Justification Debate With Catholic Nick Saturday, Apr 21 2012 

I have been participating in an essay debate with Nick’s Catholic Blog on the topic of Justifcation by Faith alone.  All of the essays are posted there and to answer Nick’s Five Questions I will offer my replies here: at the Kings Parlor: http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/justification/justification-debate-with-catholic-nick

John of Damascus on Holy Images Refuted Part 2 Saturday, Apr 21 2012 

John of Damascus on Holy Images Refuted Part 2

The following is taken from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library edition (London: Thomas Baker, 1898) with copy and paste text support fromFordham University’s Internet History Sourcebook’s website:

Psa 97:7 Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images, Who boast themselves of idols; Worship Him, all you gods.

Deut 5:6 ‘I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 7 ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. 8 ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

Deut 4:15 “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, 16 so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth.

On page 13 Damascus argues, “Again, in His tabernacles, as when all the people of Israel adored in the tent, and standing round the temple in Jerusalem, fixing their gaze upon it from all sides, and worshipping from that day to this”

>>>In a section dealing with the anchoretic arguments for kneeling before the host, Gillespie refutes in toto, the anchoretic arguments for icon and relic veneration coming from the adoration that the Jews gave to the Temple and Ark in the Old Testament,

George Gillespie’s English Popish Ceremonies, originally published in 1637; Reprinted in 1844. (Edinburgh: Robert Ogle and Oliver& Boyd), pg. 102-105,

“Sect. 17. The sixth and last argument whereby I prove the kneeling in question to be idolatry, is taken from the nature and kind of the worship wherein it is used. For the receiving of the sacrament being a mediate worship of God, wherein the elements come between God and us, in such sort that they belong to the substance of the worship (for without the elements, the sacrament is not a sacrament), and withal are susceptive of co-adoration, forasmuch as in the act of receiving, both our minds and our external senses are, and should be, fastened upon them; hereby we evince the idolatry of kneeling in the receiving. For in every mediate worship, wherein some creature is purposely set between God and us to have state in the same, it is idolatry to kneel before such a creature, whilst both our minds and senses are fastened upon it. Our opposites have talked many things together to infringe this argument. First, They allege the bowing of God’s people before the ark, the temple, the holy mountain, the altar, the bush, the cloud, the fire which came from heaven. Ans. 1. Where they have read that the people bowed before the altar of God, I know not. Bishop Lindsey indeed would prove from 2 Chron. vi. 12, 13, and Mich. vi. 6, that the people bowed before the altar and the offering. But the first of those places speaks nothing of kneeling before the altar, but only of kneeling before the congregation, that is, in the sight of the congregation. And if Solomon had then kneeled before the altar, yet the altar had been but occasionally and accidentally before him in his adoration; for to what end and use could he have purposely set the altar before him, whilst he was kneeling and praying? The place of Micah cannot prove that God’s people did kneel before the offerings at all (for it speaks only of bowing before God), far less, that they kneeled before them in the very act of offering, and that with their minds and senses fixed upon them, as we kneel in the very act of receiving the sacrament, and that at that instant when our minds and senses are fastened upon the signs, that we may discern the things signified by them, for the exercising of our hearts in a thankful meditation upon the Lord’s death. 2. As for the other examples here alleged, God was immediately present, in and with the ark, the temple, the holy mountain, the bush, the cloud, and the fire which came from heaven, speaking and manifesting himself to his people by his own immediate voice, and miraculous extraordinary presence; so that worshipping before these things had the same reason which makes the twenty-four elders in heaven worship before the throne, Rev. iv. 10; for in these things God did immediately manifest his presence as well as in heaven. Though there be a difference in the degrees of the immediate manifestation of his presence in earth and in heaven, yet magis et minus non variant speciem. Now God is present in the sacrament, not extraordinarily, but in the way of an ordinary dispensation, not immediately, but mediately. They must therefore allege some commendable examples of such a kneeling as we dispute about, in a mediate and ordinary worship, else they say nothing to the point.

Sect. 18. Yet to no better purpose they tell us, that when God spake, Abraham fell on his face; and when the fire came down at Elijah’s prayer, the people fell on their faces. What is this to the purpose? And how shall kneeling in a mediate and ordinary worship be warranted by kneeling in the hearing of God’s own immediate voice, or in seeing the miraculous signs of his extraordinary presence. Howbeit it cannot be proved, neither, that the people fell on their faces in the very act of seeing the fire fall (when their eyes and their minds were fastened upon it), but that after they had seen the miracle wrought, they so considered of it as to fall down and worship God.

But further, it is objected, “that a penitentiary kneels to God purposely before the congregation, and with a respect to the congregation, &c. When we come to our common tables before we eat, either sitting with our heads discovered, or standing, or kneeling, we give thanks and bless, with a respect to the meat, which is purposely set on table, &c. The pastor, when he begins the holy action, hath the bread and the cup set before him purposely upon the table, and with respect to them he gives thanks,” &c.

Ans. Though a penitentiary kneel to God purposely in the presence and sight of the congregation, that he may make known to them his repentance for the sin whereby he hath scandalised them, yet is the confessing of his sin to God, kneeling there upon his knees, an immediate worship, neither doth the congregation come betwixt him and God, as belonging to the substance of this worship, for he kneeleth to God as well, and maketh confession of his sin, when the congregation is not before him. But I suppose our kneelers themselves will confess, that the elements come so betwixt God and them when they kneel, that they belong to the essence of the worship in hand, and that they would not, nor could not, worship the flesh and blood of Christ in the sacrament, if the elements were not before them.

To be short, the case of a penitentiary standeth thus, that not in his kneeling simpliciter, but in his kneeling publicly and in sight of the congregation, he setteth them before him purposely, and with a respect to them; whereas our kneelers do kneel in such sort that their kneeling simpliciter, and without an adjection or adjunct, hath a respect to the elements purposely set before them; neither would they at all kneel for that end and purpose for which they do kneel, namely, for worshipping the flesh and blood of Christ in the sacrament, except the elements were before the eyes both of their minds and bodies, as the penitentiary doth kneel for making confession of his sin to God, when the congregation is not before him.

And if one would say, that in kneeling at the sacrament he worshippeth not the flesh and blood of Christ, but the Lord his God only, yet is the same difference to be put betwixt his kneeling before the elements, and the kneeling of a penitentiary before the congregation: for the very kneeling itself (simply considered) before the elements, respecteth them as then purposely set in our sight that we may kneel before them; whereas, in the case of the penitentiary, it is not his kneeling to confess his sin to God which hath a respect to the congregation as set in his sight for that purpose, but some circumstances of his kneeling only, to wit, when ? At that time when the congregation is assembled. And where? Publicly in sight of the congregation! In regard of these circumstances, he hath the congregation purposely in his sight, and so respecteth them; but in regard of the kneeling itself simply, the presence of the congregation is but accidental to him who kneeleth and confesseth his sin before God. As touching giving thanks before the meat set on our common tables, though a man should do it kneeling, yet this speaketh not home to the point now in controversy, except a man so kneel before his meat, that he have a religious respect to it as a thing separated from a common use and made holy, and likewise have both his mind, and his external senses of seeing, touching, and tasting, fastened upon it in the act of his kneeling. And if a man should thus kneel before his meat, he were an idolater.

Lastly, Giving thanks before the elements of bread and wine, in the beginning of the holy action, is as far from the purpose; for this giving of thanks is an immediate worship of God, wherein we have our minds and senses, not upon the bread and wine as upon things which have a state in that worship of the Lord’s supper, and belong to the substance of the same (for the very consecration of them to this use is but then in fieri), but we worship God immediately by prayer and giving of thanks, which is all otherwise in the act of receiving.

Sect. 19. Moreover it is objected out of Lev. ix. 24 ; 2 Chron. vii. 3 ;Mich.vi. 6 ; 2 Chron. xxix. 28—30, that all the people fell on their faces before the legal sacrifices, when the fire consumed the burnt-offering.

Whereunto it may be answered, that the fire which came from God and consumed the burnt-offerings, was one of the miraculous signs of God’s extraordinary and immediate presence (as I have said before), and therefore kneeling before the same hath nothing to do with the present purpose.

But if we will particularly consider all these places, we find in the first two, that beside the fire, the glory of the Lord did also appear in a more miraculous and extraordinary manner, Lev. ix. 23, “The glory of the Lord appeared to all the people;” 2 Chron. vii. 1,12, ” The glory of the Lord filled the house.” They are therefore running at random who take hold of those places to draw out of them the lawfulness of kneeling in a mediate and ordinary worship.

The place of Micah I have answered before; and here I add, that though it could be proved from that place (as it cannot), that the people have bowed before the offerings, and that in the very act of offering, yet how shall it be proved, that in the act of their kneeling they had the offerings purposely before them, and their minds and senses fixed upon them in the very instant of their worshiping.

This I make clear by the last place, 2 Chron. xxix., out of which no more can be drawn but that the people worshipped whilst the priests were yet offering the burnt-offering. Now the burnt-offering was but accidentally before the people in their worshipping, and only because it was offered at the same time when the song of the Lord was sung, ver. 27. Such was the forwardness of zeal in restoring religion and purging the temple, that it admitted no stay, but eagerly prosecuted the work till it was perfected ; therefore the thing was done suddenly, ver. 36. Since, then, the song and the sacrifice were performed at the same time, we must note that the people worshipped at that time, not because of the sacrifice, which was a mediate worship, but because of the song of the Lord, which was an immediate worship. Now we all commend kneeling in an immediate worship. But this cannot content our opposites; they will needs have it lawful to kneel, in the hearing of the word, purposely, and with a respect to the word preached (though this be a mediate worship only). Their warrants1 are taken out, Exod. iv. 30, 31; Exod. xii. 27; 2 Chron. xx. 18; Matt. xvii. 6. From the first three places no more can be inferred but that these hearers bowed their heads and worshipped, after that they heard the word of the Lord; neither shall they ever warrant bowing and worshipping in the act of hearing.

In the fourth place, we read that the disciples fell on their faces when they heard God’s own immediate voice out of the cloud. What maketh this for falling down to worship at the hearing of the word preached by men? How long shall our opposites not distinguish betwixt mediate and immediate worship?…Sect. 20. But tho kneelers would yet make more ado to us, and be still stirring if they can do no more. Wherefore one of our doctors objecteth,1 that we lift up our eyes and our hands to heaven, and worship God, yet we do not worship the heaven ; that a man going to bed, prayeth before his bed ; that David offered the sacrifices of thanksgiving, in the presence of all the people, sal. cxvi; that Paul, having taken bread, gave thanks before all them who were in the ship, Acts xxvii. 36; that the Israelites worshipped before Moses and Aaron, Exod. iv. 31. Hereupon another doctor, harping upon the same string, tells us,a that when we kneel in the act of receiving the sacrament, ” we kneel no more to bread than to the pulpit when we join our prayers with the minister’s.” *********Oh, unworthy instances, and reproachful to doctors ! All these things were and are accidentally present to the worshippers, and not purposely before them************, nor respected as having a religious state in the worship. What ? Do we worship before the bread in the sacrament, even as before a pulpit, a bed, &c. ? Nay, graduate men should understand better what they speak of.” (pg.105)

Damascus also appeals to the fact that our Bibles are full of images, letters and words that represent God.

>>>But words don’t represent things. Words are arbitrary tags for things. (See Language and Theology by Gordon Clark)

Damascus complains (pg. 15),

“Answer me this question. Is there only one God? You answer, “Yes, there is only one Law-giver.” Why, then, does He command contrary things? The cherubim are not outside of creation; why, then, does He allow cherubim carved by the hand of man to overshadow the mercy-scat? Is it not evident that as it is impossible to make an image of God, who is uncircumscribed and impassible, or of one like to God, creation should not be worshipped as God. He allows the image of the cherubim who are circumscribed, and prostrate in adoration before the divine throne, to be made, and thus prostrate to overshadow the mercy-seat. It was fitting that the image of the heavenly choirs should overshadow the divine mysteries. Would you say that the ark and staff and mercy-seat were not made? Are [15] they not produced by the hand of man? Are they not due to what you call contemptible matter? What was the tabernacle itself? Was it not an image?”

>>>First, Damascus is not arguing against the Reformed understanding of images as I have just shown in part 1;  however, there is something to be said here. Like good judaizers that the Anchoretic Churches are, they do not understand the difference between the Old and New Covenant. Ceremonies are inferior to simple Biblical Elements: Heb 9: 9Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;10 [Which stood] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal (sarx) ordinances, imposed [on them] until the time of reformation. (kjv)

The outward display of the Temple and Tabernacle were part and parcel of the CARNAL Old Testament administration of the Covenant of Grace. The Christian bride does not need such adornments. 1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

Damascus though is arguing against a very strange system of theology that forbids images altogether. We Calvinist Reformed do not do that. We forbid making images of the divine persons, we forbid worshipping images of dead saints or anything outside of the Godhead (but we do not forbid making images of dead saints) and we forbid making the Church building a display of wealth and ornate carnal obsession.  I have had many Eastern Orthodox people assume we forbid all imagery and accuse me of Manichaeism. This is a lie.

Damascus complain (pg. 27)  “The shadow and winding sheet and relics of the apostles cured sickness, and put demons to flight. (Acts 5.15) How, then, shall not the shadow and the statues of the saints be glorified?”

>>>The Apostles had miraculous power, testifying to their divine calling. We do not have these powers, seeing that these gifts ceased with that period. (Dan 9:24, Heb 1:1-2, Acts 2:17-18 [Compared with Heb 1:2 “Last days”; Heb 9:26 “Consummation of the ages”; 1 Cor 10:11 “ends of the ages”], 1Co 13:8-9).

Damascus makes a strange admission on page 29,

“Secondly, we know that blessed Athanasius objected to the bodies of saints being put into chests, and that he preferred their burial in the ground, wishing to set at nought the strange custom of the Egyptians, who did not bury their dead under ground, but set them upon beds and couches.”

>>>Part II contains more arguments against the making of all images with some more support from tradition. I found no new arguments. Part III contains more complaints towards those who refuse all images and more appeal to tradition. I found no new arguments.

Protestant Scholar Philip Schaff, Admits that the Calvinist View of Christ’s Presence in the Sacraments, Not the Lutheran View (And the Eastern View) Sustains Chalcedon While the Latter Attacks It Friday, Apr 13 2012 

Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, Vol. 1, Chapter 6. The Creeds of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 46. The Form of Concord, Concluded. Analysis and Criticism.,

“We add some general remarks on the Christology of the Formula, as far as it differs from the Reformed Christology. After renewed investigation of this difficult problem, I have been confirmed in the conviction that the exegetical argument, which must ultimately decide the case, is in favor of the Reformed and against the Lutheran theory; but I cheerfully admit that the latter represents a certain mystical and speculative element, which is not properly appreciated in the Calvinistic theology, and may act as a check upon Nestorian tendencies.

1. The scholastic refinements of the doctrine of the communicatio idiomatum, and especially the ubiquity of the body, have no intrinsic religious importance, and owe their origin to the Lutheran hypothesis of the corporeal presence. They should, therefore, never have been made an article of faith. A surplus of orthodoxy provokes skepticism.

2. The great and central mystery of the union of the divine and human in Christ, which the Formula desires to uphold, is overstated and endangered by its doctrine of the genus majestaticum, or the communication of the divine attributes to the human nature of Christ. This doctrine runs contrary to the συγχύτως and τρέπτως of the Chalcedonian Creed. It leads necessarily—notwithstanding the solemn protest of the Formula—to a Eutychian confusion and æquation of natures; for, according to all sound philosophy, the attributes are not an outside appendix to the nature and independent of it, but inherent qualities, and together constitute the nature itself. Or else it involves the impossible conception of a double set of divine attributes—one that is original, and one that is derived or transferred.”


Scripturalism and the Sacrament, by Drake Friday, Jul 15 2011 

What Happens at the Consecration of the Elements of the Lord’s Supper?

Calvin’s Inst. 4.17.39

“This most admirably confirms what I elsewhere said—viz. that there cannot be a right administration of the Supper without the word. Any utility which we derive from the Supper requires the word. Whether we are to be confirmed in faith, or exercised in confession, or aroused to duty, there is need of preaching. Nothing, therefore, can be more preposterous than to convert the Supper into a dumb action. This is done under the tyranny of the Pope, the whole effect of consecration being made to depend on the intention of the priest, as if it in no way concerned the people, to whom especially the mystery ought to have been explained. This error has originated from not observing that those promises by which consecration is effected are intended, not for the elements themselves, but for those who receive them. Christ does not address the bread and tell it to become his body, but bids his disciples eat, and promises them the communion of his body and blood.”

The issue is not whether it is ok to consecrate the elements but what the definition of consecration is. The elements of bread and wine are by the promises and words of institution set apart for a sacramental use. This is against the Papist and Eastern  idea of consecration which methinks is indicative of the Neoplatonism that so permeates the ancient churches and modern day “Protestantism”. “Encounter” with Christ is not a mystic trance which is exactly what the Anchoretic churches make of the Sacrament. Encounter with Christ is always accompanied by propositional revelation. This is why I take Gordon Clark’s view of Epistemology. Saving Faith and Encounter with Christ is to have the Logos impressed univocally upon man with understanding not some fiducial state that is methinks indistinguishable from Plotinus’ ecstatic vision of the One.

Calvin on the Christological Issues that Concern the Lord’s Supper Tuesday, Jul 12 2011 

Is Christ’s Flesh Life Giving?

Calvin and Augustine on Christ’s Presence When an Unbeliever Eats the Sacrament

A Corporal/Substantial Presence of Christ’s Body in the Sacrament is Marcion’s Doceticism

Is the Sacrament a Sacrifice?

From Inst. 4.17

Is Christ’s Flesh Life Giving?

Calvin says,

“9. The flesh of Christ, however, has not such power in itself as to make us live, seeing that by its own first condition it was subject to mortality, and even now, when endued with immortality, lives not by itself. Still it is properly said to be life-giving, as it is pervaded with the fulness of life for the purpose of transmitting it to us. In this sense I understand our Saviour’s words as Cyril interprets them, “As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). For there properly he is speaking not of the properties which he possessed with the Father from the beginning, but of those with which he was invested in the flesh in which he appeared. Accordingly, he shows that in his humanity also fulness of life resides, so that every one who communicates in his flesh and blood, at the same time enjoys the participation of life…The Church is the “body” of Christ; his “fulness.” He is “the head,” “from whence the whole body fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth,” “maketh increase of the body” (Eph. 1:23; 4:15,16). Our bodies are the “members of Christ” (1 Cor. 6:15). We perceive that all these things cannot possibly take place unless he adheres to us wholly in body and spirit. But the very close connection which unites us to his flesh, he illustrated with still more splendid epithets, when he said that we “are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Eph. 5:30).

10. The sum is, that the flesh and blood of Christ feed our souls just as bread and wine maintain and support our corporeal life…the Spirit truly unites things separated by space. That sacred communion of flesh and blood by which Christ transfuses his life into us, just as if it penetrated our bones and marrow, he testifies and seals in the Supper, and that not by presenting a vain or empty sign, but by there exerting an efficacy of the Spirit by which he fulfils what he promises…“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”? (1 Cor. 10:16.) There is no ground to object that the expression is figurative, and gives the sign the name of the thing signified. I admit, indeed, that the breaking of bread is a symbol, not the reality. But this being admitted, we duly infer from the exhibition of the symbol that the thing itself is exhibited. For unless we would charge God with deceit, we will never presume to say that he holds forth an empty symbol. Therefore, if by the breaking of bread the Lord truly represents the partaking of his body, there ought to be no doubt whatever that he truly exhibits and performs it.”


Calvin and Augustine on Christ’s Presence When an Unbeliever Eats the Sacrament

Calvin says,

“Hence it follows, that unbelievers communicate only in the visible symbol; and the better to remove all doubt, after saying that this bread requires an appetite in the inner man, he [Augustine] adds (Hom. in Joann. 59), “Moses, and Aaron, and Phinehas, and many others who ate manna, pleased God. Why? Because the visible food they understood spiritually, hungered for spiritually, tasted spiritually, and feasted on spiritually. We, too, in the present day, have received visible food: but the sacrament is one thing, the virtue of the sacrament is another.” A little after, he says: “And hence, he who remains not in Christ, and in whom Christ remains not, without doubt neither spiritually eats his flesh, nor drinks his blood, though with his teeth he may carnally and visibly press the symbol of his body and blood….Hence his celebrated saying, that the other disciples ate bread which was the Lord, whereas Judas ate the bread of the Lord (Hom. in Joann. 62). By this, he clearly excludes unbelievers from participation in his body and blood. He has no other meaning when he says, “Why do you wonder that the bread of Christ was given to Judas, though he consigned him to the devil, when you see, on the contrary, that a messenger of the devil was given to Paul to perfect him in Christ?” (August. de Bapt. Cont. Donat. Lib. 5). He indeed says elsewhere, that the bread of the Supper was the body of Christ to those to whom Paul said, “He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself; and that it does not follow that they received nothing because they received unworthily.” But in what sense he says this, he explains more fully in another passage (De Civit. Dei, Lib. 21 c. 25). For undertaking professedly to explain how the wicked and profane, who, with the mouth, profess the faith of Christ, but in act deny him, eat the body of Christ; and, indeed, refuting the opinion of some who thought that they ate not only sacramentally, but really, he says: “Neither can they be said to eat the body of Christ, because they are not to be accounted among the members of Christ. For, not to mention other reasons, they cannot be at the same time the members of Christ and the members of a harlot. In fine, when Christ himself says, ‘He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him’ (John 6:56), he shows what it is to eat the body of Christ, not sacramentally, but in reality…The same thing he confirms not less clearly in these words: “Prepare not the jaws, but the heart; for which alone the Supper is appointed. 2592 We believe in Christ when we receive him in faith: in receiving, we know what we think: we receive a small portion, but our heart is filled: it is not therefore that which is seen, but that which is believed, that feeds (August. Cont. Faust. Lib. 8 c. 16). Here, also, he restricts what the wicked take to be the visible sign, and shows that the only way of receiving Christ is by faith.”

Inst. 4.17.34

A Corporal/Substantial Presence of Christ’s Body in the Sacrament is Marcion’s Doceticism

An Eastern Orthodox reader of my blog, says,

“Cyril in the 3rd Council makes clear that the body and blood are not carnal or ordinary flesh as of a man. Because of the hypostatic union, the humanity of Christ receives capabilities not natural to it…like glowing bright as the sun on the mount, walking on water, disappearing, healing through touch, in a word deified… For the sake of readers I will leave here what I left on the other thread–the words of John of Damascus On The Orthodox Faith from Book 3 chapters17, 19, and Book 4 chapter 13.

“It is worthy of note that the flesh of the Lord is not said to have been deified and made equal to God and God in respect of any change or alteration….(I mean the union in subsistence by virtue of which it was united inseparably with God the Word), and the permeation of the natures through one another, just as we saw that burning permeated the steel….For just as the burning does not change into fire the nature of the thing that is burnt, but makes distinct both what is burnt, and what burned it, and is indicative not of one but of two natures, so also the deification does not bring about one compound nature but two.

But he wished to indicate the novel and ineffable manner in which the natural energies of Christ manifest themselves, a manner befitting the ineffable manner in which the natures of Christ mutually permeate one another….For we hold that the energies are not divided and that the natures do not energise separately, but that each conjointly in complete community with the other energises with its own proper energy. For the human part did not energise merely in a human manner, for He was not mere man.

….if God the Word of His own will became man and the pure and undefiled blood of the holy and ever-virginal One made His flesh without the aid of seed can He not then make the bread His body and the wine and water His blood?
For just as God made all that He made by the energy of the Holy Spirit, so also now the energy of the Spirit performs those things that are supernatural and which it is not possible to comprehend unless by faith alone.
And now you ask, how the bread became Christ’s body and the wine and water Christ’s blood. And I say unto thee, “The Holy Spirit is present and does those things which surpass reason and thought.”
The body which is born of the holy Virgin is in truth body united with divinity, not that the body which was received up into the heavens descends, but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God’s body and blood….
Let us pay homage to it in all purity both of soul and body: for it is twofold. Let us draw near to it with an ardent desire, and with our hands held in the form of the cross, let us receive the body of the Crucified One…..
But coal is not plain wood but wood united with fire: in like manner also the bread of the communion is not plain bread but bread united with divinity. But a body which is united with divinity is not one nature, but has one nature belonging to the body and another belonging to the divinity that is united to it, so that the compound is not one nature but two….
For the Lord’s flesh is life-giving spirit because it was conceived of the life-giving Spirit. For what is born of the Spirit is spirit. But I do not say this to take away the nature of the body, but I wish to make clear its life-giving and divine power…..Participation is spoken of; for through it we partake of the divinity of Jesus….and it is an actual communion, because through it we have communion with Christ and share in His flesh and His divinity.”

Calvin accuses this Anchoretic view to be the Docetism of Marcion,

“Some employ a rather more subtle evasion, That the body which is given in the sacrament is glorious and immortal, and that, therefore, there is no absurdity in its being contained under the sacrament in various places, or in no place, and in no form. [Damascus above seems to be comfortable with the absurdity] But, I ask, what did Christ give to his disciples the day before he suffered? Do not the words say that he gave the mortal body, which was to be delivered shortly after? But, say they, he had previously manifested his glory to the three disciples on the mount (Mt. 17:2). This is true; but his purpose was to give them for the time a taste of immortality. Still they cannot find there a twofold body, but only the one which he had assumed, arrayed in new glory. When he distributed his body in the first Supper, the hour was at hand in which he was “stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isa. 53:4). So far was he from intending at that time to exhibit the glory of his resurrection. And here what a door is opened to Marcion, if the body of Christ was seen humble and mortal in one place, glorious and immortal in another! And yet, if their opinion is well-founded, the same thing happens every day, because they are forced to admit that the body of Christ, which is in itself visible, lurks invisibly under the symbol of bread. And yet those who send forth such monstrous dogmas, so far from being ashamed at the disgrace, assail us with virulent invectives for not subscribing to them  Inst. 4.17.17 … Let preposterous men, then, cease to assail us with the vile calumny, that we malignantly restrict the boundless power of God. They either foolishly err, or wickedly lie. The question here is not, What could God do? but, What has he been pleased to do? We affirm that he has done what pleased him, and it pleased him that Christ should be in all respects like his brethren, “yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). What is our flesh? Is it not that which consists of certain dimensions? is confined within a certain place? is touched and seen? And why, say they, may not God make the same flesh occupy several different places, so as not to be confined to any particular place, and so as to have neither measure nor species? Fool! why do you require the power of God to make a thing to be at the same time flesh and not flesh? It is just as if you were to insist on his making light to be at the same time light and darkness. He wills light to be light, darkness to be darkness, flesh to be flesh. True, when he so chooses, he will convert darkness into light, and light into darkness: but when you insist that there shall be no difference between light and darkness, what do you but pervert the order of the divine wisdom? Flesh must therefore be flesh, and spirit spirit; each under the law and condition on which God has created them. Now, the condition of flesh is, that it should have one certain place, its own dimensions, its own form. On that condition, Christ assumed the flesh, to which, as Augustine declares (Ep. ad Dardan.), he gave incorruption and glory, but without destroying its nature and reality Inst 4.17.24… Whenever Christ says that he will leave the world and go away (John 14:228), they reply, that that departure was nothing more than a change of mortal state. Were this so, Christ would not substitute the Holy Spirit, to supply, as they express it, the defect of his absence, since he does not succeed in place of him, nor, on the other hand, does Christ himself descend from the heavenly glory to assume the condition of a mortal life. Certainly the advent of’ the Spirit and the ascension of Christ are set against each other, and hence it necessarily follows that Christ dwells with us according to the flesh, in the same way as that in which he sends his Spirit. Moreover, he distinctly says that he would not always be in the world with his disciples (Mt. 26:11Inst 4.17.26 … Peter says that the heavens must receive, or contain Christ, till he come again (Acts 3:21). These men teach that he is in every place, but without form… [To the East’s Argument that Christ’s Humanity Disapeared in the sense of a “de-materializing” Calvin says] They gain nothing by quoting the passage from Luke, in which it is said, that Christ suddenly vanished from the eyes of the disciples, with whom he had journeyed to Emmaus (Luke 24:31). In withdrawing from their sight, he did not become invisible: he only disappeared. Thus Luke declares that, on the journeying with them, he did not assume a new form, but that “ their eyes were holden.” [Luke 24:16] But these men not only transform Christ that he may live on the earth, but pretend that there is another elsewhere of a different description. In short, by thus trifling, they, not in direct terms indeed, but by a circumlocution, make a spirit of the flesh of Christ; and, not contented with this, give him properties altogether opposite. Hence it necessarily follows that he must be twofold ”. Inst. 4.17.29

If the East wishes to use strict parallels between our consubstantial nature in Soteriology why do they not use it in Sacramentology? If man cannot be forced in the Effectual call on pain of Monthelitism in Christ, then how can Christ be present in a pre-glorified and pre-resurrected state in one place but also be subsequently chewed in the mouths of the disciples in different places in Luke 22:19? I can’t do that. I have a limited confinement to a certain place. If he has these attributes in his pre-glorified and pre-resurrected state then we must have these powers if we are consubstantial with Him. They will not admit we do.

Moreover, Peter walked on water Mat 14:28-29. Elijah brought a child back from the dead through touch 1 Kings 17:17-24 ! Moses’ face shown Exo 34:29-35. Does that mean that their bodies partook of divine attributes? No. These were mortal sinful men who did signs and miracles by the power of God.

Is the Sacrament a Sacrifice?

Calvin says,

“Accordingly, when he delivered the institution of the sacrament to the apostles, he taught them to do it in remembrance of him, which Paul interprets, “to show forth his death” (1 Cor. 11:26). And this is, that all should publicly and with one mouth confess that all our confidence of life and salvation is placed in our Lord’s death, that we ourselves may glorify him by our confession, and by our example excite others also to give him glory.” Inst. 4.17.37

This agrees with what is said in the Westminster Confession:

WCF 29.2 II. In this sacrament Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead, but a commemoration of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all, and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same; so that the Popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.

Sacramental Union in John Calvin Monday, Jul 11 2011 

John Calvin’s understanding of the sacraments is virtually undisputed in Reformed groups, therefore, the following will be quotes straight from Calvin or expositions of Calvin regarding the nature of the visible and invisible aspects to the sacraments and his metonym union. The following quotes are taken from: Wallace, Ronald. Calvin’s Doctrine of the Word and Sacraments. Grand Rapids, Mi: WM. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1957.

1. “Word and sacraments, therefore, do not merely take for us the place that visions and oracles and the elaborate temple ceremonies took in the Old Testament; more particularly, they are to us what Jesus and His Word and works were to those who received his grace during the days of his flesh. They are for us the “flesh” of Jesus Christ, the lowly humble form He takes in revealing Himself and apart from which we cannot come to know His glory or experience the power of His resurrection…The Word and sacraments are…the signs of the presence of Jesus…and the veil through which the rays of his glory are refracted.” (23)

2. “By Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, God appears to us in His only begotten Son.” (Comm. on Lev. 16:16) (24)

3. “Where God gives a sign, there He comes Himself to be present with men. The sign is thus a veil behind which He conceals His presence on the scene of human affairs. When God revealed Himself under the Old Covenant, ‘there were many signs under the law to testify His presence’…Where the sign is, there is indeed the ‘face of God’. (Comm. on Ps. 42:2) Under the appearance of the cloud God testified that He met with Moses.” (Comm.on Exo 34:5) Calvin can refer to a prophetic vision as ‘a sign or symbol of the presence of God’ like wise to the Ark (Comm. on Ps. 20:2) and to the Cloud at the Red Sea.(Comm. on 1 Cor 10:2) (75)

4. “The close sacramental union which Christ sets up between Himself and the signs which testify of Him gives us a right to speak of the elements of the sacraments, in the terms of identity with that which they represent. Because Christ was ‘connected’ with the Old testament emblems of His presence ‘not locally, nor by a natural or substantial union, but sacramentally’ therefore the Apostle can say that the rock was Christ…The name of the thing, therefore, is transferred here to the sign’.”(163)

5. “Calvin on this point again quotes with approval a saying of Augustine to the effect that the sacrament is the “visible word”…”The testimony of the Gospel is engraven upon the sacraments.” (Comm on 2 Cor 5:19) (140)

6. “There is never a sacrament without an antecedent promise, the sacrament being added as a kind of appendix, with a view to confirming and sealing the promise.”( Inst. 4:14:3) (135)

7. “the sacraments are ‘nothing in themselves, just as seals of a diploma or a public deed are nothing in themselves, and would be affixed to no purpose if nothing was written on the parchment’.(Inst 4:14:4) (135)

8. “With the visible and outward sign the Word is also joined; for this is the source from which the sacraments derive their efficacy; not that the efficacy of the Holy Spirit is contained in the word which sounds in our ears, but because the effect of all these things which the believers receive from the sacraments depends on the testimony of the Word. Christ breathes on the Apostles: they receive not only the breathing but also the Spirit. And why, but because Christ promises to them.” (136)

9. “The sacraments ‘represent the promises to life, as if painted in a picture.”(Inst 4:14:5) (140)

10. “In the sacraments the reality is given along with the sign.” (Comm. on Isa 6:7)

11. “But in the sacraments we have such a close connection between the symbol and the spiritual gift which it represents that we can ‘easily pass from the one to the other’ (Inst 4:17:21) in our speech and refer to the bread as being indeed the body of Christ, and Baptism as being the ‘laver of regeneration’ (Tit. 3:5) and as an act that washes our sins away (1 Peter 3:21).(Comm. on John 1:26). Although the sign differs essentially from the thing signified the latter being spiritual and heavenly, the former corporeal and visible yet, as it not only figures the thing which it is employed to represent as a naked and empty badge, but also truly exhibits it, why should not its name be justly applied to the thing? (Inst 4:17:21)” (161)

In summary, the sacraments are the signs of God’s presence on the scene of human affairs, a veil through which the rays of his glory are refracted. Such intimate signs that one can speak of the sign in terms of what they signify. They are not hypostatically/ontologically united to the divine but spiritually and sacramentally.  Calvin emphasizes though that there is a real union and connection for if not they would have no real efficacy. The reality is given along with the emblem. The union between the visible and invisible is so intimate that “we can easily pass from the one to the other.” Yet the two are ontologically distinct. The sacraments can be referred to as God in name but be ontologically distinct. The principle that unites the visible with the invisible is a promise. This is therefore, a covenantal union.

Exo 13:21 The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on
the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day
and by night.

Exo 34:5 5The LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon
the name of the LORD.

Psalm 47:5 5God has ascended with a shout, The LORD, with the sound of a trumpet.

Calvin commenting on Psalm 47:5 says,

“5. God is gone up with triumph There is here an allusion to the ancient
ceremony which was observed under the Law. As the sound of trumpets was wont to be used in solemnising the holy assemblies, the prophet says that God goes up, when the trumpets encourage and stir up the people to magnify and extol his power. When this ceremony was performed in old time, it was just as if a king, making his entrance among his subjects, presented himself to them in magnificent attire and great splendor, by which he gained their admiration and reverence. At the same time, the sacred writer, under that shadowy ceremony, doubtless intended to lead us to consider another kind of going up more triumphant — that of Christ when he “ascended up far above all heavens,” (Ephesians 4:10) and obtained the empire of the whole world, and armed with his celestial power, subdued all pride and loftiness. You must remember what I have
adverted to before, that the name Jehovah is here applied to the ark; for although the essence or majesty of God was not shut up in it, nor his power and operation fixed to it, yet it was not a vain and idle symbol of his presence. God had promised that he would dwell in the midst of the people so long as the Jews worshipped him according to the rule which he had prescribed in the Law; and he actually showed that he was truly present with them, and that it was not in vain that he was called upon among them. What is here stated, however, applies more properly to the manifestation of the glory which at length shone forth in the person of Christ. In short, the import of the Psalmist’s language is, When the trumpets sounded among the Jews, according to the appointment of the Law, that
was not a mere empty sound which vanished away in the air; for God, who
intended the ark of the covenant to be a pledge and token of his presence, truly presided in that assembly.” John Calvin, Commentary on Psalms Vol 2, Christian Classics Ethereal Library Site, available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom09.xiii.ii.html; Internet; accessed August 2010\
John 1:32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of
heaven, and He remained upon Him.

1 Cor 10:44 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. (Ontologically? No, sacramentally)


William Cunningham and Edward Stillingfleet on the Real Presence, Transubstantiation and the Adoration of the Host in the Lord’s Supper Monday, Jul 11 2011 

From Edward Stillingfeet’s, The Doctrine’s and Practices of the Church of Rome Truly Represented with Introduction and Notes by William Cunningham  (Edinburgh: Fraser & CO. 54, North Bridge; Smith Elder & CO.. and H. Washbourne, London; and W. Curry, Jun& CO. Dublin, 1837: Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing Legacy Reprints)

The Real Presence

 “In defending the monstrous doctrine of Transubstantiation, they commonly begin with proving the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, which no Protestant Church ever denied, – the dispute being, not to the reality, but the mode, of the presence of Christ; Papists holding that the he is present in a corporal and carnal manner to the senses of all communicants, and Protestants that he is present in a spiritual manner, to the faith of worthy receivers.” (pg. 69

This clearly proves that the Protestant position denies that Christ is present to all who partake of the sacrament.

Transubstantiation and the Adoration of the Host

These two doctrines go together like links on a chain. If Transubstantiation falls so does adoration. Stillingfeet says,

“The Council of Trent first defined transubstantiation, and from thence inferred adoration of the host, as is most evident to any one that will read the fourth and fifth decrees of that thirteenth session…that is if transubstantiation be true, then adoration follows.” (pg. 56)

Cunningham points out on page 70 that it is vain for the Eastern Orthodox and the Romanists to appeal to the literal sense of the words, “this is my body”. They admit that the sacrament began with real bread at the time of the First Lord’s Supper and it begins with real bread every Mass.  Cunningham says,

“From this it follows that the Popish doctrine requires, that Christ’s words, ‘This is my body,’ be understood to mean, ‘This is changed into my body;’ whereas Protestants commonly understand them as meaning, ‘This represents my body,’ – a smaller departure from the literal meaning and much more in accordance with the principles that must be applied to the interpretation of many other scriptural statements…Christ said, that ‘the cup was his blood,’ and  also, that ‘the cup was the new testament.’ How can Papists [And the Orthodox] interpret either, or both, of these statements literally?…especially as it is unquestionable that the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. X. and xi.) repeatedly calls the elements bread and wine, after consecration, when, according to the Church of Rome, they were no longer bread and wine, but the ‘body and blood, along with the soul and divinity of Christ.” (pg. 71)

Cunningham refers to the Protestant position of the efficacy of the Sacrament to be that “the Lord’s Supper is one of those means of grace by which the benefits purchased by Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice are applied to men individually”. (pg. 215)

Problems for the East

If it is the physical bread you seek to worship then you must have Christ as it’s substance while the accidents and appearance of bread remains. In this case Christ’s body is omnipresent which posits a mixture of attributes between the natures. This posits the Eutychian heresy of the two nature’s coming together to form the Christic Nature. Ergo, adoration, ergo icons of Christ, ergo Muslim invasions. When Christ’s body is worshipped in the New Testament this is lawful.  The second person of the Trinity is being worshipped lawfully because his humanity is hypostatized by the Logos. What is being worshipped by the East? They cannot agree. Here they will that the sacrament is still bread after the consecration. Then what is the basis for the adoration of it? There is none.

You have a couple choices if you are in the Eastern Church:

1. Say that the bread and wine takes the hypostasis of Christ every time this ceremony is performed making Christ one person and millions of natures, not two natures.

2. Say that the bread and wine take the substance of Christ, while the accidents remain bread making Christ’s Humanity omnipresent and therefore committing you to a Eutychian Christology.

McGukin says on page 187 and 188 that the metaphysical transformation in the incarnation is the basis for adoring the bread and wine in the sacrament. (McGuckin, John A. St. Cyril of Alexandria The Christological Controversy. New York* Leiden, The Netherlands* E.J. Brill*Koln, 1994) Then on this view you have a metamorphosis not an Incarnation. This is Eutychian.

A Dialogue between a Popish Priest and an English Protestant By Matthew Pool Reviewed by Drake Shelton Tuesday, Jun 7 2011 

Based on A Dialogue Between a Popish Priest and an English Protestant, by Matthew Pool (London, Cockeril at the Atlas in Cornhill, 1676)

From my discussions with Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics I found it necessary to get more acquainted with the thinking of the Protestant Scholars who were separating from Rome during and right after the Reformation. I want to be fully oriented with the reasons that these men took such drastic steps and understand the underlining theology that they thought justified such a radical move. The following are statements or principles that I read from Pool’s book that I thought were the most important for contemporary Protestant Christians to understand. These principles would apply to both the Eastern and Western Anchoretic Churches and for that reason I have found them the most pertinent. I want both Eastern and Roman Anchoretics  to understand the fundamental errors of the Anchoretic revolution from God’s religion.

The dialogue was formatted that when Pool speaks he is labeled “Prot.” while the Roman position is labeled “Pop.”.

1. Both the Eastern and Roman Churches find great assurance and comfort in thinking that their Church is infallible. Pool points out that they can never show what exactly about their Church is infallible. What is the infallible judge? The clergy and laity as a whole? The laity only? The Pope only? The Papacy as a group? A general council? Writings cannot be the judge because the Romanists boast of the living prophetic office of the Pope. (Pg. 7-8) So which is it?

2. “Pop . Then another Argument against your Church and way, is taken from the Novelty of it; As for our Religion, it hath had possession in the world ever since the Apostles days; but you are yesterday, and know nothing; your Religion is an upstart Religion, never heard of in the World till Luther’s days.

Prot. First, let me ask you this question, If you had lived in the days of Christ, or of the Apostles, or of the Primitive Fathers, what would you have answered for your self? You know better than I, that this was the very argument which Jews and Heathens [I get this from my Hindu friends all the time] urged against the Christians then; they charged Christ with not walking after the Tradition of the Elders, Matth.7.5. And the Athenians said to PaulMay we know what this new Doctrine is?   Acts 17.19. And the Pharisees had antiquity on their side, being Zealous for the Traditions of the Fathers, Gal 1.14. And though it be true that the Apostles had the first Antiquity for them, delivering nothing but what for substance was in Moses and the Prophets, Acts 26:22. (which is also our case) yet the immediate and latter Antiquity was against them, and for divers ages together these Doctrines had been in great measure obscured and unknown.”

Take John 3 for instance when Nicodemus complains of the birth from the Spirit John 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Had this doctrine been buried in false teaching and obscurity for centuries just like justification by faith?

Continuing with Pool, “What then would you have answered to a Jew or a Heathen objecting this Novelty to you? Learn from Christ, who when the Jews pleaded for the continuance of their old practices in the matter of Divorces; he accounted it sufficient confutation, that from the beginning it was not so. Mat.19.7. And to all the pretences of the Pharisees from Antiquity, he opposeth this one thing, Search the Scriptures, John 5.39.”

(pg. 21-22

3. On page 22-23 Pool asserts that the Protestant movement affirms “the doctrine of the four first General Councils”. It is often alleged that we accuse the early Church of apostasy therefore we believe that the early Church was somehow, run by the devil. This of course would make a problem for us when they decided what books of the Bible were in the canon. This simply is not true that we believe that the early Church was run by the devil. Officially the Church began to be run by the devil sometime in the latter 6th century between the reign of Pope Vigilius and Gregory the Great.

4. He continues to show that the Roman Religion affirms all our doctrines but continually adds to them. Justification by faith plus works; two sacraments plus five more;  heaven and hell plus purgatory; Christ the mediator plus others; worship of God plus images; Pool concludes, “These are the Principal points of our Religions, and dare you now say that our doctrines are new?” pg. 23

5. “Prot. Besides, methinks, you deal barbarously with us, you drive us out from you by your tyranny, and then you blame us for departing; as if Sarah had called Hagar a Schismatic for going out of Abraham’s family, from which she forced her: Tell me, I pray you, if the case be so that I must depart from the Roman Church, or from God, what must I do?” pg. 25

6. The Catholic Church is the “whole multitude of believers, and Christian in the world” pg. 25 not a particular communion. See WCF 25.

7. The Mother of us all is not Rome But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. Gal 4:26. The invisible Church.

8. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox communicants often use the argument that a visible and established Authority is required to understand and interpret the Bible. This is the position of the unbelieving Jews at Christ’s time. The Jewish Chief priests and elders said to Jesus,

Mat 21:25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

This is an interesting question because the Pharisees probed John’s authority to act in an ecclesiastical manner as well in John 1:25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

They could not tell. I ask you the same question sir:  Was John the Baptists Baptism from heaven or from men? If it was from heaven what empirical proof did John offer? None. Where did John get the authority to do these things? Obviously it was not from the Jewish Magisterium.

In Acts 4:7 Peter is asked of his healing of the impotent man “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” His answer is the name of Jesus of Nazareth. No ecclesiastical or Magisterial reference here. No empirical proof. Pg. 27

9. On page 28 Pool removes the possibility of succession binding on future Christians because the Church of Rome is not agreed on whether Linus or Clemens was Peter’s successor.

10. “Prot. I pray you tell me in the first place, Are divisions a certain Argument to prove any Church not to be true?

Pop. I cannot say so; for it is plain, the Jewish church in Christ’s time was full of Divisions ; there were Pharisees, Sadduces, Essenes, &c. And so was the Church of Corinth in St. Paul’s time, while some said, I am of Paul; others, I of Apollos; others, I of Cephas; and some denied Paul’s Ministry and Apostleship, and some denied the Resurrection.

Prot. Very well, then you may blush to use such an Argument”. pg. 31

Pop. There must be in all ages, in some eminent place, a great company of Christians visibly united together in the worship of God in one Body and Congregation, and governed by their successive Pastors under the Pope.

Prot. Very well: Now I know your mind .And first I deny, that it is necessary for the true Church to be so visible in all ages: Do you prove it?

Pop. That I shall easily Prove, from those many and glorious promises made to the Church; the Church is called a great Mountain, and said to he exalted above other Mountains, Isa. 2. She is a City set upon a Hill that cannot be hid. Mat. 5. Christ hath promised to be with her to the end of the World. Mat…The gates of Hell stall not prevail against her; Christ’s Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom- Psal. 88. Dan. 2. A few invisible and dispersed Christians, cannot make a Kingdom.

Prot. Your Proofs are impertinent. Isa. 2. doth prove, that the Church under the New Testament, (should be glorious (that is spiritually ) and prevalent: so it was (and we trust will be; but he saith not, the Church should always continue in that condition (which is the point that you should prove; Mat…if it spake of the Church, Christ only tells us what the Church then was, not that it should always remain.”

Pg. 34

11. Where is the Protestant Church before Luther? A

Pool quotes Gilbert Genebrard’s Chronology l [That’s a lower-case L not number 1].3.c.16  where Genebrard is criticizing the Waldenses  “This sect is the most pernicious of all others, for three causes; 1. Because it is of long continuance, some say, that it hath endured from the time of Sylvester; others from the time of the Apostles. The second is, because it is more general, for there is almost no Land in which this Sect doth not creep. 3. That whereas all others by the insanity (?) of their blasphemies against God, do make men abhor them,  these have a great shew of godliness because they do live justly before men, and believe all things well of God, and all the Articles which are contained in the Creed, only the Church of Rome they do blaspheme and hate.”

Pool continues “Behold here out of your own mouths a plain Confutation of your objection, and a testimony of the perpetuity, amplitude, visibility, and sanctity of our Church; for it is sufficiently known that our Church and Doctrine is for substance the same with theirs.”

12. Where is the Protestant Church before Luther? B

Pool says,

“Moreover, I find in Scripture, several instances of such times when the Church was as much obscured, and invisible, as ever our Church was; as when Israel was in Egypt, so oft-times under the Judges, Judg. 2.3, and so under divers of the Rings, as Ahab, when Elijah complained he was left alone, and the 7000 which were reserved, though known to God, were invisible to the prophet ;  and under Ahaz and Manasseh and so in the Babylonian Captivity: and so under Antiochus; read ay thy desire, 2 Chron. 15.3 28.24.29. 6,7.33. 3,4. So in the New testament, how obscure, and in a manner invisible wad the Christian Church for a season? Nay, let me add. This perpetual visibility and splendor is so far from being a note of the true Church, that on the contrary, it is rather a sign that yours is not the true Church, as appears thus: Christ hath foretold the obscurity and smallness of his Church in some after ages; he tells us that there shall be a general Apostasy and Defection from the Faith, 2 Thess 2.1. 1 Tim. 4. I read of a Woman, Revel. 12, and she is forced to flees into the Wilderness and I am told your own Expositors agree with us, that this is the church which flees from Antichrist into the wilderness, and secret places, withdrawing herself from persecution.   Is it true?

Pop. I must confess our Authors do take it so.” pg. 39-40

Pool emphasized Rev 13:8 where the vast majority worship the beast except for a few chosen invisible types in obscurity.

13. Pg. 73 are you seriously suggesting that the Divinity of Christ depends on the Judgment and Authority of the Church?

14. Pg. 82-88 the infallible assurance of the Roman Church is demolished.

15. Concerning the Sacrifice of the Mass

“Pop. It is true, there is but one Sacrifice as Redemption, and Expiation for Sin, and that -was the Sacrifice of the Cross; but there are other Sacrifices of Application to apply that to us.

Prot. I hope the Word and Sacraments, and Spirit of Christ, are sufficient to apply Christ’s Sacrifice. Must we have one Sacrifice to apply another? Whoever heard of one plaister made to apply another? or a ransome paid the second time to apply the former payment ? And you seem to me quite to forget your selves, to destroy the nature of your Sacrifice: for the business of a Sacrifice is oblation to God,. not application to men. Besides, I have one Argument more which fully satisfies me; If the Mass be a real and proper Sacrifice , then the thing sacrificed-must be really and properly destroyed.”

16. Page 114 Pool begins his criticisms of the Worship of Saints. To provide some historical references Phillip Schaff says,

“Thus much respecting the doctrine of Mary. Now the corresponding practice. From this Mariology follows Mariolatry. If Mary is, in the strict sense of the word, the mother of God, it seems to follow as a logical consequence, that she herself is divine, and therefore an object of divine worship. This was not, indeed, the meaning and purpose of the ancient church; as, in fact, it never asserted that Mary was the mother of the essential, eternal divinity of the Logos. She was, and continues to be, a created being, a human mother, even according to the Roman and Greek doctrine. But according to the once prevailing conception of her peculiar relation to deity, a certain degree of divine homage to Mary, and some invocation of her powerful intercession with God, seemed unavoidable, and soon became a universal practice.

The first instance of the formal invocation of Mary occurs in the prayers of Ephraim Syrus († 379)”. History of the Christian Church Vol. 3, Public Worship, Mariolatry: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc3.iii.x.ix.html

Under the same Chapter in the Section titled The Worship of Martyrs and Saints Schaff says,

“The system of saint-worship, including both Hagiology and Hagiolatry, developed itself at the same time with the worship of Mary; for the latter is only the culmination of the former.”

History of the Christian Church Vol. 3, Public Worship,The Worship of Martyrs and Saints: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc3.iii.x.xi.html

17. Pool deals with the issue of worshipping images.

Psalm 5:7, Psalm 138:2

“Pop…we do not worship the Images, but only God by them, and in them; we worship them only as representations of God or Christ, etc. and the honour passeth from them to God.

Prot. That cannot acquit you neither, before God nor man. Micah and his Mother were’ guilty of Idolatry, yet the silver was dedicated to the Lord (Jehovah) to a graven Image, Judg. 13.3. also Judg. 18. 5,6. And the Israelites are charged with idolatry in the worshipping of the Golden Calf, Act.7.41.  1 Cor.10.7. And yet they could not be so brutish, as to think that Golden Calf, which they brought out of Egypt in their ear-rings., was that God which brought then out of Egypt with strong hand.

Pop. But they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.;

Prot. You use also to call an Image by the name of him whom it represents; you commonly say, this is the blessed virgin, or S. Matthew, &c. when you mean, ’tis only their Image; and so it cannot be strange to you that they express themselves in the same manner. Besides, Aaron himself proclaims the feast of the Calf in these words, Tomorrow is a feast to Jehovah.” pg. 124-125

A point arises: if they do not worship the image but God, this destroys their use of dulia. If it is God that requires the latria and yet they only worship him with dulia through the image they transgress their own laws.

18. Speaking of the Second Commandment the Popish priest says,

“Pop.  Then my first answer is, that this command was peculiar to the Jews, who were most prone to Idolatry.

Prot. This is not true. It sufficiently appears that the gentiles were under the obligation of this Law, from those punishments which God inflicted upon them, for their transgression or breach of it by idolatry.” pg. 129

Brian Scwertley wrote a great piece titled Political Polytheism where he says,

“In Deuteronomy 18 we are told that God drove the heathen nations out of their lands because He hated their false religions. “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you” (Dt. 18:9-12). “These foreign offices and practices, which were an abomination to the Lord, were to be forbidden in Israel precisely because they were part of the reason for God’s judgment of the Canaanites, which would be seen in their ejection from the land. If the Israelites adopted similar practices, they too would become liable to ejection from the land.”10 One could argue that the main concern of this passage is false forms of revelation. But, are not all false religions and cults founded upon false revelations?
     In Isaiah 19 the prophet says that God will judge Egypt for its idolatry. “The burden against Egypt. Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst” (Is. 19:1). The prophet Jeremiah says that God will bring judgment upon Egypt, Pharaoh and their false gods. “The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘Behold, I will bring punishment on Amon [a sun god] of No [ancient Thebes], and Pharaoh and Egypt, with their gods and their kings—Pharaoh and those who trust in him” (Jer. 46:25; cf. Is. 46:1). God singles out Amon the Egyptian chief deity of Thebes (No). “Amon was later merged with Re to become Amon-Re, the king of the gods and peculiarly the god of the rulers of Egypt.”11 Pharaoh who lays claim to divinity is also singled out. Is it not clear that Jehovah punishes idolatry even in non-covenanted nations?
     Jehovah, the only God, the Lord of the universe, hates religious pluralism. To Assyria God said, “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation…. As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, whose carved image excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria, as I have done to Samaria and her idols, shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols” (Is. 10:5, 10, 11)? God proclaimed judgment against Moab for idolatry. “‘Moreover,’ says the LORD, ‘I will cause to cease in Moab the one who offers sacrifices in the high places and burns incense to his gods’” (Jer. 48:35). Jehovah also crushed the idols of Babylon. “Declare among the nations, proclaim, and set up a standard; proclaim, and do not conceal it, say, ‘Babylon is taken, Bel is shamed. Merodach [or Marduk, a Babylonian god] is broken in pieces; her idols are humiliated, her images are broken in pieces…. A drought is against her waters, and they will be dried up. For it is the land of carved images and they are insane with their idols’” (Jer. 50:1, 2, 38). “Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge, every metalsmith is put to shame by the carved image; for his molded image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are futile, a work of errors; in the time of their punishment they shall perish…. Therefore behold, the days are coming that I will bring judgment on the carved images of Babylon; her whole land shall be ashamed, and all her slain shall fall in her midst…. ‘Therefore, behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring judgment on her carved images, and throughout all her land the wounded shall groan’” (Jer. 51:17, 18, 47, 52). If God so hated the idolatry of the Assyrians, Moabites, Egyptians, Babylonians and the inhabitants of Canaan that He poured out His wrath upon them, why should He exempt the inhabitants of America, Canada, or Great Britain, etc., for their idolatries? Political polytheism was a common practice in ancient nations—a practice condemned by God. There is no evidence in the New Testament that God has had a change of mind regarding idolatry.”


Moreover, Deut 5:8-9 does not just forbid the making of false gods  but any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the waters beneath the earth: 9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me   Kjv

 Lev 26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up [any] image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I [am] the LORD your God. Kjv

So we deny the making of any image IN ORDER TO WORSHIP IT and we forbid the MAKING of any image of the divine persons.

One is perfectly welcome to paint a picture of a great Christian but not to bow down, pray or worship it in any sort.

19. The Popish Priest defends his doctrine of salvation by works. He says,

“Pop. First then, I prove it hence, That Eternal Life Is called a reward, Matth. 5. 12. And given to Laborers in the Vineyard, Matth. 20.

Prot. We must compare Scripture with Scripture -, other places tell us- It is an Inheritance, Gal.4.7 Rom.8.17. The same estate cannot be mine both by inheritance and purchase.

Pop. Yes it may, I will  prove it by an instance, The glory which Christ had, was his by inheritance (for he was heir of all things) and yet by purchase, Phil. 2 8, 9.

Prot. I thank you for this Objection, I have scarce had any thing from you like a solid Argument, but this; it deserves an Answer. First then-, this will not reach our case: The great-‘ hindrance of merit in our works, is, that the best of them are imperfect, and a debt we owe to God before-hand; but Christ’s works are of another kind , they are complete and perfect, and in part no debt , for though when Christ was made Man, he was a debtor to God and bound as a Creature to fulfill the Law; yet this was a voluntary act, and no debt to God,: that he would become Man and so put himself under the Law. Besides, the dignity of his person made his works proportionable unto all the glory he received ; whereas all sufferings  are not worthy to he compared with our glory-Row. 8.i8. Secondly, It might be both an Inheritance and Purchase in Christ in divers respects, because he had two natures as he was God, or the Son of God , it was his Inheritance, and belonged to his Manhood only as united with the Godhead; as he was Man, he might purchase it, by what he did and suffered in the flesh: But in us there are not two natures, nor any of these pretences to merit. Moreover, Scripture speaks of two kinds of Rewards, the one of Grace, the other of Debt; and withall affirms, That the reward which God gives to good men, is merely of Grace ( as we profess) and not of Debt as you pretend) Rom. 4.4. ” pg. 161-162

Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

20. Pool describes the reward to be of grace and not of debt. Pool continues,

“Pop. But God is said to reward men according to their works, that is, according to the proportion of them, and that implies merit.

Prot. Not so neither: for since God is pleased to reward in us his own gifts and graces, not our merits…Again, I may as well conclude the blind men merited their sight, because Christ saith, ‘Be it unto you according to your faith, Matth 9.29…” pg. 162-163

1 Chron 29: 14 But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.


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