1 CORINTHIANS x. 16.
" The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?"
THE Holy Eucharist is plainly the closest union of man with God. Through the Incarnation God took our nature, took the Manhood into God. But although we had that unspeakable nearness to Himself, in that the Co-eternal Son, God of God, and God with God, took not the nature of Angels, but took the Manhood into God; this was a gift to our whole race. It was a gift which, by its very nature, must overflow to us individually; yet still it required a further act of God's condescension fully to apply it to each one of us. God the Word became Flesh. Yet hereby He was in His Human Nature one with us; we were not, as yet, made " one with Him."
We belonged to Him as His creatures. Unutterable was the love whereby, when man was fallen, He took part of all our miseries, except our sins, and the sinfulness of our nature; and these, which He could not take “He took on Himself: what we could not bear, He bare for us. But although we were thereby reconciled to God, as His creatures, we were not yet united to Him individually. We could not be united to Him, save by His communicating Himself to us. This He willed to do by indwelling in us through His Spirit; by making us, through the Sacrament of Baptism, members of His Son; by giving us, through the Holy Eucharist, not in any carnal way, but really and spiritually the Flesh and Blood of the Incarnate Son, whereby " He dwelleth in us, and we in Him; He is one with us, and we with Him." Through these, He imparteth to us the life which He Himself is. He, the Life of the world, maketh those alive, in whom He is. This is ”the comfort of the penitent, the joy of the faithful, the Paradise of the holy, the Heaven of those whose conversation is in Heaven, the purity of those who long to be partakers of His holiness, the strengthening of man's heart, the renewal of the inward man, the fervour of Divine love, spiritual peace, kindled hope, assured faith, burning thankfulness,—that our Lord Jesus Christ, not in figure, but in reality, although a spiritual reality, does give Himself to us, does come to be in us.