Hawkstone, or Oxfordism
Brownson's Quarterly, January, 1849
Art. II. Hawkstone: a Tale of and for England in 184-. Fifth American Edition. New York. 1848. 2 vols.
This is an Anglican novel, which was published in England early in 1845, and which has passed through five editions in this country since 1847. We are told that it produced no slight sensation among the English, and we presume it has been well received among ourselves by that class of our community who are fond of saying, "We are Catholics, but not Roman Catholics." The author's name we do not know, or, if we ever knew, have forgotten. He is said to be a distinguished member of the Oxford school, and he is evidently a man of some cultivation and fair natural ability. He has a satirical vein and a heartiness in his hatred, which, in the absence of nobler qualities, impart occasionally an interest to his pages ; but as a writer he wants simplicity, ease, sprightliness, and grace. Tn a few instances he produces a tolerable melodramatic effect, but his power over the human heart does not appear to be great. He seldom touches the springs of deep and genuine feeling. His characters strike us as drawn from preceding works of fiction, and they want originality, life, and naturalness,—are, in general, monsters, blocks, or mere shadows. He might, perhaps, write a passable essay or article for a magazine in favor of Oxfordism, and against Romanism, or Evangelicalism, but he is ill fitted to write a novel pleasing to such as do not happen to be chiefly interested in the religious controversies he carries on. Hawkstone belongs to the class of novels termed religious, and was principally designed to arrest the tendency to Catholicity so apparent in the Oxford movement for several years prior to the happy conversion of Mr. Newman and a large number of his distinguished friends. We suppose every body has heard of the Oxford movement, of Tractarianism, or Puseyism, but it is possible that every body has not perfectly comprehended it. Many Protestants were frightened out of their propriety by it, and many Catholics thought they saw in it the indication that the day of England's return to the faith and unity of the Church drew near ;'but both Catholics and Protestants seem to have beheld it through a magnifying medium. It was in no sense the result of a Catholic tendency among Anglicans ; its motive was not, as some have thought, to Catholicize the Establishment, and prepare the way for its return to our communion ; and England's conversion, we fear, is still a far distant event. England will never return to the Church till she is humbled, till her English pride is broken, and she feels and is willing to acknowledge her own insufficiency for herself. She must be severely chastised, and suffer terrible reverses and calamities, before she will seek the God on whom in her pride and wantonness she turned her back. Nevertheless, the Oxford move ment was more important than we ourselves considered it, and Almighty God in his mercy has brought a good out of it which we did not anticipate.
The motive of the Oxford movement was, not to revive Catholicity in England, but to resist its revival, to guard against the consequences of its revival, and to save the Anglican Establishment, whose very existence was threatened by the wellknown Act of Catholic Emancipation. That act, passed in 1829, went farther than to relieve Catholics of their political and civil disabilities ; it involved a change, not merely in the policy of the English government, but in the constitution of the English state. The constitution of England, as modified by Protestantism, made the English state and the English Church commensurate one with the other. The sovereign people was restricted to the members of the church established by law. Catholics and Dissenters might or might not be tolerated, but, as such, they were excluded,from the state, and could have no representation in the government. The state was Protestant Episcopal, and existed only for Protestant Episcopalians. But when Dissenters, and especially Catholics, were freed from their disabilities, and admitted into the state, as constituent elements of the political body, all this was changed ; the state ceased to have a profession of faith, to be Protestant Episcopal, and, as the state, had no longer any religion at all, except Christianity in that vague sense in which it includes alike all professedly Christian denominations. Its subjects were free to adopt any religion they pleased, and the several religions they might adopt, if nominally Christian, were all equal before it.
From that moment the Anglican Establishment became an anomaly in the British constitution, and one which the ordinary course of events must inevitably sweep away. It ceased to be the national religion, the religion of the sovereign people, and there was a manifest inconsistency, to say the least, in requiring the sovereign people to support it. As long as it was the religion of the state, the state might sustain it; but when it was no longer such religion, the state could not support it as a state religion, without being guilty of a practical lie. Moreover, where would be found in the state the disposition or the power to support it ? Dissenters hated it, and were doing their best to destroy it. Could men be expected as members of the state to sustain an establishment to which as individuals they were conscientiously opposed, and on which they were continually making war ? Would Catholics legislate for the preservation of an Establishment which they believed to be schismatical and heretical, which had persecuted their ancestors, slaughtered their priests, and which was plethoric with the wealth robbed from their Church ? If, combined with Dissenters, they had already become strong enough to compel the state, in spite of the Established Church, to admit them into the bosom of the sovereign or ruling people, how long would it be before they would be able to compel it to abolish the Establishment itself.(footnote: * In this we see the farreaching foresight of the illustrious 0 Connell, and the claims he has to the lasting gratitude of his countrymen. lhe Catholic Emancipation Act, which was more due to him than to any other man, is the great political event of modern times. It must prove in its operation the destruction of the Anglican Establishment, and the liberation of Ireland. Irish patriots have gained by it the means of working out the freedom of their country. Let them now follow the recommendation of the Holy Father, establish an Irish Catholic university worthy the name, raise up an army of thoroughly disciplined scholars and statesmen, and throw into Parliament a hundred members every way a match for any other hundred members of Parliament, and they will not long have to seek in vain justice to Ireland. We cannot but admire the political sagacity of O'Connell, and, whatever may be our views of his Repeal Movement, we cannot believe it easy to overrate his services to his countrymen. There is great lack of wisdom, as well as base ingratitude, in speaking ot him in the disparaging terms adopted of late, by some young patriots, who are no more in comparison with him than a farthing candle is to the luminary of the heavens.--end of footnote).
Nor was this all. The state had the legal right to abolish the Establishment. It could refuse to support it, on the ground that it was no longer the Church of England, that is, of the new political England, created by the Act of Catholic Emancipation. But it could also do it on the ground that it was its own creation, and therefore subject to its authority. The civil power had created it, and given it its commission, and was therefore competent to revoke its commission, and to unmake as it had made it. For the civil government to destroy it, to blot it out entirely, required the assumption of no principle not necessarily admitted by the Establishment itself, the violation of no principle either of the old or the new constitution, whether political or ecclesiastical. Of this the government seemed to be perfectly well aware. When, therefore, a reforming government, on the heels of Catholic emancipation, proposed the suppression of certain Irish sees, the friends of the Establishment felt that their worst fears were about to be realized. The suppression of certain Irish sees might be only the prelude to the suppression of the entire Establishment in Ireland, and its entire suppression in Ireland only a prelude to its entire suppression in England and the Colonies. All this became tolerably clear to Oxford men. It was a moment of peril. What was to be done ? The aim of the Oxford movement was to meet the danger here implied.
Two facts were certain: 1. The English Church was bound hand and foot by the state ; and, 2. No inconsiderable number of her nominal members had little regard for her as an establishment, and no belief in her necessity as the medium of salvation. To arrest the policy threatened by the government, and to save the English Church, two things, then, were clearly necessary : 1. To emancipate her from her thraldom to the temporal power; and, 2. To stir up the zeal and augment the fervor of her members. But the former was possible only by asserting the Apostolical origin and commission of the Church, and the latter only by reviving the forgotten doctrine of the Sacraments, which makes them indispensable to salvation ; two undeniably Catholic doctrines, always held and insisted upon by the Catholic Church. The Oxford men, therefore, accepted these two doctrines, and labored to bring out and establish them as genuine Anglican doctrines. But they soon saw that these doctrines could not be asserted without condemning the principles of the Protestant Reformation, and that the principles of the Reformation could not be condemned without exonerating the Roman Catholic Church from the charges the Reformers had brought against her. But if that Church was exonerated from those charges, and the Reformation was condemned in its principles, it was clear that the English Church was in schism, perhaps in heresy, and no Christian Church at all. Here was an unlookedfor conclusion,a discovery which disconcerted them, and threatened to defeat them altogether. What was to be done with it ? Here was a new and most serious difficulty.
The Oxford men, on making this discovery, divided into three classes : 1. Those who were and would be Protestants, let come what might ; 2. Those who would save the Establishment at all hazards ; and, 3. Those who would save the Establishment, if possible, but yet not at the expense of truth and consistency. The first of these, seeing very clearly where the movement was tending, and regarding Dissent as a less evil than Catholicity, abandoned the movement altogether, and lapsed into Low Churchism, Evangelicalism, or Rationalism ; the second, caring little for logical consistency, and having great confidence in the ignorance, the prejudice, and the unreason of the people, boldly asserted, in spite of the obvious fact, that a distinction between Catholicity and Romanism is tenable, and stoutly maintained that they might stand where they were ; but the third class, having a deeper sense ot religion, and more logical sequence of thought than usual with Oxford men, unable to accept this distinction, believing what was called Romanism was better than Evangelicalism or Rationalism, and seeing no other alternative, preferred marching towards Rome, and giving up entirely the glorious Protestant Reformation, with the whole catalogue of Protestant saints. But they still wished and hoped to save the Establishment. They saw that they must go to Rome, but they would carry the Establishment with them. Hence they devoted themselves with great zeal and energy to bringing out and popularizing in the Establishment " all Roman doctrine," according to the expression of the time, or so much of it as they understood, with the ulterior view, though not distinctly avowed, of uniting their communion with the Roman. Hence the decided Catholic tendency which the Oxford movement appeared for a time to be following, and which so alarmed Protestants and so encouraged Catholics.
The work before us was written in 1844, just as the third class of Oxford men we have described were rapidly coming to the conclusion, that they must abandon the Establishment, arid so to Rome, not as a corporate body, but as simple individuals, yet before many of them had actually become reconci ed to the Church. The author is an Oxford man of the second class enumerated. His precise object is to induce the other two classes of Oxford men to continue on in the course they at first marked out for themselves, and to arrest the tendency to abandon it in favor either of Evangelicalism or of Catholicity. He wishes and is determined to save the Church of England, and in order to do so, he sees that he must defend it against three classes of enemies, the state, the Evangelicals, and the Catholics. To defend it from the state, or to assert its independence of the state, he must assert it to be the Church of Christ, and the Church of England only because the Church of Christ, and thus abandon the old ground, that it is the Church of Christ because it is the Church of England ; to defend it against the Evangelicals, he must assert its catholicity, its Apostolical origin and commission, and revive the Catholic doctrine of the Sacraments ; and to defend it against the Catholics, he must make it a national church, the Church of England, and the Church of Christ because the Church of England,' and conclude the Catholic Church a false church because it differs from it, and does not recognize its mission. He is an Englishman, at least writes in the character of an Englishman. He must, then, have an English God, an English Church, an English faith, an English worship, in a word, an English religion, suitable to an English gentleman. He must, in order to meet this demand, make his church catholic yet national, universal yet insular ; catholic, that he may assert its independence of the state and condemn Evangelicals ; national, that he may confine it to England, and keep it under the control of Englishmen, or rather, of Oxford men ; universal, that he may emancipate it from the state and save its revenues ; insular, that he may save it from the supremacy of the Roman Pontiff. If national merely, it is subject to the national will, and at the mercy of the state ; if insular merely, it has no authority as a church, is not essential as a medium of salvation, and nothing can be said in its favor against Evangelicalism or Rationalism ; if catholic, it is subject to the Pope, and Oxford men are not the supreme ecclesiastical authority, and can have no commission but as they receive it from Rome. To emancipate the Church from the state in favor of Rome is to come under another authority equally fatal to them ; to emancipate it from the state in favor of Evangelicalism or Rationalism is to lose its revenues ; and what would it be worth without its revenues ? Therefore, it must be asserted as catholic and not catholic, insular and not insular, and the author must boldly maintain that of contraries both may be true.
The author is an Oxford man, and we are, therefore, not to expect any clear and distinct statement of his problems, or any scientific solutions of them. The Oxford man does not usually deal in science, and there is a sort of haze about his understanding that prevents him from seeing things clearly or distinctly. Indeed, were it otherwise, the Oxford man would not be an Oxford man ; he would be a Catholic, or develop into a downright Rationalist. The author leaves his problems to be divined by his readers, and undertakes to solve them by way of examples, yet not by examples taken from real life, but imagined by him or his predecessors for the occasion. The discussions are carried on by way of dialogue between certain imaginary Anglicans and Catholics, who have no prototypes either in the Church or the Establishment, and for the most part behind the scene, the author only occasionally coming forward and reporting, not the arguments, but the result. We are told Mr. Beattie convinced Mr. Yilliers of this or of that, that this same Mr. Beattie satisfied Lady Eleanor as to this or that difficulty; but of the process we are left to judge mainly from the imaginary conduct of the imaginary dramatis personal. There is, no doubt, great convenience in this method of managing a controversy ; for the author has only to assert that the party intended to be defeated is defeated, then to make him act as if defeated, and his cause is won. There is some ingenuity in an Oxford man, after all.
The most serious difficulty the author encounters is, how to dispose of the Catholic Church. He can get along tolerably well with Evangelicals and that sort of rabble, for he can assert Catholic doctrine and use Catholic arguments against them ; but how to dispose of the Catholic Church, how to silence Rome, is the real difficulty. This he must do before he can proceed a single step in defence of his Oxford movement, for an impression has gone abroad that the Oxford movement has a Romanizing tendency ; and he must do it, too, without offending those members of the Establishment who really begin to crave something approaching Catholicity. The Catholic Church is in possession. There she stands, to confound every sect and schism. Men out of her communion may talk as they please, but they have a strange, uncomfortable feeling every time they look at her, and would feel altogether more confidence in their own schemes, parties, or.associations, and repose much more quietly in their own inventions, if she was not there, always before them, and giving in her calm and majestic tones the lie to their assertions. The Oxford man seems to be really troubled at her presence, and feels that he should breathe much freer, if she were only out of the way. His first care, as his first necessity, is to remove her. He has half gained his cause, if he has dispossessed her. He must invalidate her titles. But how is he to do this ? Scientifically he of course is well aware that he cannot do it. But he has discovered a most ingenious and facile method of doing it. He has only to suppose the principal Catholic doctrines, and call them Anglican, then imagine the most absurd and wicked thing he can, and call it Romanism. Having done this, he has only to imagine the two in operation, and by their imaginary effects judge which must be and which cannot be the Church of God. An ingenious device.
Now this is precisely the author's method of disposing of the Church. The Anglicanism of his book he himself confesses, and his American editor confesses for him, has no actual existence, is not the Anglican Church which is or ever has been, but simply what he imagines, perhaps believes, the present Church of England is capable of becoming. It is only an imaginary or ideal Anglicanism. This, in the very outset, concedes that the Church of England is not Catholic. To be Catholic, it must be Catholic in time as well as in space, and must be equally complete and entire at all times. The most the author can say for his Church is, that he believes it is capable of being developed into the Catholic Church. But this can avail him nothing ; for he goes expressly against the doctrine of Development, and devotes several pages of his book to its formal refutation. Indeed, one of his most formidable objections to what he calls Romanism is, that it seeks to defend itself by appealing to the principle of development. If he denies development, he must take his church as it is ; and if he confesses, as he virtually does, that, considered in its actual state, it is not Catholic, he gives up his cause before entering upon his defence. This, we suppose, must be the Oxford way of defending Anglicanism.
On the other hand, his Romanism, if intended to be taken as the doctrine and practice of the Church in communion with the see of Rome, is as imaginary as his AngloCatholicism. It may have some reality in Protestantism, but it is a pure fiction when affirmed of Catholics, or, to please the author, of Papists or Jesuits. To prove that this Romanism is not Catholicity is not a difficult matter ; but .fto do so is nothing to his purpose. Both he and his American editor virtually confess that they do not find it actually existing, and that it is only their ideal of Romanism, that is, what Romanism might become, if logically carried out. But the Roman Catholic Church, her principles and practice, are facts, and must be taken as they actually are, and refuted as such, or not at all. She is no ideal church. She has existed for centuries ; she has been actualized in the world's history, and it is as so actualized that she must be judged, approved, acquitted, or condemned. We have nothing to do with an ideal Catholic Church, with effects which might follow, with characters in which her system might issue. The question is, What does she actually teach ? What have actually been her effects ? In what characters has her system actually issued ? A church which has subsisted eighteen hundred, or even three hundred years, cannot be judged by what may be imagined to be her legitimate consequences. She has made her experiment, and must be tried by the results actually obtained, not by results which it is believed or imagined, hoped or apprehended, may be obtained. If the Church, as you concede, never has produced the effects you allege, if she never has given birth to such characters as you imagine, then you are estopped. Fact overrides speculation, and even imagination. Your only rational conclusion is, that you have either reasoned illogically, or misapprehended the system itself have either assigned it principles which it repudiates, or tailed to recognize in it certain principles which it contains, and which limit and modify the action of those you do recognize.
The author's method of testing what he calls Romanism is by exhibiting its effects on character ; and, imagining its effects to be bad, he concludes, at once, against the Catholic Church. He is in this guilty of what logicians term transitio a genere ad genus, for his Romanism differs generally from the Roman Catholic Church ; and, moreover, he adopts a principle of reasoning; which is rarely safe, and which must at all times be applied with ereat caution. The Church is not responsible for the abuses of her system. It is always necessary to prove in the outset that the character to be judged has been formed by her system, not in spite of it, and is its legitimate consequence. Doubtless, there are bad men in the Church, as blackhearted villains as you need look for; but that is nothing to the purpose. Are they the fruits of Catholicity ? Are they obedient sons of the Church ? Do they believe and obey her teaching ? Do they conform to her spirit, and strictly and conscientiously perform their Catholic duties ? If not, she is not responsible for their character. When the author produces a rea personage who lives as the Church directs, who really follows out her system in his daily life, and is, nevertheless, a bad man, or not, in an elevated sense, a good man, we will listen to him and agree that he has adduced an argument against our Church which needs a reply. But this he has not done, has not even attempted to do. The characters by which he attempts to determine the effects of Catholicity, or, as he calls it, the 1 apal system, are not real, but imaginary, not drawn from history, but from the author's imagination, and are avowedly formed to express merely his views of its logical consequences. What proves that his views are correct ? The facts and presumptions are against him ; for, if correct, he could have found in real life characters already formed to his hand. It is certainly a singular way to refute a system, this of imagining something which is not it, then imagining characters to express that which is imagined, and finally, from the unseemliness of these imaginary characters, to conclude the wickedness and falsity of the system itself. Such a refutation can, at best, be only imaginary.
That the author draws on his imagination for his Romanism, or that of his predecessors, we need not undertake to prove. A bare statement of it will suffice to prove it, for all who are qualified to form an opinion on the subject. According to him, the Catholic system held by us is throughout a system of fraud and chicanery. The Pope, the cardinals, the bishops, the clergy, especially the Jesuits, are leagued together in upholding and extending a gigantic imposition for the sake of attaining universal temporal dominion. They are constantly engaged in contriving and hatching plots and conspiracies against the liberties of nations and the common rights of mankind. Just now, the whole energy of Rome and her minions is directed to the recovery of England, wrested from her tyrannical grasp by those comely saints, Henry VIII. and his daughter Elizabeth; For this, Catholics pour out exhaustless wealth like water. Innumerable emissaries from the Papal court men of all grades, and of all characters, fit for deeds of lofty virtue and of the most damning villany swarm over the nation, penetrate into every society, into every nook and corner of the land, worm their way into the confidence of the unsuspecting, cajole the great, terrify the little, and, through the confessional, master the secrets of all, and use them in furtherance of their hellish purpose.' No Englishman is safe. There is a universal conspiracy against him. His steps are dogged, his motions are watched and noted ; his most secret thoughts are ascertained, and transmitted to the Pope or to the General of the Jesuits. Artful spies surround him ; he is besieged with arguments and blandishments ; appeals to his senses, his passions, his intellect, his tastes, his imagination ; smoothfaced and liberal priests cajole or threaten him ; hightoned and crafty Jesuits, whose nights are spent in vigils, prayers, and studies, whose minds are stored with the literature and science of all ages and nations, make themselves his companions, win his heart, and seek to entrap him into Romanism. Worse than all this ; if he remains obstinate, the agents employed are punished for their failure, even assassinated before his very eyes, by order of their master or masters ; he becomes the object of Papal vengeance; invisible agents swarm around him ; Ins plans are defeated, his hopes are deceived, his affections severed, h s children stolen from him, and brought up in profanity^and vice prepared, at the first opportunity, to cut his throat. I 001 man'!*Ze is' no safety for him. Let him not dream that he can escape the vengeance of Rome. Artful, designing, learned, accomplished Jesuits, with no principle but obedience to their superiors, ready to pray or to murder, according to the order given, are ever on his track, and, in one disguise 01 another lurking near him. Does he go to Italy to display his magnificence, or to enjoy the sunny clime and the treasures of Italian art ? A Jesuit disguised becomes his bodyservant, and soon hiL factotum;by his artfulness, his address, Ins faculty of making himself agreeable and useful, gets the command over him, finds out his secrets, and then refuses to spare him, unless he turns Papist, and bequeathes his estates to the Jesuits.
Not individuals only, but the state, is beleaguered. Emissaries from Rome are in every department. Every Jesuit, every priest, every Irish laborer, is in the conspiracy. Is there a riot or an outbreak in some mining or manufacturing distnct, it is the work of the disguised Jesuit, done in obedience to orders from Rome, for the purpose of bringing about a change of ministry. Is some provincial bank, which has been insolvent for years, obliged to stop business, to the ruin of hundreds of honL people,the same ubiquitous Jesuit ..at the bottom and has done it in order to secure the return of a Liberal and infidel member of Parliament. Is there a change in ministry--a rise or a fall in the stocks, it is the work of Rome, though her agents, for the embarrassment of the British government.
With a few rare exceptions, these emissaries and agents are all in the secret, understand the purposes of then pasters, and are themselves without faith, without conscience, without ptnc pie, and utterly reckless. Nevertheless, they keep their oath, are faithful to their trusts, practise the most exact obedience, submit to the severest mortifications, and make the most painful self sacrifices ; and all to uphold a system of sheer fraud, a mere imposition, which they know to be a mere ppoBiuon, and which among themselves they ridicule and despise. What binds them to their superiors ? What insures their fidelity^ ? What compels them to make these sacrifices ? I hey a e caught and cannot escape. They find themselves leagued with a band of robbers, and cannot break away without running the most fearful risks. There would be no living for them in Catholic countries, and Protestants, alas ! have no houses of refuge to receive them. Let them falter in their duty, let them in their secret chambers, in the solitude of their own private thoughts, but dream of swerving from their fidelity, and the muffled assassin's dagger shall speedily find its way to their heart. By a system of universal fraud, intrigue, and espionage, the Church establishes her power, and by a system of universal terror she contrives to preserve and even to extend it.
We say nothing which is not warranted by the book before us, and had we space, we could justify by citations every statement we make. This is Romanism, or the Papal system, according to the author of Hawkstone ; and this horrible system, he would have his readers understand, is the system which we Catholics embrace and exert ourselves to uphold and extend ! Does he believe this ? Why should he not ? It is, with slight variation, as far as it goes, the old story which Protestants in general, and English Protestants in particular, have been repeating for these three hundred years, and subtantially what we may read in any Antipopery book, tract, or newspaper we can take up. It may seen incredible to those who have been always Catholics from their infancy, that any Protestant can believe any thing so absurd ; but Protestants have a liberal share of credulity, and can believe any thing but the truth.
The whole of this theory of what they call Romanism, the Papal system, or the Jesuitical system, Protestants rest on two assumptions :I. The Church holds that the end justifies the means ; and, 2. That by means of the confessional she obtains possession of the secrets of all hearts, and can use them for her own purposes. The Church exists in spite of all opposition ; that is a fact there is no denying. She persists through all the mutations which go on around her, and retains, and from day to day even extends, her influence. Asa matter of course, she is a gigantic imposition. Otherwise, Protestantism would be false and criminal. But if an imposition, if a mere human institution, she can extend or even preserve her influence only by human means, by craft, artifice, and consummate human skill and address. She must be wise, crafty, subtle, and unscrupulous in the selection and employment of her means and agents. This view of the Church the Protestant must take, or concede that she is the Church of God, and thus condemn himself.
The Church certainly subsists, and it is a fact that the counsels of her enemies are often frustrated, and that nations which have disowned her often feel her influence, and unintentionally promote her interests, in a way which to them is strange and incomprehensible. But this theory of her consummate human policy, her craft and address, is far from being borne out by the facts of history. Humanly speaking, her ministers have not always been good ecclesiastical politicians, and have not seldom committed what in the eyes of men are gross blunders. We have been struck, in reading history, with this fact. If ignorance, weakness, false policy, and blunders on the part ot Churchmen could have ruined the Church, she would have been ruined and ceased to exist long ages ago. Her whole history proves that she subsists in spite of human policy, and therefore that she is upheld, not by the arm of man, but by the arm of God. But let this pass. We cannot expect Protestants to recognize the facts of history, or to make in view ot them the proper induction. Let it be that she is a mere human institution, and therefore a gigantic imposition ; still, the means on which she is supposed to depend are altogether inadequate to the acknowledged effect.
The assumption, that the Church holds that the end justifies the means, is unwarranted, a pure, unmitigated falsehood ; but let that pass ; even if it were not so, it would not meet the exigencies of the case. The principle itself presupposes that the end is good, at least believed to be good, and it is only on that condition that it can have place, or operate. But if our author is to be believed, the Church does not even propose a good end. He, indeed, represents his imaginary Catholics as uistifying their conduct on the ground that it is for the good ot the cause ; but, at the same time, he represents them as perfectly aware that the cause itself is bad. They must, then, act, not on the principle that a good end sanctifies the means, the principle supposed, but on the principle that a bad end sanctifies bad means, that, however detestable the means, if the end is
bad, they are justifiable !
Not only is this the representation given of the inferior agents, but of the superiors, of the Pope, and of his supposed master, the General of the Jesuits. If the system be what it is alleged, it has and can have no good end. What good end, indeed, ran you suppose ? The salvation of men ? No, for the Church believes in no salvation, and its ministers are nothing but a set of baptized infidels, without faith and without conscience. They know their system to be an imposition, and ridicule its pretensions. Of course, then, they cannot believe its maintenance essential or at all necessary for any religious purpose, certainly not as the medium of salvation ; for, in order to believe that, they must really believe their Church to be the Church of God, which they cannot do, if they know it to be a mere human institution, a mere imposition. What, then, is the good end proposed ? The monopolizing of power ? But this is not an end ; it is only a means to an end. For what end monopolize power ? For mere selfish gratification ? But that is not a good end. Supposing the Church, then, to be what is alleged, supposing her to adopt the principle, that the end justifies the means, that principle cannot avail her ; for, false as that principle is, it can operate only with men who have some faith and some conscience, and where there is an end proposed which is really or apparently good, neither of which is the fact in the case supposed. The Church has, according to the author, only a vicious end, which she seeks by unscrupulous agents who know it to be vicious. Will he explain to us how the larger part of the civilized world can be made to submit to a system vicious both in its ends and in its means, a system which they do not believe, and which deprives them of all their rights as men ? or how a system so utterly rotten in all its parts can be sustained, by agents still more rotten, in the face of day, and in spite of all the opposition it undeniably encounters ? Is the Oxford man deeply read in philosophy ? Is he remarkably well versed in the secrets of human uature ? False systems may, undoubtedly, be sustained, but only when they propose an end which commends itself to the human heart, and in whose favor conscience can be enlisted ; and only while the adherents retain some persuasion that the systems, though they may be imperfect, are nevertheless, in the main, true and necessary. Satan must disguise himself as an angel of light, nay, must seat himself on the throne of God as God, must deceive, must delude, in order to induce any considerable number of persons to hearken to him or to worship him as God.
The second assumption is no better. It is false to suppose that the secrets of the confessional are or can be disclosed or used as pretended. The confessor, even if permitted to reveal the secrets of the confessional, or to make use of them out of the confessional, which is strictly forbidden, could do it only to a feeble extent, and on rare occasions. How in the world can a confessor who hears ninety or a hundred different confessions
in a single afternoon, and of persons the majority of whom he does not know even by sight or by name, remember each ones confession, and set it down to the proper penitent ? When could he find time to record these confessions ? And supposing he could do this, and should transmit the records to Rome, who is there in that city to read them all, to make a digest of them, reduce them to such a compass, that it would be possible, in any practicable length of time, for the Pope or the General of the Jesuits to form even a general idea of their contents ? Neither the Pope nor the General can devote more than a certain number of hours a day to mastering the secrets of these confessions from all parts of the globe ; and by what conceivable process will you contrive to enable either, in these few hours, to master the daily secrets of the whole world ? Yet the hypothesis requires, not only that the priests collect all these secrets, not only that they write them out, and transmit them to Rome, but that the Pope or the General of the Jesuits the author does not tell us explicitly which is actually to become acquainted with them, and to shape his policy according to the information he thus acquires. Who but a Protestant could believe this possible, without one of the most stupendous miracles ever recorded ?
But pass over this. The confessional does not afiord the means of collecting all the secrets of all the world. Protectants and persons not Catholics do not confess to Catholic priests, and therefore nothing more can be known of their secrets with than without the confessional. If Catholics should happen to become acquainted with their secrets, they could not reveal them in the confessional; for they are forbidden to confess any one's secrets, even if they know them, but their own. If they are conscientious, they will not do it; if they are not conscientious, they will not go to confession. The agents and emissaries supposed have neither faith nor conscience, and therefore will not seek the confessional, or, if they should, they would take care to confess nothing seriously to their own disadvantage. Consequently, supposing the worst, it is not possible through the confessional to get at that knowledge ot the secrets of mankind, or of the emissaries and agents employed, which is essential to the maintenance of the system of universal terror by which it is pretended Rome is able to keep up her power, and secure the fidelity of her servants.
The author of Hawkstone reasons as if everybody contested to Catholic priests, whereas none but Catholics do it; also, as if all who pass for Catholics, although they have neither faith nor conscience, go to confession, and that each one not only goes to confession, but even makes a good confession, whereas none but good Catholics go to confession, for nothing but faith and conscience can carry them there ; or if something else should induce them to go, nothing else could induce them to make a clean breast, that is, what Catholics term a good confession. Evidently, then, supposing the Church to be as bad as our author pretends, the means he alleges are altogether inadequate to give and preserve her power. The causes assumed are inadequate to the effects which are seen and cannot be denied. The Protestant has, no doubt, all the malice requisite to imagine bad causes for these effects, but he suffers his malice to get the better of his discernment. When he takes it upon him to invent a Romanism for us, he should take care to invent causes adequate to its explanation. If Romanism were what he supposes, and dependent for its support on the means he imagines, it could not subsist twentyfour hours. It would instantly be exposed ; nay, Hawkstone alone would suffice to annihilate it for ever. Yet our Romanism survives, and, we doubt not, will survive for some time to come.
But having in his imaginary way disposed of his imaginary Romanism, or Papal system, the author imagines that he has cleared the field for his Oxfordism, or imaginary Anglicanism. This is the first step. If now he can establish his Oxfordism with as much success as he has had in dispossessing Romanism, he imagines he shall be able to shout his imaginary triumph. His work is now to prove the English Church Catholic. In order to do this, he begins by conceding, nay, proving to our full conviction, that, in its actual state, at least going back ten years from the date of his story, it wants nearly every element of the Church of Christ. It is enslaved to the secular power, and has no faculties of its own ; it has been robbed of its rights and has refused to reclaim them ; it has lost sight of its glorious privileges, its high prerogatives as the Church of God, and suffered them to be denied without a protest; it has failed to assert the Catholic system, and left by the way large portions of Catholic doctrine; it has failed to discharge its most obvious and imperious duties as a Christian church, and suffered to grow up under its ministration the most ignorant, vicious, criminal, degraded, and squalidly wretched population to be found in any nation, fostering in the very heart of the empire and threatening its total destruction, without making even an effort to arrest the terrible evil; its bishops and priests, though meaning well, perhaps, with rare exceptions, neither understand nor perform their duties as Christian pastors, and as doctors fall into mischievous errors and damnable heresies. We do not doubt it. .
But this is nothing against the Church of England. It is rather a proof of her being the true Catholic Church, as distinguished from the Papal Church.
"And yet,' said Villiers, ' the Church of England ten years since was at the point of death.'
" ' So,' replied Beattie, ; it seemed to us. Threatened by the people, treacherously protected and corrupted by the state, robbed of her revenues, mutilated in her bishoprics, disorganized and enfeebled in those collegiate bodies which ought to form her greatest strength, her authority neither asserted by herself nor recognized by others, her testimony set aside and supplanted by an empty rationalism, her education emptied of every thing which could give it life and power, her churches deserted, her children running ofT without a warning voice into every kind of dissent, and the population swelling like a running tide around her, and menacing to swallow her up, like those fabled springs destined to overflow and drown the mortals who forgot to keep them under cover and confined within their proper bounds, such was the condition of the Church. Who would have dared at that time to prophesy that it should, within ten years, simply by the assertion of its own principles, be more deeply rooted than ever in the affections of its children, more feared than ever by its enemies, more able than ever to take its stand as the guardian of this empire, and to spread out its arm to the most distant continents as the converter of the heathen ? Yet surely this is now true.'
"' And yet,' said Villiers, ' there must have been some malformation, some secret mischief, which had reduced her to her previous state. Without some radical defect, no church could so have
"' My dear Villiers,' said Beattie, after a pause, and placing his hands on his friend's shoulders, ' will you endeavour to remain for five minutes in this position, standing upright without moving a single muscle ?'
" Villiers stopped (for they were now walking on the terrace in the college gardens), and endeavoured to do so, but found it impossible.
" ' Or,' continued Beattie, ' will you try and walk up to that planetree yonder in one straight line without a single divergence ?'
" Villiers shook his head.
"' No,' said Beattie, ' it would be impossible ; for the law of
progression, as in human minds, and in individuals as in societies, is a, law of continual oscillation. We bend from side to side, wavering at every step ; if weak, falling wholly, not to rise again ; if strong, recovering ourselves by some great effort, and advancing at each fresh struggle with more directness, but never upon this earth without a tendency to vary from the central line. Do not, therefore, measure the weakness of societies by their oscillations, or even by their falls (for they are human and cannot escape them), but by their recoveries,recoveries through their own internal strength, when to common eyes they seemed wholly lost. Look round on all the churches in the world, on all civil societies which history presents, and search if you can find an instance of any human polity recovering itself from oscillations so fearful as those by which the English Church has been shaken at times from her centre. Think what a tremendous shock to all opinions and all institutions was given by the stroke which severed her from the tyranny of Home. And yet, though she bent for a time beyond her equilibrium, she righted and recovered in her doctrine both the principle of authority and the talisman of an hereditary Catholicism, without which she would long since have been fractured to atoms, like the Protestant communions in Germany. She was saved here by the arm of the civil power, which grasped her (roughly, indeed, and tyrannically) when she had shaken off her hold upon the Papacy ; but yet rescued her from falling wholly into that worst anarchy, the government of selfwill. That arm itself was then fractured ; and°the Church fell to the ground, and to human eyes was utterly destroyed. And yet suffering, and persecution, and martyrdom, only purified and strengthened it; and it came out of the convulsions of the rebellion stronger than before, the monarchy supported by the Church, and the Church supported by the monarchy. The*Revolution came ; and the monarchy was split from top to bottom. It stood, indeed, and a superficial view mi^ht not detect the flaw. But the principle of popular election, however disguised and disclaimed, was admitted into the constitution. And since then the Church has been placed to contend against it, breaking out as it has done in a thousand different forms. She has contended with it under the most difficult circumstances; her hands tied, her movements restricted, her principles corrupted, her resources curtailed, her operations betrayed by the necessity of recognizing a nominal monarchy, which, in reality, was a democracy. If the monarchy had wholly disappeared, her course would have been plain and her opposition unfettered. But she has fought like a woman defending her house and husband against robbers ; her husband himself being all the time one of their accomplices, and endeavouring to silence and corrupt her. We measure strength,' continued Beattie, ' not by mere exertion, but by exertion against resistance, and under disadvantages. Think, in this point of view, on the very existence of the Church of England at this day as all but a miracle.' " Vol. i. pp. 288-291.
Our readers will do well to reperuse this extract, and to take notice that the defence of the Church of England is here expressly based on the assumption, not concession merely, that it is a human institution, and subject to the law of human progression. Her oscillations are only those of the human mind itself, and it is not possible for her to walk without a tendency to vary from the central line of truth. This we have no doubt is true. But if a human and a variable institution, how can she be the Church of God, the reflex on earth of his own eternal truth and immutability ? To assume the Church of England to be human is to deny its divinity, and therefore that it is the Catholic Church. Who but an Oxford man, after this, would attempt to prove her the Church of Christ ?
Nevertheless, the author, after having thus conceded away and disproved, in the most satisfactory manner, the Catholicity of his Church, and reduced her to a purely human society, proceeds to prove that she is truly Catholic, and that Anglicans, though not Romanists, are genuine Catholics. But how? What is the Catholic Church ? How is it identified with the English Church ? Why, the modern Church of Rome is the Catholic Church plus the Papacy; consequently the modern Church of Rome minus the Papacy is the true Catholic Church. Abstract from the modern Church of Rome the Papacy, the remainder will be the answer to the question, what is the Catholic Church. Now it is certain that the .Church of England during one thousand years prior to the Reformation was this same Catholic Church plus the Papacy. But the Reformation intended only to throw off the Papacy. Consequently the Church it left, as the present Church of England, was this same Church, minus the Papacy, which is the true Catholic Church, and therefore the present Church of England is the true Catholic Church. Q. E. D. It is true, however, that the Reformation in point of fact exceeded its intention, that the Reformers tore away a part of the Catholic system itself; but as the Church of England intended to throw off only the Papacy, she is not responsible for what went beyond that intention, and has therefore the right to claim, minus the Papacy, the whole Catholic system as her own. She is then, undeniably, the Catholic Church de jure, and the moment she revives the whole Catholic system and conforms to it in her practical teaching, discipline, and worship, she will be it de facto. Who, then, dare deny the Catholicity of the Church of England ?
This, if we understand it, is the Oxford theory. It is ingenious, profound, and beautiful, and highly creditable to its authors. It settles with great ease the questions which might arise as to what is the true Catholic Church. Rome answers those questions for them, and her authority is good, except so far as she asserts the Papacy. After all, then, Rome serves an important purpose. She keeps the Catholic Church in its integrity, though unhappily obscured by her own additions. Still, as under her additions remains intact the entire Catholic Church, we can learn from her what it is, which we could not do from the Church of England, for she, unhappily, has mutilated it, and lost the greater part of it. The author, therefore, takes frequent occasion to rap his Evangelical brethren over the knuckles, for their vulgar prejudices against Rome, and also, notwithstanding all he says against her, to show her immense superiority over the Anglican Church. It is clear, in his view, that, minus the Papacy, Anglicanism wants all that Romanism has, and that Romanism has all that Anglicanism wants. Let England borrow from Rome all that Rome has, minus the Papacy, and England will once more be Catholic. Rome, then, unless she undertakes by her own authority to plant her system in England, in derogation of the mission of Anglicanism, is to be respected, and held to be a living branch of the Catholic Church. Really, Oxford men are liberal as well as ingenious, and not at all squeamish, if not themselves interfered with ! They have no difficulty in recognizing the Catholicity, out of England, of the very Church which they denounce as a gigantic imposition upon mankind, and which, Recording to them, is sustained only by a system of universal fraud and terror !
This theory, too, enables the Oxford men to dispose of certain troublesome matters connected with the interference of Henry and Elizabeth in ecclesiastical matters at the time of the separation of their Church from the rest of Christendom. The Church of England does not derive from either Henry or Elizabeth ; it is the old Catholic Church of England, the primitive Church, minus the Papacy, which had been the Church of England from the time of St. Austin, perhaps from the time of St. Paul. Henry and his daughter Elizabeth were only nstruments, rude instruments, it is true, but such as the times afforded, in the hands of God, for freeing her from foreign domination and Roman corruption. The Reformers may not have been saintly men ; they may have had bad motives, and erroneous principles and doctrines. But what then ? Bad Churchmen do not make the Church false or wicked. They had nothing to do with founding the Church of England, or settling its constitution, doctrines, or liturgy. They only disencumbered her of the Papacy, cut away the excrescences or accretions which threatened her existence, in order to enable her to stand forth in her native freedom, purity, simplicity, and majesty, as the Church of God, which she was, and had always been. This was their work. They gave nothing to her ; they simply removed what was not hers, and which was only a let and a hindrance to her. They may, indeed, in their ignorance, their zeal, their error, their rashness, have laid a rude hand on the Church herself, taken away more than they should have done, mutilated, wounded, and left her half dead ; but is she to blame for that ? Is she to be censured because she was so cruelly treated ? Is she to be denied her own because she was unjustly deprived of it ? The Reformers in their rude grasp exceeded their powers, and she cannot be bound by their lawless acts. She has, therefore, the right to disavow them, and to reclaim her own.
All this is no doubt very clever, but we do not precisely understand how the Church of England can be Catholic at all, if not Catholic in fact, Catholic in her actual character. A Church Catholic de jure, and not Catholic de facto, passes our understanding. We should suppose a Church ceasing to be Catholic in fact had forfeited whatever rights it once had, and become a schismatical or an heretical body. A man once Catholic, but lapsed into schism or heresy, retains, no doubt, with the blessing of God, the power of becoming a Catholic again, but he can hardly for that be called a Catholic, unless he actually becomes so. As long as the power remains a mere virtuality, unreduced to act, he is no more of a Catholic than if he had it not. Grant that the Church of England was once Catholic, that is nothing, if she is not Catholic now ; grant, also, that she has the power of becoming Catholic once more, and what we deny that by reducing to practice principles which she actually holds ; that does not make her Catholic, and she cannot be Catholic, unless she so reduces them, and actualizes that power. As long as she remains as she is, she is only what she is in actu, and not being in actu Catholic, we should suppose that she cannot be regarded as Catholic at all. That the Church of England before the Reformation was Catholic, by virtue of her communion with the centre of unity, we concede, and if she is now identically that same Church, she is Catholic now, we also concede ; but if the identity asserted does not exist, the fact that the old Church in England was Catholic does not make the present Anglican Church Catholic, but the reverse. That identity does not exist, if there is an essential difference between the Church that is and the one that was. That such difference does exist is proved by the admitted fact, that the Anglican Church was mutilated by the Reformers, that she has been subjected to the civil power, has practically rejected large portions of the Catholic system, has neglected essential Catholic doctrines, has embraced doctrinal errors, and sanctioned, tacitly at least, mischievous practices ; nothing of which, in the same sense, can be affirmed of the Church before the Reformation. Under any view of the nature and office of the Church which even Oxford men will take, this must imply an essential difference, and therefore destroy the identity asserted ; and then, confessedly, the Catholicity both de jure and de facto of the present Anglican Church.
That the Anglican Church, since the change effected by the Reformers, and in spite of it, retains certain principles which imply and demand the Catholic Church for their logical development and practical operation, we do not deny. There is no heresy of which we cannot say as much. Even the Unitarian has principles, which, if logically carried out and reduced to practice, would compel him to seek admission into the Catholic communion ; but he is not, therefore, a Catholic : for he does not so carry out and reduce them, and because he has other principles which he obeys and which are opposed to them and utterly inconsistent with Catholicity. The Church of England may retain in her Book of Common Prayer and other formularies principles which logically imply the Church ; but they give her no title to Catholicity, if they are not logically developed, and made the principles of her actual life, or if along with them she holds and practises another set of principles inconsistent with or diverse from them. To be Catholic she must not only retain all Catholic principles, but she must have no other principles, and she must not only possess the Catholic principles and them only, but she must live them, that is, realize them in her actual life. But it'is conceded by the Oxford men themselves, that she does not realize the Catholic principles in her actual life, for they are laboring with all their
might to induce her to do it. Either, then, she realizes no principles, and therefore is only a dead church, living no life at all, or she realizes other than Catholic principles, and is therefore a false church. In either case she is not Catholic.
But giving the Church of England the benefit of development, which our author repudiates, and granting that she retains, as far as they can be retained in formularies, all Catholic principles and Catholic principles only, she is not Catholic, unless she is united in the one Catholic communion, for Catholicity is inconceivable without unity. It is conceded by Oxford men, that valid and legitimate sacraments are essential to the Catholic communion, and their purpose, requires them to maintain that their Church is indispensable to salvation, at least in England, because she has valid and legitimate sacraments, and no one else has them. In order to maintain this, they must maintain her Apostolic origin and commission, that is, orders and jurisdiction. If, in the change which took place in the convulsions of the sixteenth century, the Church of England lost these, or either of them, she is not, and, without going out of herself, cannot become, Catholic. If she lost orders, that is, valid ordination, she is no church at all, but a mere human society, as our author in fact assumes her to be ; if she has lost jurisdiction, she is at best only a schismatical church.
That the Anglican Church, so called, has no valid orders is morally certain, and under the circumstances of the case the negative is to be concluded if the affirmative is not proved, because the perpetual visibility of the Church must be asserted. She certainly has none, unless she has received them through Matthew Parker, Queen Elizabeth's Archbishop of Canterbury; and she has not received them through him, unless he himself had been validly consecrated. That he had been was denied by the Catholics at the time, who must have known of his consecration, if he had been consecrated, and who had no interest, as Catholics, in denying it, but rather an interest in affirming it. It was virtually conceded even by members of the Establishment, who certainly would not have failed to assert and prove it, had they been able. The uneasiness of many Anglicans became so great, that the civil authority was obliged to interpose, and attempt to establish it, not by adducing proofs of the fact, but by the royal prerogative, and making it a penal offence to deny it. This was very extraordinary. The queen was a lay person, and had no authority to consecrate or to supply defects ; and the fact, that her supposed authority to supply defects was
invoked in the case, is itself a proof of the invalidity of the consecration. If Parker had been consecrated at all, it must have been by her order, and the evidences of the fact must have been within her reach. Why, then, did she not silence the gainsayers, and calm the uneasiness of her subjects, by producing them, instead of attempting to do it by royal proclamation or act of Parliament ? Who will believe, that, if the consecration had taken place, and by her order, she had no means of proving it ?
There is no evidence that any valid act of consecration took place, but the Lambeth Register, unknown, at least never produced, till some fifty or sixty years after the pretended event it professes to record, and which, though Dr. Lingard thinks it is genuine, is in all probability, to say the least, a forged document. It is too minute, enters too much into detail, and, as one may say, is too perfect to be genuine. Its not being produced, when needed to repel Bonner's plea that Horn was no bishop, is unexplained. If it existed, its existence must have been known, or could have been ascertained, by those who had an interest in producing it. The fact that they did not produce it is conclusive evidence, either that it did not exist at the time, or was known to be worthless.
But given the genuineness of the Lambeth Register, still there was no valid consecration, unless Barlow, who is said to have been the consecrating bishop, had himself been validly consecrated. That he had been, there is not a particle of evidence, and there is as strong evidence as the nature of the case admits that he had not been. That he had been a bishop elect is conceded, that he had been consecrated is not proved, cannot be proved, and is disproved to a moral certainty.
But passing over this, even conceding Barlow had been validly consecrated, there still was no valid consecration of Parker; for, if consecrated at all, it is conceded that it was according to the Ordinal of Edward VI., which was defective, and obviously did not consecrate to the office of bishop at all, as Anglicans themselves virtually admitted, a hundred years after, by amending it. These facts prove conclusively that Anglicans have no valid orders ; therefore that their Establishment has no sacraments ; therefore that it is no church at all, and that its pretension to Apostolic succession is imaginary. The Oxford man is, therefore, fully justified in placing it in the category of human societies, and assuming it to be subject to the law of human progression.
But granting Anglicans valid orders, they have no legal orders. They have no mission, no jurisdiction. That their Church has no jurisdiction but what it receives from the civil authority is a wellknown and undeniable historical fact, which has been legally established in the recent case of Dr. Hampden, raised to the see of Hereford. But the civil authority cannot give spiritual jurisdiction, for the Church derives her mission from God, not from the state, as the Oxford men themselves assert and must assert, for they seek to emancipate the Church from the state. Consequently, supposing the Church of England to have valid orders, even orthodox doctrine and usages, she is only a schismatical body, and as such diverse from the Catholic Church, and under its anathema.
To us these are serious difficulties in the way of the Oxford theory. The Oxford men are obliged to concede, nay, they assume, that in her actuality their Church is not Catholic, and they assert her Catholicity only on the strength of certain latent principles which they say she retains, in spite of the changes effected by the Reformers, and which they hold can be developed into actual Catholicity. But suppose the principles, suppose them developed, if she wants valid orders, she is no catholic church ; she is, if you will, a body moulded after the Catholic fashion, but a dead body, a mere carcass, without vitality or reproductive energy. And even if she have^ valid orders, and all Catholic principles and usages, since it is undeniable that she has no jurisdiction, she is only a schismatical church, differing per genus from the Catholic, and no more capable of being developed into it than a monkey is of being developed into a man.
But this is not all. The Oxford men tell us that their Church is the identical old Church of England which existed prior to the rise of Protestantism. On this ground and this only do they assert her Catholicity ; and they agree that if she is not that identical Church, that if she was instituted by the Reformers, or contemporaneously with them, she is not Catholic. This identity, we have seen, does not exist; but suppose it. The essential attributes of the Church of England must, then, be identical, both before and since the rise of Protestantism. The Oxford men tell us, that, among other things, it is an essential attribute or function of the Catholic Church to teach, and that, in teaching, her authority, under God, is ultimate, supreme. Hence, they repeat, " Hear the Church," and assert the absolute obligation to believe what she teaches. But it is a
wellknown fact, historically provable, denied by no one, and conceded by the Anglican Church herself, in her present official teaching, that prior to the Reformation, for a long series of ages at least, the Church of England held and taught that the Papacy is an integral, an essential element of the Catholic system. On what authority, then, do Oxford men exclude the Papacy from that system, and how can they exclude it and still believe the teachings of what they call the Church of England ? Do they reply, that their Church now denies the Papacy, and that they must believe her present instead of her past teaching ? Be it so. But if they say this, they must say it on the ground that the authoritative teaching of the Church is always her present teaching, and then they deny to themselves their pretended right of appeal from the modern Church to the primitive, their only method of even appearing to justify their rejection of the Church of Rome. Moreover, if they give this reply, they concede that their Church teaches at one time one doctrine, and its contradictory doctrine at another. Both doctrines cannot be true. Either, then, their Church taught a false doctrine on the Papacy before the rise of Protestantism, or she teaches a false doctrine now. If she teaches a false doctrine now, the Papacy is included in the Catholic system, and the Oxford men are heretical in rejecting it. If she taught a false doctrine then, as they must hold, she was then a false church, and therefore not Catholic. If not Catholic then, she, by their own confession, is not now, unless a church identically not Catholic is Catholic. If the present is identically the Church of England before the rise of Protestantism, she has undeniably erred, for she has taught contradictory doctrines, and therefore is not Catholic. The Catholic Ctyurch cannot err, for she is God's Church, and what she teaches he commands us to believe, as Oxford men themselves assert, in asserting her authority to teach, and he cannot command us to believe a false doctrine, since that would be to lie himself, which, if we may credit St. Paul, or even the natural light of reason, is impossible. No church that errs or can err is, then, the Catholic Church ; as Anglicans maintain, for they attempt to disprove the Catholicity of our Church by proving that she has erred. The Oxford men, by their own confession, cannot assert the present Catholicity of their Church, unless they assert her identity with the Church in England before the Reformers ; and they cannot assert it, if they contend for that identity, for then they must concede that she has erred, either in teaching the Papacy or in denying it. In no case, then, can they assert that their Church is Catholic, without making God a liar. If not Catholic, she has no authority, and cannot authorize the rejection of the Papacy.
The Anglican Church, assuming the only ground on which Oxford men attempt to defend her Catholicity, has both affirmed and denied the Papacy. Her authority, then, neutralizes itself, is placed in the centre of indifference, and, at best, stands at zero. It can, then, count for nothing. On what authority, then, do the Oxford men assert that the Papacy is no part of the Catholic system? They must, according to their own principles, do it on the authority of the Catholic Church, because they acknowledge that she has authority to teach, and we are to learn from her what we are to believe. Thus, our author expressly maintains, in his attempt to pervert the poor simpleton, Lady Eleanor, to Anglicanism, that we are to hear the Church, and to take our faith from her, and on her authority. The Church is the teacher, and teaches us, instead of our teaching her. Then we must learn what is or is not the Catholic system from her. We cannot assume the Catholic system, and from that conclude the Catholic Church, but must first ascertain the Catholic Church, and then from her conclude the Catholic system. That is, we must take the doctrine from the Church, not the Church from the doctrine. Now, as the Anglican Church, not being Catholic, or having nullified herself by her contradictions, has, as we have seen, no authority, what is, we repeat, the Catholic authority on which the Oxford men exclude the Papacy ? The primitive Church, or the Church in primitive ages ? No ; because they are obliged, as we have seen, in order not to be bound by the teaching of the Church in England before the rise of Protestantism, to maintain that the present teaching of the Catholic Church is always her authoritative teaching, and must be taken as the authoritative declaration of her teaching in all past ages. If they appeal to the Church in primitive times, they condemn themselves, in crediting their Church in what she teaches now, rather than in what they concede she taught before the Reformers.
Again; the primitive Church to which Oxford men appeal either was the Catholic Church or it was not. If it was not, it had no authority to teach, and they gain nothing by the appeal. If it was, it either subsists still, or it does not. If it does not, the Catholic Church has failed, is dead, and its authority has died with it. The authority of a dead church is only a dead authority, and a dead authority is as no authority at all, and therefore cannot authorize. Consequently, if the Catholic Church is dead, the Oxford men have not and cannot have her authority for saying what is or is not the Catholic system. But if the Catholic Church still subsists, she subsists the identical Church she was in the primitive ages, with the same identical authority, and the same identical doctrine she then had. We say the same identical doctrine ; for Oxford men deny, as we do, development, and maintain that identity of doctrine is essential to the identity of the Church. Is it not on this ground that they attempt to unchurch the Roman communion ? Do they not deny her Catholicity because, as they allege, she has varied her doctrines and corrupted the faith ? If, then, the identical Church of the primitive ages, the Catholic Church must teach today the identical doctrine she taught then. Then, to appeal from the Catholic Church in the present, supposing her to exist, to the Catholic Church in the past is, 1. useless, for there can be no difference between her present and her past teaching, and he who has her present doctrine has already her primitive doctrine, on the same authority on which the primitive believers had it; 2. inadmissible, because the present teaching of the Church is the only possible Catholic authority on which we can take her primitive teaching, and to appeal to her past teaching is to appeal from the Church to history, the only authority aside from her own to tell us what was her primitive teaching, which cannot be admitted, for it is agreed that the Catholic system must be taken on the authority of the Church, not on the authority of history ; 3. absurd, for it denies the authority of the Church and asserts it in the same breath ; since the Chtjrch appealed from is identically the Church appealed to, and to appeal from the Church is to deny her authority, while to appeal to the Church is to assert it.
Oxford men must either assert the Catholic Church as a fact, or deny it. If they assert it as a fact, if they acknowledge that there ever was a Catholic Church at all, they must concede her continuous existence in time, and therefore her present existence. Catholicity is inconceivable without unity, and Catholic unity is inconceivable without uninterrupted chronic continuance, or unity in time. The Church must be one and identical in time and space, or it is not and cannot be Catholic. It is agreed that an essential attribute of the Church is to teach, and to teach with supreme authority. Then at every moment of time, from the first down to us, she must have in actu the supreme authority to teach. Then at every moment the paramount obligation to hear her and to believe what she teaches at that moment does and must subsist. On no other condition can a Catholic Church with supreme authority to teach be conceived. Appeals from her present to her past teaching, then, can never be allowed, because her present authority is supreme, and the obligation to believe her present teaching paramount. We may appeal to history, to the records of her past teaching, against those who allege that she has changed her doctrines, or does not maintain identity of doctrine, but never from her present teaching, in order to remind her of what she ought to teach, or to ascertain for ourselves what we are to believe ; for this would deny her present authority, and therefore her past authority and existence. The Oxford men must, then, abandon their appeal to the primitive^ Church, and take the Catholic system from the present Catholic Church, or deny that there is or ever was a Catholic Church. But if they do the latter, they then give up all their pretensions to be Catholics. If there is no Catholic Church, there is no Catholic system to be received or rejected, to be revived or retained. Here, then, they are. If they deny the Catholic Church, all their talk about Catholicity is nonsense ; if they assert her existence, they must take the Catholic system from her as she now teaches it, and hold, that, as she now teaches it, she has always taught it, and will teach it, till the consummation of the world.
But not being allowed to appeal from the Catholic Church in the present to the Catholic Church in the past, on what authority, we ask once more, do the Oxford men exclude the Papacy, and declare it repugnant to the Catholic system ? On the authority of the Greek Church? No; because the Greek Church is in the predicament of their own, she having in the course of her history both received the Papacy and rejected it. On the authority of the Church of Rome ? No; for she asserts the Papacy as an essential element ot the Catholic system, and it is for this reason that they condemn her. On the authority of the Holy Scriptures ? No ; for they reject private interpretation, and maintain that the Holy Scriptures are to be understood as interpreted by the Catholic Church. On the authority of selfwill ? No ; for that they hold is the principle of Dissent, and they have no mercy for Dissenters. On the authority of the state ? No ; for they seek to free the Church from her dependence on the state, which they could not consistently do, if they held that the state has authority to define her doctrines. On what authority, then ? On none ? How know they, then, that in rejecting the Papacy they are not rejecting Catholicity, the Catholic system itself? Poor men ! they must be Catholics, and they will not be Romanists. To be Catholics, they must have the Catholic system, and on Catholic authority, and if they reject Rome, there is no Catholic authority to tell them what it is or is not. They cannot know what it is, unless taught by the Catholic Church, and till they know what it is, they cannot by their method tell what church is Catholic.
Yet, serious as these difficulties are, the Oxford man is not disturbed by them. He is an Oxford man and has extraordinary privileges. He has the privilege of asserting both the affirmative and the negative of the same proposition, and of substituting his own simple assertion wherever evidence or authority fails him. When he wishes to excuse the oscillations from the truth and the manifest errors of his Church, he calls her a human society, and alleges that to err is human; when he would defend her against the state, save her revenues from the attacks of politicians, and silence Dissenters, he asserts her Catholicity, and demands obedience to her as the Church of God ; and when he,would justify her rejection of the Papacy, and her isolation as the Church of England, he can deny again her Catholicity, and assert the independence of national churches, and the right of the temporal authority to interpose to free the national church from foreign domination and to purge her of her corruptions. And why not ? May not a man blow hot breath from his mouth when he would warm his fingers, and cold when he would cpol his broth ? Do you allege that the several doctrines he is obliged to oppose to the several classes of objectors do not stand well together, and that they are absolutely inconsistent one with another ? Be it so. If they are mutually inconsistent and contradictory, that is their affair, not his. He is not, therefore, inconsistent with himself, unless in urging them he acts inconsistently with the nature of an Oxford man, which we are sure very few are so ignorant or so uncandid as to pretend.
That the Church of England has no claim to Catholicity, that she cannot aspire to the honor of being even a schismatical or an heretical church, is evident enough from what we have said, and is clearly evinced from the general tone and spirit of the work before us. The things which the author contends for, and which, if practised by her, would in his opinion make her Catholic, all exist in our Church in their perfection, and have always existed there, but have been unknown in the Church ot England since the Protestant Reformation. His AngloCatholicism, as far below genuine Catholicity as it actually is, is an innovation in his Establishment; it is a novelty to its members, and his imaginary AngloCatholics feel that it is something entirely foreign to their habitual modes of thinking and acting. They appear like a rustic who has for the first time put on a court dress. He does not know how to wear it, how to dispose of himself in it, is tickled half to death with its finery, and struts about with a mighty high opinion of himself, feeling that he must be a great man since he has such a fine suit of clothes to his back.
We have been greatly amused with the portions of the author's work in which he describes the pious practices of his AngloCatholics. Things which no Catholic would think ot mentioning, because it would never occur to him that any Christian could be ignorant of them, are dwelt upon at great length, and described with painful minuteness, not because essential to the action of the piece, but because the author ieels that it is necessary to instruct his Church in regard to them. Nothing falls in incidentally, nothing is given by way of simple allusion, or left to be inferred from the turn of a sentence, as in Catholic writers. The hero Villiers appears before a burning house to rescue a boy who is within. He makes his way through the crowd, kneels down, crosses himself, says a short prayer, ascends a ladder, rushes through the flames, seizes the boy, descends with him, nearly suffocated, and drops on his knees, crosses himself again, returns thanks, and vanishes, to the great wonder of Anglicans at the novelty, who are sure that he must be a Papist. If the writer had been a Catholic, he would have said nothing about the crossing, praying, or thanksgiving, for he would have supposed his readers would have taken such things for granted ; and if he had been describing a Catholic hero hi such a case, very likely he would have said nothing about dropping on the knees, presuming that his hero would be saying his prayer while ascending the ladder, and returning thanks while descending it. The Catholic, too, though he would have prayed, would have been less attentive to the attitude in which he prayed. You would never find him laying such stress upon mere forms. Writers lay great stress upon forms only where they are neglected, or are generally unknown, or where they have nothing but forms. It is evident to the Catholic reader that the author's AngloCatholics have made what is to them a recent discovery. They dwell upon the simplest things with an intense interest which alternates from the tragic to the comic, and from the comic to the tragic. They are all the time praying or talking about prayer, and wondering if they really are or are not excessively happy in their new way of life. All this shows that the things which in the author's view are essential to the Catholic system are novelties in Anglicanism, and are imitated from abroad ; whence we may readily conclude that the Anglicanism of the Oxford men is only an imaginary Anglicanism, drawn not from life, displaying not the Anglican Church as she is and must be, but as they wish her to be, and are trying to make her. But, dear Oxford friends, can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ?
The hopes of the author for AngloCatholicism depended on its state four or five years ago. During the previous ten years he thinks much had been done to raise poor Anglicanism from her dying state. Alas ! things have changed since. The hue which he took to be the hue of returning health was only the hectic flush which indicates to the skilful approaching dissolution, which raises the hopes of sympathizing friends for a moment only to dash them with deeper despair. AngloCatholicism is now a byword, is seldom referred to, save " to point a moral or adorn a tale." The sincere and earnest part of the Oxford men, the men who gave their movement its character, and almost sanctified it, have abandoned it, and found repose in a Church already made to their hands, and which needs nothing of human tinkering to keep it from falling to ruin, or to restore it to a forgotten Catholicity. They live and labor in no imaginary Beguinage. But they who have remained behind are forced to weep over abortive reforms. They mistook the nature of Anglicanism. She is Protestant to the core, and will follow her nature. Their efforts to change her direction have only made her Protestant soul, or rather gizzard, for soul she has none, the more apparent. The day of bright hopes for them has gone by, and a day of gloom and sullen discontent succeeds. We see it in our old friend of the Neiv York Churchman. The conversion of Newman, Faber, Oakley, Ward, and others has discouraged him, and he grows pettish and illnatured. Things have not gone to his mind in England, nor even here at home; and his hopes of bringing Rome to
terms, and of being able, through some concessions on her part, such as the permission of the clergy to marry, to unite his communion with hers, without being obliged to confess to heresy and schism, are blasted ; and he stands before the world a disappointed man, craving Catholicity, and yet too proud to embrace it, unless with the appearance of retaining his Anglicanism.
After all, the perusal of Hmvkstone has made us sad, very sad. We cannot without sadness see men wasting so much thought, and energy, and even right feeling, in vain endeavours to fill their souls with emptiness. Half the labor they expend in fruitless efforts to grasp the shadow would give them the substance. Their complete success in their attempts would give them only the empty forms of Catholicity, without the most distant approach to the reality. Let them succeed in all they undertake, and their Anglicanism would be only the ghastly and grinning skeleton decked out, as at Egyptian feasts, in festive robes, and crowned with wreaths of flowers. The author takes us, in the course of his work, frequently to his Oxford chapel. Alas ! how cold and desolate we found it! The semblance of an altar was there, but no sacrifice, the victim was wanting. The appearance of the tabernacle was there, but our Lord in his Humanity as well as in his Divinity was not there to speak to us, and to bless us. His Glory did not fill the temple ; it was no temple, it was but a Jewish synagogue since the Dispersion. We listened to thereading of the Communion Service, and saw bread and wine distributed, and we thought of the poor prodigal who had wasted his substance, sent by his master to feed swine, and craving a share of the husks with which he fed them ; and we thought, too, of our Father's house, where there is bread enough and to spare, the bread of angels, whereof if a man eat, he shall never die, never hunger, never thirst. O, would they could but see themselves as we see them, and see in the blessed old Church of God what we have found there ! In her exists all they have not and all they need, and in a profusion, in a perfection, which exceeds their power of conception. Why seek they in this empty chapel what they can find only with us, and receive only from the hands of our pastors ? Why stay they here kneeling before this painted wood and polished marble, endeavouring in vain to live by the food that perisheth ? Their fathers have made this chapel desolate ; they feel and bewail it. Why, then, not go to the House that was never desolate, that can never be esolate ? for behold our God (Ego sum vobiscum) has declared that it shall be his habitation unto the consummation of the world. They are ill at ease, anxious, doubting, hoping, despairing, trying to make something out of nothing, and perpetually failing ; why not seek repose in the pavilion of the Almighty, and in the arms of a loving Father ? So we thought within ourselves as we stood in that Oxford chapel; but the poor worshippers continued to make their genuflections to painted wood and polished marble, and we turned away, saying to ourselves, "Ephraim is joined to his idols ; let him alone."