Gregory of Nazianzus, and of Nyssa, St. Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Paulinus, and St. And so, on the other hand, there is a certain agreement of Fathers from the first that mankind has derived some disadvantage from the sin of Adam.
Next, when we consider the two doctrines more dis- tinctly, — the doctrine that between death and judgment there is a time or state of punishment ; and the doctrine that all men, naturally propagated from fallen Adam, are in consequence born destitute of original righteousness, — we find, on the one hand, several, such as Tertullian, St. Perpetua, St. Cyril, St. Gregory Nyssen, as far as their words go, definitely declaring a doctrine of Purgatory : whereas no one will say that there is a testimony of the Fathers, equally strong, for thedoctrine of Original Sin, though it is difiicult here to make any definite statement about their teaching without going into a discussion of the subject.
Of the Greek, the judgment of Hooker is well known, though it must not be taken in the letter : " The heresy of freewill was a millstone about those Pelagians' neck ; shall we therefore give sentence of death inevitable against all those Fathers in the Greek Church which, being mispcrsuadcd, died in the error of freewill? Austin was so angry th:it he stamped and disturbed it roore.
And truly. I do not think that the gentlemen that urged against mo St. Austin's opinion do well consider that I profess myself to follow those Fathers who were before him ; and whom St. Austin did forsake, as I do him, in the question.
Hinc ct C. Petavius dieit, ' Gra;ci origiualis fere crisiinis raram, nrc disert:im,nicntionem scriptis suis attigerunt. Couiuicut, de P. It may be observed, in addition, that, in spite of the forcible teaching of St. Paul on the subject, the doctrine of Original Sin appears neither in the Apostles' nor the Nicene Creed.
One additional specimen shall be given as a sample of many others : — I betake myself to one of our altars to receive the Blessed Eucharist ; I have no doubt whatever on ray mind about the Gift which that Sacrament contains ; I confess to myself my belief, and I go through the steps on which it is assured to me.
AVhatever be our other misfortunes, every link in our chain is safe ; we have the Apostolic Succession, we have a right form of consecration : therefore we are blessed with the great Gift. Ignatius calls it ' the medicine of immortality : ' St. Cyprian uses language as fearful as can be spoken, of those who profane it.
I cast my lot with them, I believe as they. How are you casting your lot with the Saints, when you go hut half-way with them? For of whether of the two do they speak the more frequently, of the Heal Presence in the Eucharist, or of the Pope's supremacy? You accept the lesser evidence, you reject the greater.
The testimonies to the latter are confined to a few passages such as those just quoted. On the other hand, of a passage in St. Justin, Bishop Kaye remarks, "Le Nourry infers that Justin maintained the doctrine of Transubstantiation ; it might in my opinion be more plausibly urged in favour of Con substantiation, since Justin calls the consecrated elements Bread and Wine, though not common bread and wine.
We may there- fore conclude that, when hecallsthcm the Body and Blood of Christ, he speaks figuratively. Clement gives various interpretations of Christ's expressions in John vi. All that is cer- tain is that he supposes the Word made flesh, the Word incarnate to be the heavenly bread spoken of in that chap- ter. With such evidence, the Ante-nicene testimonies which may be cited in behalf of the authority of the Holy See, need not fear a comparison. Faint they may be one by one, but at least we may count seventeen of them, and they are various, and are drawn from many times and countries, and thereby serve to illustrate each other, and form a body of proof.
Pflsejr'8 University Seppon of J I shall have occasion to enumerate them in the fourth chapter of this Essay. If it be said that the Real Presence appears, by the Liturgies of the fourth or fifth century, to have been the doctrine of the earlier, since those very forms probably existed from tlie first in Divine worship, this is doubtless an important truth ; but then it is true also that the writers of the fourth and fifth centuries fearlessly assert, or frankly allow that the prerogatives of Rome were derived from apostolic times, and that because it was the See of St.
Moreover, if the resistance of St. Cyprian and Firmilian to the Church of Rome, in the question of baptism by heretics, be urged as an argument against her primitive authority, or the earlier resistance of Polycrates of Ephesus, let it be considered, first, whether all authority does not necessarily lead to resistance ; next, whether St.
It does not seem possible, then, to avoid the conclusion that, whatever be the proper key for liarmonizing the records and documents of the early and later Church, and true as the dictum of Yincentius must be considered in the abstract, and possible as its application might be in his own age, when he might almost ask the primitive centuries for their testimony, it is hardly available now, or effective of any satisfactory result. The solution it offers is as difficult as the original problem.
Another hypothesis for accounting for a want of accord between the early and the late aspects of Christianity is that of the Disciplina Arcani, put forward on the assump- tion that there has been no variation in the teaching of the Church from first to last. It is maintained that doctrines which are associated with the later ages of the Church were really in the Church from the first, but not publicly taught, and that for various reasons : as, for the sake of reverence, that sacred subjects might not be pro- faned by the heathen ; and for the sake of catechumens, that they might not be oppressed or carried away by a sudden communication of the whole circle of revealed truth.
And indeed the fact of this concealment can hardly be denied, in whatever degree it took the shape of a defi- nite rule, which might vary with persons and places. That it existed even as a rule, as regards the Sacraments, seems to be confessed on all hands. That it existed in other respects, as a practice, is plain from the nature of the case, and from the writings of the Apologists.
Minucius Felix and Arnobius, in controversy with Pagans, imply a denial that then the Christians used altars ; yet Tertullian speaks expressly of the Ara T ei in the Church.
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And, in like manner, Minucius allows that there were no temples among Christians ; yet they are distinctly recognized in the edicts of the Dioclesian era, and are known to have existed at a still earlier date. It is the tendency of every dominant system, such as the Paganism of the Ante-nicene centuries, to force its oppo- nents into the most hostile and jealous attitude, from the apprehension which they naturalh' feel, lest if they acted otherwise, in those points in which they approximate to- wards it, they should be misinterpreted and overborne by its authority.
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The very fault now found with clergymen of the Anglican Church, who Avish to conform their prac- tices to her rubrics, and their doctrines to her divines of the seventeenth century, is, that, whether they mean it or no, whether legitimately or no, still, in matter of fact, they will be sanctioning and encouraging the religion of liome, in which there are similar doctrines and practices, more definite and more influential ; so that, at any rate, it is inexpedient at the moment to attempt what is sure to be mistaken.
That is, they are required to exercise a disci- plina arcani ; and a similar reserve was inevitable on the part of the Catholic Church, at a time when priests and altars and rites all around it were devoted to malignant and incurable superstitions. It would be wrong indeed to deny, but it was a duty to withhold, the ceremonial of Christianity ; and Apologists might be sometimes tempted to deny absolutely what at furthest could only be denied under conditions.
An idolatrous Paganism tended to re- press the externals of Christianity, as, at this day, the presence of Protestantism is said to repress, though for another reason, the exhibition of the Boman Catholic religion. The following Essay is directed towards a solution of the difficulty which has been stated, — the difficulty, as far as it exists, which lies in the way of our using in controversy the testimony of our most natural informant concerning the doctrine and worship of Christianity, viz.
This may be called the Theory of Develo2 nent of Doctrine ; and, before proceeding to treat of it, one remark may be in place. It is undoubtedly an hypothesis to account for a diffi- culty ; but such too are the various explanations given by astronomers from Ptolemy to Newton of the apparent motions of the heavenly bodies, and it is as unphilosophical on that account to object to the one as to object to the other. Nor is it more reasonable to express surprise, that at this time of day a theory is necessary, granting for argument's sake that the theory is novel, than to have directed a similar wonder in disparagement of the theory 9f gravitation, or the Plutonian theory in geology.
For three hundred years the documents and the facts of Chris- tianity have been exposed to a jealous scrutiny ; works have been judged spurious which once were received with- out a question ; facts have been discarded or modified which were once first principles in argument ; new facts and new principles have been brought to light ; philo- sophical views and polemical discussions of various tendencies have been maintained witb more or less success.
Not only has the relative situation of controversies and theologies altered, but infidelity itself is in a different,— I am obliged to say in a more hopeful position, — as regards Christianity. The state of things is not as it was, when an appeal lay to the sup- posed works of the Areopagite, or to the primitive Decre- tals, or to St. Dionysius's answers to Paul, or to the Coena Domini of St. The assailants of dogmatic truth have got the start of its adherents of whatever Creed ; philosophy is completing what criticism has begun ; and apprehensions are not unreasonably excited lest we should have a new world to conquer before we have weapons for the warfare.
Already infidelity has its views and con- jectures, on which it arranges the facts of ecclesiastical history ; and it is sure to consider the absence of any antagonist theory as an evidence of the reality of its own. That the hypothesis, here to be adopted, accounts not only for the Athanasian Creed, but for the Creed of Pope Pius, is no fault of those who adopt it. No one has power over the issues of his principles ; we cannot manage our argu- ment, and have as much of it as we please and no more. An argument is needed, unless Christianity is to abandon the province of argument ; and those who find fault with the explanation here ofiered of its historical phenomena will find it their duty to provide one for themselves.
And as no special aim at Roman Catholic doctrine need be supposed to have given a direction to the inquiry, so neither can a reception of that doctrine be immediately based on its results. It would be the work of a life to apply the Theory of Developments so carefully to the, writings of the Fathers, and to the history of controversies and councils, as thereby to vindicate the reasonableness of every decision of Rome ; much less can such an undertaking be imagined by one who, in the middle of his days, is.
It is the characteristic of our minds to be ever engaged in passing judgment on the things which come before us. No sooner do we apprehend than we judge : we allow nothing to stand by itself : we compare, contrast, abstract, generalize, connect, adjust, classify : and we view all our knowledge in the associations with which these processes have invested it. Of the judgments thus made, which become aspects in our minds of the things which meet us, some are mere opinions which come and go, or which remain with us only till an accident displaces them, whatever be the influence which they exercise meanwhile.
Others are firmly fixed in our minds, with or without good reason, and have a hold upon us, whether they relate to matters of fact, or to principles of conduct, or are views of life and the world, or are prejudices, imaginations, or convictions. Many of them attach to one and the same object, which is thus variously viewed, not only by various minds, but by the same. Thus Judaism is an idea which once was objective, and Gnosticism is an idea which was never so. Both of them have various aspects : those of Judaism were such as mono- theism, a certain ethical discipline, a ministration of divine vengeance, a preparation for Christianity : those of the Gnostic idea are such as the doctrine of two principleSj that of emanation, the intrinsic malignity of matter, the inculpability of sensual indulgence, or the guilt of every pleasure of sense, of which last two one or other must be in the Gnostic a false aspect and subjective only.
The idea which represents an object or supposed object is commensurate with the sum total of its possible aspects, however they may vary in the separate consciousness of individuals ; and in proportion to the variety of aspects under which it presents itself to various minds is its force and depth, and the argument for its reality. Ordinarily an idea is not brought home to the intellect as objective except through this variety ; like bodily substances, which are not apprehended except under the clothing of their properties and results, and which admit of being walked round, and surveyed on opposite sides, and in different perspectives, and in contrary lights, in evidence of their reality.
And, as views of a material object may be taken from points so remote or so opposed, that they seem at first sight incompatible, and especially as their shadows will be disproportionate, or even monstrous, and yet all these anomalies will disappear and all these contrarietiea SECT. There is no one aspect deep enough to exhaust the con- tents of a real idea, no one term or proposition which will serve to define it ; though of course one representation of it is more just and exact than another, and though when an idea is very complex, it is allowable, for the sake of con- venience, to consider its distinct aspects as if separate ideas.
Thus, with all our intimate knowledge of animal life and of the structure of particular animals, we have not arrived at a true definition of any one of them, but are forced to enumerate properties and accidents by way of description. Nor can we inclose in a formula that intellectual fact, or wystem of thought, which we call the Platonic philosophy, or that historical phenomenon of doctrine and conduct, which we call the heresy of Montanus or of Manes.
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Again, if Protestantism were said to lie in its theory of private judgment, and Lutheranism in its doctrine of justification, this indeed would be an approximation to the truth ; but it is plain that to argue or to act as if the one or the other aspect were a sufficient account of those forms of religion severally, would be a serious mistake.
Sometimes an attempt is made to determine the "leading idea," as it has been called, of Christianity, an ambitious essay as employed on a supernatural work, when, even as regards the visible creation and the inventions of man, such a task is beyond us. But one aspect of Revelation must not be allowed to exclude or to obscure another ; and Christianity is dogmatical, devotional, practical all at once ; it is esoteric and exoteric ; it is indulgent and strict ; it is light and dark ; it is love, and it is fear.
When an idea, whether real or not, is of a nature to arrest and possess the mind, it may be said to have life, that is, to live in the mind which is its recipient. Thufj mathematical ideas, real as they are, can hardly properly be called living, at least ordinarily. But, when some great enunciation, whether true or false, about human nature, or present good, or government, or duty, or religion, is carried forward into the public throng of men and draws attention, then it is not merely received passively in this or that form into many minds, but it becomes an active principle within them, leading them to an ever-new contemplation of itself, to an application of it in various directions, and a propagation of it on every side.
Such is the doctrine of the divine right of kings, or of the rights of man, or of the anti-social bearings of a priesthood, or utilitarianism, or free trade, or the duty of benevolent enterprises, or the philosophy of Zeno or Epicurus, doctrines which are of a nature to attract and influence, and have 90 BEOT.
Let one such idea get possession of the popular mind, or the mind of any portion of the community, and it is not difficult to understand what will be the result. At first men will not fully realize what it is that moves them, and will express and explain themselves inadequately. There will be a general agitation of thought, and an action of mind upon mind. There will be a time of confusion, when conceptions and misconceptions are in conflict, and it is uncertain whether anything is to come of the idea at all, or which view of it is to get the start of the others.
New lights will be brought to bear upon the original statements of the doc- trine put forward ; judgments and aspects will accumulate. After a while some definite teaching emerges ; and, as time proceeds, one view will be modified or expanded by another, and then combined with a third ; till the idea to which these various aspects belong, will be to each mind separately what at first it was only to all together. It will be sur- veyed too in its relation to other doctrines or facts, to other natural laws or established customs, to the varying circum- stances of times and places, to other religions, polities, philosophies, as the case may be.