{102} [Rambler, May 1859.]


Temporal prosperity a Note of the Church

SIR,—It is not quite easy to acquiesce in a proposition of which we are sometimes reminded, when we are tempted to grumble at the slovenly, disgraceful way in which things go on in certain Catholic countries. I am alluding to Italy. We are told in answer, that temporal prosperity is not a "Note" of the Church; but, left to ourselves, I think we should have decided that it was; and so Bellarmine, I think, determines it. Such a doctrine certainly does come home to our common sense. Religion may preach poverty to the saint, but it teaches worldly success and the comforts of life to the faithful at large. It is the foster-parent, if not the natural mother, of industry, thriftiness, order, honesty, and equitable dealing; and these virtues are the infallible antecedents of making money, gaining a character, and rising in society. I cannot see the flaw in this argument; and when Protestants urge it, I cannot answer them.

Nor do I think that Catholics, and especially our rulers who formally represent the Holy See, like to give up the argument. They set forth Rome as the mother of modern civilisation: they make Italy, and truly, the centre in times past from which literature, the fine arts, philosophy, physical science, commerce, and terrestrial discovery proceeded. But we must take things as they are, not as they were. Greece once was the source of intellectual and social progress, and Greece is so no more; Egypt was so once, and Egypt is so no more. How do we account for this national decay in the case of Greece and Egypt? We answer, that the cause of the political greatness of those countries has ceased. If, then, in like manner, Italy once was great, and now is not, a hard logician will {103} press us with this dilemma—either religion is extinct there now, or religion was not the cause of her greatness then.

The Protestant likes to secure both horns at once; and he infers from the past and present state of Italy, both that religion is at present extinct there, and that it was not the cause of her past greatness.

I, on the contrary, think it reasonable to take neither horn; they are too sharp to be either of them true. I think each conclusion is half of it true. The more exact conclusion I believe to be this,—on the one hand, that religion is the providentially intended, not the necessary nor the only cause of national prosperity; and, on the other, that religion is not indeed extinct in Italy, but still in a most unsatisfactory state. And therefore the contemptible figure which that famous country cuts at present in the eyes of Protestants arises from the circumstance, that religion must not be merely existing or vegetating in a country, but be in a really vigorous state, if it is to develop itself in temporal prosperity. Faith is not enough for the presence of this Note of the Church; there must be some modicum of hope and of charity in a population too. Italy, viewed as a whole, and in her influential and ruling classes and places, seems to me to be in a state of spiritual decadence, and therefore of intellectual.

What has brought the length and breadth of that fair land into such a state? It is not the fault of the existing generation; it is not the fault of one age; but it must certainly be the fault of the governments. I cannot escape this conclusion. The state of the country is such, that there is a chronic expectation or apprehension among all classes of insurrection and revolution. Is the administration, then, bad? if so, that is at once the fault of the governments. But no; it is not that the people are really discontented; it is that foreign incendiaries are able to make the Italians blaze up at will. Then, I say, they must be mere children: and why are they so provokingly childish, except from the fault of the governments? I repeat, I cannot escape this conclusion. The governments may not be worse than the people; but they must be as bad; and then, observe, it is their duty to improve the people, not the duty of the people to improve the governments. Thus we lose a Note of the Church.

You must not mistake me to be a zealot for constitutions, much less for the British lion, as if his presence were a panacea. What we should all mean by a state well governed is, not one in which monarchy is limited, not one in which there is a president and chambers, but one in which there are good laws vigorously and impartially enforced; this is the great duty of governments. If, then, the present disturbed state of Italy be in matter of fact a proof of its being badly governed, what we mean by that is just this, that the administration is bad, that its people are not under the impartial and vigorous sway of laws suited to their geographical, national, and social characteristics. And this is what it wants, and nothing but this, to reverse its miserable state. Questions about autocracy, aristocracy, democracy, are nothing to the purpose. {104}

How the aforesaid status, if revolutionism can be a status,—how this condition of things has come about, is too deep a problem perhaps for any of us. So far is pretty clear, that, if not the cause, at least the sustaining power and the sanction, of this serious mischief is Austria. I acknowledge with joy the change of sentiment and policy which has lately taken place in that august court. I am even tempted to believe that a providence more than ordinary protects the throne of the Cæsars, so wonderful have been its fortunes in these latter centuries. Let us hope that the warnings which its adherents have had lately will open their eyes to the dangers of their repressive, suppressive, oppressive system of government. But still, at present the fact is as I have stated it; viz. for the last forty years Austrian influence has been supreme through the Italian peninsula, and a melancholy failure has been the end of it. Its present state is simply a disgrace to the protecting power. What could France have done worse? Would there have been more infidelity, blasphemy, and profligacy; would there have been more of the hideous frantic rebellion against the Almighty which the Jew of Verona depicts to us; would there have been more deadness in priests and people, more relaxation and disorder in convents in this year 1859,—if France, and not Austria, had held Lombardy all these years by possession, Tuscany and the Duchies by relationship or special treaty, Naples by sympathy and good offices, and Rome by the ties of ancient alliance? I am as jealous as any one can be of the British Government in matters of religion; but I doubt much whether the Western powers, as they are now termed, would have done near so much harm to the religion of Italy in the last forty years, by letting the wild winds of heaven dance over it, as the Austrians have caused, by excluding from it light and air, shutting and barring the gates, and making it a prison or a charnel-house, in which thought turns putrid and breeds infection by want of circulation, instead of being reared up to the atmosphere of heroic elevation and Divine philosophy.

Italian society is honeycombed with secret societies, as if with the red ants of Africa. Why do they not spread in England or in Germany? how is it that London or St. Petersburg can admit their central committees without harm to themselves, while they act so fatally upon Italy? "Those wicked societies," says the Archbishop of Dublin lately, "which ever sap the first principles of social order and the foundations of civil life, have found their echo in Turin, Paris, Westminster, and St. Petersburg; and all their deadly hostilities and fierce invectives are directed against the temporal sovereignty of Rome. And whilst they assail the temporal rule of the Holy Father, they vainly hope that the powers of hell shall lead captive the Spouse of Christ." How true are the words of the most reverend prelate! Yet that they should be true is a most severe reflection on those who have allowed such a state of things to grow up; and who are they but the soldiers and diplomatists of Austria? {105}

I see that the Dublin of this month blames Austria in terms little less severe than my own; though the writer speaks severely of France too, which he has a right to do. "Down to the last few years," he says, "the government of Austria was at once anti-papal and despotic; and of all who suffered from its despotism, none suffered so deeply as the Popes." [Note]

I am, sir, your obedient servant,
O. H.


We are very glad to hear it generally reported that the retirement from the Dublin, after years of patient service, of some of those distinguished and able men whose zeal has been the means of raising it to so honourable a place in contemporary literature, is to be compensated by a set of fresh writers, whose known talent is the guarantee to the public that the Review will not in years to come fall below the standard of the highest successes of its past career.—Ed.
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Questions and Answers

DEAR MR. EDITOR,—The remarks in your short Prospectus on certain purposes which the Correspondence in the Rambler may subserve, chimed in with certain ideas of my own, which I shall ask your leave to express in your pages. That is, I shall avail myself, if you will let me, of the opportunity which, by means of that department of your Magazine, you offer, to comment on the reasons you assign for offering it.

Yes, there are many purposes to which such an opening may be turned, and I hope not unprofitable or dangerous. Where education is widely promoted, and thought in consequence is active and incessant, it is a great thing to have a safety-valve, lest in particular minds there should be a formidable generation of steam and an explosion. There are few among us, perhaps, who pay so little regard to their own present or past as not to acknowledge the chronic irritation which may befall even religious men, from the working of their own thoughts, when they have no one to converse with about them. They suffer from perplexities, not exactly of faith, but relative to the logic of faith, or to the consistency of doctrines with each other, or to their limits, or to their form and drift, or to points of history, or to matters of philosophy or duty; of which the very enunciation, if clear and full, would probably be the solution, or, if not so much as this, yet the proximate means of obtaining a solution. It is scarcely possible to overrate the amount of minute uneasiness, vague wonderment, and superstitious apprehension, which take possession of religious minds, Catholic quite as much as Protestant, merely because they are afraid or forbidden to speak out boldly what they feel; or the immediate and perfect relief which they experience on being allowed an honest recognition of difficulties which neither involve doubt in the speaker, nor demand severity in the respondent. {106}

This might be illustrated in a number of ways, distinct from each other; I will venture to give one instance of what I mean from the subject of mysteries.

1. First, one great perplexity is caused to a reflecting mind by not knowing whether a particular point is a mystery or not; or, in other words, whether it ought to attempt to answer objections urged against it, or to acknowledge at once and from the first that they are unanswerable. It is a great comfort to a man to know that he ought not to lose time on a point, or to fidget himself, but to say to himself or to others at once, "It is unanswerable, it is beyond us, it is above reason, it is one of the things which we must take upon faith." I have always felt the truth of a passage in Loss and Gain. The hero of the tale is represented as asking his Anglican tutor about the doctrine of eternal punishment. "He had had some difficulty in receiving it; it had seemed to him the hardest doctrine of revelation. Then he said to himself, 'But what is faith in its very notion but an acceptance of the word of God when reason seems to oppose it? How is it faith at all, if there is nothing to try it?' This thought fully satisfied him. The only question was, Is it part of the revealed word? 'I can believe it,' he said, 'if I know for certain that I ought to believe it; but if I am not bound to believe it, I can't believe it.'" Accordingly he is represented as putting the question to his tutor, and failing in obtaining any answer at all, one way or the other.

On this particular point no Catholic can have any difficulty, for the first priest he meets with will give him a categorical answer; and if he asked a hundred, they would all give him the same. But there are questions which do not yet admit of so distinct a decision.

For instance, we may take the uncertainty which a Scripture student may sometimes feel as to the nature and limits of Inspiration. The Church has not formally determined many of the questions which necessarily arise as he reads the Pentateuch; and he does not know what he is bound to hold of the statements contained in that sacred volume, and what he need not hold. Three centuries ago, there was a doubt among Catholics whether they might believe that the earth went round the sun. Half Christendom would have told an inquirer that it was a dangerous doctrine; and if he had answered, "But the Church has not spoken on the point," he would have been told, "True; but if necessary she will speak, and just in one way, viz. against the opinion; for it is plain," they would have said, "that unless the earth is in the centre, and the sun and stars go round it, the sun and stars were not made for the earth, nor has man that supreme importance in creation which revelation ascribes to him." Thus the person in question would have been driven back into himself, half-satisfied, and continually murmuring in his own heart, "I wish I knew for certain whether I am at liberty to hold with Galileo or not." He would not be asking to be dispensed from the law of faith, but to know whether in this particular case he was called upon to exercise it. {107}

And so now, Are we at liberty to hold the probable conclusions of human sciences, e.g. of geology, astronomy, ethnology, history, or must we reject them, as temptations to faith, if the letter of the Scripture text is against them? Are we at liberty in any case? if not in all, in what case? with what limitations? under what cautions?

This, then, is one use of asking questions, viz. to know distinctly, if we can, what is mystery and what is not, what is to be taken on faith, and what we may reason about: to know what we ought to say to a Protestant; and to know what may be held, and what it is prudent and safe to hold, without danger to oneself.

2. In the next place, there is a real relief in knowing just where and in what the difficulty lies; to throw the mystery into a sentence, and to give it a term or name, though that name does not make us at all wiser about it.

Let it be recollected that a mystery in religion is not a real thing in rerum naturâ, not any thing objective, but something subjective. It presupposes a particular intellect contemplating facts or truths, and it is an incidence of the imperfection of that given intellect; and, as regards the race of man, it is in great measure the effect of that penal ignorance which is one of the four characteristics of our fallen state. Like evil, ignorance has no substance. As knowledge, so ignorance, so mysteriousness, is something relative to us. When we say that the Almighty is incomprehensible, we do not mean that incomprehensibility is, strictly speaking, an essential attribute of His nature, else He would not comprehend Himself; but we mean that, from the nature of the case, He cannot be comprehended by any creature.

And this is the true meaning of the word mysterious, whether used of religious matters or scientific. For instance, when we consider a cone and its sections, and evolve their properties, we come to two separate conclusions about a certain straight line called an asymptote: one is, that it is always approaching a certain curve; and the other is, that though it starts at a given finite distance from it, it never reaches it, even though curve and line are produced indefinitely. Each of these two conclusions is intelligible in itself, both a straight line approaching a curve, and a straight line not reaching a curve; but the compatibility of the two at once is incomprehensible or mysterious. But that incompatibility which distresses us is not a real thing, but our view of the mutual relations of the straight and curved lines towards each other evolved from the two real facts themselves. That is, mysteriousness does not lie in any thing substantive, but in our mode of viewing what is substantive. We do not see how a certain relation is possible, viz. that one thing should ever be approaching another, and yet never meet it. We cannot frame to ourselves an idea imagining this relation; but at the same time each of the two conclusions, taken by itself, is perfectly intelligible.

And in like manner as regard's the supernatural doctrine of the {108} Holy Trinity. That the Father is God, is in form an intelligible proposition; and so also, that the Word is God; and again, that the Holy Ghost is God. Again, it is sufficiently clear what we mean when we say that there is only one God: but take all four propositions together, and you have the Mystery. It lies in the impossibility of any human intelligence being able to perceive how propositions can be all true, which seem to it destructive of each other, that is, as self-destructive as the above mathematical dictum that a line is always approaching what it never reaches.

Theologians cannot comprehend these relations more than we can; but they can give names to them. They cannot understand the distinction between God and the Word, or between Father and Son, more than the dullest clodhopper; but they can distinguish them from each other in scientific language. The name which they have given,—given under a supernatural guidance,—is just as unintelligible as the truth itself is incomprehensible. We gain nothing by it in the way of explanation, but it is a recognition on their part that there is a mystery—that is the first gain; next, it is a declaration in what point or points the mystery lies; and thirdly, it does for the mystery what the symbol x does for an unknown quantity,—it enables the mind to use it freely, to recognise it whenever it comes up again in the course of investigation, and to speak of it and discuss it with others.

The term which we introduce as regards the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is the word Person. It expresses, it does not explain, the point of mystery. We know nothing more than before; but we have located the mystery, and may shut up the subject.

But, though the intellect gains nothing in the way of real satisfaction by having a name given to the mystery, it seems to have gained something. It is one thing to know the fact that there is a mystery, and a call for faith; that we have got to the bottom of the inquiry, and have nothing more to learn; of this I have spoken already: but now I say secondly that a name acts in some sort as an explanation, though it really is not. Metaphysicians must account for this, if my analysis of it will not hold; but still the fact, I think, is so, however it is to be accounted for. Take another instance. We sufficiently understand what is meant by the proposition, "Our Lord has a body;" and again, "Our Lord is present on our altars." The mystery is in the union of the two, viz. the corporeal Presence. Theologians try to reduce this mystery to its most elementary form, and they say that "His body is present after the manner of a spirit. Such a proposition is no removal of the difficulty, it is but a statement of it; yet it is something to take hold of. It is at least a putting of the mystery into shape; the mind no longer floats about in a dreamy way, catching at phantoms. If not an explanation, it is a clear conception of the mystery. Locke, I think it is, who says, that though a shadow is negative, our idea of it is positive: and so here, the vague perplexing mystery is invested with a sort of positive form, and can be dealt with by giving it a name. {109}

If in the above remarks I have rambled on till you may ask me how I can pretend to refer my remarks to the announcement contained in your Prospectus, with which I started, I must proceed to shelter myself under your own name, who are the RAMBLER par excellence. However, if I am driven to bay, and must per force explain myself, I shall best do so by asking a question on which I really do myself want information, and should be much obliged to any of your readers who would give it. It is one which not unfrequently comes up in conversation with others. My question is: How far is it allowable, or desirable, for laymen to study theology?

I am, dear Mr. Editor, yours, &c,
H. I.


The Prospect of War

SIR,—I do not yield to any one in sensitiveness at the thought of the scandal which is involved in a war between three Catholic powers, though, the prospect of one is at this moment doubtful; but should it come to pass, I shall be tempted almost to reconcile myself to it, under the feeling that there are worse scandals than it, and that perhaps it will put an end to them. I am not speaking of the horrors and miseries of war, considered as such, but of the scandal of a war between Catholic nations. As to those intrinsic evils, it is difficult to find a common measure between good and evil, and to determine how much evil is a fair price for a certain good, or the chance of a certain good. But the determination of this problem is not necessary for my purpose; I only say, that if there is war between France and Austria, with that cock-sparrow Sardinia on the side of the former, I shall solace myself with the hope that good will come out of it, and not merely in the Vicar of Wakefield's sense of that phrase.

It was not so with the Russian war. What good could be expected from a war in which our motive was mere jealousy of Russia, and our aim the consolidation of a barbarous Antichristian power? But even though we view that Anglo-French expedition against Russia in its best light, and the Sardo-French attack upon Austria in its worst, even then there is enough of analogy between the two, to make it wonderful that Englishmen should take it for granted that nothing can be said in behalf of the latter, and that nothing need be said in behalf of the former.

You will perceive that I am supposing the success of France when I speak of "good;" for what good can come from the success of Austria, I am simply incapable of imagining.

Now, I must observe, I am no defender of Louis Napoleon, for the simple reason that no one can defend what he does not understand. He is a man to wonder at and admire; but in order to our trusting him, he ought not to be so reserved. I am no lover of {110} those strange cloudy oracles which he utters, whether from the throne or in the Moniteur. They remind one of a certain classical personage who began on a certain occasion

"Criminibus terrere novis, et spargere voces
  In vulgum ambiguas, et quærere conscius arma."

Once, however, he has spoken clearly; and then the light was still more ominous than the darkness, and the sun came out to burn, not to gladden us. He has told us in one of his works, "Il n'y a jamais eu chez les peuples libres de gouvernement assez fort pour réprimer longtemps la liberté a l'intérieur sans donner la gloire au dehors."

Nor do I forget that from his position he cannot exert a strictly conservative influence in Europe. By conservatism, I mean a policy founded on the observance of treaties; but Louis Napoleon is on the throne by virtue of a breach of the international engagements of Europe in 1815, in which it was determined that the family of Bonaparte should be for ever excluded from the French throne. He cannot be in love with these treaties, which are aimed at his house; and he could not observe them, if he would, without abdicating. It is no greater breach of the Vienna treaties to put Austria out of Lombardy, than to put him into France. It is plain there is no motive but expedience to persuade him to maintain the status quo. While I write, a foreign newspaper reports of the "French Emperor, that, accepting as a fact the existence of the treaties of 1815, he will never consent to give them, by his signature, a new consecration."

Nor is Louis Napoleon only mysterious in his personal character, and anti-conservative from his political position; he is also ambitious in his national capacity. It is impossible to forget the history of French rulers towards Italy for the last four centuries. Yet Italy is not the only country which they have attempted: Louis Napoleon was reserved in 1854 as well as now; and his position was the same then; and if France has cast greedy eyes on Italy, she has not been without covetousness towards Turkey in the present generation (Algiers to wit, to say nothing of Syria or Egypt): and yet we were her good friends then, and were the friends of Sardinia too.

Why is it that we are now showing such unamiable caprice to our dear friend Sardinia? How must Victor Emmanuel be pained and surprised at the ill-treatment! We encouraged and applauded his going to war with Russia; he fought between France and ourselves. What, in the world, was his excuse for going to war? What business had he in the Crimea? He had not the zeal which France showed for the Holy Places; he had not the apprehensions which England felt on the score of India; he fought for fighting's sake. Perhaps, in consideration of the antiquity of his house, he was tolerated as a knight-errant in the nineteenth century; perhaps it was on the plea of pure philanthropy that he defended the innocent Turkey, with which he had no concern, against the Bear of the North: but he may reasonably argue now, that if he might allowably feel philanthropy {111} for the Levant then, he has at present some excuse for feeling patriotism in the cause of Italy, of which he is a neighbour, if not a part; and, if he might decently attack Russia then, he may more reasonably attack Austria now. Yet the gracious and paternal Times, after smiling approval at his feat of arms in the Crimea, now gravely declares that its highness has never recommended any thing but internal development to Sardinia; and that Cavour, the prime minister, to its own surprise and sincere concern, is now suddenly beginning an altogether different course, in going to war.

Certainly we are not the most consistent people in the world; we are astonished that Sardinia should keep up an effective army at a great expense, though it is not four years since we suddenly thought of asking it whether it had some few thousand men to spare, and borrowed them for a purpose of our own. We thought Charles Albert a great hero for attacking the Austro-Lombards in 1847, and Victor Emmanuel a detestable firebrand for threatening the like in 1859. No wonder Italians trust us as little as we trust Louis Napoleon.

And now for the latter. I can fancy the Russian minister thus addressing the French three years ago, during the peace negotiations at Paris: "You think it all fair to be jealous of us; yet you allow the encroachments of your neighbours. Austria is your Turk and Russian rolled up into one;—worse than the Russian, because she is an actual occupant of a country which is not hers; as bad as the Turk, as ruling by force, not by reason, and as the enemy of reform and improvement. We at least should reform the Turks; we were putting an end to the Black-Sea slave-trade when you interfered with your armies; we were enfeebling an enemy of the Christian name, and you proceeded to exalt the Crescent to the level of the Cross. You forced us to keep our hands off barbarians whom all your past Popes denounced; and you allow Austria to keep her hand upon the throat of a people whom the present Pope defended against her." Louis Napoleon was the man to understand the force of such remarks, for he has been a Philitalian all his life; and accordingly his minister proceeded to introduce the subject to the assembled plenipotentiaries.

We English, on the contrary, have fallen off in the opposite direction; and I think there are three good reasons for our doing so. First, war is no longer a novelty with us; five years ago, even tailors and pastrycooks, who live in good measure by the superfluous wealth of the community, were eager for the new and strange excitement with which the war furnished them: but they have found that sort of amusement too costly to be worth the purchase. So has the nation at large. The upper classes have given their flesh and blood, and the middle and lower classes have given their earnings; they complained little, but they felt the more. And then the Russian war was hardly over when the Indian revolt broke out; and now, like the burnt child, they wisely dread the fire. Moreover, they are now jealous of France, as they were then jealous of {112} Russia; and this personal feeling determines them in preaching peace, in spite of whatever the logic of the case may be able to plead the other way. And lastly, in spite of their bad opinion of Louis Napoleon, they think he has religion enough to wish to do a service to the Pope in his own way, whereas they themselves have not quite so much religion as that; and though they might, indeed, be tempted to go to war to annihilate the Holy Father, they have no desire at all that others should fight in order to seat him more firmly on the throne.

But I have wandered from the point with which I started, which was, not the question whether England was or was not inconsistent, but whether there were not scandals, whether there were not evils, in the status quo, more prejudicial to Catholicity than there would be in a war and its consequences; though I should be very sorry indeed to seem to speak in any but the most deprecatory language of the latter.

Now then, first as to evils. A war between Catholic powers is bad, but a massacre of unarmed ecclesiastics is worse. If the present unsettled state of Italy ends in bringing the Red Republicans upon Rome, and they butchered, as they have threatened, Holy Father, Cardinals, and priests,—if this be the prospect, I suppose I might be allowed to acquiesce in a war now as the less evil of the two.

And next, a war between Catholic powers is certainly a great scandal; but many will think that the presence of Austrian and French troops in the Pontifical States is a more grievous scandal still. Is it not portentous that the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, should be sustained on his throne against the rising of his own people by foreign bayonets? Is it not a thing to make a Catholic blush, to think that the mildest and kindest of men should be made to seem to the world like some Pygmalion, with no home in the affections of his people, no power of exciting their loyalty and veneration, no refuge but in their simple dread of the strong arm of Frank and German barbarians? And here is another thing to be considered—What is so contradictory as a ruler who cannot rule? St. Peter had, indeed, no temporal kingdom, nor St. Dionysius, nor St. Sixtus; but, according to the divine will, and for the good of the Church, such power was bestowed upon their successors. The Popes might have it, or they might not have it; but it is neither one thing nor the other to accept it and not be able to use it, to have the name and not the power. If it is the divine will that they should have a temporal sword, it is equally so that they should "not bear it in vain." It is an intolerable contradiction that they should reign and not rule. And further still, let it be recollected that one of the principal reasons in the line of expediency put forward, and reasonably put forward, for the Pope having a territory of his own, is, that he may be independent of Catholic powers; and the history of the Avignon Popes is reasonably quoted in favour of this expediency; but how is he independent of them if they garrison his country? {113}

I have no scruple in thus speaking, because we know it is what the Holy Father feels himself. Let us recollect his conduct at the very beginning of his reign. Then the Austrians only, not the French, were in Italy; and he wanted simply to get rid of the Austrians from Italy altogether. "Nous avons la confiance," he said, "que la nation allemande, si généreusement fière de sa propre nationalité" (you see, it was even a question of races), "ne mettra pas son honneur dans des tentatives sanglantes contre la nation italienne; mais qu'elle la croira plutôt intéressée à reconnaitre noblement celleci pour sœur, toutes les deux nos filles, toutes les deux si chères à notre cœur, consentant à habiter chacune son territoire naturel, où elles vivront une vie honorable et bénie du Seigneur." In like manner the Holy Father blessed the national flag, "leur recommandant expressment de se borner à défendre le territoire des états de l'Eglise et à en garantir l'inviolabilité." [Note] What he said to the Germans, he doubtless would have said to the French also. When he returned after his exile, then, indeed, while he was grateful to those who brought him back, he asked them to protect him for a definite time; but after that he proposed to do without them. Again and again has he wished both French and Austrians to withdraw. Mr. Bowyer, in his place in Parliament, announced their withdrawal a year or two ago; and it has been lately stated in the papers, not only that the foreign troops are to go, but that the Pope and Cardinal Antonelli have ever wished it, and have been thwarted by others.

It will be worth a good deal, then, if the French open a way for placing the lives of ecclesiastics at Rome on a better tenure than they have at present, and its temporal affairs on a better footing. It will be best, indeed, if this can be done by diplomacy under threat of a war, but without actual war; if there is war, and this is its result, the guilt of the war must lie some where or other; but the war, with all its miseries, at least will have a compensation, which the Russian war, our pet plaything, had not.

I am, sir, &c.
April 2.       J. O.


Les Annales, 1849, par M. 1'Abbé Petit, p. 123.
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Traditions of History in the Schools

SIR,—There is a passage in the letter of an eminent theologian, which appeared in your Number for December last, which seems to me obscure, and to need explanations, unless I am supposing in it allusions which it does not contain.

He had first said, that St. Francis de Sales "had convinced himself that the common teaching and tradition of the Fathers of the first four centuries was opposed to ... the opinion of St. Augustine" and that Serry "rebukes the saint for this, which he says is a false and dangerous opinion, that has been rejected by the schools." That is, {114} as I understand him, the notion of St. Augustine's doctrine being opposed to that of the common teaching of the early Fathers is rejected by the schools.

Then the learned writer proceeds: "In this question, which must be discussed on purely historical grounds, it matters not what the Thomists and Augustinians, in the traditional theology of their schools, have settled on the point, or what they have laid down in their lectures. Among theologians of real historical and patristic learning the matter has never been doubtful."

Here he seems to contrast the theology of the schools and real historical and patristic learning, as if the school-divines did not know history. I am not quarrelling with this proposition, because it is one which I certainly have entertained myself; but I want to know if I am right in thus interpreting him.

J. J.

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