Page images

The second proof is from Isaiah, who says, “In that day there shall be an altar of the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a monument of the Lord in the borders thereof, and it shall be for a sign and for a testimony to the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt. For they shall cry to the Lord because of the oppressor, and he shall send them a Saviour and a Defender to deliver them. And the Lord shall be known by Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall worship bim with sacrifices and offerings, and they shall make vows to the Lord, and perform them," Isaiah xix. 19. Here we see a positive declaration, that the Egyptians, on their conversion to Christ, shall worship the Lord, “with sacrifice and offerings,” and have his altar in the midst of them.

The third proof is taken from the same holy prophet, chapter Ixvi. In this chapter be foretels God's benefits to his Church, “Thus saith the Lord, Behold I will bring upon her, as it were, a river of peace, and as an overflowing torrent, the glory of the Gentiles," verse 12.; then verse 16 and 17, foretelling bow be would destroy the wicked Jews, and call the Gentiles in their roon, he says, ver. 18, " I come that I may gather them together with all nations and tongues, and they shall come and shall see my glory; and I will set a sign among them, and I will send of them that shall be saved to the Gentiles onto the sea, into Africa and Lydia, them that draw the bow ; iuto Italy and Greece, to the islands afar off, to them that have not heard of me, and have not seen my glory. And they shall declare my Glory to the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren out of all nations, and offering to the Lord to my holy mountain Jerusalem." Here God foretels, that when he shall destroy the wicked Jews, he will save those among them who were faithful to him, and

will send of those that are saved to all nations, to declare his glory to them, and bring them to his Church,“ bis holy mountain Jerusalem.” This is more like a history, than a prophecy of what was actually done, when the apostles and converted

Jews were sent by our Saviour to preach the gospel to all nations, and unite them to his holy Church. Then, in the following verses, the prophet adds, " and I will take from them (the converted Gentiles) to be priests and Levites, saith the Lord; for as the new heavens and the new earth which I make to stand before me, saith the Lord, so shall

your seed stand and your name,” verse 21. By which we see, that, in the Church of Christ, there shall always be priests and Levites taken out of all pations, whose office, as we have seen above out of Jeremiah, shall be to offer sacrifice to God continually, as lopy as the heaven and the earth shall stand. St. Paul also assures us, that the office of priests is," to offer up gifts and sacrifices." Heb.v.1.

The fourth proof is from Malachy, where Almighty God, after reproaching the Jewish priests for their impiety, says, “ I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Hosts; and I will not receive a gift of your hand; for, from the rising of the sun, even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles; and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean offering; for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts.” Malach. i. 10.

In this glorious prophecy, three things are to be remarked, (1.) That the sacrifices of the Jews were rejected, " I will not a receive a gift of your hand.” (2.) That in their place a pure offering was to be instituted; and (3.) That this clean offering and sacrifice should be offered among the Gentiles in every place, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, throughout the whole world.

All which points out to as the holy and pare sacrifice of the Mass in the strongest light.

Q. 41. What are the proofs for the Mass in the New Testament?

A. (1.) From its institution, at the last supper, where our blessed Saviour offered up this holy sacrifice with his own hands; for, (1.) As we have seen above, the sacrifice of the Mass, properly speaking, consists in the separate consecration of the bread and wine, under the forms of which our Saviour offers himself up to bis eternal Father. Now, at the last supper, our Saviour actually performed this separate consecration; therefore he actually offered up the sacrifice of the Mass at that time. (2.) In the original Greek, and in the Protestant translations, St. Matthew and St. Mark, speaking of the cup, use this expression, " This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many;" and St. Luke and St. Paul use this expression, speaking of the host, “This is my body which is given for you,” Luke xxii. body which is broken for you," I Cor. xi. · From these expressions, it evidently follows, that our Savieur, at that very time," shed his blood," and

gave his body for the remission of sins," Matth. xxvi. 28. This, however, he did not then do actually by the real effusion of his blood, which was only done in his passion and death; therefore he did it here only mystically, that is, offered himself up in the sacramental forms, under the appearance of death, to bis eternal Father, for the renission of sins; which is the very thing we mean by the sacrifice of the Mass. Now, he had no sooner done this, than he immediately commanded the pastors of his Church to do the same : “Do this in remembrance of me;" that is, as St. Paul explains it, * to shew fortb his death (ill he come." Thus he bath celebrated this boly sacrifice of the Mass

6. This is my

himself, and gave power and command to the pastors of his Church, to continue to do the same til bis second coming.

(2.) The second proof from the New Testament is taken from the seventh chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews, where St. Paul, citing this prophecy of David, “ the Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech," urges it to shew the ex. cellency of the priesthood of Christ above that of Aaron, and to prove that his priesthood shall never end; whereas, that of Aaron being only a figure of bis, was of necessity abolished when bis came. Now, the same apostle assures us, that every high priest" is appointed to offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins," Heb. v. 1, and he repeats it, Heb. viii. 3, and adds, as a consequence of this essential office of a priest, “ wherefore it is necessary, that be also should have something to offer." Seeing, therefore, that the order of Melcbisedech consisted in offering bread and wine, and that the great victim offered by Christ, is his own precious body and blood, it is only by offering this under the appearances of bread and wine, by the external ministry of his priests, that he continues a priest for ever of this order.

(3.) From the expressions of the table of the Lord, altar, and priests, used in different places hy St. Paul, as proper to the Christian religion, is also proved the existence of the Christian sacrifice, with which these things have an essential connexion. See I Cor. x, and Heb, xiii. 10, in which last place the apostle says, " we have an altar, whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle:” where the altar necessarily implies the sacrifice offered upon it; and the eating of the alar shews the participation of that sacrifice by communion.

To these plain proofs from Scripture, we may add, that the constant tradition of the Christian world, all the most ancient liturgies, the universal testimony of the holy fathers, and the continual use of the names altar, sacrifice, oblation, priest, and the like, in all antiquity, shew, in the most convincing manner, that this holy sacrifice has been always used as the public solemn worship of God in the Christian Church.



Q. 1. What is the end or design of the sacrament of penance ?

A. If we were always so happy as never to lose the grace received in baptism by committing actual sins ourselves, there would be no need of the sacrament of penance; but as we but too, too commonly lose that great treasure by the sins we commit ourselves, and cannot possibly get free of their guilt but by the grace of Jesus Christ; therefore, out of his infinite mercy, in condescension to our weakness and misery, he was pleased to institute the sacrament of penance, as the means of bestowing his sanctifying grace upon us, to cleanse us from the guilt of those sins wbich we commit after baptism.

Q. 2. Is penance a true sacrament?

A. It is; because it has all the three things required to make it a sacrament.

Q. 3. What is the outward sensible sign used in the sacrament of penance ?

A. It is the sentence of absolution pronounced by a priest.

« PreviousContinue »