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him literally. (2.) The bread, after the words of consecration, and at the time of eating, is still called bread,—1 Cor. x. 17: “We are all partakers of that one bread;" xi. 26, 27: “As often as ye eat this bread,"—thus clearly showing that no such change had occurred. (3.) The literal construction is opposed to the plain testimony of the senses, which perceive in the elements only bread and wine; and if we reject the testimony of the senses, the foundation of all knowledge is destroyed, not on this subject alone, but on all subjects. (4.) It necessitates also the monstrous consequences that man has

power to transmute bread and wine into God-a supposition not less impious than absurd; that the sacred elements or host, being thus the divine Christ, ought to be worshipped and adored, which is idolatry; and that the priest in every celebration of the mass offers a true and real sacrifice to God, whereas the Scriptures, in language emphatic and unmistakable, represent the one offering of Christ on the cross as complete and final. Finally, the withholding of the cup from the laity is opposed to the apostolic example and the uniform practice of the early churches; for the whole church, and not the clergy only, are represented as partaking of the wine. The apostles (1 Cor. x., xi.) never separated the elements as if the bread were common, but the wine appropriated to the clergy.

It is evident, therefore, that the dogma of transubstantiation has no basis either in Scripture or reason, and can be accepted only by those who place the so-called authorjuy of the church above both.

II. CONSUBSTANTIATION. At the Reformation, Luther denied transubstantiation, but insisted on the real and corporeal presence of Christ in the Supper. He taught that “in, with, and under the

consecrated bread and wine the true and essential body and blood of Christ are imparted to the communicant, and are received by him, though in a manner inexplicable by us and altogether mysterious." Zwingle, the Swiss Reformer, on the other hand, asserted that the sacred elements simply represent as symbols the body and blood of Christ. The struggle between the German and the Swiss theologians on this point was long and bitter, during which the moral power of the Reformation was seriously weakened. The Lutheran doctrine, as finally evolved, may be thus stated : 1. The bread and wine remain bread and wine after the words of consecration, but the real body and blood of Christ are mystically united wit them; so that the communicant receives, in a corporeal sense, the actual body and blood of Christ in, under, and with the elements. 2. As a logical sequence, Christ's glorified body either is ubiquitous by the communication of divine omnipresence to it, or is, by divine power, specially present at each celebration of the sacrament; the former was Luther's view, the latter is the more common view of the Lutheran Church. 3. In partaking, the worthy and the unworthy alike receive the real body and blood of Christ, but with opposite effect. The worthy receive them unto salvation, the unworthy to condemnation.

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III. THE MYSTICAL PRESENCE. Calvin proposed a middle ground between the Lutheran and Zwinglian positions, hoping thus to reconcile the opposing parties. He denied the presence of Christ in the Supper in any corporeal sense, but insisted that he is dynamically present—that is, as the sun is in heaven, but its light and heat are on earth, so the glorified body of Christ is in heaven, but special divine influences radiate from it upon the believing soul while partaking of the


sacrament. His words are: “Our souls are fed by the flesh and blood of Christ, just as our bodily life is nourished by bread and wine. The analogy of the signs would not hold unless our souls find their sustenance in Christ, which cannot be the case if Christ does not actually coalesce into one with us and support us through his flesh and blood. And although it seems incredible that, the places being so distant, the flesh of Christ should penetrate to us so as to be our food, let us remember how much the secret power of the Spirit transcends our senses, and how foolish it is to measure his immensity by our standard.” And in his treatise on the Lord's Supper he adds: “We all, then, confess with one mouth that, on receiving the sacrament in faith according to the ordinance of the Lord, we are truly made partakers of the proper substance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” His teaching plainly is that the believer, in partaking of the Supper, partakes, in a true and real sense, of the human nature of Christ.

Now, it is evident that the real presence in the Supper, whether conceived as corporeal or spiritual, must ultimately rest on a literal interpretation of the words of institution, the objections to which I have already stated. Here Luther and Calvin were less consistent than the Roman Catholics; for while the former accepts and the latter denies the literal construction, both, by labored refinements, explain away the simple, natural sense, and exhibit the vagueness and incoherence necessarily consequent on a forced construction of plain language. For when Christ says, “This is my body,” he either means literally that it is his body, or figuratively that it represents his body; there is, and can be, no intermediate sense. If the body and blood of Christ are in any sense in the elements, they are there corporeally, because only thus do flesh and

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blood exist; and the bread and wine, therefore, which the senses perceive, must, on this hypothesis, be transmuted, as the Roman Catholic affirms, into the body and blood of Christ. If the literal construction be adopted, all attempts to evade transubstantiation are a violation of the plain laws of language.

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IV. THE LORD'S SUPPER SYMBOLIC. The bread and wine are symbols divinely appointed to represent the body and blood of Christ, through which symbols the sacrifice of Christ is vividly presented to the mind, and by partaking of which the believer expresses, in an outward and significant act, his faith in that sacrifice. The Supper is thus at once a symbol, setting forth this central, vital fact more distinctly than is possible in language, and a significant act, declaring the partaker's personal reliance on this fact as the ground of his salvation. Christ is present in the ordinance, as, according to his promise, he is always present in his truth; but, as truth finds its clearest and strongest expression in the symbol, he is present in the Supper in a more marked manner than in the word; for as, in the Supper, the believing soul more clearly apprehends Christ and more fully yields itself to him, so in it Christ more clearly manifests himself to the soul and more fully communicates to it of the fu’ness of his life.

No logical standpoint can be found between transubstantiation and this symbolic view. For, as we have seen, when Christ said, “This is my body," he either affirmed a literal, physical fact, as the Romanist claims, or he affirmed a symbolic fact: "This represents my body.” Any other than the symbolic interpretation involves not only an unnatural construction of the words, but also an element of mystery, if not of superstition, most injurious in its tendency.

If, then, we regard the Lord's Supper as symbolic, what is its significance ?

1. It symbolizes the death of Christ. The bread broken and the wine poured forth represent the body and blood of Christ as offered up an atonement for sin. It is a vivid symbolization of the atoning sacrifice offered on the cross.

“For, as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.”

2. It is a personal profession. The partaker declares by eating of that bread and drinking of that cup his personal reliance on Christ's sacrifice as the only ground of his acceptance with God, and the only means of spiritual,

, eternal life. As the Hebrew, in partaking of the sacrifices offered on the altar, professed his faith in the truths those sacrifices symbolized, so the Christian, in partaking of the consecrated bread and wine, professes his faith in the truths symbolized by that sacrament. In this sense (as the apostle clearly shows, 1 Cor. x. 14-22) "the cup. of blessing which we bless” is “the communion of the blood of Christ,” and “the bread which we break” is “the communion of the body of Christ;" for it is the personal avowal by the partaker of reliance on him whose body was broken and blood shed for sin.

3. It is an act of grateful commemoration—a service done in remembrance of Christ's compassion in suffering and dying for us. He said: “This do in remembrance of me.” As we look on the face of a departed friend which art has preserved, and handle afresh the tokens of affection he left behind, and recall in memory his words and acts of love, till it seems almost as if the dead were present and the familiar voice were sounding in the ear, so in the Supper the Saviour is set forth evidently cruci. fied among us;" and as we look on the symbols of his dying love we gratefully adore him as dying for us.


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