A study of the early Church will show that its most unique and compelling element was that it referred all revelation and all truth to One Supreme God, and this idea was powerful enough to withstand and envelop all other ideas.
As far as dogmatic truth, it has always been the standpoint of orthodoxy that the absolute purity of doctrinal truth must never be compromised. And when opposite ideas collide, the one which will always overpower the other is the one that is held with the most sincerity and the most gravity. This principle is revealed by the steadfastness of the martyrs. Historical research will show that the principle of dogmatism was present from the beginning of the Church. In fact, in the earliest years of doctrinal conflict, this principle took shape amidst the rise and fall of heresies. For, surprisingly, nearly every Catholic doctrine was defined by heretics before it was professed by Catholics, and even the Church Fathers wrote some of their greatest material by borrowing from that of heretics. Yet the grace of the Supreme God allows doctrine to thus develop and to absorb without risk of corruption.
As far as sacramental grace, what we shall call the 'sacramental principal' is that which assimilates that which is evil from its surroundings, and by grace transforms it into something holy. This principle is asserted repeatedly in Scripture. Hence, for example, St. Paul denounces abstinence from meat, the observance of holy days, and the practice of celibacy, and yet when these have been incorporated he exhorts us to fast, celebrate the Sabbath, and remain unmarried. In the same way the earliest Fathers objected to priests, sacrifices, altars, and images, and yet the later Fathers embrace all of these trappings. the same elements are adopted for the worship of the true God. The Church has been thus entrusted with the dispensation of sacramental grace, and trusted to use discretionary power in its application. For the Church, like Christ, aims to make holy what is unclean. Nearly all of what is generally received as Christian truth is originally to be found among pagan philosophies and religions. The Trinity, the Incarnation, the Divine Word, the rite of baptism, the idea of a new birth, angels and demons, and many more. While some may say 'Because these are in paganism, they are not Christian,' it is rather true that 'Because these are in Christianity, they are not heathen.' This merely proves that our Wise Creator has scattered the seeds of truth across the earth, which have been occasionally corrupted but never lost. The Church has the privilege of gathering these truths and sanctifying them; and while others "are ever hunting for a fabulous primitive simplicity, we repose in Catholic fulness."