Изображения страниц

position. Believing, as all of us believe, that there is a transcendental truth which we know inadequately because we only see it in part, they differ from us in assuming that the Catholic church is its depository in all matters of faith. Where the Protestant believes in a perpetual progression of human thought towards its Divine Original, in a constant remodelling of creeds no less than of sciences, the liberal Catholic assumes that his creed is no subject for speculation, and that if it grow at all through accretion or substitution, its changes must still be the result of the Spirit of God speaking through the visible head of the church. It is in fact the distinction of imperialism and constitutional government; the question whether change shall originate from above or from below. But the man who holds this principle of “ central rest” does not necessarily deny the fact of “endless agitation" around it, any more than we who regard the existence of a God as a first axiom are thereby bound to finality on other subjects of speculation. The results of geology, philology, and ethnology, may seem inconsistent with one another and with religion ; but these contradictions, which after all are nothing by the side of the contradictions in human nature, the belief in law, and the sense of free-will, must be regarded as mere results of our own imperfect knowledge, as difficulties which will disappear when the system that we see in part is disclosed in its entirety. The cavils of orthodox sciolism against fearless science in fact arise from a latent distrust in Deity; a belief that God may have said one thing to Moses, while he did another in the great scheme of creation. The more reverent philosopher, whose religion is based on faith in the God of truth, knows that his Maker cannot be inconsistent with himself, and answers like Copernicus, when he was told that sixteenth-century observation could detect no phases in Venus such as his theory demanded, that “God will find an answer to the mystery.” It is not for us to patch up a theological Kosmos, but to take fact and law as we find them, at all hazards.

We have said that the theory of the Home and Foreign Quarterly seems to us of the last importance to Catholicism. It opens a door for admitting the notoriously sceptical men of science, the Cuviers and St.-Hilaires, into the fold. It demands no compromise of opinion on matters outside religion, and leaves the question of faith where ignorance of theology, habit, deference for authority, and other such motives, would decide nine men in ten to conform silently, perhaps to believe. Taken with the doctrine of Development, which opens the path of repentance and change for infallibility, this new theory completes a logical system which is at once rational, tolerant, and severely orthodox. Its only weak point is the fatal one inherent in the very structure of Catholicism. It is based on the supposition of a perpetual miracle in the church's government. It assumes that the men whom all history shows to have been quite as often at least men of narrow intellect, petty motives, and imperfect knowledge, as large-minded and wellmeaning, are yet not only the depositaries of eternal truth, but its sole practical administrators. The doctrine of papal infallibility may be explained away and softened down by the limits of its application to matters of faith, by the doubt where it resides, and by its infrequent exercise ; but who is to save conscience and liberty if the church, or, in other words, the priests, are “ to govern and educate, so far as government and education are needful subsidiaries to her great work of the salvation of souls”! Who is to define the faint spiritual boundary within which the church is to be supreme, and beyond which the state and the home may be inviolate? It is all “ Plato's commonwealth.” Assume the clergy all like Borromeo or St. Cyran, the philosophers like Copernicus or Pascal, and the strife of those who seek to save souls with those who desire knowledge would still be internecine ; the old story would be acted out again, the theories of Copernicus proscribed, Pascal persuaded to burn his manuscripts. But take the clergy as they are when such a man as Cardinal Wiseman is one of their most learned representatives and not the least liberal, and what quarter would be given, let any man ask himself, to a historian who wrote honestly about Leo X., to a geologist who differed from Genesis, or to a statesman who counselled the surrender of the temporal power? No philosophy of Catholicism will tempt us into the lion's den, while there are no traces of footsteps from it into the air and life.

[ocr errors]



History of the Romans under the Empire. By the Rev. C. Merivale, B.D. Longman.

[Reviewed in Article VIII.] Remains, in Verse and Prose, of Arthur Henry Hallam. Murray. Scotland under her Early Kings. By E. V. Robertson. Edmonston.

[A scholarly book on a period that has been little treated of by his

torians.] Lady Morgan's Memoirs. Allen and Co.

[An amusing book of aristocratic gossip.] Ten Years in the United States. By D. W. Mitchell, formerly resident in Richmond, Virginia. Smith, Elder, and Co.

[Written from the Southern point of view, but neither unfair nor un.

friendly to the North.] Waterloo. By G. Hooper. Smith, Elder, and Co.

[A very masterly and thorough discussion and picture of the Waterloo

campaign.] Five Months on the Yang-Tsze. By Captain Blakiston. Murray.

[An interesting account of travels in a country hitherto unexplored by

Englishmen, and with two very good chapters on the Taepings.] My Diary North and South. By W. H. Russell. Bradbury and

Evans. Servia and the Servians. By the Rev. W. Denton. Bell and Daldy.

[A truthful account, chiefly from the ecclesiastical point of view, of

travels in an interesting country.]
Kington's History of Frederick the Second. Macmillan.
Lives of the Engineers. Vol. III. By Samuel Smiles. Murray.
Greece and the Greeks. By Frederika Bremer. Hurst and Blackett.
Christopher North : a Memoir of John Wilson. By Mrs. Gordon.

Pre-Historic Man. By Professor Wilson. Macmillan.
African Hunting. By C. B. Baldwin. Bentley.


Books of the Quarter suitable for Reading-Societies.

Collected Papers. By Mrs. Grote. Murray.

[The most interesting of these is an account of a village quarrel with a

Lady of the Manor.] Journal of a Mission to Affghanistan in 1857. By H. W. Bellew. Smith, Elder, and Co.

[Amusing and very faithful.] Lost among the Affghans.

the Affghans. Edited by H, 0. Fry. Smith, Elder, and Co.

[The romantic and incredible adventures of a boy, said to have been

saved from the English army in Affghanistan, and evidently the work

of one who has been in the East.] Modern Pantheism. Translated from M. Emile Saisset. Williams and Norgate.

[A lucid review of different systems of philosophy.] A Lenten Journey in Umbria. By T. A. Trollope. Chapman and Hall.

[Reviewed in the Short Notices, No. VI.] Roads and Rails. By W. B. Adams. Chapman and Hall. Eugénie de Guérin, Journal et Lettres. Didier.

[Reviewed in the Short Notices, No. I.] No Name. By Wilkie Collins. Sampson Low. Orley Farm. By A. Trollope. Chapman and Hall.

[Reviewed in Article II.) Lady Audley's Secret. Tinsley Brothers.

[One of the best “sensation" novels.] Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles. By Mrs. H. Wood. Bentley.

[Inferior to former works by the same author.) Footsteps behind him. Sampson Low.

[Better sketched than written.] The World in the Church. By F. G. Trafford. Skeet.

[Not equal in interest to the author's earlier works.] Normanton. By A. J. Barrowcliffe. Smith, Elder, and Co.


APRIL 1863.

Art. I.—THE IRISH CHURCH ESTABLISHMENT. Constitutional History of England. 1760-1810. By Thomas Er

skine May. Vol. II. Longman. The Liberal Party in Ireland; its present Condition and Prospects.

By a Roman Catholic. 1862. Kelly, Dublin. The Irish Church. Speech of Edward Miall, M.P., in the House of

Commons, May 27, 1856. Effingham Wilson. THERE is some reason to hope that the question of the Irish Church Establishment may soon be again brought practically before Parliament and the nation. A movement to redress this colossal wrong would, from its palpable justice, be likely to unite sincere liberals of all shades; and it would most appropriately signalise the revival of the independent liberal party, after its depression under the reactionary domination of Lord Palmerston; a revival which, we trust, will date from the end of the last session.

The Irish Church Establishment was just touched by the languishing waves of the great tide of social and ecclesiastical change which began to flow after the end of the French war, and of which the most memorable result was the Reform Bill. But just as thorough-going reformers had begun to grapple in carnest with this subject, the reaction set in, and the question was postponed for a future time, which, if we are not mistaken, has now arrived. On the 27th of May 1834, Mr. Ward, in a speech which Mr. Erskine May justly terms one of singular ability, called upon the House of Commons to affirm a resolution, that the Church Establishment in Ireland exceeded the spiritual wants of the Protestant population; and that, it being the right of the State to regulate the distribution of Church property, the temporal possessions of the Church in

No. XXXII. APRIL 1863.


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »