Page images

no other Society of Christians to be any part of it: So Tranfubftantiation, 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 Obje&s; 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 lo abandon'd and given up by God to the efficacy of delufion as in good earnest to believe this gross and palpable Error, and to impose the belief of it upon the Christian World under no_less Penalties than of Temporal Death and Eternal Damnation. And therefore to undeceive, if possible, these deluded Souls, it will be necessary to examine the pretended Grounds of fo false a Do&tring, and to lay open the monstrous Absurdity of it.

And in the handling of this Argument, I Thall proceed in this plain method.

I. I shall consider the pretended Grounds and Reasons of the Church of Rome for this Do&trine

Il. I thall produce our Objections against it. And if I can shew that there is no tolerable ground for it, and that there are invincible Obje&tions against it, then every Man is not only in reason excused from believing this Do&rine, but hath great cause to believe the contrary.

FIRST, I will consider the pretended Grounds and Reasons of the Church of Rome for this Do&rine. Which muft be one or more of these five, Either IA, The Authority of Scriptore. Or 2dly, The perpetual Belief of this Do&rine in the Christian Church, as an e

A 3


vidence that they always onderstood and interpreted our Saviour's Words, This is my Body, in this Sense. Or 3dly, The Authority of the present Church to make and declare new Articles of Faith. Or 4thly, The abfolute neces fity of such a change as this in the Sacrament to the Comfort and Benefit of those who receive this Sacrament. Or gebly, To magnify the Power of the Priest in being able to work fo great a Miracle.

it. They pretend for this Doctrine the Au. thority of Scripture in those Words of our Sa viour, This is my Body. Now to thew the Insufficiency of this pretence, I fall endea vour to make good these two things.

1. That there is no neceffity of understanding those Words of our Saviour in the Sense of Tranfubftantiaton.

2. That there is a great deal of reafon, (nay that it is very absurd and unreasonable, hot) to understand them other wife.

First, That there is no neceffny to underhand those words of our Saviour in the Sense of Tranfubftantiation. If there be any, it must be from one of these two Reasons. Either be tadse there are no figurative expressions in Scri plote, which I think to Man ever yet faid: Ot else, because a Sacrament admits of no Fj gores; which would be very abfurd fot any Man to say, fince it is of the very nature of i Sacrament to reprefent and exhibit Come invi fible Gtate and Benefit by an outward Sign and Figure; And especially since it cannot be denied, but that in the Institution of this very S# crament our Saviour ufeth figuraive Expref

Lions, fions, and several Words which cannot be taken ftri&ly and literally. When he gave the Cap, he faid, This Cup is the New Teftament in my Blood, which is foed for you and for maay for the remillion of Sins. Where first, the Cup is put for the Wine contained in the Cup; or elre if the Words be literally taken, so as to fignify a substantial change, it is not of the Wine but of the Cup; and that, not into the Blood of Cbrif but into the New Testament or New Covenant in his Blood, Befides, that his Blood is said then to be thed, and his Body to be broken, which was nor till his Passion, which followed the Institution and first Celebration of this Sacrament.

But that there is no neceffity to understand our Saviour's words in the senfe of Transubftantiation, I will take the plain conceffion of a great number of the most learned Writers of the Church of Rome in this Controversy. (d) Bellarmine, (6) Suarez and (c) Vasquez do acknowledge Scotws the great Scboolman to have faid that this Do&rine cannot be evidently proved from Scripture: And Bellarmine grants this not to be improbable; and Sharez and Vasquez acknowledge (m) Durandus to have Taid as much. (e) Ocham, another famous Schoolman, says exprefly, that the Doctrine which holds the fubftance of the Bread and Wine to remain after' Confecration is neither repuga nast to Reason nor to Scripture. (f) Petrus ab

(1).de Euch. I. 3. C. 23. (b) in 3 dif. 49. Qu. 75.5&7. 2. (c) in 3. part. difp. 180. qu. 75. ar. 2. c. is, 18) in Sens. 1. 4. dif. 11. Qu. 1. H. 15.

re) in 4. Sent. Qu. s. olyo Quell, 4. 0.37 (1) in 4. Sent. Qú. 6. art,


A 4

Alliaco Cardinal of Cambray says plainly, that the Do&rine of the Subjiance of Bread and Wine remaining after Confecration is more easie and free from absurdity, more rational, and no ways repugnant to the authirity of Scripture; nay more, that for the other Do&rine, viz. of Transubstantiation, there is no evidence in Scripture. (8) Gabriel Biel, another great Schoolman and Divine of their Church, freely declares, that as to any thing expreft in the Canon of the Scriptures, a Man may believe that the substance of Bread and Wine dorb remain after Confecration: And therefore he resolves the belief of Transubstantiation into some other Revelation, besides Scripture, which he supposech the Church had about it. Cardinal (b) Cajetan confesseth that ebe Gospel doth no where express that the Bread is changed into the Body of Chrift; that we have this from the authority of ibe Church: nay, he goes farther, that there is norbing in the Gospel which enforceth any Man to understand thefe Words of Christ, this is my Body, in a proper and not in a metaphorical Jense; but the Church baving, understood them in a proper sense, they are to be foexplained: Which Words in the Roman Edition of Cajetan are expunged by order of Pope (i) Pius V. Cardinal (k) Contarenus, and (i) Melchior Canus, one of the best and most judicious Writers that Church ever had, reckon this Do&rine among those which are not so exprefly found in Scrie pture. I will add but one more of great Ay.

(&) in canon Mil. Le&. 40. (h) in Aquin, 3; part. Qu. 75. art. 1:0) Ægid. Conick. de Sacram. Q. 75, art. 1. n. 13. (k) de Sacram. 1. 2. c. 3. (1) 406. Theolog. 1. 3. 6. 3.

thority thority in the Church, and a reputed Martyr, (m) Fiber Bishop of Rocbefter, who ingenuously confessech that in the Words of the Inftitution there is not one W’ord from whence the true presence of the Flesh and Blood of Christ in our Mass can be prived: So that we need not much contend that this Do&rine hath no certain foundation in Scripture, when this is To fully and frankly acknowledged by our Adyerfaries themselves.

Secondly, If there be no necessity of understanding our Saviour's Words in the sense of Tranfubftantiation, I am sure there is a great deal of Reason to understand thein otherwise. Whether we consider the like Expressions in Scripture; as where our Saviour says he is the Door and the true Vine (which the Church of Rome would mightily have triumph'd in, had it been said, this is my true Body.) And so likewise where the Church is said to be Christ's Budy; and the Rock which followed the if raelites to be Cbrift, 1 Cor. '10.4. They drank of that Rock which followed them, and that Rock was Cbrift:

All which and innumerable more like Expressions in Scripture every Man understands in a figurative, and not in a ftri&tly. literal and absurd sense. And it is very well : known, that in the Hebrew Language things are commonly said to be that which they do figni, fie and represent; and there is not in that Láognage a more proper and ufual way of exprefting

a thing to lignify so and fo, than to say that is is 1o and ro. Thús Fofepb expounding Pbas

(m) Centra rajsiv, Babylon. c. 10, 0, 2,



« PreviousContinue »