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tion do thou, O Lord, deign to make in all respects blessed, received, ratified, reasonable, and acceptable, that it may be made to us the body and blood of thy most beloved Son, our Lord God Jesus Christs." After consecration there is another oblation : “ We do offer unto thy most excellent Majesty, out of thine own donations and gifts, a pure sacrifice, an immaculate sacrifice, the holy bread of eternal life, and the cup of everlasting salvation, upon which vouchsafe to look propitiously, and to accept them.” This is evidently an oblation of the elements as they are, bread and wine, God's “ donations and gifts” for the use of man. For it would be altogether vain, and indeed impious, to beseech God to “ look propitiously” on the body of his own Son, and to “ accept” it.
It appears, then, that in all these liturgies there was a verbal oblation of bread and wine, and there can be no reasonable doubt that the Fathers often speak of an oblation of bread and wine being used
Hanc igitur oblationem petuæ. Supra quæ propitio ac servitutis nostræ, sed et cunctæ sereno vultu respicere digneris, familiæ tuæ, quæsumus Domine, et accepta habere,” &c. Meut placatus accipias-quam ob- nard. Sacr. Greg. p. 3. There lationem tu Deus in omnibus, are strong grounds for thinkquæsumus, benedictam ad- ing that this second oblation scriptam, ratam, rationabilem, did not originally exist in the acceptabilemque facere digne- Roman liturgy, since it is not ris, ut nobis corpus et sanguis found in the most ancient MSS. fiat dilectissimi Filii tui Do- of the liturgy of Milan, which mini Dei nostri Jesu Christi.” was originally derived from the Sacramentar. Gregor. Menard. Roman rite; see Muratori Li
turgia Rom. Vet. tom. i. p. t« Offerimus præclaræ ma- 134, when Milan MSS. of the jestati tuæ de tuis donis ac da
ninth or tenth century are tis, hostiam puram, hostiam cited which do not contain it. sanctam, hostiam immacula- For the derivation of the Mi. tam, panem sanctum vitæ æ- lan rite from the Roman, see ternæ, et calicem salutis per- vol. i. p. 125, &c.
in the Christian church, in token of humility and gratitude towards God.
I proceed now to consider the liturgy of Constantinople, in which it would appear that a second verbal oblation is introduced. " We offer to thee thine own, out of thine own—we praise thee, we bless thee, we give thanks to thee, and we pray thee, O Lord, our God. Also, we offer to thee this reasonable and unbloody worshipų.” It appears, I think, that two things are here offered, the elements, and the reasonable and unbloody worship. This last probably means the whole service, comprising the devotions, thanksgivings, and commemoration, which may altogether be very properly so termed.
In the last place, let us look to the liturgy of Antioch and Jerusalem. The expressions in which the oblation is conveyed, can be traced back in this case to the fifth century; since they are found almost word for word the same in the liturgies of both orthodox and monophysites, who have held no communion since the council of Chalcedon, A. D. 451. After the words of institution, and the verbal commemoration of Christ's death, &c. it proceeds thus : “ We offer to thee this dreadful and unbloody sacrifice." These words form the direct verbal oblation in the liturgy of Antioch, and it would seem unreasonable to refer them to the oblation of bread and
τα σα εκ των σων σοι προσφέρομεν κατά πάντα και διά πάντα, σε υμνούμεν, σε εύλογούμεν, σοι ευχαριστούμεν κύριε, και δεόμεθα σου, ο θεός ημών. έτι προσφέρομέν σοι την λογικήν ταύτην, και αναίμακτον λατρείαν, κ. τ.λ. Liturgia Chrysostomi Goar, Rituale Græc. p. 77.
V “ Offerimus tibi hoc sacrificium terribile et incruentum.” Liturgia Jacobi Syriac. Renaudot. tom. ii. p. 32. apoopépouév σοι, δέσποτα, την φοβεραν ταύτην και αναίμακτον θυσίαν. Liturgia Jacobi, Græc. Assemani, Codex Liturg. tom. v. p. 38.
wine; for though that sacrifice be unbloody, how could it be called dreadful or tremendous ? This word signifies something mysterious and awful, and of greater dignity than any oblation of mere bread and wine could be, even if it were offered by the whole church. Neither can we refer these words of oblation to the elements considered as the body and blood of Christ, for after the above oblation is made this prayer follows: “ Send thy holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, &c.—that coming, he may make this bread the life-giving body, the salutary body, &c.—and that he may make what is mixed in the cup, the blood of the new covenant, the salutary
, blood, &c.—of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christw.” Now this prayer supposes that the consecration had not taken place, or at least was imperfect when the oblation was made, and therefore the sacrifice then offered cannot be a sacrifice of the consecrated elements, as Christ's body and blood.
It only remains, then, that we interpret the “ dreadful and unbloody sacrifice” to be the whole service or worship then performed. So that the meaning is, “ We offer to thee this whole unbloody sacrifice of thanksgiving and commemoration, dreadful from the sublime mysteries therein celebrated.”
If this interpretation be correct, it appears first, that in the liturgy of Antioch and Jerusalem there
“ Mitte Spiritum tuum sanctum Dominum et vivificantem, &c.—ut adveniens efficiat panem istum, cum, corpus salutare, &c.—et mistum quod est in hoc calice, efficiat sanguinem testamenti
novi, sanguinem salutarem, &c. -Domini Dei et Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi,” &c. Liturgia Jac. Syr. Renaudot. tom. ii. p. 33. See also Liturg. Jac. Græc. Ass. tom. v. p. 39, 40.
was no direct verbal oblation of the bread and wine; secondly, that in the other liturgies, (except that of Constantinople, there was no verbal oblation of the whole sacrifice or service; thirdly, that the liturgy of Constantinople contained a verbal oblation of the elements, and of the service or worship also.
We may infer from these facts, that the validity of the Christian sacrifice does not depend on its verbal expression, or mention in the liturgy; for there is no one oblation that is found in all the liturgies. Some contain an oblation of the whole service, while others do not. Some contain an oblation of the elements, which is not found in the others. None contain a verbal oblation of Christ's body and blood. This is not found in the Roman liturgy, nor is it a form that has at any time been used in the Christian church. Therefore the Christian Fathers, who contemplated several real oblations in the eucharist, could not have thought it necessary to express those oblations verbally in the liturgy; and consequently every oblation recognised by them may exist in the English liturgy, whether it be expressed verbally or not. We may infer in particular, that a verbal oblation of the bread and wine in the eucharist is not essential to a real oblation of those elements. For the liturgy of Antioch and Jerusalem had no such oblation. In truth the act of devoting or setting apart a certain portion of bread and wine for the service and honour of God, to be converted into the sacraments of Christ's body and blood, would seem to be as valid an oblation as the act of the layman in presenting the elements to the priest. Now we know that the latter was considered a valid oblation, though it was not offered with any form of words*; and therefore the act of setting apart the bread and wine for the sacrament to the honour and glory of God, would appear to be a valid oblation of those elements. We may argue also, that a verbal oblation of the elements is not necessary to the validity of their oblation, because the thanksgiving, which is certainly a sacrifice to God, does not appear to have been verbally or formally offered to him in the liturgies, all of which, however, contain the thanksgiving. We may further argue for the validity of the oblation of the elements without any verbal oblation, from the mystical or commemorative sacrifice of the eucharist, which is not made by any verbal form of oblation, but consists in performing the memorial of Christ's sacrifice, which he has himself appointed.
If, therefore, the English liturgy were devoid of any verbal oblation of the bread and wine to God, it nevertheless would not be destitute of a valid oblation of those elements. However, the English liturgy is not without a verbal oblation, which occurs at the beginning of the prayers and commemorations. After the elements have been placed on the table, and thus devoted to the service and honour of God, the priest prays to God thus : “ We humbly beseech thee most mercifully to accept our alms and oblations, and to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy divine Majesty.” Here three species of sacrifice or oblation are verbally offered :
Locuples et dives es et Dominicum celebrare te credis, qui corban omnino non respicis, quæ in Dominicum sine sacrificio venis, quæ partem de sacrificio quod pauper
obtulit sumis.” Cypr. de Op. et Eleemos. p. 203. ed. Fell. There is no trace of verbal oblation made by the laity in presenting the sacrifice of bread and wine to the priest.