Puslapio vaizdai

ing which he had not before receiving it ; which is to say, he receives nothing at all. Cause, so far forth as-cause, receives nothing from its effects. The creation does not react on the Creator, and augment his power. That which leaves us as it found us, or returns to us only what it receives from us, produces no effect in us. One needs to be no very profound metaphysician to know all this. The Professor, we apprehend, is not aware of the consequences of making the virtue of the sacrament depend on the recipient. He contends, that the efficacy of the sacrament is in the faith of the recipient, and that it consists in strengthening faith, and thereby the life which is by faith. But this involves a principle which may lead where the Professor is not prepared to follow. If our faith be the efficient cause of the sacramental effect, to assert that by it there is an increase of faith, or an augmentation of the grace of faith, or of the effects of faith, implies that faith can be augmented from itself and by itself, or that of itself and by itself it can increase its power and fruitfulness ; which implies the principle of self-growth, - an evident absurdity; for it implies that a given existence can, in and of itself and by itself, make itself more than it is, – that the possible is able to actualize itself, — vacuum to fill up itself and become plenum, — the precise absurdity of the modern Progressists and of the old Buddhists. Is our Professor prepared to accept this absurdity ? If not, he must not say a thing can augment itself, or be augmented, save as it receives and assimilates somewhat ab extra, from a source foreign to itself. Then he must either admit in the sacrament a virtue not derivable from the recipient, or deny that it has any virtue at all.

Nothing remains, then, but the third supposition, namely, the virtue of the sacrament is ex opere operato, non merito operantis vel suscipientis ; that is, that the virtue or efficacy of the sacrament is of God, who instituted it, and operates in and through it. The Professor must admit this conclusion, or either assert another source of grace than the merits of Jesus Christ, or deny the sacraments altogether. The last is, in fact, what Protestants generally do.

These remarks on the sacraments contain a sufficient answer to all that the Professor says of the influence of Catholicity on the clergy. The Professor has become so enamoured of the modern German method of finding in human nature or in a philosophic theory the measure of all institutions, that he forgets that the Church is to be judged not as a human, but as a

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divine, supernatural institution. He forgets, that, as a simple human institution, having its origin and cause in human nature, and operating only by human agencies and means, according to the simple laws of human nature, nobody proposes it, nobody pretends to defend it. His speculations, however ingenious, nay, however true they might be, were it a human institution, and to be judged as we would judge a temporal government, are valueless, and must count for nothing ; because, as speculations, they proceed from a false assumption, and are not in return borne out by facts. To apply a priori reasoning, which might be legitimate to a natural, human institution, to a supernatural, divine institution, is an error which no man of


tolerable scientific attainments would willingly be guilty of.

The Professor's objections all proceed from his overlooking one rather important fact, namely, the gracious presence of God. He reasons as if there was no grace of God. Here is his primal sin. If he chooses to deny that the Church is a supernatural, divine institution, and that the grace of God operates in and through her sacraments, well and good ; but then comes up the Church question we began by stating. But till he does that, and ousts the Church from her possession, by invalidating her claims, his present line of argument is illegitimate ; and when he shall have done that, it will be unnecessary.

VIII. The eighth charge, that Catholicity has a tendency to separate religion from good morals, and to undervalue morality as distinct from religion (pp. 475, 476), is altogether unfounded. The basis of ethics, according to Catholicity, is theology ; and ethics are uniformly treated by Catholic writers under the head of Theologia Moralis, or practical theology. Religion is always presented to us as the basis of good morals. The foundation and motive to the love of our neighbour is in the love of God. We are taught to love our neighbour for the sake of God, and throughout the whole range of morals the propter quem is God, who is our beginning and end ; and every action not referred to him as the end or final cause, for the sake of which it is done, is always sinful, or at least morally imperfect. Here is the closest union between religion and morals conceivable. It is impossible to say more.

The assertion, that Catholicity places the fulfilling of the law in the external observances of the Church, is false and inexcusable. The Church can dispense from any of her own observances or laws, but she denies that she can dispense from a


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precept of the moral law. The Professor knows this, if he knows any thing of the subject he pretends to treat. Where did he learn that it is, in the estimation of the Church or of her doctors, “a comparatively humble virtue to speak the truth”? Do Protestants hold, that to speak the truth is a virtue at all ? Judging from the Professor's assertions against Catholicity, we should presume not. Catholic morality denies me the right, in any case, to speak what is not true, or what, in the plain, legitimate sense of my words, is false, though, in some restricted sense of my own, what I say may be true. No intentional falsehood, no intentional deception of any kind, in any case, or for any cause whatever, is allowed. This is Catholic morality. The author's assertions respecting Bossuet, Massillon, &c., and especially the general councils, that they divorce morality from piety, authorize pious frauds, teach that no faith is to be kept with heretics, &c., are barefaced falsehoods, and convict him of the very vice he is trying to fasten on others. He knows these charges have been denied and resuted over and over again, — unless his ignorance is more profound than even we believe it. Wherefore, then, does he not blush to reiterate them, and to reiterate them in the same breath in which he is trying to monopolize candor, fairness, and love of truth as Protestant virtues, - born, as it were, with Luther and Calvin ?

“ The spirit of mediæval piety was in too fearful a degree the spirit of robbery, and burnt-offering ; of falsehood, and devotedness to the Church ; of an Ave Maria on the lips, and carnage in the heart.” —p. 476. This from a man who is accusing the Church of a want of candor, fairness, love of truth! The man is mad, and not "with much learning.” The Middle Ages are not without their faults, but who knows any thing of them knows this — when intended to describe their predominating spirit — is false, totally false, as prove all the records of that glorious period of human history, on which he who loves God and man lingers, as the traveller on some green oasis in the sandy waste. But, even if true, a descendant of the Puritans, who robbed the Indians of their lands, then massacred the poor savages or sold them into slavery, while saying their long graces or interminable prayers, should, for shame's sake, hold his peace. . A descendant of a class of men whose spirit was condensed in Cromwell's famous exhortation, — “ Pray to God, my brethren, and mind and keep your powder dry,” - should not talk

about Ave Maria on the lips and carnage in the heart. It is


not for one who builds the tombs and garnishes the sepulchres of the canting, hypocritical, sour-visaged, greedy, arrogant, and cruel old Puritans, to accuse others of paying

" tithes of anise, cummin, and mint, and of passing over justice and judgment, and the weightier matters of the law." The Professor should know that there are some who have even Puritan blood running in their veins who do not remember to forget what the Puritans were. We know their history, and would be silent; but we may yet be driven to write it. These men of yesterday, these theologians not yet in shorts, who want ancestors, and whom their own children disown, may yet be summoned to answer for their presumption and pride, their cant and hypocrisy, their falsehoods and calumnies, before the bar of a public that will not consent to be for ever duped. They have a terrible account to settle, and it will be no disadvantage to them to settle it now, before the books are opened for the last time.

“No faith to be kept with heretics.” Where did the Professor learn that this is a maxim of Catholicity? It is false. Catholicity knows no such maxim, and Catholic history authorizes no inference that she practically adopts or in the least conceivable manner countenances it. Individuals of bad faith may be found, no doubt, even among Catholics; but that Catholicity or Catholic doctors anywhere countenance any thing of the sort is a malignant falsehood. We are taught and required to keep our faith with all men, and faith plighted to a heretic can no more be broken without sin than faith plighted to a true believer. We would that Protestants would observe a tithe of the good faith towards Catholics that Catholics do towards Protestants ; and when they shall do so, we give them free leave to abuse our morals to their full satisfaction.

“ The end sanctifies the means.” So the Apostles were slanderously reported to teach, —“Let us do evil that good may come." " If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more they of his household !” No such doctrine is known among Catholics ; we are not permitted to do evil that good may come.

Both the means and the ends must be holy. But on what principle do Protestants themselves act, when they lie about and calumniate Catholics ? On what principle would Professor Park attempt to justify the misrepresentations, distortions of the truth, and downright falsehoods of his own Lecture, if not on the principle, that the end sanctifies the means ” ? On what principle can your Brownlows, Sparrys, Breckenridges, Bemans, Kirks, Beechers, Dowlings, your famous anti-Catholic lecturers, pamphleteers, editors, and colporteurs, pretend to justify their flagitious falsehoods and calumnies, but on the principle that Catholicity is so great an evil, that any means are lawful which will tend to destroy it, - that is, " the end sanctifies the means "? When have Catholics lied about or calumniated Protestants ? When or where have they even exaggerated their errors, vices, or crimes ? When or where have they combined by systematic misrepresentation and slander to overthrow Protestantism or to build up their own Church? Facts, names, dates, Gentlemen, if you please, which we hold ourselves ready to give in return, if those already given do not satisfy you, or if you presume to contradict us. No, no, dear Protestant friends, remember that he that is without sin is the one who has permission to cast the first

Your own morals are quite too questionable to allow you to rail at Catholics.

Be so good as to practise a morality half as pure as we teach, before you think of reading us moral lectures.


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IX. The ninth charge, touching the austerity of Catholicity and its influence on the emotions, we must pass over. The author converses on these matters as a Rationalist who forgets the grace of God may count for something might be expected to converse on a subject of which he knows nothing, and which, in his present state of mind, he is as ill able to appreciate as a blind man is colors, or a deaf man harmony. The Professor evidently has made no study of ascetic theology, or ever devoted much time to prayer, meditation, and mortification ; and this may account, in no small degree, for his hostility to Gatholiciiy.

He might as well charge our blessed Lord with exerting a bad moral influence on the emotions and passions, in choosing his Apostles from fishermen, publicans, and tent-makers, as to charge the Church with a bad moral influence, because no small portion of her clergy are taken from the humbler classes of society. He thinks priests taken from the humbler classes, elevated suddenly to a higher condition of life, and invested with great power, must inevitably become proud, vain, servile towards those above them, and haughty and overbearing towards those below them. If they were to be Protestant ministers, this might perhaps be the case ; for Protestants have not the grace of God to keep them humble. But we do not observe that the Apostles became proud in consequence of their eleva

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