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faith which was every where taught by the Apostles. In all these ancient and primitive Liturgies, we find the clearest expressions and professions, made by priests and people, that the same body and blood of Christ, which were immolated on the cross, are offered to God in the Christian sacrifice, under the appearances of bread and wine, for the living and the dead; and that this same body and blood are really received in the communion. In all these Liturgies, we read the most sublimehymns of praise and thanksgiving to God and Christ really present; acts of spiritual communication between the faithful on earth and the saints in heaven; and prayers offered for the repose of the souls of those who have departed this life in the faith and communion of the Church. Some short citations, from a few of the principal Liturgies, will show the spirit of them all. They all profess that the Mass is the sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ, really present, under the appearances of bread and wine. “In the Liturgy of Jerusalem, after the form of the consecration of the bread and wine, the priest says, “We offer to thee, O Lord, this tremendous and unbloody sacrifice. Before the Communion, the Priest, addressing his prayers to Jesus Christ, on the altar, says, “O Lord, my God, may thy grace render me worthy to receive thy sacred body and thy precious blood, for the remission of my sins, and for life everlasting. In the Liturgy of Alexandria, which has been in use among the Cophtes or Eutychians for about 1300 years, the Mass is called the “sacrifice of benediction.” In the prayer of the oblation of the bread and wine, the Priest thus prays to Jesus Christ: ‘Change them, so that this bread may become thy sacred body, and what is contained in the chalice, thy precious blood.’ In the Liturgy of Constantinople, the Mass is called a “rational and unbloody sacrifice.’ The Priest offers this prayer to Christ, ‘O, Jesus Christ, —our God, thou who dwellest in heaven with the Father, and who art here invisibly with us, make us worthy to partake of thy most pure body, and of thy precious blood, and to distribute it to thy people. “In the Liturgy of the Syrians, it is called a ‘propitiatory sacrifice.’ In the Syriac Liturgy, called of St. Maruthas, the priest prays, “that this, which is mere bread, may be changed, and may become the same body that was immolated on the cross, the same body that was raised in glory, and did not see corruption; the body of the Word of God, of our Saviour Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.' The people say “Amen.' And that ‘the wine, which is in the chalice, may be changed, and may become the same blood that was poured forth on the summit of Golgotha ; the same blood that flowed on the earth and purified it from sin;
the blood of the Lord himself, of the Word of God, of the Saviour Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and for life everlasting, to those who receive it.’ “In the Armenian Liturgy, the priest, praying for the dead, says; “Be mindful, O Lord, and having pity, be propitious to the souls of those who have departed this life, and particularly to that soul for which we offer this holy sacrifice.’ During the communion this canticle is sung : “This bread is the body of Christ; this cup is the blood of the new testament. The hidden sacrament is ‘manifested to us, and by it God shews himself to us. Here is Jesus Christ, the Word of God, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is sacrificed in the midst of us.” “The Roman Liturgy was brought to England by St. Augustin in the year 595; and in substance has been the common Liturgy of all the Latin churches, from their conversion to Christianity. It agrees with our catholic Liturgy now in use, except in some accidental additions that have been made. In the Roman Liturgy, according to the sacramentary of Pope Gelasius, written about the year 490, we find these words before the consecration: ‘We beseech thee, O Lord, in all things to bless, approve, ratify, sanction, and accept this oblation, that it may become the body and blood of thy most beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ.’ And after the consecration the priest says; “We offer unto thy supreme majesty, of thy gifts bestowed upon us, a pure victim, a holy victim, an unspotted victim, the holy bread of eternal life, and the chalice of everlasting salvation.’
“By the evidence of the ancient Liturgies, used by all Christian churches in the world, previous to the change of religion by Luther and Calvin in the sixteenth century, the uniform and universal religious practice of offering the Sacrifice of the Mass, as the sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ, really present under the appearances of bread and wine, may be traced back to the earliest ages of Christianity. No later date can be assigned of the introduction of this sacred rite, than the period of the introduction of Christianity itself, into those countries in which the Sacrifice of the Mass was received. The primitive practice and the divine institution of Baptism by water, are not more strongly attested than the antiquity of the practice of offering the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the primitive belief that this holy sacrifice was instituted by Christ himself. The Sacrament of Baptism, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, are both proposed to our belief, by the same authority, as institutions of Christ; and both equally attested by the universal practice of all ages of the Christian church. Both, therefore, ought to be received with the same certainty of faith by every Christian.”
At the end of this volume") will be found some of the authorities by which we deduce our doctrine upon these points, from the age of the Apostles, through the first five centuries of the Church, taken from that learned compilation, The Faith of Catholics, confirmed by Scripture, and attested by the Fathers of the first five centuries of the church;” and which may be taken as a specimen of the testimony we can produce in favour of each individual article of our faith. The authorities from the fifth century to the present time, are so copious that it would be only a redundancy of proof to cite any of them; indeed it must be considered perfectly unnecessary so to do, since all Protestant writers agree that if the Catholic creed of the present day, can be proved to be conformable to that of the first four ages of the Church, the question of its authenticity must be considered as settled.
I trust that sufficient proof has now been offered in favour of the doctrine of Transubstantiation— of the real, undivided, and substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and in the Sacrifice of the Mass; and if Catholics are still to be accused of idolatry and superstition for their belief on these points, the accusation must, in the first place, be preferred against the Apostles themselves, and then be repeated against their descendants in the
* See APPENDIx, No. 3, page xvi.