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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer: Christ Far Excelleth All Corporal Food


And no less ought we to doubt, that our souls be fed and live by Christ, than that our bodies be fed and live by meat and drink. Thus our Saviour Christ knowing us to be in this world, as it were, but babes and weaklings in faith, hath ordained sensible signs and tokens, whereby to allure and draw us to more strength and more constant faith in him. So that the eating and drinking of this sacramental bread and wine is, as it were, a showing of Christ before our eyes, a smelling of him with our noses, a feeling and groping of him with our hands, and an eating, chewing, digesting, and feeding upon him to our spiritual strength and perfection.  Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
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[The following is an excerpt from the Google Books version of The Remains of Thomas Cranmer, D.D., Archbishop of Canterbury, Collected and Arranged.  See pages 300-304]

For as there is a carnal generation, and a carnal feeding and nourishment, so is there also a spiritual generation, and a spiritual feeding.  And as every man, by carnal generation of father and mother, is carnally begotten and born unto this mortal life, so is every good Christian spiritually born by Christ unto, eternal life.  And as every man is carnally fed and nourished in his body by meat and drink, even so is every good Christian man spiritually fed and nourished in his soul by the flesh and blood of our Saviour Christ.
And as the body liveth by meat and drink, and thereby increaseth and groweth from a young babe unto a perfect man, (which thing experience teacheth us,) so the soul liveth by Christ himself, by pure faith eating his flesh and drinking his blood. And this Christ himself teacheth us in the sixth of John, saying, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. [John VI].  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is very meat, and my blood is very drink. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: even so he that eateth me, shall live by me. And this St. Paul confessed of himself, saying, That I have life, I have it by  faith in the Son of God. And now it is not I that live, but Christ liveth in me. [Galatians II].

Chapter 11  Christ Far Excelleth All Corporal Food

The third thing to be noted is this, that although our, Saviour Christ resembleth his flesh and blood to meat and drink, yet he far passeth and excelleth all corporal meats  and drinks. For although corporal meats and drinks do corporal nourish and continue our life here in this world, yet they begin not our life. For the beginning of our life we have of our fathers and mothers; and the meat, after we be begotten, doth feed and nourish us, and so preserveth us for a time. But our Saviour Christ is both the first beginner of our spiritual life, (who first begetteth us unto God his Father,) and also afterward he is our lively food and nourishment.
Moreover, meat and drink doth feed and nourish only our bodies; but Christ is the true and perfect nourishment both of body and soul. And besides that, bodily food preserveth the life but for a time, but Christ is such a spiritual and perfect food, that he preserveth both body and soul for ever; as he said unto Martha:  I am resurrection and life. He that believeth in me, although he die, yet shall he live. And he that liveth and believeth in me shall not die for ever. [John XI].


Chapter 12  The Sacraments Were Ordained to Confirm Our Faith

Fourthly, it is to be noted, that the true knowledge of these things is the true knowledge of Christ; and to teach these things is to teach Christ; and the believing and feeling of these things is the believing and feeling of Christ in our hearts. And the more clearly we see, understand, and believe these things, the more clearly we see and understand Christ, and have more fully our faith and comfort in him .


And although our carnal generation and our carnal nourishment be known to all men by daily experience and by our common senses; yet this our spiritual generation and our spiritual nutrition be so obscure and hid unto us, that we cannot attain to the true and perfect knowledge and feeling of them, but only by faith, which must be grounded upon God's most holy word and sacraments.

And for this consideration our Saviour Christ hath not only set forth these things most plainly in his holy word, that we may hear them with our ears; but he hath also ordained one visible sacrament of spiritual regeneration in water, and another visible sacrament of spiritual nourishment in bread and wine, to the intent that, as much as is possible for man, we may see Christ with our eyes, smell him at our nose, taste him with our mouths, grope him with our hands, and perceive him with all our senses. For as the word of God preached putteth Christ into our ears; so likewise these elements of water, bread, and wine, joined to God's word, do after a sacramental manner put Christ into our eyes, mouths, hands, and all our senses.

And for this cause Christ ordained baptism in water, that as surely as we see, feel, and touch water with our bodies, and be washed with water; so assuredly ought we to believe, when we be baptized, that Christ is verily present with us, and that by him we be newly born again spiritually, and washed from our sins, and grafted in the stock of Christ's own body, and be apparelled, clothed, and harnessed with him in such wise, that as the Devil hath no power against Christ, so hath he none against us, so long as we remain grafted in that stock, and be clothed with that apparel, and harnessed with that armour. So that the washing in water of baptism is, as it were, a showing of Christ before our eyes, and a sensible touching, feeling, and groping of him, to the confirmation of the inward faith which we have in him.

And in like manner Christ ordained the sacrament of his body and blood in bread and wine, to preach unto us, that as our bodies be fed, nourished, and preserved with meat and drink, so (as touching our spiritual life towards God) we be fed, nourished, and preserved by the body and blood of our Saviour Christ; and also that he is such a preservation unto us, that neither the devils of hell, nor eternal death, nor sin, can be able to prevail against us, so long as by true and constant faith we be fed and nourished with that meat and drink. And for this cause Christ ordained this sacrament in bread and wine, (which we eat and drink, and be chief nutriments of our body,) to the intent that as surely as we see the bread and wine with our eyes, smell them with our noses, touch them with our hands, and taste' them with our mouths; so assuredly ought we to believe, that Christ is our spiritual life and sustenance of our souls, like as the said bread and wine is the food and sustenance of our bodies. And no less ought we to doubt, that our souls be fed and live by Christ, than that our bodies be fed and live by meat and drink. Thus our Saviour Christ knowing us to be in this world, as it were, but babes and weaklings in faith, hath ordained sensible signs and tokens, whereby to allure and draw us to more strength and more constant faith in him. So that the eating and drinking of this sacramental bread and wine is, as it were, a showing of Christ before our eyes, a smelling of him with our noses, a feeling and groping of him with our hands, and an eating, chewing, digesting, and feeding upon him to our spiritual strength and perfection.
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Reasonable Christian Blog Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer

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