« PreviousContinue »
term here used is esmase mshachleph, to change, transmute. The comparison with Christ's divinity in the flesh, shows that he understood the body and blood to be as really in the Eucharist, as his Godhead was in his person on earth.
So much for the accuracy of the learned professor's statements; but before going to the next error, I must not overlook a dexterous improvement introduced into his text, by his friend and applauder, Mr. Horne. It consists of the artful sliding in of the name of Maruthas, with that of Barsalibæus, in his analysis of the Doctor's strictures; so to insinuate that Dr. Lee's attempted confutation extended, no less to the formidable quotation from the saint, which he did not even venture to touch. But these are little arts unworthy of serious notice.
Another part of the extract, I said, was not less remarkable for its candour. I am charged with overlooking some expressions of Barsalibæus quoted by Assemani, which seem to imply that he disbelieved in the Real Presenee; " which N. Wiseman forgot to show.” Mr. Horne, in echoing these words, gives a typographical emphasis to the word forgot, by printing it in capitals, doubtless to insinuate that I did not forget. Now, here again, would you believe that in the same note, I actually refer to the very page, 190, of Assemani's second volume;* and say that the learned orientalist had
* I refer to p. 190, and Dr. Lee to p. 191, but the subject refer red to is the same.
accused Barsalibæus of denying not the Real Presence, but Transubstantiation, and of admitting a species of companation ? Nay, more than this, I brought the very passage just quoted by me, in confutation of Assemani's very assertion, which I am charged with forgetting! These are my words: " Primam partem (loci sequentis) jam dedit Assemani (ib. p. 190,) sed postrema verba omittens, quæ tamen præclarum continent testimonium." Then follows the passage just given, in the original, and in Latin, after which I conclude thus : “ Postremam textus partem ut innui, non dedit Cl. Assemani, ideoque pono, quod videatur (ibid.) negatæ Transubstantiationis Dionysium (Barsalibæum) insimulare, subobscuris nonnullis sententiis ductus, quum tamen quæ dedi tam clara sint."* So that the history of the transaction is briefly this: Assemani quotes a passage from Barsalibæus, wherein he seems to doubt of our doctrine. I go to the MS. of his work in the Vatican, and find that immediately after that passage which is very obscure, comes the clearest possible assertion of the reality of Christ's presence, and of an absolute change of the elements. I bring it expressly in explanation of the other extracts, and in confutation of Assemani; and Dr. Lee finds that I forgot what Assemani asserts, and holds me dishonest because I do not submit my conviction to the authority which I am actually confuting! And the sentences
*" Hore Syra." p. 57.
by which I was to correct my strong quotation were, “ that we contemplate the bread with the soul's eye ;” and that “it is made the body in a manner divine and mystical,” (mysterious in Syriac.*) As if I should not use the same phrases, who yet believe in the Real Presence! For it is the Protestant who looks upon the Eucharist with the bodily eye, and sees nothing but bread, while we look on it by the eye of the soul, and discover it to be a nobler gift; the Protestant sees nothing divine or mysterious, in his ordinance, while we require a divine power, and believe in a mysterious effect in ours.
Dr. Lee, whom I own I am wearied with thus following in his doubling logic, then attacks the Arabic passage from David; and his transcriber again supports him by his emphatic capitals : for I am now charged with MISTRANSLATING the text. Had the translation been mine I might have felt hurt, and certainly I should have bowed to the professor's superior reputation in Arabic literature. But it happens not to be mine, but that of a scholar, a native Syrian or Arab, who leaves Dr. Lee as far behind him, as he may be justly thought to surpass me.
yet I do not mean to defend even his work, simply because the supposed mistranslation in no manner affects the consequences to be drawn from the text. This was simply quoted to prove that the Syrians could distinguish in their language between saying, “ this is my body," and “this represents it.” The latter part proves this fact. “ Christ said, “this is my body,' but did not say, 'this is the figure of my body ;'” or as Dr. Lee prefers, “ this is like my body.” It is evident that a contrast, which must have been expressed no less in the Syriac original, is here made between the Real Presence and some other presence by emblems, and this is all I wish to establish. But on the other hand, what an ingeniously absurd meaning the doctor's learned commentator has put upon his version. You shall hear both. This is Dr. Lee's translation of the passage: “Illud dedit nobis in remissionem peccatorum postquam id sibimet assimilaverat; imo dixit Hoc est corpus meum,' at non dixit simile est corpori meo.'” I suppose that by Christ's assimilating the bread to himself at the Last Supper, is meant, according to Dr. Lee, making it a symbol of himself; otherwise the Syriac canon does not agree in doctrine with the Anglican Church.
* In Latin and English there is a difference between mystical and mysterious, in Syriac there is no such distinction. The word used means secret, and so mysterious.
But now hear Mr. Horne's paraphrase : “ That is, the sacrament ought to be received with faith as my body itself; but not as any likeness of it, which indeed would be idolatry." In the first place, the two small words, “with faith," are a little interpolation of the learned critic's, who assumes, of course, for granted, the very point in dispute, whether this passage express a Real Presence, or one by faith. 2ndly, Expunge this trifle,
and read the passage: “ That is, the sacrament ought to be received as my body, but not as any likeness of it, which would indeed be idolatry." From which words I draw the interesting conclusion, that there is no idolatry in the Catholic doctrine, which holds that it is the body of Christ, and not merely a resemblance or image of it; and moreover, that they who believe it such, are idolaters. 3. The framer of this canon must have been guilty of precious absurdity, to tell us, that Christ made the bread like himself, “ sibimet assimilaverat," and yet took care to say that it was “ not like his body; and moreover, that it would be idolatry, according to Mr. H.'s gloss, to receive it as that which he had made it! Lastly, I am quite satisfied to take the sentiments of the Syrian Church upon the Eucharist, from this text as expounded by Horne, with the omission of the adjunct, 66 with faith,” for which there is not the. slightest warrant in the text.
Anxious as I feel to bring this contest to a close I am sure I shall be one day charged with cowardice, if I do not notice the new additions brought by Dr. Lee, to the passages illustrative of the Protestant interpretation of the words of institution. Mr. Horne introduces the matter with his usual accuracy, as follows:-"Dr. Wiseman has professed a wish for some philological illustrations in behalf of the Protestant, or true mode of interpreting Mat. xxvi. 26.” I have expressed such a wish?