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culiar manner in which Christianity can adapt itself to every possible state and condition of mankind. Every other religious system has been adapted for one peculiar climate or character. No ingenuity, no talent, could ever have induced the wild Huron to embrace the amphibious and abstemious religion of the Ganges, to spend half his day, and hope for his sanctification, in long and frequent ablutions in his freezing lakes, or to abstain from animal food, and subsist on vegetables, in a climate where stern nature would have forbidden such a course.
The soft and luxurious inhabitants of Thibet, could never have transplanted into their perfumed groves, the gloomy incantations and sanguinary divinities of the Scandinavian forests, or listened with delight to the sagas, and tales of blood and glory, which nerved the heart of the Seaking, amidst the storms of the North. Nor could he have ever learnt and practised, in his rude climate, the religions of the East, with their light pagodas, their gaudy paintings, their varied perfumes, and their effeminating morals. The worship of Egypt sprung from the soil, and must have perished, if transplanted beyond the reach of the Nile's inundation; that of Greece, with its poetical mythology, its Muses, its Dryads, and its entire Olympus, could only be the creed of a nation, which could produce Anacreon and Homer, Phidias and Apelles. Nay, even the Jewish dispensation bears manifest signs that its Divine author did not intend it for a permanent and universal establishment. But Christianity alone is the religion of every clime and of every race. From pole to pole, from China to Peru, we find it practised and cherished by innumerable varieties of the great human family, varieties whether we consider their constitutions, their mental capacities, their civil habits, their political institutions, their very physiognomy and complexion.
But let us be just to ourselves; it is only the Catholic religion which possesses this beautiful faculty of suiting every character, national and individual, by becoming all to all, of uniting by a common link, the most discordant elements, and fashioning the most dissimilar dispositions after the same
model of virtue, without effacing the lines of national peculi-
the docile natives of Ceylon, and engendered the most horrible of religious chimeras,-the worship of Christ united to the service of devils! The Independents have laboured long and zealously, for the conversion of the teachable and uncorrupted natives of the Sandwich and Society Islands, and they have perfectly succeeded in ruining their industrious habits, exposing the country to external aggression and internal dissension, and disgusting all who originally supported them.
But, on the other hand, the Catholic religion seems to have a grace and an efficacy peculiar to itself, which allows it to take hold on every variety of disposition and situation. It seems to work like that latent virtue of some springs, which slowly removes every frail and fading particle of the flower or bough that is immersed in them, converts them into a solid and durable material, and yet preserves every vein and every line which gave them individuality in their perishable condition. Its action is independent of civilization: it may precede it, and then it is its harbinger: it may follow it, and then it becomes its corrective. You have seen it alone raise the
savage, even in his wilds, to the admiration and acceptance of the most sublime and most incomprehensible mysteries; you have beheld it in India, nerving its followers alone against the demoralizing influence of the country.
And if he who planteth, and he who watereth is nothing, but the Lord alone giveth the encrease, and if this constant and enduring success can be but the result of a divine blessing, shall not wees. '16", that the kingdom of God hath been hereby brou so many nations, and that the system here pursue
lut, hereon His blessing and promise of eternal assistant, ut ' . onounced? Let us then rejoice that He has given us
ling an evidence of His assistance to His Church; ani ai i 1 been evinced in one part of her commission, tha 0.921. sfully teaching all nations, so has it been no less secu :'le other, that of teaching all things which He hath coi intim until the end of time,
LECTURE THE EIGHTH
ON THE SUPREMACY OF THE POPE.
MATTHEW xvi. 17, 18, 19. " Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona ; because flesh and blood hath
not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee that thou art Peter ; and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven : and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, it shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be
loosed also in heaven.” The line of demonstration, which has perhaps been somewhat interrupted by the two last discourses, has I trust, my brethren, led you to form a conception of the Church of Christ conformable to the imagery employed and the institutions described in God's written word. It has been presented to you in both, under the form of a sacred kingdom, wherein all the parts are cemented and bound firmly together, in unity of belief and practice, resulting from a common principle of faith, under an authority constituted by God. But the application of this discovery has been necessarily postponed; for we have but vaguely determined the existence of this authority in the Church of Christ, without defining where, how, or by whom, it has to be exercised.
The tendency, so far as we have examined, of every institution in the Church, to produce and cherish this religious unity, will lead us naturally to suppose, that the authority which principally
secures it must likewise be convergent, in its exercise, towards the same attribute. We saw how, in the old law, the authority constituted to teach, narrowed in successive steps, till it was concentrated in one man and his line;* we saw how all the figures of the prophets led us to expect a form of * Lect. iv. p. 93.
government justly symbolized as a monarchy;* and although God is to be its Ruler, and the Son of David its eternal Head, yet as their action upon man is invisible and indiscernible, while the objects and ends held in view, such as unity of faith, are sensible, and dependent on outward circumstances, we might naturally hope to find sonie such vicarious or representative authority, as would, and alone could, secure their advantage to the Church.
Indeed it would appear quite unnatural, that every other institution therein should be outward and visible, and the one, of all others most necessary to give them efficacy, be of a contrary nature, and such as could have no power over the elements which it was intended to control.
It is to the examination of this important point that I wish to turn your attention this evening; and in the results of our enquiry, I trust that you will find the perfect completion of that plan, which I have hitherto unfolded. For as, beginning with the foundation, laid in the simplest principles, and based on the word of God and the institutions of both covenants, we have seen gradually built up before us this sacred dwellingplace of God with men, so may this portion which I will now add, be considered the cope-stone to the entire edifice, whereby it is fastened and held together, and close united, and at the same time crowned,—that which at once secures, and adorns, strengthens, and completes it.
But on entering, as you will naturally have surmised that it is my intention to do, on the Supremacy of the Holy See, I feel myself met by so many popular prejudices, so many repeated misrepresentations, as to make some preliminary observations necessary.
What then do Catholics mean by the Supremacy of the Pope, which for so many years we were required to abjure, if we would be partakers of the benefits of our country's laws? Why, it signifies nothing more than that the Pope or Bishop of Rome, as the successor of St
See also for the fuller development of this idea, a Sermon on the Kingdom of Christ, in “ Two Sermons,” &c., London, 1832.
* P. 98.
Peter, possesses authority and jurisdiction, in things spiritual, over the entire Church, so as to constitute its visible head, and the vicegerent of Christ upon earth. The idea of this Supremacy involves two distinct, but closely allied, prerogatives; the first is, that the Holy See is the centre of unity; the second, that it is the fountain of authority. By the first is signified that all the faithful must be in communion with it, through their respective pastors, who form an unbroken chain of connexion from the lowliest member of the flock, to him who has been constituted its universal shepherd. To violate this union and communion constitutes the grievous crime of schism, and destroys an essential constitutive principle of Christ's religion.
We likewise hold the Pope to be the source of authority; as all the subordinate rulers in the Church are subject to him, and receive directly, or indirectly, their jurisdiction from and by him. Thus the executive power is vested in his hands for all spiritual purposes within her; to him is given the charge of confirming his brethren in the faith; his office it is to watch over the correction of abuses, and the maintenance of discipline throughout the Church; in case of error springing up in any part, he must make the necessary investigations to discover it and condemn it; and either bring the refractory to submission, or separate them, as withered branches, from the vine. In cases of great and influential disorder in faith or practice, he convenes a general council of the pastors of the Church; presides over it in person, or by his legates; and sanctions, by his approbation, its canons or decrees.
That, with such a belief concerning the high prerogatives of the sovereign Pontiff, the greatest veneration should be felt towards him by every Catholic, cannot be matter of surprise. It would, on the contrary, be unnatural to suppose that a respect commensurate with his high office could be refused. When St Paul had severely reproved Ananias, for ordering him to be most unjustly smitten on the mouth, and when they that stood by, said, “Dost thou revile the high priest of God?"