« EelmineJätka »
Lord, cannot be proved by Holy words, and leave to others to show Writ; but is repugnant to the reason why we should depart from plain words of Scripture, over- the literal interpretation which we throweth the nature of a sacrament, give them.” and hath given occasion to many Prot. Assuredly this is a very superstitions."
simple and easy way of conduct“ The body of Christ is given, ing the argument, when you have taken, and eaten in the supper, only your own followers to deal only after a heavenly and spiritual with, whose acquaintance with manner. And the mean whereby scripture language and modes of the body of Christ is received and speech is limited by your own reeaten in the
is Faith.” strictions. But you cannot imagine Thus is the issue joined. Shall that this superficial view of the I ask you to begin, by informing question will suffice, when you are us as to the grounds on which the addressing those who have the Church of Rome has adopted her Bible in their hands. view of the matter.
Ing. You allude, I suppose, to Rom. You have already re- the frequent use of figurative lanmarked that the Scriptural proofs guage in the New Testament, and on this subject are very limited. to the consequent uncertainty that The whole number of passages of must exist, until a careful conScripture which bear on this ques- sideration has been had, whether tion are only three or four, and these words of Christ are to be about twenty verses comprehend taken in a literal or in a figurative the whole. But our case finds its strength in its simplicity. We Prot. I do. Dr. Wiseman had rest the whole on the plain words before remarked, that "the groundof the Lord himself, “ Take, eat, work of all the science of interTHIS IS MY BODY. Drink ye all pretation is exceedingly simple, if of this, for THIS IS MY BLOOD of we consider the object to be atthe New Testament, which shail be tained. Everyone will agree, shed for many." (Matt. xxvi. 26.) that when we read any book, or
This is our case, and I feel it hear any discourse, our object is difficult to add any reasonings of to understand what was passing in my own without impairing its the author's mind when he wrote strength. “ To construct an argu- or spoke those passages,- that is ment on these words,” says Dr. to say, what was the meaning he Wiseman, " is difficult; simply himself wished to give to the exand solely for this reason, that it is pressions he then wrote or utimpossible to add strength or clear- tered.”+ Now the best way of ness to the expressions themselves. ascertaining this point, must be, to It is impossible for me, by any examine carefully the other writcommentary or paraphrase that I ings or sayings of the same author, can make, to render our Saviour's and thus to gain an insight into words more explicit, or reduce his mode of expressing his thoughts. them to a form more completely With this view I will take expressing the Catholic doctrine the simplest possible course : Do than they do of themselves. " This
you, sir, open the New Testament is my body-this is my blood," at its very commencement, and The Catholic doctrine teaches that
pass your eye over the discourses it was Christ's body and that it of Christ; and endeavour to learn was his blood.
It would conse- what were the prominent features quently appear as though all we had here to do, were simply and * Wiseman. Lecture xv. p. 174. exclusively to rest at once on these + Wiseman. Lect. xiv. p. 137.
of his ordinary style or mode of ready seen, that as Jesus “ spake expression.
always unto the multitude in paraIng. I have opened at St. Mat- bles," so to his own disciples he thew, but I see nothing whatever constantly used figurative language. of our Saviour's words in either So constantly, indeed, that wherof the first four chapters. At the ever you have found bis words, in fifth chapter Jesus begins to speak. all these chapters, you have imme
Prot. Well, look at the 13th, diately lighted upon a figure. Now 14th, 15th, and 16th verses of that let me ask, whether it is a just or chapter.
reasonable way of treating the subIng. In the 13th verse, Christ ject, to take up an isolated extells his disciples that they are pression of our Lord's, after seeing " the salt of the earth.” In the that he never speaks without using 14th, that they are “ the light of figurative language, and to demand, the world.” And in the 15th and as a matter of course, that that 16th, the same figure is maintained. isolated expression shall instantly
Prot. Pass on, then, to the and implicitly be taken in its literal next chapter, and look at the 20th sense ?
Ing. No, assuredly not. The Ing. We are there exhorted to fact being beyond dispute, that lay up
treasures in heaven," our Lord was in the habit of conwhich of course is a figure.
tinually using figures, it is surely Prot. Go on to the next, and only reasonable, to suspend our look at verse 6, and several others. interpretation for a moment, until
Ing. I see that in that verse we we can gather, from the chief feaare taught not to “ cast pearls tures of the case, whether the pasbefore swine,” which, literally, I sage in question ought to be taken suppose no man would ever think literally or figuratively. of doing. At the thirteenth verse Prot. You conclude, then, that we are exhorted to “ enter in at the common arguments of the Rothe strait gate,” which is clearly manists, that the bread in the another figure. In the fifteenth, Lord's Supper must be actually the false prophets are said to come our Lord's flesh, merely because “ in sheep's clothing, but inwardly he himself said,
6. This is my to be ravening wolves.” I sup- body,"
” is not of any force or value. pose
I may as well pass on Inq. Certainly, it seems to me chapter viii. where I see at the a mere assumption of the main 23d verse, that Christ tells one of point in dispute. his disciples to let the dead bury Prot. I may proceed then, to their dead," which, taken literally, apply to the passage in question, would be a mere absurdity. In the usual test of a comparision the ninth chapter he calls himself, with like passages. This is, beyond (verse 15,) a'“ bridegroom," and doubt, the surest way of discoverhis disciples “ children of the ing the sense in which our Lord bridechamber.” And at 37th and used these words. the 38th verses, be speaks of Now there is nothing more clear, the “ harvest,” and of “ labourers or better known to a student of the in the harvest,” with reference to Bible, than the constant use of the preaching of the gospel. In figurative language implying hunthe xth chapter he sends forth his ger and thirst, food and water, disciples, and tells them to “go when nothing else than spiritual unto the lost sheep of the house of wants and spiritual supplies are Israel.” In the next
really intended. The whole ScripProt. I think we need scarcely
ture abounds with such passages. proceed farther. You have al- “ Thy words are sweeter than
honey and the honey comb.” (Psa. bable, or possible, or reasonable, xviii. 2.) Thy words were found as a criterion of the real facts! and I did eat them.” (Jer. xv. 16.) Prot. I have not yet proposed
They shall eat of the fruit of anything of the kind. their own way.” (Prov. i. 31.) yet on the threshold of the argu“ The soul of the transgressors shall ment, and have not yet proceeded eat violence.” (Prov. xiii. 2.) farther than the question, In what “ Come ye, buy and eat, yea, come, sense are our Lord's words, in the buy wine and milk, without money institution of the Sacrament, to be and without price.” (Isai. lv. 1.) taken? Dr. Wiseman himself de“ They did all eat the same spiri- clares the best rule of interpretatual meat ; and did all drink the tion to be, the ascertaining in what same spiritual drink; for they sense the language in question must drank of that spiritual Rock that have been understood by those to followed them, and that Rock was whom it was addressed. I have Christ.” (1 Cor. 2. 3.)
followed this method, and have shalt make them drink of the rivers shewn, that the use of figurative of thy pleasures.”(Psalm xxxvi.8.) language, applying to spiritual • Are ye able to drink of the cup things the terms commonly used that I shall drink of?” (Matt, xx. for hunger and thirst, food and 23.) If thou knewest the gift water, was general with the saof God, and who it is that saith cred writers, and more especially, to thee, give me to drink, thou was repeatedly adopted by our wouldest have asked of him, and Lord bimself. With the fact behe would have given thee living fore us, and with the certainty, water.” (John iv. 10.)
" I am the also, that so appalling a command bread of life ; he that cometh to as that of eating, really and me shall never hunger ; and he that literally, human flesh and blood, believeth on me shall never thirst." could not have failed to call forth (John vi. 35.) Now with these expressions of horror from the dispassages before us, it seems quite ciples, -of which we have not one impossible to take for granted, as syllable,-I do feel that Dr. the Romanists require us to do,
Wiseman's own canon conducts us that when the disciples heard our inevitably to the conclusion, that Lord “ This cup is the new when the disciples heard these testament in my blood, which is words, they could, and did, apply shed for you," (Luke xxii. 20.) no other meaning to them than that they must necessarily have under- to which they had been accusstood him in the naked and literal tomed, namely, a figurative and sense, and must have believed that symbolical one. it was a real stream from his veins Ing. Well, thus much of the that they were drinking! It is, I supposed necessity of accepting repeat, impossible to imagine for our Lord's words in a simple and a moment that such was their im
But do the other pression of the meaning of his scriptures which touch upon this words, or that they could believe subject, throw no additioual light that it was human blood that they upon the question ? were drinking, without uttering Prot. Assuredly they do. The exclamations of horror and as- Romanist may select a single pastonishment.
sage, and pride himself on his reaRom. I must protest against diness and willingness to submit any attempt to lower this great his mind wholly to its literal sense ; mystery to human apprehensions, but we find no difficulty in ador any application of arbitrary ducing a passage of equal clearrules of what we may think pro- ness, the whole force of which is
undeniably on our side. If the
things are sometimes called by a words, Take, eat, this is my
The rod of Moses, body,” may seem at first sight to after it was changed into a sersupport the view of the church
pent, was reconverted into its of Rome, the plain declarations former condition, and is rightly of St. Paul go to establish, with spoken of as a rod. The changed far less doubt, the Protestant liquid at the marriage-feast is doctrine of a spiritual participa- most accurately called, “ the tion only. His words are,
water that was made wine." And oft as ye eat this BREAD and in like manner the blind drink this CUP, ye do show the is first called, (John ix. 13.) Lord's death till he come." 1 Cor. “ him that aforetime was blind, xi. 26.) Here is a distinct decla- and then, in a few lines after, ration, that the bread, when eaten,
- the blind man.” is still bread; and yet the Council In each case there is nothing of Trent, in the face of this plain doubtful, nothing from which text, has dared to decree, that “ if any occasion of mistake can posany shall say that in the Euchar- sibly flow. And yet from these ist there remains the substance of instances we are required to infer, bread and wine, together with the that St. Paul might easily be body and blood, let him be ac- guilty of calling that, repeatedly, cursed !”
bread, and without any explanaNow not once only, but three tion or reservation, of which it is times in as many verses, does St.
declared by the Trentine Council, Paulexpressly call the bread, -not to be the highest heresy to affirm before consecration merely,--but at that any substance of bread rethe time of eating, still BREAD; in mains in it. This argument of Dr. what way, then, did the framers Wiseman's is a most presumptuous of the Trent decree propose to ex- and criminal one; for if it could empt the apostle from their delibe- be admitted, the result would be, rate anathema ?
that the plainest declarations of Rom. You are surely aware Scripture would possess no sort of that Dr. Wiseman has met and weight or authority, but all would replied to this objection. He be uncertain and undefined. refers to the case of the blind man Ing. At what point of the inrestored to sight, (John ix.) who, quiry, then, have we now arrived ? after his recovery is still called, Prot. I think we may now con- the blind man;
to the rod of sider the argument from Scripture Moses, which, after it was chang- as concluded. So entirely diffeed into a serpent, is still called a rent a view do the sacred writers rod; and to the water at the mar- take of this subject, from that riage feast, which is called “the of the Romanists, that a matter water that was made wine.” From which is almost the sun and centre these cases he shews that it is by of the Romish system, the chief no means uncommon to find a thing glory of their ritual, and the most upon which a change has been essential point in their belief, occuwrought, still called by its former pies, in all the writings of the aposname. Hence it follows, that no iles and evangelists, merely some stress ought to be laid upon the twenty or thirty lines. The strength trivial circumstance of St. Paul's of the Romish argument lies in calling that bread, after consecra- one short sentence, “ This is my tion, which had been bread just body," which, though surrounded before.
by figurative expressions, it is Prot. None of these instances insisted must be taken literally. will bear out his inference, that On our side we adduce St. Paul's
language, “ As often as ye eat this and smell continue without any BREAD; and, here, though no- thing tasted or smelled. Colour thing can be clearer or more ex- remains ; but nothing to which it plicit, and though thrice repeated, belongs, and, of course, is the exWe are immediately told that the ternal show of nonentity. Quanwords must not be taken literally. tity is only the hollow shadow of Thus is Scripture itself, twisted and emptiness.
But these appeardistorted, just as it suits the por- ances, notwithstanding their want pose of the infallible church. of substance, can, it seems, be Ing. What do you propose,
eaten, and afford sustenance to then, to deal with next?
man and nourish the human body.” Prot. There is much to be said ". Such is the usual outline of on the nature and tendency of the transubstantiation. The absurdity doctrine propounded by the Church resembles the production of some of Rome, I shall not offend our satirist, who wished to ridicule friend here by starting any doubts the mystery, or some visionary, as to the possibility or impossi- who had laboured to bring forth bility, the absurdity or reasonable- nonsense. A person feels humbled ness, of the doctrine of transub- in having to oppose such inconstantiation ; but I apprehend that sistency, and scarcely knows several theological considerations whether to weep over the imbemay be adduced against its recep- cility of his own species, or to tion, without entering upon argu
vent his bursting indignation aments which might seem to savor gainst the impostors, who, lost to too much of rationalism.
all sense of shame, obtruded this Consider, first, then, the pro- mass of contradictions on man. digious nature of that thing which History, in all its ample folios, we are called on to believe. It displays, in the deceiving and the has been rightly named, if true, deceived, no equal instance of as“ the greatest miracle of omnipo- surance and credulity.”
Observe, too, the • Our Lord,” says one writer, power thus assumed to exist in “according to this doctrine, is not every priest. • The hands of the only whole in the whole, but also pontiff,” said Urban in a Roman wbole in every part. The whole Council, are raised to an emiGod and man is comprehended in nence granted to none of the anevery crumb of the bread, and in gels, of creating God the Creator every drop of the wine. He is of all things; and of offering him entire in the bread, and entire in up
for the salvation of the whole the wine, and in every particle of world.” - He that created me,” each element. He is entire with- says Cardinal Biel, out division in countless hosts or be lawful to tell, power to create numberless altars. He is entire himself." in heaven, and at the same time, Once more, remark the pecuentire on the earth. The whole is
The whole is liarity of this alleged miracle, equal to a part, and a part equal which distinguishes it from all to the whole. The same substance others, that instead of appealing, may, at the same time, be in many as they do, to the senses of men, places, and many substances in the it sets them wholly at nought, and same place.” * The species ex
demands our implicit belief of a ists without a subject. The sub- fact which our own sight and touch stance is transformed into flesh and assure us to be utterly untrue. blood, wbile the accidents, such Rom. You are now wandering as colour, taste, touch, smell, and
* Edgar's Variations of Popery, p. 316, quantity, still remain. The taste 347,
gave me, if it