Page images

on the principle of God's own ordinance, that "they who serve the altar should partake with the altar." You make a gross misstatement when you assert of our clergy: "They never perform those masses without the payment in money of a stipulated sum." Thousands of Masses are celebrated without any offering whatever being made. All bargaining is strictly forbidden. The Church, in allowing us to receive the free contributions of the faithful, for our necessary support, has cautiously guarded against abuses by strict enactments, charging her ministers, as they have gratuitously received, to give also gratuitously.



On Communion under One Kind.



THILST you deny the real Presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord in the Eucharist, and the true sacrifice of our altars, I cannot hope to convince you of the reasonableness of our discipline in administering it under one kind. This custom was introduced, indeed, by force of circumstances, not by any positive enactment; but it has been maintained especially with a view to oppose the grievous error which regards the sacrament as mere bread and wine. The Church believing the Body and Blood of Christ to be truly present, and inseparably united, holds that both are received, even when one kind only is taken. Although the custom of communicating under both kinds still continues among the Greeks, they believe with us that the Body and Blood of Christ are contained under each form, and even under each separate particle. In the Council of Jerusalem, A. D., 1672, they declared: "We believe that in every portion, even to the minutest subdivision, of the

bread and wine after they have been changed, are contained not any separate part of the Body and Blood of the Lord, but the Body of Christ is always whole and one in all its parts; and the Lord Jesus is present in His substance, that is, with His Soul and Divinity, as perfect God and perfect man."* Why we should adhere to this usage of communion under one kind in apparent opposition to the original institution, perplexes the superficial observer; but Providence has so directed that in this respect, as well as in regard to baptism, we may not appeal to the mere letter of Scripture against the teaching and practice of those to whom Christ committed the dispensation of the sacraments. Were each one to judge of the mode of baptizing by the scriptural statement of the baptism which our Lord received, or of the manner of giving the Eucharist by the transactions of the supperroom, we should change the place and mode of baptism, and the time and all the circumstances of the Eucharistic celebration. To be consistent, you should in all matters which regard the administration of both sacraments defer to the authority of the Church.

Our Lord in the Eucharist has given us a sacrifice, as well as sacrament, and as the former implies the immolation of a victim, the separate

* Quoted by Wilberforce on the Eucharist, ch. iii. § iii. This is translated from the Russ version. Neal's Introd. p. 1155. The Greek is in Harduin, xi. p. 254.

consecration of the bread and wine is directed to present the Body and Blood separately, as they were offered on the cross, the Body being stretched upon it, while the Blood streamed from the veins. In this consists the mystical sacrifice of our altars; for which reason the reception of both kinds is regarded as appertaining to its consummation, and is enjoined on the celebrant. The communicants are made partakers of both the Body and the Blood under either kind, because the Blood is not now actually separated from the Body, and therefore they enjoy the full benefit of the sacrament. They are under no necessity of receiving both, because it does not devolve on them to consummate the sacrifice. For many ages it was generally allowed to receive both; but liberty was given to receive either alone, when a just cause existed, as in times of persecution, and in sickness. The occurrence of serious accidents, whilst the sacred cup was handed from lip to lip, was one of the chief occasions of introducing the custom of receiving under the species of bread only. No divine command can be shown to receive both, since the words, "Drink ye all of this," were addressed to the Apostles, and by them fulfilled at the moment: "and they all drank of it." There is an obvious reason, why they should receive both on that solemn occasion, when they were associated to the priesthood of

Christ, to be ever afterwards His agents in the act of sacrifice.

You admit that the English Parliament, as well as Calvin, allow the partaking of the bread without the wine, in cases of necessity; but you deny that this implies anything favorable to our discipline. Yet is it not evidence that the Church of England does not regard both elements as absolutely essential?

The manner of administering the sacraments appertains to discipline, and is consequently subject to the discretionary power of the Church, which regulates it according to circumstances, in various places, or at various periods. The Eucharist was given under both elements, for nearly twelve centuries, which is still the practice of the Eastern churches. Throughout the West, it is given only under the species of bread, which usage was gradually introduced from a variety of causes, some of which have been specified above, and for about six hundred years it has been fully established.

St. Leo complained of the Manicheans, who abstained from the sacred cup, regarding wine as a production of the evil principle. They also disbelieved the reality of the sufferings of Christ, and were therefore opposed to the receiving of the Blood, which the faithful believed to be given in the mystery. In order to discover and separate them from the faithful, Pope Gelasius ordered that all should receive under both kinds.

« PreviousContinue »