TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. 7
this matter home to every man's own soul, not only on the general ground of submission to all our Lord's ordinances, but because the bread and wine in the Eucharist was not accounted the true Sacrament of Christ, without Christ's warrant given to the person administering : which warrant, the Fathers well knew, could only be had through His Apostles and their successors.
Hear again the same St. Ignatius. " Let that Lord's Supper be counted a Lord's Supper indeed, which is ministered by the Bishop, or by one having his commission." Observe, Ignatius, the friend of the Apostles, reckons the Sacrament no Sacrament, if the consecrating minister want the Bishop's commission. Could St. Ignatius possibly mistake the mind of the Apostles on that point, he who had conversed familiarly with them at the time when the Church was used to *' continue daily in breaking of bread?"
And with him agreed the whole Church of God for the first fifteen hundred years: knowing that when our Lord said, *' Do this in remembrance of Me," His Apostles only were present ; therefore none but they and their deputies could be said to have His warrant for blessing that bread and cup. And this is a matter pertaining to each man's salvation. For that bread and cup are the appointed mean, whereby the faithful are to partake of Christ's Body and Blood offered for their sins.
Can any devout man, considering this, reckon it a matter of small moment, whether the minister with whom he communicates be a minister by apostolical succession or no 1 In the judgment of the Church it makes no less difference than this : Whether the bread and cup which he partakes of shall be to him Christ's Body and Blood or no. I repeat it : in the judgment of the Church, the Eucharist administered without apostolical commission, may to pious minds be a very edifying ceremony, but it is not that blessed thing which our Saviour graciously meant it to be : it is not *' verily and in deed taking and receiving" the Body and Blood of Him, our Incarnate Lord.
Even as St. Paul seems to intimate, when he so pointedly asks the Corinthians, " The cup of blessing rvhich we bless, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ ? The bread rvhich we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ ?" Why such a stress on the words, " which we bless" " which we break ;"