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the remoteness of objects, or other causes, our senses may sometimes misinform us ; but where these causes do not exist, their combined testimony is infallible. To believe a revelation, therefore, in opposition to them, would be to believe God in contradiction to himself; for we should admit that revelation certainly, upon an evidence which itself declares to be uncertain. 2nd. It is said, that we believe the doctrine of the Trinity on the authority of God; yet it contradicts our reason; the evidence of which is equal to that of our senses.

But this assertion is not true. We know, that a thing cannot be one and three in the same respect; our reason assures us of this, and we do and must believe it; but we know that in different respects the same thing may be one and three. And since we cannot know all the possibilities of those different respects, we must, upon the authority of God revealing it, believe that the same thing is both one and three, though if a revelation affirmed that the same thing were one and three in the same respect, we should not and could not believe it.a

3. It contradicts the nature and end of miracles. The nature of miracles consists in their

an appeal to the senses ; in 'this, on the contrary, there is an appeal from them. Again, the visible end of miracles is to serve as an at

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a

See Gibson's Preserv. v. 2. Tit. 7. p. 253.

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testation to the truth of a communication from God. The miracle performed in this sacrament, however, cannot give credit to a revelation, for the senses, so far from perceiving, contradict it. Nor is there any spiritual end served in working this miracle, for it is acknowledged, that in this sacrament unworthy receivers, though they receive the true body of Christ, do not obtain grace with it; and the grace that is given by it to worthy receivers remains with them after that, by the destruction of the species of the bread and wine, the body of Christ is withdrawn. The spiritual effect therefore of this sacrament, confessedly does not depend on the corporal presence. Here then it is supposed that God is every day working a great many miracles of the most stupendous nature, in a vast number of different places, in our behalf; yet he has not acquainted us with any end for which he should perform them, whether visible or spiritual.

4. It contradicts Scripture. In order to distinguish between literal and figurative expressions, this rule is given us by St. Augustine : “ If any place seems to command a crime or horrid action, it is figurative;" and for an instance of this he cites the words, “ except ye “ eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son 6 of Man, ye have no life in you." Likewise Origen delivers the same maxim," that the un

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derstanding our Saviour's words of eating his “ flesh and drinking his blood, according to the “ letter, is a letter that kills.” If then we can prove that the words of St. John and in the institution can bear another sense, consistently with the Jewish customs, and the style of the Scriptures, then the advantages which it has from being unattended by any horrid consequences, should make that sense preferable by the rule which we have mentioned. But further, our doctrine concerning the sacrament, of a mystical presence of Christ in the symbols, and of its effects on the worthy and unworthy receivers, is acknowledged by the Roman Church, who have added to our doctrine that of the corporal presence. It is not necessary for us, therefore, to support our opinions ; it is sufficient to show that the arguments they advance in its support are vain and inconclusive. This we have already done, and any objections we have urged against it, serve as additional proofs of its falsehood.a

5. It is opposed to the doctrine of the primitive Church. The arguments from antiquity may be divided into two kinds, Ist, presumptive proofs, and 2nd, direct proofs.

a

See Jewel's Def. of Apol. par. 2. c. 13. div. 1. and Reply, Art. 5. Usher's Answer to the Jesuit, p. 45. Gibson's Preserv. ag. Popery, v. 2. tit. 7. c. 4. and Bilson on Christ. Subj. part. 4. pa 759.

1st. As to the presumptire proofs.a (1.) In the statement of this doctrine, it has appeared how many difficulties it involves. These difficulties are obvious; and since the introduction of this doctrine into the Roman Church, numerous attempts have been made to explain them. Even the principles of natural philosophy have been reversed, in order to countenance it, and endless subtleties and distinctions invented. Now none of these subtleties are found in the works of the ancients; they seem to apprehend none of those difficulties, nor study to solve them. They had a philosophical genius, which they displayed on other subjects. They disputed with great accuracy concerning the attributes of God, his essence and the persons of the Trinity. They treat of the Incarnation of the Word, the decrees of God, the state of the body at the resurrection. On all these subjects they discovered difficulties, and laboured to remove them; sometimes with rather too great a degree of nicety. Yet they never treat of any difficulties in this sacrament, though they are much more apparent than on the former questions, nor do they use such caution when speaking on philosophical points, as men per

a Thiese arguments, and the testimony of the Fathers which supports them, are fully stated by Patrick in bis View of the Doctrines of the Ancient Church, relating to the Eucharist. See Gibson's Presere. v. 2. tit. 7. p. 176.

suaded of this doctrine must have exercised. On the contrary, they deliver their opinions in a way that shews they had no such ideas. They thought that all creatures were limited to one place, and thence argued against the heathen who thought their deities were in each of the statues dedicated to them. They prove the divinity of the Holy Ghost, from his power of working in many places at once. They affirm that Christ can be no more on earth, since he is now in heaven, and can be but in one place. On all occasions they appeal to the testimony of our senses as infallible; they say, that to believe otherwise tended to reverse the whole state of life and order of nature, and that we should be led to doubt of our faith, if the testimony of hearing, seeing, and feeling, could deceive us. In their contests with the Marcionites concerning the truth of Christ's body, they appeal to the evidence of the senses ; and even treating of the sacrament, they say without reserve, that it was bread and wine, as their eyes witnessed, and that in this very particular, we ought to trust to the testimony of our senses. These and similar assertions are inconsistent with the doctrine of transubstantiation.

(2.) Another presumptive proof is the silence of the heathen and the Jews as to the existence of this doctrine, in the charges brought by them against the early Christians and their religion.

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