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The Reviewer also misconceives the real character of our Lord's intimate presence and immanence in the new creation. Certainly, the Christian, as such, is inseparable from Christ, and we most firmly hold, as Catholic doctrine, that Christ must be in us as well as out of us; for we can do nothing, absolutely nothing, without him, as he himself says, "Without me, ye can do nothing." But Christ is both the first cause and the final cause of the new creation. As first cause he is in us, creating in us the power to believe and love him as final cause, or to believe what he teaches and to do what he commands, and to believe and do it for his sake. It is the same Christ who is in us that is out of us, and before us; but the same Christ in diverse respects, as God as Creator of the universe is considered in a diverse respect from God as its final cause, or the end for which he creates it. In the former, he is the first cause of all things; in the latter, he is the final cause, or end, of all things. The distinction is valid quoad nos, for to us there is necessarily a distinction between God as loving, and God as the object he loves. Christ as final cause, or end, is before us, not as an end gained, but as an end to be gained; and as first cause he is in us, moving us to him as before us, and assisting us to reach him. Thus it is not only he whom we believe, but it is he by whom and for whom we believe. Thus the act of faith is defined to be credere Deo, credere Deum, credere in Deum. In charity, it is Christ by whom we love, whom we love, and for whom we love. this we certainly hold, and have clearly expressed or implied, whenever we have had any occasion to touch the subject, and if the Reviewer means this, and only this, he has unwittingly opposed to us our own doctrine.
But this is not the doctrine the Reviewer advances, although it is undoubtedly the truth he is striving after, and of which he catches, now and then, a dim and confused view. He evidently gives the Incarnation a pantheistic interpretation, and none of his objections to us are pertinent, if he simply understands our Lord to be in us, but distinct from us, in us, not as a new principle in our natural constitution, but simply by his gracious operations. He is present in every Christian, personally present, present and immanent in his substance, in his Divine essence, but only as he is present and immanent in the natural order, that is, mediante his creative act. His presence and iminanence in human nature, in any stricter sense, implies an identity of the human and Divine, which cannot for a moment be conceded in the supernatural any more than in the natural order.
VOL. IV. NO. II.
We We are united to him as first cause of grace in us, and through grace, as its final cause; but we are not made one with him in the sense of identity with him, nor are we deificated. As led by the Holy Ghost, we are truly sons of God, but sons by adoption, not natural sons of God, as is Christ our Lord, who is not only the first, but the only, begotten Son of God.
The Reviewer's theory of history has so often been discussed in our pages, that we have no occasion to discuss it again, and as applicable to Christian doctrine, we disposed of it in our reviews of Mr. Newman's Essay, and replies to The Dublin Review. The theory, even as contained in Mr. Newman's Essay, is pantheistic, and flows from the assumption that man cooperates with God in the work of creation, or rather, that creation itself is an emanation from God, a development, evolution, or realization of God. We cannot concede this, nor are we prepared to pronounce all history sacred and divine. We do not believe in the modern historical optimism, whether propounded in the dry abstractions of Hegel, or the brilliant eloquence of Cousin and our friend the Reviewer. We believe there is sin in the world, and that history records crimes, events which have not been approved of by God, and which are no indications of what he wills men should believe and do. We shall not do truth or common sense the gross dishonor of supposing it necessary to prove this. The Reviewer thinks that we are very unhistorical, and ridiculous even, in not seeing the hand of God in Protestantism, and in venturing to regard it as the work of the Devil."Unless we choose," he says, "to give up all faith in history as the revelation of God's mind and will, we must bow before this great fact of three hundred years with earnest reverence, and admit that it has a meaning for the kingdom of God in some way worthy of its vast proportions.' (Jan., 1850, p. 44.) That God will overrule the Protestant movement for good, and cause it to redound to the glory of his Spouse, the Roman Catholic Church, whom he loves, and whom he hath purchased with his own blood, we do not doubt; but that Protestantism has any thing good in itself, even the Reviewer cannot seriously expect us to believe, for he immediately adds, "Suppose the worst even, in the case, that Protestantism is destined to prove a failure, still it would be in the highest degree unphilosophical and irrational to deny its significance, at least in this point of view, as the medium of transition for the Church to a better and brighter state, that could not have been reached without such a period of inward contradiction going
before." A sensible man, having much inward respect for Protestantism, would hardly allow us to make a supposition so much to its discredit. Are the works of God destined to prove failures? And are we to suppose that God's Church needs mending, or that, if it does, he cannot mend it without taking it to pieces, and leaving the whole world for three hundred years and more without any Church, without any religion, without law or order, without faith, without hope, without charity, to worry and devour one another as dogs, to live like swine, and die like beasts? How know we that God did not make his Church perfect at first? Certainly, if the principles we have established in the course of this article deserve any consideration, man is no church-builder, or church-reformer, and his proper sphere of activity lies in believing what God's Church teaches, and in doing what she commands, and the only development that can be asserted is growth in the understanding and appropriation of the truth, and in the practice of Christian perfection, by single minds and wills, or individual believers. It is ours to perfect ourselves by the Church, not to perfect her by us.
Then, as to the magnitude of Protestantism, we are not much impressed by it. We have had too near a view of it for it to loom up very large in our eyes. It is far inferior in the magnitude of its results to the sin of our first parents; it is not so great an event as the lapse of nearly the whole ancient world into idolatry; it is not greater than Brahminism, than Budd hism, or than Arianism, and it dwindles into insignificance before Mahometanism, all manifestly of the Devil. Why, then, not Protestantism also? Wherefore pronounce them the work of the Devil, and it, on account of its magnitude alone, the work of God? Protestantism is nothing but what it is in individual minds and hearts, and we see nothing unphilosophical or irrational, taking into the account the depravity of human nature, or men's proneness to evil, in supposing that so considerable a number of persons as there are Protestants should fall into error and sin, leave God to follow their own foolish pride, vicious appetites and propensities, corrupt passions and sentiments. Its influence on modern civilization has not been such
as to command our respect. It has everywhere been deleterious, tending to draw off the mind and heart from God, to fix the affections on the low and transitory, the material and the sensual, to corrupt morals, to dry up the springs of spiritual life, and to prepare the way for the return to barbarism. Whatever advance modern civilization has made, has been
made in spite of it, by virtue of principles and influences drawn from Catholicity. Indeed, the most severe condemnation of Protestantism is to assert the necessity of divinizing all history in order to be able to divinize it, or to take it out of the category of the works of our great Enemy.
There are some other points of minor importance, as made by the Reviewer, on which we would comment if our space permitted, and we were not already fatigued; but we have said enough, if it is understood, to prove that the Reviewer has not made out his case, has not established a theory that meets the difficulties he acknowledges; and we are therefore entitled to conclude our Church against him. In what we have said, we have aimed to treat him with respect, and we certainly do respect him as a man, a scholar, and a writer. He is nearer the truth in his spirit than in his words; he has generous impulses towards something better than vulgar Protestantism, and we trust in God that he will persevere till he finds it. If what we have said, although strongly put, more strongly than may be pleasing to him, enables him to understand better his own doctrine in its relation to ours, and to form a more correct judgment of Catholic theology, we shall have done him and many others no mean service. any rate, if he choose to rejoin, he will hardly fail to see the points he must make and defend, what he must prove and disprove, in order to feel that he can have any hope of salvation, without abandoning his theory, not for another of man's concoction, but for the glorious old Catholic Church, which, though assailed continually by the folly of men and the rage of devils, stands firm as ever upon the Rock on which her Lord has founded her.
ART. IV. Conversations of an Old Man and his Young Friends. No. II.
F. ALL you say seems plausible enough, and perhaps follows logically from principles that cannot very well be denied ; but there is always danger in pushing matters to extremes. am a Catholic as well as you, and, unlike you, have been one from my infancy, and I would rather die than give up my Church. I am a "Catholic of the Catholics," and have no
need to be instructed by neophytes in my religion, however much my seniors in years. Pushing the principles of our religion to their last consequences, and taking extreme views of all questions of practical life, can do no good, is impolitic, subjects our Church to unnecessary odium, and imposes too heavy a burden upon us who mingle in the world, and have more or less to do with "our separated brethren." Virtue, the Philosopher tells us, is the mean between two extremes.
B. I am very happy to hear my young friend say that he is a Catholic, -a fact which I own I had not even suspected. As a neophyte I stand rebuked. But I have heard of Catholics who will fight to the death for their religion, as a point of honor, who yet will not live it. The test of a man's love of Catholicity is in living it. If ye love me, says our Lord, keep my commandments; and this we must do, if we would enter into eternal life. Extremes are dangerous, no doubt; but it is always well to understand our terms. Virtue, in a certain sense, may be the mean between two extremes, but I have never understood that the extremes were more and less of virtue itself. Too little virtue to be virtue is not virtue at all, and I have never been aware that a man can have too much virtue to be virtuous; at any rate, I do not think any of us are likely to sin by an excess of virtuous action. Extremes are not in pushing true principles to their logical consequences, but in false principles themselves. A man can no more have an
excess of truth than he can of virtue.
R. But what we object to is, that you are ultra. always, we have been told, even when a Protestant, disposed to be ultra in every thing. You would push your Protestantism, your notions of government and society, to such extremes, that no one could act with you. And now you push your Catholicity to extremes.
B. Beyond Catholicity itself?
R. No; I do not precisely say that; but you push it farther than it seems to me necessary to go. You are too rigid, too uncompromising, nay, to be plain, you are too bigoted and intolerant.
B. Bigotry is the obstinate adherence to one's own opinions, without any solid reason for them, and a blind intolerance of whatever contradicts them. If half that is said of my frequent changes be true, I must have very little obstinate attachment to any opinions, and in those matters which are really matters of opinion, it might be difficult to adduce an instance