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peculiar genius of the people is Aristotelian rather than Platonic, yet even Platonism has found its votaries among them. We are inclined to think, that but for the hatred and constant antagonism of image-worshipping Christianity, their Iconoclasm might have been in danger. The arabesques in which they freely indulge seem longing, as it were, to trespass on animal, if not on human, forms. Omar or Abubeker, we suspect, would have wielded his shattering mace without mercy in the halls of the Fatimites, or those of the Alhambra.
The Dogmatic and Sacramental Principles presided, according to Mr. Newman, over the working of this third process. Under these principles grew up the theological science of Mediæval Christianity; principles, the first of which is disclaimed by no description of Christians, though it may be asserted by some in a less peremptory and more limited manner; the latter is strongly maintained, at least by the Church of England, though it confines itself to strictly Scriptural sacraments. Here, however, we encounter one of the most extraordinary passages in this singular work :
Not in one principle or doctrine only, but in its whole system, Montanism is a remarkable anticipation or presage of developments which soon began to show themselves in the Church, though they were not perfected for centuries after. Its rigid maintenance of the original creed, yet its admission of a development, at least in the ritual, has just been instanced in the person of Tertullian. Equally Catholic in their principle, whether in fact or anticipation, were most of the other peculiarities of Montanism : its rigorous fasts, its visions, its commendation of celibacy and martyrdom, its contempt of temporal goods, its penitential discipline, and its centre of unity. The doctrinal determinations and the ecclesiastical usages of the middle ages are the true fulfilment
Écoles philosophiques chez les Arabes, par Auguste Schmölders, Paris, 1842. 'La masse des prétendus philosophes est si grande, leurs ouvrages sont numériquement si prodigieux, que toute la scolastique est bien pauvre en comparaison des Arabes.'
- Introduction, p. 50. They have their Nominalists, Realists, Conceptualists, Mystics, Roscelins, Anselms, Abelards, Bonaventuras. Conceive the rude and straightforward fatalism of Mahomet thus developed. There is another curious analogy, which we must quote. These are the words of an Arabic writer :- Le seigneur des prophètes le très-véridique nous a parlé d'avance, lorsqu'il dit, “Mon église sera divisée en plus de soixante-dix sectes: il n'y en a qu'une qui sera sauvée, les autres irout à l'enfer;" or ce qu'il a prédit, est arrivé.'—P. 17.
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 same 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 upsanctified 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