« הקודםהמשך »
fcripture, and our Saviour's institution on our side; and that so plainly, that our adversaries themselves do not deny it.
Of the first of these I shall now treat, and endeavour to shew, against the church of Rome, that in this facrament there is no substantial change made of the elements of bread and wine into the natural body and blood of Christ; that body which was born of the virgin Mary, and suffered upon the cross; for so they explain that hard word tranfubftantiation.
Before I engage in this argument, I cannot but obferve what an unreasonable task we are put upon, by the bold confidence of our adversaries, to dispute a matter of sense; which is one of those things about which Aristotle hath long since pronounced there ought to be no difpute.
It might well seem strange, if any man should write a book, to prove, that an egg is not an elephant, and that a musket-bullet is not a pike : it is every whit as hard a case, to be put to maintain, by a long discourse, that what we fee, and handle, and taste to be bread, is bread, and not the body of a man; and what we see and taste to be wine, is wine, and not blood : and if this evidence may not pass for fufficient, without any farther proof, I do not see why any man, that hath confidence enough to do so, may not deny any thing to be what all the world sees it is; or affirm any thing to be what all the world sees it is not : and this without all possibility of being farther confuted. So that the business of transubstantiation is not a controversy of scripture against scripture, or of reason against reason, but of downright impudence against the plain meaning of scripture, and all the sense and reason of mankind.
It is a most self-evident falfhood; and there is no doetrine or proposition in the world that is of itself more evidently true, than transubstantiation is evidently fatk : and yet if it were possible to be true, it would be the most ill-natured and pernicious truth in the world, because it would suffer nothing else to be true. It is like the Roman Catholick church, which will needs be the whole Christian church, and will allow no other fociety of Christians to be any part of it: fo transubstantiation, if
it be true at all, it is all truth, and nothing else is true; for it cannot be true, unless our senses, and the senses of all mankind, be deceived about their proper objects; and if this be true and certain, then nothing else can be so: for if we be not certain of what we see, we can be certain of nothing
And yet, notwithstanding all this, there are a company of men in the world so abandoned, and given up by God to the efficacy of delusion, as in good earnest to believe this gross and palpable error, and to impose the belief of it opon the Christian world, under no less penalties than of temporal death and eternal damnation. And therefore, to undeceive, if possible, these deluded fouls, it will be neceflary to examine the pretended grounds of so false a doctrine, and to lay open the monItrous absurdity of it.
And in the handling of this argument, I shall proceed in this plain method.
1. I shall consider the pretended grounds and reasons of the church of Rome for this doctrine.
2. I shall produce our objections against it. And if I can few that there is no tolerable ground for it, and that there are invincible objections against it, then every man is not only in reason excused from believing this doctrine, but hath great cause to believe the contrary.
First, I will consider the pretended grounds and reaTons of the church of Rome for this doctrine. Which must be one or more of these five. Either, 1. The authority of scripture. Or, 2. The perpetual belief of this doctrine in the Christian church, as an evidence that they always understood and interpreted our Saviour's words, This is my body, in this sense. Or, 3. The authority of the present church to make and declare new articles of faith. Or, 4. The absolute necessity of such a change as this in the facrament, to the comfort and benefit of those who receive this facrament. Or, 5. To magnify the power of the priest in being able to work so great a miracle.
1. They pretend for this doctrine the authority of scripture in those words of our Saviour, This is my hody. Now, to shew the insufficiency of this pretence, I shall endeavour to make good these two things. VOL. II.
1. That there is no necessity of understanding those words of our Saviour in the sense of transubstantiation.
2. That there is a great deal of reason, nay that it is very absurd and unreasonable not to understand them otherwise.
1. That there is no necesity to understand those words of our Saviour in the sense of transubstantiation. If there be any, it must be from one of these two reasons, Either, because there are no figurative expressions in fcripture, which I think no man ever yet faid: or else, because a sacrament admits of no figures; which would be very
absurd for any man to say, since it is of the very nature of a sacrament to represent and exhibit some invisible grace and benefit by an outward lign and figure ; and especially since it cannot be denied, but that in the institution of this very facrament our Saviour useth figurative expressions, and several words which cannot be taken strictly and literally. When he gave the cup, he faid, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is jhed for you and
for many, for the remision of sins. Where, first, the cup is put for the wine contained in the cup: or else if the words be literally taken, so as to signify a substantial change, it is not of the wine, but of the cup; and that, not into the blood of Christ, but into the new testainent or new covenant in his blood. Besides, that his blood is said then to be shed, and his body to be broken; which was not till his passion, which followed the institution and first celebration of this sacrament.
But that there is no necessity to understand our Saviour's words in the sense of transubstantiation, I will take the plain concession of a great number of the most learned writers of the church of Rome in this controversy. Bellarmine, (de euch.l.3.c.23.), Suarez, (in 3.dif-49. qu.75. felt. 2.), and Vasquez, (in 3. part. disp. 180. qu. 75. art. 2.6.15.), do acknowledge Scotus the great schoolman to have said that this doctrine cannot be evidently proved from scripture: and Bellarmine grants this not to be improbable; and Suarez and Vasquez acknowledge Durandus to have said as much, sin sent. b. 4. dift. 11. 21. I. 1.15.). Ochain, another famous schoolman, fays expressly, (in 4: fent. qu. 5. do Quodl. 4. qil. 3.), that let the doctrine which holds the substance of the bread
6 and wine to remain after confecration, is neither re
pugnant to reason nor to scripture.” Petrus ab Alliaco, Cardinal of Cambray, says plainly, (in 4 sent. qu.6. art. 2.), that “the doctrine of the substance of bread 66 and wine remaining after confecration, is more easy, « and free from absurdity, more rational, and no ways
repugnant to the authority of scripture;” nay more, that for the other doctrine, viz. of transubstantiation, " there is no evidence in scripture.” Gabriel Biel, an other great schoolman and divine of their church, freely declares, (in canon, mil. lect. 40.), that “as to any thing
expressed in the canon of the scriptures, a man may “ believe that the substance of bread and wine doth re« main after confecration :" and therefore he resolves the belief of transubstantiation into some other revelation besides fcripture, which he supposeth the church had about it. Cardinal Cajetan confesseth, (in Aquin. 3. part. qu. 75. art. 1.), that “the gospel doth no where express & that the bread is changed into the body of Christ “ that we have this from the authority of the church : nay, he goes farther," that there is nothing in the go
spel which inforceth any man to understand these words 6 of Christ, This is my body, in a proper, and not in a “ metaphorical sense; but the church having understood « them in a proper sense, they are to be so explained.” Which words in the Roman edition of Cajetan are expunged by order of Pope Pius V. (Ægid. Coninc. de facram. qu. 75. art. 1. n. 13.). - Cardinal Contarenus, (de facrem. l. 2. c. 3.), and Melchior Canus, (loc. theolog: 1. 3. 6. 3.), one of the best and most judicious writers that church ever had, reckoned this doctrine ainong those“ which are not so expressly found in fcripture. I will add but one more of great authority in the church, and a reputed martyr, Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, who ingenuously confeffeth, contra captiv. Babylon. c. 10. n. 2.), that, in the words of the institution, “there is
not one word from whence the true presence of the « Aesh and blood of Christ in our mass can be proved.” So that we need not much contend that this doctrine hath no certain foundation in scripture, when this is so fully and frankly acknowledged by our adversaries themfelves.
2. If there be no necessity of understanding our Saviour's words in the sense of transubstantiation, I am fure there is a great deal of reason to understand them otherwise: Whether we consider the like expressions in fcripture; as where our Saviour says he is the door and the true vine, which the church of Rome would mightily have triumphed in, had it been said, This is my true body. And so likewise where the church is said to be Christ's body; and the rock which followed the Israelites to be Christ, i Cor. x. 4. They drank of that rock which followed them, and i hat rock was Christ. All which, and innumerable more like expressions in scripture, every man understands in a figurative, and not in a strictly literal and absurd fenfe. And it is very well known, that in the Hebrew language things are commonly said to be that which they do signify and represent; and there is not in that language a more proper and usual way of expressing a thing to signify so and fo, than to say that it is so and so. Thus Joseph, expounding Pharaoh's dream to him, Gen. xli. 26. says, The seven good kine are seven years, and the seven good ears of corn are seven years ; that is, they fignified or represented seven years of plenty; and so Pharaoh understood him, and so would any man of sense understand the like expressions. Nor do I believe that any sensible man, who had never heard of transubstantiation being grounded upon these words of our Saviour, This is my body, would, upon reading the institution of the facrament in the gospel, ever have imagined any such thing to be meant by our Saviour in those words;
but would have understood his meaning to have been, This bread signifies my body, This cup signifies iny blood; and this which you see me now do, do ye
here. after for a memorial of me. But, surely, it would never have entered into any man's mind to have thought that our Saviour did literally hold himself in his hand, and give away himself from himself with his own hands. Or whether we compare these words of our Saviour with the ancient form of the passover used by the Jews from Eze ra's time, as Justin Martyr tells us, (dialog. cum Tryp. p. 297. edit. Paris. 1639.), Tou To To Tarxa ó out) uwov, je v xalzouzin nu.my, This paflsver is our Saviour, and our refuge. Not that they believed the pafchal lamb