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You are no Christian; your baptisms, confirmations, eucharists, and ordinations, are invalid-your bishops are all a sham!' This is what we hear daily from Roman Catholics. And wherefore? say Because you obey not the voice of the successor of S. Peter the Bishop and Prince of Rome. Common sense might teach that this is unreasonable, upon the plain grounds of Scripture. There is nothing in Scripture to authorise the doctrine that S. Peter himself had any supremacy of power. That he had the primacy of order, few will question; but this involves no power. If, then, S. Peter had no supremacy of power, his successor can have none. This is the real point at issue between the Roman Churches on the one side, and the Greek and British on the other. The ultra-montane excludes all from the visible church who do not bend to the supposed successor of Peter. The successors of Andrew and Paul must crouch to the successor of Peter. This is a very fine hypothesis, and was once found very profitable and lucrative to the exchequer of the Vatican, and very much the contrary to that of Scotland. If it be said that Christ, before His passion, promised to give the keys of heaven to Peter, with the power of absolution, it is replied by us that Christ did actually give the power of remission of sins to all the apostles after His resurrection. If it be said, that by the rock on which Christ said He would build his church, was meant Peterallowing this, which literally is not true, we might still reply, that Christ is said to have built His church upon the foundation of the apostles,'-not of one apostle only. Still more ground have we for resisting the Roman claims, when we read that Paul 'resisted Peter to his face' respecting a point of practice, because he was to be blamed,'-which the Bishop of Rome would not now tolerate in a successor of Paul. We have ever been willing to yield the primacy to the Roman pontiff, but he would have the supremacy. It is his own fault now that he has neither. The Primacy was ever of too little value to content the Roman bishops.
EVERY Scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth out of his treasure things new and old.'-St MATTHEW xiii. 52.
Here was the dying pardoned-as the
Of blessed sunshine through the dungeon door
Startles the captive, when his hope is o'er,
Bidding him forth to freedom, so 'To day
Shalt thou be with me,' thrilled
through every chord
Of that poor heart, at Love's for-
Here would we linger--where the
For his rude foes-here, by His
Nearer and nearer to the healing tide,
Till our dear LORD within the tomb is laid;
Here the strong cry shall rise, that not in vain
For us, O LORD, the Lamb of Gon be slain.
HYMN FOR VESPERS ON TRINITY SUNDAY.
Blessed uncreated Light,
In our laud at early prime,
In our prayer at vesper time,
Give us grace to Thee to raise
Mighty Father, unto Thee
R. K. T.
THE PENTECOST OF CHRISTIANS CORRESPONDS TO THAT OF MOSES. THE ANNER IN WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT INSTRUCTED THE APOSTLES.
THE festival which we celebrate to-day is one of the most solemn, and deserves to be honoured with the utmost respect and veneration; all Catholics agree in this; and we cannot be too careful and attentive in sanctifying this day which the Holy Spirit consecrated by so many miracles. This day is the tenth since the Saviour of the world ascended to the highest Heavens to take His seat at the right hand of His Father, and the fiftieth since His resurrection; this is the day in which the greatest mysteries of the Old and New Testaments are united, that we may understand that grace was announced by the law, and that the law was accomplished by grace. The Jewish people having been delivered from the bondage of Egypt, the law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, the fiftieth day after the paschal lamb had been slain so likewise after Jesus Christ, who is the true Lamb of God, had been put to death on Calvary, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and disciples the fiftieth day after the resurrection; hence without much reflection, it is easy to understand, that the
beginnings of the Old Testament were the preludes of the New, and that it was the Holy Spirit who constituted the second, even as He had instituted the first covenant.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.' How efficacious are the words of wisdom, and how promptly do they act! With what ease do we learn what is taught us, when it is God who instructs! We need not the aid of interpreters to explain what is said to us, we understand at once, and without long practice; neither time nor study are necessary. The Spirit of Truth inspires whomsoever He wills, and all nations speak one language, and form one Church. To-day the evangelic trumpet began to be heard, and streams of grace and rivers of blessings to flow over the desert earth, and to water the most dry ground. 'The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,' to renew the whole earth and to dispel the ancient darkness : a new light came down from heaven in tongues of fire, to enlighten the mind and inflame the heart, it had power to enlighten, and to continue in order, to create a new understanding, and to purge away sin. Although all the circumstances of this festival are wonderful, and though we cannot doubt that the majesty of the Holy Spirit was present in the assembly of the faithful who praised God with so much zeal and joy, nevertheless we must not suppose that the substance of the Holy Spirit was really in the tongues of fire which were seen by the senses. The Divine Nature common to the Three persons of the Trinity, and which is in itself invisible, is manifested in a manner agreeable to whatever it desires to work, but it still preserves in its divinity the property of its essence. Our bodily eyes can see neither the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Ghost. There is no inequality or dissimilarity in the Holy Trinity; we must not think any thing respecting the Divine substance, which does not imply perfect equality in power, glory and eternity: Although in the properties of the persons, the Father be different from the Son, and the Son from the Holy Spirit, nevertheless They have not a different divinity or a different nature, since the only Son is begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son, not as a creature of which they are the principle, but He subsists and lives with the Father and the Son, He is equally powerful and eternal. When the Son of God, a short time before His Passion, promised to His disciples to send them the Holy Spirit, He said, I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He shall show you things to come.
He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.' We must not then think of different natures in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; all that the Father hath, He giveth to the Son; and all that the Son possesseth, He communicateth to the Holy Spirit: this communication hath always existed in the Trinity, because to have all things is to exist always. We must not think of any succession of time, any difference of perfections, any degree of powers; if none can explain what the Divine Nature is, none should be so rash as to assert what it is not. It is more excusable to say of an ineffable nature, things which may not be entirely agreeable with it, than to define what is contrary to it. All that pious persons can conceive of the eternal and immutable glory of the Father, they ought to conceive of the Son and Holy Spirit, without any distinction or difference. We confess that the most blessed Trinity is one only God, because there is no diversity of substance, power, will, and operation in the Three Persons. As we abhor the impiety of the Arians, who make a difference between the Father and the Son, so we do not less abhor the error of the Macedonians, who indeed acknowledge a perfect equality between the Father and the Son, but believe that the Holy Spirit is of an inferior nature: they do not reflect that this blasphemy will not be forgiven them either in this world, or in the next, as our Saviour hath expressly said: 'I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him : but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.' He who hardens himself in this impiety cannot hope for pardon, because he deprives himself of the source of grace; how can he obtain forgiveness of his crimes, when he has no longer an advocate to plead for him? It is by the aid of the Holy Spirit that we can effectually invoke the Father, shed tears of sincere repentance, and utter the salutary groanings of a contrite spirit. No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost.' The apostle hath plainly declared that His power is equal to that of the Father and the Son, when he saith Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
These principles, which wonderfully exhibit the authority of Holy Scripture, ought to animate us to celebrate with rejoicing the Festival of Pentecost; let us rejoice in honour of the Holy Spirit, who hath sanctified the Catholic Church, and bestoweth His graces abundantly on pious souls. He is the Soul of Faith, the Teacher of Truth, the Source of Love, the Seal of Chastity, the Principle of all Virtues. Let the faithful rejoice, since the whole world confesses one only