MY faith is the most reasonable thing in the world, and it must needs

be such. The Almighty gave me intelligence to direct my life. When He

speaks He reveals Himself to me as to an intelligent being: and He

expects that I receive His word intelligently. Were I to abdicate my

reason in the acceptance of His truths, I would do my Maker as great an

injury as myself. All the rest of creation offers Him an homage of pure

e, of instinct or feeling; man alone can, and must, offer a higher,

nobler and more acceptable homage--that of reason.

My faith is reasonable, and this is the account my reason gives of my

faith: I can accept as true, without in the least comprehending, and

far from dishonoring my reason, with a positive and becoming dignity,--

I can accept!--but I must accept--whatever is confided to me by an

infallible authority, an authority that can neither deceive nor be

deceived. There is nothing supernatural about this statement.

That which is perfect cannot be subject to error, for error is evil and

perfection excludes evil. If God exists He is perfect. Allow one

imperfection to enter into your notion of God, and you destroy that

notion. When, therefore, God speaks He is an infallible authority. This

is the philosophy of common sense.

Now I know that God has spoken. The existence of that historical

personage known as Jesus of Nazareth is more firmly established than

that of Alexander or Caesar. Four books relate a part of His sayings

and doings; and I have infinitely less reason to question their

authenticity than I have to doubt the authenticity of Virgil or

Shakespeare. No book ever written has been subjected to such a

searching, probing test of malevolent criticism, at all times but

especially of late years in Germany and France. Great men, scholars,

geniuses have devoted their lives to the impossible task of explaining

the Gospels away, with the evident result that the position of the

latter remains a thousandfold stronger. Unless I reject all human

testimony, and reason forbids, I must accept them as genuine, at least

in substance.

These four books relate how Jesus healed miraculously the sick, raised

the dead to life, led the life of the purest, most honest and sagest of

men, claimed to be God, and proved it by rising from the dead Himself.

That this man is divine, reason can admit without being unreasonable,

and must admit to be reasonable; and revelation has nothing to do with

the matter.

A glaring statement among all others, one that is reiterated and

insisted upon, is that all men should share in the fruit of His life;

ana for this purpose He founded a college of apostles which He called

His Church, to teach all that He said and did, to all men, for all

time. The success of His life and mission depends upon the continuance

of His work.

Why did He act thus? I do not know. Are there reasons for this economy

of salvation? There certainly are, else it would not have been

established. But we are not seeking after reasons; we are gathering

facts upon which to build an argument, and these facts we take from the

authentic life of Christ.

Now we give the Almighty credit for wisdom in all His plans, the wisdom

of providing His agencies with the means to reach the end they are

destined to attain. To commission a church to teach all men without

authority, is to condemn it to utter nothingness from the very

beginning. To expect men to accept the truths He revealed, and such

truths! without a guarantee against error in the infallibility of the

teacher, is to be ignorant of human nature. And since at no time must

it cease to teach, it must be indefectible. Being true, it must be one;

the work of God, it must be holy; being provided for all creatures, it

must be Catholic or universal; and being the same as Christ founded

upon His Apostles, it must be apostolic. If it is not all these things

together, it is not the teacher sent by God to Instruct and direct men.

No one who seeks with intelligence, single-mindedness and a pure heart,

will fail to find these attributes and marks of the true Church of

Christ. Whether, after finding them, one will make an act of faith, is

another question. But that he can give his assent with the full

approval of his reason is absolutely certain. Once he does so, he has

no further use for his reason. He enters the Church, an edifice

illumined by the superior light of revelation and faith. He can leave

reason, like a lantern, at the door.

Therein he will learn many other truths that he never could have found

out with reason alone, truths superior, but not contrary, to reason.

These truths he can never repudiate without sinning against reason,

first, because reason brought him to this pass where he must believe

without the immediate help of reason.

One of the first things we shall hear from the Church speaking on her

own authority is that these writings, the four relations of Christ's

life, are inspired. However a person could discover and prove this

truth to himself is a mystery that will never be solved. We cannot

assume it; it must be proven. Unless it be proven, the faith based on

this assumption is not reasonable; and proven it can never be, unless

we take it from an authority whose infallibility is proven. That is why

we say that it is doubtful if non-Catholic faith is faith at all,

because faith must be reasonable; and faith that is based on an

assumption is to say the least doubtfully reasonable.