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ition, to deny it was proximate to heresy, because it was a revealed truth, and a Divine fact, on which the unity of the Church has depended from the beginning.

From what has been said, the precise meaning of the terms before us may be easily fixed.

1. The privilege of infallibility is personal, inasmuch as it attaches to the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, as a public person, distinct from, but inseparably united to, the Church; but it is not personal, in that it is attached, not to the private person, but to the primacy, which he alone possesses.

2. It is also independent, inasmuch as it does not depend upon either the Ecclesia docens or the Ecclesia discens ; but it is not independent, in that it depends in all things upon the Divine Head of the Church, upon the institution of the primacy by Him, and upon the assistance of the Holy Ghost.

3. It is absolute, inasmuch as it can be circumscribed by no human or ecclesiastical law; it is not absolute, in that it is circumscribed by the office of guarding, expounding, and defending the deposit of revelation.

4. It is separate in no sense, nor can be, nor can so be called, without manifold heresy, unless the word be taken to mean distinct. In this sense, the Roman Pontiff is distinct from the Episcopate, and is a distinct subject of infallibility; and in the exercise of his supreme doctrinal authority, or magis. terium, he does not depend for the infallibility of his definitions upon

the consent or consultation of the Episcopate, but only on the Divine assistance of the Holy Ghost.





It may here be well to answer an objection which is commonly supposed to lie against the doctrine of the Pontifical Infallibility; namely, that the evidence of history is opposed to it.

The answer is twofold.

1. First, that the evidence of history distinctly proves the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.

I shall be told that this is to beg the question.

To which I answer, they also who affirm the contrary beg the question.

Both sides appeal to history, and with equal confidence ; sometimes with equal clamor, and often equally in vain. By some people “The Pope and the Council,"

” by Janus, is regarded as the most unanswerable work of scientific history hitherto published.

By others it is regarded as the shallowest and most pretentious book of the day.

Between such contradictory judgments who is to decide ? Is there any tribunal of appeal in matters of history? or is there no ultimate judge? Is history a road where no one can err; or is it a wilderness in which we must wander without guide or path ? Are we all left to private judgment alone? If any one say, that there is no judge but right reason or common sense, he is only reproducing in history what Luther applied to the Bible.

This theory may be intellectually and morally possible to those who are not Catholics. In Catholics such a theory is simple heresy. That there is an ultimate judge in such matters of history as affect the truths of revelation, is a dogma of faith. But into this we will enter hereafter.

For the present, I will make only one other observation.

Let us suppose that the divinity of our Lord were in controversy. Let us suppose that two hundred and fifty-six passages from the Fathers were adduced to prove that Jesus Christ is God. These two hundred and fifty-six passages, we will say, may be distributed into three classes ; the first consisting of a great number, in which the divinity of our Lord is explicitly and unmistakably declared; the second, a greater number which so assume or imply it as to be inexplicable upon any other hypothesis; the third, also numerous, capable of the same interpretation, and incapable of the contrary interpretation, though in themselves inexplicit.

We will suppose, next, one passage to exist in some one of the Fathers, the aspect of which is ad

Its language is apparently contradictory to the hypothesis that Jesus Christ is God. Its terms are explicit; and, if taken at the letter, cannot be reconciled with the doctrine of His divinity.

I need only remind you of St. Justin Martyr's argument that the Angel who appeared to Moses in the bush could not be the Father, but the Son,


because the Father could not be manifested "in a narrow space on earth ;'* or even of the words of our Divine Lord Himself, “The Father is greater than I."'+

Now, I would ask, what course would any man of just and considerate intelligence pursue in such a case ?

Would he say, one broken link destroys a chain ? One such passage adverse to the divinity of Christ outweighs two hundred and fifty-six passages to the contrary?

Would this be scientific history? or would it be scientific to assume that the one passage, however apparently explicit and adverse, can bear only one sense, and cannot in any other way be explained ? If so, scientific historians are bound to the literal prima facie sense of the words of St. Justin Martyr, and of our Lord above quoted.

Still, supposing the one passage to remain explicit and adverse, and therefore an insoluble difficulty, I would ask whether any but a Socinian, ÚTOOéoel dovlevwv, servilely bound, and pledged by the perverseness of controversy, would reject the whole cumulus of explicit and constructive evidence contained in two hundred and fifty-six passages, because of one adverse passage of insoluble difficulty ? People must be happily unconscious of the elements which underlie the whole basis of their most confident beliefs if they would so proceed. But into this I will not enter now. Enough to say, that such a procedure would be so far from

* Dialog. cum Tryph. sect. 60, p. 157. Ed. Ben. Paris, 1742.

+ St. John xiv. 28.

scientific that it would be superficial, unintellectual, and absurd. I would ask, then, is it science, or is it passion, to reject the cumulus of evidence which surrounds the infallibility of two hundred and fiftysix pontiffs, because of the case of Honorius, even if supposed to be an insoluble difficulty ? Real science would teach us that in the most certain systems there are residual phenomena which long remain as insoluble difficulties, without in the least diminishing the certainty of the system itself.

But, further, the case of Honorius is not an insoluble difficulty.

In the judgment of a cloud of the greatest theologians of all countries, schools, and languages, since the controversy was opened two hundred years ago, the case of Honorius has been completely solved. Nay more, it has been used with abundant evidence, drawn from the very same acts and documents, to prove the direct contrary hypothesis, namely, the infallibility of the Roman pontiffs. But into this again I shall not enter. It is enough for my present argument to affirm that inasmuch as the case of Honorius has been for centuries disputed, it is disputable. Again, inasmuch

. as it has been interpreted with equal confidence for and against the infallibility of the Roman pontiffand I may add that they who have cleared Honorius of personal heresy, are an overwhelming majority compared with their opponents, and let it be said for argument's sake, and with more than moderation, that the probability of their interpretations at least equals that of the opponents—for all these reasons I may, with safety, affirm that, if the case of Honorius be not solved, it is certainly not

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