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council of Lateran, in 1215, this doctrine was made an article of faith, and the term Transubstantiation, first used by Stephen, bishop of Autun, in the preceding century, was applied to it.

Still the doctrine was not without its difficulties. For it was natural to inquire, how it was that the elements, being changed into flesh and blood, still retained all the properties of bread and wine. To get through this embarrassment, Innocent III. asserted that the bread retained a certain paneity, and the wine a certain vineity. Other doubts arose, which it is easy to imagine, and needless to recite. But the huge superstition of the age swallowed them all without difficulty, and common sense received a long farewell. Said Guimond, an advocate of the doctrine against Berenger, "every separate part of the eucharist is the whole body of Christ. It is given entire to all the faithful. They all receive it equally. Though it should be celebrated a thousand times at once, it is the same indivisible body of Christ. It is only to sense that a single part of the host appears less than the whole, but our senses often deceive us. It is acknowledged that there is a difficulty in comprehending this, but there is no difficulty in believing it." He farther says, that in the dispute “nothing less is depending than eternal life."

The doctrine of transubstantiation was the cause of a great variety of new ceremonies and institutions in the church of Rome. Hence, among other things, those rich and splendid receptacles which were formed for the residence of God, under this new shape, and the lamps and other precious ornaments that were designed to beautify this habitation of the Deity; and hence the custom of carrying about this divine bread in solemn pomp, through the public streets, when it is to be administered to sick and dying


other ceremonies of the like nature. But what crowns the whole was the festival of the holy sacrament.

This was an institution of Urban IV. in 1264, on the pretended revelation of one Juliana, a woman of Liege, who said that it was showed her from heaven, that this particular festival day of the holy eucharist, had always been in the councils of the sovereign Trinity;

but that now the time of revealing it to men was come. This festival is attended with a procession in which the host is carried in great

persons, with

pomp and magnificence. No less a person than Thomas Aquinas composed the office for this great solemnity.

In the eastern church, the elevation of the host was first practised towards the end of the sixth century, representing the elevation of Christ

the cross.

In the western church, there is no mention of it before the eleventh centu• ry, and no adoration was required till the thirteenth, when at the ringing of a bell, the people were to fall down on their knees, and adore the consecrated host. For four or five hundred years, what are called dry masses (or the ceremony of the mass without the consecration of the elements) were much used in the church of Rome. They are only employed now on Good Fridays, and during storms at sea. In order to save the elements from loss or abuse, bread only was given to the laity in the service of communion; and the doctrine of transubstantiation made this custom easy, for if the consecrated bread was the whole body of Christ, as was now agreed, then it contained the blood, or wine, of course, and therefore that element was superfluous. Where wine was also used, the communicants sucked it through quills, or silver pipes, attached to the chalices, to prevent spilling it. The high respect for the eucharist led to the usage of receiving it kneeling instead of standing, which is still retained in the church of Rome and of England. A fierce debate arose between the Greek and Latin churches on the question whether leavened or unleavened bread was to be used at the Lord's supper. ' Finally, the Latins conformed to the example of the Greeks, and made use only of unleavened bread, which could have been the only kind our Savior employed at the institution of the ordinance.

Considering the many gross abuses which prevailed with respect to the Lord's supper after the time of Paschasius, it is no wonder that we meet with some persons who laid it aside altogether. This was the case with the Paulicians in the ninth century, who considered both baptism and the Lord's supper as something figurative and parabolical. This was also the case with some persons in France, in the beginning of the eleventh century, and they were condemned at the synod of Orleans, and again at Arras in 1025. Also in the twelfth century, one Tanchelin persuaded the people of Antwerp, and other persons in Flanders, that receiving the Lord's supper was not necessary to salvation.

But indeed this he might do, without wishing them to omit the celebration of it altogether.

As little can we wonder that unbelievers should take advantage of such a doctrine as this, to treat the christian religion with contempt. Averroes, the great freethinker of his age, said that Judaism was the religion of children, and Mahometanism that of hogs; but he knew no sect so foolish and absurd as that of the christians, who adored what they eat.



CONCERNING THE LORD'S SUPPER. As the ordinance had been wofully and totally corrupted from its first simple design, it was with great difficulty rectified. Indeed, it is hardly restored at the present day. The reformers, in general, were haunted by an indefinable awe with respect to the eucharist. Wickliffe was late in settling his opinions on the subject, and contradicts himself in different parts of his writings. John Huss believed the doctrine of transubstantiation, and the real presence. Luther rejected transubstantiation, but retained a belief in the real presence, since he held that the body of Christ might be omnipresent, as well as his divinity. To distinguish bis doctrine from that of the papists, he called it consubstantiation, and illustrated it thus: a red hot iron contains two distinct substances, the iron and the fire united, so is the body of Christ joined with the bread in the eucharist. Carolstadt, Luther's colleague, and Zuinglius, the great Swiss reformer, maintained that the bread and wine were no other than signs and symbols, designed to excite in the minds of Christians the remembrance of the sufferings and death of Christ, and of the benefits which arise from them. Socinus, likewise, considered it as a commemoration of the death of Christ. Calvin, much less rational, believed that a certain divine efficacy or virtue was communicated by Christ, together with the bread and wine. It was owing to this secret awe and leaven of superstition, that the Catholics had quite the advantage over the Protestants in their controversy on this subject, having the prejudices of the people, and also those of their adversaries, on their side. Among the different Protestant sects, different notions

and practices are prevalent in relation to this rite. The church of England, the kirk of Scotland, the Assembly's Catechism, hold forth the idea that some peculiar divine virtue is imparted in the eucharistical elements, when they are properly received, and therefore more preparation is enjoined for receiving this ordinance, than for attending public worship in general. This was the belief of Calvin. Among the English dissenters, before admission to the communion, a man is required to give an account of his experience in religion, or the miraculous work of grace upon his soul, so as to afford reason to believe that he is one of the elect and will not fall away, before he can be allowed to partake of the eucharist. In accordance with the same belief, days of preparation for receiving the supper are set apart; and no person is thought to be qualified to administer the ordinance, unless he has been regularly ordained.

It can also be from nothing but the remains of superstition, that the number of communicants, even among the most liberal of the Dissenters, is very small, seldom exceeding one in ten of the congregation; and very few as yet bring their children to communion. On this subject Mr Pierce wrote a very valuable tract, which has led many to think favorably of the practice, as the only effectual method of securing the attendance of Christians in general, when they are grown up.

I would only advise the deferring of communion till the children be of a proper age to be brought to attend other parts of public worship, and till they can be made to join in the celebration with decency, so as to give no offence to others. This being a part of public worship, there cannot, I think, be any reason for inaking them communicate at an earlier age; and to make them do it at any period before it be properly an act of their own, will equally secure their attendance afterwards, which is the object to be aimed at. It is because there has been no particular fixed time for beginning to communicate, that has been the reason of its being so generally neglected as it has been with us. I flatter myself, however, that in due time, we shall think rationally on this, as well as on other subjects relating to Chris. tianity, and that our practice will correspond with our sentiments.



THE INTRODUCTION. The rite of baptism was perhaps first practised by John, whose commission from God, was to baptize unto repenstance all who should profess themselves to be his disciples. Our Savior himself, was baptized, and probably all the apostles, who, by his directions, baptized others, even in his life time; and in his giving his commission to them, he commanded them to baptize as well as disciple all nations. Accordingly we find, in the book of Acts, that all who were converted to Christianity, Jews as well as Gentiles, were received into the Christian church by baptism.

As this rite is usually called the baptism of repentance, it was probably intended to represent the purity of heart and life which was required of all who professed themselves to be Christians; and therefore a declaration of faith in Christ, and also of repentance, was always made by those who presented themselves to be baptized, at least if it was required of them. Nothing more, therefore, seems to have been meant by baptism originally, than a solemn declaration of a man's being a Christian, and of his resolution to live as becomes one; and very far was it from being imagined, that there was any peculiar virtue in the rite itself. It was considered as laying a man under obligation to a virtuous and holy life, as the profession of Christianity necessarily does, but not of itself making any person holy.

It is certain, that in very early times, there is no particular mention made of any person being baptized by sprinkling only, or a partial application of water to the body; but as on the other hand, the dipping of the whole body is not expressly prescribed, and the moral emblem is the same, viz. that of cleanness or purity, produced by the use of water, we seem to be at liberty to apply the water either to the whole body, or to a part of it, as circumstances shall make it convenient. The Greek word (baptizo) certainly does not always imply a dipping of the whole body in water. For it is applied to that kind of washing which the Pharisees required before eating. See Luke xi. 38. Mark

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