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Ambrosius, in the fifth Book of his Treatise on Sacrifices, says, “ The Bread spoken of in the Lord's Prayer is the supersubstantial Bread; not that bread which passes into the body, but the Bread of Eternal Life, which supports the existence of our souls, and is therefore called in the Greek, Epious10s. In another Treatise, (that on Faith *,) he says, it is called Epiousios, or supersubstantial, because it supplies an emanation of divine influence on our souls and bodies.
Damascenus says t, that the body of Christ, which is received in the Sacrament, enters (El STNY OTIAN,) into the very nature and essence of our souls. It is therefore called Epiousios.
Cyril of Alexandria asserts, “ that by (Artos Epiousios) translated “ daily bread," is to be understood Christ, the Spiritual Bread; because we are commanded by Christ himself to pray for nothing carnal, but for every thing divine and SPIRITUAL.
Germanus says, as quoted by Suicerus, • The Bread, called in the Lord's Prayer Epiousios, is CHRIST, (OSIN KAI NIPO SIN KAI MENNN EIE AISNAE,) who is existence itself; who existed before the world, and will exist for ever.” Theophylact says, “ (ΤΟ ΣΩΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ ΑΡΤΟΣ EETIN EDIOT£iog). The body of Christ is the Artos Epiousios, the daily Bread in the Lord's Prayer *.” A strong confirmation of the opinion, that it has a refer- ence to the Sacramental Bread.
* Ambros. de Fide, lib. 37.
“ The * Και το σωμα δε του ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΟΥ αρλος εστι ΕΠΙΟΥ. EIOS ov letada Cayelv evxopeda.. Theophphyl. in Matt. 6.
Cyprian says, “ We call it our bread in this prayer, becaue Christ, as we Christians appertain to his body, is our Bread. We pray that this Bread may be given us every day, that we who are in Christ, and receive the Eucharist every day, as the food necessary to our health, may not be compelled by sin to abstain from communi. cating, and thus be separated from the body of Christ ;” and again, “ We pray that our Bread may be daily given us; that is, that Christ may be daily given us.” St. Cyprian also says, “ There are
several great Sacraments (mysteries) in the Lord's Prayer;" evidently intimating, that it was not to be understood in its LITERAL sense, but had a SUBLIME signification in those parts which appear to be most familiar. .
Tertullian observes, that, “ Though we pray, saying, “Give us this day our daily bread," yet this ought to be spiritually understood ; because Christ is our Bread. By asking daily bread, we ask for continuance in Christ, and never (no not for a day) to be separated from his mystical body.”.
Augustine, in his Letters to Proba, observes nearly the same things : and they all. found their opinion on our Saviour's denominating himself BREAD, in the sixth chapter of St. John; so that if bread in that chapter bas a reference to the Eucharist, which I hope has been proved, then bread. in this prayer, I should think, must undoubtedly have the same reference...
Many of the antients seem to think with Cyprian, that in repeating the fourth clause in the Lord's Prayer, (the petition for daily Bread,) an emphasis should be laid on the word OUR. It signified as:
they intimate, our particular bread; ours as Christians, in distinction from common bread; our bread, " ours," as belonging to the mystical body of Christ; ours as fed by an emanation of his Spirit from Heaven, as the Children of Israel were nourished by MANNA.
I shall now beg leave to translate this part of the petition thus: Give us this day the Bread of Life; or, Give us this day the Bread necessary to our spiritual existence. I need not explain to the learned my reasons for interpreting (Té louckov) the epithet applied to Bread in the Greek, the Bread of Life, or the Bread necessary to spiritual existence; for I believe every candid scholar will allow, from the etymology of the word, that it admits of that interpretation, more easily and properly than of any other. .
· But why do I add the epithet to the - word Existence, SPIRITUAL? This cer
tainly remains to be accounted for. I have no objection to transferring the epithet to the word BREAD, and then the passage will run : Give us this day our SPIRITUAL BREAD; but, in its present
situation, it conveys the meaning completely. I have only to justify, if I can, such a construction. .
Our Saviour frequently uses the word Bread in a figurative sense, for spiritual sustenance. “ I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. “ The Bread that I will give is my flesh; s except ye eat of this flesh, ye have no “ life in you ;" that is, no duSIA, no spiritual existence. Therefore this bread is necessary repi ousian) to your spiritual existence, the life of your immaterial part.
In general, therefore, it may be observed, that the bread prayed for in the Lord's Prayer is the bread which Christ speaks of, when he says, “ I am the Bread “ of Life;" and signifies that divine influence on the soul of man, that aliment from Heaven which Feeds and sustains the Christian life.
In particular, the Bread prayed for in the Lord's Prayer refers to that bread which was afterwards to be eaten, till our Lord's second coming, by the faithful at the EUCHARISTICAL FEAST, or Feast on the Sacrifice of Christ; that Bread which was to constitute the food Or NOURISHMENT of