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upon his guard against the new doctrines, which were found to drive men to such desperate extremities. For now no man of ordinary discernment, who had any remains of godliness left in him, could make it matter of dispute, whether he ought to follow Eunomius or Christ. There was a further use made of both Sacraments, by way
of argument, in the Arian controversy. For when the Arians pleaded, that the words I and my Father are one, meant no more than an unity of will or consent, inasmuch as all the faithful were said to be one with Christ and with each other, on account of such unity of consent ; the argument was retorted upon them in this manner : that as Christ had made himself really one with us, by taking our flesh and blood upon him in the incarnation; so again he had reciprocally made us really one with himself by the two Sacraments. For in Baptism we put on Christ, and in the Eucharist we are made partakers of his flesh and blood : and therefore the union of Christ's disciples with the Head, and with each other, (though far short of the essential union between Father and Son,) was more than a bare unity of will or consent ; being a real, and vital, and substantial union, though withal mystical and spiritual. Thus Hilary of Poictiers (an eminent Father of that time) retorted the argument of the adversaries ; throwing off their refined subtilties, by one plain and affecting consideration, drawn from the known doctrine of the Christian Sacramentar.
IX. About the year 360 rose up the sect of Macedonians, otherwise called Pneumatomachi, impugners of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost. They were a kind of Semi-Arians, admitting the Divinity of the second Person, but rejecting the Divinity of the third, and in broader terms than the Arians before them had done. However, the Sacrament of Baptism stood full in their way, being a lasting monument of the true Divinity of the third Person as well as of the second : and by that chiefly were the generality of Christians confirmed in the ancient faith, and preserved from falling into the snares of seducers.
X. About the year 370, or a little sooner, the sect of Apollinarians began to spread new doctrines, and to make some noise in the world. Among sundry other wrong tenets, they had this
r Hilarius de Trinit. lib. viii. p. s See St. Basil on this argument, 951, &c. Conf. Cyrill. Alexandr. de De Spiritu Sancto, cap. 10, 12, 27, Trin. Dial. i. p. 407.
29. VOL. V.
conceit, that the manhood of our Saviour Christ was converted into or absorbed in his Godhead. For they imagined, that by thus resolving two distinct natures into one, they should the more easily account for the one Person of Christ; not considering that the whole economy of man's redemption was founded in the plain Scripture doctrine of a Saviour both God and man.
In opposition to those dangerous tenets, the learned and eloquent Chrysostom (A. D. 405. circ.) made use of an argument drawn from the Sacrament of the Eucharist, to this effect; that the representative body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist (sanctified by Divine grace, but not converted into Divine substance) plainly implied, that the natural body of Christ, though joined with the Godhead, was not converted into Godhead: for like as the consecrated bread, though called Christ's body on account of its sanctification, did not cease to be bread; so the human nature of Christ, though dignified with the Divine, did not cease to be the same human nature, which it always wast. We may call this either an argument or an illustration; for indeed it is both under different views. Considered as a similitude, it is an illustration of a case : but at the same time is an argument to shew, that the Apollinarians were widely mistaken in imagining that a change of qualities, circumstances, or names, inferred a change of nature and substance. Bread was still bread, though for good reasons dignified with the name of the Lord's body : and the man Christ was still man, though for good reasons (that is, on account of a personal union) dignified with the title of God. Thus the Sacrament of the Eucharist, being a memorial of the incarnation, and a kind of emblem of itu, was made use of to explain it, and to confirm the faithful in the ancient belief of that important article. But I proceed.
+ Sicut enim, antequam sanctifice- and our debates with the Romanists tur panis, panem nominamus, Divina upon it, the reader may consult, if he autem sanctificante gratia, mediante pleases, besides Harduin, Frid. Spansacerdote, liberatus est quidem appel- heim. Opp. tom.i. p. 844. Le Moyne, latione panis, dignus autem habitus Varia Sacra, tom. I. p. 530. Wake's est Dominici corporis appellatione, Defence_ag. M. de Meaux, printed etiamsi natura panis in ipso perman- 1686. Fabricii Bibl. Græc. tom. i. sit; et non duo corpora, sed unum p. 433. Le Quien, Dissert. Damascen. corpus Filii prædicatur : sic et hic p. 48. et in Notis, p. 270. Zornii Divina évidpvoaons, id est, inundante Opusc. Sacr. tom. I. p. 727. corpori natura, unum Filium, unam u Vid. Justin. Mart. Dial. p. 290. Personam, utraque hæc fecerunt; ag- Apol. i. p. 96. edit. Thirlby. noscendum tamen inconfusam et indi- N. B. The Eucharist was anciently visibilem rationem, non in una solum considered as a kind of emblem of the natura, sed in duabus perfectis. Chry- incarnation, but in a loose general sost. Epist. ad Cæsar. Monach. p. 7, way: for like as there is an heavenly 8. edit. Harduin.
part and an earthly part here, so it is As to what concerns this Epistle, also there; and like as Divine grace together with the elements make the a faint, imperfect emblem of the other, Eucharist, so the Divine Logos with * A full and distinct account of the manhood make God incarnate. this whole matter may be seen either But then the analogy or resemblance in Vossius, Hist. Pelagian. lib. ii. par. ought not to be strained beyond the 1. Thess. v. Opp. tom. vi. p. 603, intention of it: for there is this ob- &c. or in Dr. Wall's Hist. of Infant servable difference in the two cases; Baptism, part i. ch. 19. that in one case there is barely a con- y Vid. Cyrill. Alex. Epist. ad Nesjunction or concomitance of the two tor. p. 1290. Anathem. xi. p. 1294. natures, and that to the worthy re- cum Cyrill. Explan. apud Harduin. ceivers only: in the other, there is an Concil. Conf. Albertin. de Eucharist. absolute, permanent, and personal p. 754. union. So then the Eucharist is but
XI. About the year 410, Pelagius opened the prejudices which he had for some time privately entertained against the Church's Doctrine of original sin : but the Sacrament of Baptism looked him full in the face, and proved one of the most considerable obstacles to his progress. The prevailing practice had all along been to baptize infants : and the Church had understood it to be baptizing them for remission of sin. The inference was clear and certain, and level to the capacity of every common Christian. Wherefore this single argument had weight sufficient to bear down all the abstracted subtilties and laboured refinements of Pelagius and his associates, and proved one of the strongest securities to the Christian faith so far, during that momentous controversy
XII. About the year 430 appeared the Nestorian heresy : which, dividing the manhood of our Lord from the Godhead, made in effect tro Persons, or two Christs. Here the Sacrament of the Eucharist was again called in, to compose the difference, and to settle the point in question. For since the virtue and efficacy of the representative body was principally founded in the supposed personal union of the real body with the Divine nature of our Lord, it would be frustrating or evacuating all the efficacy of the Eucharist, to divide the manhood, in such a sense, from the Godheady. The argument was just and weighty, and could not fail of its due effect among as many as
tender regard for so divine and comfortable a Sacrament.
XIII. Within twenty years after, came up the Eutychian heresy; which, in the contrary extreme, so blended the Godhead and manhood together, as to make but one nature of both, after the example of the Apollinarians, whom I before mentioned. The Sacrament of the Eucharist was of eminent service in this cause also: for if the bread and wine in that Sacrament are what they have been called, (and as constantly believed to be,) symbols and figures of Christ's body and blood, then it is certain that our Lord really put on flesh and blood, and that his human nature was and is distinct from his Divine. To say,
that “ the “ Word was made flesh,” or that the flesh was converted into the Word, in such a sense as to leave no distinct humanity, was as much as to say, that the Sacraments now make us not“members “ of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones 2 ;” and that the Eucharist in particular is an insignificant show, or worse, either not representing the truth of things, or representing a falsehood. Such was the argument made use of in the Eutychian controversya : a plainer or stronger there could not be; nor any wherein the generality of Christians could think themselves more deeply concerned.
XIV. Long after this, in the eighth century, endeavours were employed by many to bring in the worship, or at least the use, of images into churches. In this case also, the Sacrament of the Eucharist was seasonably pleaded, for the giving some check to the growing corruption. The good Fathers of Constantinople, in the year 754, meeting in council to the number of 338, argued against images to this effect: that as our Lord had appointed no visible image of himself, his incarnation, or passion, but the eucharistical one, and probably intended that for a most effectual bar, to preclude all appearances of idolatry; it would be high presumption in men, without warrant, without occasion, and against the very design of our Lord in that Sacrament, to introduce any other kind of images of their own devising b. The opposite party, some time after, (A. D. 787.) in the second Council of Nice, eluded this plain reasoning, by pretending, falsely, that the sacred symbols are not the image of Christ's body and blood, but the very body and bloode: and thus they laid the seeds of that error, which grew up at length by degrees into the monstrous doctrine of transubstantiation. For the true notion of the Eucharist lying cross to their darling schemes, they chose rather to deprave the Sacrament itself, than to stand corrected by it. However, all this tends to confirm the main point, which I have been insisting upon, that the Sacraments, among other very valuable uses, have for many ages upwards been the standing barriers against corruptions : though there are no fences so strong, nor any ramparts so high, but daring and desultorious wits may either break through them or leap over them.
z Ephes. V. 30.
signs and figures : but they should not a. The reader may see the ancient have denied their being images at all. testimonies collected and commented And they might justly have said, that upon in Albertinus, p. 802, 835, 836, the sacred symbols are, in construction 867, 868, 874, 886.
and beneficial effect, to worthy re• Vid. Acta Concil. Nicæn. secundi, ceivers, the very body and blood: but tom. iii. vers. finem.
they ought not to have asserted what c N. B. They might justly have they did, in that absolute manner, or said, that the sacred symbols are more in such crude terms, left without the than a mere image, more than mere proper qualifying explanations.
XV. I shall add but one example more; and it shall be of Faustus Socinus, of the sixteenth century: a person of pregnant wit and teeming invention; of moderate learning, but a very large share of sufficiency. His great ambition was, to strike out a new system of religion from his own conceits; though he happened only to revive (and perhaps very ignorantly) the ancient Sabellianism, Photinianism, and Pelagianism, with other exploded heresies. He began with subverting (as far as in him lay) the true and ancient doctrine of the Trinity, rejecting the Deity of the second Person, and even the being of the third. After a thousand subtilties brought to elude plain Scripture, and after infinite pains taken in so unnatural a war against Heaven, he was yet sensible, that he should prevail nothing, unless, together with the doctrine of the Trinity, he could discard the two Sacraments also, or render them contemptible. Baptism was a standing monument of the personality and equal Divinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost : and the other Sacrament was an abiding memorial of the merits (though no creature can merit) of our Lord's obedience and sufferings : and both together were lasting attestations, all the way down from the very infancy of the Church, of the secret workings, the heavenly graces and influences of the Holy Spirit upon the faithful receivers. Therefore to let the Sacraments stand, as aforetime, was leaving the ancient faith to grow up again in the Christian world, much faster than Socinus, with all his subtile explications of Scripture texts, could bear it down. Being well aware how this matter was, he fell next upon the Sacraments ; discarding one of them, in a manner, under pretence that it was needless ; and castrating the other, with respect to what was most valuable in it, to render it despicable