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Plegilus a priest : how an angel shewed Christ unto him in the form of a child upon the altar, whom first he took into his arms and kissed, but ate him up afterwards, when he was returned to his former shape again. Whereof arose that jest, which Berengarius was wont to use : “This” " was a proper peace of the knave indeed, that whom he had kissed with his mouth, he would devour with his teeth."
But there are three other tales of singular note, which, though they may justly strive for winning of the whetstone with any other, yet for their antiquity have gained credit above the rest: being devised, as it seemeth, much about the same time with that other of Plegilus, but having relation unto higher times. The first was had out of the English legends too, as Johannes Diaconuso reporteth it in the life of Gregory the first; of a Roman matron, who found a piece of the sacramental bread turned into the fashion of a finger, all bloody; which afterwards, upon the prayers of St. Gregory, was converted to his former shape again. The other two were first coined by the Grecian liars, and from them conveyed unto the Latins, and registered in the book which they called Vitas Patrum: which being commonly believed to have been collected by St. Hierome', and accustomed to be read ordinarily in every monastery, gave occasion of further spread, and made much way for the progress of this mystery of iniquity. The former of these is not only related there?, but also in the legend of Simeon Metaphrastes (which is such another author among the Grecians, as Jacobus de Voragine was among the Latins), in the life of Arsenius : how that a little child was seen upon the altar, and an angel cutting him into small pieces with a knife, and receiving his blood into the chalice, as long as the priest was breaking the bread into little parts. The latter is of a certain Jew receiving the sacrament at St. Basil's hands, converted visibly into true flesh and blood : which is expressed by Cyrus Theodorus Prodromus, in this Tetrastich.
• Speciosa certe pax nebulonis; ut, cui oris præbuerat basium, dentium inferret exitium. Guilielm. Malmesbur. de gestis reg. Anglor. lib. 3.
• Jo. Diac. vit. Greg. lib. 2. cap. 41. P Sanctus Hieronymus presbyter ipsas sanctorum patrum vitas Latino edidit
Paschas. Radbert. in epist. ad Frudegard. Consule libros Carolinos, de imaginib. lib. 4. cap. 11.
9 Inter sententias patrum, a Pelagio Romanæ ecclesiæ diacono Latine versas, libell. 8. cui titulus De providentia vel prævidentia : sive, ut in Pholii bibliotheca habetur. cod. 98. περί διορατικών.
r Tom. 4. Surii, pag. 257. edit. Colon. ann. 1573.
Χριστιανών ποτέ παίζε θυηπολίην "Εβερ υίος
But the chief author of the fable was a cheating fellow, who, that he might lie with authority, took upon him the name of Amphilochius, St. Basil's companion, and set out a book of his life fraught' with leasings: as cardinal Baronius himself acknowledgeth. St. Augustine's conclusion therefore may here well take place: “Let those things be taken away, which are either fictions of lying men, or wonders wrought by evil spirits. For either there is no truth in these reports; or, if there be any strange things done by heretics, we ought the more to beware of them; because, when the Lord had said, that certain deceivers should come, who by doing of some wonders should seduce, if it were possible, the very elect, he very earnestly commended this unto our consideration, and said ; Behold, I have told you before;" yea, and added a further charge also, that if these impostors should say unto us of him, “ behold", he is in secret closets," we should
• Nomen Amphilochii ad mentiendum accepit. Baron. tom. 4. ann. 369.
i Scatens mendaciis. Id. ibid. ann. 363. sec. 55.
u Removeantur ista vel figmenta mendacium hominum, vel portenta fallacium spirituum. Aut enim non sunt vera quæ dicuntur : aut si hæreticorum aliqua mira facta sunt, magis cavere debemus : quod, cum dixisset Dominus quosdam futuros esse fallaces, qui nonnulla signa faciendo etiam electos si fieri posset fallerent, adjecit vehementer commendans, et ait, Ecce prædixi vobis. Augustin. de unitat. eccles. cap. 16.
w Matt. chap. 24. ver. 26.
not believe it: which whether it be applicable to them who tell us, that Christ is to be found in a pix, and think that they have him in safe custody under lock and key, I leave to the consideration of others.
The thing which now I would have further observed is only this, that, as that wretched heretic, who first went about to persuade men by his lying wonders, that he really delivered blood unto them in the cup of the eucharist, was censured for being ridwlotolòs, an idol-maker; so in after ages, from the idol-makers and image-worshippers of the east it was, that this gross opinion of the oral eating and drinking of Christ in the sacrament drew its first breath; God having for their idolatry justly given them up unto“ a* reprobate mind,” that they might "receive that recompence of their error which was meet." The pope's name, in whose days this fell out, was Gregory the third : the man's name, who was the principal setter of it abroach, was John Damasceney; one that laid the foundation of school-divinity among the Greeks, as Peter Lombard afterwards did among the Latins. On the contrary side, they who opposed the idolatry of those times, and more especially the three hundred and thirty-eight bishops assembled together at the council of Constantinople, in the year 754. maintained, that Christ “ chose? no other shape or type under heaven to represent his incarnation by, but the sacrament;" which“ he delivered to his ministers for a type and a most effectual commemoration thereof;" “ commanding the substance of bread to be offered, which did not any way resemble the form of a man, that so no occasion might be given of bringing in idolatry:” which bread they affirmed to be the body of Christ, not púoel, but Oétel; that is, as they themselves
* Rom. chap. 1. ver. 27, 28.
1 ως ουκ άλλου είδους επιλεχθέντος παρ' αυτού εν τη υπ' ουρανόν, ή τύπου εικονίσαι την αυτού σάρκωσιν δυναμένου. .
και εις τύπον και ανάμνησιν εναργεστάτην τοίς αυτού μύσταις παραδέδωκε.
Β άρτου ουσίαν προσέταξε προσφέρεσθαι, μη σχηματίζουσαν ανθρώπου μορφήν, ίνα μή ειδωλολατρεία παρεισαχθή.
expound it, “ a holy” and “ ad true image of his natural flesh.”
These assertions of theirs are to be found in the thirde tome of the sixth action of the second council of Nice, assembled not long after for the reestablishing of images in the Church, where a pratchant deacon, called Epiphanius, to cross that which those former bishops had delivered, confidently avoucheth, that none of the apostles nor of the fathers did ever call the sacrament an image of the body of Christ. He confesseth indeed, that some of the fathers, as Eustathius expounding the Proverbs of Solomon, and St. Basil in his Liturgy, do call the bread and wine åvrituta, correspondent types or figures, before they were consecrated : “ but after the consecration," saith he, “ they are called, and are, and believed to be the body and blood of Christ properly." Where the pope's own followers, who of late published the acts of the general councils at Rome, were so far ashamed of the ignorance of this blind Bayard, that they correct his boldness with this marginal note. “The holy gifts are oftentimes found to be called antitypes, or figures correspondent, after they be consecrated: as by Gregory Nazianzen, in the funeral oration upon his sister, and in his apology; by Cyril of Jerusalem in his fifth Cateches. Mystagogic, and by others." And we have already heard, how the author of the dialogues against the Marcionites, and after him Eusebius and Gelasius, expressly call the sacrament an iinage of Christ's body: howsoever this peremptory clerk denieth that ever any did so. By all which it may easily
• το θέσει, ήτοι η εικών αυτού αγία. 4 ταϊς της ευχαριστίας άρτον, ώς αψευδή εικόνα της φυσικής σαρκός,
So a little after it is called ήθεοπαράδοτος εικών της σαρκός αυτού, and αψευδής εικών της ενσάρκου οικονομίας χριστού. . e Concil. gener. tom. 3. pag. 599, 600. edit. Rom.
προ του αγιασθήναι εκλήθη αντίτυπα, μετά δε τον αγιασμόν σώμα κυρίως και αίμα χριστου λέγονται, και εισί, και πιστεύονται. Ibid.
και 'Αντίτυπα μετά το αγιασθήναι πολλάκις εύρηται καλούμενα τα άγια δώρα· οίον παρα Γρηγορ. τω θεολ. εν τω εις την αδελφήν επιτ. και εν τω απολογ. παρά Κυρίλλο Ιεροσολ. κατηχ. μυστ. ε και άλλοις. Ιb. in mar
appear, that not the oppugners, but the defenders of images, were the men who first went about herein to alter the language used by their forefathers.
Now as, in the days of Gregory the third, this matter was set afoot by Damascene in the east; so about a hundred years after, in the papacy of Gregory the fourth, the same began to be propounded in the west, by means of one Amalarius; who was bishop, not, as he is commonly taken to be, of Triers, but of Metz first, and afterwards of Lyons. This man, writing doubtfully of this point, otherwhiles followeth the doctrine of St. Augustine, thath sacraments were oftentimes called by the names of the things themselves; and so the sacrament of Christ's body, was secundum quendam modum, after a certain manner, the body of Christ: otherwhiles maketh it a part of his belief, “ that the simple nature of the bread and wine mixed is turned into a reasonable nature, to wit, of the body and blood of Christ." But what should become of this body, after the eating thereof, was a matter that went beyond his little wit: and therefore said he, “ whenk the body of Christ is taken with a good intention, it is not for me to dispute, whether it be invisibly taken up into heaven, or kept in our body until the day of our burial, or exhaled into the air, or whether it go out of the body with the blood (at the opening of a vein), or be sent out by the mouth; our Lord saying that every thing, which entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is sent forth into the draught.” For this and another like foolery, de triformi! et tripartito corpore Christi, of the three parts or kinds of
h Amalar. de ecclesiastic. offic. lib. 1. cap. 24.
i Hic credimus naturam simplicem panis et vini mixti verti in naturam rationabilem, scilicet corporis et sanguinis Christi. Id. lib. 3. cap. 24.
* Ita vero sumptum corpus Domini bona intentione, non est mihi disputandum utrum invisibiliter assumatur in cælum, aut reservetur in corpore nostro usque in diem sepulturæ, aut exhaletur in auras, aut exeat de corpore cum sanguine aut per os emittatur; dicente Domino, Omne quod intrat in os in ventrem vadit, et in secessum emittitur. Idem in epistola ad Guitardum, MS. in biblioth. colleg. S. Benedict. Cantabrig. cod. 55.
I Id. de ecclesiast, offic. lib. 3. cap. 35.