Obrazy na stronie

3. Whence does it appear that the wicked do not partake of Christ in receiving the Lord's Supper ?

As Sacraments are federal rites, those who receive them without caring to perform the covenanted conditions, are in no wise partakers of Christ, by reason of their joining in the external ceremony. The outward act without the inward devotion of the heart is mere hypocrisy, and a profanation of the institution ; so that instead of partaking of the benefits of the death of Christ, he that eateth and 'drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to 'himself, not considering the Lord's body'(1 Cor. xi. 29.). To this effect also writes St. John:- If we say that we 'have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, ' and do not the truth : but if we walk in the light, we have

fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ ‘his Son cleanseth us from all sin? (1 John i. 6, 7.).

4. Will scruples as to receiving the Sacrament unworthily justify a person in abstaining from it altogether?

The fear of receiving unworthily is no excuse for not receiving at all. Indeed the very fact of not communicating is a most grievous sin. It is a wilful disobedience to the dying command of the Redeemer, and a refusal to ratify our Christian covenant as he has appointed. Those who are fearful of receiving unworthily, must repent and 'amend,' and so come to the Lord's Table. There are other ways of working out our own condemnation, besides ' eating and drinking' it.

5. How do you understand the caution given by St. Paul against eating and drinking unworthily?

See Questions on the Liturgy, sect. IX. qu. 38.

6. Give at length the passage from Augustine cited in this Article, with a reference to the treatise in which it occurs.

The passage occurs in the 26th Tract on St. John (c. 18.), and is to the following effect:- In order to dwell in Christ,

and that he may dwell in us, we must eat that food, and drink that drink : and he who by this means does not 'dwell in Christ, and Christ in him, neither spiritually ' eats his flesh nor drinks his blood, though he carnally press with his teeth the Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. Rather to his own condemnation he eats and 'drinks the Sacrament of so great a thing, because he has

presumed to come impure to the Sacraments of Christ, 'which none receive worthily, but they who are pure in 'heart (Matt. v. 8.).'

7. Adduce the testimonies of Origen and Jerome to the same effect.

Origen, in his Comment on Matt. xv., speaks thus : Christ is the true food: whosoever eats him, shall live for ever ; and of him no wicked person can eat: for if it were possible that any, who continue in sin, should eat the Word that was made flesh, it had never been written, Whoso eats this bread shall live for ever. Thus also Jerome (Comment. in Esai. lxvi.) :--The good eat the living bread which came down from heaven : but the wicked eat dead bread, which is death. And again :— They that are not holy in body and spirit, do neither eat the flesh of Christ, nor drink his blood; of which he said, He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, hath eternal life.


Of Both kinds.

De utraque Specie. THE Cup of the Lord is Calix Domini laicis non not to be denied to the Lay- est denegandus: utraque people: for both the parts of enim pars Dominici Sacrathe Lord's Sacrament, by menti, ex Christi institutione Christ's ordinance and com- et præcepto, omnibus Chrismandment, ought to be min- tianis ex æquo administrari istered to all Christian men debet. alike.

1. What is the practice of the Church of Rome

with respect to the administration of the Cup in the Lord's Supper; and what gave rise to it?

The Romish Church withholds the Cup from the Laity. After consecrating both the bread and wine, the officiating priest receives in both kinds himself, but administers the bread only to the communicants, including likewise the Clergy who may happen to form part of the consecration : for ' without the authority of the Church, none but conse'crating ministers may partake of the sacred Eucharist in 'both kinds.' The practice is one of the many errors which arose out of the doctrine of Transubstantiation. Under the impression that Christ was corporeally present in the consecrated elements, superstitious fears soon began to be entertained lest any portion of them should be lost or wasted.

2. Upon what grounds do the Romanists defend this practice ?

Admitting that. Christ did institute this Sacrament in 'both kinds, and that the faithful in the primitive Church did • receive in both kinds,' they maintain that the Church is empowered to make such a change for weighty and just • causes.' The Canons of the Council of Trent do not assign these causes : but the Romanists defend the practice by alleging that the Apostles received the cup as priests, not as sinners; and that the laity do virtually receive the blood, since the blood is with the body.

3. Shew that these reasons are not only unsatisfactory in themselves, but entirely at variance with Christ's holy institution.

There can be no cause sufficiently weighty to set aside a positive institution of Christ; and the words of Christ, in relation to this part of the rite, seem to be, as it were, prophetically emphatic against the Romish innovation. Drink *ye ALL of this,' ALL without exception or reserve. The notion, too, that the Apostles received the cup as priests, not to mention that the Sacrament was instituted before they had received their priestly commission, and that no distinction was made by our Lord in the manner of delivering the bread and wine respectively,-is clearly set aside by the reason why ALL are to drink of it: For this ‘is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for inany for the remission of sins.' All, therefore, who stand in need of forgiveness, i, e, all mankind, both priests and people, are to partake thereof; and indeed, since 'without

shedding of blood there is no remission' (Heb. ix. 22.), the cup, if one part of the Sacrament can be deemed more necessary than the other, seems to be so. As to the subter. fuge, that the blood is with the body, be it observed that we commemorate, not the life, but the death of Christ; and after death the body is without blood. “As often as ye eat 'this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death, till he come' (1 Cor. xi. 26.).

4. Is there not, however, a manifest contradiction in the decree of the council of Trent, sub altera tantum specie totum atque integrum Christum verumque sacramentum sumi?

If Christ is received whole and entire under one kind, it is clearly as unnecessary for the priest to receive the cup, as it is for the people, and if the priest, as sometimes asserted, receives merely to afford a lively representation of the blood separated from the body, the contradiction is equally apparent, since they allow that all are equally required to shew the Lord's death till he come' (1 Cor. xi. 26.).

5. What do you infer from the fact that the breaking of bread is sometimes mentioned without reference to the wine ?

The breaking of bread is indeed sometimes mentioned in the New Testament (Acts ii. 42. 46. xx. 7.) without any mention of the wine: but it does not thence follow that the cup was not also administered. It is rather an argument that the Sacramental elements were so constantly and necessarily united, that the writer, in mentioning one only with a view to conciseness of expression, was not likely to be misunderstood.

6. When was the custom of withholding the cup from the laity first introduced; and did it meet with no opposition ?

As may be readily supposed, a change so important was

not effected at once. It seems to have been first attempted in the twelfth century; but it was only by slow degrees that opposition to the measure was gradually overcome, and the practice enforced by a decree of the Council of Constance in the year A. D. 1414.

7. What expedients had in the mean time been resorted to ; and what results from the manner in which the Eucharist is now administered in the Church of Rome?

At one period, the expedient was adopted of sopping the bread in the wine; at another the wine was conveyed to the mouth by tubes ; but these and other contrivances, irreverent from their very absurdity, failed to prevent an occasional spilling of the wine. In the mean time, small wafers, conveyed at once and entire to the mouth of the communicants, were substituted for bread, in order to guard against any accidental waste; and the cup being at length altogether withheld from the Laity, and the bread being unbroken, the spirit of the institution is totally lost. It is curious to observe the inconsistency of the Romanists in thus destroying an express command of Christ, while they still scrupulously retain the primitive custom of tempering the wine and water, though the water is clearly unessential to the Sacrament.

8. Had there never been any departure from the practice of administering or receiving in both kinds, before the Romish custom became established ?

The Aquarii, a Manichæan sect of the 5th century, with whom it was a principle never to drink wine, partook of the bread, but refused the cup, when they were present at the celebration of the Eucharist. This refusal of what, be it observed, was not withheld from them, called forth a decree from Pope Gelasius, to the effect that all persons should

either communicate in the Sacrament entirely, or be en'tirely excluded from it; for that such a dividing of one

and the same Sacrament could not be made without sacrilege.' There is mention also of a few persons, in the third century, who, from fear of persecution, omitted the wine

« PoprzedniaDalej »