Page images

the chienger had said that the bra

page callist; to which

assert that the elements are mere signs or pledges of the thing, but that they are the very thing itself, in a mystical or sacramental, as opposed to the corporeal sense of Humbert, Lanfranc, and others of his enemies; they remaining, 'after consecration, in their form and essence, without material change.'? Lanfranc, his opponent, does not invariably keep to the idea of a corporeal presence, but as if over-mastered by the idea of a Sacrament, is compelled at times to confess that the bread is Christ's Body mystically. Berenger had said that the words of Scripture, Christ is the chief corner-stone,' do not take away Christ; to which Lanfranc replies, When the inspired *page calls bread the Body of Christ, it does so by a sacred and mystical way of speaking; or because it is macie of bread, and

retains some of its qualities; or as it satisfies the soul by feed‘ing it in an incomprehensible manner, and supplying it with

the substance of eternal life; or because it is the Body of the "Son of God, which is the bread of angels, and “into which,"

as the chief of the Apostles says, “the angels desire to look ;" 'or in some other manner, which can be comprehended by doctors, but not by us.'?

And, lastly, even the Council of Trent itself falls into a like divarication of language, at one time teaching, as we have seen, most bare and simple Transubstantiation and Concomitancy; but at another, confessing that Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father, according to the natural manner of existence; and that He is present, notwithstanding, in many other places 'sacramentaliter. To hold one uniform and systematic language on the subject, they ought to have said that He was alike in Heaven and in the Sacrament corporaliter,'—and it would then have been for them to show how that was possible. Lanfranc endeavoured to do it, but did not succeed :

We believe in earthly substances which, on the Lord's Table, are by the priestly mystery divinely sanctified, to be changed ineffably, incomprehensibly, and miraculously, through the operation of a Heavenly Power, into the Essence of the Lord's Body; the appearances of the Elements themselves being preserved, and soine of their qualities .... but the Body itself of the Lord exists in heaven, at the right hand of the Father, immortal, inviolate, whole, uncontaminated, that it may be truly said, both that we receive the very Body which was taken of the Virgin, and yet not the very Body-the very Body as far as relates to the Essence and Propriety of the true nature, and not the very Body, if you regard the species of the bread and wine.' 3

But that the same real substantial human body should be bodily present in two places at once, is not merely beyond, but contrary to, the ordinary laws of nature, and even to that superhuman superiority over them shown during the great Forty Days, and is, therefore, impossible. Thus, when it comes to results or explanations, the doctrine of a substantial change in the Elements of the Holy Communion on which the contradiction rests, must, we see, either be given up, or qualified, and escaped from.

1 Ibid. p. 67, note.

2 Chap. vi. ad finem.

3 Chap. xviii.

Such is the Romish doctrine and its history on this subject. The question was not settled at Florence, for the point there debated was rather as to the formal cause of the Consecration, i.e. whether it takes place on the utterance by the priest of Christ's words, This is My Body'-“This is My Blood,' as the Latin schoolmen hold, or by the subsequent prayer of invocation of the Holy Ghost, which is the opinion of the Greeks.'

As regards the Church of the East, the Orthodox Confession, drawn up by Peter Mogila, A.D. 1648, speaks as follows:• The priest who consecrates the gifts ought to think that the ‘very substance of the bread, and the very substance of the 'wine, is changed into the substance of the true Body and • Blood of Christ, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, whom he .invokes at that time for the consummation of this mystery by

prayer and by the words, " Send down Thy Holy Spirit on "us, and on the gifts lying before us, and make this bread the s honourable Body of Thy Christ; and that which is in this cup

change into the honourable Blood of Thy Christ by Thy Holy • Spirit. And in the month of January, A.D. 1672, Dionysius, Patriarch of Constantinople in the place of Parthenius, gave to the Marquis de Nointel, Ambassador of the King of France at that city, a form of faith, subscribed by himself and other Greeks, which certainly approaches very near to the Latin doctrine.

This document states that they believe that the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ is present, invisibly, with an actual presence, in the Sacrament (7 paypatiks tapovola), for on the ministering priest's saying after the words of the Lord, “ Make this bread o the precious Body of Thy Christ, and that which is in this cup

the precious Blood of Thy Christ, changing it by Thy Holy • Spirit;'—then, by the action of the all-holy Spirit, supernaturally and ineffably, the bread is changed (ueTATTOLEÎTai) into that very peculiar Body of our Saviour Christ actually, and verily, and effectually ; and the wine into His living Blood.

i Mr. Palmer has given two sections of his Eighth Dissertation to this question. The Latins, at the Council of Florence, urged the Greeks that this invocation was unnecessary, after the utterance of the words of Christ; and the Greeks, in turn, asked them why they prayed (as they did), when they had repeated them, for an angel to carry the gifts up to the altar in heaven, if the gifts were really now made very Christ Himself.-Covel, p. 46.

Council once adonan


And we believe that the same entire Christ is both He that offers, and He that is offered, and received, and distributed, once to all, and who, without suffering, is entirely eaten, róxinpov éo Olóuevov. This Covel calls a step nearer towards the Roman doctrine than what those of the very forwardest • Greeks at Florence advanced unto. P. 138.

In a Council held at Bethlehem, in the year 1671-2, under Dositheus, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and which seems to have been brought about by French influence, for the express purpose of procuring from the Greeks a confession of the doctrine of Transubstantiation, it was decided in the seventeenth decree, in words which contain the very essence both of the Romish doctrines of Transubstantiation and Concomitancy :

In the celebration of the Eucharist, we believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is present, not by way of Type or Image; nor by extraordinary Grace, as in the other Sacraments; neither by a bare Presence only, as some of the Fathers have spoken of Baptism; neither by Impanation (or Inbreading), so as that the Divinity of the Word is hypostatically united to the proposed bread of the Eucharist, as the Lutherans very ignorantly and wretchedly maintain; but verily and indeed, so as that the bread, after the consecration of it, and of the wine, is changed, transubstantiated, converted, transformed into that true Body of the Lord, which was born in Bethlehem of the EverVirgin, was baptized in Jordan, suffered, was buried, rose again, ascended, sits at the right hand of God the Father; is to come in the clouds of Heaven; and that the wine is converted and transubstantiated into that true Blood of the Lord, which, as He hanged on the Cross, was shed for the life of the world.

* Also, that after the consecration of the bread and wine, the substance of the bread and wine do no longer remain, but the very Body and Blood of our Lord in the shape and likeness of bread and wine; that is to say, under the accidents of bread and wine.

* Also, that the most sincere Body and Blood of the Lord are distributed, and go into the mouth and stomach of the receivers, both of the pious and the impious; but that they procure remission of sins, and eternal life to the pious and worthy; and bring damnation and eternal punishment, to the im. pious and unworthy.

• Also, that the Body and Blood of the Lord are cut and divided, whether by the hands or whether by the teeth also, but only by Accident, or by the Accidents of the bread and of the wine, by which also they are acknowledged to be visible and tangible ; but that in themselves they remain absolutely incapable of being cut, and indivisible; whence also the (Greek) Catholic Church saith, the Lamb of God is divided, &c.

* Also, that in every singular part, and in the least crumb of the bread and drop of the wine being changed, there is not a part of the Body and Blood of the Lord (for this is blasphemy and atheistical), but the whole Lord Christ entirely according to His substance; to wit, with His soul and Divinity-that is, perfect God, and perfect Man. So that, though many celebrations of the Eucharist are made up and down the world at one and the same hour, there are not many Christs, or many Bodies of Christ, but one and the same Christ is present verily and indeed ; and His Body and Blood is one in all the particular Churches of the Faithful; and this, not that the Lord's Body, which is in Heaven, comes down upon the altars, but that the bread of proposition,

Covel, p. 146.

which is offered in every particular Church, being, after consecration, converted and transubstantiated, is made, and is, one and the same with that in Heaven ; for but one Body of the Lord, and not many, is in many places ; and for this reason this Sacrament chiefly is, and is called, wonderful, and comprehensible by faith alone, not by the subtilties of human wisdom, whose vain and wild inquisitiveness into Divine matters our holy way of worship, which was delivered to us from God, utterly disclaims.' ....

Also, we believe that by the word Transubstantiation, the manner how the bread and the wine are converted into the Body and Blood of the Lord, is not explained (for that is altogether incomprehensible, and impossible, unless to God Himself, and argues those, who believe, to be both ignorant and impious); but that the bread and the wine after the consecration are changed into the Body and Blood of the Lord, not by way of type, or image; nor by extraordinary grace ; nor by the communion or the presence of only the Divinity of the Only-Begotten; neither is any Accident of the bread and wive turned into any Accident of the Body and Blood of Christ, by any conversion or alteration; but they are verily and indeed, and substantially made, to wit, the bread the very true Body of the Lord, and the wine the very Blood of the Lord, as is above said.'i

Mr. Palmer says that the Orthodox Confession and these Articles of Bethlehem are for the Greeks of about the same authority as the Catechism of Pope Pius may be for the Latins.' (P. 206.) On the words of the Confession of 1648 is founded the following statement of Eucharistic doctrine contained in the longer Catechism of the Russian Church :

Q. What is the most essential act in this part of the Liturgy? A. The utterance of the words which Jesus Christ spake in instituting the Sacrament:~Take, eat, this is My Body; drink ye all of it, for this is My Blood of the New Testament; Matt. xxvi, 26, 27, 28. And after this the invocation of the Holy Ghost, and the blessing the gifts, that is, the bread and wine, which have been offered.

'Q. Why is this so essential ?

"A. Because, at the moment of this act, the bread and wine are changed, or transubstantiated, into the very Body of Christ, and into the very Blood of Christ. "Q. How are we to understand the word transubstantiation ?

4. In the exposition of the faith by the Eastern Patriarchs, it is said that the word transubstantiation is not to be taken to define the manner in which the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of the Lord; for this none can understand but God; but only thus much is signified, that the bread truly, really, and substantially becomes the very true Body of the Lord, and the wine the very Blood of the Lord.'-Pp. 91, 92.2

It will here perhaps be asked, to what end we as English Churchmen have noticed a work of which one object is to plead, however indirectly and distantly, the cause of Churches which hold such doctrines as Transubstantiation and Concomitancy? We reply that, for ourselves, we have neither any expectation nor desire to be reunited to Churches which in any sense require belief in those doctrines; but ours may possibly prove to be a case of influencing others rather than of surrendering ourselves.

1 Covel, pp. 139, 140.

? Doctrine of Russian Church. Rivingtons, 1845.

thentine schans receivation of the again laid Tnally

It is our author's view, at least, that the question is not so finally closed as to admit no hope of its ever being again laid open. The East, he thinks, despite her adoption of the term Transubstantiation, still by no means receives, if she do not positively reject, the Tridentine scheme of belief connected with, and resulting from, that term; and even Rome herself he thinks not absolutely and hopelessly committed to the scholastic system there developed.

The truth of the received explanation,' he says, ' of Transubstantiation -namely, that it is by a physical change, by the separation of accidents from substance--is still perhaps, in strictness, even within the Latin Church a point undetermined. The decree of Trent, though it requires all under pain of anathema to confess that there is a “conversion of the whole substance,” yet does not add the word physicul," nor impose as of faith (supposing this, in the nature of things, to be possible) that scholastic philosophy which, by using the word “substance," it seems to recognise and to imply.'

He might even perhaps have said that, by teaching in words already cited, that Christ's presence in other places than at the right hand of the Father in Heaven is one 'sacramentaliter,' the Council even leaves room for escape from its scholastic decisions laid down in other parts of its decree on the subject.

And though,' he continues, the Catechism goes further, still, this not being the work of the Council, but only of the Pope, and not having the nature in every word and clause of a definition of faith, it does not follow that a belief of a severance of accidents from substance in the Eucharistic change, (any more than the word fire in relation to Purgatory.) has become an article of faith for the Latins, merely because it occurs in that Catechism, though it seems to be at present universally acquiesced in as the best explanation that can be devised. . . But among the Easterns this is not only regarded as an open question theoretically (their Church having never so much as considered it in itself, and the Latin phraseology having been admitted only incidentally), but it is open and controverted in fact. The explanation of the change by a severance of accidents from substance has been rejected, and is still rejected, by some of the most learned and most respected of the clergy, both in the Levant and in Russia : and it has been purposely avoided and corrected by the Russian Church herself, both in her Catechism (where she allows and accepts from the Orthodox Confession the word “transubstantiation," but omits the explanation of it by substance and accidents), and in her authorized translation (which in this point and in one or two others is also a verbal modification) of the XVIII. Articles of the Synod of Bethlebem.'Pp. 207, 208.

In connexion with these words Mr. Palmer proceeds in fact to construct one of the most powerful arguments, κάτ' αναλόγιαν, against the Romish doctrine which we ever remember to have seen. Having shown that the early Fathers hold two separate lines of truth on the subject of the holy Eucharist, dwelling on the one hand on the plain words of our blessed Lord, “This is my Body,—This is my Blood,' and yet admitting on the other

« PreviousContinue »