Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 15.



Protestants always object to Transubstantiation, and declare that it ought not to be received, because reason is incapable of comprehending it. If this principle be admitted, my Lord Bishop, the unity and trinity of God, the incarnation and death of our blessed Saviour, &c., cannot be believed—the truths of natural philosophy must be denied; in a word, according to this system of reason, the whole economy of God to man. Christianity must be rejected, and universal scepticism be the necessary consequence. Accordingly we find this deceitful doctrine of modern reason eagerly embraced by the unnatural enemies of Christianity. Hence in these our unhappy days, in spite of the blaze of worldly science, the negative creed of Rousseau, " That a man of reason ought not believe what he does not comprehend," is the faith of many. Reason, I grant, is a gift of God; if not infected by passion or prejudice, it is a safe guide as far as it conducts; but being finite, it has its limits, beyond which it would not be reasonable to proceed. It may enquire, for example, whether God hath spoken; and the fact being ascertained, it is its duty to prostrate itself at the portals of revelation, and believe and adore. It is most fortunate for the humble believer who thinks it reasonable to submit to proper authority, that he lives in the midst of a glorious theatre, where the divine attributes of his God are continually displayed, and where the physical mysteries which daily meet his eye, gradually lead him on, and persuade him to believe those of a superior nature in the order of grace. On all sides he is surrounded with mysteries, which transcend the most penetrating faculties of the mind. He most firmly, however, believes them, and lives on them. They constitute his food, his raiment. The most illiterate must behold with admiration and gratitude the stupendous operation of the growth of plants; their stems full of veins, like so many engines thrown into motion by the heat of the Sun—their buds, their flowers, and their fruit. Where is that deep penetration to be found capable of explaining the production and reproduction of vegetables?