« Prev § 55. (2.) The Lord’s Supper. Next »

§ 55. (2.) The Lord’s Supper.

As in Baptism, so in the Holy Supper, we distinguish essential nature, form, and design.

1. ITS ESSENTIAL NATURE. — This is expressed in the words of the institution, to which alone we are referred; [1] and these declare, if we interpret and understand them agreeably to the language (and we dare not adopt any other mode, [2]), that we are to partake therein not only of bread and wine, but at the same time also of the body and blood of Christ. [3] According to this, bread and wine are only the external visible elements through which the body and blood of Christ are communicated, and the Holy Supper is the sacred act in which this takes place. “The Sacrament of the Altar is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under bread and wine, instituted and commanded by the Word of Christ to be eaten and drank by us Christians.” CAT. MAJ. (V, 8). [4] But, in order most distinctly to state the meaning of such a participation of the body and blood of Christ, we add:

(a) That, as by bread and wind real and true bread an real wine are understood, so also, by the body and blood of Christ, the real and true body and the real and true blood of Jesus Christ, as He possesses both since His glorification, must be understood; [5] and, as the bread and wine, so also this body and this blood of Christ are really and truly present. [6]

(b) That in the same sense, and in the same manner, in which we partake of bread and wine, so also we partake of the body and blood of Christ; so that therefore in both cases the participation is not to be understood in a metaphorical, but in a literal sense. As there is therefore an oral and real participation of bread and wine, so there is also of the body and blood of Christ; [7] but yet so that, in the mode of the participation, the same differences which naturally exist between bread and wine and body and blood are here also to be 556observed, according to which, therefore, our mouth receives the purely material elements of bread and wine in a different way from that in which it receives the glorified body and glorified blood of Christ. [8]

Inasmuch as, according to this, we cannot partake of bread and wine in the Holy Supper without at the same time partaking of the body and blood of Christ, and inasmuch as we can partake of the body and blood of Christ only through the medium of the participation of the bread and wine, we perceive from this, that in the Holy Supper a peculiar union of the body and blood of Christ takes place with the bread and wine. [9] But we are not able to describe this union, according to its essential nature, for it is unique in its character and incomprehensible; hence we must limit ourselves to removing false representations of it. It would be a false representation of it if we believed in a change of one substance into the other, as the Romish Church does in the dogma of transubstantiation, which is altogether a false doctrine, for the Holy Scriptures declare both that the bread and wine, and that the body and blood, are present in the Holy Supper; or, if we believed in the combination of both substances into one; or, if we thought that this union were one extending beyond the Lord’s Supper and continually existing; or, if we maintained that the body and blood were somehow locally included in the bread and wine; or, finally, if we held that this union is of the same nature as that between the divine and the human nature of Christ. [10]

2. THE FORM. — In the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ are communicated to us only when the mode prescribed by the Lord in this solemnity is perfectly observed. there must be, therefore: (a) The consecration. (b) The consecrated elements must be really distributed and partaken of; for only in these cases do bread and wine cease to be common and ordinary elements, and at the same time the body and blood of Christ are comprehended in and by them. [11] Where all this is done, there also the Holy Supper is a real Sacrament, and neither the faith of the communicant [12] nor the state of mind of the officiating minister [13] is a condition of the real presence of the body and blood of Christ.

557

3. THE DESIGN. — According to the express command of the Lord, Christians are to partake of the Holy Supper in remembrance of Him. [14] The believing participation will have the effect that the communicants, with the body and blood of Christ, will receive also all the benefits which Christ procured by the offering of His body on the cross. All the benefits, then, which Christ procured for us by His death, are communicated to us in the Holy Supper, [15] but yet in such manner that faith is presupposed as already existing in those who partake of the Holy Supper; and therefore the effect of the Supper does not consist in the production, so much as in the more thorough establishment and confirmation and more cordial appropriation of those benefits. [16] The most prominent result is: (a) The sealing of the Gospel promise of the remission of sins, and the confirmation of our faith, for no surer and more certain pledge can be given us than the body and blood of Christ; (b) The ingrafting into Christ and spiritual nourishment to eternal life, for it is in the Supper that the closest union with Christ takes place. [17] In the participation of the Holy Supper, Christians acknowledge themselves as belonging to one Head, and thus the Holy Supper, at the same time, serves to strengthen the bond of love among them. [18]

[1] HOLL. (1107): “The norm of the whole doctrine of the Sacrament of the Eucharist is given in the words of the institution, which are found in Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:23. The Capernaitic discourse of Christ, John 6:26 sq., is by no means the norm or foundation of knowing or establishing this doctrine.”

CHMN. (de c. Dom., 9): “As some dogmas of the Church and single articles of faith have, as it were, their proper foundation in certain particular passages of Scripture where they are expressly taught and explained, so that their true and genuine meaning may be properly sought and surely gathered from those passages; so, beyond controversy, the correct doctrine of the Lord’s Supper has its peculiar place and proper foundation in the words of the institution. All confess and yield this to the words, but when the thing spoken of comes to be treated, there is plainly a difference. For all the Sacramentarians, however many there may be, do not derive what they wish to think and believe concerning the Lord’s 558Supper from the words of the institution, understood literally and simply as they stand; but they take their opinion from other passages of the Scriptures, most of which say nothing about the Lord’s Supper, each one choosing other passages, according to some analogy of his own, as his fancy may dictate. And often they gather from other Scripture passages what they wish to believe on this subject, then at last they go to the words of the institution, and then comes the tug and toil of intruding upon the words of the institution, by a figurative and violent interpretation, their opinion elsewhere conceived. And thus among those arguments which the Sacramentarians accumulate to establish and confirm their opinion of the Lord’s Supper, the words of the institution have properly no place. But when, in refutation, those things which seem to oppose their asserted opinion are to be overthrown, then at last these words are heard, viz., ‘this is my body;’ yet so as to signify, not that which they declare, but so as to be compelled to serve a presumptuous opinion derived elsewhere.”

[2] FORM. CONC. (Epit. VII, 7): “We believe, etc., that the words of the Testament of Christ are not to be taken in any other sense than as the words sound to the very letter.” HOLL. (1111): “We must not depart from the obvious meaning of the words of the Holy Supper, but they are to be understood most simply and literally as they stand. Note: We do not here speak of all the words of the institution, but of the substantial and constitutive words: ‘This is my body, this is my blood.’”

BR. (703) very briefly condenses the proof as follows: “That these words of Christ are to be taken in their native force and intention, and that we are not to pervert them from their proper signification to a figure, appears: (1) From the common and natural rule of interpretation, which retains the literal signification, unless urgent necessity compel us to adopt a figurative one; which rule is indeed most solicitously to be observed in regard to supernatural subjects and those which pertain to faith. (2) That when the three Evangelists and Paul, at different times and places, speak of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, not one of them ever intimates that the words have a figurative meaning, or that we are to believe that we eat, not the body, but a sign of the body; a that we drink, not the blood, but a sign of the blood. (3) From the harmony of 1 Cor. 11:27, 28, and 10:16. In the former passage the unworthy communicant is said to be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, received in an unworthy or contumelious manner, because the bread and wine are the communion of the body and 559blood of Christ, as is taught in the latter passage. But this communion is not a mere significance, but a real union. (4) From the nature of testaments, in which literalness and perspicuity of language are particularly required; and least of all is it to be supposed that Christ, in His testament, has either designedly or imprudently given occasion of dispute and strife by figurativeness of language.” Others derive an additional argument from the absurdity of the figurative meaning. FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 43-60.)

[3] The literal sense is thus explained by HOLL. (1108): “In the former proposition (this is my body) the demonstrative pronoun this denotes the entire sacramental complex, consisting of everything in the Sacrament composed of the wine and the blood of Christ, mysteriously united.” (Inasmuch as the pronoun this is employed with regard to both the bread and the body, the Romish doctrine of a transubstantiation is excluded.) “The substantive verb is connects the predicate with the subject, and denotes that that which is offered in the Holy Supper is really and truly not only bread, but also the body of Christ.”

The meaning of the words then is this: “This which I offer to you, which you are to receive and eat, is not only bread, but it is besides my body. This which I offer to you, and which you are to receive and drink, is not only wine, but besides it is my blood.” Or, as it is most frequently expressed: “In, with, and under the bread and wine, Christ presents His true body and blood to be truly and substantially eaten and drank by us.” This mode of expression is confirmed by the FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 35) thus: “Besides those phrases used by Christ and Paul [viz., that of the body of Christ], we employ other forms of speech also, e.g., when we say that the body of Christ is present and presented under the bread; this we do for weighty reasons. For, first, we use these phrases in order to reject Romish transubstantiation. In the next place, we wish also in this way to teach the sacramental union of the substance of the unchanged bread with the body of Christ. In the same way, the passage, John 1:14, ‘The Word was made flesh,’ is repeated and declared in other analogous passages, ex. gr., Col. 2:9; Acts 10:38; 2 Cor. 5:19. These passages, besides the one quoted from John, repeat and declare, viz., that by the incarnation the divine essence was not changed into the human nature, but that the two natures are personally 560united without confusion.” Still another mode of expression is this: “This, which is exhibited through the medium of bread, is the body of Christ.”

[4] HUTT. (Loc. Th., 230): “The Lord’s Supper is a Sacrament of the New Testament instituted by Christ, in which the true body and true blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under bread and wine, is truly distributed to all who eat and drink, and the promise of grace is applied and sealed to every believer.”

KG. (248): “The Lord’s Supper is the second New Testament Sacrament, in which God, to-day, by the hand of the regular minister of the Church, through the medium of the consecrated bread, truly and really presents to the communicants His true and substantial body to be eaten by the bodily mouth, yet in a supernatural way; and through the medium of the consecrated wine, He truly and really presents to the communicants His true and substantial blood, to be drank by the bodily mouth, yet in a manner hyperphysical and unknown to us; and by this He confirms their faith and seals to them His covenant grace, to the praise of His goodness and wisdom, and the salvation of those who partake.”

In the Scriptures this Sacrament is called the Lord’s Supper, δειπνον κυριακον, 1 Cor. 11:20; the table of the Lord τραπεζα του κυροου, 1 Cor. 10:21; communion, κοινωνια, 1 Cor. 10:16; the new covenant, καινη διαθηκη, Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25. In the writings of the Church Fathers, the eucharist, ευχαριστια; a religious service, συναξις; a love-feast, αγαπη; a liturgy, λειτουργια; a sacrifice, θυσια; an offering, προσφορα; a mystery, μυστηριον. In the writings of the Latin Fathers, the Sacrament of the altar — the mass — missa.

The Dogmaticians accordingly distinguish between the celestial and the terrestrial matter in the Lord’s Supper. HOLL. (21116): “The terrestrial matter of the Lord’s Supper is partly bread; in regard to its substance genuine. It is not important, however, in regard to its quantity, whether it be more or less, or whether it be round or oblong; in regard to its quality, whether it be unfermented or fermented; in regard to the kind of grain, whether it be wheat, rye, or barley. It is partly wine; in regard to its substance, genuine; but it is of no account whether it be red or white, pure or somewhat diluted with water. The celestial matter is the true and substantial body of Christ, and also the true and substantial blood of Christ.”

[5] CHMN. (d. c. D., 14): “When, in speaking of the bread in the Lord’s Supper, we say that it is the body of Christ, the word bread has and retains its literal signification. And when to the word body is added the phrase, ‘which is given for you,’ we are 561compelled to take it in no other than in its literal and natural meaning, namely, of that substance of Christ’s human nature, which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, and suspended on the cross.” HOLL. (1118): “It is readily inferred that in the Eucharist with the consecrated bread there is given us to eat not a typical body, or a figurative one, such as was the body of the paschal lamb, so far as it shadowed forth and prefigured the body of Christ; not a mystical body, which is the Church, Eph. 1:23; not the sign of a body, for that was not crucified for us; but the true and personal body of Christ, belonging to the Son of God, and therefore full of God, and majestic . . . . It is the now glorified and most glorious body of Christ. For, although we always partake of the crucified and dead body of Christ, as to its merit, yet it is now no longer in that condition; but we partake of it in the state in which it now is. It is not therefore to be circumscribed by the laws. of nature.”

[6] FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 9): “It is taught, that in the Holy Supper the true body and blood of Christ are truly present, and distributed and received under the form of bread and wine.”

GRH. (X, 165): “After it is demonstrated that the words of the Holy Supper are to be taken κατα το ρητον, according to their genuine, literal and natural meaning, the opinion of our churches concerning the true, real, and substantial presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper cannot be doubtful or uncertain, since it immediately flows from the words of the institution κατα ρητον, and taken literally.” This presence is called sacramental (ib., 168), “because the celestial object in this mystery is bestowed and presented to us through the medium of external sacramental symbols; it is called true and real, to exclude the figment of a figurative, imaginary, and representative presence; substantial, to exclude the subterfuge of our opponents concerning the merely efficacious presence of the body and blood of Christ in this mystery; mystical, supernatural, and incomprehensible, because in the mystery the body and blood of Christ are present, not in a worldly manner, but in a mystical, supernatural, and incomprehensible manner. Some of our theologians have called it a corporeal presence, but only with respect to the object and not at all to the mode; they wish to say by this, that not only the virtue and efficacy, but the substance itself of the body and blood of Christ is present in the Holy Supper; for they oppose this word to spiritual presence as it is defined by their opponents, but by no means wish to say thereby that the body of Christ is present in a corporeal and quantitative manner.”

562

In order to reply to the charge, that the Lutheran Dogmaticians had only inferred the doctrine of this presence from their doctrine of the person of Christ, HUTT. (Loc. c., p. 716) remarks: “We must consider, that in this controversy concerning the Eucharist, not one, but two different questions are mooted. One of these is concerning the will and intention of Christ: ‘Whether He wished really to present His body to be eaten in the Supper and His blood to be drank, and so to be most closely present by His body and blood in the Eucharistic bread and wine?’ In regard to this Luther maintained, that we agree with him, that beyond all doubt the decision of this question is to be sought nowhere else than in the article concerning the Lord’s Supper. The other question is concerning the power of Christ: ‘Whether He be really able to be present, by His body and blood, in all places where this Sacrament is dispensed?’ In regard to this, he must be stupid who maintains that the decision is to be sought anywhere else than in the article concerning the person of Christ.” If, namely, in the article just mentioned, the possibility, at least, of an omnipresence of Christ was proved, in general (comp. § 33, note 20, at the end), then nothing of consequence can any longer be objected to this mode of special presence which takes place in the Lord’s Supper.

The Dogmaticians take pains to distinguish carefully between this kind of presence and other kinds of presence. Luther, already, made three distinctions of this kind. Comp. FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., Vii, 99): “Christ could be anywhere: first, in a comprehensible and corporeal manner, which He employed when He sojourned corporeally upon earth, when He was quantitatively circumscribed in a certain place . . . . Secondly, He can be present anywhere in another, incomprehensible and spiritual manner, so as not to be circumscribed by a place, but to penetrate all creatures, by virtue of His own perfectly free will; just as my sight penetrates the air, or the light penetrates the water, and is in these things, and yet is not circumscribed by a place . . . This manner of being present Christ employed when in His resurrection, He came forth from the closed and sealed tomb, . . . and thus He is also in the bread and wine of the Supper . . . . Besides, He can be anywhere present in a divine and celestial manner, according to which He is one person with God. In this way creatures are much more nearly present to Him and more easily penetrated than according to the second kind of presence.” In addition to the distinction made between the presence assumed in the Lord’s Supper and the general presence (by virtue of which Christ, the 563God-man, is illocally present to all creatures), QUEN. adds also the following distinctions (IV, 193): “We are not inquiring (1) concerning the glorious presence, by which He is present in heaven, in a peculiar manner, among angels and saints; nor (2) concerning the hypostatic presence, by which the λογος is everywhere near to His assumed flesh, and this in turn near to Him; nor (3) concerning the spiritual presence (operative or virtual), i.e., whether Christ be present in the Holy Supper effectually or operatively, as the sun is present to us through light and heat; (4) nor is the question, whether the body and blood of Christ be present in the Holy Supper through a sign, figure, or image of Him; nor (5) does the question concern the Holy Supper that is celebrated in heaven; nor, finally, (6) concerning a presence through apprehension, through faith soaring to heaven; but the question is: Whether the body and blood of Christ, in the administration of the Supper, be so present in their own substance, that with the distributed bread there is at the same time given the very substance of the body of Christ, and in the presented cup there is at the same time presented that very blood which was poured out for us upon the altar of the cross?” This is maintained. The presence, however, is “not physical, local, and circumscriptive, such as belongs to natural bodies,” but a “hyperphysical or supernatural (which we cannot recognize by natural perception).” HOLL. (1120) distinguishes still further a double method of the hyperphysical presence: “Definitive presence is that of a being which is present somewhere, without the local occupation of space. In this way angels are present, who, because they are spiritual essences, cannot be measured by any interval of space. This definitive mode of being present will be common to our bodies also, in the life to come. This method Christ also employed when He came forth through the sepulchral stone from the tomb, etc. In this method, we may rightly conclude, the body of Christ is present also in the elemental bread, in the administration of the Lord’s Supper; although there is, besides this, also a sacramental union of the bread with the body of Christ, which depends not precisely or simply upon that definitive mode of the presence, but upon a special divine promise. The repletive presence is omnipresence, which belongs to God alone, per se and essentially, and to the human nature of Christ by virtue of its union with the divine, and personally.”2929[*See Appendix II. Circumscriptiva.]

Other erroneous conceptions are guarded against by CAL. (IX, 307), as follows: “We maintain that the body and blood of 564Christ are present in the Supper; not, indeed, through μετουοια, or by substantial transmutation, as the Papists hold; nor by συνουσια, or consubstantiation, which the Calvinists calumniously charge upon us; nor by local inclusion, namely, impanation, as flesh is in a meat-pie and invination, as they are accustomed to charge against us; nor in the way of a descent from heaven and from the Right Hand of God, to be followed again by an ascent o heaven and to the Right Hand of God.” . . .

The objection urged by the Zwinglians against this presence, viz.: “If the body of Christ be present at the same time in Heaven, and upon earth in the Lord’s Supper, it necessarily follows that it is not a true and human body, for such majesty can be attributed to God alone, but the body of Christ is not at all capable of it,” is set aside by the doctrine of the Communicatio Idiomatum (Genus III), to the fuller development of which the Lutheran Church was led by these very objections on the part of the Reformed. (Comp. FORM. CONC., VIII, De Persona Christi.) QUEN. (IV, 200) replies to this objection: “There is no contradiction; the body of Christ is finite, and the same is substantially present everywhere (and especially in the Lord’s Supper) without any extension and division. Both these statements agree with the Scriptures; both are to be believed, nor is the one to be opposed to the other. The axiom which our adversaries here usually bring up against us, viz., ‘a natural and finite body cannot be at one and the same time in many places,’ avails only in so far as a natural mode of presence is concerned, and is therefore incorrectly applied to articles of mere faith, or is rather used in opposition to the words of Christ. And if the human nature of Christ, without any prejudice to its reality and finiteness, could be assumed into the infinite person of the Logos, why, therefore, may not the body of Christ be substantially present everywhere (and especially in the Lord’s Supper) without any prejudice to its reality? Place is an accident; it does not constitute a body, but is accidentally consequent upon some other accident, for instance, quantity, for the explanation of which no actual limitation is required, but for which the quality of being limitable is of itself sufficient. And accurately speaking, it is not locality, but locability, not the being in a place, but the ability to be in a place, that its the quality of a physical body. The multiplication of the limit of the presence is not the multiplication of the subject that is present; the variety of the mode is not the multiplication of the thing. The same Christ is present in the Eucharist without the multiplication of Himself, as the same God is present in all believers without multiplication. 565We must distinguish, moreover, between a body merely human and left to itself, and the body peculiar to the λογος and personally united with Him. The philosophical axiom, ‘A natural body cannot be at one and the same time in many places,’ is true of a merely human body, but not of the body united with the Logos.”

Further objections are the following “(1) That the doctrine of the omnipresence of Christ according to His human nature is opposed to the doctrine of the real, peculiar, divine presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper.” To this HOLL. (1125) replies: “We distinguish between the general and special omnipresent, and nevertheless is presented to a particular person by a special kind of presence. For thus we read that the omnipresent Holy Spirit descended on Christ in the form of a dove, Matt. 3:16; was bestowed upon the disciples by an external breathing, John 20:22; was communicated to the apostles under the form of fiery tongues, Acts 2:3; and dwells truly and by His gracious presence in the bodies of the godly, 1 Cor. 3:6. Although, therefore, a general omnipresence is communicated to the assumed flesh of Christ by reason of the personal union, yet that does not prevent or destroy a special and sacramental presence of the body of Christ. (2) ‘The substantial presence of the body of Christ in, with and under the bread is contrary to the first institution and administration of the Supper: for when Christ took the bread from the table, broke, and distributed it, He was reclining, together with His disciples, at the table. He was not in, with and under the bread, nor did He carry Himself in His hands.’ We reply: It is not contrary to the first institution and administration of the Supper. When Christ took bread from the table, brake, and distributed it, He was of course reclining at the table with His disciples; and, when He distributed the bread, He at the same time caused His body to be sacramentally in, with, and under the bread, not by removing from the table, but by the presence of His body multiplied by the divine omnipotence.” (3) A third objection was based upon the ascension of Christ to heaven. For an answer, comp. § 38, Note 26, and GRH., X, 147: “Christ thus ascended to heaven that He might ascend also above all heavens, and sit down at the Right Hand of God, i.e., according to the statement of the AUG. CONF., III, ‘That He might powerfully reign and have dominion over all creatures.’ This explanation is drawn from the Scripture itself, Ps. 8:6; Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20; 4:10; 1 Cor. 15:25. By the power which is given to Christ, 566exalted as to His human nature to the Right Hand of the Father, He is able to subject all things to Himself, Phil. 3:21; by this same power, therefore, He is able to give His body to be eaten by us in the Supper. Where, notice that the ascension of Christ to heaven is described in the Holy Scriptures not only abstractly and separately, as if it were only a movement of ascent, by which the body of Christ by a local removal (μεταστασις) had been carried away from the earth, and by degrees lifted up on high to heaven; . . . but also concretely and conjointly, so that the ascent at the same time embraced the exaltation of Christ to the Right Hand of God. Wherefore, since, after the ascent according to the flesh, Christ was elevated to the omnipotent and omnipresent Right Hand of God; therefore, from the ascent, which is inseparable from the sitting at the Right Hand of God, we are by no means to infer any infirmity of any king or absence of the flesh of Christ, but rather His infinite majesty and the effects of His divine power.”

[7] HOLL. (1130): “The body and blood of Christ, in the proper administration of the Lord’s Supper, are received, eaten and drank by the communicants, not only by the mouth of faith, but also by the mouth of the body.”

CHMN. (d. c. D., 19): “It is certain that not bread alone is eaten in the Lord’s Supper, for of that which is received and eaten in the Supper, Christ says, ‘This is my body.’ Therefore, in the Holy Supper there is eaten the body of Christ also; but not simply mentally and spiritually, by faith alone. For, if the word eat in those words of the Holy Supper meant that faith ascended above all heavens in its thoughts, the Lord’s Supper might be celebrated without the external oral reception of anything, which no one has ever dared to imagine. The word eat, therefore, in this place, has and retains its literal and natural signification. For Christ commanded a taking in His Supper when He said, ‘Take;’ and He defines the mode of reception to be with the bodily mouth, when He adds, ‘Eat.’ But of that which is taken by the mouth and eaten the Son of God Himself adds, ‘This is my body.’ But it is impossible that one and the same word, in the same proposition, should at the same time have a literal and a figurative meaning.”

But from this oral manducation, which, because it occurs only in the Lord’s Supper, is called sacramental, there is to be distinguished the spiritual manducation. FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 61): “There is a twofold eating of the flesh of Christ; one is spiritual, of which mainly Christ speaks in John 6, which occurs in no other way than in spirit and in faith, in the hearing of and meditation upon the Gospel, not less than when in the Lord’s Supper is 567received worthily by faith. This spiritual manducation is useful and salutary in itself, and necessary to the salvation of all Christians in all ages, without which spiritual participation the sacramental manducation in the Lord’s Supper, or that which occurs with the mouth only, is not only not salutary, but prejudicial also, and is a cause of condemnation. This spiritual eating, therefore, is nothing else than believing the preached Word of God, in which Christ, true God and man, is offered to us, with all the benefits which He procured by His flesh delivered up to death for us , and by His blood shed for us. These benefits are the grace and mercy of God, the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal life. He who hears these things set forth from the Word of God, receives them by faith, applies them to himself, and trusts wholly in this consolation — he spiritually eats the body and drinks the blood of Christ. The other manducation of the body of Christ is oral and sacramental, when, in the Lord’s Supper, the true and substantial body and blood of Christ are orally received and partaken of by all who eat and drink the consecrated bread and wine.” Thus the spiritual eating is not denied, but in the Lord’s Supper it only follows the sacramental manducation. HOLL. (1130) thus contrasts them: “The former (the spiritual eating) is common to all times; the latter is peculiar to the New Testament. The former is unconnected with the Supper; the latter takes place only in the Supper. The former may occur without the symbols; the latter, only through the medium of external symbols. The former always contributes to our salvation; the latter sometimes may occur to our condemnation. The former apprehends the whole Christ, with all His benefits; the latter apprehends only the body of Christ in and under the bread. The former is metaphorical; the latter is literal, by virtue of a grammatical, not a physical literalness.”

The different senses in which the Lutherans and Calvinists employ these terms are thus stated by GRH. (X, 303): “The Calvinists thus define the sacramental eating: that we receive by the mouth the bread, which is the Sacrament, i.e., only the sign, of the absent body of Christ. We thus describe the sacramental eating: that we receive with the mouth the bread which is the communion of the truly present body of Christ. The Calvinists thus define spiritual manducation: that the soul elevates itself, and its organ, viz., faith, to heaven, and there enjoys the body and blood of Christ, i.e., applies to itself the benefits derived from the giving of His body and the shedding of His blood. We by no means deny the application of the benefits of Christ by faith, i.e., the spiritual eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ, as spoken of in John 6; but we have reference 568to the fruits and design of the Holy Supper, and therefore distinguish from that the sacramental manducation belonging to the form of the Eucharist. But when the sacramental eating is called spiritual, this is meant to counteract all the carnal and earthly ideas which human reason can conceive with regard to this celestial mystery.”

[8] CHMN. (de c. Dom., 20): “If the union or presence of the body of Christ in the bread were physical, constituted in a natural way and after the manner of the things of this world, then the evident and manifest manner of the sacramental manducation could be reasonably asked for and could also be shown. For the manducation is the same in kind as the union or presence of Christ in the Supper. But that union or presence is not physical, constituted after the manner of the things of this world. It is therefore more easy to show what sacramental eating is not than what it is. It is plainly not physical, which consists in the mastication, deglutition, and digestion of the substance which is eaten, because the presence of Christ in the Supper is not natural, constituted after the manner of the things of this world; yet nevertheless not figurative or feigned, but true and substantial, although it is effected by a supernatural, celestial, and inscrutable mystery.” Accordingly, there is indeed assumed an oral manducation of bread and wine, as of the body and blood; but, because these substances are in their nature so different, the mode of manducation in each is also distinguished. In the bread and wine, as physical and earthly things, the mode assumed ins physical; in the case of the body and blood, as heavenly things, the mode of manducation assumed is hyperphysical. HOLL. (1130): “The sacramental eating and drinking is an undivided single action, by which at one and the same moment we eat the eucharistic bread and the body of Christ sacramentally united to it. But the mode of this one eating and drinking is twofold. For, although he terrestrial and celestial object is received by one and the same organ, yet this is not done in the same way. Bread and wine are received by the mouth immediately and naturally; the body and blood of Christ are received mediately and supernaturally.” The physical and hyperphysical mode are thus described by HOLL. (1130): “The former is that by which food, taken into the mouth, is passed into the stomach, digested, and ejected. The latter is that by which food that is offered is, indeed, received through the mouth into the body, but is not digested and ejected in a natural way. Angels ate (Gen. 18:8), and Christ ate after His resurrection; but it was not an ordinary, natural eating, nor was the food digested in a natural manner. But as the earth absorbs water in one way and the sun in another, so also was that food not digested in a natural way.”

569

QUEN. (IV, 204): “We must distinguish between the manducation itself, with its form, definition, and properties, on the one hand, and the accidents and consequents of manducation on the other. We cannot say: ‘The body of Christ is literally eaten, therefore it is masticated by the teeth,’ etc. For it is not essential to literal eating and drinking, in general, that the meat and drink should pass by means of deglutition into the stomach, since the above stated accidents and consequents pertain only to the physical mode of manducation and not to the hyperphysical.” The physical mode of eating the body and blood is rejected, under the name also of Capernaitic manducation (according to John 6:26). FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 64): “That command of Christ (‘take, eat’), when all the circumstances are rightly considered, must be understood of an oral, and yet not of a gross, carnal, Capernaitic, but of a supernatural and incomprehensible manducation of the body of Christ.”

[9] GRH. (X, 116): “The sacramental presence and union is effected in such a way that, according to the appointment of our Saviour Himself, the body of Christ is united to the consecrated bread, as a divinely appointed medium; and, to the consecrated wine as a medium also divinely appointed, the blood of Christ is united in a manner incomprehensible to us. Thus in a sublime mystery, with the bread, by one sacramental eating, we take and eat the body of Christ, and with the wine, in one sacramental drinking, we take and drink the blood of Christ.” Ib. (302): “We teach, therefore, that in the Holy Supper we do not receive the bread, alone and by itself, nor the body of Christ, alone and by itself; . . . but, that with the wine the blood of Christ is received, and this in consequence of the mystical and sacramental union of the bread and the body and of the wine and the blood of Christ,, which has its origin in the appointment of the true and omnipotent Christ, but which cannot be understood, nor should it be investigated by human reason.”

HFRFFR. (517): “The sacramental union is such a real and true conjunction of the consecrated bread with the body of Christ, and of the consecrated wine with His blood, in which, by virtue of the institution and ordination of Christ, in the administration and reception of the Holy Supper, the true body and blood of Christ are taken, eaten, and drank together with the bread and wine.”

QUEN. (IV, 181): “The complex subject [viz., the τουτο in the words of the institution signifies that a terrestrial and a celestial object are conjointly given to be eaten and drank. But what are conjointly given, in a real presentation, these are also united after their own peculiar manner. Now, in the Holy Supper the eucharistic 570bread and the body of Christ, and also the wine and the blood of Christ, are conjointly given in a real presentation. Therefore they are also really joined in a sacramental union.”

HOLL. (1120): “The sacramental union of the terrestrial and the celestial object implies the mutual presence and communion of the bread and the body,, also, that of the wine and the blood of Christ, so that the consecrated bread is the vehicle of the body, and the consecrated wine is the vehicle of the blood of Christ.”

In order to avoid all misconception, it is added with special emphasis, that only the body and blood of Christ, and not the whole Christ, body and soul, are united with the bread and wine; hence there is a difference between the presence of Christ and the participation of the body and blood of Christ.

QUEN. (IV, 200): “It is one thing that the whole Christ is present in the Holy Supper, and another that the whole Christ or the celestial object is united with the element of bread and wine, and thus also the whole is sacramentally eaten. The former we affirm, the latter we deny. For we say that the body of Christ only is united with the bread, and the blood with the wine, and sacramentally received by the mouth of the body, but that the whole Christ is received spiritually by the mouth of faith.”

For the difference in the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper between the Lutheran and the Reformed, see FORM. CONC., VII, 2-9.

GRH. (X, 184) states the difference as follows: “Our opponents contend (1) that the body of Christ is substantially present only in heaven; hence they draw an argument against the presence of His body in the Supper from the article of His ascension; (2) that Christ in His human nature is not present on earth, but that He was taken to heaven, and will remain there until the last day; (3) that presence in many places is opposed to the nature of a true body; hence they argue against our opinion from the properties of a true body; (4) that the body of Christ was as much present to Abraham and to the godly of the Old Testament as He is to us in the sacrament of the Eucharist; (5) that the eating of His body can be performed alone by faith soaring to heaven; (6) that the body of Christ is communicated and united to us by the operation of the Holy Spirit; yet it remains in heaven, where it is received until the last day; (7) that the presence is asserted not on account of the bread, but on account of man (according to which they oppose the means to the end, which, nevertheless, are subordinates); (8) that the sacramental union consists in a mere form and analogy; which they thus explain, that the bread is a sign, figure, and representation of the body, which is absent, according 571to its essence; (9) that those eating unworthily do not receive the body and blood of Christ, but only the external symbols, viz., bread and wine; (10) besides the natural eating of the bread, and the spiritual eating of the body of Christ by faith, there is no sacramental eating of the body of Christ; (11) that the body of Christ is neither locally nor illocally present; (12) that the body of Christ is neither visibly nor invisibly present; (13) that the body and blood of Christ, before His return to judge the world, is neither ordinarily nor extraordinarily present on earth, where the Supper is administered. But how or in what manner may these false hypotheses be reconciled with the true opinion of the true, real, and substantial presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper? How great must be their effrontery, to assert that the question is only concerning the mode of the presence, and not of the presence itself, when we have always protested that we will not dispute with any one about the mode, for that is unknown to human reason.”

[10] HFRFFR. (517): “The sacramental union is not (1) a transubstantiation of the bread into the body of Christ, for to a union at least two things are necessary; (2) it is not a consubstantiation or commixture of the substances, but in both the bread and wine the substance of the body and blood of Christ remains unmixed; (3) nor is it a local or durable adhesion or conjunction to the bread and wine apart from the use of the Supper; (4) nor the inclusion of some small corpuscle lying hid under the bread (impanation); (5) nor is it, finally, a personal union of the bread and body of Christ, such as exists between the Son of God and the assumed humanity.”3030   [The late Dr. Krauth has given the following tabular statement, which will show how the Lutheran doctrine has often been mistaken for consubstantiation:
   The Theories of presence may be thus classified:

   “I. SUBJECTIVE: 1. Natural — Zwingli.

   2. Supernatural — Calvin.

   II. OBJECTIVE: 1. Monistic; one substance only really present — the body and blood; Roman Catholic transubstantiation.

   2. Dualistic; the two substances really present — bread and wine, body and blood.

   a. Substantial conjunction of the two — consubstantiation, impanation, as held by John of Paris and Rupert; falsely charged on the Lutheran Church.

   b. Sacramental conjunction — mystical mediating relation of the natural (bread and wine) to the supernatural (body and blood), each unchanged in its substance, and without substantial conjunction; the Lutheran view.” Johnson’s Cyclopaedia, CONSUBSTANTIATION.]

572

[11] GRH. (X, 261): “The form of this Sacrament consists in an action, and in one which Christ and the apostles observed in its administration, and, not only by their own example, but also by a precept, commanded to be observed. The three sacramental acts belonging to the form and integrity of this Sacrament are gathered from the description of the Evangelists: (1) Christ took the bread and blessed it; (2) He gave and distributed the broken bread to the disciples; (3) the disciples received and ate the consecrated bread . . . . There are then three sacramental acts: (1) The consecration of the bread and cup; (2) the distribution of the consecrated bread and cup; (3) the sacramental eating and drinking of the distributed bread and cup.” FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 83): “But this consecration, or recitation of the words of the institution of Christ, does not alone constitute the Sacrament, if the whole action of the Supper, as ordained by Christ, be not observed, e.g., when the consecrated bread is not distributed, received, or partaken of, but is shut up, or offered as a sacrifice, or carried about in procession. For the command of Christ (do this) which embraces the whole action, must be wholly and inviolably observed. Rule: Nothing can be called a Sacrament unless administered as instituted by Christ, or according to the manner divinely appointed.”

From what has been said it follows that the practice of the Roman Catholic Church in excluding the laity from the participation of the cup, is utterly rejected, and it is maintained “that as eating is an essential part of the Sacrament, so also is drinking; he who receives it in one kind only does not partake of the whole Sacrament, but only a part.” QUEN. (IV, 226, 227). And yet QUEN. himself remarks (IV, 225): “The laity in the papacy do not on this account sustain injury to their souls, because they are deprived of the cup of the Lord; for the sin belongs to the priests, and only the suffering of injury to the people: and although the laity do not derive the benefit of the cup by partaking of the cup, because it is denied to them, yet God will make amends for this in some other way, and relieve their misery.”

QUEN. (IV, 179): “The consecration consists (a) in the separation of the external elements, the bread and wine, from a common and ordinary use; (b) in the benediction, or setting them apart for sacred use, as appointed in the Holy Supper, by solemn prayers and thanksgiving; (c) in the sacramental union of the bread and wine with the body and blood of Christ, so that the consecrated bread becomes the communion of the body, and the consecrated wine becomes the communion of the blood of Christ.” (For “by virtue of the Word the element becomes a Sacrament, without the 573accession of which it remains a mere element.” CAT. MAJ., V, 10.) But “this sacramental union itself does not take place except in the distribution; for the elements, bread and wine, do not become portative media (προσφερομενα) of the body and blood of Christ, until during the distribution they are eaten and drank.” HUTT. (Loc. Com., 726): “The Romanists, ancient as well as modern, insist upon it that there is a hidden magical power in the pronunciation of these four words, Hoc est corpus meum, by the force of which the bread is essentially changed into the body, and the wine into the blood of Christ. So there are even some among ourselves who dream that, when the words of the institution have been recited, there results a permanent sacramental union of the bread with the body and of the wine with the blood . . . Both errors result from the false premise, in which it is assumed that the sacramental union depends upon the force and efficacy of the recitation of the words of the institution. The purified Church, correcting this error, teaches that no sacramental union takes place until the external use is added, which consists in eating and drinking; so that if the words of the institution were recited a thousand times, and this use, i.e., the eating and drinking, were not added, there would still be no sacramental union of the bread with the body or of the wine with the blood of Christ. Therefore there is no reason for the anxious inquiry, Where are the consecrated wafers to be kept, if there be no use for them? or what is to be done if there be more consecrated wafers than communicants? For they are to be stored away and kept for use upon a subsequent occasion, and in the same place where the other unconsecrated wafers are kept; and this for the reasons already assigned.”

GRH. (X, 270): “But since Christ, in the institution of the Holy Supper, expressly commanded us to do in its administration what He did, it follows that the minister of the Church, in celebrating the Supper, should repeat the words of the institution, and consecrate the bread and wine in this manner, and distribute it to the communicants . . . . This consecration of the Eucharist is (1) not a magical incantation, essentially transmuting, by the power of certain words, the bread into the body and the wine into the blood of Christ; nor (2) is it only the historical repetition of the institution; . . . but it is (3) an efficacious αγιασμος (sanctification) by which, according to the command, ordination, and institution of Christ, sanctification is, as it were, carried over from the first Supper to the Supper at the present day, and the external elements destined to this sacred use, so that with these the body and blood of Christ are distributed.”

574

We do not, indeed, attribute to the recitation of the words of the institution such power as to make the body and blood of Christ present by some hidden efficacy inherent in the words, much less essentially to change the external elements; but we sincerely believe and profess that the presence of the body and blood of Christ depends entirely upon the will and promise of Christ, and upon the perpetually enduring efficacy of the original institution: nevertheless we also add, that the repetition of the primeval institution, made by the minister of the Church, is not merely historical and doctrinal, but also consecratory; by which, according to the appointment of Christ, the external symbols are truly and efficaciously set apart to sacred use, and in the very act of distribution become the communion of the body and blood of Christ.” . . . FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 77): “It is not our doing, nor our pronouncing, but the command and appointment of Christ, that cause the bread to become the body and the wine to become the blood of Christ, and this is continually taking place from the first institution of the Supper to the end of the world: and by our ministry these things are daily distributed.”

It was also a matter of dispute between the Lutherans and Romanists whether the consecrated host should be adored. GRH. says, in regard to this (X, 353): “When the matter of the adoration of the host is discussed with the Romanists, the question, properly speaking, is not (1) whether Christ, the Godman, who is really present in the administration of the Holy Supper, and distributes to us His body and blood by means of the bread and wine, is to be adored; for this we not only gladly admit, but also urge and inculcate; . . . (2) nor is the question strictly this, whether very special reverence is to be paid to this Sacrament, according to the rule of the divine Word; for we ourselves teach that the body and blood of Christ, which are presented to us in this Sacrament by means of external symbols, are to be distinguished from common food and drink; . . . and (3) there is properly also no question here as to the external reverence which is shown in the distribution and reception of the Eucharist; for we ourselves teach that profound reverence should be shown by the external deportment, and he who truly and heartily believes that Christ Himself, truly present in the administration of the Eucharist, feeds us with His body and blood, will manifest his profound faith and devotion by bowing his knee, and yielding external reverence . . . . Concerning these matters, therefore, there is no question between us and the Romanists; but the three points in controversy are particularly these: (1) The Romanists maintain that the Sacrament of 575the Eucharist, or the whole of that which was appointed by the Lord to be received, is to be adored with the worship of latria. On the other hand, since the Eucharist consists of two things, a terrestrial and a celestial, we teach that adoration is not to be addressed to the terrestrial elements of bread and wine, lest we worship the creature as well as the Creator, but unto Christ, who is God and man, and who, being truly present in the administration, distributes to us His body and blood. (2) The Romanists, when they contend for the worship, adoration, and veneration of the Sacrament, do not particularly refer to this, that Christ, who is God and man, should be adored in the administration of the Holy Supper, or in its use as divinely appointed; but they labor to establish the adoration of the bread aside from the use instituted and commanded by Christ, when, namely, the bread is carried about in processions. But we maintain that the bread, when not used as appointed by Christ, is not the body of Christ, and so artolatry (bread-worship) is committed when bread is adored in those solemn processions. (3) The Romanists are particularly solicitous about the external worship of the Eucharist, as that it be honored by being kept in a splendid repository, etc . . . . But we are particularly solicitous in the use of the Eucharist as appointed by Christ concerning the inner and spiritual worship, upon which genuine external indications or internal reverence spontaneously follow.”

QUEN. (IV, 233): “The Lord’s Supper consists in a sacramental action, viz., in the consecration, distribution, eating and drinking; and so we deny that, aside from the use of distribution, eating, and drinking, the body and blood of Christ are permanently united under the forms of bread and wine after the consecration, and we teach that the elevation, carrying about, and adoration of the consecrated wafers is not the worship of Christ (κριστολατρεια), but the worship of bread (αρτολατρεια).” (234): “That the sacrament of the Supper is not a permanent thing, but a temporary action, is proved (1) From the description which Christ gives of it. Whatever is described by Christ Himself as to its form, by means of actions, and has its complement and perfection in them, that is not a permanent thing, but an action. But the sacrament of the Eucharist is described by Christ Himself, as to its form, by actions, such as blessing, distribution, eating, drinking, and has its complement and perfection in these. Therefore, etc. (2) From the assertion of Paul, 1 Cor. 10:16. ‘The bread which we break,’ i.e., which we distribute to be eaten, ‘is the communion of the body of Christ.’ Whatever bread, therefore, is not broken or distributed, that is not the communion (κοινωνια) or participation of the body of Christ.

576

(3) From the nature of the Sacrament. No Sacrament, aside from its use as divinely appointed, is truly a Sacrament, therefore the Eucharist is not. The reason is, an institution is not observed except in its use; but where an institution is not observed, there there is no Sacrament. A Sacrament is entire through aggregation; if, therefore, one of the aggregates or connected parts be wanting, there is no Sacrament.”

[12] GRH. (X, 397): “Faith does not belong to the substance of the Eucharist; therefore, it is not on account of the faith of those coming to the Lord’s Supper that the bread is the communion of the body of Christ, nor does the bread cease to be the communion of the body of Christ on account of their unbelief.” Hence, “hypocrites and the unworthy also partake of the substance of the Sacrament, although they do not receive its benefits. 1 Cor. 11:27.” The sacramental manducation is theirs, but “not the spiritual, for this occurs through faith to eternal life;” rather, they partake of the Holy Supper unto condemnation, while believers receive a blessing.

FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 63): “The godly receive the body and blood of Christ as a certain pledge and confirmation that their sins are surely pardoned; . . . but the wicked receive the same body and the same blood of Christ also with their mouth unto judgment and condemnation.” QUEN. (IV, 250): “The antithesis of the Calvinists, who maintain that the unworthy and hypocrites receive only the half of the Sacrament, viz., the external signs, but not the whole Sacrament, i.e., they are not made partakers of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper, but receive only the mere and empty signs.”

FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 68): “But it must also be distinctly declared who are the unworthy guests in this Holy Supper; those, namely, who come to the Table of the Lord without true penitence and contrition, without true faith and a serious determination to amend their lives. These bring upon themselves condemnation, i.e., temporal and eternal punishment, by their unworthy oral manducation, and make themselves guilty of the body and blood of Christ . . . . But the worthy guests in the Holy Supper are those Christians, weak in faith, timid, desponding, who, while they revolve in their minds the greatness and multitude of their sins, are alarmed; who, in reflecting upon their great impurity, judge themselves unworthy of this most precious treasure and of the benefits of Christ; who feel and deplore the infirmity of their faith: these are the worthy guests . . . . Their worthiness, therefore, consists neither in the greatness nor in the weakness of 577their faith, but in the merit of Christ.” The question here naturally arises, whether all who live in the Church are to be admitted to the Holy Supper? GRH. (X, 381): “Nor are all Christians promiscuously to be admitted to the Lord’s Supper; but, according to the rule of Paul, only those who examine themselves, 1 Cor. 11:28; i.e., those who condemn themselves, v.31; those who distinguish the body of the Lord from other ordinary food, v.29; and who show forth the death of the Lord, v. 26. Therefore all those are excluded who are either unwilling or unable to examine themselves, as (1) those who are defiled with heresy, i.e., who pertinaciously and refractorily persevere in error concerning the foundation of the faith, neglecting all kinds of admonition; for, since by their heresy they cut themselves off from the fellowship of the true Church, they also cannot at all be admitted to the Sacraments, which are the blessings peculiar to the Church: such are, e.g., those who pertinaciously deny the true and substantial presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper, Matt. 7:6; Phil. 3:2; 1 Cor. 11:29 . . . . (2) Notorious sinners . . . . (3) The excommunicated . . . . (4) The possessed, maniacs, the demented . . . . (5) Infamous persons.”

[13] FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., VII, 32): (Luther), “I confess, concerning the Sacrament of the Altar, that the true body and blood of Christ are orally eaten and drank in the bread and wine, even if the ministers who distribute the Lord’s Supper, or those who receive it, do not believe, or otherwise abuse the Holy Supper. For the Lord’s Supper is not based upon the faith or unbelief of men, but upon the Word of God and His appointment.”

But the Lord’s Supper is always to be distributed only by the minister. QUEN. (IV, 177): “The dispenser of this Sacrament is none other than the minister of the Church, so that its administration is not to be intrusted to any private person, even in a case of necessity . . . (a) Because Christ committed the administration to the apostles. (b) Because He dispensed it, representing the person of the administrant. (c) Because He committed the administration of the Sacraments, as well as the preaching of the Word, to the apostles, Matt. 28:19. (d) Because ministers are the servants and ambassadors of Christ, 2 Cor. 5:19. (e) Because they are stewards of the mysteries of God, 1 Cor. 4:1. (f) Because the necessity of the Eucharist is not absolute, or such as that of Baptism; it is evident, therefore, that it should rather not be administered, than be improperly distributed. (Comp. 1 Cor. 15, at the end.) When, therefore, regular ministers of the Church are not at hand, the saying of Augustine is applicable: ‘Believe, and 578though hast eaten.’ It is necessary, also, that the minister be orthodox, or a minister of the true Church; for the Holy Eucharist cannot be lawfully or legitimately asked or received from any other than an orthodox minister.” But COTTA remarks, upon GERHARD’S statement (X, 21): “In a case of such necessity, where death seems immediately impending, if a pastor cannot be procured, and the dying person earnestly desire to enjoy the Sacrament, many of our theologians maintain that the Holy Eucharist can be administered even by a layman. Let it suffice that I mention, among these, JN. GALLUS and TILEMAN HESSHUSS.”

[14] AUG. CONF. (de Missa, III, 30): “Christ commands us to do this in memory of Him; wherefore the Lord’s Supper was instituted, that faith, in those who partake of the Sacrament, may call to mind the benefits which it receives through Christ, and may encourage and console the timid conscience. For, to remember and feel the benefits which are truly presented to us, is to remember Christ.” HOLL. (1138): “The commemoration and annunciation of the death of Christ are made in true faith, when we consider and believe that His body was sacrificed as a victim for us on the altar of the cross. But the application of faith, as far as it relates to the body of Christ, is called the spiritual eating of the body of Christ, without which a mere oral manducation does not produce the saving benefit of the Eucharist, because all spiritual benefits are received by faith.”

QUEN. (IV, 237): “The Eucharist is not an external, visible, and properly so-called propitiatory sacrifice, or a procurer of all kinds of benefits, in which the body and blood of Christ are truly and literally offered to God under the visible form of bread and wine; but it is only a commemoration of the propitiatory sacrifice once offered by Christ upon the altar of the cross.” HOLL. (1139): “Observe II. The word sacrifice may be used either literally or figuratively. Figuratively, it is used (1) for every act which is done that we may cleave unto God in holy fellowship, and having in view the end that we may become truly happy. (2) For the worship of the New Testament and the preaching of the Gospel, Rom. 15:16; Phil. 2:17. (3) For kindness and the works of charity towards our neighbor, Phil. 4:8; Heb. 13:16. (4) For prayers and giving of thanks to God, Heb. 13:15; Rev. 5:8 . . . . We do not deny that the mass, or the celebration of the Eucharist, may be figuratively called a sacrifice, because (1) it is a work which is done that we may cleave unto God in holy fellowship. (2) It is not the least part of the worship of the New Testament. (3) Formerly, when the Eucharist was celebrated, 579gifts were usually offered which fell to the use of the ministers of the Church and of the poor. (4) The administration of the Holy Supper was joined with prayers and giving of thanks. (4) It was instituted in memory of the sacrifice of Christ . . . offered upon the altar of the cross. Observe III. We must distinguish between a sacrifice considered materially and considered formally. If we view it materially, in the Eucharist the sacrifice is the same in number as that which was upon the cross; or, in other words, the object and the substance are just the same, that is, the victim is the same as that offered on the cross. But if we consider the sacrifice formally, or as the act of sacrificing, then, although the victim is one and the same, yet the act or the immolation, which takes place in the Eucharist, is not the same with that which took place upon the cross. For upon the cross the oblation was made through the true suffering and death of an immolated living subject, without which there could not in any way be a sacrifice, properly speaking; in the Eucharist, however, the oblation is made through prayers and through the commemoration of the death, or of the sacrifice that was offered on the cross.”

[15] GRH. (X, 364): “The design and benefits of the Holy Supper are very many in number, inestimable as regards their utility, and inconceivable in importance. For, when we receive in the Holy Supper the literal body of the Son of God Himself, crucified for us, and His own literal blood shed on the altar of the cross for our sins, it plainly follows from this that all things which Christ meritoriously procured for us, by delivering His body and shedding His blood, are applied, conferred upon, and sealed to us in the salutary use of this Sacrament . . . . But Christ embraces all and each of these benefits with wonderful brevity in the words of the institution, when He declares that His same body is offered to us to be eaten which was broken for us on the cross,  . . . and when He commands us to do this in memory of Him.”

[16] Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are thus distinguished: The former is the Sacrament of initiation, the latter the Sacrament of confirmation. GRH. (X, 2): “By Baptism we are regenerated and renewed; by the Lord’s Supper we are fed and nourished unto eternal life. In Baptism, especially that of infants, faith is kindled by the Holy Spirit; in the use of the Supper it is increased, confirmed, and sealed. By Baptism we are grafted into Christ; by the salutary use of the Lord’s Supper we receive a spiritual increase in this relation. By Baptism we are received into the divine covenant; by the use of the Eucharist we are preserved in it, or, when we fall from it by sins against conscience, we are restored to it by true penitence.”

580Id. (304): “As Baptism regenerates not only the soul, but the whole man, in soul and body; so with the body and blood of Christ not only the soul but also the body, or the whole man in body and soul, is nourished unto life spiritual, celestial, and eternal. When, therefore, the Eucharist is called the food of the soul, this is to be understood in an inclusive, not an exclusive sense. And if, indeed, the body of Christ is especially only the food of the soul, yet it does not hence follow that it is not received with the bodily mouth; because the Word of God is the food of the soul (Heb. 5:12), and yet is received with the bodily ears, Rom. 10:14. Now, just in the same way the body of Christ is received with the bodily mouth, that the nutrition of the soul may be the more efficacious through the union of the bread and the body.”

CAT. MAJ. (V, 23): “By Baptism we are at first regenerated, but nevertheless the old and vicious covering of flesh and blood adheres to man. Now, there are here many impediments and assaults by which we are so severely tried, on the part of the world and of the devil, that we often grow weary and weak, and sometimes even fall into the filth of sin. Hence this Sacrament is given to us, that by its use our faith may again restore and refresh its strength; that it may not retreat or finally fall in this contest, but become daily stronger and stronger. For the new life is so constituted that it may continually increase and gather strength as it advances.”

[17] HOLL. (1138) combines both under the general name of evangelical grace which is communicated to us through the use of the Holy Supper. “Christ’s design in offering His body to be eaten by us . . . is, that evangelical grace, or the divine grace promised and offered to us in the Gospel, may be applied and sealed to us individually. When we attentively consider this, the act of applying grace becomes very clearly known. God promises through regenerating grace to bestow faith upon all. This regenerating grace, and its effect, viz., faith, God confirms, strengthens and increases through the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Moreover, he who receives the body and blood of the Lord may be most firmly assured that the promise of the Gospel belongs to him individually . . . . Next, through justifying grace God forgives the sins of the regenerate and imputes to them the righteousness of Christ; which justifying grace and forgiveness of sins are sealed in the Holy Supper. For, when we receive in the Holy Supper the very body of Christ which was delivered up to death for us . . . then we are positively assured, as by a seal of the New Testament, that the forgiveness of sins is imparted, bestowed upon, and applied to 581us who believe in Christ. Through indwelling grace, God graciously united Himself with us, which mystical union is rendered more close and firm by the eating of the body and the drinking of the blood of Christ, John 6:57. It is, moreover, a proof of ineffable love, that Christ, not content with being spiritually embraced by us through faith, in addition comes to us in His body and blood through a special appropriation, and thus unites Himself with both our body and our soul. Through renovating grace, spiritual strength is conferred upon us, so that we bring forth the fruits of righteousness. In the Holy Supper we are more intimately united with Christ, as the vine, so that in Him we, the branches, may bring forth more abundant fruit. By preserving grace, we are shielded from sin and refreshed with consolation. (Ambrose). And, just as complete refreshment or nourishment for the body consists in food, which is the dry aliment, and drink which is the moist aliment; so, in the Eucharist Christ is offered to us as both food and drink, lest we might think that we lacked anything needful for our complete alimony or spiritual nutrition (Augustine). Through glorifying grace, blissful immortality is conferred upon us, whose signs or pledges are the body and blood of Christ, received in the Holy Supper.”

[18] HOLL. (1139): “Being united through the Holy Supper with Christ, the Head, they are also united with one another as members of the mystical body, and thus the Eucharist is the basis of love between us and our neighbor, 1 Cor. 10:17. Whence, also, it is a mark of ecclesiastical fellowship and a token of the Church with which we communicate in faith. (GRH. (X. 371): ‘We testify that we approve the doctrine which is taught in the Church in which we, together with others, eat one Eucharistic bread and drink from one common cup’).” The Dogmaticians usually distinguish between the principal designs or fruits, and the less principal or secondary. As the latter, QUEN. (IV. 184) enumerates: “(a) The remembrance and commemoration of the death of Christ and of the benefits thereby acquired, Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24, 25 (αναμνησις signifies both the remembrance of any one in thought, and the commemoration in words). (b) The separation of Christians from Pagans and Jews. (c) The more intimate communion of the members of the Church with one another in Christ.”

It follows from the conception of the Eucharist that (1) as a rule, it should be administered in the public congregation, and not in private, unless in a case of necessity. When, moreover, 582the APOL. says (XII, 6): “We do nothing contrary to the Catholic Church, though we administer only public mass or communion; for no private masses are now administered in the Greek parishes” . . . this is not stated in opposition to the private use of the Lord’s Supper, but in opposition to the solitary masses of the Romish Church, from which the congregation is entirely excluded. (2) That the frequent use of the Eucharist is not only allowable, but should be commended.


« Prev § 55. (2.) The Lord’s Supper. Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |