Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 236. DISPUTATIONS HOLDEN AT OXFORD, ABOUT THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.

236. DISPUTATIONS HOLDEN AT OXFORD, ABOUT THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.

            Not long after the death of the duke of Somerset, in the next year following, deceased the king himself about the month of June, whereof more shall be said (the Lord granting) in his due order and course hereafter. In the mean season, before we come to close up the latter end and story of this good king, the place here present seemeth not unfit to intermit, by the way, a few other things before happening within the time of his reign; namely, concerning matters incident of the church, and of religion. Which state of religion began well to grow, and to come happily forward during this king's days, had not the unhappy troubles of the outward state, among the lords, not agreeing within themselves, disquieted the good towardness of things begun. But the malice of the devil, how subtilely worketh it, if men could see it! So long as the lords agreed in concord among themselves, Winchester and Bonner, with all that faction, was cut short, and began to condescend to good conformity. But afterward, perceiving the states and nobles of the realm to be among themselves divided, and the lord protector the king's uncle displaced, and his brother the admiral before beheaded, and the young king now left in that case, they began upon some hope to take more heart to them, till, at last, it came to pass as they themselves desired. And thus, though nothing else will lead us, yet experience may teach us, what discord worketh in public weals; and contrarily, what a necessary thing concord is, to the advancement especially of God's matters appertaining to his church. Examples whereof in this king's days be not far to seek; for, as touching the success of the gospel of peace, while public peace and the gospel did join together, marvellous it was how error and popery were in themselves confounded, and ashamed almost to show their faces: insomuch that then, both Drs. Smith, Chedsey, Standish, Young, and Oglethorpe, with many more, recanted their former ignorance, whose recantations I have to show. Bonner then, with his own hand, subscribed unto the king's supremacy, and promoted his injunctions.

            The same, also. did Stephen Gardiner, subscribing with his own hand to the first book of the king's proceedings; and no doubt had done [no] less to the second book also set forth by the king, had not the unfortunate discord fallen amongst the nobles, in a time so unfortunate as then it did. Briefly, during all that time of peace and concord, what papist was found in all the realm, which, for the pope's devotion, would or did once put his neck in the halter, to die a martyr for his sake?

            I showed before, how, in these peaceable days of King Edward, Peter Martyr, Martin Bucer, Paulus Phagius, with other learned men more, were entertained, placed, and provided for, in the two universities of this realm, Oxford and Cambridge, who there, with their diligent industry, did much good. The learned and fruitful disputations of whom I have likewise present in any hands here to insert, but that the bigness of this volume driveth me to make short, especially seeing their disputations to be so long and prolix as they be, and also in Latin; and require of themselves a whole volume to comprehend them.

            First, Peter Martyr, being called by the king to the public reading of the divinity lecture in Oxford, amongst his other learned exercises did set up in the public schools three conclusions of divinity, to be disputed and tried by argument; at which disputations were present the king's visitors, to wit, Henry, bishop of Lincoln, Dr. Coxe, chancellor of that university, Dr. Hains, dean of Exeter, Master Richard Morison, esquire, and Christopher Nevin-son, doctor of civil law.

            The conclusions propounded were these:

            First: "In the sacrament of thanksgiving there is no transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ."

            Secondly: "The body and blood of Christ be not carnally or corporally in the bread and wine, nor, as others use to say, under the kinds of bread and wine."

            Thirdly: "The body and blood of Christ be united to bread and wine sacramentally."

            They which were the chief disputers against him on the contrary side, were Dr. Tresham, Dr. Chedsey, and Morgan. The reasons and principal arguments of Peter Martyr hereunder follow.

            "The Scriptures most plainly do name and acknowledge bread and wine. In the evangelists we read that the Lord Jesus took bread, blessed it, brake it, and gave it to his disciples. St. Paul, likewise, doth ofttimes make mention of bread.

            "Ergo, We also, with the Scriptures, ought not to exclude bread from the nature of the sacrament.

            "Cyprian saith, As in the person of Christ, his humanity was seen outwardly, and his Divinity was secret within: so, in the visible sacrament, the Divinity inserteth itself in such sort as cannot be uttered; that our devotion about the sacraments might be the more religious.'

            "Ergo, As in the person of Christ, so in the sacrament, both the natures ought still to remain.

            "Gelasius saith, The sacraments which we receive of the body and blood of Christ, are a Divine matter; by reason whereof, we are made partakers, by the same, of his Divine nature; and yet it ceaseth not still to be the substance of bread and wine. And certes the representation and similitude of the body and blood of Christ be celebrated in the action of the mysteries,' &c.

            "Augustine saith, 'As the person of Christ consisteth of God and man, when as he is true God and true man: for every thing containeth in itself the nature and verity of those things whereof it is made. Now the sacrament of the church is made of two things; that is, of the sacrament that signifieth, and of the matter of the sacrament that is signified,' &c.

            "Theodoret saith, 'These visible mysteries which are seen, he hath honoured with the name of his body and blood, not changing the nature, but adding grace unto nature,' &c. And the same Theodoret again saith, Those mystical sacraments, after sanctification, do not pass out of their own proper nature, but remain still in their former substance, figure, and shape,' &c.

            "Ergo, Like as the body of Christ remained in him, and was not changed into his Divinity; so, in the sacrament, the bread is not changed into the body, but both the substances remain whole.

            "Origen saith, 'If whatsoever entereth into the mouth goeth down into the belly, and so passeth through a man; even that meat, also, which is sanctified by the word of God, and by prayer, as touching that part which it hath material within it, passeth into the belly, and so voideth through a man. But through prayer, which is adjoined to it, according to the measure of faith, it is profitable and effectual,' &c. And he addeth moreover, For it is not the outward matter of bread, but the word that is spoken upon it, that profiteth him which eateth it worthily,' &c.

            "Irenĉus saith, 'Jesus, taking bread of the same condition which is after us,' that is, taking bread of the same nature and kind as we use commonly to eat, 'did confess it to be his body. And taking likewise the cup, which is of the same creature which is after us,' that is, which we commonly use to drink, confesseth it to be his blood,' &c. Also, 'Like as bread which is of the earth, receiving the word and calling of God, is now not common bread, but the eucharist, consisting of two things, the one earthly, the other heavenly; so our bodies receiving the sacred eucharist, be now not corruptible, having hope of resurrection,' &c."

 

Argument.

            "The bread in the sacrament is so changed into the body, as our bodies are changed when they are made incorruptible by hope.

            "But our bodies are not made corruptible by changing their substance:

            "Ergo, No more is the bread changed into the substance of the body."

            "Gregory saith, 'Notwithstanding, whether we take leavened or unleavened bread, we are all one body of our Lord and Saviour,' &c.

 

Argument.

            "Where bread leavened or unleavened is taken, there is substance of bread; and not accidents only.

            "In the sacrament, bread is received either leavened or unleavened:

            "Ergo, In the sacrament is substance of bread, and not accidents only."

 

Argument.

            "The body of Christ is named of that which is proportioned round, and is insensible in operation.

            "Accidents only of bread have no figure of roundness:

            "Ergo, the body of Christ is not named of accidents, but of very bread substantial."

 

Argument.

            "The words of the evangelist, speaking of that which Christ took, blessed, brake, and gave, do import it to be bread, and nothing else but bread:

            "Ergo, the substance of bread is not to be excluded out of the sacrament."

            "Chrysostom saith, 'Christ in giving bread and wine, said, Do this in remembrance of me.'

            "Cyril saith, 'He gave to them pieces or fragments of bread.' Also the same Cyril saith, 'In bread we receive his precious body, and his blood in wine.'

            "Ergo, by these doctors, it remaineth bread after the consecration.

            "Ambrose saith, 'Before the blessing of the heavenly words, it is called another kind of thing. After consecration, the body of Christ is signified.'"

 

Arguments of Peter Martyr, disputing with Master Chedsey upon the first question.

            "The analogy and resemblance between the sacrament and the thing signified, must ever be kept in all sacraments.

            "In the sacrament of the Lord's body this analogy or resemblance cannot be kept, if bread be transubstantiated:

            "Ergo, the substance of bread must needs remain in the sacrament.

            "The major of this argument is certain by St. Augustine, where he saith, 'Sacraments must needs bear a similitude of those things whereof they are sacraments, or else they can be no sacraments.'

            "The minor is thus proved: "

 

Argument.

            "The resemblance between the sacrament and the body of Christ is this, that as the properties of bread and wine do nourish outwardly, so the properties of the body of Christ do nourish spiritually.

            "Without the substance of bread and wine, there is no resemblance of nourishing:

            "Ergo, Without the substance of bread and wine, the analogy cannot hold."

 

Argument.

            "Again, another resemblance and similitude or analogy of this sacrament is this: that as one loaf of bread, and one cup of wine, containeth many corns, and many grapes; so the mystical congregation containeth many members, and yet maketh but one body.

            "Without the substance of bread and wine no such resemblance or similitude of conjunction can be represented:

            "Ergo, without the substance of bread and wine the analogy of this spiritual conjunction cannot hold."

 

Another Argument.

            "Every sacrament consisteth in two things, that is, in the thing signifying, and the thing signified.

            "Without the substance of bread and wine, there is nothing that signifieth in the sacrament.

            "Ergo, The substance of bread and wine, in the sacrament, can in no wise be transubstantiate from their natures.

            "The minor is thus to be proved:

            "There is no signification in any sacrament without the element.

            "The substance of bread and wine is the element of this sacrament.

            "Ergo, Without the substance of bread and wine, there is no similitude nor signification in this sacrament.

            "And forasmuch as the adversaries ground their transubstantiation so much upon these words of Christ, This is my body, which they expound only after the literal sense, without trope or figure; now, that this their exposition is false, and that the said words are to be taken figuratively and spiritually, by three causes it is to be proved:

            "First, By the words of the Scripture.

            "Secondly, By the nature of a sacrament.

            "Thirdly, By the testimonies of the fathers.

            "I. First, by these words of the Scripture, where he saith, Do this in remembrance of me, forasmuch as remembrance properly serveth not for things corporally present, but for things rather being absent.

            "II. Secondly, where he saith, Until I come; which words were vain, if he were already come by consecration.

            "III. Thirdly, where St. Paul saith, The breaking of bread, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? Which words of breaking, in no case can be verified upon the body of Christ, which, for the glory thereof, is unpassible.

            "IV. Furthermore, whereas the Lord biddeth them to take and eat, it is evident that the same cannot be understood simply of the body of Christ, without a trope, forasmuch as he cannot be eaten and chewed with teeth, as we use properly, in eating other meats, to do.

            "V. The words moreover of Luke and Paul, spoken of the cup, do argue likewise, that the other words spoken of the bread, must needs be taken mystically; as where it is said, This cup is the new testament, which words must needs be expounded thus, This cup doth signify the new testament.

            "VI. Item, These words of St. John, My words be spirit and life. The flesh profiteth nothing, &c.

            "VII. Item, Where in the same places of St. John, Christ, to refel the carnal understanding of the Capernaites, of eating his body, maketh mention of his ascension, &c.

            "The second cause why the words of Christ, This is my body, cannot be literally expounded without a trope, is the nature of a sacrament; whose nature and property is to hear a sign or signification of a thing to be remembered, which thing, after the substantial and real presence, is absent. As touching which nature of a sacrament, sufficient hath been said before.

            "The third cause why the words of consecration are figuratively to be taken, is the testimony of the ancient doctors.

            "Tertullian saith, 'This is my body; that is to say, This is a figure of my body.'

            "Augustine saith, 'Christ gave a figure of his body.' Also he saith, 'He did not doubt to say, This is my body, when he gave a sign of his body.'

            "Jerome saith, 'Christ represented unto us his body.'

            "Augustine, in his book De Doctrina Christiana declareth expressly, that this speech, of eating the body of Christ, is a figurative speech.

            "Ambrose saith, 'As thou hast received the similitude of his death; so thou drinkest the similitude of his precious blood.'"

 

Argument.

            "The death of Christ is not present really in the sacrament, but by similitude.

            "The precious blood of Christ is present in the sacrament, as his death is present.

            "Ergo, The precious blood of Christ is not present really in the sacrament.

            "The minor of this argument is proved before by the words of Ambrose."

 

The argument of Peter Martyr, upon the second conclusion.

            "The body and blood of Christ be not carnally or corporally in the bread and wine, nor, as others use to say, under the kinds of bread and wine."

 

Argument.

            "The true natural body of Christ is placed in heaven.

            "The true natural body of man can be but in one place at once, where he is.

            "Ergo, The true natural body of Christ can be in no place at once, but in heaven where he is.

            "The major is plain by the Scriptures: Jesus was taken up to heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God. The poor ye have always with you, but me you shall not always have. I leave the world, and go to my Father. Many shall say in that day, Lo, here is Christ, and there is Christ; believe them not. Whom the heavens must receive for a time, until the restitution of all. Seek those things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.

            "The minor, likewise, is evident by St. Austin, who, speaking of the glorified body of Christ, affirmeth the same to be in one certain place, for the manner of a true body."

 

Argument.

            "Every true natural body requireth one certain place.

            "Augustine saith, Christ's body is a true natural body.

            "Ergo, Christ's body requireth one certain place."

 

Argument.

            "Augustine giveth not to the soul of Christ to be in more places at once but one.

            "Ergo, Much less is it to be given to the body of Christ to be in more places at once but in one."

 

Argument.

            "The nature of the angels is not to be in divers places, but they are limited to occupy one certain place at once.

            "Ergo, The body of Christ being the true natural body of a man, cannot fill divers places at one time."

 

Argument.

            "Whatsoever is in many and divers places at once, is God.

            "The body of Christ is not God, but a creature. "Ergo, The body of Christ cannot be in more places together."

 

Argument.

            "We must not so defend the Divinity of Christ, that we destroy his humanity.

            "If we assign to the body of Christ plurality of places, we destroy his humanity.

            "Ergo, We must not assign to the body of Christ plurality of places."

 

Argument.

            "Whatsoever thing is circumscribed, that is to say, contained in the limits of any peculiar place, cannot be dispersed in more places at once.

            "The body of Christ is a thing circumscribed.

            "Ergo, The body of Christ is not dispersed in more places at one time."

 

Argument.

            "Every quantity (that is, every body having magnitude, length, and other dimensions) is circumscribed in one peculiar place.

            "The body of Christ hath its dimensions, and is a quantity.

            "Ergo, The body of Christ is circumscribed.

            "The major is proved by Cyril: 'Whatsoever is understood to be a body, the same is verily in a place, and in magnitude and in quantity. And if it be in quantity, it cannot avoid circumscription;' that is, to have its place."

 

Argument.

            "If Christ had given his body substantially and carnally in the supper, then was that body either passible or impassible.

            "But neither can you say that body to be passible or impassible, which he gave at supper.

            "Ergo, He did not give his body substantially and carnally at supper.

            "The minor is proved thus: For if ye say, it was passible, Augustine is against it, who saith, 'Ye shall not eat this body which you see, nor drink the same blood which they shall shed that shall crucify me,' &c. And if ye say, it was impassible, that may not be admitted by the words of the evangelist, who saith, Eat, this is my body which shall be given for you: so that that body was passible, and not impassible, wherein Christ was given.

            "Vigil saith, One creature cannot receive in itself two contrary or diverse things together. But these two things be diverse and far unlike, that is to say, to be contained in a place, and to be every where. For the word is every where; but the flesh is not every where.'"

 

Argument.

            "Bodies organical, without quantity, be no bodies. "The pope's doctrine maketh the body of Christ in the sacrament to be without quantity.

            "Ergo, The pope's doctrine maketh the body of Christ in the sacrament to be no body."

 

Argument.

            "All things which may be divided, have quantity. "The body in the pope's sacrament is divided in three parts.

            "Ergo, The body in the pope's sacrament hath quantity, which is against their own doctrine."

 

Argument.

            "No natural body can receive in itself, and at one time, contrary or divers qualities.

            "To be in one place local, and in another place not local; to be in one place with quantity, and in another place without quantity; in one place circumscript, in another place incircumscript, is for a natural body to receive contrary qualities.

            "Ergo, The body of Christ cannot be in one place local, and in another not local; in one place with quantity, and in another without quantity, as our adversaries do affirm."

 

Argument.

            "The wicked receive not the body of Christ.

            "The wicked do receive the body of Christ, if transubstantiation be granted.

            "Ergo, Transubstantiation is not to be granted in the sacrament."

 

Argument for probation of the major.

            "To eat Christ, is for a man to have Christ dwelling and abiding in him.

            "The wicked have not Christ dwelling in them. "Ergo, The wicked eat not the body of the Lord.

            "Cyprian saith, 'The eating of Christ is our abiding in him.'"

 

Argument.

            "The Holy Ghost could not come, if the body of Christ were really present.

            "That the Holy Ghost is come it is most certain. "Ergo, It cannot be, that Christ himself should be here really present.

            "For proof of the major: John xvi., Unless I go from you, the Holy Ghost shall not come: it is expedient for you that I go hence."

 

Argument of Peter Martyr on the third conclusion.

            "The body and blood of Christ be united to bread and wine sacramentally."

            "If the wicked, and infidels, do receive the body of Christ, they receive him either with sense, or reason, or with faith.

            "But they receive him neither with sense, reason, nor with faith.

            "Ergo, Wicked men and infidels receive in no wise the body of Christ.

            "For declaration of the major, if ye say, they receive him with sense, that is against their own lore, for the body of Christ in the blessed sacrament (say they) is not sensible, nor to be perceived by any sense: neither with reason can they receive him, by their own learning, forasmuch as this sacrament exceedeth all reason; and if ye say, that they receive him with faith, how can that be, seeing infidels have no faith?

            "What it is to eat the body of Christ, the teaching of the papists herein is strange, and differeth from the old doctors. For whereas they teach that wicked persons and infidels, albeit they receive not the effect of the sacrament, yet the matter of the sacrament, which is the very body of Christ, they receive with their mouth, and with their sense the accidents of bread, and thus imagine a certain body of Christ, such as evil men and infidels may eat; and yet, being eaten, it giveth them no nourishment nor life, nor maketh them partakers of his spirit and grace; both Scripture, and the ancient expositors of the Scripture, do teach much otherwise. For the Scripture knoweth no such kind of eating Christ's body, but only that which is fruitful, wholesome, and effectual. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in him, &c. And therefore it may appear, that the Scripture meaneth, by eating Christ's flesh, to believe in Christ's passion; which none can do but only the faithful. And to the same sense sound all the old doctors.

            "Cyprian [saith,] 'That we should know that eating is our dwelling in him, and our drinking is, as it were, a certain incorporation in him.'

            "Item, the same Cyprian saith: 'The eating, therefore, of his flesh, is a certain desire to abide in him;' and saith moreover, 'None eateth of this lamb, but such as be true Israelites, that is, true Christian men, without colour or dissimulation.'

            "And again he saith, As meat is to the flesh, the same is faith to the soul, the same is the word to the spirit.'

            "Moreover saith he, 'And therefore doing this, we whet not our teeth to bite, but with pure faith we break the holy bread and distribute it.'

            "Augustine saith, 'It may not be said, that any such do eat the body of Christ, because they are accounted amongst the members of Christ. Neither can they be both members of Christ, and members of a harlot, &c. Furthermore, when Christ saith, He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him; he showeth what it is, not sacramentally, but indeed, to eat his body and drink his blood, which is, when a man so dwelleth in Christ, that Christ dwelleth in him. For so Christ spake those words, as if he should say, He that dwelleth not in me, and in whom I dwell not, let him not say nor think, that he eateth my body, or drinketh my blood.'

            "Also in other places the said Augustine affirmeth, that 'to drink, is to live;' and saith moreover, 'Why preparest thou thy belly and thy teeth? Believe, and thou hast eaten,' &c.

            "All which kinds of eating cannot be said of the wicked and infidels, but only of the godly and faithful."

            And thus, briefly, we have run over all the arguments and authorities of Peter Martyr, in that disputation at Oxford, with Drs. Tresham, Chedsey, and Morgan, before the king's visitors above named, A.D. 1549.

            Furthermore, whoso listeth more fully to be satisfied and resolved in all the points and occurrents, touching the matter of this sacrament, let him read the books first, of the Archbishop Cranmer against Winchester; secondly, The Tractation of Peter Martyr made in Oxford, translated and extant in English; and thirdly, the book of Bishop Ridley made in prison, called A brief Declaration of the Lord's Supper.

 

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