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1523]
63
The Years of Preparation

"Although there are still several abuses left in the mass (which I prefer to call Christ's Testament, or the memorial of his death) this will certainly be seen to be the chief cause of all these: that we celebrate mass as a sacrifice. But, to mention that about which my mind is employed (though I am always ready to be taught better), I cannot announce it in any other way than Zwingli and Leo have done—by saying that the mass is no sacrifice, but rather a publishing of Christ's Testament, in which is celebrated the memorial of his death, through which he no doubt offered himself once for all on the altar of the cross and cannot be offered again. And whoever celebrates mass otherwise, undertakes to seal a document not yet written. The reason that moves me to say this is found in Matt, xxvi., Luke xxii., Mark xiv., I Cor, xi., Hebrews vii. and ix. Christ says, 'This do,' but not 'This offer.' Whence it follows, first, that the mass, if it is held to be a sacrifice, profits neither living nor dead. For as I cannot believe for another, so it is not permitted me to celebrate mass for another; since truly this was instituted by Christ as a sign, in which the faith of believers is confirmed.

"Secondly, since the body and blood of Christ are seals and tokens of Christ's words that it is customary to recite in the mass, priests ought to use and proclaim nothing but the pure and clear word of God, of which these are signs. Whoever celebrates the mass otherwise errs from the truth.

"Thirdly, he who does not proclaim the word of God does not celebrate the mass. Christ acknowledges the same, and Paul, his disciple: 'This do in remembrance of me.' 'As often as ye do this, ye do show forth the Lord's death.' Therefore it is necessary either