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he seeks advice from the priest. Such advice probably takes the line of leniency. We all remember a distinguished man of letters who, although he openly declared his dissent from doctrinal orthodoxy, was well known as a religious and exemplary man; and probably there are few priests who would wish to exclude a Matthew Arnold from his regular Communions. Nor has it been the fault of the Roman Church to be obtuse in adapting general laws to special circumstances. If Father Tyrrell's letter had contained no more than the advice that under the conditions the professor would do well to attend the Sacraments, we hardly think that his advice would have been blamed. But Father Tyrrell acted like a judge who states the reasons for his decision, nor would any other course have satisfied the conscientious person who consulted him. He gave reasons for his advice, which were based on the nature of religion and the relation to it of theology and dogma. The essence of Christianity is not the profession of a formula but the living of a life; and that, the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is manifested in faith and hope and love. Because man is a rational being, therefore he is constrained to express the ground of this religion in rational form, and those who excel in this endeavour are theologians. Further, because this

. religion is purposed to be that not only of individuals but of mankind, therefore to live and understand it there must be a society or Church; and in this Church there must be authority to decide what is or is not the proper expression of the divine reality. At the same time, no Church that actually exists perfectly embodies the ideal of the Church ; for every existent Church has shewn itself limited in scope and contaminated with ungodliness. Again, necessary and useful as theologians are, they have the failing of their class, and often mistake the logical statement of dogma for the preservation of the spirit of holiness. And the language in which they express the truth is perforce human language, and therefore never adequate to the expression of divine things, and always liable to modification as men grow in the knowledge of God and as words shift their meanings. Therefore, as the professor continues to aim at a holy life, to recognize in our Lord the supreme example of it, to realize that in communion with Him he may best seek after holiness, and that the Sacraments are at least helps to this end, he is advised not to abandon the Sacraments because he is unable to accept some of the language which theologians use about them.

We have tried to express Father Tyrrell's thoughts in our own words, partly from considerations of space, but still more because we think it possible that his fluency of language, most attractive to an English reader, has caused some misapprehension on the part of foreign critics and judges. Many of his works have been translated into French and Italian, but it is notorious that translators often fail to catch the delicacies of an author. Assuming that our endeavour to represent his mind has been successful, as it has certainly not been indolent, we will venture to assert that there is nothing in Father Tyrrell's argument which is open to serious dissent. He is charged with pragmatism ; but if we apprehend that philosophy it maintains that, while truth is unknowable, whatever works for good is as good as truth to us. What has this theory in common with the assertion that our knowledge of truth is progressive, and that the language in which we express our knowledge is imperfect and liable to modification ? Missionaries to Greenland are said to have been disconcerted because they found that the scriptural language about hell fire produced a very different effect upon the inhabitants of that frozen soil from that which the sacred writers had intended to convey. What can be better than a great fire ? they asked, and what could be wiser than to steal and lie, if in that way we can make sure of a perpetual blaze ? The teachers had to change their symbolism, and speak of the punishment of sin as perpetual frost. It is conceivable, though it may be infinitely improbable, that in certain circumstances it would be misleading to describe the relation between the First and Second Persons of the Holy Trinity by the human symbol of generation. Again, mediaeval theologians used political symbolism to describe the supremacy of God, which is unmeaning or misleading to

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those whose conceptions have been formed in a republic. At the same time, we remember, and we do not take Father Tyrrell to deny, that old symbols are not to be lightly discarded, because they bind us to past ages in a common confession as well as in a common faith. To those who ask, Can we not, with our new philosophy, revise our old formulas ? Dr. Gore answers well, 'Can you suggest any other or better terms to express the same things, or is it the case that it is not the terms but the fundamental mind that you want altered ?'

Father Tyrrell certainly does not propose to alter the old faith, nor does he suggest any new formula ; only, remembering how difficulties about doctrines are often found to be difficulties about terms after all, he bids his friend remember that words are but approximately true, so that more Christian faith may survive under his verbal scepticism than he perceives.

With Biblical criticism Father Tyrrell has small concern. The constant references to the Gospels in his beautiful devotional passages forbid us to imagine that he shares the views of M. Loisy. Not that he supposes that Christianity was given to the world as a rounded and determined system in the first century.

Rather, it was given as a germ destined to expand ; and the proper nidus for its expansion is the Catholic Church. To that term he naturally attaches a narrower meaning than our own. Like other candid Roman Catholics he freely admits the defects of the Roman Church and the merits of those who are separated from her. The great size of the Roman Communion is, no doubt, impressive, and in the days of St. Irenaeus Rome was so emphatically the centre of the world that Christians from all regions naturally flocked to her to check their own conceptions by the consent of all the faithful. But Rome is no longer, in other than religious matters, regarded by anybody as central: no one looks to her for guidance in politics or morals or art or science. Only in

1 The New Theology and the Old Religion (London: John Murray, 1907), p. 190. VOL. LXVIII. -NO. CXXXV.


matters of religion does any man continue to look to Rome, and that to a Rome which becomes ever more ignorant of that which is not under her sway. It is much to be regretted that Anglicans should be so ignorant of the thoughts of their Roman brethren; but they are hardly so ignorant as the Belgian prelate is of the English people when he asserts that 'somewhere about 1895 a bishop who had rebuked an incumbent for preaching against the Divinity of Christ was notoriously disavowed by his archbishop.'1 Whoever taught him this silly libel, a very slight acquaintance with facts would have saved him from believing it.

Of Father Tyrrell's expulsion from the Society of Jesus we have nothing to say. That is a private society, and its rulers have as full a right to dismiss any member who is not to their mind as the master of a house has to dismiss a servant who does not satisfy him. But the Catholic Church is no man's house, but the house of the Living God, and from it no child of God can be rightly expelled unless by unbelief or grievous sin he has fallen away from God. Not for immorality, not on any definite charge of heresy, has George Tyrrell been expelled from the Communion which he has loved so well and served so splendidly, but because he has refused slavish obedience to an authority which has turned itself into a tyranny.

Of a third person who is regarded as a leader of Modernism we shall say less. Don Romolo Murri represents those who maintain that the discipline of the Church is cum moderna, ut aiunt, conscientia componendum, quae

Tyrrell, Medievalism, p. 102. The reference is to Cardinal Mercier's Lenten Pastoral, 1908 (Ibid. p. 208). The actual words of the Pastoral are • Il me souvient d'un ministre anglican qui, vers l'année 1895, se convertit au catholicisme. Loyal de caractère, il enseignait à ses paroissiens, telle qu'il la croyait la divinité de Jésus-Christ. Un confrère, pasteur d'une paroisse voisine, la niait devant ses ouailles. La population pieuse, en émoi, demandait la solution du conflit. L'évêque, chef des deux paroisses, était fidèle au Christ-Dieu, mais il était notoire que son archevêque le désavouait.' However this extraordinary statement is interpreted, Father Tyrrell reminds His Eminence that “Anyone with an elementary knowledge of the English Church and of the character and views of the archbishops of the last thirty years, would know that such a story is a tissue of the wildest improbabilities.'


tota ad democratiam vergit. Under Leo he was in favour,

. and, as secretary to Cardinal Agliardi, he became known as the writer of a book called Battaglie d'Oggi, in which he called attention to the degraded and ignorant condition of the Italian Church, and advocated what he called a 'new Guelf policy': the Church was to take a side against a selfish middle class and lead the people to independence and prosperity. He founded the Democrazia Cristiana, which in some respects resembles the English Christian Social Union, but without the sobriety which Maurice and Westcott recommended to that society. As regards doctrine, Don Murri has emphatically dissociated himself from the Modernists, and the only ground on which he is confused with them is that, in political and social matters, he claims for the individual the right to think for himself. For this crime he has been suspended from the ministry, but not, at first, excommunicated. We shall not examine his case in detail, partly because it would be difficult to make it intelligible to those who do not live in Italy, partly because we own it does not interest us. But, although we take less interest in him than in the two priests of whom we have spoken, we should not be surprised if in Italy his influence proves more practically important than theirs. There are not many people in that country who have read the Bible and care what M. Loisy says about the criticism of it; nor are there many who seek for deeper conceptions of religion than the formal obedience to rules and external devotions, so that few will care to listen to Father Tyrrell. But everybody is concerned in politics, and religion itself has been degraded into a political matter; and Don Murri has the ear of a considerable number of the younger men. Of late there have been signs of fusion between the Christian Democrats and the Socialists, who have hitherto been ranked as Atheists. There may be promise in this, but there is much to cause anxiety.

1 Since these words were written Don Murri has been elected as a Christian-democrat deputy to the new Italian Parliament. Perhaps for the first time the Socialist paper Avanti has printed, in one of his addresses, an appeal to what is common to Socialism and the Gospel.

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