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and showed a certain degree of weakness before his conversion, or before he was filled with the Holy Ghost, has been sufficiently met in our second Article on his book.
What Mr. Derby says of the Apostolic Canons and of the Councils of Nice and Ephesus, we let pass for what it is worth, without disputing or conceding its accuracy. The Papacy, in the belief of Catholics, was instituted immediately by our Lord himself, and the Pope derives bis authority immediately from him, not mediately through the Church, whether dispersed or congregated in council, and therefore can neither be given nor regulated by canons.
Mr. Derby alleges nothing that negatives the Papacy. We should expect no allusion to the Pope as sovereign prince, for sovereign prince, in Mr. Derby's sense, the Pope is not. That there is no allusion to a tiara-wearing prelate, may be a matter of regret, but I do not find in the same councils any allusion to coronet-wearing prelates, as are the Greek Bishops, or to apron-wearing prelates, as are the Anglican Bishops, both pets of the learned Jurist. However, it suffices for us, that these Councils were convoked by the authority of the Pope, presided over by his legates, and none of their acts were of any authority without his approbation. No acts of a Council have any force, save as they are acts of the Pope, or rendered his by his approval, for the Council derives its Apostolical authority from Christ through his Vicar, and there is no Council conceivable without him. The speculations of certain doctors and prelates at the time of the great Western Schism, who supposed it would be necessary to assert the subordination of the Pope to the Council, in order to extinguish the scandal of three rival claimants of the Papacy at the same time, are no part of Catholic doctrine, and are excusable only in men who are distracted by the evils of the times, and forget that the Lord never fails to save his Church without violence to her constitution. The power to enact canons is an Apostolic power, and therefore vested in the Pope, who may enact them with or without a Council, as he judges wisest and best ; his power is regulated by the law of Christ alone. It will be time enough to answer Mr. Derby's question, how St. Paul could perform his mission for three years to the heathen, without authority from Peter, when he shall have proved that St. Paul did so.
Mr. Derby speaks of the golden-mouthed St. Chrysostom. I suspect his Greek is a little rusty, and he is not aware of the tautology. If he spoke of the Goldenmouthed simply, or St. John the Golden-tongued, there would be no doubt as to the saint of whom he speaks. Let it be that St. John Chrysostom interprets the rock, as do several of the Fathers, of the faith of Peter, or the truth Peter professed, it makes nothing against the other interpretation given by Catholics. In arguing against Arians, or persons who deny the divinity of our Lord, I should myself interpret it as does St. John Chrysostom, but in arguing against those who deny the Primacy, I should interpret it of Peter himself. Both interpretations are admissible, and neither excludes the other. But I have in a previous Article sufficiently discussed this question.
The Fathers cited in the following pages of the Eleventh Letter to negative the Primacy of Peter, all assert it, and the passages quoted from them are easily explained in accordance with it. The same may be said of the citations in his two following Letters. In his Letter XIV., Mr. Derby refers to the recently discovered work, entitled Philosophumena, and ascribes it without hesitation, on the worthless authority of Chevalier Bunsen, to St. Hippolytus, Bishop of Porto. The book was published a few years ago as the work of Origen. It has since been ascribed to a Roman priest named Caius, to Tertullian, to St. Hippolytus, to another Hippolytus, but the learned have as yet settled nothing as to its authorship, and the only reason for ascribing it to any of the persons named, is, that if some one of them did not write it, it cannot be conjectured who did. All that is certain is, that it was found in a Greek monastery, in a manuscript supposed to be of the fourteenth century ; that it was written by a heretic and schismatist of the Novatian stamp, who appears to have lived in Rome in the early part of the third century, under the Pontificates of St. Zepherinus and St. Callistus, against whom it contains a most bitter diatribe. The work is not of the slightest authority for Mr. Derby, but is of some importance to us as the testimony of an enemy. It contains clear and unequivocal testimony to the fact, that the Bishop of Rome, within a century after the death of the last of the Apostles, claimed and exercised the Papal authority, or the authority of supreme Pastor of the Universal Church, for it denounces him in most outrageous terms for doing it. It is a bad witness for Mr. Derby, who seems to think the Papacy sprung up only after St. Gregory I., since he claims St. Gregory I. as one of his authorities against the Papacy, as a sort of Archbishop of Canterbury.
In dismissing this subject, we must ask Mr. Derby again, denying as he does the Primacy of Peter, and the Papacy, how he explains the universal tradition of the Church from the earliest times, that the Primacy was given to Peter, and that the Apostolic power survived in his successor, the Bishop of Rome ? That such is the universal tradition it is idle to dispute ; you cannot name a writer in any age or country that has occasion to touch the question, whether for or against, that does not bear witness to it as an existing fact. None of the Fathers received as such by the Church deny it, and I am aware of no one that does not either expressly assert, or at least imply it. Now give me, Mr. Derby, I pray you, a reasonable explanation of this fact, on your hypothesis that the Papacy is a usurpation ? How do you, maintaining as you do that the Primacy not only was not conferred on Peter, but that it was never even instituted, explain the fact that from the first clear historical view we get of the subject, we find the Bishop of Rome the acknowledged Chief Pastor of the Church, and in the full exereise of all the authority we Catholics claim for him to-day? It is idle to dispute the fact ; not one of the Fathers you cite, fairly interpreted, but bears witness to it. The effort you make to the contrary, is nothing but the chicanery of the pettifogger, unworthy of the large and liberal mind of a jurist. The passages you quote serve your purpose, because you have detached them from their context, and have read them in the light, or rather darkness, of your Protestantism ; not in the light and spirit of their authors. I have not found you just to the spirit and scope of a single Father you cite, and I cannot believe that you have ever read an entire work of any one of them. The works of the Fathers are penetrated, saturated with the Catholic spirit, and no man of a fair or unprejudiced mind can read them, especially those you cite, without feeling they were as Romish, to use a Protestant term, as Bellarmine, as Perrone, Cardinal Wiseman, or Pius the Ninth. There is no Catholic of to-day who would not find his heart warmed, his soul expanded, his fervor increased, and his faith enlightened and confirmed by an assiduous study of the Fathers as well as of the Scriptures. In addition to this you must concede that all the worldly passions of other bishops, their pride and ambition, as well as the pride and ambition of the temporal lords, kings, and Cæsars, must from the first have been opposed to the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome, or to the bishop of any other see. Be so good, then, as to explain to me, how the Bishop of Rome has been able to grasp the supremacy, to force the whole Church to recognize it, to submit to it, and to retain it down to our own times ?
But here we close. Mr. Derby, barring a few stale slanders, a thousand times refuted, in the remainder of his book only repeats what he has equally well said in the portion of his volume we have specially dissected. Whatever he advances in the remaining Letters, depends for its force on what we have examined and refuted. It would be an inexcusable waste of time on our part and that of our readers to occupy ourselves with it. Nobody pretends that all Catholics are perfect, that no scandals have ever occurred, or that every Pope has been personally a saint. But scandals our Lord said would come, and it is not a weak proof of the Divine origin of the Church and that a Divine hand has sustained her, that in spite of all the scandals that have occurred, she still exists, as fresh, vigorous, as blooming in the nineteenth century as in the first. The hard things said against her are arguments in her favor. They called our Lord a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners; they accused him of sedition, and crucified him between two thieves as a blasphemer and an enemy to Cæsar. Worse they cannot say of the Church, or do to her.
ART. II.--The Catholic Church and the American Consti
The United States of America constitute, at the present moment, the most interesting portion of the civilized world. They present signs pregnant with good or evil consequences, as their future good or evil fortune may determine, which are worthy of the study of every Christian, and every true lover of the human race in the world, but especially within their own borders. Daily expanding, and even gathering internal strength in their expansion, they promise in the future to become a glorious monument of human grandeur. If they continue their career of prosperity in any thing like fair proportion to their past progress, no man would attempt to say what they will have attained to in half a century from the present time. Their growth has been entirely without a parallel ; it has challenged the admiration, and excited the jealousy of the whole world. And for ourselves, we can see no conclusive reason why their future may not, nor even why it will not, be as brilliant, as happy, and far more glorious than their past. They have just begun their missiun, and their influence is just beginning to extend itself to the workings of other political systems throughout the world. No man is able to say in what that mission and that influence will ultimately terminate. A few years ago our country was regarded with contempt by the statesmen of Europe and our future confidently appealed to as a certain proof that all Democratic Government was an abortion. It was said that the political principles of our country could not bear the test of time, that our dreams of political happiness would prove fallacious. Now these opinions are giving way before the evidences of our substantial progress, and the writers and statesmen of Europe are beginning to doubt the truth of their predictions, and to manifest evident signs of disquietude at our continued prosperity. They regard us with ill-disguised jealousy, and plainly intimate their fears that we shall, ere many years roll by, force upon them new lessons in politics and the art of government.