CHAP. XIX. Several Answers to my Arguments, against Tran∣substantiation refuted.
TO all my Reasons touching the absurdity of the doctrine of Transubstantiation, and the repugnance of it with all humane reason, Mr. I. S. gives an easie Answer, that in matters of Faith we must renounce Reason. He should first prove that this is a point of Faith, a doctrine con∣tained in the Word of God. His endeavors for it we have seen and declared to be vain in the precedent Chapter; then it being an Article of their making, he may not expect from us more subjection of our Intellects, then his re•son will gain; and he confessing Reason do's not assist him, I take it for a confession that he is cast in the suit.
I urged, that there was no necessity of forcing men to believe so hard a doctrine, neither for the effect of the Sacrament, nor for the verification of our Saviours words in the Institution of it. Mr. I. S. confesses the first, but denies the second upon a very trivial, and no less weak Argument, which I will shew, rather proves against him then for him. He saies, that allowing the word Body is equivocal, and indifferent to be taken for a real or figurative Body; yet put in a Pro∣position, its determined to signifie that of which only the Predicate can be verified; but only of Page 119Christ's real Body, can it be verified that it was given for us: therefore this Proposition, [This is my Body which is given for you] is to be under∣stood of Christ's real Body. Here we have one Proposition made of two, and the Predicate of the former made the Subject of the latter, to frame a designed fallacy. The former Proposition, which is the proper Subject of our debate, is this, Hoc est Corpus meum, this is my Bod. The Subject of this Proposition, is the Bread Christ had in his hands, and gave his Disciples to eat. The Predi∣cate is our Saviours Body; and the question is how to understand the words of the Predicate, so as they may be agreeable to the Subject. The words of the Predicate are indifferent to be ta∣ken for a real or figurative Body, and to be de∣termined according to the quality of the Subject; that so the Identity of both, requisite for a true Proposition, may be seen, according to the rule a∣bove mentioned by Mr. I.S. all which proves that the word Body is to be taken rather in a figura∣tive sense then in a real; otherwise it could not be agreeable to the Subject, which was Bread real and visible, and called such before and after Con∣secration, both by Christ and St. Paul.
Now take notice Reader, of the egregious fal∣lacy of our Adversary. The foresaid complex Proposition he assumes to work upon, [This is my Body which is given for you,] is composed of two Propositions, the one is hat now declared, relating to what Christ had in his hand, [This is my Body.] The other relating to Christ's Body of which, as subject of the second Proposition, another Predicate is affirmed, that it was given Page 120for us upon the Cross, [which was given for you.] Mr. I. S. to do his own work, confounds these two Propositions, and makes the Predicate of the former Proposition a Subject to the latter: and instead of fitting the said Predicate of the for∣mer Proposition to the Subject of it (as he should do, being to speak to the purpose) he talks of fit∣ting it to the Predicate of the second Proposition, about which is no question; for none doubts whether it was the real Body of Christ that was given for us upon the Cross. I allow you the be∣nefit of the same rule alledged for the second Proposition, [Christs Body was given for us,] that the indifferency of the word Body, which is the Subject, may be determined by the quality of the Predicate, and so taken for a real Body, because 'twas a real Body wch was given for us upon the Cross. Why will not you allow us the benefit of the same rule for the former Proposition, [This is my Body,] which is the proper Subject of this Debate, that the indifferency of the word Body in the Predicate be determined by the quality of the Subject, which was the Bread Christ had in his hand, and of which, with more propriety and less violence may be affirmed, that its a figura∣tive Body of Christ, then his living Body?
But if the rules of your Logic must be so ex∣travagant as to demand, that when a discrepancy appears betwixt the Predicate and Subject of a Proposition supposed to be true, its the Subject must be altered or fashioned to a conformity with the Predicate, not the Predicate to conform with the Subject: what will you make of these two Propositions of our Saviour, I am the true Page 121Vine, Joh. XV. 1. I am the bread of life, Joh. VI. 48. In which two Propositions a great discrepancy appears betwixt the Predicate and Subject. The person of Christ speaking, is the Subject in both Propositions, Wine and Bread the Predicate. Will you have the person of Christ to be altered and converted to a Vine, and to Bread, to verifie those Propositions; I hope you will not be so blasphemous. And why? Because Christ was seen to be a Man, not a Vine, or Bread: and so was the Bread in his hands seen and felt to be true Bread, no humane Body.
I objected, that the Council of Trent, Sess. 13. Can. 2. accursing such as affirm Bread and Wine to remain in the Eucharist after Consecration, doth oppose St. Paul, calling the consecrated Ele∣ment Bread. You say he called it Bread, not be∣cause it was such then, but because it was Bread before; as in Scripture we read, The blind do see, the lame do walk: not that they were blind and lame when they did see and walk, but because they were such before. I answer, that in these latter cases an Ampliation of the term was neces∣sary, because the senses did assure that those men were not then blind or lame; but not so in St. Pauls case; the senses did see and feel what he called Bread, to be such indeed.
I produced several clear and express testimo∣nies of the most ancient and renowned Fathers of the Church, delivering our doctrine, that the Elements in the Eucharist do not change their na∣ture, but are Types and Symbols of the Body of Christ abiding still in their proper substance. To all which Mr. I. S. answers, that the EucharistPage 122is indeed a Type and Representation of Christ's Body, but Christ himself is there both represent∣ing and represented: as a King that would act a part in a Tragedy of his own Victories, he would be the thing represented, and the repre∣sentation. Truly I wonder how this old Simile kept credit so long time among Romish Cate∣chists, but more that it should be brought to a serious dispute. I wonder they should not ap∣prehend a great indecency in the parity; if a Tragedy were made of the late Seige of Mae∣stricht, wherein the King of France was in per∣son active; would not a judicious man think it unbecoming the majesty of so great a Prince, to go himself about all the Cities of the Country, acting a part in such a Tragedy, to represent his own Chivalry? Why will not they think it inde∣cent, that the King of Glory, Christ, should act personally and corporally in all corners of the World, where the Eucharist is celebrated, being able to do all intended by it in a more intelligible way, and with more decency.
But all this while our Adversary slips the main Point intended by the testimony of the Fathers, that the Elements of Bread and Wine remain in their own nature unchanged after Consecration; whereby they seem to lie under the curse of the Council of Trent now mentioned. To which testi∣monies I will add another out of Dionysius Syrus, writing upon the first Chapter of S. John. v. 14. and the word was made Flesh. His words tran∣slated by a most * learned and honorable person out of the Syriac Language into English, are these.Page 123
Object. The Heretics demand how was the word made Flesh, being not changed?
Sol. Even as he appeared to the Prophets in Similitudes without being changed, & as he was before he was made, so was he when he was made, without change. And as the Amianton or Salamander is united with the fire, without being changed; as the Bread is made the Body of Christ, and the waters of Baptism are made Spi∣ritual, without being changed from their nature: so the word was made Flesh, without being changed from what it was as God; that is to say, he took Flesh without being changed.
From the same hand I had notice that the E∣thiopic Liturgy printed at Rome, dn. Dom. 1548. useth these words in the Celebration of the Sa∣crament, This Bread is my Body; which deter∣mination of the Particle hoc, to Bread, disfavor∣ing the doctrine of Transubstantion, the Transla∣tor of the Liturgy plai'd the falsary in translating that passage, by the words, Hoc est Corpus meum.
To all these and the like Testimonies, Mr. I.S. saies, they are not so clearly for us, but that Bel∣larmin, and others of his side do find waies to give them another sense, and therefore we need∣ed an infallible living Judg to determine the sense of the Fathers, as well as of Scripture; and that Judg being to be the Bishop of Rome, he may be sure of a favorable sentence, if the cause be devolved thither.
But what if we find a Pope clearly delivering our Opinion twelve hundred years ago, and say∣ing, The Sacramental Elements after Consecra∣tion, do not cease to be the substance and nature of Page 124Bread and Wine; as we have found Pope Gela∣sius do, whose words I related, pag. 56. of my sormer Discourse? Will he find a way to decline such a sentence? Were the Popes Infallible in that time? Certain I am, they did not pretend to be so. But Mr. I.S. answers, that Bellarmin saies, that Gelasius was no Pope but a Monk. Bellarmi• do's cast a thick cloud upon History to prove so much, or at least to render the matter obscure; and so do's Baronius. But this latter fearing not to carry on that design, or (as he saies, to) war with more gallantry and contemt of his Adver∣saries, will afford them the Arms they pretend, and allow Gelasius the Pope should be Author of those words: And what then? Why Gelasius, by the words substance of Bread and Wine, did mean the Accidents or Species of Bread and Wine, which do remain, and are to us the means of knowing the substance; and may not be called properly Accidents in this Case, because there is no substance left for them to rest upon, as the nature and common notion of an Accident do's require. And having deliver'd this most strange and never heard of complica∣tion of contradictory expressions, to make of Ac∣cidents a substance, and with all, no substance of Bread to remain; he sounds lowdly a triumph over his Adversaries, that he has whipt them like boys with their own arms; and altho it be allowed gratis, that the foresaid testimony should be of Pope Gelasius, yet it serves nothing to their purpose. I could enlarge more upon the Absur∣dities of Baronius his discourse upon that sub∣ject, and the injury he do's to Gelasius in father∣ing upon him so ridiculous a paradox: but I Page 125think sufficient for the present to let the Reader see how solid and serious, I should say how chil∣dish and ridiculous even great Men appear, when engaged in a bad cause. I am apt to think that some will hardly believe so great a Man as Car∣dinal Baronius should deliver so eminent nonsense as we have now related. Read him in his fifth Tome of his Annals, An. Dom. 406. Gelasii Papae, an. 5. from the first number to the twentieth.
And conclude Reader from this passage, what little hopes we may have of peace, and end of Controversy among Christians, by allowing the Pope to be infallible, when the most clear and plain words of a Pope are subject to an Inter∣pretation of them so cross, and diametrically opposite to the meaning of them according to common use. As to understand Scripture, a Popes Declaration is pretended to be necessary; so to understand each Pope his Declaration, an∣other infallible Judg is to be look'd after with∣out end.