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should have veiled so plain a thing under a rigure so mysterious and obscure.

As one has well said, “ These words evidently declare, on the face of them, some very great mystery. How can they be otherwise taken? If they do not, they must be a figurative way of declaring something which is not mysterious, but plain and intelligible. But is it conceivable that He, Who is the Truth and Love itself, should have used difficult words when plain words would do? Why should He have used words, the sole effect of which, in that case, would be to perplex, to startle us needlessly?”

There is no mystery whatever in the idea of feeding on a doctrine or truth of God, and inwardly digesting it, and so having the soul strengthened by it.

Nor is there any mystery in the idea of feeding upon a person; we naturally mean by it, feeding upon the thought of one who is absent-dwelling upon the past tokens of his love.

Now, if our Lord had intended, in the salient words of this discourse, simply to describe this state of heart towards Himself, and its blessedness, He would most certainly never have supplemented the words, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven," with the words, “ The bread which I will give is My flesh.” For all ideas of loving faith feeding on the person beloved belong to the whole person of Christ, not specifically to His flesh.

Again, the Atonement He wrought was not merely the fruit of the sufferings of His Flesh or Body, but of the sufferings of His Soul also. If by “eating His Flesh" Christ meant adoringly contemplating or inwardly realising His sufferings, then we surely must adoringly contemplate, not His Flesh merely, which is the lower part of His lower nature, but rather the higher and deeper

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sufferings of that Soul of which His Flesh was but the clothing

So that on any merely rationalistic or Zuinglian view, our Lord never would have first said, “I am the bread of life," thereby directing our faith to His whole Person, and then have proceeded to narrow the eating of Himself as the bread of life to the eating of His Flesh.

From all this we cannot but gather that this eating of His Flesh must be something beyond, and to be distinguished from, the mental or inward realisation of His Atonement, or our part in it.

It must consist in the reception of some great grace or benefit attached to His Flesh as such, and to be received by us through the eating of His Flesh--in some heavenly and spiritual way, of course, but still through the eating of His Flesh.

We now return to the narrative.

The Jews strove among themselves, and asked, “How can this man give us His Flesh to eat ?"

Our Lord vouchsafes no answer to this question; but He surely would have replied to it if, by "eating His Flesh," He had meant so simple a matter as realising any doctrine which He was about to teach.'

On the contrary, He adds to the difficulty of all that He had previously said by introducing another material expression, viz., the drinking of His blood—“Except ye eat

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1 “He (Jesus] lets them go without saying, I mean a merely spiritual communication,' which would have presented no difficulty to the mind of any one present. Hence a true exposition-one that gives the sentiments of the writing under consideration-must, even if the views of the expositor are entirely different, confess that the discourse undoubtedly here relates to a participation of the corporeality of Christ.”—OLSHAUSEY on verscs 51–59. Franslated in Clark's “ Foreign Thcological Library,"

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the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you."

This joining of “drinking His Blood" with “eating His Flesh," more than doubles the probability that our Lord refers to some wondrous gift which the Eucharist was to be the authorised means of communicating to the believer; for, as we have already stated, a little more than a year after saying this, He instituted the Eucharist in two kinds, in His Blood as well as in His Body; for He said, “Drink ye all of this; for this is My blood.”

In the next four verses our Lord describes the effects of this “eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood.”

First, that through it He confers eternal life on the whole man, on the body as well as on the soul; for He says, “ Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.' Then, that through it Christ dwells in the Christian, and the Christian in Christ—“He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him." By this the Saviour connects the truth of cating His Flesh and drinking His Blood with that mass of remarkable doctrine in this Gospel, and in the Epistles, which teaches that Christians are in some mystical sense Christ.

It is worthy of remark, that the similitude of the 6 Vine and the branches” presents the first instance of this mode of speaking. In it Christ, for the first time, speaks to the Apostles as In Him, and bids them abide in Him. (John xv. 1–10.) Now, this similitude or parable was uttered by Christ immediately after He bad given His Body and Blood to the disciples. Their union with Him having been sealed therein, Ke naturally speaks to them (and for the first time) as “ in Him.”

The mystical indvelling which is here ascribed to the


eating of Christ's Flesh stamps the whole matter as dopending for its saving efficacy upon the spiritual state of him who eats.

No intelligent Christian has ever maintained that by any eating or drinking in impenitency or unbelief Christ will dwell in a man, and cause that man to dwell in Him.

The discourse closes with a reiteration that the Bread came down from heaven, and that these Jews must not eat after the manner of their fathers, if they would live for ever. The narrative proceeds —“Many of His disciples, when

, they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying, who can hear it ?”? Jesus, instead of making this hard saying

?1 plain, proceeds to add to it something still harder for unbelief to apprehend—“ Doth this offend you? What and if

ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before ?" “If you rise no higher in your conceptions,

1 The offence taken by these disciples at these salient words of the discourse, coupled with the fact that our Lord did not attempt to remove the ground of offence by any explanation His meaning, shows clearly that it is not possible to understand these startling words of Christ as if they were Orientalisms, i.e., exaggerated metaphor or allegory. For, as has been well said, “ the Jews, like all Orientals, were well able to judge of metaphor and allegory. On this occasion they were clearly possessed with the conviction that no mere metaphor, but some great momentous fact, was spoken of They evidently concluded from the expressions, and from our Lord's manner of uttering them, that they could not be otherwise explained. For, if not, why were they offended? If, as some have interpreted the words, they meant merely feeding on His doctrine and His atoning death, it would have been easy for our Lord to remove the difficulty, and win back His disaffected followers. And it was His custom to set men right when they mistook His words, and guard His teaching against possible misconception. But there was no explanation given.”—CARTER'S “Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist.”

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how will you be offended when you see Me, the Bread of ascend

out of

reach into heaven?” “ It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

These words are sometimes interpreted as if our Lord meant by them to retract or explain away all that Ho had said respecting the life-giving nature of His Flesh.

Those who explain this discourse as if there were no reference throughout it to any Eucharistic blessing, insinuate that our Lord means by these words to say—“I have spoken to you about flesh ; but by flesh I do not mean “flesh' at all. I mean its very opposite. I mean spirit, and by spirit’ I do not mean My Spirit, but I mean My words—I mean, in fact, the Bible.”

The answer to this wretched perversion is, of course, to ask with Luther (and he got the question from St. Augustine), Does the Flesh of Christ profit nothing? Now, in no sense does the Flesh even of Christ profit without the Spirit or without the word. But then, who would separato the Flesh either from the Spirit or from the word ? The Catholic Church has never done so. In the earliest Liturgies extant- some of them in their substance traceable to Apostolic times--we have an invocation of tho Holy Spirit upon both worshippers and elements, and I shall show that our branch of the Church would have her children realise and receive with a living faith every “ word” of the Redeemer, or of His Apostles, which bears upon eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood.

Into the exact meaning of these words I cannot now enter. I shall content myself with taking for the present the most Ultra-Protestant view of them which can possibly bo suggested.

Let us suppose that by the “ Spirit.” here our Saviour

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