Front Page Titles (by Subject) §63 - The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented
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§63 - Samuel von Pufendorf, The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented 
The Divine Feudal Law: Or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented, trans. Theophilus Dorrington, ed. with an Introduction by Simone Zurbruchen (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).
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About the Lord’s Supper. The other particular Controversie concerns the Sacred Supper; about which tho’ there was little Dispute that we read of in the next Ages after Christ, yet the Christians in the Western Parts have for an Age or two last past very sharply differ’d about it. Concerning which Controversie, it may be observ’d, That so far as it is about the manner of the Presence it is more curious then useful, provided there be a Consent only concerning the Substance of the Sacrament, and the end and use of it. For the Manner both in Naturals and Morals lies often times hid, and is unknown; and for all that there may be no less Profit and Advantage from the right use of them. And further, this is to be taken for granted, That the Substance of the Sacrament, and what is therein exhibited and receiv’d, does not depend upon the Perswasion and Credulity, or Belief of the Men that use it, but upon the Disposition and Appointment of him that Institutes it. And therefore neither a true nor a false Interpretation of the words of Institution can make that the Body and Blood of Christ is present, or not present in the Supper, but the Will and the Veracity or Truth of him that hath Instituted it. To which these words may be applied, Rom. 3. Shall their unbelief make the faith of God of none effect? So, for instance, If any unknown sort of Meat or Drink be given to any Man, tho’ he should entertain a belief that it is otherwise than it truly is; yet is not that Meat or Drink therein alter’d or chang’d; and the Man does not receive that which he perswades himself he receives, but that which was offer’d to him by his Entertainer. So tho’ it signifies much towards the Fruit of this Sacrament with what Perswasion a Man comes to partake of it, yet that Perswasion, whether too large, or too narrow, does not change the Substance of the Sacrament. From whence it follows, That they who receive this Sacrament whole, and according to the Institution of Christ, do receive the same thing as to the Substance, and neither more nor less, altho’ they think diversly concerning that which is invisible. And so in this Supper there is not more receiv’d among the Lutherans, than among the Reform’d; nor is there less receiv’d among these then among the former. So that there is no need to dispute so fiercely concerning this Article under which is included in the Opinion of all Antiquity an awful Mistery, which cannot be perceiv’d by our Senses, and which ought to be consider’d and handled with a sort of Sacred Horrour. As for the differing Opinions about this, ’tis certain, that the Lutherans, no less then the Reform’d abhor the monstrous Transubstantiation of the Papists, and the Consequences which are deduced thence: For as much as hardly any thing more absur’d and horrid, then that Opinion can be invented either in Divinity or Philosophy. For what can be more monstrous, then that the Body of the Saviour which is partaker of Divine Adoration, should be produced from a bit of Bread at the pronouncing a certain Form of Words by the Priest? Which Body too must not be reckon’d born of the Virgin Mary, besides which Body the Saviour has no other, but is anew produced upon the Altar: Or that this can be infinite times in a day produc’d by the words of Priests, which heretofore was with such solemn Preparation by Almighty God, and with such Expectation of the faithful People, born of the Virgin, and hang’d on a Cross, to make Attonement for Mankind. And since according to their Opinion the Body of Christ made of Bread, remains even after the Celebration of the Sacrament, and is to be ador’d. It does not appear how it can be that that Body should be obnoxious to Corruption, when in the Sacred Supper it is receiv’d by the Communicants. Therefore, whether they say the Body of Christ is digested by them, and turn’d into their Substance, or that it continues void of Alteration or Corruption, both of these is attended with very great Absurdity. For from thence it would come to pass, that either the Flesh of all those who receive the Supper must become adorable, and fit to be worshipped, or they must be as the Repositories wherein this Body is laid. But the Lutherans stay at the naked words of the Institution, without any Interpretation, lest they should seem willing to limit and confine the Truth, and the Omnipotence of God. Therefore they determine that the Bread and Wine remain what they are, as well in the use of them, as afterwards, and yet so that in the use of the Sacrament the Body and Blood of Christ are verily present together with the Elements, and are indeed taken and receiv’d with the Mouth of the Body, but in a manner that cannot be perceiv’d by our Senses: And so indeed as that there is not any new and peculiar Body produced for every Communicant, and given to him, but so as that all the Communicants do truly partake of that one Body of Christ which hung upon the Cross, and of that Blood which he there shed. Yet neither the one nor the other does loose any thing, nor is it therefore torn, lessened, or consum’d, 1 Cor. 10:17. For the establishing which Opinion, it is not necessary to fly to the Omnipresence of the Flesh of Christ. Which if any should so rudely assert, it would follow that the Body of Christ would be eaten, and his Blood drank with all our Meat and Drink; that I do not mention any more of the Absurdities that would attend this. But to those Reasonings which are objected from the Judgment of the Senses, and the Nature of Natural Bodies, the Truth and Omnipotence of God is justly oppos’d, by which this may easily be perform’d, that this Body may be present after a manner which is Imperceptible to us, which through the Assumption of the Son of God, and the eminent Degree of Glorification which it has attain’d, does far exceed the Nature and Quality of other Bodies. Therefore if there were any Errour in this Opinion (which is in no wise granted) it would yet be therefore very innocent, because we bear such Reverence to the words of our Saviour, that we suffer our Reason to be Captivated to the Obedience of Faith, and chuse rather simply to receive those things, then curiously to interpret them. On the other hand the Reform’d, that they may cast away that simple Sense of the Words, and seek a Figurative Interpretation of them, have used Reasonings taken from the Testimony of the Senses, and from the Nature of Bodies, both because Christ is ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right Hand of God, and upon that account is no longer present upon Earth; and also because ’tis contrary to a due Reverence to say, that the most Holy Body and Blood are receiv’d by the unworthy and the Wicked. For as for that Cavil, that if the Body of Christ were present in the Supper, it must have been long since eaten up; it is so silly as is not worthy to have any regard in a Discourse of Divinity. From whence they believe that in this Sacrament there is nothing else receiv’d by the Mouth of our Body, but the Bread and Wine: But the worthy Receivers, and the Faithful, lifting up their Thoughts by Faith into the Heavens where Christ is, do in a spiritual manner eat of him in this sacred Ceremony, and so are made partakers of the Benefits purchased by him. But since the Sense of this Interpretation reaches no further then this, That in the use of the Sacred Supper the Saviour is call’d to mind by an Act of Faith; it does not appear what occasion, or need there was for that Sacrament, since the Faithful might in every place, and at all times call to mind the Saviour, or how such a calling him to mind could possibly be express’d in these words; eat ye, this is my body. Some seem to themselves to argue with more subtilty, and say, The first Supper Celebrated by Christ himself, must be reckon’d the Rule of all other Celebrations of it. But in that, Christ did not offer to the Disciples to be eaten by them that Body which then sate at the Table; nor did he give them his Blood separated from his Body to drink. For it cannot agreeably be said that in the same Act there was a double Presence of the Body of Christ, which was yet in its low and humble State, the one visible, the other invisible, and so that the same Body sate in a local and visible manner at the Table, and was eaten by the Disciples in an invisible manner, and as without place. But since they were to eat of a Federal Victim, we must know that the Saviour in this Sacred Rite substituted Bread in the stead of his Body, and Wine in the stead of his Blood. Especially since for preserving the Memory of any Person, it is not necessary to have the Person himself, but some other thing is put for this purpose in the stead of the Person himself. Yet we must not believe the Bread and Wine to be a naked Symbol, but a Communication, or Mean by which we come into Participation of the Body and Blood of Christ, as St. Paul speaks, 1 Cor. 10:16. But of what sort that Communion, or Communication is whether Physical or Moral, may be very well gather’d from that very place of St. Paul. By a Physical Communion, or Participation, must be understood the Conjunction of two Bodies, as of Water and Wine, of Meal and Sugar: But by a Moral one is meant, such as when any thing partakes of the Virtue and Efficacy of the other, and in that respect is accounted the same with another, or connected with it. As among the Jews, they who did eat of the Flesh of the Victim, were made partakers of the Altar, that is of the Jewish Worship, and of all the Benefits which did accompany that Worship, so also they who did eat of things Sacrificed to Idols, were partakers of Devils; not for that they did eat the Substance of the Devils, but because they did derive upon themselves the Guilt of Idolatry. From all which things, we may learn to understand the words of the Institution in this Sense; This is my body, this is the cup of the new covenant in my blood: That is, This Bread eaten by the Faithful in the Ceremony of this Supper, this Wine also therein drank by such, shall have the same Virtue and Efficacy, as if ye should eat the Substance it self of my Body, and drink the very Substance of my Blood: Or this Bread is put in the stead of the Sacrificed Flesh, this Wine is in the stead of the Sacrificed Blood, whereby the Covenant between God and Men, having Me for the Mediator of it, is establish’d. But neither are such sort of Expressions signifying an Equivalence, or Substitution, unusual either in Sacred Scriptures, or Prophane Authors. For Instance, Job 31:24. If I have made gold my hope, 2 Kings 11:12. Elijah was the Chariots of Israel, and the Horsemen thereof, John 19:26, 27. Woman behold thy son, son behold thy mother, Mat. 12:49. He that does the Will of my Father, he is my Mother, my Sister, and Brother, Phil. 3:18, 19. Their Belly is their God, said of those who are Enemies of the Cross of Christ. So in Virgil we have a like Expression, Thou shalt be to me the great Apollo.42 For in Articles of Faith, it is better to follow that which is simple and easie, than to indulge to the Exercises of Wit, in seeking Subtilties. And it has been observ’d, that while the Reins have been let loose too much to Human Reason in discoursing upon this Article, the other Mysteries of Christian Religion have been struck at, so that by degrees Socinianism is at length sprung up. But if on both sides it is sincerely profess’d, That in the Lord’s Supper the Body and Blood of Christ are truly and properly eaten and drank, and there is a participation of the Benefits which he has purchased, the Controversie that remains is about the manner of Eating and Drinking, and of the Presence, of the Body and Blood of Christ, which both do acknowledge transcends the reach of Human Reason; and so they make use of Reasonings in a Case where Reason cannot determin any thing.
[42.]Virgil, The Eclogues, III, verse 104.