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the wise conservatism, which we have already noted, he adds: “No more, indeed, can we absolutely modernize ourselves, repudiate those historical fibres that are not modern, and yet are very Aesh of our flesh and spirit of our spirit. The spirit of the age, the modern spirit, is abstract and untrue when wrested from its organic continuity with the spirit of the ages.”
One is accustomed to find Anglicans maintaining these Catholic doctrines, and their repetition of them by another Anglican would not be a matter worthy of notice. But the significance of their appearance in the volume before us is that its author is not an Anglican; has little sympathy with Anglicanism, as such, and none at all with those who would fain repudiate the designation of Protestant for their Protestant religion. He has no intention of surreptitiously entering the gates of Rome without the pass-word. “I have,” he tells us, “been suckled at the mother-breast of Protestantism. I have a dislike for ecclesiasticism. ..I have no sympathy with the so-called Catholic party in our church. I take it to be a psychological impossibility that I should ever become a Roman Catholic, or an Anglo-Catholic.” That this set aver. sion to Roman Catholicism arises from no vulgar bigotry is evident from the many generous tributes the author pays to the Church, on the head both of her constitution and of her historic services. Whence then does it arise ? To this question there is no direct answer vouchsafed in the book. But one may gather that he conceives Catholicism to be so much an external system, that there is no room whatever for individual liberty; a system in which the visible organization is developed to the suffocation of the invisible Kingdom of Christ. He, we may venture to believe, from some of his remarks, as well as from the general tenor of his ideas, considers that Catholicism makes external conformity to a system of theology, blind submission to a heteronomous authority, the essence of religion and of union with God; the Visible Church is, practically, an end to which the individual is sacrificed, not a means of personal sanctification; the religious life consists chiefly in an intellectual assent to certain theological formulæ, rather than in a conformity of the human to the Divine Will.
. Yet, it need hardly be said that this is an erroneous picture, or rather a caricature, resulting from a wrong point of view, taken by the external observer, who has misapprehended the due proportion of the constituent parts. The outsider, even when he honestly endeavors to gain a true conception of Catholicity, often succeeds only in photographing the dead stones and mortar, while the nature of the life that goes on within escapes him. He sees the external body, which is not without blemish and imperfection; but he remains a stranger to the vivifying soul within. Probably hundreds of earnest Protestants like Professor Sterrett would rub their eyes in wonder were they to find before them the real living Church, as she stands forth in the pages of our apologists-say, for example, of Father Tyrrell. One passage of the eminent Jesuit we might here offer, on the chance that these lines may, perhaps, fall into the hands of some who labor under delusions that are unfortunately too common. It is somewhat long, but to mutilate it were sheer vandalism. After dwelling on the truth that the religious life consists in the union of our will with the Supreme Will, and that every constituent of religion is valuable only so far as it helps to promote this consummation, Father Tyrrell, treating of the Church as a means of grace, says: “In its actual and historical form this communion of saints, this society of God-loving men, is called the Invisi. ble Church, and finds its head and unitive principle in Christ, the simple fulness of whose perfection is analyzed and broken up for our study and help in the various measures of Christ. liness shared by other men, in whom its inexhaustible potentiality is brought to even greater explicitness by its application to an infinite variety of circumstances and conditions. It is to this society, to this many-membered corporate Christ of all times and ages, that we must go to school, in order to perfect ourselves in the art of divine love and to bring our will into more extensive and delicate sympathy with God's, For ‘no man hath seen God at any time,' nakedly and face to face; and vain is the effort of that false neo-platonic mysticism that would seek him by intellectual abstractions, in the very emptiest of our class notions, rather than in the living fulness of his spiritual creations. Only as mirrored in the progressively human soul is he brought within the grasp of human apprehension. 'No man cometh to the Father but by Me' is true in its measure of the mystical and corporate Christ, no less than of the personal Christ, in that sanctified humanity clustered round the cross of Calvary that his goodness is incarnate and revealed to us. Union with God means necessarily and identically union with the whole body of his saints with the choicest flower, the richest fruit of humanity; with those who, like Christ, have gone forth in all ages and peoples as sheep in the midst of wolves, self-sacrificed victims to the cause of God; whose blood, mingled with that of the Eucharistic chalice, wins forgiveness and grace for their destroyers; with those who have sown in tears that others might reap in joy; who have failed a thousand times that others might succeed at last; who have labored hard and long that others might enter quickly into the fruit of their labors, whose deaths are precious in the sight of God, and, in union with that of the Crucified, are daily accepted by him as a pure, holy, and spotless sacrifice of praise."
Such is the Invisible Church, the mystical Christ on earth; what is the relation of the visible society towards it? “Between us and it the Visible Church mediates as a divinely appointed instrument of communication. Every spiritual movement or enthusiasm that unites the hearts of multitudes, and fires their love, tends spontaneously, and by the law of its nature, to fashion some kind of social organization or institution for the furtherance of its own development; and from the first the cause of God's Kingship over souls has been furthered by the instrumentality of a Visible Church, union with which, and submission to which, is enjoined solely as a means, a measure, an expression of voluntary union and spiritual sympathy with the Invisible Church—with Christ and with the best and greatest and most Christ-like souls that have ever lived." Submission to the authority so conceived is no slavish abjuration of personal freedom at the bidding of a hieratic oligarchy, as men frequently fancy. “It is ultimately and only to their purely spiritual authority, to their compelling goodness, that we submit ourselves gladly and freely, when we yield obedience to the lawful rulers of the hierarchic institution, not grudgingly nor of necessity, but as cheerful givers." It is hardly possible that any one realizing this to be the true Roman Catholic conception of the Church could speak of Catholicism as a mechanical, unethical form of Christianity.
Unfortunately for themselves, and for the general interests of Christianity, Protestants still consider that Catholicism is primarily a rigid theological system, plus a tyrannical, highly centralized oligarchy, and only secondarily, if at all, a spiritual life. Intellectual assent to the theological formulæ, and unquestioning submission to the autocracy, is the whole duty of the body of the faithful. The Ecclesia docens is supposed to be in reality the Church; the great body of believers are assigned a rôle of absolute subjection and subserviency which realizes the metaphor of the sheep and the shepherd, with a literalness never intended by Christ.
Only the existence of some such misapprehension as that which we have just touched on can account for the fact that Professor Sterrett, or anybody else who appreciates, so keenly the necessity and the role of authority in Christianity, could turn aside, almost contemptuously, from the only Church in which that principle is realized, to amuse himself with the delusion that there is de jure no “universal, external, corporate form of Christianity," and that the Catholic Church is an aggregation of all Christian churches, sects, denominations, that have any corporate form; that “the Holy Catholic Church is like the universal State, that federation of nations and Parliament of man, to which individual states are subordinate, and which is the world's tribunal to pronounce and execute judginent upon them.” To this one might reply, did not the answer savor of unworthy Aippancy, that the universal State and the Parliament of man exist only, as yet, in the poet's dream; the war drum throbs quite loudly at present, and it will be many a long day before the battle flags are finally furled; and thus the Professor's simile is apposite. If the purpose of this paper were polemical, we might easily formulate from the Professor's tenets a number of problems that would not be easily solved without violence to some of his principles and assertions. He would, for instance, find it difficult to prove that to see in the aggregation of all the various Christian corporations, set against each other on important points of doctrine, that authority which is indispensable to Christianity, is to rest satisfied with an abstract idea, instead of a vital reality. But controversy is not our theme.
A more profitable endeavor would be to diagnose, for the purpose of finding a remedy, the causes of that imperfection of vision, which prevents numbers of Protestants, heart-weary as they are of individualism and the simulacrum of authority presented by their own churches, from seeing the truth. Doubtless many of the causes are subjective, but there are ob. jective clouds, too, that intercept the view. The old stock charges of former times-purgatory, the worship of the Blessed Virgin, the tyranny of the confessional-are, indeed, no longer reiterated by intelligent Protestants. The chief stumbling block to-day, as even a moderate acquaintance with contemporary literature makes clear, is the administrative machinery of the Church. A notable proof of this fact is to be found in an article in last month's North American, written in an irenic spirit, and with large sympathy towards the Church. The writer, Reverend Dr. Briggs, by the way, declares the common Protestant opinion that the Catholic Church is an unreformed church-an opinion shared by Professor Sterrett-to be erroneous. He devotes himself to a consideration of the reforming programme attributed to the present Pope; and discusses the matters in which that zeal will find most scope. And it is here that, incidentally, he evinces how predominately the Curia elicits the repugnance of non-Catholics. In concentrating their non-placet chiefly on this institution, Protestants are but returning to the initial position of those who inaugurated Protestantism. For, as Dr. Briggs remarks, the Reformation sprang less from disagreement on dogmatic subjects, than from the opposition of the Northern nations to the methods and claims of the Roman court relative to temporal affairs and juridical administration.
The Doctor's statements on this point might, with some important qualifications, and in less offensive phraseology, be paralleled from Catholic historians in high esteem. He states that “The princes and peoples who made the Reformation made it, not in the interest of dogma, but in the interest of freedom from the tyranny of Rome, and of the rights of the nations; and hence the immediate result was national religions, State Churches, all over the Protestant world, repudiating the supremacy of Rome. The more serious evils were-just what is evident in Russia to-day-autocracy, bureaucracy, and the intrusion of the Curia in secular affairs.” Evidently, here, Dr. Briggs overlooks one of the most potent causes in the