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LXVII. The grace which we have by the holy Eucharist Book V. doth not begin, but continue, life. No man therefore receiveth Ch this sacrament before baptism, because no dead thing is ca- Of the pable of nourishment. That which groweth must of necessity of the

» Body and first live. If our bodies did not daily waste, food to restore Blood of

Christ. them were a thing superfluous. And it may be that the grace of baptism would serve to eternal life, were it not that the state of our spiritual being is daily so much bindered and impaired after baptism. In that life therefore, where neither body nor soul can decay, our souls shall as little require this sacrament, as our bodies corporal nourishment. But as long as the days of our warfare last, during the time that we are both subject to diminution and capable of augmentation in grace, the words of our Lord and Saviour Christ will remain forcible, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his John vi. blood, ye have no life in you.” Life being therefore proposed 03. unto all men as their end, they which by baptism have laid

A. 162 the foundation, and attained the first beginning of a new life, have here their nourishment and food prescribed for continuance of life in them. Such as will live the life of God, must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man; because this is a part of that diet, which if we want we cannot live. Whereas therefore in our infancy we are incorporated into Christ, and by baptism receive the grace of his Spirit



On the Controversy concerning the Sacrament.
Book V. without any sense or feeling of the gift which God bestoweth ;
Cb. lxvii.

in the Eucharist we so receive the gift of God, that we know
by grace what the grace is which God giveth us; the degrees
of our own increase in holiness and virtue we see, and can
judge of them; we understand that the strength of our life
begun in Christ, is Christ; that his flesh is meat, and his
blood drink, not by surmised imagination, but truly, even
so truly, that through faith we perceive in the body and
blood sacramentally presented the very taste of eternal life;
the grace of the sacrament is here as the food which we eat
and drink.

This was it that some did exceedingly fear lest Zuinglius and Ecolampadius would bring to pass, that men should account of this sacrament but only as of a shadow, destitute, empty, and void of Christ. But seeing, that, by opening the several opinions which have been held, they are grown, for aught I can see, on all sides at the length to a general agreement concerning that which alone is material, namely, the real participation of Christ, and of life in his body and blood, by means of this sacrament; wherefore should the world continue still distracted, and rent with so manifold contentions, when there remaineth now no controversy, saving only about the subject where Christ is? Yea, even in this point, no side denieth, but that the soul of man is the receptacle of Christ's presence. Whereby the question is yet driven to a narrower issue, nor doth any thing rest doubtful but this, whether, when the sacrament is administered, Christ be whole within man only, or else his body and blood be also externally seated in the very consecrated elements themselves. Which opinion they that defend, are driven either to consubstantiate and incorporate Christ with elements sacramental, or to transubstantiate and change their substance into his; and so the one to hold him really, but invisibly, moulded up with the substance of those elements, the other to hide him under the only visible show of bread and wine, the substance whereof, as they imagine, is abolished, and his succeeded in the same room.

All things considered, and compared with that success which truth hath hitherto had by so bitter conflicts with errors in this point, shall I wish that men would more give themselves

On the Conduct of the Disciples of Christ. to meditate with silence what we have by the sacrament, and Book V. less to dispute of the manner how? If any man suppose that this were too great stupidity and dulness, let us see whether the Apostles of our Lord themselves have not done the like. It appeareth by many examples, that they of their own disposition were very scrupulous and inquisitive, yea, in other cases of less importance, and less difficulty, always apt to move questions. How cometh it to pass, that so few words of so high a mystery being uttered, they receive with gladness the gift of Christ, and make no show of doubt or scruple? The reason hereof is not dark to them which have any thing at all observed how the powers of the mind are wont to stir, when that which we infinitely long for presenteth itself above and besides expectation. Curious and intricate speculations do hinder, they abate, they quench such inflamed motions of delight and joy as divine graces use to raise when extraordinarily they are present. The mind therefore, feeling present joy, is always marvellous unwilling to admit any other cogitation, and in that case casteth off those disputes whereunto the intellectual part at other times easily draweth. A manifest effect whereof may be noted, if we compare with our Lord's disciples in the twentieth of John, the people that are said in the sixth of John to have gone after him to Capernaum. These leaving him on the one side of the sea of Tiberias, and finding him again as soon as themselves by ship were arrived on the contrary side, whither they knew that by ship he came not, and by land the journey was longer than according to the time he could have to travel, as they wondered, so they asked also, “ Rabbi, when camest thou John vi. hither?" The disciples, when Christ appeared to them in far more strange and miraculous manner, moved no question, but rejoiced greatly in what they saw. For why? The one sort beheld only that in Christ which they knew was more than natural, but yet their affection was not rapt therewith through any great extraordinary gladness; the other, when they looked on Christ, were not ignorant that they saw the wellspring of their own everlasting felicity; the one, because they enjoyed not, disputed; the other disputed not, because they enjoyed. If then the presence of Christ with them did so much move,

b. lxvii.


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