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cles which the ignorance and the pride of the human mind oppose to it; and, in fine, that only the pure of heart see God, and that into a malicious soul wisdom will not enter, nor dwell in a body subject unto sin.”
If, in the course of the inquiry, we meet with that which it is impossible to comprehend, and difficult to believe, we must remember that the Almighty has so ordained it for the exercise of our faith ; for faith is the evidence of things that appear not. We must equally adore in humility and silence, the revelations of God to man, and the inscrutable counsels of heaven in the government of the world; and we must apply to both, these words of the apostle, O the depth of the riches, of the wisdom, and of the knowledge of God! how incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways.(P)* If we cannot reduce every thing to the standard of human reason, nor to the narrow comprehension of our capacities, we must recollect that omniscience is an attribute not granted to man; that we see now through a glass, and in a dark manner; but the time will come when we shall see face to face : now we know only in part, but then we shall know even as we are known. (9) We must be satisfied that every thing is in conformity with the inscru
(0) Heb. xi. 1.
(p) Rom. xi. 33.
(9) 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
table decrees of the wisdom of the Deity, because we know we are not to enter into judgment with God, nor call our Creator to account for his conduct towards his creatures. The God of all knowledge has revealed to us enough for the purposes of our salvation, and that is sufficient. His is the province to command, ours to obey ; his counsels are righteous and his ways are unsearchable ; and it is not for us to question the equity of his providence, nor penetrate the depths of his designs. He has taught us his holy will, and we must perform it with alacrity; not wait to discuss it's utility, or question it's propriety. Though in revelation there is much beyond reason, yet there is nothing contrary to it. It is only the 'sophisms of reasoning pride' that would lead us into contradiction and absurdity. Let us not lose ourselves in the intricate mazes of human speculation ; but taking a straight-forward path, let us 'adhere firmly to the sacred laws of truth, of reason, and of revelation : of truth undisguised by fashionable error; of reason unbiassed by worldly motives ; of revelation unsullied with the infectious breath of pretended reformation.'
In conclusion, let me call upon those who engage in polemic combat, to shake hands upon the field of battle and cleanse the venom from their weapons; we extract the sting from controversy, by discarding acrimonious invective and passionate
hostility. Freedom of discussion is necessary in the cause of truth; but that freedom must not be suffered to degenerate into licentiousness. As reason should be subject to revelation, so should zeal be obedient to charity; and though we differ in belief, we may live in harmony. Let it be our endeavour to promote the happiness of each other; and if we are not likely to concur in opinion upon all points, let us rejoice that we agree in many; and knowing with how much difficulty truth is sometimes found, let us not wonder that some should miss it. Whenever we are arrayed as adversaries, let it be under the banners of the meek and humble Jesus ; and may the motto blazoned on them be that golden sentence of an eloquent Father of the Church: IN NECESSARIIS UNITAS, IN DUBIIS LIBERTAS, ET IN OMNIBUS Charitas; and while we display our triumph, let us also learn to show our moderation. Thus will error be overthrown, the troubled passions be allayed, and the olive branch of peace proclaim that the waters of discord have subsided. May they never flow again, but be dried up in their sources, absorbed by CHARITY and TRUTH.
In offering to the reader the Traditionary Evidence of the Doctrines of our Church on the points to which it relates, contained in No. III. of the following APPENDIX, I beg leave to call his attention to a rule laid down by the Bishop of London, in his Charge of 1826 (p. 17). “ When we are acquainted,” says he," with the true state of the controversy, we may form our own conclusions : .... and how is this to be done? Not, surely, by retaliating mis-statements, invectives, and calumnies, or crudely asserting an unqualified right of private judgment, but BY REFERENCE TO PRIMITIVE ANTIQUITY ; disproving the allegations of our opponents from the silence of scripture, of general tradition, of ancient writers, which, in a case of this nature, is decisive ; appealing to the proceedings of Emperors, the acts of councils, the language of Fathers, of Bishops, and even of Popes, which contradict the pretensions of the Papacy, &c...." The genuine records of ancient usage and practice, will, in like manner, supply us with proof, &c.”—Now, with all deference to the Rt. Rev. Prelate, we may surely be allowed to ask, what this silent evidence, to which he appeals, can weigh against the positive and speaking testimony
which we can produce? As to the contradicting evidence, except on the point to which his Lordship refers, it is no where to be found : and even on that point, it will be seen only to contradict, not the lawful and spiritual authority of the Pontiff, but the pretensions of the Papacy. To deduce proof from the genuine records of ancient usage and practice, is an admirable rule, and one by which every Catholic, in common with the Bishop, is ready to be judged. I trust I have shewn in another part of this work, that the silence of scripture is not proof. The contradiction of scripture certainly is : for, if a doctrine be contrary to scripture, it cannot be true. But till the scriptures can be proved to be an independent rule of faith, and to have been delivered to us in this capacity, which the Catholic Church has always proved not to have been the case, by ancient
practice,-the mere silence of scripture cannot be taken in evidence. And as to the speaking and positive testimony of the sacred writings, this unerring rule of ancient usage and practice will shew that the Church, and the Church alone, has ever been considered as the authorized expounder of it.
In evidence of this, I will here content myself with citing the sentiments of only one of those great and learned men, whom all Christendom has agreed to honour with the distinctive title of Fa