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on us, but in order to direct our judgement?

At the same time, we may depend on it as an intuitive truth, that God will never impose any belief on us, contradictory, not only to our reason, but to our senses.

The following objection however will perhaps relish more with people of plain understanding. Transubftantiation is a very extraordinary miracle, reiterated every day and in every corner of the earth, by priests not always remarkable either for piety or for morality. Now I demand an answer to the following plain question : To what good end or purpose is such a profusion of iniracles fubfervient ? I see none.

But I discover a very bad one, , if they have

any

influence ; which is, that they accustom the Roman Catholics to more cruelty and barbarity, than even the grossest favages are ever guilty of : some of there indeed devour the flesh of their enemies; but none of them the flesh of their friends, especially of their greatest friend, But to do justice to people of that religion, I am confident, that this supposed iniracle has no influence whatever upon their manners :

to

mne it

appears

I

appears impossible for any man seriously to believe, that the bread and wine used at the Lord's supper, is actually converted into the body and blood of our Saviour. The Romish church requires the belief of transubstantiation; and a zealous Catholic, out of pure obedience, thinks he believes it. Convince once a man that falvation depends on belief, and he will believe any thing; that is, he will imagine that he believes : Credo quia impossibile eft

That

*

* A traveller describing the Virgin Mary's house at Loretto, has the following reflection.

" When « there are so many faints endued with such mira6 “ culous powers, so many relics, and so many im“ pregnated wells, each of them able to cure the « most dangerous diseases ; one would wonder, " that physicians could live there, or others die. “ But people die here as elsewhere ; and even “ churchmen, who preach upon the miracles “ wrought by relics, grow fick and die like other « men.". It is one thing to believe: it is another thing to fancy that we believe. In the year 1666 a Jew named Sabatai Levi appeared at Smyrna, pretending to be the true Meffiah, and was acknowledged to be so by many. The Grand Signior, for proof of his mission, insisted for a miracle ; proposing that he should present himself as a mark to be shot at, and promising to believe that he was the MerVOL. IV,

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That our first reformers, who were prone to differ from the Romish faith, should adopt this doctrine, shows the supreme influence of superstition. The Lutherans had not even the excuse of inattention : after ferious examination, they added one absurdity more; teaching, that the bread and wine are converted into the body and blood of our Saviour, and yet remain bread and wine as at first; which is termed by them consubstantiation. I ain persuaded, that at this time not a single man of them harbours such a thought.

Many persons, impenetrable by a fe-
rious argument, can discover falsehood
when put in a ridiculous light. It re-
quires, I am fenfible, a very delicate hand
to attack a grave subject with ridicule as a
test of truth; and for that reason, I forbear

.
to offer any thing of my own.

But I will

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fiah, if he remained unwounded. Sabatai, decli-
ning the trial, turned Mahometan to save his life.
But observe the blindness of superstition : tho’Sa-
batai was seen every day walking the streets of Con-
ftantinople in the Turkish habit, many Jews infifted
that the true Sabatai was taken up into heaven, lea-
ving only behind him his shadow; and probably ,
they incst piously fancied that they believed fo.

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my readers some excerpts from a book of absolute authority with Roman Catholics. Tho' transubstantiation be there handled in the most serious man-ner, with all the ceremonies and punctilios that naturally flow from it, yet in my judgement it is happily contrived to give it a most ridiculous appearance. The book is the Roman Missal, from which the following is a literal translation. Mass may

be deficient in the matter, 66

in the form, in the minister, or in the " action. First, in the matter. If the “ bread be not of wheat, or if there be « so great a mixture of other grain that

fo “ it cannot be called wheat-bread, or if

any way corrupted, it does not make a « facrament, If it be made with rose

water, or any other distilled water, it is doubful whether it make a facrament

Tho' corruption have begun, co

or tho' it be leavened, it makes a facrament, but the celebrator fins grievously.

“ If the celebrator, before consecration, « observe that the host is corrupted, or

is not of wheat, he must take another “ hoft: if after confecration, he must fill

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“ take another and swallow it, after which “ he must also swallow the first, or give “ it to another, or preserve it in some “ place with reverence. But if he have “ swallowed the first before observing its “ defects, he must nevertheless swallow “ also the perfect hoft; because the pre

cept about the perfection of the facra

ment, is of greater weight than that of “ taking it fasting. If the consecrated “ host disappear by an accident, as by “ wind, by a miracle, or by some ani

mal, another must be consecrated.
“ If the wine be quite four or putrid,

made of unripe grapes, or be mixed “ with so much water as to spoil the wine, " it is no facrament. If the wine have

begun to four or to be corrupted, or be quire new, or not mixed with water,

or mixed with rose-water or other di“ stilled water, it makes a facrament, but “ the celebrator sins grievously.

“ If the priest, before consecration, observe that the materials are not proper, he must stop, if proper materials cannot be got; but after consecration, he must proceed, to avoid giving scandal. If proper materials can be pro

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