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men, and establish a memorial of his wonderful deeds; and he hath commanded us, in partaking thereof, to cherish his memory, and declare his death, till he shall come to judge the world. Now, he intended this sacrament to be received as the spiritual food of souls, by which those who live by his life should be sustained and strengthened, as he said, "he who eateth me, the same shall live by me;' and as an antidote to deliver us from daily faults, and preserve us from mortal sins. Moreover he designed it as a pledge of our future glory and everlasting bliss, and therefore as a symbol of that one body of which he is the head, and to which it is his will that we, the members, should be joined by the closest bonds of faith, hope, and charity, that we might all speak the same thing, and no schisms be among us.*
“ CHAP. III. Of the excellence of the most holy eucharist
above the other sacraments. 6. The most holy eucharist hath this in common with the other sacraments, that it is a symbol of sacred things, a visible form of invisible grace. But herein is discovered its peculiar excellence, that while the other sacraments then first possess the power of sanctifying when they are used by any one, the
* The reasons or effects of the sacrament are thus enumerated and described by the compilers of the “ Catechism :"-1. It imparts grace : “it is not, like bread and wine, changed into our substance; but, in some measure, changes us into its own nature.” 2. It remits venial sins : “whatever losses the soul sustains by falling into some slight offences, through the violence of passion, these the eucharist, which cancels lesser sins, repairs in the same manner, not to depart from the illustration already adduced, that natural food, as we know from experience, gradually repairs the daily waste caused by the vital heat of the system.” 3. It is “an antidote against the contagion of sin, and a shield against the violent assaults of temptation.” 4. It “represses the licentious desires of the flesh, and keeps them in due subjection to the spirit.” 5. It “ facilitates to an extraordinary degree the attainment of eternal life." .... “ The grace which it imparts brings peace and tranquillity to the soul; and when the hour shall have arrived in which he is to take his departure from this mortal life, like another Elias, who, in the strength of his miraculous repast, walked to Horeb, the mount of God, the Christian, invigorated by the strengthening influence of this heavenly food, shall wing his way to the mansions of everlasting glory and never-ending bliss.”—Catechism, pp. 234-237.
very author of sanctity is in the eucharist before it is used :* for the apostles had not yet received the eucharist from the hand of the Lord, when he affirmed that what he was presenting to them was really his body. And this faith has always remained in the church of God, that immediately after the consecration,t the true body of our Lord, and his true blood, together with his soul and divinity, do exist under the species of the bread and wine; his body under the species of bread, and his blood under the species of wine, by virtue of the words of consecration; his body also under the species of wine, and his blood under the species of bread, and his soul under each species, through that natural connexion and concomitance by which all the parts of Christ our Lord, who has risen from the dead, no more to die, are closely connected together ;f and his divinity, through the wonderful and hypostatical union thereof with his body and soul. Wherefore it is most certain that all
* “ With great truth is the holy eucharist called the fountain of all grace, containing, as it does, after an admirable manner, the source of all gifts and graces, the author of all the sacraments, Christ our Lord, from whom, as from their source, they derive all their goodness and perfection.”—Catechism, p. 234.
+ It is surely passing strange, that our Lord should have committed so wondrous a power to the Christian priesthood as is claimed by the Romancatholic church, and yet have left no instructions as to the form and manner in which it is to be exercised ; so that they have been obliged to borrow or alter his own words, and turn them into presumed forms of consecration : thus
« From the Evangelists Matthew and Luke, and also from the Apostle Paul], we learn that the form of the sacrament consists in these words, · This is my body,' ... and this form of consecration, made use of by Jesus Christ, has been uniformly and inviolably observed in the Catholic church.” ....“ The form of consecrating the chalice is comprehended in these words, • This is the chalice of my blood of the new and eternal testament ; the mystery of faith ; which shall be shed for you, and for many, to the remission of sins.' These words are for the most part taken from Scripture; some of them, however, have been preserved in the church by apostolic tradition."...." The words and eternal,' and also the words, the mystery of faith,' have been transmitted to us by holy tradition, the interpreter and guardian of Catholic unity.”—Ibid. pp. 216–218.
I“ As, however, to the body are united his blood, his soul, his divinity, they, too, must be found to co-exist in the sacrament; not, however, by virtue of the consecration, but by virtue of the union that subsists between them and his body; and this theologians express by the word 'concomitance.'"-.. Ibid. p. 227.
is contained under either species, and under both; for Christ, whole and entire,* exists under the species of bread and in every particle thereof, and under the species of wine, and in all its parts.f
6 Chap. IV. Of Transubstantiation. “ Since therefore Christ our Redeemer affirmed, that it was truly his body which was presented under the species of bread, the church of God hath always held, and this holy council doth now renew the declaration, that by the consecration of the bread and wine, the whole substance of the bread is converted into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and
*The word Christ designates the man-God, that is to say, one person, in whom are united the divine and human natures; the holy eucharist therefore contains both, and whatever is included in the idea of both, the divinity and humanity whole and entire, the soul, the body, and blood, of Christ with all their component parts; all of which faith teaches us are contained in the sacrament. In heaven the whole humanity is united to the divinity in one hypostasis or person, and it were impious, therefore, to suppose that the body of Christ, which is contained in the sacrament, is separated from his divinity.”— Catechism, p. 226. This extract forms part of a paragraph which begins thus :-" Here the pastor will also explain to the faithful, that in this sacrament not only the true body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, as bones and sinews (velut ossa et nervos ), but also Christ, whole and entire,” &c. It is remarkable that the clause in italics (“as bones and sinews”) is omitted in the Roman-catholic translation! The reader will guess the reason of the omission : the lesson is, that Popish translations must be vigilantly scrutinized.
+ “The Catholic church, then, firmly believes, and openly professes, that in this sacrament the words of consecration accomplish three things; first, that the true and real body of Christ, the same that was born of the Virgin, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, is rendered present in the holy eucharist ; secondly, that however repugnant it may appear to the dictate of the senses, no substance of the elements remains in the sacraments; and thirdly, a natural consequence of the two preceding, and one which the words of consecration also express, that the accidents which present themselves to the eyes, or other senses, exist in a wonderful and ineffable manner, without a subject. The accidents of bread and wine we see, (it should be all the accidents'—'accidentia omniu-another omission !) but they inhere in no substance, and exist independently of any. The substance of the bread and wine is so changed into the body and blood of our Lord that they altogether cease to be the substance of bread and wine.”—Ibid. p. 221. “ The accidents . cannot inhere in the body and blood of Christ; they must, therefore, contrary
to the physical laws, subsist of themselves, inhering in no subject.”—p. 232.
the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood, which conversion is by the boly Catholic church fitly and properly called transubstantiation.*
*“ If, after consecration, the body of Christ is really and truly present under the species of bread and wine, not having been there before, it must have become so by change of place, by creation, or by transubstantiation. It cannot be rendered present by change of place, because it would then cease to be in heaven; for whatever is moved must necessarily cease to occupy the place from which it is moved. Still less can we suppose it to be rendered present by creation, an idea which the mind instantly rejects. In order that the body of our Lord be present in the sacrament, it remains, therefore, that it be rendered present by transubstantiation, and of course that the substance of the bread entirely cease to exist.”—Catechism, p. 228. “This admirable change, as the council of Trent teaches, the Catholic church most appropriately expresses by the word “transubstantiation.' When, in the natural order, the form of a being is changed, that change may be properly termed a 'transformation ;' in like manner, when in the sacrament of the eucharist, the whole substance of one thing passes into the whole substance of another, the change our predecessors in the faith wisely and appropriately called
transubstantiation.' But according to the admonition so frequently repeated by the holy fathers, the faithful are to be admonished against the danger of gratifying a prurient curiosity, by searching into the manner in which this change is effected. It mocks the powers of conception, nor can we find any example of it in natural transmutations, nor even in the wide range of creation. The change itself is the object, not of our comprehension, but of our humble faith; and the manner of that change forbids the temerity of a too curious inquiry."
-Ibid. p. 231. Again : “ To explain this mystery in a proper manner is extremely difficult. On the manner of this admirable conversion, the pastor, however, will endeavour to instruct those who are more advanced in the knowledge and contemplation of divine things : those who are yet weak may, it were to be apprehended, be overwhelmed by its greatness.”—Ibid. p. 230. How those “ who are more advanced” are to be instructed, is more fully explained in another place; the pastor “ will, first of all, impress on the minds of the faithful the necessity of detaching, as much as possible, their minds and understandings from the dominion of the senses ; for were they, with regard to this sublime mystery, to constitute the senses the only tribunal to which they ure to appeal, the awful consequence must be, their precipitation into the extreme of impiety. Consulting the sight, the touch, the smell, the taste, and finding nothing but the appearances of bread and wine, the senses must naturally lead them to think that this sacrament contains nothing more than bread and wine. Their minds, therefore, are as much as possible to be withdrawn from subjection to the senses, and excited to the contemplation of the stupendous power of God.”—Ibid. p. 220. The Dublin Review, No. 6., contains an article “ on the fallacious evidence of the senses,” Having adduced many facts to prove that the senses are often deceived, (the phenomena of the · mirage, and other optical illusions, are particularly mentioned,) the writer comes to the conclusion that they are “utterly incompetent and inadmissible
6 Chap. V. Of the worship and veneration to be rendered
to this most holy sacrament. “ There is, therefore, no room to doubt that all the faithful in Christ are bound to venerate this most holy sacrament, and to render thereto the worship of latria, which is due to the true God, (latriæ cultum, qui vero Deo debetur,) according to the custom always observed in the Catholic church. Neither is it to be less adored, because it was instituted by Christ the Lord, as has been stated; for we believe him who is present therein to be the same God of whom the Eternal Father said, when he brought him into the world, · And let all the angels of God adore him,' (Heb. i. 6;) before whom the Magi prostrated themselves, adoring; and whom, as scripture testifies, the apostles worshipped in Galilee.
- The holy council further declares, that the custom of annually celebrating this pre-eminent and adorable sacrament with peculiar veneration and solemnity, on an appointed festal day,carrying it reverently and honourably in procession through the streets and public places, was piously and religiously introduced into the church of God; for it is most proper that certain sacred days should be fixed, on which all Christians may in a special manner testify with what grateful remembrance they regard their common Lord and Redeemer, for a benefit so ineffable and divine, wherein is represented the victory and triumph of his death. Thus, also, it is fit that all-conquering truth should display its triumph over heresy and lies, that when its enemies witness so great splendour and such joy in the whole church, they may be disheartened, and, as it were, smitten with pining sickness, or else, struck with shame and confusion, may betimes repent.*
as faithful guides in any investigation on the mysteries of religion, and objects of divine faith. The inference is, that we Protestants are incorrigible heretics, because we “ refuse credence to the doctrines of the real presence and transubstantiation,” and pertinaciously reject the decisions of Rome on those points. Jesuitical sophistry and unfair reasoning characterize the entire article; but who can expect to “gather grapes from thorns ?" The Biblical Repository for January 1834 (a valuable American periodical, published quarterly, and procurable in London) has an article on transubstantiation, in which the errors and absurdities involved in that dogma are exposed in a very masterly manner.
* The annual festival of the holy sacrament, or Corpus Christi day, was instituted by Urban IV., in 1264, and the institution was confirmed at a