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Why do not you admit of the sacrifice of the Mass ?
1. Because if it be a true, propitiatory sacrifice, and they offer
it daily, Christ must be killed every day, which is directly contrary to Heb. ix. 25, 26, 27, 28. And it sounds dread
ful to a Christian ear, that the priest kills Christ every day. 2. Though the Lord's supper was called a sacrifice in the an
cient church, yet they meant no more by it, than that, as it takes in the whole actions, it is only a commemoration or representation of Christ's sacrifice, and a sacrifice of prayer and thanksgiving, but no proper or true propitiatory
sacrifice. 3. The words “ Do this in remembrance of me,” from which
they prove the institution of such a sacrifice, import just
the contrary. 4. They make the sacrifice of the mass available to the dead,
and to souls in purgatory, whereof there is not one word in
all the New Testament. 5. The sacrifice of the mass is a great dishonour to our blessed
Lord, in the design, practices, and pretences of it, for it
makes his sacrifice imperfect. 6. They celebrate masses to the honour of the saints ; which is to offer sacrifice to their honour, and therefore unlawful; because sacrifice ought to be offered to the honour of none but God.
On the subject of the sacrifice of the mass, the catechist has exhibited some of those splendid instances of misrepresentation and ignorance, by which the writings of his friends are too frequently distinguished. Setting aside the authority of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, which he professes in words to admit, while in fact he rejects her jurisdiction, he employs his own individual reason, to explain away from the written word, a true and real sacrifice, which at every period of Christianity has proved the ornament and glory of religion. To ascertain the reality of this sacrifice, let him turn to his Bible", and he will find the Almighty rejecting all the sacrifices of the law of Moses, and promising, in the law of grace, a new sacrifice-a clean oblation-which was to be substituted as a part of the public service, in the temples of the most High. This great sacrifice was to render the name of God great and venerable among
the Gentiles, and to prove an acceptable offering, not proceeding from the liberality of man, but from the copious fountain of divine goodness. This offering was to be continually made in every nation under the sun, and clearly to form an open, public, and authorized act of religion.
If the catechist should say, with Calvin and Chemnitz', that we are to understand this sacrifice, not in the real and absolute meaning of the term, but only of a spiritual sacrifice, let me again exhort him to use his reasoning powers to some effect, and to obserye, that the oblation here spoken of by the prophet, is opposed to all the sacrifices of the ancient law, and that by an inevitable consequence, the comparison requires that we should understand the sacrifice here mentioned in the strictest meaning of the term. The Hebrew word minha, or, if you read it according to the Parkhurstian method, menehé, here employed, is the strongest confirmation of this sense.
1 Malach. i. 10, 11. · Institut. lib. iv. c. 18. No. 4, et 2 parte Exam. p. 760.
For this word is used in other parts of the Scripture, to express the ancient sacrifices properly so called ; but when the spiritual sacrifice of prayer and good works is mentioned, there occurs invariably an additional word, which either expressly or by implication conveys the intended meaning. Besides, how can this clean oblation, which was to be introduced in opposition to the sacrifices of the law, be understood of the performance of good works, when this latter kind of sacrifice, figuratively so called, had been already enforced in the strongest terms both by the law and the prophets? Had not the Mosaic dispensation already required a love of God, which was to regulate every faculty of the soul, and to control every action of the creature ? Had not the prophets continually enforced the necessity of good works, in the strongest and most energetic language ? Is there a single virtue or perfection, which can adorn the soul of a Christian, to the attainment of which, the most earnest exhortations may not be found in the immortal strains of David, or in the venerable remains of the other prophets? How therefore can we, by any possibility, understand the promised oblation of the new law, as referring to good works, when such works of every description had been before so powerfully recommended? Let the catechist weigh this matter impartially and deliberately, and he will find, that the Catholic interpretation of this passage is the only one that can be supported.
If this argument is thus triumphantly decisive, in favour of the unbloody and pure sacrifice of the New Testament, not less so is that which is drawn from the priesthood of Christ. He is said' to be a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedec; and St. Paul' not only applies these words to our Redeemer, but shews the superiority of the Christian priesthood over that of Aaron from this circumstance, because Melchisedec was superior to Abraham, and to those who descended from Abraham. Now let me ask the catechist, what possible connexion can we discover between the order and functions of Christ as a priest for ever, and those of Melchisedec, if we exclude from our consideration that office which peculiarly belongs to the priest, the offering of sacrifice 3 ? and if the affinity between
| Psalm cix. 5, al. cx. 4.
? Heb. vii.
3 Ib. viii. 3.
the two priesthoods is to be looked for in their respective sacrifices, where shall we discover it but in the bread and wine offered by the first, and the holy sacrifice instituted at the last supper, under the form and appearance of the same elements ? It is recorded of Melchisedec', that he offered bread and wine in his capacity of priest of the most high God—that he gave his blessing to Abraham-and that he received tithes from him. He evidently officiated in his capacity of priest, as all these circumstances fully demonstrate ; and those who assert, that he barely appeared to give refreshment to Abraham and his men, after the performance of a severe service, unnecessarily and wantonly degrade the character of the priest. For at the time that Abraham was laden with spoils of every description”, these persons convert into a menial service, the only action recorded in Scripture of him, who was ordained to be the type and figure of the high-priest of the new law.
After considering this most splendid promise of Almighty God recorded by the prophet Malachi, and this most decisive comparison between our Redeemer and Melchisedec, let the catechist turn his serious and impartial attention to the actions of our divine Lord at the last supper, as related by the three evangelists, Matthew, Mark,
i Gen. xiv. 18, et seq.
2 Gen. loc. cit.