Puslapio vaizdai

crimes. The old Gentile leaven has never been entirely cast out of any Christian nation, for it has its source in our fallen nature, and is retained by our study of ancient learning, and our own profane literature, and in proportion as the counteracting influence of the Church is withdrawn, it begins to ferment anew, and to produce the results we deplore in the ancient Gentile world. Still no nation, once Christian, has ever lost all traces of the new order of civilization developed under the fostering care and influences of the Church. The immense superiority of the Christian populations of the Ottoman Empire to the Turks is apparent to the most careless traveller, and nothing deserves more the utter condemnation of all Christendom, than the policy of Great Britain and Austria, not to say France, of preventing them from liberating themselves from their infidel masters. The worst nominally Christian sect is worth far more than the best pagan or Mahometan people—except in the eyes of such statesmen as Lord Palmerston, and my Lord John.

It is not easy for us to give a complete analysis of Dr. Manahan's splendid volume, for the argument of the book and the lessons it inculcates are suggested rather than formally drawn out, and its great merit is in its several pictures, sketches, aphoristic statements, elucidations of particular points in history, taken by themselves—in the variety of its views and suggestions, and in the influence it has on the mind and heart of the reader, rather than in it regarded as a whole, and as a work intended to maintain a single uniform thesis. It is not, perhaps, so compact and well-jointed as it might be, but if, in some respects, apparently fragmentary, its several parts will be found to produce a unity of effect, that of a deep and grateful sense of the world's indebtedness to Catholicity, even aside from the considerations of the world to come. No man can read the work without feeling the profoundest gratitude to Almighty God for giving us the Church, or without having quickened in him deep veneration for the holy and indetatigable men, who in all the early ages, led on by Peter, laVol. I.—No. I.


bored and struggled even unto death to secure her triumph over the barbarism, the cruelty, the licentiousness, the im purity, and the fearful and degrading superstitions, combined with high literary and artistic culture, with rare military prowess, political majesty, and social refinement of the ancient Græco-Roman Empire; because, being the triumph of the Son of God incarnate over Satan, it was the triumph of humanity. Its diligent reader will also find it making manifest that all errors and heresies against the Church, all the ancient and modern sects, are only so many attempts in one form or another of ignorant, conceited, or uneasy men, to return to Gentilism and undo the work of Jesus Christ. The part of the volume whence this comes out is to us the most original and striking part of the work. The Catholic religion in substance is only the continuation, under other conditions of the patriarchal religion, save that the patriarchal religion was a religion founded on the promise of things to be consummated and necessary to the perfection of the faith of the patriarchs, and Catholicity is a religion founded on fulfilment, on the actual consummation of the things promised in the patriarchal religion to be consummated. As Gentilism was a departure or apostasy from the patriarchal, so is heresy a departure or apostasy froin the Catholic religion, and, therefore, the two are necessarily one and the same in essence. Let the heresy extend to the whole of Catholicity, what we call complete apostasy, and the non-Catholic world lapses into complete Gentilism; and as the ancient world descends with perfect rapidity not only from the supernatural to the natural, but from the natural to the subnatural, or dæmoniacal, so we see it doing now in modern spiritism or dæmon worship. Catholicity is not a collection of separate and independent doctrines, but is an order, with its own unity and central life, and must necessarily be accepted or rejected as a whole. He who rejects holy water denies the part of matter, therefore, of the body, the flesh, of our Lord in the work of salvation, and, consequently, the whole principle and office of the humanity,-indeed the very principle of mediation, on which

Christianity itself rests. Hence the reason why heresy, even in the slightest degree, if formal, has always been regarded by the Catholic with so much horror. It involves, to whatever point it may attach itself logically, the rejection of the whole Catholic order, and the lapse of the world once more into Gentilisin. Heresy is a sin against God; it is also a crime against humanity; and it is not the least among the proofs of the wide departure of this age from the Christian order of thought, that it sees in heresy, really such, only a harmless exercise of our natural reason, and holds that one of the strongest objections to the Church is, that she has branded it as a sin, and suffered the State to punish it as a crime against society. Hence, too, the heroic efforts of Catholic saints, apostles, missionaries, and martyrs in every age to spread the true Catholic faith, to regain the heretic, and to convert the heathen,-efforts which fulfil, in the highest degree, the great law of charity; for in laboring for the conversion of a soul to the Church, we show, in the most perfect manner possible, our love both to God and to our neighbor. Not a slight thing is heresy before God, for it gives him the lie, scorns his bounty, and forfeits heaven; not a slight thing is heresy before humanity, for it sends men back once more under Gentile civilization, to groan anew under all its horrors, its cruelties, its vices, and crimes, in which man falls wholly into the power of the Evil One, and becomes the most miserable slave of Satan.

From the several points we have touched upon, and which are treated at greater or less length in the volume before us, our readers will at once perceive that the work is one of rare interest, and full of important bearings on the principal controversies of the day, as we have endeavored to state and describe them from time to time in the Review; but nothing we can possibly say will give the reader an adequate conception of the wealth of thought and learning of the volume itself, or of the fresh and original manner in which the author treats questions with which most of us had considered ourselves previously familiar. The author's style is original, rich, and splendid, and in passages highly ornate and finished; and, under any point of view we can consider it, his book is the most important and valuable work, in what we hold to be the right direction, that any American Catholic writer has yet produced. It does not do all that needs to be done, but it does one portion of the work that remained for the Catholic American scholar, and does it well. It cannot fail to have a wide and salutary influence on our literature. It directs thought and investigation into the right channel, and, without being itself a controversial work, will do much to prepare our young athletæ for the living controversies in which they will have to take their part, and wrestle for God and humanity, for truth and virtue, for liberty and order, for time and eternity. It cannot fail to breathe into our literature a new spirit, to give it a modern air, and to prepare it to act on the world that is, on the present and the future, not merely on a past that is no more. Literature should always be up to the age, be adapted to its wants, and fitted to exert a salutary influence in correcting its present errors, and insensibly to mould it into conformity with the Church that never changes, any more than the invisible and immutable God, whose representative on earth she is.

We are told that this volume has met with a very favorable reception from the Catholic public. We are glad to hear it, not only because it deserves it for its own sake, but because it augurs well for our future literature. Our Catholic population, as our booksellers can tell us, have not been remarkable for their readiness to encourage general literature produced by Catholics. Purely devotional and ascetic works meet, we believe, a ready sale, which speaks well for the piety of our people; but works of general literature, written by Catholics, and breathing a Catholic spirit, have been treated with great indifference, much to the discouragement of Catholic authors and publishers. A work by a Catholic author, not precisely devotional or ascetic, and appealing specially to no national sentiment, can reach in its sales, on an average, only about two thousand or twenty-five hundred copies in a Catholic population of from two to three millions. Even Cardinal Wiseman's exquisite and popular volume, Fabiola, with all his Eminence's reputation, and all its intrinsic merits, has had a sale, we are informed, in this country, of not much over ten thousand copies, many of which must have been bought by non-Catholics. Explanations of the fact, some creditable and some not creditable, to Catholics, may no doubt be given; but it is, nevertheless, a fact, that our Catholic population do not feel, as we think they should, their obligations to encourage Catholic scholars and literary men to labor for the creation of a literature of our own, worthy of us and worthy of the country. We have a population large enough, rich enough, and educated enough to sustain a national literature complete in all its parts, notwithstanding that a considerable number are not Englishspeaking Catholics.

We fear our Catholic population do not see and feel as they should, in a time and country like ours, the value of a Catholic literature, by which we mean a general literature produced by Catholics, and conforming, in tone and spirit, to Catholic truth and morality. We Catholics are placed here by Divine Providence, not merely to preserve and enjoy our own faith and worship for ourselves and our children; and, indeed, if we think only of doing that, we shall not succeed in doing even so much. The Church, in all ages, is essentially propagandist, and whenever in any particular country she ceases to make converts, if there remain any to convert, she ordinarily declines, and fails to keep even her numbers good. In England and Wales, at the opening of the eighteenth century, more than one-third of the population still held the ancient faith ; but before its close the Catholics were estimated at less than a hundred thousand. The English people never became thoroughly Protestant, till the last century. The Church has a better status in England now than she had in 1745, but she counts by no means as many English among her faithful children. We have not, in this country, made any thing like the real advances we sometimes boast, and it is extremely doubtful

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