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though composed of men, is yet not purely human. Nay, as, in Christ, the divinity and the humanity are to be clearly distinguished, though both are bound in unity; so is he in undivided entireness perpetuated in the Church. The Church, his permanent manifestation, is at once divine and human-she is the union of both. He it is who, concealed under earthly and human forms, works in the Church : and this is wherefore she has a divine and a human part in an undivided mode, so that the divine cannot be separated from the human, nor the human from the divine. Hence these two parts change their predicates. If the divine-the living Christ and his spirit--- constitute undoubtedly that which is infallible, and eternally inerrable in the Church; so also the human is infallible and inerrable in the same way, because the divine without the human has no existence for us; yet the human is not inerrable
in itself, but only as the organ, and as the manifestation į of the divine. Hence, we are enabled to conceive, how
so great, important and mysterious a charge could have been entrusted to men.
In and through the Church the redemption, announced by Christ, hath obtained, through the medium of his spirit, a reality; for in her his truths are believed and his institutions are observed, and thereby have become living. Accordingly, we can say of the Church, that she is the Christian religion in its objective form-its living exposition. Since the word of Christ (taken in its widest signification) found, together with his spirit, its a circle of men, and was received by them, it has taken shape, put on flesh and blood; and this shape is the Church, which accordingly is regarded by Catholics as the essential form of the Christian Religion itself. As the Redeemer by his word and his spirit founded a community, wherein his word should ever be living, he intrusted the same to this society, that it might be preserved and propagated. He deposited it in the Church, that it might spring out of her ever the same, and yet eternally new, and young in energy; that it might grow up, and spread on all sides. His word can never more be separated from the Church, nor the Church from his word. The more minute explanation, how in the community established by Christ, this word is maintained and propagated, and each individual Christian can attain to the undoubted true possession of Christian doctrine, is accordingly the first and most important matter, to which we must direct attention. But as the Church is connected with the apostleship established by Christ, and can by this only maintain itself; so this, in the second place, must come under consideration. But it is necessary to premise a closer examination of the leading propositions, on which all others turn,-a more detailed exposition of the ultimate reasons for that high reverence which Catholics pay to this Church.
$ xxxvII.—More detailed exposition of the Catholic view of the
When the time appointed by Christ for the sending down of the Spirit was come, he communicated himself to the apostles and the other disciples, when gathered together in one place, and all of “one accord” (ouobvpadov), they were longing for his coming. It was not while one here, the other there, abode in some hidden place : nay, they were expressly commanded (Acts, i. 4) to wait for him, while assembled in Jerusalem. At last the Holy Spirit, that had been promised, appeared: he
took an outward shape-the form of fiery tonguesan image of his power that cleansed hearts from all wickedness, and thereby united them in love. He wished not to come inwardly, as if he designed to uphold an invisible community; but in the same way as the Word was become flesh, so he came in a manner obvious to the senses, and amid violent sensible commotions, like to "a rushing mighty wind.” If individuals were filled with power from above in such a way, that, only in as far as they constituted an unity, could they become participators of the same; and if the hallowing of the śpirit took place under sensible forms; so, according to the ordinance of the Lord for all times, the union of the interior man with Christ could take effect only under outward conditions, and in communion with his disciples. Under outward conditions : for independently of outward instruction, what are the sacraments but visible signs and testimonies of the invisible gifts connected with them? In communion : for no one by the act of baptism sanctifies himself; each one is, on the contrary, referred to those who already belong to the community. Nor is any one but momentarily introduced into fellowship with the members of the Church
to remain only until, as one might imagine, the holy action should be consummated; for the fellowship is formed in order to be permanent, and the communion begun, in order to be continued to the end of life. Baptism is the introduction into the Church-the reception into the community of the faithful, and involves the duty, as well as the right, of sharing for ever in her joys and her sorrows. Moreover, the administration of the sacraments, as well as the preaching of the word, was intrusted by the Lord to the Apostolic College and to
those commissioned by it; so that all believers, by means of this Apostolic College, are linked to the community, and in a living manner connected with it. The fellowship with Christ is accordingly the fellowship with his community—the internal union with him a communion with his Church. Both are inseparable, and Christ is in the Church, and the Church in him. (Eph. v. 29-33.)
On this account, the Church, in the Catholic point of view, can as little fail in the pure preservation of the word, as in any other part of her task :-she is infallible. As the individual worshipper of Christ is incorporated into the Church by indissoluble bonds, and is by the same conducted unto the Saviour, and abideth in him only in so far as he abideth in the Church, his faith and his conduct are determined by the latter. He must bestow his whole confidence upon her; and she must therefore merit the same. Giving himself up to her guidance, he ought in consequence to be secured against delusion: she must be inerrable. To no individual, considered as such, doth infallibility belong; for the Catholic, as is clear from the preceding observations, regards the individual only as a member of the whole ;-as living and breathing in the Church. When his feelings, thoughts, and will, are conformable to her spirit, then only can the individual attain to inerrability. Were the Church to conceive the relation of the individual to the whole in an opposite sense, and consider him as personally infallible, then she would destroy the very notion of community; for communion can only be conceived as necessary, when the true faith and pure and solid Christian life cannot be conceived in individualization,
Hence, it is with the profoundest love, reverence, and devotion, that the Catholic embraces the Church. The very thought of resisting her, of setting himself up in opposition to her will, is one against which his inmost feelings revolt, to which his whole nature is abhorrent: and to bring about a schism-to destroy unity—isa crime, before whose heinousness his bosom trembles, and from which his soul recoils. On the other hand, the idea of community, in the first place, satisfies his feelings and his imagination, and, in the second place, is equally agreeable to his reason; while, in the third place, the living appropriation of this idea by his will, appears to him to concur with the highest religious and ethical duty of humanity. Let us now consider the first of these reasons.
No more beautiful object presents itself to the imagination of the Catholic-none more agreeably captivates his feelings, than the image of the harmonious inter-workings of countless spirits, who, though scattered over the whole globe, endowed with freedom, and possessing the power to strike off into every deviation to the right or to the left ; yet, preserving still their various peculiarities, constitute one great brotherhood for the advancement of each other's spiritual existence,—representing one idea, that of the reconciliation of men with God, who on that account have been reconciled with one another, and are become one body. (Eph. iv. 11-16.) If the state be such a wonderful work of art, that we account it, if not a pardonable, yet a conceivable act, for the ancients to have made it an object of divine worship, and almost everywhere considered the duties of the citizen as the most important;—if the state be something so sacred and venerable, that the thought of the criminal, who lays on it a destroying and desecrating hand, fills us with detestation ;—what a subject of admiration must the Church