« PredošláPokračovať »
Alexandrian Liturgy.*—“Do not reject us sinners who are offering to Thee, this tremendous and unbloody sacrifice.” “Grant that with all fear and a pure conscience, we may offer to thee this spiritual and unbloody sacrifice on this holy altar.” Elevating the larger part of the consecrated host, he says: “ TĄ áger tous å71015— The holy and precious blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Amen. The holy, precious body, and true blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Amen. The body and blood of Emanuel, our God, this is truly. Amen. I believe, I believe, I believe and confess, till my last breath, that it is the very life-giving flesh of thy only begotten Son, our Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He took it of our holy lady, mother of God, and ever Virgin Mary.”
Some of these extracts are taken from the liturgies or form of public worship used from the beginning in the oriental patriarchal Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople, and in Churches under their respective jurisdictions. Other extracts are taken from the liturgies used by the different divisions of the Nestorian and Eutychian sects in the east, which retain the full substance of the ancient orthodox liturgies of the Churches in which these sects made their appearance, with the addition of a very few particular sentences, expressive of the Nestorian and Eutychian doctrines. But on the nature of the sacrifice of the mass—on the oblation of the ue body and blood of Christ, really present under the appearances of bread and wineon the reception of the same by the faithful in the holy communion—and on the miraculous change of bread and wine into the body and blood of our divine Saviour,these liturgies of the Nestorians and Eutychians are as clear and expressive as any of the ancient liturgies of the orthodox Churches. This language of the Nestorians and Eutychians was not borrowed from the Catholic Churches of Jerusalem, or Alexandria, or Constantinople, after the years 431 or 451, when these heretics were separated from the communion of the Church : but it was the liturgical language of the orthodox
Churches, with which Nestorius and Eutyches were in communion before their separation, and which had used the substance of the same form of public prayer and worship, from the first establishment of Christianity in them.
“It is impossible to read these oriental liturgies, these forms of public worship, embodying the doctrines of faith professed by the Churches in which they were used, and to notice the ancient and universal doctrinal uniformity which they present, in the simplicity of their language; without candidly acknowledging that the true body and blood of Christ were believed to be really present under the appearances of brcad and wine ; and were offered as the Christian sacrifice, and received as the holy sacrament of the new law, in those Churches in the east, in which Christianity was first established by the apostles."'*
We will now proceed to show that the language of the holy fathers corresponds exactly with the language of the liturgies.
St. Ignatius.t-These Gnostic heretics “abstain from the eucharist and from prayer, because they do not acknowledge the eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father by his goodness resuscitated. Rejecting, therefore, this gift of God, they die in their disputes.”—Ep. ad Smyrn. p. 36. T. ii, pp. Apost. Amstelaedami, 1724.
St. Justin. 1—“Our prayers being finished, we embrace one another with the kiss of peace. Then to him who presides over the brethren, is presented bread and wine tempered with water; having received which he gives glory to the Father of all things in the name of the Son and the Holy Ghost, and returns thanks in many prayers that he has been deemed worthy of these gifts. These offices being duly performed, the whole assembly, in acclamation, answers Amen: when the ministers whom we call deacons, distribute to each one present a
* Dr. Poynter's Christianity, p. 140.
† He was the disciple of St. John, and suffered martyrdom in the beginning of the second century.
I Á Christian philosopher, by birth a Greek, who suffered martyrdom at Rome, about the year 166, having, a few years before, addressed two apologies, in favor of the Christians, to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, and to the Roman senate.
* Called also the liturgy of St. Basil, taken from the Græco-Arabic,
VOL. II.-No. 7.
portion of the blessed bread, and the wine new method, is mixed with our bodies, and and water : some is also taken to the absent. his most pure blood is transfused into our This food we call the eucharist, of which veins. He is wholly incorporated with us. they alone are allowed to partake who be And because he loved his Church he was lieve the doctrines taught by us, and have made the bread of life, that he might give been regenerated by water for the remission himself to be eaten.”—Hymn xxxvü, de Virof sin, and who live as Christ ordained. ginitate, Bibl. Orient. Assemani. T. I, p. 97. Nor do we take these gifts as common bread “ You believe that Christ, the Son of God, and common drink ; but as Jesus Christ, our for you, was born in the flesh. Then why Saviour, made man by the word of God, do you search into what is inscrutable ? took flesh and blood for our salvation : in Doing this you prove your curiosity, not the same manner we have been taught that your faith. Believe then and with a firm the food which has been blessed by the faith receive the body and blood of our Lord. prayer of the words which he spoke, and Abraham placed earthly food before the ceby which our blood and flesh, in the change, lestial spirits (Gen. xviii), of which they are nourished, is the flesh and blood of ate. This was wonderful; but what Christ that Jesus incarnate. The apostles, in the has done for us, greatly exceeds this, and commentaries written by them, which are transcends all speech, and all conception. E called Gospels, have delivered that Jesus so To us that are in the flesh he has given to commanded, when taking bread, having eat his body and blood. Myself incapable of given thanks, he said: Do this in remem comprehending the mysteries of God, I dare brance of me: This is my body. In like not proceed; and should I attempt it, I manner, taking the cup and giving thanks, should only show my own rashness.”—De he said : This is my blood : and that he dis Nat. Dei minime scrutanda. T. iii, pp. 423-4. tributed both to them only.”—Apol. i, Hagæ St. Cyril of Jerusalem.* _In his instrucComitum, 1742, pp. 82, 83.
tions addressed to those who had been newly Origen (Third century).—“You that have baptised, he says: “ The bread and wine, been accustomed to be present at the divine which, before the invocation of the adorable mysteries, know, when you receive the body Trinity, were nothing but bread and wine, of the Lord, with what care and veneration become, after this in vocation, the body and you preserve it, lest any particle of it fall blood of Christ.”—Catech. Mystag. I n. vii
, to the ground, or be lost; and you think
• Jesus Christ in Cana of Galilee, yourselves guilty, and with reason, if it once changed water into wine by his will should so happen through your negligence.” only; and shall we think him less worthy Hom. xiii, in Exod. T. ii, p. 176.
of credit, when he changes wine into blood ? St. Hippolytus.* - Commenting on the Invited to an earthly marriage, he wrought words of Proverbs, ix-Wisdom hath built this miracle; and shall we hesitate to conherself a house, he says:
“ He (Christ) pre
fess, that he has given to his children his pared his table, that is, the promised know body to eat, and his blood to drink? Whereledge of the Holy Trinity, and moreover fore, with all confidence, let us take the his venerable and sacred body and blood, body and blood of Christ. For in the type which are every day offered up in remem or figure of bread, his body is given to thee, brance of that divine and mysterious supper. and in the type or figure of wine, his blood Come, eat my bread, and drink the wine which is given; that so being made partakers of I have mingled for you, that is, his divine body the body and blood of Christ, you may and his venerable blood, which he gave us to come one body and one blood with him. ent and drink for the remission of sins.”—In Thus, the body and blood of Christ being Prov. c. ix, p.
282. St. Ephrem of Edessa.t-" His body, by a St. Jerom, that in many churches they were read
after the canonical Scriptures.
* of his twenty-three Catechetical Discourses, * He suffered martyrdom in 230.
eighteen were addressed to the uninitialed, or cate+ He flourished in the middle of the fourth cen chumens, and five to the initiated, or newly baptised. tury. His writings were in such estimation, says He was patriarch of Jerusalem, and died in 386.
became a serpent.
* Bishop of Milan for twenty years. He died
distributed in our members, we become the word of God, is the blood of Christ. We christofori, that is, we carry Christ with us; receive with a faithful heart and mouth the and thus, as St. Peter says, 'we are made mediator of God and man, the Man, Christ partakers of the divine nature.'”—Ibid. n. Jesus, who has given us his body to eat, and ii, iii, p. 320.
his blood to drink; although it may appear St. Ambrose.*_“ But you may say, I see more horrible to eat the flesh of a man, than somewhat else; how do you assert, that I to destroy it, and to drink human blood, than shall receive the body of Christ? This re to spill it.”—Contra Adv. Legis et Proph. L. mains to be proved. How many examples ii, c. ix, T. viii, p. 599. Speaking of his may we not make use of to show that we mother's death, he says: “She desired that have not here what nature formed, but remembrance of her should be made at the what the divine blessing has consecrated, altar : a service which, on no day, she had and that the virtue of this blessing is omitted; knowing that thence was dispensed more powerful than that of nature; because the holy victim, by which the hand writing by it nature itself is changed ? Moses held against us had been blotted out.”—L. ix, the rod : he cast it on the ground, and it Confess. c. 13, T. I, p. 170.
Again he took it by the These passages which we have adduced, tail, and again it became a rod. See you are only a few among the innumerable tesnot that by the prophetic power, the na timonies of the primitive fathers, in favor ture of the rod and the serpent was twice of the Catholic doctrine of the eucharist. changed?” He proceeds to instance many But they will suffice to show the absurdity other miraculous changes, as recorded in of the assertion that this doctrine was introScripture, and then adds: “If now the duced only in the ninth or tenth century. blessing of men was powerful enough to The fact is and it will be obvious to every change nature, what must we not say of unprejudiced mind, that the language of the the divine consecration, when the very council of Trent itself, is not more distinctly words of our Lord operate ? .... There explicit on the subject of the eucharist, than fore, the word of Christ which could draw the language of the ancient ecclesiastical out of nothing what was not, shall it not be writers. “It is incontestible," as Dr. Milable to change the things that are, into that ner observes, “ and has been carried to the which they were not ? . . . . . Before the highest degree of moral evidence, that all benediction of the celestial words, the bread the Christians of all the nations of the world, (species) is named ; after the consecration Greeks as well as Latins, Africans as well the body of Christ is signified. He himself as Europeans, except Protestants and a calls it his blood. Before consecration it handful of Vaudois peasants, have in all has another name; afterwards it is denomi ages believed, and still believe in the real nated blood. And you answer Amen, that presence and transubstantiation."'* No his
torical fact rests upon stronger grounds than St. Augustin.t_“You ought to under this; the conclusion therefore will be that stand what you have received, what you those individuals who call themselves minare about to receive, and what you ought isters of the Gospel, while they do not beevery day to receive. The bread that you lieve in, or offer up the eucharistic sacrifice behold on the altar, sanctified by the word as understood by the Catholic Church, are of God, is the body of Christ. That cup, not ministers of Christ, or priests of the new that which the cup contains—sanctified by law, since they do not possess in any way
that worship which constitutes the glory and
consolation of the true Christian Church. The illustrious bishop of Hippo, in Africa. He
* See Faith of Catholics, and Perpetuite de la Foi.
is, it is true."
died in 430.
THE BOOK OF RATRAMN.
The book of Ratramn, the priest and monk
of Corbey, on the Body and Blood of the Lord; to which is added an Appendix, with a Preface, by the Right Rev. W. R. Whittingham, D.D. Bishop of Maryland. Baltimore: Robinson, 1843.
T has been frequently remarked that per
seize with the utmost eagerness upon any support, how frail soever, that is to be found within their reach. The same now appears to be the case with the pastors of certain Protestant societies. Sensible of their daily losses, and of the corresponding spiritual conquests of the Catholic Church, they leave nothing untried to retard her progress ; and, being under the impossibility of entirely concealing the light from the eyes of their followers, they endeavor at least to obscure its brilliancy, and to prevent its sacred beams from producing all those effects which might cause their ranks to be entirely deserted.
These reflections have been naturally suggested by the publication in England, and the late republication in America, of a little treatise on the eucharist, written by Ratramn, a monk of the ninth century. The avowed purpose of the publishers is to make people believe that neither Ratramn, nor the Church of his time, admitted the dogma of transubstantiation, and consequently that this dogma is a mere novelty altogether unknown before the ninth century, and introduced into the Romish Church at a subsequent period. That such an attempt is utterly impotent, and that not even the slightest inference unfavorable to the Catholic religion, can be drawn from Ratramn's work, will soon be made manifest by a variety of arguments to which we confidently call the attention of an enlightened public. But we deem it expedient to offer a few previous remarks, as well on the preface of Bishop Whittingham, as on that of the English translator, and on his ver
sion of Ratramn. This we shall do, freely indeed, as the subject requires, yet without imitating the abusive language of our opponents, which so affectedly appears in the words Romanist, Romish Church, Romish errors, &c., being fully satisfied that nicknames, insulting epithets, and groundless charges, ought to be left entirely at the discretion of those who have no better argument and reason to support their cause.
In the first place the authors of both prefaces uselessly spend much time in proving what we readily acknowledge; that Catholic theologians are divided as to the meaning of Ratramn's work; some maintaining and others denying his having taught the doctrine of transubstantiation. As this is a matter of fact and as the individual opinion of Ratramn, is unimportant in itself, compared with the mass of evidence which Catholics derive from other sources; it is by no means astonishing that, finding in the same work passages which clearly express, and others which seem to exclude Transubstantiation, they should be divided among themselves concerning the real sentiment of its author; this proves only that they are neither anxious to consider him as an advocate of their doctrine, nor afraid to acknowledge him as an adversary, and that they attach very little importance to his opinion, whatever it may have been. But what must appear truly surprising, is, that Protestants, who lay so much stress upon it, and whose interest it is to be perfectly unanimous about the reality of their claim, are themselves divided with regard 10 Ratramn's sentiments; for, whilst his Anglican publishers proclaim him decidedly opposed to the Catholic doctrine, the centuriators of Magdeburg acknowledge on the contrary that he not only admits the real presence, but is even favorable to transubstantiation ; because, say they, he roakes use of the words conversion and change ; “ uitur enim vocabulis commutationis et conversionis." (Centur. ix.)
2. Bishop Whittingham confidently asserts, in the beginning of his preface, that the book of Ratramn is “concise, explicit, intelligible, free from scholastic subtleties and mystic refinernents,” and that “it presents in brief compass a clear and consistent view of the doctrine of the real presence of our Lord in his sacrament of the holy eucharist.” Now the character of the book is, in general, just the reverse of intelligibility and clearness. Otherwise, why should there be such a diversity of opinion among Protestants themselves concerning its true meaning ? Why should the author have entertained and expressed a fear of being misunderstood, as the concluding words of his treatise show that he did. “Yet," says he, “let it not be thought, from my saying this, that in the mystery of the sacrament, the body and blood of the Lord are not received by the faithful.” In fine, why, if the work is explicit, intelligible, clear, and consistent, did Bishop Whittingham take the useless trouble of guarding his readers against what he calls the “ less carefully worded expressions of Ratramn,” both in affirmation of the real presence, and in denial of the local presence, words which are not very clear themselves ?
3. Still more strange is another assertion of the bishop, which occurs in the first page of his preface. “It is,” says he,“ mainly as evidence as well to the point what was not, as what was the doctrine then held on the subject of which it treats, that this little book is valuable. Not only does it aid in fixing the precise date of the heretical notion of transubstantiation, but it establishes conclusively the fact that it was no part of the view held to be orthodox, not only when and where the author wrote, but for ages afterward.” How, we ask, does Ratramn's treatise establish such a fact? how does it show that the dogma of transubstantiation was not admitted then, nor for ages afterward? How can this be the case, if Ratramn himself admits it as a part of the Christian doctrine, if his book was never understood in any other sense before the rise of Protestantism, if there are a thousand other evidences to establish conclusively the fact that the Catholic Church, as well
in the ninth century as before and after, always believed and taught the real presence and transubstantiation ? These points will be soon and easily proved against the bishop, the last especially, which he knows to be the most important of all. Again, if Ratrama's book does not speak of transubstantiation, as the bishop asserts (Preface, p. vi), how does it aid in fixing the precise date of the notion of that dogma? How can the negative argument of silence lead any one to such a positive and precise conclusion ? These are questions which we leave to the ingenuity of the bishop to solve. As to the charge of heresy which he ventures to urge against the belief of transubstantiation, he will do well to prepare himself for his own vindication from this charge, when we take the liberty of presenting him our arguments in favor of the Catholic doctrine.
4. Besides the illogical inferences of the bishop's reasoning, the very simple facts upon which he builds his assertions, are supposititious and groundless. Not only does he take it for granted, without sufficient reason, that Ratramn did not admit transubstantiation,-not only does he suppose against all evidence, that Ratramn, if such was his meaning, received the approbation of his cotemporaries, and that the bishops of his country esteemed and honored him on account of the work which he had written on the eucharist;—there is not a shadow of proof to show that the little treatise possessed any repute among his cotemporaries. Had Bishop Whittingham carefully consulted the learned Benedictine monks, whose authority in these matters he so much and so justly values, he would have seen in the learned Benedictine monk D. Ceillier (Hist. des auteurs eccles. vol. xix, p. 137), that the first known quotation of Ratramn's work is from an anonymous writer, whom critics believe to have been Gerbert, archbishop of Rheims at the close of the tenth century, more than one hundred and twenty years after Ratramn had written. “ It does not appear,” says the equally celebrated author of Perpétuilé de la Foi,“ that this treatise was published during the reign of Charles the Bald, at whose request it had been composed,