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Page Peter. This promulgation was a public fact, in all its cir- ; cumstances. Those who embraced the law of Christ, as promulgated by Peter, were all united in one faith, and communion. The authority of Peter and the other Apostles, sanc tioned by acknowledged miracles ............... .........5
CHAPTER II. The revelation and establishment of the Christian religion, is a";
series, and collection of public facts-exemplified in the history: of Christ, and in the ministry of his Apostles. The propagation of the law, and religion of Christ over Judea, and the Gen- . tile world, by the ministry of the Apostles, and of Apostolic men sent by them.-The Apostles make ecclesiastical laws, for the preservation of unity in faith, and for the regulation of . matters of discipline ..... ................... 56
CHAPTER III. A view of the designs and works of God, in the preparation and execution of the establishment of the Christian religion.– The Almighty had this work in contemplation, from the beginning of the world. He promised it to the ancient Patriarchs. – He foretold it by his inspired prophets.—He exhibited a type and model of this great work, in the institutions of the old law, and in the most remarkable events which occurred under the Mosaic dispensation.— All these were accomplished in the history of the life and mysteries of Christ, and in the institution and establishment of the Christian religion ........... 61
from original justice to the state of sin.-Consequences.-Igno-
183 THE MYSTERIES OF CHRISTIANITY. . .
Page The formation and nature of the Church of Christ. - It consists of
two classes ; of the ministers of Christ, teaching and governing ;-and of the faithful, who are taught and governed. - The Church of Christ to be propagated over all nations, and to continue through all ages. The government of the Church constituted in the form of a kingdom.—The guardianship and dispensation of all the doctrines, precepts, and mysteries of the Christian religion, were committed by Christ to the mi. nistry, which he established in his Church.-Consequently it is by the ministry of the Church of Christ, that all nations are to be instructed in the true knowledge of the faith and law, which Christ delivered to his Apostles .................... 78
. CHAPTER II. On the marks of the true Church of Christ-UNITY and UNIVER
SALITY are essential properties and characteristic marks of the
considered in the Roman Catholic Church.Unity and univer-
from the communion of the Roman Catholic Church.- Unity
CHRISTIANITY is that form of Religion, which was taught and instituted by CHRIST. It embraces the doctrines of faith, which Christ revealed; the supernatural moral precepts, which he delivered; the sacred rites, which he instituted; and the form of constitution, which he founded, for the government of his Church. Its doctrines are most sublime, and consoling; and, at the same time, most true and certain. Its moral precepts are most pure, and perfect; prescribing the renunciation of all sin, and the exercise of every virtue. Its religious rites are most holy, and salutary, being the divinely established means of offering an acceptable worship to God, and of communicating the graces of sanctification to the souls of men. To those who embrace the Christian Religion with sin. cerity, and observe its injunctions with fidelity, it imparts peace and spiritual consolation in life, and ensures the enjoyment of a glorious immortality, after death.
Christianity is the work of God; a magnificent work, in the establishment and support of which, he has displayed his power, his wisdom, his mercy and goodness, even in a stronger light, than in the creation and preservation of the world. Its end is the glory of God, and the renovation and eternal happiness of man. ..
The institution and propagation of the Christian Religion, was a great public Fact; no less so, than the establishment, and extension of any temporal kingdom, or empire on earth. By its uniform laws of faith, and general discipline, it united together the nations of Europe, in one large society, and continued to regulate their religious, and moral conduct, from its early introduction into them, till the changes and divisions, in matters of Religion, which took place, in the sixteenth century. His ..!! ..
At that eventful period, the authors of these changes and divisions introduced the principle of determining what are the doctrines, and precepts, which Christ delivered, and commanded all to believe and observe, not by the authority of the Church, but by the judgment of every individual, or by his private interpre tation of Scripture. The consequence naturally resulting from this principle was, that according to each one's judgment or interpretation of Scripture, different, and not unfrequently contradictory, doctrines were held, as the revealed doctrines of Christianity ; and articles of Christian faith, which had been uniformly and : universally believed, as revealed doctrines, for fifteen centuries, began to be rejected as not revealed. Still, the divine revelation of a doctrine was considered as a proof of its being true.'; . : -> But it was not long before this principle of private judgment was carried further; and was made the rule of deciding, not merely the question, de facto, whether the doctrine was divinely revealed or not; but also the question, de jure, whether the doctrine, considered in itself, was true or not. By this system, the