Roman Catholic Claims

Cover of book Roman Catholic Claims
Categories: Nonfiction

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NITY OF THE CHURCH. It is a question often asked of English churchmen ' In what sense do you believe in one Holy Catholic Church ? You do not claim that the English Church is of itself and alone the whole Church; you admit the Roman and Eastern branches to be, equally with your own, parts of the Church : that is to say, you admit permanent and apparently radical divisions in the Church in matters of doctrine no less than of government, and yet you say the Church is one. Surely you are here giving words an unreal meaning. Surely the Romanists can call the Church " one " in a much more intelligible sense. What they mean by church unity is plain and tangible. Their Church is one.' Thus Mr. Rivington has recently said : " I saw that the plain, obvious meaning of our Lord's words to St. Peter involved the institution of a visible Head to His visible Church, besides the fact that His Church is described as an organized body, and that the talk of a body without a head in the same order of life as the rest of the body, is to use words without meaning. An invisible body may have only an invisible head; but avisible body, to be a body at all, must have also a visible head." 1 Authority p. 5. In this argument, just quoted, and in the sort of questioning described above, we have a specimen of the way in which we are pressed in the English Church to acknowledge that 'logically' the belief in the visible Church leads to Rome; and we make our reply to this solicitation, first, by endeavouring to explain positively the primary sense of church unity, as taught in Scripture and held by the Fathers, so as to show that it covers our position and enables us to give a rational account of it: and then, negatively, by pointing out in what we consider the weakness of the R... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Roman Catholic Claims
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