Billeder på siden

eat of this bread he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give," &c. Is Popery prepared to say that Christ, being in himself the "living bread," intended his Apostles to tear his human flesh with their teeth? But at once, to place the point beyond dispute, as far as the Scriptures are concerned, we will take up the subject at the exact verse where the Pope and the Doctor dropt it :

Ver. 58. This is that bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Ver. 59. These things said he in the synagogue as he taught in Capernaum.

Ver. 60. Many, therefore, of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, this is an hard saying, who can hear it?

Ver. 61. When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, doth this offend you? Ver. 63. It is the SPIRIT that QUICKENETH, the FLESH PROFITETH NOTHING; the words that I speak unto you they are SPIRIT and THEY ARE LIFE.

And now, we ask, is not this explanation of Christ himself explicit and satisfactory to all Christians permitted to use their reason? It is by applying figurative expressions in a positive sense, and insisting upon realities being no more than figures, which has reduced Popery herself to the contemptible figure she appears, where mankind, bursting her spells, look her in the face, and behold her as she really isone livid mass of corruption. All doctrines under the guise of Christianity, when opposed to the Scriptures, are corrupt, as those very Scriptures teach us to believe; and whilst we peruse and believe in these it is impossible that we can believe in Popery.

"The Protestants," says the Pope, "are forced to acknowledge that the body and blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken," &c. By what power were they forced to this

acknowledgement, which we must beg to observe they never denied? It was the power of Reason which forced them. Reason still convinces them of the genuineness and of the authenticity of the Scriptures: from these they learn what their Saviour taught, and that it is their bounden duty to obey His institutions as He himself ordained them to be believed, unmixed with the superstitions introduced by the zealot, the designing, and the wicked. It is the Doctor, we presume, who has so wittily said, "how that can be verily and indeed taken and received which is not verily and indeed there, is a greater mystery than transubstantiation." We readily yield' him all the benefit to which the witticism is entitled; merely observing, by the way, that Christ having said, as above, that "it is the SPIRIT that quickeneth-the FLESH profiteth nothing," by HIS word we believe that his SPIRITUAL BODY and BLOOD are verily and indeed in the cup, and which we verily and indeed take and receive. Perhaps we may meet with an applicable distich by the time we arrive at the next chapter, this being a long one.

The two succeeding paragraphs are written in proof that the best remembrance of our Lord's death is by the mastication of his real body, and that Protestants are in error for protesting against so unscriptural, so horrible a rite. But it is to the last sentence of the fulsome chapter to which we call the particular attention of our readers. The question is asked, "But how is it possible that the Sacrament should contain the real body and blood of Christ?" To this it is replied, "Because nothing is impossible to the ALMIGHTY; and it is the highest rashness, not to say blasphemy, for poor worms of the earth to dispute the power of GOD!" If this application be not blasphemy, we really know not what is! Is it meet for " poor worms of the earth" thus to affect the possession of God's power? God expressly says he speaks of the SPIRIT; by what power then, save the power of Evil, does Popery dare to oppose HIS word, and insist upon her

followers believing that they eat HIMSELF!!! Because nothing but sin is impossible to God, are the sinful "worms of the earth" to insist upon the adoption of their own guilty theorems, and declare it blasphemy to doubt them? Is the sacred name of our MAKER to be thus profaned upon every occasion that guilt seeks to hide her own acts because nothing is impossible to HIM? Thus it is that the crimes of Popery are ever sought to be vindicated. The sanguinary deeds of the midnight murderer are sanctioned by Popery, (where she has the power of doing so)—and the bloodstained assassin is protected by her Church, who, with maternal affection, remits his atrocities, "because nothing is impossible to God *!”

We have already said, and again repeat it, that since heaven and earth were first created, the Almighty never did, nor said, any thing contrary to our own senses; since any such words or acts would have destroyed our certainty of anything and everything else whatsoever.

Having noticed the extracts adduced by the Pope, we will here submit a few observations of our own. If Papists were told of a people, calling themselves Christians, who believed that the REAL PRESENCE was contained in a door, which they first worshipped, and afterwards cut up and ate-if they were to hear of others who declared the body and blood of Christ were in a stick, which was adored and eaten-if Papists heard of a third race, who insisted that the Apostles and Disciples

[ocr errors]

* "Every Roman Pontiff," says Mosheim, (vol. i. p. 455, Eng. Transl.)" added something NEW to the ancient rites and institutions, [of his Church,] as if it was an essential mark of their zeal for religion, and of their pious discharge of the ministerial function, to divert the multitude with new shows and new spectacles of devout mummery." But Bouiface V. determined to render his name notorious by a more atrocious reality:--He it was who passed the law which afforded sanctuary to every criminal who sought refuge within the walls of his "Church"; a law which 66 gave a loose rein to the licentiousness of the most abandoned profligates." When these sanctuaries were abolished in Malta by the English, a few years since, the good people of that island murmured that their "rights" were abrogated! Papists, however, ought not to have complained of this hardship. The late Pius VII. did all he could to keep them as enthralled and ignorant as even paganism could desire. In 1814 he restored the Jesuits: in 1817, he published a Bull against the Bible Societies.

were all really and truly bread-and of a fourth, wha preached they were salt, &c.—would they not exclaim against the superstition and idolatry of the worshippers, as they do now when speaking of the Heathens? Undoubtedly, we say, they would; and wherefore? Simply because it is not the kind of idolatry which Popery commands them to practise themselves; since, in the Scriptures, the above figures of speech are used, and are as plainly expressed, as that which she has insisted upon being a reality. Christ says, "I am the door," &c.; "I am the vine," &c.; and to the Apostles, "Ye are the salt of the earth," &c. St. Paul says, (in the very next verse to that quoted by the Pope as above, but which escaped his notice, until he wanted otherwise to apply it,) 1 Cor. ch. x. ver. 17, "We being many are one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread.”

It is not unworthy of remark, that where the bread is called flesh, Popery herself admits it to be so very plain, that she insists upon it literally; but when, in the sacrament, bread is called bread, it appears so very obscure, that, in her infallibility, she declares it to be merely figurative. This is what may be termed the "MYSTERY" of elucidating into confusion.

We have said nothing of substance and accident in the course of our observations; but as scent is the accident of a rose, remove the substance, and no accident remains : now we ask, when, in the sacrament, the bread and wine are changed, what becomes of their accidents? The colour, &c. seen can no longer be of bread and wine, nor does Popery admit that they can be the accidents of the body and blood of Christ. (Catechis. ad Paroch. de Eucharist. Sacram. Sect. 25, xliv.) We merely ask for information on this subject, not knowing to what the accidents belong; or if, by any accident, the accidents visible in the cup, after consecration, are to be supposed really and truly no accidents at all? We should also wish to know-as the body of our Lord can

[ocr errors]

never decay-if the contents of the cup, after consecration, would turn sour if left in the sun?

We could say much upon the subject of the Papal conse cration of wafers, &c., as it stands in their own rubrics, and of the accidents "or mischances" by which they become non-effective; as, of any other than wheaten flour being used for the bread-if sour grapes are in the wine-if there be a wafer more than the Priest had counted for consecration (because the intention only going with the lesser number, it could not be known which of these were or were not consecrated,—if a mouse should nibble any of them—if the ingre dients of the cup should disagree with the Priest, who, in such a case—if it be not nauseous (very well put in), must reverently -! But we will content ourselves with stating the origin of Transubstantiation.

The first of whom we hear that preached this "mystery" was Pascasius Radbert (afterwards Abbot of Corbey), and the most contemptible legends were produced in its support, whilst it was attacked and disproved by Bertramm, Johannes Scotus, and many others. In the 11th century it was thoroughly exposed to contempt by Berengert, &c. As, however, from the first admission and defence of this doctrine by some of the members of the Church of Rome, who felt that such a doctrine would more firmly establish her power, it had caused continual disputes; and in the year 1215, at the fourth Lateran Council, "that imperious pontiff, Innocent III., without deigning to consult anybody (although a prodigious number of ecclesiastics were present), published no less than seventy laws or decrees, by which not only the authority of the Pope and the power of the Clergy were confirmed and extended, but also new doctrines or articles of faith were imposed upon Christians. ... It was reserved for Innocent to put an

[blocks in formation]
« ForrigeFortsæt »