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That our first reformers, who were prone to differ from the Romish faith, should adopt this doctrine, shews the supreme influence of superstition. The Lutherans had not even the excuse of $ inattention after serious examination, they added. one absurdity more; teaching, that the bread and wine are converted into the body and blood of our Saviour, and yet remain bread and wine as at first; which is termed by them consubstantiation. I am persuaded, that at this time not a single man of them harbours such a thought.
so many impregnated wells, eacli of them able to cure the "most dangerous diseases; one would wonder, that physi"cians could live there, or others die. But people die here as "elsewhere; and even churchmen, who preach upon the mi "racles wrought by relics, grow sick and die like other men. It is one thing to believe: it is another thing to fancy that we believe. In the year 1666 a Jew named Sabatai Levi appeared at Smyrna, pretending to be the true Messiah, and was acknowledged to be so by many. The Grand Signior, for proof of his mission, insisted for a miracle; proposing that he should present himself as a mark to be shot at, and promising to be lieve that he was the Messiah, if he remained unwounded. Sabatai, declining the trial, turned Mahomentan to save his life. But observe the blindness of superstition: though Sabatai was seen every day walking the streets of Constantinople in thờ Turkish habit, many Jews insisted that the true Sabatai was taken up into heaven, leaving only behind him his shadow; and probably they most piously fancied that they believed so. A * X
Many persons, impenetrable by a serious argument, can discover falsehood when put in a ridiculous light. It requires, I am sensible, a very delicate hand to attack a grave subject with ridicule as a test of truth; and for that reason, I for bear to offer any thing of my own. But I will set before my readers some excerpts from a book of absolute authority with Roman Catholics. Though transubstantiation be there handled in the most serious manner, with all the ceremonies and punctilios that naturally flow from it, yet in my judgment it is happily contrived to give it a most ridiculous appearance. The book is the Roman Missal, from which the following is a literal translation.
"Mass may be deficient in the matter, in the "form, in the minister, or in the action. First, "in the matter. If the bread be not of wheat, "or if there be so great a mixture of other grain "that it cannot be called wheat-bread, or if any
way corrupted, it does not make a sacrament. "If it be made with rose-water, or any other "distilled water, it is doubtful whether it make a 66 sacrament or not. Though corruption have begun, or though it be leavened, it makes a sa66 crament, but the celebrator sins grievously.
"If the celebrator, before consecration, ob"serve that the host is corrupted, or is not "of wheat, he must take another host: if af"ter consecration, he must still take another and "swallow
swallow it, after which he must also swallow the "first, or give it to another, or preserve it in somè place with reverence. But if he have swal"lowed the first before observing its defects, he "must nevertheless swallow also the perfect host; "because the precept about the perfection of the
sacrament, is of greater weight than that of ta• king it fasting. If the consecrated host disappear by an accident, as by wind, by a miracle, "or by some animal, another must be consecra*ted.
"If the wine be quite sour or putrid, or made "of unripe grapes, or be mixed with so much "water as to spoil the wine, it is no sacrament. "If the wine have begun to sour or to be corrupted, or be quite new, or not mixed with is water, or mixed with rose-water or other di"stilled water, it makes a sacrament, but the ce"lebrator sins grievously.
"If the priest, before consecration, observe that "the materials are not proper, he must stop, if proper materials cannot be got; but after consecration, he must proceed, to avoid giving scan"dal. If proper materials can be procured by waiting, he must wait for them, that the sacri"fice may not remain imperfect.
Second, in form. If any of the words of "consecration be omitted, or any of them be changed into words of a different meaning, it is no sacrament: if they be changed into words
"of the same meaning, it makes a sacrament; "but the celebrator sins grievously.
"Third, in the minister. If he does not in"tend to make a sacrament, but to cheat; if "there be any part of the wine, or any wafer that "he has not in his eye, and does not intend to "consecrate; if he have before him eleven wafers, "and intends to consecrate only ten, not deter"mining what ten he intends: in these cases the consecration does not hold, because intention "is requisite. If he think there are ten only, "and intends to consecrate all before him, they "are all consecrated; therefore priests ought always to have such intention. If the priest, thinking he has but one wafer, shall, after the “consecration, find two sticking together, he must "take them both. And he must take off all the "remains of the consecrated matter; for they all belong to the same sacrifice. If in consecrating, the intention be not actual by wandering "of mind, but virtual in approaching the altar, "it makes a sacrament: though priests should be "careful to have intention both virtual and ac"tual.
"Beside intention, the priest may be deficient "in disposition of mind. If he be suspended, or "degraded, or excommunicated, or under mortal
sin, he makes a sacrament, but sins grievously. "He may be deficient also in disposition of body. "If he have not fasted from midnight, if he have "tasted
"tasted water, or any other drink or meat, even "in the way of medicine, he cannot celebrate 66 nor communicate. If he have taken meat, or "drink before midnight, even though he have not slept nor digested it, he does not sin. But on account of the perturbation of mind, which bars devotion, it is prudent to refrain.
"If any remains of meat, sticking in the mouth, "be swallowed with the host, they do not prevent 66 communicating, provided they be swallowed, "not as meat, but as spittle. The same is to "be said, if in washing the mouth a drop of "water be swallowed, provided it be against our " will.
Fourth, in the action. If any requisite be "wanting, it is no sacrament; for example, if it "be celebrated out of holy ground, or upon an "altar not consecrated, or not covered with three
napkins if there be no wax candles; if it be "not celebrated between day-break and noon; "if the celebrator have not said matins with
lauds; if he omit any of the sacerdotal robes; "if these robes and the napkins be not blessed by a bishop; if there be no clerk present to serve, "or one who ought not to serve, a woman for "example; if there be no chalice, the cup of "which is gold, or silver, or pewter; if the vest66 ment be not of clean linen adorned with silk "in the middle, and blessed by a bishop; if "the priest celebrate with his head covered; if X 3