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Sacrament, we are to distinguish between the outward and the inward action of the communicant. In the outward, with our bodily mouth we receive really the visible elements of bread and wine; in the inward, we do by faith really receive the body and blood of our Lord; that is to say, we are truly and indeed made partakers of Christ crucified, to the spiritual strengthning of our inward man." Which is no more than any Calvinist will stick to say. But now after all these hard words the Doctor has here bestowed upon my Lord Primate (part of which I omit); I think I can without much difficulty make it appear, that all this grievous accusation of the Doctor's is nothing but a meer λoyoμaxía, a strife about words, and that the Lord Primate held and believed this doctrine in the same sence with the Church of England; 1. Then the 29th Article of our Church disavows all transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of the Lord. The second asserts that the body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner; and that the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is faith. And now I will leave it to the unprejudiced reader to judge whether the Lord Primate's way of explaining this Sacrament (according to the passage before cited by the Doctor) does differ in sence from these Articles, (however it may somewhat in words, as coming nearer the Articles in Ireland, which the Bishop when he writ this book had alone subscribed to, and was bound to maintain) : for I think no true son of the Church of England will deny that in this Sacrament they still really receive the visible elements of bread and wine. 2. That in the inward and spiritual action we really receive the body and blood of our Lord, as the Lord Primate has before laid down.
But perhaps it will be said, that the Lord Primate goes further in this Article than the Church of England does, and takes upon him to explain in what sence we receive the body and blood of our Lord, and that otherwise than the Church of England does; he explaining it thus, that is to say, we are truly and indeed made partakers of Christ crucified, to the spiritual strengthning of our inward man; whereas the Church of England declares that the body of Christ is eaten only after a heavenly and spiritual manner; yet still maintains the body of Christ to be eaten, whereas the Lord Primate only says, that we are truly and indeed made partakers of Christ crucified, but does not say (as the Article of our Church does) that we
are therein partakers of the body and blood of Christ. I desire the objector to consider, whether the explanation of our Church does not amount to the same thing in effect, that saying that the body of Christ is eaten in the Supper after a heavenly and spiritual manner; and the Lord Primate, that we are truly and indeed made partakers of Christ crucified, viz. after a spiritual, and not a carnal manner. But perhaps the Doctor's friends may still object, that the Lord Primate does not express this real presence of Christ's body and blood in the Sacrament, as Bp. Bilson and Bp. Morton assert, the former saying "that Christ's flesh and blood are truly present, and truly received by the faithful in the Sacrament," and the latter expresly owning a real presence therein. And Bishop Andrews, in his Apology to Cardinal Bellarmine, thus declares himself, viz. "Præsentiam credimus non minus quam vos veram, de modo præsentiæ nil temere definimus." Which the Doctor renders thus: we acknowledg (saith he) a presence as true andd real as you do, but we determine nothing rashly of the manner of it. And the Church Catechism above cited, as also the Latin Catechism of Mr. Noel, confess the body and blood of our Lord are truly and indeed (or as the Latin translation renders it, vere & realiter) taken and received in the Lord's Supper. Which the Lord Primate does not affirm. I know not what such men would have. The Lord Primate asserts that we do by faith really receive the body and blood of Christ, and that in the same sence with Mr. Noel's Catechism, and the Article of the Church, viz. that Christ's body is received after a spiritual and heavenly manner. Which was added to exclude any real presence as taken in a carnal or bodily sence. So that our Church does in this Article explain the manner of the presence (notwithstanding what Bp. Andrews says to the contrary.) Nor know I what they can here further mean by a real presence, unless a carnal one; which indeed the Church of England at the first Reformation thought to be all one with the real, as appears by these words, in the first Articles of religion agreed on in the Convocation 1552, (Anno 5. Edw. 6.) "It becometh not any of the faithful to believe or profess, that there is a real or corporal presence of the body and blood of Christ in the holy Eucharist." And that our Church did likewise at the first passing of the 39 Articles in Convocation, anno 1562, likewise disallow any real presence, taken in a carnal sence, "Christ's body being always in heaven at the right hand of God, and therefore cannot be in d He adds the word real, which is not in the Latin. VOL. I.
more places than one :" appears by the original of those Articles, to be seen in the library of Corpus Christi Colledg in Cambridg, where tho this passage against a real or corporal presence (which they then thought to be all one) are dash'd over with red ink ; yet so, as it is still legible, therefore it may not be amiss to give you Dr. Burnet's reasons in his 2d part of the History of the Reformation, p. 406, for the doing of it, . . "The secret of it was this; the Queen and her Council studied to unite all into the communion of the Church; and it was alledged, that such an express definition against a real presence, might drive from the Church many who were still of that perswasion; and therefore it was thought to be enough to condemn transubstantiation, and to say that Christ was present after a spiritual manner, and received by faith; to say more, as it was judged superfluous, so it might occasion division. Upon this, these words were by common consent left out; and in the next Convocation the Articles were subscribed without them. This shews that the doctrine of the Church, then subscribed by the whole Convocation, was at that time contrary to the belief of a real and corporal presence in the Sacrament; only it was not thought necessary, or expedient to publish it. Though from this silence, which flowed not from their opinion, but the wisdom of that time, in leaving a liberty for different speculations, as to the manner of the presence, some have since inferred, that the chief pastors of this Church did then disapprove of the definition made in King Edward's time, and that they were for a real presence." And that our Protestant Bishops that were martyr'd in Queen Mary's days were against this expression of a real presence of Christ as a natural body, appears by those questions which they disputed on solemnly at Oxford before their martyrdom: the first question, "Whether the natural body of Christ was really in the Sacrament?" The second, "Whether no other substance did remain but the body and blood of Christ?" Both which they held in the negative. So that since this expression of a real presence of Christ's body, was not maintained by our first Protestant Reformers, nor used by the Church of England in her Articles, I do not see of what use it can be now, (tho perhaps only meant in a spiritual sence by most that make use of it; for the real presence of a body, and yet unbodily; I suppose those that speak thus, understand as little as I do) unless that some men love to come as
e Vid. Dr Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation, part 2, p. 405.
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near the Papists as may be in their expressions, tho without any hopes now of ever making them approach the nearer to us, and in the mean time giving matter of offence and scandal to divers ignorant and weak Christians of our own religion.
The fifth point that the Doctor taxes the Lord Primate with as held by him contrary to the Church of England, is, "That she teaches that the priest hath power to forgive sins, as may be easily proved by three several arguments, not very easie to be answered. The first is from those solemn words, used in the ordination of the priest, or presbyter, that is to say, ‘Receive the Holy Ghost. Whose sins ye forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins ye retain, they are retained.' Which were a gross prophanation of the words of our Lord and Saviour, and a meer mockery of the priest, if no such power were given unto him, as is there affirmed. The second argument is taken from one of the exhortations before the Communion, where we find the people are exhorted by the priest, that if they cannot quiet their consciences, they should come unto him, or some other discreet minister of God's Word, and open their grief, that they may receive such ghostly advice and comfort, as their consciences may be relieved, and that by the ministry of God's Word they may receive comfort, and the benefit of absolution, to the quieting of their consciences, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.' The third and most material proof, is the form prescribed for the Visitation of the Sick; in which it is required, 'that after the sick person hath made a confession of his faith, and professed himself to be in charity with all men, he shall then make a special confession, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter.' And then it follows, that after such confession, the minister shall absolve him in this manner, viz. 'Our Lord Jesus Christ who has left power to his Church to absolve all sinners that truly repent, and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: and by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.' Of the first of these three places, deduced all of them from the best monuments and records of the Church of England, the Lord Primate takes notice in his answer to the Jesuit's Challenge, where he treateth purposely of the priests power to forgive sins, but gives us such a gloss upon it, as utterly subverts as well the doctrine of this Church in that particular, as her purpose it. And of the second he takes notice, where he speaks pur
posely of confession, but gives us such a gloss upon that also, as he did upon the other. But of the third, which is more positive and material than the other two, he is not pleased to take any notice at all, as if no such doctrine were either taught by the Church of England, or no such power had been ever exercised by the ministers of it: for in the canvassing of this point, he declares sometimes that the priest doth forgive sins only declarative, by the way of declaration only; when on the consideration of the true faith, and sincere repentance of the party penitent, he doth declare unto him in the name of God, that his sins are pardoned, and sometimes that the priest forgives sins only optative, by the way of prayers and intercession; when on the like consideration he makes his prayers unto God, that the sins of the penitent may be pardoned. Neither of which comes up unto the doctrine of the Church of England; which holdeth that the priest forgiveth sins authoritative, by virtue of a power committed to him by our Lord and Saviour. That the supream power of forgiving sins is in God alone, against whose divine majesty all sins, of what sort soever, may be truly said to be committed, was never question'd by any who pretended to the Christian faith. The power which is given to the priest is but a delegated power, such as is exercised by Judges under soveraign princes (where they are not tied unto the verdict of twelve men, as with us in England) who by the power committed to them in their several circuits and divisions, do actually absolve the party which is brought before them, if on good proof they find him innocent of the crimes he stands accused for, and so discharge him of his irons. And such a power as this, I say, is both given to, and exercised by the priests, or presbyters in the Church of England. For if they did forgive sins only declarative; that form of absolution which follows the general confession in the beginning of the Common-prayer-Book would have been sufficient, where the absolution is put in the third person; or, if he did forgive sins only optative, in the way of prayers and intercession, there could not be a better way of absolution, than that which is prescribed to be used by the priest or bishop, after the general confession made by such as are to receive the Communion, viz. Almighty God, and heavenly Father, &c. have mercy upon you, pardon you, and deliver you from all your sins,' &c. Or else the first clause in the form of absolution used at the Visitation of the Sick, would have served the turn; viz. 'Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners, which