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that the Donatists did not differ from the Novatians. This is incorrect. The Donatists fell from schism into errors which the Novatians had never adopted. They employed the "savage Circumcellions," as the protestant historian Waddington calls them, to pillage churches, murder Catholics, and perpetrate other acts of barbarity unheard of among the meek followers of Jesus Christ. What, too, will my friend say to the uncontrollable propensity to suicide, which they were accused of encouraging and indulging with dreadful frequency 1 Not so the true church—she comes like Jesus Christ to call sinners to repentance, and heal the contrite of heart—she employs his own inviting, and attractive, accents of pity and compassion:—"Come to me all you that labor and are heavy burdened, and / will refresh you, not drive you to despair, to acts of self destruction; and you shall find rest for your souls." Matthew xi. 28. A hard heart will fare badly in the end, says the scripture, and consequently every feeling of justice and humanity revolts at the idea that the Novatians could have been animated by the meek spirit of Jesus Christ, when they condemned to eternal exclusion from the church for a single, and that, frequently, a compulsory fault, as when an individual was condemned by brute force to offer incense to the idols, or the Donatists, who revolted against the authority of the African bishops, and ravaged the countries where they prevailed with a lawless soldiery. Is this the meek church of him who came to preach deliverance to captives 1 Must we palliate these and a hundred similar excesses, to criminate achurch which would, if hermild counsels were obeyed, have averted these evils from mankind? Is it candid, is it just, to blame her without cause and to withhold praise where it is due 1 The Roman Catholic church has never given the example of such cruelty. She on the contrary admits all sinners to repentance ; she counts as belong to her communion, all the children baptized in Protestant communions who die before they are capable of committing mortal sin, or who living in invincible ignorance that they have been bred up in error, keep the commandments of God, and love him, as far as their knowledge of his divine nature will permit. All these belong to the soul of the church; and are consequently among the most precious of her fold. K ven among the unenlightened Indians if any there be that keep inviolably the natural law and serve their Creator according to the best lights which they possess, these she enrolls among her children,and teaches us to consider them as objects of God's special mercy, whom he will not, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, fail to illustrate with the light of divine truth. For this purpose the resources of his wisdom, are like th,at wisdom, infinite. Thus while the Catholic church watches with the most scrupulous fidelity over the purity of faith, in her has the beautiful saying of the psalmist been fulfilled, "Mercy and truth have met one another, justice and peace have kissed." Ps. lxxxiv. 11.
By what ingenuity can the gentleman flatter himself he will establish the claims of the discordant and evanescent sects of these early ages to the title of Catholics. Sisyphus-like, these sects which he is laboring so hard, so vainly, to roll up to the summit of that "mountain placed upon the top of mountains," spoken of by Is. ii. 2, and which is the aptest figure of the Catholic church, to which all nations flow, will fall upon him and crush him. He can never prove them Catholic in time, in place, or in doctrine. The Novatians did not slip into the Donatists, nor the Donatists into the Paulicians; there was no common bond of union, no identity of doctrine, among these heterogeneous sects. As it is the same sun which took its station in the heavens at the creation that now shines over us, so it is the same religion that was taught eighteen hundred years ago by Jesus Christ, that irradiates us at this very day with the light of truth ; and not more difficult would it be to count all the vapors, mists and clouds, that passed athwart the bright luminary of day since he first gladdened the universe with his beams, than to enumerate the numberless sects that have cast their shadows on the light of Catholic holiness, and purity, and truth, since the origin of christianity. They have passed, or are fast passing away forever, while she lasts on, and will last till the end of time. "I have seen the wicked," says the Psalmist, xxxvi. 35, "highly exalted, and lifted up like the cedars of Lebanon. And I passed, and lo! he was not, and his place was not to be found." This is a glorious indication of the stability of the Catholic church—of the truth of the power that sustains her. And as she signalized her triumph over all the false gods of Paganism, by establishing the church of All Saints, and of the God who made them saints, on the ruins of the greatest of idolatrous temples, so does she signalize her triumph over all sects and heresies, falsely professing to be christian, by the august pontiff who speaks to the eternal city and the Catholic world. From the inspiration of scripture, and of splendid facts, I pass to the inspiration of poetry, I care not whose, and close the words of my argument in the words of Byron:
"But thou of temples old, or altars new,
• * • * *
My friend has dwelt eloquently upon riots in the church in particular seasons of excitement. But shall a society forfeit all claims to regard, because, in seasons of high excitement, differences of opinion proceed to violence? or a few bad people come to blows? It has happened, and may happen among all denominations, even the most peaceful sects, and every body of men; (instances were here specified.) A riot may take place at an election of president, and blood be shed; but does this affect the title of chief magistrate of this union? Is he to lose his office because blows were struck during the election? and ifthe pope could not always be elected peaceably, by reason of the disturbances created by men, was the succession to cease, and was there never to be a pope again, or a bishop, or any other pastor in the church? was Christ not God because Peter, the servant Malchus, shed blood for him? See the terrible effects of my friend's bad reasoning. The deist has availed himself of it, and denied the God of the Old Testament, because exterminating wars, as we there read, were waged at his command. We must make allowances for the passions and weaknesses of human nature; but the aim of religion is to correct, to heal, if she cannot entirely remove them. When the pope was elected, in the case alluded to, he restored order. As Christ said to Peter, so said he to the mob excited by Novatian, "Put up again thy sword into its place, for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Matthew xxvi. 52.
The gentleman asked me to tell him in what objectionable sense the bishop of Constantinople claimed the title of Universal Father. It was in a sense never used before; he had no title to it; he assumed too much in claiming it. Again, it was he who pretended that no sacrament could be administered but by his authority. The Catholic church teaches that, however illicitly he may exercise it, no authority on earth can take even from a degraded priest the power of consecrating. Schismatical bishops, when duly ordained themselves, could ordain bishops, priests and inferior clergy. We admit the baptism of Methodists and Baptists by aspersion, or immersion, as I have already explained; and even the orders of the English Episcopal church are contested, on the ground of the very serious doubt whether the first of their bishops was, himself, consecrated by a bishop, or if so, by a valid formulary.
My friend was not at all accurate in stating the number of bishops present at some of the first councils. There were more present at them, as I can easily shew, than he has stated. He draws a parallel between the council of Nice and the house of representatives. I do not understand the force of his analogy. If that council belonged ex clusively to the Greeks, why did they permit a Latin to preside t But it was to shew the world that they admitted the authority of Rome that Osius, the pope's legate, presided—and without his signature, and the pope's approbation, their acts would have had no force as rules of Catholic faith. What analogy is there between Henry Clay and Osius? Did they stand in the same relation to their respective assemblies? Did they ever dream that they would be placed in juxtaposition? If the speaker of the house, or the president of the senate, were to object to the passing of a law, would his veto avail anything 1 would not the majority rule?
My friend said, first, that Catholic was a new term; and next, when he found it impossible to prove that, insisted it was not used to designate the church, by inspired writers. I have abundantly disproved both of these assertions. The apostles were inspired writers, and it dates from their time; and they alone, according to the rule of St. Augustin, had the right to institute it. Besides, what are all the glorious prophesies of the universal diffusion of the church by Isaiah, &c. &c. but the evidence that it should be what its name imports? In fact, it was Catholic before all the New Testament was completed. And the apostles, aware of the doubts that error would originate on the authority of the church, gave a sure and unerring guide to every sincere believer, teaching him to say, next after the profession of his belief in God himself—not, I believe in the bible—it is not once mentioned—not in any sect—there were none heard of at that time—but "I believe in the holy Catholic church."—[Time expired.]
Three o'clock, P. M.
Mr. Camprell rises—
I may have mistaken in ascribing to the bishop of Rome what was done by the bishop of Constantinople, in reference to the personal consecration of the successor of Mauritius; but this does not affect the justice of my remark, or invalidate my reasoning: and I think my worthy friend apprehends this, inasmuch as the consecration was approved and sustained by Gregory. I read those documents at the same time, and may have confounded them, but we shall hear them again and see how much is either gained or lost by the admission.
"As a subject and a christian, it was the duty of Gregory to acquiesce in the established government, but the joyful applause with which he salutes the fortune of the assassin, has sullied with indelible disgrace the character of the saint. The successor of the apostles might have inculcated with decent firmness the guilt of blood, and the necessity of repentance: he is content to celebrate the deliverance of the people and the fall of the oppressor; to rejoice that the piety and benignity of Phocas have been raised by providence to the imperial throne; to pray that his hands may be strengthened against all his enemies; and to express a wish, perhaps a prophecy, that, after a long and triumphant reign, he may be transferred from a temporal to an everlasting kingdom."*— Gibbon Hist. Dec. and Fall Rom. Emp. vol. viii. p. 211.
Now this, if I mistake not, amounts in substance to my affirmation. Gregory approved the usurpation, and sanctioned the induction into office of a man who had wrested the throne from the legitimate master, and who was both a murderer and a usurper.
I could wish that my opponent would select some of the great points of my argument in his replies, and form an issue with me. Were this piece of history blotted out of existence, what loss to the main argument? These are merely incidental and minor matters—illustrations rather than proofs, and leave the great facts as they were. I must, however, briefly glance at some other little things before I resume my argument.
The gentleman's next remark was, "that Joshua was the successor of Moses." True it is, that every man is in one sense successor to some one who preceded him. But Moses was, for a time, captain, prophet, priest, and king of Jeshurun. Joshua, however, merely commanded the people, and divided the land of Canaan among them. This did not Moses: Moses accomplished all that he was appointed to do. He needed no successor in the peculiar work assigned him. They were both extraordinary offices. Moses was a law-giver, and Joshua a savior. The law was given to the people by Moses: Joshua gave them an inheritance. Neither of them, in the nature of things, could have a successor in the same office, for its duties were all discharged.
I was pleased to hear the gentleman admit all that I said concerning the Novatians. They had one fault which we both allow—they were too severe in one branch of discipline—they could never receive those who had grievously fallen—no repentance would obtain re-admission if the penitent had very flagrantly sinned. The occasion was this:
* Gregor. 1. xi. epist. 38, indict, vi. Benignitatem vestne pictotis ad imperiale fastigium pervenisse gaudeinus. Laetentur coeli et exultet terra, et de vestris benignis actibus universal reipublica; populus nunc usque vehementer afflictus hilarescat, &c. This base flattery, the topic of Protestant invective, is justly censured by the philosopher Bayle, (Dictionnaire Critique, Gregoire 1. Not. H. tom. ii. p. 597, 598.) Cardinal Barronius justifies the pope at the exDense of the fallen emperor.
In the interim of the Pagan persecutions, many new converts were added to the churches. By and by, when the storm of persecution arose, they withdrew and fell away: but when a calm ensued, they sought to be restored to the church. The Novatians opposed their restoration; the other party contended for it. The Puritans got vexed with the frequent indulgences and backslidings of such professors; and this occasioned that extreme on their part, which drew down upon them many anathemas from the other party. They had other objections besides this against the opposing party; but this was sufficient for a division.
I was sorry to hear the gentleman excusing the church for embracing in its bosom men of every sort of wickedness. He spoke with great feeling and eloquence upon the subject of calling ourselves holy, &c. We admit that there is no man free from all pollution, whose heart is always and only pure. But what has this to do with the openly wicked and profane—reprobates of the deepest dye? Ought the church to open her doors as wide as the human race, and admit every human being without discrimination? Is there no medium? He quoted the parable of the tares and wheat. It is true, the Savior commanded to let the tares and wheat grow together till harvest: but the gentleman assumed that it was spoken of the church. I admit the doctrine, as applied to the world. "The field is the world," not the church, said the Savior. Does this excuse us for tolerating reprobates in the bosom of the church? "You are not of this world," says the Savior to his disciples—"My kingdom is not of this world," "Come out from among them, and separate yourselves, and I will receive you, says the Almighty Father. What concord has Christ with Belial, or he that believeth with an infidel?"
As to the"continuation of the Novatians till the Donatists, and the Donatists till the Paulicians," &c. my friend emphasizes the word till, as if those witnesses for Christ had died away when some new sect arose. The fact is, that when some great leader arose, his name was imposed upon all that associated with him; and different leaders, in various parts of the world, moved great masses of professors, who were essentially the same people; and when they became acquainted with each other, they coalesced under one great profession, variously nicknamed by the opposite party. So are the Lutherans, Calvinists, Wesleyans, Cameronians, &c. of our own time.
Sorry was I to hear my liberal antagonist compare the Protestant sects to the psalmist's description of a prosperous wicked man—" I saw," says he, "the wicked great in power, spread himself like a green bay tree: he passed away; yea, he was not. I sought him, and he could not be found." I do not know how his Episcopalian friends will thank him for this compliment. I have no doubt in this he was sincere, for the Romanists often bewailed the long life of Elizabeth, because, under her reign, a new race of Protestants was born and educated, and alienated from the Roman hierarchy, who were proof against all the machinations of Rome. They hoped that the Protestant Episcopalians would, like the green bay tree of David, (emblem of the prosperous wicked,) have withered away, and been reabsorbed by the mother church; but for once the application failed, and the wicked Protestants have for three centuries grown and increased, in despite of all the policy and effort of Rome, and are now in expectation