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food, and his blood to be the drink of our souls; that in him we live, and move, and have our being; that by him we are taught, - by his strength, enabled, - hy his graces, prevented, - by his Spirit, conducted, - by his death, pardoned, - by his resurrection, justified, and by his intercession, defended from all our enemies, and set forward in the way of holiness and life eternal.
· O grant that we and all thy servants, who, by faith and sacramental participation, communicate with the Lord Jesus, may obtain remission of our sins, and be confirmed in piety, and may be delivered from the power and illusions of the devil; and being filled with thy Spirit, may become worthy. members of Christ, and at last may inherit eternal life; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ.
OF CHARITY, PREPARATORY TO THE BLESSED
The second great instrument of preparation to the blessed sacrament is charity: for though this be involved in faith, as in its cause and moral principle,- yet we are to consider it in the proper effects also of it, in its exercise and operations relative to the mysteries. For they that speak distinctly, and give proprieties of employment to the two sacraments, by that which is most signal and eminent in them both respectively, call baptism the sacrament of faith,' and the eucharist' the sacrament of charity;' that is, faith in baptism enters upon the work of a good life; and, in the holy eucharist, it is actually productive of that charity, which, at first, was designed and undertaken.
For charity is that fire from heaven, which unless it does enkindle the sacrifice, God will never accept it for an atonement. This God declared to us by the laws given to the sons of Israel and Aaron. The sacrifice that was God's portion, was to be eaten and consumed by himself, and,
therefore, to be devoured by the holy fire that came down from heaven. And this was imitated by the Persians, who worshipped the fire, and thought what the fire devoured, their God had plainly eaten. So Maximus Tyrius: tells of them, that bringing their sacrifices, they were wont to says "O fire, our Lord, eat this meat." And Pindar, in his Olympiads, tells of the Rhodians, that when they brought a sacrifice to Jupiter, and had, by chance, forgotten to bring their fire, he, accepting of their good intentions, and pitying their forgetfulness, rained down upon them a golden shower from a yellow cloud; that is, a shower of fire came and con, sumed their sacrifice. Now, this is the great emblem of eharity: the flame consumes the feaster's sacrifice, and makes it a divine nutriment; our charity, it purifies the oblation, and makes their prayers accepted.
The tables of the Lord, like the Delian altars, must not be defiled with blood and death, with anger and revenge, with wrath and indignation: and this is to be, in all senses of duty and ministration, an unbloody sacrifice. The blood of the cross was the last that was to have been shed. The laws can shed more, but nothing else. For by remembering and representing the effusion of blood, not by shedding it, our expiation is now perfected and complete: but nothing hinders it more than the spirit of ward and death; not only by the emissions of the hand, or the apertures of a wound, but by the murder of the tongue, and the cruelties of the heart, or by an unpeaceable disposition.
It was love that first made societies, and love that must continue our communions : and God, who made all things by his power, does preserve them by his love, and by union and society of parts every creature is preserved. When a little water is spilt from a full vessel, and falls into its enemy
• "Οτι επιφορούντες πυρί επιλέγουσι, πύρ Δέσποτα, τροφήν ίσθιε.
• Καί τοι γάς αίθούσας έχοντες
Σπέρμ’ ανέβαν φλογος ού:
Olymp. Od. 7. 86. Heyne, ed. Bliss. vol, ii, p. 80.
dust, it curls itself into a drop, and so stands equally armed in every point of the circle, so dividing the forces of the enemy, that by that little union it may stand as long as it can; but if it be dissolved into flatness, it is changed into the nature and possession of the dust. War is one of God's greatest plagues; and, therefore, when God, in this holy sacrament, pours forth the greatest effusion of his love, peace in all capacities, and in all dimensions, and to all purposes, he will not endure that they should come to these lovefeasts who are unkind to their brethren, quarrelsome with their neighbours, implacable to their enemies, apt to contentions, hard to be reconciled, soon angry, scarcely appeased. These are dogs,' and must not come within the holy place, where God, who is the congregating Father 8,' and Christ the great Minister of peace, and the Holy Spirit of love, are present in mysterious symbols and most gracious communications.
For although it be true, that God loves us first, yet hé will not continue to love us, or proceed in the methods of his kindness, unless we become like unto him in love. For by our love and charity he will pardon us, and he will comfort us, and he will judge us, and he will save us; and it can never be well with us, till love, that governs heaven itself, be the prince of all our actions and our passions. By this we know we are translated from death to life, by our love unto our brethren b:' that is the testimonial of our comfort. -' I was hungry, and ye fed me: I was hungry, and ye
fed me not:' these are the tables of our final judgment. love me, keep my commandments:' that is the measure of our obedience. - In that ye have done kindness to one of these little ones, ye have done it unto me:' that is the installing of the saints in their thrones of glory.— If thou bringest a gift to the altar, leave it there; go and be re
e Scelera dissident.-- Seneca.
i Facinus sævum et atrox inter pocula atque epulas, ubi libare diis dapes, ubi bene precari mos esset, ad spectaculom scorti procacis, in sinn consnlis recubaptis, mactatam humanam victimam esse, et cruore mensam respersam. Sic Valerius Antias apud Livium, lib. xxxix. cap. 43. Rupert. vol. iii. p. 564. $ Surayayos wathe, Dionys. Areop.
h Cum nostros animos amor,
Quo coelum regitur, regit.- Booth. Consol. Philos.
conciled to thy brother:' that is the great instrument of our being accepted. --' No man can love God, and hate his brother:' that is the rule of our examination in this particular. ---- This is a new commandment, that ye love one another :' there is the great precept of the Gospel. — * This is an old commandment, that ye love one another:' there is the very law of nature. - And to sum up all, “Love is the fulfilling of the law:' that is the excellency and perfection of a man ;- and there is the expectation of all reward, and the doing all our duty, and the sanctification of every action, and the spirit of life: it is the heart, and the fire, and the salt of every sacrifice; it is the crown of every communion. And all this mysterious excellency is perfectly represented by that divine exhortation made by St. Paul', “ Purge out, therefore, the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump as' ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Now, concerning this grace, if we will inquire after it, in order to a worthy receiving the holy communion, we must inquire after the effects and offices of charity ; and, by the good we do, or are ready to do, take an account of ourselves in this particular. The offices and general duties are three : 1. Doing good ; 2. Speaking good; and, 3. Forgiving evil. :
Of doing Good to our Neighbours. He that loves me, does me good; for until love be beneficial, it is not my good, but his fancy and pleasure that delights in
I do not examine this duty by our alms alone; for although they are an excellent instrument of life, [" for alms deliver from death,” said the angel a to old Tobit,] yet there are some who are bountiful to the poor, and yet not charitable
to their neighbour. ' You can best tell whether you have charity to your brother, by your willingness to oblige him, and do him real benefit, and keeping him from all harm'we can. Do you do good to all you can? Will you willingly give friendly counsel ? Do you readily excuse your neighbour's faults? Do you rejoice, when he is made glad? Do you delight in his honour and prosperity? Do you stop his entry into folly and shame? Do not you laugh at his miscarriages? Do you stand ready in mind to do all good offices to all you can converse with ? ' For nothing makes society so fair and lasting, as the mutual endearment of each other by good offices; and never any man did a good turn to his brother, but, one time or other, himself did eat the fruit of it. The good man in the Greek epigram, that found a dead man's skull unburied, in kindness digging a grave for it, opened the inclosures of a treasure. And we read in the annals of France, that when Gontran, king of Burgundy, was sleeping by the murmurs of a little brook, his servant espied a lizard coming from his master's head, and assayed to pass the water; but seeming troubled because it could not, he laid his sword over the brook, and made an iron-bridge for the little beast, who, passing, entered into the earth, and speedily returned back to the king, and disturbed him, as it is supposed, into a dream, in which he saw an iron-bridge, which landed him at the foot of the mountain, where if he digged, he should find a great heap of gold. The servant expounded his master's dream, and showed him the iron bridge; and they digged where the lizard had entered, where they found indeed a treasure; and thus the servant's piety was rewarded upon his lord's head, and procured wealth to one, and honour to the other. There is, in human nature, a strange kind of nobleness and love to return and exchange good offices; but because there are some dogs who bite your hand, when you reach them bread, - God, by the ministry of his little creatures, tells, that if we will not, yet he will certainly recompense every act of piety and charity we do one to another. This the Egyptians did well signify, in one of the new names of their constellations : for when the wife of Ptolemy Euergetes had vowed her hair to the temple, upon condition her husband might return in safety; and she