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The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D.
Lord Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore.

The Real Presence and Spiritual of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament
Proved Against the Doctrine of Transubstantiation.
by Jeremy Taylor, D.D.

Edited by the Right Rev. Reginald Heber, D.D.
Late Lord Bishop of Calcutta.

London: Printed for C. and J. Rivington, 1828.

Section I. State of the Question

1. THE tree of knowledge became the tree of death to us; and the tree of life is now become an apple of contention. The holy symbols of the eucharist were intended to be a contesseration, and a union of Christian societies to God, and with one another; and the evil taking it, disunites us from God; and the evil understanding it, divides us from each other. Oukoun deinon, ei gh krhsth men amartous' wn crewn authn tucein, kakon didwsi karpon. And yet if men would but do reason, there were in all religion no article, which might more easily excuse us from meddling with questions about it, than this of the holy sacrament. For as the man, in Phaedrus, that being asked what he carried hidden under his cloak, answered, it was hidden under his cloak; meaning, that he would not have hidden it, but that he intended it should be secret:--so we may in this mystery to them that curiously ask, what, or how it is? 'Mysterium est;' 'It is a sacrament, and a mystery;' by sensible instruments it consigns spiritual graces; by the creatures it brings us to God; by the body it ministers to the spirit. And that things of this nature are undiscernible secrets, we may learn by the experience of those men, who have, in cases not unlike, vainly laboured to tell us, how the material fire of hell should torment an immaterial soul, and how baptismal water should cleanse the spirit, and how a sacrament should nourish a body, and make it sure of the resurrection.

2. It was happy with Christendom, when she, in this article, retained the same simplicity which she always was bound to do in her manners and intercourse; that is, to believe the thing heartily, and not to inquire curiously; and there was peace in this article for almost a thousand years together; and yet that transubstantiation was not determined, I hope to make very evident; "In synaxi transubstantiationem sero definivit ecclesia: diu satis erat credere, sive sub pane consecrato, sive quocunque modo adesse verum corpus Christi;" so said the great Erasmus: "It was late before the church defined transubstantiation; for a long time together it did suffice to believe, that the true body of Christ was present, whether under the consecrated bread or any other way:" so the thing was believed, the manner was not stood upon. And it is a famous saying of Durandus [Neand. Synops. Chron. p. 203.]; "Verbum audimus, motum sentimus, modum nescimus, prsesentiam credimus:" "We hear the word, we perceive the motion, we know not the manner, but we believe the presence;" and Ferus [In Matt. xxvi.], of whom Sixtus Senensis [Biblioth. Sixt. Senensis, lib. 4. tit. Johannes Ferus.] affirms that he was 'vir nobiliter doctus, pius et eruditus,' hath these words: "Cum certum sit ibi esse corpus Christi, quid opus est disputare, num pa-nis substantia maneat, vel non?" "When it is certain that Christ's body is there, what need we dispute whether the substance of bread remain or no?" and therefore Cuthbert Tonstal, Bishop of Duresme, would have every one left to his conjecture concerning the manner: "De modo quo id fieret, satins erat curiosum quemque relinquere suae conjecturæ, sicut liberum fuit ante concilium Lateranum [Tonstal. de Eucharist, lib.. 1. p. 46.]:" 'Before the Lateran council, it was free for every one to opine as they please, and it were better it were so now.'--But St. Cyril [Cyril, in Joh. lib. 4. c. 13.] would not allow so much liberty; not that he would have the manner determined, but not so much as thought upon. "Firmam fidem mysteriis adhibentes, nunquam in tarn sublimibus rebus, illud quomodo, aut cogitemus aut proferamus." For if we go about to think it or understand it, we lose our labour. "Quomodo enim id fiat, ne in mente intelligere, nee lingui dicere possumus, seel silentio et firmâ fide id suscipimus:" "We can perceive the thing by faith, but cannot express it in words, nor understand it with our mind," said St. Bernard. [Epist. 77.] "Oportet igitur (it is at last, after the steps of the former progress, come to be a duty), nos in sumptionibus divinorum mysteriorum, indubitatam retinere fidem, et non quaerere quo pacto." The sum is this; The manner was defined but very lately: there is no need at all to dispute it; no advantages by it; and therefore it were better it were left at liberty to every man to think as he please; for so it was in the church for above a thousand years together; and yet it were better, men would not at all trouble themselves concerning it; for it is a thing impossible to be understood; and therefore it is not fit to be inquired after. This was their sense: and I suppose we do, in no sense, prevaricate their so pious and prudent council by saying, 'The presence of Christ is real and spiritual;' because this account does still leave the article in his deepest mystery: not only because spiritual formalities and perfections are undiscernible and incommensurable by natural proportions, and the measures of our usual notices of things, but also because the word 'spiritual' is so general a term, and operations so various and many, by which the Spirit of God brings his purposes to pass, and does his work upon the soul, that we are, in this specific term, very far from limiting the article to a minute and special manner. Our word of 'spiritual presence' is particular in nothing, but that it excludes the corporal and natural manner; we say it is not this, but it is to be understood figuratively, that is, not naturally, but to the purposes and in the manner of the Spirit and spiritual things; which how they operate or are effected, we know no more than we know how a cherub sings or thinks, or by what private conveyances a lost notion returns suddenly into our memory, and stands placed in the eye of reason. Christ is present spiritually, that is, by effect and blessing; which, in true speaking, is rather the consequent of his presence than the formality. For though we are taught and feel that, yet this we profess we cannot understand; and therefore curiously inquire not. ZafhV elegcoV, apistiaV to pwV peri Qeou legein, said Justin Martyr; "It is a manifest argument of infidelity, to inquire, concerning the things of God, How, or After what manner?" And in this it was, that many of the fathers of the church laid their hands upon their mouths, and revered the mystery, but like the remains of the sacrifice, they burnt it; that is, as themselves expound the allegory, it was to be adored by faith, and not to be discussed with reason: knowing that, as Solomon said, "Scrutator majestatis opprimetur a gloria:" "He that pries too far into the majesty, shall be confounded with the glory"

3. So far it was very well; and if error or interest had not unravelled the secret, and looked too far into the sanctuary, where they could see nothing but a cloud of fire, majesty and, secrecy indiscriminately mixed together,--we had kneeled before the same altars, and adored the same mystery, and communicated in the same rites, to this day. For, in the thing itself, there is no difference amongst wise and sober persons; nor ever was, till the manner became an article, and declared or supposed to be of the substance of the thing. But now the state of the question is this:

4. The doctrine of the church of England, and generally of the Protestants, in this article, is,--that after the minister of the holy mysteries hath rightly prayed, and blessed or consecrated the bread and the wine, the symbols become changed into the body and blood of Christ, after a sacramental, that is, in a spiritual real manner: so that all that worthily communicate, do by faith receive Christ really, effectually, to all the purposes of his passion: the wicked receive not Christ, but the bare symbols only; but yet to their hurt, because the offer of Christ is rejected, and they pollute the blood of the covenant, by using it as an unholy thing. [Dum enim sacramenta violantur, ipse cujus sunt sacramenta violatur. S. Hieron. in 1 Malac.] The result of which doctrine is this: It is bread, and it is Christ's body. It is bread in substance, Christ in the sacrament; and Christ is as really given to all that are truly disposed, as the symbols are; each as they can; Christ as Christ can be given; the bread and wine as they can; and to the same real purposes, to which they are designed; and Christ does as really nourish and sanctify the soul, as the elements do the body. It is here, as in the other sacrament; for as there natural water becomes the lava of regeneration; so here, bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; but, there and here too, the first substance is changed by grace, but remains the same in nature.

5. That this is the doctrine of the church of England, is apparent in the church-catechism; affirming "the inward part or thing signified" by the consecrated bread and wine to be "the body and blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received of the faithful in the Lord's supper;" and the benefit of it to be, "the strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the body and blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the bread and wine:" and the same is repeated severally in the exhortation, and in the prayer of the address before the consecration, in the canon of our communion; 'verily and indeed' is 'reipsa,' that is, 'really enough;' that is our sense of the real presence; and Calvin affirms as much, saying, 'In the supper Christ Jesus, viz. his body and blood, is truly given under the signs of bread and wine." [Lib. 4. Inst. c. 7. sect, 32. De Missae Sacrific.] And Gregory de Valentia gives this account of the doctrine of the Protestants; that 'although Christ be corporally in heaven, yet is he received of the faithful communicants in this sacrament truly, both spiritually by the mouth of the mind, through a most near conjunction of Christ with the soul of the receiver by faith, and also sacramentally with the bodily mouth,' &c. And, which is the greatest testimony of all, we, who best know our own minds, declare it to be so.

6. Now that the spiritual is also a real presence, and that they are hugely consistent, is easily credible to them, that believe that the gifts of the Holy Ghost are real graces, and a spirit is a proper substance: and ta nohta are amongst the Hellenists ta onta, 'intelligible things:' or things discerned 'by the mind of a man, are more truly and really such, and of a more excellent substance and reality, than things only sensible. And therefore, when things spiritual are signified by materials, the thing under the figure is called true, and the material part is opposed to it, as less true or real. The examples of this are not unfrequent in Scripture: "the tabernacle," into which the high-priest entered, was a type or a figure of heaven. Heaven itself is called skhnh alhqinh, 'the true tabernacle;' and yet the other was the material part. And when they are joined together, that is, when a thing is expressed by a figure, alhqh, 'true,' is spoken of such things, though they are spoken figuratively: "Christ, the true light, that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world;" he is also 'the true vine' and 'vere cibus' 'truly or really meat,' and 'panis verus e coelo,' 'the true a bread from heaven;' and spiritual goods are called "the true riches:" and in the same analogy, the spiritual presence of Christ is the most true, real, and effective; the other can be but the image and shadow of it, something in order to this: for if it were in the sacrament naturally or corporeally, it could be but in order to this spiritual, celestial, and effective presence, as appears beyond exception in this; that the faithful and pious communicants receive the ultimate end of his presence, that is, spiritual blessings; the wicked (who, by the affirmation of the Roman doctors, do receive Christ's body and blood in the natural and corporal manner) fall short of that for which this is given, that is, of the blessings and benefits.

7. So that, as St. Pauld said, "He is not a Jew, who is one outwardly: neither is that circumcision, which is outwardly, in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly," en tw kruptw IoudaioV, and peritomh kardiaV en pneumati that is the real Jew, and "the true circumcision, that which is of the heart, and in the spirit;" and in this sense it is that Nathaniel is said to be alhqwV IsrahlioithV, really and "truly an Israelite:" [Concil. Trident, sess. 4. sub Julio 3. 1551. can. 8.] so we may say of the blessed sacrament, 'Christ is more truly and really present in spiritual presence, than in corporal, in the heavenly effect, than in the natural being;' this, if it were at all, can be but the less perfect; and, therefore, we are, to the most real purposes, and in the proper sense of Scripture, the more real defenders of the real presence of Christ in the sacrament: for the spiritual sense is the most real, and most true, and most agreeable to the analogy and style of Scripture, and right reason, and common manner of speaking. For every degree of excellency is a degree of being, of reality, and truth: and therefore spiritual things, being more excellent than corporal and natural, have the advantage both in truth and reality. And this is fully the sense of the Christians, who use the Egyptian liturgy. "Sanctifica nos, Domine noster, sicut sanctificasti has oblationes propositas; sed fecisti illas non fictas (that is for real); et quicquid apparet, est mysterium tuum spirituale (that is for spiritual.") To all which I add the testimony of Bellarmine [Lib. 1. Eucha, c. 11. sect. Respondeo apud.] concerning St. Austin; "Apud Augustinum saepissimè, illud solum dici tale, et verè tale, quod habet effectum suum conjunctum: res enim ex fructu aestimatur: itaque illos dicit verè comedere corpus Christi, qui utiliter comedunt:" "They only truly eat Christ's body, that eat it with effect; for then a thing is really or truly such, when it is not to no purpose; when it hath his effect."--And in his eleventh book 'against Faustus the Manichee,' chap. 7., he shews, that, in Scripture, the words are often so taken, as to signify not the substance, but the quality and effect, of a thing. So when it is said, "flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God," that is, "corruption shall not inherit:" and, in the resurrection, our bodies are said to be spiritual, that is, not in substance, but in effect and operation: and in the same manner he often speaks concerning the blessed sacrament; and Clemens Romanus affirms expressly, "This is to drink the blood of Jesus, to partake of the Lord's immortality."

8. This may suffice for the word 'real,' which the English Papists much use, but, as it appears, with less reason than the sons of the church of England: and when the real presence is denied, the word 'real' is taken for 'natural f and does not signify 'transcendenter,' or, in his just and most proper signification. But the word 'substantialiter' is also used by Protestants in this question: which I suppose may be the same with that which is in the article of Trent; "sacramentaliter prsesens Salvator substantia sufi, nobis adest," "in substance, but after a sacramental manner:" [Decretum de SS. Euchar. Sacra. can. 1.] which words if they might be understood in the sense, in which the Protestants use them, that is, really, truly, without fiction or the help of fancy, but 'in rei veritate,' so, as Philo calls spiritual things anagkaiotatai ousiai, 'most necessary, useful, and material substances,' it might become an instrument of a united confession; and this is the manner of speaking which St. Bernard [Lib. 1. Euchar. c. 2. reg. 3.] used in his sermon of St. Martin, where he affirms, "In sacramento exhiberi nobis veram carnis substantiam, sed spiritualiter, non carnaliter;" "In the sacrament is given us the true substance of Christ's body or flesh, not carnally, but spiritually;" that is, not to our mouths, but to our hearts; not to be chewed by teeth, but to be eaten by faith. But they mean it otherwise, as I shall demonstrate by and by. In the meantime it is remarkable, that Bellarmine, when he is stating this question, seems to say the same thing, for which he quotes the words of St. Bernard now mentioned; for he says 'that Christ's body is there trully, substantially, really; but not corporally; nay, you may say spiritually:' and now a man would think we had him sure; but his nature is labile and slippery, you are never the nearer for this; for first he says, "It is not safe to use the word 'spiritually,' nor yet safe to say, he is not there 'corporally,' lest it be understood, not of the manner of his presence, but to the exclusion of the nature." For he intends not (for all these fine words) that Christ's body is present spiritually, as the word is used in Scripture, and in all common notices of usual speaking; but spiritually, with him, signifies after the manner of spirits,--which, besides that it is a cozening the world in the manner of expression, is also a direct folly and contradiction, that a body should be substantially present, that is, with the nature of a body, naturally,--and yet be not as a body but as a spirit, with that manner of being with which a spirit is distinguished from a body. In vain, therefore, it is, that he denies the carnal manner, and admits a spiritual,--and ever after requires, that we believe a carnal presence, even in the very manner. But this caution and exactness in the use of the word 'spiritual' are, therefore, carefully to be observed, lest the contention of both parties should seem trifling, and to be for nothing. We say that Christ's body is in the sacrament 'really, but spiritually.' They say, it is there 'really, but spiritually.' For so Bellarmine is bold to say, that the word may be allowed in this question. Where now is the difference? Here, by 'spiritually' they mean 'present after the manner of a spirit;' by 'spiritually' we mean, 'present to our spirits only;' that is, so as Christ is not present to any other sense but that of faith or spiritual susception; but their way makes his body to be present no way, but that which is impossible, and implies a contradiction; a body not after the manner of a body, a body like a spirit; a body without a body; and a sacrifice of body and blood without blood: "corpus incorporeum, cruor incruentus." They say, that Christ's body is truly present there, as it was upon the cross, but not after the manner of all or any body, but after that manner of being as an angel is in a place:--that is there spiritually. But We, by the real spiritual presence of Christ, do understand Christ to be present, as the Spirit of God is present in the hearts of the faithful, by blessing and grace; and this is all which we mean besides the tropical and figurative presence. 9. That which seems of hardest explication is the word 'corporaliter,' which I find that Melanothon used; saying, "Corporaliter quoque communicatione carnis Christi Christum in nobis habitare;" which manner of speaking, I have heard, he avoided, after he had conversed with Oecolampadius, who was able then to teach him, and most men, in that question; but the expression may become warrantable, and consonant to our doctrine; and means no more than 'really' and 'without fiction,' or 'beyond a figure:' like that of St. Paul, "In Christ dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily':" upon which St. Austin says, "In ipso inhabitat plenitude divinitatis corporaliter, quia in templo habitaverat umbraliter;" and in St. Paul skia kai swma are opposed, "which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ;" that is 'the substance,' 'the reality,' the correlative of the type and figure, the thing signified: and among the Greeks swmatopoiein signifies 'solidare,' 'to make firm, real, and consistent;' but among the fathers, swma, or 'body,' signifies pan to ek tou mh ontoV eiV to einai genomenon, 'every thing that is produced from nothing,' saith Phavorinus; that is, every thing that is real 'extra non ens,' that hath a proper being; so that we, receiving Christ in the sacrament 'corporally' or 'bodily,' understand, that we do it really, by the ministry of our bodies receiving him into our souls. And thus we affirm Christ's body to be present in the sacrament: not only in type or figure, but in blessing and real effect; that is, more than in the types of the law; the shadows were of the law, "but the body is of Christ." And besides this; the word 'corporally' may be very well used, when by it is only understood a corporal sign. So St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in his third catechism says, that the "Holy Ghost did descend corporally in the likeness of a dove;" that is, in a type or representment of a dove's body (for so he and many of the ancients did suppose): and so he [Dial. de Incar. Unig.] again uses the word: "Jesus Christ, as a man, did inspire the Holy Spirit corporally into his apostles;" where by 'corporally' it is plain he means 'by a corporal or material sign or symbol,' viz., by "breathing upon them and saying, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." In either of these senses if the word be taken, it may indifferently be used in this question.

10. I have been the more careful to explain the question, and the use of these words according to our meaning in the question, for these two reasons. 1. Because until we are agreed upon the signification of the words, they are equivocal; and by being used on both sides to several purposes, sometimes are pretended as instruments of union, but indeed effect it not; but sometimes displease both parties, while each suspects the word in a wrong sense. And this hath with very ill effect been observed in the conferences for composing the difference in this question; particularly that of Poissy, where it was propounded in these words; "Credimus in usu coenæ Dominicæ vere, reipsa, substantialiter, seu in substantifi. verum corpus, et sanguinem Christi spirituali et ineffabili modo esse, exhiberi, sumi a fidelibus communicantibus." [Eccles. Hist. Eccles. Gallic, lib. 4. p. 604, 605. et Comment, de Statu Relig. et reip, sub. Carolo 9, A.D. 1651. et Thuanum, Hist, lib, 28, ad eundem annum.] Beza and Gallasius for the reformed, and Espencæus and Monlucius for the Romanists, undertook to propound it to their parties. But both rejected it: for though the words were not disliked, yet they suspected each other's sense. But now, that I have declared what is meant by us in these words, they are made useful in the explicating the question. 2. But because the words do perfectly declare our sense, and are owned publicly in our doctrine and manner of speaking, it will be in vain to object against us those sayings of the fathers, which use the same expressions: for if by virtue of those words, 'really, substantially, corporally, verily, and indeed, and Christ's body and blood,' the fathers shall be supposed to speak for 'transubstantiation,' they may as well suppose it to be our doctrine too, for we use the same words; and therefore, those authorities must signify nothing against us, unless these words can be proved in them to signify more than our sense of them does import: and by this truth, many, very many of their pretences, are evacuated.

11. One thing more I am to note in order to the same purposes; that, in the explication of this question, it is much insisted upon, that it be inquired whether, when we say we believe Christ's body to be 'really' in the sacrament, we mean, "that body, that flesh, that was born of the Virgin Mary," that was crucified, dead and buried? I answer, I know none else that he had, or hath: there is but one body of Christ natural and glorified; but he that says, that body is glorified, which was crucified, says it is the same body, but not after the same manner: [See Bp. Ridley's answer to Curtop's first argument in his disp. at Oxford, Fox Martyrol. p. 1451. vet. edit.] and so it is in the sacrament; we eat and drink the body and blood of Christ, that was broken and poured forth; for there is no other body, no other blood, of Christ; but though it is the same which we eat and drink, yet it is in another manner: and therefore, when any of the Protestant divines, or any of the fathers [Vide infra, sect. 12.], deny that body which was born of the Virgin Mary, that which was crucified, to be eaten in the sacrament,--as Bertram, as St. Jerome, as [Dupliciter vero sanguis Christi et caro intelligitur, spiritualis illa, atque divina, de qua ipse dixit, Caro mea vere est cibus, &c.; vel caro et sanguis, quæ crucifixa est, et qui militis effusus est lancea: in Epist. Ephes. c. 1.] Clemens Alexandrinus, expressly affirm; the meaning is easy;--they intend that it is not eaten in a natural sense; and then calling it 'corpus spirituale,1 the word 'spiritual' is not a substantial predication, but is an affirmation of the manner, though, in disputation, it be made the predicate of a proposition, and the opposite member of a distinction. 'That body which was crucified, is not that body, that is eaten in the sacrament,'--if the intention of the proposition be to speak of the eating it in the same manner of being; but 'that body which was crucified, the same body we do eat,'-- if the intention be to speak of the same thing in several manners of being and operating: and this I noted, that we may not be prejudiced by words, when the notion is certain and easy: and thus far is the sense of our doctrine in this article.

12. On the other side, the church of Rome uses the same words we do, but wholly to other purposes; affirming, 1. That after the words of consecration, on the altar there is no bread; in the chalice there is no wine. 2. That the accidents, that is, the colour, the shape, the bigness, the weight, the smell, the nourishing qualities, of bread and wine, do remain, but neither in the bread, nor in the body of Christ, but by themselves, that is, so that there is whiteness, and nothing white; sweetness, and nothing sweet, &c. [Concil. Trid, decretum de SS. Euchar. Sacram.] 3. That in the place of the substance of bread and wine, there is brought the natural body of Christ, and his blood that was shed upon the cross. 4. That the flesh of Christ is eaten by every communicant, good and bad, worthy and unworthy. 5. That this is conveniently, properly, and most aptly, called transubstantiation, that is, a conversion of the whole substance of bread into the substance of Christ's natural body, of the whole substance of the wine into his blood. In the process of which doctrine they oppose 'spiritualiter' to 'sacramentaliter' and 'realiter,' supposing the spiritual manducation, though done in the sacrament by a worthy receiver, not to be sacramental and real. [Can. 8 Anathematis.]

13. So that now the question is not, whether the symbols be changed into Christ's body and blood, or no? For it is granted on all sides: but whether this conversion be sacramental and figurative? Or whether it be natural and bodily? Nor is it, whether Christ be really taken, but whether he be taken in a spiritual, or in a natural manner? We say, the conversion is figurative, mysterious, and sacramental; they say it is proper, natural, and corporal: we affirm, that Christ is really taken by faith, by the Spirit, to all real effects of his passion; they say, he is taken by the mouth, and that the spiritual and the virtual taking him, in virtue or effect, is not sufficient, though done also in the sacrament. 'Hic Rhodus, hic saltus.' This thing I will try by Scripture, by reason, by sense, and by tradition.

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