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(though to a very great extent an important one) of the manner of Christ's presence in the Eucharist. I am anxious to get beyond this, into the question of greatest moment, the SACRIFICE OF THE MASS, and to shew the evil consequences that are made to result from the doctrine of Transubstantiation. Solicitous as I am to make this advance, I trust that proofs will be adduced as quickly as possible, in order that we may have occasion at once to reply without loss of time.

THE REV. F. EDGEWORTH.

MR. CHAIRMAN, Ladies and Gentlemen,-Many considerations present themselves to my mind, affording facilities where I apprehended, previous to the commencement of this discussion, difficulties in meeting the members of the Reformation Society. The Rev. Gentleman who has just addressed the meeting, has, on the present occasion, as he did at various times last week, repeated his determination, never to presume to say what God ought to do, but to content himself with learning with all humility what he has done. In that sentiment, which is entirely a Catholic sentiment, but which is faintly participated in by most of our Protestant brethren, in that sentiment, I most fully concur. It is a sentiment which, on account of its consequence, particularly distinguishes the Catholic Christian from his Protestant brethren. What is the imputation most frequently brought against us? It is easy to express it in one word: it is, that the Catholics believe to excess. Yes, Sir, the Catholics do believe all that God declares, though, in the revelations of the Supreme Being, there are, and we contend there must be, things which very far surpass the understanding of man. I, therefore, rejoice at Mr. Tottenham's frequent expression of his conviction, that it is his duty and my duty, and it is the duty of every Christian, with all humility, to receive the revelations of God, and not to deny the truth of the smallest part of them, on the ground that we cannot, with our present limited understandings, comprehend its import. But, Sir, I shall rejoice exceedingly if the Rev. Gentleman, besides making this sensible declaration of his disposition to submit his understanding to the revelation of God,if he will allow that disposition to influence him through

out the whole discussion. But I consider that he has departed from that which he has declared to be his duty: it seems to me that the laboured explanation which he has given of the 6th chap. of John is a departure from it, to be ascribed to no other motive (I do not wish to impute any sinful motive) than the natural desire, of which perhaps he is scarcely conscious, of not believing the declaration of Christ that he would give his "flesh" to eat, and his "blood" to drink, because the belief of such a doctrine is "hard" to his understanding: it was "hard" to the Jews.

I shall be glad to notice the various things to which that Rev. Gentleman diverted the attention of the meeting; one word in passing bestowed upon some of them will be sufficient to prevent their being again mentioned. He has introduced a mistranslation of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. We are not here to defend that particular translation to which he has alluded. I and every other Catholic must feel disappointed at any failure or departure in the translation from the original text; but perhaps it will satisfy Mr. Tottenham, if I at once tell him that we believe that we receive, in the Holy Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ whole and entire; therefore not excluding "the bones and nerves," and all the other circumstances which the gentleman has mentioned. We believe, my Christian friends, that Christ made a solemn promise that he would give his followers, not a manna from the clouds, such as fell down upon the Israelites in the desert, but some food of a different nature and superior efficacy. In explanation he declared that this food should be his own person. "I am the living bread which came down from heaven." He over and over again pledged himself to give his " flesh" to be eaten, and his "blood" to be drunk.

In one thing there is perfect unison between us and the Rev. Gentleman opposite; on both sides we are convinced that these declarations are to be found in the Holy Scripture; we enjoy in common the happiness of knowing that these are the words of one who cannot deceive us-that they are the words of a God-Man, whose truth, whose power neither of us can question. I may remark that I am now proceeding upon an argument which I lament can be of little weight with Unitarian friends who are present; my business is with opponents who yet are united with me in firm belief in the divine and human natures of Jesus

Christ. Mr. T. as well as myself fully depends upon the character of Jesus Christ: he knows that our Lord cannot deceive us, and that our Lord has power to fulfil his promises; and, therefore, that if Christ made any promise on this or any other occasion, that promise must be redeemed.

With this preparation of mind and heart, induced by our common faith, I now, Sir, most confidently return to the consideration of the 6th chapter of St. John's Gospel; and to it I entreat the attention of our Protestant friends, to some the subject may be novel, but tọ all, I trust, it appears most important. For our respective creeds on this subject involve practical consequences, which I cannot conceal from myself for a moment to be other than such as affect our prospect of salvation. In recalling your attention to the 6th chapter of John, it is not necessary that I should read at length the texts which have been already quoted, they are probably in the memory of every one present; but I will offer a few explanatory remarks. The Jews asked our blessed Redeemer what sign he had to "shew, that they might see and believe in him." Now he had just wrought a splendid miracle; he had just multiplied five loaves and two fishes into sufficient sustenance for 5000 persons. Yet, from a desire perhaps to see a greater miracle, though many of them were induced to follow him on this occasion by a still less defensible desire of receiving corporeal food, they demanded some sign or miracle that should warrant their faith in him; and, as if it occurred to them, as it must occur to our minds, that this was not a respectful or reasonable petition, inasmuch as he had just before shewn a sign-performed a splendid miracle-they, in defence of their curiosity or incredulity, contrasted the miracle which they had just witnessed, with the miracle wrought in favour of their forefathers in the desert. "Our fathers," they said, "did eat manna in the desert;" signifying that the manna from the clouds was as great a sign as the feeding of 5000 with a few loaves; they looked for a greater sign before they would become his disciples. Our Saviour then, in reply to this demand, promises to give them something more precious than the manna; he promises to work a greater miracle; and it appears to me impossible for the Rev. Gentleman opposite, with his creed respecting the nature of the Eucharist (for I believe he will admit that ancient term), it is utterly impossible for him to shew that

a more striking or splendid miracle was wrought by Jesus Christ in favour of his followers, or a more precious food given to them than the manna which fed the Israelites in the desert. But how natural and intelligible is the whole passage with our belief of the nature of the holy Eucharist? You have, perhaps, been accustomed, Sir, to regard your Catholic brethren with pity, because they believe that the bread can be changed into the body of Christ and the wine into his blood. But, for a moment, figure to yourselves that our faith is correct; suppose you were assured by a voice from heaven, (though that could not be to my mind more clear than the voice of Jesus Christ speaking from the Gospel of St. John)-but suppose you were thus assured that our opponents are in error, and that the Catholic Church is correct, when she teaches that the bread and wine are by divine power changed into the body and blood of Christ; suppose for a moment that this is the true doctrine, I ask you, my Protestant friends, if you could not at once explain the argument which our Saviour uses to the unbelieving Jews? Do you not, on the assumption that our faith is the correct faith, behold a strength and clearness in the argument of our Saviour which you did not discover before? Is there not, as we regard the Eucharist, something infinitely more precious and splendid than the manna which fell from the clouds to feed the ancient people of God? That was called the food of angels: but this bread which Christ prepares for his followers is termed "the bread of God" (ver. 33); and he explains to the Jews, in part, in what way this bread which he would prepare for his followers, should excel the bread which was given to the Israelites in the desert. "I am that bread of life" (ver. 48). Is not this readily understood by those who believe as the Catholic Church believes? We believe that Christ is really present in the eucharistic food; that he is, as he declares (ver. 51), that "living bread which came down from heaven," and which is given from Christian altars.

Jesus proceeds then to promise to those who shall eat of this bread, that they shall live for ever: and he adds; "the bread which I will give is my flesh for the life of the

world."

Now here, I entreat my Protestant friends to endeavour to divest themselves of previous feelings,-I will not term them prejudices, unwilling to give offence;-but, if all present will endeavour to divest themselves of all previous

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impressions, and to come, as if this were the first time, to the examination of this subject, what will be their interpretation of the words of our Redeemer? Christ says, that he will give something more precious to his followers than the manna which the Israelites received in the desert; he says he will give them bread from heaven. I believe, our friends opposite would give their disciples only bread from the earth. Our Saviour proceeds and says, "I am the bread;" and we, my friends, we Catholics believe that he is the bread; and we give that bread from our altars which he declares himself to be. Then he says, "the bread which I will give is my flesh for the world." Our friends on the opposite side say, "It is not his flesh."

The Jews said, "How can this be done? How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" They had witnessed his many splendid miracles; yet this promise which he now made of giving them food, which should be his own person, appeared to them something far more stupendous than any of his works which they had yet seen. But mark how he repeats the declaration, when refusing to receive this doctrine, they said :

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"How can he give us his flesh to eat? And he-Amen, Amen—I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you."—(v. 54.)

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My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."—(v. 56.) "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him.”—(v. 57.)

Now, my Christian friends, let me again call your attention to that interpretation which the Catholic reader necesarily puts upon this passage,-an interpretation which, I am persuaded, will appear to many of my Protestant friends, at least as natural as any other, although it includes the subjection of our understanding to the revealed wisdom of God,

Our Saviour, in declaring that "unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood we have no life in us," challenges our attention to two points,--belief and practice. He declares that his flesh and his blood are provided for our food by him; and he declares that, unless we partake of that food, we shall not have life. Now, our friends, our Protestant brethren, who have not been acquainted with this truth, as it has always been expounded by the Catholic Church, in the first place, do not believe the words of Christ; they may not be conscious of their disbelief, but they do not in fact believe that in the Eucharist, or in any

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