John Jewel on the Fathers Against Transubstantiation

Much like Bishop Ridley, Bishop Jewel includes a quick run through the Church Fathers to show that it was not possible for transubstantiation to have been the ancient doctrine.  Though the quotations are short, Jewel believes he’s providing the essential core by which the rest of their writings should be understood.  Jewel writes:

For what an be said more plainly than that which Ambrose saith, “Bread and wine remain still the same they were before, and yet are changed into another thing”?  or that which Gelasius saith, “The substance of the bread or the nature of the wine, ceaseth not so to be”? or that which Theodoret saith, “After the consecration the mystical signs do not cast off their own proper nature; for they remain still in their former substance, form, and kind”? or that which Augustine saith, “That which ye see is the bread and cup, and so our eyes tell us; but that which your faith requireth to be taught is this: The bread is the body of Christ, and the cup is his blood”? or that which Origen saith, “Bread which is sanctified by the word of God, as touching the material substance thereof, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy”? or that which Christ himself said, not only after the blessing of the cup, but after he had ministered the Communion: “I will drink no more of this fruit of the vine”?  It is well known that the fruit of the vine is wine, and not blood.

~ An Apologie of the Church of England part 2, in The Library of Christian Classics Vol. 26 pg. 28-29

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About Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.

2 thoughts on “John Jewel on the Fathers Against Transubstantiation

  1. I once had a Romanist wannabe tell me that the Heidelberg catechism was not orthodox because it disagreed with the “Fathers” on this precise issue. Nothing ever really makes them happy I’ve found! Not even these quotes.

  2. There is a sense that Bp. Jewel really was the type of churchman who gave the patristics their due, and was keen to defend the not only the notion of an Ecclesia Anglica but also the continuation of primitive Christianity.

    This book deserves a reexamination today, and fortunately it has been reprinted in an affordable new edition:

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