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THE IDOLATRY OF THE CHURCH OF
IDOLATRY is the worship of anything as God, which is not God: "I am the Lord; that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." (Isaiah xlii. 8.) Serving other gods is called an abominable thing, which the Lord hateth. (Jer. xliv. 3, 4.)
The brevity I have prescribed to myself, will not allow me to enter into an examination of that worship, which the papists pay to the departed saints and sinners, to images and relics. I know the distinctions and quibbles by which they endeavour to evade the charge of idolatry, though many protestant writers have substantiated that charge by incontestible evidence ; but I shall confine myself to the single article of the worship of the host.
The Romanists hold that in the eucharist is contained whole Christ, body, soul, and divinity; that the same worship is to be given to the consecrated host, which is due only to God; and that all are accursed, who hold it unlawful or idolatrous to pay it this religious homage. Upon this subject the Roman catholics are agreed. They freely grant that they are guilty of idolatry, if transubstantiation be not true.
Every reader knows that transubstantiation is built on a literal interpretation of the words, "This is my body." Admit this interpretation, you then have only a body to worship; for the text says not a word respecting either soul or divinity. Now it must be as gross idolatry to worship the mere body of Christ, as to worship a piece of bread; for "God is a Spirit, and they
that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth."
Nor will it help a papist to say, that the soul and divinity of Christ must be in his body, and that, consequently, these must be included, though they are not expressly mentioned in the text. For,
First. The body of Christ is often spoken of in contradistinction to his soul and divinity.
"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. he spake of the temple of his body." (John ii. 19 21.) His soul and divinity could not be included in this challenge, for the Jews could not destroy them. (See also Matt. xxvi. 12; xxvii. 58; Mark xv. 43; Luke xxiii. 52; Mark xiv. 8-51; xv. 45; Luke xxiv. 3; John xx. 12.) The spiritual part of our Lord cannot be intended in any of these texts.
Second. The body in a state of death is referred to : "This is my body, which is broken for you." (1 Cor. xi. 24.) The papists say, they receive whole Christ; but that which is broken cannot be whole; for this implies a contradiction. When his body was broken, it was in a state of death; and that the sacrament represents his body as dead, is certain, because the cup, not the bread, contained his blood which is said to be shed: "This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you." In the language of scripture, when the blood is said to be shed, the life is supposed to be gone. "If he beget a son that is a shedder of blood;" (Ezek. xviii. 10;) that is, a murderer. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed;" (Gen. ix. 6;) that is, a murderer shall be put to death. "The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it-Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed." (Ezek. xxii. 3, 4.) Is not the city here blamed for the many murders committed in it? In fact, there is not an instance in scripture where blood is said to be shed, and the life preserved.
Besides, the great design of the sacrament, according to the apostle, is, to represent the death of Christ: "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup,