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precisely their need of studying Catholic theology more thoroughly in its relations to human reason and the secular order-a study they could hardly prosecute under what are facetiously termed “the Gallican liberties ;" that is, liberties of the governmant to enslave the Church. No man who has learned Catholic theology as Catholic instead of national, who has learned that the Church represents on earth the spiritual order, and has the freedom and courage to maintain that the spiritual is superior to the temporal, is, in fact, the end for which the temporal exists, and therefore that which prescribes to the temporal its law, can ever be at a loss to understand or to know how to meet Protestantism the moment he sees it, whatever the particular phase it may exhibit. Protestantism is not and never was any thing but a series of negations, and all the advantage it has ever had or ever will have over Catholics is precisely in their ignorance of the real or intrinsic relation of the Catholic doctrine or doctrines it denies to the whole body of Catholic truth.
Protestantism, the author himself sces, is simply revived paganism ; but what he does not see is, that the State in all European nations has always been pagan, and never in its principle or constitution been truly Christian. The American constitution may be very imperfect, may be destined to a speedy end ; but it is the first and only instance in history of a political constitution based on Christian principles; that is, on the recognition of the independence of religion and the supremacy of the spiritual order. It recognises, in our modern phrase, the inalienable rights of man as its basis : but what the American statesman calls the rights of man are, in reality, the rights of God, which every human authority must hold sacred and inviolable. We pretend not that the American people or American statesmen fully understand or adhere practically to the American constitution, or that they ever will till they become Catholics and understand, as comparatively few Catholics even now do, the principles of their Church in their political and social applications. Nevertheless, the constitution is based on the independence and supremacy of the spiritual order, which the secular order must always and everywhere recognise, respect, and defend. This is in direct contradiction of the principle of the pagan republic, which asserts the independence and supremacy of the State alike in temporals and spirituals.
But this pagan principle of the supremacy of the State has always been the basis of the European public law, and the Church, though she has always maintained the contrary, has always been held in the civil jurisprudence to have only the rights accorded her by the civil government. This has always been the doctrine alike of the civil law and the common law courts, always rigidly enforced by the French parliaments and not seldom yielded by courtly prelates, afraid, asin England, of the statute of præmunire. There have been individual sovereigns who personally understood and yielded the Church her rights; but their lawyers never recognised them save as grants or concessions by the prince. Hence the interminable quarrel of the legists and the canonists, and the sad spectacle of the bishops of a nation not seldom deserting almost in a body the Supreme Pontiff in his deadly struggle with their civil tyrants in defence of their own rights, and the freedom and independence of the spiritual order. Hence, too, we see Italian statesmen, while pretending to acknowledge and confirm religious liberty, confiscating the goods of the Church, and prescribing in the name of the State, the conditions on which the bishops of the Church will be permitted to exercise their pastoral functions. Hence it is, also, that we have seen pious and devout Catholics dcfend the revolution and preach political atheism in one breath, and the most rigid orthodoxy in another.
With all due deference to M. l'Abbé Martin, we must think that what is wanting in the Catholic populations of old Catholic countries in order to resist the Protestant propaganda, is not so much a better knowledge of Protestantism, as a more thorough knowledge of their own faith, and of Catholic principles themselves, in relation to one another and to the secular order-a knowledge which has been hindered, and to a great extent prevented, by the paganism of the State, which has disabled the Church from freely and fully giving it. Happily, the European governments, by ceasing to be protectors of the Church, have in great measure lost the power, if not to afflict and persecute, at least to enslave her. The bishops, with only here and there an exception, no longer take the side of Cæsar against Peter, and see that their interests and those of the Church can be saved only by the strictest union with and submission to the Supreme Pastor, the Vicar of Christ. The Supreme Pastor himself, without consulting earthly potentates or conferring with flesh and blood, has pronounced in his Encyclical and Syllabus, a rigorous judgment on political atheism and paganism in modern society, and set forth the Catholic principles in which the faithful need to be instructed in order to resist the Protestant propaganda, supported by rationalism and the revolution. He has asserted the independence and freedom of the Church in convoking by his own authority, almost in defiance of the secular powers, an æcumenical council, to be held in his own palace of the Vatican, in which the universal Church, aided by the Holy Ghost, will, we presume, deliberate and pronounce upon the errors of the times, and indicate the means of arresting the evils that now so grievously afflict society, both spiritual and secular. Hereafter, we may hope, the faithful, cost what it may, will be more thoroughly instructed as to the relations of the two powers, and of faith to reason and civil society, so that an end will be put to the progress in Catholic nations of Protestantism, rationalism, and political atheism.
The Abbé Martin succeeds better in describing Protestantism as it is, and in setting forth the danger it threatens, than in pointing out the remedy to be applied by Catholics, or in assigning the causes of the defects he finds, or thinks he finds, among them. He does not see that these defects, in so far as general, are almost wholly due to the Pagan constitution of the State, which has survived the downfall of Pagan Rome, and to the fact, that the Church has never yet in the Old World had her full freedom and independence, but has always been more or less restrained in her action by the jealousy or hostility of the State. The lack of individual energy and self-reliance of Catholics in asserting and defending the rights of the Church, which the Abbé deplores, has its origin in the restraint imposed by the civil authority on the freedom of the Church.
Catholics,” he says, “relying on authority, full of confidence in its unfailing promises, are quite ready to think that it is enough for them to preserve the faith in their hearts, and to perform its works, while the defence and preservation of the Church is the care of Providence. This sentiment, very com-, mendable, no doubt, is yet, when not joined to a masculine energy which counts no sacrifices, if needed, in sustaining the work of God, only an enervating sloth. Catholics-may I say it ?-need the activity of individual forces, not, indeed, of that excessive individualism which, puffed up by pride, drives the Protestant over the dark waves of doubt, but that Christian individualism which, accepting by conviction the compass of authority, knows how to employ all its personal forces in its service. This individualism, Protestants reproach us with lacking ; let us prove to them the contrary, and show that individual action is quite as powerful and far more productive, when it is well balanced, measured, and subjected to wise rules, as when it wanders without law or discipline, and acts only under the varying impulses of free inquiry. It is, moreover, necessary to enter into this way; for the time has come for Catholics to understand that they can henceforth nowhere on earth count on any support but from God and themselves.”(Pp. 175, 176).
The author adds that Catholics, not only nominal but even many practical Catholics, lack the individual energy that “springs from profound faith—the faith which goes to the marrow—and enters even the centre of the soul, and radiates from it in earnest convictions over all religious practices, over the entire life, giving to them their true sense and to it the right direction and end. Protestants accuse our Church of materialism in her worship.
“The charge is false when applied to the Church and her worship, but is only too true when applied to her members. Hence the painful inconsistencies in their conduct. They are Catholics in the Church, Catholics in essential religious practices, sometimes even in works of supererogation, but are elsewhere and in other matters hardly Christians. The petit devotion is sterile ; manly, robust piety alone is productive, and it is it alone that we must labour to diffuse. We should seek to make it enter into souls and become fused with their very substance. Catholic worship is the most admirable vehicle of the spirit of life; but souls must comprehend it, and be instructed to draw the spirit of life from it.”—(Pp. 176, 177).
There is, no doubt, truth in this, and with but too many Catholics their religion is little more in practice than a lifeless form ; but this, so far as due to the clergy, is due rather to their want of earnestness and zeal, which the author says they do not lack, than to their ignorance of contemporary Protestantism. We pay little heed to the reproaches of Protestants, more likely to mislead than to instruct Catholics; but we are quite willing to concede that in old Catholic nations there may be a want among Catholics of the sort of individual energy defined and demanded by the author; but, in the first place, we are disposed to think that his long study of Protestantism, which is based on individualism, and his observation of the part played by what Protestants call personal religion, have led him to overrate the importance of this outward individual zeal and energy in the Church; and in the second place, he seems not to have sufficiently considered that they can hardly be looked for in a community accustomed for ages to rely on the civil power to look out for the defence of the Church, and for her protection against heretics and heresies. In such communities the free action of the Church has been crippled by the attempt of the State to do her work and only bungling it, and in which no call for personal effort in preserving and defending the Church externally has been made on Catholics as individuals. The evil results naturally from the condition in which Catholics must be found when abandoned by the Government that had hitherto saved them from all necessity of any personal activity in their own defence against external enemies. It can be only temporary, if the Church is left henceforth free by the Government to appeal to the individual faith, love, and exertions of the faithful under her direction.
There is, no doubt, much tepidity, formalism, and momentary imbecility in the face of the enemy in old Catholic populations; for not the just nor the elect only are members of the Church; but abandoned or opposed as the Church now is by the governments, and thrown back as she is everywhere upon her own resources as a spiritual kingdom, forced to be even in old Catholic nations once more a missionary Church in everything except in outward form, and obliged to appeal directly to the faithful individually, there can hardly fail to be developed in Catholics the personal qualities which the author thinks they do not now possess.
The need of a robust and manly piety to struggle with the world and the enemies of the Church will very soon call it forth, where religion is free and faith is not extinct.
We cannot but think, if the author had experienced the vexations and annoyances that we have from the personal and individual zeal and activity of Protestants of the revival stamp, each one of whom acts as if he were an Atlas and bore the whole weight of the religious world on his individual shoulders, he would much prefer its absence among Catholics to its presence. Not more troublesome were the frogs of Egypt, that came up into the kneading-troughs and the sleepingchambers. It is not easy to describe the sensation of relief a convert from Protestantism feels on coming into the Church and learning that he has now a religion that can sustain him instead of needing him to sustain it. With Protestants, the member bears the sect; with Catholics, the Church bears the member. The Sacraments are effective ex opere operato. We are disposed, moreover, to believe that Catholics best serve. the Catholic cause by each one's doing in his own sphere his own allotted work. The unity of faith, and the unity of the spirit that works alike in all the faithful to will and to do, are sufficient to secure unity of action, and action to one and the same end, and to effect with marvellous rapidity the grandest and most magnificent results. This, we think, is the Catholic method, quiet, peaceable, orderly, and, if less showy and striking than the Protestant method, less noisy and prosy, far more fruitful in results. The Catholic is sustained, the Protestant must sustain.
For our part, we are grateful to the author for his masterly exposition of contemporary Protestantism ; but we hope we may be permitted to say that, while we do not deny the danger with which it threatens the populations of old Catholic