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mental sense, but in reality and truth, as other sensible objects are.” To this he attached his signature; and being the result of a deliberate council, assembled especially to discuss the point, we may take it as the first open decree of the church in favour of transubstantiation. Nothing can be expressed more clearly, or more free from all ambiguous terms—“ The body handled and eaten, not sacramentally, but as other sensible objects are.” But this was not enough. Two other declarations were imposed upon him; and at two other separate councils he was compelled again to make declaration of his faith. In the first, “ That the bread deposited upon the altar, became, after consecration, the true body of Christ, which was born of the virgin, suffered on the cross, and now sits at the right hand of the Father; and that the wine placed upon the altar, became, after consecration, the true blood which flowed from the side of Christ."* Again, a third time: “ That the bread and wine, by the mysterious influence of the holy prayer, and the words of our Redeemer, were substantially changed into the true, proper, and vivifying body and blood of Jesus Christ.” This, however, it is but fair to say, that Berenger again retracted before his death, and relapsed into his former opinions.
* Mosheim, vol. ii., P. 508.
Whatever we may think of the vacillation of Berenger, these expressions, drawn up publicly by separate councils, as decrees of the church, and confessions of faith, plainly shew the decided terms upon which the church now rested her doctrine of transubstantiation. The year of these confessions is about 1079; and advancing from this, into the twelfth century, we find error upon error increasing: no sooner is one confirmed than another starts up-no sooner is the real presence of Christ openly avowed by the councils of the church, than they commence the agitation of an entirely new question, the giving the cup to the laity. Hitherto the Eucharist had been received in both kinds by all who approached the steps of the altar: of this, there is abundant testimony in the ancient writings; and even cardinal Bona, who was a strict Roman Catholic writer, confesses that such was the doctrine of the primitive church. “It is very certain,” he says, “that anciently, all, both clergy and laity, men and women, received the holy mysteries in both kinds when they were present at the solemn celebration of them. But out of the time of sacrifice, and out of the church, it was customary always, and in all places, to communicate only in one kind. In the first part of the assertion all agree, both Catholics and sectaries; nor can any one deny it, that has the least knowledge of ecclesiastical affairs. For the faithful, always, and in all places, from the very first foundation of the church, till the twelfth century, were accustomed to communicate under the species of bread and wine; and in the beginning of that age, the use of the cup began, by little and little, to be laid aside, whilst many bishops interdicted the people the use of the cup, for fear of irreverence and effusion."* The fact is, then, that the former error of transubstantiation is the source of the latter,—denying the cup. As the opinion increased, that the elements in the Eucharist became by consecration the real body and blood of Christ, it was natural that they should be considered with increased respect, and even adoration, by those who partook of them. In drinking the wine from the cup, it might happen that some would be spilled, or otherwise wasted, in handing it from person to person; looking upon this as
a matter of great profanation, the actual blood of Christ to be so misused by the negligence of man, the clergy would naturally devise means of avoiding it: this they did at first, by sucking the wine from the cup by means of quills, or straws, and afterwards by mingling the two elements together, sopping the bread in the wine, and thus communicating in both kinds at once. “In England the custom of mingling the elements so far prevailed, that Arnulphus, bishop of Rochester, in the year 1120, wrote a letter in defence of it; where one Lambert proposes the question to him, why the Eucharist was administered at present after a different and almost contrary manner, to that which was observed by Jesus Christ, because it was customary at that time to distribute an host steeped in wine to the communicants, whereas, Jesus Christ gave his body and blood separately? To this, Arnulphus answers, that this was one of those things which might be altered, and therefore, though anciently
* Bona. Rer. Liturg. lib. 2. c. 18.
anciently the two species of bread and wine were given separately, yet now they were given together, lest any ill accidents should happen in the distribution of the wine alone, and lest they should stick on the hairs of the beard, or the whiskers, or be spilt by the minister.”* On the other hand, Hambertus, who wrote in the eleventh century, inveighed bitterly against the alteration, and endeavoured to re-establish the primitive custom; while again, pope Urban the Second, in the council of Clermont, “ commanded it to be so administered to the sick, (that is to say, the bread dipped in wine,) out of abundant caution, for fear the blood should at any time be spilt.” The custom, there
* Bingham, bk. xv. c. 5.
fore, seems to have depended upon the direction of each bishop, some commanding, some not permitting it; now a council setling, now council unsettling it; until it finally ended by an order that the laity should be deprived altogether of the cup: This was afterwards confirmed by the council of Constance, in the fifteenth century; and while they thus put an end to the dispute whether the bread should be dipped in the wine, or whether each element should be given separately; they fell into a worse error, by totally changing the nature of the sacrament, and curtailing it of one of those parts which our Lord himself had commanded.
In addition to the authorities above quoted, we have full testimony of the progress of error and superstition from the following authors, Lanfranc,* who writes thus: “ In the appearance of bread and wine which we see, we honour invisible things, namely, the flesh and blood of Christ. Nor do we consider these two appearances from which is consecrated the body of the Lord, in the same manner before consecration as we do after consecration; for we confess, before consecration,
* LANFRANC, born at Pavia, brought to England by William, Duke of Normandy, and made archbishop of Canterbury; principally celebrated for his writings against Berenger; died A.D. 1089.