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old Catholic divines have been collected and honourably mentioned. It is pleasing to see these writers, whose names it has become so unfashionable to quote, once more treated with respect; and there is something almost amusing in the frequent juxta-position of Rosenmüller and Cornelius à Lapide, Oedmann and Figueiro, Horst and De Castro.”—pp. 212-215.
Dr. Wiseman then proceeds to give a rapid history of German rationalism, especially in its relation to the prophetic writings of the Old Testament. The licentious extravagance and reckless impiety of this school are strongly described ; but it has pleased Divine Providence to set a term, to its career of wickedness. As the very excess of error is sure to conduce to the triumph of truth, so it cannot be doubted that it was the aberrations of rationalism which, more than any thing else, promoted in Germany that mighty reaction towards Catholicism, which is certainly one of the most striking, as it is one of the most consoling, events of our times. The greatest intellects of that country are now clearly on the side of the true church; but among her opponents are to be found, not only the greatest number of writers, but also some men of very superior genius. Rationalism is too negative a system-one too much occupied with petty details too inconsistent with the whole economy of the moral world, to satisfy the earnest religious, yearnings of the human heart, or answer the deeper enquiries of the human mind. Accordingly the men of high soul and vigorous understanding among the German Protestants, have of late years taken refuge in pietism-a system of vague religious feeling, without definite doctrines, or distinct forms of worship and ecclesiastical government. In the general shipwreck of Protestant. doctrines, this has appeared to many the last plank of safety; nor can we be surprised at such an idea, when we reflect that religious feeling is more indestructible than religious opinion. Other thinkers again, disgusted with the endless variations, and perplexed by the manifest contradictions of Protestantism, and yet too proud or too prejudiced to cast a retrospective glance on the ancient church, have leaped blindfold into the gulf of pantheism. Yet rationalism has struck too deep roots in the Germanie soil—it is too closely interwoven into the whole texture of the German Protestant churches-too native to the very genius of Protestantism itself, to be easily eradicated. Accordingly, it still numbers among its defenders the majority of Protestant divines in the country we speak of; and although, as has been observed, the pietists, and even the pantheists, possess much profounder intellects, the rationalists can still boast of many men of great learning and critical acuteness.
The eleventh lecture, though rather too desultory, abounds with interesting matter. Its object is to point out the services which Oriental literature has rendered to religion. And for this end, the author shows by a few appropriate examples, what pleasing illustrations and powerful confirmations, the sacred writings have received from Oriental archæology, Oriental history, and Oriental philosophy. The length to which this article has already swelled, forbids us to cite any of these examples, interesting as they would be to our readers. We should recommend the author, in a subsequent edition, to unite this: lecture with the seventh. As we are in the way of suggestions, we think it would have been more philosophical, had he commenced his work with a definition of Faith and of Science, and with an indication of the relations, in which they should stand one to the other. We beg leave to observe, also, that the philological disquisition from page page 227, vol. ii., important as it may be,
221 to would appear better in a note than in the text. These are the few improvements, which, it appears to us on a careful perusal, may be made in this excellent work.
In his last lecture, Dr. Wiseman gives a rapid summary of the results of his labours, and the conclusions to which they lead. He shows in the first place that the Bible has come triumphantly out of the most terrible ordeal to which any writings, or systems of philosophy, have ever been subjected that it has stood the proof of tests, so númerous, so various, and so searching, as would infallibly have led to the exposure of a system of error or imposture; however specious and plausible it might be. The number of writers who have been engaged in the composition of those sacred books, which we call emphatically the Bible—the distance of time which separates many of them from each other—the diversity of circumstances under which they wrote—the diversity of their minds, characters, habits, and condition-lastly, the diversity of influences which directed their compositions (an hypothesis which we must admit, if we once deny their divine inspiration)all prove that the unity of doctrine and testimony, which prevails among them, could not be the result of any previous concert or artificial combination. Allowing even the monstrous hypothesis of such an unnatural combination, no skill, no ingenuity, no sagacity, however provident, as our author well observes, could have secured a system of error or deceit against the unknown and unforeseen discoveries of the future.
" Had the name of a single Egyptian Pharaoh been invented to suit convenience, as we see done by other Oriental bistorians, the discovery of the hieroglyphic alphabet, after 3,000 years, would not have been one of the chances of detection against which the historian would have guarded. Had the history of the Creation, or of the Deluge, been a fabulous or poetical fiction, the toilsome journeys of the geologist among
Alpine valleys, or the discovery of hyænas' caves in an unknown island, would not be the confirmations of his theory, or which its inventor would have ever reckoned. A fragment of Berosus comes to light, and it proves what seemed before incredible, to be perfectly true. A medal is found, and it completes the reconciliation of apparent contradictions. Every science, every pursuit, as it makes a step in its own natural, onward progress, encreases the mass of our confirmatory evidence.”— vol. ii.
Secondly, it is shown that the points on which the veracity of the Bible is confirmed or illustrated by the evidence of profane science, are mostly incidental; sometimes of little importance, and frequently unconnected with the main object or general narrative of the sacred penmen. Yet it is precisely these incidental or subordinate topics, which most easily elude the artifices of fraud, and which criticism regards as the best touch-stones to discern the truth or falsity of historical documents. The great biblical scholar, Hug, remarks, that it was some gross and palpable error in geography, which convinced the learned world, that the materials for the biography of Apollonius of Tyana were not drawn, as its author, Philostratus, professes, from the documents of eye-witnesses and companions of the hero, but from later narratives or the inventions of fancy.
Lastly, the author demonstrates that the illustrations and proofs which profane science furnishes in favour of religion, have been adduced not only by her apologists and defenders, but also by two opposite classes of writers; the one consisting of men directly hostile to Christianity, the other of such as were utterly ignorant of the bearings which their scientific enquiries had, or could possibly have, upon the evidence of revealed religion.
This noble work concludes with a no less urgent than appropriate exhortation to the prosecution of learning, and the sanctification of learning, by religious aims and motives. Although these lectures had already amply demonstrated the utility of profane science to the objects of man's highest concern, yet the learned author deems it expedient to confute the opinion of those ill-judging Christians, who existing, as it would appear, in all ages of the church, imagine that the pursuit of human learning is to be discouraged, as calculated to lead the mind off from the contemplation of heavenly things. He supports his views by the authority of the most eminent among the ancient fathers of the church. St. Clemens of Alexandria, Origen, St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Gregory of Nazianzen, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, come forth successively, like venerable elders, their example corroborating their opinion, to deliver their testimony in favour of the usefulness, nay, the necessity, of profane learning. Their important testimonies, our limits, we regret to say, will not permit us to cite; yet their opinions on this matter are all embodied in the pithy and pungent sentence cited by the author from St. Gregory Nazianzen :-" Therefore must not erudition be reproved, because some men chuse to think so; on the contrary, they are to be considered foolish and ignorant, who so reason, who would wish all men to be like themselves, that they may be concealed in the crowd, and no one be able to detect their want of education."*
Our excellent clergy will, we are sure, eagerly respond to the noble appeal which Dr. Wiseman has made to them. They will be proud to follow the precepts, and emulate the example, of this distinguished ecclesiastic. They will not disappoint the expectations of their country, and they will show themselves equal to the present great crisis of the moral world. Priests of the Irish and British Catholic churches ! for you the age of confessors and martyrs has passed away—that of doctors has commenced. To you chiefly has been assigned one of the noblest missions, which Providence ever allotted to men. The moral and intellectual regeneration of a decaying empire: such is the mighty task which the all-wise Disposer of events has evidently reserved for you. But for the accomplishment of so momentous
a task, great exertions, long labours, and preparatory discipline, are requisite. Should you be insensible to this gracious call-should you let this glorious opportunity pass unheeded by, awful indeed will be your reckoning to God and to posterity !
In conclusion, we can only say, that if a work of this transcendant merit, calculated as it is for so extensive a circle of readers, and carefully excluding all topics of religious controversy between Catholics and Protestants, should fail to meet with that encouragement it so well deserves, we shall only have to sigh over the hopeless degradation of the national taste.
Art. III.-Hansard's Parliamentary Debates. “WE
E are in a state of transition”—“ Intellect is progressing,
the schoolmaster is abroad." These sayings, true as they undoubtedly are, and well employed as they were at first, have now, by their frequent repetition, wearied our ears. Reformers and Conservatives alike have quoted them; the one in sincerity, the other in mockery; until at length, by a tacit sort of mutual consent, they are beginning to fall into disuse and neglect. Their truth, however, is not the less indisputable. Men's minds are awakening from the nightmare slumbers of bigotry and prejudice-old opinions are losing their inveteracy, enlightenment is spreading through every rank and through every country; important changes have occurred, and many still more important are casting deep shadows before. The fetters of industry are falling from around her, ports are opening, monopolies are breaking up, governments are abandoning the hot-bed system of protections, nations are beginning to consider each other, no longer as natural enemies, but as members of the common family of mankind. Every where the spirit of wholesome change is spreading its influence, bringing health and life and happiness, where, before, there was but the foul stagnation of bigotry and hopeless ignorance.
laudem Basilii Magni, Opera."
* St. Gregor. Nazianzeni “Funebris oratio Par. 1609, t. p. 323.
Some of its achievements have been rapid, yet, at least in these countries, none have been too much so. We have rather erred on the other side, we have at times, been too deliberatetoo circumspect. Crying evils and gross injustices in several forms have been given too long a day—the English public, constitutionally cold and cautious, require a considerable time before the steam can be properly got up and the machine fairly set in motion. This once accomplished, indeed, none do their business better, but in their case, the first step is truly the difficult one. It was a long and weary effort to work out the great measure of Reform; a measure that they knew to bear immediately upon their best interests. There was apathy—there was readiness to believe the misrepresentations of the bitterest enemies of improvement—there were a myriad of local obstacles, all to be removed, or trampled upon, before the spirit of the nation could be roused to the combat. And the difficulty of effecting this was well proved by the alacrity with which the popular mind sunk again into repose, when the measure that required its efforts was at length achieved.
Still changes and great changes have been accomplished, and there are others at no very great distance. Two, however, and two of much difficulty are yet to be effected. In the English mind there remain, sunk fathoms deep, two prejudices, the one anti-Irish— the other anti-Catholic. The first has for its groundwork no better reason than the old line supplies :
“ They never pardon, who have done the wrong." It is in vain that professions are made of love for Ireland-of admiration of her soil, her climate, her people-a thousand little