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been appropriately given to Christian ethics, as they do not immediately regard God; but we are not disposed to be overfastidious in this respect, especially as it serves to mark the sublime character of the science. Our friends of the bar are highly eloquent when they undertake to describe the excellence of the law, of which, borrowing the words of Hooker, they say, “Her seat is the bosom of God.” Of the common law they speak in raptures, as most comprehensive, there being no such thing as casus non prævisus, à case for which adequate provision is not found in it. Of course we bow assent, but at the same time we assert the superior claims of the moral science. The law, technically so called, determines only the external relations of society, — binds to acts of duty, enforces external rights, and punishes transgression. Its sanctions are human and earthly, and limited to time. Our science is eminently celestial in her origin, comprehensive in her application, and her sanctions are divine and eternal. The law, in whatever sense it may be said to be derived from the eternal rule of righteousness, does not always harmonize with it, or enforce its dictates. In consequence of its general character, it often fails in individual instances, and, by a tenacious adherence to rule, it leaves wrong without redress, and right unsupported. Its application depends much on momentary influences brought to bear on the judges; and generally it cannot be effectually applied to some whose station seems privileged. Christian ethics are essentially based on right and justice, and in no case are controlled by technicalities to the prejudice of equity. The science presents general principles which admit of no deviation ; but the circumstances of particular cases may cause a combination of principles which will necessarily result in the triumph of right. She literally and absolutely comprehends all cases, - all the actions of men of every class from the beginning to the end of time, the rich and poor, the noble and the lowly, the learned and the ignorant, are bound by her authority. She admits no privileged caste, no individual exemption. The monarch is subject to her rule equally as the poorest slave. Where the law fails by reason of the imperfection of its language, or the secrecy of the crime, or other cause, ethics review the act, censure it, affix the penalty, and put the seal of the Sovereign Judge to the sentence. The prejudices of society and many local influences often interfere with the administration of justice, but have no control over the Christian moralist. Las Casas, in the court of Spain, condemned op

pression; Soto, in her schools, repeated the eternal principles of justice, as Aquinas, ages before, had expounded them. The rule of Christian ethics is not self-interest, which corrupts the judgment, or public opinion, which establishes a superficial and false morality. No individual, however exalted, no majority of votes, however overwhelming, can change a particle of this code, which admits neither of repeal nor of modification. It survives the overthrow of dynasties; it loses nothing by revolutions; it pervades all forms of society, and claims dominion over the children of the forest, the barbarian, and the savage. Where 'no herald proclaims the mandates of this daughter of the Eternal, she whispers them to the conscience of the lonely wanderer; where no officer of justice enforces her laws, she punishes transgression by the sting of remorse and the anticipations of future woe.

We have, no doubt, wearied the patience and wounded the sensibilities of many of our readers ; but the importance of making known the true character of Catholic morality must plead our apology. Deceive ourselves as we may, “God is not mocked.” Christian ethics do not consist in fine phrases, addressed to ears polite, in a flowery sermon, or a popular essay ; but they are plain and stern rules of conduct, derived from the eternal and divine law, and governing man in all his most secret actions and thoughts. Others may practise the art of adorning sepulchres which are full of corruption ; but this science explores unsparingly the secret maladies which prey on the moral constitution, and labors for their cure. She is contented with no fruits, however specious to behold, unless the core be sound. Donations for works of charity, zeal to spread the faith, religious exercises practised with assiduity, are not sufficient for her demands. Order must be established within ; the eye of the intention must be purified, that the whole body may be lightsome. It is of no avail that we come up to the standard of public morals, and that our carriage in society be free from censure, and our good works elicit praise. If one vice lurk in the heart, - if one passion be secretly indulged, no matter whether it be lust, avarice, or ambition, if we be selfrighteous, — if our justice surpass not that of the scribes and Pharisees, we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. Those who are serious in the affair of their salvation will not easily complain of the minuteness or indelicacy of Catholic theologians, and will rather feel benefited when they can peruse, in their own language, the most important points of prac

tical duty, such as may be found in the excellent work with an humble title, The Poor Man's Catechism. The rich will be judged by the same standard as the poor man.

The voice of Aatterers will at length cease to delude men into the opinion of their own innocence, merely because they shrink from scrutinizing their guilt ; they will learn to judge themselves, that they may escape condemnation ; and the purity, beauty, and perfection of the Christian character will appear, not in affected delicacy or ignorance, but in the deep, solid, and uniform sense of duty, displayed in the secrecy of domestic life no less than in the public walks of society.

Art. II. - The Shortest Way to end Disputes about Religion.

In two parts. By ROBERT MANNING. Boston: Patrick Donahoe. 1846. 12mo. pp. 296.

We welcome a new American edition of Manning's Shortest Way with much pleasure. It is a work which was originally published in the early part of the reign of George the First, but is as well adapted to the state of religious controversy now as it was then. It is written in a free and easy style, with now and then a pleasant touch of humor. It seizes and states with great truth and distinctness the real questions at issue between us and Protestants, and sustains the positions it assumes with proofs and arguments which must be conclusive to every honest and intelligent mind sincerely bent on ascertaining the one true religion. We can unreservedly commend it to our Protestant readers generally, and, if they will honestly and diligently study it, we are sure they will not fail to be convinced that our blessed Lord has in very deed founded a church with authority to teach, and that this church is the one in communion with the See of Rome.

We regard it as an especial merit of this little work, that it places the controversy between Catholics and Protestants on its true ground, and confines it to the real questions open for discussion between them. The only questions really open for discussion between them are, Has our Lord actually established a church with authority to teach ? and, if so, Is this church the Roman Catholic or some other church? The VOL. III. NO. II.


particular doctrines we hold we cannot discuss with Protestants ; because we hold no particular doctrines as doctrines of revelation which we believe or can establish independently of the authority of the Church teaching them. That authority, if established, forecloses all debate on particular questions; for, if established, it is good authority for whatever the Church teaches. As Catholics, then, we have done all, when we have established that authority. Protestants have made no progress in refuting us, till they have set that authority aside; and they can set it aside only by maintaining either that our Lord has established no church with authority to teach, or by showing that the church he has established is not the Roman Catholic Church, but some other church.

The infallibility of the Church can be no special question ; for it is necessarily implied in the divine authority of the Church. The divine commission to teach necessarily carries with it the divine pledge of infallibility in teaching. It is repugnant to reason to suppose that Almighty God can authorize a church to teach, without rendering it competent to teach. But a fallible church, liable to deceive or be deceived, which may mistake or misrepresent the truth, and teach for the word of God what is not the word of God, is not competent to teach. When we say God authorizes the Church to teach, or gives it authority to teach, we only say, in other words, that he holds himself responsible for what she teaches, or will own her doctrines for his doctrines. But if she could err, mistake the truth, and give us falsehood in its place, God could become responsible for error, and authorize the teaching of falsehood; which is both impious and absurd. If the Church has authority to teach in his name, she is his representative, and we cannot reject her without rejecting him.

" He that heareth you heareth me, and he who despiseth you despiseth me ; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”- St. Luke x. 16. To discredit an ambassador is to discredit the government he represents. We must, then, accept what the Church teaches, if she be authorized by him to teach, or be guilty of refusing to believe God himself. But, if the Church were fallible and could teach error, the case might occur in which we should be obliged to believe falsehood on pain of disbelieving God. But by no possibility can it ever be necessary, in order to believe God or to respect his authority, to believe falsehood ; for he is truth itself, and cannot deceive or be deceived. If, then, he has founded a church, and authorized it to

It can

teach, it must be able to teach infallibly. The question of infallibility loses itself, then, in the question of the divine commission or authority of the Church. The divine authority established, the infallibility must be conceded.

Nor can there be any serious or protracted dispute, if it be conceded that Almighty God has established a church with authority to teach, that the Roman Catholic Church is the one he has established. There is, in fact, no other church or pretended church which can with any show of reason claim to have received from God the authority to teach. All the Oriental sects, except the schismatic Greek Church, are obviously out of the question, and need not detain us a moment. not be the schismatic Greek Church; for it undeniably has, in the course of ages, changed on some essential points its ancient faith. On some points, at least, it has at one time believed differently from what it has at another, and therefore has erred; and if it has erred, it is not infallible, and if not infallible, it cannot be the church authorized by our Lord to teach. Moreover, Protestants cannot set up the Greek Church as the authoritative church; because it differs from them on all points except one, - the supremacy of the Pope, — on which they differ from us ; and it has by a solemn act condemned and anathematized all the distinctive doctrines of Protestantism. No Protestant sect is the church in question. Because, 1. All Protestant sects, by their own confession, are fallible ; 2. They are all quite too recent in their origin ; 3. No one among them is really a teaching body ; 4. No one of them can put forth any claims to a divine commission, which cannot be urged with equal propriety and force by every other. The presumption is always against every communion separate from the Roman Catholic, in the fact, that the origin of every other communion, as a distinct communion, is subsequent, and, for the most part, long subsequent, to the times of our Saviour and his Apostles. If our Lord founded a church at all, it is no more than fair to presume that it must date from his time or that of his Apostles. Consequently, the fair presumption is, that any pretended church or communion, whose origin is of a more recent date, is not the church our Lord established. This presumption must be removed, before we can even entertain the question of the divine commission of any communion separate from the Roman Catholic.

But this presumption never has been removed, and never can be. . And, in point of fact, the common sense of Christendom seems pretty general

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