Page images

the same essentially as the Word of God spoken, and the Word of God spoken is the sanie essentially with the Word made flesh, and speaking: It is in consequence of this essential identity that the history of the Word of God written corresponds to that of the Word made flesh.” The Word as the Divine Wisdom descends from God through all the heavens to the earth, and becomes accommodated to the apprehensions of angels and men. In its inmost it is Divine, in its intermediate it is celestial and spiritual, in its ultimate it is natural. But the Eternal Word also descended through all the heavens, and finally assumed a natural humanity on earth, when He became incarnate for the redemption and salvation of the human race. “The inmost sense of the Word,” says Swedenbory, "treats solely of the Lord, describing all the states of the glorification of His Humanity, that is, of its union with the essential Divinity ; and likewise all the states of the subjugation of the hells, and the reducing to order all things therein as well as in the heavens. Thus in the inmost sense is described the Lord's whole life upon earth, and thereby the Lord is continually present with angels. Therefore the Lord alone is in the inmost part of the Word, and the divinity and sanctity of the Word is thence derived." This blending of the Eternal Word with the written Word is the ground of their both being described in Scripture by the same language, and of their both being the mediums of the conjunction of man with God, and of God with man. The author shows not only that there is a correspondence between the written and the Eternal Word, but that they both suffer and are glorified together. The Lord assumed a material humanity as the Word assumed itself with a literal sense. But the Lord is believed to be still clothed with such a body. For a Christian writer observes, “ How it can be that a real substantial Presence of Christ is possible on our altars while yet He abides in the natural substance of His flesh and blood at the right hand of His Father; or how bread and wine, remaining in their natural substances, become associated with a new and Divine substance, is not given us to know.” The Lord's humanity being thus supposed to be merely natural, and the written Word being supposed to be also merely literal, how can the Holy Supper be understood as other than a lifeless ceremonial? “In order to a right understanding of the sacrament of the Holy Supper, the first thing requisite is a right understanding of the doctrine of the Incarnation, or of the Word maile flesh.” This doctrine the author presents in a very lucid aspect, bringing out in bold relief the New Church view of the Lord's glorification, which shows that the Lord's humanity became Divine, without, however, ceasing to be human, so that His flesh and blood are necessarily Divine, and therefore living and lifegiving. When the subject is viewed in its true light, it will be seen that the Lord is actually and intimately present in His Holy Supper; and that, as the most sacred solemnity of worship, it is the means of bringing the Lord and the worshipper into the closest connection, and the medium of conjunction between them.

This very meagre outline of the book will, we trust, induce the members of the Church to read it for themselves ; for although evidently designed for the clergy of the Church of England, it will afford much to instruct and delight those who already know in part

. The author is too well known, and his labours are too highly appreciated, to require or even to admit of any approbation or recommendation from us.


THE VATICAN DECREES." In our January number we noticed the controversy which has arisen on this sub. ject, and intimated the course adopted by some who had taken part in it. We now propose to enter a little further into some of the particulars which have appeared in the course of the discussion which has ensued.

As intimated in our last, among the first to enter the arena was Dr. Manning, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster. This was due, as he intimates in the commencement of his letter to the Times, from his office, his writings, and the direct appeal to him in the pamphlet. His answer to Mr. Gladstone is briefly the following :

1. That the Vatican decrees have in no jot or tittle changed either the obligations or the conditions of civil allegiance. 2. That the civil allegiance of Catholics is as undivided as that of all Christians and of all men who recognise a divine or natural moral law. 3. That the civil allegiance of no man is unlimited, and therefore the civil allegiance of all men who believe in God, or are governed by conscience, is in that sense divided. In this sense, and in no other, can it be said with truth that the civil allegiance of Catholies is divided. The civil allegiance of every Christian man in England is limited by conscience and the law of God, and the civil allegiance of Catholics is limited neither less nor more,

The sentiment here expressed is true, but it is inapplicable in its relation to the gubjects of the Papacy. We ought to obey God rather than man, but the Pope claims for his utterances when spoken ex cathedra an authority equal to the laws of Go:l. The law of God is the true source of rational freedom, and the best security of social order. The aim of the Papacy is the suppression of liberty and the subjection of all authority to its undisputed dominion. “The Rome of the Middle Ages claimed universal monarchy. The modern Church of Rome has abandoned nothing, retracted nothing." And it does not avail her champions to profess to limit her jurisdiction to the spheres of religion and morality. History clearly shows that wherever she has had the power, these spheres have been made to embrace the civil and political. It is in vain, therefore, that Dr. Manning claims for himself and his flock "a civil allegiance as pure, as true, and as loyal as is rendered by any subjects of the British Empire."

The controversy was not permitted, however, to reinain in the hands of the Archbishop and his clerical associates. Catholic laymen claimed the right to speak, and some of them have spoken in a way that must have been gall and wormwood to their clerical superiors. Lord Acton, in a letter to Mr. Gladstone, says:

" The doctrines against which you are contending did not begin with the Vatican Council. At the time when the Catholic oath was repealed the Pope had the same right and power to excommunicate those who denied his authority to depose princes that he possesses now. The writers most esteemed at Roine held that doctrine as an article of faith; a modern Pontiff had affirmed that it cannot be abandoned without taint of heresy, and that those who questioned and restricted his authority in temporal matters were worse than those who rejected it in spirituals, and accordingly men suffered death for this cause as others did for blasphemy and atheism. The recent decrees have neither increased the penalty nor made it more easy to inflict.

A Pope who lived in Catholic times, and who is famous in history as the author of the first Crusade, decided that it is no murder to kill excommunicated persons. This rule was incorporated in the canon law. In the revision of the Code, which took place in the sixteenth century, and produced a whole volume of corrections, the passage was allowed to stand. It appears in every reprint of the Corpus Juris. It has been for 700 years, and continues to be part of the ecclesiastical law. Far from having been a dead letter, it obtained a new application in the days of the Inquisition, and one of the latter Popes has declared that the murder of a Protestant is so good a deed that it atones, and more than atones, for the murder of a Catholic. Again, the greatest legislator of the mediæval Church laid down this proposition, that


allegiance must not be kept with heretical Princescum ei qui Deo fidem non serrat fides servanda non sit. This principle was adopted by a celebrated council, and is confirmed by St. Thomas Aquinas, the oracle of the schools. The Syllabus which you cite has assuredly not acquired greater authority in the Church than the canon law and the Lateran Decrees, than Innocent the Third and St. Thomas. Yet these things were as well known when the oath was repealed as they are now. But it was felt that, whatever might be the letter of canons and the spirit of the Ecclesiastical laws, the Catholic people of this country might be honourably trusted.

“But I will pass from the letter to the spirit which is moving men at the present day. It belongs peculiarly to the character of a genuine Ultramontane not only to guide his life by the example of canonized saints, but to receive with reverence and submission the words of Popes. Now Pius V., the only Pope who has been proclaimed a saint for many centuries, having deprived Elizabeth, com. missioned an assassin to take her life ; and his next successor, on learning that the Protestants were being massacred in France, pronounced the action glorious and holy, but comparatively barren of results; and implored the King during two months, by his Nuncio and his Legate, to carry the work on to the bitter end until every Huguenot had recanted or perished."

This fearless exposure of papal practices by a Catholic layman was followed by letters from Lord Camoys and the Hon. Nr. Petre, expressing similar senti. ments. These outspoken statements could not be allowed to pass unrebuked, and accordingly Monsignor Capel writes in reply to the Times :

“If,” he says, “the letters of Lord Acton and Lord Camoys go unchallenged, much misapprehension will obtain. Permit me, then, to trespass on your space to prevent this. Lord Acton, having made statements imputing atrocious charges to the Holy See, is bound in common justice to give equally publicly the authorities on which these rest. If Lord Camoys seriously and obstinately refuses to accept the doctrine of the Personal Infallibility of the Pope,' then does he make shipwreck of the faith, and ipso facto separate himself from communion with the Church and the See of St. Peter."

The remaining portions of his letter are a repetition of the usual defences of the Papacy:

The challenge to Lord Acton was accepted, and issued in the publication of the most remarkable letter which has appeared in this controversy. This letter occupied several columns in the Times, and enters at length into the evidences of the historical truth of his assertions. These proofs are collected from papal documents and correspondence, and from other most undeniable historical evi. dences. It was sought to weaken the force of these evidences by alleging palliating circumstances; but, as shown by Lord Acton in a rejoinder, the objection did not affect the truth of the statements. The insane pretensions and terrible crimes practised under this fearful corruption of the Christian Church are therefore undeniable. How do men who present such evidences reconcile themselves to continued communion with the Papacy? Lord Acton writes : “ This communion is dearer to me than life.” The other writers who object to the recent developments of doctrine express no wish to retire from their communion. It is not an answer to their feelings to suppose that it arises from a mere love of antiquity, and that “they stick to an old religion as they stick to an old port.” What has the Protestant Church to offer them that can supply the place of the system in which they have been trained, and wherein are their family connections and most cherished associations ? They feel where they are a want of harmony with the spirit of the age, but they can see no prospect of greater harmony with this spirit in any of the multitudinous parties into which the Protestant Church is divided. Notwithstanding all these repellant features of the Papacy, in the Establishment not a few have passed over to, and others seem hastening towards, this spiritual Babylon. Those, therefore, who have and whose families have been long connected with this communion linger in hope. They regard these strange doctrines as theological figments not intended for practical application. They persuade themselves that no Pope would attempt to put them in force against Protestant princes; and they feel that were the attempt made in


our own country, Catholic noblemen and Catholic subjects would, as on former occasions, rally round the throne, and support with their utmost power the insti. tutions of the country. The doctrines cannot be denied, but true policy, they conceive, is to hold them in abeyance, and, as far as possible, keep them in the background as rusty armour no longer reliable in battle. This appears somewhat pointedly in a letter inserted in the Tablet from the editor of the Dublin Review. A paper had appeared in the Review, in which the writer, with more to the same purpose, said :

"The Pope, in virtue of his ecclesiastical office, has the power of deposing any sovereign whose government he may consider injurious to the spiritual welfare of that country. Even supposing then that the Italian Government were ever to acquire over the Roman States what would otherwise be a legitimate sovereignty -- by his spiritual power alone (i.e. by the indirect temporal power included in his spiritual office) he can depose, not only that Government, but any other except his own which may succed in its place.”

The editor, on looking at the number, was startled," and indeed “shocked” by this “nakedly expressed statement on the Pope's deposing power,” which, however, was only an exaggeration of what he himself holds. He explains, therefore, that though he himself holds this deposing power, he does not think that Catholics as such are in any way bound to hold it ; and further, he says :

"I feel, moreover, strongly that I ought not to have mentioned the doctrine at all, unless I had distinctly expressed how very extreme the cases were in mediæval times when alone any Pope exercised this power, and how completely dormant it has been in the last centuries."

The doctrine is, therefore, really held, though dormant, and requiring to be stated with prudence and caution. It is out of harmony with the age, and very inconvenient in itself, but an infallible Church cannot relinquish its established dogmas.

But how now does the Church deal with her rebellious children? In a cir. cular letter of the Archbishop of Westminster, ordered to be read in all the churches of his diocese, occurs the following passages :

“Whosoever does not in his heart receive and believe the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the doctrine of the Infallibility of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, as they have been defined by the Supreme Authority of the Church, does by that very fact cease to be a Catholic. It has come to our knowledge that some who openly refuse to believe the said doctrines persist nevertheless in calling themselves Catholics, and give out that they go to confession and to Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. We therefore hereby warn them that, in so doing, they deceive our clergy by concealing their unbelief, and that in every such confession and communion they cominit a sacrilege, to their own greater condemnation.”

The threat involved in these statements is thus carried out by the Bishop of Salford in the case of Mr. Petre. In a circular letter to the clergy of his diocese, after referring to his correspondence with Mr. Petre, he says :

“Under these circumstances it is my duty to direct the clergy as follows, viz. : That should Mr. Henry Petre, of Dunkenhalgh, or any person whom they may suspect to be Mr. Henry Petre, ask for-or present himself to receive--the sacraments, he must, first of all, be required to state explicitly that he admits ex animo and unreservedly the power of the Church to make definitions of faith, and that he accepts in like manner the definitions actually made and promulgated in 1854 and 1870. Should any priest act in contravention of this command, he will be ipso facto suspended from the use of his faculties.”

The clergy are further warned against administering the sacrament to other persons similarly circumstanced.

Matters, therefore, are to be carried by a high hand. As the Pope instructed the Council that he should be satisfied with no half measures, so the dignitaries of the Church are for submitting to no questionable obedience. The true spirit of the Papacy is thus apparent in the practice of its officers, and it will continue so long as the laity will submit to its tyrannic authority. The end, however, cannot be delayed, and the efforts to strengthen its power may not improbably hasten its fall.

[ocr errors]

My first

My second

LEAMINGTON.- The controversy which have received from Mr. Cameron, the has arisen in this town, in consequence Agent of the Yorkshire Missionary and of the rejection of the Writings of our Colportage Association, the following Author by a small majority of the Com- account of lectures at Barnoldswick and mittee of the Free Library, has been visit to Embsay :-“1 lectared at Bar. continued for some time in the Leaming, noldswick on Thursday evening, the 7th ton and Warwickshire Chronicle, one of of January, and on Friday evening, the the issues having five columns occupied 8th, the Assembly Rooms having been with reviews of New Church publica- engaged for that purpose. tions, and letters relating to the rejection lecture was an examination of Professor of the Writings. From the correspond- Tyndall's address, showing, from the ence we give the following extract from superior light of the philosophy of the the letter of a writer who takes the signa- New Church, the errors of that gentle. ture of HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE :- man's reasoning. A very select audience “Mr. Mulliner justifies his refusal to was brought together, and, although accept the works of Emanuel Sweden- not numerous, seemed to be much inborg on the ground that one portion of terested in the subject. One admirer them deals with questions of 'Conjugal of Tyndall who was present put several love' and cognate topics, and, as he questions at the close of the lecture, and says, advocates views on these matters the answers which I gave him he con which are positively immoral. I have fessed were satisfactory. not seen the passages in question, but I lecture on the Friday evening was the much doubt whether this is a fair infer- "Teaching of the Bible in harmony ence to draw from them. Swedenborg with the Facts of Science.' There was dealt with the entire realm of human a much larger attendance at this lecture knowledge and experience, as well as than at the first one ; all listened with with the physical, mental, and spiritual marked attention as the nature of the nature of man. His works constitute a Science of Correspondence was explained library in themselves, and doubtless to them, and as the internal sense of the some portions of them deal with matters Word was opened up to their view by which we are apt to regard as delicate the application of that science to many and forbidden topics. What I do know portions of the Sacred Scriptures. of Swedenborg's other wi ings assures Several put questions at the conclusion me that when he touches on these sub- of the lecture, and the interest awakened jects he deals with them as a Christian appeared to be deep and strong, all philosopher, and in the interests of a crowding around me at the close, ex. high morality, though he may perhaps pressing their joy and satisfaction at the venture upon views that would not quite words of life opened up to them in God's win Mr. Mulliner's approval. Plato Word ; the admirer of Tyndall also join. also deals with these subjects in the 5th ing with them, saying he never imagined Book of his 'Republic,' and advocates that such rational and elevating instrucviews similar to those ascribed to tion could be extracted from the Bible. Swedenborg. But recent editions of They expressed a strong wish that I Plato's works, and of this dialogue in would soon come again. I think there particular, have been translated and is a good field in this small town for the published by eminent Church of Eng; planting of the seeds of the New Age, as jand clergymen, and the Republic,' many of the people, I am informed, feel which is published for wider circulation dissatisfied with Old Church teaching. I iu a detached form, is found on the understand my last lecture is to be library shelves of most intelligent Eng. reported in the Craven Pioneer, as my lishmen. I am not aware whether the first lecture on Tyndall appeared in that Leamington Free Library possesses a paper at some length. From Barnoldscopy of Plato's works, or of this par- wick I proceeded to Embsay, as the ticular dialogue ; if it does it is a friends there were to hold their Annual monstrous inconsistency to exclude Social Meeting on the Saturday evening, Emanuel Swedenborg's writings.' The when about 190 persons partook of tea, action of the Committee has also been after which a very pleasant and instruc. noticed, with surprise and censure, by tive evening was passed in listening to the New York Tribune.

addresses, songs, recitations, etc.

“On the Sunday I preached afternoon BARNOLDSWICK AND EMBSAY.-We and evening, my subject in the after

« PreviousContinue »