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De Coena Domini.
Coena Domini non est tantum signum mutuæ benevolentiæ Christianorum inter sese, verum potius est sacramentum nostræ per mortem Christi redemptionis. Atque ideo rite, digne et cum fide sumentibus, panis quem frangimus, est communicatio corporis Christi: similiter poculum benedictionis, est communicatio sanguinis Christi.
Panis et vini transubstantiatio in Eucharistia, ex sacris literis probari non potest, sed apertis Scripturæ verbis adversatur, sacramenti naturam evertit, et multarum superstitionum dedit occasionem.
Corpus Christi datur, accipitur, et manducatur in cœna, tantum cœlesti et spirituali ratione. Medium autem quo Corpus Christi accipitur, et manducatur in cœna, fides est.
Sacramentum Eucharistiæ ex institutione Christi non servabatur, circumferebatur, elevabatur, nec adorabatur.
Of the Lord's Supper.
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather it is a Sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death. Insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.
Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is faith.
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
IN no Article are the changes introduced at the revision of 1563 of greater importance than in this. It is not
too much to say that they completely transform it and alter its character. In order to make this clear, it will be necessary to remind the reader briefly of the course of thought on the subject of the Eucharist in the Church of England during the sixteenth century.
In all the formularies put forth in the reign of Henry VIII. the doctrine of the real presence is strongly asserted,1 as also in the abortive series of Articles agreed
1 (1) The Ten Articles of 1536. "As touching the Sacrament of the Altar, we will that all hishops and preachers shall instruct and teach our people committed by us unto their spiritual charge, that they ought and must constantly believe, that under the form and figure of bread and wine, which we there presently do see and perceive by outward senses, is verily, substantially, and really contained and comprehended the very self-same body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which was born of the Virgin Mary, and suffered upon the cross for our redemption; and that under the same form and figure of bread and wine the very self-same body and blood of Christ is corporally, really, and in the very substance exhibited, distributed, and received of all them which receive the said sacrament."-Formularies of Faith, p. 11.
(2) "The Institution of a Christian man (the "Bishops' Book") of 1537 repeats this almost word for word.-Op. cit. p. 100.
(3) The "Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian man" (the King's Book) of 1543, not content with this, substitutes a passage which clearly teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation. "In the other sacraments the outward kind of the thing which is used in them remaineth still in their own nature and substance unchanged. But in this most high Sacrament of the Altar, the creatures which be taken to the use thereof as bread and wine, do not remain still in their own substance, but by the virtue of Christ's word in the consecration be changed and turned to the very substance of the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ. So that although there appear the form of bread and wine, after the consecration, as did before, and to the outward senses nothing seemeth to be changed, yet must we, forsaking and renouncing the persuasion of our senses in this behalf, give our assent only to faith and to the plain word of Christ, which affirmeth that substance there offered, exhibited, and received, to be the very precious body and blood of our Lord. By these words it is plain and evident to all them which with meek, humble, and sincere heart will believe Christ's words, and be obedient unto faith, that in the sacrament, the things that be therein be the very body and blood of Christ in very substance."-Op. cit. p. 262.
upon by the Anglican and Lutheran divines in 1538.1 But about the year 1545 Ridley came across the book of "Bertram," or rather Ratramn of Corbie (840), De Corpore et Sanguine Domini. By this he was greatly impressed. "This Bertram," he said, "was the first that pulled me by the ear, and that brought me from the common error of the Romish Church, and caused me to search more diligently and exactly both the Scriptures and the writings of the old ecclesiastical Fathers in this matter." Nor did the influence of Ratramn's book end here; for Ridley, having been convinced by it himself, never rested till he had won over Cranmer also, and under his influence Cranmer was led definitely to abandon the medieval theory of transubstantiation.* Even so, however, he wavered and hesitated as to what his positive belief was, and for a considerable time appears to have inclined to something like the Lutheran tenet of consubstantiation; though finally, after the death of Bucer
1 Art. VII. De Eucharistia: "De Eucharistia constanter credimus et docemus, quod in sacramento corporis et sanguinis Domini, vere, substantialiter, et realiter adsint corpus et sanguis Christi sub speciebus panis et vini. Et quod sub eisdem speciebus vere et realiter exhibentur et distribuuntur illis qui sacramentum accipiunt, sive bonis sive malis." This is decidedly stronger than the Article in the Confession of Augsburg, which in the original edition of 1530 runs as follows: "De cœna Domini docent, quod corpus et sanguis Christi vere adsint, et distribuantur vescentibus in cœna Domini, et improbant secus docentes." This was altered in the edition of 1540 to "De cœna Domini docent, quod cum pane et vino vere exhibeantur corpus et sanguis Christi vescentibus in cœna Domini."-See Sylloge Confessionum, pp. 126 and 172.
2 Ratramn's book was written in answer to questions addressed to him by Charles the Bald, in consequence of the work of Paschasius Radbert, in which a theory of transubstantiation had been plainly put forward. As against this, Ratramn strongly asserts that there is no change in the elements. See below, p. 650.
* See Moule's Bishop Ridley on the Lord's Supper, p. 11.
▲ Ib. p. 13.
In 1548 he issued an English translation of a Lutheran Catechism, and great was the dissatisfaction and disappointment among the more
early in 1551, he seems to have fallen completely under the influence of the Polish refugee John a Lasco, who sympathised entirely with the Swiss or Zwinglian school on the subject of the Eucharist. The result is seen in some of the changes introduced into the Book of Common Prayer in 1552, and in the publication of the Twentyninth Article, De cœna Domini, in 1553. It will be remembered that in the Prayer Book of 1552, among other changes, the words of administration were altered,
ardent spirits at the position which he took up. "The Archbishop of Canterbury, moved, no doubt, by the advice of Peter Martyr and other Lutherans, has ordered a Catechism of some Lutheran opinions to be translated and published in our language. This little book has occasioned no little discord; so that fightings have frequently taken place among the common people, on account of their diversity of opinion, even during the sermons."-Burcher to Bullinger, Oct. 29, 1548 (Original Letters, p. 642). "This Thomas," wrote John ab Ulmis to the same correspondent (Aug. 18, 1548), "has fallen into so heavy a slumber that we entertain but a very cold hope that he will be aroused even by your most learned letter. For he has lately published a Catechism, in which he has not only approved that foul and sacrilegious transubstantiation of the Papists in the Holy Supper of our Saviour, but all the dreams of Luther seem to him sufficiently well grounded, perspicuous, and lucid" (ib. p. 380). Towards the end of the year a change was noticed, for in November the same correspondent writes: "Even that Thomas himself about whom I wrote to you when I was in London, by the goodness of God and the instrumentality of that most upright and judicious man, Master John a Lasco, is in a great measure recovered from his dangerous lethargy" (p. 383). In 1549 he was apparently again inclined to higher views than were acceptable to the extreme men. Bucer had "very great influence with him"; he was with him "like another Scipio, and an inseparable companion" (pp. 64, 67). But by the end of the year he had taken a decided step. "The Archbishop of Canterbury," wrote Hooper to Bullinger on December 27, "entertains right views as to the nature of Christ's presence in the Supper, and is now very friendly towards myself. He has some Articles of religion, to which all preachers and lecturers in divinity are required to subscribe, or else a licence for teaching is not granted them, and in these his sentiments respecting the Eucharist are pure and religious, and similar to yours in Switzerland" (p. 71). In the following year no room for doubt was left, as Cranmer's own Defence of the True and Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrament was pub. lished.
"Take and eat (drink) this in remembrance," etc., being substituted for "the body (blood) of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given (shed) for thee," etc., and that there appeared at the end of the Communion Office the "black rubric" or declaration concerning kneeling, which asserted that "thereby no adoration is intended or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, or unto any real and essential Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood. For the Sacramental Bread and Wine remain still in their very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored (for that were Idolatry, to be abhorred of all faithful Christians); and the natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in heaven, and not here, it being against the truth of Christ's natural Body to be at one time in more places than one." 1 In the Article as published in the following year, 1553, the first, second, and fourth paragraphs were the same as those in our present one (save that the words "overthroweth the nature of a sacrament" were added in 1563). But the third paragraph was widely different from that which the Article now contains. It stood thus:
"Forasmuch as the truth of man's nature requireth, that the body of one and the self-same man cannot be at one time in diverse places, but must needs be in some one certain place: therefore the body of Christ cannot be present at one time in many and diverse places. And because (as Holy Scripture doth teach) Christ was taken up into heaven, and there shall continue unto the end of the world, a faithful man ought not either to believe or openly to confess the real and bodily presence (as they term it) of Christ's flesh and blood, in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper."
1 On the history of this rubric, which was added at the last moment, see Dixon, iii. 475 seq.