Skip to main content

Cmtgnpttol fjjap^nt. No. 3.] MAECH. [1D. APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION. WHAT is Apostolical succession 1 Is it spiritual or material ? How does it flow, and how is it communicated? Was Peter the only one of the Apostles from whom this mysterious thing was transmitted 1 If not, then it may be found floating all round the world. The imposition of the hands of an Abys¬ sinian Aboona may impart it as surely and as fully as that of the hands of the Pope, or the Archbishop of Canterbury. Is it by contact, or by the mystic spell of words it is communicated 1 Is it treasured up as a kind of subtle essence in the person of Bishops, and is it by the mysterious touch of their fingers, or the divine charm of their words, that it flows into the brain, consciousness, and soul of the recipient 1 Does it mystically abide with the priest, dammed up, finding no possibility of egress, or diffusion, unless he become a Bishop 1 If by some dread calamity, or sweeping pestilence, all the Bishops, Pope and all, were to be carried off, what would happen ? Would the mystic essence finally and for ever cease ? |Would England, and all the world besides, henceforth and for ever be placed under a fearful and withering interdict 1 Would all ministrations become useless 1 Would baptism and the sacrament of the Lord's supper become valueless and invalid 1 Would the preaching of the Gospel be^re- ducedto a sound signifying nothing? This, without doubt, would be the dread consequences which would follow. The doomed and hapless population of the entire world would be left without hope. But if this mystic grace which transcendentally resides in the per-