BY M. D. TALBOT.
"Take, eat, this is my Body which shall be delivered for you." The real presence of Christ's Body and Blood in the Sacrament is the t true doctrine of the Church of England, if her most eminent Divines are to be believed.
TO THE LORD BISHOP OF EXETER.
MY LORD BISHOP,
St. Anselm 1 says: " We read in the Gospel that Jesus took bread,f he blessed, and brake, and gave to his Disciples, and said: 2 Take ye, and eat, this is my body which shall be delivered for you.' When he took it into his hands it was bread. For so the Evangelist says, ' He took bread, ' and by that blessing, the bread is made the body of Christ, not only significantly, but also substantially. Neither do we exclude from the Sacrament altogether the figure; neither do we admit the figure only. It is the verity, because it is the body of Christ; it is a figure, because it is offered in sacrifice. Let us consider the words of our Lord; he says, 'Take and eat, this is my body;' and in order that they might be convinced that in very deed it was the true body of Christ, he declared certain signs by which they should perceive it. 'This is,' says he, ' my body, that shall be delivered for you. ' If this body should be made the body of Christ figuratively and not substantially, it should be only the figure of Christ; that which follows does not appertain to a figure, which is this, 'that shall be delivered for you.' Neither did he name it bread after he had sanctified the bread, but his body; neither did he, after he had blessed the wine, name it wine, but his blood. Therefore as the Catholic faith does believe that the bread which is offered to the priest to be consecrated, by the priestly consecration is made the body of Christ, not significantly, but substantially; &c."— (Anselm. lib. de Offic. Divi.) (Ecumenius, a member of the Greek Church, who lived about 800 years ago, writes thus upon these words of Christ: " Erant quoque in veteri testamento pocula in quibus libabant; ubi etiam, postquam victimas immolassent, sanguinem irrationabilium excipientes poculis libabant. Pro sanguine igitur irrationabilium, Dominus proprium sanguinem dat, et bene in poculo, ut ostendat vetus Testamentum antea hoc delineasse."— ((Ecum. in 2 Prim. Corr.) —"There were also in the Old Testament cups in which they sacrificed; wherein likewise after they had offered sacrifices, receiving the blood of brute beasts they sacrificed in cups Therefore instead of the blood of brute beasts, our Lord giveth his own blood, and properly in a cup, that he might shew the Old Testament to have described this before." Moreover, applying the thing figured to the figure, this author means, that as truly as the blood of brute beasts was received in cups, so also have we the blood of Christ in cups. Besides this, I assert, that his speech and manner of delivering himself are to be weighed. The figure of Christ's blood is not his own blood. Wherefore when he says, that Christ gives us his own blood, he at once removes the figure. For the one means the tiling itself; the other a figure or token of the same. Now let us proceed further, and consider the very words of this author, upon Christ giving us his own blood. He says, " In poculo. —In the cup." If then it be given to us in the cup, it is not the blood of Christ spiritually, for that is not received in cups, but in the soul of man. It being then Christ's own blood, and received in a cup, it must consequently be the true and real blood of Christ, to which it well appertains, inasmuch as Christ has so ordained it to be received in a real cup, for. it is in itself a real tiling. Besides this, the author says, that it corresponds extremely well with the figure that the blood of Christ should be in a cup, because it was so prefigured, inasmuch as the blood of beasts was offered in cups. Then Christ giving his own blood in the cup to his Disciples, and saying, " Drink ye all of this, this is my blood," did assuredly speak these words in their proper sense, and he undoubtedly did the same when he said, " This is my body."
1 Anselm, was Archbishop of Canterbury in the reigns of William Rufus and Henry the 1st, was a native of Italy, born in 1033, at Aost or Augusta, a town at the foot of the Alps, he died at Canterbury, A.D. 1109. His works have been often reprinted.
2 The Protestant Bibles put, he blessed it, he brake it, and gave it, a word not to be found in the Greek or Latin. See Dr. Saunders' great work on the Lord's Supper, chap. 1. Protestants do this, Dr. Saunders says, in order to make it appear that it still remains bread.