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1153 [1129]

K. Hen. 8. A treatise of the sacrament by Iohn Lambert to the king.

write, Psalme 50. MarginaliaThis is my body, a figuratiue speach August, in Psal. 50. Nisi quis manducauerit carnem meam, non videbit vitam æternam, &c. Vnlesse a man doo eate my flesh, hee shall not see eternall life. They vnderstoode that very foolishly, and conceyued the same carnally, and thought that oure Lorde woulde cutte awaye lumpes or peeces of his body, and geue to them. And they sayd: This is an hard sayeng. But they were hard of beliefe, and not the sayeng. For if they had not bene hard, but meeke, they would haue sayd to them selues: He speaketh not this without a cause, but because there is some hyd Sacramente or mysterie therein. They shoulde haue aboden with hym, easie of beliefe, and not hard, and then shoulde they haue learned of him that which other learned, that tarryed, after they were gone awaye.

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In this may we see, that our Sauiour willeth his precious flesh to be eaten. But for the maner of eating, is, and hath bene much controuersie. The Iewes of Capernaum were offended with Christ, when he sayd, he woulde haue his flesh eaten: and except a man shoulde eate hys flesh, hee could not come to lyfe eternall. MarginaliaThe grosse CapernaitesThey supposed grossely, and vnderstoode hym (if a man might so playnely speake it) butcherly, that he would cut out lumpes and peeces out of his body, as the butcher doth out of dead beastes, and so geue it them to eate of, as Augustine dooth heere say. And vpon this grosse, or (as holy Augustine doth heere call it) foolish and fleshly vnderstanding, they were offended, and sayde to him: This is a sore or hard sayeng. They did shoote foorth their bolt, and vnwise sayeng ouer soone, and were offended before they had cause. They tooke that for hard and sore, which shoulde haue bene passing pleasaunt and profitable to them, if they would haue heard the thing declared throughly to the end.

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And euen so now, that whiche in this matter maye appeare at the first blush, a sore, strange, and intollerable sentence, for as much as we haue not heard of it before, but the contrary hath of long time ben beaten into our heads, and perswaded to our mindes, yet by deliberation and indifferent, and abiding a triall of that which at the first may appeare sore and intollerable, shal (I trust) be found a sweete truth, to such specially as your grace is, louing to heare & to knowe all truth. But the Capernaites were hard, as here sayth Augustine, and not the worde. For if they had not bene hard, but soft and pacient to heare, they woulde haue said in themselues, Christ sayeth not this without a cause, and there is some hid misterie therein: and so by pacient tariance, they shoulde haue knowne the trueth, that they coulde not attaine to, for peruerse hastines, MarginaliaHastynes a great hinderance of true iudgement. or haste, which is a great stoppe and let of true iudgement. But the Disciples taried paciently to heare further, and so did they knowe this speach of Christ to be the words of life, that to the other, ouer readily departing from Christ, were words of death: For they tooke them literally and grossely, and Marginalia2. Cor. 3.the letter (as Paule sayth) slayeth.

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But to shewe what the Disciples remayning wyth Christ did learne, saint Augustine doth consequently shew by the wordes of the Gospell, saieng thus: Ille autem instruxit eos, & ait illis: Spiritus est qui viuificat, caro nihil prodest, &c. But he instructed them, and sayd vnto them: The Spirite is that which geueth life, the fleshe profiteth nothing. The words that I haue spoken vnto you, are spirite and life. Vnderstand you that which I haue spoken, spiritually. You shall not eate this body which you see, neyther shall you drinke that same bloud which they shall shed foorth, that shall crucifie mee. I haue set foorth to you a certayne Sacrament or mysterie, which beeing spiritually vnderstande, shall geue you lyfe: and although it be requisite that this be celebrated visibly, yet it ought to be vnderstād inuisibly. MarginaliaThe wordes of the sacrament are to be vnderstād spiritually.In thys do we see, that both Christ and Augustine would haue Christes wordes to be vnderstande spiritually, and not carnally: figuratiuely, and not literally, and therefore doth he say: You shall not eate this body whiche you see, neyther shall you drinke that same bloud which they shall shed foorth that shall crucifie mee. And what else is this, but that Christ would his body to be eaten, and his bloud to be drunken: But he would not his bodie to be carnally eaten, MarginaliaThe body of Christ is not to be eaten carnally. whyche was materially seene of them to whome he spake, nor hys materiall or naturall bloud to be carnally drunken, which hys crucifiers shoulde cause to issue from his naturall bodye crucified, as sayeth Augustine: but hee ordeyned and willed his bodye and bloud to bee spiritually eaten and drunken in faith and beliefe, that his body was crucified for vs, and that his bloud was shed for the remission of our sinnes.

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This eating and drinking is nothing but suche true fayth and beliefe as is shewed. Wherefore as Christ sayth: He that eateth my fleshe, and drinketh my bloud, hath lyfe euerlastyng. Euen so doth he saye: He that beleeueth in mee, hath lyfe euerlastyng. And Saint Augustine agreeably to the same, treating vpon Iohn, doth say: MarginaliaAugust. in Ioan.At quid paras dentem & ventrem? Crede, & manducasti, &c. Why dost thou prepare thyteeth and belly? Beleue, and thou hast eaten. I do know that Christ ordeineth his Sacrament to be receiued and eaten, which is in a certaine wise called his body, as after shalbe more largely opened: but the same doth not feede þe mynde of them, except it be takē spiritually & not corporally. Heb. 13. It is good to stablish the hart with grace, & not with meat.

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And S. Augustine assentyng to the same, doth say in a Sermō, that he maketh vpō these wordes, in the Gospell of Luke: MarginaliaAugust. in Serm de verbis Lucæ.Lord teache vs to pray. Panem dixit, sed Epiousion, hoc est supersubstantialem. &c. He sayd bread, but supersubstantiall bread. This is not the bread, which goeth into the body: but that bread whiche doth satisfie the substaunce of our soule. Our soules therfore, into whom nothyng corporall, can corporally enter, doth not carnally receiue the body & bloud of our Sauiour, neither did he ordeine his blessed body and bloud so to be eaten and drunken. Although our soules can not lyue, except they be spiritually fedde with the blessed body and bloud of him, spiritually eatyng and drinkyng them, in takyng also at tymes conuenient, the blessed Sacrament, MarginaliaThe Sacrament truly called the body and bloud of Christ.whiche is truely called his body and bloud: Not that it is so really, but as is shewed by the interpretation both of Tertullian & Augustine, because it is a signe or figure of Christes body and bloud. And the signes or Sacramentes doth commonly, as sayeth Augustine, both ad Bonifacium, and in his worke, De Ciuitate Dei, MarginaliaSacraments take their denominatiō of the things which they represent.take their denomination of the thynges by them represented and signified.

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But for somuch as some will obiect, that Augustine in the worde afore rehearsed, doth not speake of eatyng the Sacrament, for the text of the Scripture, vpon the which he doth ground, is not spoken by eatyng the Sacrament, whiche text is this: Vnlesse a man eate my flesh. &c I aunswere, MarginaliaObiection aunswered.that true it is, he began of spirituall eatyng, and thereto serueth the text recited. Neuerthelesse, he meaneth that Christ is not ordeyned to be eaten, either without the Sacrament, or in the Sacrament, but spiritually of the faythfull: as more euidently doth appeare by these wordes there folowyng: Sacramentum aliquod vobis commendaui, quod spiritualiter intellectum viuificabit vos. &c. I haue commēded vnto you a Sacrament, which beyng vnderstand of you spiritually, shall quicken you. Although it were necessary that the same should be celebrated visibly, yet notwithstandyng it ought to be vnderstand inuisibly.

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Here doth hee shewe, that hee meaneth of eatyng, not without the Sacrament onely, but also in the Sacramēt: And therfore he doth not onely say, I haue commended vnto you a certaine Sacrament. &c. But he addeth moreouer. Although it is requisite the same to be celebrate visibly. How therfore can the eatyng of Christ, and the Sacramēt therof be visibly celebrate, but in the Maūdy, or in his Supper? Which is celebrate visibly in visible thynges of bread and wine: which can not quicken or relieue vs and our soules, except they be vnderstand and so reciued spiritually.

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MarginaliaThis is my body, expounded by August.Furthermore, as concernyng the Exposition of these wordes of the Supper, This is my body &c. S. Augustine writyng to Bonifacius, MarginaliaAugust. ad Bonifacium. sayth thus: Sepè ita loquimur, vt Pascha appropinquāte, crastinam vel perendinam Domini passionem dicamus &c. We vse oftentimes this maner of phrase, that when Easter doth approche, we name the day that commeth after, or the next day after that, the Passion of the Lord, when as he notwithstandyng had suffered before that, many yeares: neither that Passion was done but once for all. So truly do we say vpon the Lordes day: This day the Lord hath risen, when so many yeares are past since he rose. Wherfore no man is so fonde, that he will reproue vs as lyers, for this maner of speakyng, because we call these dayes accordyng to the similitude of those, in which these thynges were done: so that it is called the same day which is not the same, but by course of tyme of the yeare commyng about, is like vnto it: and also because that thing is sayd to be done that day, through the celebration of the Sacramēt, whiche was not done that day, but long before that tyme. Was not Christ once offered vp in him selfe? And yet notwithstandyng he is not onely offered vp in the Sacrament, in the solemne feastes of Easter, but euery day mystically for the people. Neither doth he make a lye, which beyng demaunded, aunswereth, that Christ is offered vppe. For if the Sacramentes had not a certaine similitude of those thynges whereof they are Sacramentes, then should they be no Sacramentes at all. By reason of this similitude or likenesse, Sacramētes oftentymes do receiue the names of the selfe same thynges, wherof they are Sacramentes.

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MarginaliaHow the sacramēt of the body is the body of Christ after a certaine manner.Therefore, as after a certaine maner, the Sacrament of Christes body, is the body of Christe, and the Sacrament of Christes bloud, is the bloud of Christ: euen likewise the Sacrament of fayth, is fayth. For to beleue is none other thyng, then to haue fayth. And by this it is aunswered, that the very infantes haue fayth, because of the Sacrament of fayth, and conuert them selues vnto God, because of the Sacrament of

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