Sunday, October 01, 2006

Andrewes and Obscurity

I have a quotation below from Andrewes that is very obscure. What does he mean with the phrase ad cadaver (to the corpse) concering our 'lifting up.' This quotation is found within the context of Andrewes speaking of the Eucharistic offering. I have recently written quite a bit on Andrewes's view of the Eucharistic Sacrifice having a Godward direction as the memorial that is also a 'peace offering' and 'passover' where the 'death angel' passes over us via the blood outpoured. He speaks of the Eucharist as 'peaceable' and 'eucharistic' which the prior would imply propitiatory in some sense. Much like Trent, Andrewes argues that there is a great need for a Sacrifice as our nature demands it. But, here is the quotation that is so obscure:
If an host could be turned into Him now glorified as He is, it would not serve; Christ offered is it, [John 3.14] thither we must look. To the Serpent lift up, thither we must repair, even ad cadaver; we must hoc facere, do that is then done. So, and no otherwise, is this epulare to be conceived. And so, I think, none will say they do or can turn Him.
The phrase ad cadaver quite obscure to say the least. What Andrewes is getting at seems to point to Christ as Victim in the Sacrifice, not as he now is in his glorified state, but as he then was even when he hung on the cross. I am still working through this part in light of his view of sacrifice as a whole.


Blogger lexorandi2 said...

"To the Serpent lift up, thither we must repair, even ad cadaver..."

Yes, I think you're right, Jeff: Christ the Victim is offered up, and presumably received.

9:14 pm  
Blogger Brian Douglas said...

This expression by Andrewes certainly seems to require careful interpretation. In his response to Bellarmine Andrewes does speak about the reality of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist although he will not be drawn too much on the manner of the presence. He certainly rejects transubstantiation since he says it cannot be found in Scripture, but he nonetheless affirms that the presence of Christ, not the sacrament, is to be worshipped in the Eucharist. This presence Andrewes argues is a change in nature not in substance. The change is a union between the visible sacrament and the invisible reality. This hypostatical union is based on moderate realism where the reality of the sacrament is united to the visible elements in such a way that they become divine, not in the fleshy or immoderate form of realism but in the manner of moderate realism. Some (including me) have described this as instantiation.

Andrewes' big criticism of Bellarmine is Bellarmine's argument that the communicant adores the sacrament. Andrewes answers this in the following way:

“Christ said, ‘This is My body’. He did not say, ‘This is My body in this way’. We are in agreement with you as to the end; the whole controversy is as to the method. As to the ‘This’, we hold with firm faith that it is. As to the ‘this is in this way’ (namely, by the Transubstantiation of the bread into the body), as to the method whereby it happens that it is, by means of In or With or Under or By transition there is no word expressed. And because there is no word, we rightly make it not of faith; we place it perhaps among the theories of the school, but not among the articles of the faith. … We believe no less than you that the presence is real. Concerning the method of the presence, we define nothing rashly, and, I add, we do not anxiously inquire, any more than how the blood of Christ washes us in Baptism, any more than how the human and divine natures are united in one Person in the Incarnation of Christ.” (Andrewes, Works, edn. Wilson and Bliss, 1841-54, VIII, 13).

This is where Andrewes' comment 'ad cadaver' makes sense in that for him (and presumably others including the King) Christ is present in the Eucharist and to be adored in these mysteries, not as sacrament but as a reality. It is therefore the flesh that is the reality (ad cadaver) and not the sacrament since it is the nature of Christ that is instantiated in the sacrament. Andrewes can therefore speak of 'ad cadaver' but not in the sense of immoderate realism (he clearly denies this) but in the sense of a reality that is expressed in the terms of nature, hypostatical union, instantiation etc.

I do hope this helps.

11:43 pm  
Anonymous William Tighe said...

This may be naive or imperceptive, but I read it in an opposite way. He seems to be saying that if a host could be changed (as the Catholics claim) into Christ's glorified flesh, as it is now and forever in Heaven, seated at the Right Hand of the Father, it would be of no use to us; for what is of use to us is not the glorified flesh of Christ, but rather the crucified and slain (as well as exsanguinated) flesh of Christ, as it was on the Cross, at the time of the completion of his sacrifice at his death. Hence (and, I think, only hence) the "ad cadaver" phrase. But I have two puzzles left. One the reference to "the Serpent" -- the reference is of course clear, but how, exactly, is "Serpent" in apposition to "cadaver" -- a lifeless (but potent) image fabricated of dead metal, to a corpse (also dead)? The, even more, the final sentence: what does "turn him" mean and also the "And so?"

3:27 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

Andrewes definitely seems to be talking about the essence of the sacrament to be changed into the glorified Christ which Bill brought out in his post and denying any sort of ability of the Church to accomplish that. What seems important to Andrewes in his discussion of eucharistic sacrifice is that since we cannot offer the glorified Christ since he no longer is able to be immolatus but we can offer the Christ who suffered deat (historical event) even ad cadaver, i.e. the corpse. The offering seems to be a re-presenting or rather a making present of the one offering of Christ now and for all time. This seems to make us see how Andrewes views the sacrifice as 'passover' and 'peace-offering.' It is obscure.

11:07 am  
Anonymous john liberalis said...

I hesitate (for a number of reasons) to agree with Bill Tighe ... but I think he's right. If so, in the final sentence 'and so' is resumptive/concluding and 'turn Him' is a renewed allusion to transubstantiation.

8:17 pm  
Anonymous William Tighe said...

Eric Mascall somewhere, probably in his *Corpus Christi,* takes issue with the idea that we can in any sense other than the metaphorical be said to receive the dead body of Christ in the Eucharist and the shed Blood, as these do not exist in any sense whatsoever, since Christ's body is resurrected and living with a fullness of life. Indeed, other than metaphorically how could any communicant receive the Crucified Christ's Flesh and blood, save by an act almost amounting to creation ex nihilo on God's part?

It almost seems as though Christ's body and Blood, as they are in Heaven, are secluded there, and we must receive a "different" Body and Blood. This seems absurd, but how else to resolve this puzzle?

3:44 am  
Blogger Brian Douglas said...

I agree with Mascall's comment - I must look it up. We cannot receive crucified flesh and blood nor can we resacrifice Christ. Is it that the body and blood we receive in the Eucharist is the nature of Christ (whatever it is that Christ is) as the divine Logos which is instantiated in the bread and wine of the Eucharist? Is this metaphysical or metaphorical? To my way of thinking it is metaphysical - a real presence.

10:01 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

I am not sure what word to assign here other than mystery. Lossky picked up on this in his book on Andrewes when he flags up Andrewes' use of the word 'recapitulation'. Lossky said, 'This 'remembrance' of the Church, which is not simple remembering of events that have taken place, bu twhich actualizes and makes simultaneous, in a recapitulation of time, what is past and what is to come, is of the utmost importance for Andrewes, as we have seen in connection with the Passion-Resurrection. This 'liturgical' conception of time qite naturally takes root in his thought in the coneception he has of the liturgy par excellence, that is to say the Eucharist.' 340-41.

Whether one labels it metaphor or metaphysic the third 'm' word 'mystery' is where Andrewes would conclude. For Andrewes, I believe he was able to appreciate that the propitiatory efficacy claimed for the Eucharistic offering was by way of application and instrumentality, not by way of a new redemption. This was Francis Clark's point in his book _Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Reformation_. Unlike the C16 Reformers like Cranmer, Andrewes was able to see that the theology of Eucharistic sacrifice does not derogate from the atonement made at Calvary.

I would think that Andrewes would be keen to keep in mind the words of Jesus, 'It is finished,' as part of the underlying position of God's satisfaction with the offering made that involved the holy will of Christ and love in his offering. It is to that that event that we offer the one Victim for the forgiveness of sins actually committed. I am thinking that this is why he uses this phrase even ad cadaver. Sacramentally we receive the effects and accepting of that offering instrumentally in the eucharistic elements. At least this is what I see Andrewes getting at here. I'll take a look at the Mascall comment.

Quick question Bill, what do you think of Mascall's use of metaphor here? Do you have an opinion on it?

10:34 am  
Anonymous William Tighe said...

Dear me, Jeff, I'd have to think about that (since I have never thought about the use of the word "metaphor" in that context), although my inclination is to agree with him. Probably the words of his which I was paraphrasing, I hope not too loosely, ran more like, "as these no longer exist ..." rather than "as these do not exist ..." Also, someone should do some research on the use and meaning of the word "metaphor" as employed by the Reformers and Counter-Reformers. Somewhere in that Paul Rorem article on "Calvin and Bullinger on the Lord's Supper" that I sent to you, there is a footnote in which Rorem draws the reader's attention to the fact that Bullinger not only termed the "presence" in the Lord's Supper metaphorical, but termed on one occasion the Incarnation itself metaphorical. Rorem (who is not exactly a conservative confessionalist Lutheran a la Missouri Synod) thinks that that reveals an strong underlying (if probably unconscious) anti-incarnationalist bent in the zurich theological tradition that was so determinative for Reformed Christianity, and one against which Calvin, in some respects, struggled, but struggled in vain.

11:30 pm  

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