Изображения страниц

it that the change of bread and wine into Christ's living body and blood has been all along the explicit teaching of the Catholic Church; and alas ! why was it not plain that the Anglican Church committed herself to the same teaching? How piteous that the best that could be made of the best expression of her belief was only that the Catholic doctrine is not contradicted, is connived at, may claim the chill consent of silence.

The Paradisus Animae, from end to end, was full of the one ineffable fact that Christ is on earth still, living and real, as He was visibly


In those holy fields
Over whose acres walked those blessed feet
Which fourteen hundred years ago were nail'd
For our advantage on the bitter cross,"

and that, being here, He is to have inevitably our adoration as frankly, now Godhead and manhood are veiled alike, as when in Jewry the Godhead only was veiled.

The whole meaning of Catholic worship is the rendering of that inevitable tribute of adoration; how hardly, in the Book of Common Prayer, can even condescension to and allowance of such worship be found.

Like a bitter and a freezing wind came,

in bleak contrast, to Fernando the echo of that hideous rubric at the end of the " Order of the Administration of the Lord's Supper, or the Holy Communion," in the Book of Common prayer-the Book of Common Prayer which he had treasured as the Magna Charta of Anglican Catholicity:

"Whereas it is ordained in this Office for the Administration of the Lord's Supper that the Communicants should receive the same kneeling (which order is well meant, for a signification of our humble and grateful acknowledgment of the benefits of Christ therein given to all worthy Receivers, and for the avoiding of such profanation and disorder in the holy Communion, as might otherwise ensue), yet, lest the same kneeling should by any persons, either out of ignorance and infirmity, or out of malice and obstinacy, be misconstrued and depraved; It is hereby declared, That hereby no adoration is intended or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, or unto any Corporal Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood. For the Sacramental Bread and Wine remain still in their very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored; (for that were Idolatry, to be

abhorred of all faithful Christians); and the natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven and not here; it being against the truth of Christ's natural Body to be at one time in more places than one."

"No adoration intended "; the mere posture of kneeling held to demand justification and excuse, as though the ordinary posture, even of prayer, were to be allowed to a communicant only under protest and proviso, and liable to be misconstrued and depraved "out of ignorance and infirmity," or sheer "malice and obstinacy." Where would be the ignorance? In imagining that the kneeling communion meant a real reception of Christ's real Body? Where would be the infirmity? In fondly supposing His true Body here? Where would be the malice and obstinacy? In continuing to suppose, that, after all the Reformation had done, there was still a Mass in the English Church and a Divine Victim offered alive upon her altars, to Whom adoration may and must be given as adoration is His inalienable prerogative everywhere, in His cradle at Bethlehem, in Pilate's house, upon His bitter cross, on His great white throne ?


'No adoration is intended." In Catholic worship all adoration is manifest, to God, real and living, in the Eucharist, whether received in communion, or stationed, the Sentinel of the Tabernacle, in some outpost church, on faith's confines where none outside in the street may believe in Him.

No adoration intended, "or ought to be done."

Alas, alas! What consolation could Fernando find in the words following?

No adoration ought to be done "either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine"-but who on all God's earth ever did adore either the bread or the wine? What Catholic ever yet adored the bread of the sacrament, or the wine of the sacrament? Only, when the consecration had left neither bread nor wine, does he adore the substance of the Body and of the Blood of Christ divine, that had taken their place.

And no adoration "ought to be done unto any Corporal Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood. For the sacramental Bread and Wine remain still in their very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored."

Most certainly no Catholic, no sane human being, might or could, adore the very natural substances of bread and wine. And, if the sacramental bread and wine were believed by Catholics to "remain still in their very natural substances" no Catholic would ever have adored them. Whoever thought that they did? But all the world knows that Catholics believe those " very natural substances of bread and wine" to be changed in the Eucharist into the very substance of Christ's natural flesh and blood-so they adore Him there.

"For that," says the rubric," were idolatry, to be abhorred of all faithful Christians.” Of what idolaters were these rubric-makers talking? Of men who never existed, men who taught that the unchanged substance of bread and wine should receive divine worship? Or of the millions who do exist who adore Christ present in His real natural flesh and blood in the Eucharist ?

"The natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ," says the rubric, are in Heaven and not here." Excellent Protestanism, but the negation of Catholic belief,

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »