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that therefore they were not to be deemed heretics, who did not al. fow of the literal sense, where there was a necessity for a figurative interpretation.” Feckenham desired to know, what necessity there was, for pating a figurative sense on so plain words, as, This is my body, This is my blood. The bishop replied, “That the words im. mediately following, Do this in remembrance of me, seemed to require it; and to imply, that the elements were only symbols commemorative of Christ's body and blood, and that they might as well argue from St. Paul's words, We being many, are one bread, and one body, that the bread was transubstantiated into Christ's mystical body the Church, as from the words of institution, that it was transubstantiated into his natural body.” Aye, but, says Bourne, what will you say then to universality, antiquity, and unity, which are all against your figurative interpretation? The bishop answered, “ that these were weighty matters ; that he always laboured after unity, as far as was consistent with verity; and that the purest antiquity, which he ever highly reverenced, was clearly on his side ; which was sufficient to justify him in opposing the generally received notions of the present age, if he meant that by universality; but if he meant by it the consent of all Churches, in all ages, from the beginning, he was content to appeal thither, and refer the issue of the controversy to that determination.” • Bourne desired to know what authors ever interpreted the words of institution figuratively, before Berengarius ? The bishop cited Tertullian, who expressly interprets the words, This is my body, thus; This is a figure of my body; and Origen, who says, that the sanctified bread, as touching its substance, goes down into the stomach, and is cast out into the draught, which it were blasphemy to af. firm of Christ's natural body; and Gelasius, who saith plainly, that the substance of bread remains after consecration. Bourne objected, that Tertullian and Origen were not Catholic in many points, but had advanced divers singular and erroneous notions. The bishop answered, that no Catholic writer had ever charged either of them with any error, in respect of the doctrine of the Eucharist; and then hé cited a passage from St. Austin, in his book de Doctrina Christiana, where he is expressly laying down rules for the interpretation of scripture ; one of which is, that where the literal sense of a precept seems to enjoin something unlawful, it must be understood figuratively; and thence infers, that Christ's command, to eat his flesh, and drink his blood, seeming in the literal sense to require a thing unlawful and wicked, must necessarily be understood in a figurative sense. Do you then, answered Bourne, make the sacrament nothing but an empty figure, as is affirmed in my lord of Canterbury's book? I suppose you are no stranger to the real author of that book; for it is commonly reported, that you had the chief hand in compiling it. The bishop modestly assured him, “ that the book was compiled by a much greater man than him'; and that the doctrine of the Eucharist was therein orthodoxly stated, in confutation not only of the Papists, but those, who, in mad opposition to popery, ran into the other extreme he had mentioned. And as for his own part, that he had preached a sermon at St. Paul's Cross against them,
who maintained doctrines derogatory from the dignity of the Eucharist." Forty years ago, said Feckenham, all were of our opinion in the doctrine of the sacrament, They were as unanimous for the Pope's supremacy, at that time, replied Bishop Ridley. To this Bourne answered, that the supremacy of the Pope was built only on a positive law of the Church, but the corporeal presence was grounded on Christ's own words. The bishop shewed him his mistake, from the Pope's own decrees, in the canon law ; where it is said, that the Church of Rome was advanced above all other Churches, not by any synodical constitutions, or decrees of councils, but by the living voice of the Lord, when he said to Peter, Tu es Petrus, &c. and subjection to this supremacy is there required of all, as necessary to salvation.
This was the sum of the conference; and when Bourne and Feckenham took their leave of the bishop, they assured him, that they would never reveal the particulars of it, to his prejudice. The bishop complained to them, of his books being all taken away from him; and Bourne promised him, if he would send him a catalogue of the books he wanted, that he would do his best to procure them for him.
In the beginning of April, 1554, Bishop Ridley, with Cranmer and Latimer, was removed from the tower to Oxford, to dispute concerning the doctrine of the Eucharist. When they came there, they were sent to the common goal, called Bocardo; but a little be. fore the time fixed for the disputation, they were parted from each other; and Bishop Ridley was removed to the house of Mr. Irish; then mayor of the city.
When he was brought before the commissioners, which was on Saturday, April the fourteenth, there were these three articles offered him to subscribe.
1. The natural body of Christ, conceived of the blessed virgin, and his natural blood, are really present in the sacrament of the altar, after the consecration, under the species of bread and wine.
2. After the words of consecration pronounced by the priest, no other substance doth remain, but the substance of the body and blood of Christ.
3. In the mass is offered a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the quick and dead.
· Tlcsc articles he refused to subscribe ; declaring them to be gross and dangerous errors ; upon which they charged him with inconstancy, pretending, that when he was bishop of Rochester, he had prenched in defence of transubstantiation. This he absolutely denied; and challenged them to bring any person, who would affirm, that he had heard him preach such a sermon. Then he was asked, whether he would dispute against these propositions ? To which he replied, that lie thought it his duty, as long as God continued his life, to defend the truth, both with his mouth and pen ; but he desired time, to prepare himself for the disputation, and the use of such of his own books, as were necessary. This request, they told him, could not be granted; and notwithstanding all his remonstrances of ilc unreasonableness of their denial, he could obtain no other an. swer but this ; that he must dispute on Thursday next, and he might consult what books he pleased, in the mean time.
On Tuesday the seventeenth of April, he was brought to the divinity school to dispute. His principal opponent was Doctor Smith, a man infamons for the frequent change of his principles, according as it suited best his interest ; this Doctor was assisted by Weston, Cole, Tretham, Oglethrop, Harpsfield, and others. Bishop Rid. ley was used throughont the whole disputation, with great indecen-, cy and ill manners; he was frequently interrupted in the most material part of his argument, with the loud clamours of the Papists, and the tumultuous cries of Blasphemy! Blasphemy! reproaches were returned him for reasons, and revilings for arguments.
He began with reading his judgment of the three propositions ; which he introduced with a handsome preface, wherein he protested, « 'That neither the fear of man, nor any of the terrors of the world, nor any hopes of gain or preferment, had ever had the least influence in determining him to that opinion, which he was then about to declare; but that he was constrained to embrace it, for the love of the truth, as revealed in God's holy word, and contained in the writings of the ancient fathers; and that he submitted himself, and his doctrine, to the judgment of the Catholic Church.” On the two first propositions, which related to the corporeal presence, his arguments were much the same with those, which he had before made use of, in his determination at Cambridge. The third, which affirmed the mass to be a propitiatory sacrifice, for the sins of the quick and dead, he charged not only with error, but blasphemy and impiety; as derogating from the merits of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, who made there, by his own oblation of himself, once offered a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world." To affirm, that other propitiatory sacrifices were still to be offered for our sins, seemed to him to detract from the all-sufficiency of the precious blood of our blessed Redeemer: and he thought it, besides, a gross and ridiculous contradiction, to suppose an unbloody sacrifice to be propitiatory and expiatory ; since not only the upiversal judgment of mankind, but the divinely inspired author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, assures us, that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. An eucharistical and commemorative sacrifice he allowed, and cited the testimonies of several of the fathers, who are clear and express for it: but he would not acknowledge any propitiatory oblation, except that of Christ on the cross ; who by the body of his flesh reconciled us to God; and by one offering purged away our sins, and made perfect forever them that are sanctified.
While he was reading this he was often interrupted, and at last was forced to leave off in the middle, and give way to Dr. Smith; who began the disputation, and was seconded by the rest of the Popish Doctors. They, without regard to mode or regularity, broke in confnsedly upon one another; endeavouring to overwhelm the Bishop with a multitude of opponents, and run hiin down with noise and clamour. But he was too well versed in the controversy concerning the Eucharist, to be silenced by any of them; and answer. ed all their arguments with great learning and judgment : notwith. standing which, at the close of the disputation, Weston had the con. fidence to boast of an entire victory over him; and giving the signal to the rest, they departed in a tumultuous manner, crying out, Vic, tory, Victory, the truth has firevailed. To prevent being misrepresented, Bishop Ridley drew up a brief account of the sum of this disputation; which when the Popish controversy was hot, in the reign of the late unfortunate King James, was reprinted, with his little treatise of the Lord's Supper, at the theatre in Oxford.
Three days after the disputation, the commissioners met at St. Mary's; and the Bishop was brought before them, and again required to subcribe ; which he still refusing, they proceeded to the sen, tence of excommunication against him, as a convict heretic. Upon this he told them, that though driven out from their society, he did not doubt, but his name was written in heaven ; whither this sens tence would send him, sooner than by the course of nature he should otherwise have gone. To which Weston profanely replied, “ If you go to heaven in this faith, then I will never come thither, as I am thus persuaded.” The Bishop soon after wrote to Weston ; putting him in mind, how he had promised him, that he should have a fura ther hearing, and complained of his being, notwithstanding this promise, condemned unheard : but no notice was taken of his let, ter.
(To be concluded in our next.)
ON THE SACREDNESS OF CHURCHES.
IT is not unfrequently the case that we neglect and despise many things in our possession, though they are of intrinsic worth, merely because we are ignorant of their value. This is in nothing more evident than the rites and ceremonies of our Church. The end for which they were established, is not alluded to, and therefore through ignorapce of their propriety, men are led to consider them as insignificant forms which may be dispensed with if occasion requires it, and which it is beneath the dignity of an enlightened mind pertinaciously to defend. Of late years it has been customary to deride that veneration which the greater part of christians feel for those places which are particularly devoted to the service of God, and to ask with a sneer, whether a greater degree of sanctity can be attributed to one pile of wood and stone than to another. To give a formal and serious answer to such men who seek by these insidious modes of attack to destroy all that is held sacred among men, would indeed be a misemployment of time; yet if there be any who seri. ously ask the question, to them it may be answered, that the sancti. ty attached to Churches arises from the consideration that in them God has promised that he will be more particularly present; and surely it cannot be absurd to feel devotional awe and reverence when we enter the presence chamber of that God, who commanded Moses to put off his shoes [from off his feet] because the place whereon
he stood was holy, and who, though he fills immensity of space, was pleased to declare the Temple at Jerusalem his peculiar residence.
As one building then is to be deemed more sacred than another, so also the different parts of the same differ from each other in sanctity. Beyond the court of the Gentiles none but an Israelite might pass, into the holy of holies, no one but the high priest was permitted to enter; nor this, oftener than once a year, and that even on the pen. alty of his life. As an excuse however, for this want of veneration for Churches, the opinion of some learned and ingenious men has been adduced, that during the first century there were no places devoted en: tirely to the worship of God. Without taking into consideration the circumstance that this opinion was hastily adopted from a misinter, pretation of some passages in Lactantius and other writers, which opinion is entirely refuted by other passages in their works ; (a) it need only be observed that a comparison of those few passages which relate to this subject, will satisfy any impartial man that particular places were appointed in which Christians should assemble for the purpose of celebrating divine service. These places were severally called the Hyperoon or Upper room, (6) which in the Eastern hous. es is at this day very large and cool, and thus well suited for the reçeption of a multitude.(c) « Every day in this säcred place did the Aposties and their fellow christians constantly attend, and breaking bread at the house, they received sustenance with gladness and sine cerity of heart.(d)
It is expressly named by St. Paul, the Church, (e) and in his re. proof to the Corinthian Christians, for their disorderly and unseemly manner of partaking in the love feasts and of celebrating the Lord's supper, he asks them whether they had not houses for eating and drinking, or whether they despised the Church of God: (1) i. e. whether they considered that place which was devoted to his service, in no other point of view than as a common building, in which they might freely indulge their merriment and revelry.
To this testimony we may add that of the earliest Christian wri, ters. Clemens Romanus, the fellow-labourer of St. Paul, says, that God in his most high will hath determined both the place where, and the persons by whom he chooseth that the oblations and sacred offices should be performed;($) and the venerable Martyr Ignatius affirms that there was but one altar, as well as one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one Bishop, together with his Presbytery a:d Deacons.” (h) It would be easy to adduce many other testimonies of this nature, not only from Christian, but also from heathen wris ters: but as it was not my intention when I began, to say as much upon this point as I have said, I must refer the reader for more ccpious information to the authors whose assistance I have freely used. (i) It seemed necessary however to settle this point before I pro
ra) See particularly Lactant. de Justitia ch. 2, and de mortibus persecuto. rum ch. 15, ad finem. (6) Acts i. 12-XX. 8. (c) See Shaw's Travels, p. 207. rd See Acts ii. 46, and Bishop Pearce in loco. (e) 1 Cor. q. 13. 20. Ibid. v. 22. C$) Clem. Rom. ad 1 Cor. $ 40. (h) Ad. Phil. ). 4. (i) Mede. Binghamu's Antig. Svo. vol. 3. p. 124. Care's Princ. Christianuta, 8vo. p. 124,