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No. 29.-Vol. I.
REGISTERED FOR TRANSMISSION
WEDNESDAY, May 4, 1870.
It is the reverse of easy to account for the startling apathy of what used to be called "the Church party." In bygone days, the days of Mr. Keble's Assize Sermon, for example, there was some bond of union and a certain unity of action. Later on, men grew to act together for the common good of the National Church, and frequently acted with effect and success. Now, however, everything in this respect is changed. When the Catholic Revival, through the perverse narrow mindedness and flagrant selfishness of certain of its promoters, became destructive, it likewise became dangerous. All reforms should be constructive in their character: more especially ecclesiastical reforms; otherwise evil instead of good naturally flows from them.
true panacea for all our evils. The superficial talk glibly on this subject as though they were Solons, and promise to their trusting followers temporal blessings and enduring advantages the like of which, they maintain, have never been seen. Alas! however, though all their ducks are swans, their promises are never fulfilled: their pledges are ever unredeemed. While men are still hoping and trustful the enemy comes in like a flood. Point after point, principle after principle is deliberately conceded; so that now when men have come to allow the foe to do just what he likes, when we are attacked, coward leaders volunteer to give up the fortress without striking a blow in its defence. They at once hang out the white flag and exhibit the white feather. Moreover, we have no organization worthy of the name. Men are taken singlehanded, alone and isolated; and one after the other they fall a prey to the astute enemy. In truth we are drifting, no one The work of the Catholic party has now advanced to a exactly knows why, and certainly no one precisely knows where. point when dangers of a very grave nature stare us in the Instead of fighting a winning battle, in which each stands face. Men know of their existence, but refuse to look at side by side with the other, where generosity is uppermost and them. Men everywhere have a presentiment of their coming, cordial co-operation powerful, we are being treated as the but take no steps to avert their evil. We are in no degree aggressive stragglers of a retreating host. The enemy has prepared for that altered state of affairs which another ten or learnt our weakness, marked our disorganization, noted that twenty years of miscalled "Liberal" policy will surely bring our great generals are either arrant cowards or feebly incomabout. The ill-omened prophets of change, foreign importa-petent, and so prepares, with a good heart and certainty of tions, preachers of disestablishment and tools of the Libera- success, for the final struggle. In that struggle, Dissent, tion Society, are verily more blind than bats. The policy of Protestantism or whatever it is called, will speedily develope these same prophets is of a hand-to-mouth character. There into a repulsive Deism; and men will live to find that our is nothing broad nor far-sighted in it, and—after it is too late once great National Church of England-unless a nobler to reverse it,-men will cry out bitterly because of the evil it policy of construction be adopted-has been broken up into will have wrought. We need not stay to prove our point. a variety of grotesque sects, the chief of which will soon, in Let men only mark the signs of the times and they will see self-defence, become absorbed into the Church of Rome. more than enough to enable them to note our dangers. Take for example the pestilent and scandalous Burials' Bill of Mr. Osborne Morgan. This Bill, though besmeared with Mr. William Baird's beautiful butter-brush, is one of the most uncalled-for and iniquitous measures every proposed to Parliament. Those who have time to study its clauses and provisions can see this for themselves. In every country parish its action will be disastrous. The Political Dissenter, radiant with cant and noisome with insolence, will become an efficient and disagreeable thorn in the Parson's side. An entry into the Churchyard, sanctioned by law, will soon lead to an entry into the Church. How will this suit our superfine High Church Radicals? How will this be relished by the superior and patent worshippers of the great "People's William?" Let them contemplate it for a while before it comes, in all its bearing and details, and then the least unsensible of them may open their dulled eyes to the gravity of the situation. At present the sect in general is led by a few crafty leaders, ever plotting and planning for the behoof of Mr. Gladstone, always deluding their followers and hopelessly ruining the general cause. We cannot,-look whichever side we will,fail to mark that our party is drifting, drifting slowly but surely-into a position of the greatest gravity and the most serious danger.
And while this goes on, sage men (as they regard themselves, and oft-times sensible on other subjects,) cant and gabble about disestablishment of the Church of England being the
THE CHURCH AND CHRISTIANITY.
WORDS and names in common use have all a tendency to lose their proper definite signification, and to be used so as to include other meanings not strictly connoted by the term employed. The natural result of this is that the ideas of those who use the words become clouded and misty; and other notions entering into the mind, the original meaning of the term is positively lost. This is the case with the word "Church." Formerly this word had a very definite and exact signification; it meant a certain society instituted and founded by our Lord, with its proper Officers, Rites and Creed; into which persons were admitted by one Sacrament, and maintained their position and privileges therein by other Sacraments, and by possessing a common Faith: its essential outward and visible form was unity, preserved by confessing the common Faith, and participation in the common Sacraments. It was a necessary idea that the Church is one, and that one instituted by our Lord, that no other association or community has any claim to this title: no voluntary society, founded and formed by man, could be a Church, even though such association professed to hold the true Creed, and claimed to administer rites imitating the true Sacraments.
Now, however, a different meaning is attached to the word; it is now made to mean, not the community instituted by our
Lord, but systems of theology; the word Churches, in the plural, is used, not as in the New Testament to signify particular congregations of the faithful in various towns and countries, all in communion with one another, and portions of one Catholic Church, but separated bodies having their own particular forms of belief, and fashion of worship. In fact, the idea of One Catholic Church is ignored, and Christianity substituted for it. Very many persons have altogether ceased to believe in the Church of Christ, and have substituted a belief in Christianity in its place. They look for salvation through believing in a theological system, in the place of union and communion with Christ through His Body, the Church. In a word, a philosophical and theological system is put in the place of the one Spiritual Body, the Church of Christ. The idea upon which this way of speaking is founded is this, that the Bible is not only the source and origin of all doctrine, but that all doctrine and all the faith is contained in its pages; and that this volume is given to the world that men may gather from it all they are to believe; and still further, that each reader of the Bible is both authorised and competent to extract this doctrine for himself, without any external guide or teacher. In other words, that God has made His revelation to men by means of a Book, and by that Book only; which Book each person is not only at liberty, but also is bound, to interpret for himself. This notion involves in it the necessary conclusion that truth is entirely subjective and not objective. It is not that revealed Truth is one, and we are required to receive it as coming from God; but that we are to search it out for ourselves, draw it from the Bible by a system of induction; in like manner as scientific men draw conclusions respecting pre-historic times by inspecting and comparing flint and bronze implements of the primitive inhabitants of a country, and the bones of extinct animals, which are found in caves, kitchen-middens, and later dwellings. For since we have no Creed in the Bible, we have no summary of objective truth laid down, nor does this seem to have been the purpose of the writers of the New Testament; the contrast between the Creeds of the Catholic Church and the New Testament is too obvious to need pointing out. Nowhere is objective truth categorically stated; nowhere is the doctrine of the Holy Trinity defined; nowhere is consubstantiality of the Son and the Holy Ghost with the Father expressly affirmed the nearest approach to a Creed is that given by St. Paul, I. Cor., xv., 3; yet this goes not into such doctrines as the above, it only states certain facts in the life of our Lord. Even St. John's Gospel, the most doctrinal of the four, never directly asserts either of the primary truths respecting the Holy Trinity-for the Arians as well as the Catholics accepted his Gospel-nor were they defined or laid down as necessary to salvation until the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381.
This brings us to enquire what did our Lord teach? and what do the Gospels teach? According to modern notions, our Lord was the Founder of Christianity, of a religious and theological system; but we look in vain throughout our Lord's teaching to find any such system, nor does the New Testament ever speak of such a system as we call Christianity. Our Lord taught His disciples to believe in Himself, Himself as God Incarnate, as having died and risen, and Who will come to judge the world-He taught belief in a Person, not in a system; in certain acts, not certain words, and this teaching the Apostles carried out; they taught "Jesus and the Resurrection; ' St. Paul proclaimed to the Athenians that God "hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead." This belief in our Lord's Person involved, of course, a belief in His being the Son of God in some wonderful but unexplained manner, for
we do not find that He ever alluded to, much less explained, the mystery of the Incarnation; He spoke of His Death, His Resurrection, and His Coming to Judgment. Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount, His Parables and Discourses were not the laying down the doctrines of a new religion-of Christianity-but were chiefly pointing out the line of conduct, the mode of life, which would ensure His favour in this world, and a place in His future Kingdom. It is on what He did far more than on what He said, that the salvation of mankind hangs. He wrought out salvation in His own Person in His Life, in His Death, His Resurrection, and His Ascension; but He did something more: He founded a Kingdom of Grace by means of which these acts of His become so far the property, as it were, of each individual member, that they procure His salvation. Our Lord did not found Christianity, by believing which man is saved; He founded the Church, as a Kingdom of Grace in which union and communion with Him is attained, and the members of that Kingdom participate in His acts and life. This Kingdom is essentially necessarily a Kingdom of Grace, it is the means of communion with Himself, and union among the members. Accordingly he instituted four Sacraments in His Church as means of communicating grace to the members in general, and one to constitute a Priesthood in particular; Baptism, Absolution, the Eucharist, Unction of the Sick, for all; Holy Order to constitute the Ministry-each Sacrament with its peculiar grace attached to it; they were to be the means by which His own acts, done for the salvation of mankind, were to be communicated to the faithful. Our Lord's teaching was chiefly taken up with enforcing Faith, Obedience, Charity.
Again, our Lord did not write a book, or command His disciples to write books, which should contain a Theological system, and enunciate certain doctrines which were to be believed and accepted, and by believing and accepting which salvation would be attained. He did not order a book to be written and flung among mankind for them to gather the true doctrine of Himself, and of the way of salvation. On the contrary, He commissioned a certain order of men, He gave them Divine Gifts, and endowed them with supernatural powers, and said, "Go ye into the world, and make converts of all nations; administer My Sacraments, and teach them to observe all My precepts." He instituted His Church; He did not institute a theological system which we now call Christianity. Contrast this with the Protestant idea of Christianity, as that instituted and taught by our Lord-the notion that all the means of salvation are comprehended in holding a certain set of doctrines, believing in a certain form of words. It is the substitution of an intellectual process of the mind, for the spiritual one of the grace of God acting on the soul; one whereby man honours his own Saviour by evolving in his own consciousness his scheme of salvation, in the place of a spiritual union and communion with the Head of the Body, the Church. This Protestant spirit, the substituting of intellectual for spiritual, the putting of a system in the place of Christ, is that against which St. Paul so strongly warns the Colossians, that of being "vainly puffed up by their fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body, by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God." In a word, it is that system of Gnosticism which is so continually denounced by St. Paul, and which was the bane of the Church in her earliest days.
MARRYING YOUR SISTER.
WE almost feel that an apology is due to our readers for taking up their time and attention with this subject. Yet it does not seem right to let the second reading of the Sisters' Marriage Bill be mentioned as an item of news only, when we feel that the strongest protest should be made, not against
Reviews of Books.
this Bill alone, but against the whole system on which this bit-by-bit legislation is being conducted. For it presupposes and takes for granted a theory of marriage which is not the THE CHURCH AND THE AGE-ESSAYS ON THE PRINCIPLES Christian theory. The true Scriptural account of marriage is very simple," they twain shall be one flesh; so then they are no more twain, but one flesh." And this union is intimate and lasting as that between Christ and His Church.
Now, if husband and wife are one flesh, the sisters of the wife are the sisters of the husband, and he ought no more to think of marrying one of them than he would of committing incest with his own naturally born sister. It is curious that our Dissenting friends who will not accept the authority of the Church, cannot see the force of such a plain logical inference. Surely any one who studies his Bible ought to be aware that a union in which there is no religion, nothing sacramental, and which is dissoluble at pleasure, cannot be true Christian matrimony, of which St. Paul said that it was "a great mystery," a union of the same species as that between the Church and her Head. Of course the opposite or secular theory of marriage utterly ignores its sacredness. It is reduced to be no more than a mere civil contract between two persons of different sexes who agree to live together, whilst the State, on condition of this contract being registered in a prescribed form, decrees that their children shall be considered legally born or legitimate, and entitled to participate in their property if they die intestate; which privileges they would not enjoy if the contract had not been duly made and registered. Religion has no more to do with the matter than it has with the lease of a house; and what persons shall be held competent to enter into it, whether any degrees of relationship shall be considered an obstacle, or a third person admitted into the contract (i.e. bigamy tolerated) becomes purely a matter of State policy, or perhaps we should rather say for police regulation.
AND PRESENT POSITION OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH. Edited by Archibald Weir, D.C.L., and William D. Maclagan, M.A. (London: Murray. 1870.) (Continued from page 436.) Essay VII.: Liturgies and Ritual.-Mr. Sadler's Essay is and therefore requires more particular examination than the no doubt intended to be the most important in this collection, others. It only touches upon one aspect of the Eucharistic Rite, viz., the Sacrificial. It treats of it as the great act of worship of the Catholic Church, and not in the further one of actual participation. We do not complain of this, for this is the aspect of the Rite which at this present day starting, that Mr. Sadler is quite imcompetent to undertake needs the most explanation. We must say, however, at the work of explanation, for he evidently does not understand his subject. Some time ago he published a work called showed a deficiency of proper understanding of the Priest'Emmanuel," a treatise on the Incarnation, in which he hood of Christ. In this Essay he manifests the same. should recommend him, before he writes again, to study carefully Dean Jackson's works, especially Book VIII. A comprehension of the writings of that profound Divine—whom, by the way, Bishop Ellicott, in his Essay, ranks with Pearsonwould very much enlarge Mr. Sadler's ideas, and save him from falling again into the blunders he has made in his Essay. Office was the only act of public worship known in the He lays down with perfect truth the fact that the Eucharistic Apostolic and Primitive Church :
All Churches, or bodies of Christian men, have, with one consent, connected the celebration of the Lord's Supper with acts of thanksgiving and praise. The earliest forms of Christian worship were all Communion offices, containing certain definite acts of praise and prayer, which, whilst differing, more or less, in their language, are still substantially the same, order in different liturgies. In all these liturgies, without exception, and what is still more remarkable, appear almost always in the same sacrificial language is applied to the celebration.
Contrast this with what he says further on :
In the sacrifices of the Law there was either the taking away of life, or the destruction, total or partial, of the thing offered. In the great anti-typal Sacrifice-the only real and true Sacrifice for all sin-there was death, accompanied by the greatest conceivable self-sacrifice: for the This was His sacrifice, immeasurably sacrificial in the sense of self-surLife Himself became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. render and self-abasement, so that there is no room for any other
This is the theory honestly professed and acted upon in several Protestant countries, where the Government of the day acts as a species of Pope, and grants dispensations, by which a man may marry his niece, or an aunt her nephew ; whilst married couples who are dissatisfied with each other are divorced by mutual consent, upon the allegation of incompatibilité des mœurs. Englishmen are not prepared for this sort of thing yet; no member of the House of Commons would be suffered even to bring in a Bill which should enact it. Yet a majority is found to affirm the principle of which this is the legitimate development. Of course they do not under-expiatory sacrifice whatsoever. stand what they are about, or perceive the full bearing of what they are asked to do. A few of the 184 are doubtless quite prepared to accept all these consequences, and would gladly see these "liberal" marriage laws in full play here. More still are political Dissenters, who would vote for marriage with a deceased wife's mother, or any one else, if it were forbidden by the Church, and utterly repulsive to the feelings of Churchmen. But the great bulk of the majority are worshippers of expediency, and smitten with the Liberal craze. They voted for the Bill because its promoters call it a "liberal measure," and because Mr. Gladstone did so; in spite of the masterly exposure of its true character by Sir Roundell Palmer, which left the measure without a leg to
All that is left for right-thinking persons to do, whether they be Anglicans, Roman Catholics, or Nonconformists, is to petition the House of Lords as numerously as possiblealike to strengthen the hands of the Upper House in throwing out the Bill, and to convince them that the so-called " movement of opinion," by which the Sisters' Marriage Bill is said by the Premier to have been sustained, is a movement as real and important as the march of hired supernumeraries at a play -a movement promoted and paid for by those who have already broken the law, and in no sense representing the feeling or the judgment of the English people.
The Bible knows of no sacrifice in which nothing is parted with, which there was no act of immolation, only words said over the victim, nothing consumed. A rite-no matter how solemn and mysterious-in and in which nothing is surrendered, could not be called a sacrifice. Now, celebrate the Eucharist as we will, we cannot make it in the
remotest degree to resemble any of the things which ordinary English-
Now let a man talk ever so unreservedly about the Eucharist being a "real""proper""propitiatory" sacrifice, he can be at once brought down to the sober level of the above words, by simply asking the two questions, Would our Lord have offered a true, real, and propitiatory sacrifice, if He Himself had not suffered Death? and, Does He suffer death afresh every time the Eucharist is celebrated?
of his own raising, and stumbling against blocks which he Here it is evident that the writer is groping about in smoke has placed for himself; for these two questions, as we shall see presently, are irrelevant to the subject. His blunders
increase as he advances :
The reality of the Sacrifice of the Eucharist in no way depends upon the nature of the Presence. The real objective Presence may add intensity to the memorial act, but nothing to the idea of sacrifice. . . The true sacrificial character of the whole act is to be found in the
true significance of the word ávaμvnois, "Do this in remembrance of Me," or rather, "for My Memorial."
No one, unless he believes that Christ can die over and over again can hold that the sacrificial action of the Eucharist is in its essence more than commemorative, and no one can hold that it is less.
Here, then, we have the latest enunciation of the Anglican
School, as distinguished from the Catholic, on the all-important subject of the Holy Eucharist; and what does it amount to ? Why, nothing more or less than the merest Calvinistic theory of a figure of something absent (which, by the way, even our Homilies condemn), and a bare, naked memorial! The language of the Apostles, of the Primitive Liturgies, of the Prayer Book itself, is unreal, figurative, nonnatural, when it speaks of a sacrifice in the Eucharist! We are to renounce all these, and to go to the school of Calvin and Geneva for our Faith!
To the two questions Mr. Sadler asks, we can give most plain and categorical answers. Our Lord would not have made a real propitiatory sacrifice unless he suffered death; and He does not suffer death at every Celebration of the Eucharist. We can only express our profound astonishment at Mr. Sadler's supposing that the latter is necessary to the reality of the Eucharist sacrifice. Had he understood the nature of our Lord's Priesthood and of sacrifice, he would have taken care not to have confounded two things distinctly separate.
In the Levitical Law there are many sacrifices which did not require the death of a victim, e.g., the Minchah, or offering of flour; the scapegoat was not put to death. In bloody sacrifices, it was not the death that made propitiation, but the blood (Levit. xvii. 11.); neither was it necessary that the whole victim be consumed with fire; in the Passover, that which especially typified the Eucharist, it was only the refuse that was burnt. The Crucifixion on Calvary was not strictly speaking-the Atonement; it was, as Dean Jackson shows, the consecration of our Lord to the everlasting Priesthood; the Atonement, the propitiation, was made when our Lord entered into Heaven, forty-two days after, as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews shows (Heb. ix. 25 et. seq.), since that propitiation could be made only by a Priest, and our Lord was not fully consecrated Priest until the Resurrection. In the great Temple in Heaven, our Lord executes two functions, that of High Priest, and that of Victim, the Lamb "as it had been slain," not dead but living. To ask, as Mr. Sadler does, if He suffer death afresh at every Eucharist is really to ask too foolish a question to need an answer.
Now what our great High Priest is doing in Heaven, His lower Priests are doing on Earth: it is the same Priesthood and the same Sacrifice; as He in Heaven offers up His own Body and Blood, so do His Priests on Earth; consequently, the real objective Presence is absolutely necessary for the Sacrifice, otherwise it could not be in any way the Body and Blood of Christ which are offered.
Again, if we are to believe the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, we must see that our Lord is "a Priest for ever;" that "He is consecrated for evermore " (vii. 28). Further, "it is of necessity that this man have somewhat to offer" (viii. 3). Here we have two things laid down; that there can be no Priest without a Sacrifice, and that our Lord is a Priest for evermore and has an equally perpetual sacrifice; which Sacrifice is His own Body and Blood; and further still, that the Holy Eucharist is His Body and Blood, and, therefore, that Body and Blood is the offering made in the Eucharist; and this fact shows the necessity of there being a real objective Presence in the Eucharist.
There are many more points in Mr. Sadler's Essay which we had marked for censure, but as they nearly all depend on his erroneous conception of the prime mystery, we may be spared the labour of pointing them out.
The North Side of the Altar: What it Was, by W. E. Scudamore, Rector of Ditchingham (Rivingtons: London), is a clever attempt by this eccentric writer to settle the vexed question of the Rubrics in regard to the position of the Priest
at the altar, by arguing that the altar having been turned the the other way in Puritan days, retained, on its return to its proper position, the term north as applied to the front. We cannot say that, though he adduces many statements as to the changes which took place, we think this the true solution. Unless strong evidence of intentional deviation can be produced, the probability always lies in favour of our Rubrics being a translation of older ones. We are, therefore, disposed to accept in this instance Dr. Littledale (untrustworthy though he often is in matters of history) as affording us the true solution. A little book published in 1701, entitled The Divine Banquet, which we lately saw, contains a quaint engraving, in which the Priest is represented as kneeling before the altar at the north side, just where, now-a-days, those who have escaped from the unnecessary position of the Puritan times, place themselves.
We have already favourably noticed The Gospel Story (Hodges: London). Part 4, which is now out, begins with the Sermon at Nazareth, which is followed by the Ministry in Galilee, in treating of which we regret to observe that the popular mistranslation which confuses demons with devils is allowed to remain uncorrected. It is greatly to be regretted, as the consequence of such want of accuracy is that people lose the idea of Satan's individuality, and are so led on to deny his existence. Further on we find some excellent remarks on the second table of the Mosaic law, and the part ends in the middle of the Lord's Prayer. Plainly and forcibly written, the parts will form a valuable commentary for distribution among poor and unlearned persons.
We can cordially recommend University Tests and their Abolition, a Letter to Sir J. D. Coleridge, by a Non-University Man. It puts in the clearest light the real intention of those who founded and endowed the Universities in order to provide means for the promotion of religion; and, further, it makes it evident that the State never endowed them at all, as full particulars are here given from authentic records.
PERE FELIX AT NOTRE DAME.
The subject of Père Felix's Fifth Conference was "The Infallibility of the Authority of the Church."
"What then is Infallibility?" he said. "A help-nothing but a help; it is an effective assistance, promised and given to the Church, to prevent her from defining and affirming as true, that which is false, or, as false that which is true; that is, in the sphere in which she ought to move, to make every error impossible in dogma and morality, in the interpretation of her own constitution, and in the essential conditions of her own government.
"The necessity of this great religious truth is the strongest argument for its existence. "You who admit the necessity of a religion; you, especially, who believe in the truth of Christianity, you ask, why we teach the sovereign dogma of Infallibility? But we ask you, how and be divine-a Christianity to be true, which does not believe itself, and why we could teach anything else, and how you conceive a religion to proclaim itself, infallible?
You are not
This point in our religion is so fundamental-this element is so primitive and constituent, that a Christianity declares itself false by this infallible, you say. You profess to believe that you may be mistakenfact alone, that it does not declare itself infallible. that you may teach me error, or that, at least, you have no means to guarantee to me infallibly, the possession of truth. To preserve in my soul the truth and the whole truth; to defend it against the mixture of then; you are not the true religion, you are not true Christianity. every error, you have not a word which esteems itself Infallible? Retire, You say, What is the use of an exterior living authority proclaimed infallible? We have a book, this book in reality bears in its oracles the Infallibility of God.' And you believe in this way to have solved the problem? The problem becomes more complicated, the solution recedes, and it will recede for ever. Ah! the Infallibility of God; if you hold it in your hands I understand you; but who here below will give to man the infallible means of making the Infallibility of God proceed from the depths of Scripture? Who does not perceive that it is to appeal to the Infallibility of God, in order to discover in an obscure text the Infallibity of God? A closed circle, which does not leave to your reason any issue from whence to escape. Scripture, Scripture, here
is my infallible oracle.' What! an obscure book, a dead book, a book which is not an oracle, proclaimed to be the sole and infallible oracle? Ah! if the oracle suffices to solve every problem, and to decide every question, why, then, under the dominion of this oracle do we behold the spectacle of perpetual and universal division? To cite one example only, among a thousand, whence comes it, that in presence of this divine text, Hoc est Corpus Meum, 'This is My Body," whence comes it that the oracle which said yesterday 'It is the reality of My Body,' says to-day, It is the figure, it is the memorial, it is the symbol of My Body.' Whence comes it that each sect which questions the infallible book upon this point receives a new oracle every day? How is it that this same and divine infallibility affixes its seal to so many contradictory opinions and doctrines? Ah! the Infallibility of Scripture; who, then, is quite certain of carrying it away with him, among all these complicated labyrinths of religious thought, where errors conflict with errors, where sects strive with sects and systems with systems? Is it Luther? Is it Calvin? Is it Bucer? Is it Zwingle? Is it this Synod or that? Is it this Confession or that?
"Moreover, one fact, absolutely certain, commands the whole of this question, and reduces the Infallibility of Scripture as the Sovereign rule of Faith, to nothing. The Christian Church existed previously to the Evangelical Scriptures. Before the appearance of the Gospels, the Church not only exists, but she teaches, she dogmatises, she judges, she decides, she condemns, she even fulminates. Well, was the Church then Infallible? Yes or no? If she was not, Christ, Who had promised to her the immortality of His presence, and the perpetuity of His assistance, repudiated her then, in the first days of her life? He was to be with her even to the end, yet He was not from the very commencement. But if the Church was already infallible, then what does this infallibility of the Scripture signify, when there were no Scriptures? And what is this supreme arbitration of the Gospel, then, when it is plain to all there was no Gospel? Before there was a single Evangelical text-before one word was written-the Church was divinely constituted. Well remarks the illustrious Malebranche, 'Every society divinely constituted, supposes Infallibility. "And if it is to the Gospel that you appeal as to the sole Infallible authority, then why do you not believe in its words, revealing to you in its purest and highest light the creation of an infallible authority? Ah! tu es Petrus is there, the non prævalebunt is there, the ecce ego vobiscum sum is there. Go and teach all nations, and behold, I am with you till the end of the world.' Who says this, I beg you? The Gospel. And to whom are these divine promises addressed? Is it to the Gospel itself? No; a thousand times no. These words have no sense, but as addressed to the men, whom Christ sends to teach, to establish, to govern; and if He does not give them the privilege of Infallibility; if, bearing the word which teaches, they can even once mingle error in it instead of truth, then what signifies to this Society which can thus be deceived, the perpetuity of His presence and the permanence of His succour?
"Here, sirs, I venture to appeal to your vulgarest reason, and to your most ordinary common sense-if these words do not mean I shall be with you to prevent you from erring in that universal instruction whose Mission I have imposed upon you,' what do they mean, I ask you? And if they do not give Infallibility, I demand what do they pretend to give? Assuredly, the Gospel here meant to say something. Well, the Gospel, which cannot be wrong, and cannot be deceived, says to you, by the voice of evidence which surrounds it on all sides, that Christ willed to create an authority which could no more be deceived than the Gospel and Himself. O you, then, who appeal to the Gospel, as the sole infallible judge, listen to the oracle of the Gospel, which says clearly to you, Christ in creating the Church-has created an infallible authority.'
"Have you not perceived, gentlemen, in men who esteem themselves what they call Freethinkers, a prodigious desire of imposing on others the empire of their thought? And whom have you met in the world more violent in the claim of their own Infallibility? Here is a man who revolts against the idea of there being on the earth an institution claiming in the name of God, an infallible authority over human intelligence! Try to make him understand that perhaps he is wrong; that after all a privilege is rigorously possible, and that the Church has proofs of her divine investiture. He has decided at the tribunal of his reason, that there cannot be any divine authority there. He cannot be wrong, he is certain of it, he says-absolutely certain. He cannot be deceived even against the testimony of more than a hundred millions of men, who still, at the present day, are not of his opinion. Thus, by an irony of logic, and by a revenging contradiction, every inveterate enemy of the Infallibility of the Church retorts forcibly upon himself, and finishes by proclaiming himself infallible.
"Look through our long and luminous history, and in the stations which, through the course of 20 centuries mark the various stages of her conquering march-seek for an epoch, less than that-for a day, for an hour, in which the Church has ceased to act as infallibile, to judge, to define, to condemn as infallible: seek in this long duration, a moment, for the very shortest moment, in which our Church, divinely infallible, has appeared to doubt her Infallibility. I affirm that you will not find it. Ah! what must be shown you here is not this or that fact-it is the unique, the immense, the perpetual and universal fact of the Church
judging, as the divine Master, in her divine and infallible authority, tanquam potestatem habens, with the inexhaustible sense of her divinity, and with the invincible conviction of her Infallibility.
Nothing gentlemen, is greater, because nothing is more impossible in the history of mankind. Thus does the Church march through the world, preserving from the point of view in which we stand, an attitude which is not human. This conviction, this promise, this exercise of her Infallibility, she maintains, then, without hesitating without dissimulating, without yielding. The world doubts her Infallibility: she says, without being moved, I believe in it,' and she passes by. The world denies her Infallibility, and she says, without dissimulating anything, I affirm it,' and she passes by. The world rebels against her Infallibility, and she replies, without bending even before threats, even before force, even before death, I am infallible,' and she passes by. She passes through all these doubts-she passes through all these agitations-she passes through all these rebellions. It is like the march of divinity traversing the abode of man, having a divine look to embrace all that is true, a divine word to affirm all that is true, a divine action to defend all that is true; and one can say of her far better than of the goddess in the fable, Incessu patuit Dea. She marches on, and her eye casts forth beams which illuminate all horizons; she speaks, and her words strike blows which cause all errors to totter and die; she acts, and her action is a royalty which governs the whole empire of truth, and which makes in truth the harmony of intelligences: she judges, she defines, she condemns, and the chaos of errors retires before her; she is the perpetual fiat lux of truth, making all darkness to flee, and all light to shine forth."
We must conclude our short extracts from this Conference with the Father's peroration:
"Oh, Holy Catholic Church, indeed thou art not human! On whatever side we regard thee, the rays of the Divine escape from thee, and shine with their natural brilliancy to every pure and simple eye. But of all these rays which enlighten thy divinity, one of the most brilliant, without contradiction, is that of Thy Divine Infallibility, nothing human having ever been able to assume in humanity this attitude of the infallible; this attribute of Divinity communicated to thee alone by the Christ God, thy divine spouse. I am not, then, surprised at the profound emotion which this Divine privilege excites everywhere at all times, and especially to-day, and I understand the noise made throughout the world by this name alone, which is given thee-the Infallible! "But in proportion as this name makes the impotent jealousy of the immortal adversary to rage, does the confiding affection of all those who love thee find a charm in pronouncing it. Oh, Mother, in this valley of shadows through which we are passing, in this land of errors which we inhabit, it is sweet to us-yes, sweeter than I shall ever be able to express-to place our hand in thine; better still to repose upon thy breast, and to say to each other as we traverse the present and look forward to the future:- Brethren, do not fear, we have a mother who cannot be deceived, and who, through all the obscurities of this exile, bears us onward with a sure march and a step that can never fail, into the country of light.'
The sixth and last Conference on "Infallibility in Pontifical Authority," the vexed question of the day-contained the usual Ultramontane arguments for the personal Infallibility of the Pope. It was extremely clever and well argued throughout, but as so much has been written on this subject, it would scarcely be interesting to the English reader.
The ceremony of the General Communion of men presented on Easter Day at Nôtre Dame the same consoling spectacle as in previous years. At 7.30 a.m., Mass was celebrated by Père Felix. Then, during the singing of hymns, the Communion was administered simultaneously by five Priests to several thousand men of all conditions and of every age. After Mass and the saying of the Te Deum, Père Felix pronounced an eloquent allocution on unity from the text, "One heart and one soul"
(From a Correspondent.)
On Tuesday, April 26, there was a meeting of the Irish Church Society at eight in the evening. Rev. C. Dowman read a paper adducing arguments against the notion of the Papal Infallibility from the history of the first three centuries.
On Wednesday evening, April 27, All Saints' Choral Festival came off. First there was Choral Service in Church, and then a concert and reading in the schoolroom. There were solos, duets, quartets, and glees, which were all much applauded. Rev. Henry Hogan deserves to be congratulated on his successful management of the choir.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 3, at four o'clock, Rev. A. Dawson (St. Bartholomew's) delivers the first lecture of a series on popular objections to the Prayer Book.
On Monday evening. May 9, Mr. Moore will read a paper before the Trinity College Theological Society against Priestly Absolution.
A great storm has been raised by the Archbishop of Dublin's manly letter. It is commonly said that it has caused the loss of many thousand pounds to the Irish Church. Catholics, however, consider that the Faith