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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 fathert 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 (σunveyμévov) 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 wellweighed and reverent language. S. Hilary* adduced the
t S. Cyril Alex. in S. Joh. 1. iv. c. 2. in v. 54. p. 361. 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 (ɛvλøyía) receive the Son."
u Id. in v. 55. p. 363.
x De Trin. viii. 13.
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 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', 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."
y Ib. §. 14.
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, 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 the 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 onwards 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 is 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,
z "Where His Body is, there Christ is. thy dwelling-place (hospitium) filled with the sence," &c. S. Ambr. in Ps. 118. §. 8. 48.
a S. Aug. in Ps. 138. §. 21. Serm. 135. de verb. Ev. Joh. 9. c. 5. comp. S. Hil. de Trin. xi. 49. (quoted Tract on Holy Baptism, p. 180. ed. 3.)
When the adversary shall see brightness of the heavenly Pre
dwelleth in us, in Whom, by Nature, all the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth; and 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"; 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;"
b Bp. 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."
S. Chrys. de Sacerdot. iii. 5. add. in die Nat. J. C. t. 2. p. 305. "consider that, being earth and ashes, thou receivest the Body and Blood of Christ
of "spiritual fired;" "grace exceeding human thought and a gift unutterable;” “ spiritual food', surpassing all creation visible and invisible," "kindling the souls of all and making them brighter than silver purified by the fire;" "removing 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," yea, yea, more than angels," becoming that which we receive, the Body of Christ." For that so we are " members' 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
-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."
d De Beat. Philog. Hom. vi. t. i. p. 500. ed. Ben. de Pœnit. Hom. 9. init. S. Ephr. Opp. Syr. t. iii. p. 23.
eS. Chrys. in Ps. 133.
f S. Chrys. de Bapt. Christi fin.
66 This Blood is the salvation of our souls; by this the soul is washed; by this beautified; by this kindled; this maketh our mind gleam more than fire; this maketh the soul brighter than gold." S. Chrys, in S. Joh. Hom. 46. §. 3. add de Sac. iii. 4.
h S. Chrys. in S. Matt. Hom. 25. §. 3.
1 S. Chrys. de Bapt. Christi fin. t. ii. p. 374.
k S. Aug. Serm. 227. ad Inf. de Sacr.
1 S. Chrys. Hom. 46. in S. Joh. §. 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 (åvipugs) His Body with us, that we might be in a manner one substance (7) as the body joined to the head;" and in S. Matt. 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, (Ev ŵs ægòs avròv) commingled as it were and immingled with Him (συνανακιρνάμενος ὥσπερ καὶ ἀναμιγνύμενος aur,) 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 (avaþúgu) 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. S. Cyril again uses the word åvanexgaμívovs, ib. p. 351.