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sacrifice, for the living and the dead; that in the most holy sacrament of the eucharist, there is truly, really, and substantially, the body, and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that there is a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which conversion, the Catholic church calls Transubstantiation. I also confess that under either kind alone Christ is received whole and entire, and there is a true sacrament.” The council of Trent thus introduced it :-" Since Christ our Redeemer has truly said, that that was his own body, which he offered under the appearance of bread; it has therefore been always believed in the church of God, and it is now again declared by this holy council - that by the consecration of the bread and wine, there is effected a conversion of the whole substance of the bread, into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine, into the substance of his blood; which conversion is fully and properly termed, by the holy Catholic church, Transubstantiation.”
Canon I. If any one shall deny, that in the most holy sacrament of the eucharist, there are contained, truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole
Christ; or say that he is in it only as in a sign, or figure, or by his influence, he is accursed !
Canon II. If any one shall say, that in the sacrament of the eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shall deny the wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into his body, and the whole substance of the wine into his blood, the appearances only of bread and wine remaining, which conversion the Catholic church most properly terms Transubstantiation, he is accursed.
Canon III. If any one shall deny, that in the adorable sacrament of the eucharist, a separation being made, the whole Christ is contained in each element or species, in the separate parts of each element or species, he is accursed.
If I had not adhered strictly to the letter of the high authority of a holy council, in describing this truly strange doctrine, you might have imagined that I designed to palm upon you some conceit of my own fancy, or that I had even exaggerated the calumnious misrepresentations of a bitter adversary, to bring the doctrines of the Church of Rome into undeserved contempt. Without such unimpeachable evidence, you could not believe that any body of men, of sound understanding, could avow and enforce sentiments so utterly opposed to the clear testimony of scripture, and so repugnant to the dictates of common sense and reason. It requires the belief that by the act of consecration, by virtue of the words “ This is my body” -“This is my blood,” pronounced with the proper ceremonies, by a duly ordained priest, the elements of the bread and wine are turned into the real body and blood of Christ. So that, after the consecration, there is no substance of the bread and wine remaining in the eucharist; that the whole is truly and actually changed into the substantial, real, and identical body and soul and divinity of our blessed Redeemer; meaning that same body in which he once laboured and suffered upon earth, and which is now enthroned at the right hand of God. It requires, yet further, the belief that every separate part into which either of the elements after consecration may be divided, contains within itself the whole body, soul, and divinity of Christ; and is entitled to all the expressions of outward homage and adoration, whether presented in the church or exhibited in processions for the edification of the multitude. And let it be remembered, though the supposition seems too absurd to be believed, it is required to be believed on pain of damnation, that as the sacrament is observed by many thousands of persons, in all parts of the world at the same time, that each individual communicant, wherever he may be, receives the same identical body, soul, and divinity, really, actually, and substantially, at the same moment. And again, that the mysterious change is effected without any alteration in the form, shape, colour, or other appearance of the original material!! It may well excite your wonder that such sentiments should be defended by any process that deserves the name of argument. But though the church greatly prefers implicit obedience to her own dogmatic teaching, without inquiry ; yet since the dawn of the Reformation, she has often found it necessary to enlist champions in defence of her decrees. I shall therefore proceed candidly to examine the leading arguments adduced by Romanists in favour of Transubstatiantion considerable stress is laid on
1. The necessity of a strictly literal and verbal interpretation of the words used by the Saviour at the institution of the Lord's supper. The truly solemn service is recorded by three of the evangelists in the following order : Matt. xxvi. 29. Mark xiv. 22–25. Luke xxii. 17—29. It is afterward enjoined on the Corinthian church by the Apostle Paul, as the result of a special revelation and command from the Lord Jesus. (1 Epis. xi. 23-25.) All the sacred historians inform us that our Lord took bread,-gave thanks,-brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “This cup is the New Testament in my blood.” “All these expressions, it is said, are to be taken literally, and to be so understood in every instance in which they are used. Even Luther, whose views of gospel ordinances were to the last, as cloudy as his views of
the doctrine of justification were clear, holding what he called Constubstantiation, denying the mass, but pleading for the real presence in a modified sense, could be induced to give no other answer to the cogent reasonings of Zwingle, Ecolampadius, and others, but, “ Hoc est corpus meum"-"This is my body.” Now to this strictly verbal interpretation we object.
Ist. That the Romanists do not themselves adhere to it in this very case. If the words are to be taken literally, they merely refer to the body of Christ. But we have seen by the first canon of the Council of Trent, we are required to believe that by the transubstantiation, not only the body, but also the soul and divinity of Christ are present. If then we are to interpret literally, we must conclude in contradiction to the anathematizing decree, that the soul and divinity are not present, for they are not in the words. So far then from adopting a literal interpretation, the church in her solemn decrees uses the words in a figurative and comprehensive sense. Again, if the principle of literal verbal interpretation be applied to the bread, it must also be applied to the wine. Our Lord says, “this cup is the New Testament.” The evangelist Luke and the apostle Paul, neither of them use the word wine; but only speak of the cup. If we are to be bound to a strictly literal verbal interpretation, what are we to understand by the transubstantiation of the cup? Are we