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OF THE EUCHARIST.
OF THE EUCHARIST. 1. present, and afterwards the cup presented, and received by them all; to represent the life He was about to give for the sins of the whole world. See Mark xiv. 22, 23; also 24, 25; Luke xxii. 19, 20; also 1 Cor. x. 16; and 1 Cor. xi. 23 to 30. St. Paul says, at the beginning of the 23d verse, “ For I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you," and proceeds to describe this institution of the Lord, and while insisting upon the necessity of selfexamination before a man “presumes to eat of that bread and drink of that cup," still farther confirms what he has before so unequivocally stated that both kinds were to be received ; and not by the priests alone, for he addresses the whole congregation, church, or assembly.
“ Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." “Full well ye reject the commandment of God that ye may keep your own tradition!” Mark vii. 7 and 9; see also Isaiah xxix. 13 and 14. Two things appear to be particularly pointed out, by our Lord's so distinctly and separately consecrating both bread and wine; instituting both as memorials of His most precious death, and commanding that all should not only seat of that bread," but also “drink of that cup.” St. John vi. 53 to 57. Ist, That as bread is the staff of life, the nourishment of the body, so Christ “the living bread" spiritually received is the food and nourishment of the soul or spirit. We must "eat His flesh," and we must also, “all drink His blood,” or we have “no life in us!" But what is feeding on Christ ? Not the mere reception of the sacred elements, whether in a carnal sense according to the faith of Rome, or even spiritual; for if received unworthily, we “ eat and drink our own damnation ! ” to feed on Him, is with lowly self-abasement and deep contrition, acknowledging and deploring our guilt, our utter emptiness of all good, to come to Him, the good Shepherd, for a supply
OF THE EUCHARIST.
OF THE EUCHARIST. of all those graces and good dispositions, he freely bestows upon those who “hunger after righteousness.” He has pronounced them “blessed," and that 6 they shall be filled.”
The second thing signified by the equally strong command, “ Drink ye all of this,” seems to be, that as by thus “ eating his flesh," we are made partakers of the blessings purchased for us by his incarnation, viz., “made conformable to his Divine image,” enabled to cultivate and practise every Christian grace implanted in us by him, so by
drinking his blood," we acknowledge the necessity of a Saviour's atoning blood being “poured out for us ;' “ for without shedding of blood there is no remission.” This then his most precious blood, is fitly represented by the sacramental wine. Should not those who deem they “ sufficiently comply,” with the Divine precept of receiving “his flesh and blood,” 66 take heed, lest by receiving only in one kind, and denying the absolute necessity of the other, they are thereby actually refusing the offered atonement, which a dying Saviour positively enjoined all Christians to remember! .... My dear, dear, brethren, think, I beseech you, what it is you are doing! Examine, I earnestly implore you, into what it really is, that you profess to believe. Is it what man has appointed, or rather substituted, or what he who was both God and man, has ordained, that will be accepted by him, who says, “ If ye love me, keep My
commandments ?” (To be continued.)
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIGION.
“ A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith."-Acts vi. 7.
TRANSUBSTANTIATION. To the Right Rev. Dr. French, Roman Catholic Bishop at Gort,
Diocese of Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora. Rev, SIR,—It is probable that ere this you may have been informed of the step which I have thought it my duty to take; if not, I now beg to inform you that I am no longer your subject. I have renounced your jurisdiction, and abjured the errors of your Church. On reading this, you will, no doubt, exclaim, “ The ruffian, the apostate; has he thus treated me?” But such epithets, Rev. Sir, are unworthy any man professing to be a Christian minister; they are adapted for the low and unenlightened multitude; they would apply equally to St. Paul or St. Augustine, for these men apostatized, but it was from error. I have as strong a conviction, as ever they had, that by the step which I have taken I have abandoned error and embraced the truth; and in so doing, I have merely done what I conceive every being who considers himself accountable to his God for his life and actions, ought to do. Your threats and menaces have no terrors for me. My answer is that given by the apostle on a similar occasion“ Nonne decet obedire Deo magis quam hominibus."
If you are sincerely of opinion, which I doubt much, that I have acted injudiciously, you ought rather to pity than blame me; for, in a temporal sense, I have sacrificed much and gained nothing. I have lost the society and friendship of all that were near and dear to me on earth; a lucrative situation; and, if inclined to indulge in pleasure, the means of gratification ; for where could I have more opportunity of doing so, than I should have had as a priest of your Church? I could have taken for my motto the well-known and oft-quoted passage of St. Augustine, “ Ši non caste saltem eaute,” which in plain English signifies, “ No law of man can supersede the law of nature.” There was a law in Sparta by which children were punished, not for stealing, but for being caught in the act; your Church has adopted that law with regard to her priests, and the seventh commandment. To repeat the Psalm “ Miserere,” or “ De Profundis," half a dozen of times is considered a sufficient penance in the confessional-if ever the culprit should have recourse to that ordeal, which is seldom the case; and then a brother culprit gives him absolution, and the sin is remembered no more.
I also could have availed myself of that mild law, but I have not done so, because my conscience was a never-sleeping monitor, reminding me of the eternal salvation of my soul, and for ever whispering these words into my ears—" What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?” I could have persevered, as I am convinced some of your priests do, in bowing down before, and adoring that which I could not believe to be God; in paying the homage of my heart to the creature instead of the Creator; to the mother instead of the Son; to sticks and stones, in the form of crosses, instead of to Him who died on the cross; to holy water and holy wells; holy teeth; holy nails; holy bones; holy scapulars, and holy beads; holy garments, and holy cords; in fact, to everything declared by your Church to be holy-except to Him who alone is holy; but my conscience would not allow me. The conflict I had to endure was long and painful. Sleep was for a long time a stranger to my eyes. Often and often have I called on my God to give me moral courage and strength. He has heard me. I remembered his divine words, “ He that loveth father or mother, brother or sister, more than me, is not worthy of me," and these words cheered me. May they constrain you also to abandon what you must know to be error, and to follow your Saviour! I cannot see how your conscience will allow you to do many things, which, as bishop of that Church, you are bound to do, although the Word of God forbids them. Thus, for example, by the second commandment, you are forbidden to make any image or graven thing, to bow down before it or worship it; but I have seen you and your priests on good Fridays take off your shoes or boots, and go before the altar, and prostrate yourselves three times successively before a crucifix held up for your adoration by another priest, pronouncing at each prostration the awful words“ Sancta crux ! adoramus te," " Holy cross, we adore thee !” Why, such an open violation of God's commandment is enough to make the angels weep, and every pious Christian shudder!! It was with some reason the infidel Rousseau exclaimed on beholding it, “O, Israel, where now is thy God?” I value a crucifix, so far as it helps to keep in remembrance the death and passion of my Saviour, but no farther. Why! the spear and the nails have an equal claim to adoration as the cross! There must be a long string to your conscience, when you can thus disobey a commandment of God, and still pretend to be his minister. I thank my God that I have renounced a Church which could sanction such practices. I feel as if a mountain weight were removed from me. I am no longer the blind unthinking slave of a false system, and of a foreign despot, who, at different periods of time has been, according to all Roman Catholic historians, a monster of vice and wickedness; and the more I consider the step which I have taken, the more I rejoice in it, and shudder at the former state of my soul. The words of Dante's “ Shipwrecked Mariner,” are applicable to me
« Volgesi all'onda perigliosa e guata.”
“ Turns to the perilous wide waste and stands at gaze." I have no ill feeling or hatred towards you, or any human being. I love my country as much as ever, if not more. I can say still
Land of my sires, when can I see
Efface from their souls the brand of slaves ! Slavery of every description is odious, but none so odious as that which enslaves the soul. The distinguishing characteristic of Romanism is to have no free will to have her infallibility-her divine right of kings, and passive obedience-taught by all her theologians. O'Connell might as well attempt to grow figs on thorns, as to expect to see civil liberty where there is spiritual slavery. Let him first prepare the soil for that exotic plant, civil liberty ; let him first lay the foundation, by removing from the land that soul-enslaving system of theology now taught in Ireland ; and then he can raise the superstructure; but not until then, I love my Roman Catholic countrymen, but I renounce for ever their religion. I have weighed their Church in the balance of eternal truth, the Word of God, and have found her wanting. I could not find one tittle in the Holy Scriptures to confirm her assumption of infallibility, the supremacy of her popes, her rule of faith, her restric
tion of the Scriptures, her image worship, her invocation of saints, her transubstantiation, her sacrifice of the mass, her purgatory, her prayer in an unknown tongue, her auricular confession, her communion in one kind, her indulgences, or her justification by works. On the other hand, the Scriptures directly and distinctly contradict her doctrines on each, and every one of these heads. Now, to make the matter clear to you, I shall merely refer to two of the foregoing : to wit, transubstantiation and auricular confession ; and show you and your priests, that I had strong and convincing reasons for renouncing your Church.
Your Church teaches that in the Eucharist there is really and substantially present, the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, under the appearance of bread and wine; and in proof of this doctrine she advances those passages of Scripture, Jno. vi. 51, 53. “ I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever. Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye shall not have life in you."
Now your Church understands the foregoing words in a literal sense, and consequently teaches the five following absurdities: First absurdity- When our Saviour says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven." If these words have any reference to the Eucharist, it would follow that the humanity of Christ came down from lieaven-a doctrine contrary to the Athanasian creed. Your Church, and all Christians deny it; therefore it has no reference to the Eucharist, Second absurdity-It would follow from these words, if taken literally, that the divinity of Christ was changed into bread, and not that bread was changed into his body. Third absurdity-It would follow from these words, “ if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever," if taken in a literal sense, that whoever goes to communion in your Church, shall not suffer death in this world, and in that to come shall go to heaven ; but you deny this, and facts disprove it, therefore the words are figurative. Fourth absurdity-If the words, “ Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood ye shall not have life in you," be taken in a literal sense, it would follow that the lạity in your Church, from whom the cup is withheld, can have no hope of salvation; it would follow that children who die before their first communion shall perish for ever; it would follow that the penitent thief and John the Baptist are excluded from heaven. And fifth absurdity-It would follow, if the rite be not commemorative, that there is no necessity for repeating it; for if the words be taken literally, salvation is secured by doing it once. I should never end, were I to enumerate the inconsistencies and contradictions, into which your Church falls by adhering to the literal sense. I defy any man with two ideas, to consider them for one moment, without coming to the conclusion, that your Church teaches error, and that her doctrine of transubstantiation is false.
I will make it as clear to you as any proposition in Euclid. You will admit that any two sums, or two lines, each of which is equal to a third given one, must be equal to one another. You cannot deny this; it is a self-evident axiom. Now Christ has said, v. 64, “ that whoso eateth his flesh, and drinketh his blood, hath life everlasting." He also says, that life everlasting cannot be obtained by any other means