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because they did not faithfully either drink or participate of His presence. And more displeased He is with such as eat Christ's Body and drink His Blood unworthily, though they eat and drink them sacramentally for eating and drinking so onely, that is, without faith, or due respect, they eat and drink to their own condemnation, because they do not discern, or rightly esteem, Christ's Body or Presence in the Holy Sacrament.
"May we say then, that Christ is really present in the Sacrament, as well to the unworthy as to the faithful receivers ? Yes, this we must grant, yet must we add withal, that he is really present with them in a quite contrary manner; really present he is, because virtually present to both; because the operation or efficacy of His Body and Blood is not metaphorical but real in both. Thus the bodily sun, though locally distant for its substance, is really present by its heat and light, as well to sore eyes, as to clear sights, but really present to both, by a contrary real operation; and by the like contrary operation, it is really present to clay and to wax, it really hardeneth the one, and really softeneth the other. So doth Christ's Body and Blood, by its invisible, but real influence, mollify the hearts of such as come to the Sacrament with due preparation; but harden such as unworthily receive the consecrated Elements. If he that will hear the word, must take heed how he hears, much more must he which means to receive the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, be careful how he receives. He that will present himself at this great marriage-feast of the Lamb without a wedding garment, had better be absent. It was always safer, not to approach the presence of God manifested or exhibited in extraordinary manner (as in His sanctuary or in the ark), than to make appearance before it in an unhallowed manner, or without due preparation. Now when we say, that Christ is really present in the Sacrament, our meaning is, that as God He is present in an extraordinary manner, after such a manner, as He was present (before His incarnation) in His Sanctuary the Ark of His Covenant; and by the power of His Godhead thus extraordinarily present, He diffuseth the virtue or operation of His human nature, either to the vivification or hardening of their hearts, who receive the Sacramental pledges." vol. iii. p. 333, 4.
"There is a far better and safer course than to contend any longer, if men would at last set themselves on all parts to follow it; which is to reverence the Son of God in the unsearchable mysteries of His wisdom which are past finding out; and not to stand weighing them in the light scales and balance of their own reason; to draw a veil over them, or say with the woman of Samaria, Puteus est altus, this well is deep, and so with pious hearts to reverence them, and no more ado.
"5. When we have done striving, and even wearied ourselves in a thousand difficulties, brought our minds into a labyrinth of doubts, unless we will make controversies immortal, we must draw at last to an issue.
"The faithful receive the blessed Sacrament. Well, what do they receive? Certainly Christ Jesus, truly and really; to make further scruple is needless curiosity; to give light credence hereunto, is in part incredulity. What the elements of Bread and Wine are in themselves, is one thing; that they are, being now consecrated to so holy a use, and received of the spiritually minded as the spiritual food of their souls, is another. What they are I say, Christ's own words are sufficient warrant for a believing world unto the world's end. Wherefore, to be over-witted in seeking, or doubting how this should be, is no way agreeable to that faith and obedience that becometh Christians. Rerum absentium (saith an ancient father) præsens est fides; rerum impossibilium, possibilis est fides; of things absent, faith is present; of things impossible, faith is possible. Panem vides, verbum audis; Cui potius credis? Sensui, vel Christo? Thou seest the Bread, thou hearest the word; to which rather dost thou give credit, whether to thy sense, or to Christ? Cur non potius gaudes? Quid quæris? Why dost thou not rather rejoice? Why dost thou question?
"6. In this case, that of the blessed Virgin, spoken of Christ at the Marriage at Cana in Galilee, would be remembered; Quodcunque dixerit vobis, facite; whatsoever He shall say unto you, do it.
"When the Serpent said unto Eve, Cur præcepit vobis Deus, ut non comederetis? Why hath God commanded you not to eat? Had she answered, Scio quod præcepit, non spectat ad me investigare, causam quare præcepit; I know He hath com
manded me so; to seek a reason why, or the cause wherefore, I need not, I ought not;-had she not done far better?" Godly Meditations on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Preface.
"10. And now that we may ingeniously confess that which is a plain case in the sight of God, and not flourish over the truth with colours of rhetoric, or smother it with the clouds of deceit, we acknowledge that the dignity of this Sacrament is greater than words can express, yea, than the mind of man is able to conceive. If any will exact the efficacy of those five words, "For this is My Body," we answer, It is a great mystery.
11. Truly we give, and that justly, great respect and reverence to the holy Eucharist; for whereas bread and wine are elements naturally ordained for the sustenance of the body, by the power of Divine benediction they do receive a virtue, that, being received of the faithful, they become nourishment of the soul, nay, they become means whereby we are sanctified both in body and soul, and are made the members of Christ.
"12. But Christ, some say, in express words calleth the Bread His Body, and the Wine His Blood: true, in express words also He calleth Himself a rock. Right well saith Eusebius Emisenus," Comest thou to the Sacrament, consider there the Body and Blood of Christ: wonder at it with reverence, touch it with thy mind, receive it with the hand of thy heart; do not say as the Capernaites, " Master, how camest thou hither?" but, with the disciples, asking no question, be glad thou dost enjoy Him. He is honoured in this mystery, that was once offered upon the Cross. Yea, but how can this be, that Christ, sitting at the right hand of God in heaven, should dispose of His Body to us poor inhabitants of earth? Take here the answer of the angel Gabriel, the Holy Ghost hath overshadowed it. "From hence," saith St. Bernard, " to search is temerity, to know is life eternal."
"13. Is it not a hard saying, "Unless ye eat the Flesh of the Son of God," &c.? It is a hard saying to them that are hard of believing. The disciples hearing that of their Lord and Master, "Take, eat, this is My Body," they take, they eat, asking no question. "Being confirmed in faith," saith St. Chrysostom, " they take and eat; unbelievers hearing the same of
our Saviour, they depart, they eat not." Peter answereth, 'Lord, Thou hast the words of life;" others go backward, leaving the Lord of life. The Capernaite, hearing, dreameth of eating naturally, grossly; the godly are assured of eating spiritually, and yet withal really.
"14. Great was the authority of Pythagoras amongst his scholars; if he said it, they were silent; but greater was, and is, and ought to be, the authority of Christ with believers; He saith it, and they believe. The sun remains a splendent body, though bats and owls cannot endure it: the holy Sacrament remains an unspeakable mystery, though the carnal man doth not perceive it. In this case, silence is the safest eloquence, and the best expressing is not to express. A godly meditation. is safer than a Socratical disputing Discourse of controversy doth often abate devotion: discourse of piety about this mystery is sweeter than the honey or the honey-comb.
"15. The Passover, which Christ kept with His disciples, was prepared in an upper room. When men brought unto Him a man sick of the palsy, they, in letting down the sick, uncovered the roof of the house. The harder parts of the Paschal Lamb were consumed by fire. Mysteries are, if not contrary, yet often above reason. Well saith St. Cyril, in his third book against Julian, "If human reason waver in things sensible, how much more shall it do so in things beyond sense? Faithless Julian! what if the creation of the angels excel human capacity, did not Moses well in forbearing to mention it? Assuredly he did well. What if it cannot by reason be conceived how Christ, sitting at the table, should give Himself to His, for sustenance, wilt thou, therefore, by and by, imagine this or that change?
"Let us rather honour Christ in His mysteries, praise Him for His mercies, be thankful unto Him for His benefits. Those things which we comprehend let us admire; those which we cannot comprehend, let us more admire: though words be wanting what to express, let not faith be wanting what to believe." p. 287-291.
"31. Well saith Fulgentius, against the Arians, True faith hath never superfluous, but it ever had and hath, just reasons.' So also St. Cyril's mysteries are offered to believers, not to questioners.
32. Albeit, then, the manner be not of us over curiously
inquired or searched after, yet the same presence of Christ is acknowledged which Christ Himself would have to be acknowledged. We say with St. Ambrose, that there is not taken from bread the substance thereof, but that there is adjoined the grace of Christ's Body after a manner ineffable.
"33. It was no other but a shadow of this benefit that was of old given to the Jews in the ark of the covenant, and yet Solomon did so admire it, as that he said, And is it credible that God should dwell with men?'
"34. We often marvel and condemn the Jews, that, having Christ amongst them, they did not acknowledge and receive Him in that manner they ought to have done. Let us consider Christ among us, and invert that saying of the husbandmen, This is the heir,' let us take him, receive him, believe in him, and the inheritance shall be ours.'
“35. Last of all, concerning the controversy about the holy Eucharist, between two extremes, whereof we have heard, let us embrace the means, let us, with a sincere faith, apprehend the truth, apprehending, let us keep it, keeping, let us adore it with godly manners.
"36. And now to draw in, as it were, the sails of this admonition, godly reader, seeing that this divine institution was left by our gracious Redeemer, both for the inward peace of the soul, and outward of the Church, who can sufficiently lament to see the dissention that hath miserably divided the Christian world, and discord that hath risen about the same! Let us call to mind, that God is not the God of dissention, but the God of peace. Let us all forbear on both sides needless and unprofitable disputes. Unless Thou, Lord, hadst said it, "This is My Body, this is My Blood," who would have believed it? Unless Thou hadst said, O holy Christ, "Take, eat, drink ye all of this," who durst have touched it? Who would have approached to so heavenly a repast, hadst Thou not commanded it, hoc facite, do ye this; but Thou commanding, who would not joyfully come and communicate?
"37. Let us then hold captive human reason, and prepare ourselves unto the fruit of this heavenly manna. Unnecessary disputes bring small profits, we may with greater benefit wonder than argue. Then are the works of God most truly conceived, when they are devoutly admired." Ib. p. 299–301.
Consider the divine Wisdom of the Son of God, who, re