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immanent, implies that the right hand of God is a symbol of His omnipresence and omnipotence, and that Christ is everywhere, in the midst of the conflict against evil, and His session at the right hand of the Father becomes the symbol of victory.
FROM THENCE HE SHALL COME TO JUDGE THE QUICK AND THE DEAD
Either He shall return in human form at the end of the world, when the judgment, conceived as a future event, shall begin; or, He comes perpetually in every event or movement which furthers the growth of His Kingdom, and the judgment is continuous and culminating — the discrimination between good and evil and the condemnation of the evil. (This latter view is urged in Robertson's Sermons, in the writings of F. D. Maurice, and eloquently presented in Mulford's "Republic of God.")
THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH
On this point the Anglican Church has offered an interpretation in the "Prayer for all sorts and conditions of men," where "all those who profess and call themselves Christians" is given as
its equivalent. In the American version of this prayer "Universal" is substituted for Catholic, and this reading may be carried into the Creed "the holy universal Church." In the Bidding Prayer of the Church of England (Canons of 1604, Canon 55) it reads, “Christ's holy Catholic Church, that is, the whole congregation of Christian people dispersed throughout the world."
On the other hand, especially since the Oxford Movement (1833), there has been received another interpretation, the Catholic Church exists in three branches, Greek, Roman, and Anglican; an interpretation which excludes the Lutheran Church and the various branches of the Reformed Church; in a word, the Protestant world is shut out from the Catholic Church of the creeds.1
1 The Greek Church practically identifies "Catholic with "Orthodox," and gives the preference to Orthodox in its title. Among the definitions of "Catholic" the most prominent is in the Edict of Theodosius (380 A.D.), where those alone are to enjoy the privilege of being known as 'Catholic" who accept the Nicene Creed. According to Vincentius of Lerins, that is Catholic which has been always, everywhere, and by all received: Quod semper, quod ubique, et quod ab omnibus. The Roman Church has steadfastly maintained that union with the bishop of Rome is necessary in order to union with the Catholic Church, or that papacy is essential to Catholicity.
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
Was not in the original form of the Creed, but was added in Southern Gaul in the fifth century, and became a part of the Roman Creed after its final shape was assumed in the eighth century. There has never been certainty about the meaning of the phrase. It has often been interpreted as in apposition to the preceding phrase and as thus defining the Catholic Church to be the communion of saints or of holy persons. This was the view of Niceta in a homily attributed to him, where the Church as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead: "What is the Church but the congregation of all saints? Patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, all the just who have been, are, or shall be, are one Church, because sanctified by one faith and life, marked by One Spirit, they constitute one body. Believe then that in this one Church you will attain the communion of saints.'
Others have interpreted the clause as designed to exclude heretics, with whom there should be no communion - a view which finds
1 Cf. Caspari, "Anedota 1,” p. 355, cited in Swete, "The Apostles' Creed," p. 84. A similar view is found in Sermon 241, attributed to Augustine and published in appendix to his works.
support in ancient comments.' Again it has been maintained that the purpose of its insertion in the Creed was to sanction the worship of saints, which in the fourth century was opposed by Vigilantius and his followers, but became the later custom of the Church, - a view maintained by Harnack in his short treatise on the Creed.2 Still another interpretation, and quite as probable as any, refers it to an anti-Donatist purpose, a disclaimer against the Donatist accusation that the Catholic Church embraced alike the evil and the good, whereas the Church should be the body of the pure.
THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS
Would seem to stand forth distinctly as a supreme principle of the Christian faith were it not for inevitable inferences which either illumine or darken its meaning:
1. That the forgiveness comes directly to the
1 Cf. John of Damascus, "De Fide Orthodoxa," 13; where in speaking of the Eucharist, he warns against communion with heretics. In the "Catechism of the Council of Trent," Ch. 9, Quest. 22, "Communion of Saints" is regarded as explanatory of the Catholic Church and as implying communion in the Eucharist from which heretics are excluded. There was an effort to restore this meaning to the phrase in the Anglican Church in the last century.
2 "Das Apostolische Glaubensbekenntniss," p. 33.
soul from God, on condition of faith and repentance, without the interposition of any human. media; and with the forgiveness comes the sense of assurance that sins are forgiven;
2. The forgiveness can only be obtained through the Sacraments, and by the mediation of the priesthood; and even so, the absolute assurance of forgiveness cannot be imparted in this life.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY
The resurrection of the flesh (resurrectionem carnis) was the original meaning; and from the second century down to this modern day it was the prevailing view that the particles of the body laid in the grave would constitute the body which should rise again. Tertullian and Augustine, among many others, met the scoffers of their time who could not believe such teaching, with what must then have appeared conclusive argument.
This meaning now seems by almost common consent to have been abandoned, and for it is substituted a meaning more in accord with scientific teaching, that "resurrection of the body" implies a spiritual body different from the body laid in the grave and not composed of the same particles, - an interpretation defended