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At the time when continental theologians were first actively engaged in search of documents to
wrote under Charles the Great, A.D. 810, or the Gross, A.D. 886, and was confuted by Paschasius Radbertus. And Sixtus Senensis forgets that he hath accused Ecolampadius for rejecting St. Ambrose his books of the Sacrament, which are cited by Bertram in this work. It is withal pleasant to observe that Bi. shop Fisher, against Ecolampadius, names Bertram, among other Catholic writers of the Sacrament, five years before the first edition of it in 1532.” (Introd. to the book of Bertram, 34.) Durant, like Possevino and Sixtus of Sienna, a writer of the 16th century, after detailing some frivolous objections, says rather cautiously " Probabile est Bertramum libellum nunquam scripsisse, cum illius ætatis auctores ejus non meminerint, nec aliquis extet qui adversus Bertramum scripserit.” (De Rit. Cath. Eccl. 474.) The Roman Church, however, did not venture to tread in the steps of some among her divines. She pretended not to dispute the genuineness of Ratramn's piece : she only, by means of the inquisition at Rome, and of the council of Trent, forbad the reading of it. (Abp. Usher's Answer to a Jesuit's Challenge. Lond. 1631. p. 19.) The Spanish censors went to work in a manner still more effectual. They ordered “ Deleatur tota epistola Udalrici; Epistola Augustani de cælibatu cleri; item totus liber Bertrami presbyteri de corpore et sanguine Domini penitus auferatur.” (Usser. de Success. 25.) “ The King of Spain gave a commission to the inquisitors to purge all Catholic authors; but with this clause; that they should keep the expur. gatory index privately, neither imparting that index, nor giving a copy of it to any. But it happened by the Divine Providence so ordering it, that about thirteen years after, a copy of it was gotten and published by Johannes Pappus, and Franciscus Junius, and since it came abroad against their wills, they find it necessary now to own it. Now by these expurgatory tables what they have done is known to all learned men. In St. Chrysostom's works printed at Basil, these words, the Church is not built upon the man but upon the faith, are commanded to be blotted out ; and these There is no merit but what is given us by Christ. And
prove the novelty of transubstantiation, it was not known that English libraries contained the
yet these words are in his sermon upon Pentecost, and the former words are in his first homily upon that of St. John, Ye are my friends, &c. The like have they done to him in many other places, and to St. Ambrose, and to St. Austin, and to them all, insomuch that Ludovicus Saurius, the corrector of the press at Lyons, shewed and complained of it to Junius, that he was forced to cancellate or blot out many sayings of St. Ambrose, in that edition of his works which was printed at Lyons in 1559.–Nay, they correct the very tables or indices made by the printers or correctors; insomuch that out of one of Froben's indices they have commanded these words to be blotted out: The use of images forbidden: The Eucharist no sacrifice, but the memory of a sacrifice: Works, although they do not justify, yet are necessary to salvation : Marriage is granted to all that will not contain: Venial sins damn: The dead saints, after this life, cannot help us: nay, out of the index of St. Austin's words by Claudius Chevallonius at Paris, 1531, there is a very strange deleatur : Dele: Solus Deus adorandus : that God alone is to be worshipped, is commanded to be blotted out, as being a dangerous doctrine. These instances may serve instead of multitudes which might be brought of their corrupting the witnesses, and razing the records of antiquity, that the errors and novelties of the Church of Rome might not be so easily reproved.” (Bp. Jer, Taylor's Dissuasive from Popery. Polem. Works. 289.) “ Passages refuting transubstantiation, extant in older editions, are cut out in modern ones." (Abp. Usher's Answer to a Jesuit's Challenge, 13.) “ Rabanus Maurus says in his penitental published at Ingoldstadt in 1616, in a tome of ancient writers that never saw the light before, · For some of late, not holding rightly of the body and blood of our Lord, have said, that the very body and blood of our Lord, which was born of the Virgin Mary, and in which our Lord himself suffered on the cross, and rose again from the grave-Against which error, writing unto Abbot Egilus, according to our ability, we have declared what is truly to be believed concerning Christ's body.' In the margin it is said, that
means of establishing that point by decisive evidence. Such, however, proved ultimately to be the fact. Among the men of learning who flourished during the Anglo-Saxon rule, Elfric the Grammarian stands eminently conspicuous. This
there is a blank in the MS. copy, and we do easily believe him, for Possevine, the Jesuit, hath given us to understand that MS. books are to be purged, as well as printed.” (Ibid. 17.) With respect to Ratramn's book, it was however printed, and had become the theme of general conversation in England, and other countries, before the original MS. could be subjected to the inquisitorial pruning knife, therefore, " the divines of Douay, perceiving that the forbidding of the book did not keep men from reading it, but gave them rather occasion to seek more earnestly after it, thought it better policy, that Bertram should be permitted to go abroad, but handled in such sort, as other ancient writers that made against them were wont to be. “Seeing therefore,' say they, that we bear with many errors in other old Catholic writers, and extenuate them, excuse them, by inventing some device (excogitato commento: en Papistarum fidem! de Success. 25.) often deny them, and feign (affingamus) some commodious sense for them when they are objected in disputations or conflicts with our adversaries ; we do not see why Bertram may not deserve the same equity and diligent revisal. Lest the heretics
burn and forbid such antiquity as maketh for them. Accordingly when Bertram says that the body of Christ is incorruptible, the Eucharistic elements corruptible,' the Douay divines say, 'It were not amiss, therefore, nor unadvisedly done, that all these things should be left out.'” (Usher. Answ. to a Jesuit, 19, 20, de Success. 25.) It is often a matter of astonishment with Protestants, that any serious men of sound sense, and good information can continue in the profession of Popery, but when it is known that such pains have been taken to prevent even learned Romanists from finding in libraries complete information
their own religion, this circumstance may be accounted for easily enough.
cry out that
illustrious scholar appears to have been born about the middle of the tenth century', and to have presided towards the end of that period over the abbey of Cerne, in Dorsetshire'. In this retirement, he translated from the Latin into Saxon eighty discourses, entitled Catholic sermons, and adapted for popular instruction. From one of these, intended for Easter-day, are to be collected the clearest proofs that transubstantiation was not the doctrine of the Anglo-Saxon Church. Elfric, it should be recollected, was no obscure divine. He was one of the most respected scholars in his day, and his eminent qualities conducted him at length to the episcopate. It has been commonly believed that Canterbury was the see which he filled. That opinion, however, seems to be untenable; there were two Elfrics ', archbishops within a short distance of each other, and the one to whom the Romish claimants of King Alfred are so little obliged, was most probably the prelate who held the see of York between the years 1023, and 1051 4.
4 Wharton. Dissertatio de duobus Elfricis. Angl. Sacr. I. 130. 1 Ibid. 132.
“ By which soever of them the homilies &c. were written, the authority of them is beyond exception: that they were the doctrine of the then Church of England has never been contested, and is sufficiently proved by their public use and reception.” Collier, I. 204.
! The earlier Elfric succeeded to the see of Canterbury about the year 995, and died either in 1005, or in the following year. Angl. Sacr. I. 126.
• Ibid. 134. VOL. III.
Elfric's Paschal homily thus instructs the people. “ Some things are spoken of Christ literally, others figuratively. What is said of his birth, passion, death, and other matters which happened to him upon earth, is to be understood according to the plain import of the words. But when he is called bread, a lamb, or a lion, the language is emblematical, for he is no one of these things. He is termed bread, because he is the life of both men and angels; a lamb, on account of his perfect innocence; a lion, in reference to the power whereby he overcame Satan. Upon this principle, bread and wine, though continuing unchanged to human apprehension, become in truth by consecration the Saviour's body and blood to believing minds. Thus also, after baptism, a heathen child remains in outward appearance unaltered, but from within is washed away the stain which was contracted from Adam's transgression. So that a corruptible fluid is made a well-spring of life through the operation of God's Holy Spirit. In like manner the Eucharistic elements are naturally corruptible bread and corruptible wine, but God's might renders them spiritually, though not naturally, the body and blood of Christ. Great, however, is the difference between the body in which Jesus suffered, and that which is hallowed at the Communion. Our Lord's body in which he suffered was born of Mary, and had all the parts common to the human frame; his mystical body in the Eucharist, is made from grains of wheat, and has no part belonging to the human