صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


Abp. Cant,

LAN- opinion of Berengarius was likewise particularly examined and censured, and the contrary doctrine maintained by Lanfranc approved by unanimous consent.

Berengarius, not at all convinced by the proceedings of this council, went on in the justification of Scotus, and dropped some satirical expressions against Paschasius; and thus giving farther provocation to his adversaries, he was cited to the council at Tours, held in the year 1055, where Hildebrand was legate to pope Victor II. Here Berengarius being probably overawed by the apprehension of ill usage, renounced his opinion and came over to the sentiments of the

Du Pin. Ec- synod.

cles. Hist.

cent. 11. p. 7, 8, 9. et





But fear and force are seldom lasting principles: for it was not long before he appeared to change his mind, and wrote several tracts in defence of his former doctrine: but being cited by pope Stephen X. to a council held at Rome in the year 1059, his courage failed him again. It is true, at first he maintained his opinion against Lanfranc and Albericus a monk of Mount Cassin, but afterwards he yielded the point, and professed himself ready to subscribe the article contested, in any form the council should please to order. A confession of faith was accordingly drawn up by cardinal Humbert. By this form, which was both subscribed and sworn, he abjured his opinion, and declared fully for that of his adversaries. And afterwards to give farther satisfaction, he burned his own writings and the book of John Scotus.

But unless a man's honesty is perfectly subdued, these turns of interest are often but short lived: for conscience without conviction is always uneasy. Thus Berengarius was no sooner returned to France, and retired to a place of safety, but he relapsed again, as they called it; maintained his former tenets openly, repented the burning of his writings, and published a new piece upon the old argument: and this is that tract which Lanfranc endeavoured to confute. And more than this, he expressed himself with great freedom in dislike of pope Leo IX. And when pope Alexander II. pressed him earnestly in a letter to renounce, he sent him word he was fixed in his belief, and was resolved to abide by it. In the year 1063, there was a provincial council held at Rouën, against Berengarius, and another at


Poictiers twelve years after. At the latter of these Beren- WILgarius was present, and was in danger of losing his life: but K. of Eng. this accident made no other impression, unless to give him a worse opinion of the other party. At last Gregory VII., in a council held at Rome in the year 1078, brought Berengarius to another recantation, which appears to be more full and explicit than those he had made before. By this form he declares that the bread and wine upon the altar, are substantially changed by the mysterious operation of the consecration, and by the words of our Saviour, into the true, proper, and quickening body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and not only figuratively, and sacramentally, but truly, properly, and substantially.

And now one would have thought Berengarius had been perfectly conquered; but it seems his conscience made him fly out once more, and declare for his old opinion, upon which account he was forced to appear at a council of Bourdeaux, convened in the year 1080, and this was the last public scene of his life. The rest of his time he spent in Du Pin, ib. retirement near Tours, and died in the year of our Lord 1088. Hildebert, bishop of Manes, gives him a great character for his learning and morals.

Baronius, upon the mention of his death, calls him a rotten heretick; which is a sign he suspected his dying with his old belief about him. And monsieur Du Pin, who writes with Baron. An

nal. tom. 11.

ad An. 1088.

much more temper than the cardinal, seems to believe that he either went out of the world in his error, as he calls it, or else that he changed his mind but a little before his death. Lanfranc, in his answer to Berengarius, speaks plainly for a corporeal presence, and comes up to the form prescribed to his adversary in the Roman council, held under pope Gregory VII. He represents this doctrine as the general belief of the fathers. But to say nothing farther, he seems not either to have seen or examined the epistle of St. Chrysostome to Cæsarius; where this father disputing against the heresy of Apollinarius, brings an instance, by way of illustration, from the holy eucharist. "The bread," says he, "before consecration, is called bread; but after it has passed through the force of the solemnity, and been consecrated by the priest, it is then discharged from the name of bread, and dignified with the name of our Lord's body, though the

Du Pin. ibid. p. 11.


nature of bread still remains in it." And thus, by the form FRANC, of the expression, the application of the instance, and the

Abp. Cant.

See Dr.

Church of


force of the comparison, he shews clearly that he believed the nature or substance of bread remained unchanged after consecration. Theodoret has a passage full to the same purpose; it is in his second dialogue between Orthodoxus and EraWake's De- nistes; the latter of these two persons represents an Eutyfence of the chian. Now by the doctrine of the Eutychian heresy, our Exposition of the Saviour's human nature was absorbed by the divine. To England, in make good these points, Eranistes argues from the change the Appen- of the elements in the holy eucharist: "As the symbols of our Saviour's body and blood," says he, "are one thing before the invocation of the priest, but after the prayer of conse cration has passed upon them, they are changed, and become another so our Lord's body, after his ascension, is transformed into the divine substance." "You are caught in your own net," replies Orthodoxus, (who stands for Theodoret,) “ οὐδὲ γὰρ μετὰ, τὸν ἁγιασμὸν τὰ μυστικὰ σύμβολα τῆς οἰκείας ἐξίσταται φύσεως μένει γὰρ ἐπὶ τῆς προτέρας οὐσίας, &c.” That is, the mysterious symbols do not lose their nature upon consecration, but continue in their former substance, &c.'


I mention these two testimonies, because I conceive them unanswerable, and not capable of any tolerable evasion.

Now to apply this matter farther; it is well known St. Chrysostome and Theodoret were never charged with any unorthodoxy or singularity of opinion with regard to the holy eucharist we may therefore safely conclude, that their opinion in this matter was no other than the catholic doctrine of the primitive Church.

Epist. ad


Theodor. Dialog. 2. p. 85.

Lanfranc's argument

not cogent.

Lanfranc proceeds, and argues from the absurdity of his against Be- adversaries' opinion, that if the eucharist was called the flesh rengarius of Jesus Christ, only because it is the figure of it, it would follow that the sacraments of the Old Testament were preferable to those of the New, because it is a greater mark of excellency to be the type of things future, than the figure or representation of things past. To this it may be answered, that the dignity of a type, or representation, does not consist in the respects of time, but in the advantage of the signification. Now as to the benefits, the sacraments of the Gospel, or new law, are very much preferable to those of the old, there being greater proportions of grace and divine



assistance annexed to them: and therefore, though the holy WILeucharist represents our Saviour's sufferings as a thing K. of Eng. which is past, yet the invaluable blessings, the pardon of sin, and the conveyance of grace, are all present, and actually conferred in that holy sacrament. But my business is not to engage in any long dispute.

To conclude therefore with Lanfranc, in a word or two upon his style. His manner of writing was neither figurative nor florid, but plain, and proper for dogmatical tracts. His reasonings are commonly close and well managed. He was thoroughly acquainted with the ancient Latin fathers, and the canons of the Church; and there were not many in that age who wrote with that exactness or made so good a judgment upon things.

Before we take leave of him, one passage relating to his life must not be forgotten, and that is a ruffling letter of pope Gregory VII. to command him to Rome, to pay his respects to his holiness. Now this prelate had formerly been at Rome for his pall in the popedom of Alexander II., but that it seems would not satisfy the lofty humour of his successor Gregory. His letter runs thus :

"Brother, we have, by our apostolical legates, frequently invited you to Rome, to give us satisfaction concerning your belief; but hitherto you have, either out of pride or negligence, abused our patience, and delayed to answer our summons, without so much as sending any reasonable and warrantable excuse. As for the length and fatigue of the journey, that is no justification; for it is well known that a great many people much more remote than yourself, and disabled in their health almost to the last degree, have, out of their great regard to St. Peter, surmounted all these difficulties, and come in horse litters to pay their devotion. Therefore, by virtue of our apostolical authority, we enjoin you, that, setting aside all pretences and insignificant apprehensions of danger, you take care to make your appearance at Rome within four months after your receiving our commands; and neglect no longer to reform your misbehaviour, and come off from your disobedience, which has been borne with so long already. But if our apostolical order makes no impression upon you; if you take no notice of our


summons, and have the assurance to continue incorrigible Abp. Cant, and disobedient, (which is as iniquity and idolatry, as the prophet Samuel speaks, 1 Sam. xv.,) you will certainly be thrown out of St. Peter's protection, and feel the weight of his authority; insomuch, that, unless you come before us within the time above mentioned, you will be suspended from all the functions of your character."

This letter was written in the year 1081, which was about eight years before the death of the archbishop; so that he Baron. An- had time enough to have taken the journey. But notwithad An. 1081. standing this menacing summons, it is certain Lanfranc

nal. tom. 11.

Du Pin. Eccles. Hist. cent. 11. p. 68.

Wigorn. ad
An. 1084.

never went to Rome to pay his submission, nor so far as it appears, sent any excuse upon the occasion. And as for the pope, he thought fit to come to a cooler temper, and drop the censure he had threatened.

This pope, though monsieur Du Pin allows him to be a man of regularity and morals as to his private conversation, yet he does not stick to affirm that his zeal to promote the grandeur of his see transported him to unwarrantable excesses, and put him upon measures which were altogether indefensible. This learned writer confesses him the cause of great disturbances, both in the Church and empire; that he pretended to a power over kings and their dominions which by no means belonged to him, and that he carried the authority of the holy see a great deal too far. It seems the pope himself was sensible of his misbehaviour at last; for when he lay upon his death-bed, as Florence of Worcester reports, he sent for one of his favourite cardinals, and, making his confession to God and the whole Church, declared he had very much mismanaged in his office, and, by the instigation of the devil, created a great deal of disturbance in the world.

To return to Lanfranc: there are several remarkable sentences of this archbishop, mentioned by Dacherius, some of which are directions for a monastic life, and the rest relate to the conduct of a Christian in common. I shall translate them as they stand:

"There are eight things, which, if carefully observed by the religious, they may justly have the commendation of

« السابقةمتابعة »