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us out of conceit with it, you must begin by convincing us either that God hath not spoken, or that his word is not fulfilled ; that his Son did not come, or has not deigned to instruct us. Produce a master more able, and of greater authority; truths more certain, more consolatory, and of whose force and efficacy we may have more sensible evidence. Granted that we are in error: this error, if it be one, is grateful and pleasant;-that the advantages proposed are vain and chimerical: the chimæra satisfies us ;-that the bands of our union are hard and wearisome : we would not exchange them: the sentiments of our ancestors are those which we hold : some time hence our children will think like us : united by knowledge of the same truths, by substantial benefits, by mutual and tender affection, they will cling more and more to their common parent, and, finding in her maternal bosom, and in the fellowship of lier Divine Spouse, what they would seek to no purpose elsewhere, will say, with the disciples of Jesus on Tabor,' “ Lord, it is good for us to be with Thee ; here will we fix our abode; here will we pitch our tents.”
Such, then, is the living principle which animates the church: and if from its spirit we pass on to its organization, we see, combined with the greatest energy, all that contributes to its greatest solidity. In the first place, as the basis of a holy society, a sacred appointment-laws; a priesthood; pontiffs ; ministers; a regimen, which we acknowledge and receive as ordained by God alone, which God alone could give, which God alone can take away, and which, by its nature, unconnected with the schemes of men, has nought to apprehend from their attacks. Again, an authority so religiously constituted, that it can neither corrupt him who exercises it, nor him who submits to it: sufficiently independent on the powers of earth not to be clogged in pursuit of the affairs of heaven; sufficiently approximated to human societies to render to them as much as it receives from them, and maintain a sanctified intercourse by reciprocal services : an authority, lastly, which, through faithful and
pure channels carrying its influence to the remotest extremities, binds them, amalgamates them, and causes that the whole body in time of need may re-unite, or act with simultaneous force (Ephes. iv. 16).
At the centre of the Christian universe rises an ancient and venerated chair, from which a sovereign pontiff, extending far and wide his view, observes, reproves, encourages ; and in the name of the whole society, and of its Divine Author, provides againsť every exigency.
On a seat less elevated, each pontiff presides over a portion of the universal flock; and, without relinquishing the common interest, concentrates his activity within the bounds of a diocese.
In every diocese, a body of pastors, united with their chief by
the bands of a mild and just subordination, participate the labours, the honours, and the affectionate cares of the same priesthood.
In every province, and throughout the Christian empire, assemblies more or less solemn, according to the pressure of danger, according to the magnitude of the objects, proscribe errors, reclaim the wandering, or, by the grievous though necessary excision of some corrupt member, arrest the progress of disorder and ensure the welfare of the rest.
What can be wanting to a body thus organized, save the concurrence of surrounding states to strengthen and facilitate its movements? Why is it not thus with the church? Offspring of Heaven, why should the world be jealous of her ? She seeks not to aggrandize herself at their expense; nor has other aim than to train up men for heaven. But in so doing she renders them still more worthy and more capable of all terrestrial employments. She softens the hearts of kings, and bends the people to voluntary obedience. Friend of submission, yet not hostile to liberty, she complies with every government, and incorporates herself with every state to which she has gained an entrance. All rulers have therefore an equal interest in maintaining and enforcing her laws ; in extending, rather than in curtailing, her sway. And then, repository of all that fortifies and embellishes her, I behold her advancing through the mist of ages, full of power and majesty, scattering her enemies, repairing her losses; and, struck at the spectacle, I exclaim, with Jacob in the wilderness of Paran, “ This is the camp of the Lord;" or with Balaam, when he saw the people of God on the confines of the promised land, "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob! and thy tabernacles, O Israel !”
Nevertheless a work from a master as able as skilful would have to fear the vicissitudes of earthly things-injuries, and a declension which might, though slowly, effect its ruin ;-but the same Hand which laid the foundations of the church, can also support the structure; the same Providence which may bring her into trials and dangers, has solemnly engaged that she shall triumph over them. Go,” said Jesus Christ to his Apostles, assigning them a world to conquer—"go, teach all nations....all power is given me in heaven and on earth... I will be with you even to the end of the ages....Heaven and earth shall pass away, my words shall not pass away; and the gates of hell shall never prevail against my work.” Tyrants, indeed, have risen up against the church, from her infancy; errors have succeeded to tyrants ; vices have followed upon errors; schisms have augmented these evils, by shutting out all remedy: yet, notwithstanding, sustained by the promises and the arm of the Almighty, you, holy brotherhood, whose ruin our foes had sworn and foretold, you still continue. Your temples, your
altars, your doctrines, your sacrifice, are preserved to this day. Arrived at an honourable old age, you still bring forth righteous sons; you provide for them successors; and throughout all ages you will be justly called the asylum of virtue, the school of righteousness, the pillar and basis of truth.
Yes, it will be said, the church has her promises, and the word of God for a security : so had the synagogue and the Jews; yet the seat of Moses is thrown down, the Jewish people dispersed. The church herself-the church, raised on the wreck of that people, and inheriting of its blessings—has she received all the fruit of the promises ? Where are that dominion which was to reach from sea to sea ? (Psalm lxxi.) and those floods of righteousness which were to inundate the earth ? (Isa. xlviii. 18.) What is become of those many eastern and western churches, formerly flourishing, now laid waste? Infidelity has ruined some; schism and heresy infected the remainder. Contracted without, weakened within, the church can scarce defend her limits. The candle of faith, transported from country to country, for enlightening new people, grows dim and sinks into its socket: and unless your God, emerging from his secret place, after long silence and inactivity, raise up a prophet mighty in word and deed, to finish the task which Moses began and the Messiah left incomplete ; unless heaven and earth conspire to form a fresh race of believers, and from the very stones God produce children unto Abraham; what will be the issue of his promises and your hopes ?
Suspend your exultation, ye adversaries of the faith. Think not that we are confounded by your challenges and threats. The synagogue was not designed to last for ever: a figure of the church, it has vanished before it, as a shadow before the substance.
Guilty of the greatest crimes, the Jews have been visited with the most terrible chastisements : yet they subsist; and their destiny is not fulfilled. The church, we must allow, is not in, stated in the plenitude of promised glory: trials and combats are round about her ; but these trials and combats will last but for a season, and terminate in triumph and in peace.
Here, sirs, I might accept the challenge of our opponents, unfold to them the depths of Divine wisdom, answer their menaces by those very wonders which they have so ostentatiously set forth only to extinguish all hope of their accomplishment.
But if, to justify the ways of God to man," I introduce a mighty Arm ready to avenge his cause : if I shew you mercy coming after justice; the branches of the good olive-tree insert ed afresh on the native stock-in short, the children of Israel thronging into the bosom of the church, and leading triumphantly in their train the different nations among whom they had
been dispersed-I fear I shall shock a vulgar prejudice, or wound the squeamishness of “science falsely so called." I fear, that in dilating on the promises I may be reproached with a design of overlooking the threats ; or that in treating of the threats I may seem to undervalue the promises, and defeat your edification. Be that as it
“the word of God must have free course, and cannot be annulled by the vain conceits of men: if Mercy has made the promise, Truth will perform it. Let us banish from our mind every subtile and polemical thought; and, by the light of the Divine oracles, inquire what comfort and profit this grand event holds out to the church. We shall afterwards return to the threats, and reconcile them with the promises ; qualifying hope by a proper fear, and fear by a well-grounded hope.
No, it is not for us (said Tertullian), it is not for Christians, to grieve, but rather to rejoice, at the re-establishment of the Jews, since our best hopes are interwoven with it.
St. Gregory the Great saw in the future conversion of that people a source of fruitfulness for the church; and in the person of the holy man Job, healed of his diseases, his goods increased, living many years after his restoration, he recognised the church multiplied, enriched, renovated, by the accession of the Jews; and, as food for piety, sanctioned the accommodation of the different features of this august resemblance *.
The celebrated Bossuet, who had weighed the benefits, the troubles, and the resources of the church, was pleased with this idea, and regretted his not having been born nearer the time when the happy revolution shall occur.
Instructed by those great lights, should we be fearful of mistake, and not listen with confidence to Moses, Hosea, Isaiah, that cloud of prophets and witnesses, followed by the Apostles, who all announce to the Jews, in the midst of their obduracy and disgrace, their conversion and return; and to us the blessed effects of so marvellous a change?
“The time will come” (says Moses), “when God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed : thou shalt return to Him, He will return to thee: thou shalt love him with all thine heart, and shalt obey his commandments (Deut. xxx.) +.
Hosea : "The children of Israel shall abide many days without a temple, without a sacrifice, without a king, without a priest
* Sancta Ecclesia...duplicia in fine recipit, quia in ea ex utraque natione fidelium numerus multiplior excrescit. Duplices boves atque asinos recipit, quia prædicatores sancti, qui, pressi formidine, in ejus dudum tentatione tacuerunt...tanto jam nunc robustius in confessione veritatis voces suas exercent, quanto debilius ante timuerunt.-S. Greg. Mag. Moral. in Job. 25.
# For the liberties which, by his own shewing, the author has taken with the Bible, or rather with that version which he used, the translator is not responsible.
hood : afterward they shall seek the Lord their God, and David their King, and shall be filled with all kinds of good” (Hosea iii. 4, 5).
“Together with the knowledge of my word” (saith the Lord, by the prophet Isaiah), “ I will put my words in thy mouth, and in the mouth of thy seed, and in the mouth of thy seed's seed, and they shall not depart thence for ever.” (Isai. lix. 19, et. seq.)
“ From one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” (Isai. lxvi.)
And St. Paul, that incomparable man, “ caught up to the third heaven,” trustee of the secret counsels of God towards the Jews and us, in his Epistle to the Romans writes thus: “What then ? Have the Jews stumbled that they should not rise again ; and has God cut them off irretrievably? "God forbid. He loves them always, for the sake of their fathers Abraham and Isaac. He can engraft them afresh on their old stock, by the side of the people who have occupied their place; and if the foreign and wild branches have flourished on the good olive-trees, how easily will the natural branches revive on their own trunk?” (Rom. xi.) And, to shew that so great an advantage belongs not to the Jews only, he adds, If blindness in part is happened unto Israel, and the diminishing of them prove the salvation and riches of the world, by the calling of the Gentiles, and the preaching of the Gospel widely disseminated; what happiness must it be for the two people, Jews and Gentiles, when the former are recalled in a body from their exile, reconciled with God, and entirely devoted to the fulfilment of his work? Doubtless, to the Jews, so long sunk in a deadly sleep, it will be a real resurrection : and for us, and the church which will admit them to her bosom, if you compare “the glory which shall be,” with her past humiliation; the extent and rapidity of her new conquests, with the losses and limits of her ancient empire ; the multitude and fervour of her fresh subjects, with the paucity and lukewarmness of her last children; it will be the passage from disease to health, from weakness to strength, from death to life. “ For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?”
On what account do you suppose the remainder of a wandering and fugitive people are so long preserved, but to answer some great purpose of God, and be ready at the time appointed for its execution ?
Why should the prophet Elias, so miraculously withdrawn from among men, be still more miraculously concealed in a retreat which baffles human conjecture, were it not, as is written by the prophet Malachi (Mal. iv. 5, 6), and in Ecclesiasticus (Ecclus. xlviii. 10), to turn the hearts of the fathers to the
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