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416 [416]

Actes and Monuments Of the Churche.

the body is quickned vp with eternall life, by the bread which is receiued, albeit þe breade alone without the cup, is not of so great effect neither otherwise is the bodye and bloude of Christ, as common meat, but mistical and spirituall fode, wherwithall our bodies are not fed, but our spiritual partes and mēbers. For corporal and bodely things are apt and fit for bodies and spiritual thinges for the spirituall parts. Therfore I call this spirituall foode or sustenance, for so much as what so euer effecte corporal fode worketh in the sustentation of the body, the same doth Christe worke in oure spiritual soule. That is to say: he fedeth it, refresheth, quickneth, maketh it ioyful, maintaineth and supporteth it, and restoreth it vnto euerlasting life: geueth peace vnto the vnquiet conscience, reconsyleth the fathers wrathe, pacifieth the displeasure of synne, and geueth all kinde of aboundaunce, of heauenly grace, and finally whatsoeuer force and power, the meat outwardly receiued hath in the visible bodye, the like power and strength doth the sonne of God performe in our inuisyble members if he be receiued with faithe. MarginaliaHow christes body is meat.That not withoute cause he is called foode in the misticall scryptures, wheras the Lord him selfe prophesyeth saying. Except ye eat the flesh of the sonne of man, and drinke his bloud, you shall haue no life in you, in the which place the bare words are not to be loked vpon. But the Analogy of them. That like as the sonne of God is meat, so our faith shuld be the mouth and the belly. How the same should be receiued, it is all ready declared by the Iewes, the which seking saluation of righteousnesse by the lawe, and by workes, therfore they fel away from God, because they being fylled and stuffed vp with other meates, haue not eaten the fleshe of the sonne of man: that is to saye, because they dyd not beleue vpon his anoynted. The same likewise will happen vnto the Turkes, whatsoeuer workes they do worke by the law, as vnto vs also there is none other waye or meane of saluation appoynted in any thing, then only by beliefe in Iesus Christ. There be manye kindes of meat, but one onlye which bryngeth forthe eternall life, for the Iewes haue theyr meates which are vnsauery letters, þe whyche they doo yet gnaw vppon. The Turkes also haue their vnsauery meates, which are also gathered there vpon: which do nothing elsse but fyll and stretch out the belly and bowels, and ingender no liuely iuyce, and we also playing in a manner the Iewes part, haue oure dishes filled with diuers and sondry ceremonies, traditions, rites, superstitions and workes. This man trusteth much in long pilgrimages, another tarieth at whome deuoutly praying vnto sainctes. Another geueth much vnto the hyghaultare, and to buildinge of churches, another getteth him a holye, holye vesture, wherin he thinketh him self safe from all euill spirites. There be also some which thinke to help them selues much, by often hearing of masses, howe much confidence doo manye put in pardones, bought, or in confessyon of their sinnes vnto þe priest. And as these lets are gathered no wher els, then in the secreat gardēs of the scripture so were there other accidents more neare vnto the scriptures then they, the which not withstāding, forsomuch as they are nothinge els, but as it wer the sauces of that one meat, they are very folishly taken of many for þe meat it self. As fasting, praying, watchinge, almes, & suche other like workes of charity, and of the lawe, which beinge vsed as sauces haue their swete sauor, for there is but only one meat which is effectual vnto euerlasting life, vnto such as do eat it, which is the fleshe of Christ Iesus. The eating wherof if we wil interpreat the allegory is our faith, taking hold of Christ: whych alone wtout al help doth only iustify vs: where this faith is not presēt, it is synne, a filthy and vile thinge, and a defyled clothe, what so euer mannes holines doth: & it is mere folly what soeuer the wisdome of man taketh in hand, or goeth about. Finalli the vnhappy hunger of þe soule can by no other meanes be remedied or holpen, but onlye by this heauenly fode after, that Christ came down from heauē, who was offered vp for vs by his death, pacyfyinge all things. They were but vanities before, what so euer mannes traditions did shew vnto vs. There was great study and care, had for good woorkes, where with all euery man laboured to mittigate and asswage his hunger, but they were all vanities, what soeuer mannes power or the elementes of this worlde dyd shewe vnto vs, the soule was wounded, and coulde not cure it selfe, it lacked an other kinde of medecine. The thirst was great which myght be remeadied, but could not be satisfied, it myght be watred or quenched wyth bloud, otherwise it coulde not be asswaged wyth no lycoure of mannes inuention, wherfore the Lorde dothe not vnaptly call him selfe meat, and his bloud verely drinke, not that it is so in deede, according to the outward sence, but that vnder the couered sence of this Sacrament, he myghte declare what our faithe dothe woorke vppon hym.

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Thou peraduenture beleuest in Christ, and sayest that he is dead for thee, wilte thou then vnderstand and know what effect hys deathe, doth woorke in thee, thou commest to this supper, and first of al the breade and the wyne is set before thee, which doth passe into thy body, to what end is that doone? to none other end, but only that they shoulde nourish thee. Ther

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