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“the modern spirit into the institutions, and not “to leave to the clergy what belongs to the civil state, marriages, instruction, charitable institutions ;" it wishes for a " liberal government” in this sense, that it should be
inspired by the consequences which follow from the great principles of 1789.” Such, according to the Civiltà Cattolica, is the avowed object of the revolutionists !
Most important, then, is it that Catholics should not be led astray from the real question of principle by a legitimate difference of opinion as to details. Such and such a measure of reform may appear desirable or not, according to individual opinion; but it behoves all to be agreed on the one great principle that, apart from Christ, the liberator and the regenerator of the human race, the Father of the age to come, there can be no true freedom, no true progress, no true advancement, no light, no truth. This is the one word to which we have already alluded as furnishing an answer to the inquiry in what freedom and progress and the rest really consist. The question may be summed up in that of Pilate, “ Quid est veritas?" and it contains its own answer. Transpose the letters and it replies to itself,—“Est vir qui adest.” Christ is Truth, Christ present in person before Pilate, and present to us now in His Church. Christ is freedom,
“He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves beside."-Cowper. Christ alone is “ the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world." Christ is alike the means and the infinite measure of the advancement and progress of the human race. Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life,” for nations as for individuals. In the words of the apostle, adopted by the Père Félix for his motto, let us " in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ.' We have reserved to the last the consideration of his valuable conferences named at the head of this article, as furnishing the development of this the one true answer to the false notions respecting progress and liberty, which it is our desire to expose and refute. But it would be impossible to do any justice to these remarkable discourses without exceeding our present limits. We hope for the pleasure of returning to the consideration of them on a future occasion.
For the present we shall be satisfied if we have succeeded in awakening attention to the actual nature of the Roman question, and to the principles really at issue. It is not a question of reform. It is a question of change of principle. Rome is the government which pre-eminently acts on the principle that there is but “one Lord, one faith, one baptism ;" and that its duty before God is to keep its people true to their baptismal promises, at whate ever worldly sacrifice. Other governments have by degrees drifted away from this anchorage, and the wild waves of human passion urged on by the winds of hell are directing all their efforts against the great remaining bulwark of Christian government and Christian freedom, the temporal sovereignty of Christ in the person of His Vicar, because the peoples of the earth would have license under the name of liberty ; human opinion in the place of God's light and truth; the gratification of human ambition instead of the true greatness to be found in God alone. In fact it is as if the world were going back to paganism and calling it advancement. The idols which men worship are none the less idols because not formed of wood and stone, And the worship of the temporal power which they demand from religion, differs not widely from the command to the early Christians to worship the Emperors. So that the words used in his own times by St. Augustine would seem well nigh to apply to the present day.
“Because the City of this world has certain wise ones of its own whom the laws of God reprove, ......it comes to pass that the City of God cannot have laws concerning religion in common with the earthly City, and therefore in this respect it must necessarily dissent from it, and be burdensome to those who think differently, and be the object of their anger and hatred and persecution, excepting where in some measure fear of its pumbers, and, at all times, divine assistance repels the designs of its adversaries."*
This is what the spirit of the age would hail as a step onwards in the cause of freedom and advancement. It avows as much when it declares the incompatibility of the spiritual office with the duties of a temporal prince. But if God be man's first beginningand last end ; if Jesus Christ, for whom mankind waited in the anxious expectancy of four thousand years, be in truth the bearer of
• De Civitate Dei, xix. 17.
grace and truth” to a fallen and erring world ; if He, and He only, be the Liberator, the Regenerator, the Life and the Progress of the human race, from Whom alone it derives, and in Whom alone it can truly and adequately develop, all its heaven-born powers; if through Him alone it can attain, that sovereign good for which it is created; if this be so, then “it must follow as the night the day,” that to dethrone God and His Christ still present in the Church, from their due position as the one object before which all else is as nothing ; from Whom emanate and to Whom must tend all the ruling and the guiding principles and laws of temporal government; to reject, in short, the Gospel from the throne of supremacy, and put corrupt human nature in its place, is not progress, but retrogression, not light but darkness, not truth but falsehood, not freedom but slavery. These are truths selfevident even to babes who have Christian eyes to see, but obscure and hidden to the wise and prudent of this world, who hug their chains in fond delusion, and stop their ears to the tender voice of God's Church, though it is for their sakes that she has stooped to the cares of temporal rule, and though it is their true freedom which she has at heart in her alliance with the state that seeks to enthral her; but seeks in vain!
Come what may upon the world, slavery can never be the lot of the glorious city of God! The chains never have been, never will be, forged, which can bind her, or fetter the freedom of her divine life. Statesmen, in the pride of fancied wisdom, may persecute and oppress her, and strive to stop her voice. But the word of God will not be bound. In the words of Bossuet :-"Woe, woe to him who loses the light! But the light continues on its way, and the sun finishes its course. The Church will weep over the blind folly which recoils upon its authors; she will pour out her soul in prayer for her enemies and for all mankind, that ere it be too late they may know what belongs to their true peace. But their slave she can never be! The children of the earthly city, by turning away from her, their true deliverer, their heaven-sent guide, by refusing her counsels of life, and spurning her paths of progress, may indeed find themselves enveloped in the darkness of hell instead of the bright light of heaven; may discover too late that by
rejecting the easy yoke of Christ, and casting off His light burden of love, they have but been forging for themselves a yoke of iron, and bending their backs to receive a tyrant's load of lead. They may find themselves taken in meshes of their own weaving. But " Jerusalem, which is above, is free, which is our mother." True! the Italian soil may again be watered by the blood of her martyrs, for refusing to worship the glittering image of false liberty which the Babylon of this world sets up. Her sons may be called to die, but enslaved they cannot be, for she and she alone possesses the vital principle of freedom; and though earthly inists may obscure, they cannot extinguish it. Not for the Church do we fear or tremble. (God forgive the word !) “God is in the midst thereof, it shall not be moved.” But we tremble for a world which rejects her, and prefers its natural human reason, human intellect, and carnal inclination, to the divine light and heavenly grace and love which the Church is commissioned to offer and to bear to the nations of the earth.
As we conclude our article, a French paper brings us the eclio of its sum and substance in the proclamation of the gallant and chivalrous Lamoricière to the Pontifical troops, where he observes that “ Christianity is the life of civilization, that Europe is now threatened by the revolution as formerly it was threatened by Islamism, and that the cause of the Pope is the cause of civilization and of liberty. The world in its delusion is draining a sweet but poisoned cup, is hurrying down an easy path to a yawning gulf of misery; the Church is weeping, but not for herself ; like her Divine Master on the Cross she is stretching out her hands in agony to rescue the children of her love. For them she trembles; but for her own part,
“Non civium ardor prava jubentium
Art. V.-1. Punch, or the London Charivari, vol. xxxvii. London:
Punch Office, 1859. 2. Punch's Almanack for 1860. 3. Punch's Pocket Book for 1860. “Un ,
to our thinking, very wisely, a French proverb. There is, indeed, enough of real misery in the world, and no man in his journey through life can hope to escape some share. It is, therefore, sound philosophy, while blessed with freedom from ill, to go down occasionally, as did Democritus of old," to the harbour, and laugh heartily at such variety of ridiculous objects as may be there beheld.” Laughter is the privilege of humankind, and should be frequently enjoyed; not maliciously nor vacantly, but in the spirit of contentment, and of a benevolent and cheerful heart. We have always been disposed to consider that humorous writers are entitled to a higher position in the republic of letters than that which is usually assigned to them. It is a but too common mistake to look upon their efforts as merely directed to the raising of a laugh,
-a task, by the way, not always easy, and not always undignified. If it be a good thing “to be merry,” as doubtless it is to be “wise," the man who contributes to our rational and seasonable merriment is entitled to our gratitude, and often probably to our respect; and he who is powerful to raise the human heart to mirth can hardly be a mean or a vicious man, any more than he who can melt it by the force of pathos. Nor, in truth, is the influence of the “man of mirth” as a writer, much inferior to that which is swayed by the serious author, and in one respect it is pre-eminent. No weapon is so powerful in the combat with absurdity and humbug as ridicule, which, when fairly used upon the side of common sense and public right, is absolutely irresistible. How soundly the empty_arrogance of petty officialism is lashed in the person of Dogberry, the vain romance of knight-errantry in Don Quixote, the lying boasting of the braggadocio in Bobadil! While we thus readily acknowledge the powerful influence of humour in the castigation of folly, we think that they mistake its influence and proper use who would use it