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'blood, not changing their nature, but adding to nature."*


The passage which I have here adduced is one of singular importance. In every point of view, it is fatal to the cause which the bishop of Aire has unhappily been led to espouse.

The bishop denies the homogeneousness of the two expressions, I am the vine, and This is my blood: whence he contends, that although the former ought to be interpreted figuratively, the latter ought doubtless to be interpreted literally. But Orthodoxus, in the fifth century, positively asserts their homogeneousness: for he teaches us, that the reason, WHY Christ denominated the sacramental wine his own blood, was, because he had previously denominated himself a vine.

The bishop strenuously maintains the doctrine of a physical change in the consecrated elements. But Orthodoxus, even in so many words, denies it. Christ, says he, did NOT change the nature of the elements.

The bishop assures us, that the doctrine of a physical change was the grand secret of the mysteries. But Orthodoxus declares, that the language, which inculcates the doctrine of a moral change, is perfectly familiar to, and well understood by, all those who have been initiated.

2. In these latter days of unscriptural innovation, it is pleasing to behold a Roman pontiff, who flourished in the same century with Eutyches and Theodoret, adding the sanction of his voice to that primitive doctrine of a moral change, which, so far as I know, was first impugned by a convicted and acknowledged heretic. In the attack upon the then germinating speculation of Eutychianism, Gelasius of Rome joined himself to Theodoret of Cyrus: and, as he had to oppose the

* Theod. Dial. i. Oper. vol. iv. p. 17, 18.

† Discuss. Amic. vol. i. p. 295.

self-same specious argument built upon the alleged circumstance of a physical change, he wisely opposed it with the self-same weapons.

"Certainly," says he," the sacraments of the body and blood of the Lord, which we receive, are a 'divine thing: because by these we are made par'takers of the divine nature. Nevertheless, the sub'stance or nature of the bread and wine ceases not to exist and, assuredly, the image and similitude of the body and blood of Christ are celebrated in the 'action of the mysteries."*

Here again we may observe, that Gelasius, while he speaks of the elements being the image and similitude of Christ's body and blood, expressly denies the doctrine of any physical change. "The substance or nature of the bread and wine," says he, 66 ceases not to exist."

3. Unhappily, the sound declarations of Theodoret's Orthodoxus, though supported by all the authority of Pope Gelasius, do not seem to have had any effect on the Eutychians. They still retained their novel doctrine of a physical change; and they still employed it as an argument to demonstrate the physical change of our Lord's material body into the substance of the godhead. Hence, about the middle. of the sixth century, Ephrem of Antioch was compelled to resume the weapons of Theodoret and Gelasius.

"No man of common sense," he observes, "will assert, that the nature of things palpable and im'palpable, visible and invisible, is the same. Thus 'the body of Christ, which is received by the faith'ful, does not depart from its own sensible sub'stance, though, by virtue of consecration, it is united to a spiritual grace: and thus baptism, though a spiritual thing itself, yet preserves the

Gelas. de duab. Christ. Natur. cont. Nestor. et Eutych. in Biblioth. Patr. vol. iv. p. 422.

'water which is the property of its sensible substance; it loses not what it was before."*

The same doctrine of a moral change only in the elements, and the same strenuous opposition to the novel Eutychian doctrine of a physical change, prevailed, we see, in the time of Ephrem, as well as in the time of Theodoret and Gelasius. Ephrem, on the true principle of analogical homogeneity, brings the two holy sacraments into immediate comparative juxtaposition. The symbols of bread and wine, he argues, are no more physically changed into the body and blood of Christ, than the symbol of water is physically changed into the inward moral grace of baptism. In neither case do the material elements depart from their own sensible substance or nature. They are severally united, indeed, by virtue of consecration, to a spiritual grace; but the spiritual grace is superadded to the material symbols. As for the symbols themselves, they experience no physical change. The bread and wine, in the one sacrament, still remain bread and wine: just as the water, in the other sacrament, still remains water.

II. From this determined opposition at its commencement, we might well have imagined, that the doctrine of a physical change could never have established itself in any branch of the catholic church: but the event has demonstrated the possibility of the fact.

Although the doctrine of a physical change was first started by a heretic, and although it was strenuously opposed by a Roman pontiff, it gradually worked its way into ecclesiastical favour. In the fifth and sixth centuries, the doctrine of Eutyches, in regard to a physical change, was condemned as heretical: but, in the year 787, having now attained the respectable antiquity of about three hundred years, it was decreed to be orthodox by the fathers

Ephrem. Antioch. cont. Eutych. apud Phot. Cod. 229.


of the second Council of Nice. Reversing the decision of the seventh Ecumenical Council, that the only legitimate image or representation of Christ was the consecrated bread and wine in the Eucharist; reversing this decision of their predecessors, who met at Constantinople in the year 754, and denying to their synod the very name of a council, for no better reason than because they themselves differed from it in opinion, the fathers of the second Nicene Council pronounced, that the Eucharist is not the mere image of Christ's body and blood, but that it is Christ's body and blood their own literal and proper and physical selves.*

III. Still, however, though at length sanctioned by a council, the doctrine was in a rude and indigested state: it had received many severe blows, during its rugged infancy, from Theodoret and Pope Gelasius; and it had with difficulty passed through the poriod of a sickly and precarious childhood, branded with the impress of heresy, and disowned alike by the West and by the East.

A brighter day, however, was now beginning to dawn upon it. An ecumenical council, though at the expense of contradicting another council, had recognised the orthodoxy of its general principle: but to Paschase of Corby, in the ninth century, must justly be ascribed the honour of having first reduced it into a compact and well-arranged system. If not, in absolute strictness of speech, its original parent, he may certainly vindicate to himself the praise of having been its careful and tender foster-father. Paschase, says Cardinal Bellarmine, was the first who wrote seriously and copiously concerning the truth of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist.†

1 cannot understand the words of the council in any other sense: and, of course, every Romanist will agree with me.-See Concil. Nicen. secund. act. vi. Labb. Concil. Sacros. vol. vii. p. 448, 449.

† Bellarm. de Scriptor. Eccles.

IV. Such was the gradual progress of the tenet, from its first invention by Eutyches, to its final completion by Paschase. Nevertheless, many years elapsed, before the church of Rome ventured to impress upon it, in its matured state, the seal of indisputable verity and the obligation of universal belief.

In the year 1079, indeed, Pope Gregory the Seventh, in a synod then assembled at Rome, compelled Berenger, who had opposed the Eutychian novelty, to acknowledge, that the bread and wine, placed upon the altar, are substantially and physically changed into the true, and proper, and literal flesh and blood of Christ by virtue of the prayer of consecration. But it was not until the fourth council of Lateran, in the year 1215, that Pope Innocent the Third finally enjoined and imposed upon the whole body of the faithful, as a necessary article of Christian faith, the present doctrine of transubstantiation.*

V. It is worthy of note, that, as Theodoret and Pope Gelasius opposed the doctrine of a physical change, when it was first started by Eutyches; so Raban Maurus, archbishop of Mentz, equally opposed it, when it was revived and digested by Paschase of Corby.

"Some persons, of late," says that prelate, "not 'entertaining a sound opinion respecting the sacra'ment of the body and blood of our Lord, have 'actually ventured to declare, that this is the identi'cal body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; the 'identical body to wit, which was born of the Virgin Mary, in which Christ suffered upon the cross, and in which he rose from the dead. This error we have opposed with all our might."+

*Before the fourth Lateran Council, says Tonstal of Durham, men were at liberty as to the manner of Christ's presence in the sacrament.-Tonstal. de Euchar. lib. i. p. 146.

Raban. Maur. Epist. ad Heribald. c. xxxiii. The bishop of Aire makes a very singular mistake in roundly asserting, that the

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