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afterwards. Such a crime required greater satisfaction than a few stripes inflicted by his own hand.
Papists will plead the necessity of the case; they will say the holy father was compelled to do as he did; and it is one of the evils of the popish system, that it accommodates itself to circumstances, and times, and places: thus Papists in Great Britain submit to many things, and profess many things, which they would not do if they were living in Spain or Italy. They will profess, or deny, or do any thing that will serve the purpose of preserving or promoting the interests of the holy see. Thus the pope found it necessary to submit to Bonaparte, and to do as he bade him. The thing was wrong to be sure, but the necessity of the case made it right. If this principle were universally acted upon, there would be no such thing as morality in the world; there would be nothing to oppose that which is evil. Real Christianity teaches a different lesson-that it is not lawful on any account to do evil; and it is not in the power of any creature, or of all creatures together, to compel a man to do evil. But popery in this, as in every thing else, is opposed to Christianity. Real Christians will rather die than commit sin; at least it is the will of God that they should do so: but the head of the Romish church can not only permit evil to be done, but he sets the example by doing it himself.
Pax affirms, that "there are, in every Christian, some points of faith so delicately refined, so hallowed, so sacredly planted in their bosoms, that to encourage a discussion on them, with those whose boast it is to treat every sentiment and opinion not their own with contempt, would appear to me a sinful provocation.” The latter part of this sentence does not apply to me, though, I suppose, Pax means it so. It is not, it never was my practice, much less my boast, to treat every sentiment and opinion not my own with contempt. In matters of religion I profess no opinions that are properly my own; and if Pax, or any body else, shall convict me of sporting my own opinions, or any opinions but what are clearly derived from the word of God, I shall thank him for his pains, and give him liberty to treat said opinions with as much contempt as he pleases.
That "there are in every Christian some points of faith so delicately refined, so hallowed, so sacredly planted in their bosoms," as not to be fit subjects of discussion, is what I cannot admit. Pax is not commissioned to speak in name of every Christian more than I am. It may be true of Papists, that they have such secret and sacred points of faith, as must not be told to every body,—as must not be the subject of discussion, or even of defence, when they are impugned. But this is not the case with the faith of a Christian. He has nothing so delicately refined, or so sacredly planted in his bosom, that he may not tell it to all the world; nay, he is commanded by the author and finisher of his faith to proclaim it, if he have opportunity, upon the house tops—to make it known to every creature.
The faith of a Christian is, that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life; that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; that he was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the scriptures; that we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace.
The sum of the whole is, that we are sinners; that Christ came into the world to save sinners; that he gave his life a ransom for many; that he is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him; and that he that believeth on him shall be saved. This possesses all the ja!hos and sublimity of divine truth; but it is not a delicately refined sentiment planted in the human breast, for the purpose of being concealed there. Christians are commanded to be ready to give an answer to every one that asketh a reason of the hope that is in them; and to profess their faith before the world. There must be something wrong there must be some radical error in that system of faith that is so refined, and so hallowed, and so sacredly planted in the bosom, as to be locked up in it, and to be unfit for discussion.
I am aware that Pax is referring to the doctrine of transubstantiation. I hare oftener than once accused Papists of maintaining the monstrous absurdity, that a priest can create his own Creator; that is, that he can, by the use of certain words, turn a little bread and wine into the real body and blood, soul and divinity, of Jesus Christ. This is the point of faith so delicately refined, planted in his bosom, that to encourage a discussion of it would be sinful provocation. Accordingly, neither he nor his friend A. V. has made any reply to the above charge. They have attempted to answer many things of far less importance; but while they do not deny that they maintain this absurd doctrine, they have not the candour to confess that they do maintain it. I must, therefore, have recourse again to the Douay catechism, which A. V. acknowledges to be of supreme authority, being approved by the whole church.
“Q. What is the blessed eucharist? A. It is the body and blood of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, under the forms and appearances of bread and wine.-Q. What is there under the form of bread? A. There is not only the body, but also the blood of Christ. —Q. Is the body of Christ also under the form of wine? Yes.-Q. What else ? A. there are also under each form, the soul and divinity of Christ; so that under the form of bread there are the body and blood, the soul and divinity, of Jesus Christ, wholly and entirely, and the same under the form of wine.-Q. In what manner is Christ present in the eucharist? A. By the true and real presence of his divine and human nature, and not in figure only, as heretics would have it.-Q. How prove you that? A. Because when Christ ordained it at his last supper, he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, This is my body; and he also blessed the cup, saying, This is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many, for the remission of sins. Mat. xxvi
. 28.-Q. By what means is that which was before bread changed into the body of Christ, and that which was wine changed into the blood of Christ? A. By the divine power, which as easily changes one substance into another, as he made the world ont of nothing, and works the miraculous effect which the Catholic church calls transubstantiation, by the ministry of the priest; in the same manner as when by Moses the rivers were changed into blood, and water into wine by our Saviour Christ.-Q. Is the body of Christ hurt or broken when we divide or break the sacrament? A. No, it is not; for Christ is now immortal and impassible, he cannot die
Rom. vi. 9.-Q. How can the same thing be in many places at once? A. By the omni potence of God, to whom nothing is impossible; who is in all and
every one of his creatures at one and the same time, and daily works such wonders, even in nature, as surpass our understanding.-Q. What is the matter of this sacrament? A. Wheaten bread and wine of the grape.-Q. What is the form of it? A. This is my body, this is my blood.-Q. What disposition is required in him that receives the blessed eucharist? A. That he be in the state of grace, free from all mortal sin: for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself. 1 Cor. xi. 29.-Q. Is it lawful or profitable to receive under one kind ? A. Yes, because under one kind we receive both body and blood.-Q. Did not Christ command all to receive under both kinds ? A. No; for at the last supper, when he bid all present then drink of the cup, none were there but the apostles. And, when in St. John, c. vi., he seems to command the receiving under both kinds, he immediately takes away the difficulty, by promising everlasting life to him that receives under the form of bread alone. He that eats this bread shall live for ever, v. 58.-Q. What are the effects of this sacrament? A. It increases grace, and nourishes our souls in spiritual life. He that eats of this bread shall live for ever. John vi. 58.-Q. Is the eucharist a sacrament only? A. No; it is also a sacrifice." The catechism then proceeds to illustrate the doctrine contained in this answer, the sacrifice of the mass, &c.; to which I may advert in a future number.
The doctrine clearly maintained in the above extract is, that bread and wine are, by the power of God, and by the ministry of the priest, changed into the real body and blood, soul and divinity, of Jesus Christ. My readers will probably think the statement here is sufficiently gross: yet the Douay catechism does not go the full length of absurdity that some others do. I should say my copy; for I have been informed there are different versions of the Douay catechism, intended for different parts of the world, adapted to the different degrees of knowledge or ignorance that may exist among the people. Other catechisms, therefore, may be still more absurd than my version of the Douay one. I have before me two volumes of a catechism in French, entitled, “ Instructions generales en forme de Catechisme; imprimées par ordre de Messire Charles Joachim Colbert, Eveque de Montpellier, 1719." This catechism asserts, that the bread and wine are not bread and wine after the consecration. They retain nothing but the appearance, to wit
, the colour, the figure, and the taste. “Il n'y a plus ni pain ni vin; il n'en reste que les apparences; scavoir, la couleur, la figure, et la goût. La substance du pain est changée en la substance du corps de Jesus Christ, et la substance du vin est changée en la substance du sang de Jesus Christ."
With intelligent persons the mere statement of such a doctrine is sufficient confutation, but as Papists profess to give scripture authority for it, a few observations may be allowed. Their principal argument is derived from the words of Christ, at the institution of the Lord's supper, which they call the eucharist, or thanksgiving. The words of the Vulgate, which with Papists is of equal authority with the original Greek, are, hoc est corpus meum, this is my body. Plain common sense can see in this nothing more than this represents, or signifies, my body; as when Christ figuratively speaks of himself as "the door, " the true vine," &c., nobody supposes that he was really transformed, or transubstantiated into a door or a vine. But the words of the Vul.
gate are not the words of Christ, for he did not speak in the Latin language “Had he spoken in Latin,” says Dr. Clarke, “ following the idiom of the Vulgate, he would have said panis hic corpus meum significat; or, symbolum est corporis mei-hoc poculum sanguinem meum representat ; or, symbolum est sanguinis mei : this bread signifies my body; this cup represents my blood. But let it be observed that in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Chaldeo-Syriac languages, there is no term which expresses to mean, signify, denote, though both the Greek and Latin abound with them: hence the Hebrews use a figure, and say, it is, for it signifies. So Gen. xli
. 26, 27. The seven kine ARE (i.e. represent) seven years. And, following the Hebrew idiom, though the work is written in Greek, we find in Rev. i. 20, “the seven stars ARE (represent) the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks ARE (represent) the seven churches.”—Discourse on the Nature, Design, and Institution of the Eucharist, p. 51. What absurdities one should make the Bible speak, if every passage in which the substantive verb is used were to be understood as Papists affect to understand “this is my body!"
The transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, is compared to the miracle of Moses, when he changed the rivers into blood; and that of Christ, when he changed the waters into wine. But the cases are by no means parallel. The change produced by these miracles was evident to the senses of those who witnessed them. They did not change the substance, and retain the same appearance as before. After the water was changed into blood in the one case, and into wine in the other, the colour and the taste were not those of water; but the change which is pretended to be made by the ministry of the priest, when he uses certain words, leaves every thing as it was. The acutest sense, whether of seeing, handling, tasting, or smelling, can perceive no difference: yet the people are taught to believe that a mysterious change of the whole substance has taken place; that what they know was bread a few seconds before, and what they see to be bread still, is not bread, but the real body of Christ
, which they are told at the same time is in heaven. The tendency of this monstrous absurdity is to set aside the evidence of miracles altogether; for the senses of men were always called to judge of a miracle; but transubstantiation completely sets aside the evidence of sense; and if this doctrine were true, we have no certainty of any thing that Christ and his apostles did in order to convince men that the power of God was with them. If the senses of thousands be deceived every time the eucharist is celebrated, they may have been deceived also with regard to every miracle recorded in scripture. *
But the wickedness of the doctrine does not terminate here. Along with the body and blood, there is also the soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, wholly and entirely under the form of bread, and the same under the form of wine. The priest professes to change a little gross matter into an object of worship-into the divinity, as well as into the soul and body of the Saviour; then he falls down and worships the work of his own hands; he holds it up to be adored by the whole congregation; and, having worshipped the idol, they eat it up! The grossest heathenism is scarcely to be compared with this. This is popery, as it exists
* See Mr. Burns's excellent Letter to Dr. Chalmers. VOL. I.-10
and is practised at this day, amidst all the light of science, and all the light which the word of God has shed upon our Christian population! One should think this a subject too serious for burlesque, and yet Papists themselves can burlesque it. “I had a mind to see," says Bishop Burnet, “ a picture that, as I was told, is over one of the popish altars in Worms, which one would think was invented by the enemies of transubstantiation, to make it appear ridiculous. There is a windmill, and the virgin throws Christ into the hopper, and he comes out at the eye of the mill all in wafers, which some priests take up to give to the people." Letters, fc., let. 5th, quoted in Free Thoughts, fc. p. 387.
Much has been said about the priests withholding the wine from the people, and taking it all to themselves. I think the people would susiain no loss though the bread were also withheld, and though the priest ate and drank the whole idol. The service is a piece of profane mummery-an impious imitation of a holy ordinance; and the less it is made to resemble the divine original the better.
INFALLIBILITY OF THE POPE. PLAINLY TO BE INFERRED FROM THE DOCTRINES OF
PAPISTS. BUT ALSO DISTINCTLY ASSERTED BY THEIR STANDARD WRITERS. IMPIOUS TITLES GIVEN TO HIM. ARROGANT CLAIMS TO TEMPORAL AS WELL AS SPIRITUAL POWER. SINGULAR EXCOMMUNICATION.
SATURDAY, August 15th, 1818. Pax says,
if I had taxed the catholics with any one principle which they profess, he would gladly have acknowledged it. I have taxed them with many things which they profess, if their own words and their own catechism express their profession; and I hear of no acknowledgment coming from Pax or any of his brethren. I taxed them plainly with transubstantiation. This is certainly a doctrine which Papists profess; yet Pax does not acknowledge it. It is a point of “faith so delicately refined, so hallowed, so sacredly planted” in his bosom, that he must not say any thing about it to provoke discussion.
He (the Protestant) asserts," says Pax, “ the Catholics believe the pe to be infallible; they believe him to be the head of the church; but they know him to be a man, and not their God, as he contemptuously asserts." Perhaps Pax means it to be understood, by this sentence, that he does not believe in the pope's infallibility; but he does not say so.
He represents me as asserting that Catholics believe it; and Protestants may understand that he repels this charge; but if any thorough-bred Papist should find fault with him for denying the pope's infallibility, he can say he did not deny it; he only said that the PROTESTANT asserted that Catholics believed it, which is certainly true.
Pax must know very well that this assertion is strictly correct. Papists do believe the pope to be infallible. I do not say that all Papists believe it; for I know that while the Romish church has for many centuries maintained the doctrine of infallibility, her members were never agreed with regard to the seat of it. Some held that it was in a general council; some ascribed it to the pope; and others to