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mand of their kings, and the liturgies then introduced have been ever since acknowledged by the church to rest on sufficient sanctions, and to be invested with spiritual authority. If then the English bishops and clergy opposed the change of liturgy, that change might nevertheless be valid ; and it would be made so by their subsequent assent to, and adoption of, the liturgy introduced. It was thus that the Roman liturgy became valid in Gaul and Spain, though at first it was opposed, or not introduced, by the bishops; and I maintain, that the English ritual was assented to and received by the English and Irish prelates ; for,
Thirdly, it is an incontestible fact, that although the English ritual was objected to by the prelates in the first parliament of queen Elizabeth, it was very shortly after admitted and approved of by all the bishops and clergy of England, and has been ever since used by their successors in the catholic church: and as to Ireland, the ritual was immediately adopted there without any opposition, except from one or two bishops, and has ever since received the approbation of the Christian church in that part of the British empire.
Since therefore Christian princes have authority in ecclesiastical affairs; since the British crown did not exercise an unlawful authority in promoting the change of the liturgy; and since the English ritual has received the approbation and assent of the church; it is not schismatical, uncanonical, or in any manner illegitimate ; but, on the contrary, is invested with that sacred and spiritual authority, to which Christians are bound to yield their devoted and affectionate obedience.
SECONDLY. It has been calumniously asserted, that the English liturgy retains nothing of the primitive liturgies, except the preface and the words of our Redeemer e. For a refutation of this, I would refer the reader to the following chapter. In the same spirit of misrepresentation it has been said, that the object of the revisers of the English liturgy was, to remove from it all traces of antiquity f. To this I make the same reply.
PARTICULAR OBJECTIONS. FIRST. There is no consecration of the elements in the eucharist, because while we are commanded by the gospel to take the bread in our hands, to bless it, and break it, all this is omitted in the English liturgy.
I reply, that some things in our blessed Saviour's administration were essential, and others were not. To take, bless, and receive the bread was essential : to take it in his hands, to break it, to receive it at supper, and before the blessing of the cup, was not. The church of Constantinople and all the east omit the ceremony of taking the bread into the hands h . The Roman ritualist Zaccaria says, that no one will contend that the breaking of bread is essentiali. There could therefore be no objection to the validity of the consecration in the English liturgy, even if
e Renaudot. Liturg. Orien- i Zaccaria, Bibliotheca Rital. tom. i. p. v.
tualis, tom. i. p.
Vini et f Bossuet, Histoire des Va- aquæ commixtio, fractio horiations,
stiæ, permixtio specierum, tri& Scott, bishop of Chester, sagion, Dominica oratio in licited in Collier's Ecclesiastical turgiis reperiuntur : quæ taHistory, vol.ii. p. 428.
men omnia ad eucharistiæ conh Goar, Rituale Græc. Li- secrationem esse prorsus neturg. Chrysostomi, p. 76. cessaria nemo contendet."
the priest did not take the bread in his hands, and break it, (which however he does.) The bread is blessed, according to the universal custom, with prayer and the word of God. The validity of the consecration in the English liturgy is therefore certain.
SECOND. There is no invocation of the Holy Ghost that the bread may be made the body, and the wine the blood, of Christ); therefore the English liturgy is unlawful.
Answer. So is the Roman, if this invocation be necessary; for there is no more express invocation of the Holy Ghost in the Roman canon than in the English. It would be well therefore if Romanists would remember, before they bring such a charge against the English liturgy, that their own liturgy is open to the same objection, and that it would arm the Greek doctors with an irresistible argument against them. However, in another place I shall prove that the English liturgy is not deficient in this respect k
THIRD. There is no intention in the minds of the English priests to consecrate the bread and wine ; but this intention is essential to a valid consecration; therefore the elements are not consecrated!
I reply, first, that it is not the doctrine of the catholic church, that a right intention is essential to the valid administration of the sacraments. No Romanist even is obliged to believe this m; for although
j Asseman, Codex Liturg. tom. vi. p. xcvi.
k See section xix. of this chapter.
Bp. Scott, Collier's Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. p. 428.
m However popular the doctrine of intention may be among Romanists, it is not a matter which they are pelled to believe. Ambrosius Catharinus, an eminent theo
most of the schoolmen and modern controversialists teach the doctrine, yet that is not sufficient to make it an article of faith ; and the council of Trent uses expressions on the subject, which by no means prove the point. It denounces an anathema against any one who saith, that “ an intention at least of doing what the church doth, is not requisite in the ministers while they make and confer the sacraments n." But whether this intention be requisite for the valid administration of the sacraments, or for their religious administration, is not decided by these words. The acts of the council of Florence (or rather pope Eugenius) affirm, that “after the words of the consecration of the body have been repeated by the priest, with the intention of consecrating, the bread is transubstantiated into the very body of Christ 0." But this passage occurs in a decree for the Armenians, which was made after the council of Florence had been broken up, and therefore is denied by emi
logian, who was made archbishop of Conza by Julius III. of Rome, A. D. 1551, maintained, that it is not necessary that the minister, in conferring the sacraments, should have the intention of doing what the church intends, provided that he performs the requisite ceremonies. Bellarmine says this doctrine approaches nearly to heresy: it has never been condemned, however, by the Roman church ; and without doubt has many adherents among Romanists at the present day. See Biographie Universelle, Paris, 1813. v. Catharin.
n Concil. Tridentin. sessio vii, can. II. “Si quis dixerit, in ministris, dum sacramenta conficiunt et conferunt, non requiri intentionem saltem faciendi quod facit ecclesia, anathema sit.”
o Decretum pro Armenis. Concil. Florentini, pars iii. Labbé, tom. xiii. col. 12U. “ Dummodo enim panis substantia maneat, nullatenus dubitandum est, quin post præfata verba consecrationis corporis, a sacerdote cum intentione conficiendi prolata, mox in verum Christi corpus transubstantietur.”
nent Romanists to form part of its decrees P. And even the words themselves do not prove the absolute necessity of intention; for although a certain effect is here said to follow the repetition of the words of consecration, with an intention of consecrating, there is no direct assertion, or necessary consequence, that the same effect does not follow urithout that intention.
I reply, secondly, that the right intention of the minister is not absolutely requisite to the valid administration of the sacraments, when they are celebrated for the benefit of the church. For it is not the minister who conters the graces of the sacraments, but the supreme God, by whose commission he acts in the Christian church. The minister is the instrument by whom God chooses, in the ordinary course of his providence, to convey certain benefits to the faithful. But that infinite power, wisdom, and love, which devised the means of grace, will doubtless make them effectual to those for whom they are ultimately intended, although the ordinary instrument be ill regulated; for otherwise all would be punished for the fault of one'. And further, if an intention of doing what the church requires be essential, we should never know whether the consecration had taken place, and consequently could never approach the holy table but with a doubtful and troubled mind,
I reply, thirdly, by asserting, that there is as much intention to consecrate in the minds of our clergy, as there can be in any others whatsoever; and who shall prove the reverse?
p Le Brun, Explication de la Messo &c. tom. V. p. 220.