« AnteriorContinuar »
LIGHT ON OHURCH MATTERS.VI.
WHY WERE OUR REFORMERS BURNED ?
BY THE REV. J. C. RYLE, B.A.
HIS is a point which I hold to be one (1.) Hear what Rogers said :
of cardinal importance in the present I was asked whether I believed in the sacra. day. Great indeed would be our ment to be the very body and blood of our
mistake if we supposed that our Saviour Christ that was born of the Virgin Reformers suffered for the vague charge of Mary, and hanged on the cross, really and refusing submission to the Pope, or desiring substantially? I answered, ' I think it to be to maintain the independence of the Church false. I cannot understand really and subof England. Nothing of the kind! The stantially to signify otherwise than corporally, principal reason why they were burned was But corporally Christ is only in Heaven, and so because they refused one of the peculiar
Christ cannot be corporally in your sacradoctrines of the Romish Church. On that ment.'”-Foxe in loco, Vol. iii. p. 101, edit, 1684. doctrine, in almost every case, hinged their And therefore he was condemned and burned. life or death. If they admitted it they might (2.) Hear what Bishop Hooper said:live; if they refused it they must die.
“Tunstall asked him to say, 'whether he The doctrine in question was the real presence
believed the corporal presence in the sacra. of the Body and Blood of Christ in the conse- ment, and Master Hooper said plainly that crated elements of bread and wine in the there was none such, neither did he believe any Lord's Supper. Did they or did they not such thing.' Whereupon they bade the notaries believe that the body and blood of Christ were
write that he was married and would not go actually present under the forms of bread and from his wife, and that he believed not the wine after the words of consecration were corporal presence in the sacrament: wherefore pronounced ? Did they or did they not believe he was worthy to be deprived of his bishopric." that the real body of Christ, which was born
-Foxe in loco, Vol. iii. p. 123. of the Virgin Mary, was present on the so.
And so he was condemned and burned. called altar so soon as the mystical words had
(3.) Hear what Rowland Taylor said :passed the lips of the priest ? Did they or did
“The second cause why I was condemned as they not? That was the simple question, If
a heretic was that I denied transubstantiation they did not believe, and admit it, they were
and concomitation, two juggling words where. burned.*
by the Papists believe that Christ's natural There is a wonderful and striking unity in body is made of bread, and the Godhead by the stories of our martyrs on the subject. and by to be joined thereto, so that imme. Some of them no doubt were attacked about diately after the words of consecration, there the marriage of priests. Some of them were is no more bread and wine in the sacrament, assaulted about the nature of the Catholic but the substance only of the body and blood Church. Some of them were assailed on other
of Christ." points. But all, without an exception, were
"Because I denied the aforesaid Papistical called to special account about the real presence,
doctrine (yea, rather plain, wicked idolatry, and in every case their refusal to admit the blasphemy, and heresy) I am judged a heretic." doctrine formed one principal cause of their
-Foxe in loco, Vol. iii. p. 141. condemnation.
And therefore he was burned.
(4.) Hear what was done with Bishop Ferrar. * "The Mass was one of the principal causes why so much
He was summoned to “grant the natural turmoil was made in the Church, with the bloodshed of so presence of Christ in the sacrament under the many godly men.”—Foxe's Preface to Vol. III. of Acts and
form of bread and wine,” and because he Monuments. “The sacrament of the altar was the main touchstone to
refused to subscribe this article, as well as discover the poor Protestants. This point of the real, cor others, he was condemned. And in the sentence poral presence of Christ in the sacrament, the same body of condemnation it is finally charged against that was crucified, was the compendious way to discover those of the opposite opinion,”-Fuller, Church History, iii,
him that he maintained that "the sacrament 899. Tegg's edit.
of the altar ought not to be ministered on an
altar, or to be elevated, or to be adored in any And because the good man stoutly adhered to way."-Foxe in loco, Vol. iii. p. 178.
this opinion he was condemned and burned. And so he was burned.
(9.) Hear, lastly, what Cranmer said with (5.) Hear what holy John Bradford wrote to almost his last breath, in St. Mary's Church, the men of Lancashire and Cheshire when he Oxford :was in prison :
“As for the sacrament, I believe, as I have “The chief thing which I am condemned for taught in my book against the Bishop of as an heretic is because I deny in the sacra- Winchester, the which my book teacheth so ment of the altar (which is not Christ's Supper, true a doctrine, that it shall stand at the last but a plain perversion as the Papists now use day before the judgment of God when the it ) to be a real, natural, and corporal presence | Papist's doctrine contrary thereto shall be of Christ's body and blood under the forms ashamed to show her face.”-Foxe in loco, Vol. and accidents of bread and wine; that is, be- iii. p. 562. cause I deny transubstantiation, which is the
If any one wants to know what Cranmer darling of the devil, and daughter and heir to had said in this book, let them take the followAntichrist's religion.”— Foxe in loco, Vol. iii. p. ing sentence as a specimen :260.
“They (the Papists] say that Christ is And so he was burned.
corporally under or in the form of bread and (6.) Hear what were the words of the sen.
wine. We say that Christ is not there, neither tence of condemnation against Bishop Ridley : corporally nor spiritually; but in them that
The said Nicholas Ridley affirms, maintains, worthily eat and drink the bread and wine He and stubbornly defends certain opinions, asser- is spiritually, and corporally in Heaven." tions, and heresies, contrary to the Word of
Cranmer on the Lord's Supper. Parker Society God and the received faith of the Church, as edit. p.
54. in denying the true and natural body and
And so he was burned. blood of Christ to be in the sacrament of the altar, and secondarily, in affirming the sub
Now, were the English Reformers right in stance of bread and wine to remain after the
being so stiff and unbending on this question words of consecration.”-Foxe in loco, Vol. iii.
of the real presence ? Was it a point of such
vital importance that they were justified in And so he was burned.
dying before they would receive it? These
are questions, I suspect, which are very (7.) Hear the articles exhibited against puzzling to many unreflecting minds. Such Bishop Latimer :
minds, I fear, can see in the whole controversy ** That thou hast openly affirmed, defended,
about the real presence nothing but a logo. and maintained that the true and natural
machy, or strife of words. But they are body of Christ, after the consecration of the
questions, I am bold to say, on which no wellpriest, is not really present in the sacrament
instructed Bible-reader can hesitate for a of the altar, and that in the sacrament of the
moment in giving his answer. Such a one altar remaineth still the substance of bread and wine."
will say at once that the Romish doctrine of
the real presence strikes at the very root of And to this article the good old man replied:
the Gospel, and is the very citadel and keep of After a corporal being, which the Romish Church furnisheth, Christ's body and blood is
Popery. Men may not see this at first, but
it is a point that ought to be carefully renot in the sacrament under the forms of bread
membered. It throws a clear and broad light and wine.”—Foxe in loco, Vol. iii. p. 426.
on the line which the Reformers took, and the And so he was burned.
unflinching firmness with which they died. (8.) Hear the address made by Bishop Whatever men please to think or say, the Bonner to Archdeacon Philpot :
Romish doctrine of the real presence, if pursued " You have offended and trespassed against to its legitimate consequences, obscures every the sacrament of the altar, denying the real leading doctrine of the Gospel, and damages presence of Christ's body and blood to be there, and interferes with the whole system of Christ's affirming also material bread and material truth. Grant for a moment that the Lord's wine to be in the sacrament, and not the sub- Supper is a sacrifice, and not a sacramentstance of the body and blood of Christ.”— Foxe grant that every time the words of consecrain loco, Vol. iii. p. 495.
tion are used the natural body and blood of
Christ are present on the Communion-table under the forms of bread and wine-grant that every one who eats that consecrated bread and drinks that consecrated wine, does really eat and drink the body and blood of Christgrant for a moment these things, and then see what momentous consequences result from these premises.
You spoil the blessed doctrine of Christ's finished work when He died on the cross. A sacrifice that needs to be repeated is not a perfect and complete thing. You spoil the priestly office of Christ. If there are priests that can offer an acceptable sacrifice to God besides Him, the great High Priest is robbed of His glory. You spoil the Scriptural doctrine of the Christian ministry. You exalt sinful men into the position of mediators between God and man. You give to the sacramental elements of bread and wine an honour and veneration they were never meant to receive, and produce an idolatry to be abhorred of faithful Christians. Last, but not least, you overthrow the true doctrine of Christ's human nature. If the body born of the Virgin Mary can be in more places than one at the same time, it is not a body like our own, and Jesus was not the Second Adam in the truth of our nature.
I cannot doubt for a moment that our martyred Reformers saw and felt these things even more clearly than we do, and, seeing and feeling them, chose to die rather than admit the doctrine of the real presence. Feeling them, they would not give way by subjection for a moment, and cheerfully laid down their lives. Let this fact be deeply graven in our minds. Wherever the English language is spoken on the face of the globe this fact ought to be clearly understood by every Englishman who reads history. Rather than admit the doctrine of the real presence of Christ's body and blood under the forms of bread and wine, the Reformers of the Church of England were content to be burned.
We live in momentous times. The ecclesias. tical horizon on every side is dark and lowering. The steady rise and progress of Ritualism and Ritualists is shaking the Church of England to its very centre. It is of the very first importance to understand clearly what it all means.
A right diagnosis of disease is the very first element of successful treatment.
The physician who does not see what is the matter is never likely to work any cures.
Now, I say there can be no greater mistake than to suppose that the great controversy of our times is a mere question of vestments and ornaments-of chasubles and amices--of more or less church decorations-of more or less candles and flowers-of more or less bowings and crossings—of more or less gestures and postures-of more or less show and form. The man who fancies that the whole dispute is a mere æsthetic one, a question of taste like one of fashion and millinery, must allow me to tell him that he is under a complete delusion. He may sit on the shore, like the Epicurean philosopher, smiling at theological storms, and flatter himself that we are only squab. bling about trifles, but I take leave to tell him that his philosophy is very shallow, and his knowledge of the controversy of the day very superficial indeed.
The things I have spoken of are trifles, I fully concede. But they are pernicious trifles, because they are the outward expression of an inward doctrine. They are the skin disease which is the symptom of an unsound constitution. They are the plague spot which tells of internal poison. They are the curling smoke which arises from a hidden volcano of mischief. I, for one, would never lend a hand to agitate about church millinery or candles if I thought they meant nothing beneath the surface. But I believe they mean a great deal of error and false doctrine, and therefore I publicly protest against them, and say that those who support them are to be blamed.
I give it as my deliberate opinion that the root of the whole Ritualistic system is the dangerous doctrine of the real presence of Christ's body and blood in the Lord's Supper under the forms of the consecrated bread and wine. The real presence, under the forms of broad and wine, is the foundation principle of Ritualism. The real presence is what the Ritualistic party want to bring back into the Church of England. And just as our martyred Reformers went to the stake rather than admit the real presence, so I hold that we should make any sacrifice, rather than allow it to come back in any shape into our Communion.*
* From Church Association Lectures, No. VI. [London : W. Macintosh.] These Lectures should be widely circulated.
HEART CHEER FOR HOME SORROW.
THE LESSON OF THE FLOWER.
the thief on the cross, have ripened almost " Flower
upon the green hillside, to destruction, when they are snatched like Thou, to shun the threatening blast, brands from the burning! Others, like Dr. In the grass thy head dost hide,
Chalmers, are fostered long on this earth, By the tempest overpast.
and put on many of the heavenly characters Thou, to greet the azure skies,
before they are transplanted to the gardens And to feel the soothing sun,
of the Lord. But all are watered by the Brighter, sweeter, thou dost rise, Holy Spirit, and renewed by Him in their
Tell me, flower, how this is done ?" whole nature, and purified and cleansed and "I will tell thee, as thy friend,
pruned by the Father, the Husbandman, and Artless, timid, whispering low,
grafted into the true Vine, which is Christ,
and made branches of Him; and thereby, To the blast 'tis good to bend He who made me, taught me so !
and thereby alone, bring forth fruit. While His teaching I obey,
Let us long, then, for holiness. Even if I but fall to rise and stand,
we got into Heaven without it, which is im
possible, we should have no pleasure there. Brighter for the stormy day,
You and I know that sickness makes it imLeaning on His viewless hand.
possible to enjoy the delights of this world, "When to Him I've lowly bowed, and that health is essential to the realization He with freshness fills my cup,
of even its pure joys. Well, sin is the sickness From the angry, scowling cloud ;
of Heaven, and holiness its health. As a Then He gently lifts me up.
sick man turns away in disgust from the So I fall, and so I rise,
flowers and books and music and food that In the dark or sunny hour,
delight the healthy, so a sinner would find Minding Him who rules the skies, no pleasure in the holiness of Heaven. HoliHe's my God, and I'm His flower." ness and happiness are inseparable.
GEORGE WILSON, M.D. THE GARDEN OF THE LORD. Many of the most beautiful plants in our
THE PRAYER OF AGONY. gardens, and the trees that bear the richest Tell to thy God thy heart's desire, fruits, were once wayside seeds, with in
With lips of fire ; significant flowers, or stunted thorny bushes But close the prayer, as did His own blest Son, bearing only sour berries. It was a slow
“Yet not my will, but Thine be done.”' and troublesome process, however, requiring
Freely, like Christ, to God express skill and pains and patience, that changed
Thy deep distress; the buttercup into the ranunculus, or the
But pray thy Father, that He work, at will, sour crab into the sweet apple. And so,
Woe which salvation must fulfil. when it pleases God of His grace to select wild seeds, like you and me, we must not
"All things are possible," repeat: murmur or wonder if He insist upon wholly
And thrice entreat; changing us, and leaving no portion of the But, though the blood start to thy throbbing original bitterness and harshness and sour
brow, ness of our natural character in us.
Lowly upon the ground be thou. Many of the seeds He chooses for himself, Arouse thy brethren by thy side : He allows just to germinate, and immediately
Yet gently chide; plucks and sanctifies, and takes to Heaven. Then with thy God again thy soul engross, These are the babes who die in the very And strengthened be to bear thy cross. morning twilight of their days. Some, like
Pleasant Readings for our Sons and Daughters.
MISS VIVIAN AND HER RELATIONS.
BY A, G., AUTHOR OF
AMONG THE MOUNTAINS," "MABEL AND CORA,"
days, when Miss Vivian had not been quite “It is therefore vanity to seek after perishing
alone in the world. There were some pieces of riches."
Thomas A KEMPIS.
rich-flowered silks,—such silks as in the days
of our great-grandmothers would hare cost “Why dost thou build up stately rooms on high,
some thirty or forty guineas the dress,-rolled Thou who art underground to lie ?
up and thrust into a drawer. Now Captain Thou sow'st and plantest, but no fruit must see,
Gifford opened one full of newspapers, none For death, alas, is reaping thee."
less than fifteen or twenty years old; then
another filled with pieces of string and pack. R. WENTWORTH was not mistaken thread, knotted loosely together, or rolled into
in his idea that Captain Gifford had balls. Here again were scraps of blank paper, reasons of his own for paying a visit yellow and dusty, intermingled with the torn to Vivian Mansion at that particular
leaves of one or two books, amongst which was time when he could spend an hour in the draw.
a very ancient and dilapidated primer. Could ing-room free from observation, and that the
it be possible that Miss Vivian's love of board. solicitude he was so careful to display, respect. ing bad extended so far as to induce her to ing the health of his aged relative, was a mere preserve the book in which she had learnt her pretence. Mr. Wentworth was, however, en- A, B, CP More curious still, in the next tirely ignorant as to the nature of those drawer were one or two broken toys,-the reasons; and could he have seen the manner in wheel of a child's cart, roughly made, and a which Captain Gifford proceeded to employ misshapen, battered wooden doll, minus legs himself as soon as he was alone, he would and arms, a mere caricature of the elegant probably have been no less surprised than waxen babies now in vogue. But Captain shocked.
Gifford was in no mood for lingering over The gentleman's first act was noiselessly to these strange melancholy relics of former days, close and bolt the door. Then he walked to a and he tossed back the doll with an impatient, large old-fashioned writing-table in one corner “Pshaw! what a parcel of rubbish!” of the room, containing a great many drawers He had, as yet, by no means come to the end of various sizes, from the smallest of which of the rubbish. Other drawers remained, and he took a bunch of keys. Poor Miss Vivian! he still continued to open one after another, little had she ever imagined that the place in now turning over a mass of papers, niow of which they were hidden,-kept studiously scraps of old dresses, here a pile of old music secret from every one, even Bentley,-had been torn and soiled, there a number of faded waterdiscovered by the lynx-like eyes of Captain colour sketches, echoes of the school days long, Gifford, only a few days before. Keys in long gone by. And all these were locked up hand, he next set himself to the task of open. as carefully as if they were treasures of the ing drawer after drawer, turning over and ex- greatest value. amining the contents of each with equal care Only two more drawers remained, and Captain and rapidity.
Gifford began to look annoyed and impatient Whatever was the object of his search, it at his lack of success in finding what he was not easily discovered. But strange and wanted. But he was now near the discovery. various indeed were the long-hidden hoards He opened one of the drawers-it was stuffed thus brought to light. Here were a number of full of beeswax, string, nails, and paper; bat old letters, faded and torn, relics of earlier within it was a much smaller drawer, which at