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an organic disease or of madness. In order to save himself from the abyss, he must have an external point of support. Religion comes to his help; but the religious sentiment comes only by the practice of actions which are in our power, whatever may be our interior conditions."
“There is absolute harmony between psychology and religion. The one leads to the other.”
“ The sensitive or animal life has its sustenance from without the feeling and organised being, which has need of air, warmth, and food in order to exist. Why should it be otherwise with the life of the spirit ?. . . . . The communication of the Spirit of God with our spirit, when we know how to call upon Him and prepare Him a dwelling, is a veritable psychological fact, and not merely a point of faith.”
It is with regret that we are compelled to conclude these extracts; but we trust that we have given enough to send many of our readers to this delightful little volume.
ART. IX. — THE PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC REVOLT
FROM THE MIDDLE-SCHEME OF HENRY VIII. History of England, from the fall of Wolsey to the death of Eliza
beth. By James Anthony Froude, M.A., late Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. Vols. V. and Ví. London: John W. Parker
and Son, 1860. The publication of Mr. Froude's valuable history in successive instalments of volumes, if prejudicial to the formation of a fair and broad estimate of the soundness of his conclusions, has at least this advantage, that it enables his critics to distinguish more clearly the various aspects which the story of the Tudor period may assume when scrutinised from different points of view, and suspends the ultimate judgment on the whole until the criticism has been exhaustive and complete. Although the satisfactory treatment of any peculiar aspect of the history must necessarily carry us, more or less, over the whole area of the work, yet each successive epoch has its own preëminently striking feature, which seems to claim with justice an especial and more immediate attention, and allots to the critic, by a natural law, the shape which his examination should assume. The domestic relations and private character of Henry, with the cognate subjects of the royal succession and the papal supremacy, are thus necessarily pointed out as the centre-pieces of the first stage of Mr. Froude's history; and, nearly as distinctly, the attainders and popular disturbances of the succeeding period point to the characteristics of the civil government of the Tudors as the subject-matter of a second investigation. The ecclesiastical policy of Henry can hardly be estimated properly until we have before us the results of the Protestant and Catholic movements, in advance and retrogression, in the reigns of his two successors; while the period of Elizabeth would seem to give us the practical solution of the problem which Henry set before him in his attempt to combine a religious compromise with a religious penal test. We have yet to wait for the new materials which Mr. Froude may bring us towards a satisfactory judgment on this last point; but we are enabled by his present volumes, taken in connection with much of his former, to anticipate with some confidence what our decision is likely to be, even though it may be somewhat different from that which Mr. Froude intimates to be the result of his own more extended labours.
We should probably start from a serious difference in our estimate of the qualifications of the Tudor princes for becoming the national interpreters and guides in ecclesiastical matters. That the Tudors-taking as their representatives Henry VIII. and Elizabeth — were great civil rulers, we are prepared to. admit and maintain ; that they were equally wise heads of the Church, we are quite as much disposed to question. In the one case, their mental and physical characteristics harmonised in a remarkable manner with the demands of the crisis and the national sentiment. In the other, the peculiarities of the problem which was forced upon them by the course of events were exactly such as to convert the strongest points of their character into serious disqualifications.
That the English ecclesiastical system was in the reign of Henry in a very different condition from the political, will be admitted by every one. True it is, that the transitional character of the age applied to both systems alike; Church and State had both outlived their actual external garb, and required equally to be refashioned in accordance with the requirements and feelings of the times. In both cases the popular mind had passed beyond the confines of earlier formularies, which it found inadequate to give utterance to its unspoken aspirations. But the manner in which this feeling operated in the two cases differed, just as the past history of the one contrasted with that of the other. Questions of constitutional rights had ceased to occupy the foreground in public attention, because, in the increasing distance from the epoch of their agitation, they had quietly fallen into their natural and unconspicuous position in the harmonious retrospect of the landscape. The ecclesiastical horizon, on the other hand, was obscured, and the recognised landmarks of religious belief and clerical authority
had become half obliterated in the anxious eyes of bewildered public opinion, by the noxious exhalations of a foul and stagnant system. In both cases it was the uncertain light of daybreak, in which familiar objects assume a strange and doubtful aspect, and the standards of right and wrong seem to vary and deflect with the changing atmosphere. But, in the one instance, the advancing light, if it gave little assistance on an unexplored road, pointed to errors avoided and dangers already escaped from, and was full of promise of future good fortune; in the other it disclosed only the miseries of the past and the uncertainties of the present.
In relation to this double aspect of State and Church, the Tudors had in the one case only to throw themselves into the position of national leaders, and to work a political machine already prepared to their hands. As administrators, they were, beyond doubt, in their natural position. Keeping their eyes steadily on the currents and fluctuations of popular feeling, they guided the ship so as to avoid meeting the opposing front of the waves, and steered steadily, though with much skilful tacking, to their desired end. But if good seamen, they were bad shipwrights; and when, as in the case of the Church, the timbers were so rotten that the vessel had to be taken to pieces and rebuilt before the new voyage could be undertaken, they laid down the “ship’s lines" with little regard to any thing but their own arbitrary presumptions as to speed and safety, and hoped by the adroitness of their steering to escape from the consequences of their own wilfulness. Their successful and popular government of the English commonwealth was based on a careful observance of forms of law which had become the outward symbols of freedom and prosperity with the people; they forgot that, in the case of the Church, the abuses of the ecclesiastical order, while they had scattered and confused the ideas of faith, had not destroyed them. They were exactly in that undetermined state in which, although they did not present themselves in an aggregate and regularly organised form, they nevertheless required to be consulted and allowed for in their separate and undeveloped existence quite as much as if they were presented in the distinct attitude of a settled and uniform national conviction. But the Tudors, although they respected any usage or prejudice which had succeeded in identifying itself with the unmistakable voice of the whole nation, had little respect for individual convictions or fractional manifestations of opinion. They held themselves to be the natural representatives of the English nation; and where these had a common national faith, as in civil affairs, they accepted it, and acted upon it; but where this did not specifically exist, they could not be satisfied, in their representative capacity, until they had invented one themselves. In constructing such a creed, the Tudors identified themselves so entirely with the nation, that they seemed to think they had only to strike the balance in their own minds between the opposite tendencies of its scattered convictions and wishes, and the nation itself would follow implicitly in the wake of their political logic, and merge its own ideas in a royal formulary of faith. There was indeed, one feature in the Roman-Catholic system which had never been in harmony with the national spirit of England. This was the dependency on Rome, and the exercise of the papal authority within this kingdom. When Henry's private feelings and wishes led him to throw off this yoke, and brave the consequences of an alienation from the papal sheepfold, he was backed and encouraged by the feeling of nearly the whole nation, whatever might be their opinion on the divorce question itself. The ill-feeling against much of the practical organisation of the Roman Catholic Church throughout this country sustained him, again, in many of his more serious measures against monks and ecclesiastical dignitaries. So far the demolition of the Church-system may be said to have been a national movement as well as a royal project. But beyond this point there was no settled and general national feeling; and the Tudors, left to their own strong wills and imperious instincts, without the useful controlling power imposed by their wise respect for a definite national will
, tried to make the English nation believe, disbelieve, and refrain from believing on the single strength of a royal ipse dixit. Nor was this the sole or chief mistake. The Tudors, as efficient administrators, had a strong opinion on the uselessness of laws without penalties for those who infringed them. In State affairs they had little difficulty in carrying with them that out-of-doors support which is essential to the enforcement of penal provisions. Their harshest enactments are to some extent palliated by the fact that they were embodiments of popular sentiment, or at any rate not flagrantly in violation of it. When, however, the royal scheme of religious faith was imposed by the same machinery, the result could hardly fail to be very different. The nation was decidedly anti-Romanist; but the circumstances of the case prevented it from being neutral between Catholicism and Protestantism, so as to be flexible to the king's Middle-Scheme. Protestantism, as a religious creed, was necessarily aggressive in its attitude, and definite and positive in its positions ; to exist at all, it must inevitably dwell upon points of difference rather than of agreement. Compromise at this stage would empty it of its significance, and amount to a virtual suicide.
It assailed, not the mere outworks, but the very citadel of Catholicism, and no surrender of the former only could be accepted as a satisfactory conclusion of the struggle. The questions which had been awakened by this controversy were such, that any dereliction of duty on the part of the leaders of the Protestants would have only led to their agitation passing into the hands of more uncompromising managers. Although Protestantism had not yet achieved the character of a national movement, it had grown so deeply down into the hearts of a considerable section of Englishmen as to defy extirpation at the hands of any one. Its existence had become a political and social necessity, and that existence was based on principles negative of all compromise. English Catholicism was at first more open to that solution. As with most formal adherents of an established faith, individual conviction was, at the commencement of the struggle, rather vague and unformed; and the exaggerated pretensions of the Papal See had opened a door through which a modified Protestantism might have been introduced, without alienating the sympathies or irritating the prejudices of the great majority of English Catholics. But between this and the creed of the avowed Protestants there would be the difference of a negative and a positive system; and though a skilful management might have succeeded in assigning to each its natural and proper place in the ecclesiastical constitution of England, every thing which threw increased emphasis on the more important points of difference between the two Churches had the effect of thinning the numbers of this undecided class, and recruiting either the Catholic or Protestant camp at its expense. It must be evident that if the contest were prolonged, and as the tradition of a settled authoritative faith gradually died out, the nucleus of a middle party would also be destroyed, and the partition of the nation between two great hostile religious camps would be completed. The more decided Catholics, on the other hand, who were fighting pro aris et focis-the partisans of the papal supremacywould lose no opportunity of widening their party by putting in the foreground those doctrines of the Catholic Church which were menaced by the Protestants, and still cherished, through ancestral associations, in the body of the nation, and exaggerating the tendencies of the Protestant movement, so as to prevent any concession, however slight, in that direction. So that we had, in the second place, a class of formal Catholics, whose continued existence as such was incompatible with a prolonged religious struggle, and a defeated but determined body of Papists, in the strict sense of the term, whose only chance lay in prolonging that struggle by exalting non-essential differences into essentials.