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Satis Cognitum On the Unity of the Church

Satis Cognitum On the Unity of the Church

Regular price $7.99
  • ISBN-13: 9781532930669
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Apr 25, 2016
  • Pages: 98 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.25 x 8.0 x 5.0 inches

Overview

Excerpt: 2. Although God can do by His own power all that is effected by created natures, nevertheless in the counsels of His loving Providence He has preferred to help men by the instrumentality of men. And, as in the natural order He does not usually give full perfection except by means of man’s work and action, so also He makes use of human aid for that which lies beyond the limits of nature, that is to say, for the sanctification and salvation of souls. But it is obvious that nothing can be communicated amongst men save by means of external things which the senses can perceive. For this reason the Son of God assumed human nature-”who being in the form of God.... emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of man” (Philipp. ii., 6,7)-and thus living on earth He taught his doctrine and gave His laws, conversing with men. The Church Always Visible 3. And, since it was necessary that His divine mission should be perpetuated to the end of time, He took to Himself Disciples, trained by himself, and made them partakers of His own authority. And, when He had invoked upon them from Heaven the Spirit of Truth, He bade them go through the whole world and faithfully preach to all nations, what He had taught and what He had commanded, so that by the profession of His doctrine, and the observance of His laws, the human race might attain to holiness on earth and never-ending happiness in Heaven. In this wise, and on this principle, the Church was begotten. If we consider the chief end of His Church and the proximate efficient causes of salvation, it is undoubtedly spiritual; but in regard to those who constitute it, and to the things which lead to these spiritual gifts, it is external and necessarily visible. The Apostles received a mission to teach by visible and audible signs, and they discharged their mission only by words and acts which certainly appealed to the senses. So that their voices falling upon the ears of those who heard them begot faith in souls-”Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the words of Christ” (Rom. x., 17). And faith itself - that is assent given to the first and supreme truth - though residing essentially in the intellect, must be manifested by outward profession-”For with the heart we believe unto justice, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. x., 10). In the same way in man, nothing is more internal than heavenly grace which begets sanctity, but the ordinary and chief means of obtaining grace are external: that is to say, the sacraments which are administered by men specially chosen for that purpose, by means of certain ordinances. Jesus Christ commanded His Apostles and their successors to the end of time to teach and rule the nations. He ordered the nations to accept their teaching and obey their authority. But his correlation of rights and duties in the Christian commonwealth not only could not have been made permanent, but could not even have been initiated except through the senses, which are of all things the messengers and interpreters.

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