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A. No, sir, for the word of God teaches us that he is in heaven, where he will remain until the judgment; it is also an article of our faith in which we say, I believe that he ascended up to heaven, where he sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; therefore if he is there as touching his humanity, and will remain there, as St. Peter says, Acts iii. 21, until the restoration of all things; which is to say, until the day of judgment; we must not then seek him here below in the sacrament.
Q. Jesus Christ taking the bread said, "This is my body," it therefore follows that his body is there.
A. Jesus Christ meant not to say that the bread of the Supper which he gave to his disciples was his body, but the sign only, for the word is is taken here only to express, to signify, by a figure which is much used in the sacred writings; that is to say, when the sign is taken for the thing it represents, or when the thing itself is taken for a sign; of this we have many examples in the Old as well as the New Testament; and first in Genesis the Lord calls circumcision his covenant, at the same time it is not his covenant, but the seal and the sign, as it is said in the same chapter, and in many other places; it is written in Exodus, speaking of the lamb, "It is the Lord's passover :" now it was not the passover, but the sign, as Moses explains it in other passages. Here then is which in these two places means to signify, is the same in the sacraments.
Then the Monk said, there is a great difference between the sacraments of the Old and New Testaments, for those of the Old did not confer grace, whilst those of the New do.
A. Neither the sacraments of the Old or those of the New confer grace; but they show us that it is conferred by Jesus Christ; for the Minister simply gives the sacrament, and Jesus Christ by virtue of his Spirit gives the grace, and communicates the promises which are made and presented to us in this sacrament.
Q. Were the fathers of the Old Testament participators of the grace and promises as we are?
A. The fathers of the Old Testament, as St. Paul says, 1 Cor. x. 3, 4, "have eaten the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink ;” it therefore follows that they were partakers of the same grace and the same promises as we are, through their faith in Jesus Christ.
Q. Jesus Christ says in Saint John, chapter sixth, "Your fathers did eat manna in the desert and are dead," ergo, they were not partakers of the same grace that we are.
A. Jesus Christ speaks in this passage of those who did not receive the manna in faith, which was a sacrament showing that Jesus Christ is the true manna coming down from heaven; but this passage does not speak of those who received it in faith, as did Moses, Aaron, Caleb, and Joshua. Besides this, Jesus Christ says in St. John, "Abraham saw my day and was glad;" now Abraham did not see Jesus Christ with the eyes of his flesh, but with the eye of faith.
Then the doctor was much astonished, not knowing on what side to turn, for when I had given a solution to the argument, he always tried to escape that he might not be thought conquered; and often he said to me, Listen, my friend, do not be so warm, be not
so loud, wait, wait, a little. I will prove that those in the Old Testament were not partakers of the grace as we are: St. Paul says, "for the law worketh death," and in another passage, "all those who are under the law are under the curse," Gal. iii.; if they are under the curse and under wrath, ergo, they have not been partakers of grace as we are. St. Paul shews by these passages that the law cannot justify us, inasmuch as we cannot fulfil it, and that all those who seek to be justified thereby cannot fulfil it, but we must go to Jesus Christ who has fulfilled it, and then through the faith which we have in him its fulfilment will be imputed to us. "The law then worketh wrath," and condemns us all, not in itself but all those who cannot fulfil it. Thus we see that the fathers of the Old Testament did not seek their justification through the law, but in Jesus Christ, who is the end of the law, and in whom they believed.'
On terminating this examination, the official said, 'Go, wicked heretic, thou shalt be burned, and thou sbalt go to the devil!'
If I am burnt for upholding the word of God I shall not go to the devil for that. You are judge now, and do your pleasure, but take heed what you do, for there is a judge higher than you, the living God will judge our cause, he will justify the innocent who keep his word, but he will condemn the wicked and those who persecute his holy name. I then left their presence, sorrowful for those unhappy ones, but when I was in my dungeon I began to pray to God, and to think on my victory over these false prophets of Antichrist, whom I had seen confounded and overturned by the word of God, unable to stand. Then the holy Spirit
brought to my memory the promise that Jesus Christ has made to all those who should be brought before his enemies, for his name's sake, to be witnesses against them, "I will give you mouth and wisdom which your adversaries shall not be able to resist."
Oh the great consolation and joy, beloved brethren and sisters, with which my heart was filled when I saw the promise in my case fulfilled, and the word of God victorious against these false prophets! Truly I have had many consolations since our good God has called me to the knowledge of his holy word, and whilst I was amongst the holy assembly of the faithful at Lausanne and Geneva; but the smallest joy and consolation that I had there, and what I daily have in my captivity far exceeds all the joys and pleasures that I ever had in the world; for the holy Spirit reminds me of the beautiful promises that Jesus Christ has made to those who suffer for his name, and fills me with the joy of Paradise.
In reading the letters of the Students, we cannot see without admiration, and without gratitude to God, the rich treasures of wisdom, strength, and consolation with which his holy Spirit profusely filled their hearts, in the depths of their dungeons, and in the presence of their judges.
During their long confinement, the exercises of the five Students says Cripin consisted of mutual and fraternal prayer and praise. Every day before they slept the one who had been praying invited the others to examine carefully if during the day that had passed they had said or done any thing that could offend their brethren. They were prepared a short time before their death to celebrate amongst them the holy Sup
per, to strengthen themselves by the commemoration of the death of their Lord.
At length the tenth of May brought them the deliverance they had so long sighed for; it was the happy day on which, after a year of imprisonment and suffering, they received from the Lord the crown reserved for them.
At about nine in the morning they were taken from prison to Rouen, there to receive sentence of death.It was, that they should be taken to Terreaux, and there burnt alive until their bodies were consumed. On leaving the tribunal they were taken to a place where criminals are put, after receiving sentence, until one or two o'clock in the afternoon. Then the five martyrs prayed to God with an ardour and vehemence of spirit astonishing to those who saw them; and soon after they began to rejoice in the Lord and to sing psalms. As two o'clock drew near they made them come out dressed in their gray robes tied together with cords, they exhorted each other to faithful perseverance, as the end of their journey was that stake, and victory was certain. When arrived at the place of execution they saw with joy the pile of wood around the stake, the two youngest first mounted it, one after the other, and when their robes were taken off, the executioner came to tie them to the stake; the last who ascended was Martial Alba, the oldest of the five. He had been for a long time on his knees before the pile praying to the Lord. When the executioner had tied the others and came to him, he was still on his arm to raise him, then
knees; he took him by the
Alba eagerly asked the lieutenant Signac to grant him 'What do you want?' said the lieutenant.