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digkeit der Rückkehr zur Katolischen Kirche, ausschliesslich durch die einigen Eingeständnisse Protestantischer Theologen und Philosophen, dargethan ; von Dr. Julius v. Höninghaus. Aschaffenburg. 1837.' We have not ourselves as yet read this work, but we have seen a very able and interesting review of it in the Dublin Review, which Messrs. Casserly and Sons have done well to republish in their valuable little vol. ume, entitled The Bible Question fairly Tested ; New York, 1844. The author was, we believe, a distinguished Protestant minister of Berlin, but is now a member of the Catholic Church. This work was the result of his inquiries as a Protestant, and, though an able defence of Catholicity, is taken, with the exception of the brief analysis which the author places at the head of each chapter, entirely from Protestant writers. We translate the following brief but interesting notice of the work from the Ami de la Religion, Sept. 2, 1845.
Catholics eminent for their knowledge and penetration comprehended and announced, from the very origin of the Reformation, that the principle of free inquiry, which serves as the foundation of the Protestant edifice, would in its inevitable consequences end in the total denial and ruin of all revealed religion. This truth, which was perceived in the beginning only by the more advanced minds, has at length become manifest to all, and at this moment is a fact evident in the highest degree to minds of the least penetration. To become so, it only needed to leave it to time to bring about the development of the erroneous principle which the schism of the sixteenth century assumed as its point of departure. Often already had Catholic writers, following the footsteps of the immortal author of the Variations, pointed out in the writings or in the situation of the dissident churches a tendency, more or less striking, to an early dissolution; but we own we were scarcely prepared to find a Protestant writer, grave and earnest, weeping in the sorrow of his heart over the anarchy which everywhere afflicts the dispersed and isolated Protestant churches, coming forward to unveil before the Christian world the scandal of these intestine dissensions, and to expose the death with which for the most part they are already struck. Never before has the Reformation been so vigorously attacked as in this work of Höninghaus. He has laid under contribution the most distinguished and best known among Protestant writers. It is their confessions, their declarations, which he extracts and combines in a speaking picture, as it were, that accuse the schism of Luther of the evil it has done to Christian unity, and the deplorable ravages it has made since that fatal epoch. It is deeply interesting to see a partisan of the Reformation, an adept, establishing, clearly demonstrating, from the writings of Protestants themselves, that Protestantism never had the capacity to found a veritable church ; that the evil it has done it is impotent to repair; that it ought never to have abandoned tradition ; that ihe faith taught by the Catholic Church reaches back to apostolic times; that there is no possible salvation but in returning to the Catholic Church, &c.
M. Audin, so honorably known in the religious world by his learned and conscientious researches on Luther and Calvin, crowned with a wellmerited success,
and who seems to have received from heaven the mission and the gift to denude the wounds of Protestantism, and at the same time to apply the remedy, has not contented himself with simply making known to us the remarkable work of Höninghaus by a French edition and translation, but has in some sort identified himself with the author, and so appropriated to himself the subject treated by the German as
to give us a clear and detailed analysis of it. This analysis forms the introduction to the book ; it is a complete summary of its contents, and its perusal will fully initiate the reader into the plan and labors of the author.
The work is comprised in eleven chapters. The author begins by depicting the actual state of Protestantism in the different countries which have embraced the Reformation ; and from this he arrives easily and naturally to the conclusion, that Protestantism does not form à veritable church; that it nowhere offers unity of doctrine ; that it resembles a worm cut up into pieces, each of which moves and writhes so long as there remains something of the original vital impulse, but which gradually loses even that remnant of mutilated life. It is only an aggregation of a multitude of churches of different opinions, with nothing external or internal to unite them in one communion. And, in fact, there can be no union among them, for they everywhere hold different dogmas and principles.
Having, enumerated the divers sects scattered over Europe, the author continues :
“ The population of America is broken up into innumerable religious fractions. Besides the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Calvinists, Baptists, Quak. ers, Swedenborgians, Universalists, Unitarians, Tunkers, &c., there is a multitude of minor sects flowing from these as from their source, and of which each has its own distinct hierarchy. The Catholics alone have been able to avoid these internal divisions.
Protestant missionaries sent among idolatrous nations help effectually to spread disunion. One instructs them in the spirit of the Baptists; another teaches them Methodism; a third makes of them Hernhutters; a fourth, Quakers ; a fifth, Calvinists; a sixth, rigid Lutherans; a seventh makes the souls confided to his care learn by rote the Thirty-nine Articles of Anglicanism, - each acting always in the spirit of his sect.
The doctors of the Protestant churches contradict each other on the most important points of religion (they are Protestant authors only who speak in Höninghaus). Thus, one will declare that original sin is a fundamental article of faith, inseparably connected with doctrines absolutely essential to the very preservation of faith, such as the doctrine of grace, the doctrine of the necessity of works, of revelation, and of redemption ; another will teach that in the progressive spirit of the Evangelical Church the dogma of original sin is left behind, as unsupported by Scripture, and as repugnant to the development of the Christian spirit. The most essential Christian dogmas, such as the Holy Trinity, the Resurrection of the Body, the Last Judgment, the Eternal Pains of Hell,admitted by some, rejected by others.
In the fourth chapter the author proves that the only remedy for the evils to which Protestantism is the prey would be to return to the Catholic system of the infallibility of authority. And, in fact, revelation once admitted, the Bible once received, if in religion you start from a supernatural principle, you must necessarily acknowledge that the Divinity who has deigned to grant us a revelation must take care that its sense be not abandoned to the arbitrary judgment of men. The very enunciation of doctrines which are to remain above the province of reason suffices to preclude the possibility of their being left to the arbitrary interpretation of the human mind. For, if God has really revealed those doctrines as truths indispensable to salvation, their interpretation can belong VOL. III. NO. I.
only to a body of teachers always guided by the assistance of the Holy Ghost. Scripture alone, without an authority which determines their true sense, cannot be a sure and infallible guide, because it is susceptible of as many different interpretations as there are interpreters. In support of this, Höninghaus cites several passages from Protestant authors as positive as any
thing which could be said by Catholic theologians themselves. One of them says, -" The Protestant Church is only a stump, and will ever remain a stump." “We are,” says another, “only a broken link of the Catholic Church.” And again : -" Nothing in the world is more respectable than the decision of a truly æcumenical council. . . . . . If Christ is during every age with his Church, he cannot permit a decision contrary to faith ever to be made in such assemblies. THE WORK OF THE VENERABLE FATHERS ASSEMBLED AT TRENT IS THE CONSECRATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH DRAWN FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURES AND APOSTOLIC TRADITION."
One of the most interesting chapters is the seventh, in which the author gives the history of the Reformation. The curious revelations to which these not suspicious testimonies give a degree of credit wholly irrecusable the better enable us to comprehend the rapidity of the astonishing success which followed the first efforts of the Reformation, to see how the passions of princes and of the people found in it free and full scope for their satisfaction, without experiencing any obstacle. M. Audin willingly enlarges, in his Introduction, on this part of the work. He doubtless felt that these details deal a mortal blow at Protestantism. We cite a few paragraphs, which will enable our readers to judge of the interest which Höninghaus throws over his subject.
“ The historians whom the author analyzes," says M. Audin,“ seem, in reciting the triumphs of the Reformation in Germany, to have had always be. fore their eyes this saying of Luther, — THE GOLDEN RAYS OF our 'Mon.
The goods of the clergy offered to the Electors a rich prey. The secularization of a convent brought them lands, pastures, vineyards, forests, abbatial menses, libraries, tombs, often garnished with precious stones. If you travel over Germany, you are astonished to find in the museums of certain Evangelical princes chasubles intertissued with silk, precious chalices, and golden ciboriums. To become possessors of these treasures, it was necessary only to pronounce these four words, - I believe in Luther. The credo of St. Athanasius gave heaven to the Christians of the time of Arius ; the Wittenbergian credo in the time of Luther gave abbeys to the Saxon Electors.
“ In England the Reformation warred first against the dead. England was the land of tombs, and of tombs covered with precious stones; and the min. ions of Henry the Eighth, says the historian, would have plundered the tomb of the Redeemer, if they had been sure of finding in it a few grains of gilded dust. They began at Canterbury, where two splendid tombs, those of Austin and Thomas à Becket, attracted these birds of prey. Austin had es. tablished Christianity in England ; Thomas à Becket had dared, under the reign of Henry the Second, to resist the king, who strove to oppress the Church. The tombs were plundered. It required eight men to roll to the gates of the temple the two boxes filled with gold and silver taken from the sepulchre of Becket. Austin was suffered to keep his heavenly crown as confessor of Christ, but Thomas à Becket, by the royal order, lost his, and could no longer be invoked as a saint. His name was erased from the calen. dar. The same royal hand, which was shortly after to sign the death-warrant of Thomas More, drew a black line in the prayer-book over the name of Thomas à Becket. Thanks to that blot of ink, no Englishman may any
STRANCES MAKE MORE CONVERTS THAN OUR SERMONS.'
longer say, 'St. Thomas à Becket, pray for me.' After the tombs came the convents. Not a kneeling-stool was left. We read in a document cited by the historian, — Item, handed over to his Majesty four chalices of gold with their four patens, and one golden spoon, the whole weighing one hundred and seventy ounces. Received, Henry, king.' The autograph is in London.
"In Sweden, the Reformation could not fail of success, for the state was bankrupt, and Gustavus Wasa loved money. The king, therefore, says Men. zel, eagerly embraced doctrines which allowed him to appropriate to himself the immense wealth of the clergy. ..... Denmark was subjected to Christiern the Second, an ambitious prince, avaricious, cruel, the cowardly assassin of the patriots whom he feared. He was himself the slave of Duweke, a Flemish girl of base extraction. The mistress of the king had taken a fancy for the doctrines of Luther. Confession was somewhat onerous to this chaste lady. She succeeded easily in conderting her royal lover.'
It must be confessed, that, if Protestantism contented itself with the dry narrative of these apostasies, which too frequently remind us of the question of Judas, What will you give me, and I will deliver him to you? the recital would become a little wearisome ; but by the side of these modern Judases, the author has, in the interest of truth, placed the noble examples of firmness and Christian faith exhibited by the Catholic clergy. The bishops in his narration appear radiant with majesty. They are despoiled, they protest; they are cast into prison, they are silent; they are led to death, they chant their hymns of triumph.
Whilst the power of the new church is consolidating itself in Germany, whilst the Reformation gains numerous partisans in Bohemia, Poland, and Hungary, whilst it finds a powerful support in France in the nobles, whilst in the Low Countries the revolutionary spirit of the people seizes with avidity on this element of revolt, Catholicity receives from a man poor and without science an aid far more efficacious than the victorious arms of the Emperor or the treasures of the New World. Ignatius Loyola was then founding the Company of Jesus. The author here hesitates not to make the most beautiful eulogium of this Company, and cites in proof a long passage from the historian Menzel. Another Protestant says, that “The Order of the Jesuits has unquestionably contributed more than all others to the preservation of the Roman Catholic faith in those countries which had not as yet embraced Protestantism.”
In another chapter the author compares the Protestant institutions with the Catholic, and everywhere assigns the superiority to the latter. He enlarges on Bible societies and Protestant missions. He carries his readers with these missions over the four quarters of the globe, and even to the centre of Oceanica, and makes them see the sterility of their works in contrast with the fruitfulness of the Catholic missions, marching from victory to victory.
Such is this work of Höninghaus, composed of pages selected from Protestant books not heretofore translated into French. In reading them, it is easy to perceive that the dissident writer, while making the defence of our faith, retains somewhat of the old leaven of sectarianism. But if all traces of this kind were effaced from the work, it would be entirely a Catholic book. It is well that at certain turns of thought, at certain epithets, we are reminded that the historian or the theologian does not belong to our communion.
There is, in these two volumes published by M. Audin, a great number of pages very pleasing and attractive. They are marked by a vast erudition ; perhaps they are too erudite, and demand too much application and effort on the part of the reader to be properly appreciated. The anthor has not treated separately each subject which he announces, and given it by aid of his citations a suitable development; but he has preferred to arrange and connect in consecutive order the citations themselves, and to make them form the very groundwork and body of his history. It surely was not to spare himself labor and pains, to attempt to reduce to order, to harmonize, so to speak, the thoughts of so many different authors; to make such a multitude speak on the same subject, and to fetch from so many mouths the same echo of approbation of the Catholic Church. This advantage, so conducive to the triumph of truth, will certainly compensate for the efforts of application certain passages in this book would appear to exact of the reader. However, this work, we are sure, is destined to find its merit acknowledged by all, especially by the serious and reflecting.
2. - A History of Ireland, from its first Settlement to the present Time ;
including a particular Account of its Literature, Music, Architecture, and Natural Resources, with upwards of Two Hundred Biographical Sketches of its most eminent Men; interspersed with a great Number of Irish Melodies, original and selected, arranged for Musical Instruments, and illustrated with many Portraits of celebrated Irishmen, and a series of Architectural Views. By Thomas Mooney, late of the City of Dublin. Boston: By the Author. 1845. 12mo. pp. 1651. The subject of this history is one to which no American should be indifferent. There is not a more remarkable people on the globe than the Irish, and none whose history is more worthy of an attentive and profound study. During several centuries of our era, Ireland was the instructress of the European nations, and, in nearly every age since, her scholars have honorably distinguished themselves, especially in poetry and eloquence. No inconsiderable portion of English literature, if we may be pardoned the bull, is Irish. It suffices to mention the names of Swift, Berkeley, Steele, Goldsmith, Sheridan, and Burke. But to us Ireland is more especially interesting for her misfortunes; the unheard of wrongs which she has for so many ages endured; her firm attachment to the Catholic faith under every privation, and amid every temptation; and her recent patriotic efforts to resume her rank among the nations of the earth. The Irish, wherever scattered abroad, are the enemies of oppression, and the ardent - perhaps too ardent - friends of liberty; and we cannot but hope that the time is not far distant when oppression shall cease in their own native isle, and Tara's harp be restrung, and Tara's halls once more resound with the songs of national freedom. We, as a people, have a warm sympathy with Ireland. We remember her generous sympathy with us in our own struggle for independence ; that she has furnished a large portion of our own population, and no inconsiderable number of those we delight to honor; and through all our borders ascends the fervent prayer for her deliverance.
Of the merits of Mr. Mooney's work we are but imperfectly qualified to speak. The late day at which we received a copy has not given us time to read it with the care requisite to enable us to pronounce a final