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of the faithful, do not at all doubt, but for my whole part believe, that the sacrament of divine and life-giving virtue is the true flesh of Christ, on which we feed, and his true blood of which we drink."
Damascenus writes as follows: “ As the water of baptism is the laver of regeneration, so also the bread and wine, by the junction of divine grace, becomes the body and blood of Christ. As in baptism, because it is the custom and habit of men to be washed with water, and anointed with oil, he has joined the grace of the Holy Ghost to the oil and water: in the same way, because it is the custom of men to eat bread and drink wine mixed with water, he has joined the divine grace to these, and has made them the body and blood, that we may enjoy those things which are beyond nature, by customary means, and things which are according to nature.”* In this, there appears nothing beyond the usual notion of a spiritual change. But yet he seems to speak, in another place, as decidedly on the contrary side: “The bread and wine are not the figure of the body and blood of Christ, but his very body deified, because he himself said, “This is my body ;' not the figure of my body, but my body.'”+ How can we imagine two such passages as these to proceed from the same pen?
* Damasc. de Orthod. Fid. lib. iv. c. 14.
The third author, who was mentioned in Bede, commenting on
on Mark, he says, that “ Christ gave the mysteries of his flesh and blood to be celebrated.”* Again, “Christ did not exclude Judas from the holy supper, in which he delivered to his disciples the figure of his holy body and blood.”+ Again, on the words of John, “Behold the Lamb of God.” “He daily taketh away the sins of the world, and washes us from our sins, when the remembrance of his passion is again made a sacrifice on the altar, when the creatures of bread and wine are transferred by the ineffable sanctification of the Spirit, into the flesh and blood of Christ, and so his body and blood is slain and poured out, not by the hands of the faithless to their own destruction, but is received by the mouth of the faithful to their salvation.” Lastly, in Paul, the deacon,|| who wrote the life of Gregory the Great, we find the following assertion, than which nothing can be more decided : “The Creator foreknowing our infirmity, by that power by which he made all things of nothing, and made a body from the flesh of the virgin; he by the operation of the Holy Ghost turns bread and wine, mixed with water, into his flesh and blood, their own proper kind still remaining.”
* Bede in Marc. lib. 3. c. 6.
Bede in Ps. 3. | Hospinian remarks on this passage,
" From these words of Bede, we understand that the remembrance of the passion of our Lord is the sacrifice which is offered on the altar, for he says that it is offered in the creatures of bread and wine; therefore in this sacrifice the substance of bread and wine remain, but they are mystically called the body and blood, and received in sacred communion by the faithful.”-Hospin. Hist. Sacra. lib. iii. c. 7.
| PAUL THE DEACON.-He was deacon of Aquileia, historian and poet, A.D. 774.
This then will be sufficient testimony for the opinions of the eighth century.
THE NINTH AND TENTH CENTURIES.
Hitherto the sacrament of the Eucharist, in spite of the many additions and changes which, as we have seen, had been made from time to time in its form and celebration; as far as the doctrines of the church were concerned, maintained its essential features. We have already seen the opinion of some few authors as decidedly tending to transubstantiation, and we have every reason to think that this opinion was general, though not expressed openly by the church.*
* In fact, the sentiments of Christians concerning the nature and manner of Christ's presence in the Eucharist, had been various and contradictory, but no council had determined either one way or the other. Both reason and folly had been left free ; nor had any imperious mode of faith suspended the exercise of the one, or restrained the extravagance of the other.-See Mosheim, vol. ii. p. 306.
worship, purgatory, and masses for the dead,
consecration of the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper, nothing remained of these symbols but the outward figure, under which the body and blood of Christ were really and locally present; and secondly, that the body of Christ, thus present in the Eucharist, was the same body that was born of the virgin, that suffered upon the cross, and was raised from the dead.”* Consonant, however, as this doctrine was to the ignorance of the times, it was not received without opposition. Charles the Bald, emperor of the Franks, ordered two of the most able men of the day, Ratram, or Bertram, † and Johannes Scotus, to draw up a clear and rational account of the Eucharist. They did so, and they decidedly pointed out the error into which Radbert had fallen; both maintained that the bread and wine were mere symbols, and that the body of Christ was not present in the Eucharist, except so far as under
* Mosheim, vol. ii. p. 306.
+ RATRAM, or BERTRAM, a monk of Corbey, A.D. 840; the same monastery of which Radbert was the head. Charles the Bald proposed two questions to him; 1st, “Whether the body of Christ was in the Eucharist ?" 2dly, “Whether the body which was born, crucified, and ascended to heaven, was the same which was received by the faithful in the Eucharist ?” Upon these two questions Bertram's tract was written,
† JOHANNES Scotus, a Scotchman, as his name implies, was a great favourite with Charles the Bald, after whose death he returned to England, and was placed at the head of the university of Oxford, by Alfred the Great. Died A.D. 886.