Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

sophy still if they say that they do not mean a Corporal, i.e., material Presence with form and quantity, he is not warranted in speaking thus; for, to say the least, the term supernatural may as fitly be used with an intention to exclude such Presence, as were any of the strong terms which I have given, at p. 62, in the List No. 2 of expressions allowed by those Authorities in the Church of England of whose bonâ fide acceptance of this Declaration Mr. Goode would not, I feel sure, raise the smallest doubt. And when we recollect those remarkable words of our Lord (St. John iii. 13), “ No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven,"words which, I suppose, would popularly be held to mean that His Body, though naturally on earth, was in some sense also supernaturally in Heaven through its union with the Divine Word Which is inseparable from the Godhead-it may not be thought unfitting, now that the "Son of Man" by a local change" hath ascended up to heaven," to call His coming "down from heaven," to be in some manner in the Holy Eucharist a supernatural Presence; provided only that they who thus speak no more intend what the Declaration calls a "Corporal" Presence than, as we may well believe, did our Lord when uttering the words related by the Evangelist.

"Supernatural" is not, however, the only term which Mr. Goode asserts to be thus condemned by the Declaration; for he says that it equally forbids "a Presence of Christ's natural body in the Supper,.... in a .... spiritual manner:" yet, at p. 89, he appears to retract this expression; for he says "... that glorified Saviour is present with us in the rite. His human nature is, in a spiritual sense, really present with us, though not bodily." I assume that he does not mean to draw a distinction between the words "sense" and "manner;" and the illustration which he annexes warrants me, I think, in so doing; for he says immediately :—

"As the sun, though bodily far away from us, is really present with us when we have the presence of his light and heat, so the human nature of Christ, though bodily far away from us, is enabled

by that Spirit to which it is united, to be present in power and influence throughout the earth, and thus to communicate to those who by a living faith are united to it, as the members of a body to the head, those spiritual energies and graces that dwell in it abundantly for communication to the members of His mystical body, the true Church."

The illustration here used by Mr. Goode has already been noticed in these pages as having been employed by others: thus, at p. 73, Bishop Gardiner was mentioned as having cited it with approbation from Bucer; and Archbishop Cranmer was quoted as saying in reply, "In this comparison, I am glad that, at the last we be come so near together; for you be almost right heartily welcome home, and I pray you let us shake hands together." But Cranmer alleged that "Martin Bucer saith not so much as you do." I said, too, p. 75, that "the illustration here used is Ridley's also." Again, at p. 245, the same simile is referred to as having been quoted by Harding from Bucer; and Jewel was there shewn to have readily accepted the comparison as one that "putteth the matter" of a "fleshly" Presence "out of all question," though proving that "Christ..... is present with us in the Sacrament of His body and blood,"

Now the supposed aptness and value of the illustration is shewn by the very fact of its being thus resorted to by these seven writers, viz., two noted Roman controversialists, Gardiner and Harding; three leading Reforming Bishops, Cranmer, Ridley, and Jewel; one principal Foreign Reformer, Bucer; and lastly by Mr. Goode. The lack of agreement in their application of the illustration may have arisen, less from an unwillingness to arrive at a common understanding of terms, than from the difficulty of deciding a question which (though perhaps more capable of being solved now than three centuries ago) even yet does not admit of a satisfactory reply owing to our still limited knowledge-perhaps real ignorance of the actual nature and properties of matter. That question is--CAN THE PRESENCE OF THE SUN IN THE

EARTH BE TRULY REGARDED AS ANYTHING MORE THAN

WHAT IS CALLED A Virtual PRESENCE? For, if it can be so

regarded, then, possibly, it offers the truest analogy of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and admits of being pursued with reverence to the farthest limits which must bind every comparison of things Spiritual and Material: while the fact that our Lord is spoken of in Holy Scripture as "The Sun of Righteousness" (Mal. iv. 2) would of itself naturally prompt a resort to that "Sun" which "He maketh" "to rise on the evil and on the good" (S. Matt. v. 17), when a figure was needed which might serve the best to explain His own Sacramental Presence in His Church.

I am not so presumptuous as to think that I can now, any more than when formerly noticing the point, at p. 75 of the original Letter, contribute any suggestions which will materially tend towards answering the Enquiry; but it may not be out of place, or overbold, to state here some few thoughts which seem to bear upon the subject, and which appear to me not less worthy of a little consideration than I ventured to regard them as being, four years ago, though at that time the opportunity of mentioning them did not occur.

It would be strange if the great advance made in Physical Science since the 16th century, furnished no fuller or more accurate methods of elucidating Theological Questions by Natural Phenomena than were available to controversialists Three Hundred Years ago: it was no fault of theirs that they did not apply scientific facts or theories which had then to be invented or discovered: but the very circumstance, that they did use them so far as their knowledge enabled them, implies how they would have acted now; and fully justifies us in having recourse to them under their more developed aspects.

Archbishop Cranmer (Ans. to Gardiner, p. 89) had drawn this "comparison":

"They say, that Christ is corporally in many places at one time, affirming that his body is corporally and really present in as many places as there be hosts consecrated. We say, that as the Sun corporally is ever in heaven, and no where else, and yet by his operation and virtue the Sun is here in earth, by whose influence and virtue all things in the world be corporally regenerated, in

creased, and grow to their perfect state; so likewise our Saviour Christ bodily and corporally is in heaven, sitting at the right hand of his Father, although spiritually he hath promised to be present with us upon earth unto the world's end."

Bishop Gardiner, in replying to this, had said:

"But to the purpose of this similitude of the Sun, which Sun, this author saith, is only corporally in heaven, and no where else,' and in the earth the operation and virtue of the sun: so as by this author's supposal, the substance of the Sun should not be in earth, but only by operation and virtue: wherein if this author erreth, he doth the reader to understand, that if he can in consideration of natural things, it is no marvel though he err in heavenly things. For, because I will not of myself begin the contention with this author of the natural work of the Sun, I will bring forth the saying of Martin Bucer, . . . . he useth the similitude of the Sun for his purpose, to prove Christ's body present really and substantially in the sacrament, where this author useth the same similitude to prove the body of Christ really absent."-p. 90.

Then Gardiner proceeds to quote the passage from Bucer as already given at p. 73, and adds :

"Thus hath Bucer expressed his mind, whereunto, because the similitude of the Sun doth not answer in all parts, he noteth wisely in the end, how this is a matter of faith, and therefore upon the foundation of faith we must speak of it, thereby to supply where our senses fail. For the presence of Christ, and whole Christ, God and man, is true, although we cannot think of the manner 'how.' The chief cause why I bring in Bucer is this, to shew how, in his judgment, we have not only in earth the operation and virtue of the Sun, but also the substance of the Sun, by means of the Sun-beams, which be of the same substance with the Sun, and cannot be divided in substance from it; and therefore we have in earth the substantial presence of the Sun, not only the operation and virtue. And howsoever the Sun above in the distance appeareth unto us of another sort, yet the beams that touch the earth be of the same substance with it, as clerks say, or at least as Bucer saith, whom I never heard accompted papist; and yet for the real and substantial presence of Christ's very body in the sacrament, writeth pithily and plainly, and here encountereth this author with his similitude of the sun directly; whereby may appear, how much soever Bucer is esteemed otherwise, he is not with this author regarded in the truth of the sacrament, which is one of the high mysteries of our religion."―p. 90.

It was by way of rejoinder to these arguments that Cranmer employed the language before cited at pp.74 and 75, wherein he seems to rest his difference with Gardiner solely

upon this one point, which the Roman controversialist called "the substantial presence of the sun;" for, though he says "if the substance of the sun be here corporally present with us upon earth, then I grant that Christ's body is so likewise," and observes that "Bucer saith not so much as" Gardiner, he asks, "and yet if you both said that the beams of the Sun be of the same substance with the Sun, who would believe either of you both?"

Gardiner had endeavoured, apparently, to guard himself against misunderstanding as to his use of the term corporally, by saying:

"The word 'corporally' may have an ambiguity and doubleness in respect and relation: one is to the truth of the body present, and so it may be said, Christ is corporally present in sacrament; if the word corporally be referred to the manner of the presence, then we should say, Christ's body were present after a corporal manner, which we say not, but in a spiritual manner; and therefore not locally nor by manner of quantity, but in such manner as God only knoweth, and yet doth us to understand by faith the truth of the very presence, exceeding our capacity to comprehend the manner 'how.'-p. 89.

In the argument between Jewel and Harding upon "the similitude of the Sun," the question did not actually arisewhether the beams be of the same substance with the Sun? Jewel seems to have thought it enough to confute a Corporal Presence in the Eucharist by the allegation (which of course Harding would allow) that "the Sun is more comfortable, and more refresheth the world, being absent, by his beams, than if his very natural substance and compass lay here upon the earth." In thus using the term "compass" Jewel may fairly be taken to have indicated the exact sense in which he employed the words "very natural substance;" namely, as necessarily implying, in his argument, form and quantity, and so that sort of local physical Presence in which it was essential to disavow any belief: though it does not, I think, follow that he would have denied the possibility of a substantial presence of the Sun in the Earth, which might more fitly be called a 66 natural" very 66 presence than one of mere operation and virtue."

« PoprzedniaDalej »