we in

but to fulfil it.It was shown further that, if Roman Catholics take this passage in a strictly literal sense, “ Except you eat, &c. and drink his blood, &c.," upon their own principles, the laity would be lost, because the laity do not, strictly speaking, drink the blood, however they may receive the flesh. The real meaning was pointed out from the 35th verse of the chapter, and that meaning appeared to be that by the terms “ eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ,” the act of believing upon Christ was denoted. We saw that constantly such figures are used to express faith; and, in this connection, I noticed how Christ employed the terms “coming, looking, eating, drinking,” &c. not to denote the literal act, but the believing upon him; and it appeared that Christ gave the key to the whole in the 64th verse, when he said, “ The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

The words of the Institution were then brought forward “ This is my body, this is my blood." Our opponents insisted that they should be taken literally sisted that they should be taken figuratively. The reasons why we urged this figurative interpretation were these :1st. That the figurative interpretation was according to the general analogy of Scripture language. We referred to such

passages “That rock was Christ;" “ This hair is Jerusalem," and a variety of others of a parallel kind, which shewed that this figurative mode of expression was quite common among the Jews at that time, and, therefore, that the Apostles were quite prepared to understand the words of the Institution in a figurative sense. Then, 2ndly, it was shewn that this figurative mode of expression was in accordance with the general mode of speaking in all languages: for, as was remarked, it is quite common for us, in speaking of pictures or maps, to say, “ This is such a person ;” or “This-speaking of a map—is such a country;" though we only mean by the term “is” that it " represents.” Furthermore, Srdly, we pointed out that the figurative interpretation was according to the context, because, as our friends on the other side confessed, “ This сир

is the New Testament in my blood,” was to be understood figuratively. I observed that if they interpreted one part figuratively, I was justified in interpreting the other figuratively; and that the inconsistency rested with them, as interpreting one part literally and the other figuratively.

Moreover, the passage in the 1st Epistle to the Corin


thians was referred to, about “discerning the Lord's body." To this I have just replied, and therefore it is not necessary to advert to it again.

Then the Fathers were adduced in support of Transubstantiation. I observed that they spoke strongly with regard to the Eucharist, but it was, I contended, of a moral change rather than a physical they spoke, however highly wrought their language may sometimes have been. Other remarks were made respecting the Fathers at various periods of the discussion which will be seen more particularly in the Report.

AGAINST Transubstantiation it was urged that the elements were called bread and wine both by our Lord and the Apostle Paul even after consecration. It was shown you likewise, that our Lord was absent from earth as to his body till the times of the restitution of all things.” This was proved by a passage in the Acts, and hence it was concluded that, however he might be present as to his deity, he was not present in a bodily sense in the Eucharist. Other arguments from Scripture, were urged, upon which I have not time to dwell.

It was also argued that the doctrine of Transubstantiation contradicted the senses —that when we exercised any or all of those senses upon the elements, after consecration. they gave their unanimous assent to the fact that there had been no substantial change. Remember, too, that this species of reasoning was not a departure from our principles (as was asserted on the other side); for though we adduced arguments from the senses, yet we based them upon texts of the sacred volume ; and we shewed you that the evidence of Christ's resurrection, according to the testimony of the Apostles, was found in the fact that he was seen by various individuals and collective bodies, who ate, and drank, and conversed with him after he rose from the dead. Hence we had scriptural authority for the argument from the senses, and Mr. Brown, although he rejected this argument in our case, yet made use of the evidence of the senses himself in one point. We say, therefore, that we have the testimony both of the senses and of Scripture, that no substantial change takes place in the bread and wine, but that the bread remains bread, and the wine remains wine. They may be changed in their use, but they are not changed in their nature.

We proceeded to consider, in the second place, “The

SACRIFICE OF THE Mass.” On the Roman Catholic side the prophecy of Malachi was urged, in which God declares,

“ 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 oblution." It was shewn, however, that neither of the terms used here necessarily imply anything like literal sacrifice, much less the Sacrifice of the Mass. Not the term “sacrifice,' because it is applied in Scripture to a variety of other things besides literal sacrifice-such as prayer, and praise, and the bodies of believers—and, therefore, if the system of interpretation adopted on the other side were correct, namely, that, because the term is used, it must mean the Sacrifice of the Mass, I might prove, on the same principle, that prayer was the Sacrifice of the Mass, or praise, or any of the other things to which also the term is applied. Nor could the term “ clean oblation” (it was pointed out in continuation) refer to anything like the Sacrifice of the Mass, till our opponents could prove that the word was confined in Scripture to a sacrificial meaning. That it was not so confined was shown by a reference to a passage in the 66th chapter of Isaiah, where the same word was applied to persons, and translated giftor

offering.” In this manner we endeavoured to establish that the prophecy naturally referred to the various spiritual sacrifices that were to be offered to God “ from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same.”

Our opponents adduced also, in support of the Mass, the language of the institution, “My blood which is shed.” Respecting this we pointed out that there could be no valid argument derived from the use of the present tense, because, in the Bible, that tense was constantly employed when the future was intended; and the inconsistency af our adversaries was exhibited in the fact that they argued from the use of the present tense in the Greek text and in the Protestant translation, while the Vulgate (their standard Latin version), the Canon of the Mass, and the Roman Catholic English version of the Scriptures, read the passage in the future tense.

The passage in the 13th chapter of Acts, ver. 1, 2, which speaks of certain disciples “ ministering to the Lord,was likewise brought forward ; and the Rev. Gentlemen attempted to deduce the Sacrifice of the Mass from this expression. But I showed, in the course of my investigation of Mr. Brown's statements respecting this passage, that, by the same rule of interpretation, I might prove magistrates and others, yea, even angels, to be sacrificing priests also.

Against the sacrifice of the Mass there were a variety of objections urged. There was a parallel drawn by my friend, Mr. Lyons, between the Sacrament of the Lord's Supperas originally instituted, and the Sacrifice of the Mass; and you have seen in what points they differed from each other. It was shown, also, that the essentials of a proper sacrifice were wanting in the Sacrifice of the Mass, and, therefore, that it could not be “true, proper, and propitiatory." There was no destruction of a victim in it; and, moreover, you have seen that there has been no attempt to prove from Scripture the existence of the office of sacrificing priest under this dispensation, except as respects Christ himself. Therefore, if the destruction of the victim and a sacrificing priest be wanting, there can be no proper sacrifice in the Mass, and consequently the Creed of Pope Pius IV. is false, when it calls the Mass “ a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice.” We adduced, also, a negative argument, the substance of which was this :—that in those places of Scripture where we might most naturally expect to find such a sacrifice mentioned, if it were revealed, viz. in the commission to the Apostles, the conduct of the early Christians recorded in the Acts, and the letters to Timothy and Titus, there is not the slightest allusion to any such thing. Moreover, a variety of passages from the Epistle to the Hebrews were dwelt on; and you will remember how constantly the Apostle Paul made use of the term

once,” repeating it again and again, as if to guard against the most distant approach to that which might derogate from the honour and sufficiency of Christ's one offering. Furthermore, other passages established that " without shedding of blood there is no remission," and the Sacrifice of the Mass, being confessedly an unbloody sacrifice, could not therefore, obtain remission, that is, be propitiatory. You have seen, also, how the early part of the 10th chap. of Hebrews demonstrated that the repetition or continuation of a sacrifice proved its imperfection; and how, on this principle, the Sacrifice of the Mass, professing to be a continuation, if not a repetition, of that on the cross, practically asserted the insufficiency of the sacrifice of the Cross,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

е passat

2, which

Lord," was tlemen 21

and also its own insufficiency. You heard, likewise, the argument from the 9th chapter of Hebrews-that Christ could not be offered without suffering, and that, as he does not suffer in the Mass, he cannot be offered in the Mass, and therefore the Mass is not a “ true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice.”

Were I to give you an outline of every portion of the arguments employed on this subject, I should go on in this manner for a length of time, but the period which is allotted me for addressing you is rapidly expiring, and I must therefore forego any further summary. I can only earnestly request you to bear in mind what has been said, particularly the different passages of Holy Writ that have been adduced, which set before us the truth that Christ " by one oblation hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” This text is a declaration which, in itseif, is sufficiently strong on which to take our stand, and it has not been noticed on the other side. It not merely asserts the value of Christ's offering in general terms, but it tells you particularly, that, by that “one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified;" as the Apostle says in another passage, which I quoted yesterday, “Christ entered once into the Holies (i. e. into Heaven) having obtained eternal redemption.” I asked the question before, and I ask it now again, What can a man want beyond ETERNAL REDEMPTION?

and that inestimable blessing-that glorious result-is said to be obtained by the one finished work of Immanuel, when he entered into Heaven, “ the holiest of all,” and presented himself before his Father as the victorious surety of sinners.

In conclusion, then, I say, first of all—(and I do it in the exercise of that charity and faithfulness, which I have endeavoured to exhibit all through this Discussion, and which I would desire to manifest to the very close)—that, if these be the testimonies of the Bible respecting the great salvation of the Lord Jesus, it becomes us, who profess to be the Ministers of the Gospel—the heralds of salvation—to bethink ourselves on this momentous point-to “make full proof of our ministry”-to bear in mind the “ woe” denounced against those who“ preach not the gospel”—to examine our hearts diligently and faithfully, lest in any manner we should give even a practical denial to the complete redemption effected by CHRIST.

And to you, my hearers in general, I say, remember the

« VorigeDoorgaan »