22 January 2010


"Before He died, Christ consigned the whole meaning of His sacrificial death to an Action. He took bread and broke it, and said 'This is my Body'. He took the cup and said 'This is the New Covenant in my Blood'. He gave to that Act the character of a sign - an effective sign. 'As often as ye eat this Bread and drink this Cup ye do proclaim the Lord's death till he come'.

" I only have time to insist on the enormous importance, in that connection, of bearing in mind the New Testament doctrine of the Church as the Body of Christ; a doctrine which Protestantism from the beginning has virtually denied. It took up the position that first the individual was 'justified' and then he joined the church. That is not New Testament doctrine. It is not the Catholic doctrine. Christ cannot be separated from His Church. Christ and the Church are one thing. Because the Church is the Body of Christ, Baptism actually makes us part of Christ, and Confirmation is the imparting of the Spirit to His members. That is a consequence of Baptism, and in the Primitive Church Confirmation immediately followed Baptism.

"It seems to me strange that the doctrine of the Church is in very great danger of being lost sight of in questions of reunion. You and I believe that the Sacrifice of Christ is not renewed but extended in the Church's Sacrifice in the Eucharist. Because the Church is one with Him, its members rightly take upon their lips the words which were so often upon His lips: 'Our Father'. His prayer is the Church's prayer; His mission is her mission; His action is the Church's action - not associated with Him, but one action. He lives and reigns in the Church, which is His Body. Death is His entrance into glory; His death our entrance to God - our perfect sacrifice, proclaimed as such in every Eucharist."

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