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CHAPTER XI. APPLICATION OF THE SIXTH NOTE O F A TRUE DEVELOPMENT. CONSERVATIVE ACTION ON ITS PAST. IT is the general pretext of heretics that they are but serving and protecting Christianity by their innovations ; and it is their charge against what by this time we may surely call the Catholic Church, that her successive defi­ nitions of doctrine have but overlaid and obscured it. That is, they assume, what we have no wish to deny, that a true development is that which is conservative of its original, and a corruption is that which tends to its de­ struction. This has already been set down as a Sixth Test, discriminative of a development from a corruption, and must now be applied to the Catholic doctrines ; though this Essay has so far exceeded its proposed limits,that both reader and writer may well be weary, and may content themselves with a brief consideration of the portions of the subject which remain. It has been observed alreadythat a strict correspondence between the various members of a development, and those of the doctrine from which it is derived, is more than we have any right to expect. The bodily structure of a grown man is not merely that of a magnified boy ; he differs from what he was in his make and proportions ; still manhood is the perfection of boyhood, adding something of its own, 420 APPLICATION OF THE SIXTH N OTE. [CH. XI. yet keeping what it finds. " Ut nihil novum," says Vincen­ tius, " proferatur in senibus, quad non in pueris jam antea latitaverit." This character of addition,-that is, of a change which is in one sense real and perceptible, yet without loss or reversal of what was before, but, on the contrary, protective and confirmative of it,-in many respects and in a special way belongs to Christianity. SECTION I. VARIOUS INSTANCES. If we take the simplest and most general view of its history, as existing in an individual mind, or in the Church at large, we shall see in it an instance of this peculiai·ity. It is the birth of something virtually new, because latent in what was before. Thus we know that no temper of mind is acceptable in the Divine Presence without love ; it is love which makes Christian fear differ from servile dread, and true faith differ from the faith of devils ; yet in the beginning of the religious life, fear is the prominent evangelical grace, and love is but latent in fear, and has in course of time to be developed out of what seems its contradictory. Then, when it is developed, it takes that prominent place which fear held before, yet protecting not superseding it. Love is added, not fear removed, and the mind is but perfected in grace by what seems a revolution. " They that sow in tears, reap in joy ;" yet afterwards still they are " sorrowful," though " alway rejoicing." And so was it with the Church at large. She started with suffering, which turned to victory ; but when she was set free from the house of her prison, she did not quit it so much as turn it into a cell. Meekness inherited the earth ; strength came forth from we11kness ; the poor S llJCT. I.] VARIOUS INSTANCES. 421 made many rich ; yet meekness and poverty remained. The rulers of the world were Monks, when they could not be Martyrs. 2. Immediately on the overthrow of the heathen power, two movements simultaneously ran through the world from East to vVest, as quickly as the lightning in the prophecy, a development of worship and of asceticism. Hence, while the world's £rst reproach in heathen times had been that Christianity was a dark malevolent magic, its second has been that it is a joyous carnal paganism ;-according to that saying, " vVe have piped unto you, and ye have not danced ; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." Yet our Lord too was " a man of sorrows " all the while, but softened His austerity by His gracious gentleness. 3. The like characteristic attends also on the mystery of His Incarnation. He was first God and He became man ; but Eutyches and heretics of his school refused to admit that He was man, lest...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780268158088
Related ISBN
9780268009212
MARC Record
OCLC
1017613061
Pages
480
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Language
English
Open Access
No
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