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give up his life to build up the mighty temple of human improvement,
tho no inscription mark it for glory, and it be as one of the hidden
stones of the sanctuary, visible only to the eye of God. Such was
the spirit and the faith which Jesus left, and in which His first
disciples found their rest. Within the infinitude of the divine
mercy trouble did but fold them closer; the perversity of man did
but provide them to put forth a more conquering love; and tho none
were ever more the sport of the selfish interests and prejudices of
mankind, or came into contact with a more desolate portion of the
great wastes of humanity, they constructed no melancholy theories;
but having planted many a rose of Sharon, and made their little
portion of the desert smile, departed in the faith that the green
margin would spread as the seasons of God came round, till the
mantle of heaven covered the earth, and it ended with Eden as it had
begun.

Between these two sources of Christian peace, virtuous toil, and
holy trust, there is an intimate connection. The desponding are
generally the indolent and useless; not the tried and struggling,
but speculators at a distance from the scene of things, and far from
destitute of comforts themselves. Barren of the most blest of human
sympathies, strangers to the light that best gladdens the heart of
man, they are without the materials of a bright and hopeful faith.
But he who consecrates himself sees at once how God may sanctify
the world; he whose mind is rich in the memory of moral victories
will not easily believe the world a scene of moral defeats; nor was
it ever known that one who, like Paul, labored for the good of man,
despaired of the benevolence of God.

Whoever then would have the peace of Christ, let him seek first the
spirit of Christ. Let him not fret against the conditions which God
assigns to his being, but reverently conform himself to them, and do
and enjoy the good which they allow. Let him cast himself freely on
the career to which the secret persuasion of duty points, without
reservation of happiness or self; and in the exercise which its
difficulties give to his understanding, its conflicts to his will,
its humanities to his affections, he shall find that united action
of his whole and best nature, that inward harmony, that moral order,
which emancipates from the anxieties of self, and unconsciously
yields the divinest repose. The shadows of darkest affliction
cannot blot out the inner radiance of such a mind; the most tedious
years move lightly and with briefest step across its history; for
it is conscious of its immortality, and hastening to its heavens.
And there shall its peace be consummated at length; its griefs
transmuted into delicious retrospects; its affections fresh and
ready for a new and nobler career; and its praise confessing that
this final "peace of God" doth indeed surpass its understanding.




MANNING

THE TRIUMPH OF THE CHURCH




BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE


HENRY EDWARD MANNING, Roman Catholic prelate, was born 1808 at
Totteridge in Hertfordshire and educated at Harrow and Oxford.
After graduation in 1830, he studied for holy orders in the Church
of England and was ordained in 1833. The Tractarian Movement
was then at its height and Manning took a leading part in it.
Appointed Archdeacon of Chichester in 1840 he took a commanding
place as a preacher and leader. Newman's recession did not shake
his allegiance, but the decision in the Gorham case, which gave the
Crown the power of deciding doctrinal questions, drove him to seek
refuge in the Roman Catholic fold in 1851.

He was ordained priest by Cardinal Wiseman and to the end of his
life devoted himself to religious and philanthropic work in London.
He was appointed to succeed Wiseman as Archbishop of Westminster in
1865. He was made cardinal in 1875. As a preacher he was logical and
dogmatic, but his style is imaginative and his flights of eloquence
tinged with poetic coloring and passion. He died in 1892.




MANNING

1808-1892

THE TRIUMPH OF THE CHURCH

_We give thanks unto God, who maketh us always to triumph in Christ
Jesus, and manifesteth the odor of the knowledge of Him by us in
every place. For we are a good odor of Christ unto God, both in them
that are saved and in them that perish; in the one indeed an odor of
life, in the other an odor of death unto death._ - 2 Cor. ii., 14-16.
(Douay Version.)


Such was the confidence of the Apostle in the face of all that was
most hostile, mighty, and triumphant in the judgment of this world.
He was confident that through God his mission in the world was being
accomplished, that the Word of God was triumphing over all the
power of man. They may well have said to him, "What is this triumph
you speak of? If this be triumph, what is defeat? You were stoned
the other day in Lystra; you were imprisoned at Philippi; you were
scourged at Jerusalem; you were saved out of the hands of the people
only by Roman soldiers; you were confounded by the philosophers
at Athens; and you were refuted out of the holy Scriptures by the
Jews of Berea. If this is triumph, you are welcome to it." Such,
no doubt, was the lordly and confident language of men in the face
of the apostles of Jesus Christ then, and such is the language of
confidence with which the world looks on the Catholic Church at
this hour. It counts it to be a comedy played out, a stale medieval
superstition, and a name that is trampled in the earth. In every age
the Church has been militant and in warfare. It is under the same
law of suffering which crucified its divine Head. His throne was
a cross, and His crown was of thorns. Nevertheless He triumphed,
and He triumphs still, and shall triumph to the end. And so at
this moment, in this nineteenth century, in the century of modern
civilization, of light, of progress, of scientific affectation,
the Catholic Church is derided. They say to us, "Look at the
Catholic Church in Germany; look at it in Italy; the head of the
Church dethroned; and not a spot on earth for the incarnation to
set its foot upon. If this be triumph you are welcome to it." Our
answer is: "Yes, even now we triumph always and in every place.
The Catholic Church is triumphing now in America, and in Ireland,
and in the colonies of the British empire; aye, and in the midst
of the confusions in Spain, and in France through revolution after
revolution, and in the furnace of infidelity; aye, and in Germany,
in the midst of all that the might of man can do against it; and in
Italy too, where the head of the Church is morally a prisoner, it
is triumphing even now."

But how can I verify this assertion? It would be enough indeed to
quote the words of the apostle, but I hope to do more. The world
esteems the triumph of the Church to be in wealth, power, glory,
honor, public sway over empires and nations. There was a time indeed
when the world laid these things at the feet of the apostles of
Jesus Christ. There was a time when the Catholic Church and the
Christian world knew how to sanctify the society of men; but there
is this difference - the world then believed, and the world now is
apostate. Nevertheless, there is a triumph in the Christian world
and there is a triumph in the anti-Christian world; and what is it?
It is that the Church in every age and in every condition, and in
the midst of all antagonists, fulfils its mission and accomplishes
its work, and no power of man can hinder it. Men may, as we shall
see hereafter, to their own destruction, resist the mission of
the Church, but its work will be accomplished nevertheless, and
accomplished even in them; and its work will be a good odor of
Christ unto God both in those that are saved and in those that
perish. The world has neither tests nor measures by which to
understand what the mission and the work of the Church are; but they
who see by the light of faith have both. Let us examine, then, what
is its mission, what is its work, and how it is fulfilled.

First of all, the mission of the Church among men is this - to be
a witness for God, and for the incarnation of God in the face of
the world. Our Divine Lord said of Himself: "For this was I born,
and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony
unto the truth." As it was with Him, so it is with His Church; and
therefore He said to His apostles: "You shall be witnesses unto
me," and St. John said: "That which was from the beginning, which
we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have
looked upon, and our hands handled, of the word of life; for the
life was manifested, and we have seen it, and do bear witness, and
declare unto you, the life eternal which was with the Father, and
hath appeared unto us; that is to say, the manifestation of God in
the flesh, the incarnation of the Son of God." The Church was the
witness of this divine fact to the world, and it is witness to this
hour. I may say it is an eye-witness. It was eye-witness of what it
declares. It was an ear-witness of what it affirms. I may say in
truth that the Church of God, which testifies at this hour, saw the
Son of God, and heard His words, and was witness of His miracles.
So St. Peter expressly declares, speaking of His transfiguration:
"We have not, by artificial fables, made known to you the power and
presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eye-witnesses of his
greatness. For he received from God the Father honor and glory,
this voice coming down to him from the excellent glory: This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And his voice
we heard brought from heaven, when we were with him in the holy
mount." More than this: it was a witness of the day of Pentecost,
and upon it the Holy Ghost descended. It heard the sound of the
mighty wind and it saw the tongues of fire. The Church therefore
testifies at this day as an ear-witness and an eye-witness of the
divine facts which it declares. And how can this be said? Because
that which the apostles saw and heard they delivered to others who
believed in them upon a full test and knowledge of their truth, and
those who received their testimony held it as a sacred trust and
declared it to those who came after. From age to age the testimony
of the apostles has descended unbroken. The intrinsic certainty of
their witness, resting on their own eye-witness and ear-witness of
the facts, has not diminished by a shade, jot, or tittle in the
lapse of time, and the external evidence of that fact has multiplied
and extended throughout all time and throughout the world. Therefore
the testimony of the apostles to these divine realities and truths
is as living and fresh at this day as it was in the beginning.
Then twelve men testified; now the nations of the world, united
in one body by faith and by baptism, take up and perpetuate that
testimony. And part of that testimony is this - that when the Son of
God ascended into heaven, as they saw Him ascend, He fulfilled His
promise that He would send the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Ghost, to
abide with them forever; that when one divine Teacher had gone up
to His Father's throne, another should come in His stead; that the
world should never be without a divine Person and a divine Teacher
in the midst of it; and that the Spirit of Truth by which they
were united to their divine Head in heaven should unite them also
to each other as His members in one mystical body, and should form
to Himself a dwelling-place in which to abide forever. As the soul
abides in the body of the man, so the Holy Ghost abides in the body
of the Church. It is the sanctuary in which He dwells; the organ by
which He speaks, so that the words of our Divine Lord are fulfilled
to the very letter - "He that heareth you heareth me;" for the voice
of the head and that of the body, as St. Augustine says, are one and
the same voice. As they make one moral person, so their voice is
identical, and the assistance of the Holy Spirit keeps the voice of
the Church always in perfect harmony with the voice of its divine
Head, fulfilling the promise of the Lord by His prophet: "My spirit
which is upon thee and my word which I put in thy mouth, shall never
depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor
out of the mouth of thy seed's seed from this time and forever."
Thus, then, the mission of the Church is fulfilled always; whether
the world believe or disbelieve, whether it gainsay or assent, it
matters not; the testimony of the Church forever triumphs in every
place.

Another part of the mission of the Church is this - to teach the
doctrines of Jesus Christ in the midst of all the controversies and
contradictions of men. In the face of all the errors and heresies
of men there is one divine Teacher perpetually declaring the same
immutable truth. In the clamor and confusion of the human voices
of philosophers and human guides, of the scribes and Pharisees of
the new laws, there is one divine voice - articulate, clear, and
piercing - which cleaves through all the confusion, and is to be
heard above the clamor of men and of nations - the voice of that
one holy, Catholic, and Roman Church, spreading from the sunrise
to the sunset, immutable in its doctrine, teaching the same truths
identically in every place, and abiding always the same unchanging
teacher in every age. This is a fact legible in human history. I
need not offer proof of it from histories written by ourselves; it
is proved by histories and controversies of those who are most
opposed to us. There is an accusation which is repeated from age
to age against the Catholic and Roman Church; and what is it? That
it always persists in its old errors. I accept the accusation. Its
persistence proves its immutability, and that which they account
error we know to be the doctrine of Jesus Christ; because, as I have
already shown from the Word of God, neither can the Catholic Church
ever err in believing, nor can the Catholic Church err in teaching.
These are two impossibilities, and they descend from one and the
same divine truth. God, the Holy Ghost, abiding forever in the
mystical body of Christ, illuminates the whole body of the faithful
from the time of their baptism. From the time that the graces of
faith, hope, and charity are infused into their souls, they are
illuminated with the light of faith as the world is illuminated by
the splendor of the sun at noonday; and the faithful throughout
the world continue passively in their persistence in that one
baptismal faith wherewith they were enlightened from their earliest
consciousness. And further, they can never err in believing,
because the Church which teaches them can never err in teaching.
The episcopate throughout the world, which is the college of the
apostles multiplied and expanded among all nations, has always the
assistance of the Spirit of Truth to guide and preserve it, so that
the errors of men and infirmities of our intellect never prevail
over the light of faith by which the whole Episcopate and the Church
is sustained in the revelation of the day of Pentecost. And more
than this: nineteen general councils, from the first which declared
the coequality and consubstantiality of the Son with the Father and
the Holy Ghost, down to the last which declared the infallibility
of the vicar of Jesus Christ, - those nineteen councils have been
the organ of the Holy Ghost, preserving the truth in all ages; and
the pontiffs, two hundred and fifty-seven in number, have also been
guided and assisted by the same Spirit of Truth; so that no doctrine
of faith and morals from their hand and from their lips has been out
of harmony with the revelation of Jesus Christ. For these reasons
the Church is fulfilling its mission, always and in every place, and
it can say in every age, with a divine certainty of knowledge and
with a divine authority of teaching: "It seemed good to the Holy
Ghost and to us."

Once more, and lastly: there is another part of the mission of the
Church which never fails, and is never baffled - and that is, that
the Church judges between the truth of God and the errors of men,
and gives decision with divine certainty what is truth, what is
falsehood, what is light and what is darkness. Here again the world,
in the confusion of its discordant witnesses, bears testimony to
our truth. The world disclaims altogether the presence of any divine
teacher in the midst of us. It derides the very notion. There is
not a sect or a communion, or a so-called church, which lays claim
to this divine guidance. They say infallibility exists nowhere but
in God. As the Pharisees said: "Who can forgive sins but God only?"
thereby acknowledging the divinity of Him who forgave the palsied
man. And while they say: "We have no infallibility in us; we do
not claim it; we deny its existence on the face of the earth," the
one Teacher, who never varies in His voice, says: "He that heareth
me heareth him that sent me." It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and
unto us that we should claim that infallibility, and we cite you
before the tribunal of God to answer for your denial of that truth.
We say further that no man knows that any revelation was ever made
to man except through our testimony. You never saw the Word made
flesh, you nor your forefathers; and you have no unbroken succession
of witnesses who trace upward these eighteen hundred years to the
day when the Holy Ghost descended with wind and fire; you are not
in contact with the original revelation of God. How can you rise
up and say: "This was revealed upwards of eighteen hundred years
ago," when you have no proof to give, except that which you borrow
from me, that the Son of God ever came into the world? You take my
witness for the fact of Christianity, and you then contradict me
when I teach you what the doctrines of Christianity are. And if
men appeal to the Scriptures, our answer is the same. How do you
know the Scriptures were ever written? How can you prove that there
ever was a book called the Word of God? You had it from me; you
snatched it out of my hand, and you then read it and interpret it
in contradiction to my teaching. How do you know that there were
four greater prophets and twelve lesser in the Old Testament; that
there were four evangelists and fourteen epistles of St. Paul in the
New? Who told you all these things? You had them all from me - from
me alone, to whom these Scriptures were committed in custody and
in guardianship; from me, who preserved and handed them on to this
day. You, who are denying the inspiration of this book and of that,
of this text and of that text, and who are gnawing away, as a moth
fretteth a garment, the whole written word of God, you rise up and
tell us: "This is the meaning of the holy Scriptures," and you
reject the holy Catholic faith.

Dear brethren, it needs great patience to hear these things;
nevertheless, the judge is always calm and patient while he is
fulfilling his work among men, and that because it is a grave
thing to be the odor of life unto life and of death unto death to
the eternal souls of men. And when men appeal to antiquity and tell
us that "this is not the primitive tradition," the Church answers:
Were you ever in antiquity, or anyone that belongs to you? I was
there, and as a perpetual witness antiquity is to me nothing but my
early days. Antiquity exists in my consciousness to this hour, as
men grown to riper years remember their childhood. Men of the world
know that the contemporaneous interpretation of a law is the most
authentic and certain interpretation. But I have the contemporaneous
interpretation of holy Scripture; and more than this, men who
practise before human tribunals know that the continuous usage of a
country is the interpretation of its laws written and unwritten. But
I have the contemporaneous and the continuous usage of the Church
of God. The seven sacraments are institutions of Jesus Christ and
every one of them interprets a cluster of truths. The existence
of the Church itself is an interpretation of the words: "Thou art
Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of
hell shall not prevail against it." The jurisdiction that I have
over the world, which the hearts of men recognize and to which their
consciences respond, is the interpretation of the words: "Receive
ye the Holy Ghost, whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven
unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."

But lastly there is another appeal which men make in this day. We
are now told that scientific history is the test of truth; and I saw
the other day in a document having great pretension from a certain
body of men who are troubling Germany and attempting to trouble even
England with the name of Old Catholics, that the way to know the
pure faith of Jesus Christ is to interpret history by science. Alas,
as I said before, the world is full of pretensions to science; but
those who claim to be Catholics, and who yet appeal from the living
voice of the Catholic Church to any other tribunal whatsoever, are
all of them identical in their principle, and that principle is
heresy. Luther appealed from the voice of the Catholic Church to
Scripture, and thereby became a heretic. There are others who appeal
to antiquity, and the appeal is the same - it is an appeal from the
living voice, from the divine authority of the Church, to something
of their own choice and creation. It matters not to what the appeal
is made. That which constitutes both the treason of the act and the
heresy of the principle is that they appeal from the living voice,
that is from the divine voice. This it is that is being done at this
moment by a body of men who profess to be and to intend to live and
die Catholics; and what is more, to purify and reform the Church by
staying in it. What is their appeal? Their appeal is to history, to
scientific history; that is, to history interpreted by themselves.
Luther was much more direct and much wiser. He appealed to a book
which is certainly written by the Holy Ghost; they appeal to I know
not what books, but to books certainly written only by men, and not
by the Spirit of God; to human history, the authenticity of which
and the purity of the text of which no one can guarantee; and even
this they interpret for themselves.

Now bear with me further if I dwell a few moments longer upon this.
At the time I speak, in the old Catholic city of Cologne there
is assembled together a number of these men - some four or five
hundred - with a handful of unhappy priests, perhaps six or eight,
of whom the greater part had already the note of unsoundness upon
them before they took their deadly step. And what are they? What
are these men who are rising up to purify the Church? What do they
believe? Some believe all the Council of Trent, but not the Council
of the Vatican. Some believe the Church to be infallible, but not
its Head; others propose to reject the invocation of saints, and
purgatory, and compulsory confession, and I know not what. Others
ask for either half or altogether rationalism. And who have they to
assist them? Excommunicated Jansenists from Holland, and members, I
grieve to say, of the Established Church from England; and those
chosen, as it were, by a happy fatality, one the most extreme of
old-fashioned high-church orthodoxy - an estimable and excellent man,
whose person I both respect and love; and another whose advanced
rationalism is such that even his own brethren can hardly forbear
protesting against him. So that we have assembled in this congress,
which is to reform and purify the Catholic and Roman Church of all
ages, men so irreconcilably in contradiction with themselves that
they cannot touch a religious doctrine without discord, and they
cannot find anything on which to unite except in opposition to the
one immutable truth. There was a day when all the Scribes, and all
the Pharisees, and all the Herodians, and all the hypocrites, and
all the men who could agree in anything else or at any other time,
were united together in one conspiracy, and tho their witnesses did
not agree together and their discordant voices could not be combined
they all had one will and one purpose against the Son of God and
against His truth. These men, I bear witness - many of them at
least - have no such intention; but we know from the Word of God that
neither had they who crucified our divine Master a knowledge of what
they did: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
"Which none of the princes of this world knew; for if they had known
it they would never have crucified the Lord of glory." But they are
at this moment fulfilling the very words of the apostles: "And to


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