Imatges de pàgina
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I shall dismiss this article with this one only observation, that after the prodigious doctrine of transubstantiation was confirmed by the first Lateran council, there were many in the communion of the church of Rome, who could not digest it, did not in truth believe it, and wished from their hearts that their church had never defined it. For this we have the ample testimonies of very eminent writers of that church. “ The conversion of the “ bread and wine into Christ's body and blood," saith Cajetan, par. 3. qu. 75, article 1, “ all of us do “ teach in words, but in deed many deny it, think

ing nothing less $. These are diversely divided one “ from another. For some, by the conversion that “ is in the sacrament, understand nothing but iden“ tity of place, that is, that the bread is therefore “ said to be made the body of Christ, because where “ the bread is, the body of Christ becomes present “ also. Others understand by the word conversion

nothing else but the order of succession, that is, “ that the body succeedeth and is under the veils “ of accidents, under which the bread, which they

suppose to be annihilated, was before.” Oceam, Centilogii conclus. cap. 39, saith, “There are three

opinions about transubstantiation, of which the “ first supposeth a conversion of the sacramental “ elements; the second the annihilation; the third “ affirmeth the bread to be in such manner transub“stantiated into the body of Christ, that it is no

way changed in substance, or substantially con“ verted into Christ's body, or doth cease to be, but

only that the body of Christ, in every part of

s [i. e. though they think that they do not deny it: putantes se non negare illam.]

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“ it, becomes present in every part of the bread.” Waldensis, tom. II. de Sacram. Eucharistiæ, cap. 19, reports out of Chrysopolitanus Zacharias's book, entitled, In unum ex quatuor, “That there were some,

perhaps many, but hardly to be discerned and “ noted, who thought still as Berengarius did.” The same Waldensis, in the same book, cap. 64, saith : “ That some supposed the conversion that is in the

sacrament, to be, in that the bread and wine are “ assumed into the unity of Christ's person; some

thought it to be by way of impanation, and some

by way of figurative and tropical appellation. The “ first and second of these opinions found the better “ entertainment in some men's minds, because they

grant the essential presence of Christ's body, and yet deny not the presence of the bread still re

maining, to sustain the appearing accidents.” These opinions he reports to have been very acceptable to many, not without sighs, wishing the church had decreed that men should follow one of them.

It cannot be doubted, but that there are at this day many in the communion of the church of Rome, who are in the same perplexity about this article of transubstantiation, and have the same wishes, that their church had never made it an article of their faith; for the absurdities of transubstantiation, and the reason of mankind, are still the same. Now what a lamentable condition are they in, who are forced to profess (yea, and all ecclesiastics now by the Trent confession in the most solemn manner to swear) that they believe what they cannot for their hearts believe; whose consciences, between the determinations of their church, and the dictates of their own reason, yea, and sense too, are continually ground as between two millstones! I have been long upon this article, but shall be more brief on the next.

The next article is this: “I confess also, that “ under one kind only, whole and entire Christ, and “ the whole sacrament is received t." Now this article of the “sufficiency of the sacrament of the Eu

charist, taken only in one kind,” as it refers to, and is designed to justify the practice of the Roman church, in the constant and public administration of the sacrament to all the laity only in one kind, viz., the bread, denying them the cup, is manifestly against our Saviour's first institution of the sacrament, against apostolical practice, and the usage of the universal church of Christ for a thousand years, as is confessed by divers learned men of the Roman communion. And yet, according to the Trent creed, all men are damned that do not assent to the insolent (and as I may justly term it) antichristian decree of the Roman church in this point. And who can without astonishment reflect on the stiffuess and obstinacy and uncharitableness of the Trent Fathers in this matter? Before they met, when it was noised that a council should be called to redress the manifold abuses and corruptions that were in the church, it was the longing expectation and earnest desire of many good men, that, amongst other things, the communion in both kinds might be restored to the laity. There were a multitude of pious souls, as it were, upon their knees before them, thirsting after the cup of blessing, and earnestly begging for an entire sacrament. But those duri Patres, those hardhearted Fathers, had no compassion on them,

+ Fateor etiam sub altera tantum specie totum atque integrum Christum verumque sacramentum sumi.

turned a deaf ear to their loud cries and supplications, only bidding them believe for the future, (what they could not believe,) that half the sacrament was every whit as good as the whole.

Immediately follows this article: “I firmly hold “ that there is a purgatory, and that the souls de“ tained there are relieved by the prayers of the “ faithful u.” Now this article of a “purgatory after “ this life,” as it is understood and taught by the Roman church, (that is, to be a place and state of misery and torment, whereunto many faithful souls go presently after death, and there remain till they are throughly purged from their dross, or delivered thence by masses, indulgences, &c.,) is contrary to Scripture, and the sense of the catholic church for at least the first four centuries, as I have at large proved in a discourse concerning the state of the souls of men in the interval between death and the resurrection : which I am ready to communicate to monsieur de Meaux, if he shall desire it. Indeed the doctrine of purgatory is not only an error, but a dangerous one too, which (I am verily persuaded) hath betrayed a multitude of souls into eternal perdition, who might have escaped hell, if they had not depended upon an after-game in purgatory. But this article, being very gainful to the Roman clergy, must above others be held fast, and constantly maintained and defended. “I firmly hold it y.”

· Prayers for the dead, as founded on the hypou Constanter teneo purgatorium esse, animasque ibi detentas fidelium suffragiis juvari.

* (Sermon III. p. 72.] y Constanter teneo.

[This passage, “ Prayers for the dead — misery and torment,” is taken almost literally from the third Sermon, p. 70, &c.]

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thesis of purgatory, (and we no otherwise reject them,) fall together with it. The prayers for the dead used in the ancient church (those, I mean, that were more properly prayers, i. e. either deprecations or petitions) were of two sorts, either the common and general commemoration of all the faithful at the oblation of the holy Eucharist, or the particular prayers used at the funerals of any of the faithful lately deceased.

The former respected their final absolution, and the consummation of their bliss at the resurrection ; like as that our church useth both in the Office for the Communion, and in that for the Burial of the Dead : which indeed seems to be no more than what we daily pray for in that petition of the Lord's Prayer, (if we rightly understand it,) “ Thy king“ dom come.” The latter were also charitable omens, and good wishes of the faithful living, as it were accompanying the soul of the deceased to the joys of paradise, of which they believed it already possessed, as the ancient author of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy in the last chapter of that book plainly informs us.

In a word, let any understanding and unprejudiced person attentively observe the prayers for the dead in the most undoubtedly ancient Liturgies, especially those in the Clementine Liturgy, and those mentioned in the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; and he will be so far from believing the Roman purgatory upon the account of those prayers, that he must needs see they make directly against it. For they all run (as even that prayer for the dead, which is unadvisedly left by the Romanists in their own canon of the mass, as a testimony against themselves) in this form : “For all that are in peace or

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