Puslapio vaizdai


CATHOLIC.-But how can you have such a persuasion without having discussed the different questions concerning her sacraments, and other particular points of doctrine, which are held as articles of faith by the Catholic Church?


PROTESTANT.-Being fully convinced of the infallible authority of the Catholic Church, I feel sure that whatever she teaches must be true, however strange and obscure it may appear to our limited and weak understanding. Hence, far from presuming to penetrate, by the faint glimmering light of reason, the tenets proposed by her, I bow down thereto with the more docility and veneration the more impervious and incomprehensible they are to the human understanding. wonder if the truths revealed by the God of infinite wisdom exceed the narrow capacity of our reason? How could such truths be supernatural and calculated to direct man to the supernatural order, were they not above the reach of human understanding? The inquiry to be made by a christian, on this subject, is reducible to this one single point: What is taught by the Catholic Church? Knowing this, he need go no farther, but only submit his understanding to her doctrine, with absolute certainty of adhering to the doctrine of truth.

The apostles heard the divine teacher himself, and believed: we hear the same divine teacher, through the pastors of his Church, and we also believe. Our faith rests on his infallible authority, and is delivered to us by those whom he commanded us to believe as himself: "He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me." (Luke x.)

CATHOLIC.-Admirable sentiments, most rational and truly wise! Let all the faculties of your soul, I repeat again, praise and glorify God for that light which he has bestowed upon you relative to the most important and momentous affair that can engage the human mind! Having discovered the immoveable foundation of the House of God, you have discovered the solid foundation of truth, of justice, of sanctity, of real solid, infinite and eternal happiness. Superior to the prejudices of education, uninfluenced by human interest, unbiased by the dictates of passion or party feeling, fearlessly and unhesitatingly obey the voice of conviction speaking within your breast-" To-day, if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts." (Ps. xciv. 8.)

Permit not grovelling sublunary views, or any earthly motive whatever, to stagger your fortitude and damp your moral energies; and as the wandering Israelites of the desert directed their course by that column of fire which God sent them for their guidance into the land of promise, so do you follow, during your terrestrial and uncertain pilgrimage through this vale of tears, the pillar and foundation of truth, which our Redeemer has established in his Church to guide us to our heavenly country. Submitting our understanding to the obedience of faith, and adhering closely to the rock of truth, we shall be introduced at length into the region of eternal light, where, seeing God enthroned in glory, we "shall be inebriated with the plenty of his house," (Ps. xxxv. 9), and all the hidden mysteries will appear unveiled to us. "It hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like to him, because we shall see him as he is." (1 John iii. 2.) "We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face." (1 Cor. xiii. 12.)


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