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Ir 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 antireligious 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 are 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 a 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 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; 2dly, Because in the 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, 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 Bp. Andrews and Abp. Bramhall, 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." With the Fathers then, and our own great Divines, explaining as I believe the true meaning of our Church,* 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 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 showing 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 show 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, out of a writer so universally received as G. Herbert. 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.‡
As shown by the use of the ancient words, "The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ," (rejected in Edw. VI. 2d 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," shows that it calls That" the Body of Christ" which is "; "given by the minister, "taken" by the people. (See Knox's Remains, ii. p. 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 everything short of this.
† Both in his Poems and in 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.
Tracts, No. 81; Mr. Newman's "Letter to Dr. Fausset ;" Bishop of Exeter's Charge; my "Letter to Dr. Jelf;" "the doctrine of the Catholic Church in England on the Holy Eucharist."
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 so omitted contain doctrine, viz., the words from the fathers from "and by commingling" to "Divine nature."
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 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, and hundred fold."
Christ Church, Ember Week, afler Feast of Pentecost, 1843.
This is My Blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins.-MATT. xxvi. 28.
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, to unconnected ends; manifesting thereby the more His own Unity, as the secret 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, enlightening 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 Resurrection.
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 (1)," so He,