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minute details, told him far more than any words of mine, and no one will, doubtless, be astonished that this fond remembrance should have remained one of the most delightful, one of the most endurable, of my whole life.
But alas ! the bright vision was not to be. The plan so fondly caressed by La Ferronnays, of a life in common between the two families, was first put off till the year 1842, and then fell to the ground in consequence of his death, which took place suddenly. This was followed shortly after by that of Eugénie, whom her sister Olga did not long survive. Alexandrine and the Countess de la Ferronnays were, therefore, left alone in 1848; but they likewise did not long sojourn in this lonely world, and joined those beings whom they loved so deeply, so devotedly, with such true Christian feeling. There remained, however, one relic of what we may call a sacred band of union, and she embalmed, in one lovely production, all the remnants of the past in what the world well knows under the appellation of "Récit d'une Sæur."
After all, M. Rio is perhaps the one most to be pitied, if we are to judge by the anguish which fell upon his soul after so many bereavements; and we can fully understand the feeling of regret which he experienced after the close of this bright portion of his life, “on having too often preferred the prosecution of his literary engagements to the affections of his soul, and even to the spiritual profit which he would have reaped by cultivating them more closely."
We must now take leave of this highly interesting book, and the reader will admit with us, we believe, that there are few works more teeming with graphic incidents, with moving scenes, and with artistic views of a higher nature. Our quotations have been numerous, and yet how many more would we have been fain to give had either time or space allowed it. However, we are confident that English readers will do to such a publication the same justice which is already awarded to it on the other side of the Channel.
ART. IX.-THE PRESENT ANGLICAN POSITION.
The "Damnatory Clanses" of the Athanasian Creed rationally explained. By
Rev. MALCOLM MacColl, M.A. London : Rivingtons. English Church Defence Tracts, Nos. 1-4. London : Rivingtons. Anglicanism and the Fathers. By W. E. Addis, of the Oratory. London:
Burns & Oates. The Divine Teacher. By WILLIAM HUMPHREY, Oblate of S. Charles.
London : Burns & Oates. Protestant Ritualists. By W. MASKELL, M.A. London : Toovey. Catholicism or Ritualism? By Two Catholics. London : Longman. A Letter to the Parishioners of S. Barnabas', Oxford. By C. H. MOORE, M.A.,
late curate. London : Burns & Oates.
E are always unwilling to enter into controversy with
Dr. Pusey and his friends, for two reasons. On one hand their ecclesiastical position is so utterly unhistorical and baseless, that to argue against them seems a kind of solemn trifling. On the other hand, in these days, when the great majority of really powerful anti-Catholic thinkers are vigorously opposing Theism itself, it is painful to dwell on our variance with persons, who hold a large amount of vital truth in common with Catholics; and some of whom, c. g. Canon Liddon-defend that truth with great power and
At the same time, it seems our business to indicate from time to time the view we take of their sayings and doings; and just now two movements are proceeding among thom, in which our readers will take great interest. One of these is their struggle for the Athanasian Creed; the other, their renewed assault on the Roman Catholic Church. We will place before our readers then, with all attainable brevity, a general conspectus of these two movements; and that the rather, because various pamphlets (named at the head of our article) have been forwarded to us for notice, of which we can in no other way give so satisfactory an account, as by attempting this general conspectus.
In regard to the Athanasian Creed, we shall entirely abstain from the historical discussion as to its origin. We cannot indeed entirely agree with Mr. MacColl (p. 4), that those
Anglicans* "who uphold the present position of the Creed would not be,” or at least ought not to be, "the least affected by the discovery, that every word was composed centuries after S. Athanasius had slept with his fathers.” The vast majority of Anglican high churchimen consider, that the Church lost her infallibility when she became “ broken” as they say “into fragments"; i. e. when the Photian schism was effected. To all these it is surely a matter of vital moment, whether the Creed obtained ecclesiastical authority before or after this period. Nevertheless we shall not discuss the historical question : because F. Jones has treated it very exhaustively in his admirable Essay, first published by the “ Month” and afterwards reprinted with additions; and because we said our own say on the matter, in our July notice of that Essay (July, 1872, p. 208). Our present purpose is
. merely to consider the attitude assumed towards this Creed by various Anglican parties.
Putting aside then the various more or less able discussions of the historical argument, which Anglicans have published Mr. MacColl is almost the sole exponent of high-churchism on the doctrinal questions involved. With whatever opponent Mr. MacColl has to deal, he writes in an uniformly Christian spirit, which demands our warm acknowledgment; and at a time when respectable writers, like those of the English Church Defence Tracts,” display such extraordinary intemperance and bitterness,t we value the more Mr. MacColl's exemplary gentleness and forbearance. As to his arguments, they seem to us of very unequal merit. In some cases he reasons clearly, powerfully and irrefragably; but in others he does not equally impress us. On some questions indeed of extreme moment—which however do but incidentally bear on his subject—he has chosen (we think) what may be called the unhappy mean; he neither passes them with a transient allusion, nor exhaustively discusses them : and on these moreover he now and then indicates opinions, with which (not to speak more definitely) we can by no means concur. For instance. "God is only indirectly the author of the sinner's torments, by having given him a constitution .... capable of being ruined." "Hell is rather a nature than a place” (pp. 66, 81). Again : “On man's disobedience” his “supernatural
* In the present article we shall use this word to denote all members of the Established Communion ; and the word “high-churchmen” to denote those who call themselves “ Anglo-Catholics."
† F. Addis says with undeniable truth : “I know of no instance in which authors of respectable name have carried language of violence and calumny so far” (p. 4).
endowment was withdrawn; not necessarily by way of punishment, but rather perhaps because it would be hurtful to him in his fallen condition” (p. 131). Once more.“ God Almighty, with reverence be it said, could not create a being who should be capable of virtue, without leaving him at the same time capable of sin: for virtue implies a free will, and a free will implies the power of choice." Yet on the other hand," so long
" as the will is capable of vacillating between right and wrong, it is not really free” (pp. 69, 72).
Mr. MacColl's main theme comprises two questions, entirely distinct from each other. The first is-do the “damnatory
. clauses” of the Athanasian Creed speak truly, if understood in that sense which they legitimately bear? The second isshould Anglicans continue the obligatory public recital of that Creed in their service ? Catholics, as is evident, are indefinitely more concerned with the former of these questions ; and we will conclude our remarks on it, before entering at all upon the latter.
As a preliminary then we have to consider, what is the sense which these clauses legitimately bear? “Quicunque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est ut teneat Catholicam fidem : quam nisi quisque integram inviolatamque servaverit, absque dubio in æternum peribit.” “ Hæc est Fides Catholica : quam nisi quisque fideliter firmiterque crediderit, salvus esse non poterit." What does the Catholic Church mean, when she makes these declarations? We will answer this inquiry as well as we can, submitting what we say in all respects to the judgment of persons more theologically competent.
A Catholic theologian, we believe, (whether he lived when the Creed was written or whether he lived now) would interpret these expressions as precisely meaning, that God has imposed on all men--and imposed under pain of mortal sin—the precept of believing a certain definite doctrine, concerning the Trinity and the Incarnation. We are briefly then to inquire, first what is meant by a precept binding under mortal sin; and secondly what is the particular precept with which we are here concerned. Suppose then a person commits some act, which God has forbidden to him under mortal sin. Does this circumstance necessarily involve the conclusion, that he has formally committed mortal sin ? that in point of fact he has lost habitual grace, if he hitherto possessed it ? that he has merited eternal punishment ? By no means : because (1) he may not have committed the act with full deliberation; and because (2) he may be invincibly ignorant or inadvertent of the act's true character. Nor again, if he has formally committed mortal sin, does it follow that he will be eternally lost; because of course
he may, by God's grace, repent efficaciously before his death. When S. Paul therefore enumerates and denounces “ works of the flesh” (Gal. v. 19-21), declaring that “those who do such things shall not inherit the kingilom of God," a Catholic theologian understands this statement with a threefold qualification, as regards any individual act of which the “materia” is "gravis.” The act, however in its own nature detestable, does not exclude from the kingdom of Heaven, if (1) it were done without full deliberation; or (2) under invincible ignorance or inadvertence of its evil character; or (3) if it be duly repented before death. Suppose the theologian were asked what he means precisely by "invincible" ignorance or inadvertence, this would lead him into a very long and intricate discussion. Such a discussion however-even if it could possibly be admitted into such a paper as this—would not be strictly germane to our theme; because in this respect there is no distinction, between the precept of faith and precepts of the moral law.
Here again Mr. MacColl impresses us, as having pursued the unhappy mean; he has said enough to suggest difficulties, without saying enough to solve them. Indeed, if we rightly understand him, he speaks inconsistently with himself. In p. 52, the natural sense of his words is unduly strict. “By a deliberate rejection " of Catholic Truth, he says,-i.e. (as the context explains) such a rejection as involves mortal sin “I mean a rejection, which might have been avoided if the man had made use of his opportunities.” Surely my ignorance does not become mortally culpable, by the mere fact of my not having "made” all possible "use of my opportu
“ nities": it is not thus culpable even “in causâ,” unless I have failed to take some definite step, which was cognisable by me as of grave obligation. On the other hand, in p. 43 Mr. MacColl seems to say, that eternal ruin is not certainly entailed by any one sin-however advertently and deliberately committed and however unrepented—but only by a course of sin. Here is the passage; and if we have failed rightly to understand it, the fault really lies in its obscurity. We italicize a few words.
Man is a complex being, and we cannot be sure that any specific offence against faith or morals is a true index to his character as a whole. It is the key in which the thoughts habitually move that determine the condition of man as a responsible moral agent; and God alone, Who sees the heart, can know for certain what that key is. The sum total of man's capacities for everlasting life are not necessarily exhausted by the few gross acts incident to social relations or open to human valuation ; but it is on such acts alone that human judgments can be passed, as well in the sphere of faith as in that of morals. (p. 43.)