Friday, 31 March 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 48.


Protestants should acknowledge with a holy fear, to what a degree they are inexcusable if they do not submit to this article. In reality, one may say, there is no error against which the word of God presents us with such powerful arguments as against this error, which denies the incomprehensible eating of the flesh of our Lord, because the word of God represents those who were first engaged in this error as apostates and deserters from Jesus Christ. No other error has so express a declaration against the first abettors of it. The consolation of the Catholic is, that if on one side Protestants, by abandoning the Church on account of this incomprehensible article concerning the eating of the flesh of our Lord, have the unhappiness to see, that both in sentiments and in conduct they resemble the first deserters from the communion of Jesus Christ, Catholics have the comfort to see themselves here followers of the example of the Apostles. They continue faithful to our Lord, notwithstanding the ineffable mystery of the eating of his flesh, because they know that Jesus Christ, who is the author of it, is the Son of God, that he has the words of eternal life, and that he has the power to do more than man can conceive, and that how incomprehensible soever his words may be, they are the only way by which we can come to life everlasting.

Thus the Disciples who here abandoned Jesus Christ, were, in some sense, the first Protestants, that is, the first Christians that would not submit to the word of Jesus Christ concerning the eating of his flesh. And, on the contrary, the Apostles were the first Catholics, I mean the first Christians that believed this eating, how inconceivable soever it might appear to their reason. And I will venture here to entreat my readers to meditate well on the following quotations from two of the most illustrious doctors of God's church, viz., from St. Cyprian and from St. Augustine, who is, according to Calvin, the most faithful witness of antiquity. St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage in Africa, who lived in the third century, says: "The priest in consecrating imitates what Jesus Christ did, and indeed is our Lord's lieutenant, and offers then a true, perfect, and accomplished sacrifice in the faithful Church to God the Father, endeavouring to do as Jesus Christ himself did at his last supper."— (L. 2, Ep. 3.) St. Augustine says: " Oh most beautiful Jesus Christ, I beseech thee by that sacred effusion of thy precious blood, whereby we are redeemed, grant me contrition of heart, and a fountain of tears, especially, whilst I, although unworthy, am assisting at the sacred altar, desiring to offer up to thee that admirable and celestial sacrifice, worthy of all reverence and devotion, which thou, oh Lord my God, immaculate priest, didst institute and command to be offered up in commemoration of thy charity, that is, of thy passion."— (Manual, c. 11.)

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 47.


I am now to prove my minor, and therefore I have to consider the principal points of doctrine which these religions teach.

1st. Luther and Calvin, the fathers of your pretended Reformation, declare that there is no free will; and Luther in his 26th Article affirms, " That it is the principal foundation of his religion." See also Calvin, L. 1, Recognit. But this was long ago the heresy of Simon Magus, and of Valentinus, as is testified by St. Augustine, (Hoer. 11,) and of the Manicheans, as is proved also from St. Augustine, (In Prolog. Contra Pelag.) and of Wickliffe, &c. (In Conc. Constant. Sess. 8.)

2nd. Luther and Calvin teach, "That God is the instigator or mover of all wickedness, and that every sort of evil springs from God's decree." And this again in former ages was the heresy of Simon Magus, (See Vincent Lirin.) and of Florinus, (Eusebius, L. 5, c. 20.)

3rd. Both teach, "That good works are not necessary to salvation, and that faith alone is sufficient for salvation." This was an heresy of the same Simon Magus, as is stated by St. Irenaeus, (L. 1, c. 20,) and of the Eunomians, about the year of Christ 360, as is proved by St. Augustine, (Haer. 54.)

4th. Both teach, that sins though they be ever so great and numerous, cannot injure him who has faith, for that the malice of them is not to be imputed to him who believes.

This was the heresy of the Eunomians, as related by St. Augustine, (Haerr, 54,) of Basilides, and of Carpocrates, as mentioned by St. Irenaeus, (L. 1, c. 23, 24.)

5th. Calvin denies the real presence of Christ's body in the Eucharist. But this was the heresy of Berengarius, about the year of our Lord 1051, where it is to be remarked, first, that though some persons privately had doubts on that great dogma of Catholic faith, the real presence, yet it was never publicly broached till Berengarius was hardy enough to have moved the question, as is related by Hugh of Langres, and Adelman of Bressia, in their Epistles to Berengarius, and by Paschasius in his book on the words of the institution of this sacrament; the fact being, that the real presence was ever the uniform doctrine of the Catholic Church, and was never opposed by any heretic until the time of Berengarius. Secondly, that this heresy of Berengarius was condemned by many Councils, as I have stated in my first letter; likewise Berengarius had three times abjured his error, and ended his life by dying very penitent in the bosom of the Catholic Church. After his death his heresy lay buried in oblivion for two hundred years, that is, till the time of the Lollards, who revived it, and which is proved by Trithemius's Chronicle about the year 1315. After them, Wickliffe broached the same heretical opinion, as appears from his third article. After his death this heresy again slumbered in silence for the space of one hundred years, till Zuinglius renewed it; and after him Calvin and others; whereby it appears certain that the rejecting the real presence was always considered by the Church as an egregious heresy. Therefore, my Lord Bishop, that the Church has either always erred in a principal article of divine faith, and consequently was never Christ's true Church on earth, or that opinion which abrogates and inveighs against the real presence of Christ's body in the sacrament, is a damnable heresy.

6th. Both Luther and Calvin reject tradition, and declare that every thing necessary for salvation is to be found in Scripture alone. This was the heresy of the Arians, as is recorded by St. Augustine, (L. 1, Contra. Maxim, c. 2, et ult.); also of Nestorius, Dioscorus, and Eutyches, as is declared in the Seventh Synod, Act 1.

7th. Both deny the sacraments of penance and confirmation. The Novations taught the same opinions centuries ago, as is proved by St. Cyprian and by St. Theodoret, (L. 4, Epist. 2, L. 3, Fabulanim.)

8th. Luther and Calvin declare, that the Church consists of good alone; that the Church in former times was visible, but perished notwithstanding for many ages, and that at the present moment the elect alone remain in their congregations. Now, my Lord Bishop, this was the very heresy of the Donatists, as is recorded by St. Augustine, (L. de Unit. Eccl. c. 12.)

9th. Luther and Calvin teach, that prayers are not to be offered for the dead; and that the fast of Lent, or even any fasts, as commanded by the Church, are not to be kept, but that every one is to fast whenever it appears good to him. The Arians taught the very same in former ages, if we may believe St. Epiphanius, (Haer. 75,) and St. Augustine, (L. de Hcer. c. 33.)

10th. Luther and Calvin condemn that any veneration should be paid to holy relics, to the images of Christ and of his Saints, and call it idolatry. Vigilantius did precisely the same thing in past ages, as is mentioned by St. Jerome. The same has been done by the image breakers, as is related by Zoneras, Cedrenus, and Nicephorus, regarding those who made war against images.

By all these powerful testimonies which I have produced, it is manifest, that the chief opinions of Lutheranism, of Calvinism, and of the established Church, are all borrowed and, in fact, grounded on heresies long since condemned by the ancient Church, and which were always regarded by her as heresies.— (See Bellarman, de Notts Eccl. c. 9; and Coccius, de Signis Eccl. L. 8, Art. 3.) In a word, I feel sure on reflection, that your Lordship must agree with me, that the great malady of Protestants is the pride of reason, which never consents to believe that it could be deceived.

I am,

My Lord Bishop,

Your obedient Servant, VERAX,


Friday, 17 March 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 46.


"In the second Gospel the communion was ordered to be delivered with the following words, 'The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul to everlasting life. But it was soon discovered that this form savoured of the corruption of Popery; within a few years, though it had been adopted by the aid of the Holy Ghost, it was expunged, and a new form substituted by the aid of the said divine spirit. The Eucharist was no longer the body of Christ; by the magic touch of an Act of Parliament, it was converted in a bare resemblance of his death, ' Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee; and feed on him in thy heart by faith and thanksgiving.' This new form, with the declaration in the articles, gave offence to many whose minds could not keep pace with the principal Reformers in the godly career of innovation; and in the third of Elizabeth it was determined to quiet their alarms, and to allure them to the Established Church, by adopting a language more conformable to their feeling and belief. Hence in the delivery of the communion, both the forms of Edward the 6th were ordered to be united, that the objections of the Catholic might be removed, without offending the scruples of the orthodox believer; and in the article, the denial of the real presence was obliterated, and in its stead an explication introduced, which according to the prejudices or judgment of the reader might, from the manner in which it was worded, denote either the real existence or the real non-existence of Christ's body and blood in the Lord's supper. This, I believe, will prove to be the true history of the obscurity which prevails in every official document on the nature of the sacrament; the best interpretation of the unknown tongue, under which the established Church has chosen to veil her real sentiments."— (See Gilbert, Bishop of Sarum, on the Thirty-nine Articles, art. 28.)

In conclusion now, my Lord Bishop, I assert, that every religion is to be avoided which contains heresies that have been condemned by the Catholic and Apostolic Church, the ground and pillar of truth, and which have always been considered as such by her; but all these new religions contain such heresies; they are, I maintain, nothing more or less than a heap of different heresies propagated and taught in past ages by several heretics, and all of which, I repeat, have been uniformly anathematized by the universal Church, therefore they are to be avoided.

Monday, 13 March 2017

March 14.--ST. MAUD. Queen. Butlers 1894 saint of the day

THIS princess was daughter of Theodoric, a powerful Saxon count. Her parents placed her very young in the monastery of Erford, of which her grandmother Maud was then abbess. Our Saint remained in that house, an accomplished model of all virtues, till her parents married her to Henry, son of Otho, Duke of Saxony, in 913, who was afterwards chosen king of Germany. He was s pious and victorious prince, and very tender of his subjects. Whilst by his arms he checked the insolence of the Hungarians and Danes, and enlarged his dominions by adding to them Bavaria, Maud gained domestic victories over her spiritual enemies more worthy of a Christian and far greater in the eyes of Heaven. She nourished the precious seeds of devotion and humility in her heart by assiduous prayer and meditation. It was her delight to visit, comfort, and exhort the sick and the afflicted; to serve and instruct the poor, and to afford her charitable succor to prisoners. Her husband, edified by her example, concurred with her in every pious undertaking which she projected. After twenty-three years' marriage God was pleased to call the king to himself, in 936. Maud, during his sickness, went to the church to pour forth her soul in prayer for him at the foot of the altar. As soon as she understood, by the tears and cries of the people, that he had expired, she called for a priest that was fasting to offer the holy sacrifice for his soul. She had three sons: Otho, afterwards emperor; Henry, Duke of Bavaria; and St. Brunn, Archbishop of Cologne. Otho was crowned king of Germany in 937, and emperor at Rome in 962, after his victories over the Bohemians and Lombards. The two oldest sons conspired to strip Maud of her dowry, on the unjust pretence that she had squandered the revenues of the state on the poor. The unnatural princes at length repented of their injustice, and restored to her all that had been taken from her. She then became more liberal in her alms than ever, and founded many churches, with five monasteries. In her last sickness she made her confession to her grandson William, the Archbishop of Mentz, who yet died twelve days before her, on his road home. She again made a public confession before the priests and monks of the place, received a second time the last sacraments, and, lying on a sack-cloth, with ashes on her head, died on the 14th of March in 968.

Reflection.--The beginning of true virtue is most ardently to desire it, and to ask it of God with the utmost assiduity and earnestness. Fervent prayer, holy meditation, and reading pious books, are the principal means by which this virtue is to be constantly improved, and the interior life of the soul to be strengthened.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 45.


In fine, says the noted Jurieu, addressing his Catholic brethren, " In order to express the manner in which you understand the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, you tell us that he is not there according to a natural manner of existence, viz., in a corporal one, but in a mysterious or sacramental way, though still truly, really, and substantially an object of faith, and the food of our souls. Now this is precisely what we believe ourselves. We all adopt the very same expressions, for which reason, many of our divines, on perusing our writings suspect that, though you accuse us of departing from the real doctrine of the Church, yours is in reality the same as ours."

Should your Lordship, or any of your friends, resort to the old cavil of Christ's presence on earth being incompatible with his presence in heaven, I reply in the words of a most learned Protestant minister: " The corporal presence in the Eucharist, is not against any article of faith. It destroys not the ascension of our Lord, nor is his rendering himself present on this earth whenever he pleases, any way incompatible with it. The contrary is merely a consequence of our own; the essence of his body remains the same."

As to the primitive fathers and their doctrine in respect of transubstantiation, so much misrepresented by Protestants, particularly by Tillotson, in his bombastic and blasphemous 26th discourse, they are fairly and totally given up to us by the learned Dr. Parker, Bishop of Oxford; the great Scaliger acknowledging also the impossibility of proving the Calvinian doctrine, now so prevalent in England, from their writings.

"It is evident," says the above mentioned prelate, " to all ordinarily conversant in ecclesiastical history, that the ancient Fathers did, from age to age, assert the true and real presence of Christ in very high and expressive terms: the Greeks called it metabole, &c., and the Latins agreeably with them, conversion, transmutation, transformation, transelementation, and at length transubstantiation; by all which expressions they meant neither more nor less than the real and substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist."! Thus this candid and learned man.

"I have often wondered," says the great Scaliger, " that all the ancient Fathers should have considered the supper of the Lord as a real oblation, and that they should have believed, as they unquestionably did, the change of the bread into the body of Christ, for which reason, in vain do Protestants endeavour to prove the article of the supper from their writings, as Mr. Marnix observed to me, speaking of M. Plessis Mornay and others, who had rashly undertaken to do so."

Ponder well, my Lord Bishop, as a prelate of the Church of England, on the following awful words of the learned Protestant Claude to Mr. Arnauld: 1 "Let Mr. Arnauld recollect, that our present dispute of the real presence is such, that either heaven or hell must be the lot of whichever of us makes a wrong choice. Let him remember it, for we cannot forget it." 2

I shall here notice among the numerous inconsistencies of Protestants, one in particular, which must astonish not a little any sober and reflecting man. They cry up Scripture as an easy rule of faith, they appeal to it while they refuse to listen to this positive testimony of Christ's own words. They cry up, I say, the Scripture as a very easy rule of faith, and yet at the same time, they pretend that it says one thing and means another. Surely if Christ ever expressed himself-clearly, it would be on this solemn occasion, when settling a treaty, an alliance, and making his last will and testament, which should ever be couched in the most simple and plain language. 3 Does a wise man on such occasions make use of unusual figures of speech? Does he say, as I remarked in my former letter, for instance, that he bequeaths a diamond when he intends only to bequeath the figure or a representation of a diamond. Such a manner of arguing is downright non-, sense; the fact being, your Church is built on pride, error, and inconsistency. Hear Dr. Lingard, whose very name carries with it such weight, and who most justly remarks: " The new doctors,, the pride of evangelical liberty, believed one day one thing, and another day another; and as men and circumstances changed, the creed of the English Church was improved or corrupted by successive alterations. The first book of Common Prayer was a book of godly travail. The Commons, Lords, and infant head of the Church, pronounced it to have been composed with the aid of the Holy Ghost. (2 and 3 Ed. VI. c. l.) 4

1 It is affirmed by Bishop Ridley, (says Heylin, one of the principal compilers of the Liturgies,) ' that in the sacrament of the altar, is the natural body and blood of Christ; and if there be the natural body, there must be a real presence in his opinion/ The question between us and the Papists is not concerning a real presence, which the Protestants do also profess, it is agreed on both sides that there is a true and real presence, the difference being only in the modus presentiae."— (Heylin's Introduction to Cyprianus Anglicus,p. 15.)

2 In the last few pages I have availed myself largely of the before named work of the learned Julius Vindex, omitting or changing a few words applicable to Archbishop Magee, to whom his argument was addressed.

3 It is a received maxim with lawyers, that all testaments are to be interpreted in the obvious and literal sense of the testator's words. How absurd is it not therefore in Protestants to wrest the clear words of Christ, in making his last will, to bear a figurative sense in opposition to the constant testimony of the Greek and Latin Church in all ages ?

4 On this subject I will refer my readers to Bishop Beveridge's Explanation of the Catechism, p. 14. It is amusing enough to observe with what ingenuity the Right Rev. Prelate gradually slides through three pages, from the body and blood of Christ, till he at last rests on a secure standing place, the graces of the body and blood of Christ.

Monday, 6 March 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 44.


"Heshusius," says Calvin, " cannot deny that adoration is due to Christ either in or under the elements; as to my part, I have ever reasoned thus: If Christ be under the bread, he is to be adored therein."

"I am astonished," says Beza, writing against the same Lutheran, " how you can possibly leave adoration free, to be paid or not, confessing, as you do, a real presence in the Eucharist; for my part, did I believe him really present, I would not only consider adoration proper, but indispensable."

"If the true body of Christ be present on the altar, as the Church of Rome asserts, he should there receive the most profound adoration possible."

"I am decidedly of the opinion of both Calvin and Beza," says Dr. Drelincourt, "did I believe the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, I would unquestionably adore him therein." And lest the reader might consider these foreign writers as singular in their opinions, let him recollect the words already cited from Bishop Andrews, viz., " The king adores Christ truly present in the Eucharist, and I do with St. Ambrose ' adore the flesh of Christ in the mysteries.' "

"The corporal presence once established, both the popish mass and the adoration of Christ therein follow of course."

"Adoration of the Eucharist is a natural consequence of the Roman doctrine jure et facto, because if the Eucharist be in substance not bread, as we say, but the body of Christ, as they affirm, it is evident that it not only may be, but should be adored, as Christ's body is in every place an object of adoration." Your Lordship, I presume, need not be told that Mr. Daille was one of the most learned Protestant ministers of France.

"The sounder Protestants, Protestantes saniores, have no doubt," says Bishop Forbes, "of the propriety of adoring Christ in the reception of the Eucharist with true sovereign worship." 

Saturday, 4 March 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 43.


"I can find but few amongst English Protestant divines going so far," continues the learned Julius Vindex, "as to deny the absolute possibility of transubstantiation. Their main objections are, first, that it cannot be evinced from the words of holy writ; secondly, that it stands in direct contradiction to the testimony of the senses. See La Placette, Taylor, Tillotson, &c."

"Let it appear," says Dr. Taylor, 1 one of its most violent opponents, " that God hath affirmed transubstantiation, and I for my part will burn all my arguments, viz., of apparent contradictions and impossibilities against it, and make public amends." Then to the objection, that Protestants as believing themselves the doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection of the same body at the latter day, &c., should not object to transubstantiation from any seeming absurdity, or impossibility whatsoever, he answers, "That if there were as plain revelation of transubstantiation as of the others, then this argument were good; and if it were possible for a thousand times more arguments to be brought against transubstantiation, yet (saith he) we are to believe the revelation in despite of them all." Now no man can believe that to be true, in any way, which he knew before to be absolutely false and impossible, therefore, neither he nor other Protestant divines who are of the same sentiments, can believe any absolute impossibility in the doctrine of transubstantiation. Again, " Those who believe the Trinity in all those niceties of explications which are in the school, and which now pass for the doctrine of the Church, believe them with as much violence to the principles of natural philosophy, as can be in the point of transubstantiation." 2

The possibility then of transubstantiation being thus conceded, let us see whether the words of the institution taken in the plain and obvious sense, do not (even according to its greatest opponents) prove that stupendous doctrine.

"The sense of the words of the institution, this is my body," says Calvin, "taken literally, cannot stand without a change of the bread into the body of Christ; so that the visible bread may become the invisible body." 3

"Either our figure or their transubstantiation must follow," says Beza, writing against the Lutherans, " for you cannot insist on the literal sense of the words, 'this is my body,' without plainly establishing transubstantiation."

" If you take," says Zuinglius himself, " the word est, without a figure, the substance of the bread must be changed into that of the body of Christ, so that what had been bread, is no longer so.—Fieri nequit, quin panis substantia in ipsam carnis substantiam convertatur panis ergo amplius non est, qui antea panis erat." 4 And in his reply to Luther, he presses him thus: " If the pronoun ' this,' points to the bread, and that you reject a figure in the words, it will inevitably follow, that the bread doth become the body of Christ; jam panis transit in corpus Christi, et est corpus subito, quod jam panis erat. So that," he says, " if you reject the figure, the Pope has every reason to insist on transubstantiation." 5 Transubstantiation once admitted, adoration of our Saviour, as present in the Eucharist, inevitably follows.

Taylor on the Real Presence, pp. 240, 237.

Liberty of Prophecy, sec. 20.

Calvin's Second Defence against Whesphalius, p. 664.

Zuinglius in Exegesi contra Lutherum, p. 336.

Zuinglius de Cœna Domini, folio 275.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 42.


Words so clear against the Calvinian doctrine of a few years later, that Mr. Prynne asks with indignation, " Whether any other Protestant did ever hold the doctrine of Christ's body being upon the altar ? No," says he, " never Protestant wrote so before himself." f

Thus the Archbishop, who having quoted this passage of Bellarmine, viz., " Conversionem panis esse substantialem, sed arcanam et ineffabilem," owns that had he left out the word, conversionem, no man had spoken better.

Having sufficiently proved the true and real presence of our Saviour in the sacrament to be the true and real doctrine of the Church of England, I might certainly end here, but the reader will, I trust, pardon a short digression, for the purpose of my giving a most remarkable passage from the works of Luther in favour of transubstantiation, unquoted till recently by any Catholic author. And it is not only singular on that account, but important, as containing an answer to the silly cavil founded on the words, " do this in remembrance of me."

"Every act of our Saviour was intended for our advantage and instruction. ' This do' said he, 'in remembrance of me' What doth this mean ? Is is not, what I now do, do ye ? What did Christ do ? ' Panem accepit, et verbo quo dicit hoc est corpus meum, mutat in corpus suum, et dat manducandum discipulis' viz., He took the bread, and by the words, this is my body, he changes it into his body, and gives it to his disciples." It is one hundred chances to one that these words of Luther have never as yet arrested the attention of your Lordship, but you may see them by consulting the second Tome of his works, p. 253, Wittemberg edition, A.D. 1562.

So much for the true and original belief of the Church of England in regard of the real presence in the Eucharist. " And thus," says Bossuet, " a good English Protestant, without blemish to his religion or conscience, may believe that the body and blood of Christ are really and substantially present in the bread and wine immediately after consecration." — (History of the variations of the Protestant Churches, Book 14, sec. 122.)

I omitted to mention, that Dr. Heylin in his treatise, entitled " Respondet Petrus," openly reproaches Archbishop Usher with having, in his answer to a Jesuit's challenge, deviated in toto from the doctrine of the Church of England concerning the real presence, and quotes many passages to prove that she holds it as firmly as the Catholics. It is well known that Usher, like some other prelates, was more a Calvinist than a true member of the established Church on the doctrine of the Eucharist, and hence this reproach.