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the Church, because no Catholic would recognize his Church as an authoritative teacher, if he did not believe it to be an infallible teacher. The infallibility is the ground or reason of the authority. We insist on this point, because we are confident, from our own experience, that conversions effected by clearing away the difficulties of the articles of faith, and explaining them so as to adapt them as much as possible, without sacrificing their truth, to Protestant modes of thinking and feeling, are no real conversions at all.
The great matter to be considered is, that on Protestant principles it is impossible to elicit an act of faith. No Protestant can have any sufficient motives or grounds of believing the articles of faith he professes. The articles of faith concern matters which pertain to the supernatural order, and which are, therefore, intrinsically inevident to natural reason. They can be only extrinsically evident; and, if believed at all, they must be believed on extrinsic authority, that is, the authority that vouches for the fact that God has revealed them. Now, if this authority be not infallible, it may both deceive and be deceived, and, consequently, they who rely on it can never have an infallible assurance that God has really revealed what it alleges that he has revealed. But without this infallible assurance there is doubt, and doubt excludes faith. Consequently faith is impossible without an infallible authority, witnessing to the fact that God has revealed the article in question. The Protestant, then, if he has the courage to be consequent, must admit that either there is this infallible extrinsic witness for God, or that there is and can be no faith in the revelation God has made. Evidently, then, the great question, as we have said, concerns the infallibility of the Church. Is the Church, the ecclesia docens, infallible or not? If it be, and it can be proved to human reason to be so, then whatever it teaches as the word of God must be received as the word of God, and we have the most satisfactory reasons for so receiving it. It is idle, then, to go into any discussion on the truth or falsity of this or that article of faith. The whole discussion should be on the authority of the Church to teach.
But we have wandered from our purpose, which was merely to commend Mora Carmody to our readers as a pleasant and interesting tale, and to express a hope that the author will continue his labors in a department of literature in which he may easily attain to eminence. Some of the poetical pieces interspersed through the volume indicate more than ordinary poetical feeling and capacity.
We have, however, one word of advice to suggest to our Catholic novel-writers; that is, to invent some method of disposing of their heroines without sending them to a convent. We have the highest respect for monastic institutions, and honor the man or the woman that takes the vows of religion; but we want the sacrifice should be made freely, voluntarily, with a single eye to the glory of God; not because one has been embarrassed or disappointed in
some love affair. Let the virgin heart be consecrated to God. And then it is well to bear in mind that marriage is itself a holy institution, to which, if entered into with a right spirit, and maintained undefiled, God has promised his blessing. It is not merely an institution tolerated out of respect to human infirmity, but one that is positively approved, although celibacy, for those who are called to it, may be a higher state, to which higher graces and higher merit are attached. And, then, it is not necessary to hold out such discouraging views to our Protestant readers. They cannot enter into the Catholic feelings on the subject, and it is not well to lead them to think that God demands of them, in order to serve him according to the Catholic faith, what, according to that faith, he does not demand of them. sacrifice, but does not command it. tion, and need not be made unless as a matter of choice.
The Church may counsel the
2.- Poetry of Feeling and Spiritual Melodies. By ISAAC F. SHEPHERD. Boston: Lewis & Sampson. 1844. 32mo. pp. 128.
THESE poems really do indicate some poetic feeling, and may be read with pleasure. They do not, it is true, lay claim to originality and power, but they are marked by taste, beauty, simplicity, and chaste adornment, and we are not surprised that they have found many purchasers and readers. The author seems to us to deserve an honorable rank among our American dealers in
Droppings from the Heart, or Occasional Poems. By THOMAS MACKELLAR. Philadelphia: Sorin & Bull. 1844. 12mo. pp. 144.
THE heart from which these are droppings may be, for aught we know, a very good and pious heart, but if so, not much of it has dropped away, nor can we conceive any good purpose to be gained by undertaking to collect and preserve its droppings. Yet no doubt the owner of the heart values them, and far be it from us to speak lightly of them. The author took comfort in collecting them, drop by drop, as they oozed out, and no doubt they will be a soothing cordial to many a weary soul. God bless the author and his readers.
ART. 1.-The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscel-
THE Journal, the title of which we have here quoted, is the ably conducted organ of the American Unitarians. As a periodical, it is one in which we take no slight interest; for it is conducted by our personal friends, and through its pages, which were liberally opened to us, we were at one time accustomed to give circulation to our own crude speculations and pestilential heresies. We introduce it to our readers, however, not for the purpose of expressing any general opinion of its character, or the peculiar tenets of the denomination of which it is the organ; but solely for the purpose of using the article which appeared in the January number, headed The Church, as a text for some remarks in defence of the Church against the prevalent No-Churchism of our age and community.
In our Review for October last, we refuted the pretensions of the High-Church Episcopalians; in the last number, in the article on The British Reformers, we refuted Low-Churchism : we attempt now a refutation of No-Churchism, or the doctrine which admits the Church in name, but denies it in fact. All Protestant sects, just in proportion as they depart from Catholic unity, tend to No-Churchism; and our Unitarians, who are the Protestants of Protestants, and who afford us a practical exemplification of what Protestantism is and must be, when and where it has the sense, the honesty, or the courage to be consequent, have already reached this important point. They cannot be said, in the legitimate sense of the word, to believe in any Church at all. They see clearly enough, that, if they once