Andrew Thomson John Owen.

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mistaken, and that he intended to say the Catholics have not, and
to plaoe Protestants in the beginning of the sentenoe; £ar it k cer-
tain that this is the rery doctrine of the Protestants ocnoeniing this
sacrament Xliey have in it the sacrifice of Christ before their eye^
and the death and effusion of his Uood figured (for how that duniid
be prefigured whidi is past, I know not) and set fovth for fiedth to
feedupoa This they say^ this they teach and believe; whenlknow
not how Catholics can have any thing figured unto them, nothing
being the s^ of itself: nor is it the feeding of faith, but of the
mouth, that they are solicitous about ^But this,"' SMth he, "they
do not,'' — though he had not q>oken of any doing before, which is an
old la^ that we have been now well used to, — and ''yet this^^' saith
he^ '' ought to be done; for so our Lord comcmanded, when he said
to his apostles, ' Hoc&dte^' — 'This do ye, which you have seen me
to do, and in that maimer you see me do it, ezercismg before your
eyes my priestly function according to the order of Melcluzedek; with
which power I do also invest you, and iqppoini you to do the like,
even unto the oensummation of the world, in commemoration of my
death and pasaon, exhibiting and showing forth your Lord's death
until he coma' This Protestants do not; and we are madrangry that
the Papist does what hia Eedeemer enjoined him." I fear his readers,
which shall consider this odd medley, will b^in to think that they
are not only Protestants who used to be madrangry. This kind <^
writing argues, I will not say both madness and anger, but one of
them it doth seem plainly to do; for, setting aside a farfetched
fiedse notion or two about Mdchiaeddk, and the doctrine of the sacra-
ment here expressed is that which the p(^ widi five and sword hath
laboured to exterminate out of the world, burning hundreds (I thmk)
in England for beUevii^ that our Lord, instituting his blessed supper,
commanded his apostles to do the same that he then did, and in the
same manner, even to the consummation of the worid, in the com«
memorartion df his death and passion, exhilHting and showing forth
their Lord's death until he come. Aman would aoppoee that he had
taken these woids out of the Utuxgy of the dmreh of England, for
therein are tl^ey expressly found. Ajid why, then, bate not Ptotest^
ants that which he speaks of? Yea^ but Cbiwt did this in " the
exarciae of kis priestly teiction; and wi& ^ same power of priest-
hood, aooording to tiie order of Mdchiaed^, invested his apostles.^
Both tiiese may be granted, and the Protestants' doctrine and feitfa
concerning this sacram^it not at all impeached; but the truth is,
ihey are both fiedse. The Lord Christ exerdsed indeed his priestly
function, when on the cross he offered himself to Qod, through the
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eternal Spirit, a sacrifice for the sms of the world; but it was by virtae
of his kingly and prophetical power that he instituted the sacrament
of his body and Uood, and taught his disciples the use of it, com-
manding its observation in all his churches to the end of the world.
And as ior any others being made priests after the order of Mel-
chizedek besides himself alone, it is a figment so expressly contrary
to the words and reasoning of the aposde, that I wonder any man,
not mad or angry, could once entertain any approving thoughts of
it. That our author may no more mistake in this matter, I desire
he would give me leave to inform him, that, setting aside his '' proper
sacrificing'' of the Son of God, and his hideous figment of transub-
stantiation, both utter strangers to the Scripture and antiquity, there
is nothing can by him be named concerning this sacrament, as to its
honour or efficacy, but it is all admitted by Protestant&

He pretends, after this loose harangue, to speak to the thing itself,
and tells us that the '^ consecrated chalice is not ordinarily given to
people by the priest in private communion;'' as though in some cases
it were given amongst them to the body of the people, or that they
had some public communion wherein it was ordinarily so given ; both
which he knows to be untrue. So impossible it seems for him jto
speak plainly and directly to what he treats on I But it is a thing
which hath need of these artifices: if one fedsity be not covered with
another, it will quickly rain^ through alL However, he tells us, that
they " should do so, is neither expedient nor necessary, as to any
effects of the sacrament" I wish, for his own sake, some course
might be found to take him off this confidence of setting himself
against the apostles and the whole primitive church at once; that he
might apprehend the task too difficult for him to und^ake, and
meddle with it no mora All expediency in the administration of
this great ordinance, and all the effects of it^ depend solely on the
institution and blessing of Ohrist ; if he have appointed the use of both
elements, what are we, poor worms, that we ^ould come now, in the
end of the world, and say the use of one of them is not '^ expedient
nor necessary to any effects of communion ?" Are we wiser than he ?
Have we more care of his church than he had? or do we think that
it becomes us thus arbil^rarily to choose and reftise in the institutions
of our Lord and Master? What is it to us what cavils soever men
can lay, that it is not necessary in the way of Protestants, nor in the
way of Catholics? — ^we know it is necessary in the way of Christ And
if either Protestants or Catholics leave that way, for me they diall
walk in their own ways by themselves. But why is it not necessaiy

1 In tiie erigiiud editioii it is printed "rain," though in reprints of the work the
word " reign" has been sabstituted, as seemingly more intelligible. Dr Owen, however,
is adopting in part an expression which seems to be a favourite with him, as it occurs
more than onoe in his writings: — ^ One lie must be thatched with another, cor it will
^uicky rain through." Bee toL viil 58i.~£i>.



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ENTITLED FIAT LUX. 147

in the way of Protestants? '' Because they place the effect of the oom-
munion in the operation of £sdth; and therefore, according to them,
one kind is enough: nay, if we have neither kind, there is no loss but
of a ceremony, which may be well enough supplied at our ordinary
tables." This is pretty logic, which it seems our author learned out
of Smith and Seaton. Protestants generally think that men see with
their eyes, and yet they think the light of the sun necessary to the
exercising of their sight; and though they believe that all saving
effects of the sacrament depend on the operation of faith (and Catho-
lics do so too, at least I am sure they say so), yet they believe also
that the sacrament which Christ appointed, and the use of it as by
him appointed, is necessary in its own kind for the producing of those
effects. These things destroy not, but mutually assist one another,
working effectually in their several kinds to the same end and pur-
pose. Nor can there be any operation of fedth, as to the special end
of the sacrament, without the administration of it according to the
mind and will of Christ Besides, Protestants know that the fre-
quent distinct proposals in the Scripture of the benefits of the death
of Christ, as arising sometimes from the suffering of the body, some*
times from the effusion of the blood of their Saviour, lead tiiem to
such a distinct acting of £sdth upon him and receiving of him, as
must needs be hindered and disturbed in the administration of the
sacrament under one kind; especially if that symbol be taken from
them which is peculiarly called his testament, and that blood where-
with his covenant with them was sealed : so that, according to the
principles of the Protestants, the participation of the cup is of an in-
dispensable necessity unto them that intend to use that ordinance to
th^ benefit and comforC And what he adds, about *' drinking at
our ordinary tables," because we are now speaking plainly, I must
needs tell him is a pro&ne piece of scurrility, which he may do
well to abstain from for the futura What is or is not necessaiy,
according to their Catholic doctrine, we shall not trouble ourselves,
knowing that which is so called by him to be very far from being
truly catholia The B.omanists* doctrine of concomitancy,^ being a late
figment to countenance their spoiling the people of the l^acy of
Christ, unknown to antiquity, and contrary to Scripture, and ener-
vating the doctrine of the death of Christ, whose most precious blood
was truly separated from his body, — the benefit of which separation is
exhibited unto us in the sacrament by himself appointed to repre-
sent it, — ^we neither believe nor valua

1 According to the Council of Trent (Catech., cap. iii. qnsBStio 82), the whole of Christ,
his blood as well as his body, is contained under both species, — both the bread and the
wine. This is the Bomish doctrine of concomitance ; and hence the notion that the laity,
in receiying the bread as the body of Christ, do not need the wine, but receive his blood
nererthelesB, inasmuch as it ii contained in the body. — Bd.



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Ab the neoessity of it ib d^ed, so also tiiat there is any precept
f<^ it. What think yoti^ then, of UUn i§ a^oD r^rv^,-^'' Drink ye all
of it,"' that iS| this cupt They tiiink this to be a preeept to be ob^
eerr^ towarcb all those who come to this sii{^)^. What Christ did^
that he commanded his apostles to do: he gives the cup to all thai
^Tere present at his supper, and eommands them all to drink of it
Why, I piay^ are they not to do sot Why is not this part of his com-^
m^nd alB obligatory to them as any others? Alas! ^^They were the
I»iests that were pt^eaent ; all lay people werd excluded'' Not one was
esduded from the cup that was there at any part of the ordmancei
What if they were all priosts that were there (as no one of &em ^^as))
— ^was the supper administered to them as priests, or as disciples f or is
iiiiete any colour or pretence to say that one kind was given to them as
priests^ another as disciples? '* Die aliquem, die, Quintiliane, colorem.'^
Was not the Ivhole churdi of Christ represented by them? Is not
the command equal to all? Nay, as if on purpose to obviate thb
sacrilegious figment, is not thid word^ '^ Drink yoil all of this^" added
emphatically above what is spdcen of the oth^ kind? Maay strange
things there mte whidi these gentlsn^i wouM have us bdieVe aboilt
this sacrament^ but none of them of a tnose incredible nature than
thi% that when Christ says to all his communicants, '' Drink you all
of this," fmd commands them to do the same that be did, his mean^
ii^ was that we should say, ** Drink you hone of this."' l%«y had
need^ not of a " spltuk Unguse,'' to let such things as these down <Mt
threats, but a bed-^taff, to cram them down, or tfaey will choke ut in
the swallowing^ add, I am sure^ will not wdl digest when received
He must have an koa stomach that caa concoct such crude morsela

But if this will not do, he would fidn have us grant *' that tho
whole manner of giving the communion imto the laity, whether under
one or both kinds^ is left to the disposition of the (diurch.'' I tell yoil^
truly, I diouM have ^pught so too^ had not Christ and his apostles
be^^rehand determined it; but as the c^ise stands, it is left so much
to the di^K)dtix>n of the church, Whether the blessed mp shall be
administered to the peofde, as it is whether we leiiall have any sacra-^
m^nts or no, a^ not one jot more; And let not our author flatter
himself that it was a '* preconceived opinion of the arbittarmess (^
this business, that made men scruple it no mote in former ages, when
the cup was fit^ takon from them/' They scrujded it untal you bad
roasted sokne of them m the fire, and sh^ the Uood of multitudes
by the sword ; which was the old way of satisfying scruplea

At length our author ventures on St Paul, and hopes, if he can
satisfy him^ he shall do well enough, and tdils Us, " This indifferent
use of communioli amongst the ancient Christians, in either kind,
sometimes the one, sometimes the othec, sometimes both, is enough.



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nmtLED riAT LUX. U9

to verify that of Bi Paul) < We a3?e all partakers of me bread and of
one cup/'" But what is diis '^indifikent use,'" and who are theie "an-
eient Christiana" he t^ na of t Neither is the use of one or of both
indiff<»p»it among the Papisto, nor did the andent Ohristians know
any thing at all of thii bosineai of depriving the peoi^e of the eup,
which is but a by<-blow of tmnsufosftoniiatioiL He knows they knew
nothing of it^ whatever he peteiid& 2^either dotii the apostle Paul
say oakedly and only, thskt ^^ we are all partakers of one broad and
one cup;'' but, instructing th^ whole ob^oh of Oorinth in ^ ri^t
nse of the Lead's su^^r, he calls to mii^ what he ha4 fbrmexly
taught them as to the odebration of it: and this, be tells them, was
the imitation of the Lord himself, according as he hi^ received it hi
command ftom him to give the blessed bread ai^d cup to all his
communicants. This ha lays down as the institution of Christ,— 4hi8
he calls them to the right use snd praotioe of; telling the whole dnirdi
that ^' as often as th^ eat ^is bread anddriiik this cup" (not eat the
bnead without the cup), tb^ ^' do show forth the Lord's death until
he come.'' And therefore doth he teach them how to perftnrm their
duty hffl^in in adue mannen verse 2&, " Let," saith he, ^' aman ex*
amine faimselj^ and so let him eat of that bread and drink of tiiat
cup;" adding the reason of his caution, ^'ibr he that eateth and
drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh," etc. ; intimating, also, that
they might miscany in the use of either element, for saitii he, " who-
soev^ shall eat this bread and drink this oiq> unworthily." La die
administration of the whole supper you may offend, unless you give
heed in the paitidpation of eithw elem^Dit What can possibly be*
i^k^i nu)r6 fully, distinctly, plainly, as to institution, precept, prao*
tice, and duty i:^on all, I know not And if we murt yet diq)ute
about this matter, wMlst we acknowledge the authority of the apostle,
I thi^k there is small hope of being quit of diqput^ whilst this worid
continues. ^The pitiful cavils of our author against the apostle's ex*
press and often-r^)eated woods deserve not our notice; yet, for the
sake of those whom be iiitends to deceive, I shall briefly show their
insufficiency to invalidate St Paul's authority and reasoninga

1. He says, '^ That we may easily see what was St Paul's opinion,
from these words, ^ Whosoever diall eat &k bread, or drink this cup
of our Lord unw(»thliy;'" and so say I toot the meaning of them is
before declared. But saith he, " Bepeating the institution as our Lord
delivered it, he makes him, after the consecration of the bread, say
absolutely, ■ Do this in Gonmiemorati(cm nf me ;' but after the chalice,
he q)eaks with a limitation, ^ Do this, as (^ as yon shall xlrink it, in
ooqunemoration of me/" What then? Pray what are the next
words? Aro they not, '* For as oftan as ye eat this bread and drink
this cup?" Is not t^e same term, " as ioften," annexed to the one



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as well as to the other? Is it a limitation of the use of either, and
not a limitation of that kind of commemoration of the Lord's death
to the use of both? From these doughty observatk>ns he concludes,
'^ That the particle ' and' in the other text must needs be taken dis-
junctively : * We are aU partakers of one bread, and of one cup;' that
is, all of us either partake of both, or each one, at least, either of the
one or other/' A brave exposition! But what shall we say to the
other ^^and*' in the other texts so often occurring to the same purpose?
Are they also to be taken disjunctively? This, it seems, is to inter-
pret Scripture according to the sense of the fathers; to vent idle
cavils, which they were never so weak or perverse as once to dream
o£ Had the apostle but once used that expression, '^ This bread and
this cup," yet adjoining that expression to the institution of Christ
commanding the administration of that bread and cup, it were teme-
rarious boldness so to disjoint his words, and render them incongruous
to his purpose; but, repeating the same expression so often as he
doth, still with respect to the institution of the ordinance whereof
he speaks, to make us believe that in all those expressions he in-
tended quite another thing than what he says, is a wild attempt
Miserable error! what sorry shifts dost thou cast thy patrons upon?
Who would love such a beast, that so daws and tears her em-
bracers? The trivial instances of the use of the particle " and" or
" et" disjimctively, as in that saying, " Mulier est domila salus, et
ruina^" — ^which is evidently used not of the same individual person,
nor of the same actions, but only expresses the different actings of
•several individuals of the same spedes,— concern not this business,
whose argument is far from being founded alone on the signification
of that particle (though its use be constant enough to found an infer-
ence not to be shaken by a few anomalous instances), but from the
necessary use of it in this place, arising from the context of the
apostie's discourse.

2. Our author farther adds, ''That sometimes the whole sacred syn-
axis^ is called breaking of bread, without any mention of the chalice."
And what then? I pray, is not the body of Christ sometimes men-
tioned without speaking of the blood, and the blood oftener without
speaking of the body? Is not the whole supper called the cup, withr
out mentioning of the bread (1 Cor. x. 21), all by the same synec-
doche? I shall not insist on his gross, palpable mistakes from Luke
xxiv. 30. Nothing but domineering prejudices could ever put men
upon such attempts for the justifying of their errors. Upon the whole
matter, we may easily discern what small cause our author hath, fix>m
such feeble premises, to erect his trimnphant conclusion of the non-
necessity of partidpation of the bless^ cup by the people in the
^ A word used in andent times to denote the Lord's supper. — Ed.



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ENTITLED HAT LtTX 151

sacrament of the Lord's supper. As little cause hath he to mention
antiquity and tradition from the apostles, which lie universally against
him in this matter; and that there is now no such custom in the
Romish church, it is because they have taken up a practice contrary
to the command and practice of Christ and lus apostles, and contrary
to the custom, in obedience thereunto^ of all the churches in the
whole world«



CHAPTER Xli

Saints*

Sect xxviL Fbom the communion we come to saints; and these
take up the longest discourse of any one subject in the book. Our
author found it not an easy task to set this practice of his church, in
the worship and invocating of saints, right and straight in the minds
of sober men. Several ways he turns himself in his attempt; all, as
&r as I can perceive^ to very little purpose. In all of them it is evident
that he is ashamed of their practice and principles in this matter;
which makes his undertakings as to Protestants so much the worse,
in that he invited them to feed upon that which he himself is un-
willing to taste, lest he should be poisoned. At first he woidd per-
suade us that they had only a '^ respectful memory and reverence for
the saints departed, such as ingenuous persons will have for any
worthy personages that have formerly ennobled their families."' To
this he adds " the consideration of their example, and the patterns
they have set us in the wajrs of holiness, to persuade and prevail with
us to imitate and follow them." And with sundry arguments doth
he dispute for his honourable esteem and imitation of the saints de-
parted. Herein, then, it may be, hes the difference between them
and Protestants^ — that they contend that the true saints axe to be
thus honoured and followed ; Protestants are of the mind that neither
of them is to be done. " True; for * Luther, Wickliff, and especially
Calvin, have intemperately opened their mouths against all the
saints; Calvin in special against the persons renowned in the Old and
New Testament, Noah, Abraham, Rebecca^ Jacob, Rachel, Moses,'
eta^ with a great number of other&" Naughty man 1 what hath he
said of them ? '^ It is certain, in general^ that he hath said that they
were all in their days sinnera" Is this to be endured, that " Calvin,
that holy-faced man," should say of such holy persons^ that they had
need to be redeemed and saved by Jesus Christ ? Who can bear such
intemperate *' theomachy ?" '^ Nay, but he had gone farther, ^ and
charged them every one with sins and miscarriage&"' If he hath



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spoken ai^ thing of their sins and fidUngs but what Ood hatli left
upon lecord on set purpose in his word, that ihej might be examples
of human frailty^ and testimonies of hk graoe and mercj in Christ
towards them, for the enoouragement of others that shall be oveiv
taken in the like temptation as some of them were, let him bear his
own burden. If he have said no more but what the Holy Ohost
hath recorded for him and others to make use of, I enyy not their
cheer who triumph in falsely accusing of him. But is this indeed
the difference between Papists and Protestants about the saints ? Is
this the doctrine of the Papists concerning them ? Is their practice
confined within the limits of these principles ? Are these the things
which in their principles and practice are blamed by Protestants?
The truth is, tlus is the very doctrine, the very practice of Protest-
antsL They all jointly bear a dne respect to the memoiial of all the
saints of GJod, ooziceming whom they hare assmranoe that they w^:^
so indeed. They praise God for them, admire his grace in them,
rejoice in die fruits of their labours aiKl suffinings for Christ, and
endeavoor to be followeni of them in all things wherein they were
foUowon of Christ; and hope to come to be made partakers with
them of that glofy and joy which they are entered inta Is this ib%
doctrine of the Council of Trent, or of the HaniMmy of Confessionsf
Doth this represent the practice of Papists, or Protestants? It is very
seldom you shall hear a sermon of a Protestant, wherein the example
of one saint or other is not in one thing or other insisted on, aiid
proposed to imitation. If this venerable esteem and sedulons imi*
tation of saints, with praising God for his graces in them, his mercy
towards them, and an endeavour to obtain the crown they have re-
ceived, be the doctrine, and the whole doctrine, of the church of Rome
about the saints departed, why should we contend any longer? AH
parties are agreed; let as oontend no m(»e about that which is not
But if it be otherwise, and ihsX neither are these things all the things
that the Papists assert and maintain in this matter, nor are these
things at all opposed by the Protestants, a man may esfiQy understand
to what end our author makes a flourish with three or four leaves of
his book, as tboi^h they were in difference betweeh us. Sudi arti-
fioes will neither advantage his cause nor his person with sober know-
ing men. As to his whole discourse, then, I shall only let him know
that Brotestanis are unconcerned in it They bear all due reverence
to the saints departed this life, and strive to follow iiaem in their
course; although I must add, also, that thdr example is veiy remote
from being the chiefest incentive or rule unto and in the practice of
universal obedieDoe. Theexanxpleof Christ himself, and the reveided
will of Ood in his word, are their rule and guide; in attendance where-
unto thousands amoi^st them (be it spob^n to the p'aise of his glo-



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SNTITLED HAT LUX. 153

rkms grace f) do insta&ily serre Qod in all good oonsdence day and
night, aoid hdiding the Head, grow up into him who is the fidness of
him that filleth all in all

Todoae this diacoune, and to oome to that which he seems to love
as a bear doth the stake, — ^the practice of the Bomish church in the
invocation and adoratkm of saints, — ^he tells ns, to usher it in, two
pretty stories oat of antiqidty; the first, of the Jews, and last, of the



Online LibraryAndrew Thomson John OwenThe works of John Owen, Volume 14 → online text (page 19 of 67)