If, then, we regard the development of Christian doctrine as a result, progressively realised in the more explicit teaching and belief of divinely revealed truths, it may be defined to be an aggregate of judgments normally evolved out of ideas that were conveyed as integral unities by the teaching of the Apostles, and which judgments have been guaranteed as infallibly true by the Divine authority of the Catholic Church.


The following from the pen of the Rev. J.B. Morris very appositely illustrates the matter treated of in the foregoing chapter: --

"If the parts of so vast a system as that of the Gospel is, appeared, after all the pains which reason enlightened by faith could bestow upon it, still to be inconsistent, even then such inconsistency would not be a sufficient ground for rejecting it. A system professing, as that of the Church's teaching does, to come from God, if rejected, must not be rejected for what to weak mortals appeared internal inconsistencies, but for want of sufficient external evidences.

"But as the case at present stands, there is the greatest internal consistency in the Catholic system to the patient and close observer of it; and especially between the doctrine of the Incarnation and the veneration we pay to the Mother of God. Now though internal consistency when bereft of external proof may be worth very little, as certain systems of philosophy may perhaps prove, still it can scarce be made a question that when there is some sort of external proof, the internal consistency will to the generality form an additional proof. For people would not object to a system, 'that it is inconsistent,' if they did not feel that consistency was some sort of proof... If it appears that a correct (though partial) idea of our doctrine of the Incarnation paves the way to our doctrine and practice in regard to our Lady, then the internal connection between the two will be seen and acknowledged. What I am insisting on here is, that the former paves the way to the latter, to which I wish to draw particular attention, for reasons I shall now proceed to state.



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