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3rd. Those that have attained this state of liberty, are no 2.3 . longer subject to the commands of superiors, nor bound to com
ply with the precepts of the church.
4th. Man may arrive at final beatitude in this bfe. ed i 5th. The practice of virtues obliges only the imperfect; but ke the perfect soul may dispense with them at will. the
6th. Simply to kiss a woman is a mortal sin ; but a carnal act blike with her is not so:-With other absurdities of no better tenLicals dency. (Dupin, 14 siecle, p. 366. D’Argentré, Collect. Jud.
T. 1, p. 276. Natal. Alex. in sæc. 14.)
The condemnation of these fanatics did not extinguish the sher sect. It was perpetuated at Spire by one Berthold ; also in
other parts of Germany. A part of their errors was adopted by each the Frerots and the Dulcinists ; or rather, they fell into them
by the natural tendency which these kind of sects in general • Ben have towards immorality.
The Frerots held other eccentric who doctrines peculiar to themselves. See the article FRATRI,
BERENGER or BERENGARIUS-was born at Tours towards the close of the tenth century. After passing through a course of studies, he was appointed teacher in the public schools of St Martin, and was made treasurer of the church of Tours, and, progressively, archdeacon of Angers ;---without quitting, however, his former professorship at Tours. He attacked the doctrine of transubstantiation, and maintained, that in the eucharist the bread and wine were not changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ; although he acknowledged-with Martin Luther after him, that both scripture and tradition expressly taught that the eucharist contained, verily and in reality, the body and blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that it was truly his body: but he held with the same Luther in later times, that the Word united himself to the bread and wine, and that by this union they became the body and blood of Christ, without any change of their nature or their physical essence, and without ceasing still to be bread and wine.
This strange doctrine Berenger delivered in his school at Tours; and all were shocked at the innovation. A letter which he wrote to the famous Lanfranc in defence of his opinion, was sent to Rome, and read in a council assembled by Pope Leo IX. in 1050. The council condemned his doctrine, and ex communicated his person. Berenger withdrew to the abbey of Preaux, and attempted to engage William Duke of Normandy to espouse his cause.
But that prince ordered the bishops of the province to convene a synod ; in which Berenger was again condemned. In several other councils he retracted his errors, and as often repented of his recantations ; till Gregory VII. held another synod at Rome, in 1079, when Berenger once for all
abjured his novel opinions. The pope treated him with
treated him with great depan lenity and kindness; and he died in retirement not far from
Serer Tours, in 1088.
obste Messrs Claude, La Roque and Basnage, with other protes read tant authors, insist much upon the multitudes that followed Berengarius's system. On the contrary, Guimond, a contemporary historian and archbishop of Aversa, testifies expressly, that Beren Berengarius never had one single borough on his side, and that th he was patronised by none but the ignorant. All historical mo
Amol numents of the times which have been handed down to us, attest the same. Nor ought the contrary assertion of William of Malmesbury, who lived only in the year 1242; or of Matthew of Westminster, who flourished so late as the fourteenth century, to have any weight with persons of sound judgment. Their testimony comes too late: some Manichees, it is true, who re
title 1 appeared in France in the fourteenth century, denied with Berengarius, the dogma of transubstantiation. But this pretended perpetuity of the Berengarian doctrine which Basnage strains be to every nerve to render plausible, and endeavours to deduce from the ninth age down to the reformation, is not that perpetuity of faith which characterises the church of Christ, and is the exclu
adi sive mark of truth. There is not, perhaps, a single heresy which,
ith by dint of sophisms and far fetched inductions, may not trace a long succession of its sectaries from its very birth, full as well as ithe the reformation. Has not Sandius, for instance, discovered a
А regular succession of Arians in every epoch of christianity? (Sand. Hist. Eccles.)
W The perpetuity to which the catholic church lays claim, is of a nature widely different. It requires
essentially two conditions. 1. That no period can be assigned in which the controverted article was unknown in the church, as was the error of Berengarius, who when it was objected that the universal church taught otherwise, replied that the church itself had perished. Vide Lanfranc, c. 23.) 2. It must be universal. For the true church being a visible
the society, and essentially catholic ; that is, a religious society the most diffusively extended ;-a few obscure sectaries who teach and
propagate their errors in secret, and are condemned by the whole church ;--who have neither ministry, nor jurisdiction, nor authority,--cannot in any sense be said to represent the church of Christ.
The Berengarians did not adhere invariably to Berengarius's system. All indeed, maintained that the bread and wine were not converted into the body and blood of Christ: but some of them could not conceive-how the Word should unite himself to the bread and wine in the eucharist; and concluded, that in fact, the sacrament under both species, was not the body and blood of Jesus Christ, but only called so metaphorically, because
it represented the body and blood of our blessed Redeemer. Thus Berengarius and his followers alike denied the mystery of transubstantiation ; but while the master held that the consecrated bread became the body of Christ, the disciples believed it to be no more than the figure. The latter sentiment was adopted by the greater part of the sectaries who made their appearance after Berengarius, and who added this error to other ancient heresies. Of this description were--Peter de Bruys, Henry of Toulouse, Arnold of Brescia, the Albigenses, Amauri of Chartres, and long after these, Wicklef, the Lollards, the Thaborists. Last of all
, Carlostadius, Zuinglius and Calvin renewed the errors of the Berengarians; while Luther embraced the doctrine of Berengarius himself, and maintained impanation with great energy against the Sacramentarians. We will now beg leave to enter a little more at large into the merits of the cause; and hope to demonstrate to the full satisfaction of every unprejudiced mind not only the possibility of the real presence in the sacrament, but the truth of the catholic doctrine regarding it,-from scripture, from the unanimous authority of the fathers in every age, and from a principle of the soundest philosophy. But as the grand and indeed, the only plausible objection of protestants, originates in the supposed impossibility of the thing, it will not, it is hoped, be deemed preposterous, if here we begin our enquiry, and make it the first point of disquisition.
A body, it is objected, cannot exist in many places at the same time.
Were this an axiom self-evident and universal, applying even to Almighty Power, the Lutheran and the Catholic doctrine of the real presence must alike fall to the ground. But, are protestants in this country better acquainted with the essential properties of bodies, than all the most sagacious philosophers that ever have existed? These have not dared positively to assert, that either extension or impenetrability form part of the essence of a natural body; much less have they pretended to define or circumscribe the properties of a body supernatural. And if we do not know, as most certainly we do not,--with what extraordinary endowments our own bodies shall be gifted at the general resurrection, when, according to the doctrine of St Paul, they shall rise spiritual bodies; who will have the temerity to limit the perfections of the glorified humanity of Jesus Christ? Protestants will readily admit that a spirit, although this too, is equally incomprehensible
, may be really and substantially in all places at the same instant. For God is a spirit, and He is everywhere. Why then pertinaciously contend, that Omnipotence itself cannot communicate that degree of spirituality to the transcendently glorious body of Christ, necessary to its existence in more than one place at the same time? In effect, a body in motion really does exist in
many places during a given period : a body which with one
degree of velocity, moves forward at the rate of one foot each se. cond, in sixty seconds will be in every part of the space contained within sixty different feet. But if
, instead of one degree of velocity we supposed it to have sixty, it would run the space of sixty feet each second; consequently, would be in so many different places in that second: and so, in progression, if we supposed its velocity to be infinite, there would be no single instant of time in which this body would not exist in many places ; and it would run any given space in the smallest duration imaginable. Now the smallest imaginable duration is in regard of us an indivisible point; and a body moving with infinite rapidity may thus-by the Divine Power-be every instant in many distant places, really present to them all each moment: and this, we conceive, might answer every purpose of our blessed Saviour's miraculous communication of himself to men in the most holy sacrament. Nor will this explanation be invalidated by observing, that the very first law of motion would be inverted in the realization of such a system. Motion itself, and its primary laws, depend on God; and it is equally easy for Him to cause a body to move in direct opposition to all its known laws, as to observe the ordinary normas.
As to what remains, we pretend not to fathom the depth of the divine wisdom, or to reveal his unsearchable ways; but only to make it obvious to all, that the mystery of the Real Presence is not repugnant to reason, nor contrary to the principles of sound philosophy. And this alone should abundantly suffice to do away the difficulties of protestants. For catholics-it is enough to know that it is the doctrine of truth, and that the reason of a true believer is—faith.
The testimony of the senses against transubstantiation is an objection by no means so difficult. Our perceptions of a body we receive, only from the impressions excited in our soul. These impressions may be excited independently of the body, and by an immediate operation of the divinity on our souls : consequently, there subsists not any necessary connection between the testimony of the senses, and the existence of the objects which they represent. The certitude, therefore, of this testimony depends on the certitude which we have, that God does not excite, nor permit spirits of a higher order to excite in our soul, the impressions apt to be referred exclusively to bodies, Thus it is doubtless possible, that God may cause in our soul the impressions which we ascribe to bread and wine, although in effect there be neither the one nor the other.
Nor is this supposition inconsistent with the maxim, that the testimony of our senses is, in the natural course of things, infallible, as long as we maintain and catholics certainly do maintain in the present case) that God has admonished us not to give credit to our senses in this instance. Has he not, in effect, sufficiently fore
Warned us not to lay too great a stress upon the testimony of the senses in the mystery of the blessed eucharist, by declaring beforehand that here the bread and wine is converted into the body and blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? What
protestant will deny that angels have appeared in the shape of men, (Gen. xix. Matth. xxviii. Mark xvi. &c.) and the Holy Ghost in the shape of a dove? (Luke iii. 22, &c.) Neither can the senses, properly speaking, be said, even on this occasion, to be deceived; because they truly represent what is truly here ; namely the colour, shape, taste and other properties of bread and wine. The judgment indeed, is deceived if, in consequence of this colour, taste and shape, it too hastily pronounces, that this is, in fact, bread and wine. In the blessed sacrament, we may at all events securely depend on the sense of hearing; which informs us by the word of God and the authority of his church, that what appears to be bread and wine in the eucharist, is in truth the body and blood of Christ. Faith comes by hearing, saith St Paul, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Rom. x. 17.)
Another difficulty against the catholic doctrine of the real presence and transubstantiation is, to conceive-how the body and blood of Christ can be contained entire in so small a space as that which is occupied by the consecrated species; nay, even in the smallest sensible particle of them. This to human conception, doubtles, is inexplicable; but not impossible to Almighty Power, any more than for a camel to pass through the eye
of needle. With men this is impossible, says our blessed Redeemer, but not with God, for with God all things are possible. (Matth. xix. 26. Mark x. 27.)
THE REAL PRESENCE OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
DEMONSTRATED FROM SCRIPTURE, AND THE UNANIMOUS TES-
The catholic church believes, that in the eucharist after the words of consecration,---are truly, really, and substantially present the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, under the outward forms or appearances of bread and wine; and that, by virtue of our Saviour's words pronounced by the priest at the consecration,-is effected a true and real change of one substance into another ; which we term transubstantiation. On the contrary, the more modern adversaries of the catholic church, with the ancient Berengarians contend, that Christ's body and blood are not truly and really present in their own substance in the sacrament, but by faith only, and in figure; or, 'according to some, with Berengarius originally,—if they be there at all ---they are accompanied with