Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

In noticing Dr. Shedd’s critique on this alleged feature of Romanism, we would say in passing, that the Augsburg Confession does not teach the doctrine of Consubstantiation. From first to last, the Lutheran Church has rejected the name of Consubstantiation and everything which that name properly implies. Bold and uncompromising as our Confessors and Theologians have been, if the word Consubstantiation (which is nota  more human term than Trinity and Original Sin are human terms,) had expressed correctly their doctrine, they would not have hesitated to use it. It is not used in any Confession of our Church, and we have never seen it used in any standard dogmatician of our communion, except to condemn the term, and to repudiate the idea that our Church held the doctrine it involves. We might adduce many of the leading evidences on this point; but for the present, we will refer to but a few. Bucer, in his Letter to Comander, confesses that “he had done injustice to Luther, in imputing to him the doctrine of Impanation,” and because a defender of the doctrine he had once rejected. Gerhard, that monarch among our theologians, says: “To meet the calumnies of opponents, we would remark, that we neither belive in Impanation nor Consubstantiation, nor in any physical or local presence whatsoever. Nor do we believe in that consubstantiative presence which some define to be the inclusion of one substance to another. Far fron us be that figment. The heavenly thing at the earthly thing, in the Holy Supper, in the physical and natural sense, are nor present with one another.”  Baier, among our older divines, has written a dissertation expressly to refute this calumny, and to show, as Cotta expresses it, “that our theologians are entirely free from it (penitus abhorrere.) Cotta, in his note on Gerhard, says, “The word Consubstantiation may be understood in two different senses. Sometimes it denotes a local conjunction of two bodies, sometimes a commingling of them, as, for example, when it is alleged that the bread coalesces with the body, and the wine with the blood, into one substance. But in neither sense can that MONSTROUS DOCTRINE OF CONSUBSTANTIATION be attributed to our Church, since Lutherans do not believe either in that local conjunction of two bodies, nor in any commingling of bread and Christ’s body, of wine and of His blood.” To pass from great theologians to a man of the highest eminence in the philosophical and scientific world, Leibnitz, in his Discourse on the Conformity of Reason with Faith, syas: “Evangelical (Lutherans) do not approve of the doctrine of Consubstantiation or of Impanation, and no one could impute it to them, unless he had failed to make himself properly acquainted with their views.” To return again to theologians, Reinhard says: “Our Church has never taught that the emblems become one substance with the body and blood of Jesus, an opinion commonly denominated Consubstantiation.” Mosheim says: “Those err who say that we believe in Impanation. Nor are those more correct who charge us with believing Subpanation. Equally groundless is the charge of Consubstantiation. All these opinions differ very far from the doctrine of our Church.”

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p 339-341


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