« PreviousContinue »
We err grievously if we suppose that rature of the age may be even thus the frivolous is necessarily uninfluen- evanescent, yet not inefficacious. By tial, and that when the word passes, its its wide and rapid circulation it may effects also pass with it. The spark act more powerfully on society than do struck from the iron heel of the la- graver and abler treatises ; and its bourer may have disappeared ere the authors, if unprincipled, may thus deeye could mark its transient lustre, yet serve but too well the title which the ere it expired have fired the train which indignant Nicole gave to the compaexplodes a magazine, lays a town in ratively decorous dramatists and roruins, and spreads around a wide circuit mance writers of France, in his own alarm and lamentation, bereavement and time-a title which his pupil Racine at death. Trifles may have no trivial in- first so warmly resented—that of "pubfluence: what is called the lighter lite- | lic poisoners.”—Dr. W. R. Williams.
ENSHROUDING the valley, empurpling the mountain,
The iris-like colours of evening now float,
Are laying, in beauty, the verdure remote.
It whispers of gladness and joy from afar;
Illumed by the rays of the bright evening star.
From out their deep prisons, the waves' careless music
In richly-hushed murmurs, lull nature's repose,
What infinite joy in their bright bosom glows.
Creation is joining in vespers of praise ;
And sinking to sleep are the last bedimmed rays.
Thus calm may I be as my earth's day is closing ;
Thus smiling with joy may I sink to my rest;
With Him to awake in the realms of the blest.
For this He now makes intercession on high ;
Thy dawn, Immortality, breaks on the sky.-Leila Ada.
The Idol Demolished by its own Priest. An , again been resorted to. Assertions Answer to Cardinal Wiseman's Lectures were passed for facts, assumptions
Transubstantiation. JAMES graced the logic, quotations of scripSueridan Knowles. Author of Virginius ture were mutilated, and their point in and other Dramas, fc. London, Long- numerous cases avoided. The controman and Co. 1851.
versial character of the lecturer soon CARDINAL WISEMAN's introduction to after received an irrecoverable blow the notice of our countrymen was one from the vigorous and sturdy arm of of a highly favourable kind. The learn- Mr. Palmer, of Oxford. It pleased the ing, the candour, the freedom from then bishop of Melipotamus to intrude bigotry, that were characteristic of his himself into the controversy, raging "Lectures on the Connexion between in the University in 1841, on the subScience and Revealed Religion," inspired ject of Tract 90. He did not quite many with feelings of respect for a approve of the treatment Roman docRoman Catholic theologian who for once trine met with from Mr. Newman, far laid aside the insolent dogmatism of his as that gentleman went in his adhesion church, and treated religious questions to the Holy Catholic Church." in a scientific and philosophic manner. sought to supply a corrective to Mr. His appearance afterwards as a preacher Newman's mischievous affirmations, in Moorfields drew crowded audiences, and to make known the true sentiments who listened with delight to the dulcet of the Roman Church on Purgatory, tones, the apparently fair argumenta- Satisfaction, and Saint Worship, and tion, the appeal to scripture, and the thereby defend that church from the forcible eloquence which stood forth pro- charges of idolatry and superstition minently in his lectures on the “doc- brought by the learned tractarian. In trines and practices of the Catholic the course of his remarks, and also church.” It was a new thing to hear in a subsequent treatise, the cardinal a Roman divine appeal to the holy adduced many testimonies and made oracles, boldly take his stand on the certain representations which turned divine record, and prove, or at least out to be quoted from forged, or supattempt to prove, from that source the posititious documents, and which he divine origin of “doctrines and prac- must have known to be so. Since then tices” that protestants have been wont no one ventures to quote after Dr. to regard as springing up in subsequent Wiseman, cardinal though he be, or ages of darkness, or as the fruit of to take his representation of catholic unauthorized tradition.
truth, as that truly held by the church But if the firm utterance and per- of Rome. suasive manner of the lecturer covered The cardinal's recent descent on up at the time the false assumptions English soil has recalled the attention and unfair adductions of facts that of many to his early literary produceverywhere abounded in his oratorical tions, and among others Mr. Sheridan displays, the closer examination of the Knowles has given himself to the printed lectures soon dispersed the examination of the cardinal's views on illusion. The old arts of Rome had I transubstantiation. The three lectures
on this subject given in Moorfields were palpable reference to the Eucharist; merely a condensation of a series of that our Lord in the discourse addressed eight lectures, delivered at an earlier to the blinded Jews intended to affirm period in the English College at Rome. the doctrine of transubstantiation, In order to give his argument full scope asserting in unequivocal language the Dr. Wiseman afterwards printed this necessity of an actual eating of his more extended series, promising to sup- body and blood to salvation. Our space plement them with a volume presenting forbids our attempting even an outline the patristic evidence. This promise is of the argument, but it is curious to still unfulfilled : probably because he is note in the first place, the main prinhopeless of convincing English readers ciple of the cardinal's argument, and by the fathers, seeing they are so hard his treatment of the test of interpreto convert by his scriptural arguments. tation contained in the 62nd and 63rd It is the peculiarity of the lectures he verses. The lecturer labours hard to has published that they are (with brief show, and claims credit as exceptions) confined to an examination scripturist in so doing, that as the of the scriptural evidence for and against object of all human intercourse is to the doctrine. In this the cardinal has transfuse into other minds the same done homage to the protestant character ideas and feelings that exist in the of the people. He has condescended minds of the respective interlocutors, so to enter the arena armed with the same we have a criterion and clue to the true weapon as ourselves. He has staked the interpretation of our Lord's language, doctrine on the issue. For once in respecting his flesh and blood, in the Romish controversy, Rome's champion manner in which the Jews understood has entered the lists clothed with scrip- it. They thought he intended to say ture texts, laying aside for awhile the that they were literally to eat of such rags and patches of antiquity.
horrible food. “How can this man To pass by what has been done in give us his flesh to eat ?” said they. reply by Drs. Turton and Wordsworth Hence, argues the cardinal, as it cannot of the Anglican establishment, we may be supposed that our Saviour intended satisfactorily call attention to the work to deceive the Jews, but on the other of Mr. Knowles. With great pains he hand must, in this instance, have used, has tracked the lecturer step by step, and always did use, language so plain at every stage dealing yet more deadly that it was impossible to be misunderblows on his antagonist. There is no stood, his hearers truly expressed the subterfuge left unexplored : no mutila- views he wished them to entertain—that tion of scripture unnoted. The car- they must literally and not figuratively dinal is driven from post to post until eat his flesh, would they have eternal the idol is shown to be utterly demol- life. Through many pages does the ished by the hands of its own priest. cardinal illustrate this supposed true
The arguments of Cardinal Wiseman principle of interpretation. In various are divisible into two portions, those forms he asserts and re-asserts the same founded on what he calls the literal thing, even to wearisomeness. But he interpretation of our Lord's language has fatally overlooked one objection to in the 6th of John, and those on the his entire theory; that the evangelic words of the institution given by the narratives do present numerous exevangelists and by Paul. Theologians amples in which our Lord so spake that of his school have laboured hard to he should not be understood, and that prove that the former has a direct and for a very solemn reason.
admonition is not inappropriate to a ments of your opponents compel its prochurch which can resort to the no- duction. But Christ has not done ; he tions of malignant Jews for a justifi- adds a declaration which establishes the cation of the doctrine it holds. “ Unto exclusively spiritual character of his them that are without,” said He, "all ministry from first to last. The words these things are done in parables, that which I speak to you, are spirit and seeing they may see, and not perceive ; are life.'--the words, the doctrine, the and hearing they may hear, and not whole doctrine. From the commenceunderstand ; lest at any time they ment to the close of his ministry, he should be converted, and their sins preaches spirit, and that spiritual should be forgiven them.” Alas! poor preaching is life. Your dogma, sir, cardinal.
impugns the veracity of Christ. If he It is very characteristic of the Rom- enjoin the real eating of his flesh and ish doctor that in his continuous expo- drinking of his blood, the words that sition of our Lord's words, he passes he speaks are not spirit.” over the 62nd and 63rd verses, and The whole treatment of this importadduces them subsequently as an ob- ant key-text to ! our Lord's meaning jection to the view he endeavours to may fairly be stigmatized as an evasion. prove. In a brief space he declares The difficulties of the Romanist view them irrelevant, and that it is the more only commence with the assertion of unnecessary to examine them, since all the fact of transubstantiation. If it Protestant commentators agree to set be granted that this incredible change them aside as referring simply to the takes place, that under the form and opposite characters of flesh and spirit, incidents of bread and wine there is in the same sense as Paul uses these literally and truly existing the body, words in the 8th of Romans. Although blood, bones, nerves, and divinity of the cardinal can mention the names of Christ, numerous circumstances must three or four Protestant commentators conspire to render the sacrament a valid who adopt this interpretation, he is one, and the salvation of the partigrossly in error in affirming it to be the cipants secure. It must at the same opinion of all, or of even a majority time be remembered that salvation among them. But on his treatment hangs on the act of the officiating of this proof-text we will quote Mr. priest ; that if by any accident he do Knowles :
not make a sacrament of it, he deceives “Here at last we find the 63rd verse; the soul of the receiver ; that since the but in what state do we find it ? holy wafer is worthy of the adoration Mutilated! The first clause lopped off ! which is paid to it, as being literally and Why? Because, as it stands in the truly Christ himself present before the text, it utterly stops the mouth of ob- eye of the worshipper, should there be jection, with regard to the testimony of by some unforeseen, fortuitous, or intentwo preceding verses, to either of which tional event an imperfect host or mass, you cautiously abstain from making the and the wafer after consecration remain least allusion! Thus you garble the nothing more than bread, the priest and testimony of scripture. I do not at all the communicants are guilty of idolatry. wonder, sir, that you should feel so Few, perhaps, are aware of the perils shy of this verse, though I may be which beset every step of the process of astonished at your want of common transubstantiation. Innumerable decaution, in betraying your jealousy of fects may arise to injure or prevent it, by mutilating it, when the argu- the wondrous transformation. These
VOL. XV.FOURTH SERIES.
defects may relate to the substance, although rightly ordained, may inva. that is, to the bread and wine; or lidate the sacrament he professes to to the form, that is, to the process make. Thus he must have rightly been employed to procure the change; or baptized, and with intention on the part to the priest himself, who may be of the administrator. And this docunable to effect or to complete the trine of intention is necessary in every magic work. We will briefly indicate act of the priestly life.
The priest some of the difficulties which stand in must intend to transubstantiate. Who the way of making a valid sacrament, is to know or secure his intention, is a as they are stated by writers of the mystery: but it is of solemn importance church of Rome itself. They are no to the validity of his work. In some imaginary difficulties raised by Pro- instances a defect in the tonsure, or testant theologians ; but constitute an neglect in cutting the hair off the important part of the instruction ne- crown of his head, may entail on the cessary for a priest in order to observe priest the guilt of mortal sin, and therethe rubric of the mass with due care fore invalidate the sacrament he may and efficiency.
attempt to make. It is also regarded The first class of possible defects, and as probable that a priest falls into therefore of an invalid sacrament, im- mortal sin who plays at dice, or visits perilling the soul's salvation, relates to theatres. Hunting is forbidden; but the officiating priest. He must be a seems to become a mortal sin only when true priest. Even an angel cannot clamorously and often pursued. Fishmake a valid sacrament, Consecration ing and coursing at the worst are but of the elements by any other being is venial sins. But secular business is a wholly inefficacious : so that whatever graver offence : for a priest to buy and defects are incident to his introduction sell in the market or shop and get gain to the priesthood tell fatally on his as a trader, is a mortal sin. He deals transubstantiating powers and gifts. in holier wares. We shall pass over If for example, at the priest's ordina- those violations of decency, or breach tion there should be delivered into his of vows of chastity, which by word, or hands the paten without the consecrated look, or touch, involve the priest in bread, or the cup without the conse- mortal sin ; it is enough to have pointed crated wine, he receives not power him- out the dread uncertainty which must self to consecrate. It is even doubtful fall on the heart of the communicant if whether if they be present the ordina- he think for a moment of the concurtion' is complete without a physical rence of things requisite to give validity touching of the elements. Some think to the priestly act. The sacrament may it enough to touch the containing vessel. utterly fail if the priest be not all these It suffices not atordination to receive the rubrical directions require. He may host from the hands of any inferior priest, give but bread and wine, when he prothe ordained must take it from episcopal fesses to give the body of Christ.
He fingers. And the bishop, too, will ren- may ruin the soul, while he professes to der his work invalid if he repeat not impart eternal life. The receiver knows the words of consecration at the right it not. The wafer and cup are still to moment, neither before nor after the the touch, the tongue, and the eye but presentation. He must also have an bread and wine. He has no means intention to ordain, and to impart this whatever of discovering the invalidating mysterious gift to the kneeling presbyter. cause. The priest's mind, intention,
But serious defects in the priest character, elude his grasp.