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Because Christ says, in reference to the bread, “This is my body,” the Catholics contend that the bread is changed into the body of Christ; and this they call Transubstantiation. And when we say that the passage is not to be interpreted literally, but that the bread is merely indicated as the representative of Christ's body, they reply with wonderful confidence, “Ah, but does he not say it is his body-does he say it represents his body merely-what authority have Protestants to bring in a figure here ?" Now let me be heard. I have no disposition to ridicule the doctrine of Transubstantiation, especially as it professes to be founded on Scripture. I would give always a candid hearing to the claims of a doctrine which even seems to be held out of respect to the authority of the Bible. But I must say that the Catholic does not carry his veneration for the Scriptures far enough; or he is not consistent in his interpretation of them. I think I can show that, to be consistent with himself, he should believe in many more than one Transubstantiaticn. Let him turn to Luke, 22 : 19, 20. He reads in verse 19, “ This is my body.” Therefore, he reasons, the bread becomes the body of Christ. Very well. But read verse
“ This cup is the new testament.” Here is another Transubstantiation. The cup or chalice becomes the new testament. It is no longer gold or silver, but a testament or will! Does not Christ say it is the new testament? What right have Catholics to bring in a figure here? The cup is a will—Christ says so. To be sure, if it were carried to a probate office, it
would be thought out of place, and an article for a silversmith to prove, rather than a judge of probate. But no matter for that. What if the senses do tell you
that it is still a cup, and the body still bread, will you believe those liars, the senses ? But if they are such liars as this would make them out to be, why should I ever believe them—why should I believe them, when they tell me that I see in the Bible those words : “ This is my body ?). That testimony of the senses the Catholic believes; but if they lie about the body, still declaring it is bread, after it has ceased to be any such thing, why may they not lie in regard to the letters which spell “this is my body.” Under the appearance of these letters there may be something quite different, even as, under the appearance of bread in the Eucharist, is the body of Christ, as the Catholics affirm!
But these are not the only instances of Transubstantiation. The Bible is full of them. I find two cases of this change recorded in Revelation, 1:20; one in which certain stars become angels, and another in which certain candlesticks become churches. Do you doubt it? Read for yourself: “ The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the seven churches." The construction here is precisely similar to “this is my body." Christ is the speaker in each case, and he says the stars are arigels, and the candlesticks are churches. Who has any right to imagine a figure here?
Perhaps every body does not know that Transubstantiation is an Old Testament doctrine. But, according to this mode of interpretation, it is St. Paul, in 1 Cor. 10 : 4, alluding to the rock which Moses smote in the wilderness, says, " That rock was Christ”—not it represented, but it was Christ ! Away with your figures.
Many other examples of Transubstantiation might be given from the Old Testament. Let two remarkable cases suffice, of which we have an account in Genesis, 41 : 26, 27: “The seven good kine are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years," &c. Here seven cows and seven ears of corn are changed into seven years of three hundred and sixty-five days each !
I suppose I might find many hundred examples of these Transubstantiations. Now, does the Catholic believe in all of them? He ought, most undoubtedly he ought, on the same reason that he believes in one. Let him then either believe in them all, or else never adduce, this is my body," in proof of the Transubstantiation held in his church. I wish Mr. H. or some body else would set me right, if I err in this argument.
28. Half a Sacrament.
Half a sacrament! Who ever heard of such a thing ? A sacrament divided! Yes, even so. The authorities of the Roman Catholic church, Pope, Council, &c. have divided the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which our Savior instituted the same night in which he was betrayed ; and, ever since the Council of Con. stance, they have allowed the people only half of it. They have told them that they must put up with the bread, for thạt they want the cup for themselves. Bui did not Christ give the cup, in the original institution of the sacrament, to as many as he gave the bread ? Yes, Christ did. So say Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul. He took the cup, they tell us, and gave it to them; and Matthew adds that he said in giving it, “Drink ye all of it." Let not this be omitted by any disciple. It would seem as if Christ foresaw what the Constance Council was going to do, and therefore said, “ Drink ye all of it.” Rome might with more plausibility have denied her laity the other half of the sacrament~the bread. After the command to take the cup, there follows the reason ; observe it: “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins.” Now the Catholics say that only priests were present on that occasion, and that the giving of the cup to them can be no precedent for giving it to the laity. But, though we should admit that they were at that time priests, I want to know if the reason for partaking of the cup does not apply to others besides the clergy. Was not the blood shed for the laity as well as for the clergy? And if this is the reason why any should partake, it is equally a reason why all should for whom the blood was shed. The precept and privilege to drink is co-extensive with the reason annexed to it. Now I have not been in the habit of regarding the propitiatory death of Christ as a part of the benefit of clergy-as one of the peculiar privileges of the priesthood. I object, therefore to the restriction of the cup of blessing to the clergy. The symbol of the blood shed for many, for the remission of sins, I claim to be my privilege as truly as that of any priesh Christ did not shed his blood for the sons of Levi alone.
Yes, Christ gave it in both kinds—and what is more, che Catholics themselves acknowledge that he did, and that the primitive church administered it in both kinds, yet (hoc tamen non obstante are their very words) they appoint that the people shall receive it but in one kind, that is, notwithstanding Christ and the primitive church. And they declare them accursed who teach or practice otherwise. What is this but anathema. tizing Christ? But surely they must have something to say in justification of their conduct in this respect. To be sure they have. Do you not know that the Pope is the head of the church, and that he is infallible; or if he is not, yet the firm Pope & Co. are ? Yes, but there was Pope Gelasius, who lived a good while before. He having heard of some Manicheans who received the bread without the wine, decided that such a dividing of one and the same sacrament might not be done without a heinous sacrilege. Was not he head of the church too, and was not he infallible ? If he was not, I wonder how he could transmit infallibility.
This withholding of the cup is one of the boldest strokes of that church. I cannot help admiring the courage it manifests. Who would have thought it coula have succeeded so well? I wonder they even undertook to carry this point. However, they have done it. There was some murmuring against it, to be sure. Huss and Jerome made a noise about it, but they just burnt them, and they made no more noise about it.
But are not Christians followers, that is, imitators of Christ ? O yes. But this withholding of the cup is Qot doing like Christ. The Catholics say that Christ