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can there be of Christ's death and passion, than to receive under the sacramental veils the same body and blood in which he suffered for us.
Why, then, do you blame Protestants for taking this Sacrament in remembrance of Christ?
We do not blame them for taking it in remembrance of him; but we blame them for taking it as a bare remembrance, so as to exclude the reality of his body and blood. That is, we blame them for taking the remembrance and leaving out the substance; whereas the words of Christ require that they should acknowledge both.
But how is it possible that the Sacrament should contain the real body and blood of Christ ?
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.
We have already observed that there is nothing contained in the doctrines of Christianity which is opposed to human reason; and reason must ever be our surest guide in elucidating fact. By reason alone we are assured of the most important of all truths, since it is this “ lamp of God” which lights us to our Maker; and which it is the chief business of Popery to extinguish, to save herself from the scorn of those whom she has ever led in darkness. The millions who have reasoned and believed, have done so because TRUTH led them to conviction ; but how few of those who do not believe-how very few of these have troubled themselves upon scriptural matters at all; and what the generality of such call reasoning is either a repetition of what they have heard others say, as little acquainted with the subject as themselves: or, perhaps, an opinion formed from the perusal of some few pages of a deistical writer, without the slightest reference to the Scriptures! An attentive perusal of the sacred writings is neither calculated to make people Papists nor Deists: in these the former meet with nothing of Popery; and the most learned of the latter dare not deny the truth of our Saviour's prophecies even when effected by a miracle*..
* Gibbon, in speaking of the vain attempt of the apostate Julian to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem, says, “ the enterprise was defeated, perhaps, by a preternatural event.”—Gib. Hist. vol. ii. p. 388-9. The humiliation and dispersion of the Jews is a fact which the most inveterate unbeliever is compelled to admit.
Reason-even human reason-with all its failings, is our only true guide, let popish schoolmen dispute it as they may. As our reason tells us there is a SUPREME Power, so does it assure us that there must be many things in the very nature of that power which we do not -- cannot-comprehend, because He is INFINITE and INCOMPREHENSIBLE: these we take upon the Revelation of them as given in the holy Scriptures; which reason tells us it would be as foolish to deny as the previous existence of men whose works we have not read, or of kingdoms now no more, which we have not seen, Reason tells us, that in speaking of the TRINITY, the INCARNATION, &c. the Scriptures must speak in a language adapted to our capacities : thus, when we read of three persons, we are not to ineasure the nature of the SUPREME by our own ; and to think that, because Matthew, Mark, and Luke were three men, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost must be three Gods? When God is said to have repented, grieved, &c., the prophets could not have more expressively shown how great was the sin of a wicked people than by the application of such terms as were most familiar to the understanding of those whom they addressed. Sin must be ever offensive to God; and although by his breath he could scatter worlds, in what terms could we comprehend the consequences of our own evil actions more clearly than by a denunciation of His wrath, His anger, &c. ? In short, it is'as impossible for us to believe in Truth without our understanding, as to distinguish colour without our sight. The blind man may believe a thing to be blue or green, because he has been always told it was so; and so he would believe were it black or white. He who possesses the means of distinguishing the one from the other relies upon the evidence of his own senses, Popish infallibility alone denies the right of an examination of the most essential truths; yet, according to her own doctrine of this self-assumed attribute, the Turk, Gentoo, or Esquimaux, must be equally correct in his religious profes
sions. “I will hear of no examination of any scriptural truths, since mine is an infallible belief,” says the Papist “Neither will 1,” says each of the others, "for so have I been taught to consider mine, nor will I inquire, but believe." The lamp of God (Prov. xx. v. 27) must be extinguished by them all, or they (supposing all to have the opportunity) would examine for themselves; and did they so, Reason is the surest, and consequently the safest, guide that could direct them. Nor is it unfair to suppose that the Papist, Turk, or Esquimaux, after an attentive perusal of the Scriptures, would place infallibility in the Godhead where it is only due, and that the former would reject the impiety of creating his CREATOR, and of afterwards (by what he is taught to call an "unbloody sacrifice”) quaffing his real blood and grinding with his teeth that which is declared to be his real flesh! Reason, at least, is opposed to such impious rites. Those who adhere to them (however learned they be) merely because they have been so taught, appeal not to Reason, but solely rely upon the prejudices of their education. Truth would be Truth still, although the whole world departed from her; but her celestial light can never illuminate the fanatic who is ready to swear he is “ infallible.” Throughout the whole Bible there is no one thing said or done by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which contradicts the evidence even of any of our external senses—to these the miracles of Christ and the Apostles appeal. Reason tells us that, had they been forgeries, the enemies of Christianity would have gladly disproved them. To believe in the doctrine of Transubstantiation, we must yield up sight, smell, taste, &c. &c. However, we profess to draw all our proofs from the Scriptures; and if these do not disprove Transubstantiation, we will readily admit it.
It must be confessed that the Pope has, on the present occasion, quoted more extensively than usual from the sacred volume; it has hitherto been our complaint that he has
adduced so small a portion of Scripture in proof of his assertions; and now that he has found so many lines, as his Church thinks, in favour of her own favourite tenet–Transubstantiation, still, we are disposed to be displeased with his misapplication of them. In the first paragraph we are given to understand that a little flour, water, and wine, " is truly, really, and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ !!! If Popery can prove this by the Scriptures, we will be the first to admit that the performance of the most absolute impossibility is, with her, a mere matter-of-course accomplishment. Although in the extracts from Scripture a reference to the Epistles is (we know not wherefore) scattered among the Gospels, we will apply ourselves first (to save unnecessary discussion) to the latter—the first three of which we take altogether, since the Pope-as it were, to make a show of proof-has, with a most Jesuitical craft, extracted the passages alluded to from the three Evangelists as stated by each when speaking of the same subject, viz., the Last Supper. The sum of these expressions is, that, as our Saviour gave the Apostles the bread and wine, he said, “this is my body--this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many." It is the belief of all Christians that the prefigurations of the old law were the types which were to be fulfilled in Christ; and thus was the Passover of the Jews a typical representation which our Saviour fulfilled, using the same form of words which had been pronounced by the Jews,-instead of “ This is the Paschal Lamb which was slain for us in Egypt;" he said, “This is my body which is given for you.” When Moses sprinkled the blood, he used this form as repeated by St. Paul, (Heb. ix. 20) “ This is the blood of the Testament which God hath enjoined you,”-instead of the Old Testament. Christ said, “ This is my blood of the New Testament,” and which was thus rendered easy and familiar to his Apostles; who, although they had declared some things they had heard from their Divine Master, “hard sayings,” yet they expressed no astonishment at these words of Christ; but which, if they had understood them to mean Transubstantiation is it unfair to ask-would they not have expressed? If they were not to believe that the bread and wine which they saw and tasted was bread and wine, but to have given up all their senses at once, they could not have been sure that it was Christ himself who addressed them! But, contrary to the evidence of fact, let us suppose for a moment, that they had believed that Christ spoke in a positive rather than a spiritual sense; they could not have remained in the error two minutes, since, in the verses following those referred to in the “Grounds of Faith,” our Saviour most clearly explains to them the meaning of the figure he had used. As neither the Pope nor the Doctor appear to have read the chapters throughout, from which they have quoted so liberally, we will also extract a verse or two from these same chapters, which it is obvious they have overlooked! The Pope's extract is from Matt. xxvi. 26, 27, and 28we beg to add the 29th, “But I say unto you I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom.” Does Popery wish it to be understood by this text that CHRIST had drunk his own blood? It will not, we suppose, be denied that Christ and the Apostles partook of the same beverage? St. Mark is next quoted; but as our Saviour's expressions, as they relate to the "fruit of the vine,” are stated in the very words of St. Matthew, we need not repeat them : this is the case also with St. Luke, who not only, as the Pope tells us, gives the words that the bread and wine were to be taken in remembrance of Christ; but that (v. 15.) Christ said, “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.” Popery, we presume, will not object to a part of the extracts given above