Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 122.

SIX VOLUMES IN ONE
BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.
REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.
REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada
REV. STEPHEN KEENAN
REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J.
REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.


It is true, any Church may, by the severity of laws and censures oblige men to a respectful silence; but this will never deliver them from doubts and uncertainties, nor fix their faith upon a solid basis. Their tongues and pens may acquiesce, but their judgment will still revolt. Their private reasons will stand good, and keep their full force. Nay, what seems reason to-day, will, perhaps, seem otherwise tomorrow ; and thus will they always be wavering, "like children tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine ; " whereas, if an infallible judge be acknowledged, whenever that judge pronounces sentence, all doubts immediately vanish. The judgment is immovably fixed, and every private understanding " captivated unto the obedience of faith."

And this is the true reason of that perfect harmony in all matters of faith among the members of the Roman Catholic Church. For though they be allowed to dispute pro and con about questions not determined by the Church (which some will needs miscall divisions amongst them) yet when the Church declares herself positively upon any point, there is no appeal from her to any private judgment; but every one is bound by the principles of his religion to submit to her decisions. So that all the members of this Church even in the most distant parts of the world, nay, though differing in every thing else, as interest, humors, customs, discipline, and language, yet agree perfectly in all points of faith. Because they have but one unerring guide to follow, which is the Church directed according to Christ's promise, by the spirit of truth.