Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

contest. My sole object is to set forth our Church's doctrine relative to the eucharist, as declared in her authorized formularies, by which we are all bound : to point out the fallacy upon which the Tractarian interpretation of scripture proceeds when applied to this subject, and to call attention to some of the glaring mistakes, (some would call them by a much harsher name) which are evident in the quotations by which the Rev. Professor has sought to bolster up his cause.

It is probable, my Lord, that some Eliab will say, " Why camest thou down hither ? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride and the naughtiness of thine heart.” Should such be the case, to him I would return the answer of the Jewish shepherd-lad, “ What have I now done ? is there not a cause ?” Conscious of a love of truth,-conscious of close and exact adherence to the doctrine of the Church of England, and of holding principles of scriptural interpretation, which will stand alike against the infidel as against the heretic, I shall go on, through evil report and through good report, regardless of the sneer or the insult which is the sure portion of him who shall in these days boldly hold and advocate the doctrines for which our martyrs bled; and committing the cause to Him who judgeth righteously, and whose it is, I shall patiently bear whatever this letter may evoke, with an earnest prayer to the great head of the

Church, that it may be instrumental in its degree, in upbuilding some of the doubtful and the weak, in that faith which He once delivered to the saints. .

Before quoting the language of the Church upon this important subject, suffer me, my Lord, to state in a very few words what I conceive to be her teaching. She holds the “ Real presence, or that forgiveness of past sins, and spiritual strength for the future, and all other benefits of Christ's death, are verily and indeed given to the faithful recipient of the elements of bread and wine. That the real presence of Christ is not in the elements either before or after consecration, but that what the priest delivers to the communicants is bread and wine only in their simple and natural substances, neither changed into, nor compounded with any thing else. That the mean whereby the benefits of Christ's death and communion with Him and the Father, and the Holy Ghost are received is faith ; and that those who have not this living faith, do not receive Christ's body and blood, but are guilty of mocking him by the reception of the sign of that sacrifice in which they do not believe, and therefore eat and drink their own damnation, not considering the Lord's body. She does not hold that it is a mere commemorative rite, ‘an untrue figure of a thing absent ;' but that according to her definition of a sacrament, it is ' an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace,' which * is verily and indeed received by the faithful in the

B 2

Lord's supper,' and by the faithful only. Neither does she hold the doctrine of opus operatum, which must of necessity be held by all consistent persons, who think that any thing more than mere bread and wine, is received from the hands of the priest. We will now give her own language in proof of this, and with the utmost confidence can say to all who would think rightly upon this point, 'hear the Church.'

In the exhortation in the communion service, she says, “ For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith, we receive that holy sacrament, (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ and drink his blood ; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ and Christ with us) so is the danger great if we receive the same unworthily. For then we are guilty of the body and blood of Christ our Saviour, we eat and drink our own damnation, not considering the Lord's body.'

“And to the end that we should always remember the exceeding great love of our Master and only Saviour Jesus Christ thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits which by his precious blood-shedding he hath obtained to us; he hath instituted and ordained holy mysteries as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance of his death to our great and endless comfort.' . . ' Draw near with faith and take this holy sacrament to your comfort.'

· Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his

blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.'*

And grant that we, receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed body and blood.

"To accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, most humbly beseeching thee to grant, that by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all thy whole church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion.'t

* Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people, and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most precious death and passion of thy dear Son. And we most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship,' &c.*

* Prayer before Consecration.

+ Consecration Prayer,

And when he delivereth the bread to any one, he shall say, 'Take and eat this (bread) in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in THY HEART by faith, with thanksgiving.'t

And the minister that delivereth the cup to any one, shall say, ' Drink this (wine) in remembrance that Christ's blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.'t.

'If the consecrated bread and wine be all spent,' &c. I

- What remaineth of the consecrated elements,' &c.

. And if any of the bread and wine remain unconsecrated, the curate shall have it to his own use ; but if any remain of that (bread and wine namely) which was consecrated,' &c.||

· Which order (kneeling) is well meant for a signification of our humble and grateful acknowledgment of the benefits of Christ given therein (i. e, in the Lord's supper) to all worthy receivers,' &c.

Yet it is hereby declared that thereby no adoration is intended, or ought to be done, either unto the sacramental bread and wine there bodily received, or unto any corporal presence of Christ's natural flesh and blood. For the sacramental bread and wine remain still (i. e. after consecration) in their very

was

* Prayer in Post Communion. + Rubrics after Prayer of Consecration. Next Rubric. $ Ibid. || Sixth Rubric at the end of Communion Office.

« ForrigeFortsett »