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pride, that it is a moral disease rather than an intellectual aberration, it is evident that we are to treat it as a vice rather than as an error, and Protestants as sinners rather than as simply unbelievers or misbelievers. This may not be very flattering to their pride , nevertheless, it is the only way they deserve to be treated, and the only way in which they can be treated for their good. We honor them quite too much when we treat them as men whose heads are wrong, but whose hearts are sound. The wrongness of the head is the consequence of the rottenness of the heart. The remedy must be applied to the seat of the disease, or it will be wholly ineffectual ; and as the disease is in the will rather than in the intellect, we must, as we do with sinners in general, avail ourselves of motives that tend to persuade the will, rather than of those which tend primarily to convince the understanding. Get the heart right, and the intellect will soon rectify itself.

Now it is certain, that, so far as the great body of Protestants are concerned, it is of no use to appeal to any love of truth or regard for salvation they may be supposed to have. They are very generally prepared, with Macbeth, “to jump the world to come,” and think only how they shall manage matters for this world. They are worldly, and their wisdom is earthly, sensual, devilish ; even their virtues, their honesty, their uprightness of conduct, have reference, not to God, but to their justification, either in the eyes of the world, or in the eyes of their own pride. They are too proud or too vain to do this or that act which is contrary to good manners. We must therefore approach them as men who are wedded te this world, who are Protestants for the sake of living for this world alone, and refuse to be Catholics because Catholicity enjoins humility, detachment from the world, and a life of self-denial and mortification, lived for God alone. As long as it is conceded, or as long as they believe it true, that their Protestantism is more favorable to man, regarded solely as an inhabitant of this world, than Catholicity, we cannot get them to listen to what we have to say for our religion. If they hear, it will be as if they heard not.

But it is a fact, as clearly demonstrable, in its way, as any mathematical problem, that Catholicity enjoins the only normal life for man, even in this world, letting alone what it secures us in another. Human pride just now takes the form of socialism, and socialism is the Protestantism of our times. It is human pride under this form that we must address, and

show to the socialists, not-as some silly and misguided creatures calling themselves Catholics, and sometimes occupying editorial chairs, are accustomed to do—that Catholicity favors them by accepting their socialism, but that it favors the object they profess to have at heart,—that it is the true and only genuine socialism, the basis of all veritable society, and the only known instrument of well-being, either for the individual or for the race. We must show, that, under the social point of view, under the various relations of civilization, Protestantism is an egregious blunder, and precipitates its adherents into the precise evils they really wish to avoid. That it does so is evident enough to all who have eyes to see, and is proved by the very complaints Protestants make of their own movements. Their own complaints of themselves show, to use a vulgar proverb, that they always "jump from the frying-pan into the fire,” in attempting to better their condition. They could not endure the authority of the church; they resisted it, and fell unde. the tyranny of the sect, even in their own view of the case, a thousand times less tolerable. They rebelled, in the name of liberty, against the pope, and fell under the iron rule of the civil despot ; in England, they could not endure the Lord's bishops, and they fell under the Lord's presbyters, and from Lord's presbyters under the Lord's brethren, and from Lord's brethren under the capricious tyranny of their own fancies and passions. In political and social reforms it has fared no better with them. In France, the Constituante were more oppressive than the old monarchy, the Gironde than the Constituante, the Mountain than the Gironde ; and the present French government, in order to save society from complete destruction, is obliged to adopt measures more stringent than ever Charles X. or Louis Philippe dared venture upon. The overthrow of one tyranny leads to another of necessity more heartless and oppressive, because weaker and possessing a less firm hold on the affections of the people. A strong government can afford to be lenient. A weak government must be stringent. Yet the wise men of the age rush on in their wild-goose chase after worldly felicity, while it flies ever the faster before them. Like the gambler, who has played away his patrimony, his wife's jewels, and pawned his hat and coat, but keeps playing on, they insist on another throw,-though losing all, fancy they are just agoing to recover all, and make a fortune equal to their boundless wishes. If they could but see themselves as the unexcited bystanders see them, they would throw away the dice, and rush with self-loathing froin the hell in which they find only their own ruin.

The principle on which Protestants seek even worldly felicity is false, and we can say nothing better of them, than that they prove themselves what the sacred Scriptures would term fools in following it. When was it ever known that pride, following itself, did not meet mortification, or that any worldly distinction, or good, sought for its own sake, did not either baffle pursuit, or prove a canker to the heart ? Did you ever see a man running after fame that ever overtook it, or a man always nursing his health that was ever other than sickly? Have you no eyes, no ears, no understanding! Fame comes, if at all, unsought, greatness follows in the train of humility, and happiness, coy to the importunate wooer, throws herself into the arms of him who treats her with indifference. All experience proves the truth of the principle, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be superadded unto you.” Take it as inspiration, as the word of God, or as a maxim of human prudence, it is equally true, and he who runs against it only proves his own folly. “ Live while you live," says the Protestant Epicurean. Be it so; live while you live, but live you cannot, unless you live to God, according to the principles of the Catholic religion. Live now you do not, and you know you do not; you are only just agoing, and not a few of you fear that you are never even agoing to live, as all your poetry, with its deep pathos and melodious wail, too amply proves.

Here comes in to our aid the excellent work before us. It exactly meets the present state of the Protestant world, and makes the only kind of appeal to which, in their present mood, they will listen. Its author makes no apology for Catholicitly, he offers no direct argument for its truth; he simply comes forward and compares the respective influences of Protestantism and Catholicity on European civilization, and shows, that, while Catholicity tends unceasingly to advance civilization, Protestantism as unceasingly tends to savagism, and that it is to its hostile influences we owe the slow progress of European civilization during the last three centuries. He shows that Protestantism is hostile to liberty, to philosophy, to the higher mental culture, to art, to equality, to positical and social well-being. He shows it, we say ; not merely asserts, but proves it, by unanswerable arguments and undeniable facts. If any one doubts our judgment, we refer him to the work itself, and beg him to gainsay its facts, or answer its reasoning, if he can. The Protestant who reads it will hardly boast of his Protestantism again.


(From Brownson's Quarterly Review for 1846.]


A REVIEW of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church, contined chiefly to its Confession of Faith, may not present that degree of interest or attraction which might be found in that of some of the new works which are daily poured upon our book-devouring community ; but it has seemed to us that it might, nevertheless, be highly useful, inasmuch as it will give us an opportunity of showing the venom of error at its fountain-head, and of exposing in a strong light the frail fabric of Protestantism, by laying bare the weakness and instability of its foundations. Even on the score of novelty, the Constitution of the Presbyterian church may, after all, not be devoid of interest. It is true, its substance is old, we might add antiquated, made up, as it is, from shreds taken from Calvin, Knox, and others, but Presbyterians, as Protestants in general, can always affix a character of novelty to their church constitutions and doctrinal opinions, for they hold it to be the inalienable privilege of freemen to change their articles of faith and methods of church government so as to suit the times and follow the onward march of mind. Hence, the editors of the work before us are very particular in stating all the improvements, modifications, amendments, corrections, additions, and subtractions, which the said constitution underwent at the period of its publication; and we find on the title page a solemn declaration of a comunittee of Presbyterian divines, that the present edition “is a correct and authentic copy of said Constitution, as amended, ratified, and in force at the present date(1834). As the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church changes, very much like the Paris and London fashions, it is probable that there is one more recent than this now before us; but this must suffice for our present purpose, and the more so, because it is the one adopted by both the Old School and the New School Presbyterians before their schism in 1837.

* The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, containing the Confession of Faith, the Catechisms, and the Directory for the Worship of God; together with the Plan of Government and Discipline, as ratified by the General Assembly at their Sessions in May, 1821, and amended in 1833. Philadelphia: 1838.

Some may think that it is altogether useless to discuss the inconsistencies and errors of the Presbyterian Constitution, and that any attempt at argument against them would be only time and labor lost, since Presbyterians and Calvinists, from their intense hatred to every thing Catholic, seem to be inaccessible to reason and argument, when presented by Catholics; and we confess that this to a great extent is true, and has almost decided us to desist from our present ungrateful undertaking. We know there is a sin for which St. John said, “Non pro illo dico, ut roget quis; we know there is a spiritual pride which renders men as headstrong and insensible as old Satan himself; and we fear that no small portion of it has fallen to the lot of the followers of the sour, morose, selfish, hating, and hateful Calvin. Still, the fear that some may not profit by the truth is no good reason for concealing it, or for refusing to advocate and support it by arguments. The ways of God are mysterious, and he can, even from stones, raise up children to Abraham. Moreover, had we no other reason for undertaking a review of the Presbyterian Church Constitution and Confession of Faith than a simple sense of justice to ourselves, it would be amply sufficient. The Calvinistic pulpits and press resound with hardly any thing but declamatory and incendiary invectives against the Catholic Church. The General Assembly never meets, without appointing a preacher to deliver, exofficio, a solemn address against Catholicity, and it has been customary for it to proclaim hypocritical fasts for the downfall of Popery. This propagandism against us may be met with everywhere, not only in the pulpit and lectureroom, but even in the railroad-car and the steamboat, where, orally or by tracts, the most insipid and absurd tales against our institutions and people are circulated. The virulence of this Calvinistic opposition to Catholicity shows itself chiefly in the Presbyterian newspaper press. It is there we are sorry it has been our duty to look into such disgust

VOL. VI-11

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