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up together, it necessarily follows that those who are to be saved communicate in each of these parts with him who conducts to life, that is, with "Jesus Christ. Thus the soul, becoming united to "him by faith, arrives at salvation by that way; for "what is united to life participates no doubt of life. "But the body also must find another life by commingling itself with him who is to save it. For 66 as they, who would counteract the effect of poison "in their body, must have recourse to an antidote "that may diffuse its healing virtue through every "part of the body to which the poison had pene"trated; so, in like manner, after taking the fatal "poison of sin, which is destructive of our nature, "it becomes indispensably necessary for us to employ

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a remedy that may restore what is decayed and "disordered, and, operating as a powerful antidote "within us, may dispel, by its contrary quality, the "malignant effects of the poison we had received. "But what is this medicine? That body which was "shewn to be more powerful than death, and was "the beginning of our life; and which could not "otherwise enter our bodies than by eating and "drinking The body of Christ, by the "inhabitation of the word of God, was transmuted "into a divine dignity; and so I now believe, that "the bread, sanctified by the word of God, is trans"muted into the body of Christ." One might suppose, that Saint Gregory of Nyssa, had in his eye, and was refuting before hand, the sacramentarians who were afterwards to tell the world, that the body of Christ was to be eaten by faith alone. This great bishop teaches, in opposition to them, that as man is composed of two substances, so he is in two different ways united to God; the one adapted

to the nature of the soul by faith: the other con formable to the nature of his body, by the real manducation of the body of Christ made present in the Eucharist by a change of substance.

I now request your attention to the discourse delivered by St. Ambrose to his neophytes: "I en"treat you, who are soon to become partakers of "the sacred mysteries, seriously to consider, which "is the most excellent, the nourishment given by "God to the Israelites in the desert, and called the "bread of angels, or the flesh of Jesus Christ, "which is the very body of him who is life itself: "the manna which fell from heaven, or that which "is above the heavens Water flowed from "out of a rock in favour of the Jews, but for you, "it is blood that flows from Christ himself.

"Thus, this meat and drink of the old law, were "but figures and shadows: but here we speak of “the truth and the validity. And if the shadow so "much excited your admiration, how truly noble "must be the substance. For light is preferable to "the shadow: truth to the figure: the body of "Christ to the manna of heaven. But you may

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say; I see somewhat else; how do you assert "that I shall receive the body of Christ?—this re"mains to be proved. How many examples may "we not make use of to shew, that we have not "here what nature formed, but what the divine

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blessing has consecrated, and that the virtue of "this blessing is more powerful than that of nature: "because by it nature itself is changed? Moses held the rod he cast it on the ground: and it became

'Des Initiandis, c. IX. T. IV. p. 350, 351. Paris, 1614...

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a serpent—again he took it by the tail, and again "it became a rod If now the blessing of "men was powerful enough to change nature, what “must we not say of the divine consecration, when "the very words of our Lord operate? For the "sacrament which you receive, is accomplished by "the word of Christ. Now if the word of Elias "could call down fire from heaven, shall not the "word of Christ be able to change the nature of "created things?

"You have read concerning the creation of the "world: He spoke, and it was done: he com"manded and it was formed. If, then, the word of "Christ could draw out of nothing what till then "had no existence, shall it not be able to change "the things that exist, into what they were not before? "For it is not a less effect of power, to give new "existence to things, than to change the nature "of things that previously existed. We will

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now establish the truth of this mystery, from "the example itself of the incarnation. Was the "order of nature followed, when Jesus was born of a virgin? Plainly, not. Then why is that order "to be looked for here: It was the true flesh of "Christ, which was crucified, which was buried: " and this is truly the sacrament of his flesh. Our "Lord himself proclaims: This is my body. Before "the benediction given by the celestial words, it is "called bread; but after the consecration the body "of Christ is signified. He said also; This is my "blood. Before consecration, it has another name, "and after consecration it is denominated blood. "And you answer Amen; that is, it is true. What "the mouth speaks, let the internal sense confess: "what the words intimate, let the affection feel.

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"By these sacraments Christ feeds his Church, and by them is the soul strengthened. It is a mystery you should carefully keep to yourselves, ........ lest you communicate it to the unworthy and publish "the secret before unbelievers, by an unrestrained "freedom of speech. You must guard your faith "with the utmost vigilance, that you may preserve "the purity of your life and the secret of the mystery "with inviolable fidelity." To argue on the foregoing words would weaken their force. I shall merely observe; 1° that Saint Ambrose not only makes a clear exposition of the doctrine of transubstantiation, but proves it moreover, by adducing the very proofs and examples that have been produced in its defence since it became a contested point: 2o that the Eucharist is several times called a sacrament, which circumstance will be found of service, later: 3° that the neophytes, when instructed in the mysteries, were cautioned to preserve the most profound secrecy respecting them.

Saint Ambrose, or rather the very ancient author of a work upon the sacraments, which was for a long time attributed to that arch-bishop, after repeating the above cited passage nearly in so many words, has the following additional observations in another book: "As our Saviour is the true Son of "God, not merely by grace, like men, but by nature, being of the self-same substance with the Father; so, according to his own words, it is his true and "real flesh that we eat, and his true and real blood "that we drink. But you may here propose the "objection stated by many of his disciples, when he "spoke to them of eating his flesh and drinking his "blood: how can it be his true and real flesh and

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"blood, seeing, as I do, the resemblance, but not the "truth and reality of blood. I have already in"structed you above of the power inherent in the "word of Christ to change and transform the works "of nature. Moreover, when any of his disciples "could not endure his words, but went away "from him on hearing him talk of giving them his "flesh to eat and his blood to drink, Saint Peter "remained firm, and said in the silence of all,-Thou "hast the words of eternal life; to whom else should "we go? Thus, to prevent similar objections being "made by others, on the ground of a natural horror "to human blood, it has pleased the Almighty to "favour you with a sacrament which, while it bears "the resemblance, supplies you also with the grace "and virtue of his true and real nature. I am the "living bread, says he, which came down from "heaven. Now his flesh did not come down from "heaven, since it was derived from the blessed 66 virgin upon earth. In what manner then, did this "celestial and living bread come down from heaven? "By the union of the divinity and humanity effected "by Jesus Christ in his person. You, therefore, who "receive his flesh, participate of his divine substance "in that sacred repast." That the manducation here treated of is not one made by faith is most evident. It is that kind of manducation which excites the doubt; how can it be his true and real flesh, since I do not see it? Now it would be absurd to suppose, that the circumstances of the flesh not being seen would ever raise a doubt in any one's mind about its spiritual reception by faith, since contrariwise, for such reception by faith, it is indispensably necessary that the flesh be not seen.

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