Puslapio vaizdai

ter of at least comparative indifference which one a man joins ; just as if a man can be saved in any other communion than that of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church! We own individuals are free to join the Church, or to unite with such one of the sects as they choose, but only as a man is free to choose life or death ; and so would the Bishop himself say, if he only

, clearly perceived the unity of the Catholic Church, and that out of unity there is no life.

But the Bishop can justify the Reformers in seceding from the communion of the Catholic Church only on condition of its having ceased to be the communion of Christ ; for to secede from a Church which is in communion with Christ is to secede from Christ himself. Now, will he deny that salvation is possible in the Roman Catholic Church? Will he deny that it was possible in that Church in the beginning of the sixteenth century ? The Roman Catholic Church was then what it had been for many ages before, and what it is now. It embraced at that epoch, and had for many ages, nearly the whole Christian world. If we say that salvation is not possible in its communion, we pronounce a fearful sentence on the millions who lived and died in its communion prior to the Reformation, as upon the many millions who have lived and died in its communion since. But the Bishop will not say this ; Protestants

; generally do not say it. Were they to say it, what should we say of the piety of our English ancestors ? England herself was converted from heathenism by missionaries from this very Church of Rome ; and she has not, we believe, a saint in her calendar, who did not belong to the period of her communion with Rome. It was during that period that all that makes her glory took its rise. Then were founded her institutions of learning ; then was laid the foundation of her real national greatness. Then was she renowned for her piety, and her land was filled with the pure, faithful, self-denying servants of God. Shall we say that all her saints, martyrs, and confessors have gone to hell ? Of course not. No Protestant really doubts the possibility of salvation in the Roman communion, and the Bishop does not himself seem to think that communion with Rome endangers salvation. In his first Lecture he plainly recognizes the Roman Catholic Church as still having all the essential elements of the Church of God. He concedes her orthodoxy and her catholicity. He does not even seek to unchurch her. He admits her to be a Church of Christ; and states, that the question was not, whether she was Catholic or not, but whether she had an exclusive claim to the title of Catholicity. - The Church of Rome,” he says, (p. 6,) " claimed the exclusive title of Catholic, and branded all without her pale as cut off from Christ as heretics, as guilty of mortal sin. The Reformers denied that she had the exclusive right to the name of Catholic.” That is, the Reformers admitted her to be Catholic, but contended that they were Catholic as well as she, and perhaps more so ; because, as they alleged, they were more in harmony with the Church in primitive times.

Now, if he concedes salvation to be possible in the Roman Catholic Church, he concedes her to contain in herself all that is necessary to salvation. Belief in the true orthodox faith is necessary to salvation, as all must admit; for “ without faith it is impossible to please God,” and “he that believeth not shall be condemned.' Then the Roman Catholic has the true orthodox faith, and this the Bishop also seems to admit. Then the Reformers had no reason to secede from her on account of any supposed corruptions of the faith. But if salvation was

. possible in her bosom, she must have been in communion with Christ ; for there is no other name given under heaven, among men, whereby we must be saved.” But if she was in communion with Christ, she was the Church of Christ; and as the Church is but one communion, she and such particular Churches as were in communion with her were the only Church and the whole Church of Christ. To separate from her communion, then, was to separate from the communion of Christ. The Reformers did separate from her communion, and therefore separated from the communion of Christ, and were schismatics. No man can be saved, unless he abide in the communion of Christ. The Reformers did not abide in his communion. We leave the conclusion to be drawn by the Bishop himself.

Here is the necessary conclusion, if it be once admitted, as it is and must be, that salvation is possible in the Roman Catholic Church. This is a terrible conclusion, and worthy of the serious consideration of those who talk so loudly and arrogantly of the “corruptions," " errors,” and “ usurpations of modern Rome”; especially of those who form Protestant leagues and missionary societies for the conversion of the benighted Papists of Italy, France, and Spain. It will be well for them to look

, at their own foundation. They must muster courage enough to deny the possibility of salvation in the Roman Catholic communion, or else admit that salvation is not possible in their own. If they conclude to deny that salvation is possible in the Roman Catholic communion, we will thank them to agree in which of their own party-colored communions it is possible.

But what ! do you mean to say that none in these various Protestant sects can be saved ? We mean to say that no man can be saved who is not actually or virtually in the Church which is in communion with Christ; and if the Roman Catholic Church is in communion with him, Protestant sects are not, for they are not in communion with it. That individuals who are outwardly in Protestant sects may be saved, we do not deny ; because they may be there through invincible ignorance, but would not be there, if it were in their power to unite with the true Church. God does not exact impossibilities. Where the deed is impossible, he takes the will for the deed. All who believe the orthodox faith, without which no one can be saved, and have the desire and intention which would accept the Catholic Church were it presented, will be saved; but not because they are in this or that sectarian communion, but because they are virtually, in voto animique dispositione, out of it, and in the Catholic communion.

There are various other matters in these Lectures, on which we should like to remark; but

them over, because we have in the present article wished to confine ourselves to a single point. We think we have shown, that, on the grounds assumed by the Bishop, the British Reformers are not cleared of the charge of schism. So far as we can see, he has brought forward nothing which takes their secession out of the category of schism, or in the least removes the presumption we began by saying is against them. Till this is done, the Catholic Church stands secure in her ancient possession, and has no occasion to enter upon the defence of her title. We leave, therefore, the question of the Reformers, till a champion comes forward with some solid principle on which their defence may be grounded.

we pass

Art. III. -- Cours de Droit Naturel, professé à la Faculté

des Lettres de Paris, par M. Tuo. JOUFFROY. Première Partie. Prolégomènes au Droit Naturel. Paris. 1835. 8vo. 2 Tomes.

This work has been translated into English by the Rev. William H. Channing, nephew of the late Dr. William Ellery Channing, published by Mr. Ripley in his Specimens of Foreign Standard Literature, and adopted as a text-book of moral philosophy in the University of Cambridge. It has been read by many among us, been favorably noticed by several of our leading journals, and is, probably, as well known and as highly esteemed in our community as similar works on similar subjects generally are, or can be expected to be.

We ourselves were the first to bring the work to the notice of the American public, by a favorable review of it inserted in The Christian Examiner, for September, 1837. We then estimated the work very highly, and regarded it as a valuable contribution to moral science. As such we spoke of it ; as such we commended it; we honestly believed that it had solved the great ethical problems, and prepared the way for the construction, on the law of nature as discoverable by natural reason, of a complete and satisfactory system of ethics, which would endure as long as human nature should remain unaltered. Our review of the work, and the commendatory terms in which we have on several occasions spoken of it, have, no doubt, contributed somewhat to the favorable reception it has found in our community ;' and we therefore feel it incumbent on us to assign at least some few of the reasons which have finally operated to change our views of it, and to induce us to reject its principal doctrines as insufficient, false, or mischievous.

We are not surprised that we should have approved this work at the time we did, for it issued from a school of philosophy to which we were then attached ; but nothing seems to us more unaccountable, now, than the confidence and warmth with which we received the teachings of that school, of which M. Jouffroy, if not one of the founders, was at least one of its most distinguished disciples, — unless, indeed, it be the fact, that they were also received by some of our friends, well qualified by age, experience, attainments, and natural ability to be our masters. Some eight or ten years ago, we regarded the Eclectic school as a glorious school, and counted it our highest felicity to be recognized by its master, M. Victor Cousin, as one of his disciples. Many amongst us, indeed, opposed it, but, unhappily, in bad temper, or on untenable grounds; and their opposition tended only to confirm our confidence, increase our admiration, and inflame our devotion. But since the novelty has worn off, and we have had leisure to recover our self-possession, and to look, with an undazzled eye, the school calmly and steadily in the face, we have found it utterly unsatisfactory, and utterly unable to solve a single important problem. It throws no light on any of the dark passages of human nature, gives no satisfactory explanation of the past history of our race, presents no consistent theory of the universe, and furnishes no solution of our future destiny. All too late for our personal credit as a philosopher have we discovered this ; for all too late for our credit as a philosopher, though we hope not all too late to make sure of our destiny as a man, have we discovered that philosophy, separated from supernatural revelation, is unable to solve any of the great problems of man or the universe.

Philosophy, taken strictly, is science deducing conclusions from principles obtained by the light of natural reason, and can arrive at no conclusion which is valid beyond the range of natural reason. But all the great problems of man and the universe lie beyond this range, and therefore, if solved at all, can be solved only by the aid of supernatural revelation. When we discovered this fact, we enlarged our definition of philosophy, and defined it science deducing conclusions from principles obtained both from reason and revelation. In this sense the word philosophy is used in all our writings for the last two or three years. But in this sense philosophy is made to embrace not only philosophy properly so called, but theology also. This usage of the word is unauthorized, is unnecessary, and tends to generate confusion. Moreover, there is a science of man and the universe, and even of the Author of man and the universe, deduced from principles furnished by natural reason, and distinct from theology, which is very true, and very important. This science, from the time of Pythagoras, has received the name of philosophy. This is its proper name, and this name it should be permitted to bear.

In defining philosophy to be science deducing its conclusions from natural reason alone, and in declaring it impotent to solve the great problems of the universe, we say nothing against reason, and imply no distrust of reason. We merely say, what all know to be true, that reason has its bounds, beyond which it cannot pass. All our faculties are good, and were given us to be exercised. Reason is man's distinguishing characteristic. It is this which distinguishes him from the animal world. It would, therefore, be absurd to forbid him to exercise his reason, the faculty which ennobles him and gives him his rank in the scale of being. Moreover, if we were to deny to man the exercise of his reason, or if we were even to distrust it, we should deny to him the possibility of having any well grounded faith, — indeed, of having any faith at all. For, though faith itself is never taken on the authority of reason, but on the veracity of God, who reveals it, yet the motives of credibil

« AnkstesnisTęsti »