« AnteriorContinuar »
the nearer our resurrection-they be His own words, " He that eateth My flesh and drinketh, &c. hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." So dwell we in Him, and He in us; we in Him by our flesh in Him, and He in us by His flesh in us. Thereby drawing life from Him the second, as we do death from the first Adam." Serm. V. p. 268.
"The Church by her office, or agendum, doth her part to help us herein, all she may. The things we are willed to seek she sets before us, the blessed Mysteries. For these are from above; the "Bread that came down from Heaven," the Blood that hath been carried" into the holy place." And I add, ubi Christus; for ubi Corpus, ubi Sanguis Christi, ibi Christus, I am sure. And truly here, if there be an ubi Christus, there it is. On earth we are never so near Him, nor He us, as then and there. There in efficacia, and when all is done, efficacy, that is it must do us good, must raise us here, and raise us at the last day to the right hand; and the local ubi without it of no value." Serm. VIII. vol. ii. p. 321.
"But to be temples is not all, we are farther to be Templum hoc," this Temple ;" and this was "the Temple of His Body." And that are we, if at any time, then certainly when as if we were temples in very deed, we prepare to receive, not the Ark of His presence, but Himself, that He may come into us and be in us; which is at what time we present ourselves to receive His blessed Body and Blood; that Body and that Blood which for our sakes was dissolved, dissolved three days since, when it suffered for our sins. And this day raised again, when it rose for our justification.
"Which when we do, that is, receive this Body or this Temple, for Templum hoc and Hoc est Corpus Meum are now come to be one, for both Templum hoc and Corpus hoc are in Templum corporis Sui; and when the temples of our body are in this Temple, and the Temple of His Body in the temples of ours, then are there three Temples in one, a Trinity, the perfectest number of all. Then if ever are we, not temples only, but Templa corporis Sui, Temples of His Body,' and this Scripture fulfilled in us." Serm. X. vol. ii. p. 362.
"In Christ this sign is a sign, not betokening only, but exhibiting also what it betokeneth, as the Sacraments do. For of signs, some shew only and work nothing; such was that of Jonas in itself, sed ecce plus quam Jonas hic. For some other
there be that shew and work both-work what they shew, present us with what they represent, what they set before us, set or graft in us. Such is that of Christ. For besides that it sets before us of His, it is farther a seal or pledge to us of our own, that what we see in Him this day, shall be accomplished in our own selves, at His good time.
"And even so pass we to another mystery, for one mystery leads us to another; this in the text, to the holy mysteries we are providing to partake, which do work like, and do work to this, even to the raising of the soul with " the first resurrection." And as they are a means for the raising of our soul out of the soil of sin—for they are given us, and we take them expressly for the remission of sins-so are they no less a means also, for the raising our bodies out of the dust of death. The sign of that Body which was thus "in the heart of the earth," to bring us from thence at the last. Our Saviour saith it totidem verbis, "Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My Blood, I will raise him up at the last day." Serm. XII. p. 402, 3. "The third place is St. Augustine, that Christ in these words had a farther meaning; to wean her from all sensual and fleshly touching, and teach her a new and a true touch, truer than that she was about. This sense groweth out of Christ's reason: Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended,' as if till He were ascended, He would not be touched, and then He would. As much as to say, ' Care not to touch Me here, stand not upon it, touch Me not till I be ascended; stay till then, and then do. That is the true touch, that is it will do you all the good.'
"And there is reason for this sense. For the touch of His Body which she so much desired, that could last but forty days in all, while He in His Body were among them. And what should all since, and we now, have been the better? He was to take her out a lesson, and to teach her another touch, that might serve for all to the world's end; that might serve when the Body and bodily touch were taken from us.
"Christ Himself touched upon this point in the sixth chapter, at the sixty-second verse, when at Capernaum they stumbled at the speech of eating His flesh. What," saith He, " find you this strange, now? How will you find it then, when you shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before?" How then? And yet then you must eat, or else there is no life in you.
"So it is a plain item to her, that there may be a sensual touching of Him here; but that is not it, not the right, it avails little. It was her error this, she was all for the corporal presence, for the touch with the fingers. So were His disciples, all of them, too much addicted to it. From which they were now to be weaned, that if they had before known Christ, or touched Him after the flesh, yet now from henceforth they were to do so no more, but learn a new touch; to touch Him, being now ascended. Such a touching there is, or else His reason holds not; and best touching Him so, better far than this of hers she was so eager on." Serm. XV. on Resur. vol. iii. p. 36.
"As these are their (the Romanists) imaginations, so we want not ours. For many among us fancy only a Sacrament in this action, and look strange at the mention of a Sacrifice; whereas we not only use it as a nourishment spiritual, as that it is too, but as a mean also to renew a 'covenant' with God by virtue of that Sacrifice,' as the Psalmist speaketh. So our Saviour Christ in the institution telleth us, in the twenty-second chapter of Luke and twentieth verse, and the Apostle, in the thirteenth chapter of Hebrews and tenth verse. And the old writers use no less the word Sacrifice than Sacrament, altar than table, offer than eat; but both indifferently, to shew there is both.
“And again too, that to a many with us it is indeed so fractio panis, as it is that only and nothing beside; whereas the Bread which we break is the partaking of Christ's true' Body'—and not of a sign, figure, or remembrance of it. For the Church hath ever believed a true fruition of the true Body of Christ in that Sacrament." vol. v. p. 66, 67.
"But yet, though this Bread be not so transubstantiated, we refuse not the words of the Fathers, in which they have expressed themselves in this mystery. Not Irenæus his est corpus,' that that Bread is His Body now. Not Tertullian's 'fecit corpus,' that that Bread is made His Body which was not so before. Not St. Cyprian's 'mutatus,' that that Bread is changed. Not Damascene's' supernaturaliter mutatus,' that that Bread is not only changed so in the use, as when at the King's table certain portions of bread are made bread of essay, to pass over every dish
whether for safety or for majesty; not only so civilly changed, but changed supernaturally. No nor Theophylact's 'transformatus est,' (which seems to be the word that goes farthest of all,) for this transforming cannot be intended of the outward form and fashion, for that is not changed, but be it of that internal form which is the very essence and nature of the Bread, so it is transformed, so the Bread hath received a new form, a new essence, a new nature, because whereas the nature of bread is but to nourish the body, the nature of this Bread now is to nourish the soul. And therefore cum non dubitavit Dominus dicere, Hoc est Corpus Meum' cum signum daret corporis, since Christ forbore not to say, "This is My Body," when He gave the sign of His Body, why should we forbear to say of that Bread, This is Christ's Body, which is the sacrament of His Body?" 80 Sermons. ed. 1640, p. 37. 4th Serm. on the Nativity.
"This is a point, which every Christian is bound expressly to believe, that God the Father, doth neither forgive sins, nor vouchsafe any term or plea of reconciliation, but only for the merits and satisfaction made by the sacrifice of the Son of God, who by the eternal Spirit offered Himself in our human nature upon the Cross. In the next place, we are to believe and acknowledge, that as God the Father doth neither forgive, nor vouchsafe reconciliation, but for the merits and satisfaction of His only Son; so neither will He vouchsafe to convey this or any other blessing unto us, which His Son hath purchased for us, but only through His Son; not only through Him as our Advocate or Intercessor, but through Him as our Mediator, that is, through His Humanity, as the Organ or Conduit, or as the only bond, by which we are united and reconciled unto the Divine Nature. For although the Holy Spirit or third Person in Trinity doth immediately and by Personal propriety work faith and other spiritual graces in our souls, yet doth He not by these spiritual graces unite our souls or spirits immediately unto Himself, but unto Christ's human nature. He doth as it were till the ground of our hearts, and make it fit to receive the seed of life; but this seed of righteousness immediately flows from the Sun of Righteousness, whose sweet influence likewise it is, which doth immediately season, cherish, and ripen
it. The Spirit of Life, whereby our adoption and election is sealed unto us, is the real participation of Christ's Body, which was broken, and of Christ's Blood, which was shed for us. This is the true and punctual meaning of our Apostle's speech, 1 Cor. xv. 45. "The first man Adam was made a living soul," or, as the Syriac hath it, animale corpus, an enlivened body; "but the second Adam was made a quickening Spirit ;" and immediately becometh such to all those which as truly bear His image by the Spirit of Regeneration, which issues from Him, as they have borne the image of the first Adam by natural propagation; and this again is the true and punctual meaning of our Saviour's words, John vi. 63. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you are spirit and life." For so He had said in the verses before, to such as were offended at His words, "What if you should see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before ?" The implication contained in the connexion between these two verses and the precedent is this; That Christ's virtual presence, or the influence of life, which His human nature was to distil from His heavenly throne, should be more profitable to such as were capable of it, than His bodily presence; than the bodily eating of His Flesh and Blood could be, although it had been convertible into their bodily substance. This distillation of life and immortality from His glorified human nature, is that, which the ancient and orthodoxal Church did mean in their figurative and lofty speeches of Christ's real Presence, or of eating His very Flesh, and drinking His very Blood in the Sacrament. And the Sacramental Bread is called His Body, and the Sacramental Wine His Blood; as for other reasons, so especially for this, that the virtue or influence of His bloody Sacrifice is most plentifully and most effectually distilled from Heaven unto the worthy receivers of the Eucharist." vol. iii. p. 327, 8.
"All that are partakers of this Sacrament, eat Christ's Body and drink His Blood sacramentally: that is, they eat that Bread which sacramentally is His Body, and drink that Cup which sacramentally is His Blood, whether they eat or drink faithfully or unfaithfully. For, all the Israelites (1 Cor. x.) drank of the same spiritual rock, which was Christ sacramentally: all of them were partakers of His presence, when Moses smote the rock. Yet, with "many of them, God was not well pleased,"