Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
LeibnizProtestant Theologian$

Irena Backus

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199891849

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891849.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 26 February 2017

(p.213) Appendix

(p.213) Appendix


Irena Backus

Oxford University Press

Appendix to Chapter 2: A Selection of Texts on the Negotiations

Note: Excerpts are from Calvin and Reformed Confessions of Faith as cited in UB 1 and UB 2, A IV, 7, 601–609, 617–623, 627–633 respectively. Cf. Loca nonnulla, A VI, 4C, 2500–2512,78 with comments by Leibniz.79

Texts cited after the 1667–1671 edition of Calvin’s Works used by Leibniz and after the Corpus et syntagma confessionum fidei quae in diuersis regnis et nationibus ecclesiarum nomine fuerint authentice editae, editio noua, (Geneva: Chouet, 1654). Three figure numbers on the left refer to page numbers in A IV, 7.

We read in the article 36 of the Confession of the Reformed French Church, which was drafted during the national synod in Paris on March 19, 1559 and signed by Beza among others prior to being transmitted to King Charles IX in the name of the French Reformed Churches: “we affirm that the holy Supper of our Lord is for us a testimony of our union with our Lord Jesus Christ . . . since he did not just die once and for all and rose from the dead for us, but he really feeds and nourishes us with his body and blood so that, one with him, we can share our life with him. Although he is now in heaven and will stay there until he comes to judge the world, nonetheless we believe that he nourishes and brings us to life by the secret and incomprehensible power of his Spirit with the substance of his body and blood apprehended by faith. And we say that this is done spiritually not in order for us to put imagination and thought in the place of reality and efficacy but rather because this mystery of our union with Christ is so sublime that it surpasses all our senses and the entire natural order of things and also because it is divine and heavenly it can only be perceived and apprehended by faith.”

(p.214) 601: In Confessione Ecclesiae Gallicanae Reformatae welche in Synodo Nationali Parisiensi 19 Martij 1559 abgefaßet, unter andern auch von Beza unterschrieben und nachmahls im Nahmen der französischen Reformirten kirchen dem könig Carolo IX ubergeben worden, stehet Articulo 36: Affirmamus Sanctam Coenam Domini … esse nobis testimonium nostrae cum Domino nostro Jesu Christo Unitionis, qvoniam non est duntaxat mortuus semel et excitatus a mortuis pro nobis, sed etiam vere nos pascit et nutrit carne sua et sanguine, ut unum cum ipso facti vitam cum ipso communem habeamus. Qvamvis enim nunc sit in coelis, ibidem etiam mansurus, donec veniat mundum judicaturus; credimus tamen eum arcana et incomprehensibili Spiritus sui virtute nos nutrire et vivificare sui corporis et sanguinis substantia per fidem apprehensa. Dicimus autem hoc spiritualiter fieri, non ut efficaciae aut veritatis loco imaginationem aut cogitationem supponamus, sed potius, qvia hoc mysterium nostrae cum Christo coalitionis tam sublime est, ut omnes nostros sensus, totumqve adeo ordinem naturae superet, deniqve qvoniam cum sit divinum ac coeleste, non nisi fide percipi et apprehendi potest[.]‌(Corpus et syntagma, 1654, 1, 85–86.)

In the Belgian Confession as recognized and approved by the Synod of Dordt the article 35 states: “it is most certain that it was for a good reason that Christ commended this sacrament to us with such care as he really accomplishes in us all that he represents to us by these sacred signs, although how he does it is beyond our rational understanding and cannot be ascertained by anyone. This is because all actions of the Holy Spirit are secret and incomprehensible. However, we are not wrong when we say that that which we eat is the very physical body of Christ and that which we drink is his blood. But the instrument or the medium through which we eat and drink this is not corporeal but our spirit eating and drinking through faith.”

603: In Confessione Belgica, prout in Synodo Dordracena fuit recognita et approbata, dicitur artic. 35. Certissimum … est, Christum non sine causa tam solicite hoc suum sacramentum nobis commendare, utpote qvi perficiat in nobis revera, qvaecunqve ipse nobis his sacris … signis repraesentat; qvanqvam modus ipse ingenij nostri captum superet, nec percipi a qvoqvam possit; qvod videlicet omnes spiritus sancti actiones occultae sint, et incomprehensibiles. Caeterum neqvaqvam erraverimus dicentes id qvod comeditur esse ipsissimum Christi corpus naturale, et qvod bibitur, verum ipsius sangvinem. At instrumentum seu medium, qvo hoc comedimus et bibimus non est corporeum, sed spiritus ipse noster, idqve per fidem . . .(Corpus et syntagma, 1654, part 1, 129.)

(p.215) Text above from the Belgian Confession cited by Leibniz after: “The Corpus and the constitution of the confessions of faith which were published truthfully in various kingdoms and among various nations and were brought before the most famous synods and approved by public authority and to these is added the catholic or general consensus taken from the texts of the early theologians called the fathers. The listing and harmony and that of the consensus of the ancient fathers is announced on the first page of each part of this syntagma, which is divided into three parts.”

Corpus et syntagma confessionum fidei quae in diuersis regnis et nationibus, ecclesiarum nomine fuerunt authenticè editae, in celeberrimis conuentibus exhibitae, publicáque auctoritate comprobatae quibus annectitur, in omnibus Christiana religionis articulis, catholicus consensus, ex sententijs veterum qui Patres vocantur, desumptus: confessionum enumerationem & harmoniam, atque huius catholici veterum cum illis consensus, ordinem indicant paginae primae singularum partium huius syntagmatis, in tres partes distributi (Geneva: Chouet, 1612, pp. 125–126), although heading given after the later edition of 1654 (p. 145). The text in Corpus et syntagma of 1612 is pre-Dordrecht and mirrors that of the Harmonia Confessionum (Geneva: Pierre St.-André, 1581) which Leibniz also used. (Cf. Leibniz to Molanus, Dec. 2 or 12, 1698, A I, 16, no. 207, 320: “I am also enclosing as you desired my sketch of the alliance and excerpts from the confessions of several reformers which are available either in the Harmony of Confessions or elsewhere and also excerpts from Calvin’s Institutes and letters.” Addo autem tum quod a me delineari volueras de Feciali tum excerpta ex confessionibus compluribus Reformatorum vel in Harmoniae confessionum corpore vel alibi exstantibus.)

“The mutual consensus” established “on 1 April 1570 during the Synod of Sandomierz between” the ministers of the churches “of the Greater and Lesser Poland, Lithuania and the Principality of Zmudz which apparently differed from one another according to whether they followed the Augsburg, the so-called Waldensian or the Helvetic Confession.” It states: “as regards the unfortunate disagreement about the eucharist, we agree on the formulation as understood by the orthodox fathers and especially Irenaeus who said that this mystery consists of two things, one earthly and the other heavenly. And we do not assert the elements to be bare and empty but we say that they really exhibit and furnish to the believers via their faith that which they signify. And to put it more clearly and explicitly we agree to believe and confess that the substantial presence of Christ is not just signified but really represented, distributed and exhibited to those partaking and that the added symbols are (p.216) not bare of the thing itself in conformity with the nature of the sacraments. And to avoid any disagreement that may arise from the difference of formulas, we have deemed it appropriate by mutual agreement to add to our confession, beside the article inserted, the article from the Saxon Confession which was sent to the Council of Trent in 1551, a Confession which we recognize and accept as pious. And these are the words of this Confession: we teach men that the sacraments are divinely instituted acts and that the elements do not have the status of a sacrament outside the rite but only in the rite as instituted. And we also teach that in this communion Christ is truly and substantially present and that the body and blood of Christ are really exhibited to the communicants.”

603–605: Mutuus consensus constitutus in Synodo Sendomiriensi … inter Ministros Ecclesiarum Majoris et Minoris Poloniae, Lithuaniae, et Samogitiae, qvae juxta Confessionem Augustanam, fratrum Waldensium ut vocant, et Helveticam, aliqvo modo a se dissentire videbantur; die 1. April [is] … 1570. … Qvantum, inqvit, ad infelix illud dissidium de Coena … attinet, convenimus in sententia verborum … ut/605/illa orthodoxe intellecta est a patribus, ac inprimis ab Irenaeo, qvi duabus rebus … terrena et coelesti hoc mysterium constare dixit, neque Elementa signaqve illa nuda et vacua esse asserimus, sed simul reipsa credentibus exhibere et praestare fide, qvod significant. Deniqve ut expressius clariusqve loqvamur, convenimus ut credamus et confiteamur SVBSTANTIALEM PRAESENTIAM Christi non significari duntaxat, sed vere in coena … vescentibus repraesentari, distribui et exhiberi … symbolis adjectis ipsi Rei minime nudis, secundum sacramentorum naturam. Ne vero diversitas formularum loqvendi contentionem aliqvam pariat, placuit praeter articulum qvi est insertus confessioni nostrae, mutuo consensu adscribere articulum Confessionis Saxonicarum Ecclesiarum de coena domini, missae ad Concilium Tridentinum anno … 1551 qvem etiam pium agnoscimus et recipimus. Cujus confessionis verba sunt haec: … Docentur etiam homines (a nostris) Sacramenta esse actiones divinitus institutas et extra usum … res ipsas non habere rationem Sacramenti, sed in usu instituto. In hac communione vere et substantialiter adesse Christum et vere exhiberi sumentibus carnem et sangvinem Christi[.]‌ (Corpus et syntagma, 1654, part 2, 219.)

This Consensus of Sandomierz was adopted by the ministers of the churches of the Augsburg, Bohemian and Helvetic Confessions and it was signed by many nobles and priests. In the same year the ministers gathered in Poznan declared that all expressions that disagreed with the synod of Sandomierz should be avoided. The same Consensus was confirmed by the general (p.217) synod held in Krakow in 1573, and also by the synods of Piotrkow 1578 and Wloclawek 1583. And the latter says the following in its article four about the Harmony of the evangelical confessions that had just been published in Switzerland: “we in Poland by God’s favor have a sure norm and bond of concord, that is, the synod of Sandomierz, etc., which we use joyously as the banner of peace, joined as we are into one army of the Lord. Hence we judge it unnecessary to subscribe to this Harmony and to other formulae of Concord and to introduce these to our churches’.”

605: Dieser Consensus Sendomiriensis ist von den Ministris Ecclesiae der augsburgischen, bohmischen und Schweizerischen Confession angenommen, und von vielen Edelleüten, auch vielen Priestern unterschrieben worden. In demselben jahr haben die zu Posen versamleten Prediger guth befunden, daß man alle Redens-arten, die mit diesem consensu nicht übereinstimmeten[,]‌ meiden solle. Eben dieser consensus ist auch confirmiret in dem Generalen Cracovischen Synodo 1573, wie auch in synodo Petricoviensi 1578, und Wlodeslaviensi 1583. In welchen letzten Synodo artic. 4 folgendes de Harmonia Confessionum Evangelicarum in Helvetia paulo ante edita, gesagt wird: Nos in Polonia et Lithuania … divino favore certam habemus concordiae … normam et vinculum, Consensum Sendomiriensem etc, qvo tanqvam vexillo pacis in unum domini exercitum conjuncti feliciter utimur. Proinde isti Harmoniae, caeterisqve Concordiae formulis subscribere, ac eas in nostras Ecclesias inferre superfluum esse censemus[.] (Quotation from Corpus et syntagma, 1654, part 2, 236.)

On August 22, 1595 a general synod was held in Toruń where it was declared: “As regards other matters on which the Augsburg, the Bohemian and the Helvetic Confessions appear to differ, especially the article on the Lord’s supper, the Consensus of Sandomierz provides a remedy for us and joins us all together among ourselves while separating us from all the heretics.” [Corpus et syntagma, 1654, part 2, 241.] And later the first canon of this general synod confirms and ratifies the Consensus, proclaiming that no one who has not subscribed to it should be admitted to the ministry.”

607: Anno 1595 den 22 Augusti ist abermahl zu Torn ein General Synodus gehalten, darinn gesagt wird: In reliqvis autem, in qvibus discrepare illae (hoc est Confessiones Augustana, Bohemica et Helvetica) videntur, praesertim in articulo de Coena domini; nobis Consensum Sendomiriensem Medicinam afferre, nosqve invicem nobiscum conglutinare, et ab omnibus haereticis … sejungere. [Corpus et syntagma, 1654, part 2, p. 241.] Et mox in ejusdem Generalis Synodi Canone primo, confirmatur hic Consensus Sendomiriensis sanciturqve, neminem ad ministerium admittendum, qui illi non subscribat.

(p.218) The Confession of Faith and Religion of the barons and nobles of the Kingdom of Bohemia given to Ferdinand I in Vienna in 1535 and strongly approved by Bucer and the Reformed Theologians sees to it that it contradicts those who deny believing in the presence of Christ. Indeed the preface of the ministers of the Picards, as they are called in Bohemia and Moravia, says this: “Those who never cease to accuse our side that they ignore the sacraments as instituted and ordained by Christ so that they believe without any doubt that Christ’s body and blood are not present in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, these people, we say, are just malevolent inventors. We gathered these few elements out of many—they say—which have been fabricated by the adversaries and spread among the people so as to turn people away from us.”

607–609: Confessio Fidei ac Religionis Baronum ac Nobilium Regni Bohemiae Ferdinando I. Viennae oblata 1535, et a Bucero ac Reformatis Theologis valde probata, id cum cura agit, ut iis contradicat, a qvibus praesentiam corporis Christi credere negantur. Et qvidem praefatio Ministrorum Ecclesiae Piccardorum[,]‌ [Corpus et syntagma, 1654, part 2, 162]ut vocant in Bohemia et Moravia ita habet: Commenti sunt et hoc malevoli, qvi nullum criminandi finem faciunt, qvod nostrates omnes Sacramenta ipsa, ut a Christo uti instituta, ita praecepta nihili faciant … ut in Sacramento Sacrae Synaxeos seu coenae domini, praesentiam veri corporis et sangvinis Christi non adesse, haud dubie credant etc. Haec pauca (inquiunt) de multis recensuimus, qvae ab adversariis eo conficta et in vulgus sparsa sunt, qvo a nobis omnium animos abalienarent.

And the article XIII in the text of the Confession that treats of the Lord’s Supper says the following: “they also teach that to these the words of Christ which he uses to announce that his body is bread and his blood in particular is wine, no one should add anything of their own invention or mix it with other things or remove anything from them, but that he should believe these words literally not swerving to the right or to the left. When in the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Marchionate of Moravia some denied the simple and literal meaning of these words and the people responsible were silent, our side finally came forward and managed to persuade them to simply believe in these words of Christ. And for this they have had to put up with calumny, grumbling . . . disparagement and open insults. For there are two types of adversaries who constantly accuse our side of heresy. Some say that our side feels quite differently than our words would lead to believe. . . . Others who are fanatical Spiritualists who do not adhere to the words of Christ persecute with hate this Confession and its defense by our side. Indeed they deny outright the bread and the chalice of the Supper which we call “the Lord’s” as Paul does. (p.219) But they, having once fixed on our men with their invectives, lacerate them unceasingly on account of this belief and Confession, calling them . . . the dregs of Papism and idolaters marked with the mark of the beast.”

607–609: In ipsa autem Confessione Artic. XIII de coena domini [Corpus et syntagma, 1654, part 2, 195]ita habetur: docent etiam qvod his verbis Christi, qvibus esse panem corpus suum, et vinum speciatim sangvinem suum esse pronuntiat, nemo de suo qvicqvam affingat, admisceat aut detrahat. Sed simpliciter his verbis Christi, neqve ad dextram neqve ad sinistram declinando credat. Horum verborum, dum a qvibusdam in regno Bohemiae et Marchionatu Moraviae simplex ac germanus sensus oppugnaretur, silerentqve hi qvorum intererat, Nostri tandem prodiere, et scripturis evicerunt, ut simpliciter his verbis Christi fides habeatur. Atqve ob id multorum calumnias[,]‌ ronchos, sannas[,] obtrectationes, apertaqve convicia sustinent. Est autem/609/ duplex adversariorum genus, qvi nostratibus semper nomen haereticorum objiciunt. Qvidam [enim …] ferunt nostros multa secus ac intus sentiant, verbis eloqvi. … Qvidam rursus fanatici spiritus in verbis Christi non manentes, hanc in nostris sacrae synaxeos confessionem defensionemqve summo odio proseqvuntur. Panem nempe et calicem coenae qvam hic cum Paulo dominicam vocamus, verum Christi corpus et sangvinem esse pernegant. Atqvi hi nostros qvibus cepere convitiis indesinenter proscindunt; eos propter hanc Coenae Dominicae fidem ac confessionem papismi feces, ac bestiae charactere signatos idololatras … appellantes.

And the Reformers’ Confession brought before the colloquy of Toruń in 1645 says the following about the eucharist at no. 2: ‘the body and the blood of the Lord is exhibited to us in all its reality and presence.’ And at no. 10: “in no way do we set up bare, empty and void signs but we say that they really exhibit that which they signify and attest.” And at no. 12: “it is plain that it is not just the power, the efficacy, the workings and the benefits of Christ that are presented and communicated to us, but first and foremost, the very substance of the body and blood of Christ, that is the same sacrificial victim which was given for the sins of the world and killed on the cross.”

609: Confessio deniqve Reformatorum in Colloqvio Thoruniensi 1645 oblata habet haec de Eucharistia num. 2. Corpus et sangvis domini verissime ac praesentissime nobis exhibetur. Et num. 10 Neqvaqvam statuimus nuda[,]‌ vacua et inania signa sed potius id qvod significant et obisignant simul vere exhibentia. Et num. 12. Patet non solum virtutem, efficaciam, operationem, beneficia Christi nobis praesentari et communicari sed inprimis ipsam substantiam corporis et sangvinis Christi, seu ipsam illam victimam, qvae pro mundi vita data est, et in Cruce mactata[.]

(p.220) Similarly the Synod of Posnan wisely decreed that to avoid the introduction of formulae that do not conform to the Consensus of Sandomierz, in some perfectly acceptable Reformed Confessions no marginalia or glosses should be introduced with the passage of time that seem likely to undo the benefits of these. This is what happened to the Basel Confession which was handed over in Augsburg in 1530 and which reads: “we confess that Christ is present in the sacrament to all believers.” This same Confession was reprinted in Basel in 1534 with marginalia next to the words “is present” where we read: “that is, sacramentally and in commemoration of the faith which lifts the human’s mind up to heaven and which does not remove Christ from the right hand of God.” Although the word ‘sacramentally’ is not to be reprehended as such, the rest does seem to remove the real presence and reduce it to simple commemoration.

609: Gleichwie nun in dem Synodo Posnaniensi [Corpus et syntagma, 1654, part 2, 223] weißlich geordnet, ne formulae adhibeantur alienae a consensu Sendomiriensi, so wäre zu wündschen, daß einigen sonst gar guthen Reformirten Confessionibus nicht mit der zeit marginalia und Glossen beygefüget worden, welche daß darinn enthaltene Guthe fast wieder umbzustoßen scheinen.

Auff die art ist es der Baselschen Confession [Cf. Corpus et syntagma, 1654, part 3, 13.] ergangen, welche anno 1530 auff dem Reichstag zu Augspurg ubergeben worden und also lautet: Confitemur Christum in sacra coena omnibus vere credentibus praesentem esse. Eben diese Confession ist 1534 zu Basel wieder gedruckt worden mit marginalibus, da bey den Worthen: praesentem esse glossiret wird: Sacramentaliter nimirum, et per memorationem fidei, qvae hominis mentem in coelum attollit, nec Christum secundum humanitatem a dextra dei detrahit.

Nun wäre alda das Worth Sacramentaliter nicht zu improbiren, das übrige scheinet die wahre praesenz aufzuheben, und es auff eine bloße commemoration ankommen zu laßen.

Calvin’s Institutes in the 1667–1671 Edition of his Works

In volume 9 in his Institutes 4, 17 Calvin talks about this in paragraph 3: “we have a clear testimony of all these things in this sacrament, sufficiently so, for us to be able to decree that [the body and blood of Christ] are really exhibited to us, no differently than if Christ himself were presented to our view and were to be torn apart with our hands.80 For these words can neither lie to us (p.221) nor constitute an illusion: receive, eat this is my body which is given for you, this is my blood which is shed for the remission of sins. That which he orders us to receive means that it is ours; that which he orders us to eat means that it becomes of one substance with us.”

617: (ED. 1667–1671), vol. 9 Institutionum suarum lib. IV. c. 17 redet er [Calvinus] davon also §. 3. Horum omnium tam solidam habemus testificationem in hoc Sacramento, ut certo statuendum sit VERE nobis exhiberi, non secus ac si Christus ipse praesens aspectui nostro objiceretur, ac manibus attrectaretur. Hoc enim verbum nec mentiri nec illudere nobis potest: accipite, edite, bibite, hoc est corpus meum qvod pro vobis traditur, hic est sangvis, qvi in remissionem peccatorum effunditur. Qvod accipere jubet, significat nostrum esse: qvod edere jubet, significat unam nobiscum substantiam fieri [.]‌

Paragraph 5. “… we must be aware of two vices: neither to weaken the signs so as to separate them from their mysteries to which they are in some way joined nor to appear to obscure the fact that Christ is the bread of life feeding the faithful towards eternal salvation—as only an atheist would deny this—by extolling the signs to excess. But not all agree totally about the way this participation in Christ takes place. There are those who define the manducation of Christ’s body and the drinking of his blood as simply believing in him. But to me Christ seems to have wanted to reach something more explicit and more sublime in his wonderful speech where he commends the manducation of his body, that is to say he wanted us to be brought to life again by real participation in him which he designated by the signs of eating and drinking lest someone might think that we perceive by simple cognition the life that we receive from him. Just as bread feeds the body as ingested food and not by its outward appearance, so it is suitable for the soul to participate in Christ so that we thrive by his power towards a spiritual life. Meanwhile that which we call the manducation by faith is unique so that none other can be conceived of. There is a difference between what they say and what I say insofar as to them the eating and drinking is simply belief. I on the other hand say that Christ’s flesh is eaten by believing and that this manducation is the fruit and outcome of faith … .”

619: §. 5… . porro nobis hic duo cavenda sunt vitia, ne aut in extenuandis signis nimis a suis mysteriis ea divellere, qvibus quodammodo annexa sunt, aut in iisdem extollendis immodici, mysteriaetiam ipsa nonnihil obscurare videamur Christum esse panem vitae, qvo in salutem aeternam nutriantur fideles; nemo est nisi prorsus irreligiosus, qvi non fateatur. Sed hoc non perinde inter omnes convenit, qvalis sit ejus participandi ratio. Sunt enim qui manducare Christi carnem et sanguinem eius bibere uno verbo definiunt nihil aliud esse (p.222) quam in Christumcredere. Sed mihi expressius qviddam, ac sublimius videtur voluisse docere Christus in praeclara illa concione, ubi carnis suae manducationem nobis commendat; nempe VERA sui participatione nos vivificari, qvam manducandi etiam ac bibendi signis ideo designavit, ne qvam ab ipso vitam percipimus, simplici cognitione percipi qvisqvam putaret. Qvemadmodum enim non aspectu sed esu panis corpori alimentum sufficit; ita VERE ac PENITUS participem Christi animam fieri convenit ut ipsius virtute in vitam spiritualem vegetemur. Interimhanc non aliam esse, qvam fidei manducationem fatemur, ut nulla alia fingi potest; verum hoc inter mea et ipsorum verba interest; qvod illis manducare et bibere, est duntaxat credere. Ego credendo manducari carnem Christi, qvia fide noster efficitur, eamqve manducationem fructum esse et effectum fidei dico …

Paragraph 6. “ … Augustine whom they call upon as their patron also wrote that we eat by believing, intending it in exactly the same sense so as to make it clear that this manducation is one of faith, not one of the mouth. I do not deny this but I just … would like to add that we embrace Christ by faith not from afar but as he unites himself with us as our head; while we remain his bodily parts … according to Chrysostom who wrote that Christ makes us into his body not just by faith but in reality by force of things.”

§. 6. Nec alio sensu Augustinus, qvem illi patronum sibi advocant, credendo nos manducare scripsit, qvam ut manducationem istam fidei esse non oris, indicaret. Qvod neqve ipse nego, sed simuladdo, nos fide complecti Christum, non eminus apparentem, sed se nobis unientem ut ipse caput nostrum, nos vero ipsius membra simus … scripsit Chrysostomus, Christum non fide tantum sed reipsa nos suum efficere corpus[.]‌

Paragraph 7. “Neither do those satisfy me who recognize that we have some sort of communion with Christ but when they want to show it, they make us spiritual participants only, omitting to mention body and blood as if Christ mentioned those for nothing … I do not see myself as comprehending such a great mystery sufficiently with my intellect and therefore I am willing to say this lest anyone measures the sublime nature of it with the measure of my infancy… . There is nothing for me but to /621/ break out in admiration of this mystery, neither the mind by thinking clearly nor the tongue with its explanations being up to it.”

§. 7. Neqve illi praeterea mihi satisfaciunt, qvi nonnullam nobis esse cum Christo communionem agnoscentes, eam dum ostendere volunt, nos spiritus modo participes faciunt, praeterita carnis et sangvinis mentione, qvasi vero ista de nihilo (p.223) dicta forent. Tantum mysteriumne animo qvidem satis me comprehendere video, et ideo libenter fateor, ne qvis sublimitatem ejus infantiae meae modulo metiatur… . Nihil demum restat, qvam ut in ejus mysterij admirationem prorumpam, cui nec mens plane cogitando nec lingua explicando par esse potest….

Paragraph 9. “ … Christ’s flesh … is rightly … said to be vivifying being suffused with the plenitude of life which it transmits to us.”

§.9.Christi carojurevivifica dicitur, qvae vitae plenitudine perfusa est, qvam ad nos transmisit[.]‌ .

Paragraph 10. “ … Even though it may seem incredible that Christ’s body reaches all the way to us to be our food, given the distance, let us not forget how much more superior to all our senses is the secret force of the Holy Spirit and how foolish it is to want to measure its immensity by our measure. Therefore what our intellect does not understand, let our faith seize: the spirit really unites things which are at a physical distance from one another.”

621: §. 10…. Etsi autem incredibile videatur in tanta locorum distantia penetrare ad nos Christi carnem ut nobis sit in cibum; meminerimus, qvantum supra sensus omnes nostros emineat arcana spiritus sancti virtus, et qvam stultum sit ejus immensitatem modulo nostro velle metiri. Qvod ergo mens nostra non comprehendit, concipiat fides; spiritum vere unire quae locis disjuncta sunt[.]‌

Paragraph 16. “Others … say that the eucharistic bread is the real substance of the earthly and corruptible element and does not allow for any change but includes the body of Christ under it… . If they were to explain what they mean in the following terms: when the bread is extended in this mystery, there is attached to it an exhibition of the body because the truth is not separable from its sign, I would not combat them with zeal. But because while locating the body in the bread, they add to it ubiquity which goes against its very nature and by adding: under the bread, they want it to be hidden there, it is necessary to extract these tricks from their hiding places … for a little time… . It is clear enough that they insist on the local presence of Christ. Where does this come from? … It is because they cannot manage to conceive of a participation of body and blood other than the one consisting in association of place … or some sort of crass inclusion.”

§. 16. Alij … fatentur panem coenae vere substantiam esse terreni et corruptibilis elementi, nec qvicqvam in se pati mutationis; sed sub se inclusum habere Christi corpus… . Si ita sensum Suum explicarent: Dum panis mysterio porrigitur, annexam esse exhibitionem corporis, qvia inseparabilis est a signo suo (p.224) veritas, non valde pugnarem. Sed qvia in pane corpus ipsum locant ubiquitatem illi affingunt naturae suae contrariam contrariam addendo autem sub pane, illic occultum latere volunt; tales astutias ex suis latebris paulisper extrahere necesse est… . Satis apparet locali Christi praesentiae insistere. Unde id?Qvia non aliam carnis et sangvinis participationem concipere sustinent, nisi qvae vel loci conjunctionevel crassa aliqva inclusione constet[.]‌

Paragraph 18. “Even though he withdrew his body from us and went up bodily to heaven, he sits at God’s right hand, that is, he reigns in the power and [majesty] and glory of the Father. This reign or kingdom is neither limited by points of space nor circumscribed by any dimensions, and so there is no reason why Christ should not exert his power everywhere in heaven and on earth, no reason why he should not exhibit himself as present in his power and force, and no reason why he should not always be present for his own, breathing his life into them… . In this sense, the body and blood of Christ is exhibited to us.”

§. 18.Tametsi carnem suam a nobis sustulit, et corpore ad coelum ascendit, ad dextram tamen patris sede, hoc est in potentia et majestate et gloria patris regnat. Hoc regnum nec ullis locorum spatiis limitatum, nec ullis dimensionibus circumscriptum, qvin Christus virtutem suam ubicunque placuerit, in coelo et in terra exerat, qvin se praesentem potentia et virtute exhibeat, qvin suis semper adsit, vitam iis suam inspirans… . Secundum hanc rationem corpus et sangvis Christi in Sacramento nobis exhibetur.

Paragraph 19. “But we have to … decree the presence of Christ in the Supper to be such that it does not attach him to the element of bread, does not include him in the bread and does not circumscribe him in any way as all these things evidently detract from his heavenly glory. And it should not remove his mass or scatter him in several places or attach a great magnitude to him which is diffused throughout heaven and earth, as these features are very clearly contrary to his human nature; let us never allow to have these objections taken away from us… . Having removed these absurdities, I accept willingly whatever formula can express the true and substantial communication of our Lord’s body and blood, which is exhibited to the faithful under the symbols of the Holy Supper, and a formula that expresses this in such a way that we can be understood to enjoy it not just in our imagination or by our intelligence … but in reality as the food of life.” The words of this paragraph are found again in large measure in a treatise entitled The short tract on the Lord’s Supper that can be found in volume 9 of Calvin’s Works next to his letters on page 267, and (p.225) are also excerpted with other passages below [A IV, 7, 633–635] as both the texts can bring something useful to the explanation.

623: §. 19. Nos veroChristi praesentiam in coena statuere oportet, qvae nec panis elemento ipsum affigat nec in panem includat, nec ullo modo circumscribat; qvae omnia derogare ejus coelesti gloriae palam est: Deinde qvae nec mensuram illi suam auferat, vel pluribus simul locis distrahat, et immensam illi magnitudinem affingat, qvae per coelum et terram diffunditur, haec enim humanae naturae veritati non obscure repugnant; istas inqvam duas Exceptiones nunqvam patiamur nobis eripi.Caeterum his absurditatibus sublatis qvicqvid ad exprimendam veram substantialemqve corporis et sanguinis domini communicationem, qvae sub sacrae coenae symbolis fidelibus exhibetur, facere potest, libenter recipio. Atqve ita, ut non imaginatione duntaxat aut mentis intelligentiased ut reipsa frui in alimentum vitae aeternae intelligamur[.]‌ Die worth dieses paragraphi werden guthen theils in einer schrifft intitulirt: Brevis admonitio de coena Domini, welche sich Tomo IX operum Calvini bey deßen Epistolis p. 267 findet[,] wiederhohlet, und mit andern infra auch excerpiret; alda ein und anders zu der erclärung dienliches angefuhret werden soll.

Paragraph 32. “… I am not ashamed to say that this secret is more lofty … than I can either understand with my human intelligence or express with words.”

§ [32] … : Fateri non pudebit SUB LIMIVS ESSE ARCANVM, qvam ut … meo ingenio comprehendi, vel enuntiari verbis qveat.

Paragraph 33. “… They put it about falsely that whatever we teach on spiritual manducation is opposed to the real and true manducation; seeing that we only look to the manner of it which according to them is carnal as they include Christ in the bread whereas according to us it is spiritual because the secret force of the Holy Spirit is the bond of our union with Christ.”

§. 33… . Falso jactant, qvicqvid docemus de spirituali manducatione verae et reali ut loqvuntur, opponi: qvandoqvidem non nisi ad modum respicimus, qvi apud eos carnalis est, dum Christum pani includunt, nobis spiritualis, dum vis arcana spiritus nostrae cum Christo unionis vinculum est.

Calvin’s Letters in the 1667–1671 Edition of his Works

p. 23, col. A. Calvin’s letter to N. N.: “I would like you to take care to obtain from him that whoever he talks to, he must imperatively leave this (p.226) testimony: that in the Supper the communion which we have with Christ is not just portrayed figuratively but it is also exhibited. Our Lord does not just give us the words but the truth and what actually happens accords with these words. This communion is not imaginary but by it we cohere into one body and one substance with our Head. He should also freely exclude all the absurdities and mind not to weaken anything in this essential chapter.”

627: p. 23, col. A. Epist[ola] Calvini ad Anonymum. Hoc tamen velim Tibi curae sit apud eum efficere, ut apud qvemcunqve loqvatur, non dubitet hic testatum relinqvere, non modo hic figurari in coena communionem qvam habemus cum Christo, sed etiam exhiberi: nec verba illic nobis dari a domino, sed veritatem ac rem constare cum verbis. Hanc porro communionem non imaginariam esse, sed qva in unum corpus, unamqve substantiam, cum Capite nostro coalescamus. Excludat interim libera voce omnia absurda et caveat; modo in illo capite tam necessario nihil extenuet[.]‌

p. 37. A certain Theodore to Calvin: “… I have read your short discourse on the sacrament of the Supper and I approve of it because you call bread and wine [signs] in such a way that the things signified are really present. If only those who leave only the bare signs in this sacrament could be persuaded of this.”

629: p. 37, col. B. Theodorus (qvidam) Calvino: [inc. Salutem in Domino. Gratissimum mihi fuit. Des. Datum Noribergae, postridie Purificationis, 1546] Legi conciunculam tuam de Sacramento coenae ac probo, qvod panem et vinum sic signa vocas, ut signa revera adsint. Utinam possintin hanc sententiam adducj, qvi nuda tantum signa relinqvunt.

p. 82. (in vol. 9 of the 1667–1671 edition of Calvin’s Works) Calvin to Melanchthon: “Luther clamored all his life that he strove the whole time for nothing other than to affirm the power that the sacraments have. He agrees that these are not just empty figures but that they provide what they represent. According to him in baptism there is the efficacy of the Spirit so that he can cleanse and regenerate us and the Lord’s Supper is a spiritual feast at which we are fed by the body and blood of Christ….”

p. 82. Calvinus ad Melanchthonem: Clamavit tota vita Lutherus, non alia de re se contendere, nisi ut suam sacramentis virtutem assereret. Convenit non inanes esse figuras, sed reipsa praestari qvicqvid figurant. In Baptismo adesse Spiritus efficaciam ut nos abluat et regeneret, sacram coenam spirituale esse Epulum, in qvo vere carne et sangvine Christi pascimur[.]‌

(p.227) p. 100. Calvin to Peter Martyr (Vermigli): “From the body … and blood of Christ we draw life, so that they are rightly called our food. How this happens I declare to be far too sublime for the measure of my intelligence. Therefore I admire this mystery rather than laboring to comprehend it unless I acknowledge that life from heaven is transmitted down to earth by the divine power of the Holy Spirit.”

p. 100. Idem Epist[ola] ad Martyrem: A carneet sangvine Christi vitam haurimus, ita ut non immerito vocentur nostra alimenta. Qvomodo id fiat, intelligentiae meae modulo longe altius esse fateor. Itaqve hoc mysterium magis suspicio, qvam comprehendere laborem, nisi qvod divina spiritus virtute vitam e coelis in terram transfundi agnosco[.]‌

p. 113. Calvin to Martin Scalingius. “I see that all of you [he is talking about our Evangelicals or Lutherans] with one voice assert: those who accede to the Holy Supper whether they are wicked, or the faithful, all those eat the substance of Christ’s body and drink the substance of his blood. I do not deny that the faithful eat the Supper truly and substantially on condition that the manner is defined, that is, it happens by the secret power of the Holy Spirit who ‘transfers’ to us his force by the body and blood of Christ.”

p. 113. Idem ad Martinum Scalingium[:]‌ Hoc qvidem vos omnes (de Evangelicis nostris loqvitur) uno consensu asserere video: Qvicunqve ad sacram mensam accedunt, sive impii sint, sive fideles, substantialiter comedere Christi carnem, et sangvinem bibere. Qvin fideles Carne et Sangvine Christi, vere et substantialiter in coena alantur, non nego: stantum definiatur modus, arcana spiritus virtute fieri, ut vim suam caro et Sangvis Christi in nos transfundat.

p. 116. Calvin’s letter to the ministers of the Polish churches: “Where the force and efficacy of the mystery has been clearly exposed, there too is given an excellent definition of the real participation of the body and blood, which establishes that Christ is not playing with empty figures of speech and does not promise [anything] with the intention to deceive but that he really provides that which he attests by outward symbols, that is unless we added the objection that the flesh of Christ is given to us to eat the bread and to drink the blood and that this happens by the secret and incomprehensible power of the Holy Spirit and this does not mean that we should invent an immense size and add it to the body as this plainly contradicts human nature.” [Lutherans fully agree with this]: “Indeed we accept willingly that bread and wine are not just symbols or guarantees but reliable testimony to which the real exhibition of the things themselves is joined. Thus we say that the bread is the (p.228) body of Christ and wine is his blood, because by giving these symbols to us Christ really feeds our souls with his body and blood. We are also happy to add an interpretation of why this communication is called spiritual: this does not mean it is something imaginary as if we participated in Christ by thought only, but rather it should be taken to understand a purely heavenly force which excludes the crass figments of earthly presence without diminishing its reality.” We condone this crass, terrestrial, that is local or dimensional presence as little as Calvin [who says]: “Therefore let us not fabricate the idea that Christ’s body is immense.” We do not in any way fabricate or approve this: “that it is everywhere as if it had divested itself of natural properties.” How multipresence which is not local but substantial takes place by the absolute power of God without touching on the nature and essence of the body we do not seek to know any more than Calvin does, as can be seen from what precedes: “the mode of communication remains to be explained whereby Christ who remains in heaven with his body,” that is by his local or dimensional presence in which, as we said, we also believe, that is we believe that Christ remains in heaven “by the wondrous power of his spirit” that is in a manner which is incomprehensible and ineffable as he states clearly elsewhere: it descends “to us and at the same time” raises “us [up] to him” so that a union and a communication of substance takes place[.]‌

629–631: p. 115–116. Idem Calvinus Ep[istola] ad Polonos Ecclesiarum Ministros: Ubi clare fuerit exposita mysterij vis et efficacia, luculenta etiam definitio tradita fuerit de vera carnis et sangvinis participatione, qva constet Christum non ludere inanibus figuris, nec qvicqvam fallaciter promittere, sed praestare reipsa qvod per externa symbola testatur; saltem addenda esset exceptio, qvod caro Christi nobis datur in cibum et sangvis in potum, arcana et incomprehensibili spiritus sancti virtute id fieri, nec ideo fingendam esse immensitatem, qvae palam naturae humanae repugnat (hiemit sind die Evangelischen ganz eins). Nos certe libenter recipimus, panem et vinum non modo esse symbola vel arrhas sed certa testimonia, qvibus conjuncta est vera rerum exhibitio. Ita fatemur panem esse corpus Christi, et vinum sangvinem, qvia haec symbola nobis porrigendo Christus vere animas nostras carne sua sangvineqve pascit. Libenter etiam ferimus, dum spiritualis vocatur haec communicatio, interpretationem adjungi: hac voce non debere intelligi imaginarium nescio qvod, ac si cogitatione tantum essemus Christi participes, sed potius intelligi coelestem virtutem, qvae crassa terrenae praesentiae figmenta excludat, nihil autem minuat de ipsa veritate[.]‌ (Diese crassam terrenam, hoc est localem vel dimensionalem praesentiam, billigen wir eben so wenig als Calvinus) … Itaqve ne fingatur immensum esse Christi corpus (das fingiren und approbiren wir keines weges) et esse ubiqve qvasi naturam exuisset(: wie die multipraesentia non localis sed substantialis per (p.229) absolutam dei potentiam salva corporis natura et essentia statt habe, und von uns ein mehrers nicht als von Calvino selbst dazu erfordert werde, ist aus obigem zu sehen:) explicandus est communicationis modus qvod scilicet Christus secundum Corpus suum in coelo manens (: nehmlich praesentia locali vel dimensionali, nach welcher wir, wie oberwehnet auch glauben, daß Christus im himmel bleibe:) admirabili Spiritus sui virtute (: und also modo incomprehensibili et ineffabili, wie er anderwerts diese phrasin expliciret:) ad nos descendat et simul nos ad se sursum attollat (: also daß nehmlich eine unio, et communicatio substantiarum entstehe:)[.]

p. 126 (vol. 9 of the 1667–1671 edition of Calvin’s works) Calvin’s letter to Otto Henry, the Palatine prince elector: “And I must admit that the French brethren concur with what I teach publicly as they use the Catechism of our church and for this they do not deserve to be despoiled of your Highness’s patronage given that they acknowledge that Christ provides really what he represents in the Holy Supper and they say out loud that our souls … are fed by Christ’s body and blood in such a way that the body is fed. If we do not quite agree on the mode of this communication, are they to be finally deserted, those who believe that Christ is really communicated to us although he does not fill heaven and earth with his body? Indeed what are we to look for other than to come together in the body of Christ, which if we believe impossible to take place unless we believe that Christ is bodily everywhere, then we are certain to diminish his power.”

631: p. 125–126. Idem Epist[ola] ad Ottonem Henricum principem Electorem Palatinum: Neqve tamen dissimulo, Gallos Fratres idem sentire qvod publice doceo, sicut Ecclesiae nostrae Catechismo utuntur, nec vero hac de causa Celsitudinis vestrae patrocinio spoliari merentur, quando et Christum veraciter in sua coena praestare qvod figurat agnoscunt, et clare fatentur non aliter animas nostras … pasci Christi carne et sangvine, qvam pane et vino ad corpus alendum pascimur. Si de modo communicationis non prorsus conveniat, an deserendi sunt in ultimo discrimine, qvi arcana spiritus virtute Christum nobis vere communicari credunt quamvis coelum et terram carne sua non impleat. Qvid enim aliud qvaerendum est, qvam ut coalescamus in corpus Christi, qvod si aliter fieri non posse credimus qvam si ubiqve sit secundum carnis naturam, certe ejus potentiae derogatur[.]‌

p. 84 (vol. 9 of the 1667–1671 edition) Calvin’s letter to Marbach: “If Luther that outstanding servant of Christ and loyal doctor of the church were alive today, he would not be so harsh and implacable as not to willingly accept this confession, that is that what the sacrament signifies is really given to us and (p.230) for this reason we become participants in body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper. How many times did he not say it himself? There is no other reason to fight except to establish firmly that the Lord does not play with us with empty signs but that he inwardly fulfills that which he puts forward before our eyes.”

We close with the short treatise, On the Lord’s Supper, which is printed among Calvin’s letters toward the end of volume 9 on page 267. “It is established very clearly that the Holy Supper represents to the faithful the communion which they have with Christ and this … is not to be disputed. The question is: does Christ simply signify and portray figuratively by outward symbols that we participate in his body and blood or does he really accomplish and provide that which he promised, that is that we … participate in his body and blood so that he becomes all ours, so that all his benefits pertain to us by the law of communion.

“Indeed we believe and teach that the representation is real and that what is promised by the visible sign is exhibited there in effect. And this cannot happen otherwise than if the faithful when they receive the sign communicate with the body and blood … and this is what having the reality signified means. And to avoid ambiguity in what we are saying, this is to be defined here thus; what it is to communicate with the Lord’s body and blood. We do not take this to mean simply believe but to receive Christ with faith, not just so that he lives and remains in us but so that we combine with him into one body[.]‌ When we want to explain this further we say that it happens spiritually and the term spiritually … includes two things: firstly that this is the wondrous work of the Holy Spirit which exceeds our human understanding, as Paul exclaims when he is seized by admiration that this is a great mystery. Secondly this manducation does not happen bodily in the same way as when a body is crushed with the teeth or swallowed by the mouth or descends into the throat.

“We thus exclude all these absurd … imaginings which the world holds on the subject of real presence or the distribution of the glorified body. For our notion of Christ’s presence in the eucharist does not involve him being attached to the element of bread or included in the bread or being circumscribed in any way at all … and no more do we conceive of his presence as one that removes his dimensions or fragments him into several places or fabricates an immense size for him, as this is in flagrant contradiction with his human nature… . So as not to obscure or weaken the ineffable benefit in which all the force and efficacy consists, which cannot happen unless we understand the body and blood of Christ not with our imagination or intellectual (p.231) apprehension but that it is offered to us in reality in such a way that we unite with him by real and substantial union.”

631–633: p. 84–85. Idem Calvin[us] Epist[ola] ad Marbachium. [inc. Jam fere sesquianus est, Gen[evae].] [8 Calend. Sept., 1554] Si hodie viveret eximius ille Dei servus, et fidelis ecclesiae doctor Lutherus, non tam esset acerbus vel implacabilis, qvin libenter admitteret hanc Confessionem: nobis vere praestari quod significat sacramentum sacramentum, ideoqve in sacra coena corporis et sangvinis Christi nos fieri participes. Qvoties enim professus est, non aliam sibi esse pugnandi causam, nisi ut constaret, dominum inanibus signis non ludere nobiscum, sed intus implere, qvod oculis proponit[.]‌

633: Claudimus brevi admonitione de coena domini, qvae extat inter Calvini Epistolas circa finem p. 267. Satis constat repraesentari in sacra coena fidelibus communione qvam habent cum Christo, neqve … res controversiam habet. Nunc qvaeritur significetne duntaxat illic Christus ac signo externo figuret nos corporis et sangvinis sui esse participes, an reipsa etiam adimpleat ac praestet qvod promittit, nos scilicet … fieri participes corporis ac sangvinis sui ut totus noster fiat qvo omnia ejus bona jure communionis ad nos pertineant[.]‌ Nos vero sentimus ac docemus: Repraesentationem veram esse idemqve efficaciter illic exhiberi, qvod signo visibili promittitur. Hoc autem aliter fieri non potest, qvin fideles dum signum recipiunt, corpori ac sangvini … communicent, qvod est habere veritatem signi. Ac ne ambiguum sit qvod dicimus, hic definiendum est, quid sit sanguini ac corpori domini communicare. Porro, non accipimus hanc phrasin pro simpliciter credere, sed pro eo qvod est fide recipere Christum, ut non tantum in nobis habitet aut maneat, sed etiam ut in unum corpus cum ipso coalescamus[.]… Id cum volumus exponere dicimus spiritualiter fieri, et verbum: spiritualiter … duo comprehendit nempe hoc esse opus mirabile spiritus sancti quod captum mentis nostrae excedit, qvemadmodum Paulus admiratione captus exclamat magnum hoc esse mysterium: Deinde manducationem hanc non fieri carnali modo, ut corpus dentibus atteratur, vel ore deglutiatur, vel in alvum descendat[.]

In hunc modum excludimus absurdas omnes illas imaginationes, quibus mundus detinetur de locali praesentia vel diffusione corporis glorificati.Neqve enim talem Christi praesentiam in coena concipimus, qvae vel panis elemento ipsum affigat, vel in panem includat, vel alio modo circumscribat … nihilo etiam magis, qvae mensuram illi suam auferat, vel pluribus simul locis distrahat, vel immensam illi magnitudinem affingat; qvae humanae naturae veritati haud obscure repugnet[.]‌ … Modo ne obscuretur vel extenuetur ineffabile illud beneficium, in qvo tota Coenae vis et efficacia consistit, nempe exhiberi nobis qvod figuratur; qvod fieri non potest, nisi recipiamus illic corpus et sangvinem Domini, non phantasia aut apprehensione mentis, sed reipsa ita nobis offerri, ut vera substantialique cum ipso cohaereamus[.]

(p.232) Interpretation of Calvin in Leibniz’s Correspondence

Leibniz’s correspondence on the eucharist, linked to the confessional union negotiations with Brandenburg. The references A I, 16 etc. are to the relevant series and volume number in the Akademie-Ausgabe.

Leibniz to Fabricius, Dec. 16, 1698, A I, 16, no. 221, 337, ll. 6–14, 18–21: I first thought about how it can come about that in the talks on the eucharist the Reformed appear to be closer to our position than they are generally thought to be. Having weighed the matter up properly I saw that if they only place stress on Calvin’s teaching as regards this article, the question can be considered as settled. For I went through not just the chapter of his Institutes that treats of this but also his other various writings from which I made excerpts. These make it quite clear that he always pressed for real and substantial reception of the body of Christ and that his denial of the real presence should not be interpreted as concerning any other presence than dimensional, the one Christ cannot take up in the holy Supper if he is to keep his human or bodily nature intact.

What poses a problem is that some Reformed today seem to support the position of Zwingli rather than Calvin, but perhaps after examining this point with greater precision they will think better of this. It is certain that the Gallican Confession expresses exactly Calvin’s doctrine.

Ego inprimis cogitavi qua ratione fieri queat ut in negotio S. Coenae appareat Reformatos nostris propriores esse quam vulgo putantur. Vidi autem re bene perpensa, si modo Calvini doctrinae in hoc articulo insistant, rem habendam pro confecta. Nam non tantum Institutionum ejus caput huc pertinens, sed et varia alia ejus scripta percurri, atque excerpsi; ex quibus apparet, eum serio, constanter acriter ursisse realem ac substantialem perceptionem corporis et sanguinis Christi; et quod praesentiam realem negavit, non de alia intelligendum, quam de dimensionali, qua utique Christus salva humana vel corporis natura in coena esse non potest.

Illud displicet, quod nonnulli reformati hodie magis ex Zwinglii quam Calvini sententia loqui videntur: sed fortasse re accuratius examinata redibunt ad meliora. Certe Confessio Gallicana prorsus est ad Calvini mentem.

Leibniz toDaniel Ernst Jablonski, Dec. 25, 1698; A I, 16, no. 234, 364, 2–8: As regards the main matter we have perused very thoroughly and consequently the relevant passages of your Confessions and of Calvin and especially those dealing with the question of the real and substantial reception of the Lord’s body and blood so that what we argue has been weighed up with diligence: (p.233) we find it very much to our satisfaction and only wish that the Reformed gentlemen could agree with the declarations and confessions of their ancestors and their chief theologians and in a word, follow Bucer and Calvin rather than Zwingli. This would finalize the agreement and the real presence would effectively be confessed. Calvin does not deny any presence other than dimensional and because he was not informed of any other he spoke generally of real presence. He says in a letter, as I saw when I carefully went through his letters that are printed in the last volume of his works and found much that is relevant to this matter: if Luther that servant of God were still alive then he would find much pleasure in Calvin’s explanation (in favor of the real and substantial communion). I cannot but agree with this and say that if your chief theologian (Calvin) were alive, he would be happy to learn that we admit no more than he does although he would ask that the manducation by the unworthy be abandoned.

Was solche Hauptsach betrifft haben wir die loca vestrarum Confessionum und Calvini, sonderlich darinn eine realis et substantialis perceptio corporis et sanguinis Domini aufs kräfftigste und bestandigste getrieben und behauptet wird mit fleiß erwogen: finden darinn sehr große satisfaction, und wundschen nur daß die Herrn Reformirten mit diesen ihren declarationibus et confessionibus majorum et principum Theologorum einig seyn, und mit einem worth, mehr Bucero et Calvino, als Zwinglio folgen mogen; so ist die Sachbey Verständigen hauptsächlich gethan, und die praesentia realis in effectu gestanden. Weil Calvinus keine andere als dimensionalem geleugnet, und weil er von keiner andern berichtet gewesen, daher gegen praesentiam realem indefinite gesprochen. Er sagt in einem seiner briefe, wie ich dann seine Epistolas in Tomo operum ultimo extantes mit fleiß durchgangen, und darinn viel guthes zu dieser Sach gefunden. Si servus Dei Lutherus viveret, würde er an seiner, Calvini, erclarung (pro reali et substantiali communione) ein groß vergnügen haben. Ich durffte nicht weniger sagen, si princeps ille Theologus vester viveret, wurde er sich freuen zu vernehmen, daß wir ein mehrers nicht, als er zulaßen können, iemahls verlanget seposita tantum communione indignorum.

Leibniz to Jablonski, Jan. 3, 1699; I, 16 n. 258, 399 l. 21–400 l. 6: In order to speed up the completion, I had to take on a good part of the work myself, especially some of the parts on the divine attributes and their violation and on the eternal election by grace but have also contributed something on the reception and the substantial albeit non dimensional presence which explains somewhat the nature of a body, added to which I have contributed some passages from the Confessions of faith and from Calvin. All this in my estimation could resolve the problem if we do not want to abandon our respective positions on this.

(p.234) Ich habe umb die verfertigung zu befordern ein guthes theil der arbeit selbst ubernehmen müßen, als sonderlich von den attributis divinis deren verlezungen und von der Ewigen Gnadenwahl, zum theil, zumahl aber von der perceptione et praesentia substantiali sed non dimensionali, da ich die natur des Corpers etwas erclaret, und auch Confessionum sowohl als Calvini loca beygetragen, welche meines ermeßens die Sach ausmachen konnen, wenn man ihres orths davon nicht abgehen will.

Leibniz to Fabricius, Jan. 6, 1699, A I, 16, no. 261, 406 ll. 4–6 (on Jablonski’s position on this see his letter to Leibniz of Jan. 11, 1699, A I, 16, no. 274, 445 l. 28–447 l. 9): Calvin explains himself very well and shows that he understands reception not to be imaginary, as one which makes us present in Rome, but of the substance of Christ. He requires faith as condition which is why he does not recognize the manducation of the unworthy, the only point where the difference between our two confessions subsists.

Calvinus se optime explicat, ostenditque perceptionem a se intelligi non imaginariam, quali Romae sumus, sed substantiae ipsius. Fidem autem requirit ut conditionem, unde non agnoscit perceptionem indignorum, in quo re vera discrimen a nostris manet.

Leibniz to F. E. vonPlaten, middle–end of Jan. 1699, A I, 16, no. 55, 90 l. 21–91 ll. 46: The treatise which the abbot Molanus co-authored with the Helmstedt theologians and with me to serve as a reply to the treatise from Berlin was read by the vice-chancellor who seems to recognize that it will probably be most useful if the Reformed abide by their own Confessions and by Calvin’s account of the holy Supper which is so greatly in favor of the real and substantial reception that it does not seem what else one could ask for on this point.

Lécrit que Mons. l’Abbé Molanus avoit concerté avec des Theologiens de Helmstat et avec moi pour servir de réponse à celuy de Berlin, a esté parcouru chez Monsieur le Vice Chancelier, qui paroist reconnoistre qu’il pourra faire grand fruit si les Reformés se tiennent à leur propres confessions et à l’explication de Calvin sur la Sainte cene, qui est si positive pour une perception reelle et substantielle, qu’il ne semble point, qu’on puisse rien souhaiter d’avantage en ce point.

Leibniz to Jablonski, Jan. 18, 1699, A I, 16, no. 291, 469 l. 30–470 l. 3 and 470 ll. 9–11. (Cf. also ibid., 474 ll. 2–11 on Molanus’s view of Calvin’s doctrine of the eucharist.): The abbot Molanus as well as I and others to whom I presented it clearly are quite satisfied with Calvin’s doctrine of the eucharist and we ask for (p.235) no other presence than the one which is brought about by the direct application, exhibition and perception of the substance.

. . . And so we reconcile Calvin with himself instead of doing what the late Calixtus did in his treatise on tolerance which was to accuse him of contradicting himself.

Mit Calvini Erklärungen circa realem perceptionem Christi ist der Herr Abt Molanus und ich, auch andere, denen ich sie deutlich vorgestellet, gantz wohl vergnügt, und erfordern wir keine andere praesentiam, als die eine solche immediata substantiae applicatio, exhibitio[,]‌ perceptio mit sich bringet.

… und conciliiren wir also Calvinum mit sich selbst, an statt daß der sel. Calixtus in seinem Scripto de tolerantia ihn einer Contradiction beschuldiget.

Leibniz to Ezechiel von Spanheim, Feb. 3, 1699, A I, 16, no. 362, 599 ll. 20–24 and ll. 26–27: And finally regarding the holy Supper, our side ask only that your gentlemen explain themselves on the real and substantial reception of the body and blood of our Lord, as Calvin did and also some of your Confessions and the Consensus of Sandomierz as well as the Confession of Toruń.

In fact I find that Calvin expresses himself on the matter in a most satisfactory way.

Et enfin touchant la Sainte Cene, les nostres demandent seulement que vos Messieurs s’expliquent sur la perception reelle et substantielle du corps et sang de nostre Seigneur, comme à fait Calvin, et comme ont fait quelques unes de vos Confessions, et le Convent de Sendomir aussi bien que la profession de Thorn.

En effet je trouve que Calvin s’explique là dessus de la manière la plus satisfaisante du monde. (p.236)


(78.) All the English translations are my own.

(79.) Cf. Leibniz to Molanus, A I, 16 (1698–1699), no. 206, 320: December 12, 1698: “I am also enclosing as you desired my sketch of the alliance and excerpts from the confessions of several reformers which are available either in the Harmony of Confessions or elsewhere and also excerpts from Calvin’s Institutes and letters. These show that he always seriously and keenly looked into real and substantial communication of Christ’s body with us in the eucharist, even though he required faith as condition. From this communication there follows Christ’s real presence even if Calvin denies this as he knew of no other presence than circumscribed and dimensional. Therefore, there should be no problem reconciling him with us were it not for the question of the manducation of the unworthy.” (Addo autem tum quod a me delineari volueras de Feciali tum etiam excerpta ex confessionibus pluribus reformatorum vel in Harmoniae confessionum corpore, vel alibi extantibus itemque ex institutione Caluini et Epistolis; ex quibus patet eum serio constanter acriter visisse realem et substantialem corporis christi in sacra coena nobiscum fieri commnicationem, etsi fidem pro conditione requirat. Ex hac autem communicatione reuera sequitur praesentia etsi Calvinus non nisi circumscriptiuam vel dimensionalem corporis praesentiam nouerat hoc negarit. Itaque nullo negotio (excepta quaestione de communione indignorum) nobiscum conciliari potest.) Most of these excerpts are also to be found in the Loca nonnulla which suggests very strongly that the two texts, UB and the Loca, are contemporary with one another, and that the dating of the Loca by the editors, “1677 bis 1687 (?)” (in A VI, 4C, 2500), is erroneous.

(80.) A IV, 7, 610–617 is taken up with Leibniz’s comments not reproduced in this appendix.