« ПредишнаНапред »
to be solemnly carried about in processions according to the laudable and universal manner and custom of the holy church; nor to be pub. licly proposed to the people, that it may be adored by them, and that the worshippers are idolaters : let him be accursed.'”—The author gives in the margin the most ample authorities for his statements, from saints and fathers of the Romish church; and he generally gives their very words in the original Latin.'
Thus I have shown that Papists address prayers and hymns to the sacrament, as if it were the living God. They profess to believe not only that God is in it, but that it is God. As such they pray to it, and trust in it. To honour it, they believe, is to honour God; and to contemn it, is to contemn him. In their esteem, there is no impiety equal to that of slighting the consecrated wafer; and no punishment too great for those who are guilty of it.
I shall illustrate this by a number of examples, all of a miraculous nature, and as well attested as things of the kind can be. We shall see, indeed, if we can believe the facts which I am going to relate, that the consecrated wafer has received the honour which was predicted of Christ in the eighth psalm, and which is applied to him by the apostle, in the second chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews: that under him should be put all beasts of the field, fowls of the air, fishes of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the path of the sea. I have before me a vast collection of instances of the consecrated wafer being worshipped and adored by all sorts of creatures, from insects up to horses, asses, and oxen. This collection was originally made by Father Toussain Bridoul, a Jesuit; and from his work it is transferred by Mr. Gavin, into the third volume of his Master Key to Popery, from which the following are extracted. The Jesuit, in his preface, represents heretics, conducted, no doubt, by the devil, as conspiring to extirpate the holy sacrament, and so to destroy souls more easily; who cannot, he says, “subsist long in grace without the participation of this divine and celestial food.” “ Wherefore," he adds, “ without troubling myself to confute these hair-brained people, who turn a deaf ear to all that the holy fathers have said about it; and having renounced their reason, I have resolved to send them to the school of the beasts, who have shown a particular inclination (not without a superior conduct) for the honour and defence of this truth."
The chapter of the work from which I quote, is entitled, “A Collection of Miracles of the consecrated Wafer, grounded upon the respects and acknowledgments which beasts, birds, and insects, on several occasions, have rendered to the holy wafer." I am afraid my intelligent readers will reckon this a very trifling number; but I request they will bear with it, as I feel it sometimes necessary to descend very low, in order to expose the idolatry and superstition of the church of Rome:
" Petrus Cluniac, lib. 1. cap. 1, reports, That a certain peasant of Auvergne, a province in France, perceiving that his bees were likely to die, to prevent this misfortune, was advised, after he had received the communion, to keep the host, and to blow it into one of his hives; and, on a sudden, all the bees came forth out of their hives, and ranking themselves in good order, lifted the host up from the ground, and carrying it in upon their wings, placed it among the combs. After this the man went out about his business, and at his return, found that this
advice had succeeded contrary to his expectation, for all his bees were dead. Nay, when he lifted up the hive, he saw that the host was turned into a fair child among the honey combs; and being much astonished at this change, and seeing that this infant seemed to be dead, he took it in his hands, intending to bury it privately in the church, but when he came to do it, he found nothing in his hands; for the infant was vanished away. This thing happened in the county of Clermont, which, for this irreverence, was, a while after, chastised by divers calamities, which so dispeopled those parts, that they became like a wilderness. From which it appears, that bees honour the holy host divers ways, by lifting it from the earth, and carrying it into their hives, as it were in procession." Let the reader remember, it was the god whom Papists worship, that was indebted to the bees for shelter in their hive. Cantiprat, lib. 2, cap. 40, sect. 1, writeth, That certain
poor man going to visit his bees, perceived them to make a sweet harmony: he stood ravished a while with it, not knowing what it meant. The night following, as he went about some business, and casting his eyes towards his bees, he perceived them to rejoice, and sport themselves, making an admirable melody. First, he informed his curate of it, and afterwards broke up his hive, where he found a box made of wax, but of such admirable whiteness, that it looked like ivory; and within it the holy sacrament adored by the bees, who ranged themselves into two choirs, and sang the praises of their Creator. The bishop ordered a procession to carry back the holy host of the church; and in that place was erected a sumptuous chapel, which became a place of refuge for the sick and the afflicted. When nobody knew from whence, and by whom, that host had been brought there, two thieves of their own accord discovered themselves, and confessed, that having stolen a box, they had thrown the host against the hives. By which miracle we see that the bees adore the holy host, and sing the divine praises, dividing themselves into two choirs."
Cæsarius, lib. 9, cap. 8, reports, That a certain woman, having received the communion unworthily, carried the host to her hives, for to enrich the stock of bees: and afterwards coming again to see the success, she perceived that the bees, acknowledging their God in the sacrament, had, with admirable artifice, erected to him a chapel of wax, with its doors, windows, bells, and vestry; and within it a chalice where they laid the holy body of Jesus Christ. She could no longer conceal this wonder. The priest, being advertised of it, came thither in procession, and he himself heard harmonious music, which the bees made, flying round about the sacrament; and having taken it out, he brought it back to the church full of comfort
, certifying, that he had seen and heard our Lord acknowledged and praised by those little creatures.”
The same author relates, lib. 4, cap. 99, " That an old and simple priest, of the parish of St. Colen, carrying the holy sacrament out of town to a sick person, and going up a very rough hill, met some loaded asses descending towards the town; and the way being very narrow, and the priest not being able to get past them, and fearing to be overturned by those beasts, he spoke to them according to his simplicity in this manner: My asses! what do you mean? Do you not see Him whom I carry ?
Go aside, and stop to make room for your Creator,
which I command you in his name. O admiral obedience! Those asses, which used not to stir but when they were beaten, presently went to one side, where the hill was more steep, without apprehending any danger or letting fall their load. The town of Colen remembers this wonder to this day, and mentioneth it with astonishment.”
" P. Orlandi, in his History of the Society, tom. 1, lib. 2, No. 27, says, That, in the sixteenth century, within the Venetian territories, a priest carrying the holy host, without pomp or train, to a sick person, he met out of the town, asses going to their pasture; who, perceiving by a certain sentiment, what it was which the priest carried, they divided themselves into two companies on each side of the way, and fell on their knees. Whereupon the priest, with his clerk, all amazed, passed between those peaceable beasts, which then rose up, as if they would make a pompous show in honour of their Creator ; followed the priest as far as the sick man's house, where they waited at the door till the priest came out from it, and did not leave him till he had given them his blessing. Father Simon Rodriguez, one of the first companions of St. Ignatius, who then travelled in Italy, informed himself carefully of this matter, which happened a little while before our first fathers came into Italy, and found that all had happened as has been told."
" Nicholas de Laghi, in his book of the miracles of the holy sacrament, says, that a Jew blaspheming the holy sacrament, dared to say, that if the Christians would give it to his dog, he would eat it up, without showing any regard to their God. The Christians being very angry at this outrageous speech, and trusting in the Divine Providence, had a mind to bring it to a trial: so, spreading a napkin on the table, they laid on it many hosts, among which one only was consecrated. The hungry dog being put upon the same table, began to eat them all, but coming to that which had been consecrated, without touching it, he kneeled down before it, and afterwards fell with rage upon his master, catching him so closely by the nose, that he took it quite away with his teeth." -" The same which St. Matthew warns such like blasphemers, saying, “Give not that which is holy unto dogs, lest they turn again and rend you.'"
“St. Anthony of Padua, disputing one day with one of the most obstinate heretics that denied the truth of the holy sacrament, drove him to such a plunge, that he desired the saint to prove this truth by some miracle. St. Anthony accepted the condition, and said he would work it upon his mule. Upon this, the heretic kept her three days without eating and drinking; and the third day, the saint, having said mass, took up the host, and made him bring forth the hungry mule, to whom he spoke thus ;-In the name of the Lord, I command thee to come and do reverence to thy Creator, and confound the malice of heretics. While the saint made this discourse to the mule, the heretic sifted out oats to make the mule eat; but the beast having more understanding than his master, kneeled before the host, adoring it as its Creator and Lord. This miracle comforted all the faithful, and enraged the heretics; except him that disputed with the saint, who was converted to the Catholic faith."
In the catalogue before me, there are seventy-three such stories, all certified by some great saint or father ; but I presume I have given enough of such matter, to put it beyond a doubt that the prevailing be
lief of Papists is, that the wafer which they receive in the sacrament, is the God that made heaven and earth, and that the prevailing practice among them, is to adore it as such. The works of many popish saints, consist in little else than such stories as the above; and if they do not prove the church of Rome to be guilty of suffering idolatry, and even encouraging the practice of it, it is not possible to prove any
Before entering upon the discussion of what is called the sacrifice of the mass, I shall advert shortly to another peculiarity of the church of Rome, in relation to the Lord's supper; that is, communion in one kind, or withholding the cup from the laity. This rose out of transubstantiation, and is intimately connected with it; for the practice cannot be defended but upon the principle of transubstantiation.
In the words of institution, both as spoken by our Lord, and recited by the apostle Paul, it seems perfectly evident, that both bread and wine were to be given and received in the Lord's supper. These were appointed to represent his body broken, and his blood shed for the sins of his people. With respect to the bread, Christ had said, Luke xxii. 19, 20. • Take, eat, this is my body:' but concerning the cup, he says, • Drink ye all of this;' for as this pointed out the very essence of the institution; to wit, the blood of atonement, it was necessary that each should have a particular application of it: therefore, he says, Drink YE ALL OF THIS.' By this we are taught, that the cup is essential to the sacrament of the Lord's supper, so that they who deny the the people, sin against God's institution; and they who receive not the cup, are not partakers of the body and blood of Christ
. If either could without mortal prejudice be omitted, it might be the bread; but the cup, as pointing out the blood poured out, that is the life, by which alone the great sacrificial act is performed, and remission of sins procured, is absolutely indispensable. On this ground it is demonstrable, that there is not a popish priest under heaven, who denies the cup to the people, (and they all do this,) that can be said to celebrate the Lord's supper at all; nor is there one of their votaries that ever received the holy sacrament. All pretension to this is an absolute farce, so long as the
сир, the emblem of the atoning blood, is denied. How strange is it, that the very men, who plead so much for the bare literal meaning of this is my body, in the preceding verse, should deny all meaning to drink ye all of this cup, in this verse! And though Christ has in the most positive manner enjoined it, they will not permit one of the laity to taste it! 0 what a thing is man! a constant contradiction to reason and himself. The conclusion therefore, is unavoidable. The sacrament of the Lord's supper is not celebrated in the church of Rome.” Clarke on the Eucharist, pp. 60, 61.
If the concluding remark of this learned writer be correct, and I think it cannot be denied by any Protestant, it would appear that the priests would do the people no harm, though they withheld the bread as well as the cup from them. Christ instituted the ordinance of the supper for the purpose of keeping alive in the minds of his people the remembrance of his death, until he should come again; but the observance of the ordinance can be of no use to persons who do not under. sland its meaning, which it is evident Papists do not; for instead of emembering Christ as absent, with respect to his body, as his words,
“ until I come," undoubtedly signify, they consider his body present in every consecrated wafer. The idea, therefore, of remembering him has no place in their minds, for the word remember does not apply to a thing that is present. It follows as a necessary consequence, that no believer in transubstantiation, that is, no true Papist, can obey our Lord's dying command, ' Do this in remembrance of me;' and it were better to let the sacrament alone altogether, than to do something else under the pretext of observing it.
I know that the priests withhold the cup from the laity, because, they say, in giving them the consecrated wafer, they give the true body of Christ, which being a living body, contains the blood; but if this were the case, the priests, as well as the people, would receive the whole Christ in receiving the bread, and there would be no occasion for wine at all; yet it is well known that they use plenty of wine, which, being consecrated, they say is the real blood of Christ, and the priests take it all to themselves; which is making a distinction between the clergy and the laity, that is quite unwarranted by the word of God, and the practice of the primitive churches. In short
, as transubstantiation itself was not, strictly speaking, an article of faith in the Roman church, till it was made so in 1215, by the Lateran council; so communion in one kind was not a general or anthorized practice in that church, till it was ordained by the council of Constance, about two hundred years after.
To deny the cup to the laity; to give them nothing but a piece of bread in the form of a wafer, and to call it the Lord's supper; is most certainly a piece of barefaced imposition: but though they gave the wine along with the wafer, it would not mend the matter, or profit the souls of them who receive it, while they teach them to attach a false and idolatrous meaning to the service; and to consider it, not as a commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ, as an atonement for the sins of his people, but as in itself a real propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead. This is their doctrine concerning the sacrifice of the mass, which I intend to take up in my next number; and while they attach such an absurdity to the ordinance of the Lord's supper, they make it not the Lord's supper: it is an impious invention of their own; and in a Christian point of view, it is a matter of no importance, whether idolaters use bread and wine, or bread and cheese, or bread alone, in the service of their idol.
I have travelled through many a dense folio page, full of learning and of argument, on the subject of withholding the cup from the laity; and have admired the patience of really eminent divines, who could enter so fully and minutely into the discussion of a question which appears to me so unimportant. For those who know what the ordinance of the Lord's supper means, and believe the truth to which it relates, will never think of observing it without both bread and wine; and those who do not know what it means, and do not believe the truth, will not observe it, whether they use one or both of the elements.