James DeKoven.

A theological defence for the Rev. James De Koven to the Council held at Milwaukee, February 11th and 12th, 1874 online

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guments. To be sure he was carped at in his day also. In a
memoir of Bishop Andrewes published by Sir John Harrington,
in 1653, it is said that being appointed to that Prebendship in St.
Paul's, the holder of which was called the Confessor, " his man-
ner was, especially in Lent time, to walk duly at certain hours in
one of the aisles of the Church, that if any came to him for
spiritual advice and comfort, (as some did though not many) he
might impart it to them. This custom being agreeable to the
Scripture and Fathers, not repugning the xxxix articles and re-
quired in some sort in the Communion Book, and no less ap-
proved by Calvin in his Institutions, yet was quarrelled with
as a point of Popery. The like scandal was taken of some,
though not given by him, for his reverent speaking of the high-
est mystery of our faith and heavenly food, the Lord's Supper,
which some are so stiff in their knees, or rather in their hearts,
that they hold it idolatry to receive it kneeling. But whatsoever
such barked at, he ever kept one tenor of life and doctrine, ex-
emplary and unreprovable." [pp. xxxvi and xxxvii of Life of
Bishop Andrewes in Angl. Cath. Lib.] And this Judgement of
him the voice ot the Anglican Communion has ever approved.*
I give a quotation from his Reply to Cardinal Bellarmine. The
words of the Cardinal are placed in brackets and the replies of
the Bishop follow. [Lib. of Angl. Cath Theol. Resp. ad. Bell,
pp. 264, 265, 266 and 267.]

[" I will also adduce one writer, who bears the name of S. Cyprian,
hut who, though not the very celebrated martyr Cyprian, is yet of very an-
cient and weighty authority ..." The bread being changed, not in form,
but in nature, by the omnipotence of the word, became flesh" .... He
says, that the nature, that is, the substance, is changed ; and that the form,
that is, the accidents, are not changed."] [Bell. Apol. pro Resp. p. 107.
Op. torn. vii. col. 764, C. D.]

*For a reply to the Churchman of Feb. jth, impugning Bishop Andrewes. See appendix iii.



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" Now that weighty author (who bears the name of Cyprian and yet is
not Cyprian) says that the bread is changed in nature, not in form ; and this is
not denied by us either. But we nevertheless deprecate the interpretation of
the Cardinal, " nature, that is, substance ; and form, that is, accidents." For
what that author says is, that by the addition of the omnipotence of the word,
the nature is changed, so that what was before a mere element, becomes now
;i Divine Sacrament, while nevertheless the previously existing substance
still remains. This is shown by the words which immediately follow ; they
being both part of the same passage, and always by you fraudulently left out,
namely, " And just as in the person of Christ the humanity was seen and
the divinity was hidden ; so the Divine essence infused itself into the visible
Sacrament ;" meaning doubtless that the union between the visible Sacrament,
and the invisible inward part of the Sacrament is the same -as that which ex-
ists between the humanity and the Divinity of Christ ; where, unless you
mean to be a Eutychian, the humanity is not transubstantiated into the divin-
ity. But, that you may know that the word " nature" is not to be understood
as meaning " substance" in that passage where Peter says, " that we are made
partakers of, the divine nature," that same author (and in the same passage
too) denies that this kind of unity is equivalent to a consubstantiality with
Christ. Substance, therefore the Cardinal finds nowhere asserted, while we
find it denied. Theodoret says, " For the symbols remain in their former
substance." Moreover Gelasius, Pontifex and Chief Pastor, to whose words
all Papists must listen, says that the symbols " by the operation of the Holy
Spirit pass over into the divine substance (wherefore I marvel that this writer
is omitted by the Cardinal), and yet that the substance or nature of the bread
and wine does not cease to exist." Moreover, in order more clearly to indi-
cate to us his meaning, he adds these words " Just as Christ (says he), being
One, consists of natures separately remaining." Both, Gelasius as well as
Theodoret, contradict Eutyches. Hence it is clearly manifest that the trans-
mutation which takes place in the Sacrament, is not one of substance. I
quote also the following words of Augustine : " This is what we assert, and
what we claim in every manner to prove, namely that the Sacrafice of the
Eucharist consists of two things, the visible species of the elements, and the
invisible flesh and blood of Christ (the Sacrament and the inward part of the
Sacrament) ; just as the person of Christ consists and is composed of God
and Man, since Christ Himself is very God and very Man. Because every-
thing contains in itself the nature and verity of those things of which it is com-
posed. Moreover the Sacrament of the Church is composed of two things, the
Sacrament and the inward part of the Sacrament, that is, the body of Christ."

[He classes as a novel and recent dogma the Adoration of the Sacrament
of the Eucharist, that is, the Adoration of the Lord Christ, wonderfully but
truly present in the Sacrament.] [Bell. Apol. pro Resp. p. 107. Op. toin-
vii. col. 764 D.]

In the phrase " Adoration of the Sacrament " he disgracefully stumbles



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upon the very threshold, "of the Sacrament, he says, that is, of the Lord Christ
wonderfully but truly present in the Sacrament." But away with it ! Who
would grant him this ? " Of the Sacrament, that is, of Christ in the Sacra-
ment?" \t. e. that the Sacrament and Christ in the Sacrament are the same.]
" Nay, rather Christ Himself, the inward part of the Sacrament [res Sacra-
menti.] in and with the Sacrament, [Sacramentum] apart from and without
the Sacrament, wherever He is, is to be adored. Now the King maintained
that Christ truly present in the Eucharist, was also truly to be adored ; that is
to say, the inward part of the Sacrament ; but not the Sacrament, that is to say,
the earthly part, according to Irenaeus ; the visible part, according to Au-
gustine."

[S. Ambrose says .... " We adore the flesh of Christ in the myste-
ries" . . . S. Gregory, Nazian. . . . commending the piety of Gorgoria, thus
writes ..." Beseeching Him who is worshipped upon the altar". . . Now
what that which is worshipped upon the altar, S. Optatus of Mileum shows,
who in his third book against Parmenianus calls the altar the resting place
of the Body and Blood of Christ. Augustine says . . . No one eats unless
he has first adored." [Bell. "Apol. pro Resp. pp 107 and 108, Op. torn. vii.
col. 765. A. B.]

But we indeed also, with Ambrose, adore the flesh of Christ in the
mysteries, and not, "that" but "Him" who is worshipped upon the altar.
For the Cardinal improperly asks "What is worshipped there" when he should
have asked " Who" since he of Nazianzum says " Him" not " that." And
neither do we, with Augustine, eat the flesh without first adoring. And yet
we by ao means adore the Sacrament. [Sacramentum.]

I give next the following quotations from Herbert Thorn -
dike's "Laws of the Church." Born in 1598, he was 28 years
of age when Bishop Andrewes died. As a student at Cambridge
University he belonged to the Diocese of Ely, while Bishop
Andrewes was its Bishop, and it was in the first year of his stu-
dentship there, that Bishop Andrewes attended King James in a
visit to the great University. It was during the great Rebellion
that he was chosen for his knowledge ofSyriac, to assist in one of
the noblest enterprises of English theological scholarship, the
publication of Walton's Polyglot. It was during the same period
that he wrote the remarkable book from which the following ex-
tract is taken. But I need say no more about him, than that
Bishop Bull calls him the" Blessed :"

" But I suppose, further, that the Body and Blood of Christ is not adored,
nor to be adored by Christians, neither for Itself, nor for any endowment resid-
ing in It, which It may have received by being personally united with the
Godhead of Christ ; but only in consideration of the said Godhead, to which It



25-

remains inseparably united, wheresoever It becomes. For by that means, who-
soever proposeth not to himself the consideration of the Body and Blood of
Christ, as It is of Itself and in Itself a mere creature (which he, that doth not
on purpose, cannot do) cannot but consider It, as he believes It to be, being a
Christian ; and considering It as It is, honour It as It is inseparably united to
the Godhead, in which and by which It subsisteth ; in which, therefore, that
honour resteth, and to which it tendeth. So the Godhead of Christ is a thing
that is honoured, and the reason why it is honoured, both : the Body and
Blood of Christ, though It be necessarily honoured, because necessarily united
to that which is honoured ; yet is It only the thing that is honoured and not the
reason why It is honoured, speaking of the honour proper to God alone."
[Vol. iv. p. 754. Angl. Cath. Lib.]

" And is not the presence thereof in the Sacrament of the Eucharist a just
occasion, presently to express by the bodily act of adoration that inward honour
which we always carry towards our Lord Christ as God ?" [P. 754.] ....

"Here then you see I am utterly disobliged to dispute, whether or no in
the ancient Church Christians were exhorted and encouraged to, and really
did, worship our Lord Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. For having
concluded my intent, that it had not been idolatry had it been done, I might
leave the consequence of it to debate. But not to balk the freedom which hath
carried me to publish all this, I do believe that it was so practised and done in
the ancient Church, which I maintain from the beginning to have been the
true Church of Christ, obliging all to conf orm to it in all things within the
power of it. I know the consequence to be this, that there is no good cause
why it should not be done at present, but that cause which justifies the reform-
ing of some part of the Church without the whole ; which, if it were taken
away, that it might be done again, and ought not to be of itself alone any
cause of distance."

" For I do acknowledge the testimonies that are produced out of S.
Ambrose, Z)*' Spiritu Sancto,i\\. 12; S.Augustine, in Psalm, xcviii., and
Epist. cxx. cap. xxvii.; S. Chrysostom, ffomil, xxiv, in I ad Corinth ;
Theodoret, Dial, ii.; S. Gregory Nazianzen, Oral, in S. Gorgoniam ; S. Jer-
ome, Epist, ad Theophilum Episc. Alexandriae ; Origen, In diversa loca
Evang,, Horn, v., where he teacheth lo say at the receiving the Sacrament,
' Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof,' which to say
is to do that which I conclude. Nor do I need more to conclude it."

"And what reason can I have not to conclude it ? Have I supposed the
elements, which are God's creatures, in which the sacrament is celebrated, to
be abolished ; or anything else, concerning the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
or the presence thereof in the Eucharist, in giving a reason why the Church
may do it, which the Church did not believe ? If I have, I disclaim it as soon
as it may appear to me for such. Nay, I do expressly warn all opinions,
that they imagine not to themselves the Eucharist so mere and simple a sign
of the thing signified, that the celebration thereof should not be a competent



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occasion/or the executing of that worship, which is a/ways due to our Lord
Christ incarnate.

"I confess it is not necessarily the same thing to worship Christ in the
Sacrament of the Eucharist, as to worship the Sacrament of the Eucharist, yet
in that sense which reason of itself justifieth, it is. For the Sacrament of the
Eucharist, by reason of the nature thereof, is neither the visible kind, nor
the invisible grace, of Christ's Body and Blood, but the union of both by virtue
of the premises ; in regard whereof the one going along with the other, what-
soever be the distance of their nature, both concur to that, which we call the
Sacrament of the Eucharist, by the work of God, to which He is morally en-
gaged by the promise which the institution thereof contained!. If this be
rightly understood, to worship the Sacrament of the Eucharist is to worship
Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist." (pp. 755-757. vo1 - iv An g!-
Cath. Lib.)

My next quotation is taken from the "Considerationes Mod-
estae" of Bishop William Forbes of Edinburgh, who died in 1634.
This work was transcribed by the great Bishop Cosin :

" As regards the adoration of this Sacrament, since " he who worthily
receives the sacred symbols, truly and really receives into himself the Body
and Blood of Christ, corporeally, yet in a certain spiritual, miraculous, and
imperceptible manner, everyone who worthily communicates can and ought to
adore the Body of Christ which he receives ; not because it is hid corporeally
in the bread, or under the bread, or under the species and accidents of bread :
but because, when the sacramental bread is worthily received, then along with
the bread, the real Body of Christ, which is really present in that communion ,
is also received," as the Archbishop of Spalatro says. "We adore the Flesh of
Christ in the mysteries;' says S. Ambrose; S. Gregory Nazianzen, "Calling
upon Him who is worshipped upon the altar," S. Augustine "No one eateth
that Flesh (viz.; that of Christ,) till he have first adored." See S. Chrysostom
in several parts of his writings. The rest of the ancients agree.

" Enormous is the error of the more rigid Protestants who deny that
Christ is to be adored in the Eucharist, save with an internal and mental
adoration, but not with any outward rite of worship, as by kneeling, or some
other similar position of the body. They with few exceptions hold wrong
views concerning the presence of Christ the Lord in the Sacrament, who is
present in a wonderful but true manner." [Lib. of Ang. Cath. Theol., vol ii,

P- 545 ]

"As regards the first assertion of Bellarmine about venerating the sym-
bols with a kind of lesser reverence, we admit it ; but what he says of the
adoration of latria, that though per se and properly it be due and exhibited to
Christ, yet it belongs also to the symbols, in so far as they are apprehended as
one, in a certain respect with Christ Himself Whom they contain, and to
Whom they are a covering and concealment, like garments ; is false and re-



-27-

pugnant to the opinion of very many others. For these species do not belong
to the person of Christ nor do they make one with It. Whence he himself
a little while after doubtingly says : "Whatever there may be said of the ex-
pressions used, the state of the question simply is. whether Christ in the Eu-
charist is to be adored with the worship of latria." But this the more sound
Protestants do not doubt ; "for in the reception of the Eucharist," to use the
words of the Archbishop of Spalatro, "Christ is to be adored with true latria,
since His living and glorious Body is present to the worthy receiver by a cer-
tain inexplicable miracle ; and this adoration is due and is paid, not to the
bread, not to the wine, not to the participation, not to the eating, not to the
sign, but immediately to Christ's Body itself, .exhibited through the partaking
of the Eucharist." [page 551.]

I give these extracts, Mr. President, not as though they were
all which could be given, but as sufficient to show that the doc-
trine of Eucharistical adoration has been allowed in the Church
of England. Is any one here prepared to say that such men as
Andrewes, Bishop Forbes of Edinburgh, and Thorndike, whose
lives covered almost the whole period from the Reformation to
the fatal day, when the accession of William and Mary, drove out
the piety and holiness of Sancroft and Ken ; that in our own time
the saintly Bishop Hamilton of Salisbury, and John Keble, the
author of the Christian Year, who are at rest with God ; and the
Bishop of Brechin, Dr. Pusey, and Canon Liddon, who still fight
the good fight, are disloyal to the Church of their Baptism.

But surely all this is scarcely necessary, at least so far as my
six accusers are concerned, when I am able to quote in my be-
half even Dr. Adams himself. Immediately after my last speech
in the General Convention of 1871, Dr. Adams said: [p. 513 of
Debates.]

" Now I wish to say that upon this matter of the Holy Eucharist, the
question is the most dubious and the most debated matter in Europe for a
thousand years. The doctrine which Dr. De Koven holds, I believe, is the
same as that of Dr. Pusey. It is identical, more or less, with the old doctrine
of consubstantiation. I do not wish the clergy and laity in this House to get
scared and talk about a difficult question, and get into an excitement and im-
agine that Dr. De Koven is coming here and speaking heresy. Dr. De
Koven

The President : You will please speak of your colleague as your colleague,
and not mention his name.

Dr. Adams : I beg pardon. My colleague is not a heretic in any shape
or form. He holds a doctrine which is tolerated in the Church, as every
other doctrine, except Zwinglianism, is" etc.



28

It must be noted that Dr. Adams does not venture to accuse
me of holding Consutfstantiation. He says it is identical, "more
or less," with that doctrine. He, however, asserts that it is a
doctrine to be tolerated.

I quote the testimony of Dr. Adams knowing that it was an
unwilling testimony. He follows up this admission by charging
me with being "a. shrewd and able party leader." (Page 513 of
Debates.) He knew well that whatever force there was in my
argument before the Convention, was due to its sincerity* If the
confidence of the Church could be shaken in this, all else would
be of no avail.' This too has been the motive of the attacks of
the Church Journal, viz., the endeavour to show what cannot be
proved by any action of my life, that I am not one contending
for great truths, but the leader of a party. I quote the words,
however, because, though like Balaam Dr. Adams intended to
harm, like Balaam he was constrained to bless.

Let me add for myself, that I believe our Church tolerates cer-
tain views of the Eucharist, which may fall short of the doctrine
of the Real objective Presence, and which are not Zwinglian. I do
not say this, however, in the interests of Latitudinarianism. As
Sir Robert Phillimore expresses it in his "Judgement :" "The ob-
jective, actual and Real Presence, or the spiritual Real Presence,
a Presence external to the act of the communicant, appears to
me to be the doctrine which the Formularies of our Church,
duly considered and construed so as to be harmonious, intended
to maintain." But while she distinctly asserts this, and main-
tains it against Transubstantiation on the one side, and Zwin-
glianism on the other, and is thus at one with the Catholic
Church, for twelve hundred years; with that broad hearted
spirit, which distinguishes her from a sect, she tolerates some
feebler views. She does so, however, because so far as they go
they are true imperfect views, it may be, but still the truth of
God.

E, g. The Holy Eucharist is a commemoration, but not a
mere commemoration.

The Holy Eucharist is made what it is by the Presence of
God's Holy Spirit ; and brings in it His Blessed grace, but it
has in it also a specific gift.



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The Holy Eucharist has in it virtually the Body and Blood
of Christ, because it has them really.

The faithful recipient is indeed a partaker of Christ. "Christ
dwells in him, and he in Christ," because Christ is present be-
fore reception to give Himself.

One thing more I must say in the interests of the Church at
large. There seems to be a notion prevailing that such a doc-
trine as that of Eucharistical adoration may be tolerated in a Pres-
byter, but is somehow a proper reason for refusing to such a per-
son preferment or office, for which in other respects he may
be fitted.

But such an idea will not bear a moments examination. Has our
Church one set of doctrines she allows to Deacons, another to Pres-
byters, and another to Bishops ? May one like myself, who has
had a thousand or more of boys and young men under his charge,
some thirty of whom are now either in the Holy ministry or pre-
paring for it, and nearly four hundred of whom have been pre-
pared by him for confirmation and first communion, be allowed
to maintain doctrines some one else may not ? If it be so, will
some one of these, my accusers, tell us just what the doctrine of
the Eucharist is, which will fit a man for preferment ? Let us
know what Shibboleth the ambitious mouth must pronounce.
Nay, I will venture to make to them a profitable suggestion.
There are varying views and tolerated opinions on other subjects
besides the Eucharist. Let them compile a Treatise. Let them
teach those who wish to learn, the exact doctrinal steps which
lead safely on. To be sure from time to time revised editions
will need to be published, as the theological barometer goes up
or down. The same rule would scarce admit Bishop Hobart
and Bishop Meade : Bishop Alonzo Potter and Bishop De Lan-
cey ; Bishop Mcllvaine and Bishop Doane of New Jersey.
Nay, for a book so important, I am tempted even to give sug-
gestions for the binding. Bind it not, O, my friends, in russia,
lest it seem to be too friendly to the Greek Church. As it is to
be a book for the use of shepherds, beware of the sad suggestion
of sheep skin. Let it be sent forth in boards; then will it be pur-
chased by that party which our Fathers knew not, which is
neither high, nor low, nor broad, but pre-eminently what may be



-30-

called hard Church. And when the work is done, if it be ac-
cepted, Mr. President, farewell to the brave old days and the
brave old men, out of whose differences often came the higher
truth ; farewell to high-toned earnestness and straight forward
independence, and to the grand heritage of toleration of our
Mother Church.

Now, Mr. President, I have, as fully as the circumstances
admit of, stated the doctrine of the Eucharist which I hold.
So far as this document has not misrepresented it, 1 have no fault
to find. I come now to its



as found in the following paragraph.

" Still it may be argued, on behalf of Dr. DeKoven and the ritualists,
that this is merely a speculative opinion, especially as the Dr. explicitly dis-
avows a belief in Transubstantiation. But unfortunately the practical results
of this belief, are identical with the practical results of Transubstantiation,
and the difference is merely speculative and nugatory as between his belief
and that of the church of Rome. For the acts of adoration addressed to the
Presence in the Elements on the Altar, are precisely those addressed by the
members of the Church of Rome to the Host, and none other. This locali-
zation of the Presence, implies an arrangement of the service, with lights, vest-
ments, prostrations, non-communicant adorations, a reserved Sacrament, pro-
cessions of Corpus Christi, and all other incidents with which the attendants on
Roman Catholic worship are familiar, and which are foreign to our own "use."
It implies an offering of Christ by the Priest for the living and the dead it
implies in every respect, what the ritualists call it, the Mass, and not the
Holy Communion." [Principles, not Men.]

At first sight, my brethren, you will scarcely understand the
full force of this paragraph. Let me review my argument :

1. I have shown that the great divines of the Church of
England, in exact accordance with the Prayer Book, teach the
doctrine of the real objective Presence.

2. That it is a logical and devotional result of that doctrine
that Christ our Lord, present in Sacramental union with the Holy
Elements, is to be adored.

3. That the Church, however, has never commanded Euchar-
istical adoration in any specific doctrinal formula, or by any
other ritual expression than the command to kneel when her
children receive.



31

4. Believing, in Eucharistical adoration, it is therefore neces-
sary, and my duty to teach it, in the same measure and to the
same degree as the Church has permitted it to be taught.

But there are two methods of teaching, one by word of
mouth, another by ritual. I suppose many of the objections
against believing and teaching Eucharistical adoration, which have
been of late in the mouths of men, have been intended against
the latter. No one could forbid a man to believe or to teach that
Christ in the Eucharist is to be adored with afls of mental adoration.
To show this clearly, one has only to state the fact that the Judicial


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Online LibraryJames DeKovenA theological defence for the Rev. James De Koven to the Council held at Milwaukee, February 11th and 12th, 1874 → online text (page 3 of 8)