preferment, and went into exile, ib. p.
431 and 229, note.