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The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord
VII. The Holy Supper
1] Although, in the opinion of some, the exposition of this article perhaps should not be inserted into this document, in which we intend to explain the articles which have been drawn into controversy among the theologians of the Augsburg Confession (from which the Sacramentarians soon in the beginning, when the Confession was first composed and presented to the Emperor at Augsburg in 1530, entirely withdrew and separated, and presented their own Confession), still, since some theologians, and others who boast [their adherence to] the Augsburg Confession, have, alas! during the last years, given their assent in this article to the Sacramentarians no longer secretly, but partly publicly and against their own conscience have endeavored to wrest forcibly and to pervert the Augsburg Confession as being in this article in entire harmony with the doctrine of the Sacramentarians, we neither can nor should omit our testimony by our confession of the divine truth also in this document, and must repeat the true sense and proper understanding of the words of Christ and of the Augsburg Confession with reference to this article, and [for we recognize it to be our duty], so far as in us lies, by God's help, preserve it [this pure doctrine] also for posterity, and faithfully warn our hearers, together with other godly Christians, against this pernicious error, which is entirely contrary to the divine Word and the Augsburg Confession, and has been frequently condemned.
2] Although some Sacramentarians strive to employ words that come as close as possible to the Augsburg Confession and the form and mode of speech in its [our] churches, and confess that in the Holy Supper the body of Christ is truly received by believers, still, when we insist that they state their meaning properly, sincerely, and clearly, they all declare themselves unanimously thus: that the true essential body and blood of Christ is absent from the consecrated bread and wine in the Holy Supper as far as the highest heaven is from the earth. For thus their own words run: Abesse Christi corpus et sanguinem a signis tanto intervallo dicimus, quanto abest terra ab altissimis coelis. That is: "We say that the body and blood of Christ are as far from the signs as the earth is distant from the highest heaven." 3] Therefore they understand this presence of the body of Christ not as a presence here upon earth, but only respectu fidei (with respect to faith) [when they speak of the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper, they do not mean that they are present upon earth, except with respect to faith], that is, that our faith, reminded and excited by the visible signs, just as by the Word preached, elevates itself and ascends above all heavens, and receives and enjoys the body of Christ, which is there in heaven present, yea, Christ Himself, together with all His benefits, in a manner true and essential, but nevertheless spiritual only. For [they hold that] as the bread and wine are here upon earth and not in heaven, so the body of Christ is now in heaven and not upon earth, and consequently nothing else is received by the mouth in the Holy Supper than bread and wine.
4] Now, originally, they alleged that the Lord's Supper is only an external sign, by which Christians are known, and that nothing else is offered in it than mere bread and wine (which are bare signs [symbols] of the absent body of Christ). When this [figment] would not stand the test, they confessed that the Lord Christ is truly present in His Supper, namely per communicationem idiomatum (by the communication of attributes), that is, according to His divine nature alone, but not with His body and blood.
5] Afterwards, when they were forced by Christ's words to confess that the body of Christ is present in the Supper, they still understood and declared it in no other way than spiritually [only of a spiritual presence], that is, of partaking through faith of His power, efficacy, and benefits, because [they say] through the Spirit of Christ, who is everywhere, our bodies, in which the Spirit of Christ dwells here upon earth, are united with the body of Christ, which is in heaven.
6] The consequence was that many great men were deceived by these fine, plausible words, when they alleged and boasted that they were of no other opinion than that the Lord Christ is present in His [Holy] Supper truly, essentially, and as one alive; but they understand this according to His divine nature alone, and not of His body and blood, which, they say, are now in heaven, and nowhere else, and that He gives us with the bread and wine His true body and blood to eat, to partake of them spiritually through faith, but not bodily with the mouth.
7] For they understand the words of the Supper: Eat, this is My body, not properly, as they read, according to the letter, but figurate, as figurative expressions, so that eating the body of Christ means nothing else than believing, and body is equivalent to symbol, that is, a sign or figure of the body of Christ, which is not in the Supper on earth, but only in heaven. The word is they interpret sacramentaliter seu modo significativo (sacramentally, or in a significative manner), nequis rem cum signis ita putet copulari, ut Christi quoque caro nunc in terris adsit modo quodam invisibili et incomprehensibili (in order that no one may regard the thing so joined with the signs that the flesh also of Christ is now present on earth in an invisible and incomprehensible manner); 8] that is, that the body of Christ is united with the bread sacramentally, or significatively, so that believing, godly Christians as surely partake spiritually of the body of Christ, which is above, in heaven, as they eat the bread with the mouth. But that the body of Christ is present here upon earth in the Supper essentially, although invisibly and incomprehensibly, and is received orally, with the consecrated bread, even by hypocrites or those who are Christians only in appearance [by name] this they are accustomed to execrate and condemn as a horrible blasphemy.
9] Over against this it is taught in the Augsburg Confession from God's Word concerning the Lord's Supper: That the true body and blood of Christ are truly present in the Holy Supper under the form of bread and wine, and are there dispensed and received; and the contrary doctrine is rejected (namely, that of the Sacramentarians, who presented their own Confession at the same time at Augsburg, that the body of Christ, because He has ascended to heaven, is not truly and essentially present here upon earth in the Sacrament [which denied the true and substantial presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament of the Supper administered on earth, namely, for the reason that Christ had ascended into heaven]); 10] even as this opinion is clearly expressed in Luther's Small Catechism in the following words: The Sacrament of the Altar is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself; 11] and in the Apology this is not only explained still more clearly, but also established by the passage from Paul, 1 Cor. 10:16, and by the testimony of Cyril, in the following words: The Tenth Article has been approved, in which we confess that in the Lord's Supper the body and blood of Christ are truly and substantially present, and are truly tendered with the visible elements, bread and wine, to those who receive the Sacrament. For since Paul says: "The bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ," etc., it would follow, if the body of Christ were not, but only the Holy Ghost were truly present, that the bread is not a communion of the body, but of the Spirit of Christ. Besides, we know that not only the Romish, but also the Greek Church has taught the bodily presence of Christ in the Holy Supper. And testimony is produced from Cyril that Christ dwells also bodily in us in the Holy Supper by the communication of His flesh.
12] Afterwards, when those who at Augsburg delivered their own Confession concerning this article had allied themselves with the Confession of our churches [seemed to be willing to approve the Confession of our churches], the following Formula Concordiae, that is, articles of Christian agreement, between the Saxon theologians and those of Upper Germany was composed and signed at Wittenberg, in the year 1536, by Dr. Martin Luther and other theologians on both sides:
13] We have heard how Mr. Martin Bucer explained his own opinion, and that of the other preachers who came with him from the cities, concerning the holy Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, namely, as follows:
14] They confess, according to the words of Irenaeus, that in this Sacrament there are two things, a heavenly and an earthly. Accordingly, they hold and teach that with the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ are truly and essentially present, offered, and received. And although they believe in no transubstantiation, that is, an essential transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, nor hold that the body and blood of Christ are included in the bread localiter, that is, locally, or are otherwise permanently united therewith apart from the use of the Sacrament, yet they concede that through the sacramental union the bread is the body of Christ, etc. [that when the bread is offered, the body of Christ is at the same time present, and is truly tendered]. 15]For apart from the use, when the bread is laid aside and preserved in the sacramental vessel [the pyx], or is carried about in the procession and exhibited, as is done in popery, they do not hold that the body of Christ is present.
16] Secondly, they hold that the institution of this Sacrament made by Christ is efficacious in Christendom [the Church], and that it does not depend upon the worthiness or unworthiness of the minister who offers the Sacrament, or of the one who receives it. Therefore, as St. Paul says, that even the unworthy partake of the Sacrament, they hold that also to the unworthy the body and blood of Christ are truly offered, and the unworthy truly receive them, if [where] the institution and command of the Lord Christ are observed. But such persons receive them to condemnation, as St. Paul says; for they misuse the holy Sacrament, because they receive it without true repentance and without faith. For it was instituted for this purpose, that it might testify that to those who truly repent and comfort themselves by faith in Christ the grace and benefits of Christ are here applied, and that they are incorporated into Christ and are washed by His blood.
17] In the following year, when the chief theologians of the Augsburg Confession assembled from all Germany at Smalcald, and deliberated as to what to present in the Council concerning this doctrine of the Church, by common consent the Smalcald Articles were composed by Dr. Luther and signed by all the theologians, jointly and severally, in which the proper and true meaning is clearly expressed in short, plain words, which agree most accurately with the words of Christ, and every subterfuge and loophole is barred to 18] the Sacramentarians (who had interpreted [perverted] the Formula of Concord, that is, the above-mentioned articles of union, framed the preceding year, to their advantage, as saying that the body of Christ is offered with the bread in no other way than as it is offered, together with all His benefits, by the Word of the Gospel, and that by the sacramental union nothing else than the spiritual presence of the Lord Christ by faith is meant); 19] for they [the Smalcald Articles] declare: The bread and wine in the Holy Supper are the true body and blood of Jesus Christ, which are offered and received, not only by the godly, but also by godless Christians [those who have nothing Christian except the name].
20] Dr. Luther has also more amply expounded and confirmed this opinion from God's Word in the Large Catechism, where it is written: What, then, is the Sacrament of the Altar? Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under the bread and wine, which we Christians are commanded by the Word of Christ to eat and to drink. 21] And shortly after: It is the 'Word,' I say, which makes and distinguishes this Sacrament, so that it is not mere bread and wine, but is, and is called. the body and blood of Christ. 22] Again: With this Word you can strengthen your conscience and say: If a hundred thousand devils, together with all fanatics, should rush forward, crying, How can bread and wine be the body and blood of Christ? I know that all spirits and scholars together are not as wise as is the Divine Majesty in His little finger. Now, here stands the Word of Christ: "Take, eat; this is My body. Drink ye all of this; this is the new testament in My blood," etc. Here we abide, and would like to see those who will constitute themselves His masters, and make it different from what He has spoken. 23] It is true, indeed, that if you take away the Word, or regard it without the Word, you have nothing but mere bread and wine. But if the words remain with them, as they shall and must, then, in virtue of the same, it is truly the body and blood of Christ. For as the lips of Christ say and speak, so it is, as He can never lie or deceive.
24] Hence it is easy to reply to all manner of questions about which at the present time men are disturbed, as, for instance, whether a wicked priest can administer and distribute the Sacrament, and such like other points. For here conclude and reply: Even though a knave take or distribute the Sacrament, he receives the true Sacrament, that is, the true body and blood of Christ, just as truly as he who receives or administers it in the most worthy manner. For it is not founded upon the holiness of men, but upon the Word of God. And as no saint upon earth, yea, no angel in heaven, can change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, so also can no one change or alter it, even though it be abused.
25] For the Word, by which it became a sacrament and was instituted, does not become false because of the person or his unbelief. For He does not say: If you believe or are worthy, you will receive My body and blood, but: "Take, eat and drink; this is My body and blood"; 26] likewise: "Do this" (namely, what I now do, institute, give, and bid you take). That is as much as to say, No matter whether you be worthy or unworthy, you have here His body and blood, by virtue of these words which are added to the bread and wine. This mark and observe well; for upon these words rest all our foundation, protection, and defense against all error and temptation that have ever come or may yet come.
27] Thus far the Large Catechism, in which the true presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper is established from God's Word; and this [presence] is understood not only of the believing and worthy, but also of the unbelieving and unworthy.
28] But inasmuch as this highly illumined man [Dr. Luther, the hero illumined with unparalleled and most excellent gifts of the Holy Ghost] foresaw in the Spirit that after his death some would endeavor to make him suspected of having receded from the above-mentioned doctrine and other Christian articles, he has appended the following protestation to his large Confession:
29] Since I see that as time wears on, sects and errors increase, and that there is no end to the rage and fury of Satan, in order that henceforth during my life or after my death some of them may not, in future, support themselves by me, and falsely quote my writings to strengthen their error as the Sacramentarians and Anabaptists begin to do, I mean by this writing to confess my faith, point by point [concerning all the articles of our religion], before God and all the world, in which I intend to abide until my death, and therein (so help me God!) to depart from this world and to appear before the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ. 30] And if after my death any one should say: If Dr. Luther were living now, he would teach and hold this or that article differently, for he did not sufficiently consider it, against this I say now as then, and then as now, that, by God's grace, I have most diligently, compared all these articles with the Scriptures time and again [have examined them, not once, but very often, according to the standard of Holy Scripture], and often have gone over them, and would defend them as confidently as I have now defended the Sacrament of the Altar. 31] I am not drunk nor thoughtless; I know what I say; I also am sensible of what it means for me at the coming of the Lord Christ at the final judgment. Therefore I want no one to regard this as a jest or mere idle talk; it is a serious matter to me; for by God's grace I know Satan a good deal; if he can pervert or confuse God's Word, what will he not do with my words or those of another? Tom. 2, Wittenb., German, fol. 243.
32] After this protestation, Doctor Luther, of blessed memory, presents, among other articles, this also: In the same manner I also speak and confess (he says) concerning the Sacrament of the Altar, that there the body and blood of Christ are in truth orally eaten and drunk in the bread and wine, even though the priests [ministers] who administer it [the Lord's Supper], or those who receive it, should not believe or otherwise misuse it. For it does not depend upon the faith or unbelief of men, but upon God's Word and ordinance, unless they first change God's Word and ordinance and interpret it otherwise, as the enemies of the Sacrament do at the present day, who, of course, have nothing but bread and wine; for they also do not have the words and appointed ordinance of God, but have perverted and changed them according to their own [false] notion. Fol. 245.
33] Dr. Luther, who, above others, certainly understood the true and proper meaning of the Augsburg Confession, and who constantly remained steadfast thereto till his end, and defended it, shortly before his death repeated his faith concerning this article with great zeal in his last Confession, where he writes thus: I rate as one concoction, namely, as Sacramentarians and fanatics, which they also are, all who will not believe that the Lord's bread in the Supper is His true natural body, which the godless or Judas received with the mouth, as well as did St. Peter and all [other] saints; he who will not believe this (I say) should let me alone, and hope for no fellowship with me; this is not going to be altered [thus my opinion stands, which I am not going to change]. Tom. 2, Wittenb., German, fol. 252.
34] From these explanations, and especially from that of Dr. Luther as the leading teacher of the Augsburg Confession, every intelligent man who loves truth and peace, can undoubtedly perceive what has always been the proper meaning and understanding of the Augsburg Confession in regard to this article.
35] For the reason why, in addition to the expressions of Christ and St. Paul (the bread in the Supper is the body of Christ or the communion of the body of Christ), also the forms: under the bread, with the bread, in the bread [the body of Christ is present and offered], are employed, is that by means of them the papistical transubstantiation may be rejected and the sacramental union of the unchanged essence of the bread and of the body of Christ indicated; 36] just as the expression, Verbum caro factum est, The Word was made flesh [ John 1:14 ], is repeated and explained by the equivalent expressions: The Word dwelt among us; likewise [ Col 2:9 ]: In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; likewise [ Acts 10:38 ]: God was with Him; likewise [ 2 Cor. 5:19 ]: God was in Christ, and the like; namely, that the divine essence is not changed into the human nature, but the two natures, unchanged, are personally united. [These phrases repeat and declare the expression of John, above mentioned, namely, that by the incarnation the divine essence is not changed into the human nature, but that the two natures without confusion are personally united.] 37] Even as many eminent ancient teachers, Justin, Cyprian, Augustine, Leo, Gelasius, Chrysostom and others, use this simile concerning the words of Christ's testament: This is My body, that just as in Christ two distinct, unchanged natures are inseparably united, so in the Holy Supper the two substances, the natural bread and the true natural body of Christ, are present together here upon earth in the appointed administration of the Sacrament. 38] Although this union of the body and blood of Christ with the bread and wine is not a personal union, as that of the two natures in Christ, but as Dr. Luther and our theologians, in the frequently mentioned Articles of Agreement [Formula of Concord] in the year 1536 and in other places call it sacramentatem unionem, that is, a sacramental union, by which they wish to indicate that, although they also employ the formas: in pane, sub pane, cum pane, that is, these distinctive modes of speech: in the bread, under the bread, with the bread, yet they have received the words of Christ properly and as they read, and have understood the proposition, that is, the words of Christ's testament: Hoc est corpus meum, This is My body, not as a figuratam propositionem, but inusitatam (that is, not as a figurative, allegorical expression or comment, but as an unusual expression). 39] For thus Justin says: This we receive not as common bread and common drink; but as Jesus Christ, our Savior, through the Word of God became flesh, and on account of our salvation also had flesh and blood, so we believe that the food blessed by Him through the Word and prayer is the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. 40] Likewise Dr. Luther also in his Large and especially in his last Confession concerning the Lord's Supper with great earnestness and zeal defends the very form of expression which Christ used at the first Supper.
41] Now, since Dr. Luther is to be regarded as the most distinguished teacher of the churches which confess the Augsburg Confession, whose entire doctrine as to sum and substance is comprised in the articles of the frequently mentioned Augsburg Confession, and was presented to the Emperor Charles V, the proper meaning and sense of the oft-mentioned Augsburg Confession can and should be derived from no other source more properly and correctly than from the doctrinal and polemical writings of Dr. Luther.
42] And, indeed, this very opinion, just cited, is founded upon the only firm, immovable, and indubitable rock of truth, from the words of institution, in the holy, divine Word, and was thus understood, taught, and propagated by the holy evangelists and apostles, and their disciples and hearers.
43] For since our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, concerning whom, as our only Teacher, this solemn command has been given from heaven to all men: Hunc audite, Hear ye Him, who is not a mere man or angel, neither true, wise, and mighty only, but the eternal Truth and Wisdom itself and Almighty God, who knows very well what and how He is to speak, and who also can powerfully effect and execute everything that He speaks and promises, as He says Luke 21:33: Heaven and earth shalt pass away, but My words shall not pass away; also Matt. 28:18: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth,-
44] Since, now, this true, almighty Lord, our Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, after the Last Supper, when He is just beginning His bitter suffering and death for our sins, in those sad last moments, with great consideration and solemnity, in the institution of this most venerable Sacrament, which was to be used until the end of the world with great reverence and obedience [and humility], and was to be an abiding memorial of His bitter suffering and death and all His benefits, a sealing [and confirmation] of the New Testament, a consolation of all distressed hearts, and a firm bond of union of Christians with Christ, their Head, and with one another, in the ordaining and institution of the Holy Supper spake these words concerning the bread which He blessed and gave [to His disciples]: Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you, and concerning the cup, or wine: This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins;-
45] [Now, since this is so,] We are certainly in duty bound not to interpret and explain these words of the eternal, true, and almighty Son of God, our Lord, Creator, and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, differently, as allegorical, figurative, tropical expressions, according as it seems agreeable to our reason, but with simple faith and due obedience to receive the words as they read, in their proper and plain sense, and allow ourselves to be diverted therefrom [from this express testament of Christ] by no objections or human contradictions spun from human reason, however charming they may appear to reason.
46] Even as Abraham, when he hears God's Word concerning offering his son, although, indeed, he had cause enough for disputing as to whether the words should be understood according to the letter or with a tolerable or mild interpretation, since they conflicted openly not only with all reason and with the divine and natural law, but also with the chief article of faith concerning the promised Seed, Christ, who was to be born of Isaac, nevertheless, just as previously, when the promise of the blessed Seed from Isaac was given him, he gave God the honor of truth, and most confidently concluded and believed that what God promised He could also do, although it appeared impossible to his reason; so also here he understands and believes God's Word and command plainly and simply, as they read according to the letter, and commits the matter to God's omnipotence and wisdom, which, he knows, has many more modes and ways to fulfil the promise of the Seed from Isaac than he can comprehend with his blind reason;-
47] Thus we, too, are simply to believe with all humility and obedience the plain, firm, clear, and solemn words and command of our Creator and Redeemer, without any doubt and disputation as to how it agrees with our reason or is possible. For these words were spoken by that Lord who is infinite Wisdom and Truth itself, and also can execute and accomplish everything which He promises.
48] Now, all the circumstances of the institution of the Holy Supper testify that these words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which in themselves are simple, plain, clear, firm, and indubitable, cannot and must not be understood otherwise than in their usual, proper, and common signification. For since Christ gives this command [concerning eating His body, etc.] at the table and at supper, there is indeed no doubt that He speaks of real, natural bread and of natural wine, also of oral eating and drinking, so that there can be no metaphor, that is, a change of meaning, in the word bread, as though the body of Christ were a spiritual bread or a spiritual food of souls. 49] Likewise, also Christ Himself takes care that there be no metonymy either, that is, that in the same manner there be no change of meaning in the word body, and that He does not speak concerning a sign of His body, or concerning an emblem [a symbol] or figurative body, or concerning the virtue of His body and the benefits which He has earned by the sacrifice of His body [for us], but of His true, essential body, which He delivered into death for us, and of His true, essential blood, which He shed for us on the tree [altar] of the cross for the remission of sins.
50] Now, surely there is no interpreter of the words of Jesus Christ as faithful and sure as the Lord Christ Himself, who understands best His words and His heart and opinion, and who is the wisest and most knowing for expounding them; and here, as in the making of His last will and testament and of His everabiding covenant and union, as elsewhere in [presenting and confirming] all articles of faith, and in the institution of all other signs of the covenant and of grace or sacraments, as [for example] circumcision, the various offerings in the Old Testament and Holy Baptism, He uses not allegorical, but entirely proper, simple, indubitable, and clear words; and in order that no misunderstanding can occur, He explains them more clearly with the words: Given for you, shed for you. 51] He also allows His disciples to rest in the simple, proper sense, and commands them that they should thus teach all nations to observe what He had commanded them, the apostles.
52] For this reason, too, all three evangelists, Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19, and St. Paul, who received the same [the institution of the Lord's Supper] after the ascension of Christ [from Christ Himself], 1 Cor. 11:24, unanimously and with the same words and syllables repeat concerning the consecrated and distributed bread these distinct, clear, firm, and true words of Christ: This is My body, altogether in one way, without any interpretation [trope, figure] and change. Therefore there is no doubt that also concerning 53] the other part of the Sacrament these words of Luke and Paul: This cup is the new testament in My blood, can have no other meaning than that which St. Matthew and St. Mark give: This (namely, that which you orally drink out of the cup) is My blood of the new testament, whereby I establish, seal, and confirm with you men this My testament and new covenant, namely, the forgiveness of sins.
54] So also that repetition, confirmation, and explanation of the words of Christ which St. Paul makes 1 Cor. 10:16, where he writes as follows: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? is to be considered with all diligence and seriousness [accurately], as an especially clear testimony of the true, essential presence and distribution of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper. From this we clearly learn that not only the cup which Christ blessed at the first Supper, and not only the bread which Christ broke and distributed, but also that which we break and bless, is the communion of the body and blood of Christ, so that all who eat this bread and drink of this cup truly receive, and are partakers of, the true body and blood of Christ. 55] For if the body of Christ were present and partaken of, not truly and essentially, but only according to its power and efficacy, the bread would have to be called, not a communion of the body, but of the Spirit, power, and benefits of Christ, as the Apology argues and concludes. 56] And if Paul were speaking only of the spiritual communion of the body of Christ through faith, as the Sacramentarians pervert this passage, he would not say that the bread, but that the spirit or faith, was the communion of the body of Christ. But as he says that the bread is the communion of the body of Christ, that all who partake of the consecrated bread also become partakers of the body of Christ, he must indeed be speaking, not of a spiritual, but of a sacramental or oral participation of the body of Christ, which is common to godly and godless Christians [Christians only in name].
57] This is shown also by the causes and circumstances of this entire exposition of St. Paul, in which he deters and warns those who ate of offerings to idols and had fellowship with heathen devil-worship, and nevertheless went also to the table of the Lord and became partakers of the body and blood of Christ, lest they receive the body and blood of Christ for judgment and condemnation to themselves. For since all those who become partakers of the consecrated and broken bread in the Supper have communion also with the body of Christ, St. Paul indeed cannot be speaking of spiritual communion with Christ, which no man can abuse, and against which also no one is to be warned.
58] Therefore also our dear fathers and predecessors, as Luther and other pure teachers of the Augsburg Confession, explain this statement of Paul with such words that it accords most fully with the words of Christ when they write thus: The bread which we break is the distributed body of Christ, or the common [communicated] body of Christ, distributed to those who receive the broken bread.
59] By this simple, well-founded exposition of this glorious testimony, 1 Cor. 10, we unanimously abide, and we are justly astonished that some are so bold as to venture now to cite this passage, which they themselves previously opposed to the Sacramentarians, as a foundation for their error, that in the Supper the body of Christ is partaken of spiritually only. [For thus they speak]: Panis est communicatio corporis Christi, hoc est, id, quo fit societas cum corpore Christi (quod est ecclesia), seu est medium, per quod fideles unimur Christo, sicut verbum evangelii fide apprehensum est medium, per quod Christo spiritualiter unimur et corpori Christi, quod est ecclesia, inserimur. Translated, this reads as follows: "The bread is the communion of the body of Christ, that is, it is that by which we have fellowship with the body of Christ, which is the Church, or it is the means by which we believers are united with Christ, just as the Word of the Gospel, apprehended by faith, is a means through which we are spiritually united to Christ and incorporated into the body of Christ, which is the Church."
60] For that not only the godly, pious, and believing Christians, but also unworthy, godless hypocrites, as Judas and his ilk, who have no spiritual communion with Christ, and go to the Table of the Lord without true repentance and conversion to God, also receive orally in the Sacrament the true body and [true] blood of Christ, and by their unworthy eating and drinking grievously sin against the body and blood of Christ, St. Paul teaches expressly. For he says, 1 Cor. 11:27: Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, sins not merely against the bread and wine, not merely against the signs or symbols and emblems of the body and blood, but shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which, as there [in the Holy Supper] present, he dishonors, abuses, and disgraces, as the Jews, who in very deed violated the body of Christ and killed Him; just as the ancient Christian Fathers and church-teachers unanimously have understood and explained this passage.
61] There is, therefore, a two-fold eating of the flesh of Christ, one spiritual, of which Christ treats especially John 6:54, which occurs in no other way than with the Spirit and faith, in the preaching and meditation of the Gospel, as well as in the Lord's Supper, and by itself is useful and salutary, and necessary at all times for salvation to all Christians; without which spiritual participation also the sacramental or oral eating in the Supper is not only not salutary, but even injurious and damning [a cause of condemnation].
62] But this spiritual eating is nothing else than faith, namely, to hear God's Word (wherein Christ, true God and man, is presented to us, together with all benefits which He has purchased for us by His flesh given into death for us, and by His blood shed for us, namely, God's grace, the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal life), to receive it with faith and appropriate it to ourselves, and in all troubles and temptations firmly to rely, with sure confidence and trust, and to abide in the consolation that we have a gracious God, and eternal salvation on account of the Lord Jesus Christ. [He who hears these things related from the Word of God, and in faith receives and applies; them to himself, and relies entirely upon this consolation (that we have God reconciled and life eternal on account of the Mediator, Jesus Christ),-he, I say, who with true confidence rests in the Word of the Gospel in all troubles and temptations, spiritually eats the body of Christ and drinks His blood.]
63] The other eating of the body of Christ is oral or sacramental, when the true, essential body and blood of Christ are also orally received and partaken of in the Holy Supper, by all who eat and drink the consecrated bread and wine in the Supper-by the believing as a certain pledge and assurance that their sins are surely forgiven them, and Christ dwells and is efficacious in them, but by the unbelieving for their judgment and condemnation, 64] as the words of the institution by Christ expressly declare, when at the table and during the Supper He offers His disciples natural bread and natural wine, which He calls His true body and true blood, at the same time saying: Eat and drink. For in view of the circumstances this command evidently cannot be understood otherwise than of oral eating and drinking, however, not in a gross, carnal, Capernaitic, but in a supernatural, incomprehensible way; 65] to which afterwards the other command adds still another and spiritual eating, when the Lord Christ says further: This do in remembrance of Me, where He requires faith [which is the spiritual partaking of Christ's body).
66] Therefore all the ancient Christian teachers expressly, and in full accord with the entire holy Christian Church, teach, according to these words of the institution of Christ and the explanation of St. Paul, that the body of Christ is not only received spiritually by faith, which occurs also outside of [the use of] the Sacrament, but also orally, not only by believing and godly, but also by unworthy, unbelieving, false, and wicked Christians. As this is too long to be narrated here, we would, for the sake of brevity, have the Christian reader referred to the exhaustive writings of our theologians.
67] Hence it is manifest how unjustly and maliciously the Sacramentarian fanatics (Theodore Beza) deride the Lord Christ, St. Paul, and the entire Church in calling this oral partaking, and that of the unworthy, duos pilos caudae equinae et commentum, cuius vel ipsum Satanam pudeat, as also the doctrine concerning the majesty of Christ, excrementum Satanae, quo diabolus sibi ipsi et hominibus illudat, that is, they speak so horribly of it that a godly Christian man should be ashamed to translate it.
68] But it must [also] be carefully explained who are the unworthy guests of this Supper, namely, those who go to this Sacrament without true repentance and sorrow for their sins, and without true faith and the good intention of amending their lives, and by their unworthy oral eating of the body of Christ load themselves with damnation, that is, with temporal and eternal punishments, and become guilty of the body and blood of Christ.
69] For Christians who are of weak faith, diffident, troubled, and heartily terrified because of the greatness and number of their sins, and think that in this their great impurity they are not worthy of this precious treasure and the benefits of Christ, and who feel and lament their weakness of faith, and from their hearts desire that they may serve God with stronger, more joyful faith and pure obedience, they are the truly worthy guests for whom this highly venerable Sacrament [and sacred feast] has been especially instituted and appointed; 70] as Christ says, Matt. 11:28: Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Also Matt. 9:12: They that be whole need not a physician, but they that be sick. Also [ 2 Cor. 12:9 ]: God's strength is made perfect in weakness. Also [ Rom. 14:1 ]: Him that is weak in the faith receive ye [ Rom 14:3 ], for God hath received him. For whosoever believeth in the Son of God, be it with a strong or with a weak faith, has eternal life [ John 3:15f. ].
71] And worthiness does not depend upon great or small weakness or strength of faith, but upon the merit of Christ, which the distressed father of little faith [ Mark 9:24 ] enjoyed as well as Abraham, Paul, and others who have a joyful and strong faith.
72] Let the foregoing be said of the true presence and two-fold participation of the body and blood of Christ, which occurs either by faith, spiritually, or also orally, both by worthy and unworthy [which latter is common to worthy and unworthy].
73] Since a misunderstanding and dissension among some teachers of the Augsburg Confession also has occurred concerning consecration and the common rule, that nothing is a sacrament without the appointed use [or divinely instituted act], we have made a fraternal and unanimous declaration to one another also concerning this matter to the following purport, 74] namely, that not the word or work of any man produces the true presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper, whether it be the merit or recitation of the minister, or the eating and drinking or faith of the communicants; but all this should be ascribed alone to the power of Almighty God and the word, institution, and ordination of our Lord Jesus Christ.
75] For the true and almighty words of Jesus Christ which He spake at the first institution were efficacious not only at the first Supper, but they endure, are valid, operate, and are still efficacious [their force, power, and efficacy endure and avail even to the present], so that in all places where the Supper is celebrated according to the institution of Christ, and His words are used, the body and blood of Christ are truly present, distributed, and received, because of the power and efficacy of the words which Christ spake at the first Supper. For where His institution is observed and His words are spoken over the bread and cup [wine], and the consecrated bread and cup [wine] are distributed, Christ Himself, through the spoken words, is still efficacious by virtue of the first institution, through His word, which He wishes to be there repeated. 76] As Chrysostom says (in Serm. de Pass.) in his Sermon concerning the Passion: Christ Himself prepared this table and blesses it; for no man makes the bread and wine set before us the body and blood of Christ, but Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The words are spoken by the mouth of the priest, but by God's power and grace, by the word, where He speaks: "This is My body," the elements presented are consecrated in the Supper. And just as the declaration, Gen. 1:28: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth," was spoken only once, but is ever efficacious in nature, so that it is fruitful and multiplies, so also this declaration ["This is My body; this is My blood"] was spoken once, but even to this day and to His advent it is efficacious, and works so that in the Supper of the Church His true body and blood are present.
77] Luther also [writes concerning this very subject in the same manner], Tom. VI, Jena, Fol. 99: This His command and institution have this power and effect that we administer and receive not mere bread and wine, but His body and blood, as His words declare: "This is My body," etc.; "This is My blood," etc., so that it is not our work or speaking, but the command and ordination of Christ that makes the bread the body, and the wine the blood, from the beginning of the first Supper even to the end of the world, and that through our service and office they are daily distributed.
78] Also, Tom. III, Jena, Fol. 446: Thus here also, even though I should pronounce over all bread the words: This is Christ's body, nothing, of course, would result therefrom; but when in the Supper we say, according to His institution and command: "This is My body," it is His body, not on account of our speaking or word uttered [because these words, when uttered, have this efficacy], but because of His command-that He has commanded us thus to speak and to do, and has united His command and act with our speaking.
79] Now, in the administration of the Holy Supper the words of institution are to be publicly spoken or sung before the congregation distinctly and clearly, and should in no way be omitted [and this for very many and the most important reasons. 80] First,] in order that obedience may be rendered to the command of Christ: This do [that therefore should not be omitted which Christ Himself did in the Holy Supper], 81] and [secondly] that the faith of the hearers concerning the nature and fruit of this Sacrament (concerning the presence of the body and blood of Christ, concerning the forgiveness of sins, and all benefits which have been purchased by the death and shedding of the blood of Christ, and are bestowed upon us in Christ's testament) may be excited, strengthened, and confirmed by Christ's Word, 82] and [besides] that the elements of bread and wine may be consecrated or blessed for this holy use, in order that the body and blood of Christ may therewith be administered to us to be eaten and to be drunk, as Paul declares [ 1 Cor. 10:16 ]: The cup of blessing which we bless, which indeed occurs in no other way than through the repetition and recitation of the words of institution.
83] However, this blessing, or the recitation of the words of institution of Christ alone does not make a sacrament if the entire action of the Supper, as it was instituted by Christ, is not observed (as when the consecrated bread is not distributed, received, and partaken of, but is enclosed, sacrificed, or carried about), but the command of Christ, This do (which embraces the entire action or administration in this Sacrament, 84] that in an assembly of Christians bread and wine are taken, consecrated, distributed, received, eaten, drunk, and the Lord's death is shown forth at the same time) must be observed unseparated and inviolate, as also St. Paul places before our eyes the entire action of the breaking of bread or of distribution and reception, 1 Cor. 10:16.
85] [Let us now come also to the second point, of which mention was made a little before.] To preserve this true Christian doctrine concerning the Holy Supper, and to avoid and abolish manifold idolatrous abuses and perversions of this testament, the following useful rule and standard has been derived from the words of institution: Nihil habet rationem sacramenti extra usum a Christo institutum ("Nothing has the nature of a sacrament apart from the use instituted by Christ") or extra actionem divinitus institutam ("apart from the action divinely instituted"). That is: If the institution of Christ be not observed as He appointed it, there is no sacrament. This is by no means to be rejected, but can and should be urged and maintained with profit in the Church of God. 86] And the use or action here does not mean chiefly faith, neither the oral participation only, but the entire external, visible action of the Lord's Supper instituted by Christ, [to this indeed is required] the consecration, or words of institution, the distribution and reception, or oral partaking [manducation] of the consecrated bread and wine, [likewise the partaking] of the body and blood of Christ. 87] And apart from this use, when in the papistic mass the bread is not distributed, but offered up or enclosed, borne about, and exhibited for adoration, it is to be regarded as no sacrament; just as the water of baptism, when used to consecrate bells or to cure leprosy, or otherwise exhibited for worship, is no sacrament or baptism. For against such papistic abuses this rule has been set up at the beginning [of the reviving Gospel], and has been explained by Dr. Luther himself, Tom. IV, Jena.
88] Meanwhile, however, we must call attention also to this, that the Sacramentarians artfully and wickedly pervert this useful and necessary rule, in order to deny the true, essential presence and oral partaking of the body of Christ, which occurs here upon earth alike by the worthy and the unworthy, and interpret it as referring to the usus fidei, that is, to the spiritual and inner use of faith, as though it were no sacrament to the unworthy, and the partaking of the body occurred only spiritually, through faith, or as though faith made the body of Christ present in the Holy Supper, and therefore unworthy, unbelieving hypocrites did not receive the body of Christ as being present.
89] Now, it is not our faith that makes the sacrament, but only the true word and institution of our almighty God and Savior Jesus Christ, which always is and remains efficacious in the Christian Church, and is not invalidated or rendered inefficacious by the worthiness or unworthiness of the minister, nor by the unbelief of the one who receives it. Just as the Gospel, even though godless hearers do not believe it, yet is and remains none the less the true Gospel, only it does not work for salvation in the unbelieving; so, whether those who receive the Sacrament believe or do not believe, Christ remains none the less true in His words when He says: Take, eat: this is My body, and effects this [His presence] not by our faith, but by His omnipotence.
90] Accordingly, it is a pernicious, shameless error that some from a cunning perversion of this familiar rule ascribe more to our faith, which [in their opinion] alone renders present and partakes of the body of Christ, than to the omnipotence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
91] Now, as regards the various imaginary reasons and futile counter-arguments of the Sacramentarians concerning the essential and natural attributes of a human body, concerning the ascension of Christ, concerning His departure from this world, and such like, inasmuch as these have one and all been refuted thoroughly and in detail, from God's Word, by Dr. Luther in his controversial writings: Against the Heavenly Prophets, That These Words, "This Is My Body," Still Stand Firm; likewise in his Large and his Small Confession concerning the Holy Supper [published some years afterwards], and in other of his writings, and inasmuch as since his death nothing new has been advanced by the factious spirits, we would for the sake of brevity have the Christian reader directed to them and have referred to them.
92] For that we neither will, nor can, nor should allow ourselves to be led away by thoughts of human wisdom, whatever outward appearance or authority they may have, from the simple, distinct, and clear sense of the Word and testament of Christ to a strange opinion, other than the words read, but that, in accordance with what is above stated, we understand and believe them simply, our reasons upon which we have rested in this matter ever since the controversy concerning 93] this article arose, are those which Dr. Luther himself, in the very beginning, presented against the Sacramentarians in the following words (Dr. Luther in his Large Confession concerning the Holy Supper): My reasons upon which I rest in this matter are the following:
94] 1. The first is this article of our faith: Jesus Christ is essential, natural, true, perfect God and man in one person, inseparable and undivided.
95] 2. The second, that God's right hand is everywhere.
96] 3. The third, that God's Word is not false, nor does it lie.
97] 4. The fourth, that God has and knows of many modes of being in any place, and not only the single one concerning which the fanatics talk flippantly, and which philosophers call localem, or local.
98] Also: The one body of Christ [says Luther] has a threefold mode or all three modes of being anywhere.
99] First, the comprehensible, bodily mode, as He went about bodily upon earth, when, according to His size, He vacated and occupied space [was circumscribed by a fixed place]. This mode He can still use whenever He will, as He did after the resurrection, and will use at the last day, as Paul says, 1 Tim. 6:15: "Which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed God [and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords]." And to the Colossians, 3:4: "When Christ, who is our Life, shall appear." In this manner He is not in God or with the Father, neither in heaven, as the mad spirits dream; for God is not a bodily space or place. And this is what the passages how Christ leaves the world and goes to the Father refer to which the false spirits cite.
100] Secondly, the incomprehensible, spiritual mode, according to which He neither occupies nor vacates space, but penetrates all creatures wherever He pleases [according to His most free will]; as, to make an imperfect comparison, my sight penetrates and is in air, light, or water, and does not occupy or vacate space; as a sound or tone penetrates and is in air or water or board and wall, and also does not occupy or vacate space; likewise, as light and heat penetrate and are in air, water, glass, crystal, and the like, and also do not vacate or occupy space; and much more of the like [many comparisons of this matter could be adduced]. This mode He used when He rose from the closed [and sealed] sepulcher, and passed through the closed door [to His disciples], and in the bread and wine in the Holy Supper, and, as it is believed, when He was born of His mother [the most holy Virgin Mary].
101] Thirdly, the divine, heavenly mode, since He is one person with God, according to which, of course, all creatures must be far more penetrable and present to Him than they are according to the second mode. For if, according to that second mode, He can be in and with creatures in such a manner that they do not feel, touch, circumscribe, or comprehend Him, how much more wonderfully will He be in all creatures according to this sublime third mode, so that they do not circumscribe nor comprehend Him, but rather that He has them present before Himself, circumscribes and comprehends them! For you must place this being of Christ, who is one person with God [for you must place this mode of presence of Christ which He has by His personal union with God], very far, far outside of the creatures, as far as God is outside of them; and again as deep and near within all creatures as God is within them. For He is one inseparable person with God; where God is, there must He also be, 102] or our faith is false. But who will say or think how this occurs? We know indeed that it is so, that He is in God outside of all creatures, and one person with God, but how it occurs we do not know; it [this mystery] is above nature and reason, even above the reason of all the angels in heaven; it is understood and known only by God. Now, since it is unknown to us, and yet true, we should not deny His words before we know how to prove to a certainty that the body of Christ can by no means be where God is, and that this mode of being [presence] is false. This the fanatics must prove; but they will forego it.
103] Now, whether God has and knows still more modes in which Christ's body is anywhere, I did not intend to deny herewith, but to indicate what awkward dolts our fanatics are, that they concede to the body of Christ no more than the first, comprehensible mode; although they cannot even prove that to be conflicting with our meaning. For in no way will I deny that the power of God may accomplish this much that a body might be in many places at the same time, even in a bodily, comprehensible way. For who will prove that this is impossible with God? Who has seen an end to His power? The fanatics indeed think thus: God cannot do it. But who will believe their thinking? With what do they make such thinking sure? Thus far Luther.
104] From these words of Dr. Luther this, too, is clear in what sense the word spiritual is employed in our churches with reference to this matter. For to the Sacramentarians this word spiritual means nothing else than the spiritual communion, when through faith true believers are in the Spirit incorporated into Christ, the Lord, and become true spiritual members of His body.
105] But when Dr. Luther or we employ this word spiritual in regard to this matter, we understand by it the spiritual, supernatural, heavenly mode, according to which Christ is present in the Holy Supper, working not only consolation and life in the believing, but also condemnation in the unbelieving; whereby we reject the Capernaitic thoughts of the gross [and] carnal presence which is ascribed to and forced upon our churches by the Sacramentarians against our manifold public protestations. In this sense we also say [wish the word spiritually to be understood when we say] that in the Holy Supper the body and blood of Christ are spiritually received, eaten, and drunk, although this participation occurs with the mouth, while the mode is spiritual.
106] Thus our faith in this article concerning the true presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper is based upon the truth and omnipotence of the true, almighty God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. These foundations are strong and firm enough to strengthen and establish our faith in all temptations concerning this article, and, on the contrary, to overthrow and refute all the counter-arguments and objections of the Sacramentarians, however agreeable and plausible they may be to our reason; and upon them a Christian heart also can securely and firmly rest and rely.
107] Accordingly, with heart and mouth we reject and condemn as false, erroneous, and misleading all errors which are not in accordance with, but contrary and opposed to, the doctrine above mentioned and founded upon God's Word, such as,
108] 1. The papistic transubstantiation, when it is taught that the consecrated or blessed bread and wine in the Holy Supper lose entirely their substance and essence, and are changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ in such a way that only the mere form of bread and wine is left, or accidentia sine subiecto (the accidents without the object); under which form of the bread, which nevertheless is bread no longer, but according to their assertion has lost its natural essence, the body of Christ is present even apart from the administration of the Holy Supper, when the bread is enclosed in the pyx or is carried about for display and adoration. For nothing can be a sacrament without God's command and the appointed use for which it is instituted in God's Word, as was shown above.
109] 2. We likewise reject and condemn all other papistic abuses of this Sacrament, as the abomination of the sacrifice of the mass for the living and dead.
110] 3. Also, that contrary to the public command and institution of Christ only one form of the Sacrament is administered to the laity; as these papistic abuses have been thoroughly refuted by means of God's Word and the testimonies of the ancient Church, in the common Confession and the Apology of our churches, the Smalcald Articles, and other writings of our theologians.
111] However, since we have undertaken in this document to present especially only our confession and explanation concerning the true presence of the body and blood of Christ against the Sacramentarians, some of whom shamelessly insinuate themselves into our churches under the name of the Augsburg Confession, we will also state and enumerate here especially the errors of the Sacramentarians, in order to warn our hearers to guard against and look out for them.
112] Accordingly, with heart and mouth we reject and condemn as false, erroneous, and misleading all Sacramentarian opiniones (opinions) and doctrines which are not in accordance with, but contrary and opposed to, the doctrine above presented and founded upon God's Word:
113] 1. As when they assert that the words of institution are not to be understood simply in their proper signification, as they read, of the true, essential presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper, but are to be wrested, by means of tropi (tropes) or figurative interpretations, to another new, strange sense. We hereby reject all such Sacramentarian opiniones (opinions) and self-contradictory notions [of which some even conflict with each other], however manifold and various they may be.
114] 2. Also, that the oral participation of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper is denied [by the Sacramentarians], and it is taught, on the contrary, that the body of Christ in the Supper is partaken of only spiritually by faith, so that in the Supper our mouth receives only bread and wine.
115] 3. Likewise, also, when it is taught that bread and wine in the Supper should be regarded as nothing more than tokens by which Christians are to recognize one another; or,
4. That they are only figures, similitudes, and representations (symbols, types] of the far-absent body of Christ, in such a manner that just as bread and wine are the outward food of our body, so also the absent body of Christ, with His merit, is the spiritual food of our souls.
116] 5. Or that they are no more than tokens or memorials of the absent body of Christ, by which signs, as an external pledge, we should be assured that the faith which turns from the Supper and ascends beyond all heavens and there above becomes as truly participant of the body and blood of Christ as we truly receive with the mouth the external signs in the Supper; and that thus the assurance and confirmation of our faith occur in the Supper only through the external signs, and not through the true, present body and blood of Christ offered to us.
117] 6. Or that in the Supper the power, efficacy, and merit of the far-absent body of Christ are distributed only to faith, and we thus become partakers of His absent body; and that, in this way just mentioned, unio sacramentalis, that is, the sacramental union, is to be understood de analogia signi et signati (with respect to the analogy of the sign and that which is signified), that is, as [far as] the bread and wine have a resemblance to the body and blood of Christ.
118] 7. Or that the body and blood of Christ cannot be received and partaken of otherwise than only spiritually, by faith.
119] 8. Likewise, when it is taught that because of His ascension into heaven Christ is so enclosed and circumscribed with His body in a definite place in heaven that with the same [His body] He cannot or will not be truly present with us in the Supper, which is celebrated according to the institution of Christ upon earth, but that He is as far and remote from it as heaven and earth are from one another, as some Sacramentarians have wilfully and wickedly falsified the text, Acts 3:21; oportet Christum coelum accipere, that is, Christ must occupy heaven, for the confirmation of their error, and instead thereof have rendered it: oportet Christum coelo capi, that is, Christ must be received or be circumscribed and enclosed by heaven or in heaven, in such a manner that in His human nature He can or will in no way be with us upon earth.
120] 9. Likewise, that Christ has not promised the true, essential presence of His body and blood in His Supper, and that He neither can nor will afford it, because the nature and property of His assumed human nature could not suffer or admit of it.
121] 10. Likewise, when it is taught that not only the Word and omnipotence of Christ, but faith, renders the body of Christ present in the Supper; on this account the words of institution in the administration of the Supper are omitted by some. For although the papistic consecration is justly rebuked and rejected, in which the power to produce a sacrament is ascribed to the speaking as the work of the priest, yet the words of institution can or should in no way be omitted in the administration of the Supper, as is shown in the preceding declaration.
122] 11. Likewise, that believers are not to seek, by reason of the words of Christ's institution, the body of Christ with the bread and wine of the Supper, but are directed with their faith away from the bread of the Supper to heaven, to the place where the Lord Christ is with His body, that they should become partakers of it there.
123] 12. We reject also the teaching that unbelieving and impenitent, wicked Christians, who only bear the name of Christ, but do not have the right, true, living, and saving faith, receive in the Supper not the body and blood of Christ, but only bread and wine. And since there are only two kinds of guests found at this heavenly meal, the worthy and the unworthy, we reject also the distinction made among the unworthy [made by some who assert] that the godless Epicureans and scoffers at God's Word, who are in the external fellowship of the Church, when using the Holy Supper, do not receive the body and blood of Christ for condemnation, but only bread and wine.
124] 13. So, too, the teaching that worthiness consists not only in true faith, but in man's own preparation.
125] 14. Likewise, the teaching that even true believers, who have and keep a right, true, living faith, and yet lack the said sufficient preparation of their own, could, just as the unworthy guests, receive this Sacrament to condemnation.
126] 15. Likewise, when it is taught that the elements or the visible species or forms of the consecrated bread and wine must be adored. However, no one, unless he be an Arian heretic, can and will deny that Christ Himself, true God and man, who is truly and essentially present in the Supper, should be adored in spirit and in truth in the true use of the same, as also in all other places, especially where His congregation is assembled.
127] 16. We reject and condemn also all presumptuous, frivolous [sarcastically colored], blasphemous questions and expressions which are presented in a gross, carnal, Capernaitic way regarding the supernatural, heavenly mysteries of this Supper.
128] Other and additional antitheses, or rejected contrary doctrines, have been reproved and rejected in the preceding explanation, which, for the sake of brevity, we will not repeat here, and whatever other condemnable opiniones or erroneous opinions there may be still, over and above the foregoing, can be easily gathered and named from the preceding explanation; for we reject and condemn everything that is not in accordance with, but contrary and opposed to, the doctrine recorded above and thoroughly grounded in God's Word.
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