Abbildungen der Seite

to be fubftantially changed either into God their Saviour who delivered them out of the land of Egypt, or into the Meffias the Saviour whom they expected, and who was fignified by it but this lamb which they did eat, did reprefent to them, and put them in mind of that falvation which God wrought for their fathers in Egypt, when, by the flaying of a lamb, and fprinkling the blood of it upon their doors, their firft-born were paffled over and fpared; and did likewife forefhew the falvation of the Meffias, the Lamb of God that was to take away the fins of the world.

And nothing is more common in all languages, than to give the name of the thing fignified to the fign; as the delivery of a deed or writing under hand and feal is called a conveyance, or making over of fuch an cftate; and it is really fo: not the delivery of mere wax and parchment, but the conveyance of a real eftate, as truly and really to all effects and purposes of law, as if the very material houses and lands themselves could be, and were actually delivered into my hands. In like manner, the names of the things themselves made over to us in the new covenant of the gofpel between God and man, are given to the figns or feals of that covenant. By baptifm Chriftians are faid to be made partakers of the Holy Ghost, Heb. vi. 4. And by the facrament of the Lord's fupper, we are faid to communicate, or to be made partakers of the body of Chrift which was broken, and of his blood which was fhed for us; that is, of the real benefits of his death and paffion. And thus St. Paul fpeaks of this facrament, 1 Cor. x. 16. The cup of blefing which we· blefs, is it not the communion of the blood of Chrift? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the boy of Chrift? But ftill it is bread, and he ftill calls it fo,

17. For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are partakers of that one bread. The church of Rome might, if they pleased, as well argue from hence, that all Chriftians are fubftantially changed first into bread, and then into the natural body of Christ, by their participation of the facrament; because they are faid thereby to be one bread, and one body. And the fame Apostle, in the next chapter, after he had fpoken of the confecration of the elements, ftill calls them the bread and the

I 3


cup, in three verfes together: As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, y 26.; Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, y 27. But let a man examine himself, and fo let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, y 28. And our Saviour himself, when he had faid, This is my blood of the new teftament, immediately adds, Matth. xxvi. 29. But I fay unto you, I will not henceforth drink of this fruit of the vine, until I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom; that is, not till after his refurrection, which was the first ftep of his exaltation into the kingdom given him by his Father, when the fcripture tells us he did eat and drink with his difciples. But that which I obferve from our Saviour's words is, that after the confecration of the cup, and the delivering of it to his difciples to drink of it, he tells them, that he would thenceforth drink no more of that fruit of the vine, which he had now drank with them, till after his refurrection. From whence it is plain, that it was the fruit of the vine, real wine, which our Saviour drank of, and communicated to his difciples in the facrament.

Befides, if we confider that he celebrated this facrament before his paffion, it is impoffible these words fhould be underflood literally of the natural body and blood of Chrift; because it was his body broken, and his blood fhed, which he gave to his difciples; which if we understand literally of his natural body broken, and his blood fhed, then thefe words, This is my body which is broken, and this is my blood which is fhed, could not be true, because his body was then whole and unbroken, and his blood not then fhed; nor could it be a propitiatory facrifice, as they affirm this facrament to be, unlefs they will fay, that propitiation was made before Chrift fuffered. And it is likewife impoffible that the difciples fhould understand these words literally, because they not only plainly faw that what he gave them was bread and wine; but they faw likewife as plainly, that it was not his body which was given, but his body which gave that which was given; not his body broken, and his blood fhed, because they faw him alive at that very time, and beheld his body whole and unpierced; and therefore they could not understand these words literal


ly. If they did, can we imagine that the difciples, who, upon all other occafions, were fo full of questions and objections, fhould make no difficulty of this matter, nor fo much as afk our Saviour, How can these things be? that they should not sell him, We fee this to be bread, and that to be wine, and we see thy body to be distinct from both; we see thy body not broken, and thy blood not shed.

From all which it must needs be very evident, to any man that will impartially confider things, how little reafon there is to understand those words of our Saviour, This is my body, and, This is my blood, in the sense of tranfubftantiation; nay, on the contrary, that there is very great reason, and an evident neceffity to understand them otherwife. I proceed to fhew,

II. That this doctrine is not grounded upon the perpetual belief of the Christian church; which toe church of Rome vainly pretends as an evidence that the church did always understand and interpret our Saviour's words in this fenfe.

To manifeft the groundleffness of this pretence, I fhall, 1. fhew, by plain teftimony of the fathers in feve-> ral ages, that this doctrine was not the belief of the ancient Chriftian church. 2. I fhall fhew, the time and occafion of its coming in, and by what degrees it grew up, and was established, in the Roman church. 3. I fhall answer their great pretended demonftration, that this always was and must have been the conftant belief of the Chriftian church.

1. I fhall fhew by plain teftimonies of the fathers in feveral ages, above five hundred years after Christ, that this doctrine was not the belief of the ancient Christian church. I deny not but that the fathers do, and that with great reason, very much magnify the wonderful mystery and efficacy of this facrament, and fre-> quently speak of a great fupernatural change made by the divine benediction; which we alfo readily acknowledge. They fay indeed, that the elements of bread and wine do by the divine bleffings become to us the, body and blood of Chrift: but they likewife fay, that the names of the things fignified are given to the figns; that the bread and wine do still remain in their proper


nature and fubstance, and that they are turned into the fubftance of our bodies; that the body of Chrift in the facrament is not his natural body, but the fign and figure of it; not that body which was crucified, nor that blood which was fhed upon the cross; and that it is impious to underftand the eating of the flesh of the Son of man, and drinking his blood, literally; all which are di rectly oppofite to the doctrine of tranfubftantiation, and utterly inconfiftent with it. I will felect but fome few teftimonies of many things which I might bring to this. purpose.

I begin with Juftin Martyr, who fays exprefsly, (apol. 2. p. 98. edit. Parif. 1636.), that our blood and flesh are nourished by the converfion of that food which we receive in the eucharift: but that cannot be the natural body and blood of Chrift; for no man will fay that that is converted into the nourishment of our bodies.

[ocr errors]

The fecond is Irenæus, who, fpeaking of this facrament, (lib. 4. c. 34.), fays, that "the bread which is "from the earth, receiving the divine invocation, is "L now no longer common bread, but the eucharift, (or "facrament), confifting of two things, the one earthly, "the other heavenly." He fays it is no longer common bread; but, after invocation or confecration, it becomes the facrament, that is, bread fanctified, confisting of two things, an earthly and a heavenly; the earthly thing is bread, and the heavenly is the divine bleffing which by the invocation or confecration is added to it. And elsewhere, (lib. 5. c. 28.), he hath this paffage. "When therefore the cup that is mixed (that is, of "wine and water) and the bread that is broken re"ceives the word of God, it becomes the eucharist of "the blood and body of Chrift, of which the fubstance " of our flesh is increafed and confifts." But if that which we receive in the facrament do nourish our bodies, it must be bread and wine, and not the natural body and blood of Chrift. There is another remarkable teftimony of Irenæus, which though it be not now extant in those works of his which remain, yet hath been preferved by Oecumenius, (com nent. in 1 Pet. c. 3.); and it is this. "When (fays he) the Greeks had taken fome fervants

" of

"of the Christian catechumeni, (that is, fuch as had not "been admitted to the facrament), and afterwards ur"6 ged them by violence to tell them fome of the secrets "of the Chriftians, thefe fervants having nothing to "fay that might gratify those who offered violence to "them, except only that they had heard from their ma❝fters that the divine communion was the blood and body "of Christ, they thinking that it was really blood and "flesh, declared as much to those that queftioned them. "The Greeks taking this as if it were really done by "the Christians, difcovered it to others of the Greeks; "who hereupon put Sanctus and Blandina to the tor66 ture, to make them confefs it. To whom Blandina "boldly answered, How could they endure to do this, "who by way of exercise (or abstinence) do not eat "that flesh which may lawfully be eaten?" By which it appears, that this which they would have charged upon Chriftians, as if they had literally eaten the flesh and blood of Chrift in the facrament, was a falfe accusation, which these martyrs denied, faying they were so far from that, that they for their part did not eat any flesh at all.

The next is Tertullian, who proves against Marcion the heretick, (1.4 p. 571. edit. Rigal. Parif. 1634.), that the body of our Saviour was not a mere phantafm and appearance, but a real body, because the facrament is a figure and image of his body; and if there be an image of his body, he must have a real body, otherwise the facrament would be an image of an image. His words are these. "The bread which our Saviour took, "and distributed to his difciples, he made his own bo"dy, faying, This is my body; that is, the image or figure of my body. But it could not have been the figure of his body, if there had not been a true and "real body." And, arguing against the Scepticks, who denied the certainty of fenfe, he ufeth this argument, That if we question our fenfes, we may doubt whether our bleffed Saviour were not deceived in what he heard, and faw, and touched. "He might (fays "he, lib. de anima, p. 319.) be deceived in the voice "from heaven, in the fmell of the ointment with which ❝he was anointed against his burial, and in the taste of




« ZurückWeiter »