CHAPTER II.

DOCTRINAL DEVELOPMENT (Continued).

THE CHRISTIAN REVELATION WAS GIVEN ONCE FOR ALL TO THE APOSTLES EXCLUSIVELY. ALL SUBSEQUENT DEVELOPMENTS ARE NON-ACCRETIVE, AND CONTAINED IN THE ORIGINAL DEPOSIT.

THE Christian religion is in the strictest and most exclusive sense a Divine revelation, whereby -- when in the fulness of time the Incarnate Word appeared -- all the former revelations, which had been more or less partial and obscure, were made clear and perfected. So great was the flood of light poured forth by the preaching of the Gospel on the mysteries of the Holy Trinity and the Redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ, that it was as though these truths were then first revealed. Hence S. Gregory says, that "Whereas under the Old Testament the mystery of the Trinity was unknown explicitly except to the more spiritual Fathers, and was hidden from the Jewish people generally; now under the New Testament the faith of the Trinity has grown up in the hearts of all the faithful, and all the nations are taught to believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, in whose Name they are baptised." And in regard to the mystery of Redemption, S. Paul could speak of it as the mystery of Christ in other generations not known to the sons of men, as it was now revealed to His holy Apostles and Prophets in the Spirit.*

Besides this fuller revelation of the Trinity and the Incarnation -- mysteries which are of the substance of the faith -- there were brought to light with the New Dispensation many other truths accessory to the substance of faith, which had not been before revealed, relating especially to the Church of Christ and His law of grace.


* Ephes. iii. 5, 7.

 

 

Next Page
Previous Page
Back to Table of Contents