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"As the Living Father
dwelleth in Me and I in Him."
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 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 wholę, as far as such as we may grasp it, is this. That He is
"Marvel not hereat, nor inquire in Jewish manner 'how,'" &c. S. Cyr. in S. Joh. 1. iv. p. 362. Add. p. 358, 5.
"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 Father, 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 (siquiav) 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
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';" and so Christ "will raise him up at the last Day," because he hath His life in him. Receiving Him into this very body", they who are His,
into Me, Who am able to give life, because I am, as it were, of the lifegiving Root, that is, God the Father." S. Cyril in S. Joh. 1. iv. c. 3 init. p. 366. ed. Aub.
"So receive the Holy Communion, believing that it hath power of expelling not death only, but the diseases in us, [i. e. in the soul.] For Christ thus coming to be in us, (¡v hμïv ysyovàs,) lulleth in us the law which rageth in the members of the flesh, and kindleth carefulness to Godward, and deadeneth passions, &c. S. Cyr. in S. Joh. 6, 56. p. 365. "He saith, he that eateth My Flesh dwelleth in Me, shewing that He is mingled in him (i, avrỹ àvanıgvära)." S. Chrys. Hom. 47 in S. Joh. §. 1. "Thou hast, not the Cherubim, but the Lord Himself of the Cherubim indwelling, not the pot, nor the manna, the tables of stone and Aaron's rod, but the Body and Blood of the Lord.” S. Chrys. in Ps. 133. "Thou art about to receive the King within thee (vridíxırdaı) by communion. When the King entereth the soul, there ought to be a great calm." S. Chrys. de B. Philog. fin.
See S. Cyr. ib. p. 363.
m"Why do we receive it [the Holy Eucharist] within us? Is it not that it may make Christ to dwell in us corporeally also (ἄρ ̓ οὐχὶ καὶ σωματικῶς ἡμῖν ἐνοικίζουσα τὸν Χριστὸν), by participation and communion of His Holy Flesh? For S. Paul says that the Gentiles are embodied (rúrrapa) 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
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 one 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 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 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, (ʼn r) 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, (sμn runæλáxn σωματικῶς τῷ σώματι τῆς κατὰ φύσιν ζωῆς, τοῦτ' ἔστι, τοῦ Μονογενοῦς.) 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. Joh. 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. Cyr. in S. Joh. 15, 1. l. x. c. 2. p. 862, 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.
n But, in the words of our Catechism, "by the Body and Blood of Christ," i. c. by receiving them.
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 "." 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", 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.
. Ezek. xxviii. 12, 15.
"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. Nicetæ Expl. Symb. p. 44. (quoted Manning, Unity of the Church, p. 37.)
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", 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 also, since we become flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone', and Ile Who is wholly life is imparted to us wholly'. The Life which He is, spreads around, first giving Its own vitality to that sinless Flesh which He united indissolubly with
p" 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 the refore both as God and as man that true vine whereof we both spiritually and corporally are branches. The mixture of His bodily substance with ours 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 saints." Hooker, H. 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.
"The Holy Body then of Christ giveth life to those in whom It is and keepeth them from incorruption, mingled (åvazıgráμsvov) 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, (wwμivov) 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.
S. Chrys. Hom. 46. in S. Joh. §. 2 fin.
"Wherefore we needs ought
to learn what is the miracle (apa) 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, App.
"If they who touched the hem of His garment drew such great virtue, how much more they who possess Him wholly (oi öλov mùròv xatíxovts)." S. Chrys. Hom. 50. in S. Matt. §. 2.