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developing autocracy: the strength of Rome was their strength; to the higher ecclesiastics it was the crown of their order. On one part, that of the Roman Bishop, usurpation seemed a duty; on the other, there could be no general will, no concert in resistance. Disunion would have placed the rest of the clergy at the mercy of the temporal power. That the Papal power naturally developed itself out of the Sacerdotal power, and that from both together developed itself the whole of Mediæval Christianity, is clear from this alone, that every doctrine and usage which distinguished Mediæval Christianity from that of the New Testament and of primitive times, tends to the aggrandizement of sacerdotal influence, of more than influence, of irresistible authority. This is the one great cardinal principle of Papal Development.
We too, as has been said, have our theory of development. For us Mr. Newman goes too far, and not far enough. We believe that the development of Christianity, of the yet undeveloped or dormant part of Christianity, since the Reformation, has been immense ; the development, we mean, of its morality, of its social influence, of its humanity. We quote from a recent French writer of great ability :
On a dit souvent que le Christianisme nous avait civilisé ; peutêtre ne serait-il pas moins juste et moins exact de dire que la civilisation a épuré notre Christianisme. Si la lettre des Évangiles n'a pas changé nous avons beaucoup changé dans notre manière d'entendre et d'appliquer la loi évangélique. Nos sentiments et nos principes religieux ont suivi la marche de tous nos sentiments et de tous nos principes; ils sont devenus plus purs et plus raisonnables à mesure que nous avons été plus cultivés. Les Chrétiens d'aujourd'hui ne le sont pas à la manière de ceux du temps de la Ligue.9
This is so well said, that it must excuse us from entering at length upon a subject which could not be fairly dealt with under many pages.
, Charles Dunoyer, Liberté du Travail, i. 124. This work, which by its title might seem a cold, dry treatise on political economy, is of a very high order. We by no means subscribe to all its opinions, either political, social, or speculatire, and there are few subjects which it does not embrace; but throughout there is a rein of strong sense, a sober spirit of inquiry, we may add, a power of understanding our English institutions very rare in foreign writers.
There seems to us a vast fallacy in this argument about the perishable character of all sects and communities of Christians (how stands the Greek Church ?) and the assumed solitary permanence of Rome. For five centuries Christendom existed as a confederation of Churches,-of Churches, it is true, heretical as well as orthodox, under episcopal rule. We may regret that many Christian communities have lost or departed from that rule ; but are we called upon to pronounce their total disfranchisement from all the hopes and blessings of Christianity? The real and essential Christianity, that of all who hold the great truths, endeavour to live up to the lofty morals, look to the promises of God in Christ, who have Christian faith, hope, and Charity-this Christianity has existed, does exist, and will ever exist; it existed through the trials of the first ages, it existed within Mediæval Christianity, it will exist to the end of time; and by this Christianity (not by the higher Christian polity under which we may have the privilege, or the lower under which we may have the disadvantage of living) we shall stand or fall, This, though hard and inflexible Roman Catholic theory may deny, the Roman Catholic heart, like that of all Christendom, is, in all but in stern controversialists, eager to allow. The inexorable nulla salus extra Ecclesiam’is eluded by the holy subterfuges of evangelic charity.
What indeed would be the logical conclusion of Mr. Newman's theory of development as applied to the whole of history? That God, not merely in his permissive but in his active miraculous providence, gradually built up his Church to the height of perfection—that he developed it to its full maturity in power and knowledge ; and then suddenly, it should seem, abandoned its cause, and left it exposed to the ungrateful hostility of mankind! But at the same time he has been pleased to bless mankind with an unexampled, intellectual, social, and moral advancement. Through the hands of ingenious and scientific men he bestowed upon us his most wonderful gift, except that of language,-printing. This, though, as we have said, the most important epoch in the history of Christianity (if we only consider how much it has substituted written for oral teaching) has been followed by social and political changes, by discoveries which crowd upon each other, till we are breathless in following their track, and many of them more or less connected with religious development. And will religion only retrograde while all things thus rush onward ? We implicitly believe, though not in the sense of the transitory movement among ourselves towards, or in Germany away from Rome—that in its great moral and spiritual power Christianity is steadily on the advance —that it is still developing, backwards, in one sense, to the simple Gospel, forwards, in another, to the better understanding of that Gospel. At all events nothing shall reduce us to that worst and most miserable cowardice of unbelief, that the more man advances in intellectual, in social, and in moral culture, the more God will turn his face from him; that real human wisdom and real Christian wisdom will not at length repose together under the shadow of Christian peace.
The Church of France has, compassionating our benighted state, ordered prayers at many of her altars for the conversion of England to the Roman Catholic faith, and this, no doubt, was sincerely meant for our good. Even in higher quarters indulgences have been granted for the same end. It is even said that the secession of Mr. Newman has been no less than a miracle wrought by the earnest supplications of Roman Catholic churches, not in England only, but also in many parts of the Continent. It would indeed, in our opinion, have been a miracle if he had not seceded from our Church, and most devoutly for his sake do we rejoice at his determination. We pretend not to disguise or to undervalue the loss sustained by the Church of England in a man of his piety, ability, and influence; such a loss perhaps has not been experienced since the Reformation ; but in the terrible alternative before his mind, if not a Roman Catholic, what had he been ? regard, however, to her prayers, we might perhaps suggest, in the most friendly spirit, to the Church of France the old adage, that wise charity begins at home. The most fervent prayers of
her sons, if devoted to the conversion of distinguished individuals, might find ample scope among themselves; and, with regard to some, we cannot but bid them God speed! Have they not to win back their own most powerful writer who has appeared since the Restoration, who having attempted an unholy alliance between religion and the wildest democracy, now stands alone, a banished but not a silent man ?-Have they not to win back those who, some of them at least, have been estranged and goaded to fury by their ultramontane pretensions and foolish superstitions; men of that kind of eloquence which at least commands a most perilous influence over the youth of Paris; popular novelists whose wide-read volumes counterwork their popular teaching, and implant deeply and permanently a feeling of mistrust, derision, hatred, against their most powerful ally? Have they not to win (a more noble but, in their present spirit, a more utterly hopeless task) the whole higher literature of France ?--Men of science who, from the height of their
Positive Philosophy,' look down on Catholicism and Protestantism as equally obsolete; men of a more passionate school, who find the final Avatar, the full development of Christianity, in the levelling Jacobinism of Robespierre and St. Just ? And even a still higher class (and here we neither augur nor wish them success), the philosophers who labour even on the writings of the Middle Ages with power of thought and with industry which may put to shame the feeble hagiographists of the Church party, yet who maintain a wise and dignified impartiality: the historians—one changed from the most ardent admirer of the imaginative and better part of Medieval religion, into their bitterest antagonist—and others who, in their dignified superiority, arbitrate unanswerably on all the great questions of history, on the inevitable decay as well as the rise and power of the Mediæval Church, on the true development of Christianity out of a pure religion into a vast hierarchical system, and, as they prophetically foresee, out of that hierarchical system into a universal and eternal religion.
We repeat that, so far as intended for our good, we are
grateful at least for the spirit of these prayers. But let us dispassionately look to the possibility of their accomplishment; and, if there were this possibility, to their inevitable consequences. We address this to some few amiable but young minds among ourselves, who are smitten with a hopeless scheme of Mediævalizing England.
Let us translate the prayer for the conversion of England out of its theologic language into that of plain practical common sense. It is this : that Divine Providence will be pleased to withdraw at once, or to permit to be read only under close or jealous superintendence, that English Bible, which is the family treasure and record in every household from the palace to the cottage—which has been disseminated throughout the land with such zealous activity, and received with such devout thankfulness—which is daily, or at least weekly, read in millions of families, and is on the pillows of myriads of dying men; that the services of the Church may be no longer in the intelligible vernacular English, but in a foreign tongue_a tongue, not like the Latin to the people who speak any of the affiliated languages, so that its meaning may be partially caught, but one absolutely strange and meaningless to the ear; that the communicants at the Lord's Supper may not merely be compelled to embrace new doctrines, although at variance with all their habits of thought and reason, but be deprived of one-half of the precious spiritual sustenance from whence their faith has hitherto derived such inappreciable strength; that in all the public services the priesthood shall withdraw into a kind of unapproachable sanctity—they alone admitted to direct intercourse with God—the people only through them, and at their good pleasure; that from every parsonage in England shall be expelled the devout, the blameless, the charitable wife —the pure and exemplary daughters; that our wives and daughters throughout the land shall be compelled to utter their most secret, their most holy, their most unutterable thoughts in the confessional to some, as it may happen, severe and venerable, or young and comely priest ; that England may be un-Anglicised, not merely in her Church and in her religion,