Imágenes de páginas

his open heart to believe. No doubt the grace of God is operating within him, but, so far as the change depends on human effort, it consists in the fact, that he has turned round with his face towards God in his intuitions, and beholds reality in the light, no longer in the shadow cast by himself. What, humanly speaking, will best serve those who esteem themselves atheists, are such considerations as tend to draw them off from mere reflection on their own psychological phenomena, and set them with free mind and open heart to contemplating the objects revealed to them and to all men in direct and iminediate intuition. These are, no doubt, such as are usually presented by the patrons of the argument a posteriori, and, if presented in the light of a sound philosophy, for what they really are, and not for what they are not, they are all, the grace of God supposed, that can be required.

If the entire drift of our reasoning be not misapprehended, the question whether God is living God or not will present no difficulty. It has been our endeavour to enter our solemn protest against the dead abstractions of modern psychologism, to prove that there are no abstractions in nature, that abstractions are nullities, and yield only nullity, that ideas are not mere words, are not mental conceptions, are not intellections, are not subjective forms of the understanding, are not ours, but are real intelligibilia, intelligible objects, objects of our intellect, not our intellect nor the products of our intellect itself, and that they are in the Divine Mind or Eternal Reason, infinite in number considered in relation to the effects God is able to produce, considered in relation to his ability, one, and identical with himself. We have also endeavoured to establish that God reveals birself immediately to us in direct intuition as creator, actually creating, according to bis own will, out of nothing, therefore as free, voluntary creator, therefore as living, personal, and therefore as proper object of worship, prayer, praise, love, and reverence.

One word more we must add, to prevent misapprehension. From the fact that we assert direct and immediate intuition of God, it must not be inferred that we assert, or intend to assert, either that we see God intuitively by himself alone, or as he is in himself, — the former of which it would be at least temerity, and the latter undeniably heresy, to assert. We assert, indeed, intuition of intelligibles, but we do not assert pure intellections, as does exaggerated spiritualism. Of pure intellections we are not naturally capable ; for we are not pure intelligences, but intelligence wedded to body, and therefore can naturally apprehend the intelligible only in union with the sensible.

What we have denied and attempted to disprove is, that God is known only as contained implicitly in his works and discursively obtained from them ; but we have not asserted, or intended to assert, that he is known as God without his works. Invisibilia ipsius, a creatura mundi, per ea quæ factæ sunt, intellecta, conspiciuntur, (Rom. i. 20,) says St. Paul, and he seems to us to express precisely our meaning. If we see God only discursively, as implicitly contained in his works, we do not see him clearly, for such implicit seeing is not clear seeing. It is not thus we see God; but we clearly see him or the things of God, otherwise unknown or invisible to us, in understanding, or by understanding, his works, as we see the light in seeing the visible body which it renders visible. We actually see the light ; it is the primary and immediate object of our vision, and the medium by which we see all else that we do see ; but we do not see it in itself, nor by itself alone, for our eyes are too weak for that, and it would strike us blind were we to attempt to look directly into it, as any one may satisfy himself by attempting at mid-day to look directly into the sun. So in the intelligible world, we really and truly see God; he is the primary and immediate object of the intellect, and the medium by which we intellectually see all else that we do intellectually see, understand, or know, but not as he is in himself ; for if we cannot look into the sun, which is but the shadow of his light, without being struck blind, how much less can we look into him who is light itself; nor do we know him by himself alone, that is, apart from bis works, but we know him in knowing objects, which are made intelligible objects only in and by his intelligibility, as they are made existence only by and in his creative act, or omnipotent power.

There are several things in the author's book of considerable importance, which we have passed over ; but if he seizes the real import of what we have advanced, he will have no difficulty in understanding how we view them. We have aimed, not so much to refute his particular views, as to point out what we consider to be the fundamental mistakes into which he, misled by prevailing psychologism, has fallen, and to explain their origin and establish the principles on which they can be and are to be corrected. We take our leave of the book with kind feelings towards its author, and with the confident hope of meeting bim hereafter in a work which we can cordially accept.

Art. II. – Dissertatio Historico-Dogmatica de Sacrarum

Imaginum Cultu Religioso Quatuor Epochis complectens Dogma et Disciplinam Ecclesiæ super Sanctus Imagines. Auctore ABB. Iosepho GUEVERA, Hispano. Fulginiæ. . 1789.


It is our object, not so much to review the able and learned treatise, the title of which we have prefixed to this article, as to arrange in an independent essay some facts, authorities, and arguments in support of the Catholic doctrine respecting the veneration of images. We shall, however, have occasion to borrow largely from the rich stores of the Abbate Guevara, and we therefore, in the outset, acknowledge our obligations to him for the chief portion of our materials.

Our design leads us to present our subject, first in an bistorical light, leaving the consideration of the difficulties usually brought up from the Old Testament for after consideration. the treatise of the Abbate Guevara, the history of Christian sacred images is divided into four epochs :- 1. From the death of our Lord to the conversion of Constantine ; 2. From the reign of Constantine to that of Leo the Isaurian ; 3. From the time of the Emperor Leo to that of the Second Nicene, or Seventh Ecumenical Council; and 4. From the Second Council of Nice to the Council of Trent. During the first period, says our learned author,

“Aliquæ sanctæ imagines fuere in usu, eosque religioso cultu, clam, ut ita loquor, timore et tyrannorum persecutione cogentibus, Christifideles prosequebantur.” “ Some sacred images were made use of, and the faithful of Christ honored them with religious veneration, privately so to speak, through the compulsion of fear and of the persecution of tyrants."

“In secunda, serenitatis aurora Ecclesiæ oborta, sine ullo timore, in templis haberi cæptum; ipseque pius Constantinus multas colori bus effigiatus, auro argentoque cælatas fusilesque, qua late ejus imperium porrigebatur, collocari jussit, maxima Christiani orbis lætitia.” * In the second, the dawn of peace having arisen upon the Church, they began to be placed, without the least fear, in the temples; and the pious Constantine himself commanded many, both images painted with various colors, and such as were formed from silver and gold, and also sculptures, to be erected, throughout the whole wide extent of his dominions, to the extreme joy of the Christian world.”

“ In tertia, Leo Isauricus," etc.“ In the third, Leo the Isaurian," and other persecutors.

“ In quarta, cultus restitutus.” “In the fourth, the religious honor of images restored.”

Again, our author says of the first epoch

" Prima epocha, frequenter adorationi publicæ non expositas, ob causam persecutionum. Religio enim sancta, qua nititur prudenti discretione, quibusdam non obligatoriis, ne sibi ipsi officiat, laudabiliter desciscit

, tempus expectans opportunius.” “ During the first epoch, holy images were not frequently exposed for public veneration, on account of the persecutions. For our holy religion, with that prudent discretion which she practises, laudably, at times, abstains from some things not of obligation, in order to avoid incurring an injury, awaiting, meanwhile, a more favorable opportunity.”

It appears from this, that the period between the First and Second Nicene Councils, that is, between the fourth and eighth centuries, was the one in which the use of sacred images, and the doctrine concerning the veneration due to them, were universally confirmed and recognized; and that the Church based her practice and teaching upon a tradition received from the preceding ages, and handed down from the very days of the Apostles, – which will become clear as we proceed. In the words of our author :

“ Dogma Catholicum in quacumque materiæ, ab initio fuit semper idem, semper invariabiliter est idem, et semper immutabile ubique terrarum permanebit. Verbum enim Domini permanet in æternum. Cælum et terra pertransibunt; verba enim Domini non præteribunt.' Tamen, dogma non semper æque manifestum, neque omnibus pari claritatis splendore proditum. Ècclesia, quæ laudabili pollet discretionis dono, prudenter judicarit, non omnia ab initio cum proventu declaranda, sed, dato tempore, et circumstantiis convenientibus, quæ occulta manebant, et quasi in abscondito latebant, educere in lucem ad populorum instructionem.” “The Catholic dogma, in regard to every subject whatsoever, has been always the same, from the beginning, remains always unchangeably the same, and will always continue, in every part of the world, immutable. For, “The word of the Lord remains for ever. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the word of the Lord shall not pass away. Nevertheless, a dogma is not always equally manifest, or brought before the minds of all with an equally brilliant light. The Church, who possesses

We use the term veneration,"

.”' instead of literally translating the Latin word by "adoration," because experience has taught us that some of our antagonists will persist in giving to our words a meaning which they are never intended to have.

an admirable gift of discretion, has prudently judged that she would not declare all things, explicitly, from the beginning, but, at a given time, and in suitable circumstances, would bring into the light some things which were hitherto in concealment, and covered with a certain obscurity." *

Let us first examine the few remaining monuments of tha primitive tradition, from which the Church of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries derived her doctrine. These are the image of Edessa, the Veronica, the image of Paneas, the images found in the cemeteries, and a number of passages from the Fathers.

1. The image of Edessa. The story of the letter of King Abgarus to our Saviour, and our Saviour's reply, accompanied by a miraculous image of himself, is well known. The letters attributed to Christ and Abgarus are universally regarded as apocryphal ; this, however, does not prove that the story itself is false. It can be traced to a very early period, and, although we cannot tell exactly what was the true history on which it is founded, yet it seems clear that there was one, and the whole matter, obscure as it is, illustrates the belief and temper of the Ante-Nicene period. The Greek Menology contains a festival called “ Commemoratio Imaginis non manufactæ D. D. N. S. J. C. ex urbe Edessæ egressæ, et in hanc urbem regiam et a Deo servatam, deportatæ.” Commemoration of the Image not made by hands of the Lord our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, brought from the city Edessa, and transported to this royal city, by God protected.” The history was, moreover, examined and approved by the Second Nicene Council. St. John Damascen says :

“Cum Abgarus Edessæ rex, eo nomine pictorem misisset, ut Domini imaginem exprimeret, neque id pictor, ob splendorem ex ipsius vultu manantem consequi potuisset. Dominum ipsum divinæ suæ ac vivificæ faciei pallium admovisse, imaginemque suam ei impressisse, se que illud ad Abgarum, ut ipsius cupiditati satisfaceret, misisse, ferunt.” “They say, that when Abgarus, king of Edessa, had sent a painter for the purpose of taking the likeness of our Lord, and the painter was unable to do it, on account of the splendor which was emanating from his countenance, the Lord himself

" The

* The reader can hardly need to be admonished, that here is nothing resembling Mr. Newman's doctrine of development. The doctrine is from the beginning, but is not always and everywhere declared with equal distinctness. NEW SERIES. VOL. IV. NO. I.


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