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though some deny it. Then first appeared that sacrifice, which is now offered to God by Christians through all the earth ;(a) and that is fulfilled which, long after the fact of Melchisedec, was said of Christ by the prophet: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedec. (Psal. cix.) Not according to the order of Aaron; for this order was to be annulled, when the things, which those shadows prefigured, should come to pass.” De Civ. Dei. L. xvi. c. xxii. p. 1019.-“ This eating and drinking, of which the wise man speaks, (Eccles. iii.) relate to the participation of this table, which the mediator of the new covenant, the priest, according to the order of Melchisedec, offers of his body and blood. This sacrifice has succeeded to all those of the ancient covenant, which were offered, as the shadows of this that was to come.” Ibid. L. xvii. c. xx. p. 1138.-“ The prophet Malachias foretelling the church, which we now behold propagated by Christ, thus manifestly speaks to the Jews in the person of God: I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.-For from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered to my name, and a clean offering. (Malach. 1.) Since then we behold this sacrifice, in every place, offered to God by the priesthood of Christ,(e) according to the order of Melchisedec; and as the Jews cannot deny that their sacrifices have ceased, why do they still look for another Christ?” Ibid. L. xviii. c. xxxv. p. 1210.
Speaking afterwards in reply to those who asked, why
(d) Quod nunc a Christianis offertur Deo toto orbe terrarum.
(e) Hoc sacrificium per sacerdotiam Christi, cum in omni loco videamus offerri.
miracles were not then wrought; he recounts many, to most of which he was himself a witness, and among them relates, that the property of a great man, whom he names, having been much troubled by wicked spirits, he requested that, “in my absence, some of the priests would go, and hy their prayers remove the evil. One of them went; offered there the sacrifice of the body of Christ, 1) praying that the mischief might cease; and, by the mercy of God, it instantly ceased.” Ibid. L. xxii. c. viii. p. 1485. —“The Hebrews, in the victims which they offered to God, in many and various ways, as became so great a subject, prefigured the future victim, which Christ has offered. Hence Christians, by the holy oblation and participation of the body and blood of Christ,(y) celebrate the remembrance of that sacrifice. But the Manicheans understand not what they should believe, or what observe, in this sacrifice of the Christians.” Contra Faustum, Lib. XX. C. xviii. T. vi. p. 155.—Then, to the objection of his adversary, that the Catholics had substituted the martyrs in the place of the idols of the Gentiles, he replies: “The Christian people celebrate the memories of the martyrs with a religious solemnity, in order to excite themselves to an imitation of their constancy, to be united to their merits, and to be aided by their prayers; but to no martyr, to the God alone of martyrs, (h) in memory of them, do we raise altars. For what prelate, assisting at the altar where the bodies of the martyrs lie, was ever heard to say: To thee Peter; to thee Paul; or to thee Cyprian, do we make
Obtulit ibi sacrificium corporis Christi. (8) Sacrosanctâ oblatione et participatione corporis et sanguinis Christi.
(h) At nulli martyrum, sed ipsi Deo martyrum sacrificamus.
this offering? To God alone, who crowned these martyrs, is sacrifice offered.—We frequently sacrifice to God in the churches of the martyrs, by that rite, according to which, as the scriptures of the new Testament declare, he commanded sacrifice to be offered to him. This pertains to that worship, which the Greeks call Latria, and which can be offered to God alone.” Ibid. p. 156.-" It cannot be doubted, that, by the prayers of the holy church, and by the salutary sacrifice,(i) and by alms which are given for the repose of their souls, the dead are helped; so that God may treat them more mercifully than their sins deserved. This the whole church observes, which it received from the tradition of the fathers, to pray for those who died in the communion of the body and blood of Christ, when, in their turn, they are commemorated at the sacrifice, and it is then announced, that the sacrifice is offered for them.”(k) De verbis Apostoli, Serm. xxxii. T. x. p. 154.-See other passages, p. lvii, as above.
S. ISIDORE OF PELUSIUM, G.C.
“I exhort you to desist from doing these things, or not to approach the venerable altar.” Ep. xii. L. v. p. 556.
(1) Orationibus sanctæ Ecclesiæ, et sacrificio salutare, et eleemosynis.
(8) Hoc a patribus traditum, universa observat ecclesia, ut pro eis, qui—defuncti sunt, cum ad ipsum sacrificium commemorantur, ac pro illis quoque id offerri commemoretur.
(2) St. Isidore was a priest of Pelusium, in Egypt, now known by the name of Damietta. He flourished from the beginning of the fifth century, till towards the year 435, or 440, and has left us a collection of more than 2000 letters, written in Greek.
“ Crimes acquire a deeper guilt from the place and time. For example, murder is always detestable; but it is more so, when committed in a sacred place; and still more wicked, if in the time of sacrifice.”(m) Ep.ccccxcii.p. 705. -“Either cease to be guilty of such crimes, or withdraw from the sacred table, that the children of the church may safely approach to the sacred mysteries, (n) without which they cannot be saved.” Ep. dlxix. p. 723.
S. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA, G.C.
“ We offer in the church a holy, vivifying, and unbloody sacrifice ; ( not believing it to be the common body and blood of man, but the real body and the real blood of the life-giving word.(P) For common flesh cannot give life, which our Saviour himself attested, saying: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (John vi. 64.)”. Declar. Anathem. xi. T. vi. p. 156.- “God said plainly to the Jews, that they were not pleasing to him, or rather, that he would not accept their sacrifices in shadows and figures : but foretels, that his name shall be great among all nations, and that, in every .place and nation, pure and unbloody sacrifices shall be offered."(9) Comm. in c. 1. Malach. T. iii. p. 830.-See also the letter read at Ephesus, p. lxvi, as above.—"On this occasion,"&c.
(m) év kaupy årıy.
Φ) μαλλον ως ιδιον σωμα γεγονος, και μεντοι και αιμα τα παντα ζωογονον τος λογο. .
(9) θυσιαι καθαραι και αναιμακτοι.
COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON, G. C.
In this council, which was held in the year 451, the following complaint was read against Dioscorus, the bishop of Alexandria : “ So great was his audacity against all—not as became a bishop, and a bishop of so great a city and of this evangelical see—as not to permit the corn to be received, which our kind emperors had granted to the churches of Lybia, on account of the sterility of the province, and because no corn is grown in it. It was granted, in the first place, that, of it the unbloody sacrifice might be offered ;(-) and then that travel. lers and the poor inhabitants might be aided.-From this oppressive act it has happened, that the tremendous and unbloody sacrifice has not been celebrated.) Libellus Ischyrionis, &c. Conc. Gen. T. iv. p. 400.
THEODORET, G. C.
“ Melchisedec was the priest, not of the Jews, but of the Gentiles: and so Christ offered himself to God, not for the Jews only, but for all men. He opens his priesthood in the night, when he took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave it to them, and said: Take ye, this is my body, &c. (Matt. xxvi.) We read, that Melchisedec was a priest and a king--the figure of the true priest and king—and that he offered to God, not animals, but bread and wine. For these he presented to Abraham, whilst in spirit he contemplated in the loins of the patriarch the true image of
την αναιμακτoν θυσιαν επιτελεισθαι. .