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QUESTION IX.

Why do you not believe a transubstantiation in the Lord's

Supper ?

ANSWER

1. Our very senses contradict such a conversion of the bread

into the natural body of Christ: for we may see and feel, and taste and smell, that the bread and wine after consecration, are bread and wine still; and if we must deny our

senses, we shake the foundations of the Christian religion. 2. It is against reason that Christ's body and blood should be

in a thousand places at once, as it must be, if in every place where consecration of the elements is used, such a

conversion be made. 3. It is against Scripture, for the apostle, 1 Cor. xi. 26, 27, 28,

calls it bread after consecration. 4. It is against the nature of a sacrament, which is an out

ward visible sign of something spiritual, and transubstan

tiation destroys the sign, and consequently the sacrament. 5. The words of Christ, this is my body, from which they

infer transubstantiation, do not naturally infer such a change, by the confession of several learned Papists them

selves, 6. If there be such a transubstantiation, Christ's body must not

be at such times in heaven, contrary to the article of our faith, which imports, that Christ is to continue in heaven

till the restitution of all things. 7. They themselves cannot be sure of such a change, because

they make it dependent upon the intention of the priest. 8. The absurdities that flow from this doctrine are great and many ;

for it would follow that Christ, who administered this sacrament, did eat up himself; that the disciples did eat up their master; that Christ's body may be locked up in a box for half a year together, and longer, &c.

the cross,

9. Transubstantiation is against the doctrine of the Primitive

Church, which calls the bread the figure of Christ's body. 10. This doctrine is a mere novelty, for it was but a disput

able point, even in the Church of Rome, in the ninth and tenth centuries, and made no article of faith till twelve hundred years after Christ, and better, in the council of

Lateran. 11. The doctrine of the Church of England, that the bread

represents, and is a memorial of Christ's body crucified upon

and upon that account is his body, is true; and therefore that of transubstantiation must be false.

And that our doctrine is true is evident from hence, 1. It is agreeable to the nature of a sacrament. 2. Agreeable to Christ's explication, when he speaks of his

body; do this in remembrance of me. 3. Agreeable to the doctrine of the Primitive Church for the

first eight hundred years after Christ, as some of the Papists

themselves confess. 4. Agreeable to the expressions used in the passover, to which

this sacrament answers, For when at the eating of the paschal lamb, they said, this is the passover ; every body

knew the meaning was, it is the memorial of it. 5. There is no inconvenience in our doctrine, whereas in tran

substantiation there are abundance of absurdities, as hath been said already.

OBSERVATIONS. CONNECTED with this distinguished tenet, is the matter contained in the answer. to the ninth question. Here I must implore the attention of the catechist, and of every reader of these pages, to the remarks on this point; for I have no doubt that, by the blessing of God, I shall be enabled to establish the Catholic doctrine by the strongest and most unexceptionable evidence, as

also triumphantly to refute the objections, which this Protestant answer supplies.

The Catholic doctrine on this important article is, that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, there is truly, really, and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood; which conversion the Catholic church calls Transubstantiation. The doctrine of Luther on the subject was, that our Redeemer is really present in the sacrament in conjunction with the elements, a system which he called Consubstantiation. Zuinglius held a presence in figure only; Calvin, after many various explanations, finally determined the point by saying, that we eat by faith only; "non aliam esse quam fidei manducationem fatemur ; ut nulla alia fingi potest?.” The same opinion, as far as we can form a correct judgment, amidst the various and conflicting interpretations of its doctors, seems to be held by the Church of England.

Of the truth of the Catholic doctrine, every species of testimony can be produced from the Holy Scriptures"; from the unanimous consent of the fathers and other ecclesiastical writers, dur

Instit. lib. iv. cap. 17, No. 5.

ing every period of Christianity to the present day ; from the attested consent of the Greek and Latin churches; and from every theological monument which can be rationally demanded.

In considering the scriptural proofs of this most important dogma, we find in the sixth chapter of St. John, a clear promise made by our Redeemer to give to the faithful his body and blood. He had performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, which was to serve as a pledge and figure of the multiplication of his sacred body, under a sacramental form : he then proceeded, by a gradual process, to excite the faith of his hearers in himself, as the promised Messias; and from this introduction, he clearly gave a distinct assurance, that he would bestow his flesh for the life of the world. That the words of Christ, in this place, are to be understood in the plain and literal sense, every circumstance tends demonstratively to prove.

The clear distinction which he makes between eating his body and drinking his blood, points to a real, external, and visible action, by which Christ was to be received, and cannot, in the manner in which it is introduced, be confined to a spiritual union by faith. This is so manifest, that it did not escape the attention of the Jews, to whom the discourse was addressed. They therefore

St. John, vi. 51, et seq.

strove among themselves, saying, how can this man give us his flesh to eat! This apprehension of the hearers, our Redeemer as a guide, as a friend, as a physician, as a teacher, would assuredly have removed, had it been erroneous. For a false impression on the subject would have led to those consequences, with which, even at this period of time, Protestants reproach the Catholic church.

But does our Redeemer remove this clear and decided impression of the Jews ? No! he does not; he on the contrary confirms it in the most decided tone, and in language, which, under all the circumstances of the case, cannot admit of another meaning; he threatens, with the heaviest denunciations of vengeance, those who shall refuse to partake of his body and blood® ; he strengthens his meaning by a variety of repetitions, for the obvious purpose of imprinting it more deeply on the minds of his hearers; he allures them to the promised banquet by the fairest and most splendid assurances of receiving life, grace, and immortality 3; he absolutely excludes all supposed figure in eating and drinking, by the force of the terms which he employs ; my flesh is meat INDEED; and my blood is drink INDEED* ; he declares the eating of his body to be as real as his union with the heavenly Father, and his divine

· St. John, vi. 52.

1 Ibid. 53.

3 Ibid.

* Ibid. 55.

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