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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sacrament above Word

Here is an interesting quotation from Abp Laud that bears upon his Eucharistic doctrine:
And you, my honourable Lords of the Garter, in your great solemnities, you do your reverence, and to Almighty God, I doubt not; but yet it is versus altare, towards His altar, as the greatest place of God's residence upon earth. (I say the greatest, yea, greater than the pulpit; for there tis Hoc est corpus Meum, 'This is My body'; but in the pulpit tis at most but Hoc est verbum Meum, This is My word.' And a greater reverence, no doubt, is due to the body than to the word of our Lord. And so, in relation, answerably to the throne where his body is usually present than to the seat where His word useth to be proclaimed).
Is there any wonder why Abp Laud was in trouble in a context of the likes of an O. Cromwell! It's interesting that many of these divines during this time did place the Sacrament above the word for this very reason. Andrewes in a sermon on the anniversary of the Gun Powder Plot complained that the entire Body of Christ was becoming an ear. This was in reference to preaching becoming central to the Christian worship service that was without the celebration of the Eucharist. Andrewes argues for the novelty of this practice from the ancient Church and tells his hearers that it is NOT through the sermon that sins are forgiven, but through the application of the sacrifice of Christ given in the Eucharist.

3 Comments:

Blogger Pontificator said...

Jeff, where did Andrewes's and Laud stand on the question: Do the impious partake of the Body and Blood?

8:41 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

They both agreed that the impious are offered and receive Christ but to their judgment. They both believed in an objective presence after the consecration and before reception.

11:00 pm  
Blogger James the Thickheaded said...

Jeff:

I'm lovin' it. Talk about hiding a lamp under a bush. These quotes seem truly forgotten treasures. Were these sentiments broadly shared within the Anglican dominion at the time...or hidden from Olie's persecuting roundheads, or were these the exception?

Wish I understood all the rest of the prior explanation...but I'm afraid sometimes when I'm reading the posted quotations from Andrewes that the semantics have shifted in the intervening centuries. In short, as a former Chaucerian...I hesitate to take much at face value without accompanying footnotes. You provide a bit...but my guess is sometimes we're shielded from meaningful details as well. I figure it will all come out over time..as you keep posting and I keep reading...and my thickheadedness will pass. Grin.

4:11 am  

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