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the many strifes for the ashes of the Fathers, when he penned the following words : “ You will well know that neither in this nor in anything else which I may allege, do I wish to assimilate our language to that of the Church of Rome, or even to use that of our Homilies, when they call Marriage a Sacrament: it would be unnatural and affected, and worse. I would rather use the language of the Fathers as to other things than to these, lest I should seem to be speaking not in a Catholic but in a Romish sense,”* And in a few lines further he says, that, as the Sacrament has been misused, “and there is no necessity for retaining it, it were wrong and cruel to wish perplexing a person's mind by reviving it.” It would be unbecoming in us to describe the surprise which filled persons' minds, when by hearing or reading the Doctor's Eucharistic Sermon they made a discovery as to the change of sentiment upon this point. The developement, (to use a term which bids fair to occupy a prominent position in the modern theories,) the developement of opinions has driven away the bloom of peace from the professed sentiments of Dr. Pusey; and his Anglican admirers have had cause to exclaim, “ Quantum mutatus," &c. The quotations in his discourse may either render condemnation difficult, as placing the judge in an unfair position in regard to antiquity, or they may serve to mysticise the hearers; but under either circumstance we may appeal from the writer in 1843, to the same in 1841. Nor should we lose sight of the fact that Waterland, as well as many others, have commented upon most of the passages quoted; and shown to unprejudiced persons, how entirely they are misunderstood by Rome, and those who sympathise with her. Waterland says, “None of them, that I know of, carried the doctrine higher than this Cyril did; but most of them, somewhere or other, added particular guards and explanations.” All intended to say that the elements, keeping their own nature and substance, and not admitting a coalition with any other bodily substance are, symbolically, or in mystical construction, the body and blood of Christ; being appointed as such by Christ; accepted as such by God the Father; and made such in effect by the Holy Spirit to every faithful receiver. So ran the general doctrine from the beginning and downwards: neither am I aware of any considerable change made in it till the Dark Ages came on—the 8th, 9th, 10th, and following centuries. The corruptions which grew up by degrees, and prevailed more and more till the happy days of the Reformation, are very well known, and need no particular recital.”+ Let those who reverence Patristic authority read Waterland, and they will perceive a marked contrast between that great theologian and the Tractarian Sermon. He softens down the asperities of their expressions, and shows how they can mean Catholic truth; while the Sermon before us puts into undue prominence those very passages which he had explained away, and Bishop Cosin had condemned. For example, on pages 16, 17, passages from Chrysostom are interwoven with the text, and also confirmed in the notes, which speak of Christ's
* P. 38, 39 to Dr. Jelf.
body as “mingled” and “commingled,” “co-united with us.” The passages referred to, are Chrysostom, Hom. on St. John. xlvi. p. 3; on St. Matt. lxxxii. p. 5.
Waterland is commenting on Cyril's views,* and his words are, “ His body and blood are considered as intermingled with ours, when the symbols of them really and strictly are so: for the benefit is completely the same, and God accepts of such symbolical union, making it, to all saving purposes and intents, as effectual as any, the most real, can be. Cyril never thought of any presence of Christ's natural body in the Sacrament, excepting in mystery and figure, (which he expresses by the word type,) and in real benefits and privileges.”+
In a note, also, upon the first sentence qaoted, he says, “Chrysostom in like manner speaks of Christ's intermingling his body with ours in the Eucharist; but explains it at length by the mystical union therein contracted or perfected between Christ the Head, and us his members." He also refers to Cyril of Alexandria, from whom Dr. Pusey quotes in the same page. Again, Ignatius įs quoted by Dr. Pusey, page 18, and this passage is also explained by Waterland: “ Ignatius could not imagine that the symbols were literally flesh and blood; no one was then weak enough to entertain so wild a thought."I Such was the wisdom of the great Waterland. He reduced the meaning of the Fathers to our understandings. He did not preach to academic youth, already enough divided into opposing parties, such words as demanded explanation. He did not allow himself, in a practical discourse, to use language which would render an exertion of the intellect necessary to distinguish it from implicit Romanism.
The instances given from Waterland, are but a selection from a book which is a running commentary in refutation of the Sermon. What imperative " necessity" was there which could induce one so wary as Dr. Pusey to hazard all this confusion, to involve in controversy this holy mystery, to provoke blasphemies, as he seemed afterwards to fear! Still, that he was conscious of the danger which he incurred, by introducing Patristic hyperbole, we can hardly even for a moment doubt, and especially when we find, in his preface, that he actually put the notes together lest his judges should " unconsciously blame the Fathers.” Is this, indeed, so dreadful a thing? Bishop Cosin did not hesitate to point out the danger from these very Fathers: “ We deny not,” says he, “ but that some things emphatical and even hyperbolical, have been said of the Sacrament by Chrysostom and some others; and that those things may easy lead unwary men into error.”S And again he says, they “ spake of the signs as if they had been the things signified, and, like ORATORS, said many things which will not bear a literal sense nor a strict examen.” What shall we say, when we find Bishop Cosin quote, as an illustration of this dangerous hyperbole, the very passage of Chrysostom,
* The passage in this Cyril is also quoted in Dr. Pusey's Sermon, pp. 17, 18. † Waterland, pp. 239, 40.
Pp. 215, 216. Ś Reprinted, vol. 1, Tracts for the Times, xxviii., p. 15.
which Dr. Pusey quotes in his note on p. 23?* In the Sermon, we read, p. 23, “ Touching with our very lips that cleansing blood.” The unwary may well be protected from such “ hyperbolic expression" by the guardians of our universities, and directed to look up to our Reformation as a glorious period of the Church's history, when she aroused herself, and, like a theological giant, armed with Divine weapons, cast out the destructive rust of men's inventions, burnishing her armour until it shone bright by martyrs' deeds, and continually preserving its splendour by holy ardour in her martyrs' praise.
We need not reject antiquity, but perhaps it may be as well, considering that we have our Reformers' Articles, to regard their opinions also with at least a decent reverence. “A Bishop'st lightest word, ex cathedra, is heavy,” says the leader of the party, and therefore we may recommend the careful perusal of a late Charge, that some may learn who are the judges of antiquity that should guide our Church. “ There can be but one true and legitimate meaning to an article, and that must be the meaning intended by the framer. Nor should I myself feel justified in taking advantage of any ambiguity in the wording and affixing what, according to my own notion, might be the Catholic sense to it, until I had found it impossible to ascertain what was the special sense originally designed by the authors: for, knowing the respect in which the Reformers held Catholic antiquity, I should believe that they were more likely to have correctly embodied that sense in it, than I as an individual should be, to discover that sense for myself.”
The exercise of private judgement might thus be checked, which has of late years saved itself from greater error, by traducing the memory of the long catalogue of saints and martyrs; and that marked inconsistency spared, by which a large body of men condemn a liberty in any but themselves, and virtually leave the holy Father at St. Peter's no longer singular in his vaunt of infallibility
The quod semper, &c., of Vincent Lirens, however, is now superseded by the infallibility of each individual Father. Chrysostom establishes a new dogma, which serves for the defence of Dr. Pusey, in his assertions. It is now enough that Chrysostom opines that our blessed Lord’s body could never be broken upon the cross, but is so broken in the supper. Hence, it is incorporated in the Sermon ;§ and there may be more prudence in this course than at first sight is manifest ; for it has been a common Protestant objection, that our blessed Lord could not literally mean “ This is my body," as his sacrifice had not yet taken place. It may now be answered, upon Chrysostom's belief, that Christ's sacrificial offering had already begun; for, if not, there is no force in his interpretation. For instance, the passion of our Lord must either be actual in the first supper, or else the words must merely refer to the future; and as Dr. Pusey is Hebrew professor, he will allow that that
* Bishop Cosin is in his Catena Patrum at the conclusion of the Sermon.
§ P. 21.
nation were wont to speak of the future as present ;* and that no singularity might be attached to the use of the present in this instance, our Lord could not, upon the Protestant hypothesis, say, This shall be my body; because we believe that that very bread, previous to his glorious sacrifice for our sins, would have become nutriment for the carnal body. It necessitates a belief in the change of the element, if we verily hold that it was actually our Lord's body; and still more it exaggerates the miracle in a tenfold degree. Sometimes whispered insinuations of Socinianism re-echo in the cloistered halls of Alma Mater against Protestant sentiments; but we may well fear lest this new theory should make that awful heresy easier in dividing, into time and seasons, those effects which we hold to result from that Calvary on which “ he bore our sins in his own body on the tree.” There would be no difficulty in that interpretation which places the bread and wine as symbols of an absent body now, of a body unoffered there ; but the difficulty would be great indeed to those who allow no figure even to be used in such a solemn matter. To us it will not sound harsh to interpret breaking as typical of the agony which our sins laid upon the Saviour, and especially as the cup is spoken of as shed for us, which would lead us to believe that both equally refer to those sufferings which made up the one perfect atonement. We can say with Jeremy Taylor, † that “ the body is represented as broken, though that attribute properly belongs to the bread; and the cup, by a double figure, is said to be shed for you, when in strictness of speech that attribute belongs only to the blood.”I Chrysostom $ introduces that prophecy, “A bone of him shall not be broken ;” and by this he asserts that he was only broken in the Eucharist. It would be an insult to common sense to show the inapplicability of this prophecy : nor is it necessary to enquire how it can be reconciled with transubstantiation. It is enough for us to know that God's good providence interposed and effectually hindered the violation of his truth upon the cross. This instance will, however, present us with an example of that fault in Chrysostom of which Bishop Morton || speaks; and we may now ask, “Will your disputers never learn the hyperbolical language of ancient Fathers, especially when they speak of sacramental and mystical things (more especially Chrysostom, who, when he falleth upon this subject, doth almost altogether rhetoricate).”T The doctrine which is inferred must hereafter come under discussion ;
* Archbishop Usher was always thought a very great man and accomplished Theologian and Scholar; and he says in his Body of Divinity, p. 425, on this very point, " That is also usual to the Scripture, for further certainty, to speak of things to come as of them that are present." † Worthy Communicant.
I Waterland, p. 334. $ It is a strange fact, that with all the show of Patristic learning and apparent affectation of quotation, in reality very few Fathers are quoted. Chrysostom is by far the most frequently referred, for which we may with profit refer to note on p. 36. The sermon might almost have been compiled from references to passages in Waterland's Treatise.
|| P. 204. Ed. 1625. I E.g.: he speaks, says Bishop Morton, of wicked receivers being turned into wolves. This Bishop is quoted in the Catena Patrum at the end of Dr. Pusey's Sermon.
but for the present we leave the Fathers for their patrons, with this exception, that we entirely agree with Dr. Pusey, that it is “ wrong and cruel to risk perplexing people's minds,” by using their language. The Fathers have many an excuse, but Dr. Pusey has none. They spoke in accordance with the spirit of their times. Dr. Pusey, in his preached Sermon, frequently uses language and doctrines from the Fathers without acknowledging it as such. Had he used it as of this Father or that Father, those at least who understood the general character of their writings, might have made allowances, and have understood it as it was meant. On the contrary, however, the words are used without any qualifications, and those passages which the Fathers have explained at length, to use Waterland's words, in Dr. Pusey's Sermon, are in all their nakedness. We are continually hearing of honour due unto the Fathers, but we are sure that the true honour is not by placing their “rhetorical hyperboles" before men in the present day; but by exhibiting those passages which enunciate clearly the saving doctrines of a common Faith. The Sermon, even as it was preached, must have impressed upon the Patristic devotees a deeper notion of Patristic mystery, and have raised in their minds many a vague form of miraculous and sensuous union; while, upon persons educated in the school of our present teaching, and apt to regard our Communion Service as the full representative of Catholic Doctrine, upon persons formed “in the mould” of our Liturgical spirit, upon persons who know the Fathers through the Reformers; upon such as these it must create a re-action against Patristic lore, and therefore widen that deep and broad chasm which the Tractarians had already created, and for which they are heavily responsible. From that party originated the fault; with them be the punishment.
With a full consciousness of the true position of affairs, they have acted. They have ventured to stem a strong tide; and if they find themselves involved in the eddies, and therefore borne powerless, they are responsible, If by this means they have imagined to prove the safety of the stream, they need scarcely wonder if they become a warning to their followers, as well as opponents, rather than a guide. A man to be intelligible to his contemporaries, must use the language of his times. We need no foreign tongue now. We are open and honest as our own land; we can, as a mass, neither sympathise with, nor truly understand, the metaphors and figures of a warmer clime. If men issue orders in a language little known, they must not be surprised if their opponents misunderstand them, since even their own more immediate followers believe them to hold out a recommendation of desertion; or if Dr. Pusey's party act as the fallen Trojans, and, arming themselves with Grecian weapons, say,
“ Mutemus clipeos, Danaumque insignia nobis
Aptemus. Dolus an virtus quis in hoste requirat.” they need scarcely be surprised if they also meet the Trojan fate, and are necessitated to complain
“ Hic primum ex alto delubri culmine telis
Nostrorum obruimur oriturque miserrima cædes.”