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Propitiatory Sacrifice unto God. Now, on these two points, Dr. Waterland thus argues :
“The most material article of inquiry is, what the consecration of the elements really amounts to, or what the effect of it is? To which we answer, thus much at least is certain, that the bread and wine being 'sanctified by the word of God and prayer,' (according to the Apostle's general rule, applicable in an eminent manner to this particular case,) do thereby contract a relative holiness, or sanctification, in some degree or other. What the degree is, is nowhere precisely determined; but the measures of it may be competently taken from the ends and uses of the service, from the near relation it bears to our Lord's Person, (a Person of infinite dignity,) and from the judgments denounced against irreverent offenders, and perhaps from some other considerations to be mentioned as we go along.
“For the clearer conception of this matter, we may take a brief survey of what relative holiness meant under the Old Testament, and of the various degrees of it. I shall say nothing of the relative holiness of persons, but of what belonged to inanimate things, which is most to our present purpose. The court of the temple was holy, the temple itself more holy, and the sanctuary, or holy of holies, was still more so: but the ark of God, laid up in the sanctuary, appears to have been yet holier than all. The holiness of the ark was so great, and so tremendous, that many were struck dead at once, only for presuming to look into it with eyes impure: and Uzzah but for touching it (though with a pious intent to preserve it from falling) was instantly smitten of God, and died upon the spot. Whatever God is once pleased to sanctify by his more peculiar presence, or to claim a more special property in, or to separate to sacred uses, that is relatively holy, as having a nearer relation to God; and it must of course be treated with a reverence and awe suitable. Be the thing what it will, be it otherwise ever so mean and contemptible in itself, yet as soon as God gives it a sacred relation, and, as it were, seals it with his own signet, it must then be looked upon with an eye of reverence, and treated with an awful respect, for fear of trespassing against the Divine majesty, in making that common which God has sanctified.
“This notion of relative holiness is a very easy and intelligible notion: or if it wanted any further illustration, might be illustrated from familiar examples in a lower kind, of relative sacredness accruing to inanimate things by the relation they bear to earthly majesty. The thrones, or sceptres, or crowns, or presence-rooms of princes are, in this lower sense, relatively sacred : and an offence may be committed against the majesty of the sovereign, by an irreverence offered to what so peculiarly belong to him. If any one should ask, what is conveyed to the respective things to make them holy or sacred ? we might ask, in our turn, what was conveyed to the ground which Moses once stood upon, to make it holy ground ? or what was conveyed to the gold which the temple was said to sanctify, or what to the gift when the altar sanctified it? But, to answer more directly, as to things common becoming holy or sacred,
I say, a holy or sacred relation is conveyed to them by their appropriation or use; and that suffices. The things are in themselves just what they hefore were: but now they are considered by reasonable creatures as coming under new and sacred relations, which have their moral effect; insomuch that now the honour of the Divine majesty in one case, or of royal in the other case, becomes deeply interested in them.
“Let us next apply these general principles to the particular instance of relative holiness supposed to be conveyed to the symbols of bread and wine by their consecration. They are now no more common bread and wine, (at least not during this their sacred application,) but the communicants are to consider the relation which they bear, and the uses which they serve to. I do not here say what, because I have no mind to anticipate what more properly belongs to another head, or to a distinct chapter hereafter: but in the general I observe, that they contract a relative holiness by their consecration, and that is the effect. Hence it is, that some kinds of irreverence towards these sacred symbols amount to being 'guilty of the body and blood of the Lord,' the Lord of glory; and hence also it was that many of the Corinthians, in the apostolical age, were punished as severely for offering contempt to this holy solemnity, as others formerly were for their irreverence towards the ark of God: that is to say, they were smitten of God with diseases and death.” (pp. 79—81.)
“The doctrine of the Fathers, with regard to consecration, was much the same in relation to the waters of Baptism, as in relation to the elements in the Eucharist. They supposed a kind of descent of the Holy Ghost, to sanctify the waters in one, and the symbols in the other, to the uses intended : and they seem to have gone upon this general Scripture principle, (besides particular texts relating to each sacrament,) that the Holy Ghost is the immediate fountain of all sanctification. I believe they were right in the main thing, only not always accurate in expression. Had they said, that the Holy Ghost came upon the recipients, in the due use of the sacraments, they had spoken with greater exactness; and perhaps it was all that they really meant. They could not be aware of the disputes which might arise in after times, nor think themselves obliged to a philosophical strictness of expression. It was all one with them to say, in a confused general way, either that the Holy Ghost sanctified the 'receivers in the use of the outward symbols,' or that he “sanctified the symbols to their use :' for either expression seemed to amount to the same thing; though in strictness there is a considerable difference between them. What Mr. Hooker very judiciously says of the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament, appears to be equally applicable to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the same: 'It is not to be sought for in the Sacrament, but in the worthy receiver of the Sacrament. . . . . As for the Sacraments, they really exhibit,--but for ought we can gather out of that which is written of them, they are not really, nor do really contain in themselves,—that grace which with them, or by them, it pleaseth God to bestow.' Not that I conceive there is any absurdity in sup
Vol. 68.-No. 374.
posing a peculiar presence of the Holy Ghost to inanimate things, any more than in God's appearing in a burning bush: but there is no proof of the fact, either from direct Scripture, or from that in conjunction with the reason of the thing. The relative holiness of the elements, or symbols, as explained above, is very intelligible, without this other supposition: and as to the rest, it is all more rationally accounted for (as we shall see hereafter) by the presence of the Holy Spirit with the worthy receivers, in the use of the symbols, than by I know not what presence or union with the symbols themselves.” (pp. 83, 84.)
So much of the supposed change of the elements of bread and wine into something wholly different. Now, of the second point, which, in Dr. Waterland's day, was the main point of controversy ; i.e., whether the Eucharist was “a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the quick and dead;" he thus speaks :
“The service of the Eucharist, in ancient Church language, is both a true and a proper sacrifice, (as I shall shew presently,) and the noblest that we are capable of offering, when considered as comprehending under it many true and evangelical sacrifices: 1. The sacrifice of alms to the poor, and oblations to the Church ; which when religiously intended, and offered through Christ, is a Gospel sacrifice. Not that the material offering is a sacrifice to God, for it goes entirely to the use of man; but the service is what God accepts. 2. The sacrifice of prayer, from a pure heart, is evangelical incense. 3. The sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God the Father, through Christ Jesus our Lord, is another Gospel sacrifice. 4. The sacrifice of a penitent and contrite heart, even under the Law, (and now much more under the Gospel, when explicitly offered through Christ,) was a sacrifice of the new covenant: for the new covenant commenced from the time of the fall, and obtained under the Law, but couched under shadows and figures. 5. The sacrifice of ourselves, our souls and bodies, is another Gospel sacrifice. 6. The offering up the mystical body of Christ, that is, his Church ; in another Gospel sacrifice : or rather, it is coincident with the former; excepting that there persons are considered in their single capacity, and here collectively in a body. I take the thought from St. Austin, who grounds it chiefly on 1 Cor. x. 17, and the texts belonging to the former article. 7. The offering up of true converts, or sincere penitents, to God, by their pastors, who have laboured successfully in the blessed work, is another very acceptable Gospel sacrifice. 8. The sacrifice of faith and hope, and self-humiliation, in commemorating the grand sacrifice, and resting finally upon it, is another Gospel sacrifice, and eminently proper to the Eucharist.
“These, I think, are all so many true sacrifices, and may all meet together in the one great complicated sacrifice of the Eucharist." (pp. 311, 312.)
Here, our readers will observe, the idea of a reiteration of the great sacrifice offered up “ once for all” on the Cross, is care. fully excluded. Dr. Waterland neither believes that the bread is changed into the body of Christ, nor that the “ priest" offers up that body to God. He sedulously and resolutely shuts out and opposes both of these ideas.
But we gather from this book, that in Dr. Waterland's days, the idea which is now so sedulously inculcated, of what is called “ the Real Presence," had scarcely been mooted in the Church. Men knew the Romish doctrine of Transubstantiation, which deemed the bread and wine to be actually and really changed into the very body and blood of Him who died upon the Cross; and this doctrine all who were not of Rome eschewed and opposed. But of something elsea system of belief which rejected the Romish idea as “ gross and carnal,” and yet held a “Real Presence" of some unknown and indescribable kind- not much had yet been heard. Hence Dr. Waterland speaks of a writer of this class who had once shown himself, as a strange, eccentric, and unintelligible sort of person. He says:
"Twenty years after Poynet, a very learned physician, a German, building upon the same principles, and being much more sanguine and self-confident, pursued them to far greater lengths in two several treatises, bearing different running titles. His name was Harchius. It was a vast undertaking for that time. He set himself at once to oppose Romanists, Lutherans, and Calvinists, (three sects, as he called them,) condemning them all as guilty of great errors in the article of the Eucharist, and proposing a fourth system, wherein they should all unite. He boasted highly of the Fathers, as full and clear on his side: he filled his two books with quotations of that kind : some genuine and some spurious, some ancient and some middle-aged, some Greek and some Latin; many of them misconstrued, more misapplied, but all made to serve the system which he had before formed in his mind. As the attempt was considerable in its way, and commendable for its good meaning; and as it may be of use to know what the system was, and how received, and how confuted, (for confuted it was by a very able hand,) I shall here take the pains to draw ont the chief lines of it, and next to exhibit a brief summary of the answer then made to it.
“He pleads much for an invocation of the Holy Ghost in the Communion Offices; and he speaks often of some illapse either of the second or third Person upon the elements, or else of some virtue of life, some spiritual and eternal gift, sent down from above, upon the consecrated bread and wine.
"He asserts a spiritual and marvellous change thereby made in the elements, but not destroying either their substance or their figure: a change of qualities, and a melioration, as it were, of the substance itself, by the powerful operation of the Holy Ghost and the supervening of the Logos : on account of which change, he talks frequently of the elements as passing into the virtue of Christ's body and blood. Sometimes he calls it passing into the flesh of
Christ, or substance of his body: but then he interprets it to mean, not the personal body or substance, but another very like it, or near akin to it in virtue; which he denominates a spiritual body, to distinguish it from the natural and personal body.
"He makes this pretended spiritual body sometimes the body of the Divine Spirit, meaning Christ's own Divine Hypostasis; sometimes the body of the Word and Spirit together; and sometimes of the Divine essence, or whole Trinity.
“But as he could not admit of a personal union between the Deity and the bread-body, without calling it Christ, and Lord, and God, he was content to call it a creature, but a most noble creature; an image of the natural body, but not full and adequate; extremely like it in power and energy, but not perfectly equal; a true, and holy, and Divine, but inanimate figure, while full of the Word, and of the Spirit, and of grace, and of life.
“He supposed two true bodies of Christ, one in heaven above, another in the Eucharist below: one natural, and eaten by contemplation and faith at all times; the other spiritual, and eaten in the Eucharist both with mind and with mouth. He conceived them to be so nearly the same thing, that they might be reckoned as one flesh, but yet, considering that there was some inequality, he rather chose to make them two.
“He maintained an infusion of the Divine essence, or of Christ, or of some virtue of Christ's flesh, into the elements: an inhabitation also, and union, and mixture with the same. ...,
“He supposed the elements to contain within them the grace of Christ's body, the nature of the Word and Spirit, and the essential powers of Christ's body in a permanent way, abiding as long as the elements may serve for food.” (pp. 520–523.)
Dr. Waterland adds, drily :
“I beg pardon, if I have been tedious in recounting the rovings of that learned gentleman; which may have their use, and which were not so much owing to the weakness of the writer, (for I much question whether any one else could have performed better in that way,) as to the weakness of the principle which he had the misfortune to set out with. Whoever else should take in hand to enrich the elements, either with what belongs to us, or with what belongs to God only, could not reasonably expect to succeed any better than that ingenious writer did.” (p. 526.)
Yet this Harchius only endeavoured to do, long ago, just what Messrs. Bennett, Pusey, and Mackonochie are trying to do now. There is, all men admit, one Presence of Christ in heaven, at the right hand of God, in that same body, glorified, which once suffered on the Cross. There is another, a Spiritual Presence, “wherever two or three are met together in his name.” A City missionary, be he Methodist or Baptist, who is a real servant of Christ, and who is praying by the bedside of a poor old woman, who is also one of Christ's flock, may be as sure of this presence as was Hooker or Henry Martyn. But our modern Ritualists, like Harchius, want to insist upon a