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seem to understand all things! Where is the danger? and what doth he fear, as long as all they that believe the Gospel own the true nature and the real and substantial presence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament, using that explication of S. Bernard concerning the manner, which he himself, for the too great evidence of truth, durst not but admit? And why doth he own that the manner is spiritual, not carnal, and then require a carnal presence as to the manner itself? As for us, we all openly profess with S. Bernard, that the presence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament is spiritual, and therefore true and real; and, with the same Bernard and all the ancients, we deny that the Body of Christ is carnally either present or given. The thing we willingly admit, but humbly and religiously forbear to inquire into the manner.
"3. We believe a presence and union of Christ with our souls and body, which we know not how to call better than sacramental, that is, effected by eating; that, while we eat and drink the consecrated bread and wine, we eat and drink therewithal the Body and Blood of Christ, not in a corporal manner, but some other way, incomprehensible, known only to God, which we call spiritual; for if, with S. Bernard and the fathers, a man goes no further, we do not find fault with a general explication of the manner, but with the presumption and self-conceitedness of those who boldly and curiously inquire what is a spiritual presence, as presuming that they can understand the manner of acting of God's Holy Spirit. We contrariwise confess, with the Fathers, that this manner of presence is unaccountable and past finding out, not to be searched and pried into by reason, but believed by faith. And, if it seems impossible that the Flesh of Christ should descend and come to be our food through so great a distance, we must remember how much the power of the Holy Spirit exceeds our sense and our apprehensions, and how absurd it would be to undertake to measure His immensity by our weakness and narrow capacity, and so make our faith to conceive and believe what our reason cannot comprehend.
"4. Yet our faith doth not cause or make that presence, but apprehend it as most truly and really effected by the words of Christ; and the faith whereby we are said to eat the Flesh of Christ is not that only whereby we believe that He died for our sins (for this faith is required and supposed to precede the sacramental manducation), but more properly that whereby we believe those words of Christ, This is My Body;'-which was S. Austin's meaning when he said, 'Why dost thou prepare thy stomach and thy teeth? Believe and thou hast eaten (super Joh. tract, 25).' For in this mystical eating, by the wonderful power of the Holy Ghost, we do invisibly receive the substance of Christ's Body and Blood, as much as if we should eat and drink both visibly.
"5. The result of all this is, that the Body and Blood of Christ are sacramentally united to the bread and wine, so that Christ is truly given to the faithful [credentibus], and yet is not to be here
considered with sense or worldly reason, but by faith, resting on the words of the Gospel. Now it is said, that the Body and Blood of Christ are joined to the bread and wine, because that in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist the Flesh is given together with the bread, and the Blood together with the wine. All that remains is, that we should with faith and humility admire this high and sacred mystery, which our tongue cannot sufficiently explain, nor our hearts conceive."-Oxford Trans., pp. 169–171.
Such being Cosin's own statement of his belief upon the Real Presence, it may be well to compare his language with that of the Declaration, and observe how far the latter expresses what Cosin held to be the judgment of antiquity. The Declaration, then, states:
(I.) That Kneeling at the Sacrament is "a signification of our humble and grateful acknowledgment of the benefits of Christ therein given to all worthy receivers." Bishop Cosin says (§ 3), "We believe a presence and union of Christ with our soul and body. . . . . effected by eating ;" and (§ 5), "that Christ is truly given to the faithful [credentibus].”
(II.) The Declaration states that Kneeling is "for the avoiding of such profanation and disorder in the Holy Communion, as might otherwise ensue." Bishop Cosin indicates the ground of profanation when he says (§ 2), there is a "real and substantial presence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament," and that such presence is objective because (§ 4) “our faith doth not cause or make" it, "but apprehends it as most truly and really effected by the word of Christ" in the act of Consecration (§ 3).
(III.) The Declaration denies any adoration* to be intended
Bishop Burnet thus defends Kneeling as a posture of Adoration in the Eucharistic Office:-" For the Posture, it is most likely that the first Institution was in the Table-Gesture, which was, lying along on one side. But it was apparent, in our Saviour's practice, that the Jewish Church had changed the Posture of that Institution of the Passover, in whose room the Eucharist came. For though Moses had appointed the Jews to eat their Paschal Lamb, standing with their loins girt, with staves in the hands, and shoes on their feet; yet the Jews did afterwards change this into the common Table-Posture: of which change, though there is no mention in the Old Testament, yet we see it was so in our Saviour's time; and since He complied with the common custom, we are sure that change was not criminal. It seemed reasonable to allow the Christian Church the like power in such things with the Jewish; and as the Jews thought their coming into the Promised Land, might be a warrant to lay aside the Posture appointed by Moses, which became travellers best; so Christ being now exalted, it seemed fit to receive this Sacrament with higher marks of outward
or due "either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, or unto any Corporal Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood." Bishop Cosin adopts (§ 2) the words of S. Bernard, as accepted by Bellarmine, that "the Body of Christ is not corporally [i.e. carnally] in the Sacrament, and declares" that, while we eat and drink the consecrated bread and wine, we eat and drink therewithal the Body and Blood of Christ, not in a corporal manner."
(IV.) The Declaration asserts that "the Sacramental Bread and Wine remain in their very natural substances," and that "the natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ's natural Body to be at one time in more places than one." Bishop Cosin, while declaring "it would be absurd to say that bodies could be" "present" in the way "Bellarmine teacheth," "it being inconsistent with their nature;" bids us consider, "the power of the Holy Spirit" in case "it seems impossible that the Flesh of Christ should descend and come to be our food through so great a distance;" and states (§ 5) "the result of" his argument to be "that the Body and Blood of Christ are sacramentally united to the bread and wine."
I argued (at p. 73 of this Letter) that although the substitution of "corporal" for "real and essential" was due primarily, as it seemed, to Bishop Gunning,* the majority, at
respect, than had been proper in the first Institution, where He was in the state of humiliation, and His Divine Glory not yet fully revealed. Therefore in the Primitive Church they received standing and bending their body, in a Posture of Adoration. But how soon that Gesture of Kneeling came in is not so exactly observed, nor is it needful to know. But surely there is a great want of ingenuity in them that are pleased to apply these Orders of some latter Popes for Kneeling at the Elevation to our Kneeling; when ours is not at one such part, which might be more liable to exception, but during the whole Office; by which it is one continued Act of Worship, and the Communicants kneel all the while." -Hist. Ref. Part ii. Bk. 1, p. 163, fol. 1715.
* Mr. Fisher, having observed that the Declaration was omitted in Elizabeth's Book "for the purpose of propitiating the Romanists," thus speaks of its changed language when restored in 1662. Up to the period of the Restoration, the balance was maintained with an even hand between the two opposing partiesbetween the Romanizer on the one hand, and the avowed Protestant on the other. But when in the eventful year, 1662, the Liturgy was once more subjected to an authoritative revision, this state of equilibrium was no longer maintained. The Reviewers of that year laid hold of the discarded Rubric of 1552: and had they only re-inserted it in its original form, they would then indeed have conferred an
least, of the Bishops must have consented to the change: the language of Bishop Cosin, just cited, is sufficient evidence that he was one who could have had no difficulty in accepting the alteration, though, in all probability, he was indisposed to Gunning's alleged theory of the mode of Presence notwithstanding that Cosin commonly called him, in 1657, his "most affectionate friend and servant:" whether Burnet's account of Gunning's theory (see p. 70) be accurate or not, there seems no means of ascertaining: perhaps some light would be thrown upon the subject if we could find “A view and connection of the Common Prayer, 1662" which Gunning is said to have written (see Chalmer's Biog. Dict.); but a careful search and inquiry in all likely quarters has failed to discover it.
Here, perhaps, might safely be left the oft-repeated question-Does not the Declaration deny a Real Objective Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper? For Bishop Cosin's language, unless deprived of the weight justly due to it in any Historical answer, seems to me to furnish the clear reply-That such a Presence is not only not denied, but is, in fact, admitted by the very terms which exclude a material Presence. Mr. Goode, however, in his "Nature of Christ's Presence in the Eucharist," has made some statements upon this point which need to be considered, though indeed he has only so far
inestimable boon upon the Church; by re-establishing one of those wholesome barriers, which had been so prudently contrived against the mischievous inroads. of Papal doctrine.
"Such, however, was not the design of Dr. Gunning and his Laudian coadjutors. They re-inserted the Rubric, it is true: but they re-inserted it in an altered form, omitting the words 'real and essential'-obviously the most important in the passage-and substituting the word 'corporal' in their place.
"Now mark the inevitable consequence of this proceeding. Such a substitution, deliberately and designedly made, must necessarily be considered as involving nothing less than a positive, though tacit, recognition of the 'real and essential," as distinguished from the corporal' presence; and consequently, as having established a most plausible, though subtle pretext, for the maintenance of one of the most dangerous and delusive errors ever invented by the great deceiver of mankind...
"Nor have the leaders of the present 'Tractarian' movement been at all backward to avail themselves of the support, which this Rubric, in its present altered form, so palpably affords them."-Lit. Pur., p. 382.
I need scarcely say that I do not concur in Mr. Fisher's view of the meaning of these words in the original Declaration; my argument in these pages being-that they were only meant to be equivalent to carnal.
noticed the above very important Chapter from Bishop Cosin, as to quote part of §. 5 which, with deference to his contrary view, I cannot but think makes entirely for the case of the writers he is opposing. Thus, then, at p. 30, he says:—
..... by the Rubric at the End of the Communion Service repudiating the doctrine of the corporal presence in the Lord's Supper, because it is against the truth of Christ's natural body that it should be in more than one place at the same time, she has forbidden the doctrine that there is a presence of Christ's natural body in the Supper, either in a natural or supernatural or spiritual manner, and either adjoined to the elements, or distinct from them.
The Italics, etc., here and in the following quotations, are Mr. Goode's.
Yet, surely, whatever he may think to have been the intention of the Declaration (though, indeed, the citations in these pages appear to me to preclude that notion of intention conveyed in the above passage) Mr. Goode has no right thus to wrest its language from its literal, grammatical construction; what is denied is "any Corporal presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood;" by this, says Mr. Goode, "is forbidden the Doctrine of " Its "Presence . . . . . . either in a natural, or supernatural, or spiritual manner :" a natural Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood" is of course a "Corporal" Presence, i.e., the Presence of a Body after the manner of a Body, and therefore is denied to be in the Eucharist; but unless a supernatural," or "spiritual Presence is necessarily a "Corporal" Presence, then neither such "manner of Presence is denied by the terms of this Declaration.
In a Note to this passage, p. 32, Mr. Goode adds:
"And the supposition of the real presence of the body in a supernatural way is a mere subterfuge, resorted to for the purpose of escaping the condemnation of the Rubric, but in vain, because such a presence is a corporal presence."
But why should Mr. Goode impute this motive to the persons of whom he speaks? He may think their notion of a supernatural Presence of a natural Body very bad philo