THE question which forms the tftle of this little work is one that must admit of very easy solution, seeing that the object, for which our Lord established His Church on earth, rendered it necessary that the MARKS-which were to distinguish her in all ages as the Divinely commissioned TEACHER OF THE NATIONS-should be plain and simple, and easily recognisable by those for whom His Religion itself was specially adapted and designed-the poor and ignorant, who constitute the great bulk of mankind. Learned research, or anxious inquiry regarding the doctrines taught by the various and conflicting Christian communities; cannot be necessary for those who simply want to discover that Church which is the one unerring TEACHER appointed by God; and the object of the following pages is to show, in as simple and briefa manner as possible, that the principal marks and characteristics of this Church, as plainly laid down in the .scriptures received by Protestants themselves, are, by a reference to notorious and acknowledged facts, and by the testimonies of Protestant or other hostile historians, whose works are accessible to all, so clearly shown to be recognisable in the Roman Catholic Church, and in her alone, as entirely to preclude the necessity for entering upon any of those irrelevant, tedious, and interminable controversies into which Protestant disputants are always desirous to draw off the attention of their readers. The texts of Scripture are generally quoted from the Authorised Protestant Version; and the historians (such as HALLAM, MlLMAN, FROUDE, RANKE, NEANDER, GulZOT, RENAN) or other authors, whose works have been freely cited in the Notes or Appendix, are all so well known for their strong Protestant or anti-Catholic sympathies, that whatever testimonies, at all favourable to the Catholic Church or religion in the past, may be found in their writings, will be acknowledged by all impartial persons to have a value, weight, and importance peculiar to themselves, and such as the statements of few other authors would in these days be likely to possess. ST. IRENAEUS, Bishop of Lyons, A.D. 178: -" In the Church God hath placed Apostles, Prophets, Doctors, and every other work of the Spirit, of which all they are not partakers who do not hasten to the Church, but by their evil sentiment and most flagrant conduct, defraud themselves of life. For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church and every grace: but the Spirit is truth. "-Adv. Haer., 1. iii. c. 24, n. 2. "He will judge all those who cause schisms; men destitute of the love of God, and who have in view their own interest and not the oneness of the Church; and who, on account of slight and exaggerated causes, rend and divide, and so far as in them lies, destroy the great and glorious Body of Christ; men who have peace on their lips, but war in their actions; who truly strain at a gnat, but swallow a camel. But no reformation can be effected by them so great as is the perniciousness of schism. "-lb., 1. iv. c. 33, n. 7.
These Church Court Records of the Canterbury Diocese 1559-1565 throw light on a wide sphere of social life, so much of which was subject to the discipline of the Church.
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