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he is converted to God; “ Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Now the married woman dies in precisely the same manner, and to the same extent. The wife is dead; the widow survives. The widow and the convert have alike died as to that wherein they were held by the law, and consequently are become dead to the law. The widow, by the death of that wherein she was held—the husband—has passed as thoroughly as by non-existence, beyond the pale of those obligations and restraints to which, as a wife, she was subject. Just so the convert is dead as to that part of him, and that only, upon which the law laid hold-his old man. All is dead of his former self which the law curbed, and, in curbing, sometimes taught, and fretted into, sin. All of him, before whose Aeshly "eyes, full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin,” the law, in protesting against presented images of cherished lusts, then vainly endeavoured to repel from their headlong chace by brandishing its impotent terrors, -all this is dead. The law now finds in its unrelaxing iron grasp but a lifeless corpse, dead, and freed from sin. The regene. rated spirit, carrying with it the visible man, has soared into the higher regions of light and liberty; into the calm heaven of holiness, where love is the universal law.
I do not indeed mean that this change, in its perfection, passes upon each convert. Nor does St. Paul, when he says, “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God," yet still reproves, rebukes, exhorts them, with all long-suffering and doctrine. But this is the idea of conversion. This is the mark at which each convert should aim; the standard with which he should compare himself, and take measure of his state and progress.
It might perhaps be thought over-refining, in order to find an analogy where no analogy was designed, were we to say, that the supposed possibility of the wife's anticipating her freedom, by forcibly breaking loose from the obligations of the law, during the life of her husband, through whom she was held, and thus contracting the guilt of an adulteress, may point to that antinomian spirit against which the apostle cautiously guards, and repeatedly protests with horror in this context,-“ God forbid :” a spirit which emancipates itself illegally from the obligations and restraints of the law, by wilful transgression, and not legally, by rising superior to them through a conformity to the death and resurrection of Christ. Whether this analogy be here intended or not, it is, at least, abstractedly true. As regards indivi. dual experience, much of that freedom from the law, even in things indifferent, which we daily witness, is not Christian liberty, but antinomian indifference: not the offspring of light, but of licentiousness. And as regards religious systems, the Jew might become what is popularly called a Christian, or the Papist a Protestant, and only contract thereby the guilt of an adulterer, on account of the carnal and base motives, in the place of increased light, and renewed spirit, and altered and improved moral condition, which operated the change.
The interpretation here offered seems to give a clear and consistent sense to what has always appeared to me, and I believe to others, a confused and obscure passage: a sense, as I conceive, in perfect harmony with general truth, and with the special object of the apostle in the preceding and subsequent context.
J. M. H.
BISHOP WHITE ON THE ALLEGED SACRIFICIAL CHARACTER
OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
For the Christian Observer. We have great satisfaction in submitting to the consideration of our readers the venerable Bishop White's second letter to Bishop Hobart, on the fondly alleged sacrificial character of the Lord's Supper. On this notion rests the whole fabric of popery, as also of the recently revived Laudean theology ;-we had often called it Laudean before we knew that Bishop White had done so before us; though since its late revival, it is more popularly designated by the name of its most distinguished modern advocate. But be it Laudism, or Puseyism, or modified Romanism, certain we are that it is not the doctrine of the New Testament, or of the Anglican church. The Homily on “ The worthy receiving and reverent esteeming of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ," says, “We must take heed lest, of the memory (that is, the commemoration) it be made a sacrifice;" to which the Oxford Tract theologists reply, “We shall take no such heed;" as well they may; for the notion of a sacrifice, involving the necessity of making presbyters sacrificers, pervades their whole system. Our reformers did take heed to this; and accordingly they expunged the word “ altar" from the Prayer-book in speaking of the Lord's “ table ;" and distinctly teach us that there is no sacrifice in the eucharist but that of “praise and thanksgiving," and the dedication of ourselves, our bodies and souls, to the service of God. The Laudeans, though they choose to call themselves members of the Anglican portion of Christ's church catholic, take heed" to contravene the Prayer-book and Homilies; the Table is an altar; the presbyter (vernacularly abbreviated into priest, is a sacrificer; and the Lord's Supper is not “a memory' but a sacrifice.
We now insert Bishop White's second letter, subject to our prefatory remarks last month.
Philadelphia, June 191h, 1807. Reverend and Dear Sir,-When I wrote my letter of the 30th of October, I made a memorandum of a few particulars connected with the subject of it, on which I wished to express my opinion ; but delayed this, because of engagements which then pressed. Your letter, acknowledging the receipt of mine, intimated that you laid some stress on the arguments adduced in it. This aided my determination to take up the subject again. It has, however, been prevented by avocations succeeding upon one another : but now expecting a favourable opportunity within these few days, I resume the correspondence.
The points which I propose to handle are these : Is there in the eucharist a sacrifice? If not, is there a feast on sacrifice? And if neither, what is the im. port of its being the commemoration of a sacrifice ?
The introducing of the third question shows that I answer the first and the second in the negative: and in regard to the first, I consider it as no small objection to the doctrine of the eucharistic sacrifice, in the strict and proper sense, that they who affirm it tind so great difficulty in agreeing in a definition of the word. If we look at the different definitions of learned men, as cited by Mr. Jobnson in his “ Unbloody Sacrifice," they are clearly arbitrary. So is his own; and in order to prove this, I will detain you with an attention to its contents.
His first descriptive circumstance of a sacrifice is its being some material thing, animate or inanimate, offered to God. Here I recur to the principles of my former letter; on the ground of which I still renture to express my persuasion that the Hebrew word denoting sacrifice means animal sacrifice only. Mr. Johnson indeed mentions the frequent use of Quora by the Seventy; and he wishes that our translators had followed their example, putting " sacrifice” for their Quora; it being to be presumed that their knowledge both of Hebrew and of Greek was adequate to the occasion. But it is easy to account for their conduct in this matter, without questioning their skill in either language. Mr. Johnson himself shows, and Potter's Antiquities, to which he refers, will vouch for him, that the word ouw had anciently a more extensive signification than that of slaughter. I presume that it had not become limited to this when the Seventy translated, although I have inadvertently and unnecessarily expressed the opposite idea in my former letter. The error is of no consequence as to the matter there treated of; but in writing I forgot the application of the word to inanimate offering in the Septuagint, which is indeed very frequent.
Mr. Johnson's second circumstance is * for the acknowledging the dominion and other attributes of God, or for procuring divine blessings, especially remission of sins.” If this mean no more than that in the eucharist the devout worshipper has a view to both these objects, it is certainly correct: but it is what the ordinance possesses in common with other acts of homage, such as should be offered daily.
The third circumstance is that of "a proper altar;” but in unfolding the sentiment he has said more against than in favour of it as involved in the idea of sacı ifice.
His fourth is “by a proper officer and with agreeable rites;" certainly fit attendants on all public exercises of devotion; yet no further entering into the idea of all sacrifices than in the sense in which any head of a family may be called a proper officer, and the most simple expression of devout affection an agreeable rite.
His last circumstance, that of consumption, seems to have been invariably a property of sacrifice, but cannot be said to be confined to it. I believe our best writers consider the fed beifer in Numbers xix. 2, as not a sacrifice.
You may see what arbitrary accounts of the subject are the consequence of losing sight of the true discriminating circumstance--that of animal slaughter in a divinely instituted act of devotion. But let the attention be confined to this, and you have a clear view of the nature of an institution coeval with our race; but of which no rational account can be given, except as prefigurative of the great sacrifice of the cross; which dispenses with every other, although to be itself commemorated by a spiritual sacrifice to the end of time.
Before my sentiments on the present subject become settled, as I trust they have been these many years, with little probability of change, the only authority adduced from Scripture which appeared to me to have weight in favour of the doctrine which I here reject, is the well known passage in the 10th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians. It appeared to me for some time that, as in the parallel drawn, there was a real sacrifice of the heathen and a real sacrifice of the Jews, so there was apparent ground for the affirming of a real sacrifice in the eucharist. But this difficulty yielded to the consideration that nothing is more common than for a matter to be predicable, alike of the thing signified and of its sign, A dishonour to a picture may extend in an equal degree to the person whom it represents; and the slighting of a token may be hostile to the friendship of which it was designed to be the remembrancer. In like manner let it be admitted that the death of Christ is a sacrifice in the strict and proper meaning of the word; and that through the merits of this sacrifice the body of his professing followers are related to him and to one another. Let it be further admitted that the elements of bread and wine are the appointed figure of his body and of his blood; and that by partaking of these symbols we recognize our relation to him and our common tie among ourselves ; and immediately the figurative sacrifice of Christians admits of a comparison with the real sacrifices of the heathen as to the purpose in contemplation of the apostle—the dissuading from being partakers of the heathen sacrifices; to which there was a contrariety in the figurative sacrifice of the Gospel, because of there being a contrariety in the real sacrifice represented
But if it should be granted to me that the passage referred to is the only one which can be said to be explicit to the point of sacrifice; still I may be told that there are other passages from which we may deduce the doctrine; and for the application of those passages I may be referred to the decision of the Fathers, from whose works very many authorities have been cited. Here I make a distinction between the earlier and the later fathers; and am astonished at the manner in which they are cited by Mr. Johnson and others, as if they were of equal authority in religions controversy. If our church is right in the decision which she makes, with such clear evidence of her sense of its importance, that Scripture is the only rule of faith, the ground on which the fathers can be at all appealed to, is as witnesses of the faith transmitted to them from the beginning ; and that their testimony, on the general principles of evidence, may very much assist in determining
the sense of Scripture, is what I am very far from being disposed to deny. But it must be confessed that in this point of view the effect of the testimony depends on the distance from the source; and it is a mistake to put a Father of the fourth century on a level with one of the second. To illustrate this by an allusion to civil matters : suppose there were a question as to the interpretation of a law enacted in the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII., and it were made appear that one sense were more favoured than another by the opinion of learned counsel, and by the practice of the reign in the courts of James I., and this were said to be doctrine of the intervening time, it is a consideration which would have weight with every mind; while much less would be allowed to the opinion and the practice of the present day. So in bringing apostolic faith and practice to the standard of the current sense of the succeeding times, I perceive a clear distinction between the opinions of a Clement, an Ignatius, an Ireneus, and a Justin, and those of a Chrysostom, a Cyril, and an Austin.
Even if the opinion of early writers should, as such, and distinct from testimony, be thought to have any weight, it ought surely to be confined to the times in which not a single considerable error had pervaded the Christian Church in general. Now, when we come down to the fourth century, I think I can point out at least two errors, which had a general sway at an early period of it; of which one is the lawfulness of persecution, and the other the celibacy of the clergy. On the former subject I distinguish between the_not admitting to a share of power, and the inficting of pains and penalties. The former may, under some circumstances, be lawful and even necessary; but I contend, and think you will agree with me, that the latter is in contrariety to the Gospel; and yet ihat it was favoured by the general sense of the Christian Church long before the middle of the fourth century. On the other subject I do not mean to say that they as yet obliged the clergy to put away their wives; and we have an evidence to the contrary in the celebrated story of Paphnutius at the council of Nice. But even the story implies, and other incidents prove, that the church had adopted those sentiments concerning marriage which ended soon afterwards in prohibiting it to the priesthood. Now you know we Protestants consider this as one of the tokens of apostacy prophesied in Scripture.
These remarks seem to me to assist in estimating the sense of the fathers of different periods. In regard to those of the first two or three centuries, I am particularly aware of what has been said by Justin, by Irenæus, and by Tertullian. But I find nothing which may not be brought under the idea of oblation, that is, the commemorative presentation of the elements; or wherein the application of the word “ sacrifice” (Bucs) may not fairly be understood of them, as in the New Testament of alms. Besides, it is not surprising that Justin should be found giving to the word the same extensive signification which it bore in the Greek translation of the Scriptures in daily use; and there standing for different subjects denoted in the Hebrew by different words. I beg you to consider further how difficult it has been found by the writers from whom I dissent to bend to their system what Barnabas has said concerning the abolishing of the legal sacrifices, to make way for “a human oblation;" which he defines to be “an humble and a contrite heart;" in addition to this the circumstance in the oblation spoken of by Clement, that they were such even before consecration, which seems to imply a reference to devotion as that wbich principally constituted them an offering; and further, the affirmation of Justin, that “the only perfect and acceptable sacrifices are prayers and thanksgivings;" with expressions to the same effect in Irenæus and several others. On these authorities I might be tempted to enlarge for their elucidation, were it not that I can more expeditiously refer you to Dr. Waterland's treatise on the eucharist, and where you will find the above-mentioned Fathers cleared from the supposition of their having asserted a material sacrifice.
In regard to later ecclesiastical writers, although I lay less stress on their opinions ; yet it would not be difficult to show that what they have said rhetorically is often improperly quoted, to the neglect of passages in which a different sense is spoken. No father has delivered himself more rhetorically than Chrysostom, as where he talks of “the tremendous sacrifice lying on the altar ;' and yet, intending to distinguish between the Jewish system and the Christian, he says, do not offer another sacrifice, but always the same, or rather we perform a memorial."
I began with remarking how difficult certain writers had found it to agree among themselves in a definition of sacrifice. On this account, there was a time when I was disposed to look on the present question as merely one of words. But when I came to consider maturely the opinions which go along with the affirmative side of the question, in the writings of those who hold it; and when I perChrist. OBSERV. No. 35,
ceived, as I thought, a train of sentiment which, by a consistent progression, ended in the worst of all the bad tenets of Roman Catholic superstition, I became uneasy at the appearance in our Church of any of that leaven which has shown itself capable of leavening the whole lump. For this reason I the more venerate the wisdom of our reformers in their having been so careful to clear our system of every thing which participated of the alarming sentiment. In my former letter I noticed instances of this in the Latin Prayer-book, in their carefully substituting of "presbyter” for “ sacerdos," and of “table” for “altar." I will now give you another instance from the homily on the Sacrament, in which we are charged to “take heed lest of the memory it be made a sacrifice.” To the best of my recollection this continued a universal sentiment to the time of Archbishop Laud. I am aware that ever since his day there have been a proportion of the English clergy who have gone into the sentiment; but am mistaken if it have at any period pervaded the body, and especially if it have been ever prevalent on the episcopal bench. I am sorry to find it pressed of late by some writers; and, among them, am particularly sorry that Mr. Daubeny, whom I much admire in some respects, should be one. In regard to our own church, I cannot help antici. pating bad consequences from the exploded error, as I consider it, being taken up by any of our clergy: For the error does not end in itself, but has sundry kindred errors, some of which I proceed to specify.
One of them is the remission of sins, as an end of the celebration of the eucha. rist. That the general design of the Gospel is to make known the forgiveness of sin, and that the ministry are clothed with power and authority to declare it, are truths not to be denied. But I do not perceive how this applies to the sacrament any more than to ordinary occasions of public worship, when we confess our sins and listen to the authoritative absolution. What occasion for this if there be a more solemn institution for the accomplishing of the end ? In the Jewish religion there was no such ordinary and constant provision for the relieving of the troubled conscience of the penitent. He had no resource but the appointed sacrifice; and if the eucharist be a sacrifice in the sense of his, it seems to make superfluous every other instrument of pardon.
Another doctrine connected with it is, that of a fæderal rite, holding out the idea that every celebration is a covenanting anew. But on this I content myself with referring you to Bishop Pearce, by whom it has been, as I think, satisfactorily confuted. I might bring up to you again all those dangerous sentiments, as I consider them, of Dr. Hickes, which I stated in my former letter; as, that ministers are mediators and intercessors for the people. But there strikes my mind with the most force, on the score of danger, that in consequence of the metaphysical words of the institution many express themselves so obscurely concerning the elements, as shows that they have confused notions of something more than wbat the senses perceive of mere bread and wine. Now you no sooner throw in among their indistinct conceptions the notion of a material sacrifice, than it looks so much like that of a propitiatory sacrifice for the dead and living, as must be a preparation of the mind for the error in all its absurdity and mischievous tendency.
Had I intended a full discussion of the subject, I bave written far too little; but I fear, considering my plan, far too much, and shall therefore be brief on the next question-of a feast on sacrifice.
I am aware how very eminent the characters are who have patronized the affirmative of the question; and I flatter myself that I differ from them in language only. That the eucharist resembles the peace-offerings, and not the sin-offerings of the Jews, I am satisfied; and it makes a considerable part of the ground on which I reject the opinions before spoken of. Now this distinction enters into the whole argument of a feast on sacrifice : and although I do not perceive any material error resulting from it, yet I am dissatisfied with the mode of stating the subject; because it seems to make an unnatural conjunction of literal language with the figurative. In this opinion the sacrifice is of the real body and blood of Christ upon the cross : but the partaking of the sacrifice is spiritual manducation, that is, the due contemplation of the subject with suitable affections; for I never could perceive what else this could mean.
I have an ingenious treatise on the Lord's supper, written by Dr. Bell, prebendary of Westminster; a gentleman with whom I remember to have dined at the bishop of Llandaff's table. Dr. Bell attacks the doctrine of a feast on sacrifice on another ground; which requires the supposition that even the sacrifices of the peace-offerings were for the purpose of expiation. This is inconsistent with the idea of them, which I have derived from the best authorities, and which seem to me agreeable to the injunctions in Leviticus. I wish Dr. Bell had been more