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the articles of that Bull pure and undiluted, on every single Roman Catholic, by subscription or verbal confesgion ; let them excommunicate all who will not receive those articles. They will then have proved their sincerity.
At present they tolerate Gallicanism, or the denial of the Papal authority. Nor is this the worst. They are in full communion with the Minimizers ; that is to say, they are in all directions communicating with those who subvert or overthrow what they profess to believe to be the grand essentials of Christianity. What can be inferred from this? It can only be supposed either that they do not believe their own doctrines fundamental and essential — although they assert them to be so-or else that they regard it as consistert with Christian unity that the Church should comprise different parties who differ on essential and fundamental doctrines of the faith. And if they hold communion with Minimizers, Gallicans, and Gallico-Ultramontanes, although they so profoundly differ from them, why, in the name of consistency, do they not also communicate with Jansenists and Old Catholics, with Greeks and Protestants ?
§ 8. EXAMINATION OF THE FOUR FAITHS
EVERY thinking man who calmly contemplates the existing divisions of tenet in the Church of Rome, will naturally ask himself, What is the cause of these diversities amongst men who profess themselves equally attached to their church, and equally convinced of their orthodoxy ? Must there not be some principle at work wbich, if followed to its root, would account for these divisions ? It
be well to feel our way in different directions, for the purpose of discovering the true cause.
Now the first observation that it occurs to make is, that all these disputes turn on the one single question of the Papal authority. They relate to nothing else. The dispute is entirely restricted to the prerogatives and limits of that authority, and its relations to the civil power. All are agreed that the Papal supremacy is of Divine institution, and that communion with the Papacy is necessary to salvation ; but these points being conceded, there is thenceforth nothing but confusion and contradiction. Ultramontanism demonstrates with resistless logic that if you grant these principles, the Pope must be supreme over Christian kings and nations; must possess the power of absolving subjects from their allegiance; and must be the autocrat of all Christian nations. Minimism endeavours to nullify these conclusions practically by giving individual judgment freedom to disobey the Papal commands; but this is merely a mode of denying the principle of the supremacy. Gallicanism, again, raises a counteracting power, but in so doing it nullifies the same principle after admitting it.
These great contradictions lead necessarily to inquiry into the subject matter of these controversies—the supremacy itself. Can it be in any way misstated ?
We are by no means about to question the Primacy itself; for there is nothing as yet in any degree to warrant any such course. The natural inference from the acceptance of the tenet by so many different parties would rather lead us to assume its truth. Still the subject is so perplexed, that it becomes a matter of necessity to endeavour to fathom its difficulties.
All the four theologies, then, are agreed that the Pope is the head of the Church by Divine appointment, and that out of his communion no one can be saved. If so, we have, as I have before observed, a grand vital article of the Catholic faith, to which everything else is accessory, as De Maistre has observed—that which, being removed, Christianity perishes. Is it not, then, a strange mystery that God should have permitted such strong diversities of opinion to arise with regard to an authority which He had
constituted the very keystone of His religion ? If He has constituted and appointed a Vicar on earth for the express purpose of maintaining unity of faith in His Church, why is it that this Vicar has not been able to ensure unity of belief as to his own power? And, what is still more mysterious and difficult to comprehend is this, Why has all mention of this grand and essential article of revelation been avoided in the Christian creeds? If we look at the confession of faith of the ancient Churches of Rome and Italy (the Apostles' Creed); at the confession of the Oriental Churches, drawn up by the sacred Ecumenical synods of Nicæa and Constantinople, and approved by all subsequent synods; at the grand western confession of the Catholic faith, usually styled the Athanasian, we find no mention whatever there of the fundamental doctrine of the Papal supremacy, that doctrine on which we are told everything depends—and which it is as important for Christians to know as to know that Christ died for their redemption. Whence can arise this astonishing silence ? That which renders it still more marvellous is the fact that these creeds by no means omit the subject of the Church. On that subject they are perfectly explicit. They profess belief in the holy Catholic Church, the communion of the saints,' in 'one holy Catholic Apostolic Church.' Why did they not substitute for this and in one Roman Pontiff, the successor of St. Peter, Vicar of Christ, and head of the Church?' Nothing would have been easier than this, and certainly nothing could have been more necessary.
There are great numbers of creeds extant, being the ancient creeds of churches and provinces throughout the East and West; from Assyria to the Pillars of Hercules, from Mauritania and Ethiopia to Britain and the Euxine. They are equally silent as to this fundamental article of Christianity. If we look at the ancient baptismal professions in the early Roman sacramentaries of Gelasius, Leo, and Gregory, we find there other doctrines of Christianity, but not the Papal supremacy. How are we to account for this omission ?
Again, how strange and mysterious is the fact, that throughout the Scriptures there is no occurrence of such all-important expressions as 'the Bishop of Rome,' the
Successor of St. Peter,' the Vicar of Christ ?' If privileges and promises were given to St. Peter which were to descend to successors, why was that fact unmentioned by. the Divine donor? He knew that there would be endless divisions and disputes on the point whether He had intended St. Peter to have a line of successors, and yet He does not add the few words which would at once have established the authority which he was instituting as the main foundation of His religion. How difficult is it to comprehend this silence.
Again, the Oriental Churches are, as we know, the lineal descendants of those founded by the Apostles and evangelists in Egypt, Syria, Assyria, Asia Minor, and Greece-Churches for many ages as numerous and widely extended as those of Latin Christendom.