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when a little research would have exhibited these matters in their true light, and would have shown that to be a pious practice, agreeable both to reason and revelation, which is now first of all misrepresented, and then stigmatized as superstitious and idolatrous. It is surely beyond endurance that every thing should be calculated upon the impressions of prejudice; and that, from the most liberal and most learned, as well as from the most bigotted and most ignorant, we should hear of nothing but the absurdities and impositions of the Catholic religion. Every doctrine, practice, and ceremony of our Church is too often seen through the same distorted medium; but, happily for the cause of Christianity, to the eyes of the sincere inquirer, the darkness by which she is enveloped, is as quickly and as completely dispelled by the light of truth, as are the shadows of night before the dawning of the day.
IV. From the idolatry of the Invocation of Saints, and the use of images, the oath now leads us to consider the grand accusation of idolatry against Catholics, as the worshippers of bread and wine in the sacrifice of the Mass. We are called upon "solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, to profess, testify, and declare, that we do believe that the sacrifice of the Mass, as now used in the Church of Rome, is superstitious and idolatrous." Whereas, I do solemnly and sincerely
and am ready so to do with God for my witness, that I most firmly and steadfastly believe that the sacrifice of the Mass, as now used by the Church of Rome, was instituted by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as a perpetual commemoration of his death and passion; and that far from being either superstitious or idolatrous, it is a sacrifice of propitiation, most pleasing and acceptable to the Almighty, who absolutely requires it from the hands of his ministers. Independently of the authority of the Church, I believe it from the following view of the question, which I shall state in as cursory a manner as possible.
In almost the earliest periods of Sacred History, we read of the sacrifice of bread and wine offered by Melchisedec, the priest of the Most High ; this, together with the feast of unleavened bread, was emblematical of the matter and form, while the chief sacrifice of the law of Moses, the Paschal Lamb, was a type of the essence and substance, of that great sacrifice which was once offered up upon the altar of the cross, and has been ever since perpetuated in the continual commemoration of that event, ordained by our Redeemer himself; a commemoration which so distinctly verifies the prophecy of Malachias, delivered so many years before. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Hosts, (o addressing himself to the stiff-necked
le) Malac.i. 10.
and reprobate Jews, neither will I accept an offering at your hands. For, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered to my name, and a clean offering. We see how this sacrifice was offered, and in what manner its institution was understood, by the Apostles, immediately after the death and resurrection of our Saviour. As they were ministering to the Lord, and fasting, say the Acts of the Apostles, (xiii. 2) the Holy Ghost said to them, &c. — Again, The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ and the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord 2() These, and many other texts of the inspired writings, point out the practice, and innumerable testimonials of the first ages of the Church mark the interpretation which it bore; and it has ever since continued, and ever will continue (for the word of God shall not pass away(")) a perpetual commemoration of that great peace-offering, in propitiation for the sins of mankind, the passion and death of our Saviour, and a striking and complete verification of the above pointed and remarkable prophecy, and without which no accomplishment of it is to be found. Though Protestants
( Malach. i. 10-11.
(8) 1 Cor. s. 16. in St. Luke, xxi. v. 33.
have retained the symbols of bread and wine, and, in one sense, use them as a commemoration of the death of our Redeemer (though this but seldom), yet Catholics alone (the Greek and Eastern schismatics included, who believe in Transubstantiation as well as ourselves) cease not to offer them in the way of sacrifice. As sacrifice is a homage which we never pay but to God alone, so also is it an essential mark of that supreme and sovereign duty which we owe to the Omnipotent Author of the creation; and from the very first existence of man upon earth, it has ever formed a principal part of the worship which heaven required at his hands : and yet protestantism has abolished it.(a)
(1) Cain and Abel offered to God the fruits of the earth and animals. Gen. iv. 3, 4.
Noah, also, when he quitted the ark, immediately erected an altar, and thereon offered to the Lord of all things, a holocaust of clean animals. Gen. viii. 20.
Under the old law there were three distinct species of sacrifice : 1st. The Holocaust, which was entirely consumed by fire, to signify the complete and unreserved homage due to the Sovereignty of Heaven; 2nd. The Victim for sin, which was always united to the Holocaust, and was divided into three parts; one being consumed upon the altar, the second burnt beyond the precincts of the camp, and the third eaten by the priests ; 3d. The propitiatory sacrifices, offered either in thanksgiving to God for past favours, or to implore fresh blessings: of these not only the priests, but also the people, partook.
In the Temple of Jerusalem 32,000 Levites were appointed to serve therein, and the sacrifices were offered with music. Four lambs were offered for a holocaust; two in the morning, and two in the evening; and this was called the Perpetual Sacrifice. On sabbath days and festivals the sacrifices were multiplied.
Under the Christian dispensation, the Sacrifice of the Mass has succeeded to the Sacrifice of the Temple of Jerusalem ; indeed the latter were emblematical of the former, which now constitutes that universal and perpetual Clean Offering, foretold in those very times.
Notwithstanding the ample manner in which this subject has been already treated, of such high importance do I feel it to be to justify ourselves in the eyes of our fellow christians from the very gross imputations heaped upon us, on the ground of our belief in Transubstantiation, and the Sacrifice of the Mass—imputations which go to class us with the idolators of China and Hindostanthat I will insert an able and learned argument from the pen of a late venerable prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, which will, I trust, be found to elucidate the points at issue. “ But if,” he says,
abstracting from the infallible authority of the Catholic Church, this question of fact, whether the Sacrifice of the Mass was instituted by Christ as the sacrifice of his body