« ForrigeFortsæt »
and one native. It is the glory of Christianity, that it is equally adapted to all nations and to all ages; and there must be some way, therefore, in which it is capable of entering with prompt facility and flexible ease into combination with every form of government and polity. Now either the subordination of the temporal to the spiritual supremacy, according to the ultramontane theory, or the denial, on the part of the nations, of any such visible spiritual supremacy, will almost equally well serve to obviate difficulties; but there is hardly any other way. Therefore, again, we say, that when our Roman Catholic friends have succeeded in reconciling us to the Roman Church, we shall probably pass far beyond the position of the British Roman Catholics, and of the 'semi-Protestant' Bossuet.
If the anticipated triumphs of Romanism are ever to be achieved, and the representations in Dr. Wiseman's pastoral are to cease to be enormous figures of speech; if England is really to revolve in its radiant path round the 'centre of Catholic unity,' or, as Protestants at present think, like a satellite round the dusky orb of Saturn, the impediments stated in this article, and which we know operate extensively on English minds, require to be fairly met. They are scarcely less in magnitude, and certainly not less. worthy of consideration, than any of a purely theological nature-if, perhaps, we except the doctrine of Transubstantiation, and the stupendous fundamental thesis of the whole papal system, namely, that, because Christ said, 'Thou art Peter, and upon rock I will build my Church,' therefore, every Bishop of Rome, through all time, was to be venerated as the supreme, and, as millions will have it, the infallible head of the universal Church! The chasm betweer the first and last proposition in the sorites into which this enthymeme is usually developed, is prodigious ;
and even were all the intermediate propositions that Peter had some sort of primacy; that Peter was ever at Rome; that he was Bishop there-as certainly true as they have every one been fiercely disputed, that chasm hardly seems, to the eye of the Protestant, diminished by these few trivial arches; and the remainder of the bridge, he declares, is the unsubstantial segment of a rainbow supplied by fancy alone.
We have solicited the aid of the Romish Church in solving some of our difficulties; yet, when all is done, we feel that there will be a whimsical difficulty in knowing how to deal with the solutions,-unless she will further enlighten our judgment as to how we are to refrain from exercising our judgment in the process of receiving or rejecting them. She tells us that the right of private judgment' is by no means to be exercised in matters of religion; but the moment her advocates have said this, they begin, in a certain way, to reason with us. This presents a difficulty scarcely felt by one born and bred a Roman Catholic, because, from his infancy, the exercise of his private judgment in such matters has been reduced to a minimum, or rather, has been superseded by sub. stituting early prejudices for it. In one sense, all must exercise this 'right,'—even the Roman Catholic does it, once for all-in renouncing it, ever after, in favour of his priest! But in so acting, the Romanist duly trained from his youth up,' has little trouble. Earliest prejudice has anticipated judgment properly so called. But when addressed to a Protestant, the maxim sounds very like a contradiction. It is one, from which, in case he infer anything, he is apt to infer, either that every man must remain in the religious caste in which he has been born, and that proselytism is an impossibility; or that the Roman Ca
tholic should not give us reasons for submitting to his Church-which, perhaps, is the safest course, and, some will say, the course generally adopted; or, that, though he gives us reasons, he should at the same time tell us that they are not submitted to our judgment, and that we are to believe them without judging of them! The difficulty is well put in one of the 'Cautions for the Times.' The author says, 'But the point which Roman Catholics love most to dwell on is the weakness of private judgment, which they represent as a prevailing reason why we should rather give ourselves up to the direction of an infallible guide. . . Before a man can rationally judge that he should submit his judgment in other things to the Church of Rome, he must first have judged: 1. That there is a God; 2. That Christianity comes from God; 3. That Christ has promised to give an infallible authority in the Church; 4. That such authority resides in the Church of Rome. Now, to say that men who are competent to form sound judgments upon these points, are quite incompetent to form sound judgments about any other matters in religion, is very like saying, that men may have sound judgments of their own before they enter the Church of Rome, but that they lose all sound judgment entirely, from the moment they enter it.' *
* The Cautions for the Times' are well worthy of the attention, not only of Protestants, as a quiet, lucid, pithy statement of the principal difficulties on which they must seek the aid of the Roman Catholic Church, if they are ever to be converted at all, but of Roman Catholics themselves. The latter will there be enabled precisely to ascertain the perplexities in which their anticipated proselytes are at present involved, and will be qualified to shape their course accordingly. The extreme cheapness of these Tracts brings them within the reach of every one; and the candour and ability with which they are written ought to secure for them a very extensive circulation.
Elfric, his Anglo-Saxon Grammar,'
Agathon, reply of Plato to, i. 330.
His avowed inability to dispute
Agricola, his recklessness assailed and
refuted by Luther, i. 158.
Alcibiades, his remarks on the style
Allegorical school of the Alexandrian
Alphabet, the Universal, proposed by
Alstedius, his Encyclopædia,' i. 176.
Amos Dettonville, a name assumed by
'Analyst,' the, of Bishop Berkeley,
Anatomy, speculations of Leibnitz
Anger, Fuller's remarks on, i. 17, 18.
tarian school, ii. 58. Impossibility
that the Scriptures are not the sole
137, 138. 2. To rob Christianity
Animals, the lower, opinions of Des-
Anselm, his argument for the exist-
Antiquary,' the, of Sir W. Scott,
Antisthenes, remark of Socrates to,
Apollonius, Glossaries to,' i. 401.
Aristotle, character of Taylor's trans-
Arithmetical Machine, the, of Pascal,
Arrests made in churches during
Ascham, Roger, his idiomatic style,
Ast, his opinion respecting the au-
Attonement, the various opinions re-
Babylonish Captivity,' Luther's, i.
Bacon, Lord, his view of the sum of
Bailly, his Eloge' on Leibnitz, i.
Ballot, vote by, ii. 421. Its influ-