« PredošláPokračovať »
Zeph. ii. 3. “Her princes within her are roaring lions,
her judges are evening wolves." Luke viii. 2. “ The seed is the word of God." John X. 9. “ I am the door.”
xv. 1. “I am the true vine." Acts iv. 11.“ This is the stone." Rom. iii. 13. “ Their throat is an open sepulchre.” 1 Cor. x. 4. “ And that rock was Christ." Galatians iv. 25. “For this Agar is Mount Sinai in
Arabia.” Revel. i. 20. “ The seven stars are the angels of the
candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." v. 8. “And golden vials full of odours, which are
the prayers of saints." xvii. 18. “ And the woman which thou sawest is the
great city.” xxii. 16. “ I am the root and the offspring of David,
and the bright and the morning star.'
Roman Catholics cannot pretend that Issachar had the accidents of a man and the substance of an ass; or that the king of Babylon was transubstantiated into a head of gold. It is impossible for them universally to apply the rule of interpretation which they adopt when they interpret Matt. xxvi. 26. For the word of God expressly declares that “all flesh is grass." If this be so, the Pope, the cardinals, the Romish bishops and priests, and all the Romish laity are grass, and there is no Church of Rome, and no transubstantiation. It is undeniable, therefore, that our blessed Saviour, only made use of a figure of speech with which the Apostles were quite familiar. The doctrine of transubstantiation not only contradicts four out of the five senses, the sight, the smell, the taste, and the touch, but it is contrary to the nature of things. Roman Catholics attempt to elude this difficulty by saying that our blessed Saviour has a glorified and spiritual body, and that we cannot tell what may be the properties of such a body. But at his last supper he had not a glorified and spiritual body, but was in all things made as we are, sin only excepted. And yet we are called upon to believe that he held his own body and
* In all, 45 texts.
soul and divinity in his own hand, which was a part of his body, and that there were then not two bodies, but only one body, and that each of the Apostles in succession held in their hands, and put into their mouths, that body, which they at the same time saw reposing before them at the supper table. As far as this passage is in question, the doctrine has not a leg to stand upon. For it can only be supported by assuming a mode of interpretation foreign to that which we and Roman Catholics adopt with respect to all similar passages of Scripture : and if any doubt could rest in our minds, it would be removed by the fact, that our blessed Saviour, after saying of the wine “this is my blood," expressly called it the fruit of the vine, ver. 29–“But I say unto
you that I will not henceforth drink of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
If we pass on to the sixth chapter of St. John, we shall find no better basis for this doctrine to repose upon. In the first place, no Roman Catholic, consistently with his pledge to interpret Scripture only according to the unanimous opinion of the Fathers, can give any interpretation at all to this chapter, since, as is even admitted by the Church of Rome, the Fathers differ in their exposition of it. Augustine, for instance, expressly declares, that when Christ says, “ Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,” &c. it is a figure (see the Fathers.) In ver. 35 in the same chapter, Jesus said, “ I am the bread of life : he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." Roman Catholics will not say that Jesus was literally bread, nor can they pretend that those who come to him never hunger, or that those that believe in him never thirst. Neither do they, nor can they, give a literal interpretation to the passage which they quote, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood,
have no life in you: whosoever eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.” The term flesh implies a dead body; the term drinking blood, implies that the blood is in a liquid state.* Romanists say that the body contains the blood ; but they cannot pretend that eating is drinking. Nor will, nor can, any sane Romanists affirm that every one who partakes of the sacrament is certain of obtaining eternal
* The Church of Rome affirms that the sacrifice of the mass is an unbloody sacrifice.
life, and that every one who does not partake of it is eternally lost. Judas partook of it, and was the son of perdition; the thief on the cross did not partake of it, and he went to Paradise. By a strange inconsistency the Roman laity are not permitted to drink of the cup; and the priests pretend that the true reading in the Greek is n, instead of
When many were offended at the saying, our blessed Saviour gave the true interpretation, after alluding to his bodily ascent into heaven, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing ; the words that I speak unto you they are spirit and are life.'
It remains for us to consider some passages in St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians. St. Paul repeats the words of our blessed Saviour, 1 Cor. xi. 24, “ Take, eat, this is my body.” But in verses 26, 27, and 28, he expressly speaks of eating bread : ver. 26, “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." Romanists fasten
this latter verse. But the Apostle's meaning evidently was, that those who poured contempt upon the sign, poured contempt, as far as in them lay, upon the thing signified. Romanists say, how could they be rebuked for not discerning the Lord's
body, if it was not there. But it might be asked with equal force, how could they be rebuked for not discerning the Lord's body, when, being invisible, it could not be discerned ? Who can discern it in the consecrated host ? And we might ask, how could Paul say that he was crucified with Christ, when not only he was not crucified when Christ was, but he was never nailed to a cross at all. In 1 Cor. x. 16, the Apostle says: bread which we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread.” The Romanists deny that the Apostles and the Corinthians partook of bread ; and neither they, nor we, can give a literal interpretation to the former part of the verse, and pretend that St. Paul and the Corinthians were transubstantiated into bread, or that they were all literally one body.
When we remark that transubstantiation contradicts the evidence of the senses; Romanists adduce the doctrine of the Trinity. But the doctrine of three Persons in one essential Godhead, although incomprehensible, involves no contradiction to human experience, it may be above, but it is not contrary to our reason or our senses. They adduce the fact of our Saviour's appearance to his disciples when the doors were closed to shew that a risen body differs from an unrisen one. But as it has before been noticed, when our Saviour instituted the sacrament and said of the bread, this is my body, he had not then a risen body, and it is far more reasonable to believe, that, like the angel when he visited Peter in prison, Christ opened the doors which were closed, especially as he came to persuade St. Thomas that he had really bodily risen from the tomb They often refer to our i. s appearance to the disciples at Emmaus; but it is expressly said that “their eyes were holden;” and afterwards that “their eyes were opened, and they knew him.” We are also o by them that when a stick is put into the water it looks crooked; but when we take it out again we find that it is an optical delusion, and when it is in the water by feeling it with our finger, one sense will correct the other sense.
The Romish priests are generally very happy when they can transfer the discussion of the Scriptures to the Fathers. The writings of Protestants and even the Church of England communion-service, contain passages, which, when taken separately, seem to favour transubstantiation. Much more, then, can such passages be found in the writings of the Oriental and some of the Latin Fathers, whose expressions are highly figurative. There is one passage in the writings of Cyril of Jerusalem, and one in the works of Ambrose, which are very strong. Ambrose compares the change in the elements of the eucharist to the transformation of Moses’ rod into a serpent. The comparison was a very inapt one; for Moses’ rod became a serpent. With respect to Cyril, Jerome states, in his catalogue of Church writers, that he composed his catechetical exercises in his youth; and Dupin, in his Ecclesiastical History of the IVth Century, says:–" Cyril's faith was suspected. Ruffinus and Jerome observe that he often changed his faith and communion.” And with regard to Ambrose, we must not forget that when he was elected to be a bishop he was an eminent lawyer // and that he was
ordained to be a priest after he was, to his own great astonishment, elected as the bishop of Milan. Chrysostom, some of whose figurative expressions are too strong even for the Romanists, apparently held consubstantiation, which is held at the present day by many in the Eastern Churches; but in the treatise, written by him, which was discovered by Peter Martyr, he expressly states that the nature of bread remained. For the adverse opinions of Augustine, Cyril, &c. consult the extracts of the Fathers. The learned Dupin e admits that in the ninth century there were violent disputes about transubstantiation. One of its chief opponents was Scotus Erigena, one of the brightest luminaries of the then Irish Church; and we have a Saxon homily, written in the tenth century, which is decidedly hostile to it. In the eleventh century, when priestly pride and covetousness were so much complained of, and when the laity were so ignorant, the error seemingly had made a great progress; but Berengarius and his followers opposed it. In the eleventh century the Popes first enforced it, and three times compelled Berengarius to recant. In the thirteenth century, for the first time, the Church of Rome in the fourth Council of Lateran, which was convened and directed by the proud and sanguinary Innocent III., made transubstantiation an article of faith. That in the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and the first half of the sixteenth centuries, when all who impugned it were consigned to the dungeon, or sent to the scaffold or the stake, transubstantiation should have been generally received by Roman Catholics, is not strange ; but that Roman Catholics, who reside in Protestant countries, should receive it as an article of faith, proves that the Church of Rome can boast of at least one standing miracle. These infatuated votaries of Rome believe that the glorified body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ are contained in a little box, and carried about in the priest's pocket; that any wicked priest, and in the middle ages there were plenty of wicked priests, can insult him ; that if a crumb of the host falls to the ground Christ may be trampled upon; that he enters the mouths of the ungodly; that, as is expressed in the Roman Missal, an animal may run away with him in his mouth ; or, again, to use the words of the Roman Missal, a priest may vomit him up. Human infatuation can proceed no further.!