It is currently Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:58 pm

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 
 Dr. Ward on Infallibility (Dublin Review 1867) 
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Dr. Ward on Infallibility (Dublin Review 1867)
One very principal reason contemplated by God in thus constituting the Church, was undoubtedly that on which we insisted last January; viz., the unspeakable assistance which the Apostles derived from ecclesiastical discipline, in their momentous and most arduous task of communicating Christian Truth. We are thus led to consider the original extent of the Church's Infallibility. And as this consideration is indispensable towards appreciating Dr. Pusey's ecclesiastical position; so also, independently of Dr. Pusey altogether, the circumstances of this time render it extremely important that the matter should be clearly understood. For the purpose then of afterwards prosecuting more effectually the argument we have begun, we will digress for a few pages, that we may explain what are those circumstances to which we here refer. Catholics just now, it seems to us, are menaced both here and abroad with a doctrinal danger new and most formidable. Of course in every age, as there have been Catholics reckless of venial sin and desiring only to avoid mortal ;—so also thero have been Catholics, who were desirous indeed of remaining Catholics, but who cared extremely little to avoid any error which did not actually amount to heresy. Such men have doubtless often enough persuaded themselves, that the Church teaches nothing as strictly of faith, which she has not expressly defined; * and therefore have naturally said (as it were) off-hand, that the Church's infallibility is confined to her definitions of faith. But what strikes us as so alarming at present is, that such a mode of thinking is no longer confined to those whoso interests are merely secular, and who have no care for the Church beyond desiring not actually to break with her; on the contrary it extends, we fear, to many who
* Pius IX.'s words in the Munich Brief should ever be most carefully remembered. "Even if there were question of that subjection which is to be yielded by cm act of Divine faith, such subjection nevertheless ought not to have been limited to those things which have been defined by the express decrees of Ecumenical Councils, or of Roman Pontiffs and this Apostolic See, but extended to those things also which are delivered as divinely revealed by the ordinary magisterium of the whole Church dispersed throughout the world." In p. 214, F. Harper describes this latter class of truths as having been "implicitly denned;" but we are not quite sure that this is a happy expression,
are full of zeal in her service according to their own idea of the due means for its promotion. We may possibly much over-estimate the prevalence of these opinions: no one would be more keen than F. Harper to discern the malignity of such a poison; and yet he seems to entertain no apprehension.*
* We infer this from two circumstances in particular. In p. 53, he says in effect that all " questions which are not of faith may " freely " be debated iu" the Church's " schools." Of course if some tenet were condemned, not as heretical, but as unsound in some lower degree, he would not dream of including that tenet among " questions which may be debated." But we think he would not by accident have fallen into this little inaccuracy of expression, had he at all shared our misgiving on the spread of that error which we are opposing. Then, in p. lxxi, he says :—" Never was there a time, perhaps, in the Church's history when she was so internally strong, so full of life, so free from dissensions, as she is at present." Now, certainly, we have never heard that, even in Germany, any Catholic bishop has given the slightest countenance to the error on which we are commenting; and so far the Church's circumstances are very greatly happier; than when almost the whole French Episcopate contended against the Pope. But the error itself, whether it has or has not spread extensively among Catholics, stands on a very different ground from Gallicanism. The latter is a permitted (though, we are convinced, a most mistaken) opinion ; but we must maintain that this error is theologically censurable and unsound—nay, fundamentally anti-Catholic.

But at all events there are so many signs of mischief, that it has become of great moment to exhibit, on every fit occasion, the extravagant falsehood and the extreme dangerousness of the proposition above recited. "The Church's infallibility," say these Catholics, is "confined to her definitions of faith; to those definitions which prescribe some tenet, not as unsound (for in such definitions the Church may be mistaken), but as actually heretical." Such a proposition would unquestionably have impressed Bossuet, no less violently than Bellarmine, as simply portentous; and certainly, it seems to us, the question between "Ultramontane" and "Gallican" shrinks into actual insignificance by comparison. In one point of view, even Dr. Pusey's theory is more intelligible and reasonable than that of these minimizing Catholics; for he simply denies that the Pope and Roman Catholic Episcopate have been exclusively entrusted by God with custody of the Apostolic Deposit. But put these men through a catechetical process, and let us see the result.
Do you deny that the Ecclesia Docens, the Pope and Roman Catholic Episcopate, is endowed with infallibility, for the very purpose of faithfully maintaining that Deposit of Faith with which she was entrusted? "On the contrary, we admit it as a dogma of Faith." Do you deny that there are various tenets, not theological only but philosophical and in some sense secular, which lead by necessary result to actual heresy? "It is manifestly impossible to doubt this." Nay, do yon deny that various tenets of the kind, even when not leading to heresy by logical consequence, yet are so intimately connected with heresy, that if they unhappily took root among Catholics heresy must be the inevitable result? "We do not see how this can be doubted, any more than the former." If the Ecclesia Docens then had no power to expel these errors from the mind of believers, she would have no power to guard securely the Deposit of Faith? "Apparently not." You admit then that she has power to expel these errors from the mind of believers? "We must necessarily admit it." But she cannot expel them from the mind of believers, unless she can decide for certain in the first instance what tenets are thus erroneous and unsound? "That is but common sense." Then she is infallible, not only in condemning tenets as heretical, but also in condemning them as theologically unsound?* "On the contrary, this is that Ultramontane pretension which all intelligent Catholics so indignantly repudiate." But why "Ultramontane"? What has it got to do with the point at issue between Bellarmine and Bossuet? "I have not sufficient patience with these tyrannical pretensions, even to examine their precise nature." (This answer was actually given in conversation.) The pronouncements, thus contemptuously treated, occupy no minor or subordinate place in ecclesiastical history. Look at the last three hundred years alone. The ecclesiastical decisions, belonging to this period, occupy far more than one-third of Denzinger's volume; and (as Dr. Murray truly observes) Denzinger has been very far from including them all. But among these, how many definitions of faith are to be found? We have before us an earlier edition of Denzinger issued before the recent Syllabus, or our case would be even stronger: but of all the decrees which his work contains from n. 881 to n. 1501—i. e. 620 decrees,—we doubt whether there are more than ten which brand any condemned tenet with the precise stigma of heresy.* Now the minimizing Catholic not only refuses to accept these decrees as infallible; he disavows any obligation of accepting them with interior assent. He admits, indeed, sometimes in theory, that he is bound not to write or
* See Dr. Murray's most unanswerable argument: "De Ecclesia," d. xvii. n. 5<5-63.

% We do not include, of course, any tenet of Baius, Molinos, or Quesnel, because there is no one of these which has been condemned as heretical; though the Pope has ruled that some of them are so, without mentioning which.
speak publicly in favour of any tenet which they condemn : though we would rather leave others to decide how far he ordinarily takes any pains to fulfil even this obligation, how far he habitually scruples at publicly advocating any tenet, condemned e. g. in the "Mirari vos." What, then, is his especial boast? What is the particular benefit which he considers himself to gain by his free-and-easy procedure? He is at once ready with his answer—"intellectual independence": and it is this very principle of "intellectual independence," which the argument of our present article requires us to examine with special care and attention.
We say then confidently, that independence of intellect, just like independence of will, is not man's healthy state, but his disease and calamity. Independence of will consists in setting at nought every law, human or divine, and following each momentary passion and inclination: this is depravity—this is misery. Your will is in a happy, healthy condition, precisely so far as it submits itself humbly and unreservedly to God's commands, and aims on each occasion at discerning and pursuing His preference. Undoubtedly subjection of the will to a wicked master would be bitter slavery; though whether even that would be more bitter than simple independence, may perhaps be doubted. But the will's perfection consists, neither in independence, nor yet in subjection to tyranny (God forbid!); but in subjection to God, Who is Goodness. Just so as regards your intellect. Its perfection consists neither in independent judgment on the one hand, nor in subjugation to false oracles on the other hand; but in absolute surrender to God, Who is Truth: in submission to His express voice, and in docility to His discoverable intimations. Not in "intellectual independence" but in "intellectual captivity" * is true intellectual liberty and perfection. Dr. Pusey draws attention to the very large number of pronouncements which Pius IX alone has put out (p. 290). What can be more welcome than this fact to those who are firmly convinced of their infallibility? Is not an increase of infallible truth greatly to be desired? A true theologian, we must maintain, is ever desirous of obtaining the fullest possible light from ecclesiastical authority; and throughout his investigations is ever gazing (if we may so speak) on the aspect and countenance of his mother the Church.
* " In captivitatem redigentes omnem intellectum in obsequium Christi," (2 Cor. X. 5).
Now it is theoretically admitted by every Catholic, that the Church's infallibility has lineally descended (if we may so express ourselves) from Apostolic times. For the sake, therefore, of our controversy with minimizing Catholics, not less than for the sake of our controversy with Dr. Pusey, it is of extreme importance to consider how far that infallibility originally extended. Here, then, we are brought back to the very point at which we digressed; and on this issue we believe that there is really no room for difference of opinion.
1. We would draw attention to this fundamental and general principle, from which every particular truth on the subject is derived. The extent of her infallibility was precisely coincident with her claim of infallibility. How could any convert know that the Apostles were infallible at all, but by accepting their own statement concerning themselves? But their own statement concerning themselves included, not simply the fact of their infallibility but also its extent. No one could have any possible ground for believing the former, which would not, with quite equal cogency, induce him to believe the latter. This is really self-evident.
2. Then, secondly, the principle of "intellectual captivity" was admitted to its fullest extent. A Christian, on becoming such, was brought into contact more or less direct with certain personages, the Apostles, who claimed to be the organs of an indefinitely-extending Divine Revelation. From that moment, so to speak, his thoughts were not his own but another's; and he gloried in that circumstance, because of his firm conviction that that other spoke as the oracle of God. There is no charge of intellectual bondage and degradation brought by minimizers against more orthodox Catholics, which would not apply, in its full extent and in more than its full extent, to a highly educated Jew or heathen who should have been converted by S. Paul.
3. A large assemblage of devotional practices must have existed throughout the Church, either expressly approved or tacitly sanctioned and encouraged by some Apostle. It will be admitted by all who believe the divine origin of Christianity, that every doctrine implied in these various practices was infallibly true.
4. So also as to Apostolically-sanctioned methods of spiritual guidance and advice; of ecclesiastical discipline; ecclesiastical usage. Every doctrine involved in these was infallibly true.
5. Again, it will be admitted by all who believe the divine origin of Christianity, that an Apostle was not merely commissioned to teach his disciples the naked doctrine which he had received from God; but in every respect to guide them infallibly along the road to heaven. Suppose, then, a number of Stoics and Epicureans had been converted to the Faith; but that they retained various portions of their old philosophy which, in the judgment of S. Paul or some other Apostle, led by necessary consequence to conclusions at variance with sound doctrine. In the exercise of his Apostolical office, he explains to them that these tenets are erroneous. We suppose no minimizing Catholic will deny—we are quite certain Dr. Pusey will not deny—that such warnings—and they must have occurred not unfrequently—would be infallibly just.
6. Or suppose, again, that some Apostle denounced—not any particular tenet — but this or that book; some book, e.g. written by a Judaizer or by an insufficiently converted heathen. The Apostle declares it to be imbued with unsound doctrine, and most dangerous to the unwary reader. Such a judgment as this comes most clearly within the sphere of his infallibility.
7. Or lastly, if various insufficiently converted heathen underrate the evils of some educational system, and are disposed to place their children under its influence, any Apostolic warning against such a system would be infallibly just.
It is not necessary to continue our recital further: we will conclude, therefore, with considering by way of contrast the minimizing theory. Let us imagine someone to maintain that the Church of the Apostles was only infallible, so far as regards her actual definitions of faith, solemnly and publicly put forth. It would follow from such a notion, that for about twelve years the Church possessed no infallible guidance whatever; and, moreover, that even at the end of that time, when a Council met, her one infallible verity was—not the Incarnation, or the Atonement, or the supernaturalness and efficacy of Grace—but the truth that Gentile converts were exempt from the Mosaic ritual! It is perfectly clear, then, that minimizers consider the Church to have lost, in post-Apostolic times, by far the larger portion of her infallibility: nay, they must admit that had she possessed no greater infallibility at first than they ascribe to her now, her children, for the highest practical purposes, would have then received no infallible guidance whatever. Such a conclusion is most amazing; yet we are prepared to weigh whatever evidence they may adduce in its support. But really, so far as we know, they have never even attempted to adduce any evidence whatever in behalf of so extravagant a paradox. They remind us of the well-known brief placed in a barrister's hands: "You have no case; scold at the plaintiff's attorney." We can obtain from them neither argument nor the attempt at argument; but only invective, declamation, and rhetoric. On some future occasion we hope to develop more fully the course of reasoning here indicated. We should not now have entered on the matter at all, but for its close relation with our argument against Dr. Pusey; and as that argument must now exclusively occupy our attention, from our present article these minimizers henceforth disappear.
On the hypothesis, then, that Christianity is Divine, the following results ensue from our preceding remarks. When Christian preachers made a convert during the Apostolic period, it was involved in the very fact of his conversion, that he submitted himself to a certain corporate Society or Church: a Society which extended indefinitely over the orbis terrarum, but which was wrought into hierarchical unity by the precept of submission to one supreme authority. This Church possessed infallibility, not only in her formal, but also in her practical teaching. Her formal infallible teaching moreover was not confined to the condemnation of tenets directly contradictory to the Faith; on the contrary it extended on occasion to a condemnation of those which issue by necessary consequence in such contradiction. The convert, then, at once abandoned all private judgment, within that wide sphere which appertained to infallibility. He learned his religion by various acts of intellectual captivity: by humbly submitting his intellect to the doctrinal instruction given by the authorized superiors of his local Church; by regulating his interior life according to the rules and counsels placed before him; by joining heartily in the prevalent practices of devotion; in one word, by unreservedly surrendering himself to the new moral and spiritual atmosphere, which he had begun to breathe.* And his security against being led
* " It follows from the nature and design of the Church, that all its members are under a continuous educational influence. The Church is a moral power, holding together all its members in a real fellowship, even those not inwardly good, where on the whole the purifying and sanctifying influences are stronger than the indwelling evil in individuals. It is a great educational institution, not for one particular period of man's life, but for the whole of it: receiving him as a child, and constantly acting on him, cleansing, instructing, building up, and sanctifying through teaching, example, common prayer and worship, and means of grace; constantly nourishing and enlightening his mind, and seeking to strengthen his will, and only leaving him at his death, without even then regarding him as cut off, or renouncing its influence over him. In the Church, all are called: all, however sinful, are capable of salvation, and subjects of her educational action; all are intended, by taking and giving, to hold at once active and passive relations. All are to be prayed for, and to pray for others. All are to set an example to their fellow-members of the body, and to take example from them. None can sink so low that the Church need despair of him, or is not bound to stoop to him, and seek to lift him up again. While he lives, he is not given over, and the Church relies on the means of grace entrusted to her, which can fan into a bright flame the spark of light remaining, in spite of all sin, in the baptized, however near extinction."—DbUingtr, voL ii. pp. 27, 28.
astray in all this, was the gift of doctrinal infallibility which the Apostles had received, and by the light of which they directed their various local Churches. So far as the New Testament is concerned, men might not less probably allege that it points to Delphi or Dodona as to Christian oracles, than that it contemplates any other method of learning Christian doctrine except that which we have described.
Now the Catholic's contention is the most obvious and simple that can well be imagined. As Christianity entered the world in this particular shape, so (he maintains) it is to wear the same shape even to the end. Of course, this conclusion is not self-evident. It is most easily imaginable that God may have wrought changes in His own work; that during the progress of Christian history—for instance, at the death of the Apostles, He may have revolutionized the Rule of Faith. We only say that the onus probandi rests emphatically on those who may maintain that He has so acted. No one can doubt that God's work is to continue as it began, unless God has plainly proclaimed the contrary. The mass of Protestants say, "Go by Scripture;" well, it is to Scripture that we have appealed. Anglicans say, "Go by Scripture and Antiquity;" on this point at least the two are most unmistakably in unison. At present, however, we are speaking merely of Scripture. I study the New Testament, for the purpose of seeing and apprehending the lineaments of the Church of the Apostles; and behold there gradually rises up before me a fac-simile of the present Church in communion with Rome. If the one appointed way of learning Christian doctrine be now—as undoubtedly it was at first—docility to one infallible corporate society, you must all become Roman Catholics at once; for there is no other corporate society now on earth, which even claims infallibility. It is sometimes thoughtlessly said that the "Greek Church" claims infallibility; but no statement can be more undeniably unfounded. Ask any Russian why he believes any doctrine. Will he say because the Church in communion with the See of Moscow cannot err? or the Church in communion with some patriarch he will name? or some specified body of bishops? or the majority of them? He will give you his own opinion that his Church was right in her quarrel with Rome; but he will not say that she had any promise of being right. No. The very word "infallibility" suggests to everyone's mind the further word "Rome."
Now to this argument a very ingenious answer may undoubtedly be made; and it will the more strengthen our case, if we proceed to treat that reply with the fullest justice and candour. It may be thus expressed: "You must yourselves admit that, when the Apostles died, things totally changed. You do not profess that Pius IX is inspired as SS. Peter and Paul were inspired. When the Apostles died, then, things could not remain as they were; the Church's constitution could not remain unchanged. Roman Catholics themselves must admit that their Rule of Faith differs essentially from the Apostolic." In reply we must carefully consider a question, which on several grounds, indeed, is of much importance; viz., the precise sense in which you can say that the Apostles were "inspired." It is an undoubted fact that the Apostles were inspired, and that later Popes are not so in the same sense. We are here to consider whether this undoubted fact implies any real difference between the Apostolic and the Roman Catholic respective Rules of Faith. The view here to be taken is, we believe, precisely identical with that expressed or implied by all Catholic theologians. We shall only take the liberty of assuming Ultramontanism as the genuine Roman Catholic doctrine, in order to avoid the intolerable tedium of always adding the Gallican qualification about "consent of the Episcopate." In every instance our Gallican readers can easily make this addition for themselves.
1. The writers of Scripture, as such, possessed a most important "inspiration" of their own, while writing; with the full nature and extent of which we are not here concerned. But this was possessed, not by the Apostles as such, but by Scripture-writers as such; it was possessed by SS. Mark and Luke no less than by SS. Matthew, John, and Paul. Moreover, it was not a permanent gift; it lasted only while they were actually engaged in the composition of inspired works. The fact, then, that several of the Apostles were also inspired writers of Scripture, does not constitute any difference between their office and Pius IX.'s as infallible teachers of the Church. When the Now Testament books were successively written, the Apostles infallibly proposed them to the faithful as inspired; and Pius IX now in like manner, according to Roman Catholics, infallibly proposes them to the faithful as inspired. So far you have a point, not of difference, but of agreement.
2. But further, can it be said that the Apostles were always "inspired" in their oral instructions? and that this, therefore, constitutes a vital difference between them and subsequent Popes? Let us consider. We suppose that they all held occasionally—many very frequently—catechetical classes, whether of young or old. Can it be maintained that every passing illustration which they used was infallibly apposite?
Nay, or that every little doctrinal statement they may have hurriedly put forth was infallibly true ? We are not aware of this having ever been maintained; and it seems to us at variance with all probability. S. Peter began a line of conduct which, as we know by inspired authority, was calculated to act prejudicially on the advance of Gospel Truth (Gal. ii. 14).* If the Holy Ghost permitted this, it seems quite gratuitous to assume that He would interfere to prevent every minor and unimportant inaccuracy of statement, on such occasions as we are now considering; whenever, e.g., an Apostle has undertaken his subordinates' work of routine doctrinal instruction. There can be no question that his "infused knowledge," of which we are next to speak, would give a most singular and unapproachable value to his doctrinal expositions; but there is no reason that we know of for considering them strictly infallible.
3. What is more commonly meant, we think, by Apostolic "inspiration," is the "infused knowledge" which they undoubtedly had as Apostles, and to which no post-Apostolic Pontiff has made the most distant approach. "The Holy Ghost shall remind you of all things which I have ever said " (John xiv. 26), and "shall teach you all the Truth" (xvi. 13). Such knowledge, it is manifest, is absolutely different in kind from that attainable by uninspired men. It is evident, however, that this was no part of their instructions to the Church, but merely an invaluable means towards their giving those instructions.
4. Another extremely important sense in which the Apostles were "inspired" is, that they were conscious of repeated communications from God; whereas to all S. Peter's successors, those particular workings of the Holy Ghost, which secure infallibility, have not been consciously distinguishable from the ordinary operations of nature and of grace. S. Paul not unfrequently refers to dialogues with Christ; and we think his general tone will give every reader the impression that such dialogues were familiar to him. Here, however, as in the preceding case, the difference between S. Peter and his successor does not turn directly on the question of teaching, but of preparation and fitness for teaching.
5. In coming nearer, then, to the exact issue, we inquire what precisely were those doctrinal instructions of an Apostle which were infallible. This infallibility extended, beyond question, to his "practical” no less than to his "formal” teaching for no Christians will admit that any doctrinal error could be involved in his devotional and disciplinary enactments. Still his infallible doctrinal instructions, whether formal or practical, were those only which he put forth as an Apostle; which he put forth in the exercise of his Apostolic authority. Moreover, in the Christian Church there is no "acceptation of persons;" no doctrinal favouritism: whatever doctrine is infallibly revealed at all, is infallibly revealed for the whole Church. The Apostle may have originally addressed it to a local Church, or even to an individual; but he none the less delivered it in his capacity of Universal Teacher. Still, then, we have come to no point of difference between the Apostolic Rule of Faith as understood by all Christians, and the modern Roman Catholic Rule as understood by Roman Catholics: except, indeed, that in the former there were twelve Universal Teachers, and in the latter there is no more than one.
6. We arrive, then, finally at the real points of difference, according to Roman Catholic Theology, between the utterances of an Apostle and of a later Pope. Firstly, then, the former very often spoke under God's perceptible and consciously recognized influence; as a simple mouth-piece, to deliver some definite message with which he had been entrusted: whereas no Pope since S. Peter has ever fulfilled this office. On the other hand, it is very far from being true that all Apostolic pronouncements ex cathedra were of this kind. It is quite impossible, e.g., that S. Paul would have spoken as he does in 1 Cor. vii. 12, "ego dico, non Dominus,"—if he were at that moment simply delivering a definite message, which he had consciously derived from Divine communication. It happened very often, then, that an Apostle spoke—just as Gregory XVI and Pius IX have spoken since—pronouncing indeed ex cathedra, and well knowing his own infallibility in such pronouncements; but yet not speaking as the mere articulator of a Divinely-dictated message. Secondly, however, by the very fact of consciously receiving from time to time these direct communications from God, S. Peter and the rest possessed a prerogative, quite different in kind from any appertaining to subsequent Pontiffs; the prerogative of making additions in the strictest sense to Divine Revelation and the Apostolic Deposit. Since the Apostles' death—as all Catholics know well—the Church possesses no further power, than that of infallibly preserving, analyzing, systematizing, combining, developing, inferring from, the one Faith once given: but, so long as the Apostles lived, that one Faith was still being given. And, thirdly, the Apostolic utterances ex cathedra were immeasurably more frequent than those of a post-Apostolic Pontiff. An Apostle was constantly expressing, in some official and infallible pronouncement, this or that portion of the Truth, taught him so fully and profoundly by the Holy Ghost. In these three particulars, we think, consists the difference between those instructions, on the one hand, which were given to the Church by an Apostle, and those, on the other hand, which (according to Roman Catholics) are given to the Church by a Pope. We are very far indeed from wishing to understate the immense extent of that difference; but our readers will at once see that it is nothing whatever to the objector's purpose. The mere fact that Apostolic inspiration ceased, does not tend ever so remotely to the conclusion, that God revolutionized, at the Apostles' death, the appointed method of Christian instruction. Our original proposition does but return with increased cogency, that the onus probandi lies emphatically on those who allege so momentous a Divine interposition.
At the same time, if any one chooses to think that the onus probandi does lie on Catholics, he is very welcome to do so. Whether or no it reasonably lies with us, we are thoroughly willing to assume it. For nowhere, externally to the region of pure mathematics, is a more overwhelming argument to be found than that which establishes the Catholic conclusion.
Once more, then, let us sum up, and that under distinct heads. What was the Church's constitution in Apostolic times? She was one corporate society. Hierarchical unity was one of her essential attributes; and that unity was secured by the precept of submission to the joint government of twelve supreme rulers. These rulers were infallible in their whole body of official teaching, whether formal or practical: and their utterances ex cathedra, extended on occasion to the condemnation of tenets, which were not directly at variance with the Faith, but only indirectly and by way of consequence. What was the intellectual attitude of a really consistent and docile believer? The attitude of intellectual captivity. He regarded the Church as an educational institution, and he submitted his whole mind to her invigorating, elevating, transforming influence. He was prepared at her bidding to sacrifice any of his most cherished convictions, excepting those which she had already explicitly or implicitly approved; nor could he even guess how great might be the intellectual sacrifice which this demanded at his hands. What was the Objective Rule of Faith?* The voice of the living Church. What was the Subjective Rule of Faith? He learned the doctrines of his religion
* It need hardly be said that we speak throughout this article of the "Regula proxima," not the "Regula remota."
by submitting his intellect to the instructions which he received from her ministers; by conforming his conduct to the rules and maxims which they prescribed; by uniting himself with the spirit of her whole practical and devotional system; in one word, by surrendering himself to the moral and spiritual atmosphere with which she surrounded him.
It is absolutely certain,—we are confident Dr. Pusey himself will not think of questioning it,—that during the Apostolic period such respectively were (1) the Church's constitution, (2) the believer's intellectual attitude, and (3) the Rule of Faith. It is equally obvious that, according to approved Roman Catholic doctrine, Christianity has remained identical in all these particulars up to the present moment: and, further, that it will so remain until Christ's second coming.

In Christ our King.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:53 pm
Profile E-mail
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore.