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doubt true, but that it should be in the same time changed, and entirely unchanged, is an absurdity above all absurdities; what would the Pope say if Protestants would teach that Lot's wife, who was changed into a pillar of salt, that she stopped there and in the same time remained a living woman, continuing her way with her husband and still being salt. Would the Pope not justly say, the Protestants are crazy ? and still that would only be a matter of opinion, it would not involve an article of faith as transubstantiation does. Have the Protestants not the same right in their turn to call us infidels, by putting forth such an arch-absurdity as an article of faith?
2nd. We must deny the testimony of our own senses ; we see, smell, and taste the wafer, yet we must believe it to be the flesh and blood, soul and divinity of Christ. And vice versa: we eat and drink the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, though we see and taste a wafer. That was really too strong food for my weak faith and too puzzling for my ordinary talents, I left therefore the enigma untouched,
3rd. That, when Christ said: “ This is my body," we must believe, that he held his own body in his own hand, and yet had not two bodies
or two right hands, but only one body and one right hand; and that his body was visible and in visible at the same moment. I could not comprehend it, and even now, I defy Ignazio Lojola to be able to shed a ray of light upon that chaotic darkness.
4th. We must believe that each of the twelve apostles in succession, really, truly, and substantially eat their Lord and master, who was visibly reposing at the supper table before them, without visibly entering into their mouths, but the bread only or the appearance of the bread, which they held in their hands, being visibly and in the same time apparently eaten by them. That was a labyrinth out of which none but God could guide me.
To believe such arch absurdities one must indeed have great
faith. After all this it struck me that transubstantiation was not known in the primitive churches. Many reasons led me to this conclusion, of which my mind was easily persuaded by the following proofs.
1st. The advantages which the first christians had over the heathen by reproving them : “ That their Gods have eyes and see not, ears and hear not, mouths and speak not,” is an evidence that they knew nothing of transubstantiation. Is it
probable, that people who reproach the heathen of such an absurd idolatry, will worship a waser in the shape of the real body, soul and divinity of Christ? Would the heathen not have retorted the argument by saying: “your God is subject to the same vicisitudes as ours ? He can decay, he can be carried away by the wind; he can be stolen or be consumed by the flames. Moreover, your God is shut up in a little box, which priests carry in their pockets. As it was really the case in Paris in the church of St. Sulpice, where the golden box, in which the consecrated wafers were preserved, was stolen, and the body, blood, and soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ with it. To strengthen the argument of the heathen, we find in the mass-book the rules, how the priests shall act, if the hostia should fall on the ground, or the priest should vomit it out; or should be eaten by a mouse, &c. St. Thomas d'Aquinas, the Seraphic
Father, treats on the same subject.' Could a Roman theologian, who maintains such doctrines, in the face of such facts reproach the heathen for idolatry, that their Gods cannot move and are subject to destruction, as the primitive christians did ? What astonished me more was, that in the face of
"Thom.'d' Acquinas, lib. 3, quest. 77, art. 4.
the numerous historical facts, which are known to every Roman Catholic, the scandal and horrible acts committed through the sacrament of the Eu. charist, [as the death of Pope Victor the 3d, who was poisoned with the cup. The Emperor Henry the VII. with a hostia. The Arch-bishop of York, who had the same doom in the year 1154,] they can still believe in and adore it.
2nd. Another proof that transubstantiation was unknown in the primitive age, I deduced from the fathers against the heretics of their time, who de nied the assumption of the humanity of Christ.
- Jesus Christ took bread and gave it his disciples, saying, this is my body, or the figure of my body; if he would not have had a real body, he could not say, this is my body, for a phantom cannot be a representation of a body."
Ireneus' says: “If that would be true, that Christ had not an assumed human nature, the Saviour has not redeemed us with his blood, the cup is not the communion in his blood, and the bread not the communion in his body; for blood can only come
"Tertul. adv. Marc. lib. 4, chap. 40, circa ann. 215. 'Iren. adv. heretic.
from veins, flesh, and other substances of man.". If these fathers would have believed in the real presence of Christ in the hostia, would they have argued in that way? would they not have rather said:
" the Eucharist contains the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, consequently he was not a phantom, because we have his real body and blood in the sacrament ?" Would this hot have been more convincing than to prove that Jesus Christ assumed humanity, because the sacrament is a figure of his body? From these and other authorities I could easily see, that transubstantiation was not known in the primitive church es, and is a new thing in the church, being the fruit of the dark age of the twelfth century and the growing power of the Pope.
ABSURDITIES AND DELUSIONS
OF THE MASS.
It is with great reluctance that I bring forward these charges, as I can testify before God, that I have no pleasure in wounding the feelings of an man, but faithfulness to my Divine Master, and love to the souls of my Roman Catholic brethren constrain me to consider it a necessary duty.