Patristical And Exegetical Investigation Of The Question Respecting The Real Bodily Presence Of Christ In The Elements Of The Lord’s Supper -- By: M. Stuart

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 001:1 (Feb 1844)
Article: Patristical And Exegetical Investigation Of The Question Respecting The Real Bodily Presence Of Christ In The Elements Of The Lord’s Supper
Author: M. Stuart


Patristical And Exegetical Investigation Of The Question Respecting The Real Bodily Presence Of Christ In The Elements Of The Lord’s Supper

M. Stuart

Professor in the Theol. Seminary, Andover.

1. Introductory Remarks.

The readers of the Bibliotheca Sacra will probably remember, that in No. III. of that work, during the past year, I published an exegetical essay on 1 Cor. 11:17–34, —a passage which has special relation to the subject of the Lord’s Supper. In that essay I treated, in a very brief manner, of the subject named at the head of this article. I had, at that time, other objects in view besides a discussion of this topic; and, of course, the subject now before us could occupy only a subordinate place. Since the pubhcation of that article in the Bibliotheca, circumstances have occurred which seemed to me to render it desirable, that the topic in question

should receive a more ample and extended discussion. In the essay already published, no attempt was made to cast any light on the history of the eucharist. The limits there prescribed forbade any attempt, on my part, to show how the early Christian fathers thought and reasoned with respect to the real presence of Christ in the sacramental elements. The history of transubstantiation and consubstantiation was also excluded for the same reason. The scriptural and exegetical examination of the subject was also of necessity quite compressed. No more could be done, in relation to these respective topics, than was done, without entirely changing the plan and design of the essay; and this I did not think to be expedient.

The times call loudly, at present, for more information and more discussion, in regard to the subject of the real presence of Christ in the eucharistic elements. No well-informed man among us can now be ignorant respecting the claims made by one class of even Protestant Christians, in our country and in England, in behalf of this doctrine. With great confidence they appeal to the ancient Fathers in support of it; and they are not reluctant to be considered as regarding those Fathers in the light of authorized expositors of the Scriptures. The subject has begun to assume a more definite and urgent shape, since the publication of Dr. Pusey’s sermon concerning it. And in view of such and the like facts, some of my friends, for whose opinions I entertain much regard, have expressed a desire that I would continue and expand my investigations respecting the real presence. I have deemed it to be my duty, on the whole, to comply with their desire, although I feel considerable reluctance in repeating, even in a small part, a subject tha...

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