X. Catholicity of the Anglican Church

[British Critic, Jan. 1840]

{1} IN his recent work on the Apostolic Succession and the English Orders, Mr. Perceval has done us a service which was very much needed, and had never been attempted. Many living writers have treated of the Apostolical Succession as well as he; but no one but he has had the opportunity, and been at the pains, of exhibiting to the general reader the evidence of the fact of the Succession in the English Church. We are referring to the elaborate Appendix to his Volume, in which he has brought together a great number of documents and tables illustrative of some of the more important points in the history of the spiritual descent of our existing bishops and clergy from the Apostles. He begins by enumerating the chief objections which the Roman Catholics have urged against our Succession, as passing through Archbishop Parker and his colleagues, and he lays before us some chief portions of the evidence in its favour, presenting us with the records of Parker's consecration as contained in the registers at Lambeth and in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and with the offices for consecration and ordination, according to the Antenicene, Eastern, Ancient Western, Coptic, and Queen Elizabeth's Ritual. {2} Next, he has printed a list of between 400 and 500 English consecrations, from Cranmer and his consecrators, inclusive, down to the present time, containing name, see, date of consecration, and names of consecrators in the case of each bishop. After this we have the respective Episcopal descents of Parker and Pole traced back, by way of contrast, for four steps; by which it appears that the proof from existing records of the transmission of the apostolical commission to Pole, is far less complete than what is producible on the side of Parker. Mr. Perceval next traces up the Episcopal descent of the present Archbishop of Canterbury for four antecedent steps, all the consecrations being in this case known, and finds, to use his own words, that "in transmitting the apostolical commission to the present Archbishop of Canterbury there were, in the first step, four bishops concerned; in the second, twelve; in the third, twenty-seven; in the fourth, about fifty; nearly enough to fill all the English dioceses twice over; so that, not a single consecration here and there, but all the consecrations in England for successive generations, must be supposed to have failed, before the objection can be worthy of consideration, that the failure of the due consecration of any one single bishop in a line would destroy the whole theory."—P. 218.

Other tables are added; among which not the least interesting is one containing the consecrations of the non-jurors, the last bishop of whom died as lately as 1805.


We do trust and believe that the question of English Orders is now settled once for all. If, indeed, members of our Church again forget the great privilege therein involved, as they have forgotten it in no slight measure more than once, then indeed the whole controversy will {3} have to be run through again, as lately, at a miserable waste of time, labour, and peace. The world will become ignorant of the grounds on which we claim the privilege; and will require fresh discussion upon its nature, its probability, its evidence, and its place in the Anglican system. We hope better things of our Church than to anticipate such an event; and at all events the controversy is at an end for the present. And so our opponents seem to consider; for they evince a disposition to concede to us the Succession "for argument's sake;" or in other words they find that it is not safe or tenable in argument to deny it, since what they call "for argument's sake" really means "for their own sake." But though we have gained this point, it does not follow that we have driven the enemy from the field and put an end to the war. There is another important and difficult post which the Roman party have not yet surrendered, and from which we must dislodge them. Mr. Perceval does scarcely more than refer to it, nor does it properly fall in his way. That our Orders are good in themselves is indisputable; but still they may be given and continued in schism; our Church may be a true but a schismatical branch of the Catholic body, though ever so legitimately descended from the Apostles. She may at present have a bar upon her ordinances, Sacraments as well as Orders, which deprives them of grace, as a son may be really a son yet disinherited, or a man in a fainting fit or in derangement is still a man, yet unable to use his functions. This is a ground which Roman writers have very commonly taken up, and with considerable advantage. Our writers, on the other hand, have not discussed it with the exactness and fulness which it requires at the hands of those who profess to defer to the opinions of the Fathers. We are not unmindful of what our learned {4} champions have done long ago; but every age has its own character, its own mode of stating things, its own exigencies; and cannot use, or at least cannot be content with, the controversial efforts of a former time.

The objection which we have in mind, concisely stated, is this: on the one hand, that unity is the tenure of divine favour; that communion with our brethren is the means of communion with our Lord and Saviour; that the Church is not only Apostolic, but Catholic; that schism cuts off the fountains of grace; and that estrangement from the Christian world is schism; and, on the other, that in matter of fact our Church is emphatically in a state of estrangement, having intercourse with no other Christian body in any part of the world, excepting her own dependencies and offshoots. This is the point, which deserves, as we think, to be attentively considered; we make no pretences and have no hopes of doing justice to it in the pages of a Review; yet it is something to direct attention to it, and so much we propose to do in the pages which follow.


Now the first step towards duly answering the objection is to enter into it and master it; and the best way of effecting this is to put it before our minds as strongly as we can. With this view, then, we shall first of all endeavour to make a strong statement of our opponents' case, and then bring forward what means we have for overthrowing it. And perhaps we shall best begin by setting down the pleadings on the one side and the other in the form of dialogue, which shall be conducted favourably to the Church of Rome, so as to bring matters to an issue. We are promising a great deal, but, our intentions being good, we have a sort of {5} claim upon the kind feeling of all upholders of the Catholicity of the English Church.

The Roman Catholic then begins thus:—There is but One true Church, and its characteristic, both in Scripture and in the Fathers, is, that it should be in many countries, or rather all over the earth. Thus it differs from what it was during the Dispensation of the Law; then it was one in one country; under the Gospel it is one in many countries.

Anglo-Catholic.—I grant; and that it is schism to separate from it, and that schism is a state of sin.

Rom.—The flock of Christ is one, not two flocks; though in many countries, is still but one flock, as sheep moving in a body over a plain. If there be two flocks claiming to be the true flock, it cannot be both of them. If it is the one, it is not the other; if the other, it is not the one. It cannot be both the Church of Rome and the Church of England; if the English Church is true, the Roman is a pretence; and the English is a pretence, if the Roman is true.

Angl.—This does not follow: a flock of sheep that straggles is still one flock. One part may be on one side of the hedge and yet the other on the other.

Rom.—A flock of sheep may spread widely and yet be one; but they would cease to be one if they formed into parties shunning and worrying each other. It is said "a house divided against itself cannot stand;" if both you and we are the Catholic Church, the Church is falling or has even fallen.

Angl.—We do not differ from each other in all things; we agree together in fundamentals, and where you agree with us, there we do not act hostilely towards you.

Rom.—On the contrary, you, as a body, oppose and denounce us, as a body, in all possible ways; and we too {6} oppose and denounce you. Let us look at facts, and not speak by book. And you are small, we are large; therefore we, not you, are the Church.

Angl.—If we two cannot be at peace, the worse for you; for your teaching is corrupt, and ours is pure.

Rom.—No, we preach the whole gospel, and you halve it.

Angl.—Our teaching is the true, because it is the primitive; yours is not true, because it is novel.

Rom.—Our teaching is the true, for it is everywhere the same; yours has no warrant, for it is but local and private.

Angl.—We go by Antiquity; that is, by the Apostles. Ancient consent is our standard of faith.

Rom.—We go by Catholicity. Universal consent is our standard of faith.

Angl.—You are cut off from the old Fathers.

Rom.—And you are cut off from the present living Church.

Here each disputant has a strong point; our strong point is the argument from the past, that of the Romanists is the argument from the present. It is a fact, however it is to be explained, that Rome has added to the Creed; and it is a fact, however it be justified, that we are estranged from the great body of Christians over the world; and each of these facts is at first sight a grave difficulty in the respective systems to which they belong.

The difficulty in the Roman view is as great as can well be conceived. The state of the case is this:—Scripture declares that there is one faith, that it is once for all delivered to the saints, that it is a deposit and is to be jealously guarded and transmitted. It gives in various places the particular articles of this faith, corresponding pretty nearly when put together to the articles of the Apostles' Creed. This Creed we find in substance {7} in all the early churches, used at baptism as the substance of the revealed message brought to us in the Gospel, the privilege of every Christian and the foundation of the Church; and declared by the Fathers, who speak of it, in various ages and countries, to be sacred and unalterable, level to the most unlearned, sufficient for the most profound, the framework of faith, admitting indeed of development and enucleation, but ever intended to preserve the outline and the proportions with which it was originally given. Moreover, when controversies arose, such as the Arian, this rule was prominently insisted on, not only "keep to what you have been taught," but "keep to what has been ever taught, keep to the old and first paths." Further, this Creed did remain thus inviolate till the time of the Deutero-Nicene Council, A.D. 787, when, for the first time, a General Council, or what is called so, made an article of faith, in addition to not in development of, the Creed [Note 1]; and it did so under the following significant circumstances; first, this said General Council was the first of the Councils which rested the proof of its decree on grounds short of Scripture; the first that violated the doctrine of adherence to the practice or received opinion of Antiquity; the first which was held in a divided state of the Church, as the events before it and after it show; held with protests both from east and west; and enforced not without something like rebellion at first sight on the part of the Pope against the Imperial Power. Such is the history of {8} the departure itself from the primitive theory concerning the Creed; such was the first step. Now what has it issued in? in an assemblage of doctrines, which, as was observed above, whether right or wrong, have scarcely closer connection with the doctrines whether of the primitive Creed or the primitive Church than the doctrines of the Gospel have with those of the Law. In Antiquity, the main aspect in the economy of redemption comprises Christ, the Son of God, the Author and Dispenser of all grace and pardon, the Church His living representative, the sacraments her instruments, bishops her rulers, their collective decisions her voice, and Scripture her standard of truth. In the Roman schools [Note 2], we find St. Mary and the Saints the prominent objects of regard and dispensers of mercy, purgatory or else indulgences the means of obtaining it, the Pope the ruler and teacher of the Church, and miracles the warrant of doctrine. As to the doctrines of Christ's merits and eternal life and death, these are points not denied (God forbid!) but taken for granted, and passed by in order to make way for others of more present, pressing, and lively interest. That a certain change, then, in objective and external religion has come over the Latin, nay, and in a measure the Greek, Church, we consider to be a plain historical fact; a change indeed not so great as is common Protestantism, for that involves a radical change of inward temper and principle as well, as indeed its adherents are sometimes not slow to remind us, but a change sufficiently startling to recall to our minds, with very unpleasant sensations, {9} the words of the Apostle, about preaching any other Gospel besides that which has been received.

So much on the difficulty on the side of Rome; now let us consider the difficulty on our side: it is this. The Church was intended to be one kingdom or polity in all lands: this is its mark or note. Now there is a body mainly answering to this description, the communion of Rome, lineally descended from the ancient Church, and in possession of her territory. If there be a Church now, in nature and office like the ancient Church, and like her image in prophecy, the Roman communion, it will be urged, and nothing but the Roman, is it. If there be Notes of the Church now, such as are given in prophecy and were fulfilled in Antiquity, she has them. If schism is separation from the body of Christians, we are schismatical. If schism now be what schism was formerly, we are excommunicated from the grace of the Gospel.


This being the state of the case on both sides, divines of our Church are forced, as if from necessity, to make light of separation from Christendom, or to maintain that the few may be right and the many wrong; and divines of the Church of Rome are forced, by a like necessity, to make light of the judgment of Antiquity, or to maintain that Revelation is progressive, and that Christians now know more than the Fathers. Thus Archbishop Laud says to Fisher, "As for the number and worth of men, they are no necessary concluders for truth. Not number; for who would be judged by the many? the time was when the Arians were too many for the orthodox."—P. 302. His antagonist, on the other hand, says, "We acknowledge all due respect to the Fathers, and as much (to speak modestly) as any of our {10} adversaries' party. But they must pardon us, if we prefer the general interpretation of the present Church, before the result of any man's particular fancy."—Stillingfleet's Grounds, i. v. § 19. On the one hand, Anglo-Catholics say, "Even though we were in schism, as we are not, such separation would not be disadvantageous, when faith is in danger;" and Roman Catholics say, "Even though we had innovated, as we have not, such innovation is not in error, when the Church is the author of it." Such is the difficulty on either side of the controversy. There seems to be but the alternative of saying, on the one hand, that the Church Catholic can go wrong; on the other, that the faith of ages may be remodelled. It is a difficulty meeting every inquirer, which he must fairly look in the face and be content to begin with. And it is felt to be a difficulty by the two parties in the controversy; by the Anglo-Catholic, as shown in the anxious endeavour of our divines, till the course of events made it hopeless, to fraternize with the Protestants of the Continent, which, considering the men who have evinced it, is quite unaccountable till we come to see what their sore point in the discussion was their separation from Christendom; and by Roman Catholics, as is abundantly evidenced by their shufflings and shiftings to and fro on the question, whether they do or do not keep to Antiquity. On this subject it is plainly impossible to get an intelligible answer from them; whether they have added to the articles of faith or not, go by the Fathers or not, keep to the ancient creed or not,—what they hold, what they do not hold, what is the true sense of their decrees, what their practical interpreters, and what the limits of interpretation.

But now, as to the respective views themselves, Roman and Anglican, the maintainer of the former has this advantage, {11} that the fact which he alleges against us, want of Catholicity, is far more level to the apprehension of men in general than that which we allege against him, want of primitiveness in doctrine, while the logical force of his fact is such as plausibly to throw discredit upon our contrary fact. It is very obvious to the whole world that the English Church is separated from the rest of Christendom; it is not evident, except to a very few, that the faith of Rome is an addition to the primitive. Again, suspicion is thrown on the allegation that it is an addition, by the very fact, unquestionable as it is, that far the greater part of Christendom denies that allegation. Our argument then has to sustain the disadvantage both of the certainty in fact, and the apparent cogency in reasoning, of their argument. And while the argument of the Romanists is thus practically efficient, it has a simplicity in its form which is very plausible. It provides for the special difficulty which we urge against their religious system, before we bring it; whereas ours does not similarly account for and dispose of the difficulty which they bring against our system. Roman Catholics urge against us that we are separated from Christendom; now the fact of our keeping to the primitive faith had no tendency whatever to bring about their deflection from it, that is, to explain how it comes to pass that we are practically estranged from the great Christian body. On the other hand, when we in turn urge against them that they have added to the faith, they are not unwilling in a certain sense to grant it; they account for it by referring it to a cause recognized in their system,—to the power which they maintain is possessed by the great Christian body in matters of faith, of developing the faith. Their alleged fact, that they are the Church Catholic, serves to account for our {12} alleged fact, that they believe more than the ancients. We bring little against them which is not at once solved on the supposition of their assumption being true; they bring a charge against us which remains just where it was, though our assumption be ever so much granted. It is still a difficulty how the great body of Christians should have gone wrong, even granting our assumption that they have; it is no difficulty that the great body should have added to the faith, when we grant their assumption that they have the power [Note 3].

Yet, in spite of all this, they are in a difficulty, even in this portion of their theory, when it is narrowly considered,—not to go to other portions, which do not here come into notice. Allowing the Church Catholic ever so much power over the faith, allowing that it may add what it will, provided it does not contradict what has been determined in former times, yet let us come to the plain question, Does the Church, according to Romanists, know more now than the Apostles knew? Their theory seems to be that the whole faith was present in the minds of the Apostles, nay, of all saints at all times, but in great measure as a matter of mere temper, feeling, and unconscious opinion, that is, implicitly, not in the way of exact statements and in an intellectual form. All men certainly hold a number of truths, and act on them, without knowing it; when a question is asked about them, then they are obliged to reflect what their opinion has ever been, and they bring before themselves and assent to doctrines which before were but latent within them. We have all heard of men changing to so-called Unitarianism, and confessing on a {13} review of themselves that they had been Unitarians all along without knowing it, till some accident tore the bandage off their eyes. In like manner, the Roman Catholics, we suppose, would maintain that the Apostles were implicit Tridentines; that the Church held in the first age what she holds now; only that heresy, by raising questions, has led to her throwing her faith into dogmatic shape, and has served to precipitate truths which before were held in solution. Now this is all very well in the abstract, but let us return to the point, as to what the Apostles held and did, and what they did not. Does the Romanist mean, for instance, to tell us that St. Paul the Apostle, when he was in perils of robbers or peril by the sea, offered up his addresses to St. Mary, and vowed some memorial to her, if she would be pleased "deprecari pro illo filium Dei"? [Note 4] Does he mean to say that the same Apostle, during that period of his life when as yet he was not "perfect" or had "attained," was accustomed to pray that the merits of St. John the Baptist should be imputed to him? Did he or did he not hold that St. Peter could give indulgences to shorten the prospective sufferings of the Corinthians in purgatory? We do not deny that St. Paul certainly does bring out his thoughts only in answer to express questions asked, and according to the occasion; or that St. John has written a Gospel, on the one hand later, on {14} the other more dogmatic, than his fellow-Evangelists, in consequence of the rise of heresy. We do not at all mean to affirm that the sacred writers said out at one time all they had to say. There are many things we can imagine them doing and holding, which yet, in matter of fact, we believe they did not do, or did not hold. We can imagine them administering extreme unction or wearing copes. Again, there are many things which they could neither hold nor do, merely from the circumstances of the times or the moment. They could not determine whether General Councils might or might not be held without the consent of princes, or determine the authority of the Vulgate before it was written, or enjoin infant baptism before Christians had children, or decide upon the value of heretical baptism before they were heretics, and before those heretics were baptized. But still there are limits to these concessions; we cannot imagine an Apostle saying and doing what Romanists say and do; can they imagine it themselves? Do they themselves, for instance, think that St. Paul was in the habit of saying what Bellarmine and others say,—"Laus Deo Virginique Matri"? Would they not pronounce a professed Epistle of St. Paul's which contained these words spurious on this one ground?

It may be objected that this argument proves too much for our purpose, since our doctrines also, as those of the Trinity and Incarnation, are developments; so that it may in turn be asked of us, did the Apostles hold the Athanasian doctrine, or, on the other hand, do we know more than they? But we avow they did hold the Athanasian doctrine; they did hold those developments which afterwards were incorporated in the Church system. There is no paradox in maintaining of any individual {15} in the Apostles' lifetime that he held them; for heresies arose while they were on earth, quite sufficient to lead to their holding and transmitting to the Church views as explicit and formal as those which were afterwards recognized and adopted in Councils and fixed in creeds; not to say that a mystery naturally leads the mind of itself, without external stimulus, to trace it to its ultimate points. There is nothing strange then in maintaining that the Apostles held just what the after centuries held; it is natural that they should do so. On the other hand, there being nothing in the Apostles' day to elicit the worship of St. Mary or knowledge of purgatory, which did not also exist in the age immediately after them,—that age not having these portions of Christian truth, (as Romanists allege,) because there was nothing to elicit them,—it would be very strange to maintain that the Apostles had what the age immediately after them had not. If the argument of the absence of an external cause avails to account for the ignorance of the early Church, it is a reason for a similar ignorance on the part of the Apostles; on the other hand, if the Apostles did teach the doctrines of purgatory or the worship of the Saints, as Rome teaches them, it is incredible that they should not have transmitted them to the generations immediately following [Note 5]. As it is, the early Church not knowing, and the later knowing them, it is difficult to say which it is most congruous for such a system to {16} maintain, that the Apostles did not know them, or that they did.

To this must be added the exceeding and almost incredible boldness of saying that popes and bishops, nay, private Christians, know now, what Apostles did not know then; as if we are to St. Paul and St. John as they are to Moses. The feeling of this difficulty has led some Roman writers to the theory of a disciplina arcani in the Church, as if this would serve to extricate them from it.


However, our object here is not to expose the difficulty which occurs in the Roman theory of the Church, but to solve that which is urged against our own. We said above that we considered the English difficulty had not been sufficiently met, and we promised some remarks upon it, to which all that has hitherto been said is but introductory.

The difficulty is this: the Church being "one body," how can we, estranged as we are from every part of it except our own dependencies, unrecognized and without intercommunion, maintain our right to be considered part of that body? This is the objection: and in discussing it we are of course to put out of question the circumstance that our creed is sounder than the Roman. For we are not stating the grounds on which we keep aloof from Rome, but have to meet an incidental difficulty which that keeping aloof involves. If indeed we considered that the Pope was Antichrist, and had denied the foundation of the faith, then indeed our keeping aloof would justify itself. If Rome is apostate, she has no longer claims on us as a Church; but while she is allowed to be a Church, she has claims. In this {17} point of view it is, that the ultra-Protestant theory, which ignores or denies the Scripture promises made to the Church, becomes thereby much simpler than our own. It denies the Church of Rome to be a Church, and so gets rid of the question why we are estranged from it; and this is why the theory that Rome is the city of Antichrist was so popular at the time of the Reformation. It made short work with a number of questions, which else would have been perplexing. It would be a similar simplification of the Roman theory, if Rome gave up the Fathers. But while Rome, though not deferring to the Fathers, recognizes them, and England, while not deferring to the larger body of the Church, recognizes it, both Rome and England have a point to clear up. We are now to clear up our own difficulty; and we repeat, it avails nothing towards doing so, to say that our faith is more ancient than the faith of Rome. Still the communion of Rome more nearly answers to the Church of the prophecies than ours.

One point is acknowledged, one must be conceded, and one will be maintained, by all Anglo-Catholics;—that the Church is One, is the point of doctrine; that we are estranged from the body of the Church, is the point of fact; and that we still have the means of grace among us, is our point of controversy. These points being set down, there are various ways of reconciling them, such as the following:—1. That intercommunion is not necessary to unity. 2. That, though it be, the absence of unity does not at once involve a state of schism. 3. That, though it do, yet that the grace of the ordinances is not necessarily suspended in a state of schism. Different minds will resign themselves to one or other of these solutions, or modify them by one another, according to their particular feelings and principles. What we {18} are going to say on the subject will bear on them all, in a measure embrace them all, and therefore in turn is exposed to be modified by all, and may be adapted to any of them; but is intended, instead of following any one of them exclusively, rather as a statement of the general view maintained by our divines, whatever be the more correct analysis of it.

The Anglican view, then, of the Church has ever been this, that its separate portions need not be united together, for their essential completeness, except by the tie of descent from one original. They are like a number of colonies sent out from a mother country, or as the tribes or nations which spring from a common parent. Jerusalem was the mother Church; they all come from her; they are Churches in that they come from her; but they are not bound to any union together in order to be Churches, any more than branches of an extended family, or colonies of a mother country, need have a common table or common purse, in order to have the blood and name of their ancestor. The Apostolical Succession is necessary in order to their possessing claim of descent; but that being secured, each branch is bound to conform to the country, and form alliance with the institutions, in which it finds itself, quite irrespectively of all the rest. Each Church is independent of all the rest, except indeed so far as the civil power unites any number of them together. They are in consequence, as Churches, under the supremacy of the state or monarch whom they obey in temporals, and may be used by him as one of the functions of his government, as his ministers of public instruction. Further, it is a natural, though of course not necessary, consequence of this view of the Church, to confine spiritual power to the sacramental or quasi-sacramental privileges. Ordination is the bishop's {19} prerogative; but everything else save ordination comes from the king. The whole jurisdiction is his; his are all the spiritual courts; his the right of excommunication; his the control of revenues; his the organization of dioceses; his the appointment of bishops. It is another extreme consequence of this theory, that our own Church was not allowed to recognize her own daughters in Scotland and America; nor was accounted as one Church with the Irish, till the Act of Union in the beginning of this century, determined by the authority of Parliament, that the established Irish Church was the Church of England in Ireland. It was this same extreme view upon which Cranmer acted, upon the accession of Edward the Sixth, and which is expressed in the commission which he took out for his archbishopric. "Whereas," says the king, "all authority of jurisdiction, and indeed jurisdiction altogether, that which is called ecclesiastical as well as secular, emanated from the first from the royal power as from a supreme head, and the source and spring of all magistracies within our kingdom, etc.: We decree that thou shouldst take our stead in the manner and form below mentioned, and shouldst be licensed to ordain whomsoever within thy diocese of Canterbury thou shalt find fitting in character and learning, etc., etc." Sometimes indeed this document has been supposed to claim to the king the power of Ordination; so extravagant an assumption has of course no connection with the theory under review; for the words need only be taken to mean, what has been usually held among us after Cranmer's time,—that the Church, though really possessed of powers, is precluded from exercising them without the leave of the State, and has no jurisdiction independent of it. Lord Thurlow, however, took a view of our Church's theory still more {20} extreme than this imputed to Cranmer, when he maintained, as it is reported, against Horsley, that the Scotch Bishops were not Bishops, except by a play upon words, because they had no seats in the House of Lords.

These extravagances serve to illustrate the English theory, even if it were only by way of contrast. But they also show what it will admit, without infringing its notion of what a Church consists in. If indeed the Church is essentially one and one only organized body in every age and country, then such an absorption of a branch of it into a nation is nothing else but a formal state of schism. If, on the other hand, her essence consists in her descent from the Apostles, such an absorption, or such a suspension of intercommunion with other branches, as is consequent upon it, may be expedient or inexpedient, allowable or culpable, but does not touch the life of the Church, or compromise the tenure of its privileges. Each diocese is a perfect independent Church, sufficient for itself; and the communion of Christians one with another, and the unity of them all together, lie, not in a mutual understanding, intercourse, and combination, not in what they do in common, but in what they are and what they have in common, in their possession of the Succession, their Episcopal form, their Apostolic faith, and the use of the Sacraments. Accordingly Stillingfleet says: "We have not separated from the whole Christian world in anything wherein the whole Christian world is agreed; but to disagree from the particular Churches of the Christian world in such things wherein those Churches differ among themselves, is not to separate from the Christian world, but to disagree in some things from such particular Churches ... There can be no separation from the true Catholic Church but in such things wherein it is Catholic; {21} now it is not Catholic in anything, but what properly relates to its being a constitution."—Grounds, ii. 4, § 2.

In this extract it is implied that mutual intercourse is but an accident of the Church, not of its essence. The same view is strongly maintained by Barrow in his Discourse on the Unity of the Church. Prefacing it with a motto from Augustine, "Non habet charitatem Dei, qui ecclesię non diligit unitatem," he proceeds to determine in what this unity consists; viz., first, in unity of faith; next, in mutual charity and goodwill; thirdly, in the gift of one and the same Spirit; fourthly, in the mystical body of Christ; fifthly, in the mutual intercourse of individual Christians, in mutual peace and love, in common works of piety and devotion, common prayer, Eucharist, conferences, and common defence of the truth; sixthly, in agreement of all bishops in faith and good offices; seventhly, in sameness of order and government; eighthly, in matters of prudential discipline. Then he adds:

"All these kinds of unity do plainly agree to the universal Church of Christ; but the question is, whether the Church is also necessarily, by the design and appointment of God, to be in way of external policy under one singular government or jurisdiction of any kind; so as a kingdom or commonwealth are united under the command of one monarch or one senate? That the Church is capable of such an union, is not the controversy; that it is possible it should be so united, (supposing it may happen that all Christians may be reduced to one nation or one civil regiment, or that several nations spontaneously may confederate and combine themselves into one ecclesiastical commonwealth, administered by the same spiritual rulers and judges according to the same laws,) I do not question; that {22} when in a manner all Christendom did consist of subjects to the Roman Empire, the Church then did arrive near such an unity, I do not at present contest; but that such an union of all Christians is necessary, or that it was ever instituted by Christ, I cannot grant; and for my refusal of that opinion, I shall assign divers reasons."—P. 449, ed. 1836.

These reasons are, first, that Scripture nowhere insists on a political union, on "one monarch, or one senate, or one sanhedrim, which is a pregnant sign that none such was then instituted;" next, that the Apostles took no pains to establish any such polity; thirdly, that the Fathers "do make the unity of the Church to consist only in these virtues of faith, charity, peace, not in this political union;" fourthly, that it could not be without a sovereign authority, which is nowhere established by Christ or His Apostles; fifthly, that the primitive state of the Church did not well comport with such an unity;" sixthly, that the autonomy or liberty of the Churches long continued in practice inviolate;" seventhly, that such a political unity is unevangelical; eighthly, inconvenient; ninthly, needless; tenthly, not expedient for the design of Christianity; eleventhly, not necessary to the idea of unity.

In the course of his remarks he lays down the following principle, which other writers have improved upon, and which does admit of such improvement: "The case of bishops was like that of princes, each of whom hath a free superintendence in his own territory, but for to uphold justice and peace in the world, or between adjacent nations, the intercourse of several princes is needful. The peace of the Church was preserved by communion of all parts together, not by the subjection of the rest to one part." This is a statement which {23} writers like Dodwell and Hickes have illustrated with especial pains and fulness. They teach, agreeably with what has above been called the Anglican theory, that the Church is complete in one bishopric; that a number of bishoprics are but reiterations of one, and add nothing to the perfection of the system. As there is one Bishop invisible in heaven, so there is but one bishop on earth; and the multitude of bishops are not acknowledged in the Gospel system as many, or as if (viewed as representatives of the Bishop invisible) they were capable of mutual relations one with another, but as being one and all shadows and organs of one and the same divine reality. If so, they are neither capable of direct communion one with another as bishops, nor of schism one from another, since their only communion as bishops is with Him whom they represent, and they have communion with each other in and through Him; and while they have communion with Him, they have communion one with another, though they never saw, never acted with each other. It is true they can act with each other in Synods, but then they form a sort of board of presbyters, and are our Lord's Council, as Ignatius views them. Considered as bishops, each is the ultimate centre of unity and independent channel of grace; they are all equal; and schism consists in separating from them, or setting up against them in their particular place. Introducing one Church into the heart of another, or erecting altar against altar, is schism, in the ecclesiastical sense of the word, and forfeits the gifts of the Gospel: for it strikes at the principle of unity and touches the life of the Church.

Such is the essence of unity, and the essence of schism; but an organized union of Churches, though proper and fitting, does not enter into the formal notion {24} of a Church; and the fact of dissensions between Churches, though a breach of the law of love, as little avails to unchurch them, as lukewarmness, or corruption of doctrine, or ambition, or covetousness. Intercommunion is a duty as other duties, but is not the tenure or instrument of the communion between the unseen world and this; and much more is the confederacy of sees and churches—the metropolitan, patriarchal, and papal systems—mere matter of expedience, or of natural duty from long custom, or of propriety from gratitude and reverence, or of necessity from voluntary oaths and engagements, or of ecclesiastical force from the canons of Councils, but not necessary in order to the conveyance of grace, or for fulfilment of the ceremonial law, as it may be called, of Unity. Bishop is superior to bishop only in rank, not in real power; and the Bishop of Rome, the head of the Catholic world, is not the centre of unity, except as having a primacy of order. Accordingly, even granting for argument's sake that the English Church violated a duty in the sixteenth century, in releasing itself from the Roman Supremacy, still it did not thereby commit that special sin which cuts off from it the fountains of grace, and is called schism. It was essentially complete without Rome, and naturally independent of it; it had in the course of years, whether by usurpation or not, come under the supremacy of Rome, and now, whether by rebellion or not, it is free from it; and as it did not enter into the Church Invisible by joining Rome, so it was not cast out of it by breaking from Rome. These were accidents in its history, involving, indeed, sin in individuals, but not affecting the Church as a Church.

This view of the subject throws light upon the Oath of Supremacy, which declares that "no foreign prelate {25} hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, pre-eminence, or authority within this realm." In other words, there is nothing in the Apostolic system which gives authority to the Pope over the Catholic Church, more than to any other bishop. It is altogether an ecclesiastical arrangement; not a point de fide, but of expedience, custom, or piety, which cannot be claimed as if the Pope ought to have it, any more than, on the other hand, the king could claim the Supremacy by divine right, the claim of both the one and the other resting, not on duty or revelation, but on specific engagement. We find ourselves as a Church under the king now, and we obey him; we were under the Pope formerly, and we obeyed him. "Ought" does not in any degree come into the question.


Dodwell has illustrated this subject at great length in his Discourse concerning the one Altar and one Priesthood; and in his treatise De Episcopo Unitatis principio, which is the seventh of his Cyprianic Dissertations. In the former of these he is led to comment on the language of St. Ignatius, as in the latter on that of St. Cyprian; both Fathers strongly confirming the view of unity which we have been drawing out, viz., that the Episcopal is the only divine jurisdiction. He begins the former treatise by referring to the constitution of the Jewish Church, and observes that the Apostolical Fathers consider Christianity to be in point of worship and Church government, what it is in other respects also, nothing else than a mystical Judaism; that as baptism took the place of circumcision, so has the Bishop taken the place of the High Priest, and the Christian altar the place of the Jewish. Hence St. Clement of {26} Rome deduces from the budding of Aaron's rod the sacredness of the episcopal office under the Gospel, and from the subordination of the Temple hierarchy infers the necessity of the Orders of the Christian ministry. He next shows that among the Jews the altar had ever been the symbol and centre of unity, and a setting up a rival altar the essential mark of schism. This doctrine was first insisted on in their controversy with the Samaritans, and is sanctioned by our Lord in His discourse with the woman at the well. It was brought out into system by the Hellenistic Jews, who, on the ground of such commands as that made to Moses, to "make all things according to the fashion showed him in the Mount," held that the provisions of the Mosaic ritual were adumbrations of things unseen, and felt that there was some deep mystical sense under the letter; and, not having the true key which the Gospel afterwards supplied, made a conjectural interpretation, which at least serves to illustrate the true one;—"They designed their visible altar," he observes, "as a means of communicating with that which was mystical and invisible. They also allowed a mystical invisible priesthood of the Logos, with whom they were to communicate by maintaining a communication with their visible priesthood."—P. 190. "Accordingly He must be the invisible or spiritual Hierophanta and Priest, performing invisibly all that was visibly transacted by the High Priest in their visible ministry. He was to assist in the invisible ideal altar, and to offer up mystical sacrifices, as the High Priest did visible ones on the visible altar. The title of [Archiereus] is accordingly given to the [Logos]," by Philo; "and the High Priest in going into the Holy of Holies personated the entrance of the Logos into heaven, according to the reasoning of the author to the Hebrews."—Pp. 204, 205. {27}

Dodwell then goes on to show that bishops have taken the place of the High Priest in a similar but still higher office than was ascribed by the Hellenists to the latter, as if in fulfilment of our Lord's words, that not Sichem only and Jerusalem, but that every city everywhere should have a temple and an altar, a priest and a sacrifice of its own. St. Clement's implied testimony in behalf of the continuance of the Jewish ritual in a spiritual form under the Gospel, has already been mentioned. Dodwell argues the same, at length, from the book of Revelations and St. Ignatius's Epistles. In the inspired Apostle's prophecy, the Almighty is described with seven Spirits around His throne; and, in like manner, our Lord is represented with seven stars and seven candlesticks, or seven churches with their bishops, who are the messengers between Christ and His people, as the Spirits are between God and the world. But again, the bishop in his turn was attended, according to the ancient rule, by seven deacons, to signify that he was not only the messenger, but the representative or type of our Lord, or that he was to the Church on earth what God was to the Church in Heaven. That the deacons answer to the Angels or Spirits is plain from such passages as Heb. i. 14, where the latter are called "ministering" or diaconic "Spirits;" or again, from Zech. iii. 9, iv. 10, where they are called "the eyes of the Lord which run to and fro through the whole earth," words which exactly describe both the title and office of deacons in the early Church. Since then the deacons represent the Angels, it follows that, in like manner, the bishop to whom they minister represents Christ. And in order to preserve this mystical meaning, great stress was laid in primitive times on the number of the deacons being neither more nor less than seven. Seven were appointed {28} by the Apostles at their first institution; seven, according to tradition, was the number appointed by St. Mark at Alexandria; seven were in use at Rome not only in the pontificate of Cornelius, but even as late as the age of Sozomen. And the council of Neocęsarea made it a universal rule, whatever was the size of each Church.

This will enable us to understand the high language in which bishops are spoken of in St. Ignatius's Epistles. As soon as we comprehend that there is a correspondence between the celestial and ecclesiastical hierarchy, words, which at first sight seem extravagant, have their legitimate and sufficient meaning; and still more so when it is considered that the especial sin he is warning his brethren against is schism, for if the bishop be Christ's representative, the effect of separating from the bishop is thus simply shown to be a separating from Christ. For instance, he says, "Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, is the mind of the Father; like as the bishops, appointed through all coasts of the earth, are according to the mind of Jesus Christ."—Eph. 3. "A man is not misleading this his visible bishop, but is trifling with the Bishop Invisible; and so the question is not with flesh, but with God, who seeth the secrets."—Magn. 3. "Likewise let all men give heed to the deacons, as to Jesus Christ, as also to the bishop as to the Son of the Father, and to the presbyters as to a council of God, and as a company of Apostles; without these the name of church is not."—Trall. 3. In this last passage, according to Dodwell, presbyters are added as typifying the Apostolic College, and completing the hierarchy; agreeably to St. John's vision of the heavenly Presence above, where before the throne were "seven lamps of fire burning, which are the seven spirits of God," and "round about the throne four and twenty elders sitting," emblematical {29} of the College of Apostles, (doubled, as St. Clement of Alexandria says, to show the interest which Gentiles as well as Jews had in them,) and of the presbyterate, because they have the sacerdotal symbol of "vials full of odour, which are the prayers of saints." Such is the substance of this work of Dodwell's, which has surely much solid and cogent matter, even if it has something of fancifulness or refinement in parts; his object in it being to urge upon Dissenters the necessity of conformity, without his being forced to carry on the argument to conclusions favourable to the Church of Rome, and this, by the maintenance of the simple principle that Bishops everywhere, and not the Pope, are the elementary centres of unity.

In his Cyprianic Dissertations he discusses the subject more immediately in relation to the Romanists. It is well known that St Cyprian has written a treatise on the Unity of the Church, besides various Epistles on the same subject, with a view of meeting an error of his day, that, in the case of the lapsed, the communion of martyrs was efficacious and saving, even though the bishop refused to reconcile them to the Church. He insists in consequence, in the work in question, on there being but one Church; on the Catholic Church; on the instrumentality of Cornelius, the then Bishop of Rome, in uniting men with the Church; on St. Peter as the principle of unity, and on similar topics. Now the question between us and the Romanists is, whether the Church spoken of, in which is salvation, is the particular and local Church everywhere, (or, again, the abstract Church of which the local is its realization under the bishop,) or whether it is the literal and actual extended communion of all Christians everywhere viewed as one body under the supremacy of the Pope. Dodwell maintains {30} the former side of the alternative—that the whole Church is (if the expression may be allowed) crystallized out of a number of independent organic and complete units. Schism then, in its formal sense, is not the separation of Church from Church, which when separated from each other are still perfect, but laceration of the organic structure of the particular or local Church itself. In proof of this view he urges St. Cyprian's remarkable words, "Episcopatus unus est, cujus ą singulis in solidum pars tenetur"—De Unit. "The episcopate is one which each bishop shares in fulness," or "so shares as to have a full interest in it." Again, his definition of a Church is, "a people united to a priest, and a flock adhering to its pastor."—Ep. 69. Accordingly, as this illustrious Father proceeds, "the Bishop is in the Church and the Church in the Bishop; and whoever are not with the Bishop are not in the Church;" where "the Bishop" cannot mean the Pope, and therefore "the Church" means the Church under the Bishop; that is, the local or integral Church. Again, elsewhere he uses the word "Bishops" in the plural. "Let those only remain outside the Church, who have receded from the Church. Let those only be apart from the Bishops, who have rebelled against the Bishops."—Ep. 43. And elsewhere he says, that "heresies and schisms have ever had their rise in disobedience to the priest of God, and neglect of the one priest in the Church at the time, the one judge at the time, in the place of Christ."—Ep. 59. So much may be argued from the passages themselves; but what decides the matter is, that in these and similar letters Rome does not come into the controversy, the matters spoken of relating to Africa.

This relation to Africa also decides his meaning when he speaks of the see of St. Peter, Cathedra Petri, {31} and claims authority for it. In one place he so speaks with reference to Cornelius, Bishop of Rome, whom he supports in preference to Novatian, as filling "the place of Peter, and the rank of the sacerdotal see."—Ep. 40. But elsewhere he uses the same language writing to his own people in condemnation of Felicissimus, the African schismatic: "God is one, and Christ is one, and the Church one, and the see one, founded by the Lord's voice upon Peter." This plainly shows that he considers St. Peter's authority not as bound up in the see of Rome only, but as extending to all bishops. He does not speak of him merely as the local Bishop of Rome, but as the type of all bishops, and as if ruling in every see all over Christendom. And every Bishop is St. Peter's successor: and to separate from St. Peter does not mean separation from Rome, but from the local see wherever a man finds himself; though it was natural, of course, since that Apostle had a more intimate connexion with Rome than with other places, that, when St. Cyprian speaks of Rome, he should especially be led to mention St. Peter. But the best proof that by St. Peter's see Cyprian did not mean simply to designate Rome, or by St. Peter's authority the Papal power, is contained in the history of his own controversy with Pope Stephen on the subject of heretical baptism. Had he so accounted him to be the one Bishop in the Church, as the Roman interpretation of these passages requires, he never would have spoken of Stephen's "obstinatio," or, as he did, in his translation of Firmilian's letter, of his "audacia et insolentia." But if by the "supremacy of Peter" it is not meant to designate the power of the Pope, it remains that it must designate that of the Bishop.

And here we may be content to end our description of what may be specially called the Anglican theory of {32} ecclesiastical unity, viz., that each Church is naturally independent of every other; each bishop an autocratic channel of grace, and ultimate centre of unity; and that unions of see with see are only matters of ecclesiastical arrangement; further, that no jurisdiction but the episcopal is of divine right; and further still, as some have carried it, that all jurisdiction belongs by right to the temporal sovereign, as the supreme governor of the Church in each state, the sole authority in every spiritual act beyond ministry of the word and sacraments, and the sine qua non sanction and permissive author even of that ministry.


But now comes this difficulty; that, distinct and satisfactory as the above theory appears to be, being consistent in itself, and founded on the doctrine of St. Ignatius and St. Cyprian, it would certainly seem as if St. Augustine did not hold it, or rather held a doctrine more nearly approaching to the Roman, as though the principle of unity lay, not in each individual bishop, but in the body of the Church, or, if in any one bishop, in the Pope; and as though the union of Church with Church were not a mere accident, but of the essence of ecclesiastical unity—not for the sake of convenience or piety, but as a sacramental form; and as though schism were separation from this one whole body, and from this or that bishop only as far as he was the organ or representative of all bishops, that is, of the Bishop of Rome.

Now that it is so strong a duty for the whole Church to be in active communion together, that it can hardly be made too strong, and can hardly be exaggerated before the actual event of separation, we do not doubt. So strong we feel the duty to be, that, while it would be {33} shocking and wrong to contemplate a state of extensive and lasting disunion before it happened, it also would be right to consider the consequences of it, did it happen, to be greater than we could master,—so vast as to be vague. It would not be wholesome or pious, it would perhaps mark a bold and a cold heart, even to think to set about determining, before the event, whether or not the friendly intercourse of branch with branch was or was not of the essence of Church unity. We trust, then, nothing we have said above will be taken to countenance the miserable notion that Church may stand aloof from Church without sin; sin somewhere or other; and, in the deplorable controversy which is our main subject, without sin in Rome, sin in us, or sin in both. The simple question is, whether the sin goes so far as to violate the primary notion, the essence of the Church; whether all that remains when this intercommunion is broken, the communion of succession, doctrine, temper, warfare, and the like, go for nothing; whether they may not be enough, in the sight of a merciful Master, to allow of His continuing that secret intercourse in heart and spirit, of Christians so divided, both with each other and with the dead, through and in Him, which is the true communion of saints, and the substantial unity of the Church. We are far from intending to disparage the duty of visible active communion; we can understand the great doctors of the Ancient Church raising it ever so high; but Christians now are in a different position from theirs, a position which those doctors could not without a fault have realized to themselves; and it comes upon us,—not as a cold-hearted or curious speculation, or the inquiry of those who would fain go to the very verge of safety, and who bend the stick with no fear except that of actually breaking it,—to ask whether or {34} not that state of estrangement from the great Christian body,—in which we find ourselves, not into which we brought ourselves,—which we are kept in, first by our duty to our own particular Church, next by the terms of communion which Rome enforces on all who would be at peace with her—whether this state is or is not formal schism, and an utter severance of us from the fountains of divine grace? We are forced to do, what the opposers of the profligate Arians or the fanatical Donatists had no need to do—to investigate the essence of the Church, and the elementary idea of unity, in order to ascertain what our duty is, in certain painful circumstances in which we find ourselves.

We are neither, then, for disallowing the duty of what Barrow calls, somewhat invidiously, "political union" among Churches, for which, "brotherly," we think, would be a better word [Note 6]; nor can we complain of the holy Fathers in their more happy state for speaking strongly of its importance—nay, so strongly as at first sight to smite ourselves. We will thank them for their severity, knowing that we deserve stripes, and will smile under their unintentional blows, not taking our chastisers to mean more than they surely need, not resenting their chastisement pettishly, not rising against their authority, but gaining a lesson from them, and meekly thanking them for it. Sweet are the wounds of a friend;—it is better to listen to honest words though harsh, than to be offended at them on the one hand, or to explain them away on the other. We experience this every day in common matters; our truest friends often little sympathise {35} with us, nay, hurt us, but they give good advice, and if we are wise, we follow it: let us look at St. Augustine as one of such free-spoken guides, not less valuable because he could not foresee or enter into the miserable condition in which we find ourselves.

It is certain, then, that Augustine does explain St. Cyprian differently from Dodwell. The famous passage in St. Cyprian's De Unitate, "Tear the ray from the sun's substance, unity will not admit this division of light; break the branch from the tree, it will not bud when broken; cut off the channel from the spring, the channel will dry up," which Dodwell applies only to the episcopal and diocesan unit, Augustine unhesitatingly interprets of the body of the universal Church, "Ecclesia universa toto terrarum orbe diffusa."—contr. Cresconium Donat. ii. 33. And it seems to be a fixed notion with him, that the universal Church is right in a quarrel with a particular Church, that the universal Church is that which is diffused through all countries, and that "diffused," an expressive word, includes the idea of active communion, as being analogous to life or blood in the animal body. He says that the great difficulty of the Donatists began "posteaquam ipsis rebus experti sunt cum Cęciliano permanere communionem orbis terrarum, et ad eum ą transmarinis Ecclesiis communicatorias litteras mitti, non ad illum quem sibi scelerate ordinaverant."—Ibid. Ep. 43, 19, ad Glorium. And he lays down this as a general principle, "The whole does ever, by the best of rights, take precedence of the parts."—De Bapt. contr. Donat. ii. 14. And in like manner, he elsewhere says, "Securus judicat orbis terrarum."—Contr. Epist. Parmen. iii. 24.

Now let us for a moment grant this in the general, without going on to the consideration of the limitations {36} by which the concession is to be guarded. Let us grant it, and what is the inference from it? why, this, which is never to be lost sight of in the controversy, to which it will be profitable here to draw attention, and which Gallican divines have not been slow in urging, that Catholicity, and not the Pope, is the essence of the Church. This argument, whatever embarrassment it may give to us, is at least fatal to the Ultramontanes, and, if it galls us, as being separate from Christendom, at the same time it releases us from the special difficulty which we have with Rome. This, it is conceived, is practically no small advantage, and may be proved so as time goes on; for, after all, Rome has but a party in the Roman Catholic Church, though it has the active party; and much as the Church has been identified with that party in times past, and is still identified, yet it is something to find that what the English Church wants of perfect Catholicity, supposing it to want anything, may be supplied without going all the way to Rome.

The point in question has been drawn out with great care by Launoy (vid. especially Epistles, v. 1, vii. 13), in the latter of which he attacks the doctrine of Bellarmine and Canisius, who, he contends, have introduced a new definition of the Church unknown to former times. Bellarmine defines it to be "a congregation of men bound by common profession and sacraments, under legitimate pastors, especially the Pope:" "cœtus hominum ejusdem Christianę fidei professione et eorundem sacramentorum communione colligatus, sub regimine legitimorum pastorum et pręcipue unius Christi in terris Vicarii Romani Pontificis." In opposition to this view, Launoy contends that its simple definition is "cœtus" or "congregatio fidelium," the supremacy of the Pope not being of its essence; a view, let it be observed, between that of {37} our divines who consider each particular diocese to be the normal Church and the Bishop its essence, and of the Ultramontane which makes the extended Church one unit, and the Pope its essential principle. He observes that in Scripture the main idea of a Church is a united congregation; for instance, "all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear,"—universa Ecclesia.—1 Sam. xvii. 47. "O sing unto the Lord a new song; let the congregation of saints praise Him,"—Ecclesia sanctorum, or cœtus fidelium.—Ps. cxlix. 1. "If a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God," or the multitude under his rule.—1 Tim. iii. 5. And that this definition is acknowledged by the Fathers, Launoy shows at length. For instance, by Justin, "men many in number, are called by one name (the Church), as if they were one thing."—Tryph. 42. Clement of Alexander defines the Church "the congregation of the elect."—Strom 6. The same intercommunion is implied by Irenęus when he speaks of the Church as "cherishing the faith all over the earth, as in one house, as though she had one soul, one heart, and preaching it most concordantly, as though she had one mouth."—Hęr. xi. 31. Isidore of Pelusium defines the Church to be "a collection of the holy brought together on a right faith, and the best rules for living."—ii. 246. Cyril of Alexandria describes "the city of God" to be "as though a certain territory and region of men sanctified and enriched by unity in God through the Spirit."—In Mic. v. § 49. And Theodoret, "the company of those who believe."—In 1 Tim. iii. fin. 657. Gregory the Great says that "the Holy Church consists in the unity of believers, as our body is united by the framework of its limbs."—In Job. xix. § 43. At the same time, however {38} expressions such as these tell against the Pope as a visible head of the Church, still they surely must in fairness be taken also to show that, in the opinion of those who use them, perfect church communion consists, not simply in union with a common invisible Head, but in visible communion with each other,—that, sufficient as the Episcopate may be for the essence, or [to zein] of a particular Church, yet for the [eu zein], or health, it should be united in bonds of active intercourse with all its fellow-branches.

The same conclusion would result still more strongly, if, instead of quoting passages from the Fathers which speak of the Church, we adduced such as speak of branches which are estranged from it. But we need not say more on the point, except to remark, by the way, what is not a little curious, that our 19th Article, on the face of its wording, prefers the Gallican, to what we have above called the Anglican definition of unity, speaking of the Church as "cœtus fidelium, in quo verbum Dei purum prędicatur, et sacramenta quoad ea quę necessario exiguntur juxta Christi institutum recte administrantur." If these words are to be strictly construed by the light of such passages as Launoy brings from a multitude of antecedent writers against Bellarmine, our Reformers held but one Church in the world, and entertained the idea of intercommunion, reciprocity, and mutual understanding, in short, political union, as the perfection of ecclesiastical unity.


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1. [It is surely a paradox to say that the simple words of the Seventh General Council in 787, "Credentes in unum Deum, in Trinitate collaudatum, honorabiles ejus imagines salutamus; Qui sic non habent, anathema sint," or the Tridentine words, "Imagines Christi in templis habendas, eisque debitum honorem et venerationem impertiendam," are sufficient to constitute an extrinsic addition to the Creed, and are not a mere carrying out in worship, of faith in our crucified Lord, and in the communion of saints.]
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2. [Of these heads of accusation, the only one which will be allowed by Catholics is that "the Pope is the ruler and teacher of the Church;" but this cannot be said to be a mere medięval or modern doctrine; it seems to have been claimed as true and apostolic from the first in the Roman Church itself; vide the history of Popes Victor, Stephen, and Dionysius.]
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3. [" I am very far more sure that England is in schism than that the Roman additions to the Primitive Creed may not be developments."—May 4, 1843. Vid. Apologia, 1841-1845.]
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4. [No; he need not so mean. "It is sometimes asked, 'Why do not the sacred writers mention our Lady's greatness?' I answer, she was or may have been alive when the Apostles and the Evangelists wrote; there was just one book of Scripture, the Apocalypse, certainly, written after her death, and that book does (so to say) canonize and crown her ... If invocation of her were necessary to salvation, there would be grave reasons for doubting of the salvation of St. Chrysostom, St. Athanasius, or of the primitive martyrs; nay, I should like to know whether St. Augustine in all his voluminous writings, invokes her once."—Letter to Dr. Pusey. Invocations are matters of practice, usage, and discipline, not simply of dogma.]
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5. [The age following the Apostles did hold, in various parts of Christendom, one doctrine in particular about the Blessed Virgin, which, because of its proximity to the Apostles, and of its reception in such various parts, must reasonably be referred to their teaching,—which has been taught continuously from that time to this,—and which contains in it all that Catholics hold concerning her intrinsic gifts and powers, viz., that "she is the Second Eve." This dogma required no heresy for its development.—Vid. Letter to Dr. Pusey.]
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6. [Is not "visible" a better word still? and is not the proposition maintained in the text simply this, "The unity of the Church is an invisible unity?" But if this is allowed, will it be possible long to deny the proposition, "The Church is invisible"?]
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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