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it must be observed that this carmen to Christ as God' was reported to Pliny by men who had been Christians, who must have understood its real meaning, and had no reason for imputing to their former brethren so odious a crime as magic.
But we dwell too long on this; nor must we indulge ourselves in, we trust, amicable debate with Mr. Newman on historical ground, which we much prefer to the dry and barren sands of metaphysical or theologic discussion. For, we repeat, that the question is not what Christianity appeared to be to the hostile heathens, but what it was in the ordinary life and in the bosom of Christian families. If Mr. Newman's Mediæval Christianity be a true development of the false idea—of the religion as it was erringly conceived or calumniously misrepresented by its adversaries—the conclusion would be destructive rather than in favour of its fidelity to the original and perfect Idea. II. The second test is Continuity of Principle. Here again
are lost in a wilderness of incomplete and inapplicable analogies, grammatical, political, dramatic. We have much which is acute, much which is fertile in invention, and original in language--much subtilized into fantastic distinctions, and loose in expression ; all, however, curiously illustrative of the state and temper of the author's mind. He is drawing the distinction between principles and doctrines. • Personal responsibility is a principle—the Being of God is a doctrine ; from that doctrine all theology has come in due course, whereas that principle is not clearer under the Gospel than a (qu. in) paradise, and depends not on belief in an Almighty Governor, but on conscience.' Surely Mr. Newman must mean the sense of personal responsibility; and the belief, if not of an Almighty Governor, of some Superior Power, must form part of that notion of personal responsibility, recognized by the conscience. Presently we read— Personal responsibility may be made a doctrinal basis, and develop into Arminianism and Pelagianism. Is personal responsibility, then, a dangerous doctrine ?
In the next page we read
Again, religious investigation sometimes is conducted on the principle, that it is a duty to follow and speak the truth ;' which really means that it is no duty to fear error, or to consider what is safest, or to shrink from scattering doubts, or to regard the responsibility of misleading; and thus it terminates in heresy or infidelity, without any blame to religious investigation in itself.—P. 71.
We turn the leaf, and find these words :
Hence, too, men may pass from infidelity to Rome, and from Rome to infidelity, from a conviction in both courses that there is no tangible intellectual position between the two.
There is no intermediate position, then, for a man of understanding, between the whole uncompromising inflexible theology of the Council of Trent and utter Infidelity; the full creed of Pius IV. and the stern rejection of that of the Apostles; we must deify’ the Virgin Mary or renounce Christ. Here are the Catechisms of Trent–there the Système de la Nature of Holbach—and the Leben Jesu of Straussworks of those who accuse Strauss of some weak and lingering orthodoxy. Take your choice-cast in your lot!! This is the stern alternative to the intellect of an intellectual age. But on what principle does Mr. Newman proclaim this appalling declaration in the ears of the intellectual Protestants of England of the descendants and religious heirs of Hooker, and Barrow, and Taylor ?-in the ears of all Europe, where we will be bold to say that among acquiescing Roman Catholics -among the philosophical writers who passively receive the general doctrines of their Church—there is anything but an absolute unreasoning faith in Rome. On what principle but that it is a duty to follow and speak the truth ?' And on this principle—which at one moment he espouses and at the next indignantly rejects—by his own showing what must be the issue with the great mass of European intellect? What does history say? That where there has not been an intervening Protestantism, or, if that word be so obnoxious, some
intermediate system of less unreasoning belief, a wide-spread and utter unbelief has been the sure result. What was the case in France ?—what among the upper orders in Spain ?-what in young Italy? We speak plainly: if there be no Christianity but that of the fourteenth century—if there be no intellectual position but on the shifting quicksand of this Theory of Developments— Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.' If this be or become the creed of millions, where rests the appalling responsibility ?
We turn to the application of the Second Test. We read at
Judaism did but develop, while it bore in mind its imperfection, and its subordination to a coming Messiah; and it became corrupt as soon and in proportion as it found itself self-sufficient, and rejected the Gospel.
We would suggest that Judaism had developed itself to some considerable extent before the publication of the Gospel. There was a certain system of opinions, called, as we may deem more proper, Pharisaism or Rabbinism--a development of Judaism which, we are inclined to think, with the help of Mr. Newman's ingenuity, would bear every one of Mr. Newman's tests. It was of slow but continuous growth. It maintained within it the great idea of Judaism, the unity of God. It had an extraordinary power of assimilation, for it had moulded into itself perhaps early Palestinian, certainly Babylonian tenets—probably early Egyptian, certainly Alexandrian notions. It boasted of its early anticipation—it traced itself up to the Seventy Elders in the time of Moses-it rested on strange mutilated or mysticised quotations from the Law and the Prophets. The regular affiliation of its doctrines shows its logical sequence. It called itself the hedge of the law-a definition we recommend for Preservative Additions. As to its chronic continuance, it is the Rabbinism of the present day. Do we want further illustrations? It had built of a few suggestive hints in the books of the Scripture, an
hierarchy, and something approaching to a worship, of angels. It furnishes singularly enough in the later Apocryphal Books the text usually alleged in defence of Purgatory. It had its
Fathers, who were dignified by the name, and held the authority of Masters, and if they did not absolutely claim, were invested with something like, infallibility. Its temporal sovereignty had at least been at times superseded by a sacerdotal supremacy, a papal high priest. It had a most prolific and systematic theology, afterwards embodied in the Mischna ; somewhat later it had something of a Golden Legend in its Talmud. It had finally its mystic interpretation of Scripture, so rich as to form two schools. And yet we know who it was that commanded his disciples to beware of those who taught the traditions of men for the commandments of God; who warned them to call no man master; who, in the most awful tones which His benignant voice ever assumed, repeatedly denounced woe against the Lawyers and Pharisees, the teachers of developed Judaism: whose whole system of instruction might seem a most appalling admonition against binding unnecessary burthens upon the minds and the consciences of
This second test is illustrated by what we presume that we are to consider the continuous use of the Mystical Interpretation ;' of this we have said as much as our space will allow. But the third illustration of this, as well as of the third test, the Supremacy of Faith, absolutely demands some, we fear too brief, examination. This, according to Mr. Newman, is the exclusive distinction of the Roman Catholic Church— on the other hand it has ever been the heretical principle to prefer Reason to Faith. This is a strange assertion against a form of Christianity, of which the vital principle (whether right or wrong) is Justification by Faith ; a principle carried to the very height of fanaticism in many of the Protestant bodies. Moreover, this objection is advanced in a book more essentially and intrinsically rationalising than any which we have read, excepting only the extreme of Germanism. It is strange,
indeed, how extremes may meet! We would willingly refrain from the parallel, which forces itself upon us, of this Theory of Developments and the “Entwickelungs-theorie' (literally, Development-theory) of the famous Leben Jesu.' The Leben Jesu’evolves or develops from the subjective Idea in the mind of man, with equal subtlety, with a sort of kindred calmness of style, and erudition as laborious, Christianity itself, the life of the Saviour, the whole of the New Testament. Strauss may thus appear to begin higher up than Mr. Newman. But Mr. Newman, by annulling the authority-as he inevitably does by impugning the early and universal acceptance—of the written word-by resting the divine origin of Christianity on tradition alone, or on something more dubious than tradition-abandons the whole field to the mythic expositor. Still further : admit, with Mr. Newman, so much which is clearly and almost avowedly mythic into Christianity—and ingenuity like his own will claim free scope to resolve the whole into a myth. Be this as it may, Mr. Newman's is unquestionably a book full of abstruse and subtle metaphysics, addressed exclusively to the Reason; a book avowedly written to justify a departure from one form of faith (once held in the sternest and most uncompromising severity) to another form of the faith; from faith in the doctrines of the Church of England to faith in the doctrines of the Church of Rome.
The question necessarily arises, What is the test of the Supremacy of Faith? Is it the number of articles in the Creed, or the more intense and unquestioning conviction of the more important of these articles ? Is it the quantity, not the quality, of the things believed ? Is it the blind passivity or the strenuous activity of the believing mind? Is the rude Southern peasant, who fancies that the eyes in the image of his favourite saint move in their sockets, or that the Virgin extends her arms and smiles upon him; whose belief keeps pace with the legendary invention of his priest or of his neighbourhood; or the controversialist who writes himself up into a belief that he believes the most palpable fictions; is either of