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allows no image of any sort, material or immaterial, no dogmatic symbol, no rite, no sacrament, no Saint, not even the Blessed Virgin herself, to come between the soul and its Creator. It is face to face, "solus cum solo," in all matters between man and his God. He alone creates ; He alone has redeemed; before His awful eyes we go in death; in the vision of Him is our eternal beatitude.
1. Solus cum solo:-I recollect but indistinctly what I gained from the volume of which I have been speaking, but it must have been something considerable. At least I had got a key to a difficulty; in these Sermons (or rather heads of sermons, as they seem to be, taken down by a hearer), there is much of what would be called legendary illustration, but the substance of them is plain, practical, awful preaching upon the great truths of salvation. What I can speak of with greater confidence is the effect produced on me, a little later, by studying the Exercises of St. Ignatius. For here again, in a matter consisting in the. purest and most direct acts of religion,-in the intercourse between God and the soul, during a season of recollection, of repentance, of good resolution, of enquiry into vocation, -the soul was "sola cum solo;" there was no cloud interposed between the creature and the Object of his faith and love. The command practically enforced was, "My son, give Me thy heart?" The devotions then to Angels and Saints as little interfered with the incommunicable glory of the Eternal, as the love which we bear our friends and relations, our tender human sympathies, are inconsistent with that supreme homage of the heart to the Unseen, which really does but sanctify and exalt, not jealously destroy, what is of earth. At a later date Dr. Russell sent me a large bundle of penny or halfpenny books of devotion, of all sorts, as they are found in the booksellers' shops in Rome, and, on looking them over, I was quite astonished
to find how different they were from what I had fancied, how little there was in them to which I could really object. I have given an account of them in my "Essay on the Development of Doctrine." Dr. Russell sent me St. Alphonso's book at the end of 1842; however, it was still a long time before I got over my difficulty, on the score of the devotions paid to the Saints; perhaps, as I judge from a letter I have turned up, it was some way into 1844 before I could be said fully to have got over it.
2. I am not sure that I did not also at this time feel the force of another consideration. The idea of the Blessed Virgin was, as it were, magnified in the Church of Rome, as time went on,-but so were all the Christian ideas; as that of the Blessed Eucharist. The whole scene of pale, faint, distant Apostolic Christianity is seen in Rome, as through a telescope or magnifier. The harmony of the whole, however, is, of course, what it was. It is unfair then to take one Roman idea, that of the Blessed Virgin, out of what may be called its context.
3. Thus I am brought to the principle of development of doctrine in the Christian Church, to which I gave my mind. at the end of 1842. I had made mention of it in "Home Thoughts Abroad," published in 1836, and, even at an earlier date, I had introduced it into my "History of the Arians," in 1832; nor had I ever lost sight of it in my speculations. And it is certainly recognized in the Treatise of Vincent of Lerins, which has so often been taken as the basis of Anglicanism. In 1843 I began to consider it attentively. I made it the subject of my last University Sermon, on February 2; and the general view to which I came is stated thus, in a letter to a friend, of the date of July 14, 1844. It will be observed, that now, as before, my issue is still Creed versus Church :
"The kind of considerations which weighs with me are
such as the following: 1. I am far more certain (according to the Fathers) that we are in a state of culpable separation, than that developments do not exist under the Gospel, and that the Roman developments are not the true ones. 2. I am far more certain, that our (modern) doctrines are wrong, than that the Roman (modern) doctrines are wrong. 3. Granting that the Roman (special) doctrines are not found drawn out in the early Church, yet I think there is sufficient trace of them in it, to recommend and prove them, on the hypothesis of the Church having a divine guidance, though not sufficient to prove them by itself. So that the question simply turns on the nature of the promise of the Spirit made to the Church. 4. The proof of the Roman (modern) doctrine is as strong (or stronger) in Antiquity as that of certain doctrines which both we and Romans hold: e.g. there is more of evidence in Antiquity for the necessity of Unity, than for the Apostolical succession; for the Supremacy of the See of Rome, than for the Presence in the Eucharist; for the practice of Invocation, than for certain books in the present Canon of Scripture, &c., &c. 5. The analogy of the Old Testament, and also of the New, leads to the acknowledgment of doctrinal developments."
4. And thus I was led on to a further consideration. I saw that the principle of development not only accounted for certain facts, but was in itself a remarkable philosophical phenomenon, giving a character to the whole course of Christian thought. It was discernible from the first years of the Catholic teaching up to the present day, and gave to that teaching a unity and individuality. It served as a sort of test, which the Anglican could not exhibit, that modern Rome was in truth ancient Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople, just as a mathematical curve has its own law and expression.
5. And thus I was led on to examine more attentively what I doubt not was in my thoughts long before, viz. the concatenation of argument by which the mind ascends from its first to its final religious idea, and I came to the conclusion that there was no medium, in true philosophy, between Atheism and Catholicity, and that a perfectly consistent mind, under those circumstances in which it finds itself here below, must embrace either the one or the other. And I hold this still: I am a Catholic by virtue of my believing in a God; and if I am asked why I believe in a God, I answer, that it is because I believe in myself, for I find it impossible to believe in my own existence (and of that fact I am quite sure) without believing also in the existence of Him, who lives as a Personal, All-seeing, All-judging Being in my conscience. Now, I daresay, I have not expressed myself with philosophical correctness, because I have not given myself to the study of what metaphysicians have said on the subject, but I think I have a strong true meaning in what I say, which will stand examination.
6. Moreover, I found a corroboration of the fact of the logical connection of Theism with Catholicism in a consideration parallel to that which I had adopted on the subject of development of doctrine. The fact of the operation, from first to last, of that principle of development in the truths of Revelation, is an argument in favour of the identity of Roman and primitive Christianity; but as there is a law which acts upon the subject-matter of dogmatic theology, so there is a law in the matter of religious faith. In a [former portion]' of this narrative I spoke of certitude as the consequence, divinely intended and enjoined upon us, of the accumulative force of certain given reasons which, taken one by one, were only pro1 [See page 14.]
babilities. Let it be recollected that I am historically relating my state of mind, at the period of my life which I am surveying. I am not speaking theologically, nor have I any intention of going into controversy: but, speaking historically of what I held in 1843-4, I say, that I believed in a God on a ground of probability, that I believed in Christianity on a probability, and that I believed in Catholicism on a probability, and that these three grounds of probability, distinct from each other of course in subjectmatter, were still, all of them, one and the same in nature of proof, as being probabilities—probabilities of a special kind, a cumulative, a transcendent probability, but still probability; inasmuch as He who has made us has so willed, that in mathematics, indeed, we should arrive at certitude by rigid demonstration, but in religious enquiry we should arrive at certitude by accumulated probabilities; -He has willed, I say, that we should so act, and, as willing it, He co-operates with us in our acting, and thereby enables us to do that which He wills us to do, and carries us on, if our will does but co-operate with His, to a certitude which rises higher than the logical force of our conclusions. And thus I came to see clearly, and to have a satisfaction in seeing, that, in being led on into the Church of Rome, I was not proceeding on any secondary or isolated grounds of reason, or by controversial points in detail, but was protected and justified, even in the use of those secondary or particular arguments, by a great and broad principle. But, let it be observed that I am stating a matter of fact, not defending it, and if any Catholic says in consequence that I have been converted in a wrong I cannot help that now.
I have nothing more to say on the subject of the change in my religious opinions. On the one hand I came gradually to see that the Anglican Church was formally in the wrong,