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another for Italians, and they appear to feel that their religion is really Catholic.
We have heretofore spoken of the freer and bolder tone that is beginning to be assumed by English Catholics; there is decidedly less namby-pambyism among them, less of that truckling and servile spirit, so incompatible with the freedom and dignity of our faith, and less of that striving to conciliate and to avoid displeasing heretics, lest our goods should be confiscated or our throats cut, hardly to be expected in the members of a Church that teaches men that in dying they may conquer the world ; and we attribute this, under God, in some degree, to the accession of converts from Anglicanism, but mainly to the influx of Irish Catholics. The Church in England, as in this country, increases by emigration from Ireland, and it is from this source that English Catholicity has derived chiefly its courage to speak in bolder tones and stronger language. And this not only because a large portion of the Catholic population are Irish, but poor Irish. Your Catholic aristocracy, save individual exceptions, have too many worldly relations, and too many connections with the dominant heretical society, to permit the missionary to rely upon them with much confidence, and they will always, in consideration of their rank and large possessions, be disposed to temporize, and to give up all of their religion that can possibly be given up without giving up the whole. We regard it as a very great blessing to our own country, that at the present moment the great majority of our Catholic population are poor, and poor Irish. Our Catholicity will thus have a healthier tone, and rest on a far more solid basis, humanly speaking, than if it prevailed only among the native-born population, and the wealthier and more distinguished families. What might at first view seem against us is really in our favor, and we really feel more joy, other things being equal, in the conversion of a poor man or a poor woman, than in that of a rich man or a fine lady. The poor, they who have but few ties that bind them to the world, are more devoted to the truth, love their religion more for its own sake, care less for appearances, and are less afraid of having the plain truth told to their heretical neighbours. The Irish have their faults, - no man pretends to deny it, and who has not faults ? But Almighty God seems to have reserved to them the special mission of restoring to the faith the nations that speak the English language, and they seem to us to be peculiarly fitted for its performance. If, then, we mark a decided improvement in
the tone and feelings of Catholics in England and in this country during the last half-century, let us, who are of the old Eng. lish stock, not forget to give the honor where, under God, it is due, — to the piety, the zeal, and the steadfastness of the poor Irish emigrants. And let it console them in some measure for the sufferings of poor, oppressed Ireland, that they are, by Divine Providence, made the instrument of building up the Church in England and the United States, and of the'salvation of millions of souls.
Art. IV. - The Mercersburg Review. Mercersburg, Pa.
In his number for May, the Mercersburg Reviewer attempts to defend his doctrine from the charges we preferred against it in our Review for April last. He asserts that the pantheistic consequences we drew from his premises are not warranted, and repeats his main objection to what he improperly, and in very bad taste, terms Romanism, that is, Catholicity.
We expected as much ; for we did not flatter ourselves that he would at once submit to the Church, and we did not doubt his sincere intention to be a Christian, which, of course, he could not be, if his doctrine involved the consequences we alleged. But the simple denial of those consequences is not enough; he must show that he can so interpret his doctrine as to escape them, and that, when he so interprets it, he is able to distinguish it from, and oppose it to, Catholic faith and theology. He himself, in his January number, reduced the whole controversy between the Church and all classes of her opponents to the question between her and his specific form of Protestantism, and virtually conceded, that, if his specific form of Protestantism is untenable, her claims as the infallible Church of God, out of which there is no salvation, must be admitted. Since the presumption is always in favor of the Church, as prior occupant, his business was to prove his doctrine, and to prove it, not only in so far as coincident with hers, but in so far as distinguished from and opposed to hers. If he has not done this, he has done nothing to his purpose, and we are free, by bis own concession, to conclude the Church against him.
In our reply to the Reviewer, as our readers will remember, NEW SERIES. VOL. IV. NO. III.
we analyzed his doctrine, and found that it teaches, among other things, — 1. The supernatural object of faith is in the subject, not out of it ; 2. The supernatural does not wholly transcend the natural ; and, 3. Faith is the immediate apprehension of the truth of the matter believed. If he holds these principles, we contended, -1. He necessarily denies the object of faith, for whatever is in the subject, not out of it, is subject, not object, and therefore he denies faith itself ; for where there is no object to be believed, there can be no act of believing. 2. He denies the proper supernatural, and therefore Christianity as a supernatural revelation, and then Christianity itsell; for it is a contradiction in terms to call that supernatural which does not wholly transcend the sphere of the natural. And 3. He denies faith itself, again, by confounding faith with science ; for the immediate apprehension of the truth of the object or intrinsic truth of a proposition is knowledge, not faith. The three principles, or rather the first two, for he is silent as to the last, ihe Reviewer reaffirms in his answer ; but he denies the consequences we drew from them.
He might, as it seems to us, just as well deny that two and two are four.
The reasoning by which the Reviewer attempts to escape these fatal consequences is to us not very clear, or easy to comprehend. The author has apparently a great aversion to clear, distinct, and definite statements, and follows a species of logic which is more convenient than conclusive, and which allows him to conclude any proposition he chooses, if he only contrives to assert somewhere, on some subject, something which is not false. But we shall do our best to understand him, and to reply fairly and pertinently to his real thought.
The first charge against the Reviewer is, that, by placing the object in the subject, and denying it to be real, save as concreted “ in the thinking and willing of single minds,” as he expresses himself, he denies the object itself, because if in the subject, it is not object at all. To this he replies, “We still say, however, that there is no truth or law in the world of mind under a purely objective form.” (p. 317.) In the world of mind, that is, in private thought and will, as existing in them, agreed; but that is a mere truism, and not the question. The question is, Do you, or do you not, admit any purely objective reality, any object really existing, a parte rei, independent of our thinking and willing? “ Intelligence and will are needed to make room for such existence, and to bring it actually to pass.” (Ibid.) Room for its existence " in the world of mind,"
that is, in intelligence and will, certainly ; for that is a truism again, but not ad rem. Are human intelligence and will needed to make room for the existence of truth, as reality, as something existing in re ? “ Truth exists, as truth, only by being known. Blot out all knowledge, all consciousness, all thought, and you blot out all truth at the same time. Intelligence is ihe light in which it reveals itself, the very form in which it becomes real.” (Ibid.) Real as a fact of intelligence ? Agreed, again ; but that is not to the purpose, and is also a mere truisin, for it is only saying that what is not known is not known. But does truth as an objective reality exist only by being known, or has it no existence a parte rei, till it is a fact of human intelligence? Your meaning, if meaning you have, or if you are saying any thing to the purpose, is, that it does not so exist. Then you concede that you hold the principle, that the object is in the subject, not out of it ; therefore is subject, not object, as we have alleged. Pray, tell us, then, if truth is unreal, a pure abstraction, while unknown, how it can be an object of knowledge at all, or how there can be an act of knowledge where there is no cognizable or intelligible object; that is, how there can be any truth at all. “God is at once object and subject, in the most universal
He is the absolute union of both.” (p. 318.) You must mean by this either that God is at once the human subject — the only subject in question - and its object; or that he is, in regard to himself, at once subject and object, that is, the adequate object of his own intellect. If you mean the former, you are a pantheist ; if the latter, it is true, but not to the purpose. By subject in this controversy, the Reviewer very well knows, unless he is wholly ignorant of modern philosophy, is meant the human soul, the thinking and willing subject we ourselves are, and by object, that which is distinguished from it. Subject and object in God are identical, for he is actus purissimus, most pure act. But because they are identical in him, do you say therefore they are identical in us? Whence does this follow?' Are we God, and like him the adequate object of our own intellect? 66 And so, then, in the constitution of the universe under God, object and subject can never fall absolutely asunder, but are required always to go together as joint factors in the determination of all proper reality in the world.” (Ibid.) If this is at all to the purpose, it asserts that, in like manner as subject and object are one in God, so are they in us. This confirms our assertion that the Reviewer places the object in the subject, or identifies them. But if so, then we are God, and the Reviewer unwittingly reasserts the very autotheism he disclaims,-evident also from the further fact that he makes all the “proper reality in the world” the result of the joint operations of subject and object. But here is another difficulty. Reality is the result of their action as joint factors. Then they, regarded in themselves, are not real; ihen they are mere abstractions, mere possibilities; then they are incapable of action, and nothing can result from them; then there can be no reality, and nullism, which we before charged upon the Reviewer's doctrine, follows as a necessary consequence. Will the Reviewer explain to us how his reasoning obviates the consequences we have before drawn from his premises ?
But the Reviewer adds, that he does not mean to understand his doctrine in such sense as to subordinate truth and law to the power of individual thought and will, as though truth and law might be considered the product of men themselves. Pray, then, what is the meaning of all you have been saying, and of your objection to us, that we place the object out of the subject, and hold it to be independent of us ? “Men make neither truth nor law.” Indeed! And yet you accuse us of heresy, because we hold truth exists a parte rei, and is proposed objectively to our apprehension, and because we do not recognize man's autonomy in constituting the law which he is morally bound to obey ! Have you not said that “truth exists, as truth," that is, as a reality, “only by being known”? Have you not said that the law is brought to pass, comes to its actualization in the world, only in the form of being apprehended and willed by its subjects," -- that "mind thus by its very constitution is required to be autonomic, self-legislative, a true fountain and source of the law itself,” — and that “only as the law is willed, freely embraced, affirmed, constituted, by the created intelligence it is ordained to rule, so as to be at the same time the product of this, its own act virtually and deed, can there be any ..... morality or religion”? (p. 316.) Here is what you say, and nothing you say inconsistent with this can be entertained. If you choose to contradict yourself, that is not our business.
“Men,” says the Reviewer, "make neither truth nor law. These have an absolute necessity beyond their will, and underlie the very order from which they spring. But still truth and law .actualize themselves in the world, become concrete, and thus real for men, only as they are incorporated with their life