« PreviousContinue »
controversy, to make up your mind first, to an opinion on the point in dispute, whether it be a figurative or a literal text. No matter, however; only let us see the sagacity of this writer's application. “We may further conclude, that the sense put upon the words, this is my body,' by the Church of Rome, cannot be the true one, being contrary to the express declaration of the New Testament history, from which it is evident that our Lord is ascended into heaven, where he is to continue «till the time of the restitution of all things,' (Acts iii. 21) that is, till his second coming to judgment.”*
Now, for this argument to have any force, it would be necessary that the Catholic doctrine should deny Christ's being in heaven till the restitution of all things, which we believe as much as Protestants. The question resolves itself into this: whether Christ's being in heaven is incompatible with his being on earth too; in other words, into the philosophical question, whether a body constituted like his, so as to pass through closed doors, can be in more places than one at a time. St. Paul assures us that he had seen Christ after his ascensionet which again is incompatible with the interpretation put upon these words. But this is an instance of an objection raised upon a passage that has no connexion with the subject, but is made to counter
* Vol. ii. p. 414, 7th ed.
balance strong and explicit declarations with which it is not in the least at variance.
If I wished to convince any one of the extreme difficulties under which Protestants labour, who endeavour to construct a figurative reasoning for the Eucharistic formulas, I would refer him to Eichhorn's attempt at an explanation of them, grounded upon hermeneutical principles. He begins, by supposing that all the sacred historians drew their narrative from the Hebrew protevangelium, or primitive gospel, as it is called. He then surmises, that into St. Luke's and St. Paul's accounts glosses have crept, and that the former did not understand the original well! Having thus stated his problem, he proceeds to make substitutions of what he considers equivalent quantities, as ingeniously as an Algebraist could do: till we have the following equatation.
(Τουτο εστιν ο αρτος του Τουτο εστι το σωμα μου “This is my body."
} equal to OWMATOS Mov.
( “This is the bread of my body." And this again is equal to— . Τουτο εστιν ο αρτος της διαθηκης δια του εμου θανάτος
Byxa mrlo SECOLLE Yns. “This is the bread of the covenant, to be renewed through my death."* So that by the word “body," the apostles were to understand the idea of “ bread of a covenant to be renewed by death !” No won
* “ Ueber die Einsetzung.Worte des heiligen Abendmahls," in his “ Allgemeine Bibliothek," vl. vi. pp. 759-772.
der that the author himself exclaims in conclusion; “ How enigmatical! truly enigmatical and obscure.”*
But this one example may suffice. In concluding these lectures on the Scriptural proofs of the Real Presence, I will simply say, that throughout them, I have spoken of this doctrine as synonymous with T'ransubstantiation. For, as by the Real Presence I have understood a corporal presence, to the exclusion of all other substances, it is evident that the one is, in truth, equivalent to the other. On this account, I have contended for the literal meaning of our Saviour's words: leaving it as a matter of inference, that the Eucharist, after consecration is the body and blood of Christ. The arguments which you have heard will receive their full developement from the overwhelming force of tradition, which yet remains to be unfolded before you.
* Page 776.
ter of St. John's Gospel: from the change of phraseology
ter of St. John; from the prejudices of the Jews regard.