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G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York. A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature. Compiled by M. Jastrow, Ph. D. Part iv. 779—8777.' London: Trübner & Co., New York. G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 289-384. 1890. $2.00.
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Belief in God. Its Origin, Nature, and Basis. Being the Winkley Lectures of the Andover Theological Seminary for the year 1890. By Jacob Gould Schurman, Sage Professor of Philosophy in Cornell University. Pp. x, 226. 1890.
Thomas Whittaker, New York. The Writers of Genesis, and Related Topics, Illustrating Divine Revelation. By Rev. E. Cowley, D. D., author of “ Bible Growth and Religion,” “God in Creation," and “God Enthroned in Redemption.” Pp. v, 184. 1890. $1.00. — Christ in the New Testament. By Thomas A. Tidball, D. D., Rector of St. Paul's Church, Camden, N.J. With an Introduction by S. D. McConnell, D. D. Pp. vi, 357. 1891. $1.25. — A Handbook of Scientific and Literary Bible Difficulties ; or Facts and Suggestions helpful toward the Solution of Perplexing Things in Sacred Scripture, being a Second Series of the “Handbook of Biblical Difficulties.” Edited by Robert Tuck, B. A. (Lond.), author of “ First Three Kings of Israel," etc., etc. 8vo. Pp. 566. $2.50. — The Makers of Modern English. A Popular Handbook to the Greater Poets of the Century. By W. J. Dawson, author of “ The Threshold of Manhood,” etc., etc. Pp. viii, 375. 1890. $1.75.
Benjamin Griffith, Philadelphia. Stories about Jesus our Lord and Savior : His Wonderful Words and Works. With 389 Pictorial Illustrations. By Rev. C. R. Blackall and Mrs. Emily L. Blackall. Pp. 271. 1890. $1.25.
The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore. Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science. Herbert B. Adams, Editor. Extra volume vii. The Supreme Court of the United States. Its History and Influence in our Constitutional System. By Westeld W. Willoughby. Fellow in History, Johns Hopkins University. Pp. 124, 8vo. 1890. $1.25.
D. Fisk Harris, Harmar, Ohio. Calvinism Contrary to God's Word and Man's Moral Nature. By D. Fisk Harris. Pp. 419. 1890.
Walter Scott, London. “Great Writers." "Edited by Professor Eric S. Robertson, M. A. Life of Arthur Schopenhauer. By W. Wallaoe, Whyte's Professor of Moral Philosophy, Oxford. Pp. 217, Bibliography, x. 1890. 40 cents. For sale by A. Lovell & Co., New York.
T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh. Philosophy and Theology. Being the First Edinburgh University Gifford Lectures. By James Hutchinson Stirling, LL. D. (Edin.), Foreign Member of the Philosophical Society of Berlin, Gifford Lecturer to the University of Edinburgh, 1888–90. Pp. xvi, 407. 1890. $3.75. For sale by Scribner & Welford, New York. - The New Apologetic, or The Down-Grade in Criticism, Theology, and Science. By Professor Robert Watts, D. D., LL. D., Assembly's College, Belfast, author of “The Newer Criticism," etc., etc. Pp. xviii, 358. 1890. $2.25. For sale by Scribner & Welford, New York. — Our Father's Kingdom. Lectures on the Lord's Prayer. By the Rev. Charles B. Ross, M. A., B. D., Presbyterian Church, Lachine, Canada. Pp. 189. 1890. $1.00. For sale by Scribner & Welford, New York. — The Expository Times. Edited by the Rev. J. Hastings, M. A. Vol. 1, October 1889. September, 1890. Pp. vi, 284. 1890. $1.75. For sale by Scribner & Welford, New York.
Librairie Fischbacher, Paris. La Réforme Francaise avant les Guerres Civiles 1512-1559, par M* C. Coignet. Pp. v, 298. 1890. — Le Libre Arbitre. Étude Philosophique par Ernest Naville, Associé Etranger de L'Institut de France. Pp. 338. * 1890.
Little, Brown & Co., Boston. Judaism and Christianity. A Sketch of the Progress of Thought from Old Testament to New Testament. By Crawford Howell Toy, Professor in Harvard University. Pp. xvii, 456. 1890.
A RELIGIOUS AND THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY.
VOL. XV.- FEBRUARY, 1891.– No. LXXXVI.
PAPAL INFALLIBILITY IN THE LIGHT OF HIS
Long before the Vatican Council of 1869–70, the infallible authority of the church had been recognized as the foundation of the Romish system. At that council the foundation was narrowed to the compass of a single intellect and will, and the whole system was made to rest on the infallible authority of the Pope.
According to the definition which was promulgated, the Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra on questions of faith and morals. His unique gift, it is to be observed, subsists under two limitations. First, in order that his utterance should have the stamp of infallibility, he must speak ex cathedra. This means simply that he must speak in his official capacity as head of the church, or with the design to impose his decisions upon the faithful. No farther meaning can properly be attached to the phrase. It indicates nothing about necessary antecedents or concomitants, such as consultation with the body of bishops, or union with any company of advisers, on the part of the Pope. Those who attempt to insert restrictions of this order show either that their brains are somewhat streaked with Gallicanism, or that they consider it necessary to offer some satisfaction to the instinctive hostility of the public against the notion of an irresponsible dictatorship. Their interpretation is plainly forced and unreliable. The decrees of the Vatican Council were distinctly a triumph of Ultramontanism. It was by Ultramontane hands that the decrees were forged. Where, then, should we look for a consistent interpretation, except to the Ultramontane school ? Now, we have
Copyright, 1891, by HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & Co.
yet to be informed that this school has attempted to qualify the papal autocracy by predicating any necessary dependence of the Pope upon the advice of any mortal or body of mortals. On the contrary, we hold that Liberatore is a true exponent of the school, and sets forth the correct formula for its belief when he speaks of the Pope as infallible by himself alone, and the body of bishops as infallible when acting in connection with the Pope as their recognized head, “il Pontefice per sè solo, e il Corpo de' Vescovi aderente al Pontefice, è del tutto infallible.” But this line of evidence is well-nigh a superfluity. The plain import of the language used in the Vatican decrees is, that the Pope, in the prerogative of infallible teaching, occupies in no sense a coordinate position with any authority. He is assigned here an unqualified supremacy, as he is also in the sphere of administration. Consultation with advisers may be the dictate of custom or discretion ; but infallibility, in the light of the authoritative definition, cannot be regarded as in any wise conditioned upon such consultation. Ultramontanism is no longer simply the creed of a party; it is rather, in all its length and breadth, part and parcel of the dogmatic constitution of the Romish Church.
The second limitation — the specification that faith and morals are the proper field of infallibility — is far from being a radical limitation ; in truth, it imposes scarcely any restriction. Faith and morals can be made to cover a very wide territory. Thus, Cardinal Manning informs us that a scientific or philosophical proposition wbich is necessary to guard the faith is virtually itself a matter of faith, and so falls under the infallible decision of the Pope. Now, since the Pope, in virtue of his position as supreme governor, must be left to judge what is necessary to guard the faith, there is absolutely nothing except his own discretion to prevent his manipulating the whole subject of philosophy. He can plaster over the whole philosophic area with his infallible decrees, and no one, under the terms of the constitution, can call him to a halt. As regards morals, who does not know that almost any
1 The language of the definition is as follows : “ The Roman pontiff . . . is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith and morals ; and therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the church.” As regards the discipline and government of the church, the Vatican decrees assert that the Roman pontiff has “supreme power of jurisdiction ;" not “ merely the principal part, but all the fullness of this power."
2 The Vatican Council and its Definitions, 1871.
practical matter has its moral aspect, and may give rise to a moral question ? Observe what so orthodox an expositor as Liberatore remarks on this point. Replying to an objector, he says: “It has been our belief that every institution, whatever it may be, is founded always in a rational principle, and that every rational principle, being directed to a practical end, is for this very reason a rule of conduct, and appertains, therefore, to the sphere of morals.” 1 Thus every institution, every law which a civil government may pass, comes under the infallible inspection of the Pope. The true Catholic, says Liberatore, needs only to know that the Pope has condemned the laws of a country, in order to be assured that those laws are iniquitous and worthy of condemnation.3 According to this, if the Pope should challenge any part of our legislation, — should, for example, bring to a head the priestly assault upon our educational system by declaring it immoral for the sons of the church to pay taxes in support of so-called godless schools, — every faithful and consistent Romanist would be obliged to accept the declaration, and to believe in it as certainly as in the existence of God. In short, we speak with scientific exactness when we say that the existing constitution of the Romish Church, as embodied in the Vatican decrees, makes the Roman pontiff, in point of authority, God upon earth. To appeal to God from any formal decision of the Pope is, in the light of that constitution, a sinful rashness, an affront to the divine ordinance which has made the Pope God's infallible vicegerent, and provided that all questions of faith and morals should be settled at his tribunal. To appeal from the Pope to one's own conscience is a sinful caprice. To be sure, as the Romanist will tell us, one is not to violate his conscience. But then, as against the Pope, no one has a right to keep a conscience of his own, or to harbor a conscientious scruple. To do so argues either dense stupidity or wicked captiousness, just as if any private simpleton were entitled to hold up his light against that of God's one chosen oracle !
Such, by the implication of the Vatican decrees and the comments of distinguished expositors, is the scope of papal infallibility.
In bringing this dogma to the test, there are three lines that may be taken. One who believes in the Bible may assure himself of the falsity of the dogma by the glaring contrast between the Biblical system of belief and the papal system in general. Let him anoint his eyes with all the salve that can be gotten out of Newman's doctrine of dogmatic development, and still the disparity between the two systems will appear to be such that he may well stand aghast before the task of reconciliation. Again, one may bring the dogma to the test of reason. A critic having an open mind to deal with, and wishing to take the short road to a disproof of papal infallibility, could not do better than to select the teaching on the Eucharist which was formulated by the Council of Trent and confirmed and promulgated by the Pope. It can be proved that this teaching involves conclusions which are not so much above reason as flatly contradictory of reason. It can be shown that it involves the conclusion that the part can contain the whole ; 1 that the same corporeal subject can be at the same time at opposite ends of the earth; that consequently the same corporeal subject, as being placed in diverse environments, may undergo at the same instant contrary experiences, may in fact be literally alive and literally dead at one and the same moment.2 The third test which may be applied is the historical. While this is the one that we are to employ, a reference to the others has not been impertinent, as indicating that we are not dependent upon the historical method alone. Suppose that one Pope has not contradicted another in the solemn expression of doctrinal views; this would be no conclusive proof of infallibility. It might be simply a token of agreement in error. The papal teaching might still
1 “Noi finora avevamo creduto che ogni istituzione, quale che siasi, si fonda sempre in un principio razionale ; e che ogni principio razionale, ordinato alla pratica, è per questo stesso regola di costumi, e però appartenente all' ordine morale.” – La Chiesa e Lo Stato, p. 286, 1872.
2 Ibid., p. 367.
1 Thomas Aquinas was of the opinion that Christ himself partook of the consecrated bread, or species of bread, at the Last Supper. The possibility of such partaking no Romanist is at liberty to deny. Now the Trent decrees declare that the body of Christ is entire under any part of the apparent bread, so that the division of the latter does not rob any part of the presence of the entire Christ. Hence it follows that a part of a physical subject may contain the whole of that same subject.
? The possible bi-locality of a saint, while still in the body, seems to have a recognized place in Romish thinking. It has been claimed that in Xavier the possibility became an actuality. The same kind of supposed fact was urged in behalf of Liguori among the grounds of canonization. No Romanist, whatever he may think of the facts in any particular case, ought to deny the possibility of this bi-locality. If the body of Christ is consubstantial with ours, why should not the divine omnipotence, which (according to Romish teaching) makes his body present in many places at once, be able to do the same with the body of any one of us ? This being granted, the conclusion noted above is not to be avoided.