Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 56.

SIX VOLUMES IN ONE
BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.
REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.
REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada
REV. STEPHEN KEENAN
REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J.
REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.

Q. Besides these arguments from Scripture and Church authority, have you any thing else to allege in proof of the real presence?

A. Yes, first, the authority of all the ancient fathers* whose plain testimonies may be seen in an appendix to a book entitled a Specimen of the Spirit of the Dissenting Teachers, etc. Secondly, the perpetual consent of the Greeks, and all the oriental Christians demonstrated by Monsieur Arnaud, and others, in a book entitled, La Perpetuite de la Foy, etc. Confined by the authentic testimonies of their patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, abbots, etc. By the writings of their ancient and modern divines: and by all their liturgies: and even acknowledged by many Protestant writers. See Sir Edwin Sandy's relation of the religion of the west, p. 233. Dr. Potter's answer to charity mistaken, p. 225. Bishop Forbes on the Eucharist. Dr. Nicholai of the kingdom of Christ, etc.f Now, what can be a more convincing evidence of this doctrine's having been handed down by tradition from the Apostles, than to see all sorts of Christians, who have any pretensions to antiquity, agreeing in it. Thirdly, both ancient and modern Church history furnishes us with many instances of miracles, the best attested, which from time to time have been wrought in testimony of this same truth, of which in divers parts of Christendom there are standing monuments to this day. My last proof is, from the doctrine of the Church of England, as it is delivered in her catechism, which is printed in the common prayer book, which acknowledges that the body and blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper. This is the doctrine of the Church of England, which expresses the real and substantial presence of Christ's body and blood in the sacrament, as fully as any Catholic can do: for if verily and indeed be not the same as really and truly, and of as full force to exclude a mere figurative presence, I confess I am yet wholly ignorant of the signification even of the most common words; and it will be impossible to know what men mean, even when they deliver themselves in the plainest terms. So that it must either be owned that the words of Christ's institution import a real and substantial presence of his body and blood, even according to Protestant doctrine, or we must suppose the Church of England guilty of a most scandalous equivocation or gross contradiction; for how that can be verily and indeed taken and received which is not verily and indeed there, is a greater mystery than transubstantiation.

Q. You have satisfied me as to this point: but pray what is the doctrine of the Church concerning the matter of this sacrament ?

A. The matter is bread and wine, viz.: Wheaten bread and wine of the grape, which Christ made use of; and without them the consecration is not valid.

Q. Why are bread and wine made use of?

A. It is in the first place, the divine will. Again, by reason of the analogy, with respect to the end and effect. They signify a spiritual nourishment. The)' represent Christ's passion, or separation of his blood from his body.

Q. Is bread to be leavened or unleavened?

A. It is certain that Christ used unleavened bread, because he celebrated the last supper on the first day of the Azyms, or unleavened bread: see St. Matt. xxvi. 7, 17; St. Mark xiv. 12; St. Luke xxii. 7, when the Jews were forbid, under pain of death (as we read in Exodus xii. 15, etc.), to eat any leavened bread, for those seven days; nay, they were even forbid to keep it in their houses. However, there is no divine precept. Hence, the Greek Church are allowed to consecrate in leavened bread.