The New Zealand Evangelist
Mr. M'Gavin in his “Protestant,” tells a pleasant and not unappropriate story which illustrates the above subject:—
“A Protestant lady entered into the matrimonial state with a Roman Catholic gentleman, on condition he should never use any attempts to induce her to embrace his religion. He employed the Romish priest, however, who often visited the family, to use his in. fluence to instil his notions into her mind; but she remained unmoved, particularly on the doctrine of transubstantiation. At length the husband fell ill, and during his affliction was recommended by the priest to receive the Holy Sacrament. The wife was requested to prepare the bread and wine for the solemnity; she did so, and on presenting them to the priest, said,—“This, sir, you wish me to understand, will be changed into the real body and blood of Christ, after you have consecrated them.” “Most certainly,” he replied. “Then, sir,” she rejoined, “it will not be possible for them to do any harm to the worthy partakers; for says our Lord, ‘my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed,’ and ‘he that eateth me shall live by me.” “Assuredly,” answered the priest, “they can do no harm to the worthy receiver, but must communicate good.” The ceremony was proceeded in, and the bread and wine were consecrated; the priest was about to take and eat the bread; but the lady begged pardon for interrupting him, and said,—“I mixed a little arsenic with the bread, sir, but as it is now changed into the real body of Christ it cannot of course do you any harm.” The faith of the priest was not strong enough to induce him to eat it. Confused, ashamed, and irritated, he left the house, and never more ventured to enforce on the lady the absurd dootrine of transubstantiation.” Whether this anecdote be “literally true” says Mr. M'Gavin, is of little importance to the argument. It may be said very fairly to put any Papist to the test as to his belief of transnbstantiation. If the priest's pronouncing the words of consecration should have the power of expelling the arsenic, as well as the flour and water, from the consecrated water, I will acknowledge a miracle.