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of the senses, the Scriptures, and every source of testimony, were insulted, as in the doctrine of transubstantiation ;—then it became impossible that the papal substitute for the Apostolic authority could be endured any longer. From the commencement of the usurpations of Rome, the Churches, or eminent individuals in the Churches, had uniformly resisted the papal doctrines, the papal discipline, the papal authority. The power of Rome, however, subdued the antagonism of Wycliffe, and of every other opponent, till the fulness of time, when Luther became the mouthpiece of Europe. Three hundred years have elapsed since the Reformer gave back his spirit to God; and the war of resistance to Rome has never ceased, and never will cease, till the Universal Church seeks for another head—the Apostolic authority, till it adopts another creed, and resolves upon other discipline.
Evils arising from injudicious efforts to overturn the domination of Romem
Sectarianism, Deism, animosities between contending religious parties. These were some only of the consequences of the cessation of the Apostolic office. To this error of the Primitive Church must be imputed the evils of an opposite nature which have resulted from the efforts to overthrow the domination of the Church of Rome. The hasty and imperfect manner in which the Reformation, with all its mighty blessings, was conducted and completed ; the schisms which reject all authority ; the divisions which refuse to be healed ; the stereotyping of the Christian mind into Papist and Protestant, the former surrendering his reason altogether to the decisions of the Church, the latter rejecting all authority of the Church, because of its corruptions and perversions ; are all to be attributed to this error as their chief and primary cause. To this may be ascribed the reaction from the common Christianity into the deism which retains a God, but rejects Divine revelation, and an interfering Providence. To this may be ascribed the hatreds, the jealousies, the alienations, which divide man from man, and heart from heart, till the religion of peace and love has become the symbol of war and mutual detestation ; all, all—the present state of the Christian world and of the Universal Church-may be said to have proceeded from the neglect of that institution of the divine Founder of Christianity, which gave a deliberative government to the Church.
Advantages of the Apostolic government. The Jewish Sanhedrim ambulatory
after the destruction of Jerusalem. Tue Apostolic government united the advantages of a monarchy, from the union of its chieftains ; with the blessings of an aristocracy, from the equality of its nobles; and with the strength of a democracy, from the permission of all to express their opinion, and to share in the discussions of the Church. As the Jewish Sanhedrim, after the destruction of Jerusalem, met at various places, according as the state of the Holy Land permitted“, so either at Antioch, or Rome, or in some city of Asia Minor, those heads or rulers of the Primitive Churches alone might have assembled, who should have been appointed, not merely to limited districts, dioceses, provinces, or localities, but also to the general superintendence of the Universal Church, according to the commands of their divine Master when He instituted the Apostolic office.
Such are the consequences of neglecting the continuance of the primitive ordinance appointed by Christ for the regulation of the Catholic Church. Let us now consider the remedy of the evil.
Remedy for the evil of suffering the Apostolic office of general superintendence to
fall into abeyance. Evil permitted, becomes, through Divine Wisdom, the source of greater good. The contemplation of this wondrous appointment will be one
of our occupations in a future state. When we shall look back in the future state upon the plan by which the Deity governs the world, that is, upon the one principle of permitting evil, that from that evil, greater good may ensue ', we shall comprehend the causes for which the peculiar events and circumstances in the history of Christianity were permitted. One part of our progressive happiness in the future state shall be the constant study of the wisdom of God in the past, the present, and the future development of the destiny of Man, that honoured and most singular race of beings which is both cursed and blessed from the influences of the invisible world. In the next stage of our continuous existence we shall know more : but now, even now, we may trace the same system—of permitting evil that good may come, though it is our duty to endeavour to diminish the evil itself. By the mutual collisions of Churches, Sects, and Parties, the peace of the world has been
* See the record of their “fittings," as he calls them, in Lightfoot, vol. ii. p. 1062, fol. S“ And from this evil still produces good.”
secured in the establishment of the doctrines of the necessity of toleration ; the necessity of submission to authority; the certainty of the truth of the common Revelation ; the gradual fulfilment of prophecy; the clearer development of the one sublime scheme, or system, which, beginning with the prophecy, that the head of the serpent shall be bruised, will be completed by the fulfilment of that prophecy when the kingdoms of the civilized world shall be co-extensive with the Church and family of Christ. The principle of Faith, the true comfort of the reasoning, immortal, yet ever suffering man, is strengthened, and the hope of a better state of things is now attended with the resolution on the part of the thoughtful and the reasoning, that the evils of despotism, of priestcraft, of anarchy, of democracy, and schism, shall be diminished or exhausted.
General and growing persuasion that a better state of things is now required by
the Universal Church. Fitness of the present time for the advocacy and adoption of the remedy here put forward for the evils that afflict the Church. Duty of Secular powers in this crisis ; and the advantages that would arise from their performance of it.
It is this general conviction of the amount of evil which has already been experienced by the Universal Church, together with the tacit resolution that such evil shall be diminished for the future, which emboldens me to suggest the one great remedy for many of those evils, which I now submit to the Universal Church. Whatever be the opinions of men respecting the causes and consequences of the past collisions between Churches, States, and people, the great mass of the civilized world may be said to have arrived at the tacit resolution that a better condition of society shall be established for the future. The world is weary of its present state. All are desirous that Princes, people, and Churches, should act some new and combined part for the universal benefit. All are ready to listen to any new proposition which shall point out a remedy for the diseases of the nations. There can be no remedy for their political and religious diseases but that which the common Christianity affords; and that remedy is to be found in the revival of the Apostolic office in the Catholic Church of Christ. The affairs of this world are managed by secular governments. The sceptre over the nations is in their hands. To induce these governments to consider a proposition so new, that its suggester, even if he were the most influential statesman of their number, would be deemed a fool; and so seemingly impossible, that the wisest and most prudent among their number would be considered insane ; it is necessary to remind them of two truths :
The first is, that Christianity, and the Scriptures, were not given, as is too often supposed, exclusively to the ecclesiastical or religious societies or Churches; they were given to the whole world, that from that world the Churches might be formed. They were given as the sun, the light, or the air, that all mankind might enjoy their influence and power.
The persons to whom they were originally addressed were but the momentary depository of the treasure. They are to be valued for their usefulness as well as for their truth : and the secular Princes of the world, as the united holders of the sovereignty of their people, under the God of Christianity, are competent to judge of the laws of God, and of the manner in which the institutions and commandments of Christ shall be made most useful to their people. As physicians are consulted on the expediency or inexpediency of laws respecting health—as lawyers are consulted on the alteration or enactment of cominercial, political, or municipal laws; so also ecclesiastics may be consulted on the laws which shall affect religion. As the physician, the merchant, or the lawyer, if, by experience, or study, or observation, they discover an error in the law, may urge upon the State the alteration of the law; so may the ecclesiastic or the Christian urge upon the State the alteration of the laws respecting Christianity. As it is the duty also of the physician, the merchant, and the politician, thus to act for the benefit of the community, so it is also the duty of the rulers, or of any individual member of a Church, to propose any ecclesiastical or religious measure to the State. But in all these cases the power to alter, enact, and regulate, remains with the State, the Prince, or the Government, to whose charge the submission of their people, and the Providence of God, have entrusted the crown, the throne, and the sceptre.
The second great truth is, that the principles of ruling which thus apply to one nation may be applied to that union of all nations, which may be called the civilized world. They may be applied to the regulation of that union of the family of Man, which is represented in the Holy Scriptures to be one of the objects designed by the Creator in His gift of Revelation. As the end of all the national laws o established in one nation is the promoting and securing of the greatest happiness of that nation; so it is that the end of all Christianity, and the end therefore of all the laws which shall be founded upon its reception, is the greatest happiness of the whole aggregate mass of nations considered in the light in which the Creator in His Revelation has commanded the writers of that Revelation to represent them, as one kingdom of Christ. A kingdom is composed of many provinces : the kingdom of the Universal Church may be composed of many States and Churches. One law of the kingdom governs the Provinces : one law of the kingdom of Christ may govern all Christian Churches. Experience has demonstrated that the law of one province of the Universal Church-that of Rome-cannot be the bond of peace, nor the source of usefulness, or of happiness, to the civilized world. Experience has proved also that the societies and Churches, which have been framed upon the overthrow, or the diminution, of the once general establishment of the laws of the Church of Rome over the Universal Church, have not been, and are not even now, successful in uniting the Christian world; or in effecting that degree of happiness, which the philosopher and the peasant might equally have anticipated as the result of Christianity. This
• See Arnold's Inaugural Lecture on History, p. 13, &c.
second truth, therefore, may be considered as established; that as the civilized world is now regarded as one political family, bound together for the end of a common, and the greatest happiness by the laws of nations, under the united government of the Princes and Senates of the States of Europe—so the time has now come, or is rapidly approaching, when the same one great political family may be, and ought to be, bound together for the end of their greatest earthly happiness, by the laws of Christianity, as a part of the law of nations, under the united government of the Princes and Senates of the States of Christian Europe. If the Bishop of Rome, and if the Churches,-not omitting even the best of them, the Church of England, which have rejected his dominion, have alike failed to forin the Churches of the Universal Catholic Church into one united society ; the time must have arrived when the predicted union of Christians must be anticipated, not from ecclesiastical religious persons, but from political religious persons, that is, from the Christian secular rulers of the Christian world.—And as the political law of nations may be said to be administered by the embassies of the representatives of the secular powers in their political capacity; so might the ecclesiastical law of nations be administered by the meetings of the representatives of the same secular powers in their ecclesiastical capacity. But because the political ambassador who represents the Prince politically, derives his whole and sole authority from the Prince or State which he represents; while the ecclesiastical ambassador who represents the prince ecclesiastically, derives one portion of the authority with which his propositions may be regarded, from a higher than any human source ; therefore it would be necessary to select as the ecclesiastical ambassadors of the princes, those ecclesiastics whose attention might be wholly directed to the great object of the Sovereigns, who desire the universal peace of the civilized world. In other words, the reunion of Christians, the attempt to lessen their divisions, the formation of a primitive, simple Creed, the compilation of a universal Scriptural Liturgy, and all the other foundations of a better condition of the Universal Church, must be undertaken by the secular Sovereigns of the world, authorizing and acting with ecclesiastical persons, to whom shall be delegated authority to inquire into all causes of disunion; and to commend to the Churches, and to the Princes who exercise authority over them, any remedy for the general evils which they may deem advisable. These ecclesiastical representatives of the general secular power may be exempted from all other duties, as their political representatives are exempted. Their only charge, like that of the twelve Apostles in the city of Jerusalem, before its destruction by the Romans, should be the general superintendence of the affairs of the Universal Church. The Apostles, by Christ's command, given to them by the Divine power which their blessed Master imparted to them from on high, considered and regulated the dissensions, controversies, discipline, and circumstances of the primitive Universal Church, without infringing the liberties and the privileges of the people, and without trenching on the prerogatives and authority of the secular Prince : so also is it possible, in the failure of Romanism, and of the Reformation in its present state, to restore peace to the world and the Catholic Church, that this