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And if they be mistaken in this change, through the knavery or crossness of the priest, who will not make God but when he thinks fit, they must not think to excuse themselves from idolatry, because they intended to worship God, and not a creature: for fo the Persians might be excused from idolatry in worshipping the fun, because they intend to worship God, and not a creature. And so indeed we may excuse all the idolatry that ever was in the world; which is nothing else but a mistake of the Deity, and, upon that mistake, a worshipping of something as God which is not God.

II. Besides the infinite fcandal of this doctrine upon the accounts I have mentioned, the monitrous absurdities of it make it insupportable to any religion. I am very well assured of the grounds of religion in general, and of the Christian religion in particular; and yet I cannot see that the foundations of any revealed religion are strong enough to bear the weight of so many and so great absurdities as this doctrine of transubstantiation would load it withal. And to make this evident, I shall not insist upon those gross contradictions, of the same body being in so many several places at once; of our Saviour's giving away himself with his own hands to every one of his disciples, and yet still keeping himself to himself; and a thousand more of the like nature : but to fhew the abfurdity of this doctrine, I shall only alk these few questions.

1. Whether any man have, or ever had, greater evidence of the truth of any divine revelation, than any man hath of the falfhood of transubstantiation ? Infidelia ty were hardly possible to men, if all men had the same evidence for the Christian religion which they have against transubstantiation; that is, the clear and irreLlible evidence of sense. He that can once be brought to contradict or deny his senses, is at an end of certainty: for what can a man be certain of, if he be not certain of what he sees? In some circumstances our senses may deceive us, but no faculty deceives us so little and so seldom: and when our senses do deceive us, even that error is not to be corrected without the help of our senses. 2. Supposing this doctrine had been delivered in fcri

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pture in the very fame words that it is decrced in the council of Trent, by what clearer evidence or Itronger argument could any man prove to me that such words were in the Bible, than I can prove to him that bread and wine, after consecration, are bread and wine still? He could but appeal to my eyes to prove such words to be in the Bible; and with the same reason and justice might I appeal to several of his senses to prove to him, that the bread and wine, after consecration, are bread and wine still.

3. Whether it be reasonable to imagine, that God should make that a part of the Christian religion, which shakes the main external evidence and confirmation of the whole ? I mean the miracles which were wrought by our Saviour and his Apostles, the assurance whereof did at first depend upon the certainty of sense. For if the senses of those who say they saw them were deceived, then there might be no miracles wrought; and consequently it may justly be doubted, whether that kind of confirmation which God hath given to the Christian religion, would be strong enough to prove it, supposing transubstantiation to be a part of it; because every man hath as great evidence that transubstantiation is false, as he hath that the Christian religion is true. Suppose then transubstantiation to be part of the Christian doctrine, it must have the same confirmation with the whole; and that is miracles : but of all doctrines in the world it is peculiarly incapable of being proved by a miracle. For if a miracle were wrought for the proof of it, the very same assurance which any man hath of the truth of the miracle, he hath of the fálfhood of the doctrine ; that is, the clear evidence of his senses. For that there is a miracle wrought, to prove, that what he sees in the sacrament is not bread, but the body of Christ, there is only the evidence of sense; and there is the very same evidence to prove, that what he sees in the facrament is not the body of Christ, but bread. So that here would arise a new controversy, Whether a man should rather believe his senses giving testimony against the doctrine of transubstantiation, or bearing witness to a miracle wrought to confirm that doctrine ? there being the very fame evidence against the truth of the doctrine, which

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there is for the truth of the miracle : and then the

argument for transubstantiation, and the objection again't it, would just balance one another; and consequently transubstantiation is not to be proved by a miracle, because that would be to prove to a man by something that lię sees, that he doth not see what he sees. And if there were no other evidence that transubstantiation is no part of the Christian doctrine, this would be sufficient, that what proves the one, doth as much overthrow the other; and that miracles, which are certainly the belt and highelt external proof of Christianity, are the worst proof in the world of transubstantiation; unless a man can renounce his senses at the same time that he relies upon them: for a man cannot believe a miracle, without relying upon sense; nor transubstantiation, without renouncing it. So that never were any two things fo ill coupled together, as the doctrine of Christianity and that of transubstantiation ; because they draw several ways, and are ready to strangle one another : for the main evidence of the Christian doctrine, which is miracles, is resolved into the certainty of sense; but this evidence is clear and point-blank against transubstantiation.

4. and lastly, I would ask what we are to think of the argument which our Saviour used to convince his disciples after his resurrection, that his body was really risen, and that they were not deluded by a ghost or apparition ? Is it a necessary and conclusive argument or not? Luke xxiv. 38. 39. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: for 4 Spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye fee me have. But now, if we suppose, with the church of Rome, the doétrine of transubstantiation to be true, and that he had instructed his disciples in it just before his death, ftrange thoughts might justly have risen in their hearts ; and they might have said to him, Lord, it is but a few days ago since thou didst teach us not to believe our senses, but directly contrary to what we saw, viz. that the bread which thou gavest us in the sacrament, though we saw it, and handled it, and talted it to be bread, yet was not bread, but thine own natural body ; and now thou appcalest to our senses, to prove that this is thy body which

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we now see. If seeing and handling be an unquestionable evidence that things are what they appear to our fenses, then we were deceived before in the sacrament; and if they be not, then we are not sure now that this is thy body which we now see and handle, but it may be perhaps bread under the appearance of flesh and bones; just as in the facrament, that which we faw, and handled, and tasted to be bread, was thy flesh and bones under the form and appearance of bread. Now, upon this supposition, it would have been a hard matter to have quieted the thoughts of the disciples : for if the argument which our Saviour used, did certainly prove to them, that what they faw and handled was his body, his very natural flesh and bones, because they faw and handled them, which it were impious to deny; it would as strongly prove, that what they saw and received before in the facrament, was not the natural body and blood of Christ, but real bread and wine; and consequently that, according to our Saviour's arguing after his resurrection, they had no reason to believe transubstantiation before. For that very argument by which our Saviour proves the reality of his body after his resurrection, doth as strongly prove the reality of bread and wine after confecration. But our Saviour's argument was most infallibly good and true, and therefore the doctrine of transubstantiation is undoubtedly false.

Upon the whole matter, I shall only say this, that some other points between us and the church of Rome are managed with some kind of wit and subtilty ; but this of transubstantiation is carried out by mere dint of impudence, and facing down of mankind.

And of this the more discerning persons of that church are of late grown so sensible, that they would now be glad to be rid of this odious and ridiculous do&trine. But the council of Trent hath rivetted it so fast into their religion, and made it fo necessary and essential a point of their belief, that they cannot now part with it if they would. It is like a mill-stone hung about the neck of Popery, which will sink it at the last.

And though some of their greatest wits, as Cardinal Perron, and of late Monsieur Arnauld, have undertaken the defence of it in great volumes ; yet it is an

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absurdity of that monstrous and massy weight, that no human authority or wit are able to support it. It will make the very pillars of St. Peter's crack; and requires more volumes to make it good, than would fill the Va, tican.

And now I would apply myself to the poor deluded people of that church, if they were either permitted by their prielts, or durft venture without their leave, to look into their religion, and to cxamine the doctrines of it. Consider, and shew yourselves n:en. Do not suf, fer yourselves any longer to be led blindfold, and by an implicit faith in your priests, into the belief of nonsense and contradiction. Think it enough, and too much, to let them rook you out of your money for pretended pardons and counterfeit relicks; but let not the authority of any priest or church persuade of your

fenses. Credulity is certainly a fault as well as infidelity: and he who faid, Blessed are they that have not seen, and set have believed; hath no where faid, Blesfed are they that have seen, and yet have not believed ; much less, Blessed are they that believe directly contrary to to what they fee.

To conclude this discourse: By what hath been said upon this argument, it will appear, with how little truth and reason, and regard to the interest of our common Christianity, it is so often faid by our adversaries, that there are as good arguments for the belief of transubftantiation, as of the doctrine of the Trinity; when they themselves do acknowledge with us, that the doctrine of the Trinity is grounded upon the fcriptures, and that, according to the interpretation of them, by the consent of the ancient fathers : but their doctrine of transubstantiation I have plainly shewn to have no such ground; and that this is acknowledged by very many learned men of their own church. And this doctrine of theirs being first plainly proved by us to be destitute of all divine war. rant and authority, our objections against it, from the manifold contradictions of it to reason and sense, are so many demonstrations of the fallhood of it. Against all which they have nothing to put in the opposite scale, but the infallibility of their church; for which there is even less colour of proof from scripture than for tran

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