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draw down his blessing upon us, and to thank him for his daily favours, in a manner worthy of him, and to obtain pardon for the sins we are daily com mitting against him. (3.) That the Christian peo ple might have an efficacious means of approaching daily to God through our Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the victim here offered. (4.) That they might have, to the end of the world, an external sacrifice, in which they might join together in offering supreme homage to God, as the servants of God had always done from the beginning of the world. (5.). That all the figures and sacrifices of the old law, and of Melchisedech, might be perfectly fulfilled, according to that of our Saviour: “Amen, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle, shall not pass from the law, till all be fulfilled," Matth. v. 18. (6.) That by the sacrifice of the altar, the fruits of his death might daily be applied to our souls.

Q. 27. How are the fruits of our Saviour's death applied to our souls by the Mass?

A. Jesus Christ died upon the cross for all mankind in general, that is, he offered to God a full and ample satisfaction for the injury done him by the sis of the whole world. In the Mass, by mystically renewing, and presenting to his Father the death he suffered on the cross, he obtains his acceptance of the same for the actual bene£t of those in particular for whom the Mass is offered; and, by this means those graces which he merited for mankind in general by his death, are actually applied to, and bestowed upon, our souls in such abundant manner, as our wants require, and as our dispositions are capable of receiving.

Q. 28. But is not the sacrifice of the Mass injurious or derogatory to the sacrifice of the Cross?

A. If the Mass were a distinct sacrifice from that of the Cross, and designed, as it were, to supply

any supposed deficiency in the value or efficacy of his death, then it would justly be said to be injurious to it; but as it is the self same sacritice, and offered only to apply the merits of his death to our souls in particular, and for the other sacred ends above-mentioned, it is evident to the weakest eapacity, that it is not in the smallest degree injurious or derogatory to the sacrifice of the cross. Q. 29. How does the sacrifice of the Mass fulfil the four great ends of sacrifice ?

A. In the most perfect manner; for (1.) In it the most perfect homage and sovereign adoration is given to Almighty God; because Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, made man for the salvation of mankind, humbles himself in this holy saerifice in the most profound manner, taking upon him the forms of bread and wine, and offers himself up, by the hands of the priest, under the appearance of death, on purpose, by this humiliation of his humanity, which receives an infinite value from the divinity of his person, to render the most perfect worship and adoration to his eternal Father for us, and with us. When, therefore, we join our intention with that of our High Priest and Victim, and offer this holy sacrifice to God in acknowledgment of his sovereign dominion over us, and in protestation of our total subjection to him, we do him sovereign homage, and give him the most perfect honour and glory which it is possible for a creature to render to his Creator.

(2.) Though it is our duty, as Christians, in all things to give thanks to God, both in words and affection, for the numberless benefits we are continually receiving from him, yet it must be owned, that all the thanks we can give him, are of no value in themselves, as proceeding from us, nor in any degree adequate to what we owe him. But if we had any thing of real value in the sight of God,

which we could give to him in return for his many favours, this would, doubtless, make our thanksgiving most acceptable to him. Now, this is what we have in the sacrifice of the Mass; for in it Jesus. Christ gives himself to us, on purpose that we may have in him a gift of infinite value to offer to his eternal Father, in thanksgiving for all we have received from him; and for this purpose also, he offers himself in this holy mystery, with us and for us; so that here we make to God a return for alk his benefits, not only adequate, but even superior to every other favour we can receive from him.

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(3.) The most essential disposition required in us for obtaining pardon of our sins, is true repentance, or an humble and contrite heart, which God will not despise;" yet, it is most certain, that no repentance on our part could ever have found mercy with God, had not Jesus Christ, by his death upon the cross, "blotted out the hand-writing that was against us," and made up our peace with his offended Father. Hence all the merit of our repentance flows from the death of Jesus, and the more intimately it is united with his death, the more acceptable it must be in the sight of God. In the sacrifice of the Mass Jesus Christ offers himself up under the mystical appearance of death, and in memory of his actual death upon the cross, on purpose to move Almighty God to have mercy upon us, and to receive us into favour, and "mystically sheds his blood there for the remission of our sins," as he himself assures us, Matth. xxvi. 28, when he first instituted this holy mystery. Hence in this divine sacrifice, by offering up this victim of reconciliation, we have a most powerful means to move God to grant us mercy and pardon, which he never will fail to do, when we accompany this our offering with the inward sacrifice of an humble and contrite heart," and true repentance for our sins.


(4.) Prayer is undoubtedly a most powerful means to obtain from God every good thing we need; but it is no less certain that all the efficacy of our prayers flows from the merits of the blood of Jesus, shed for us upon the cross; hence all the prayers which the Church makes to God, end with this conclusion, "through Jesus Christ, our Lord;" because through him alone she expects to be heard. In the sacrifice of the Mass Jesus Christ offers himself up to his eternal Father with us and for us, on purpose, through the merits of his passion and death, there mystically represented and renewed, to obtain for us all good things whether for our soul or body. When, therefore, we offer up this holy sacrifice in union with this intention of Jesus Christ, this must be, of all others, the most efficacious means to sanctify our prayers, and to obtain from God a favourable hearing to our requests.

Q. 30. What then, properly speaking, is the sacrifice of the Mass?

A. It is an offering made to God of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. (1.) Under the sensible ap pearances of bread and wine, by Jesus Christ him.self, our invisible High Priest. (2.) Through the ministry of the priests of his Church, lawfully consecrated and empowered by him for that office; in which offering the bread and wine are (3.) by the Almighty power of God, really and substantially changed into the body and blood of Christ, and by the separate consecration of the two dif ferent species of bread and wine, the death of Jesus Christ is mystically represented. By which it is plain, that this is a true and real sacrifice, according to the definition of sacrifice given above. Q. 31. What is the proper office of the priest in celebrating the Mass?

A. St. Paul tells us, that "every high priest taken from among men, is appointed for men in the

things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins," Heb. v. 1. Hence the priest is a person separate from among men, and deputed by the special appointment of God, to treat with God for the rest of mankind in things appertaining to God, and, in particular, to officiate at the altar of God, as the lawful minister, in offering up gifts and sacrifices for sins.

Q.32. Is not Jesus Christ the only High Priest that offers this sacrifice?

A. Jesus Christ is our invisible High Priest, and the principal agent in these holy mysteries; because it is he, who, by his Almighty power, changes the bread and wine into his own body and blood; it is he, who, out of his own infinite goodness, comes to be present upon our altars, and there offer himself up to his eternal Father. But, as the celebration of this sacrifice is an outward act of religion, first performed by Jesus Christ himself, when he instituted it at the last supper; and, as he then commanded, that what he did there should be done in his Church to the end of the world, in order "to shew forth his death till his second coming," as St. Paul assures us, 1 Cor. xi. 26.; it was therefore necessary, that, besides Jesus Christ our invisible High Priest, other men should be chosen and ordained to act under him as his visible substitutes, to perform the outward and visible part in these sacred mysteries. These also are justly called Priests, because they are the ministers of Jesus Christ, ordained and empowered by him to perform in his name and authority, and as representing his person, all the exterior part of this holy sacrifice.

Q. 33. Can this be more fully explained?

A. It can, thus; as in the administration of the sacraments we are carefully to distinguish two things, the outward sensible action, and the inward grace received; so, in the celebration of the sacri

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