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54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day;

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54. He who eateth my flesh. This is a repetition, but is not superfluous; for it confirms what was difficult to be believed, That souls feed on his flesh and blood, in precisely the same manner that the body is sustained by eating and drinking Accordingly, as he lately testified that nothing but death remains for all who seek life anywhere else than in his flesh, so now he excites all believers 162162     “Tous les fideles.” to cherish good hope, while he promises to them life in the same flesh.

And I will raise him up at the last day. It ought to be observed, that Christ so frequently connects the resurrection with eternal life, because our salvation will be hidden till that day. No man, therefore, can perceive what Christ bestows on us, unless, rising above the world, he places before his eyes the last resurrection From these words, it plainly appears that the whole of this passage is improperly explained, as applied to the Lord’s Supper. For if it were true that all who present themselves at the holy table of the Lord are made partakers of his flesh and blood, all will, in like manner, obtain life; but we know that there are many who partake of it to their condemnation. And indeed it would have been foolish and unreasonable to discourse about the Lord’s Supper, before he had instituted it. It is certain, then, that he now speaks of the perpetual and ordinary manner of eating the flesh of Christ, which is done by faith only. 163163     “De la maniere perpetuelle et ordinaire de manger la chair de Christ, qui se fait par la foy seulement.” And yet, at the same time, I acknowledge that there is nothing said here that is not figuratively represented, and actually bestowed on believers, in the Lord’s Supper; and Christ even intended that the holy Supper should be, as it were, a seal and confirmation 164164     “Comme nn seau et confirmation.” of this sermon. This is also the reason why the Evangelist John makes no mention of the Lord’s Supper; and therefore Augustine follows the natural order, when, in explaining this chapter, he does not touch on the Lord’s Supper till he comes to the conclusion; and then he shows that this mystery is symbolically represented, whenever the Churches celebrate the Lord’s Supper, in some places daily, and in other places only on the Lord’s day.




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