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mind. The Virgin Mary must recede, the Redeemer be brought forward again as an object of Roman adoration, or all the world would seek Him in the Churches of the Protestants. But how will what remains of this cultus' of the Virgin, even making the largest concessions to Mr. Newman, ever be brought into keeping with a system of Christianity of which the groundwork is the New Testament ?
We are persuaded that the New Testament is not merely the sole authority for the eternal and immutable great Christian truths, as they were revealed by our Lord and his Apostles and received in the first ages, but for their relative importance in the scheme of salvation. All is an exquisite and finished unison. Strike one chord too strongly, dwell too long on one note, and you destroy the harmony. All religious error (we emphatically repeat, religious error) is an exaggeration of some Christian truth, with a necessary depression or obscuration of other Christian truths. Calvinism is an exaggeration of God's sovereignty, to the utter extinction of human free will ; Unitarianism is an exaggeration of the unity of God; in its Socinian form an exaggeration of the moral to the depression of the mysterious, we may say, perhaps, the transcendental element. So Mediæval Christianity is a gradual exaggeration of many true principles; it is an undue elevation of that which is mutable above that which is eternal; of that which is subordinate above that which is primal and essential; of that which is accessory and in some degree foreign, obscure, doubtful-at least—for that which is the everlasting Gospel ; of form above spirit, of that which shall pass away above that which shall never pass away.
Granting, for instance, that the most profound reverence would be inferentially enjoined by the simple fact, that the Virgin was so honoured of God as to become the mother of His incarnate Son. Elevate that reverence into adoration, and will it any longer retain any due proportion ? Is it possible that two worships can be thus coincident, and the one not become dominant over the other, in proportion to the popular feeling, and the manifest, the visible effect watched and fostered, perhaps at first from pure devotional feelings, by an ignorant priesthood ? The Marian Psalter, and the Marian Te Deum ! —are these subordinate forms of worship? Let Mr. Newman look back to the lives of some of the Saints: works in which he is profoundly-would that we might say dispassionately-read. We, too, have ventured into such subjects, and challenge him to meet us in that field. Let him take the Life of St. Dominic. Throughout that biography how much relates to our Lord, how much to the Virgin? Of her is every vision—to her, or through her, is every prayer; through her influence every good deed is done, every miracle wrought : passages are everywhere found some of which we read with an absolute shudder. When Heaven opens, what is disclosed ? Saints of all orders surrounding the celestial courts—but not one Dominican : when, lo! under the robe of the Virgin, countless multitudes of Dominican saints! And this is the staple doctrine in every older life of the founder of the order of Friar Preachers. Mr. Newman has quoted Segneri, once the most popular preacher in Italy-an author with whom we are not unacquainted. We turn to his sermon on the Annunciation:—Mensura privilegiorum Virginis est (udite il Suarez, benchè si circonspetto, si cauto in ogni sua voce). Mensura privilegiorum Virginis est Potentia Dei. Potentia Dei, sì, sì. Potentia Dei, Potentia Dei-chè ne state a cercar di più? Ma io quì si chè mi perdo. Conciossiachè, che gran misura non è mai questa, Uditori ? L'Onnipotenza divina ? Non è ella misura illimitatissima ? senza eccettione ? senza termine ? senza fine ?'
VII. The seventh and last test of fidelity in development is Chronic Continuance. On this point Mr. Newman's tone kindles to deep—as it seems to himself, no doubt-triumphant eloquence. He would appal all adversaries into silence by the august phenomenon of the duration of the Roman Church, with all its immutable dogmas, its inflexible discipline, its progressive developments, all tending to this absolute and unalterable perfection. Now, is this chronic continuance of
itself an unanswerable evidence of the divinity of any religious system? Judaism exists-Buddhism exists—Brahmanism exists -Mahometanism exists. But here the question is, Whether it is the Christianity, or the Romanism contra-distinguished from Christianity-which has endured all the fierce encounters of successive ages ? The very errors of the latter, as we have said, may have powerfully contributed to its duration by its compulsory or spontaneous accommodation to the spirit of each succeeding age. But in Mr. Newman's theory—from the duration, at least, of developed Christianity much must be struck off - from the supremacy of the Pope five centuries at the beginning; from the worship of the Virgin, five; from Transubstantiation, eight.
If we revert to Mr. Newman's own words, this chronic continuance has been strikingly intermittent. In the fifth and sixth centuries (a singular argument for Catholic unity and perpetuity) he has given a melancholy description of Catholicism driven almost from the face of the earth. East and West, which had already been almost Arian, were now distracted by every kind of sect and division. In those days things stood worse with Catholicism than even in our degenerate age. This so-called Catholicism Mr. Newman describes as a form of Christianity such, that it extends throughout the world, though with varying measures of prominence or prosperity in separate places :—that it lies under the power of sovereigns and magistrates, in different ways alien to its faith ;—that flourishing nations and great empires, professing or tolerating the Christian name, lie over against it as antagonists ;-that schools of philosophy and learning are supporting theories, and following out conclusions, hostile to it, and establishing an exegetical system subversive of its Scriptures ;—that it has lost whole churches by schism, and is now opposed by powerful communions once part of itself;—that it has been altogether or almost driven from some countries ;– that in others its line of teachers is overlaid, its flocks oppressed, its churches occupied, its property held by what may be called a duplicate succession —that in others its members are degenerate and corrupt, and surpassed in conscientiousness and in virtue, as in gifts of intellect, by the very heretics whom it condemns ;—that heresies are rife and bishops negligent within its own pale.'-P. 316.
In past ages of Catholicism, as now, according to Mr. Newman, its only conservative hope was the See of Rome. Baronius of old raised an argument for the perpetuity of the Papal power, from its wonderful revival after its period of debasement and degradation, after the acknowledged irregularities of election, and all the wickednesses and atrocities of the ninth and tenth centuries, when it was won by the sword, or bought and sold by prostitutes ! Mr. Newman would argue in the same way the legitimate development of the Papacy from its triumph over the confusions of those disastrous times. We scruple not to express thus far our perfect agreement with Mr. Newman. From the sixth century to the fourteenth the Papal power was the great conservator of Christianity, of the best Christianity perhaps which those ages could receive; and it was of inestimable benefit to European civilization. There are periods in human history when despotism, temporal or spiritual, seems necessary or inevitable for the maintenance of social order. In those times the spiritual was the best, the only counterpoise to temporal despotism. But, as in other despotisms, that time passes away. Christianity, as Mr. Newman admits, did without it for five centuries ; it will not endure it now.
Of all historical problems the least difficult to account for is the growth first of the monastic, and afterwards of the papal power; and that growth is quite sufficient to explain the long dominance of what is called Catholicism. This view accounts for every fact and for every passage in the earlier fathers, cited in the two statements made by Mr. Newman on the development of the Papal power. The episcopal government, which was inchoate at least, if not absolutely and universally settled early in the second century, in the time of Ignatius, would of course
8. It is true' (says Mr. Newman) •St. Ignatius is silent in his Epistles on the subject of the Pope's authority;' he adds, such silence is not so difficult to account for as the silence of Seneca and Plutarch about Christianity. Yet one of the Epistles of Ignatius was addressed to the Christians of Rome. The whole question, however, about the Epistles of Ignatius is re-opened by Mr. Cureton's publication and English interpretation of the Syriac version of three of the Epistles, which, if they be not abridgments, which seems highly improbable, show that eren the smaller Greek copies have been largely interpolated. We are not among those who rest, as some do, almost the whole burtken of the episcopal controversy on these Epistles. But considering the importance attached to them by others, that they have been actually spoken of as a providential revelation to save the imperilled cause of episcopacy, we cannot but admire the honest courage which has published without scruple copies in which almost all the strong passages on that side are wanting. The volume in all its parts is most creditable to Mr. Cureton-one of our rery few really profound Orientalists; and it was eminently worthy of our truth-loving primate to permit the dedication of such a work to himself.
find one of its chief seats at Rome. No sooner had the notion spread that St. Peter was at Rome (and that appears, vaguely at least, in Irenæus) than that seat would assume a peculiar dignity. It was the only Apostolic See, it was the metropolitan see of the West; but more than this, it was the See of Rome! of Rome, the centre of administration; the seat of unrivalled wealth and power. Among our earliest intimations of the greatness of the Roman See, is that from her wealth she contributed largely to the support of poorer communities. Already, in the fourth century, the streets of Rome ran with blood in a contested election for the bishopric. The sarcasm of the heathen, · Make me Bishop of Rome, and I will turn Christian,' shows her fast accumulating wealth. From the West, at least, all civil causes flowed to Rome; what wonder if religious ones followed the same course ?
Jam dudum Syrus in Tiberim defluxit Orontes.
Even from the East, all, Christian heretics included, who could not live quietly at home, crowded to Rome, in hopes of advantage or redress. The Eastern apostolic sees fell into strife or heresy, at last sank into obscurity under Mahometanism. Constantinople, though aspiring to equality with Rome, was a see but of yesterday--its bishops perpetually oppressed by, or at open enmity with, the emperors.
Rome was not merely the metropolis, she was the mother of the Western churches, of Catholic, as contradistinguished from Arian Italy, of those of the Franks, the Anglo-Saxons, and of Germany. The old Gaulish, the ancient British, or Irish churches either melted into the Roman or remained in obscurity. The clergy had neither the will nor the power to resist the