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But to return to our argument :-Let us take, for instance, this same doctrine of the real presence, and see whether reason can guide us into any settled faith concerning it. Catholics and Greeks believe in Transubstantiation, and Lutherans in Consubstantiation, while the Church of England, perhaps, rejects the real presence altogether. Yet, this contrariety of belief is all grounded upon the self-same texts of Scripture. The light of reason directs us all, and yet we all arrive at opposite conclusions: and how can it be otherwise? How is it possible, amidst such a variety of opinions, to reason ourselves into any decided judgment ?c)
(C) Dr. Doyle, writing upon this subject, observes :“ The numerous and discordant sects which, since the 16th century, have sprung up in the midst of the Sclavonic nations, which, as Leibnitz observes, then separated themselves from the Latin Church and name, afford ample evidence of the insufficiency of human reason, or of the scriptures, interpreted by private judgment, to preserve unity in the body of Christ; as also of the absolute necessity of a controlling and supreme church authority to preserve such unity, and check the spirit of religious innovation.
“These sectaries, like a discomfited army, having been driven from one position to another—from reason to the scriptures-from the scriptures to the scriptures interpreted by the judgment of each individual from the scriptures so interpreted, to the same interpreted by the terior unction or taste of the Spirit ; driven, in fact, from
Let us take another illustration :
-After instituting the Sacrament of the Eucharist, our Saviour
absurdity to absurdity, with the mark of schism, like that of Cain, imprinted on their forehead, without possessing one church, or one altar, throughout the kingdom, connected in any way with those which were Catholic and Apostolic; they, in the delirium of their revolt, sought to break down the church herself into an immense mass of confused and jarring elements, preferring a place in this chaos to a recognition of their errors, and to the obtaining, by a dutiful submission, a place in that house of peace and unity, from which, in a moment of passion, they had departed. They said that the church of God, the kingdom of the Redeemer, the body of Christ, consisted of every sect and every heresy which invoked the name of the Lord. When they first broached this monstrous opinion, it was said to them, (Psal. lxxiii.) and his house is in peace. Are those contending sectaries the men of good will to whom the angels announced at Bethlehem, (Luke ii. 14) that Christ came to bring peace upon earth?
Are they, who contend one with another even to excommunication, that strong body, which, drawing its strength from its union, is called by Christ himself a rock? Are these sectaries that one fold, under one pastor, spoken of by our Lord, (John, x. 16.) where all hear the same voice, where all feed on the same pasture, where altar is not erected against altar, but where all are one body who partake of the same bread? Is it possible, that he, who came to gather together in one, the children of God who were dispersed, (John,xvii. 11.) should assemble them only to contend with one another? Is it for an assemblage of
said : Do THIS IN COMMEMORATION OF ME; and he imposed a positive command thereby. Our Saviour also said, and that upon the same occasion, You ought to wash one another's feet, for I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so do you also.ca Yet nothing is more certain than that no positive command is conveyed by these words. But how do we know it?—By reason? No. Reason would say that one command is equal to another; if both proceed from the same authority, both are equally binding. But reason, singly, has no sway over such questions. No: it is not within the province of the weak and fallible guidance of our own limited capacity, alone to conduct us through the maze of religious controversy. We must have recourse so some superior power, to the divine Spirit of truth, to those whom the Holy Ghost has appointed to rule the Church of God.)
discordant sects, that Christ prayed, saying: “Holy Father, keep them in thy name, whom thou hast given to me, that they may be one as you and I are one?” (John, xvii. 11.) Was it for such assemblage he invoked the
peace, saying to his Apostles: “Peace be to you; as my Father sent me, so I send you: and, having said this, he breathed on them, saying; Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” (John, 20, 21, 22.)-- Reply to Dr. Magee.
(as St. John, xiii. 14. 15.
(c) Acts, c. XX. v. 28, &c. “ Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock wherein the Holy Ghost that placed
Talent, genius, ignorance, and simplicity, nifast alike bow to this tribunal. We must no longer give a pretended superiority to human reason over Divine Revelation. This is the head and front of our offending;' this is the spring and essence of heresy; and till this spirit of pride, disobedience, and presumption shall yield to a meekness and docility, bringing into captivity all understanding unto the obedience of Christ; till we consider the ' sun of Revelation as brighter than the twilight of our reason, the same miserable effects, dissension and division, doubt and error, will continue to flow from the same corrupted sources. Without a centre of unity, without those ancient bounds which our fathers have set,(e) without a rallying point to which all may fly, without a tribunal of final decision, from which no appeal can be made, we shall never rest satisfied or secure.
This tribunal can be no other than that which the Eternal Wisdom has appointed to preserve with jealous care the sacred deposit of his law, a
you Bishops, to rule the Church of God, which he had
(8) Prov. xxii. 28.
representative assembly of the universal church, the concurring opinion of those whom the Holy - Ghost has placed to rule it. Here all doubts are quieted, and all dissensions allayed ;-here the weak are strengthened, and the strong are confirmed, in their faith ;-here we tread with a firm step; and while others are tossed to and fro by every wind and wave, we remain secure upon the steadfast rock. It is by this we preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace ;-) through this we believe and are saved ;(W) by this with one mind and with one mouth we glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (*)
Independently of all this, which to my mind brings full and entire conviction, and assures me in the clearest terms which of the two is the safer and the better church; many other reasons may be urged, and many other arguments may be advanced, against conformity to Protestantism.
In the Third place, therefore, I cannot conform to Protestantism, because, instead of being governed by any fixed principles, it is full of contradictions and inconsistencies.
It is inconsistent,-because in rejecting the spiritual supremacy of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter, Protestants have established a much more arbitrary spiritual jurisdiction and
() Ephes. iv. 3.
(1) St. Mark, xvi. 16.
(1) Rom. xv. 6.