Project Canterbury

The Holy Eucharist a Comfort to the Penitent

A Sermon Preached Before the University
In the Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford
On the Fourth Sunday after Easter

by the Reverend E. B. Pusey, DD
Regius Professor of Hebrew, Canon of Christ Church, and Late Fellow of Oriel College


From some Writers in our later English Church on the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist

transcribed by Dr Elizabeth G. Melillo
AD 2000

Homily on the Sacrament

"Thus much we must be sure to hold, that in the Supper of the Lord there is no vain ceremony, no bare sign, no untrue figure of a thing absent: But, as the Scripture saith, the Table of the Lord, the Bread and Cup of the Lord, the memory of Christ, the annunciation of his death, yea, the communion of the Body and Blood or the Lord, is a marvellous incorporation, which by the operation of the Holy Ghost (the very bond of our conjunction with Christ) is through faith wrought in the souls of the faithful, whereby not only their souls live to eternal life, but they surely trust to win their bodies a resurrection to immortality. The true understanding of this fruition and union, which is betwixt the body and the Head, betwixt the true believers and Christ, the ancient Catholic Fathers both perceiving themselves, and commending to their people, were not afraid to call this Supper, some of them, the salve of immortality and sovereign preservative against death; other, a deifical communion; other, the sweet dainties of our Saviour, the pledge of eternal health, the defence of faith, the hope of the resurrection ; other, the food of immortality, the healthful grace, and the conservatory to everlasting life."

"It is well known that the meat we seek for in this Supper is spiritual food, the nourishment of our soul, a heavenly refection, and not earthly; an invisible meat, and not bodily; a ghostly substance, and not carnal; so that to think that without faith we may enjoy the eating and drinking thereof, or that that is a fruition of it, is but to dream a gross carnal feeding, basely objecting and binding ourselves to the elements and creatures. Whereas, by the advice of the Council of Nicene, we ought to lift up our minds by faith, and, leaving these inferior and earthly things, there seek it, where the Sun of righteousness ever shineth.

Take then this lesson, O thou that art desirous of this Table, of Emissenus, a godly father, that when thou goest up to the reverend Communion, to be satisfied with spiritual meats, thou look up with faith upon the holy Body and Blood of thy God, thou marvel with reverence, thou touch it with the mind, thou receive it with the hand of thy heart, and thou take it fully with thy inward man."

Bishop Ridley

"Both you and I agree herein, that in the Sacrament is the very, true, and natural Body and Blood of Christ; even that Which was born of the Virgin Mary; Which ascended into heaven; Which sits on the right hand of God the Father; Which shall come from thence to judge the quick and the dead; only we differ in modo, in the way and manner of being. We confess all one thing to be in the Sacrament, and dissent in the manner of being there. I, being by God’s word fully thereunto persuaded, confess Christ’s natural Body to be in the Sacrament indeed by spirit and grace, because that whosoever receiveth worthily that Bread and Wine, receiveth effectually Christ's Body and drinketh His Blood (that is, he is made effectually partaker of His passion); and you make a grosser kind of being enclosing a natural, a lively, and a moving body, under the shape or form of Bread and Wine. Now this difference considered, to the question thus I answer, that in the Sacrament of the Altar is the natural Body and Blood of Christ vere et realiter, indeed and really, if you take these words ‘indeed and really’ for spiritually by grace and efficacy; for so every worthy receiver receiveth the very true Body of Christ. But if you mean really and indeed, so that thereby you would include a lively and moveable body under the forms of bread and wine, then, in that sense, is not Christ's Body in the Sacrament really and indeed."

"Always my protestation reserved, I answer, thus; that in the Sacrament is a certain change, in that the Bread, which was before common bread, is now made a lively presentation of Christ's Body, and not only a figure, but effectuously representeth His Body; that even as the mortal body was nourished by that visible bread, so is the internal soul fed with the heavenly food of Christ's Body, which the eyes of faith see, as the bodily eyes see only bread. Such a Sacramental mutation I grant to be in the Bread and Wine, which truly is no small change, but such a change as no mortal man can make, but only that omnipotency of Christ’s word." – Works, edit. 1843, p. 274

"Think not because I disallow that Presence which the first proposition maintaineth (as a presence which I take to be forged, phantastical, and beside the authority of God’s word, perniciously brought into the Church by the Romanists,) that I therefore go about to take away the true Presence of Christ's Body in His Supper rightly and duly ministered, which is grounded upon the word of God, and made more plain by the commentaries of the faithful Fathers. They that think so of me, the Lord knoweth how far they are deceived. And to make the same evident unto you, I will in few words declare what True Presence of Christ's Body in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper I hold and affirm, with the word of God, and the ancient Fathers.

"I say and confess with the Evangelist Luke, and with the Apostle Paul , that the Bread on the which thanks are given is the Body of Christ in the remembrance of Him and His death, to be set forth perpetually of the faithful until His coming.

"I say and confess the Bread which we break to be the Communion and partaking of Christ's Body with the ancient and the faithful Fathers.

"I say and believe, that there is not only a signification of Christ's Body set forth by the Sacrament, but also that therewith is given to the godly and faithful the grace of Christ's Body, that is, the food of life and immortality, and this I hold with Cyprian.

"I say also with Saint Augustine, that we eat life and we drink life; with Emissene, that we feel the Lord to be present in grace; with Athanasius, that we receive celestial food which cometh from above; the property of natural communion, with Hilary; the nature of flesh and benediction which giveth life, in Bread and Wine, with Cyril; and with the same Cyril, the virtue of the very Flesh of Christ, life and grace of His Body, the property of the Only-Begotten, that is to say, life, as He Himself in plain words expounded it.

"I confess also with Basil, that we receive the mystical advent and coming of Christ, grace, and the virtue of His very nature; the Sacrament of his very Flesh, with Ambrose; the Body by grace, with Epiphanius; spiritual flesh, but not that which was crucified, with Jerome; grace flowing into a sacrifice, and the grace of the Spirit, with Chrysosthom; grace and invisible verity, grace and society of the members of Christ's Body, with Augustine.

"Finally, with Bertram, (who was the last of all these,) I confess that Christ's Body is in the Sacrament in this respect; namely, as he writeth, because there is in it the Spirit of Christ, that is, the power of the Word of God, which not only feedeth the soul, but also cleanseth it. Out of these I suppose it may clearly appear unto all men, how far we are from that opinion, whereof some go about falsely to slander us to the world, saying, we teach that the godly and faithful should receive nothing else at the Lord’s table, but a figure of the Body of Christ." – p. 201, 202

Bishop Bilson
(quoted by Bishop Mountagu)

"The disagreement is only in de modo praesentiae, the thing is yielded to on either side, and there is in the Holy Eucharist a real Presence. ‘God forbid,’ saith Bishop Bilson, ‘we should deny that the Flesh and Blood of Christ are truly present and truly received of the faithful at the Lord’s table. It is the doctrine that we teach others, and comfort ourselves withal." (p. 779 of the subject.) Appeal, c. 30 init. p. 289. See also Bishop White, below, p. 57.)

Richard Hooker

"Being assembled for no other cause which they could imagine but to have eaten the Passover only that Moses appointeth, when they saw their Lord and Master with hands and eyes lifted up to heaven first bless and consecrate for the endless good of all generations till the world’s end the chosen elements of Bread and Wine, which elements made for ever the instruments of life by virtue of His Divine benediction, they being the first that were commanded to receive from Him, the first which were warranted by His promise that not only not them at the present time but to whomsoever they and their successors after them did duly administer the same, those Mysteries should serve as conducts of life and conveyances of His Body and Blood unto them, was it possible they should hear that voice, ‘Take, eat, this is My Body; drink ye all of this, this is My Blood;" possible that doing what was required and believing what was promised, the same should have present effect in them, and not fill them with a kind of fearful admiration at the heaven which they saw in themselves? They had at that time a sea of comfort and joy to wade in, and we by that which they did are taught that this heavenly food is given for the satisfying of our empty souls, and not for the exercising of our curious and subtile wits."

"If we doubt what those admirable words may import, let him be our teacher for the meaning of Christ to whom Christ was Himself a schoolmaster, let our Lord’s Apostle be His interpreter, content we ourselves with His explication, My Body, the Communion of My Body, My Blood, the Communion of My Blood. Is there any thing more expedite, clear, and easy, than that as Christ is termed our Life because through Him we obtain life, so the parts of this Sacrament are His Body and Blood, for that they are so to us who receiving them receive that by them which they are termed? The Bread and Cup are His Body and Blood, because they are causes instrumental, upon the receipt whereof the participation of His Body and Blood ensueth. For that which produceth any certain effect is not vainly nor improperly said to be that very effect whereunto it tendeth. Every cause is in the effect which groweth from it. Our souls and bodies quickened to eternal life are effects, the cause whereof is the Person of Christ, His Body and Blood are the true well-spring out of which this life floweth. So that His Body and Blood are in that very subject whereunto they minister life not only by effect or operation, even as the influence of the heavens is in plants, beasts, men, and in every thing which they quicken, but also by a far more divine and mystical kind of union, which maketh us one with Him even as He and the Father are one." – Book v. chap. lxvii 4,5

"It is on all sides plainly confessed, first, that this Sacrament is a true and a real participation of Christ, who thereby imparteth Himself, even His whole entire Person, as a mystical Head unto every soul that receiveth Him, and that every such receiver doth thereby incorporate or unite himself unto Christ as a mystical member of Him, yea of them also whom He acknowledgeth to be His own; secondly, that to whom the Person of Christ is thus communicated, to them He giveth by the same Sacrament His Holy Spirit to sanctify them as it sanctifieth Him which is their Head; thirdly, that what merit, force, or virtue soever there is in His sacrificed Body and Blood, we freely, fully, and wholly have it by this Sacrament; fourthly, that the effect thereof in us is a real transmutation of our souls and bodies from sin to righteousness, from death and corruption to immortality and life; fifthly, that because the Sacrament being of itself but a corruptible and earthly creature, must needs be thought an unlikely instrument to work so admirable effects in man, we are therefore to rest ourselves altogether upon the strength of His glorious power, Who is able and will bring to pass, that the Bread and Cup which He giveth us shall be truly the thing He promiseth.

"It seemeth therefore much amiss, that against them whom they term Sacramentaries, so many invective discourses are made all running upon two points, that the Eucharist is not a bare sign or figure only, and that the efficacy of His Body and Blood is not all we receive in this Sacrament. For no man having read their books and writings which are thus traduced can be ignorant that both these assertions they plainly confess to be most true. They do not so interpret the words of Christ as if the name of His Body did import but the figure of His body, and to be were only to signify His Blood. They grant that these holy mysteries received in due manner do instrumentally both make us partakers of the grace of that Body and Blood which were given for the life of the world, and besides also impart unto us even in true and real though mystical manner the very Person of our Lord Himself, whole, perfect, and entire, as hath been shewed." – Book v. chap.lxvii 7,8

"He which hath said of the one Sacrament, ‘Wash, and be clean,’ hath said concerning the other likewise, ‘Eat, and live.’ If therefore, without any such particular and solemn warrant as this is, that poor distressed woman coming unto Christ for health could so constantly resolve herself, ‘may I but touch the skirt of His garment I shall be whole,’ what moveth us to argue of the manner how life should come by bread, our duty being here but to take what is offered, and most assuredly to rest persuaded of this, that can we but eat we are safe? When I behold with mine eyes some small and scarce discernible grain or seed whereof nature maketh promise that a tree shall come, and when afterwards of that tree any skilful artificer undertaketh to frame some exquisite and curious work, I look for the event, I move no question about performance, either of the one or of the other. Shall I simply credit nature in things natural, shall I in things artificial rely myself on art, never offering to make doubt, and in that which is above both art and nature refuse to believe the Author of both, except He acquaint me with His ways, and lay the secret of His skill before me? Where God Himself doth speak those things which either for height and sublimity of matter, or else for secrecy of performance we are not able to reach unto, as we may be ignorant without danger, so it can be no disgrace to confess we are ignorant. Such as love piety will as much as in them lieth know all things that God commandeth, but especially the duties of service which they owe to God. As for His dark and hidden works, they prefer as becometh them in such cases simplicity of faith before that knowledge, which curiously sifting what it should adore, and disputing too boldly of that which the wit of man cannot search, chilleth for the most part all warmth of zeal, and bringeth soundness of belief many times into great hazard. Let it therefore be sufficient for me, presenting myself at the Lord’s Table, to know what there I receive from Him, without searching or inquiring of the manner how Christ performeth His promise; let disputes and questions, enemies to piety, abatements of true devotion, and hitherto in this cause but over patiently heard, let them take their rest; let curious and sharp-witted men beat their heads about what questions themselves will, the very letter of the word of Christ giveth plain security that these mysteries do as nails fasten us to His very Cross, that by them we draw out, as touching efficacy, force, and virtue, even the blood of this gored side, in the wounds of our Redeemer we there dip our tongues, we are dyed red both within and without, our hunger is satisfied and our thirst for ever quenched; they are things wonderful which he feeleth, great which he seeth, and unheard of which he uttereth, whose soul is possessed of this Paschal Lamb and made joyful in the strength of his new Wine, this Bread hath in it more than the substance which our eyes behold, this Cup hallowed with solemn benediction availeth to the endless life and welfare both of soul and body, in that it serveth as well for a medicine to heal our infirmities and purge our sins as for a sacrifice of thanksgiving, with touching it sanctifieth, it enligtheneth with belief, it truly conformeth us unto the image of Jesus Christ; what these elements are in themselves it skilleth not, it is enough that to me which take them they are the Body and Blood of Christ, His promise in witness hereof sufficeth, His word He knoweth which way to accomplish; why should any cogitation possess the mind of a faithful communicant but this, O my God, Thou art true, O my soul, thou art happy!" – Book v. chap. lxvii. 12

"The power of the ministry of God translateth out of darkness into glory; it raiseth man from the earth, and bringeth God Himself down from heaven; by blessing visible elements it maketh them invisible grace; it giveth daily the Holy Ghost; it hath to dispose of that Flesh which was given for the life of the world, and that Blood which was poured out to redeem souls; when it poureth malediction upon the heads of the wicked, they perish; when it revoketh the same, they revive. O wretched blindness, if we admire not so great power; more wretched if we consider it aright, and notwithstanding, imagine that any but God can bestow it! To whom Christ hath imparted power, both over that mystical body which is the society of souls, and over that natural which is Himself, for the knitting of both in one, (a work which antiquity doth call the making of Christ's Body,) the same power is in such not amiss both termed a kind of mark or character, and acknowledged to be indelible." – Book v. chap. lxxvii. 1

Bishop Overall

"So to eat the Flesh of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ and to drink His Blood.] By this it may be known what our Church believeth, and teacheth of the Presence of Christ's Body and Blood in the Sacrament. And though our new masters would make the world believe she had another mind, yet we are not to follow their private fancies, when we have so plain and so public a doctrine as this.:

"That we receiving these Thy creatures of Bread and Wine, &c. may be partakers of His blessed Body and Blood. ] Together with the hallowed elements of the Bread and Wine, we may receive the Body and Blood of Christ, which are truly exhibited in this Sacrament, the one as well as the other.

"These words, as I once conferred with a Papist, were mightily excepted against, because forsooth they must acknowledge no Bread and Wine, but a desition of the nature and being of both. My answer was, that here we term them so before consecration; after that we call them so no more, but abstain from that name, because our thoughts might be wholly taken up with the spiritual food of Christ's Body and Blood. So in the Thanksgiving following we say, That hast vouchsafed to feed us with these holy Mysteries, and the spiritual food of the Body and Blood of Thy Son, &c. In the meanwhile we deny not the Bread and Wine to remain there still as God’s creatures. And I wonder the Papists should so contend for this same desitio panis et vini, whereas in their own service or mass, they abstain not from these words, thy creatures, after consecration, as we do. See the book, per quem omnia domine bone creas! A certain argument that the Church of Rome never meant to teach that doctrine, which private men, the late doctors and schoolmen, have brought up and propagated.

"These holy Mysteries were the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood, &c. ] Before consecration, we called them God’s creatures of Bread and Wine, now we do so no more after consecration; wherein we have the advantage of the Church of Rome, who call them still creatures in their very mass after consecration; and yet they will be upbraiding us for denying the Real Presence, whereas we believe better than they: for after consecration we think no more of Bread and Wine, but have our thoughts taken up wholly with the Body of Christ; and therefore we keep ourselves to these words only, abstaining from the other (though the Bread remain there still, to the eye,) which they do not. And herein we follow the Fathers, who after consecration would not suffer it to be called Bread and Wine any longer, but the Body and Blood of Christ.

"Very Members Incorporate.] So Cyril in Catch. Myst. 4 Sumpto Corpore et Sanguine Christi ait nos fieri, i.e., ejusdem Corporis cum Christo, et inter nos, i.e. ejusdem Sanguinis.

"And be also heirs through hope.] So the ancient Fathers were wont to prove the article of our resurrection by the nature of this very Sacrament. They use this reason to exhort the people unto the frequent receiving of the Holy Communion; because they say it is, Medicamentum Immortalitatis et Antidotum, an antidote not to die; which if the men of this age would but set their hearts on, as they did, we should not have them set so slightly by the Sacrament as they do."

"Bread and Wine.] It is confessed by all Divines, that upon the words of the Consecration, the Body and Blood of Christ is really and substantially present, and so exhibited and given to all that receive it, and all this not after a physical and sensual, but after an heavenly and incomprehensible manner. But there yet remains this controversy among some of them, whether the Body of Christ be present only in the use of the Sacrament, and in the act of eating, and not otherwise. They that hold the affirmative, as the Lutherans (in Confess. Sax.) and all Calvinists, do seem to me to depart from all Antiquity, which place the presence of Christ in the virtue and benediction used by the Priest, and not in the use of eating the Sacrament. – And this did most Protestants grant and profess at first, though now the Calvinists make Popish magic of it in their licentious blasphemy." – Additional Notes to the Book of Common Prayer

"What is the inward part of thing signified? ] I cannot see where any real difference is betwixt us about this Real Presence, if we could give over the study of contradiction, and understand one another aright." – Catechism

"In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, or the Lord's Supper, the Body and Blood of Christ, and therefore the whole of Christ, is verily and indeed present, and is verily partaken by us, and verily combined with the Sacramental signs, as being not only significative, but exhibitory; so that in the Bread duly given and received, the Body of Christ is given and received, the Blood of Christ is given and received; and thus there is a communion of the whole of Christ, in the communion of the Sacrament."

Probably, had Overall lived before the tenth century, he would have thought he had sufficiently stated his belief, in the above expressions; but placed as he was in other circumstances, it was expedient for him, not only to maintain ancient truth, but to protest against erroneous innovation: he therefore added these words: -

"Yet not in any bodily, gross, earthly manner, as by transubstantiation, or consubstantiation, or any like devices of human reason, but in a mystical, heavenly, and spiritual manner, as is rightly laid down in our Articles." (As quoted and translated in Knox’s Remains, vol. ii. p. 163.)

Bishop Morton

"The question is not absolutely concerning a Real Presence, which Protestants (as their own Jesuits witness) do also profess …. Which acknowledgement of our adversaries may serve to stay the contrary clamours and calumnious accusations, wherein they use to range Protestants with those heretics who denied that the true Body of Christ was in the Eucharist, and maintained only a figure and image of Christ's Body, seeing that our difference is not about the truth or reality of presence, but about the true manner of being and receiving thereof." – Catholic Appeal, p. 93 ed. 1610

Bishop Andrewes

"The Cardinal is not, unless ‘willingly, ignorant,’ that Christ hath said, ‘This is My Body,’ not ‘This is not My Body in this mode.’ Now about the object we are both agreed; all the controversy is about the mode. The ‘This is,’ we firmly believe; that ‘it is in this mode’ (the Bread, namely, being transubstantiated into the Body), or of the mode whereby it is wrought that ‘it is,’ whether in, or with, or transubstantiated, there is not a word in the Gospel. And because not a word is there, we rightly detach it from being a matter of faith; we may place it amongst the decrees of the schools, not among the articles of faith. What Durandus is reported to have said of old, (Neand. Synop. Chron. P. 203.) we approve of. ‘We hear the word, feel the effect, know not the manner, believe the Presence.’ The Presence, I say, we believe, and that no less true than yourselves. Of the mode of the Presence, we define nothing rashly, nor, I add, do we curiously enquire; no more than how the Blood of Christ cleanseth us in our Baptism; no more than how in the Incarnation of Christ the human nature is united into the same Person with the Divine. We rank it among Mysteries, (and indeed the Eucharist itself is a mystery,) ‘that which remaineth, ought to be burnt with fire.’ (Exodus xii.13.) that is, as the Fathers elegantly express it, to be adored by faith, not examined by reason." – Answer to Bellarmine, c.i.p.11.

"To conclude; not only thus to frame meditations and resolutions, but even some practice too, out of this act of ‘apprehension.’ It is very agreeable to reason, saith the Apostle, that we endeavour and make a proffer, if we may by any means, to ‘apprehend’ Him in His, by Whom we are thus in our nature ‘apprehended,’ or, as He termeth it, ‘comprehended,’ even Christ Jesus; and be united to Him this day, as He was to us this day, by a mutual and reciprocal ‘apprehension.’ We may so, and we are bound so; vere dignum et justum est. And we do so, so oft as we do with Saint James lay hold of, ‘apprehend,’ or receive insitum Verbum, the ‘Word which is daily grafted into us.’ For ‘the Word’ He is, and in the word He is received by us. But that is not the proper of this day, unless there be another joined unto it. This day Verbum caro factum est, and so must be ‘apprehended’ in both. But specially in His flesh as this day giveth it, as this day would have us. Now ‘the Bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the Body, of the Flesh, of Jesus Christ?" It is surely; and by it an by nothing more are we made partakers of this blessed union. A little before He said, ‘Because the children were partakers of flesh and blood, He also would take part with them.’ May we not say the same? Because He hath so done, taken ours of us, we also ensuing His steps will participate with Him and with His Flesh which He hath taken of us. It is most kindly to take part with Him in that which He took part in with us, and that, to no other end, but that He might make the receiving of it by us a means whereby He might ‘dwell in us, and we in Him;’ He taking our flesh, and we receiving His Spirit; by His flesh which He took of us receiving His Spirit which He imparteth to us; that, as He by ours became consors humanae naturae, so we by His might become consortes Divinae naturae, ‘partakers of the Divine nature.’ Verily, it is the most straight and perfect ‘taking hold’ that is. No union so knitteth as it. Not consanguinity; brethren fall out. Not marriage; man and wife are severed. But that which is nourished, and the nourishment wherewith – they never are; never can be severed, but remain one for ever. With this act then of mutual ‘taking,’ taking of His flesh as He hath taken ours, let us seal our duty to Him this day, for taking not ‘Angels,’ but the ‘seed of Abraham.’" – Serm. 1 on Nativity, Works, vol. i. p.16.

"He is given us, as Himself saith, as ‘the living Bread from Heaven,’ which Bread is His ‘flesh’ born this day, and after ‘given for the life of the world.’ For look how we do give back that He gave us, even so doth He give back to us that which we gave Him, that which He had of us. This He gave for us in Sacrifice, and this He giveth us in the Sacrament, that the Sacrifice may by the Sacrament be truly applied to us. And let me commend this to you; He never bade, accipite, plainly ‘take,’ but in this only; and that, because the effect of this day’s union is no ways more lively represented, no way more effectually wrought, than by this use." - Sermon II on Nativity, vol. i. p. 30

"And I may safely say it with good warrant, from those words especially and chiefly, which, as He Himself saith of them, are ‘spirit and life,’ even those words, which joined to the element make the blessed Sacrament.

"There was good proof made of it this day. All the way did He preach to them, even till they came to Emmaus, and their hearts were hot within them, which was a good sign: but their eyes were not opened but ‘at the breaking of bread,’ and then they were. That is the best and surest sense we know, and therefore most to be accounted of. There we taste, and there we see; ‘taste and see how gracious the Lord is.’ There we are made to ‘drink of the Spirit,’ there our ‘hearts are strengthened and stablished with grace.’ There is the Blood which shall ‘purge our consciences from dead works,’ whereby we may ‘die to sin.’ There the Bread of God, which shall endue our souls with much strength; yea, multiply strength in them to live unto God; yea, multiply strength in them to live unto God; yea, to live to Him continually; for he that ‘eateth His flesh and drinketh His blood, dwelleth in Christ, and Christ in him;" not inneth, or sojourneth for a time, but dwelleth continually. And, never can we more truly, or properly say in Christo Jesu Domino nostro, as when we come new from that holy action, for then He is in us, and we in Him indeed." - Sermon I on the Resurrection, p. 204, 5

"If such a new consecrating we need, what better time than the feast of first-fruits, the sacrificing time under the Law? And in the Gospel, the day of Christ’s rising, our first-fruits, by Whom we are thus consecrate? The day wherein He was Himself restored to the perfection of His spiritual life, the life of glory, is the best for us to be restored in to the first fruits of that spiritual life, the life of grace.

"And if we ask, what shall be our means on this consecrating? The Apostle telleth us, we are sanctified by the "oblation of the Body of Jesus." That is the best means to restore us to that life. He hath said it, and shewed it Himself; "He that eateth Me, shall live by Me." The words spoken concerning that, are both "spirit and life," whether we seek for the spirit of seek for life. Such was the means of our death, by eating the forbidden fruit, the first-fruits of death; and such is the means of our life, by eating the flesh of Christ, the first-fruits of life.

"And herein we shall very fully fit, not the time only and the means, but also the manner. For as by partaking the flesh and blood, the substance of the "first Adam," we came to our death, so to life we cannot come, unless we do participate with the flesh and blood of the "second Adam," that is Christ. We drew death from the first, by partaking the substance; and so must we draw life from the second, by the same. This is the way; become branches of the Vine, and partakers of His nature, and so of His life and verdure both." – Sermon II p. 219, 20

"To end; because we be speaking of a hope to be laid up in our bosom, it falleth out very fitly, that even at this time, festum spei, the Church offereth us a notable pledge, and earnest of this hope there to bestow; even the holy Eucharist, the flesh wherein our Redeemer was seen and suffered, and paid the price of our redemption; and together with it "the holy Spirit, whereby we are sealed to the great day of our redemption." To the laying up of which earnest of our hope, and interest in all these, we are invited at this time, even literally to lodge and lay it up in our bosom. We shall be the nearer our scio, if "we taste and see by it, how gracious the Lord is;" the nearer our spero, if an earnest or pledge of it be laid up within us; the nearer our redemption, if we have within us the price of it; and the nearer our resurrection – they be His own words, "He that eateth My flesh and drinketh, &c. hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." So dwell we in Him, and He in us by His flesh in us. Thereby drawing life from Him the second, as we do death from the first Adam." – Sermon V p. 268

"The Church by her office, or agendum, doth her part to help us herein, all she may. The things we are willed to seek she sets before us, the blessed Mysteries. For these are from above; the "Bread that came down from Heaven," the Blood that hath been carried "into the holy place." And I add, ubi Christus; for ubi Corpus, ubi Sanguis Christi, ibi Christus, I am sure. And truly here, if there be an ubi Christus, there it is. On earth we are never so near Him, nor He us, as then and there. There, in efficacia, and when all is done, efficacy, that is it must do us good, must raise us here, and raise us at the last day to the right hand; and the local ubi without if of no value." – Sermon VIII, vol. ii. p. 321

"But to be temples is not all, we are farther to be Templum hoc, "this Temple;" and this was "the Temple of His Body." And that are we, if at any time, then certainly when as if we were temples in very deed, we prepare to receive, not the Ark of His presence, but Himself, that He may come into us and be in us; which is at what time we present ourselves to receive His blessed Body and Blood; that Body and that Blood which for our sakes was dissolved, dissolved three days since, when it suffered for our sins. And on this day raised again, when it rose for our justification.

"Which when we do, that is, receive this Body or this Temple, for Templum hoc and Hoc est Corpus Meum are now come to be one, for both Templum hoc and Corpus hoc are in Templum corporis Sui; and when the temples of our body are in this Temple, and the Temple of His Body in the temples of ours, then are there three Temples in one, a Trinity, the perfectest number of all. Then if ever are we, not temples only, but Templa corporis Sui, ‘Temples of His Body,’ and this Scripture fulfilled in us. – Sermon X vol. ii. p. 362

"In Christ this sign is a sign, not betokening only, but exhibiting also what it betokeneth, as the Sacraments do. For of signs, some shew only and work nothing; such was that of Jonas in itself, sed ecce plus quam Jonas hic. For some other there be that shew and work both – work what they shew, present us with what they represent, what they set before us, set or graft in us. Such is that of Christ. For besides that it sets before us of His, it is farther a seal or pledge to us of our own, that what we see in Him this day, shall be accomplished in our own selves, at His good time.

"And even so pass we to another mystery, for one mystery leads us to another; this in the text, to the holy mysteries we are providing to partake, which do work like, and do work to this, even to the raising of the soul with "the first resurrection." And as they are a means for the raising of our soul out of the soil of sin – for they are given us, and we take them expressly for the remission of sins – so are they no less a means also, for the raising of our bodies out of the dust of death. The sign of that Body which was thus "in the heart of the earth," to bring us from thence at the last. Our Saviour saith it totidem verbis, "Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My Blood, I will raise him up at the last day." – Sermon XII p.402, 3

"The third place is Saint Augustine, that Christ in these words has a farther meaning; to wean her from all sensual and fleshly touching, and teach her a new and a true touch, truer than that she was about. This sense groweth out of Christ’s reason: ‘Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended,’ as if till He were ascended, He would not be touched, and then He would. As much as to say, ‘Care not to touch Me here, stand not upon it, touch Me not till I be ascended; stay till then, and then do. That is the true touch, that is it will do you all the good.’

"And there is reason for this sense. For the touch of His Body which she so much desired, that could last but forty days in all, while He in His Body were among them. And what should all since, and we now, have been the better? He was to take her out a lesson, and to teach her another touch, that might serve for all to the world’s end; that we might serve when the Body and bodily touch were taken from us.

"Christ Himself touched upon this point in the sixth chapter, at the sixty-second verse, when at Capernaum they stumbled at the speech of eating His flesh. "What," saith He, "find you this strange, now? How will you find it then, when you shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before?" How then? And yet then you must eat, or else there is no life in you.

"So it is a plain item to her, that there may be a sensual touching of Him here; but that is not it, not the right, it avails little. It was her error this, she was all for the corporal presence, for the touch with the fingers. So were His disciples, all of them, too much addicted to it. From which they were now to be weaned, that if they had before known Christ, or touched Him after the flesh, yet now from henceforth they were to do so no more, but to learn a new touch; to touch Him, being now ascended. Such a touching there is, or else His reason holds not; and best touching Him so, better far than this of hers she was so eager on." – Sermon XV on Resurrection vol. iii. p. 36

"As these are their (the Romanists) imaginations, so we want not ours. For many among us fancy only a Sacrament in this action, and look strange at the mention of a Sacrifice; whereas we not only use it as a nourishment spiritual, as that it is too, but as a means also to renew a ‘covenant’ with God by virtue of that ‘Sacrifice,’ as the Psalmist speaketh. So our Saviour Christ in the institution telleth us, in the twenty-second chapter of Luke and twentieth verse, and the Apostle, in the thirteenth chapter of Hebrews and tenth verse. And the old writers use no less the word Sacrifice than Sacrament, altar than table, offer than eat; but both indifferently, to shew there is both.

"And again too, that to a many with us it is indeed so fractio panis, as it is that only and nothing beside; whereas the ‘Bread which we break is the partaking of Christ’s true ‘Body’ – and not of a sign, figure, or remembrance of it. For the Church hath ever believed a true fruition of the true Body of Christ in that Sacrament." – vol. v. p.66,67

Dr. Donne

"But yet, though this Bread be not transubstantiated, we refuse not the words of the Fathers, in which they have expressed themselves in this mystery. Not Irenaeus his ‘est corpus,’ that the Bread is His Body now. Not Tertullian’s ‘fecit corpus,’ that that Bread is made His Body which was not so before. Not Saint Cyprian’s ‘mutatus,’ that that Bread is changed. Not Damascene’s ‘supernaturaliter mutatus,’ that that Bread is not only changed so in the use, as when at the King’s table certain portions of bread are made bread of essay, to pass over every dish, whether for safety or for majesty; not only so civilly changed, but changed supernaturally. No nor Theophylact’s ‘transformatus est,’ (which seems to be the word that goes farthest of all,) for this transforming cannot be intended of the outward form and fashion, for that is not changed, but be it of that internal form which is the very essence and nature of the Bread, so it is transformed, so the Bread hath received a new form, a new essence, a new nature, because whereas the nature of bread is but to nourish the body, the nature of this Bread now is to nourish the soul. And therefore cum non dubitavit Dominus dicere, ‘Hoc est Corpus Meum’ cum signum daret corporis, since Christ forbore not to say, ‘This is My Body,’ when He gave the sign of His Body, why should we forbear to say of that Bread, This is Christ's Body, which is the Sacrament of His Body?" – 80 Sermons, ed. 1640, p. 37. 4th Sermon on the Nativity


"This is a point, which every Christian is bound expressly to believe, that God the Father, doth neither forgive sins, nor vouchsafe any term or plea of reconciliation, but only for the merits and satisfaction made by the sacrifice of the Son of God, who by the eternal Spirit offered Himself in our human nature upon the Cross. In the next place, we are to believe and acknowledge, that as God the Father doth neither forgive, nor vouchsafe reconciliation, but for the merits and satisfaction of His only Son; ; so neither will He vouchsafe to convey this or any other blessing unto us, which His Son hath purchased for us, but only through His Son; not only through Him as our Advocate or Intercessor, but through Him as our Mediator, that is, through His Humanity, as the Organ or Conduit, or as the only bond, by which we are united and reconciled unto the Divine Nature. For although the Holy Spirit or third Person in Trinity doth immediately and by personal propriety work faith and other spiritual graces in our souls, yet doth He not by these spiritual graces unite our souls or spirits immediately unto Himself, but unto Christ’s human nature. He doth as it were till the ground of our hearts, and make it fit to receive the seed of life; but this seed of righteousness immediately flows from the Sun of Righteousness, whose sweet influence likewise it is, which doth immediately season, cherish, and ripen it. The Spirit of Life, whereby our adoption and election is sealed unto us, is the real participation of Christ's Body, which was broken, and of Christ’s Blood, which was shed for us. This is the true and punctual meaning of our Apostle’s speech, 1 Corinthians xv. 45. "The first Adam was made a living soul," or, as the Syriac hath it, animale corpus, an enlivened body; "but the second Adam was made a quickening Spirit;" and immediately becometh such to all those which as truly bear His image by the Spirit of Regeneration, which issues from Him, as they have borne the image of the first Adam by natural propagation; and this again is the true and punctual meaning of our Saviour’s words, John vi. 63. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you are spirit and life." For so He had said in the verses before, to such as were offended at His words, "What if you should see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?" The implication contained in the connexion between these two verses and the precedent is this; That Christ’s virtual presence, or the influence of life, which His human nature was to distil from His heavenly throne, should be more profitable to such as were capable of it, than His bodily presence; than the bodily eating of his Flesh and Blood could be, although it had been convertible into their bodily substance. This distillation of life and immortality from His glorified human nature, is that, which the ancient and orthodoxal Church did mean in their figurative and lofty speeches of Christ’s real Presence, or of eating His very Flesh, and drinking His very Blood in the Sacrament. And the Sacramental Bread is called His Body, and the Sacramental Wine His Blood; as for other reasons, so especially for this, that the virtue or influence of His bloody Sacrifice is most plentifully and most effectually distilled from Heaven unto the worthy receivers of the Eucharist." – vol. iii. p. 327, 8.

"All that are partakers of this Sacrament, eat Christ's Body and drink His Blood sacramentally: that is, they eat that Bread which sacramentally is His Body, and drink that Cup which sacramentally is His Blood, whether they eat or drink faithfully or unfaithfully. For, all the Israelites (1 Cor. x.) drank of the same spiritual rock, which was Christ sacramentally: all of them were partakers of His presence, when Moses smote the rock. Yet, with "many of them, God was not well pleased," because they did not faithfully either drink or participate of His presence. And more displeased He is with such as eat Christ's Body and drink His Blood unworthily, though they eat and drink them sacramentally: for eating and drinking so onely, that is, without faith, or due respect, they eat and drink to their own condemnation, because they do not discern, or rightly esteem, Christ's Body or Presence in the Holy Sacrament.

"May we say then, that Christ is really present in the Sacrament, as well to the unworthy as to the faithful receivers? Yes, this we must grant, yet we must add withal, that he is really present with them in a quite contrary manner; really present he is, because virtually present to both; because the operation of efficacy of His Body and Blood is not metaphorical but real in both. Thus the bodily sun, though locally distant for its substance, is really present by its heat and light, as well to sore eyes, as to clear sights, but really present to both, by a contrary real operation; and by the like contrary operation, it is really present to clay and to wax, it really hardeneth the one, and really softeneth the other. So doth Christ's Body and Blood, by its invisible, but real influence, mollify the hearts of such as come to the Sacrament with due preparation; but harden such as unworthily receive the consecrated Elements. If he that will hear the word, must take heed how he hears, much more must he which means to receive the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, be careful how he receives. He that will present himself at this great marriage feast of the Lamb without a wedding garment, had better be absent. It was always safer, not to approach the presence of God manifested or exhibited in extraordinary manner (as in His sanctuary or in the ark), than to make appearance before it in an unhallowed manner, or without due preparation. Now hen we say, that Christ is really present in the Sacrament, our meaning is, that as God He is present in an extraordinary manner, after such a manner, as He was present (before His Incarnation) in His Sanctuary the Ark of His Covenant; and by the power of His Godhead thus extraordinarily present, He diffuseth the virtue or operation of His human nature, either to the vivification of hardening of their hearts, who receive the Sacramental pledges." – vol. iii. p.333, 4.


"There is a far better and safer course than to contend any longer, if men would at last set themselves on all parts to follow it; which is to reverence the Son of God in the unsearchable mysteries of His wisdom which are past finding out; and not to stand weighing them in the light scales and balance of their own reason; to draw a veil over them, or say with the woman of Samaria, Puteus est altus, this well is deep, and so with pious hearts to reverence them, and no more ado.

" 5. When we have done striving, and even wearied ourselves in a thousand difficulties, brought our minds into a labyrinth of doubts, unless we will make controversies immortal, we must draw at last to an issue.

"The faithful receive the blessed Sacrament. Well, what do they receive? Certainly Christ Jesus, truly and really; to make further scruple is needless curiosity; to give light credence hereunto, is in part incredulity. What the elements of Bread and Wine are in themselves, is one thing; that they are, being now consecrated to so holy a use, and received of the spiritually minded as the spiritual food of their souls, is another. What they are I say, Christ’s own words are sufficient warrant for a believing world unto the world’s end. Wherefore, to be over-witted in seeking, or doubting how this should be, is no way agreeable to that faith and obedience which becometh Christians. Rerum absentium (saith an ancient father) praesens est fides; rerum impossibilium, possibilis est fides; of things absent, faith is present; of things impossible, faith is possible. Panem vides, verbum audis; Cui potius credis? Sensui, vel Christo? Thou seest the Bread, thou hearest the word; to which rather dost thou give credit, whether to thy sense, or to Christ? Cur non potius gaudes? Quid quoeris? Why dost thou not rather rejoice? Why dost thou question?

"6. In this case, that of the blessed Virgin, spoken of Christ at the Marriage at Cana in Galilee, would be remembered; Quodcunque dixerit vobis, facite; whatsoever He shall say unto you, do it.

"When the serpent said unto Eve, Cur praecepit vobis Deus, ut non comederetis? Why hath God commanded you not to eat? Had she answered, Scio quod praecepit, non spectat ad me investigare, causam quare praecepit; I know He hath commanded me so; to seek a reason why, or the cause wherefore, I need not, I ought not; - had she not done far better?" - Godly Meditations on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Preface.

"10. And now that we may ingeniously confess that which is a plain case in the sight of God, and not flourish over the truth with colours of rhetoric, or smother it with the clouds of deceit, we acknowledge that the dignity of this Sacrament is greater than words can express, yea, than the mind of man is able to conceive. If any will exact the efficacy of those five words, "For this is My Body," we answer, It is a great mystery.

"Truly we give, and that justly, great respect and reverence to the holy Eucharist; for whereas bread and wine are elements naturally ordained for the sustenance of the body, by the power of Divine benediction they do receive a virtue, that, being received of the faithful, they become nourishment of the soul, nay, they become means whereby we are sanctified both in body and soul, and are made the members of Christ.

"12. But Christ, some say, in express words calleth the Bread His Body, and the Wine His Blood: true, in express words also He calleth Himself a rock. Right well saith Eusebius Emisenus, "Comest thou to the Sacrament, consider there the Body and Blood of Christ: wonder at it with reverence, touch it with thy mind, receive it with the hand of thy heart; do not say as the Capernaites, "Master, how camest thou hither?" but, with the disciples, asking no question, be glad thou dost enjoy Him. He is honoured in this mystery, that was once offered upon the Cross. Yea, but how can this be, that Christ, sitting at the right hand of God in heaven, should dispose of His Body to us poor inhabitants of earth? Take here the answer of the angel Gabriel, the Holy Ghost hath overshadowed it. "From hence," saith Saint Bernard, "to search is temerity, to know is life eternal."

"Is it not a hard saying, "Unless ye eat the Flesh of the Son of God," &c.? It is a hard saying to them that are hard of believing. The disciples hearing that of their Lord and Master, "Take, eat, this is My Body," they take, they eat, asking no question. "Being confirmed in faith," saith Saint Chrysosthom, "they take and eat; unbelievers hearing the same of our Saviour, they depart, they eat not." Peter answereth, "Lord, Thou hast the words of life;" others go backward, leaving the Lord of life. The Capernaite, hearing, dreameth of eating naturally, grossly; the godly are assured of eating spiritually, and yet withal really.

"14. Great was the authority of Pythagoras amongst his scholars; if he said it, they were silent; but greater was, and is, and ought to be, the authority of Christ with believers; He saith it, and they believe. The sun remains a splendent body, though bats and owls cannot endure it: the holy Sacrament remains an unspeakable mystery, though the carnal man doth not perceive it. In this case, silence is the safest eloquence, and the best expressing is not to express. A godly meditation is safer than a Socratical disputing. Discourse of controversy doth often abate devotion: discourse of piety about this mystery is sweeter than honey or the honey-comb.

"15. The Passover, which Christ kept with His disciples, was prepared in an upper room. When men brought unto Him a man sick of the palsy, they, in letting down the sick, uncovered the roof of the house. The harder parts of the Paschal Lamb were consumed by fire. Mysteries are, if not contrary, yet often above reason. Well saith Saint Cyril, in his third book against Julian, "If human reason waver in things sensible, how much more shall it do so in things beyond sense? Faithless Julian! What if the creation of the angels excel human capacity, did not Moses well in forbearing to mention it? Assuredly he did well. What if it cannot by reason be conceived how Christ, sitting at the table, should give Himself to His, for sustenance, wilt thou, therefore, by and by, imagine this or that change?

"Let us rather honour Christ in His mysteries, praise Him for His mercies, be thankful unto Him for His benefits. Those things which we comprehend let us admire; those which we cannot comprehend, let us more admire: though words be wanting what to express, let not faith be wanting what to believe." Ibid. p. 287-291

"31. Well saith Fulgentius, against the Arians, ‘True faith hath never superfluous, but it ever had and hath, just reasons.’ So also Saint Cyril’s mysteries are offered to believers, not to questioners.

"32. Albeit, then, the manner be not of us over curiously inquired or searched after, yet the same presence of Christ is acknowledged which Christ Himself would have to be acknowledged. We say with Saint Ambrose, that there is not taken from bread the substance thereof, but that there is adjoined the grace of Christ's Body after a manner ineffable.

"33. It was no other but a shadow of this benefit that was of old given to the Jews in the ark of the covenant, and yet Solomon did so admire it, as that he said, ‘And is it credible that God should dwell with men?’

"34. We often marvel and condemn the Jews, that, having Christ amongst them, they did not acknowledge and receive Him in that manner they ought to have done. Let us consider Christ among us, and invert that saying of the husbandmen, 'This is the heir,’ let us take him, receive him, believe in him, ‘and the inheritance shall be ours.’

"35. Last of all, concerning the controversy about the holy Eucharist, between two extremes, whereof we have heard, let us embrace the means, let us, with a sincere faith, apprehend the truth, apprehending, let us keep it, keeping, let us adore it with godly manners.

"36. And now to draw in, as it were, the sails of this admonition, godly reader, seeing that this divine institution was left by our gracious Redeemer, both for the inward peace of the soul, and outward of the Church, who can sufficiently lament to see the dissension that hath miserably divided the Christian world, and discord that hath risen about the same! Let us call to mind, that God is not the God of dissension, but the God of peace. Let us all forbear on both sides needless and unprofitable disputes. Unless Thou, Lord, hadst said it, "This is My Body, this is My Blood," who would have believed it? Unless Thou hadst said, O holy Christ, "Take, eat, drink ye all of this," who durst have touched it? Who would have approached to so heavenly a repast, hadst Thou not commanded it, hoc facite, do ye this; but Thou commanding, who would not joyfully come and communicate?

"37. Let us then hold captive human reason, and prepare ourselves unto the fruit of this heavenly manna. Unnecessary disputes bring small profits, we may with greater benefit wonder than argue. Then are the words of God most truly conceived, when they are devoutly admired. – Ibid. p. 299-301

"Consider the divine Wisdom of the Son of God, who, respecting our weakness, hath conveyed unto us His Body and Blood after a divine and spiritual manner, under the forms of Bread and Wine." p. 26

Archbishop Bramhall

"Having viewed all your strength with a single eye, I find not one of your arguments that comes home to Transubstantiation, but only to a true Real Presence; which no genuine son of the Church of England did ever deny, no, nor your adversary Himself. Christ said, "This is My Body:" what he said, we do steadfastly believe. He said not, after this or that manner, neque con, neque sub, neque trans. And therefore we place it among the opinions of the Schools, not among the articles of our Faith. The Holy Eucharist, which is the Sacrament of peace and unity, ought not to be made the matter of strife and contention." – Works, fol. ed. p. 15

"We find no debates or disputes concerning the Presence of Christ's Body in the Sacrament, and much less concerning the manner of His Presence, for the first 800 years.

"Yet all the time we find as different expressions among those primitive Fathers, as among our modern writers at this day: some calling the Sacrament ‘the Sign of Christ's Body’ – ‘the Figure of His Body’ – ‘the Symbol of His Body’ – ‘the Mystery of His Body’ – ‘the Exemplar,’ ‘Type,’ and ‘Representation of His Body,’ saying, ‘that the Elements do not recede from their first nature;’ others naming it ‘the true Body and Blood of Christ,’ – ‘changed, not in shape, but in nature;’ yea, doubting not to say, that in this Sacrament ‘we see Christ’ – ‘we touch Christ’ – ‘we eat Christ,’ – ‘that we fasten our teeth in His very Flesh, and make our tongues red in His Blood.’ Yet, notwithstanding, there were no questions, no quarrels, no contentions amongst them; there needed no Councils to order them, no conferences to reconcile them; because they contented themselves to believe what Christ had said, "This is My Body," without presuming on their own heads to determine the manner how it is His Body; neither weighing all their own words so exactly before any controversy was raised, nor expounding the sayings of other men contrary to the analogy of Faith." – Ibid. p. 16

"So grossly is he mistaken on all sides, when he saith that Protestants (he should say the English Church, if he would speak to the purpose) have a positive belief that the Sacrament is not the Body of Christ, which were to contradict the words of Christ, "This is My Body." He knows better that Protestants do not deny the thing, but the bold determination of the manner by Transubstantiation ." Ibid. p. 226

"Abate us Transubstantiation , and those things which are consequent of their determination of the manner of Presence, and we have no difference with them in this particular. They who are ordained Priests ought to have power t o consecrate the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, that is, to make Them present." – Ibid. p. 485

Bishop Cosin

"Where is the danger and what doth he fear as long as all they that believe the Gospel own the true nature and the Real and Substantial Presence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament, using that explication of Saint Bernard concerning the manner, which he himself, for the too great evidence of truth, durst not but admit? And why doth he own that the manner is spiritual not carnal, and then require a carnal presence, as to the manner itself? As for us, we all openly profess with Saint Bernard, that the Presence of the Body of Christ in the Sacrament is spiritual, and therefore true and real, and with the same Bernard and all the ancients, we deny that the Body of Christ is carnally either present or given. The thing we willingly admit, but humbly and religiously forbear to enquire the manner … We confess with the Fathers, that this manner of Presence is unaccountable and past finding out, not to be searched and pried into by reason, but believed by faith. And if it seems impossible that the Flesh of Christ should descend and come to be our food through so great a distance, we must remember how much the power of the Holy Spirit exceeds our sense and our apprehensions, and how absurd it would be to undertake to measure His immensity by our weakness and narrow capacity, and so make our faith to conceive and believe what our reason cannot comprehend.

"Yet our faith does not cause or make that Presence, but apprehends it as most truly and really effected by the word of Christ; and the faith whereby we are said to eat the Flesh of Christ, is not only that only whereby we believe that He died for our sins (for this faith is required and supposed to precede the sacramental manducation,) but more properly that whereby we believe those words of Christ, ‘This is My Body.’ Which was Saint Austin’s meaning when he said, "why dost thou prepare thy stomach and thy teeth? Believe, and thou hast eaten." For in this mystical eating, by the wonderful power of the Holy Ghost, we do invisibly receive the substance of Christ's Body and Blood, as much as if we should eat and drink both visibly." – History of Transubstantiation , p. 53, 54

"All that remains is, that we should with faith and humility admire this high and sacred mystery, which our tongue cannot sufficiently explain, nor our heart conceive." – Ibid.

Bishop Sparrow

"The Priest says, ‘Lift up your hearts.’ For certainly at that hour when we are to receive the most dreadful Sacrament, it is necessary to lift up our hearts to God."

"Next is the Consecration. So you shall find in Chrysosthom and Cyril last cited. Which Consecration consists chiefly in rehearsing the words of our Saviour’s Institution, This is My Body, and this is My Blood, when the bread and wine is present upon the Communion Table. ‘The Holy Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper,’ says Saint Chrysosthom, ‘which the Priest now makes, is the same that Christ gave to His Apostles &c.’ Again, ‘Christ is present at the Sacrament now, that first instituted it. He consecrates this also: it is not man that makes the Body and Blood of Christ by consecrating the holy elements, but Christ that was crucified for us. The words are pronounced by the words of the Priest, but the elements are consecrated by the power and grace of God.’ ‘This is,’ saith He, ‘My Body;’ by this word the bread and wine are consecrated.

"When the Priest hath said at the delivery of the Sacrament, The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life, the communicant is to answer Amen. By this Amen, professing his faith of the Presence of Christ's Body and Blood in that Sacrament." – Rationale upon the Book of Common Prayer, p. 211, 216, 220. Ed. Oxford, 1840


"S. You told me even now, that you would shew me how the phrase, "This is my Body, in the Gospel, interpreted by, this taking and eating is my Body," was to be understood: perhaps it may now be time for you to pay me that debt.

"C. It is a fit reason to do so; for this very phrase of Saint Paul’s, "The Bread which we break is the Communion of the Body of Christ," is the key to open that difficulty, and indeed perfectly all one, of the very same importance with that. This breaking, taking, eating of the Bread, this whole action, is the real communication of the Body of Christ to me, and is therefore by some ancient writers called by a word which signifies the participation, (communication and participation being the same, only one referred to the giver, the other to the receiver,) the very giving of Christ's Body to me; that as verily as I eat the bread in my mouth, so verily God in Heaven bestows on me, communicates to me the Body of the crucified Saviour. And so all that I told you of the full sense of that phrase, "Communication of Christ's Body," is again to be repeated here to make up the sense of those words, "This is My Body;" which being so largely enlarged on, I need not now to repeat to you." – Practical Catechism, p. 354, ed. 1715

Bishop Fell

"Paraphrase on the Epistles"

"For this Holy Ceremony was not instituted by us for eating and drinking, but by the Lord Himself, for a sacred solemn commemoration of His death, and to be approached with all reverence and great preparation, as being the Body and Blood of the Lord." – On 1 Corinthians xi. 23.


"Upon these premises, I am content to go to issue as concerning the sense of the Catholic Church in this point. If it can any where be shewed, that the Church did ever pray that the Flesh and Blood might be substituted instead of the elements, under the accidents of them, then I am content, that this be counted henceforth the Sacramental Presence of them in the Eucharist. But if the Church only pray that the Spirit of God, coming down upon the elements, may make them the Body and Blood of Christ, so that they which received them may be filled with the grace of His Spirit; then is it not the sense of the Catholic Church, that can oblige any man to believe the abolishing of the elements, in their bodily substance; because, supposing that they remain, they may nevertheless become the instrument of God’s Spirit to convey the operation thereof to them that are disposed to receive it, no otherwise than His Flesh and Blood conveyed the efficacy thereof upon earth. And that I suppose is reason enough, to call it the Body and Blood of Christ Sacramentally, that is to say, as in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. It is not here to be denied, that all ecclesiastical writers do, with one mouth, bear witness to the Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Neither will any one of them be found to ascribe to it any thing but the consecration, or that to any faith, but that, upon which the Church professeth to proceed to the celebrating of it. And upon this account, when they speak of the elements, supposing the consecration to have passed upon them, they always call them by the name not of their bodily substance, but of the Body and Blood of Christ which they are become." – Epilogue iii. 4. p. 30

L’Estrange’s Alliance
Commenting on the Form of Administration
Chapter VII, Page 209

"The Body of Our Lord, &c. ] If you take a view of the elder forms, as they stand lateral to the Common Prayer, you may perceive this constituted by the coupling and uniting of the other two, which were before unlawfully divorced: for the first form in the first book, excluding the words commemorative of Christ’s Death and Passion, which those Divine Mysteries were ordered to represent, as it is the precise formula of the Mass-Book, so might it be suspected as overserviceable to the doctrine of Transubstantiation, to which the Romans applied it. Again, in the next Book, the Commemoration being let in, and the Body and Blood of Christ shut out, that Real Presence which all sound Protestants seem to allow, might probably be implied to be denied. Excellently well done therefore was it of Queen Elizabeth’s Reformers, to link them both together; for between the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, and the Sacramental Commemoration of His Passion, there is so inseparable a league, as subsist they cannot, unless they consist. A Sacramental Verity of Christ's Body and Blood there cannot be, without the Commemoration of His Death and Passion, because Christ never promised His Mysterious (yet Real) Presence, but in reference to such Commemoration: nor can there be a true Commemoration without the Body and Blood exhibited and participated; because Christ gave not those visible elements, but His Body and Blood to make that spiritual representation."


. Chapter X p. 300

"Indeed if consecration be of any import, if with God it reconcileth any thing effectual towards the making those elements the Body and Blood of Christ, if in us it createth any greater reverenced to those dreadful Mysteries, then certainly that consecration must needs excel all others which is made in the full congregation."


"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; "Verbum audimus, motum sentimus, modum nescimus, praesentiam credimus;" "We hear the word, we perceive the motion, we know not the manner, but we believe the presence;" and Ferus, of whom Sixtus Senensis affirms that he was ‘vir nobiliter doctus, pius et eruditus,’ hath these words: "Cum certum sit ibi esse Corpus Christi, quid opus est diputare, num panis substantia meneat, 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 everyone left to his conjecture concerning the manner: "De modo quo id fieret, satius erat curiosum quemque relinquere suae conjecturae, sicut liberum fuit ante Concilium Lateranum:" "Before the Lateran Council, it was free for every one to opine as they please, and it were better it were so now." – But Saint Cyril 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, nunquem in tam 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, nec lingua dicere possumus, sed silentio et firma fide id suscipimus." "We can perceive the thing by faith, but cannot express it in words, nor understand it with our mind," said Saint Bernard. "Oportet igitur (it is as 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 pleases, for so it was in the Church for about 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." - Real Presence, volume ix, pages 421-23

"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 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. 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; 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." - Ibid. 424.

"This may suffice for the word ‘real,’ which the English Papists much use, but, as it appears, with much less reason than the sons of the Church of England: and when the Real Presence is denied, the word ‘real’ is taken for ‘natural,’ 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 praesens Salvator substantia sua nobis adest." ‘in substance, but after a Sacramental manner:’ 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, ‘most necessary, useful, and material substances,’ it might become an instrument of a united confession." – Ibid. page 427

"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 the Body is glorified, which was crucified, says it is the same Body, but not after the same manner: 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, deny that Body which was born of the Virgin Mary, that which was crucified, to be eaten in the Sacrament – as Bertram, as Saint Jerome, as Clement Alexandrinus, expressly affirm; the meaning is easy – they intend that it is not eaten in a natural sense; and then calling it ‘corpus spirituale,’ 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 preposition, and the opposite member of a distinction. ‘That Body which was crucified, is not that Body that is eaten ion the Sacrament’ – if the intention of the proposition be to speak of 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." – Ibid. 430.

"In this Feast all Christ, and Christ’s Passion, and all His graces, the blessings and effects of His sufferings, are conveyed." – Holy Living, volume iv, page 268


"When the holy man stands at the Table of Blessing, and ministers the rite of Consecration, then do as the Angels do, who behold and love and wonder that the Son of God should become Food to the souls of his servants; that He who cannot suffer any change or lessening should be broken into pieces and enter into the body to support and nourish the spirit, and yet remain in heaven whilst he descends to thee upon earth; that He who hath essential felicity should become miserable and die for thee, and then give Himself to thee, for ever to redeem thee from sin and misery."—Ibid. page 269

"Have mercy upon us, O heavenly Father, according to Thy glorious mercies and promises, send Thy Holy Ghost upon our hearts, and let Him also descend upon these gifts, that by His good, His holy, His glorious Presence, He may sanctify and enlighten our hears, and He may bless and sanctify these gifts,

That this Bread may become the Holy Body of Christ. Amen.

And this Chalice may become the life-giving Blood of Christ. Amen."

—Office for the Holy Communion

, Volume XV, page 299

"In the act of receiving, exercise acts of faith with much confidence and resignation, believing it not to be common bread and wine, but holy in their use, holy in their signification, holy in their change, and holy in their effect; and believe, if thou art a worthy communicant, thou dost as verily receive Christ’s Body and Blood to all effects and purposes of the Spirit, as thou dost receive the blessed elements into thy mouth, that thou puttest thy finger to His hand, and they hand into His side, and they lips to his fontine of blood, sucking life from His heart; and yet if thou dost communicate unworthily, thou eatest and drinkest Christ to thy danger, and death, and destruction. Dispute not concerning the secret of the mystery, and the nicety of the manner of Christ’s Presence; it is sufficient to thee, that Christ shall be present to thy soul, as an instrument of grace, as a pledge of the resurrection, as the earnest of glory and immortality, and a means of many intermedial blessings, even all such as are necessary for thee, and are in order to thy salvation. And to make all this good to thee, there is nothing necessary on thy part but a holy life, and a true belief of all the sayings of Christ; amongst which, indefinitely assent to the words of institution, and believe that Christ, in the Holy Sacrament, gives thee His Body and His Blood. He that believes not this, is not a Christian. He that believes so much, needs not to inquire further, nor to entangle his faith by disbelieving his sense." – Holy Living, Volume IV, page 172

Bishop Ken

"I believe, O crucified Lord, that the Bread which we break in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries is the communication of Thy Body, and the Cup of blessing which we bless is the communication of Thy Blood, and that Thou dost as effectually and really convey Thy Body and Blood to our souls by the Bread and Wine, as Thou didst Thy Holy Spirit by Thy breath to Thy disciples, for which all love, all glory be to Thee.

"Lord, what need I labour in vain to search out the manner of Thy mysterious Presence in the Sacrament, when my lobe assures me Thou art there? All the faithful who approach Thee, with prepared hearts, they well know Thou art there, they feel the virtue of divine love going out of Thee to heal their infirmities and to inflame their affections; for which all love, all glory be to Thee.

"O God Incarnate, how Thou canst give us Thy Flesh to eat and Thy Blood to drink; how Thy Flesh is meat indeed; how Thou who art in heaven, art present on the Altar, I can by no means explain; but I firmly believe it all, because Thou hast said it, and I firmly rely on Thy love and on Thy Omnipotence to make good Thy word, though the manner of doing it I cannot comprehend." —Exposition of the Church Catechism

Bishop Hackett

"That which astonisheth the communicant and ravisheth his heart is, that this Feast afford no worse meat than the Body and Blood of our Saviour. These He gave for the life of the world, these are the repast of this Supper, and these we truly partake. For there is not only the visible reception of the outward signs, but an invisible reception of the thing signified.

There is far more than a shadow, than a type, than a figure. Christ did not propose a sign at that hour, but also he gave us a Gift, and that Gift really and effectually is Himself, which is all one as you would say, spiritually Himself; for spiritual union is the most true and real union that can be. That which is promised, and faith takes it, and hath it, is not fiction, fancy, opinion, falsity, but substance and verity. Therefore it cannot choose but that a real union must follow between Christ and us, as there is a union of all parts of the body by the animation of one soul …. But faith is the mouth wherewith we eat His Body and drink His Blood, not the mouth of a man, but of a faithful man, for we hunger after Him not with a corporeal appetite but a spiritual, therefore our eating must be spiritual, and not corporeal. Yet this is a real substantial partaking of Christ crucified, broken, His Flesh bleeding, His wounds gaping; so He is exhibited, so we are sure to receive Him, which doth not only touch our outward senses in the elements, but pass through into the depth of the soul. For in true divinity real and spiritual are Êquipollent: … ‘A mystery neither to be set out in words, nor to be comprehended sufficiently in the mind, but to be adored by faith,’ says Calvin." – Christian Consolations, Bishop Taylor’s Works, ed. Heber, volume I page 162

Bishop Beveridge

"When we hear the words of Consecration repeated as they came from our Lord’s own mouth, "This is My Body which is given for you," and "This is My Blood which was shed for you and for many for the remission of sins;" we are then steadfastly to believe, that although the substance of the Bread and Wine still remain, yet now it is not common bread and wine, as to its use; but the Body and Blood of Christ in that Sacramental sense wherein He spake the words …. When it comes to our turn to receive it, then we are to lay aside all thoughts of bread and wine, and the Minister and every thing else that is or can be seen, and fix our faith, as it is "the evidence of things not seen," wholly and solely upon our blessed Saviour, as offering us His own Body and Blood to preserve our bodies and souls to everlasting life, which we are therefore to receive by faith, as it is "the substance of things hoped for," steadfastly believing it to be, as our Saviour said, "His Body and Blood," which our Church teacheth us are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord’s Supper." – Necessity and Advantage of Frequent Communion, page 204, 5 ed. 1721

"Whereby He plainly signified, that what He now gave them to eat and drink, He would have them look upon it, and receive it, not as common bread and wine, but as His Body and Blood: the one as broken, the other as shed, for their sins." – Catechism, page 125

"Hence also it is, that our Church requires us to receive the Holy Sacrament kneeling, not out of any respect to the creatures of Bread and Wine, but to put us in mind that Almighty God our Creator and Redeemer, the only object of all religious worship, is there specially present, offering His own Body and Blood to us, that so we may act our faith in Him, and express our sense of His goodness to us, and our unworthiness of it, in the most humble posture that we can. And indeed, could the Church be sure that all her members would receive as they ought with faith, she need not to command them to receive it kneeling; for they could not do it any other way: for how can I pray in faith to Almighty God, to preserve both my body and soul to everlasting life, and not make my body, as well as soul, bow down before Him? How can I by faith behold my Saviour coming to me, and offering me His own Body and Blood, and not fall down and worship Him? How can I by faith lay hold upon the pardon of my sins, as there sealed and delivered to me, and receive it any otherwise than upon my knees? I dare not, I cannot do it. And they who can, have too much cause to suspect, that they do not discern the Lord’s Body, and therefore cannot receive it worthily. Be sure, our receiving the blessed Body and Blood of Christ, as the Catholic Church always did, in an humble and adoring posture, is both an argument and excitement of our faith in Him. By it we demonstrate, that we discern the Lord’s Body, and believe Him to be present with us in a particular sacramental sense, and by it we excite and stir up both ourselves and others to act our faith more steadfastly upon Him, in that by adoring Him, we actually acknowledge Him to be God, as well as man; and therefore on whom we have all the reason in the world to believe and trust for our salvation." —On Frequent Communion, page 208

Bishop Bull

"We are not ignorant, that the ancient Fathers generally teach, that the Bread and Wine in the Eucharist, by or upon the consecration of them, do become, and are made the Body and Blood of Christ. But we know also, that though they do not all explain themselves in the same way, yet they do all declare their sense to be very dissonant from the doctrine of transubstantiation. Some of the most ancient doctors of the Church, as Justin Martyr and IrenÊus, seem to have had this notion, that by or upon the sacerdotal Benediction, the Spirit of Christ or a divine virtue from Christ descends upon the elements, and accompanies them to all worthy communicants, and that therefore they are said to be and are the Body and Blood of Christ; the same Divinity which is hypostatically united to the Body of Christ in Heaven, being virtually united to the elements of Bread and Wine on earth. Which also seems to be the meaning of all the ancient Liturgies, in which it is prayed that God would send down His Spirit upon the Bread and Wine in the Eucharist ." —Answer to Bousset. Hickes’s Controversial Discourses, volume I, page 249


"Nay I maintain, that no other interpretation of these words (Saint Luke xxii. 18, the words of institution) can be invented, which shall either be more probable that this of ours, or more suitable to the purpose of our Saviour. And indeed that this is the true and only meaning of the text, I conclude from hence, that the Primitive Church always taught and understood it in this sense. And this I will now make good by a cloud of most unquestionable witnesses.

"And first let us hear Saint IrenÊus, Saint Polycarp’s contemporary, a most egregious assertor of Apostolic Tradition. In his fourth Book, being to prove against the Marcionites that Jesus Christ was the Son of the One true God, who made the world, and instituted the law of Moses for the Jews, he draws his argument from the oblations of the Eucharist: and our opinion, says he, "is agreeable to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist does reciprocally confirm our opinion: for we offer unto the Lord those things which are His, congruously declaring the communication and the unity both of the Flesh and Spirit." And then follow these words: "For as the Bread which is from the earth, partaking of the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two things, an earthly and an heavenly: so also our bodies, partaking of the Eucharist, are no longer mere corruptible bodies, but have hope of a resurrection." In this passage the holy father does most expressly assert, that the Bread is made the Eucharist, that is, the Body of Jesus Christ by invocation of God, to wit by consecration, as will appear more fully in the sequel. In his fifth book the same holy father disputes against Valentinus; and maintains, that Jesus Christ assumed the human nature truly and really, and not only in appearance, as some heretics dreamt. And to prove this also, he applies the Sacrament of the Eucharist. "And thus," says he, "to wit, according to these things, neither has the Lord redeemed us with His Blood; nor is the Cup of the Eucharist the communication of His Blood; nor the Bread which we break the communication of His Body:" and a little after he has these words: "when therefore both the Bread broken, and the Cup mixed, have partaken of the Word of God, they become the Eucharist of the Body and Blood of Christ ."—Christian Priesthood, App. P. cccclxxxii

Dean Comber

"Only we must note, that this Amen in the end of this [Consecration] prayer was anciently spoken by the people with a loud voice; not only to shew their joining in the desire that the elements may become truly consecrated, but also to declare their firm belief that they are now to be esteemed as the very Body and Blood of Christ; let us therefore here most devoutly seal all that the priest hath done, and unfeignedly testify our faith by a hearty Amen. "Lord, it is done as Thou hast commanded, and I doubt not but the mystery is rightly accomplished; I am persuaded that here is that which my soul longeth after, a crucified Saviour communicating Himself to poor penitent sinners. O let me be reckoned among that number, and then I shall assuredly receive Thee, Holy Jesus. Amen." —Companion to the Temple, volume I, fol. Page 543

"Still we do believe that every duly disposed communicant doth receive really the Body and Blood of Christ, in and by these elements, but it is by faith and not by sense. If we receive them in the manner, and to the end which Christ appointed, they give us a lively remembrance of His love and all-sufficient merit, and thereby invite our faith to embrace this crucified Redeemer, as the satisfaction for our sins; whereupon He (who is most ready to close with penitent sinners) doth by this rite of His own appointing, give Himself and the salutary benefits of His death unto such, and although the manner be mysterious, yet the advantages are real, and the effect more certain than if we eat or drank his natural flesh and blood." —Ibid. page 540

Dean Comber

An act of faith

"O Eternal Word of God, by whose power all things were made, I will not ask how Thou canst give me Thy Flesh to eat; because I am abundantly satisfied in Thy saying, "This is My Body:" since Thou canst make it become to me whatsoever Thou sayest it is. I believe, Lord, help my unbelief! What though my senses assure me, the outward substance and the accidents still remain; yet my faith and my experience tell me there is an efficacy therein, beyond the power of any other thing. Alas! The Flesh would profit me nothing (John iv 63), for he that is joined to Thee must be one spirit (1 Corinthians vi 17). O let these sacred Symbols therefore make me a partaker of Thy nature, and a partner in Thy merits: let them unite me to Thee, ingraft me in Thee, and make That Body mine which did suffer death for me, and then I shall seek no further, but be more happy than if I could understand all mysteries: sure I am, This is Thy Body in Sacrament, it communicates to us the blessings and benefit thereof, and though presented in a figure, and by a holy rite, yet it is to all its purposes that which it doth represent; I will therefore receive it as Thy Body, and esteem it infinitely above all other food, that I may not be judged for not discerning Thy Body. O let it be unto me according to my faith. Amen." — Ibid. page 547

"It will not suffice me, dearest Saviour, to receive Thee in part only, for I must be wholly Thine, and (blessed be Thy Name) Thou art willing to be wholly mine also. Thou hast already given me Thy Holy Body to cleanse my nature, and now Thou art preparing Thy precious Blood to wash away my guilt. My sins have poured out every drop thereof, wherefore Thou presentest it to me itself, to shew how truly Thou didst suffer death for me. And now, O my Redeemer, Thou hast said, This Cup is the Communion of Thy blood, and Thy truth in unquestionable, Thy power is infinite, and Thy love was such, that Thou gavest Thy heart’s blood for me. I will receive it therefore as the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, the seal of all the promises of Thy Holy Gospel."

"The second happiness assured by this Holy Eucharist is, that we are thereby united to Jesus, so as to have fellowship with Him (1 John 13), and in Saint Paul’s phrase we do thereby become members of His Body, of His Flesh, and of His Bone (Ephesians v 30), for He gives us Himself to be our food, with intent that He may be one with us, and we with Him. As some have made their leagues of friendship by drinking each other’s blood, thereby intending to create a sympathy, and as it were to mingle souls: and since we have been fed with that Food, with which God feeds his dearest children, and have participated of that Spirit which quickens the great mystical body of Christ (1 Corinthians xii 9), we may infer, that we are living members of the true Church also: let us therefore solace ourselves with reflecting upon the happiness of our present estate."

"The third benefit which worthy receivers have by this Sacrament, is, that it doth consign them to a blessed immortality and this follows from the former, it being impossible any true member of Christ should be left for ever in the grave; since the Head liveth, the members shall live also (John vi 64), hence the Fathers called it an antidote against death, and the means to make us partakers of our Lord’s immortality. For Jesus doth not only here refresh our souls with a present communication of His graces, but doth seal that covenant also, one condition of which is, that He will bring us to glory." — Ibid., page 566,7

Archbishop Wake

"The Bread which we break is, not only in figure and similitude, but by a real spiritual Communion, His Body. The Cup of Blessing which we bless is by the same Communion His Blood." — On the Catechism, section 49


"Nor can I conceive how the words of Saint Paul can otherwise be understood, in their full scope and latitude, when he says, "The Cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the Communion?" &c. (1 Corinthians x 16). He supposes that the Body and Blood of Christ are communicated to us by the Bread and Wine in the Holy Eucharist …. And when Saint Paul saith that ignorant and profane communicants "do not discern the Lord’s Body" in the Holy Eucharist (1 Corinthians xi 29), and that "they are guilty of (an indignity toward..) the Body and Blood of our Lord" (verse 27), he surely takes it for granted that the Body and Blood are actually there, whether they discern it or not…

"I believe there is nothing that can more inflame and exalt the devotion of a sincere Christian, than to think and believe, that when he is praying at God’s Altar and receiving the Holy Eucharist, he has the price of his redemption in his hand, or lying before his eyes." — Propitiatory Oblation, pp. 28,101

"The full and true notion of the Eucharist is, that it is a religious Feast upon Bread and Wine, that have been first offered in sacrifice to Almighty God, and are become the mysterious Body and Blood of Christ." — Unbloody Sacrifice, vol ii, page 18

"It was the universal belief of the ancients, that, by the special presence of the Holy Spirit, the Bread and Wine were made the Body and Blood of Christ, in life and power, as they were before in figure or representation. As the natural Body of Christ was formed in the womb by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost; so they expected, and prayed, that, by the operation of the same Spirit, the Bread and Wine might be made the Body and Blood, in a more effectual manner than they were when offered to God as mere representatives: and it was their certain belief that the Bread thus consecrated by the secret influence of the Spirit, was the very Body of Christ in power, and energy, and to all intents and purposes of religion, and so far as it was possible for one thing to be made another, without change of substance. This was indeed no Article of their Creed, because the Creed was originally drawn not for communicants, but to be rehearsed by persons that were to be baptised, or their sureties. But it was an Article to which all communicants gave their consent so oft as they received. For the Priest of old said, at the delivery of the Bread to every single communicant, "The Body of Christ:" and every communicant answered, Amen; by which he was understood to give his consent to what the Priest said. And in the same manner they acknowledge the sacramental Wine to be the Blood of Christ. The primitive Church believed not any change of substance in the Sacrament. For they ever affirmed the Bread and Wine to remain after consecration; but that by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost they were Christ’s Body and Blood, not only by way of type, or figure, but in real power and effect.

"And we are to observe that, in the institution, Christ says of the Bread, "This is My Body;" of the Cup, or Wine, "This is My Blood," without adding any words to abate the signification of that expression. He calls the sacramental Bread My Flesh, five times in six verses in this chapter, from which I may take my text, beginning at verse 51, ending at verse 56: nay, He calls it My Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world, verse 51. And it appears under this pledge of Bread He did actually offer His Body to the Father, for the redemption of mankind. See section 6 and so on to the 9th, discourse ii. And He calls the Cup, or Wine, His Blood, four times within the compass of four verses, beginning at the 53rd , ending at the 56th. He knew full well what captious hearers He had, and that they were upon the point of deserting Him on this account; yet He does not forbear to speak the mystery, as that mystery deserved. Saint Paul tells them that unworthily received the Sacrament, that they were "guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord;" and the same Apostle says of the Cup, that it is "the Communion of the Blood of Christ," without any mollifying addition. We are not therefore to wonder that the primitive Church made this an Article of faith, though not of their Creed.

"And the consecrated Bread and Wine being thus, by the secret operation of the Holy Spirit, made the Body and Blood of Christ, did fully answer the characters which Christ gives us of His Flesh and Blood in this 6th chapter of Saint John’s Gospel." — Primitive Communicant, pages 141-144

"And I am firmly persuaded that this is the sum of what Christ teacheth us in this chapter: and I cannot doubt of it when I consider, that this was the belief of all Christians in the first and purest ages.

"To believe this doctrine, in indeed a "work," or "labour," so our Saviour justly calls it. A great part of those who first heard it, could not be persuaded that it was possible for Him, in any good sense, to give His Flesh to be eat(en), His Blood to be drank; or that, if He could, the benefit of eating and drinking them, could be so great as He had promised; therefore they went away, and walked no more with Him, verse 66. Christ foreknew what corrupt glosses men of latter ages would put upon His words, and how difficult it would be for private Christians to break through prejudices, and mistakes, made current by the countenance and traditions of great men. And perhaps there is no one point in our religion that requires more labour, and study, to be rightly informed in, at this day, than this of which I am now speaking; I mean, the true discerning of our Lord’s Body in the Holy Sacrament, and the benefits promised to them who receive it, in this sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel." — Ibid. page 176

Archbishop Sharp

"But what then? Do we not in the Sacrament truly partake of the Body and Blood of Christ? God forbid that any one should deny it. There is none that understands anything of the Sacrament but must acknowledge, that therein to all worthy receivers the Body and Blood of Christ is both given and likewise received by them. This is the sense of the Church of England, when she doth so often declare that she owns the Real Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood to all that worthily receive the Sacrament.

"We do indeed own that Christ is really present in the Sacrament to all worthy receivers, and in our Communion Service we pray to God to grant that we may eat the Flesh of His dear Son and drink His Blood, &c. All this we own, and it is very necessary we should." — Sermon on Transubstantiation, vol. vii.


"Nor can the shewbread in the temple be called the bread of our God so properly, so strictly, so eminently, as the Bread in the Holy Sacrament, which is the Body of Christ …. And does not then holiness and honour belong as much, at least, to the Evangelical Priesthood, who offer this Bread of our God, as priests under the Law who set the shewbread upon the holy table in the temple? And is not the one as properly the office of a priest as the other." — Regale and Pontificate. Works, volume I, page 665


"We may ask again, if it be not convenient, nay necessary, that all those who partake of this holy Sacrament should understand and know what it is they do? Ought they not to be instructed in the nature and design of it, lest they eat and drink unworthily, not discerning the Lord’s Body? And how shall they discern the Lord’s Body, if they are not taught that the Lord’s Body is here present ?"— Sermon on the Christian Altar and Sacrifice, p. xii.

"Verse 55

. He says, My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. That Flesh and Blood of Mine which I but now promised you that I will give for the life of the world, is indeed true life-giving meat and drink. He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood dwelleth in Me and I in him. He is in Me as a membr of My Mystical Body, and I in him by imparting to him of My life-giving Spirit. As the living Father sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me shall live by Me. As the Father (see John v.26.) hath life in Himself which He received from not other, and has give to Me His Son to have life in Myself, so I will impart true life to him that feeds on Me. This is that Bread which came down from Heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead: he that eateth of this Bread shall live for ever. The Bread which I purpose to give you is true heavenly Bread, not like that which was rained down in the wilderness, which though your fathers eat plentifully of it, yet they died in their sins; but this Bread shall cleanse you from sin, and by the virtue of it those who feed upon it shall live for ever. These things said He in the synagogue as they taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of His disciples when they heard this, said, This is a hard saying, who can hear it? Who can believe that we must become cannibals and feed upon this Man’s Flesh and Blood? Or without such feeding must be deprived of eternal life or happiness? When Jesus knew in Himself that His Disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Does this offend you? Do you stumble at this? Does the faith you have pretended to have now fail you? What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before? Will ye not then think the feeding on My Flesh more incredible than you do now? For how can you feed upon it when it is here no more? Therefore I will a little explain Myself and tell you, that it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing: bare flesh and blood without life and spirit in them can quicken or give life to nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are Life. The promises that I have made you concerning giving you my Flesh and Blood to eat and drink, if you had attended to them, might have satisfied you that I spake of such Flesh and Blood as should have a quickening Spirit conveyed with them. For I plainly told you, that as I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, shall live by Me; I will quicken or give him life by My Spirit, that Spirit by which My Body lives, and whose quickening or life-giving virtue I will impart to that material thing which I shall make my Body and Blood, when I give this natural Body and Blood of Mine for the life of the world, or the redemption of mankind. It is not Christ’s doctrine that quickens and gives us life, but His Spirit, that Spirit which gave life to His own Body, and which together with His Body and Blood, or something which He dignifies with that name, which He has appointed to give us life. The Body and Blood then, or Flesh and Blood, which in this chapter He promised to give (saying, My flesh which I will give) for our food which should nourish us unto eternal life, can be no other than that Bread and Wine which He gave when He instituted the Holy Eucharist or Lord’s Supper, at which time he dignified them with the name and virtue of His Body and Blood. And so the holy and most ancient Fathers (who lived nearest to the Apostles’ days, and therefore best understood the Apostles’ language and doctrine, consequently could best expound them) have interpreted this passage, as appears from Saint Ignatius particularly, who being the disciple of Saint John who wrote the Gospel where alone this discourse of our Saviour is recorded, is to be preferred to all other expositors; and he tells us, as I have before observed, that the Holy Eucharist is the medicine of immortality, our antidote that we should not die, but live for ever in Christ Jesus." — Scripture Account of the Holy Eucharist, page 113

"Now by comparing these words (of institution) of our Saviour which he spake when he communicated this Bread and Wine to His disciples, and called those elements His Body and Blood, with those He before spake in the sixth chapter of Saint John, which I have already proved were spoken with relation to the Holy Eucharist; for in that chapter, verse 51: The Bread that I will give is My Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world; we may thus paraphrase them; "you may remember that some time ago when I taught in Capernaum, and the Jews there told me of their fathers eating manna in the desert, which they called Bread from heaven, upon which I promised them, that if they would believe in Me, I would give them true Bread from Heaven, which should nourish them unto eternal life; and that this Bread was My own Flesh and Blood; they thought this a hard saying thinking that I intended they should eat that natural Flesh they then saw, and that natural Blood then and still in My veins. I did not then think it proper to explain Myself any further to them than to tell them, that what I had said was to be understood in a spiritual sense, That is it the Spirit that quickeneth; the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are Life. But now I will make good that promise to you; here is Bread and Wine, which I have now offered to God, and have blessed them with My Spirit, and thereby make them My Body and Blood in power and virtue: these I now give to you, eat the one and drink the other, and you shall receive all the benefits and blessings you then heard Me promise to those who should eat My Flesh and drink My Blood, I will raise you up at the last day, and you shall dwell in Me and I in you. And that the Church of England (to whose Book of Common Prayer this author gave his assent and consent when he was first admitted to a cure of souls in London) believes the sixth chapter of Saint John to relate to the Holy Eucharist, is plain, for it is upon the authority of that chapter only that she can say in her Exhortation to her communicants, that "If with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that Holy Sacrament, then we spiritually eat the Flesh of Christ and drink His Blood, then we dwell in Christ and Christ in us, we are one with Christ and Christ with us:" for there is no other place of Scripture but the sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel where this doctrine is to be learnt." — Ibid. page 137


"In these words [of the Consecration Prayer, "Hear us, O merciful Father, " &c.] the sense of the former is still implied, and consequently by these the elements are now consecrated, and so become the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ." — p. 301 Oxford edition 1819

"A Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, is what our Church frequently asserts in this very office of Communion, in her Articles, in her Homilies, and her Catechism: particularly in the two latter, in the first of which she tells us, Thus much we must be sure to hold, that in the Supper of the Lord there is no vain ceremony, no bare sign, no untrue figure of a thing absent; — but the Communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord in a marvellous incorporation, which by the operation of the Holy Ghost — is through Faith wrought in the souls of the faithful, &c. who therefore (as she further instructs us in the Catechism) verily and indeed take and receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. This is the doctrine of our Church in relation to the Real Presence in the Sacrament, entirely different from the doctrine of transubstantiation, which she here, as well as elsewhere, disclaims." — Ibid., s.xxxi. p. 330

Bishop Wilson

"We offer unto Thee, our King and our God, this Bread and this Cup.

"We give Thee thanks for these and for all Thy mercies, beseeching Thee to send down Thy Holy Spirit upon this sacrifice, that He may make this Bread the Body of Thy Christ, and this Cup the Blood of Thy Christ: and that all we, who are partakers thereof, may thereby obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of His Passion.

"And, together with us, remember, O God, for good, the whole mystical Body of Thy Son: that such as are yet alive may finish their course with joy; and that we, with all such as are dead in the Lord, may rest in hope and rise in glory, for Thy Son’s sake, whose death we now commemorate. Amen.

"May I always receive the Holy Sacrament in the same meaning, intention, and blessed effect with which Jesus Christ administered it to His Apostles in His last Supper." — Sacra Privata, p. 93, 94

"If therefore he ask how often he should receive this Sacrament, he ought to have an answer in the words of an ancient writer: ‘Receive it as often as you can, that the old ‘serpent, seeing the blood of the true Paschal Lamb upon your’ lips, may tremble to approach you." — Parochialia, ed. 1940, p. 63


"The English Divines teach, that in the Holy Eucharist the Body and Blood of Christ, under the species, that is, the signs, of Bread and Wine, are offered to God, and become a representation of the Sacrifice of Christ once made upon the Cross, whereby God may be rendered propitious." — Daniel Brevint, &c. Jeremy Taylor, MS. Adversaria, printed Tract 81. P. 368

Bishop of Exeter

"When any of us speak of this great mystery in terms best suited to its spiritual nature; when, for instance, we speak of the real Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist, there is raised a cry, as if we were symbolising with the Church of Rome, and as if this Presence, because it is real, can be nothing else than the gross, carnal, corporeal, presence indicated in transubstantiation. Now here, as with respect to Baptism, I will not argue the point, but will merely refer to the language of our Church in those authorised declarations of its doctrine to which we have assented, and in those formularies which we have both expressly approved and solemnly engaged to use.

"It is very true, that none of these declarations or formularies use the phrase ‘real Presence;’ and therefore, if any should attempt to impose the use of that phrase as necessary, he would be justly open to censure for requiring what the Church does not require. But, on the other hand, if we adopt the phrase, as not only aptly expressing the doctrine of the Church, but also as commended to our use by the practice of the soundest Divines of the Church of England, in an age more distinguished for depth, as well as soundness, of Theology than the present — such as Archbishop Bramhall, Sharp, and Wake, (all of whom do not only express their own judgement, but also are witnesses of the general judgement of the Church in and before their days; ‘No genuine son of the Church of England,’ says Bramhall, ‘did ever deny a true real Presence;’) if, I say, we adopt the phrase, used by such men as these, and even by some of those, who at the Reformation sealed with their blood their testimony to the Truth against the doctrine of Rome, (I allude especially to Bishops Ridley and Latimer — and even to Cranmer, who, when he avoided the phrase so abused by the Romanists, did yet employ equivalent words,) it will be sufficient for the justification both of them and of us to shew, that the language of the Church itself does in fact express the same thing though in different terms. Still, I fully admit, that Christian discretion would bid us forbear from the use of the phrase, if the objection to it were founded on a sincere apprehension of giving offence to tender consciences; and not, as there is too much reason to believe, on an aversion to the great truth which it is employed to express." — Charge, p. 69-71

The following summary of the "Anglo-Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist" is added, not with any view of introducing the respected author into the controversy, but as extracted from a work which since the publication of the first Edition has received the sanction of the most Reverend the Archbishops of Canterbury and Armagh, to whom it is, with permission, inscribed.

"This Catholic and Apostolic Church has always avoided any attempt to determine too minutely the mode of the true Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Guided by Scripture, she establishes only those truths which Scripture reveals, and leaves the subject in that mystery, with which God for His wise purposes has invested it. Her doctrine concerning the true Presence appears to be limited to the following points;—

"Taking as her immovable foundation the words of Jesus Christ: "This is My Body … This is My Blood of the new Covenant;" and "Whoso eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood hath eternal life;" she believes, that the Body or Flesh, and the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Creator and Redeemer of the world, both God and man, united indivisibly in the one Person, are verily and indeed given to, taken, eaten, and received by the faithful in the Lord’s Supper, under the outward sign or form of Bread and Wine, which is, on this account, the ‘partaking or Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ.’ She believes that the Eucharist is not the sign of an absent body, and that those who partake of it receive not merely the figure, or shadow, or sign of Christ’s Body, but the reality itself. And as Christ’s divine and human natures are inseparably united, so she believes that we receive in the Eucharist, not only the Flesh and Blood of Christ, but Christ Himself, both God and man.

"Resting on these words, "The Bread which we break is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ?" and again, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the Vine;" she holds that the nature of the Bread and Wine continues after consecration, and therefore rejects transubstantiation, or "the change of the substance" which supposes the nature of bread entirely to cease by consecration.

"As a necessary consequence of the preceding truths, and admonished by Christ Himself, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you they are Spirit and they are life;" she holds that the Presence (and therefore the eating) of Christ’s Body and Blood, though true, is altogether "heavenly and spiritual," of a kind which is inexplicable by any carnal or earthly experience or imagination: even as the Sonship of the Eternal Word of God, and His Incarnation, and the Procession of the Holy Spirit, are immeasurable by human understandings.

"Believing according to the Scriptures, that Christ ascended in His natural Body into Heaven, and shall only come from thence at the end of the world; she rejects, for this reason, as well as the last, any such real Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood as is "corporal" or organical, that is, according to the known and earthly mode of existence of a body.

"Resting on the Divine promise, "Whoso eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood, hath eternal life," she regards it as the more pious and probable opinion, that the wicked, those who are totally devoid of true and living faith, do not partake of the Holy Flesh of Christ in the Eucharist, God withdrawing from them so "divine" a gift, and not permitting His enemies to partake of it. And hence she holds, that such a faith is "the means by which the Body of Christ is received and eaten," "a necessary instrument in all these holy ceremonies;" because it is the essential qualification on our parts, without which that Body is not received; and because "without faith it is impossible to please God."

"Following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Apostles, and supported by their authority, she believes that "the blessing," or "consecration" of the Bread and Wine is not without effect, but that it operates a real change: for when the Sacrament is thus perfected she regards it as so "divine a thing," so "heavenly a food," that we must not "presume" to approach it with unprepared minds, and that sinners, although they only partake of the Bread and Wine, partake of them to their own condemnation, because they impiously disregard the Lord’s Body, which is truly present in that Sacrament. Hence it is that the Church believing firmly in the real Presence of the "precious and blessed Body and Blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ," speaks of the Eucharist as "high and holy mysteries," exhorts us to consider the "dignity of that holy mystery," that "heavenly feast," that "holy table," "the banquet of that most heavenly food," even "the King of kings’ table."

"Such is the simple, the sublime, and, what is more, the true and scriptural doctrine of our Catholic and Apostolic Church—a doctrine which cannot be accused of heresy except from ignorance or uncharitableness. Even our adversaries are compelled sometimes by the force of truth to clear the Church of England from the imputation of disbelieving the sublime mysteries of this Holy Sacrament, and reducing it to a common spiritual exercise, in which the mind of the individual derives edification, and perhaps grace, from the contemplation and remembrance of an absent Redeemer’s sufferings.

"Our doctrine leaves this subject in the sacred mystery with which God has enveloped it. It is not to be denied that the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation facilitates the mental conception of that mystery; but it has the fatal defect of being opposed to the plain language of Scripture; and if those statements are to be explained away, and reduced to merely figurative expressions, according to the doctrine of Paschasius Rabertus and his school; the Berengatians, Zuinglians, and Socinians, may with reason claim a similar privilege of arbitrarily explaining away into figures the very passages in which the doctrine of the true Presence itself is conveyed.

"The Roman doctrine of transubstantiation is entirely founded on human reasoning from the nature of bodies, and the supposed incompatibility of the scriptural statement that the Eucharist is Bread and Wine, literally understood, with the other expressions of Scripture. But what Bossuet has observed of the philosophical reasoning of the School of Zurich and Geneva against the real Presence , "que les reÁevoir en matiÈre de religion, c’est dÈtruire non seulement le mystere de l’eucharistie, mais tout d’un coup tous les mysteres du Christianisme, " is perfectly applicable to those of Romanists for their transubstantiation." —Palmer’s Treatise on the Church, vol. ii. p. 526-533

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