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perceive how unfit that were for the present, which was for the first age convenient enough. The faith, zeal, and godliness of former times is worthily had in honour; but doth this prove that the orders of the Church of Christ must be still the selfsame with theirs, that nothing may be which was not then, or that nothing which then was may lawfully since have ceased ? They who recall the Church unto that which was at the first, must necessarily set bounds and limits unto their speeches. If any thing have been received repugnant unto that which was first delivered, the first things in this case must stand, the last give place unto them. But where difference is without repugnancy, that which hath been can be no prejudice to that which is.”—Bk. IV. ch. ii. § 3.
In 1552, the year before Hooker was born, Roger Hutchinson 1 refers to the same subject thus—“Christ did not celebrate this Sacrament after other meats and drinks, to establish any such custom, nor to give us any example to do the like; but rather to teach us, that our sacramental bread is succeeded instead of the Jews' Easter lamb, and that their ceremony is now disannulled and abrogated. Therefore the universal Church commonly, according to Paul's mind to the Corinthians, useth now to celebrate the Lord's supper fasting, without any maundy, and not after other meats.” And in 1584, the year before Hooker commenced The Ecclesiastical Polity, Richard Cosin, Dean of the Arches, spoke of the primitive Church having altered “the time of the receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist, being according to the institution usually received after supper, to have it received as it is in the morning fasting.'
1 Works, Parker Soc., 1842, p. 221.
Dr. J. Wickham Legg gives it as his opinion that “it seems very likely indeed, that the great majority of the communions made in the Church of England up to the end of the seventeenth century were made fasting, because the whole of the congregation was fasting.” 2 In the time of James I. (1603–25) the dinner hour was 11 o'clock, and supper was at 6 o'clock: light breakfasts began to be taken only about fifty years later. 3
Note.- Richard Hooker's desire to concentrate attention upon
purpose of the Sacramental Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, may appropriately be compared with not an altogether dissimilar line of thought suggested by the great John Henry Newman, before he left the Anglican Church
1 An Answer to an Abstract of certeine Acts of Parliament, p. 60, A.D. 1584.
? Papal Faculties allowing food before Communion, Church Hist. Soc., S.P.C.K. 1905, p. 29.
“What is the meaning of saying that Christ is really present, yet not locally ? First, as to material things, what do we mean when we speak of an object being present to
How do we define and measure of its presence? To a blind and deaf man, that only is present which he touches. Give him hearing, and the range of things present to him enlarges; everything is present to him which he hears. Give him at length sight, and the sun may be said to be present to him in the daytime, and myriads of stars by night. Presence, then, is a relative word, depending on the channels of communication existing between the object and the person to whom it is present. It is almost a correlative of the senses. may be as near an edifice as a man : yet we do not call it present to the fly, because he cannot see it; and we do call it present to the man, because he can. But we must add another element to the idea expressed by the word in the case of matter. A thing may be said to be present to us, which is so circumstanced as immediately to act upon us and to influence us, whether we are sensible of it or no. Perhaps then our Lord is present to us in the Sacrament in this sense, that, far as He is off us, He in it acts personally, bodily, and directly upon us, though how He does so is as simply beyond us, as the results of eyesight are inconceivable to the blind. We know but of five senses,—we know not whether human nature is capable of more; we know not whether the soul possesses any instruments of knowledge and moral advantage analogous to them; but neither have we any reason to deny that the soul may be capable of having Christ present to it by the stimulus of dormant or the development of possible energies. As sight for certain purposes annihilates space, so other unknown conditions of our being, bodily or spiritual, may practically annihilate it for other purposes. Such may be the Sacramental Presence. We kneel before the Heavenly Throne,
and distance vanishes; it is as if that Throne were the Altar close to us."-J. H. Newman, The Via Media, Vol. II. pp. 235, 236. Longmans, 1896.
THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY
“The ministry of things divine is a function which as God did himself institute, so neither may men undertake the same but by authority and power given them in lawful manner. That God which is no way deficient or wanting unto man in necessaries, and hath therefore given us the light of his heavenly truth, because without that inestimable benefit we must needs have wandered in darkness to our endless perdition and woe, hath in the like abundance of mercies ordained certain to attend upon the due execution of requisite parts and offices therein prescribed for the good of the whole world, which men thereunto assigned do hold their authority from him, whether they be such as himself immediately or as the Church in his name investeth, it being neither possible for all nor for every man without distinction convenient to take upon him a charge of so great importance. They are therefore ministers of God, not only by way of subordination as princes and civil magistrates whose execution of judgment and justice the supreme hand of divine providence doth uphold, but ministers of God as from whom their authority is derived, and not from men. For in that they are Christ's ambassadors and his labourers, who should give them their commission but He whose most inward affairs they manage? Is not God alone the Father of spirits ? Are not souls the purchase of Jesus Christ? What angel in heaven could have said to man as our Lord did unto Peter, ‘Feed my sheep: Preach: Baptize: Do this in remembrance of me: Whose sins ye retain they are retained : and their offences in heaven pardoned whose faults you shall on earth forgive ?' What think we? Are these terrestrial sounds, or else are they voices uttered out of the clouds above? The power of the ministry of God translateth out of darkness into glory, it raiseth men from the earth and bringeth God himself down from heaven, by blessing visible elements it maketh them invisible grace, it giveth daily the Holy Ghost, it hath to dispose of that flesh which was given for the life of the world and that blood which was poured out to redeem souls, when it poureth malediction upon the heads of the wicked they perish, when it revoketh the same they revive. Owretched blindness if we admire not so great power, more wretched if we consider it aright and