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(as appears plainly by the words of the apostle) is designed to this very end, to be a reconciler and an atonement in the hand of God; a band of charity, and the instrument of Christian communion; that we may be one body, because we partake of one bread; that is, we may be mystically united by the sacramental participation; and, therefore, it was not without mystery, that the congregation of all Christ's seryants, his church, and this sacramental bread, are both, in Scripture, called by the same name. This bread is the body of Christ, and the church is Christ's body too; for, by the communion of this bread, all faithful people are confederated into one body, the body of our Lord. Now it is to be observed, that, although the expression is tropical and figurative, that we are made one body,' because it is meant in a spiritual sense,-yet that spiritual sense means the most real event in the world: we are really joined to one common divine principle, Jesus Christ our Lord; and from him we do communicate in all the blessings of his grace, and the fruits of his passion; and we shall, if we abide in this union, be all one body of a spiritual church in heaven, there to reign with Christ for ever. Now, unless we think nothing good but what goes in at our eyes or mouth; if we think there is any thing good beyond what our senses perceive, we must conceive this to be a real and eminent benefit; and yet whatever it be, it is therefore effected upon us by this sacrament, because we eat of one bread. The very repeating the words of St. Paul is a satisfaction in this inquiry; they are plain and easy; and whatever interpretation can be put upon them, it can only vary the manner of effecting the blessing, and the way of the sacramental efficacy; but it cannot evacuate the blessing, or confute the thing. Only it is to be observed in this, as in all other instances of the like nature, that the grace of God in the sacrament usually is a blessing upon our endeavours; for spiritual graces, and the blessings of sanctification, do not grow like grass, but like corn; not whether we do any husbandry or no, but if we cultivate the ground, then, by God's blessing, the fruits will spring and make the farmer rich; if we be disposed to receive the sacrament worthily, we shall receive this fruit


· Διὰ τὴν σύγκρασιν καὶ ἀναστοιχείωσιν.— Isid. Pelusiot.

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also. Which fruit is thus expressed, saying, "This sacrament is therefore given unto us, that the body of the church of Christ in the earth may be joined, or united with our head which is in the heavens.".

3. The blessed sacrament is of great efficacy for the remission of sins; not that it hath any formal efficacy, or any inherent virtue to procure pardon, but that it is the ministry of the death of Christ, and the application of his blood, which blood was shed for the remission of sins, and is the great means of impetration, and, as the schools use to speak, is the meritorious cause of it. For there are but two ways of applying the death of Christ, an internal grace, and an external ministry. Faith is the inward applicatory; and if there be any outward at all, it must be the sacraments; and both of them are of remarkable virtue in this particular; for by baptism we are baptized into the death of Christ, and the Lord's Supper is an appointed enunciation and declaration of Christ's death, and it is a sacramental participation of it. Now to partake of it sacramentally, is by a sacrament to receive it; that is, so to apply it to us, as that can be applied; it brings it to our spirit; it propounds it to our faith; it represents it as the matter of eucharist; it gives it as meat and drink to our souls; and rejoices in it, in that very formality in which it does receive it, viz. as broken for, as shed for, the remission of our sins. Now, then, what can any man suppose a sacrament to be, and what can be meant by sacramental participation? for unless the sacraments do communicate what they relate to, they are no communion of communication at all. For it is true, that our mouth eats the material signs; but, at the same time, faith eats too, and therefore must eat; that is, must partake of the thing signified; faith is not maintained by ceremonies: the body receives the body of the mystery; we eat and drink the symbols with our mouths, but faith is not corporeal, but feeds upon the mystery itself; it entertains the grace, and

Serm. 8. ad fratres in erem.-Hoc sacramentum idéo nobis datum est, ut corpus ecclesiæ Christi in terris cum capite, quod est in cœlis, coadunetur. Itaque, petendo panem nostrum quotidianum, perpetuitatem postulamus in Christo, et individuitatem à corpore ejus.—Tertul. de Orat. Et ideo panen nostrum, i, e. Christum, dari nobis quotidie petimus; et, qui in Christo mane mus, à sanctificatione ejus et corpore non recedamus.—St. Cyprian. de Orat. Domin.

enters into that secret, which the Spirit of God conveys under that signature. Now, since the mystery is perfectly and openly expressed to be the remission of sins, if the soul does the work of the soul, as the body the work of the body, the soul receives remission of sins, as the body does the symbols of it and the sacrament.


3 (2). But we must be infinitely careful to remember, that even the death of Christ brings no pardon to the impenitent persevering sinner, but to him that repents truly: and so does the sacrament of Christ's death; this can do no more than that: and, therefore, let, no man come with his guilt about him, and in the heat, and in the affections of his sin, and hope to find his pardon by this ministry. He that thinks so, will but deceive, will but ruin himself. They are excellent, but very severe, words which God spake to the Jews, and which are a prophetical reproof of all unworthy communicants in these divine mysteries: "What hath my beloved to do in my house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness, with many? The holy flesh hath passed, from thee, when thou dost evil;" that is, this holy sacrifice, the flesh and blood of thy, Lord, shall slip from thee without doing thee any good, if thou hast not ceased from doing evil.' But the vulgar Latin reads these words much more emphatically to our purpose:" Shall the holy flesh take from thee thy wickedness, in which thou rejoicest?" Deceive not thyself, thou hast no part nor portion in this matter. For the holy sacrament operates indeed, and consigns our pardon, but not alone; but in conjunction with all that Christ requires as conditions of pardon. But when the conditions are present, the sacrament ministers pardon, as pardon is ministered in this world, that is, by parts, and in order to several purposes, and with power of revocation, by suspending the divine wrath, by procuring more graces, by, obtaining time of repentance, and powers and possibilities of working out our salvation, and by setting forward the method and economy of our salvation. For, in the usual methods of God,



Qui scelerate vivunt in ecclesià, et communicare non desinunt, putantes se tali communione mundari, discant nihil ad emundatiouem proficere, dicente propheta, quid est, quod dilectus meus facit in domo meâ scelera multa? nunquid carnes sanctæ auferent, à te malitias tuas?'-Jer. xi, 15. Isider, Hispal. de summo bono, lib. i. cap. 24.


pardon of sins is proportionable to our repentance; which because it is all that state of piety we have in this whole life after our first sin,-pardon of sins is all that effect of grace, which is consequent to that repentance; and the worthy receiving of the holy communion is but one conjugation of holy actions and parts of repentance, but indeed it is the best and the noblest, and such in which man does but best co-operate towards pardon, and the grace of God does the most illustriously consign it. But of these particulars I shall give full account, when I shall discourse of the preparations of repentance.

4. It is the greatest solemnity of prayer, the most powerful liturgy and means of impetration, in this world. For when Christ was consecrated on the cross, and became our High Priest, having reconciled us to God by the death of the cross, he became infinitely gracious in the eyes of God, and was admitted to the celestial and eternal priesthood in heaven; where, in the virtue of the cross, he intercedes for us, and represents an eternal sacrifice in the heavens on our behalf. That he is a priest in heaven, appears in the large discourses and direct affirmatives of St. Paul. That there is no other sacrifice to be offered, but that on the cross, it is evident, because he hath but once appeared in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself;" and, therefore, since it is necessary, that he hath something to offer so long as he is a priest, and there is no other sacrifice but that of himself offered upon the cross-it follows, that Christ, in heaven, perpetually offers and represents that sacrifice to his heavenly Father, and, in virtue of that, obtains all good things for his church.

4 (2). Now what Christ does in heaven, he hath commanded us to do on earth; that is, to represent his death, to commemorate this sacrifice", by humble prayer, and thankful re

1Ὅπως ὁ Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν· ὁ προσδεξάμενος αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ἅγιον, καὶ τὸ ὑπερουράνιον, νοερὸν, καὶ πνευματικὸν αὐτοῦ θυσιαστήριον εἰς ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας πνευματικῆς, &c. Heb. viii. 3.

*Heb. vii. 24.

Nonne semel immolatns est Christus in seipso? et tamen insacramento, non solum per omnes paschæ solennitates, sed omni die, populis immolatur. Nec utique mentitur qui interrogatus, cum responderit 'immolari :' si enim sacramenta quandam similitudinem earum rerum, quarum sacramenta sunt, non habeant, omnino sacramenta non essent. — St. Aug. Epist. ad Bonifac. 23. Quia corpus assumptum ablaturus erat ab oculis, et illaturus sideribus, necessarium erat, ut, die cœnæ, sacramentum nobis corporis et sanguinis

cord; and, by faithful manifestation and joyful eucharist, to lay it before the eyes of our heavenly Father, so ministering in his priesthood, and doing according to his commandment and his example; the church being the image of heaven; the priest, the minister of Christ; the holy table being a copy of the celestial altar; and the eternal sacrifice of the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, being always the same; it bleeds no more after the finishing of it on the cross; but it is wonderfully represented in heaven, and graciously represented here; by Christ's action there, by his commandment here. And the event of it is plainly this,→ that as Christ, in virtue of his sacrifice on the cross, intercedes for us with his Father, so does the minister of Christ's priesthood here; that the virtue of the eternal sacrifice may be salutary and effectual to all the needs of the church, both for things temporal and eternal. And, therefore, it was not without great mystery and clear signification, that our blessed Lord was pleased to command the representation of his death and sacrifice on the cross should be made by breaking bread, and effusion of wine; to signify to us the nature and sacredness of the liturgy we are about, and that we minister in the priesthood of Christ, who is a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec; that is, we are ministers in that unchangeable priesthood, imitating, in the external ministry, the prototype Melchisedec: of whom it was said, "He brought forth bread and wine, and was the priest of the most high God";" and, in the internal, imitating the antitype, or the

consecraretur, ut coleretur jugiter per mysterium, quod semel offerebatur in pretium; ut, quia quotidiana et indefessa currebat pro omnium salute redemptio, perpetua esset redemptionis oblatio, et perennis victima illa viveret in memoria, et semper præsens esset in gratia, vera, unica, et perfecta hostia, fide æstimanda, non specie, neque exteriori censenda visu,sed interiori affectu. Unde cœlestis confirmat autoritas, quia 'caro mea verè est cibus,' et 'sanguis meus verè est potus.' Recedat ergo omne infidelitatis ambiguum; quoniam, qui autor est muneris, idem testis est veritatis. - Euseb. Emiss.

A Non sine mysterio, sine re, vel panis ad aram

Vel vinum fertur, cui superaddis aquam.

Utraque sub typico ritu, formaque futuri,

Melchisedec Domino sacrificasse ferunt.-Hildebert. Cenoman.
Melchisedec Domino panem vinumque litavit ;
Christus idem faciens, pactum vetus evacuavit.-Hugo Card.
Rex ille Salem, qui, munere tali,

Mystica præmisit summi libamina Christi.

Claud. Marian, victor. lib. iii. in Genes.

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