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some account of what the “Month” has laid down. The paper is written in the form of a dialogue, and different views are of course expressed by different interlocutors : but it is never left uncertain which is the particular doctrine recommended for Catholic acceptance.
Various other important Catholic questions indeed are interestingly and ably touched ; but we confine our extracts to this particular theme of classical studies. The foundation on which rests the treatment of this theme, is “the paganism of modern society”; and its immediate occasion appears to be a recent work of Mgr. Gaume's, which we have not happened as yet to see. The upholder of extreme views throughout is a Dr. Bullcox, a priest ; who (we must say) is very good-naturedly drawn, and treated throughout with every respect. It is explained, however (p. 292), that the opinions ascribed to this interlocutor are greatly in excess of those maintained by Mgr. Gaume, and are by no means intended therefore to represent those of that distinguished writer. Dr. Bullcox thus throws off on modern society.
“Let us first consider ancient paganism, as it is described to us in history and literature, and indeed by St. Paul himself. Its essence was the divorce between man and God. It was founded in Paradise, when Satan persuaded our first parents to rebel against the law given to them.
“Man who would not obey God became the slave of Satan. Man was born to serve and adore some one, and he served and adored Satan instead of God. Satan put himself in the place of God, and usurped His rights. This was, however, the external part of paganism, the essence of it lay in the divorce between God and man. Five things may be considered as the manifestations of this divorce. In the intellectual order, human reason emancipated itself from all divine authority in matters of religious doctrine. Hence there came to be no certainty, no faith, a confused medley of opinion, and a multifarious gathering of divinities. In the moral order, the human will emancipated itself from all divine authority as to right and wrong. This led directly to every kind of sensual indulgence. In the social order, there came the denial of all divine authority in matters of government. The doctrine which our Lord enunciated, that all power was given from above, and which St. Paul repeated when he said "The powers that are are ordained by God,' could not survive the banishment, so to speak, of God Himself. Hence came the most terrible human despotism : Cæsar instead of God: we have no King but Cæsar, and Cæsar may do as he likes. In the material order, there was the same unlimited licence in pushing material progress to its utmost limits, without any restraint from the moral law; the arts, poetry, architecture, industry, and invention of every kind, all directed simply to the increase of physical enjoyment and the gratification of the lower appetites. From all these came what I call the fifth manifestation of the innate paganism of man, the furious hatred with which men turnéd upon Christianity when it appeared, crucified its Founder, put to death its preachers, and attempted to drown it VOL. XIX.-N0. XXXVIII. [New Series.]
in blood-and when the weapons of insolence were no longer at hand for use, to scoff at, sneer at, calumniate and, so to say, lie it, out of existence. Do you follow me thus far ?” (p. 279.)
This is justly represented as a somewhat extreme view, and it is accordingly at once modified by another interlocutor.
"I do not in the least doubt that the tendencies which you describe were at work in the world, and that they were so dominant in it as that it is quite fair, speaking in a general and historical way, to say that they gave it its character and dictated its course. But I have always been accustomed to consider the heathen world of old, what I suppose the heathen world of the present day must be, wherever it exists,--the scene of a conflict between good and evil elements, although Christianity is morally necessary to give the good elements that force and that external aid which is required for their triumph. You seem to me to make the old heathen world a scene of unmixed evil, of the absolute undisputed slavery of man to the powers of evil. Is not that going rather too far ?”* (p. 280.)
Dr. Bullcox says "transeat," and proceeds:
“Well, I have mentioned these five manifestations as results of the divorce between God and man-man's independence in matters of belief, in moral matters, in the social order, and in the material order, and his consequent hatred of Christianity. Now, I say, look at the present state of Europe, and do you not see the same five elements rampant and predominant ? Do not men repudiate all authority in matters of divine truth? Look at our own country, the legislation of which proceeds on the principle that all religious opinions have an equal right and claim. Consider the resistance to the very idea of Infallibility. It is not the Infallibility of the Pope, or of the Church, that men turn against, but anything that in any way brings them across an authority which speaks with divine right and authority on matters of belief. Look at the way in which they revolt against the whole idea of the supernatural, as of something that threatens their liberty with bondage ! In the social order it is the same. The State is supreme, the State has the right of educating and teaching, and the greater part of the Governments of Europe are becoming more and more Cæsarean and despotic day after day. And as to the material order, the progress of luxury, the devotion of arts and industries to sensual purposes, the perpetual preaching of naturalism, the dogma, 'Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die,' and the like-I very much doubt whether the world was ever very much more pagan than it is now. And it follows from this, that the world hates religion, and especially Christianity. Even among ourselves, everything else is treated fairly, religion
The old calumnies, lies refuted a hundred times, are repeatod with
* We are here reminded of a very powerful sermon by F. Coleridge, among those“
on the latter days,” comparing (and in one particular contrasting) the godlessness of modern society with the paganism of apostolic times. Our readers will find a general account of F. Coleridge's doctrine (with which we heartily coincide) in our number for July, 1869, pp. 209, 210.
full deliberation over and over again. The Church has no rights. She may be pillaged and oppressed, men may despoil her with the most barefaced lies in their mouths, and with every aggravation of insult which they can invent, and Europe only applauds them all the more. From one end of Europe to the other, Christianity is officially disavowed, and religion trampled on with impunity. What more could the pagans do ?” (pp. 280-1.)
To this view again exception is taken as somewhat extreme:
"Things are bad enough, certainly,” said Mr. Wychwood. “But what you say does not amount, after all, to much more than this, that there are great, and for the moment, dominant forces in Europe arrayed against the Church. We have had to deal with this sort of thing before, and may deal with it again. I do not count my own forecastings as worth much ; but I talked a good deal at Rome last winter with some of the good people there, who were kind enough to take me in hand, as it were, being so young in the Faith. People all say that the Holy Father himself is full of hopefulness, not only that the present evils of Italy will pass away after a time, and after a short time, too, but also that there will be a real triumph of the Church after all this period of depression. There is an air of calm hope and serenity about the Vatican, and the best people in Rome seem unable to imagine that it is more than a very black passing storm.” (p. 281.)
The conversation then takes a slightly different turn, until accidentally the classics are mentioned." The classics are to " Dr. Bullcox "what a red flag is to a bull;" and he thus pours himself forth :
“ Catholic editions of the classics !" he said. • The Catholic way to treat the classics is to burn them, sir. They are the source of all the evils under which we are suffering. It is classical education that has paganized the world. Men who are burning in hell, men whose works breathe nothing but impurity, pride, human and worldly virtues, so to call them, revenge, ambition, selfsatisfaction, covetousness, love of honour and success ---these are the men who have been allowed by their works to train up generation after generation of so-called Christians, while the Gospel law, and the maxims of our Lord and His own special virtues, meekness, humility, poverty, purity, forgiveness of injuries, and the like, are kept in the background, and the minds of youth are not formed upon them. The classics are the Scriptures of paganism, and as we have been educated upon them, we have been brought up pagans. Nothing will save the world but a radical change in our system of education. We must make it thoroughly Christian-Christian in the books we use, the authors we read, in the manner in which we read them, and in the men who instruct us in them. Your friends in France, Mr. Wychwood, have not gone to the bottom of the matter ; they are only covering the wounds of society, not healing them, as long as they have anything at all to do with classical education. It is the legacy to us of that detestable renaissance ; the humanists of the sixteenth and later centuries have ruined ́us altogether. The French Revolution was prepared by them, not by Voltaire or by the Jansenists, as som
foolish people would have us think. You can't read any account of it without seeing how pagan examples and precedents filled men's heads at that time. And still the world is full of them. Your loyalty, and patriotism, and law of honour, and worship of veracity, and philanthropy, and looking to posterity for reward, and devotion to the person of the sovereign, and Westminster Abbey turned into a Pantheon of great men "-here Dr. Bullcox began to be rather incoherent, and I almost expected to see him foam at the mouth. He made a great effort and checked himself, however. “I must leave off," he said, “ as I have to be in London by a little after noon, and if I once began on the subject I should never stop. But in fact, Mr. Wychwood, depend upon it, there is the source of all our miseries. That is why I fear we shall have the end of the world down upon us so soon. It's all classical education." (pp. 286-7.)
To this intensely exaggerated picture, the more moderato interlocutor of course objects.
“I should like you to tell me, in a word, whether you really think that those manifestations of the pagan spirit of which you spoke just now-I mean the revolt of the human intellect against authority, and of the human will against the restraints of the moral law, and the denial of the divine origin of law and authority in the social order, and the prostitution of the arts of civilization to sensual interests and purposes, and the hatred of Christianity-do you really think that these came from the literature, the poetry, the philosophy of paganism, in old times; and do you think that, in so far as the same tendencies are prevalent now, they are really to be attributed to the cultivation of classical literature, the admiration for classical art, the use of classical books as instruments of education, and the like? You know that some of the old Fathers looked upon the poets and philosophers as having been in some sort the prophets and teachers of the pagan world, as having had a part in preparing those nations among whom they lived for the reception of Christianity. Surely that implies that among the many various influences which told upon pagan life, the classic:, as we call them, were among the best.” (p. 287.)
Dr. Bullcox, however, adheres to his point.
“I think them rotten from beginning to end, utterly bad,” said Bullcox. “But whatever their influence on the old Pagan world may have been, their influence is detrimental and destructive to Christians. And I do not mean to say that if we sweep them out of our schools to-morrow, we shall save the world from the effects of the long reign and the far-penetrating influence of paganism, but I am quite sure we shall never save the world without doing this. I give up the present generation. Its men are formed already, and cannot be changed. Our only chance is with the generation that is coming on. They are only to be saved by the radically Christian reform of education, and education especially of the higher classes, who give their own character to the rest. When I say radically Christian, I mean Christian as to books and as to men ; Christian as to books which are dead teachers, and as to men who are live teachers, and Christian from its beginning to its end. The present
system of education has brought us to the direct contradiction, the very Antipodes, of Christianity; and if we go on teaching as our fathers taught, then, even if to-morrow we could raise ourselves out of the abyss into which our cducation has hurled us, it would only be to fall back into it again the day after.” (pp. 287-8.)
He then leaves; and the writer of the paper at once expresses one very obvious objection to such notions, which may have probably been anticipated by our readers.
He had been struck, as I was, with an uncomfortable feeling, as to how far what Dr. Bullcox said might reflect upon the Church herself. The Church is the great queen and mother of all knowledge, and she it is who is responsible for the education of her children. She would certainly never think of permitting heretical or infidel books to be used in her schools, even in those in which secular education was combined with religious training-if, indeed, we are at liberty to divide education into parts, as if the same spirit and tone must not dominate throughout in the whole and in every smallest department of education. But the Church, if all this were true, had looked on for centuries and seen this poison working in her schools, and had not interfered. Moreover, we could not but remember that many distinguished religious bodies had been foremost in the work of education, and that most, if not all of them, had used the classics freely as text-books, though with certain omissions and revi. sions as to what was openly immoral. Here, then, would be a grievous charge laid against these great religious bodies, a charge which would fall on the saintly men who have worked in them, and indirectly, again, on the Church and the Holy See, under whose eyes they taught. Yet at this very moment the same sort of education is being given in all the Catholic schools of our day, with probably very few exceptions. (pp. 288-9.)
A similar objection is stated at the end by a new interlocutor, Father Miles, who evidently is intended specially to represent the “ Month's” own doctrine.
“ The time most analogous to the age in which we live, the time which we ought to look to as our model, and which we ought to hope to emulate and rival in the way of Catholic reaction, is the epoch of the Council of Trent. Then God breathed a new spirit of force and life into the Church, to enable her to recover from her great losses, and He gave her a large number of conspicuous saints to be the leaders of her reinvigorated armies. Then, too, there was a great move made in the way of Christian education. The renaissance, moreover, had done real harm then, under which the Church was suffering, for the first outburst in favour of it was little less than an intoxication and a delirium. Yet we do not find either the Church herself, or the Popes, or the great saints of that time, calling for the proscription of classical literature in Christian schools. On the contrary, the Church followed in the path which she has adopted from the very beginning, and it is the system of education under which all the thousands of good Christians, who have been conspicuous in her annals from that time to this, have been trained, that is now attacked,