[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] St u,—fir. Watson writes :
" Your Anglo-Catholic correspon- dent quotes the sixth chapter of St. John in support of a literal interpretation of our Lord's words, but he omits, however, to quote vv. 61 to 63, in which the spiritual nature of the teaching on the Bread of Life is clearly indicated. ' The words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life. "
I will not argue the point myself. Let me rather quote the words of a world-famous theologian, whose name is venerated by churchmen of every school of thought. " Some . . . have interpreted these words : ' By My life-giving flesh and blood I did not really mean flesh at all, for it could do you no good : I meant My spiritual, life-giving teaching.'
But this explanation renders our Lord's strong insistence upon the figure—one may venture to say the misleading figure—of flesh and blood quite unintelligible. It is more in accordance with the whole context and the Greek words to understand : ' The flesh profiteth nothing' as equivalent to ' mere flesh—flesh of itself—profiteth nothing.' Then the whole verse will mean, ' Mere flesh, as you naturally think of it, profits nothing. But the things that I have just spoken to you of—the flesh and blood of the glorified Son of Man (ver. 62) —are something much more than mere flesh and blood ; they are spirit and (therefore) life.' " (Gore: The Body of Christ, pp. 290 f.) In case my previous letter (in answer to Mrs. Strong) did not make it clear, may I add that probably few, if any, of the so-called Anglo-Catholic school of thought suppose that there is any physical or material change in the Elements after Consecration ? They remain Very Bread and Very Wine. None the less, we believe that in some mysterious way, which we do not pretend to understand or explain, beneath these sacred veils there are truly and objectively present " the Body and Blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper."—I am, Sir, &c.,
YOUR ANGLO-CATHOLIC CORRESPONDENT.