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the Apostles, and the ancient sys- tradition. The same claims were tem of the Church throughout the asserted by the Paulicians, and entire world, and the mark of the other heretical factions. The debody of Christ, according to the structives of the sixteenth century, succession of bishops, to whom miscalled Reformers, considered they (the Apostles) delivered that this character as essential to the Church, which is in every place." Church; they acknowledged the For all these heretics come long necessity of apostolical succession, after bishops to whom the Apostles and if any teacher arose who could delivered the churches. Where- not trace this succession in his fore those priests must be obeyed ministry, they required that he who are in the Church, who pos- prove his doctrines by miracles. sess a succession from the Apos- Luther writes: “If he (Munzer) tles, as we have shown, who, with say that God and his Spirit have the succession of the episcopate, sent him, as they did the Apostles, have received the unerring grace of let him prove this by signs and truth, according to the will of the wonders, or let him be prevented Father. But the rest, who depart from preaching; for when God will from the principal succession and change the ordinary course of gather themselves together in any things he always does so by signs place whatever, we ought to regard and wonders.” as false and of evil sentiments, or The Church is, and remains foras men who rend the unity of the ever, the Church that was founded Church, and as proud men, and upon and by the Apostles. With men that pursue their own pleas- this one and living fact of the inure; or again as hypocrites, that stitution and constitution of the act thus for lucre's sake and vanity. Church is connected forever the But all these have fallen from the authority of apostolicity. Whattruth. “Where, therefore, the graces ever was taught and commanded or gifts of the Lord are, there it by the Apostles, in the name of behooves us to learn the truth from Christ, still remains; the power those with whom is that succession and sacredness that were once imof the Church which cometh down parted to the Church must and do from the Apostles” (Adv. Hæres still continue with the Church. 4). The same principles are enun- From the doctrine and sacredness ciated by Clement of Alexandria imparted by the Apostles the and Tertullian. “This faith (says Church at the present day exists. St. Augustine) the Church pos- An institution which is not apostolisesses, this faith the Church de- cal, that is, which has not the Aposfends, this faith, which she knows . tles as its foundation and origin, to have been delivered through the cannot stand by the side of the blessed Apostles. If you could go Church which was founded by the through all nations in a moment, ' Apostles; it can have no pretenthou wouldst find, most stupid em- sions to the name of a Church. The peror, that everywhere Christians Church which reposes on the founbelieve as we do; and that persist. dation of the Apostles possesses ing in this our defence, they desire, within itself the tradition handed
we do, to die for the Son of down by them of truth and of grace; God."
it possesses within itself its misTo this character of apostolicity sion to all nations, extending pretensions were made by the Gnos- through all time. tics, who taught that the doctrines The Sacred Scripture abundantly of the different Apostles had been testifies that our Saviour made St. preserved in their sect by a secret Peter in particular the foundation
of the Church, and endowed him institution of it was not a mere perwith a supremacy of authority and sonal gift, but that it is an inherent jurisdiction. Before the Apostle and integral portion of the organuttered a word, or performed any ism of the Church of Christ, and action in the presence of his Mas- accordingly it abides as the propter, he received a remarkable name, erty and mark of apostolicity in expressive of elevation, firmness, the successors of St. Peter. It is and harmonious unity. The adap- a maxim of religious teaching that tation and meaning of this name the Church of the living God was (cephas-rock) became developed substantially the same before the when Christ laid the foundation of advent of Christ as it was at the his Church on the Apostle. A rea- time of his visible mission; such it son for this exclusive privilege was is in the present, and so it will congiven in the fact that Peter's faith tinue till the end of time. " God," was protected against alteration by says St. Paul, “who at sundry times a special prayer; and the good and in divers manners spoke in effects intended were exhibited in times past to the fathers by the the obligation imposed on the Apos- prophets, last of all in these days tle, to confirm his brethren. To hath spoke to us by his Son." So that prevent any misunderstanding whatever change may have been about the appointment of Peter effected regarding sacraments and unto a supremacy in the Church, external rites of religion, the subthe Saviour used the language and stance is the same throughout, befigures then familiar and customary coming more developed, more illusamong nations to signify the con- trious. This we are taught by the veyance of a vicarial sovereignty, Saviour, saying, “ Do not think that saying, “ I will give to thee the key I came to destroy the law or the of the kingdom of heaven." He prophets, I am come not to destroy also marked out the extent of the but fulfil." Whatsoever then we jurisdiction conferred, by a charge find to be a substantial leading over the entire fold, inclucing matter in the constitution of the lambs and sheep, with a power of Church under its oldest form, and binding and loosing. All that had as such preserved by the sanction been granted to Peter was after- of Jesus Christ, it must continue wards carried into execution, and to the end of time; but such is the practically illustrated by himself in supremacy conferred on St. Peter, the exercise of his office, and by therefore it must continue to the the Church in its attention and end of time. The first proposition compliance with his testimony and is a self-evident truth, and the sechis government. He confirmed his ond is demonstrated by irresistible brethren in the faith, by testifying evidence. In the 8th chapter of to the resurrection of our Lord. Leviticus we have an account of He held together the parts of the the consecration of Aaron as the building by putting Matthias in high priest and chief of the Levitical the place vacated by Judas in the order. In every passage of holy apostolic ministry. He fed the writ where his name occurs, he is lambs and sheep, being the first to mentioned as one holding pre-emipreach “salvation in the name of nence of position, and a supremacy Jesus crucified ;” and presented to of jurisdiction in the sacerdotal the Council of Jerusalem the first ranks. The 17th chapter of Deutcontroverted question. Assuming eronomy informs us that, in the the supremacy of St. Peter to be Mosaic dispensation, God appointthus conclusively established, it is ed one supreme chief in his Church, a necessary consequence that the to be a judge in matters of religion, and to decide in all doubtful and diction established in St. Peter. controverted matters. In the 3d Therefore we are forced to conchapter of Numbers, where the dif- clude that as a supremacy has been ferent offices are distinctly enumer- appointed by the will of God as a ated, one chief prince of the Church necessary constituent in the oris pointed out to whom all other ganization of his Church, and as rulers are subordinate. There it is such preserved by our blessed Sawritten: “And the Prince of the viour, it must in like manner conprinces of the Levites, Eleazar, the tinue to the end of time. Hence son of Aaron the priest shall be we may infer that all the distincover them that watch for the guard tion and authority found in St. of the sanctuary.” We have the Peter passed to his successors presuccession of Eleazar to Aaron cisely as a similar authority passed placed before us in the 20th chap- on from Aaron to Eleazar, from ter of Numbers. This succession him to Phineas, and thence through is continued in the 20th chapter of numerous links to Caiaphas. MoreJudges, where we read, “Wherefore over, the same evidence that proves all the children of Israel came to the bestowal of this important office the house of God, and sat and wept on Peter, proves its continuance before the Lord, and Phineas and subsistence with his successors, the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron and for the following reasons. was over the house." These few Christ, who is the source of all testimonies show us plainly and power, most emphatically declared, conclusively that, to preserve peace that the authority with which the in the Church, to maintain unity of ministers of his word were invested religious belief and harmony of was not temporary but permanent; ritual observance, as well as to set that it was given not only for the aside all harassing controversy, the erection of his Church, but for its Lord ordained and continued under maintenance throughout all ages. the Jewish dispensation, the office " As the Father sent me, so I send of a High Priest, whose decision you," said the Saviour to his Aposwas to be obeyed, because it ema- tles collectively, therefore whatsonated from a supreme and divinely ever commission was originally beconstituted authority. All this stowed became authenticated by continued unto the time of Christ. this declaration, which so very The Evangelist St. John, record- plainly indicates the continuation ing the truthful statement of Caia- of the commission to the end of phas, “that one man should die time. If then the right and duty for the people, and that the whole of teaching and baptizing passed nation perish not ;" says that, "This on from the other Apostles to their he spoke not of himself, but being successors, in like manner, and for the High Priest of that year he the same reasons, the right of govprophesied that Jesus should die for erning and confirming the brethren the nation." So that even in a time passed from Peter to his successors. of great corruption the institution The rank and authority bestowed was divinely preserved, and a wick- on Peter was for the benefit of the ed man like Caiaphas was gifted to Church, or it was not. To say that announce infallibly a divine truth, it was not, would be accusing Christ because he was the High Priest. of doing a useless thing. That it
That a supremacy in the Church was for the benefit of the universal was not destroyed but included in Church is plain enough, from the the fulfilment brought about by fact that its ostensible object was our Saviour is manifest by those unity of faith and the pastoral care testimonies which prove the juris- of the fold; therefore as the Church
is of perpetual duration, always it represented under forms that imloved and sanctified by the Saviour, ply this supremacy. It is called a who esteems it as his spouse, the building, therefore it has a foundabenefit originally conferred must tion; it is a household, therefore it be continued. Christ prayed that has a master; it is a vineyard, Peter's faith might not fail, so that therefore it has a steward; it is a he might confirm his brethren. body, therefore it bas a head; it is Now, who were his brethren ? Are a sheepfold, therefore it has a paswe to say, merely the members of tor; consequently, through a necesthe Church who lived in his day? sity arising out of its perpetual Certainly not. All the members of duration, it carries with it those the Church who will ever exist distinctive marks, those essential come under this designation; there- qualities, manifested in a chief like fore this extensive work of confirm- Peter—a rock, a pastor, a governor ing in the faith must be performed with the keys, a steward binding by persons contemporary with the and loosing, a head, confirming and brethren who are to be confirmed. uniting the members of the body. The necessity for confirming was Christ ordered Peter to feed his not diminished, but increased after lambs and sheep without any ex. the death of Peter, and certainly it ception, and thereby we must adcannot be supposed that the benefit mit he gave to him a perpetual in question was withdrawn when office, which must continue till the the brethren increased from thou- end of time, because all the sheep sands to millions. Not only did were not in the fold when Christ the Saviour lay the foundation of spoke; many nations have been his Church on Peter-a rock- converted since that time : "Other but likewise provided for its sta- sheep I have (says Christ) that are bility in the same secure position, not of this fold; them also I must throughout all ages, as he declares bring, and they shall hear my voice, in those words, "the gates of hell and there shall be one fold and one shall not prevail against it.” Now shepherd.” Most assuredly a pasthe
power of evil, indicated by “the tor must be always present to exegates of hell," was exercised not cute the duties of Peter's office in only in the lifetime of Peter, but regard to those sheep that are thus will be so to the end of time," the being from time to time brought roaring lion always going about into the fold. Now, we ask, where seeking whom he may devour.” is this succession found? Who Therefore, as the evil always exists, holds the office thus proven to be the protection against it is equally necessarily existent? Who perdurable, and as the protection was forms the duties indispensable in provided in the way agreeable to the constitution of the Church? supernal wisdom, namely, in a con- Whilst we look to every age and centration of authority, a plenitude nation, whilst we hearken to the of jurisdiction, and a supremacy of voice of every people, there is no government in one chief, the very other claimant to be found except same method of preservation still the Bishop of Rome. By separatists exists, and is found in a person from the Catholic Church that holding equal rank with St. Peter. Pontiff is assailed on account of Christ is the same yesterday and to- the possession of this office; he is day, the same forever, so that his revered by Catholics, and obeyed, kingdom must be perpetuated to because he is known and believed the end of time in the condition of to perform legitimately its funcits first existence. In all the de- tions. Therefore the divine inscriptions of this kingdom we find stitution and maintenance of the office being demonstrated, then the privileges, and consequently the sole and exclusive occupancy of said divinely constituted head of the office being with the Roman Pon- Church on earth. tiff, he is the inheritor of St. Peter's
Words are lighter than the cloud-foam
Of the restless ocean spray;
That the next hour steals away.
Is the air as deeply stirred;
Will outlive a word.
Yet on the dull silence breaking
With a lightning flash, a word
On its blighting wings, I heard.
Dealing surer death and pain,
Through long years again.
I have known one word hang star-like
O’er a dreary waste of years,
Looked at through a mist of tears;
Hope and heart on life's dark way,
Clearer day by day.
I bave known a spirit calmer
Than the calmest lake, and clear
With no wave of hope or fear;
And its deepest depths were stirred
Only by a word.
I have known a word more gentle
Than the breath of summer air,
And it lived forever there.
Stirred it ever, night or day:
Could it fade away.