Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume I/IRENAEUS/Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus/XXXVII.

Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. I, Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus by Irenaeus, translated by Philip Schaff et al.


Those who have become acquainted with the secondary (i.e., under Christ) constitutions of the apostles,[1] are aware that the Lord instituted a new oblation in the new covenant, according to [the declaration of] Malachi the prophet. For, “from the rising of the sun even to the setting my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure sacrifice;”[2] as John also declares in the Apocalypse: “The incense is the prayers of the saints.”[3] Then again, Paul exhorts us “to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”[4] And again, “Let us offer the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of the lips.”[5] Now those oblations are not according to the law, the handwriting of which the Lord took away from the midst by cancelling it;[6] but they are according to the Spirit, for we must worship God “in spirit and in truth.”[7] And therefore the oblation of the Eucharist is not a carnal one, but a spiritual; and in this respect it is pure. For we make an oblation to God of the bread and the cup of blessing, giving Him thanks in that He has commanded the earth to bring forth these fruits for our nourishment. And then, when we have perfected the oblation, we invoke the Holy Spirit, that He may exhibit this sacrifice, both the bread the body of Christ, and the cup the blood of Christ, in order that the receivers of these antitypes[8] may obtain remission of sins and life eternal. Those persons, then, who perform these oblations in remembrance

of the Lord, do not fall in with Jewish views, but, performing the service after a spiritual manner, they shall be called sons of wisdom.


  1. ταῖς δευτέραις τῶν ἀποστόλων διατάξεσι. Harvey thinks that these words imply, “the formal constitution, which the apostles, acting under the impulse of the Spirit, though still in a secondary capacity, gave to the Church.”
  2. Mal. i. 11.
  3. Rev. v. 8. The same view of the eucharistic oblation, etc., is found in book iv. chap. xvii.: as also in Justin Martyr; see Trypho, cap. xli. supra in this volume.
  4. Rom. xii. 1.
  5. Heb. xiii. 15.
  6. Col. ii. 14.
  7. John iv. 24.
  8. Harvey explains this word ἀντιτύπων as meaning an “exact counterpart.” He refers to the word where it occurs in Contra Hæreses, lib. i. chap. xxiv. (p. 349, this vol.) as confirmatory of his view.