to examine it very carefully before they instance, we believe, of a state far gone pretend to understand it.

in this career of ruin, righting, or even But his book is remarkable on many ac- attempting to right itself by a fresh infucounts. It is a common remark, that it sion of sound principles of loyalty, obediis a sure symptom of a nation's decline ence, respect for authority, and relf-rewhen its practical statesmen have lost nunciation, into the body of the people. sight of a profound philosophy; and Such an attempt, however, is now mak. surely few histories exhibit such a failure ing in England; and the first movements so decidedly as our own during the last have met with a success, which is as full two centuries. Mr. Gladstone's book is of interest to a philosophical observer, as one of the first instances of a return to of hope and encouragement to its origideep thinking connected with business- nators. like statistics; and although we are far It will be well if, in conducting this from thinking that the speculations of Mr. controversy, writers will keep clearly beColeridge, which this author quotes with fore them the true object of the argument, evident approbation, are a safe text-book and how much success they may fairly ex. of political philosophy—any philosophy pect. They have little or no chance of whatever is better than the meagre em convincing their opponents.

The de. piricism which had excited that extraordi mocrats, whose only object in promoting nary man's contempt. As a necessary a national apostacy is to destroy the consequence of a profounder philosophy, authority of government, and seize on Mr. Gladstone has also taken far higher power for themselves, will be deaf to the grounds in his argument than have been argument that religion ought to be mainoccupied by the defenders of the Church tained as confirming the authority of gov. for many years. Whether he is in ad- ernment. The men who have no religion vance, or in the rear of public opinion, is in themselves will not understand the another question; and unless public opi- duty of religion in a society. And the nion is something better than the mere economist, who knows of no other na. echo of popular will, it matters little for tional interest than the balance of his the cause of truth, whether it agrees with own ledger, will smile uninovedly at him or not. But he has seen through the calculations of moral advantages. No weakness and fallacy of the line of reason- argument, perhaps, ever convinces—or at ing pursued by Warburton and Paley. least influences- men whose interest and And he has most wisely abandoned the inclination are fixed against it. But the argument from expediency, which offers discussion may be very useful to two little more than an easy weapon to fence other classes, the one, those who feel, with, while no real danger is apprehend- from a natural piety, the necessity of a ed; and has insisted chiefly on the claims national religion, and are resolved to of duty and truth-the only consideration support it, without having actually exwhich can animate and support men in a amined the grounds of their duty, or, real struggle against false priociples. consequently, the right rule for action in Even if he stood alone, yet with his talent difficult circumstances; the other, a very and position in the country, this move- numerous body, who have been permitment to escape from the low ethics of the ted to lose sight of the real nature both of eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would a State and of the Church, who fancy be of great importance. But we hope the question to be one of mere conveniand believe that Mr. Gladstone may, in ence and expediency–who see that the some degree, be considered the exponent contest must be carried on with much reof a body, now forming gradually in the sistance and with only slight chances of country, and which presents one of the success, and therefore are willing to give most interesting features in the present up what they have never been taught to day. It is no uncommon spectacle, but value, and to conciliate by a timely comrather the ordinary course of history, for promise. This class of indifferentists is, nations, under the influence of democrat- perhaps, the most numerous in the coun. ical principles, to dissolve rapidly-to de- try; amongst them may be placed all stroy their old institutions to fall then those who, holding Conservative princiunder a military despotism, and finally to ples, hold them only as the standard of a lie, perhaps for ever, in a state of exhaus-party-all who maintain old institutions tion, as if the very principle of vitality simply because they are old, without apwere worn out in the violence of their preciating the value of them-all who political convulsions. But there is no defend the Monarchy merely as the gov.

ernment most conducive to freedom, and plored ; and, what is still more difficult, the Church as the best police-establish- to be placed clearly before the eyes of a ment to preserve the morals and subordi- people, whom the state of their popular nation of the people. Looking to the literature has converted from a thinking other nations which have before fallen a into a reading public, and who will per. prey to democracy, many, too many of sist in calling everything mysticism which these, acquiesce in the prospect of a is not coinprehensible at first sight. similar end for ourselves, as in a sort of There are two main causes of the obinextricable fatality. All that can be scurity which must attach to Mr. Gladdone, they think, is to postpone the evil stone's argument, and to every argument day, and to ensure a decent fall by not on the subject, for some time to come. provoking the enemy to strike them. We do not understand the real nature down.

either of a State or of the Church, and how To such men, Mr. Gladstone's book can we understand the laws which fix the and other discussions of the same kind relation between them ? And even when will do great good. They are, for the the idea of a State is clearly developed, most part, well intentioned, honest men, the application of it to our own circum. who have no interest of their own to stances is full of perplexity, because, serve, and really wish to benefit their while names have been preserved, things country, and to do their duty. And the have changed. We still call the Sovedefectiveness in their view of duty arises reign the governor of the country, but he is from their not being taught it. They have at the same time supposed to be in the been brought up in a generation unac- hands of his Parliament ; and we make customed to regard questions of govern- the ten-pound freeholders his subjects, ment and religion in any other light than while, strictly speaking, their will is apthat of expediency and opinion. False pealed to on every question as the ruling principles have been paraded before them power. More or less this change is till it was impossible not to think them going on; and when we. argue on the true ; and true principles have been suf- duties of a ruler, and fix those duties on fered to die away out of sight, till their the crown, we are met at once with the revival startles men like the production answer that the realization of them is of a falsehood. But bear with them impracticable, and therefore the theory patiently ; lay the full truth before them, is false. The first thing therefore re. accustom them to deeper views of society quired is to set before people the real and religion, put everything on the high- nature and claims both of the Catholic est ground, and act on those grounds Church and of Political Society ; and also, and a very short time will be first of the Church. sufficient to raise their tone of feeling, In the popular view the Church means and rally them to a hearty defence both the clergy ; and the clergy of the Cathof the Constitution and the Church. olic Church are supposed to be in no

Considered as a full view of the subject, respect different from ministers of other neither Mr. Gladstone nor his readers denominations of Christians, except in will profess to think this Essay perfect. being recognised by the State. They He has the great merit of having opened are supposed to maintain a certain body the case boldly, and with striking talent of doctrines as representing their own -of leading the way in an attack on the opinions, and to promulgate it on their mischievous theories of his immediate own authority just as other sects promulpredecessors-of stating forcibly some of gate theirs ; Christians are thought at the most prominent lines of argument- liberty to choose between the rival sysof venturing to face the difficulties of the tems as they would decide between question, even if he has not overcome schools of philosophy ;-and, starting them--of raising a cautionary protest with this notion, it is not surprising that against certain extreme opinions which men should be puzzled how to act, when may be apprehended from his own party called on to govern a nation split into -and of giving a plain, but painful, re- religious dissension. view of the present condition of the In the first place, the Clergy are but country in respect to its religious pro- a part of the Church : they are its officers, fession. He has not exhausted, nor ordinary teachers, appointed governors, would volumes exhaust, the subject. and peculiar channels for conveying to it Deeply as he has entered into the philoso- its supernatural blessings; but the whole phy of it, he has left much to be still ex-body of Christians comprehended in its

communion constitute the Church in its | proof, not that certain doctrines are genuine sense. In the second place, the agreeable to human reason, but that they Church is not a body voluntarily associ- come from God, were introduced upon ated and organized. It was instituted and the earth by a revelation, and, whether organized by God, and appointed to act as men like them or not, are to be received his minister and representative on earth. In on the command of God. This the Church the third place, she does not promulgate her proves of her articles of faith by purely faith as her own opinion-quite the re- historical evidence. She shows that, in verse. She proclaims it as a message the first three centuries of Christianity, and declaration intrusted to her care, as soon as churches had been planted all which may not be altered, or diminished, over the world, there were found in the or enlarged by any human voice, and is most remote countries certain forms of independent of human fancies. She lays, teaching, uniform and identical in all indeed, before her members a vast body essential points; that these had radiated of supplementary teaching, on the author- from the Apostolic body as from a comity of her best and wisest instructors ; mon centre ; that they had uniformly but this is carefully distinguished from been received as Apostolical, and transexpress revelation, as human from divine. mitted under a solemn obligation to preIt is recommended on its own merits, serve them unaltered ; that they were not imposed as articles of faith. She used as a standard of truth to try a great distinguishes the one from the other, and variety of opinions which arose in the proves the fact of revelation by the test first centuries ; that when these opinions of Catholicity; and what Catholicity is were condemned, they were condemned must be fully explained. It must be ex on the especial ground of novelty, and plained, and put prominently forward, disagreement with the received faith ; because it is the only external test of re- that this principle of adherence to a defivealed truth; and truth is the only found- nite creed was maintained with so much ation on which to support either the be- jealousy, that the Church was perpetuallief or the establishment of religion. We ly involved in controversies in order to are not fighting for a name, but for a thing, defend it ; that those who held did not and a thing of the utmost importance. corrupt it, because it was the acknowledg

By Catholicity, then, is not meant that ed public formula of communion for the a doctrine has uniformly been held by all whole church, and formed, as it were, Christians, or by the greater number, for the pass-word, credentials, and introducerror has always prevailed more exten- tory declaration of the bishop of each sively than truth, in religion, as in morals diocese on hiş admission into his office ; and science; and far greater numbers, if —and that it could not have been introcounted by heads, might be brought to duced at any date subsequent to the vouch for heresy, for Arianism, Puritan- apostolic age, because there never was a ism, and Popery, than for the Catholic time when it was not put forward as Faith. Neither does it mean the unin. Apostolical and as Catholic; and because terrupted maintenance of any particular a human theory could not have establishdoctrine from the first ages to the presented itself simultaneously in such a numtime ; for though the stream may have ber of scattered churches, each possesspreserved a great degree of purity in ed of an anterior creed, and vigilant to some few churches, this fact may be preserve it from corruption. The very obscure and perhaps incapable of proof. fact that human reason rose so vigorousAnd neither this fact nor the other would ly against its restraints in a multitude of prove that the doctrines so held were early heresies, and that it always stood revealed, and not invented by man, which firm against them upon the ground of is the point in dispute, nor, indeed, that implicit faith, is a proof that human reathey were true at all, any more than the son could have little to do with its foun. fact that by far the greatest number of dation. But the historical evidence alone men have believed the sun to move round is amply sufficient ; and the more it is the earth, and that some nations may examined the stronger it will appear. have continued to believe it from the It is now easy to see why Mr. Gladcreation of the world, would prove that stone, and every other writer on the retheir notion was either received from lation between the Church and the State, above, or was right. What we want must lay great stress on the catholicity what all sects of Christians or rather all of the Anglican Church-that is, on her men but atheists, must require-is a communion with a number of distinct



societies, ancient as well as modern, hold- may be unable to study all the ancient ing one form of faith, and deriving it liturgies, and all the early fathers, and to from one common centre. It is the confirm the assumption of the church to guarantee that her creed is the creed our own private satisfaction, can justify a which God gave to man in his revelation, refusal to admit and act upon that asand is not of human invention. And no sumption, until it is formally disproved. other communion even professes to pos- One ambassador brings terms, which he sess it.

The Romanist openly avows declares to be the same which his soverthat his creed has been added to by man, eign dictated, and there is nothing to and may be modified at any period of contradict his word ; another brings the church by his ecclesiastical superi- terms, which he confesses to have altered

Ultra-Protestants claim the same himself. No rational man could hesitate right, each man for himself, by allowing which to prefer: either both are false, or every individual to put his own private the former must be received: either the interpretation on the Bible, and thus to Catholic faith is true, or there is no truth colour the revealed word by his own at all to be found, and revelation is an mind and his own errors. And thus the empty name ; because either nothing doctrines of the Church rest on a totally definite was revealed at first, or all that different foundation from the dogmas of was definite is now irrecoverably lost. other bodies, calling themselves Chris This, then, is the first character in tians, but not claiming or not deserving which the Church comes before a nation the title of Catholic. They are not dog- -as the messenger of God bearing a sysmas or opinions of man, but doctrines, or tem of revealed truth, which it is aptruths taught by God.

pointed to proclaim and to teach to all It is evident, also, that this guarantee who are not unwilling to embrace it. of revelation is little or no ways affected But it has also another character-it by the necessity of going back to prinni- is the authorised dispenser of God's tive antiquity in order to find it. Even spiritual blessings. That some superif the true doctrine had been entirely lost natural advantages are offered to man in since the fourth century, and Popery Christianity no Christian doubts ; and during the intermediate time had been every sect professes to have some means one mass of unmixed falsehood, unsus- of communicating them to its members. pected and unprotested against, which But the English Church alone, of what assuredly it was not, still to have found are called Protestant communions, lays at any period, however remote, and for claim to a positive commission and any time, however short, the uniform authority from God, under the title of concurrence of numerous independent the Apostolic Succession. Mr. Gladchurches in an unbroken traditionary stone has necessarily alluded to this in faith would have been enough to show us vindicating the claims of the Church ; which the true faith was. For the same but he has perhaps laid too much stress reason it matters little what was the prin- on its importance as a guarantee for ciple of the Reformation. Undoubtedly, soundness of doctrine in the face of the the English Church even then did profess errors of Romanism, and too little on it the principle of Catholicity. She open- as a pledge for the validity of Church ored the Scriptures to the people ; but dinances and sacraments. It is not aswithout sanctioning any right in the in- serted that these supernatural blessings dividual to interfere with the Catholic are exclusively confined to the authorised creed. And she retrenched many forms, ministrations of the Church—that they and even doctrines, but on the express may not, by an especial mercy, be imgrounds of their not being Catholic. parted without them—that they may not This fact has been sufficiently establish- be permitted to spring up and overflow ed by many late inquiries. But the Eng. beyond the regular channels, as in varilish Church, though reformed at the ous Protestant communions, which may Reformation, is not built upon it, and have lost the Succession by a misfortune whatever ground was taken at that time, more than a fault ; and we rejoice at the she is perfectly at liberty at present to tone of kindness and consideration with defend the system which she has provi- which Mr. Gladstone has treated this dentially received, upon the only true part of his subject.

But with every footing on which it can be maintained. disposition to find Christian unity wher

Again, it is evident that no obscurity ever it is possible, truth must not be attending the investigation, although we sacrificed, nor divine institutions made


light of. And therefore it is asserted, certainly no other sect can have one. and reasoning men cannot refuse their The Romanist stands on the assent, that when the Giver of a gift ground with the Anglican; and the formally appoints certain means for con- Dissenter does not even pretend to it. veying it, there is little wisdom or good. And thus there would be at this moment ness in neglecting those means, and seek- no authorised ministers of God

upon ing for the gift elsewhere, in the chance earth. There are therefore either no of an exception to the rule.

spiritual blessings to be dispensed Now it is a matter of fact, that the through Christianity, or any man who Founder of the Church did appoint a reg- chooses has a right to dispense them. ular ministry—that from the earliest Though a flaw in a single form is contimes the teaching and government of the sidered sufficient to cut off the supply society, and especially the administration from the Church, no form whatever is, in of the sacraments, were peculiarly confid- fact, supposed to be necessary. A socieed to it—that an organization always ex- ty, which was founded to last for ever, isted by which the succession of this min- and to preserve the strictest unity through istry was perpetuated—that this was done ages, has been left without any connectby episcopal ordination-and that the ar. ing chain of guidance or governmentbitrary assumption of the priestly office without any provision for order-destiby an individual without authority is con- tute of the very first condition, which demned by the whole voice of ecclesiasti- the most ordinary human wisdom is com. cal antiquity, even by sects which are pelled to devise when establishing the compelled to trace themselves to such a most common institution ! source. True, the Romish Church makes

Perhaps it is the willingness which the same claim of an Apostolical Succes- men now feel to admit such conclusions, sion, and with justice ; though, if any hu- which renders them so insensible to the man act could empty a divine

appointment boldness of their assumption. But howof its efficacy, it might seem to be that ever this may be, the fact is unaltered. virtual change in the divine constitution And the Church does come before the of the Church which Romanism has in. State with at least a stronger probability troduced in superseding the legitimate than any other religious body of bearing episcopal authority by the arbitrary pope- the truth as revealed to the apostles, and dom. True, also, we may imagine the of being the accredited dispenser of possibility of flaws in the chain of suc. those supernatural blessings which are cession : there may have been false ordi- proffered to man in Christianity. The nations, unbaptized bishops, &c. &c., just first she proves by the Catholicity of her as we may imagine a thousand possible Doctrines, as held in the first centuries ; defects in the hereditary title to a crown, the second, by the Apostolical Succesfrom supposititious children, or illegal un- sion ; and upon these two characters deions, or concealed births. But we suspect pends the relation in which she stands to few courts of justice would pardon rebel- the State. lion, or even the refusal of allegiance As the minister and representative of upon such an hypothesis, however ingeni- God, it is not possible that the Church ously conceived ;-aud we should strong- should unite, or ally herself, or make ly suspect the sanity of a man who refus- any conditions of mutual assistance, ined the succession of an estate because volving the slightest compromise, with any nothing more than a legal title was made man, or any body of men. She may conout, and the donor could not guarantee sent to receive from temporal rulers, it against every imaginable defect. And whether of her own communion or not, if men will resolve to reject the offers either protection or sụpport which it and the authority of the Church in defi- may be their duty to give, on the same ance of the positive proofs in its favour, principle on which an Apostle appealed and with nothing but a contingent hypo- to a heathen emperor in defence of his thesis against it, they must do so in de- civil rights, and as she permitted herself fiance of the first rule of moral prudence. originally to be maintained by the perThey may do it as they may refuse a sonal contributions of her children. But medicine when sick, because possibly it she can enter, in her spiritual capacity, may be poison, or not eat because they into no terms but those of subjection and may be choked. And they must accept government. She can form no associaall the conclusions of their premise. tion with heathens, and with Christians For if the Church has no commission, she can have but one relation, that of

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