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of its self-willed and abortive attempts at precipitating the growth of the Church. The favour shown to it for a while by Pope Victor is an evidence of its external resemblance to orthodoxy; and the celebrated martyrs and saints in Africa, in the beginning of the third century, Perpetua and Felicitas, or at least their acts, betoken that same peculiar temper of religion, which, when cut off from the Church a few years afterwards, quickly degenerated into a heresy.—Pp. 350, 351.
We cannot pause here : at the risk of prolixity we must proceed :
These are specimens of the raw material, as it may be called, which, whether as found in individual Fathers within the pale of the Church, or in heretics external to it, she had the power, by means of the continuity and firmness of her principles, to convert to her own uses. She alone has succeeded in thus rejecting evil without sacrificing the good, and in holding together in one things which in all other schools are incompatible. Gnostic or Platonic words are found in the inspired theology of St. John. Unitarian writers trace the doctrine of our Lord's divinity to the Platonists; Gibbon the idea of the Incarnation to the Gnostics. The Gnostics too seem first to have systematically directed the intellect upon matters of faith ; and the very term 'Gnostic' has been taken by Clement to express his perfect Christian. And, though ascetics existed from the beginning, the notion of a religion higher than the Christianity of the many, was first prominently brought forward by the Gnostics, Montanists, Novatians, and Manichees. And while the prophets of the Montanists prefigure the Church's doctors, and their inspiration her infallibility, and their revelations her developments, and the heresiarch himself is the unsightly anticipation of St. Francis, in Novatian again we discern the aspiration of nature after such creations of grace as St. Benedict or St. Bruno. And so the effort of Sabellius to complete the mystery of the ever-blessed Trinity failed : it became a heresy; grace would not be constrained; the course of thought could not be forced ;—at length it was realized in the true Unitarianism of St. Augustine.-Pp. 351, 352.
So “Catholicism' is, after all, but developed Montanism!! If this passage had occurred in the works of a German, or an English writer suspected of Germanising, what thunders of devout eloquence would have burst on his devoted head! What is heresy in one century is sacred orthodoxy in another! What is dark fanaticism without the Church is holy enthusiasm with
in! Thus, in another passage, Mr. Newman asserts, plainly, broadly, without reserve :
The exercises of asceticism, which are so graceful in St. Anthony, so touching in St. Basil, and so awful in St. Germanus, do but become a melancholy and gloomy superstition in the most pious persons who are cut off from Catholic communion.-P. 451.
But more wonderful still! Not merely are the heretics the patterns and the prophets of orthodoxy, but the Fathers are more than the suppressors of undeveloped truths within the sanctuary of their intellects. Not merely do they keep the treasures of divine doctrine buried in the silence of their hearts, or betray them but in obscure and unconscious hints, though the salvation of mankind, if not absolutely dependent upon them, must at least be advanced by their full revelation—they are almost one and all heretics ! they not only withhold the truth, but hold what in others is damnable error!!!
And thus, if in some cases they were even left in ignorance, the next generation of teachers completed their work, for the saine unwearied anxious process of thought went on. St. Gregory Nyssen finishes the investigations of St. Athanasius; St. Leo guards the polemical statements of St. Cyril. Clement may hold a purgatory, yet tend to consider all punishment purgatorial; St. Cyprian may hold the unsanctified. state of heretics, but include in his doctrine a denial of their baptism ; St. Hippolytus may believe in the personal existence of the Word from eternity, yet speak confusedly on the eternity of his Sonship; the Council of Antioch might put aside the Homoüsion, and the Council of Nicæa impose it; St. Hilary may believe in a purgatory, yet confine it to the day of judgement; St. Athanasius and other Fathers may treat with almost supernatural exactness the doctrine of our Lord's Incarnation, yet imply, as far as words go, that he was ignorant in his human nature; the Athanasian Creed may admit the illustration of soul and body, and later Fathers discountenance it; St. Augustine might first be opposed to the employment of force in religion, and then acquiesce in it. Prayers for the faithful departed may be found in the early liturgies, yet with an indistinctness which included St. Mary and the Martyrs in the same rank with the imperfect Christian whose sins were as yet unexpiated; and succeeding times might keep what was exact, and supply what was deficient. Aristotle might be reprobated by certain early Fathers, yet furnish the phraseology for theological definitions after
wards. And in a different subject-matter, St. Isidore and others might be suspicious of the decoration of churches; St. Paulinus and St. Helena advance it.—Pp. 353, 354.
Is any form of Christianity, we solemnly demand, to be advanced by this insult to the moral sense of man ?
IV. The fourth test of faithful development is Early Anticipation. By this process, out of some ambiguous or insulated text grows some great doctrine, which afterwards expands and ramifies into a system or family of doctrines, for all which the same authority is claimed; and which become equally integral parts of “Catholic' theology. The author, we must acknowledge, is extremely modest in his illustrations of this test. His early anticipations rarely aspire to the most faint suggestion in Scripture; their first actual and mostly feeble development rises no higher than the third century. The resurrection of the body is unquestionably a Scriptural doctrine; though in St. Paul the well-known distinction between the vile and corruptible bodies' which we bear into the grave, and the
glorious and incorruptible bodies' with which the faithful are to be clothed upon' in their immortality, might seem expressly intended to guard against the coarser and more grossly materialising abuse of that great tenet. But the resurrection of the body was not merely an early anticipation of the greater care and reverence paid to the bodies of the dead, by the Christians, than by the Jews or Pagans, who looked upon them as unclean; but also of the worship of relics !—a worship by which practically a kind of magical and tutelary power was ascribed to the smallest portion of the vile' body of any saint or martyr. Among the early anticipations' of the worship of the saints is the doubtful Latin of a canon of the Council of Illiberis (Elvira in Spain) towards the beginning of the fourth century, in which painted images are forbidden on the walls of churches, “lest what is worshipped or adored be painted on the walls. As pictures of saints came under this prohibition, therefore they were then adored! The worship of angels rests solely on a contested passage in Justin Martyr. So the merit
of virginity is first developed in a rhapsodical work, the Convivium Virginum,' by St. Methodius. Of the worship of the Virgin we shall speak hereafter.
Here however we must touch on one point which appears to us of the highest importance, but which is altogether unnoticed in the work before us. Not merely do we conceive that the absolute silence of the Scriptures on any Christian doctrine is in itself prohibitory; but there is a kind of silence even more significant and expressive. Where, we mean, if the doctrine had been in the mind of the inspired writer, it is inconceivable that he should have suppressed it; where the development' was clearly wanting to fill up his precept; where he could not have avoided (without some purpose to mislead) the early anticipation of the future tenet, which was necessary to explain the revelation; where he must have been almost compelled to proceed, if such were the legitimate conclusion, by logical sequence. There are passages in Holy Writ absolutely prohibitory of certain doctrines by early anticipation,'—as where in the Book of Revelations the angel once and again solemnly repels the worship of St. John. But according to Mr. Newman, the doctrine of post-baptismal sin was early anticipated, and led by “logical sequence' to Penance and to Purgatory. Now the main support of this doctrine (if in this peremptory form it rest at all on the Scripture) is contained in the Epistle to the Hebrews, x. 26 to 31. More sober interpreters refer this passage to total apostasy from Christianity. But suppose it to allude to post-baptismal sin, and purgatory to be a sort of mitigation or remedy left to the Church instead of the certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries,'—would the inspired writer have withheld the knowledge of this intermediate place had he possessed it? So throughout St. Paul's epistles, addressed without exception to churches of baptized Christians. He reproves their errors, he rebukes their sins, but where does he suggest, where does he hint at any other means for the remission of sins, but through the fixed and unalterable law of repentance
and faith in Christ during this life? It is appointed unto every man to die, and after that the judgement. Why is the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews silent as to ages of further probation or purification ?
Early anticipation is not merely the test of true but of false development. Luther's doctrine of private judgement was an anticipation of that simple heresy or infidelity,' which Lutheranism, according to Mr. Newman, has by this time universally become. Luther's rejection of the Epistle of St. James was an augury as well as the prolific parent of all Rationalism. So Calvinism has become Socinianism. The latter is true as a fact; but, bear witness the death of Servetus, from a very different cause. It is the violent revulsion from that dark creed; the revolting against its obscuration or utter effacement of the attribute of benevolence from the Godhead; it is this which has thrown men back on a purely moral system: a system in which the benevolence of God will not demand even the propitiation of the Redeemer.
But we must hazard a few observations on this regular generation and descent of infidelity, of which it seems to be a standing argument, that all the sin is to be borne by Protestantism. We think it would be but common prudence for each party to hesitate before they throw the first stone. Has Infidelity been the prolific and spontaneous growth of Protestantism alone? Rationalism has sprung up in Lutheran Germany, but has not something more arisen in Roman Catholic countries? Vanini, it is true, was burned in Italy, and our English Deists were not. Bolingbroke was a minister in England ; so was Choiseul (to say nothing of Cardinal Dubois) in France. Frederick II. sate on a Protestant throne but we think that we could find contemporary monarchs in Romish Europe, not quite perhaps such clever unbelievers, but at least no better Christians. If Roman Catholicism has a right to disclaim Voltaire and Helvetius and D’Holbach, Lutheranism may protest against being answerable for Strauss or Bruno Bauer. According to an anecdote in Diderot's