Abbildungen der Seite

of that resolute papal partizan, and his successor now determined to celebrate in his honour a solemn jubilee, the first of those sanctimonious fairs, which so much enriched Canterbury, and degraded England. Upon this occasion, the young King, Henry III. and an immense concourse of people from every rank in society, were attracted to the scene of Archbishop Langton's holiday shew. For this, arrangements were made upon the most lavish scale of expense ; travellers found entertainment provided for their horses all along the road from London to Canterbury; and on the days devoted to the gorgeous translation, fountains running wine attested the Primate's anxiety to honour his martyred predecessor's memory“. After an interval of two years from this testimony to the excellence of Becket's cause, Langton proceeded farther to gratify the Roman see by promulging a canon in unison with that doctrine of the Eucharist which Pope Innocent had sanctioned at the Lateran seven years before. At a provincial council holden in Oxford, in 1222, it was enacted, that the Eucharist should be reserved in a pyx of silver, ivory, or other handsome materials; that when the clergy should carry it to sick persons, they should invite all who might hear or see them to treat it with reverence; and should pronounce with particular attention, when celebrating mass, those words of the canon which are thought to indicate a substantial change in the elements k. These cautious approaches towards the complete establishment of transubstantiation, with its consequences, in the Church of England, were followed

* July 7.

Parker, 242. i “Et audientes et videntes invitent ad habendum tanto Sacramento reverentiam.” Constitut. Steph. Cantuar. Archiep. ad calcem constitut. Othon. et Othobon, Paris, 1504. f. 125.

up with spirit after the lapse of more than half a century. John Peckham, a Franciscan friar, born at Lewes in Sussex, after studying with great reputation at Oxford and Paris, fixed himself at Rome, and was appointed to hear causes in the papal palace there. From this judicial employment, he was intruded by the Pope, in defiance of an election regularly made in favour of another', into the see of Canterbury. In 1281, Archbishop Peckham held a provincial council at Lambeth, in which he lamented, that as regards the Eucharist, the English clergy were highly reprehensible". He probably found that, upon this subject, the parochial priests of his native land had not yet attained to the Italian standard of orthodoxy. He, therefore, obtained the passing of a canon, by which it was enjoined, that, on the elevation of the consecrated elements, one of the bells in the steeple should be rung, in order to invite by its sound persons at home, or in the fields to bend their knees, and thereby obtain those indulgences which many bishops had granted to such worshippers ". Lest, however, even the promise of these indulgences should fail of inducing some persons to acquiesce in the propriety of such practices, the clergy were, by the same canon, ordered to teach their congregations carefully, that, in receiving the consecrated bread, they received Christ's body and blood, nay, Himself entire, living, and in truth'. Those who believe that transubstantiation had ever been the doctrine of British Christians will, probably, wonder, that near the close of the thirteenth century, it should have been deemed necessary to press upon the clergy the careful teaching of that tenet". From another clause in Archbishop Peckham's canon, it appears that the sacrilegious abuse of half-communion had already made its way into the smaller churches. For the clergy are directed to teach their congregations, that the wine given to them at the communion, is not the Lord's blood, but merely an unconsecrated liquor distributed for the purpose of enabling them to swallow the bread with greater ease. But notwithstanding the authority and endeavours of the Roman Bishops and their creatures, it was long before men generally were persuaded to believe in transubstantiation. In the middle of the fourteenth century, few persons of superior intelligence entertained that opinion'. Its advocates, indeed, could devise no mode of defending it effectually, but by resting it on the authority of the papal see, then infamous throughout Europe for extortion, venality, and every species of political delinquency'. By that see the tenet continued to be supported with the most intrepid consistency, and towards the close of the fourteenth century Gregory XI. decided, that should the consecrated bread find its way into the stomach of a mouse, or into the receptacle of human excrement, thither would descend the Saviour's body! But such nauseous absurdities, however defended by subtle

F"Item, verba canonis, præsertim in his quæ ad Sacramenti substantiam pertinent, plene et integre, et cum summa animi devotione proferant.” Ibid.

Robert Burnel, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Lord Chancellor.

* “ Multos igitur esse numero et paucos merito Domini sacerdotes quotidianis scandalis experimur.” Constitut. Peckham. ut supra. 126.


* " In elevatione vero illius corporis Christi pulsentur campanæ in uno latere : ut populares quibus celebrationi missarum non vacat quotidie interesse, ubicunque fuerint, seu in agris, seu in domibus, flectant genua : indulgentias concessas a plaribus episcopis habituri.” (Ibid.) of the elevation, Lindwood says, “Quæ fit ut populus illud adoret." Provincial. Antwerp. 1525. f. 167.

“ Attendant insuper sacerdotes quod cum communionem sacram porrigunt simplicibus Paschali tempore vel alio, solicite cos instruant sub panis specie eis simul dari corpus et sanguinem Domini : immo Christum integrum, vivum, et rerum, qui totus est sub specie Sacramenti.” Constitut. Peckham. ut supra.

• Peter Quivil, Bishop of Exeter, also found himself, about this time, called upon to admonish his clergy upon the subject of teaching transubstantiation. In a diocesan synod, holden at Exeter in 1287, “ the fourth article or canon, speaking of the adoration of the host, endeavours to satisfy the consciences of the laity, who sometimes were aid that they might go too far in their worship, as not being thoroughly satisfied in the doctrine of transubstantiation. To remove this objection, the priests are enjoined to instruct the people before they give them the Eucharist, that they receive under the species of bread that which kung upon the cross for their salvation : and in the cup, they receive that which was shed from the body of our Saviour. From hence it appears, that the laity received the communion in both kinds in the diocese of Exeter, notwithstanding the late provincial constitutions of Lambeth, to the contrary; and that the denying the cup to the people was so great an innovation, that the Bishop of Exeter did not think himself bound to be concluded in that point by the order of his Metropolitan; or the Lambeth synod.” Collier, I. 489,

9 " Doceant etiam eosdem illud quod ipsis eisdem temporibus propinatur, Sacramentum non esse, sed vinum purum eis hauriendum, ut facilius Sacramentum glutiant quod ceperunt. Solis enim celebrantibus sanguinem sub specie vini consccrati sumere in hujusmodi minoribus ecclesiis est concessum.” (Constitut. Peckham. ut supra.) “Hic vocat minores ecclesias, sive capellas rurales, vel etiam in urbe quæ sunt parochiales ; et dicuntur minores respectu ecclesiarum cathedralium, quæ sunt majores ecclesiæ." (Lindwood, 7.) “ This innovation of half-communion bad not yet prerailed in cathedral and conventual churches ; nor in all likelihood in the Universities. For this new doctrine was to be inculeated simplicibus, to the more illiterate sort of people: their ignorance being most likely to make them acquiesce under so unprimitive, and uncatholic a practice. This, to say no more of it, was so notorious a departure from general custom and tradition, that they did not think it safe to venture upon a counter-practice all at once. They left the more knowing people to the benefit of both kinds. And where they were so hardy as to do otherwise, they continued the appearance of the ancient usage, and gave the people the wine, though they retrenched the consecration." Collier, I. 481.

“ Paucis hujus sæculi hominibus persuasum fuerit, (quod de sua ætate scribit Robertus Holkot, qui inter nostrates sub medium sæculi XIV. vixit,) corpus Christi esse realiter (aut transubstantialiter) in sacramento altaris.” Cosin, 159.

• Scot. “Communis opinio tenenda est, non propter aliquam rationem, sed propter determinationem pontificis Romani.” Bacon. Oportet declarationem fidei tenere, quam Romanus pontifex tenendam declarat." Ibid. 160.

' Ibid.

« ZurückWeiter »