E. B. (Edward Bouverie) Pusey.

The holy Eucharist, a comfort to the penitent : a sermon preached before the University in the Cathedral Church of Christ, in Oxford, on the fourth Sunday after Easter online

. (page 1 of 10)
Online LibraryE. B. (Edward Bouverie) PuseyThe holy Eucharist, a comfort to the penitent : a sermon preached before the University in the Cathedral Church of Christ, in Oxford, on the fourth Sunday after Easter → online text (page 1 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook



sec #11,228
Pusey, E. B.

The holy Eucharist, a comfor
o the penitent


'\\\\\ \\K)\,\ J'lUClIAKIS'l' A C'OMrolM lO J'lIK




IX TiiKrATnp:i.)HALrnrHrii oj^-cniusr, in omohd,









" The true imdeistanding of this fruition and union, which is
betwixt the body and the head, betwixt the true believers and
Christ, the ancient Catholic Fathers both perceiving themselves,
and commending to their people, were not afraid to call this
Supper, some of them, the salve of immortality and sovereign pre-
servative against death ; other, a deifical communion ; other, the
sweet dainties of our Saviour, the pledge of eternal health, the
defence of faith, the hope of the resurrection ; other, the food of
immortality, the healthful gTace, and the conservatory to everlasting
life. All which sayings bolh of the holy Scripture and godly men,
truly attributed to this celestial banquet and feast, if we would
often call to mind, O how would they inflame our hearts to desire
the participation of these mysteries, and oftentimes to covet after
this bread, continually to thirst for this food !" Homilies, Ix/ Pari
of {he Sermon on the Sacrament.


pREi \cp:.

It is with j)ain that the following Sermon is ]Hihlishecl.
For it is impossible for any one not to foresee one portion
of its effecls ; what floods, namely, of blasphemy against
holy ti iitli will be poured forth by the infidel or heretical
or secular and anti-religious papers with which our Church
and country is at this time afllicted. It is like casting with
one's own hands, that which is most sacred to be outraged
and profaned. Still there seem to be higher duties, which
require even this. The Gospel must be a savour unto life
or a savour unto death ; from the first, it has been blas-
phemed, wherever it has been preached. It has been
blasphemed by Jews, Pagans, and each class of heretics
as they arose ; the Arians used blasphemous jests, taught
the people blasphemous ballads, and profaned the Holy
Eucharist; increase of scoffers and blasphemers are among
the tokens of the last days; and yet the two witnesses are
to bear testimony, though in sackclolh. The more the
truth prevails, the madder must ilic world become ; (he
blasphemies with which holy truth is now assailed, arc but
a token of its victories.

The first duty of a Minister of Christ is to His little
ones; for tin ir sakes, lest any be per])lex('d in consecjuencc
of all which has been lately said, this Sermon is published;
and for them the following exj)lanation is intended.

Nothing, throughout the whole Sermon, was further from
my thoughts tiian cniitrovirsy. I had, on such occasions as
niv ofiico afforded, coinmeiued a course of Sermons on tlic


comforts provided by the Gospel for the penitent amid the
consciousness of sin, with the view to meet the charge
of sternness, involved by the exhibition of one side of
Cathohc truth ; in this course, the sacred subject of the
Holy Eucharist, of necessity, came in its order ; and it
was my wish (however I may have been hindered by sudden
indisposition from developing my meaning as I wished)
to point out its comforting character to the penitent in two
ways ; 1st) indirectly, because it is the Body and Blood of
his Lord, and is the channel of His Blessed Presence to
the soul, 2ndly) because in Holy Scripture the mention of
remission of sins is connected with it.

In essaying to teach this, I could not but forget contro-
versy; having, in the commencement, warned against ir-
reverent disputings, I lived for the time in holy Scripture
and its deepest expositors, the Fathers, and was careful to
use rather their language than my own, lest, on so high a
subject, I should seem to speak over-boldly. Conscious of
my own entire adherence to the formularies of my Church,
and having already repeatedly expressed myself on this
subject, and in the very outset of this Sermon conveyed at
once, that I believed the elements to " remain in their
natural substances," and that I did not attempt to define
the 7?iode of the Mystery that they were also the Body
and Blood of Christ'', I had no fear of being misunder-

Once more to repeat my meaning, in order to relieve
any difficulties which might (if so be) be entertained by
pious minds, trained in an opposed and defective system of
teaching, before whom the Sermon may now be brought.
My own views were cast, (so to speak) in the mould of the
minds of B]). Andrews'' and Abp. Bramhall'', which I re-
garded as the type of the teaching of our Church. From
them originally, and with them, I learnt to receive in their

literal sense, our Hlessed liord's soleinii words, " Tliis is
My Body," and Ironi llieni, wliile 1 believe the consecrated
elements to become, by virtne of His consecrating Words,
truly and really, yet spiritually and in an ineflable way. His
Body and Blood, 1 learnt also to withhold my thoughts
as to the mode of this great Mystery, but " as a Mystery"
to " adore it''." With the Fathers then, and our own
great Divines, (explaining, as 1 believe, the tnie meaning
of our Church',) I could not but speak of the consecrated
elements, as being, what, since He has so called them, I
believe them to become. His Body and Blood; and I feared
not, that, using their language, I should, when speaking of
Divine and " spiritual" things, be thought to mean other-
wise than " spiritually," or having discJaimed all thoughts
as to the mode of their being, that any should suppose I
meant a mode which our Church disallows.

It remains only to say, that the notes (with a few ex-
ceptions) are such as, amid hurry and severe indisposition,
I could, when my Sermon was demanded, put together,
with the view at once of shewing those who were to
})ronounce upon it, that I had not used high language,
of my own mind, and that they might not unconscionsly
blame the Fathers, while they thought they were blaming
myself only They spread over the wider space, because,

b Bp. Andrews, ib.

^ As shewn by the use of the Ancient words, " The Body of our Lord
Jesus Christ," (rejected in Edw. VI. 2d Book.) the Eubric for " the reverent
eating and drinking" of the consecrated elements which remain, and the Arti-
cle, which, while declaring that " the Body of Christ is given, taken, and
eaten in the Supper, only after a spiritual and heavenly manner," by the use
of the words " given" and " taken," shews that it calls That " the Body of
Christ" which is " given" by the minister, " taken" by the people. (See Knox's
Remains, ii. p. 170.) In like way, the Catechism teaches that " The Body and
Blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received of the faithful, in the
Lord's Supper." The very strength of the words of the Rubric denying " the
CorjHtral Presence of Christ'.s natural Flesh and Blootl" in itself implies (as we
know of those who inserted that Rubric) that they believed every thing short
nf this.

wholly unconscious what could be objected to, I was
reduced to conjecture what it might be.

The Appendix is now drawn up by a friend, (the writer
being disabled) with the same view, that some might be
saved from objecting to what, though often taught, may be
new to them, when they see that the same, or things nmch
stronger, have been taught by a series of Divines in our
Church. It is not meant that some of these writers (e. g.
Mede) are always consistent with themselves ; it is meant
only to shew what has been taught, partly without rebuke,
partly with authority, in our later English Church. Nor
has it been the object to select the strongest passages of
our writers; on the contrary, some stronger than any here
quoted have been purposely passed by, out of arnvriter so
universally received as G. Herbert*^. The general tone of
doctrine has been the object chiefly had in view^ in the
selection. Some of the materials of the Catena have been
already used in previous explanations on the doctrine ^

Passages or phrases, here and there, in the Sermon,
were, on account of the length of the whole, omitted in the
delivery; they were inserted in the copy called for, in
brackets, as making the whole more authentic ; these
distinctions are now omitted, as needlessly distracting
such as may read for edification, since in one instance
only did the passages so omitted contain doctrine, viz.
the words from the fathers from " and by commingling" to
" Divine Nature," p. 17, 18.

And now, may God have mercy on this His Church ! It
is impossible not to see, that a controversy has been
awakened, which, from the very saciedness of the subject,

d Both in his Poems and his Country Parson, which forms part of the
Clergyman's Instructor, a work printed by the University, and recommended
by Bishops to Candidates for Ordination.

« Tracts, No. 81 ; Mr. Newman's " Letter to Dr. Faussett ;" Bishop of
Exeter's Charge ; my " Letter to Dr. Jelf ;" " the doctrine of the Catholic
Church in England on the Holy Eucharist."

VI 1

ainl \hv va{;iuMU'ss of the views ol" mnnv. an<l the incve-
rcncc of the age, one sliould, of all oIIkms, most liavc
deprecated. \vl tilings are in His hands, not in man's ;
and He, Who has so mercifnlly overruled every trial and
ever}' strife hitherto, to the greater good of this His
Church, will, we (hnibt not, if we obtain from Him j)atitiit
hearts, so overrule this also. And if, since I can now
speak in no other manner, 1 may, in this way, utter one
word to the young, to whom I have heretofore spoken from
a more solemn place, I would remind them, how, almost
prophetically, sixteen years ago, in the volume, which was
the unknown dawn and harbinger of the re-awakening of
deeper truth, this was given as the watchword to those
who should love the truth, " In " (juietness and confidence
shall V)e your strength." There have been manifold tokens,
that patience is one great grace which God is now calling
forth in our Church. " The wrath of man worketh not the
righteousness of God." Sore then though it be to see, as
we must see, the truth of God cast out and spoken against
and trodden under foot of many, they who love it, may well
be patient, when He, Whoso truth it is, bears so patiently
with us all ; sure, that even when it seems to be trampled
upon, it will thereby but sink the deeper into the " good
ground" of the " honest and good heart," thence to s]iring
up mulli])lied, in His good time, " thirty, sixty, an hundred

» U. XXX. 27. Motto to " The Christian Ymr, " 1827.

< 'hrtst Vliurrh,
Eiiihrr Wrek aftrr Ftdsf of Prntrrust ,

Matt. xxvi. •>«.

Thifi is My Blood of the New Testament, iilticJi is alud
for maun for the remission of sins.

It is part of the manifold wisdom of God, that His gifts,
in nature and in grace, minister to distinct, and, as it often
seems, unconnected ends; manifesting thereby the more
His own Unity, as the secret cause and power of all things,
putting Itself forward in varied forms and divers manners,
yet Itself the one Cause of all that is. The element which
is the image of our Baptism, cleanses alike and refreshes,
cnlighteneth the fainting eye, wakens to life, as it falls, a
world in seeming exhaustion and death, changes the barren
land into a garden of the Lord, gives health and nourish-
ment and growth. And if in nature, much more in the (Jifts
of Grace. For therein God, not by Will or by Power
only, but by Himself and the Effluence of His Spirit, is
the Life of all which lives through Him. Our One Lord
is to us, in varied forms, all, yea more than all, His disciples
dare ask or think. All are His i.ife, Howing through all
His members, and in all, as it is admitted, effacing death,
enlarging life. As blind, He is our Wisdom; as sinful,
our Righteousness; as hallowed, our Sanctification; as re-
covered from Satan, our lU'demption; as sick, our Physician;
aswi'ak, our Strength; as unclean, our l-'oiiiitain ; as dark-
ness, our Light; as daily fainting, our daily Hrcad; as
dying, Life Lternal; as asleep in Him, our Resurrection.

It is, then, according to the analogy of His other gifts,
that His two great Sacraments have in themselves manifold


gifts. Baptism containeth not only remission of sin, actual
or original, but maketh members of Christ, children of
God, heirs of Heaven, hath the seal and earnest of the
Spirit, the germ of spiritual life; the Holy Eucharist im-
parteth not life only, spiritual strength, and oneness with
Christ, and His Indwelling, and participation of Him, but,
in its degree, remission of sins also. As the manna is
said to have '' contented every man's delight and agreed
to every taste %" so He, the Heavenly Manna, becometh to
every man what he needeth, and what he can receive; to
the penitent perhaps chiefly remission of sins and continued
life, to those who have " loved Him and kept His word,"
His own transporting, irradiating Presence, full of His own
grace and life and love; yet to each full contentment,
because to each His own overflowing, undeserved, good-

Having then, on former occasions, spoken of the Fountain
of all comfort, our Redeeming Lord, His Life for us
and Intercession with the Father, as the penitent's stay
amid the overwhelming consciousness of his sins, it may well
suit, in this our season of deepest joy, to speak of that,
which, flowing from the throne of the Lamb which was
slain, is to the penitent, the deepest river of his joy, the
Holy Mysteries ; from which, as from Paradise, he feels
that he deserves to be shut out, from which perhaps, in
the holier discipline of the Ancient Church, he would have
been for a time removed, but which to his soul must be
the more exceeding precious, because they are the Body
and Blood of His Redeemer. While others joy with a
more Angelic joy, as feeding on Him, Who is the Angels'
food, and " sit," as St. Chrysostom'' says, " with Angels
and Archangels and heavenly powers, clad with the kingly
robe of Christ itself, yea clad with the King Himself, and
having spiritual armoury,'' he may be the object of the joy of

=> Wisd. xvi. 20. •> Horn. 46. in S. Joh. fin.


An<Tcls; jind while as a penitent lie approacljcs as to the
Uedeemer's Side, lie may hope that havinf^ so been
brou;;lit, he, with the penitent, shall not be parted from It,
but be with Him and near Him in Paradise. " To the
holier," says another , " He is more precious as God; to
the sinner more precious is the Redeemer. Of lusher
value and avail is He to him, who hath more grace; yet
to him also to whom much is forgiven, doth He the more
avail, because "to whom much is forgiven, he loveth much."

Would that in the deep joy of this our Easter festival,
the pledge of our sealed forgiveness, and the earnest of end-
less life in God, we could, for His sake by Whom we have
been redeemed, lay aside our wearisome strifes, and that
to speak of the mysteries of Divine love might not become
the occasion of unloving and irreverent dlsj)utinLis.
Would that, at least in this sacred place, we coukl dwell in
thought, together, on His endless condescension and loving-
kindness, without weighing in our own measures, words
which must feebly convey Divine mysteries; rather
intent (as so many in this day seem) on detecting that
others have spoken too strongly on that which is unfathtmi-
able, than on ourselves adoring that Love, which is past
finding out. " When we speak of spiritual things," is
S. Chrysostom's'' warning, on approaching this same subject,
*' be there nothing of this life, nothing earthly in our
thoughts; let all such things depart and be cast out, and
be we wholly given to the hearing of the Divine word.
When the Spirit discoursetli to us, we should listen with
much stillness, yea with much awe. For the things this
day read are worthy of awe. ** Kxccpt ye eat tiie Flesh
of the Son of man and drink His Hlood, ye have no life in

'i'hc penitent's joy, then, in the Holy Eucharist is not
the less deep, because the pardon of sins is not, as in Bap-

' S. Ainl)r(Me dt- Joh. c. .'{. §.14. «! Horn. 47. in S. Juh. init


tism, its direct provision. The two great Sacraments,
as their very signs shew, have not the same end. Baptism
gives, the Holy Eucharist preserves and enlarges life.
Baptism engraffs into the true Vine ; the Holy Eucharist
derives the richness and fulness of His life into the branches
thus engraffed. Baptism buries in Christ's tomb, and
through it He quickens with His life ; the Holy Eucharist
is given not to the dead, but to the living. It augments
life, or — death ; gives immortality to the living ; to the
dead it gives not life, but death ; it is a savour of life or
death, is received to salvation or damnation. Whence the
ancient Church so anxiously withheld from it such as sinned
grievously, not as an example only to others, but in
tenderness to themselves, lest they break through and
perish ; '' profane," says S. Cyprian % '' the Holy Body
of the Lord," not themselves be sanctified ; fall deeper,
not be restored; be wounded more grievously, not be
healed ; since it is said, he adds, " Whoso eateth the
Bread and drinketh the Cup of the Lord unworthily, is
guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord."

The chief object, then, of the Holy Eucharist, as con-
veyed by type or prophecy, by the very elements chosen,
or by the words of our Lord, is the support and enlarge-
ment of' life, and that in Him. In type ^, the tree of life
was within the Paradise of God, given as a nourishment of
immortality, withheld from Adam when he sinned ; the
bread and wine, wherewith Melchizedek met Abraham,
were to refresh the father of the faithful, the weary
warrior of God ; the Paschal Lamb was a commemorative
sacrifice ; the saving blood had been shed ; it was to be

•^ Ep. 15. ad Mart, and Ep. 16. ad Presb.

^ All the following types, as also that of the " burning coal" referred to
hereafter, are received (with some others) even by the learned Lutheran
J. Gerhard, (de S. Ccen. c. 2.) as are some of the verbal prophecies ; all are
currently found among the Fathers.


eaten wiili tlic unleavened bread t)f sincerity and liiitlj,and
with l)itter herbs, the type of mortification, and by those
only who were undeiiled. The Manna was given to them
after ihey had passed the Red Sea, the image of cleansing
JJaptism, and, as He Himself interprets it, represented
Him as coming down from heaven, to give life unto the
world, the food of Angels and the holy hosts of heaven;
the Shew-bread was eaten only by those hallowed to the
Priesthood, (as the whole Christian people has in this
sense been made kings and priests,) and, when once given
to David and those that were with him, still on the ground
that the " vessels of the young men were holy'." The
Angel brought the cake to Elijah, that in the strength
of that food, he might go forty days and forty nights unto
the Mount of God. In verbal prophecy, it is foretold
under tiie images of the very elements, and so of strength-
eninu and overflowing joy. " \Visdom,'' that is. He Who is
the Wisdom of God, in a parable corresponding to that of
the marriage feast, crieth, ** Come eat of My bread and
drink of the wine I have mingled." Or, in the very Psalm
of His Passion and atoning Sacrifice, it is foretold, that
" the poor shall eat and be satisfied;'' or that He, the good
Shepherd, shall prepare a Table for those whom He
leadeth by the still waters of the Church, and giveth them
the Cup of overflowing joy ;"" or as the source of gladness,
'' Thou hast put gladness into my heart, since the time
that their corn and wine and oil (the emblem of the Spirit
of which the faithful drink) increased," and '* the wine
which gladdeneth man's heart, and the oil which maketh
his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's
heart ;" or of spiritual growth, "" coin and wine shall make
the young men and maidens of Zion to grow ;" or as that
which alone is satisfying, " buy wine without money and
without price,'* for that " which is not bread ;*' or as the
« 1 San., xxi. '».


special Gift to the faithful, *' He hath given meat unto
them that fear Him ;" or that which, after His Passion,
He drinketh anew with His disciples in His Father's
kingdom, " I have gathered my myrrh, I have drunk my
wine with my milk ; eat, O friends ; drink, yea, drink
abundantly, O beloved."

In all these varied symbols, strength, renewed life,
growth, refreshment, gladness, likeness to the Angels,
immortality, are the gifts set forth ; they are gifts as to
the Redeemed of the Lord placed anew in the Paradise of
His Church, admitted to His Sanctuary, joying in His
Presence, growing before Him, filled with the river of
His joy, feasting with Him, yea Himself feasting in them,
as in them He hungereth ^. Hitherto, there is no allusion
to sin ; it is what the Church should be, walking in the
brightness of His light, and itself reflecting that brightness.

And when our Lord most largely and directly is setting
forth the fruits of eating His Flesh and drinking His
Blood, He speaks throughout of one Gift, life ; freedom
from death, life through Him, through His indwelling,
and therefore resurrection from the dead, and life eternal.
" This is the Bread, which cometh down from heaven, that
a man may eat thereof and not die. If any man eat of
this Bread, he shall live for ever ; and the Bread that
I will give is My Flesh, which I will give for the life
of the world." ** Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of
man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you."
" Whoso catcth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood hath
eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last Day."
♦' He that catcth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood

g S. Ambr. de Myst. Hn. S. Jerome, Ep. 120. ad Hedib. q. 2. on S. Matt,
xxvi. 29. " Moses gave us not the true Bread, but the Lord Jesus; Himself
feasting, and the feast; Himself eating, and Who is eaten ; (Ipse conviva et
conviviuni, ipse comedens et (|ui comtditur.) We drink His Blood, and with-
out Himself we cannot drink it. — Let us do His will— and Christ will drink
with us His own Blood in the kingdom of the Church."

dwelleth in Me and I in Ilim.^ " As the Living Vatlicr
hath sent Me and I live by The Father, so he that eateth
Me, lie also shall hve by Me." " He that eateth of this
Bread shall live for ever." No one can observe how this
whole discourse circleth round this gift of life, and how
our Lord, with unwearied patience, bringeth this one
truth before us in so many different forms, without
feeling that He means to inculcate, that life in liini
is His chief gift in His Sacrament, and to make a
reverent longing for it an incentive to our faith. Vet
althou«>h life in Him is the substance of His whole
teaching, the teaching itself is manifold. Our Lord incul-
cates not one truth only in varied forms, but in its different
bearings. He answers not the strivings of the Jews, '' how
can this man give us His Flesh to eat ^ Such an '' how
can these things be ?'' He never answereth ; and we, if we
are wise, shall never ask how" they can be elements of this
world and yet His very Body and Blood. But how they
give life to us, He does answer; and amid this apparent
uniformity of His teaching, each separate sentence gives us
a portion of that answer. And the teaching of the whole,
as far as such as we may gra>p it, is this. That He' is

fc " Marvel not hereat, nor inquire in Jewish mnnner <■ how,' " &c. S. Cyr. in
S. Joh. 1. iv. p. .SG2. Add. p. 368, 6.

1 '* When the Son naith that He was sent, He signifieth His Incarnation
and nothing else ; hut by Incarnation we mean that He became wholly man.
As then the Father, He Haith, made Me man, and Hince I was begotten of
That Which i8, by nature. Life, I, i)eing God the Word, ' live,' and,
having become man, filled My Temple, that is. My Body, with Mine own
nature, so then, in like manner, shall he also who eateth My Flesh, live by
Me. For I took mortal llesh ; but, having dwelt in it, being by nature Life
because I am of The living Father, I have transmuted it wholly into My
own life. The corruption of the flesh conquered not Me, but I con.juered it,
as God. As then (for I again say it, unwearied, since it is to profit) although
I was made flesh, (for the ' being sent' meaneth this,) again 1 live through

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Online LibraryE. B. (Edward Bouverie) PuseyThe holy Eucharist, a comfort to the penitent : a sermon preached before the University in the Cathedral Church of Christ, in Oxford, on the fourth Sunday after Easter → online text (page 1 of 10)