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ed to be, the accidents of the body and blood of Christ.
In the eucharist we have, in fact, a twofold miracle : accidents without their substance, and a substance without its accidents. But accidents without a substance, are accidents of nothing; and nothing cannot have accidents. Omnipotence itself is unable to clothe nothing with accidents. “ There cannot be roundness, and nothing round; whiteness, and nothing white; a taste, and nothing tasted ; liquid, and nothing liquid;" (the Case stated, page 151;) for these are palpable contradictions, to which God cannot give the reality of truth. On the other hand it is equally impossible for a substance to subsist without accidents. There cannot be matter without extension, shape, solidity, etc. These popish miracles, therefore, must be classed among the lying wonders by which the dupes of antichrist were to be deluded. This nonsense respecting accidents without substance, and substance without accidents, originated in the dark ages, and was supported by the jargon of the schools, to magnify the power of the priesthood, and pick the pockets of the credulous multitude. The light of science and religion has exploded these puerilities; but even if they were admissible, what good end could they answer? Our Lord informed those silly people, who thought that he spoke in John vi. of a literal eating of him, by way of undeceiving them, “ It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing,” etc. (Verse 63.) Though our Lord here explains what he meant by eating his flesh and drinking his blood, yet the papists adhere to the words literally, and that in spite of his own Spirit's interpretation; and contend for a literal eating, though our Saviour says expressly that it would profit nothing. If these words were to be taken literally, every one who receives the host would be sure of heaven. “ If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.' “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” • He that
eateth me, even he shall live by me.” “ He that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” All this is true taken spiritually; but even a papist cannot contend for its truth in his carnal sense, since he admits that those who communicate in mortal sin, are not benefitted. Our Lord before had intimated plainly enough that by eating and drinking he meant coming to him, or believing in him. (Verse 35, at large.)
So on the other hand, if this chapter be interpreted literally of the eucharist, then this sacrament is as necessary to salvation as baptism. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." (Verse 53.) The ancient church interpreting this verse of the Lord's supper, inferred the absolute necessity of it to salvation, and in perfect consistency, gave it to infants. And if the flesh and blood mean the body of Christ literally, then there can be no life without the wafer, and every child that dies without tasting it, must, of necessity, perish everlastingly. The necessity of infant baptism is grounded upon John iii. 5: “ Except a man,” etc.
As the necessity in John vi. 35, is expressed by the same term, except, it is of quite as much importance to give infants the flesh and blood as to give them water; and papists should either give up the text as applying to the eucharist, or imitate their forefathers in communicating to children. When a child is in danger, it is lawful for any one to baptize it, because, “ Except a man be born,” etc.; but no one is permitted to give it the wafer, though, "Except ye eat my flesh," etc.
The occasion of our Lord's using the highly figurative language in John vi. was this: he had fed five thousand miraculously with loaves and fishes. The people were delighted with this, and resolved to make him a king; they reminded him that Moses, the leader of their ancestors, had fed them miraculously in the desert, and dropped very intelligible hints that they expected he would support his followers in the same way.
Our Saviour assured them that he would give them better bread than the manna by which their fathers were supported. He then speaks of himself as the bread of life, and promises that they who feast on him shall not die, as those did who partook of the manna, but live for ever. This caused them to murmur, for they knew not what he meant by their eating his flesh and drinking his blood ; they perceived that it was an evasion of their carnal hopes that he would maintain them in idleness by a miracle. Before, however, he had finished his discourse, he made all plain. He explained the terms eating and drinking to mean the same as coming to him, and believing on him ; for we eat and drink to satisfy the cravings of hunger and thirst; and he remarked, “ He that cometh to me, shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me, shall never thirst.” This coming to Christ is not to be understood literally; for he declares in the same discourse, “Noman can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” (Verse 44.) But it required no divine influence, to enable a man to come to Christ literally; and it requires no divine influence, to enable a papist to approach the wafer Christ on the altar, nor to eat the wafer. And he explains the whole mystery afterwards by saying, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth,”etc. The papist prays that the body may quicken. “ Deliver me,” says he, “ by this thy most precious body and blood from all my iniquities, and from all evils !"* Christ says, the flesh profiteth nothing. How impious then to pray that it may save us! and, especially, when the body of Christ is nothing but a bit of bread! “ The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The spirit and life are to be derived from the words, that is from the doctrine of Christ received into the heart, not from the flesh and blood of Christ going into the stomach.
But the consecrated wafer is not the real body of Christ; for it does not answer to the marks laid down by our Saviour himself, by which his body may be distinguished. When our Saviour appeared among his disciples after his crucifixion, “ They were terrified
* Missal, page 78.
and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.” In this they were mistaken; and how does our Saviour set them right? By merely saying,“ This is my body,” and causing them to believe it? It would have been contrary to his usual practice to leave them in suspense in a matter of such vital importance. He had presented himself among them miraculously, the doors being shut, according to John xx. 19. They saw the human form, but supposed from the manner of the appearance, that it was without the human substance. It has been the popular notion of spirits in all ages, that they can render themselves visible to mortals, by assuming the likeness of bodies without their matter. He corrected their mistake, by appealing to their senses. First. To their sight: “He showed them his hands and his feet. And he took a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, and did eat before them.” Second. To their hearing : “He said unto them,” etc. Third. To their feeling: · Handle me,” said he," and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
Now since our Saviour himself appealed to the senses of his disciples to ascertain the reality of his body, we have his authority and example for bringing every pretended Christ to this test. Jesus informed his followers that false christs should come, and that their abetters would be indefatigable in imposing them on the church; against this he has solemnly warned his people : “If any man shall say unto you, lo! here is Christ; or there ; believe it not. If they shall say unto you, behold he is in the secret chambers, believe it not." (Matt. xxiv. 23, 26.) Here is evident allusion to the popish priests and their wafer god. When they have placed him upon the altar, they exclaim, “ Lo! here is Christ !” and all present must fall down and worship it. And when they have shut him up in the secret chamber of the pix, or carried him to the secret chamber of the sick, the cry is set up,“Lo! there is Christ.' And all good catholics must adore their god. But says the true Christ,“ Believe it not." These false christs
were to gain disciples by showing "great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect.” (Verse 24.) So Fisher the Jesuit. Rejoinder to Dr. White's Reply, page 275, speaks of a woman who unworthily approached the chest where the host was kept, being frightened away by fire which flashed out of it. Brevint, in his Saul and Samuel at Endor, page 49, remarks, “ I read in grave and famous Roman writers, that a consecrated host will fly and flutter in the air sometimes, till a mass priest holds up his pix to receive it; that shapes of flesh and young children have appeared on their altars, at the elevation of the said host; and that by many experiences, horses, and mules, and cows have been cured of their diseases, when some masses have been sung for them; and that at the consecration at mass by St. Dominic, Christ was seen hard by him, dropping out of his own wounds some of his blood on this dear saint; and that the blessed virgin beheld all this, and of her own accord played the mass priest, and administered the very body of her Son in one moiety of a consecrated wafer to this same saint, in token of special friendship. All this is averred and sworn as true by a formal oath, in the name of the blessed Trinity, and under pain of all kinds of God's curses; in case of a lie, or mistake.”
It would be easy to fill a volume with accounts of these lying wonders : “ Believe it not,” says the true Christ. We have known Christ after the flesh,” says the apostle, “ yet now, henceforth, know we him no more," that is, after the flesh. (2 Cor. v. 16.) How could this be true of Christ in the flesh, were he now seen on every popish altar? Those then who pay any regard to the authority of Christ and his apostle, will not believe that the hody of Christ is to be seen here, or there, though signs and wonders equal to those wrought by the Egyptian magicians were attested, and sworn to by all the juggling priests in the world.
The false christs, in order to be detected, must be brought to the tests appointed by the true Christ.