« הקודםהמשך »
substance, Christ himself; who offered up his body and blood for atonement for us, ---and, by the sacraments of bread and wine, and the prayers of oblation and intercession, commands us to officiate in his priesthood, in the external ministering like Melchisedec, in the internal, after the manner of Christ himself.
4 (3). This is a great and a mysterious truth, which as it is plainly manifested in the Epistle to the Hebrews, so it is understood by the ancient and holy doctors of the church. So St. Ambrose : “ Now Christ is offered, but he is offered as a man, as if he received his passion, but he offers himself as a priest, that he may pardon our sins; here, in image or representation, there, in truth, as an advocate interceding with his Father for us."-So St. Chrysostom: "I once the sacrifice was offered, which is powerful to our eternal salvation; but what then do we ? do not we offer every day? what we daily offer is at the memorial of his death,--and the sacrifice is one, not many; because Christ was once offered, but this sacrifice is the example or representation of that." - And anothero: "Christ is not impiously slain by us, but piously sacrificed ; and by this means we * declare the Lord's death till he come;' for here through him we humbly do in earth, which he, as a Son, who is heard according to his reverence, does powerfully for us in heaven: where, as an advocate, he intercedes with his Father, whose office or work it is; for us to exhibit and interpose his flesh which he took of us, and for us, and, as it were, to press it upon his Father.” To the same sense is the meditation of St. Austin P: “ By this he is the priest and the oblation, the sacrament of which he would have the daily sacrifice of the church to be : which because it is the body of that head, she learns from him to offer herself to God by him, who offered himself to God for her." And, therefore, this whole office is called by St. Basil, cuxn a poorouidñs, 'the prayer of oblation,' the great Christian sacrifice and oblation in which we present our prayers and the needs of ourselves and of our brethren unto God, in virtue of the great sacrifice, Christ upon the cross,
whose memorial we then celebrate in a divine manner, by divine appointment:
• In 10. ad Heb. habetur de consecr, dist. 2.
4(4). The effect of this I represent in the words of Lyra? : " That which does purge and cleanse our sins, must be celestial and spiritual ; and that which is such, hath a perpetual efficacy, and needs not to be done again : but that which is daily offered in the church, is a daily commemoration of that one sacrifice, which was offered on the cross, according to the command of Christ, “ Do this in commemoration of me.”
4(6). Now this holy ministry and sacrament of this death, being according to Christ's commandment, and, in our manner, a representation of that eternal sacrifice,
an imitation of Christ's intercession in heaven in virtue of that sacrifice, must be after the pattern in the Mount; it must be as that is, purâ prece,' as Tertullian's phrase is, ? by pure prayer;'. it is an intercession for the whole church, present and absent, in the virtue of that sacrifice. I need add no more, but leave it to the meditation, to the joy and admiration of all Christian people to think and to enumerate the blessings of this sacrament, which is so excellent a representation of Christ's death, by Christ's commandment; and so glorious an imitation of that intercession, which Christ makes in heaven for us all; it is all but the representation of his death, in the way of prayer and interpellation ; Christ as head, and we as members; he as High Priest, and we as servants, his ministers. And, therefore, I shall stop here, and leave the rest for wonder and eucharist: we may pray here with all the solemnity and advantages imaginable; we may, with hope and comfort, use the words of David',“ I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.” We are here very likely to prevail for all blessings', for this is, by way of eminency, glory, and singularity, calix benedictionis,' the cup of blessing,' which we bless, and by which God will bless us; and for which he is to be blessed for evermore.
5. By the means of this sacrament our bodies are made capable of the resurrection to life and eternal glory. For
In Epist. 10. ad Hebr.
r Psalm cxvi. • Hinc ergo pensemus quale sit hoc sacramentum, quod pro absolutione nostra passionem unigeniti filii imitetur. Quis enim fidelium habere dubium posset, in ipod immolationis horà ad sacerdotis vocem cælos aperiri, in illo Jesų Christi mysterio angelorum choros adesse, -- S. Gregor. in homil. Paschali.
when we are externally and symbolically in the sacrament, and by faith and the Spirit of God internally united to Christ, and niade partakers of his body and blood, we are joined and made one with him, who did rise again; and when the head is risen, the members shall not see corruption for ever, but rise again after the pattern of our Lord. If, by the sacrament, we are really united and made one with Christ, then it shall be to us in our proportion, as it was to bim: we shall rise again, and we shall enter into glory. But it is certain we are united to Christ by it; we eat his body and drink his blood sacramentally by our mouths, and, therefore, really and spiritually by our spirits and by spiritual actions co-operating for what good will it do us to partake of his body, if we do not also partake of his spirit ? but certain it is, if we do one, we do both'; cum naturalis
sacramentum proprietas perfectæ sacramentum sit unitatis," as St. Hilary's expression is; “ the natural propriety,” viz. the outward elements, “ by the sacrament,” that is, by the institution and blessing of God, “becomes the sacrament of a perfect unity :”- which, beside all the premises, is distinctly affirmed in the words of the apostle; “we which are sanctified, and he which sanctifies, are all of one;" and again : “ the bread which we break, is it not the communication of the body of Christ? and the cup which we drink, is it not the communication of the blood of Christ ?” plainly saying, that, by this holy ministry, we are joined and partake of Christ's body and blood, and then we become spiritually one body, and, therefore, shall receive in our bodies all the effects of that spiritual union; the chief of which, in relation to our bodies, is resurrection from the grave. And this is expressly taught by the ancient church. So St. Irenæus" teaches us : “ As
* Humana enim' caro, qnæ erat peccato mortua, carni mundæ unità, incorporata, unum eum illâ affecta, vivit de spiritu ejus, sicut unum corpus de suo spirita.— St. Aug. Epist. ad Iren.
Condescendens Deus nostris fragilitatibus influit, oblatis vim vitæ convertens éa in veritatem propriæ carvis, ut corpus vitæ quasi quoddamn semen vivificativum inveniatur in nobis. — S. Cyril. ad Cælosyrium.
Christus suo corpore per communionem mysticam benedicens credentibus et secun et inter nos unum corpus efficit. - St. Cyril, in Johan. lib. xi. c. 26. De Trinit, lib. viii,
su Lib. iv. c. 34. S. Clem. Alex. lib. ü. pædag. c. 2. Bibere Jesu sanguinem est participem esse incorruptionis Domini. lib. v.
the bread which grows from the earth, receiving the calling of God, that is, blessed by prayer and the word of God, is not now common bread, but the eucharist, consisting of two things, an earthly, and a heavenly; so also our bodies receiving the eucharist, are not now corruptible, but have the hope of resurrection." -And again : “ When the mingled chalice and the made bread receives the word of God, viz. is consecrated and blessed,
it is made the eucharist of the body and blood of Christ out of those things, by which our body is nourished, and our substance does consist: and how shall any one deny that the flesh is capable of the gift of God, which is eternal life, which is nourished by the body and blood of Christ ?” And St. Ignatius* calls the blessed eucharist, álavacías páguaxov, “the medicine of immortality :' for the drink is his blood, who is αγάπη άφθαρτος και αέναος Swi, “incorruptible love and eternal life;"-rúußona tās muetágas ávao Táows, so the fathers of the Nicene council, “the symbols of our resurrection;"-"the meat nourishing to immortality and eternal life," so St. Cyril of Alexandria ;-" for this is to drink the blood of Jesus, to be partakers of the Lord's incorruptibility,” said St. Clement).-“ For bread is food, and blood is life, but we drink the blood of Christ, himself commanding us, that, together with him, we may, by him, be partakers of eternal life ;" so St. Cypriana.
6. Because this is a ministry of grace by bodily ceremonies, and conveys spiritual blessings by temporal ministrations, -- there is something also of temporal regard directly provided for our bodies by the holy sacrament. It sometimes is a means in the hand of God for the restoring and preserving respectively of our bodily health, and secular advantages. I will not insist upon that of St. Gorgonia, who, being oppressed with a violent headach, threw herself down before the holy table, where the sacrament was placed, and prayed with passion and pertinacy, till she obtained relief and ease in that very place : nor that of St. Ambrose", who, having trod upon a gentleman's foot afflicted with the
* 'Αντίδοτον του μη αποθανείν.
Ο Τούτ' έστι πιεί το αίμα του Ιησού, της κυριακής μεταλαβείν αφθαρσίας.-Epist. ad Ephes.
• Aut quicunque sit auctor Sermon. de cæna Domini.
* Vide St. Ambros. in Orat. Fuuebri Satyri fratris, et St. Aug. lib. xxii. de Civitat. Dei, cap. 8.
gout, in the time of ministration, gave him the holy symbols, and told him it was good for his sickness also, and that he presently found his cure. I myself knew a person of great sanctity, who was afflicted to death's door with a vomiting, and preparing herself to death by her 'viaticum,' the holy sacrament, to which she always bore a great reverence; she was infinitely desirous, and yet equally fearful, to receive it, lest by her infirmity she should reject that, which, in her spirit, she passionately longed for: but her desire was the greater passion, and prevailed; she received it, and swal"lowed it; and, after great and earnest reluctancy, being forced to cast it up,- in zeal, and with a new passion, took it in again, and then retained it, and from that instant speedily recovered, against the hope of her physician, and the expectation of all ber friends.—God does miracles every day; and he who, with spittle and clay, cured the blind man's eyes, may well be supposed to glorify himself by the extraordinary contingencies and sacramental contacts of his own body. But that which is most famous and remarked, is, that the Austrian family do attribute the rise of their house to the present grandeur, to William, earl of Hapsburgh, and do acknowledge it to be a reward of his piety in the venerable treatment and usage of these divine mysteries. It were easier to heap together many rare contingencies, and miraculous effects of the holy sacrament, than to find faith to believe them now-a-days; and, therefore, for this whole affair I rely upon the words of St. Paul', affirming that · God sent sicknesses, and sundry kinds of death, to punish the Corinthian irreverent treatment of the blessed sacrament; and, therefore, it is not to be deemed, but that life and health will be the consequent of our holy usages of it: for if by our fault it is a savour of death, it is certain, by the blessing and intention of God, a savour of life. But of these things in particular we have no promise; and, therefore, such events as these cannot, upon this account of faith and certain expectations, be designed by us in our communions. If God please to send any of them, as sometimes he hath done, it is to promote his own glory, and our value of the blessed sacrament, the great ministry of salvation.
b 1 Cor. xi. 26.