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light, is submission to the will of God, and the entire renunciation and crucifixion of nature. The means of attaining this submission, this renunciation, this crucifixion, are not the means of natural culture and training, but the grace of God, not attainable by natural culture, but ordinarily attainable only through the sacraments of God's Church, the visible channel of invisible grace, and by prayer, meditation, and mortification. According to our reformers, — no matter of what class, –
- , all depends on nature, and the study must be to provide, from the moment of conception, or at least from the birth, of the child, for the free and full development and play of nature; all must be arranged so as to repress nothing, but to bring out all in its natural purity, freedom, strength, and beauty. According to Christianity, from the same moment, from birth to the grave, the study is to repress nature, to restrain it, mortify it, and to bring the individual into complete and entire subjection to God. Christianity wages an unceasing war with nature. It educates, it cultivates ; but not to produce natural virtues and graces, but supernatural. It puts off the old man, which is of the earth, earthy, and puts on the new man, which is from heaven, heavenly, and forms Christ within, the hope of glory. The two systems are, then, right in opposition, the one to the other. Hence, Christianity has and can have no fellowship with these reformers; and this is seen, also, in the fact that they all make war on the Church of God, and none of them accept the Gospel, save as they explain away its sense, and reduce it to a system of mere naturalism.
Schiller proceeds on the assumption, not only that the end to be sought is the natural perfection of man, but that the means to be adopted are such as man himself can originate and put into practical operation. This is also the case with all modern reformers, whether religious, political, or social. But if the end is supernatural, as we have seen, the means must also be supernatural ; for there must be some proportion between the means and the end ; but between natural means and a supernatural end there is and can be no proportion. The true end, therefore, is never to be gained by natural means, by any set or series of causes man himself is naturally able to put in operation.
This is a conclusion we wish to press upon the serious consideration of our modern reformers. We do not suppose any man, at all imbued with Christian charity, can be satisfied with things as they are. The condition of our fellow-men, even so far as regards this world, is truly heart-rending. On every hand, are wrongs and outrages. The strong oppress the weak, the cunning circumvent the simple; the state becomes an organized machine for taxing the people, and for aiding the few to plunder the many ; and the general tone of society, and of nearly all its vaunted institutions, is corrupt and corrupting. But what is the remedy? Whence the help? There is no help from man, no remedy of human origin and application. All labor directed to discover and apply a human remedy is worse than lost. You may as well crack your brains and waste your substance in seeking to invent a perpetual motion. Who of you can lift himself up by his own waistbands? The thing is as impossible in morals as in mechanics.
But can we do nothing ? Must we sit still and bear the frightful misery of our lot, without making any effort to relieve it? We say not that. Man may work; but, if he is to work with success, he must work in God's way. When you wish to erect a mill, you study to erect it so that nature herself shall work for you, and drive your machinery. In morals you must follow the same method, only you are here to seek to avail yourself, not of nature, but of grace. You must work, but you must work to let. God himself work in and for you. He has provided for the redemption of man from all evils, and your business is to accept and conform to his provision; and then it is no longer you that work, but he that worketh in you
. But your error is in this very fact, that you reject the means Almighty God, in his infinite love and mercy, has provided, and seek to find out and apply some remedy of your own. Schiller feels the necessity of a force to unite and direct the intellect and sense, to harmonize man with himself and with pature, and direct all human forces, both individual and social, to the realization of our destiny. He seeks
this force in the playimpulse, which is still a human force. This force is to be set in motion by beauty, the ideal, which is not man's creation, but something independent of man, and which his nature is fitted to perceive and love. But this force has always been an attribute of man, and this ideal beauty has always hovered over and before him ; and yet he has fallen into the deplorable condition from which these are assumed as sufficient to raise him! How with unvaried factors do you propose to obtain a varied product ? Evidently, you must vary one of your factors, introduce a new factor, or not change your product.
and for you.
This ideal beauty you talk about, we have no faith in. But be it all you allege; as ideal, it is unreal, and therefore inoperative ; for only what is real can operate. It must be realized, then, before it can set the play-impulse in motion. But it cannot realize itself ; for it must be real before it can act. Then a power foreign to itself is needed to realize it. This power must be human or divine. If human, it will not answer your purpose ; for the human force which you must assume as the force to realize it is set in motion only by this very ideal beauty, which can produce no effect till realized. If, then, you assume man's power is adequate to its realization, you assume its realization as the condition of its realization ! Here is a circle out of which no human power can extricate you.
If you assume the power is divine, then it is God that realizes it, and his realization of it must necessarily be the organization or embodiment of it in an institution capable of acting on man, and directing all his activities to the proper end ; that is, in principle, the Church. You must, then, have a divinely constituted Church, as the condition of getting your ideal beauty into the condition in which it can set your play-impulse in motion, as we proved to you, in the Essay, No Church, no Reform, in our Review for April, 1844. But God has already founded the Church, and for the express purpose of man's redemption. Place yourself in that, and you have the power you need ; for through that flows the stream of God's grace needed to drive your moral machinery.
But you reject the Church, and herein is your folly and your condemnation. Your folly ; for, if the Church be not a divinely founded institution for the redemption of man, you have no means of effecting that redemption, and therefore it is idle to attempt it. Your condemnation ; for the Church is such an institution, and you reject it, and seek to gain your end without and in opposition to it, — which is to seek to gain it
, without and in opposition to God himself. In the one case, your conduct is folly ; in the other, it is criminal, high-treason against God. But no, you are liberals, you are for freedom, and you will
· not submit to the Church, because that would be to abjure yourselves and become voluntary slaves to absolute power. The Church claims to be supreme under God, because through his supernatural gifts she is infallible, we admit ; and you are required to submit to her as an infallible authority, which may on no account and in no respect be disobeyed. So far as this is
VOL. II. NO. III.
slavery, you unquestionably become slaves in submitting to the Church. But do you help the matter by rejecting the Church ? You must assume absolute infallible authority somewhere, take what hypothesis you will. If you take the skeptical doctrine, and plunge into universal doubt, you still assume your right to doubt, and your absolute, infallible right to doubt. But there is no absolute, infallible right, where there is no absolute, infallible authority ; for authority is the basis of right. But where there is no absolute, infallible right, there is no absolute, infallible freedom. Therefore, you must assume absolute, infallible authority somewhere, as the condition sine qua non of absolute, infallible freedom. This absolute, infallible authority you must place in the individual, in the state, in public opinion, or in the Church; for in any other alternative it will be, for us, only ideal, and, for all practical purposes, as if it were not.
Is the individual absolute, infallible ? Dare any man assert it, since all are acknowledged to be fallible? Is the state absolute and infallible? Who will pretend it? Certainly no friend of civil freedom. Is public opinion absolute and infallible ? Does it never err, and may it never be rightfully resisted ? What is public opinion, but the opinion of those individuals, more or less numerous, who give the tone to the public ? These are confessedly fallible; how, then, can they originate an infallible public opinion? Say not, blasphemously, Vox populi, vox Dei ; but say, rather, if you will say any thing, Vox populi, vor Diaboli. Who condemned our blessed Saviour to the cross, -Socrates to drink the hemlock ? who has, in every age, persecuted the brave, the true-hearted, and the saintly? who burnt our convent at Mount Benedict, burnt our churches and seminaries in Philadelphia, shot down our brethren in the street, and screened the criminals, - but your wise vox populi, who, we will maintain against all challengers, is as arrant a knave, as vain, fickle, conceited, malicious, and murderous a rascal, as ever walked the earth ? If you attribute absolute and infallible authority to these, you know you attribute it to what possesses it not, and has no right to claim it. Yet to one or another of these you must attribute it, if you reject the Church ; and be it to which you will, you yield yourself up to
; a master who has no right to your service, and make yourselves slaves in very deed. What do you gain, then, even on the score of freedom, by rejecting the Church ? Nothing at all. Be the Church precisely what you falsely allege, you, in rejecting her, to use a homely proverb, do but “jump out of the frying-pan into the fire.”
If you reject the Church, you are slaves, without the possibility of becoming free ; this you cannot deny. But if you
; accept the Church, there is a possibility, to say the least, of freedom. It may be, the Church is what she professes to be. If so, submission to her is not slavery, but freedom ; because what she teaches and commands is absolute truth, and the truth makes free, - et veritas liberabit vos. 1 St. John, viii. 32. True freedom is in entire submission to the will of God, and nowhere else. · In abjuring yourselves, to submit to God, you do but abjure the tyrant, the usurper, in order to come under the dominion of the legitimate sovereign, — an abjuration, to say the least, more to one's honor than to his dishonor. There is no occasion, then, to seek out new and human methods of reforming the world. The world cannot
. be reformed, unless by the ministry of just such an institution as the Church declares herself to be, or, at least, one exactly equivalent to it. If she be not what she professes, you have nothing to do, for there is nothing you can do ; and your efforts will result only in your own disgrace, and the aggravation of the evils you seek to remove. If she be what she professes to be, it is your duty to submit to her, believe what she teaches, do what she commands, and then the evils of which you complain, so far as they are evils, will be removed.
We speak on a subject of this sort with some degree of personal confidence ; for we have devoted more than twenty
2 of the best years of our life to its investigation. We have abated nothing of our young zeal for reform, nor are we conscious of having lost the ability or the disposition to make as painful sacrifices for the amelioration of our brethren even in this life, as our contemporaries are prepared to make ; but we cannot make brick without straw ; and we have learned too much from our past experience to be willing to erect a mill where we can have neither wind nor water, nor even steam, to drive its machinery. No permanent or solid good is obtainable for man, either for this world or that which is to come, but through the ministry of the Holy Catholic Church, — the Holy
Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, we mean. She alone has authority to teach; she alone has charge from God of the culture of individuals and nations ; and she alone has received the authority and force necessary to educate and direct all man's faculties and sentiments so as to bring order out of the confusion ignorance and sin have generated, and to fill the earth with love, peace, and joy. Reluct who will ; but he who seeks to