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And yet the reader may note your inconstancy; for af- BOOK terward in the last book you give Christ such a nip, that of. that whole satisfaction you pinch half away from him, and ascribe it to the sacrifice of the priest, as I shall more fully declare in my answer to the last book. For you say there, that the sacrifice of Christ giveth us life, and that the sacrifice of the priest continueth our life.
And here, good reader, thou art to be warned, that this writer in this place goeth about craftily to draw thee from the very work of our full redemption, wrought by our Saviour Christ upon the cross, unto a sacrifice, as they say, made by him the night before at his last supper. And forasmuch as every priest, as the papists say, maketh the same sacrifice in his mass, therefore consequently it followeth by this writer, that we must seek our redemption at the priest's sacrifice. And so Christ's blessed passion, which he most obediently and willingly suffered for our salvation upon the cross, was not the only and sufficient sacrifice for remission of our sins.
The only will, I grant, both in good things and evil, is The declaaccepted or rejected before God, and sometime hath the ration of Christ's will name of the fact, as the will of Abraham to offer his son is to die, was called the oblation of his son; and Christ called him an fice propiadulterer in his heart, that desireth another man's wife, though there be no fact committed in deed.
not a sacri
And yet Abraham's will alone was not called the oblation of his son, but his will declared by many facts and circumstances; for he carried his son three days' journey to the place where God had appointed him to slay and offer his son Isaac, whom he most entirely loved. He cut wood to make the fire for that purpose; he laid the wood upon his son's back, and made him to carry the same wood wherewith he should be brent. And Abraham himself, commanding his servants to tarry at the foot of the hill, carried the fire and sword, wherewith he intended, as God had commanded, to kill his own son, whom he so dearly loved. And by the way as they went, his son said unto his father, Father, see here is fire and wood, but where is the sacrifice that must be
BOOK killed? How these words of the son pierced the father's heart, every loving father may judge by the affection which he beareth to his own children. For what man would not have been abashed and stayed at these words? thinking thus within himself: Alas! sweet son, thou dost ask me where the sacrifice is; thyself art the same sacrifice that must be slain, and thou, poor innocent, carriest thine own death upon thy back, and the wood wherewith thyself must be brent; thou art he whom I must slay, which art most innocent and never offended. Such thoughts you may be sure pierced through Abraham's heart, no less than the very death of his son 2 Sam. xii. should have done. As David lamentably bewailed his son lying in the pangs of death, but after he was dead, he took his death quietly and comfortably enough. But nothing could alter Abraham's heart, or move him to disobey God, but forth on he goeth with his son to the place which God had appointed; and there he made an altar, and laid the wood upon it, and bound his son, and laid him upon the heap of the wood in the altar, and took the sword in his hand, and lifted up his arm to strike and kill his son; and would have done so indeed, if the angel of God had not letted him, commanding him in the stead of his son to take a ram that was fast by the horns in the briars. This obedience of Abraham unto God's commandment, in offering of his son, declared by so many acts and circumstances, is called in the Scripture the offering of his son, and not the will only.
Nor the Scripture calleth not the declaration of Christ's 5 will in his last supper to suffer death, by the name of a sacrifice satisfactory for sin, nor saith not that he was there offered in deed: for the will of a thing is not in deed the thing. And if the declaration of his will to die, had been an oblation and sacrifice propitiatory for sin, then had Christ been offered, not only in his supper, but as often as he declared his will to die. As when he said long before his supper many times that he should be betrayed, scourged, spit upon, and crucified, and that the third day he should rise again. And when he bade them destroy the temple of
his body, and he would build it up again within three days. BOOK And when he said that he would give his flesh for the life of the world, and his life for his sheep.
And if these were sacrifices propitiatory or satisfactory for remission of sin, what needed he then after to die, if he had made the propitiatory sacrifice for sin already? For either the other was not vailable thereto, or else his death was in vain, as St. Paul reasoneth of the priests of the old Heb. viii. law and of Christ. And it is not read in any Scripture, that Christ's will, declared at his supper, was effectuous and sufficient for our redemption, but that his most willing death and passion was the oblation sufficient to endure for ever and ever, world without end.
But what slights and shifts this writer doth use to wind the reader into his error, it is wonder to see, by devising to make two sacrifices of one will, the one by declaration, and the other by execution; a device such as was never imagined before of no man, and meet to come out of a fantastical head.
6 But I say precisely, that Christ offered himself never but once, because the Scripture so precisely and so many times saith so; and having the same for my warrant, it maketh me the bolder to stand against you, that deny that thing which is so oftentimes repeated in Scripture.
7 And where you say, that there is no Scripture whereupon we might conclude that Christ did in this mortal life but in one particular moment of time offer himself to the Father; to what purpose you bring forth this moment of time, I cannot tell, for I made no mention thereof, but of the day of his death; and the Scripture saith plainly, that as it is or- Heb. ix. dained for every man to die but once, so Christ was offered but once. And saith further, that sin is not forgiven but by effusion of blood; and therefore, if Christ had been offered many times, he should have died many times. And of any other offering of Christ's body for sin, the Scripture speaketh not; for although St. Paul to the Philippians speaketh Phil. ii. of the humiliation of Christ by his incarnation, and so to 8 worldly miseries and afflictions, even unto death upon the
cross; yet he calleth not every humiliation of Christ a sacrifice and oblation for remission of sin, but only his oblation upon Good Friday; which, as it was our perfect redemption, so was it our perfect reconciliation, propitiation, and satisfaction for sin. And to what purpose you make here a long process of our sacrifices of obedience unto God's commandments, I cannot devise; for I declare in my last book, that all our whole obedience unto God's will and commandments is a sacrifice acceptable to God, but not a sacrifice propitiatory; for that sacrifice Christ only made, and by that his sacrifice all our sacrifices be acceptable to God, and without that none is acceptable to him. And by those sacrifices all Christian people offer themselves to God, but they offer not Christ again for sin, for that did never creature, but Christ himself alone, nor he never but upon Good Friday. For although he did institute the night before a remembrance of his death under the sacraments of bread and wine, yet he made not at that time the sacrifice of our redemption and satisfaction for our sins, but the next day following.
And the declaration of Christ at his last supper, that he would suffer death, was not the cause wherefore Cyprian said, that Christ offered himself in his supper; for I read 9 not in any place of Cyprian, to my remembrance, any such words, that Christ offered himself in his supper, but he saith that Christ offered the same thing which Melchisedech offered 5. And if Cyprian say in any place, that Christ offered himself in his supper, yet he said not that Christ did so for this cause, that in his supper he declared his death. And therefore here you make a deceitful fallax in sophistry, pretending to show that thing to be a cause which is not the true cause in deed. For the cause why Cyprian and other old authors say, that Christ made an oblation and offering of himself in his last supper, was not that he declared there, that he would suffer death, for that he had declared many times before; but the cause was, that there he ordained a perpetual memory of his death, which he would all faithful Cyprianus, lib. 2. ep. 3.
Christian people to observe from time to time, remembering BOOK his death with thanks for his benefits, until his coming. again. And therefore the memorial of the true sacrifice made upon the cross, as St. Augustine saith 1, is called by the name of a sacrifice; as a thing that signifieth another thing is called by the name of the thing which it signifieth, although in very deed it be not the same.
And the long discourse that you make of Christ's true 10 presence, and of the true eating of him, and of his true assisting us in our doing of his commandment, all these be true. For Christ's flesh and blood be in the sacrament truly present, but spiritually and sacramentally, not carnally and corporally. And as he is truly present, so is he truly eaten and drunken, and assisteth us; and he is the same to us, that he was to them that saw him with their bodily eyes. But where you say that he is as familiar with us as he was with them, here I may say the French term which they use for reverence sake, Save vostre grace. And he offered not himself then for them upon the cross, and now offereth himself for us daily in the mass; but upon the cross he offered
himself both for us and for them. For that his one sacrinow unto us by faith
fice of his body then only offered, is as available as it was then for them. For with one sacrifice, as St. Paul saith, he hath made perfect for ever them that be Heb. x. sanctified.
And where you speak of the participation of Christ's flesh and blood, if you mean of the sacramental participation only, that thereby we be ascertained of our regeneration of our bodies, that they shall live and have the fruition of God with our souls for ever, you be in an horrible error. And if you mean a spiritual participation of Christ's body and blood, then all this your process is in vain, and serveth nothing for your purpose, to prove that Christ's flesh and blood be corporally in the sacrament, under the forms of bread and wine, and participated of them that be evil, as you teach, which be no whit thereby the more certain of their salvation, but of their damnation, as St. Paul saith. h August. Ad Bonifacium, epist. 23.
1 Cor. xi.