« PreviousContinue »
Mr. Horne coincides with these authors: “The Holy Spirit is put for his effects, 2 Cor. iii. 6. Here, by the word letter, we are to understand the law, written in letters on stone. ... By the spirit, is meant the saving doctrine of the gospel, which derives its origin from the Holy Spirit. In the same sense, Jesus Christ says, Jo. vi. 63,— The words that I speak they are spirit and life;' that is, they are from the spirit of God, and if received with true faith, will lead to eternal life.”* Again, in his "Index of the symbolical language of Scripture,” under the word Flesh, we have this meaning :-“2. External appearance, condition, circumstances, character, &c.-Jo. vi. 63, • The flesh profiteth nothing.'”+
There would be, however, no end, were I to at. tempt giving you all the authorities on this subject. I shall therefore, content myself with referring you to the following Protestant works:-Koppe, “ Excursus ix. in Epist. ad Galatas.”-Sartorius, “ Dissertatio theologica de notione vocis page in N. T." Tubingen, 1778.–Storr, " Commentatio de vocum carnis et spiritus genuino sensu.” Ib. 1732, Schmid, " De potestate vocabulis rueqxos et muuaTOS in N. T. subjecta.” Viteb. 1775.-Röller, “ De vocum augs et iv. in Pauli Ep. ad Galatas sensu." Zwic. 1778.
These terms are referred by Bendsten, whom I
* “Introduction,” vol. č. p. 455, 7th ed. + Ib. vol. iv. p. 522.
have already quoted, as belonging to the oriental philosophy.* And, in fact, the learned Windischmann, has pointed out a strong analogy between the doctrines which they contain, and the opinions of the Sankhja theology.t
I might be allowed to dwell, after having answered all objections, upon the variety of interpretation into which Protestant divines have necessarily run, in consequence of their abandoning the literal sense. Hardly two of them can be said to agree in their explanation; and terms of condemnation sufficiently harsh are used in their mutual confutations. But I have been already so diffuse, that I dare not detain you longer upon this chapter; and must, therefore, omit likewise, what would not be devoid of interest, the exhibition of the laboured and lengthy, and often not very intelligible, paraphrases, by which they are compelled to explain our Saviour's expressions.
One instance may suffice. Dr. Hampden, in his “Inaugural Discourse," as Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford, thus expresses himself: Our Church, indeed, has rejected the fond notion of transubstantiation, but does not, therefore, the less hold a real vital presence of Christ in the Sacrament. The Church forbids our holding the doctrine of a corporal presence, and yet does not presume to overlook the strong words of Christ declaring this is my body,' this is my blood,' and, he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him ;' and will not therefore incur the impiety of emptying this holy sacrament, of its gifted treasure of grace. And thus it is asserted in the catechism, that the body and blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's supper."*
*“ Miscell. Hafn.” ubi sup.
† “Die Philosophie im Fortgang der Weltgeschichte,” Erst. Th. 2 Buch. Bonn, 1832, p. 1889.
These words might furnish matter for multiplied remarks. 1. Dr. Hampden applies the sixth chapter of St. John to the Eucharist; for he defends the faith of his Church on the Lord's supper, by a quotation from it.
2. This quotation is strong enough to prove a real presence, but yet does not prove a corporal presence, which he tells us is rejected by his Church. Now, Jesus Christ exists in the body, from which he is no more separable. How words, which prove his real presence any where, exclude his corporal or bodily presence, it is not easy to understand. 3. This real presence, according to the learned professor, is demonstrated by the assertion, that the flesh and blood, the constituents of a body, are there, and yet the real presence differs from a corporal presence, or from the presence of the body, whose flesh and blood are there. 4. Christ is present, because he said, “ this is my body;" and upon this we are to ground a doctrine that Christ is there, but not his body!
* P. 14.
5. Where in Scripture is this nice distinction drawn between a real, vital presence, and a corporal presence?
I will conclude this subject by quoting the opinions of a late Protestant philosopher in our country, who was probably as deep a divine as the Church of England has lately possessed, but who unfortunately betrays, when occasion occurs, as miserable an ignorance of our religion, and as narrow a prejudice against it, as would have disgraced talents of a much lower order. “ There is, believe me, a wide difference between symbolical and allegorical. If I say that the flesh and blood, (corpus noumenon) of the incarnate word, are power and life, I say likewise, that this mysterious power and life are verily and actually the flesh and blood of Christ. They are the allegorizers, who term the 6th chapter of the gospel according to St. John-the hard saying—who can hear it? After which time many of (Christ's) disciples, who had been eye-witnesses of his mighty miracles, who had heard the sublime morality of his sermon on the Mount, had glorified God for the wisdom which they had heard, and had been prepared to acknowledge, “this is indeed the Christ,” — went back and walked no more with him—the hard saying, which even the twelve were not yet competent to understand further than that they were to be spiritually understood; and which the Chief of the Apostles was content to receive with an implicit and antici
pative faith!-they, I repeat, are the allegorizers who moralize these hard sayings, these high words of mystery, into a hyperbolical metaphor per catachresin, that only means a belief of the doctrines which Paul believed, an obedience to the law, respecting which Paul was blameless,' before the voice called him on the road to Damascus ! What every parent, every humane preceptor, would do when a child had misunderstood a metaphor or apologue in a literal sense, we all know. But the meek and merciful Jesus suffered many of his disciples to fall off from eternal life, when to retain them, he had only to say,-0 ye simple ones ! why are ye offended! my words, indeed, sound strange; but I mean no more than what you have often and often heard from me before, with delight and entire acquiescence ! Credat Judæus ! Non ego."*
* Coleridge, “ Aids to Reflection,"