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controversy turns upon it. If we concede that religion without a church, or organism--always meaning by the word church a body of men existing in certain organic relations is not a power, we concede every thing. We cheerfully grant, that if this point can be established, the argument is wholly with our author. If it be true, that religion without a church is necessarily only an idea,--and we think we apprehend Mr. Brownson's use of the word idea, then we must admit, that the third and authoritative element in society must be an organization, a church. And although we are reminded, that the question is not at present whether the Catholic Church is that authoritative organization, we are prepared, in view of certain considerations not now under discussion, to go further than our author asks us to go, and admit the Catholic Church to be the power which may rightfully adjudicate upon the claims in dispute between the state and the individual. We do not say all this without premeditation. We have given the subject some reading and considerable reflection. We have long been assured, that the advantage which the Catholic seems to have over the Calvinist, is in the concession which the latter, sometimes formally and always virtually, makes with reference to the office of the church. Perhaps the Calvinist will admit, that religion without a church cannot be a power.

Нау. ing made such an admission, we would like to see him grapple with Mr. Brownson! We can predict the result. Such an admission is fatal to Protestantism.”—pp. 158–161.

In our first Article we stated, but did not develop the proof of the point in question ; in our second Article we developed it at length, and showed that we did offer proof, at least something in the form of proof. Our argument was, that to save society on the one hand from despotism, and from anarchy on the other, we must have a third element, namely, the Christian religion, to mediate between the individual and the state, and to restrain one or the other according to the exigencies of the case. To answer this purpose, religion must be a power resting on its own basis, independent alike of both the state and the individual, and able at need to restrain both. This much the author concedes, or evidently intends to concede. “ We conceded,” he says, pp. 156, 157,“ the proposition that there must be a power to mediate between the rival claims of the individual and the state, and that this power must be something independent of the parties on whose conflicting claims it pronounces authoritative judgment. We further conceded, that this third element, this authoritative power, is the Christian religion.” This established,


we proceed to say, then it must be religion organized, as ar organism, as the Church. Why so ? Because religion not as an organism, as organized, as the Church, is not a power. Why not a power? Because it is then merely an idea, and ideas are not powers. There is no proposition not conceded left without proof, except that an idea is not a power, which we proved at length in our second Article on the subject. The Reviewer has fallen into the mistake of supposing that we leave the point, that the religion needed must be the Church, unproved, by confounding two propositions, which in our argument are given as distinct, and the one as the proof of the other. This is evident from the following extract :

“ In our former article we must have been unfortunate in the choice of words, for it seems that Mr. Brownson regards us admitting his fundamental proposition! And here we must quote from his article :

" Here is in substance our argument, and it is a conclusive, an unanswerable argument, if, as we allege, it be true, that religion unorganized, religion without the Church, is only an idea, and religion as an idea is not a power. That religion without the Church, religion unorganized, is only AN IDEA, our Universalist friend does not deny, nay concedes, as he must, if he speaks not merely of natural religion, or the law of nature, for it is impossible to conceive it to be any thing else.'—pp. 9, 10.

“ Mr. Brownson's · Universalist friend does not deny' that religion in order to be a power must be a church ? Indeed, he does deny, and this most emphatically, every thing of the kind! What we are supposed not to deny, we in fact look upon as a most fruitful source of religious error. We have no faith whatever in the common idea of a church. It does very well for the Catholic to laud the church, and to attribute to it supernatural gifts, for in doing this he is consistent with the necessities of his faith. But we cannot conceive that the Protestant has any right to imitate his example in this respect ; and when he does this, he puts himself hopelessly in the power of his Catholic opponent."-p. 161.

Now it is clear from the words cited from us, that we do no such thing. What we say our Universalist friend does not deny, nay, concedes, is, that religion unorganized or without the Church, is only an idea. We did not represent him as not denying or conceding that it is not a power, for that was precisely what he did deny. From his not denying or conceding that it is only an idea, we labored in our Reply to force him by an argument ex concessis,

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to concede that it is not a power, because ideas are not powers. We can explain his mistake only by supposing that he regarded the two propositions used by us as formally identical, and overlooked the fact, that religion without the Church is only an idea, was adduced as proof that religion without the Church is not a power.

We understand him now to concede that ideas are not powers, and to deny that religion without the Church, or unorganized, is only an idea." If it be true,” he says, in a passage already cited, “that religion without a Church be necessarily only an idea—and we think we apprehend Mr. Brownson's use of the term idea—then we must admit that the third and authoritative element in society must be an organization, a Church,” and “we are prepared in view of certain considerations not now under discussion, to go further than our author asks us to go, and admit the Catholic Church to be the power that may rightfully adjudicate upon the claims in dispute between the state and the individual.” The author knows that we used the word organization in our Article only in the sense of organism. His concession is, then, we take it, if religion without the Church is only an idea, if to answer the purpose it must be an organism, it must be religion as the Catholic Church. This concedes all we contend for, except a single point, and leaves no dispute as to which is the organism or Church, if any, is necessary. This point is, that religion without the Church is only an idea. In proof that it is only an idea, we allege the fact, that whatever in God's universe exists at all, exists as an organism, and cannot otherwise be conceived of as a real existence. This is conceded as to vegetables, animals, and human beings, and physicists have proved it to be true of minerals, and thus exploded the old notion of brute matter as well as the materia prima of the Peripatetics. What we call matter does not consist of brute atoms as the old Atomists contended, but of active elements, which Aristotle named entelecheiæ, and which Leibnitz calls monads. Every thing in it that actually exists, exists as an active force, or vis activa, and has in itself its own centre and principle of action. Whatever lacks this internal principle, which, as we ascend in the scale of creation, is called life or the principle of vitality, or is incapable of acting from within outwards, is no real, no substantive existence, and is at best only an idea. Every real existence then exists as an organism, for an organism is characterized by the fact that it has in itself a principle of life or activity, and lives or acts from its own centre.

Now the question whether Christianity be an organism or not, is simply the question whether it really exists or not, that is, whether it is actual or only ideal existence. If not an organism, it is not an actual existence, and if not an actual existence, it can in the nature of the case, by the force of the terms themselves, be only an idea, or an idea existence. Now here is a question which the Reviewer has not duly considered. The question is this, Is Christianity or is it not an actually existing order of life, a real creation, as real a creation in the supernatural order as the natural creation is in the natural order? If not, it has no distinct existence, and is identical either with God or with nature. There is then no distinctively Christian religion, no Christian vis activa; and what we call the Christian religion is either a human conviction or an idea in the Divine mind, at least, if it be not a pure fiction. It is at best only a possible, not an actual religion. Precisely what we said when we said it was only an idea. Possible or ideal things may, but do not exist. To exist they must be concreted, for nothing exists in the abstract, or as an abstraction, and to be concrete or to be concreted, is to be an organism. There is no escape from this conclusion. Either Christianity is no actual existence, or it is an organism ; and if an organism, then, as the Reviewer concedes, the Catholic Church, that sublime and mysterious existence, that life of unity in variety, which we presented to the nieditation of our Universalist friend in our former reply.

The Reviewer unconsciously proves this even in trying to escape it.

“In rejecting, as we do, in whole and in every part, the theory of a church so brilliantly stated in this extract—in denying the existence of any vital union between religion and a church, as an organization-in affirming that religion may have, does have, au existence and a power, apart from organization--in repeating our former statement, that a church in itself, as an organization, has no mysery, no power, no sanctity ; but that it derives all mystery, all power, all sanctity, from the religion which its several members bring into it-bring into it, too, as individuals—in affirming all these things,

Mr. Brownson will say, and say justly, that we are obligated to furnish something as having authority—a something which is not the individual, which is not the State, which is not an idea-a something that can speak to the individual, and to the State, and fearing neither, control both—a something, too, which can speak without liability to mistake, whose commands shall be irrevocable, and whose power cannot be resisted. Yes, we are obliged to furnish a power possessed of all these attributes. And are we asked, what is this power? We answer, reverently—God! We are of the number who believe that God not only was, but that he is—that he rules among the inhabitants of the earth--that he is ever present, actively present, and all-sufficient to mediate between the claims of the individual and the State. Mr. Brownson, himself, believes all this. The difference of conviction between him and us, relates only to the medium through which God, ruling among men, would restrain the licentiousness of the individual and the despotism of the State. He will say that God speaks through that mysterious body, so vividly portrayed in the extract, last quoted from him. We say, that God speaks through the reason, the conscience, the soul of the individual man.”—pp. 164, 165.

This is a plain and unequivocal rejection of Christianity as an actual religion. The power needed, the Reviewer concedes, as we have seen, is the Christian religion. He now says it is God himself. “Are we asked, what is this power ? We answer, reverently-God.” This settles the question, and denies Christianity as an actually existing provision made or instituted by our Heavenly Father for our wants, since it asserts, and permits us to assert, only God and nature. We proved, and the Reviewer concedes, that the power needed is the Christian religion, and therefore he must concede that the Christian religion is a power, something really existing, and capable of acting from its own central activity or life. But in the passage before us declaring the power to be God, be denies Christianity to be itself a power, and makes it merely the direct and immediate power of God, which, of course, he must do by denying Christianity as the Church, but which he is not at liberty to do after his concessions. He has to maintain against us that the Christian religion, without the Church, unorganized, as not an organism, is a power resting on its own basis, and capable of mediating between two other powers, or social elements. But here he shows that he cannot do it, for outside of the Church the only Christian religion he can assert is the Divine Being himself ; that is,

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