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mask of appearance is thrown off, and in lamentations pours its sorrows into the bosom of the friend. In secret we sigh, and in public we are obliged to feast. But if the providence of God would deliver Italy from its temporal and spiritual bondage, the priests of Rome would be the first in the rank to defend the liberty of conscience, and that of the press, Voltaire, Rousseau, Macchiavelli, the novels of Boccaccio, Casti and other unchaste productions are constantly cherished as food for the passions of the Priest's heart, and when among themselves these are the subjects of pleasing conversation. To say, “The Signora such and such a one, is the amorosa of such a cardinal, or such a prelate is the cicisbeo, or lover of such, or such a lady, The priest so and so has two beautiful married sisters, he will soon become a canon,” it is not very rare to hear, even in the presence of ladies. I found the majority of the young priests negative infidels, or real sceptics; immoral in their hearts, filthy with their tongues and hypocrites in appearance. That under such friends and companions, my christian progress was not very rapid, is not to be wondered at.
· Transubstantiation is the principle transaction of the priest in the so called propitiatory sacrifice of the mass. I will not give my readers a dissertation on that important subject, nor the opinion which I now entertain of it, or make a display of Biblical knowledge, which I have acquired since that time. I will only give a candid description of my feelings, when I at first begun to investigate the doctrines of the church of Rome, in the light of the Bible.
I had been taught, that: “ in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, there is truly, realiy, and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul, and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. That the bread and wine are immediately changed into his body and blood, without any outward appearance of this change, which we only know by faith. Though we see only bread and wine as before, we firmly believe that Jesus Christ is there in a miraculous manner, whole and entire under each of the two species, and under every particle, as under the whole without
being multiplied and without ceasing to be in heaven.” Creed of Pius the IV.
I searched the whole New Testament, but found not an idea, not even an indication of any thing which would suggest the least thought of such an extraordinary change in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
The only passage which I found in my Bible, and upon
which the whole fabric of transubstantiation is built, is the expression of our Saviour in the institution; saying: “ Take, eat, this is my body;" and giving the cup, saying: “This is my blood.” Our Lord has not said, this represents my body and blood, but this is really and actually my body and blood.
I thought it absurd to take that passage literally and others spiritually; when every man of good sense, who possesses only the least knowledge of the Oriental languages, knows that figurative speech is common among them; and that the disciples understood it in the same figurative way. When Joseph was interpreting the dream of the chief butler and the baker in the prison, he told them : " the three branches of the vine are three days, and the three baskets are three days.”' They did not understand that the branches and the
baskets were really, actually and truly days of twenty-four hours, but that they represented them. And when he interpreted the dream of Pharaoh he said: “ the seven kine are seven years.” Pharaoh never thought that they are really, truly years, but that they represent the seven years. Daniel, when he interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, said: “ Thou [O King] art this head of gold." He meant not that the king is really, truly, and actually transubstantiated into a head of gold, and the same time had the figure of a man, but that the head of gold represents the king. Even in our phrasiology, when an instructor teaches his pupils geography, he shows them a map, and
" that is the State of New York, he does not mean that this is truly, really, and actually transubstantiated into the State of New York, but that it represents it. Without multiplying the examples, I found that our Saviour used in many instances a figurative language, say. ing: “ I am the way ; I am the door; I am the vine.” He never thought to convey the idea, to be really and truly transubstantiated into a vine, or door, but that he represents it.
My mind was deeply impressed at that time with some passages of the Scripture, Matt. chap.
5, v. 28-30. "I say unto. you.
That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee pluck it out, and cast it from thee, for it is profitable for thee, that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee, &c.” If one passage is to be taken literally and not figuratively, all of them ought to be taken in the same sense. " If thy right eye offend thee pluck it out; if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee, &c." It struck me if these passages should be taken literally too, all the Popes, Cardinals and Confessors of Rome, would certainly go to heaven with one eye, and without a right arm.
Having found no substantial proof in the Bible to support such a doctrine, I took my refuge to
I asked what is taught in that article of faith?
1st. That the wafer is changed into the body, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, and still it remains in every respect a wafer. I reasoned with myself in the following manner; that God can change one substance into another substance is no