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God bears a parti) and the inherent virtue of the consecrated water, which means quite another thing, and is a late invention of dark and ignorant ages k.
As to the Eucharist, for the three first centuries, and part of the fourth, nothing at all was said, so far as appears, of any descent of the third Person upon the elements'; nothing of his forming them into Christ's body; no, nor of his forming the natural body in the womb : but the ancients interpreted Luke i. 35. of our Lord's own Divine Spirit, namely, of the Logos, and supposed that the same Logos formed for himself a body in the womb m. So little foundation is there, within the three first and purest ages, for the pretended similitude between the Holy Ghost's forming the natural body in the womb, and his forming the spiritual body in the Eucharist. The similitude made use of anciently with respect to the Eucharist, was that of the incarnation”, intended only in a confuse, general way, and not for any rigorous exactness. For like as our Lord, in his incarnation, made and fitted for himself a natural body to dwell in; so, in regard to the Eucharist, he has appointed and fitted for himself a symbolical body to concur with, in the distributing his graces and blessings to the faithful receivers. As to the third Person, his more immediate presence and energy was by the ancients assigned to Baptism, correspondently to the figure of the conjugal union, as before hinted: while
i See my Review, vol. vii. p. 14, &c. * Sacramenta continere gratiam, nunquam olim dictum : itaque Thomas, parte tertia quæstionis sexagesimæ secundæ, articulo tertio, non potuit altius arcessere quam ab Hugone de Sancto Victore. Chamier, Punstrat. tom. iv. p. 52. N.B. Hugo flourished about A.D. 1120.
| See my Review, vol. vii. p. 291, &c.
m Hermas, lib. iii. Simil. 5. Justin. Apol. i. p. 54. Dial. 354. Irenæus, lib. v. cap. 1. p. 293. Clem. Alex. p. 654. Tertullian, contr. Prax. cap. xxvi. de Carn. Christi, p. 18. Hippolytus, contr. Noet. cap. iv. p. 9. cap. xvii. p. 18. Novatian, cap. xix. Cyprian, de Idol. Vanit. p. 228. Lactant. lib. iv. cap. 12. Hilarius, de Trin. 1011, 1044, 1047. Gregorius Bæticus, apud Ambros. tom. ii. p. 354, 356.
n Justin. Apol. xcvi. Dial. p. 290. Compare my Doctrinal Use, &c. p. 138. and Reriew, vol. vii. p. 161. and Albertinus, p. 296, 664.
to the Eucharist was assigned the more immediate presence and energy of the Logos, as the figure of the incarnation, made use of in that case, justly required. It would be a kind of solecism in ancient language, to speak of the Holy Ghost in this matter, as some late writers have done ; because it would be confounding the analogy which the truly ancient Doctors went upon in their doctrine of the two Sacraments. The very learned and judicious Bishop Bull gives a reasonable account of what was taught concerning the Eucharist in the early days of Justin and Irenæus.
“ By or upon the sacerdotal benediction, the Spirit of “ Christ, or a Divine virtue from Christ, descends upon “ the elements, and accompanies them to all worthy com“municants: and therefore they are said to be, and are, “ the body and blood of Christ, the same Divinity which is “ hypostatically united to the body of Christ in heaven, “ being virtually united to the elements of bread and « wineo.” Here it is observable, that by Spirit of Christ, Bishop Bull could not mean the third Person, but the Logos P, which only is hypostatically united to the humanity of Christ, and that that Spirit is not said to reside in the elements, but to accompany them, and to the worthy only: so that the virtual union can amount only to an union of concurrence, (not of infusion or inherence,) whereby Christ is conceived to concur with the elements, in the due use of them, to produce the effects in persons fitly disposed. All which is true and ancient doctrine.
In the fourth century, some illapse of the third Person
• Bull's Answer to the Bishop of Meaux, p. 21, 22. How different Bishop Bull's account is from Dr. Grabe's, in his notes on Irenæus, will be obvious to every one who will be at the pains to compare them : though at the same time Bishop Bull very respectfully refers to Dr. Grabe (p. 23.) for clearing the point against the Romanists.
P How common and familiar such use of the name Spirit, or Holy Spirit, anciently was, may be understood from the interpretation of Luke i. 35. as before mentioned, and from the testimonies collected to that purpose by learned men. Grotius in Marc. ii. 8. Bull. Defens. Fid. Nic, cap. ii. sect. 5. Constant. in Hilar, præfat. p. 19.
upon the elements was commonly taught, and that justly, provided it be but as justly understood. Not so as to make the sacramental body a compound of element and spirit, after the way of the modern Greeks; nor so as to make the third Person the proper food of the Eucharist, or the res Sacramenti, for the Logos was always considered as the food there spiritually given and received 9 : yea it was the incarnate Logos', and therein stands our mystical union with Christ as improved and strengthened in that Sacramert. But the work of the Holy Ghost upon the elements was to translate or change them from common to sacred, from elements to sacraments, from their natural state and condition to supernatural ends and uses, that they might become holy signs, certain pledges, or exhibitive symbols of our Lord's own natural body and blood in a mystical and spiritual way. Not that any change was presumed, either as to the substance or the inward qualities of the elements, but only as to their outward state, condition, uses, or offices. For like as when a commoner is advanced into a peer, or a subject into a prince, or an house into a church, or a laic into a priest, or prelate, there is a change of outward state, condition, circumstances, and there are new uses and offices, new prerogatives, new glories, but no change of substance, no, nor of inward qualities implied: such also is the case (only in a more eminent degree) with respect to the elements of the Eucharist; when they are consecrated by the priest, when they are sanctified by the Holy Ghost, when they are rendered relatively holy, when they are transferred from coinmon to sacreds, when they are exalted from mean and low uses, in comparison, to the highest and holiest purposes that such poor things could ever be advanced to. Such a change, or transmutation, as I have now mentioned, frequently occurs in the primitive writers : more than this (I am competently assured) will not be found in any certain and undoubted monuments of Catholic writers, within the first six centuries t.
q Irenæus, lib. iv. cap. 38, p. 284. Clemens Alex. 123, 125, 126, 177, 178. Tertullian. de Orat. cap. 6. De Resurr. Carn. cap. 38. Origen. in Levit. Hom. xvi. p. 266. in Matt. p. 254, Novat. cap. 14, 16. Hilarius de Trin. lib. viii. p. 954. Nazianzen, Orat. iii. p. 70.
Tertullian. de Resurr. Carn. cap. 37. Origen. in Matt. p. 254. Augustin. in Psal. xxxiii. p. 211. cxx. p. 1381. Compare Jewell's Answer to Hard. art. viii. p. 293. and Albertinus, p. 341, 758.
• Accedat verbum ad elementum, et fit Sacramentum. Augustin. in Johann. Tract. 80.
So long as symbolical language was well remembered and rightly understood, and men knew how to distinguish between figure and verity, between signs and things : while due care and judgment was made use of, to interpret the literal expressions of Scripture and Fathers literally, and figurative expressions according to the figure : I say, while these things were so, there could be no room for imagining any change in the elements, either as to substance or internal qualities, nor for supposing that our Lord's words, “ This is my body,” were to be otherwise interpreted than those parallel words of the Apostle," that “ rock was Christ u.” For as the word Christ, which is the predicate in one proposition, is to be literally understood, and the trope lies in the verb was, put for signify, or exhibitively signifies; so the word body, which is the predicate in the other proposition, is to be literally interpreted of the natural or personal body of Christ, and the trope lies in the verb is w, put for represents, or exhibitively
+ Compare Jewell's Def. of Apol. part ii. p. 243, 244. Albertinus, p. 425, 509. Cosin. Histor. Transubst. p. 109, 113, 124, Covel. Account of Gr. Church, p. 47, 53, &c. 67, 68, 72.
u I Cor. x. 4. Solet autem res quæ significat, ejus rei nomine quam significat nuncupari.- Hinc est quod dictum est, petra erat Christus. Non enim dixit, petra significat, sed tanquam hoc esset; quod utique per substantiam hoc non erat, sed per significationem. Sic et sanguis, quoniam animam significat in Sacramentis, anima dictus est. Augustin. in Levit. q. lvii. p. 516. tom. 3. Conf. Epist. xcviii. ad Bonifac. p. 268. tom. 2. and iny Review, vol. vii. chap. 8. p. 146–165.
Sacramentorum enim patura et usitata loquendi ratio postulare videtur, nt symbolis non solum nomina, sed et eorum proprietates, imo effecta tribuantur. Cosin. Histor. Transubst. p. 3.
w See this proved at large in Chamier's Panstrat. tom. iv. p. 528, 529, &c. Albertimus, p. 525, 526, 686. Jewell's Def. of Apol. p. 209. Answ. to Hard. p. 238, 239, 255, 267. Spalatensis, lib. v. cap. 6. n. 73. 169. Cosin. Histor. Transubstant. p. 10, 24, 30, 41, 43, 44. Compare my Review, vol. vii. p. 119, 120, 169, 170, 183.
signifies. And as it would not be right to say that the rock was literally a spiritual Christ, distinct from the real Christ, making two Christs; so neither can it be right to say or conceive that the bread in the Eucharist is a spiritual body of Christ, making two true bodies of Christ. But as the rock was a symbol of the one true Christ, so is the sacramental bread a symbol exhibitive of the one true body of Christ, viz. the natural or personal body, given and received in the Eucharist: I say, given and received spiritually, but truly and really; and the more truly, because spiritually, as the spiritual sense, and not the literal, is the true sense x
The ancient notion of this matter might easily be cleared from Father to Father, through the earlier centuries; and, I presume, I have competently done it elsewhere y. Therefore I shall here content myself with a single passage of Macarius, of the fourth century, which very briefly, but fully expresses what all the rest mean. He observes, " that bread and wine are offered in the Church as symbols “ (or antitypes) of our Lord's body and blood, and that " they who partake of the visible bread, do spiritually eat “ the flesh of our Lord.” He is to be understood of worthy partaking; as Albertinus has shown a, and as reason requires. And when he speaks of the Lord's flesh, he cannot be understood of any spiritual flesh locally present in the Eucharist, but of the natural body and blood spiritually given and received, whereof the sacramental body and blood are the symbols, or antitypes, in his account.
* Compare my Review, vol. vii. p. 191, 304. Jewell's Answ. to Hard. p. 238, 241, 251, 256, 292. Bilson's Christian Subject, p. 631.
y Review, vol. vii. chap. 6, and 7.
2“Ότι εν τη εκκλησία προσφέρεται άρτος και οίνος αντίτυπον της σαρκός αυτού, και αίματος, και ότι οι μεταλαμβάνοντας εκ του φαινομένου άρτου, πνευματικώς την σάρκα TOū Kugiau io Jiovor. Macar. Homil. xxvii. p. 168. Conf. Albertin. p. 437, 438, 439.
Albertinus, p. 440.