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The apostles were in doubt whether, or not, what they saw were the real body of Christ; and we doubt whether what we see on the popish altar be the true body of Christ. We have more reasons for our doubts than they had for theirs. They saw the figure of the Saviour, and they heard his voice saying, the moment he appeared, “ Peace be unto you." But the wafer does not present the human shape, nor possess the
of specch. The christ of the papists is a mis-shapen and (iumb idol. The doubts of the apostles were resolved by an appeal to their senses by Christ himself. There is no other way of resolving our doubts; and as this is Christ's way, we shall make bold to use it, though we know the priests of the false christs shrink from it, and would fain persuade us to take their word. He appealed to their sight, “He showed them his hands nd his feet.” Let them show us the hands and feet of Christ in the wafer! They cannot; then believe them not. “ He” next “ took of a piece of broiled fish and of a honey-comb, and did eat before them.” Now let us see the wafer eat a hearty meal, and we will worship it! He also appealed to their hearing, saying "unto them," etc.; and when the host shall say anything to 115, we promise to listen, and will try to believe. Nay, and he appealed to their feeling too : “ Handle me, said he, “and see, for I have flesh and bones.” Handle the host, squeeze it between your fingers — don't be afraid, you will not tear a muscle, nor rupture a blood vessel, nor fracture a bone! you can feel nothing but bread!
The papists admit that we must be guided by our senses in judging of all other material things; but in this they require us to believe in opposition to them. It is fatal, however, to their exception, that the Saviour, instead of being the author of it, has expressly appealed to our senses to settle the question of his bodily presence. Now suppose, when the apostles had recovered from their surprise, and had set themselves in good earnest to examine the figure before them, they had found nothing but a phantom which
could not eat, and which possessed neither flesh nor bones, would it still have been obligatory on them to believe it was the body of Christ, against the evidence of their senses? I think there is not a papist stupid enough to believe this. Now this is our case: after the most careful examination of the wafer, it possesses none of the special properties of a human body; and therefore we conclude that it is not one. The apostles are supposed to have come to an infallibly correct conclusion, though they had the testimony of but three of their senses.
In examining the wafer four of our senses testify that it is bread; namely, the smell, taste, touch, and sight; and if it be baked hard, and be eaten as our Lord directed, we shall have the concurring testimony of the other sense ; for it will sound to the ear like the crushing of a bread crust between the teeth. Examine what they say of the sense of hearing. In this case, if we are deceived, there is no possibility of correcting the deception; for we possess no means of judging of bodies but by our senses; and if all of them may give false notices in reference to any substance, we possess no organs or faculties by which this mistake can be corrected, the defect is incurable. But the appeal of Christ to the senses in judging of his body is decisive of the whole controversy ; by this test the pastry body is proved to be a false christ, the pretence of transubstantiation a vile imposture, and the worship of the host gross idolatry.
It would be endless to recount all the miracles connected with the doctrine of transubstantiation. I will mention a few rather odd ones. After the substance of bread and wine is changed into flesh and blood in the eucharist, the properties of bread and wine are supposed to remain, and, which is somewhat singular, these properties are liable to change. For instance : by keeping, the contents of the cup will become sour, and the wafer will mould and become offensive. Now what produces this change in the accidents ? Not the body and blood of Christ surely; for his flesh saw no corruption. (Acts ii. 31.) And blood does not turn
Not bread and wine ; for we are assured there
Here are accidents attached to substances to which they do not naturally belong the substances are supposed to be unchangeable, and yet the accidents it is admitted are liable to change. As there is nothing in nature to produce this change, it must be the effect of miracle. As the body and blood of Christ undergo no change, it would be natural to expect that the forms of bread and wine under which they exist would be equally unchangeable ; and if this were actually the case, we should have an argument for transubstantiation from the permanency of these forms; for it might be said, if the bread and wine remained after consecration, they would be liable to corruption. But the miracle of changing the forms can only work unbelief; for the change which takes place in the forms is precisely what would happen supposing the bread and wine to remain. As far therefore as this miracle operates it tends to stagger faith, contrary to the design of all Christ's miracles, which were intended to produce faith. The nature of this miraculous change too is very revolting. Take a consecrated host, which has been in a damp situation for some time, and smell of it, it stinks! And is this the body of Christ? Here they invent another miracle, to get rid of the loathsomeness of this : they pretend that when the host corrupts the body of Christ leaves it! But how do they know that? It is all hypothesis, to evade the charge of worshipping a god that cannot keep himself sweet! We read in the book of Tobit, of his making a fume with the liver of a fish by which he stunk the devil out of his house; and it seems the olfactories of the popish god are as delicate as those of satan.
But the truth will sometimes come out in spite of every artifice to conceal it. In the reasons assigned for withholding the cup from the laity, Fisher the Jesuit says,
* “ It is not probable that they did
* Rejoinder to White's Reply, page 340.
consecrate wine to endure five or six days long, for fear, in hot countries, the same should grow sour. Wherefore, for the most part, they did communicate under one kind.” In a modern work entitled, “ The Grounds of the Catholic Doctrine,” pages 31, 32, the question is put, “What are the reasons why the church does not give the communion to all her children in both kinds ?” And it is observed in reply, “ Because considering how soon wine decays, the sacrament could not well be kept for the sick in both kinds.” These champions of popery speak of the wine decaying, and growing sour. But if transubstantiation be true, there is no wine after consecration, after the sacrament is made; there is nothing in the cup but the blood of Christ; and surely this does not grow sour! No, they both knew this perfectly well, and in a thoughtless moment let out the secret, that after all their juggling tricks over the cup, its contents remain unaltered. Many pagan gods look sour! but here is a christian liquid god, which a few days after his creation, literally tastes sour!
Let us now inquire whether the scripture account of idolatry does not apply to the host as exactly as to any other false God. Worship intended for the true God, if addressed to the work of men's hands, is denounced in scripture as idolatry. So the worship of Aaron's calf is said by Aaron himself to be a feast to Jehovah. (Exod. xxxii. 5.) Neither he nor the people had any notion that in adoring the image, they were worshipping any other God than he who had delivered them from Egyptian bondage, (Exod. xxxii. 4,) and whom their father had always adored by the name of Jehovah. Under the form or appearance of a calf they worshipped as they supposed the true God, to whom they attributed all the perfections of the divine nature ; just as the papists, under the forms or appearances of bread and wine, suppose they are worshipping the true God, Jesus Christ. That the Israelites were guilty of idolatry in paying their devotions to the calf is certain, not only because of the displeasure which God manifested against them,
but because they are directly charged with it in Acts, vii. 41, and in 1 Cor. x.7, where it is said,“ They made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the work o ftheir own hands” “
idolaters as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." Here the words of Moses, in describing the worship of the calf, are cited. (Exod. xxxii. 6.)
What is said by some commentators on the calf being a representation of the Egyptian God, Apis, cannot be reconciled with Moses's account of the matter. For, first. The Israelites could not be so stupid as to believe that Apis had effected their deliverance, because they knew that prayers had been addressed by themselves and their parents for their emancipation; not to an ox, but to Jehovah. Second. Dwelling among the Egyptians so long, they could not but know that Apis was a very different Ġod from the God of Israel ; and as the feast of consecration of the calf is expressly said to be “a feast to Jehovah," it is impossible they should take the calf to be the Egyptian god. It is my opinion that the calf was a representation of a cherub, called a calf by way of contempt. This compound figure, with four faces, had more of the ox than of any other animal in its composition : on which account, most probably, the image of Aaron is called a calf, and in Psalm cvi. 20, an ox. It seems pretty evident from the account of Aaron, that this calf was a plural figure : “ These be thy gods, O Israel," and yet he made but one. This language is quite correct, supposing the image was that of a cherub; but it is difficult to explain, if it contained nothing more than the likeness of an ox. The shape of the image, however, is a matter of no moment in this controversy.
Here it may be proper to notice a Jesuitical pretence, which has removed ihe twitchings of many a popish conscience. " If transubstantiation should be false, what can be laid to our charge which we may not defend by all the rules of equity and reason? If we be accused that we took bread to be the body of Christ,