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soning, in the same words, with only a slight interchange of terms, will best show its absurdity.
“. It is the ministry of the Greek Church. It can be no other. It cannot be the Roman Catholic ministry. The Roman Catholic Church was formerly in communion with the Greek Church, and made one corporation with it. The Greek Church was then the true church, Ecclesia docens, or it was not. If not, the Church of Rome is false, in consequence of having communed with a false church. If it was, the Church of Rome is false, because it separated from it
. So, take either horn of the dilemma, the Church of Rome is false, and its ministry not the Apostolic ministry which inherits the promises,' &c.” — p. 141.
Now, will it be credited that we anticipated this retort and replied to it? Yet such is the fact. Here is what we said :
“ You object, in behalf of the Greek Church, that Rome separated from her, not she from Rome. This we deny. It is historically certain, that the Greek Church, prior to the final separation, agreed with the Church of Rome on the matters (the Supremacy of the Pope and the Procession of the Holy Ghost) which were made the pretexts for separation. In the separation, the Greek Church denied what she had before asserted, while Rome continued to assert the same doctrine after as before. Therefore the Greek Church was the dissentient party. Prior to the separation, the Greek Church agreed with the Roman in submitting to the papal authority. In the separation, the Greek Church threw off this authority, while the Roman continued to submit to it. Therefore the Greek Church was the separatist.
“ You insist, that, though the act of separation may, indeed, have been formally the act of the Greek Church, yet the separation was really on the part of Rome, who had corrupted the faith, and rendered separation from her necessary to the purity of the Christian Church. But, if this be so, whatever the corruptions of the faith Rome had been guilty of, the Greek Church participated in them during her communion with Rome. If they vitiated the Latin Church, they equally vitiated the Greek. Then both had failed, and the true Church, which we have seen is indefectible, must have been somewhere else. Then the Greek Church could become a true Church by separating from the communion of the Latin Church only on condition of coming into communion with the true Church. But it came into communion with no Church. Therefore, the Greek Church, at any rate, is false.”
Yet the Observer nowhere notices the fact that we had thus replied in advance, nor even that we were aware of the objection. It has not noticed these replies, express to its objection, and yet it claims to have refuted us! Yes, it has refuted us,
by urging the objections we ourselves brought, but without noticing our answers ! This may be a refutation in the Protestant sense, but, thank God ! it is not in the Catholic sense. The conduct of the Observer, in this respect, we shall not trust ourselves to characterize as it deserves, nor shall we suffer it to surprise us. Deprived, as the writer is, by the simple fact that he is a Protestant, of the ordinary means of divine grace, nothing better was to be expected of him. He has a cause to maintain, which does not admit of candor and truthfulness, honesty and fair dealing, and we should be more surprised to find him exercising such virtues than we are by finding him sinning against them.
It is worthy of note that this Episcopal writer has passed over the articles in our Review against his own church, and, churchman as he professes to be, has entered the lists only against an article the main design of which was to defend the Church against No-Church. It is also worthy of note, that the objections he has brought against us were nearly all brought previously in the Christian Register and Christian World, the two weekly organs of the No-Church Unitarians. What does this indicate ? Are Unitarians and Episcopalians acting in concert ? or are we to inser that a common dread of Catholicity is combining all the various Protestant sects against the Catholic Church ? This last seems to us not improbable. The signs of the times seem to indicate that the several tribes of Goths, Vandals, Huns, and other barbarians, are forming a league for a new invasion of Rome. Well, be it so. that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them, and the Lord shall deride them.” The Episcopalians may read their destiny in that of the old Donatists, whom, in many respects, they resemble ; and all the Protestant sects combined are not so formidable to the Church as were, at one period, the old Arians. The Church triumphed over the Arians ; she will triumph over the Protestants. A union whose principle is hatred will not long subsist, but will soon break asunder. Protestantism is doomed. The Devil may be very active and full of wrath, and utter great, swelling words, for a season, because he knows that his time is short ; but Protestantism must go the way of all the earth. The Lord will remember mercy, and will not much longer afflict the nations, but will recall them to the
, bosom of his Church.
Art. V. - The Æsthetic Letters, Essays, and the Philosophi
cal Letters of Schiller ; translated, with an Introduction, by J. Weiss. Boston : Little & Brown. 1845. 16mo.
The position of the conductor of a Catholic literary journal, in a country where the great mass of the literature which must pass under his notice emanates from Protestant sources, is by no means a pleasant one. As a Catholic, he holds his religion paramount to every thing else, and must necessarily condemn every literary work he reviews, which contains any thing repugnant to the spirit and teachings of his Church. Whatever is repugnant to his holy religion he must regard as repugnant to truth and goodness, and therefore to the true interests of his fellow-men, both for this world and for that which is to come ; and he cannot fail to censure it and warn his readers against it, without sinning against his conscience, his God, and his neighbour.
Protestant life and culture are essentially anti-Catholic, and no Protestant writes a history, no matter of what people or tribe, in what part or age of the world, — a work on philosophy, morals, the fine arts, or on any subject, unless it be mathematics, or one or two of the physical sciences, - into which his Protestantism does not enter in a manner offensive to Catholic faith, morals, or worship. The Catholic critic sees and feels this, even when it escapes the design and the notice of the Protestant, and, as a conscientious man, he is obliged to withhold his approbation, and caution his readers against the poison of the work, whatever may be, in other respects, its literary merits.
In this country, the great mass of publications are Protestant, and we are obliged, as a reviewer, to be almost always dealing in censures, and can rarely find an occasion to exercise our good-nature in commending, unless it be when we have under review a work from a Catholic author ; we must, necessarily, therefore, to the great body of our Protestant readers, appear ill-natured, harsh, and censorious, narrow-minded and bigoted, incapable of perceiving excellence out of our own Church, and entirely wanting in literary taste and discrimination, with no other standard of criticism but the fact that the work to be criticized is or is not written by a Catholic. This is unavoidable. It is more agreeable to approve than to
condemn, and we always aim to discriminate where we can. But such is the character of Protestant literature, that we cannot discriminate. We may admit its ability, its genius, and often its excellence as to mere form ; but its matter is always more or less objectionable. And this objectionable matter is not in a few detached passages, in a few details easily pointed out and expressly excepted to ; but it is all-pervading, inherent, the groundwork, the life and soul of the whole.
Protestantism and Catholicity are two separate worlds, and Catholic and Protestant literatures belong to two distinct and separate orders. Literature is nothing but the exponent of the life of a people, the expression of its sentiments, convictions, aims, and ideals. Such your people, such your literature. Catholic literature expresses the life of the Catholic people, Protestant literature of the Protestant people ; and as the life of the one is essentially different from the life of the other, so must be the literature of the one from the literature of the other. Catholic literature may have its faults, be exceptionable in detail ; but it is, in general, in its generic character, Christian, - pervaded by a Christian thought, and imbued with the Christian spirit. It may, or it may not, borrow the forms of ancient classical literature ; but whether it do or do not, its matter is always Christian. Protestant literature is essentially heathen, — a reproduction, under varied forms, of the literature of pagan antiquity. Its form is sometimes Christian, and so are some of its details and embellishments ; but its ground
; work, its main substance, is heathen. This is the radical difference between the two literatures. The Catholic often accommodates the Christian thought to the classical form ; the Protestant, sometimes, the heathen thought to the Christian form. Thus the Catholic theologian borrows the logic of the ancients, because logic is formal, applicable equally to all subjects on which we can reason, and is necessarily the same, whatever the doctrines to be demonstrated or refuted ; the Protestant theologian generally despises the logic, but borrows the doctrines of the ancients.
Here is the real difference between Protestantism and Catholicity. Protestantism is substantially heathenism, and, at best, Christian only in some of its forms and details. It was born in the epoch termed the Revival of Letters, — an epoch in which the literature of pagan Greece and Rome was not, perhaps, much more widely studied than it had been in the preceding ages, but in which the systems of the ancients began to
The Observer accuses us of reasoning in a vicious circle, because we assert that the Apostolic ministry is the only competent witness to the fact of revelation, and yet appeal to the Scriptures in proof of the fact that a revelation has been made, and to determine the commission of the ministry. We confess we can detect no vicious circle in this. The fact that a revelation has been made was evidenced to those who lived in the age in which it was made by miracles, which accredited those by whom it was made, as we showed in our article. We appeal to the Scriptures, in the first instance, not to ascertain what this revelation is, but as a simple historical record of the miracles and other facts, which prove that a revelation has been made, or that God has really spoken to man. It is perfectly legitimate to say, the Apostolic ministry is the only witness competent to say what it is God has or has not spoken, and yet appeal to the Scriptures as historical doctrines to prove that he has spoken. Here is no vicious circle.
Nor do we reason in a vicious circle when we assume the A postolic ministry to be the only witness to the fact of revelation, and yet adduce the Scriptures as historical documents in proof of the commission of the ministry. Because we do not first assume the authority of the ministry as the only proof of the Scriptures as historical documents, and then adduce the Scriptures in proof of the commission which authorizes it to testify to that authenticity. We take the Scriptures, already proved to be authentic historical documents, so far forth as historical in their character, at least, so far forth as we have occasion to use them in the argument, to prove one simple historical fact, namely, the commission which Jesus Christ gave to his Apostles ; and then we take the ministry, proved, through the commission of the Apostles, to be Apostolic, as the witness to the fact and the expounder of revelation, whether contained in the Scriptures or deposited elsewhere. Here is no vicious circle, and we say so on the authority of the Observer itself. We accused the advocates of private illumination with reasoning in a vicious circle, when they take the witness to prove the Scriptures, and then the Scriptures to prove the witness. Not at all,
1, says the Observer : “ For while we take the Scriptures to prove the witness, we do not take the witness to prove the truth of the Scriptures, but their sense. The establishment of the fact of their existence, as the record of God's revealed will, is antecedent to their use to prove the witness, and independent of his testimony.” This, though not a complete reply to