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and prevent us from being children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine ; for to secure this end it must be public, recognizable, one, uniform, and authoritative. Nor could the individual teacher ever verify his commission, as a teacher sent from God, unless he can point to the visible body of which he is a member, and which was commissioned by Jesus Christ, and from him inherits the promises. Therefore we dismiss this notion of the invisible Church, and of an invisible body of true Christian teachers dispersed through various and conflicting communions. Such teachers would be as good as none, for no one could distinguish them from false teachers.
We repeat, then, the Roman Catholic ministry is the Apostolic ministry, for this ministry can be no other. This conclusion very few, perhaps none, would deny, if they admitted, what we have proved, that Jesus Christ did institute such a ministry as we contend for. If there be an infallible Church, authorized by the Saviour to teach, all must say, it is indisputably the Roman Catholic Church; for all see it can be no other, and, in fact, no other even pretends to be it.
But we may prove our proposition not merely by the removal or destruction of the negative, but by plain, positive, affirmative evidence. The first method of proof is conclusive in itself; the second is also conclusive in itself. All that is to be done to prove the proposition affirmatively is, to identify the Roman Catholic ministry, as a corporation, with the corporation Jesus Christ instituted and commissioned in the persons of the Apostles. The kind of evidence needed is the same as is requisite in any case of the identification of a corporation. The identity is established by showing that the corporation retains its original name, and has regularly succeeded to the original corporators. The name is not conclusive evidence, but is a presumption of identity. In the present case, it is easy to prove that the ministry in question retains the Apostolic name. This name is Catholic, and the Roman Catholic Church bears it, and always has borne it. It is and always has been known and distinguished by it, and no other corporation is or ever has been known or distinguished by it. The old Donatişts claimed it, but could not appropriate it. They are known only as Donatists. Some members of the English and American Episcopal Church, now and then, put on airs, and with great emphasis call themselves Catholics; but the bystanders only smile, for they see the long ears peering out from under the lion's skin. While, on the other hand, go into any city in the world and ask the first lad you meet to direct you to the Catholic Church, and he will direct you without hesitation to the Roman Catholic Church. This shows, that, by the common judgment and consent of mankind, the distinctive appellation of the Churches in communion with the See of Rome is Catholic.
The regular succession of the Roman Catholic ministry to the Apostolic is easily made out. We can establish the regular succession of pontiffs from St. Peter to Gregory the Sixteenth, the present Pope ; and this establishes the unity of the corporation in time, and therefore its identity. The regular succession and unity of authority of the corporation can also be established in the orders and mission of the pastors ; for the Catholic ministry has never been schismatic. This regular succession and unity of authority establishes, of course, the identity of the corporation. Then the Catholic ministry is identical with the
. Apostolic ministry. The two points on which this conclusion depends we leave, of course, without adducing in detail the historical proof of them. Established historically, they warrant the conclusion. They can be established by conclusive historical proof. Therefore the conclusion stands firm.
We establish our proposition, then, by showing that the Apostolic ministry can be no other than the Roman Catholic, and by showing that it is the Roman Catholic. Nothing more conclusive than this double proof can be desired.
Then we sum up by repeating, that Jesus Christ has instituted and commissioned an infallible and indefectible body of teachers, and this body is the congregation of the Roman Catholic pastors in communion with their chief. The Catholic Church, then, is the witness to the fact of revelation. What its pastors declare to be the word of God is the word of God; what they enjoin as the faith is the faith without which it is impossible to please God, and without which we are condemned and the wrath of God abideth on us. What they teach is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; for God himself has commissioned them, and will not suffer them to fall into error in what concerns the things they have been commissioned to teach.
The question of the Church as the congregation of believers can detain us but a moment. We agree with the Examiner, that the Church in this sense embraces “the whole company of believers, the uncounted and wide-spread congregation of all those who receive the Gospel as the law of life; that the Church of Christ comprehends and is composed of all his followers.” But who are these? “My sheep,” says our blessed Lord,“ hear
voice and follow me.” We must hear his voice, as the condition of following him, or being his followers. But we cannot hear his voice where it is not, where it speaks not. Where, then, speaks his voice? In the Catholic Church, in and through the Catholic pastors, and nowhere else. Then we hear his voice only as we hear the voice of the Catholic Church, and follow him only as we follow what this Church in his name commands. Only they, then, who hear and obey the Catholic Church are of the Church, only they who are in the communion of this Church are in the communion of Christ. It is time, then, to abandon No-Churchism, and to return to the one fold of the one Shepherd, and submit ourselves to the guidance of the pastors he has made rulers and teachers of the fock.
We do not suppose this conclusion will be very pleasing to our Protestant readers, and we do not suppose any thing we could say, conscientiously, would please them; for we do not see any right they have to be pleased, standing where they do. There is the stubborn fact, that “no man can be saved who has not God for his father, and the Church for his mother,' which cannot be got over ; and if we have not the true Church
: for our mother, then " are we bastards and not sons.” The presumption, to say the least, is strongly against our Protestant brethren; and they have great reason to fear, that, after all, they are only “children of the bondwoman.” They may try to hide this from themselves, and to stifle the voice of conscience by crying out “ Popery !” “Papist !” Romanist !” “ Idolatry!' “ Superstition !” and the like, but this can avail them little. They may make light of the question, and think themselves excused from considering it. But there comes and must come to the greater part of them an hour when they feel the need of something more substantial than any thing they have. They may use swelling words, and speak in a tone of great confidence; but the best of them have their doubts, nay, long periods when they can keep up their courage, and persuade themselves that they hope, only by shutting their eyes, refusing to think, plunging into religious dissipation, or giving way to the wild and destructive bursts of fanaticism and superstition. The great question of the salvation of the soul must at times press heavily upon them, and create no little anxiety. For it is a terrible thing to be forced into the presence of God uncovered by the robe of the Redeemer's righteousness, - a terrible thing to have all the sins of our past life come thronging back on the memory, and to feel that they are registered against us, unrepented of,
unsorgiven ; a terrible thing to feel that the number of these sins is daily and hourly increasing, that we ourselves are continually exposed to the allurements of the world, the seductions of the flesh, and the temptations of the devil, with no weapon but our own puny arm with which to defend ourselves, and no strength but our own infirmity with which to recover and maintain our integrity. Alas ! we know what this is. We know what it is to feel oppressed with the heavy load of guilt, to struggle alone in the world, against all manner of enemies, without faith, without hope, without the help of God's sacraments; we know what it is to feel that we must trust in our own arm and heart, stand on the pride of our own intellect and conviction. We know, too, what it is to feel all these defences fail, all this trust give way; for to us have come, as well as to others, those trying moments when the loftiest are laid low, and the proudest, prostrate in the dust, cry out from the depth of their spiritual agony, “ Is there no help? O God! why standest thou afar off? Help, help, or I perish !” Alas! there are moments when we cannot trifle, when we cannot lean on a broken reed, when we must have something really Divine, something on which we can lay hold that will not break, and leave us to drop into everlasting perdition. It is a terrible question this of the salvation of the soul, and no man can prudently put it off. It must be met and answered, and the sooner the better.
We urge this upon our Protestant brethren. They have no solid ground on which to stand, no sure help on which to rely. Their own restlessness proves it ; their perpetual variations and
: ; shifting of their creeds prove it ; the new and strange sects constantly springing up amongst them prove it ; their worldlymindedness, their universal ill-at-ease, perpetual striving after what they have not, and find not, prove it ; the wide-spread infidelity which prevails among them, and the still more destructive indifferency prove it. Their spiritual strength is the strength of self-confidence or of desperation. They cannot live so. There is no good for them in their present state. Why will they not ask if there be not a better way? If they will but seek, they shall find, — knock, it shall be opened to them. There is that faith which they deny, and that certainty which they ridicule. But they will find it not in their pride. They will find it not, till they learn to look on him they have despised, and to fly for succour to him they have crucified. But we have been betrayed into remarks, which, though true, would come with a better grace from one whose faith is less recent than our own. Yet
VOL. II. NO. II.
we have said nothing by way of vain-glory. If we have faith, it is no merit of ours. We have been brought by a way we knew not, and by a Power we dared not resist; and His the praise and the glory, and ours the shame and mortification that for so many years we groped in darkness, boasting that we could see, and holding up our farthing-candle of a misguided reason as a light that was to enlighten the world !
We have been asked, “How in the world have you become a Catholic ?" In this essay we have presented an outline, or rather a specimen, of the answer we have to give. It is incomplete; but it will satisfy the attentive reader, that not without some show of reason, at least, have we left our former friends and the endearing associations of our past life, and joined ourselves to a Church which excites only the deadly rage of the great mass of our countrymen. The change with us is a great one, and a greater one than the world dreams of, or will dream of and one which may have cost some sacrifice. At any rate, it is a change we would not have made, if we could have helped it, - a change against which we struggled long, but for which, though it makes us a pilgrim and a sojourner in life, and permits us no home here below, we can never sufficiently praise and thank our God. It is a great gain to lose even earth for heaven. If, however, we be pressed to give the full reason of our change, we must refer to the grace of God, and the need we felt of saving our own soul. We were a sinner, and we wished to be reconciled to God.
Art. II. — Onguent contre la Morsure de la Vipère Noire,
composé par le Dr. Evariste Gypendole, Ancien Chirurgien Major de la Vieille Garde, Médecin Consultant du Roi de Lahore, Grande-Croix de la Légion d'Honneur, &c., &c. Paris. 1843. 16mo. pp. 218.
The great necessity of some specific for the bite of the Black Serpent has long been felt by all who regard their own lot as bound up with that of their race, and hold that the most effectual atonement they can make for their own sins is to lighten the afflictions of their brethren. The black serpent is the most venomous of all the serpent brood, and the most deadly