An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

By John Henry Newman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V.

GENUINE DEVELOPMENTS CONTRASTED WITH
CORRUPTIONS.

I HAVE been engaged in drawing out the positive and direct argument in proof of the intimate connexion, or rather oneness, with primitive Apostolic teaching, of the body of doctrine known at this day by the name of Catholic, and professed substantially both by Eastern and Western Christendom. That faith is undeniably the historical continuation of the religious system, which bore the name of Catholic in the eighteenth century, in the seventeenth, in the sixteenth, and so back in every preceding century, till we arrive at the first ;—undeniably the successor, the representative, the heir of the religion of Cyprian, Basil, Ambrose and Augustine. The only question that can be raised is whether the said Catholic faith, as now held, is logically, as well as historically, the representative of the ancient faith. This then is the subject, to which I have as yet addressed myself, and I have maintained that modern Catholicism is nothing else but simply the legitimate growth and complement, that is the natural and necessary development, of the doctrine of the early church, and that its divine authority is included in the divinity of Christianity.


2.

So far I have gone, but an important objection presents itself for distinct consideration. It may be said in answer

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