Monday, June 05, 2006

William Forbes on Eucharistic Sacrifice

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The holy Fathers say very often that the Body of Christ itslef is offered and sacrificed in the Eucharist, as is clear from almost numberless places; but not in such a way that all the properties of a sacrifice are properly and actually preserved, but by way of commemoration and representation of that which was performed once for all in that One Only Sacrifice of the Cross whereby Christ our High Priest consummated all other sacrifices, and by way of pious prayer whereby the Ministers of the Church must humbly beseech God the Father on account of abiding Victim of that One Sacrifice, Who is seated in Heaven on the right hand of the Father and is present on the Holy Table in an ineffable manner, to grant that the virtue and grace of this perpetual Victim may be efficacious and healthful to His Church for all the necessities of body and soul....Assuredly, in every real Sacrifice that is properly so called, it is necessary that the victim should be consumed by a certain destructive change, as Romanists themselves universally admit. But in the Mass the Body of Christ is neither destroyed nor changed, as is clear...The more moderate Romanists rightly affirm that the Mass is not only a sacrifice of thanksgiving and service or honour, but that it can also be called hilastic or propitiatory in a sound sense; not indeed as if it effected the propitiation and forgiveness of sins, for that pertains to the Sacrifice of the Cross, but as impetrating the propitiation which has already been made, as prayer, of which this Sacrafice is a kind, can be called propitiatory....The Sacrifice which is offered in the Supper is not merely of thanksgiving, but is also propitiatory in a sound sense, and is profitable to very many not only of the living but also of the departed.


Blogger An Anglican Cleric said...

Excellent quote. Very concise in its presentation of what (to me) seems a clear statement of the Anglican position.

11:10 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

I agree that it is a great quotation but it's not Cranmerian at all! Laud would love it but Cranmer spoke absolutely against anything like it.

7:06 am  
Blogger An Anglican Cleric said...

Going back to the discussion on Cranmer--I have to say that it seems you are trying your best to place Cranmer into a Zwinglian box. I think Dr. Duncan has shown that there is a persuasive case to be made that he can't be given that nominal classification that easily. Cranmer was a theologian fixated on bringing down the edifice of transubstantiation, not in putting something better in its place. In his debates with Gardiner, you can almost hear the frustration in his words when he and Gardiner are using almost identical terminology in discussing the Presence. If one were to cover the names and leave the quotes it would be difficult to tell who was the Henrician Catholic and who was the Reformed Archbishop.

Dr. Duncan mentioned, rightly I think, that Dix and Richardson have made it a "virtual" plank in the Anglo-Catholic party to paint Cranmer in the worst possible light (a memorialist/Zwinglian) for modern day Anglicans in order to discredit his liturgy. Other scholars (G.W. Bromiley, Basil Hall, Dr. Duncan) have presented evidence that this an overly simplistic claim. Bromiley makes a case that Cranmer's extant writings, along with his liturgy, can be used to develop a eucharistic theology of presence and sacrifice quite similar to that laid out by Forbes.

In any case, his Mass still stands and is still being used all over the Anglican world (and now in Orthodoxy!), so he leaves himself open to interpretation in his liturgy as he did in his writings. Best to let Cranmer be Cranmer--a great liturgical scholar, but not a systematic theologian by any estimation.


6:06 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Anglican Cleric

As a doctoral student looking at texts and the theology of the Eucharist with 'close scrutiny, I would be the very first to amen your desire to have us all let Cranmer be Cranmer! I have the Defense in front of me now and below is a portion from it. Note Cranmer's words and then compare them to Forbes and let me know if you see a difference.'

According to this paragraph, what is it to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ for Cranmer? Is Christ present only in his divinity and not his humanity? Is that the Catholic position? It wasn't Calvin's, Bucer's, Andrewes', or Forbes, but it was Zwingli's. This is not even to mention the Fathers.

I am not so sure that one can take Cranmer and his liturgy together to make a sacrificial view of the Godward oblation that others have with the BCP like Andrewes. How can one do that when Cranmer categorically denies ANY propitiatory quality of the Eucharist at all?

Wherefore to all them that by any reasonable meanes wyll bee satysfyed, these thinges before rehearsed are suffyciente, to proue that the eatynge of Christes fleshe and drinkynge of hys blood ys not to be vnderstand symplye and plainely (as the woordes do properly sygnyfye) that we do eat and drink hym with our mouths, but it is a figuratiue speach spiritually to be vnderstand, that we must depely print and frutefully beleue in our hartes, that hys flesh was crucifyed, and his blud shed for our redemption. And this our beliefe in him, is to eate hys fleshe and to drynk hys blud, although they be not present here with vs, but be asce~ded into heauen. As once forefathers before Christs time, did likewise eat hys fleshe and drunke his bludde, which was so farre from them, that he was not yet then borne.

9:09 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Here is more of Cranmer's Defense on Sacrifice:

But the aduersaries of Christe, gather together a greate heape of authors, whiche (as they say) cal the Masse or holy communion a Sacrifice. But all those authors be answered vnto in this one sentence, that they called it not a sacrifice for sinne, bicause that it taketh awaye oure synne (which was taken away only by the death of Christ) but bicause it was ordained of Christ to put vs in remembraunce of the sacrifice made by him vpon the crosse. And for that cause it beareth the name of that sacrifice,...

9:29 pm  
Blogger An Anglican Cleric said...

You seem (again) to be forgetting or ignoring the doctrines that Cranmer was attempting to combat during this period in history. One was that Christ was somehow sacrificed again (anew) upon the altar. Another was that the sacrifice of the Mass somehow added something over and above the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Whether or not these doctrines are those of the Roman Church of that period they were commonly held and Cranmer guarded his language in his debate to keep himself from misinterpretation.

On the sacrifice, Cranmer: "that they called it not a sacrifice for sin, because that it takes away our sin (which was taken away only by the death of Christ) but because it was ordained of Christ to put us in remembraunce of the sacrifice made by him upon the cross. And for that cause it bears the name of that sacrifice. . ."

Laud (notice how closely he argues from the liturgy itself and echoes Cranmer--here we have a progression of thought between the two Archbishops): "As Christ offered up Himself once for all, a full and all-sufficient sacrifice for the sin of the whole world, so did He institute and command a memory of this sacrifice in a Sacrament, even till His coming again. For at and in the Eucharist, we offer up to God three sacrifices: One is by the priest alone, that is the commemorative sacrifice of Christ's death, represented in bread broken and wine poured out. Another is by the priest and people jointly and that is, the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for all the benefits and graces we receive by the precious death of Christ. The third, by every particular man for himself only. . .the sacrifice of every man's body and soul, to serve Him in both all the rest of his life, for this blessing thus bestowed on him. Now, thus far these dissenting Churches (the Anglican and the Roman) agree, that in the Eucharist there is a sacrifice of duty, and a sacrifice of praise, and a sacrifice of commemoration of Christ."

On the Eucharistic sacrifice, Forbes (prayer as propitiatory because it links us with the Sacrifice of Christ; echoes of Cranmer in the first portion): ". . .not indeed as if it effected the propitiation and forgiveness of sins, for that pertains to the Sacrifice of the Cross, but as impetrating the propitiation which has already been made, as prayer, of which this Sacrafice is a kind, can be called propitiatory...."

11:48 pm  
Blogger An Anglican Cleric said...

Sorry, minor additions:

From Cranmer (again, echoed above in Laud and Forbes), in which he distinguishes the sacrifice of Christ and those of the Church:
". . .made of them that be reconciled by Christ, to testify our duties unto God, and show ourselves thankful unto Him. And therefore they be called sacrifices of laud, praise, and thanksgiving."

Notice how Laud restates Cranmer--sacrifices of duty, praise, and commemoration.

From your posting of the Forbes quote:

". . .but not in such a way that all the properties of a sacrifice are properly and actually preserved, but by way of commemoration and representation of that which was performed once for all in that One Only Sacrifice of the Cross. . ."

No new sacrifice; commemoration and representation of the "once for all sacrifice of the Cross." Very Cranmerian/Laudian.

". . .whereby Christ our High Priest consummated all other sacrifices, and by way of pious prayer whereby the Ministers of the Church must humbly beseech God the Father on account of abiding Victim of that One Sacrifice, Who is seated in Heaven on the right hand of the Father. . ."

Christ as distinctly absent in His Ascention. And yet. . .

"present on the Holy Table in an ineffable manner, to grant that the virtue and grace of this perpetual Victim may be efficacious and healthful to His Church for all the necessities of body and soul...."

More than a hint of virtualism here--something Cranmer has been accused of as well.

12:09 am  
Anonymous Mark said...

It is indeed difficult at times not to conclude that Abp Cranmer and Steven Gardiner were drawing the same essential conclusions in the course of their disputes.

"We receive Christ spiritually by faith with our minds, eating his flesh and drinking his blood: so that we receive Christ's very own natural body, but not naturally, nor corporally". -Cranmer

"We acknowledge by faith Christ's body present, although we say it is present truly, really, substantially, yet we say our senses be not privy to that presence, or the manner of it, but by instruction of faith; and therefore we say Christ's body to be not locally present nor by manner of quantity, but invisible, and in no sensible manner, but marvelously in a Sacrament and mystery truly, and in such a spiritual manner as we cannot determine." -Gardiner

Incidentally, I think you meant to say Dr. Dunlap instead of Dr. Duncan.


12:51 am  
Blogger An Anglican Cleric said...


Indeed I did mean Dunlap and not Duncan--and I made the mistake several times! I've read Dr. Dunlap's (one chance to spell it correctly) work and know people who've studied under him at Cranmer. Very careless of me.

Thanks for the helpful quotes from Bishop Gardiner and Abp. Cranmer.

1:19 am  
Blogger An Anglican Cleric said...

P.S. I'll try and place some selections from Bromiley's text on my blog in the near future.

1:21 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

anglican cleric,

Your assertions that there was a new sacrifice offered that was distincly different from the One offering of Christ was denied by the teachers and is explicitly rejected by the leading writers such as Suaraz, Vasquez, and many others. Cranmer was arguing against something concerning sacrifice that many theologians denied, which becomes very clear post Trent. The rhetoric was often too real in order to get these points across but I would recommend _Treasures From the Storeroom: Medieval Religion and the Eucharist_ by G. Macy in order to see the worldview that operated in Medieval religion. The ONLY aspect that anyone ever argued that the Sacrifice was new was that it was new in the sense of the offering but what WAS offered was not new but was rather the ONE and SAME offering that was offered at Calvary. So to keep saying it and keep saying it doesn't it make it true. We need to at least be honest about that.

For Andrewes the Sacrament of the Eucharist’s prime purpose is the instrumental means of removing sin.(Something Cranmer clearly denies in the Defense and Answers but rather says it is to preach to us.) Continuing on with this theme of sacramental efficacy Andrewes says,

'For the Angell tells the prophet, that his sinnes are not only taken away, but that it is done sacramentally, by the touching of a Cole, even as Christ assureth us, that we obtain remission of sinnes by the receiving of the Cup: Now as in the Sacrament, we consider the Element and the word; so we are to divide this Scripture.'

Here is another quotation from Andrewes that Cranmer would not be sympathetic with,

'The love which hee shewed unto us in dying for our sinnes is set out unto us most lively in this Sacrament of his Body and Blood, unto which wee must come often, that from the one wee may fetch the purging of our sinnes, as the Apostle speaks, and from the other qualifying power si in luce [if on account of the light] John the first chapter & the seventh verse; wherefore as by the mercy of God we have a fountain of water alwaise flowing, to take away originall sin, so there is in the Church fire always burning to cleanse our actuall transgressions; for if the Cole taken from the Altar, had a power to take away the Prophet’s sinne, much more the body and blood of Christ, which is offered in the Sacrament; If the hem of Christ’s garment can heal, the ninth chapter of Matthew and the twentieth verse, much more the touching of Christ himselfe shall procure health to our soules; here we have not something that hath touched the Sacrifice, but the Sacrifice itself to take away our sins.'

Finally, how are sins taken away,

'It pleased God to take away the Prophets sinnes by touching his lips. And albeit he can take away our sins, without touching of bread or wine, if he will; yet in the councell of his will, he commandeth unto us the sacramental partaking of his body and blood. It is his will, that our sins shall be taken away by the [outward act of the sacrament]: The reason is, not only in regard of ourselves, which consists of body and soul, and therefore have need both of bodily and Ghostly meanes, to assure us of our Salvation; but in regard of Christ himself, who is the burning Cole.'

8:08 am  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...

Hey, I've been called far worse than "Dr. Duncan" before. ;-)

I've been doing some re-reading of Cranmer's Answer to Stephen Gardiner since my return from vacation. I appreciate Mark's comment as to how much similarity there was between the two. Indeed, Cranmer at one point summarized it very well when he stated that the only difference he could detect was that Gardiner posited a presence *in* the sacrament while Cranmer posited a presence in the *ministration* of the sacrament. To quote Cranmer:

"In this comparison I am glad to that at last we be come so near together; for you be almost right heartily welcome home, and I pray you let us shake hands together. For we be agreed, as me seemeth, that Christ's body is present, and the same body that suffered: and we be agreed also of the manner of his presence. For you say that the body of Christ is not present but after a spiritual manner, and so say I also. And if there be any difference between us two, it is but a little and in this point only: that I say that Christ is but spiritually in the ministration of the sacrament, and you say that he is but after a spiritual manner in the sacrament. And yet you say that he is corporally in the sacrament, as who should say that there were a difference between spiritually, and a spiritual manner; and that it were not all one, to say that Christ is there only after a spiritual manner, and not only spiritually" (Answer, p. 91).

4:20 am  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...

It also occurs to me that Gardiner had a rather interesting take on the propitiatory nature of the sacrament.

WINCHESTER: "The daily offering is propitiatory also, but not in that degree propitiation, as for redemption, regeneration, or remission of deadly sin, which was once purchased, and by force thereof is in the sacraments administered : but for the increase of God's favour, the mitigation of God's displeasure, provoked by our infirmation, the subduing of temptations, and the perfection of virtue in us" (Answer, pp. 360-1).

He goes on to explain how the "daily sacrifice" (the mass) is propitiatory for venial as opposed to mortal sin, and also that the eucharist is NOT a satisfactory sacrifice (which only Calvary is).

Obviously, Cranmer does not accept the distinction between mortal and venial. But I do find this intriguing.


4:28 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

The distinction between mortal and venial is due to the sacrament of penance. But, Gardiner would believe that after penance the forgiveness given to him in the confessional was applied anew in the receiving of the Body and Blood. Presence *in* the sacrament makes all the difference in the world for eucharistic offering.

Dan, what do you make of Cranmer's position that the whole substance of Christ is not present in the sacrament but only Christ's divinity?

7:04 am  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...


Cranmer does not divide Christ's humanity and divinity. In fact, he goes to great lengths to suggest that his opponents do divide Christ in saying that the unbeliever partakes of the substance of Christ's body but not his divinity. For Cranmer is it all of Christ or none of Christ.

Where I think it helps to understand Cranmer is that when he says "substance" he means physicality and corporality. So when he denies "substantial" presence he is in fact denying a corporal presence. But he emphatically states time and time again that the believer receives the whole Christ, which includes the very body and blood that was broken and shed as well as the divinity, in the ministration of the sacrament.

3:01 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

But for Cranmer, the human presence of Christ is not in the Sacrament. He says in Defense page 386, 'He is present by his divine nature and majesty, by hiss providence and grace; but by his human nature and very body he is absent from this world, and present in heaven.' See also Answer 186.

Richardson writes the following speaking of the suns rays possessing the substance of the sun that was denied by Cranmer in Answer page 91. Cranmer says, 'yet if you both said the beams of the sun be of one substance with the sun, who would believer either of you both? Is the light of hte candle the substance of the candle? or the light of the fire the substance of the fire? or is the beams of the sun anything but the clear light of the sun?' For Cranmer there is no middle ground. He sees substance either crassly or else spiritual ie non substantial of the both God and man in Christ.

Is Christ's humanity present in the Eucharist?

3:35 pm  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...

For Cranmer, Christ's humanity is given and received in the ministration of the eucharist. But Christ is not present in the elements, but via their ministration through the operation of the Spirit. This position Cranmer holds in common with Calvin, but with a stronger instrumentalism than Calvin.

I read the quote from Cranmer on the sun analogy and I didn't see that this differed at all from what his mentor Ridley had said. In fact, it supports what I said earlier that "substance" for Cranmer is corporality and physicality.

This is where your insight into Nominalism is correct. You may recall, I spent quite a lot of time in my Sacraments class explaining how philosophical Nominalism redefined the terminology in such a way as to make the Thomistic distinction between substance and accident nonsensical (in Nominalist terms accident is a characteristic of substance), so that the two could not be divided. So when Cranmer reads "substantial presence" he cannot get beyond the absence of "accidents." If he can't see it, feel it, measure it, etc. it ain't there, substantially speaking; though it is there spiritually speaking.

Obviously, a Thomistic realist is not faced with this dilemma because the Thomist accepts that "substance" (the underlying reality of a thing) is metaphysical, while "accident" is physical, hence the two can be distinguished AND divided.

On another note, you mentioned that Gardiner understood the forgiveness of mortal sins as taking place in the sacrament of penance. Very true, he does say this. But what he DOESN'T say is that Penance is a "propitiatory sacrifice." For Gardiner, the Cross is the propitiatory sacrifice for mortal sins, and the mass for venial ones.

4:22 pm  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...

I thought I might share an interesting quote from Cranmer's Answer:

"Oh, good Lord! How would they have bragged, if Christ had said, “This is no bread!” But Christ spake not that negative, “This is no bread;” but said affirmingly, “This is my body;” not denying the bread, but affirming that his body was eaten, meaning spiritually, as the bread was eaten corporally.

"And that this was the meaning of Christ, appeareth plainly by St. Paul, in the tenth chapter to the Corinthians, the first epistle, where he, speaking of the same matter, saith: “Is not the bread which we break the communion of the body of Christ?” Who understood the mind of Christ better than St. Paul, to whom Christ shewed his most secret counsels? And St. Paul is not afraid, for our better understanding of Christ’s words, somewhat to alter the same, lest we might stand stiffly in the letters and syllables, and err in mistaking the sense and meaning. For whereas our Saviour Christ brake the bread, and said, “This is my body;” St. Paul saith, “that the bread which we break is the communion of Christ’s body.” Christ said, “his body;” and St. Paul said, “the communion of his body:” meaning, nevertheless, both one thing, “that they which eat the bread worthily, do eat spiritually Christ’s very body.” And so Christ calleth the bread his body, as the old authors report, because it representeth his body, and signifieth unto them which eat that bread according to Christ’s ordinance, that they do spiritually eat his body, and be spiritually fed and nourished by him, and yet the bread remaineth still there as the sacrament to signify the same."

4:06 am  
Blogger An Anglican Cleric said...

I'm content to follow Dr. Dunlap's erudite dissection of this issue. He is the expert in this field (both in Cranmer's theology and Anglican sacramental theology in general). I would ask Dr. Dunlap if he's ever considered publishing a book of his essays in this area?

Per one of Jeff's comments: "Presence *in* the sacrament makes all the difference in the world for eucharistic offering."

First, what do you mean by "in"? Second, how do you define "eucharistic offering" or sacrifice?

4:14 pm  
Blogger An Anglican Cleric said...

Given the comments above. . .

From C.B. Moss:

"It was commonly taught in the period just before the Reformation that the chief work of the clergy was to offer the sacrifice of the Mass which was regarded as something distinct from the one sacrifice of Christ. Sacrifice was believed to be "immolation", and every Eucharist or Mass a kind of repetition of Christ,s death, which death saved us, indeed, from original sin (in St. Augustine,s sense, a taint which made us from birth hateful to God), but the sacrifices of Masses were required to save us from actual sin. Thus arose the "chantry system". Wealthy persons left money to build a chantry chapel and endow a priest to say Mass in it perpetually for their souls. Many of these chantry chapels are still to be seen in our cathedrals and larger churches. By this means they hoped to be freed from Purgatory. Every Mass was believed to have additional value in bringing this about. Moreover, priests were partly paid by the Masses they said (as they still are in the Roman Communion). A priest was paid so much for each Mass by the person for whose benefit he offered it. He was not allowed to say more than one a day (except on Christmas Day and on other days by dispensation). Since the sacrifice of the Mass saved us from sin (by persuading God to forgive us), the more Masses were said, the more sins they saved us from.

The Reformers protested unceasingly against this system, for which reason Article 2 insists that our Lord was a sacrifice "not only for original guilt" (here we observe the influence of St. Augustine), "but also for all actual sins of men"; and Article 31 that "the Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone". The Prayer of Consecration in our Liturgy says that our Lord made on the Cross, by His one oblation of Himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.

This emphasis was right. There was nothing in the teaching of the New Testament, or of the Fathers, or of the Eastern churches to justify the chantry system.

Since the word "sacrifice" was not understood in the period of the Reformation, both those who used it and those who rejected it were wrong.

The Eucharist is a sacrifice, but it is not an immolation; and it is unfortunate that the Council of Trent, by defining that it is an immolation, committed the Roman Communion to a theory of the Eucharistic sacrifice which is no longer tenable, and which the best Romanist divines have long been trying to explain away."

6:06 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Well, I find it interesting that the 'erudite' scholar, Bishop Kenneth Stevenson, and my external examiner says in his book on _Eucharist and Offering_ "although Gregory Dix's charge that he was a thoroughgoing Zwinglian from 1549 (not just 1552) has not yet been refuted adequately." I ran across this today. You can also see his article 'Gregory Dix--25 Years On, GLS (Grove Books, 1977) or C.O. Buchanan, _What Did Cranmer Think He Was Doing?_. So, I'm in a long line of 'erudite' thinkers who see the influence of 'Zwinglian-like' tendencies in Cranmer that have not been fully answered.

Per your question of *in*, I mean that within the consecrated elements themselves, the whole substantial presence of Christ, Body, Soul and Divinity is held in our hands. There is a 'transelementation' that does take place. Per Sacrifice, my blog is filled with references and statements but I believe that we offer to the Father (anamnesis) that ONE same Self-Oblation of Christ as a propititatory offering that is effectual for the forgiveness of sins and by the outward act of receiving worthily and at the moment of reception, sins are forgiven. It is my understanding that this oblation is the Christain sacrifice that we offer in the Eucharist and the fruits of it are more than forgiveness of sins but the primary one is our forgiveness being applied anew. Does that make sense? ;-)

7:42 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

As far as the denial of immolatus by the Anglican Cleric, I believe the good Bishop of Winchester (Andrewes) would disagree.

There can be no celebration without the eating of the flesh and blood of Christ. Andrewes explains the Sacrament or New Testament Passover as our Sacrifice that is propitiatory in its nature.

"Again, will we lay immolatus to epulemur? That the Passover doth not conclude in the sacrifice, the taking away of sin only, that is, in a pardon, and there an end, but in a feast, which is a sign, not of forgiveness alone, but of perfect amity, full propitiation. Ye may propius ire, “draw near unto Him;” [Heb. 10:22] ye are restored to full grace and favour, to eat and drink at His table. Besides, there was an offering in immolatus, and here is another, a new one, in epulemur. Offered for us there, offered to us here. There per modum victimæ, here per modum epuli. To make an offering of, to make a refreshing of. For us in the Sacrifice, to us in the Sacrament. This makes a perfect Passover. We read both in the Gospel, pasca thuein “to sacrifice the Passover,” and pasca thagein, “to eat” it. It was eaten, the Paschal Lamb, and it was “a sacrifice;” it cannot be denied, there is a flat text for it. Both propounded here in the terms of the text: 1. the Sacrifice in immolatus, 2. the Supper in epulemur."

7:49 pm  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...


On such grounds we could say that Calvin had "Zwinglian-like" tendencies too. But what does this prove? (Actually, I contend that Calvin was much closer to Zwingli than Cranmer.)

8:09 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

More Andrewes (and Dan, are you going to make a statement like that and just let it hang without anything else?)

'From the Sacrament is the applying the Sacrifice. The Sacrifice in general, pro omnibus. That Sacrament in particular, to each several receiver, pro singulis. Wherein that is offered to us that was offered for us; that which is common to all, made proper to each one, while each taketh his part of it; and made proper by communion and union, like that of meat and drink, which is most nearly and inwardly made ours, and is inseparable for ever. There, celebremus passeth with the representation; but here epulemur, as a nourishment, abideth with us still. In that we “see,” and in this “we taste, how gracious the Lord is,” and hath been to us. Will ye mark one thing more, that epulemur doth here refer to immolatus? To Christ, not every way considered, but as when He was offered. Christ’s body that now is. True; but not Christ’s body as now it is, but as then it was, when it was offered, rent, and slain, and sacrificed for us. Not, as now He is glorified, for so He is not, so He cannot be immolatus, for He is immortal and impassible. But as then He was when He suffered death, that is, passible and mortal. Then, in His passible estate did He institute this of ours, to be a memorial of His passible and Passio both. And we are in this action not only carried up to Christ, (Sursum corda) but we are also carried back to Christ as he was at the very instant, and in the very act of His offering. So, and no otherwise, do we represent Him. By the incomprehensible power of His eternal Spirit, not He alone, but He, as at the very act of His offering, is made present to us, and we incorporate into His death, and invested in the benefits of it.'

9:09 pm  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...

Jeff, as I commented before on your blog, Calvin and Zwingli have in common the radical alteration of the western rite of the eucharist in addressing (in didactic fashion) the Words of Institution to the People, rather than retaining the western (and ancient) pattern of having the WOI prayed over the elements. Hence, not only are the WOI of no consecratory effect in their respective rites, their eucharistic doctrines are devoid of ANY sense that the elements consecrated. For Calvin, the more instrumental of the two continental reformers, the elements are important only insofar as they act as "seals" for a grace that is entirely mediated by the Word proclaimed by virtue of the Spirit's operation in the hearts of believers.

9:27 pm  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...

P.S. When one grasps the implications of how important the idea of consecration is AND the implications of how consecration is expressed liturgically, then one can perhaps begin to appreciate how and why it is that Anglicanism went in the direction that did, and produced the kind of theologians (like Andrewes) that it did.

9:57 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Dan Bucer taught, " . . . the bread and wine are symbols of the body and blood of Christ, by which He offers Himself to us. But outside this use, they are what other bread and wine are. For nothing of their nature is changed, and Christ the Lord is not present in them, but in the minds of the faithful." Cranmer echoed him in this.

How is it when Cranmer says something like this " . . . the bread is called Christ's body, and the wine his blood; and the cause why their names be changed is this, that we should lift up our hearts and minds from the things which we see unto the things which we believe to be above in heaven; whereof of the bread and wine have the names, although they be not the very same things in deed . ." (CW I. 138.) How is he is not equally saying the same as Zwingli or Calvin about what the 'consecration' is or is not? He seems to equally say it is for the people not the elements.

8:02 am  
Anonymous Mark said...


Why does speaking of the bread and wine as the metonymic body and blood mean that Cranmer had a Zwinglian notion of consecration? Jeremy Taylor held a similar view:

"The sacraments and symbols, if they be considered in their own nature, are just such as they seem, water, and bread, and wine; they retain the names proper to their own natures; but because they are made to be signs of a secret mystery...therefore the symbols and sacraments receive the names of what themselves do sign; they are the body and blood of Christ; they are metonymically such."

Surely, you wouldn't say that Taylor was a Zwinglian?


3:24 pm  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...


Your question assumes that there was consensus between the Protestant reformers of the time, which is an assumption I cannot grant. I realize that it has the convenience of being a tidy explanation of the situation, and that Peter Newman Brooks has made quite a name for himself by proposing a general "Swiss Theology," but it fails to take into account the REAL controversies and differences between the main thinkers in the English theatre of the Reformation.

For instance, in England, Bucer was despised by the Zuricher Party (followers of Bullinger), who considered him a Lutheropapist with an influence on Cranmer that was greatly feared. Basil Hall once commented, "If, as had been the hope of the 'Zurichers', Laski [aka John a Lasco] could not influence Cranmer, he would at least try to prevent Bucer from doing so -- the possibility of Bucer's influence was a major fear of Bullinger and his supporters in England."

So when you ask a question like the one above the only informed response I can give is that the similarity between Calvin, Cranmer, and Zwingli in employing the ancient Sursum Corda metaphor (employed by the Fathers) for the eucharist is this: That they were all convinced that the ancient Sursum Corda metaphor supported their respective theologies.

But to suggest that Calvin's pneumatological feeding, Cranmer pneumatological instrumentalism, and Zwingli's memorialism are fundamentally the same position is a reductionism that fails to appreciate their real differences.

With regard to your first point that both Bucer and Cranmer held that the elements outside of their use reverted back to a common use, this is very true. Melanchthon and many Lutherans of the period held to the same view. What is intriguing about this is that Cranmer is the only one who retained sacramental reservation for extended communion (in 1549 BCP), before removing it in 1552 to close up a loophole for those who continued in the "error" of transubstantiation. Remember that it was Dix who asserted that Cranmer was a full-blown Zwinglian by 1549. (BTW - The reason that Dix had to resort to special pleading to explain the catholic elements of 1549 away was that his ultimate target was the WHOLE Cranmerian liturgical project, not just the post-1552 tradition.)

Take care,

6:41 pm  

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