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benefit of the sacrament. But it is true, says the church, and communion in one kind is adduced as over whelming proof. Excellent logic ! An absurd and monstrous dogma is promulgated; to support it, a christian ordinance is cut in twain : transubstantiation justifies communion in one kind, and communion in one kind proves the truth of transubstantiation! Who can withstand such arguments ? • Assurance often increases in proportion to the weakness of the cause, and the boldest and most confident tone is sometimes adopted, when there is the greatest deficiency of evidence. This is clearly seen in the discussion of the present subject. Nothing can be plainer or more express than the testimony of scripture. That testimony is impiously perverted or denied. By the method of interpretation employed by Roman Catholic writers it may be easily proved that neither the bread nor the wine is to be received by the laity, but that the Lord's supper belongs exclusively to the priesthood. 8 8 And indeed the exaltation of the clerical order is the natural result, as it was probably the chief design, of this corruption. How greatly must they be reverenced, at whose word so wondrous a transmutation is accomplished, and who only are permitted to touch the sacred cup, or taste the consecrated wine!
The reformation enacted at the twenty-first session was superficial and unimportant. It was decreed that bishops should require no fees for collating or inducting priests; that ordination should not be granted unless a benefice was actually possessed; that large parishes should be provided with additional priests, and small ones be united in perpetuity; that coadjutors should be appointed to ignorant clergymen, &c. The very name and office of the papal collectors, who had for so many years carried on the gainful traffic of indulgences, were declared to be abolished: and it was enacted that hence'forth all spiritual privileges of that kind should be dispensed freely, and that voluntary alms should be substituted for compulsory payment. It will be seen here
The whole chapter
88 Vide Bellarmin. de Eucharist, I. iv. c. 25. is a fine specimen of jesuitical sophistry.
after that the sale of indulgences continues to the present day, not withstanding this decree. 8 9
89 Pallav. l. xvii. c. 11. Sarpi, 1. vi. s. 39. Pius IV. was as averse to reformation as any of his predecessors had been. The French ambassadors continually complained of his interference, and lamented the subjection and thraldom of the conncil. Nothing was suffered to be advanced that might prove prejudicial to the profit or authority of the court of Rome. Le Plat, v. p. 391–398,
Discussions on the Mass-Debates on the concession of the cup to
the laity-Division on that question-Subsequent determination to refer it to the Pope-TWENTY-SECOND SESSION-Decree on the Mass-Reflections.
The mass was the subject proposed for the next session.90 This point had been fully discussed at the former sitting of the council, but the publication of the decree was prevented by the unexpected and abrupt termination of the proceedings. Some advised the adoption of that decree, after suitable revision; this, however was opposed by the legates, and it was generally judged more becoming the dignity of the council to examine the whole subject de novo, especially as the number of the prelates was now so much greater, being nearly two hundred, more than three times as many as were assembled under Julius III.
Thirteen articles were submitted to the divines for examination. Their discussions occupied but little time, as scarcely any difference of opinion existed, and no Protestants were there to object or dispute. The principal point to be proved was that the mass is really a
90 The “mass” is the communion-service, or consecration and administration of the sacrament. “High mass” is the same service, accompanied by all the ceremonies which custom and authority have annexed to its celebration. An account of these may be seen in the fourth volunue of Geddes' “ Tracts against Popery.” In the early ages of the church the congregation was dismissed before the celebration of the Lord's Supper, none but the communicants being suffered to remain. “ Ita missa est,” Thus the congregation is dismissed, said the officiating minister, and immediately the congregation withdrew: the term thus employed was used in process of time to designate the solemn service about to be performed; it was called “missa," the mass.
sacrifice, that is, that the Lord's supper is not merely a commemoration of the Saviour's passion, but an actual offering of his body and blood by the hands of the priest. One extract will suffice to show what kind of argument and evidence was employed in support of this tenet. Melchior Cornelio, a Portuguese divine, reasoned thus: " When the eucharist is carried to the sick, or is preserved for use, it is a sacrament; but when it is offered on the altar, it is a sacrifice. Now, the devil is constantly endeavouring to alienate the minds of the heretics from the mass : therefore, the mass is not an abomination, as Luther affirms, because the devil does not hate abominations, but cherishes them. Further, in Isa. lxvi. 21, God promises to take priests from among the gentiles; but they cannot be priests without a sacrifice, and that sacrifice is the mass. Again, it was prophesied by Malachithat in every place "a pure offering should be presented ; this is not to be understood of spiritual sacrifices, that is prayers, as Jerome interprets it, but of the sacrifice of the mass, since the prayers of the faithful are many, and one offering only is there spoken of. It was said of the Messiah, that he should be a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek ; but Melchisedek offered bread and wine; therefore Christ, in instituting the eucharist, did the same, and offered hirself. And forasmuch as he said to the apostles, "Do this,' he thereby directed them to do as he himself had done, and therefore, since the eucharist is a propitiatory sacrifice, he thus constituted them priests, and enjoired them and their successors to offer that sacrifice continually, for themselves and for the sins of others.”91
Yet there were some who opposed these sentiments. They denied that the eucharist, when instituted by Christ, was a sacrifice, and strenuously maintained that if the Saviour really offered himself in the supper, his sacrifice on the cross was useless and of none effect. Francis Foreiro, also a Portuguese divine, ventured even to impugn the received interpretation of those passages of scripture which had been alleged in support of the common opinion. He avowed his firm belief in the sa
91 Pallav, l. xviii.c. 2. s. 1. Sarpi, 1. vi. s. 44. Le Plat, v. p. 424.
crifice of the mass, but said that the proof should be drawn from apostolic tradition, and not from Scripture; and he warned the fathers of the danger they would incur by attempting to prove too much, and thus involving the truth itself in uncertainty. The boldness of this speech gave great offence. 9 2
Whether Jesus Christ " offered himself as a sacrifice to the Father in the supper, or only on the cross," was a question which gave rise to long and warm disputes. Four opinions were propounded. Cardinal Madrucci, the archbishop of Otranto, and many more, held the affirmative, as stated by Melchior Cornelio. The bishop of Paris spoke on the same side; he said that the sacrifice of Christ was begun in the supper, and perfected on the cross, and he questioned whether those who thought otherwise should not be considered as heretics. Gaspar à Casalio, bishop of Leira remarked that though the sacrifice of the Saviour was one in itself, there were many and various modes of offering it ; that, as St. Thomas had shown, the progress of the Redeemer's passion consisted of several steps or stages, of which the institution of the supper was one, which was therefore a part of those sufferings that were consummated on the cross. Lainez, General of the Jesuits, who had recently arrived at Trent, pursued a similar course of argument. He observed further, that if Christ did not offer himself in the supper, every priest, when he consecrates the eucharist does more, than the Saviour himself did in the institution of that sacrainent; and that our Lord used the present tense, saying, “this is my blood which is shed for you,” which could not be true unless an actual sacrifice of himself had then taken place. He enumerated also, it is said, various points of difference between the sacrifice of the supper and that of the cross ; but what they were, the historians have not informed us. On the other hand, the archbishop of Granada and some others maintained that the sacrifice of Christ in the supper was eucharistic and not propitiatory, and that the opposite opinion derogated from the worth and glory of the atonement made on the cross. A third party wished the subject to be left open
92 Sarpi, ut sup.