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but what remembrance ? Why, the most public solemn ecclesiastical recognition before God of sin being (i.e., in Jewish times) not yet fully put away, in the yearly repetition of the sacrifices of bulls and goats on the great day of atonement.
It is used in the Septuagint, in the sacred text, but twice, in both cases with express reference to a memorial before God. I omit two instances in which it is used in the headings of PsalmsPs. xxxviii. (xxxvii.) and lxx. (lxix.),—but in both with especial reference to remembering and pleading before God.
One of the cases in point the reader will find in Numbers x, 10: “ Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shali blow with the trumpets over your burnt-offerings, and over the sacrifice of your peace-offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God” (avduvnous έναντι του Θεού υμών).
The other case is so exceedingly remarkable that I cannot but believe that the word åváuvnois is used even on this most sacred occasion of the Institution of the Eucharist with some sort of reference to it. It is Levit. xxiv. 7. The Septuagint translation runs“ And ye shall put upon the row pure frankincense and salt, and they shall be for loaves for a memorial (åvduvnois) set before the Lord. On the day of the Sabbath it shall be set before (ěvavti) the Lord in the face of the children of Israel, for an everlasting coranant."
Surely if this showbread, when set forth by Aaron, is a memorial “ before God,” what must be that bread which is set forth by the One High Priest of Humanity, the Eternal Priest after the order of Melchisedec set forth after having been blessed by Him, identified by Him in some heavenly and spiritual, and therefore most true and real way, with His Body given and His Blood shed, as the blood of the New Covenant? Can such bread, rather can such a rite of setting forth, be less "a thing before God” than the shewbread? And surely the fact that our bread is to be partaken of by all the priests of God and Christ, cleric and lay alike, cannot make it less an ανάμνησις έναντι του Θεού ημών ?
I have never seen the true Sacrificial view moro happily expressed than in the following words of one who is not supposed to hold high Eucharistic Doctrine:
“When the Son, in obedience to the Father's will, had offered Himself in human flesh through suffering and death to His Father, Hothing was wanted to open the way completely for bumanity to the heart of God. The Father was perfectly well pleased in the Son, Who was the Head of our sinful race. The Son took upon Himself the sins of His brethren, and in His Person human sin was brought into contact with the Divine forgiveness, and was swallowed up by it. We remember in our Sacrament the offering which was thus perfect and precious; we re-enact in a manner that Sacrifice; we present it by the lifting up of our minds and spirits, as the demonstration of His own love, and as the response of the Son's lovo to our Father in heaven. The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ was instituted and made perpetual, in order that the Redeeming Death of Christ might be thus set continually iu reconciling power between God and our sinful souls.”-Rev. J. LL. DAVIES' “Sermons on ‘Morality according to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.' (Serm. ii. p. 43.)
And lastly, to sum up in the words of Mede, the most antiRomanist of expositors :
“This commemoration is to be made to God His Father, and is not a bare remembering or putting ourselves in mind only, but a putting of God in mind. ..... By this sacred rite of bread and wine we present and inculcate His blessed Passion to His Father ; we put Him in mind thereof, by setting the monuments thereof before Him; we testify our own mindfulness thereof unto His sacred majesty ; that so He would, for His sake, according to the tenour of His covenant, in Him be favourable and propitious to us miserable sinners."
THE CHRISTIAN PRIESTHOOD.
THE SCRIPTURE DOCTRINE OF THE MINISTRY.
We have considered somewhat at length in two former chapters (that on Baptism and on the Eucharist) how God has been pleased to offer to us certain great benefits in tho faithful use of two Sacraments, each having an outward sign, in the right reception of which we hope to receive the inward grace. We have now to advance a step further, and consider a question closely connected with this.
If God leads us to expect certain great benefits in the right reception of such things as Baptism and the Lord's Supper, then He makes us partakers of these benefits, not directly from Himself, but indirectly through the instrumentality of others, for we receive the outward visible signs of these Sacraments through the hands of our fellowmen, who administer these things in the Church. It is quite clear also that if we receive these Sacraments from God through the hands of others, we must receive them in virtue of some official power of administering them which the persons in question have received. I mean that neither the talents nor the spirituality of the person administering add to, or take away from, any benefit which the true Christian receives in the two Sacraments.
All sects who profess to administer the Sacraments, and to believe that any benefit whatsoever is attached to their
faithful reception, must hold that this official power yet exists in some shape or other.
But in addition to this, the Catholic Church has ever held that her ministers have power from God to dispense officially certain other benefits to the faithful—in somo cases, by word of mouth, as in Absolution or Benediction; in other cases, by laying on of hands, as in Confirmation and Ordination.
As an integral part of the Catholic Church, the Church of England claims these powers for her ministers. According to our Ordinal, the ministers of the second order are set apart to their office by the imposition of hands, the Bishop being then directed to say: "Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a priest in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposition of our hands. Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained.”
Here, then, an official or ministerial power of remitting and retaining sins is claimed to be both given and received.
The nature and limitations of this power we shall afterwards consider. It is clear that in some sense a power of forgiving and retaining sins is given, if words, and very simple words too, have any meaning.
In accordance with this we are furnished with certain forms of words, in the use of which the person ordained is to exercise this power. One is the Absolution in daily servico, to be said by the priest alone-that is, by a person who has had authority committed to him by the laying on of hands, accompanied with the words which I have quoted.
Another is the Absolution in the “ Visitation of the Sick,” which runs thus : “Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to His Church to absolve all sinners who
truly repent and believe in Him, of His great mercy forgive thee thine offences : and by His authority committed unto me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
In addition, then, to the functions which her ministers discharge as teachers or preachers, the beneficial effect of which, under God, depends on their own hearts and intellects, the Church claims for her ministers the exercise of certain other functions, which they exercise more officially, as it were, but in the exercise of which functions they are supposed to convey certain great benefits pertaining to the Kingdom of God, to those who are in a fitting state to receive them.
Before investigating the Scripture grounds which we have for all this, it may be well to state at the outset that the whole matter is a question of things, and not of words.
It is perfectly immaterial to the matter in dispute, whether the word "priest” in the Prayer-book be the translation of a word which implies real sacerdotal functions, or whether it be the word “presbyter," in a contracted form.
Supposing that it is the latter, then our Church claims for every "presbyter” ordained according to her ordinal at least one sacerdotal function which no priest of the order of Aaron ever exercised, for to no priest of the order of Aaron were any such words said at his consecration as“Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of thy ministry. Whose soever sins thou dost remit, they are remitted.”
It is, in reality, immaterial to the great principle involved whether our word “priest” be a translation of the Hebrew Cohen, or of the Greek iep or of the Latin Sacerdos; or whether the Greek word iepeùs is ever