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Under the Old law, 32,000 Levites were appointed to serve in the Temple of Jerusalem, 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 Sacrifices 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 the 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 account of our belief in Transubstantiation, and in the Sacri
God for past favours, or to implore fresh blessings : of these not only the priests, but also the people, partook.
The sacrifice of the New law unites within itself all the three distinct sacrifices of the old: it is a Holocaust, a Victim for sin, and a Propitiatory sacrifice; fulfilling in reality, in the most sublime and perfect manner, all that was represented in figure before the coming of Christ and the consummation of the redemption of mankind, to which great event every particle of the ancient law was directed, and for which it was so obvious a preparation.
fice of the Mass—imputations which go to class us with the Idolaters 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 not only to elucidate the points at issue, but fully to establish the grounds of our belief in these mysterious doctrines.
“ But if,” says he, “ abstracting from the infallible authority of the Catholic Church, this question of fact, whether the Sacrifice of the Mass instituted by Christ as the sacrifice of his body and blood, really present under the appearances of bread and wine, be made a matter of historical inquiry, the truth of it may be easily ascertained by the evidence of historical testimony. The establishment of Christianity in all countries was a great public fact. The establishment of Christianity consisted in the establishment of the belief and profession of the doctrines, and of the reception and observance of the precepts and institutions of Christ. Every Christian will surely give credit to the Apostles for having introduced into all countries where they established Christianity, the very same doctrines, precepts, and institutions, that they had received from Christ himself. The Apostles could all say what St. Paul said of him
self, when he shewed the Corinthians what authority he had for instructing them in the doctrine of the Eucharist: “I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you.' (1 Cor. xi. 23.)
“ As there could be no contradiction or inconsistency in what they received from Christ, the Apostles must have uniformly delivered and established the same in all places. Hence, by ascertaining what religious doctrines and institutions were uniformly taught and established in all nations by the Apostles, or by Apostolic teachers instructed and sent by them, we come to the certain knowledge of the doctrines and institutions of Christ. What those were which were uniformly delivered and established by the Apostles in all nations where they established Christianity, may be shewn by historical evidences, attesting what religious doctrines and sacred rites have constantly and uniformly been professed and observed through all ages from the beginning, by all Christian Churches founded by the Apostles, or by men deriving their mission from the Apostolic authority. So that, if, on inquiry, it be found that the same religious doctrines and ordinances have been uniformly professed and observed in all Christian countries, for eighteen, or, at least, were for fifteen centuries, and that no later origin of the introduction of these doctrines and ordinances can be assigned, than the first establishment of Christianity
in those countries, in some of which it was established by the Apostles themselves, surely this must be admitted as a most convincing proof that these doctrines and ordinances are the same as the Apostles delivered, and as they had received from Christ himself.
“ If at any period of the Jewish state, proof had been called for to shew that the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb was instituted by the authority of God, on the eve of the passage of the Israelites out of Egypt, as a constant memorial of that miraculous event, and of the circumstances attending it, would not the historical evidence of the annual oblation of the Paschal sacrifice in the Jewish church, the uninterrupted observance of which rite might be traced back to the time of Moses, serve as an authentic and undeniable testimony of the origin and end of its institution? If it were required to shew that the sacrament of baptism was instituted by Christ for the remission of sin, and for the other spiritual effects which it is believed to produce; most undoubtedly the uniform and universal practice observed in all Christian churches, in all countries, and in all ages, from the first establishment of Christianity in those countries, of administering baptism as a sacred rite ordained by Christ for those spiritual effects, would be admitted as a strong and legitimate proof, that this sacrament originated in the institution and com
mand of Christ himself. And this ancient and universal practice of all Christian churches, would have the force of an authentic decision of the true meaning of the words of Christ, related in scripture, concerning the necessity of baptism by water, for the remission of sin. Could the origin or meaning of any civil law be better shewn, than by the uniform practice of the judges and magistrates in enforcing the observance of it, from the period at which it is supposed to have been made?
“ If, therefore, it can be historically shewn, that the Sacrifice of the Mass, as the sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ, really present under the appearances of bread and wine, had been constantly and universally offered in all Christian churches, in all countries, and in all ages, from the first establishment of Christianity in those countries, to the time of Luther in the sixteenth century; it will be established as an historical fact, that the Sacrifice of the Mass was introduced by the apostles into all countries where they established Christianity, and consequently that it was received by them from Christ, no less than the Sacrament of Baptism, or any other doctrine or institution of the Christian religion. This can be shewn by the evidence of historical testimony.
" It is an historical fact, that when Luther first began to abolish the practice of offering the Sacrifice of the Mass, in the year 1534, this sacrifice