253. DISPUTATION OF HARPSFIELD AT OXFORDND thus hast thou, loving reader, the whole action and stage of this doctorly disputation showed forth unto thee, against these three worthy confessors and martyrs of the Lord, wherein thou mayest behold the disordered usage of the university-men, the unmannerly manner of the school, the rude tumult of the multitude, the fierceness and interruption of the doctors, the full pith and ground of all their arguments, the censure of the judges, the railing language of the oblocutor, with his blast of triumph in the latter end, being both the actor, the moderator, and also judge himself. And what marvel then, if the courage of this victorious conqueror, having the law in his own hands, to do and say what him listed, would say for himself, Vicit veritas, although he said never a true word, nor made ever a true conclusion almost, in all that disputation.
It followeth furthermore, after disputation of these three days being ended, that Master Harpsfield, the next day after, which was the 19th of April, should dispute for his form, to be made doctor: to the which disputation the archbishop of Canterbury was brought forth, and permitted, among the rest, to utter an argument or two in defence of his cause; as in sequel hereof may appear.
Disputation of Master Harpsfield, bachelor of divinity, answering for his form, to be made doctor.
Harpsfield.--"I am not ignorant what a weighty matter it is to entreat of the whole order and trade of the Scriptures; and most hard it is too, in the great contention of religion, to show the ready way whereby the Scriptures may be best understood: for the often reading of them doth not bring the true understanding of them. What other thing is there then? Verily this is the ready way, not to follow our own heads and senses, but to give over our judgment unto the holy catholic church, which hath had of old years the truth, and always delivered the same to their posterity. But if the often reading of Scriptures, and never so painful comparing of places, should bring the true understanding, then divers heretics might prevail even against whole general councils. The Jews did greatly brag of the knowledge of the law, and of the Saviour that they waited for. But what availed it them? Notwithstanding, I know right well, that divers places of the Scripture do much warn us of the often reading of the same, and what fruit doth thereby follow; as, Search the Scriptures; for they do bear witness of me, &c. The law of the Lord is pure, able to turn souls. And that saying of St. Paul, All Scripture inspired from above, doth make that a man may be instructed to all good works. Howbeit doth the law of the Jews convert their souls? are they by reading instructed to every good work? The letter of the Old Testament is the same that we have.
"The heretics, also, have ever had the same Scriptures which we have that be catholics. But they are served as Tantalus, that the poets speak of; who, in the plenty of things to eat and drink, is said to be oppressed with hunger and thirst. The swifter that men do seek the Scriptures without the catholic church, the deeper they fall, and find hell for their labour. St. Cyprian, never swerving from the catholic church, saith, 'He that doth not acknowledge the church to be his mother, shall not have God to his Father.' Therefore it is true divinity, to be wise with the church, where Christ saith, Unless ye eat my flesh, and drink my blood, ye have no life in you.
"If he had meant of only eating bread and drinking wine, nothing had been more pleasant to the Capernaites, neither would they have forsaken him. The flesh profited, nothing to them that do so take it. For the Capernaites did imagine Christ to be given in such sort as he lived. But Christ spice high things; not that they should have him as flesh in the market, but to consider his presence with the Spirit under the forms whereby it is given. As there is an alteration of bodies by courses and times of ages, so there is no less variety in eating of bodies."
These things which I have recited briefly, Master Harpsfleld did, with many more words, set out: and hereupon Dr. Weston disputed against him.
Weston.--"Christ's real body is not in the sacrament: ergo, you are deceived."
Harpsfield.--"I deny the antecedent."
Weston.--"John xvi. I speak the truth unto you: it behoveth me that I go away from you. For unless I do depart, that Comforter cannot come, &c. Upon this I will make this argument.
"Christ is so gone away, as he did send the Holy Ghost.
"But the Holy Ghost did verily come into the world:
"Ergo, Christ is verily gone."
Harpsfield.--"He is verily gone, and yet remaineth here."
Weston.--"St. Augustine saith, that these words, I will be with you even to the end of the world, are accomplished, 'according to his majesty:' but 'by the presence of his flesh he is not here.' The church hath him not in flesh, but by belief."
Harpsfield.--"We must diligently weigh, that there are two natures in Christ: the Divine nature, and human nature. The Divine nature is of such sort, that it cannot choose but be in all places. The human nature is not such, that of force it must be in all places, although it be in divers after a divers manner. So, where that the doctors do entreat of his presence by majesty, they do commend the majesty of the Divine nature, not to hinder us of the natural presence here in the sacrament."
Weston.--"He saith further, Ye shall not have me always with you, is to be understood in the flesh."
Harpsfield.--"The presence of the flesh is to be considered, that he is not here as he was wont to live in conversation with them, to be seen, talked withal, or in such sort as a man may give him any thing: after that sort he is not present."
Weston.--"But what say you to this of Augustine, 'He is not here?'"
Harpsfield.--"I do answer out of St. Augustine upon John, Tract. 25, upon these words, I go to the Father, ye shall not see me; that is, 'such as I am now.' Therefore I do deny the manner of his presence."
Weston.--"I will overthrow St. Augustine with St. Augustine; who saith this also, How may a man hold Christ? Send thy faith, and thou holdest him.'-- So he showeth, that by sending our faith, we do hold Christ."
Harpsfield.--"Indeed no man holdeth Christ, unless he believe in him; but it is another thing to have Christ merciful and favourable unto us, and to have him present in the sacrament. There, St. Augustine speaketh of holding him by faith, as he is favourable unto us."
Weston.--"Nay, he speaketh there, how the fathers had him in the flesh, and teacheth that we have him not so in the flesh, as they had him long time; saying, 'Your fathers did hold Christ present in the flesh: do you hold him in your heart?' What words can be more plain? Further he saith, 'He is gone, and is not here: he hath left us, and yet hath not forsaken us.' 'He is here in majesty, and gone touching the flesh.'"
Harpsfield.--"I do understand Augustine thus: that Christ is here in his flesh, to them that receive him worthily: to such as do not worthily receive him, to them he is not present in the flesh. I judge St. Augustine meaneth so. We have him, and have not: we have him in receiving of him worthily, otherwise not."
Weston.--"Nay, to hold the flesh is to hold the outward letter. I will prosecute another argument. Cyril doth say, 'By the majesty of his Divinity he is ever here, but the presence of his flesh hath he taken away.'"
Harpsfield.--"The sense of Cyril is thus to be understood: the most true flesh of Christ is at the right hand of the Father. Thus the fathers taught, and so they believed. Thus said Cyril; thus said Augustine: and because this is the foundation of our faith, they did oftentimes teach it. Therefore when they prove this, (the body to be in heaven,) they do not make against the presence in the sacrament.
"So unless ye can plainly show that the fathers do directly say, he is not in the sacrament, you make nothing against me: for I have showed why the fathers so spake. They did teach the great difference between the Divine nature, and the human nature, as I have before said."
Weston.--"I will then prove, that he is not in the sacrament, Vigilius against the heretic Eutiches, upon these words, 'Me ye have not always,' saith, 'The Son of God, as touching his humanity, is gone from us; by his Divinity he remaineth with us.' And the same Vigilius, in his fourth book, saith, 'He that is in the heaven, is not in the earth;' speaking of Christ."
Harpsfield.--"I will show you the reason of these words. The heretic Eutiches did believe, that the Divine nature of Christ was fastened on the cross, and believed that Christ had no natural body. To this Vigilius said, that the human nature was taken up and ascended; which could not so have done, unless he had a body. This he said not, to take away the presence in the sacrament: for what had he to refer this sentence to the sacrament? He never did so much as dream of the sacrament."
Weston. "Cyril saith, 'Although he be absent from us in body, yet are we governed by his Spirit.'"
Harpsfield.--"By these words he gave us a cheerfulness to aspire upwards, seeking thence our help: for as touching his conversation, he is not so in the sacrament as one meet to be lived withal. But let him not teach us, that he is not there to feed us; for after that sort he is there."
Weston.--"You have satisfied me with your answers, in doing the same learnedly, and catholicly. But now to another argument.
"Christ is now so absent from the earth by his body, as he was absent from heaven when he lived here.
"But when he did live bodily on earth, the same natural body was out of heaven:
"Ergo, Now whilst this natural body is in heaven, it is not in the earth."
Harpsfield.--"I deny the major."
Weston.--"Fulgentius saith, 'As to the substance of his humanity, he was absent from heaven when he came down from heaven.' These are Fulgentius's words touching his human substance: He was absent from heaven, when he descended from heaven; and touching the same substance, now he is in heaven he is not on the earth: but concerning the Divine nature, he never forsook, either heaven or earth.'"
After these words, not waiting Harpsfield's answer, he offered Master Cranmer to dispute; who began in this wise:
Cranmer.--"I have heard you right learnedly and eloquently entreat of the dignity of the Scriptures, which I do both commend, and have marvelled thereat within myself. But whereas you refer the true sense and judgment of the Scriptures to the catholic church as judge thereof, you are much deceived; specially for that under the name of the church, you appoint such judges as have corruptly judged, and contrary to the sense of the Scriptures. I wonder likewise, why you attribute so little to the diligent reading of the Scriptures, and conferring of places; seeing the Scriptures do so much commend the same, as well in divers other places, as also in those which you yourself have already alleged. And as touching your opinion of these questions, it seemeth to me neither to have any ground of the word of God, nor of the primitive church. And, to say the truth, the schoolmen have spoken diversely of them, and do riot agree therein among themselves. Wherefore, minding here briefly to show my judgment also, I must desire you first to answer me to a few questions which I shall demand of you; which being done, we shall the better proceed in our disputation. Moreover, I must desire you to bear also with my rudeness in the Latin tongue, which, through long disuse, is not now so prompt and ready with me as it hath been: and now, all other things set apart, I mind chiefly to have regard to the truth. My first question is this: How Christ's body is in the sacrament, according to your mind or determination?"
Then answered a doctor, "He is there as touching his substance, but not after the manner of his substance."
Harpsfield.--"He is there in such sort and manner, as he may be eaten."
Cranmer.--"My next question is, Whether he hath his quantity and qualities, form, figure, and such-like properties?"
Harpsfield.--"Are these your questions?" said Master Harpsfield. "I may likewise ask you, 'When Christ passed through the Virgin's womb, an ruperit necne?'"
When they had thus awhile contended, there were divers opinions in this matter. All the doctors fell in a buzzing, uncertain what to answer: some thought one way, some another; and thus Master Doctors could not agree. Then Master Cranmer said thus:
Cranmer.--"You put off questions with questions, and not with answers, I ask one thing of you, and you answer another. Once again I ask, 'Whether he have those properties which he had on the earth?'"
Tresham.--"No, he hath not all the quantities and qualities belonging to a body."
Smith.--"Stay you, Master Tresham: I will answer you, Master Doctor, with the words of Damascene, 'The bread is transformed,' &c.:-- but if thou wilt inquire how, 'The manner is impossible.'"
Then two or three others added their answers to this question, somewhat doubtfully. A great hurly-burly was among them, some affirming one thing, and some another.
Cranmer.--"Do you appoint me a body, and cannot tell what manner of body? Either he hath not his quantity, or else you are ignorant how to answer it."
Harpsfield.--"These are vain questions, and it is not meet to spend the time on them."
Weston.--"Hear me a while: Lanfranc, some time bishop of Canterbury, doth answer in this wise unto Berengarius upon such-like questions, 'They may be well believed, but never faithfully asked.'
Cranmer.--"If you think good to answer it, some of you declare it."
Harpsfield He is there as pleaseth him to be there."
Cranmer.--"I would be best contented with that answer, if that your appointing of a carnal presence had not driven me of necessity to have inquired, for disputation's sake, how you place him there, since you will have a natural body."
When again he was answered of divers at one time, some denying it to be a quantum, some saying it to be quantitativum; some affirming it to have modum quanti, some denying it; some one thing, some another;-- up starts Dr. Weston, and doughtily decided, as he thought, all the matter, saying, "It is a body, having quantity; but not according to the manner of quantity."
Whereunto Master Ward, a great sophister, thinking the matter not fully answered, did largely declare and discourse his sentence.-- How learnedly and truly I cannot tell, nor I think he himself either, nor yet the best learned there. For it was said since, that far better learned than he, laid as good ear to him as they could, and yet could by no means perceive to what end all his talk tended: indeed he told a formal tale to clout up the matter. He was full of quantum and quantitativum. This that follows was, as it is thought, the effect; yet others think not. Howbeit we will rehearse the sum of his words, as it is thought he spake them.
Ward.--"We must consider," saith he, "that there are two positions. The one standeth by the order of parts, with respect of the whole. The other in respect of that which containeth. Christ is in the sacrament in respect of the whole. This proposition is in one of Aristotle's Predicaments, called Situs. I remember I did entreat these matters very largely, when I did rule and moderate the philosophical disputations in the public schools. This position is sine modo quantitativo, as by an ensample: you can never bring heaven to a quantity. So I conclude that he is in the sacrament quantum, sine modo quantitativo."
These words he amplified very largely, and so high he climbed into the heavens with Duns's ladder, and not with the Scriptures, that it is to be marvelled how he could come down again without falling. To whom Master Cranmer said:
Cranmer.--"Then thus do I make my argument.
"In heaven his body hath quantity, in earth it hath none, by your saying:
"Ergo, He hath two bodies, the one in heaven, the other in earth."
Here some would have answered him, that he had quantity in both, and so put off the antecedent: but thus said Master Harpsfield:
Harpsfield.--"I deny your argument;" [though some would not have had him say so.]
Cranmer.--"The argument is good. It standeth upon contradictories, which is the most sure hold."
Harpsfield.--"I deny that there are contradictions."
Weston.--"I confirm the same: for one body may have modum quantitativum, and not have; and the same body was passible and impassible; one body may have wounds and not wounds."
Cranmer.--"This cannot be at one time."
Weston.--"The ensample of the potter doth prove that which I say; who of that which is clay now, maketh a pot or cup forthwith."
Cranmer.--"But I say again, that it is so; but at divers times: as one piece of meat to be raw and sodden, cannot be at one time together. But you would have it otherwise, that Christ should be here and in heaven at one time, and should have modum quantitativum, and not have; which cannot be but by such argument as I have showed you."
Weston.--"But I say, Christ's body was passible and not passible at one instant."
Seton.--"You may ask as well other questions -- how be is in heaven? whether he sit or stand? and whether he be there as he lived here?"
Cranmer.--"You yourself, by putting a natural presence, do force me to question, how he is here. Therefore, next, I do ask this question: Whether good and evil men do eat the body in the sacrament?"
Harpsfield.--"Yea, they do so, even as the sun doth shine upon king's palaces, and on dung-heaps."
Cranmer.--"Then do I inquire, how long Christ tarrieth in the eater?"
Harpsfield.--"These are curious questions, unmeet to be asked."
Cranmer.--"I have taken them out of your schools and schoolmen, which you yourselves do most use: and there, also, do I learn to ask, how far he goeth into the body."
Harpsfield.--"We know that the body of Christ is received to nourish the whole man, both body and soul: eousque progreditur corpus quousque species."
Cranmer.--"How long doth he abide in the body?"
Seton --"St. Augustine saith, 'Our flesh goeth into his flesh.' But after he is once received into the stomach, it maketh no matter for us, to know how far he doth pierce, or whither he is conveyed."
Here Master Tresham and one Master London answered, that Christ being given there under such form and quantity as pleased him, it was not to be inquired of his tarrying, or of his descending into the body.
Harpsfield.--"You were wont to lay to our charge, that we added to the Scripture; saying always that we should fetch the truth out of the Scripture: and now you yourself bring questions out of the schoolmen, which you have disallowed in us."
Cranmer.--"I say as I have said alway, that I am constrained to ask these questions, because of this carnal presence which you imagine: and yet I know right well, that these questions be answered out of the Scriptures. As to my last question, How long he abideth in the body? &c.: the Scripture answereth plainly, that Christ doth so long dwell in his people, as they are his members. Whereupon I make this argument.
"They which eat the flesh of Christ, do dwell in him, and he in them.
"But the wicked do not remain in him, nor he in them:
"Ergo, The wicked do not eat his flesh, nor drink his blood."
Harpsfield.--"I will answer unto you as St. Augustine saith, not that howsoever a man doth eat, he eateth the body, but he that eateth after a certain manner."
Cranmer.--"I cannot tell what manner ye appoint; but I am sure that evil men do not eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ, as Christ speaketh in John vi."
Harpsfield.--"In John vi. some things are to be referred to the godly, and some to the ungodly."
Cranmer.--"Whatsoever he doth entreat there of eating, doth pertain unto good men."
Harpsfield.--"If you do mean only of the word of eating, it is true; if concerning the thing, it is not so: and if your meaning be of that which is contained under the word of eating, it may be so taken, I grant."
Cranmer.--"Now to the argument: He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. Doth not this prove sufficiently, that evil men do not eat that the good do?"
Tresham.--"You must add, 'He that eateth worthily.'
Cranmer.--"I speak of the same manner of eating that Christ speaketh of."
Weston.--"Augustine ad Fratres in Eremo, sermon 28, There is a certain manner of eating:' Augustine speaketh of two manners of eating; the one of them that eat worthily, the other that eat unworthily."
Harpsfield.--"All things in John vi. are not to be referred to the sacrament, but to the receiving of Christ by faith. The fathers do agree, that there is not entreaty made of the supper of the Lord, before they come unto Panis quem dabo vobis, caro mea est," &c.
Cranmer.--"There is entreating of manna, both before and after."
Harpsfield.--"I will apply another answer. This argument hath a kind of poison in it, which must be thus bitten away:-- That manna and this sacrament be not both one. Manna hath not its efficacy of itself, but of God."
Cranmer.--"But they that did take manna worthily, had fruit thereby: and so, by your assertion, he that doth eat the flesh of Christ worthily, hath his fruit by that. Therefore the like doth follow of them both; and so there should be no difference between manna and this sacrament, by your reason."
Harpsfield.--"When it is said, that they which did eat manna are dead, it is to be understood, that they did want the virtue of manna."
[If Master Harpsfleld do mean of bodily life, they which eat the sacrament do die, as well as they which did eat the manna. If he mean of spiritual life, neither be they all damned that did eat manna, nor all saved that do eat the sacrament. Wherefore the truth is, that neither the eating of manna bringeth death, nor the eating of the sacrament bringeth salvation: but only the spiritual believing upon Christ's bodily passion, which only justifieth both them and us. And therefore, as the effect is spiritual, which Christ speaketh of in this chapter; so is the cause of that effect spiritual whereof he meaneth, which is our spiritual believing in him, and not our bodily eating of him.]
Cranmer.--"They, then, which do eat either of them worthily, do live."
Harpsfield.--"They do live which do eat manna worthily; not by manna, but by the power of God given by it. The others which do eat this sacrament, do live by the same."
Cranmer.--"Christ did not entreat of the cause, but the effect which followed: he doth not speak of the cause, whereof the effect proceedeth."
Harpsfield.--"I do say, the effects are diverse -- life, and death, which do follow the worthy and unworthy eating thereof."
Cranmer.--"Since you will needs have an addition to it, we must use both in manna and in the sacrament, indifferently, either worthily or unworthily, Christ spake absolutely of manna, and of the supper; so that, after that absolute speaking of the supper, wicked men can in no wise eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood. Further, Augustine, upon these words, Qui manducat, &c., saith, There are no such respects in common meats, as in the Lord's body. For who that eateth other meats hath still hunger, and needeth to be satisfied daily: but he that doth eat the flesh of Christ, and drinketh his blood, doth live for ever.' But you know wicked men do not so.-- Ergo, Wicked men do not receive."
Harpsfield.--"St. Augustine meaneth, that he who eateth Christ's flesh, &c., after a certain manner, should live for ever. Wicked men do eat, but not after that manner."
Cranmer.--"Only they which participate Christ, be of the mystical body.
"But the evil men are not of the mystical body.
"Ergo, They do not participate Christ."
Weston.--"Your wonderful gentle behaviour and modesty, good Master Doctor Cranmer, is worthy much commendation: and that I may not deprive you of your right and just deserving, I give you most hearty thanks in my own name, and in the name of all my brethren."
At this saying all the doctors gently put off their caps. Then Master Weston did oppose the respondent on this wise:
Weston.--"Tertullian doth call the sacrament, 'the sign and figure of the Lord.' St. Augustine ad Dardanum saith, 'The Lord did not stick to say, This is my body, when he gave a sign of his body.'
"Besides this, he giveth rules how to understand the Scriptures, saying: 'If the Scriptures seem to command some heinous thing, then it is figurative, as by example: To eat the flesh, and drink the blood, is a tropical speech.'"
Harpsfield.--"Tertullian did write in that place against Marcion, a heretic, who denied Christ to have a true body, and said, he had only a fantastical body. He went about to show, that we had Christ both in heaven and in earth; and though we have the true body in the sacrament, yet he would not go about so to confound him, as to say that Christ was truly in the sacrament: for that heretic would have thereat rather marvelled, than believed it. Therefore he showed him, that it was the figure of Christ: and a figure cannot be but of a thing that is, or hath been extant.
"To the text of Augustine, the church hath never taught the contrary. There is an outward thing in the sacrament, which sometimes hath sundry names; for it may be called a figure in this declaration: That body which is in the sacrament, is a figure of Christ dwelling in heaven.
"To the third: that which is brought by Augustine, for example, about the understanding of the Scriptures, is thus to be understood; as tending to a general manner of eating: so To eat the flesh and drink the blood,' may be a figurative speech to exclude 'The eating of man's flesh.' The which is, when we eat man's flesh, cut in morsels, as we eat common meat; so as we neither have, nor eat Christ in the sacrament."
Weston.--"I understand your short and learned answer, which doth sufficiently content me. But now to the second question, which is of transubstantiation.
"The Scripture calleth it bread:
"Ergo, it is bread."
Harpsfield.--"In the name of bread all is signified which we do eat."
Weston.--"Theodoret, an ancient writer, in his first dialogue, saith, that Christ changed not the nature, but called it his body."
Harpsfield.--"He doth there speak de symbolo, which is, 'The outward form of the sacrament.' He meaneth, that that doth tarry in his own nature."
[Moreover, as it was reported, he brought for his answer Augustine.]
Weston.--"Theodoret also, in his second dialogue of those kinds of bread and wine, saith, 'They go not out of their own nature, but they tarry in their own substance.'"
Harpsfield.--"They are understood to be of the same substance wherein they are turned."
Weston.--"But what say you to this? They remain in their former substance.'"
Harpsfield.--"'The outward signs do tarry.'
"Weston.--"But what is meant here by this word symbolum?"
Harpsfield.--"The outward form or shape only of the nature."
Weston.--"Then you cannot call them a substance."
Harpsfield.--"Yes, sir, every thing hath a certain substance in his kind."
Weston.--"That is true; but accidents are not substances in their kind."
Harpsfield.--"They are substance in their own kind."
[Of this they contended much.]
Weston --"Chrysostom saith, 'Like as before it is consecrated, it is bread: so after it is consecrated, it is delivered from the name of bread, and is endued with the name of the Lord's body; whereas the nature doth remain.'"
Harpsfield.--"Where read you this place, I pray you?"
Weston.--"Here, in Peter Martyr I find it; I have his book in my hand."
Harpsfield.--"The author shall be of more credit, before that I make so much of him, as to frame an answer unto it."
Weston.--"Indeed I know not well where he findeth it. But Gelasius saith, that the nature of bread and wine do tarry."
Harpsfield.--"What is that Gelasius?"
Weston.--"A bishop of Rome."
Harpsfield.--"Then he allowed the mass?"
Weston.--"Yea, and oftentimes said it: and purgatory he also allowed, and so prayer for the dead, relics, and invocation to saints."
Harpsfield.--"Belike, then, he meant nothing against transubstantiation."
Weston.--"It doth appear so indeed. But Origen saith, that the material bread doth tarry, and is conveyed into the privy, and is eaten of worms."
Harpsfield.--"Tush, tush! this place appertaineth unto holy bread."
Weston.--"What! doth it appertain to holy bread?"
Harpsfield.--"Yea, unto holy bread."
Weston.--"By what means can you show how this miraculous work bringeth Christ into the sacrament?"
Harpsfield.--"By the Scripture I prove that, which saith, This is my body."
Weston.--"It doth rejoice all us not a little, that you have so well maintained the sound doctrine of the sacrament of the altar, wherein you have faithfully cleaved to the catholic church, as an only stay of our religion: by the which means you have proved yourself meet to be authorized further towards the practising of the Scripture.
"And here I do openly witness, that I do thoroughly consent with you: and have, for disputation's sake only, brought these arguments against you, which you have right learnedly satisfied: and now all things being done, after our form and manner, we will end this disputation, saying, Sacred theology is against it."