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Christ having been the θυσία ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν, (Heb. x. 11,) the words were metaphorically used with reference to that sacrifice, not to any change intended to be effected in the elements.
Still, however, Dr. Wiseman seeks to prop his system by incongruities. Not contented with again seeking an argument from the "harsh" expression to eat being omitted in one section and inserted in the other, he observes, that "so long as Christ speaks of himself as the object of faith, under the image of "spiritual food, he represents this food as given by the Father; "but after ver. 47 he speaks of the food, which he now de"scribes, as to be given by himself;" and accordingly he begins to draw a distinction between two givers and two gifts. to be answered very easily. The Father became the giver by having given his only-begotten Son, who is the gift here called the bread from heaven; and the Son, by having given himself as a ransom for us all, conferred that gift upon us: the gift therefore is the same.
Dr. Wiseman's next attempt is to substantiate his dogma, that the Protestant reception of the sacred elements by faith has no warrant in the Scriptures; and he argues to doctrinal points from his own division of the vith chapter of St. John, as if that division had the sanction of antiquity and the positive testimony of ecclesiastical history. On this assumed division are built his reasonings against faith, as connected with the reception of the Sacrament: to his former section he indeed assigns its agency, but to the latter he only attributes the operation of love. But we maintain that these sections cannot be separated; that from the time, when those who had been miraculously fed, sought and found him-from the time when he commenced his instructions to them-the chapter constituted an inseparable whole. Those parts therefore which related to faith (cf. vv. 29, 35, 36, 40, 47, 64,) continued to have that relation throughout the chapter. And if the principle of faith, as asserted by the Church of England, be unconnected with the Eucharist, how are many expressions in the New Testament to be explained? howἱλαστήριον διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι, (Rom. iii. 25,) which Deylingius renders hostia hilastica-pro peccato victima piacularis? how, many others which bear a direct allusion to this institution? In fact, our reception of these emblems of Christ's body and blood is so united with our belief that he is the Son of God, that the operation of this principle cannot be denied without the introduction of a great absurdity. But we do not gainsay Dr. Wiseman's allegation that union by love is implied;-we
* Augustin himself admits this doctrine, when he says: vestra postulat instruenda: panis est corpus Christi, calix sanguis Christi. Breviter quidem hoc dictum est, quod fidei forte sufficiat." Serm. 272.
merely contend in the apostle's words, that it must be ȧyánη μɛrà πίστεως. Οὐκ οἶδας (says Theophilus to Autolycus) ὅτι ἁπάντων πραγμάτων ἡ πίστις προηγεῖται.
Again, he appeals to Jewish phraseology, in which he states, that "we shall find the expression to eat the flesh of a person signifying invariably, when used metaphorically, to attempt to "do him some serious injury, principally by calumny or false "accusation;" which he argues to have been "the only figurative meaning which the phrases could present to the audience at Capharnaum." In support of this he advances Biblical, Syrian, Arabian and Classical authorities. With the exception of the restricting term "only" we fully assent to him, and could add other examples to those which he has produced: yet we cannot admit, as his argument would imply, that because there is not any thing in the context which relates to calumny, it should follow that the phrase cannot have another metaphorical sense, much less that it must therefore have been literally accepted. For the whole structure of the chapter is parabolical; and even the section which Dr. Wiseman peculiarly selects as free from tropical language, in our opinion abounds with it as much as any part of the chapter.
But by producing the Talmudical passage about eating the years of the Messiah, he has virtually admitted another signification to have been current among the Jews: he indeed seeks to elude it by pronouncing it inexplicable, and averring that Rabbi Hillel, by having departed from the intelligible use of language, ceases to be an authority. Yet Tanchum and others make a similar assertion. Stranger still is his dogma, that if eating the Messiah in rabbinical phraseology implied receiving and embracing him, the expression to eat the flesh of the Messiah must be totally different. Not so; because both belong to one and the same metaphor.
Now, as he has admitted that the bread of understanding, eating God's words, and the like, relate to doctrine, why, in referring St. John vi. to a sacrament founded on the sacrifice of Christ, of which the paschal institution was a type, will he not, in consonance to sacrificial terms, authorize the metaphor of eating the flesh, without arbitrarily forcing it to a literal acceptation?
The same writer in Eichhorn's Bibliothek conceives the sacramental formulary to be elliptical, viz. that rouró σTI тò σшμá μov might
and roved tort to aiud uov הוא לחם בשרי or גופי have been expressed in the corresponding paschal שה arguing the ellipsis of הוא כוס דמי
formulary. But this suggestion is not only unnecessary, but at variance with Hebrew idiom; and to make and in statû constructo would destroy all sense. Here Dr. Wiseman has very properly noticed that the example from the Old Testament is not in point, because it is
It may not, however, be inapt to observe, that although on in pure Hebrew means bread, in the Rabbinical dialect and in Arabic it means flesh; and as the corruption of the Hebrew after the Babylonian captivity, by a copious admixture of SyroChaldaic, Arabic, Greek and Latin terms, is a point which no philologer can dispute, we can scarcely doubt that these separate senses existed in it in our Saviour's time: if so, when he stated bread to be his flesh, the "harshness" of the figure immediately disappears. Nor can it be objected to us that we are imputing paronomasia to him; because there are many instances of it in the New Testament, one of which he himself gave in the well-known play on St. Peter's name. (St. Matt. xvi. 18.)
But, as we have before observed, the expression attributed to Rabbi Hillel is not peculiar to any one rabbinical work: we find it in many, where it is explained to denote the joy which will prevail in the times of the Messiah; and in exact harmony with the same figure we read, that the just will eat the world to come, and that the precepts of God are the food of the righteous; and the first is explained by eternal happiness, the latter by their delight in fulfilling his commandments. That this phraseology was common in our Saviour's days, the style of the New Testament assures us: indeed, it was borrowed from the Old. Thus, when he avers (John iv. 32) that he has food to eat of which his disciples knew not, and interprets (at ver. 34) this food to be the performance of the will of Him that sent him-when also we find him mentioning spiritual food and spiritual drink, much in the same way as the Jews symbolized eternal life by a feast,-we cannot assent that he deviated from common phraseology; but must perceive that the indignation of the Jews arose from his application of these terms to himself, which not only, according to the idiom, made him the Messiah, but placed him on a parity with God. Let us compare this with vv. 62, 63, 65, of John vi., and we shall perceive the reason why many of his disciples left him.
Flesh and blood were used in the Hebrew and Oriental languages to denote intimate relationship: thus, in the Arabian
she is my first cousin and هذه بنت عمي ولحمي ودمي ,Nights
my flesh and my blood: thus Adam says of Eve (for which indeed
incorrectly quoted; and should be mПDD, which destroys the parallel. We can however offer Dr. Wiseman one of similar construc
ותמת שרה בקרית ארבע ... הוא .2 .tion to the Greek from Gen. xxiii
. It should also be remembered, that relates to any substance, and is applied to the Law, as, and often denotes individuality, as myself, much in the same manner, as carum caput, φίλον ἦτορ, μεγαλήτωρ θύμος, βίη Ηρακληείη, θύμος ένι στήθεσσι, &c.
.Gen) זאת הפעם עצם מעצמי ובשר מבשרי (we have a real reason
ii. 23.)—and we likewise perceive that in the Old Testament , and in the New σapë kaì alμa, were still further used to denote mankind. Now, having observed from the preceding examples the figurative force of each disputed word, and being therefore certified that, because they are not here expressive of calumny it will not follow that they must be literally understood, can we find one single point, from which we can critically argue to the corporeal presence of our Saviour in the Eucharist? Should we not rather agree with Origen, (in Celsum viii.) that the bread is symbolical ? (Εστι δὲ καὶ σύμβολον ἡμῖν τῆς πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν εὐχαριστίας ἄρτος εὐχαριστία καλουμένος); and that as Fulgentius says, both elements are Eucharistical commemorations of Christ's sufferings? "In isto sacrificio gratiarum actio et commemoratio est carnis Christi, quam pro nobis obtulit, et sanguinis, quem pro nobis idem Deus effudit.") For, if the terms "flesh and blood" accurately apply to the sacrifice of himself, and are open to the interpretations which we have given; and if "to eat," in reference to the Messiah, signified in Jewish language an enjoyment of the benefits granted by him; it is certain that there exists no evidence to prove a real participation to have been intended. The emphatic words, is ry τὴν Éμǹv åváμvnoir, "in REMEMBRANCE of me," or rather as a remembrance of me,† repeated by St. Paul after mention both of the bread and the cup, most fully assure us, that the doctrine of the Church of England is established on the basis of the Scriptures., In 1 Cor. xii. 27, the Christian community also is called the body
* Theodoret says, ὁ δέ γε Σωτὴρ ὁ ἡμέτερος ἐνήλλαξε τὰ ὀνόματα, καὶ τῷ μὲν σώματι τὸ τοῦ συμβόλου τέθεικεν ὄνομα, τῷ δὲ συμβόλῳ τὸ τοῦ σώματος· οὕτως ἄμπελον ἑαυτὸν ὀνόμασας, αἷμα τὸ σύμβολον προσηγόpεvσɛ. Theophanes also, alluding to Baptism and the Lord's Supper, says, that water renders sinners free, but blood crowns martyrs.-Tò μèv γὰρ ὕδωρ τοὺς ἡμαρτηκότας ἐλευθεροῖ, τὸ δέ αἷμα τοὺς μάρτυρας στεφανοῖ; which sentiment we frequently find urged in proof of the commemorative nature of the Sacrament. In the sacramental bread, the TD of the Passover and the ' on (LXX. and N. T. åpros τñs πpodéσews, Anglicè, shew-bread) found their completion; in the cup, the various ῥαντισμοὶ of the Levitical law. According to some writers, the or unleavened cake, was a symbol of the deliverance from Egypt; according to others, of the affliction which they endured in it; and some of the Jewish traditions maintain, that on the 15th day of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion) God made his covenant with Abraham between the victims,-thus retracing the harmony to the patriarchal days. The cup is called by Athanasius ποτήριον τῶν μυστηρίων ; by Chrysostom, κρατὴρ τῆς μυσταγωγίας : by Basil it is defined to signify Christ's death for the salvation of the world; and by Theophylact, to be the commemoration of his crucifixion.
זכר ליציאת מצרים,So in the Paschal service +
of Christ, and its individuals are styled members in particular; if therefore we followed the principles of Dr. Wiseman's reasoning, we might as well assert that there were two bodies-the church, and the sacramental bread.
But he combats the Protestant doctrine by the Jewish prejudices regarding human flesh and blood, and urges, that these caused them to exclaim, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat!" (ver. 52.) The non-comprehension of the Jews, even if we attribute to them an absolute ignorance of his meaning, would not affect the point in dispute: we have however shewn, that their exclamation may be explained on other grounds. Nor was it necessary, as Dr. Wiseman imagines, that he should have entered with them into an exegetical detail, because it was not always his intention that they should immediately understand him. Thus, after the Parable of the Sower, (Matt. xiii. 11,) he informs his disciples, that to them it was given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but that to the Jews it was not given; in support of which he quotes Isaiah predicting their blindness and obtuseness. With the same fault he upbraids his disciples in Mark viii. 18, sqq., but afterwards unfolds his meaning to them. So, in the present chapter, he did not at the time explain his allusions to his disciples, intending them doubtless as an exercise of their faith, (cf. vv. 64, 69,) in the same manner as he had frequently imparted to them hints respecting his passion; and it was not before the last supper, that he fully opened their eyes to his allusions in both instances.
Therefore, we cannot unreservedly agree to Dr. Wiseman's proposed rules,--1st, that "when his hearers misunderstanding his words raise objections, Jesus explains them,- -2dly, when, understanding them right, they find fault, he repeats them." On ordinary occasions this may have been the case; but we cannot advance from them to a general rule, because we have exhibited parabolic truths, the interpretation of which was reserved for a future period. Of an exactly similar description is John ii. 18, 22, which was not comprehended even by the disciples until the resurrection, although he says, "that the expression was one of such obvious occurrence, that the Jews ought to have understood him without difficulty." So, notwithstanding the abhorrence produced by the idea of eating human flesh and drinking human blood, we urge that the metaphorical examples cited should have persuaded them that his phraseology was remote from any such an idea, and was in
In Sepher np we read, that every church is as one body (8) and in other books, that the Most Blessed God created the
הצורה-a new substance חויה חדשה flesh of King Messiah, which is .a divine and holy form האלהית הקדשה