On Protestantism

‘ . . . You have no foundation but human judgment, and therefore you are ” tossed to and fro and carried about ” by words of men. To me this is simply impossible, because I believe on the basis of a Divine Teacher. . . . When you say that the Roman Church is not historically the same, is it not to say, My view of its history differs from its own? But may not the Catholic Church know its own history better, and by a lineal knowledge and consciousness to which no individual can oppose himself without unreasonable-
ness? I am perfectly persuaded that the Catholic Church is historically the same in personal identity and functions.’ (Cardinal Manning)

“Witness the mighty churches, of which one now serves for three; witness the roofless abbeys in the low glades and valleys of the north; witness the Lady-chapels, where the altars of Mary were lighted of old. The beauty of Jesus and of Mary, the light and presence of the Incarnation was here. The illumination of the Word and the outpouring of the Spirit were upon Scotland then. There was peace and there was charity, because there was truth, in those days; there was heroism and there was saintliness, because Scotland then was within the unity of the Church of God. The word of the prophet Isaias was accomplished in this land. But there came a time of rude change, when the union
of the Spirit and the Word was broken; when those which God had joined together were divorced by the will of men; when the rebellious intellect of man rose against the divine voice of the Church of God, and rejected the guidance of the Spirit, because he
would not bow to any teacher.

Then came another change; when men had rejected the divine voice by the struggling indocility of their will, the word departed from their lips. They clutched at it with jealousy, and they found in their hands the written word alone : Litera occidit, spiritus autem vificat. The letter that killeth was left behind, the spirit that giveth life departed. The word was interpreted no more by the light of the Holy Ghost, no more by an infallible Guide, but by the interpretations of man and the light of the human
intellect. Then came contradiction, struggle, and contention, and for three hundred years division and subdivision, the crumbling and dissolving of what once was the mystical body; so that there is now no land in all the world, save only England, which
went abreast with Scotland in revolt, to be compared with Scotland for its religious disunion. And in the train of these divisions came uncertainty, indifference, lukewarmness, and doubt, asking, Who knows what is true? Whether is the truth on this side or that ? Who can tell ? Who is the judge ?’ And in the train of indifference comes infidelity, saying, ‘ God hath not said. Why believe this? I will not believe
that.’ The spirit of unbelief is rushing in through the breach as a flood, because the spirit and the word are divided, and the Voice and the Guide are gone: for the intellect of man and the will of man have assumed the sovereignty, and raised themselves up to be their own guide and light. Private judgment has taken the place of Jesus teaching in His Church.” (From the Sermon The Church, The Spirit and the Word.)

1 Response to On Protestantism

  1. Rev. John E. Halborg says:

    I am happy to see his organization and I pray one day to see Manning canonized. JEH

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