'We speak their sense': Taylor, the Eucharist, and breathing with both lungs

Section XII of Taylor's The Real Presence and Spiritual of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament (1654) abounds with quotations from the Greek Fathers. Taylor demonstrates how the teaching of the Greek Fathers regarding the change effected in the bread and wine in the Holy Mysteries does not support transubstantiation; that is, "the passage and conversion of the whole substance, into the whole substance". He points to the terms used by "the Greek Church" to describe the change occurring in the Eucharist:

When the Fathers in this question speak of the change of the symbols in the holy Sacrament, they sometimes use the words of μεταβολὴ, μεταρρύθμισις, μετασκεύασμος, μεταστοιχείωσις, μεταποίησις in the Greek Church: conversion, mutation, transition, migration, transfiguration, and the like in the Latin; but they by these doe understand accidental and Sacramental conversions, not proper, natural and substantial.

Such change is also affirmed by the Greek Fathers - and here Taylor turns to Cyril of Alexandria and Chrysostom - in Baptism and "Sacramentals":

Whatsoever the Fathers speak of this, they affirm the same also of the other Sacrament, and of the Sacramentals, or rituals of the Church. It is a known similitude used by S. Cyril of Alexandria. As the bread of the Eucharist after the invocation of the holy Ghost is no longer common bread, but it is the body of Christ: so this holy unguent is no longer meer and common oyntment, but it is (χάρισμα Χριστοῦ,) the grace of Christ ... it is in this, as in the Eucharist ... Thus S. Chrysostome sayes, that the Table, or Altar is as the manger in which Christ was laid; that the Priest is a Seraphim, and his hands are the tongs taking the coal from the Altar ... That which comes most fully home to this, is their affirmative concerning Baptisme, to the same purposes, and in many of the same expressions which they use in this other Sacrament ... and S. Cyril of Alexandria sayth. By the operation of the holy Spirit, the waters are reformed to a divine nature, by which the baptized cleanse their body. 

We might note, of course, that comparing the change in the elements of the Eucharist to that in the element of Baptism was a recurrent in Reformed eucharistic theologies. More widely, Taylor's evocation of the rich sacramental language of the East is a reminder that applying a particular theology of change to the Eucharist alone, apart from the other Sacrament and other sacramental acts, undermines and potentially disorders the sacramental economy. 

Section XII of this work, therefore, has a deeply Eastern character, affirming the East's theologies of sacramental change - "conversion, mutation, transition, migration, transfiguration". As Taylor explicitly declares:

we speak their sense, and in their own words, the Church of England expressing this mysterie frequently in the same formes of words.


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