Section 2. Anglicanism

1. The Anglican View of the Visible Church

{250} THE high school of Anglicans ... upholds the existence of a visible Church as firmly as Catholics, and the only question between the two parties is, what and where the Church is; in what it consists; and on this point it is that they differ. This Church, this spiritually endowed body, this minister of the Sacraments, teacher of Gospel truth, possessor of that power of binding and loosing, commonly called the power of the keys, is this Divine creation coincident, as Catholics hold, with the whole extended body of Christians everywhere, so as to be in its essence one and only one organized association? or, on the other hand, as [Anglicans insist,] is every separate bishopric, every diocesan unit, of which that whole is composed, properly and primarily the Church which has the promises, each of them being, like a crystallization, only a repetition of the rest, each of them, in point of privileges, as much the perfect Church as all together, each equal to each, each independent of each, each invested with full spiritual powers, in solidum, as St. Cyprian speaks, none subject to any, none bound to union with other by any law of its being, or {251} condition of its prerogatives, but all free from all, except as regards the duty of mutual love, and only called one Church, when taken in the aggregate, or in its catholicity, though really multiform, by a conversational misnomer, or figure of speech, or abstraction of the mind, as when all men, viewed as one, are called "man"? ... 

Now it is very intelligible to deny that there is any divinely established, divinely commissioned, Church at all; but to hold that the one Church is realized and perfected in each of a thousand independent corporate units, co-ordinate, bound by no necessary intercommunion, adjusted into no divine organized whole, is a tenet not merely unknown to Scripture, but so plainly impossible to carry out practically, as to make it clear that it never would have been devised except by men, who, conscientiously believing in a visible Church, and who, conscientiously opposed to Rome, had nothing left for them, whether they would or would not, but to entrench themselves in the paradox, that the Church was one indeed, and the Church was Catholic indeed, but that the one Church was not the Catholic, and the Catholic Church was not the one ... 

If it be asked of me how, with my present views of the inherent impracticability of the Anglican theory of Church polity, I could ever have held it myself, I answer that, though swayed by great names, I never was without misgivings about the difficulties which it involved, and that as early as 1837, in my volume in defence of "Anglicanism, as contrasted with Romanism and Popular Protestantism," I expressed my sense of these difficulties [Note 1]. ("Essays Crit. and Hist.," vol. II., pp. 90-99.) {252}

2. The "Branch Theory"

WHAT is called the "Branch theory" is, that the Roman, Greek, and Anglican Communions make up the one visible, indivisible Church of God which the Apostles founded, to which the promise of perseverance was made; a view which is as paradoxical when regarded as a fact, as it is heterodox when regarded as a doctrine. Such surely is the judgment which must be pronounced upon it in itself, and as considered apart from the motives which have led Anglicans to its adoption; for these, when charitably examined, ... are far from reprehensible; on the contrary, they betoken a goodwill towards Catholics, a Christian spirit, and a religious earnestness, which Catholics ought to be the last to treat with slight or unkindness.

Let it once be admitted that in certain minds misconceptions and prejudices may exist, such as to make it their duty in conscience (though it be a false conscience) to remain in Anglicanism, and then this paradoxical view of the Catholic Church is, in them, better, nearer the truth, and more hopeful than any other erroneous view of it. First, because it is the view of men deeply impressed with the great doctrine and precept of Unity. Such men cannot bear to think of the enormous scandal—the loss of faith, the triumph to infidels, the obstacle to heathen conversion—resulting from the quarrels of Christians with each other; and they cannot rest till they can form some theory by which they can alleviate it to the imagination. They recollect our Lord's most touching words, just before His passion, in which He made unity the great note and badge of His religion, and they wish to be provided with {253} some explanation of this apparent broad reversal of it, both for their own sake, and for that of others. As there are Protestants whose expedient for this purpose is to ignore all creeds and all forms of worship, and to make unity consist in a mere union of hearts, an intercourse of sentiment and work, and an agreement to differ on theological points, so the persons in question endeavour to discern the homogeneity of the Christian name in a paradoxical compulsory resolution of the doctrines and rites of Rome, Greece, and Canterbury, into some general form common to all three.

Nor is this all; the kindliness of the theory is shown by the strong contrast which it presents to a persuasion, very strong and widely prevalent in the English Establishment, in regard to the Catholic Church. The palmary, the most effective argument of the Reformers against us, was that Rome was Antichrist. It was Mr. Keble's idea that without this tenet the Reformers would have found it impossible to make head against the prestige, the imposing greatness, the establishment, the momentum of Catholicism. There was no medium; it was either from God or from the Evil One. Is it too much to say, that, wherever Protestantism has been earnest and (what is called) spiritual, there this odious imagination has been vigorous? Is it too much to say that it is the received teaching of Anglican bishops and divines, from Latimer down to Dr. Wordsworth? Have Catholics then no bowels of compassion for [those who] adopt such a Via media towards the Church as I have been describing? ... 

The third motive which leads religious Anglicans to hold the doctrine in question is one of a personal nature, but of no unworthy sort. Though they think it a duty to hold off from us, they cannot be easy at their own separation from the orbis terrarum, and from the Apostolic See, {254} which is the consequence of it; and the pain it causes them, and the expedient they take to get relieved of it, should interest us in their favour, since these are the measures of the real hold, which, in spite of their still shrinking from the Church, Catholic principles and ideas have upon the intellects and affections.

These remarks, however, in favour of the advocates of what may be called the Anglican paradox are quite consistent with a serious apprehension that there are those among them, known of course only to God, who make that paradox the excuse for stifling an inquiry which conscience tells them they ought to pursue, and turning away from the light which otherwise would lead them to the Church. And, then, as to this paradox itself, all the learning, all the argumentative skill of its ablest champions, would fail in proving that two sovereign states were numerically one state, even though they happened to have the same parentage, the same language, the same form of government; and yet the gulf between Rome and England, which is greater than this demarcation between state and state ... [Anglicans] merely call "an interruption of external union!" ("Essays Crit. and Hist.," vol. I., pp. 181-184.)

3. The Church of England

WE must not indulge our imagination in the view we take of the National Establishment. If, indeed, we dress it up in an ideal form, as if it were something real, with an independent and a continuous existence, and a proper history, as if it were in deed and not only in name a {255} Church, then indeed we may feel interest in it, and reverence towards it, and affection for it, as men have fallen in love with pictures, or knights in romance do battle for high dames whom they have never seen. Thus it is that students of the Fathers, antiquaries, and poets, begin by assuming that the body to which they belong is that of which they read in times past, and then proceed to decorate it with that majesty and beauty of which history tells, or which their genius creates. Nor is it by an easy process or a light effort that their minds are disabused of this error. It is an error for many reasons too dear to them to be readily relinquished. But at length, either the force of circumstances or some unexpected accident dissipates it; and, as in fairy tales, the magic castle vanishes when the spell is broken, and nothing is seen but the wild heath, the barren rock, and the forlorn sheep-walk, so is it with us as regards the Church of England, when we look in amazement on that we thought so unearthly, and find so commonplace or worthless. Then we perceive, that aforetime we have not been guided by reason, but biassed by education and swayed by affection. We see in the English Church, I will not merely say no descent from the first ages, and no relationship to the Church in other lands, but we see no body politic of any kind; we see nothing more or less than an Establishment, a department of Government, or a function or operation of the State,—without a substance,—a mere collection of officials, depending on and living in the supreme civil power. Its unity and personality are gone, and with them its power of exciting feelings of any kind. It is easier to love or hate an abstraction, than so commonplace a framework or mechanism. We regard it neither with anger, nor with aversion, nor with contempt, any more than with respect or interest. It is but one aspect of the State, or mode of civil governance; {256} it is responsible for nothing; it can appropriate neither praise nor blame; but, whatever feeling it raises is to be referred on, by the nature of the case, to the Supreme Power whom it represents, and whose will is its breath. And hence it has no real identity of existence in distinct periods, unless the present Legislature or the present Court can affect to be the offspring and disciple of its predecessor. Nor can it in consequence be said to have any antecedents, or any future; or to live, except in the passing moment. As a thing without a soul, it does not contemplate itself, define its intrinsic constitution, or ascertain its position. It has no traditions; it cannot be said to think; it does not know what it holds, and what it does not [Note 2]; it is not even conscious of its own existence. It has no love for its members, or what are sometimes called its children, nor any instinct whatever, unless attachment to its master, or love of its place, may be so called. Its fruits, as far as they are good, are to be made much of, as long as they last, for they are transient, and without succession; its former champions of orthodoxy are no earnest of orthodoxy now; they died, and there was no reason why they should be reproduced. Bishop is not like bishop, more than king is like king, or ministry like ministry; its Prayer-Book is {257} an Act of Parliament of two centuries ago, and its cathedrals and its chapter-houses are the spoils of Catholicism.

I have said all this, my brethren, not in declamation, but to bring out clearly why I cannot feel interest of any kind in the National Church, nor put any trust in it at all from its past history, as if it were, in however narrow a sense, a guardian of orthodoxy. It is as little bound by what it said or did formerly, as this morning's newspaper by its former numbers, except as it is bound by the Law; and while it is upheld by the Law, it will not be weakened by the subtraction of individuals, nor fortified by their continuance. Its life is an Act of Parliament. It will not be able to resist the Arian, Sabellian, or Unitarian heresies now, because Bull or Waterland resisted them a century or two before; nor, on the other hand, would it be unable to resist them, though its more orthodox theologians were presently to leave it. It will be able to resist them while the State gives the word; it would be unable, when the State forbids it. Elizabeth boasted that she "tuned her pulpits;" Charles forbade discussions on predestination; George on the Holy Trinity; Victoria allows differences on Holy Baptism [Note 3]. While the nation wishes an Establishment, it will remain, whatever individuals are for it or against it; and that which determines its existence will determine its voice. Of course the presence or departure of individuals will be one out of various disturbing causes, which may delay or accelerate by a certain number of years a change in its teaching: but, after all, the change {258} itself depends on events broader and deeper than these; it depends on changes in the nation. As the nation changes its political, so may it change its religious views; the causes which carried the Reform Bill and Free Trade may make short work with orthodoxy. ("Anglican Difficulties," p. 4.)

4. Anglican Orders

AS to the Anglican Orders, I certainly do think them doubtful and untrustworthy, and that independent of any question arising out of Parker's consecration, into which I will not enter. Granting for argument's sake, that that consecration was in all respects what its defenders say it was, still I feel a large difficulty in accepting the Anglican Succession and Commission of Ministry, arising out of the historical aspect of the Anglican Church and of its prelates, an aspect which suggests a grave suspicion of the validity of their acts from first to last. I had occasion to make some remarks on this subject several years ago [Note 4]; but I left them unfinished, as feeling that I was distressing, without convincing, men whom I love and respect, by impugning an article of their belief, which to them is sacred, in proportion as it is vital. Now, however, when time has passed, and I am opposing not them but my former self, I may be allowed, pace charissimorum virorum, to explain myself, and leave my explanation on record, as regards some points to which exception was then taken. And, in so {259} doing, I do but profess to be setting down a view of the subject which is very clear to my own mind, and which, as I think, ought to be clear to them; but of course I am not laying down the law on a point on which the Church has not directly and distinctly spoken, nor implying that I am not open to arguments on the other side, if such are forthcoming, which I do not anticipate.

First of all, I will attempt to set right what I thought I had set right at the time. A misstatement was made some time ago in Notes and Queries, to the effect that I had expressed "doubts about Machyn's Diary." In spite of my immediate denial of it in that publication, it has been repeated in a recent learned work on Anglican Orders. Let me then again declare that I know nothing whatever about Machyn, and that I have never mentioned his name in anything I have ever written, and that I have no doubts whatever, because I have no opinion whatever, favourable or unfavourable, about him or his Diary. Indeed, it is plain that, since, in the letter in which I was supposed to have spoken on the subject, I had dismissed altogether what is called the "antiquarian" question concerning the consecrations of 1559, as one which I felt to be dreary and interminable, I should have been simply inconsistent, had I introduced Machyn or his Diary into it, and should, in point of logic, have muddled my argument.

That argument, which I maintain now as then, is as follows:—That the consecrations of 1559 were not only facts, they were acts; that those acts were not done and over once for all, but were only the first of a series of acts done in a long course of years; that these acts too, all of them, were done by men of certain positive opinions and intentions, and none of those opinions and views, from first to last, of a Catholic complexion, but, on the contrary, erroneous and heretical. And I questioned whether men {260} of those opinions could by means of a mere rite or formulary, however correct in itself, start and continue in a religious communion, such as the Anglican, a ministerial succession which could be depended upon as inviolate. I do not see what guarantee is producible for the faithful observance of a sacred rite, in form, matter, and intention, through so long a period, in the hands of such administrators. And again, the existing state of the Anglican body, so ignorant of fundamental truth, so overrun with diversified error, would be but a sorry outcome of Apostolical ordinances and graces. "By their fruits shall ye know them." Revelation involves in its very idea a teaching and a hearing of Divine Truth. What clear and steady light of truth is there in the Church of England? What candlestick, upright and firm, on which it has been set? This seems to me what Leslie calls "a short and easy method;" it is drawn out from one of the Notes of the Church. When we look at the Anglican communion, not in the books, in the imagination, or in the affections of its champions, but as it is in fact, its claims to speak in Christ's Name are refuted by its very condition. An Apostolical ministry necessarily involves an Apostolical teaching.

This practical argument was met at the time by two objections: first, that it was far-fetched, and next, that in a Catholic, it was suicidal. I do not see that it is either, and I proceed to say why:—

1. As to its being far-fetched or unreasonable; if so, it is strange that it should have lately approved itself to a writer placed in very different circumstances, who has used it, not indeed against Anglican Orders, for he firmly upholds them, but against Swedish;—I mean, Dr. Littledale. This learned and zealous man, in his late lecture at Oxford, decides that a certain uncatholic act, which he specifies, of the Swedish Ecclesiastical Establishment, done {261} at a particular time and place, has so bad a look as to suffice, independent of all investigation into documents of past history, at once to unchurch it,—which is to go much further in the use of my argument than I should think it right to go myself. "Sweden," he says, "professes to have retained an Apostolical Succession; I am satisfied from historical evidence that she has nothing of the kind; but the late chaplain to the Swedish embassy in London has been good enough to supply me with an important disproof of his own orders. During a long illness, from which he was suffering some time ago, he entrusted the entire charge of his flock to a Danish pastor, until such time as his own successor was at length sent from Sweden. His official position must have made the sanction of the authorities, both in Church and State, necessary for a delegation of his duties, so that the act cannot be classed with that of an obscure Yorkshire incumbent, the other day, who invited an Anabaptist minister to fill his pulpit. And thus we gather that the quasi-Episcopal Church of Sweden treats Presbyterian ministers on terms of perfect equality."

Here then a writer, whose bias is towards the Church of England, distinctly lays down the principle, that a lax ecclesiastical practice, ascertained by even one formal instance, apart from documentary evidence, or ritual observance, is sufficient in itself to constitute it an important disproof of the claim advanced by a nation to the possession of an Apostolical Succession in its clergy. I speak here only of the principle involved in Dr. Littledale's argument, which is the same as my own principle, though, for myself, I do not say more than that Anglican ordinations are doubtful, whereas he considers the Swedish to be simply null. Nor again should I venture to assert that one instance of irregularity, such as that which he adduces, is {262} sufficient to carry on me or (much less) him to our respective conclusions. To what indeed does his "disproof" of Swedish orders come but to this: that the Swedish authorities think that Presbyterianism, as a religion, has in its doctrines and ordinances what is called "the root of the matter," and that the Episcopal form is nothing more than what I have [elsewhere [Note 5]] called "the extra twopence"? Do the highest living authorities in the Anglican Church, Queen or Archbishop, think very differently from this? Would they not, if they dared, do just what the late Swedish chaplain did, and think it a large wisdom and a true charity to do so?

So much on the reasonableness of my argument. I conceive there is nothing evasive in refusing to decide the question of Orders by the mere letter of an Ordination Service, to the neglect of more elementary and broader questions; nothing far-fetched in taking into account the opinions and practices of its successive administrators, unless Anglicans may act towards the Swedes as Catholics may not act towards Anglicans. Such is the common sense of the matter; and that it is the Catholic sense, too, a few words will show.

It will be made clear in three propositions:—First, the Anglican Bishops for three centuries have lived and died in heresy (I am not questioning their good faith and invincible ignorance, which is an irrelevant point); next, it is far from certain, it is at the utmost only probable, that Orders conferred by heretics are valid; lastly, in conferring the sacraments, the safer side, not merely the more probable, must ever be taken. And, as to the proof of {263} these three points:—as regards the first of them, I ask, how many Anglican Bishops have believed in transubstantiation, or in the necessity of sacramental penance? yet to deny these dogmas is to be a heretic. Secondly, as to Orders conferred by heretics, there is, I grant, a strong case for their validity, but then there is also a strong case against it (vid. "Bingham, Antiq." iv. 7); so that at most, heretical ordination is not certainly, but only probably valid. As to the third point, viz., that in conferring Sacraments, not merely the more probable, but the safer side must be taken, and that they must practically be considered invalid, when they are not certainly valid, this is the ordinary doctrine of the Church. "Opinio probabilis," says St. Alfonso Liguori, "est illa, quæ gravi aliquo ininititur fundamento, apto ad hominis prudentis assensum inclinandum. In Sacramentorum collatione, non potest minister uti opinione probabili, aut probabiliori, de Sacramenti valore; sed tutiores sequendæ sunt, aut moraliter certæ." [Note 6] Pope Benedict XIV. supplies us with an illustration of this principle, even as regards a detail of the rite itself. In his time an answer was given from Rome, in the case of a candidate for the priesthood, who in the course of his ordination had received the imposition of hands, but accidentally neglected to receive from the Bishop the Paten and Chalice. It was to the effect that {264} he was bound to be ordained over again sub conditione [Note 7].

What Anglican candidate for the priesthood has ever touched physically or even morally Paten or Chalice in his ordination, from Archbishop Parker to Archbishop Tait? In truth, the Catholic rite, whether it differs from itself or not in different ages, still in every age, age after age, is itself, and nothing but itself. It is a concrete whole, one and indivisible, and acts per modum unius; and, having been established by the Church, and being in possession, it cannot be cut up into bits, be docked and twisted, or split into essentials and non-essentials, genus and species, matter and form, at the heretical will of a Cranmer, or a Ridley, or turned into a fancy ordinal by a royal commission of divines, without a sacrilege perilous to its vitality. Though the delivery of the sacred vessels was not primitive, it was part of the existing rite, three centuries ago, {265} as it is now, and could not, and cannot be omitted, without prejudice to the ecclesiastical status of those who are ordained without it.

Whether indeed, as time goes on, the Pope, in the plenitude of his power, could, with the aid of his theologians, obtain that clearer light, which the Church has not at present, on the whole question of ordination, for which St. Leo IX. so earnestly prayed, and thereby determine what at present is enveloped in such doubtfulness, viz., the validity of heretical ordinations, and, what is still more improbable than the abstract proposition, the validity of Anglican Orders in particular, is a subject on which I do not enter. As the matter stands, all we see is a hierarchical body, whose opinions through three hundred years compromise their acts, who do not themselves believe that they have the gifts which their zealous adherents ascribe to them, who in their hearts deny those sacramental formulas which their country's law obliges them to use, who conscientiously shudder at assuming real episcopal or sacerdotal power, who resolve "Receive the Holy Ghost" into a prayer, "Whose sins ye remit are remitted" into a license to preach, and "This is My Body, this is My Blood" into an allegory.

And then, supposing if ever these great difficulties were overcome, after all would follow the cardinal question, which Benedict XIV. opens, as I have shown, about the sufficiency of their rite itself.

Anyhow, as things now stand, it is clear no Anglican Bishop or Priest can by Catholics be recognized as such. If indeed earnestness of mind and purity of purpose could ever be a substitute for the formal conditions of a Sacrament, which Apostles have instituted and the Church maintains, certainly in that case one might imagine it to be so accepted in many an Anglican ordination. I do believe {266} that, in the case of many men, it is the one great day of their lives, which cannot come twice, the day on which, in their fresh youth, they freely dedicated themselves and all their powers to the service of their Redeemer,—solemn and joyful at the time, and ever after fragrant in their memories:—it is so; but devotion cannot reverse the past, nor can good faith its own aspirations; and it is because I feel this, and in no temper of party, that I refuse to entertain an imagination which is neither probable in fact, nor Catholic in spirit. If we do not even receive the baptism of Anglicans, how can we receive their ordinations?

2. But now, secondly, comes the question, whether the argument, used above against Anglican, may not be retorted on Catholic ordinations;—for it may be objected that, however Catholics may claim to themselves the tradition of doctrine and rite, they do not profess to be secure against bad ecclesiastics any more than Protestants; that there have been times of ignorance, violence, unscrupulousness, in the history of the Catholic Church; and that if Anglican Orders are untrustworthy, because of the chance mistakes in three hundred years, much more so are Catholic, which have run a whole eighteen hundred. In short, that I have but used against the Anglican ministry the old, notorious argument of Chillingworth and Macaulay, an argument which is of a sceptical character in them, and in a Catholic suicidal also.

Now I do not know what is meant by calling such an argument sceptical. It seems to me a very fair argument. Scepticism is the refusal to be satisfied with reasons which ought to satisfy. To be sceptical is to be unreasonable. But what is there unreasonable, what extravagant in idea, or inconsistent with experience, in recognizing the chance of important mistakes, here or there, in a given succession of acts? I do certainly think it most probable, that an {267} intricate series of ordinations through three hundred years, and much more through eighteen hundred, will have flaws in it. Who does not think so? It will have them to a certainty, and is in itself untrustworthy. By "untrustworthy in itself," I mean, humanly speaking; for if indeed there be any special protection promised to it, beyond nature, to secure it against errors and accidents, that, of course, is another matter; and the simple question is whether this or that particular Succession has such a promise, or, in other words, whether this or that Succession is or is not Apostolical. It is usual for Anglicans to say, as we say, that they have "the Apostolical Succession;" but that is begging the question; if a Succession be Apostolical, then indeed it is protected from errors; but it has to be proved Apostolical before such protection can be claimed for it; that is, we and they, both of us, must give reasons in our own case respectively for this our critical assumption of our being Apostolical. We, Catholics, do produce our reasons,—that is, we produce what are commonly called the "Notes of the Church,"—by virtue of those reasons, we consider we belong to that Apostolical Church, in which were at the beginning stored the promises; and, therefore, our Succession has the Apostolical promise of protection, and is preserved from accidents, or is Apostolic; on the other hand, Anglicans must give reasons on their part for maintaining that they too belong to the Apostolic Church, and that their Succession is Apostolic. There is, then, nothing unfair in Macaulay's argument, viewed in itself; it is fair to both of us; nor is it suicidal in the hands of a Catholic to use it against Anglicans, if, at the same time, he gives reasons why it cannot be used against himself. Let us look, then, at the objection more closely.

Lord Macaulay's remarks on the "Apostolic Succession," {268} as contained in one of his reviews, written with the force and brilliancy for which he is so well known, are far too extended to admit of insertion here; but I will quote a few words of his argument from its beginning and ending. He begins by laying down, first, that whether an Anglican clergyman "be a priest by succession from the Apostles depends on the question, whether, during that long period, some thousands of events took place, any one of which may, without any gross impropriety, be supposed not to have taken place;" and next, "that there is not a tittle of evidence for any one of those events." Then after various vivid illustrations of his argument, he ends by a reference to Chillingworth's "very remarkable words," as he calls them. "That of ten thousand requisites, whereof any one may fail, not one should be wanting, this to me is extremely improbable, and even cousin-german to impossible."

I cannot deny, certainly, that Catholics, as well as the High Anglican school, do believe in the Apostolic Succession of ministry, continued through eighteen hundred years; nor that they both believe it to be necessary to an Apostolic ministry; nor that they act upon their belief. But, as I have said, though so far the two parties agree, still they differ materially in their respective positions relatively towards that Succession, and differ, in consequence, in their exposure respectively to the force of the objection on which I have been dwelling. The difference of position between the two may be expressed in the following antithesis:—Catholics believe their Orders are valid, because they are members of the true Church; and Anglicans believe they belong to the true Church, because their Orders are valid. And this is why Macaulay's objection tells against Anglicans, and does not tell against Catholics.

In other words, our Apostolical descent is to us a theological inference, and not primarily a doctrine of faith; {269} theirs, necessarily is a first principle in controversy, and a patent matter of fact, the credentials of their mission. That they can claim to have God's ministers among them, depends directly and solely upon the validity of their Orders; and to prove their validity, they are bound to trace their Succession through a hundred intermediate steps, till at length they reach the Apostles; till they do this, their claim is in abeyance. If it is improbable that the Succession has no flaws in it, they have to bear the brunt of the improbability; if it is presumable that a special Providence precludes such flaws, or compensates for them, they cannot take the benefit of that presumption to themselves; for to do so would be claiming to belong to the true Church, to which that high Providence is promised, and this they cannot do without arguing in a circle, first proving that they are of the true Church because they have valid Orders, and then that their Orders are valid because they are of the true Church.

Thus the Apostolical Succession is to Anglican divines a sine quâ non, not "necessitate præcepti," sed "necessitate medii." Their Succession is indispensable to their position, as being the point from which they start, and therefore it must be unimpeachable, or else they do not belong to the Church; and to prove it is unimpeachable by introducing the special Providence of God over His Church, would be like proving the authority of Scripture by those miracles of which Scripture alone is the record. It must be unimpeachable before, and without taking that special Providence into account, and this, I have said above, it cannot be. We, on our side, on the contrary, are not in such a dilemma as this. Our starting-point is not the fact of a faithful transmission of Orders, but the standing fact of the Church, the Visible and One Church, the reproduction and succession of herself, age after age. It {270} is the Church herself that vouches for our Orders, while she authenticates herself to be the Church not by our Orders, but by her Notes. It is the great Note of an ever-enduring cœtus fidelium, with a fixed organization, a unity of jurisdiction, a political greatness, a continuity of existence in all places and times, a suitableness to all classes, ranks, and callings, an ever-energizing life, an untiring, ever-evolving history, which is her evidence that she is the creation of God, and the representative and home of Christianity. She is not based upon her Orders; she is not the subject of her instruments; they are not necessary for her idea. We could even afford, for argument's sake, to concede to Lord Macaulay the uncertainty of our Succession. If Providence had so willed, she might have had her ministers without any lineal descent from the Apostles at all. Her mere nomination might have superseded any rite of Ordination; there might have been no indelible character in her ministers; she might have commissioned them, used them, and recalled them at her pleasure. She might have been like a civil state, in which there is a continuation of office, but not a propagation of official life. The occupant of the See of St. Peter, himself made such by mere election, might have made bishops and unmade them. Her Divine Founder has chosen a better way, better because He has chosen it. Transmission of ministerial power ever has been, and ever shall be; and He who has so ordained, will carry out His ordinance, preserve it from infraction, or make good any damage to it, because it is His ordinance; but still that ordinance is not simply of the essence of the Church; it is not more than an inseparable accident and a necessary instrument. Nor is the Apostolic descent of her priests the direct warrant of their power in the eyes of the faithful. Their warrant is her immediate, present, {271} living authority; it is the word of the Church which marks them out as the ministers of God, not any historical or antiquarian research, or genealogical table; and while she is most cautious and jealous that they should be ordained aright, yet it is sufficient in proof of their ordination that they belong to her.

Thus it would appear that to Catholics the certainty of Apostolical Orders is not a point of prime necessity, yet they possess it; and for Anglicans it is absolutely indispensable, yet they have it not.

On such grounds as these it is, that I consider the line of argument which I have adopted against Anglican Orders, is neither open to the charge of scepticism, nor suicidal in the hands of a Catholic. ("Essays Crit. and Hist.," vol. II., p. 76.)

5. Anglican Ordinances


YOU tell me, my [Anglican] brethren, that you have the clear evidence of the influences of grace in your hearts, by its effects sensible at the moment or permanent in the event. You tell me, that you have been converted from sin to holiness, or that you have received great support and comfort under trial, or that you have been carried over very special temptations, though you have not submitted yourselves to the Catholic Church. More than this, you tell me of the peace, and joy, and strength which you have experienced in your own ordinances. You tell me, that {272} when you began to go weekly to communion, you found yourselves wonderfully advanced in purity. You tell me that you went to confession, and you never will believe that the hand of God was not over you at the moment when you received absolution. You were ordained, and a fragrance breathed around you; you hung over the dead, and you all but saw the happy spirit of the departed. This is what you say, and the like of this; and I am not the person, my dear brethren, to quarrel with the truth of what you say. I am not the person to be jealous of such facts, nor to wish you to contradict your own memory and your own nature; nor am I so ungrateful to God's former mercies to myself, to have the heart to deny them in you. As to miracles, indeed, if such you mean, that of course is a matter which might lead to dispute; but if you merely mean to say that the supernatural grace of God, as shown either at the time or by consequent fruits, has overshadowed you at certain times, has been with you when you were taking part in the Anglican ordinances, I have no wish, and a Catholic has no anxiety, to deny it.

Why should I deny to your memory what is so pleasant in mine? Cannot I, too, look back on many years past, and many events, in which I myself experienced what is now your confidence? Can I forget the happy life I have led all my days, with no cares, no anxieties worth remembering; without desolateness, or fever of thought, or gloom of mind, or doubt of God's love to me, and providence over me? Can I forget,—I never can forget,—the day when, in my youth, I first bound myself to the ministry of God in that old church of St. Frideswide, the patroness of Oxford? nor how I wept most abundant, and most sweet tears, when I thought what I then had become; though I looked on ordination as no sacramental rite, nor even to baptism ascribed any supernatural virtue? Can I {273} wipe out from my memory, or wish to wipe out, those happy Sunday mornings, light or dark, year after year, when I celebrated your communion-rite, in my own church of St. Mary's; and in the pleasantness and joy of it heard nothing of the strife of tongues which surrounded its walls? When, too, shall I not feel the soothing recollection of those dear years which I spent in retirement, in preparation for my deliverance from Egypt, asking for light, and by degrees gaining it, with less of temptation in my heart, and sin on my conscience, than ever before? O my dear brethren, my Anglican friends! I easily give you credit for what I have experienced myself. Provided you be in good faith, if you are not trifling with your conscience, if you are resolved to follow whithersoever God shall lead, if the ray of conviction has not fallen on you, and you have shut your eyes to it; then, anxious as I am about you for the future, and dread as I may till you are converted, that perhaps, when conviction comes, it will come in vain; yet still, looking back at the past years of my own life, I recognise what you say, and bear witness to its truth. Yet what has this to do with the matter in hand? I admit your fact; do you admit, in turn, my explanation of it. It is the explanation ready provided by the Catholic Church, provided in her general teaching, quite independently of your particular case, not made for the occasion, only applied when it has arisen;—listen to it, and see whether you admit it or not as true, if it be not sufficiently probable, or possible if you will, to invalidate the argument on which you so confidently rely. {274}


SURELY you ought to know the Catholic teaching on the subject of grace, in its bearing on your argument, without my insisting on it:—Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum. Grace is given for the merits of Christ all over the earth; there is no corner, even of Paganism, where it is not present, present in each heart of man in real sufficiency for his ultimate salvation. Not that the grace presented to each is such as at once to bring him to heaven; but it is sufficient for a beginning. It is sufficient to enable him to plead for other grace; and that second grace is such as to impetrate a third grace; and thus the soul may be led from grace to grace, and from strength to strength, till at length it is, so to say, in very sight of heaven, if the gift of perseverance does but complete the work. Now here observe, it is not certain that a soul which has the first grace will have the second; for the grant of the second at least depends on its use of the first. Again, it may have the first and second, and yet not the third; from the first on to the nineteenth, and not the twentieth. We mount up by steps towards God, and alas! it is possible that a soul may be courageous and bear up for nineteen steps, and stop and faint at the twentieth. Nay, further than this, it is possible to conceive a soul going forward till it arrives at the very grace of contrition—a contrition so loving, so sin-renouncing, as to bring it at once into a state of reconciliation, and clothe it in the vestment of justice; and yet it may yield to the further trials which beset it, and fall away.

Now all this may take place even outside the Church; and consider what at once follows from it. This follows, {275} in the first place, that men there may be, not Catholics, yet really obeying God and rewarded by Him—nay, I might say (at least by way of argument), in His favour, with their sins forgiven, and in the enjoyment of a secret union with that heavenly kingdom to which they do not visibly belong—who are, through their subsequent failure, never to reach it. There may be those who are increasing in grace and knowledge, and approaching nearer to the Catholic Church every year, who are not in the Church, and never will be. The highest gifts and graces are compatible with ultimate reprobation. As regards, then, the evidence of sanctity in members of the National Establishment, on which you insist, Catholics are not called on to deny them. We think such instances are few, nor so eminent as you are accustomed to fancy; but we do not wish to deny, nor have any difficulty in admitting, such facts as you have to adduce, whatever they be. We do not think it necessary to carp at every instance of supernatural excellence among Protestants when it comes before us, or to explain it away; all we know is, that the grace given them is intended ultimately to bring them into the Church, and if it is not tending to do so, it will not ultimately profit them; but we as little deny its presence in their souls as they do themselves; and as the fact is no perplexity to us, it is no triumph to them.

And, secondly, in like manner, whatever be the comfort or the strength attendant upon the use of the national ordinances of religion, in the case of this or that person, a Catholic may admit it without scruple, for it is no evidence to him in behalf of those ordinances themselves. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church from time immemorial, and independently of the present controversy, that grace is given in a sacred ordinance in two ways, viz. to use the scholastic distinction, ex opere operantis, and ex opere operato. {276} Grace is given ex opere operato, when, the proper dispositions being supposed in the recipient, it is given through the ordinance itself; it is given ex opere operantis, when, whether there be outward sign or no, the inward energetic act of the recipient is the instrument of it. Thus Protestants say that justification, for instance, is gained by faith as by an instrument—ex opere operantis; thus Catholics also commonly believe that the benefit arising from the use of holy water accrues, not ex opere operato, or by means of the element itself, but ex opere operantis, through the devout mental act of the person using it, and the prayers of the Church. So again, the Sacrifice of the Mass benefits the person for whom it is offered ex opere operato, whatever be the character of the celebrating Priest; but it benefits him more or less, ex opere operantis, according to the degree of sanctity which the Priest has attained, and the earnestness with which he offers it. Again, baptism, whether administered by man or woman, saint or sinner, heretic or Catholic, regenerates an infant ex opere operato; on the other hand, in the case of the baptism of blood, as it was anciently called (that is, the martyrdom of unbaptized persons desiring the Sacrament, but unable to obtain it), a discussion has arisen, whether the martyr was justified ex opere operato or ex opere operantis—that is, whether by the physical act of his dying for the faith, considered in itself, or by the mental act of supreme devotion to God, which caused and attended it. So again, contrition of a certain kind is sufficient as a disposition or condition, or what is called matter, for receiving absolution in Penance ex opere operato, or by virtue of the sacrament; but it may be heightened and purified into so intense an act of divine love, of hatred and sorrow for sin, and of renunciation of it, as to cleanse and justify the soul, without the sacrament at all, or ex opere operantis. It is {277} plain from this distinction, that, if we would determine whether the Anglican ordinances are attended by divine grace, we must first determine whether the effects which accompany them arise ex opere operantis or ex opere operato—whether out of the religious acts, the prayers, aspirations, resolves of the recipient, or by the direct power of the ceremonial act itself,—a nice and difficult question, not to be decided by means of those effects themselves, whatever they be.

Let me grant to you, then, that the reception of your ordinances brings peace and joy to the soul; that it permanently influences or changes the character of the recipient. Let me grant, on the other hand, that their profanation, when men have been taught to believe in them, and in profaning are guilty of contempt of that God to whom they ascribe them, is attended by judgments; this properly shows nothing more than that, by a general law, lying, deceit, presumption, or hypocrisy are punished, and prayer, faith, contrition rewarded. There is nothing to show that the effects would not have been precisely the same on condition of the same inward dispositions, though another ordinance, a love-feast or a washing of the feet, with no pretence to the name of a Sacrament, had been in good faith adopted. And it is obvious to any one that, for a member of the Establishment to bring himself to confession, especially some years back, required dispositions of a very special character, a special contrition, and a special desire of the Sacrament, which, as far as we may judge by outward signs, were a special effect of grace, and would fittingly receive from God's bounty a special reward, some further and higher grace, and even, at least I am not bound to deny it, remission of sins. And again, when a member of the Establishment, surrounded by those who scoffed at the {278} doctrine, accepted God's word that He would make Bread His Body, and honoured Him by the fact that he accepted it, is it wonderful, is it not suitable to God's mercy, if He rewards such a special faith with a quasi sacramental grace, though the worshipper unintentionally offered to a material substance that adoration which he intended to pay to the present, but invisible, Lamb of God?


BUT this is not all, my dear brethren; I must allow to others what I allow to you. If I let you plead the sensible effects of supernatural grace, as exemplified in yourselves, in proof that your religion is true, I must allow the plea to others to whom by your theory you are bound to deny it. Are you willing to place yourselves on the same footing with Wesleyans? yet what is the difference? or rather, have they not more remarkable phenomena in their history, symptomatic of the presence of grace among them, than you can show in yours? Which, then, is the right explanation of your feelings and your experience,—mine, which I have extracted from received Catholic teaching; or yours, which is an expedient for the occasion, and cannot be made to tell for your own Apostolical authority without telling for those who are rebels against it? Survey the rise of Methodism, and say candidly, whether those who made light of your ordinances, abandoned them, or at least disbelieved their virtue, have not had among them evidences of that very same grace which you claim for yourselves, and which you consider a proof of your acceptance with God. Really I am obliged in {279} candour to allow, whatever part the evil spirit had in the work, whatever gross admixture of earth polluted it, whatever extravagance there was to excite ridicule or disgust, whether it was Christian virtue or the excellence of unaided man, whatever was the spiritual state of the subjects of it, whatever their end and their final account, yet there were higher and nobler vestiges or semblances of grace and truth in Methodism than there have been among you. I give you credit for what you are, grave, serious, earnest, modest, steady, self-denying, consistent; you have the praise of such virtues; and you have a clear perception of many of the truths, or of portions of the truths, of Revelation. In these points you surpass the Wesleyans; but if I wished to find what was striking, extraordinary, suggestive of Catholic heroism—of St. Martin, St. Francis, or St. Ignatius—I should betake myself far sooner to them than to you ... The Established Church may have preserved in the country the idea of sacramental grace, and the [High Church] movement ... may have spread it; but if you wish to find the shadow and the suggestion of the supernatural qualities which make up the notion of a Catholic Saint, to Wesley you must go, and such as him. Personally I do not like him, if it were merely for his deep self-reliance and self-conceit; still I am bound, in justice to him, to ask, and you, in consistency, to answer, what historical personage in the Establishment, during its whole three centuries, has approximated in force and splendour of conduct and achievements to one who began by innovating on your rules, and ended by contemning your authorities? He and his companions, starting amid ridicule at Oxford, with fasting and praying in the cold night air, then going about preaching, reviled by the rich and educated, and pelted and dragged to prison by the populace, and converting their thousands from sin to God's {280} service—were it not for their pride and eccentricity, their fanatical doctrine and untranquil devotion, they would startle us, as if the times of St. Vincent Ferrer or St. Francis Xavier were come again in a Protestant land.

Or, to turn to other communions, whom have you with those capabilities of greatness in them, which show themselves in the benevolent zeal of Howard the philanthropist, or Elizabeth Fry? Or consider the almost miraculous conversion and subsequent life of Colonel Gardiner. Why, even old Bunyan, with his vivid dreams when a child, his conversion, his conflicts with Satan, his preachings and imprisonments, however inferior to you in discipline of mind and knowledge of the truth, is, in the outline of his history, more Apostolical than you. "Weep not for me," were his last words, as if he had been a Saint, "but for yourselves. I go to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who doubtless, through the mediation of His Son, will receive me, though a sinner, when we shall erelong meet, to sing the new song and be happy for ever!" Consider the deathbeds of the thousands of those, in and out of the Establishment, who, with scarcely one ecclesiastical sentiment in common with you, die in confidence of the truth of their doctrine, and of their personal safety. Does the peace of their deaths testify to the divinity of their creed or of their communion? Does the extreme earnestness and reality of religious feeling, exhibited in the sudden seizure and death of one who was as stern in his hatred of your opinions as admirable in his earnestness, who one evening protested against the sacramental principle, and next morning died nobly with the words of Holy Scripture in his mouth—does it give any sanction to that hatred and that protest [Note 8]? And there is another, a Calvinist, {281} one of whose special and continual prayers in his last illness was for perseverance in grace, who cried, "O Lord, abhor me not, though I be abhorrible, and abhor myself!" and who, five minutes before his death, by the expression of his countenance, changing from prayer to admiration and calm peace, impressed upon the bystanders that the veil had been removed from his eyes, and that, like Stephen, he saw things invisible to sense—did he, by the circumstances of his death-bed, bear evidence to the truth of what you, as well as I, hold to be an odious heresy [Note 9]? "Mr. Harvey resigned his meek soul into the hands of his Redeemer, saying, 'Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant  depart in peace.'" "Mr. Walker, before he expired, spoke nearly these words: 'I have been on the wings of the cherubim; heaven has in a manner been opened to me; I shall be there soon.'" "Mr. Whitfield rose at four o'clock on the Sabbath day, went to his closet, and was unusually long in private; laid himself on his bed for about ten minutes, then went on his knees and prayed most fervently he might that day finish his Master's work." Then he sent for a clergyman, "and before he could reach him, closed his eyes on this world without a sigh or groan, and commenced a Sabbath of everlasting rest." [Note 10] Alas! there was another, who for three months "lingered," as he said, "in the face of death." "O my God," he cried, "I know Thou dost not overlook any of Thy creatures. Thou dost not overlook me. So much torture ... to kill a worm! Have mercy on me! I cry to Thee, knowing I cannot alter Thy ways. I cannot if I would, and I would not if I could. If a word would remove these sufferings, I would not utter it." "Just life enough to suffer," he continued; {282} "but I submit, and not only submit, but rejoice." One morning he woke up, "and with firm voice and great sobriety of manner, spoke only these words: 'Now I die!' He sat as one in the attitude of expectation, and, about two hours afterwards, it was as he had said." And he was a professed infidel, and worse than an infidel—an apostate priest!


No, my dear brethren, these things are beyond us. Nature can do so much, and go so far; can form such rational notions of God and of duty, without grace or merit, or a future hope; good sense has such an instinctive apprehension of what is fitting; intellect, imagination, and feeling can so take up, develop, and illuminate what nature has originated; education and intercourse with others can so insinuate into the mind what really does not belong to it; grace, not effectual, but inchoate, can so plead, and its pleadings look so like its fruits; and its mere visitations may so easily be mistaken for its indwelling presence, and its vestiges, when it has departed, may gleam so beautifully on the dead soul, that it is quite impossible for us to conclude, with any fairness of argument, that a certain opinion is true, or a religious position safe, simply on account of the confidence or apparent excellence of those who adopt it. Of course we think as tenderly of them as we can, and may fairly hope that what we see is, in particular instances, the work of grace, wrought in those who are not responsible for their ignorance [Note 11]; but the claim in their behalf is unreasonable and {283} exorbitant, if it is to the effect that their state of mind is to be taken in evidence, not only of promise in the individual, but of truth in his creed.

And should this view of the subject unsettle and depress you, as if it left you no means at all of ascertaining whether God loves you, or whether anything is true, or anything to be trusted, then let this feeling answer the purpose for which I have impressed it on you. I wish to deprive you of your undue confidence in self; I wish to dislodge you from that centre in which you sit so self-possessed and self-satisfied. Your fault has been to be satisfied with but a half evidence of your safety; you have been too well contented with remaining where you found yourselves, not to catch at a line of argument, so indulgent, yet so plausible. You have thought that position impregnable, and growing confident, as time went on, you have not only said it was a sin to ascribe your good thoughts, and purposes, and aspirations, to any but God (which you were right in saying), but you have presumed to pronounce it blasphemy against the Holy Ghost to doubt that they came into your hearts by means of your Church and by virtue of its ordinances. Learn, my dear brethren, a more sober, a more cautious tone of thought. Learn to fear for your souls. It is something, indeed, to be peaceful within, but it is not everything. It may be the stillness of death. The Catholic, and he alone, has within him that union of external with internal notes of God's favour, which sheds the light of conviction over his soul, and makes him both fearless in his faith, and calm and thankful in his hope. ("Anglican Difficulties," p. 70.) {284}

6. The High Church Party

CONFIDENT, indeed, and with reason, of the truth of its great principles, having a perception and certainty of its main tenets, which is like the evidence of sense compared with the feeble, flitting, and unreal views of doctrine held by the Evangelical body, still, as to their application, their adaptation, their combination, their development, [the High Church party] has been miserably conscious that it has had nothing to guide it but its own private and unaided judgment. Dreading its own interpretation of Scripture and the Fathers, feeling its need of an infallible guide, yet having none; looking up to its own Mother, as it called her, and finding her silent, ambiguous, unsympathetic, sullen, and even hostile to it; with ritual mutilated, sacraments defective, precedents inconsistent, articles equivocal, canons obsolete, courts Protestant, and synods suspended; scouted by the laity, scorned by men of the world, hated and blackened by its opponents; and moreover at variance with itself, hardly two of its members taking up the same position—nay, all of them, one by one, shifting their own ground as time went on, and obliged to confess that they were in progress; is it wonderful ... that these men have exhibited "a conduct and a rule of a religious life," "full of shifts, and compromises, and evasions, a rule of life, based upon the acceptance of half one doctrine, all the next, and none of the third, upon the belief entirely of another, but not daring to say so?" After all, they have not been nearly so guilty "of shifts, and compromises, and evasions," as the national formularies themselves; but they have had none to support them, or, if I may use a familiar word, to act the bully for {285} them, under the imputation. There was no one, with confident air and loud voice, to retort upon their opponents the charges urged against them, and no public to applaud though there had been. Whether they looked above or below, behind or before, they found nothing, indeed, to shake or blunt their faith in Christ, in His establishment of a Church, in its visibility, continuance, catholicity, and gifts, and in the necessity of belonging to it: they despised the hollowness of their opponents, the inconsequence of their arguments, the shallowness of their views, their disrelish of principle, and their carelessness about truth; but their heart sunk within them, under the impossibility, on the one hand, of their carrying out their faith into practice, there, where they found themselves, and of realizing their ideas in fact,—and the duty, on the other, as they were taught it, of making the best of the circumstances in which they were placed. Such were they; I trust they are so still: I will not allow myself to fancy that secret doubts on the one hand, that self-will, disregard of authority, an unmanly, disingenuous bearing, and the spirit of party on the other, have deformed a body of persons whom once I loved, revered, and sympathized with. I speak of those many persons whom I admired; who, like the hero in the epic, did not want courage, but encouragement; who looked out in vain for the approbation of authority; who felt their own power, but shrank from the omen of evil, the hateful raven, which flapped its wings over them; who seemed to say with the poet—

——Non me tua fervida terrent
Dicta, ferox; Dii me terrent, et Jupiter hostis.

But their very desire of realities, and their fear of deceiving themselves with dreams, was their insurmountable {286} difficulty here. They could not make the Establishment what it was not. ("Anglican Difficulties," p. 14.)


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1.  [See p. 37.]
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2. This fact is strikingly brought out in Archbishop Sumner's correspondence with Mr. Maskell. "You ask me," he says, "whether you are to conclude that you ought not to teach, and have not authority of the Church to teach, any of the doctrines spoken of in your five former questions, in the dogmatical terms there stated? To which I reply, Are they contained in the word of God? St. Paul says, 'Preach the word.' … Now, whether the doctrines concerning which you inquire are contained in the Word of God, and can be proved thereby, you have the same means of discovering as myself, and I have no special authority to declare." The Archbishop at least would quite allow what I have said in the text, even though he might express himself differently.
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3. [Since this was written, in 1850, similar "differences" have been allowed by the Supreme Court of Appeal in Ecclesiastical Causes with regard to various other important matters, such as the eternal reprobation of the finally impenitent, the inspiration of Scripture, and the Real and Adorable Presence in the Eucharist.]
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4. [See p. 66.]
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5. ["Men speak as if 'Apostolical Order' were (to use a homely illustration) like ... the 'politeness,' the charge for which in some dame's schools, used to be an extra twopence." Essays Crit. and Hist., vol. I., p. 365.]
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6. The principle of the "tutior" opinion applies also to the rule of three bishops for a consecration, about which Hallier says: "An consecratio episcopi omnino nulla, irrita, et invalida sit, vel solum illegitima, quæ à paucioribus tribus episcopis peracta fuerit: Caietanus, Bellarminus, Vasquez, et alii affirmantem partem sequuntur (nisi ecclesiæ dispensatio acciderit); negantem vero Paludanus ... Sylvester . . et alii ... Difficilis utique hæc controversia est, in quâ tamen posterior longe probabilior et fortioribus innixa mihi videtur argumentis, ... tamen prior communis est, et hocce teinpore magis recepta."—De S. Ordin. t. 2, pp. 299-308.
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7. Benedict says, Syn. Diœc. VIII., 10: "Quidam sacerdotio initiandus, etsi omnes consuetas manuum impositiones ab Episcopo accepisset, ad Episcopum tamen, solita patenæ cum hostiâ et calicis cum vino instrumenta porrigentem, ad alia tunc temporis distractus, non accessit. Re postea detectâ, quid facto opus esset, dubitatum, atque a S. Congregatione petitum est." After giving his own opinion, "Nihil esse iterandum, sed cautè supplendum, quod per errorem prætermissum," he states the decision of the Sacred Congregation, "Sacra Congregatio totam Ordinationem sub conditione iterandam rescripsit." And Scavini Theol. Mor. t. 3, p. 278, referring to the passage in Benedict, says of the "libri traditio" as well as the "manuum impositio" in the ordination of a deacon: "Probabile est libri traditionem esse de essentiâ … quare pro praxi concludimus, utramque esse adhibendam, cùm agatur de Sacramentis; et, si quidpiam ex istis fuerit omissam, sub conditione ordinationem iterandam esse." It is true that Father Perrone in 1863, on his asking as to the necessity of the "physicus tactus" (as Father Ephrem before him in 1661) received for answer as Ephrem did, that to insist on it was a scruple (Gury de Ord.); but we are here concerned, not with the mere physical "tactus," but the moral "traditio instrumentorum."
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8. Dr. Arnold.
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9. Mr. Scott, of Ashton Sandford.
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10. Sidney's Life of Hill.
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11. [See "Invincible Ignorance and Anglicanism," p. 313.]
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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