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* phets; thirdly teachers, &c." L. de Spiritu. S. c. 16. t. iii. p. 34. Edit. PP. S. Mauri, Paris. 1721, 1722, 1730.—“We indeed ourselves are of " little value; but, by the grace of God, we remain ever the same,
unaffected by the common changes of things. Our belief is not one " at Seleucia, and another at Constantinople; one at Lampsacus, and
another at Rome; and so different from what it was in former times,
but always one and the same.” Ep. 251. ad. Evæsinos, t. iii. p. 386. Edit. Bened. Parisiis, 1721.-“ As many as hope in Christ, are one people, "and they, who are of Christ, form one church, though it be named "in many places.” Ep. 161. ad Amphil. t. iii. p. 252.-" It is more just
to judge of our concerns, not from this or that man, who walk not «in truth; but from the number of bishops, who, in all regions, are "united to us. Let the cities of Asia, the sound part of Egypt and of Syria, be interrogated. These by letter communicate with us, and we with them. From these you may learn, that we are all unanimous; all think the same thing. Wherefore, he, who declines our communion, may be considered by you, as separated from the universal church. It is better we should lose our lives, and that the “churches should remain unanimous, than that, on account of our “childish feuds, the faithful should be so much injured.” Ep. 204. ad Neocæs. t. iii. p. 307.- St. Gregory Nazianzum says, To one, in
deed, is given the sword of wisdom ; to another the sword of knowledge, “ 1 Cor. xii. 8. My brethren, let us respect, and guard, and main
tain this order. Let some hear, others speak, and others act,” Orat. xxvi. t. 1. p. 450. Edit. Coloniæ, 1690.
On the Succession of the Pastors of the Church, from the apostles, St. Basil writes,—“If we depart from the life-living root, the faith in
Christ; like withered branches, we are cast out and committed to " the flames. For if we do not rest on the foundation of the apostles,
being unsupported, we are lost.” Com. in Esaiam. t. 1. p. 391. -On the name of Catholic, St. Gregory signs himself in the document called his Will, “Gregory, bishop of the Catholic church of Constantino
On the disputed point of Private Interpretation, now so warmly and pertinaciously contested by Protestants, St. Basil thus addresses a heretic:-“ What is it yous ay ? Shall we not allow more to antiquity ? “Does not the multitude of Christians claim respect, who now are,
as well as those who went before us? These abounded in every grace, and must we disregard them against whom you have lately brought out your impious discoveries ? Must we shut our eyes, and, suppressing all recollection of every holy man, submit our understandings to your deceits, and idle sophistries? Truly, your influence must be great, if, what the devil could not effect by his wiles, we should concedę to your dictations; that is, persuaded by you, we should prefer your inventions to that tradition of belief, which, in all former times, prevailed under the direction of so many holy men.” L. 1. Adv. Eunom. t. 1. p. 210.- -St. Gregory Nazianzum says,
To one indeed, is given the word of wisdom : to another the word of "knowledge: (1 Cor. xii. 8.) My brethren, let us respect, and guard, .." and maintain this order. Let some hear, others speak, and others
act. We must not all exercise the office of the tongue, which is
" the most prompt and ready member; for all are not apostles, nor
prophets, nor expounders. To teach is great and eminent; but to “ learn is void of danger. You that are a sheep, why do you arrogate “ the function of the shepherd ? Being the foot, why will you be the “ head?
Why do you pursue the great, but uncertain and perilous, gains of the ocean; when you may till the earth in safety?" Orat. xxvi. t. 1.
Truly, there should have been a law among us, whereby-as among the Jews young men were not allowed to read “ certain books of scripturc—not all men, and at all times, but “ certain persons only, and on certain occasions should be permitted “ to discuss the points of faith.” Ibid. p. 462. “If these heretics
may freely teach and promulgate their opinions, who does not see " that the doctrine of the church will be condemned, as if truth were on “ their side? But two opposite doctrines, on the same point, can“not possibly be true.” Orat. xlvi. p. 722. —-Rufinus, a priest of Aquileia, who flourished from the years 372 to about 410, relates of these two saints, that “ during the thirteen years they spent at Athens, lay' ing aside all profane words, they applied solely to the sacred writ“ings, explaining them, not from their own presumption, but by the " authority of those ancient fathers, who, it was plain, had received " the rule of interpretation, from apostolical succession.” Hist. Eccles. 1. 11. c. 9. p. 256. Edit. Basil. 1562.
On apostolical Tradition,* which Protestants reject, St. Basil writes,
* In our first number, p. 4, we spoke of the utter impossibility that error should be in, troduced into the doctrines of the church of Christ without detection from some one, and we gave two instances, froin the writings of Sozomen and the works of St. Augustin, as proofs of the care observed by the guardians of faith in the Catholic church, lest a word should be improperly applied in defining her doctrines. (Ibid.) We have now the opportunity of furnishing a third instance in our own case, and as we lay no claim to infallibility, and have no other desire than that of stating to our readers the truth, and nothing but the truth, we feel more pleasure than reluctance in acknowledging a mistake we have inadver:ently commitied. In giving the sentiments of St. Irenæus on the doctrine of TRADITION, P. 70, we observed, that this " is neither more nor less than PUBLIC OPI. “NION, received and delivered down from age to age.” This observation has drawn from a very learned and most excellent divine the following remarks. • What! Tradition, " which is ihe word of God, unwritten indeed, buit delivered by Christ to his apostles; the “ unerring word of God, revealed by God to man-Tradition, which has been made known “ to us and decided upon by the inspired councils, assisted by the Holy Ghost, the pro" niised Paraclete-Tradition, which conveys to us the truths of Heaven with certainty
equal to the inspired writings, and which, in fact, gives authenticity, meaning and el"fect to the sacred books themselves-- Tradition is here said to be no more (s:ly nothing, “ of less), no more than the opinion of Men! Opinion! nothing more than opinion ! of " which some one says' opinion varies, because it is opinion; but faith is ever unchange"able, because it is faith and coineth from God.' Faith, and what is divinely taught, is the
object of tradition, and therefore is not matter of opinion, which may change according " to circumstances; and therefore the voice of Tradition is not to be worked on by human " efforis such as you have recommended; it is the voice of God and not of man; the express " testimony of the God of truth, and not the mere opinion of men. By calling it public “opinion you do not clear up the difficulty, for as long at it is opinion, it is subject to er
You talk of appealing to opinion, but it is Tradition that is to govern and direct opinion and belief.' I have said enough I think to make you see the immense difference " between this opinion, which is the result of human reasoning, and Tradition, which is re. “vealed Truth, the unwritten word; and I might say that this is no inore opinion, or de* pendent upon opinion, than is the written word of God in the scriptures the result of ho. "inan study, or to be explained by human opinion, wit, or fancy.' We thank our investimable friend for bis clear and luminous definition of this doctriue, in which we perfectly agree with him. In making our objectionable statement, we did not allude to the doctrines and ceremonies taught and practised by the apostles and their successors, we only intended, by the expression, to convey to the Protestant reader, that when any new or novel docering was attempted to be foisted on the people, by pretenders to inspiration, that Catho
"Among the points of belief and practice in the church, some were deli"vered in writing, while others were received by apostolical tradition in “mystery, that is, in a hidden manner; but both have equal authority, nor
are they opposed by any one, who is but slightly versed in ecclesias"tical rites. For if we attempt to reject, as matters of little moment, such "points as were not written, we shall, by our imprudence, offer a signal " injury to the gospel, confining the whole preaching of faith to a mere
He then alludes to many practices in use among the Eas“tern churches at that day, and inquires in what part of scripture they
are to be found. But,” he observes, “ by TRADITION they “ would be brought down to us; and the day would not suffice me,
I to enumerate all those points which have been thus delivered." De Spir. Sancto, c. 37. t. iii. p. 54. “ If nothing else that is unwritten “ be received, then this
But if the greater part of our sa"cred rites is unwritten, together with many others, let us receive
this. In my opinion, it is apostolical to adhere to unwritten tradi“ tions.” Ibid. c. 29, p. 60. Separate not the Holy Spirit from the “ Father and the Son ; let tradition deter you. For so the Lord taught, “ the apostles preached, the fathers maintained, the martyrs confirm
Be satisfied to speak, as you were instructed.” Serm, vi. adv. Sabel. t. ii. p. 194.' “Some turn to Judaism on account of the (ap
parent) confusion of the divine persons, and others to Paganism from “ other motives: so that neither the divinely inspired scripture has any “effect on them; nor can the apostolical traditions compose their dif“ ferences.” De Spirit. Sanct. c. xxx. t. iii. p. 66.
“ Let us now consider, what are our notions concerning the Divine Spirit, as well “ those which we have drawn from the scriptures, as what we
have received from the unwritten tradition of the fathers.” Ibid. c. ix. p. 19. “ It is the common aim of all the enemies of sound
doctrine, to shake the solidity of our faith in Christ, by annulling “ apostolical tradition.” He adds: “They dismiss the unwritten
testimony of the fathers as a thing of no value.” Ibid. c. X. p. 21. From these latter extracts we may learn the sentiments of this great defender of the true faith on the mystery of the holy Trinity.Gregory Nazianzum says, on the doctrine of Tradition, “I wish, “ to the last breath of life, that deposit should be confessed of those “ holy fathers, who lived nearest to Christ, and to the origin of our
faith, and that profession maintained, which we imbibed with our milk, which we uttered with our first speech.” Orat. vi. t. 1. p. 141. My sheep hear my voice, that voice which was instructed by the sacred oracles, and the writings of the holy fathers. What I have learnt “ from them, I shall always teach, not varying in a single point as the times
may vary. In that profession I was born; in that I will die.” Orat. xxv. p. 440.
On the Supremacy of St. Peter and his successors in the see of Rome,
lics did not ground their faith on the word of this or that man, but on the universal tradition or testimony of the Church, from the time of the apostles to the present nioinent. Opinion, we are now convinced, is too vague and incorrect a term, and therefore we have no hesitation in renouncing it. We cannot however, quit the subject without calling the attention of the Protestant reader to the strong hold which Catholics are thus demonstrated to hare of the inerrability of their faithi,
St. Basil writes,-" Peter, from being a fisherman, was called to the
apostleship; and from the eminence of his faith, received on him" self the building of the church.” Adv. Eunom. l.'ll. t. 1. p. 240. St. Gregory Nazianzum says "You see, how Peter, among the disci
ples of Christ, all great and all worthy of choice, is called a rock, " and receives on the profession of his faith the foundations of the “ church; while John is particularly beloved, and rests on the breast 66 of Christ; and the other disciples bear this preference without re* pining.” Orat. xxvi. t. 1. p. 453. In his seventh oration he stiles Peter, the pillar of the church.” Ibid. p. 142.
On the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the holy Eucharist, or Lord's Supper, which Protestants deny, and those of the church of England as by law established, make the denial of it on oath a qualification for civil and ecclesiastical office, St. Basil writes,— About the
things, that God has spoken, there should be no hesitation, nor
doubt, but a firm persuasion, that all is true and possible, though “ nature be against it. Herein lies the struggle of faith. The Jews
therefore strove among themselves, saying : How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
Then Jesus said to them : Amen, amen I say unto you : except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall “ not have life in you.” (Jo. vi. 53, 54.) Regula vii. Moral. t. ii. p. 240. “ With what fear, with what conviction, with what affection of mind, + should we partake of the body and blood of Christ? The apostle “ teaches us to fear, when he says: He that eateth and drinketh unwor
thily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself (1 Cor. xi. 29.); while 6 the words of the Lord: This is my body, which shall be delivered for
you (ibid. 24), create a firm conviction.” Ibid. in Reg. brev. quæst. clxxii. p. 472. “ The Christian must be without spot or stain-and
thus prepared to eat the body of Christ, and drink his blood.” Ibid. in Moral. reg. lxxx. 22. p. 318.- -St. Gregory Nazianzum says, speaking of his sister, who laboured under a grievous disorder, “Despairing
of all other help, she has recourse to the universal physician« she falls down in faith before the altar, and calls upon him who is “ there adored.” Orat. 11. t. 1. p. 186. “ Without doubting, eat the
body and drink the blood, if thou desirest to live.” Ibid. Orat. xlii.
On the sacrifice of the Mass, which Luther abolished in his system of pretended reform, at the instigation of the devil, if we may believe his own words, and Protestants of the church of England as by law established swear to be idolatrous, St. Grégory Nazianzum writes, " And where, and by whom could God be worshipped in those mystic "and elevating sacred rites, than which nothing among us is greater 66
nor more excellent, if there were no priesthood, or sacrifice? Knowing this, and knowing besides that no one was worthy of this
great God, this sacrifice, and this priesthood, who had not first of“ fered himself victim to the Lord-how should I dare to offer to “him that external sacrifice, that antitype of great mysteries, or to “ take up the name and habit of a priest?” Orat. 1. t. 1. p. 3,
38. Julian, in impure and wicked blood, washes away his baptismal rite, ho
opposing initiation to initiation-he defiles his hands, in order to pu“rify them from that unbloody sacrifice, through which we commu
«nicate with Christ, with his divine nature, and his sufferings.” Orat. či, in Julian, t. 1. p. 70.
On the doctrine of Confession, rejected and reviled by Protestants, but now practised by Catholics, St. Basil writes, “In the confession of "sins, the same method must be observed, as in laying open the in"firmities of the body. For as these are not rashly communicated to
every one, but to those only who understand by what method they may be cured; so the confession of sins must be made to such per
sons as know how to apply a remedy." In Quæst. Brev. Reg. 229. t. ii. p. 492. He afterwards states who those persons are : Necessarily,
our sins must be confessed to those, to whom has been committed
the dispensation of the mysteries of God.” Ibid. Reg. 288. p. 516. St. Gregory Nazianzum says, alluding to the works of penance then appointed by the church to be performed, and the danger lest the sinner be surprised by death before they are completed, --" But, perhaps,
supplicantly thou wilt pray to the Lord, that he will yet spare the
vine, and not cut it down, accused as it is of sterility, but permit thee “ to manure round it: that is, to employ tears, and
prayers, “and watchings, and the maceration of soul and body, and in fine that “ correction which consists in the confession of sins, and the lowly “ humiliation of life.” Orat. xl. t. 1. p. 642. “Think it not hard to “confess thy sin, reflecting on the baptism of John, in order that, by
present shame, thou mayest escape the shame of the next life. Thus “ will it be made manifest, that thou really hatest sin, having deemed " it deserving of contumely, and having triumphed over it.' 657.
On the doctrine of Purgatory, so much contemned and derided by Protestants, but steadily maintained by Catholics, St. Basil writes, “ The words of Isaiah, Through the wrath of the Lord is the land burn
ed, (ix. 19,) declare, that things that are earthly shall be made the “ food of a punishing fire; to the end that the soul may receive favour “ and be benefitted. And the people shall be as the fuel of the fire (Ibid.): “This is not a threat of extermination; but it denotes expurgation, "according to the expression of the apostle: If any man's works burn, "he shall suffer loss ; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. (1 “ Cor. iii. 15.)” Com, in c. ix. Isai. t. 1. p. 554. “ And the light of Israel "shall be for a fire. (Isai. x. 17.) The operative powers of fire are
chiefly two; it enlightens, and it burns. The first is cheerful and “pleasant; the second bitter and afflicting. The prophet adds: And "he shall sanctify him in a holy fire, and consume the glory of his forest as
grass. He here shews the nature of fire. It enlightens and purifies. " But how does this fire purify, if it consumes? Truly, since our God " is called a consuming fire, he will consume the wood, and what vices " arise from matter, which adhere to the soul, in the flesh, not in the “ spirit. And when the fire shall have consumed all the wood of sin, “as it does grass, then that matter being destroyed which was fuel to " the chastising fire, the prophet says: The burnt mountains shall repose, “ and the hills, and the thick forests, and the consuming fire shall cease, " that feed upon them.” Ibid. p. 563.
On Religious Ceremonies, and particularly on making the sign of the cross, whereby Catholics attest their belief in the blessed Trinity,