Catholicism and Religious Thought
[The Contemporary Review, May 1885]

{652} THE purpose of these papers is to attempt a critical analysis and appraisement of those principles of the English Catholic movement that may be held to have significance for constructive religious thought. The point from which the second or material part of the discussion can best start is the relation of the English to the earlier Continental Catholic revival. The former had a distinctive character of its own; but it would be a grave mistake to regard it either as single and isolated, or as simply the creation of a few able and resolute men. That was what it seemed to many contemporary critics, but it was nothing so accidental and arbitrary. It stood connected with and represented a tendency that had been active in European thought and life, the reaction against the Illumination and the Revolution. The reaction was not simple but complex, at once religious, intellectual and political; a recoil of the conservative spirit from the new ideals that had been so suddenly translated into portentous realities. It was marked everywhere by the same hatred of the eighteenth century and all its works, embodied everywhere the same hopes and fears, expressed the same motives and ends. On the one side stood the revolutionary theses, the rights of reason and of man, the watchwords liberty, equality, fraternity. These the reaction construed not in their high ideal sense, but through the accidents and atrocities, the terror and ruin that had attended the attempt at realization; and over against them emphasized its own antitheses—the rights of the community before those of the individual, the rights of God and the sovereigns, spiritual and civil, He appointed above those of the reason and the peoples, authority as the only sufficient basis of order, and order as the condition necessary to the highest common good. But not satisfied with opposing antitheses to theses, it confronted {653} recent with mediŠval history, idealized it, attempted to resuscitate and realize its ideals, and invested the Church—which was its most splendid and persistent creation—with the authority that alone could revive religion and create order, curb and turn back the loosened and lawless forces of revolution. This radical contradiction, ideal and historical, seemed the surest as the most direct way to victory; but to build a dam across a river is not to arrest the gathering and course of its waters, as the men who securely pitch their tents in the shelter of the dam will be the first to experience.

I.

The Catholic revival was the principal phase or feature of the reaction, and the literature that was its most operative factor may be described as the literature of the new Catholic Apologetic [Note 1]. Our reference to its distinctive principles and work must be brief.

1. The reaction was a complex movement, at once literary, political, religious. In literature it appeared as Romanticism, in politics as legitimate and theocratic theory, in religion as Ultramontanism. These three were but different phases or expressions of the one spirit, representing, as it were, the organization of the more conservative instincts against the new agencies of progress and change. The oneness of the spirit is evident from the ease with which its phases melted or passed into each other. Romanticism appeared, indeed, outside Catholicism, was German, the creation of men like the Schlegels, Tieck, Novalis, who loved the realm of the imagination, and hated the rationalism that had expelled miracle from Nature, and mystery from man, making the universe the home of prosaic commonplace. They disliked the cold classicism of Goethe and the warmer humanism of Schiller, and said: "Poetry and religion are one; man needs an imagination to interpret the universe, and a universe peopled by it and for it; when he has most religion he has most imagination, and the times when he had both in the highest degree were the mediŠval." And so they glorified these times, edited their ballads and romances, praised their ideal of life and duty, their bravery, courtesy, devotion; their indifference to the market and the exchange, their loyalty to beauty and honour and religion, their glorious Gothic architecture, with the faith it at once {654} embodied, illustrated and made illustrious. Admiration for the past, though it was a past that was a pure creature of the imagination, easily became belief in the Church that claimed it, and so Romanticism in men like Stolberg, Friedrich Schlegel, and Werner, passed by a natural gradation into Catholicism.

The reaction in politics was conducted in a still more courageous and thorough spirit, for it was directly polemical, a guerre Ó outrance. Authority must be made divine if the rights of man were to be denied and his reason subdued and governed; but the dynastic idea had been too rudely broken to be capable of again standing up, and in its own name claiming divine authority. Its hour of weakness was the Church's opportunity; it alone had braved the storm, it had been shaken but it had stood, manifestly, not in its own strength, but in God's. In the lurid light of the anarchy Rome was seen to have a mission; as the seat and home of supreme authority, universal, immutable, infallible, she could stand forward as the saviour of society, now gone or going to destruction for want of its most Christian kings. She was the Church God had founded, had supernaturally endowed and guided, had made the sole bearer and teacher of His truth, and had graced and crowned with an Infallible Head. Here was an authority so awful, so august, and so inviolable as to be alone able to end the conflict of rival rights, and restore order by enforcing the one universal duty—obedience. If divine authority was to rule in the State, it must be got through the Church. And so Joseph de Maistre formulated his hierocratic doctrine, making the Papal at once guarantee and condition the royal power. De Bonald wove the political into the religious revelation, ascribing sole sovereignty to God, but building upon it the Pope's, and upon his the king's. Chateaubriand described Christian Rome as being for the modern what Pagan Rome had been for the ancient world—the universal bond of nations, instructing in duty, defending from oppression. Lamennais argued that without authority there could be no religion, that it was the foundation of all society and morality, and that it alone enfranchized man by making him obedient, so harmonizing all intelligences and wills. And thus the Church, as the supreme authority, became the principle of order, the centre of political as well as religious stability; the only divine rights were those she sanctioned, in her strength kings reigned, and through obedience to her man was happy and God honoured.

2. The Revolution thus gave Catholicism a splendid opportunity for a new Apologetic; summoned it to occupy a more important and commanding position than it had held since the fall of Rome. The Apologetic may be described as the theory of the position, or the principle of authority done into the philosophy, of the counter-revolution. It may be said to have consisted of two parts, a theoretical {655} and an historical—the first being a vindication of authority as the only sure basis of religion, and, consequently, the only solid ground and guarantee of order; the second being a justification of the Roman Church as it had lived and acted in history. On the positive side it was a philosophy of religion, society, and history; on the negative, an absolute contradiction of the modern philosophies, the governing principles or ideas of the modern mind. The Apologists saw that the Revolution had not been an accident, but a logical issue from the premisses of the sixteenth century; an attempt to realize a political ideal correlative and correspondent to the ideal of religious freedom. The anarchy, the bloodshed, the social misery and ruin, were held to be the direct result of the movement then instituted; to this, along many lines, it had been inevitably tending; in this, its true character stood revealed. What appeared before the Revolution as innocent abstractions, or speculations that flattered human pride in the degree that they exercised human reason, appeared after it as disintegrative forces capable of doing the most disastrous work. It was not a question of Catholicism against Protestantism, but of Catholicism against the modern movement as a whole. Humanity must be turned back in its course three centuries that society might be saved. The literary revolt of the fifteenth century, the religious revolt of the sixteenth, the philosophical systems of the seventeenth, the political revolution of the eighteenth, were all parts of a whole, successive steps in the dread argument that had been fulfilling itself in history. To deal with this in the most radical way, modern philosophy, as supplying the principles and premisses, was fiercely attacked. De Maistre held Bacon to be a presumptuous and profane scientific charlatan, whose bad philosophy was the fit expression of his bad morality. And in censure he was quite impartial: "Contempt of Locke was the beginning of knowledge." [Note 2] Hume "was perhaps the most dangerous and the guiltiest of all those baleful writers who will for ever accuse the last century before posterity." [Note 3] Voltaire "was a man Paris crowned, but Sodom would have banished." [Note 4] Lamennais argued that the philosophies and the heresies had one principle, "la souverainetÚ de la raison humaine," the end whereof was universal disbelief [Note 5]. Admit it, and from the end there was no escape; the inevitable way was from heresy to deism, from deism to atheism, from atheism to universal scepticism. Hence, by an exhaustive process, the necessary conclusion was reached: we must have authority if we are to have faith; the true religion is that which rests on the greatest visible authority, which from sheer lack of actual or possible claimants can be no other than Rome. The {656} variations of philosophers as of Protestants proved their want of truth; the consistencies and harmonies of Catholics proved their possession of it. Authority being the creative and fundamental principle in religion, to despise or deny it was sin—order was Heaven's first law; contempt of authority man's first disobedience. The systems that denied it were not simply false, they were evil; at once causes and fruits of sin. Of sin and its inexorable penalties, the new Apologetic had much to say; sin explained the revolt, the revolution illustrated the penalty. To end the revolt the Church must triumph; and its victory would be the creation, not of religion only, but of order, of a stable, contented, happy society. But, as Lamennais was destined later fatefully to discover, if authority was to rule at all, it must rule everywhere, in both Church and State; if freedom reigned in either, it would reign in both. So De Maistre saw and victoriously argued: both authorities are of God, but the spiritual is the higher; the king's does not qualify the Pope's, but the Pope's limits the king's. Power may be limited from above, but not from below; the subjects may not judge the sovereign, or impose conditions on him, but the Pope may, and his judge is God. Authority, thus absolute, political, personified in the king, confronted revolution; spiritual, personified in the Pope, confronted reason; and by its strength religion was to be saved, society re-constituted, order created, and humanity made obedient to God.

But it was not enough to be critical and theoretical; it was no less necessary to show the fine correspondence of the theory with history, the speculation with fact. And so the discussion became historical; the Church was exhibited as the maker of civilization, the mother of the arts and sciences, the creator of the humanities, the enemy of vice, the nurse of virtue, the home of all the graces. When the Roman empire fell she mitigated the miseries, lessened the evils, conserved the good that but for her had perished in the ruins. When the young peoples came pouring into the older States, she received them into her bosom, tamed them, organized their energies, built them into a new order and new civilization. She protected its tender years; hers was the arm which turned back the Moor, the Saracen, and the Turk. In her the conquered peoples had their true and strongest friend; the conquerors, a common sovereign who ruled their fierce wills into obedience and humanity. The Church united the divided nations, created out of a multitude of turbulent tribes a brotherhood of peoples, made the hostile kingdoms become a single Christendom. Modern Europe without the Church were inconceivable; whatever most distinguishes her, whatever she most admires, she owes to the Church. Her stamp is on the literature of every modern people; the drama rose out of her miracle plays; it was her faith {657} that bade the first and greatest of modern epics live, and that will not let it die. Art was her peculiar creation; she inspired the genius of the builder, and he built the large faith he lived by into cathedral and monastery; her vivid and fruitful imagination formed the painter, and the wondrous beauty of his work but witnesses to the sublimity of her spirit and the truth of her beliefs. Her mysteries, the sacraments, and miracles that offend the prosaic rationalism of a godless age, disclose their true significance, their power at once to awe, to humble, and to uplift, when seen reflected in the mirror of mediŠval art. Science, too, the Church had made; her sons loved, and cultivated, and enlarged it when the world was dark, and kings and nobles lived but for war and plunder. All beneficent and ameliorative agencies were of her making: hospitals, charities, schools, colleges, the laws that shielded the serf from the savagery of his master. For all this, and kindred work, her very constitution qualified her. The clergy had no land, no home, no worldly affections, no secular care, were separated to her service, consecrated wholly to her ends, which were those of man's highest good. Her very organization showed her to be the bearer and organ of divine truth, throughout adapted to secure its recognition and realization among men. For above all stood the supreme Pontiff, the spiritual Sovereign, source of unity, law, order, directing the energies, formulating the judgments, determining the faith of the Church; so much the Vicar of God as to be His voice become audible; gifted with speech that he might control kings and command peoples, maintain religion, and compel obedience. What the Church had been the Church would continue to be; she had saved Europe when Rome perished, and would save it again even though it were out of the very jaws of the destroyer.

3. Such, in hurried outline, was the historical Apologetic, at once confirmatory and illustrative of the theoretical. So far as it is historical its truth is frankly admitted. It is significant that the purely historical mode of viewing and representing the matter rose outside Catholicism; was due to liberal and scientific thought, not to ecclesiastical and polemical. To it, looking only from the historical point of view, it seemed hardly possible to exaggerate the obligations of Europe to Catholicism. The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages did noble work for humanity; moderated for the old world the miseries of dissolution, moderated for the new the perhaps still greater miseries of organization and evolution. But justice to mediŠval must not make us unjust to modern history. The question was not what the Catholic Church had done in the early or middle centuries, but what it had done in the modern? An organization that had served and saved a society penetrated with pagan ideas, may be little qualified to serve a society possessed and moved by Christian ideals. Laws good for childhood may be bad for manhood; what makes a man of a child is {658} excellent, but what makes a child of a man is evil. The Apologists were as weak in the modern as they were strong in the mediŠval question. In the one case they were eloquent and philosophic about the Church and its work; in the other, they were reproachful and severe concerning the pride and wickedness of man. They did not see that there was an absolute change in the conditions; in the earlier period it was the secular empire that had broken down, but in the later it was the spiritual. In the days of Roman decadence and mediŠval upbuilding the Church had indeed been an ameliorative agency and an architectonic power; but in the days of the Reformation and Revolution it was the Church that had fallen into feebleness. The Europe she claimed to be alone able to reorganize and restore, was the very Europe that had become disorganized in her own hands. She was in the place of the Roman Empire, while the modern spirit was claiming to occupy hers. The Pope was the new Julian; De Maistre the new Libanius. As a simple matter of fact, the very revolt of the intellect was the gravest possible reflection on the capacity of the Church. The intellect had been in subjection for centuries; to allow it to escape implied infirmity in the ruler, deficiency in wisdom, inefficiency of energy and will. The claim of infallibility is a tremendous claim, not because of what it requires from man, but because of what it demands in and from the Church. Infallibility in truth is significant when conjoined with infallibility in wisdom, but the one without the other is insignificant enough. To be under it is like being under a creator, almighty but not all-wise; to possess it is, as it were, to have the mechanical gift, the skill to make instruments, but not the political, the power to handle and govern men. For if the revolt of the sixteenth century were a sin, the men who achieved it were not the only sinners—still guiltier was the Church that made it possible, that allowed it to become actual. During centuries she had been supreme; hers had been the hands that made the men, hers the mind that made Europe; and if the issue of all her doings and endeavours were the revolt, could she be guiltless, or as wise as she must be to make her infallibility of any avail, make it anything more than an ability to do great things if she only knew how? But more: why had the revolution happened? and why amid so much hideous terror and blood? Modern philosophy was not altogether or alone to blame; neither was suppressed and expatriated Protestantism. The men were sons of France, France was the eldest son of the Church, and the son ruled as the Church had taught him, with results dreadful to both. The responsibility for the horrors of the Revolution does not lie with its principles, but with its causes; and who will now say that to these causes the Church did not powerfully contribute? But if she were a contributary cause, what becomes of her claim to the sole ability to {659} organize and order the modern because she had ordered and organized the mediŠval world? To be a cause of the evil is hardly equivalent to the power to cure it. The philosophy of history is guided in its judgments by rigorous and impartial principles. It cannot, merely in the interest of dogma or sect, accord or deny honour to a Church; but the honour it accords at one period may be changed into deepest blame at another. The very reasons that lead it to praise the work and services of early and mediŠval Catholicism, compel it to hold the later Catholicism mainly responsible for evils the Revolution was needed to cure.

If the historical doctrine was no good philosophy of history, still less was the theoretical a good philosophy of religion. To base religion on authority is the most fatal of all scepticisms. The arguments that prove it, prove man possessed of an inherent and ineradicable atheism of nature. But what is to be said on this point can better be said later on. Enough to remark here, the new Apologetic was an apologetic for Catholicism, not for Christianity. Its interest was the Church, not the religion, at least the religion only so far as identical or co-extensive with the Church. This gave to it its two most distinctive characteristics—it was political or sociological and historical. It was a theory of society and the State applied to and illustrated by specific periods and events in history. It was a speculation as to the best methods for the creation and maintenance of order. De Maistre, as has been well said, was a publicist, and looked at the whole matter from the publicist's point of view. He was a sort of ecclesiasticized Hobbes, with the strength, courage, keenness, directness, and, we may add, coarseness of the original, only with the Pope substituted for the king. But even so the system had its place, and did a not unneeded or ignoble work. It did for the Papacy what Hobbes had done for the Monarchy, formulated a theory of government where order was created by absolute authority being given to the one, and absolute subjection to the many. Both marked the reaction that succeeded revolution, though in the one case the revolution was religious, an attempted reign of the saints; in the other secular, an attempted reign of reason. It was no less characteristic that the theory opposed to the religious revolution based authority on might, but the theory opposed to the secular, based might on authority. Hobbes' king created the church, but De Maistre's church created the king. Yet each is explained by its occasion. The Restoration would have been incomplete without the Leviathan; the Catholic revival and the counter-revolution had been unjustified without Ultramontanism. {660}

II.

1. We must now pass from the Continental to the English Catholic movement. The conditions in the two cases were altogether different. In France the Revolution had been swift, imperious, destructive; but here the genius of the people, their prosaic sagacity, and insular pride, sobered and disciplined by the long struggle towards completer freedom, first held it at bay, then graduated its approach, and, at last, peacefully and legally accomplished it. Hence the Catholic revival could not appear here as the counter-revolution, as source and ground of order to a disordered State; for order reigned, and our very revolutions had increased rather than disturbed it. Indeed, our combined freedom and order had so perplexed and bewildered the hierocratic theorists, that De Bonald calmly dismissed from consideration the English people, because they were, "mainly on account of their defects, by far the most backward of civilized peoples," and De Maistre described our constitution as "an insular peculiarity utterly unworthy of imitation." But even here the forces of change were active, and their movement was the more resistless that it was so regulated and, as it were, so constitutional. They were immanent forces, not in the air simply, but embedded in the customs and habits, laws and institutions, mind and method of the English people. They were universal, supreme; governing the men who governed. While they appeared political, they were really religious; threatened the Church even more than the State; questioned the accepted principles, doctrines, facts, and authorities in religion much more severely than the ancient and established in politics. These forces in their collective and, as it were, corporate character, constituted what was termed "Liberalism," which was the milder but more fatal English for the fiercer but less insidious Gallican "Revolution." If, then, they were held to be forces mischievous in character, evil in tendency, and ruinous in result, to resist them was a most manifest and absolute duty. But how? The Sovereign could not, for the Sovereign was simply the greatest subject in the realm, the creation of its laws; nor could the Parliament, for it was but the nation in Council; nor could the Church, for the Church was the people's, rather than the people the Church's. There was nothing then to hinder the people, were they so minded, from doing wrong even to the abolition of the law and worship of God. It was necessary, therefore, to discover an authority able to bridle and govern the forces of change. God was the supreme authority; the Church in which He lived and through which He worked was His visible presence; in it, therefore, the Divine authority must dwell. This the English people had hitherto been negligent or unconscious of; only here and there a Catholic divine had understood and believed; {661} but once make it thoroughly evident, and men, no longer ignorantly free to believe and worship as they pleased, will feel bound to hold the faith and obey the law of God.

This was, in brief, the genesis of the Anglican movement. While formally and incidentally affected by many collateral influences—the romances of Scott, which supplied it with an idealized past, and inspired the passion still further to idealize it; the speculation of Coleridge, which touched it with mysticism, and imparted, in some degree, the gift of spiritual insight; the poetry of Wordsworth, which revealed the symbolical and sacramental significance of common things—yet it was essentially religious, an attempt, in a period of sifting and change, to find a stable ground on which to build the faith, an absolute authority by which to govern the life, first of the individual, next of the nation. It assumed that the truth of God did not live in the common reason, or His authority reign in the collective conscience; and that, without a special organ or vehicle for their transmission and embodiment, they could not continue to live and reign at all. What was needed was an authority—valid, visible, supreme. To be supreme, it must be religious; to be visible, it must be a realized polity or constituted society; to be valid, it must have independent legislative and efficient executive powers. With these attributes the Anglican Church was invested, but they were too immense for her; she bent and failed beneath the burden. Her weakness but set off the strength of Catholicism. What the one Church could not bear was the very vital principle of the other; she had for centuries been testifying her possession of it to the perverse and incredulous English people. The ancient cause of offence became the new feature of commendation, and those who felt that they could not believe and be Christian without authority found in her bosom the authority they needed.

2. The English Catholic movement, then, was distinguished from the Continental by its personal and religious, rather than national and political, character. The publicist view did not exist here; the conditions did not call for it. But what national events occasioned in France, personal experiences accomplished in England. The arena of action and change was subjective, minds that had felt the unsettling influence of the critical and progressive tendencies then active, and feared for religion in the degree that they loved it. The revolution that was dreaded was internal, in the region of thought and belief. Superficial readers of the "Apologia" have wondered at the determinative influence attributed to such incidents as the Jerusalem Bishopric; but, in truth, nothing could be more just than the place assigned to it, or more impressive and significant. It was not only a fact fatal to a theory; but Newman's mind had become hyper-sensitive, it had lost the sense of proportion; {662} little things troubled even more than large; and his doctrine of the Church had become so nearly equivalent to the truth of religion that what touched the one seemed to threaten the other with ruin and disaster. It had become a matter of personal necessity that he find an immutable and infallible Church in order to have a stable and true religion. This need was altogether distinctive of him and the men he moved, and belongs, as it were, to their natural history, not to the nation's. It did not rise out of the native conservatism of the English people, seeking to find the religious principle or constitutional doctrine that could best resist the tides of revolutionary thought and action; but it rose in the spirits and out of the experiences of men who believed that religion could not be saved, either for themselves or the people, unless in the strength of a greater and more efficient authority than any their Church knew or could allow. Hence the English Catholic movement proceeded from and expressed the religious necessities of persons, not the needs of the State or the aspirations of the people. And what it was, it is—a thoroughly individual movement, with less national promise than even at first, and, what we may term its fundamental principle—authority as the basis of Religion, and this authority as embodied in the infallible Church of Rome—was formulated to satisfy these individual needs. What we have now to consider is the validity and constructive value of this principle, as represented and interpreted by modern English, as distinguished from Continental Catholicism.

III.

Cardinal Newman [Note 6] is here, beyond question, the representative man, and so it is through him that we must construe and criticize the principle. Its acceptance was a necessity to his own faith; he has done more than any living man to make it a necessity to the faith of others. He is here regarded under only one aspect, as the disciple and defender of Roman Catholic authority, that he may be the better and more victorious a Christian Apologist. We have the right so to regard him. Disciples have represented him as the {663} foremost apologist of the day; his "Apologia" was the recognition of his own significance, the history was the justification of "his religious opinions." There is no man living whose works are so thoroughly autobiographical; they are but various illustrations of his own principle—in religious inquiry egotism may be true modesty [Note 7]. There is as much autobiography in, to mention no others, the Sermons, the "Discourses to Mixed Congregations," the "Development of Christian Doctrine," the "Letters to Dr. Pusey and the Duke of Norfolk," and the "Grammar of Assent," as in the "Apologia." Indeed, the "Apologia" loses half its significance when read alone; it needs to be studied in the light of the works, tracts, essays, lectures, histories and treatises chronologically arranged. Conscious revelation of self, even when most careful and scrupulous, hides even more than it reveals; it is the unconscious and undesigned that testify more truly of a man. Dr. Newman has always been supremely conscious of two beings—God and himself—and his works are a history of his successive attempts to determine and adjust the relations between these two. This is significant; in the heart of this chief of the English Catholics there is an intense individualism—indeed, it was the strength of his individualism that made a Catholic of him. The "Apologia" is the history of an individual mind; the "Grammar of Assent" is its dialectic—i.e., the translation of the causes and course of the changes which the history records into logical forms and reasoned processes. But this exactly defines the worth and describes the range of Newman's apologetic work—it is distinctively individual—first explicative of himself, and then cogent for men who start with his ecclesiastical assumptions and are troubled with his spiritual experiences and perplexities, not for those outside the churches, seeking for a reasoned and a reasonable belief.

In order to a radical and just discussion, it will be necessary to discover, if possible, Dr. Newman's ultimate ideas or the regulative principles of his thought, for they determine not only his ratiocination, but his mode of viewing things, and the kind and quality of the arguments that weigh with him. He is by nature a poet, by necessity {664} rather than choice a metaphysician and historian. Truth finds him through the imagination, is real only as it comes to him in image and breathing form, a being instinct with life. And so he hates the abstract and loves the concrete; a truth grows real to him only when it is so embodied as to speak to the imagination and fill it. He is ill at ease when the discussion carries him into the region of abstract principles, happy only when he can handle what his intellect conceives to be the actual. For the same reason he is averse to historical criticism. No man had ever less of the analytical and judicial spirit that must search and sift and separate till the original and unadorned fact be found. He can well understand the love that idealizes the past; he cannot so well understand the love that is so bent on the truth as to be able to analyze and sacrifice the dearest traditions and beliefs to reach it. He loves the past which fills and satisfies the imagination, not the one dissected and disclosed by the critical reason. Now, these characteristics make it a difficult, almost a cruel, thing to attempt to reach the ultimate principles that govern his thought. His is a mind to be handled as he loves to handle things, imaginatively and in the concrete, not coldly analyzed; but unless his governing ideas are reached, neither his mind nor his method can be understood.

2. The true starting-point for the critical analysis and appraisement of Newman's apologetic work is the famous passage—

"I came to the conclusion that there was no medium, in true philosophy, between Atheism and Catholicity, and that a perfectly consistent mind, under those circumstances in which it finds itself here below, must embrace either the one or the other. And I hold this still: I am a Catholic by virtue of my believing in a God; and if I am asked why I believe in a God, I answer that it is because I believe in myself, for I feel it impossible to believe in my own existence (and of that fact I am quite sure) without believing also in the existence of Him, who lives as a Personal, All-seeing, All-judging Being in my conscience." [Note 8]

The points here noteworthy are—(l) Atheism and Catholicism are to his own mind the only logical alternatives; (2) he is a Catholic because a Theist; and (3) a Theist, because he believes in his own existence, and hears God speak in his conscience. Now, in a case like this, it is a matter of moment to see how the principle and the ultimate deduction are related—the process by which he passes from conscience to God, and from God to Catholicism. It may be true that "he has not confined the defence of his own creed to the proposition that it is the only possible alternative to Atheism"; [Note 9] but it is certainly true that he believes it to be the only real alternative, and his belief looks ever and again through the joints and fissures of his cumulative argument, especially as pursued and presented in his {665} great dialectic work. The position, a Catholic because a Theist, really means, when translated out of its purely individualistic form, a Catholic in order that he may continue a Theist; for, as Dr. Newman conceives the matter, Catholicism, though it did not create Theism, is yet necessary to its continuance as a belief. "Outside the Catholic Church, things are tending to Atheism in one shape or another." [Note 10] The Catholic Church is the one "face to face antagonist," able "to withstand and baffle the fierce energy of passion and the all-corroding, all-dissolving scepticism of the intellect in religious inquiries." [Note 11] As Dr. Newman conceives the matter, Catholicism is for the race as for the individual, the only alternative to Atheism, the necessities that govern the individual governing also the collective experience. Without Catholicism, faith in God could not continue to live. There is, therefore, in spite of the conscience, so much latent Atheism in the nature and, especially, the reason of man, that without an organization, miraculously created and governed, God would be driven out of human belief and reverence. A theory of this sort may in a high degree honour the Church, but in the same degree it dishonours God. If "the Church's infallibility" be "a provision adapted by the mercy of the Creator to preserve Religion in the world," [Note 12] then the provision has been not only, as the history of European thought testifies, singularly ill-adapted to its end, but implies a strange defect in the original constitution of the world, and a still stranger limitation, alike in the intensive and extensive sense, of the divine relation to it.

The relation between Theism and Catholicism being so conceived the one must be made to involve the other, the Theism becomes the implicit Catholicism, the Catholicism the explicit Theism. The question here is, not why the Theism needs the Catholicism, but how Catholicism is involved in and evolved from the Theism? The questions are related, for if the how can be found, the why will at once become apparent. Yet it is necessary to hold them distinct, for only so can we get at those ultimate principles or ideas we are here in search of. It seems, at first, curious that the Theism, which does not need Catholicism for its creation, should need it for its continuance. One would have thought that what existed before it, and independently of it, could exist without it; but this is the very thing the position will not allow. Theism must grow into Catholicism or die, become Pantheism, or Atheism, or something equally bad, and unlike the original. If we ask, why? the answer is more or less rhetorical, a survey of modern schools and tendencies of thought, and a comparison of their conflict and varieties of opinion, with the certainty, harmony, and tenacity of Catholic belief. But if we ask, how the one involves and leads up to the other? we shall find the concatenation of ideas {666} in Dr. Newman's own mind; what made him because a Theist a Catholic? Now the answer to this depends on the answer to a still prior question, Why is he a Theist? What is the basis and reason of his Theism? He tells us that he came to rest in the thought of two and two only absolute and luminously self-evident beings, myself and God [Note 13]. But why was the being of God as certain and luminous to him as his own? Through conscience, which he holds to be the theistic and religious faculty or organ in man [Note 14]. "Were it not for the voice, speaking so clearly in my conscience and my heart, I should be an Atheist, or a Pantheist, or a Polytheist when I looked into the world." [Note 15] "As we have our initial knowledge of the universe through sense, so do we in the first instance begin to learn about its Lord and God from conscience." [Note 16] In each case the knowledge is instinctive; "the office which the senses directly fulfil as regards creation" is indirectly fulfilled by the sense of moral obligation as regards the Creator [Note 17]. It is therefore conscience not as "moral sense," but as "sense of duty," as "magisterial dictate," which "impresses the imagination with the picture of a supreme Governor, a judge, holy, just, powerful, all-seeing, retributive." [Note 18] As a consequence "conscience teaches us, not only that God is, but what He is"; "we learn from its informations to conceive of the Almighty, primarily, not as a God of wisdom, of knowledge, of power, of benevolence, but as a God of justice and judgment." "The special attribute under which it brings Him before us, to which it subordinates all other attributes, is that of justice—retributive justice." [Note 19] The "creative principle" and the contents of religion necessarily correspond; the correlative of the "magisterial dictate" within is the dictating magistrate without.

Conscience, then, is the theistic and religious faculty; but what of the intellect, the reason? While "the unaided reason, when correctly exercised, leads to a belief in God, in the immortality of the soul, and in a future retribution," "the faculty of reason," considered "actually and historically," tends "towards a simple unbelief in matters of religion." The intellect is "aggressive, capricious, untrustworthy," its "immense energy" must be smitten hard and thrown back by an infallible authority, if Religion is to be saved. Its action in religious matters is corrosive, dissolving, skeptical. [Note 20] Hence while the conscience creates religion, the reason tends to create unbelief; the one is on the side of God, the other against Him. Of course he speaks of "reason as it acts in fact and concretely in fallen man"; but the conscience he speaks of is also the active and {667} actual "in fallen man." If sin puts either, it must put both, out of court; what does not disqualify the one as a witness, ought not to be used to stop the mouth of the other.

3. But why is so different a measure meted out to the two faculties? The reason must be sought in Dr. Newman's underlying philosophy. That philosophy may be described as one empirical and sceptical, qualified by a peculiar religious experience. He has a deep distrust of the intellect; he dare not trust his own, for he does not know where it might lead him, and he will not trust any other man's. The mind "must be broken in to the belief of a power above it;" to recognize the Creator is to have its "stiff neck" bent [Note 21]. The real problem of the "Grammar of Assent" is, How, without the consent and warrant of the reason, to justify the being of religion, and faith in that infallible Church which alone realizes it [Note 22]. The whole book is pervaded by the intensest philosophical scepticism; this supplies its motif, determines its problem, necessitates its distinctions, rules over the succession and gradation of its arguments. His doctrine of assents, his distinction into notional and real, which itself involves a philosophy of the most empirical individualism, his criticism of Locke, his theories of inference, certitude, and the illative sense, all mean the same thing [Note 23]. His aim is to withdraw religion and the proofs concerning it from the region of reason and reasoning into the realm of conscience and imagination, where the reasons that reign may satisfy personal experience without having objective validity, or being able to bear the criticism that tests it. And so he feels "it is a great question whether Atheism is not as philosophically consistent with the phenomena of the physical world, taken by themselves, as the doctrine of a creative and sovereign Power." This is the expression of real and deep philosophic doubt, which is not in any way mitigated by the plea that he does not "deny the validity of the argument from design in its place." [Note 24] Neither did John Stuart Mill.

We are now in a position to see why to Dr. Newman Theism involves Catholicity. It does so for two reasons, springing respectively out of his doctrines of the conscience and of reason. He interprets {668} conscience as the consciousness of a "magisterial dictate," the echo within the breast of an authoritative voice speaking without it; and to him the legitimate deduction is the organization of the authority in an infallible Church and the articulation of the voice through its infallible head. But the other is the more imperative reason: the intellect is not to be trusted; left to themselves the conscience may succeed at first, but the intellect prevails at last. There is no possible escape. "Unlearn Catholicism" and the "infallible succession" is "Protestant, Unitarian, Deist, Pantheist, Sceptic." [Note 25] The "formal proofs" for the being of God may amount to "an irrefragable demonstration against the Freethinker and the Sceptic;" but they are able so "to invalidate that proof" as to " afford a plausible, though not a real, excuse for doubting about it." And without Catholicism the doubt is invincible. "When a man does not believe in the Church, there is nothing in reason to keep him from doubting the being of a God." "There is nothing between it (the Church) and Scepticism when men exert their reason freely." [Note 26]

4. Atheism and Catholicity are then to Dr. Newman the only possible logical alternatives, because, if we are not driven by the inner to rest in an infallible outer authority, we must follow whither the intellect leads, and make the facilis descensus Averno. But what sort of basis have we here for Theism? and what sort of Catholicism have we built on it? The nature of man is divided, and its two parts set in contradiction and antagonism to each other. The conscience is "the aboriginal vicar of Christ, a prophet in its informations, a monarch in its peremptoriness, a priest in its blessings and anathemas;" [Note 27] but the reason is critical, sceptical, infidel, even atheistic. This division of nature is the death of natural proof; it is a confession that proof is impossible. He may recognize "the formal proofs on which the being of a God rests"; but his recognition must be criticized in the light of his fundamental principle. It is to him entirely illegitimate. Conscience he holds to be authoritative, but not reason. He deduces Religion from conscience, but leaves reason to be crushed and subdued by authority. Now to build Religion on a doctrine that implies the radical antagonism of these two, is to make their reconciliation impossible to Religion; the one must be sacrificed to the other if man is ever to have peace. The Catholicism that achieves this may be extensive, but is not intensive; may be {669} political and local, but is not ideal and human; may be externalized authority, but is not externalized reason. It may include all men, but it does not include the whole man. But more: the reason within man implies the reason without him; he develops into a rational being because he lives in a rational world. To leave the theistic contents of the reason unexplicated, is to leave the theistic reason of the world unexplored and unrecognized; only as they are conceived in their correspondent and reciprocal relations can we have a Theism satisfactory to the whole nature of man and explicative of the system to which he belongs. It is only through reason we find an argument of universal validity; but Cardinal Newman's doctrine is the purest individualism. The deliverance of his conscience avails for himself—can avail for no other; it has interest as a fact of personal testimony, but has no value as a ground of general belief. It is significant, too, as to the temper of his own mind; in his intellect as he knows it, in his reason as he interprets it, he finds no Religion, no evidence for the being of God; he dare not trust or follow it, for its bent is sceptical, and so he has to invoke the voice of authority to silence and to command. The need he discovered in history for an infallible Church he had first found in his own breast.

IV.

Detailed criticism of Dr. Newman's position, with its various assumptions and complex confusion of thought, is, of course, here impossible, but it is hardly possible to conceive a worse basis for a constructive Theism, especially in a critical and sceptical age. It turns Catholicism into a new and feebler Protestantism, one directed against the modern movement of mind. The Freethinker sacrifices religion to reason in one way, by declaring that his individual mind is the measure of religious truth; the Catholic does it in another way, by declaring that unless religion come under the Šgis of his Church, it will assuredly perish before the corrosive action of the intellect. Each position is an awful degradation of religion, but the latter is the greater; for the intellect will not, indeed cannot, cease to be active and critical, and what is declared incapable of resisting its criticism is handed over to death. There is surely a nobler Catholicism than this, one not of Rome, but of man, based, not on the excommunication of the reason, but on the reconciliation of the whole nature, intellect, conscience, heart, will, to God, and His truth.

1. In Cardinal Newman's position, those elements that belong to his Apology for Theism must be distinguished from those that belong to his Apology for Catholicism. They are not only distinct, but incompatible. Theism is so rooted in his being, that he must believe in God because he believes in his own existence; but, on the other {670} hand, his reason is so inimical to Theism that if he had not become a Catholic, he must have become an Atheist. Now, this is an important psychological fact, a valuable testimony concerning personal experience; but when it is erected into a dialectic position and elaborated into an Apology for Catholicism, as the only possible permanent form of the Christian Religion, the matter is altogether changed. It is then necessary to say, the position is at once philosophically false and historically inaccurate. To exercise the intellect is to serve God; Religion has been most vital and most vigorous when the intellect was most critically concerned with it. This is a simple historical fact. In the "Apologia" [Note 28] it is said: "No truth, however sacred, can stand against it, (the faculty of reason), in the long run," and the illustration is, the pagan world when our Lord came. But the intellect in the ancient world ennobled and spiritualized Religion; the period of its greatest activity in Greece was also the period when the religious faith became purest and strongest. The poets made its gods more august, moral, judicial; Plato made its ideas sublimer, purged its mythology, transfigured the theistic conception, made the world articulate the perfect reason, and time sleep in the bosom of eternity; the Stoics, by finding a moral order in the universe and a moral nature in man, breathed a new ethical spirit into both their Religion and their race. In the ancient world the activity of the intellect in the field of religious knowledge was the life of Religion, and when it ceased to be active Religion ceased to live. In the days of our Lord, the places where the intellect was most active were also the places where Religion was most real. And what was true of the ancient is true of the modern world. The activity of the intellect has been altogether beneficent in Religion; its criticism has been but the prelude to construction; what has died under its analysis has but made room for higher forms of thought and larger modes of life. Did space allow, illustration were easy and abundant, especially from the highest of all regions—the action of speculation on the idea of God. To take the strongest illustration, it is no paradox to say, the system of Spinoza was, from the standpoint of the Christian Religion, a greater benefit to Europe than any—I had almost said than all the conversions to Catholicism in the seventeenth century, whether of kings like James II., or men of letters like John Dryden. For it raised the problem of Theism to a higher platform, directly tended to enlarge and ennoble the conception of God, to enrich the idea of Religion, to promote the study and criticism and appreciation of its work in history, placing it in a higher relation to the nature and action of God on the one hand, and the spirit and life of man on the other. When Dr. Newman says {671} that, without Catholicism, we must proceed "in a dreadful, but infallible succession," from Protestantism through Deism or Pantheism to Scepticism, or that "outside the Catholic Church things are tending to Atheism in one shape or other," he writes mere rhetoric. The statement might be reversed; the "infallible succession" might be charged upon Catholicism with quite as much truth and charity, or rather with more historical warrant and justification. Pantheism was known in the Golden Age of Catholicism, the Middle Ages; to it must be reckoned the systems of Scotus Erigena, Meister Eckhardt, the Dominican, as well as whole Schools of Mystics; the man who revived it, Spinoza's forerunner, if not master, was another Dominican, Giordano Bruno. The most pronounced modern materialism was developed in Catholic France; certain of its earliest masters were Catholic dignitaries. One of the earliest martyrs to Atheism was the pupil of Catholic Divines, the whilom priest Vanini. The Deism of eighteenth-century England was innocence compared with the revived paganism of fifteenth-century Italy. The man, whom Buckle selected for special praise as having been the first to apply the rationalist method to morals and to history, had been a Catholic priest and preacher. Catholicism converted Bayle, but only to make a more utter sceptic of him; converted Gibbon, but only to see him recoil into completer infidelity [Note 29]. All this may be poor enough, but it is after Dr. Newman's manner. Over against his charge, "outside Catholicism things are tending to Atheism," I place this as the simple record of fact, verifiable by all who choose to pursue the necessary inquiries—inside Catholicism things have often tended to the completest negation. If his argument be held equal to the proof of the need of infallibility, mine must be held to prove its perfect insufficiency. Men may need it, but it is not adequate to their needs; and an inadequate infallibility is certainly one of a rather fallible order. The arguments are parallel, but the cases are not. Catholicism professes to be able by its authority to do what history has proved it unable to accomplish, and so is justly chargeable with the most serious incompetency; but Protestantism, making no claim to authority, professing indeed to be quite without it, may justly refuse to bear the responsibility of failure. Incompetency in a system like the Roman is the most invincible disproof of claim; the competence that comes of supernatural gifts and authority is no part of Protestantism.

2. But Cardinal Newman's position raises another question—whether an infallible authority, such as he attributes to the Church and Pope of Rome, and exercised for the purposes he describes, would {672} be a help or a hindrance to Religion? Would it make Religion more or less possible, more or less stable and real? Differences on such matters are as a rule apprehended in their superficial aspects rather than in their determinative principles and causes. One of these is the idea of Religion; it is one thing to me, another to Cardinal Newman. The Catholic criticizes Protestantism as if it were or professed to be a sort of substitute for Catholicism; but it is not this, and never can become it. They are not simply opposites, but incommensurables; the one represents an organized and finely articulated hierarchical system, legislative, administrative, administered, able to comprehend men and nations, and cover the whole life from the cradle to the grave; but the other denotes only an attitude of mind or the principle that regulates it. Catholicism claims to be a Religion; Protestantism cannot be truly or justly either described as making or allowed to make any such claim. It is simply the assertion of a right to perform a duty, the right of every man to fulfil the holiest and most imperial of his duties, that of knowing and believing the God who made his reason, of worshipping and serving the God who speaks in his conscience. It is significant as the contradiction and antithesis to a system of collectivism, which hindered the clear sense of personal relation and responsibility to God; but the creation of this sense was the work of God alone, and its realization in Religion was due to His continued and gracious activity among men. Protestantism is thus only an attempt to make religion possible, to create the conditions that will permit and require the Religion of Christ to become actual. It implies the being of this Religion, but neither creates it, nor represents it, nor embodies it, only insists on removing whatever hinders God and man, or man and the Religion, coming face to face, that it may be realized in and through his spirit. It may be construed to signify the supremacy of reason, and so it does; but this only means the supremacy of the truth, or, in religious speech, the sovereignty of God. The reason indeed is not particular, individual, arbitrary, but universal, law-abiding, reasonable, the thought which cannot think without following the laws of its own being, and cannot follow them without finding the truth. The whole truth may not be found, but what is found is reality, divine and sovereign to the man who finds it.

In a certain sense, submission to Catholicism is the victory of unbelief; the man who accepts authority because he dare not trust his intellect lest it lead him into Atheism, is vanquished by the Theism he fears. He unconsciously subscribes to the impious principle, that the God he believes has given him so godless a reason that were he to follow it, it would lead him to a faith without God. Now, there is more religion in facing the consequences than in {673} turning away from them; for the man remains truer to the truth, obeys the most immediate and inexorable law of God, that given in his own being. I can understand the man who says: "I do not wish to be either a Pantheist or Agnostic; but I must be what the best thought and light within me—beams as they are of the universal and eternal—determine, and if they conduct me to either Pantheism or Agnosticism, then to either I will go, obedient to the laws under which I live and think." But I cannot so well understand or admire the man who says: "If I follow my reason it will make an Atheist or a Sceptic of me; therefore, I will flee for refuge to the arms of infallible authority." There is a harmony, and so a religion, in the one nature that is absent from the other; the one has faced the issues, and knows them; the other has evaded their touch, and is haunted by possibilities he cannot but fear. There is victory, even in defeat, to the man who has dared the conflict; there is defeat, even in the rest he wins, to the man who, that he may keep a whole skin, turns and runs from the battle.

3. But there is another and still deeper difference, the conception of the Reason. Here the ideas are again opposite and incommensurable. Dr. Newman's language seems to me often almost impious, a positive arraignment of the God who gave man his intellect. I may say, and the saying need not be misunderstood, reason is to me as holy as his church is to him. It is too godlike to be inimical to God; scepticism is not the essence but the accident of its activity; it is critical when confronted by authority or authoritative formulŠ, and it ought to be critical then, but its history does not record the growth of scepticism, rather narrates the expansion and elevation of belief. Reason, while realized in individuals, is universal; while conditioned in its working, it is transcendental in its nature and worth, while it acts in and through millions of natural agents it has a supernatural source and end. It represents law, while authority represents the violation of law; the one expresses an order instituted of God, but the other man's most violent attempt at its suspension or supersession. Hence reason is here conceived as essentially architectonic, its action where most analytical is always with a view to a more perfect synthesis. It cannot realize its idea, or be itself without being constructive. Every attempt to do justice to it has emphasized this, as of its very essence, that without which it could not be reason. Take, for example, Kant. He and Newman have been compared or rather contrasted as, respectively, the one the source of modern scepticism and agnosticism, and the other the ideal teacher of religion. But the positions ought to be reversed; Kant is the great teacher of faith, Newman, in the region of the reason or the intellect, is the master of scepticism. Kant's reason was architectonic, made Nature, supplied the forms and the conditions of thought by which alone she {674} was interpretable and interpreted. Reason was a latent or implicit universe, real in its very ideality, so determining phenomena as to constitute a cosmos. But where Kant treads firmly, Newman walks feebly, speaks of instinct and presumption, and feels as if he dare not trust reason with Nature lest he have to trust her with more. Kant, indeed, does not allow that the mere or pure reason, which is equal to the interpretation of Nature, is equal to the cognition of God, and he builds, like Newman, his argument for the Divine existence on conscience. But to him conscience is still reason, all the more that it uses the "categorical imperative," and his argument, unlike Newman's, is reasoned; it is not the mere echo of a "magisterial dictate," but is based on a universal principle, and articulates a complete theory of moral sovereignty and government. With Kant the practical is not the contradiction of the pure reason; the one is but the supplement of the other. They are conceived by their author not as mutually independent, still less as opposed, but as so constituting a unity and a synthesis that what the one did for Nature the other does for eternity and God. But Newman finds a dualism in Nature that he has to introduce a Deus ex machina to rectify. Conscience demands God, but reason will not allow the faith in Him to live, and so an infallible church is called in to determine the issue, confirm and support the conscience, and "preserve religion in the world" by so restraining "the freedom of thought" as "to rescue it from its own suicidal excesses." [Note 30] This may be a good excuse for authority, but it is a bad apology for faith. He who places the rational nature of man on the side of Atheism, that he may the better defend a church, saves the church at the expense of religion and God [Note 31].

A. M. FAIRBAIRN.

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Notes

1. What is here described as the literature of the new Catholic Apologetic, may be held as represented by the following:—M. De Maistre: "L'Eglise Gailicane" (Ed. 1882), "Les SoirÚes de Saint Petersbourg" (Ed. 1874), "Du Pape" (Ed. 1819). M. De Bonald "ThÚorie du Pouvoir Politique et Religieux dans la SociÚtÚ Civile," "La Legislation Primitive" (Ed. 1819). M. Chateaubriand: "Genie du Christianisme" (Ed. 1802). M. de Lamennais: "Essai sur l'Indifference en MatiÚre de Religion" (Ed. 1859). This literature may be said to be devoted to the exposition of the function of Catholicism in an age of revolution, and so represents what we have termed the new Apologetic. Good examples of the older are:—Houtevile: "La Religion Chret. prouvÚe par les faits" (1740). 3 vols. Bergier: "TraitÚ Historique et Dogmatique de la Vraie Religion" (1780). 12 vols.
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2. "Soirees," vol. i. p. 442.
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3. Ibid. p. 403.
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4. Ibid. p. 243.
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5. "Essai l'Indifference," vol. iv. pp. 242-3.
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6. If the subject had been Apologetics by English Catholics, instead of, as it really is, English Catholicism as an Apologetic, there are many men I should have liked gratefully to review, such as the late Dr. Ward and Mr. Lilly, who have each had in the first paper a most brief notice, but to them would have been added the late Father Dalgairns, a thinker of exquisite subtlety and refinement, Mr. St. George Mivart, Father Harper, and others hardly less worthy of regard. The extensive work of the latter, "The Metaphysics of the School" (Macmillan & Co. 3 vols. 1879-84), deserves a more careful criticism than it has yet received. Its worth for the historical student is considerable, but its polemical, critical, and constructive parts, though most painstaking and laborious, are of another order and quality than the expository. Thomas Aquinas is indeed more real and intelligible in his own Latin than in any English exposition. He is in the one case a living teacher, handling relevant problems, holding his own place in history, determining much both of the form and matter of later thought; but in the other case he is only an adapted teacher, not very capable of the sort of adaptation he has received, rather lustily resisting it, justly refusing to be forced to shed light on problems that had not emerged in his own day. Descartes, Hume, and Kant are not to be so answered and superseded; their questions underlie the "Metaphysics of the School," determining alike their possibility and worth, and Father Harper's criticisms are incidental and verbal rather than material and real. He must go to work in a more radical fashion, both in the criticism of modern philosophy and the adaptation of the schoolman, before he can effect either the displacement of the one or the substitution of the other. Yet we gladly acknowledge that the increased attention, so largely due to the present Pope, now being paid in Catholic schools to Thomas Aquinas, is a most hopeful sign for Catholicism. Cardinal Zigliara's beautiful edition of the "Opera Omnia," now being published at Rome, promises, in spite of the truly Roman bigotry which the dedication shows to have had to do with the inspiration of the enterprise, to be a great help to the student of philosophy and theology; and the number of treatises which have within the last few years appeared on Aquinas shows that the Ăterni Patris is bearing abundant fruit.
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7. "Grammar of Assent," p. 384 (fifth ed.). Cf. Mr. Lilly s "Ancient Religion and Modern Thought." p. 48.
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8. "Apologia," p. 198 (ed. 1883).
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9. Mr. Lilly's letter, "Grammar of Assent," p. 500.
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10. "Apologia," p. 244.
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11. Ibid., p. 243.
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12. Ibid., 245.
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13. "Apologia," p. 4.
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14. "Grammar of Assent," pp. 105-110, 389; fifth edition.
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15. "Apologia," p. 241.
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16. "Grammar of Assent," p. 63.
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17. Ibid., p. 104.
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18. Ibid., pp. 105-110.
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19. "Grammar of Assent," pp. 390-391.
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20. "Apologia," pp. 243-246. Cf. Discourses to Mixed Congregations, p. 283.
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21. "Discourses to mixed Congregations," pp. 275-276.
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22. Mr. Froude, in a for him rather innocent way, describes the "Grammar" as "an attempt to prove that there is no reasonable standing-ground between Atheism and submission to the Holy See."—"Short Studies," second series. p. 83. If he had said—"a book intended to show how a sceptic in philosophy could, in the matter of Religion, find no standing-ground," &c., &c., he would have been nearer the truth.
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23. The philosophical scepticism is, of course, implicit not explicit. From the latter he has tried carefully to guard himself; Cf. Gram., 64. In this connection ought to be studied the paragraphs pp. 60-61 which the late Dr. Ward thought a veiled attack on himself.—"Philosophical Theism," vol. i. pp. 30-31. The two men were alike in their religions profession, but not in their philosophical principles. The sort of analysis in which Dr. Ward delighted was not agreeable to Dr. Newman; it savoured too much of the abstract and a priori to please so great a lover of the concrete and experimental. And Dr. Ward's trust in his faculties and their avouchments came nearer a belief in the sufficiency of reason than Dr. Newman liked to go.
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24. "University Sermons," p. 194. Cf. Mr. Lilly, p. 99.
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25. "Discourses to Mixed Congregations," p. 283. Cardinal Newman here but repeats Lamennais, see supra p. 4. It is interesting to compare the agreements of the "Essai l'Indifference" with those of the "Grammar" and the "Apologia." They differ in some important respects, but in one fundamental point they agree—their philosophical basis for the dogma of authority is the most absolute of all scepticism—doubt of the sanity and divine contents of human reason. They believe in its native and ineradicable Atheism.
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26. Ibid., pp. 262, 263, 283.
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27. "Letter to the Duke of Norfolk."—"Anglican Difficulties," vol. ii. p. 248.
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28. P. 243.
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29. I hesitated long about Gibbon; but after carefully weighing the statement in the "autobiography," and one or two significant passages in the "Decline and Fall," I determined to let his name stand. Yet the argument does not depend on one or two names: it represents tendencies operative through centuries.
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30. "Apol." 245.
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31. The above must not be construed into an endorsement of Kant's position. The earlier discussions will have shown that the writer as little accepts it as Dr. Newman's. The philosophy that bases the belief in God on conscience must resolve religion into morality. This was what Kant did, and Newman even tends to do, with this difference:—Kant's moral religion was at once natural and transcendental; Newman's is positive and legislative; the former was inseparable from the ideal of humanity; but the latter is institutional, comes ab extra. Kant's position is the vindication of faith through Nature; Newman's is the surrender of Nature to unbelief.
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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