Years ago, we were killing time in Krauth Memorial Library, when we stumbled across a little pamphlet on the ever-popular subject of Lutheran communion practices. Like Augustine, we heard a voice cry tolle, lege -- and like Augustine, we complied.
There wasn't much in the booklet that we didn't know. To make a long story short: those little shot glasses that some people use for the Blood of Christ were introduced in the 1890s. They were an instant hit with many Protestants, averse to those newly-discovered monstrosities called "germs."
Lutherans, in those days at least, were more averse to change than to microbes. Pastors in Pennsylvania asked for an opinion, and the Ministerium answered with a firm "Nein." Or nicht, whatever. A couple of years later, the subject came up; pastors in union churches worried that their members would run off to the shot-glass-slurping Reformed communities; the Ministerium responded, literally, according to an account in the Reading Eagle, "Let them go."
And of course, it came up again a few years afterward. This little pamphlet was a response, not from the Ministerium but from the faculty of the seminary at Philadelphia, drafted by its president, who was also a fine liturgical theologian. The faculty had also given little cups a big thumbs-down.
We read the booklet with delight, enjoying the arguments and wishing they had been more widely heard. And as we read, none other than Gordon Lathrop walked past us, and said good evening. We pointed to the pamphlet, and said, "Have you seen this?"
He nodded a little sadly. "Right there at the beginning," he said, "and they already understood the whole problem."
Here's the thing: we can't, after all these years, recall the argument that Jacobs and his colleagues used. Oh, we could re-imagine it, but we would really like to get the details right. It's not on the net, so far as we can tell; certainly not at projects Gutenberg or Wittenberg, nor the Internet Archive, and Google Books gives us a tantalizing link and a 404 error.
On the contrary, there's a quite different article published by the United Brethren, and later printed in Lutheran Quarterly, which makes the opposite point. But we don't care so much what the brethren thought; we care very much what our ancestors did.
So here's the appeal: could somebody at a [Lutheran] seminary track this down for us? Here is the title:
Henry Eyster Jacobs, “The Individual Communion Cup: Opinion of the Faculty of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia — At the request of the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States,” (Philadelphia, PA, 1903).
We're pretty sure it is out of copyright, since its pre-1923 and all the authors are long dead.
If some kindly soul could scan this and post it on the net (or let us do it), the said soul will have performed a service to scholarship.