A Harmony of Anglican Doctrine
with the doctrine of the catholic and apostolic church of the East:
being the longer Russian catechism:
with an appendix consisting of notes and extracts from Scottish and Anglican authorities.
Appendix: Consisting of Notes to the Foregoing Catechism, with Extracts from Public Documents of the Scottish and Anglican Churches, and from the Writings of Some of their Most Celebrated Divines;
Designed to shew that there is in the Anglican Communion Generally, and more Particularly and Pre-eminently in the Scottish Church, an Element of Orthodoxy, Capable, by a Synodical Act, of Declaring Unity and Identity with the Eastern Catholic Church.
by William Palmer [M]
Aberdeen: A Brown, 1846.
Q. Does the doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Ghost admit of any change, or supplement? A. No: &c. For this cause John Damascene writes; "We nowise say that He is from the Son, but only call Him the Spirit of the Son."Orthodox Catechism, p. 45, 46.
There can be no doubt that the British Churches agree with the Easterns in teaching, that the words of Christ Himself and of the Oecumenical Councils respecting the Procession of the Holy Ghost admit of no "change" or correction, as if they were erroneous, nor of any "supplement," as if they were in themselves imperfect, or inadequate for that end for which they were chosen.
However, the Eastern Church herself does not think it either "change" or "supplement" to teach besides, that while the Father is the one sole cause or principle both of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, (of the Son by generation, of the Holy Ghost by procession), He produces the Son, not in time but in order, second, from His own substance, and the Holy Ghost third, after the Son, and so from His own substance as now already the substance of the Son, and numerically one in Both. And, consequently, she teaches that the Holy Ghost 'receives substantially of the Son,' and 'is the proper Spirit of the Son in respect of His substance' (while the Son, though reciprocally consubstantial, yet 'cannot be called reciprocally the Son of the Spirit'); that the Holy Ghost 'is the true Image of the Son,' and His 'Word,' or 'Expression;' that He 'rests naturally and inherently in Him;' and 'is emitted, or shines forth, or is manifested, through the Son eternally from the Father.'
In this also the British Churches beyond all doubt agree with the Easterns, and find in the above propositions no real "change" nor "supplement" to what is unchangeable and perfect in itself, hut only lawful.'' inferences and explanations.
But besides this, it is further true that the British Churches fully receive the Latin clause 'Filioque' (in Greek kai ek tou Uiou): and it is not at all likely that they will ever yield to the Greeks so far as to proscribe language which comes to them from their own orthodox Fathers, and which they think by no means inconsistent with the sense of the Greek Fathers themselves, even of those who most distinctly refuse to admit that phraseology.
I. Abp. Laud, in his Conference with Fisher, cites Thomas Aquinas as admitting that the Procession from the Son is "mediate tantum, saltem ratione Personarum Spirantium." The words referred to are these.
"In every act two things may be considered, viz. the subject acting, and the virtue by which it acts; as, fire warms, by heat. If then in the Father and the Son we consider that virtue by which they breathe the Holy Ghost, there is no room to speak of mediateness or mediation: for this their virtue is one and the same virtue numerically in Both. But if we consider the Persons themselves that breathe, then, at the same time that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son in common, He is perceived to proceed from the Father immediately, in so far as He is from the Father, and mediately, in so far as He is from the Son. .... He is sometimes said to proceed principally or properly from the Father, because it is from the Father that the Son has this virtue."(Sumina Theol. Q. xxxvi. Art 3.)Conference with Fisher, ed. 1839. p. 20.
II. From an Explication of the Catechism of the Church of England by the Rev. Gabriel Towerson:
"Shall I go one step farther? It may perhaps be thought a bold adventure; but truth (no more than other things) is not to be attained without it. For what if I should say, that there is evidence, even from the Creed, of this Spirit of God's proceeding from the Son, as well as from the Father, which is the utmost that is affirmed concerning Him? As perhaps I may say, if we consider this the Spirit of God's receiving His divine essence from another, and the order wherein He here stands as to the other Persons of the Trinity. For supposing Him to be third in the order of nature, as He is there placed, and accordingly, that the Son, though not in time, is in order of nature before Him, we shall find ourselves obliged to grant that He derives this His essence from the Son, as well as that He derives it from the Father. For the Father communicating His Godhead to the Son antecedently, in the order of nature, to His communicating it to the Holy Ghost, we must also suppose, (because thereby, as our Saviour speaks, He makes that which is His own to become the Son's also), that there must be a concurrence in the Son to that communication, which is made of the same Godhead to the Holy Ghost; because in order of nature, though not of time, it is after that which is made of it to Himself. For how can the Son be supposed not to have an interest in the communication of that Divine Nature, which by being the Son of God He is already as fully vested in, as that Father from whom He has Himself received it?"
And again: "Supposing, as we may, and as I think I have before shewn, that One of these Hypostases (Persons) acts with some subordination to the other, the difficulty will appear far less than it doth, if indeed it do not perfectly vanish: because so, though distinct Hypostases, they will be but as one principle to that operation, to which they concur."P. 289.
III. William Beveridge, Bishop of St. Asaph, in his Treatise on the XXXIX Articles, Art. v. has the following:
"The Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father; only with this distinction, that the Father hath the Spirit proceeding from Him of Himself, but the Son hath the Spirit proceeding from Him of the Father; who communicating His own individual essence, and so whatsoever He is, (His paternal relation to Him excepted) to the Son, could not but communicate this to Him also, even to have the Spirit proceeding from Him, as He hath it proceeding from Himself. So that as whatsoever else the Father hath originally in Himself, the Son hath it also by communication from the Father, so hath the Son likewise this, the Spirit proceeding from Him, by communication from the Father, as the Father hath the Spirit proceeding from Him originally in Himself."
And he quotes the following from St. Augustine: "Nec de quo genitum est Verbum, nee de quo procedit principaliter Spiritus Sanctus, nisi Deus Pater: Ideo autem addidi principaliter, quia et de Filio Spiritus Sanctus procedere reperitur. Sed hoc quoque Illi Pater dedit, non jam existenti et nondum habenti, sed quicquid Unigenito Verbo dedit, gignendo dedit. Sic ergo Eum genuit, ut etiam de Illo Donum commune procederet, et Spiritus Sanctus Spiritus esset Amborum."De Trin. L. xv. c. 20. vol. viii. p. 088.
Now as when the Easterns say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father in order by or after the Son, they seem to our Divines to agree with us, that in a certain sense He proceeds from the one common substance of the Father and the Son, or, to use the Latin language, from the Father and the Son, Who are in respect of their one common substance but one principle, (for the unity of substance may be distinguished in thought from the abstract Personalities of Both ;) so, in like manner, when we Latins allow that in respect of the distinct Personalities (the Ipsa Subjecta of Aquinas) of the Father and the Son, as taken abstractedly, and distinguished from their one common substance, and substantial property (virtus productiva,) the Holy Ghost proceeds immediately, properly, or principally, from the Father, but mediately only from the Son, we may be said to agree with the Easterns, that in a certain sense the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father only, and not from the Son. For the Son, we say, receives from the Father His own being, and by consequence all properties of that being, of which we believe this to be one, 'habere virtutem productivam Spiritus Sancti.' The Person of the Father therefore, who gives, is by the force of the terms themselves confessed to have this virtue, not in time indeed, but in order and relation, before the Person of the Son, who receives it: and since to have this virtue and to exercise it is all one, there being no respect to time, it may be said that the Father, as to His distinct Personality, is understood to produce the Holy Ghost before the Son produces Him. But such production being perfect as soon as it is conceived at all, and admitting not of division or duality, he who thinks of the abstract Person of the Father as producing first or principally, will scarcely afterwards assert a secondary or communicated production from the Son; but will rather say that the Spirit rests in the Son, receives of Him substantially, is dependant upon Him, and inseparable from Him as to His substance, being the third in order, after the interposition of Him who is second.
And thus perhaps the Greek and Latin tenets may be so represented, as not only not to contradict, but even mutually to imply each other; the Greek, if taken only with respect to the two distinct Personalities of the Father and the Son, which are not numerically one principle ; the Latin, if taken only with respect to that common nature and substance of the Father and the Son, which is numerically one principle in Both. And yet these distinctions apply merely ad modum concipiendi et loquendi. For though we even say with the Greeks that the Father alone, and not the Son, produces the Holy Ghost, still we mean not that the Personality of the Father is really separable from His essence ; nor that this one essence, now already common to the Son, is separable from the Personality of the Son. Nor on the other hand when we say as Latins, that the Father and the Son together as one principle produce the Holy Ghost, (having respect to that one common essence and its operation, which is numerically one in Both) do we mean that this one common essence and operation is really separable from the Personalities of the Father and the Son; or that these two distinct and abstract Personalities, are as such one principle; or that the latter of these two Personalities is not absolutely, with all its attributes, to be referred to the Father, as to the sole first principle and cause.
But whatever may be thought of any such attempts as the above to reconcile the two contrary modes of expression, thus much at least is certain, that the Eastern Church has never yet refused to the Latins the liberty of holding to their own doctrine, and language; nor has ever required of them to condemn and reject the expression 'Filioque' as it comes to them in the writings of their own Fathers: all that they have required, and still require, is this, that the Latin doctrine should not be interpolated into the Oecumenical Creed. This will sufficiently appear from the following testimonies:
IV. At the very beginning of the Controversy, Pope Leo the Third, on being appealed to for protection by the Latin monks on Mount Olivet, though he strenuously forbade the interpolation of the Creed as has been shewn above, (Section v.,) yet no less distinctly proclaimed his own agreement with the Latin language and opinion; and sent the following Letter, as it is said, to all the Eastern Churches:
"Leo, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, to all the Eastern Churches. We send you this confession of the orthodox faith, that both ye and all the world may hold according to the right and undefiled faith of the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church. We believe the Holy Trinity, that is, the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, one God Almighty, of one substance, of one essence, of one power, the Creator of all creatures, from Whom are all things, through Whom are all things, in Whom are all things: the Father in Himself, not from any other; the Son begotten of the Father, very God, of very God, very light of very light, yet not two lights, but one light; the Holy Ghost proceeding equally from the Father and the Son, and consubstantial (ceterum) with the Father and the Son: The Father is perfect God in Himself; the Son perfect God begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost perfect God, proceeding from the Father and the Son. . . . From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead: Whom the wicked shall see as their Judge in that same form in which He was crucified; not in that humility in which He was unjustly judged, but in that brightness in which He shall justly judge the world; the beholding of Whose majesty is the everlasting bliss of all Saints. Whosoever believes not according to this faith is condemned by the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is founded by Jesus Christ Himself, our Lord, to Whom be glory for ever."
''Thus Leo, as it seems, although he respected the authority of the holy Fathers, and further thought the doctrine of the Procession from the Son to be such, that 'not every one could attain to it,' still took care to guard against any damage to the credit of that doctrine, in his own Confessionaddressed to the Eastern Bishops. Nor, be it remarked, did this his declaration cause the separation of any single Eastern See from the See of Rome."Le Quien, Dissert. Damasc. I. xiv, xv. p. viii.
The above is given, as not being inconsistent with the known sentiments of Pope Leo. The text of his Letter to the Easterns rests upon the authority of Le Quien, to whom it was furnished by Baluzius "ex veteri codice S. Martialis Lemovicensis." At the same time, as this document would read perfectly well, and even better, without those words which express the Latin doctrine, and as there are other manifest difficulties to be accounted for, if we admit their genuineness, no opinion is here hazarded as to the value of this testimony. Only thus much may be said, that if the text be genuine, the Letter of Pope Leo is of too great importance to be passed over unnoticed; and until it be shewn to be otherwise, the names of Le Quien and Baluzius are deserving of respect. At any rate it cannot be amiss to have called the attention of the learned to the question.
With regard to all that follows there can be no doubt:
V. In none of those repeated renewals of communion which took place, as is well known, after the first formal rupture in the time of Photius, did the Greeks ever require from the Latins any retractation or condemnation of their doctrine on the Procession, but only the omission of the interpolated clause from the Creed. It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the circumstances of each of these temporary reunions; but a few testimonies shall be here adduced, to shew that the Easterns have ever down to the present time professed for themselves, and have been understood by others to profess a willingness to communicate with the Westerns upon these same terms:
VI. Theophylact, Archbishop of Acrida in Bulgaria in the eleventh century, as quoted by John Beccus, uses the following words:
"On other occasions I will grant you (the Latins) the use of the expression, of the Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son, as may suit your speech; in common discourses, I mean, and in Sermons in the Church, if ye please; but in the Creed, and in that alone, I will not grant it you."
VII. Again, in the year 1249, when overtures were made by the Emperor John Ducas for a union of the Eastern and Roman Churches, the Easterns would have been willing to agree to it on the following conditions: "that the Pope should be prayed for in the Liturgy: that the Latins should not countenance or assist those who had seized Constantinople: that the interpolation should be put out of the Creed, but might be retained and read in any other form."(Pachymeres, Hist, book the fifth, ch. xii.):
"The Emperor (Michael Palaeologus) brought forward those precedents of ancient memory which they had found in history; especially the example of the Emperor John Pucas, and the Bishops of his time, who with the Patriarch Manuel consented, and promised, and even sent Bishops expressly to pledge themselves to communicate with the Latins in the holy Liturgy, and pray therein for the Pope by name, if only he would abstain from assisting those who had seized the city. In proof of which fact the Register of the Church, in which all was written, was produced; and the Emperor enlarged upon it, drawing a comparison between the circumstances of that time and those of the present. He appealed also to the written declarations of the Primates of that time authenticated by subscription, which he said ought to be owned and allowed even as their own by those (the Patriarchs and Bishops) who were now in the same place; bidding them take notice how those Fathers, as appeared from the documents produced, had entirely abstained from taxing the Italians with impiety or heresy on account of their attempt to interpolate the Creed, and had merely demanded that the words added should be put out; leaving them free liberty both to retain them and read them as they pleased any where else." Tractat; Zoernicavii, vol. ii. p. 948.
VIII. And the same writer, Pachymeres, (B. v. ch. xi.) gives us to understand that the Emperor Michael Palaeologus (A.D. 1273,) found the Greek Bishops and Clergy ready enough to offer union again on the same terms:
"To this the Prelates of our Church answered; That peace was indeed honourable and desirable ; no one denied that; especially between Churches so conspicuous . . . but still this peace was to be sought and made on just and safe terms; not recklessly, on any terms whatsoever: for that no little danger was theirs, who should err from the straight path, whether on the one side or the other. ... It would therefore be good and convenient, that thou shouldest bring about the peace of the Church, by endeavouring with a sincere zeal, as thou professest, that it be moved for on such principles as make most fairly and directly to that end; namely, that thou shouldest use thy wisdom and authority and influence with the Italians to induce them to take away the scandal ... of innovation in changing the Creed." Tract. Zoernicavii, vol. ii. p. 972.
IX. And in the Council of Florence, Mark, Archbishop of Ephesus, the great champion of the Greeks, held the following language, as may be seen in the Acts of the Council, and as he is quoted by Michael Ducas:
"Expunge this clause from the Creed, and then place it where ye will, and sing it in your Churches on occasion, as is sung O MonogenhV logoV, k.t.l."
X. That this has ever been the sense and disposition of the Eastern Church, however much her Divines may seem sometimes to attack the Latin Doctrine in itself, or tax the Latins with heresy on account of it, has been understood and noticed by the most learned writers both of the Roman-Catholic and of the Anglican Communions; as, for instance, by Marcus Antonio De Dominis, sometime Archbishop of Spalatro, and Primate of Dalmatia and Croatia, and afterwards Dean of Windsor in the Church of England; and by Father Michael Le Quien, in the Dissertations prefixed to his edition of the Works of St. John Damascene printed at Paris, A.D. 1712. Both of these writers, among other things to the same purpose, quote those words of Mark of Ephesus in the Council of Florence which have been given above.
XI. And lastly, so far as the Eastern Church herself is concerned, the most learned theologians of that Communion, who have treated the subject of the Procession since the Council of Florence, continue to repeat the same thing; as Adam Zoernikaff, vol. ii. tract, xix. p. 1016:
"The chief controversy between the Churches was and still is concerning the Interpolation. Mark of Ephesus then confessed, and the Easterns too confessed after him, that there could at any time be made a true and lasting union between the Churches, if the Interpolation of the Creed were laid aside:" And again: "The chief point in this controversy is about the addition made to the Creed. In the General Synod assembled under Photius no mention at all was made of the Doctrine considered in itself, only the Interpolation was condemned: after the Schism had arisen between the Churches it was at all limes alleged by the Easterns as the chief cause of the same Schism against the Latins, that they used the Creed with the addition. If only this one thing were reformed, Mark of Ephesus declared at Florence in the name of his Church, the Easterns could receive the Latins to their communion."Ibid. vol. i. p. 398.
XII. But that the Scottish and other British Bishops, who corresponded in the last century with the Easterns, were willing to restore the Creed to its original and canonical form, we have shewn above, under Note v., (page 133, &c.); where may be seen other testimonies also on the same point.
Q. What is the Church? A. The Church is a divinely instituted community of men, united by the orthodox faith, the law of God, the hierarchy, and the Sacraments.Orthodox Catechism, p. 47.
I. The Scottish and other British Churches in like manner believe "One holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" which is not invisible only but also visible "throughout all the world."(The Creeds, and the Te Deum.) "The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered." (Art. XIX.) This Church "is the Spouse and Body of Christ, the pillar and ground of the truth:" and "against it the gates of hell shall never prevail:" (Ordinal, and Scottish Catechisms.) "In it from the Apostles' time there have ever been these three Orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons;" (Preface to the Ordinal.) who have committed to them the ministry "of the Doctrine, and Sacraments, and Discipline of Christ:"(Ordinal.) "to which Offices no man may presume, unless he be first called and 'coopted' and ordained thereto by lawful Episcopal authority."(Preface to Ordinal, Ord. and Art. XXIII. and XXXVII.) "The Church is moreover the teacher and witness of Holy Writ, and has authority' to 'teach' and ' decree rites and ceremonies' and to ' decide controversies of faith;' It contains within itself certain chief sees, as those of 'Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, &c.' (Art. xix.) and is represented by 'General Councils or Synods.' (Art. XXI.) "Further, the Doctrine of the Church, as founded on the authority of the Scripture, being fixed and immutable, ought to be uniformly received and adhered to, at all times and in all places. The same is to be said of its government in all those essential parts of its constitution, which were prescribed by its adorable Head; but in the Discipline, which may be adopted for furthering the purposes of Ecclesiastical Government, regulating the solemnities of public worship, as to time, place, and form, and restraining and rectifying the evils occasioned by human depravity, this character of immutability is not to be looked for. The Discipline of the Church is to be determined by Christian wisdom, prudence, and charity. (Preface to the Scottish Canons, subscribed by all the Bishops, A.D. 1838.) However even with regard to those things which are in their own nature changeable, "whosoever through his private judgment, willingly and purposely, doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church which be not repugnant to the Word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly,"(Art. XXXIV.) and if need be "excommunicated."(Canons, A.D. 1602.) And lastly, "that person who by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful as a heathen and publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance, and received back into the Church by a judge that hath authority thereto;" that is by absolution.Art. XXXIII.
II. From Bishop Nicholson's Exposition of the Catechism of the Church of England, A.D. 1661:
"To believe the Catholic Church, is to believe that there is a society of Christians dispersed into all quarters of the world, who are united under Christ their head, formalized and moved by His Spirit; matriculated by Baptism; nourished by the Word and Supper of the Lord; ruled and continued under Bishops and Pastors lawfully called to these offices, who succeed those upon whom the Holy Ghost came down, and have the power of the keys committed to them, for administration of doctrine and discipline; and who are bound to preach the Word, to pray with and intercede for the people, to administer the Sacraments, to ordain ministers, and to use the Church censures."Oxford ed. p. 60.
III. From the Proposals sent by the British Bishops to the Eastern Patriarchs, in the year of our Lord 1716:
"We agree, that there is no other foundation of the Church but Christ alone; and that the Prophets and Apostles are no otherwise to be called so, but in a less proper and secondary sense, respectively only."Prop. VII.
"We agree, that Christ alone is the Head of the Church; which title ought not therefore to be assumed by any one; much less by any Secular Power, how great soever; and that Bishops under Him have a vicarious headship, as His proper representatives, and vicegerents; being thence subject in spirituals to no power on earth."Prop. VIII.
"We agree, that every Christian ought to be subject to the Church; and that the Church is by Christ sufficiently instructed and authorized to examine the writings and censure the persons of her subjects or ministers, though never so great."Prop. IX.
"We agree, that the Holy Ghost assisteth the Church in judging rightly concerning matters of faith; and that both general and particular orthodox Councils, convened after the example of the first Council of Jerusalem, may reasonably expect that assistance in their resolutions."Prop v,
IV. From the Scottish Catechism of the Diocese of Aberdeen:
"Q. What is the Church? A. The whole Body or Society of the Faithful, under one and the same Head. Q. Who are the Faithful? A. Those who profess the true Religion. Q. Which is the true Religion? A. That which God Himself has taught. Q. What are the marks of the Church of Christ? A. That it is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Q. How is it One? A. By being united under one only Head. Q. Who is its Head? A. Jesus Christ. Q. Who are Heretics? A. They who teach a different faith from that of the Church. Q. Who are Schismatics? A. They who form a separate Church by themselves. Q. How is this Church Holy? A. By its Doctrine, its Sacraments, and its Head, Who is Jesus Christ. Q. Are all its members holy? A. No; it is made up of good and bud to the end of the world. Q. What means the Catholic Church? A. It means the Universal Church. Q. How is it universal? A. By its extending to all times, from the creation of the world. Q. Does it extend likewise to all places? A. Yes; it is the same Church 'throughout the world.' Q. What means Apostolic? A. It means that the Church preserves the Doctrine of the Apostles. Q. And what else? A. That its Pastors are the Successors of the Apostles. Q. Whom did the Apostles appoint to succeed them in the government of the Church? A. The Bishops; &c. Q. Was not the Christian Priesthood typified and prefigured by the Jewish? A. Yes; the Bishop is the Christian High-Priest; and the presbyters and Deacons answer to the Priests and Levites. Q. Whom does the Christian High-Priest represent? A. He represents Jesus Christ, the invisible Bishop and Head of the whole Church. Q. Ought not then every Christian to be subject to his Bishop? A. Yes; as to the visible Head, or High-Priest in his own Diocese. . . Q. What is the Communion of Saints? A. It is the mutual communication of all good things in the Church. Q. Who partake of it? A. All that are in the Church, and live as becomes the Gospel. Q. Can Schismatics or excommunicated persons partake of it? A. They cannot, any more than Infidels. Q. Whom do you mean by excommunicated persons? A. Those who are cast out of the Church by the governors of it. Q. Whom do they cast out of the Church? A. Those who have committed great sins, and will not submit to Penance for them."P. 16, 19. See also the Scottish Catechism of Bishop Jolly, p. 31, &c. ed. 1837.
V. From the Scottish Catechism of the Diocese of Brechin: "Q. What are we taught in the Creeds to believe concerning the Church? A. We are taught to profess our belief in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Q. What is the Holy Catholic Church? A. That Spiritual Society of Christians, which Christ constituted, to preserve the knowledge and worship of the true God, and to dispense His holy Word and Sacraments, for the Salvation of mankind. (P. 23.) Q. What do you mean by professing this belief? A. I profess to believe that, according to God's word and promise, there has been from the beginning of Christianity, and will be to the end of the world, a Church possessing these characters. Q. What do the Scriptures say concerning the unity of the Church? A. They describe it as one temple or House of God, having one Foundation, one Corner Stone, one Fold under one Shepherd; as having one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one Hope; as being one Body or Society, all whose members should speak the same thing, and with one mind and one mouth glorify God. Q. How is the Church Holy? A. Because it is united to Christ, the Holy One, as its Head, by whose appointment it enjoys many holy Privileges; and because its principal use is to sanctify those who are in it, and who are called Saints, that is, holy persons. Q. Why is the Church called Catholic? A. Because, unlike the Jewish Church, it is universal in regard to time and place, taking in people of all nations, and in all ages; and because it is universal in regard to doctrine, teaching and receiving all truth. Q. Why is the Church called Apostolic? A. Because it continues in the Apostles' Doctrine and Fellowship. Q. What do you mean by continuing in the Apostles' Doctrine? A. I mean holding and teaching 'the Faith which was once delivered to the Saints,' the pure and uncorrupted doctrine which it has received from the Apostles, and duly administering the Sacraments which Christ committed to their care. Q. What is meant by continuing in the Apostles' Fellowship? A. I mean holding communion with those Pastors, who are the Successors of the Apostles in the government of the Church. Q. Is the Church then a regularly organized Society or Body? A. Yes; it is a regular and permanent Society, constituted by Christ, having a settled government, and duly appointed officers, a form of admission, and peculiar privileges. Q. Is there not a tendency to overlook the fact of the Church being thus constituted? A. Yes; this is a prevailing fault of the present day. Q. And what is the natural result of this error? A. People lose sight of the Church as the Means, Instrument, or Organ, through which their spiritual blessings are appointed to flow. (1 Tim, iii. 15.) . . . . Q. What promise did our Lord make to the Apostles respecting the continuance of their office? A. 'Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.' (Matt, xxviii. 20.) . . . . Q. Have the three Orders of the Ministry been regularly continued in the Church? A. Yes; they have been regularly continued to the present day. (P. 59, 63.) Q. What effect should the belief of this Article of our Faith produce? A. It should unite all Christians more closely in the bonds of peace, love, and unity. (P. 24.) Q. Does our Blessed Lord speak on the same subject? A. In the affecting Prayer, which He offered up to the Father, the night before He was crucified, for all that should believe in Him, one of the chief petitions is that they all may be one (John xvii. 21.) Q. What is the best way of answering the end of this Divine Prayer? A. To adhere in the unity of the Spirit, and in the bond of peace, to the Communion of the Holy Catholic Church. Q. Must not all to whom the Gospel is preached become members of the Church? A. Yes; for it is said, (Acts ii. 47.) 'The Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved;' which shews that the appointed road to heaven lies through the Church of Christ upon earth. Q. What respect and obedience do the people owe to their Pastors in Spiritual matters? A. 'Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account." (Heb. xiii. 17, &c.) See also under Notes 11. XXI.
VI. The Scottish Bishop Rattray, of Dunkeld, has the following:"No moral duties whatsoever that can be performed by any person out of the Communion of the Church, (however the assistance of the Holy Spirit, as an external principle, be necessary to produce them,) can ever give an immediate title to the Kingdom of Heaven. For these inferior communications of the Spirit, as a principle only extrinsical to our nature, which were still continued to mankind, even after the loss of the Spirit Itself by the Fall, and which are more or less given to all men as they cultivate them by a right use of their free-will (not only as being necessary in order to the government of the world even with respect to this life, but likewise to fit and dispose us for the embracing of the offers of the Gospel Covenant); these inferior communications, I say, are not of themselves sufficient to entitle to or enable us to attain that eternal Life, which is the gift of God, and noways due to our nature, or to our best performances; they being only some remainders and footsteps of that Divine Image, which was itself necessary even to our first parents themselves in the state of innocency to exalt them to that supernatural immortality for which God-designed them, and consequently is much more so with regard to their fallen posterity: for it is only the inhabitation of the Spirit as an internal principle united to our nature, living and abiding in us for ever, and making us partakers of the Divine nature, and not any inferior communications of it as a principle external to our nature, that constituteth this Divine Image, by which alone we become the sons of God, and as being sons, heirs, and co-heirs with Jesus Christ, our elder Brother, of the heavenly inheritance. Now this Divine Image, and the sonship consequent on it, which the Apostle so much admires as a most surprising instance of the love of God towards us Christians, (1 John iii. 1.) being one of the 'exceeding great and precious promises' of the New Covenant which Christ hath purchased for His Church, can never be obtained by any other means but those which He hath prescribed in the Gospel for the conveying of it; and they are none other than the Christian Sacraments, by which this new Covenant itself is transacted and maintained, and by which we are made and continued members of the Church. Hence our blessed Saviour Himself assures us, that except we be born again of Water, and of the Spirit, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; and that Baptism, as well as faith, is necessary to Salvation; and likewise, that unless we eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, in the Eucharist, we can have no life in us; and that it is by our eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood that He dwelleth in us by the inhabitation of His Spirit, and we in Him, as members of His Body, the Church; and that thereby we have eternal life, and He will raise us up at the last Day, by this quickening Spirit, which thus dwelleth in us, and shall quicken our mortal bodies. From whence it appears, that as the Baptism of water, and that of the Spirit, which is given in Confirmation, are necessary in order to that Regeneration whereby this new life is first infused into us, and the Divine Image, which we lost in Adam, re-implanted in us; so a constant participation in the Sacrifice of the Eucharist is as necessary for our continuance and growth in this divine life of the Spirit, as our bodily food is for the support of our natural life.
"Now the design of God in thus conferring the benefits of the Christian Covenant, and particularly the conveyance of this divine Spirit by these external Symbols, is not only to heighten our devotion by these sensible representations; or to teach us that they are, as hath been proved, supernatural favours, which He bestows on us purely of His own free grace and, bounty, but principally to confederate us into a visible Society, under visible Governors authorized and commissioned by Him, (which is what the Scriptures and the primitive Fathers always mean by the Church, which is inserted into our Creed as a necessary Article of Faith;) such a visible Society being necessary to preserve and continue down to the end of the world that Faith which was once delivered to the Saints, which must otherwise have been extinguished and swallowed up long ere now, by those many heresies from within, and persecutions from without, with which Christianity hath been infested from the beginning; on which account the Church is by St. Paul called the Pillar and Ground of the Truth; and also to keep us stedfast in the performance of those exalted duties which the Gospel requires from us; and to prevent the growth of licentiousness and immorality by the just severity of its discipline.
"That this was indeed the thing chiefly intended by God in this confinement, will appear from its being so necessary a consequence thereof. For if we cannot have the Spirit, or any other of the benefits of the Christian Covenant (which are necessary in order to our attainment of that supernatural reward of everlasting salvation) without an external participation in those Sacraments by which this Covenant is transacted and maintained, and which God has appointed us the only ordinary means of conveying them to us; and if these Sacraments derive their whole efficacy, not from their own nature, but from their Consecration; and if this power of consecrating them must be derived from God, Who only has the disposal of the benefits conferred by them, so that none can validly consecrate them without an authority derived from Him for that effect; and if none can lay any just claim to this authority, but they who have received it from those who had power to give it them, in a continued succession from the Apostles, who at first received it from Christ; this will necessarily oblige us, as we value our eternal salvation, to a strict dependance upon, and submission to them, who thus have alone this power of consecrating the Sacraments. .... And this obligation will extend to all cases wherein we cannot expect, nay and be sure of, Gods supplying the want of these ordinary means, which Himself hath appointed, by extraordinary and uucovenanted favours. But this is what we can have no reasonable ground to hope for, but upon a perfect impossiblity, either physical or legal, of obtaining them; which can never be pretended, while they may be had by any moral diligence, or by any not unlawful compliance.
"Now this obligation to submit to all unsinful conditions, how hard or imprudent soever we may think them, which may be required from us, in order to the obtaining of these Sacraments, by those who alone have the power of consecrating them, will necessarily give them a power of government over us; and consequently make the Christian Church a visible society under visible governors: which therefore (since God cannot be supposed to have given them this power unawares, but designedly) must have been the thing chiefly intended in this whole contrivance.
"And indeed, the Christian Church being instituted for purely spiritual purposes, and not designed to interfere with the civil societies of this world, but to subsist distinctly from, and independently on them, nay, even in a state of persecution from them; as its being a visible society was necessary for this end, so the rewards and punishments of it could not have been of a civil, but spiritual nature; and the most proper, or rather indeed the only way, so far as we can conceive, whereby the governors of this society could have had the power of such spiritual rewards and punishments, even in this life, (which yet is necessary for them to have in order to a government in this life,) could only be by confining the spiritual privileges of it to external symbols, and putting the whole power of dispensing these symbols, with any legal validity, into their hands, after the manner above laid down: which plainly shews us both the wisdom of this contrivance, and the end for which it was designed.
"It was on a full persuasion of this truth, then deeply rooted in the minds of all Christians, that an exclusion from the Sacraments and from the Communion of the Church was in consequence an exclusion from the covenant and promises of God which are confined to them, and so from the means of salvation, that the Discipline of the primitive Church was wholly founded. This was the thing which made them then dread the Ecclesiastical Censures more than all the punishments which the civil magistrate could inflict, or than any evil whatsoever that could reach no further than this life; and so made them willing to atone for their scandalous offences by many years austerities, inflicted on them by the governors of the Church. And it was the exactness and severity of this discipline that made those happy times so glorious and exemplary.
"This Discipline therefore, which was then exercised with so great severity, and yet everywhere submitted to, is a plain and unanswerable proof that this doctrine of the necessity of an external participation of the Sacraments, in the visible Communion of the Catholic Church, in order to salvation, was then universally believed. Which it is impossible it could have been in the very age next to the Apostles, if it had not been delivered by the Apostles themselves as a fundamental doctrine of Christianity to the Churches planted by them."Preface to Instructions &c. p. xxiii.