Reply to the Mercersburg Review
Brownson's Quarterly Review, April, 1850
ART. III. — The Mercershurg Review : devoted to Theology, Literature and Science. Mercersburg, Pa. January, 1849-1850. Bi-monthly. 8vo.
THIS is a periodical recently established by " the Alumni of Marshall College," Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, as the organ of what is called " the Mercersburg system " of theology, and is conducted with spirit, learning, and ability. Its writers are strong men, apparently in earnest, and they present Protestantism in as plausible a form as it admits, and give it ihe most respectable vindication that it receives in our language. "Whoever would see Protestantism in its least irreligious form, and learn the best that can be said in its favor, will do well to study the pages of this new review. Its modes of thought and expression are, perhaps, a little German, but its pages are rarely dull or uninstructive.
We call the attention of our readers more especially to the number for January last, which contains a long and elaborate article on ourselves, designed to set aside our arguments for the Church, and to vindicate Protestantism, as the writer understands it, from our attacks. The article is ably written, in a tone and manner as acceptable as rare in those who write against us or our Church. The writer is a Protestant, but no vulgar Protestant; he is a gentleman and a scholar, and makes as near an approach to being a Christian as is to be expected from one who opposes the Christian Church. He aims to be fair and candid, and has evidently done his best to state our arguments correctly, and to urge only grave and solid matter against them. It is refreshing to meet such an opponent, and we are sorry to add, that he is almost the only direct opponent we have ever had that we did not feel it a sort of degradation to meet. He is one we can respect, and whom we should dread to encounter, if we had no advantage in our cause to make amends for our own personal inferiority.
The Reviewer very frankly concedes, in the outset, that, as against popular Protestantism, taking private judgment, with or without the Bible, for its rule of faith, our arguments for the Church are conclusive, and that there is no answer to be given to them. He concedes, moreover, that the Protestantism which we have attacked, whether under the special form of High Church or Low Church, Presbyterianism or Methodism, and which has nothing to reply to us but cant and sophistry, is and long has been the dominant form of Protestantism, and the only form that has been set forth prominently as the rival or the antagonist of Rome. We have, then, he must farther concede, the right to regard this in the judgment of Protestants themselves, as genuine Protestantism, and therefore as its more solid and defensible form. If, as he concedes, we have refuted this, we may conclude a fortiori against those minor and less solid forms, that have never been able to make themselves generally acknowledged by Protestants themselves. As the Reviewer contends that the Church is true against no religion, and all religions but the Protestant, he must concede, then, that we have, by his own concessions, the right to conclude its absolute truth.
But, without insisting on this, we remark that the Reviewer contends that there is a higher doctrine than either prevailing Protestantism or Catholicity, and against which our reasoning is not, in his judgment, conclusive. If we had known this doctrine, or been in a condition to appreciate it, we should not, he thinks, in rejecting Unitarianism, have swung to the opposite extreme of Romanism. We were right, he says, in renouncing Rationalism, but we have gone to as great an extreme, though a less dangerous one, in going to Rome. Our fault lies in abandoning private judgment for authority, instead of seeking and finding a doctrine which reconciles them, and preserves them both. But with all respect to our learned and philosophical critic, we were not, if we understand his doctrine, ignorant of it, but were detained by it a considerable time outside of the Church. It is in substance, though not in all its details, the doctrine we sketched in the last number of the Boston Quarterly Review, in refuting Mr. Parker's notion of the Church ; which we developed at some length in The Christian World, during the winter of 1842 — 43; and which we established our present journal expressly to explain, propagate, and defend.
The attempt to reconcile private liberty and public authority did not escape us. This reconciliation in a supposed higher doctrine than either Catholicity or Protestantism was the precise problem with which we were engaged for the ten or twelve years next preceding our conversion. The attempt to get a satisfactory solution of this problem is the key to all our writings and sermonizing during that long period, and no greater mistake can be committed than to suppose, that, even when we were a Unitarian, we accepted in theory, however closely we may have followed it in practice, the Protestant rule of private judgment. We never, afler 1832, and before that we were too young to be of any account, adopted individualism, but uniformly opposed it, and contended, as our published writings bear witness, for a catholic authority both in church and state, although we erred grievously as to its seat and constitution. Indeed, if there is a single problem that we have studied with any degree of thoroughness, it is this very problem which our Mercersburg friend accuses us of having neglected, namely, the reconciliation of the so-called rights of the individual mind with legitimate public authority. At no period after we began to be known as a Unitarian were we any more prepared to give up authority than we were to give up liberty ; or when, if it should appear that we could not retain both, and that one or the other must be sacrificed, we would not have sacrificed liberty rather than authority. It shows no little want of acquaintance with our personal history, and a gross misapprehension of our published writings, to assert that we went in our conversion from extreme Rationalism to Catholicity, or from extreme individualism to authority. We went to the Church from a theory which was invented to retain them both, and to reconcile them systematically and really one with the other.
We may not have exhausted all possible theories for the reconciliation of liberty and authority, — in the Reviewer's language, "the liberty of the individual subject with the binding force of the universal object," — but we were not ignorant of "the new religious principle and theory" which he proposes, and which he says " the case demanded for its solution." If we understand him, he advances little that cannot be found, in substance, in our own publications prior to our conversion, and, if we did not know that the theory had been advocated by several eminent German authors, and that, 'it was entertained by him, in part at least, at as early a day as by ourselves,, we should be half tempted to suspect him of having plagiarized it from our own writings. Of course, we are far from protending that we set it forth with the systematic fulness and consistency, or with the philosophic depth of thought, the various learning, and the clearness and vigor of expression, with which he does, for in these respects we readily confess our inferiority ; but we did set it forth in its principles, and in what he has said we have found nothing that has taken us by surprise, or with which we do not seem to ourselves to have been tolerably familiar. Whether true or false, adequate or inadequate, we are greatly deceived if the theory has not once been ours, and if we have abandoned it, we must still be treated with some leniency, since the Reviewer winds up his article against us, by virtually conceding, with a candor that does him honor, that, after all, it is rather a statement than a solution of the difficulty.
As the Reviewer concedes that we are right against popular Protestantism, the question between him and us is not a question between us and Protestantism in general, but between us and his specific form of Protestantism, and if that specific form turns out to be untenable, he must accept our Church as the Church of God. The ground he takes is, either our Church or his form of Protestantism, and therefore, if his form be refuted, so far as he is concerned, we are free to conclude the truth of our Church against every form of Protestantism, nay, the absolute validity of her titles against every claimant. If he is wrong, we must be right. Whether we prove him wrong by direct evidence of the truth of our Church, or by direct evidence of the falsity of his own, can, therefore, make no difference, for in either case the truth of our Church is concluded. The latter is the more proper method of conducting the argument; for the Church is the prior occupant, and must be presumed true until the contrary is made to appear. If the Reviewer's doctrine is removed, ours remains, and he has, therefore, no possible means of disproving our doctrine but by proving his own ; and, as the presumption is on our side, his failure to prove his own is, so far as we are concerned, its disproof. Moreover, he must prove his doctrine, not in what it has in common with ours, for, since we precede him, that is our own ; but in that which is peculiar to it, which distinguishes it from Catholic doctrine, and makes it a doctrine opposed to it. Has he done this ? If he has not, he has done nothing to his purpose, and we stand where we should have stood if he had not undertaken to allege any thing against us.
The Reviewer concedes authority and asserts private liberty in matters of religious faith ; for his aim is to accept both, and to reconcile them one with the other. His theory, then, is eclectic, and intended to embrace and reconcile " the liberty of the individual subject with the binding force of the universal object," which, he says, are, on the Catholic system, antagonists, and mutually destructive one of the other. He proposes to do this, not by a shallow and absurd syncretism, which, after the manner of Anglicanism, accepts both in their mutual exclusiveness, and follows arbitrarily first one and then the
other, playing off authority against those who accuse it of believing too much, and liberty against those who accuse it of believing
too little ; but, by dissolving both in " a new religious principle
and theory," higher and broader than either taken separately.
The theory by which he proposes to do this, simply stated,
is, in its generative principles, that Christianity is a new and
a higher life in the world, and that this new life is literally
" God entering into human nature," or the Word made
flesh and dwelling among us, full of grace and truth. In an ar
ticle on The Relation of Church and State (November, 1849,
p. 576), he says, the ideal of the Christian Church is " a
higher order of Divine life in the world, which, in its develop
ments, takes to itself a body from the elements of humanity.
The principle of this new life is the Lord Jesus Christ, the
incarnate Saviour, who is very God and very man in one per
son, and in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
In him the human and Divine natures are united as they never
were before. The union is deep, mysterious, vital. The
growth of the Church is the development of Christ's life in
the world." Again (July, 1849, pp. 314, 315), he says, the
confession of Peter, " Thou art the Christ, the Son of the liv
ing God," " utters, in the most immediate and direct way, the
fact of Christianity, the new order of life it has brought into
the world, as apprehended in its most general character in the
person of Christ. The object so apprehended, and thus at once
brought to utterance, is no doctrine or report simply concern
ing Christ, but the glorious reality of the Incarnation itself, as
exhibited in him under an historical and enduring form. Chris
tianity resolves itself ultimately into this mystery. It has its prin
ciple and root in Christ's person The Word reveals it
self, not by outward oracle or prophecy, but by becoming flesh ;
he is the living comprehension of the truth he proclaims, the
actual world of grace which he unfolds and makes known
The new creation, which is at the same time the end and com
pletion of the old, starts from the mystery of his person. The
Incarnation is the deepest and most comprehensive fact in the
economy of the world. Jesus Christ authenticates himself, and
all truth and reality besides, or rather, all truth and reality are
such only by the relation in which they stand to him as their
great centre and ground. In him are hid thus all the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge. He is the absolute revelation of
God in the world As all this he is primarily no ob
ject of intellection, but can be apprehended only by faith ; and
in this form he constitutes the sum and substance of Christianity, as it lives in the consciousness of the Church, and finds its expression in the Creed."
It is clear, we think, from this, that the Reviewer's-theory is,
that the new creation, the Christian order, Christianity, is
throughout Christ himself, the "Word made flesh,"— not Christ
as the universe is God mediante his creative act, or act cre
ating, sustaining, and governing it, but Christ himself, identically
in his own substance and person, — and is indistinguishable in its
substance from him. Thus he says (Ibid., p. 316), — " The
new creation grows forth actually from the mystery of Christ's
person, being from first to last the evolution or development
simply of capabilities, relations, and powers, that are treasured
up in him from the beginning." And again (January, 1850,
p. 4), — " The Lord is perpetually born anew in the hearts of
believers ; his life is reproduced in their life ; and their forma
tion into his image involves an inward adunation also into the very
substance of his mediatorial person Christ and his peo
ple are joined together in a common life, which starts from him
as its source, and is carried over to them by real organic deri
vation," and is in them " an actual participation in his living
substance The union between Christ and his people
actually inserts them spiritually into the substance of his life. They are a new creation in Christ Jesus, not a new creation out of him, and beyond him, by the fiat of Omnipotence, bearing some resemblance to him in a different sphere, but a new creation whose original seat and fountain is Christ's own person, and which conveys over to them, accordingly, with true reproductive force, the vitality which belongs to it [Christ's person] in this form."
These passages, and many more like them might be adduced, seem to be conclusive that our Mercersburg friend holds and teaches that the new creation is indistinguishably the Incarnate God ; and that we are Christians, are introduced into the Christian order, only by being literally, organically, physically, adunated into his living substance. How this theory is supposed to solve the difficulty as to liberty and authority, it is not difficult to understand. " The mystery of the Incarnation," says the Reviewer (July, 1849, p. 323), " as it stands before us in the person of Christ, includes two sides, which must both enter steadily into our faith to make it complete. We must apprehend, in the first place, the presence of a truly Divine life in the fact, the entrance of God-into the world as he had not been in it before ; in the second place, this life must be admitted under a true human form, and in such relation to the previous constitution of the world, that it shall not violate its order, hut be felt rather to fall in with it organically, and complete its sense." Christ is the object, and affirms himself immediately to the apprehension of faith ; he, affirming or authenticating himself immediately in the act of faith, is authority, and constitutes u the binding force of the universal object." But as he affirms himself under a human form only, in the way of human thought and will, as the complement, in some sort, of the natural order of the world, he recognizes the activity of the individual subject ; and as he propounds nothing to the mind, imposes nothing upon it, but simply generates faith in and through it by its own activity, the freedom of the individual is preserved, in the same way that it is preserved in the operations of interior grace.
Whether this be or be not a real solution of the difficulty will, perhaps, appear as we proceed ; for the moment we ask the attention of our readers to the assumptions it makes ; namely, Christ, Christianity, or the Christian order always affirms or authenticates himself from within the believer, and always under a strictly human form. These two assumptions are fundamental in the theory proposed, underlie all the Reviewer's reasoning against us, and give to it whatever of pertinency and force it may have. That reasoning, as far as we comprehend it, is,— 1. That, by maintaining that Christianity is the supernatural object of faith, and as such is extrinsic to the soul, and credible only by means of an extrinsic authority to propound it, we deny the activity of the soul in its reception, and therefore violate the rights of the mind, or the liberty of the individual subject ; 2. That, by asserting that faith is elicitable only by means of an external authority sufficiently accredited to reason, we make faith a conclusion of logic, fall into sheer Rationalism, and lose the supernatural, and therefore authority, or "the binding force of the universal object"; and, 3. That making Christianity an external object, propoundable by an external authority to reason, as something to be believed or done, we deny that it always presents itself in a true and proper human form, we exclude all human activity in its elaboration or growth, foreclose development, and therefore deny history to be a continuous revelation of God's mind and will, the evolution or realization of the capabilities, revelations, and powers treasured up in the Incarnate God, or God preparing his Incarnation, and actually becoming incarnate. This reasoning, though that of a no vulgar mind, cannot strike the Catholic as of much force against his Church ; but all will agree that it is valuable as illustrating and determining the theory of the author ; and it proves clearly enough, that, if it be not true that Christ affirms himself always from within, and only from within, and always and only under a proper human form, that theory cannot be sustained.
The Reviewer professes to object, not to the assertion of
Christianity as an object of faith, but simply to its assertion as an
outward object propoundable from without ; nor does he avow
edly object to authority, as such, but to that authority which is
extrinsic, operating on the mind and commanding it, instead
of operating from the mind, in the way of its own intelligence
and will. To Christianity and authority, as he understands us
to assert them, he objects that they violate the rights of the
mind, and operate only in a mechanical way, and by magic.
Christianity, according to us, he says, " is taken as a revelation
of supernatural truth, which men are to receive as something
wholly out of themselves, that is brought near them for their
use in a purely outward way. As it has its source and seat be
yond their proper nature altogether, so it cannot be allowed to
find in this any rule or measure whatever for its apprehension.
[t must be taken as a matter of mere authority. The relation
between the receptivity of faith on the one side, and of the pro
pounded truth on the other, is held to be in no sense
inward and living, but mechanical only and juxtapositional, the one remaining always on the outside of the other." (January, 1850, pp. 53, 54.) Again :—• " As a supernatural constitution, it [Christianity] must not conform to the order of nature. It must be neither organic, nor historical, nor human in its higher sphere, but one long monotony rather of mere outward law and authority, superseding the natural order of the world, and contradicting it, from age to age, to the end of time. The Roman system carries in itself thus a constant tendency to resolve the whole force of Christianity into magic, and to fall into the snare of the opus operatum in its bad sense." (Ibid., p. 62.)
What the Reviewer here objects to our doctrine is, in substance, — 1. That it places Christianity, as supernatural object of faith, out of the subject; 2. That it places the supernatural wholly above the sphere of the natural; and, 3. That it makes faith the mediate, instead of the immediate, apprehension of the truth of the matter believed. These objections throw light on his own doctrine, and prove that he either has no right to bring them, or holds the exact contrary ; namely,—1. The supernatural object of faith is in the subject, not out of it ;
2. The supernatural does not wholly transcend the natural; and,
3. Faith is the immediate apprehension of the truth of the mat
ter believed. That he does so hold is evident, not only from the
fact, that he objects to us for holding the contrary, but from the
general tenor of all the articles in his journal bearing on the sub
ject ; although he certainly asserts, sometimes, doctrines which
contradict these, owing to the fact we shall hereafter point out,
of confounding subject with object, and object with subject.
The Reviewer identifies, as we have seen, Christ and Christianity, and regards the whole Christian order, the new creation, as the Incarnate God, or Word made flesh. He places this order in the believer ; it is God entering into human nature as he was not in it before, the insertion of a new principle of life in our life, in the very constitution of our nature ; and hence " Christianity, as far as it prevails, is the actual elevation of our general life into a higher sphere of existence." Christ is not an outward teacher, or model, as the Unitarians vainly imagine, but an inward principle, from which all flows forth as from its fontal spring. " If Christ be no principle of life for humanity, if he be not, in truth, the power of a new creation in its constitution, it follows necessarily that it needs nothing of the sort for its redemption. This is at once Pelagianism." (January, 1850, p. 11.)
It must not be supposed that our Reviewer is merely endeavouring to prove that Christ must be in us, by his gracious operations moving and assisting us to believe and love him as out of us and before us, as the object and final cause of our faith and love ; for this is Catholic doctrine, the very doctrine he is professedly warring against. Hence he objects to our doctrine, which makes the object of faith, as object, extrinsic, that " the general law of our nature is, that mind must fulfil its mission, not by following blindly a mere outward force of any sort, but by the activity of its own intelligence and will It must move in the light that springs from itself, by a power it continually generates within." This law, he contends, must hold good in the Christian order as well as in the natural. "Christianity claims to be the perfection of man's life ; this, in its ordinary constitution, unfolds itself by its own self-movement in the way of thought and will ; but just here all this is superseded by another law altogether ; the supernatural comes in as the outward complement of the natural, in such sort as to make the force of this last null and void in all that pertains to its higher sphere." (January, 1850, p. 56.) Hence he tells us that " all revelation, as distinguished from magic, implies the self-exhibition of God, in a real way, through the medium of the world in its natural form. To a certain extent, we have such a revelation in the material universe. The outward creation is the symbol, mirror, shrine, and sacrament of God's presence and glory as a supernatural fact in the most actual way. The word of prophecy and inspiration is the gradual coming forth of eternal truth into time, in a like real way, through the medium of human thought and speech ; a process which completes itself finally, in the full domiciliation, we may say, of the Infinite Word itself in the life of the world by Jesus Christ." (Ibid., p. C5.) Christian faith, what we call Christian doctrine, is not something propounded to the reason of man, but is the out-birth of the new life placed by the Incarnation in men, the expression or utterance, by believers, of the life that is in them, and which they live hy having the great realities of faith in their own conscious life through organic union with the person of Christ. In treating of the Apostles' Creed, the Reviewer says, — " The Creed is no work of mere outward authority, imposed on the Church by Christ or his Apostles. It would help its credit in the eyes of some, no doubt, if it could be considered in this view. Their idea of Christianity is such as involves, prevailingly, the notion of a given, fixed scheme of things, to be believed and done, propounded for the use of man, on the authority of Heaven, in a purely mechanical and outward way." (May, 1849, p. 201.) But all this is false. The Creed " was not exhibited as a formulary imposed by outward authority, nor as the result of any process of reflection. It presented itself to the world, simply as the firm affirmation, on the part of the Church, of what Christianity was in her living consciousness in the way of direct and immediate fact It has its very being in the element and sphere of faith ; and it holds there in the character of a direct spontaneous witness, with the mouth, to the great central realities of faith as they are immediately felt in
the heart It is the product of the early Christian life."
(Ibid., pp. 214, 215.) " No man can be said to have composed it ; it is no work of bishops or synods ; it must be taken rather as the grand epos of Christianity itself, the spontaneous poem of its own life, unfolded in fit word and expression from the inmost consciousness of the universal Church." (Ibid., p. 217.) So faith springs from the life of believers, not the life of believers from faith !'
We might multiply citations to the same purport without end, but these suffice to show that the Reviewer's theory is, that Christianity, as supernatural object, as the living truth, in some way inserts itself in the believer, and is in the believing subject, operating in the act of faith from the subject's own centre, in the way of his own thought and will, and therefore, in regard to the act of faith, is not object, but subject, in the same sense, and on the same principle, that auxiliary grace is subject. In denying, then, that the object of faith is extrinsic, or out of the subject, and contending that it is in the subject, acting in the direction of the soul's own action, and coalescing with it, he denies the object itself ; for whatever is objective is out of the subject, and whatever is in the subject is subjective. He, then, loses the act of faith itself; for the creditive subject can elicit the act only in concurrence with the credible object. He also fails to solve his problem, for he cannot deny the object, and still assert its binding force.
The Reviewer admits no proper supernatural, as is evident from the fact that he objects to us for making it transcend the natural, and from the fact that he holds that we have an original natural capacity for the direct and immediate apprehension of it. He confounds the supernatural with the supersensible, and understands by it nothing but the intelligible or noetic world as distinguished from the sensible, the noumenon as distinguished from the phenomenon of Kant. He objects to the way in which we oppose faith to reason, that is, distinguish faith from reason. " Its opposition," he says, " is properly to sense, and to nature as known by sense ; to reason only in so far as taken for the understanding in relation to such knowledge. Faith is the capacity of perceiving the invisible and supernatural, which as such does not lie on the outside of reason, but opens to view rather a higher form of its own proper life. It requires, of a truth, in our
present circumstances, a supernatural influence to call faith
into exercise ; there must be for this purpose a new life
by the spirit of Christ; but all this forms at best but the proper education or draxoing out of the true sense of man's life as it stood before." (Jan., 1850, p. 67.) "Faith stands just in the apprehension of invisible things in their true and proper reality. The direct and immediate communication of our nature with this higher world, in virtue of its original capacity for such purpose, the state or activity in which this communication holds, is itself precisely what we understand by faith." " Our nature is formed for such direct communication with the world of spirit ; carries in itself an original capacity for transcending the world of sense, in the immediate apprehension of a higher order of existence, and can never be complete without its active development." (May, 1849, p. 209 and p. 208.)
Here it is undeniable that no reality is allowed to be held in faith that transcends the original capacity of our nature, and that nothing above the intelligible world is apprehended. This is not supernatural, for it is a contradiction in terms to say the supernatural does not transcend the capacity of the natural. Undoubtedly, we have a natural faculty of apprehending the supersensible. Certainly, the human mind, as naturally constituted, is not confined, as Locke maintains, to the knowledge derived from sensation and reflection. There is for us an intelligible world above the sensible, and it is only by virtue of this intelligible world that the sensible itself becomes intelligible, or is for us any thing more than a mode or affection of our own sensitive subject. In this intelligible world, the being, though not the essence, of God, is apprehended, and the invisible things of God from the creation, or foundation, of the world, even his eternal power and divinity, are clearly seen, being understood, that is, known, intellecta, by the things that are made ; and therefore the very heathen were inexcusable for lapsing into idolatry ; but all this lies in the order of nature, the primitive creation, and is included in God's revelation of himself as the Intelligible. The supernatural is above this, above the whole order of the natural universe, regarded either in its first cause or in its final cause, and is God's revelation of himself as superintelligible, as the Author of the new creation, the order of grace, not promised in the order of nature, not included in its original plan, nor necessary to complete it in its own order. The new creation presupposes the old, and grace presupposes nature, and as both proceed from the same Creator, there must of course be a congruity between them, for God can never be in contradiction with himself; but the new creation is strictly supernatural, and therefore in a sphere outside of reason and infinitely above it. We have no natural power to apprehend either what it is, or that it is ; and we know absolutely nothing of it, except what is communicated to us, not from within, but from above, by God himself. This is the supernatural in the sense of Catholic theology, and we must be elevated to its order, before we rise above mere natural religion. The Reviewer, by confounding jt with the supersensible, shows that he only follows in the wake of American and German Trauscendental-ists, and remains, with all his lofty pretensions, in a sphere below the lowest distinctively Christian sphere of thought.
The Reviewer, it is well to notice, by the way, restricts expressly all the supernatural he recognizes to a simple influence which calls faith into exercise, and this influence he supposes to be necessary only in our present circumstances. The power is in us by nature, and nothing is needed but to render it active. So the new and higher principle, which, we have seen, is Christ himself, God entering into the world as he was never in it before, the new creation, the whole Christian order, is, then, at most, simply prevenient grace, revealing nothing, teaching nothing, commanding nothing, doing nothing, but simply exciting one of our dormant powers to activity ! Here are great words, and a tremendous preparation for comparatively a small affair. Really our Mercersburg friend must have been napping when he invented this part of his doctrine. But let him not be too much depressed. Homer sometimes nods, as Horace says, and human inventions are frequently dreams.
That the Reviewer understands by faith the immediate, not simply the mediate, apprehension of the matter believed, is evident from the passages just cited to prove that he confounds the supernatural with the supersensible, for in them he defines it to be the direct and immediate communication with the realities it holds ; and if he did not so understand it, his objection to us, that we make it mediate only, would be irrelevant and absurd. What we maintain is, that, in matters of faith, as distinguished from matters of knowledge or science, the objective truth, though extrinsically evident, is intrinsically inevident, and therefore, in itself considered, is no immediate object of intellectual apprehension. This we had supposed follows from the nature of faith, which, by its very definition, is assent to a proposition on testimony, or the authority of another, and from the fact, which every Christian at least must acknowledge, that mysteries are credible. But it is precisely the intrinsic inevidence of the revealed truth, and the necessity of receiving it on authority, or of any motives of assent which the mind does not draw from immediate contemplation of it, that we understand our Mercersburg theologian to deny. Our doctrine, he says, " carries with it a wrong conception of the nature and power of faith It goes on the assumption that the
supernatural, with which faith has to do, is so sundered from the natural as to admit of no approach or apprehension from that side ; that truth in such form is inevident for the mind wholly, in its own nature, and without force of reason intrinsically to
engage its assent; that the mind is moved to such assent,
not by any motives either in itself or in the object set before it,
but by something extrinsic to both, — the weight of an inter
mediate authority, which is felt to be fully valid as a ground of
certainty, without regard to the nature of what is thus taken on
trust, one way or another. ' In belief,' says Mr. Brownson,
' I must go out of myself, and also out of the object, for my
motives of assent.' Subjective and objective come to no union
whatever. The gulf between them is sprung only by means of
outward testimony. The case requires, indeed, Divine testi
mony. Still it is always as something between the subject
and object, in a purely separate and external way." (Jan.,
1850, pp. 66, 67.) Even Divine testimony is not to be cred
ited, it seems, according to our German Reformed Doctor, till
we have examined what it testifies to, and satisfied ourselves
by our own light that it is true, and worthy to be believed.
"It will not do," he says, "in the face of such a fact as
the Incarnation, to say that the realities with which faith has to
do, in distinction from reason, are wholly without light or ev
idence for this last, in their own nature, and as such to be
taken on the mere authority of God, ascertained in some other
way ; in such sense that a man might be supposed to be infal
libly sure, first, that he has this authority to go upon, and so
be prepared to accept any and every proposition as true, on
the strength of it, with equal readiness and ease." (Ibid., p.
64.) " Faith stands in rational correspondence with its con
tents, makes the mind in some measure actually in their
sphere, touches its object as truly as sense," (Ibid.,
p. 67,) and " is led by motives of assent in its object, and not simply by motives drawn from some other quarter ; in other words, the authority of God moving it is not on the outside of the object, but comes to view in and by the object bearing its proper seals." (Ibid., p. 70.) There is no need of further extracts, for these prove clearly that the Reviewer rejects as faith the apprehension of truth through the medium of testimony, even that of God himself, and will not allow the object to be credible, unless the mind immediately perceives its truth. Hence he censures us for maintaining that we must take the word from the speaker, not the speaker from the word, and holds (Ibid., p. 68) that Christ's miracles do not accredit him, but he accredits them.
Clearly, then, he holds faith to be, in some way, the immediate apprehension of the truth of the matter believed, especially since, in a passage we shall cite again soon, for another purpose, he asserts that " faith without truth for its contents can no more be in exercise or existence, than natural vision can be where light is wanting." But such immediate apprehension of truth is intuition, knowledge, not faith. So it follows that the Reviewer's new principle and theory of religious life, which he says we needed when we left Rational-ism to spare us the labor of going to Rome, lose the object of faith by resolving it into subject, tbe supernatural revelation by resolving it into the supersensible, and faith itself by resolving it into knowledge or intuition ; that is, since he recognizes the supernatural at all only as an exciting influence, — a mere stimulus,— if even so much, his system is substantially the very Rationalism he applauds us for having rejected.
It is easy enough for us, who have had personal experience of the Reviewer's theory, and who have the light of Catholic theology to guide us, to comprehend his difficulties, and to see the source of his errors. He does not clearly understand that things must have an outside as well as an inside, and that he cannot deny their outside without also denying their inside. It is always well to try to get at the " inmost" heart of things, but it is necessary, that, in the effort to do so, we do not destroy the life of things themselves. We are far from believing that our Mercersburg Doctor intends to deny all faith objectively considered, but he is confused by his German pantheism, or rather, Oriental doctrine of emanation, and his mystical philosophy, exaggerated by his Calvinistic training. He intends to acknowledge both subject and object, but he does not appear to see clearly that they are necessarily the one outside of the other, that subject stands opposed to object, and object to subject, that the subject is the human soul, and that object, if object at all, is something distinct from the soul, out of the soul, and independent of it. The subject, indeed, cannot act, or exist even, independently of its object, for it is not God, — who alone is from and by himself, or is his own object,— but the object can and does exist without the subject.
Hence the object is always authoritative, and all evidence is objective ; and we beg leave here to correct one of our assertions, made in 1845, cited by the Reviewer, but not used or objected to by him, that in the fact of intuition the evidence is in the subject. This, though true enough in relation to the purpose for which we asserted it, is, nevertheless, not strictly accurate.
All we there meant to assert was, that in intuition the assent is immediate, not discursive, as in demonstrative science, nor by the mediation of another, as in faith ; but the language naturally bears a Cartesian sense, to which we object. The evidence is never in the subject, but is always objective, as we have shown in the foregoing article. The subject never affirms the object, but the object is always affirmed, either per se or per alia, to the subject. In knowledge it affirms itself, is evident, or intelligible per se ; in faith it is inevident per se, and is affirmed only by a witness to whom it is not so inevident, but evident. Hence, as in the case of Christianity, when it is supernatural, it can be affirmed only by a supernatural witness ; for to none but a supernatural witness can the supernatural be evident or intelligible by itself.
But the Reviewer either denies or misapprehends all this, and makes the subject and object mutually dependent one on the other, or rather, following Fichte, regards the object as the product of the subject. " The word lives," he says, " and is the word truly, only by faith." (May, 1849, p. 209.) " The existence of truth is objective, and in such view, of course, universal and independent of all private thought and will; but as thus objective, it must be at the same time subjective, must enter into particular thought and will, in order to be real. As object merely, without subject, it becomes a pure abstraction. Mere single mind can never be, in and of itself, the measure of either truth or right; it must be ruled, and so bound by the objective, or authority of the general. On the other hand, the general as such, mere law or object, is no such measure either, in and of itself; to be so, it must take concrete form in the life of the world, which resolves itself at last into the thinking and willing of single minds." (Jan., 1850, pp. 56, 57.)
It is difficult to conceive greater confusion of thought than we find here, or to compress more, or more fundamental, error into the same number of words. The writer says, indeed, that " the existence of truth is objective," but he resolves it as objective into the general, and distinguishes it from the particular, and therefore, though he seems not to be aware of it, denies the existence of particular, concrete objects. Only the general is objective ; then particulars are subjective. Man exists, indeed, independent of my private thought and will, but men exist only as I think and will them ! But the object without subject is unreal, a pure abstraction. A pure abstraction is a nullity ; then existence can be predicated of nullity. This equals Hegel's assertion of the identity in the last analysis of das Seyn and das Nicht-seyn, of to be and not to be, being and non-being. This cannot be said. Consequently, if the objective is a pure abstraction, the truth that is said to be objective is no objective reality at all. Then all reality is subjective, — which is simply Kantism as developed by Fichte, that is, pure auto-theism. By resolving the object, which, we must remember, is Christ, God Incarnate, into the general, and denying it to be authoritative, or the measure of truth and right, till it " takes concrete form in the life of the world, which resolves itself at last into the thinking and willing of single minds," he makes God himself dependent on the thinking and willing of these minds for his reality, his very being, and implies that if it were not for them there would be no God. He thus denies God, or, what is the same thing, resolves him into infinite void, mere abstract possibility, seeking to become plenum,' full, or real in the life of the world, — pure Buddhism. But abstract possibility, infinite void, is a nullity, and can do nothing, neither create the world nor realize itself in its life. Then there is no world, and if there is no world, and God is a nullity, nothing is or exists, — pure nullism, or nihilism, to which, we have shown over and over again, all Protestantism, whatever its form, has an invincible tendency.
The Reviewer, we doubt not, intends to be a true Christian believer, and fails to see that these consequences follow necessarily from his principles ; but he must permit us to suggest that he is misled by modern philosophy, which teaches that God is real being only in that he is creator, and actually creates ad extra, as well as by his Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone, which he wishes to be able to understand in a real inward sense, not in a purely forensic sense, as is the case with Protestants generally. He misconceives the language of St. Paul (Heb. xi. l),"Est fides sperandarum subslantia re-rum," and interprets it to mean, not that faith is the substance of things hoped for, that is, beatitude, because in the order of their acquisition it is their inchoation, or beginning, as the principles of a science are said, and very properly, to be its substance, because that from which all in the science follows, but that it substantiates them, renders them real, or gives them substance, in the sense in which the word is taken in the category of substance. But this is absurd. The Apostle declares faith to be " the substance of things hoped for," sperandarum sub-stantia rerum, not of things already possessed ; yet, as faith is possessed by the believer, if it were their substantiality, they would be things already possessed, and not things hoped for. What is hoped for by the Christian is beatitude, that is, the possession of God as the Supreme Good. To say that our faith is the substance of this, or gives to it its substance, is to say, either that our faith is God, or that it makes God, creates the Sovereign Good ; neither of which can be said. We applaud the Reviewer for his wish to get rid of the Protestant doctrine of forensic justification, which is only a sham justification, and no real justification at all; but we cannot applaud him for attempting to do it, either by asserting for us beatitude in this life, or by assuming that we are, or that we make, our own final cause.
Following modern philosophy, which teaches that God is real only in that he is creator, the Reviewer can assert that God lives, is living God, only by asserting that he lives in the life of the world, that is, as he explains it, " in the thinking and willing of single minds." His system seems to us to be based on the supposition, that God comes to reality only in the life of the universe, and that the universe, whether natural or supernatural, is simply the evolution or development, that is, realization, of the abstract potentialities or possibilities of the Divine nature. The two orders completed are the realized or completed God. Thus he says, " The new creation grows forth actually from the mystery of Christ's person, being from first to last the evolution or development simply of the capabilities, relations, and powers treasured up in him from the beginning." (July, 1849, p. 316.) If the new, then the old, or there would be no congruity between the two orders, on which the Reviewer so strenuously insists. Hence the significance and sacredness of history. It is God's realization of his own potentiality, in space and time, or his coming to reality. It is, then, the manifested God, and whoso censures it is a blasphemer. Assuming that it starts from the Incarnation, either as preparatory to it or as realizing it, and flows on since the Incarnation, under the forms of the Roman Church, down to the sixteenth century, and thence on through the Reformers and the central life of Protestant nations down to our times, he condemns as unhistorical, and as real blasphemers of God, all who denounce the Catholic Church prior to the Reformers, and also all who defend it since. Such seems to us to be the Reviewer's theory, and our readers will see at once that it is, substantially, the very theory we refuted in our critical examination, last year, of Mr. Win. H. Channing's Discourse on The Christian Church and Social Reform. It is decidedly pantheistic, at best nothing but an imperfect reproduction of the old Oriental doctrine of emanation, which teaches that the universe is evolved from God, or flows forth from him, not as the effect from the cause, but as the stream from the fountain.
The error, under a theological point of view, lies in making faith the substantiality, or substantialization, of the things hoped for, instead of their first principle in the order of attainment ; and, under a philosophical point of view, in conceiving God, primarily, not as Ens reale, or real being, but as Ens MI genere, or mere abstract possibility. If our Mercersburg friend had understood clearly that divine truth, or the faith as object, however much it may, by being believed, impart to the believer, is itself, as Divine reality, always the same, whether believed or unbelieved, and that God is absolutely real, most pure act in himself, as real, and as complete, without the universe as with it, and that, while it is absolutely dependent on him, he in no sense depends on it, he would have seen that his doctrine, that the truth as objective must at the same time be subjective in order to be real, is the grossest absurdity, to use a mild term, into which the human mind can fall.
Will the Reviewer reply, that we misunderstand his language, and hold him responsible for principles which he repudiates ? It is barely possible. It is barely possible that he does not intend to deny the reality of truth, considered in itself, when unbelieved, but merely that it is real as a fact of our life, that is, real to us. This would seem to follow from his assertion, that " faith does not create truth," and that " the existence of truth is objective." Much that he says is easily explained, and easily explained only, on the supposition that all he means to assert is, that truth, when not believed, though not a pure abstraction considered in itself, is a pure abstraction in regard to our actual life, and, as to us, is as if it were not. But this is only saying, in other words, that the truth when unbelieved is not believed, and when separate from us is not united to us. We cannot persuade ourselves that so able and learned a man could have supposed it necessary to assert, much less to go into an elaborate argument to prove, so obvious a truism. His labor, on this supposition, at least so far as Catholics are concerned, would have been "much ado about nothing." That the truth is not real as a fact of our life when not believed ; that in the act of believing, the creditive subject and credible object are, in some way, brought into direct contact, and the assent in the last instance is immediate ; that, in believing, the mind takes hold of the object, appropriates it, is united to it as the true, in like manner as in charity it is united to it as the good; and that,
in believing and appropriating it, the mind is active, not passive,
are facts that we have never expressly or by implication denied,
or dreamed of denying. Besides, we are unable to reconcile
this view of the Reviewer's meaning with his theory of devel
opment and of history, which is undeniably pantheistic ; with
his assertion, that faith is the primitive form in which Divine
truth comes to its proper revelation among men, that the rela
tion between faith and truth is that between form and its con
tents, and that the truth is no doctrine received by believers,
but a fact uttered or expressed by them ; with his denial of
Christianity as a supernatural revelation of truth, or doctrine,
extrinsically propoundable to the mind ; or, in fine, with his
censure of us for allowing the human mind no activity in elabo
rating Christianity, in forming what we are to believe, and in con
stituting or enacting the law we are to obey. These all imply
something more than the simple truism we have pointed out, if
the Reviewer were, as he is not, a man to deal in mere truisms.
" The theory of Mr. Brownson," he says, "requires us to as
sume that in the highest form of religion, that which is reached
in Christianity, the human mind ceases to be directly active in
the accomplishment of that which is brought to pass in its fa
vor The difficulty is, that no activity is allowed it in the
realization of Christianity itself." (Jan., 1850, p. 5G.) He objects that, according to us, "Christianity is taken to be of force for the world only under an abstract form ; an outwardly supernatural revelation, transcending the whole order of our common life, and not needing nor allowing the activity of man himself, as an intelligent and free subject, to be the medium of its presence and power." (Ibid., p. 57.) " Certainly the theory before us is ready to say, the law must be obeyed freely, by the option and choice of the obeying subject; but this requires no autonomy of the subject in the constitution of the law, no voice in its legislation ; all the case demands or allows is, that, on grounds wholly extrinsic to its constitution, the subject be rationally persuaded that obedience is wise and right." (Ibid., pp. 58, 59.) There is here a confusion of thought, a vagueness of expression, that perplexes us ; but it is clear, that, whatever be the writer's precise meaning, he certainly means this much, that man ought to have a hand in forming the truth believed, and a voice in constituting the law he is to obey. " Freedom is more, a great deal, than any such outward consent to the authority of law. It is life in the law [that is, activity in constituting it], the very form in which it comes to its revelation in the moral world. Place law as an objective force on the outside of the intelligence and will of those who are to be its subjects, and at once you convert it into an abstract nothing. This is the natural extreme of Romanism." (Ibid.) It would seem to be evident enough from this, that the Reviewer means literally that the truth as objective must at the same time be subjective in order to be in any sense real, and that, when he says the object without subject is a pure abstraction, he means that it is an abstraction in every sense, not merely an abstraction as to our subjective life. This follows from the two fundamental assumptions on which his whole theory rests, namely, that Christ always affirms or authenticates hrmself from within, and always under a human form. Thus he says, — " The relation between perception and object is of the most inward and necessary character. It is the relation which holds between contents and form. Faith is the form in which Divine truth comes to its proper revelation among men." (May, 1849, p. 208.) Faith is subjective, for the Reviewer calls it sometimes an original capacity of our nature, and sometimes u an inward form or habit" of the soul. The contents, without form, are simply the materia informis of the Schoolmen, mere potential existence; consequently truth becomes materia formata, or real existence, only by virtue of the formative power of faith, that is, of the subject. This proves clearly that the Reviewer holds the truth, when not believed, when not formed by the human mind, to be in fact a pure abstraction, a simple abstract possibility ; for it is the form that gives reality, or renders the possible actual. Consequently, the author's theory must be what we have supposed it, and lead, as we have shown, to null-ism. It is the object that gives the form or species, and to contend that it is the subject is simply making man, if creation is supposed, the creator, and God the creature, — that is, man makes God, and not God man !
The Reviewer seems to us, not only to confound natural and supernatural, running the one alternately into the other, but to overlook the distinction between first cause and final cause, and to forget that God alone is both first cause and final cause of all things. The universe presents us two cycles, — the one the procession of existences by way of creation, not emanation, from God as first cause ; and the other, the return of existences, without absorption in him, to God as their final cause, or ultimate end. God has made all things for himself; that is, as first cause he makes all things for himself as final cause ; that is, again, he makes all things as creator for himself as the Summum Bonum., or Sovereign Good. In the first cycle, whether in the new creation or the old, the supernatural order or the natural, God alone is active ; for he creates all things out of nothing by himself alone, by the sole word of his power, and the assumption of human nature by the second person of the ever-adorable Trinity forms no exception, because the Incarnation is remedial, and the share or merit of the human nature of Christ as an instrument in our redemption is due solely to the gratia unionis, or grace of union, as it is called, which is God himself. To claim for man or for any creature any activity, direct or indirect, in this first cycle, either in the procession of nature or in the procession of grace, would be to convert the creature into creator, — if not at once formally to supplant God, at least, to give him a rival, companion, or assistant, which is little better, and in the last analysis comes to the same thing. Hence all creatures owe their entire existence to God, and to God alone ; and hence, too, in the new creation, we can do absolutely nothing towards our salvation without Divine grace moving and assisting us. The Reviewer sins against this truth, when he censures us for excluding human activity from all share in forming, developing, or realizing Christianity as the new creature, and contends that the new creation subsists only in a human form, and has reality only in our intelligence and will.
In the second cycle, or return of existences, God stands as the terminus ad queni, as in the first cycle or procession of existences he stands as the terminus a quo. Nullity can no more be final cause than it can be first cause, and the creature can no more be or create the one than the other ; for the final cause must, logically speaking, precede in the mind of the creator the act of creation. The intellect must present the end before the will can command it, for the will, taken distinctly, is a blind faculty, and cannot act in reference to an end not apprehended, and an end that is not, cannot be apprehended. God is in himself the Sovereign Good, and therefore eternally the Sovereign Good in itself; therefore the Sovereign Good is no creature, no creation; and to suppose it a creature would deny God as creator, by denying to him the Sovereign Good for which to create. The first cause and the final are then both incieate, eternal, self-subsisting, and self-sufficing. In regard to the production of either, the creature has and can have no activity. The lie-viewer sins against this undeniable truth, when he censures us for allowing man no autonomy, no right, collectively or individually, to be governed only by his own will, no voice in constituting the law to which he is to be subject. Nothing can be worse than this, for it supposes the law is created, and in part at least by man himself. But this cannot be. The law is not created at all; it is eternal, and, as a rule, has its seat, not in the creative will of God as such, not precisely in God regarded as first cause, but in God as final cause, that is, in God as the Sovereign Good, and is promulgated and enforced by God as Supreme Ruler, because he always rules as he creates, in accordance with and for himself as the Sovereign Good. The law is not only eternal, but immutable, and God himself cannot change it; for he cannot change his own immutable nature which is it. To suppose God creates it, is to suppose that he creates himself ; to suppose that man creates it, is to suppose that man creates God ; and to assert man's autonomy, or right to be governed only by his own will, is to deny that he is under law, or bound at all to seek God as the Sovereign Good. Does the Reviewer maintain that we are not morally bound to seek God as our ultimate end ? Does he deny all morality, and assert that man is free to live as he lists ? Is he an Antinomian ? We cannot believe it. Then God is himself man's law, and then man is morally bound to will what God wills, that is, to love what God loves, that is to say, God himself, as Supreme Good, and has no right to will or to love as his ultimate end any thing else. How, then, pretend that man is his own legislator, his own lawgiver ? As well might you say, man is his own maker, that man is God, nay, that man is God's maker. No laws that are not transcripts of the Divine law, the eternal and immutable law, which is God himself, have any of the essential characteristics of law.
It follows from this, that, as God is both our first cause and our final cause, he is also our law, and therefore in regard to our origin, our end, and the law by which we proceed from God, and by which we are to return to him, we have no voice, no will, no activity. All here is either God himself, or the work of his infinite, eternal, and immutable goodness and love. To claim activity in regard to our origin is the fundamental error of Pelagianism,— to claim it in regard either to our end or to the law is at once Pelagianism and Antinomianism, — and in both cases is to fall into that sin of pride for which the angels lost their first estate, and our first parents were expelled from paradise. The Reviewer, we fear, has suffered himself to be seduced by the flattering words of the serpent, " Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil," and, in the unconscious pride of his heart, refuses to obey a law which comes to him from God, or one which he has had no voice in enacting.
This premised, it follows that the activity of the creature, whether we speak of the natural order or the supernatural, is confined to the second cycle of the universe, of the cosmos, and all its rightful activity consists in seeking, according to the law, and by the means and conditions imposed, or granted, by the Divinity, to return, without absorption in him, to union with God as Ultimate End or Supreme Good. All creatures in their several degrees, and according to their respective natures, tend, mediately or immediately, to this end, the rational immediately, the irrational mediately in the rational, for the irrational is for the rational creation. Hence to man is given full dominion under God over the lower world, and he may lawfully appropriate it to his use. The rational creation is subject in its return to a moral law, and therefore must return voluntarily, from choice, that is, love. Here in this second cycle of creation, its return to God as Ultimate End, or Supreme Good, is the sole sphere of man's activity, and it consists in voluntary obedience to the law of God, in concurring or cooperating with the Divine grace moving and assisting him to fulfil it, that is, to return to his union with God as his Supreme Good, and as the Supreme Good in itself.
Christianity, in its largest sense, is the entire supernatural order, the supernatural cosmos, or new creation, and supposes God as its creator and end, therefore the first cause, the final cause, and the law of the Christian. But it presupposes the natural or primitive order, according to the well-known maxim, gratia prwsupponit naturam. It is not nature, is not necessary to complete nature, as nature, but it is for nature, a new creation in its favor, proceeding from the superintelligible and ineffable love and goodness of God, as infinitely transcending the love and goodness in nature, and therefore apprehensible only as it is supernaturally revealed, and even then only as a mystery, that is, only as truth or reality intrinsically in-evident, and only extrinsicaUy evident to us ; that is, again,
evident to us only through the medium of God as the intelligible, distinguishable as to us from God as superintelli-gible, but who in himself is indisiinguishably both. Hence the Reviewer's objection, that the natural and supernatural, if constituting two distinct spheres, can never coalesce or come to real inward union, unless he understands by union identity, has no foundation, for they are linked together in the unity of God and the simplicity of the Divine act regarded in its terminus a quo. The natural creation proceeds from the essence of God, for in God there is no distinction between essence and being, but it does not, so to speak, exhaust or reveal that infinite essence. In other words, in the natural order God is not as to his essence evident per se, though the fact that he is and creates is thus evident. As the intelligible has its root in the superintelligible, so God can, as superintelligible, extrinsically evidence to it, and through it, what he is as to his infinite essence. The medium is adequate thus far, because, ex parte Dei, the intelligible and the superintelligible are identical, and because on our part, in receiving the revelation of God as the intelligible, we receive also the certification of the fact that he is also, as to us, superintelligible, that he must be in his essence infinitely more than appears to us, or that he infinitely surpasses our comprehension, as we assert in asserting, as we do by natural reason, his incomprehensibility. Hence all Christians assert that the possibility of a supernatural revelation, and therefore of a supernatural order or new creation, is provable by the light of nature ; that it is possible for God, if he has created such an order, to reveal the fact, and the character, the laws, elements, contents, demands, of that order to us, as an object of faith ; and also that it is possible for the revelation to be so accredited as his, that we shall be bound in reason to believe it.
The Reviewer, we presume, is not prepared precisely to deny this, for he professes to believe in Divine revelation ; but he denies that the revelation is any doctrine or report concerning God, holds that God is himself his own revelation, asserts that his revelation is his mere self-exhibition, and that faith is simply the expression by the believer of what is immediately apprehended of him. Hence he denies that the Christian revelation is any thing that can be proposed to the believer. But this, if he examines it, he will see is the denial of Divine revelation, and of the new creation itself. He makes, as we have seen, Christ, that is, God himself, not the author of the new creation, but the new creation itself. This is what we showed in the outset. Consequently, he admits no supernatural created order, and hence we have found him resolving the supernatural into the natural. If there is no created supernatural order, then no such order can be revealed, and then no revelation of supernatural truth can be made or propounded for our belief. But Christ is the new creation no more than he is the primitive creation, and if he is declared to be identically the one, then he must be the other, which is pure pantheism, into which we have already seen the Reviewer's system logically resolves itself. He starts with a false assumption, that Christ is the new creation, and that the new creation consists precisely in his assumption of human nature. Christ is God, and is the new creation, as he is the old, only mediante actu creativo, only in that he creates it; and though it is nothing without him, he is all without it that he is with it. Either there is a new creation or there is not ; either there is a supernatural order, or there is not. If there is not, it is idle to talk about Christianity, for its very existence is denied. If there is, although we can know by the revelation of God to us as the intel-gible, that is, by the light of natural reason, that a new creation is possible, yet that there is a new creation in fact, and if so, what it is, we can know only as God himself supernaturally informs us. Clearly, then, there are matters — namely, the things hoped for, and the means and conditions of attaining them — distinguishable from God, if we suppose the fact of a new creation, and matters which are not revealed by the simple self-exhibition of God, for God is a free creator, and his act ad extra is always a free act, an act of the Divine free will, and therefore they are contained in him only as the effect is contained in the cause, not as the consequence is contained in the principle, since this last would make him necessary cause, and thus assert pantheism. He must, in order to reveal them to us, reveal himself, or, in the language preferred by the Reviewer, exhibit himself as their first cause and their final cause, which implies a specific or formal revelation of them. If, then, the Reviewer does not elect to insist on the pantheism, and therefore the nullism, which he asserts, without being aware, we presume, that he does assert it, and if he does not choose to deny the fact of the Christian order altogether, he must admit the supernatural order as a created order, a new creation, as distinct, as such, from God as is the natural creation itself; and then he must concede the possibility and need of a supernatural revelation of what it is, and of what God himself is as its first and last cause. Then he must retract his reasoning against us, and concede that Christianity is supernatural truth supernaturally revealed to us, and by its very revelation propounded ab extra to us as an object of faith.
But even restricting the new creation, as the Reviewer improperly does, to the fact of the incarnation or assumption of our nature by the Word, this conclusion must still be conceded. This fact takes place in time, — is a fact, therefore, distinguishable from God himself; it is also a fact quite out of the order of nature, and therefore in itself above our natural intelligence. That it is a fact can be known to us only as it is supernaturally revealed. The simple exhibition by the Word of himself in the world, is not the authentication of himself as God having assumed human nature, for by simply beholding Jesus, men did not know, and could not know, that he was God, as is evident of itself, and also from the answer of our Lord to Peter. Peter confessed him to be "•Christ, the Son of the living God" ; and Jesus answered, Beatus es Simon Bar-Jona : quia euro et sanguis non rcvelavit tibi, sed Pater meits, qui in ccdisest. (St. Matt. xvi. 17.) What Peter immediately believed was not that the person before him was Christ the Son of the living God, but God himself revealing and asserting it, and asserting it ab extra, too, as distinguished from Peter's own thought and will. Otherwise it would not have been true that flesh and blood did not reveal it to him. Doubtless it was revealed by immediate inspiration, but inspiration is not earspiration, — is a breathing in from without, not a breathing out from within. In no way could Peter, or could any of the disciples, know that Christ was God, the " Word made flesh," but through a supernatural revelation of the fact, — by God himself supernaturally proposing the fact to their minds, and infallibly assuring them that he who thus proposes it is God. If we must say this of those who were inspired to reveal truth, then a fortiori of those who were not so inspired.
But passing by those whom our Lord personally instructed through the medium of speech, or whom he chose to instruct by direct and immediate inspiration, what are we to say of those who were to believe in him through their word ? Non pro eis aulem rogo tantum, sed et pro eis qui credituri sunt per verbum eorum in me. (St. John xvii. 20.) How were these to believe Christ through the word of his Apostles, if there is no Christian truth to be extrinsically propounded and accredited? Certain it is some have not believed, certain it is that some are not believers, and certain it is, also, that all who are believers have once been unbelievers. Do believers believe nothing ? Is there, or is there not, supernatural truth revealed by God, which all are commanded to believe ? There must be, according to the Reviewer's own doctrine, that the assumption by the Word of our nature is a new, therefore a supernatural, creation. How is this fact to be believed by those who are not believers, if it is not propounded or proposed to them ? u Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How, then, shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? And how shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard ? And how shall they hear without a preacher ? And how can they preach unless they be sent? Faith, then, cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ," — ergo fides ex uuditU) auditus per verbum Christi. (Rom. x. 13-17.) These are St. Paul's words, not ours ; and if the Reviewer refuses to yield to their authority as Divine inspiration, we trust it will not be too much to ask him either to yield to their logic or to refute it.
Indeed, the Reviewer is, after all, unable to avoid contradicting himself, and asserting, even while denying, the Christian order as something to be extrinsically propounded for belief. His Review itself is established as the organ of the so-called Mercersburg system of theology, and it is certainly intended to propound, propagate, and defend that system, — a system which he, at least, it is fair to suppose, identifies with Christian truth. What is he doing in writing against us, but attempting to prove that our doctrine is not Christian doctrine, and that his is ? Are we rash in supposing that he holds that he has a revealed truth of some sort, which we do not accept, but which he wishes to induce us to accept ? Or shall we say that he regards the matters involved in the controversy between us, not as revealed truths, but as mere human opinions? We cannot do him the wrong to adopt this latter supposition. He must, then, assume that he has some revealed truth which we have not, and which he is really proposing to us, in an outward way, and thus is doing the very thing which he contends cannot be done.
The Reviewer, in fact, asserts, in principle, the very things which, in his reasoning against us, he so severely censures. Discussing the Rule of Faith (July, 1849, p. 371), he says, •— " Taking these facts together, and summing up their import, we shall find that the Christian religion lays down the combined testimony of the Word and the Church, past, present, and to come, to all fundamental articles and essential ordinances as the only rule of faith. To these all men are bound, on pain of eternal exclusion from all the privileges and blessings of the Church, here and hereafter, to yield hearty faith and support; and, with reference to all things not so defined by them, all men are left to the upright exercise of their own judgment, enlightened by a faithful use of all the means of knowledge within their reach." We do not accept this as a correct statement of the rule of faith, but it contains every principle objected to in us, and is, if it is any rule at all, as stringent as any thing we have contended for. it is outward, for the Word and the Church are external to the believer, and it is authoritative, for it defines what is or is not a fundamental article, or an essential ordinance, and allows private judgment only in the matters not defined. What more does the Catholic contend for ?
But, asserting the authority of the Church to define what are fundamental articles and essential ordinances, and leaving the individual free only in matters not defined, and binding him even there by the moral law, it is plain the Reviewer fails to obtain a solution of the problem with which he starts ; that is, to reconcile liberty and authority. Indeed, he seems to be fully aware of this fact. Thus he says, —" To preserve due harmony between freedom and authority is an exceedingly difficult problem in any sphere. But it seems to be more so in the Church than in the family and the state. That She, holy and catholic, is possessed of Divine authority, which cannot be resisted without sin, admits of no question; that this authority may be grossly abused to the destruction of individual liberty, is also clear. That the individual has rights to be sacredly respected, and may exercise his private judgment in stout resistance to the abuse of power, we are not disposed to deny ; but, on the other hand, the lawless setting up of particular private judgment in defiance of the universal Church is manifestly schismatic and sectarian." (September, 1849, p. 515.)
It is clear from this, that the Reviewer conceives liberty and authority only as opposed one to the other, and, consequently, has not been able to dissolve and recombine them in a new and higher principle. Aside from this, the extract we have just made is something of a curiosity in its way, and has evidently proceeded from a frank, honest-hearted man. The writer asserts not only the authority, but the Divine authority, of the Church, in the strongest and most unqualified terms. If That she, holy and catholic, is possessed of Divine authority, which cannot be resisted without sin, admits of no question." That is positive and universal, and corresponds to what our Lord said, —• " He that heareth you, heareth me ; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me ; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me." (St. Luke x. 16.) " That this authority may be grossly abused to the destruction of individual liberty is also clear." But, with the Reviewer's leave, that cannot be. The authority is Divine, and we do not understand how Divine authority, that is, God's authority, can be abused. If, as the Reviewer asserts, the Church possesses Divine authority, it is God who teaches and commands in and through her. How is it possible, then, for her to abuse her authority ? His word is pledged that she shall not abuse it, and can you have a better guaranty than that? Can God's word fail? Can God abuse his authority ? To assert that the authority of the Church is Divine, is to assert that it cannot be abused by her, — is to offer the highest guaranty the individual can possibly have, that his rights will be sacredly respected ; for he has no rights but those which God has given him, and God never contradicts himself. We are vehemently inclined to believe that our rights have far more security in the justice and love of God, than they have, or can have, in our own private judgment ; and we do not find it very humiliating to acknowledge that we are far more likely to have the truth when we rely on the judgment of God than when we rely on our own. No ; it will not do, after you have conceded that the Church possesses Divine authority, which cannot be resisted without sin, to contend that she can abuse her authority. You must either deny her Divine authority, or concede that for her to abuse her authority is impossible.
The objection on which the Reviewer seems to place his principal reliance is, that, if we conceive the supernatural as wholly out of the sphere of the natural, no authority can mediate it, and bring the two into real union. The objection is specious, but will not bear examination ; for it implies that a supernatural revelation of supernatural truth is impossible, which we have already shown is not true, in showing that the intelligible and superintelligible in God are identical, and that, in knowing God as the intelligible, we know, not, indeed, what he is as superintelligible, but that he is superintelligible, that is, infinitely above, in his essence, both our comprehension and our apprehension. That the supernatural cannot be so evidenced to the natural, that the natural shall apprehend or believe it supernaturally, we concede; but that it cannot be so evidenced as to be apprehended, or believed, with what is called human faith, as distinguished from Divine faith, we deny, for reasons just assigned. To apprehend the supernatural as supernatural, or to believe it with supernatural faith, ex parte subjecti, the subject must, no doubt, be supernaturally elevated, by the donumjidei) or gift of faith, which places the creditive subject, as to the form of his act, on the plane of the credible object. But, if this be so, the Reviewer asks, in substance, why faith cannot be elicited without, as well as with, the authority of the Church propounding the object ? We answer, — 1. Because the act of faith is not elicited or elicitable without the credible object, and the gift of faith does not propose the credible object ; it only prepares, by supernaturally elevating it, the natural creditive subject to believe it supernaturally when it is proposed. 2. Because the authority of the Church proposing, though extrinsic in part to the material object of faith, is yet included, integrally, in the credible object, as the formal object of faith, and must, therefore, itself be believed in believing it. And, 3. Because gratia prccsupponit naturam, and though the act of faith demands more than natural reason to be elicited, it yet cannot be elicited without natural reason, and therefore not without such authority as is in se satisfactory to natural reason. The will can do nothing in the work of sanctification without grace, and yet grace does nothing without the concurrence of the will ; and hence we address to the will the motives naturally fitted to move it. It is the same with reason as intellect. It can do nothing in the order of supernatural faith without the appropriate grace ; but as the grace, in turn, does nothing without the intellect, we address to intellect the motives naturally fitted to convince it. Without such motives, motives proper to convince reason as reason, the grace of faith would supersede reason, the supernatural would dispense with the natural, and faith would be no reasonable act, but mere Illuminism or Enthusiasm, and piety mere fanaticism. If the Reviewer had penetrated a little deeper into the principle of his objection, he would have seen that he was really objecting to our doctrine, not that it does, as he asserts, but that it does not, " supersede the natural order of the world, and contradict it, from age to age, to the end of time."
But the Reviewer contends, further, that if we demand for eliciting faith infallible authority, infallibly accredited to reason, we make faith a conclusion of logic, and fall into Rationalism. This objection seems to us to be urged without due consideration. Rationalism is not the assertion of the legitimacy or sufficiency of reason in its proper sphere, but the assertion of the sufficiency of reason in all spheres, and the denial of the necessity and the fact of grace. Rationalism is developed Pelagianism. We do not assert it, for we deny the sufficiency of reason without grace, and acknowledge its sufficiency only when it acts from grace, and in concurrence with it. To call this Rationalism or Pelagianism is to fall into the opposite heresy of Calvinism, which denies all exercise of reason, and loses the natural, as Pelagianism loses the supernatural; or which, in losing the natural, loses also the supernatural, — decidedly the more destructive heresy of the two. The only way of avoiding both extremes, and of reconciling faith and reason, authority and liberty, is to accept the maxim of our theologians, that grace presupposes nature, and therefore, in effecting our faith and sanctity, while reason does, and can do, nothing without grace moving, elevating, and assisting it, grace itself does nothing, save in concurrence with reason, that is, reason as both intellect and will. It is singular enough that the Reviewer should object in us to the very principle he himself needs, is striving after, and actually condemns us for not holding !
If the Reviewer clearly apprehended the principle expressed in the maxim, Grace presupposes nature, of which he catches now and then a faint glimmer through the darkness of his Calvinistic mysticism, and which, not understanding much of Catholic theology, he supposes we deny, he would see that the problem, which he contends needs a higher than the Catholic principle for its solution, is solved by this very Catholic principle itself, and can be effectually solved only in the Catholic Church, for she alone, at the same time that she is the medium of the grace, presents the motives of credibility satisfactory to reason. Out of the Church you can have only reason without faith, or faith without reason. Thus the whole Protestant world alternates eternally, as every one knows, between Pelagianism and Calvinism, Rationalism and Illuminism, Fanaticism and Impiety, Despotism and Licentiousness. The Reviewer, in principle, does the same. When he objects that we, in placing the supernatural above the sphere of natural reason, deny natural reason itself and wrong the individual mind, and when, in opposition, he asserts faith as a natural capacity, and that we are naturally able to apprehend immediately the supernatural, he assumes and maintains the radical principle of Rationalism, or Pelagianism. When, on the other hand, he objects that faith in the supernatural, elicited on a supernatural authority, accredited by motives satisfactory or convincing to natural reason, Divine grace moving and assisting the reason to elicit it, is nationalism, he asserts the radical principle of Calvinistic Uluminism, or, as it is now called, Evangelicalism, and on the Continent of Europe, ordinarily, Methodism; and, to be consistent, he must assert irresistible grace, and, if he does not choose to be a Universalist, particular unconditional election and reprobation, — mere vulgar Calvinism, which, as the Reviewer must be aware, is the denial of the natural, of reason and will, and the assertion of man's absolute passivity in conversion and sanctification ; thus making justification purely forensic, and giving the one justified a carle blanche to live as he lists after justification, with absolute impunity. Here are the two extremes, Calvinism and Rationalism, not Rationalism and Catholicity, as the Reviewer erroneously alleges, for Catholicity saves both terms, the natural and the supernatural, by the principle, gratia jrrcesupponit naluram.
The Reviewer, notwithstanding the many grievous errors which flow logically from his principles, has done well in protesting against sham, and in demanding reality. He also has really some dim and indistinct view of the principle he needs in order to solve his problem ; but he misapprehends that principle, as we ourselves did before knowing Catholic theology. He seeks this principle in the mystery of the Incarnation. Unquestionably, the Incarnation has given to the world the principle of a higher life than the life of the natural order, whether sensible or intelligible ; but it has not, properly speaking, inserted a new principle into the constitution of human nature as such. The Reviewer misapprehends this sacred mystery. It was not the introduction into human nature of any principle that it had not from the first. The "Word was made flesh," not in the sense that God was converted into man, or that man assumed God, but in the sense that the Divine nature assumed the human. Strictly speaking, God did not enter into human nature in a new sense, or in any sense in which he was not always in it ; he simply took human nature up to himself ; but they remained each secwidum rationem suam as distinct after the assumption as they were before. There was in the Incarnation no conversion or transformation of nature, whether human or Divine ; there was no intermingling or confusion of the two natures ; for there remained and remain for ever in Christ two distinct natures, two natural operations, and two natural wills in one person. To deny this, is to fall into the Eutychian and Monothelite heresies, which the Reviewer's school, both at home and abroad, we are sorry to add, seem to us strongly inclined to revive. Indeed, these heresies underlie not a few of the errors of our age.
It is also a great mistake to suppose, as the Reviewer does, that our Lord came to complete the natural, or as the complement of human nature in its own order ; for the human nature our Lord assumed was not incomplete ; it was perfect human nature, since he is perfect God and perfect man, and the human nature he assumed was man's nature as it was before, as well as since, the Incarnation. He came not as the complement of the natural as natural, otherwise the Christian order would not be an order of grace, or a new creation ; but he came as the complement of the supernatural, to complete the order of grace, instituted as early as man's fall, — to consummate the realities promised to our first parents and to the patriarchs, and which were prefigured in the institutions of the old law, so that life might be had, and had more abundantly ; that is, he came to make real the life hitherto held only by promise, and to render grace more easy and abundant. That grace is more abundant, and its means facilitated and multiplied, under the new law is most true ; but this does not imply the creation of a new principle in our nature, for the ens supernaturale is given us only in patria, and grace remains always a habitus, or an auxilium, enabling us to do what without it we could not do, but continuing always distinguishable from our nature, changing the form of its activity, indeed, but never transforming the nature itself; for it may be resisted by the will and wholly lost, and our nature remain physically what it was before. The inamissibility of grace is a heresy ; but if grace transformed our nature it would be ina-missible, without the destruction of our nature itself. As in the Incarnation there is no conversion, mixture, or confusion of the two natures, so is there no intermingling or interfusion of nature and grace, in such sense as to form a new nature ; and hence what we do in grace, it is not we that do it, but the grace that is in us ; and therefore it is that our acts performed from grace, by its aid, and in concurrence with it, are estimated, not by the nature which is assisted, but by the grace that assists, and rewarded accordingly, for, in rewarding us, as St. Austin says, God simply crowns his own gifts. Overlooking this fact, the Reviewer loses his new principle by converting it into a natural principle, and regarding it, not as a supernatural habit or aid, but as a mere completion of the original sketch or design of man's natural constitution?
The Reviewer also misconceives the real character of our Lord's intimate presence and immanence in the new creation. Certainly, the Christian, as such, is inseparable from Christ, and we most firmly hold, as Catholic doctrine, that Christ must be in us as well as out of us ; for we can do nothing, absolutely nothing, without him, as he himself says, "Without me, ye can do nothing." But Christ is both the first cause and the final cause of the new creation. As first cause he is in us, creating in us the power to believe and love him as final cause, or to believe what he teaches and to do what he commands, and to believe and do it for his sake. It is the same Christ who is in us that is out of us, and before us ; but the same Christ in diverse respects, as God as Creator of the universe is considered in a diverse respect from God as its final cause, or the end for which he creates it. In the former, he is the first cause of all things ; in the latter, he is the final cause, or end, of all things. The distinction is valid quoad nos, for to us there is necessarily a distinction between God as loving, and God as the object he loves. Christ as final cause, or end, is before us, not as an end gained, but as an end to be gained ; and as first cause he is in vis, moving us to him as before us, and assisting us to reach him. Thus it is not only he whom we believe, but it is he by whom and for whom we believe. Thus the act of faith is defined to be credere DeO) credere Deum, credere in Deum. In charity, it is Christ by whom we love, whom we love, and for whom we love. All this we certainly hold, and have clearly expressed or implied, whenever we have had any occasion to touch the subject, and if the Reviewer means this, and only this, he has unwittingly opposed to us our own doctrine.
But this is not the doctrine the Reviewer advances, although it is undoubtedly the truth he is striving after, and of which he catches, now and then, a dim and confused view. He evidently gives the Incarnation a pantheistic interpretation, and none of his objections to us are pertinent, if he simply understands our Lord to be in us, but distinct from us, — in us, not as a new principle in our natural constitution, but simply by his gracious operations. He is present in every Christian, personally present, present and immanent in his substance, in his Divine essence, but only as he is present and immanent in the natural order, that is, mediante his creative act. His presence and immanence in human nature, in any stricter sense, implies an identity of the human and Divine, which cannot for a moment be conceded in the supernatural any more than in the natural order.
We are united to him as first cause of grace in us, and through grace, as its final cause ; but we are not made one with him in the sense of identity with him, nor are we deificated. As led by the Holy Ghost, we are truly sons of God, but sons by adoption, not natural sons of God, as is Christ our Lord, who is not only the first, but the only, begotten Son of God.
The Reviewer's theory of history has so often been discussed in our pages, that we have no occasion to discuss it again, and as applicable to Christian doctrine, we disposed of it in our reviews of Mr. Newman's Essay, and replies to The Dublin Re-vieiv. The theory, even as contained in Mr. Newman's Essay, is pantheistic, and flows from the assumption that man cooperates with God in the work of creation, or rather, that creation itself is an emanation from God, a development, evolution, or realization of God. We cannot concede this, nor are we prepared to pronounce all history sacred and divine. We do not believe in the modern historical optimism, whether propounded in the dry abstractions of Hegel, or the brilliant eloquence of Cousin and our friend the Reviewer. We believe there is sin in the world, and that history records crimes, events which have not been approved of by God, and which are no indications of what he wills men should believe and do. We shall not do truth or common sense the gross dishonor of supposing it necessary to prove this. The Reviewer thinks that we are very unhistorical, and ridiculous even, in not seeing the hand of God in Protestantism, and in venturing to regard it as the work of the Devil. " Unless we choose," he says, " to give up all faith in history as the revelation of God's mind and will, we must bow before this great fact of three hundred years with earnest reverence, and admit that it has a meaning for the kingdom of God in some way worthy of its vast proportions." (Jan., 1850, p. 44.) That God will overrule the Protestant movement for good, and cause it to redound to the glory of his Spouse, the Ionian Catholic Church, whom he loves, and whom he hath purchased with his own blood, we do not doubt; but that Protestantism has any thing good in itself, even the Reviewer cannot seriously expect us to believe, for he immediately adds, — " Suppose the worst even, in the case, that Protestantism is destined to prove a failure, still it would be in the highest degree unphilosophical and irrational to deny its significance, at least in this point of view, as the medium of transition for the Church to a better and brighter state, that could not have been reached without such a period of inward contradiction going before." A sensible man, having much inward respect for Protestantism, would hardly allow us to make a supposition so much to its discredit. Are the works of God destined to prove failures ? And are we to suppose that God's Church needs mending, or that, if it does, he cannot mend it without taking it to pieces, and leaving the whole world for thvee hundred years and more without any Church, without any religion, without law or order, without faith, without hope, without charity, to worry and devour one another as dogs, — to live like swine, and die like beasts ? How know we that God did not make his Church perfect at first? Certainly, if the principles we have established in the course of this article deserve any consideration, man is no church-builder, or church-reformer, and his proper sphere of activity lies in believing what God's Church teaches, and in doing what she commands, and the only development that can be asserted is growth in the understanding and appropriation of the truth, and in the practice of Christian perfection, by single minds and wills, or individual believers. It is ours to perfect ourselves by the Church, not to perfect her by us.
Then, as to the magnitude of Protestantism, we are not much impressed by it. We have had too near a view of it for it to loom up very large in our eyes. It is far inferior in the magnitude of its results to the sin of our first parents ; it is not so great an event as the lapse of nearly the whole ancient world into idolatry ; it is not greater than Brahminism, than Buddhism, or than Arianism, and it dwindles into insignificance before Mahometanism, — all manifestly of the Devil. Why, then, not Protestantism also ? Wherefore pronounce them the work of the Devil, and it, on account of its magnitude alone, the work of God ? Protestantism is nothing but what it is in individual minds and hearts, and we see nothing unphilosophical or irrational, taking into the account the depravity of human nature, or men's proneness to evil, in supposing that so considerable a number of persons as there are Protestants should fall into error and sin, leave God to follow their own foolish pride, vicious appetites and propensities, corrupt passions and sentiments. Its influence on modern civilization has not been such as to command our respect. It has everywhere been deleterious, tending to draw oft' the mind and heart from God, to fix the affections on the low and transitory, the material and the sensual, to corrupt morals, to dry up the springs of spiritual life, and to prepare the way for the return to barbarism. Whatever advance modern civilization has made, has been made in spite of it, by virtue of principles and influences drawn from Catholicity. Indeed, the most severe condemnation of Protestantism is to assert the necessity of divinizing all history in order to be able to divinize it, or to take it out of the category of the works of our great Enemy.
There are some other points of minor importance, as made by the Reviewer, on which we would comment if our space permitted, and we were not already fatigued ; but we have said enough, if it is understood, to prove that the Reviewer has not made out his case, has not established a theory that meets the difficulties he acknowledges ; and we are therefore entitled to conclude our Church against him. In what we have said, we have aimed to treat him with respect, and we certainly do respect him as a man, a scholar, and a writer. He is nearer the truth in his spirit than in his words ; he has generous impulses towards something better than vulgar Protestantism, and we trust in God that he will persevere till he finds it. If what we have said, although strongly put, more strongly than may be pleasing to him, enables him to understand better his own doctrine in its relation to ours, and to form a more correct judgment of Catholic theology, we shall have done him and many others no mean service. At any rate, if he choose to rejoin, he will hardly fail to see the points he must make and defend, what he must prove and disprove, in order lo feel that he can have any hope of salvation, without abandoning his theory, not for another of man's concoction, but for the glorious old Catholic Church, which, though assailed continually by the folly of men and the rage of devils, stands firm as ever upon the Rock on which her Lord has founded her.