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Discussions on the Mass-Debates on the concession of the cup to the laity-Division on that question-Subsequent determination to refer it to the Pope-TWENTY-SECOND SESSION-Decree on the Mass-Reflections.

THE mass was the subject proposed for the next session, 90 This point had been fully discussed at the former sitting of the council, but the publication of the decree was prevented by the unexpected and abrupt termination of the proceedings. Some advised the adoption of that decree, after suitable revision; this, however was opposed by the legates, and it was generally judged more becoming the dignity of the council to examine the whole subject de novo, especially as the number of the prelates was now so much greater, being nearly two hundred, more than three times as many as were assembled under Julius III.

Thirteen articles were submitted to the divines for examination. Their discussions occupied but little time, as scarcely any difference of opinion existed, and no Protestants were there to object or dispute. The principal point to be proved was that the mass is really a


90 The "mass" is the communion-service, or consecration and administration of the sacrament. 'High mass" is the same service, accompanied by all the ceremonies which custom and authority have annexed to its celebration. An account of these may be seen in the fourth volume of Geddes' "Tracts against Popery." In the early ages of the church the congregation was dismissed before the celebration of the Lord's Supper, none but the communicants being suffered to remain. "Ita missa est," Thus the congregation is dismissed, said the officiating minister, and immediately the congregation withdrew the term thus employed was used in process of time to designate the solemn service about to be performed; it was called "missa," the mass.

sacrifice, that is, that the Lord's supper is not merely a commemoration of the Saviour's passion, but an actual offering of his body and blood by the hands of the priest. One extract will suffice to show what kind of argument and evidence was employed in support of this tenet. Melchior Cornelio, a Portuguese divine, reasoned thus: "When the eucharist is carried to the sick, or is preserved for use, it is a sacrament; but when it is offered on the altar, it is a sacrifice. Now, the devil is constantly endeavouring to alienate the minds of the heretics from the mass: therefore, the mass is not an abomination, as Luther affirms, because the devil does not hate abominations, but cherishes them. Further, in Isa. lxvi. 21, God promises to take priests from among the gentiles; but they cannot be priests without a sacrifice, and that sacrifice is the mass. Again, it was prophesied by Malachi that in every place 'a pure offering should be presented; this is not to be understood of spiritual sacrifices, that is prayers, as Jerome interprets it, but of the sacrifice of the mass, since the prayers of the faithful are many, and one offering only is there spoken of. It was said of the Messiah, that he should be a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek; but Melchisedek offered bread and wine; therefore Christ, in instituting the eucharist, did the same, and offered himself. And forasmuch as he said to the apostles, 'Do this,' he thereby directed them to do as he himself had done, and therefore, since the eucharist is a propitiatory sacrifice, he thus constituted them priests, and enjoired them and their successors to offer that sacrifice continually, for themselves and for the sins of others." 9 1

Yet there were some who opposed these sentiments. They denied that the eucharist, when instituted by Christ, was a sacrifice, and strenuously maintained that if the Saviour really offered himself in the supper, his sacrifice on the cross was useless and of none effect. Francis Foreiro, also a Portuguese divine, ventured even to impugn the received interpretation of those passages of scripture which had been alleged in support of the common opinion. He avowed his firm belief in the sa

91 Pallav. 1. xviii. c. 2. s. 1. Sarpi, 1. vi. s. 44. Le Plat, v. p. 424.

crifice of the mass, but said that the proof should be drawn from apostolic tradition, and not from Scripture; and he warned the fathers of the danger they would incur by attempting to prove too much, and thus involving the truth itself in uncertainty. The boldness of this speech gave great offence. 92

Whether Jesus Christ "offered himself as a sacrifice to the Father in the supper, or only on the cross," was a question which gave rise to long ard warm disputes. Four opinions were propounded. Cardinal Madrucci, the archbishop of Otranto, and many more, held the affirmative, as stated by Melchior Cornelio. The bishop of Paris spoke on the same side; he said that the sacrifice of Christ was begun in the supper, and perfected on the cross, and he questioned whether those who thought otherwise should not be considered as heretics. Gaspar à Casalio, bishop of Leira remarked that though the sacrifice of the Saviour was one in itself, there were many and various modes of offering it; that, as St. Thomas had shown, the progress of the Redeemer's passion consisted of several steps or stages, of which the institution of the supper was one, which was therefore a part of those sufferings that were consummated on the cross. Lainez, General of the Jesuits, who had recently arrived at Trent, pursued a similar course of argument. He observed further, that if Christ did not offer himself in the supper, every priest, when he consecrates the eucharist does more, than the Saviour himself did in the institution of that sacrament; and that our Lord used the present tense, saying, "this is my blood which is shed for you," which could not be true unless an actual sacrifice of himself had then taken place. He enumerated also, it is said, various points of difference between the sacrifice of the supper and that of the cross; but what they were, the historians have not informed us. On the other hand, the archbishop of Granada and some others maintained that the sacrifice of Christ in the supper was eucharistic and not propitiatory, and that the opposite opinion derogated from the worth and glory of the atonement made on the A third party wished the subject to be left open


92 Sarpi, ut sup.


and undecided, and judged it safest to say that Christ commanded his apostles to offer a propitiatory sacrifice in the mass, without asserting whether or in what manner he offered himself. The fourth division consisted of those who endeavoured in different ways to reconcile the two first-mentioned opinions, but with very little The result was that notwithstanding all the intrigues of the Jesuit Salmeron, who left no stone un turned to procure an affirmative decision of the question, a compromise was found necessary, and the legates caused the decree to be so framed that while it stated that the Saviour offered himself to the Father in the supper, the expression "propitiatory sacrifice" was not used. 9 3

There was some conversation on the propriety of celebrating mass in the vulgar tongue, and the custom prevailing in Dalmatia was adduced, where, after the gospel was read in Latin, it was again read in the Dalmatian dialect, for the instruction of the people. But it was unanimously agreed to prohibit the celebration of mass in any other than the Latin language. 94

The French ambassadors began to be very anxious for the arrival of the prelates and divines of their nation, who had been long expected. Important discussions were in progress, the results of which would soon go forth to the world, but they were wholly managed by Italian, Spanish and Portuguese divines. Intelligence at length arrived from France that sixty prelates and twelve eminent theologians were ordered to repair to Trent, and that they were to be accompanied by the cardinal of Lorraine, and might be expected to join the council before the end of September. Upon this the ambassadors presented a memorial to the legates, requesting a postponement of the ensuing session. The legates could not deny the reasonableness of the request, but the Pope had given them express orders to wait no longer for any one, and to bring the council to a termination as soon as possible. An evasive and unsatisfactory answer was returned; and when permission was asked to present the request to the fathers, assembled

93 Pallav. 1. xviii. c. 2. s. 1-12. Sarpi, 1. vi. s. 49. 94 Pallav. ut sup. s. 13.

in general congregation, it was refused, under the pretext that ambassadors were sent to treat with the legates only, and were never suffered to address the council except on the day of their public reception. This frivolous excuse greatly offended the ambassadors; they loudly complained of the injustice of the measure, and their indignation was still more excited when they learned that in answer to a similar application for delay, by De l'Isle, the French minister at Rome, the Pope had referred the whole business to the legates. "The Pope sends us to the legates," said Lanssac; "the legates send us to the council; but the council is not permitted to hear us, and thus the world is deceived." 9


The undecided question of the concession of the cup to the laity was again introduced. A ten days' debate followed. The following brief abstract of some of the speeches delivered on that occasion will furnish the reader with the principal arguments employed on each side.

Cardinal Madrucci inclined to the concession, hoping that it would be the means of retaining many Catholics in the faith. The patriarchs of Jerusalem, Venice, and Aquileia opposed it; the latter warned the council of the dangerous tendency of the indulgence; he said that if this were conceded, other innovations would be sought, and the desires of the people would resemble the insatiable thirst of the dropsy, which it was hardly possible

95 Pallav. I. xviii. c. 14. Sarpi, 1. vi. s. 47. Le Plat, v. p. 436. Pibrac returned to France on this occasion, at the request of his colleagues, to lay before the queen-regent the actual state of affairs at Trent. In a letter to her majesty, written on his journey, he informed her that though there were some excellent men among the Spanish and Italian bishops, the majority were of a very different stamp; that both the French ambassadors and the representatives of other Christian princes had repeatedly urged the importance of a thorough reform of ecclesiastical discipline, and had furnished the legates with various suggestions and plans for their assistance in that respect, but that their labour was entirely thrown away, for the fathers were not permitted to see any documents of that description, their whole time being occupied in useless discussions on doctrinal points; in short, that their only remaining hope lay in the anticipated efforts of the cardinal of Lorraine and the French prelates, whose arrival was expected by the legates and their party with unusual alarm. It will be seen in the sequel that this hope also was futile. Le Plat, v. p. 456-458.

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