Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

2. The second article, relating to the sacrifice of the cross, has been less taken notice of : but it is certain, that Bellarmine's definition is no more friendly to that, than to the other.

If our Lord's soul was any part of his offering, (as Scripture seems to intimates, and as the Fathers plainly teach', and the reason of the thing persuades,) or if his life was an offering, which Scripture plainly, and more than once testifiesu; then res aliqua sensibilis, some sensible thing is not the true notion of proper sacrifice, neither is it essential to the definition of it; unless the life which our Lord gave upon the cross was no proper sacrifice. Perhaps, in strictness of notion, his “ obedience unto “ death,” his amazing act of philanthropy, (so highly extolled in the New Testament,) was properly the acceptable sacrifice. So Aquinas states that matter, as I before noted: and Bellarmine was aware of it, in another chapter, wherein he undertakes to prove, that our Lord's death was a proper sacrifice w. There he was obliged to say, though he says it coldly, that acts of charity are quoddam sacrificium, a kind of sacrifice. But the question was about proper sacrifice, and about our Lord's philanthropy : was that only quoddam sacrificium, or was it not proper ? Here the Cardinal was nonplused, and had no way to extricate himself, but by admitting (faintly however and tacitly, as conscious of self-contradiction) that spiritual sacrifice may be proper sacrifice, and is not always metaphorical : otherwise, the very brightest part of our Lord's own sacrifice, the very flower and perfection of it, his most stupendous work of philanthropy, must have been thrown off, under the low and disparaging names of metaphorical, improper, nominal sacrifice.

Having seen how the ablest champion of the Romish cause failed in his attempts against spiritual sacrifices, failed in not proving his point, failed also in over proving, we may now with the greater assurance maintain, that the old definitions, which took in spiritual sacrifice, were true and just, and that the new ones, arbitrarily introduced, in the decline of the sixteenth century, are false and wrong ; such as one would expect from

s Isa. liii. 10, II, 12. Psalm xvi. &c. p. 83, &c. 10. Luke xxiii. 46.

u Matt. xx. 28. Mark x. 45. John t Clem. Roman. cap. xlix. Irenæus, X. II, 15, 17. xv. 13. i John ii. 16. p. 292. ed. Bened. Hieronym. tom. ii. v Phil. ii. 8. Hebr. v. 8. part. 2. p. 167, 173. ed. Bened. Ful

w Bellarm. de Missa, lib. i. cap. 3. gentius ad Thrasimund. lib. iii. Com- p. 718. pare Bishop Bilson, Full Redemption,

[ocr errors]

men zealous for a party cause, and disposed to support manifest errors and absurdities, at any rate whatsoever.

After pointing out the rise of the new definitions, I am next to observe what their progress was, and what the result or issue of them. It must, I am afraid, be owned, that our Romish adversaries were but too successful in spreading mists and darkness all over the subject, in opening a new and wide field of dispute, thereby drawing the Protestants, more or less, out of their safe intrenchments; dividing them also, if not as to their main sentiments, yet at least as to their modes of expression and their methods of defence.

How this affair had been fixed amongst us, but a few years before, may be collected from Archbishop Sandys's judicious definition of sacrifice *, published in 1585, and contrived to take in sacrifices both of the material and spiritual kind. Dr. Bilson also (afterwards Bishop) published his book of Christian Subjection, the same year; wherein he took occasion to assert, that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, yea, and a true sacrifice; but under. standing it to be of the spiritual kindy. This kind of language (the uniform language of antiquity, and of the whole reformation 2 for sixty or seventy years,) began to vary in some measure, from Bellarmine's time, and more and more so, both here and abroad. Some indeed stood by the old definitions and ancient language concerning the Eucharist : more went off from it; and so Pro

not

* “ Sacrificing is a voluntary action sacrifices, sacraments. As whereby we worship God, offering namely, to offer him thanks and “ him somewhat, in token that we praises, faith and obedience, yea

acknowledge him to be the Lord, our bodies and souls, to be living, “ and ourselves his servants.” San- " holy, and acceptable sacrifices unto dys, Serm. xxi. p. 185.

“ him, which is our reasonable sery “ Malachi speaketh of the true “ vice.” Bilson, p. 699. “ sacrifice, which, from the beginning, z Beza's account in 1577) may “ and so to the end, was and shall be serve for a specimen.

more acceptable to God, than the Cæna Domini sacrificii rationem “ bloody and external sacrifices of the habet, idque triplici respectu. 1. Qua“ Jews.Bilson, p. 696.

tenus in ea aliquid Deo offerimus, “ Neither they nor I ever denied solennem videlicet gratiarum actionem, “ the Eucharist to be a sacrifice. The ex illo Christi præcepto. I Cor. xi.

very name enforceth it to be the 26. “ sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving ; 2. Deinde, quod in ea conferrentur “ which is the true and lively sacrifice eleemosyna,

instituto fortassis of the New Testament. The Lord's Apostoli, i Cor. xvi. 2. Quæ eleemo“ table, in respect of his graces and synæ vocantur poopopai, ex illo “ mercies there proposed to us, is an

Christi sermone.

Matt. xxv. 40. heavenly banquet, which we must 3. Quod mortis Domini sacrificium, eat, and not sacrifice: but the duties ob oculos quodammodo in illis myste“ which he requireth at our hands, riis positum, veluti renovetur. Beza, “ when we approach his table, are Quæst, et Respons. p. 105.

ex

testants became divided, in sounds at least, while they differed not much in sense. Many finding that they were sufficiently able to maintain their ground against the Romanists, even upon the foot of the Romish definitions, never troubled themselves further to examine how just they were : it was enough, they thought, that the Romanists could not prove the Eucharist a true and proper Sacrifice, in their own way of defining ; and the rest seemed to be only contending about words and names. Nevertheless the more thoughtful and considerate men saw what advantage the adversaries might make by aspersing the Protestants as having no sacrifice, properly so called, nor pretending to any : besides that the dignity of a venerable Sacrament would probably suffer much by it; and the ancient Fathers, who were very wise men, had never consented (though as much provoked to it by the Pagan objectors) to lessen the dignity of their true and real sacrifices by the low and diminutive names of improper or metaphorical. They always stood to it, that they had sacrifices, yea and true sacrifices, (of the spiritual a kind,) the noblest and divinest that could be offered; while all other pretended sacrifices, all material sacrifices b, were mean, poor, contemptible things, in comparison. Such, I humbly conceive, ought to have been our constant, standing reply to the Romanists, with respect to this article: for we have certainly as just a plea for it in our case, as the ancient Fathers had in theirs. However, as I before hinted, Protestant Divines varied in their language on this head, some abiding by the old definitions, upon good consideration, others too unwarily departing from them. So now we are to consider them as divided into two sorts : and in process of time, as shall be related, sprang up a third sort, growing, as it were, out of the other two. I shall say something of each in their order and place, for the further clearing of the subject.

* See the testimonies in my Review, rial sacrifice may be seen in Justin vol. iv.ch. 12. To which abundance Martyr, Apol. p. 14: Tertullian, p. more may be added. And note, that 188. Rigalt. Origen. in Psalm. p. 563, though the epithet spiritual, joined, 722. ed. Bened. Lactantius, Epit, cap. suppose, with meat, or drink, or the lviii. p. 169. Eusebius, Præp. Evang. like, may denote some material thing lib. iv. cap. 10. p. 148, 149. Eusebius, bearing a mystical signification, yet it Demonstr. Evang. p. 39, 222, 223. has not been shewn, neither can it be Basil. tom. ii. p. 402, 403. ed. Bened. shewn, that the phrase spiritual sacri- Chrysostom, tom.i.p.664. ed. Bened. fice anciently denoted a material sub- Cyrill. Alex. contr. Jul. lib. x. p. 345. stance offered as a sacrifice. A sacred Procopius in Isa. p. 22, 493. regard was had to St. Peter's use of N. B. It is not possible to reconcile that phrase, to denote evangelical ser- those testimonies to the material vices : besides that the Fathers con- scheme : but it is very easy to make stantly explained what they meant by the Fathers consistent throughout, spiritual sacrifices, and so specified with themselves, and with each other, the particulars, as to leave no room on the spiritual foot, as making the for scruple or evasion, among persons work, or service, the sacrifice. The of any reasonable discernment. So single question then is, whether the that the putting a new construction Fathers ought to be so interpreted as upon the phrase, in order to make to make them consistent upon the some show of agreement with antiquity, whole; or whether some detached is a transparent fallacy. It is keeping passages, capable of a consistent meantheir terms, buteluding their meaning. ing, ought to be understood in a sense It is teaching novel doctrine under repugnant to the uniform tenor of ancient phrases.

their writings. The passive sense is b Express testimonies against mate- the true key to those passages.

1. Among those that adhered to the old language, and still continued to call the Eucharist a true or a proper sacrifice, but of the spiritual kind, I may first mention Amandus Polanus °, a learned Calvinist, who died in 1610. Our very judicious Dean Field, (who finished his book of the Church in 1610, and died in 1616.) he also adhered to the old language, disregarding the new definitions. He asserted the Eucharist to be, with regard to the sacrifices of our selves, our praises, &c. a true but spiritual sacrificed.

Scharpius, a learned Calvinist, who published his Cursus Theologicus in 1617, scrupled not to reckon the Eucharist among the sacrifices strictly and properly so called, but still of the eucharistical and spiritual kind. He had seen Bellarmine's affected subtilties on that head, despised them, and in part confuted theme.

Bishop Andrews appears to have been a Divine of the same ancient stamp, in this article. In the year 1592, he discovered some uneasiness, that many would not allow the Eucharist to be a sacrifice at all, but a mere sacrament'. Afterwards, in 1610, he asserted the Lord's Supper to be a sacrifice, of the eucharistical kinds. In 1612, he went so far as to say, that the Apostle (1 Cor. x.) matcheth the Eucharist with the sacrifice of the Jews, and that, by the “ rule of comparisons, they must be ejusdem generish.” By which he did not mean, as some have widely mistaken him, that both must be the same kind of sacrifice, but that both must be of the sacrificial kind, agreeing in the same common genus of sacrifice: for he said it in opposition to those who pretended that the Eucharist was an ordinance merely of the sacramental kind, and not at all of the sacrificiali

c Cæna Domini est sacrificium, tum Cathol. cap. xvii. p. 275. Conf. p. eucharisticum, tum propitiatorium : 855. eucharisticum quidem proprium, qua- • Field, of the Church, p. 210, 220. tenus in ejus usu gratias Deo agimus e Scharpius, Curs. Theolog. p. quod nos ex servitute, &c. pro- 1522, 1525, 1539. edit. 2. Genevæ. pitiatorium vero aliquo modo, quate- f Bp. Andrews's Sermons, part ii. nus unici illius sacrificii vere propitia. p. 35: torii memoriam in eo serio frequentare Andrews ad Bellarmin. Apolog. jubemur. Amand. Polan. Symphon. Respons. p. 184.

Dr. Buckeridge wrote in 1614. His notion of the eucharistic sacrifice seems to resolve into a real and proper sacrifice of Christ's mystical body, the Church, and a metonymical, improper offering of Christ himself; offering him in some sort, or in the way of representation, like as is done in Baptismk. He does not indeed use the word proper, following the style of the ancients before ever that word came in: but he apparently means it, where he speaks of the sacrifice of Christ's mystical body, that is, of self-sacrifice.

Archbishop Laud speaks of three sacrifices : 1. Christ's own sacrifice, commemorated before God, by the priest alone, in his breaking the bread, and pouring out the wine. 2. The sacrifice made by priest and people jointly, the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. 3. Self-sacrifice by every communicant?. I will not defend all those distinctions. I think all the three sacrifices are properly the sacrifices of the Church, or of all the worthy communicants, recommended or offered up by their priests in

h Bp. Andrews's Sermons, p. 453. qui in cruce pro nobis immolatus est, Compare his Posthumous Answer to per viam representationis et commemoCard. Perron, p. 6, 7.

rationis a nobis etiam quodammodo i Besides the argument here drawn offerri dicitur, lis non magna est : in from the consideration of what princi- Baptismo enim offertur sacrificium ples he was then opposing, (which is Christi, uti Augustinus, &c. Bucka good rule of construction, it may eridge de Potest. Papæ in præfat. further be considered that the approved

1 In the Eucharist we offer up to Divines of his time, Mason and Spa- God three sacrifices : “ One, by the latensis, rejected with indignation the priest only, that is, the commemothought of any material sacrifice, (vid. rative sacrifice of Christ's death, Mason de Ministerio Anglican. p. represented in bread broken and 575, 599, 618, 551, 595. Spalatensis, “ wine poured out : another, by the lib. v. p. 149, 265, 267.) condemned “ priest and people jointly ; and that it as absurdity, madness, and impiety. “ is the sacrifice of praise and thanksSo also Bp. Morton, (b. vi. cap. 5: p. giving for all the benefits and graces 438, 439.) approving what the wiser we receive by the precious death of Romanists had said, condemning the

“ Christ : the third, by every par. notion in the like strong terms. “ ticular man for himself only, and

k De sacrificio cordis contriti- “ that is the sacrifice of every man's de sacrificiis item corporis Christi body and soul, to serve him in both mystici (non naturalis) in quo nosmet- “ all the rest of his life, for this blessipsos Deo offerimus, satis convenit. ing thus bestowed

upon

him." -De sacrificio item commemorativo, Laud's Conference, sect. xxxv. p. 305, sive repræsentativo, quo Christus ipse, 306.

« PredošláPokračovať »