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.
But God forbid the Church of Christ should be suspected capable of such an absurdity, as to make the word of God contradict itself. Nay, whatever Church is capable of it, is manifestly convicted not to be of divine extraction, but of a spurious breed. She has too much of an earthly complexion to be the beautiful spouse of Christ: neither has the spirit of truth, but the father of lies for her guide. The Church of Christ is the " pillar and ground of truth," according to St. Paul. She is without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, according to the same Apostle. Christ " has espoused her to himself for ever;" Osea ii. And the spouse of Christ cannot be an adulteress, but is incorrupt and pure, according to St. Cyprian.
This made St. Augustin depend so entirely upon her authority, that he declared, " he would not believe the gospels themselves, unless the authority of the Church induced him to it;" Contra Epist Fund. c. 4. And since he received the Scriptures themselves barely upon her authority, it cannot be doubted, but he believed, she might likewise be safely trusted with the interpretation of their true sense and meaning. So that this learned and ancient father was not for precautioning his readers with suppositions, that she could "ordain any thing contrary to the word of God, or make Scriptures contradict themselves." Nay, in the heat of his zeal for the Church of God, he would have called it u an abominable and accursed calumny, full of presumption and deceit; void of all truth, wisdom and reason; idle, rash, and pernicious;" Enar. 2. in Psalm 101. And therefore to confound all such injurious suppositions, and show the entire confidence he had in his guide, he made the aforementioned declaration; which though it raises the Church's authority to its highest pitch, it only places it upon its true and proper basis.