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Thus God commanded, “ The first-born of thy sons shalt thou give unto Me.” (Exod. xx. 29.) And thus the Roman Senate was composed of “ Senes," men of greater age and experience, &c.
(c) If Priests were necessary before the Crucifixion, they must be equally necessary after, the duties being the same in both cases. And in whatever sense the offerers of Sacrifice were “ Priests” during the Patriarchal and Mosaic ages, the same they have been ever since. (Mal. i. 11.)
(d) The Holy Eucharist, i.e. the “continual remembrance," or perpetual commemoration, "of the Sacrifice of the death of Christ,” was recognized by the Early Christians as the one only Service or Office for Public Worship appointed by Christ Himself, and as therefore the special purpose for which they were to come together on the first day of the week. (Acts ii. 42, 6; xx. 7.)
(e) Henceforward, this “ Pure Offering," or “Liturgy," was to supersede and supply the place of the old Temple Liturgy, which was a Daily Sacrifice of a Spotless Lamb.
VI. COMMUNION. COMMUNICATION.
(a) (%) Delivery and Reception. “Given, Taken, Eaten."
(c) (d) (e) “Ritè, Dignè, Cum Fide.”
(a) The Res Sacramenti is “ given” by the Priest to all “ the Faithful” (i.e. Baptized) alike, “into their hands," whether they come dignè or indignè ; who then take and eat it” for virtus or damnum, gain or loss, benefit or injury. (1 Cor. xi. 24–30; Art. 25, notes.)
(6) « Heavenly manner ;" i.e. not according to any such low and vulgar notion, as either Roman Transubstantiation or Lutheran Consubstantiation, &c. (1 Cor. xv. 40.)
(c) “ Rite"; i.e. The Ritual being correct, and the three essentials of Priesthood, Matter, and Words, being present (Art. xix.)
(d) Digne ; " i.e. The People having fulfilled the requisite conditions for obtaining virtus Sacramenti. (Notes on Art. xxv., and Last Answer in Ca'echism.)
(e) 6. Cum Fide." (S. Matt. ix. 29 ; xiii. 53; xvii. 20.) As light is to the Eye, so is Faith to the Soul, which is thus enabled to “discern the Lord's Body ;' i.e. to see the Res Sacramenti present after consecration, at which it would otherwise stare blindly, as in the dark. (1 Cor. xi. 29.)
VII. RESULTS OF RIGHT RECEPTION.
Participation ritè et dignè ensures a “banquet of most Heavenly Food ;"' nothing less, in fact, than the “ Communicatio Corporis Christi ;” i.e. not merely a “ partaking of," but an actual « union with,” the Risen Body of Christ.
- Then we spiritually eat the Flesh of Christ, and drink His Blood ; then we dwell in Christ and Christ in us ; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us.” (3rd Exhortation ; 1 Cor. x. 16, 7; S. John vi. 56.) VIII. THE REAL PRESENCE. WHAT IT IS.
In answer to the question, “ What is the Inward Part or Thing Signified ?” the Catechism says, “ The Body and Blood of Christ, Which are verily an, indeed taken and received by the Faithful (i.e. Baptized) in the Lord's Supper."
Hence the “ Real Presence' means, the Præsentia Rei Significatæ, the Presence of the Thing Signified, after solemn consecration of the Elements, when, according to Christ's promise (S. Matt xxviii. 20), the Res Sacramenti is present objectively,” ie. given by God ab extrà, from without, as distinct from, and opposed to, “subjectively,” i.e. conceived by man ab infrà from within his own heart and mind.
It would be strange indeed, and contrary to all analogy, if the Church under Christ were in any respect worse off than the same Church under Moses, which had the Shechinah or Real Presence in the Tabernacle. But it is not so ; and accordingly, as with all the ancient Apostolic Liturgies, this doctrine forms the very foundation and staple of our Communion Office, which is based and built upon it throughout, and which inevitably can be nothing but a solemn sham, a profane imposture, nay, a blasphemous mockery, if the doctrine be not absolutely true; e.g.
(a) It begins with the title “ Holy,” as indicating the special Presence of God. Exod. iii. 2–6.
(6) It employs throughout the language of deep-felt awe and adoration ;-"Holy Mysteries ; Heavenly Feast; most Heavenly Food ; Divine and Comfortable; the Holy Communi (cati) on of the Body and Blood of Christ,” &c.
(c) It abounds with solemn cautions and warnings to prepare, i.e. to "put off the shoes,” &c., come holy and clean,” &c.
(d)' It recommends special 'Confession to those who cannot prepare otherwise,
(e) It inculcates the deepest humility and reverence; “Ye that do truly,” &c. ; “ We do not presume,” &c.
() It associates the Communicants with Angels and all the Company of Heaven. Rev, iv. 8. (8) It warns the presumptuous, as Judas ;
“So dangerous to them that receive unworthily"
“Grant us therefore so to eat the Flesh of Christ,” &c. (h) It encourages the timid, with “Comforting Words.”
(2) It allows only a duly-ordained Priest to “ Stand before the Table” for the Consecration.
(k) It puts into his mouth a solemn Invocation and entreaty, that Christ's “ Most Blessed Body and Blood” may be present to be “partaken of."
(1) It authorizes him to use the very Words and Manual Acts of Christ Himself at the First Celebration.
(m) It requires him to Consecrate again, as often as more Bread or Wine is needed.
(n) It gives him awful Words of Delivery to say to each recipient :
“ The Body of Christ ;” “The Blood of Christ.” (0) It instructs the People to “kneel meekly on their knees,” and receive (not with finger and thumb, but) “into their hands,” that nothing be lost.
(0) It charges the Priest to place "reverently" upon the Altar “what remaineth,
," "covering the same with a fair linen cloth.” (S. Matt. xxvii. 59.)
(9) It enjoins him not to treat, or allow others, to treat, "what remaineth,” carelessly, after the final Benediction ; but to "reverently eat and drink the same.”
(r) It permits none to be present but “the Faithful,” i.e. those who have been Baptized and Confirmed, or are ready and desirous to be Confirmed.”
IX. THE REAL PRESENCE;
To be BELIEVED, not argued about and EXPLAINED.
Romans and Protestants alike fall into heresy, through attempting to bring the “Divine Mystery” down to the level of human reason, and explain what passes man's understanding ; thus :
Romanism gets rid of the “Signum,” and makes it all “Res,” (Transubstantiation).
Protestantism gets rid of the “Res,” and makes it all “Signum," (Real Absence).
In contradistinction to both these extremes, the Catholic Church, which is the true Via Media, makes no futile and irreverent attempt to explain " these Holy Mysteries," but simply believes Christ's.
solemn Words of Institution, “ Hoc est Corpus Meum,”—This is My Body, -as recorded
by three Evangelists and S. Paul. (S. Matt. xxvi. 26; S. Mark xiv. 22 ; S. Luke xx. 19; 1 Cor. xi. 24. Also S. John vi. 53, 5; 1 Cor. x. 16; xi. 27-9; S. Luke i. 37, 8.)
N.B. Christ must have said what He meant, and meant what He said; for
(a) If He did not, His language is terribly illusive and misleading.
(6) He might have used any other words He pleased ; but He deliberately chose these.
(c) The Jews understood Him to literally what He said ; and He not only did not correct them, but allowed them to “ go away" in consequence, when a single word of repudiation, or even of softening explanation, would have secured their allegiance and adhesion. (S. John vi. 41, 52, 60, 66.)
OBSERVE- -1. For fifteen centuries no one ever dreamt of translating “Hoc est," &c., This represents, &c., i.e., “Hoc non est,” &c.
2. “I am a Vine," “ I am a Door,” &c., are not
any way parallel expressions. He did not say, “ This particular Vine, Door, &c., is My Body," as He said of the Bread and Wine. Hence no one misunderstood Him, any more than David, when singing Psalm 23.
The Rhyme attributed to Queen Elizabeth exactly expresses the Catholic idea :
“ Christ was the Word that spake it;
He took the Bread and brake it;