Continuing where we left off in our preceding article, the Fathers Rumble and Carty, in Volume I of their Radio Replies, discuss the interesting subject of the elements in the Lord’s Supper, the bread and wine, and their change.
860. The elements do not change, for there is no chemical difference after consecration.
“Which elements do not change? In every material thing there are two sets of elements quite distinct—substance and qualities. And no man has ever seen substance; he has seen qualities only. Thus I see the squareness of a block of iron, but it can become round, still remaining iron. I can feel its hardness, though it can become soft in the furnace, the substance being unchanged. If it be black, it can become red; if it be cold, it can become hot; if it be heavy, by great heat I can render it a vapor. The qualities, then, differ from the substance, or we could not change one without changing the other. And if we can change qualities without changing substance, God can certainly change substance without changing qualities. Any chemical differences are dependent upon qualities. Granted the permanence of the same accidental qualities, the same chemical reactions will be apparent. Father Faber, whilst yet an Anglican, well said, “I am worried about the Roman doctrine because, whatever may be said of the proofs for it, I do not see how any man can disprove it. If they say that the substance changes, but that all appearances remain the same, then they say that something changes of which no man has any experience and yet which reason must postulate as the reality underlying all appearances and separate from them.” When you say that the elements do not change their chemical properties, I simply reply that the elements of external qualities do not change their chemical properties, and that no Catholic has ever imagined that they do. But the substance underlying those external appearances certainly does change. The fact that qualities remain unaltered is a fact of experience; the fact that the substance changes is revealed by God, and cannot be known in any other way. Yet is it not more than sufficiently guaranteed when God says so.”
Here we have another example of Romish clever sophistry. We read: “And if we can change qualities without changing substance, God can certainly change substance without changing qualities.” We would expect to read, would we not: “then God certainly could change qualities without changing substance.” Instead, we read that “then God can certainly change substance without changing qualities.” And this is certainly what we call begging the question. What is really true, according to the Romish conception of transubstantiation, is that God can certainly change the substance without changing the substance. This does not make sense? Of course not! In this 860th question and answer we read that the substances (the bread and wine) change but the appearances change. However, this is not true. Fact is, the bread and wine not only continue to look like bread and wine, but they also continue to operate and work as bread and wine. If these elements, after the change has been effected according to Rome, were submitted to a chemical analysis, the result would be that the bread and wine had not undergone any change at all. So, the substances remain essentially the same. Also, in this 860th answer we read of a block of iron, that it was square, can become round, but that it remains iron. However, this is not a true comparison. It would be a true comparison if it were stated that this block of iron were no longer iron. What we have here is nothing else than Romish sophistry.
Of interest are also Questions and Answers 868-870. Question 868 reads: There is only one sacrifice for Christians—that of Calvary.
“The Sacrifice of Calvary was a Sacrifice not only for Christians but for the whole human race from the moment of the fist sin. But whilst the death of Christ upon the Cross was the one great absolute Sacrifice, the Mass is a true and relative Sacrifice applying to the souls of men the fruits of Calvary. Anyway the doctrine which denies that the Mass is the true Sacrifice in the Christian dispensation is simply anti-scriptural.” And the Fathers Rumble and Carty might have added that the Sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is effective only when this sacrifice of Christ is daily repeated in the Popish Mass.
869. How do you prove that the Sacrifice of the Mass is Scriptural?
“By religion we honor God, and the chief and highest form of worship has ever been by the offering of sacrifice. Now God demanded continual sacrifices of various kinds from the very beginning of the human race until the coming of Christ, and it is not likely that the Christian and more perfect religion would lack a continual and regular offering of the highest act of religion (we would certainly not speak of the Christian as the more perfect religion, but as the only religion—H.V.). All the various sacrifices of the Jewish dispensation represented and prefigured the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, and derived all their value by anticipation from His death upon the Cross. And if the Jews had to honor God by regular sacrifices, so too must Christians in the higher and more perfect New Law. But there is this difference. Whilst the Jewish sacrifices were anticipations of the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, the Mass is a recollection and constant application of that one great Sacrifice to the souls of men.”
One might almost gather from this answer that the Lord’s Supper is merely a recollection, a remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross. And that, we understand, is what Protestantism believes concerning this sacrament. But, according to Rome, the Lord’s Supper is surely more than a remembrance. Fact is, according to Rome, the Mass itself is a sacrifice. The bread and wine are changed into the actual Body and Blood of the Lord. And it is also a fact that the sacrifice of Christ upon Calvary would not benefit the Church of God were it not for the fact that Christ is also offered and sacrificed daily in the Popish Mass.
870. It is little use your telling us what ought to be, unless you can prove it as a fact from Scripture.
“I can do so. The Old Testament predicts that Christ will offer a true sacrifice to God in bread and wine—that He will use those elements. (Incidentally, notice, please, how Rome cleverly begins to distort right here at the very outset of this answer. Having stated that Christ will offer a true sacrifice to God in bread and wine, they immediately change that so as to read that the Lord will use those elements—H.V.) And this prediction is every bit as clear as the prediction that He will also offer Himself upon the Cross. Thus Gen. 14:18 tells us that Melchisedech, King of Salem, was a Priest, and that he offered sacrifice under the form of bread and wine. (Of course, we understand, that according to Gen. 14:18Melchisedech actually brought forth bread and wine, not merely that he offered sacrifice under the form of bread and wine—H.V.) Now Ps. 109predicts most clearly that Christ will be a Priest according to the order of Melchisedech, i.e., offering a sacrifice under the forms of bread and wine. We must, then, look for some form of sacrifice differing from that of Calvary, for the Crucifixion was not a Sacrifice under the forms of bread and wine. You may say that Christ fulfilled the prediction at the Last Supper, but that the rite was not to be continued. However, that admits that the rite was truly sacrificial—and the fact is that it has been continued in exactly the same sense. It was predicted that it would continue. After foretelling the rejection of the Jewish priesthood, the Prophet Malachi predicts a new sacrifice to be offered in every place. “From the rising of the sun even to the going down my name is great among the Gentiles: and in every place there is sacrifice and there is offered to my name a clean oblation.” Mal. 1:10-11. The Sacrifice of Calvary took place in one place only. We must look for a sacrifice apart from Calvary, one offered in every place under the forms of bread and wine. The Mass is that Sacrifice.”
This is not even a clever and adroit handling of the Scriptures, although interesting. Here Roman Catholicism attempts to prove its contention from the Word of God. And it refers to what we read inGen. 14:18 of Melchisedech, that he brought forth bread and wine, and also that he is called a priest of the Most High God. We do not even read in Gen. 14:18 that Melchisedech brought forth this bread and wine and offered them as a sacrifice. And then the Fathers Rumble and Carty quote Ps. 109and Mal. 1:10-11. We have already called attention to the passage in Malachi. But, why does not Rome quote the passage in Heb. 7, the verses 1-3? Melchisedech was surely a figure of the Christ Who was to come. In what sense was this Old Testament figure a type of Christ? In the sense that he brought forth bread and wine, did this as a priest, and therefore a type of Christ who would also offer bread and wine as a sacrifice as in the Romish Mass? Indeed not! Melchisedech is a type of Christ in the sense that he is Priest forever, and also that in him the offices are combined, inasmuch as he is not only a priest but also a king.
I wish to quote one more question. Question 878: Jesus gave Himself under the forms of bread and wine. You are not justified in withholding the cup from the laity.
“The fact that the Catholic Church does so is sufficient proof that she is justified in doing so. However, let us view the theology of the matter. Jesus gave Himself under both kinds, yet He was completely present in either kind. He who receives either kind receives the whole Christ. In any case, Christ being risen dies no more. It is not possible now to separate Christ’s body and blood in actual fact. Wherever Christ is, there He is whole and entire. He is wholly under the appearances of bread and wholly under the appearances of wine. In receiving the Blessed Sacrament under the form of bread the communicant receives the Blood of Christ also. In receiving under the form of wine alone he would receive the Body also. There is no possibility of receiving the Body of Christ without the Blood of Christ.”
In connection with this answer we have the following. In the first place, it is simply a fact that our Lord Jesus Christ commanded His Church to eat of the bread and to drink of the wine. Nowhere is it stated in the Word of God that the laity should eat of the bread and that the cup may be withheld from them. Rome has simply placed itself above the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. But, in the second place, notice please the opening statement of this answer. The fact that the Romish Church does as it does is sufficient proof that it is justified in doing so. That simply settles it. Whatever Christ may have said, the fact that Rome has adopted this custom justifies the custom. Never may the Church of Rome be questioned. And this, we understand, simply means that the Pope may never be questioned. The Church, the Pope, is infallible.