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body and the sensible or visible. But we can never do this if we regard matter as a substance, and substance as that which is ultimate. We must maintain, with Liebnitz and others, that there are, strictly speaking, no material substances in the Latin use of the word, and that all substances are immaterial activities or forces, each acting from its own centre. Matter is not a substance, is never simple, but always composite,-a collection of immaterial forces or activities, as was maintained in substance by Father Boscovich.
These remarks show that under a theological point of view, and in relation to the exposition and defence of the faith, it is not a matter of indifference what is our philosophy. They prove, too, that it is necessary that, saving the dogma, the fullest liberty should be allowed our professors of philosophy in reëxamining the philosophy of the Schools, and in readjusting it to the wants of the theologian of our day. Philosophy is the product of the human reason, and, therefore, should be free; it is not an independent science, but the ancilla of theology, and, therefore, should be held in subordination to faith, and cultivated in the light of the revealed dogma. We add this last not to favor the Traditionalists, with whom we have no sympathy, but simply to direct the philosopher to the source from which it can receive no little aid. The dogma is true, is certain, and we may always be sure that so long as our philosophy does not harmonize with it, our philosophy is false or defective, for truth, no matter in what order, can never be at odds with truth, and the richest contributions philosophy has ever received, it has received from theologians in their theological explanations and defences of Catholic dogmas, especially of the Trinity, the Incarnation, Infused Grace, the Eucharist, and the Beatific Vision. We should be glad to see a little more freedom under the relation of philosophy in the Society, and although some inconveniences might result from it, we should wish the Fathers to have all the philosophical freedom the Church recognizes or allows, especially in these times, when, in defending Christianity and guarding Catholic youth against the errors of the day, they have to meet all sorts of wild and extravagant, and subtile metaphysical theories and speculations. We cannot, if we would, throw back, in matters within the province of reason, the mind of the age to the old and superannuated systems. It belongs to us Catholics to revise philosophy, and to reconstruct it, as it never yet has been, in harmony with Catholic faith and theology.
The volumes and numbers of the Études before us contain several valuable historical, biographical and miscellaneous articles, which we have read with great pleasure and instruction. But it is time to bring our long, rambling, and miscellaneous notice of this able and learned Quarterly to a close. We have no occasion to assure its conductors of our hearty sympathy, or of our disposition to offer them every encouragement in their noble enterprise in our power. They have conquered the first difficulties, and have already gained the ear of the public. They are working for the greater glory of God, and God will accept and give success to their labors. They are a host in themselves, and they are backed by all the genius, talent and learning of their illustrious Society. It is true, they have a disadvantage in the indifference and skepticism of the age, and in the levity and fickleness of the French people; but these they will surmount, since the gravity of events, not far distant, will operate in their favor. Let them go forth strong in hope and love. For ourselves, we crave no higher honor than to be recognized as an humble coöperator with them in the same field, and for the greater glory of the same Master. These are times when all Catholic publicists should have a good understanding among themselves, and when there should be no other rivalry among them than to see which of them shall best serve the cause of our holy religion. A noble and generous emulation of this sort may be encouraged, but whoever labors in the field of the Lord should rejoice alike if the work is done, whether it is done by himself or another, whether the glory of doing it redounds to himself or to his brethren. We all serve our Master, and a master that will let no one go without his reward. All Catholics who read and understand French among our countrymen, as well as elsewhere, will find these Études worthy of their attention and liberal support. We commend it, if they will permit us so great a liberty, especially to our reverend clergy, who will find it a periodical better adapted to what they wish than any other we are acquainted with.
Art. III. Le Pouvoir Politique Chrétien : Discours pro
noncés à la Chapelle Imperiale des Tuileries pendant le Carême de l'Année 1857, accompagné de Notes, par le T. R. P. VENTURA DE RAULICA, et précédés d'une Introduction par M. Louis VEUILLOT. Paris, 1858. 8vo. pp. 590.
THERE grew up, under the auspices of the Church, in Europe, after the conquest of the Western Empire by the barbarians, a system of public law, jus publicum, founded on the principles of natural justice, which all Christian nations were held bound to recognize and observe. This system, regulating the relations of sovereign and subject, and nation and nation, was placed under the protection and arbitratorship of the Pope as the divinely appointed representative and guardian of the moral order. It created a Christendom, and united all Christian nations in a sort of confederated republic, with the Pope for its president, or supreme chief. Individual princes, more or less powerful, might frequently transgress this law, and commit acts of great violence and gross barbarity, but these were never defended on principle,—their conduct was understood to be exceptional, illegal, criminal, and the public sentiment of Christendom condemned them. Society was founded on a moral basis, under the safeguard of religion, and Power was regarded, by whomsoever held, as bound by all the restraints of the moral law, the transcript of the eternal law residing in the eternal reason or will of God.
This system or the social and political order it founded,what is meant when we speak of Christian or Catholic civilization,-—is now broken up, and very extensively discarded, not only in practice, but even in principle, by the greater part of European nations, whether we speak of sovereigns or people; and a new political system has been introduced in its place,-a system that emancipates Power not only from the authority of the Church, or the Pope, as the Father and Chief of the Christian Republic, but from all the restraints of the moral order. The new political system holds itself entirely independent both of religion and morality, and recognizes in the political order no law for sovereigns or people but reasons of state or simple expediency. It rejects all moral basis for society, and founds politics on the simple law of force. It rests on the principle that might gives right, or that right is always on the side of the strongest, and takes it for granted that the weak are always in the wrong. This system was always more or less acted on in practice, but it is now adopted in principle, deliberately and theoretically, by both sovereigns and people, and by the sovereigns even more than the people. Governments and people cry out the loudest precisely against those sovereigns that still have scruples about adopting the new system, and that have a lingering, half-avowed respect for the old. They are run down by the organs of the people and of other sovereigns, and they are treated as outlaws. Who thinks that Austria or Naples has any rights civilized nations are bound to respect. They are regarded in Europe very much as Mr. Chiet-Justice Taney says negroes were at the time of forming our Federal Constitution. Yet their offence is that they hold vested rights even to be real rights, and that legitimate authority should be sacred and inviolable. The whole political world, princes and people, cry out against the Pope, and consider his estates lawful plunder, because he resists the new system and insists on a moral and religious basis of society.
The consequence of this rejection of the old papal system and the adoption of the new political system,—which is rightly named political atheism,-is, that Europe has receded from Christian civilization and fallen into moral anarchy. Authority has lost its moral hold on princes and people, and the noble sentiment of loyalty has well-nigh become extinct, or come to be regarded as a folly or a vice. Power has emancipated itself from all moral restraints, and ceases to have any support in the affections or consciences of the people. Usurpation and revolution are held to be legitimate and sacred—when successful, or when there is the least chance of being successful. The Emperor of the French makes war on Austria without the slightest provocation for an “idea,”--a“ Napoleonic idea ;” and Mazzini and his associates excite insurrection and rebellions whereever able, not because the established governments have abused and forfeited their powers, but because they are not constituted according to their ideas, or because their administration is not in their hands. There is in scarcely a European state any recognized public right. In all European states society is more or less unsettled, and in nearly all,certainly in all the great Continental states,-authority is maintained only by armed force. If we understand by civilization any thing more than literary and scientific culture, and refinement of taste and manners,—if we include in our definition of it the moral organization of society, the supremacy of law, and the dominion of reason instead of lawless passion, Europe has fallen from the civilized to the barbarous state, and the progress we so loudly boast as characteristic of our age has been, not progress in civilization, but progress in getting rid of it.
We know very well that to say to this age that its boasted progress under the political aspect has been simply a progress towards barbarism, will be counted by our men of the world as an eccentricity or a paradox, it nothing worse; but we wish these men would tell us what is barbarism? As we understand the matter, barbarism is not incompatible with cunning, craft, hypocrisy, smoothness of speech, or polish of manners. These are all qualities which may be found in the North American Indians in nearly as great